Three days. Countless battles. One new spell: Healing Omega. At this rate, Ness thought, Pokey would take over the whole world even before he learned all the new spells he was supposed to.
Ness and Jeff were sitting on opposite sides of the passageway. Jeff appeared to be asleep. But Ness couldn't sleep. He sighed and leaned back against the wall, looking up at the ceiling.
Ten years. Ten... Frickin'... Years. He just couldn't get over it. He wondered what sort of things had missed, what incredible battles the others had fought without him. It was a miracle Paula hadn't given up on him...
But had she known he would rejoin them someday? She was psychic after all, and after ten years who knew what sort of power she might posses...
And if Ness had had the power that Paula had, he would've known that at the other side of the passageway, Jeff was not asleep either.
He was trying to sleep, of course. But his mind, like Ness', was clouded with questions.
No wonder Paula likes him so much,thought bitterly, trying not to show his feelings on his face.After all, he's got all the powers and the good looks... They have so much in common.
He tried to banish the thoughts from his mind. You're supposed to be his friend, a little voice inside him whispered.
Yeah, who says?
Well, Paula, for one...
"Jeff! Look out!" Ness' voice suddenly shouted. Jeff's eyes snapped open just in time to see a blurred shape lunge for him. He rolled away from it and stood up, putting on his glasses in the process. A mummy had somehow snuck up on them! It was still bent over and its head was turned towards him.
Ness attacked first, while the mummy was still looking at Jeff, with a swing of the bat, down onto the head. A few bandages ripped, but the head didn't fall off. Holding the damaged bandages, the mummy stood up and looked at him instead.
There was a small laser blast, and the mummy made a muffled noise and swerved around to face Jeff again. The gun in Jeff's hands was made to shoot tiny balls of concentrated laser energy.
The mummy was moving quicker now, less stiffly. It swung a punch at Jeff, but was still too slow.
Ness performed PSI ROCKIN' Beta. The mummy went flying into a wall, and its left arm crumbled off. As it turned to face them, more pieces crumbled into dust and fell off. The mummy was weakening.
Jeff aimed and shot. The shot hit the mummy right in the center of the head, which exploded. Finally the entire body crumbled into dust.
Ness sighed and leaned against the wall. There was a sliding noise. He turned just in time to see that the brick he had been leaning against was somehow ajar.
"Ness?" Jeff asked, turning. Ness reached up slowly and pushed the panel open. Beyond was pitch blackness. But when Ness looked down, he saw three stairs, fading into the darkness. He looked up again, then at Jeff, then he began walking to get his backpack.
"Your dad put any kind of flashlight in here?" Ness asked. He took out something that looked like tiny binoculars.
"Here," Jeff said, snatching Ness' bag away and rummaging through it, "A lantern." He took it out. It would have looked like just an ordinary lantern, had the bottom part not been covered with knobs, and a button.
"Thanks. And what is THIS thing?" Ness held the binocular-type thing up to his eyes, but it only looked as through he were looking through a green window. The edge was flat, too. It didn't fit his face.
"That's a translator." Jeff said, "I think he gave it to us in case we needed to read any hieroglyphics. Here." he took the Translator away from Ness and held it up to a picture on the wall.
Fish, read the word on the small screen. Jeff tossed the translator back to Ness.
"Snazzy," Ness said.
"You sure you wanna go down there?" Jeff looked down the passage.
"Sure I'm sure." Ness said. He put the translator back in his bag, closed the bag up, and put it on. "It looks like a secret."
"Maybe it should stay a secret," Jeff said, the slightest hint of annoyance creeping into his voice.
"Jeff, Jeff, Jeff." Ness said, standing up and walking over, "Going into weird rooms and stuff is our business, remember?" he put one foot in, then the other, and stood on the first step. "Now, you comin'?"
Jeff seemed to consider the options, then turned and walked away.
"Suit yourself." Ness turned the knob on the lantern and pressed the button. A blazing light emerged from it, lighting his path. He ventured onward.
Jeff watched the bright light as it appeared, then slowly began to fade away. His eyes slid to the panel that sealed the entrance.
No, he told himself firmly. He wouldn't dare...
Ness walked along the stairs. It was a narrow passageway, large enough for only one person to fit through width-wise.
He wiped his forehead. It was getting hotter the lower he got. He had already taken off his sweater and put it in the pack. How much lower did this thing go?
"Woooaaah!" he found himself yelling as he suddenly tumbled forward. He landed after a short fall.
Well, I guess it's about five feet lower, he thought, rubbing his neck. Shoulda watched where I was going.
Jeff stood facing the passageway, arguing with his own conscience
He made his decision, walked forward a few paces, and began to close up the entrance to the passageway.
Suddenly something made him stop: "Jeff? Jeff!"
"Ness?" Jeff asked, opening the passageway again.
"Yeah, I think you should come down here!"
"All right, coming." You care too damn much, Jeff thought to himself as he got his bag, entered the passage, and began to walk down. The light from the lantern shone ahead of him, guiding him.
"You might wanna watch out for that last step," Ness warned just in time to stop Jeff from going over the edge of the drop. The light blazed up into the opening. It faded a bit, and Ness' face was visible. "Well, c'mon." he said, and walked away.
Jeff slowly slid into the hole, and landed on his feet in the chamber. He looked around.
The room was completely empty. No monsters. No hieroglyphics on the wall. Nothing.
But Ness was holding in his arms a large tablet, and was pressing the translator up to it, mouthing words.
"What's that?" Jeff asked.
Ness put it down on the floor and sat down. "Come look," he said. Jeff walked over to where he sat and kneeled on the floor.
"Here." Ness put the translator up to the first hyegroglyph. Spirits
Ness moved the translator along the tablet. Four Strong
"Four strong spirits..." Ness said, "I think it's talking about us."
"Keep going." Jeff said.
Ness did keep going, and he read the words aloud, "Leader... Great loss... Great gain... The leader will suffer a great loss, then a great gain...?"
"Your memory." Jeff realized. "Keep going."
"Evil... Speed... Well, Pokey is sweeping along the Earth pretty fast, isn't he?" Ness looked back down at the tablet, "Great loss... Disadvantage... Powers... Connect?" Ness looked up, "What the hell does that mean?"
"Hmm." Jeff looked at the tablet, "Maybe it means that if you can't gain all the powers you need to in time, and we're at a disadvantage... You need to connect all your powers."
Ness scratched his head, "But to do that, we would need the-"
"Just keep going."
Ness sighed, "You're the boss," he said, once again putting his eyes on the translator. "Great... Magic... Great gain... Melodies...? Melodies... It couldn't mean-"
"The Sound Stone." Jeff said.
"But we don't have the Sound Stone anymo- What's with you?" Ness asked. Jeff was suddenly staring straight ahead as if he was putting together pieces of fate.
His head suddenly snapped back over to Ness, "Is there anything else?" he demanded.
"Just this one big one." Ness focused on the hieroglyph at the bottom of the tablet.
"Pain." Ness said.
"Hmm." Jeff commented. He removed his glasses and covered his eyes, "Can you read the last part again? The thing about the melodies?"
"Sure." Ness said, "Great Magic Great gain Melodies."
"And there's nothing else?"
Jeff was silent for a moment. Then he brought his hand away from his eyes.
His mouth fell open.
"I've got it." he said.
"Got what?" Ness asked, standing up.
"No, no, no, no, no, No time to explain." Jeff said, pulling on his backpack, "We've got to get back, we've got to tell Paula and Poo as soon as possible. Here... Put this in your bag." he lifted the tablet into Ness' pack. "You got everything?"
"Sure, but why the big rush?" Ness asked, standing up and taking his pack and the lantern.
"We've got to get back. We don't have much time." Jeff said, getting out his Escape Rope.
"Well... All right..." Ness didn't know what Jeff was getting at, but he had always been a heck of a lot smarter. Ness placed a hand on Jeff's shoulder. Jeff threw the end of the rope out in front of him. It froze in motion of a moment, but then Jeff and Ness were being pulled forwards towards an instant exit...
"NeSs! NeSs! NeSs! NeSs! NeSs!" the Mr. Saturn jumped around his feet.
"Of all the things that could've not changed..." Ness said with a joking tone of voice.
"BoYnEsS! YoU hErE! pAuLa AnD pOo Be MoSt HaPpIlLy!" One Mr. Saturn cheered.
"Where are they?" Jeff asked. The Mr. Saturn started to lead them towards a building.
"So basically, what it says is, there will be four strong spirits who will fight a quickly growing evil power, their leader will suffer a great loss but also a great gain, but if they can't gain everything the group will be at a disadvantage, and the leader will have to connect their powers."
"Sure sounds like us." Paula said. They were sitting around a table with the tablet in the middle.
"It also said that to gain great magic, they would need melodies." Ness added.
"Well, if it is us, that definitely means the Sound Stone." Paula picked up the tablet and held it in her hands a moment. She looked at Jeff, "Any ideas?"
"Just one." Jeff said.
There was a pause. Paula seemed confused for a moment. Suddenly, she gasped, and her face lit up, "Oh...!"
Poo got it, too. He smiled slyly.
"What?" Ness asked, "What am I missing?"
"Well," said Jeff, "When my dad called the other day... He mentioned something about a new kind of Phase Distorter... One where we wouldn't have to get out brains put into robots this time... He's been working on it ever since Pokey started creating his world. He thinks it might be finished. But it hasn't been tested yet."
"It's about to be," said Paula, "And it'll work, that much we know... That is if we're right..."
Ness looked at Poo, "Are you getting any of this?" he asked.
Poo smiled, but didn't answer. Instead, he turned to Jeff and Paula, "It appears one of us was indisposed for the event of which you speak."
Paula and Jeff stopped talking and looked at Ness.
"What?" Ness asked.
"You were in Magicant when it happened." Paula said.
"When WHAT happened?"
"I'm not sure..." Paula shook her head, "But we may have something." she stood up, "You should come, Ness. For safety reasons." She leaned on the table and looked at Poo, "You should stay here, Poo. You're the strongest of us and is Pokey attacks this valley you may be able to hold him off a little." she looked at Jeff. He looked up. "Jeff?" Paula said, "It's your decision."
Jeff sighed and looked at the floor. Then he looked up at Ness. Then he looked at Paula.
"You know what my answer's gonna be, don't you?" he asked, leaning on the table.
Paula smiled and waited.
"C'mon, you know it won't work if it's not you or Poo."
"Then it's settled." Paula said. She turned to Ness, "Let's go."