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Animus, Chapter 3: "Friends, or Enemies?"


Skulryk turned to Luna, snapping out of his thoughts. "Oh... well, I was sort of wondering about everything that's happened for the last few hours. By chance I made an amazing discovery a few hours ago working here, then I go to eat. Once again by chance, I run into all of you, and something strange happens to Summers... Then after that I make another amazing discovery here by Poo's... uh... dumb luck, I guess you'd call it... it all seems like a lot."
"Hmm..." Luna said. "What amazing discovery did you make a few hours ago working here?"
"Well... just promise you won't mention it to a soul..."
Luna looked at him quizically. "Uh... sure..." What could it be? she wondered.
Skulryk pulled out the dagger he had found in the artifact before and showed it to Luna.
"WHOA!" Luna exclaimed. "Where did you get something like that?!? It's beautiful... but I doubt you could afford it with your salary as a curator here..." She looked at Skulryk accusingly.
"That's unimportant... it has a power eminating from it... it's more than just an extremely powerful dagger... this has some kind of power inside it... I don't know how to explain it... but it's more than just a dagger..."
"What'd you do, steal it?" Luna said.
"I already said that's unimportant..." Skulryk said. He grabbed his plate and took a couple bites, thinking about the parchment which he had just obtained.
Skulryk looked over to Poo, who wasn't paying attention to them and was currently gorging himself at Mike's expense. "Yeesh... that Poo's quite a strange person... how did I end up with him?"

"Mmmff!"
Siris awoke, face down in the sand. Immediately his mind was racing, as was his pulse.
Where am I? What happened? Where's Anthadd? Cyan? RG? Siris stood up and brushed the sand off of himself. "Man," he sighed. "This is not going to help my image." He looked around for some trace of the others, but didn't see them. Spitting a few times to rid his mouth of sand, he closed his eyes in concentration.
Where are they...? Siris searched for the unique auras of Cyan and Anthadd. They're out there somewhere, but I can't pinpoint the exact location... Hm. They're in a forest, that I can tell. Forests had always been familiar to Siris.
Siris didn't see anything to justify his location. All he could tell was that he had probably been washed away in a river when the pyramid collapsed. His clothes were slightly damp, after all.
OK Siris, Siris thought to himself. Let's rationalize this. Where should I go? Anthadd and Cyan, I suspect, will still probably go to Deep Darkness, like they said. I'm probably still in Scaraba, so I need to go south. South is-- Siris turned around to face the sea. --that way. Brushing himself off a bit more, Siris skimmed the water's surface, heading south.

After leaving the Summers restaurant, the group decided to sit on the Toto docks and catch the beautiful view of Carillon Beach. Poo had just come back from buying a Gelato De Resort from a street vendor with the money he had "borrowed" from Mike.
"Ew!" Poo exclaimed after one bite. "This is gross." Poo threw the Gelato De Resort at Mike's head.
"Poo, what is your--!!" Mike said as he slipped and fell into the water.
"Mike! Mike!" Poo yelled. "I'll save you!"
"Mike, are you all right?" Luna asked, as Mike bobbed on the surface of the water.
"I'm fine, Poo. You don't have to save me..." Mike said, but it was too late. Poo jumped in anyway.
"Uh oh...I forgot...I can't swim!" Poo remembered.

Awhile later...
Poo woke up to see three pairs of eyes staring down at him. "What happened?" he asked.
"You nearly drowned, but Mike swam you to safety, much to our disapproval..." Luna explained. "It's a good thing that you woke up, too. Skulryk was just about to perform CPR on you."
"Ack!" Poo twisted his face into a mask of disgust. But then his trademark grin reappeared on his face. "How's about we go to the Summers restaurant and warm up with a bowl of Kraken Soup, Mike?"
"No, I really don't--" Mike started to say.
"Come on, don't worry. You can pay this time," Poo reassured him.
I pay every time... Mike thought.

Upon approaching the restaurant, they saw an elderly lady walking to the entrance. Being polite, they let her go first. Unfortunately, she was as slow as molasses. "Come on, Old Timer. Move those rusty bones!" Poo yelled.
"What did you say?" the lady asked as she turned around.
"It was him," Poo said as he pointed to Mike.
"Argh, Poo, what is your--" Mike began to say, but was interrupted when the lady smacked her cane over his head.
"That'll teach you to be disrespectful of your elders!" the lady exclaimed.
"Grr..." Mike growled as he rubbed his head.
Luna and Skulryk glared at Poo menecingly, who quivered for a minute, before looking totally innocent, then asking, "What?!"
"No more food, you scumbag! You are TOTALLY mooching off Mike, then you blame a comment YOU said on him, resulting in a large bump on his head!" Luna yelled at Poo, tapping the bump on Mike's head to make a point.
"Ow ow ow... Luna, that kind of hurts."
"Whoops, sorry! Now Poo, next time you want food... YOU'RE PAYING! Get my drift!?" she said, holding her fist very close to Poo's face.
"Point taken and noted!" Poo said, grinning nervously.
"NOW can we TRY to find out what the smell is!?" Skulryk sighed. "It's getting worse by the minute."
"Yeah, let's go," Mike said, glaring at Poo, who smiled nervously.
Mike, Luna, Skulryk, and Poo continued to wander around. The smell kept growing stronger. Poo noticed that the smell got stronger as he walked near other people. "Man, these people stink!" Poo exclaimed.
Skulryk nudged Poo. "Hey, be nice. That's kinda rude, saying other people stink, ya know." He could hardly stand the smell himself.
They continued walking along, when all of a sudden loud noises were made. "What is that?!" Poo shrieked, nearly knocking another person over. He looked over at the person and started screaming with a very high-pitched voice. "Aaaaaah! Look! It's a mutated person! And he STINKS!" He ran away.
Mike took a look at the person and was frightened by what he saw. The person had mutated with green splotches all over his face. The person walked around making a *gyork gyork* sound. "Holy cow! We gotta get outta here!" They all started running, looking for shelter.
That person wasn't the only one to have mutated. Other townspeople joined him to chase after Luna, Mike, Skulryk, and Poo. They were chanting something while chasing. "Get the ones who are unaltered! Gotta follow Belch." They kept saying that over and over.
Luna found a building that looked uninhabited. "C'mon! Let's go into the hotel! ... You'd think that there'd be more people in here, huh?" The mob of mutated people came around the corner, chanting. She dove into the building. Mike did the same, dragging Poo with him. Skulryk followed suit.

"Okay, we're safe for now. Of course, we can't stay here. They'll find us eventually." Mike stated. He was going to use the phone and call the authorities when all of a sudden a person entered the lobby from the main stairwell. Poo rushed him.
Poo hit the mysterious person into a wall. "Mwahaha! Take that, strange guy!" He grinned.
The person, who had had the wind knocked out of him, only shouted. "What are you doing!? I noticed that a mob was following you guys and I figured that I'd check it out. For all I know, you're bad!"
"Wait, who are you?" Mike asked.
"Why? I'm Dan. Are you really the bad guys?"
"Naw. You don't seem to be affected by whatever got to them. Maybe you can help us figure out how to get outta the city. That seems to be the only logical solution to saving ourselves. Perhaps we could hijack a ship and sail away because traveling on the roads could be a bad idea."
"Yes, but how could we possibly get to Toto from here? We're surrounded by them," Dan said, pointing out a window. It was true; the mutated ones nearly formed a wall that ran from the borderline of Toto to the end of Summers.
"What luck; I get a vacation and I'm stuck inside the hotel," Dan muttered to himself.
They almost missed the small detachment of zombies that had wandered past. Luna managed to see them before it was too late. "Quick, upstairs!" she nearly yelled.
The small group darted up the stairs. Dan grabbed his key out of his pocket, and jammed it into the door. After some frenzied spinning, the lock finally opened with a click. The group ran in and the lock was replaced. Dan looked out the window. "I can see at least 50 near here... we're stuck, unless someone has any ideas or experience with dodging disgusting zombies."

"We should hurry to Deep Darkness," Cyan mused. "I suppose this armour of yours permits you to complete a further transformation, correct?"
"Further transformation?"
"Into a dragon, correct?"
"How in the world do you know about that?"
"I have my methods. Remember, I've been to alternate existences."
"True," Anthadd commented. Again... what's with that temple in the forest... I feel like it's familiar... but it's not here!
Anthadd focused, and transformed into Anthdragn again. Cyan climbed onto Anthdragn, and the two lifted off, in the direction of Deep Darkness, where they wanted to go.

Anna looked at them flying in the air.
"Wonderful!" she hissed. "Just as I'm about to catch up with them, they fly away!"
Anna then became airborne herself, but made sure to keep a good distance, and not appear as if she was following them. After all, it might work for her if she truly looked like she was following the scientist and the mysterious person from the pyramid.

"Well if dem ghosts smell horrible, den I'd be lyin' if ah said they weren't 'round here."
"No, Rusty," said Ness. "I know this smell. It can be none other than..."
Ness and Paula looked at each other.
"Master Belch," they both said in unison.
"Oh! Buster Melts, eh?" Rusty chuckled.
"I get it now, big bro! It all makes sense!"
"Master Belch is nowhere in sight though..." commented Ness as he looked around the area. "How about we ask this dude over here?"
They walked over to a guy, but as they got closer they saw he was rotting and had mold all over him.
"Ewwwwwww," said Paula in disgust.
"*gyork*There's Ness!*BELCH!* Must kill!" replied the man.
"Great Moogaly Googaly!" exclaimed Rusty.
Rusty grabbed Tracy and they all ran for safety.
"The Hotel looks safe!" yelled Paula.

They all ran into the hotel, but were surprised to see normal people like themselves. They all stared at each other until Rusty finally spoke out.
"Hey guys! Pleased to meet some sane people 'round here!" greeted Rusty as he shook everyones hands. "The names Rusty Racinette and this is meh pals Ness, Paula, and Tracy. An' who are you?"
"I'm Poo!" Poo said enthusiastically. "And this is Mike, Luna, Skulryk, and Dan." Hands shook all around as the groups greeted each other. "I have an idea. Let's get to know one another over a meal at the Summers rest--" Before Poo could finish, however, Luna backhanded him. Poo grinned and went into thinking mode. "Well, considering our current predicament, the only possible solution would be to exit from this hotel and make our way to the docks."
Mike, Skulryk, and Luna stared at Poo, blankly, astonished because for the first time since they had met him, he had said something fairly intelligent.
"Now, how do you plan to do this?" Mike asked. Poo responded with a brilliant, yet dangerous plan.
"One of us has to distract those crazy, mutated people while the rest of us make our way on to a boat. Then, the distractor shall make his or her way to the boat, then we set off."
"One question remains," Mike said, grimly. "Which one of us would be the distractor?"

The cloak whipped around her face, cutting off Anna's oxygen every so often. Not like she needed it, she thought grimly.
"Aah! They're getting away!" Anna saw Anthdragn take a small dip, with Cyan struggling to hold on, right near the Two-Three tunnel.
"Where are they going?" She pulled down sharply, and went into a racing dive after them.

Cyan looked behind him, and flicked his head back to Anthdragn. "Anth! Someone's tailing us!"
Anthdragn hissed shortly. "I can loossssee them." He turned in a complete right angle, heading directly south now. However, the mysterious stranger followed without being phased.
The game continued, with each sharp turn causing a violent lurch for both riders. Anna grinned slightly, seeing that she was closing in quickly.
"No one can beat fire in a race of speed!" she cackled. Scratching her chin for a moment, she considered firing at them to slow them down. After some slight deliberation, she decided to fire in FRONT of them, just to make them stop in the air.
She crossed her arms, and a small jet of flame came flying through the air. It slowly shaped into an orb as it closed in on its target.

Anthdragn was going quicker now, and he didn't feel the need to sacrifice any speed on turns for much longer.
"Anth! That nut is firing at us!"
"Whatttt?" he said, flicking his tongue in surprise. He twitched his head slightly, and sure enough, a small flame ball was charging at him.
Quickly, he thought up a plan. He turned sharply, and whammed his wing into the ball. The speed of his wing sent it flying backward - directly at the stranger.

Anna saw the ball coming for her, although the move surprised her slightly. Before she had time to react, the fireball had combined with her fire-staff, completely absorbing it. With a glance downward, she plummeted toward the tall trees.

"There. All taken care offff...."
Cyan looked back, and saw the person falling into the tangled mass of branches.
Against his better judgment, he leaned over to Anthdragn. "Go back for them?"
Anthdragn snorted slightly, but went back with lightning speed.

Anna could feel the ground coming closer to her falling body. She prayed that she could ignite herself in time, burning through the trees. When she looked down, she saw a rush of gold beneath her.
"Ack! The leaves are coming up too fast!" she said, and with a whump she hit the ground.
Or did she?

Anna looked up from where she had fallen, but the air was moving around her. She looked down.
"This isn't the ground... You're that science boy!" Anna said, startled out of her wits. "And you're that other science boy!" she said, turning to the human.
"I have a name, and it's Cyan."
Anna shook her head, unbelieving. "You saved me, even though I fired at you? What are you playing at?" She mulled over the thoughts in her head as Cyan started to rationalize their actions.
"Very well. As a person of a moderate amount of honour, I feel it would be best for me to help you out. When you reach where you're going, however, I'm outta here!"

Mika couldn't take the smell anymore. She walked back to the hotel to get dressed and pack her stuff. She had to leave Summers, people were starting to freak her out and her credit was running out anyway.
She stepped out of her room and bumped into a boy, who was talking to four boys and a girl, and dropped her stuff onto the floor.
"Sorry, I wasn't watching where I was going..." Mika stuttered as she tried to apoligize to the person that she bumped into.
Another boy was on the floor helping Mika pick up her stuff and went through her purse. Mika became outraged and slapped the peeping tom across the face and yelled, "What are you doing rummaging through my purse?!"
The boy who was slapped fell back with a yelp and hid behind another boy who had a sheath on his side.
"Serves you right, Poo," the girl grumbled.
The boy that she had slapped, Poo, snapped back with, "I was checking to make sure she didn't drop any money!"
The boy that Mika bumped into held out his hand and said, "Sorry about my... 'friend' here. What's your name?"
Mika brushed back part of her hair and said, "Mika, and your name is...?"
"Mike. Pleased to meet you, Mika." Mike shook her hand pleasantly.
Poo piped up and said, "Mike? Mika? That's a freaky concidence..."
Mike sighed and introduced the group to Mika as he pointed them out, "This is Skulryk, Poo, Dan and Luna."
"Pleased to meet you all. Say, do you know how I can get off this island? The people are starting to freak me out..." Mika asked as she rubbed her shoulders nervously.
"That's a coincidence, we were talking about getting off the island as well..." Luna said as she stared at Poo. "But the problem is, we can't get past the people. They seem to be under some sort of... spell."
"Hey, I can protect you. You know?" Poo chuckled.
Mika stared at Poo in disgust and said, "I think I'll join you guys... just as long he doesn't talk like that to me..."
"Don't mind him, we're thinking of using a distraction..." Skulryk chuckled to himself.
Dan gripped his blaster to check if it was secured as the group decided on a plan.
"Perhaps we'll need to use multiple teams to accomplish this task," Mike stated plainly. "We'll need a team to take a ship and a group to provide a distraction."
Poo volunteered to escort Luna and Mika to the ship. "I can take care of them!" He put an arm around both of them. Luna and Mika didn't stand for that and knocked him to the ground. Mike started laughing hysterically.
"Heh heh, you know, you should watch what you say. If those things out there don't get ya, they will. Anyhow, I think that Skulryk, Dan, Mika, Luna, Rusty, and Ness should take the ship. It would probably be the safest and the easiest way to accomplish that task. We don't need that many decoys. Do you mind doing that?" Mike asked.
"Naw," Dan said. Skulryk shook his head. Luna agreed to going, and so did Mika. Rusty, Ness, and co. agreed to go with them as well.
"Alright then. Poo, you're going to be a distraction with me. You get the attention of those things and we'll lure them away from the docks."
"I don't want to! I wanna go take a ship!" Poo protested. "C'mon, I let you buy me food. Unless you don't want me to let you do that again, you'll let me go on the ship."
"Alright, you're a distraction. Don't worry, I'll be there with you. It's not like we're going to leave you," Mike said with a grin. I wouldn't mind leaving him behind, though..
"... well, alright. Fine. Let's do this."
"We'll meet you on the docks in, say, 20 minutes?" Skulryk asked.
"Yeah, if you think that that'll be enough time."
"Alright." Mike and Poo nodded, then left the room for the lobby. Skulryk and company went to the lobby as well.
Once there, Skulryk wished Mike and Poo luck. They then ran outside and caught the attention of the people. The people started to run after them. About 50 of them stormed by the entrance, chasing after Mike and Poo.
"Well, let's do this." Skulryk said.

Siris skimmed the surface of the water, as he was quite used to doing. Before too long, he was able to see the mainland of Deep Darkness on the horizon. Approaching the land, he saw that Apple Kid was safe in the village, talking to a local simian inhabitant. Siris reached the land and touched down softly.
"Apple Kid," Siris said. Apple Kid looked in Siris's direction and greeted him. Siris ran a hand through his hair and asked, "Did you find out anything?"
Apple Kid nodded. "The monkeys are very kind and hospitable," he said. "They helped me to find some answers. Here's a summary of what we know:
One, we know that Master Belch was here in Deep Darkness, and that he was stronger than ever. He came and attacked this village. Fortunately, most survived.
Two, we know that Master Belch had some new power aiding him. We know that he was saying something about 'Animus' and we linked that with his new power."
Siris interrupted. "Yes, Animus is most probably what Belch's power is. Too bad we don't know what, exactly, it is..."
Apple Kid nodded grimly, and continued.
"Finally, we know that he left Deep Darkness and headed north. Quite possibly, he was headed for Scaraba."
"I was in Scaraba, though," Siris pointed out. "I was with two others, and we didn't notice anything unusual."
"Perhaps you were there too late," Apple Kid suggested. "Perhaps he went further still, to Summers."
"I somehow doubt it," Siris frowned. "How would Belch be able to swim that fast? But it's a possibility, I suppose."
Apple Kid nodded blankly.
"Well," Siris sighed. "I hope Anthadd and Cyan come soon. They said they were going to meet here..." Siris sat down, and began to meditate while waiting. I wish I had a magazine or something, he thought.

RG awoke face down in the sand. His first thought was, "Where are the others?" He got up, brushed himself off and called, "Hello, anyone there?" No one answered. He got up and wondered if Anthadd and the others had indeed gone to Deep Darkness. RG decided he had better try to check there first. RG snapped his fingers and he was instantly transported to the edge of Deep Darkness. Of the few PSI powers RG had, his teleport was the most useful, and unique, he had.

RG got up and started to step around a few bodies. RG thought that Belch must have done this. He kept walking until he met a monkey. RG asked the monkey, "Have you seen anyone come through here in the last little while?"
The monkey replied, "Yes, I saw one lone figure, flying." The monkey had remarkable human speech techniques. RG wondered who of Anthadd, Cyan, and Siris could fly. He guessed Cyan, but was probably wrong. RG started walking towards some huts and a cave.

When RG got to the cave and few scattered huts he looked inside and saw Siris and a strange looking teenager. "Hello again," he said to Siris.
Siris replied, "Oh hey RG, this is the Apple Kid." RG asked what they were doing here and Siris gave a short explanation.
RG and Siris then began to discuss the matter of Belch.

"I feel like going to Deep Darkness," Saffron mused.
"Why?" Chartreuse snapped.
"I'm in the mood for a Magic truffle, and you can only find them there."
"How do you know that?" Chartreuse demanded.
"Simply," Indigo stated, "because he said so."
"Duh...?" Chartreuse drooled.
"Stupid!" Scarlet glared angrily at Chartreuse.
As a result, the ghosts travelled off to Deep Darkness.

"What should we do while we wait for Anthadd and Cyan to get here?" Siris asked RG.
RG shrugged.
"Wait," RG said hurriedly, "look over there! Ghosts!"
Siris looked where RG was pointing. Indeed, there were ghosts.

"I'll go get the Magic truffle," Chartreuse intoned stupidly.
"Whatever." Saffron rolled his eyes.
Indigo and Scarlet giggled. They knew Chartreuse was heading towards something not a Magic truffle.

"Come to me, Magic truffle," Chartreuse merrily cried, reaching for RG.
"Get away from me!" RG scrabbled angrily.
Chartreuse emitted a stinky vapour that caused RG to start crying uncontrollably. He then carried RG back to the others.

"That's no--" Saffron started to say, but was interrupted by Indigo.
"...no bad magic truffle you have there, Chartreuse," Scarlet finished in her most honest tone possible.
"Aww... shucks!" Chartreuse smiled as best he could.
The four ghosts returned to Anna's residence.

"Where are we now?" Anna demanded angrily.
"I think we're south of Threed," Cyan mused, looking to the north. He could barely espy the tip of the Circus Tent from this altitude, but he was sure that it was the Threed Circus Tent.
"Then," Anna asked, "how long is it until we get to where we are?"
"I'd havvve to essstimate another two or three hoursss, at bessst," Anthdragn replied.
"Two or three hours with the science boys?" Anna sighed. "This is going to be a long trip. A long trip indeed."
Now, where have I heard that before? Cyan thought.
Anthdragn looked at the water below. Now the water! he exclaimed in his thoughts. I feel there's something under the water... but not here. Just like the forest...

Watching Mike and Poo make their way down the street of Summers, Skulryk scanned the area and made sure the path was clear. He absentmindedly grabbed the dagger by his belt.
"Ok, I'll go in front, Ness, bring up the rear, and everyone else just stay with the rest of us. Just make sure you keep up with us, and let out a shout if you see any other zombies coming for you!"
The group agreed with him.
"Ok... Ready? Go!"
The group ran out of the hotel as fast as they could. They made their way past the restaurant and the Truck Stop that was once the Stoic Club. Mike and Poo had done a pretty good job at clearing away the mutated creatures, because there wasn't one in sight.
"There! Toto's right ahead! We can find a ship to get on there, and then hopefully Mike and Poo will make their way towards it!" Skulryk yelled.
Suddenly, one of the creatures jumped out from behind a tree and attacked Luna. She was knocked to the ground, kicking and screaming.
"Luna!" Skulryk yelled. He stopped and ran back for a moment and hit the creature with his knife at the same time Ness attacked with a Yo-yo he had on hand. The creature was knocked out, as Luna got back up.
Ness, Skulryk, and Luna made their way back to the rest of the group and they crossed into Toto. All the people who lived in Toto had either vacated or been changed to monsters; it was unsure. They jumped on an empty ship and sailed into the water as another one of the creatures tried to attack them. The creature fell into the water and sunk.
The boat made its way out a few feet, but hovered in front of the dock. "Ok, let's just hope Mike and Poo are alright," Skulryk said. "We'll wait around for them."

"Hey Mike, I bet if we go into the Summers restaurant, we won't have to pay to eat," Poo said, with a big grin on his face.
"Poo... did you forget that we have a pack of mutated humans chasing us?!" Mike replied, angrily. The two were currently hiding upstairs in the Scaraba Cultural Museum. Outside, they spotted the group of mutants searching for any remains of normal lifeform. "Problem... if they find us up here, we're trapped," Mike realized.
"No problem. We'll just jump out the window!" Poo responded, unworriedly.
That'll be easy... Mike thought. "Come on, Poo, let's get out of here while we can. I think the others have made it to the boat safely." But Poo was nowhere to be found.
Moments later, Poo reappeared with a Magic Tart in hand. "I got hungry, so I used the money I 'borrowed' from you earlier to buy myself this tart. Yummy... Oh, these mutants started following me and said they wanted to kill us. But I told them to leave us alone."
"Poo! YOU IDIOT!!!" Mike screamed he heard footsteps of mutants climbing the stairs.
Mike calmed down right away. "Okay. We gotta act quickly. I suppose that we DO have to jump out of the window. Let's go, we don't have much time."
They walked over to the window. Mike took a rock that was lying on the floor and used it to break the window. "Now remember, roll as you land and you won't hurt yourself. I guess that I'll go first."
The footsteps grew louder as the mob of mutants drew near. Mike jumped out of the window, landing on the sidewalk. He rolled forward and recovered quickly.
"C'mon Poo! I see that they've already put to sea."
Poo took a deep breath and jumped out of the window. He landed on the sidewalk and rolled as well. "Oooh..." he moaned. "I think that I messed up. You'll have to carry me."
Mike sighed. He hefted him up onto his shoulders and made for the port.
They both eventually arrived at the dock that the ship that Skulryk and company had taken. Luna lowered the access ramp onto the dock.
"Hurry up, you guys. I can see that some of the mutants are still after you!" she yelled. Mike ran up the ramp quickly.
"Oh my, that was oh so close," he breathed. Poo climbed off of his shoulders.
"Thanks for the ride, Mike." Poo was grinning his trademark grin.
"You were... MALINGERING!!! I can't even believe that!"
"Yeah, I was tired from all of the running. I figured that you wouldn't mind carrying me over to the ship."
Before Mike could even begin protesting the action that Poo took, Skulryk, Mika, Rusty, Ness, Tracy, and Paula made their way up onto the main deck. They greeted Mike and Poo and congratulated them on the good job that they had done in being distractions.
"Thanks. Now, I guess that the only thing left to do is to set a course for Scaraba..." Mike said.
"You guys can take care of that. I'm too hungry to do anything." Poo then went below to the galley to look for food. Mike let out a frustrated sigh.

"WHOA!" RG screamed as he stopped crying and was being carried to the fortress. RG kicked and punched until he started to fall towards the murky water below. RG was falling, and falling, but luckily Siris grabbed him and pulled him back to where Apple Kid was watching.
RG was covered in black goop. RG took off his hat and screamed, "Look what those ghosts did to my spiffy new New York hat!" RG fired a PSI blast at the ghosts, but missed. RG shook all the mud he could from his hat and started to walk towards the cave.
RG found a hot spring there and commenced to wash himself off. He then got up and asked, "What the hey was that all about?" Siris shook his head and said he had no idea at all.
RG wondered what would have happened if those ghosts would have taken him away.

Before the boat could set sail, a screeching sound could be heard coming quickly from the northwest. "What IS-" began Mike.
In a moment, everyone looked to the sky to see a boy with a cape and glasses hovering in the air over the boat. His eyes were wide open, and he was almost hissing as he breathed heavily. Ness sighed helplessly.
"WHAT THE HECK!!! Ness!! Paula!! Were you trying to leave me behind in a zombie-infested town?!?!" SulamiTea screamed.
Ness shrugged. "Well, I'm surprised we were even able to lose you at all, the way you were. Fortunately, when you went to look at that sign, we were able to slip away." He cleared his throat and turned to everyone else. "We need to leave now, if you don't mind."
"I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU!" roared Sulami. He flailed his arms violently in midair. "HOW RUDE, HOW RUDE, HOW RUDE!!!!"
Mika wrinkled her nose. "Why don't you be quiet, kid? Do you want to draw the attention of all the zombies?"
Tracy stared up at SulamiTea. "Y'know, you're really annoying. Why don't you just go away and find someone else to bug?"
SulamiTea was almost foaming at the mouth. "I SWEAR I'LL GET BACK AT YOU FOR THIS, NESS LEE!"
"If you're going to threaten us, then you can't come aboard," spoke Luna calmly.
"Fine!" chirped Sulami, his mouth twisting into a contemptuous smile. "I'll just follow you from a distance from now on. YOU CAN'T GET RID OF ME AND YOU KNOW IT!"
Dan unsheathed his Zapper. "We can't?" He fired some warning shots around SulamiTea, who dodged the best he could. Even then, a couple of the shots hit him.
"OW! SCREW ALL OF YOU!" he yelled. "I won't forget this. Ness, Tracy, Paula, Rusty, and all of you other freaks...." Sulami paused. Wow, they fit TsuramiSea's descriptions almost exactly... I wonder if these are those people? "I will get back at you!" He chuckled darkly. "See you in Scaraba!" He floated off to the south. Dan attempted to get in a few more shots, bringing out more screeching from the flying kid.
"Well, at least he's gone," remarked Ness. "Now, who here's a good navigator?"
"I used t' be a sailor, y'know," answered Rusty.
"Rusty, would you help us direct the ship, then?" Mike asked.
"A'course!" Rusty went below deck to plan the course, while everyone else discussed what their next move would be.

"There's too many ugly kids these days..." Chartreuse said, spitting out a lock of RG's hair.
"That's why you bit him and captured him, right?" Saffron scoffed.
"If I wanted your opinion Id ASK FOR IT, Birdbrain! FYI, I thought he was a truffle."
"No offense, Char, but you have to be pretty thick to mistake some lame kid for a truffle. You didn't even make it to the hut."
"I made it close!" he snapped. "Right up on shore too! It's not MY fault that kooky kids like him can't even realize they've left the place they were kidnapped from!" Chartreuse spit out another lock of hair bitterly, and scowled.
"I'm going back for that little jerk."
"I thought you had a vendetta against the Lee kid."
"Well...this one goes first."

Anna sat with Cyan on top of Anthdragn, who was now flying south of Dusty Dunes Desert.
"So, what are you looking for in Deep Darkness?" she queried. "There's really nothing worth looking at down there."
"We're looking for evidence on the Revival of One named Master Belch...do you know him?"
"Yeah, I met him. I was supposed to whack some kid for him, so I had some of my underlings do it; the Stinky Siblings. Or they should have done it by now, anyway."
Cyan did a double take. "He hired you to KILL someone? Who? And why?"
"Ness Lee," she said, pulling out a flask from her cloak. She proceeded to sip something from it, and then went on. "Something about an Animus." She talked slowly now, taking care not to reveal anything TOO interesting. Although, she had already said more than she had set out to.
She mentally traced the Hieroglyph in her house. She still couldn't trust anyone enough to let them read the precious fine print.
"Where did you say you were going?" asked Cyan.
"Not really anywhere in particular. Why?"
"Ah. Good. Anthadd, mind setting down somewhere? Anywhere will do."
"All right, but what'sss the point offf landing in the middle offf the desssert?" asked the dragn as he lost altitude and landed in the desert.
Cyan jumped off and then offered a hand to Anna, which she didn't take. "Since you weren't going anywhere, and we've imposed on Anthadd long enough, I think we'll part here. Good day."
Of course, Anna just had to get in a parting blow. Unfortunately for her, Cyan was able to dodge it, barely.
Cyan jumped back on Anthdragn and they returned to the sky.

Before long, Cyan muttered something to himself and his armour changed slightly. Cyan then jumped off of Anthdragn and half hovered half flew along side him.
"No idea why I didn't just do this in the first place."
"Why did you get rid offf her?"
"Just didn't feel like being around her anymore.... Not to fond of people like her, anyway. I have this bad feeling about her, and do you have the slightest clue why I invited her along? I sure don't have any idea what I was thinking at the time...."
"I don't know either. It isss eassier flying without passssengersss, though."