This is a work of fiction and is not to be sold in any way shape or form. It is simply for my amusement and the challenge of writing these characters in a strange and dangerous world. All the characters are owned by Disney and I do not claim ownership of any of them. Please let me know what you think in the comments below! Without further ado, welcome to The Kingdom.)
How had this happen? How had the darkness come without anyone knowing? How had Pete stormed the city and taken the castle within minutes? It was a cold, calculated attack, and despite preparing for something like it for years, the Kingdom had not been prepared in the slightest. The battle was lost before it even began.
For the longest time, Minnie had thought the darkness that had taken root in her soul and given her strength was a blessing. After all, it had come to her upon her husband’s death. She’d treated it as such, but now, she saw that it was far more. It was all consuming. She was losing herself to it. It had baited her and caused her to lose her way so much so that in the end, she was powerless to stop the death of someone who she had once called a friend.
As Minnie pulled herself from the moat which ran under the castle, she saw nothing but terror around her. Civilians ran, screaming, in all directions. Fire rolled off the city as far as she could see. The black cloud was about to overtake the castle itself. She pulled the golden mask, shaped like the head of an eagle from her head and dropped it to the ground beside her. Her secret no longer seemed worth protecting. She was the Shadow.
She remembered the time right after Mickey had been lost. There’d been an upturn in violent crimes in the Kingdom. The guards couldn’t seem to get a control on it. She felt an overwhelming urge to help her people. That was when she found the Shadow. It filled her heart and gave her the strength to fight back. She equipped herself with the mask of an eagle, a sign of hope, and she taught herself to fight, staying up late into the night and training by the light of the moon. She then made sure that anyone who saw her in the night would be able to see her ears, another symbol. What her people really needed, wasn’t a vigilante. That was just a means to an end. What they needed was hope. Minnie Mouse decided that she would be that hope. She became a fighter. She became a vigilante in the night. She became the Shadow.
Now, all of that seemed so long ago. So lost in translation.
“Minnie?” She turned to see Donald staring at her in disbelief. “You…it was…it was always you?”
Minnie took a deep breath and nodded. Donald shook his head in disbelief.
Merlin appeared from the dark cloud that was surrounding them. “Your majesty.” He wiped the beads of sweat from his forehead. “The city is lost.”
“Your majesty?” Minnie turned to see Goofy staring at her, his eyes fixed on the golden mask. “I lost Jiminy.” He seemed as though he might break down at any moment. All of it was too much to believe.
A tear fell from Minnie’s eye. “We’ve all lost Jiminy.”
Goofy felt his heart drop. Donald went to Goofy and placed a hand of support on his back.
“I’m sorry,” said Merlin, who looked equally shocked. “But we have to go. Right now.”
“The catacombs,” replied Minnie. “It will be the only place that is safe. Follow me.”
They all moved as one and headed away from the castle. As they went, alligators who were behind the rest of the attacking party attempted to assault them, but were quickly put down. The group turned down a side street and approached a large slab of rock in the ground.
“One, Nine, Two, Eight,” said Minnie confidently. The slab of rock opened up and revealed a narrow brick staircase which led into the darkness. Merlin held up his wand, which began to glow, allowing them to see in the darkness as they descended. The dark cloud moved into the alleyway just as the slab of rock closed behind them.
Down they went until the staircase led them into a series of twisting hallways. “What is this place?” Asked Donald.
“A long time ago, we enlisted the help of some of our neighbours to the East to help build a place where we could hide if all else should fail during the coming storm,” said Minnie. “It’s construction was kept from everyone in the Kingdom, save for myself and Mickey.”
They came to a large doorway, etched with designs of seven small men and one beautiful woman. Minnie placed a hand on the doorway and leaned towards it, whispering yet another secret code. “Hi. Ho.” The door immediately began to lift up, dust falling from it as it did so, indicating the many years since it had last been used.
As they stepped through, the entire group gasped at what they saw. The cavern before them was massive. But more amazing than the sheer size were the enormous glowing jewels which protruded from the walls. They twinkled as they illuminated the darkness. At the center of the of the cavern was a stone building, which although simple, still looked fit for a King and Queen, with several tall towers and a large main doorway.
“Incredible,” said Merlin. “I can’t recall the last time I saw Dwarven architecture.”
“It was meant to be our last resort,” said Minnie. “Dwarfs build structures to last through even the worst of circumstances.” She shuddered. “I had hoped it would never come to this.”
They crossed a stone bridge and then entered the structure. As they did, flames burst to life, giving light to the small rooms which were fully furnished, if not a bit dusty. They filtered into a large room with a round table and, one at a time, they sat down and stared silently at each other.
“You lied to all of us,” said Donald, staring at Minnie with rage. “We thought you were the King.”
“I’ve told you before,” said Minnie. “The King is dead.”
“That’s not necessarily true,” said Merlin, who had not been at all surprised to see Minnie remove the eagle mask. “I have seen many things. The past. The future. I can tell you stories that would shock you.” The group eyed him uncomfortably.
“Such as?” Asked Minnie, curtly.
“Aw but Queen Minnie,” said Merlin with a grin. “Something tells me that you know far more than you’ve let on. After all, that shield you’ve given Goofy is no mere trinket.”
They all looked to Goofy who held up his shield apprehensively.
Minnie hesitated before taking a deep breath and speaking. “There was a war,” she said. “This much we know to be true. Men made of metal fought in the skies until they destroyed this world. They left relics of that war amidst the ruins. Some we know of. Others, we don’t.”
“Men made of metal?” Questioned Donald. “I don’t believe it.” He crossed his arms and sat back in his chair.
Minnie stared at him intently and then quickly stood up, shoving her chair back. She went to the wall behind them and placed a hand to it. With a loud shudder, it pulled open from the center, revealing what appeared to be a metallic man. It was bright red with golden hi-lights and a golden face. A softly glowing triangle sat in the center of its chest and its face had gold plating and two slits for eyes, with one slit for a mouth. The entire thing appeared badly damaged. Large burn marks coated parts of the metal and wiring hung bare from the knees, elbows and shoulders.
“They called it the Iron Man,” said Minnie. “It was a powerful weapon beyond any we know of, and when the war began, it was the first to fall.”
“These relics,” said Goofy. “Are they all as powerful as my shield?”
“Most have lost their powers over the years,” said Minnie. “But others-” she broke off.
“Your majesty,” said Merlin. “Perhaps it is time for you to tell us everything you know.”
Minnie nodded and then sat herself back at the table. She proceeded to recount a story of great men with great powers and the war that changed the world. She told them everything she knew, including the one thing she hadn’t told anyone ever before, and had even denied herself.
“So you see,” she said, after explaining the origins of some of the more powerful relics that had yet to be physically found. “Merlin is correct.” She took a deep breath. “It is possible that Mickey is still alive.”