The gathering darkness
What had become the Mickey’s disadvantage was used for the Horned King’s own advantage.
As it was said before, each world suffers from a different stream of time. What may be a few minutes in one could be hours in another. And it was this flux, this distortion between the worlds, that allowed the evil king of Prydain to gather his army.
In palace of the Underworld, Pain and Panic, the former minions of Lord Hades, had really let the place go to waste.
What had once been a very dark and foreboding for the ruler of the dead had become a filthy cluttered sty. Garbage was all over to the point of nearly covering every surface. There was even toilet paper hanging from places and things like party hats and what was left of games from some party that was held. Amongst all of this were Pain and Panic, now sleeping amongst filth.
Despite the state of the place, that didn’t stop new souls being brought through to enter into the deeper bowls of the underworld. One such soul, a very old and withered looking man, floated from the top of the room and down into the hole leading further down. The counter overhead now read “Over 6743219115 Served” with a ding as the newest number was added.
This ding startled Pain, who was sleeping on the throne, as he jumped up and rolled over while saying “I’ll get it!”
He fell flat on his face on the ground before getting up and realizing what had happened. He groaned as he got up while stretching and yawning. He walked over to the cooler in the room, which looked like a demonic box with a tag on the back reading “If found, please return to Pandora.” He opened it and pulled a bottle of “MT. Olympus Dew.” After gulping down a lot of it Pain let out a loud belch, so loud it woke up Panic.
The green demon sat up from a pile of junk he was sleeping under, even had a bra stung over his horns and covering his eyes, before saying “AH! I put the check in the mail, I swear!”
“It’s just me, dummy.” Pain said, still drinking.
Panic calmed a bit before removing the bra from his head. He got up and yawned before walking over and finding a newspaper. He tucked it under his arm before walking towards the stairway leading into the deeper parts of the underworld.
“Be right back.” He called to Pain, who was looking through the garbage to find a half-eaten doughnut.
When he finally found it and started eating it, despite the dirt and lint all over it, there came a flushing sound from where Panic had gone. He came back with a sigh of relief before walking over to his fellow pink demon.
Once he reached him, Pain said “Oh, dude, it’s your turn to clean Cerberus’ cage today.”
“What? No way. I did that last week. It’s yours.”
“Hey, I had to strain the River Styx after people left the junk in it last week. You know how tough that was without getting souls trapped in the net?”
“It’s still your turn for cleaning the cage.”
Before they could finish a sudden burst of some kind of magic made them jump. They held each other in fear as a large portal appeared in front of them. A moment later the Horned King stepped through, but he was not alone; accompanying him was Maleficent.
As both finally entered, the portal closing behind them, Maleficent looked about and said “So THIS is the lair of the ruler of the Underworld?” She looked down when she stepped on a can of soda before stating “I cannot say it is as impressive as it sounds.”
Looking at the two cowering demons, the Horned King said “I think we can thank these two for that.” He walked over and loomed over the two while saying “These are Hades’ servants. I suppose since there master’s defeat they’ve been rather lax in fulfilling the serving.”
“Y-you can’t be h-here.” Panic stammered.
“That’s right.” Pain said. “You need to either be dead or schedule an appointment for...”
The Horned King stopped them by grabbing their throats. They chocked and gasped while the King’s eyes glowed red.
“He’s.....very good at this.” Panic chocked.
“I’ve had practice.” The King said. “Now tell me: Where. Is. Hades?”
A few moments later the demons had lead the King and Maleficent to the River Styx.
They all stood on the rocky platform overlooking the swirling vortex of dead souls. The Horned King looked down as his eyes followed one soul, seeing the torment of being inside this undead water system must have been like.
Maleficent looked down and asked “So how are we going to free him?” looking to the Horned King.
“Maybe you could fish him out.” Pain suggested before receiving threatening looks from both the King and Maleficent.
Both he and Panic backed up before green minion whispered “Maybe they’re not the fishing types.”
The Horned King looked to Maleficent and said “I think this is where your power come in, my dear. You claim to have powers over Hell itself. Then this world is just one large playground for you to bend. Use it now. This is why I brought you here.” He pointed down at the river. “Bring him back.”
She nodded as he backed up and she stood at the front of the platform. She held her staff high as it began to spark with magic. Using both hands she held it up even high, both is and the river starting to react by the power.
Soon she slammed the staff down and a large burst came from the river. It swirled up and up in vortex while Maleficent still concentrated. The staff’s magic was reacting with the vortex, making it build and build until it was high enough in front of the platform.
She stood back now as all watched a black form coming from the vortex. It stepped out revealing the newly risen Hades, still looking as he did before minus his blue hair of fire. Once he stepped out the vortex subsided.
The king of the Underworld spit out some water and said “Oh boy. Now I know what a spin cycle feels like. Last time I go swimming.”
He touched the top of his head, feeling it was out, before putting his thumb in his mouth and blowing, making it puff up again.
The Horned King gave a bow and said “Lord Hades. Such a honor.”
Seeing him Hades went “Whoa. What pit did you crawl out of buddy? Should really think about getting more sun. Then again, who am I to talk, right?”
The King furrowed his brow before saying “Lord Hades, I...”
“Yeah, yeah.” Hades waved him off. “I’ll be right with you. Pain! Panic!” he shouted.
Both hurried over to get in front of him and saluted and saying “Reporting for duty!” in unison.
“Alright, you two.” He said. “I want an update. I don’t know how long I’ve been stewing with the creeps below, but I want to know what Wonder Boy’s been up to while I’ve been gone. Going to make a comeback that’ll....”
He stopped when he looked over, past the Horned King, and eyed Maleficent. To him she was a beauty beyond compare. Even Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty, didn’t wow him as much as she did.
He zipped past everyone else before standing in front of her and asking “Well Hell-O, mistress. What’s your name, sweet stuff?”
She huffed a bit and said “Maleficent.”
“Maleficent.” He repeated with an enthusiasm. “Now that’s a name that put’s fire in my soul....well If I had one. So what you say, gorgeous? You and me sharing a nice hot meal over by the fire pits? Front row seats.”
“Hades,” the Horned King began “if I may.”
“Hold up tall, dark and decaying.” He said, waving him off. “I’m trying to score some evil mistress here.”
“But Lord Hades...”
“You, pal, I don’t think I want you around here anymore.” He said, poking a finger at him. “So let me help you out the old fashioned way.”
He gave a loud whistle which was followed by a low rumbling. It started growing louder and louder until all looked to see the wall behind them burst open. The large black three headed hell-hound Cerberus stood there growling.
“Sick ‘em, boy.” Hades ordered.
The beast lowered all its heads down towards the Horned King, who only looked defiantly at it. He raised his hand to attack but was stopped when Maleficent stood in front of him.
She let out a hollering “SIT!” making Cerberus stop and whimper before obeying.
Seeing this, Hades looked at her and said “Oooo. I REALLY like you, babe.”
She turned and said “Lord Hades, if you are so keen to see your rival, Hercules, meet his end, I suggest you here what my associate has to offer.”
He turned to the Horned King and said “Oh you again. Well since I got nothing better to do, I’m all ears.”
For the next few minutes the King and Maleficent explained to Hades the existence of other worlds, how they had come to learn of Hades’ defeat of Hercules, the plan to gather all other defeated enemies of the heroes in the other worlds, and finally, and what Hades took interest in the most, the utter defeat and execution of all heroes leaving them to rule their worlds.
He gave a curious hum before asking “So do I need to sign any papers? Go through tons of red tape?”
“You only need give your allegiance.” The King stated.
Hades glanced over at Maleficent, who gave a slight smile, before smirking and shrugging “I may not be a scout, but you got my honor.”
They shook hands before the King said “Excellent. Now I will allow Maleficent to show you around once you’ve arrived at our base.”
Before Hades could ask, the King opened a portal behind him.
“Nice work, Siegfried.” He joked.
“I will return once I am finished in other worlds.” The King stated. Until then, make yourself comfortable.”
Hades, looking at Maleficent, said “Not a problem.”
Maleficent indicated for him to follow her through the portal. Hades kicked Pain and Panic ahead of him to make sure it was safe. They hesitantly went through before poking their heads through from the other side and showing it was safe.
Once Hades was gone, the Horned King closed the portal and opened the next, leading to the world known as Agrabah.
Hades and his minions looked about at this “outer world” they found themselves in.
They were inside what looked like the inside of a castle or mansion. A large roof with a very dark and sharp protruding chandelier above that lite the room, a broad staircase that went up towards a larger doorway with large iron doors. Everything looked old and in a half-state of refurbishing.
Looking around Hades said “Sheesh. Who killed the maid for this place?”
Maleficent started walking up the stairway before saying “Right this way, Lord Hades.”
“Whatever you say, dark britches.”
He and the minions followed her up towards the door. Once there she pushed it opened and revealed a larger dining/living room like area. It had a large table in the center but around were things like a couch and chair. A large window took up the entire back wall and showed the dark outside area this place was situated in.
All around though was, to Hades, an odd assortment of characters. Among them approached Grimhilde, who bowed once she met with him.
“Greetings, Lord Hades.” She said. “Glad to see you accepted the King’s offer. I am Queen Grimhilde.”
He nodded and said “Nice meeting you, Queenie.” He looked about before saying “So this is where his high and hornyness makes himself at home.”
“It is not the King’s world.” She explained. “Rather it is a world he and I found suitable for gathering our forces and devising our plan.”
“Our?” he asked, sensing something between the King and Queen.
Grimhilde waved it off and said “Later. For now let me introduce you the others.”
She lead Hades and his minions, Maleficent walking off to do her own business, as she walked him over to one of the villains.
“This is Captain Jas Hook.” She began. “Of the Jolly Roger in the world called Neverland.”
“A pleasure.” Hook said, offering his hook hand to shake.
Hades looked down and then back to his face before saying “Yeah. Charmed, Jimmy. Charmed.” He looked over to a small band of pirates behind him, all standing around with their weapons in hand, and asked “Those your boys over there?”
“Yes, indeed.” Hook began. “You’ll have to forgive them. This whole traversing through other worlds, and being among this odd menagerie of individuals has made them edgy.”
“Really?” Hades said before floating over towards them. He could see all of them in fear as this demonic looking man with fiery blue hair was near them, making him smile and hold out his hand before saying “Hello boys. Who wants to make a deal?” The sight of them shivering was answer enough for him and once he returned with the others he said “I love doing that.”
Hook only huffed and said “Quite.” while twisting his mustache with his hook.
“You seem pretty calm.” Hades pointed out.
“I have seen a great number of things in my sailing days.” He explained. “This sort of thing is nothing compared to...”
“The Horned King showed him the Book.” Grimhilde cut him off. “Once he read what he needed to he understood perfectly.”
Hook grumbled as he said “Well when you say it like that it is less impressive.”
“I still find it surprising you’re able to command such a force.” Someone said, approaching them. “But then given the state of your....crew, I cannot say I’m that surprised.”
Grimhilde waited until he was close enough before saying “This is Scar, from the Pridelands.”
The lion sat in front of them with his three hyenas, Shenzi, Banzai and Ed, followed behind. The three of them had black collars on around their necks.
Scar looked at Hades and said “Charmed.” unenthusiastically, before looking over to Grimhilde and saying “And it is KING Scar to you. At least it will be once all this is done and I am the rightful King of the Pirdelands again.”
A giggle came from Ed when Shenzi said “Some king.”
Banzai added with “Couldn’t even keep the lions working together with us, let alone...”
Before they could finish, Scar looked at them as his eyes went black for a moment. Suddenly the collars around their necks began to tighten to the point of choking them.
As they struggled Scar asked “What was that again?”
“We....were just saying....what a great ruler you are....Scar.” Shenzi chocked.
“Yeah....Ten times...than that Simba kid!” Banzai added.
Both looked to the third and asked “Ed?” who hastily nodded.
“Exactly.” Scar finished before stopping the spell and making the collars revert to normal. He turned back to the others and explained “A little gift the Horned King provided me after restoring my life. It keeps them in check and myself in control; as it should be.”
Throughout all of this, Hades had his eyes wide at the sight before saying “I’m sorry but, are you a talking lion?”
Scar rolled his eyes before someone else said “Yes, he is. But this beast talks too much if you ask me.”
Now came a man, a very handsome but at least ordinary looking man. He was accompanied by a short pudgy fellow.
Scar growled and said “I wish the King had given me a collar for you, Gaston. I think it’d do us all peace.”
Le Fou walked up and said “Watch what you say to Gaston, kitty cat. He’s the greatest hunter in the world.”
Scar grinned and said “In YOUR world, maybe. But in mine only the lions are the REAL hunters.”
“Enough. All of you.” Grimhilde said. “This is neither the time or place to bicker. Save your squabbling and fighting for after we’ve succeeded.”
“Indeed.” A female voice said. “I’d hate to see this handsome humans face ruined.”
A tentacle came from behind Gaston and turned his head to make him as well as the others, see an obese mermaid, but with the bottom half of an octopus. Gaston, repulsed, slid away from her; Le Fou following.
Grimhilde rolled her eyes before saying “And this is Ursula, the Sea Witch.”
“More like sea hag.” Pain joked to Panic, making them laugh before Ursula gave them an evil look.
“So how much longer must we wait?” Scar asked, just as Maleficent joined them. “I am all a quiver with anticipation at seeing Simba’s end.”
“Stand in line, fur brain.” Hook said. “I want Pan just as badly as anyone else wants to see their foes keelhauled.”
“Patience. All of you.” Grimhilde said. “Once the King has returned, THEN we can discuss our plans for revenge. Until then, hold your tongues. Remember, he can take your lives just as easily as he brought them back.”
With that they went silent as walked off, Grimhilde indicating to Hades to make himself comfortable. All but Maleficent walked off leaving both she and Grimhilde alone.
“Did he say where we was going next?” she asked the Mistress of Evil.
“No.” she bluntly said. “He tends to be so mysterious, apparently to those he holds ‘close’ it would seem.”
“How dare you.” Gimrhilde began. “The Horned King and I are...”
“Of course you are.” She said, starting to walk off. “But remember, this King was fine without a Queen before the worlds were known to him. How long before you are no further use?”
Grimhilde scowled at her before walking to her mirror. In her mind she knew Maleficent was wrong. Had he wanted just any old Queen he’d have taken someone like Maleficent, giving how powerful she was. He chose her for a reason, because he thought she was the most beautiful. The fairest. That was why he wanted her. She knew it was the truth.
In front of a very large pristine looking house a portal opened and two figures emerged.
The Horned King was now accompanied by Jafar, the sorcerer turned genie from Agrabah, along with his little parrot, Iago. When they all emerged Jafar and Iago over looked the entire house.
“My, my.” He said. “Do all people in this world have houses like this or are you hoping to recruit a czar?”
“You will see soon enough, Jafar.” The King said. “Just remember our arrangement.” He held Jafar’s black magic lamp in one hand while saying “You help me with the finishing touches on our forces, and once my wishes are granted I shall use the last to set you free.”
“I still don’t see why I have to bust my beak for...” Iago began before Jafar clamped it shut.
“Quiet, Iago. You may not be bound to the lamp, but so help me if I’m not set free than I’ll make sure you never see the light of day again!” he threatened before turning back to the Horned King and saying “Understood....master.” he grumbled on the word Master.
The King turned back to the house before leading Jafar and Iago to the front door. He rapped on it and waited for a response. Before it opened all three of them could hear the sounds of two girls arguing on which would answer the door first.
When it finally opened, standing to greet them were Drizella and Anastasia Tremaine. Both of them looked with a growing horror as they saw the Horned King’s grotesque face smirking at them.
“Good evening, ladies.” He said. “Is your mother home?”
Both shrieked before slamming the door shut.
“You know your away around ladies, don’t you?” Iago joked before receiving a threatening look from the king.
A moment later they all heard another voice approaching the door. This was an older woman. She was saying things like how her daughters were foolish and that she’d handle whatever it was. The door opened again, now with the Lady Termaine who looked with shock at the King’s presence.
He gave a slight bow, along with Jafar reluctantly, before saying “Good evening, Lady Tremaine. Have I a proposition for you and your daughters.”
Time had passed for the Horned King to explain himself and Jarfar to the Tremaine family.
After managing to convince them they were not a threat, they’d invited three of them for tea and cake. They were all sitting in her large living room, Tremaine and her daughter Drizella on one couch and the King and Jafar on the other opposite with nothing but a table between them. Anastasia served the refreshment, Tremaine noting to them how she was the closest they had after Cinderella was gone, while also taking time to peek over her mother and sister’s shoulders to look into the Book of Legends they were reading. Once the tea and cake was served, the only one to really eat any of it was Iago, who was sitting in the middle of the tray and gulping down the tea and stuffing his beak with cake.
After reading what she needed, Tremaine handed the book fully over to her daughters while saying “This.....this is incredible. I...I’d never even dreamed of...”
The King leaned forward and said “It is a bit overwhelming, to be assured, but now you are aware of a secret no other in this world does. I am sure that give you some greater sense of power, does it not?”
She looked at him, a bit confused at first before saying “I...I do supposed it does. Now knowing of all....all of this!” she indicated the Book, which Drizella and Anastasia were Tug-o-warring with at this point. She looked back to him and asked “But....but why show me this? Why would you want us as part of this army you’re apparently raising?”
“Simple actually.” The King said before seeing the sisters mishandling the Book. He cleared his throat loudly, making them stop, before looking back to their mother and saying “I know your story, good Lady. I know you want your daughters to succeed where others may not. I offer you the chance to let them have the success you wanted for them. A way to end Cinderella, and leave the prince all for their own to marry.”
As they spoke Iago gave a light burp from all he’d eaten. He perked up however when he felt the presence of something behind him. He turned to see Tremaine’s cat, Lucifer, slowly coming towards him and hissing.
Iago picked up one of the empty plates on the tray, holding it like a club, and said “Just try it, you walking flea bag!”
Before either could make a move, Tremaine said “Lucifer! Come.” followed by Jafar saying “Enough, Iago.”
Both animals leered at each other before returning to their owners. Lucifer laid on Tremaine’s lap while Iago flew to Jafar’s shoulder.
The bird mumbled to himself “The cat’s lucky you called me off.” while Lucifer only hissed again.
Tremaine pet her cat as she said “As intriguing an offer this is, I fail to see what my daughters and I can do to help. If what you say is true, you have pirates and lions and even gods on your side. What good am I....are we?”
“While it is true that you have no natural abilities,” the King answered “there is the option to provide you with the power necessary. The same power that Cinderella had that night she attended the ball.”
While Tremaine and Drizella showed interest, Anastasia seemed very reluctant on the idea. She even started twiddling her fingers around with anxiety on the idea.
“Are you saying you can provide me this ‘Fairy Godmother’?” Tremaine asked.
“Even better.” The King answered. He stood and looked to Jafar before saying “Jafar, I believe I shall make my firs wish.” As Jafar stood with a growing grin on his face, the king continued with “I wish for the Fairy Godmother’s magic wand to be in the hands of Lady Tremaine.”
Jafar, now smiling widely, said “As you wish.” Before snapping his fingers.
Popping into Tremaine’s hands, and startling Lucifer so much that he jumped off her lap, was a long white stick smoothed out to be a wand. She idled over it, along with her daughters, before looking over to a nearby statue of a swan in the room.
Remembering the words from the story in the Book, Tremaine stood and said “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo!”
A bolt of magic struck out and hit the statue, turning it into a living swan that flew up and out of the room through a window. All watched with awe before the Tremaine’s looked back to the wand.
“Well, Lady Tremaine?” the King asked.
“I accept.” She said without any hesitation.
“Me too!” Drizella almost jumped and said.
The King nodded at both before he, and Jafar, looked over to Anastasia. She took a step back at the sight of seeing the King’s horrifying eyes looking at her. At that point Tremaine and Drizella looked as well.
“Anastasia!” her mother snapped, making her jump a bit before sighing.
She finally said “Alright. I’m in to.”
The Horned King stood and said “Thank you ladies. Now while I and my friend,” he indicated Jafar, “have some finally business to attend to, I will show you the way to the rest of our group. You will be attended to once you arrive.”
After retrieving the Book of Legends, the King walked to a clear spot in the room before using his magic to create a portal. The Tremaine’s looked with surprise and hesitation at crossing it’s threshold before finally going through, Lucifer following behind. Once the portal closed Jafar looked to the King oddly.
“I’m surprised you gave such power to them. They’re not like those other humans you said you gathered. They’re only mortal women.”
“If I am not mistaken,” he began, not looking directly at Jafar, “you were one yourself before being given the powers of the universe. In time you’ll see the parts they have to play. All of you will.”
As the King prepared the next portal, Iago and Jafar gave curious glances in response to what he’d said.
The King spoke the words and the portal was opened, the three stepping through into the world that Jafar heard the Horned King call New Orleans.
Now the three villains found themselves in a graveyard at night.
The moon was out and full but that did not help lift the eerie tone of the place. A light fog settled around the floor of the graveyard. The only thing that helped break the tone of this place was the distance sound of music and merriment from a nearby town.
Hearing this, Iago fearfully said “Please tell me the guy we’re looking for is in town.”
“No.” the king said “He’s right there.” Pointing forward.
He pointed to one of the larger tombstones with the face of a horrified man wearing a hat. Under read the name “Facilier.”
“I’ve seen this one’s story in the Book.” Jafar said once they reached it. “I doubt it would be easy to bring him back from whatever limbo he’s been cursed to.”
“For myself, maybe. But not for you.” He said, making Jafar perk at the idea.
“So you’re saying....?” he began.
“Jafar, I wish for Facilier to be returned to the land of the living.”
As Jafar nodded, Iago stated “If you bring him back, those voodoo spirit things aren’t going to be too happy about it.”
“Leave it to me.” The Horned King said reassuringly. He indicated to Jafar while saying “Do it.”
Jafar said “As you wish.” Before snapping his fingers.
Suddenly the ground in front of the tomb began to open, cracking like an egg and splitting to reveal a darkness below. They all looked down before seeing something, or someone, flying up from it. They took a few steps back as it came closer.
Finally shooting out from the ground and landing on his feet was the Shadow Man, Dr. Facilier; still wearing his same clothes and even with his large cane in hand. He opened his eyes and started patting himself and taking deep breaths. His shadow that cast on the tombstone behind him started to do the same, only in different ways, moving with a life of its own.
“I...I’m back.” He said with a laugh, his shadow doing the same. “I’m back!” he looked at the Horned King and jumped, his shadow seeming to hide behind him, before asking “Wh-Who are you?”
“The one who’s just giving your life back.” He stated.
“Wh-what?” he asked before his eyes went wide. “Wait. No. I can’t be back. Th-they’ll come for me again and...”
Suddenly they all heard the sound of drums and voices singing to the beat. It grew louder and louder before the area around them seemed to change into a more eerie and dark tone. Facilier shook with fear, as did Iago, before they started to see the faces of voodoo spirits surround them.
“No! NO! Not again!” Facilier shouted, backing away from them, his shadow cowering and shaking on its own.
The spirits came closer and Facilier back away more and more, to the point of almost falling to his knees in fear. Before they could take the Shadow Man again, and possibly the others, the Horned King stepped in front.
He took Facilier’s staff and held it out in front. His hand began to surge with energy from his black magic before it went into the staff itself. The spirits seemed to recoil in fear at the sight before the King slammed the staff down. In that instant the spirits were being sucked into it, along with many of the shadows around them.
As hard as they fought, the spirits and shadows were eventually pulled into the staff. Facilier, only now looking, examined the large green bulb on top and saw the faces and shapes of the spirits as they seemed grieving and distressed at being trapped.
“What...what did you do?” he asked the King.
“I have put them in their proper place.” He explained. “Once you were merely their pawn, Facilier, but now you are the master.”
He slowly handed the staff to Facilier, who looked wide eye at the idea.
“Master?” he asked, before looking back to the staff and seeing the trapped spirits. He suddenly laughed wickedly before saying “You hear that, you tune tooting spooks? I’m the master now! I’m the one pulling the making the deals and collecting the debts!” He laughed more triumphantly before saying “I’m moving up now. Not the Shadow man, but the Shadow Master!” he stopped and looked to the Horned King and asked “But....why? Why would some rotting big shot like yourself want with me?”
In response the Horned King held out the Book of Legends and said “I have a proposition to make.”
The villains were all still waiting for the Horned King to return.
They were all awaiting in the main room of the secret location they were all situated in and adjusting, not only to their surroundings but to their new “compatriots” as it were. Grimhilde was pacing back-and-forth in front of the window overlooking the outside. Maleficent was being ‘wooed’, a bit poorly, by Hades; Pain and Panic nearby. Both Ursula and the Tremaine daughters were swooning over Gaston, while also bickering about which was more likely to have him, while the hunter himself only rolled his eyes and tried to avoid these, what he considered, ugly women; contrarily Le Fou was taking an interest in Anastasia. Hook sat at the table with his men around him in the seat, shining his hook with a handkerchief. Lady Tremaine was sitting down and still idling over the wand she now had in her hands; Lucifer in her lap. And Scar was cleaning himself in the corner while his hyena minions merely muddled around, reluctant to have Scar as their leader again.
A few moments later a portal opened in front and all watched as the King emerged, accompanied by Jafar, Iago and Facilier. Grimhilde rushed over to him, pushing past some of the others, receiving a kiss on the hand from him. He looked over at his newly gathered force and smiled.
“Now, with everyone here, we can....” he stopped when he realized something off. “Where is Pete?”
He looked to Grimhilde who only answered with “He hasn’t returned from Wonderland yet.”
The King gave a curse under his breath before saying “Should have known the fool couldn’t handle a job on his own. Very well. I will go.”
He made everyone stand back as he turned to open a portals. Just before he did another opened behind everyone, making them turn to see as Pete came rushing out of it with a large sack over his shoulder. He stopped and breathed heavily as the portal closed behind him while the Horned King pushed everyone else to see him.
“Well?” he asked, looking at Pete. “What happened? Where is the Queen of Hearts?”
Pete, straightening himself out, stammered with “W-well, you see, your highness, there was, uh, some complications with the Queen. Some, uh, some misunderstanding about tarts and stuff. And then she wanted to-to take my whole head off! She put me on trial. I think the jury was bribed or something.”
The King’s eyes flared red as he almost shouted “You realize you’ve lost us the possibility of an entire army? The Queen’s card soliders would have been a great asset to us!”
Pete, backing up a bit, pleaded with “N-now, now, boss, don’t get too upset. I-I made up for it. See?” he said throwing the sack from his shoulder onto the ground.
There came a sudden “OOF!” from it, making the King looked down confused before looking back to Pete.
“What is this?” he asked, almost angered by it.
“Well....you said you was trying to get all them heroes, right? So I thought maybe I’d save you trouble and bring this one here.”
All looked as someone began making their way out of the bag. Finally getting out, all saw it was a little girl in a blue dress and with blonde hair, one that those who’d read her story from the Book would recognize.
Alice picked herself up and brushed her skirt while saying “My goodness.” She spotted the room first while saying “I don’t think of every been in this part of...” she stopped and gasped when she saw all the villains, minus the Horned King. “Oh....oh dear...” she said, looking scared. “I..I didn’t mean to interrupt or anything.” She back up a bit while saying “Perhaps....perhaps I’ll just leave and let you all....”
She stopped when she back up into someone else. She reached back and felt his long robes. She slowly and reluctantly looked up, only to see the horrifying face of the Horned King looking down at her. Seeing his red eyes glow, she was so frightened at the sight she feinted.
“He really has that effect on people, doesn’t he?” Iago joked.
With this new problem the villains started to talk among themselves.
“What do we do?”
“Shouted bother keeping her around.”
“Maybe make a nice meal out of her.”
“She can walk the plank for all I care.”
“Maybe better to let her go.”
“Don’t be foolish.”
“Let’s just end her now.”
Finally the Horned King said “Enough!” loud enough to make them silent.
He rubbed his chin before pulling out the Book of Legends and finding the story about Alice, entitled “The Tale of Wonderland.” He skimmed through before finding a section that interested him. He read more and started to think to himself, the others waiting for an answer. He finally closed the Book as a smile grew on the King’s face.
“We won’t kill her.” He stated. “I think I’ve found something to compensate for the lost army.” This made Pete sigh with relief. “In fact, I may have just found a great use for this little lost rabbit.”