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Animus, Chapter 2: "Pleased To Meet You...?"


Ness suggested that the group all head to the Scaraba Cultural Museum for research.
RG shook his head in disbelief. "But that just gives those ghosts extra time to plot against us! Shouldn't we go after them now and find them before they can get the jump on us again?"
Ness took his chin in his hand. "Well, those ghosts couldn't have come from here, since the only threats around here were taxis and signs, and they're not even active now," he explained, sweeping his arms towards the street, "but they must have come from nearby. I think if we look around the museum, we might find something about spirits that could explain it."
Everyone was silent. Paula stared as the two argued, and then drooped her head in thought. Then she picked up and said, "Yes, I feel we should go too... that the information we're looking for is in the museum...."
RG turned to Rusty, who replied, "If Paula thinks we shoul' go, then ah agree."
RG whirled to face Tracy. "Not you too?"
Tracy shrugged. "If everyone else thinks it's a good idea, I don't see why not," she answered.
RG sighed. "Okay, fine. You guys are the ones who have some idea what's going on. But it doesn't make much sense that we're looking for information we might not even find - especially when we don't know what to look for." The five began to walk down the main road of the tourist town to the Scaraba Cultural Museum.

A lone figure floated through the air, legs crossed and hands clasped in his lap, somewhere over the town of Twoson. He had on a pair of glasses, and wore a long-sleeved solid green shirt with black slacks. His midnight blue cape flowed backward as he glided along.
"Man, talk about overprotective parents," he muttered to himself. "Mrs. Polestar was no help. I guess I should've made a better first impression... but when you attack people's children, I guess they become kind of biased against you." He paused as he sailed through the air. "I just wanted to say hello to Paula and Ness, but if I can't find out where they are...." He mumbled under his breath about Mrs. Polestar's paranoia. The more he thought about it, the more upset he became. Eventually, he began to feel hyperactive, and decided he wanted to do some mischief. "He he.... for all the trouble I'm going through to find them, maybe I'll have some fun with those two." The boy prepared to use his teleport and locate person spells. He would find his acquaintances.
He decided to use his Trick teleport, instead of his magic teleport, so as to save MP. The boy closed his eyes and imagined a breeze coming from another space. A curtain wound out of nowhere, slowly enclosing a ten-foot radius of space around him. As the edges of the curtain met in the front, a picture of a sun with the initials "ST" came together. From inside, an affected, womanish laugh sounded across the area. It sounded very conspicuous, but he had no concern with being that way - he had become used to doing so. Then, after a few moments, the curtain spun back into nowhere, leaving empty space where the boy had been.

"What just happened?" the figure demanded. "By the way, my name's Cyan."
"I don't know," Anthadd replied. "All I can figure is that someone stole the glyphs. But I don't know why that person stole them."
The dust cleared.
"Anyways," Anthadd began, "there's no need to worry. I've memorised the translation. I think."
Cyan rolled his eyes.
"Then what was it about?"
"A villain borne of evil, and reborne of Animus. People have to destroy it."
Am I truly destined to be a warrior? Cyan thought. Everything seems to point to the fact that I am...

Mike, flabbergasted, didn't know what to do. He thought fast and did the only thing that would actually get this strange fellow to leave him alone. "I've never seen you in my life." He then went to an unoccupied table and read the menu.
The waiter asked Poo if he could pay up front. Defeated, Poo said that he didn't have the money right now. However, the waiter didn't want to be forgiving at that point. He called his goons over to toss Poo out of the restaurant. They picked him up and tossed him out into the street.
Mike, observing this, was disgusted. "Waiter, please invite that person back into this restaurant. We're..." Mike gulped. "Friends. Also, bring him another bowl of Kraken soup. I can cover the expenses."
The waiter, shrugging, told Poo to come back in. Poo walked back in, brushed himself off, and sneered at the waiter. "Yeah, next time I'll give ya a piece of my-" He then stopped. "Heya... Mike? Thanks. I haven't eaten in a day or so." He sat down and waited for his soup. In the meantime, he wolfed down the bread that was on the table.
Mike looked down at his watch. Man, I wish she would hurry up. He then glanced over at Poo. "What's your name, pal?"
"The name's Poo. This is my first time at this restaurant. I didn't know that you had to pay first. I left all of my money in my coat, which is in the coat check room."
"I see. Were you waiting for somebody?"
"Naw, I was just hungry. Why, you waitin' for somebody?"
"Yes."
"I see." The waiter snuck up on Poo and suddenly set his soup down on the table. Startled, he leapt up. He accidentally hit another customer, causing his Pasta di Summers to fly all over the place, including that customer's clothing. Mike began laughing hysterically. He then stopped, and asked if the other customer was alright.
"Yeah, I'm fine, but my clothes are a different thing." He noticed that his dagger was showing. He quickly covered it up.
"Well, sorry about all of that, but Poo here APPEARS to be a bit clumsy... here, come sit with us and I'll buy you another Pasta di Summers." Mike then glanced down into his wallet. Man, it sure is a good thing that I have a well-paying job, or else I'd be stuck washing dishes at this place for an eternity... oh, I wish she would hurry up so I can do other things.
The customer, not knowing what else to do, shrugged, and introduced himself. "Hello, I'm Skulryk. I'm a museum curator." He then took a seat, and a short conversation started.

They arrived at the museum and RG asked, "What exactly is it that you think we are going to find here?"
"I told you we don't know yet," Ness said impatiently. RG shrugged and put his walkman's head phones on and started listening to some music. They walked into the museum, each paying their entry fee, and walked down the hall to the new artifacts room.
RG wasn't paying attention at all and walked right into a room near the back of the building. He looked around and saw an interesting golden statue. It was not the Mani Mani, but something different. He looked at it and wondered why there was a open part to it. RG quickly popped it into his pocket and walked back to where the others were.
The others, not finding anything, decided to leave. When they were a safe distance away, RG pulled the gollden statue out of his pocket and showed it to the rest of the gang.
"So, you're trying to tell us you stole that?" Tracy demanded.
"No, I like to call it borrowing, or let's say, repossessing."
Ness interrupted, "You're crazy as always, RG."
RG turned the statue over in his hand. It was large and quite heavy. It was also made of solid gold. RG asked if it might hold some sort of clue. The others didn't know, but RG knew someone that might. They headed off towards Toto to see Ron, the hieroglyph and artifact expert. RG and the crew walked along until they entered Toto.
Someone brushed past RG. He then noticed that the statue was missing. The man that had brushed against him started running. RG, however, could run much faster and tackled the strange man.
The man stated his name was Alexander and he was just a common thief. RG grabbed the statue and let him go.
"What was that little incident all about?" asked Paula. RG didn't answer and started walking towards Toto again.

"So *chomp* you're a museum curator? *chomp chomp*" asked Poo with a mouthful of bread.
"That is correct," Skulryk replied, tucking his dagger away.
She still isn't here... Mike thought. Mike's thoughts came to an end when he smelled the horrendous odor drifting through the opening of the restaurant. "Ugh! What is that?" Mike said in disgust. Poo and Skulryk held their noses in response. The three looked around the restaurant to see all the other customers leaving.
"I'm never eating at this horrible place again!" a fat woman shrieked.
"Madam, I can assure you that it has nothing to do with our foo--" the manager of restaurant tried to explain. But before he could finish, she was out the door.
"Sir," Poo started. "What would that smell be then?"
"I don't know..." the manager responded, grimly. "I really don't know...but if you find out for me, I'm willing to pay each of you fifty dollars."
"Fifty dollars!?" asked Poo as he spit out a mouthful of bread bits. "We'll do it!" Mike explained that he didn't need the money and he didn't have the time, but Poo dragged him into it anyways. And just as Skulryk thought he was safe and could get on his way, Poo managed to drag him into it, too.
"Yo, Mike, what IS that smell?" said a sudden disembodied voice from behind Poo's head.
"Yiiiii!!" screeched Poo, jumping up again, and knocking yet another Pasta di Summers over, this time onto an annoyed looking teenage girl.
"Gee, my fondest wish come true! A headful of noodles!" she said, her voice dripping with sarcasm.
Mike started laughing hysterically again, while the girl did her best to wipe off the noodles.
"Hehe, this is Luna," he said, indicating the girl glaring fiercly at Poo. "She's a friend of mine. Luna, meet Poo and Skulryk. Skulryk and Poo, meet Luna."
"Reaaaaaally..." asked Poo thoughtfully. "Hey Luna, want to earn fifty bucks by just finding out what that smell is?"
"Sure, as long as you don't dump any more noodles on me..." she said offhandedly, picking a noodle out from behind her ear.
"Right, then let's get going," said Skulryk, standing up.

Siris tried to call out again, but the smoke made it hard to breathe. He waited until it cleared, then shouted.
"Hey! Is anybody there?" Siris walked forward and saw two figures, one resembling a dragon. Intrigued, Siris stepped forward and showed himself. "Er... hello," he stuttered. "I'm... uh... my name is Siris. I sensed your powers, and found you."
Anthadd and Cyan introduced themselves.
"So, uh... why are you here?" Siris asked.
"I was studying the hieroglyphs," Anthadd responded. "But they seem to have been stolen."
"Hieroglyphs?" Siris asked warily.
"Yes," Cyan confirmed. "Anthadd thinks he memorized them."
Siris grinned. "What did they say?"
"Something along the lines of: A villain borne of evil, and reborne of Animus."
Siris's grin faded. "Animus..." he muttered. "Could it be... Belch?"
"I beg your pardon?" Anthadd said, his eyes narrowing.
Siris proceeded to tell his story, as much as he knew...

When they arrived in Toto they knocked on Ron's door, and he opened it and welcomed them in. RG sat down and told the whole story.
RG then asked, "You can help us, right?"
The mysterious young man stood there and just said, "No, no I can not." RG was so enraged he felt like breaking the chair he was sitting on in half. RG said nothing and very quietly left the room.

When they were back outside, Ness said, "Well, that was just one big waste of time!"
"Well so was that museum you insisted on going to!" RG shot back. RG didn't know what to do. When they did something wrong they wouldn't even admit it, but when he did something wrong they would all swarm around him like flies. RG decided that he had had enough of this. "Well then, I hope you're happy!" RG yelled as he started to walk away from the gang.

RG was now on his own, not knowing what to do. He decided to go to Scaraba to get a first hand look on what was happening there. RG walked back to Toto, right by Ness and company, and met a sea captain. "Will you take me to Scaraba?" RG asked politely.
"Will you pay me?" asked the sea captain.
RG seemed to get a good laugh out of this. "Yes of course I will pay you," RG declared. So RG handed the captain some money and they both got down into the boat and started sailing.

It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining, the birds were singing, and the water was very clear. They kept on sailing, floating past a few clustered islands, and RG saw something swimming down below in the deep water. It was a Kraken. The Kraken burst right through the boat, throwing RG and the captain overboard.
RG jumped on some wood that was left from the boat and screamed, "PSI DESTRUCTION!" A giant black beam burst from RG's hands and the Kraken was blown back into the water, probably dead.
RG looked and his statue was missing. He looked at the water, and it appeared to be floating. He grabbed it and slipped it back into his pocket.

RG swam over to Scaraba, but the captain chose to swim back to Toto. RG didn't really care what happened to him. RG walked over to the entrance of the "park" and asked one man what he had for sale. "I have snake bags," he almost hissed. RG bought a snake bag and kept on walking.
He saw some sort of blob coming onto shore, and some dead bodies floating in the water. RG, using his stealth techniques, snuck over to where the Sphinx was located. He then heard a voice say, "Are you a thief, a warrior, or one who has come to see my majesty? You must decide what you really are. Therefore, what will you do?"
"I am a warrior of some sorts," RG announced.
"Then you may enter," the voice said.

It was dark and he could barely make out a figure. "Who's there?" RG asked. He pulled out his small pocket light that he always carried with him. "Siris?" RG asked as he squinted to see closer.

In Winters, a curtain wound out of thin air and covered a sphere-shaped area. It had the sun with the initials "ST" inside on it again. The curtain receded, and the boy was floating in midair where it had been covering the space.
"Okay... let's see...." He concentrated, and mumbled something in an odd language, under his breath. His eyes snapped open and he stared around him. After a minute, he lowered his head again. "Nothing! Darn, I'm losing MP fast." He took out a small bottle and drank from it. "There, some is restored. Now, I guess I'd better try somewhere else..."
The curtain reappeared, covering him.

"Mah..... that RG shore is impatient!" replied Rusty.
Ness rolled his eyes. "He's like that. What can I say?" Then he squinted and thought to himself. "Well.... the museum didn't have anything useful. We need a new plan.... should we just wait until they come back?"
"Wait for those ghosts?" asked Tracy. "But then we'd just be letting them attack us again."
"But what else can we do?" argued Ness. "We have no idea why they attacked us. The next time they show up, maybe we can ask them."
Paula shook her head. "I think they'd have come somewhere from the south. But, it would take too long to search the whole area, and we'd need to hire a ship, and we're not prepared for a journey through the desert..."
Rusty grinned. "When ya put it that way, maybe we oughtta wait."
Ness, Paula, and Tracy agreed quietly. "Until then, maybe we should get some supplies for the trouble that's coming up," suggested Ness. "Let's go to the nearest shop." The four headed off down the main street, in search of supplies.

The boy with the curtain was hovering over the skies of Summers now, scanning the area with the help of his magic. He felt something....
He could sense a familiar aura.... off to the southeast. "The main road..." he whispered. He landed in a secluded spot and walked in the direction that the magic lead him. The boy's face brightened upon seeing a boy in a red cap and blue-and-yellow striped shirt, a young girl hovering around him, an older girl in a pink dress, and a man with a bushy black beard. "Yay, I did it!" giggled the boy quietly. "Okay, I'll follow them while I come up with a fun trick to play. I just hope Ness doesn't chase me with his bat again..." He shuddered at the memory of the pain induced by the contact of Ness's bat, and then shadowed the party as they headed for the store.

"Sounds to me like Belch might be behind it, not that I've been here long," agreed Cyan.
"Yes, but how do we deal him if we can't get near him and still breathe?" asked Anthadd.
"He's also sure to have flunkies," added Cyan.
"I do not know how to fight him. I just know what Apple Kid told me," stated Siris.
"Well, if we're going to deal with him eventually, maybe we should learn what we can right now. I wouldn't mind talking to Apple Kid or looking around the rest of Deep Darkness, myself," said Cyan.
"There could be other people who have seen Belch or been attacked by him. We need to know what we're dealing with," agreed Anthadd.
"I can show you were you need to go. Can you guys fly, by any chance?"
"Yeah, that's not a problem. Do we go, Anthadd...?"

A teenaged blonde girl sat down on her chair, trying to get a nice tan while looking at another boy who was swinging his sword around in the tide. Each motion of the boy caused a shadow to drape over her tan, causing her to start boiling up.
Finally, she couldn't take it anymore. She politely said, "Would you mind not swinging that sword of yours? It's a time to settle down and enjoy our vacation!" She sighed. "Besides, you won't have to worry about enemies anymore! Did you not already help a group of people take out an enemy?"
The boy stopped and sat down next to the girl and looked at her. "Yeah, sort of," he said as he brushed the front of his spiked hair. "Mika, I have to be prepared for things like that. It's my calling."
Mika, who savoured a sip of her lemonade, glared at Rockwell and slowly said, "Give your calling a rest, Rockwell..."
Rockwell chuckled and steathed his sword and then lay down to rest.
"You never told me where you came from, when we first met..." Mika said as she looked at Rockwell, "especially the part how you fell on top of me..."
"It's hard to explain, actually..." Rockwell sighed, "but... I promise, I promise, I'll tell you."
Mika looked at him and said, "Why don't you be a dear and get me another glass of lemonade?" Then she sniffed and coughed, "And what in the world is that foul smell?"

Dan walked up to the group of StreetFighter machines. Apparently there was a tourney, and with quite a prize; A Free trip to Summers! Dan immediatly signed up, and soon after, the trip was his. He wrote a note to his family and posted it on the refrigerator; they wouldn't mind. And with that, he was sent to the airport, bags in tow.
Soon after touchdown, he was on a shuttle bus to the hotel. He noticed the Lees were in the guest register. (Hacking was a hobby of his.) Maybe he'd see Ness; man, was this turning out great.

Skulryk, Mike, Luna, and Poo stepped out of the restaurant into the street. The smell had become a bit stronger out here...
"What could that BE?" Luna exclaimed. "This kind of stuff doesn't happen in Summers... something is up!"
Skulryk took a look across the beach. "Listen, nothing really apparent seems to be going on... I don't know what it could be, but I don't really need the $50... besides, I should be going home about..."
"Hey, shut up! This is a good business!" Poo said. "Besides, just because YOU don't need the money doesn't mean others don't! Don't be so inconsiderate!"
Skulryk stood dumbfounded with Poo's logic, and followed the rest of the group.
"Hmm... this smell is familiar, actually..." Skulryk said. "When I was in the museum I smelled it, but I just thought it was bad ventilation... I guess it's not though..."
"Yeah, yeah, we don't need to know what it ISN'T, we need to know what it IS!" Poo said. "Now, let's get going!"

After about 15 minutes of wandering around, Poo was trying to get information from the Myna bird. Skulryk, Luna, and Mike sat at the bench, sighing as Poo went over the same conversations with the bird.
"Hey, little birdy!" Poo said. "What can you tell me?"
"If you're bored, go check out the "Scaraba Cultural Museum". It may be helpful to you. They have a hieroglyph from a pyramid," The myna bird responded.
"No, no, no... anything else?"
"Don't talk to me. My mind is a complete blank," the myna bird said.
Poo sighed. "Um... keep going..."
"The guy next to me is really bugging me. He keeps following me around."
"Come on, I'm growing impatient here!"
"If you're bored, go check out the "Scaraba Cultural Museum". It may be helpful to you. They have a hieroglyph from a pyramid."
"You already said that..."
"Hey, little birdy! What can you tell me?" The myna bird said in a voice similar to Poo's.
"Hey, you're imitating me!"
"*gyork gyork gyork* Finally, my chance to destroy Ness!"
"Wha... HEY! Finally, information? Can you give me anything more?"
"Wake up in the morning, fall in love. Eat lunch, fall in love. And at night, fall in love again... That's my dream life."
"Ah, forget it..."
Poo headed back to the group. "I got a clue! The myna bird said *gyork gyork gyork*! Anyone know what that might mean?"
The group stared at Poo and sighed.
"What could that possibly mean?" Luna said. "Come on, let's go somewhere else..."
"Oh, fine, all right.." Poo said. The group left, but Poo was still wondering what "*gyork gyork gyork* Finally, my chance to destroy Ness!" meant...

RG still didn't get an answer. He walked a little farther, but couldn't see a thing, but could see a small light near the thing he thought to be human. He walked over and tapped a young man on the shoulder, and he turned around and punched RG in the chest.
RG got to his feet and saw that it was indeed a human being, but he was with others. "Who are you all?" RG asked.
"This is Anthadd and this is Cyan," said the young warrior, Siris, pointing to two people standing next to him. RG nodded his head and explained who he was to Anthadd, Cyan, and Siris. He then started to explain where he had come from.
After explaining the whole incident with Ness he asked what they were all doing. They explained the whole story of how someone had stolen the glyphs and how Anthadd had remembered them. He then told the whole story about Belch and Apple Kid.
Siris asked if they should go again. RG stood and looked at his new companions. RG awaited Anthadd's answer. RG really wanted to help get rid of Belch, or whatever other evil was out there.

Suddenly a portal appeared out of nowhere, sucking Rockwell into a void that seemed endless! The void slowly disintegrated and disappeared. However, Mika sat there, blinking through her sunglasses and shrugged her shoulders.
"I guess that means he won't tell me about how he came to this place..." Mika yawned as she sniffed the air around her. "That stench is growing rather strong now..."

A rumbling surrounded the four in the Pyramid.
"What's that?" Anthadd asked. They looked up.
"Uh oh," Siris said. The pyramid was falling down on them.
They tried to escape, but the ceiling collapsed on them, and they crashed through another floor, and landed in the river.

Anthadd blinked his eyes a few times.
"Where am I?" he demanded, surveying the situation.
He found a harsh cliff, and small islets peppering the water around it.
Anthadd rolled onto his stomach and transformed into Anthdragn. Anthdragn spread his wings and took off into the air.
He alit on the mainland in a nearby forest, and reverted to Anthadd.
"Ke Bao Dragon Armour Defuse," he quickly whispered, causing the armour to return to medallion state.
He quickly surveyed the environs, and hastily exited the forest. He was immediately met with Cyan.
"How'd you get here?" he demanded.
"I have my ways," Cyan replied. "Mind if I follow you, Anthadd?"
"Sure. Have you seen Siris or RG?"
"No. I expect they're closer to Scaraba than we were."
"We were out for some time, I suppose," Anthadd mused, staring at the forest. A temple? No... elsewhere. Not here.

"Perhaps we should go to the Scaraba Cultural Museum..." Poo suggested.
"And go by what that Myna Bird said? No way!" Skulryk responded. Unfortunately, Poo didn't care what Skulryk thought and lead his new friends into the museum. However, Poo was dismayed that you had to pay to get in.
"You want us to pay you, in order to look at stuff a million years old?!" Poo screamed, while standing on the receptionist's desk.
"Come on, Poo, just pay them," Luna said, attempting to avoid any further conflicts.
"Never!" Poo said, as he knocked the desk over.
"Ahhhhhh!" screamed the receptionist, as he feared for his life now. "Just go in! Go in and leave me alone!"
"Poo, you sure can cause a scene..." Mike said, sharing looks with Skulryk and Luna.

Anna landed softly on the sand of her private island, clutching the glyph to her chest.
"Good thing nobody takes any time to read the fine-print these days! However...they still might be up to something." She slowly began to convince herself. Really, she wasn't sure why, but something was strange about those two boys...
"It's like they're connected at the hip," she said bitterly, "and Iím going to find out what it's about."
She craned her head in the hut to see the Stinky Siblings now arguing over an SNES controller.
"I wanna play SMRPG!" Scarlet said, yanking the controller away from Saffron. He flicked up his tail, and whomped her in the skull with the trashcan end. Anna stared on, disgusted.
"I'm going out. I won't be back. Occupy yourselves...or something," With that, she left as quickly as she came.
Indigo stared at the other three. "What's her hurry? We were just going to start a good game of Mario Kart!"
Chartreuse stared at her. "We could be out fighting for her! I think we'd get big points if we went out and got her that Lee kid!"
"Honestly char, they don't make ice packs for broken pride. Or teeth, apparently," Saffron said with a slight arrogance.
Chartreuse stared at him, fuming. "Whatever, man. I'm going after the Lee kid, and you can come with me if you want."
He rushed out the door, and Saffron blinked.
"Eh. Mario Kart SNES is lame anyway." The three ghosts emerged from the hut, and went flying after Chartreuse.

Anna sailed in the night sky, her purple cloak once more thrown across her head. She scanned the horizon for the two boys from the pyramid, but there was nothing.
"Blast!" she cursed, and swooped down near Twoson for a closer view. She looked over treetops for miles, and suddenly saw two strangers standing near a lone trumpeter. Upon close inspection, she noted them to be her suspects.
"Now to find out where the one came from...and why he knows the other so well!"
She slipped her hood over her eyes, and landed in the woods near them.

Man, how did I ever get stuck with him... Mike thought disgustedly. He smiled and nodded at the receptionist. "I'm incredibly sorry about the way he acted. He's very... stingy, I guess you could say. Again, sorry." Mike paid the entrance fee for himself and Luna. Skulryk, being a curator at the museum, walked right in.
Poo was walking around, looking at the exhibits. "Heh heh, look, a lunch box. I wonder what's inside of it..." He opened it up and found nothing. He closed the lid carefully. Apparently, he didn't close it careful enough. The box crashed to the floor and broke into a million pieces. Skulryk let out a scream.
"Look what you did! This was a very old artifact from Scaraba! This is irreplacable! You broke it!" Skulryk picked up the pieces, along with a piece of papyrus paper. "Odd... I don't remember ever seeing this sheet of heiroglyphs before..." He looked them over carefully.
"So, what does it say?" Mike asked. He was peering over his shoulder.
"Well, it says here that in a pyramid in Scaraba lies a message foretelling the coming of... something, I can't make that out. It also says something about a...something else, I don't know, in a different hidden - hidden? yeah... - pyramid. I can't make that part out. I've never seen those symbols before." He carefully carried the paper to his office upstairs. "I'll look at this some more later, perhaps."
"Well, see? I found something cool!" Poo exclaimed, grinning. "Do I get a cash reward of some sort?"
Luna sighed. "Yeah, sure Poo. You can get a cash prize for BREAKING an exhibit and for NOT paying your way into the museum. Anyways, this was an eventful trip to the museum. But I'm hungry now. I wanna eat. Maybe we can discuss what we found over a nice plate of pasta and a salad." She grabbed Mike's arm and hauled him out of the museum.
"Alright, alright! We can go eat now. Geez." He was dragged all the way to the seat in the restaurant that he had originally reserved for lunch.

"Mmmm, I sure could use some tea right now," Poo said. "You're paying, right? Of course you are. Thanks." Mike stared blankly at him.
Skulryk took a seat at the table, pondering the new discovery that was made at the museum just a short while ago. "Hmm..."
"What's on your mind?" Luna asked Skulryk while munching on some bread.

The party of four had found a small group of stores and bought some provisions - various health foods, and also some fruits and vegetables. Ness bought a small good luck charm from a cheap tourist hole, saying that it wouldn't do any harm if it didn't work. Tracy told him that he was only wasting his money.

As they left the store, Ness was walking along, deep in thought. Before he could turn his attention to his surroundings, a bunch of small objects came raining down out of the sky and exploded on the ground in front of him.
"AAAH!" shouted Ness, jumping back. Everyone else drew back as well, to give Ness room.
Then, from above them, came a high-pitched womanish laugh - very irritating, and to Ness and Paula, depressingly familiar.
"Wha...?" was all Rusty could mutter.
"Not him," moaned Ness.
Something fell from the roof of the store and slowed as it neared the ground. Landing neatly in front of the group was the boy who had been following them. He held out his hand, revealing small chocolate-coated balls. "Hi, Ness!" he said, with annoying cheerfulness. "Want some more Bon-Bombs?"
"Go away, SulamiTea," replied Ness, not bothering to be polite. "We're doing more important things right now."
SulamiTea sniffed. "How rude. I only came to say hello.... and lighten my mood by throwing my little chocolate weapons at you." He paused, and frowned. "Honestly, I had such trouble finding you!"
Ness and Paula started to walk away, so Tracy and Rusty assumed that the boy was not supposed to be much use to talk to. "We're kind of busy," flipped Paula. "We were attacked by multicolored Stinky Ghosts, so now we're waiting to see if they'll return to try again."
"Hey!" shouted Sulami. "Don't just walk away from me!" He ran to catch up, much to everyone's dismay. He ran Paula's comment through his mind. "You were attacked? Why was that?"
Ness shook his head. "We don't know. That's what we hope to find out if they come back." He turned to give his best glare to Sulami. "Look, to be blunt, we'd rather not put up with you right now."
SulamiTea tried to smile evilly. "You can't get rid of me. I want to see what's going on, and you know I don't mean you any real trouble."
Ness drew his bat, and SulamiTea withdrew nervously. Then Paula interjected. "Ah, Ness, what harm will it do? Just let him come along, or he'll be sneaking after us the whole way."
The kid in the red cap glared at SulamiTea some more, and then put his bat away. "Oh, okay, you can wait with us. Just don't make a scene." SulamiTea tried to object to this comment, but Ness continued speaking. "I should probably introduce you to Paula's friend. This is Rusty."
Rusty gave a wide grin. "Pleased t' meet yeh," he said, now that SulamiTea appeared to be a good acquaintance.
Sulami only bobbed his head in reply, until he brightened with a sudden thought. "Oh, you must be the Rusty that Tsurami told me about!"
"Tsurami?" said Rusty. "He a twin brother, er somethin'?"
The caped kid seemed surprised. Hmmm, must be another alternate dimension! I wonder what's causing Tsurami and I to appear in these? Could it be a reaction of our knowledge of this place, or maybe our Third Eyes? "Ah... he's a twin, but not a brother. I'll explain later." Rusty still looked puzzled, but contented himself with this promise. "So, just what are you doing now?"
"Just waiting," remarked Ness. "So just relax until something big happens."
SulamiTea turned over to a straight face and replied, "OK." The group, now five again, mulled around Summers, waiting for something to happen.