Part 11: Puke and Lots Of It
Part 10: Puke and Lots Of It
We decided to ask around Saturn Valley. The Mr. Saturns were a little bit strange, but they were very friendly and eager to help us.
He shot us a knowing look and winked.
I checked the map. Grapefruit Falls was off the trail we had followed to get here, just a little ways to the north from the Saturn Valley cave entrance.
: "Seems like Belch has a base behind the falls. If he is controlling the zombies, we might be able to free Threed by taking out his base."
: "Alright! Let's do it. We can save the poor Mr. Saturns that got kidnapped, too."
And so, we left the peacefully bizarre Saturn Valley behind and made for Grapefruit Falls.
We hadn't gotten far before a stray zombie ambushed us. Perhaps it had followed us out of the path from Threed. Along the way, it seemed to have picked up a couple of companions - a pair of oddly shiny frogs hopped along with him. Our experiences had left us immediately wary of any animals we came across, and sure enough, one of the frogs croaked angrily and hopped straight at us. Paula blocked its leap with her frying pan, and with a resonatingly loud clang, the frog bounced off.
: "Whoa! That frog left a dent in my frying pan! It's like it's made of metal or something!"
Jeff pulled out his gun and shot a few bolts at the frog, which fizzled and bounced off its shining hide.
: "She's right-this frog is highly armored! My weapons are just bouncing off! Be careful, if it hits you going fast enough, it could break bones!"
The other frog was launching itself at us with its powerful legs. I ducked out of the way and it fell into the river with a loud kerplunk. The zombie, meanwhile, was lurching toward Paula, who was busy fending off an attack from the first frog, which had apparently recovered from his frying pan injury. I pulled out my baseball bat and just as I was about to swing, I was knocked to the ground, as something incredibly heavy slammed into the back of my knee. That stupid frog had hopped out of the river and right into me. Irritated, I suddenly saw a solution present itself. Before it could hop out of the way, I grabbed the frog. It was small, but incredibly dense and its armored hide was rock-solid. I hurled it up into the air, and it could do nothing but flail helplessly as I swung my bat with full force into it. A crack rebeverated through the air, and my arm shook with the force of the impact. The frog flew through the air like a bullet, right towards the zombie, who didn't even have time to turn around before the frog hit him.
The frog sailed through the zombie's head, leaving a cloud of dust and a frog-shaped hole behind, and then flew off into the distance. The zombie dropped to the ground. Paula, meanwhile, had heated the second frog's metallic casing up with a blast of psychic fire, and it popped like it had been microwaved. We dragged the remains of the zombie into the river, and continued on.
Up ahead was Grapefruit Falls, a cascading waterfall with what seemed to be a path to the right of it. A slightly-traveled walkway led to a cave behind the falls, with a thick steel door set into the stone wall. I knocked loudly on the door, and immediately a tinny voice crackled to life, apparently from some kind of speaker nearby.
What had Mr. Saturn told us? Wait three minutes. Putting up a hand to silence Jeff and Paula, who were looking kind of confused, I put up three fingers and pointed at my wrist. I wasn't wearing a watch, but I think they got the message. We waited.
And waited some more.
Finally, I was starting to think that maybe we were wasting our time.
We found ourselves in a huge factory. Metal pipes snaked everywhere and our footsteps echoed against the steel floor. A terrible odor, like month-old garbage, pervaded the factory, and we immediately gagged and covered our mouths.
: "Ugh...um, okay, everyone, let's be careful."
We walked down a narrow corridor overlooking a lower level, and another slimy little pile of ooze jumped out at us.
: "You! What are you doing here?!"
I opened my mouth but the ooze cut me off.
: "Oh, I smell that delicious Fly Honey...You're here to deliver that to Master Belch, are you not? Proceed to the lower level."
It gestured to a ladder to the right. I nodded nervously and we climbed down.
As we stepped off the ladder onto the lower floor, we saw several little red blob things running about.
: "What the heck are those?"
: "I don't know...jeez, there sure are a lot of them."
The blobs were buzzing around excitedly and bouncing off of each other. Suddenly they saw us, and swarmed!
There were dozens of them, and though they were small, they just kept coming. I swung with my bat and several of them popped like water balloons. Jeff popped a few with his gun, and Paula was crushing them into a gooey red paste with her frying pan.
After what seemed like hundreds of the persistent little things, they thinned out and stopped attacking. We were all covered in sticky red goo that smelled like rancid strawberries.
: "This is dis-guuuuuuusting!"
: "Maybe the odor will help us blend in with the personnel here?"
Maybe he was right. The piles in the next room didn't seem to even give us a second glance. A conveyor belt was ferrying jars of Fly Honey past a pair of imprisoned Mr. Saturns, who stared at it listlessly. The piles of ooze were watching them.
The next room was thick with standing puddles of green ooze. I thought we must be getting close, when we were stopped by another interfering pile of slime.
: "That's far enough! Give me the Fly Honey, I'll deliver it to Master Belch."
I stared silently at the little thing. Master Belch must be behind that door. But I couldn't risk giving up the Fly Honey. Something told me we were gonna need it soon.
: "What?! You insolent deliveryperson! I'm going to call up your distributor right now and complain about this-"
: "Come on, they're gonna come looking for us now. Let's find Belch!"
We darted into the room and there we saw what had to be Master Belch.
A huge, ponderous pile of greenish-brown sludge, with bulging eyeballs balanced precariously at the top of its 'head', Belch was lounging in front of a large door. He was surrounded by empty jars of Fly Honey. The stench was concentrated so badly in this room that my eyes teared up and I thought for a moment I would be sick.
: "Gyorg, gyorg...Yes, I knew you weren't my Fly Honey delivery person. There is a prophecy that a boy named Ness will defeat Master Giygas...Yes, we've been expecting you. Heeg! Heeg! Heeg! You make me laugh so hard. For Master Giygas to be scared of someone, he would have to be worse than the greatest evil...Gyork! You're definitely not up for the task....Gyag! Gyag! I'll take you down here and now, so get ready for the fight of your life!"
Belch bared his yellowed fangs at us, but I was ready. I brought out the Fly Honey from my backpack and held it over my head.
: "F...Fly Honey?! G...Give it to me! NOW!"
He lunged desperately at me and I flung the jar into the opposite corner of the room. Belch chased after it as if possessed. The jar shattered and the thick honey oozed out onto the floor. Belch immediately turned his back and began devouring it as it spilled from the broken jar.
: "Now's our chance! Jeff, your explosives! Stuff him full of them!"
Jeff nodded and raced up to Belch, who was still eagerly gobbling the honey off of the grimy floor. He pulled a few bottle rockets and bombs out of his backpack and lodged them in Belch's slimy body. Just as he was about to light one of the fuses, Belch extended a gooey arm from his mass and swatted Jeff away.
: "You...tried to destroy the Fly Honey! I'll devour you alive for this!"
: "What now?!"
Paula seemed to know what to do. Pointing squarely at Belch, she unleashed a wave of psychic flame that enveloped his body. Belch, amazingly, was laughing under the wave of fire. When it passed, he was still standing, laughing mockingly. He didn't seem to notice the plumes of smoke rising from his back, however.
: "Duck and cover, guys!"
We hit the floor just in time, as Jeff's explosives went off and blew Belch's body apart. Putrid goo flew everywhere, and when the smoke cleared, he was dripping off the ceiling, running down the walls, and piled haphazardly on the floor. One of his monstrous eyes was sitting a few feet away, staring lifelessly ahead. I kicked it, and it bounced a few times, and laid still. Belch wasn't getting up from that.
Boss Fight: Master Belch
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Of course we were all covered in even more slop than before, now that Belch's slimy body had been blasted all over. I wiped my bat clean. Jeff was polishing his glasses with what looked like the only dry part left on his coat. Paula simply looked like she was about to burst into tears.
: "Can we leave? Please?"
: "Yeah, definitely. Let's get out of this place."
We ducked into the door behind Belch and found ourselves in a dim cave. Hiding in the darkness was one of the Mr. Saturns from the valley.
: "We took out Belch. The other Mr. Saturns should be able to come home now."
We saw a light at the opposite end of the cave, and sure enough, we came out in Saturn Valley, behind a steamy hot springs where a Mr. Saturn was lounging happily.
: "Oh, thank you so much."
I don't think any of us hesitated at all. We dropped our bags and weapons and splashed into the hot springs, fully dressed.
The water was exquisite. It warmed you from the feet up and you could just feel all the goo melting away. Paula and Jeff looked equally content. We stayed in the springs for what felt like hours, just relaxing and letting the horror of Belch's factory wash off us like Belch himself had in the steamy, refreshing water.
As day turned to night, the inhabitants of Saturn Valley started celebrating. It seemed that the captured Mr. Saturns had made their way back from Belch's Factory, and the zombie activity had ceased in Threed and the surrounding areas.
A Mr. Saturn brought us some towels and we finally climbed out of the hot springs. Another happy-looking Mr. Saturn waddled up to me with a mug of steaming coffee.
: "Sure, I'll have some. Thanks for all your hospitality."
Of course, now I know it wasn't coffee.
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Next time: Ancient plants and the triumphant return to Threed! Don't miss it!