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Tryst, Chapter 5: Key to Defeat

Mike continued to sit on his branch. "Well, it's been about 3 minutes and nothing's happ-" Before Mike could finish, he heard somebody crashing through the woods. "Oh my, I think Matt may have cheated! Nobody could have found me!" The crashing sounds became louder.
Matt emerged from the forest. "Whoever's near the stream, get away NOW!"
"... stream? THE stream that we were looking for?" Mike asked. He hopped out of the tree. "Matt! It's me! I give up! I think you cheated, though." Mike walked towards Matt. "What's going on?" He only stepped back as Mike approached.
Mike continued to step towards Matt. "What? Do I have something on my face? Is there something... behind me?" He slowly turned around. Coming around, he saw a golden figure, bounding straight at him with a weapon of some sort. "OH GEEZ!" Mike stood there like a deer in the headlights. He reacted a second later by pulling a knife from his pocket and a stick from the ground. He stuck the knife onto the stick with a roll of duct tape that he just happened to have. This took approximately 3 seconds.
The figure came to within 10 meters and engaged battle with Mike.
"Holy geez, this is bad!" Mike said as he was dodging the sword that the golden figure had.
"Do not resist. Begone from this place" was all that the figure said. It slashed Mike on the arm, cutting him.
"Ow!" Mike responded by taking a stab at the golden figure. It must have been a pretty good thrust because the golden figure immediately disengaged and ran away. "Whoo!" He stood there for a few seconds and then passed out from the shock of battle and being injured.

Luna and Unity heard a collapse in the woods from where they were perched, in a large oak tree.
"Hey! That doesn't sound good at all!" Luna said, running toward the direction of the commotion.
Faster and faster she ran, with Unity closely at her heels. Burs scraped up against her legs as she skidded to a halt.
"Would you look at that..."
A silver river lay streched in front of them, beckoning them closer. Near the shining stream, Mike lay in the soft clay, bleeding from the arm. As she looked on, a trickle of Mike's blood ran into the river, softly accenting the sheen with a deep crimson. In seconds, the blood sunk to the bottom, leaving nothing but a small trail to show its existence. Luna ran to Mike, with a tear rolling down her face, as Unity trailed her, with a look of confusion.
Without warning, Luna threw herself down next to Mike. Unity crashed into Luna, and went sailing headfirst into the stream of time.
"UNITY!" Luna yelled. She looked at Mike, then back at the water.
"I got to go, Mike. Anthadd will find you, I know it!"
Without a backward glance, Luna put her hands above her head, and dove deftly into the river.

Bubbles floated all around her, but they sparkled with an array of colors that Luna had never seen before, that had no description.
"Unity!" she screamed, but all she recieved was a mouthful of water. She spit it out as quickly as she could, and dove deeper.
Seconds later, she saw a streak of gold hair. It was Unity! Luna thrust downward with her arms, and reached out for Unity's staff, which was still tightly in her arms. She caught it, and began to pull Unity in, all the time, air getting thinner. Suddenly, her foot touched something, and she jerked it away. However, it reached out again, and reeled her and Unity in.
With her last breath of air, she cried out once more. "Help me!"

At the same time, Ryuji was running towards where he had heard Luna yell. Once there, he saw a large gold Starman standing over Mike, about to deliver a final blow. Ryuji pulled out the sword the AoE had given him, dashed forward, and slashed the Starman across the chest. The Starman pulled back and slashed downward with its own sword. Ryuji dodged, but was still cut on the arm. This would require a special technique he had only tried once before.
Ryuji rolled backwards and began to concentrate. "Kishin-Riki!" he yelled, and began to glow a reddish color.
He then proceeded to dash forward once again, grab the Starman, and smash it wildly on the ground. The creature appeared to be knocked out. "I'm always the one that does the fighting," Ryuji said to himself with a grin. "Hey, where're Unity and Luna?"
The Sennin master looked around, and saw that the only place they could be was in the stream. "In I go!" He jumped in and was surronded by strange colors. He was about to go up for air when something grabbed at his foot. He tried to pull away, but its grip was too strong.

"Coordinates? Locked?? What the hey?! What's happening?! We just got to Onett!"
"What's happening?" Anthadd demanded.
Jakob pointed over his shoulder. "The spaceship just went crazy, and we're here now." Cyan stepped in. "Where exactly is here?"
Everyone had a look. They were somewhere... pink? "Some kind of cloud," muttered Anthadd.
Jakob was entranced by some passing multicoloured wisps of air.
Amzan and Frank walked in. They scoped out the situation. Amzan left quickly. Frank asked Anthadd why he was holding a piece of cardboard.
"Everyone else had something to hold, and I felt left out," he explained.

Jakob slowly lowered his gun. Everyone else lowered their respective weapons, except Anthadd, who only had cardboard anyhow.
Wordlessly, Jakob took the other pilot seat, and flew the ship up a bit. Everyone saw that they had been under a floating island in the sky.
"Oh," said Frank. "We're in Dalaam."
The wind howled angrily around the ship's hull.

Luna slipped down farther and farther into the water as she was pulled from the ankle. part of her considered letting Unity go, and float to safety, but she knew that she wouldn't gain conciousness in time.
In a sudden burst of sand, Luna felt her feet hit the bottom of the stream. She craned her head up to look for the top, and into the sun, but she was stopped. A golden arm clouted her over the head, and she was knocked out. It dragged her along into a nearby cave, and sealed the entrace. A drain could be heard as it finished locking the last door.

Luna rubbed her eyes. "Where..where am I?"
She looked around the dark area to see a hint of light reflecting off the walls.
"Who's there! Show yourself!" she yelled into the darkness.
Laughter echoed around the walls. "If you were to fight me, you would surely loose. You are much too weak, child."
The figure stepped into the light.
"Greetings, I am the stream guardian. My formal title is Starman Omega. You may call me either. And this is my home." He waved his tentacle in the air, gesturing toward the walls.
A bright light flooded the room, and the full beauty of the cave was finally realized. Coral ran up the sides in all directions, and there was a rug underneath them, made of a weaving of seaweed.
"It may seem strange to you, but the water you swam through was the portal and stream of time for this existance. The bubbles you saw represented the lives in time, and the history of man. Each bubble has it's own special meaning, and they are to be treated as such."
"I don't know how you got down here; I tried to stop you on your way down. I succedded in stopping your friend Mike for a short time, but your friend Ryuji protected him from further harm. However, he went after you, so I took both of them into my home. They are resting peacefully; their wounds have been dressed."
"And what of Unity?"
"She is sleeping in the infirmary; it seems she took a large amount of water into her lungs."
"But why! Why would you attack us one moment, and then help us the next?"
"Because, I did not realize something; you are with Matt. You are the ones to save his mother."
"Matt! Where is Matt???" Luna said, mentally kicking herself.
"Matt is with me."
Luna scrathed her head. "You were rather thorough, I must admit. But we have many more people with us; they must come with us on our mission!"
"They have until sundown. If they do not arrive, then we depart without them. However, you will need a certain something to breathe in the stream. I am giving this to you, Luna, and I hope you treat it well. If it gets lost, you are doomed."
He handed Luna a small box. She creaked open the lid, and withdrew the object. it was a glowing silver and white ball, with a hint of glitter around the edges.
"What is it?"
"It is the Platinum Orb. When used in or around the stream of time, it allows almost utter control. I only have one myself, and I am giving it to you. Guard it with your life. Now we wait for sundown."

Rockwell was still in the van, which hadn't moved for 2 hours, thinking about something. He raised his hand and a ball of energy formed.
"*sigh* So... that explains the mysterious energy that has been flowing around me... Lardna. But why... and how?" Rockwell asked himself, "No matter, I was born with a stiff upper lip."

He jumped out of the van, cocking his .45 automatic and walked away from the van, away from the group, to protect them from himself. He kept on walking, until a roadblock between Onett and Twoson stopped him. Instead of police officers, there were Starmen.
"Stop right there. You are not permitted to go any further." said the first Starman.
Rockwell raised his gun at the Starman's face and said, "Let me pass."
The other Starmen whipped his tentacle and knocked the gun out of Rockwell's hand.
"Put your hands over your head," said the Starman as he recoiled his tentacle.
Rockwell slowly put his hand over his head, until he could touch an clyinder object. He pulled it out and slashed the Starmen's tentacles and jumped backward.
"Esca Sword. I missed you," said Rockwell.
Rockwell stick out his hand, formed a ball of energy and launched it at the Starmen, disposing of them and the roadblocks.
"That was far too easy. Maybe I should leave a note for the group before I go any further..." said Rockwell as he whipped out a piece of paper and a pen.
On it, he wrote, 'Left for Twoson. -Rockwell'. After he was done, he put it on the side of a tree and continued walking. Along the way, a dog jumped out the bushes and growled at Rockwell.
"King? Wait, you're rabid," said Rockwell as he relucantly took out his .45 automatic, "Don't move, King. I'm going to help you... and everyone else as well."
He pointed the gun at King's head and slowly pulled the trigger, until a rock came flying and knocked the gun out of his hand.
"Hey! That's my brother's dog you're shooting!" shouted a voice.
Rockwell spun around and faced a girl... Ness' sister.
"Wait a minute, I know you. Tracy, Where's Ness?" said Rockwell.
"He's... dead. Who are you?" said Tracy.
"Doesn't matter anymore. The group forgot about me, so... I'm investigating this situation on my own." Rockwell sighed.
"Oh. Can I come along?" the girl asked innocently.

"I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm going outside," Cyan said.
"Wait for me," Anthadd cried.
The two left the ship.

"What should we do now?"
"We should try to find the others. But who knows where they are now...?
"Do you have any ideas, Cyan?"
"I don't know ... I wish I could use this thing to track the others, but..."
Suddenly, Cyan's face lit up.
"I wonder ... it just might work..."
He pulled the device off his belt.
"Hold this for a second, please."
Anthadd took the device and held it. Cyan then took the mini-computer from its pouch and began fiddling with it.
"You said that some of the others have psychokinetic abilities, right?" Cyan queried.
"Terminal, scan frequencies. Range: thought waves."
"Scanning all detectable frequencies ..... Frequencies isolated," the terminal intoned.
"Now, if I'm lucky, I can get my tracker to pick these up, too..."
Anthadd handed the device back. Cyan connected the two devices together. "Thanks ... Terminal. Configure. D-port. Tracker. Isolated frequencies."
"Configuring. Please wait."
"I wonder if this will work..." Cyan said hopefully.

Rusty and Paula were sweating immensely and were tired. They'd been walking around for 15 minutes, yet their attempts seem fruitless.
"Paula, you've been in the desert right? How d' we get out a here?"
"Hmmm without Ness I don't seem to know where I'm going..
"Lemme try to send out a message. Maybe the walls were blocking it or something.
"Maybe I need to try to focus on one person... hmm.... Jakob would think he was imagining it..... Frank wouldn't know what to do... Amzan isn't... Amzan isn't.."
"Oh jes pick Anthadd fer cryin' out loud!" Rusty was exasperated.
Paula smiled.
"Anthadd.....Anthadd....this is Paula........Anthadd?............I am in Dutsy Dunes Desert almost going on a heatstroke....Anthadd Can you hear me....Start heading this way...."

Back in Dalaam...
The message reached Anthadd.
"Who the heck was that?" Cyan asked.
"It was Paula."
"It was?"
"Yes, and apparently, she's in trouble in the Dusty Dunes Desert..."
"I heard that..."
"Hold on... you heard it? Did our brain frequencies coincide again or something?"
"That was a psychic message?"
"It must have been."
"Can't say I've ever had that happen with the Anthadd I know..."
"Are there even psychic abilities in that reality?"
"Not like this ... except in a video....never mind."
"Hmm... but how would we find her? The desert is far too huge..."
"Reconfiguration successful."
"We can hope..."
Cyan disconnected the two, and activated the tracker in the device.
"It's picking up a weak signal nearby, is that you?"
"Probably. My Sugemo and Stellar come partly from the mind."
"I'll switch it to ultra-long range."
Cyan began to fiddle with it a bit.
"You know the geography of this world better than I do, can you find her on the map?"
"Let's see..." Anthadd looked at the map. "I've heard she has powerful mind-related abilities... she'd probably have the strongest signal...
"How would you change the area of the world being scanned?"
"Hold the top button down, and scroll using the directional control at the bottom."
"Ah, thanks."
Anthadd scrolled the map of Eagleland, Foggyland and Chommo.
"Still can't find her signal..." he reported.
"Maybe we're just too far away."

Mike awoke with a start. "Yeah, well, you're just lucky that I didn't have another sti-" He looked around. "Where am I?" He then looked down onto his arm. "The cut seems to have healed. Heh heh, I knew that it was only a minor wound. Anyway, I really should wander around and figure out where I'm at." He tried to get up, but found that he was strapped to the bed. "Aww, fruit juice. At least this room is nice."
He looked around the room. It was very plain. The only thing in the room was a mirror. It was placed next to the door. "Plain rooms are very... appealing. It's nice to know that some people appreciate the simple things in life. That mirror looks neat. It's multicolored and stuff... Anyway, I really should figure out how to get out of here. If only I had a tool of some sort..." He reached into his pocket and pulled out all sorts of things. "This feels like lint, and this feels like string, and this feels like... MY KNIFE!!" He opened it up with one hand and attempted to cut the bonds that were on his right wrist. "This is going to take a while. If only my wrist could bend the other way..."

Rockwell dropped his Bazooka on the ground and said, "It's about time I got rid of this thing. It's been hurting my back the whole time."
"You're weird," Tracy said with a skeptic look on her face.
Rockwell didn't listen and put his .45 automatic hidden inside his back pocket of his jeans and asked, "Mind telling me what happened to Eagleland?"
"Um... don't you know? Lardna destroyed everything... but for some strange reason, the Saturn Valley behind Threed remained," Tracy answered.
"How did Ness die?"
"Lardna and... Giygas."
"Wait a minute, Giygas? Lardna actually met Giygas?"
"Yes. The group that tried to stop her... died before they could stop the meeting."
"When did this happen?"
"2 weeks ago... where did you come from?"
"The... past."
"You're one of them! I knew it! The only survivors in Onett are Liar X, Frank Fly, King and me! Wait, you have to go back. Giygas will sense your presence if you don't leave."
"What about Lardna?"
"Last I heard, she went into a cave and... she never came out..."
"Hmm... Tracy, can you do me a favor? I want you to go back to your house. You'll find a van and maybe the group. You have to tell them what you told me."
"Okay!" Tracy shouted as she turned around and ran to the direction of her house, but stopped and turned around, "Aren't you coming?"
"No. Just... go." said Rockwell.
Tracy left and Rockwell pulled out a CD player with AC DC playing. He turned away and walked to Twoson, aware of the danger waiting in Twoson.
"I'm on the highway to he[ck]." Rockwell sang along with the song as he walked through the forest.

Tracy was panting, trying to keep on running to avoid detection by Starmen. She tripped and hit the ground. A metallic foot hit her, she looked up and saw a Starman Jr. Inside her heart, she was praying for someone to save her.
"Help me..." she whispered.

At that moment, a figure dashed through the cave's door, much to everyone, especially the stream gaurdian's, surprise.
"You guys *pant* need to be *pant* careful of who you *pant, cough* leave behind." A voice, easily recognized as Dan's, said.
Luna stared at the figure, who was covered with seaweed, stifled a laugh, and said, "Sorry."

Anthadd slumped down. They'd come so far, but only to be stalled because of distance.
"I can't believe it. We're stopped, because of distance," he muttered, then glared at the device. "Why does it refuse to work?"
Suddenly, a faint blip...
"Wait!" Cyan cried. "It's picking something up."
"It's probably me again..."
The blip intensified...
"I doubt it. Remember? You scrolled. Your blip moved off the screen a while ago."
"Maybe the view reset."
"Not likely. Try scrolling to the right. If you're right, you wouldn't be able to scroll that way."
Anthadd pressed the right scroll button. The view... moved?
"You were right..."
"Doesn't matter, really. Now, try returning to the view you were just at, and get the blip in the centre."
Anthadd pressed the left scroll button, and centred the blip.
"Let's see if this works..." Cyan connected the two devices together again. "Terminal. Orientation. Selected object."
"Configuring... configured. Referencing present location, location of target, referenced. Orientation... configuring.... orientation is: 258 degrees from present location."
I didn't know it could do that... this is something to remember, Cyan thought.
"Well... we know where to head from here," Anthadd observed, "but are still left with one problem: How to get there..."
The wind began to howl. Harder than it had before.
Yelling at the top of his lungs to make himself heard over the wind, Anthadd said, "I suggest we seek refuge in the palace until this wind abates. It should be the sturdiest place here."
"You're probably right." Cyan spoke in as loud a tone as well.
And the two journeyed to the palace.

"Well....we're neva gonna know if anyone heard ya fa now," Rusty pointed out.
"Yeah..hee hee," Paula giggled.
"What's so funny?"
"I just think it's funny looking at your head in the sun. It's shining."
"Paula...I gots a full head of hair...."
Rusty put his hand on top of his head and realized he had no hair.
"MY HAIR!!!!!!!! What happened?!?!?!?"
"Oh yeah! When you were under Lardna's little spell she shaved your head. That's also why you have no shirt on..."
"Golly!" Rusty blushed.
"Wow! While we were talking we managed to get to the road. Where to now..."
"How about Threed?"
Rusty and Paula continued their journey to Threed having no idea what lay ahead of them. Rusty and Paula got on a bus and got a few glances considering Rusty had no hair and no shirt. Luckily there were no "No shirt, No shoes, No service!" signs.........

Mike laughed out loud suddenly. "Ha hah! Success!" He had managed to break the bond on one wrist. He undid the other hand, then proceeded to free his feet. "Heh, nothing can hold me!"
He jumped to his feet and went to the door. He tried to open it, but... nothing happened. "Drats!!! I don't see any locking mechanism on this door." He sat down to think about how he was going to get out. "I can't exactly blow the door up, because Rockwell still has my explosives. ... ROCKWELL STILL HAS MY EXPLOSIVES! Aw man." He continued to think for a while, but alas, he was stumped.
He got up and wandered around the room for a while. He then stopped in front of the mirror. "Hang on a second..." He removed the mirror from the wall. "... Wow! There was a panel behind the mirror! I bet that it controls the door." He broke out his screwdriver and attempted to mess with the controls on the panel. "I hope this works."

"Jeez, you wouldn't think there would be seaweed in a stream of time..." grumbled Dan as he picked it off.
"Well, it IS a stream..." Luna said, giggling.
"It isn't wise to remove the weeds of time with your hand..." The Stream Guardian began, but too late.
"OWWWWW!!" Dan screamed loudly, pulling a weed off his finger, which bled. He stuck his finger in his mouth and sucked on it. "It bit me!"
The Starman sighed as only a Starman could. "I did try to warn you. It's beginning to plague the stream more and more... I am still not sure as to if it is truly a plant, or something more deadly."
"Biting plants, huh? Speaking of wounds, I'm going to go check on Mike, Ryuji, and Unity... is Matt with them?" Luna asked the Guardian, adding Matt as a note, and mentally kicking herself again for forgetting him at the streamside.
"Yes, you will find them in that room, over there." The Guardian said, gesturing towards a silvery door with on of his tentacles.
"Thanks." she answered, walking over to the door, when suddenly...
"Hah! I knew this screwdriver would come in handy some time! Come out and fight, evil thingys that held me captive, I can take you!" Mike said happily. Then he looked around for a minute.
"Mike?" said Luna and Dan in unison, while Luna lowered the largish coffee table she had been preparing to throw.
"Aww... so I wasn't captured by evil beings... this would've been so much cooler if I had been!"
"You destroyed my door." grumbled the Stream Guardian.

Cyan and Anthadd waited in the Palace among the other people of Dalaam while the wind howled in its gale force intensity outside. However, the power of the wind was not so strange as the abruptness with which it stopped. Many of the people in the Palace talked of a prophecy, but Cyan knew nothing of it and was more concerned with finding the others. Anthadd was somewhat interested in what the prophecy, but he too joined Cyan outside shortly after the wind had stopped.

Cyan was fiddling with his two pieces of equipment when Anthadd walked up to him.
"How goes it?" queried Anthadd as he joined his friend.
"I think I've got the signal again. If we're going to track it a heading alone isn't enough."
"You're right. Rushing off to find someone when you don't know where they're moving to, is foolish."
"I think she has been moving. The heading is a couple of degrees different, now."
Indeed the heading was different.
"Orientation is: 256 degrees from present location." chirped the Terminal.
"Shall we go, Cyan."
"Sounds good to me. Tell me, how safe are the skies of this world?"
"They are safe enough. No safer than any other skies could be, but we should be careful. I'm afraid Lardna or the Starmen or maybe someone else might be looking for us up there."
"We'll be careful."
"Ke Bao Dragon Armour Infuse!" called Anthadd.
"Hope Armour Energise!" called Cyan in turn, and the two - now clad in their flying mail - took to the skies, following the now easily traced signal appearing on Cyan's tracking device.

Mike put his screwdriver away. "Did you see me defeat the locking mechanism on that door? Didya?! That was my best work yet. From cars to complicated door locks. What next, eh? Oh, and uh, I'm sorry about the door. I had to react to a dangerous situation, ya know? I was all tied up and stuff and I figured that I was imprisoned... Anyway..." He looked back. "I never really noticed that Ryuji and Unity were in that room. I must not be that good of an observer."
Ryuji and Unity walked out of the room. "Yeah, I guess that you aren't."
"... Shut up, I blame the meds. Anyway, isn't that a cool skill? I bet it'll come in handy someday. ... Hey Dan! I... don't remember you coming with us in the van."
"Yeah, well, ya know how that works out... So, hey." Dan said. A strange moment of silence overcame the room.
Mike took a serious tone of voice after looking around the room a few times. "I don't see Matt. Where's Matt?"
The guardian became worried. "What do you mean? Did he not come out of the room? I placed him in there."
Ryuji glanced around the room. "Nope, no Matt."
"Well then, this is very serious. If we don't find Matt, then we can't do what it is that we must do. You know, schedules and all."
"Aww, fruit juice. Well, let's go look for him then." Mike walked off, looking around. The others did the same.
"Oh, do hurry. You don't have much time." The stream guardian then plopped himself down onto the floor and started to sleep.

Jakob and Frank were sitting in the back of the ship. There had just been a huge argument between them and Amzan, so the idea was they would leave. "Leave?" repeated Frank. "As in leave Cyan and Anthadd behind?"
Jakob sighed. "That's what it was shaping up to be. Aw, man, I gotta go for a walk." He got up and left the ship. Frank followed him out. They looked up in the sky just in time to see Cyan and Anthadd flying away.
"Well, isn't that ironic," mused Jakob. "Poor old Amzan, trying to convince us that we should wait for Anthadd and Cyan, and there they go..."
Behind them, they heard a roaring noise. The ship packed up its ramp and disappeared after Anthadd and Cyan.
Frank shook his head. "That's ironic." They started walking up towards the palace.
Suddenly, a beam of light landed in front of them. It split into six parts, each a different colour. The six beams surrounded Frank and Jakob, and turned into Starmen.
In answer to a question no one asked, the yellow Starman shouted, "We are the Super Starmen Six!"
Frank pulled out his switchblade and slashed the green Starman's head off. "Five," he commented dryly.
Jakob whipped out his Ray-Gun and blasted the orange and red Starmen. BLAM! "Four." BLAM! "Three." Klik. "Tw.... uhh, three." Jakob laughed nervously. "I'm outta ammo."
Frank jumped over the yellow Starman and landed on the purple one. He slashed viciously. "Two."
The yellow and brown Starmen stepped back. The yellow one chuckled. "Perhaps it's time to remove the disguise." The brown Starman began to morph. He turned into...
"Everdred!" shouted Frank. "What are you doing?"
"He can't hear you," taunted the yellow Starman. "Giygas has hypnotized him. He answers to me. Bwahahaha!"
The yellow Starman was so busy laughing, he didn't notice Jakob reloading his Ray-Gun. "Hey, yellow dude!" shouted Jakob. "Don'tcha know, all you need is love... and a ray gun!" He blasted the yellow Starman right off the side of Dalaam.
Once the Starman fell off the side, Jakob and Frank turned their attention to Everdred, who looked as though he was just waking up. They led him into the palace.
Once he knew what had happened, Everdred explained the situation. "While I was being hypnotized, I saw a lot of messages go by. Like, 'Don't let Poo get to Dalaam.' And 'Kill that Jakob guy, he's really dangerous.'"
Frank was indignant. "You mean Jakob's more dangerous than I am? Yeesh!"
Jakob brushed it off, figuring that Giygas had meant his old self. "So we need to find Poo and get him here. I'll go get the ship."
Frank stopped Jakob. "The ship left, remember?"
"Oh, yeah." Jakob thought for a moment, and decided there was no way out. "I guess we'll just have to wait for something to happen."
They sat dejectedly, as the wind outside started up again.

"Well, there's Fourside," Anthadd noted, as they passed over the Big Banana. "Not much longer..."
"Wait. I'm picking up a change in the signal. They're moving in a western direction."
"How fast?"
"It's hard to guess. I'd say we'll catch up in about an hour... If we hurry, half that."
They continued flying, increasing their speed, unaware that the ship was following them.

And sure enough, 24 minutes later...
"We're right overhead them."
"But... Cyan... no one's below us. Unless they're on that bus..."
"That must be the answer."
"Threed's just up ahead. If we land, we could probably meet them as they depart. Unless they're heading to Twoson..."
"We could always stop the bus there. Or hope they recognise you."

During that conversation, they had increased speed and flown to Threed, then landed.
"I suggest getting on the bus, riding to Twoson, picking our friends up, then returning to Dalaam," Anthadd said.
"I've no disagreements with that."
They slumped down in front of the Sunset Hotel, waiting for the bus to arrive.

Half an hour later...
"Odd. They should have been here by now." Anthadd had taken the helmet off his armour, laying it on his leg armour.
"What's more odd is that when we got here, it was a bright, sunny day. Now, it's cloudy."
"The sky clouds up quickly here."
"From 0 clouds, to a 100% overcast sky?"
"That is odd."
Drip. Drop. Drip. Drop.
A lone squirrel, holding as much as it could in its mouth, ran from behind them up a nearby tree.
What a pig, Anthadd thought. Hey! I'll call it a pig-squirrel!
"What was that?" Anthadd cried.
"Over there!" Cyan pointed in a southeastern direction. "The bus is suddenly encased in armour, and shooting everything in sight. Plus, the sky is much darker in that direction."
Help us, someone! Paula cried.
"Was that Paula again?" Cyan asked.
"This brain wavelength thing is beginning to scare me... yes, it was."
The two hurried to where the bus was continuing its run of terror.

Mike wandered around for a bit, looking for Matt. "Matt! Where are you?" He called. The echo of his voice bounced off the walls. "Heh heh, cool." He continued to walk around, shouting various things, obviously entertained by the echo created. He then came upon a door. "I bet that Matt is in here." He opened the door and entered the room, only to discover that he was out in the middle of some desert. "Where am I?!"
"I don't know!" It was Matt.
"Well, I was right about finding you. How do we get outta here?"
"I'm not sure. I've been out here for days," Matt replied.
"Uhh... you were only gone for 20 minutes... odd." Mike looked around. "This desert is strange... I can't find the door anymore." Something whizzed past his head just as he said that. "Whoa! The door! Let's catch it." The two ran after the door, eventually catching up to it. Mike reached for the knob, missing a few times, when the door suddenly flew open. A tentacle grabbed both Matt and Mike and pulled them inside. It was the stream guardian.
"Don't EVER go out there again without a guide, i.e. ME," the stream guardian said, berating the two for a while.
"We understand. I'm sorry. What was that place, anyway?" Mike asked.
"That was the place where time does not extend into. Odd, isn't it? Anyway, just stay out, okay? Let's go with the others. They shouldn't be far from here." The stream guardian walked off and the two followed.

"Ah know ya'r gettin' frighten'd, Paula," Rusty drawled, "but tough't out. We'll be sav'd soon, ah know it."
"I hope you're right, Rusty..." Paula tried peering out the windows of the bus, but failed.

"Sagitta Halt!"
"Ice Claws!"
"Scorpius Blade!"
"It's not working!" Cyan cried.
Not even the scorching flames of Inferno could skim the hide of the super bus.
"Perhaps two fighting alone isn't sufficient. Maybe we need two fighting together."
"Together? But aren't we doing that now?"
"We may be fighting together, but our movements are not as one."
"Ooo... cryptic. Wait... the Tome says something of this... Adekae..." Anthadd trailed off.
"But how would we use this... Ade.. kae.. without hurting Paula?"
"If we can disable the tires and the weapons, we would effective paralyse the bus.
"Then, we could initiate a rescue attempt."
"But what kind of Adekae could we use?"
"If we focus," Anthadd said, "the answer should come to us."

During all this, the super bus had neared further.
"It's now or never, Anthadd..."
"Move as one, move as one..."
As one, Anthadd thought. As one...
If one looked very closely, one wouldn't have noticed any variation in their movements.
A resonance emanated between the two of them. One would not have noticed it.
"Aim at the wheels!" the two cried at once.
Anthadd jumped in the air!
"Wave Sharp!" they cried at the same time.
While Cyan sliced with his sword, Anthadd fired out Breaker. The result was a very thin, but very lethal stream of water. It struck the bus squarely on the rear right wheel, grazing the other three.
"The weapons system!" Cyan cried.
"Candle Sword!"
Instead of slicing, this time Cyan drove the sword, as if to impale. Somehow, the sword and Inferno combined to make a whirling ball of flame, like the flame on a burning candle.
The weapons were destroyed...
"No explosion?" Anthadd asked no one in particular. "You would have thought the weapons would be incendiary. Ke Bao Dragon Armour Defuse." The bus disabled, the two walked over to free their friends.

"Hyah!" Rockwell screamed as he swinged his Esca Sword, slicing a Starman Sr.
The Starman Sr. fell apart and exploded immediately. The shrapnel flew in the air and struck Rockwell. He clucked his tongue and put his sword away.
"Maybe I should join up with the group again. I wonder if Tracy is okay." said Rockwell.
He pulled out a cell phone and dialed a number.
*ring* *ring*

*ring* *ring*
"Mike, what's that ringing sound?" Matt asked curiously.
"I... don't know..." Mike chuckled nervously.
"Check your pocket, Mike," The stream guardain sighed.
Mike immediately checked all of his pockets and found a cell phone from nowhere.
"How did this get here?" Mike asked.
"No matter, just answer the phone," the stream guardain sighed once again.
Mike answered with a simple, "Yello?"
"Hey Mike. It's Rockwell, where are you guys?"
"Rockwell?! Where are my explosives?!" Mike screamed.
"What explosives? I gave them back to you a while ago," Rockwell protested.
"Oh. Sorry, then. It's kinda hard to explain where we are right now. Where are you?"
"Twoson. The place is overrunned with Starman Srs." Rockwell answered, "Say, by any chance... did a girl named Tracy meet you?"
"No... why? Hey, isn't that Ness' sister?" Mike asked.
"Yes. Um... I'll meet you later. I have a bad feeling about this."
Rockwell hung the phone up and ran back to Onett to find Tracy.

Jakob wandered around in the palace. People all around were hiding from some kind of evil. They were terrified if the wind picked up. Drafty rooms were vacated.
Jakob didn't care. He wandered just the same.
Eventually he came to a room with pretty decorations and a nice chair. "Must be the throne room," he thought out loud.
A thought crept into his head. He glanced around. There was no one else anywhere nearby. Nobody would mind.
He walked right up the steps and sat down in the throne. "Comfy," he said.

In Saturn Valley, things were getting worse by the minute. Starmen were attacking, Mooks were advancing, and a Nuclear Power Robot had just exploded and caused a landslide, clearing out the only escape route.
Dr. Andonuts looked around worriedly. He had been working with Apple Kid and Orange Kid when a Starman teleported in and took them both hostage. Ness was still unconscious, and Poo was meditating. How could he be so quiet, with all that was going on...
Poo's eyes fluttered open. "I need to return to Dalaam."
Dr. Andonuts became hysterical. "The Starmen and Mooks and things are attacking, and you're leaving?! That's insane! What will we do? Get blasted into who-knows-what by those things out there?!" He kept on raving and ranting as Poo teleported to Dalaam. A few minutes after Poo left, the attack stopped, and the young inventors returned.
"What happened?" asked Orange Kid.
"Poo's not here," noticed Apple Kid. "The Starmen must have been after him..."

A puff of smoke appeared in the Dalaam palace's throne room, and Poo appeared. He glanced up to the snoring figure in the chair.
"You're in my chair."
Jakob woke with a start, and glanced at Poo. "Um... it's comfortable."
"It is," Poo agreed, "but there is much to do. Come along."
Jakob and Poo headed back to the room where Frank and Everdred were waiting. Jakob explained what had happened.
"I see. Giygas is trying to stop us," Poo said. He closed his eyes and concentrated for a moment.
Jakob suddenly shook with some unknown terror. "You guys feel that?"
Poo opened his eyes and smiled. "I just tried PSI Magnet. Jakob, it's no wonder Giygas wants you stopped... you know PSI." He frowned. "I felt your power from when we met, but there's something missing. Have you ever suffered any sort of brain damage?"
"Well, I did kinda fry my brains once with a ray-gun..." Jakob quickly explained the story of his former self.
"Wait a second!" shouted Everdred. "You're that Jakob? I thought it was a coincidence!"
"What was?" queried Jakob.
Everdred explained. "I used to know a really tough guy named Jakob. He was my primary competition as a thief. Luckily, he disappeared mysteriously one day, or I would've been pushed out of business. I remember now, he was the one who beat me up in the alleyway when I stole the Mani Mani statue. He must've been working for Monotoli."
"I worked for Monotoli?" repeated Jakob. "I must've been nuts."
Poo stood up. "Come along. We need to teach you to control your powers if you wish to help fight Giygas."