A little ‘meep’ sound was all the warning that the Nine Ivies settlement Hawthorne got before a moogle went screaming through the area. Shortly behind her was a patrol of other moogles, carrying comically oversized weapons. The human-form people who were able to perceive moogles looked puzzled, but most just went about their day.
“Crazed! Insane, kupo! Nutty in a bad way, kupo!” flailed the forerunning moogle.
The leader of the armed pursuers shouted back “Heretic, kupo! Blasphemer, kupo!”
Moz saw something out of the corner of her eye. A pile of leaves in the distance moved. A single leaf reached out from it, and motioned to her, beckoning her. Huh. Leaves could do that. Okay. She trusted this leaf. At the very least, if it was a trap, it was an interesting trap, and at the end of the day that’s all she really needed. She turned, weaving through boughs and around trees before diving into the leaf pile. To her surprise, her pursuers flew right passed her! The leaves were an effective cover!
Nope. It was something in the leaves. Well, more accurately, she figured, it was a subset of leaves.
“This one is Roxio,” the leaves said. “This one is friend to pom one.”
“… kupo?” she looked around. The moogles that gave chase were off in the distance already, and the leaf pile seemed friendly enough.
The leaf pile tipped it’s head curiously. “Kupo one,” it corrected itself, as if Moz had been correcting it.
She flailed her arms, “No, no, Mozme, kupo. Mozme Montblanc, kupo.”
This seemed to trouble the leaf pile, in so much as she assumed leaf piles could be troubled. “… Kupo one.” Fine, she’d accept that. That was the best any plant had ever addressed her, anyroad.
“Why was Kupo one being chased by other pom ones?” asked Roxio. Moz was pretty sure Roxio was a pea pod of some kind. Maybe an unblossomed flower? Or some manner of shrubbery? It didn’t matter, whatever it was, it was asking a question.
And it was a fair question, one Moz had tried to ask before they picked up swords and threatened to clip her wings. “I think because I come from the sky, kupo… I told them about the Mist Moogles high in Dravania, and they called me a heretic, kupo! They didn’t even let me finish my drink, kupo! They chased me!”
Roxio slowly blinked.
“I know, kupo!”
“They sound like touched ones,” nodded the gysahl green with a face. “Touched pom ones? Serving pom lord?”
Pom Lord? Chieftain Moglin Mog? That didn’t seem very likely. “This on - I MEAN I - I don’t think they know Master Moglin, kupo…” she mused. “Surface moogles are so strange, kupo. Like a whole other kind of moogle, kupo.”
Roxio offered a leafy arm toward Moz, and she took it in what was a strange apporximation of a handshake. “This one will take you to Elder One, to safe place in Little Solice, kupo.”
Moz puffed her cheeks. “You’re making fun, kupopopo!”
Roxio didn’t respond, just dragged the Churning Moogle along with him. “Come along, come along, come along!”
She sputtered. It was surprisingly strong for a cabbage! She flailed again, escaping one strange situation only to land in another. “KUPOPOPOPO!”
And one false step could spell disaster. But no matter what, you still have to stay the course and forge your own path. Because there’s no going back now. And it looks like this one’s going to be the ride of our lives.