Absolute insanity, written to amuse myself five or six years ago when I was brand new to the NiGHTS world. Please forgive me. (It really WAS Earth Day, though.)
NiGHTS, Reala, Jackle, Sonic… goddamnit, EVERY character in the following crap belongs to Sonic Team, with the exception of the generic throng of monkeys and Slippy. Slippy belongs to Nintendo. The generic throng of monkeys are in the public domain, and are somewhat overused, if you ask me.
Reala sighed and looked out the window of Castle Nightmare.
He was bored.
So bored, in fact, he was giving serious thought to the idea of making himself a set of paper-mache wrists and a neck, just to have something to do.
Without warning, Clawz suddenly burst into the room in a spray of popcorn, howling at the top of his lungs.
"STOP THE MONKEYS! STOP THE MONKEYS! THEY'LL DESTROY ALL THE SYRUP!"
Jackle dashed in after the 'Maren cat, causing a second spray of popcorn to fly into Reala's room, and slammed the door after himself.
"Damn those primates… and YOU, you idiot!"
Here, Jackle paused to deck Clawz with a handful of cards (deck with cards, HA, I'm so sorry).
"What in the name of Rasputin possessed you to smite Canada with Fritos?"
"Well I certainly didn't want to use the shotgun again! And besides, the Fritos were stale!"
"Yes, but the MONKEYS! How could you forget!"
"Well, er…" Clawz stammered for a second, thinking of a good defense while sounds of screaming chimps rang out in the corridor and more popcorn flew in under the door.
"...YOU were the ass who decided to use Jiffy Pop to block their escape!"
"It wasn't Jiffy Pop, it was Pop Secret!" Jackle countered.
"JIFFY… argh, nevermind. What's important now is that we stop the monkeys," Clawz stated with the utmost seriousness.
"But we can't do that until we've found a method of distracting the toaster patrol to buy some time!" Jackle pulled off his hat and ran his fingers through his wild blond hair, thinking hard.
The monkeys got louder and began throwing themselves against the door, forcing it open. Clawz and Jackle simultaneously leapt to it and held it shut with all their strength.
"We can't hold them forever, Jackle! Think faster!"
"I'm trying, I'm trying…" Jackle stomped savagely on the hand of a monkey who was reaching in under the door, then suddenly brightened.
"I'VE GOT IT! All we need is the huge box of mashed potato mix from the third shelf of the pantry!"
"What would we do with the huge box of…" Clawz began, then it dawned on him.
"Oh, of COURSE! The huge box of mashed potato mix from the third shelf of the pantry! BRILLIANT!"
"Let's go then! Not a moment to lose!"
"On three, ready?"
"One… two… three!"
"KAME HAME HAAAAAAAAAAA!"
With a decidedly non-Maren battle cry, the two yanked the door open roughly and scuffled their way through the crowd of crazed primates in the hall. The door slowly swung shut behind them, leaving one final gust of popcorn swirling about at Reala's feet.
The monkey howls died away and the popcorn settled.
All was quiet again.
"That DOES it!" Reala huffed, "Can this place get anymore boring?"
With this, he leapt out the window and flew off over Nightopia, looking for NiGHTS.
Mystic Forest; a place of whispered secrets, enigmatic lights, hidden pathways, and half-drunk, middle-aged, chubby, bald fairies with halos.
"So den, da bartender says 'But I thought the lady with the hat was your wife!'"
The Nightopian who'd just finished the 'Maren-walks-into-a-bar joke tapped his cigar while his poker buddies laughed and passed the beer.
"Good one, Larry! I'll raise ya thirty on this hand," a second Nightopian said, pushing some chips to the center of the circle.
"I'm in too, up 40," said a third, "think I figured out your tell."
"Fold," said a fourth, laying down his hand, "just not pullin' it outta the hat today."
A flash of purple from a ways off between the trees caught their attention.
"Woah, boys! Here comes that NiGHTS guy! Everybody make with the cutesy bit!"
The Nightopians stashed their cards and liquor in a hollow tree, put out their cigars, and plastered smiles on their pudgy faces not a second too soon.
NiGHTS flew by and smiled good-naturedly.
They beamed little sugary smiles back at him.
NiGHTS circled them once and waved.
They beamed back all the brighter, waving enthusiastically at NiGHTS and chirping until he was out of sight.
Certain that he was gone, the little angels lost their smiles and pulled their swag out of the tree trunk.
"Sap," Larry the Nightopian commented as he lit a fresh cigar and began shuffling the cards again.
"Saps," NiGHTS thought to himself, speeding back and forth between trees.
Nightopians had been fun in the beginning; they were nice to talk to, they made cute sounds, and they did funny things. But after a few weeks of it, NiGHTS had found new uses for them. They made hilarious noises when stepped on, their conical heads made them aerodynamic footballs, and they burned a very interesting shade of pink.
NiGHTS flew out of Mystic Forest and sped around Spring Valley, wondering what he wanted to do that day. Coming up with nothing, he asked himself again. A brief image of Nightopian-puck hockey came to mind, but NiGHTS realized he didn't feel like flying all the way to Frozen Bell for the ice to play it on. His mind tried suggesting Nightopian-puck field hockey instead, but before NiGHTS could consider this, he was blindsided by Reala.
"OWIE!" NiGHTS howled, hitting the ground with more than the average daily recommended dose of momentum.
"I'M BORED!" Reala declared, hovering in the air.
NiGHTS shook himself off and looked up at Reala.
"Are you really?"
"Yes," Reala pouted.
"Shall we duel?"
"No, this isn't a serious fic."
"Oh, I was starting to wonder about that… wanna go burn something?"
Reala seemed slightly intrigued by this, but then dropped the idea.
"How about we go entertain ourselves with aerosol cans?"
"You mean vandalism?"
NiGHTS blinked, then vigorously nodded his head. "Yeah! Vandalism. That's exactly what I meant… right."
"Eh… let's go see what we can steal from Gillwing's hentai collection!"
Reala raised an eyebrow at NiGHTS.
"YOU want to go steal X-rated editions of Playdragon Magazine?"
"Hey, scales are sexy."
"I agree, but that just didn't sound… canon… coming from you"
"Psh, you just haven't seen MY collection yet. I've got that issue they banned in the states, with the Naga manage et toi-…"
Without any warning whatsoever, Jackle and Clawz came tearing past Reala and NiGHTS, screaming rather harsh expletives at a throng of monkeys hot on their heels.
Jackle was waving a huge box of mashed potato mix triumphantly over his head and deucing the monkeys, while Clawz was simply trying to run as fast as he could with what looked like an economy-sized canteen of syrup wedged in his jaws.
"VICTORY IS OURS! WHA HA HA HA!" Jackle cackled as he zipped by.
"Mmph mffn mmph mfa!" Clawz tried to cackle as he zipped by.
"Hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo! Che che che WAAAAAA!" the monkeys cackled in a rage as they zipped by.
They all disappeared into Mystic Forest, and a light flutter of popcorn drifted after them from out of nowhere.
The quiet resumed.
NiGHTS impatiently tapped his foot and sighed.
"Let's just go to the real world and see what zany stuff we can kick up."
"The old standby. Fine," Reala shrugged.
NiGHTS did a silly little jig for no apparent reason at all, then opened a portal to the real world and flew through it. Reala jumped in after him.
For a moment, everything swirled around like a cheap sci-fi special effect from the seventies. Then it swirled around in the other direction, like a cheap sci-fi special effect from the eighties. Then it flashed crazily like an episode of Pokemon, sending several people into epileptic fits and thereby reducing the overall readership of this story.
When all of the cliche space'n'time warping was done, Reala and NiGHTS found themselves standing atop a giant mushroom.
NiGHTS blinked, disoriented by the journey, and rubbed his eyes.
"Reala, is it just me, or are we standing atop a giant mushroom?"
"Yes. Either it's both of us, or we ARE standing atop a giant mushroom."
"Because I specifically did the silly little jig that makes a portal to Twin Seeds Tower."
"Ooh, I see," said Reala, rubbing his chin, "then something's off beam, and we've been teleported to the wrong place?"
NiGHTS conceded to nod to this idea, but remained downtrodden.
"Well, I guess that could be a possibility as well, but it's most likely that Twin Seeds Tower has been turned into a giant mushroom."
Reala frowned and grumbled something insulting about NiGHTS' brain compared to the shape of his hat.
Then the mushroom shook violently, as if a blue hedgehog had hit its stem while running at mach 1.
Which it had.
NiGHTS and Reala looked at each other, then peered over the edge of the mushroom.
"Ha ha! Watch where you're going, Soni-OOF!"
The mushroom shook violently a second time, as if a red echidna had run into its stem while running at slightly under mach 1.
Which it had, as well.
"For God's sake, man, have some control!"
"F-cker, gimme back my emerald."
"I most certainly will not! Have at you, ruffian!"
NiGHTS and Reala keenly watched the hedgehog and the echidna take fighting poses on the ground under the mushroom.
"I place my bet on the blue guy," NiGHTS whispered. "He's all spiky, and apparently an aristocrat!"
The echidna suddenly boshed the hedgehog right on the nose with a spiked fist.
Somewhere in Japan, Kikuchi Masami was having a snack, but then Matsumoto Yasunori snuck up and mooshed it right in his face. You shoulda seen it; it was great.
"They both have spikes, dummy," Reala whispered back to NiGHTS, "I'll take you up on that bet."
The hedgehog did a nifty little trick of running in place, then suddenly curled into a ball, shot off like a bullet, and slammed into the echidna.
Reala winced. Or maybe he sneered, but wincing would have been more appropriate. It's kinda hard to tell what faces Reala is trying to make.
The echidna shook himself off, stood up, then burrowed into the ground at an impressive rate of speed.
NiGHTS grinned. "I win! Your guy ran away!"
"N-no, he didn't, he's just aerating the ground."
"Because it's Earth Day, you idiot. Think of the planet!" Reala snapped.
The hedgehog was suddenly thrown clear off the ground as the echidna popped up underneath him and punched him in the back.
NiGHTS grumbled, and Reala giggled with a tone of glee that one would not have expected an evil Nightmaren war general to be capable of.
The hedgehog and the echidna suddenly stopped fighting and looked around.
"Did you hear something?" asked the blue one.
"Yeah, sounded like an evil Nightmaren war general giggling with a tone of glee one would not have expected him to be capable of," the red one said.
The blue one scratched his quills. "I say, what's a Nightmaren?"
"Damned if I know," the red one shrugged.
NiGHTS and Reala each held their respective breaths. The forest was quiet except for a few frogs, a distant bird cry, and…
"Do you hear helicopter rotors?" NiGHTS whispered cautiously to Reala.
NiGHTS and Reala sprang up in terror at the sound of the annoyingly shrill voice hovering directly behind their heads.
NiGHTS and Reala watched in stunned silence as a small orange fox with two tails working in tandem like propeller blades floated over their heads, turned to gape at them, and then flew down to the hedgehog and echidna.
"Salutations, Tails," the blue hedgehog said blithely.
"Now is not the proper time, Tails," the hedgehog said even more blithely.
The red echidna marched up to the base of the mushroom and gave it a very furious punch. Atop the mushroom, NiGHTS and Reala were nearly shaken off.
"Hey up there!" the echidna shouted, "GET THE HELL OFF MY ISLAND!" he paused and thought for a moment, then added, "Unless you're delivering pizza."
NiGHTS cowered back and looked down nervously.
The echidna and hedgehog traded expressions. The orange fox known as Tails tried to join in this trade, but was thoroughly ignored.
"Succinctly," the hedgehog called to the top of the mushroom, "it is a round platter of bread, topped with cheese and other ingredients. Intended for eating, my good sir."
"Oh… well, we haven't got one of those, sorry!"
"Really, did you even order a pizza?" The hedgehog asked the echidna, one eyebrow arched in a severely aristocratic way.
"Hell, no, can you imagine the delivery charge to a flying island? Never hurts to check, though," the echidna replied, then jacked up the volume and continued his dialogue with the two lords of Nightmare:
"In that case… GET OFF OF THAT MUSHROOM, OUT OF THIS FOREST, AND AWAY FROM MY ISLAND!"
The echidna's voice shook bugs off leaves, reversed the direction of the wind, and tore the bark off a nearby tree.
"Wow, Reala! Did you see that? He's even louder than you!"
Reala stood up sharply, eyes glowing. NOBODY was allowed to yell louder than him.
He politely cleared his throat and deftly brushed a bug from his shoulder before howling out in a 300 decibel voice…
"WHO IN THE NAME OF WIZEMAN ARE YOU TO ORDER US AROUND, YOU FILTHY MISCOLORED EGG-LAYING SUB-MAMMAL!"
Reala's voice shook the remaining bugs off the leaves, shook the leaves off the trees, re-reversed the direction of the wind, and tore the bark off of several near-by trees.
For a few seconds, the echidna was speechless. Then…
"...what was that?"
"I CALLED YOU A FILTHY MISCOLORED EGG-LAYING SUB-MAMMAL! AND SO'S YOUR MOMMA!"
"Oh dear," muttered aristocratic Sonic, thereby unwittingly providing Quex with a title.
"That's what I thought…" the red one said, cracking his spiked knuckles, "you've just insulted the guardian of the Floating Island and the keeper of the Chaos Emeralds. Prepare to die."
"Hmph, cliché," Reala said, crossing his arms, "I'd like to see you come up here and…"
But the echidna was suddenly standing atop the mushroom directly infront of him, arm pulled back for a punch.
Reala swore in a way that would have dried holy water, then thought better of wasting time on words, and flew like a 'Maren out of hell. (That is, if hell were the top of a large mushroom, with an angry echidna standing on it.)
Much to his surprise/dismay/utter terror, (circle one), the echidna took off after him at a breakneck speed by fanning out the strange dreadlocks/snakes/chickenfingers (damnit, what ARE those things?) that hung at the back of his head.
NiGHTS hopped off the mushroom and hovered down to the hedgehog and fox, who were both watching the show intently.
Reala flew up, the echidna flew up.
"Hello, chap. Who is your companion, there?" the hedgehog asked.
Reala spun away, the echidna dove after him.
"Reala," NiGHTS answered, "He's meh brother."
Reala drill-dashed, the echidna dodged.
"Oh, very good, then. But, I dare say he's not fast enough for Mr. Knux…"
"I'm the fast one," NiGHTS said, "he's the strong one. Just watch."
Reala hit a tree headfirst. The echidna stopped, pointed, and laughed. In that order.
"Want a bandaid, clown?"
"No… but you will."
Knuckles the echidna looked up and instantly stopped laughing. Reala was hovering over him, holding the trunk of the tree he had recently rammed into (and consequently broken off) like a baseball bat.
…but again, only if you'll allow that baseball bats can sometimes be very large and must be held in more of a "bear hugging, gravity defying" stance. Because that's really what it was more like, and nothing at all familiar to a baseball bat.
Sonic T. Hedgehog, Miles "Tails" Prower, and NiGHTS T. Nyghtmare stared at Knuckles T. Echidna and Reala T. Nyghtmare for a long, drawn out second; long enough, in fact, for the author to complete a sentence using all of their (obviously fake) full names. Who invented the "T." middle name, anyway? And why did I ever think that was cute?
Then Reala smacked Knuckles into next Tuesday.
"Ow!" said Knux, after landing roughly on his rump in next Tuesday.
He stood up, brushed off his rear, straightened his dreadlocks, updated his calendar, and looked around.
Next Tuesday was a rather different place from where he had just previously been in the present. Firstly, there was a large, spooky castle on the horizon. Secondly, there were strange, chubby fairies floating around everywhere. And, thirdly and most bizarrely, a bodiless jester in a cape with a box of mashed potato mix, a strangely deformed dark tiger with a canteen of syrup stuffed in its mouth, a gaggle of monkeys, and roughly two metric tons of popcorn were all about to crash into him.
Meanwhile, back in the forest of tall mushroom trees, Sonic and Tails were waving a fond farewell to the two "floppy-hat-men" whom they had jointly decided not to mess with after witnessing the fate of Knuckles.
Sonic stated that he had no strong urge to visit next Tuesday, and Tails shouted a long, loud, grammatically incorrect sentence in agreement.
With a final "Bye, weirdos!" Reala and NiGHTS again disappeared into a portal of NiGHTS's making, hoping this time to land in Twin Seeds.
Everything flickered like an old set of Christmas lights. Then it faded in and out like an elementary school Hyperstudio project. Then it scrolled into the background like a semi-decent Star Wars recap effect.
All this ended to the fading theme of Amistad, directed by Steven Spielberg in 1997.
They were sitting on a metal grate floor in a corridor lit by halogen bulbs. The bulbs gave an almost inaudible hum. From somewhere else, the muffled sound of some sort of powerful space engine permeated the metal around the two 'Maren.
"Twin Seeds?" Reala asked simply as he stood up.
"No," NiGHTS scowled, yanking off his hat and scratching his head of purple hair, "But I really thought I'd gotten the portal right this time…"
"You never get anything right," Reala grumbled.
"I said those things are really bright," Reala countered innocently, shielding his eyes from the halogen bulbs.
"Oh." NiGHTS poked his face where his nose would have been, had he been gifted with one. "Yes, they are bright, aren't they?"
"I thought so," NiGHTS said matter-of-factly.
"How clever of you," Reala said sarcastically.
NiGHTS beamed with genuine pride. "Why, thank you, Reala!"
There was silence for a few seconds as NiGHTS continued squinting happily into the lights overhead. Meanwhile, Reala stared blankly at NiGHTS, wondering how in Nightopia he could possibly be so stupid.
"Er, excuse me," came a high pitched voice from behind them.
They both whirled around to face an odd little frog man in a baseball cap and a silver flight suit. His eyes were the size of oranges, and they oggled out at funny angles. The name "Slippy" was embroidered into his hat, but he was so short that the 'Maren had to look down about 45 degrees to read it.
"Another talking animal?" Reala sighed.
The frog called Slippy (or at least in possession of a hat called Slippy) frowned and crossed its arms.
"Get used to it. Quex is writing this, you know."
"Ah, which means it will undoubtedly involve animal characters," NiGHTS began.
"Yes," Slippy nodded.
"…and that it will contain, by definition, at least one fight scene?" Reala added, suddenly remembering the rules himself.
"Right," said Slippy, "and that it will end abruptly and without any good reason whatsoever."
NiGHTS: Sweet Christmas, that was downright insulting.
Reala: I think it was an appropriate reflection of your character, actually.
NiGHTS: Maybe you'd like a reflection of my fist in your face?
Reala: No, I'm good. Thanks.
Jackle: Why… popcorn? I mean… what the… popcorn?
Clawz: Hey, you have blonde hair?
Jackle: …wild blonde hair, according to this… and I run my fingers through it.
Reala: Chalk up another fangirl for Jackle.
Knuckles: My god, they're SPINES. Spines, not dreadlocks! Is it that hard to run a GIS for "echidna"?
Sonic: I still don't get it. Why am I an aristocrat?
Tails: -shrug- Outdated political satire?
Clawz: -nudges Slippy-
Slippy: Oh, wait, I gotta say something too? Um… hi, Dad! Look at me! I'm in a one-shot parody fic!