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


"So this is Twoson now, huh?" Ness asked. The four of them were walking down the sidewalk, heading back to the tunnel. During the morning, they had traveled all the way up to the road leading to Onett. It had been mostly Mirras and Skullspirits- Paula, Jeff, and Poo explained that Pokey was running out of the power he had gotten from taking Twoson- if he didn't get Threed soon, Pokey would be in big trouble.

"All the more reason we should keep it from him," Paula had said, "If he doesn't capture Threed, he may never get the chance to break into Magicant."

"I wonder why there aren't any people around here," Ness wondered, looking around, "I mean, there were people in Moonside, weren't there?"

"Yes, that's true." said Jeff. He was still feeling a bit disillusioned about the fact that his chances with Paula had gone out the window, but he was starting to recall how good a friend Ness had been to him. He figured Ness needed him now just as much as the other two, "But only the Mani-Mani statue had the power to take over the minds of an entire town, see. Pokey may be strong, but he hasn't got nearly as much power as the Mani-Mani. All he was able to do was put the whole town in a deep sleep most of the time. When they do wake up, they're almost like zombies."

"And how often do they wake up?" Ness asked.

"Not too often." Jeff pushed his glasses up his nose, "They usually start to awaken when Pokey's losing his power rapidly. That's not happening right now."

"I see..." Ness turned to look up the street, "I wonder what Burglin Park is like now."

"We really should get back to reality," said Paula, "You've had enough for one morning-"

"Ah, what's another Skullspirit or two?" Ness held up a hand, "One PSI CAT Alpha and it'll be down."

"Don't get overconfident." Paula said, fearing that what she was warning might have already happened, "You might not have enough Psychic Power left..."

There was a moment of silence. Ness sighed, "All right, then, let's go." he said, and began following them down the sidewalk again.

Suddenly he stopped, "You guys hear that?" he asked.

"Hear what?" Paula inquired, turning.

"Shh." Ness put a finger to his lips. He could hear a sound like something slowly pulsating. It was coming from off to his left.

He turned. In the window of the Polestar Preschool was the same strange sculpture that had sat in his house.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the three others turn their heads to look at it. The three of them shrank back from it, disgusted looks on their faces.

"...It's hideous..." Paula murmured. She had no idea what it was, but something about it just made her feel nauseous, and yet she couldn't unglue her gaze from it. She tore her eyes away from the sculpture and looked at Ness. He didn't look nauseous at all. He was staring at it with a sort of awed amazement. She wondered why it was having that effect on him. The rest of them were horrified by it...

The look on his face was beginning to make her uneasy. She grabbed his hand, "C'mon, Ness, let's get going." She pulled him away from the window.

After they had gone, the sculpture sat silently in the window. It seemed to be the only thing left alive in the world.

*

"But I wanna go! Why can't I come?"

"It's too dangerous," said Paula, filling her pack with supplies, "We've got to hold off Pokey, and if you come along, it'll be too dangerous."

"But what am I supposed to do?" Ness asked.

"Anything. Just don't blow up the hotel, okay?" with a small smile, Paula picked up her pack and began walking out. The other two men were already waiting for her outside.

"Did you kiss him goodbye?" Jeff was leaning against the wall with his arms crossed.

"Honestly, Jeff." Paula rolled her eyes and lifted the backpack onto her shoulders, "Of course I did." she flipped her hair in his face as she walked past him.

*

"Humph." Ness flopped backwards onto Paula's bed. An exciting morning had somehow evolved into what looked like a boring afternoon.

He closed his eyes and took a deep breath through his nose, hoping he would catch a bit of her scent in the bed sheets. All he smelled was that weird hotelly scent. It would have been easier if the bed hadn't been made.

He considered leaving the hotel for a while. Paula hadn't said anything about not doing that...

He stood up, self-consciously brushing off his shirt sleeves and front, as if someone had been watching him lie on Paula's bed.

The extra key to the hotel door were lying on the dresser. He scooped it up into his hand, slipped it into his pocket, and left.

*

"Do you think it was a good idea leaving him there alone?" Paula asked. They were all in the car. Jeff was driving this time.

"He'll be able to take care of himself." Jeff said as they turned a corner.

"Yeah, but..." Paula looked out the back window, "I've just got a bad feeling, that's all." she turned to Poo, "Poo? Do you sense anything?"

"Hummmm." Poo hummed. He was meditating again, "Hm?" he asked, breaking out of his trance, "What was that you said, Paula?"

"Do you think it was all right to leave Ness alone?"

"Hmmm." Poo rubbed his chin, "You said yourself that I was right in believing that he has not changed much. Therefore, no, I do not think it was a good idea. On the other hand, he is very much weak from not battling for a long time. I fear there would have been greater danger in bringing him along.

"And Paula, let me to be giving you some advice." Poo once again brought his hands together in that sort of prayer position, "Do not act like mother to Ness. Because of his new-found memories, he is still quite spirited, but he does not lack the common sense as much as he used to, I think. A small improvement it may be, but he will not get in much trouble. He listens to your advice. Give advice, Paula, and you will not need worry." he began meditating again.

Paula stared at Poo for a moment. Then she sighed, and faced front again.

Poo was right, she tried convincing herself.

But still, she just had this feeling.

Her feelings had never been wrong before.