"Poo? Is that you? Yeah, it's Paula... Yes, I did... No, I- Poo, they weren't... No... Right... Right... No, he didn't... Yes, he- what? Poo? Poo! I can't hear- oh, there you are.... Listen, Poo, I don't wanna talk about it right now... All right, I will... Good night."
Paula turned off her cell phone and looked at it a moment before putting it back in her bag. She opened the door to the hotel room and went in. Someone was sitting on one of the two beds in the room, reading a book. He looked up when she entered, his eyes magnified by thick glasses.
"You're back." he said.
Paula didn't answer at first. There were so many things she wanted to say, but this wasn't exactly the time. "Yes." was all she said, walking to sit on the other bed.
"So?" he asked, taking off his glasses and polishing them with a piece of cloth.
"So..." she sighed, sitting heavily on her bed, the occurrences of the visit weighing don on her shoulders. "I guess we've found him." she said, looking up.
"Hmm." he said, replacing his glasses. She replied with a similar quotation before turning to look out the window. She stood up again and walked to it, staring out in the direction of Threed. Fourside was an immense city, bustling with more life than it had ever been. The Monotoli building was no longer the tallest in the city, it was dwarfed by a few others that rose into the clouds and had to have lights on top to warn airplanes. Her eyes drifted from the old cafe to the Monotoli building to the insane asylum.
"If only he knew how close he was to the truth." she said quietly.
"Hmm?" he asked.
"Think about it, Jeff," said Paula, "It's all around him, everything we did, everything we saw. Now we need him more than ever..." she sat back down on her bed, "...We knew where he was all along, we could've come here sooner if we didn't have to keep defending this damn world-"
"Shh." Jeff said reassuringly, laying a hand on Paula's shoulder, "It's not the world's fault that this happened. This world's what's keeping us alive... And Ness, too." he said, withdrawing his hand.
Paula sighed, "I suppose." she rested her chin in one hand. "It's going to be hard getting him back to the way he was before..."
Paula paused a moment before getting down off the bed and kneeling beside it. "I'm going to pray." she said.
The black-out lasted only about five minutes, but when he came to his senses he was back in his room, sitting on his bed. He watched as a nurse entered the room with a small plastic cup.
"They're not going to question you this time," she said, setting the cup beside the bed, "Here's your medicine."
Ness lowered his eyelids at the medicine. It hadn't done a thing the whole time he had been here. Why would it work now?
"Take it." the nurse said, and left.
Ness picked up the cup, tilted his head back, and swallowed the small pills. Nothing to do now but just lie here, he thought. He hated just having to stay in his room. It gave him too much time to think. He crumpled the cup in one hand and threw it in the trash.
Ness... That was his name, wasn't it? Or at least someone close to him... It seemed almost vaguely familiar.
This memory didn't give him any reassurance. It just opened up new doors to new questions. That lady had addressed him as 'Ness'. How could she have known his name? And who was she? None of the doctors in the hospital knew his name because he hadn't known it and they hadn't been able to find anyone who did. And all of a sudden here comes someone who does? Where was she all this time?
He decided to try and go to sleep. At least the time would go faster...
Paula knelt there, praying with her whole heart, while Jeff, in lack of anything else to do, sat looking at his book but not really reading it. One would wonder what he was accomplishing by this, and to tell the truth, he wouldn't have been able to give the answer. He was watching Paula out of his peripheral vision, waiting for something to happen and not really knowing what he was waiting for...
Ness blinked and opened his eyes. A bright, blue light was shining down on him. he shielded his eyes and sat up, looking around. Nothing but blackness as far as he could see, only the small blue spotlight shining down upon him.
A soft, kind voice came filtering through the darkness and reached his ears. "Ness..."
Ness looked around. That name again, he thought. By now he was sure it was him.
"It looks like you got your head handed to you." a pause. "So, how about giving it another shot?"
"Giving what another shot?" Ness called. His voice was loud, but it didn't echo. It was swallowed by the darkness around him.
"Excuse me?" the voice asked.
"A... Another shot at what?" Ness stood up, looking up into the source of the light, where the voice seemed to be coming from. "What did I fail in doing? Who are you? Where am I?"
"Why... You're dead, Ness."
Like an eclipse was going over it, the blue light was slowly snuffed out. Darkness consumed him.
Suddenly, he felt a presence- there was something there with him.
"Who's there?" he called, looking around.
Somehow in the darkness, he could see an even darker shape- a silhouette. It looked like somebody kneeling, praying. A voice came drifting from somewhere- a voice that sounded like the lady who had visited him that day...
Please. it said. Please, anyone who can hear this... Please... Help... Give us strength...
Like swirling sand, the silhouette dissolved into tiny grains. The grains flew past him, glistening in the darkness. Most of them flew into the abyss. Only one hit him, directly between the eyes.
He awoke with a thought on his mind, a thought so clear and pure it could be nothing but the truth.
My name is Ness.
I come from Onett.