Captain N: The Game Master

The "CHANGES" Miniseries

PART 1

"THE ULTIMATE GAME MASTER"


WRITTEN BY
MARK MOORE


Saturday, October 19, 1991, 10:00 PM

Everyone laughed as they watched the viewscreen. Mother Brain, King Hippo, and the Eggplant Wizard were being chased through the cellar of Baseball World.
"Well, looks like Mother Brain is batting a thousand in that game!" Kevin said, laughing.
"So did we, good buddy. So did we." Bo said, and they did a high-five.
Lana continued laughing as she pressed some buttons. "There."
"What did you do?" Kevin asked, still smiling.
"I just sealed every warp zone leading into and out of the cellar. So now they won't be able to get out!" Lana said cheerfully.
Kevin smiled brightly. "Hey, you know what that means?! We've won! The N Team's defeated Mother Brain!"
Lana gasped, standing up and facing Kevin. "That's right!"
"I always knew we would win!" Simon added.
"We should have a feast and celebrate!" Mega Man added.
"Oh, we'd be honored if you'd join us, Mr. Jackson!" Lana exclaimed, facing the Baseball player.
"I'd like to, but Bo knows time, and it's about time I got back to Baseball World for practice."
So, after shaking hands with everyone, Bo went back to his own world.
Afterwards, the N Team got everything ready for a celebration.

Later that evening, Kevin, Lana, Simon, Mega Man, Kid Icarus, and Gameboy were all gathered in the corridor near the front doors of the Palace. They were dressed up in nice clothes.
Outside, there was a huge crowd gathered, with more people arriving every second.
Lana held out her left hand to Kevin. "Ready?"
Kevin nodded. "You bet!" He took Lana's left hand in his right.
All of them started walking to the front door.
"This is a great idea, Lana - inviting everyone in Videoland to the celebration!" Kevin said.
"Well, it seemed appropriate." Lana said. "Besides, what better way to celebrate Videoland's freedom than with a big party?!"
"You won't hear any argument from me!" Kevin answered.
"Simon, are you sure everything's ready?" Lana asked, looking to her right at the white-wigged vampire hunter.
"Fret not, Your Loveliness. The food and refreshments are on the tables in the banquet hall, the band is setting up their instruments, and your message announcing Videoland's freedom has been broadcast to every video world."
"I know that, Simon. I took care of that myself. I wanted to make sure people actually knew there was a party." Lana came back.
Kevin laughed at that, and Simon frowned at the Game Master's laugh.
The N Team walked outside. They were overcome at the sight of all the people gathered outside. Everyone started cheering at the N Team.
"Man! From the looks of it, there are people standing all around for miles!!!" Kevin yelled.
Lana smiled. "Yeah, and that's not even one percent of the population of Videoland!"
Kevin's mouth hung open.
Lana started to wave at the crowd, then looked at the rest of the N Team and frowned. "Wave, you guys!"
They all waved at the crowd, which caused them to cheer even louder. The sound was deafening.
Finally, after about a minute, they quieted down low enough for Lana to speak: "Welcome, one and all, to our victory celebration! Please, come in and enjoy the party!" Kevin whispered in her ear, then Lana added: "Single-file, please!"
Kevin laughed, looking at her. "That's so we don't get squashed!"
The N Team let the guests enter the Palace. Lana watched them go in, then looked at Kevin worriedly. "I hope we have enough room!"
Kevin listened to her, then looked straight ahead. "Billy!"
Bayou Billy, the hero of a game Kevin could never beat at home, was standing a few feet away with his pet alligator, Loafer.
Kevin ran to him.
"Howya doin', Kevin?" Billy asked, shaking Kevin's hand.
"Just great." Kevin said, smiling. He was happy to see his old friend.
Kevin remembered how Billy had helped him out when Duke had run off into Bayouland.
"Sorry we're so late gettin' here." Billy said. "We had trouble findin' a place to park!" He was pointing over his right shoulder with his thumb to indicate the huge traffic jam in the streets.
"Yeah, I know what you mean!" Kevin said, smiling. "We're worried about the Palace becoming overcrowded!"
"Well, I'll see you inside." Billy said. He looked at his alligator. "Loafer's hungry!"
Kevin nodded. Billy and Loafer walked past him and went into the Palace.
"Hi, sis!" came a voice.
Lana looked in the direction it came from, then smiled. "Lyle!"
She ran over and hugged her brother, who was the Keeper of the Sacred Square on Tetris.
"I'm so glad you could come!" she said.
"Wouldn't have missed it!" Lyle responded, smiling.
Lana turned in her friends' direction. "C'mon, let's get this party started!"
Kevin nodded happily. "I'm for that!"

The whole N Team was sitting at a long table, with Lana at the head. Lyle was also sitting there, and even Duke was lying underneath the table by Kevin and Lana's feet, enjoying a huge bowl of dog food.
Then Princess Zelda of Hyrule came walking toward them, with Link right behind her. Both were carrying plates of food.
"Lana!" Zelda called.
Lana looked up at her and stood up, smiling. "Zelda!"
Link put his plate down, as did Zelda.
Lana hugged the Ruler of Hyrule. "Oh, I can't believe it! Videoland is finally free!"
"Yes, it's great, isn't it?!" Zelda commented.
Link pulled a chair for Zelda.
"Why, thank you, Link." Zelda said, and sat down.
"Anything for you, Your Highness." Link said, smiling, and then took the seat between her and Lyle.
Lana had been polite and waited for her guests to sit down, then sat herself.
"All right, bring on the ale!" Simon announced, smiling.
"Forget that!" Kevin responded.
"Yeah, Simon," Lana added, "alcohol is bad for you!"
Kevin opened up a carton that was on the table. "Let's have something healthy - orange juice!"
Everyone raised their glasses. Kevin got up and served everyone, beginning with Lana and ending with himself.
After Kevin had taken his seat and put the carton back on the table, Lana stood up with her glass in her left hand. "Now I ask you all to stand up and raise your glasses in a toast to the hero of the hour." Everyone at the table stood up, and Lana continued: "We wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for him. He has taught us to work together as a team, and he has brought us out of a number of tight spots before. So here's to a very special friend of mine: Kevin Keene, otherwise known as Captain N: The Game Master!"
Everyone at the table cheered for Kevin.
Lana then tapped her glass against Kevin's. She leaned forward and kissed him on his right cheek. "You're a real hero, Kevin." she said softly.
Kevin smiled.
After everyone had tapped their glasses with everyone else, they all sat back down and drank their drinks.
During the course of the meal (everyone had something different, since they got it from a buffet line), they talked with each other.
"So, Kevin," Link asked, "how'd ya do it?"
"Actually, it was Lana that did it." Kevin said.
He, Lana, and the rest of the N Team explained the entire event, beginning with them playing Baseball and ending with Lana sealing all of the warp zones into and out of the cellar of Baseball World, trapping Mother Brain, King Hippo, and the Eggplant Wizard inside. They didn't leave out a single detail.
"That's some story!" Link said when they were finished.
"Yeah," Lyle added, "I wish my life could be as exciting!"
Kevin laughed. "Nothing much happen since the last time we visited Tetris?"
Lyle shook his head. "Nope, things have been pretty quiet."
Kevin nodded.
Lana stood up, again holding her glass of orange juice in her left hand. "Now I'd like to propose another toast."
Everyone at the table stood up again.
"To my father, King Charles of Videoland. May he someday return home safely."
"To King Charles!" everyone else said, and they all tapped their glasses with each other again.
When they had all sat back down again, Zelda brought up a question: "So, Captain N, what are you planning on doing now that Mother Brain has been defeated?"
The question took Kevin by surprise. "Uh, I dunno. I...haven't really thought about it, to tell you the truth."
And that was true: he really hadn't thought about what he was going to do now.
"Well, are you planning on going home, staying in Videoland, what?" she asked.
Kevin opened his mouth to respond, but found that he had nothing to say. What could he say?
"Speaking of which, has anyone noticed that the Ultimate Warp Zone hasn't opened up yet?" Lana brought up.
Just then, a voice announced: "And here they are: The Blockheads!"
Everyone in the room started cheering.
The Blockheads were the best band on Tetris. They were on stage with their instruments, which were block-shaped, of course.
They started to play 'Block Party', which went to the tune of 'Rock Around The Clock'. The N Team recognized it from the first time they saw The Blockheads perform on Tetris.
Kevin was only vaguely aware that it was being played, however. He was still thinking about what he was going to do now.
Kevin was startled out of this state when Lana suddenly grabbed his right arm and pulled him up on his feet. "C'mon, let's dance!"
Kevin and Lana went out onto the dance floor and danced.
Link turned towards Zelda and held out his left hand. "May I have this dance, Princess?"
Zelda giggled. "Of course, Link."
He took her right hand in his left, and they got up and went and danced.

Sunday, October 20, 1991, 7:00 AM

Early the next morning, just as the sun was rising, Lana came into the living room and saw Kevin sitting on the couch with his head in his hands.
Both Kevin and Lana were wearing their normal clothes again. Kevin wasn't wearing his belt, though, because there was no danger.
Duke was standing there looking at him. The canine had a worried look on his face.
Duke went over to Lana and started making sad, worried moans.
Lana squatted down and stroked him. "Yeah, I know, Duke. I'll go talk to him, okay?"
Duke nodded.
Lana stood up and looked at Kevin, but still speaking to Duke: "Go help yourself to something in the fridge."
Duke walked off towards the kitchen.
"Kevin?" Lana asked with concern in her voice, taking a step forward.
Kevin looked up and turned around to face her. He sighed and shook his head. "I don't know what to do, Lana."
"Do you wanna talk about it?"
Kevin nodded.
Lana went over and sat next to Kevin, on his right.
Kevin looked at her. "I mean, I miss my friends, and my parents, but...I would miss you guys, too. Especially you, Lana."
Lana smiled gently. "I would miss you, too, Kevin. We all would. Maybe even Simon!"
Kevin laughed, and Lana joined in.
After they stopped, Lana placed her left hand on Kevin's right shoulder. "Take all the time you need to think this over, Kevin. It is a big decision, after all."
"Yeah." Kevin agreed. "I mean, if I go through that warp zone, my memory will be wiped. I'll forget everything about my trip to Videoland."
Lana's facial expression turned from one of concern to one of sadness.
Kevin continued: "The last thing I'll remember is playing my video games and my mom telling me to clean up my room. I'll probably look in the mirror and freak out when I find out how much I've aged!"
Lana thought for a moment before responding. "It's your decision, Kevin."

In Megaland, Dr. Wily was in his lab deep inside Skull Castle.
Dr. Wily was working on a machine, his latest invention.
He smiled as he finished the final modifications. "Finally! It's finished!"
He put his tools on a nearby table, then went over to a control panel and pressed a button. "Guts Man, Elec Man, report to my lab."
Soon, the two Robot Masters walked in.
"You called for us, Dr. Wily?" Guts Man asked.
Dr. Wily pointed to a spot directly in front of a closed chamber, which was a part of his invention. "Stand right there in front of that chamber."
Guts Man gave a salute with his right hand. "Yes, sir!"
Guts Man and Elec Man went and stood in front of the chamber, with Guts Man on Elec Man's right.
Dr. Wily nodded and went over to the control panel of his invention.
"Uh, what are you gonna do, Dr. Wily?" Guts Man asked.
"Some time ago, I created a Warp Zone Shifter to try and send the N Team into the Earthquake Warp Zone. But something went wrong. Someone had reconfigured it, and it sent me into the Landfill Warp Zone. I returned to California Games after the N Team had left, and brought my Warp Zone Shifter back to Megaland - or what was left of it anyway. It was a good thing I had saved the plans for it. It has taken me a lot of work, but I have finally been able to reconstruct it, and improve on it! I am going to use it to bring someone from Earth to Videoland - one of Captain N's greatest enemies. After he is warped here, I will open the chamber. I want you two here just in case he decides to give us any trouble. Understand?"
Guts Man and Elec Man nodded.
"All right." Dr. Wily said, and sat in the chair in front of the control panel. "I have to collect the energy needed to operate the machine first."

On Earth, it was a quiet, peaceful morning in Kevin Keene's hometown of Northridge, California.
In the Vincent household, Mike Vincent was sitting on a chair in his bedroom playing video games - Punch-Out, as a matter of fact.
Mike Vincent was eighteen years old now. He was fifteen, just like Kevin, when Kevin had disappeared in 1989.
Mike and Kevin used to be best friends. They hung out together, camped out in Kevin's backyard, and even snuck into a sleepover party of a girl from school.
But then Mike turned into a bully, and began beating up on everyone at school - especially Kevin. When Kevin had disappeared, he and Mike were still enemies.
Mike was now wearing blue jeans, sneakers, a black shirt, and a Northridge High jacket. He was wearing a black bandanna tied around his right leg to show that he was cool.
Mike had just beaten the crap out of Glass Joe, and went on to Round 2.

Back in Videoland, Dr. Wily was getting ready to power up the machine.
He pressed a series of buttons.
At the Megaland Power Plant, a lot of the power that was being produced was being sent to Skull Castle.
"Wonderful!" Dr. Wily said, smiling. "All of Megaland's power is being fed into the energy tanks! The Warp Zone Shifter will have enough power to operate in thirty seconds!"
So, after thirty seconds, after the four energy meters on the control panel were all the way up, Dr. Wily returned the plant's power distribution to normal as to not raise any suspicions.
"All right, step two: locating subject and setting coordinates." Dr. Wily said.
He soon had the fix he needed and set the Warp Zone Shifter to open the warp zone right where he wanted.
"And now - opening warp zone." Dr. Wily pressed a series of buttons.

Mike had gotten past the first circuit by now - without losing a single match.
He was just about to go on to the next circuit when the game picture disappeared and was replaced by static. Then the static disappeared and was replaced by total blackness.
"What the hell?" Mike wondered.
Suddenly, a huge blast of cartoon-like energy shot out of the screen at him.
He stood up, dropping his video game controller on the floor and knocking his chair over, and backed away from the television set as quickly as he could.
But the energy grabbed him and pulled him through, screaming.

The next thing Mike saw was a swirling blue light. He landed on a hard surface. Then everything was pitch black. He stood up.
"Done." Dr. Wily said. "The transport is completed." He turned to Guts Man and Elec Man. "Get ready. I'm going to open the chamber now."
The two Robot Masters nodded.
Mike had stopped screaming. He had noticed that it was dark. He had absolutely no idea where he was or how he got there.
He was just about to start feeling his way around when whatever he was in opened. He raised his left arm to shield his eyes from the intense light. His eyes had become accustomed to the dark.
What he saw when he lowered his arm freaked him out.
Mike began to scream again. "Cartoons!!! I'm surrounded by cartoons!!!"
"Quiet down!" Dr. Wily said, annoyed.
Mike looked at his hands and legs. "What the hell is goin' on here?!!!"
Guts Man and Elec Man each took a step forward.
"What are those things?!!!" Mike screamed.
Dr. Wily quickly got up and held his hand in front of the two Robot Masters. "No! Don't do anything yet!"
Guts Man and Elec Man obeyed.
"Wh - what is - wh - where - " Mike kept yelling.
"Quiet down and have a seat!" Dr. Wily said. "And I'll explain everything to you!"
Mike calmed down a bit. "Where am I?" Mike asked, crossing his arms.
Dr. Wily motioned to a chair with his hand.
Mike looked uncertainly at it for a moment, then went over and sat in it.
Dr. Wily sat in the chair across from him, which was the one he was sitting in when he was operating the Warp Zone Shifter.
"Now," Mike asked again, "where am I?"
"You're in a place called Videoland." Dr. Wily explained. "It is a universe where video game characters live."
Mike laughed. "Yeah, right!"
Dr. Wily nodded. "Yeah, right! I'm Dr. Wily, and this is Guts Man and Elec Man." He indicated the two Robot Masters, who were watching the exchange with great interest.
"Uh, how do you do?" Guts Man asked conversationally.
"Charmed." Elec Man said.
Mike looked at them and spoke to Dr. Wily: "You're not kidding, are you?"
"No." Dr. Wily said, shaking his head.
Mike turned back to face the evil scientist. It made sense: video game characters are cartoons.
"How did I get here?" Mike asked.
Dr. Wily pointed at his invention. "I used my Warp Zone Shifter."
Mike looked at it for a moment, then looked back at Dr. Wily. "Why?"
"I have a job for you."
"What kind of job?"
"I know your name is Mike Vincent, and that you are good at video games."
"The best." Mike said. "So what's the job?"
"You used to know a person named Kevin Keene." Dr. Wily said.
The statement had surprised Mike. Where did that come from? he thought. "What about him?" Mike asked.
"I want you to destroy him." Wily said.
"What?! He disappeared in 1989!" Mike yelled, surprised. "You mean he's here?!"
Dr. Wily nodded. "Yes. He was brought here by the Ultimate Warp Zone to free Videoland from Mother Brain."
"From Metroid?" Mike asked.
Dr. Wily nodded again. "Yes, and he succeeded in that. Actually, I'm kind of glad he did! With Mother Brain out of the way, I can finally do things my way! I'm going to conquer Videoland! But first, I need to get rid of Captain N."
"Captain N?" Mike asked, confused.
"That's his nickname here." Wily answered.
"So all this time when the entire town thought Keene had been kidnapped or ran away from home, he was really in another dimension!" Mike said in realization.
Dr. Wily nodded. "That's right. So, how 'bout it?"
Mike had already made up his mind. He enjoyed beating up on Kevin, but he definitely wasn't a murderer. He decided to play along, however. He loved the thought of going up against Kevin in a 'real-life' video game.
"Well, how are we gonna pull this off? I mean, there's gotta be lots of cops around."
"Authorities, yes." Wily nodded. "But don't worry, I know how to take care of them."
Mike smiled evilly. "Sounds cool."
"Don't worry," Wily said. "I'll supply you with everything you need."
Bingo! Mike thought.
"If you help me with this, I'll send you back home."
"Back home?" Mike asked. "Why would I wanna go back home and go to school when I can live in a place where I can do anything I want and blow away the cops when they come after me?!"
Mike thought he sounded convincing. So did Wily, apparently.
Dr. Wily smiled. "All right, then how about this: after we conquer Videoland, I'll give you any video worlds you want to rule over? Except for Megaland - that's mine!"
Mike smiled again - happily, not evilly. "That's icing on the cake, and the cake is me killin' Keene."
"So it's a deal?" Wily asked, not understanding.
Mike nodded. "You bet!" He had the fingers on his left hand crossed behind his back.

Kevin and Lana were eating breakfast together at the kitchen table. They were both having cereal and apple-cinnamon tea.
"You know, I don't remember the last time we had breakfast together - just the two of us." Kevin said, smiling.
Lana laughed a little. "It's been a while." She was silent for a moment, then she added: "So, what do you feel like doing today?"
Kevin shrugged. "I dunno."
"Well, maybe we can go to some new video worlds we haven't explored yet." Lana suggested.
"Sounds like fun." Kevin said, smiling.
"Have you ever been to Skara Brae?" she asked.
"That's the world from 'The Bard's Tale', isn't it?" He shook his head. "No, I haven't."
"Wanna go this afternoon?"
Kevin nodded happily. "You bet!"
They finished up their breakfast.

Kevin and Lana were walking through a corridor in the Palace later that morning when a buzzer suddenly came on. It made a loud noise. Along with the buzzer were red lights flashing.
The two friends were startled.
"There's an emergency call coming in!" Lana yelled.
The two of them ran towards the Communications room, Lana leading the way.

When they got there, they found that Mega Man and Simon were already at the control panel, trying to clear up the picture on the viewscreen. Kid Icarus, Gameboy, and Duke were there, too, watching.
"Shut that noise off! We're here already!" Lana yelled.
Mega Man pressed a button on the control panel and shut the buzzer off. The flashing red lights died down.
Lana watched the red lights die down, then looked at the viewscreen. "Do you know who's trying to contact us?"
"No." Mega Man said, shaking his head. "But we do know that it's coming from somewhere in Megaland."
Kevin sighed. "I bet Wily's up to something again."
"I think I've got it." Simon said.
The picture on the viewscreen cleared up, and a guy was shown standing there. A guy Kevin knew.
"Kevin, you gotta help me!" the guy yelled.
"Mike Vincent?!" Kevin asked, surprised.
"Kevin!" Mike replied happily.
"How were you able to call me from home?!"
Mike shook his head. "I'm not home, I'm here in Videoland in Megaland! Dr. Wily used some kind of Warp Zone Shifter to suck me through my TV screen! I don't know why he wants me, but I was able to get away from him! They're after me, Kevin! Wily and his robots!"
"Mike, - " Kevin started.
Mike pressed a button. "I've shut off the electrical forcefield surrounding Skull Castle. You can get here from where you're at. Kevin, come quickly! Please!!!" The image of Mike was suddenly replaced by static as he ended the transmission.
Kevin turned to face Lana. "What would Dr. Wily want with Mike?"
"I dunno," she answered, "but I wouldn't trust him if I were you. Remember the time Dr. Wily created an android of Mike using your memories in order to get us to come to Castlevania so we could be captured?"
Kevin nodded. "Yeah."
"Well, Dr. Wily might've done the same thing again." Lana said. "We shouldn't trust him outright. Not until we find out for sure."
Kevin nodded. "All right, we'll be careful. Me, you, Simon, and Mega Man will go to Megaland." he said, pointing to each person as he said their name. "Kid, Gameboy, Duke - you guard the Palace." he said, pointing to the archer, computer, and canine, respectively.
"Aye-aye, Kevinicus." Kid Icarus said, saluting with his right hand.
"Acknowledged." Gameboy responded.
Duke barked in agreement.
Kevin turned to leave. "I'll be right back."
Lana turned to face him. "Where are you going, Kevin?"
Kevin turned his head to face her. "To get my Zapper."

Five minutes later, Lana, Mega Man, and Simon were standing by a warp zone. Kevin came by wearing his belt with the Power Pad fastened to it. His Zapper was in its holster.
"All right, I'm ready." he said.
"This is a warp zone to Megaland." Mega Man said. "I've reconfigured it to take us to Skull Castle."
Kevin nodded. "Then he was telling the truth."
"About that." Lana said.
"Don't be so negative, Lana." Kevin told her.
"I'm sorry, Kevin." Lana apologized sincerely.
She went over to the warp zone and jumped through.
Kevin followed her. Mega Man went next. Then, finally, Simon.

The four N Team members arrived in a corridor in Skull Castle.
They looked around.
"Oh, Skull Castle's a big place. How are we gonna find Mike?" Lana asked.
"We'll have to search." Kevin said. "But it's important that we stick together in case there's trouble." He turned to Mega Man. "You know this place better than any of us, Mega Man. Where do we go?"
Mega Man shook his head. "This place has changed since we were last here. It's going to be difficult finding him." He pointed to their left. "Let's try that way."
They headed off in that direction, with Mega Man leading the way, Kevin following, Lana right behind him, and Simon at the end.

"Perfect!" Dr. Wily said, watching the N Team on a monitor. "They walked right into my trap!"
He turned around in his chair to face Mike, then got up and walked over to another monitor. Mike followed him.
The monitor had a map on it.
"All right," Dr. Wily said, pointing at the map. "The N Team will come out of this corridor. Once they're in the room, the door will close behind them, trapping them inside. Then, this secret door will open, and Guts Man and Elec Man will come out. Then Cuts Man, followed by Bomb Man. While they're busy battling them, Metal Man and Quick Man will come out from the secret doors to their left. While the N Team is busy with my robots, we'll come out of the secret door to their right. You'll pretend to be my hostage. When Captain N looks toward us, you let him have it with this!"
Dr. Wily handed Mike his very own Power Pad and Zapper.
Mike grinned and took it. "Great!" He put the belt on. "It'll be a pleasure frying him!" He drew the Zapper and twirled it, then put it back in its holster.
Dr. Wily nodded. "All right, let's get moving."

"Are you sure you know where we're going, Mega Man?" Kevin asked.
"No." Mega Man said, shaking his head.
They came to a ladder leading up. Mega Man climbed up, and the rest followed.
At the top of the ladder, they could only go one way - straight ahead.
They were at the beginning of a long corridor.
They started to walk down it.
As they were walking, Lana started a conversation: "Kevin, what if it really is Mike Vincent?"
"Then I'll try to help him." Kevin said.
"Even after all the horrible things he's done to you?" Simon asked, surprised.
Kevin nodded. "Yeah. He may be a jerk, but there's also some good inside of him. He used to be my best friend, and I'm gonna try to help him."
"You're a good person, Kevin Keene." Lana said with respect for Kevin.
Kevin smiled.

After a few minutes, they saw the end of the corridor.
"There's a door just up ahead." Mega Man said, pointing to it.
"Do you notice that we haven't run into any of Dr. Wily's robotic creations yet?" Lana brought up.
"Yeah, that's weird!" Kevin said, suddenly realizing it. "I wonder why."
"Hey! Don't question a good thing!" Simon said.
When they finally reached the door, they stopped.
Mega Man turned around to face them. "All right, when I touch this door, it'll open."
Kevin nodded. "Yeah, I know. It opens the same way as in the Mega Man games I played back home."
Mega Man nodded. "Get ready." He turned back to face the door.
Kevin went and stood at Mega Man's right. He drew his Zapper and stood ready with it.
Mega Man touched the door with his left hand. The door rose up.
Mega Man and Kevin went into the room and quickly looked around.
Kevin then turned around to face Lana and Simon. "It's okay, the room's empty."
Lana and Simon walked into the room, Lana leading.
"There's nothing in here." Lana commented, looking around.
Just then, the door closed.
Everyone turned towards the door quickly.
Mega Man then calmed down and took a deep breath. He looked at Kevin. "It's supposed to close after you enter the room."
Kevin looked at Mega Man, then looked suspiciously at the door. He walked over and touched it with his left hand.
It didn't open.
Kevin withdrew his hand from the door, then motioned at the other three N Team members. "Stand back!"
Kevin backed up a few steps and then fired at the door.
The blast didn't do anything to it.
"We're trapped!" Lana said.
"You got that right!" came a voice.
The four N Team members turned in the direction of the voice. Kevin and Mega Man had their weapons ready.
A secret door opened in the wall opposite the door they had come in through.
The voice turned out to belong to Guts Man, who came out of the secret door.
"Guts Man!" Mega Man yelled.
"And that's not all!" a second voice came.
Elec Man was the next one to walk out of the secret door. He stood to Guts Man's left.
"And Elec Man!" Kevin added.
"You made a big mistake coming here!" Guts Man said.
"What do we do?" Lana asked nervously.
"Fight!" Kevin said. He turned to Mega Man. "You handle Guts Man. I'll take care of Elec Man."
Mega Man nodded. "Right."
Mega Man went and fought Guts Man while Kevin went and took on Elec Man, firing with his Zapper when he could, and dodging Elec Man's electrical charges with his Power Pad.
Since Guts Man didn't have any blocks to throw at Mega Man, Mega Man got some good shots off, hitting Guts Man repeatedly.
Kevin, meanwhile, had his hands full dodging Elec Man's blasts and shooting him. Kevin hadn't been hit yet. He had hit Elec Man a few times, though.
Then suddenly, a secret door to the left of the one that Guts Man and Elec Man came out of opened, and Cuts Man came out. Then, a secret door to the right opened, and Bomb Man appeared.
Lana gasped. "Cuts Man!"
"Bomb Man!" Simon added.
Lana looked at the vampire hunter. "What do I do, Simon?! I don't have a weapon!"
"Fear not, Your Defenselessness, I'll take care of them." Simon said, full of ego.
Simon pulled his trusted whip from his belt and ran into the fray screaming.
Mega Man had defeated Guts Man, and began firing at Elec Man. Together, he and Kevin defeated the Robot Master.
Simon was having no luck defeating Cuts Man. The vampire hunter kept whipping him, to no effect.
Lana was running and dodging the bombs that were being thrown at her.
Mega Man ran over and shot a bomb that was thrown at Lana.
Kevin went over and started shooting at Cuts Man. Simon had stopped whipping because his arm was getting tired.
Mega Man finally managed to defeat Bomb Man, but not without taking a few hits himself.
As Kevin worked on Cuts Man, another secret door on the left wall opened, and out came Metal Man. Then, another door opened to the right of that one, and Quick Man emerged.
"Great!" Lana said, scared.
Kevin had just defeated Cuts Man when he turned and noticed the two robots.
Kevin and Mega Man ran over, and Kevin took on Metal Man, while Mega Man handled Quick Man.
Then, suddenly, still another secret door opened on the right wall.
Kevin turned to look at the new intruder or intruders, and what he saw surprised him.
"Mike!" Kevin yelled.
Mike Vincent, the bully that used to beat Kevin up back on Earth, was walking out of the secret doorway. But he wasn't alone.
Dr. Wily was with him, holding a laser gun to his back.
Lana, Simon, and Mega Man turned to look at the visitors.
Just then, Metal Man fired a Metal Blade at Kevin.
Lana ran over to Kevin. "Kevin, look out!"
She pushed him down to the ground, landing on top of him. Kevin's Zapper was knocked out of his hand, and landed on the floor.
Mega Man turned and defeated Metal Man with one blast. He did the same to Quick Man.
Lana got up off of Kevin, crouching down and looking at him. She helped him to his feet and put her hands on his shoulders. "Are you all right, Kevin?"
"Hey, I'm the Game Master! They can't hurt me!" Kevin said, then clutched his left shoulder with his right hand. He had landed on it when he hit the floor. "Ow."
The four of them looked at Mike and Dr. Wily.
"Don't move!" Dr. Wily warned. "Or your friend, Mike, here, gets it!"
Kevin's jaw dropped. It looked to him like Dr. Wily was serious.
"Kevin,...help!" Mike said. He sounded scared.
"Let him go, Wily!" Kevin yelled.
Dr. Wily shook his head, smiling. "Oh, I don't think so, Captain N." He laughed evilly.
Mega Man ran forward to fire. Dr. Wily fired first. The blast threw Mega Man back. He landed pretty hard on the floor.
Kevin watched Mega Man get thrown back, then returned his gaze to Wily.
"What do you want, Wily?!" the Game Master asked.
"This!" Wily answered.
Right after Wily spoke, Mike pulled out his Zapper and fired a short shot at Kevin. Mike had kept his Power Pad and Zapper concealed underneath his shirt, which he had pulled out of his pants for that sole purpose.
The blast definitely caught Kevin by surprise. He didn't even realize what had happened until after he had been thrown to the floor.
Lana gasped. "Kevin!" She knelt next to him and took hold of his right hand with her right. "Kevin," she whispered, "can you hear me?" She felt for his pulse, then started to cry. Lana laid Kevin's hand on his chest and looked up at Mike angrily. "How could you?! You killed him!"
Mike knew it wasn't true, of course. He hadn't aimed for a vital area.
"And you're next!" Dr. Wily yelled. He pointed his laser gun at Lana.
Lana used her quick reflexes to pick up Kevin's Zapper off of the floor, which had been knocked out of his hand earlier. She pointed it at Dr. Wily and fired. The evil scientist was hit by the beam and thrown to the floor.
Mike watched Wily fall, then turned towards Lana.
Lana quickly fired at Mike, who was thrown to the floor as well.
"C'mon, Simon! We've gotta get them to Dr. Right's lab!" Lana yelled, holstering Kevin's Zapper in her dress. "Help me carry them!"
Simon ran over and picked up Mega Man, while Lana picked up Kevin and carried him over her right shoulder.
Simon did the same for Mega Man.
Lana looked at Mike, considering taking him with them. Then she remembered Kevin and Mega Man, and realized that taking Mike along would only slow them down. She used her left index finger to activate Mega Man's teleporter.
The four of them disappeared.

They appeared on a lift in Dr. Right's laboratory. It lowered them down to the floor like an elevator.
"Dr. Right!" Lana called.
The scientist was in the room, and had seen them arrive. He ran over to them. "What happened?!"
Lana walked swiftly over to a metal table and gently laid Kevin down on it. "They were hit - hard! You've gotta do something, Doc!"
Simon had lain Mega Man on the metal table to the right of Kevin's.
Dr. Right quickly hooked Mega Man and Kevin up to life supporters. "That should keep them stabilized." He turned to Lana. "What happened?"
Lana explained as Dr. Right began running tests. "Dr. Wily brought an old enemy of Kevin's from Earth. His name is Mike Vincent. Him and Mike are trying to kill Kevin. Mike was able to lure us to Skull Castle, and then Wily hit Mega Man with a laser gun, and Mike hit Kevin with a Zapper just like his, only I think it was much more powerful, from the looks of the blast. They would've hit us, too, but I shot them in time." She looked up at the monitors displaying Mega Man and Kevin's health statistics. "Will they be all right, Doc?"
"Well, it looks as though Mega Man took some serious damage, while - "
"What?" Lana asked, looking at him.
"Well, it seems as though Kevin didn't receive any damage at all." the scientist explained. "He's just weak. It's as though Mike didn't want to hurt him."
Lana looked up at the monitors again. "It looks like Kevin's getting better already!"
Kevin began to groan, and Lana crouched down and leaned on the table.
"Kevin?" she asked.
Kevin opened his eyes and turned his head towards her. "Hey, Lana, what's shakin'?" he asked with a smile.
Lana laughed. "Not much, only that your friend, Mike, turned against us, that's all."
Kevin thought for a moment. "Oh, yeah." he said wearily, then he smiled at her. "Hey, nice acting!"
Lana laughed. "Thanks." Then she sighed, shaking her head. "Poor Kev, you look exhausted!" She stood up and held out her hands to Kevin. "C'mon, let me take you back to the Palace. You need some rest!"
"That'll be just fine. But I need to keep Mega Man here overnight." Dr. Right said to them as Kevin grabbed Lana's hands, and Lana helped him to a standing position.
Lana nodded. "Will you be able to repair him?"
"Hmm, I'm a doctor, not a miracle worker." Dr. Right said.
Kevin laughed at that.
"But I'll try." the scientist promised. "Mega Man is partly alive, after all, so I'll have to not only repair his mechanical systems, but his biological ones, as well. I'll keep you informed."
Lana nodded again, then she helped Kevin to the warp zone back to the Palace. They stepped through it, with Simon following.
After they were gone, Dr. Right went back to running his tests on Mega Man's systems.

"What were you laughing at back there?" Lana asked as they emerged in the Palace of Power.
The two friends walked towards the living room as Simon went in another direction.
"Oh, it's from Star Trek." Kevin said. "It's a show I watched back home."
Lana recognized the name. Kevin had mentioned it to her once before: the time Simon lost his memory.
"What's it about?" Lana asked, curious.
"It takes place in the 23rd Century." Kevin said. "The Earth is united, and is a member of the United Federation of Planets. There is an organization called Starfleet. It's mission is 'to boldly go where no man has gone before'. Of course, the show was made in the '60s. Now, on the new show, Star Trek: The Next Generation, they say 'to boldly go where no one has gone before'."
Lana smiled. "That's better."
"Anyway, Starfleet has a whole bunch of ships. It's not a military organization. It's purpose is exploration. The ship featured on the original series was the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701. The Captain was a young man named James T. Kirk. The Enterprise's Chief Medical Officer was Dr. McCoy. And a line he often used when he was asked to do something was 'I'm a doctor, not a' whatever, ya know?"
Lana laughed. "So that's why you laughed!"
"Well, yeah, that and also, the Chief Engineer was Montgomery Scott, or 'Scotty', as he's popularly known. The crew of the Enterprise called him the 'miracle worker'."
Lana laughed again. "Wow, so Dr. Right put two references to a show you watched back home in a sentence - without even knowing it! That's hysterical!"
They arrived in the living room.
"Can you tell me more about the show, Kevin?" Lana asked.
"Really?" Kevin asked, delighted.
Lana nodded. "Yeah." She unfastened Kevin's belt and took it. She drew Kevin's Zapper from her dress. "These need a recharge. I'll be back in a few minutes, and then you can tell me all about the adventures of the U.S.S. Enterprise!"
Kevin smiled. "Deal!"
"Now sit down and get some rest." she said.
Kevin sat on the couch and put his feet up on the coffee table.
Lana smiled and left the room.

As Lana was making her way to the power restorer, she met Kid Icarus in one of the Palace's corridors.
"Anything happen while we were gone?" Lana asked the archer.
"Nope, everything's a-okayicus." the archer replied.
Lana nodded. "Fine." She paused. "But Mega Man's not fine. Mike Vincent tricked us. Dr. Wily shot Mega Man. Dr. Right's taking care of him."
"I sure hope he gets bettericus."
"So do I." Lana said, and then continued on her way.

Lana walked into the room marked POWER RESTORER.
There was a huge machine taking up the entire back wall. It was a cool silver color.
One part of the surface of the machine resembled a disk drive, but without the flap. It was in the shape of Kevin's Power Pad.
Lana unfastened the Power Pad from the belt and placed it in the slot, face up. She pushed it in until only the power meter was visible.
There were three round colored buttons to the left of the slot, vertically.
Lana pressed the top blue button.
The machine made a humming sound and turned on.
After waiting for a few seconds for the machine to warm up, Lana pressed the middle green button.
The machine began to charge the Power Pad.
Lana watched the lights on the power meter slowly turn on.
Of course, only the Power Pad itself had to be recharged - not the Zapper.
That was something Lana had noticed the night Kevin was brought to Videoland. Kevin had blasted through a wall on Metroid, and was no longer able to fire after that. The Zapper and the Power Pad had both used the same energy source.
Later that night, Lana found out that they could use the Sun Stone that provided the Palace's energy to recharge Kevin's Power Pad.

Saturday, September 9, 1989, 10:00 PM

The N Team had just warped back from its first mission to Metroid. Lana looked out a window. Monsters were still roaming around outside. Mother Brain's troops were still storming the Palace.
Lana turned to face Kevin. "Help me wipe 'em out?"
Kevin smiled and nodded. "Sure!"
"But you're out of power." Lana remembered. "We gotta find a way to recharge your Zapper first." She held out her left hand.
Kevin looked down at the belt, felt around, and unsnapped it in the back. He handed the belt over to Lana.
Lana took it. "C'mon, I think I know a way we can recharge this."
Kevin turned around and motioned to man's best friend with his right hand, smiling. "C'mon, Duke!"
Duke followed Kevin and Lana down a corridor.

They came to a closed double-door. There was a keypad to the left of the door.
Lana moved the belt to her right hand and typed in 8 6 7 5 3 0 9 on the keypad with her left index finger. There was a short beep, and the doors slid open.
"Follow me." Lana said, looking at Kevin, and then she went inside.
Kevin looked at his pup while following Lana. "C'mon, Duke."
Duke, noticing that nothing but black could be seen past the doorway, reluctantly followed Kevin.
As soon as all three of them were past the doorway, the double-doors closed shut behind them.
Duke barked in a panic. Then they could see each other after Lana turned on the flashlight that was mounted on the wall.
Carrying the flashlight in her left hand, she looked at Kevin. "This way."
Lana pointed the flashlight in front of them, and the three of them walked silently for five minutes.
They came to a dead end. Against the wall was something that resembled a fireplace.
Lana handed the flashlight to Kevin, who held it in his right hand. She then crouched down and removed the metal cover from the 'fireplace', setting it down on the floor.
Instantly, a bright light appeared.
"Whoa!" Kevin said, and covered his eyes with his left arm. Lana did the same. Duke lay down on the floor and covered his eyes with his paws.
The three of them uncovered their eyes after thirty seconds. Duke got up.
Kevin went over to Lana's right and crouched down next to her, looking into the 'fireplace' with her. Duke also went over and looked inside.
There was a large glowing rock inside. It gave off a brilliant white light. It was about the size of a filled trash bag.
"This is the Sun Stone." Lana said. "It provides all the energy for the Palace."
"Cool!" Kevin said. He reached out with his left hand to touch it, then pulled back. He looked at Lana.
Lana nodded. "It's all right, go ahead."
Kevin placed his hand on it. It felt warm, but not hot.
He removed his hand and looked at Lana. "You think it'll recharge my Zapper?"
Lana looked at Kevin. "There's only one way to find out!" She removed Kevin's Zapper from its holster with her left hand and carefully laid it on top of the Sun Stone.
After ten seconds, she removed the Zapper with her left hand, turned, pointed it in the direction from which they came, and pressed the trigger.
Nothing.
"Guess that won't work!" Kevin said.
"Wait a minute." Lana said, and then placed Kevin's belt, with the Power Pad attached to it, on the Sun Stone.
She deliberately placed the Power Pad so that the power meter on top faced them.
The three of them watched as the lights on the power meter slowly lit. When they were all glowing, Lana turned again and pressed the trigger on the Zapper.
A brilliant blue laser beam lit up the corridor for a moment.
"Bingo!" Lana said with a smile, looking at the Zapper.
"I don't get it." Kevin said, confused.
"The two share the same power source!" Lana exclaimed, looking at Kevin. "Power up the Power Pad, and the Zapper will work, too!"
"Ahhh, cool!" Kevin said, smiling.
Lana took the belt off of the Sun Stone and placed the Zapper back in its holster.
The Sun Stone had immediately replaced the energy used when Lana fired the Zapper, so the power meter was all the way up.
Lana handed the belt to Kevin and replaced the metal cover. She and Kevin got up, and Kevin put his belt back on.
"Let's go." Lana said.
Kevin pointed the flashlight and led the way. Lana walked behind him, and Duke behind her.
"Now that we know how to power your weapons, we outta build a machine to do it for us." Lana said. "It'll be more convenient than to walk all the way here every time you need a refill!"
Kevin frowned as he thought of home, and how he must go back.
Lana didn't see it. "We'll start working on it tomorrow." she said.
They reached the double-doors in five minutes. Kevin found the keypad and shined the light on it.
Lana stepped in front of him and typed in 8 6 7 5 3 0 9 with her left index finger. There was a short beep, and the doors slid open.
Lana walked out. Kevin put the flashlight back in its place on the wall and followed her. Duke followed his master.
The doors slid closed again.
Lana turned to Kevin. "Let's go back to my room. I gotta get my weapon."
Kevin nodded.

They walked up to the doors to Lana's room.
"What happened here?!" Lana asked, looking at the big hole in the doors.
"Uh, I made it with my Zapper when King Hippo and Eggplant Wizard came to kidnap you. I'm sorry, Your Highness."
Lana smiled and placed her left hand on Kevin's right shoulder. "That's okay, Kevin, you were trying to help me!"
Kevin smiled.
"And, since I didn't say anything before, thank you for rescuing me."
Kevin's smile widened. "No problem."
Lana then turned and walked into her room. Kevin went in after her, followed by Duke.
Lana went to her closet, opened the door, and pulled out her weapon.
"Cool!" Kevin said. "What is it?"
"A laser rifle." Lana said. "My father gave it to me for my birthday this year."
Kevin smiled, kind of amused at the thought of someone getting a gun for their birthday, but then again, he understood, considering what Videoland was going through.
Lana checked the green power meter on top of the white weapon. All the lights were on. "Good, the weapon is fully-charged. It consumes a lot of power, so I hardly ever use it. Only in extreme emergencies."
Kevin saw the way Lana held the rifle. "You're left-handed, aren't you?"
Lana looked up at him. "Mostly, why?"
"My mom is kind of suspicious of left-handed people."
"Why?" Lana asked. She didn't understand.
Kevin shrugged and shook his head. "I really don't know."
Lana nodded. "You ready?"
Kevin nodded.
The two of them left the room, with Duke right behind them.

Lana, Kevin, and Duke went into another room ten floors above.
Lana slid open the sliding door leading out onto the balcony. Immediately, the eerie chants of the invading forces down below could be heard.
Duke whimpered, afraid.
Kevin turned to Duke, his expression serious. "You better stay here, boy."
The canine got behind a chair and watched.
Lana turned to face Kevin. "Okay, when we get out there, start shooting like your life depends on it, because it does."
Kevin looked straight ahead and nodded. "Gotcha."
Lana patted Kevin on the back with her right hand, and then the two of them walked, side by side, out onto the balcony.
Kevin and Lana looked down at the army storming the Palace.
"There's still a lot of them left." Lana said. "But we can take care of them!" And with that, Lana pointed her weapon down at the troops and began firing.
Fast laser bolts shot downward, mowing down the bad guys.
Kevin smiled and began firing his Zapper at the invading force.
Duke watched as Kevin and Lana kept shooting.
After a minute, the laser beams stopped.
"I'm outta power!" Kevin yelled, looking at his Zapper.
Lana looked at him. "Me, too, but it doesn't matter." She pointed with her right index finger downward.
Kevin looked down.
They stood there in silence for a moment. There was no one left. No monsters. No robotic soldiers. Kevin and Lana had killed all of them. Every single one.
Lana looked up at Kevin and smiled. "C'mon, let's get you recharged."
Kevin smiled back at her.
The two of them walked back into the room. Lana closed the sliding door and locked it. Duke got up off the floor and followed them out of the room.

After all the lights were on, the recharging process stopped. Lana pressed the bottom red button. The machine stopped.
Lana pressed the small rectangular EJECT button underneath the slot. The Power Pad came about a third of the way out of the slot. Lana carefully pulled it out and reattached it to the belt.
She had already put the Zapper back into its holster after she left the living room.
Lana left the Power Restorer room and returned to the living room.

When she got there, she saw Kevin sitting on the couch petting Duke, who had come in while she was gone.
"Hey." Kevin said, smiling at her.
"Hey," Lana said back cheerfully, then added: "you look a lot better!"
Kevin laughed. "Yeah, well, I guess all I needed was someone to cheer me up!" he said, looking at Duke.
Duke barked happily.
Lana laughed.
Kevin looked up at her and smiled. "Of course, I wouldn't mind someone else."
Lana smiled. She went over and sat next to him, on his right.
"So," Lana said, playfully clapping Kevin's right thigh with her left hand, "tell me about this Enterprise."
"Well," Kevin began, "Star Trek was created by Eugene Wesley Roddenberry in 1964. You see, Gene..."
Lana listened attentively and with great interest as Kevin told her about this phenomenon. Even Duke listened. He understood what Kevin was saying. He just couldn't reply in human language.
Kevin told her about 'Gene' Roddenberry's life, the lost pilot episode called 'The Cage', the original series that ran from 1966 to 1969, the unmade 'Phase II' series of the '70s, the five movies that Kevin knew of (little did he know that a sixth one came out while he's been in Videoland), and, finally, The Next Generation.
Kevin was careful not to spoil the episodes and movies for her, just in case she might someday watch them. He told this to her, and she understood.
Kevin had always wanted Lana to come to Earth with him, and Lana, having developed a fascination with Kevin's world from his descriptions of it, wanted to go, at least for a while. But Lana's responsibilities kept her in Videoland, and Kevin knew that his memory of Videoland would be erased. Lana told him herself.

By the time they finished talking, it was 10:00 PM.
"Well, I think I'll turn in." Lana said, getting up.
Kevin stood up, too. "Yeah, me, too."
"I really enjoyed hearing about Star Trek." Lana said, smiling.
"And I enjoyed telling you about it, Lana." Kevin replied, smiling back.
"You notice how it's kept our minds off Mega Man?"
Kevin nodded. "Yeah, wadaya know?"
Lana put her left hand on Kevin's right shoulder. "Well, get some rest. If Dr. Right contacts me, you'll be the first to know!"
Kevin nodded. "All right."
Lana nodded. "Good night, Kevin."
Kevin nodded back. "Good night, Lana."
Kevin thought about it for about three seconds, then leaned forward and kissed Lana on her lips.
Lana smiled. The kiss was totally unexpected. She blushed. "Thanks."
Lana walked out of the room.
Kevin watched her leave, then turned to Duke. "C'mon, Duke, bedtime!"
Duke was woken up by his master's voice. He whined and lazily got to his feet.
Kevin laughed.
Kevin picked up his belt off of the couch, and then Duke followed him out of the living room.

Lana went into her bedroom. She took off her crown, hair band, earrings, necklace, and bracelets, and put them on top of her dresser. She then took off her clothes, letting them drop to the floor. She may be the Princess and Ruler of Videoland, but she was also entitled to be messy if she wanted to - something she picked up from Kevin.
She then went into her bathroom, which you could only get to through her bedroom, and took a shower.

Kevin and Duke walked into their room. Kevin shared his room with Simon. He saw that the vampire hunter was already asleep, so he tiptoed to his dresser and got out the nice pajamas that Lana had given him. He put his belt on his dresser, went into the bathroom, took off his clothes, and took a shower.

A half-hour later, Lana finished her shower. She brushed her teeth and combed her hair. She put on her deodorant, which was strong enough for a man, but made for a woman.
Lana walked into her room and put on her nightgown, which she got off of the floor. She climbed into bed, pulled up the covers, laid her head on the soft pillow, and was soon sound asleep.

Kevin went through basically the same steps: brushing his teeth, putting on his deodorant, combing his hair, and putting on his pajamas. But then he stuck his head into the bedroom.
"Duke!" he whispered, careful not to wake Simon. "Come here, boy!"
Duke eagerly ran into the bathroom. Kevin had to back up a bit so Duke wouldn't run into him.
Kevin took Duke's toothbrush from its place and put toothpaste on it. He held it out to the canine. "Open wide, boy!"
Duke eagerly opened his mouth. Kevin brushed Duke's teeth. Kevin always made sure to brush Duke's teeth every morning after breakfast, and every night before they turned in.
Duke loved to have his teeth brushed. The flavor of the paste tasted great!
After they were done, Kevin and Duke went into the bedroom.
Kevin got into bed. "Good night, Duke!" he whispered.
Duke softly barked "Good night, Kevin" in dog language and lay down under Kevin's bed and went to sleep.
Kevin pulled up the covers, laid his head on the soft pillow, and was soon asleep himself.

Monday, October 21, 1991, 8:00 AM

Kevin and Lana warped into Dr. Right's laboratory. They were each wearing their usual clothes. They had to use a warp in the Palace, since they didn't have the benefit of Mega Man's teleporter.
Dr. Right was in the room, doing repairs on Mega Man. He turned around and saw them, nodding. "Oh, hello, Captain N, Princess."
"Hey, Doc!" Kevin said cheerfully.
"Is Mega Man fixed?" Lana asked.
Dr. Right shook his head and sighed. "Not yet, I'm afraid. The damage was quite extensive. It'll be at least another few hours before he's functional."
Lana sighed deeply, looking at Kevin. "Looks like we'll have to go to Skull Castle ourselves!"
Kevin sighed back. "Yeah, but you don't have a weapon!"
Lana sighed again. "Yeah, that is a problem!"
Dr. Right raised his right index finger. "Wait a minute, I may be able to help you!" He walked over to Kevin and held out his right hand. "May I examine your Power Pad and Zapper, Captain N?"
"Sure, Doc." He unfastened his belt and handed it over to Dr. Right.
Dr. Right took the belt and went over to his work table. Kevin and Lana followed him.
Dr. Right took the Zapper out of its holster and set it down on the table. He unfastened the Power Pad from the belt and laid it down on the table as well.
He began to work.

Ten hours later, Dr. Right finished his work. It was now 6:00 PM.
"I'm done." Dr. Right said. He turned to face Kevin and Lana, holding a belt in his right hand. He raised it up for them to see.
The belt was a dark black, darker than Kevin's. It had a Power Pad fastened to it. The Power Pad looked almost like Kevin's, except the cross key was a darker black, as were the two black buttons to the right of it. The Run and Jump buttons were a dark red. The power meter was a thin strip that covered the top of the Pad. Instead of having eight separate lights like Kevin's, the power meter on Lana's Pad was one long light. The light began on the side with the cross key and ended on the side with the Run and Jump buttons. The light would slowly fall, like mercury does in a thermometer, whenever power was used. The light was a bright neon green, and was now spread all the way across the top of the Pad, indicating that the weapon was fully-charged. The holster was located on the opposite side of the belt. Lana had mentioned to Dr. Right that she was primarily left-handed. Even though she could twirl equally well with both hands, she aimed best with her left.
"This is for you, Your Highness." Dr. Right said. He held it out to her.
Lana took it with both hands. "Thank you, Dr. Right!" she said with sincere gratitude.
"My pleasure." Dr. Right said, smiling.
Lana put the belt around her waist and fastened it. She walked to the center of the room and turned towards Kevin.
Kevin winked with his left eye and gave Lana a thumbs-up with his right thumb. "Lookin' sharp, Lana!"
"Thanks, Kevin!" Lana said, smiling.
Lana took the Zapper out of the holster with her left hand. The Zapper was two shades of gray, instead of gray and orange like Kevin's.
Lana twirled the Zapper expertly. She then aligned the Zapper with a point on the wall, and slowly pressed the trigger.
The Zapper released a brilliant blue light that was almost blinding to Lana. She looked up as her shot hit its target dead-on.
Lana looked at the weapon she held in her left hand for a moment, as if studying it. She then lowered her left arm, letting it drop to her side.
Kevin and Dr. Right watched her in silence.
Lana then turned and looked at them. She raised her arms in the air triumphantly. "Whoooo!!! Yes!!! Yes, baby, I love this gun!" Kevin and Dr. Right smiled, amused, and Lana vocalized her second "Whoooo!!!" Lana twirled the Zapper again and put it back in the holster. She turned towards Dr. Right. "Thanks, Doc!"
Dr. Right gave her a smile and turned back to his work table. He picked up Kevin's belt and turned to face the teenager.
Dr. Right held the belt out to Kevin. "And here's your own back, Captain N."
Kevin took it and put it on. "It looks exactly the same." Kevin said, surprised. "I at least expected a polish."
Dr. Right smiled and raised the index finger on his right hand. "It may look the same on the outside, but on the inside it's much improved! I tweaked it a little, and now it's just as powerful as Mike Vincent's." He turned towards Lana. "Or, at least, it should be, judging by the Princess' description of the blast that came out of his Zapper."
Lana walked over to them. "I sure hope so, Dr. Right."
"Yours is just as powerful as Captain N's, Princess." the scientist assured her.
"Well, we better head on over to Skull Castle." Kevin said, looking at Lana.
"How are we gonna get there?" Lana asked. "You can bet Dr. Wily put up the forcefield!"
"We'll get as close to it as we can, then fight our way in!" Kevin said.
Lana nodded. "Right."
The two N Team members turned to Dr. Right.
"Thank you again, Dr. Right!" Lana said.
"Thanks, Doc!" Kevin added.
"Glad to help." Dr. Right said, smiling.
Kevin and Lana walked over to the warp zone that led to just outside Skull Castle.
They turned and waved good-bye to Dr. Right. The scientist waved back.
Kevin and Lana then turned back and stepped through the warp.
After they were gone, Dr. Right went back to repairing Mega Man.

Kevin and Lana exited the warp, finding themselves in a corridor in Skull Castle.
"What?" Lana was surprised. "How'd we get here?"
"I don't know." Kevin answered. "Maybe Mike reconfigured the warp somehow to bring us here." He looked around. "This is the same corridor we started in before!"
Lana looked at Kevin. "Do you remember the direction Mega Man led us in before?"
Kevin nodded at her. "I think so." He nodded towards their left. "That way."
Kevin and Lana walked side by side, with Kevin on Lana's left.
As they were walking, Kevin glanced at Lana's Power Pad. "So, you sure you know how to use that thing?"
"I think so." Lana said, nodding. She smiled. "When we get back to the Palace, you'll have to give me lessons."
Kevin smiled and nodded.

Kevin and Lana had climbed up the same ladder and walked down the same long corridor as they had before. Now, they entered the same big room.
Kevin looked at Lana. "That was almost too easy."
Lana nodded. "I agree."
Kevin and Lana looked to their right.
"They came out of a secret door on that wall." Kevin said, pointing with his right index finger at the wall Dr. Wily and Mike had come out of yesterday.
"There must be a secret passageway that leads to Wily's lab." Lana said. "Let's blast it!"
Kevin nodded, and they walked towards the wall.
Kevin and Lana stopped a safe distance from the wall. They drew their Zappers.
They looked at each other and nodded.
The two of them fired at the wall. They kept their fingers pressed on their respective triggers.
After about twenty seconds, the beams from Kevin and Lana's Zappers melted the wall. It created a hole large enough for them to walk through.
Kevin and Lana looked at each other, then Kevin stepped forward and went through the hole. Lana followed him.
They found themselves in a long corridor.
Kevin and Lana looked at each other and shrugged. They began walking, this time with Lana on Kevin's left. They kept their Zappers in their hands.
They reached the end of the corridor in about one minute. In front of them now was a closed door.
"This must be Wily's secret lab." Kevin said, and reached out with his left hand to touch the door.
"Be careful, Kevin." Lana warned him, her voice taking on a tone of caution.
Kevin's hand touched the door. Nothing.
Kevin looked at Lana. "I guess it only responds to Wily's DNA sequence."
"And this!" Lana said. And with that, she fired at the door.
"Hey!" Kevin yelled, and got out of the way of the beam.
The titanium melted away, creating a large opening.
Kevin looked at his friend with a bit of annoyance as she smiled at him.
"Watch where you're pointing that thing, will you?! You nearly singed my jacket - and my arm!"
"Sorry!" Lana said, embarrassed. "I guess I got a little carried away!"
"A little?!"
He looked towards the opening Lana had made with her Zapper, and then both of them stepped through together.
They stepped into Dr. Wily's secret laboratory, and the evil scientist, himself, was there, along with the school bully.
"Captain N!" Dr. Wily yelled in surprise, jumping up out of his seat.
Mike, of course, knew Kevin was alive all along, but he acted equally surprised. "Keene! But, but how?! I shot you! You're supposed to be dead!"
"If you knew anything about great captains, Mike," Lana said, "you'd know that legends never die!"
"Well, we'll just see about that!" Mike said sinisterly. He reached for his Zapper.
Lana fired a shot between Mike's hand and his Zapper. He pulled his hand away from it. Lana holstered her Zapper, as did Kevin.
"Destroy them!" Dr. Wily yelled at Mike.
Mike didn't take the suggestion seriously. He grinned as he thought of another idea. "No. No, I got a better idea! Just you and me, Keene, through a Robot Master stage. We'll just see who's the real Game Master!"
"What are you doing?!" Dr. Wily asked.
"Relax!" Mike said, glancing at Dr. Wily for a moment, then returning his view to Kevin. "I can beat this twirp! We both know I'm the best! How 'bout it, Keene? Wanna try and prove me wrong?"
Kevin thought for a few seconds, looking at Lana, then looked back at Mike. "Uh, we'll have to discuss it for a few moments."
"Fine." Mike said.
Kevin pulled Lana aside.
"Discuss nothing!" Lana whispered. "Don't do it, Kevin! It's what he wants!"
Kevin thought about this. "Yeah, you're probably right. He is better than me."
Kevin looked up at Mike. Mike was standing there with his arms crossed, laughing at him. Mike had heard that.
Kevin suddenly grew angry. He wanted to beat this bully that had tormented him for so long.
"You're on, Mike!" Kevin yelled.
Mike grinned. "Great!"
"Kevin, what are you saying?!" Lana cried in disbelief.
"Don't worry, Lana, I'll be all right." Kevin said without looking at her.
"Kevin, don't let him intimidate you! You don't have to prove anything to him!"
Kevin walked over to Mike as Mike spoke: "Okay, here are the rules: We go through the Elec Man stage. First one to get to the end and defeat Elec Man wins." Mike nodded. "Deal?"
"Deal!" Kevin said, nodding.
Mike laughed. "I'm gonna kick your ass, Keene!"
Kevin smiled, amused. "We'll see." He turned around and walked back to Lana. He placed his hands on her shoulders. He moved in close to her and whispered so Mike and Dr. Wily wouldn't hear. "You gonna be okay, Lana?"
Lana nodded and whispered: "Yeah. Be careful, Kevin."
Kevin nodded. "I will. Take care of yourself."
Lana nodded. "I will." She paused, then leaned forward and kissed him on the lips, hugging him.
Kevin smiled. "I'll see you soon." he promised her.
Lana nodded, smiling, and the two of them let go of each other.
Kevin walked back over to Mike.
"All right, let's get this over with." Kevin said.
"What's your hurry, Keene? Eager to lose?!" Mike bellowed laughter.
Kevin followed Mike over to a warp zone. Mike pulled the round steel door open.
Mike jumped through, with Kevin right behind him.
Both Dr. Wily and Lana had watched them go through, then they turned to watch the monitor that showed the Elec Man maze.

Two seconds later, Mike and Kevin materialized in the newly reconstructed Elec Man maze. The sun was hidden by clouds, giving the sky a dark purplish color.
The two opponents looked at each other.
"Whoever beats Elec Man is the Ultimate Game Master!" Mike reminded Kevin.
Kevin nodded, and the two of them set off on the race.
As Kevin and Mike went through the stage, a flying camera recorded them and sent the video and audio back to Dr. Wily's lab.
They both dodged the electric blasts and shot the robots.
When they climbed the ladders, they both got to the top at about the same time, but Kevin fell behind on the blocks that kept materializing and dematerializing. Mike, who was an expert on the Mega Man games, hopped from one to the next pretty fast. Kevin nearly fell twice.
When they got to Big Eye, Mike pressed the Jump button on his Power Pad and jumped over it. Kevin quickly pressed Right as Big Eye was about to stomp on him.
Kevin saw Mike touch the door and go through it.
"Hey!" Kevin yelled after him.
Kevin ran fast to catch up to Mike. The two of them climbed up the ladder leading to Elec Man's chamber. Kevin let go of the ladder, pressed the Jump button, passed Mike, and grabbed hold of the ladder again.
"Ha, ha!" Kevin yelled, enjoying that.
Mike climbed up below Kevin. Kevin touched the ceiling, which slid open.
The two of them climbed up into Elec Man's chamber. The floor closed underneath them.
"Well, well, so glad you could come!" Elec Man said. He immediately started firing at them.
Kevin and Mike both dodged the blasts.
Kevin remembered from playing Mega Man back home that you can defeat Elec Man in only a few shots using Cuts Man's weapon. Of course, he didn't have it with him.
But Mike did.
Kevin saw Mike pull the Cuts Blade out of his left jacket pocket and throw it at Elec Man. It hit Elec Man, and then returned to Mike, who caught it in his left hand.
"You cheater!" Kevin yelled.
Mike defeated Elec Man, who exploded.
Mike had a smile on his face. He twirled his Zapper, stuck it back in his holster, and turned to face Kevin. "Look who's the Game Master now, Keene!"
Kevin slowly backed away as Mike slowly came towards him.

Back in Dr. Wily's lab, Lana and Dr. Wily had been silently watching the whole trip through the maze on the monitor.
Now, Lana was watching in horror as Mike approached Kevin.
Dr. Wily was, of course, enjoying this. "Yes, yes, finish him!"
Lana couldn't stand watching this any longer. She drew her Zapper, held the opposite end, and swung at Dr. Wily.
Dr. Wily was hit by the incredible force of the handle's impact against his head. He fell to the floor, unconscious.
Lana ran to the warp zone to the Elec Man maze and jumped through.

"I won! Bow before the Game Master, squirt!" Mike said.
"You cheated!" Kevin pointed out, holstering his Zapper.

Lana was rapidly making her way through the Elec Man maze.
She didn't have the nerve to try and jump over Big Eye, like she'd seen Mike do, but she got past it by running and dodging.
She touched the door. It opened, and she went in.
Lana started climbing.

Mike had Kevin backed into a corner with nowhere to go. He raised his Zapper and pointed it at Kevin. "Does this scare ya, Keene?" He laughed loudly.
"Drop it!" Lana yelled, coming up behind him.
Mike whirled to face her.
Lana had come in while Mike was talking. Neither of them had heard the floor open and close.
Mike saw Lana standing there. She was holding her Zapper with both hands - and was aiming it straight at Mike's head.
"Well, well, what have we here?" Mike asked, amused. He glanced over his shoulder at Kevin. "Hey, Keene, your girl's gonna rescue you!" He laughed.
Lana shook her head. "Don't think I won't do it!"
"Aw, the little girl's tryin' to be a hero!" Mike mocked.
Lana fired at Mike.
Mike dodged the blast, then looked at Lana and laughed. "Is that the best you can do?!"
"That was a warning shot." Lana informed him. "This next one isn't!"
"Relax!" Mike said. He twirled his Zapper and put it back in its holster. "I'm not gonna kill him! Sure, I like beating him up, but I'm not a killer! I just enjoy the competition!"
Lana holstered her Zapper.
"So, you're not on Wily's side?" Kevin asked.
Mike turned to face him. "Are you kidding?! I'm just stayin' with him because I couldn't pass up the opportunity to compete against you!"
"Do you wanna join the N Team?" Kevin asked, smiling. "We'd be glad to have you!"
"No way!" Mike said, shaking his head. "Then I can't compete against you, and that's where all the fun is!" He touched a spot on his right arm with his left hand. "Until next time, Keene!"
Mike pressed down harder on the spot.
There was a short beep, and then Mike teleported away.
Kevin was surprised by this. "Huh?!"
"What?!" Lana wondered.
After wondering for a few seconds, Lana ran to Kevin.
Kevin opened his arms and caught her. The two friends hugged, each enjoying the warmth of the other.

Kevin and Lana had gone back to Dr. Wily's lab via a warp zone that had opened in Elec Man's chamber.
"Wily disappeared, too." Lana said, noticing that the scientist was nowhere to be seen.
"Yeah, I figured as much." Kevin replied. "Mike must've been wearing a portable teleporter."
Lana nodded. "Yeah. Where do you suppose they went?"
Kevin shook his head. "I dunno. They could be anywhere."
Lana turned and noticed the huge machine taking up a whole wall. "That must be Dr. Wily's new Warp Zone Shifter."
Kevin was looking at it, too. He nodded. "Yeah."
"Two-way travel between Videoland and Earth." Lana said in awe. A disturbing thought then came to her, and she turned to Kevin. "Kevin, you're not thinking of - "
"No." Kevin said, shaking his head. "I admit, it is tempting, but you guys are also my friends - and my family! No, I'm stayin'!"
Lana smiled. "I'm glad!" she said sincerely.
Kevin smiled. "Besides, if I left, Mike would be disappointed that he couldn't compete against me!"
Lana threw her head back and laughed out loud.
Kevin clapped his right hand on Lana's left shoulder. "C'mon." He nodded at the opening to the lab that Lana had made earlier with her Zapper. "Let's get outta here."
Lana smiled. Kevin put his right arm around Lana, and the two of them left the lab.

They arrived in Dr. Right's lab about fifteen minutes later.
The scientist walked up and greeted them. "Welcome back!"
"How's Mega Man?" Lana asked anxiously.
"I'm just fine, thanks!" Mega Man said as he walked into the room.
"Glad to have ya back, dude!" Kevin said happily.
"Thanks!" Mega Man said, nodding. Then his facial expression turned from happy to serious. "What about Mike Vincent? Did you get him?"
"We'll explain later." Lana said.
Mega Man nodded.
"Thank you for fixing Mega Man, Dr. Right." Lana said with great appreciation.
Dr. Right nodded, smiling.
"Let's get back to the Palace. I'm starved!" Lana said, walking to the warp to the Palace.
"I'm with ya!" Kevin said enthusiastically. "Bye, Doc!" he said, waving to the scientist.
"Bye, Dr. Right!" Mega Man said, following his friends.
"Bye!" Dr. Right said, waving back.
Lana, Kevin, and Mega Man warped back to the Palace of Power.

Later that evening, the N Team was having dinner. Kevin and Lana filled in the others on their adventure in Megaland.
"I wish I could've been a part of it!" Mega Man said afterwards. He had listened to Kevin and Lana's story with great interest, as had Simon, Kid Icarus, Gameboy, and even Duke.
Kevin and Lana smiled.
"So, what are we going to do about Mike Vincent?" Simon asked.
"I dunno." Kevin said, shrugging. "He doesn't seem to mean any real harm. But as long as Mike is here, my place is in Videoland."
Lana smiled at Kevin.
Simon sighed. "Oh, I wish Mike would go back home!"
Duke, who was eating from his doggie dish on the floor, growled at Simon and bit his left leg.
"Yeooooowwwwwww!!!!!!!!!!!" Simon screamed, clutching his leg in his hands.
Everyone else laughed.

At dusk of that same day, after the sun was out of view and the sky had taken on a purplish color, Kevin and Lana were standing in the Palace courtyard. Kevin was teaching Lana how to use her new Power Pad.
"Press this button to power run!" Kevin said. He indicated the Run button on his Power Pad and then pressed it.
Kevin was gone in a flash. Lana saw his outline moving rapidly. Then, he appeared ten meters ahead of her.
"You try it!" Kevin called.
Lana looked down at her Power Pad, pressed the button, and zoomed over to Kevin.
"Not bad, huh?" Kevin asked jokingly.
"That was fun!" Lana said, excited.
The two of them started laughing.
After they stopped, Kevin lost his smile. "Lana, can I ask you something serious?"
"Go ahead."
"Would you really have killed Mike if he tried to shoot me?"
"He wasn't going to." Lana said, suddenly becoming defensive.
"Yeah, but if he did," Kevin said, "would you have killed him?"
Lana waited a few seconds before answering. "Yes." Then she shook her head. "Even though I've never killed another human being before, that wouldn't have stopped me from pulling that trigger."
Kevin nodded, understanding. "That's noble."
Lana smiled.
The two of them stared at each other for a moment, and then Kevin spoke up: "C'mon, let's see if you can jump! You press either the Jump button or the Up arrow." He demonstrated by pressing the Up arrow.
Again, Lana saw his outline moving rapidly. Then, he appeared four meters above her. He dropped back to the ground.
"Now, you try it!" Kevin said.
Lana decided she was going to beat this fear of jumping that she had. She looked down and pressed the Jump button.
Lana rapidly rose four feet in the air. The feeling was incredible!

TO BE CONTINUED...

Copyright 1997, 1998, 1999 by Mark Moore