PikminFanon:Pikmin Story Archive
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The Pikmin Story is a fanon story serial that is ongoing. New chapters are released every Saturday when possible, and are posted here. Completed stories are archived in their respective subpages. The story serial's original concept was created by Peach Bulborb and is currently being written by PikFan23.
Credits to PikFan23 and Wraith for helping the idea come to fruition.
The Captain's Return
Once, there was a planet, indistinguishable from other planets. However, this planet was very special, as one unfortunate space captain found out. Creatures called "Pikmin" inhabited the planet, little creatures that had a massive amount of might. The captain managed to escape the planet, and later returned to collect treasure to save his company. This was accomplished as well.
All of that was long ago. Olimar is a fading memory among the Pikmin, and almost none believe he will return...
That is all on this young Pikmin's mind.
Run! Before they catch you!
The pack of Dwarf Bulbears draw near, with their massive Spotty Bulbear leader in the very front. Its eyes are fixed on this Pikmin, hardly blinking, just fixed on the target. It barks a few words of leaderly encouragement to the young Bulbears that are falling head-over-heels trying to catch this Pikmin.
Normally, this Pikmin would only be chased leisurely, but "The Intelligence" desires this Pikmin for a special reason.
The Pikmin is of the Blue Tribe, and runs into a pool of water, hoping to outsmart the Grub-dogs that are following him so closely; Bulbears are notorious for their poor swimming ability. As he wades into the water, he holds up an object to avoid it getting wet. This object is exactly why he is being followed so closely.
The Spotty Bulbear's eyes bulge as it spots that critical object. It knew all along that the Pikmin was carrying this object, but having it so close and yet out of reach is exasperating. The Pikmin gets safely to the other side, and this stream of water stretches for meters before there is even a stick across to wade on.
The Pikmin is safe, and quickly runs toward the Onion stationed on the other side of the stream. The leader of the band of Blue Pikmin, a flowered veteran that long ago went on the quest to rescue a dear friend of the captain's, takes the object and studies it carefully. He picks it up and begins turning the dial, hearing a good bit of radio static.
Maybe, just maybe, he thinks, I can call Olimar back!
Dream, or Nightmare?
"Dream, or Nightmare?" is the second story in the serial on the main page. It follows the adventures of Louie after he is accidentally left on the planet by Olimar. It presumably with detail the events of the Dream Den.
Darkness. Rumbling. A ship lights up the sky like a burning steak, my only hope for escape from this planet. But wait. It has already lifted off! I'm doomed!
It is getting dark, and that Bulbear doesn't look too friendly...
This hollow might provide a little shelter. If I can just survive the night...
If that Bulbear had just left me alone, I might've gotten some sleep. Instead, I have to spend the entire night just trying to avoid it.
This place looks different. everything is orange instead of green or white. Maybe there is some food here?
I could cook up a few ultra spicy berries, but first I need to reach them.
Got it! Now I just need to cook it on my portable stove. This is going to be a long wait. Wait, what is that Blowhog doing? No, get away! This is my food, mine! Go! Shoo!
Aw, and you just had to eat the stove as well! Bad Blowhog, bad! Wait, you're the fiery kind?
This Blowhog is a good mount. I just hijacked its mind, and now I can drive it where I wish. And the moment I find anything edible, I just command him to blowtorch it.
Here is a hole. Holes often have lots of tasty stuff. Come, Blowy, lets see what's down here...
This place has a lot good eats, right, Blowy! This big green fruit is especially scrumptious. But that side of Dwarf Orange Bulborb wasn't half bad, now was it?
You know, being left by Olimar may be the best thing that has ever happened to me...
Mysterious World (CANCELED)
This story has been canceled as of May 23rd, 2016. There will be no more updates to this story.
After the explorers from Hocotate and Koppai left, the Pikmin gained knowledge. They got their knowledge by observing their alien leaders, noting vast knowledge of things. It rubbed off on the Pikmin after a while, but they didn't show it. After the leaders' final departure, they bloomed (no pun intended). Their knowledge increased exponentially in the course of a few short months, acquiring many aspects of civilization. However, their knowledge didn't match that of their leaders, whose knowledge was far superior than the Pikmin could ever have dreamed of. That didn't matter to the Pikmin. What mattered is that they now had a foothold on the world, brought back from the verge of extinction. And as most civilizations go, the Pikmin, naturally, wanted to explore the world's vast lands, and see what sort of challenges it had to offer.
However, one Pikmin would revolutionize his civilization, and make a permanent impact on his world.
This is his story... This is the story of how he discovered a parallel world. And it begins...
...with a seed.
Chapter 1: The New Pikmin
An Onion in the Awakening Wood just created a new Pikmin. This would be no ordinary Pikmin, as everybody would come to find out, but its life started just the same. A nearby Pikmin plucked the seed, and out popped a new Pikmin. The Onion had the special ability to impart limited knowledge to new Pikmin: it would plant information into a Pikmin's mind after its creation, and then it would be expelled from the Onion and take root in the ground. This Pikmin thanked the other Pikmin for plucking it, then climbed up one of the legs of the Onion.
Onions are special in the fact that they are their own dimensions, separated from the rest of existence. As such, Onions' insides are many hundreds of times larger than the outside. The reason for this is because the Onion is the mothership of the Pikmin, and needs to be able to carry thousands, if not tens or even hundreds of thousands of Pikmin at once. The Pikmin, once it climbed inside, knew where it needed to go: the Sprout Facility. The Sprout Facility was the first place all Sproutlings visited after their plucking. Here, Sproutlings would be taught of what it's like to be a Pikmin, and they would be named here, too.
The Pikmin found the Sprout Facility with little trouble: after entering the Onion, he came into a chamber, with a passageway in the front that read, "SPROUT FACILITY". Next to each entrance was a Sprout Facility. Here, he quickly found an instructor, who taught him basic Pikmin skills, such as carrying, fighting, throwing, etc. Then the instructor got a Pikmin name generator and pulled up a name: Ignis. The Pikmin accepted the name, thanked the instructor, and left the facility. After a Sproutling's visit to the Sprout Facility, they are advised to exit the Onion, in order to learn the Pikmin's ways, and further enhance their knowledge. Ignis, after leaving the Onion, wandered around the Awakening Wood a bit, and found some Pikmin sneaking up on a trio of Dwarf Bulborbs. The group of Pikmin noticed Ignis. "Are you a Sproutling?" one of them asked.
"Yeah. I just left the Sprout Facility."
"Oh, I see. What's your name?"
"I'm Ignis. You're...?"
"Call me Flare," the other Pikmin said. "You wanna help us kill these Dwarf Bulborbs?"
"Sure," said Ignis. "I've got a lot to learn anyway, so I guess I'll start here!"
"Alright. Now, Dwarf Bulborbs are pretty easy to kill—you throw another Pikmin on it. Easy! Watch."
Flare grabbed one of his friends by the stem and effortlessly threw him on top of one of the Dwarf Bulborb's back. Dwarf Bulborbs' spines are frail enough that they cannot withstand Pikmin being thrown on top of them. The dwarf let out a screech, rolled over, and died. This caught the attention of the other two, who saw the group of Pikmin.
"They've seen us!" Flare yelled. "Quick, Ignis, give me your stem."
Before he knew it, Ignis flew through the air and landed on a dwarf, killing it. Then the other Pikmin charged at the last dwarf, who jumped, trying to shake off some of its attackers.
"Come on!" Flare motioned Ignis to attack the dwarf. Instinctively, he latched on, and whacked the dwarf a few times. The combined effort of the Pikmin killed the Bulborb.
"Well then, let's get these Bulborbs back to the Onion," Flare said. Ignis watched as some Pikmin picked up a Bulborb and carried it off to the Onion, followed y another Bulborb.
"Hey, Ignis, you wanna help me carry this?" Flare asked Ignis.
"Yeah, okay." Ignis walked over to the Bulborb, and he helped the others carry it back to the Onion. He watched as the Onion absorbed the Bulborb, expelling new seeds.
"I don't know if you know this already," Flare explained, "but the Onion will absorb pellets and dead creatures and convert them into seeds. Because of it, we can reproduce easily… unless there isn't anything for us to get, which would be bad!" He laughed. "Well then, see you later, Ignis."
"See you." Flare and his comrades walked off. It looked to Ignis that Flare was some sort of leader, the way he was instructing the other Pikmin what to do. Soon, they vanished from sight, and Ignis, having nothing better to do, took a stroll around the Awakening Wood. He decided he'd get used to his surroundings. He went north, and found an enclosure with nothing in it. Then he headed southeast from the enclosure, and found a plateau with a weird mound on it. A nearby Pikmin looked over at him.
"Sproutling, eh?" the Pikmin said.
"Yeah, how'd you know?" Ignis asked.
"By the way you're wanderin' 'round the Wood like that, it ain't hard to tell you're a Sproutling!" he laughed. "Ah, did that catch your eye?" The Pikmin gestured to the mound.
"Yeah, what is it?"
"That 'ere is one of 'em caves. They're empty spaces inna ground which 'ave great stuff in 'em, but are swarmin' with monsters. No Pikmin'd survive if they went alone… 'specially Sproutlin's."
"I see..." Ignis gazed up at the cave. He wondered what was in it, but decided to keep exploring. Heading back south, he ended up at the landing site. The Red Onion towered above Ignis, and made him feel small. This was the most expansive part of the area. He headed west, and as he was doing so, looked north, and saw two plants that had berries on them. Earlier, he had seen some Pikmin harvesting the berries from the plants, and condensing them into some sort of liquid. He kept on walking, crossing a bridge and going into a narrow walkway. Turning south again, Ignis saw a small pond, with two bridges connecting an island in the middle of it to both shores. He crossed the bridges, and came upon an open expanse. Taking a break, he sat down. He looked up, and saw the pink petals gently floating to the ground. Then he looked back down and admired all the pretty flowers. One flower in particular caught Ignis's eye, so he got up, went over and looked at it. This flower had what looked like an eye in the middle of it. To Ignis, this didn't seem strange, but the other Pikmin would instantly recognize it as a Creepying Chrysanthemum.
The Chrysanthemum spotted Ignis and promptly uprooted itself from the ground. Ignis was knocked back, and saw the true form of the creature: a giant, green body, with two flowers extending from it—both of which had eyes—and a giant bulb on top, which Ignis assumed to be its mouth. His assumption was correct, as the bulb mouth came down and tried to eat him. Ignis jumped off the ground and started attacking the Chrysanthemum, which caused little damage.
The flower creature shook off Ignis, who saw the bulb coming, and rolled out of the way. Having missed the Pikmin, it fell over, and he took this opportunity to attack. He wondered what would happen if he attacked the eye, so he climbed up to the flower and whacked at its eye. The Chrysanthemum let out a screech of pain, then a roar, and reared up, sending Ignis flying. He hit a tree stump and fell down, and when he looked up, saw the Chrysanthemum. One of its flowers had wilted, and the Chrysanthemum was mad. It was about to eat Ignis when both of them heard a high-pitched sound.
It was Pikmin!
The Chrysanthemum was distracted by the other Pikmin, so Ignis seized the opportunity and attacked. He climbed up to its other eye, whacking furiously, and the Chrysanthemum screeched again. It shook violently, and Ignis fell off. Ignis saw the other Pikmin, and this group's leader walked up to him.
"Gotta say, you're crazy for a Sproutling..." the Pikmin remarked.
"Who are you?" Ignis asked.
"I'm Ruby. ...You haven't heard of me yet?"
"Well, I'm the leader of the Onion." Somehow, Ignis wasn't fazed by this. Then, he noticed her skin. Ruby was bright red, unlike the other Red Pikmin. Her skin was different because she was the leader of the Onion. An effect of her being the leader gave her powers: she was resistant to fire and electricity. She was also slightly stronger than some of the other Pikmin, too. Then Ignis noticed the ruby adorned on her forehead. Indeed, she was a leader: in her eyes, Ignis saw leadership and courage; a brave and hardened soul; a kind and caring heart.
"If you don't mind my asking, who're you?" Ruby asked.
"I'm Ignis," he replied.
"...Well, what are we waiting for, Ignis? Let's get that Chrysanthemum!"
Because Ignis had attacked both eyes, the Chrysanthemum was blinded, and wandered about. It seemed less dangerous, but the Pikmin didn't realize that it could make tentacles now. They charged at the blind plant, and upon doing so, its limbs went into the ground, sprouting tentacles which snatched up a Pikmin. Ignis was horrified when he saw it, and jumped at the tentacle, furiously attacking it. It let go of the Pikmin, but then Ignis was ensnared in the tentacle. The other Pikmin were attacking its bulb, trying to give Ignis time to free himself, but the Chrysanthemum did not stop. Desperate, Ignis screamed. The other Pikmin were stunned, though. They were astonished by what they saw. Ignis fell to the ground, and was amazed when he looked up.
The Chrysanthemum was immobilized—the tentacle was burning.
"How... HOW DID YOU DO THAT?!" Ruby asked, very surprised. Ignis discovered that he had a unique ability: he could manipulate fire.
"I-I... " Ignis stuttered. He was entranced by what he just did. He felt power surging through his body, though, so he figured if he directed it to one spot, he could make fire appear again.
"Let's try this out..." He put his two hands in front of him. He concentrated, trying to summon a blaze. "Ah... Ahhh... AHAAA!" A fire appeared out of nowhere. Many comments arose from the other Pikmin. "Wow, that's so cool!" "How can he do that?" "I wanna try!" Ignis looked behind him, pleased that he could amaze the other Pikmin.
"Now, let's finish this once and for all!" he declared. He willed the fire to grow bigger, and condensed it into a fireball. Then, he launched it at the Chrysanthemum, setting its body ablaze, killing it. Only the bulb was left behind. This caused a wave of cheers and excitement.
Now, let's get this Chrysanthemum bulb back to the Onion!" Ruby said. She directed the others to carry the bulb. "Ignis? Can I talk to you for a second?"
"Yeah, what is it?"
"That power you have.. It is a power only very few Pikmin are blessed with. If you use it right, it could mean us Pikmin could become the most powerful creatures on this planet again. So I have a request of you: will you aid us in these times with your power?"
"Yeah, okay," Ignis answered, "but I'm still a Sproutling. I'm not ready to take on any big fate-changing mission or something right now. Maybe when I'm a little older, I can help you."
"Very well. We have ancient, secret documents about this ability you hold. Tonight, come to my house. I live on the 1st floor. It's the big red house, decorated with rubies. Can't miss it. Anyway, we need to get back to the Onion—it's getting late." With that, Ruby rushed off to join the others. Ignis looked up, and indeed it was getting late. Through the shadows of the leaves, the orange sunlight casted a beautiful glow on the forest. Ignis came back to reality, and rushed back to the Onion.
What Ignis didn't see were a pair of eyes.
Watchful, analytical eyes.
Chapter 2: Exploration
Ignis had climbed up into the Onion and waited beside the exit. Glass came down and sealed it off. Then Ignis saw a flashing red light, and felt a massive jolt, being pulled down. Suddenly worried, he looked through the glass, and saw the ground slowly getting smaller.
They were flying!
Ignis stared intensely at the ground. It got smaller and smaller as the Onion accelerated into the evening sky. The giant trees that were towering above him just moments ago gradually faded into oblivion, becoming nothing more than mere decorations on the surface of the planet. He studied the landscape: most of the ground was forest, and there was a lake to the north. Beyond the lake was a mountain range, and beyond the mountains, Ignis couldn't discern. Then he looked up, and saw some wispy pinkish orange clouds. Above those, the blue-purple sky faded into a black void, jeweled with stars and nebulae. It was indeed a beautiful sight, for Ignis had never seen a sunset before. It was his first, and certainly not his last.
Then Ignis remembered what he had to do: he had to find Ruby, and talk to her about his powers. Making sure that it wasn't just some sort of dream, he put out his right palm, and with little effort, a small blaze appeared over his hand, dancing and flickering. He let the small flame go out, then he walked forward, away from the glass-covered exit. The room he was in was an antechamber of sorts: it was a circular room, with the exit in the back. The Sprout Facility's entrance was at the front of the room. A set of stairs in the middle of the room led up to another circular room directly above. Ignis walked up the stairs to the next room. It had a large window across the entire back half of the room. Nine elevators were present, leading to various different floors. In the front was the entrance to a passageway, which Ignis walked over to and entered.
The passageway was short, and only a few doors were present, which led to maintenance rooms. After going through this passageway, he came into a very large room. Even though it was large, it didn't have much space, because the inner and outer walls close to each other, making a shell of sorts. Ignis looked up and down, and the walls seemed to extend eternally in both directions. It was a ring, not a shell. Many walkways were attached to the walls, and many doors and windows were seen embedded into the walls. He circled around the ring once, and saw two other large entryways like the one he came in through. Staring intently at the windows and doors, he saw Pikmin inside empty spaces. What are those Pikmin doing inside those spaces? Ah, of course, Ignis thought. These are houses. But then... where do I live?
It didn't matter to him. He would find some sort of nice little corner for him to sleep in. He decided to keep exploring the Onion. Continuing on, Ignis walked down the passageway he came from, and entered another ring. This ring was smaller, but still large. Otherwise, it was the same. Ignis kept walking through rings. How big is the Onion? Ignis thought to himself. The last ring Ignis walked into was different than the others. The walls were more open, and Pikmin wandering about inside these empty spaces. Some were walking into them, and some were walking out, holding various things. He saw things lined up, and Pikmin were scurrying about, picking random items. He looked at these empty spaces, realizing they were shops and businesses. He walked through another passageway, and at the end, opened up to a walkway surrounding an enormous space.
This room was the largest in the Onion. It was a field, with miniature trees and plants sprouting up from the ground. Sidewalks and fountains were present, as were some Pikmin milling around. This chamber was special because it could mimic the outside climate: since it was night right now, the ceiling an – artificial sky – was dark, dotted with stars. The lights were on, and a cool breeze was blowing. Then Ignis noticed the blue tube. The tube was at the center of the park, which went from the bottom all the way to the top. Surrounding the tube were several walkways, and several Pikmin were circling around it like bugs attracted to a porch light. He was wondering what the tube did and why there was a fake outside and what the empty spaces were for and why the Onion was so huge inside and…
"OH!" Ignis suddenly shouted. Someone looked over at him, and Ignis, embarrassed, quickly walked back to the innermost ring. He remembered that he had to go see Ruby. "Ugh... What time is it?" he wondered aloud. He looked around for a clock, and found one in the tunnel he just went through. It was 8:59. Ignis needed to find Ruby's house, but he had no idea where to look. As he was thinking, there was a voice that seemed to come from everywhere: "Attention all Sproutlings. Please report to the nearest Sprout Facility for Registration." Ignis was a Sproutling. He decided he should be there for this Registration thing. Maybe it would help him find Ruby. Not wanting to wait in a line, he sprinted down the hallway, and everything he saw became a blur.
Eventually he returned to the Sprout Facility. Some Pikmin had already arrived for Registration, and were talking to other Pikmin. Why wasn't he told about this when he came here the first time? But it would make no difference worrying over it, he decided. He waited, milling about until one of the assistants wasn't talking to anyone. Ignis walked over to the assistant.
"Give me your stem, please," the assistant said. Ignis obliged, and let the assistant see his stem. The assistant looked under his leaf, held up a UV light, and read out a number. "Sproutling D-21 S-268..." the assistant mumbled. He wrote down the number, gave Ignis his stem back, and entered the number into the computer.
"Is your name Ignis?" the assistant asked, and Ignis nodded. The assistant released his stem, then said very quickly "Ignis, your house is at Ring 5, Sector 7, Level 38, House 624." Ignis heard Ring 5 and Sector 7, but the assistant was speaking too fast for him to hear the rest.
"Can you write that down?" Ignis asked. With ease, the assistant wrote down his address on a slip of paper, then handed the paper to him. He read his address, but was confused by its meaning. "Uh... Can you explain how the address works?" he asked.
Robotically, the assistant handed him a paper. He proceeded to read it: "The Onion is divided into three main Zones: the Main, the Upper, and Lower Zones. The Main Zone has the residential and commercial areas of the Onion. It is divided into ten Rings, as well as a Park. Rings 1-9 are residential, while Ring 10 is commercial. The Park is an area on the that resembles the outside environment, and gives Pikmin a place to spend time with friends, do activities, or simply relax.
"The Upper Zone is where the Elite Pikmin live and the location of governmental facilities. As such, the Upper Zone has much security, and any Pikmin that visit who is not an Elite or a government official is at the discretion of the security forces. The Lower Zone is where the mechanical and industrial areas of the Onion are. The machinery powering the Onion is here, and items for everyday lives are made here. This is a restricted-access area, and any Pikmin who needs to be here must have an ID Level of Three or higher. The Lower Zone also houses the Engine Room.
"The Onion has a total of 100 levels. Levels 1-9 are in the Upper Zone; levels 10-79 are in the Main Zone, and levels 80-100 are in the Lower Zone. Each Zone is divided into Sectors. The Upper Zone is divided into 4 Sectors; the Main Zone is divided into 13 Sectors; the Lower Zone is divided into 10 sectors. Each Sector spans all the levels of the Zone that it is in."
He read the explanation several times over, then put it and his address into a flap of skin near his hip which conveniently acted as a pocket. "You can pay off your house loan anytime at the Real Estate Center on Level 3, Sector 5. Your loan costs 5,000 Pokos." Ignis had no idea what a Poko was, but it was the adopted currency of the Pikmin, introduced to them by the Hocotatian explorers. Olimar would have been shocked to know that the average house loan was 5,000 Pokos – half the price of the debt he had to pay.
"Next, I need to register your identification. Please give me your stem." Ignis handed the assistant his stem, and held up a machine to his leaf. It scanned his leaf before making a beeping noise. "Your leaf ID has now been registered. Now, please stand here," the assistant directed. Ignis complied and stood in the spot the assistant told him to stand in, and his picture was taken. "Here's your ID card," the assistant said, and Ignis was handed a card with his face on it and his name. "Finally, I need to register your Account."
"Account...?" Ignis mumbled, confused. First my address, then an ID, and now an "Account"? What a strange society, Ignis thought. The assistant typed in some keys on the nearby computer, then got a small circular device.
"This device will let you to connect with the spirit of the Onion, which itself is connected to your Account. Each time you do an action, like harvesting a pellet, that action is recorded by the Onion and is entered into your Account. It is like a logbook that way. Also, these actions will earn you Pokos. The things you do with your Pokos are recorded in your Account, too." The assistant then placed the device onto the base of Ignis's stem, which glowed for a moment then vanished. "Thank you for Registering. Next!" the assistant said.
Ignis left the Sprout Facility a bit confused. He had gotten a house and had been connected to the Onion's spirit. Now what? he thought. Oh yeah, I need to see Ruby! Hmm... I wonder what my house is like. I'll go to my house first, and then I'll see Ruby. He pulled out the slips that had his address and explained the Onion's structure, and he studied them carefully. He headed off for Ring Five, still clutching the two slips.
He arrived at Ring Five within a minute. In between the tunnels was an elevator, which he walked into. The elevator was of a decent size, apparently being able to hold 15 Pikmin. There was a touchpad next to the door, and above the touchpad, there was a screen that said 'Ring 5, Sector 4, Level 79.' He glanced at his slip, and typed in '38' on the touchpad. The doors slid shut, and the elevator started rising. As it ascended, he thought about the events that happened today. He could control fire, but why? Apparently, very few Red Pikmin could control fire. He was mystified as to why he had been given this power. Apprehension creeped over Ignis as he realized it was clear that if he had been chosen to wield fire, he had some important role to play. While Ignis was lost in thought, the elevator had reached the 38th level, and the doors opened.
His train of thought derailed, he resumed his original objective and searched for his house. According to the Onion structure slip, the Main Zone was divided into twelve Sectors, not counting the central Sector which was the Park. Still in Sector Four, he headed off for Sector Seven. He saw the signs changing: Sector 5, Sector 6, Sector 7... He had memorized his address by this point and was looking for House 624. While searching for his house, he had noticed the houses themselves for the first time. They generally had the same shape: one floor and a simple exterior look. Some houses had two floors, and some houses looked more stylish than others; a few overly so. While looking at the houses, he had caught a glimpse of the number 624. A house. His house.
He went up to his house. It was locked, but a scanner came down, checked his stem, and let him in. His house was rather furnished for a house that hadn't been lived in before. In the living room there was a couch, a radio, and a table. A hallway stretched down the middle of the house. To the left of the living room was the kitchen. It was of decent size, and already had a fridge, a stovetop oven, a dishwasher, and a microwave. There was no food, much to Ignis's disappointment, but was not hungry... yet. He would work out the food issue later. Going down the hallway, there were three doors. The left door led to a bathroom, the right door to a bedroom, and the middle door to...? Ignis was mystified, and so opened it.
A small, enclosed field appeared in front of him: the backyard. However, it was severely overgrown: the grasses grew very tall and many weeds were present. If he could fix it up, it would be his own personal Park. Fences separated his backyard from the others. Like the Park, the ceiling was an artificial sky, but was designed to look the same from every view point, giving the illusion it was an actual sky, not just a mere decoration painted on the ceiling. He studied his backyard for a moment, then decided to check the bathroom. There was a sink, a toilet, and a shower, like typical bathrooms.
Finally, he checked his bedroom. It was dark, like the rest of his house, as he hadn't bothered to flip on any lights – he had been using his own fire as illumination. What he could tell is that there was a bed and a desk, but there was something else. Something wasn't quite right. He thought he felt the presence of another Pikmin. He flipped on the light switch, but no one was there. Confused, he was about to leave, but noticed that the window was open. The curtains fluttered as Ignis looked at the open window. Weird, he thought. He shut the window and took some steps back, contemplating why it was open. He dismissed the thought, though, and left his house to see Ruby.
Author's Note: Hey guys! I'm really, really sorry this took... 5 1/2 months to do. Ugh. I kept getting distracted with stuff, and I had to keep rewriting the chapter because I didn't like how the plot was setting up. Most of all, it was laziness. Heh. Silly me. Hopefully Chapter 3 won't take 5 months to do. Please give input on my latest chapter! But yeah, I'm sorry that this took so long... Anyway, until next time! ~ 14:31, 5 April 2015 (EDT)
Chapter 3: Revelations
Ignis headed out of his house and walked to the elevator. He typed 1, since he needed to go to Ruby's house, which was on floor 1. The doors shut and he ascended, and before he knew it, he was at the 1st floor. A Pikmin welcomed Ignis.
"Are you Ignis?" the Pikmin asked. What was with this Pikmin predicting his arrival? It must have been Ruby's work.
"Yeah, why?" Ignis said.
"Follow me." The Pikmin headed off toward the center of the Onion. Ignis followed him. While Ignis followed him, he noticed this area was vastly different than the Main Zone. The Upper Zone didn't have concentric rings like the Main Zone did. Instead, there were buildings that followed a circular pattern. He took out the structure explanation and the Upper Zone was indeed divided into Sectors, but here they were more loosely defined. The further they went in, Ignis noticed that the buildings became more heavily guarded. The guards had official military attire, and held weapons. They made Ignis feel a bit uneasy.
His anxiety distracted him from the fact that they'd arrived at the center. "Err... Ignis? We're here," the Pikmin said.
"Oh," Ignis responded. "Oh..." he repeated, staring at the mansion before him. Like Ruby said, it was jeweled with rubies and other red gems. They sparkled in the dim blue light emitted by the tube, which emerged from the center of the mansion and stretched up to the ceiling. The mansion was smaller than all the other buildings, but Ignis felt its significance radiating upon him. His observation of the mansion was only stopped by a sound.
He realized that it hadn't come from the Pikmin, but rather, another one. Someone female. Someone important.
"Oh...hi," he awkwardly said. What's wrong with me? I'm talking to the most important person in the Onion and I can't even talk, he thought. Clearing his throat and summoning his most formal voice, he said, "Well then, what do you need to talk about?"
"You should know what it's about, silly. Come inside!" she said. He went in, and saw the majesty of the foyer. A giant ruby chandelier hung from the ceiling. Paintings of each of the leaders hung up on the wall, and from what Ignis could tell, there had been five leaders. Five leaders? Is the Onion not that old? Ignis wondered. Despite the apparent immaturity of the Onion, it still appeared ancient, with stone busts of Pikmin in the foyer and stone columns – each with exquisite designs – that extended up to the ceiling. A walkway circled around the entire foyer, with a staircase on either side of the foyer. Hallways from both the main floor and the walkway lead to other rooms. Ignis noticed all of these designs and more within the span of less than 5 seconds, when Ruby said, "Well, come along now. We have things to talk about."
Ruby led Ignis down a hallway. The hallway split into three, and Ruby and Ignis took the left hallway. After some time, the pair emerged in a large room. The walls stretched up high, with thousands upon thousands of books stacked neatly on the walls. They had arrived in the library, and Ruby invited Ignis to sit down on a sofa directly across from her.
"Well then, Ignis. Have you gotten settled in the Onion yet?" Ruby casually asked.
"I guess, though the ID cards and other stuff are a little weird," Ignis responded. Ruby laughed, and said, "Nothing I can do about that. Just how the Saint had the Onion structured. Most other Onions are like this too, though there are some unique ones."
"I see. You didn't call me here to talk about Onions though, right?"
"Ah yes. The ability you have, like I already said, has the power to change the world."
"That important, huh?"
"Of course. That power is known as the Elemental, or just the Elem for short. Only one out of a thousand Pikmin are born with the Elem, and even then, it takes quite some time to master, requiring discipline, devotion, and a great deal of willpower. I, myself, have the Elem." Ruby proved this by breathing fire towards the fireplace, which immediately lit up.
"But don't worry. As long as you give it your all, you'll be able to master the Elem. And it might be easier for you to master it, since you had unlocked your Elem so early. I don't know any other Pikmin with a spirit like yours."
Ignis felt humbled being praised by Ruby. It inspired him to master his Elem, but before he could ask to start training, Ruby continued to speak: "But as important as that is, there is something else more urgent. Right now, the monsters are getting stronger. You know that Chrysanthemum from today? There's a lot more monsters stronger than that. They've been getting more violent, making more attacks, and increasing their numbers. It even looks like they're getting smarter! Since we're Red Pikmin, it's our job to keep them under control, and the other leaders are counting on us to do exactly that. If they attacked... it would be terrible. Many lives would be lost and entire Onions would be destroyed. We can't let that happen."
"So you want my help," Ignis said.
"Yes. But I'm not finished yet. Fifty years ago, there was another war. The monsters attacked. It was so bad that almost everybody died. To survive, the remaining Pikmin sealed themselves inside the Onions, which buried themselves underground. During this Great Hibernation, the Onions became unnoticeable to the creatures. It was so long that the Pikmin became one with the Onion again, and no Pikmin were left – just the Onions. The Great Hibernation lasted for many years Saint discovered us."
"Who's the Saint?" Ignis asked.
"The Saint is the person who revived our species," Ruby explained. "His name is Olimar, and he isn't from this world. Because of the Saint, we're prosperous again, but the Saint hasn't visited in some time and we're on the verge of extinction again. But because of your Elem, we might be able to survive. It's more important than ever that we do something now than wait. We have to take action. If we don't, it could mean the end of us."
"I see. So, now what?" Ignis asked.
"Well, training lessons are boring. What you need is actual experience. Hmm... Tomorrow we're landing in the Awakening Wood again. We're going on an expedition to a tree near the place you fought the Chrysanthemum. There's something suspicious about that tree, and we've been meaning to explore it. Do you want to go with us?" Ruby offered.
"Yeah," Ignis said, accepting the task. "I want to explore and see what the world's like!"
"This world is bigger than you think. Even I can't understand its true scale."
"Wow... Wait, you said it's the job of Red Pikmin to keep the peace. Are there other kinds?"
"Good catch! Most Sproutlings don't realize that right away. And yes, there are other types. There's us, then there's the electric Yellow Pikmin, the aquatic Blue Pikmin, the speedy White Pikmin, and the powerful Purple Pikmin. There should be more types out there, but what with the Great Hibernation, we've all become separated, except for us five types. In fact, some types might still be hibernating. We're looking for the unknown types, but we haven't found any yet.
"Well, I hope that I get to meet the other types soon. Don't you guys ever get tired of being around the same type?"
"No, not really. We all know each other, so it's fine. Most Onions carry only one type, like our Onion, but there are some special Onions called Master Onions that carry all Pikmin types. But also, Master Onions can join with and even absorb other Onions, and they can land on the ground and let their outer shell down, making a real-sized city. Master Onions are very unique."
"Well, I'll say. Uh... Is there anything else you want to say to me?"
"Not unless you have any more questions. It's pretty late anyway, and we've been talking for a while. Why don't you go home and go to bed?"
"That sounds like a good idea..." Ignis got up, yawned and stretched, but quickly recollected himself after remembering where he was at.
"Oh, no worries! I don't really care if you yawn or whatever." Ruby yawned too. "Alright, see you tomorrow?"
"Okay. Good night!" Ignis called as he walked down the hallway. After he left, Ruby sat down in the chair and started uttering a prayer. "O Saint, help us. Come back to us before we're killed. I don't know if we can take it any more..." Ruby, despite putting faith in Ignis, was very concerned about their fate, and had doubts of their survival. What Ruby didn't tell Ignis was that she was one of the first Pikmin created by the Saint, the 12th Red Pikmin born.
As Ignis was walking away from the mansion, he took in everything Ruby had told him. First, he felt disturbed that the monsters were getting stronger and smarter. Though he was a Sproutling, he could tell that the monsters wouldn't be able to do this on their own. Somebody was controlling them, but who? The fact that there was another war also was unsettling to him. If the monsters attacked with the same ferocity or more as the previous war, Ignis realized whatever was controlling them must be very old. Ignis started thinking about the other types of Pikmin, and he wanted to meet them. Apparently, there were missing types. They should have been discovered by now, but they were gone. Ignis realized that this, too, must have been the work of the mysterious force. Whatever it was, this force was something to be reckoned with.
Ignis decided not to dwell on the force, as that would be dealt with and resolved later. He realized that he ended up at his house while he had been thinking so hard. He unlocked the door, went in, and locked it again. Taking a second look at his house, he thought it could use some sprucing up. I don't have any money right now. Meh, I'll get stuff later, he decided. The clock said it was nearly 11 pm. Today had been exhausting, what with first the battle, then getting used to life in the Onion, and now being given all these revelations. All he wanted was to rest, so he went to his bedroom, plopped down on his bed and fell fast asleep.
Author's Note: Aaaaaaand done. Yay, I got over my writer's block! I like where this is going. It's a little on the short side in my opinion (I dunno about you guys, though), but it feels nice and complete. Anyway, I wanted to make Ruby the villain, but I decided it'd be better if she wasn't. Somebody else will be and I don't know who that somebody else is...yet. I'll cook up something. Stuff is starting to get interesting! Stay tuned for Chapter 4: The Expedition! ~20:15, 4 May 2015 (EDT)
Chapter 4: The Expedition
Ignis was still asleep when someone started pounding on his door. "Ignis! Are you awake?" said a muffled voice.
"Mmm... No, go away..." the still-asleep Ignis mumbled. The person pounded harder. "Ignis! Wake up already! They’re leaving without you!"
He woke up with a start, looking around for the source of the voice. "What! Who’s there?!" Ignis demanded. He made his way to the door to see who it was. "Who are you?" Ignis asked.
"It's me, Flare. You already forgot me?"
"Oh, yeah. Sorry."
"It's fine, but anyway, Ruby and everybody else are leaving already, and—"
"Let's go, then!" Ignis proclaimed, and dashed down the Onion. "Jeez, slow down, would you?" Flare grumbled, and ran to catch up with Ignis. By the time Flare did so, Ignis was already waiting near the exit.
"Hey, you tell me to hurry up, and then you take forever to get here," Ignis said.
"Oh, shut up," Flare said, rolling his eyes. "They're waiting below the Onion." With that, they climbed down the legs of the Onion. The bright morning light flooded Ignis's eyes, forcing him to squint. True to Flare's word, a group of Pikmin was waiting for them. Eighteen Pikmin were in the group, and when Flare and Ignis got down, Ruby welcomed them.
"Good morning, Ignis. Did Flare wake you up?" Ruby asked.
"Yeah. He kept pounding on my door. I thought he'd never stop!" Ignis joked.
"Oh, please..." Flare muttered under his breath.
"I see," said Ruby. "Now then, since we're all here, I'm going to talk about what we're doing today. As most of you know, the tree near the Snagret Hole has had some... interesting creatures lately. Most of us avoid that place, and even then, some Pikmin who go to explore it don't make it back alive. Our goal today is to investigate the tree and find out why monsters have appeared there and why they're so strong. Any questions?"
"Yeah," said a Pikmin in the group. "How long will it take?"
"Hmm... It's about 7 am right now... At least till noon, if things go smoothly," Ruby said, "but we'll probably have some run-ins with monsters, so it'll probably be most of the day. Anything else?"
"How many Pikmin died?" said another Pikmin. The feeling of unease started to settle in with that question.
"They vanished, not died, and the records say thirteen Pikmin vanished. But they were by themselves, and we're a group of twenty, so we should be fine. Alright, we can't waste any time, we need to—"
"Hold on. Who's that?" said a suspecting Pikmin, pointing right at Ignis, who was alarmed by her sharpness. "He's clearly a Sproutling, but something isn't right. He seems familiar somehow."
"Oh, this would be Ignis," Ruby said. "You probably feel that way because he's got the Elem."
The others were a little surprised that they were standing next to the Pikmin that they heard rumors about last night, but the interrogative Pikmin only became more suspicious. "Why are you letting a Sproutling with Elem come on a mission like this? It could jeopardize the mission! He could release fire at any second and—"
"Amber," Ruby said in a firm voice, and the Pikmin named Amber looked down at the ground in frustration.
"...Fine," Amber huffed, giving up her argument. "Don't blame me if something goes wrong, like it did that one time..." Those last words hung in the air, further reinforcing the uneasy feeling. The other Pikmin glanced worriedly at Ignis. What's going on? What happened? What aren't they telling me? he thought suspiciously. "...Well, I say enough of this, and let's get on with the mission," Ignis declared, disagreeing with Amber's ideas.
"Yes, let's go," Ruby affirmed. The group began moving away from the Onion and into the Awakening Wood; they swiftly crossed the vast petal-coated plains and the three bridges. The group approached and stopped near the Snagret Hole. They knew that a Snagret was guarding the entrance to the Snagret Hole (which, for some reason, did not attack when the Pikmin were battling with the Chrysanthemum yesterday). Ruby motioned the rest of the group to line up against the wall, and they carefully crept by it. They snuck by the still-underground Snagret without it noticing, fortunately enough. When they arrived at the Snagret Hole, they heard the wails and cries of the half-bird half-serpent monsters. Snavians were deeply feared among Pikmin, and the fact that the tree was near the Snagret Hole didn't help the tension among the group.
"Look here," Ruby said, pointing to some moss that was growing on the roots of the tree. "We can climb these roots and get up to the tree." Ruby started climbing the moss with ease, followed by the others, and made it up to the tree without trouble. Here, the others saw the true might of the tree: it was very ancient, having died long ago. Though no more taller than the other trees, the trunk was exceedingly wide, and its leafless branches were much longer and invasive than the other branches. The tree, towering above the tiny Pikmin, gave off an ominous feeling. The group circled around the massive trunk of the tree, going to its other side, where a gaping hole was in one of the roots.
"This is it," Ruby said. "This is the hole that we've all heard about... the mysterious hole that Pikmin vanish into and never come back. We're going in there to find out why Pikmin are disappearing. ...Well, may the Saint give us good luck." With that, Ruby walked into the hole. After exchanging some looks with each other, everybody else went in too. Ignis was about to walk in as well when his stem was yanked back suddenly.
"What the heck?!" he shouted, yanking his stem back and turning around to see what pulled it. It was Amber. "What do you want?" Ignis said defensively.
"I... well, never mind," she said abruptly, changing her mind.
"So why'd you yank my stem, then?"
"Because I wanted to tell you something, but you wouldn't believe me anyway."
"Well... Something about this tree is weird. Something is off about it. Yeah, you can tell it looks creepy, but we all think that, but there's something else – I can't quite put my finger on it... Just keep your eyes out for anything weird." Having said that, Amber walked over to the hole, and gazed into the blackness. "Looks like they're calling out to us," Amber said. "Let's go in."
Ignis had a puzzled look on his face, thinking about the mysterious force Amber felt. He walked to the hole as well, and he and Amber went in together. They were immediately swallowed up by the darkness, but saw a flickering orange light in the center of it. The pair walked towards the light, which illuminated the tunnel. The wood was rotting, since the tree was dead for so long, and appeared very jagged. Its jaggedness made the light that was shining on the wood create unique shadows, which hid behind the pieces of wood. The light itself came from Ruby's flower, which was on fire.
"Are you two okay? You sure took a while," Ruby commented.
"We're fine, we just saw something weird," Ignis lied.
"If you say so, as long as you're okay. Now, let's go." The group began to move into the depths of the ancient tree as the light of day rapidly disappeared behind them. The path began to get significantly steeper, and climbed higher and higher into the tree. As they went up, the air began to get more humid, which weakened Ruby's fire. Further into the hollow, the path split many times, but the group always chose the path that led upwards, for fear of getting trapped underground. At some point, the air became so cool and damp that Ruby's fire went out completely. No one was able to sustain their Elem for longer than five seconds. Much to their relief, Glowcaps began appearing, lighting their way to the top of the tree.
Some time later, the group walked into a massive hollow. Hundreds of mushrooms of different sizes were attached to the wall, feeding on the decaying wood. Many Glowcaps lit up the cave. Steeling themselves, the group walked towards the wall, and began climbing the stalks of the mushrooms. Pikmin were excellent climbers, able to climb most surfaces. Upon reaching the top of the first mushroom, the Pikmin were surprised by its squishiness, and they had a hard time walking across the cap of it.
"Let's take a break," Ruby announced, and the group responded with one collective sigh of relief. According to Ruby's watch, it was now 8:34 am. They took shelter under a nearby Glowcap, observing the vastness of the giant hollow. The Pikmin walked idly about, making small talk with the others. Ignis, on the other hand, had been continually disturbed by what Amber told him. He had tried to stop thinking about it, but couldn't. He eventually thought that it could have a connection with the monsters, which would be why the Pikmin who went in never came back. Trying to not get too worked up over it, he went to the wall of bark and began attacking it. To his surprise, sap gushed out, and he was encased in the sticky, sugary goop.
"Uh... Hey, somebody, help!" Ignis shouted, attracting the attention of the others. They laughed at his plight.
"Get yourself out!" Flare shouted back. "Can't you use fire?"
"Hah, nice try, but it's too humid in here for me to burn my way out," Ignis said. "Someone pull me out." Just as he said that, he was yanked out by Amber, who had been clinging to the wall and watching him the entire time.
"What is up with you and pulling?!" Ignis shouted.
"If you didn't know, Amber has an obsession with pulling stems," Flare whispered.
"Really? Well then, in that case..." Ignis scooped up a handful of sap and lobbed it at Amber, who wasn't expecting this response. She let go of the wall and fell right into the pool of sap. Everyone doubled over with laughter, except for Amber, who was humiliated by the scene. Glaring at Ignis, her entire body lighted up with fire, burned her way out of the sap, and lunged right at Ignis. She grabbed his stem and sent him flying into the sap again.
"Ungrateful idiot..." Amber mumbled.
"Ooh, now you've done it!" Ignis said. He, too, lit on fire, and burned his way out, racing towards Amber.
"Ignis, you liar! I thought you couldn't burn your way out!" Flare taunted Ignis.
"Yeah, well, if Amber hadn't made me angry by pulling me, I couldn't!" Ignis retorted.
"You're the one who's making a big deal out of me trying to help you!" Amber shouted at Ignis. "You Sproutlings are so insensitive!"
"And you older Pikmin are bullies!" Ignis jeered back. The two Pikmin continued to insult each other, and their stems were furiously attacking each other. Some of the other Pikmin were dying of laughter, while other Pikmin were groaning over their fighting, hoping this wouldn't happen all the time.
"Just barely a day old and he's causing a quite a ruckus..." Ruby said, shaking her head in disbelief. Ruby walked over to Ignis and Amber. Ignis was only concentrating on attacking Amber, while she was paying attention to her surroundings, and Amber noticed Ruby watching. Horrified, she quit attacking, and her face drained of color. "What's the matter with you?!" Ignis demanded, and didn't realize why Amber stopped until Ruby slapped him. She grabbed him by the stem and lifted him off the ground.
"Hey— what— let me—" Ignis complained.
"No, stop, shut up," Ruby tersely ordered. "You're really getting this angry over a simple act of kindness? It isn't common courtesy to attack someone that's trying to help you. Quit fighting her and apologize." Ruby let go of Ignis, and he fell to the ground.
"Hmph... sorry," Ignis said quietly, refusing to look at Amber. Amber didn't believe his apology.
"Are we good now? Let's get a move on," Ruby said. The group reassembled and walked over to a particularly large mushroom stalk, which they climbed up. On the mushroom's giant cap, Glowcaps illuminated the way to a hole in the wood, which turned out to be another path. Not too far in, the path started becoming very steep, and the group slowed down due to this path's steepness. At some point the path split in two. They chose the left path, which went higher than the other path. Indeed it went higher: it became so steep that the Pikmin had to climb the walls. As they went up, though, it also became even more humid. Despite their climbing abilities, the humidity made it hard for the Pikmin to grip the walls, and some of them began to slide down.
"No good," said Flare. "We can't go this way like this... Should we try going the other way?"
"Maybe, yeah," said Ruby. "Amber, take Flare and Ignis with you. I'll stay here and watch the rest." At her command, Ignis, Flare, and Amber slid down the tunnel, reaching the point where it had split in two. They went into the other tunnel. Although it initially went down, it turned back upwards, and continued to do so without much of a change, unlike the other tunnel. This path was much less steeper than the other path, and the three Pikmin quickly advanced higher and higher into the tree. Suddenly, there was a cracking sound not too far ahead of the three Pikmin.
"What was that?!" Amber whispered.
"I don't know, but it can't be good!" said Flare.
"Should we go back and tell the others, or find out what it is?" inquired Ignis.
"No, no. We can't take any risks. Who knows what it is? Besides, we've come a long way, and I'm sure the others are starting to get worried. We should go back... and..." Amber stopped when she noticed that Ignis was ignoring her and was heading toward the source of the cracking noise.
"Ignis! What the heck are you doing?!" Amber hissed. He heard her, but ignored her; his curiosity prevailed over common sense. He cautiously advanced further into the tunnel, searching for whatever made the sound. He looked up, and indeed there was a crack. The crack was wide and seemed to run deep. Ignis was confused by its size, since he didn't know what could make a crack so large.
He was about to turn around and go back when there was another cracking noise, but this one seemed to come from right under Ignis's feet and was much louder. A large crack appeared behind him and seemed to be going right towards him. His reflexes kicked in, and he jumped out of the way just in time as a Burrowing Snagret emerged from it.
"Happy now? Let's get out of here," Flare said, sprinting down the tunnel, followed closely by Amber and Ignis, who now regretted looking at the crack. The Snagret, having now found prey, pursued them through the tunnel. No matter how fast the group ran, they heard the cracking noises made by the Snagret getting closer and closer. The running seemed to take much longer than it did to walk, being eternally chased by a deadly threat. The Snagret caught up with them: right as they reached the other tunnel, the Snagret emerged, cutting off their advance.
"We have no time for this!" Amber said impatiently. She formed a large fireball very quickly, and the fireball flew towards the Snagret. However, Snagrets have a fear of fire, so when the Snagret saw the condensed, spherical blaze coming its way, it immediately retreated. There were some cracking noises after it disappeared, but they gradually faded until the Pikmin could hear nothing. They just paused there, waiting to see if it returned. Nothing. However, nobody dared to move. The fear just then began to set in, and they realized what sort of situation they were in. Dealing with Snagrets was bad enough, but neither of them had been in such a place like this before: it was quite dark (other than the occasional Glowcap), and their balance was thrown off by the strange slope of the paths. No fight that any of them could remember had happened in such a hostile place.
The Pikmin continued to stand there, immobilized, even when a few Pikmin from the other tunnel emerged. They swarmed them with questions like "Are you okay?" and "What happened?" and "Did you fight something?"
Amber finally spoke, but was short of breath and spoke very quickly, still terrified. "We went in other path...fine until cracks...Ignis looking at them...Snagret appeared...we ran...I shot fire at it...now it’s gone."
The mention of Snagrets made the others realize the severity of the situation, and the fear immediately began to set in and spread, like a wave disrupting a pond. The others began whispering to each other, then some came over and began comforting the three Pikmin. Ruby appeared, and saw that the Pikmin were distressed, but was confused as to why.
"What's going on? What happened?" she asked. Ignis emerged from the group, and had a grave look on his face.
"We were attacked by a Snagret," he said.
"Oh no... Well, that would explain the shrill cries I heard. Is it gone?"
"Looks like it. Amber shot fire at it and it hasn't come back. So I'm not sure if the other path is safe, since there could be more."
"Well, we can't get anywhere on the first path; it's too steep. We keep sliding down. Everyone!" Ruby said loudly, getting everybody's attention. "We're taking the other path. If we get attacked by a Snagret, we can take it down. We're Red Pikmin! When we set our mind to something, we can do it! When we work as a team, no creature, no matter how big, can stand against us! Our power of friendship will prevail, and we will survive!"
This short but inspiring speech roused the other Pikmin, and they began cheering. The Pikmin formed a group, and Ruby led the group into the tunnel. They quickly made their way through the tunnel, and soon felt they had made more progress than with the other tunnel. They saw the cracks the Snagret had made, but they did not invoke fear upon the Pikmin. Having each other now reassured them, and their friendship gave them strength. Soon, they had passed the place where Ignis had originally seen the Snagret. The path went ever more higher into the tree, continually reaching for the heavens.
As the group went up the tree, the air began to get fresher. Its sweet, rich smell invigorated the Pikmin even more, and the group sped up. Soon, a light appeared in the path, and it stopped ascending. The group followed the light, and it led them to a place at the top of the tree's trunk. It was now noon, and the sun hung high in the sky, giving light to everything. From way up, the group viewed the entire Awakening Wood. Everybody had seen the Wood from the air when the Onion would take off at sunset, but that was directly above it. Nobody had seen the Wood from an adjacent angle like this, and they all thought the scene was pretty.
"Well, we didn't find anything, so should we just leave?" Ignis suggested.
"Yeah..." Ruby said distractedly. "I guess... those Pikmin didn't come back because they got lost in the tree. Well, at least we made it to the top, so now we know what this tree is like. Let's go—"
Ruby was cut off by a sudden rumbling. The rumbling came from the tree, and everything started shaking. The group was knocked down, and they lost their focus. They began to panic and scattered.
"Wha...what's going on?!" Flare shouted.
"Hey, stay together!" Ruby commanded. She didn't know what was causing the rumbling, but it was getting louder and louder. In addition to the rumbling, cracking noises started to happen. Ruby suddenly realized what was causing the sounds, and began panicking. "Oh, no, no, no, no, NO! It can't be!!"
The other Pikmin were confused as to why Ruby was panicking, since she hardly ever lost her cool. Then they realized why she was panicking, as an enormous Snagret tore through the wood and towered above them. Ruby recognized it immediately: "It's a Tree Snagret!"
Author's Note: Yes! Got it done! Now we're four chapters in! This one took a little longer because I was experimenting with different ideas for exploring the tree. I hoped the scene where Ignis fights Amber was a little funny, since it's one of my first attempts at humor. This chapter is my longest yet, at about 3,500 words. Whew... I think I might need to start posting this somewhere else! This is getting really long... Also, yay cliffhangers! What will happen to the group in the next chapter? We'll find out! And as always, give me input! Alrighty, till next time... ~ 04:08, 19 June 2015 (EDT)
Chapter 5: Fiery Hope
Far from the Awakening Wood, across a mighty mountain range and an eternal ocean, there was a vast, barren desert. The desert was very torrid, dry, and devoid of almost any life. However, in the heart of a desert was a rock formation, and at the base of it was a hole. This hole lead to a sprawling underground complex of many caves and tunnels. At the very bottom of this complex was a very large cave, in which resided a being. This being was waiting for news about something of great importance to him, but it was taking some time for this news to reach this being, and its patience was being tested.
"My lord!" came a voice. Its owner frantically ran up to the being.
"You're late," the being rasped; impatience dripping from its voice. "Next time you're this late, I'll have your head. Do you have my news?"
"Yes. The Pikmin group has entered the tree. They should have reached the top by now," the creature reported, shifting nervously, hoping it hadn't said the wrong thing.
"Good. I can't wait to have those pesky Pikmin face oblivion... Too many of them have the Elem. They're a threat to the Plan."
"...That reminds me, there was something else—"
"What is it? Speak!" the being demanded.
"That Pikmin who unlocked his Elem very early is with them..."
"What?! ...Hmm. This is most disturbing. Accelerate the Plan! I can't have that Pikmin interfering with the Plan... Continue to monitor the situation. Dismissed."
"Yes sir!" the creature said, before scurrying off. The being was in deep thought, contemplating its next course of action.
"It's a Tree Snagret!" Ruby yelled. The Tree Snagret just stood there, looking at the fearful Pikmin, who were cowering under it. This wasn't like any other Snagret they had seen. It was twice the size of a Pileated Snagret, its scales were brown and the feathers on its head were green.
"Nobody...move..." Ruby whispered. But the other Pikmin were too frightened to move. In just one moment, they had lost all their willpower, all their determination, and now they were reduced to just sitting ducks. Red Pikmin weren't fearful of anything, except for Snagrets, and seeing this titanic Snagret made them very scared. They just gaped at the Snagret, which was still watching them. It almost seemed like the Snagret was testing them.
"...I'm going to try something," Ruby said. "I'm going to try to talk to the Snagret."
"Wait, what?" the other Pikmin yelped, astounded. Ruby started making high pitched squeaking noises towards the Snagret, and the freakish bird-snake chimera stared intensely at her. The Snagret responded in a series of rather low chirps; any creature could tell it was upset.
Ruby nervously translated its chirps, a look of fear washing over her face: "It says that we bothered her and that it's going to eat us!"
At this, all the other Pikmin became horrified. "Oh no! Can't you ask it to let us live?" Flare pleaded.
"I can't! It's really mad, and it won't negotiate!" Ruby warned. "Attacking is useless! It's too powerful! We gotta get out of here!"
"...What?" Ignis said, bewildered. "I thought you said if we work together we can take down anything! Come on, let's attack!" He got up and rushed at the Snagret's foot, refusing to give up.
"No, Ignis, DON'T!" Ruby cried. The Snagret noticed Ignis trying to attack its foot. Its head lowered and it tried to eat him, but Ignis just barely dodged the snapping beak that came down on him.
"Ignis... You idiot..." Flare muttered. He and several others were inspired by Ignis's determination, reckless as it was. They ran at the Snagret and started distracting it, which tried eating the Pikmin, but they just evaded all of its pecks. Meanwhile, while it was preoccupied, Ignis snuck behind the Snagret. Though he was still relatively new to controlling fire, he commanded fire to his stem. His leaf went ablaze, and he hit the foot. The Snagret squealed in pain, feeling the blistering of Ignis's fire on its foot. It hopped into the air and dived into the bark.
The group came together. Some Pikmin had broken down and were crying, and were being comforted by other Pikmin. But everybody had feelings of intense fear, as they were now confronting an enemy of enormous proportions. Ruby admonished Ignis for his bold move: "Why did you do that?! You could've gotten us all killed!"
"...I dunno, I..." Ignis mumbled. He was in a bit of a daze, since everything was happening at once.
"Whatever. We need to escape, NOW!" Ruby ordered. The group got up and ran into the tunnel. However, the group did not get very far when they saw that part of the tunnel had collapsed, leaving it impassible. A feeling of impending doom settled upon the group, as they were now trapped upon the very top of the tree.
"Oh no..." Ruby said, turning around slowly; her face was mixed with shock and fear. "We're... We're going to have to fight it."
"Great..." Amber said, shaking her head. "Well, now that we have to fight it, what do we know about it?"
"The Tree Snagret is a legendary creature," Ruby began to explain. "It is very rare, so there isn't much information about it. But we do know that it will pick away at bark with its beak. So if we managed to trick the Tree Snagret and get its beak stuck in the bark...then it would be open to attack!"
Flare pondered this idea. "How long would it be stuck?"
"I don't know," Ruby said. "Probably not for long, so we'll have to be quick."
"Can we use fire?" Amber asked.
"Yes. I'm not sure how the Tree Snagret reacts to fire, but it should be effective against it. It's pretty tough, though, so it might take a while..."
"What about Ignis? He's still new to using the Elem," Amber pointed out.
"Ah yes... Ignis," Ruby suddenly said in a very stern tone, giving Ignis a cold hard stare. "Do NOT shoot fire unless you absolutely have to. Got it?"
"Uh, okay," Ignis said.
"Well then, here it comes! Get ready!" Ruby yelled. Sure enough, there was a deep rumbling sound that was fast approaching the group, heralding the Snagret's return. It erupted out of the bark, spraying slivers of wood everywhere.
By now, the Pikmin were still scared, but their determination was returning. Ignis, Flare, and a few other Pikmin rushed over to the Snagret and started running in circles around it, trying to trick it into getting its beak stuck. However, the Snagret's movements were quick and precise, and not once did it hit the bark. The Pikmin were getting tired and dizzy from running in eternal circles. Amidst the chaos, one Pikmin stopped to take a break.
"Hey, what are you doing?!" Ignis shouted at the motionless Pikmin.
"I'm just...taking a break..." the Pikmin huffed, gasping for air. The Snagret, however, noticed the defenseless Pikmin. Ignis saw the beak descending quickly. Thinking impulsively, he made his move to rescue the Pikmin. A mere instant before the beak could snap shut around the Pikmin, Ignis leaped at him, pushing the Pikmin out of harm's way. Miraculously, Ignis avoided the beak as well, which got caught in the ancient, decaying bark. The force of the impact rattled the bark, attracting everybody's attention.
"It's stuck! Attack!" Ruby directed. The Pikmin rushed to the Snagret's head, which was now open for attack. Even though its beak was stuck in the bark, the Pikmin could hear intense wails of pain emanate from the Snagret as they whaled harder and harder on its head. Feathers flew everywhere as the onslaught continued. The Pikmin's fear became their source of strength, resolute in their decision to protect themselves and survive this terrifying ordeal.
Finally, after much effort, the Snagret dislodged its beak. The upward swing of its head was so violent that all the Pikmin were shaken off and knocked to the ground, temporarily paralyzed. However, it started chirping again, and Ruby paused to listen before it dove into the bark again a moment later.
"That was close...too close," Ignis said to the Pikmin he saved.
"Sorry... Thanks for saving me," he said.
"Ruby, what did the Snagret say?" Amber asked.
"It said, 'You don't know what you've done! I shall unleash my wrath upon you!'" Ruby said. "I don't think we'll be able to trick it anymore..."
"So we're gonna have to use fire now," Amber said.
"Yeah...but the head's so far up that I'm not sure if our fire can hit it..." Ruby said, realizing fire might not work against the Snagret.
"I have an idea," Flare said. "Someone could throw one of us up, and while we're midair, we could shoot fire at it."
"I suppose that could work..." Ruby said, mulling over his idea. "Yes, let's try it! The other Pikmin will continue to distract the Snagret, then Ignis and I will throw you and Amber up in the air from opposite sides of it. When you're at your highest, shoot as much fire as you can at the Snagret's head. Got it?" Ignis, Amber, and Flare all nodded. "Alright. It's coming back!"
Once more the Snagret exploded out of the bark and positioned itself. However, this time, it was angrier, so its pecks were quicker. The Pikmin had to run much faster to escape its pecks. Meanwhile, while the others kept running around it, Ignis and Flare went to one side of the arena and Ruby and Amber went to the other side. The Snagret was too distracted with the Pikmin to notice what was happening.
"Ready?" called Ignis.
"Yeah!" Ruby answered. "Three..."
"ONE!" both shouted at the same time. They hurled Amber and Flare high into the air, soaring towards the Snagret's head. The Snagret finally noticed their plan, seeing the two Pikmin in the air, but it was too late.
"Twin Exploding Blade Slash!" Amber and Flare yelled. From their feet came two mighty blazing streams of fire, colliding with the Snagret's head and producing a considerable explosion. It wailed in agony as the fire singed the remainders of its feathers and badly charred its skin. Immediately it dived into the tree again.
"Awesome, you guys!" Ignis exclaimed as Amber and Flare landed. He ran up to them and gave both a giant hug.
"Okay, you can let go now...!" Amber said, slightly embarrassed. Ignis conceded and let go.
"Good job!" Ruby said. "Hopefully it doesn't come back now... Snagrets usually don't come back when they're attacked with fire."
"Yeah... But then, how do we get out of here? The tunnel's blocked..." Ignis pointed out.
"Oh yeah..." Ruby said, rather woefully. "Hmm... Well, I hate to say it, but we might be trapped."
"Great. Just great," Amber complained. "So we fought that Snagret for NOTHING. Just perfect!" She went on and on about how this whole expedition was a bad idea and doomed from the start.
"Amber, stop saying those things!" Ruby reproached. "Anyway... I'm sure we'll find a way to escape. We just have to look for another way out..."
"Ruby, can I ask you something?" Ignis suddenly asked in a hushed tone, bringing Ruby away from the group.
"What is it? Are you okay?" Ruby said, noticing his concern.
"What happened with that one Sproutling with Elem? Something bad happened to him...?"
Ruby's eyes widened at his question, and she grimaced at the thought. "Ignis, I..."
"Just tell me! I already asked Amber but she wouldn't tell me. So, what happened?"
Ruby sighed. "...Fine, I'll tell you. One time, there was a Sproutling who had discovered his Elem in the middle of a battle, much like you did when you fought the Creeping Chrysanthemum. However, we were fighting an Emperor Bulblax, and things were quite dire... We had lost many Pikmin to it. It was just myself, Amber, and only six others. We were very tired from the battle: the Bulblax was unusually strong and we had fought it for a very long time. But anyway, Amber and I had collapsed. We lost all our energy from fighting. The Bulblax was about to eat us when the Pikmin appeared. He threw himself into the beast's mouth and...and..." Ruby stopped, shuddering at the memory.
"And what?" Ignis pressed.
"And—" Ruby was interrupted by a sudden tremor. This one was more powerful than the other ones, and Ruby did not like the sound of it.
"No! I thought we got rid of the Snagret!" she said. The rumbling grew stronger until finally the Tree Snagret reemerged from the bark. But it had ripped right through the Pikmin group. They all went flying everywhere and were knocked to the ground. Unfortunately, the Snagret caught two Pikmin in its beak as it came up.
"Help!" the Pikmin screamed. However, the other Pikmin couldn't do anything. The trapped Pikmin were too high up. And as soon as the Snagret had stabilized itself, the two Pikmin were swallowed.
"No... I'm sorry..." Ruby said. Despite this minor victory, the Snagret was enraged and infuriated, and still had an appetite. Yet, the rumbling did not stop. Not even five seconds later, a Burrowing Snagret and a Pileated Snagret tore through the decaying bark.
"You've gotta be kidding me..." Flare said, agog. Even with the despair of the situation, though, he noticed a minor detail. "Wait... Why's the Tree Snagret glowing?"
"It's glowing?" Ruby said, looking at it. It was indeed glowing a soft green. She noticed that the other two Snagrets were glowing as well, and saw faint particles going from the smaller Snagrets to the Tree Snagret. "Oh no... They're healing the Tree Snagret!"
"No..." several Pikmin mumbled at the same time, terror flooding their eyes. A heavy cloud of despair descended on all the Pikmin, as their demise seemed imminent. A possible death by not one, not two, but by three Snagrets, each a murder machine, poised to eat all the Pikmin within mere minutes. And as if things weren't bad enough for the poor Pikmin, the Snagret they had fought so valiantly against was now being healed.
The Snagret started chirping again. "It's saying, 'You bothersome Pikmin will finally meet your end! There is no escaping your fate!'" Ruby translated.
"I don't care what the Snagret thinks! Guys, we can't give up! Let's go!" Ignis yelled. Despite Ruby's previous warning to not use fire, he went ahead and used fire. He doubted she'd even care at this point – they needed all the power they could get. He ran from the group, but as soon as he did so, the Tree Snagret's head came down very swiftly. Luckily, he dodged the beak, rolling to his left, where the Burrowing Snagret was. It was much smaller than the formidable Tree Snagret, so that made him feel more confident. He shot several fiery blasts at its head, which actually reached it. Being much weaker than the Tree Snagret, the Burrowing Snagret shrieked in torment as its head caught fire, so it went back into the bark. The rumbling caused by its retreat attracted the attention of the Tree Snagret, and tried attacking Ignis again.
While Ignis had been dealing with the Burrowing Snagret, Amber and Flare went after the Pileated Snagret. Flare and Amber shot some fire near the Snagret to scare it, and while it was distracted, Flare threw Amber and several other Pikmin onto the Pileated Snagret's head. They all hammered on its head as hard as they could, and Amber was using fire with all her hits, further hurting the Pileated Snagret. It too could not tolerate the pain, and also returned to the tree's interior.
With the other two Snagrets gone for now, the Tree Snagret stopped glowing. Ruby had the remainder of the Pikmin circle around the Tree Snagret to distract it, and since Amber, Flare, and Ignis stopped fighting the smaller Snagrets, they assisted the rest of the Pikmin with distracting the Tree Snagret. Meanwhile, Ruby took this opportunity to attack. Summoning all her energy, she directed it to her flower, which glowed a magnificent orange before being enveloped in a brilliant flame. She was determined to finally end things, if she could. This was one of her most powerful attacks, but she wasn't sure if even this would work against a creature so tough like the Tree Snagret. Dismissing her doubtful thoughts, she launched the attack.
"Come forth, o magnificent flower of fire, and banish all that is evil! Crimson Lotus Cage!" Ruby yelled. A beam of orange light came from Ruby's body and aimed right at Tree Snagret, transferring all her energy to it. The light formed a massive glowing flower around the Snagret, and its petals rose up and formed a giant lotus. Then, the lotus burst into flames in a mighty explosion. The lotus continued exploding for a few more moments.
"Hah...heh..." Ruby panted, and fell over. She had used up all of her energy in that attack. Laying on the ground, she heard the explosions subside, but when she looked up, the Snagret was still standing.
"No... That's not possible...!" She tried to stand up, but to no avail. She was too weak, and couldn't do anything but watch. Unfortunately, the attack had only made the Snagret even angrier. It hopped up and down fiercely, shaking the ground violently. It caused the Pikmin running around it to fall over, stunned. The Snagret began picking away at the Pikmin one by one. The other Pikmin still standing winced as they heard the screams and cries of the Pikmin being eaten. Even worse for the poor Pikmin, the other two Snagrets returned, and began terrorizing the rest of the Pikmin while they started healing the Snagret again.
"YOU!!!" Ignis screamed. He had it with everything. He couldn't stand by and watch as fellow Pikmin were being eaten. He had to do something. In a blind fury, he went on a rampage. He charged right towards the Tree Snagret while shooting two giant streams of fire at the other Snagrets, which caused them to retreat again. His entire body lit on fire, fueled by his intense rage. He started pounding as hard as he could on the Snagret's foot, shouting things all the while. The rest of the Pikmin were speechless, but Amber noticed the beak coming down on him.
"Ignis! Watch out!" Amber yelled. Ignis paid no attention to Amber's warning, still vigorously attacking its foot. The foot's scales had cracked and the fleshy inside were revealed, which was burnt immediately. The Snagret squealed in pain, and once more tried biting Ignis. He was caught between its mighty beak, but Ignis continued to resist. He couldn't do much inside its beak, however, and the Snagret was preparing to swallow him.
Suddenly, a faint high pitched whine started, distracting the Snagret, turning to observe the source of this whine, which seemed to come from the sky. Though it was high pitched, the noise seemed to be growing louder and louder, and squeaky voices started calling out war cries. It was as if an invisible army had sucked helium. The voices and the buzzing grew louder still, until finally hundreds of pink flying creatures rushed in from the treetop. The creatures flew right at the Snagret's head and began a ferocious assault. As soon as they did, they all started glowing a deeper reddish-pink color, which seemed to invigorate them. Coincidentally, the smaller Snagrets returned, but were also attacked as soon as they had surfaced. All three Snagrets took a heavy walloping, and could not escape: the flying creatures were pulling their bodies up against gravity. The Tree Snagret's beak opened up and Ignis fell out, but he attached himself to its scales. He climbed up its body all the way to its head and began a fierce counterattack.
"Payback time!" he shouted. Once again his body lit on fire. The other creatures noticed Ignis and decided to let him finish the job, flying off to the side. He pounded harder and harder on its head. Though the other Snagrets had healed it before, it didn't make much difference now, because Ignis was attacking it so violently. He kept going, each punch stronger than the last. He was very angry that it had eaten several of his comrades and that it tried to eat him, too.
"HaaaAAAHHH!!!" He gathered all of his energy together and condensed it into a large glowing orange sphere above his head, bringing it down to the Snagret's head. The result was an enormous explosion that killed all three Snagrets instantly. The resulting shockwave nearly blew away the flying creatures, who tried to remain together, despite the intense heat. The Red Pikmin down below were also knocked over by the shockwave. The sound of the explosion reverberated throughout the entire Awakening Wood, scaring off some distant birds.
"Wow... He's really something, that's for sure," Ruby remarked, having recovered enough to be able to speak.
"I think he overdid it," Amber stated plainly.
"Aw, c'mon, you think he's impressive, too!" Flare teased.
"...Shut up." Amber was indeed very impressed, but she refused to admit it at the sake of her pride. Everyone was very impressed, watching the fading explosion in awe. They were amazed at how powerful Ignis was. The three Snagrets started falling, though, and the Pikmin ran into the tunnel to avoid being crushed. They crashed with a deafening thud, rattling the bark and throwing the Red Pikmin into the air slightly. After a moment, they emerged from the tunnel, and saw Ignis proudly standing on top of the deceased Tree Snagret, who jumped down. They all just ran to him, celebrating loudly and hugging him tightly. This went on for a few more moments, until Ruby told them to stop. She walked over to Ignis.
"Well done. You have my thanks, as do the rest of the Pikmin," she said, offering her hand. Ignis quickly shook it.
"Yeah, no problem!" He smiled very brightly. "So then... Do you know those creatures?" he asked, pointing up at them.
"I don't know... Excuse me? Who are you?" Ruby called out. The creatures didn't seem to notice her. They were too busy chatting among themselves.
"HELLO?" Amber suddenly shouted, much louder and assertive, surprising the other Pikmin. This time, the creatures noticed the Pikmin and one flew down. The creature had a pair of very large blue eyes, a pair of very swiftly-moving wings, and alternating stripes of pink lining its abdomen. Most noticeable about these creatures was the large stem protruding from their head, which ended in a vibrant indigo flower.
"Hi! We're the Winged Pikmin!"
A/N: I'm really, really sorry that this is so late... I just kept putting it off, and... Ugh. The good news is that I've already started Chapter 6, but knowing me, it might be another 6 months before it's up. Ugh. Hopefully it won't be that long. Anyway...some interesting stuff happened in here! Anyone have an idea about what happened to that Pikmin that went into the Emperor Bulblax's mouth? We'll find out! ;) But yeah, I hope you enjoyed this! And please review! It makes my stories even better! Thanks! ~ 22:30, 30 December 2015 (EST)