Tryst, Chapter 6: Citius, Altius, Fortius (Swifter, Higher, Stronger)
Anthadd took out the Ke Bao Swords. Instead of
contrasting, they were the same tone: neutral.
He drove the two swords into a
window of the bus. Cyan did the same with another one, also attacking with Ice
"Are you getting through?" Anthadd asked Cyan.
A slight tinkling
belying the compromising of the bus' windows alerted him to the fact that "Yes"
would be the answer to both questions.
"Rusty? Paula?" Anthadd called,
looking down into the bus. "Are you there?"
"Well, ah'm all right," Rusty
responded, using his characteristic drawl, "and Paula's over thar, attendin' to
the other passengers. Some of them were hurt during the fight. I suppose y'all
"We were responsible, I suppose," Cyan
"Rusty," Paula said from a corner of the bus, "could you get some
more disinfectant and gauze from the first aid kit at the front of the bus?
There's more bleeding than I'd first thought... Anthadd?"
"Yeah, it's me. I'm
"You brought a friend?"
"Correct. Meet Cyan."
"Good day Paula."
After all the passengers had been seen to, and sent to the hospital for a complete check up, thereby overwhelming the Threed Hospital's doctor, the four proceeded to walk a short distance away, to decide what to do next.
"Now that we're finally free, what do y'all think we should do now?" began Rusty.
"Dalaam seems to be a good place to continue investigating, but we should try to get the rest of the group together," suggested Anthadd.
Cyan looked up from fiddling with his tracker again. "I'd say we should go to Dalaam first, then see if we can track the others."
Ever since she had first seen him, something about Cyan seemed strange to Paula. It didn't appear to her eyes, but her mind could sense it. Anthadd, where is your friend from? I don't know what it is, but I can feel something odd about him, she thought at Anthadd, not wanting to say anything aloud.
Cyan looked up again suddenly. "Huh? What was that?" he asked, very confused.
"I didn't hear nuthin'," responded Rusty.
Paula was almost as confused as Cyan. "Did he hear me?" she asked Anthadd.
In reaction to the strange looks all around, Anthadd explained. "Cyan is a traveler from another dimension, that's probably what strikes you as odd about him. As to what just happened, due to some strange phenomenon he and I think on a very similar frequency. That's why he heard the thought you directed at me. He heard your first call from the desert, too."
"Oh, it was that again?" queried Cyan, relieved to know he wasn't losing it ... yet.
Paula was still confused, "I didn't realise that was even possible."
"I don't know anything more about it than you do. I just know that sometimes we think the exact same thing and I can hear thoughts directed at Anthadd. I don't know why, I just know it is."
"What d' we do now, though? How can we get ourselves all the way to Dalaam?" Rusty asked, getting the conversation back on track.
"Well, Anthadd and I can fly, but I don't know if we would be able to take you with us ... Any ideas, Anth?"
"Well... as we are, we may not be strong enough. But a transformation could make us strong enough," Anthadd quietly said.
"What?" Cyan inquired.
Anthadd put on the Ke Bao Dragon Armour.
"You three may want to go inside. Sometimes, people get hurt."
"What?" Paula demanded.
"Just go inside."
"Come on, Paula. Ah'm sure he knows what all he's doin'." Rusty and Paula went inside.
What does he plan on doing? Cyan thought, then headed inside.
Anthadd took a deep breath.
"My Ditel's too erratic... it might send us somewhere... unwanted... but I could conk out at any time as Anthdragn... Ah, I'll take the chance as Anthdragn."
He focused. He transformed into Anthdragn.
Spreading his wings, Anthdragn called for his friends to join him.
"Oh... my..." Paula still had not adjusted to this sort of thing, even with the effect of Bags of Dragonite during her adventure.
"Well... why aren't you climbing on?"
"This is way too odd... even for a vi..." Cyan said, then abruptly stopped, realising what he was about to say.
But then he climbed on.
He helped Rusty up, and the two of them lifted Paula up.
"You may want to hold onto the ssspikesss..."
Taking Anthdragn's advice, the three now gripped onto one of his back spikes, using the one behind them as a seat of sorts.
Lifting his tail slightly, rearing onto his back legs, Anthdragn leapt into the sky, and let his wings do the flying.
"If you're down with that call," The Stream Guardian said to Mike, "We must return to the base of the time stream and gather the rest of your friends." The Guardian then made a new door appear out of thin air that led to a small room. In the corner, Ryuji was sleeping on a cot. "He looks so peaceful," the Guardian said, "Who wants to wake him up?"
Mike volunteered and walked forward. He gently poked Ryuji in the ribs. The Sennin master proceeded to jump up and accidentally kicked Mike in the face.
"OW!" Mike yelled, "Watch where you're jumping!"
"Sorry," Ryuji said apologetically, "Now what happened?"
The Stream Guardian explained what was happening. "Now," it said, "we must gather the rest of the group, for I have something of extreme importance to tell."
While Poo tried to help Jakob realize what was left of his powers in the place of Mu, Frank and Everdred had a brief conversation.
"Hey Everdred, I thought you were dead..."
"Who told you that?"
"Ness did, when he came back to Onett after beating up Giygas. He said you met in Fourside. Where'd you go after that?"
"Well, I was headed for an alleyway or something to try and recover, when I was abducted by some kind of spaceship. The next thing I knew, I was hypnotized. I guess they gave me some kind of Starman-like armour and sent me after Jakob. They must be getting kinda desperate."
Jakob concentrated very carefully, trying to avoid letting any kind of thought enter his head. He was having trouble. Once his mind was clear, it would fill up with something else. "Rrrg!" he growled in his frustration. "This isn't working!"
Poo responded kindly. "Try to avoid thinking of white tigers."
Avoid white tigers? Okay. Don't think of white tigers. Uh, I mean... no white... wait a second...
In fact, Poo had given Jakob an instruction designed to clear his mind; when someone commands you not to think about something, how do you avoid it?
Jakob was still wrapping his head around the tigers when a vision appeared. It was Dr. Andonuts, calling out for help on a shortwave radio. Jakob's eyes popped open. "We have to get to Saturn Valley."
Poo also opened his eyes. "Good, you seem to be able to use some sort of vision skill. That may prove useful in the future." He carefully closed his eyes again and used his own vision to seek out what was going on. The mental picture of Saturn Valley entered his mind. A Starman was demanding to know Jakob's location. "They're looking for you, Jakob. They still seem to think you're the greatest threat."
"We'd better get out there and stop them."
"No, we can't just go up there, they'd kill you. Right now, we need to get Ness healed so he can fight Giygas again. No offence, but he's stronger than you."
They went back up to the palace and met with Frank and Everdred, explaining the problem they faced.
Everdred grinned. "Do you suppose they'd fall for a little trick? I've been reading these scrolls about your powers, and I have an idea..."
The foursome arrived in Saturn Valley. A Starman immediately stopped them. Jakob held up his hands. "I have a deal to make... Do what you wish with me, but let the others go."
The Starman considered for a moment. He radioed his superiors, and there was quickly a large group of Starmen, headed by a Starman DX. Jakob repeated his offer.
The Starman DX also seemed to consider the request.
Then it blasted Jakob to bits.
Satisfied that this threat to the takeover was gone, the army of Giygas left Saturn Valley.
Poo ran over to where Jakob's head lay, blown off his body. He was startled. "That idiot... he didn't say this would happen."
Frank and Everdred joined him. "The thing to do is make sure Ness gets better," Frank said. "Then maybe he could be healed."
Poo grabbed his ponytail and started pulling. Soon, his entire face slid off, revealing him to be Jakob in one of Poo's old uniforms. He sighed.
"Poo said we could fight them, and they wouldn't suspect that they were going after the wrong guy. Now what?"
"Now we help Ness. There's nothing else we can do."
Jakob sadly turned away from the likeness of his own head. Already, the enchantment of Poo's Mirror ability was wearing off, revealing the head for what it was. Poo was dead.
The Stream Guardian and his followers walked down the hall to the exit of the cave.
"When we exit this place, the waters of time will rush into the room. Make sure you are all near Luna and her orb, otherwise you could be sucked away into the past, or the future, or even an alternate present."
"What about our friends! You said we needed to meet with them?"
"Yes, you do. Your first journey, though it will not be your last, is to swim through to the stream's exit in Saturn Valley's Grapefruit Falls. If you must, you can rush time so they will be able to meet with you quickly, though if you do, you accept the responsibility of your own mortality."
Luna agreed, and she pushed a small button on the top of the orb. A small dome of air collapsed around time, allowing just enough room for the travelers to fit inside. Just as Unity creaked the door off its hinges, she turned to the guardian. "What about Matt?"
The guardian smiled. "He will be fine here. Now swim to the Falls, and do not leave the dome! Swim quickly!"
Tracy was still on the ground, in front of the Starman Srs. who had thier tentacles ready.
"Get up, you filthy humanoid," one of the Starman Srs. growled.
She laid there on the ground, hoping that they'd think that she was not among the living.
"You, scan this creature. See if it's alive or not," said the same Starman Sr.
A Starman Jr. stepped in front of him and pulled out a strange device which he used on her. She tried to keep still and calm; but for some reason, she can't.
"She's alive. Blast her," said the Starman who was just scanning her.
The Starman Sr. raised its tentacles and said, "Ready..."
Meanwhile, Rockwell was still running and was close to the two houses where he last started. He stopped in his track and saw a Starman Sr. and four Starman Jrs. Immediately, he jumped behind a tree.
"Looks like a easy battle," Rockwell sighed.
But something else caught his eyes. It was Tracy, sprawled out on the ground. He unsheathed his sword and checked out the scene.
"Everything is clear. Proceed with the killing," Rockwell muttered to himself.
He jumped out from behind the tree and threw his sword directly at the four Starman Jrs. that were in a row. The sword went through all four of their craniums and the Starman Jrs. exploded. The Starman Sr. reacted by whipping his tentacle at him and fired. Rockwell flew back and hit the tree with a grunt. Angered by this, he got up and formed a ball of energy.
"Eat this!" he screamed as he whipped his hand back and threw the ball directly at the Starman Senior.
The ball of energy slowly went through it and disappeared. In about five seconds, the Starman Senior exploded. Rockwell sighed and picked up his sword.
"You're okay, Tracy?" Rockwell asked as he stuck his hand out.
Tracy grabbed his hand and said, "Never felt better."
Tracy got back up on her feet. "I have a feeling we should go to Saturn Valley because I overheard one of the Starmen Jr. talking about it," said Tracy.
"Alright, that's our destination." said Rockwell as he looked up at the sky.
"Great. It's getting dark... and we're an ocean away..." Anthadd muttered.
Anthdragn had landed, and reverted. Too often, he lost his way flying at night.
"How will we get there, then?" Paula asked courteously.
"One second." Anthadd produced his Ditel.
"What's that?" Rusty asked, temporarily abandoning his drawl.
"It's called a Ditel. It's an abbreviation of Dimensional Teleporter. I hope it works this time."
"It doesn't always work?" Cyan inquired.
"It once did. But now, for some reason I can't comprehend... it malfunctions... but are you still willing to risk it?"
As he looked at each of them, they all, in turn, nodded in acknowledgement.
"It's been charging for a while... it should be charged enough to work..."
Anthadd fiddled with the settings, adjusting the radius to a circle of about 4 metres squared.
Aiming it straight in the air, he fired.
The four disappeared in a flash of light!
Wait... this isn't right... Anthadd thought. We should be at Dalaam by now... NO! It's malfunctioned again...
"Where are we?" Paula asked, wringing her clothes out. They'd found themselves in a very watery predicament.
"Ah, more visitors," the Stream Guardian said. "This is the Time Stream. There are friends of yours, ahead of you."
The guardian pointed in the direction the others had went.
"I have surrounded you with a failsafe against the flow of the time stream. Follow them, unite with them, if you can. You must stop Lardna from fulfilling the requirements of her Tryst with Giygas, and Giygas from fulfilling his side of the Tryst!"
Matt came over.
"This is Matt. He's to stay with me for now. When the time is right, I will send for all of you, to retrieve him."
Mike was moving with the others in the bubble. "Isn't it odd how we're not even swimming, and yet we're moving?" Mike asked. He had stopped swimming. "The stream guardian told us to swim, and we don't even need to. It's like the bubble knows where we need to go."
"Yeah, I guess so," Unity replied. "Hey, is that where we need to be?" She looked in the direction of some light.
"Who knows. Let's check it out." The bubble floated over to the light and everybody was catapulted through the waterfall.
"Aaah!" Everybody let out a yell of surprise. They landed at the base of the waterfall.
"Heh, I guess we're there, eh? Let's check this place out." Mike got up. He saw that Dan and Ryuji were already out on the bank of the river. Luna and Unity climbed out as well. Mike swam to the bank and pulled himself out.
The group walked off towards a cave that they had seen, knowing that Saturn Valley lay ahead. However, upon entering the cave, they saw that a group of Starmen were blocking their path.
"You may not proceed. Halt," the Starman DX said. "Do not move or you will be terminated."
The group walked forward. They were promptly greeted with a volley of laser beams. Ryuji and the others prepared for battle.
They confronted the Starmen. They had an estimated strength of 1 Starman DX and 7 Starmen. The Starmen fired off another volley of lasers. Ryuji engaged and knocked the arms off of one of the Starmen. Unity smacked another with a staff, knocking its head off. Dan had fired his weapon at a Starman, causing the Starman to explode. Luna fired her weapon as well, causing the same result. Mike was behind the enemy formation.
"Alright, now... what to do..." Mike said. He didn't have a weapon with him. "Oh, I know..." He crept up on the Starmen. When one was about to fire his weapon, Mike grabbed the arm and pointed it at another Starman. The laser fired, destroying its ally. "Mwahaha." The battle continued for another minute and the entire guard force was destroyed.
"What were those guys doing here?!" Dan asked. The others shrugged. "I wonder if we should really go on..." Before he received an answer, the group trekked on through the cave.
The group continued through the tunnel towards Saturn Valley.
"Saturn Valley must be under seige..." said Luna, sounding worried. "Those poor Mr. Saturns... Oof!"
Luna tripped over a large lump that had suddenly popped up from nowhere. She jumped back up, and pulled out her blaster again.
"DIE, MOVING-LUMP-THING THAT TRIPPED ME!!" she yelled loudly, pointing the gun menacingly at the quivering lump.
"No hurt, boing!"
"Sounds like the moving lump doesn't want to be hurt..." mumbled Dan, giggling.
"No kidding..." Luna grumbled, thumping Dan on the head with her backpack.
"Well, don't shoot it. I think it's a Mr. Saturn." Said Mike, helping the pinkish large-nosed creature out of the hole. "I wonder what it's doing there... I wouldn't think Mr. Saturns could dig..."
"No, boing! Digdig with spoon, long time, zoom! Saturn Vally dangerous, boing! Men of stars kill any resistance, zoom!" The Mr. Saturn said, its red ribbon shaking with fear.
"Oh jeez, now I feel really bad... c'mon, lil' buddy..." Luna said, picking up the Mr. Saturn in her arms. "We need to make a plan to get your village back!"
Suddenly, a blurry figure flashed into view in front of Luna and the crew.
"Stop. Move and be terminated," said the monotonous voice of a Starman DX, raising his blaster to center it on the Mr. Saturn Luna was holding. "We have you surrounded."
"C'mon guys, we dealt with them before, we can do it again!" said Ryuji, getting ready.
Suddenly, around 20 other varied Starmen teleported in, circling the group and closing in on them.
"...but not this many." he said, blinking.
"That is... a lot of Starmen. What do we do?" whispered Unity.
"You have 5 seconds before we begin fire. 5...4..." The Starman DX droned.
"Well, we may be 'ere fer a while," stated Rusty. "I do need to know WHO you are, Cyan?"
"Yes. Me, too," proclaimed Paula.
"Oh! Heh heh. Guess I forgot about that."
Cyan explained his story. The dimension-changing concept befuzzled both Rusty and Paula.
"I guess I won't doubt you, but that does seem rather odd..." Paula tried to make sense of everything.
"Whateva'! Ya seem like a nice enough guy. I won't be judgin' ya!"
"Thanks a bunch. Usually people don't trust a guy walking around with a sword in broad daylight," Cyan said with a smile.
"I think it is about time you be on your way," commanded the guardian.
"Hmmmmmm. I haven't heard any news about Frank, Amzan, or Jakob," pondered Paula.
"Don't worry. I'm sure Amzan or Frank will find their way here. Jakob.... Jakob will just follow them I guess," said Cyan and Anthadd in unison. Anthadd looked freaked out while Cyan just had a grimace on his face.
Rusty and Paula just stood there with their jaws dropped.
"I'll pretend ah din hear that!" exclaimed Rusty. "Come on. Let's get going."
Anthadd, Cyan, Paula, and Rusty were starting to walk when they just started moving as one. They laid back as they were moved through the stream.
The grains of time rose up to meet the four, slowly supplanting the stream of time.
The Guardian's bubble disappeared.
The sounds of an ensuing battle wafted from in front of them.
"Do you think...?" Cyan asked.
"Our friends?" Paula offered.
"It has to be!" Anthadd cried.
"Well, let's be going!" Rusty exclaimed.
Unity, Luna, and their group began to battle against the Starmen.
But soon, they realised...
"We're outnumbered!" Unity cried.
"We've got a duty!" Luna reminded Unity. "We have to get through. We have to hold on until help arrives."
"It is them!" Anthadd cried. "There's Unity, and Luna!"
"More friends of yours, I assume?" Cyan inquired.
"Yes. And they need help! Ke Bao Dragon Armour Infuse!"
"Honour Armour Energise!"
"I'll never get used to that," Paula muttered, keeping a steady pace, getting her Holy Fry Pan in a battle stance. Rusty jogged along beside her.
"Anthadd!" Luna waved. "Finally, we found you!"
"Actually, I found you..." Anthadd pointed out. Then, aiming at a Starman about to attack Luna, he cried, "Scorpius Blade!"
Mike had seen the Scorpius Blade that Anthadd had used go by his head. "Whoa!" The Starman exploded. "It's time to meet your maker." Mike charged the enemy lines. A melee had begun. Ryuji was attacking left and right, destroying Starmen in a single attack. Unity clubbed a Starman, putting a sizeable dent on its front. The severe blunt trauma that the Starman had suffered was more than it could bear, and was destroyed. Cyan destroyed Starmen with relative ease.
"*beep beep click beep whirr* This is Starman DX unit 257-RX2. We are being overrun. We require assistance." Just as the message was transmitted, Mike had crushed the Starman with a gigantic rock.
"Man, I really need a weapon. But I'll manage." He laughed and ran off to behind the enemy formation. He wasn't so lucky this time because they knew what he was trying to do. They turned and fired, missing him with every shot. "What the heck, you guys. You just made a fatal mistake." Unity, Luna, Dan, Anthadd, Cyan, and the others vanquished the enemy. "Woo!" A collective cheer arose from the group.
Everybody put their weapons away. "That was interesting. At last, we're together." Anthadd said.
"Yes," Luna replied. The others nodded.
"Long time no see," Mike said. "Whatever happened to you guys, anyway?"
"I'm not so sure. Maybe we can talk about that over some coffee."
"NOT SO FAST." A familiar sounding voice echoed throughout the cave.
"That sounds a lot like... Lardna?" Mike said, puzzled.
"Correct, fool. You really shouldn't let your guard down." 3 Starmen DX, 12 Starmen, and 2 Final Starmen had arrived. Lardna had 7 starmen and a Starman DX with her. "Get away. You're not allowed in here. Just leave... or I will destroy you." With that, she left. The Starmen powered up their weapons.
"Maybe we should... go back." Mike backed away slowly. The others did the same.
Outside of the cave, the group reacquainted themselves with each other. "I wonder what's going on in Saturn Valley..." Dan wondered. Mike shrugged.
"At least we're together again. Oh right, this is Cyan. He's from an alternate dimension." Anthadd said. "This is Rusty and Paula." They all nodded. Luna introduced Unity and co. to Cyan, Rusty, and Paula. "Now, we need to figure out how to get into Saturn Valley without attracting too much attention."
Mike eyed the cliff. "I have an idea. We're going to need to wait for night, though."
Tracy and Rockwell went through the graveyard and closer to Saturn Valley. As soon they approached the cave where the Starmen could be seen. "Blast. There's too many of them... still we can use the element of surprise," said Rockwell.
"Do you think you have any explosives?" Tracy asked.
Rockwell checked his pockets and found a single grenade.
"This will work. Tracy, how good can you throw?" Rockwell asked.
"Pretty good, actually. Who did you think taught Ness to swing a bat?" Tracy laughed.
"Good. Can you manage to throw this underneath the Final Starmen in the middle of the group?" Rockwell asked.
"Sure. It's possible," answered Tracy.
Rockwell gave the grenade to her and said, "Tracy, get ready to fight. We'll need to take out the remaining Starmen."
Tracy nodded as she pulled the pin and threw the gerenade underneath the Final Starman in the middle. The Final Starman whirred and looked down.
"Object detected. Destroy object," the Final Starman whirred.
The Starmen gathered around the object, pointing it with one tentacle each.
"How stupid can they get?" Tracy laughed silently.
The grenade exploded, scrapping a Final Starmen, 3 Starmen DX, and all 12 Starmen.
"Tracy, one is still remaining; time to attack," said Rockwell as he whipped his sword out.
The two jumped out of their hiding spot, facing the Final Starmen; who had escaped the explosion without taking any damage. Tracy ran behind it, as Rockwell got into a stance.
"Stop right there. You are not permitted to... to... to... to... pao... pas... *garble*... premitted... ede..." The Final Starman was malfunctioning.
"Tracy, take cover. It's malfunctioning," said Rockwell.
The Final Starman raised its hand and summoned 3 Starmen DX. Then the Final Starman collasped. Sensing this, all 3 Starmen DX summoned help and 3 more Starmen DX appeared.
"Oh no," Rockwell muttered.
Mike wiggled his finger slightly, indicating a tree near the entrace to Saturn Valley.
"We'll stay here till sundown. Then, we creep into the cave, one at a time. However, two of us will need to be decoys. Who votes for that job?"
Unity and Cyan raised their hands, looked at each other, and blinked.
'I'm going with her?' Cyan thought, as Unity rolled her eyes and sighed. 'I'm going with him?'
Mike shrugged, but went on talking. "You two will be the ones to enter the cave first. Cyan, take these flares. When you hear me whistle like a bird, set them off and RUN! Unity, your job will be to cover his back and make sure he doesn't get hurt while trying to hook up the flares. When everyone runs out to see what happened, I want you two to take no prisoners while the rest of us sneak in. Comprendé?"
"OK, ok." Unity nodded. "We'll light the lousy fire crackers."
Just after dusk, Unity and Cyan crept out of the camp near the tree. They tiptoed over to the wall, and Cyan started to unzip his bag.
"Oo! Flares! Can I shoot one off?"
Cyan glared at her. "No, these aren't toys. These are powerful explosives."
"I could have sworn Mike said they were just flares.."
"I'm really tired of you right about now. Can we just get this done?"
Suddenly, Cyan heard a long, piercing whistle. He grabbed the fuse in his trembling hand, and struck a match to it.
Cyan ran steadily, with Unity at his heels. "Wait.. up.. Cyan.. I.. can't.. run that fast!" As she reached out to grab his arm, she tripped on a rock on the ground.
Cyan stared back in disgust. At the last moment, he reached down and grabbed her arm, pulling her up. "Come on! If we don't hurry up, the Starmen'll catch up with us!"
Unity and Cyan were now at an equal footing. Cyan blinked and looked over at Unity. "I can sense it. Anthadd and the others --- they're in the valley!"
Unity sighed gratefully, and turned around. She widened her eyes, only to face a regiment of well trained Final Starmen, with Lardna in the center.
"There is no escape. Finish them."
The Starman nearest to Unity lashed out a whiplike tentacle, grabbed her locket from her pink bow. She screamed, as she felt all of her power leaving her. As she looked on in horror, the starman squeezed it into a fine powder.
Another one approached Cyan, and he whipped out his sword. He never used it. Two hands reached out from over the cliff, and hoisted Unity and Cyan up.
The two black robed figures sat down near a fire at the top of the cliff, and ushered Cyan and Unity to sit near them. "Greetings, children."
Cyan blinked. "I highly doubt I'm younger than you."
"Well, you'd be right about that."
The two whipped off their cloaks, to reveal Tracy and Rockwell!
"Hello there Unity, and you are?" Rockwell said to Cyan.
"My name is Cyan. Have you... met with me before?"
"You know, I can't recall."
Rockwell smiled, and threw a log on the fire. He took a small satchel from his belt, and looked at Unity.
"You look different somehow."
She looked down at herself. "Well, that would be the lack of a fuku, locket, and a few inches of height. I supose I should introduce myself."
"My name is truly Unity, however that may surprise you. I joined the league of the Senshi at a young age, hailing from my Home Star of Carina. However, I was known for my ability to manipulate the element of light, which was why I was partnered with my friend, Senshi Solitude. She was able to control the power of darkness, and together we were natural opposites; Unity and Solitude.
"I crashed onto the planet Earth several years ago, and I found that I would need to take on some form of a human appearence to succeed in finding my way home, and befriending people. While I was searching, I met an orphaned girl named Julia. She lived with her grandparents, who had recently just died, leaving her an inheritance worth billions. However, she was hit in a car crash and she almost died that same day. I assimilated with what remained of her spirit and body, gaining access to all of her memories. You may call me Julia or Unity, whichever is easier.
"However, I am at a loss. Without my power locket, I have nothing to power my staff and myself. I have never looked for the inner power of PSI."
Rockwell coughed slightly, and looked at her. "Well, thank you for telling us your story. Under normal circumstances, I would be more willing to help you, but," He said, looking at the bag he had taken out earlier, "I have one thing to attend to first."
He looked at Cyan. "In my hand is a bag of dragonite. This is powder made from scales of a dragon. I did not know it, but apparently, this is from a very special dragon indeed. He goes by the name of AnthDragn."
"With this dust, we can pour it in the fire, and use the fire-dragn to fly us to Dalaam. A man named Jakob awaits our arrival. When we have retrieved him, we can all assemble in Saturn Valley."
"What about Anthadd and the others?"
"They have already recaptured the Valley; they have no need for us at the moment. Now take this powder, and throw it in the fire."
He indicated toward Tracy, who took the bag, then threw it in the fire.
A giant dragn of fire emerged, and spread its wings wide in a burst of embers.
"Now, we must ride! Tracy, join me with Cyan and Unity!"
"Oh my..." Luna said, amazed. "Look at all the Starmen..."
"I must say, this is quit'a doozy," Rusty commented.
A bird flew by.
"Crazy birds," Mike whispered.
"Sssh..." Paula warned. "We could be discovered at any time."
Anthadd drew his Ditel. "I feel like playing havoc with the Starmen's minds."
"How would you propose that?" Luna inquired.
"Yes, how?" Jakob asked.
"I suggest Ditelling them willy-nilly."
"Go ahead," Mike said, opening the path for Anthadd to wreak havoc.
And he did.
One by one, he started teleporting Starmen from here to there, disrupting their systems.
"Way to go! Ya messed'm up prett good, di'n't ya?" Rusty said.
"Maybe not..." Anthadd muttered.
"Next time, I won't miss," one Starman intoned.
*ZAP-POWWW!!* A Ray-Gun blast caught the Starman across the arm.
"See, that's the difference between you and me," said Jakob. "I don't miss." Another blast, and the Starman became a large mass of broken metal.
Jakob grinned. Only a few fights, and he was already developing a dry, cool wit.
"Okay, so we've disrupted the Starmen," said Paula. "Now what?"
"I'll tell you what, we gotta get Ness out of there." Jakob related the recent events in Saturn Valley to the group, including Poo's death, and his own miraculous escape from the reinforcement squad of Starmen.
"...so then I threw the cucumber at the Mook, and I ran down the tunnel and met you guys. Listen, I can't stay much longer. I have to go back to Dalaam and try to decipher my own PSI power, and what it does. I have a feeling that the answers are all there. Meantime, they're waiting for you guys in the Valley. Say hi to Frank and Carpainter for me." Jakob turned to leave.
Anthadd stopped him. "Aren't you forgetting something?" Jakob stared at him. Anthadd sighed. "How are you going to get to Dalaam?"
Jakob laughed nervously. "I was, uh... just gonna take a plane or something." He was struck with sudden inspiration. "Why not use that Digi-Transpo thingy to send me there?"
"It's been broken for a while."
"So what? How bad can it be?"
Anthadd could think of a hundred things that might happen, but for some reason he still felt compelled to do as Jakob wished.
Jakob disappeared into the air, and reappeared over Dalaam. He looked down.
Well, at least I'm in the right place, thought Jakob, but it looks like I'm gonna land pretty hard. Maybe I can roll with it as I hit the ground...
Fortunately, Jakob was spared from having to try rolling it off when a huge dragon caught him. It appeared to be made of fire.
The dragon landed on Dalaam, and disappeared. Jakob looked up from the ground and saw Cyan and a pair of girls walking over to him. "Jakob, what are you doing?" asked Cyan, seeming more annoyed than worried.
Jakob got up. "I just got teleported here by Anthadd. Good thing you caught me, or I'd have had to roll with the fall there. Anyhow, time's wastin' and I have to figure out my crazy brain." He began to head for the palace. Completely confused, the others followed him.
Noticing the fact that the Starmen were all going crazy, Dan decided to enter the fray.
"Hello," he said to one of the crazy Starmen.
"Earthling)%@45-...Bloop *click* It is the 90's, and there is time for Klax!"
"I agree, there's always time for Klax. However, in your case there is a time for robo-therapy as well."
Dan pointed to a cave. "The Psychiatrist is in there."
The stupified Starman walked in, giving Dan time to catch him with a laser blast to the CPU. The robot smoked, clicked, and fell to the ground talking in a HAL-like manner.
"Well, that's one down..." Anthadd said in what sounded like a cross between a happy and sighing tone of voice.
"...lots more to go..." Luna said. She pointed above the group to what looked to be a carrier full of Starmen re-enforcements...
After the assorted facefaults, Dan spoke up. "Well, what are we gonna do now? There's absolutely no chance of us destroying all these new Starmen...We've gotta come up with some other way to win..."
"And fast!" someone added. The carrier was about to land!
The carrier landed, and Starmen hurried out.
A strange cawing alerted the heroes [and heroines] to something being amiss.
"Crazy birds," Mike muttered.
The birds proceeded to fly overhead, blotting out the sun. The Starmen began to fire, killng the birds at a faster rate than they could appear. Eventually, the sky cleared.
"Crazy, crazy, crazy birds..."
"You have no right to wantonly kill those birds. They were simply flying overhead. Interrupt!"
Anthadd thrust a fist in the direction of the Starmen. From that fist, a rotating ball of electromagnetic energy flew, and entered one Starman after the other.
"More Sugemo?" Anthadd queried himself. "It must be."
"Poor crazy birds." Mike said. Anthadd had effectively stopped most of the Starmen. However, some remained. More starmen exited the ship. "Alright, this doesn't look good."
Anthadd had stopped using Interrupt. "I suggest that we take cover."
"Good call." They all agreed. Before going anywhere, a gigantic ball of flame crashed into the ground, obliterating an entire detachment of Starmen.
"Holy... monkey! Look at that bird! Now THAT'S not a crazy bird. That's a big, big bird!" Mike yelled.
A humongous bird had appeared in the area. Thousands of other birds were circling around it, cawing and acting bird-like. The gigantic bird charged another fireball and fired in the direction of the carrier. The shields of the ship stopped the blast.
"AHAHAH! I knew this would work!" It was the voice of Lardna. It was coming from the carrier. "The protector of the skies has arrived! Quickly, capture it."
The carrier extended a weapon of some sort. It charged up, creating a gigantic flux of negative energy in the area. The starmen powered down in order to save their circuitry. The weapon fired at the giant bird, striking it. A tractor beam was then used on the bird, dragging it into the carrier.
"!!! The big bird guy thing! No! We gotta do something!" Mike cleared his throat and turned to his friends. "I read about that thing in a book. It was said that a giant bird, much like that one, is charged with protecting the skies. It has immense power, and for good reason. It is basically the guardian of the 'gate' to this world from space. It has the ability to destroy things in a single attack... and now Lardna has it!" Mike yelled. He ran off towards the carrier. The others shrugged and followed.
While running, Mike destroyed the powered-down starmen. "Take this!" He obliterated each and every one that was in his way with a stick that he picked up off of the ground. He got to the carrier and ran aboard. The rest of the group ran on as well.
Shortly after getting aboard the carrier, sirens and klaxons started going off. "Intruder alert. Intruder alert. Unidentified lifeforms detected in Hold 3. All forces, engage and destroy on sight."