EarthBound Beginnings – Letter of Invitation – Part II of III

The following few months lead to very little. Ness was ringing regularly to check if Lucas’ invitation had arrived, while also relaying all the information he could about the next great Smash celebration, but otherwise Lucas’ world returned again to peaceful normality. However a few months after the initial announcement his front doorbell rang and Ninten was once again before him as unexpectedly as before.

He politely took the liberty of inviting himself in and took a seat in Lucas’ living room. Of course Lucas tried to be as hospitable as possible but the confusion of the moment had not yet been alleviated. Neither did Ninten seem to provide any explanation for his visit and instead decided to introduce himself properly after failing to do so during their last encounter.

“I’m Ninten and it sure is a pleasure to meet you Lucas. There aren’t very many of us Mother protagonists, I’m sorry I haven’t met you until now”. And just like that he began to speak with Lucas as if the two boys had known each other for years. He would ask Lucas things about his adventure and his time in the last smash celebration, although never mentioned the next instalment that neither boy had yet been invited. Then he’d tell Lucas about his own adventures and how he missed them and how long it had been since he’d really tested out his abilities. After an hour of this he thanked Lucas for the hospitality and left promising to come back again next week. However he paused on the threshold and added after his goodbye, “You wouldn’t mind keeping my visits from Ness would you, thanks I’ll explain another time” and with a final wave goodbye, he teleported into the distance once more.

True to his word Ninten returned the following week and Lucas was again engaged in spirited conversation with the boy. In fact Ninten made a point of returning every week, always asking Lucas questions and relating back with things about the people he met and the things he’d done.  All the while Lucas could never feel entirely at ease with this strange boy, in the back of his mind the question given to him on their first meeting kept replaying itself. “Would you really turn down the chance to help your series out?” Why did Ninten ask him this? Did it matter any more anyway, surely the Smash invitation wasn’t coming; it had been too long now. He had thought about telling Ness about Ninten’s visits but the former’s phone calls had started to become scarce as it seemed likely Lucas wasn’t joining Ness this time in the Smash.

However one day, months into his visits with Ninten, the phone rang and interrupted Ninten mid story. Lucas apologised and went to answer the call, finding a somewhat dejected Ness on the other line. “It looks like we’re out of luck Lucas; I can’t believe Sakurai hasn’t sent you an invitation. I’m heading over to yours now. We’re going to go see him and straighten this out. I’ll be over in the next 20 minutes”. Ness hung up and Lucas suddenly felt panicked. Ninten never had explained his reason for keeping his visits secret and Lucas hadn’t found the opportunity to ask despite the length of their correspondence.

When he returned to the living room he asked Ninten to continue but the boy cut him short. “Who was on the phone Lucas?” Thinking this a good opportunity to naturally enter the subject of Ness into conversation, Lucas decided it was now or never.

“It was Ness actually. He’s coming over soon.” Ninten took the news silently and so Lucas thought to continue. “He seems to think my invitation to the new Smash isn’t coming so he wants to go see Sakurai and find out.” More silence as a morose expression took control of Ninten’s face. Lucas nervously added, “I’m not really sure I mind either, the spotlight doesn’t agree with me like it does Ness and…” but he was cut short.

“It is a great honour to be accepted into the Smash Bros. celebrations. It immortalises you and your series and every successful Nintendo series should rightfully belong in it. To say you aren’t bothered, what is wrong with you?!” Ninten sat perfectly still but a chilling edge had entered his tone. Before Lucas could respond he continued, “you are simple though Lucas, I suppose that’s what comes from living out here in the sticks. Perhaps I was the simple one to think you’d be given an invitation after your pathetic show in the last celebration.”

Lucas felt suddenly in danger as Ninten got to his feet, and instinctively put up his PSI shield as defence as the situation become hostile. “Ahh you’re not all dumb are you, but it’s too late to fight me, my dear successor, for I know everything about you now.” A bright beam exploded from Ninten’s fingertips and Lucas was smashed through the wall into his kitchen. He couldn’t believe it; Ninten never used offensive PSI where’d he learn to do that? His consciousness ebbing away, Ninten stalked to and loomed over him. “I had planned to simply kill you and take your invitation for myself but I see now that is no longer an option. I didn’t want to resort to Plan B but it seems I have no choice. You’ll make the most excellent hostage.” Lucas tried to yell for help but his body wouldn’t react any more and all turned to black.

Next – Part III

Previous – Part I

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