Part 8: Brunch With Death
Part 7: Brunch With Death
The next morning, Happy-Happy village was more or less back to normal. People were still painting over the last of the blue on the buildings, and everyone was talking and laughing happily. Paula and I set out back through Peaceful Rest Valley, which was still overrun with UFOs and walking sprouts. With the two of us, though, they weren't any real danger.
One of the cultists had repaired the bridge, making it a lot easier to get back to Twoson.
Before I knew it, we were back in Paula's hometown, mushrooms and all. First, we had to take Paula back to her parents.
: "The combination of Paula's miraculous power and your great courage will allow you to stand up to any challenge. Paula, if you're going on a trip, you should bring this along. It's my very own invention, a hand-made band-aid. Oo! That rhymes! I'll call it a Hand-Aid."
Paula gave her mom a hug and tucked the hand-aid into her handbag.
: "Don't forget to talk to your father before you set out."
We went into the next room, but Paula's dad wasn't there. I was wondering if he was still out canvassing the city in search of Paula, when he suddenly entered the room behind us.
: "Ness, thank you so much. You must be the boy who will save the world, like in Paula's dream."
: "Uh, thanks. I'm gonna try."
: "Paula, I'm sure you're going to be a great help to Ness. It's not every day a father lets his daughter embark on a journey to save the world..."
: "Dad, don't worry about me. Ness and I will be able to take care of ourselves. In Threed, the next town, we'll meet another friend. Now, dry your eyes, blow your nose, and smile before we take off."
: "Goodbye, Paula. Don't worry, I won't cry anymore..."
He waved as we left. Outside the preschool, a burly guy in sunglasses stopped us.
Everdred...I owed him one for the tip about Paula. Otherwise, I might not have made it in time. I headed to Burglin Park to talk to him.
: "Great! You made it in time. Glad to see it. You're one tough kid, just like I figured."
: "Thanks for the tip, Everdred. I wouldn't have found her if it wasn't for you."
: "You know, I was going to ask you to be my partner, but I knew you would refuse. It's written all over your face. If you accepted, I was going to give you some money."
: "Wow, uh, you don't need to do that. But, you're right, I can't be your partner. I'm on a mission to save the world from the ultimate evil."
: "Actually, I can't keep this money anyway. Take it. It's $10,000. Use it anyway you like. You cannot refuse my generosity, so just take it."
And he crammed a huge wad of cash into my hands. Of course, part of my brain was jumping for joy, but part of it was wondering where this money came from. It didn't matter, Everdred wasn't taking it back, that was obvious. And maybe I could use it for good on our journey. With this, we could afford hotels that didn't involve me sleeping on the floor...
: "Thanks, Everdred. I'll put this to good use."
: "Good man. Now, I'm going to investigate that evil Mani Mani statue that Lier X. Agerate unearthed in Onett. I'll see you again at another time, in another space."
: "What should we do with that much money?"
: "I figured this much money will come in handy at some point on our journey."
Right now, I had one good idea of what to do with our new-found wealth...
: "The Runaway Five?"
: "Have you ever seen their show before? It's supposed to be great!"
: "No, I've never been...I guess it wouldn't hurt to have a little bit of fun before we set off."
Actually, now that I thought about it, one of the Runaway Five had really wanted to meet Paula. They were still hanging out by their van to the right of the theater, so I decided to stop by.
: "Here, take this backstage pass! This'll get you into our show, and let you come hang out backstage."
: "Wow, thanks!"
: "We're goin' onstage pretty soon. We're gonna head back now, you come and see us before the show starts, ya hear?"
Inside the theater, people were sitting at tables smoking and chattering away. The place was pretty packed but we managed to find chairs at a table. I felt pretty out of place, surrounded by grown-ups drinking and flirting with each other, but after all, we had been invited by the band.
: "You know it's really hard to get tickets for a Runaway Five show. They're always sold out."
: "Heh, yeah, I guess we're pretty lucky. By the way, what you said about meeting another friend in Threed...?"
: "Just a hunch, I guess...But when you have psychic powers, you have to start taking your hunches seriously. You should, too, you know. You've got an amazing power."
: "I guess you're right. Hey, let's go backstage. I want to thank those guys for the pass again."
At that, a snazzily-dressed teenager behind us suddenly butted into the conversation.
"Hey! You kids have a backstage pass?!"
: "Um, ah, no...that is..."
Before I even had a chance to answer, both of us were dragged through a nearby door and into the backstage area. Lucky and Gorgeous were lounging on a sofa, and the other members of the band were tuning instruments. The pushy girl immediately left us behind and began flitting back and forth, looking as if she would hyperventilate at any second.
: "Cept now, we're the only act playing here. We even gone into debt at this ol' theater, so we're pretty near stuck, hyuck hyuck."
: "That sucks. How'd you get into debt playing shows every night?"
: "The manager here's one slick cat. We signed a doozy of a contract and somehow or other, we got stuck with ten grand in fees for promotion, upkeep, you name it."
: "No time to cry about the past though-it's showtime! You kids get outta here and pay attention. We're gonna tear the place up with this one!"
Runaway Five Performance
Google Video / Backup
The crowd was ecstatic after the performance, and I had to admit, they were a great band. As the cheers died down I smelled something terrible.
: "...Time to go!"
: "We need to head to Threed."
: "Ah, you haven't heard. I guess you were still kidnapped at the time. The buses aren't running, apparently the tunnel to Threed is infested with ghosts."
: "Yeah. Nobody can get through. Unless...Hey!"
: "What? What is it?"
: "I think I just had one of those hunches you were talking about!"
I ran back into the theater, Paula chasing after me. I had a plan that would help some deserving guys out and get us safely to Threed at the same time.
: "They'll stay here until they pay me back. Unless you decide to pay off their debt. Heh, heh, heh."
I slammed the wad of cash Everdred had given me down on the desk.
: "That's exactly what I plan on doing."
Paula's eyes bugged out and Poochyfud looked like he was having trouble breathing.
: "You...you surprised me. Now I'm not sure what to do. Either way, I got the money, so of course, the Runaway Five are free to go."
As if on cue, the Runaway Five burst in the door.
: "Ness! Good going!"
: "Let's hit the road, guys!"
I was feeling on top of the world as we piled into the Runaway Five's tour bus and started down the road. The windows down, jazzy music blaring to the world, we sped down the streets of Twoson, drawing the stares and cheers of people all around.
Before I knew it we were at the tunnel.
There really were ghosts, after all, and they were chasing the bus for all they were worth. The upbeat music was too much for them, and they were left in the dust. It was really working!
The mood changed immediately once the bus pulled into Threed. The town seemed to be under a permanent darkness. Creepy noises came from all around, and all the cheer was sucked right out of us. Finally, the bus pulled to a stop.
: "This town seems pretty gloomy, but I'm sure you can light the place up with your own little brand of sunshine...We really owe you one! Look for us to be singing at a theater in Fourside soon! Take care, you two!"
We waved as the bus sped off into the distance.
: "Well, this place is giving me the creeps."
: "You said it. Uh...Let's have a look around."
Threed was quiet, save for the odd howls and groans coming from the trees around. There were hardly any people anywhere, and the ones we did see were terrified-looking and seemed eager to avoid eye contact.
The whole town was haunted? Great, I thought, what have we gotten ourselves into now? Oh well, after everything else that had happened, a little 'ghost-busting' didn't seem out of the question.
"But I betrayed them, too. I'm a con man, so I know the score. Belch gives life to the zombies, but Belch is working for someone named Giygas."
So this monster, Belch, was working for Giygas, and he was taking over Threed with an army of zombies.
In the center of town, we saw a suprising sight-a huge, orange circus tent. It seemed to serve as a kind of communications hub for the townspeople, who were tensely discussing what could be done about the encroaching zombie menace.
The woman looked creepy and mysterious, and definitely suspicious. We walked up and tried to ask her something, but she darted into the hotel.
: "She's definitely hiding something."
: "Let's follow her."
Inside the hotel, I barely caught a glimpse of her blonde hair flipping around a corner. We chased her into the next room just in time to see her slip into one of the hotel rooms there.
: "We've got her now!"
: "Careful, Ness, it might be a-"
A legion of zombies and ghouls descended upon us! I pulled out my bat but I was a second too slow--something heavy slammed into my head and I blacked out.
When I came to, Paula and I were in a tiny, dimly-lit room. My head was throbbing. I dragged myself to my feet and over to Paula's side.
: "Paula...Are you alright?"
: "Ugh...Yeah...I'm not hurt. Let's find a way out of here!"
There was just one door in the room, unfortunately...
I kicked it and battered the knob with my bat, but it wasn't giving out.
: "Oh, man...now what?"
Paula had closed her eyes and was standing in the center of the room, her hands clasped together as if in prayer.
: "I'm calling our friend who we've never met...Jeff! Jeff! We need your help! I am Paula and I am with another friend, Ness...If you can hear this, you must know, you are destined to help us save the world. If you can hear this message, start heading south! Only you, though far away, can save us, Jeff..."
Next time: Ness does not appear at all! Don't miss it!