the red balloon: a headcanon

This headcanon/drabble will demonstrate Tsar Lunar’s battle prowess.

☾ ▐░   ┈┈┈ Fingers were brushing over a thousand buttons, clickclickclick, and the chamber echoed with those lonesome clacks. The man at the panel was watching the planet Earth, blue eyes wide and seeking as they roved the globe eagerly. As his eyes touched a spot on the planet, he could hear the children’s voices there via the moonbeams he sent down. They traveled even faster than light dared to! And so it made communication between the moonlit prince and his friends on Earth almost seamless.

As the children looked up into the night sky, they would see the kind visage of a glowing, bright orb that they referred to as simply the “moon”. They did not know that there sat a man within the deepest of its craters, watching them and singing to them and rooting for them during their darkest moments. Perhaps in some part of their hearts they could feel that unwavering loyalty even from a million miles away, because the legend of “the man in the moon” still persisted (though one could attest that to Lunar asking the Sandman to infect the children’s dreams with such visions from time to time).

That night, on the 8,098,765,678,606,725,438,508,752,348th night he watched the children dream, he was merrily working and coordinating things on Earth with the press of a button (or a few hundred, really). There were levers of all manners; buttons that spouted stars once pressed; buttons that squeaked, squawked, and hummed; screens that could only be used after swiping in a very precise code (and then yet more buttons to press!); and sometimes (only for the most important tasks, of course) Lunar would have to sing an ancient lullaby in the extinct language of the Dodo Bird to get past the first layer of defense to access yet more buttons! It was quite the chore on even the best of nights, but the Tsar went grinning on, because he did love it and knew these things were necessary. Oh the chaos Pitch could cause if he ever came aboard the Moonclipper! One had to be prepared in some way.

It was an unfortunate reality.

As the Tsar was amidst squawking in a code in the said “Dodo Bird speak”, his right-hand mouse, Will Smith (both the mouse in question and Lunar enjoyed this Earthen actor’s work so much that they gave the mouse this name as well) came scampering into his great command room. Will was a most noble (and admittedly humorless) Moonmouse of the highest esteem. He was once the assistant of Lunar’s father, so he came highly recommended. Moonmice were, however, quite short (often only three feet high, counting the very tops of their round ears!), but Will Smith made up for that by puffing out his little chest and squaring his tiny shoulders. He wore a smart outfit composed of a silk vest (which was the lightest of blues with white stripes), a daring magenta tie, and a monocle (Lunar suspected the mouse did not need such a thing, but he had to admit it did look quite dashing–it made him wonder if he should wear a monocle as well…). He watched as Will came skittering in, looking like he was in a fuss of some kind.

(Which means the Moonbots probably forgot to sort the towels by fluffiness, then color… that always upsets the poor fellow…)

“Will, you must understand that the Moonbots are, ah, very special souls,” the Tsar began as he lightly tapped an invisible button next to his ear, it spouted gold glitter in response. “…and so I leave them under your charge and I simply can’t lecture them about the towels every two days, friend.”

“No Tsar Lunanoff–!”

“Truly, you can call me Lunar, I think we’ve been on this ship long enough together to warrant that,” the Tsar practically sang, flipping a glowing switch.

Will’s voice came out quiet and steady, “Nightmares are approaching the Balloon Center.”

Suddenly all the snapping stopped. It was eerily quiet in the chamber. 

“How close?” Lunar whispered, sitting back in his great golden chair, his fingertips perched together. 

“Three hundred yards documented six minutes ago,” Will replied instantly.

“And how many?”


“Now, how did they manage to get past the moonbeams?” Tsar Lunar murmured, quirking a blonde eyebrow in wonderment. 

“We suspect they are stray Nightmares, as they aren’t under Pitch’s control that we can yet see,” Will allowed, looking fairly uncomfortable overall. “They were aimless in the Moon Mountains until they caught scent of the balloons. They must be sensing–”

“The children’s lost hopes and dreams stored within them, of course,” Lunar sighed. 

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the crew of the moonclipper: a headcanon


  • Biology: They appear as three feet tall anthropomorphic mice. Their fur color varies between them, but the most common are earthy tones (brown, red, gold, honey; sometimes white, gray, or black). Their ears are their largest, most obvious feature. They have beady, black eyes, twitchy button-noses, and long whiskers on their small snouts. 
  • Breeding: Let’s just leave say that breeding remains very much the same between Moonmice and normal mice. In fact, there were often laws imposed upon their species because their breeding could easily get out of hand–in the Golden Age, Moonmice were only allowed to have three children each, except on their home planet, if such Moonmice were lucky to live there (as one can assume, space was limited). Tsar Lunar has no such restrictions on the Moonclipper, but the Moonmice had the three-children rule so embedded into their culture that they hardly stray from the norm anymore.
  • Strengths: They have an incredible sense of smell–in fact, the Moonmice are special in that they can even smell magic and identify it by scent alone, which is always helpful! They’re incredibly intelligent, kind, and fierce warriors. Their claws are razor-sharp, they are quick, and also have stunning reflexes.
  • Weaknesses: Moonmice are very small and light–they are not hardy creatures. Even in the Golden Age they were at the bottom of the food-chain (until making a pact with the Lunanoffs). Without armor and weapons, they can be easily killed. They cannot survive in the wilderness for long and enjoy the comforts of the Moonclipper. 
  • Diet: Moonmice eat any vegetable, grain, or fruit. They refuse to eat meat and they are greatly insulted if they are ever offered any. They are awarded chefs and make all the meals on the Moonclipper.
  • Behavior/Temperament:  On a very general basis, the Moonmice are kind, gentle creatures for the most part. They adopt many of the Lunanoffs’ beliefs, and they more-or-less worship the Lunanoffs. They can be a bit arrogant too, but that’s probably because the only other species on the Moonclipper are the Glow-Worms (who are fine, they suppose), the Lunar Moths (who at least look pretty), and the Moonbots (whom are idiots). However, they are recklessly brave and never back down from a fight.
  • Communication: They do have their own language known as “Squeakington”, but many Moonmice can’t remember how to speak it (a few proud ones do, however). Mostly they speak English. Many of them know all the languages on Earth, because there was a wonderful trend a few years back to see which of them could learn them the fastest (Will Smith won, of course). Micheal Jackson VII came in second, though.
  • Culture: The Moonmice’s history and culture is all but gone, like much of the Golden Age. But an even darker truth lies plain for all to see: the Lunanoffs all but eclipsed the original Moonmice’s long heritage, culture, and unique ideas. Many Moonmice do not recall anything much different between their culture and the Lunanoffs’. This doesn’t seem to bother them, though. In the absence of their own culture, they have pretty much adopted Earth’s pop culture. They used to all have pretty, ethereal-sounding  names, but now they have switched them to popular pop icons’ names instead, and characters they love from television, movies, and other media. Lunar only shrugs his shoulders at their love for popular  Earthern culture–you should have seen how many Harry Potters were aboard the Moonclipper in the early 2000s!  (And names tend to change rapidly, and often is relative to whatever is popular on Earth at  the time.) 
  • History: The only event worth noting, or so the Moonmice agree, is the day the Lunanoffs’ extended their kind hand and saved the Moonmice from all of their terrible enemies. All they had to give up were their rights to their home planet and serve the Lunanoffs forevermore.
  • Planet: Moon of Mice. This was the name given to their planet at the dawn of the Golden Age.
  • Technology: They can use any piece of technology that Tsar Lunar can–but they cannot use magic or moonlight like the Tsar. They have these little communication devices that they adore–they look like thin, clear pieces of plastic, but they act like Earth’s cellphones. Lunar wishes the phase would end–he does so hate the Tsum Tsum theme song.


Will Smith is the personal assistant to Tsar Lunar. He is a most noble Moonmouse and does everything right (or so he likes to say). If it were not for Will, the Moonclipper would probably be in utter chaos due to the Tsar. Will tends to be the level-headed one of the two.

He wanted to be a fashion designer before he was pulled into the Nightmare Wars. He was chosen by Lunar’s father himself to be his assistant, on the day the then Tsar was leaving the planet to flee from Pitch Black. He made Will come with him (Will had no choice, as his people were forced into servitude by the Lunanoffs before a time either of them remembered). Will was not even allowed to see his grandmother and bid her goodbye–Lunar’s father saying it was too dangerous and Will was chosen secretly, no one could know he was the Tsar’s personal assistant (the Tsar also needed a mouse that would not be obvious–at the time Will wouldn’t have been a likely candidate in normal cimcumstances because he was very brash). 

Will shouldered his new-found position and threw himself into his fresh life aboard the Moonclipper. He vowed he would give everything to the Lunanoffs, as he (and the other Moonmice chosen as crew members) had no idea of the horrors committed against their people. In fact, no Moonmice really does.

And yes, Will loves the actor Willard Carroll “Will” Smith, Jr. Do not ask him about Will Smith–he will gush endlessly. Both the Moonmouse and Lunar enjoy the actor’s work, but the mouse truly loves his performance in the show “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”. He adopted this name after seeing the first episode, on the first night it aired (he does not remember his original name).


  • Biology: Moonbots looks like clunky, old robots that could have been built in a third-world country’s top-secret military base… as in they look rusty, are functional only half the time, and appear as an eyesore really. They are composed of parts that were unnecessary for bigger projects–such as warships. 
  • Breeding: They do not have any way of breeding, unless they build another of their own kind with their bare hands (the Moonmice and Glow-Worms refuse to make anymore Moonbots). The Moonbots themselves are quite lazy, anyway.
  • Strengths: Moonbots are very strong, but they often overlook that strength and crush various things in the Moonclipper while doing the most menial of tasks. In theory, they could remember everything they witnessed in perfect clarity–but their hard-drives seem to crash for a reason no one can explain. They can also view a plethora of data via their screens used as eyes, but many of them no longer understand the Golden Age gibberish.
  • Weaknesses: Their greatest foes are themselves, to be honest.
  • Diet: They don’t need to eat and yet many Moonbots can’t help but try the foods the Moonmice make–it looks so delicious! It’s only after they take a bite that they remember they can’t taste things and they will have to ask their Moonmice friends to claw out salads and seeds from their parts (the Moonmice really have to, because their paws are the only ones that can dig through all the wires within the Moonbots).
  • Behavior/Temperament:  No one knows what goes through a Moonbot’s head, but many assume nothing does. It simply must be static up there! The Moonbots, however dumb, are very entertaining and are known (and loved, in a way) for their fantastic stories and poems. It’s all a bit odd…
  • Communication: Only through “beeps” and “boops”. It seems that all the other creatures can figure out what they want, even Tsar Lunar. It’s just a matter of them having anything interesting to say.
  • Culture: Moonbots only seem to enjoy incredibly crude humor, trashy television, and looking at the stars. They do love storytelling, but their adventures are usually pretty vulgar. And not especially deep–it’s all for good laughs. They do have a worrying habit of smuggling in “oil” from Earth onto the Moonclipper. This  seems to put them in a drunken state, which makes them even more idiotic.
  • History: One day Lunar’s father invented the Moonbots. When he revealed them (of course he made a slew of them all at once, as only a clever man would) the Tsarina immediately screamed and the Lunanoff’s human servants, and the Moonmice, all cringed. The Moonbots looked as if they had climbed out from a wasteland. Well, the then Tsar ignored their complaints and booted the metal clunks right up–no matter how many mistakes the robots made, he simply waved a hand dismissively and laughed. He was too proud of his own creation to see the flaws within them. Once they were activated, there was no way to shut them off.  
  • Planet: Created on Tsar Lunar’s home planet. 
  • Technology: They are actually very adept at using and manipulating modern technology–which is their one real use.


  • Biology: Glow-Worms all look very old, and they are very old. Surely a few hundred thousand years old, Lunar estimates. Their faces are wizened, their eyes small and a vibrant array of colors. Some are nearly twenty feet long, others not so much. They range from all colors on the rainbow, and even a few mixes exist too! Each Glow-Worm exudes a soft light from their leathery skin, and a bright orb of light rests atop their antennas. Once, Lunar tried to count each of their tiny feet and easily got confused. (Possibly mixed bloodlines with Great Fireflies and the Meek Caterpillars.)
  • Breeding: Glow-Worms produce offspring every two million years, and only a single child at a time. In fact, their kind is on the brink of extinction. When the Lunanoffs overwhelmed their home planet eons ago, the Glow-Worms easily extended their services to the powerful beings for protection. The Lunanoffs were very kind to them, because they respected their ancient wisdom and untapped potential.
  • Strengths: The Glow-Worms are survivors–and they are selfless. Perhaps too loyal, but they do have a knack for picking their allies (it seems they always know who will be on the winning side–and so, during the Golden Age, they were said to be lucky!). They can mildly heal wounds with their sticky spit. They are also very strong, and can lift impossibly heavy objects with ease. It is not easy to kill a Glow-Worm, as they are frankly very clever.
  • Weaknesses: Fire makes them prone and is their greatest fear. They are also shy and meek–they do not trust easily, so being in their good graces is a near impossibility. They do not communicate unless they feel it absolutely necessary, which is never, as far as most people assume.
  • Diet: Glow-Worms like vegetables, grains, and fruits only! For this reason, they adore the Moonmice’s cooking. They eat the most out of all the crew members aboard the Moonclipper (Lunar himself comes to a close second). A Glow-Worm can easily consume 50lbs of food per day, if they are feeling particularly peckish.
  • Behavior/Temperament:  These ancient beings are benevolent to their core. Sometimes their loyalty is due only because they wish for the Tsar’s continued protection (also to note: during the Golden Age, Glow-Worms were hunted by other aliens for their ethereal hides–the Lunanoffs made it a law that no Glow-Worm can ever be killed for hunting purposes again). They are jarringly honest: no Glow-Worm has ever lied, though one should ponder if the Glow-Worm simply believes themselves to be correct and so, technically, what they say is true. 
  • Communication:  The Glow-Worms’ language is wonderfully complex and there are few in the galaxy who can even wish to say they know it by heart. Lunar, however, does know the Glow-Worm language inside and out, and he’s fairly sure the old wizard Ombric may as well, Nightlight, perhaps even Emily Jane. For this reason, Glow-Worms do not speak openly and refuse conversation with nearly all humans–they become insulted by their horrid accents marring their elegant language.
  • Culture: It’s all very mysterious, as the other creatures can say. The Glow-Worms love weaving tunnels through the Moonclipper for the Tsar, and even shortcuts for the other creatures, and that’s mostly all they do (and eat, of course, they eat near constantly!). Other than that, they seem to just remain laid-back and mosey about the Moonclipper, never in any rush and never having much to say. Really, only the Glow-Worms know about their culture. They’ve never deigned to share.
  • History: The Glow-Worms populated the Lunanoff Constellation before the Lunanoffs ever thought to invade it. They were a peaceful, whimsical race and they were beloved. Once the Lunanoffs came, the Glow-Worms eagerly helped them and so the Lunanoffs did all in their power to protect the Glow-Worms from poachers. Yet, by becoming a symbol of power by befriending the Lunanoffs, and then being seen a sort of “lucky charm”, doomed them to be hunted until their near extinction. In a weird way, the Nightmare Wars saved them by distracting their hunters with blood elsewhere. Once they boarded the Moonclipper, the Glow-Worms were never hunted again.
  • Technology: They hate technology, they really do. They stick their noses up at anyone trying to show them a new invention, it disgusts them.


  • Biology: They are mammoth moths with a wingspan of sixty feet, the largest of them anyway. Their wings are incredibly thin, but glorious. Shifting constellations are adorned on the thin silken webbing–ones a human might recognize such Leo and Orion, but they bear many others that stretch beyond a child’s imagination, old Constellations from the Golden Age. Their middles are lovingly soft and white, such as the down on a deer’s clean belly. Sparkles of every color are fixed all over their fur and also along their long antenna.
  • Breeding: Moths, even on Earth, need a certain warm temperature to mate. Lunar Moths are hardier, but they need at least thirty-degrees Fahrenheit to be able to reproduce. Because they are aboard the Moonclipper, which is kept absolutely cold due to its fixed place in space, the Lunar Moths are unable to do much about it–the Tsar has tried addressing the issue in the past, but has yet to come up with a viable solution.
  • Strengths: The Lunar Moths are some of the most mobile creatures in the air, though they can be deceiving as they glide humbly along the Moonclipper. They are also rather fast, scaling up to three hundred miles per hour if they so wish. Lunar Moths also create the most valuable thread in the universe, due to the them only existing on the Moonclipper (how else is Lunar supposed to make any money out in this desolate place?). Of course, they are impeccable seamstresses too! This is where all the outfits on the Moonclipper come from–their thread is not only hauntingly beautiful, but it is near unbreakable and thus makes excellent armor as well.
  • Weaknesses: The Moths are weak to the cold. They are trying their best to survive on the Moonclipper as is, so if the temperature were to drop much lower they would die. Not only that, but their wings are shockingly fragile! Once a Lunar Moth breaks its wing it must repair it with their own thread, which is a chore most would rather not undertake. They cannot fly until their wing is fixed.
  • Diet: They eat only pure moonlight, which luckily Tsar Lunar has plenty of. They cannot (and will not) eat anything else! So long as they consume a drop of moonlight within three days it can allow them to live forever. However, if they go too long without it they turn to stone, then dust, and obviously die. 
  • Behavior/Temperament: Lunar Moths are peaceful creatures. They do not get upset very easily and they are usually jovial and kind. They love meeting visitors coming to the Moonclipper (except Jack Frost, for obvious reasons). Also, they adore giving rides to anyone who wants them–and they are quite thrilling! Lunar goes soaring on a Lunar Moth once every night before bed.
  • Communication:  No Moth can speak verbally nor would they ever choose to. The Lunar Moths can speak telepathically in whatever language they want, though they often communicate in feelings, even through minds. It can be a little overwhelming and jarring, and so the Tsar has asked them to keep to themselves if they may, using extreme judgement to see who can handle their pure, unadulterated emotions.
  • Culture: Because their communication is all emotions and all telepathic, no one can divine the meaning from much they do. Only Lunar knows everything, but he refuses to share that information, because he doesn’t feel its much his business to share.
  • History: The Lunar Moths are an anomaly, truly. You can’t trace their ancestry back anywhere beyond the Golden Age, namely the point where the Lunanoffs invaded their future empire. There are harsh rumors that say the Lunar Moths were created from inhumane experimentation conducted under the Lunanoff banner. It isn’t hard to see why such conclusions would be made–they drink only moonlight, which only the Lunanoffs ever had.
  • Technology: They don’t seem to care about it one way or another. They can manipulate it telepathically, but most often they only make it blow up.