Space Trip Steps
Tropical Resort: This Horizon
(Lo and behold, opening notes: I own nothing of the characters herein, property of Ken Akamatsu and Sega respectively. I do this for fun and stress relief and certainly not profit! )
"We here at Eggman Industries are proud to welcome you to Dr. Eggman's Incredible Interstellar Amusement Park. Here, you'll be able to enjoy visiting five planets for the price of one!" The loudspeaker blared as the huge space elevator came to a stop.
The massive elevator's doors slowly opened, and with that, the latest batch of tourists emerged into the mechanical floating wonderland. Except well, the good majority of this group belonged to none other than class 3-A. Yeah, that's right. The legendary class of troublemakers, taught by one underaged harem male lead Negi Springfield. It seemed that one field trip was not enough to satisfy the crazy classes urges, there needed to be more. More shenanigans, more adventures, more dangers, more classmates being kidnapped for nefarious purposes.
"This wonderful park has been constructed entirely out of a sense of remorse for my past transgressions, and is in no way associated with any sort of evil plot or premeditated misdeeds," continued the bold voice over the speakers.
Safe to say, the words were so specific, it seemed to annoy at least one person. "Oh... really?" Chisame Hasegawa raised an eyebrow, completely not impressed by all the technology still not available regularly on earth. Hey, magic world makes things boring, you know. "Because that sort of talking fills me with so much confidence." She adjusted her glasses with a push from her middle finger.
"What does he even mean by 'past misdeeds'?" the brown-haired Konoka Konoe asked, scratching her head in confusion. Her arm was wrapped around her bodyguard (and probably girlfriend) Setsuna.
"Relax, Chisame-chan~" came Haruna Saotome. "We're having a real vacation! In SPACE!"
"That also fills me with confidence. To the brim, even..."
"Class pres funded the whole thing," the short Yue Ayase pointed out.
"Oh really? I told her up front that if she's plotting something on Negi, I'd kick her ass to the next galaxy," White Wing de facto leader Asuna Kagurazaka crowed.
"Of course, only you would do something so brazen and awful," hissed her former archrival and rich lady Ayaka Yukihiro. "For all intents and purposes, this was a vacation handpicked and recommended by my best advisors! Letting Negi-sensei come along was simply an additional gift!" Before Asuna could launch an objection to that, Ayaka sharply added, "AND everyone else! Who wouldn't be here if I wanted Negi-sensei to myself!" Well, that was still possible...
"Right..." Asuna rolled her eyes. "I'll believe that as soon as my shotacon detector comes back and stops breaking in your presence."
Ayaka had the good graces to ignore her at this point.
Asuna huffed as she left that train of thought, then turned to someone who didn't catch her interest that often. "What's up with you, Misora-chan?" Well, apparently that changed.
The short-haired Misora Kasuga had an odd mix of amusement and worry etched on her face. This, despite the dark-skinned girl riding atop of her shoulders, didn't keep her from standing tall. "Ehh..." She shrugged. "It's finally a vacation! A real one! And by the looks of it," she and the girl atop her looked about at the tropical themed buildings, the flashing neon lights. "...it looks like loads of fun. But... knowing my luck, it ain't gonna stay that way." She shot a glance at the child genius now attempting to herd the class over in the direction of the hotels. When Asuna gave her a dark look, she tried to justify herself. "He's a trouble magnet, I swear!"
"Are you blaming Negi-bouya for your troubles?" Misora flinched as she felt the icy gaze of one Evangeline A.K. McDowell. Slowly, as if she were facing death itself, she turned around. No need for stating 'as if', staring down Eva was probably worse than death. "You might as well start running now, coward. Though I doubt that will save you."
Knowing that she was chancing fate (not Averrunicus), luck, and probably her existence, she still got pissed and snapped back, "Damn right I'm running! I'm not getting involved in any of those shenanigans again!"
Evangeline laughed cruelly. "I'd watch your mouth if I were you. Not everyone around these corners knows of magic. And it's best that it's kept that way. Don't want you ruining things for everyone, after all."
Misora had nothing to say to that. She wasn't interested in dying today.
She did, however, have a question. "Say, how the hell are you up here, anyway? Don't you have a curse?"
"My answer is this: technology is wonderful, worth sacrificing a few rainforests for, at least!" she laughed. She then leaned in and added, "The dean agreed, don't ask him about it. Let's go, Chachamaru."
"Understood, Master," came the smooth, monotone voice of her robotic guard.
"Right," Misora decided that she had enough talking to her today, and she should get a freaking medal for not being killed in her presence.
As the rambunctious class and their hapless supervisors made their way to the hotel area, the loudspeakers flared to life. "Our hotel area has numerous styles for all kinds of tourists, including rooms for lone travelers, large rooms for entire groups, and lovely quarters for couples, ideal for the two people who just won't admit it already."
And everybody in 3-A (plus Kotarou and Cocone) immediately looked at Konoka and Setsuna.
Konoka, paused at everyone's stares, merely blinked apprehensively. "What's everyone staring at us for?"
Setsuna was sweating buckets.
"Ummm, let's keep moving please!" Came the voice of one Negi Springfield.
"Man, these rooms have everything!" Asuna crowed, launching herself into a huge, egg-shaped beanbag. It was incredibly comfortable, enough that she laid back, and almost would have been dozing off instantly had Negi not accidentally smacked her with his staff as he carried their things in the room. "Oww! Watch what you're doing, Negi!"
"Sorry, Asuna-san," Negi muttered, finally setting down the stuff. "All this stuff at once is hard to navigate with, and I can't look too strong in front of everybody."
"Uwaah~, this place really is nice," The soft voice of Nodoka Miyazaki marveled at the spacious room their group was in. Yue, tailing right behind her, was in agreement.
"Wish I could say the same for this insignia that's all over the place," Haruna rankled her nose as she came in, easily claiming a table for herself and setting a sketchpad on it. She whirled and pointed to the obviously sinister marking that was all over... everything. "It's fugly to the worst degree! Who designed this place?"
"Now now, Haruna-san, let's not leap to conclusions on the designer's talent, or lack thereof," Negi gently chided.
"I'll go with the latter, 'kay thanks," Asuna quipped.
"I'd be a bit more careful about this vacation if I were you," Evangeline crowed, making her grand entrance into the room. Much like the Kyoto trip, most of the groups gathered here were with the same people they had gathered with months prior. "You see bad fashion statement, I see a villain with enough money and power to say, 'Welcome to my parlor, said the spider to the fly'. But still, don't let that stop you from having fun. Maybe you pitiful fools can use this as a chance to train AND enjoy yourselves at the same time."
What of Ala Alba had gathered here sagely nodded.
"But what are the chances of that? Nobody would be stupid enough to hide an evil lair in an amusement park!" Evangeline pointed and laughed. "You should have seen the looks on your faces!"
"Eva-san!" Negi complained.
"You damned vampire brat!" Asuna bellowed, immediately stomping over to wage war via a face stretching contest. "You actually had us going for a minute!"
"Let go, you magic canceling neanderthal!" Evangeline complained right back.
As the usual Ala Alba antics kicked in, Negi noticed two of their close number weren't here. "Hey, where's Konoka-san and Setsuna-san?"
Haruna looked around, and seeing no sign of the yuri duo, sneered in success. "When a woman and a woman love each other very much..."
"Please spare me those details!"
Setsuna opened her room. "Um, everyone! Please don't mind that—huh?" The room she stepped in was empty. It was also notably smaller than the pamphlet said. "Um, where did everyone go? Asuna-san? Negi-sensei?" She was certain that they were supposed to be with group five, but everyone said it was this room. "Ojou-sama?"
"Secchan?" came the fair voice of her charge. "Ah, there you are! Our stuff is in here okay!"
"Ojou-sama, where's everyone else?"
"They originally got this room, but moved up to another one. They said we could keep this room, though," Konoka began to unpack. "So guess what that means?"
Setsuna had to think about that one. Well, with everyone else gone to another room, she'd be alone with Konoka. That also meant she'd have a bit more freedom, and—WAITASECOND. "A... We're alone?"
"Yeah, we're all alone Secchan!" Konoka chirped, as if she had just given Setsuna a small present.
'All alone' began to echo in Setsuna's mind, quickly flooding her brain with the sheer implications of it all. She was alone. With Konoka. And she smelled nice. But Shinmeiryuu protectors were supposed to stay chaste! What lunacy was this?
Setsuna cursed as she developed a severe nose bleed.
Right next door, someone had planted a cup to the wall.
"Are they kissing yet?" came the overexcited voice of one Yuna.
"I don't hear anything," Makie responded, her ear pressed to the cup.
"Are you sure you guys should be doing this?" Akira Ookouchi asked. "I mean, you should give those two a break and let their relationship bloom on its own time."
"We are!" the brown-haired, spunky Yuna shot back defensively. "We just like spying on them! Watching those two is like watching an awesome lesbian edition of a romantic comedy!" Akira's response? A face fault.
"Ehhh, I'm not sure about that analogy," Ako Izumi murmured.
"I'd keep your priorities straight if you ask me," it wasn't often that the dark-skinned Mana spoke, but when she did, it caught the other four's attention instantly. Calmly cleaning her gun, she continued. "I get a bad feeling about this place."
"What was your first clue?" Yuna's tone grew serious, though she kept a jovial face. "I mean, this insignia all over the place looks to be seriously evil."
"Right. I doubt whoever built this place has any sort of interest for a love struck couple."
"Awww! Don't be a spoil sport!" Makie complained. "Negi-kun and the Ala Alba have our backs if we find trouble!"
"Then don't rush out to meet it," Came Mana's terse response. The sports girls mellowed out after that.
However, problems kicked in again when Ako pressed the cup back onto the wall and listened again. Her eyes grew wide. When the others looked for an explanation, Ako hissed in wonder, "I think they're watching Kannazuki no Miko..."
She had enough of this.
While everyone else was unpacking and winding down, she was feeling antsy, especially after Evangeline's comments earlier that day. With her artifact, she could run like the wind, much like an unfettered blue hedgehog. She took a fierce leap and sailed down towards a rail, smoothly crashing her feet on it and grinding down the rest of the way. Being such a coordinated runner allowed her to pull off such amazing stunts, and that was why she liked both this power and her partner. She looked up at her passenger. "Yo Cocone! Holding out okay?"
"Yeah," came the soft voice. Cocone held on tightly, unperturbed by Misora's blinding speed. There was a brief pause as she added, "You know you're going to get in serious trouble for this. Divine punishment, even."
"Aww hush, I'm turning around right now. Doubt they'll even notice that I'm gone," she responded quietly, screeching to a stop and turning on a heel to begin the sprint back. She began to build up speed again as she began to leap back over the buildings...
An explosion struck, and Misora tripped on thin air. Cocone dismounted just as Misora crashed into the ground, rolled like a failed armadillo and crashed into a rooftop door.
"Ow," Misora groaned out the obvious as Cocone stared blankly at her idiotic ministra. "What the hell was that?"
Cocone sighed and walked over to the edge of the building where they crashed. She looked down at the atrium below and gasped. As Misora recovered and dashed over, she also looked down. And she was quite horrified—and weirded out—by the sight before her.
"YEEEEEEHAW!" crowed Yosemite Sa—err, a yellow, cubic robot. The metallic wonder was waving about a huge net, swiping at small creatures roughly a third his size. "Git aloooong little aliens!"
"Your voice chip is stuck on cowboy again..." came the prim and proper sigh of a red, spherical robot. Lazily aiming his blaster, he shot at the tiny creatures, missing readily, but trying to steer them so they'd be easier for his yellow partner to swipe. "Stop talking and net those aliens!"
"Gotcha, pardner! C'mere!" came the response, and he sailed forward, trying to swipe the poor, defenseless aliens. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) he had all the proper coordination of an ADD riddled child on an out of control lawnmower, and though his swipes came close, the aliens were too fast for him to catch. His partner was a great deal smarter, but alas he was too lazy, and eventually quit shooting, preferring to shrug and then simply prop his head on his hands.
Cocone's first words at seeing the scene? "Robot poachers!"
Misora, normally a coward, contorted into an angry snarl. "I hate robots, and I hate poachers. To see them both combined right in front of me...?" She took a flying leap into action immediately. Her first leap allowed her to sail right on the head of the lazy red robot, smashing him down on the ground. The second hop landed her right in range to grab the two small aliens and land a sweep kick to the yellow cube bot, causing him to crash. She ran back to the edge and wall jumped her way back to the upper area, where Cocone was waiting. "What's going on, anyway?"
To her surprise, the red robot recovered handily. "Oww~! Nothing that concerns you." He aimed his blaster at Misora and fired. The cowardly nun squeaked and fled out of harm's way.
"We got interlopers? Let's stop 'em!" cried the Yosemite Sam reject.
Misora snarled. With the two aliens in her arms, she wasn't fast enough to counterattack—only run. Well, it was what she did best, so arching her feet, she mentally made a plan for swiping Cocone and running off—
One of the small aliens slipped out of her grasp. Both of them had a basic form of looking like small octopi with three limbs. This one that had been freed swirled around her with two fierce eyes, its dark green body easy for her to follow in her confusion. It then slid right into her.
Misora suddenly found herself letting go of the other alien, flaring to life as if someone had force fed her several energy drinks. She flared with a green energy, and literally became a powerful, bouncy laser beam that shot straight through the robotic duo, blasting them into the skyline. The laser beam of doom returned to Cocone's side, and Misora reappeared. So did the alien, lazily drifting out of her, its energy spent.
"Whoa... that. Was. INSANE," Misora shook with excitement.
"True... and nobody's gonna believe us." Cocone stated bluntly.
"Maaaan! I knew my vacation was gonna be ruined!" Misora sulked. The other alien that remained, a pale blue one-eyed creature, began jabbering in a small, high-pitched voice. It seemed to be trying to tell the two of them something. Neither could make heads or tails of it—for all they knew, it told them that their mother was a hamster and their father smelt of elderberries. "I wish I knew what you were saying, little guy—or girl... or whatever you are..."
Well, the alien upped its attempts, this time adding wild gestures. It was no translation, but both girls could at least figure out it was grateful for the rescue. "Well, we've got to get back, before I get us into any more trouble," Misora sighed. She turned to the alien hovering by them, as Cocone quickly hopped on Misora's shoulders. "I dunno if we can keep you, but I think we can at least make a case."
She imagined it would go so well with Nitta-sensei, or even better yet, Shakti.
With a soft sigh, Nodoka gazed longingly at the flashing lights. If there was one thing about this place, it was the fact that the view certainly did not disappoint. The view of planet Earth, hanging above them like a giant blue moon, was certainly spectacular. And the land itself—the Tropical Resort had everything a resort would have, including lavish spas, arcades, and even shopping malls.
However, the others had already left to go to the pool, and she was supposed to catch up! With a start, she remembered these wonderful facts and was about to go gather her things, but a green dot in the distance caught her eye. She stopped her scrambling and looked out the window at the unusual sight, wondering if her eyes were tricking her, or if it was part of the park.
A little green creature? Floating towards the ferris wheel? Something seemed quite odd about this, and for once, her curiosity curbstomped the logic that screamed, "curiosity killed the cat". Seemingly entranced, Nodoka left her stuff and swiped her pactio card and Comptina Daemonia instead. She also left a little note.
She may be flirting with possible idiocy, but no way was she going unprepared.
It was not too far of a trek. Nodoka stepped carefully, eyes wary of the strangely shaped robots milling about the park. All of them were red, with large upper bodies and oddly smiling faces. They seemed to pay her no attention so far, so she decided not to bother them either. She wasn't a fighter, so no need in engaging mooks when fighting them wasn't mandatory.
Having thought she spotted the green shape head down there, Nodoka entered a dark alleyway, though her alertness shot up five points, and she made her naturally quiet movements even more so. A little further walking, and she heard somebody taking count. "Hmm... twenty-three... twenty-four... twenty-five..." A grunt of frustration. "Bah! Not nearly enough aliens!"
"Would you like us to grab more aliens?" came another voice.
"No, I'd like you to grab me a burger and a shake!" there went the snide retort!
Even more nervous now, Nodoka leaned over, looking beyond into the foyer. She spied the same two robots Misora dealt with earlier, taking directions from a man in a red coat, seemingly in a floating gray, egg-shaped hover car. Though from her point of view, the only other detail she could pick out from her spot was the fact that this man had a rather epic handlebar mustache. She took a moment to imagine said mustache on Negi, but it didn't quite fit. Nodoka shook off such silly thoughts and continued her spying. She could make out twenty-five glass pods, each containing bright energy of some sort—and faint shapes that resemble the green streak she saw outside.
"That would actually be easier!" crowed the cowboy voice of the yellow Cubot. "Especially since cheeseburgers aren't as nearly as fast as those lil' alien varmints."
"You idiot! Get me more aliens!"the impatient voice yelled. And at once, the two nincompoop robots hovered away.
Though... it appeared Cubot had some issues. The most pressing and important one: "Y'all want fries with that?" The answer he was rewarded with turned out to be a wrench to the head. "Oww! Okay, I'm going." And he floated off.
Nodoka drew back into her hiding spot, to let the red robot float on by, not noticing her. Curious as to what "aliens" referred to, as well as the red-coated man, she leaned back out. He was now letting his car float lower to the pods. "Hehehe, precious little aliens..." He sneered. "I'll harness your Hyper-go-on powers, and then nobody will be able to stop me! I know I say that every time, but for serious this time—nobody will stop me! I even made sure that infernal blue hedgehog wasn't around here before I began!"
Okay, that sounded seriously bad. Nodoka had to inform Negi-sensei and the Ala Alba of this madman immediately, before it was—
Just her luck. She bumped into a stray trash can, making a clanging noise that gave her away. She panicked, and then realized that finding out dangerous information like this and then being found out was liable to get herself killed. Or at least tied up and stored away for some other nefarious scheme.
At least the latter had hope of rescue and backup plans.
"What was that?" the voice of the red-coated man shot through her like needles, and she felt the hover car lift up and zoom towards her location. "Well, well, what do we have here? Somebody snooping?" Eyes protected by sharp, black goggles glared down at the humble librarian. "No sneak previews! All rides and attractions not yet finished at Eggman's Incredible Interstellar Amusement Park are strictly forbidden from tourist access. Though I suppose I can make an exception..." He gave a smile, though Nodoka was reminded more of the demonic grins Evangeline gave.
"YEEEEEHAW!" Oh look, the village idiot came back. "We have an intruder? What are we gonna do? Can we tie her by the train tracks and watch the train run her over?"
Nodoka paled, warily stepping back.
The rotund red man simply let his face rest in his palm, shaking his head.
The much smarter Orbot returned, holding a Instant Hostage kit. "Well, well, I suppose we can't have her running off to the others..." He clucked as he opened the tiny box and pulled out the prerequisite rope and tape. "You need to look the part so we can lure any do-gooders and defeat them as well."
"Ummm, your secret's safe with me, so I'd rather just get back to the hotel and rest, okay?" Nodoka tried inching away, and when she was far enough, broke into a sprint.
Cubot snatched the rope and instantly fashioned it into a lasso. "Oh no ya don't!" And of course, he chucked it, snatching her and forcing her to land on the ground. Both robots got to work, winding the rest of the rope over her torso and locking her hands behind her back.
"Oh no!" Nodoka cried, squirming against her bonds. "Help!"
Misora had alllllmost managed to make it back to her room, having taken a clever route past a rather obnoxious Egg Banner, with Cocone and the little alien in tow. But alas, as soon as she reached what she thought was the familiar front foyer, she saw emptiness.
She took a wrong turn.
"We're lost, aren't we?" Cocone asked bluntly.
"FFFFFF—maaaaaan!" Misora groaned, stopping her curse at the last second. "We are so busted!"
The little alien cared not for Misora's understatement; it squeaked and pointed downwards towards a lower deck.
And not just a moment later, she heard a familiar cry of "Help!"
Misora paled. "That sounds way too familiar..." She thought about it. "Wait a second... Miyazaki?" She sprinted down to get a closer look. Sure enough, there was a tied up Miyazaki, struggling in the grasp of... yep, those two robots again. "Geez, first they poach aliens, and now they poach classmates? Not cool!"
She set Cocone down. "Be back in a flash!" And of course she sprinted down towards the area, intending on snatching back Nodoka and getting the hell out of dodge.
Except that failed—all she got was a face full of Cubot.
Misora crashed into the ground, though she quickly recovered and whirled to face them again—and THAT was when she was aware of the fat man in the hover car. "Oh crap."
"That entrance... that was far too blue hedgehog-like for my tastes!" The irritable man snapped. "Not to mention you're not the first snooper running around here! Why even bother?"
The real reason was to save Nodoka, but Misora wasn't telling him that, no sir. "Because you're too slow, and you need to come on, and step it up." She attempted a brave sneer, though considering her normal cowardly nature, it didn't quite hold up.
"By the sounds of it, you're just as annoying, too!" The red man idly scratched his mustache, then smoothed it out. He pointed a commanding finger in Orbot's direction. "All right, Orbot! Release the Big Boy!" He whirled to Misora. "If you're anything like that annoying blue hedgehog, let's see if you're anything as good as he is with robots."
The red robot sighed and tapped some buttons down on his lower half.
The man on the other hand, pressed some buttons on his car, activating the windshield, and began to hover up. "Hasta la bye bye, suckers! Enjoy the free preview ride, courtesy of Eggman Industries!" And his gray hovercar blasted away.
The earth shook, and the half visible ferris wheel she had been ignoring up to this point had flared to life. It rose from the end of the foyer, apparently propelled by thrusters on its edge. A giant, monolithic sun-like creature with heavyset arms whirled to life in its center, gripping the outer rungs with its cold, steel hands. The huge whirring noises signified its movements as the sun-shaped spikes seemed to narrow its single eye before flaring to life wide open again. Robots as huge as that would crush puny school children with the effort it would take to pick one's nose.
Safe to say, Misora just blanched horribly, and began to quietly consider her will.
Nodoka, however, had no say. Cubot had sealed her mouth shut with tape, even going so far as to wrap it around her head a few times, and the fair librarian was struggling and mewling as he chucked her in one of the cars. "Mmmm!" She wailed, but the door was shut, and even kicking her tied legs in with all of her force couldn't open it.
"Enjoy the free ride, pardner!" He crowed, before hovering away. "YEEEEEHAWWWWW..."
Misora took a step back, eyes large and blank like a horrified cat's, not wanting to be involved in a boss fight today. "Maybe I should find someone else to fight this thing... I'm fast enough, right?"
The Big Boy, as it was called, adjusted its arms and let its spikes whirl menacingly, and they were awful close to Nodoka's prison car. With that threat, even she couldn't get another out here, and she'll be damned if she put Cocone at risk.
Steeling herself despite her shot nerves, she leapt towards the creature, rather than running away like her logic and personality screamed at her to do. "I'm scared as hell, and I can't take this anymore!" She cried as she took a flying leap onto the rungs of the menacing boss.
(And that ends part 1. Shorter parts for my story, crack is a little tougher to digest in long chapters, GHQ notwithstanding. In any case, enjoy this little crazy story, and as always check my author's notes link in my profile for more details within the next hour. Future parts are still being written, so theme park hijinks ideas involving 3-A are appreciated. Tune in next time to hear Misora complain, "BUT I THOUGHT SONIC BOSSES WERE SUPPOSED TO BE EASY!" Thanks to Dark Dragon Dave for betaing.)