RG arrived at Deep Darkness and, with the help of a shortcut, beat the ghosts and Anna there. He looked and saw the thing everyone called Belch. He hid in the trees and waited for Anna and the ghosts.
A few minutes passed before they finally arrived. Anna and the ghosts started to float towards Belch, but RG caught the eye of Saffron. "Psst! Over here!" RG whispered.
Saffron came over to RG. "What are you doing here?" queried Saffron.
"Nevermind that, I need to know if we still have that alliance going between us," RG murmured.
"Yes, I guess we do, but there is something that I have to ask you..." The ghost trailed off. Anna was calling Saffron. Saffron went over to Anna's side and they began talking to Belch.
Anna faced Belch boldly. "What have you been up to, partner?"
Belch gaped at her. "*Gyork* I've had a lot to deal with. I've been shuttling back from Summers, down to Deep Darkness, *gawk*, all because you refuse to kill that Lee child!"
"Well, honestly, whatís the point? If you have an animus against a 13 year old, I don't think you're fit for any type of leadership. And if all you want to do is kill him, I don't think you're even fit to live!" Anna said hotly, glaring at him. From his position in the bushes, RG could have sworn that Anna looked at him for a split-second.
"I will choose to ignore that. *Gack*. However, to pledge your alliance to me, you must make a sacrifice to my enormous appetite. I AM quite hungry..." he said, burping slowly. A trail of slime ran down his skin, and Anna rolled her eyes.
"Did you just listen to me? It's over... but if you want a sacrifice," she said, her eyes starting to glisten, "you can take the kid in the bushes." Anna pitched a fireball at the bushes, revealing a boy crouching behind the twigs.
Belch slowly advanced on RG, a trail of sticky goo following him wherever he moved. RG shook in fear, and attempted to fire a PSI blast. It bounced off Belch's thick skin, and splashed harmlessly into the water. Suddenly, RG spied Saffron and Chartreuse laughing in the background. He leapt from the bush, and crouched behind the two ghosts. However, Chartreuse and Saffron didn't realize that Belch was coming closer to them, as they had begun to fight loudly. RG chose that moment to react. With a swift push, he slammed Chartreuse and Saffron into the gaping mouth of Master Belch, and he opened his mouth wide in happiness. With a final blood-curdling scream, Anna could hear Saffron and Chartreuse meeting their maker. A single tear rolled down her cheek, but it evaporated into steam within a few seconds time.
Belch burped loudly in approval. "I must say those ghosts were the tasty treat I needed. I can tell you seem to be heartbroken, but that's what life is about. *Gyork* DEATH!"
Master Belch guffawed loudly, and slurped his way slowly to the shore. Shouting back, he called out a final remark. "You were right, Anna. I don't need your help any more!"
Anna stood in her place, shocked beyond comprehension. A sea breeze picked up near her, and the salty air brushed her hair and cape back. She looked up into the sky, and saw the sun setting on one of the longest days of her life.
She turned swiftly around and glared at RG, hot tears now rolling off her face and sliding along the clayish earth.
"You have no idea what those two meant to me, do you? They were associates of mine, and they were friends. Some of the only friends Iíve had in a long time, if you must know... AND YOU KILL THEM! You insensitive cretin! 'Look at me, I'm RG, I don't know what NO means!' If you had left us alone like I told you to in the first place, two of my best friends would still be ALIVE RIGHT NOW! If you'll excuse me, I have to go AWAY FROM YOU!" she exploded, and sparks flew off her hotly as she stalked away. Scarlet had her arm around Indigo, who was sobbing heavily, and the two floated off behind Anna.
Searching wildly across the ocean, Anna looked for signs of inhabitants. She saw a a tiny island a few miles away, in the North Seas of Deep Darkness, and sure enough when she had landed, she saw a small group of travelers in a nearby palm tree-surrounded area. She recognized two of them.
"Anthadd! Cyan! I'm so glad to have found you!" She said, flinging herself at their feet. Sand and seawater stained her bright orange dress, but she paid no notice of it. "Please," she said, turning to Cyan. "Please forgive me for anything I did to hurt you! I've repented...it may not be permanent, but we need to lay aside all animosity! Is it not the honorable thing to do to forgive?" she said, staring up at him.
Cyan shook his head, sighing. "You may join our party. However, your senseless acts of violence need to stop, immediately."
"Let's not get carried away," she grumbled, but he stared sharply at her. "Ok! Ok! All right! Oh I'm so glad!"
"Now... why do you want to join us?" he said, still confused.
She looked up at him darkly. "I want revenge. Against Belch. A few other people are in the mix, but it's mostly Belch. I know you can help me."
Scarlet and Indigo crept up behind Anna, and nodded demurely. "We... want to help too. I guess."
Anna smiled brightly, and threw her arms around Scarlet and Indigo, choking them. "Thank you!"
Cyan could only nod and stare.
RG stared blankly at his own two hands. He had no idea what made him do what he had just done. He thought this through in his mind for several hours. He then had one positive thought in his mind. He knew why he had done it. Since he met those ghosts, he was sure they possessed some strange powers. He also thought out loud, "How can ghosts die? Don't they just..." RG cut himself off. He knew that there was still a possibility that the two ghosts were still alive.
RG flew around for a while, looking for Belch. He hoped that Anna wasn't so mad at him that she would do something harmful. He finally spotted Belch among the trees. He thought for a second about the decision he was about to make. He thought first that Anna was going to let him die. He also thought that the two ghosts must have meant a lot to Anna, but RG didn't mean anything to anyone. RG confronted Belch. He told him to let the ghosts be free before he digested them, and he would offer himself, bigger and more meat. Belch agreed and released the ghosts, covered in goop and strange juices.
RG stood perfectly still, waiting for his demise. He knew that no one would miss him and would forget him very quickly. RG wondered how other humans could be so cruel. He held his breath and prepared to be eaten alive, knowing no one would even bother to help him. He glanced one more time at the ghosts, who were starting to float away already. He whispered one solitary word, "Sorry."
Two figures appeared in the Scaraban horizon.
"Saffron? Chartreuse?" Anna asked, straining her eyes, trying to catch a better glimpse of the shadowy figures.
Indigo and Scarlet flew towards them.
Their eyes, if they had eyes, widened and began to water.
"Saffron!" Indigo exclaimed.
"Chartreuse!" Scarlet indignantly yelled. "It's you!"
"No... you're you," Chartreuse replied.
Everyone else rolled their eyes.
"How'd they survive?" Anna mused. Her mind wandered, and she realised: RG.
Siris took a few deep breaths. His hands trembled nervously in the presence of Anna.
"Er... uh..." Siris managed. "I, uh... don't believe we've... met."
Anna turned to look at Siris. "I don't believe we have," she said. "My name is Anna, and... are you quite alright?"
"Er... yeah," Siris mumbled, getting a hold of himself for the time being. "I'm fine. My name is Siris." Siris scanned Anna's aura, and felt that she possessed the power of fire. As he studied her, he felt heat from her aura... or was it from his own nervousness? Perhaps both.
Despite his nervousness and embarrassment, Siris couldn't resist saying something he thought might be funny.
"Heh... You're hot stuff," Siris quietly commented.
Anna frowned. "What did you say?" she inquired.
"Uh... nothing," Siris responded. "Nothing at all." Then he laughed.
"Looks scientific... leave it to me," Poo suggested as he looked at the rock, closely. Then he looked at all the others with a bright smile on his face. "I've got it!"
"Got what?" Mike asked, puzzled.
"This is no ordinary rock, nor is it even a rock," Poo replied, knowingly.
"What... is it, then?" Skulryk asked, puzzled as well.
"Well, judging from the pattern on this little thing, it can be none other than... kryptonite!" Poo explained.
"What the heck, Poo? Kryptonite?!" Mike asked, agitated. The group left Poo with his 'kryptonite' and started walking again. All of a sudden, the island filled with noises. Noises that couldn't be human...
"Ahhhhhh! What is it?" Luna and Mika yelled simultaneously.
"Haha, figures girls would get scared. Leave it to me!" Poo said. "Hey, whatever you are, come out!" The noises instantly got louder. "AHHHHH! Help!" Poo screamed as he jumped into Mike's arms.
"Ugh, get off me," Mike said, disgustedly.
"What're we going to do?" Paula whispered to Ness.
Belch chomped down the tasty gangster with a lick of his lips. He couldn't believe his luck; two ghosts, and then this guy for dessert! Delicious!
He was just about to release another burp, when he heard someone behind him. "Hey, fatguts! Don't you think you've had enough for one day? Have any more, and you'll start goin' anorexic on us!"
"I'm the end of that disease, not the cause!" Belch turned and faced the lame namer, then belched at him. "Drown and suffer, Spanky!"
The mystery figure blocked the stench with his trenchcoat. He stood up, unfazed by the blast. "Two things: One, I'd normally warn against the dangers of eating disorders, but for someone of your bulk and disposition I'll make an exception." Now the figure leapt in the air, pulling a gun out of his coat as he flew over Belch, and opening fire as he landed. Belch ducked behind a log for cover.
"Two," said the figure as he reloaded, "don't ever call me Spanky again." He opened fire, and Belch turned and ran from the hail of bullets.
"Hey, what's going on here?" Anna had arrived, attracted by the gunfire. She was dragging Siris along by his ear. "Who are you?" she asked of the trenchcoated figure.
"I think the question is..." He opened his trenchcoat to reveal a wide variety of armaments. "...how crazy am I?" Pulling out a pistol, he took a few shots at Anna, but she melted them with a stunning pyrotechnical display.
"Let me ask again, before I have to hurt you. Who... are... you?"
"Alright, you're asking for it." The person leapt atop a tree, his coat flowing around him. He looked like he was about to say something very dramatic.
"Hi, my name's SimonBob."
"That's it?" said Anna. Siris was going to speak up, but Anna swatted him and he shut up.
SimonBob just smiled. "I haven't got time to waste with you, I'm fighting this Belch guy. He and I have to settle a few things." Leaping from the tree, SimonBob chased after Belch.
Anna followed, still dragging Siris along. She hid and watched SimonBob confront Belch again.
"G'heh heh heh! Got rid of your flannel, did you?"
"It's in for cleaning. Even I have laundry, you know."
"And what's with the hair? Last I heard, you were proud of your hippie heritage!"
"Had to change the 'do for style purposes. Short hair goes better with Matrix outfits, you know."
"Hmph!" snorted Belch. "Don't think I don't know what you want! I will never, ever give back what I took from you!"
"That's fine by me. I plan to take it back myself. I have a few tricks up my sleeve..." SimonBob stretched a hand and shouted "Toucan Swirl!"
Belch was covered in red, yellow, orange, green, and purple beams of light. They swirled around him, making him dizzy and hurting his head. When he stopped spinning, Belch didn't know where he was, or where SimonBob was for that matter. SimonBob clarified his position by holding a handgun to the back of what he figured was Belch's head (although, who could honestly tell?).
"Now listen, we can do this the easy way or the hard way. You know what I want. Where'd you put it?"
"I... uh, gave it away!"
"To whom?" asked SimonBob, narrowing his eyes with suspicion.
"Umm... this crazy kid I just ate?"
"You mean RG? Heh, no way. That guy couldn't keep his hands in Washington if you dropped him in Seattle. Seriously, who's got it?"
"Okay! I'll tell ya! It was that crazy scientist kid, Apple Kid! He's got your stuff!"
Slowly, SimonBob lowered the gun. "If I find out you're lying..."
"I'm not, really!"
"Let's just say I've got a few other tricks, then." SimonBob whistled, leapt in the air, landed in a jetcar that arrived right under him, and flew off in search of Apple Kid.
Belch breathed a stinky sigh of relief. He shook off his apprehension, practised a few evil guffaws, and went back to searching for Ness.
SulamiTea made quick time over the Scarabian desert. Nothing interrupted him, and the harsh, sand-filled wind almost pushed him from side to side, but had no other harmful effects. He kept to the south, his destination being the great pyramid of the legends.
After a couple of hours of walking, he came up to what appeared to be a pyramid in ruins. Oh wow, he thought. I didn't know that there were ruins out here. That wasn't in the game. He continued to walk forward, curious to have a close look at the ruins. As more and more horizon slipped away, he saw an oddly untouched form towering in front of the ruins.
Now what could that be? He neared the great object. It was long, and almost seemed to have feet sticking out at the sides. Wait a minute.... Sulami rushed ahead to get a frontal view. He saw a plate sticking out of the ground, with many circles rising out of it. When the boy reached the plate and stood on it, he could see an imperious, human-looking face staring calmly ahead.
SulamiTea opened his eyes wide and stood on the stone plate in shock. These ruins must be the great pyramid!
The boy approached the Sphinx. When he was almost twenty feet away, a voice entered his mind. "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?"
SulamiTea paused, and returned his attention to the stones. He didn't know the exact pattern, and got no reaction at first. As he continued to try different patterns, however, he heard tones ring throughout his psyche. When the tones finished with a flourish, he approached the great beast in front of him and thought. I'm not a thief, and while I can fight a little, I'm not a warrior. "I'm one who has come to see your majesty!" SulamiTea exclaimed.
There was no reply.
"Hey!" cried Sulami. "Don't go silent on me yet! What happened to the great pyramid? May I know this?"
The voice spoke suddenly, startling SulamiTea. "Part of the wall inside this holy place was knocked down, and it caused it to collapse completely. Yet I remain, to guard the ruins." Then, the voice went silent once more.
Sulami shook his head, and considered the situation. Making a decision, he chanted and shouted "Levitate!" Rising into the air, he took a bird's-eye view of the scene. Much rubble had sunken into the underground tunnels. Most of what was below the ground had been blocked from sight. The boy landed. I doubt the wall just fell out, it must have been jarred. An earthquake? Does this area get earthquakes? Maybe a grave robber knocked it loose....
He sighed. It wasn't much use to stay here now. The pyramid had been damaged greatly, and Summers was zombified by someone... Belch..... Master Belch. SulamiTea tried to imagine what could have sparked the return of Master Belch and the destruction of the pyramid. Sighing, he decided to teleport back to Scaraba. I can't spend too much money, and that crew will probably get there eventually, so I guess I'll be sleeping in some alley. I just hope I don't get murdered in my sleep, you never know in a place like that, he thought darkly. He chanted his teleport spell, and a column of black light obscured his figure momentarily, then lifted away, the magic carrying him back to the desert town.
Ness only stood there, agreeing with Paula by nodding his head as Poo shook nervously in Mike's arms. Mike dropped Poo into the mud 'accidentally' and innocently said, "Whoops."
"Where are we now?" Luna asked Skulryk, who had a map in his hands.
"Uh... dunno. This place doesn't look very familiar. If only we could have a street address..." Skulryk murmured silently.
Poo got up on his feet and walked around. As he did so, he tripped over an object and hit the mud once more. Frustrated, he reached in the spot he tripped over and pulled out a sign. Poo stood there with a sweatdrop on the back of his head and said, "Will this help?"
The group stared at the sign, which read, "Aloha Ave.".
"That's from... Summers," Ness pointed out.
"Oh, so it is!" exclaimed Poo, who then scratched his head and asked, "Uh... what it's doing here?"
"No idea..." Mike shrugged his shoulders.
"I think it might have something to do with... Master Belch, right? I heard someone speaking behind the bushes. It was this girl with firey hair with four other ghosts..." Luna suggested, as she tried to figure this out.
"Ghosts? Aren't they paranormal and non-existant?" Mika asked Luna, after hearing the word 'ghosts'.
"Well, if they're there, I guess not," answered Luna. "Besides, aren't Fire Sha'women' legends?"
"According to Deep Darkness' legends, I think so," said Mike, as he tried to change the topic. "We should... keep wandering around until we meet someone. Maybe they'll be able to clear things up for us..."
The group agreed with this procedure and walked around, until Dan stepped into something that does not usually belong to Deep Darkness. He lifted his foot and groaned.
"I think someone was here before us..." Dan moaned as the smell wafted from his shoes to his nostrils.
"That smell... is familiar." Mika pointed out.
"Yeah, you're right..." said Poo, worried, "But don't worry, I'll protect you girls."
"Oh yes, you protected us quite well when those noises appeared," Luna giggled.
"That was a setback!" Poo protested, as he tried to dignify himself.
RG was sitting inside of Belch's gut, wondering what that was all about. He heard the names of SimonBob and a few others. RG slashed the back side of Belch open and crawled out. The skummy hole soon filled in and Belch didn't even notice that RG had flown the coop. RG shouted after SimonBob, "You aren't the only one with fancy shmancy vehicles you know!" RG pulled a tricycle out of his pocket and started to cycle towards where Apple Kid was.
When RG arrived at the cave, he noticed SimonBob standing there arguing with Apple Kid.
"It belongs to me!" Simon shouted.
"No, it's mine!" Apple Kid protested.
RG walked in between them both and asked the most obvious question he could think of, "What are you guys fighting over?"
"HEY! Wait a minute, aren't you supposed to be dead?"
"Well I escaped!"
RG still wondered what they were fighting over.
RG needed answers.
SimonBob was glaring at Apple Kid. "Where is it?"
"Where's what?" asked RG, when he spied Cyan and Anthadd behind Apple Kid. "I get it. You're messin' with SimonBob! Well, prepare to fight!"
Everyone looked at RG with raised eyebrows. "What?" said SimonBob.
RG thought really hard. "I may have the details wrong, but I'm sure that we're supposed to beat them up... right?"
"Actually, I wouldn't want to fight right now," said SimonBob. "It'd be unfair. The two of us against only three of them? We'd have 'em down and out in seconds."
"You talk smooth for someone who can't back it up," scoffed Cyan.
SimonBob merely held out his hand, and without a word froze Cyan to the spot. "Version 2.0 of my pseudomagic chip," he explained, running behind Cyan's back. Cyan unfroze a moment later, looking back and forth for SimonBob. *KA-KLIK* SimonBob pointed a pistol at Cyan's head. "You were saying, how I couldn't back it up? I think I just did."
Cyan spun, withdrew his sword, and slashed the end off SimonBob's pistol. SimonBob raised his eyebrows, clearly impressed. "Nice sword," he commented.
"Hey, um... can I say something?" asked Apple Kid. "I guess you're a whole lot more powerful than you were the last time I saw you, SimonBob, so I'll just return this. Just don't hurt me!" Apple Kid threw a pile of money at SimonBob's feet.
"Nice to get that loan back," said SimonBob, stuffing the cash into his wallet, "but I'm looking for something a little more important. Belch said you had it."
"Belch?!" exclaimed everyone else at once.
"Yeah, he and I had a little run-in a long time ago. I clobbered him, but he made off with a very important item. He said he gave it to you." This last statement was directed at Apple Kid, who began to blabber that he really didn't have it.
"It's obvious what's going on here!" said RG. "Belch tricked you! Let's go get him!" He ran off into the swamp, his mind bent on revenge.
"What's his deal?" asked Anthadd.
"I think he thinks I'm god," replied SimonBob.
"That's enough to make anyone crazy," noted Apple Kid, though not loud enough for SimonBob to hear him.
RG tripped on a rock and was knocked unconscious.
When he awoke he saw SimonBob standing over him. "That you god?" asked RG. SimonBob then proceeded to slap RG into complete consciousness. "What the hey happened?" RG asked aloud.
SimonBob, not wanting RG to sound stupid replied, "You were attacked by Belch and were knocked unconscious."
"Okie dokie," replied RG as he got up.
After a while they discussed what they had to do next, and RG came up with the question, "What are you trying to get back anywho?"
Anna twiddled her thumbs, obviously bored. Suddenly, she looked at Saffron and had an idea. He floated over to her, and she whispered something in his ear. He smiled widely, and Anna walked over to RG.
"How would you like to come with us?" Anna said, her voice dripping with kindness.
RG widened his eyes slightly, brightening up. "Would I ever!" he jumped up enthusiastically, and went to join the group. However, Anna stuck out a hand in front of him.
"Not so fast there, hot stuff. If you can prove your smarts, then you can join up." She turned to her four ghosts. "Line up!"
Saffron, Chartreuse, Scarlet, and Indigo stood side by side in a straight line. Anna then took out four objects from her cloak. A rice ball, a bundle of Cherries, a Peach, and a soft pretzel.
"We're going to play a little game, to see which food each of the ghosts prefer. Ready? You only get three hints, and Iíll only say them once. Listen carefully.
~Saffron hates all fruits
~Chartreuse does not like Peaches or Pretzels
~Scarlet loves Cherries
Got it?" she said, crossing her arms.
RG scratched his head, racking his brain for an answer. In a few seconds, he looked up. However, he noted to his dismay that the others were gone. He could see Anna, Cyan, and Anthdragn flying into the night sky, with the others on their backs. "Might as well follow them," he said softly.
He picked himself up, and flew off.
Anna high-fived the stinky ghosts, who were currently flying besides SimonBob. "Nice one!" she said, tossing the ghosts their various foods. A rice ball for Chartreuse, Cherries for Scarlet, a Peach for Indigo, and a pretzel for Saffron. They immediately dug in, as SimonBob began talking quickly.
"This is incredible!" he said, as Anthdragn began to pick up speed. "Aww, yee!"
RG was tailing them closely behind. "They keep forgetting about Belch... it's amazing!"
Anna started to dip into a descent, close to a small island.
"What's on that island?" SimonBob said, indicating to a small island house.
"That's my pad," Anna said. SimonBob nodded in appreciation.
"Uhm... why are we going there again?"
Anna cast a steely glint on him. "There are people there. I want to know why."
Luna looked out from the bushes, and saw a small hut on the island. "What's that doing here? I thought there was only a hotel on the island..."
She crept up close to the hut, and quickly grabbed the door. She hurled herself in, and slammed it behind her. Soon the others followed. Poo, once inside, gasped.
"This is incredible! A mini-bar!" He rushed over to the small counter, and immediately began to read the labels on the various bottles. However, Ness and Paula looked down at an SNES that had been sitting on the floor. He picked up a particular game, and stared at it. "EarthBound... Hey Paula, wanna play this one? I haven't heard of it."
Paula squinted. "That's not a Pokťmon game, right?"
"I don't think so..."
Paula nodded slightly. "Alright. We can switch off. I wonder what it's about?"
However, Paula and Ness's fun was cut short when another group of people stormed in the door. One of them, a very angry redhead, marched up to Poo and slapped him. "Don't touch my stuff!"
The hut was becoming very crowded.
"Hey, where'd you learn to fly?" one of the ghosts asked SimonBob.
"Magic trenchcoat, combined with a little bit of Rallets," he replied.
"What's 'Rallets?'" asked another ghost.
"Inverse power of Stellar. Kinda like fake Stellar moves. Very cool, eh?" SimonBob wandered into Anna's cabin and declared, "Nice pad."
The group containing Anna, Siris, Anthadd, Cyan, Apple Kid, the four ghosts and SimonBob came face to face with the other group containing Mike, Luna, Rusty, Ness, Paula, Mika, Tracy and Poo. Anna, the Fire Shawoman, stepped forward and demanded to know who they were and why were they intruding in her small hut. Mike, who seemed to be the leader of the other group, came forward, face to face with Anna.
"We didn't know this place belonged to anyone. I apologize if Poo, whom you just slapped, did anything to offend you," Mike replied. "We got lost and decided to rest. Luna found this place and we decided to see if anyone was home."
Scarlet came up and said, "Shall I show them the exit?"
Anna put her hand up and said, "No. It's fine..." She turned to Mike and asked, "Do you have any relation to Master Belch?"
"Uh, Ness and Paula were the only ones who met Master Belch... why?" Mike asked.
"We can't trust them," Cyan said from behind Siris, who didn't seem to trust the strange group. "Belch could have hired them."
Anthadd leaned over to Cyan and said, "That couldn't be true, Belch would have killed Ness and Paula if they were in his sight."
Cyan shook his head and pulled up a chair to sit in as Anna tried to get more information.
"What's your name?" Anna asked.
Poo stepped forward and then was pulled away by Luna and Mika.
"This is, of course, Poo. The burly man over there is Rusty, this is Ness, Tracy, and Paula. The two girls over there are Mika and Luna. My name is Mike, pleased to make your acquaintance."
"I see. Um, the guy in the black trenchcoat is SimonBob, the person sitting in the chair in a huff is Cyan. The scientist over there is Anthadd, and this is Siris. The ghosts' names are Scarlet, Indigio, Chartreuse, and Saffron. And my name is Anna."
Then a boy burst through the doorway of the hut and yelled, "I'm RG!"
Cyan groaned as he put his hand to his head. "Yeah, that trick was great, Anna, really great..." he mumbled under his breath.
Saffron floated near Cyan and hissed, "She tried her best. Be quiet."
Siris remained silent as he studied the faces and auras of the people he had just met. He familiarized himself with each of their unique signatures, and vaguely sensed the elemental powers each one held. He noted, to his surprise, that a few of them seemed to have only a faint trace of elemental powers, though their radiant life energy made up for this.
Most surprising to him, however, was when he read the signatures of the girls. He felt quite normal while reading Mika's signature (of course, normal in this case was trembling fingers and more rapid breathing), but felt a surprising new feeling as he read Luna's. He felt a bit of light energy within her, and was amazed by how pure it was, but that was not what surprised him.
It's almost as if... No, it can't be, Siris thought. It's as if I, too, am being taken into account.
Siris could not explain this feeling, so he kept it to himself. Maybe I'll talk to her later, he thought. His pulse began to increase, and his hands trembled a bit at this thought. Then again... Maybe not.
Anthadd, Cyan, Siris, and Apple Kid began to tell the others what they already knew - the information about Animus and Master Belch.
Skulryk, who was trudging behind, finally found the others in the hut. However, he also found a bunch of people he had never seen before, a woman who seemed to be made of fire, and 4 ghosts.
"Uh... did I miss something here?"
The others quickly introduced themselves and explained what was going on.
"Hmm... this is really interesting..." Skulryk said. "I'm Skulryk. I worked for the Scaraba museum as a curator, and I know a lot about Scaraban history... I'm not quite sure HOW I got wrapped up in all of this, as it started with just me going out to lunch, but... it's been an interesting trip."
"Well, Skul, it's great you're getting to know everyone and stuff, but we're going out to eat!" Poo said.
"Hold it right there, Poo!" Luna said. "You've eaten more than you need at the expense of others... Maybe we should stay here and actually plan what we're going to do? Ever think of that?"
"Aww, Luna... you ruin everything. Besides, we can plan it at lunch!" Poo said. Before Luna could say another word, Poo jumped out the door.
"Why don't you just let him go? It looks like he's been quite a detriment to you," Anthadd said.
"I'm not quite sure it would work like that," Mike said. "You see, it's kind of hard to explain, but..." All of a sudden, Poo ran in screaming.
"Aaah! HELP! MONSTERS!" Poo said. As he ran inside, a few of the mutants which they had encountered earlier followed him, and stood in the doorway.
"As Mike was saying," Skulryk said, "if we ever let Poo run off on his own, something like this happens."
Skulryk grabbed his knife from his sheath by his side. Siris noted something about it and looked at it for a second, but Skulryk didn't notice. Ness grabbed his bat, and Paula found a frying pan. The group prepared to battle the mutants.
The mutants began to shuffle forward. Ness swung at them with his bat, but they batted at him with a flurry of arms, and he was forced to move back. Fighting at close range might not work. I'll have to use PSI, Ness thought.
A new voice came from the doorway of the hut. "Tears Illusion!" One of the mutants began to turn around and around, seeming very confused.
Paula facefaulted, recognizing the voice. "Wait.... how'd HE get here...."
Before she had even finished speaking, SulamiTea had dashed into the room. "Okay, MORE mutants? This is getting idiotic."
Anna and the Stinky siblings were beside him in a moment. "Hey! Don't you know how to knock?!" growled Scarlet.
"It's already too crowded in here... so you can go," hissed Anna.
SulamiTea backed away, but craned his neck, trying to see the other people in the room. "Hey, I only came here to help!" he mumbled.
Meanwhile, Ness had paralyzed a few mutants with his PSI. Skulryk pushed back the other mutants by going after them with the knife.
"Keep going!" shouted Paula. She concentrated, and sent a pyrokinetic wave at the deformed people. They fell against the wall near the door, which SulamiTea had vacated.
With a nervous glance at the mutants, Siris thought his conclusion out loud. "If these people are being controlled, then Belch must be in the area."
Luna and Mika were given some rope by Indigo and tied up the cowering creatures by the door. The other few mutants, paralyzed or in their own world, were also bunched together. Everyone joined together at the other side of the room, with Ness, Paula, and Skulryk at the front, ready to capture the mutants again if they should get free.
"Great, I hope more aren't coming," said Anna. "I already have too many houseguests, so the next ones just get burned to a crisp." She snapped her fingers, releasing a large spark.
"But we can't hurt them," said Tracy. "They're normal people being controlled by Master Belch!"
"How was Master Belch able to mutate them, though?" wondered Anthadd.
"I don't know, but that's how things were in Summers when we escaped from there," said Mike. The alternate party showed interest in this remark, so he and the others told the story of how they had all been in Summers for various reasons, and found themselves the targets of mutants controlled by Belch.
SulamiTea began to say something about it, but was stopped by Anna. "Ah-ah-ah. You don't seem to be with them, and I have no idea why you're here. But I can tell you're very susceptible to fire somehow. Get out or you're cremated." She waved her sparking hand expressively towards the doorway.
"Just wait a minute!" squawked Sulami. "Even though they might not admit it, I know Ness and Paula. I was trying to help them find out what was going on - until they left me alone in Summers to have my brain eaten. So I went off to see what I could find about Belch on my own."
Anna smiled and shrugged calmly. "That's nice. So go and do more research for us." She made a fist, and some small flames snaked out from between her fingers.
"Besides, aren't you here to 'get back at us'?" sneered Poo.
"Not now," said Sulami. This remark had made the people he hadn't seen before give him apprehensive looks. "I've calmed down a little, but it's obvious you people don't want me around. I was still planning to find out what's going on here, though. Are you all planning to stop Belch?" No one replied. "All right.... but I'm keeping an eye on things. And if you're attacked by more mutants, I'll be around to help stop them." SulamiTea walked out the door, and went off somewhere.
When the annoyance had left, everyone went back to what they had been discussing. "If Belch is nearby, we'd best be prepared," remarked Siris. "We'll need a guard against his stench, for one thing." He turned to Ness. "Do you have any idea how we're going to prepare?"
"Well...." Ness stood blankly as all attention was shifted to him. "It looks like he's a lot stronger, so I'm not sure what we can do." In order to keep everyone's hopes up, he tried to think of a better answer.
"There's strength in numbers," Cyan commented. "It's always worked before."
"Strength isn't the only thing we need, though," said Anthadd.
"Right, we need to find out whatever we can before we try fighting him," added Siris.
"Maybe we ought to split up in that case," suggested Mike.
"One giant group isn't that efficient for searching, and the larger the group, the more easily we're found and attacked," agreed Cyan.
"That might be a good idea," said Ness. "I don't think we can fight him yet, so we should keep looking for info. Do we split up, or not?" he asked the group.
Skulryk and Rusty looked at each other and started to think. Eventually, they made up their mind.
"Alright, I say that we split up. Smaller groups are always more convenient," Skulryk said.
Rusty nodded in agreement."Aye, that's right. I say we split up. It'd be betta' for us, I think." Ness, Paula, and Tracy nodded in agreement.
"What do you say, Luna? Mika? Should we split up," Mike asked. Mika only shrugged.
Luna was more outspoken in her opinion. "Yes, I believe that we should, in fact, split up. We could find out a lot more about stuff with 4 groups than with just one giant blob of a group. ... Just so long as we don't have to be with strangers. That would just seem odd."
"Yeah, I agree. If that's the case, maybe you and I should stick together. Skulryk would probably want to come with us, right?" Mike looked at him. He only nodded. "Alright. Well-" Mike was suddenly cut off.
"What about me?!" Poo cried. "I don't wanna be all by myself!"
"Umm... okay. I suppose that you could come with..." Mike swallowed hard. "I mean, I guess that you could come with us. Just please, PLEASE, try not to cause any problems."
Rusty volunteered to be the leader of another group. "'Ey Ness, Paula, Tracy, you're comin' with me, awright? Mika, you can come with us to if you wanna." That essentially set up another group.
Anthadd stood up. "Well, since we already know each other, Cyan, Siris, Anna, and I shall stay together. It would be much easier that way." They crowded close together, ready to go. Cyan looked at Anna, and blanched slightly. Anna pulled down her eyelid at him, then winked.
Ness walked out in front of the groups that had been established. They had clustered and rallied near their prospective teams and awaited what Ness had to say. "Guys, be very careful. Try not to get into any fights. We don't know what happened to those people. Whatever happened to them could easily happen to you. Just look for Belch and if you find him, try to meet up with everybody else." He turned to Anna.
"Umm... would it be alright if we used this place as a rally point?" Anna looked at him with a fierce glare.
"Well, I suppose that that would be alright. Just don't touch any of my stuff." She glanced at Poo. Poo grinned and backed away slowly.
Ness turned back. "Alright, we can meet back here. Just be on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary, like bases and caves and piles of barf. If you find any of that stuff, make a note of it and come back here. We may be able to nip that barfy pile in the bud, although I highly doubt it..." The groups then left, in search of information pertaining to Belch.
"HEY!" RG shouted. "Where do I go?"
Anna looked strangly at RG and replied, "You can stay here and watch the hut." Cyan slapped Anna a high five.
RG knew that he wasn't wanted so he decided to just fly off on his own.