The stranger opened his eyes to the semi-darkness of what had to be either dusk or dawn. He had no recollection of what had happened, or how he had gotten here... wherever here was.
He took a moment to look around, having some trouble to make out many details. His surroundings seemed to consist mostly of green and grassy fields, and that was where his ability to see anything ended. Hopefully it was dawn and not dusk.
Waiting for a few minutes, he noted to his immense dismay that it was getting darker and darker, and had he thought there were other shapes in the distance, he was unable to even tell that now.
Sighing dejectedly, wondering what he was supposed to do now, he stared back at the remains of what had once undoubtedly been his spaceship. He wasn't sure why he had survived with hardly a scratch if it had really crashed, as he suspected, and why he hadn't been inside when he had awakened, but it was probably better not to think about things like that.
The ship was only scrap metal at this point, practically torn apart, and he wondered how he would ever leave this planet.
Or had it even been his destination?
Hardly able to recall even basic information like his name at first, it came as no surprise that he wasn't sure. For all he knew and was able to remember, this planet might as well be his destination and he had only forgotten.
Unfortunately, he had no idea how to ascertain or disprove that thought, and the creeping darkness, which was closing in on all sides, made him feel uncomfortable.
Better to find other people, someone who'd tell him where he was or at least which planet he was currently on.
Only, he was hesitant to leave his position. Certainly, he was in a vulnerable position here, but who knew what unspeakable horrors awaited him somewhere else?
Contemplating his choices for a moment, he went back to the sorry excuse of metal that used to be his spaceship. Well, that wouldn't be able to fly ever again, that much was certain. But maybe he'd be able to open the hatch? Maybe if-?
He grunted with exertion as he pushed to get it open. Something was stuck and the electronic mechanism refused to work, but he refused to accept that. There was no other shelter in sight, and even if it was damaged beyond the point where it could be repaired, it was still good enough to act as shelter for the night.
There! The metal creaked in protest, but there was movement. A little more and-
He hit his head as the metal gave way suddenly, groaning in pain. Reaching up to his forehead, he grimaced. There was no blood, but it hurt nonetheless. Where the crash had failed to injure him, his own stupidity had managed just fine.
At least he had reached his goal as well.
Eyeing the controls critically for a moment, deciding it was at least worth a try, he pushed a button and waited with bated breath.
"Of course," he grumbled, disappointed although he had expected that result.
The ship gave him shelter at least, and at the moment, that was what counted. Setting out in the darkness was suicidal, and he had no plans of dying yet. Whatever the reason for his arrival on this planet, he was going to find out.
His sleep had been uneasy and he felt all but rested, but he was almost grateful when he awakened. He had been haunted by nightmares, and although he didn't remember them, he was unwilling to sleep any longer and experience them again.
Looking around by daylight was an underwhelming event, he soon noted. His surroundings consisted of little to look at, and daylight was hardly an accurate term right now. It was certainly day, but the sun didn't seem inclined to shine down on him, and that fact alone left him in an even worse mood.
At least there was enough light to see now, but the only thing worth of note was the forest - which was much too far away to be considered close to his current position.
He saw its outline on the horizon, and because he saw absolutely no one around, it had to be his first destination. He grimaced at the thought of walking there.
Clambering out of the ship, he jumped onto the grassy ground.
Nothing else had caught his attention as he had looked around. The forest it was then, he supposed.
With an unhappy expression firmly in place, he made his way in direction of the forest, never expecting that this was where his life would take a drastic turn.
Hours later, he had almost reached the forest, never even seeing any signs of life on his way. The world had been eerily calm, and for a moment he had feared he was the only one alive on this planet.
Of course that was an absurd thought, and he had been quick to reassure himself of that. A little fear remained, but he was sure as soon as he had met someone, it was going to be gone.
His thoughts had also strayed to the topic of what he was going to do when he met someone.
'Hello, I am lost and have no idea where I am' practically invited trouble, and whatever happened that he wouldn't say.
'My ship crashed and I need help' was not all that much better, at least if he didn't meet someone who looked like they would gladly help any stranger they met. He didn't count on that.
Without outright lying to hide his situation, he didn't know what to say, and he had agonized about this hypothetical meeting for quite some time. Results were still hard to come by, and just going along with whatever conversation happened seemed to be his safest bet.
Unfortunately, things didn't quite turn out as planned.
The forest had seemed nice enough from a distance. Up close, it seemed creepy. Creepy and most of all dangerous, and like nothing living inside had the capacity of doing any good in its life.
Honestly, it gave him the creeps.
Swallowing nervously for a few times, hesitating to set foot into the forest, he looked around carefully.
There was no one else, but he felt like someone was watching him and planning his slow and painful demise. Of course that fear was completely unfounded and more than a little silly, and he chuckled nervously.
He stopped quickly when he heard a sound from inside the forest, as if someone was whispering. He stood ramrod, not daring to move a muscle until it was gone, and even then he moved as quietly as possible.
Great. He had not even entered yet and he was already afraid of ghosts.
Gulping, he took a hesitant step and then another and another, and when he had taken twenty steps into the forest, he felt silly for being afraid. There was nothing, just a figment of his imagination that had transformed the wind into whispering.
Continuing on his way, he relaxed more and more with every step he took, and he had soon ventured deeply into the forest.
Admittedly, the trees did still seem creepy; especially the occasional dead trees unnerved him with their dead branches stretching like a person's fingers, trying to catch him and never let him go again.
The thorn bushes didn't just seem like they were trying to catch him. They were bloodthirsty little demons, who refused to let their prey go easily. He had accidently walked into one of them, and his face and arm now told the bloody story of the bush's revenge.
He had glared daggers at the offending plant after he had finally managed to free himself, but the longer he did so, the more he got the feeling the thorn bush was actually angry that he had escaped its painful embrace.
Little drops of his blood were silently falling to the ground, and as he looked on, the thorns seemed to be getting bigger and bigger.
He became tense once again, and he hurriedly left the thorn bush behind, taking great care to give all others a wider berth than absolutely necessary.
It became darker and darker as he ventured deeper into the forest, and the longer he stayed, the worse his feeling of having made a mistake became. He shouldn't have entered after all; no one would live in a dark and creepy place like this.
He had almost resolved to turn back, when beyond all hope he actually heard voices.
Someone was living here after all!
In his excitement he disregarded his caution, and his slow pace became a jog. His fear was forgotten for the moment, replaced with the simple relief that someone else was here.
His relief didn't last long.
"And I say it's stupid! Whatcha gonna do, huh?"
He had stopped several meters away, before entering the clearing where two strangers were arguing. They hadn't noticed him yet, and suddenly he was quite grateful for that fact.
'As entertaining as your squabble is, you are wasting my time. If you'd excuse me now.'
"Don't ya dare ignore us! We didn't get our hands on those headphones for ya to ignore what we have to say!"
Looking perplexed at the scene, he noted that there were actually headphones lying between the arguing people, a rather enraged Sir Kibble and a Butch that seemed not all happy either. The third voice had come from the headphones, and it was where the Sir Kibble's and the Butch' anger was directed.
They still hadn't noticed him, and he was more than happy to stay out of their argument for the time being.
'You stole them from one of my friends, and you expect me to keep this line open? I did until now, but I heard nothing other than you two complaining about each other and cursing me from time to time. I am trying to rebuild this world into a better place, but as Nightmare's henchmen you only think what he allows you to think.'
"Are ya sayin' we're stupid?!"
'No, I am merely saying you are not thinking for yourselves.'
He wasn't sure what was going on here, and the longer he listened the more he became aware that he didn't want to know. He at least had a name now, but this Nightmare didn't sound like a pleasant person to be around.
That other guy sounded like a nicer person, although he had to admit he only had the Butch and the Sir Kibble as comparison. They were definitely unfriendly, and if they were that Nightmare's henchmen, he couldn't be much better.
"Quiet, I heard something!" the Butch interrupted the Sir Kibble suddenly, and with dread he realized that it must be him he had heard. Sure enough they both turned in his direction, eyeing him with blatant hostility.
"Ya here to get those back?"
The Butch pointed at the headphones lying on the ground. He looked at them for a moment, wondering why anyone would be stupid enough to try and get them back. He shook his head mutely.
"Tsk, don't look like much of a challenge. I'll even give them to ya so I have a reason to kill ya." The Sir Kibble picked them up and threw them over, and reflexively he caught them.
"Now I have to kill ya to get 'em back."
"I am not-"
He didn't have the time to finish his sentence as the Sir Kibble attacked with his boomerang. Stumbling back, he managed to escape the attack, which instead tore a part out of the tree behind him before it returned to his attacker.
"Stop it!" he shouted in panic, but the Butch had already closed the distance between them.
His ax missed only by a hair's breadth, and he realized that those two were absolutely mad and wouldn't stop now.
Absentmindedly putting the headphones on to have his arms free, he did the only logical thing.
His would-be killers stared after him for a moment, until they remembered that he still had the headphones. They ran after him, but he was faster, and between the trees he had soon lost them.
Running for several more minutes, until he was completely certain they were no longer behind him, he collapsed in exhaustion and relief.
Taking several deep breaths, he shakily got up again.
"What the? What just happened?" he asked aloud in disbelief. A response was not what he had expected.
'You met some of Nightmare's charming henchmen. You are hardly the first they attacked on a whim.'
He flinched back, wholly unprepared for the voice that suddenly came from the headphones. Trying to get his heartbeat back to normal, he waited some seconds before he replied.
'You're not from around here, are you? Nightmare is essentially the ruler of this planet, although he aspires to become ruler of the whole universe. A complete megalomaniac if you ask me.'
'Exactly. However, I made it my responsibility to thwart his plans and resist him in every way I can. That made me something like his nemesis, and there is an impressive bounty on my head, but it's well worth it.'
He was tempted to respond with a simple 'oh' again, but he'd feel stupid. That was... impressive, he supposed. When he didn't say anything for a few seconds, the mysterious voice continued.
'I see this might all be a little much to take in if you're really not from around here. You only seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, but I feel bad for dragging you into this. You seem to be a little lost in that forest and I will help you find a way back out. In fact, I think it might even be a good idea to meet face to face.'
That sounded good. Getting out of here was really all he wanted to do right now, and this stranger had at least explained what was going on and had not randomly attacked him. Of course, he was somewhere else and couldn't attack him, but that was beside the point.
"I'd like that..." he mumbled, suddenly realizing that he didn't even have a name for his mysterious new acquaintance. He wasn't the only one who noticed, and he promptly got an introduction.
'I believe I didn't introduce myself because most people know my name. How rude of me.'
There was a short pause.
'Most people call me Kirby.'
A/N: I was bored and found myself tempted to do something at least a little (maybe a lot) cliché.
For now, I'll leave this story alone, but I might come back to it later. See it as a oneshot for the time being.