Cycle
ImagineGal

Chapters

1. A New Beginning
2. Insanity
3. That Was His Name
4. Escape
5. Not Just You
6. Page One
7. Forgotten Wonders
8. Smaaaaash!
9. Advice
10. Tricks
11. Former Friends
12. Revelations
13. Distortions
14. Mental Roller-Coaster
15. A Two-Day Journey
16. Lessons
17. Touch of Evil
18. The Ride of Your Life
19. Losing the Feather
20. Epilogue


"Are you sure this is safe enough?"

"I'm sure. If Pokey shows up we'll hold him off so he can't get in. I doubt he'll show up anyway... His power was drained so recently that he'd practically be killing himself coming here in the first place." Paula put her arms around Ness' neck and kissed him lightly on the lips, "Good luck." she walked out.

Ness watched her go. Then he looked around. Paula had brought him into one of the small caves near Saturn Village so that he could have somewhere safe to take his journey into Magicant. In one hand he had the Sound Stone. The corridor was mostly dark, but a small bit of light was shining from where the cave ended. Ness looked at the Sound Stone in his hand. He might as well get it over with. He sat down and took a deep breath, then held the Sound Stone to his forehead and collected his thoughts...

The familiar connection was made just as quick as the last time he had used it... A rush of music flowed into his head, eight melodies playing all at once, yet somehow each discernable from the others.

Ness smiled faintly. This wasn't painful at all. What had the tablet been talking about, then?

That was the last thought he had as his conscious self. His mind folded in on itself, flinging him into the world of his subconscious.

The gateway into Magicant was similar as well... He found himself floating in darkness, and when he looked up, a tiny pinprick of light was floating in front and a little above him. He reached up to put his hand in front of it. The light grew and his hand became a silhouette.

This is where the gateway began to change.

The last time, when Ness had entered Magicant from the Fire Spring, he had seen memories of the adventure flash before his eyes. This time he found himself staring helplessly into memories of not remembering, times that had really happened not so long ago, but seemed so distant now.

The surge of sudden power following the memories was no different, but it felt so much stronger now that he hadn't felt anything like it in ten years. New spells and skills entered his mind so fast and furiously that he didn't have time to keep track of them all. They would all fall into place once he reached Magicant...

Then, he once again found himself in a black and white scene. Like the last he had seen, it was a memory he didn't remember, something he had experienced but had lost. This time it wasn't a vision of himself as a baby, though. He was forced to watch himself during one of his lapses. A feeling of heavy embarrassment settled upon his shoulders as he watched himself ramble on and on about the most "ridiculous things". He really had looked crazy. No wonder they kept him there for so long, trying to find out what the hell was wrong with him. But they didn't know now, and they might never know. They were trapped in Pokey's world. For good, unless Paula's ideas about "bringing the world back" held any water...

"Where's Pokey?" the memory Ness was saying with that blank look, "He's gone somewhere and we need to find him... We destroyed Giygas but he escaped..."

"Mm-hm, mm-hm." the doctor sitting across from him said, making notes on a clipboard, "Just who is this 'Giygas'?"

This must have been an early one, Ness realized. They still thought he could hear them when he was like that.

"Paulajeffpoo, paulajeffpoo." Memory Ness muttered, "We destroyed him, but Pokey escaped. PSI and prayer. We used it... We destroyed him. PSI, PSI."

"Can you hear me?" the doctor leaned forward, adjusting his glasses, "What is PSI?"

"I'll find him." Memory Ness stood up quickly, pushing his chair backwards, "I'll get back to Magicant..." he ran off.

"Damn!" the doctor exclaimed, and took off after him, "Nurse!" The final word echoed, and the scene faded.

*

Magicant.

The place hadn't changed much, but it looked old somehow. Unused. As well it should, Ness thought as he stood outside the door of the small building he had entered through.

Anyway, now he had the power he needed to help his friends defeat Pokey. He could feel it coursing through his veins. Now all he had to do was find the way out...

How had he gotten out last time? By battling the 'memory' of the Mani-Mani statue. He scowled, remembering that the memory was once again lurking somewhere in the 'evil' part of his mind. And Pokey was after it. Maybe if he defeated it again, Pokey wouldn't be able to get at it.

He began walking through the small section of land and stopped at the edge. He sat with his legs dangling over the side, looking down into nothing.

What about the re-arranging?, he suddenly thought. Paula's words came back to him:It's controlled by something far more powerful than the human mind alone... We don't know just what that is, but we're trying to find out. And when we do, we'll make sure Pokey can never get in.Ness looked at his hand. The list of the new PSI he had learned was floating around in his head. He searched for anything that had to do with re-arranging.

There! PSI Magicant Alpha. Allows the re-arrangement of Magicant. Uses no Psychic Power. A voice seemed to say. Ness stood up. No Psychic Power? Then it should be very easy... He looked around, searching for something to re-arrange, and his eyes fell on a small flower that was waving in the breeze. Start small, he told himself. Turn it into a rock or something like that.

He didn't even have to think to be able to use the PSI. Just like all the others, he somehow instinctively knew all the hand movements, what to concentrate on, whether or not her had to say anything- as soon as he learned it. For this, all he had to do was hold up a palm, stare at the thing he wanted to re-arrange, and concentrate on changing it somehow.

Then why wasn't the flower turning into a rock?

He concentrated harder. Nothing.

He sighed exasperatedly and looked at the palm he had been using. Maybe he had to use the other one...

Nothing.

Even though no one was watching, Ness began to feel quite embarrassed standing there and holding his palm up to a flower like some sort of space greeting. He dropped his hand at his side, searching the list again for another PSI. He went back to PSI Magicant Alpha. It repeated the same thing, but then went on: Requires-

Ness' thoughts and the voice were interrupted by a loud BANG from behind him. He turned and found himself staring right into the cockpit of Pokey's spider mech.

It was empty.

The spider mech was standing perfectly still. How had it gotten there?, Ness wondered. He glared at it with his body tensed, ready in case it moved.

Suddenly, it did. The spider mech took a great flying leap into the air. Ness looked up as it reached its peak and began sailing towards him. His feet felt pinned to the ground, and he instinctively held up a hand to protect his face.

He realized that this wouldn't do a thing half a second before he heard a CRUNCH and opened his eyes to see the spider mech lying in half-ruin on the ground. He blinked, confused, for a moment, then turned to see about fifty Flying Man clones. They were standing as if they were at attention, and a few were bruised or cut. They had attacked the spider mech. But where had THEY come from? Ness' head was spinning.

He turned again to see the spider mech struggling to its feet. It began to run towards Ness, who looked back at the Flying Men, who prepared to attack again. Ness turned yet again, and the spider mech was closer than he had expected. Ness decided he didn't have enough time to attack. He threw his hands over his head and dove to the ground, hoping the spider mech would get attacked by the Flying Men- or turn, and give him another chance to be able to attack himself...

But neither happened. There was a horrific crashing noise, and Ness was hit on the head with something hard. He looked up just in time to see a brick wall crumbling down onto him...

Ness' physical strength dwindled, but stopped on the verge of 'death'. Ness opened one eye slowly, and saw only darkness. The songs of the Sanctuaries were playing backwards in his head...

*

Ness awoke, still leaning against the cave wall. The Sound Stone was still clutched in his hand, which felt stiff. He practically had to peel his fingers off it before standing up and walking out of the cave. Paula was standing down in Saturn Village, talking to some Mr. Saturn.

Suddenly, Paula's head turned and she saw Ness. She ran to the small cliff and climbed up the rope to where he stood.

"You're back!" she exclaimed, "Finally?"

"Finally?" Ness asked, "It was only a few minutes..."

"You were out for two days," Paula said, taking his hand, "C'mon." She began leading him back down the cliff.

"Two days!?" Ness exclaimed, "Woah! Hey! Where are we going?"

"You need your rest," she said as they reached the small house with their bunks in it, "Tomorrow, we go off to battle Pokey."

"Pokey-?"

"I know it must seem that things are happening a little fast," Paula said, "But this is how it's got to be done. We need to battle him again as soon as possible.

"Now get your rest," she said again, opening the door to the house, "Tomorrow will be a very busy day."