Friday, December 18, 1992, 8:25 AM
Matt Slater was sitting behind the counter in the school library at Central Florida Community College. He had shoulder-length auburn hair and had it tied back in a ponytail. Matt worked at the library. At the moment, though, he wasn't doing anything work-related. He opened up the drawer behind the counter and pulled out two small magnets with opposite polarity. He set them down in front of him. Holding one of the magnets in his right hand, he used it to push the second magnet along the counter. "God, I'm bored." Matt said. Mark Moore, one of Matt's friends, was sitting at a computer. Mark was about five foot nine - shorter than Matt - and had short black hair. He checked his e-mail like he did every day. He had one message.
Mark, Go on IRC right away on Thursday! There's someone on the channel you're gonna wanna meet! Keep it N! Niko
Mark shrugged and saved the message to his disk. He switched to the desktop and started up Pirch, the IRC program used at his school. When he was logged on, he joined #Captain_N.
*** Log file opened: 04/23/98 2:50:59 PM Captain_N [~email@example.com] has joined #Captain_N Welcome to Videoland! (Dragonicus) ChanServ sets mode: +o Captain_N Captain_N changes topic to "Welcome to Videoland!" Kevin_Keene [firstname.lastname@example.org] has joined #Captain_N ChanServ sets mode: +o Kevin_Keene <Kevin_Keene> Cool, I got Ops! <Captain_N> Hi. <Kevin_Keene> Hey, there! <Captain_N> Nick told me to meet you here. <Kevin_Keene> Yeah. <Captain_N> So, what's up? <Kevin_Keene> Do you believe in alternate universes? <Captain_N> Yeah. <Kevin_Keene> Well, I'm Kevin from the show.
Mark got real excited.
<Captain_N> Matt Hill?! <Kevin_Keene> LOL! No, Kevin Keene! I'm Captain N!!! <Captain_N> Are you serious? <Kevin_Keene> Yeah! You don't believe me, huh? <Captain_N> I'm willing to believe you. Can you prove you're really Kevin? <Kevin_Keene> Picture on the way. <Captain_N> Got it. BRB.
Mark switched to Netscape and loaded the picture. He was very surprised. It was the same picture Kevin had sent to Nick. The guy looked like Dorian Barag, but it couldn't be him. Too young. That left one explanation. "Ohmanohmanohmanohmanohmanohmanohmanohman!!!" Mark said, freaking out. "Shut the hell up!" a voice directed. Mark turned to his right. Matt was standing there, smiling. Mark stood up. "Guess who I'm chatting with!" "Who?" Matt asked. Mark stepped aside and let Matt view Kevin's picture. "Uh..." Matt began. "Kevin Keene!" Mark said. "Who the hell is Kevin Keene?" Matt asked. "Captain N!" Matt smiled. "Uh,...yeah,...okay, Mark." "Really! Look at the picture!" "I saw it. It doesn't prove anything." "Okay, then." Mark switched back to Pirch.
<Captain_N> Ohmanohmanohmanohmanohmanohmanohmanohman!!! <Kevin_Keene> =) <Captain_N> Are you Captain N? <Kevin_Keene> Yep!
Mark turned to face Matt. "Someone's pulling your leg, Mark." Matt said and walked away. Mark sat down and looked back at the computer screen.
<Captain_N> My friend here is skeptical. <Kevin_Keene> Figures. <Captain_N> Man, this is so AWESOME! Me chatting with Captain N! <Kevin_Keene> Wasn't something you expected to do today, was it? <Captain_N> How many others know besides Nick? <Kevin_Keene> No one. Nick's keeping it a secret. <Captain_N> Listen, we gotta tell the others. <Kevin_Keene> Okay. I'll e-mail them. What are their addresses? <Captain_N> No, no, no. I got a better idea. We should all get together. <Kevin_Keene> Where? <Captain_N> How about my house tomorrow? <Kevin_Keene> But you live in Florida. <Captain_N> I know. <Kevin_Keene> Uh, let me ask the others. <Captain_N> Others? Who's there with you? <Kevin_Keene> Lana, Mike, Rick, and Stacey <Captain_N> AWESOME!!! <Kevin_Keene> BRB.
Kevin got up and walked over to the others, who were all lying on the floor. Rick and Mike were working on the warp zone opener. Lana and Stacey were watching them with curiosity. "Guys," Kevin said, "how would you like to go to Florida?" The four of them looked up at him. "What?" Mike asked. "Mark invited us over to his house. Wanna go?" "Sorry, Kevin, we can't." Rick said. "I gotta work on the opener." "Oh, c'mon, Rick," Kevin said, "you can work on it there. You said you would need a few days anyway. We can hop on a plane, go to Florida, meet Mark and his friends, then go back to Megaland!" "Please, Rick?" Stacey begged. "Please, Rick?" Lana echoed. "Please, Rick?" Mike repeated. Rick looked at all of them one at a time. "Okay." The others all cheered. Kevin grinned. "I'm gonna go tell Mark." He went back to the computer.
<Kevin_Keene> It's a go! <Captain_N> Great! I'll e-mail my friends and ask if they can come! Mark, A Captain N convention? Hmmm... well, I did need to head down in that direction anyway... =) If I'm going to go out to your place first, though, I'll need to know which airport is closest to you and how to get from there to you. Mandi Mark, I accept your invitation. I'll be there tomorrow! Eric Mark, I would LOVE to come visit you! Eric says he can pick me up! I'll be there tomorrow! Don't worry, I haven't told him! Nick Mark, I'd really love to come over, but I'm afraid my parents won't let me go to Florida! AAARRRGGGHHH!!! The first Captain N Convention, and I can't be a part of it! I'm so sorry! The Devistated Mega Girl Who has rusted her pink armor with her tears
Mark ran up to the counter, and the whole room shook. Matt looked up. "Damn, Mark, I could feel you comin'!" Mark was excited. "Matt, I just got Nick, Eric, and Mandi to come here tomorrow! Kevin and the others are on their way, too! We're gonna meet at my house!" "Shhh, Mark! People are trying to study!" Matt scolded. "Dude, Captain N is coming over to my house!" "Yeah, yeah, Mark. Let's go down to the Student Lounge." So, Mark followed Matt out of the library. They walked over to the elevator. "Matt, c'mon, man! I'm serious!" Mark insisted. "Damn it, Mark, don't trying pulling this crap on me while I've got the munchies! I'm not in the mood!" Matt pressed the button to call the elevator. It came, the doors opened, and they stepped inside. Matt pressed the button for floor 1. Matt and Mark ritually threw their bookbags on the floor and leaned against the walls they were standing in front of. They slowly slid until they reached the back wall. Matt nodded. "Better." Saturday, December 18, 1992, 1:30 AM
Mark didn't go to school. He stayed home and waited out in the driveway for his guests to arrive. Matt was the first. He parked the car in the garage and got out. "Glad you could come!" Mark said with a smile. "Is Mike coming?" Matt asked. "I called him yesterday. He'll be here soon."
Sure enough, his mom dropped him off at Mark's house soon. Mike was a little taller than Mark and had short black hair. "Hey, Mike!" Mark said. "Hey, what's up, foo?!" Mike greeted. "Oh,...not much." Mark said with a grin. "What?" Mike asked with a smile. "You didn't tell him?" Matt asked Mark. "Tell me what?" Mike asked. "Okay, only me, Matt, and Nick know about this." Mark said. "Nick?" "From IRC." Mark said. "He, Eric, and Mandi are coming here!" "Cool!" Mike said. "That's not all, Mark. Tell him who else is coming." Matt said. "Nah, let's have it be a surprise." "Aw, c'mon, man! Tell me!" Mike pleaded. Mark laughed and shook his head. "You'll have to wait!"
Soon, a car turned into the driveway and parked in the garage. Two guys got out. One of them was Nick. The other one, the driver, was Eric. He was five foot seven and had very dark brown hair. Eric was carrying a bag in his left hand. "Hey, Mark!" Nick said. "Nick!" They shook hands, then Mark and Eric shook hands. "Hey, Mark!" Eric greeted. "Hey, Eric!" "I brought my episodes, man!" "Awesome! Mandi should be here soon." Just then, a cab came into the driveway. A girl got out and went over to the driver side. After paying the cabby, he drove off. The girl faced Mark and the others. She had short brown hair, green eyes, and appeared about five foot six. She had a purple backpack slung over her shoulder. "You must be Mark." she said, walking up to him. "Hi, Mandi!" Mark greeted. Mandi offered her right hand, and Mark shook it. "So," Mark asked, looking at all of them, "what do you guys wanna do first?" "Introducing us would be nice." Matt said. "Oh, yeah. I'm Mark Moore. This is Matthew Slater, - " "Matt." Matt said with a growl, his eyes blazing. "Matt Slater, Michael Lee Rohm, Eric Vartanian, Miranda Leigh Paugh, and Nicholas Pinto." Mark said. "Well, let's go in the house."
Matt jumped backwards and landed on the couch in front of the window. They were all in the living room now. "You know, I'm amazed we all found our way here." Mandi said. "I led you here," Matt said, "for I am Spartacus." They all looked at Matt. "'That Thing You Do!'" Matt said. "You guys must've seen it." "I didn't." Mike said. "Me neither." Nick added. "Nuh-uh." Eric agreed. "Ditto." Mandi chimed in. Matt gave them all looks and, because of their order, ended up gazing last at her. "Hey, I don't watch movies much." she apologized with a grin, holding up her hands as if to ward off a confrontation. Matt looked at Mark. "Mark, I know you saw it, 'cause I let you borrow it. Put in your copy." "Um,...I sorta...forgot where I put it." Mark said. "How convenient." Matt said. Just then, they heard a car approaching outside. They turned and looked. It was a cab. "C'mon, guys!" Mark said, walking out the door. "They're here!" Nick asked, following him. "Who's here?" Mandi asked, following them. "Yeah." Mike said, following them. "Yeah." Eric echoed, following them. "Yeah, right." Matt said, getting off the couch and following them.
Mark and the others walked into the driveway. The cab doors opened. Mark and Nick waited in breathless anticipation. Out of the back seat came a black man with short hair. After him came a guy with shoulder-length brown hair. He stood to the black man's left. From the other side of the cab - the side not facing Mark's house - came a girl with short brown hair, followed by a girl with long blonde hair. They walked over to the driveway. The blonde girl stood to the white guy's left, and the brown-haired girl stood to the blonde's left. Finally, out of the passenger side came a boy with short brown hair. He stood to the brown-haired girl's left. The cabby drove off. All was silent. Mark and his friends were all staring at the black 'N' on the red and white jacket worn by the boy on the right. Mark's face went pale, as did Mandi, Nick, and Eric's. No one spoke. Finally, the boy on the right laughed. "Man, I didn't know I'd have this effect on people!" "Are you - " Mark began. "Are you him? Are you Captain N: The Game Master?" "The one and only. But hey, call me Kevin. All my friends do." Mark, Mandi, Nick, and Eric gasped. "It's really him!" Mandi said in wonder. The boy with shoulder-length brown hair looked at Kevin. "What makes you so special, Keene?" "Oh, yeah." Kevin said. "These are my friends: Mike Vincent, Rick Walker, Stacey Anderson, and Princess Lana Deschain." Stacey waved with her left hand. "Like, hi!" "How's it goin'?" Rick asked. "F-fine!" Nick sputtered. "Ohmanohmanohmanohmanohmanohmanohmanohman - " Mark, Nick, and Eric began. "Shut up!" Matt yelled, whacking Mark in the back of the head. Mandi just stood there, gazing at the N Teamsters in stunned silence. "This isn't Captain N!" Matt said. "And these aren't Lana, Mike, Stacey, and Rick. They're just look-a-likes that are tryin' to fool ya!" "He's a disbeliever." Mark explained. "So am I, Mark." Mike told him. "In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if you hired these actors yourself!" This got Eric thinking. "Did you, Mark?" he asked. "No, of course not!" Mark said. "Trust me, we're really them." Lana said with a smile. Eric shook his head. "This is so awesome!" "Well, um,...please come in." Mark said, a broad smile on his face. The five newcomers nodded, and they all walked into the house.
"Anyone want a Pepsi?" Mark asked, walking into the kitchen. "Yesterday, after school, I bought a whole bunch for today!" "I'll have one!" Kevin said. "Me, too!" Lana added. "Yeah." Stacey, Mike Vincent, Rick, Nick, Eric, and Mike Rohm agreed. Mark handed them each a bottle as they came into the kitchen for it. "Matt?" Mark asked, holding up a bottle. "You know I don't drink that crap, Mark." Matt said. "Give me a Mountain Dew. It's from the makers of Pepsi, so close enough." "I don't have any." Mark said. "I don't do the Dew. It's got Yellow 5 in it. Dude, that stuff makes your bladder grow inward and lowers your sperm count." Matt smiled and nodded. "Thank you for sharing that. Gimme a damn milk." Mark did. "Thanks." Matt said, taking the glass. "Mandi, Pepsi?" Mark asked, holding the bottle up. Mandi shook her head. "No, thanks. I can't drink carbonation. It doesn't agree with me. It burns my mouth and my throat and upsets my stomach. Generally, it's totally not fun at all. So, since I don't have to, why put myself through such torture?" Lana laughed. "That's kinda like what Kid Icarus said!" Mandi smiled. "Yeah, except it's more intense for me." "Want a glass of O.J., then?" Mark offered. Matt sighed. "Guilty, guilty, guilty." Mark laughed. "Orange juice?" Mandi nodded, smiling. "Sure." Mank poured her a glass and handed it to her. "Thanks." Mandi said. Mark walked towards the living room. "Okay, let's watch some Captain N!" "I think that's my cue to call my mom and have her pick me up." Mike said to him, walking towards the phone. Mark grabbed hold of him and pulled him into the living room. Eric took a tape out of his bag, took it out of its cover, and put it in the VCR. Mark turned on the TV and pressed Play. They all sat down in the living room and watched as the theme song began. A map of Videoland appeared on the TV screen, and a male voice announced: "Welcome to Videoland!" Then Megaland was shown, and Mega Man zoomed by, waving. "Mega Hi!" Then Mount Icarus appeared. Kid Icarus was lying on a cloud, asleep, and Lana said: "Wake up, Kid Icarus." Kid Icarus woke up and shot a lightning arrow to the left of the screen, which turned into a lightning bolt as the scene changed again. The castle on Castlevania was shown. The Count flew towards the screen in bat form. "Welcome to Castlevania!" he said. "Yahoo! Yahoo!" Simon, who was chasing the Count, yelled. Then Donkey Kong was shown in Kongoland, stirring a large bowl. "It's Kongoland!" Kevin said, and Donkey Kong yelled. Then Metroid was shown, and then Mother Brain. "Mother Brain will get you, little Princess!" she said, then laughed. The Palace of Power was shown as Kid Icarus yelled: "Princess, the Palace is under siege!" Lana, Simon, Mega Man, and Kid Icarus was shown standing around the pedestal as the male voice announced: "Behold, the Ultimate Warp Zone!" The warp opened to show an overview shot of Kevin's house on Earth. Then Kevin was shown playing Punch-Out in his room with an NES Advantage. Duke was there, too, holding a gray Zapper in his mouth. The picture on Kevin's TV screen fuzzed up. "Wow!" Kevin said as the four members of the N Team appeared on his screen. "Kevin, I thought I told you to clean up your room!" Cheryl yelled. The blast came out of Kevin's TV. He backed away and tried to hold on. "Whoa!" He was pulled through, screaming. Duke saw this and jumped in after his master. They were shown falling through the Ultimate Warp Zone, now animated. Then there was an effect of a TV being clicked off. Then the entire N Team was shown standing in front of the throne. Kevin drew his Zapper and fired on the screen. Then a black screen was shown. The series' logo appeared as the male voice announced: "Captain N: The Game Master!" Then the screen faded. The first episode, "KEVIN IN VIDEOLAND", started. The title and author's name were superimposed on a scene of troops marching towards the Palace. "It was a dark day for Videoland." the male voice announced. "For seven years, Mother Brain's minions have laid siege on the Palace of Power." The troops were chanting eerily. Watching that episode brought back a lot of memories. Kevin and Lana were interested in seeing what happened in scenes they weren't in. Mike, Stacey, and Rick were interested in seeing the actual events they've only been told about play out before them. However, when they watched "HOW'S BAYOU", Kevin remarked: "Hey! I wasn't playing Bayou Billy! I was playing Punch-Out!" "Continuity error." Mark explained. "The series is full of them. There's also two versions of this episode. I'll show you Version 2 after this." So, when they watched Version 2, they noticed the differences, and Kevin said "Version 1 is more accurate." They watched selected episodes from Seasons 1 and 2 and The Legend of Zelda. When the theme song for Season 3 started, and the N Team literally poked their heads out of Kevin's TV screen, Kevin went: "Uh,...no." All the N Teamsters gasped at the cheesy animation of Season 3. "It makes me gag." Mandi commented.
"Well, that certainly was interesting." Mike Rohm commented on "BATTLE OF THE BASEBALL KNOW-IT-ALLS", the final episode of Captain N. Mark ejected the tape from the VCR and handed it back to Eric. He faced Mandi. "Let's watch the Spanish 'HOW'S BAYOU' now." Kevin smiled. "This should be fun." Mandi opened up her purple backpack and handed Mark the tape. "I copied it onto a VHS tape." Mark put it into the VCR and pressed Play. Everyone couldn't help but laugh at the voices.
After the episode was over, Mark ejected the tape and handed it back to Mandi. Mike Rohm grinned. "¿Te gusta jugar con queso?" Matt grinned. "Yo quiero Taco Bell." "Heh, Spartacus speaks Spanish." Mike Vincent said with a smile. Matt stood up and raised his arms in the air. "I am Spartacus!" Kevin laughed. "You and Kid Icarus would make good friends!" "No, actually, he and Gameboy!" Mark faced Matt. "Matt, do your Gameboy impersonation." "Compliance." Matt said in a near-perfect imitation of Gameboy's voice. The others gasped. "That's incredible!" Rick said. "Like, totally!" Stacey added. "Do some more!" Lana said. "Affirmative." Matt continued in Gameboy's voice. "Request received and carried out." The others were amazed all over again. "Okay, let me show you around the house." Mark offered. "I'd join you, but I really gotta fix the warp zone opener!" Rick said. Mark smiled. "No problem, Rick. You can use the kitchen table." Rick nodded. "Thank you." He walked into the kitchen. "All right, follow me." Mark said.
TO BE CONTINUED...