Part 10: Night of the Sticky Dead
Part 9: Night of the Sticky Dead
So Jeff had just come crashing through the ceiling into the tiny room Paula and I were trapped in. His odd little spacecraft had been pretty much trashed, and though I was grateful to see him, I was wondering how the three of us were going to get out of the room.
: "The door's locked..."
: "Hmm, that should be no problem."
Jeff pulled out a toaster-sized machine and inserted a thin rod attached to it into the keyhole. The machine clanked to life and laboriously turned the lock open.
: "It might not be terribly subtle, but it does come in handy."
Wasting no time, we made our escape.
Up a short ladder, we found ourselves in the Threed cemetery, and there was the huge hole Jeff had made when he came crashing down.
Quickly, we made our way back to town. The air seemed even more bleak and gloomy than before, if such a thing were possible.
On the corner, there was what looked like a broken puppet laying limp on the street. Its lifeless eyes stared at us in an unsettling way. Suddenly, it came to life and hobbled at us.
: "W..what's holding it up?!"
: "What's going on in this town?"
There was no time to explain to Jeff right now, as the creepy little marionette was baring jagged wooden teeth and lurching ever closer. I wound up and batted it, and it smacked into the brick wall of a nearby building. Before I had time to react, though, the disembodied hand holding up its strings had yanked it back to its feet. Now sporting several broken limbs, it was nevertheless headed right back at us.
: "Take out that hand holding it up!"
Paula shot a blast of psychic flame at the hand. It caught and began burning. An otherworldy howl emanated from the puppet, and the hand dropped the strings. The puppet fell down limp as the hand dissolved into smoke. All was quiet.
"I don't like Threed very much..."
I took this opportunity to explain to Jeff what was going on.
: "There's apparently this creature called 'Belch', who's attacking Threed with an army of the undead. Belch is working for Giygas, who we're out to stop from taking over the world. Until we figure out a way to clear out the ghosts and zombies, we can't get out of this town, either."
: "Hmm...You know, when I was flying over Threed to get to you guys, I saw what looked like a passageway to the north of the graveyard. But, it was guarded by several zombies. If we could distract the zombies for a while, we could check it out."
: "But how are we gonna distract all those zombies? Short of using ourselves as bait."
As we wandered the dark streets pondering our problem, a large sign caught our attention.
"That's weird...what a specific sign."
: "Yeah, and besides, someone didn't listen, there's a tent right over here."
A large, purple tent was standing in the empty field.
"Hey, that tent...Was it here before we got locked in the cemetery?"
: "You know, now that you mention it, it wasn't..."
Suddenly, a gaping, fanged mouth opened in the folds of the tent, and two huge demonic eyes flashed open and glared at us.
: "The tent's alive!"
Boss Battle: Boogie Tent
Google Video / Backup
The tent had caught fire and rapidly burned away, howling and spitting in rage all the while. As the last bits of the tent disappeared, we saw something odd inside.
Two zombies were standing around a garbage can. As they realized the tent was gone, they looked at us, and ran away in fear.
I thought that warranted further exploration. Inside the garbage can, there was a large jug of a viscous, brown liquid. A sticky label on the front proclaimed it to be "Fly Honey."
: "Has anyone ever heard of "Fly Honey" before?"
They both shook their heads. Well, if the zombies went to the trouble of a gigantic demon tent to protect it, it must be something important. I stowed it in my backpack.
We thought we had better let the committee that was working to get rid of the zombies know about the huge evil tent, so we headed towards the other circus tent in the middle of the town. Before we made it there, however, a horrible warbling noise came from my backpack.
"Ugh, what is that noise?"
: "It's a receiver phone. That inventor in Twoson gave it to me."
I answered the phone. Sure enough, it was Apple Kid.
: "Hey, Ness, just calling to let you know I've finished another invention. Since you invested in my work, I'm gonna send it your way. Maybe you can find something useful to do with it."
: "Alright, what is it?"
: "It's called 'Zombie Paper', and it can be used to trap zombies. Like fly paper, you know. All you need to do is place the zombie paper on the floor of a tent or something...You've seen at least one tent around, right?...And the zombies will get stuck to the paper when they move around inside the tent."
: "So...Did you know what's going on here in Threed, or what?"
: "Huh? I dunno what you're talking about. Anyway, I asked the Mach Pizza deliveryman to bring it to you, so you should get it pretty soon. I've never actually seen a zombie, but if there really are any, Zombie Paper would be very useful."
: "So what, you've never even seen a zombie, let alone known that Threed is overrun with them, but you just happened to invent this paper?"
: "Threed's overrun with zombies? Uh, gee, I hope the zombie paper makes it there soon, in that case. Anyway, my uh, my hot pockets just dinged, so I have to run. See you around, Ness!"
I was shaking my head. Paula was about to ask me what was going on, when a pizza delivery man came running up to us, looking extremely inconvenienced.
: "He wanted me to deliver this to someone named Ness, who is wandering around Threed."
: "Yeah, I'm-"
: "Look, nobody else knows about this, right? Let's just pretend that you are Ness, and I'll give this to you."
: "But I am Ness-"
: "Oh! Hello, Ness. Just go along with me on this one, okay? I made the decision that you're Ness, no matter what."
He thrust a parcel into my hands.
: "That's great, but I am-"
: "I've done my duty and given you Apple Kid's thingamajig..."
And he ran off into the night.
"What in the world is going on?"
: "Well, Apple Kid says he's invented this Zombie Paper, right? And he got the pizza man to deliver it to me. So uh, let's give this a shot."
I unwrapped the parcel and inside was a number of sheets of a dull grey paper, sticky to the touch. We went inside the tent and explained our position to the adults gathered there.
We laid the sheets of Zombie Paper all over the floor of the tent. Everyone cleared out, so as not to be there when the inevitable flood of zombies came rolling in.
: "What should we do?"
"Why don't we rest for the night? I bet in the morning, this place'll be full of zombies."
: "Good plan. It is quite late after all.
So we headed for the Threed hotel to stay the night.
The next morning, we were greeted by the doorman with a copy of the newspaper.
"The guest's newspapers that were delivered today are different than normal...The paper is called the "Zombie Herald"....Uh, let me see what is in it..."
Looks like we were already making waves in the zombie community. Good, I thought. Their undead days are numbered.
Outside the circus tent, the townspeople were gathered looking uneasy, and a terrible smell was wafting from inside.
Inside, dozens of zombies were stuck to the floor, looking extremely irritated.
: "Apple Kid might be kind of strange, but he sure knows how to invent."
: "Alright. Let's head up to that pathway to the north of town."
"It might be dangerous. Let's stop off at the drugstore before we go."
We stopped into the Threed drugstore and bought a few first aid items. Oddly enough, Jeff disappeared as we were checking out.
: "Did you see where Jeff went?"
"No, he was here a second ago."
We stepped outside and Jeff reappeared from the dim alleyway behind the store.
: "Sorry about that. I had to meet with a slightly different retailer."
: "Alright...um, should I ask?"
: "Uh, I was out of explosives after my trip to find you guys...So I thought I'd better restock."
He opened his backpack up and revealed dozens of bottle rockets, fireworks, little bombs, and other gadgets.
: "Well, those zombies are in for a surprise if they try messing with us."
Making our way to the north of town, we found the path Jeff had mentioned. We dropped down the ladder and found ourselves in a dimly-lit room, much like the one we had been held captive in.
A winding staircase led us into a tomb far below the earth. Several zombies still stirred in this subterranean lair, but we were able to catch them by surprise. Their bodies crumbled to dust under the force of our psychic powers and explosives.
The path was long and winding, and we were starting to get a little claustrophobic. More than once I thought I saw something moving out of the corner of my eye, but it always seemed to be gone when I looked. Paula was looking worrisome and even Jeff was glancing about nervously. We were so wound up we all jumped a good foot in the air when a shimmering, translucent ghost rose up out of the floor in front of us and attacked.
I stepped up and swung my bat, but it went right through it!
: "Uh...Any ideas?"
: "Sorry, Ness, but I'm terrified beyond the capacity for rational thought."
The ghost was staring directly at me. I felt sweat drip down my forehead. It was boring a hole in me with its gaze.
"Ness! Don't look at it!"
Paula had shot a blast of ice at the ghost that seemed to phase it, but it didn't look away. I started feeling dizzy. Paula was launching a wave of flame now, and the ghost's eyes dancing within the fire was the last thing I saw. I blacked out and fell to the ground.
I woke up a moment later, Paula and Jeff standing over me.
"Ness! Ness! Are you all right?"
: "I think so...I feel kinda strange though."
: "Well, that might be because...you've been possessed."
Jeff gestured towards the air. The larger ghost was gone, but a tiny, barely-visible ghost was circling about my head, laughing nastily and making faces at us.
I swatted the air, but the ghost wasn't being shooed away like some common fly. All I got was cold patches on my hands where I swept through the little thing's 'body'.
: "Great. Just what I needed. Possessed by a ghost."
"If you're feeling okay, we should get going. Maybe we'll find a town up ahead and we can get rid of it.
We kept walking. The ghost would do little things like pull my hair, try to trip me, or say nasty things in a barely-audible voice. It was pretty irritating. I was beginning to wonder if I was going to go crazy like this, when a small pile of sludge came rushing at us.
: "But actually, you're just a commoner! I am the mortal enemy of your kind!"
Boss Fight: Mini Barf
Google Video / Backup
The little pile of ooze was glaring angrily at us. The smell was overwhelming. Tears filled my eyes and I could see Jeff holding his nose, looking nauseated. Paula had her hand clamped over her mouth and was turning a pale green color. The pile laughed at our obvious discomfort.
Jeff took a bottle rocket from his backpack and shot several bursts at the pile. It dodged about, but the last one hit it center and it sizzled and popped. Little bits of slime flew around the room and the pile was yelping in pain. The ghost was biting me on the hand while all this was happening, adding to the chaos. Enraged, I raised my bat high and brought it down on the pile. The effect was like if I had smashed an apple or something; it yelled out and its body was sprayed all over the walls of the cavern. From where its mouth had landed, it was still jabbering at us.
: "I wanted to get your Fly Honey and gulp it down..."
I kicked its mouth off the wall and it was silent. Behind it was a ladder. Eager to be out of here, we climbed up into the sunlight.
The area reminded me of Peaceful Rest Valley. A river flowed peacefully through idyllic green fields. Crude hand-made signs seemed to guide us north. Of course, the small chattering ghost was detracting from the peaceful scenery a bit. I hoped the sunlight would drive it off, but no such luck.
A cave entrance led into the rocks. As we wandered through, I became aware of an odd noise I could just barely make out. It sounded like a dinging or boinging, rhythmically, like music, almost. I thought that the ghost was messing with me at first, but when we came out of the cave into a grassy area, the sound was even louder.
: "What's with that music?"
"I don't know...it's mesmerizing, though."
Farther in, we were all at a loss for words, as we were immediately approached and greeted enthusiastically by...something.
It was a little round thing, about two feet tall, with no arms and two stumpy legs. A large bulbous nose poked out, ringed by several black whiskers. A single wiry hair stuck off the top of its head and was tied in a shiny red bow. A quick look around the village revealed several more of the little creatures, all identical to this one.
: "Hi. I'm Ness. Um, where are we?"
At this the ghost launched into a very rude impression of Mr. Saturn.
: "Can you help me get rid of this little ghost? It's driving me nuts."
He motioned to the right with his large nose. I thanked him, and we entered a large triangular house. Inside, another Mr. Saturn was standing inside a garbage can, his huge nose poking out of the rim.
: "Um, if you can, just get rid of this ghost."
Dr. Saturn emerged from the garbage can with a syringe clamped in his teeth. I admit I was a little freaked out, but allowed him to get on with his operation. He speared the ghost with the syringe, and sucked its little shimmering body inside. Then, he tossed the syringe into his garbage can, and hopped back in.
: "Thanks, Dr. Saturn!"
Next time: Ness gets burped on! Don't miss it!