Part 22: Part 20: The Heroes of Magnet Hill
Hmm, I'll think about it. In the meantime
Part 20: The Heroes of Magnet Hill
The sewers were dark and smelly. Honestly, though, after Master Belch's fortress, it was tolerable. Poo, of course, hadn't been to Master Belch's, so I think it was harder on him than the rest of us.
: "...This is terrible..."
: "Yeah, I know...Sorry about this..."
Our feet echoed on the walkway. Beside us, noxious water flowed slowly through a grate. Garbage cans littered the walkway around us and flies buzzed obnoxiously here and there.
Here as well, animals had been turned mad by Giygas' influence. Not even the sewers were spared.
: "That is just so beyond disgusting."
: "Did you see the size of that roach? I mean...That's simply amazing!"
Continuing on, we swatted flies and beat up giant cockroaches as we explored the sewer tunnel. Suddenly, we saw the flickering light Mr. Spoon was talking about just up ahead.
: "This is the fifth 'Your Sanctuary' location. But it's mine now. Take it from me, if you dare..."
We prepared for battle. At least this time, I thought, we had the advantage of knowing what horrible beast would rise up and attack us.
Sure enough, a rat the size of a small cow came sloshing through the putrid water, its fangs bared at us. It pulled its considerable weight up onto the walkway and charged. Poo and I ran forward to meet it while Jeff and Paula stayed behind to attack it from a distance. Blasts of Jeff's gun sailed past us and scorched the rat's damp, filthy hair. Poo launched into the air with a very impressive kick and caught the rat in the head. Its momentum slowed, I swung my bat overhead and slammed it into its face. The rat grunted irritably and swiped with a jagged claw. I managed to roll out of the way, just as a blast of frozen air from Paula enveloped the rat.
Ice clinging to its fur, the rat dove back into the water, and quickly ducked below the surface. We watched, eyes peeled for any sign of movement, when suddenly it launched itself out of the water at us. We scattered, and soon found ourselves surrounding the huge rodent, as it whipped its long tail around and bared its fangs threateningly.
: "It's almost beaten. Jeff, try to blow it up or something, I'll distract it."
I was standing behind the rat, and I darted up, trying to dodge its whiplike tail. It must have understood me somehow, because it lashed right at me, catching me across the chest with its tail. The wind knocked out of me, I was thrown backwards and crashed into a trash can.
Now covered in garbage, I got to my knees, trying to shake away the dizziness. Meanwhile, Paula was herding the rat into a corner away from Jeff and Poo with short bursts of freezing air.
: "Paula! Let me help you!"
Poo focused and soon he was pelting the rat with ice as well. Obviously not used to freezing cold, the rat was squealing loudly and backing up until it found itself cornered.
Jeff had taken out a bottle rocket and lit the fuse. As his explosive launched itself at the rat, I followed up with a blast of psychic energy, and a massive explosion enveloped the rat.
When the smoke cleared, the rat lay defeated, a smoldering, blackened heap of disgusting flesh. Overcome by the smell of burning rat hair added to the already aromatic sewers, we quickly climbed the ladder up into the sanctuary.
Boss Battle: Plague Rat of Doom
Google Video / Backup
We found ourselves still in Fourside, but at the same time, it felt a million miles away from Fourside. I could look over the fence and see the city, but the area was as quiet and peaceful as any of the sanctuaries had been. A large, silver rock, twinkling in the sun, took up most of the space here, and it was carved into several sharp, diamond-like shapes.
My sound stone picked up the melody of this place as well.
: "Hey, guys...I just realized, this is the fifth one. Only three more to go!"
: "Yeah, we're almost done!"
: "What is that, over there?"
Poo pointed at a small, ornate box sitting on the other side of the rock. Curious, we walked over and opened it up.
Inside was a long, metal carrot, with odd teeth sticking off of the bottom, like it was a key of some kind.
: "It's...a carrot key?"
: "How odd."
: "What is something like this doing here?"
A mystery for another time, I supposed.
: "Alright, guys. Time to get back to Summers and then on to the Pyramid."
We teleported away from the peaceful clearing and quickly found ourselves back in Summers. At the docks in Toto, we found the sea captain once more, and he seemed beside himself with joy.
: "Thank you! If you're courageous, now's the time to get on this boat. You'll probably see the Kraken and experience getting seasick!"
: "We have to get to Scaraba, so we don't really have much choice."
: "After all, it could only cost you your life, and you got that for free!"
We piled into the modestly-sized boat, and the captain stood at the controls. Within moments we were waving goodbye to the docks of Toto and headed for the open sea.
The journey was pleasant. According to the captain, the trip would take a few days, so we passed the time just enjoying the sea air and sunshine and teaching Poo how to play 'Go Fish' with the deck of cards in my backpack.
On the third day, however, the skies were dark and the sea was rough and foreboding. The captain seemed uneasy as well, and it quickly pervaded the entire vessel.
: "I have a feeling something will happen soon."
: "Look! Kraken off the port bow! Here it comes..."
We rushed to the side of the boat and peered over. A huge fanged creature was rising out of the sea several miles away. The Kraken was attacking.
: "It's huge!"
: "Uh...Prepare for battle, everyone!"
A storm began to brew as the Kraken neared the small boat. The sky flashed with lightning and rain began to fall. My heart was thudding in my chest as the sleek green behemoth roared deafeningly at our helpless boat. A huge crash of thunder made us all jump.
As the Kraken began to circle us, I realized it was even bigger than I thought. Nonetheless, I had to be brave for the sake of my friends. Pointing my bat at the creature, I yelled as loud as I could over the crashing waves and thunder.
: "Hey! Come over here and fight like a man!"
The Kraken roared back in answer and faced our group.
: "Alright, everybody, hit it!"
Our team attacked all at once-I unleashed my most powerful psychic barrage so far, Jeff had lashed together two or three of his bottle rockets and shot them at the beast, and Paula and Poo were sending wave after wave of psychic fire and ice at it.
Boss Battle: The Kraken
Google Video / Backup
The Kraken was beat up and bloody. It howled in rage and pain and sank slowly back beneath the waves. The sun returned and the sea calmed down.
: "Hey, that wasn't so bad!"
: "Oh, man! I thought you guys were just everyday little kids, but you beat up the Kraken! I also helped in the battle...I threw my slippers at the beast...Maybe you didn't notice."
The rest of the voyage passed pleasantly and without incident, and by the next morning we were approaching the hot, sun-baked shores of Scaraba. We waved farewell to the captain as he headed back across the sea.
I was already starting to sweat in the overpowering heat of Scaraba. The Dusty Dunes Desert had nothing on this place. As we headed towards the town, a man stopped us.
: "A chubby kid did his business out here somewhere..."
: "Jeez, Pokey...You just never stop being disgusting, do you?"
: "Pokey's made it out here, too? This can't be good."
The town of Scaraba was a series of brick structures and a large, open-air market kind of like Burglin Park back in Twoson. Merchants were selling food, curios, and one guy even had a vase full of live snakes for sale.
Beyond a gate, the town opened up into the empty desert. In the distance, I could see the golden Pyramid rising up into the sky.
: "Alright, everyone, that's where we're headed. Let's grab some food for the trip and then head out."
We had a breakfast of a thick, tasty soup the locals called "molokheiya soup", stocked our bags with bean croquettes and bottled water, and picked up a few wet towels, remembering our last journey through the desert. When I thought we were prepared, we left the town and headed south, towards the Pyramid up ahead.
The harsh sands of Scaraba stretched into softly curving dunes dotted with scraggly plants here and there. The sun climbed higher in the sky as we trudged across the desert towards the shape of the Pyramid in the distance.
Finally, we reached the Pyramid. We were all sweaty and disheveled, but thankfully free of sunstroke. At the base of the Pyramid, a thick stone slab was set like a doorway in the side of the structure. It wouldn't budge.
: "I wonder how we get in..."
: "I think I know. Look ahead."
Poo pointed towards a large stone monument just south of the Pyramid. A huge, imposing Sphinx stood watch over a small, paved courtyard. Five rounded stone buttons rose up out of the ground in the pattern of a star. He brought out the etching of the hieroglyph from the Scaraba museum, and pointed to a similar star-shaped pattern on it.
: "The numbers here tell you what buttons to press in order. I didn't know what the numbers meant until just now."
And so Poo guided me to step on the stone circles in order, until finally, the topmost one clicked into place, and an ominous voice echoed from the Sphinx.
There was a grinding and then a loud slam, as the stone slab blocking the entrance to the Pyramid slid laboriously open. We entered the catacombs, the first people in probably hundreds of years to do so, that is, unless Pokey had somehow managed to get inside before us.
Inside the ancient structure, it was surprisingly well-lit. The sunlight seemed to filter through the bricks and, through some kind of ingenious system, was distributed throughout the Pyramid. The ancient Scarabans were clearly wise and powerful. I thought back to the words of the hieroglyph, and the idea that they had been battling Giygas' forces millennia ago. I started to wonder about the words we had found there, that the evil forces would be reborn every millennium and would attack again...Did that mean we were doing this for nothing? Even if we suffered and worked together and managed to beat Giygas, would he really just come back in a thousand years and attack again?
Next time: The secret of the Pyramid and the amazing Dungeon Man!