Saturday, September 14, 1996, 7:00 AM
The N Teamsters warped into the living room of their house. After being gone for over a year, they were finally returning home. Rick turned the power back on, and then they all went to their rooms and unpacked their stuff. Then they all met in the kitchen for breakfast.
After breakfast, the N Team, Dr. Li Shiroshi, the Right robots, and the Shallowaynes gathered in the Conference room. Lana sat at the head of the table, and the others sat close to her. "This meeting is hereby called to order at 8:00 AM." Lana said. "The purpose of this meeting is to tie up loose ends from the war. This must be done before we can face the new challenges ahead. Let's start off my stating our names and ranks for the record. This is the revised N Team. Lana Sarah Deschain, Captain N, first in N Team leadership." "Samus Aran, second in N Team leadership." "Richard Edward Walker, third in N Team leadership." "Michael Vincent, fourth in N Team leadership." "Stacey Lynn Anderson, fifth in N Team leadership." "Kevin Kristopher Keene, sixth in N Team leadership." "Okay." Lana said. "I will now hand out tasks. The Shallowaynes and I are going to New Mexico to check up on Star Bright. We'll be gone all day. Samus, you can have the guest bedroom on the second floor. Go to your Videoland and do whatever you have to before you move in with us." "Thank you, Lana." Samus said. "Rock, Roll, Blues, go to Dr. Right's lab and tell him to remove the third floor of our house, which contains rooms that belonged to former N Teamsters, the rec room, and a balcony. We don't need them anymore. While you're there, get any repairs you need done." "Right." Mega Man said. "Li, how are the repairs on Gameboy coming along?" Lana asked. "I still have a few more hours of work to do." Li replied. "When he's online, have him contact me on whether or not he wants to remain on the team." Lana told her. "Okay." Li said. "Rick, Mike, Stacey, Kevin, go to Earth and get caught up." Lana told them. Rick, Mike, Stacey, and Kevin cheered. "Meeting adjourned." Lana said.
Lana, Kristen, Heather, and Ken walked up a street in Los Alamos, New Mexico. "It sure is great to be back here." Kristen said. "Hey, check it out." Heather said. "Some people are on the front porch at our old house." "Looks like it's up for sale." Ken said. "Oh, daddy, can we buy it?!" Heather asked in excitement. "I don't think we can, Heather." Ken said. "Even with the insurance money, we won't have enough to buy it." "Please, daddy!" Kristen begged. "You know, Mr. S.," Lana said, "as Director of the Star Bright Project, I'll be pulling in some pretty hefty cash. I can afford to pay my employees handsomely." "Employees?" Ken asked. "If you're interested." Lana offered. Ken smiled. "I accept. Okay, girls, let's buy our old house back!" "Yay!" Kristen and Heather cheered. The four of them ran up the steps to the front porch.
Roll ran. She ran as fast as she could. Mega Man, Proto Man, and Roll were in a race to see who could reach Dr. Right's house first. Roll's metallic feet hit gravel as she ran down the road. She reached her creator's house first, her "brothers" close behind. Roll jumped up and down in triumph. "I won! Roll Right is the fastest android in the universe!" Mega Man frowned. "Don't rub it in, sis." The three of them entered the living room. Eddie jumped towards Roll. "Welcome home, guys." Roll caught Eddie in her hands and smiled. "Thanks, Eddie. Hey, I beat Mega and Proto!" "Ooh! Congratulations, robo-babe." Eddie said. The three androids walked into Dr. Right's laboratory. "Hey, Doc, Lana wants you to knock off the third floor of her house." Mega Man said. "Very well." Dr. Right said. "Hey, dad, I beat Mega and Proto to the lab!" Roll said with a grin. "Shut up, Roll!" Mega Man and Proto Man yelled. Dr. Right smiled at his "daughter". "Splendid, Roll!" Mega Man groaned. "We also need repairs, Doc." "Hop on a metal work table." Dr. Right said. They did. Dr. Right began working on Roll first, very proud of her.
Kevin, Mike, Rick, and Stacey warped into the kitchen in Kevin's house. Ned and Cheryl Keene were sitting at the kitchen table. "Hi, mom! Hi, dad!" Kevin greeted his parents. Ned and Cheryl stood up, delighted to see their son. They hugged him. "Kevin, you're back!" Ned said. "How are you?!" Cheryl asked anxiously. Kevin nodded. "I'm fine." "Well, sit down." Ned offered. "Tell us what happened." They all sat down at the kitchen table. "Well, we won the war." Kevin began. "Some people left the N Team, but we gained one new member - Samus Aran. We'll tell you the long version later. Did you do what I asked?" "Indeed we did, Kev." Ned said. "We taped all the TV shows and got all the video game stuff you requested. They're up in your room." "Thanks, mom! Thanks, dad!" Kevin bolted out of his chair. Rick, Mike, and Stacey got up and followed him. They ran into the living room, up the stairs, down the hall, and into Kevin's room. On Kevin's bed were lots of video tapes, video games, video game accessories, and video game magazines. Kevin, Mike, Rick, and Stacey sat on the bed. "We can watch the tapes later." Kevin said. "Yeah." Mike agreed. "Let's get caught up on the video gaming scene." "Everybody grab a magazine." Rick said. "I got Nintendo Power!" Stacey declared, snatching up the earliest issue.
Samus walked into the main office of Hydrodine Shipyards on Altair IV. "Samus Aran reporting as requested." Samus said to the man behind the desk. The man spun around in his chair. "Hello, Aran." "Captain Dare?" Samus asked in surprise. Captain Dare stood up and walked over to Samus. "What are you doing here?" Samus asked. "Samus Aran, for outstanding actions in the recent war, the Galactic Federation presents you with the Medal of Valor." Captain Dare handed her the medal. Samus took it. "Thank you, sir, but why couldn't you have given it to me at the Galactic Federation Police Headquarters?" Captain Dare grumbled. It was obvious to Samus that he was having difficulty saying something to her. This made Samus smile. "Also,...as a token of our appreciation for your services," Dare continued, "...we hereby present you with...a new ship." Samus beamed with delight. "A new ship?! Take me to it!" Captain Dare led Samus out of the office, down a corridor, and into a hangar. Dare turned on the lights. "Here she is." Samus gasped as she looked at the ship. "The brand-new Starship Hunter VII." Dare said. Samus walked towards the ship, her eyes fixated on it. It was beautiful, colored a radiant yellow that matched the color and beauty of Samus' blonde hair. "This is mine?" Samus asked. Dare sighed. "Unfortunately, yes." Samus turned around and grinned. "You had to pay for this, didn't you, Dare?" The grin on the Space Hunter's face made Dare sick to his stomach. "Instruction manuals are inside." Dare turned and left the hangar. "Enjoy." Samus ran over to her new ship with delight.
Dr. Li Shiroshi had been working on Gameboy since very early in the morning. "Okay, I think that should do it." Li said. She walked over to the control panel and started the boot-up sequence. An error message flashed on the monitor: "J-2-5 CIRCUIT BOARD INACCESSIBLE DUE TO DAMAGE" Li pounded her fist on the control panel. "I don't believe this crap!" She shut off the equipment and walked outside. Li hopped on her hoverscooter and flew off.
Lana, Kristen, Heather, and Ken were walking up a street. "Well, we got our house back." Kristen said. "Yeah, now all we need are cars." Heather said. "No problem." Lana said. "We're at a dealership." They walked onto the parking lot. Almost immediately, a salesman walked over to them. "Can I help you folks?" "Yes, I'd like to buy three cars - one for me and two for my daughters." Ken said. The salesman grinned. "Very good. Is there anything in particular you're looking for?" Lana smiled. "Pick out whatever you want, guys." Heather and Kristen grinned and went in search of their dream cars. Heather chose a red convertible, and Kristen chose a blue convertible. Ken chose a regular white car. After each Shallowayne had picked out the car they wanted, the five of them walked into the salesman's office in the building. He had Ken, Heather, and Kristen fill out a bunch of forms. Lana got five cold cans of Pepsi from a machine. They all enjoyed them in the office. Afterwards, the salesman got a camera. He had Lana snap two pictures each of him shaking hands with each of the Shallowaynes in front of their respective new cars. One copy was for the customer. One copy was for the dealership - to display on the wall. Afterwards, Kristen and Heather drove home to begin moving back in, and Lana and Ken warped to Stallion Gate.
Li parked her scooter in front of Big Eddie's, a robotic parts store that had just opened up today. She got off the scooter and walked into the store. A robust green robot stood behind the counter. "May we help you?" "Auto?" Li asked in surprise. "You run Big Eddie's?" "Yep." Auto said. "I opened up just a few hours ago. What do you need?" Li sighed. "I'm trying to fix Gameboy, but his J-2-5 circuit board is damaged." "I see." Auto said. "Eddie!" Eddie walked over to them. "You called Eddie, Auto?" "Yes. Bring me a J-2-5 circuit board." "Right away!" Eddie took off towards an aisle. "Eddie works here, too?" Li asked in surprise. "Yep." Auto said. "I thought I'd put his many talents to good use." Eddie ran back over to them. "One J-2-5 circuit board coming up!" Eddie's top opened, and he ejected the board. Li caught it and smiled. "You weren't kidding!" Auto held out a datapad. "That'll be 20 credits." Li pressed her right thumb on the screen. "There ya go." "Thank you." Auto said. "Come again soon!" Eddie said. Li smiled and nodded, then walked outside. She got on her scooter and flew back to her lab.
"Man, a lot of cool new stuff has come out over the past year." Mike said. "Yeah," Kevin agreed, "and the Nintendo 64 is coming out on the 26th - less than two weeks from now!" "I dunno." Rick said. "I like 2-D games on video game consoles. I'm not sure a 3-D Mario 64 will be good." "We'll find out in 12 days, guys." Stacey said. "C'mon, let's play some games!" Everyone agreed.
Lana and Ken entered the Control room and walked down the steps. "Bob." Lana called. Bob walked over to her and offered his right hand. "Director, welcome back." Lana shook his hand. "Thank you. Report." "I've called Washington and informed them of the change in leadership." Bob told her. "They're waiting to hear from you." Lana nodded. "Very well. Now, Mr. Shallowayne is looking for a job." "I'll take care of it." Bob said. "Josť, will you please take Ken to the testing lab three floors up? Put him to work on the space probes." "Yes, sir." Josť stood up from behind his console. "Please follow me, Mr. Shallowayne. By the way, you may be assigned on-site living quarters if you wish. It is over a two-hundred mile drive from Los Alamos." "Thank you, Mr. Quinteros." Ken walked up the steps, then turned and faced Lana. "Lana, I'll be living here. Please tell Heather and Kristen they have the house to themselves." "Sure." Lana replied. Ken followed Josť out the door. "Director, if you'll follow me, I'll show you to your office." Bob said. Lana nodded and motioned with her left hand. "Lead the way." Bob and Lana walked up the steps and out the door.
Bob and Lana entered the office. Bob turned on the light. "Your job consists mostly of deciding on and approving of experiments in warp travel." Bob told her. They walked over to Lana's desk. "Every Wednesday, you will contact the National Security Agency at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and report any advancements the project has made. Use this red phone. You can also use it at any time to report problems we have encountered." Bob said. "The phone receiver is locked down. There's a key in your desk that'll unlock it. For all other calls, use the black phone. You have to call Washington now and let them know you've arrived." "What if they start asking me questions, like where I'm from?" Lana asked. "Tell them the truth." Bob replied. "I can't do that!" Lana yelled. "I can't let total strangers know of the existence of Videoland! Who knows what they'll do?!" "Look, I understand your concern, but you only have to tell the Star Bright panel at the NSA. No one else needs to know. They keep everything that goes on here a secret." "You mean not even President Clinton knows about the project?" Lana asked in surprise. "Right, and it's gonna stay that way." Bob told her. "Now call." Lana went behind her desk and opened the drawer. She took out a key, placed it in a slot by the red phone, and turned it. She picked up the receiver. The number was dialed automatically. "This is the Director." Lana said.
Li placed the new J-2-5 circuit board into Gameboy. She walked over to the control panel and started the boot-up sequence. Gameboy activated, and his face appeared on his screen. Li walked over to her creation and smiled. "Welcome back, Gameboy." Gameboy smiled. "Shall we play a game?" Li laughed. "Okay. But first, do you want to remain on the N Team?" "No," Gameboy replied, "I want to live here - with you." "Okay then, let's call the N Team's house. You leave Lana a message." Li told him. "Then we'll play a game."
"Okay, thank you. Bye." Lana hung up the phone. She locked it and put the key back in the drawer. She walked back over to Bob. "Well, how'd it go?" Bob asked. "They understood everything I told them and vice-versa." Lana replied. "And?" "In exchange for helping the government, I have been granted United States citizenship." Lana said unenthusiastically. "I'm an American. Hooray for me. I'm also 'privileged' to have a Social Security number: 563-86-9801. I have been given a full identity, and my identification papers will arrive in the mail tomorrow. However, I informed the panel that I am not a patriotic person, and I do not wish to be drafted for military service or selected for jury duty. They saw things my way. Finally, now that I am a resident of New Mexico, I am eligible to apply for a New Mexico state driver's license. So, if there's nothing else for me to do here, I will be on my way." Bob shrugged. "Go right ahead." "Thank you. Good day, Robert." "Uh, just Bob." Lana looked at him strangely. "Just Bob?" "Yeah. I know: most of the time, Bob is short for Robert. But not me. I'm just Bob." "Okay." Lana nodded to him. "Good day, Bob." Bob nodded at Lana as she left the room. "Good day, Lana."
Lana went to the driver's license place and took the written and road tests, both of which she passed. Since she already had her California state driver's license, she was all set. She had her picture taken, which turned out not too bad. Soon, she got her New Mexico state driver's license, which she signed. It was put in plastic and handed to her. Then Lana merrily skipped off to the car dealership.
Once Lana was at the dealership, the salesman walked over to her. "Back again?" he asked. "Yeah." Lana replied. "I wanna get some wheels." Cha-ching! the salesman thought with a grin. "Pick out whatever you like!" Lana picked a green convertible for herself. They went to the office and signed the necessary forms. Then the salesman had someone take two pictures of him and Lana shaking hands in front of the car. He gave Lana one of the pictures, and Lana drove off.
Lana parked her car in the driveway of Heather and Kristen's house. The front door opened as Lana got out of the car. Heather and Kristen walked outside. "Hey, girls." Lana said with a smile. "Cool car, Lana!" Kristen said. "Come on in and see our house." Heather said. The three of them walked into the house. "Oh, your dad says he'll be living at Stallion Gate, so you have the house to yourselves." Lana told them. "We know." Heather said. "He called us. So, we decorated the house the way we want to. Let us show you." Heather and Kristen took Lana on a tour of their house. The floors in every room had carpets, but not attached to the floor. There were no decorations on any of the walls. There were no plants or flowers anywhere. The living room had a table, a couch, an entertainment center (with a big-screen TV, a VCR, video tapes, video games, and video game consoles), and a lamp. The kitchen had a table, a refrigerator, a microwave, and a stove. In the fridge were bottles of soda and sports drinks, a container of assorted candy bars, a bottle of horseradish, a bottle of mustard, a bottle of hot sauce, and a few onions and cloves of garlic. In the freezer were microwave meals. On top of the fridge were styrofoam cups of microwave soups. In one cabinet were some plates and bowls. In another cabinet were cans of vegetables, chili beans, and sauce. In a drawer were some spoons, forks, and knives. In Heather's bedroom was a bed, a bookshelf with comic books and magazines, and a dresser. On a table next to the bed was a picture of Heather and Kristen. There were movie posters on the walls. Kristen's bedroom was the same as Heather's, except she had a computer. The master bedroom was empty, of course. "Neat." Lana commented once they returned to the living room. "Oh, dad says he called up the University of California and explained what happened. Well, sort of. So, he'll be working there also." Heather told Lana. Lana shrugged. "That's fine." "Oh, that reminds me." Kristen said, walking towards the phone in the kitchen. "I need to call up my work and see if I can get my job back. I just looove cutting hair!"
The doorbell rang. Ned and Cheryl walked over. Ned unlocked and opened the front door. A tall blonde woman dressed in blue jeans, a T-shirt, and sneakers was standing outside. "Hello." Ned said. "Hi!" the woman said with a smile. "I'm Samus Aran. Is Kevin home?" Cheryl smiled and offered Samus her right hand. "Oh, how nice to meet you." Samus shook Cheryl's hand, then Ned's. "You must be Kevin's parents." "Yep." Cheryl turned her head towards the staircase. "Kevin, your, uh, friend is here!" Kevin, Mike, Rick, and Stacey walked down the stairs. "Hi, Samus!" Kevin said, smiling. Stacey grinned. "Hey, rad clothes, Sammer!" Samus grinned as well. "Thanks! I did a little shopping when I got here." Mike patted his front left jeans pocket. It was empty. He had left his wallet in Videoland. "Where did you get the money?" Mike demanded. Samus smiled innocently.
The doorbell rang. Heather, Kristen, and Lana walked over. Heather unlocked and opened the front door. "Hi, Samus!" Heather said with smile. Samus smiled. "Hi, guys." Samus, Kevin, Mike, Rick, and Stacey walked into the living room. Heather closed the door and locked it. "Hey, you look good in jeans, Samus." Lana commented. "Thanks!" Samus said. "Hey, have I got some great news to tell you!" "You can tell us over dinner." Heather said, walking to the kitchen. Everyone walked after her. "Ooh, what are you making?" Samus asked. "Chili." Heather replied. "I wanna add something special to it, but I don't know what." "Chili today and hot tamale." Stacey suggested with a giggle. "Chili today and...oh, God! Stacey!" Heather groaned.
At night, the N Team, Heather, and Kristen were sitting on the back porch of Heather and Kristen's house, eating chili for dinner. "So, the Hunter VII's parked on the front lawn." Samus concluded. Lana shrugged. "That's fine. Wow, Heather, this chili is great! Real hot and spicy!" Heather smiled. "Thanks, Lana!" "Yeah, Heather, I didn't know you could cook." Kristen teased. Heather laughed. "Shut up, sis!"