As the sun began its descent under the hills surrounding Saturn Valley, the Mr. Saturn began filing into their little cylindrical houses. Not many of them stayed up past sunset.
Ness sat leaning against the little house that he and his friends were sharing. He was once again looking up at the sky, waiting for the stars to appear. He had a new outfit on- one that was more compatible to changing weather conditions than a sweater: Jeans with a white T-Shirt and a thin jacket tied around his waist. Paula had gone out to buy it after they had returned from the past.
"BoInG... dInG dInG... bOiNg..." voices said faintly off to his left. A small group of Mr. Saturn were standing in a circle and speaking quietly to each other. They seemed to be more reserved at night. Or maybe they were the older ones who didn't have as much energy as the rest. Ness yawned. The last three days had been most exhausting, not to mention the fact that he had had to put up with Jeff the whole time... He blew some air out of the side of his mouth and closed his eyes. Patch things up. Right. Fine. Sure. Whatever you say, Paula...
And still, with this whole thing about Pokey and running around, there were times when he felt that just... nothing happened. Like after they had returned, for instance. Paula had gone out shopping, and the boys had just stayed in Saturn Village, waiting to see if Pokey showed up at all. If they were so desperate at getting rid of him, why didn't they just go now and strike while he was weak? It didn't make any sense at all to Ness. But then, a lot of stuff hadn't made sense recently... If not for the past twelve years. That one, fateful night, twelve years ago, when a meteorite had landed practically in his backyard without blowing the Earth to bits. Pokey had just been a regular kid Ness' age back then. Hell, Ness had been a regular kid Ness' age back then. Funny how things change...
Amidst his thoughts, he drifted off to sleep.
She stood in a corridor of the Pyramid that looked just like all the other ones... Long and dank and damp. But there were no torches on the walls. The corridor ended in darkness.
Paula tried to move his feet. She couldn't.
Suddenly, she heard a whisper. Someone calling her name. A white and green feather drifted past her on a breeze that she couldn't feel, whispering her name. She stared at the feather until she heard someone else call her name.
"Paula!" it was a desperate voice, calling from somewhere down the corridor behind her. "Help me, Paula!" It was Jeff!
Her first impulse was to turn and run backwards, towards Jeff. But something else pushed aside that feeling. There was something of greater importance- much greater. If she didn't do this thing, she would lose something very dear to her.
Get the feather!
Paula's feet flew off of the sandy floor as if someone had pushed them off, she sped towards the feather, now drifting away from her more quickly, trying to grab at its frail figure. Though she was going away from it, Jeff's voice was getting louder... Her name, over and over again...
Get the feather, get the feather, get the feather, get the feather, get the feather, get the feather, get the feather, get the feather, get the feather.......
She was almost upon it... Just a few more inches...
"Paula!" Jeff suddenly jumped out in front of her, appearing as though he'd come through the wall. The feather picked up speed and ran right through his heart, only to continue swirling through the darkness. Jeff fell to the ground.
The scene rippled like the surface of a pond and everything seemed to glow for half a second. Paula felt herself drifting back into consciousness. She kept her eyes closed, focusing on the dream. Something in her psychic power told her that this dream was very important. She must not lose it.
When she was sure that every detail was imprinted in her memory, Paula finally chose to open her eyes. It was still dark. She was sleeping in her bunk above Poo, who was humming softly to himself in his sleep. Jeff, in the bottom bunk at the other end of the room, was also sound asleep. But the bunk above him was empty. Where was Ness?
Paula sat up, trying to calm herself. Merely a dream, she told herself, a vision of the mind. It is important, but stow it aside for now. Call upon it again only when you need it.
She shifted her head to one side so she was looking out the window. Two sneakers peeked over the bottom of the window.
Paula straightened to see more. There was someone lying on the grass outside. Ness. She'd better wake him up and get him inside...
White, pulsating light. That's all he could see for a moment. Then Ness looked down. He was standing on something that looked like a black, plastic tube. Coming from it was bright, white light, pulsating softly. He looked around. Nothing around him.
When suddenly came a push from behind. With a yell of surprise, Ness went tumbling forward and did a front flip, landing on his back. He began sliding along the outside of the tube, which had taken quite a sudden drop. He soon realized that even without holding on, he was able to glide along smoothly.
It was a rollar-coaster, that's what it was. His own personal roller coaster. It was fun. Loops and sharp turns and swirls, and he didn't fall off. The ride lasted quite a while.
Eventually, he felt that mystical knowledge we quite often acquire in dreams- in the dream, we KNOW something is to be, though it is not true, or even irrational, in the real world. What Ness knew at this moment was that the ride was about to come to an end. He got to his feet and spead his arms wide, laughing, wanting to enjoy the last few moments as much as possible.
Suddenly, he opened his eyes and saw a gruesome sight. A huge, fat face floating in mid-air, exactly where the ride would end.
"Having fun, Pig's Butt?" the face cackled, and as Ness reached it, something hard hit him in the forehead, and the tube somehow disappeared from under his feet, and he was falling into endless darkness.
The laughter of the face was replaced by a darker noise, one that spoke to the very core of his soul....
Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness...
Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness... Ness... Ness... "Ness... Ness...Ness... Ness... Ness? C'mon, get up..." Someone was shaking his shoulder gently.
"Mmmph..." Ness muttered, and opened his eyes. The dream was fading away. Ness tried to grasp a hold of it and hang on. But all he could remember was the last few moments... The pain in his forehead, the falling, and the chanting... He vaguely remembered someone laughing, too... "Paula?" he asked, looking at her.
"C'mon," she said, standing him up, "You better come inside."