• Published 12th Apr 2016
  • 14,876 Views, 12,539 Comments

Three More Things! - Tatsurou

Uncle Chan tries to balance running an antique shop, fighting demons, and being a Chi Wizard with being a loving Uncle to his nephew, his somewhat removed niece...and three little ponies who drive him straight up the wall.

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Preparations, part 2

Captain Black sighed as he stared at the vidphone. This was not a conversation he was looking forward to. He was going to have to tell the higher ups that the Dark Hand was dealing with demons, and request help in dealing with it...and there were protocols in place he didn't know about. The dispatch of combat magi when the Dark Hand Enforcers had used Talisman power made it plain that government agencies now had a means of dealing with magic, which meant there were protocols for it...and he was going to have to bluff his way through it. Finally, he reached out and clicked the link.

As usual, his superior appeared on the screen almost immediately. "Yes, Captain?"

"Sir, I need to requisition additional backup," Augustus explained. "It appears the Dark Hand have dealings with...demons." Despite knowing the world was different, he still braced himself for derision if not dismissal.

"Which ones?" his superior asked. "What ranking?"

Captain Black blinked. That was not the response he had expected. Now the bluffing came in. "I'm afraid the information I have available is...incomplete in that regard. I-"

"Do you have a name?" his superior asked. "For the demon they have dealings with?"

"Only one at the moment," Captain Black replied. "Shendu."

To Augustus' surprise, his superior pulled back...afraid. "This is above my pay grade," he stated simply. "This is against all sorts of protocol, but you are the lead agent in all Dark Hand matters. You know Valmont and his operations better than anyone...however much that is or isn't saying. I'm patching you through to the Veil Liaison Officer for North America." The signal went to static.

"Uh...what?" Captain Black asked in confusion. This was not going at all how he expected it to.

After a time, the screen cleared...and a young man who couldn't be more than 19 was shown. He had Asian features, black hair with green tips, and was wearing a red jacket. "Long, here. What's the situation?"

"...I have no idea anymore..." Captain Black whimpered, totally lost.

The young man looked at Captain Black for a time. "...you're in way over your head, aren't you?" he asked consolingly.

"So far," Captain Black confirmed. "The man I was reporting to said it was above his pay grade. I mean...Veil Liaison? What's that about?"

The young man - Mr. Long, presumably - shook his head in wonder. "Fully Mundane," he murmured in amazement. "How'd you get dragged into all this?"

"My friend Jackie Chan's Uncle is apparently a Chi Wizard-"

"Oh, Uncle!" Long responded warmly, glancing at a file. "1st Class Chi Wizard, Class 4 Magi, more medals and awards than you have time to listen to. Yeah, that explains it." He closed the file, then crossed his arms. "Let me do some hand holding here. The whole world knows about magic. What it doesn't know is just how much magic there is, and how dangerous it can be. The Veil keeps things that way. Because of the Veil, anyone without magic can't see magical creatures unless they go out of their way to draw attention to themselves, and people like me-" He jerked a thumb at his chest. "-deal with those that breach the Veil. If they're good, we acclimate them for normal lives. If they're evil, we beat the crap out of them."

Captain Black nodded. "And I'm sure you're effective at such things," he replied, a tad condescendingly.

Long glared at him for a time, and for a brief moment his face became draconic.

"YAAUGH!" Captain Black screamed, shooting back from the phone.

"Geeze, I didn't mean to scare you that much!" Long joked. "Just let you know who you're dealing with. You don't make Liaison rank unless you're Class 5 or higher."

"Sorry," Augustus replied, making mental note about what was said about Class ratings. "The last dragon I encountered...well, his name is what put me in direct connection with you."

To Augustus' surprise, Long paled. "Shit. You're talking about Shendu. Class 3 Demon, last pureblood dragon native to this layer of reality. Yeah, I can see why you'd be nervous about dragons after that."

"Well, Shendu is a non-issue at this point," Augustus responded. "He's dead."

"WHAT?" Long demanded in shock. "What moron did that? Do you have any idea how long it took to achieve the perfect balance of magical Light and Dark forces in the world so that human civilization could progress as far as it has without being trampled by constant magical warfare?"

Captain Black gulped, terrified. "Uncle's unicorn did it!"

Long stared at him for a time. "Ugh...look, I'm gonna need to cut off. I need to contact Asia's Liaison and make sure extra security is put around the Pan'ku Box-"

"The Dark Hand has the Pan'ku Box," Captain Black interrupted, "and I'm pretty sure Valmont intends to free Shendu's siblings. That's what started this call in the first place."

"Okay, forget cutting the connection, we're going conference!" Long started tapping away at the console at his end as Black's screen divided in four. "Congrats, Captain. Just for being involved in this mess, you can expect at least three promotions just to get proper security clearance."

"I don't want promotions, I want to put Valmont behind bars!" Captain Black snapped back. Then he blinked. "Wait, at least?"

"Glad you're one of the good ones," Long joked. "Looks like we're through to Europe."

The second screen illuminated, revealing...a young redheaded British boy wearing a white robe and glasses, sipping from a cup of tea. To Augustus' dismay, he didn't look much older than 10, if that. "Oh, hello!" he spoke up in surprise. "What's this all about so early-"

"Springfield, we're going conference," Long interrupted. "I'm trying to get Asia but-"

"Oh, I was in call with Kinomoto," Springfield replied. "I was trying to arrange a field trip for my class. I'll connect the calls."

The third screen lit up, showing a young Japanese girl in a poofy red and white dress with brown hair and green eyes. "Hoe?" she squeaked out in surprise. "What's going on?"

The fourth screen illuminated, revealing an exceptionally voluptuous woman with yellow hair gradiating to green at the tips, one green eye and one yellow eye, and two horns growing out of either side of the head. "Ara, ara...you weren't going to leave me out now, were you little D-boy?" she purred towards Long's screen.

"I was trying to reach you, Lucoa-san," Long responded in a tone of long suffering. "Things are serious."

"Serious?" Springfield asked. "How so?"

"Shendu is dead, and the Pan'ku Box is in play," Long responded. "Captain Black here-"

"UUUEEEH?!" Kinomoto wailed out in surprise. "Ooh, I knew I never should have taken this job! I have enough trouble with Cards without messing with demons! I only took it for frequent easy travel because my boyfriend lives in China!"

"You think you have it bad?" Springfield snapped back. "I only took the job for the portal back to England so I didn't have to sleep in the school dorms anymore! It was hard enough teaching secondary education at an all girls boarding school before puberty kicked in!" Closing his eyes, he put his hands together and began to chant to reassure himself. "I am a British Gentleman, I am a British Gentleman..."

Lucoa-san giggled a trifle wickedly. "Young people are so energetic, aren't they?"

Long sighed. "Captain, the Veil Liaison Officers for Europe, Asia, and South America," he groaned softly. "And you wonder why I prefer to handle things solo."

"What about Africa? And Australia?" Black asked curiously.

"Africa prefers to handle its own magical issues, and does not deal with the rest of the world on those matters," Lucoa explained. "That...and the magic of Africa scares most mortals."

"And nobody would dare claim magical dominion of Australia," Long added. "That's...just a big no-no."

Captain Black groaned, rubbing the bridge of his nose. "Maybe I'd have been better off just working it off the books, and let Uncle and those fillies take care of it. They are stronger since they got their Cutie Marks..."

Lucoa perked up happily. "Oh, you didn't say ponies were involved!" she proclaimed happily. She turned to the other screens. "No worries, everyone! Situation is Shining Faust."

Springfield and Kinomoto both let out explosive breaths of relief. "We'll stay out of your way then," Springfield offered.

"If you need any local resource access when pursuing the Portals, let us know!" Kinomoto offered eagerly.

The call was cut.

Captain Black blinked in surprise. "The hell just happened?" he gasped out in confusion.

Valmont smiled as his mirror darkened, heralding Shendu's siblings returning with their decision. He was mildly surprised to see only Tso Lan's face reflected back at him. "We have decided to accept your offer," Tso Lan began swiftly. "We will abide by your terms, and take human form and hide until such time as combat with this world's defenders is viable. While there is not complete agreement on this point, it is the logical course of action. You also will not be held responsible for any of us who are banished back here who failed to heed your advice once you have freed us."

Valmont gave a half bow. "I am so glad we were able to come to such a mutually beneficial arrangement," he purred softly. "Do tell Bai Tsa to be ready for release soon. I expect to have her freed before the week is out."

Tso Lan raised an eyebrow. "Any particular reason you are releasing her first?"

"Several, both practical and personal," Valmont explained. "Her power seems most subtle and versatile as long as she has ready access to water...which is rather easy to come across. And once she's safely acclimated here in my operations, she'll be most helpful in slipping out to where each portal is without catching government attention." He smiled disarmingly. "Besides, can't a dashing crime lord believe in chivalry?"

"You make me sick," Shendu growled irritably.

"My torment spell is already altered, Shendu," Tso Lan pointed out dryly, making the dragon spirit silence itself. "For your 'ladies first' assertions, Valmont, I am afraid you must leave our sister Po Kong of Mountain until last. Due to her size, not only is her portal the most prominent...she is also the only one of us who cannot assume a human form."

Valmont nodded understandingly. "We'll keep that in mind-"

"So which one of these is the water lady's?" Ratso asked curiously, pointing at the symbols on the Pan'ku Box. "Cause, if you can tell me that, I can get this open on her setting."

"...the Lake trigram," Tso Lan explained. "Top to bottom, broken line, solid line, solid line."

Nodding, Ratso flipped the box around in his hands until that symbol was up. He then twisted the top level of the box a quarter turn, followed by the second level. He then twisted the right half 180 degrees, rotated the whole box 90 degrees, then rotated the right half 180 degrees again. The box floated out of his hands, rotated several pieces rapidly, and then projected a map onto the wall with a portal marking somewhere in Italy. A riddle speaking of 'battles' and 'lions' ran across the bottom of the projection.

Valmont grinned at Tso Lan. "Speed up the time table," he purred. "We'll be in Rome before the day is out."

Author's Note:

Bonus points to the first to correctly name all four cameos.

Edit: Bonus points to Mr. 0

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