The LAOAFVFTDOEIE – Now Accepting Applications!
Chapter 6 – Mogget

"Next candidate," growled Sadako/Samara/Eun-Suh. Melkor opened the door, and in trotted a small, fluffy white cat. Pirotess frowned.

"What's that cat doing here? Who does it belong to?"

"Can I burn it?" Dilandau asked automatically.

"No!" The High Council chorused.

"It may be an applicant's familiar," Raistlin observed. "Throw it outside and bring in the next candidate."

"Why do I have to do it?" Pirotess whined. "Make Sadako, she's the newest!"

"But you're still the lowest-ranking," Dalamar pointed out. "And she's more evil than you. So go!"

"If you're finished with your little squabble," the cat interjected lazily, "could we move on to discussing my application?"

Every head at the table stopped and turned.

"Did that cat just speak?" Sauron asked, blinking his Eye in astonishment.

"I certainly did," the cat replied with a shake of its head that sent the tiny bell on its collar ringing. It yawned, stretching. "You wouldn't happen to have any fish, would you?"

"No fish," Dalamar told the cat, shuffling through a stack of papers, "but there were muffins and orange juice in the hallway."

"Muffins." The cat wrinkled its little pink nose with contempt. "Well, are we going to get on with this interview or not?"

"Name and profession," Sadako told the cat, dipping her quill in her inkwell and dripping water onto the notes she had already made, blurring them.

"Mogget," the cat answered, straightening up, looking a bit more alert. "Or The Mogget. The rest should be clearly stated on my application."

Dalamar conjured several more portfolios, rifling through them frantically. "Wait—Shalafi, I can't find his application."

"Give me those!" Raistlin snatched one away, coughing blood into the N section. "You put it in the Ms, didn't you? You didn't file it under T like an imbecile?"

"Yes, Shalafi, I'm sure it's in the Ms, but—"

Melkor grabbed the portfolio away from Raistlin, deftly avoided a bolt of lightning from the Staff of Magius, and peered into it. "There are several pages here which seem to have similar spellings. However, I see none that are signed with paw prints." Queen Mab glared at the cat.

"Just how did you get in here with no application?" she rasped, fingers moving as she readied a spell. The cat licked the back of its paw.

"What makes you think that, just because I don't have hands, I can't write?"

Dilandau snatched the portfolio away from Mab. "Damn wizards," he muttered, opening the M folder, "they've got all those spells in their heads, but no common sense. Here!" He pulled out a sheet of paper and shoved it in Raistlin's face. "It was right there, Your Holy Nearsightedness!"

Sesshoumaru frowned at the application over Raistlin's shoulder—it was neatly filled out in flowing script, signed "The Mogget" with a grand flourish. "Well, what do you know?"

Raistlin un-conjured the various portfolios and smoothed the application out on the table before him. "Well, then—" he paused and lifted the Staff of Magius, pointing it at Mogget. "Kalith karan, tobanis-kar." A missile of light shot out of the orb in the dragon's claw, striking the sleeping cat in the head and sending him yowling and jumping. "If you're going to waste my time like that, you can consider your application refused."

"It's not my fault," Mogget sulked, indicating the bell on his collar.

Raistlin gave the paper a cursory scan, then folded his long fingers and addressed Mogget. "I see here that, for your list of past professions, you've simply written 'stuff'. Could you please elaborate?"

"Well, I don't really get to do much now that I'm locked up in the Abhorsen's house. Except sleep. And wait." Mogget eyed Raistlin. "Are you sure there aren't any fish around here?"

"Positive." Raistlin waved his hand, and the application disappeared. "Why don't you tell us about a few of your evil pursuits?"

"Start with the worst and work your way down," Queen Mab instructed. Mogget didn't speak. "Well? What are you waiting for?"

"I'm waiting for you to clarify the meaning of 'worst'," Mogget told her. "Is it 'worst' in the general usage, or 'worst' as in the villains' common usage of the word as a synonym for 'best'? Are you asking me to tell you the most evil thing I have ever done, or the most righteous thing I have ever done?"

"The most evil, of course!" Raistlin spat, glaring at the little cat that had the audacity to lecture him about vocabulary.

"Ah, good. At least one of you knows what he's talking about." Mogget narrowed its eyes in what would be, in a human, an indication of careful consideration. "I suppose one of the worst things would have to be the time that I helped the Abhorsen and her merry little band to seal away the Destroyer." The cat nodded. "Yes, I believe that was quite nasty of me."

Mab slapped the table. "Evil? You call that evil?" she cried, leaping to her feet. "You helped to stop a force that would have destroyed your world? That's the very epitome of goodliness!" She snapped her fingers, and a walkie-talkie appeared in her hand. She thumbed it on. "Attention all personnel, we have heroic infiltration—"

"It's not heroic," Mogget interrupted calmly, "if I was supposed to be on the Destroyer's side."

Mab blinked. "Eh?" Dilandau snatched the walkie-talkie from her hand and burned it in a glorious fireball that singed the tips of his hair.

"To the Abhorsen, my deeds were very heroic. But to the Destroyer, my deeds were very, very evil." The Mogget gave a feline shrug. "It's all a matter of perspective, really."

Mab blinked again, this time to put out the small fires smouldering in her eyelashes. "I never thought of it like that."

"That deed is too ambiguous," Raistlin remarked with a wave of his hand. "Give us another."

"I can't believe you're still using walkie-talkies," Dilandau muttered to Mab. "Is that the best technology you've got? My Dragon Slayers and I use cell phones."

"A wizardess has no need of technology!" Mab cried in frustration, and before Dilandau could point out the obvious contradiction, she had turned him into a red Game Boy Pocket.

Raistlin cast a silencing glare at Mab, but made no move to restore Dilandau to his proper form. "Give us another," he repeated, as if nothing out of the ordinary was going on, because it wasn't, at least not compared to what could be going on.

Mogget pondered for a moment in the same way that a person would, but on a smaller scale. "I refused to join the Charter," he said off-handedly. "That was rather rude of me."

"What I still don't get," Sadako growled, "is whether or not we should be calling Security on this applicant! Is he a villain or not?"

"He's done some very unkind things," Sesshoumaru pointed out. Dalamar folded his arms.

"I think he's an anti-hero."

"Yes! He's an anti-hero!"

"No, he's a villain! Let him in!"

Mogget yawned, resting his white head on his white paws. "Considering the tizzy I've put you all in, I think that I should be admitted by default." Shouts rang through the High Council o' Much Evilness, which Raistlin silenced with another evil glare.

"Well, how does the High Council vote?"

Crickets chirped as the members considered their votes. Dilandau, who was still a Game Boy, flopped over onto one of the crickets with a maliciously gleeful beep.

Raistlin sighed. He should have known it would be a tie. He would just have to break it himself.

"Well, in lieu of a vote from the Council, I declare that—"

The door burst open, and in dashed a young woman with long black hair, a sword at her hip and a bandolier of bells across her chest. "Mogget shall not be President!" Lirael cried, lunging at Raistlin with her sword. He parried neatly with the Staff of Magius, but her other hand came around bearing the smallest of her bells. Ranna the Sleepbringer's high voice sang, and the heads of the High Council o' Much Evilness thudded on the table in unison as they immediately toppled forward, asleep. Lirael snatched up Mogget and bolted out the door.

Raistlin glanced left, then right. He had escaped the bell's spell thanks to his supreme willpower. Sadako never slept, so she remained awake. Dilandau was still a Game Boy, beeping in an angry manner that clearly indicated wakefulness.

He prodded Dalamar in the shoulder, and the handsome dark elf slumped to the floor, snoring contentedly.

Raistlin stood calmly, taking up the Staff of Magius and speaking into its crystal. "Attention, all personnel." His voice echoed from every magical loudspeaker in the fortress. "We have heroic infiltration. Repeat, we have heroic infiltration. Code Nix, one Abhorsen-in-Waiting in company of applicant Mogget of the free-magic variety, probably asleep. Last spotted in retreat from the interviewing room. Pursue and engage."

Finished, he pointed the Staff of Magius at Dilandau, who instantly became a human again. "Follow me. We're taking a break."

"It's about time!" Dilandau crowed, waving his sword.

And thus, Archmage Raistlin Majere strode out of the room in pursuit of the Abhorsen-in-Waiting, his two conscious henchmen lurching and skipping close behind.