“Ah… this has been a very peaceful journey…” Mulan sighs, leaning back in a fold out recliner that you have no clue where she got.
“Damn it, Mulan!” You curse. “Don’t you know when you say that, you’re setting off a flag?”
“A f-flag! What’s a flag?”
“It’s a flag, Mulan!” Megara interrupts angrily. “It’s like when you say things are fine, it’s a sign things are going to shit!”
“She’s right…” an old man suddenly came out from the deck below. “These airs be a dangerous place to be spreading flags, arrrr….”
He had a wood leg, a beard, and a scar across his eye, covered with an eyepatch. He stomped up near Megara and Mulan cautiously.
“Who the hell is this guy?” Mulan asks.
“You don’t know Steve?” I ask, “Steve’s been with us since the beginning!”
“You’re screwing with me, right!”
“It’s okay… I get that a lot… arrr….” Steve looks disappointed that Mulan doesn’t seem to recognize him.
“What’s happening up here?” Mushu asks.
“Mulan doesn’t know Steve…” you explain.
“Mulan! You don’t know Steve? But Steve’s a great guy!”
“Arrr… thank you Ms. Mushu… I try to be a kind gentlemen.” He takes off his hat and blushes while scratching his straggly beard.
“Hey, guys, I heard Steve’s up here!” Ariel bounces out of a cabin. “Oh, Steve! I wanted to talk to you about some private matters!”
“Wha—ah— I can’t even…” Mulan lowers her head in a pout as everyone shoots Steve affectionate looks.
“Before he goes, Wh-what do you mean?” Megara takes the bait. “I mean, about it being a dangerous place.”
“Arrr…. I feel it in my bones. The area we’re flying now, it be dangerous. We be sailing over Pony Mountain.”
“Well that doesn’t sound so bad…”
“Well, don’t let the name fool ya, not every dangerous peak be named Death Mountain.”
“It just leaves me feeling worried.” Steve continued. “At least, I take solace in the fact that I’m one week away from retirement.”
“Oh, you didn’t mention that!” Ariel says eagerly. “We should throw Steve a party!”
“Yeah! Let’s do that!” the girls all agree excitedly.
“Seriously, who is this guy?” Mulan cries.
“Arrrr… thank you kindly. Could I invite my wife and children? I don’t get to see them very often and my wife’s been sick lately.”
“How are the family anyway?” You ask.
“Ah, the little one says he wants to be just like his old man when he grows up and my daughter is growing into a real beauty. My wife is pregnant too, even though she’s been ill. I hope to be home before he’s born so I can tell him how much I like living.”
“Uh… guys… isn’t this one of those flags you’re talking about?” Mulan asks.
“Quiet, Mulan, you don’t even know Steve!” You admonish the dragon. “Anyway, I’m glad to hear your wife is pregnant. A family of four, that’s got to be pricey.”
“Arr… you said it, I struggle to feed them every day. However, my wife runs the orphanage, so we cut back to donate to the starving orphans, naturally we make due with less so they can have something as well.”
“Ah… Steve, that’s so sweet.” Ariel smiles.
“You know, since I’m paying you, I guess I could give your retirement pension a raise.” You nod.
“Oh! Bless you sir! I could really use it! This will mean my family can live a better life. As long as I don’t suddenly die, I’m sure I can provide for my family for years to come. Of course, if I died now, they’d certainly fall into destitution. My wife might even be forced to sell her body for ends meet. It’d be horrible. Man, I love living.”
“Guys… I’m getting a bad feeling here…”
“Well, it’s a good thing you’re so spry and healthy.”
“Of course! Now, if you all don’t mind, I found a kitten that snuck aboard without its mother. I’d like to offer it a portion of my milk supply. Although I have osteoporosis, and could use the calcium, this old man’s heart would break if that kitten was left to starve.”
“Oh, well, good luck, Steve!” You wave as Steve limps away, moving precariously near the edge of the ship.
“Seriously, guys, am I the only one who sees this?” Mulan demands.
“Damn it, Mulan. What is your problem with Steve? That man is a national treasure.” You wipe a tear from your eye. “He taught me everything I know. Besides, this ship is well protected. No harm could possibly come to anyone on it! I mean, I don’t mean to brag, and maybe I was a little tight on the lifeboats, but I’ll go down as say this ship is unsinkab-“
Everyone turns to see Steve standing there, an arrow pierced though his chest. He looks over at you as blood drips out of his mouth.
“I’ll… be fine… sir…”
Three more arrows hit him in rapid succession. Then Steve turns and falls off the edge of the ship.
“No! Steeeeeve! I really liked that guy!” you cry, running over to the edge of the ship.
“Not Steve!” Ariel cries, following you with the other girls in tow.
“Wait, can’t you just turn back time and bring him back!” Mulan asks.
“Shhh!” You put a finger over her mouth. “It’s too soon…”
“What does that even mean?”
“Stop, Mulan. He would have wanted it this way…” Mushu cries, turning away tearfully.
“What? Wasn’t he just talking about how much he wanted to live?”
“It’s because you don’t know Steve like we do!” Even Ariel snapped, before turning and crying on your shoulder.
Every one gives the clueless Mulan who can’t read the situation dark looks until she puts down her head and feels like crying herself.
“I’m just going to go hide in my room…” Mulan whines.
“No time! We’re under attack. Go, man the defenses!” You point to the bow of the ship.
“Everyone, we must fight… for STEVE!”
“Mother Fuc-“ the last part of her sentence is lost as she leaps off the ship and turns into a dragon, her words ending in a roar.
Immediately, she opens her mouth and a cone of fire covering the entire side of the ship bursts forth towards your enemies.
“Wow… she really did care about Steve after all.” Ariel watches wonderingly while the other girls nod.
Had Mulan heard this, naturally she would have been spitting blood, not fire.