Of Moogles and Men Chapter 3
The Plea For Help
By Mike Thomas
Luckily, Locke had gotten more than his fair share of creativity from his mother. His ability to draw was almost as good as his ability to pick pockets. To figure out why he was here, he decided to start with the trap that the moogles had set.
He drew a circle closely resembling the pond and then made a figure of tree jutting out into it. Looking around close by, he found some clumps of moogle fur that he fashioned into a ball, hoping that it would pass for a moogle. He then set it on the drawn tree. The moogles stared at it for only a moment before one of them hopped up in the air and chirped a 'kupo'. He stepped forward, pointed to the clump of fur, and then proudly banged his chest. To further emphasize his point, the moogle laid down on the ground and made the same moaning sounds he had made earlier. "Great", thought Locke, "So it's your little neck that I want to wring."
Happy that he had been able to communicate this much, Locke pressed further. He pointed to himself and then used his fingers to walk up to the clump of moogle fur on the ground. Locke then picked up the fur and cradled it in his arms much like he noticed one of the young female mothers doing to her own child. The message seemed to come across just fine. One of the other moogles flittered forward on its tiny wings and patted his hand as if to say, "We know you only wanted to help. You are a good person for trying to give aid." The others nodded their heads causing their pom-poms to bobble back and forth.
He then pointed to the wound on his back, shrugged his shoulders, and pointed to the ground in front of him. He was hoping that the moogles would understand that he wanted to know why he was shot and brought to this cave.
The moogles turned and began conversing with one another in an attempt to figure out what to tell this man, and how best to go about it. Some chirped and nodded while others shook their heads and fluttered around. Locke watched for what seemed like half an hour before the noise died down and one moogle stepped forward. The moogle motioned to Locke with its little furry paw, and set off toward the other end of the cavernous room. Locke stood and followed with the other moogles trailing closely behind.
They walked past pools of water, and delicate formations made of crystal. Some were beautiful far beyond any that Locke had seen during his treasure hunting. They finally reached another large room where a lone figure stood in the middle. On closer inspection, Locke found that the figure was nothing but a large doll. It appeared to be similar to a sparing dummy he had seen in a martial arts training center where he had decided to help them out by lightening the load of their cash box. The only difference being that this was a large and hideous thing. It was not of human form, though it stood on two legs. The head was large and similar to a pumpkin. It was crested by many small hornlets and had large ears on either side of the head. Two small eyes were on the front of a broad face, and a mouth full of teeth snarled from underneath them. Most noticeably were two large fangs protruding from both the top and the bottom of its mouth. The body was very bulky and, many of its attributes reminded him of a rhinotaur, only different.
The lead moogle called another moogle over to him and they spoke for a few moments. After that, the moogle motioned to the doll and then back to himself. He then made a scary face and clawed the air. "Okay. I get it. You're the monster." Locke said as he pointed at the little moogle and then the doll. The moogle nodded its head, and then pointed to its eyes and shook its head as if to say "no". Locke didn't fully understand until the little actor closed its eyes and stumbled around clawing the air, but not hitting anything. "Oh, I see! You're telling me that the monster can't see!" He leaned over and touched the monsters eyes and then touched his own eyes and closed them.
This excited all the moogles in the room. They jumped and fluttered their wings and chirped their praise to the human that they had finally managed to train. The lead moogle then quieted everyone down with a few loud, sharp 'kupos', and then had his assistant step forward carrying a little twig. The lead moogle resumed his position of stumbling around and clawing the air while the other moogle placed the twig on the ground. The assistant then stepped on the twig causing it to snap at which instant the "monster" turned its head and then ran toward the other to attack. It took only moments for Locke to figure out that this creature the moogles were so concerned about was an auditory hunter.
He could now see why he was chosen by the moogles as opposed to other people who came along the path that day. His ability to hide and move quietly is what caught their attention. There must have been moogles scattered all through the forest just watching and waiting for the right person to come along. His thoughts were then broken by a tug on his pants. Locke looked down and saw that the moogle was trying to tell him more about this foe. The moogle tapped the skin of the dummy and then tapped the rock below it. "I had already figured that he'd have tough skin," Locke said thoughtfully. That must be why the moogles need help. Their weapons don't seem to be of much use against it.
From the back of the crowd, the two young moogles that had been duelling with Locke's daggers came running forward with his pack and weapons in hand. They offered them up to the adventurer, and Locke took them and outfitted himself. He walked up to the dummy, whipped out his daggers, and with a scissor motion chopped the head completely from the body. The moogles jumped and cheered and then grabbed his hands and fluttered off down the hallway leading him toward the exit.
There was to be a battle, and Locke was about to meet the enemy.
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