Part one of Tales of Destiny. Fifteen years after the events of Earthbound, an embittered and broken Ness is approached by an enigmatic figure and given a mysterious mission.
"That's right, honey." She said as she slowly walked forward. "I'm back."
It was her voice. And it sure looked like her. But more then that, everything about her screamed 'Paula'. Her walk, her smile, everything was perfect except...
/She's dead. /Ness thought as she walked forward. /I dug the hole and lowered her into the fucking ground myself. She's /dead.
"You..." He trailed off. There was so much he wanted to say, but somehow his mouth seemed to be disconnected from his mind; No matter how he tried, he couldn't vocalize his thoughts.
She reached him and pressed a finger to his lips, stopping him from saying any more.
"Don't say a word." She said quietly as she knelt before him, putting herself eye-to-eye with him.
"You're dead." he finally managed to say.
"Do I look dead?" She asked, and Ness shook his head. She reached out and took his hand and put it to her breast.
"And how do I feel?"
Ness could not speak, but the tears dripping down his face gave her the answer she was looking for. She leaned forward and wrapped her arms around him. He pulled her close and buried his face in her shoulder, felt her beating heart.
"I missed you so much." he sobbed truthfully. Paula smiled.
"We'll never be apart again." she said as she moved her mouth forward for a kiss. His lips met hers, and he immediately realized something was wrong. There was a bad taste in her mouth: The taste of decay and death.
That's not my wife.
He tried to pull back, but he was too late. He screamed in pain as a blade sunk into his back. Paula-who was clearly not Paula at all-stood and smiled with a wicked grin that looked completely out of place on her innocent face.
"You humans are so easy to manipulate." She said in a completely different voice. It was a horrible, grating voice, with resonant overtones. "All I do is show you what you want to see, and you fall right into my arms." Now she began shedding her disguise. Her features changed slightly, adjusting to her natural form. Her skin darkened, becoming a rotten shade of dark green. Her face sharpened, her teeth grew sharp and her hair shortened, and became jet black. Last of all went her eyes, changing color to a fiery shade of red.
"I expected so much more from the legendary hero of Onett." She said, looking down at him disdainfully. "Is this it? This is the man who defeated Giygas?"
Ness reached backwards, struggling to reach the dagger stuck in his back, but his arm wouldn't move properly.
"You're nothing but a sickening sack of human." she continued. "Nothing special at all." Her foot swung forward, kicking Ness in the shoulder. He fell over, landing on his side. His hand finally closed around the blade, and he began weakly tugging on it. He had almost no leverage, and it was in him deep.
She reached down and grabbed him by the throat, hoisting him up. Despite her appearance, her grip was strong, and he found himself unable to breathe.
"Soon now, we'll scour this land of you filthy humans and then this wretched world shall, at last, be ours."
With a sickening sound, Ness wrenched the blade from his back. A look of shock appeared on his enemies face and she released him, but she was too late. He plunged the wavy-bladed dagger into her throat. She staggered back, clawing at the handle, which was now slick with her black ichor. Ness threw himself forward, his PSI already mending the hole in his back. He wrapped both hands around her throat, and flooded her body with psychic light.
She screamed, and suddenly she wore Paula's face once more-but he pressed harder and stripped away the facade. She flailed and scratched, but he held firm, pouring PSI into her until she stopped struggling and evaporated.
Ness stood. His back hurt, but the wound was closing and in a minute it would be good as new. He was tired and boneweary, but he knew the fight was not over yet. There was still one last battle to be won.
He remembered the dream. He knew where he needed to go.
As he walked forward, the rain began to fall around him.