"MAN'S BEST FRIEND"
Captain N: The Game Master
Saturday, November 28, 1992, 5:00 PM
"MAN'S BEST FRIEND"
"C'mon, guys, this way!" Kevin yelled.
He was running towards a forest, and the rest of the N Team was following him.
They were being chased by a bunch of zombies.
Simon and Duke were behind the others, and the zombies were gaining on them.
"I knew I should've gotten more exercise!" Simon said.
Most of the N Teamsters ran into the forest.
Kevin stopped and turned around. "Simon, Duke, hurry!"
Simon and Duke were panting heavily.
Then Simon stopped. "You go ahead! I'll hold 'em off!"
Duke barked at Simon.
Simon looked at the canine. "Oh, I suppose you wanna help, too."
Duke nodded, barking in agreement.
Kevin nodded and ran into the forest.
Simon and Duke turned and faced the zombies.
"All right, you undead creeps with bad hair, take this!" Simon uncoiled his whip and sent it out at them.
The zombies slowed their approach.
The woods were very thick.
Finally, Kevin stopped, panting. "I think we can warp from here."
Lana looked around. "Where's Simon and Duke?"
"They stayed behind to hold off the zombies and give us time to escape." Kevin said.
"Oh, I hope they're all right!" Lana said worriedly.
Duke stepped forward and bit a zombie's leg.
The zombie kicked and tried to shake Duke loose, but Duke wouldn't give.
The canine gave Simon enough time to come over and whip the zombie.
Simon petted his whip. "Good boy!"
Duke growled in annoyance.
One more zombie approached, but Simon took care of him.
Simon coiled his whip and put it back on his side. "C'mon, let's find the others."
They headed into the woods.
"They've been gone a few minutes already." Lana said. "Do you think - "
Kevin placed his left hand on her right shoulder. "Simon and Duke? No way!" he assured her.
"Hey, I mega hear something." Mega Man said.
Everyone was silent and listened carefully.
"Footsteps." Mega Man said. "And they're getting closer."
"I hear them, too-icus." Kid Icarus said.
"It might be those zombies." Kevin said.
"What happened to 'Simon and Duke? No way!'?" Lana asked.
"Advise immediate departure." Gameboy said.
"Well, what if it's Simon and Duke?" Lana asked Kevin. "Are we going to leave them here?"
"We can't risk staying here." Kevin said. "Look, when we get home, we'll use the computers to locate them, and we'll open up a warp for them."
Lana thought for a moment, listening to the footsteps coming closer and closer.
"Okay." she agreed.
Kevin opened the warp. He stepped through, followed by the rest of the N Team that was there.
Just then, Simon and Duke arrived. They noticed the open warp.
"Hey!" Simon yelled, running forward. "Wait for me!"
"All right, all right, wait for us!" Simon corrected.
They were too late, though. The warp closed right before they reached it. Simon ran smack into a tree.
"Oof!" Simon said.
Duke ran into Simon, letting out a cry.
The two of them fell to the ground.
"Great." Simon muttered. "The warp's closed. Which means we'll have to find another way back to Megaland."
The two of them stood up.
Duke barked something in dog language to Simon.
"No, we can't stay here and wait for the others to find us." Simon said. "We gotta find someplace safe." He smiled. "And I know just the place!"
Simon opened the front door to his lodge. "What safer place than your own home?!"
Simon walked inside, and Duke followed. Simon closed and locked the door. He took off his backpack and fur coat and hung them on the coat rack. He had on a red sweater underneath.
Duke looked around. The lodge looked pretty nice. They were in a spacious living room. It was nicely decorated - somewhat like a mountain man's place, but with a Castlevanian twist. There were animal heads mounted on the walls. However, they weren't those of deer. They were werewolf heads. In a glass display case against one wall were various bat specimens. The entire room seemed to have a comfy, yet somewhat odd, feel.
Duke knew where he was headed. Right onto the giant bear rug.
Except it wasn't a bear.
When Duke looked, he saw a werewolf's head.
Duke yelped, jumping to his feet and running to Simon. He hid behind Simon for protection.
"What's your problem?" Simon asked in annoyance.
Duke yelped again.
Simon turned and looked at the rug. "Oh,...that. Nothing to worry yourself about. It's been dead for a month. I defeated it myself." Simon said with pride.
Duke stepped forward slowly, cautiously, staring at the rug. He still expected it to jump up and eat him.
"I'm going to prepare supper." Simon said, walking towards the kitchen. "Try to not get fleas on the rug."
Duke growled at him again.
"Supper's ready!" Simon called.
Duke ran into the kitchen, barking excitedly.
Simon had prepared a wonderful meal. Lots of meat and mashed potatoes. There was a big pitcher of water, too.
Duke drooled as he gazed at the table.
Simon put meat and mashed potatoes on his plate, and he filled his glass with water. "This is for me."
Duke waited eagerly for his helping.
"And this is for you!" Simon said. He placed a doggy bowl filled with brown mushy stuff on the floor.
Duke looked at it, then back at Simon and gave him a questioning whimper.
"Well, I don't have a dog, so this'll have to do." Simon said. "It's leftovers."
Duke tasted it, went "Blech!", and moved the bowl to the side with a paw.
"Suit youself." Simon said, and began eating his meal.
Duke whimpered in a pleading tone.
"Oh, all right!" Simon threw Duke a leg of meat.
Duke caught it in his mouth and began eating happily.
Simon was eating another leg. "You like it?" he asked.
"Me, too!" Simon said. "There's nothing like baked werewolf and mashed potatoes, with a nice cold glass of water to wash it down!"
Upon the mention of the word "werewolf", Duke felt sick.
Simon walked into his bedroom, stretched and yawned, and jumped backwards onto his bed.
He heard yelping and was soon knocked off the bed.
Simon landed on his butt on the floor and rubbed his head. "You!"
Duke was lying on Simon's bed, grinning.
Simon got to his feet. "Who said you could sleep here?"
Duke pointed at a sign on the front of the bed. It read "MAKE YOURSELF COMFORTABLE".
"That doesn't apply to mutts." Simon said. He pointed at the floor. "Get off!"
Duke shook his head.
Simon yanked the bed covers and spilled Duke onto the floor.
Simon laid down on the bed.
Duke growled and pounced on Simon.
Simon yelled and tried to get away. He rolled off the bed and hit the floor again.
Duke laid down on the bed, back in his original position.
Simon stood up. "I'm going to take a nap - on the couch. When the N Team arrives, I'll let you know." He walked towards the door and added silently: "So you can get off my bed."
Duke didn't hear him. He was fast asleep, snoring.
Simon was so fast asleep and snoring so loudly, he didn't hear the door burst open and all the zombies rushing in.
But Duke did. He got up and ran into the living room.
Duke yelped and barked, but Simon didn't wake up.
The zombies were slowly approaching.
Duke pounced on Simon and woke him up.
Simon yelled. "What?!"
The two of them looked at the zombies.
"Oh." Simon said simply, then yelled.
Simon and Duke stood up.
Simon uncoiled his whip. "This calls for some whipper-snappin'!"
The human and canine took on the zombies.
Eventually, though, Duke realized there were too many of them. He barked at Simon.
"Yeah, so, I was wrong. Your own home isn't the safest place." Simon admitted. Then he smiled. "But I know a place we can hide out in until the N Team finds us! Back door, hurry!"
Simon and Duke ran out of the living room, through the kitchen, and out the back door. The zombies gave pursuit.
Simon was sure he heard something break. He groaned. "Great! I'll have to hire someone to clean up the place when this is all over!"
They ran to the back of the lodge. Simon's helicopter was parked there.
Duke gave Simon a questioning whimper.
They ran to it.
Simon got into the flyer side and opened the passenger door. "Hop in!"
Duke hopped into the chopper and closed the door.
Simon started the engine, and they took off.
Some zombies had managed to grab hold of the helicopter, though, and they were taken along for the ride.
Simon set the chopper down on a mountaintop.
He and Duke got out and looked up at the giant castle before them.
They ran up to the front double doors.
Simon uncoiled his whip. "Whip, pick the lock."
The whip nodded with a squeal. It went into the keyhole and unlocked the front entrance to the castle.
Simon coiled his whip and put it back on his side. He then pulled on the left door, groaning, and opened it slowly.
He and Duke ran inside the castle.
Simon put his back to the door and pushed it shut, then locked it.
"C'mon, to the top of the castle. They'll never find us there!" Simon said.
Duke tagged along, not so certain.
The canine gave Simon a questioning bark.
"Oh, this? It's my summer home." Simon replied. "Dr. Right gave it to me when we journeyed to the Warp of Life."
Duke barked and nodded, remembering.
"Yeah, it's an inflatable. Try as I might, I couldn't blow up the darn thing. Finally, on June 2, 1990, I had Mega Man blow it up for me. It's a luxurious place!"
Duke looked at the barren brown walls full of cobwebs and gave a questioning whimper.
"Well, in the actual rooms, it's luxurious." Simon clarified.
Simon and Duke entered a room on the top floor of the castle, and Simon locked the door.
"There." Simon said. "We'll be safe here until the N Team locates us and opens the warp."
Just then, the door burst open, and the zombies came in.
Simon yelled. "How'd you get here?!"
They responded with growls.
Simon backed up and uncoiled his whip.
Simon and Duke, once again, began fighting the zombies.
The zombies were approaching at a slow but steady pace.
Simon continued backing up - until he fell! There was no wall there!
Duke yelped and barked in fright.
Luckily, Simon had managed to hold onto the ledge.
Duke ran up in front of him, barking frantically.
"Grab the whip!" Simon said, and threw it onto the floor.
Duke grabbed the end of the whip with his teeth and pulled with all his might.
Simon eventually was able to climb back up on his own. He stood up and began expertly whipping the zombies.
Duke also helped out, biting the zombies' legs and holding them until Simon could whip them.
When the last zombie had been defeated, a warp opened.
"Finally!" Simon said. He started to walk towards the warp. Then he stopped. He turned around and faced Duke. "Listen, before we go back to Megaland, I'd just like to say...thanks. Thanks for all your help."
Duke barked his appreciation and returned the compliment.
"Anytime." Simon said. "You know, you and I make a pretty good team. Just don't mention any of this to the others, okay? I've got a reputation to protect."
Duke barked, nodding.
Simon walked into the warp, and Duke followed him.
They exited the warp and found themselves in the room that housed the Warp Zone Shifter.
Kevin and Mega Man were standing at the control panel.
"Finally!" Mega Man said. "We've been trying to get you home for the past two hours!"
"Yeah, we tried opening up warps for you, but you kept moving around, and we had to keep changing the coordinates!" Kevin said. "What have you guys been up to, anyway?"
Simon looked at Duke, then back at Kevin and Mega Man. "Oh, you know,...just hangin' out."
Simon and Duke looked at each other and winked.
That evening, the Megaland concert hall was filled to capacity. The N Team was sitting in the front row, and Simon and Duke even sat next to each other!
Captain N & The Video Game Masters - Kevin, Lana, Mike, and Stacey - walked onto the stage. The audience cheered and applauded wildly.
After their instruments were ready, they turned on their microphones.
"Good evening." Kevin said. "We'd like to dedicated our first piece tonight to two members of the N Team, Vampire Hunter Simon Belmont from Castlevania - "
Kevin was interrupted by a huge cheer.
"And man's best friend, my boy, Duke!" Kevin finished.
Duke whimpered sadly.
"They caused us a bit of a scare today, but we're glad they're all right." Kevin said. "A medley of Castlevania tunes. This one's for you! Let's do it! 1, 2, 3, 4!"
The band started off by playing 'Wicked Child', the Stages 07-09 tune from the original Castlevania. Then they went into 'Bloody Tears', the daytime music from Castlevania II: Simon's Quest. The band concluded with 'Monster Dance', the nighttime music.
After they were done, the entire audience stood up and cheered.
Simon cheered the loudest, and Duke barked in admiration.
Copyright © 1998, 1999 by Mark Moore
"MAN'S BEST FRIEND"
Copyright © 1998, 1999 by Mark Moore