ONE CHAPTER AGO
"You're going to die sooner or later, Zio! Give up already!"
"You have no clue what power I have, do you?"
Alys and the Questers had confronted Zio yet again. But this time was different. Zio stood with a different stance. He was... confident.
"You think you can kill me? Then... what about this?"
The dark mage destroyed himself, leaving nothing but a gruesome skeleton behind. The Questers gasped, while Alys looked confused. After all, her worst enemy had just incinerated himself. Before she could react, though...
The skeleton regenerated, and there was Zio, once again standing in the way.
"You see? I cannot die... unless you do as well, Alys Brangwin!"
"That... that's a lie!"
"Now it is you who should surrender, petulant woman!"
But ultimately, Zio could not stop the Questers. Despite his regeneration, they managed to defeat him anyway. Kraegan, another vampire, had warned Zio not to stretch the limits of his immortality, but Zio had foolishly done just that. And so the Questers had acquired flying beetles, although what Zio had said continued to echo in Alys' mind, long after that mission had ended...
"As long as I live... so will the king of darkness..."
Alys realized that, once again, she was helpless. It was almost as bad as that time she had been killed and sent to sickbay; if not twice as bad. So she went to 'fix' it, just like she had that other time. She stole Link's Chateau Romani drink, and then flew off. She had intercepted the Quester Hunters' intel, and knew where their headquarters was; they weren't going to make a fool of her.
She was going to get rid of Zio, one way or another. So she left... and also left the Questers clueless as to her status.
A mission was called to save Alys again; some Questers groaned, as this was far from the first time. They groaned even more when they discovered their destination was... Australia. And that they would have to WALK the whole way to their next destination. For while the whole Stadium now knew the Quester Hunters were in Termina... one could not simply warp there, without being detected first by the nefarious Quester Hunters' sensors.
Gibby, Metal, Star Steel, Aribar, Linkbot, and Wolfman set out on this epic adventure, first warping to Australia. There, in the grand Opera house, was Meier Link, who had set the whole place ablaze. He was on to the Questers' plan, and was intending to stop them. But after another battle (and presumably a dunk in the nearby ocean), his nefarious aims were no more. The Questers took the portal out of the burning Opera House, and were soon on their way to Hyrule.
The warp took them to the ranch of Cremia, the Termina version of Lon Lon Ranch. After stocking up on some very useful bottles of chocolate milk named 'dark milk' (which gave infinite SP, much to many Questers' delight) the Questers walked up to the fortress.
The fortress, however, had more to it than just being a fortified building. It, obviously, had seen the hand of Ed Glukkon, for it possessed a great many technological features... ...and as noted earlier, could not simply be invaded through the front door.
So the Questers found their way in through the least desirable route--the sewers. Right outside of the sewers were where the Slogs--slug-like dogs--were kept. The Questers had met these before, so they had no problem fighting their way through the kennels. Many shredders were along the way, though, and for some reason, the siren song of lethal metal blades spinning really fast attracted the inner sleuth of Linkbot. The hapless reploid went to 'look' inside a shredder for clues, and instead was reduced to confetti. Wolfman tried to save Linkbot, only to also lose a life in the same fashion. The other, less suicidal Questers decided getting too close to the shredders was a bad idea after that.
More puzzles and traps awaited. In another room, a horde of Sligs (hideous slugs with mechanical legs and machineguns) fought Wolfman, Star Steel, Gibby, and Aribar. On the side, Metal Man once again drank some Zap! Cola, which gave him the power to control a nearby crane. He used said crane to painfully move the Questers onto a higher platform--as the crane's chief way of functioning was to HOLD PEOPLE BY THE SKULL. Luckily, the Questers had stiff necks, so no tragedy resulted from this bizarre form of transportation.
After moving through more of the evil headquarters, the Questers began to see something familiar... a 'Big Room.' This Big Room, however, was evil, and devoid of anything of interest. So they continued on, and found a different sight, and one which was more horrifying.
Rupture Farms. The vile Mudokon-destroying factory had been rebuilt... and it was in the way of the Questers' search for Alys. The Questers soldiered on anyway, entering the bowels of the mechanical deathtrap.
Within there, they found saws, grinders, crushers, conveyor belts... ...and a strange ghost who said he could help them. Intrigued, the Questers accepted the offer without really questioning WHY they were being helped. And so, Aribar got TWO Moonlights, and Metal got a nasty looking axe. Kinnin (who had caught up with the group a little bit earlier) got some sort of double-knife set, and Star Steel got something else of use.
With their brand new equipment and a bit of luck, the Questers managed to survive the factory's meat-processing obstacle course. Once they reached the end of the factory, a different person appeared to help them--a man with a large sword and shirt collar. The man offered them advice about some sort of super-powered threat--and also the knowledge of how to use Trance. Most of the Questers took him up on this offer; while Metal Man also learned how to use trance, he suspected it was a trap.
A real trap sat in the way of the next room; three slots. It was the infamous monster maker, and the Questers made the mistake of putting in a certain three horribly bad choices. Out came ULTIMA WEAPON GOLD, who was easily the toughest thing the Questers had ever met. After fighting the beast for many hours, it eventually collapsed. But before it fully died, it knocked the Questers to 1 HP; a nasty curse if there ever was one. Linkbot, however, made this bad situation worse by walking into the nearest Super Slog's mouth, solely to 'investigate' it, just like the shredder. Predictably, he was eaten; unpredictably, Wolfman didn't even bother trying to save him this time.
After dealing with their low health and the super slog, the Questers then slogged their way down some split-up paths. Tempest fought the evil clown from Spawn, Aribar defeated Kraegan the vampire, Star Steel got incincerated by an evil vampire named Magnus, though Kinnin saved him. Somewhere in this maze, Wolfman encountered Zio as well.
"You again, Wolfman? Will you ever learn?"
"You won't live forever, Zio. No one who has betrayed the Questers like you lives for long."
"Can't you give your little morals a rest and give up already? I am much stronger than you, fool!"
"You may be strong, but I won't give up just yet."
"So be it. Let's see how you endure the darkness this time, Wolfman!"
Wolfman and Zio fought fiercely. The two were both experienced warriors; but Wolfman did not have the dark powers of Zio. Soon, Wolfman was near defeat.
"Don't you see it already, reploid? You're old, you're outdated! The Quester Hunters are how it is now. So why don't you die already?"
"I won't... ugh... ...I will not surrender to the likes of you."
"Go ahead and be that way; it will do nothing to prevent your doom."
Wolfman was truly doomed... ...until, out of nowhere, he managed to find the Sword of Light. He took out the holy blade, brandishing it at Zio.
"Now where did you find that?"
"Those who are pure of heart that are in need will always have the blade."
"...You keep your disgusting optimism. Even that shiny trinket won't save you now!"
The tables were turned, however. Zio could not bear the glare of the sword, and was beaten back in short order. Wolfman, weak but victorious, had avoided death for the time being. The Questers soon caught up with Wolfman, and while he told them what had happened... Alys crashed in through the ceiling, as usual.
"Where have YOU been, Alys? Zio nearly turned me into slag while we were looking for you!"
"Oh, don't be that way, Wolfman. I'm dealing with MY problem."
"This problem includes all of us, Alys!"
"No... while the Quester Hunters are all of our enemies, Zio is MY problem."
While Alys and Wolfman had been bickering, the weakened Zio had drug himself to the edge of some large stone circle. The immortal sorceror of evil was far from done. In short order, the portal began to activate, causing everyone to turn around and look at him, as well as it.
"WHAT is that?"
"Oh Alys, you are so pathetically naive. What do you think it is, hmm?"
"A giant mirror you use to look at your PATHETIC face to try and justify your continued behavior?"
"No..." He chuckled. "Through this portal I will summon the greatest evil you have ever seen. With this evil, you will be unable to stop me, the Quester Hunters, and anything else you happen to disagree with."
"Fat chance! I'll rip your head off and--"
"Wolfman, this is NOT the time to tell me about--"
But it was not about her decorum. Instead, it was a matter of priorities... as all the Questers seemed ready to kick Zio's butt.
"This fight isn't just yours. Let us handle him for once."
"Fine... but you'll probably mess it up!"
"You can help us, but we have to work as a team."
"Okay... fine..." *sigh*
The group fought together against Zio, once more. Despite being 'indestructible', Zio continued to take damage. At one point in the fight, he became visibly tired. He stood in the way of the portal.
"Well, what are ya gonna do now, Zio?"
"This... isn't over." Reaching to the side, Zio flipped a glowing red lever. Suddenly, he and the portal... began going downwards.
"Hey! Where do you think YOU'RE going?"
"You may outnumber me, but the portal will be opened. And there is nothing you can do about it."
Zio and the portal were now half-below floor level. It seemed like he might actually get away, too. But Alys...
Alys kicked him in the face, sending him into the portal.
"HAH! Deal with that one!"
...But the portal continued to go down, and the spells on it were quite obviously NOT turning off.
"...Alys, do you really think that is all we had to do?"
"...No..." Alys soon got a dreadful expression on her face. "...It's what I thought. He can't be killed... not unless I..."
Without saying a word more, Alys leaped into the portal herself. The Questers went to follow her, but a grate blocked them from following the elevator/going into the portal.
"Alys!" The group was unanimous in calling out her name. But they ultimately were helpless to do anything.
Inside the portal, a demonic Zio stood on a platform, surrounded by red energy that flickered like lava.
"So, Alys... what are you going to do?"
"I'm going to destroy you once and for all, freak!"
"But Alys... I can't die unless you do."
"That's not going to stop me!"
The two fought in a fierce battle, slasher vs. dark magic. In the end, Zio could not defeat Alys; his magic fell before him, broken. But he still stood there... and he was regenerating.
"Why aren't you DEAD yet?"
"I told you, Alys..." As his creepy skeletal grin once again assumed human shape...
"I CAN'T die unless you do!"
Alys shook her head, then charged at Zio. The evil magician laughed maniacally, as the spell was almost ready. But what he did not expect... was for Alys to throw him and herself into the lava-like energy.
"NO! You... you wouldn't do such a thing! You..."
"I am ALYS BRANGWIN! I have to destroy you, even if it means my death! The Questers' world can't be ruined just because of me! I... I... am strong."
Above, the Questers saw the portal and elevator suddenly explode. Fire poured out from the grate. Many feared that the evil had been summoned. ...But it became obvious what had happened, when a broken Slasher flew out of the grate, half-melted.
"ALYS!" ...But there was no response. And no time to check, as whatever Alys had done had utterly obliterated the portal, and released the energy of Zio's spell--in the right way to blow the entire Quester Hunter base to smithereens.
The Questers fled as piece after piece of the evil headquarters violently exploded. With most of the vampires and Zio dead, it no longer had the power it once had; the Quester Hunter and Rupture Farms signs pathetically fell to the ground, disintegrated. Somehow, through Alys' superior will, the very spell which had been meant to make the Quester Hunters the next dark force in the world had been turned onto itself... destroying the very headquarters it was made to empower.
The Questers soon found their way to a remote edge of the ruined base, into a room they hadn't noticed before. Inside the room was many television monitors... chairs... it had views of both their headquarters, and of the Quester Hunter HQ. What was left of it.
"What is this?"
"I don't know, Wolfman."
"What do you think it is, Star Steel?"
"Some sort of trick, I'm sure."
"For some reason I want to ride the office chairs down that big hill outside."
"METAL! Now is not the time for that!"
As the Questers looked through the weird spy-cam station, they soon encountered... that mysterious ghost?
"Wait, what are you doing here?"
"Yeah... what're all these cameras doing here?"
"I knew that Trance was no good!"
Kuja smirked, and simply stood before the Questers some more, as his ghostly outline slowly became real. In mere moments, he was fully corporeal.
"Wolfman, you were right all this time. Dimensional portals exist between this realm and many other realms. One of those... is mine."
"But who are you?"
"I am Kuja... a mage from a world far, far away. My body was destroyed there..."
"So that's why you were a ghost!"
"Quiet, Star Steel." Wolfman was trying to piece together just WHAT had happened.
"Oh, that's all right." Kuja chuckled. "After all, you may as well enjoy these last moments."
"What does that mean?"
"Well..." Kuja motioned to the cameras. "I've been watching both of your sides all this time."
"And it was I who manipulated you into fighting one another."
"And now that I am here... I am going to take over this world, for its playwright has been... most neglectful with stage direction."
Kuja strode outside, laughing at the startled Questers. Aribar, who was there in his semi-vampire form, looked depressed.
"Piffle... all this stuff we did was for nothing..."
But Wolfman and the other Questers weren't going to have it. They went outside en masse, near the very hill Metal spoke of. There, they faced Kuja, in their combat stances.
"I don't care what you've done... this Quest is not something you can just manipulate."
"Oh, but I already have... Star Steel. Those weapons... the trance ability... all of them helped make ME real. You did me a real favor in that last fight with Zio, you know..."
Metal had had enough of the talking. He took out his fancy ax and brandished it at Kuja!
"You're not going to stop us Kuja! Dieeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!"
Metal Man ran at Kuja... ..and bounced off a wall spell.
"Oh, so pathetic... go ahead, attack me. I already know all your lines by heart..."
The Questers fought the hardest they ever had. But Kuja's spells were simply out of their league. Quester after Quester were blown to bits. First it was Star Steel; then it was Kinnin. Other, less well known Questers ran at Kuja for nothing; Metal himself was blasted into a hill and got stuck there. In the end, Wolfman was the only one left standing. Kuja, who had only a few scratches, healed them with a shrug of his shoulders, then moved to obliterate Wolfman like the rest.
"Your plans were played like a mere lyre, vermin. For all your machines and helpers, your ability for critical thinking is no better than a mangy dog's. I am doing you a favor by returning you to the scrap heap. Stand and be vaporized, and I may think to revive you... as my servant... at some later time."
Wolfman stood there, thinking... ...then he just ran away, over that hill. Kuja hurled a Flare Star (solar explosion-esque attack) at him, but barely missed.
"...Run all you want, dog, it won't change your fate. Why... I was on my way to destroy your headquarters anyway!"
Wolfman made it to headquarters. He ran in, burnt and heavily wounded. Mewtwo, who was in R&R, immediately turned to face Wolfman.
"Too much to say. All I know is, we've been tricked. A super-powered wizard is coming this way... and most, if not all, of the Questers are dead."
Mewtwo, while stoic most of the time, became quite angry now. The same hatred he had for Giovanni returned to his mind, and his eyes... hardened.
"Stay here, Wolfman. I will deal with this..."
"It's too dangerous. We have to--"
"NO." Wolfman was thrown back with the force, as Mewtwo left without saying a word.
Outside, Kuja was walking towards the headquarters, having taken a short detour through Australia. He had no clue why it was on fire, or why the Questers had used it as a detour when they could have simply warped to Hyrule first. After kicking Meier Link's bones into the water (for the last thing he needed was a vengeful vampire wasting his time) he was now outside the Stadium itself, walking towards the front door. He fancied perhaps crushing the stadium with a single large meteor, and atop its ruin he would build himself an appropriately sized tower, for his new kingdom.
But then, Mewtwo appeared in the way. Kuja chuckled again, holding up a hand.
"Do you fools ever learn? No one can beat me. I'm something beyond anything you know. I..."
"I know, Kuja. I've read your mind."
Kuja paused mid-sentence, his mouth agape. No one had read his mind before. ...He then picked up where he left off.
"Well, that makes no difference. You're too weak to stop me."
"I won't forgive you for what you did to the Questers. Revenge... will be mine."
"Oh, you and your stupid revenge fantasies. Why don't you just leave to wherever you came from?"
Mewtwo stood firm.
"Fine, we'll do it your way. FLARE STAR!"
The powerful attack hit a powerful field. Mewtwo had put up the field to keep intruders out around the stadium. Kuja stood for a moment... ..and then simply raised his hand again.
"Well, if you're going to be that way... ULTIMA!"
Mewtwo braced as a blue beam smashed into his blue field, cracking it. Kuja continued to throw Ultima after Ultima at the field, as Mewtwo slowly fell to his knees. The strain was too much for even he to bear, for Kuja had power beyond anyone in the realm. Mewtwo... had already figured that out by reading Kuja's mind.
Mewtwo eventually passed out, though not before mildly damaging Kuja's mind with a powerful psychic attack, then firing some telekinetic message off that Kuja couldn't understand. Something about pokeballs and an oak tree. Whatever it was, Kuja decided the psychic pokemon was better off fainted than dead, for he had plans for such a being. Yes... a super-psychic being that could almost defeat him... that would be a GREAT lieutenant.
Kuja strode to the entrance of the Stadium, blasting it off the hinges with a Fireaja. The defenses went all nuts, trying to impale Kuja's feet on spikes and such, but Kuja hurled a powerful Boltaja, and the power just simply went down. Next in his path was... VG.
"This is getting a bit boring for my taste. A little man with red spots... VG... how do you think you can stop me? Hmmm? What sane playwright would have the mushroom stop me? No one, that's what."
"You shouldn't underestimate me, bully! I've taken on the Super Smash Stadium SPs!"
"...Didn't you lose to them?"
"...That's it, I've had enough of you. ARMAGEDDON!!!"
The mystical, mysterious move in which all the Smashers attacked at once hit Kuja. He even stumbled backwards; some blood ran down the side of his mouth. But his eyes glowed and he stood up again, brushing off his dusty jeans. "Really." He shook his head. "You think THAT is powerful enough to stop me? It's... just a lot of weak attacks put together." He then blasted VG away with a single Flare attack. "That was... pathetic."
Kuja had changed his mind; this horrible headquarters and its annoying pests was in need of thoroughly disintegration. Channeling all his power and fury, Kuja began ripping the place limb from limb with all his more 'mundane' spells, starting with the front of the place. An annoying repairman leapt at him with a nailgun, but he was soon pacified with a large explosion. Multiple Smashers also came at Kuja, but they, too, were helpless against his magic. In the end, one fourth of the stadium had been torn to shreds, and Kuja was making his way to... Oak's lab.
The professor was desperately taking his old inventions and trying to plug them together. In his haste, he had created some bizarre Raichu-powered gun. He shakily held it as Kuja walked in the door.
"And what do we have here?"
"You... whoever you are... you won't destroy the Stadium! You... you..."
Oak clutched his heart and trembled in fear as Kuja laughed.
"Oh, you pathetic old man. I won't even bother killing you, if you would just stop pointing that... thing at me."
"I can't let you take this technology! I can just tell by the look of it... you're worse than Team Rocket!"
"That I am... ...now go."
Oak pushed the button; the device powered up and hit Kuja, momentarily stunning him. ...Then it ran out of power. Oak hurled the hefty backpack of the invention onto the ground and ran behind a desk, as Kuja violently blew the infuriating device to pieces.
"Now you've done it, old man... I don't even KNOW how you figured that out, but you're not going to live to tell anyone else that you so much as stunned me!"
"You... you won't..."
Oak dug in the drawers, searching for ANYTHING. He dug out a transformer, while Kuja trashed his lab.
"Why did you use all these useless creatures? You... you didn't make them solely as experiments, did you?"
Oak ignored him, as he took a screw out of the transformer, and then hurled it at Kuja. It hit Kuja in the face, and began glowing oddly.
"...What did you just hit me with?"
"You're... you may be too powerful to stop, but I'll keep you from wreaking havoc on this world... I can't let you ruin everything we've worked on just because someone made a mistake..."
"Shut up already, old man!"
Kuja hurled a lethal spell at Oak; but instead of hitting him, it was sucked into the transformer. Soon, Kuja's body approximated a fine mist, as the transformer began to swallow his very being.
"No... this can't be done... how... how can anyone seal me? This device... ...you won't get away with this! You... won't... ARGHHHHHHH!!!!"
Kuja's fist shook itself at Oak, before the entirety of the Mage had vanished. Oak stared in disbelief; his transformer... had just saved the Stadium from being completely and utterly destroyed.
He picked it up, realizing that the world would remain one button press away from destruction as long as the transformer was there. He walked through the ruins, summoning his Raichu again in order to power up the warp room. There, he stared long and hard at the controls.
"I can't send it to just anywhere... ...even Captain N couldn't defeat this foe. And... yet... if I don't send it, I just know some foolish kid like Sky High will open it! I... guess I have no choice but to try and send it to a coordinate that doesn't exist. It's the only way I can be sure no one will find it."
Tracing out an X in the coordinates of the various worlds, Oak created a special, cracked-up mess of coordinates. He fed it into the machine, and to his luck, a portal opened right up. Bathed in the bluish-black glow, Oak took one last look at the transformer, and then hurled it into the portal.
"...Fate save us all if anyone ever happens to find this place again..." The portal closed, and Oak walked off to deal with the casualties.
In the aftermath, over 10 Questers had died; both Wolfman and VG had nearly been destroyed, and many of Oak's old inventions, such as the Move Giver, Move Stealer, and even the Warp device Slippy had made had been destroyed. The helpful gnomes Tempest had summoned had been destroyed, while Mack had lost an eye from Kuja's wrath. Mewtwo was never truly able to put up the blocking barrier again, and for a time, the Stadium sat there, quiet, as the few survivors mourned the loss of their comrades.
But in a few months time, the survivors gathered together once again. It was the 1st of June, 2003.
Mewtwo: "It has been sufficient time to repair the damage. Although we are lesser in number than before, we have no choice to move on. But..."
Gibby: "But what?"
Mewtwo: "VG, would you care to explain it?"
VG: "Yes. Uhhh... while we're going to continue the Quest and start up the matches again... I am retiring."
Gibby: "But why?"
VG: "That whole Kuja thing just reminded me of the Smash Stadium. It's like I can't seem to do right no matter where I go. Not to mention Wolfman was partly responsible for that whole Stadium exploding incident earlier..."
Gibby: "Awww... don't be so hard on yourself!"
Mewtwo: "The fact of the matter is, we need a new leader in order to move on and... forget the Kuja incident. We shall remember it, yes, but... it is hard to not think of it whenever I see VG."
VG: "Besides, I wasn't planning on being the leader for all time. I was just cleaning up WOLFMAN'S mess... and then this happened."
Metal: "But wait... then who is the leader? Mewtwo?"
Mewtwo: "No, no, not me... you, Metal."
Metal: "What the? How could I be the leader?"
Mewtwo: "Although your amatuerish behavior and questionable ethics... gave me great pause... ...our other candidate for a leader went missing."
VG: "I think you mean 'he was shredded to bits', Mewtwo."
VG: "Linkbot was last seen... uh... ripping his arm off and throwing it at a Slog. I don't think we'll be seeing him anymore."
Gibby: "But why Metal? Why not me?"
Mewtwo: "...Wolfman claims Metal would be better. Don't bother asking me... you're not much different from him in ways, anyway."
VG: "Hey! I said Metal because he knew to suspect Kuja's trick. I don't know if Kuja will ever be back, but... with Metal Man, the Questers should be safe from Kuja!"
Metal: "Yeah! ...But wait, didn't I use trance anyways wh--"
VG: "Now if you'll excuse me... I'll go lay down now."
Mewtwo: "That gets me to the other reason."
VG: *Walks away... revealing his other side, which is all bandaged and that he needs a crutch to walk.*
Mewtwo: "VG is still in bad shape from being blasted by Kuja. Which is not the same as... well... Metal Man."
Metal: *Pops a dent out of his arm* "Yeah... it's kind of hard to keep me down."
Gibby: "But wait! I'm not injured! Kefk--er, Kuja was too busy blasting the others to kill me!"
Mewtwo: "Some day, maybe you'll get a chance, Gibby..."
Gibby: "Don't get no respect..." *Walks away.*
Metal: "So... I'm leader. Now what? Do I get to tell everyone to follow me when I shop for groceries? Ooh! Ooh! Do I get an office where I can tape pictures of you to the ceiling and throw darts at them?"
Mewtwo: "We will recruit new Questers to replace those who died. While that's going on, you are to run some simulations in the holo-room. I'll use our data of Questers to make SURE you're good enough at leading before you are allowed to do the real thing."
Metal: "Right... well, off I go, then."
Metal Man (GM): And so, Metal Man set off to prepare. But his preparations... took much longer than thought. He was truly crazy, and his leading style questionable--throwing toasters at nothing, drunken helicopter piloting... towns that submerged with lava just due to his presence... and so the simulations dragged on.
Metal Man (GM): Professor Oak, who was now bored silly, spent his free time replacing the now fatally broken Move Data system with a new, less controversial one--cubes. Using special pre-formatted cubes, Questers would now possess moves of their own, rather than risking more Bowsers and Ganondorfs.
Metal Man (GM): VG remained injured the whole time, for Kuja had cursed him horribly. VG continued to convalesce all the way until July 9th, 2004, during which Metal Man finally completed a training session without killing everyone under his command. While still a bit crazy... Mewtwo decided it was good enough.
Metal Man (GM): With this, the Questers were finally reformed... but would they withstand the tests their new missions would give them?