The Let's Play Archive

Mother 3

by Maple Leaf

Part 2: Chapter 2

Chapter 1 intro movie.

Thomas came running full-tilt down the road, south of Tazmily, his crank on his emergency horn spinning as fast as he could spin it. Ignoring a bewildered citizen as he streaked by in his panic, he thumped down the dirt road as quickly as his legs could take him, rounding the corner to Flint's house on top of its little hill and sprinting himself up the slope. A left turn at the top of the hill, past the dog's house, and before he could cancel his forward momentum, he slammed face-first into Flint's front door.

"Flint!" he yelled, his scratchy-high voice booming as loud as he could. With his free hand, he pounded on the wooden door hard, shaking it to the hinges. "Flint!" he yelled again, his horn still blaring, drowning out his own voice. "It's a fire! A fire, a fire!" he yelled. He glanced through both windows to the sides of the doors, peeping in to see if Flint was even there, but the curtains were drawn. "The Sunshine Forest is on fire in a huge," he sputtered, trying to find the right words but his tongue twisted itself into knots every time. "A huge...firey, flamey fire!"

Inside, Flint was just about to hit the sack, himself. It was late, and he had a hard day, helping out in the village with some construction projects. Most of them were minor things, like repairing doors, but there were a lot of them - not to mention he had to tend to his own herd. His back was aching and his legs were throbbing, and now here was Thomas beating his own door off its hinges, that annoying emergency horn of his shaking the windows in their frames. Thomas was a good man with all the right intentions, but lord could he drive a guy up the wall.

Although it was difficult to hear over his horn, Flint could still make out Thomas saying something about a fire, so he could forgive him for being so...urgent, this time.

"It's the forest! The forest is on fire!" He repeated that last phrase incessantly. He was in such a panic that he didn't realize he was repeated the same words over and over. "Geez!" he sighed, his nerves getting the better of him, "who would lock their door in a village with no crime?" He stopped the crank on his horn long enough for him to grasp the handle on the door. "Flint!" he yelled as he twisted and yanked on the knob as hard as he could.

He glanced at the brass knob know resting in his hand rather than firmly in the door. "Darn it, why'd you have to come loose at a time like this?!" he chastised. Before he could pull himself to his feet, the front door slid open quickly, and in surprise, Thomas flung the doorknob high into the air, bouncing off the doghouse's roof.

""What's this about a fire, Thomas?" asked Flint simply. He was tired and cranky, and didn't mince words.

"This is no time to be dozing off!" Thomas scorned, getting right into Flint's unflinching face. "There's a huge fire in Sunshine Forest! And..." Thomas paused. He didn't exactly know what Flint could do in a situation like this, but he knew exactly what to say: "Bad times like this call for reckless nice guys like you!" Flint gave him a half-surprised, half-annoyed look, which caused Thomas to recant immediately. "Please, just come, Flint! We need as many hands as we can get!"

Flint couldn't argue with that, of course, and he wasn't about to let his forest burn down. That forest was the only thing separating him from his family at old man Alec's, and if it burnt down, they'd be stuck out there. After stopping by Boney's doghouse for a pat on the head, he and Thomas dashed off to Tazmily, to lend a hand.

A short sprint down the dirt road, and they came across Biff, still in a tizzy over what he should be doing himself. "Flint!" he shouted once he saw that unshaven stubble and the sweet cowboy hat dash down the road, relieved that a capable guy like him was on the scene.

"I don't know what to do myself, so I'm running to warn everyone of the flames!"

"That's good," Flint replied, "make sure everyone knows the danger, and when you're done, run to the mayor and offer to help with the efforts."

"Sure thing!" Biff seemed relieved that he had some actual instructions rather than running about and being bothersome. The three of them ran into the square of the village, with Biff running off to the east to spread the word some more.

The village wasn't as lively as Flint had expected as the two came to the well placed in the center of the village. Some kids were heading south, towards his house, while some of the older gossipers flapped their gums at the well, as if talking about the latest dirt on whoever was more important than their lives and their village.

The mayor's head was practically spinning off his neck in his excitement, and, typical for him, he managed to accomplish very little. They both headed north, between the hills and into the open plains. Just off the beaten path was Leder, doing his sole thing he was hired to do by ringing the bell and alerting the village to an incoming danger.

"Hey, Leder!" Thomas called, tilting his head way back so his voice could carry up to Leder. "Can you see the fire from up there?" Leder didn't respond, though, and he simply kept ringing away at his bell. Thomas tried several more times to get his attention.

That was just who he was, though. As far as Flint had known, Leder hadn't spoken a word in his life. They both shot off to the west, following the billowing tower of smoke rising up from Sunshine Forest.

The heat blowing in from the forest began to really intensify as they got closer. Just before the Prayer Sanctuary, they saw Bud and Lou huddled next to a tree - Bud was leaning forward while Lou was saying some encouraging words. It sounded like Bud was heaving up a storm.

"Lou," Flint said, approaching the two boys, "is Bud alright?"

"He's fine," Lou replied, looking over his shoulder to look Flint in the eye. "We were in the woods when it happened. The flames started coming our way, so we ran with all our might. We got out of the forest in time; Bud's just out of shape, is all."

"Shut up," Bud managed to spit between coughs and wheezes.

"Did you two see Lighter and Fuel on your way out?"

"No," Lou said sadly, thinking of little Fuel stuck in his house in the middle of the forest. "We have no idea where they are. We just ran to save our own skin."

"I see," Flint grunted. One of his more admirable traits was how he was totally stoic, even in the face of real danger like a forest fire, but he was highly emotive and protective towards his family. "You two make sure nobody else goes in after me and Thomas."

"We won't need to," Lou said, pointing farther down the road, just past the sanctuary, "Ed's doing a fine job for us."

Flint nodded in thanks and pressed on, Thomas nervously following behind - he wasn't expecting to be dragged into the thick of it. He just wanted Flint to do it.

Just around the corner from the sanctuary was Ed, blocking the path from a passive Ollie and an aggressive Butch, both of them trying to get into the forest to see the fire for themselves.

"I can be useful, too!" he pleaded. "I'm not just some nosy onlooker!"

"And what about Butch?" asked Thomas.

"I see."

"Flint!" Ed called, wrestling with Butch, trying to keep him from pushing past. "Lighter and Fuel have got to still be in there! I'll hold back-" He stuttered, planting his feet firmly as Butch threw his weight into Ed, trying to knock past him. "I'll hold back these rubberneckers! You just go and find them!"

Flint adjusted his hat on his head and dashed into the thicket, Thomas close behind. The air began to get hot and the smoke was beginning to get thick the farther they ran in, and not too far into the brush, they came across Mike. He was crouched over, keeping his head low from the fumes, his breath short and heavy. He lifted his gaze to the sound of the approaching footsteps, to see who else could have had the guts to run into a forest fire.

"Flint," he managed to cough out.

Mike had a bit of an inflated head, but he and Flint were definitely among the best and strongest in Tazmily. But where he excelled in physical strength, he wasn't so healthy on the inside. His throat was always very sensitive to irritation, so running into a smoke-filled forest was a bit dumb on his end.

"Mike, go back to the village," Flint said, patting him on the back. "Stand with Ed and keep anyone from following me and Thomas in. You'll be better off there without hacking up a lung."

Mike nodded his head a few times as he turned back, past him and Thomas towards the forest entrance. "What is all this 'me and Thomas' business, Flint?" Thomas asked nervously, his hand shaking on the crank of his emergency horn. "I just wanted you to do it. I'm hardly any good with the whole 'being a hero' thing."

"You're gonna learn," Flint replied simply, and silently pressed forward. Thomas could turn around and find something more his league to do, but Flint would give him that silent treatment - well, quieter than he usually was - and, he had to admit, his opportunity to be something more than just a bazaar clerk, if only for a while, was exhilarating.

At the first sign of trouble, though, he was less than helpful.

Isaac's house was just a little ways into the forest - he was a pharmacist, so his ideal space to live was near the herbs he could make his medicines from, but close to the village so he'd be on hand whenever they needed him. His medicines tasted awful, but did they ever work.

In front of his door was Matt, an average-sized guy with above-averaged sized hair. He was banging on the door restlessly, calling Isaac's name, but there was no answer, but the lights were on in his house. "Matt!" Flint called, approaching him and his mammoth afro. "Where is Isaac?"

"I don't know!" he replied between each beat on the door. "Isaac would never leave the lights on at his place if he's not in. He's gotta be in there! But there's no answer!"

Thomas was looking into one of the windows, trying to scan the inside of the house through the smoke. "I can't see anything," he said. The shades were drawn, and he could get a few glances between the curtains, but there was no sign on movement on the inside. "I can't tell if he's in there."

"Matt, you keep trying," Flint said. "If you don't see any sign of Isaac in the next ten minutes, kick in the window. I'll fix it myself later if the house survives the fire."

"You got it," Matt said, resuming his assault on the door.

And just a short distance from Isaac's was another downed, able-bodied man. Bronson was face-down in the grass, his clothes and his face black with soot.

"Flint?" Bronson coughed, lifting his head from the grass, coughing and hacking up a bit more before he could continue.

"I'm pretty sure they're stuck farther in!"

"Can you stand, Bronson?" asked Flint.

"I'm fine!" he said angrily, coughing out some more soot from his caked throat. "Don't worry about me! Fuel's just a little boy; go help them! I can handle myself!" Bronson was always very proud of his physique, so being felled by just a little dust was a little grating to him personally.

Flint and Thomas carried on, the light of the fire illuminating the night sky as they got closer, and before they even knew it, they were in the middle of the blaze.

Thomas was running forward with his hands over his face, trying to shield his eyes and nose from the intense heat. Flint kept his eyes peeled, however, searching every inch of the burning forest he could for any sign at all of Lighter or Fuel. Everything was either on fire or already burnt out: he was hoping neither of them were caught under any debris or by the smoke. Just as the two rounded a burning tree, Flint ground to a very sudden stop.

He stretched out his right arm, catching Thomas before the man could pass, and brought them back behind the tree. Thomas was about to ask what the big idea was, when Flint shushed him by bringing a finger to his lips, and pointing just around the base of the tree. Standing just on the other side was a man wearing a peculiar uniform - one neither of them had seen before.

"Who was that?" asked Thomas in bewilderment. With the uniform he was wearing, it hardly even looked human.

"Don't know," Flint replied, continuing forward from behind the tree once the man in the uniform was gone.

"What were those bugs he released?"

"Don't know."

"Do you think…that maybe he started the fire?"

"Don't know." Flint continued forward, his head constantly swinging side to side, scanning the forest for footprints or something to tell him that Lighter and Fuel were nearby.

"Should we-"

"Thomas." Flint said suddenly.


Some of the normally-shy creatures of the forest were in a panic over the fire, shrieking and scrambling in their own ways as they tried to find safe shelter from the blaze. Most avoided the two humans, but others were aggressive in their sheer confusion.

The Yammonster usually kept to itself and did their best to avoid any and all confrontation from any creature, especially once the humans realized they were a delicious treat. But with the ground too hot to stay in, some of them were running around crazily, trying to escape the fire. They were unusually rowdy from it as well.

Thomas responded the only way he knew how.

As did Flint.

The Yammonster's were popping up all over the place, but it was easy as playing a game of Whack-a-Mondo-Mole for Flint. The more pressing issue was the fire, and how it kept getting thicker the farther they both went in. At least, with plenty of ventilation, they didn't have to worry about smoke, but even Flint was beginning to sweat under his collar from the intense heat of the flames.

It wasn't too far from their sixth Yammonster that they found another man lying in the grass, although this time he was lying face-up. Next to him was a massive winged insect, like Flint had never seen before, lying dazed and defeated on the ground. Just a few feet away was a four-by-four log of worn, square wood, dropped hastily to the ground near the man's head.

They both recognized the man right away.

"Hey! Lighter!" Thomas yelled, cradling the man's head in his hands while he tried to rouse him from his sleep. "Are you alright? Wake up, Lighter!"

After a few more tries of shouting and shaking, Lighter began to stir on the ground - mostly some minor twitching in his arms and legs, but once he regained himself, he let out a massive, throaty cough, cleaning his mouth of all the soot he had inhaled.

He groaned, shaking his head a bit, slowly blinking his eyes awake. His head was pounding, and his muscles were all sore. But once his vision focused and he could see and think straight, he recognized the two men leaning over him immediately. "Thomas," he moaned, scratching his throat with his left hand, "and Flint." His throat was so backed up he could hardly squeak out a voice at all. "Damn it," he cursed, clearing his throat and coughing some more.

"I can't get passed them!"

Flint and Thomas both looked to the large insect that lay prone on the ground. Just like Lighter, it began to twitch to life.

"Just what is that thing?" asked Thomas, trying to get some info out of Lighter in case he passed out again. "Some kind of bug?"

"Dunno," he replied between coughs. "They're goin' around the forest, lightin' fires. Makin' things worse." Just as he thought about the last few fights with the things, his eyes shot open, remembering about his son. "But never mind that! Fuel's still at home!"

Thomas lurched forward at the news, his eyes just as wide. "What?! Fuel's still in your shack?!" He immediately spun his head to Flint. "Flint, you go help Fuel! I'll look after Lighter!"

Flint nodded quickly, picking himself up from Lighter's side and dashing forward towards their shack, when suddenly, he was ambushed by three more of the insects Lighter was having trouble with.

The fireflies were massive, oddly-coloured insects the likes Flint had never seen before. They moved erratically, and when they charged towards him, their bodies ignited in their own flames, charging forward with uncanny power for a creature its size. What's more, they could even shoot fire at him: they spat some kind of combustible stomach fluid at him that caught fire as it left their mouths.

But with a little muscle,

and putting some back into it,

they weren't much a guy like him couldn't handle.

Flint sprinted forward. Lighter's cabin was just a stone's throw away, right in the center of the whole mess. Just around some burning trees, straight down the path, and Flint could make out the top floor of Lighter's cabin.

"Help!" he heard a boy cry as he neared the house. Without breaking his stride, he looked up into the only window on the second story of Lighter's cabin. There was Fuel, leaning out the window and waving his arms, shouting for help with everything his lungs could give. And in another second, the flames overtook him.

Without a second thought about it, he charged into the door, its frame destroyed and its hinges practically melting. It came off rather easily.

And inside, among the burning towels and smashed dinnerware and lit timber was another…peculiar creature running to and fro along the floor of the cabin.

It appeared to move and scurry like a mouse, but…it was adorned with a set of insect wings. So it couldn't have been a mouse, right? Mice didn't have long, papery-thin wings…

But whatever the creature was could wait: Fuel was still up there, and the house was burning down around them! Flint made a dash for the stairs in the back, when the flying mouse decided Flint had intruded on its personal space.

It made a flying dive for him, dipping down and zooming by, just barely missing his skull. Flint spun around, his fists raised defensively, waiting for the flying vermin to make another pass. He hadn't expected the creature to come in as low as it did, though, and it managed to feint into him lowering his guard appropriately as it suddenly adjusted upward to get him in the face.

Flint steadied himself as the creature circled the room high above him, looking for another opportunity to come in and attack. Flint had to watch his balance; the house was on fire, and there was no good place to keep his footing. The flying mouse saw an opening in Flint's concentration and dove back in for another bite, but Flint was on his toes - the moment the creature was in arm's reach, Flint got in a combo of his own.

With the beast adequately tame, Flint ran up the creaking, breaking stairs, to find Fuel huddled in the corner, frighteningly watching the support beams fall and burn from the roof into the center of the floor.

Flint immediately ran to the other side of the room, the only path open that wasn't about to collapse under the weight of the debris from above. There was a beam between him and Fuel; with all his strength, he pushed forward, splintering the weakened beam easily.

Fuel looked a little dirty, but he seemed to be okay for the most part. There were no burns on his clothes, either. "Come on, Fuel," Flint coughed through the smoke, picking the boy onto his feet. "We gotta leave."

The two made it to the bottom floor of the house, the walls and the ceilings crashing in from all around them. They both ran for their lives, and just as they made it out the front door…

Flint and Fuel were both clear of the collapse, just as the roof caved in under itself and took the rest of the house with it. All that was left was a heap of burnt wood; all Lighter and Fuel had to them now were the clothes on their backs.

"Oh, you're pitch-black too, Mr. Flint," Fuel pointed out. Flint didn't really pay that any mind; he was just glad that he and Fuel had made it out without any injuries. A little soot was a small price to pay. "Thank you, Mr. Pitch Black Flint!" Fuel said happily, although his tone implied he was aware of the gravity of the situation. "Thank you so, so much, Mr. Pitch Black Flint!"

Flint brought his hand to his eyes, wiping them clear of the soot. "You're welcome, Fuel," he replied. "Let's get you to your dad."

"Oh yeah!" chirped Fuel, turning back to the wreck of his house. "We need to let my dad know I'm okay."

They both began to head back to Tazmily, away from the fire and back to safety. On the way, though, Thomas and Lighter were both missing from where he had left them. Flint figured that Thomas was just being a man of his word, though, and had gotten Lighter back to the village safely.

Bronson wasn't where Flint last saw him either.

And Matt wasn't pounding on Isaac's door. And since the windows weren't kicked in, Flint had to assume Isaac got to him before he could.

The forest was clear of everybody, thankfully, so he and Fuel were the last ones out. It was a long sprint - it was more taxing on Fuel than it was on him, but the boy was strong, and kept himself up the whole way out. It was a hell of a trek, but they got themselves to the mouth of the path next to the Prayer Sanctuary in one piece.

Leder was still banging away at his bell just north of the Square, and standing there next to the sanctuary was Thomas, taking Ed's place to make sure nobody else went in. "Flint!" he called once he saw the two emerge from the forest.

"Being the responsible man that I am," he continued, dressing himself up with his words, "I managed to bring Lighter all the way back here. Hurry and let him see Fuel; he could use some good news right now."

"Where is he?" asked Flint.

"Just over there." He pointed straight ahead, just a little way down the road. "He's recuperating from some of his nastier burns." Fuel was already off like a shot to see his dad, not waiting for the adults to finish their chit-chat. Wordlessly, Flint followed behind, catching up to the boy as he leaned over the table his father was resting on. Lighter was covered head to toe in bandages, splints, and casts - they might have overdone it a little.

"Dad!" Fuel called, getting his father's attention.

"You're alright?!" he said, his voice shaky with gratitude. He was really worried for his son. He forced his eyes open, looking over the crowd for his son. There was only one boy in the group, and his was covered head to toe in black soot. "What happened to you?" he asked wearily, reaching up with his right hand to cup his son's cheek, rubbing the grime from his skin with his thumb. "You're pitch black, and covered in soot."

"Yeah, and what about you, dad?" Fuel asked, looking over his father's body. "You busted your leg!"

"Oh, this?" asked Lighter, his voice gaining strength to put on a front for his son. "This ain't nothin'!" He began twisting around on the table, proving to his son that he was still strong. "All I gotta do is twist this like so, and do this, and then…"

"Boss!" Lou shouted, concerned for Lighter's health. "What in the world are you doing?!"

"Fixing my injuries, obviously! What does it look like?!"

"So, anyway, guys," Thomas said loudly, interrupting Lou and Lighter before that fight could get any worse. "We sure are lucky that Flint showed up when he did, eh? He and Lighter have been quarrelling buddies since they were kids. It's enough to make a guy like me jealous."

Flint approached the table, keeping his eye on Lighter's injuries. He and Lighter disagreed on a lot of things, sure…but Lighter was his best friend. Fuel was practically his own son, at that, and he was sure Lighter felt the same way towards Lucas and Claus.

"Guess I showed my not-so-tough side, huh?" He looked to Fuel, then back to him. "I owe you one for today." Flint simply said nothing in response.

Lou was silently aghast at Lighter's words, however. "I think that's the first time I've ever heard the boss thank anyone."

Bronson laughed at that. "I think you're right! The only way this could be any stranger is if it started pouring rain!"

"Let's just hope the rain puts out the fire," Thomas thought aloud, turning back to the orange baseline of the night sky, the column of smoke still rising into the clouds. The rain really began to pick up quickly, and in just a matter of moments, Flint and Fuel were clean of their soot.

Ed circled around to Lighter's head, getting ready to help him stand. "We need to tend to Lighter," he said. "Let's take him back to the Yado Inn. He can get fixed there." The others agreed, and, gently, began to help Lighter off the table, to carry him all the way back to the village.