by Matt Slater
He ran as fast as he could, but every time he turned a new direction to escape his hunter, it was standing before him, ready to end the chase. Licking his finger and testing the wind, the well-built man sent the silver boomerang towards his enemy in a fiery trail.
An explosion occurred and quickly faded. The prey lost all hope as the opponent slowly approached, the boomerang in his hand.
"Peacefully?" the hunter asked, tipping his mirrored Lennon-style glasses below his eyes.
The prey spat in the hunter's face.
"Go t'Hell!" he condemned.
"Right. Stupid question." Gripping the boomerang, the hunter spun around, slicing the head off Special Agent Nova.
The hunter wiped the blood from his black leather jacket, with sleeves lined by strips of gray padding on the outer-arm from the shoulder to the wrist. He pulled one cuff up and punched a few buttons on his control pad. "Store." he ordered, holding the boomerang before himself. A red light shot from the glove and absorbed the weapon.
[Item confirmed] the controls noted.
The man nodded, and continued to walk down the streets of Powerblade. The citizens made way for this man, cars stopped dead as he crossed the street. He was the man feared by all.
He was PAK.
"What's going on?" Rick asked, running into the Communications room of the N-Team's home. Mega Man met the young black man at the door of the room, and escorted him to the consoles that displayed security footage. "We've got mega trouble!"
"Surprise, surprise." Rick sarcastically shot back. "What is it this time? Wily again? New Robots?"
"Pak?" Mike Vincent asked, entering the room, followed by Romeo. "Like Game Pak?"
"Exactly. Where's Kevinicus?" Kid Icarus asked, swooping in behind Mike. "I can't find him anywhere."
"I'm here--" Kevin rushed into the room, followed by Princess Lana, who quickly began to take control of the situation.
"Hey, Kev---" Rick quietly nudged the N-Team leader in the ribs. He tapped at his cheek.
"What?" Kevin touched his cheek, feeling the lipstick. "--oops--" he quickly wiped the rest away.
"Who's Pak?" Rick asked eventually. "I've never heard of him."
Lana sighed, looking to the other Videoland natives for non-verbal support. "Pak, is the --- Game Master."
"Huh?" Kevin and Mike asked simultaneously.
"He was the original, and even though I hate to say it, he's the best." Lana ran her fingers through her hair, brushing it away from her eyes. "It was about three years before you arrived, Kevin. It was a desperate time. We had a prototype of a new weapon, but no one to use it, so my father summoned Pak. More dangerous than a zapper, more precise than a power pad, we gave Pak the original Power Glove. "
"Then he went nuts." Simon added.
"He did what?" Kevin asked.
"The power proved to much for him." Lana continued. "He no longer wanted to serve Videoland for good. Or for evil. He served for the money."
"A bounty hunter." Mike realized. "Any good?"
"Like I said. He's the best."
"Any idea who hired him?"
"Could be anyone we pissed off." Lana remarked.
The room came alive with a loud rumbling. A few housekeeping droids lost balance and fell to the floor. The N Team immediately followed Lana and Kevin to the third-story balcony window.
"It's him," Lana gasped, pointing towards the man in the courtyard. "That's Pak!"
"No problem," Kevin relaxed. "We'll just wait until he has to recharge--"
"He doesn't need to recharge."
"Of course not." Kevin continued with a worried smile. "Refresh my memory, why not?"
"Like I said, it's the prototype, we didn't know this would happen. The Ultimate Warp Zone didn't give Pak his weapon, like it did for you. I ignored the prophecy and handed him our experimental Power Glove. It doesn't have a power limit."
"So what do we do now? Who's he looking for?"
"KEEEEEENNNNNEEE!" called the bounty hunter.
"We'll send him _right_ down!" Simon shouted. "Well kid, see ya around." he extended his hand.
"Simon," Lana slapped his hand away. "Kid Icarus, fire a warning shot."
"One stun arrow coming upicus." The winged dwarf pulled an arrow and launched it at the adversary.
The arrow absorbed into Pak's chest, not causing any damage. The man laughed. "Bring me Keene, or I take you all out."
"Hey, what's going on?" Julius said, entering the balcony.
"Lousy time to wake up," Rick noted. He turned to Lana. "So what do we do? We can't let him have Kevin. And if we don't, he'll make short work of this place."
"Rick," Kevin turned to his friend. "Test this guy's limits."
"With pleasure!" Rick pulled the superscope cannon from his back harness, and rested it on his shoulder. He flipped the turbo button, and pressed the trigger. A barrage of fire leapt from the cannon and hit Pak dead on. Focusing his eye through the targeting scope, Rick blinked. "Not a scratch," he noted as the smoke cleared. "Kev, this is not good."
"No kidding. This is gonna be a team effort."
"Whaddaya mean?" Simon huffed. "He's after you."
Mike pulled Simon's hair until the vampire hunter was bending backwards. The other game master leaned in close. "I don't like people who send my friends into danger. Help Kevin, or I'll snap your neck. Clear?"
"Crystal," Simon gulped.
The entire team ducked as a scissor-boomerang zipped over their heads.
"I think we know who sent him," Megaman uttered. "That was Cuts Man's weapon."
"But he's not a robot, how can he do that?" Romeo asked.
"The Power Glove can store weapons." Lana added. "Robot or human, anything can be saved into its databanks."
"Duh, are we gonna die, Romeo?" Julius asked.
"Yes, Julius, I'm afraid we are."
"Don't get too much confidence," Lana shot. "Mega Man, pull up all the files you can on Pak."
The robot shut his eyes tightly, his voice becoming more mechanical. "Pak: Douglas Piedmont. Former Game Master. Bounty Hunter. Wanted for Homicide. Reference: Bucky O'Hare, Masato Kanzaki, Mizuki Makimura, Firebrand, Nova."
"Geez," Kevin shrugged. "He's killing everyone we've never heard of."
"Well I don't know about that," Lana commented. "Nova was one tough S.O.B."
"Well, there's one way to solve this..." Kevin stomped out of the balcony.
"Kevin, where are you going?"
"To Doctor Right."
Pak stood in the garden of the N-Team home. "Keene? Come out, come out, wherever you are." He trampled through the flowers, crushing them under his boot. "I have all day. I hunted Nova for six months before I nailed him."
"Why don't you leave before you end up in mega trouble?"
Pak turned around. Somehow Megaman had snuck around behind him. "Twirp. You're one of Right's robots aren't you? The Keene boy sending droids after me?"
Megaman aimed his megabuster. "I suggest you leave. Now."
"Load." Pak's power glove beeped. "Fire storm."
Megaman felt heat. Extreme heat. His circuitry was frying and sizzling. It wasn't long before the robot fell to the ground in a smoking housing.
"You were one of Keene's toughest soldiers, but more importantly, one of his best friends. Now with the information I'll get from your little brain. I'll have everything I need to get rid of the 'Game Master'."
Megaman clutched at Pak's leg. "Nooo!"
"Such heroic nonsense." Pak smirked. "Load. Rapid fire."
"Doctor Right!" Kevin swung open the doors to the lab.
The short bearded man quickly pulled a sheet over a new project. "Captain N. Princess Lana. Wh-- Is this the entire N Team?"
"Minus Mega Man." Kevin noted.
"Rock? Where is he?"
"Back home. Holding the fort. I need your help, Doc."
"One second. Did you leave Mega Man alone with Pak out looking for you?"
Kevin nodded. "You know?"
"Yes. I only hope it's not too late." Right removed the sheet, revealing a white armored Mega Man with black trim, and short blonde hair. Beside him lay a white guitar. Right flipped a few switches, filling the room with a slight blast of music.
The Mega Man came alive, and sat on the edge of the table. It was taller than it's predecessor, the size of a human thirteen year-old. "Hey Pop. 'Sup?"
"Riff, this is the N Team I told you about. N Team, this is Rock and Roll's youngest brother, Riff. Now Riff, I need you to get to the N Team's home. Rock needs your help."
"Got it." Riff picked up his guitar and quickly tuned it.
"What's that for?" Kevin asked.
"My blaster. Different chords for different effects." Riff dodged out the door before any other questions delayed him.
"Does he have directions?"
Right nodded. "Instead of doing manual programming, I simply implanted a personality and downloaded all his other knowledge from the Videoland Information Network. He's got the most extensive map available in his cortex. But I'm boring you, and myself. What can I do for you?"
"Doc, I need a big favor."
"I'm all ears."
[Information Download: Complete]
Pak laughed at the glove's confirmation. Using the palm-top computer, he could learn everything about the N-Team. "Computer, open all Captain-N files sequentially."
"Brushin' up on your homework?" Riff asked from behind.
"Another one? You guys are quiet."
"Where's my bro?" Riff asked, aiming his guitar.
"I tossed him to the curb. Like any piece of broken down garbage."
"You worthless piece of --"
"I'm worth more than you know, boy. Run along before you get hurt." Pak turned and made an advance towards the house. He felt a sharp pain at his back, and fell to the ground momentarily.
Riff released his fingers from the strings, but barely. "That's one chord, Pak-man. Wanna see what Stairway to Heaven does?"
"Load. Megabuster!" Pak fired the weapon he stole from Mega Man towards the robot's brother.
Riff dodged with ease. "That's your best? C'mon--"
"My best? My best, as you call it, boy, is unfathomable! If I wished I could end this foolish feud with the blink of an eye! I could---"
"Shut up, dude. Geez. Follow the example of your head. Get to the point."
Both combatants looked up. Wily's hologram was shimmering on a passing cloud.
"Whoa.." Riff remarked. "..that guy has more chin than a Chinese phone book."
"What do you want, goat-boy?" Pak asked the image.
Taking advantage of his distraction, Riff blasted the bounty hunter with a brief tune with a powerful tune.
"Oh crap," Wily muttered. "He'll hate me for that." The image faded away.
"You little punk!" Pak spat from the grass. His eyes adjusted to the light, his sunglasses a few feet from his reach.
Riff spoke to the sky. "Ah, Sammy Hagar. Where would I be without you?"
Pak rose, brushing himself off. "Another time. Give my regards to your brother." Pak said, teleporting away in a mysterious fashion.
"Get a haircut, y'hippy!" Riff walked to where Pak stood, and retrieved the sunglasses. "Not bad," he smiled, slipping the pair over his eyes. Then he began combing the area. "Rock? Rock, talk to me bro! Where are ya, bud?!"
"Will that solve your problem, Kevin?" Right asked. The N Team wondered as well.
"I've made up my mind, Doc. Fire up the Warp Zone Shifter. I'm going home."
"I must warn you once again, it is not functioning properly. I told when I moved it to my lab that I felt it's temporal properties needed adjustment. Especially after the recent and excessive use."
"Don't worry Doc, I won't hold you responsible."
"Kevin, you can't be serious." Lana pleaded. "And if you are, then I'm going with you."
"Sorry Lana. Videoland needs a ruler."
"Zelda'll take over. She has before."
Kevin held Lana by her shoulders. "Zelda can't overlook Videoland and Hyrule, Lana. I'll be back in a month. By then Pak would've forgotten about me. And it's not like I'm the only one here to help out. Mike's just as good a Game Master as I am. Plus you've got Kid Icarus, Megaman, Simon---" As his words halted, Kevin removed his power pad and zapper. "---Simon." He held the objects out to the vampire hunter.
Cautiously, as if he couldn't believe what was going on, Simon took the belt. "Kevin, I ---"
"Take them Simon. Just point and shoot."
Kevin turned to the Northridge natives of the N Team. "Rick. Mike. I wanted to choose one of you as the leader of the N Team." Both waited in a sorrow-filled anticipation. "But I can't. Until I return, I hope you listen to Lana. She'll get things done one way or another."
"The Warp Zone Shifter is ready to go, Kevin." Wright informed. "But you know if Pak followed you here..."
"..I know, Doc. I know." Kevin exhaled deeply. "Do it."
A bright blue portal illuminated itself behind Captain N. He did not turn to face it, rather he backed into it, watching his friends say goodbye until they couldn't be heard. Regardless. "Goodbye." he silently mouthed.
"NO!" Lana leapt after Kevin as he began to cross worlds.
"Lana, wait!" Rick grabbed onto her arm, but did not account for the princess' strength. Both were pulled through within a second.
And the portal closed.
"Oh dear." Right frowned.
"Pop!" Riff kicked open the doors, his brother carried in his arms. "Rock's hurt. Bad!"
"Oh DEAR!" Right screamed. He directed Riff to lay Rock on the table he once rested. "Pak?"
"No bout adoubt it." Riff quipped.
"How did you fare?"
"I got his glasses don't I?"
"Good work. However, I must ask you to assist the N-Team for the time being. You seem to be an intimidating force against Pak."
"I aim to please. And kick ass."
"I like 'im." Mike laughed.
Riff spun around. "You the moron?"
"No sir, that'd be Julius," Mike jerked a thumb at the large friend.
"So who's in charge here?"
"Guess that'd be me now." Mike answered. "Looks like I'm giving the orders."
"May the great compiler save us all."
"The football field." Kevin noted. "I haven't been here since graduation." Standing up, he turned to his friends. "You shouldn't have come, Lana."
"I know, Kevin---"
"--- But I'm glad you did."
"You guys aren't still into that mushy crap are you? Cuz if you are--"
"Rick.. you followed too?"
"Just in attempt to keep Lana from following you. You're pretty strong, girl."
"Thanks." Lana chirped. "So Kevin, gonna see your parents?"
"Yeah. But I don't think I have to tell you not to mention Pak."
"My lips are sealed." Lana said.
"Mine too." Rick added.
"Great." Kevin sighed. "Guys. Let's go home."
To Be Continued...