"GREAT ORBS OF FIRE"
EDITED AND HTMLIZED BY
Saturday, October 17, 1992, 10:00 AM
"I must say, I really needed to get away!" Kevin squeezed Lana's hand. "I think we all did." Kevin, Lana, Stacey, Rick, Simon, Mega Man, and Kid Icarus had all decided that this was the perfect day to go on a picnic. It had taken them a half-hour to decide where was the best place to go. After all, they had countless worlds to choose from! In the end, Lana suggested the world of Final Fantasy. Everyone agreed. "Hey, that looks like a good spot." Rick said as he pointed to a clearing in the trees. The forest they were in was not dense, but it offered few places to spread a blanket. However, the clearing was perfect. "Wonderful!" Lana reached into the basket that Kevin was carrying and produced a blanket. "Here, let me help you with that, Your Highness." Simon said as he grabbed the other end of Lana's blanket. Together, they neatly laid it down of the forest floor. "All righticus! Time to eat!" Kid Icarus said joyfully. "I can't blame you, Bird Boy. All that walking has left me with a big hole in my stomach." Simon said as he plopped down on the blanket. Everyone agreed as they sat down and began rummaging through the basket. There were all kinds of sandwiches, as well as potato salad, fruit salad, and vegetables and dip. They even brought some Pepsi! And, of course, there was dessert - double chocolate fudge cake for the Princess, video chip cookies for Simon and Kid Icarus, and chocolate chip cookies for everyone else. They all ate with a gusto. All of them, that is, except for Mega Man. Being a robot, he had no need of food. Normally he would just sit and talk to everyone during meals. But right now, everyone was so hungry that they probably wouldn't feel like talking to him. He decided to take a walk. I'll come back when the feeding fiasco is over, he reasoned.
After walking for a few minutes, he stopped and looked around. "It really is mega beautiful here." Just then, his sensitive robotic ears heard some sort of hissing noise off to the left. It sounded like some kind of monster! Silently, he crept towards the sound until the monsters were in view. He hid behind a tree to get a better look without being spotted. The monsters appeared to be big piles of living slime. One of them went up and touched a tree. The same hissing noise Mega Man had originally heard was made, and the tree began to dissolve. Within moments, there was nothing left. I've gotta stop this. They'll ruin the forest! Mega Man thought to himself. He jumped out from behind the tree and began firing at the creatures with his blaster. To his dismay, his plasma shots seemed to have no effect. Instead, the monsters looked at Mega Man and began to slowly slide over to him. "If my blaster doesn't work on these things, I'm a sitting duck. I've gotta get help!" Mega Man turned and ran back to where he left the N Team.
"Hey Kid Icarus, do you want the last of the Pepsi?" Kid Icarus made a face. "No thanks, Stacey. That stuff burned my mouth the last time I tried it." "Suit yourself." Stacey said, and chugged the remainder of the Pepsi. Lana sighed. "I don't know about the rest of you guys, but I'm stuffed." "Me, too. I couldn't eat another bite." Rick said as he patted his stomach. "I bet Romeo and Julius would have enjoyed this." Lana said. "Maybe, but I'm sure they're having more fun where they are." Kevin said. "A whole month of camping out in the jungles of Kongoland? Those two are really in their element now!" "That's not how I'd like to spend an entire month." stated Lana. "But if they're having fun, then good for them!" "It could be worse. You could be cleaning up that stable in Hyrule like Mike!" Rick pointed out with a laugh. "That's true. I can't believe that he spilled an entire barrel of oil all over the stalls!" Lana laughed. "I'll bet Mike will watch where he's going from now on. He'll have to help that lady for a long time if he wants to pay back the damage he caused to those show horses." Kevin said with a smile. Suddenly, Stacey and Rick disappeared. "Huh?" the rest of the team asked in unison. "Where'd they go-icus?" asked Kid Icarus, looking around. Just then, Mega Man came dashing into the clearing. "There's a bunch of mega monsters up ahead!" "But, what about Stacey and Rick?" Kevin asked. "Never mind them. They'll turn up. These monsters sound fun!" Simon said with a grin. He turned and ran off in the direction Mega Man had come from. The rest of the team followed.
Simon's glee was short lived, however. When they arrived at the location of the monsters, the N Team discovered that someone had beaten them to their quarry. "Who's she?" asked Lana. "I haven't got a clue. But whoever she is, she's good!" exclaimed Kevin. No one argued. The girl who was fighting the monsters wielded a whip with a proficiency that only Simon could match. Her whip seemed to dance as it punished the creatures. Unfortunately, her whip seemed to have no effect. "We'd better help. What's she doing?" Kevin asked. The girl seemed to have given up. She stood to the right of the monsters. Her whip was hanging at her side, no longer being used. She was staring off into space, mumbling something under her breath. "I think...she's lost it. Shall we?" Simon asked. "She's going to be eaten if we don't!" the Princess cried as she eyed the monsters, which were slowly creeping towards the girl. "All right! I, Simon Belmont, savior of Castlevania, shall save - " Simon didn't have a chance to finish his speech. At that moment, the girl's eyes snapped back into focus. Her entire body became engulfed in light as orbs of fire burst from her. She thrust out her arms and yelled "Odin!" Suddenly, a fierce battle cry echoed through the woods. A tall knight, with a horned helmet, appeared. He was mounted on a proud and strong war stallion. With a yell, the knight raised his sword and charged the slime creatures. It was over in an instant. The knight's sword cut each of the creatures in half, killing them instantly. Once the creatures were dead, the knight disappeared. "What the hell was that?!" Kevin yelled in astonishment. The girl looked at Kevin, seeing him for the first time. She started to walk over to the group. "Where am I now?" Everyone's head jerked up to see where the voice had come from. There, in a nearby tree, was Rick, his face filled with confusion. "Rick! Where have you been?! Where's Stacey?!" Kevin shouted. "Kevin! Am I back on Final Fantasy?" "Yes. Where were you? We've been worried." Lana said. "To tell you the truth, I'm not sure where I was. First I was here, then, all of a sudden, Stacey and I were alone in this weird - " At that moment, the branch Rick was standing on cracked! Everyone shouted in alarm. All of a sudden, Rick disappeared again. However, the team could do nothing about the branch. They watched in horror as it fell - right on top of the girl. Mega Man ran over and lifted the branch off while Lana rushed to examine her. "She's been knocked cold! I don't have my medical supplies. What do we do?" "Maybe we should take her to Dr. Right." suggested Mega Man. "But he specializes in robots. In case you haven't realized, she's a human." Simon quipped. "Do you think I don't know that, Simon? However, he does have first aid equipment. With the Princess' help, I'm sure they could fix her up." "What about Rick?" asked Kevin. "I'm sure he's fine...wherever he is. But this girl needs our help before we can start looking for Rick and Stacey." Lana said. And, of course, the Princess was right.
"We have good news, everyone." Dr. Right said as he and Lana entered the 'waiting room'. "The young lady will be fine. She suffered a minor concussion, but, besides that, she has only a few bumps and bruises. We've treated her for the head injury. She's sleeping now." "Can we see her?" asked Kevin. "Certainly." said Dr. Right. The team entered the main lab, which Dr. Right sometimes referred to as his 'Work Room'. The left wall was nothing but a big computer. There was a desk along the right wall that was littered with papers. In the center of the room were several metal lab tables. The girl was lying on one of these. Simon was the first one to reach her. Now that he had a chance to get a good look at her, he realized one important fact. She was very pretty! Her small face was accented by flowing green hair. A small, white flower was neatly placed in her hair on the right side. She wore a tight-fitting green dress with billowy sleeves that would probably reach the floor if she was standing. Her feet were covered by green boots. Now, most gentlemen would find something charming to say in the presence of a sleeping maiden. Simon, however, said something a bit more blunt: "She must like green." Dr. Right smiled. "Well, I hate to draw you away, but I would like to hear more about what happened to Rick and Stacey." Simon joined the rest of the team, who had made a circle around Dr. Right. "Now," said Dr. Right, "let's start from the beginning." "Well," said Kevin, "we all decided that today was a good day to go on a picnic. We were eating, then, all of a sudden, Rick and Stacey disappeared!" "Disappeared? How?" asked Dr. Right. "I don't know! They were here one minute, and the next, they just weren't!" Kevin stammered. Dr. Right hummed thoughtfully for a moment. "Continue." Kevin told everything else that he could remember. When he was done, Dr. Right asked a simple question. "She mumbled something?" "The girl? Yeah, but I'm not sure what." answered Kevin. "She was probably casting a spell of some sort. Many wizards must chant their spells." said Dr. Right. "Then, why didn't the monsters explode, or fall asleep, or something?" asked Kid Icarus. "I think it's possible that the horseman you saw was the result of the spell. However, I cannot be certain until she wakes up. On the matter of Stacey and Rick, I must do a bit more research. These happenings are truly...fascinating." mused Dr. Right. "You're talking about me, aren't you? I, like, hate it when people talk about me behind my back!" Everyone spun around to see Stacey. She was standing there with an annoyed expression on her face. The annoyance quickly disappeared, replaced with relief. "Something totally weird is going on. I seem to be warping from place to place. I can't stop it! Please make it stop!" begged Stacey. "I'm doing my best. Rick seems to be having the same problem. Until I can figure out what's causing you to warp, I'm afraid there's nothing I can do." Dr. Right said sadly. "What? You mean, I'm just going to keep hopping around like this 'til...'til..." Stacey whimpered. "I'll work as fast as I can." Dr. Right assured. "Just...take care of yourself until I can help you. Tell Rick that, too, if you see him." "Oker-dokers. Whoa. It's happening again!" Stacey exclaimed as she disappeared. Everyone seemed shaken by Stacey's visit. Everyone, that is, except Dr. Right. "Well, I'm going to start working right away. I should be able to devise something to help Rick and Stacey. I have to go into town to buy some parts, though. In the meantime, why don't you wake up your friend?" he suggested. "Good luck." Mega Man said as his creator left the room. The team walked over and circled the table once again. Kid Icarus gently shook the girl. "Miss? Miss? Please wake upicus. We'd like to talk to you." She stirred, grumbling a bit. "Time for your lessons already? Come back in a few minutes." "Maybe she's a teacher of some sort." Lana suggested. After Kid Icarus shook her a bit more, she opened her eyes and looked around. At first, her eyes were filled with confusion. Then, she darted to a sitting position, her eyes darting around rapidly. "W-who are you guys?" she asked, attempting to mask her fear. "Don't be scared. We're friends." answered Kid Icarus. "Friends, huh? I sure don't know you. Where am I?" "You're in Megaland, in the home of Dr. Right. We brought you here after you were hit by a tree branch." Lana said patiently. The girl thought for a moment, then nodded. "I remember. I was fighting those monsters, and then you guys showed up." "That's right." Simon said, pushing Kevin aside. "In fact, I am the one who saved you! Allow me to introduce myself. I'm Simon Belmont, the famous vampire hunter, the savior of Castlevania, winner of the Miss Videoland contest three years in a row - " "Oh, be quiet, Simon!" Lana said disgustedly. She turned to the girl and said "Ignore him. He's a bit full of himself. I'm Lana, Princess of Videoland. This is Mega Man, and over here is Kid Icarus, and this here is Kevin Keene, known throughout Videoland as Captain N: the Game Master!" "Pleased to meet you - all of you. My name is Rydia." "What a pretty name! Well, don't you worry. We'll get you back to your home world, Final Fantasy, very soon." "Final Fantasy? Where's that?" asked Rydia, puzzled. Lana was also puzzled. "You mean you aren't from Final Fantasy?" "No. I'm from Earth." Rydia answered. "Earth! That's where I'm from!" exclaimed Kevin. "Really? Which part?" asked Rydia. "Uh, Northridge, California." said Kevin. Rydia pursed her lips. "I'm afraid I've never heard of it. Which kingdom is it a part of?" "The United States, although it really isn't a kingdom." She thought for a moment, then shook her head. "I'm afraid I've never heard of that either." "You've never heard of the United States? What country are you from?" asked Kevin, a bit confused. "Well, I don't really have a permanent home, but I spend most of my time in the Land of the Monsters." "Land of the Monsters? Where on Earth is that?" "Well,...it's underground." Kevin's look of pure confusion was all the answer Rydia needed. "I think we're talking about two different places." "But,...I'm from Earth!" Kevin stammered. "It's possible that there a two different worlds called Earth." said Mega Man. "Not in Videoland. At least, not that I remember." said Lana. "Videoland?" Rydia asked. "Uh, let's not get into that right now." Simon said with a smile. "Let's talk about you. Where were you born?" "Mist village." she answered. "Who are your friends?" Simon asked. "Oh, I have many friends. Cecil, Rosa, Edge, Cid, Edward, Kain - " "Uh, that's enough." Simon said, cutting her off. "Now, the most important question. Do you like my hair?" He pushed his hair out of his eyes and gave her a winning smile. Rydia chuckled. "Ah, you remind me of Edge. Always trying to win my heart with heroics." "Edge? Who's he? Your boyfriend?" Simon asked with a slight growl. "Well,...not really - " Rydia started. "That's all I need to know." Simon said with a grin. "Simon, would you let her be?! She's still recovering from her injury!" Lana snapped. "I have a question, if you don't mind. What was that knight that appeared in the forest?" Kevin asked. "You mean Odin? He's a friend of mine. I summoned him here." answered Rydia. "Summoned? From where?" asked Kevin. "Ummm,...from my world, I suppose." "How?" "I'm a caller. I can summon monsters to aid me. That is, of course, the ones who deem me worthy." "Wait a minute." Mega Man cut in. "You're saying that that horseman was a monster?" "By definition he is, but he has the appearance of a human." said Rydia. "Wait a minute, you said you're from the Land of the Monsters, right? Is that where the monsters come from?" asked Kid Icarus. "Most of them. I live there with King Leviatan and Asura, his queen. They rule over all the Earthly-summoned monsters. I teach the young monsters there about humans." "This is all very interesting, but you can't be comfortable sitting there on that table. Would you like to live with us until we can find a way to send you home?" asked Lana with a soothing smile. "I think that would be all right." said Rydia as she hopped down from the table.
"Summoned monsters? That sounds interesting." Dr. Wily mused as he watched his computer screen. "I knew that little bug I put in Dr. Right's lab would come in useful! Now,...I must find out more about these monsters. Maybe that girl will help me." Dr. Wily's laugh echoed through the fortress, heard only by his robots.
Rydia adjusted to life with the N Team very quickly. Her always cheerful attitude won her friendships with everyone on the team. Even Rick and Stacey, who popped in every once in a while, seemed to like her. Dr. Right was still having difficulty finding Rydia's world. He also couldn't put his finger on the cause of Stacey and Rick's predicament. This worried everyone. On Thursday, Stacey came back scared out of her mind. She had just popped in from Castlevania, where she'd almost become a werewolf's lunch. Rick, in turn, had been chased by a bear on some unknown world. "This has got to stop!" Stacey exclaimed. "Who knows? I might pop right over a cliff or something. Who knows where I'll end up next?!" Unfortunately, no one had an answer. With begged apologies to Rydia, Dr. Right began putting all of his efforts into helping Stacey and Rick. "I'll find a way to send you home as soon as I help them." Dr. Right assured her. Rydia didn't argue. She was having a great time. She was always finding ways to ward off Simon, who seemed to have a definite crush on her. But, she missed her home.
Saturday, October 24, 1992, 9:30 AM
Lana found Rydia sitting on the front porch, looking at something. "What's that?" Lana asked. "This is my locket. This picture on the right is my mother. She's dead now." Rydia said calmly. "I'm so sorry." "Don't be. She died when Mist village caught fire. I was only ten." "How sad. Who are these people?" Lana asked, pointing to the picture on the left. "This is a group picture of a bunch of my friends. There's me, of course. The white-haired man here is Cecil, the blonde lady is Rosa, the guy with all the armor is Kain, and the ninja is Edge." "Oh, so that's Edge." Lana said with a knowing grin. Rydia blushed. "Yeah. You wouldn't know it from the picture, but he's quite a joker." "Really? He looks so serious." "Well,...you'd have to meet him." "Maybe I will...someday." Just then, a noise was heard from above. Lana and Rydia glanced up. "Wily!" Lana yelled. Sure enough, Wily's skull car was hovering in the air, just a few meters from the house. Lana jumped off the porch, with Rydia following. Wily's head jerked out of the 'eye' of the skull. "Ah, Your Highness. What a pleasant surprise." "What do you want, Wily?" Lana demanded. "Oh, just a little something that you have. It doesn't really belong to you, so don't worry." "Doesn't matter. Whatever it is, you can't have it!" shouted the Princess. "I'm sorry, Your Highness, but you don't have a say in this." A beam shot out of the skull's mouth and engulfed Rydia. Rydia's eyes lit up with surprise, but she had no time to react as the beam pulled her into the flying car. "Rydia!!!" Lana screamed as the car shot into the sky and away from sight.
TO BE CONTINUED...