Why Board Meetings Are A Bad Idea

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The young man walked into the board room with a dense feeling of unease. The oak table looked threatening in its position, and though he'd done this multiple times, the boy still felt terrified. He was a deep reddish purple, being a berry-being. He walked towards the table and put his bag on the table.

The darkened, wood-paneled room seemed to peer ominously at him as he retrieved the supplies from his bag. His eyes stared at the arranged items.

The young man sighed and withdrew the carton of rotten milk. His bag always stank.

His red hands, rounded and lumpy, set aside the various elements. When he had finished, the boy took a step back and observed his work.

His title was Raspberry Duke. He went by Duke. Or, at least, he wished he did. Everyone insisted on calling him Raspberry Duke. Even though Duke obviously sounded cooler.

First he carefully dumped the milk in a happy-face. Next, he withdrew a candle holder and placed it at the next seat. The beaker, he set at a far end. The misshapen star, he set next to the beaker. Next was the goblin crown.

The boy thought for a moment before dumping the remaining ingredients in the middle of the table.

Silence, deafening, lingered in the room. Raspberry Duke took a deep breath and began chanting.

The crown shook. Raspberry Duke changed his words and began speaking Latin; the milk glowed. A few more words and the star and beaker shook. An invocation to the Fire Spirits took care of the candleholder.

Raspberry Duke thought for a few more moments, shrugged, and threw a handful of vaguely magical herbs on the center of the table.

"Oooh, um, heroes of Ooo," he chanted, "uh, fill this place with your heroic semblances. Ummm, ancestral spirits also welcome."

An unseen ancestral spirit rolled its eyes in a corner of the room.

"And, uh, be summoned to meet once more, for the bi-monthly board mee- um, the gathering of heroic hearts. To discuss, um, budgeting and other pressing issues. And, ummm-"

"We're here, goob," an amused voice spoke.

Raspberry Duke's eyes met the Vampire Queen's. Marceline gave a wicked smile. "I'm always here first," she noted. "Probably 'cause I have way more magic than any of those other losers. Right?"

Raspberry Duke shrugged weakly. The Vampire Queen snorted and leaned back in her swivel chair, barely floating above the seat.

Fire Princess came next, nearly catching the table on fire yet again, despite Raspberry Duke's multiple Incendo-Proof spells on said table. After spilling out from the candleholder, Fire Princess gathered herself into a more acceptable form and sat, pouting, in her specially made chair, eyes literally blazing.

Lumpy Space Princess fell, face-first, into her seat. She attempted to stand up only to hit her head on the table. Marceline snorted.

"OH MY GLOB," Lumpy Space Princess groaned, scooting into her chair. She peered around nervously. "Like, there weren't any hot guys to see that, right?"

Fire Princess smoldered, and Marceline chuckled. "Nope, just Dookie over there."

Raspberry Duke sighed. The last three guests appeared simultaneously; the dog, the hero, and the scientist popped out of their respective summoning items rather unnoticeably, and settled into their seats.

The remaining audience was not there in physical form, rather, Raspberry Duke had conjured a sort of interface for the rest. The other guests- Turtle Princess, Wildberry Princess, and a few others, could see and be seen, but could not interact with the others.

Raspberry Duke scooped their herbs into remaining seats. His hand reached towards the gavel and slammed it on the table. "The bi-monthly meeting, um, has commenced. Silence, please."

The royals stared at him for a moment before he coughed. "Um, alright, very good. So, we can see the agenda in the front of the room. So, uh, direct your-"

Fire Princess broiled in her seat. "Who, who put 'Schizophrenia Princess' on the board and then wrote 'Fire Princess' on top of it?!"

Raspberry Duke looked vaguely uncomfortable. "Uh, um, you know that the agenda topics, um, they are submitted anonymously-"

"Shmow-zow!" The Goblin King- Finn- declared, waving his sword in the air. "Sweet! 'Slaying Sick Beasts' got on the agenda!"

"Finally," Jake said, stretching out in his seat. "We've been submittin' that one for weeks!"

"Um, uh," Raspberry Duke mumbled, "the first topic is picked on a rotating schedule. So Princess Bubblegum gets to pick the first topic."

Princess Bubblegum, who had been smiling sweetly, smiled sweetly yet again. "Thank you, Raspberry Duke." Marceline made a 'phbbbt' sound with her tongue. Princess Bubblegum glared at her.

"Before we do that, we so need to give Rasp-Doo a nickname." Finn waggled his eyebrows at everyone in the room. Princess Bubblegum grimaced and Marceline rolled her eyes.

"Um, uh, we need to stay-"

"How about dooks-rasp?" Jake suggested.

"On topic-"

"I personally like the Red Dookie," Marceline suggested.

"Please, please don't call me th-"

Fire Princess grinned suddenly.

"Wait! I got it! Ardee! Geddit, Raspberry- Duke- R- D- ARDEE!" Finn pumped his fist in the air. "Hey-oo!"

Jake grinned. "That's right, brother. Looks like our moderator is ARDEE!"

'Ardee's face went expressionless. "Princess Bubblegum has the floor," he declared. "Miss Bubblegum?"

Princess Bubblegum smiled politely. "Thank you, Ardee." The princess' pink head swiveled towards the others. "I think we need to do something about item number three, the finances of the Nightosphere."

Marceline groaned. "Of course. Miss Perfect has to discuss my shortcomings. Or, actually," Marceline snapped, "lack thereof."

Princess Bubblegum frowned. "I'm just worried," she argued. "How are you and your father paying for all of the new demon-thrones?"

Fire Princess looked surprised. "What? What do you mean, Marceline and her father?"

An uncomfortable silence overtook the room. Marceline sighed. "I took up the mantle. Or the title, anyways. It's not, uh, a full time thing. And even if it was-" she shot a venomous glare at Princess Bubblegum- "it wouldn't be any of you goobs' business."

The Vampire Queen leaned back sourly in her seat.

Turtle Princess spoke from her hologram in a mellow voice with sleepy eyes. "How is your, your GDP?"

"What's a jee-deh-peh?" Jake the Dog asked quizzically.

"I think it measured how many donkeys families had back in the day," Finn whispered.

The Vampire Queen grimaced. "Princess Butterbum," she said flatly, "the Nightosphere's currency is souls and my father is an expert conjurer."

"…And?" Princess Bubblegum asked.

"AND last time I checked we had an extreme surplus of souls, AND last time I checked our new demon thrones came from transformed black magic."

"…Oh," Princess Bubblegum conceded. "Yes. Well. Just asking."

"Finn is rubbing off on you," Marceline muttered. Finn gave a hurt look.

"Uh, um, I think we can cross this off the agenda. The next item, is, um-" Ardee stared at the board.

"Um, it says…Uh…" Ardee stumbled.

"It says 'the issue of schizophre-" Marceline began helpfully.

Ardee grimaced. "Um, we will be, um, taking that topic off the table. Why don't we try…um…overcrowding off Ooo's prisons-"

"What? What?" Fire Princess hissed. Smoke coiled around the room. "Nobody wants to talk about me?"

Finn gave an embarrassed look. "Um, I like to talk about you," he said sweetly. Marceline made a retching motion and Bubblegum looked vaguely uncomfortable. Jake, meanwhile, looked to be on the brink of fist pumping yet again.

Lumpy Space Princess spoke up. "I, like, didn't submit it, cause I, like, didn't think of it-"

"'Cause you never think," Marceline muttered. LSP glared at her before continuing. "But, uh, like, I think we need to talk about it. 'Cause Fire Princess has been a total lumpin' downer."

Fire Princess seethed. "A downer?" she questioned, eyes burning dangerously.

Princess Bubblegum cringed. "Can we please remain civil-"

LSP rolled her eyes. "What-ever. It stopped being peacey when Fi- Pee burnt my totes fave pillow. It had my nnnname stitched on it," she reminisced.

Turtle Princess spoke up unsurely from her hologram. "Calm down," she advised calmly.

"Shut up," Fire Princess snapped. LSP's purse flew over the table and onto the herb pile. "HOLD MAH PURSE, TURTLE, " LSP screeched. "No-body badmouths my bee-ehf-ehfs."

Fire Princess, in one fell swoop, leaped over the table, curled fire onto LSP's purse and pushed her chair aside. "Maybe I wouldn't 'badmouth' your fff-riends if you would stop BEING RUDE TO ME!''

Ardee, horrified, turned to the fire spreading on the herb pile. With a quick spell, water shot onto the herb pile, and the fire sputtered out.

Fire Princess groaned in pain. "SORRY," Ardee stuttered. "I am sorry. It was necessaryi'msorrydon't hhhurt me."

Fire Princess merely bit her lip and glared at him, before her fire tendrils withdrew into her body. "This meeting is adjourned," she said flatly.

Fire Princess strode out the door and outside. Finn chased after her, or attempted to- he was intercepted by Bubblegum. "And where are you going, Finn? The meeting isn't over." Her voice held a slight threat.

Finn, gasping, explained. "Uh, Fire Princess still isn't supposed to be outside alone, cause last time she was she burnt down a village and like hurt a bunch of stuff and everything got burnt and it smelled like burnt popcorn and she's gonna burn stuff I gotta go by."

He ran out the door. Jake followed.

The audience in the herb pile watched, mesmerized, by the drama. Marceline chuckled drily. Bubblegum buried her face in her hands. LSP had an indignant look on her face.

Ardee sighed. "Look, just…nevermind. Um, be back here tomorrow to finish the meeting." With a lowering of his hands, the people were sucked back into their respective portals. Marceline in particular looked furious at having been banished from the room without her consent.

Ardee groaned and sat down for a moment, before a cacophony of whispers alerted him to other presences.

The herb-pile audience was whispering fervently.

With a sigh, his hand swept over the room and the holograms vanished.

Being a moderator was tough.

-,…/

A/N- Whoo! I wrote this really quickly, no lie, to get it out of my system. I definitely want to continue it, though! So comment with some agenda topics, what you want them to talk about, or anything you want to see in the story! :P