- And so we come to Obscurus Lupa: The Sagacious Saga (Sagacious for short), the last of the trilogy of Olympics, Sponby and itself, with Lordgenome as a prequel. After I finished writing Sponby, I heard that some poor souls decided to do a dramatic reading of Olympics, which inspired me to go back and add two more chapters to the latter. That in turn inspired me to write even more with the same set of characters, but the preliminary outline I thought up was completely different than Olympics, so I made it into a new story.
"Sagacious" means "Having or showing keen discernment, sound judgment, and farsightedness" according to Wiktionary. So basically, the opposite of every fic I've written. And Sagacious also has the word "Saga" in it, which is an excellent way to add pretension to any story. So it became known as... the Sagacious Saga, or just Sagacious for short.
The original concept for Sagacious included the same general arc, with the sealed Earth God and the looming threat of the Pax Terra, but it would have taken place on multiple planets. They would've used the TARDIS to travel to a new world each chapter, having an adventure of the week while advancing the overarching plot with the Earth God a bit each time.
One of the first ideas for planets of the week was Mykodia, a more high fantasy version of the Mushroom Kingdom. The concept of a high-fantasy-style world based on the Mushroom Kingdom actually comes from a very early fanfic of mine (though it's probably lost to the mists of time, since it was only posted on one site). Like I said in Sponby, I wrote a lot of terrible high-fantasy stories in my adolescence, and Mario was (and remains) one of my favorite series, so I figured why not combine them?
But as I thought about it, I figured that Mykodia was a rich enough setting for the entire first two-thirds of the fic, and the twist would be more effective if it was built up a bit. In retrospect, I think I changed Mykodia a bit too much by adding in the high-fantasy elements like the sealed gods and the layered world, but fortunately for me, I have a medium-aware character that can mock the setting for me. It could have been a bit better executed, but I'm still pleased with how it turned out.
I'm slightly happier with how the Pax Terra came out, but I'll get to that later. For now, on to the epic 12-part saga of gods, men and Mary Sues!
A distinct whirring sound pierced the silence of the dawn. A dozen or so cows lazily walked away as a small blue box materialized on top of their grazing land.
The door of the blue box opened, and out stepped Allison Pregler, better known as Obscurus Lupa. Following her was her significant other, Phelan Porteous, aka Phelous. They stepped onto the meadow as the planet's first sun peeked above the horizon; the second sun was already high in the sky.
"Nice place, don't you think?" Lupa said.
"I suddenly have a hatred for binary star systems." Phelous said sarcastically. "At least this one isn't tidally locked like the other planet. I can't sleep in daylight."
- Phelous' hatred for binary star systems stems from the original concept for the story, where something very bad would have happened on another world with two stars. I guess the rest of the worlds and the adventures they had on it are still technically canon to Sagacious, but since none of it made it to the final story, Phelous goes meta as he is wont to do.
Lupa deeply inhaled the fresh morning air, exhaling with a satisfying sigh. "I love the smell of the morning."
"You know, this is a cattle pasture. If this weren't a crappy fanfic, it'd smell like cowabunga sheeeeeat!"
- Like in Olympics, Lupa and Phelous are very much aware that this is a fanfic, and they're completely unconcerned about anything that happens in it. Though if you think about it, if you had a person in real life running around doing things because they claimed the world was the Matrix or whatever, you'd probably think they were crazy...
"But fortunately for me, I'm a grossly-exaggerated fanfic Mary Sue and every part of my life is perfect." Lupa picked an exotic rainbow flower off the ground, and handed it to Phelous. "See? Rainbow flowers!"
- I deliberately inserted the rainbow flower as a Chekhov's Gun for later use. I didn't really know what I'd do with it, but it's always nice to have a couple of plot hooks in case I write myself into a corner.
"You know, near the end of Obscurus Lupa Wins The Olympics, you became an infinitely-powerful God Mode Sue. But of course, you completely forgot about your powers, and now due to narrative convenience, you've lost most of them." Phelous stuck the rainbow flower in his shirt pocket. "And I have no idea why I'm here. I'm just the author's way of inserting an unfunny running commentary on his own fic. You don't do MSTs of your own work, GigaBob!"
"Yeah, but I love you anyways."
Lupa and Phelous lied down on the (conveniently cowpie-free) meadow, watching the sun rise.
- I wanted to add a couple of shippy moments for Phelous and Lupa, since they didn't really have much of that in Olympics. This moment at the start of Chapter 1, and later on in Chapter 9, show that even though they know they're fictional characters, they still care for one another.
"So where are we anyways?" Phelous asked.
"Hell if I know." Lupa said. "But it's nice here, isn't it?"
"Like I said, I have an inexplicable hatred for binary star systems, but otherwise, yeah it's nice."
"Yeah, but I could use some food." Lupa got up and stepped into their TARDIS; a few minutes later, she came back out, empty-handed.
"Are we out of food again?"
"Yep." Lupa made a sadly. "What do you think? Should we butcher those cows and roast them over an open fire?"
"I don't think the person who owns them would like that. Why don't we advance the plot and go ask that person, whoever they are, for some food?" Phelous suggested.
"Okay, sounds good."
Lupa and Phelous walked over to the settlement in the distance. It was an almost stereotypical farm, with a log cabin and bright red barn in front of rows upon rows of cornstalks. Oddly enough, the farm seemed to be abandoned; besides the cows, they didn't see anyone or anything else.
"Breaking and entering?" Lupa said.
"Breaking and entering." Phelous said. The door to the house was unlocked; they both cautiously stepped in. No old men with shovels assaulted them, which was probably a good sign, but the house had the unmistakable stench of death.
They stepped into the kitchen, which, to their surprise, looked pretty modern, with modern appliances and the like. Sitting at the table was a half-rotted corpse.
- I never really "explain" the schizo tech in Mykodia, but it's just meant to be another link to the Mushroom Kingdom, which has a very odd technological development. They have flying ships made out of wood, magical plumbing for long-distance travel, stuff like that, so I figured a modern kitchen in an otherwise fantasy world was an homage to that.
"That's pretty nasty." Lupa said. She got the feeling that she should be more disturbed by this, but killing dozens of ninjas every day had kinda desensitized her.
Phelous peeked in the fridge, but closed it just as quickly. All of the food had long since gone rotten.
"Looks like we've got a murder mystery on our hands!" Lupa announced. "Come on Watson, let's get on the case!"
"No thanks. I'm going back to the TARDIS."
"Aw, come on!" Lupa pleaded.
They investigated the second floor, but nothing seemed out of place - save for another rotting corpse dressed in a white nightgown. But there didn't appear to be any signs of a struggle - it's almost like they just died one day, and no one noticed.
Then, they checked the basement. A demonic scream assailed them as soon as Lupa opened the door - a malformed dog-like creature pounced on her, but she punched it through a wall. It jumped at them again, but Phelous melted its head away with his eye lasers.
- Phelous' eye lasers serves as a way to "balance" him and Lupa. Lupa can fly and is slightly faster and stronger, while Phelous has eye lasers and can summon clones of himself (though he doesn't use it all that much). They upset that balance later on when Lupa gets lightning powers, but she's the main character.
"Whaaaaa?" Lupa said, obviously confused.
"It's a Canadian thing." Phelous said.
They continued into the basement. But just like the rest of the house, nothing seemed to be out of place. Even that demon dog hadn't made a mess of things, even though it was seemingly locked down here for god knows how long. Lupa did however notice something out of place - a comma-shaped hunk of yellow glass resting on a table.
"This thing looks suspicious." Lupa said. "Hmm, maybe I can combine it with this string and a moldy mushroom..."
"You can't use those things together." Phelous commented.
"Oh. How about a nail from that dog and a $5 bill?"
"You can't use those things together."
- This chapter is sort of meant to feel like an old-school adventure game, where you have no idea what you're doing, you have to make huge jumps in logic to progress, and the wrong move can result in your brutal death. But unlike Roger or King Graham, Phelous and Lupa are superhumanly strong, so they can just brute-force their way through illogical puzzles.
"Then what am I supposed to do with it, huh?"
"This." Phelous took the amber relic from Lupa and threw it against the wall, shattering it. Unfortunately, that was a bad idea; as soon as it shattered, the ground started to shake.
Lupa and Phelous scrambled up the stairs and out the front door. The entire house collapsed, and a fissure opened in the earth, swallowing the remains. They tried making their way back to the TARDIS, but they were blocked by something else; a huge circular hole opened in front of them, and a gigantic monster emerged from it.
The monster was little more than a mouth on legs; it opened its gigantic maw and roared, revealing rows upon rows of sharp teeth. It was almost entirely covered in red-black scales, and it was at least twenty times the size of either of them. The monster climbed out of the hole, which closed behind it; it stomped once on the ground, releasing an energy shockwave that knocked Phelous to his feet.
- The monster here is The Imprisoned, basically the monstrous form of the final boss from Zelda: Skyward Sword. I have overall mixed feelings about Skyward Sword, but I loved the boss fights, especially the fight with The Imprisoned. So I figured I'd add it in here as one of the six pieces of the Earth God, plus it slightly foreshadows the whole Heaven and Earth thing later on.
Lupa, however, jumped at the right time, dodging the shockwave. She used her super-speed to run up to the monster and sock it in the jaw; it roared in pain, but its scaly exterior absorbed most of the blow. It opened its mouth again and attempted to swallow Lupa whole, but she got out of there in the nick of time.
While dodging, she noticed a peculiar object lodged on top of the monster. At first glance, it appeared to be a stone spike of some sort, decorated in all sorts of arcane symbols. Lupa jumped up on the monster's back and drove the spike deep into the monster's head; it roared in pain as the spike released a holy aura that immobilized the monster, but only briefly. It shook off the holy aura, throwing Lupa to the ground at the same time.
Phelous got up. The monster roared at him, but he ran between the monster's legs and delivered a megaton punch to the monster's knee. It doubled over in pain, giving Phelous enough time to jump on its back; the sealing spike had been dislodged from the monster's back, but Phelous picked it up and kicked it deep into the monster's head, again releasing a holy aura that held it in place.
- Phelous does a little bit more fighting here than he did in Olympics, mostly because the TV Tropes page for Olympics lists him under "Wimpification". So here, he "takes a level in badass" as it were by gaining super strength, eye lasers and the like. Lupa still gets all of the glory, but Phelous almost always has at least a hand in defeating the monsters of the chapter.
But the monster was far from finished. Its scales glowed a dark red, and it released a powerful energy wave that sent Phelous flying. Lupa caught him in midair, though, but as soon as they tried approaching the monster, it released another energy wave that sent them back.
"I think it's fastball special time." Lupa said. "I'll throw you at that spike thing, okay?"
"I didn't agree to that!" But it was too late: Lupa flung Phelous at the monster. It tried releasing another energy wave, but it was too slow - Phelous delivered a perfectly-aimed kick to the sealing spike. Thankfully, that was the last blow; the holy aura completely overwhelmed the monster, shattering it into billions of dark fragments which were subsequently absorbed into the spike.
"Woo, we did it!" Lupa cheered. But as soon as they turned their back, the sealing spike exploded, and the monster emerged from another dark hole in the ground.
"Thanks for jinxing it." Phelous said.
"I've got no choice." Lupa reached into her pocket and pulled out a Master Ball. "Come on, work!" She threw the Master Ball at the monster; to their surprise, the ball worked, successfully capturing and containing it.
- Since I already established Lupa's improbable use of Pokeballs, I figured I'd have her restrain The Imprisoned (or Sparklypoo, as I nickname it) by using a Master Ball. Hey, if she can capture the TARDIS, she can sure as hell capture a bestial demon lord.
"Woo, I caught a... thing!" Lupa said. "I'm gonna nickname it Sparklypoo."
"Why?" Phelous asked.
"Because it doesn't sound threatening. It's like, if someone comes up to me and says 'Imma beat you in a Pokemon battle', and I say 'Go, Sparklypoo!', they're gonna laugh until they realize it's a freakin hundred-foot-tall kaiju thing!"
"...Yeah, you go with that." Phelous said. "By the way, what'd you do with the TARDIS?"
"Huh? I didn't do anything with the-" Lupa looked over to the meadow where the TARDIS had materialized, but sure enough, it was gone.
"So we're stuck here. Wonderful." Phelous said, more annoyed than angry.
- I said in my Olympics commentary that having a time machine pretty much removes all conflict from the story, unless the characters are stupid or the time machine's made unavailable. I decided to do the latter, and we do get a weak justification for why it gets stolen later (but not how; I'm going to assume Electriceye magicked it away somehow).
Lupa raised her hands to the sky and yelled "FUUUUUUUUUU-"
"FUCK! FUCK SHIT FUCK!" Lupa cursed loudly. Their TARDIS, the only way her and Phelous could get off this planet, was lost, or stolen, or god knows what. Sure, it'd been stolen before, but in that case, they knew exactly who stole it and how to get it back; in this case, it could've fallen into the earth, or that monster could've eaten it, or anything.
"It's okay, Lupa. I'm sure we'll find it eventually."
"But this is a fanfic! There doesn't have to be any continuity, or a status quo, or any goddamn logic! I just crammed a giant monster into a tiny ball, for god's sakes!"
"Yeah, that's true." Phelous thought back to the events of the previous series... "Wait, hang on. Didn't you capture the TARDIS in a Pokeball too?"
"I did..." Lupa checked her pockets; these particular pants had hammerspace pockets built in. "...But I left it in the TARDIS."
"Yeah, of course. We have to throw idiot balls around just to make this plot reasonable." Phelous grabbed the idiot ball hovering over his head and threw it away. "But seriously, what happened to your God Mode Sue powers?"
"I dunno." Lupa shrugged. "I just kinda lost them. All I've got left is enhanced strength, speed and flight, and I think I might be able to spit rainbows." She spat on the ground, staining a small patch of grass with all the colors of the rainbow.
- "Rainbow spit" is something I read in an Archie comic once (I think), and I've used it all my life as an example of a really terrible superpower. Really, who would want to be "Rainbow Spit Lad" or "The Spitter" or something like that? I mean, even the Legion of Super Heroes have more dignified powers.
"Wonderful. Well, I guess we should start heading for some semblance of civilization."
A couple of beefsteaks later, they started walking. Shortly after, they found a fairly large and important-looking river, which they followed downstream on the logic that it looked important (Phelous' genre savviness served as a radar for this sort of thing). They figured that at least one town would have to be built on or near the river, but it wasn't until the pleasant grasslands had first given way to arid bushlands, then full-fledged desert, that they found the first town.
- As soon as I decided to set the first part of Sagacious on Mykodia, I knew I wanted to have the world progression of Super Mario Bros. 3. So here, they go from a grassy plain area to the desert via some offscreen traveling.
It was a pretty generic-looking desert town, with buildings made of sandstone and all sorts of shady dealings going on at the bazaar in the town square. A massive six-sided pyramid loomed over the town, casting it in shadow as the main sun set; the second sun, which still hovered at the top of the sky, only cast enough light to keep the world in perpetual twilight.
- The second sun almost always hovers at the very top of the sky, even though it makes no logical sense whatsoever. But as we learn, a wizard did it.
"You know, Twilight's ruined the word 'twilight' for me. Now whenever I think of that word, I can't help but be reminded of sparkly vampires." Phelous complained. "But I'm totally not a mouthpiece for the also-Canadian author's views at all!"
- Phelous is totally right here about the book series ruining the world "twilight" for me. Like I said, I don't hate Twilight with the same fervor of other online folks (though I do think it's bad, and not in a good way that I usually enjoy), but the word "Twilight" used to be awesome, and now it just reminds me of sparkly vampires. Thanks, Smeyer.
"Sure you're not." Lupa said.
"Halt!" A man dressed head-to-toe in green linens brandished a long spear at them. "Do you work for Lord Electriceye?"
"Uh, no?" Lupa said hesitantly.
"Good! Welcome to the outlaw city of Shahrazad." The man lowered his spear and welcomed them in.
"That's my favorite game!" Phelous said. They took a stroll into the bazaar to purchase some more appropriate clothing - both of them had severe sunburn from walking in the desert in t-shirts and jeans. Fortunately for them, a familiar-looking merchant was carrying both appropriate outfits and magical healing ointment.
- "Sharahzad" is indeed the name of Phelous' favorite game, aka The Magic of Scheherezade (the pronounciation is the same). She's also a character from the One Thousand and One Nights, the character who tells the titular stories each night.
"How's it going, guys? Didn't expect to see you here." 8-Bit Mickey said. He too was dressed in a green linen robe, though his head was uncovered due to narrative convenience.
"8-Bit Mickey? What're you doing here?" Lupa asked.
- The original concept for Sagacious would have had Lupa and Phelous meet up with more of the TGWTG cast on the various other worlds. The only real cast members we see on Mykodia are Mickey and Nash, and even then, they're AU versions compared to the Lupa and Phelous that star in this story, who themselves are AU versions of the real Allison and Phelan.
"That's my line..." Phelous muttered.
"Well, as it turns out, a bunch of aliens invaded and took over Earth while you guys were away. Linkara loaded up as many people as he could on Comicron One, but most of us had to scatter throughout time and space to avoid capture." Mickey said.
"And there's our plot." Phelous said. "We have to get back to Earth to save everyone from their new alien overlords, but to do that we've gotta find the TARDIS, and to do that we'll have to do... well, something."
"You should come with us, Mickey!" Lupa said.
"Actually, I like my new life here. Back on Earth, I was 'the goat-fucker', but here, I'm a respected merchant! I actually have a chain of stalls all over the desert!" Mickey pointed to the sign above his tent, which read 'Mickey World: Fine Garments and Exposition since 20yAl'.
"Good to hear. So uh, have you heard anything about a mysterious blue box landing in anyone's possession around here?"
"Hmm... well, this is a city of outlaws, so we don't get a lot of outside news here. I'd head to Agrippa for information like that. Hey, GshRs!" Mickey waved to one of the other merchants, an insect-like entity that could be best described as a preying mantis' head and body with seven-fingered human-like arms, grafted to a seven-legged spider.
- GshRs here is a Gzirin, a race of bug people from my original works. They were also the inspiration for the Equinoxes back in Sponby Reloaded, though I decided to make them big cockroaches rather than mix-and-match critters. Why are they in Mykodia? For flavour, I guess.
"What is it, Mickey?" To their surprise, GshRs spoke in completely understandable English, though he had a slight accent.
"These folks need a map to Agrippa. Can you provide one?" Mickey asked.
"Sure thing!" GshRs whipped out a piece of paper and a pencil, and in a few short moments, he'd drawn a map detailing the exact route to the city of Agrippa. He handed it to Lupa, who put it in her hammerspace pockets.
"And since I'm so nice, I'm gonna give you some stuff too." Mickey handed them each a set of green robes, several jars of ointment and some flasks of water.
"Thanks, Mickey. We'll pay you back next time we see you." Lupa said.
"Nah, don't worry about it. If you see anyone else from Channel Awesome, tell them I said hi."
Lupa and Phelous said their goodbyes and left, but Phelous stopped before they got too far.
"Huh, what's wrong?" Lupa asked.
"That." Phelous pointed to the pyramid. "This is a generic Egypt-analogue town, and that's a pyramid. And if I know my genre conventions, we're going to have to go in that pyramid."
- Really, if a pyramid appears somewhere, you know it's going to be important.
"Uh, no we don't."
"Trust me on this. If we don't go into the pyramid, we'll be ambushed by desert raiders and end up back here, and we'll need an artifact from inside the pyramid to fend them off."
"Seriously man, this isn't a video game. Let's just keep going, and if raiders do abduct us or whatever, we'll just fight them off."
"We're going into the pyramid." Phelous started walking toward it.
"Ugh, fine, whatever." Lupa ran over to catch up with him.
Shortly after, they were in front of the pyramid. A massive stone slab blocked the entrance, but Phelous dealt with it by standing atop the four pillars scattered around the area. The stone door exploded for some reason, allowing them to venture in.
But to their surprise, the pyramid wasn't filled with random traps and pools of quicksand; hell, the main path didn't even have any branches. It just kept going forward at a slight incline. Eventually, they came across a ladder which led into a bright room above; they both climbed it, but as soon as both of them were in the room above, the ladder disintegrated and a bottomless pit opened underneath them.
The room they were in was made of mirrors. The light of the second sun shone right above them, through a shaft in the direct center of the pyramid. Another relic made of yellow glass, along with a blue amulet with water-like patterns on it, sat on a pedestal in the middle of the room.
"MacGuffin ho!" Phelous said. He grabbed the relic. "I'm thinking we shouldn't break this one."
"Yeah, probably a good idea." Lupa grabbed the amulet and put in on. "Well, this thing's apparently called the Amulet of Winter, but I have no idea how the hell it ended up in a pyramid in the middle of a desert."
- The Amulet of Winter is originally from The Eternity Dodecatrilogy, and I included it in here as another Chekhov's Gun for later use. Unlike the rainbow flower, it's not quite as useful, but I did at least use it.
"How do you know its name?"
"I dunno, it kinda... told me." Lupa took the amulet off and slipped it in her pocket. "It can give the answer to any question the wearer asks, but only once per person."
"What does that have to do with winter?"
"Maybe that's the name of the place it was made, or the person who it was made by." Lupa suggested. "Sure seems like a convenient plot device, though."
"Damn straight. Now then, now that we've obtained the item for this dungeon, let's beat the boss and get out of here."
Lupa grabbed Phelous by the waist, and flew up the shaft leading to the top of the pyramid. Phelous reached into his pocket, but after rummaging around for a few seconds, he realized something was wrong.
"That MacGuffin's gone." he said.
- I never really explain why the Amber Relics shatter by themselves, but it's sort of meant to be a reaction to Lupa's residual God Mode Sue power. Part of the Earth God's sealing spell included a clause that only another god could break the seal and defeat the beasts, and I figured Lupa qualified as a god at least in technicality.
Sure enough, as they emerged from the top of the pyramid, they heard a loud screeching sound. A huge bird-dragon-thing made of metal soared above them; it screeched again, firing a missile from the underside of its wing right at them.
Phelous focused his eye lasers on the missile, destroying it mid-flight. The metal bird-dragon-thing (for convenience's sake, we'll just call it The Claw) turned around and flew right at them; Lupa did the same, engaging it in a seemingly lopsided game of chicken.
Unfortunately, The Claw stood no chance. Lupa's fist easily punched through its armor, and she flew through its body while Phelous wrecked shit up with eye lasers. They exited it through its back, and the creature hit the ground with a deafening thud. But The Claw was far from dead; it screeched again, and launched a number of missiles at them from the ground.
Phelous tried shooting down all the lasers, but Lupa was forced to take evasive manuvers to dodge the rest. She tried the classic trick of forcing the missiles to hit the one that fired it, but The Claw swatted them out of the sky with its wing.
"Stop screwing around and just catch it already." Phelous said.
"I can't, I don't have any more Master Balls." Lupa said. "But I do have Sparklypoo! I choose you!" She threw the occupied ball toward The Claw, releasing a huge scaly mouth on legs that crushed The Claw by falling on it. Sparklypoo, who had grinded up a few levels offscreen, opened its mouth and fired a Hyper Beam through The Claw's head, killing it almost instantly.
"Yay! Go Sparklypoo!" Lupa cheered.
"That's still a terrible name." Phelous said. Lupa grabbed the Master Ball and recalled Sparklypoo before it could go on a murderous rampage. She took out the map to Agrippa, and after they confirmed their course, they flew on to the next chapter...
Lupa and Phelous flew over the land, following their map to the coastal city of Agrippa in the north. They flew over a wide canyon, and sure enough, some bandits had built a small camp near the only bridge across it.
"See, I was right!" Phelous said.
"I could've just flown over them in the first place! That detour with the pyramid was completely pointless!" Lupa complained.
"Yeah, whatever. They would've found a way to stop us."
As they kept flying to the north, the desert gave way to a coastal forest. By the looks of it, there was a commune of people living in harmony with the trees and all that, but screw that hippy shit. They kept going, following a river to the coast.
Lupa landed at the outskirts of a massive walled city, presumably the city of Agrippa. It looked like it had been standing for at least 10,000 years; the walls were dirty and weathered, and they looked older than that pyramid. Surprisingly, the city inside was relatively modern, with roads and cars and all that.
- Agrippa's schizo tech is again meant to be evocative of the Mushroom Kingdom, where most of the towns and cities we see are either generic high-fantasy or relatively modern.
"What's with all the schizo tech?" Lupa wondered. "I thought this was going to be a generic quasi-medieval world."
"It's probably something stupid, like those aliens cut chunks out of Earth and physically transported them to wherever this is." Phelous said. "Sounds like the kind of stupid plot point that would show up in a fanfic."
- Phelous' comment about cutting out cities and transporting them to other worlds was in fact true in the original concept for Sagacious, where the aliens who sealed the Earth God away did just that with their own cities, scattering them throughout space and time to prevent anyone from finding all six pieces. That's still technically canon, but without the excuse of hiding the Earth God, the aliens that did it have no reason to do it other than just being dicks.
"Or Secret Wars!"
Lupa called a cab, but they realized they didn't have any money. She tried paying the cabbie with a signed picture of David Hasselhoff, but he wouldn't take it.
"Well fine then!" Lupa flipped the cabbie off as he drove away.
"Why did you even call a cab in the first place? Did you forget that you could fly again?" Phelous asked.
"No. But we flew all the way here, and I don't want to carry your heavy ass again!"
They walked over to a newspaper stand, and Lupa flipped through a paper. Immediately, she found an article about some dude named "Lord Electriceye" who had acquired some alien technology. According to the article, he planned to use it to fight the aliens or something.
"Who's this Lord Electriceye guy?" Lupa asked the man at the newspaper stand.
"Uh, he's the guy in charge of the current govermnent." the man said. "Where're you from?"
"From, uh, out of town."
"You... you're aliens! HEY! SOMEONE! THESE ARE ALIENS!"
"Wait, what? I mean, technically I am an alien... I think?" Lupa stammered.
The man drew a gun on her, but Lupa karate chopped it out of his hand. A couple of bystanders dogpiled on Phelous, but he threw them off by jumping up Matrix Reloaded-style. But before they could get the hell out of there, a bunch of cops with AK-47s surrounded them.
"Stop right there, alien scum!" one of the cops said. "We've got all the evidence we need to bring you to justice! Or, if you resist, we'll be happy to fill you full of lead."
- I know it's a tired old meme, but I really do like the line "Stop right there, criminal scum!"
"I don't know what's going on!" Lupa protested. The cops put them in handcuffs and forced them into the back of their car. The passenger kept his AK pointed them at all times.
"Seriously, I don't know why you're arresting us. We're not from this planet, but we are human!" Lupa said.
"We'll let Lord Electriceye decide that."
"Question: Have you idiots ever seen these so-called aliens?" Phelous asked.
"Shut up!" The cop shoved the butt of his gun in Phelous' face. "Give me one good reason why I shouldn't reduce your face to mush right now!"
- As we learn later, the "aliens" are real, but they don't really have much to do with Mykodia. It's mostly Electriceye trying to keep the world in a constant state of paranoia in case the Pax Terra does actually attack, though they probably wouldn't stand a chance against the Pax Terra's weaponry.
"We're not aliens!" Phelous said.
"Settle down, Jim." the driver said. "They need to go through due process like everyone else. THEN we can get to the torturing and killing."
"Ooh boy!" The cop apparently named Jim grinned like a kid with candy. "It's been quite some time since we had a public execution! That'll teach those good-for-nothing alien sympathizers to change their minds."
"Okay, just give us the benefit of the doubt for a second. Who exactly are these aliens?" Lupa asked.
"About three years ago, Lord Electriceye revealed a conspiracy in the government: a bunch of senators were actually sleeper agents who planned on overthrowing the Empress and taking control of the country. After they were eliminated, the aliens declared open war on us, and they've been picking us off ever since."
"That's just great." Phelous remarked.
They were silent for the rest of the trip. Finally, the car came to a stop; but rather than a police station or prison or something, they had stopped at a pier. With their guns at their backs, the cops forced Phelous and Lupa onto a waiting ironclad, where some marines with AKs were standing at attention.
"These are the aliens?" the captain asked.
"Damn right!" Jim said. "Take 'em to Raus Island, boys!"
"Indeed. Get in the brig, scum!"
The marines forced them into the bowels of the ironclad, into a small dimly-lit cell.
"So, ready to escape?" Phelous asked.
"Yep!" Lupa easily broke the handcuffs, then bent the bars of the cell enough for her to get through. Phelous broke his cuffs as well, but he ripped the cell door right off its hinges and threw it to the side, making quite a bit of noise.
- I like the scene where Lupa and Phelous just casually break their cuffs and bend the bars of their cell. They're just playing along so that nobody gets hurt unnecessarily.
Even though they know they're in a fanfic, Lupa and Phelous are still fundamentally decent people, hence why they don't like killing unless it's necessary. Lupa kills plenty of ninjas, but her awareness of the fourth wall lets her know that the ninjas are just mooks who exist to die at her hands - but these guys are also decent, if paranoid, so she doesn't want to kill them just yet.
Naturally, this attracted two of the marines, who came in and started shooting. Lupa's super-speed allowed her to dodge and/or catch almost all of the bullets, and Phelous' lesser but still superhuman speed gave him plenty of time to shoot the bullets out of the sky with his eye lasers. Lupa put one of the marines in a sleeper hold and knocked him out, while Phelous just clocked the other one in the head.
But as they ran through the tight corridors that wouldn't be out of place in a generic FPS, the ship started to shake. Lupa's Sue-sense went off, and she jumped back as a beam of cold energy pierced the floor where she had been previously standing.
"Well, what do you know? Another monster attack. I'm guessing it's going to be a squid." Phelous said.
"I'm gonna say a whale." Lupa said. "Wanna bet on it?"
Water started flowing from the hole in the floor, so Phelous and Lupa got out of there on the double. More marines appeared, but Phelous set his eye lasers to stun and disabled them. The ironclad's hull buckled against a high-pressure water current fired by the monster, and literally half of the ship snapped off and sank into the briny depths.
Lupa and Phelous made it to the deck of the ship, where they saw the remaining marines shooting wildly into the water. A high-pressure water cannon ripped through the deck, and over half of it fell into the depths; finally, the enemy made itself known.
It was Metal Gear RAY.
"Metal Gear?" Phelous said disbelievingly. "Seriously? I mean, The Claw at least looked kind of organic, but this thing is just a straight-up machine."
Lupa flew at the Metal Gear and punched it right in its head, barely dodging a counterattack from its water cannon. She opened up RAY's cockpit, but it was unmanned; so she just ripped out some vital-looking control panels and threw them into the sea.
RAY went berserk, and it savagely attacked what remained of the ironclad. Phelous jumped overboard, but Lupa flew over to him just before he hit the water.
"Huh?" Lupa noticed that Phelous was wearing a different pair of pants.
"Oh, I found these in a toolbox on the ship. Apparently they're Pants of Waterbreathing."
"...Pants of Waterbreathing?"
"Fucking randomly-generated loot." Phelous jumped from Lupa's arms into the cold water, but the required secondary powers of the Pants of Waterbreathing kept his core temperature normal.
- I have ended up with greaves and boots of water-breathing in Oblivion before, which amuses me to no end. How do you breathe water through your pants? I guess that's just a problem with randomly-generated loot.
RAY was finished with the ironclad, but before it could turn against Lupa and Phelous, an enormous toothy maw swallowed RAY and the wreckage whole.
"Oh fuck, it's a Megalodon!" Lupa said.
- Again, the Megalodon is released because Lupa's residual Sue-ness broke the Amber Relic at the bottom of the sea or whatever.
"It ate RAY! And then it's gonna eat us! OH MY GOOOOOOno I'm not doing this."
Phelous swam underneath the Megalodon, barely avoiding becoming a snack for the mighty shark. He just happened to notice a green glowing fuck-me light on the Megalodon's underside, but his eye lasers were mostly useless underwater. So instead, he tried something else:
"SUMMON ZOMBIE FISHERMAN!"
A zombie fisherman, followed by a school of skeletal fish, rose from the depths of the ocean. The zombie fisherman sicced his fish on the Megalodon, eating away its flesh until there was nothing left; the fisherman himself attacked the Megalodon's fuck-me light with his hook hand, dealing critical damage.
While the Megalodon was writhing in agony, Phelous deliberately swam into its mouth and ripped out one of its many teeth. He forced the Megalodon's throat open with an Optic Blast, then dove through its esophagus while doing as much damage as he could with both eye lasers and that tooth.
On the outside, Lupa called down a bolt of lightning, stunning the Megalodon with a huge electric shock. She called down another one, but she used her fists and a chi technique she'd learned from some old guy to redirect the electricity into her fists. Her Double Thunderpunch technique shot lightning right through the Megalodon's heart, finally landing the fatal blow. The skeletal fish dragged the Megalodon's corpse into the abyss, but Phelous made it out in time.
- This is the first point that Lupa and Phelous get random powers (lightning for Lupa, summoning marine life for Phelous). Originally, this was just because they were in a fanfic, but then I decided to retcon the whole thing with the Earth God's essence later on - even though Sparklypoo was the one who killed The Claw. But Phelous and Lupa helped to kill it, so they gained a bit of its essence. That's what I'm going with, at least.
Also, I knew that I wanted to make Lupa and Sparklypoo combine at some point, and a major part of the battle against Demise in Skyward Sword involves him calling down lightning and using sword beams made of freakin lightning. So Lupa's power to call down lightning could be foreshadowing of that, I guess.
"Well motherfucker." Phelous said. "Of course you're the one who gets to actually kill the bastard."
"My name's in the title!" Lupa said, and they both laughed.
"So, what now?" Phelous asked rhetorically. "We've got no leads on the TARDIS, and we're out in the middle of the ocean."
"Well, why don't we go to the place that they were gonna take us anyways? That Lord Electric guy probably knows something about the TARDIS."
"Right, I forgot that the paper mentioned alien technology, which could mean anything but it obviously means the TARDIS."
Phelous summoned a couple of those dolphins from Super Mario World, and he and Lupa rode them to Raus Island.
- Yeah, the dolphins from Super Mario World were in the ocean, hence why he summons them specifically. More foreshadowing for the nature of Mykodia. Incidentally, in the Japanese of Super Mario World, Yoshi could actually eat the dolphins. Just more trivia for you, dear reader.
"So where did you get the ability to summon marine life?" Lupa asked Phelous as they rode some dolphins to Raus Island, the home of the mysterious Lord Electriceye.
"I'm secretly Aquaman!" Phelous said. "Actually no, it's just plot convenience, and I'll probably forget all about it after this chapter's done."
"I got to summon lightning bolts in the last chapter, but I'll probably forget about those too." Lupa frowned.
"Eh, it's okay. We'll probably gain even more powers as the plot demands." Phelous said.
- And of course, even though they realize that they gained plot-convenience powers, they do in fact use them again. Lupa makes more use of her lightning than Phelous of his summon marine life, but they don't completely forget about them.
The dolphins dropped them off on the shores of Raus Island. Although it was technically an island (it was surrounded on all sides by water), it was about the same size as Texas. A massive tower/lighthouse type thing dominated the coast, and neanderthal-like humanoids dressed in animal skins were milling about it.
But as they got closer to the tower, they realized that something was a bit off with those cavemen. They were much, much taller than any human had any right to be - the smallest among them was at least 40 or 50 feet tall, and he looked like a juvenile.
"Giants?" Lupa wondered. The tower itself, which was built from black stone, seemed to be appropriately scaled to the giants, and it seemed to reach into the heavens themselves.
But as they approached, the giants took notice of them. One of them, an older woman with a spiked club, grunted something to the others. They all started shouting, and they all charged at the two.
Lupa sent out Sparklypoo, who was around the same size as the biggest of the giants. Sparklypoo ran at one of the giants and tore into it with its massive jaw, ripping the giant's right arm and a good chunk of its torso off. The other giants surrounded it and started beating on it with their clubs, but Sparklypoo shrugged them off with a wave of red energy.
A couple of the giants ran over to attack Lupa and Phelous, but they flew out of their reach. Phelous' lasers were ineffective, but Lupa had an idea to power them up... She called down a bolt of lightning and redirected it into Phelous' body; he discharged them through his eyes, sending both of the giants into convulsions.
"Why didn't you just attack them directly with that lightning?" Phelous complained.
"Because eye lightning!"
- More foreshadowing with the Eye Lightning, which is meant to suggest a connection between Phelous and Lord Electriceye. In hindsight, it only tells us that Electriceye is Canadian, but whatever.
Sparklypoo downed another giant with a Hyper Beam, but it had taken serious damage from the giants; their clubs had torn off large chunks of its scales, bleeding a thick black fluid that stained the beach. Reluctantly, Lupa called Sparklypoo back to recover from its wounds.
"So now what?" Phelous said as the surviving giants ran towards them.
"I've got a feeling about that tower." Lupa said. She flew at the tower's main gate, weaving through the attacks of the giants. Phelous noticed a door on the side of the tower that was scaled to their size; he shot the door down with eye lasers, and they flew through it, ending up in... a sitting room of some kind.
"Ah, so you're the famous Obscurus Lupa."
A man dressed in silver armor with gold trim sat on a fairly comfortable chair. He was wearing a fancy-looking red cape, and he was wearing a golden eyepatch with a blue gem in the middle.
- "Fairly comfortable chair" comes from the same Pathfinder campaign as Oskar and Red from Sponby Reloaded. When he got his kingdom, the player playing Oskar specifically wanted a high-quality throne, and he said that kings at least deserve "a fairly comfortable chair to sit on". It's a bit of an in-joke among my friends, and the same chair has shown up in a couple of other campaigns (including an Exalted campaign with a Glorious Solar Fairly Comfortable Chair, which had us all in stitches for the rest of the session. We're pretty lame like that.)
"I'm gonna take a huge stab in the dark and say that you're Lord Electriceye." Phelous said.
"One and the same! I see, you're Phelous." Electriceye frowned. "Hmm, I was told that there'd be three of you. No matter."
"Where the hell's our TARDIS?" Lupa asked.
"Ah, that blue box? Yes, I did recover it from the Iyamo Plains. Unfortunately... it's out of your reach at the moment!" Electriceye laughed. "I'm aware of its potential uses, but my top men have been unable to discern exactly how to activate it. If you would come with me and show me how to use it, I'd gladly give it back... after I'm done using it, of course."
"Please, you couldn't be more transparently evil if you tried. Obviously you're going to double-cross us and take it for yourself." Phelous said.
- Electriceye is a really terrible villain, but that was on purpose - remember, he read about his own role in a fanfic, and even though he knows that things can be changed, he wants to keep it as close to the fic as possible so that he remains a few steps ahead of Lupa.
Electriceye scowled. "If you do not wish to help me, I will simply dispose of you." He lifted his eyepatch, firing a lightning bolt from a bloody socket where his left eye should've been. Lupa intercepted and redirected it back at him, but he was unaffected.
"Gee, what an apropos name!" Phelous said sarcastically.
"BUt of course! One does not get a name like 'Lord Electriceye' easily. But I also happen to be completely immune to lightning, so your silly redirection trick won't work."
"Fine then! I'll just beat you up instead!" Lupa ran at Electriceye and swung at him, but he dodged, countering with a knee to her stomach. Phelous fired some eye lasers at him, but he countered with eye lightning; they briefly got in a beam struggle, but Electriceye overwhelmed Phelous, temporarily paralyzing him.
"Hmm, I expected you two to be stronger. I'm rather disappointed now." Electriceye said. "Tell you what: I'll let you go this time, so that you can rethink your decision to stand against me."
Electriceye snapped his fingers and teleported away.
"Ggh..." Lupa got up, clutching her stomach. "Phelous, you okay?"
"Yeah..." Phelous was slightly singed, but he didn't look too injured. "But could that guy be any more fucking stupid? He just let us live with minor injuries!"
The tower started to shake violently. Phelous got out of the way of some rubble, but the door they used to get in was completely blocked off.
"Of course, he was a load-bearing boss too. What a surprise."
"Stop complaining!" Lupa punched a hole in the floor, and they flew down into the main area. Oddly enough, the massive main gate they'd been before was a lot smaller from the inside.
Lupa busted the doors down, and they stepped outside... only to realize that everything was a lot smaller, including the giants, the tower, and the island. In fact, the giants were about the same size and Lupa and Phelous now...
"No Lupa, we're big now!" Phelous said. He grabbed one of the giants and broke its back, then threw it and hit more giants with it while he chokeslammed another. Lupa did a high kick to one giant's jaw, shattering it into thousands of little pieces. She picked up its club and swung it down on another's head.
Now missing over half of their former group, the remaining giants fled into the jungle. Lupa ran after them, but stopped once she realized that the entire island was shaking. She looked back at the crumbling tower, which was being pushed out of the ground by something...
"Oh gee, another boss monster. At least we're big enough to handle it on our own." Phelous said. But he was quickly silenced as a massive fissure split the entire beach, and a huge figure rose from the depths of the earth. That tower was just the tallest point of the monster, which was a human-like castle thing.
- I haven't yet played Shadow of the Colossus (though I've really been meaning to), but my research suggested that Malus, the humanoid tower that serves as the boss here, can shoot lightning from bangles on his arm. I apologize if that's not really accurate.
Lupa ran up to the monster and punched it, but it was quite sturdy. The bangles on its arms started glowing, and it attacked by grabbing her and shocking her with lightning. She broke out of its grip and tried redirecting its lightning, but like Electriceye, this monster was immune to its own attacks.
Phelous danced crazy, but it was ineffective. So instead, he remembered that he could summon doppelgangers of himself from the Plane of Infinite Phelouses and form a giant version of himself called MegaPhelous. So he did that, and as usual, Lupa jumped on top and formed the head, forming MegaLupalous. (But not MegaNanoPhelupa, which was made of nano-sized Phelouses linked up into a regular-sized Phelous, which then link up into MegaNanoPhelous, and Lupa forms the head of that. There's a huge difference.)
MegaLupalous, now roughly the same size as the monster, engaged it in some good old fisticuffs. The sheer force behind MegaLupalous' fists actually did physical damage to the monster, taking off its head and a chunk out of its torso. It tried electrifying them again, but MegaLupalous snapped both its arms off.
As a finishing move, the component Phelouses channeled their eye beams through their bodies and into Lupa.
"BEHOLD! MEGA LUPALOUS OPTIC BLAST!" A blast of energy reaching wave-motion gun levels shot out of Lupa's eyes, cutting through the monster into lots and lots of little pieces. It let out one last death rattle before expiring for good.
All but one of the component Phelouses returned to the Plane of Infinite Phelouses. They were still giant-sized, but they'd lost their means of returning to their normal size. On the other hand, they were huge; their new vantage point allowed them to see an enormous mountain in the middle of the island. The rest of the giants were fleeing toward it, which seemed like a hint to head toward it.