Chapter Six: The Vizier
Stitch twitched his head, as if searching with his keen eyes. He darted several feet away from Mike to fetch a stone with a sharp, bladed edge. Snarling through his teeth, Stitch pelted Randall in between his eyes. He howled and slammed the surface of the lake with his serpentine tail.
Stitch yelped and fled from the violent wave. Mike had no idea how to help his new comrade. He looked back at Randall and noticed a red gash in between his eyes, where he had been hit.
"Naga-naga. Weechiba!" squeaked Stitch, waving his little arms at Mike.
"What? What are you saying?" asked Mike, clueless and hesitant.
Stitch pointed to the water, then to him, and shook his face like a fussy child.
"You don't like the water...?"
"I...can't-AAAH!" Stitch sprung away and pulled Mike along with him. Randall had lunged with his vicious jaw. It snapped shut without a victim.
Mike was released and tumbled back onto the shore. Randall straightened his body, growing his thorny spines and his webbed claws. His once lavender scales turned ugly, dark purple. His old rival had succumbed to something wretched. Something toxic.
"I'm open to any ideas, buddy!" cried Mike. "As long as I can...well..understand them."
"Chikama...Orcachta!" exclaimed Stitch. Whirling past Mike, Stitch headed to his space cruiser. Mike thought that he had something, maybe a weapon, they could use to finish off Randall. Unfortunately for them, the lakeside dweller was already onto them.
Randall opened his acidic mouth where bright purple sparks lit his throat.
"Look out!" shouted Mike. Stitch twitched his ear. He buried his feet into a fortified stance and opened his arms. He barked at Randall, curling his back like a disturbed dragon.
Wild violet flames spewed from Randall. Stitch was wide open to feel the direct attack.
"Nooo!" Mike raised his arm and cringed. What could he do except scream for help? It would have been different if he was working with his best friend, Sulley. He was the beastly brawn of their once dynamic duo. Mike knew how to encourage Sulley and strategize his strengths. On his own, he could only write detailed reports on monster physiology and entertain children. How could any of those skills help him in this kind of fight?
Instead of panicking, Mike waited to see what became of Stitch. He was afraid to move if a single step on a slippery stone would alert Randall. The violet flames subsided, revealing Mike's resilient ally.
In his claws, Stitch held a kind of molten clump of violet energy. Mike was bewildered. Who was this monster? What was he?
Stitch reached back and hurled the glowing clump back into Randall's mouth. Randall gagged and flailed, causing violent waves to splash. Mike scurried over to Stitch. They both watched Randall dive headfirst into the water. His tail whipped madly. He was still full of rage but at least Mike and Stitch had a moment to rethink their plan.
"You're a tough guy, arenchya?" asked Mike. Stitch shrugged off the water from his fur before smiling back at him.
"Wikima! Laliga!" Stitch made a hasty crawl over to his space cruiser. Mike hurried behind him. Stitch had hopped into the pilot's seat where his claws flew from different levers, meters, knobs, and buttons. Mike's single eye could not keep up. He gasped when the cracked monitor turned on. On the top right corner, the gun-shaped icon flickered, surrounded with bizarre symbols. Stitch squealed with joy and grabbed what appeared to be a joystick with a red trigger. He tugged it loose and slammed it forward. The gun-shaped icon went dim, causing Stitch to growl in frustration.
"It's broken," said Mike in a grave tone. He glanced up at the foamy surface of the lake. Randall had returned.
"I'll buy you some time, pal. You get to fixin' whatever gizmo you got in there." Mike hopped out of the space cruiser and abruptly stopped. He had an idea.
"If you can understand me, hit him in the spine. That should keep him from getting back up." Mike ran as fast as he could, watching his step on the shore. He kept to the dryer edge to move faster. Stitch watched the talkative green eyeball yell and wave his arms to distract Randall. The blue alien understood everything Mike had said. He went back to fixing the wires and the control pad.
Besides camouflage, Mike knew that Randall's greatest strength was his flexible body. He could slither, crawl through tight areas, and move evasively out of sight. So far, Stitch had tried to hit the head, which only enraged Randall. Mike also knew that Randall hated his sense of humor. With those two points in mind, Mike finally found a way to aid Stitch in their battle.
"Wakey-wakey, Lizard-Lakey! I'm over here!" taunted Mike. He danced and jeered at Randall, who focused all of his beastly attention on him. Randall swam and lurked in the deep center of the lake. He pursued Mike and came at him with another bite. Mike jumped several feet away and spat his tongue at him.
"You getting pretty big, Randy. Did you gain weight? Buddy. You gotta lay off the cupcakes." Mike bore an obnoxious smile. Randall roared and curled his back. Those same purple sparks arose from the back of his throat. Mike was losing stamina and caught his foot on some muddy sand. He tripped and gaped at the fiery blast, crackling and growing.
BZZZZZZZZZT! A massive glowing bullet of neon green light was shot from the wrecked space cruiser. Randall screeched and wailed. His scales were burned to a crisp. The neon green substance rapidly spread up and down his spine. In an act of desperation, Randall flung his head over at the space cruiser. He slammed his skull onto the nose cap, catapulting a tiny blue blur into the air. Mike squinted, trying his best to watch where Stitch would fall, under the sunlight.
SPLSH! Stitch had taken a deep dive into the water. He squealed in gibberish but even Mike knew that it was a cry for help. Without hesitation, Mike jumped into the shallow waters and swam as fast as he could. He followed the sound of Stitch, slapping the surface which quickly became bubbly babble. He reached down and grabbed Stitch's claw, just inches before sinking to the bottom. Mike brought him up where he gasped for air. They turned to Randall who was cloaked in violet light and smoke. His burning breath attack was about to be unleashed. Mike pulled Stitch back underwater for cover.
PWSHSHSHSH! Ka-BOOOM! Plumes of violet light rose above the trees. Mike and Stitch resurfaced. They eventually made back to the shore where Mike collapsed on the dry grass and dirt. Beyond exhausted, Mike could not pick himself up. Thankfully, Stitch was happy to help. Mike tried to rest while he was carried back to the space cruiser. Stitch waited for Mike to stand on his own. He held onto the smooth rim of the cruiser and looked at Stitch, calm and friendly.
"Th...th...thank you. Friend."
"Uhm...you're welcome. You said you're Stitch, right? I'm Mike. Mike Wazowski." Mike gave a weak chuckle.
"Waloga...namachi...uh...WAZOWSKI!" exclaimed Stitch, clapping his claws.
"There you go. Haha...eh," said Mike. He looked back to the lake one last time. Randall was nowhere to be seen. As much as he disliked his office rival, Mike never would have wished for such a terrible fate. It had to do with whatever that man named Jafar did to him. It was the same man who had kidnapped Sulley and took the global core. Before Mike could leave through the doorway that led to his home, Monstropolis, he had to rescue his best friend, wherever he was.
"Jim-Jim!" Stitch spoke into a kind of device with a speaker, attached to a curly cord.
"What?" asked Mike, pulling himself into the frame of the pilot's seat.
"Jim-Jim!" repeated Stitch. Only scratchy noises from static to humming were present from the speaker. Stitch groaned as he bumped his head onto the monitor and pulled his eyelids.
"Hey...Stitch." When Mike spoke, Stitch did not respond. He dug through the debris with a determined drive. "I-uh...I need your help."
Stitch's left ear propped up and twitched from side to side. Maybe he was listening after all.
"That weird guy with the staff...he took my friend. You know...the bigger blue furball. His name is Sulley. I need to find out where he is and bring him home with me. I know you've got your own problems...but...I don't know what else to do. I don't know anyone that'll help me. I...I won't leave without Sulley. He's...like family to me."
Stitch bolted upward. He climbed out of his seat and stared into Mike's single eye.
"You...lost...family?" asked Stitch. His squeaky voice turned melancholy. Stitch unclipped what had to be something akin to a glove compartment. He retrieved a hand-made doll, sagging on its huge head. It had a pink bow tied to a tuft of hay and a stitched smile.
"I...lost...family." Stitch embraced the doll and placed it back into the clipped compartment.
"Ohana" muttered Stitch.
"Ohana?" responded Mike. He thought it was either the name of the person he lost or the name of the doll.
"Ohana...means...family. Family...means...no one...gets left behind...or forgotten," said Stitch sweetly. Mike would have cried if it was not for a timely cough.
"So...will you help me find Sully? My family?" checked Mike.
"EH!" Stitch nodded and grinned. Mike was invited to squeeze beside him. Stitch twisted a few levers and raised one red meter to the middle. Stitch pinched two wires together, snapping a tiny burst of electricity. The beeping noise went off. Mike turned to a flashing symbol, made of three concentric circles. It started from the smallest to the largest and looped in the same cycle.
"Jim-Jim!" Stitch pulled out a scarlet, square-shaped remote with two tiny antennas. On the bottom, there was an outlet, through which it was charging from the ship. The panels opened from the center, revealing a green screen with a glowing grid.
"Is that a map?" asked Mike.
"EH!" replied Stitch. He leaped out of the space cruiser, opposite of where Mike was standing. Mike followed him where Stitch brought his tracker. Stitch sniffed Mike and studied the screen once more. He pressed a button which maximized the map and revealed a glowing red dot.
"Ichiba!" Stitch swallowed the remote whole and charged due West, back into the jungle.
"Uhm...are you sure that was the best idea?" Mike was did not understand why Stitch, who seemed resourceful and smart, would eat their only chance at finding Sulley. Regardless, Mike trusted that Stitch knew what he was doing and ran after him. They ran past large shady leaves and jumped over thick roots. Mike was spooked by the shadowy leaves, rustling like the harsh whispers of a nefarious plot. However, as long as he stayed close with Stitch, he managed to stay brave.
Stitch froze and put his claw out, cuing Mike to stay still. Someone else other than the two of them was present. Present and speaking.
Mike and Stitch were cloaked behind the long, banana leaves. Mike crept deeper through the thick bush. He peered through gap of green stems and spotted someone tall and dark.
"Jafar," gasped Mike. He scowled and eavesdropped on Jafar's conversation with his irritated bird.
"Why don't we just turn them all to statues?! We'll decorate them all over the lawn like victory trophies. Ah? Aaaah?"
"BECAUSE Iago...that would require a laborious effort across the kingdom. We would not want to bring the heroes all together. We mustn't alert them. Once they learn of their fate, it will be too late." Jafar flaunted his bony hand. He conjured a transparent veil with a crimson shimmer.
"Greetings," began Jafar.
"To what honor do I owe the former vizier of Agrabah?" It was a woman's voice. Elegant and clever.
"I have acquired it." Jafar reached into his pocket. His shoulder dipped and rose back up. Mike could not see what he was giving but it had to be the global core that Randall stole for him. Jafar stuck his hand into the veil and pulled it back.
"Excellent. I trust that you've rewarded your accomplice."
"That I did. Shame to say...he was not strong enough to wield the darkness. He would have been a wonderful asset."
"The Heartless will suffice for now," said the woman harshly.
"I understand that you've recruited others to our side. Shall I proceed to check on them?" asked Jafar.
"No. Instead, why don't you find Princess Jasmine? Pete has spotted her traveling with the King's mage.
"That oaf couldn't capture a girl, protected only by a feathered fool?" scoffed Jafar.
"Hey!" squawked Iago.
"Not you," snapped Jafar.
"Then surely it should be simple for you. As simple as it is for a street rat to outsmart the vizier." The woman snickered. Jafar growled, digging his staff into the dirt.
"Very well," answered Jafar through his clenching teeth. The veil vanished. Iago flew from Jafar's shoulder and fluttered around the forest.
"Lemme just stretch my feathers and we can-" Iago spotted an odd shade of bright green.
"Jafar! It's the eyeball creep!" Iago swooped back to Jafar, who turned with his flapping cape. He found Mike and fired a blast of magic from his staff. Mike dodged just in time but he approached the vizier from the jungle leaves.
"Where's my friend?" demanded Mike, shaking his fists down low.
"The fuzzy one? I've relocated him to a more...cozy district. He won't escape. BUT" Jafar raised his staff. "You can join him if you like." Jafar cast the petrification spell but Stitch swooped in and saved Mike.
"Yikes! It's the alien. Get'em Jafar!" cried Iago into his ear.
"DON'T TELL ME WHAT TO DO!" howled Jafar. He fired a barrage of blasts at Stitch, expertly avoiding each one. He ducked, bounced, hopped, and flipped in the air with ease.
"Enough of this!" Jafar swung his staff, summoning a wave of Heartless minions behind him.
"Come on, Stitch! We can take'em! We got-WHAAAA!" Mike was swung from under his feet and carried off once again. He looked down at Stitch, whom Iago had called an alien. That would explain his strange language and his advanced technology in his space cruiser.
"After them!" commanded Jafar. The Heartless horde consisted of Shadows and Bandits, two-legged creatures with desert attire and scimitars. They charged at Mike and Stitch who retreated deeper into the jungle.
"Geez! They're all over the place!" whined Iago.
"The rats will always have their holes to hide in. We need not submerse ourselves. Soon, this kingdom will be ours. It'll be...a whole new world." Jafar cackled. His wicked voice startled the birds and the bugs in the jungle. Iago crossed his wings and rolled his eyes.
"Now then, let's go find Princess Jasmine," announced Jafar. "She must be exhausted from her travels."