"SINS OF THE FATHER"
Captain N: The Game Master
Saturday, October 23, 1993, 7:58 PM
"SINS OF THE FATHER"
"Thank you!" Kevin yelled at the screaming audience.
Captain N & The Video Game Masters had performed yet another successful concert, much to the delight of Videoland.
"All right, this is gonna be our last tune for the evening!" Kevin said. He looked at the other three band members. "Let's do it! 1, 2, 3, 4!"
The band started playing the prelude from Final Fantasy II for the Super Nintendo.
Everything was going great for a while. Suddenly, though, an image appeared in Lana's mind. It was only there briefly, but it disturbed her. It was a woman screaming. Lana shook it off and continued playing. But then another image entered her mind. It was the same woman, dying. Lana felt sick. And she grew worse with each new image, each more disgusting than the last.
Eventually, Kevin, Mike, and Stacey noticed that Lana was playing off-key. They turned to face her.
"Lana, are you all right?" Kevin asked.
"I - " Lana began, then stopped playing altogether. She fell to the floor.
"Lana!" Kevin yelled. He took off his guitar and ran to her.
Mike and Stacey were already by her side. The audience was murmuring in surprise.
Kevin took Lana's guitar off of her and set it down on the stage.
"Lana, can you hear us?" Mike asked.
"Can you stand up?" Kevin asked.
They helped Lana to her feet.
"Let's get her to Dr. Right's lab." Mike said.
Kevin took out a warp zone opener and opened a warp. They stepped into it.
Kevin, Mike, Stacey, and Lana appeared on a lift in Dr. Right's laboratory. It lowered them down to the floor.
Dr. Right ran up to them. "Captain N, what's going on?"
"Lana needs your help." Kevin said.
Kevin, Mike, and Stacey walked Lana over to a metal examination table and helped her get on it and lie down.
"What happened?" Dr. Right asked, beginning to run diagnostics.
"We don't know. She just collapsed during the concert." Mike said.
"Your Highness, are you in pain?" Dr. Right asked.
Lana shook her head. "No. I've just got a small headache."
"From what? Do you know?"
"I...just keep getting these pictures in my mind's eye. Br-brief flashes."
The scientist was looking over the data he'd collected. "Heart rate 120. A bit high, considering your activity for the past two hours, but it's already dropping back to normal. You'll be fine."
"What were the pictures off?" Kevin asked.
Lana shook her head. "I dunno, but they weren't good."
"You can go home, but please call me if you experience anything like this again." Dr. Right said.
Lana nodded. "Thanks, Dr. Right." She sat up and swung her feet down. She jumped to the floor. Suddenly, though, more images flashed through her mind. This time, there were sounds, too. Lana placed her hands over her ears and fell to her knees, yelling in pain.
This alarmed the others.
"Lana, what's wrong?!" Kevin asked.
"More pictures!" Lana yelled. "And...all these voices in my head!"
"Calling Gloria?" Stacey asked.
Mike whacked her in the back of the head.
"I can't stand them! Make them stop!" Lana yelled.
"I don't know what's causing them!" Dr. Right said.
Lana kept yelling. Finally, she fell on her left side on the floor. "What in Videoland?! Nooo!!!"
"Dr. Right, do something!" Kevin yelled.
"I can't! Not without knowing the cause! I might make things worse!"
Suddenly, Lana stopped screaming.
"Lana?" Kevin asked. "Are you all right?"
Lana was getting to her feet. She turned to face her friends.
"Lana, like, talk to us." Stacey said.
Lana did a high kick with her left leg and knocked the metal table on its side.
Kevin approached her. "Lana?"
Lana faced him and barked, baring her teeth.
Kevin backed away. "Whoa!"
Dr. Right stepped forward. "Princess, I'm going to give you a sedative. All right?"
Lana faced him. She managed to nod.
Dr. Right went across the room and came back with a blue pill and a glass of water. He handed them to Lana.
Lana took the pill and downed it with the water. Then she squeezed the glass, shattering it with her hand.
Mike grabbed hold of her from behind.
"I'm all right!" Lana told him.
She sat down on the floor. The others joined her.
"I'm getting more of my father's memories." Lana said.
"So, that's what the flashes and voices were!" Dr. Right said.
Lana nodded. "They came upon me so fast, it was unbearable."
"What are the memories?" Mike asked.
Lana took a deep breath and narrated the following: "It was September 22nd, 1973, nighttime. My father had just hosted a banquet and was pretty drunk. He walked into his bedroom. My mother was lying on the bed, reading a book. My father asked her why she didn't attend the banquet. The two of them started arguing. They apparently hadn't been getting along too well for the past three weeks. Then my father took off his robe and lied down on top of my mother. My mother yelled and asked what he was doing. He kissed her and forced himself upon her. My mother tried to get away, but he held her in place. He pulled up her nightgown and...and..." Lana said, beginning to cry, "and raped her! She hadn't taken a sterilization pill in quite a while, so she got pregnant. The next morning, my father woke up. He had my mother go to the royal doctor, where she was given a pregnancy test. My father made up some kind of cover story about how my mother wanted to become pregnant. He forced her to go along with it. He also announced this to all of Videoland. On the morning of June 23rd, 1974, my mother went into labor. My father called the doctor to their bedroom. The doctor instructed my mother to lie down on the bed. He then examined her and told her that she would not survive giving birth, and that the child had to be aborted. My father refused, saying he would not have the life of a child on his conscience. My mother pleaded and begged for an abortion, but my father refused. It was a royal decree, so the doctor's hands were tied. My mother screamed in pain and torment until mid-afternoon and died giving birth to a healthy baby girl - me." Here Lana paused to let the others soak this in, and to allow them a brief moment of rest before what came next. "There was blood all over the bed. My father and the doctor started arguing - very heatedly. The doctor swore he'd publicize what happened. My father paid him off to keep his silence. Just then, two royal guards arrived in the room, for they had heard yelling. Then they saw my mother lying dead in a pool of her own blood. They started yelling in horror. My father grew nervous. He drew his laser gun and fired at the guards, repeatedly! They fell to the floor, dead! He killed the two guards, because they were witnesses! He swore to the doctor that he'd kill him, too, if the doctor ever said anything about this. So, they took the bodies to the Palace's morgue. My father had the organs donated to anyone that needed them. He made up some story about how the two guards had died saving him from Metroids! Unfortunately, the story went, they arrived after the Metroids had killed Queen Mary. My father and the doctor then quietly buried the truth, and my father put the whole thing behind him as if nothing had ever happened!"
There was a long silence. Everybody just sat and thought about what had just been said.
Finally, Mike shook his head. "That is one dysfunctional family."
"Lana," Kevin said, "...let's go home. We'll figure out what to do there."
Lana nodded, and they all stood up.
Kevin nodded. "Thank you, Dr. Right."
The good scientist nodded back. "Good luck."
"Something tells me we'll need it." Kevin said.
Back at the N Team's house in Megaland, Lana walked straight to her room. Upon entering it, she picked up the picture of her father off of her dresser and threw it against a wall.
Kevin, Mike, and Stacey dodged it.
"Whoa, like, chill, girl!" Stacey yelled.
"The sedative must've worn off!" Kevin yelled.
Mike ran over behind Lana and grabbed hold of her. He brought her down to the floor, pinning her.
Kevin and Stacey smiled.
Mike looked at them and smiled. "Four years, captain of the Northridge High wrestling team." He winked.
Kevin, Lana, Mike, and Stacey walked into the living room.
Prince Lyle and Princess Zelda were standing there. They ran up to Lana.
"Lana!" Lyle said in relief. He hugged her.
Lana hugged him. "Hi, Lyle."
Lyle released her. "We watched the concert on TV! We saw you collapse on stage!"
"Are you all right?!" Zelda asked with concern.
Lana began to cry again. "No!!!"
"What's wrong?" Lyle asked.
While Lana told them the story, Kevin and the others walked over to the television. Kevin picked up the remote control, turned on the television, and tuned in to VNN: The Videoland News Network.
On the screen was footage of the concert. Lana was shown collapsing on the stage. Then the image switched to the news anchor.
"As of this moment, we still don't know what happened to Princess Lana." Cathy Bennett said. "She was apparently warped to Dr. Right's laboratory, but so far there has been no word from him, nor from the N Team. We will provide uninterrupted live coverage of this story and report any new information as it comes in."
Lyle broke down and began to cry once he heard the whole story. Lana hugged him. Lyle shook her off and walked over to a corner by himself. Kevin, Mike, and Stacey watched them silently.
"Lana, - " Zelda began.
Lana threw her arms around the Ruler of Hyrule. "Hold me, Zelda! Just hold me!"
"I can't believe it." Zelda said. "King Charles Deschain,...a murderer. Oh, Gods, I'm so sorry, Lana!"
Lana held onto her, crying on her right shoulder. "Thank you, Zelda!"
The two of them stood that way for a few minutes, Zelda comforting Lana by offering her love and support.
"Lana, I don't mean to be disrespectful," Kevin said, "but shouldn't you call the news station and tell them you're all right?"
Lana turned to face him. "Call them yourself!"
Kevin jumped, then nodded.
"I'll be in my office." Lana turned and walked out of the room.
Lana walked into her office. She went over to her desk and turned on her laptop.
Lana contacted Dr. Right's laboratory on his personal frequency.
Dr. Right's face appeared in the monitor. "Your Highness. Are you having more flashes?"
Lana shook her head. "No. Dr. Right, did the cameras in your lab record me telling all of you about what my father did?"
Dr. Right nodded. "Yes, Your Highness."
"Upload it to VNN." Lana ordered.
"What?!" Dr. Right asked in surprise.
"You heard me!" Lana said, impatient. "Upload it to the network and tell them I want it on the air now!"
"Yes, Your Highness."
"We've just received word from Captain N that Princess Lana is fine." Cathy Bennett said. "However, he refused to comment about what happened at the concert."
Just then, a man walked by and handed her a datapad.
"This just in." Cathy said. "Apparently, the Princess is giving us a recording of herself explaining the situation. She's ordering it to be sent out all over Videoland. So, we are going to play it for you now. We wish to caution parents that the dialogue is graphic and is not appropriate for children."
Lana was in the game room, punching furiously at the punching bag. Kevin was kind enough to hold it for her, but he was now reconsidering that decision.
"I'm glad, Lana." Kevin said.
"Glad?" she asked, still punching. "For what?"
"That you decided to take it out on the punching bag, rather than me." Kevin said, trying to hold the bag steady.
Lana laughed, but she wasn't very happy.
"You know, it might do some good to talk about this, Lana."
"My father allowed my mother to die!" Lana yelled. "He denied her the one thing that could save her life! A simple medical procedure!"
"Are you saying your mother should've been allowed an abortion?" Kevin asked.
Lana considered that. "Taking everything into consideration, no, because then I wouldn't be here right now. I don't think that's all too selfish of me."
"It isn't." Kevin agreed.
"However, considering just the circumstances in 1974," Lana went on, "then yes, she should've been given an abortion. The mother's safety has to come before the child's."
"I agree." Kevin said.
"That is precisely why abortion is not completely banned in Videoland." Lana said. "I don't want the deaths of countless women on my conscience."
"Good for you." Kevin said, trying to hold the bag steady.
"My father was a murderer, Kevin." Lana said. "He's the type of person I despise the most, and I never knew it! He trained me as a fighter, so I could help free Videoland from Mother Brain." She stopped hitting the bag and looked at Kevin. "On my tenth birthday, he took me to the courtyard, and he showed me how to fire a weapon. I killed my first Metroid that day." Her eyes blazed. "And it was with a murder weapon!" Lana began punching the bag again.
"I'm sorry." was all Kevin could say.
"He - he always talked about how wonderful and caring my mother was! And how much he loved her and missed her! He said her death was unexpected and that there was no way to save her! Lies! My whole life's been filled with lies!!!" Lana punched the bag in rage, screaming.
Finally, Kevin couldn't take it anymore. He was knocked to the floor.
Lana stopped punching. "Sorry!" she barked. She walked over and helped him to his feet.
"It's all right, I'm used to it." Kevin said with a smile.
Lana sighed, shaking her head. "I gotta get outta here."
"And go where?" Kevin asked.
Lana removed the protective tape from her hands. "I dunno. I gotta go somewhere and think."
She handed Kevin the tape and left.
Lana had decided to go to New Orleans. She now sat on the stage in the dancing hall, playing blues on a Hummingbird.
As her fingers made music, her thoughts drifted to various moments in her life.
"Happy birthday, Lana!"
"Oh, thank you, father!"
"Good-bye, my little Princess!"
"Your father's a strong man, Princess. He'll be okay."
"Father? "I took a human life, Kevin. I've never done that before. Never. I hate what I've become."
"And the thing is, I wouldn't be in this much grief if it was someone like Dr. Wily that I shot. But it was my father!"
"Still, the fact remains that my father is lying dead outside. And I'm the one that killed him."
loved me, and I loved him. I feel a whole lot better about myself now, Kevin. In fact, I feel great!"
"I wish I could've gotten a chance to know your father."
"You would've loved him."
"And he genuinely Lana stopped playing. Suddenly, she heard hands clapping.
Lana looked up and saw the man standing there. "Steve."
Steve Starlight walked up to the stage.
"How long were you standing there?" Lana asked.
"Long enough to hear ya play."
"I hope you don't mind me using your instrument."
Steve shook his head. "Naw, dat's okay." He paused, then smiled. "'Won't Dance With No Devil'."
Lana smiled. "It seemed appropriate, considering the similarity in the behavior of my father and a character in popular mythology."
"Oh?" Steve sat to Lana's left on the stage.
Lana put the Hummingbird down. "Yeah. I recently learned that my father...killed some people...years ago."
Steve took this in. "I see."
"I just needed to get away and think, so I came here."
"Have ya talked with anyone about this?"
Lana nodded. "Yeah, my friends. And they tried to comfort me, but...I'm still mad."
"Well, I hope ya work things out." Steve said.
Lana nodded. "Me, too. Good night, Steve."
She hopped off the stage and left the bar.
Lana walked into the living room.
Kevin, Mike, Stacey, Zelda, Lyle, and Dr. Right were there. They stood up upon her arrival.
"What's the word?" Lana asked.
"Public reaction is very strong." Dr. Right said. "The news has probably made it all over Videoland by now. Everybody hates King Charles."
Lana nodded. She walked over to the couch and sat in the center. Zelda was seated to her left, and Lyle was seated to her right. Kevin, Mike, Stacey, and Dr. Right were standing in front of her.
"So," Kevin asked, "what happens now?"
"Now," Lana said, "I talk to Videoland."
Kevin nodded. "Go and transmit."
Lana shook her head. "No. No, I'm not gonna intrude in people's houses as a hologram. That's only for emergencies."
"Then what?" Mike asked.
"It's an honor to have you here, Princess Lana." Cathy Bennett said, smiling.
Lana smiled back. "My pleasure, Cathy."
"I guess you want to comment on recent...revelations."
"Go for it. It's all yours."
"Thank you." Lana faced the camera. "Citizens of Videoland, I am addressing you tonight to comment on my father's actions." She paused and thought about what she was going to say next. "As you all know, I recently discovered that my father is a murderer. While I cannot add new details to what you have already heard, nor can I make excuses for his actions, I would like to say this: My father was a wise man most of the time. He did good things and won the support of the people. However, several gruesome acts have made him a very immoral person. He has diminished the title of the Ruler of Videoland. What he should've done was tell the people of Videoland the truth and faced the consequences, not lie his ass off. He lied and did everything in his power to conceal the truth! A person like that should not be a leader." She shook her head. "He doesn't deserve our forgiveness. He deserves to be shamed. I will not forget the good things he's done for me and Videoland. Nor should you. However, I don't think any of us can look at him the same way again. As for me, I have lost most, if not all, respect for King Charles. I hope you haven't lost any respect for me. The Deschains have always been a proud, noble, and just family - except for Charles Deschain. Now that all of this is known, I ask you to join me in making Videoland a better place for all. Thank you for watching, and good night."
After Lana had gotten off the news, she walked up to Kevin and the others, who were waiting for her.
"So, what do you think?" Lana asked.
"Like, nice speech." Stacey complimented.
"Do you feel better?" Zelda asked.
Lana nodded. "Yeah."
"I've always looked up to my father." Lyle said. "I wanted to be just like him."
Lana put her right arm around Lyle and hugged him.
"Man," Mike said, "what a jerk King Charles was. I hope we never have a President that behaves like that."
Copyright © 1998 by Mark Moore
"SINS OF THE FATHER"
Copyright © 1998 by Mark Moore