Lights! Camera! Gala!

The Canardian Museum of Art Benefit Gala was at the tippy top echelon of all  the city’s socialites calendar. Anyone who was anyone was there. Movie stars, millionaires, entrepreneurs, artists of all mediums were drifting through the rooftop venue. The tall white columns were awash in purple colored floodlights, the ceiling glittered with extravagant chandeliers that sent prisms glimmering across the floor with the dancers.  Tables were piled with exotic flowers and crystal cut glassware that seemed to twinkle all on their own.  Banquet tables boasted the finest food cooked by the staff of the celebrity chefs in attendance.  Gordon Rammzee was even there, laughing at a well told joke no less.  Everything glittered, everything sparkled, most of all the glamorous beauties in attendance. Every dress out did the next. Sequins and glitter.  Diamonds and pearls. Precious jewels paraded around like peacock feathers.  The violin quartet was humming a waltz that seemed to fill the room with romance and delight.  Everyone was enjoying themselves, commenting on how much better it was this year than previous years, trading stock tips, playing a game of who has the biggest boat by flashing cell phone pictures and raising their voices. You know, rich people stuff.

 

The fact the gala was being held on the elite roof of the museum itself made for an interesting waiting area.  The attendees would gain entrance only after a strict security team had cleared them. Walk the red carpet as photographers abused them with directions and questions then they were ushered off by overly kind and helpful staff wearing stunning tuxedos. They would lead them to the glass elevators that would shuttle them through the floors of the museum at a leisurely pace, allowing glimpses of the exhibits as the floors passed.  There seemed to be a lot of penguin exhibitons this year. Seating was not strictly assigned but each pass had been registered under a name.  Gladstone had been dumbstruck when the waiter had asked if he was interested in waiting for the rest of his party before ordering a drink.

Rest of his- he had only won this ticket two days ago by pulling a number out of hat outside. Wait- hadn’t he had two more at one point? He eyed the empty chairs beside him.  Huh. Well... guess he could stretch out his legs? The table sat six and it currently held three, an attractive couple were whispering sweet nothings to each other directly across from him. The woman kept eyeing him and he self consciously shielded his face.  Of all the times to have a stupid black eye...

Out of all the things that had happened to him since he came to St. Canard... that was the worst. His spirits were low.  Was it poor taste to dine and dash at one of these things?

    • Lilly Teal
      Lilly Teal

      "What th-"

      First her glass was stolen, then everyone at the table was practically gone, and now the table was gone!

      Lilly blinked stupidly at the empty space for a moment, still seated in the chair that, until a few seconds ago, had a table with it. But before she could come to terms with that tragic loss, Oz had pulled her to her feet.

      "Oz what are you-"

      "I genuinely have no idea what's happening, sorry love." Bending her back into a dramatic dip, he straightened her up, sent her into a terrifyingly fast spin, and just... let go, apparently picking up partners and tossing them aside at random. Crossing the floor to the loudest center of chaos, he tapped the very pained looking man that was currently being trampled on by Mal on the shoulder and practically threw him aside.

      "Completely against my will, but may I cut in?"

      Lilly felt like she was going to spin for the rest of the night, until she collided with another pair of dancers.

      "Oh my goodness, what is happening."

      A penguin looked at her narrowly, and her eyes widened.

      Uuuuh see I'm two-stepping in place. I'd dance properly if I had a partner what a shame I don't have one of those I'm going to two-step towards an exit or a table to hide under.

      • Gladstone Gander
        Gladstone Gander

        The airborne table almost took out a chandelier but in a showy flair of choreography the dancers all swung each other out of the way.

        “Oh, improvisation,” Tuskernini spat the word out like over buttered popcorn. “Stick to the script please? Thank you! Why is it the divas are always red heads?” He had to keep his eye on that one.

        A couple charlestoned past him, putting a massive diamond ring in his hand. This lightened his mood considerably.

        The two penguins were making a rotation around the room with large bags they put the proffered provisions in. Gladstone had watched his own hand pluck the tiara off his dance partner’s head and toss it into the sack as part of a complicated spin. His partner seemed to think this was nothing out of the ordinary and was rattling on gossip about who was dancing with who.

        And it did seem like everyone was dancing with someone except-oh no. Through sheer force of rhythm Gladstone closed the distance and twirled the still chattering woman(his hand snatching an earring) out of his grip into an oncoming man.

        With a dramatic heel turn, the earring was flung at the penguin who seemed unimpressed with Lilly’s solo act and nearly collided with her locking her in dance formation at very intimate proximity.

        “Follow my lead and I apologize if I get handsy, I don’t seem to have much control of myself.” He whispered in her ear.

        • Queen Malicia of St. Canard
          Queen Malicia of St. Canard

          Mal, despite steam-rolling over most people in the room, still seemed rather successful at claiming a few shinies. Well, isn't that just nice! I could always use more pretty things for my collection.

          Expression darkening as her possessed body handed over the loot, though not without a lot of fussing and protest on her part. Bad hands, bad! Why are you giving those ugly fishbirds all the pretty diamonds? They should be mine! MINE!

          All frustration channeled into a furious tango with poor Oz, who was being tossed around like a straw man. Had she been able, she likely would've picked him up and used him to bludgeon one of the passing thieves. The urge to dance was stronger, however.

          "This is utterly ridiculous!" She ranted and raved as she dipped Oz and made a spin-turn. "I demand to speak to whoever is hosting this foolish charade! Do you even know who I am?"

          'Diva' may have been a generous understatement.

          • Lilly Teal
            Lilly Teal

            Strange situation or not, when a charming guy gets this close to you, you go red, and there's no helping it. Nevertheless, she nodded and fell into pace with him, relieved that the penguin had apparently lost interest in favour of the sparkly earring. Only now did she notice dance partners taking off each others jewelry, watches and cufflinks, as well as sweeping away any expensive silverware. And, she presumed, once they were further inside, the displays would go the same way.

            What is going on?

            "You know... I was hoping you'd ask me to dance but this isn't really how I imagined it happening."

            Oz was equally indignant as he was flung hither and yon in the most ungraceful fashion. This choreography was terrible, he didn't want to be involved in it! He glared upside-down at the nearest penguin as he was dipped

            "Do you even know who I am, buddy? We need words!" he snapped, spinning around and putting Mal's arms around his waist so he could be dragged backwards on one foot, before a kick and a turn put them back facing each other. Looks like divas came in blond too. "Mal darling, can you see that sparkly suited second-hand slimeball anywhere?" Because I can hear him gloating, I just can't SEE him in this crowd and its getting frustrating. "I want to dance over there and kick him until he squeals."

            • Gladstone Gander
              Gladstone Gander

              “Well,” his eyes stopped scanning the room as he could feel the heat rise in the cheek beside his. “-I hope you’ll let me ask you properly once you get me out of this. It seems strange things keep pulling us together Lillypad.”

              He lead her in a spinning rotation fast feet weaving between hers, ending in a swirl that brought them face to face instead of cheek to cheek and his eyes were practically twinkling with delight.

              “Although, this is much nicer than last time, you’re stunning. If I had to actually think about what I’m doing I’d be intimidated. Where did you learn to dance like-uh oh.” He’d spotted Malicia and Oz’s demolition tango. “Seems your friends are...” doing what exactly? “... enjoying themselves.”

              As he tried to steer their path in the general area of Mal ground zero the hand that rested on the small of her back began to slide up toward that lovely latch on her necklace.

              Meanwhile the director was being presented with such dazzling, shiny, and most all genuine accolades he barely had time to listen to all the empty threats that were flung at him. One couples’ however struck a chord. He dodged between dancers for a few bars of the newest song until he was within full gloating distance of the least graceful pair on the floor.

              “My dears, I do not know who you are,” he sounded pretty pleased with the fact. “But I do believe that scraggly little ragamuffin,” he motioned to Oz, “-should be the one leading. And you should both be doing the same dance, you’re an eyesore.”  He sighed melodramaticly, “ah well, we’ll just have to edit you out in post.”

              It seemed the guests had begun to run dry on jewels as some were tap dancing their way toward taking whatever masterpieces they could carry between them.

              • Queen Malicia of St. Canard
                Queen Malicia of St. Canard

                "EYESORE? I'll give you eye sores for days! I am a professional sorceress I'll have you know! When I get out of here I---yaaaah!

                Pulled away from Oz by a rather burly fellow who had decided on the ChaCha for their next routine. Along with assisting her new partner in removing the diamond chandelier from the ceiling, via tossing Mal's entire weight at the dangling center-piece. 

                • Lilly Teal
                  Lilly Teal

                  "SCRAGGLY LITTLE-"

                  Apoplectic with rage, Oz took the advantage of being freed from Mal by attempting to bodily fling himself at Tuskernini's throat. Quite unfortunately, whoever had been freed up by the burly fellow executed a neat spin in his direction and caught him in mid-air before pulling him into a new dance.

                  "Ooooh I'm going to kill you."

                  Gosh wasn't he charming. Wasn't he smooth. Wasn't he- Wait a minute. Lilly blinked.

                  "Once I get you out of thi- yeek!"

                  That hand wasn't travelling in that direction before, surely. If her face had been hot before, you could probably drill holes in steel plates with the heat now. Excusemewhatareyou-

                  She felt the chain around her neck move. Aaaah the necklace.

                  Wait no, not my necklace! This was a present!

                  This probably wasn't demonstrating a good sense of priorities, but she really didn't want her necklace tossed in a bag. It'd never come back. And suppose, by some massive luck, someone DID find some way to stop this mess from happening, what would be the chances of her actually finding it again in those massive, massive bags of diamonds? Less than none.

                  So, taking her hand off of his shoulder, she unlatched it one-handed and moved it away from his reach. Still dancing. It looked a little ridiculous, probably more so if he kept trying to take it and she kept moving it away.

                  "I don't suppose you can feel the urge wearing off or anything?"

                  What are we supposed to DO, smash the DJ booth?

                  • Gladstone Gander
                    Gladstone Gander

                    The necklace swung in Lilly’s hand like a hypnotic pendant.  Grabby hands were itching to take it, and not just Gladstone’s.  The passing dancers took desperate swipes at it and Gladstone took a quick glance around the room.  Thankfully the penguins were occupied elsewhere.  He tried to wrangle in his rogue appendages but they were just not listening.

                    “I think perhaps you better stash that-“ don’t look at her neckline, don’t look at her lovely neckline, “Somewhere. I’ll close my eyes so I don’t know where it is.” 

                     

                    And so he did.  Which was exactly when an airborne Malicia took out the chandelier with a “Pop” of electricity.  Dancers screamed and dashed out of the way as it smashed to the dancefloor.  That is except for Gladstone who currently had his eyes closed and didn’t see a thing.  The noise however was deafening and feeling a little shaky he turned to see the mass of cut crystal and bling reflecting his face back at him from an inch away.

                    “Maybe I better... keep my eyes ope-“

                    But wait. His ears were ringing, lights were dim, his hands were frozen mid gimme gimme motion, there was no MUSIC.  He let out a sudden burst of triumphant laughter as he wobbled on his suddenly stationary legs.

                    “I’m not dancing! And-“ He inspected his sleeves.” –yes! I still have my cuff links!” 

                    The exposed wire that had illuminated the chandelier sparked, the power must have been knocked out.  Oh dear and Tuskernini was standing amid a suddenly winded but livid group of socialites. If Oz hadn’t been mid lift it might have gotten ugly.  Instead the director produced a megaphone.

                     

                    Someone fire that gaffer! Ladies and gentleman please allow me a-“ He started backing away from the angry mob. “-a moment to arrange for this scene change.” It seemed the museum was running on generator power that did not extend to the ballroom.  Because why would it?  But he had anticipated this.  Well, no not demonesses  flying through the air like lumber at a Scottish caber toss festival , who could prepare for that?  “Cecil?  If you’d please be quick about it? We’re on a tight schedule?”

                    A loud revving and “putt”ing came from the corner with the penguin in question (DJ Gentrification as he was known only in the silence of his own head) was struggling with their own portable generator.   There were a few more misfires before it hummed to life and the music exploded back through the speakers making their moorings rattle.

                    Gladstone’s victory was short lived as his possessed body was now aware of those shiny cufflinks and was gladly removing them.  He let out a miserable sigh.  He didn’t want to lose these. These were a birthday present from the angelic Dais-his gaze was distracted by a subtle shimmer from the gown of the woman before him.  Who gave him these again...? Old what’s her name? He couldn’t seem to remember but gave Lilly a small smile as his footwork was gliding out a rumba, his hands too busy to join in.

                    “Darn.  So close.” He winked at her.  “So, what’s your plan? What are you thinking? High society and their dazzling sparkly things are depending on you.” He was in good spirits, he was in capable dainty little hands.  After all, it wasn’t like anyone was going to die right?  Well... maybe Tuskernini if this music ever stopped again. Which reminded him, he tried to glance around the downed chandelier. “Do you think your friend is okay?  She cracked that wall over there when she hit it.”

                    The two penguins had been curious to know as well, and had waddled over to inspect the crash during that little lapse in music.

                    • Queen Malicia of St. Canard
                      Queen Malicia of St. Canard

                      A clawed hand struck out, grabbing one of the penguins by the throat. A pair of glowing yellow eyes emerged from the rubble, accompanied by a chain-saw level snarl.

                      "You sneaky little fish-guzzler. I'm going to-- gah!" She dropped the henchbird abruptly and tap-danced away, her body led back into the fray. 

                      As she was led into a ballroom dance on the floor, she occasionally passed Lilly and Gladstone. Thus resulting in a series of broken sentences each time she rounded near.

                      "I think--" One-two-three, one-two-three.

                      "They're using--" Spin-and-turn.

                      "That machine over there--" Four-five-six, curtsy.

                      "To keep-" Seven-eight-nine.

                      "The music--" Aaaand... twist? 

                      "Going."

                       

                      • Lilly Teal
                        Lilly Teal

                        While his confidence was reassuring, she couldn't help but feel it was utterly misplaced, and she wrinkled her bill at him in confusion.

                        "I really don't know why you expect me to have a plan." Please don't tell me everything is depending on me. "I'm not a hero or a clever planner."

                        Okay no. We're not going to throw any more things into the bag. Reaching out, she plucked the cufflinks form his hand as soon as he'd detached them. It was really just to get him to stop, though she realised a second later that it was a futile effort.

                        But since they didn't seem to be changing partners, it hopefully meant that his body would insist on trying to get the cufflinks and necklace rather than dragging her of to pull a painting off from the walls. She really didn't want to do that.

                        Oh wait-

                        She moved her hand around experimentally, watching the grabbing motions.

                        Does that mean I'm technically leading? Well he's still leading, but if he's after the shinies in my hand I can control the direction of the dance!

                        "Thank you!"

                        "Mal!"

                        "Are you!"

                        "Alright?!"

                        Oh damn, she was out of range again. Lilly craned her neck to try looking for the machi- oh hey, I can control our direction, lets just dance closer to it.

                        "Even with the ghost," she went on, "the only reason we got anything done was because we were ridiculously lucky enough to find everything we needed."

                        Things you need don't just drop out of the sky, Gladstone!

                        "We'd need a miracle just to have a clear path to the mach-" Her mouth dropped open as they spun around and found, due to most people at the wall struggling with paintings, an almost clear path.

                        • Gladstone Gander
                          Gladstone Gander

                          "Not clever?!" He gaped at her. "Lillypad you're so sharp your the envy of tacks everywhere. It's a wonder you don't cut yourse-oh thank you-" it was here she seized his liberated cuff links. Not that his actions were any indication of his gratitude what with the flourishes somehow just missing her hands and the grabbing for the precious pretty things.

                          Gladstone's at least mental attention was drawn to Malicia's interpretative dance of the approximation of a conversation in six parts.

                          "Aha! Beautiful AND smart!" He called after the spinning sorceress. Then to Lilly, conversationally. "I like your friends."

                          He began to be lured to the DJ booth and he began to realize that maybe he ought to be a little humble for a change.

                          "Well, I am the luckiest guy alive.  And I don't mean that as 'wow isn't he lucky dancing with a gorgeous girl', because yes of course that too, but literally.  I'm special.  Point me near a contest and sometimes I don't even need to enter to win it. I've been banned from every casino on the west coast and seventy percent of the rest globally.  In the week and a half I've been here I've won: eight cars- EIGHT, a dozen theater tickets, free lunches at some fast food chain for a year, a shopping spree, an upscale spa package, ten cases of pomade,  a lifetime supply of Pep, which is currently taking up the majority of my suite at the hotel that just so happened to put me up indefinitely for free, OH YES and a drinking contest which earned me three yachts. I'm sure there's more but I think I've made my point. I am aware this sounds crazy, especially from a guy with a shiner. But bad things still happen, they just seem to work out pretty well, or rather really well for me. I mean if I hadn't found that ladle I wouldn't have met you. I'd say that was pretty lucky."

                          What was lucky was they were nearly to the booth before they aroused any suspicion.  After regaining his composure the penguin who had survived a N.M.E. (near Malicia Experience) caught sight of the pair and blew a shrill whistle.

                           

                          Tuskernini who had been overseeing the packing up of the goods into the back of a small rickety looking aircraft that had landed on the balcony returned to the dancefloor to see what the disturbance was all about.  Before he got very far he somehow, luckily, bumped into a passing single dancer.  Green dress, firey red hair... murder twinkling.... in ... cat like eyes.... oh dear.

                           

                          Care to dance?

                          • Queen Malicia of St. Canard
                            Queen Malicia of St. Canard

                            "You." Latching onto the rotund walrus like a feline to a set of bejeweled curtains. "Are going to feel my wrath."

                            In the form of... The Mambo. Careful, those curves can be deadly. Though they may have paled in comparison to those large feet, and boy were they stomping up a storm right now. Whether Tuskernini willingly danced along did not matter, for Mal was doing enough dancing for the two of them. Every time he tried to slink away or side-step her, she'd hip-check him back into place (and occasionally straight into a wall). 

                            Which, hopefully, bought Lilly and Gladstone a bit of time. Plus this was the first dance that was awfully cathartic for her. 

                            • Lilly Teal
                              Lilly Teal

                              For a long moment, Lilly couldn't do much but stare at him as he explained.

                              "That... that suddenly explains so much," she said finally, attempts at keep-away and getting closer to the machine temporarily forgotten. "The hundred dollar bill we needed. The packet of exorcism materials. Exorcism for Dummies I had never even seen that!"

                              It was ridiculous. No wonder Malicia had thought she was joking at first (bless her she though her friend had come around to believing her). A Normal successfully exorcising a ghost must be some kind of crazy one-in-a-million chance.

                              She laughed a little at the absurd memory of Exorcism for Dummies. Oh God, what is life. No wonder he was so confident things would work out. Everything they had needed had just dropped out of the sky. It still didn't explain why he thought she had a pla- oh because she'd used the things, hadn't she?

                              ... but she'd been terrified. If he hadn't calmed her down she probably wouldn't have been able to do it. The penguin's whistle snapped her attention back to what they were doing, and she yanked the baubles back from itchy fingers. Turning her head towards the sound of little penguin feet slapping towards them, her eyes widened.

                              "This is the second time I've met you and the world is spinning completely out of control all over again." With that said, she jerked her arm in a random direction and tried to dance them out of being surrounded by evil penguins. Did they even have any options at this point? There must be a way to stop the generator, but if there was some way to short circuit the music player itself...

                              Please, Gladstone's luck. Please please give us a hint, she prayed silently.

                              • Gladstone Gander
                                Gladstone Gander

                                Tuskernini might have been considered a passable actor in certain circles, but currently his decorum was definitely as damaged as his toes the instant he was locked in the malevolent mambo.  

                                “Well now what’s the world coming to when-AH-an actor can’t take –OOH- a little constr-ACK-tive criticism!?” He made a desperate bid for freedom mid spin turn and found himself seized by the tusk for another rotation. His ridiculous little hat spun around on his domed (and doomed) head.  “Oh this is ludicrous!” He tried to take the reigns and lead but she seemed to have more muscle in one petite finger than he in his whole gelatinous form.  He whimpered a little as his feet were stomped on again.  “Perhaps I could persuade you to release me if I allowed you the honor of the leading role in my next film?”  

                                Gladstone “tsked” at their current predicament.   The penguin with the whistle was nearing, the other was practically running toward them his bag of heavy jewelry aimed to take a probably very painful swing at them, the DJ seemed tipped off as well and had slid a bat out from under the table and was tapping it against his flipper menacingly.

                                If only there were another chandelier that could deafen hi-waitaminute.

                                “Scream in my ear!” He requested urgently.  An odd request but probably far from the oddest thing that had happened this evening.  “If I can just get control of just ONE hand back... “ he flinched as the penguin started swinging the bag around gaining velocity. “-my luck could maybe do something about this music.”

                                It was then that a hip checked Tuskernini flew passed them taking out the approaching bludgeoner and bouncing the penguin into the wall where he stuck for a moment before he slid down it slowly leaving an indentation behind. The bag of jewelry lay abandoned for a whole second before the dazed Tuskernini plucked it up and tried to make a mad dash for the door only to be locked in a dance with the devil (woman) again.  This time the bag was pressed between his girth and her, well, family heirlooms.

                                 

                                “CECIL, CHANGE THE BLASTED SONG!”

                                One penguin down, two very pissed ones to go. 

                                • Queen Malicia of St. Canard
                                  Queen Malicia of St. Canard

                                  "How can I release you when you're the one making me dance, you imbecile!" Mal snapped back. 

                                  So that's a 'maybe' on the leading role offer then.

                                  Perhaps now would be a good time to appeal to this oaf's ego. It would certainly provide Lilly and Gladstone with the distraction they needed to put an end to this tom-foolery.

                                  "Tell me..." Said while spinning him like a top. "You don't look like a sorcerer. So how exactly did you enchant us all into this pied piper fiasco? I don't sense any particular magic at work, and yet you were quite successful in commanding this entire room of socialites. I'd almost consider this an ingenious plan, really. Did you set up this whole gala by yourself? How did you even manage to book a spot here, it's rather exclusive from what I hear. You must have quite the influential pull." 

                                   

                                  • Gladstone Gander
                                    Gladstone Gander

                                    Well this was more like it, Tuskernini thought to himself,  well without the spinning. He should be interesting to buxom young beauties, it came with the position. Again, director, not whatever this pirouette he was being (wo)man handled into.

                                    “I did not arrange the gala, I only improved upon it. Naturally one with my standing as Artiste Laureate of St. Canard was invited to rub elbows with the finest.” Really Welles (the penguin currently twitching on the floor) had found an article about it in a tossed out newspaper, but she didn’t need to know that. Now that his vision was being admired Tuskernini relaxed into the dance, he was surprisingly light on his feet for such a hefty fellow. “But how gauche to arrive via red carpet, no that’s what why me and my assistants arrived fashionably late in the Swan Song.” He nodded toward the decrepit aircraft that looked like a pedal powered gyrocopter at best, it was amateurishly painted to resemble a swan. So.... “A” for effort? How all four of them fit inside it was anyone’s guess. Party goers were still assembling a pile of loot on the rickety looking craft. “From there my my crew blended right in while the scene was set. The only magic at play here dear lady is movie magic, and a dash of-“ he leaned in conspiratorially his breath smelled of oysters “-Fancy Foot Formula. I’m sure you haven’t heard of it.” He gloated. “Bought it off a fugitive F.O.W.L. Agent, he was desperate to be rid of it, said he’d never be able to listen to Mozart the same way again. He, didn’t elaborate on that.” Here he shrugged. “But now onto more important matters, for your big debut I see you as the ultimate fallen heroine, down on her luck, desperately seeking affection, until one fateful evening a filmmaker notices her at a party and makes all her dreams-“ blah blah blah, thinly veiled innuendo, yak yak yak, overly accessible for private acting lessons.

                                    She did ask.

                                    • Lilly Teal
                                      Lilly Teal

                                      Earplugs would be a nice start.

                                      "Ah?" Look, you kind of caught me off guard with that request, it's hard to scream properly in that situation. She even looked apologetic at how bad that was. Okay, let's try again. With a small "I'm really sorry about this," she wrapped an arm around his neck, put a hand over one of his ear (spaces...?), and leaned close to the other one. Deep breath.

                                      It might not have been a proper scream if one of the penguins hadn't taken a vicious swipe at them, but that was more than enough to send a startled shriek right into his poor eardrum.

                                      "Oh no I'm sorry I'm sorry-"

                                      Grabbing his lapels, she dipped herself back and dragged him into dodging another swipe from the whistler, who was now attempting to swing a heavy candelabra at them that had not yet managed to be tucked into the loot bag. Don't drop me don't drop me!

                                      The candelabra flew from his flipper and sailed towards the DJing penguin, who just manged to bat it away with a startled SQAK noise, the momentum sending his bat heavily into the side of the booth. It didn't stop the music, but now the music was accompanied by the comical sight of a penguin struggling to detach his baseball bat from the side of the booth.

                                      • Gladstone Gander
                                        Gladstone Gander

                                        Every feather on his body ruffled at the auditory assault. The ringing in his one ear was throbbing through his skull and any apology that had been made was lost. Among the items lost was his footing and his interest in the fancy jewelry so that was a plus. What was not a plus was being dazed when being pulled into a dip, not only did he almost drop her, he almost landed right on top of her as well. He managed to keep them upright by some miracle so the dip started out messy and honestly, nerve wracking, but ended up okay. Even the toughest tv dance competition judges would have only minor criticisms about the overall effect.

                                        The currently unarmed penguin appeared to be stunned by the state of events unfolding around him which worked out just fine for Gladstone. Barely thinking at all (his forte) on the way back up from the dip his hand reached out and grabbed one of the glittering prisms from the downed chandelier and threw it at hard as he could at the DJ booth.

                                        It missed spectacularly. The prism hit a bust of the Venus de Fido and it jettisoned up to bounce off a speaker. The speaker remained intact and the prism glistened in its downward spiral and would have beaned Cecil had he not at that same moment unlodged the baseball bat and the backswing connected with the sparkly bit of glass. It’s trajectory now took off toward Welles who had finally recovered from the hip check from Hades and he managed to raise a silver platter just quick enough to send the thing ricocheting away. This time Mal and Tuskernini were in the way, or more precisely the precious cargo between them. The prism zipped by like a bullet and tore out the bottom of the bag, jewels showering to the floor and strands of pearls shattering like caltrops under foot. The next target on the hit parade was the assistant mayor who was pulling off a dazzling three point turn with an ornate Roman shield in hand, the now lighting quick glass “pinged” off the shield and shot itself back into the chandelier itself. The whistle blower penguin while all this was going on had taken a silver cutting knife out of his loot and was closing in on the troublemakers and if the chandelier beside him hadn’t exploded shattered glass all over him it probably would have gotten ugly. The knife was blasted out of his hand and sailed directly in the direction of the generator only to end up coming to a wobbling stop in the wall. That is, after it cut the turn tables power cord mid flight.

                                        Nearly all of the dancing people collapsed into exhausted panting heaps as silence fell like a lead weight.

                                        Gladstone looked at Lilly in mild confusion.

                                        “DID IT WORK?” He shouted, unable to really hear much of anything, let alone the volume of his own voice.

                                        • Queen Malicia of St. Canard
                                          Queen Malicia of St. Canard

                                          As soon as the music stopped, Tuskernini would find himself shoved aside as Mal dropped to her knees and began shoveling up every shiny she could manage to carry in her arms, the odd diamond spilling back over onto the floor. 

                                          A more foolish observer would just assume she was still under the trance, desperately trying to collect the priceless pieces for her involuntarily master and... using her ample cleavage as a make-shift storage spot. The items would likely never be heard from again. 

                                          Well done, everybody. The day has been saved! 

                                          • Lilly Teal
                                            Lilly Teal

                                            Tuskernini was shoved off into the distance, only just being saved from falling.

                                            "Careful there, you'll hurt yourself."

                                            Oz grinned at him, and then sent a vicious knee into his midsection.

                                            "That's what I'm here for."

                                            Lilly, once again, was rendered temporarily speechless. How does he do that?

                                            And then the relieved laughter started. Still holding a pair of cufflinks and a necklace, legs shaking, holding onto a partner that was yelling at the top of his voice because he was temporarily deaf, she couldn't stop laughing. Ridiculous, again. Just ridiculous.

                                            At his question, she just nodded, wrapping her arms around his neck for another hug. Victory hugs! It's kind of becoming a thing.

                                            • Gladstone Gander
                                              Gladstone Gander

                                              Yay! More hugs!

                                              “Hah! I’m the best!” Gladstone punched the air for emphasis, the ringing in his ear subsiding slightly. “Once again the dynamic duo saves the day! This is fun!”

                                              The terrified and gradually livid party goers who where currently helping each other to their feet  would  have begged to differ.  The sudden change in the tide of power seemed to shake the penguins and they converged together in a huddle formulating a plan. The socialites started rolling up their sleeves moving in on the soon to be unlucky trio.

                                              Tuskernini, on the other hand was already having a decidedly bad time.  From his doubled over position from the brilliantly executed kick he wheezed feebly.

                                              “Oh- hurgghnn- is... that- haeerng- what your purpose is?  I submit, ohhh what a world, you appear to have bested me whatever shall I-” The Walrus suddenly sprung at the Quetzal, locking him in a deathgrip and placing a small cynlinder to his temple. “-do?” He finished sweetly and positioned himself behind Oz using him as a shield. “Honestly boy, I’m a super villain, you think one dainty little kick line would bring the house down?” He laughed. “Attention! Attention!  That’s a wrap, it’s time we took our bows ladies and gentleman.  And I wouldn’t move if I were you unless you want to see how realistic our special effects  are. Especially  you-” this was directed toward Malicia.  "-you wily little magpie, boys make sure you get whatever she's got, no matter where she hides it."

                                               

                                              ((OOC: If you’re not game for hostages lmk and I’ll edit my post))

                                               

                                              • Lilly Teal
                                                Lilly Teal

                                                Did you just-

                                                How dare you.

                                                "You may be a supervillain but you're a terrible actor," Oz said flatly, wriggling and kicking violently with absolutely no regard to the weapon pressed at the side of his head. The more violently he wriggled, the less securely it was pressed as Tuskernini would find his grip full of the equivalent of five angry cats.

                                                He was just about to bite the walrus's arm, not that he would take any pleasure in the disgusting act, when the weapon pressed just that much harder against his temple.

                                                Just hide just hide you just got out of trouble don't get into more.

                                                "Leave him alone!" A deep desire to protect people she cared about was a very good motivator to speak up, even if Lilly looked like she was going to pass out. "Please don't hurt him!"

                                                Just... just drop him and go away in your horrible painted getaway vehicle? Pretty please?

                                                • Gladstone Gander
                                                  Gladstone Gander

                                                  Tuskernini struggled, truly TRULY struggled, to keep this live wire under control.  Of all the hostages in the whole room, he had to take the one who fought back?  Well... anything was better than Malicia.  His poor agonized feet could attest to that.  Applying some pressure seemed to quell the squirming, and he started to back out of the event hall  when a predictable heroic outburst interjected.

                                                   

                                                  "Oh-well since you asked so nice-" but wait.  What was this?  Lovely bone structure? Picture perfect costume?  Glistening hair that hours in the make up chair would barely compare to?  Not to mention a figure that would make a gorilla climb any skyscraper in the city?  Why yes, yes the role of hostage could of course be recast. "If you're so eager dear girl, why not take his place?"

                                                  Gladstone clenched his fists. 

                                                  "Lilly don't-" He started but saw the concern on her face.  All pretenses and nicknames forgotten,  was this fun now Gladstone?  "-he'll let him go."  

                                                  Wouldn't he?  It was then that he noticed the penguins eyeing him evilly as they rounded up whatever gems they could, pointedly staying out of arm's reach of Malicia. Direct order or not, that was a risk not worth taking.   One penguin caught Gladstone's eye and dragged a flipper meaningfully across it's throat. So... probably no encores of prism pinball.

                                                  • Lilly Teal
                                                    Lilly Teal

                                                    "Don't you dare," snapped Oz. Aw, you DO care. "It took me hours to fix her hair."

                                                    Never mind, then. Lilly wavered, afraid that Oz's constant responses would get him shot, and sincerely considering how much more smoothly this would go if someone quieter was the hostage. He just wanted to leave, didn't he?

                                                    Sensing the wavering, Oz's expression softened as he shook his head at her, then hardened as if he was deeply offended. "She not going to do that because nobody replaces me."

                                                    He locked an arm around Tuskernini's arm that was locking him. The hostage is keeping himself hostage.

                                                    "Oz!"

                                                    "Well hurry up," he said to Tuskernini. "Keep backing out and let's get to that horrible little getaway plane of yours so you can let me go."

                                                    • Gladstone Gander
                                                      Gladstone Gander

                                                      Tuskernini tried to wiggle his arm but it was held firmly in place. Well, what do you make of that? He shrugged, a hostage was a hostage. The penguins scampered to the Swan Song tossing the goods onto the tarp that already held priceless paintings and a rather well endowed female statue. Tuskernini grinned to himself.

                                                      “I suppose you think I ought to release you from your contract now, but we still have some reshoots to do. “ Oz would find himself shoved headfirst into those perky marble mounds and tied firmly in place. “How about I tip you and your new leading lady into the center of the bay, you do do your own stunts don’t you?” It seemed that kick had left a lasting impression on the old boy.

                                                      The craft now had it’s three pilots in position and a walrus clinging to the side, he removed his hat with a dramatic bow.
                                                      “Thank you for the rewarding evening! Parting is such sweet sorrow!”

                                                      As the craft lifted into the air the tarp pulled up on all sides attached and dangling to the bottom of the vessel. It began it’s slow retreat, it’s course, as promised, heading for the bay.

                                                      Gladstone felt like the world was falling out from under him. This wasn’t right. Oz, Lilly, he finally found the courage to look at her. What must she be feeling?