Tails & Co...
Joyce must seriously be unpopular as far as main characters for cross overs go. But there's just something about this story that continues to draw me back to it time and time again. I'm confident someday that I'll hit the fifty reviews mark... Maybe twenty-five... There has to be someone out there who enjoys Joyce centric stories as quirky and off the wall as this.
Maybe I should have figured out the title Legend of Captain N in place of My Mother the S-Layer... I still have no idea how this story got that title or what an S-Layer implies... Maybe Super Layer, but that wouldn't make much sense.
ANYWAY! CHAPTER NEW TIME! I HAVE MUSTARD! AND CHORTLES! AND FURY! AND BEANS! Wonderful desireable beans, currency of FURY! MWA-HA-HA-HA! (Forgive me I've been playing Bowser's Inside Story since Christmas when I got it and Fawful is too quirky not to quote.)
Lightning crackled outside the castle looming in the dark and foreboding mountains of Transylvania. Dracula smiled as he turned to face several of his minions and his cape billowed out behind him just as a burst of thunder tore through the night sky accompanied by an awe inspiring bolt of reddish lightning.
“Belmont is awake,” Dracula informed. “I can sense it, the time is at hand!” he declared. “Notify our armies, we must track down Captain N and annihilate her before she succeeds in joining forces with those heroes.”
“As you command, Lord Dracula,” Death said with a bow.
The shadows surrounding a long forgotten skull shaped castle seemed to brighten as beings awoke from suspended animation – the elderly inventor with the wispy hair smirked as he marched through the halls turning on systems that had lain dormant for centuries.
“My calculations vere correct,” Doctor Wily said to himself. “Fortunately my time machine vorked as it vas intended,” he added with a grin.
“Doctor Wily!” one of his robot minions greeted.
“Ah, Cut Man, velcome back to the land of the vaking,” Wily greeted in kind. “Mega Man is active once more, it is time for us to put an end to his fuel pumps at last!” he declared rubbing his hands together in wicked glee.
“Just say the word, Doc, and we’ll trounce him,” Guts Man said slapping his fists together.
“The vord is given my mechanical minions,” Wily told Guts Man. He waggled his brow in evil fashion and whirled to face all of his minions – having turned to the computer monitors while speaking in order to check on their activation. “This time all of you shall go up against Mega Man, not even he can defeat my entire army of Robot Masters in one assault,” Wily stated cackling manically.
Cheers erupted from the assembled Robot Masters as well as a few subsidiary robotic hoards and Wily grinned in triumphant glee.
Deep within the deepest realms of this dimensional plane a creature began to stir – a creature that had lain forgotten for centuries – a creature of unimaginable power and strength. A creature that controlled abilities beyond mortal kin. It did not need to speak – it knew that the destined warrior of light had finally been discovered – the legend was about to be awakened once more. It was time to gather forces to pit against her and hopefully this time she would not escape from his clutches.
Meanwhile… Across the Dimensional Barriers…
Tails tinkered with one of his latest inventions doing his level best to get it to work the way he wanted it to. If they were going to use it against Eggman’s latest plot – whatever that might be – he’d have to do some serious work on it. It would be easier if he had access to a Chaos Emerald.
A knock at his laboratory door broke Tails from his concentration and he frowned. “Now who could that be?” he asked himself.
Tails turned from his table and opened the door.
Knuckles stood outside with a human woman dressed in a deep red colored outfit – it was actually shining in the sunlight and reflecting it at several angles.
Knuckles pushed past Tails and glanced around. “Figures Sonic wouldn’t be here,” he grumbled.
“Uh, Knuckles, who’s this?” Tails asked eyeing the woman curiously.
“Tails, meet Joyce. Joyce, this is…”
“Miles ‘Tails’ Prower,” Joyce said with a big smile. “Even cuter in person than I ever thought,” she added with a tiny laugh as she bent down and scooped Tails into a hug so suddenly it startled both heroes.
“Uh… Knuckles,” Tails said his cheeks darkening beneath his fur with embarrassment.
“Joyce here popped out of the Master Emerald,” Knuckles explained. “It seems she’s a walking Chaos Siphon, absorbed the powers of one of the Emeralds in Eggman’s possession and managed to escape before Eggman could use that to his advantage,” he elaborated eyeing some of the contraptions in the lab distrustfully.
“Oh wow!” Tails exclaimed. “I guess that’s why you were lookin’ for Sonic.”
Joyce nodded. “We’ve got to find a way to get me back to where I was, Tails,” she told the two tailed fox.
“Where was that?” Tails asked.
“Dark World.” Joyce finally let Tails go from her impromptu hug. “Sorry, I’ve wanted to do that ever since Sonic 2 came out for the Genesis,” she apologized.
“Then you’re from…” Tails trailed off with a slight gasp. “And you were in Dark World?”
“Were you Bowser’s prisoner or something?” Tails rubbed the back of his head nervously.
Joyce shook her head. “No, I’m not entirely sure what happened or how it started precisely, Tikal told me some things. But she didn’t go into too great a detail, and when I got out of Perfect Chaos’ realm I wound up with this thing for a belt,” she added pointing at the odd white remote controller belt she was sporting. “Not exactly the best fashion accessory.”
Tails’ eyes widened. “That looks like a… Oh boy! We’ve got to find Sonic immediately,” he declared. “Knuckles, you check Station Square, I’ll try and get in touch with Amy, Cream, Big, the Chaotix or anybody else I can think of who might know where Sonic is,” he said.
“Great, I can’t leave the Master Emerald unguarded for long, you know, Tails,” Knuckles reminded.
“I know,” Tails said. “But if she’s wearing that and walking around with the abilities of a chaos emerald then we’re about to get a lot more to worry about than just Eggman,” Tails informed.
“Why?” Knuckles wondered confused.
Tails sighed. “Because, Knuckles, that is a Wii remote,” Tails explained – even as he turned around and dug out some strange booklet from one of his filing cabinet’s drawers.
“What the heck is a Wii?” Joyce asked confusedly.
“Hush, hush, top secret, one of the dream projects floating around back in your home dimension, it isn’t even in the testing phase yet,” Tails explained.
“Oh great, does that mean she’s?” Knuckles asked.
Tails nodded. “Yep.”
“Great, I suppose that means we can expect a visit from other sectors of Video Land then,” Knuckles said with a sigh.
“Video Land?” Joyce repeated. “Is that what you call this place?”
“Not us!” Knuckles replied with a sour expression of distaste.
“We stick to dimensional monikers,” Tails explained. “This is the Sonic Zone or Sega Zone, then of course there’s the Mario Zone, the Hyrule Zone, stuff like that.” Tails shrugged. “Video Land is a term your dimension residents coined for us because of the videogames,” he added.
“Then there’s been others from my dimension here before,” Joyce said surprised.
Tails grinned and pointed at his chest. “We’ve been friends with a couple of them,” he said. “They were pretty techno savvy.”
Knuckles rolled his eyes and turned for the door. “I’m heading out to locate our wayward champion,” he said. “Try not to let her get kidnapped by Eggman while I’m gone,” he added poignantly.
Tails turned slightly red with anger. “Hey!” he shouted after Knuckles’ retreating form. “It’s not my fault he always steals my chaos emeralds,” he muttered under his breath.
“If it comes to that I’ll just use chaos control to flee,” Joyce decided.
“Uh, that might not be such a good idea, Joyce,” Tails said. “We don’t know where you could end up.”
“Well it’s either that or let Eggman nab me, and I don’t plan on letting that overweight jerk get his mitts on me,” Joyce declared.
Tails chuckled. “Well, I’d better start calling up the gang. You can wait over there if you want,” he told Joyce indicating a small living area set aside for Sonic or Amy when they were bored with Station Square.
Joyce moved over to the slightly undersized furniture and did her best to get comfortable while Tails turned to the computer on his desk. She studied the odd belt she now had – she wasn’t sure what a Wii was, but if she’d gotten this because of the chaos emerald thing or it was standard gear for travelers to this dimension – well it left a lot to be desired.
Studying it more closely she recognized elements that reminded her of her old NES controller. Tapping the control pad briefly she wasn’t expecting anything to happen. Suddenly a strange device flickered over her right eye – it kind of resembled a scouter from Dragon Ball Z – of course Joyce wasn’t an anime fan and so did not see this comparison. Being a closet gamer she likened it to something a videogame character might wear, possibly in Bionic Commando or something.
In the central hub of the screen a tiny flickering image appeared. Joyce’s eyes widened when she realized it was her own face pixilated into 8-bit graphics. Underneath the pixel image was a tiny dash and the number seven. A small red heart shaped meter appeared beside this number. On the far left side was a listing of coins, power-ups and rings.
Joyce studied this new development curiously. “I have seven lives, three hundred coins, two hundred rings from my trip in that Zone to get here and somehow I have a super mushroom and a fire flower stashed away on my person,” she said to herself inadvertently speaking out loud. “I wonder what these other buttons do?”
Pressing the number one Joyce found herself hopping into the ceiling. She rubbed her head in silent pain and then pressed the number two button – naturally nothing happened – since she hadn’t consumed her fire flower. Pressing the large A button the menu on her small screen changed.Use Power-Up? Yes? No?
Joyce quickly tapped the right keypad and selected no. “Now isn’t the time for that.” Tapping the down button next she automatically crouched and pressing up sent her personal scouter back into whatever dimensional pocket she was using to store it in. Bringing it back up she started to use the control stick – this resulted in several other screens appearing.
First was the stats page. Apparently her power was currently infinite, her defense was infinite and her HP and SP were unquantifiable. Natural for a living Chaos Emerald. She currently had an Experience Point count somewhere in the eight hundred range and only needed two hundred more to level up.
“Probably if I absorb a second Chaos Emerald it’ll equal an automatic leveling up,” Joyce mused. “And I never really enjoyed RPGs,” she added with a slight frown.
The second menu depicted several slots – one was filled with a red gemstone – the Chaos Emerald she’d absorbed already. The other six were dark.
The third menu showed her allies stats. Tails was around Level Fifteen and Knuckles was thirty-two. Their stats were fairly standard fair for those levels too – at least from what Joyce could recall of her fellow gamer’s RPG screens – she didn’t play, but she could watch to show support. Tails had on a pair of oddly named gloves and shoes for gear and was carrying a fair number of rings.
The fourth menu showed a large map of the Emerald Hill Zone, Tails’ lab area and Angel Island, the rest of it was blacked out. Joyce hadn’t been there yet.
The fifth menu showed what gear Joyce was wearing – it looked more like a sub-menu to her stats page that she’d somehow gotten to. Joyce was currently equipped with the following pieces of gear. Slayer Jacket, Slayer Skirt, Slayer Shoes, Wii Remote/Nunchuck Belt. Joyce shook her head. “I still don’t understand why I first arrived here wearing Buffy’s typical outfit, but with all those coins maybe I can pick up something a bit more in my style.”
The final menu screen that popped up was a help menu with several topics.How to Use Your Wii Remote.Using the Wii Remote and Nunchuck in Concert.So You Want to be a Game Master.Coin to Ring conversion rates.Chaos Control Destinations.Sub-Menu CCD: Dark World. Realm of Perfect Chaos. Emerald Hill Zone. Sub-Con. Angel Island. Tails’ Lab. Bowser’s Castle. Airship. Toad Town E. South Rogueport. Eggman’s Lab.
Joyce frowned slightly. “Wherever Eggman and Shadow went to previously must have been absorbed too,” she observed. Scrolling through the selection further she noticed a few places she didn’t recognize. “What is Isle Delfino or this Rogueport place?” she wondered.
“Ok, thanks, Amy.” Tails was discouraged. Turning briefly from his communicator he spotted Joyce and her coat was starting to glow. “Hey! Careful, Joyce!” he warned.
“What?” Joyce returned focus to the lab around her and in doing so the glow surrounding her ceased.
“You almost used Chaos Control,” Tails chastised.
“Oh… Guess I’d better read up a little bit more on this Wii Remote thing before I explore any more of those sub-menus,” Joyce said with a slight smile.
Tails blinked. “Wow!” He reached up to try and touch the scouter over Joyce’s eye, when he couldn’t reach it he started hovering so he could get a closer look at it. “This is really hi-tech stuff.”
“It is?” Joyce said with a knowing smile. “Any luck locating Sonic?” she asked changing topics.
Tails shook his head remorsefully. “I’m sorry, Joyce, nobody has seen him.” He shot her an apologetic smile. “Maybe we should try looking outside of this area,” he suggested. “He could be visiting Mario or Kirby,” he added.
“He knows Kirby too?” Joyce said almost with youthful excitement. But she managed to school her emotions at the last minute. “It’s probably not a good idea to go anywhere, my girlfriend probably convinced Bowser to take her here looking for me,” she said.
“Girlfriend?” Tails repeated confused. “Don’t you mean boyfriend?”
Joyce laughed at his innocence and tousled Tails’ head fur. “I’ll explain it to you when you’re a little older Tails,” she promised.
“Oh, ok,” Tails said in a subdued tone. “I guess our next stop should be G.U.N. headquarters in Station Square. Rouge might know where Sonic is,” he said thoughtfully.
“Great.” Joyce smiled. “I could use someplace to unload some of these rings and coins I’ve collected… My pockets are starting to jangle,” she added chuckling.
Tails grinned broadly. “I know the perfect place to stash that stuff!” he declared rushing over to his shelves and digging into one of the cupboards. “Sonic and I use these all the time,” he boasted lugging out a small square device with a green button on the side.
“What is it?” Joyce wondered.
“Portable black-hole pouch,” Tails explained. “It has the gravitational pull of a miniature black hole and the storage capacity of nine thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine gold rings, or coins,” he elaborated holding it out with a helpful smile.
Joyce took it gratefully and started digging into her pockets. “This might work.” She pressed the switch and the device popped open – it began to draw the rings out of her pocket almost instantly. “Thanks, Tails,” Joyce told the young fox.
Smiling proudly with reddish cheeks Tails puffed his chest out and shot Joyce a thumbs up. “Glad I could help, now let’s go get in the Tornado. It’ll be faster if we fly to Station Square.”
“Fly?” Joyce repeated suddenly nervous. From what she recalled of Tails’ flying skills he tended to have a problem whenever Eggman was around – a problem involving crashing.
“Unless… Maybe you’d rather use Chaos Control,” Tails said disappointedly.
Joyce realized she had hurt his feelings and smiled fondly at him – so much like Buffy at that age it hurt – even though she knew her memories were fake it also reminded her of Dawn. “Ok, Tails, let’s go.”
“Great!” Tails rushed to the back door leading into the large hangar where he stashed his plane. “You don’t mind if we use you to power the plane do you?” he called over his shoulder.
Joyce shook her head with silent bemusement. “Not at all.”
Tails grinned again and rushed through the doors eager to show off his plane to somebody new.
Joyce followed him even though she felt that this wasn’t entirely the best idea. But if anything happened she could get them out of any trouble quickly thanks to her Wii Remote – even though she still wasn’t sure what exactly a Wii was or why she suddenly had a remote for it.To Be Continued