On with the next chapter! ;D
-Chapter 2: 'Woo' Girl-
Ness fussed as his mother tried to arrange his hair to the side. "Mom," he complained.
"We're going to talk to Captain Strong, you should look presentable," she said with a mile wide smile.
Not being a stranger to his mother's antics, he decided to call her out, "You want to flirt with him," he said and looked off in the other direction. Not missing a beat, she went in and started to fix his collar. He pushed her away, "Stop it already, or I'll pop the collar."
His mother took a step back in horror, "You wouldn't!"
He got a devilish smile on his face as he touched the collar, flattening it. After the threat passed, his mother walked through the front door, holding it for Ness. "Captain Strong," she exclaimed and released the door, effectively pinching her son in middle.
"Nice," he said as he rubbed his forehead.
"We came earlier," she said and happily skipped over to the lumbering, vending machine-sized man. "I'm glad you could talk to us on such short notice."
The officer smiled, his crow's feet became visible from behind the large lenses, "It was no problem," he said and stepped awkwardly close to Rachelle, "Such a frail woman living alone, how could I not make it a priority? Without a man at your side to protect you, it must me difficult."
It was a brief notion, but long enough to make Ness look away in disgust, "I'll bet," he said under his breath.
At this point Captain Strong was sneaking a hand in around his mother's shoulders, "Why don't you go play a game?," he said to the youngster and reached into his pocket. He emerged with a crumpled ten dollar bill and handed it to Ness, "You let the adults do the work."
Ness shut his eyes and tried to fish out the logic as he accepted the donation, "But..I was the one who saw the guy," he said quietly, hoping he wouldn't have to talk to the bull-sized man. They went into Captain Strong's office and began to close the door, unknowingly helping Ness dodge a bullet. He was somewhat relieved that he didn't have to blame the incident from last night on the Sharks. There was no way of telling if the one who called himself 'Starman' was even remotely related to them.
"We'll be fine sweetheart, I'll just tell him what you told me," his mother spoke through the crack the door made. She then closed it with a click. Another click followed; probably a lock.
He shivered, understanding the implications. "Why did I bother-..." he said and ruffled his hair into a shaggy due. Ness looked at the money in his hand; it all made sense now. His mother wanted to come down to see Mr. Strong, she was using Ness's encounter as a cover-up. The woman had done things like that since his dad left, the whole 'sneaking around' thing. And Ness was now fifteen, plenty old enough to understanding when his mom was 'fishing'. He didn't mind, he knew she was looking for someone else to fill the void. As much as Ness said he was okay with it, he really wasn't at the same time. While he held out hope that his father would come back, he knew his mother was lonely and needed affection. It was the kind he or his sister couldn't offer.
Ness dismissed the depressing prospect for something more mind numbing: Games! He had shown up far too early to meet with his friends, so blowing some quarters before they got there seemed like a good idea. He popped a few of the silver pieces in a machine and began pummeling zombies. After a ten minute excursion he had the console lit up and buzzers were going off. He had accessed a secret that never had been done before. Even the clerk was in awe, and she had been working there since the place opened.
"Woo," a voice said from his left side.
"Awesome," a voice from the right.
The pressure was on now; the two voices were girls! There were no gamer chicks in town that he knew of, so this was a treat. Possibly some out of town girls to impress. He got to show off his expertise and smiled as he blew more zombies away. When he finally lost his last heart of health and the game whirled into its 'game over' screen, the high score screen immediately followed. He keyed in 'nes', no room for a fourth letter. Turning around to see a few people talking about the score, he scanned for the girls. His buddies had shown up early and gave him kudos on the score and he let them know about the two elusive voices. His friends suggested they may have been there with their boyfriends.
Ness saw one girl leaning on the shoulder of her partner across the room and the other girl was nowhere to be found. She was the one who said 'woo', blond and sporting a preppy pink attire; one not normally witnessed in the arcade. The rest of Ness's friends showed up and they started out with a game of air hockey, followed by icy slushies.
After a couple hours spent in the arcade with friends, Ness made his way home. He had only gotten halfway up the street when he was accosted by a familiar countenance, dark outfit with a matching mask covering the face. These guys were with the Sharks, the gang Onett started having problems with recently. One of them stepped close, "Saw yo' moms today." The guy was backed by two others as he spoke, "She lookin' fine. Whas d'eh deal wit her an Strong?"
Ness grew nervous. He had no clue on how to fight, let alone take on three at a time. "She's got this thing for him. Something about a guy in uniform, I guess." He tried to keep it light and funny, not wanting to be stepping on any toes.
"D'at ain't what I peeped. One our boys jumped you? Tha's bullshit! Thas bullshit cause we be smokin' wit the boys up on giant step!" Giant step was a small secluded collection of caves that led to the top of a sheer-drop cliff. Very private. "We ain't no wer near you normies!"
Ness nodded, "I know where you're coming from. I got jumped by someone and my mom assumed it was you guys. Why would you guys waste your time on me? I got nothing you want." It was then that he realized his mother was right to send him to the debate team. He talked them down and saved his own ass from a 'whuppin'.
"Thas right," he said as he brushed past Ness, deliberately bumping him back a step, "We got mo' class den dat! This comes back on my boys, I be on the horn and you be runnin!" He made his stand and continued on by. The two friends he had with him laughed and walked on by. One hopped on a pogo stick and he slipped off the curb to the gutter. He snickered like a fool and kept bouncing along.
He held his pounding heart. Ness was certain his ass was about to be handed to him. At the beginning of the year, his mother forced him to pick an extracurricular to make his high school transcript look better and he was glad he listened. The debate team wasn't physically taxing and he got to tell people they were stupid. It was nice to see his skills be put to the test and pay off, outside of school.
"Hey, wait up," came a voice from behind.
He turned to face the person calling out to him and saw that it was the 'woo' girl from the arcade. "Yeah," he said, still winded from the encounter with the Sharks. Ness felt that fate was throwing him a bone for not fighting. This girl was gorgeous with golden hair to top it all off. She stared deeply at him, concentrating her stare directly at his face, "...is something up?" he said with a confused expression but still tried to posture a little.
"...You really can't hear me?" she said.
"I did right then..." This girl was beginning to weird him out. So much for the karma and that bone.
She rolled her eyes, "No, I mean in your head."
That tipped it, "...have you been talking to a guy named 'Picky'?" he asked, sure the girl was high.
The girl looked offended, "I wish. I've felt your aura for a long time but I can't anymore, so I walked from Twoson to talk face to face. My feet are killing me and now it's freaking me out that I still can't feel your aura. What happened last night?"
"You're crazy." He said and turned to walk away.
"I'm not kidding Ness, this is serious," she said.
He paused and did a one-eighty, "I didn't tell you my name...who put you up to this? Alec? Roger? Pokey?" He assumed that one of his friends was messing around with him, or one of his 'not-friends'.
"That fat kid? Ew. And, no. This isn't some joke. 'Starman'. You saw him last night, didn't you?" she assured him.
As she said this, a chill ran through his spine, "...this isn't a joke." He wanted to make sure.
"No, you retard. This is way too 'out there' for me to be making anything up. Anyway, I'm Paula. As I said, from Twoson." She folded her arms and tapped a finger wildly on her opposite elbow.
"Ness. From here."
"I know. Can we talk 'not-right-here'?" With the brief introduction out of the way. He led Paula to a little tree house tucked away in the back of town. "You best keep your hands to yourself." She wagged a finger upwards, to the sky.
Ness raised an eyebrow. He had no intentions of putting the moves on someone who could very well be schizophrenic. Though she was hot, that didn't matter, she was bad candy. He gave her no reason to be snippy, yet there it was. "Do you always flatter yourself?"
She gave him a silent sarcastic 'ha-ha'. They sat facing one another, cross-legged, about eight inches apart. Their backs were up against the walls of the tree hut, as far as it went. The craftsmanship was obviously that of children, but still reliable. "It's this thing called Giygas. He's from outer-space, some kind of alien overlord, or robot, or I don't know...doesn't matter. Those on the surface who are edible will be used for fodder. Ore will be stripped from the ground using foreign technology. Eventually Earth will be rendered a dump for galactic garbage. Or if we're lucky, a factory for building unforeseen machinery bent to Giygas's rule. Beings like 'Starman', I guess."
"...how do you know all this stuff?" Ness complained as he ran his hands through his short black hair. He grabbed the back of his now ruffled mop and closed his eyes in frustration. "This is the kind of stuff kids believe...why is it real?"
"I see these things in visions. That's how I found you and knew about the 'Starman'. What happened with him? I felt your presence right up until he grabbed your neck," she leaned forward a bit as she spoke.
Ness was really beginning to get freaked out. This was real. How else could she have known about him being grabbed by a creature that appeared from nowhere? "He touched my forehead and this bright light appeared, then I blacked out. When I woke up, he was gone and I was covered in morning dew."
Paula folded her arms and thought deeply; eyes closed, face toward the heavens. "Why didn't he destroy you if you're one of the four who kills Giygas."
"I'm suppose to kill him?" he said in a panic. "What? Do I hand out flyers to rally the masses?"
"No. You, myself and two others. We're suppose to do it. Power of love, friendship and all that crap," she said and glanced off to the side, as if something in the corner of the room was more interesting than the fate of the world.
"Beat the aliens with love? That's rich. Maybe this is some kind of group hallucination, I've heard that happens," he made a stab at rationalizing the otherwise hopeless sensation.
"I think you have to be in the same place for that to happen, or experience a similar event," Paula effortlessly avoided the stab. Swish.
With a heavy head, Ness rested it on his fists, elbows on his knees. "So what now?"
Paula straightened her long, light pink sundress over her knees. "I have no clue. I'm suppose to be able to call you when it's time. Exactly ten years from today."
"Ten?" he said almost silently. "...I guess that's enough time to build up an army," he lamented, hoping that there was something they could do between now and then to get out of this.
"There's a problem. I can't sense you." She held up an empty palm, symbolizing the hoplessness of the situation.
"What does that have to do with anything?"
Paula shifted, her foot had begun to fall asleep. "I'm suppose to be able to talk to you after you're contacted from someone from the future," she held up a hand, "Yes, there's time travel. He was suppose to give you a stone. After you charged it once at a 'sanctuary' location, I was suppose to be able to talk to you. Now, I can't even feel your aura."
Ness straightened a leg, "A stone? Sanctuary? Aura? I take it back, this isn't something kids believe, this is a video game. I've gone crazy from playing too many games, and this is the resulting psychosis. I was getting worried for a second there. Nice meeting you crazy manifestation of the girlfriend I'll never have. Funny, aren't you supposed to remind me of my mother? I guess Freud was wrong." He smiled wide and shrugged.
"What are you on about? Get it together," she said with a twinge of worry. Paula feared she may have broken the poor boy.
"Oh, I have it together. I need to talk to my mother so she can send me to a doctor to give me pills to make the aliens go away." He began to turn to reach for the door.
With a twitch in the left side of her face, she grabbed Ness by the scruff and held him close to her face, "You're not nuts! This is happening!" Just then, the door opened, "Fuck off! We're busy!" she yelled to the unknowing person on the other side.
The guy at the door yelped and slammed it shut again, "Sorry, Ness! I'll spread the word of your conquest!" he yelled over his shoulder as he surried off through the underbrush.
Ness smirked, "You're the best figment of my imagination ever. You made the usual's think I'm getting laid. Props." He loosened her hands and stood of his own accord. "Alright, I'll accept this title."
"Under what condition?" she said with an eye roll.
"Condition? What condition?" Ness said, confused.
"Aha-nothing. It sounded like that was where you were going." Paula began leaving.
"I can have a condition? Wait, let me think of one!"
"Too late, let's move. This stuff is too heavy to talk about in public," she exited the hut, deeming it unsecure.
"Dammit," Ness followed suit. "Wait, shouldn't I lead?"
"Don't worry, I know where your house is," she said as she pushed through the bushes.
"Oh, I think I should worry." He followed the new, strange girl to his own house.
Woo, I'm done. :P