Alexandria, Part 1
In which an entire town is addicted to Magic: The
In the streets of Alexandria, a tiny bundle of laundry topped by
a pointy hat goes floppity right on its little face. Eee, Vivi!
I'm a FF9 ignoramus, but even I know Vivi! Apparently the game doesn't
know Vivi yet, though, because when I check his stats, his name
is listed as ?????. Now, that's just sloppiness. You'd think that
somebody behind the scenes would have, say, gotten his name from
him as they noshed at the caterers' sandwich tray. But no, everyone
was too busy fawning over the sexy bishou-hito, and wee sad Vivi
got forgotten again.
Wee sad Vivi drops a ticket, which a wee small girl gives back to
him. Apparently there's a big play on today--the deathless classic
"I Want to Be Your Canary," which presumably sounds better in Japanese--and
Vivi has a ticket! Wow! How on earth did Vivi get a ticket? Where
did he get the money? Where did he come from, anyways, since he
seems to be completely new to the city? And what is he? Everyone
calls him a little boy, but have they noticed the glowing yellow
eyes and the complete absence of face? Is everyone in the city blind?
Never mind. It's not important.
What is important is--there's a play on tonight! Eeee! And it's
this way! Eee! You can never forget which way the play is because
the path is marked by a stream of small waddling children pattering
by on the tips of their toes. One of the children runs into Vivi
and yells at him. Brat.
Thence follows the ancient game known as, "What in hell am I supposed
to be doing here?" Vivi wanders around talking to everyone and picking
up random useful things. Like potions, and tents, and largish sums
of money. Yes, people leave potions and money scattered all over
the city. The cards I can understand--they get lost all the time--but
In the future, it will transpire that potions are the primary sustenance
of adventurers--cheap, nourishing, portable. Like bottled Gatorade.
It would make sense, then, that people would leave half-drunk potions
all over the place the way we leave half-drunk coffee and Coke.
But whole, sound ones?
Maybe Vivi's collecting half-drunk potions and pouring them all
into one bottle.
Vivi's explorations also take him inside people's houses, where
he opens chests, looks under beds, and pokes in the bureaus. The
people stand by, smiling benevolently. Vivi takes their food, their
clothing, their cards, and Grandma's savings. It's okay, though.
The people are happy to let him. If a tiny coal-eyed black demon
rooted through your stuff, wouldn't you let it take whatever it
Maybe the people of Alexandria aren't so blind after all.
After mooching around the place for a while, Vivi finally ends up
at the ticket booth. The ticket master expounds upon Princess Garnet's
beauty for a while ("She's a babe! She's a babelicious babe! She's
the most babelicious babe Alexandria has ever seen! And she's 16
today! That's the age of consent, so even a middle-aged pervert
like me doesn't have to feel like a pedophile when I say that she's
a total, scrumptious babe!"), then tells Vivi that his ticket is
fake. Oh, nooo! Vivi wilts. Fearing that Vivi's sudden shrinkage
is the first stage in compressing himself into a black-hole-density
ball and then exploding and taking out Alexandria, the ticket master
hastily gives him some cards.
What is it with the cards?
Vivi accepts the cards and wanders off into an alley, where he falls
over. A signmaker on a ladder misses his stroke and castigates Vivi
for making him miss. 'Kay, so we have some problems owning our actions.
The signmaker bustles off to his anger management class, leaving
Vivi standing about looking lost and pitiful.
Along comes the rat-faced brat from before--we don't know his name,
so I'll call him Ratsnickle. Ratsnickle commiserates with Vivi in
his own earthy urchin way for buying a fake ticket, then tells him
that he, Ratsnickle, will get Vivi into the show if Vivi will be
very... kind of you. And yet, how many shades of "no" are in my
(to be continued)
On to the next chapter...