Part 31: Revenge of the Psychic Robot Kids from the Future
Part 29: Revenge of the Psychic Robot Kids from the Future
: "Ness, please give me that red cap..."
A bit nervously, I took off my hat and handed it to Dr. Andonuts. He set it on the machine.
: "You should go first, so I can put the hat on your new body. That way you'll all be able to tell which one's Ness. Whenever you're ready, Ness, climb onto the cot."
My heart thudding ominously in my chest, I climbed up and laid down on the long operating table. Suddenly Paula ran forward.
: "I'm a bit nervous too, you know. But...It'll be fine. I promise."
: "It's not that...it's just...If we aren't able to go back to being human again..."
And then, out of nowhere, she flew forward, grabbed me around the neck, and kissed me, full on the lips, in front of our friends, Jeff's dad, Apple Kid, and about fifteen Mr. Saturns.
My eyes the size of dinner plates, my face the color of an overripe tomato, all I could do was stare at her and stammer incoherently.
: "...Even if we come back...we might be robots forever...so...You know, while we still had lips..."
I saw her turning red and realized I had to say something a little bit more than inane babbling.
: "Paula. We're coming back, we're going to win this fight, and we're going to be human again. I promise you."
She nodded. I smiled at her and she backed away from the table.
I closed my eyes and laid back on the table. I heard a clicking, whirring sound, and passed out for what felt like hours.
When I woke up...Well, it's strange to say, I don't really feel like I woke up, more like...I was switched on. I could see, but everything was just kind of...different. It's really hard to explain. Anyway, I looked around. I was still in Saturn Valley. Dr. Andonuts and Apple Kid were looking curiously at me.
: "It worked! He's alive!"
: "Good to know. Uh...What about everyone else?"
: "They're all fine as well. The transplants were a complete success. You're ready to travel back in time now."
: "Great. Uh, where's my baseball bat?"
: "Here, I've got you guys' stuff. Uh..Hang on just a minute."
Apple Kid handed me my bat, which I gripped in a metal, clamp-like hand, and slung my backpack over my steel arms. I heard a clanking noise and turned my head to see my friends in their new robotic bodies.
: "Hmm...If only the Masters could see me like this...Ha, ha, ha..."
: "This is more educational than years' worth of studying, I can tell you that! Wow!"
: "Well, I can move...I guess that's something."
: "You won't be quite as agile as you were as humans...But these are fairly advanced robotics. Well, no time like the present."
We clambered into the Phase Distorter 3, Jeff at the controls.
: "Ness! Paula! Poo! Jeff!..My son...There is no turning back now. Activate the Phase Distorter 3 by your own hand, thus following your own destiny...Only a handful of people know of your amazing courage...But the number of people you save through your bravery will be immense..."
Jeff powered up the craft, which began humming immediately.
: "Co-ordinates set. Power optimal. Flux capacitor operating at one-point-two-one gigawatts. Here goes nothing..."
A swooshing noise and a slight bump, and seconds later, the console was indicating we were there.
: "Are you sure? That was way too fast."
: "It should be pretty much instant. Anyway, let's open the hatch and see."
Any doubts we had were dispelled immediately. We were definitely not in Saturn Valley anymore.
Our footsteps clanked noisily against the smooth, grey earth, and a thick, misty fog obscured most of our surroundings. We marched in silence, our robotic senses alert. The tension was immense, as we were expecting an ambush at any moment. It never came, however, and before too long, we found ourselves before a sharp, narrow doorway that led into a dark crevice in the rock.
We stepped inside, and immediately, our clanking footsteps were replaced with a strange, disturbing squishing sound. The floor looked, and sounded, like it was made of some kind of flesh.
: "Ohh...this is really creepy."
We pressed onward, following the path as pipes and tubes of the strange, fleshlike substance branched out, split and reconnected to each other, all leading to a huge, horrible...thing at the end of the cave.
It was like a structure and a creature combined somehow. It seemed like it had steps leading up to this little round organ in the center...And the whole thing was kind of...breathing. It makes me a little sick trying to remember it exactly, honestly. All over it, cords of knotted ropes, like intestine or something, gathered in clumps, all connected to the fleshy center. A ghostly wheezing noise was the only sound.
: "If I had a stomach, I would probably be throwing up right now."
As we reached the top of the stairs, the strange round knob in the center pulsated. An odd whirl of color filled its surface, then it started swelling up like a balloon. As it grew, the colors stretched and snapped into place, reavealing...a face.
: "Wh...what's this...?"
Or at least, what my face would have been if I hadn't been transplanted into a robotic body. Completely confused and extremely disturbed, I backed away.
: "Is...Is this some kind of joke?"
Then a sickeningly familiar laugh echoed through the cave. A large shape materialized overhead, a bizarre metallic insect of some kind that was lowering itself towards us. We jumped back, ready for a fight, but as it set itself down before us, we could see it was just a machine. Inside a smooth glass dome set on top of it, sat a corpulent figure with an extremely broad grin on its face.
: "I should have known we'd meet up with you here."
Pokey laughed loudly, a braying, mad cackle that made me cringe.
: "I assist only the strong and able! That's Pokey. Ha ha ha! Look at you! My old neighbor Ness and his little friends...You guys look ridiculous! I'm surprised those rusty things can even walk, let alone fight. Ha ha ha! The Apple of Enlightenment has already made a prediction. But I won't let what the Apple predicted take place. Why's that? Do you know? Do you realize why you're going to fail?"
: "No. Why don't you tell us?"
: "I'm here. The Apple of Enlightenment couldn't predict this. Master Giygas. No, Giygas is no longer the wielder of Evil. He has become the embodiment of Evil itself...which he cannot control on his own. He is the Evil Power."
: "You mean to say...That thing, with the face on it...That's Giygas?"
At my words, the entire room seemed to shudder and give off a deep, labored groan.
: "Ghee hee hee! This is the Devil's Machine. Giygas is inside. His power is now so great he cannot control it. And me...He's provided me with that same power. Do you still want to fight me, Ness? You want to hit me with your little baseball bat for kidnapping your precious little girlfriend? Ha ha ha! You're priceless, Ness! Well here I am! Come on, sucker! Let's see how strong the 'chosen one' really is!"
He reared his spiderlike exo-skeleton up, thrashing its front legs at us. We were knocked backwards, and slid down the fleshy stairs onto the floor. Scrambling as fast as our robotic bodies would allow, we stood up, and drew our weapons. Pokey was laughing maniacally, pawing the ground with the legs of his spider-body like a bull about to charge. I was ready to end our feud once and for all. Raising my bat, I charged through the air at him. He was ready, and a swipe of a heavy metal leg sent me swiftly back to the ground. He hadn't counted on my friends, however. His braying laughs were cut off as his craft shuddered violently and nearly toppled to one side. Jeff had assembled his bazooka and a well-placed shot had taken one of Pokey's spidery legs clean off. He was frantically pulling levers inside the cockpit, as sparks and smoke poured out of the jagged hole.
Not taking a second to spare, I was on him again. I pulled myself up towards his glass bubble, and started hammering the dome with my bat, over and over, as he scrabbled with his remaining legs to try and knock me off and stay balanced at the same time. Cracks appeared in the dome, and Pokey's face contorted with rage. All the while, the large, round thing with my face on it looked on emotionlessly from behind us. Pokey pressed some kind of button on his craft and a small cannon rose from the rear of it. A missle shot out, catching me off guard, and blasted me to the ground. I wondered how much damage these robot bodies could take. I wasn't in any pain, but I could look down and see the damage the missle had done. Pokey resumed his giggling as my friends regrouped around me.
Boss Battle: Heavily Armed Pokey
: "Well, it is a gazillion years too early for you to oppose Giygas! You must be feeling pretty stupid to keep fighting without even knowing what Giygas really looks like."
I was taken aback. I hadn't even considered what Giygas looked like, if he really was behind that façade as Pokey had said. Could I trust anything that Pokey said, anyway?
: "If you were actually to see Giygas, you'd be so petrified with fear, you'd never be able to run away! That's how scary it is! So...Do you want me to turn off the Devil's Machine? Prepare to be amazed!"
Pokey reached out one of his spidery limbs and pressed down on a fleshy crevice on the pulsating construction behind us. A hiss of steam and a slow clunking noise escaped, and the image of the disconcerting face and the strange device surrounding it broke away. Behind it, there was only a deep, dark blackness that seemed to threaten to engulf everything around us in shadow. Yet, even as I watched, I could see a dim, red shape moving in the darkness.
It writhed and swirled, like smoke through a slow breeze, congealing until finally, I could just barely make out a face, a twisted, contorted, agonized face, formed out of the red haze, as though it was concentrated rage itself.
: "Giygas cannot think rationally any more, and he isn't even aware of what he's doing right now. His own mind was destroyed by his incredible power! What an all-mighty idiot! Yep, that's what he is. Heh heh heh...And you...You will be just another meal to him!"
Stunned by the sight of the ghastly face swimming in the air before us, we could only stand paralyzed with terror as Pokey disappeared into the darkness, leaving us alone with Giygas at last.
: "What...What is this? Is this really...Giygas?"
: "Oh, God...Ness...What...What do we do?!"
: "Be strong! Have faith!"
: "We didn't come this far to give up! Attack, everybody!"
The terror showed through in my voice, but I couldn't help it. I know my friends needed me to be brave. I was trying. It...wasn't working. But we attacked nonetheless. I raised my bat to the sky in some vain attempt to rally our courage.
Again, I didn't actually feel the pain of the attack. I just felt my arm cease to exist, and as the falling chunks of steel and wood cascaded down at my feet, I realized what had happened.
: "What...How did he...I didn't even see it move!"
: "It didn't move! How did...Ness! Are you alright?!"
: "Nevermind! Just hit him!"
Jeff fired round after round of explosives, bazooka shells, and bottle rockets into the swirling vapors, but they were swallowed by the overwhelming darkness. The rest of us poured psychic assaults out of our bodies with all of our power, and they too disappeared harmlessly, sucked beneath the ghostly visage which swept about like an oil slick on a puddle.
: "I...I can't hit it. I...I'm useless. What do we do?! Ness! What do we do now?!"
: "I...I don't know. I just...I don't know."
Suddenly, and without warning, we were hit again. A wave of force washed over us, and once again none of us could tell exactly what had happened. We were knocked to the ground, our robotic hulls dented and singed, by Giygas' phantom assaults. Pokey appeared once again, stepping out of the darkness as if it were a simple curtain.
: "In this bizarre dimension, you four are the only force left fighting for justice...waiting to be burned up along with the rest of the garbage in this universe. Haaaah! That's so sad, I can't help but shed a tear."
: "Pokey...Why? That's all I want to know...What would make you help something like this?! Why?!"
: "Heh heh heh. You know, My heart is beating incredibly fast. I must be experiencing absolute terror! Do you want to scream for help here in the dark? Haahahahahaha! Why not call your mommy, Ness! Say 'Mommy! Daddy! I'm so frightened! I think I'm gonna wet my pants!' I know you have telepathy or something, so just try and call for help, you pathetically weak heroes of so-called justice! Nobody will help you now!"
: "Ness...We can't win..."
: "D'awwwww. Poor baby! Don't worry, your pitiful suffering will be over soon!"
: "Oh, God. It's really happening. We're going to die..."
: "No! Stop that right now! We're not giving up! Remember?! Even if it means our lives...We have to fight on!"
As if in answer, a dull rumbling shook the cave. A bizarre, crazed voice seemed to beam itself directly into my mind.
: "Ness...it hurts, Ness....g...o......b...a...c...k...."
I yelled out, panicked, and blasted another PSI assault fruitlessly into the abyss of our enemy.
: "it's not right...not right...it feels g...o...o...d...."
: "S...Stop it! Get away!"
: "Ness? What's happening?!"
: "ness ness ness ness ness ness ness ness ness ness ness ness ness ness ness"
Feeling driven to the brink of madness, I collapsed to the ground.
: "...What can I do? What can we do? Paula? Jeff? Poo? I'm sorry...everyone..."
Paula sank to her knees and her steel, hooklike hands were clasped in a gesture of prayer.
: "Please, give us strength...If it is possible, please...Somebody help us..."
Giygas was lashing out violently now. We were all battered, dented and sparking. Paula remained resolute. Using my remaining arm, I managed to crawl toward her. She reached out a hand, and I took it. Jeff and Poo were struggling to make it over to us.
I tried to calm my mind, tried to ignore Giygas' invasive rantings. I tried to focus. I felt my consciousness slipping, struggling to maintain a hold within my robotic body. I could feel Paula's prayer carried through the ages of space-time through our combined psychic powers...I couldn't tell what would come of it, though.
: "Please, give us strength! Anybody who can hear our plea...Help us!"
Now the four of us had huddled together, hands clasped in a chain of battered, damaged robots. If not for the situation, it would have been bizarre to the point of hilarity. Four barely-alive machines, hoping against hope to save humanity from an evil so powerful, it didn't even know what it was destroying.
: "Please...Give us strength. Speed this prayer to all the people of the Earth."
A terrible wailing sound rose up from the darkness. I knew it wasn't in my head this time, as my friends all jumped in surprise at the sudden sound. Giygas' shape was wavering, writhing faster and more violently in the blackness.
We kept praying. There was nothing else we could do. Our attacks were useless, and barring a miracle, our metal bodies would soon split under Giygas' incomprehensible attacks.
: "Please...People of the Earth...Hear our plea..."
Giygas spat out a horrible screeching wail and suddenly lashed out, sending us flying in separate directions. Even as he attacked us, he was freaking out worse than ever, his ghostly face contorted in a confused, enraged grimace. Forcing myself along, I stubbornly drug myself back to Paula. Jeff struggled to his feet as well. Poo, however, wasn't moving.
: "Poo? Poo! Can you hear me?"
Jeff knelt down. Despite being in a robotic hull himself, he was no less of a mechanical genius than before. He quickly examined Poo's body.
: "He's hurt badly! Vital signs are almost nonexistent! His neural processor has been damaged!"
: "Oh, my God!"
: "Please! Grant us power! Please! Anyone who can hear this..."
: "If I can get to his power supply I might be able to reroute it to his life support system...Oh, jeez..."
Sparks shot out of Poo's body as Jeff worked frantically to save him.
: "*kkkzzzz* ...Jeff...*kkkzzshh* other...side...*kkkzzt* ...beautiful..."
: "Hang on, Poo!"
: "Please! Someone...Anyone! There must be someone else...Please! We beg of you!"
I couldn't stand up with my one remaining arm, I couldn't help Jeff try and save Poo, so I did the only thing I could. I prayed with Paula for some...any kind of help. I saw glimmers of my friends and family, people we had met and helped along the way...Mr. Saturn. The Runaway Five. Paula's family. My mom and sister. I thought at the time I was seeing flashes of my life before I died. Now? I'm not really sure what happened, but I don't think it was that.
: "Someone... can you hear me?! Please, give us strength!"
Yeah, I honestly can't say what happened right then, but Giygas started howling in pain. I could tell it was pain, because he was still somehow inside my mind. His thoughts were incomprehensible now. He was breaking up.
: "He's stable! He's going to be alright!"
: "What...What's happening?"
: "He's...Giygas is dying. I don't know how, but he is."
: "But perhaps I'll just sneak away to another era to think about my next plan. It's a good bet that we'll be seeing each other again. Well! Be seeing you! Ha ha ha. So now which one of us do you think is the cool guy, mister one-armed robot loser?"
Pokey vanished. I didn't really care. Somehow, someway, Giygas was disintegrating before our very eyes. Whether we had beaten him or not, it didn't really matter, and I didn't care at all. All that mattered was, he was gone.
As his horrible, screeching wails built to a climax, a thunderous explosion sounded and the walls began to collapse around us.
: "Guys! Let's head to the Phase Distorter!"
: "Poo can't walk! All this things' power is tied up just keeping him alive!"
: "We'll carry him! We've got to get out of here before-"
Alas, we were too late. With a final horrific groan, Giygas shattered out of existence and his final resting place collapsed under our feet. We tumbled down, down, and smashed against the smooth, grey slate of the cavern.
Boss Battle: Giygas
Viddler - Part 1
Viddler - Part 2
I couldn't do more than move my head around and look at the motionless robot bodies of my friends. My vision was getting spotty and I felt my spirit straying again. I remember thinking at that time, I wished I was human, if for no other reason than to shed a tear for my friends. They deserved that much. But I couldn't even move anymore. All I could do was lay there and wait to die with the rest of them.
But, of course, I didn't. I wouldn't have been able to tell this whole story if I had, would I? Somehow, my spirit found its way across time and space to Saturn Valley, where I woke up, feeling like I had been asleep for years. The sun blinded me, and as I squinted I realized I had real eyes again. I sat upright, gasping, realizing I once again had to breathe. I looked down, and saw my familiar striped shirt and jean shorts. And I looked around, and saw Jeff, Poo, and Paula, all of them alive and well, and back in their own bodies.
Well, we cheered, and yelled, and hugged each other, glad to be alive, glad to be human, but most of all, glad it was over. The world was safe. The Mr. Saturns cheered, and the humans applauded. One of the Mr. Saturns handed me a new red cap, to replace the one my spirit had left behind in the past. I imagined somewhere, someday, some archaeologist digging up a strange robotic husk with a ratty, ancient red cap on its head, and I started laughing uncontrollably.
Eventually, our joy calmed down, and a sobering thought loomed over us all. It was done, our journey was through. Our time traveling together would end now.
: "I must return home to Dalaam, and use the things I have learned on this journey for the good of my country. Ness...Paula...Jeff...Before I go, let me demonstrate a strange power that I realized as a child. I suppose I could call it...PSI Farewell."
As we watched, Poo vanished into thin air, and in his place, three brightly wrapped presents plopped into the lush grass of Saturn Valley.
: "Goodbye, Poo. We'll see you again someday."
Each package was addressed to one of us. Smiling wide, we opened the packages to find a letter, each from someone we had missed during our journey. I found this note, from my mom:
: "Ahh...Man. My mom. I can finally go home. I never thought I'd miss my little sister, you know?"
Paula had gotten a letter scribbled in four different colors of crayon from the kids at the Polestar Preschool.
Please come and play with us again at the Polestar Preschool. Oh yeah, one more thing...Please bring us some presents, if you have any.
Jeff seemed embarrassed and didn't want to show us his letter. With some friendly prodding, he finally read it to us. It was from Tony, his enthusiastic friend from boarding school.
: "Hehe. Well, I won't tell him you showed us. So...Um, do you want me to teleport you back to Winters?"
: "Ha ha...That Tony, he has a heart of gold. No, actually, I think I'm going to stay here for a little bit and see if I can learn a bit more from Dr. Andonuts. I mean, from my dad."
Dr. Andonuts came up and put his arm around Jeff.
: "A miracle! A miracle that has only happened because of your great courage! All of you. ...Believe me, Jeff, I went through a lifetime of stress while you were gone. Together, we can really put some of these theories of ours to the test!"
I gave Jeff another hug.
: "I'm gonna miss you, man. We'll have to get together sometime."
: "Oh, affirmative. I really enjoyed hanging out with you guys. It was great to have friends...besides Tony, anyway. If...Just maybe...Well, if you two get hitched one of these days, maybe I'll be the one to fix all your broken electronic appliances."
We all had a good laugh, and Paula and I both blushed, I'm sure. It didn't matter. When you've been through something like that with a person, it's hard to be too embarrassed.
: "Ness...Will you escort me home?"
: "...Of course, Paula. Let's go."
We clasped our hands together, and waving to Jeff and his father, and Apple Kid and all the Mr. Saturns, we teleported away to the peaceful outskirts of Twoson. I could have teleported right to Paula's house, of course...But I wasn't in any hurry to be by myself again. I wanted to enjoy a little bit of peaceful time with Paula before our journey really ended. I can't say for sure, but I think she felt the same way.
Finally, we ended up outside Paula's home at the Polestar Preschool.
: "Paula...I...I mean, we...That is, us..."
: "Hee, hee...Ness...Just be quiet. You don't need to say anything."
I looked at her, confused, and she smiled, and tapped a finger on the side of her head.
: "We're both psychic, remember?"
: "Hahaha!...Yeah. Thanks for everything, Paula. I mean it."
We both stood there for some time, neither of us saying a word.
: "...Are you sure you don't want to come back to my house? I mean...I'm sure my mom would make us some pizza..."
: "I really should be getting home...But, I guess...I do want to be with you a little longer. I suppose it won't hurt."
She ran forward and grabbed my hand. Both of us grinning, we teleported back to Onett, to the grassy hill up by my house, where we ran into someone unexpected. Police Captain Strong, who had long ago warned me never to come back to Onett, was standing tall and stoic along the road back to my house.
: "We meet again, Ness."
: "Guess so. Looks like Onett is back to normal. No more aliens and UFOs chasing everyone indoors?"
: "Yes, very perceptive, kid. Look, I'm not gonna beat around the bush. I know you had something to do with that. You came back to Onett even after I warned you not to. Even while my cops were hiding in jail cells scared to come out, you were out here bustin' heads and smearin' them into goo."
He held out the battered remains of the Starman head that I had sent flying into town with my bat.
: "I don't know what the heck went on last week, and frankly I don't wanna know. I just wanna say, I'm sorry. I'm not gonna let the Mayor push me around anymore. As far as I'm concerned, you're a hero. In fact...Well, if you ever want a job on the force...I mean, when you grow up a little bit...You just give me a call. Welcome home, Ness."
He tipped his hat to me, and strode away. I let out a deep breath of relief. I knew I wasn't going to stay away from Onett forever, but I was half expecting having to beat up the police force again to get home.
My house was just up ahead, the windows open once again, the door unlocked. My heart was bursting with joy to see it and to know everything was gonna be alright after all that. Home, familiar as ever.
: "I'd love to hear all your stories, but I don't wanna annoy you as soon as you walk in the door. I want to have a chance to get to know your little girlfriend."
: "It's nice to meet you under much happier circumstances, ma'am."
: "Isn't it? Come, sit down, I'll put some pizza in the oven, and I've got some photo albums I'd love you to see, until Ness feels like sharing all of your wonderful adventures."
: "Aw, come on...Mom..."
: "Hey, Ness...You promised, remember?"
: "All right, all right."
So Paula stayed for dinner and my mom kept her occupied with all manner of hilariously embarrassing photos all evening. Finally, I teleported her back home, and we got a rather similar welcome from her parents. After spending another few hours retelling our journey, I finally said goodnight and went home. Having a nice, hot bath and sleeping in my own bedroom again...I can't tell you how good it felt to be home.
And...That's really all there is to tell. It's been about a month since I got home. Things are pretty much back to normal. I missed almost a whole year of school, and got held back because of it...So now everyone in my grade thinks I'm some kind of idiot. I don't mind, though. Paula's parents are happy that we're seeing each other. I teleport to Twoson all the time, and we just hang out in Burglin Park, have lunch together...Sometimes I help her out with the kids at the preschool, too. Every so often we go see Jeff, who's living with his Dad in Winters now. They're getting along great. A little while back, we all went to Dalaam and had lunch with Poo. He's pretty busy with his duties as the Crown Prince, but he welcomed us as honored guests. I think it'll be a while before I'm used to the food over there, though.
But still...Sometimes, even though I can see my friends whenever I want, sometimes I miss the thrill of charging into battle, bat held high, my friends at my sides. I miss having a purpose, having something to accomplish. I know we did a great thing. I know the world is safe because of us. Sometimes I wish we could just do it all again, though.
Next time: Behind-the-scenes bonus material! In-depth ending adventures! Another contest! Holy shit, the game's over! Don't miss it!