Eyes in the Skies
(Uploaded on October 18, 2019)
Summary: Castle Dedede, strung up in the sky by a mysteriously-sprouted beanstalk, gets an unwelcome visitor – and he's got his sights set on the king himself. And with that, Dedede's morning promptly got worse than it already was.
Notes: This four-chapter fic is set during the events of Kirby: Triple Deluxe. This chapter in particular takes place during the game's opening cutscene.
Castle Dedede – Throne Room
"Ohhhhhhhhh," Bandana Dee moaned, a worried expression firmly on his face and a visibly shaking form showing off the panic he was no doubt feeling. This was… not an unusual occurrence for him, sadly. "Wh-Wh-What's g-going on now? Wh-Why does this type of thing a-always happen when we least expect it…?"
I was sitting on my throne and staring out one of the many windows. "I dunno, Dee," I sighed. "I dunno."
Under ordinary circumstances (read: not weird, probably world-ending bullcrap), the windows would showcase a bright and sunny sky, the grassy plains of Cookie Country just barely able to be seen from our height on Mt. Dedede.
I relish seeing this sight normally; Dream Land is a very beautiful place when there's not—oh, let's say, Dark Matter flying about, trying to possess as many people as possible. (That was never a good time.)
But now, I couldn't see anything but clouds.
Clouds down below us, clouds hovering in the air, clouds that hopefully weren't Kracko having a bad day and wanting to take it out on us—
And most weirdly of all, there were these green vines wrapped around my castle, big and curly and rather leafy—which I presume are the reason why my castle's currently suspended up in the air. They weren't here when I woke up the previous morning, and they definitely weren't here when I went to sleep. My first thought was that maybe one of my Dee's gardening hobbies grew out-of-control—but even then, plants typically don't grow to this high a height, so that can't be it.
Ugh—why does it seem like things have only gotten more ridiculous since Kirby and I made up?
(Man, a part of me wishes I had Meta Knight on standby. His advice could probably be useful at a time like this…)
…right. Enough musing. I'm the king of Dream Land; I've got a predicament to sort out, I need to figure out how this affects me and my people, and by golly, I'm gonna right this mess and get on with my day as usual. With Smash season coming up in just a few months, I can't afford to have this type of thing throwing me off-guard.
If worst comes to worst and this problem proves permanent—though past experience tells me it shouldn't be—then it's probably best to figure out if there's at least an easily traversable way back down to Pop Star.
I don't fancy having to fly up and down every time I need to get back home.
"Waddle Dees!" I called, gloved hands cupped over my mouth. "Anything of importance to note?" Immediately, two of my trusted guards waddled up in front of my throne and saluted.
"Great King, all of our troops on the lookout as we speak," one of them informed me. "As we are presently separated from most of our major allies, we have placed the castle under high alert, in case this proves to be a preemptive strike from hostile forces. We have our aerial troops investigating our given state of affairs outside, and they have reported we are, at the bare minimum, several thousand miles from ground level."
Well, isn't that fun to hear?
"Until we can figure out a solution, I would advise you to remain here. We cannot risk the enemy managing to place you out of commission during this critical time."
I nodded solemnly. "Gotcha."
Being possessed and/or dragged out of the way of major scuffles seems to be a reoccurring thing of mine. I hope it's stopped. Kirby may be our 'premiere protagonist' of sorts, but it's not like he can handle everything alone.
He'd never like it to be that way, anyway.
As the two watchmen returned to their posts, Dee cautiously grabbed his favored spear and held it, tip pointed toward the ceiling.
"I—I r-really don't like the looks of this," he admitted. "We're so high up, a-and we could fall at, like, a-any moment…!" He gulped. "It's a long way down…"
"I'm… I'm sure that things won't have to come to that," I tried to reassure him, a sweatdrop going down my head. "These vines should support us until we can get some assistance. All we really need is Kirby with, like, five Sparkling Stars and he can probably balloon us back down."
Dee hummed thoughtfully. "A-Actually… that sounds like a good idea!" he said. "He sh-should've seen what happened to us; there's no way he can miss it!"
His voice was noticeably a little more confident now, which I'll take as a win.
"H-Hey, why don't you give him a call, Great King? We can tell him everything on his way here!"
"Right, not a bad thing to do." I flipped open my phone – outwardly themed after me, of course – and prepared to speed-dial my best friend. I should still be able to get reception, even all the way up here. "He better be fully awake. It wouldn't do for him to be operating at half-power if we need to get into a fight… even if he is surprisingly good at fighting half-asleep."
"Y-Yeah," Dee giggled. "That'd k-kinda be embarrassing."
I was all about to press the button and do the thing—that is, until one of my Dees suddenly and very loudly yelped in panic.
"Wh-What!?" I heard him shout into his walkie-talkie. "There's a who in the where doing what to our troops!?"
I flinched. That didn't sound good!
"I need a report on the situation, stat! If they're here for our Great King, every detail you can give us counts!" A disturbing silence resounded from where there was once chatter from the speakers. "…Blue Squad, are you still there? Blue Squad, come in, Blue Squad!"
Dee and I shared a look. Oh, what could this be? (I hope it's not the Squeak Squad trying to pull a fast one on me again…) I brought my gaze back toward my servant and commanded, "H-Hey, Waddle Dees! What's going on!?"
"Great King, we've got an intruder charging through the castle!" he quickly reported. "And he's brought an army of weird bugs with him! We've got our forces on defense trying to hold them back, but they're being overwhelmed too fast! At the rate they're going, they'll reach the throne room before we have the time to call in any reinforcements from outside!"
My eyes widened, and I jumped to my feet. "Crud!" I cursed. "Of course something like this would happen. Ugh, I am not up to dealing with a hostile show takeover!"
"M-M-Me neither!" Dee exclaimed. "G-Great King, is there anything else we can do, anywhere we can evacuate!?"
The gears in my brain clicked and clacked for a moment. "There's the passageway in the back of this room," I remembered. "The one that leads to my battle ring. If we can get there in time, the intruder shouldn't be able to find us!" For some time, at least!
"Th-That's perfect!" He nodded determinedly. "Wh-What are we waiting for? Let's go now, b-before it's too late—!"
And then the doors to my throne room swung on open.
Immediately, all the Waddle Dees in the room leaped into the fray. They formed a protective barrier in front of me, spears pointed at our most definitely unwanted guest. Dee and I brought out our own weapons of choice, not willing to just stand by and act idly.
I grit my teeth as we all caught a good look at our latest opponent. He wasn't from around Dream Land, I knew that: he seemed to be an arachnid, much like a Como, with six hands hovering by his sides and two horns sticking out from his silver hair. A red scarf was tied around his neck, which somewhat complemented his green get-up and cape.
(Oh, and he had two yellow eye-like beads above his eyes. Brrrr, that's unsettling!)
He didn't look like much… but I knew very well appearances could be deceiving.
I glared fiercely at him. "So, you're the guy running about and causing havoc in my castle. You've got some nerve, trying to attack me and my servants!" I raised my hammer high in a threatening posture. "I'm gonna give you a good royal clobbering for that!"
Instead of being intimidated, though, he just… giggled. Creepily. "So," he said, "this is the savior who would dare threaten Her Majesty's might. That strong stature, that powerful hammer, all the forces at your disposal… yes, yes, I see it now. You truly are the hero of the lower world I have been searching these skies for!"
I resisted the urge to start grumbling. Great, it's another wackjob! And he's got delusions of grandeur, too!
"Hands off our king!" My trusty Waddle Dees were quick to attack the floating spider, trying to overwhelm him through a full-frontal assault and a hefty numbers advantage. Unfortunately, he was more than prepared for that.
He created a spider web in front of him, and somehow, it incapacitated all of my offense in an instant. They didn't even get the chance to scream; they were that quickly balled up inside cocoons made of silk. But that wasn't all he had, for soon after, he brought his hands close to his body and unleashed a burst of energy, scattering the rest of my as-of-then-unfallen Dees across the room.
That just left just me and Dee still standing.
My head darted left and right, looking in shock at the way my servants had been tossed around like a soccer ball at a Smash match. Eventually, I fell back on Taranza, who merely gazed at me with a rather malicious smile.
He giggled again.
"Only two left!" he sang giddily. "If this is the best you've got, then I admit, I'm sorely disappointed!"
Right. Enough is enough!
I growled. "Dee! Don't let your guard down! Hit 'im with everything you've got!"
Just 'cause Dream Land is peace-and-quiet-central most of the time doesn't mean I don't get some exercise in here and there, keep my skills sharp. Kirby and Meta Knight are especially good on the sparring front, too. (And Magolor, whenever he pops in for a visit.) Dee and I are considered the third and fourth strongest contenders on Pop Star for a reason; you better bet I was going to give this freak a taste of his own medicine!
Unfortunately, he was a pretty formidable foe himself, pulling out all sorts of tricks and spells that I had scarcely ever seen. He was managing to keep us at bay without any real trouble (that I could tell, anyway) and wearing us down to boot. As hard as I fought, it was only a matter of time before he'd pull out something I couldn't react to—
—and eventually, that moment arrived.
He threw an even more powerful burst of energy at me – and it must've been imbued with some status effect or whatever, because I found myself dropping to the floor with my stamina completely depleted.
"At last!" the arachnid crowed. "At last! Victory is finally within my grasp! The hero has fallen—and with it, all the lands!"
"Ughhhhhhh…" I groaned, barely paying attention to whatever he was saying.
This—This can't be the end…
I have a duty to my servants, to my subjects…!
What will they do if I actually lose here…!?
"Oh no, no, no, no no no—! Dedede! Dee! Are—Are you guys okay!?"
I weakly lifted my head. Lo and behold, there was Kirby, having just arrived to see the tail end of the chaos—and looking plenty horrified by the sight. Neither of us could even get a greeting in edgewise though, for I felt myself being carted up into an electric net and lifted off the ground.
Dee threw a volley of spears into the air, but by then, my assailant had already moved out of his throwing range.
"I dearly apologize for the things I have to do," the mystery spider said, not sounding apologetic at all, "but I, Taranza, cannot let anyone interfere in Her Majesty's great plans for this realm. Don't worry… you'll get your hero back eventually—after her leadership is made utterly unquestionable!"
"'Hero'…? 'Her Majesty'…!?" Kirby repeated. "Whatever it is you're talking about, leave Dedede out of it! If it's a hero you want, I'll—!"
"Now, if you excuse me," Taranza interrupted him, "I must be off. My queen does not appreciate being kept waiting. Toodle-oo!"
"No! Come back, G-Great King—!"
Having said his farewell, the arachnid yanked me further into the air, and then we crashed into the ceiling. With nothing stopping him now, Taranza flew off into the sky with me in tow, to where several islands waited off in the distance.
The wind flew by my face in an exhilarating manner, but I was in no state to enjoy the feeling. After all, I was being kidnapped by a madman from a foreign kingdom with some of the worst diplomatic skills I had ever seen. I could only look on helplessly as Kirby and Dee chased us from the nearby beanstalk, running as fast as they could, but never managing to close the distance entirely.
It was… frustrating. Really, really frustrating.
And as we continued our ascent into new territories beyond… there was one thought that was permeating my mind. One thing, above all else, that I couldn't help but tiredly sigh:
…I shouldn't have gotten out of bed this morning.
And suddenly, here's another one of my multi-chapter Make a Friend prequel fics. Curse my inability to restrain my imagination.
Much like In Times of Crisis, this is another side-character-centric fic set during the events of a mainline Kirby game – only this time, we're going all-in on Dedede's perspective, during the main campaign of Triple Deluxe no less. I've established in later-era fics that he and Taranza have built up a sort of friendly relationship – and in the interest of building up just a little more Taranza's character, I decided to write this whole thing! Don't worry, it shouldn't be nearly as long as In Times of Crisis or One Last Time, I'll Fight – there's not gonna be a whole lot in terms of action scenes, so I'm clear on that front.
I find it funny how the Dreamstalk managed to get both Kirby's house and Castle Dedede, and (presumably) nothing else. It's almost as if fate knew exactly what was in store for them. (Either that, or maybe Dedede has a bigger qualification for the status of 'hero' then he himself thinks he does. I mean, if Dededetour is any indication…)
Also, there will be liberal amounts of Bandana Dee featured in this fic. Because he is our precious and most adorable boy and anywhere he can happily be himself is a place that must be treasured.
Well, that's all for now – tune in next time for more of Dedede's 'I have no idea what's going on, but I'll figure things out out somehow' thing!