Part 19: The Terror of Shroom!!
Part 17: The Terror of Shroom!!
Just when I thought we were doomed...
The Runaway Five came bursting through the door behind the robot.
: "Look out!"
: "Whoa, Ness! You're in some trouble there!"
Lucky quickly darted up behind the robot. He clicked something on its back and it drooped, lifeless, to the floor.
: "I flipped the switch, and it stopped. Ha ha ha hah...Geez, what a loser robot. It was so easy to stop!"
Boss Battle: Clumsy Robot
Google Video / Backup
: "What are you guys doing here?"
: "We were about to skip town, but Lucky had to say goodbye to Electra..."
Lucky was blushing slightly.
: "Besides, after all you've done for us, stopping a little robot is the least we could do in return...Say, playboy, where's Paula?"
: "That's why we're here...Montoli's got her somewhere."
: "You know, I thought I heard a girls' voice next door...You better bust in there and check it out! We've gotta be hitting the road."
I wasted no time in heading for the opposite door. Strangely, it wasn't even locked, and Jeff and I opened the door to see...
The old man from before. So this was Monotoli after all. I drew my bat and advanced on him. Before I could strike, he began whimpering.
And he ran across the room, where Paula was standing, and hid behind her.
: "Paula! You're alright!"
Paula threw her arms around my neck and hugged me tight. I felt myself turning as red as my baseball cap, but I was so happy to see her again, all I could do was hug her back.
: "Just like before, I knew you would come and save me. But please, don't beat up Mr. Monotoli. He isn't really a bad person. "
I glared over at the cowering old man and couldn't help but feel a bit of pity, despite what he had put us all through.
: "I've become so weak since I lost the Mani Mani statue. I'm sorry I kidnapped Paula. I'm sorry I've created so much trouble for you."
I realized Mani Mani must have been controlling his mind. I guess it would be wrong to hit him with a bat after all.
: "...I'll tell you everything. The Mani Mani statue creates an illusion. It attracts evil spirits and weakens your heart. I was afraid of its power, so I hid the statue in the warehouse at Jackie's Café. I often went there to pray to the statue. Cryptic words appeared to me while I was in the illusion...Ness, your name was mentioned many times. They said, "Stop Ness, and do so by your own hand." Or..."Don't let them go to Summers.", and "Make sure they know nothing of the Pyramid."...Whatever forces are working through that statue, they obviously don't want you to go to Summers."
: "Summers? Pyramid?"
: "Since the evil forces would be in trouble if you were to go to Summers, I think you should definitely go there. Summers is far across the ocean. I'll let you take my helicopter to get there."
: "Not to worry, Ness. I'm sure I can fly it, it can't be too different from the Sky Runner, after all."
I remembered Jeff's landing in the cemetery. It didn't give me a lot of confidence, but it would be better than swimming there.
Monotoli hobbled over to the wall and flipped a switch. A hidden panel on the wall opened up with a woosh.
: "This leads to my private heliport. You must go on! Goodbye, everyone. Once again, I'm sorry for what I have done."
We headed through the hidden hallway and out onto the heliport, at the very top of the building. As we stepped towards the gleaming yellow copter, however, the rotors began to spin.
: "Hey, what the-"
: "Someone's in there! Hey, wait for us!"
Before we could reach the helicopter, it took off. It hovered in midair for a moment and began swooping around, making us duck. A window on the side opened and Pokey's bloated, grinning face popped out.
: "Pokey! Not this time!"
Enraged, I launched the most explosive psychic barrage I'd ever created at Pokey, but once again, I was too late, as the helicopter had soared up out of reach. My psychic lights burst and popped harmlessly in the air.
: "Damn you, Pokey..."
We trudged silently back into Monotoli's office. My mind was racing- I was angry, but I was also confused. What was Pokey's role in all of this? Had Giygas gotten to him, or was he just that big of a jerk that he'd sell out the entire world for a nice suit and a fancy office?
We told Mr. Monotoli what had happened.
: "This isn't good...You know, there's something not quite right about that kid..."
: "I have to wonder why you hired him in the first place. I mean, he's maybe six months older than me."
: "It was the statue...Pokey brought it with him, and my mind was ensnared...He said if he didn't get the job, he'd take Mani Mani and I'd never see it again. I was weak...I'm sorry."
We were at the door when Paula suddenly stopped.
: "Paula? Are you all right?"
: "...To get to Summers...We need to go back to Threed. Don't ask me why right now, but somehow I know that's where we must go..."
We left the room and saw the Runaway Five still waiting outside.
: "You need to get to Threed as soon as possible? Our tour bus can take you there. Meet us downstairs and we'll hit the road."
: "Thanks again, guys!"
We navigated the maze of offices and were just about to step foot onto the elevator, when the receiver phone once again screeched from my backpack.
: "I think I'm a real genius...in fact, I know I'm a genius."
: "Yeah, you're certainly...Wait, why?"
: "I have discovered the primary enemy of you, and of all humanity. We have to fight and defeat this being. To do so, we need to invent a machine called the "Phase Distorter". I'm heading to meet with Dr. Andonuts and make the distorter, so I might be gone for a while."
: "What's up?"
: "Apple Kid is going to meet with someone called Dr. Andonuts to invent some machine that we'll need to save the world."
: "D-Dr. Andonuts? That...that's my dad. He's a famous scientist."
: "Oh, really? I guess that's where you get it, huh?"
Jeff looked uncomfortable, so I decided to drop the subject. Downstairs, the Runaway Five were waiting for us with their engine running and the music blaring as usual. We piled into the van and soon we were cruising through Fourside.
Threed was much like we remembered it, post-zombies. The bus pulled over down a dead-end road and let us out.
: "Remember, though...we're on your side. When things get tough, just think of our songs, and imagine the Runaway Five singing somewhere far, far away..."
: "Goodbye, guys. Thanks for everything."
We all waved as the bus grumbled to life and sped off again.
: "I wonder where they're off to."
: "I dunno...Hopefully they can keep from signing any contracts while they're there. So...we're in Threed. How is this going to get us to Summers?"
: "I'm not sure. Um...Let's try to think, is there anything we know is here that might help us travel?"
: "A-ha! The Sky Runner!"
: "You mean that silver UFO looking thing you busted into the cemetery with?"
: "Yeah! Come on, let's go. Maybe I can repair it."
Amazingly, we found the Sky Runner pretty much already repaired back in the hole Paula and I had been kept prisoner in. It felt like such a long time ago that we had sat and eaten the sandwiches in my backpack and played cards for a couple of days before Jeff got us out. As I was reminiscing, Jeff had descended on the Sky Runner, inspecting it with his unflinching scientific eye.
: "It looks like they repaired the body and gave it a new paint job. So I just need to tweak the engine a little bit and it should be fine. The Sky Runner'll take us back to Winters, and with my d...Dr. Andonuts' help, I can modify it to take us to Summers."
We waited for a few minutes while Jeff put the finishing touches on the Sky Runner. The townspeople who had painted the Sky Runner seemed very impressed. Eventually, Jeff wiped the engine grease off of his face and slammed the hatch shut.
: "...That's it. Come on, you guys, hop in!"
We piled into the slightly cramped machine, Jeff at the controls, which were an indecipherable panel of switches and blinking lights. The craft started to shake, then lifted up off the ground, out of the graveyard and into the sky.
Looking out of the portholes, I could see Threed below us. The startled townspeople were pointing and waving at the Sky Runner. Perhaps they remembered its first flight through the town, where it crashed into the graveyard.
We soared past the desert, and finally through Fourside, before hooking north and passing over a large forest. Finally, we saw a large, gray building with the sign "Lab" over the door.
: "That's the place. The Sky Runner knows its way home. Now, it's going to enter through the skylight."
The Sky Runner slowly lowered itself into the lab and settled gently to the floor. Jeff opened the hatch and we stepped out into the gleaming lab.
Directly in front of us were two monkeys.
: "(Oh yes, we finally tied the knot...)Kooki kekye ki! (Honey, don't just stand there with your mouth open, come say hello!)
: "Oh, it's the monkey I bought at the drugstore!"
: "I'll tell you about it some other time."
: "Kekroo kyaki (When we traveled here before...You passed by a cave north of Stonehenge. Don't you ever wonder what's inside?) Kikkyo kukru ki (I can't seem to stop thinking about it!)"
: "Hmm, now that you mention it, there was a strange presence in that cave. I felt I couldn't proceed. Ness, it might be a Sanctuary location."
: "Kyoke kyakroo koo (We're going to get out of here. We're still newlyweds, you know...Bye-bye!)"
The monkey and his wife scampered off.
Pacing about in the lab was a bushy-haired old man who had to be Dr. Andonuts.
: "Jeff wets his bed sometimes, but other than that he's a good boy."
Jeff was silent, but his face was bright red. His tightly clenched fists were shaking. I decided to redirect the conversation.
: "Um, hi, Dr. Andonuts. Um, we need this craft, the Sky Runner, to get us to Summers. How hard would it be to modify it?"
: "Uh huh...I understand. You're going to that cave up north, right? While you're checking out that place, I'll remodel the Sky Runner. It'll take you to Summers, no problem."
We left the lab as Dr. Andonuts began work on the Sky Runner and stepped out into the chilly Winters air.
: "Jeez. I can't believe him. Of course he'd say I wet the bed sometimes - he hasn't seen me since I was a baby!"
: "Wow, that's harsh. My dad's never around either. But at least he calls us pretty regularly."
: "I just don't know what his deal is. He's lived maybe two miles south of my boarding school my whole life, but he's never called or even written."
: "Jeff, I'm sure your father cares about you. He's just very focused on his work. Sooner or later, he'll realize that he's hurting you, and he'll come around."
: "Whoa, what's that?"
Ahead of us was a huge bunch of rocks, laid out in a circle.
: "Ah, this is Stonehenge. The famous monoliths that have stood since ancient times. That cave is just a little ways past this."
Jeff led us into a dim, mossy cave. I could tell we were near a Sanctuary, and we had maybe gone ten feet before we encountered a familiar voice.
: "This is the fourth Your Sanctuary location, but it's mine now. Take it from me, if you dare..."
The ground shook, and we drew our weapons, wondering what bizarre creature would assault us next. We got our answer in the form of a hulking, angry-faced, six-foot-tall mushroom creature that emerged from the crumbling fissure in the earth.
: "Oh crap. Everyone, guard your skulls!"
Paula looked extremely nervous, but we had no choice. We had to combat the overlarge fungus. It wasted no time in lowering its huge, red-capped head and releasing a fine powdery cloud of spores into the air at us. Thinking fast, I threw up a psychic shield over our group, blocking the mind-altering dust from getting too close. Enraged, the mushroom charged head-first at us. The shock knocked the shield down and threw me to the ground. The mushroom loomed over me, its beady eyes filled with rage. Suddenly it roared in pain as flames licked up its back and singed its bright red head.
Paula's attack gave me an opportunity to roll out of the way as the smoldering mushroom collapsed on the ground where I had been a moment ago. I darted behind it as it reared back up, hissing in anger. Jeff was pelting it with shots from his gun, leaving scorched burn marks on its pale yellow body. I rushed forward and planted my bat squarely in its soft red spotted head. It stumbled backwards, bumping into the wall. Amazingly, as it stood against the wall, it was grinning evilly. I soon found out why; dozens of the small, walking mushrooms we had fought before suddenly sprouted from the wall around it, toppled to the ground, and clustered around the feet of their master.
I watched as the monster shroom gathered its underlings to it and they advanced on Paula and Jeff. I remembered the force of the psychic blast I had tried to hit Pokey with earlier, and knew I had to act fast. I put all my effort into it and a massive display of blinking diamonds filled the air, popping and exploding as they wrapped around the cloud of tiny mushrooms and their gigantic overlord. The smaller ones were reduced to paste; the big one merely tottered on its stubby legs before collapsing in a heap. The three of us leapt into action, stomping and bludgeoning it until it was dead.
Boss Battle: Shroom!
Google Video / Backup
: "Phew. Everyone OK? No mushrooms anywhere they shouldn't be?"
: "Not this time. I'm fine."
: "Me too."
We tiptoed around the large pile of decomposing mushroom and into the cave behind it.
This led us outside, to the tranquil sanctuary spot. A shallow pond was in the center of the snowy ground, and there were raindrops falling into it. I didn't feel any rain from where I was...I looked up. Not a cloud in the sky. We stepped closer to the mysterious pool, and the Sound Stone in my pocket reacted.
We walked up to the pond, feeling incredibly relaxed and peaceful. Jeff sat down and began to gaze dreamily at the ripples in the water. We stood there for a bit, just taking in the peaceful ambience of the scene. Suddenly I felt Paula slip her hand into mine. My heart leapt into my throat and I felt like I was blushing so badly I'd melt the snow around us.
She wasn't looking at me, just staring peacefully ahead with a contented smile on her face. I squeezed her hand and felt her squeeze back.
Then, after a while which somehow was both an eternity and nowhere near long enough, I heard my own voice, as if waking up from a dream.
: "Alright, guys, let's head back."
Next time: Ness catches some rays and goes on a magic cake bender! Don't miss it!