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


Pokey's Earth lay in silence. The citizens were fast asleep.

Tracy lay in her bed, asleep. She had been asleep for ten years. Barely moving. Never speaking.

Ever since Ness had regained his memory, an increase of power had enveloped his old house like a thick blanket. Tracy was so much under the spell she was barely breathing; only enough breath to keep her alive.

The sheets rustled. Slowly, Tracy rolled over onto her side, murmuring one soft word:

"Ness....."

The statue gave off one huge pulse of light.

*

"Ness....."

"Huh?" Ness looked around. He could've sworn he'd just heard his little sister say his name...

*

Get the feather.

Paula stood on one of the cliffs near Saturn Village. The phrase had haunted her ever since that dream. Get the feather. Why?, she asked her subconscious, searching for the answer. What is the feather? Why is it important?

But her psychic powers were to no avail this time. She couldn't uncover the hidden meaning to the dream...

*

Poo stood in the cave where Ness had taken his trip into Magicant. He was practicing his martial arts. Kick, punch, spin kick, backward flip. Pretty basic stuff. He needed to save most of his energy for tomorrow.

Suddenly he sensed the presence of someone else entering. He didn't turn. He didn't have to.

"It's amazing." said Jeff quietly, leaning against the frame of the entrance to the cave.

"What is?" Poo asked, turning.

"Eleven years ago we were in this very spot. Waiting to go off to battle Giygas..." Jeff took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes, "I just think it's a bit ironic, that's all." He added, putting his glasses on again.

"Hmm." was all Poo would say. He had always had a knack for making things short and to the point, "There is something else you are thinking about, I think..."

Jeff looked at him a moment, then stood up and began walking into the cave, "I guess there's no hiding it from you," he said, rubbing the back of his neck a bit self-consciously. "I mean, I just wonder if she knew or... Well, never mind." he turned abruptly and began walking back out.

"It is not good to keep things inside," Poo said, "Sooner or later you must say to someone."

Jeff stopped walking, but didn't turn. There was silence for a moment.

Poo gave a small sigh, then broke the silence, "This is going against my teaching," he said, looking away, "I am not supposing to tell others what I read in minds, but... Ness is indeed wondering the same thing."

"What?" Jeff said, turning.

"He is wondering, did Paula know." Poo said quite plainly, "He is as much confused as you are, good friend." He paused. "Life is quite full of many confusions." he said, walking towards Jeff, "Often one does not know how much this is true for others than himself." He finished, and stopped walking. He and Jeff stood three feet away from each other, face to face.

Jeff took a moment to put his thoughts together, then spoke. "If this goes against your rules," he said slowly, as if he still weren't sure of it, "Why are you telling me?"

Poo smiled. "Sometimes one must bend the rules a bit." he said. "For a friend."

He walked past Jeff, out of the cave.

Jeff, paused for a moment, then turned and opened his mouth as though he were about to say something.

But he stopped, and decided to just watch Poo walk off.

*

Ness opened his eyes blearily. Paula's face was looking back at him.

"Morning, sleepyhead." she said cheerfully.

"Huh?" he asked, rubbing one eye.

Paula held up a bag. "Time to suit up," she said.

*

Paula clipped on a defense bracelet. Poo began centering his thoughts. Jeff flicked the activation lever on his ray gun and placed it in the holster at his side.

The sound of a door opening made them all turn.

"Is this all really necessary?" Ness asked. The black windbreaker jacket that had been tied around his waist was now over his shirt. In one of the inside pockets was the Sound Stone. In the other was a supply of lead balls for the slingshot that was stuck in a special belt around his waist. On the other side of the belt hung his bat, held in place by a clasp. On each wrist was a defense bracelet, and there was a defense charm on a chain hung around his neck. "All this... stuff, I mean."

"You're just not used to it anymore." said Paula. She was equally as covered in gadgets, "And Pokey's the strongest enemy we've ever battled. You'll need it.

"Now..." she went on, turning to Jeff, "Jeff, if you would."

Jeff nodded, and cleared his throat, "All right then," he said, walking a few paces and turning to face them all, "Here's the deal. What we're going to try to do here is get to Pokey's world and confront him as soon as possible." He looked over at Ness, "Since you're here now, it might take a bit of work. Pokey knows as much as we do that that Sound Stone you're carrying could spell his defeat. But that's the whole point. We needed you to gain whatever power you needed before we went off and battled him again; we didn't want to go weakened in the least bit. What you've got to do is make some sort of connection with his power and go into Magicant at the same time."

"Wait, hold on a minute." Ness held up his hand, "I thought we were trying to keep him out of Magicant."

"Well... Yes, at first." Jeff said, "But that was until we realized that Pokey's power is the only thing keeping his world together. If we defeat him in the place that he created, everything... and, everyone... in it will be destroyed."

Ness tried not to show the nervous feeling that had suddenly settled into his stomach at those words. Everything and everyone... That would mean his Mom... And Tracy. He nodded, showing that he was still listening.

"Am I right in saying that when you went into Magicant... You experienced something that might have reminded you of Pokey?"

Ness nodded. The spider mech.

"That was because of Pokey's grasp on a few of the Sanctuaries. When you enter Magicant from his world, it will be... rather warped, I'm afraid. Just thought you should know." Jeff finished, then quickly went on, "Anyway, there's still another catch. And this is the most important." He paused to make sure everyone was listening, then went on, "None of us should be dead while you are in Magicant."

"Why?" Ness asked.

"Mental connections," Jeff said, pointing to his brain, "And for the same reason we can't destroy him in his own world. The way we work is, somehow we automatically get reincarnated after death, making it impossible for us to die of anything but old age. However," he said, beginning to pace back and forth in front of the three of them, "Because of the warped nature Magicant will be in when you enter, and because of the power it will use to defeat Pokey, if any of us are anywhere near as indisposed as you are, the force that will draw your power to destroy him will draw from us as well. We'll be dead for good. Which is why we're taking plenty of PSI-enhancing things." he looked at the backpack Paula had on, which was full of equipment. "Can't run out of Psychic Power and have someone die on us." He stopped and faced them again, "Got it?"

"Uh... sort of," Ness said, "Just one question: How am I supposed to make a connection with his power?"

Jeff looked over at Paula and Poo, "Ehh..." he said, "Well, that is, we have our theories."

"Theories?" Ness asked.

"What say we play that one by ear," Paula said to Jeff, "We can't risk being wrong."

"Right." Jeff said with a sigh. He looked at the ground a moment, then looked up again. He was smiling.

"Well," he said, "Is everyone ready to go?"

*

PSI Shadow Alpha. Costs 15 Psychic Points. Causes the enemy blindness for a short period of time.

That was the only thought that went through Ness' mind as they performed the lock-and-key method into Pokey's world. He was running through the list of new PSI in his head. It was keeping his mind off the upcoming battle.

"Aren't these weapons a bit childish?" he asked Paula upon arrival. The four of them were walking down the streets of what was once Fourside.

"It's what we're used to." she said lightly, making her yo-yo go up and down. She also had a slingshot. "Honestly, Ness, I thought you enjoyed this kind of thing."

"Quiet!" Poo suddenly said. They all stopped walking. Something was rustling in a bush near them.

Out skittered a small spider. Paula gasped.

"A Parachnid." she whispered.

"A what, now?" Ness asked. He looked at the spider, which was slowly skittered towards them, "It's a bug."

"So were the Antoids." Paula said, "Keep on your toes, Ness. This could get ugly..."