Ok… I know. It's been a good long while since I've updated. But I've been… busy… Yeah. So to make up for it, I'll make this chapter extra long. K? Ok!
Disclaimer: No, I do not own any of the Jak characters. They belong to Naughty Dog. Lucky bastards…
Meet the Parents
Chapter 2: Ten Years Later…
(Ten years later…)
Kisa sighed and pushed back several strands of her long blonde-green hair before pulling off her goggles. She smiled down at her invention, a sense of pride welling up within her.
Well, she finished it. It'd taken her a year and a half, and she needed Sig's help over half the time 'cause she didn't know what the hell she was doing, but she had finished it.
She wiped her greasy hands on the legs of her baggy overalls, tired but triumphant. Then she sneezed. Damn her allergies…
As she wiped her nose with a tissue she heard her bedroom door open, it's hinges squeaking. She turned around to see Kelvin scowling at her, his ice-blue eyes narrowed.
"Kisa, what the heck is taking you so long? You're supposed to help me make dinner since Sig has to work overtime at the (1)zoomer-wash today!" he shouted, glaring and crossing his arms.
Kisa grinned and held up her invention.
"Lookit, Kel! I did it! I finally finished Aron's collar!"
The redhead raised one eyebrow. "You mean that collar you were going to use to track him down when he got lost in the sewers?" the boy asked. Kisa nodded excitedly.
"Yup! I finished it last night. Ain't it cute?"
'That's a matter of opinion,' Kelvin thought to himself as he studied the collar.
The collar itself looked more like a cat's collar than anything else. The band was blue, but you could tell there was a machine inside it because of the little circle studs implanted in it were flashing a neon green color every five seconds.
"I'll use this to track him down," the blonde added, holding up a little black communicator that had a built-in tracking system. The blonde then studied the collar for a moment, her eyebrows knitted together as she frowned in uncertainty.
Finally, she asked, "You think I should add a little bell to it?"
Kelvin snorted. "You don't wanna do that, trust me. This'll hurt the rat's pride enough."
Kisa rolled her eyes. "What is it with you men and pride?" she grumbled, stuffing the collar and communicator into the pocket of her baggy overalls.
Kelvin shrugged. Kisa pouted and placed her hands on her hips in what she hoped was an intimidating pose.
"This isn't about pride, Kel! This is about the safety of our short, furry—"
"Not to mention extremely annoying," the redhead added.
"—And life-long FRIEND," the blonde finished, giving her friend a deeply disapproving look. Then the blonde looked up at the ceiling thoughtfully, pondering. She grinned.
"And not only is it convenient, but it's absolutely adorable, too!"
Kel smacked his forehead with his palm, groaning.
'That is so Kisa,' he thought.
The blonde ignored her friend's antics, shrugging. She looked around, searching for her one and a half foot tall ottsel friend.
"Aron! A-man, where are yooooooooooooouuu?" she called, running out of the room.
"He said something about hanging out in the old Power Room," Kelvin shouted after her.
"Thanks, Kel! See ya later!" Kisa shouted over her shoulder.
He listened to her pounding footsteps as she raced downstairs, and listened as the front door opened and slammed shut. The ten-year-old leaned towards the window, careful not to knock down in of the blonde's tried-and-failed experiments, and watched as she raced down Haven City's busy streets, dodging guards and pedestrians, her long braid flapping in the wind as she ran.
The boy shook his head, sighing, a smile on his face. Then realization struck him.
'Dang it! She was supposed to help me make dinner tonight,' he mentally groaned. The poor boy sighed and shook his head again. 'She owes me big time for this,' he vowed as he pulled a ratty old black bandana out of his pocket. He tied the bandana around his head, and headed out of the room, downstairs, and towards the kitchen, planning ways he could get even with the blonde.
A little ways down the street, in an alley, under some trashcans, there was a manhole.
This manhole led into a path in the sewers, which led to a trapdoor to the old city Power Room. So far, only a few people knew about. By 'few people,' I mean the kids (Kelvin, Kisa, Aron, and the twins, Zig and Tig).
Kisa skidded to a halt and dodged into the alleyway, feeling completely energized from the success of her invention.
The blonde pushed the trashcans out of the way as quietly as she could, so as not to attract the attention of the ever-paranoid Krimzon Guards.
She pulled off the manhole's lid, and looked around wearily to make sure no one was watching. Then she slid in.
She landed on the slimy brick floor, making a small noise of disgust in the back of her throat as her hands touched the floor. Straightening, the blonde wiped her hands on her overall pants, and walked towards the humongous pipe that loomed over the sewer's river.
The pipe was very convenient. It served as a sort of bridge, making it easier for the kids to get across to the other side. Of course, they had to be careful while they crossed it because it tended to get a little slippery, but anyways…
The 4 foot tall blonde pulled herself up onto the pipe and stood slowly, balancing herself as she did so.
She carefully made her way down the pipe, forcing herself not to look down—which was quite a task, seeing as how the pipe was a good 50 feet from the ground, and the river below was kinda shallow.
Once she reached the end, she hopped off, slipped, and landed right on her behind.
"Ouchie…" she mumbled, pulling herself up. She rubbed her bottom gingerly, wincing and cursing her clumsiness. Her mood brightened however when she caught sight of the trap door, positioned innocently on the other side of the wall.
Merrily she skipped towards it, eager to see the ottsel's face when she showed him the collar. She knocked twice on the door and waited.
"Who is it?" a loud, squeaky voice shouted; this was Aron.
Kisa grinned. "A-man, it's me Kisa! Open up! I got something for you!"
The door banged open immediately and Aron the ottsel leaped into his best friend's arms.
"K-baby! Perfect timing!" he shouted happily. Kisa giggled and hugged her friend. The ottsel leaped back down, wiping his gloved hands on his pants (which Sig had made by cutting off the legs of a pair of Kel's old pants and cutting out a hole for the ottsel's tail).
Kisa stepped into the room and edged out from behind one of the machines. Unfortunately, her foot got caught in between two huge monitors.
"It's times like this that I wish the trap door hadn't been placed behind the old computers…" she grumbled. Once she managed to free herself, she straightened, looked up—and gasped.
After Erol had taken over, the old Power Room had been shut down again. Then the kids (when they were about seven), got into it and managed to turn on the lights—just the lights, nothing more.
Now, however, everything was one; the computers, the monitors, which were beeping, the control panels, which were flashing, and even the screens, which (though they flickered constantly) showed the images of Haven City's many streets.
"You like?" Aron asked, immensely pleased with himself.
"Wow, A-man! I can't believe you actually managed to do it!" the blonde said in amazement.
The little ottsel's chest swelled with pride.
You see, being a malnourished ottsel isn't the easiest thing to be in Haven City. And it didn't help any that Aron was surrounded by some-what successful 'siblings'—Kisa, the superstitious, hippie-ish girl who was into fashion (she wasn't obsessed with fashion, mind you, she just knew what looked good and what didn't), Kelvin, the smart one who came up with all the plans (even though half the time his plans either got them into trouble or didn't work), and the twins, who were basically the muscle… Well, sort of. But I'll explain that part later.
Anyways, besides being so tiny, he didn't have any talents or special abilities of any kind—unless you count the power of being really annoying. Eh, you know what they say; 'like mother like daughter, like father like son.'
Because of all that, it was nearly impossible for him to stand out at all. He was basically the unaccomplished one of the bunch, and he was constantly reminded of that.
"Aron, I'm so proud of you!" Kisa was squealing, bouncing around in her bubbly (and slightly ditzy) happiness. The blonde fished into her pockets and pulled out a foot-long stick (which was actually her incense burner), some incense, and a box of matches. She beamed down at the ottsel.
"Want me to perform my lucky dance to bring this place some good luck?" she asked brightly, grinning from ear to ear.
"Sure, knock yourself out," Aron shrugged. He was used to the blonde's antics. Kelvin thought it was stupid, Sig thought it was a waste of time, the twins (being their usual quirky selves) thought it was great and would occasionally join her. Aron didn't care. Whatever made her happy.
After sticking the incense into the holder and lighting it, the blonde began to dance around the room idiotically, chanting in some strange language while shaking the holder over various machines littered around the room, spreading smoke everywhere.
Aron watched her for a few moments, leaning against a monitor. Finally, he spoke up.
"You know what Uncle Sig told me?"
Kisa, who during her dance had been leaning back so far that her foot was up in the air, paused and turned her head to look at the ottsel, wobbling slightly.
"You mean Daddy? What'd he say?"
The ottsel rolled his eyes. For some reason, Kisa insisted on calling Sig 'Daddy.'
"Uncle Sig told me that we'd be leaving Haven City soon," Aron said, scratching his ear absently.
This surprised Kisa. It surprised her so bad that she lost her balance and fell over onto her butt with a yelp. "What?" she squeaked, sitting up and rubbing her lower back with one hand. Aron raised one eyebrow… Do ottsels even HAVE eyebrows? Never mind…
"Yeah. He said that the KGs are giving the zoomer wash a rough time, so now he's decided to hand it over to someone else, pack us up, and move us out… there," the ottsel said, waving his hand to his left airily.
Kisa blinked. "There?"
Aron rolled his eyes, nodding. "Yeah, you know. To the Wasteland. Well, Spargus really. He knows people there. And it's the only place Errol hasn't taken over."
Kisa's large blue eyes rapidly filled with tears as she slumped against the wall. The blonde began to sniff loudly. Then she began to hiccup. And then her hiccups quickly turned into wails.
"But we can't MOVE," she wailed. "We've grown up here! My lab is here! Your dad's old bar is here! ("Not much longer, their gonna tear it down soon," muttered the ottsel.) That shooting range the twins are always hanging out in is here! We can't leave!"
Aron ran over and jumped onto his sobbing friend's shoulder and tried to soothe her.
"I know, I know. I don't really wanna leave either. But you've gotta admit, Spargus would probably be a hell of a lot better than this prison camp," the ottsel reasoned, patting the blonde's head gently.
"And," the ottsel added after a small pause, "the KGs are giving Uncle Sig a really hard time."
"They're threatening him?" Kisa guessed, sniffing loudly.
Aron fidgeted nervously. "Well, ah, yes, they are threatening him. But it's not just the Krimzon Guard… Errol's threatening him, too."
The blonde's head snapped up, her eyes wide.
"What? Why is Errol threatening Daddy? Why's he even bothering to pay attention to us? What does he want?" she shouted.
Aron gulped audibly. To tell his friend, or not to tell his friend. That was the question. It's always hard to keep a secret when you know the honest-to-Mar truth…
Aron tipped downstairs as quietly as he could. He had heard voices coming from the kitchen downstairs from his bedroom, and had decided to investigate.
He stood by the open kitchen door nervously, hidden from view by a plant. Peeking out from behind the leaves, the ottsel saw that his guardian was speaking with two KGs and the city's "supreme" ruler, Errol.
"You said you wouldn't harm them," Sig said in a low, dangerous voice.
"I didn't make any promises, you fool," Errol spat back. His arms were crossed and he was glaring at the black elf.
"It's been 10 years, Errol. The kids haven't done anything. Why do you want to get rid of them now?" Sig asked through clenched teeth.
The shorter elf snarled.
"Because, outsider, I know what you're planning. I am NOT an idiot. I know EXACTLY what those children are capable of… What that little girl is capable of…" he added the last part under his breath, but both Sig and Aron heard it.
"Kisa isn't like Jak!" Sig shouted, slamming his hands on the kitchen table angrily. Aron jumped, watching his uncle fearfully. He'd never seen the elf act like this. Usually he was so calm and collected.
Everything became deathly still. No one moved or said anything. Aron leaned closer, slightly fearful, but eager to learn about what they were arguing about.
'Wasn't Kisa's dad named Jak?' the ottsel wondered. 'What does Errol have against him and Kisa?'
"Kisa doesn't have any special powers," Sig said finally in a low, soft voice, his head bowed. "She hasn't shown any strange behavior. She hasn't turned into some bloodthirsty monster. Hell, Errol, she doesn't even know how to fight! She couldn't lift a gun even if her life depended on it. She's just a kid… Just a normal kid."
'Powers? Strange behavior? Monsters?' Aron thought wildly. 'What's Uncle Sig talking about?'
"That may be," Errol said quietly, a dangerous glint in his eyes. "But I know what that brat's capable of. You can't fool me."
Uncrossing his arms, Errol placed his hands on the table as well and leaned towards Sig.
The two men glared at each for a few moments in silence.
"Face it, outsider. That girl is Jak's brat. Any brat of that eco freak is bound to be a monster." The shorter elf narrowed his eyes and whispered fiercely, "Just. Like. Him."
Errol straightened, turned around, and was about to walk away when Sig replied softly, "But she's Keira's daughter, too, Errol. Did you forget about that?"
The ruler stopped abruptly. He was completely still… Except for his hands, which were shaking in rage. He stood there like that for a few brief moments before whirling around.
'Oh boy, he's pissed,' Aron thought, seeing the manic gleam in the ruler's eyes.
"That brat is not Keira! That thing has no Keira in her! All she has in her blood is dark eco!" Errol roared.
"Dark eco?" Aron said loudly in shock.
Everyone immediately looked down at the potted plant.
'Oops,' the ottsel thought.
Before he knew it, the nearest KG had him dangling up in the air by the scruff of the neck. The ottsel trembled violently, struggling to break free.
'So this is how it ends,' he thought miserably. 'Oh well… I hope my death's quick at least… Maybe if I beg—'
His mind shut off once he realized that Errol was approaching him slowly. The ottsel immediately went limp, paralyzed with fear, though he still continued to shake. The ruler's face was blank. Sig watched the ruler wearily. Aron shook violently as he dangled helplessly, his body curled slightly in a fetal position.
"It's the rat," the orange-haired elf said slowly, almost thoughtfully. He rubbed his chin, studying the trembling ottsel. "Odd… I could've sworn I killed him in the battle with the eco freak… Him and his little girlfriend."
Sig sighed, making Errol's cold eyes turn to him.
"That's not Daxter, Errol," the wastelander managed to ground out through his clenched teeth. "You're right; you did kill Daxter and Tess."
Sig took a shaky breath, desperately trying to rid himself of the image of the confident smile that Daxter had on his face, right before he and Jak went out to fight. The black elf clenched his fists.
If he hadn't stayed behind to watch the kids… If he hadn't let Ashelin convince him to stay behind because he'd hurt his leg… Maybe, just maybe, he could've kept his friend's deaths from ever happening.
Sig took a deep, shaky breath and continued with his explanation.
"That's Daxter and Tess's son, Aron. He was born two weeks before you killed his parents," Sig explained slowly, struggling to keep his temper down.
Errol raised one eyebrow, turning his gaze back to the tiny, trembling ottsel. Suddenly, the ruler burst out laughing.
It wasn't a nice laugh. It was a cold, high, manic laugh. It only served to make Aron tremble harder as he dangled helplessly, too petrified to move.
'This is it. It's the end. I'm gonna die by the hands of the psycho that killed my parents! Goodbye, cruel world,' the ottsel thought miserably.
Errol's laughs turned to chuckles as he motioned for the KG to drop the ottsel.
"Oomph!" went Aron as he landed on his stomach, getting the wind knocked out of him.
"How amusing," Errol chuckled, his eyes glinting evilly. Suddenly, he kicked the tiny ottsel and sent him flying across the room.
Aron's head cracked against the ground as he landed. Half conscious, he lifted his head weakly and heard Errol talking.
"You can keep the rat. But make no mistake, wastelander, I'll be back for the other two brats soon enough."
There was a pause. The ottsel could hear Errol's and the KGs footsteps travel across the wooden floor, then stop.
"Oh… And by the way Sig. If you don't behave and cooperate, then I'd hate to think about what would happen to those two boys of yours."
Aron heard the backdoor open and close. And then there was silence. The ottsel stood up slowly, his body sore. He limped into the kitchen, where he found his uncle standing hunched over the table.
"Uncle Sig?" he called softly.
The black elf lifted his head and looked down at his nephew.
"Aron," he sighed, rubbing his eyes.
The little ottsel limped closer towards the table. Sig leaned down and picked up his nephew and set him on the table.
Then the elf pulled up a chair and sat down.
"Aron," he sighed again. "I'm not sure how I'm going to explain this to you. So I guess I'll just say this; we aren't gonna be livin' here much longer."
Aron, being Aron, completely took this the wrong way.
"You mean we're gonna die soon?" he squeaked, his eyes as big as saucers.
"No," Sig sighed, quickly becoming annoyed. "I mean we aren't going to be living here in the city anymore. You heard what that bastard was saying, right?"
"Well I can't let him hurt Kisa and Kel, now can I? And there ain't no way I'm gonna let that sorry ass kill my boys!" The black elf stood up, clenching his fists again.
"So as soon as I can, I'm handin' the wash over to (2)Dell, and I'm gettin' our butts outta here!"
Aron raised his paw timidly, wincing as his arm screamed in protest.
"Um, that's a great plan and all, Uncle Sig. But, uh… Where we goin'?"
"We're goin' to Spargus, Aron. The Sand City. Home of the Wastelanders. I haven't been there since I took you cherries in, but I know they'll still welcome me!" He paused. "They'd better anyway," he muttered quietly to himself. "I used to rule there for a while… Till I handed that position over to Kleiver…"
Fortunately (or maybe unfortunately), the young ottsel didn't hear him.
"Uh, how do you know?" Aron asked curiously.
Sig snorted, torn from his thoughts. "They owe me. Besides, I've got connections there."
"But is it safe?"
"Aron, nowadays, no place is safe. But I can guarantee you won't find a more protected place. Trust me; Errol doesn't near have enough power to attack it."
Aron was about to reply, but Sig raised his hand, telling the ottsel to be silent.
"Don't say anything, chili pepper. I know what I'm doin'."
The wastelander put on huge hand on the tiny ottsel's shoulders and pulled him closer.
"Now you listen to me, Aron," Sig whispered. "I don't want you to tell ANYONE about what you saw tonight. Got it? Especially the other kids. It's bad enough you know now and have to worry about it. I don't think I could handle five kids at the same time. You hear me?"
"Yeah, Uncle Sig," he said quietly. "I hear ya."
"I… I don't know, Kisa," Aron mumbled. "I really don't know."
Kisa groaned and banged the back of her head against the wall a few times.
Aron opened his mouth, prepared to say something to cheer the blonde up, but he was interrupted by the door opening.
Zig and Tig, the Destructo Twins, bounded in with smiles on their faces and mischief in their eyes.
"Wow…" Zig said a he gazed around. "I'm impressed. De A-mon actually did it!"
"Ha! Told ya, mon," Tig giggled, nudging his brother with his elbow. "Now hand over de money, brudda!"
Grumbling, the eldest twin dug in his pocket and pulled out a small bag, which he tossed to his brother.
The twins, by far, are the most interesting characters in this story. It all started back when the twins were seven. They were playing around a bunch of eco bins, even though Sig told them time and time again not to do so.
But the twins have a short attention span, so it must've slipped their minds… Or something… Yeah…
As they rough-housed, Zig playfully pushed his brother into a pyramid of eco bins, which were full of blue eco used to make morph guns.
The pyramid shook, rattled, and tumbled. Blue eco burst out, and electrocuted the two boys.
They were in comas for two months.
When they awoke, everyone discovered two astonishing (albeit slightly strange) things; 1) they both began to speak in Jamaican accents (even though the elves didn't know they were Jamaican accents because Jamaica does not exist in their world), and 2) they were able to conduct electricity with their bare hands and shock everybody but themselves and each other. Because of this, they had to wear special gloves to keep from hurting innocent people.
For a long time, the two boys were poked, prodded, and examined by doctors from all over the world. Now, the doctors could understand the ability to conduct electricity the boys had now obtained, but what puzzled them were the accents. No one could understand why the twins continued to speak like that.
Finally, it was decided that nothing was mentally, physically, or emotionally wrong with the two boys, and that the accent was probably just a side affect.
The twins were let go, and Sig was promised that the accents were only temporary, and would probably disappear within a few months.
They never did.
"How'd ya manage to fix all of dis, brudda?" Tig asked as he admired the screens.
"Well whatever he did," Kisa piped up, beaming at the ottsel as she temporarily forgot about the whole moving situation, "it must've taken him all night. Right A-man?"
Aron blinked and forced a smile.
"Um… Right," he said, laughing nervously.
"Grr… Stupid piece of junk," Aron mumbled to himself, glaring at the blank screens.
He pressed all the buttons on the main control panel.
He banged on it with his fist a few times, getting annoyed.
He kicked the panel twice, now getting frustrated.
"WHY WON'T YOU WORK?" he screamed at the non-working machines.
They didn't answer.
Frustrated, the ottsel picked up a piece of metal pipe and began to bash the control panel.
Suddenly, the screens crackled. They made whirring noises. And then they flickered on, revealing images of Haven City's streets. A nano-second later, everything else made strange noises and turned on.
For a moment, the ottsel just stared, craning his neck around to look at everything.
Then he smiled in that smug little way of his, and crossed his arms.
"Oh yeah," he gloated. "I'm good."
END OF FLASHBACK!
The ottsel was interrupted from his thoughts as the door opened once more. This time, Kelvin ran in, wild-eyed and breathless.
"KGs came," he gasped. "Invaded the house—I escaped—Sig followed—"
As if on cue, in busted Sig.
He skidded to a halt and looked around wildly.
"What in Mar's name?" he whispered. It was impossible to tell whether he was surprised, enraged, or shocked. Since it was Sig, everyone decided he was enraged.
"IT'S ALL ARON'S FAULT!" the twins shouted simultaneously.
Aron looked insulted.
Sig turned his attention to the ottsel.
"You did this Aron?" he asked quietly.
"Yes…" the ottsel moaned fearfully, shutting his eyes tightly and preparing himself for the shouts of fury his uncle would surely give him.
But to everyone's surprise, Sig did not start screaming in rage. Instead, he snatched up the ottsel and gave him a spine-snapping hug.
"Choking—not breathing—need oxygen—" Aron wheezed.
"Thank Mar, Aron, I KNEW you had your father's luck!" the wastelander shouted happily, acting very out of character.
"What do ya mean Dad?" Tig asked while he and his brother stared at their father in shock.
"You and I both know that Kelvin couldn't have done this on purpose," Sig said, dropping the ottsel and rushing over to the main control panel. "He most likely started beating some machine with a stick or something until it turned on. Just like Daxter would've done."
Aron turned a rather interesting shade of rouge as he began whistling in a very high pitch.
"What happened to all the KGs?" Kelvin asked, having gotten his breath back.
"They'll find us soon enough," Sig muttered, pushing various buttons.
Naturally, this didn't sit well with the kids…
"My god, we're all gonna die!" Kisa, Kelvin, and Aron wailed simultaneously, clutching each other tightly.
The twins quickly joined in.
"But I don't wanna die, mon!" Zig screamed.
"Me neitha!" Tig sobbed.
"You kids stop crying this instant! I didn't raise you five to be a bunch of pansies!" he roared. The kids went silent immediately, shocked.
The wastelander then pressed a big, shiny red button. Suddenly, a transparent head appeared across the room.
"I'M BACK!" the head shouted happily.
"Yes you are," Sig said calmly.
This strange event sent the kids into hysterics again.
"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!" they shouted, huddling together behind Sig.
"IT THE GHOST OF A TALKING HEAD! WE'RE DOOMED! DOOOOOOOMED!" Aron wailed miserably, hiding his face into Kisa's hair.
Now, raising the five kids had drastically decreased Sig's patience level. And with all the screaming the kids were doing, the wastelander's patience drained rather quickly.
Everyone stared at the black elf in shock.
"Thank you," he growled, annoyed. "This 'talking head,' is an illusion of an old friend of mine. Vin, these are the kids. Kids, this is Vin."
"H-hello," Vin stuttered, a bit fearful after the whole scream-fest.
The kids stared.
"You mean… Dat crazy genius guy who thought everyone wanted to kill him?" Zig finally asked timidly. "De paranoid one?"
"YOU'D BE PARANOID TOO IF YOU WERE ME!" Vin shrieked. "I'LL HAVE YOU KNOW THAT I'VE GOT LOTS OF ENEMIES!"
"Just like I've got a lot of gas!" Aron chimed in brightly.
The rest of the kids scooted away from him (including Kisa, but she had to push him off her shoulder before she did so) while the elf and the transparent head stared.
"What?" the ottsel cried indignantly.
Sig shook his head, sighing, and continued.
"Yes Zig, it's that guy. Now listen cherries, I'm not gonna lie to you and say everything's gonna be ok, 'cause it might not. I'm not gonna say thing's are gonna be easy, 'cause they won't. And I'm not gonna say we'll get through this, 'cause we might not."
The kids watched their guardian, now serious.
"Right now," Sig continued, "we're all in danger. The Krimzon Guard are gonna come down here and rain hell down on all of us, and we gotta be prepared."
Kisa raised her hand timidly. "Why are they comin' after us, Daddy? What did we do?"
Sig shook his head, sighing. For the first time, the kids realized just how old the wastelander really looked.
"I wish I could tell you Kisa, but I can't. The less you know, the better. You'll know later…" He paused.
"But right now, we gotta focus on getting your butts outta here."
(20 minutes later…)
"Open up! You're all under arrest!"
The KGs had been pounding on the door for the last five minutes, shouting threats and orders to the tops of their lungs.
Inside the Power Room, Sig was strapping the kids down into the rift rider.
"Are you sure about this?" Aron asked Sig for the 14th time in the last 15 minutes.
"Of course I'm sure!" the wastelander snapped, quite annoyed.
The pounding, shouting, and threatening became louder as they increased.
"OH MAR, WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE! WE'RE DOOMED! DOOMED, I SAY, DOOMED!"
"Shut up, Vin," the kids muttered simultaneously in monotone. He had only been there with them for 25 minutes, but they had already gotten used to the head's antics.
After making sure the kids were all buckled in, Sig squatted down so they were all eye-level.
"Listen cherries," he said in a low voice. "I'm gonna explain what's gonna happen now, and I'm only gonna explain once, so I want you to listen very carefully. Got it?"
The kids nodded, so he launched into his explanation.
"This machine is called a rift rider. What it does is take you backwards or forwards in time. Before you were born, Vin and a good friend of mine built this in case anything happened in the past that needed to be corrected. But when Errol shut this place down, the rift rider was trapped inside. Now, however, thanks to you kids, we can use it."
He paused for a brief moment, letting this new information soak in, and continued.
"Now what I'm gonna do is send you kids back eleven years, one year before you kids were born, back when everything was peaceful. You'll be safe there till Vin and I can figure out what to do."
Sig handed a note to Kisa as he explained, "Once you get there, make sure you show this note to Vin. You'll have to hold it to him so he can read it, but I'm sure you already knew that. Vin will know what to do from there."
"Will… Will we see our parents while we're there?" Kelvin asked quietly.
Sig turned his intense gaze to the redhead. "Maybe. Maybe not. That's for Vin to decide. And until Vin says otherwise, you five are not allowed to leave the Power Room under ANY circumstances. Do you understand?"
"Yes, Uncle Sig/Dad/Daddy," the kids muttered. Sig nodded.
"Good. Now while you're there, you make sure you listen to Vin and respect him. He risked his life for the city many times, so use your manners. If he tells you to do something, you make sure you do it!"
"But why?" Aron asked.
"Because I said so," the black elf said shortly. He stood and looked down at the five of them, his Peacemaker in hand.
"Are we clear?" he asked in his booming voice.
"Yes sir," mumbled the kids.
The pounding on the door grew louder. Then everyone heard a KG shout, "Get your guns ready, we'll have to blast down the door!"
"MAR HAVE MERCY!" Vin wailed pathetically. Sig, however, didn't waste any time. He leaned over swiftly to the rift rider's control panel and punched in the date.
Unfortunately for the kids, Sig was in such a rush that he failed to notice that his big, clumsy fingers accidentally punched in the wrong date. Instead of ordering the rift rider to send the kids back eleven years, he ordered it to send them back thirteen years.
Sig pushed the Big-Red-Button-of-DOOM, and a nano-second later there was a bright flash and a loud popping noise.
When the light faded, the rift rider was no longer there.
Sig grinned, relieved that the kids were now safe and sound.
But then he caught sight of the (3)screen, which showed the date that he had punched in to send the kids to.
"Oh hell no," he mumbled. He checked. And rechecked. And checked once more.
The wastelander groaned and covered his eyes with one hand, shaking his head.
"Vin," he groaned loudly over the blasts the door was receiving. "We got a problem…"
"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH! METAL HEADS ARE ATTACKING! I'M DOOMED!"
Kisa blinked dazedly.
Her eyes cleared up, and she found herself in the middle of a much cleaner Power Room, still strapped into the rift rider.
She turned her head sideways to see a scruffy little man running around in circles and screaming hysterically, his eyes squeezed shut.
"Ugh… What a ride," muttered Aron, who was draped over her shoulder. He didn't look too good. He was a bit green…
Kelvin leaned over the side of the rift rider, groaning. He lifted his head up weakly and muttered, "All in favor of never doing that again, say 'aye.'"
"Aye," everyone else (except for Vin) moaned, raising his or her hand weakly.
"DON'T EAT ME, PLEASE!"
Everyone turned their attention to the scruffy dude.
"He looks familiar…" Aron said slowly, scratching his chin.
"Hey Ziggy," Tig said, elbowing his brother in the ribs. "Didn't we see dat guy's face on a milk carton before?"
Zig shook his head. "No brudda, I tink we saw it on an old TV show."
Kelvin, who had had his eyes narrowed this whole time as he studied the strange man, was suddenly hit with realization. He swiftly unbuckled himself and hopped out of the rift rider.
"Hey dude! Is your name Vin?" he called out.
"MY GOD, THEY'VE BEEN SPYING ON ME!"
"Yup, that's Vin," the kids said simultaneously. They carefully removed themselves from the zoomer (which promptly collapsed once everyone was out of it), and slowly approached the paranoid man as he cowered in the corner.
"Hey there, little guy," Kisa said in a voice one uses when they talk to a baby or a puppy. "Who's a good Vin? Who's a good widdle—"
"Ow! Kel, that hurt!" Kisa whined, rubbing the back of her head. Kelvin rolled his eyes.
"I just smacked you. It's not like I shot you. Now stop playing around and give the man the note already—"
"They've already got my death warrant!" Vin sobbed.
Zig and Tig looked at each other.
"Ziggy, what's he talkin' about, mon?"
"I dunno, brudda. But I like him. He's funny!"
The two giggled.
Vin, his eyes still shut tightly, clasped his hands into a praying motion as he trembled.
"Please," he begged. "If you're gonna eat me, make it quick! I have a low threshold for pain!"
Zig and Tig, who hadn't really been paying too much attention, looked at each other in confusion. Kisa didn't fail to notice this. "He thinks we're metal heads," she explained, whispering. The two mouthed 'Oooooh' as they nodded.
Aron rolled his eyes. He hopped down from Kisa's shoulder and approached the hysterical genius. He tapped the elf's shoulder.
"Take it easy, Scruffy. We aren't metal heads, and we ain't gonna eat ya!"
Vin, thinking he recognized the ottsel's voice, opened his eyes.
"Daxter?" he asked feebly.
Aron's eye twitched in annoyance.
"I'm NOT Daxter, Scruffster. The name's Aron."
Vin blinked, then slowly looked up at the remaining four.
"Hi," chirped Kisa as she waved cheerily.
"Who… Who are you?" Vin stuttered.
"Hey… You supposed to be a floatin' head!" Tig said suddenly. Zig's eyes widened.
"Yeah, dat's right, mon! Dad said dat you'd be a floatin' head when we got here!"
"Maybe he made a mistake," Kisa suggested, seeing the genius's flustered and confused expression.
Kelvin, who had been silent till now, decided to speak.
"Kisa, why don't you give Vin the note like you're supposed to?"
The blonde blinked. "Oh yeah!" she said. She walked closer to the genius and extended the note to him.
"We're supposed to give you this note, sir," she chirped, smiling sweetly.
Vin accepted the note, staring at the tiny, scrawny little blonde midget strangely. The girl looked very familiar… He just couldn't place where he'd seen her before.
The genius turned his attention back to the note, which he opened.
As he read, his eyes widened. He sputtered. He gasped. And then, with a "Oh my Mar," he fell over in a dead faint. The kids stared.
Finally, Kelvin sighed.
"Any of you got some smelling salts?"
(1) When Sig got custody of the kids, he decided that he couldn't raise five kids and rule Spargus at the same time, so he handed the throne over to Kleiver, went back to Haven City, and opened a zoomer wash... It's kinda sad when you think about it...
(2) Dell's just some random guy that works at the wash. He might be mentioned once or twice in the story, but he's not gonna appear. Heh, I got the name from my computer. It's a Dell...
(3) The rift rider was connected to the computer system, so everything that showed up on the rift rider's control panel's screen showed up on the computer screen... Yeah...
Well I certainly hope you appreciate this! This chapter has six thousand something words! Good god, my poor aching hands...