Of Moogles and Men Chapter 2

Where Am I?

By Mike Thomas

..."Hurry up, Locke. We're almost there!" Rachel was certainly rushing him along, and he couldn't keep from stumbling over things. No matter how hard he ran, it seemed he was always moving slower. Finally they reached the edge of the cliff, and the view was breathtaking. The river murmured and gurgled between the rocks below as the sun, in its final moments, painted hues of purple and orange across the sky.

As he looked across the beauty that was before him and the beauty at his side, Locke searched for words to express his feelings. "Rachel," he said. "I think I'm really falling for you." And he turned to face the love of his life.

Rachel moved her gaze up from the river below and replied, "Yes, dear, that's exactly what you're doing." And with a mighty shove, she sent Locke off balance over the edge of the cliff.

"NO. Help me, Rachel!"

"I'll help you. Just like you helped me." She responded with a sneer as Locke plunged toward the river...

The murmuring got louder and louder, and the scene disappeared from view. The darkness was slowly replaced with light, and Locke struggled to get his eyes open. His eyelids seemed thick and heavy, as if they had been glued shut. He tried to swallow, but his mouth was parched and his tongue was swollen. The murmuring continued to grow louder.

Locke slowly sat up and looked around only to find more than 20 pairs of eyes looking back at him. He had been lying on his back in a bed of straw. He was in a cave, and the room was massive. The smell of pitch and tar hung heavy in the air as hand-made torches burned on poles placed sporadically around the room. Locke struggled to wrap his brain around what was going on. His thoughts were thick and sluggish, which seemed to match with how the rest of his body felt.

Finally reaching a crouching position, Locke realized that the murmuring had stopped and he was the center of attention. After spending an entire lifetime keeping a low profile, being silently watched by these moogles was very unsettling. He casually brushed his hand against his side to check for his daggers, and was not surprised to find them gone. His boot knife appeared to be missing, as well as his pack. A slow scan of the room revealed that this was probably their main sleeping quarters. There was a large amount of straw and hay that looked to have been packed down in areas. He could see the pool of water that they used for their drinking source, and then he finally spotted his pack sitting beside a wall on the other side of the crowd.

Everything had been carefully taken out and laid beside it. Two young moogles had his daggers and appeared to be sparring with them. Locke stood, reached his hand forward and said, "Please be careful...". But decided better than to finish the sentence since three spear tips were suddenly pointed at and almost touching his chest. He backed up, dropped his hand and the moogles resumed their position of watching.

He had to think. Moogles were not known to be aggressive creatures. Protective, yes, but not aggressive. The irony of probably being the only human ever drugged and kidnapped by these peaceful, reclusive creatures almost struck him as funny. But for the life of him, he couldn't figure out why they would do it, and more specifically, why they would do it to him. None of this made sense. Locke leaned back against the wall of the cave, wincing when his wound made contact with the solid rock. He could feel that a poultice of some kind had been applied to the place where the dart hit. "Peaceful", he grunted, "but dangerous".

How was he going to communicate with them? They didn't speak his language, and he certainly didn't speak theirs. He had to find a way out of this. With a heavy sigh, he slumped down the wall to a seated position, and began to doodle in the dirt at his feet. The moogles suddenly became very excited and crowded around to see what he was doing. And that's when the idea struck him...

Chapter 3

Final Fantasy 6 Fanfic