Captain N: The Game Master

Season 5

"SLEEP DEPRIVATION"


WRITTEN BY
KELLY HARRIS

EDITED AND HTMLIZED BY
MARK MOORE


Saturday, November 13, 1993, 1:30 PM

Simon was walking along a heavily wooded path in the kingdom of Calatia. Nevermind that this was an emergency. Nevermind that he had rushed through the warp from Castlevania when he had heard screams for help. Nevermind he was plain lost. This was a nice place for a walk. But beauty aside, there was someone in need of help.
It was lucky for Simon that the voice screamed again, because Simon wouldn't have found his way out of the Dragonwood Forest, despite his famed tracking skills. But even with that much help, it took some time to navigate through the woods. About the only way he could have navigated the woods faster would be to just simply demolish the trees, but there's only so much one whip can do.
When Simon finally did make it out of the woods, he saw that he was too late. A village was laid out before him. Cracked might have been a better term. What was the saying? No place like home? Well, this home was no place, all right! But with the entire village lying in one big smoldering heap, where had the voice come from?
"Have you come to help?" the voice asked.
Startled, Simon jumped and spun around several times, looking for the owner of the voice. "Who are you? Show yourself!"
"Who?"
Simon noticed it didn't sound so much like a question as much as it sounded more like an animalistic sound. The voice's owner floated out of a nearby tree and alighted itself at Simon's feet.
"An owl!" Simon exclaimed in amazement.
And a rather tall owl it was. "Have you come to help?" the owl asked again.
Simon pounded his chest once with his closed fist. "I, Simon Belmont, Vampire Hunter, at your service. I help all innocents who are in need."
"Even the kid didn't boast of himself quite this much." the owl mumbled to himself. Then out loud he said: "Please, allow me to - "
Before he finished, the entire area around him had shifted.
"What did you do?" Simon demanded.
"I've taken you inside the dreams of the Wind Fish."
"Why, you traitorous little - "
"Let me explain." the owl said. "I am the caretaker of the dreams of the Wind Fish. Once, long ago, the dreams were threatened, and I pulled in outside help. Now it's worse. Something on the outside has caused the Wind Fish to fall asleep again. It was the same thing that distorted that village you saw. But the dreams are wrong."
"Wrong?" Simon asked. "How?"
"Dreams of the past and present are somehow merging. Maybe some of the future, though I would not know a future dream from a present dream. They are not supposed to merge. The past is supposed to be past, nothing but a memory. The present is supposed to be present. Now and not then."
"What do you want of me?" Simon asked.
"It's not what I want." the owl corrected. "It's what I need. I need to, so to speak, deprive the Wind Fish of sleep. Only when he is awake will these dreams assort themselves. I have pulled others in, but they have not - cannot do it."
"Well, you've found your answer." Simon boasted. "I'm here. I will awaken this fish."
"Wind Fish." the owl corrected.
"So, where do I start?" Simon asked.
"You start here. You start now." the owl said, then flew off.
Not exactly the conversationalist, is he? Simon thought.
He walked on, noticing how this dream looked so different, but so similar to the Dragonwood Forest he had been in before meeting the owl. The colors seemed to come from a...well...a dream. Just as he reached a break in the forest, he heard low growling. He walked a little farther to see a boy of about fifteen, with hair the same color as the mud, up against a large, overfed moblin. The boy obviously did not have the upper hand.
Simon whistled to get the moblin's attention. "Hey! How about picking on someone handsomer?!"
The moblin rushed at Simon at its top speed - very impressive for something that large. Simon stood, waiting for the moblin to come closer. When it looked as if the moblin was sure to overrun the vampire hunter, Simon simply stepped out of the way. The moblin rushed by, smacking into a tree that had been behind Simon. The whip made short work of the ugly monster.
"Wow, thanks." the boy said.
Simon helped the boy up. "Simon Belmont, Vampire Hunter. And who are you?"
"Chance. Jayce Chance." he said in classic James Bond style. He really was not all that impressive. As has already been said, his hair was the color of mud. His arms and legs looked more like twigs, and there certainly were more of them making up his height than his torso was. His pointed ears marked him as Hylian human. "I'll assume you were yanked in by the owl, too."
"Not bad." Simon said in a low voice. He hated it when others reached a conclusion that was otherwise obvious, but would have escaped him if positions were reversed.
"Let me come with you." Jayce pleaded. "Can't let my brother do everything."
"Your brother?"
"Foolhardy, adventurous kind." he said. "But it has gotten him some good things."
"Not as much as I've gotten." Simon replied. He was of course thinking of his status as an N Team member and his close association with the Princess of Videoland.

Simon and Jayce were approaching the lake.
Jayce motioned at something north coming toward them. They jumped for the cover of the bushes, not knowing if the oncomer was friend or foe.
A young boy, no more than eleven, walked along the shore of the lake. His hair, too, was brunette, but somewhat light, and was likely to (and in fact would) get darker as the boy aged. The green floppy hat and thin jerkin was sharp in contrast with the sword and shield he carried. He, too, was Hylian human, but what was remarkable was that the boy was being followed by a ghost.
Simon was on the verge of jumping out and vanquishing this ghost when it spoke: "Home. Take me home."
The boy opened his mouth. "Will you bloomin'..." Here, he turned to face the ghost. "Shut up!!! What do you think I'm doing?"
They continued walking and were soon out of range. Simon and Jayce stepped out from their hiding space.
"He was here?" Simon asked. He had recognized the boy not quite easily, for the age had shocked him.
"My Gods." Jayce exclaimed rather hoarsely. "That was my brother."
Simon started pointing back and forth from Jayce to the direction the boy had taken. "Your brother? That was your brother?"
"Eight years ago." Jayce said. He pulled his eyes away from where the boy had passed.
"Past dream." Simon said. "The owl warned me of it."
"Wish my brother did." Jayce mumbled.
There was noiseless wing flapping as the owl did a flyby. "Hurry! Hurry! They move again!" Once again, the owl was out of range.
"Hmph!" Jayce huffed. "That owl is getting so annoying."
Simon had found the owl a bit odd, but not yet annoying. Maybe Jayce had a few more run-ins with the owl than even the vampire hunter had. He looked in the direction the owl had flown off in, and his jaw dropped. A massive dream-like metallic cloud loomed over the distant mountains. It reminded Simon of Mother Brain's Metroid, though he hadn't seen that in quite some time.
"I'll wager that mountain is where we're going."
Jayce shrugged. "Good enough guess for me." Though it was obvious the dream-like metallic cloud scared him a great deal.

They had reached the mountains.
Jayce was showing Simon a strange sort of pendant. "My favorite pendant. I won the damn thing in a pig wrestling contest two years ago." Simon couldn't understand why anyone would wrestle a pig for fun, and it showed on his face, because the next thing Jayce said was: "Yeah, my brother couldn't see why I did it either."
"Would he recognize it if it was off you?"
"I suppose so. Why?"
For an answer, Simon motioned with his head that Jayce should look farther up the mountain. Where Simon had indicated, there was a suspension bridge, not completely there - actually, not completely gone would have fitted much more nicely. Once again, there was the boy clad in floppy green cap and jerkin. On the bridge itself was a young girl, about the same age as the boy. The young girl was being mobbed by two monsters, which the boy rid via a hook shot. With the same hook shot, he pulled himself over to her, and there they had some sort of chat, which neither Simon nor Jayce could hear.
Neither Simon nor Jayce was interested in what was being said, and their collective interest was on two separate things. Jayce was taking note that his brother was not decked out as a true Scot. There were shorts (on a girl the term would be "Daisy Dukes") under that jerkin. Though the point had often been lost to the boy, he eventually took to pants to crush village speculation (but that's a different story).
Simon, on the other hand, was paying attention to the metallic cloud. Long snake-like tubes reached out of a center orifice and crushed into the large egg that topped the tallest mountain.
This can't be good, Simon thought.
Almost the moment the egg was pierced, a lot of the surrounding vegetation went dead.
"He saw us." Jayce said.
"Who?" asked Simon.
"Him." Jayce said. "My brother. Who did you think I was talking about?"
Simon turned to face where the boy was. How could Jayce not have seen the egg pierced? I know it was unusually silent,...but still...
The boy had pulled the girl off the small section the girl had been stuck on. The boy did look back, and down,...and he did look right at Jayce and Simon.
"I wonder if only the past dream is affected," Jayce said out loud, "or if the actual event is changed, too."
Simon thought momentarily. The matter was beyond him, but he tried to sound like he knew what he was talking about. "Um,...just the dream."
"Are you sure?" Jayce asked.
"Simon Belmont is always sure."
"That's what I was afraid of." Jayce said.
He only shrugged when Simon gave him a confused look. He started trudging up the mountain, to the tallest peak where the egg was, leaving Simon confused for some seconds before Simon picked up his feet.

They reached the egg.
Its top was punctured numerous times by the metallic tubes, but the smooth, sheer sides of the egg made getting to those holes an impossibility. Simon thought about using his whip, but it did occur to him that, even if he did that, there wasn't much else he could do. The problem wasn't with the outside of the tubes or the outside of the egg. It was what was going on inside the egg that was important. Simon pounded on the egg, counting on his powerful muscles to get him in...
It didn't work. Of course there was only one answer for getting inside the enormous egg, but Simon's answer wasn't it. Simon and Jayce were beginning to think getting in was hopeless...
"Who are you two?" demanded a preteen voice.
Simon and Jayce spun around, and both were dealt a tremendous blow to the mind just by the look on the young boy's face. The boy's face was anything but pleasant (Simon and Jayce were quite obviously catching the boy at different points in the past dream he was in, and whatever had just happened couldn't have been all that great.), but the expression changed to shock at seeing Jayce, to denial at seeing Jayce's age didn't match what the boy had known, to realizing it really was Jayce.
"Jayce?" the boy asked.
"I am." Jayce confirmed.
"But how - "
"Long story." Jayce cut in. "Needless to say I'm not the Jayce you know."
"I figured."
"Snot-nosed brat." Simon said.
"You think so?" The boy was quite displeased.
"I know so."
"You really know so much?" the boy sneered. He could be spiteful on occasion, as one prince and one captain had chance to discover.
"I know you aren't really you." Jayce and his brother stared at Simon, so he had to continue. "I am really me. Jayce is really he." No one corrected Simon's poor use of grammar. "But you aren't really you, because you are part of a past dream, not a present dream. The real you is eight years older and is outside the dream of the Wind Fish. We are real, so this is actually happening to us, but you aren't real, and what's going on right now hasn't actually happened to you. Only in this mutated dream." It was an amazing leap of illogic, but somehow it made sense...in a perverted sort of way.
"So, I'm not real." the boy said in a way obvious he didn't believe it. "Now what?"
"We get inside the egg." Jayce put in.
"Easily done." the boy said.
He pulled out a group of exotic, tropical-looking instruments and played them one by one. As he left each instrument, it continued playing while he went on to the next, and in this way he played the Ballad of the Wind Fish. Simon began wondering why he was never in a band - or the band if he could play so many instruments. In response to the song, a large crack formed on the surface of the egg. Then the crack became a hole. Then a door.
Simon was impressed, but he didn't want to appear that way. "Not bad, not bad. Well, don't stop and look at it. The cloud isn't going to wait for us."
The three stepped in, blackness swallowing them up.
The boy vanished back to whatever part of the dream he had come from. Simon and Jayce were left alone with the massive metal tubes. On the ground before the tubes were many bodies. At one glance, Simon's tracker-trained eyes saw that they had been killed - no torture, just killed.
"They are from my village in Calatia." Jayce said.
They both saw a kind of switch that would release the metallic cloud's hold on the dream.
"I'll go for the switch." Simon said.
"Uh-uh." Jayce pulled Simon back. "Let me do it. You wake the Wind Fish."
They both could see the vast amounts of energy dancing around the switch, not to mention the odd number of sharp pointy things. Who knew what they where?
"You crazy?" Simon asked. "You'll be killed."
"So would you." Jayce countered. At that moment, Jayce stuck something in Simon's hand, then sucker punched Simon hard.
Simon was sent reeling back, and, by the time he recovered, Jayce had already entered the energy field.
Simon panicked. He didn't know how to awaken the Wind Fish.
"Allow me, good sir!" shouted the voice of a woman over the rising howl of the metal tubes and energy field. She was the same young girl that Simon had seen rescued by the boy, except that she was older and more developed. "I'm the Marin of now. You've seen the Marin of before."
Simon's balance was starting to fail him terribly as the tubes started vibrating the egg badly. Marin stepped forward, and from her throat came a sweet voice - the same song the boy had played to get into the egg, but she rendered it more sweetly than ever he could play. As she sung, Simon felt less and less shaking. His field of vision became white, and all his other senses were washed out. But still he heard the song.

When his senses returned to him, he was in the burnt village again, but this time Marin stood before him. She was still singing the Ballad of the Wind Fish. Her voice was growing softer, as was herself. In seconds, Simon could see right through Marin, and her voice sounded like wind chimes. Fainter and fainter both the sight and sound of her became, 'til she was only a memory.
In his hand, Simon was holding the pendant that Jayce had been showing him earlier. There was going to be one more trip before he returned to "Energy Empire", as he liked to call it, though others simply called it the "Mega House". Why? He didn't know. It sounded too much like Mega Man's speech for his comfort. Though it was kinda funny to him that none of the other N Team members had anything special to call it, other than "their house back in Megaland". Oh, well...

It was forever a mystery to Link why Zelda had him mop the floors so much. There were servants here, weren't there? Couldn't they mop the floors? But noooooo! He had to mop the floors while Zelda was what? With Lana probably.
Footsteps behind Link gave him an excuse to stop working. Silently thanking whoever was giving him the lame excuse, Link turned around. "Simon? What are you doing here?"
Simon simply silently handed Link the pendant Jayce had placed in Simon's hands. It was so unlike Simon to do something like that. Link looked at it, and his eyes immediately beseeched Simon's.
"This is my brother's pendant. What are you doing with it?"
"Your brother's a brave man." Simon said.
"You don't mean he's - "
"He told me to tell you he'd be back." It was a lie, but Link seemed to accept it as the truth.
"So like him." Link said. He dropped the mop. "Tell me about it?"
"Yes." Simon began a story to end up in the most convincing lie he had ever told to give the young Hylian a hope of his kin's return.

The rest of the N Team had eventually learned of Simon's adventure, and it was only sensible that the music at that night's concert be dedicated to that adventure. There was a certain excitement in the air when it was learned there were actually going to be two guest performers, instead of the one they had heard about earlier - though even that one was enough for excitement.
The concert started with no lights on stage, strobe lights passing over the audience, and Kevin's guitar plucking out 'Vampire Killer'. Lana's guitar came in, still with no lights on stage. Stacey's keyboard entered as the tune changed to the town music from Castlevania II (though she forgot it was called 'The Silence of Daylight'). Still there were no lights on the stage, and still the strobes were on the audience. Mike's drums kicked in, heightening the flow of the music. They went into 'Aquarius'. Then Stacey surprised the other band members by going into 'Theme of Simon'. However, they quickly got over it and joined in. As the feeling rose and reached climax, the music stopped, and all the strobe lights on the audience cut off.
One spotlight came on to show one man on stage. It was Link, in black, blindfolded and holding a saxophone. The effect he had on the audience was strange. They couldn't decide whether he looked like the rest of the band, like a medieval man, or like a strange variety of Lady Justice. (The blindfold was largely for the intended effect on the audience, but it was also for Link. It had taken a lengthy while to persuade him to go on stage. He was slightly fearful of such public performances.) There was absolute silence when Link began playing the saxophone.
There were some in the audience who thought there was no way a medieval man could play a saxophone, but Link did know the flute (If you don't believe me, just play Tetris and beat 9-2), and the fingerings were the same above the break, except for Bb, and he also knew reeded instruments, as he was well aquainted with recorders and whistles.
Blindfolded, Link played the haunting melody that was the well-known introduction music of the first Zelda game. The effect gave many a hollow feeling, as if something needed to fill it, and the sorrowful melody made them even more longing. When he reached the point in the music where the introduction changed color and mood, the lights on the stage flared on. Link stopped playing, took off the blindfold, and walked off (playing wasn't really his thing to do), and the other band members kicked in to produce the most remarkable version of the theme song ever heard.
Reaching the end of that song, the second guest came on stage - Rick Walker. The music didn't stop, instead simply flowing from the theme song to a more rappish feel. Rick picked up the microphone.

There was Zelda from the very start!
I got the hearts and smarts to play the part
D-d-down with Zelda!

C-c-creepin' through with an overhead view,
'Cuz a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.

So I stay on track,
Collect the facts,
Never cut slack,
And I always watch my back for jacks.
D-d-down with Zelda,
Yeah!

S-s-strong I stand;
I'm the man with the plan,
'Cuz the power's in my head
And the power's in my hand.
D-d-down with Zelda!

The crowd went wild, but the band wasn't done yet. The other members fell silent while Kevin started playing a complex solo of Castlevania melodies. He began with 'Prelude', which led into 'Evergreen', followed by 'Flash Back'. The sweat on Kevin's brow told volumes of how difficult the solo really was. When he came to the ending, the crowd cheered.
The crowd loved it. Unfortunately, attendance at this concert wasn't a record breaker, but those who went told those who didn't that they should have gone,...and those who didn't go had the sudden desire to be there in person.
It was a good night.

GAME OVER

Copyright 1998 by Kelly Harris and Mark Moore