Tryst, Chapter 3: Continued Development
"We have to find them, but where and how do we look?" asked Jakob.
"Wait a second!" Dan said suddenly, causing the others to screech to a halt. "If THIS isn't the true future, we'll have to change the past to get it."
"What?" was the general consensus among the group.
"I didn't word that well, did I... Okay, if we need to get the true future, then we need to get to the past to change the future."
Mike raised an eyebrow. "And...?"
"That's bad. Haven't you ever seen Back to the Future? When you go into the past, one mistake and *poof* you're gone."
"But that's just a movie," Luna replied.
"Yah, but think about it-- If you kill your parents, how were ya born?"
Everyone was silent, and then suddenly: "Anthadd."
So they began searching for Anthadd, who had a much better chance of understanding what was currently happening.
As Dan and the others ran off, Mike stopped.
"Wait a minute. Lardna said the stream of time? I think.. there was something literal about that. Ya know? Like, an actual stream?"
Luna nodded slowly. "I get what you mean. Otherwise, it would have been strange for us to find exactly HOW to get through time and all."
"But before we travel through time... If we see our past selves in time, what should we do?"
"I'll ask her to play dolls with me!" Unity squealed.
"Well, Unity might not have a problem, but I think our past selves might get a little... freaked out to say the least. SO we have to make sure we aren't seen, don't interact with them, and do NOT kill their parents! Is that logical?"
Rockwell scratched his head with his .45 automatic and then said, "Sure. But... where is this 'stream' that Lardna spoke of. Aw geez, Matt is growing too fast. Aren't we going to give him a weapon or something?"
Matt looked like he could easily fit in a group of 9 year olds.
"Sure, as long it doesn't make a loud bang and kills," Unity chuckled weakly.
Rockwell pulled out and applied his silencer to the firearm and said, "Maybe we should find a blacksmith or something. But seeing as the year is 200X, it's going to be nearly impossible to find one."
A lightbulb appeared over Mike's head for some unknown reason and he said, "I know! We can go to Peaceful Rest Valley! They're sure to have a blacksmith!"
"Isn't that illogical?" Luna asked.
"Maybe. I don't know," Mike said as he shrugged his shoulders.
"I don't know, guys. I have a feeling that the weapon we'll find there for him won't be very good. Remember? Poo would only accept the Sword of Kings and all that royalty stuff?" Unity pointed out.
"She's right. I remembered that punk. He was hanging around those two kids who were always scrapping up robots in the Monotoli Building, but he had some nice stuff," said Rockwell.
"Where can we begin looking for it?" said Amzan.
"First thing... we have to find out how to slow his growth. Does anyone have an ocarina? Maybe we can play the Song of Time and slow him down!" Mike chuckled.
"You played Majora's Mask too much," Rockwell sighed, as he massaged his temples once again.
"I can blow over the top of a Coke bottle!" Mike said slowly.
"That's not going to help at all! A Coke bottle doesn't have magical properties! Pepsi One maybe..."
Matt cocked his head, and for the first time, spoke. "Hi there. Where's my mommy?"
Luna stuttered slowly, attempting to dodge the question. "You'll understand when you're older.. wait a minute.. never mind," she said, sitting down abruptly.
"Did mommy say that she wanted me to show you the stream?" Matt said grinning.
Everyone stopped. Dan widended his eyes, and nodded slowly. "Yes, show us the stream she said."
Luna nudged Dan sharply in the gut. "She never said that!"
"How else are we going to get there?"
"Well, I guess you've got a point..." said Luna, before turning to Matt, who now looked around 11 years old. "Do you know where the stream is, Matty? Can you take us to it?"
Matt looked carefully at Luna for a minute, then split into a huge smile. "You're a nice lady! You can be my mommy!" He then latched himself around Luna's leg, and fell asleep.
"Uh, wait, that didn't answer my question..." Luna said, blinking, and trying to shake Matt off her leg.
"Isn't that cute!" Unity said, smiling.
"Oooookay..." Dan blinked. "That was not the reaction I expected..."
"How can he fall asleep so fast? I wish I could do that..." Mike said, observing the scene.
"Get him offfff!!" Luna yelled, waving her hands around. "He's smooshing my foot, and getting heavier by the minute!"
Much to Luna's dismay, Dan reacted. "Of course. She can be your mommy until we find your real one! Just don't ask her for the car keys when you're 16, kay?"
Luna facefaulted. "Wha?" She began, but suddenly remembered how desperate the situation was. "...okay..." she said, and launched a glare in Dan's direction.
"So Matt, can ya show us the stream?" Unity asked.
Matt replied: "Okay, but where is mommy?"
"Hey Matt?" Dan asked in his kindest-sounding voice. "Couldja let us talk for a second? I'll give you this..." Dan searched through his bag frantically. "Plastic bag!"
Dan motioned for everyone to follow him, and left Matt to play with the plastic bag. "Hey guys?" he whispered. "He may be aging physically, but he still seems to have a younger mind. I don't think that's good..."
"You know, if he's not aging mentally, then there could be a problem. I mean, how's a warrior going to fight if he doesn't have the proper motor skills to wield a sword or to utilize a weapon? What good is a warrior who cannot solve problems?" Mike asked, rhetorically. "There is no good for a warrior like that. Maybe... he's not a warrior in the literal sense. There could be something else that he does that could affect whatever it is that he has to do, ya know?"
"That makes some sense. But, what other things CAN a warrior do?" Unity asked.
"Well... maybe he truly does have advanced logical skills that he can put to use somehow at a later time. I mean, it's possible, isn't it? Maybe there just needs to be something that occurs that could... trigger those skills." Mike finished. He then blinked a few times. "I'm sure that the answer will present itself eventually." The bag that Matt was playing with had broken. He wandered around, and fell.
"Poor kid." Luna replied pitifully and walked over to him. "You're going to be okay. But now, I think that you should show us where this stream is."
"Geez, I was sent on a mission to control a crazy woman. It went wrong and now I'm stuck with a group, babysitting a kid that is rapidly growing." Rockwell sighed.
Matt looked at Rockwell's firearm and then said, "Hey mister. Can I see that?"
Rockwell glared at him and coldy said, "No."
Soon, Matt's eyes began to get teary and he ran over to Luna, to clutch onto her leg. Luna sighed and said, "Can you show us where the stream is... please?"
"You know, guys. This kid has a pure heart. I can tell. I think that's one rare property of a warrior. You don't see people like him. But I think we might want to work fast, or else he might... let me put this lightly... 'fade away'." said Rockwell.
"Meaning... ?" Mike asked with a curious voice.
"Meaning, he will die. The time it's taking him grow one year older is about... 1 hour. The average life span of an human being is 90 to 100. So basically, we have 78 to 88 hours left. We need him in good shape to fight. Maybe we should... get him to help find it," said Rockwell with a concerned voice.
Unity bended down to reach Matt's level and asked, "Would you show us where to find this stream that Mommy told you about if we give you a... lolly?"
"I'll show you, if he give me his toy!" Matt cried, as he pointed at Rockwell's firearm.
"Now dear, that wouldn't be safe. It's a very dangerous toy," said Unity.
"But I want it!"
Soon, Matt was ready to throw a tantrum. Sensing this, Rockwell took out the bullets, put the safety on, and gave it to the teary-eyed boy.
"Thank you... bang! You're dead!" Matt laughed.
Everyone stared at the boy.
"Maybe he isn't so dumb after all," Rockwell chuckled weakly.
"A Starmen Manufacturing plant?" Anthadd wondered.
"Well, at least I get to practice my sword fighting here."
A beeping alerted them to maleficence at hand.
"What was that?"
"*whirr* Must eliminate intruders."
"Well, now we know," Cyan muttered. "The Starmen are activated."
A red light shone on them.
The intercom clicked on. Intruders located. Lot 5A-3. Proceed to exterminate, it intoned.
"Talk about AI. I'd like to check these systems."
"Maybe later?" Cyan drew his sword. "We've got trouble."
He pointed to the Starmen teleporting into view.
"I think we should try to stop his growth. It gives us a bit more time for him to develop mentally, and he will be able to stay fighting fit for longer."
Unity grinned. "I can be his friend!" She sat down, and gave Matt a hug.
He looked into her eyes, and smiled. "Hi there! Wanna play with my new toy!"
Unity tugged at her collar, then smiled. "I ..guess."
Matt picked up the gun, and aimed it at the orb on top of Unity's staff. He undid the safety, and pretended to fire.
However, Unity forgot about the lack of bullets in the gun. She sprang into action, grabbing her staff.
"Unity Elemental Deception!"
The earth around Matt started to shake, and a bolt of light charged from the staff, hitting Matt straight in the face.
"Oww! That really hurt!" Matt said, running for Luna. "That mean lady hurt me!"
Mike kicked Unity in the shins. "What did you do that for?"
"He was going to hurt my staff!"
Mike glared at her, and grabbed the staff from her arms.
"You give that back!"
Mike grinned, waving it in front of Unity. "Hey, this thing is pretty cool!" He began to spin it around his head. "Unity Elemental Deception!" he yelled.
Unfortunately for Unity, the staff reacted to Mike's words. The globe on top began to glow brightly, and it sent a beam into Unity which sent her reeling into a lamppost. When she opened her eyes again, Luna dangled a doll near her.
"Hey, you can have this doll, ok?"
"Why would I want that?" she said, puzzled. "We obviously have a situation that Matt has presented, and we can play with the dolls later."
Luna put her hand to her face. "What..did you say?"
<The blow from her own power source knocked her back to her senses. When she first landed in Summers, she lost a bit of her memory. She's actually a technical wonder, and she should prove to be helpful, if given a chance.> Unity blearily stood up, and took her staff from Mike.
"Thank you... for whatever you did. I think I know what's going on a lot better now."
"Uhh... you're welcome. I guess," Mike responded. He glanced down at his watch. "Hey, it's been about an hour. Maybe we should meet up with Anthadd first and ask him about stuff before we have Matt show us where this stream is."
"Yeah. But where should we go look?" Luna asked. Dan looked around.
"I think I know where we can try looking for him," Unity said. "He was flying thataway last time I saw him." She pointed towards the west. "We may find him if we wander in that general direction."
"Okay. I guess that we can do that," Mike said.
"Whatever," Rockwell stated.
They walked west, west, and more west, across the Fourside bridge, finally stopping to rest at Threed.
"That was a LONG walk..." grumbled Luna, who was being hugged tightly by Matt, who was taller than her, and 4 years older.
"He still thinks you're his mommy..." chuckled Dan.
"Yes, and he's getting older by the minute! Unity, isn't there something we can do about this kid!?" Luna griped. "In another 2 hours, he'll be 20 years old, and if he keeps hugging me like this, he's going to break my ribs!"
"Just give me some more time to do some research," said Unity, calmly. "For now, we need sleep."
"There's always the hotel... if anyone has any cash..." Rockwell answered.
"I have some, But I need some more to cover the whole thing," Mike said, pulling out his wallet.
"I have 30 dollars, if that helps," said Luna, pulling out the cash from her pocket and handing it to Mike.
"Don't worry about me," remarked Amzan, "I can pay for myself."
"So let's go get some rest!" Dan grinned as they all trekked towards the Threed Hotel.
The Starman made the first move, firing a pair of beams at the two. Anthadd dodged the beam meant for him with ease and Cyan stood his ground. Just as the beam came close to Cyan, his breast plate suddenly gained shoulder guards and greaves appeared on his arms and legs.
Raising his arm to block the shot, Cyan managed to deflect the beam into a box which promptly started smoldering. In the same movement Cyan stepped towards the Starman, shouted "Holy Cross" and swiped twice at his opponent. The Starman stopped moving and fell apart into four pieces.
"This is your world, what do we do now," queried Cyan, just as the smoldering box began to burn more readily and a bottle rocket sailed into the ceiling, creating a skylight.
"I think leaving is our best bet. I'll have to wait to examine their AI...." The fire continued spreading unusually quickly, the occassional rocket firing off. "Let's fly out the ceiling. Hold on to me," instructed Anthadd.
"It's okay thanks, I'll get myself out."
"You can fly, too?"
"Yeah, I'll explain it later.... Come on."
The pair lifted off of the ground; Anthadd using the wings of his Ke Bao Armour, Cyan floating inexplicably, and flew out through the conveniently created skylight.
The two alit on the outskirts of Fourside.
"I think it's for the best we get away from Fourside for now," Anthadd said, "and return at a more appropriate time. Say, when he have more allies."
"You would probably be thinking correctly, as this is your world..."
"Well, this armour is not for walking in... Ke Bao Dragon Armour Defuse."
The armour returned to medallion state.
Anthadd stretched his arms. "That armour was getting kind of stuffy..."
"What source of... magic, I guess... is that medallion? Or is it armour?"
"I'm not sure, really. It seems ancient, since the runes I found with the armour come from a long-neglected language..."
"Sugemic. I'm an intermediate at reading, and can at best translate prophecies or short letters. Or messages."
Deep in the forests of Brazil, a student and his master were engaged in an intense battle. The student was entering the final stages of his training, and this would be his final test. The master struck out with his palm and hit his student squarely in the face. Completely unfazed by the blow, the student countered with a low jab to the stomach.
"Good Ryuji!" Oro, the master, yelled out. "I did not expect that!"
"I thought you wouldn't," Ryuji said with a smile. Oro launched forward with a jumping kick and Ryuji grabbed him out of the air and knocked him into a tree.
Oro slowly climbed to his feet and began to power up a huge energy ball. "Ryuji!" he yelled. "If you counter this and defeat me, your training is complete!" Ryuji nodded and began to power up his own blast. The two warriors' attacks connected, and both fighters were still putting force into their moves. Finally, Ryuji's attack extinguished Oro's and sent the master flying backwards, charred as a steak.
"Master!" Ryuji screamed in terror. "Are you okay!?!"
Oro coughed. "Ryuji, my student... no, you are no longer a student... a true warrior! Yes! You have almost mastered the art of the Sennin... To be a complete master... you must defeat the great power that threatens our world..."
"Master!" Ryuji screamed out again. "I can't! I'm not strong enough!"
Oro laughed. "You are... you are... got to Threed... a town in Eagleland... a hotel... there, you will meet the warriors that will defeat the evil power... join them... and... become the master..." Oro let out one last breath and slumped over. Ryuji let out an animal-like roar and began to sob.
"I must..." Ryuji muttered, "I must go to Threed and defeat the evil power. Yes, that is my master's wish." Ryuji teleported to the hotel to wait for the warriors he would join.
Mike, Luna, Unity, Dan, Amzan, Rockwell, and Matthew wandered into the Threed Sunset Hotel.
"I wonder if I have sufficient funds to pay for this..." Mike wondered aloud. He walked up to the desk and spoke to the clerk. "I'd like 3 rooms please."
"Oh, ya do, do ya? Well, that'll cost you $100 a night. Do you got enough?"
Mike looked into his wallet. Excluding Luna's money, he had just barely enough. "Yes I do. Here you go."
Mike took his change of $1 and put it back in his wallet. "Hey Luna, here you go. I didn't need to use your $30 for this. Maybe you can save it for a later time or something."
"Yeah... OR I could order pizzas! Mwahaha." Luna took the money and ran to the elevator. "C'mon, Unity, let's go check out our room. I'm assuming that Mike got 3 rooms to separate the guys from the girls."
"Yeah, that's why I did that. I was thinking... and stuff." He then turned to Matthew and Dan. "Hey, these rooms have 2 beds, so you and Matt can take the beds, alright?" He turned to Amzan and Rockwell. "We're going to share a room.... one of us will have to sleep on the floor, I guess."
"Alright," Dan replied. "Let's go and look at our rooms, Matt." Rockwell was already waiting by the elevators. They got aboard the elevator. The doors closed, and they went up to the second floor.
Mike stood there for in the lobby for a bit, realizing that he missed the elevator. "Ah well, I'll just climb the stairs. That oughta be fun." He started to climb. However, a man stopped him and called him over. "What do you need?"
"Here's $1,000. All you need to do is open that box, okay?" The man handed Mike the money and left the hotel rather quickly.
"Sweet. Okay, I'm gonna open this here box and-" Before Mike could finish, he noticed that there was a bomb in the box. A cold ball of lead seemed to place itself inside of his stomach. "Uhm... there's a bomb." The people in the lobby screamed and started running outside. "It looks like it's going to go off in... 30 seconds. This isn't good. Maybe I can defuse it, though... it doesn't look TOO complicated." He pulled a pair of pliers from his pocket with a nifty little wire cutter attachment on it. "Okay... if I cut the green wire, and then the yellow wire..." He cut wires. The bomb stopped at 1 second. "Awesome. I just KNEW that reading those books about explosives would come in handy some day." He pocketed the explosive core of the bomb and the triggers, as well as some of the wire. "This could come in handy some day..."
The elevator stopped at the lobby once again. Mike climbed aboard the elevator and went up to his room, obviously forgetting about the whole stair plan. He eventually met up with the rest of the group who were waiting for him in the hall. He smiled coolly as he stepped out of the elevator. "Heh heh... I just defused a bomb. Everything is okay. Look." He pulled the explosives from his pocket. "I'll tell you about how this came about later. But now... I wanna take all that I can that's free from the rooms."
The others blinked a few times.
"I'll just go get the newspaper and see what's up. Hey guys, would mind if we can make a stop so I can buy a firearm?" Rockwell asked.
"Sure. I guess, if you have the money," said Unity.
Rockwell left the group and five minutes later, he came back with a newspaper in his hand and a bulging pocket in his jeans.
"How much money do you have in there?" Luna asked with curiousty.
"$10,000. I withdrew about 10% of my bank account. Hey, look at this. Lardna struck again. This time, in Onett. Want to check it out?" Rockwell asked.
"That would be a good idea. Maybe we'll get some clues," said Mike.
The group left the hotel and moved toward Onett. Of course, the group had to stop for every 5 minutes, in order to let Luna catch up.
"You need to get him off your leg. He looks older now," Dan chuckled to himself.
"Oh, do be quiet," Luna grumbled.
"This is taking too long," said Mike.
"I agree. Hey, Mike. Look over there," said Rockwell.
"What is it?"
"A shopping cart."
"... what's the big deal about a shopping cart?"
"We can use it... to move Matt around the place. It'll save more time. Either that, or we can rent a car. I have some money to spare."
"Oh, please. Let's!" Luna cried out in pain, as Matt entered another growth spurt.
"Mike. Give me the explosive parts," said Rockwell.
"You're not planning to..."
"Don't worry about it."
Mike gave Rockwell the explosives. Rockwell put them onto his belt and put on his trench coat.
"Okay, Mike. Come with me to the Car Lot."
The two of them went into the car lot, looking at cars until a car salesman approached them. "Hello sir, are you interested in something?" said the greedy car salesman.
"Hey, Bob. What do you want to get?" said Rockwell.
"Um... I don't know. The 4 x 4 pickup truck looks nice," Mike said with a confused look.
"Hmm... say, how many passengers can that truck hold?" Rockwell asked.
"4," the salesman answered.
"I see. Do you have anything that can hold at least... 8 people?" Rockwell asked.
"Um... yes. We do," said the car salesman as he led the two to the vans.
While following the salesman, Mike leaned toward to Rockwell and whispered, "8 people?"
Rockwell whispered back, "Yes. Did you forget about Amzan and Anthadd?"
When the salesman showed them the vans, Rockwell and Mike got into a serious conversation with the salesman.
"What's the maximum speed of the vehicle?" Rockwell asked.
"100 mph," the salesman answered.
"How many cup holders?" Mike asked.
"How comfortable are the seats?" Rockwell asked.
"Does it have a sunroof?" Mike asked.
"Can we choose a colour?" Rockwell asked.
"What colour can we choose from?" Mike inquired.
"Black, red, indigo, blue, purple, white and gray."
"Do we get one of those neat dice that hangs from the overhead mirror?" Rockwell asked with a smile.
A sweatdrop formed on the salesman's head and he said, "No."
"Oh, what a pity."
Mike chuckled and said, "We'll take an indigo one. How much is it?"
"That's nice sir. Um, it'll be, roughly... $10,000."
Two large sweatdrop formed on Mike and Rockwell's heads.
"We'll... we'll... take it," Rockwell sighed.
"Excellent. If you just sign here, and here and here. Would you like insurance?"
"Oh yes, please. Lots of it," Rockwell said. "Mike, wait here. Don't do anything bad. I'm going to get some more money."
Mike stood there, while Rockwell ran off to the nearest ATM.
"Nice weather we're having?" Mike asked.
"Yes... um... do you think your friend ran off?" the salesman asked.
"No. I don't think so," said Mike.
Rockwell came back with a bag of money.
"I'll buy insurance now. How much is it?" Rockwell asked.
The salesman stared at the bag and said, "$20 sir."
"That cheap? Okay. Here is $10,020. All paid for. Let's go Bob," said Rockwell.
"Took 20% out?" Mike asked.
"Yes," Rockwell sighed.
They got into the van and drove away from the car lot, with the salesman on his knee, looking at his money.
"I'm rich! I'm rich! This calls for a celebration!" He jumped up and down, screaming.
He took out a cigar and lit it. As he piled the money up on the ground, a hot ash fell from the cigar and onto the pile of the dry money. It didn't take long for it to burn up quickly.
"Nooooooo! I'm screwed," the car salesman sighed.
The group was sitting on a bench, trying to hold Luna up, as Matt in a 17 year old body held onto her leg. Soon, an indigo van stopped in front of the group.
"Lucky people. They get to drive around." Luna sighed.
The window rolled down and Rockwell's face appeared.
"And soon, you'll be lucky as well," Rockwell said as he turned his head away, "I'm driving, Mike. You stay away from the wheel."
A grunt was heard from the front passenger seat. Rockwell took out his key and gave Mike his explosive parts back. He opened the side door and escorted everyone into the van. Luna was the last one in.
"I'm so weary..." Luna cried.
"Cheer up, Luna! Things are looking up! Say... where is Matt?" Unity asked.
"Rockwell... you better come up here and get Matt to the back seat," said Mike with a fearful voice.
"What is i- Oh, Matt. You can't drive. It's not safe. Come on. Get out of the driver's seat," said Rockwell as he tugged at Matt's arm.
"No! I WANT TO DRIVE!" Matt shouted.
"Matt. You can't drive, come on. Mommy will get mad at you. Right, Luna?" Rockwell asked, "I can't believe I'm talking like this."
"Whatever. Matt, come here. I have Rockwell's icky gun for you." Luna cooed.
Matt's face brightened up and he jumped into the far back seat. Luna and Unity fought to buckled him into the seat.
"Bang!" Matt giggled.
Rockwell jumped into the driver's seat and closed the door.
"Everyone's ready? Okay, Onett. Look out, here we come!" Rockwell shouted.
"Why? Are we going to run over Onett?" Mike asked.
A sweatdrop formed at Rockwell's head.
"No. Guys. I'll drop you off at the arcade. I'll meet you soon," said Rockwell.
Later, Rockwell dropped the group off at a place, which used to be the arcade. But was now blasted to pieces.
"Work of Lardna. I'll be back guys. Need to get myself a new gun," said Rockwell as he drove off.
"Let's look around," said Mike.
"Yes. Let's," Luna sighed as Matt grabbed a hold of her leg.
It didn't take Rockwell long to get back. He jumped out of the van, with a bazooka strapped to his back and an automatic pistol in his left hand, with bullets on his belt.
"This is good. Yes. It is." Rockwell smiled.
As everyone was heading into the van, a loud moan was heard from the wreckage of the arcade. Everyone turned their heads back to the arcade to see a charred figure holding his arm and walking slowly towards them.
"It's a zombie!" Mike cried out. "Somebody shoot it!"
"Whoa!" the figure yelled. "Don't shoot! I'm not a zombie!"
"Who are you then?" Unity demanded.
"Ryuji Kanazaki," he replied. "I was supposed to meet you over at the hotel, but I got bored and went down to the arcade. Then some crazy lady came and torched it while I was playing Street Fighter. Right when I was about to beat M. Bison, no less!"
"Well, why were you going to meet with us?" Luna asked. "And are you okay? You look pretty beat up."
"I came because it was my master's final wish," Ryuji said solemnly, "and I'm fine. A bit char-broiled, though."
"You're welcome to come with us," Luna said, "just dust yourself off first. This van is new, you know." Ryuji swept the dirt off himself and jumped in the van.
A tall, golden Starman, who seemed to have an aura of power about him, looked about the Starman Factory near where Anthadd and Cyan had been. He spoke in a cold, metallic voice to a Starman standing near him. [All right. There's not much harm done, although N0. 1770 was scrapped. Just fix this, and tighten security.]
The Starman walked up a flight of stairs to a room he had converted into an office. [Finally, back with my Starman Brethen... It's been a while since I had my own body. That fool, Tonberry, somehow managed to contain me within the depths of his brain... but I was able to escape when his evil side was relesased... Master Giygas, you will rule, and I, Final-Ghost of Omega-Starman-Super-Deluxe, shall assure your victory!]
Anthadd and Cyan, having been left behind in Fourside somehow (no one knows how), were now walking to Onett.
"Remind me why we're not flying?" asked Cyan irritably.
"It's just something in the air. I feel it's safe to walk, because our enemies... I sense them feeling the sky for us, since that's how we escaped... And the armour drains energy from me, slightly. I think it's an 'adjustment' thing. It'll work itself out. Eventually."
"I wouldn't know about that. My armour never has drained my energy... Sigh, we'll be in Onett by ... Tuesday, I guess."
And the two continued walking....
Jakob and Frank, seated in the passenger area of the spaceship, were suddenly bounced around by turbulence. Blue's voice came on over the intercom. "Jakob, please come up to the cockpit for a moment."
Jakob unbuckled himself and went up to the cockpit. One of the seats was vacant. "What happened to the shareware czar?" he asked.
"He disappeared mysteriously," responded Blue, "as when a writer cuts a character from the page, then dies mysteriously."
"My apologies, I was attempting an allegory."
"Never mind, Jakob. You must land the ship." Blue held up his hand before Jakob could object. His voice took on a hypnotic edge. "The memories are stored within you. You will remember in 3... 2... 1... now."
Jakob blinked, and his head snapped back. Eyes rolled back in his head, he took the seat and grabbed the controls.
Frank had arrived to see what was happening. He marveled at what he saw: Jakob, flying a completely unknown space vessel that was crashing, and Blue appearing to be standing there. "We're gonna die," he screamed, "and this guy's at the controls?!"
Blue spoke in a reasonable tone. "He is the best chance of saving both us and the universe, if he can only save himself."
Meanwhile, Jakob had leveled out the ship, pulled off a spectacular U-turn and a barrel roll, and was heading for two walking figures on the highway. He flipped open the windshield, leapt from the cockpit as the ship landed, backflipped through the air, and landed in front of the two travellers. His eyes glanced back to normal.
"Hey!" he said, with recognition. "You're just like the blue guy from Final Fantasy! Oh, uh, hi Anthadd. Who's the blue dude?"
Anthadd and Cyan traded glances. Cyan stepped up and introduced himself. "I'm Cyan."
"Hey, Cyan. I'm Jakob, the blue robot dude is Blue Starman, the stripey gangster is Frank, and I have no idea how I just landed that spaceship!" Jakob dropped to his knees, pumped his fists in the air, and shouted "ZEPPELIN RULES!!" to all who would hear him.
Anthadd buried his face in his hands. It's gonna be a long trip to Onett.
The now larger group continued on their long journey.
"By the way," commented Cyan to Jakob, "I may have taken my name from Final Fantasy but I'm not that Cyan. And don't even bother asking where I'm from, I don't wanna talk about it."
"It's a tad complicated, too," added Anthadd, both of them trying not to sound too irritated.
"Oh." was all Jakob yielded as a response.
"I'm beginning to find him nearly as annoying as I do Escargo in my own reality..." muttered Cyan to Anthadd.
"That name I don't recognise, does the other me know him?" whsipered Anthadd.
"Yeah, and 'you' find him just as irritating as I do."
"This multiple worlds idea is very confusing."
"You get used to it after awhile ... I did..."
By now Cyan and Anthadd's whispered conversation had gotten Jakob's attention. "Whatcha two talking about?"
"Oh nothing special, just the physics of the universe," quipped Cyan, unable to cover his annoyance any longer. Fortunatly Jakob didn't catch it.
"Oh," offered Jakob in response again.
"A very long trip indeed..." muttered Anthadd to himself.
Unity picked up her gauntlet after hearing Cyan's conversation with Anthadd. She whispered into it:
"Gauntlet, track the different possible universes in this world."
<Requesting data....There are 3 KNOWN universes AKA time streams in this sector. We are currently in Solaris, but there are two more, with similar names. Solia and Silorus. It is impossible to break between the three, as you would automatically die. However, moving around in one's own stream is entirely possible,> it said with a click and a beep.
Unity nodded quietly. "Hrm.. so this Cyan is right. But.. how did he get over here?"
"Maybe we should start looking for the time stream before Matt gets any older," Mike suggested.
A yelp was heard from the back of the van. Everyone looked there and saw Ryuji in the corner of the van, pointing at Matt.
"Aren't any of you worried at all?" Ryuji asked.
"No. Not really. The gun isn't loaded," said Luna.
"No, I mean by the fact that... that... guy just went from 17 years old to 18 years old," Ryuji said nervously.
"Who wants to explain it to him?" Rockwell asked.
"Okay, Ryuji, is it? Okay Ryuji, you see. Remember the crazy lady you told us about? That's her son. His name is Matt and he has a serious problem. He grows up 1 year, physically, for every 1 ho-" Luna was interrupted by an explosion, which rocked the van.
"What the heck was that?" Rockwell asked.
"I think you hit something," said Mike.
Rockwell sat there and looked at him for a few moment.
"I don't think something that gets hit is going to explode," Rockwell said as he massaged his head again.
"Say... do you notice anything different about... Onett?" Mike asked.
Unity looked out the window and Onett was no longer there.
"Um... guys. Where are we?" Unity asked.
Then a voice cried out, "Home!"
The voice belonged to Matt, who clapped his hand repeatedly with the gun in his hand.
For some odd reason, the spaceship remained in a vertical hold position after travelling about three miles.
"Jakob," Anthadd said, as calmly as he could, "what's wrong with the spaceship?"
"I don't know!" Jakob cried, pounding the controls.
"Forgive me for saying this, Jakob," Blue Starman commented, "but your frantic attempts to regain control of the spaceship seem to be worsening our situation."
"What do you mean?!" Jakob demanded angrily. A small wisp of smoke began to rise from the controls where the brunt of Jakob's salvo against them had taken place. "Nothing's wrong! *cough*"
"Sure..." Cyan was looking out a window of the spaceship.
"Where's the AC in this thing? *cough*" Anthadd asked. "If any..."
"What was that?" Jakob asked.
"My sensors detect enemy fire from 100 degrees, the direction of Fourside."
"My sensors now detect three rapidly approaching figures. My cerebral encyclopedia defines them as being Starmen Super."
"Ke Bao Dragon Armour Infuse!"
Cyan's armour, which had become dimmer upon boarding, began to glow again.
"Please say there's some way to open up a door without compromising the air pressure inside here," Anthadd asked Blue Starman, "or else we're going to have to land... by force or manually."
Blue Starman began to speak. His answer was...
Mike hopped out of the van. "Look at this place! It's been totally levelled! I wonder what caused this." The others hopped out of the van. Matt ran around, obviously excited. "Home, eh? Show me."
Matt picked Mike up and carried him up a hill towards his mother's house. It took him five minutes to complete the trip. "Look!" Matt pointed towards the house. Mike walked over to it and just looked around the yard. "Mama left the house once and it looked this bad and I got in trouble so I had to clean it up."
"I see." Mike continued wandering around. The others showed up.
"So THIS is the house that Lardna used to live at. Didn't they show pictures of this on the news the other day?" Luna asked. She wandered around and started to look too.
"Yeah, I think so." Unity looked around, but not for long. It was as if she were waiting for something to happen.
"Uhh... What are you waiting for, Unity?" Mike asked.
"Why would you wish to open a door," Blue Starman said patiently, "when Jakob can access the weapons system?"
"He can?" asked Anthadd, puzzled.
"I can?" repeated Jakob. His head twitched. A note of confidence dripped into his voice. "Uh... I mean, I can."
His hands flew across the control panel. The Starmen behind blew up, one by one, shot down by lasers.
"I suppose you don't know what you just did," said Cyan.
Jakob was silent, his gaze staying on his hands, which were still on the panel. He slowly reached up, and flipped a switch. With a loud "vvvVVOOM" noise, the air conditioning came on. Jakob smiled. He looked back at his hands, pleased that he knew so much.
Then he suddenly frowned. His hands were spiralling, going out of focus... "Oh no, not now..."
Jakob fell backwards to the floor, barely being caught by Frank.
Cyan was startled, Anthadd merely concerned. "Is he alright?" they asked at the same time. Frank gave them an odd look.
Blue picked Jakob up and carefully placed him in the copilot's chair. Then he spoke to the others.
"I have a confession to make. I caused many of the emergencies that have plagued this ship, so Jakob would learn his own strength. He appears to be unconscious now, but his soul is millions of miles away. When he learns the bitter truth of his past, and the bright prospect of his future, he will awaken and rejoin us."
"Something doesn't make sense here, gear-head. Why are you so interested in helping Jakob?" Frank demanded.
"When he awakes, he will tell you in his own words," Blue responded cryptically. "In the meantime, you will note that we have arrived in Onett."
"Great," said Anthadd, glad to be able to get out and move around. "Let's see what we can find out."