Part 21: The Dame Smelled Like Bananas
Part 19: The Dame Smelled Like Bananas
With Poo on our side, and the sea captain's wife back at her Magic Cake stand, the sea and all its dangers were open to us at last. We began walking down the street towards Toto. Poo was looking around at the buildings and palm trees curiously.
On our way, we passed a large building that made us pause.
: "The Scaraba Cultural Museum? Hey, do you guys think maybe we should check this out?"
: "It couldn't hurt, I guess. Unless anybody knows anything about Scaraba?"
Jeff shook his head.
: "We study their teachings from time to time, but I have never been there."
: "Alright, it would be kind of nice to be prepared...I guess we are heading into the open desert. Let's check it out."
The museum was full of ancient tombs and caskets on display. They were breathtakingly ornate, but also rather ominous.
...For the most part.
: "I bet he just wants to brag about something...Oh! Pardon me, kids. I was just talking to myself. Are you enjoying the museum?"
: "Uh, yeah. It's very interesting."
: "Good, good...Run along now..."
Upstairs, we found the path ahead was blocked by a seedy-looking fellow in a turban.
: "Will he be giving me that gem?"
: "Gem? What are you talking about?"
Before I knew what was happening, Poo had produced a small, glinting red ruby from his gi, and handed it to the man.
: "Hey, wait a minute...Poo-"
: "Do not worry, Ness. It's not worth much...Our journey is all that matters."
Inside the room a huge slab of stone covered with hieroglyphic writings stood imposingly on a pedestal. A couple of smaller caskets were standing haphazardly around the room.
: "The experience is more valuable than a small gem...Ha ha ha!"
Ignoring the man, we headed towards the hieroglyph. Suddenly, the caskets littering the room swung open, and out tumbled a pair of shambling mummies, wrapped in cracked, yellowed bandages.
The mummies groaned and lurched towards us, dust billowing from their ancient limbs, their arms outstretched towards our throats. I snapped out of my shock and swung my bat at the nearest mummy. It connected with its outstretched hand, which snapped off like a dry twig, leaving a cloud of dust hanging in the air. I felt something whip past me at great speed, and the next thing I saw was Poo's fist connecting with the mummy's head, which flew off its neck and bounced off the wall behind us. Before its body had even hit the ground, Poo had struck the second mummy with his elbow, and in a thick cloud of ancient dust, the undead monsters collapsed to the floor.
: "Whoa, that was *cough* awesome! *cough*"
Paula had turned to the curator with an angry look on her face.
: "What are you trying to do here, get us killed? If this is a trap, you're in for a rude awakening, mister..."
: "Ha ha ha! Trap? No. I told you this room is being renovated. This is why we can't let people come back here. But you guys were so insistent. Anyway, thanks for taking care of those little problems for us. Ha ha ha."
For a second I thought she was going to smack him with her frying pan anyway. Instead she turned back to us.
: "Let's just look at this hieroglyph and get outta here."
The massive stone slab was covered in incomprehensible runes and pictures.
: "Um, can anybody tell what it says?"
: "I may be able to. In my country, we have translated many ancient writings of the Scarabans."
Poo leaned in and studied the slab and then slowly began to speak.
: "'To fight against invaders, we built this pyramid fortress. However, our efforts were futile, and we lost. Nonetheless, our pyramid was protected by the gods of Scaraba. The invaders will be reborn every millennium and will attack again. Even now, the invaders hide beyond space and time and build their evil stronghold. A place out of time is beyond the Dark, and is even farther beyond the Lost Underworld. The Deep Darkness is shrouded, it is without light. Only the one with the Hawk eye can pierce the dark. The sphinx now watches over everything, waiting for the coming of a truly brave hero.'" After this, there is a star-shaped picture with numbers on each point of the star. Then, it says to 'dance in front of the Sphinx.'"
: "Wow...I wonder what it all means...So the evil is lurking past the Lost Underworld? And to get there, we have to pass through a deep darkness?"
: "I've never heard of these places."
: "We know of the Lost Underworld only as a legend. It's said to be a place filled with great beasts that shake the earth with their tread."
: "What about the 'hawk eye'?"
: "The writings do not say. Other than, you must have it to pierce the darkness."
: "In any case, the pyramid should provide some answers...Let's head to the dock."
He handed us an etching with the hieroglyphs on it.
: "It's a reward for studying so hard. Ha ha ha..."
On our way out of the museum, the phone suddenly began to ring loudly. Oddly, the receptionist was nowhere to be seen.
: "Maybe I can take a message...?"
Nervously, I picked up the phone.
: "Uh, hello? Scaraba Cultural Muse-"
: "Mr. Fork? Is that you? It doesn't sound like you."
: "Uh, no, it's not-"
: "Look, I don't have time to explain! This is big, big, big! I found something so extraordinary that mere words cannot do it justice!"
: "R-Right, um, who is this? Let me write this down-"
: "What do you mean, who is this? Don't you recognize my voice? It's me, Mr. Spoon from the Fourside Museum of Natural History! Look, put aside your bitterness for one second. I'm not exaggerating this find! It's fantastic! It's outrageous!"
With that last exclamation, he hung up the phone.
: "What on earth was that all about?"
: "It was the director of that dinosaur museum from Fourside...He had to tell the director of the Scaraba museum about some amazing discovery he made."
: "Hey, wait a moment...Dinosaurs...A land full of beasts that shake the earth when they walk..."
: "...And an amazing discovery? Do you think...He's found the Lost Underworld?"
: "It's a possibility."
: "Hmm. Alright, it's worth a shot. Now that we can teleport, it's not like it'll take us days to get back to Fourside anyway."
Moments later, we were walking into the Fourside museum, looking for Mr. Spoon.
: "You know, there's a new singer named Venus at the Topolla Theater. Could you bring me her autograph on an eraser? Then, I'll show you something 'extraordinary'. ...And if you can get the autograph on anything, don't worry about the eraser...I don't care if the autograph is written on toilet paper."
As we strolled irritably toward the Topolla Theater, Poo was marveling at the sights of the city around him.
: "I have never left my homeland before...There are such wonders to be seen in this world."
: "Hey, I'm the same way. I've spent my whole life in a boarding school in Winters. I hadn't seen anything until I left on this journey. The big city, the beach in Summers, the desert..."
: "Someday, I will take you all to my homeland as well, so I can show you the wonders there."
The Topolla Theater was much like we remembered it. We paid the exorbitant ticket prices and went inside. I was looking forward to another energetic jazz show like the Runaway Five used to give, but Venus was clearly a very different sort of act.
Venus, Live At The Topolla Theater
Google Video / Backup
: "Right, well. Let's work on that autograph, then."
It looks like our history at this theater was working with us again. The bouncer let us backstage right away.
: "Um....Yes, that's it."
She looked around. There was no paper anywhere, so she reached into the trash can and pulled out a banana peel.
: "Okay, I'll give you my autograph on this banana peel."
She scrawled her name on the slippery, yellow peel and handed it to me.
: "Here you go, cutie. And this is a bonus..."
She leaned over and with a loud smack, planted a kiss on my face.
: "Eugh, there's lipstick all over my face now..."
: "The women outside of my kingdom are very different..."
: "Let's just get back to the stupid museum with this stupid banana peel, alright?"
: "You got it! That banana peel has an authentic 'Venus' autograph? Yep, there's no doubt about it. Now for my promise. I'll tell you about something 'extraordinary'. In the next room, there's a light shining from far, far below the manhole. There, I found a huge, monster rat! I'll let you go and check it out yourself."
He opened the door behind him, and in the small room was a manhole leading downwards. A putrid odor wafted up from the darkness below.
: "We get him an autograph and he sends us into the sewers to hunt down a giant rat?! What kind of deal is this?"
: "Okay, so it wasn't the lead we thought it was. But you heard what he said. A shining light coming from somewhere down there and a big monster? It's probably a sanctuary location!"
: "...One of your sanctuaries is...a sewer?"
I gave Jeff a glare. Poo piped up, somewhat confused.
: "Sanctuary? What are you talking about?"
: "It's kind of a long story..."
Poo listened intently as I gave him the condensed form of the story up to this point.
: "...And once I complete the melody, the Earth will multiply my power and then...I'll probably be able to take on Giygas. With you guys' help. ...Maybe."
: "It's unpleasant, but that sounds more important. If we pierce the darkness before you are ready, it will end in defeat. You have to make sure to collect these melodies first."
Reluctantly, everyone agreed he was right, and we slowly climbed the cold, metal ladder down into the dank, reeking sewer below.
Next time: Ness vs. the terrifying Kraken! Don't miss it!