Chapter 1: The Return of Palutena
This story is part of a series. The main character, my OC/avatar, has abilities that may seem Sue-ish to you, but every weapon or ability he wields has a proper explanation, beyond just "I wanted him to be able to do this" and other such weak excuses. Even abilities that seem to come from nowhere have explanations, and if they aren't properly explained in this particular entry, it was likely acquired in a different, previous story. This note will be in the first chapter of every story in this series outside of Book 1.
This is the second story in the timeline. As such, it should be fine to read through without the context of the first one, as that one is dedicated almost entirely to setting up my character's powers and skills.
"Sorry to keep you waiting!" I apologized, running up to Pit. The angel nodded and jumped out the door, soon followed by the shrunken form of Winged Star as I jumped out after him. I landed on the full-sized Star and readied my shield on my left arm, leaving my sword on my back.
"It's been too long! Right, Lady Palutena?" Pit asked cheerfully.
"We can chat later, Pit." Palutena replied. "But now it's time to fight! The Underworld Army's invading!"
A Monoeye popped up in front of us, which I destroyed with a quick barrage of Aura Shots.
"Whoa, you weren't kidding!" Pit said as he blasted a Monoeye with his First Blade's rapid fire, sliced a closer one apart, and then took out one further away with a charged shot. As he did so, I similarly dispatched a Monoeye with a charged Aura Blast and took out another with two quick slashes. "If these are Underworld troops, are you saying Medusa's been-?"
"Resurrected, yes. Though the goddess of darkness was defeated long ago, she's back now." Palutena explained, a transparent image of eight-bit Medusa appearing in front of us. I blocked several enemy shots with my shield as Pit fired a charged shot and then switched to rapid-fire to deal with the others. "And as the goddess of light, it's my duty to protect humanity from her. On that note, Shane, are you sure you want to get wrapped up in this? Pit has handled Medusa before."
"I know he has." I replied. "I know he can do it again. But Master Hand told me to fight alongside you, and I want to help. I need to help. I don't know how much I will help, but I won't let myself become a burden, at least."
"Eh, you worry too much!" Pit confidently said as Medusa's image vanished.
Suddenly, the sky turned red as a large hand reached out of the clouds before falling back below. Then, black hair with twelve snakes, a head with a pale skin tone, and a questionable dress rose up in the image of the revived Medusa's top half. She held a staff with a snake decoration at the end in her left hand and wore a purple dress with gold linings. Said dress had one sleeve and was held up enough to cover the important parts by a gold bracelet on her left arm, though most of her left side was uncovered. Her eyes glowed red, scowling as she leaned forward, before standing up straight. The glow faded, revealing purple irises.
"Medusa!" Pit exclaimed.
"Hello there, Pit," Medusa greeted. "And you too, Palutena. Here to crash my homecoming party?" She asked as several Monoeyes appeared.
"Uh, this really doesn't look like much of a party…" Palutena said.
"What better way to celebrate my return than with a festive little bloodbath?" Medusa replied as we shot down the monsters. "After all, I have been gone for twenty-five years."
Medusa's image vanished as the sky returned to its true colors. Some Monoeyes began flying down, trying to get below the clouds, but Pit blasted them before they could.
"They're moving their attack to the ground!"
"Then so are we!"
At this statement, Palutena guided Pit into a backward somersault followed by a dive into the clouds. Looking down after them forced me to take a moment to breath deeply and calm myself. 'Real heroes aren't afraid of heights. Real heroes are NOT afraid of heights!' I repeated to myself, before laying on the Winged Star and tipping into a dive to follow the angel. Though my breath shook, I managed to avoid panicking on the way down.
I arrived in time to see Pit blast a Monoeye and slow to a stop above a lake. I quickly caught up, dispatching a Treasurefish with a charged Aura Blast as I leveled out and got back to my feet.
"I can't believe I'm actually flying!" Pit cheered as we flew on, shooting down more Underworld monsters.
'I can't believe I'm not freaking out…' I thought as I reflected a Monoeye's projectile with a shield bash.
"The power of flight is my gift to you!" Palutena informed Pit. "I'll control your route so you can focus on battle, but I can only maintain this power for five minutes at a time. After that, your wings will burn up and you'll fall."
I blocked a few more projectiles as Pit and I closed in on some monsters. Noticing him turn around, I flew in to cover his back, rapidly firing Aura Shots at some Monoeyes and Miks.
"You have no idea how embarrassing it is to be an angel who can't fly on his own." Pit said. "So thanks for your help! Without you, I'd be finished!"
I heard him shoot down some monsters as he spoke, though I was too focused on the enemies ahead to see exactly what happened. He stopped firing for a moment, at which point I heard a noise that made me think 'power up' for some reason, then flew around me, facing forward again. We flew over some hills, followed by a stretch of land with many bodies of water strewn about.
More monsters appeared, including two Gyrazers, a Keron, a Nettler, a Wave Angler, some Monoeyes, and a Mik. Pit destroyed the Keron, Nettler, and one of the Gyrazers with rapidly fired charged shots while I simply blocked the other Gyrazer's laser. Pit shot that one down too, and I blocked some more Monoeye shots until the Mik lashed out with its tongue, staggering me and getting my shield out of the way for the Wave Angler's sound wave to knock me over.
"Ow- whoa!" I cried out as I nearly fell off Winged Star, but fortunately I managed to grab it from behind and hold on. Pit shot down the rest of the monsters in short succession while I climbed back up and took a deep breath.
"Are you okay?" Pit asked, hovering over to put his free hand on my shoulder.
"Yeah. Sorry..." I replied quietly. "Surprised me. Guess air isn't the best foundation for blocking melee attacks."
"Underworld troops have more strength than you might expect. Blocking their melee attacks isn't easy even with solid ground beneath your feet. You need to be careful, and focus on dodging."
I let out a nervous chuckle. In games, I always preferred dodging, but actually fighting, I always found myself relying on my shield. Dodging… wasn't my strong suit, even in Smash. "Got it." I replied.
"I hope so. Anyway, your destination should be coming into view now." Palutena said as we cleared one final hill, approaching a quaint little place known as That First Town.
It wasn't super interesting outside of a large coliseum near the edge of town. Despite being under attack, as soon as Pit and I came into view, the residents began cheering while we shot down several Underworld monsters.
"Do you hear that?" Pit asked excitedly. "Do you hear the people's cheers? They're celebrating the return of the goddess Palutena!"
"Despite the Underworld invasion, the people haven't lost hope," Palutena said. "It's our duty to protect them. Prepare for land battle, Pit, Shane!"
We descended upon the town, blasting monsters as we set down. I didn't mean for that to rhyme…
Anyway, we touched down in an alley, Pit flapping his wings for a soft landing while I simply hopped off Winged Star, which fell into my hand in shrunken form before I stashed it in my belt. We nodded to each other before making our way out of the alley, entering the town-turned-battlefield. Stepping onto the street, we were greeted by Shernums, which Pit took out via charge shots while I rushed up to one and slammed my shield into it, then drew my sword to slice another.
We continued into town and were met by Monoeyes. Pit smoothly dodged around their fire by sliding around it while I simply blocked some shots, then shield-bashed the next volley to send it back at the Monoeyes. Pit rushed a few, slashing through them with ease as several surrounded me. My response was a simple one; I took a stance, gathering aura in my wooden blade, then unleashed it by spinning, dispatching each with a single move. Unfortunately, I stumbled a bit afterwards, even though I only spun once. It was only for a moment though, and I managed to recover before the Underworld troops could take advantage of my opening.
We continued up to the base of a massive set of stairs, two staircases with a large gap between them forming an alley. The platform above held a smaller set that still had a moderately sized gap between them. In our path was a huge jar that spawned the Shernums, alongside two Kerons. Pit simply tossed a yellow sphere at the foes, which detonated and destroyed the enemies.
Suddenly, the sky turned red again. A fireball fell from the sky, bouncing around seemingly randomly before landing the coliseum and causing a huge wave of flame to burst into the sky. Pit and I managed to avoid it, but we were both surprised and worried.
"W-what was that?!" Pit asked.
"Medusa has unleashed an evil beast in the coliseum! You need to hurry there!"
We rushed up the stairs, blasting away or slashing through the Underworld troops that stood in our way. After the two double-sets, we reached a single thin stairway, where we briefly glimpsed a Ganewmede, though it was instantly destroyed by a giant steel ball that fell out of nowhere. Pit helped me dodge it when I once again tried to block.
With that taken care of, Pit and I entered the coliseum, where the first boss battle I'd ever live out awaited. The monster was, for Pit, a familiar and unwelcome foe.
"Twinbellows!" He exclaimed.
"The Underworld's faithful watchdog!"
Twinbellows was a giant, two-headed hound made of fire and bone with some armor on it, mostly the limbs. On either head, a boar-like tusk protruded, completely symmetrical and good for stabbing things through either side. Oddly, there was a shackle and broken chain on its left foreleg. It stood on the seats as it noticed us, roaring before jumping down to face us.
"Old Pit's gonna teach you some new tricks! Now play dead!" Pit yelled, taking aim.
"Hold on, Pit." Palutena commanded before he could fire, confusing both of us. "I want you to get up in the seats and watch, but don't interfere unless it gets too dangerous. Shane, think of this as a test. If you can defeat Twinbellows on your own, I'll let you join us for real. If Pit has to help you, even just to finish it off, I can't allow you to fight in good faith."
Instantly, I was nervous. But remembering my training, I inhaled deeply and nodded.
"Understood, Lady Palutena…" Pit said, compliant but noticeably concerned.
As Pit took off, Twinbellows jumped at me. With instinct screaming at me to dodge, I jumped backwards, kicked off the wall behind me, and double-jumped over the claw swipe, landing in the center of the coliseum. With Twinbellows recovering and Pit sitting in the stands, the first real fight of my life began.
I started with the natural course of action, firing a charged Aura Blast and following it up with a barrage of Aura Shots, keeping my distance. Twinbellows didn't flinch from my attacks, and slid across the ground toward me with surprising speed. I dashed out of the way and fired another charged Aura Blast, dashed around the next charge, then rushed up to the fiery canine and slammed my shield into its leg, following up with my sword for a slash-slash-stab combo, then blasted myself backwards with a burst of Aura from my palm to gain a bit of distance while dealing damage as the two-headed hellhound recovered from hitting the wall and swiped at me with its claws again. I launched a short barrage of Aura Shots as Twinbellows roared, then, realizing how close I was to the massive flame beast, I tried to dodge its next charge by rolling aside. Unfortunately, it caught my pant leg on its tusk and slammed me into a wall, worsening the dizziness already caused by the roll.
"For the record, dodge rolls aren't very effective when you're in melee range." Palutena helpfully pointed out.
"Noted…" I replied painfully, muffled a bit by the wall my face was pressed into. Before I could do recover enough to do more than talk, Twinbellows flung me into the air, where I was assaulted by its fire breath. My aura protected me from most of the pain, but the heat was more than I would've ever liked to experience regardless, and there was still pain. I fell out of the flames onto Twinbellows' back, catching myself with my hands and springing back to my feet. Then, I jumped off, firing a charged Aura Blast while in the air.
"Try circling left or right as you attack. Keep your aim focused on the enemy." Palutena instructed.
"That's called strafing, right?" I clarified as I tried it, managing to avoid some of Twinbellows' fireballs.
"Whatever it's called, just stay out of his way!"
"Noted!" I replied, dashing out of the way of another slide. I managed to avoid another two slide attacks before Twinbellows started shooting fireballs at me. In defiance of all logic, I decided to try reflecting a fireball with my wooden shield, rushing up to one and leaping forward as I held my shield out, braced by my free hand. Thanks to my aura, it worked, though I doubt its own fireballs hurt Twinbellows any significant amount compared to my other attacks.
The two-headed fire-breather began sliding again, and I was too close to it to dash out of the way. Knowing from painful experience that rolling wouldn't work, I jumped backwards, curling up and performing a reverse somersault as I double-jumped, landing on the beast's back. I decided to try to capitalize on that, despite the dangers, and crouched, repeatedly stabbing it until it bucked me off, which opened me up for its flame breath again. I could feel my aura draining rapidly, and when the blaze subsided, Twinbellows landed a claw swipe that launched me a few feet into the air as the sound of shattering glass rang out. I managed to catch myself again, though just barely.
Retaking my stance, I glanced at my hand as my aura flickered. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Pit readying a shot.
"Wait!" I called out without thinking, surprising both of us. "I can still do this!"
I'm still not sure why I sounded so confident at that moment. Maybe it was adrenaline, or maybe I'd grown an ego without realizing it. Either way, my tension was through the roof, but I wasn't dead yet, and I wasn't going to give up what may have been my only chance to become a hero.
As Twinbellows lunged at me yet again, I dashed out of the way. As I slid under another claw swipe, I decided on my strategy. I just had to survive for about sixty seconds before I could put it into action. Putting away my shield, I weaved between several volleys of fireballs, then ran out of reach of a slide attack and narrowly evaded the follow-ups. The blazing canine took a swipe at me with its claws, but I slid under it and ran far out of reach of the demonic dog's flame breath. As the streams of fire ended, my Aura flared back to life in a great green inferno around my hands. As Twinbellows lunged at me for a final time, I jumped back to the wall, kicked off, and double-jumped as I readied my last-ditch attack.
"Watch the power of Aura!" I called, as the glow around my hands intensified before screaming as a wave of destruction rained upon the two-headed fire monster. Finally, it flinched, struggling to withstand the storm of my soul, then howled in defeat.
A crackling, satisfying boom rang out as my vision faded to white for a moment, though I heard Twinbellows fall to the ground.
"Soul fire… beats… demon fire…"
"An impressive victory!"
I landed on my feet, breathing heavily as my aura flickered, then stumbled as it dissipated. I managed to support myself with my sword, but barely.
"That was intense! I was really worried about you near the end." Pit said as he helped me stand, slinging my left arm around his shoulder.
Just then, Medusa's image appeared in the sky, catching both our attention. Pit looked at me in concern, but I pulled myself away. I managed to stand without my sword, though I still hunched a bit as I glared up at the dark goddess.
"Listen well, Medusa!" Pit yelled. "Your days of darkness are numbered! Prepare to meet the light!" The angel called out, pointing his First Blade for emphasis. Medusa's image silently vanished.
"Let's return for now." Palutena said as light enveloped Pit and me. "This was just our first step in defeating Medusa."
In a flash of light, we found ourselves back at Palutena's Temple, standing before the goddess of light herself.
"You'll be happy to know that, despite some mistakes, you passed the test, Shane." Palutena said. "You can fight alongside Pit. But… are you absolutely certain you want to?"
"What else can I use these powers for?" I asked. "I know I'm…green, like Snake said, but all my life I've admired heroes like him, and Link, and Pit. Fighting evil…is hard. It's dangerous. But doesn't power come with the responsibility to use it? If I don't use my weapons and abilities for good, there's no reason for me to have them." I stated, looking to my hand as green flame flickered across it, before looking back at Palutena as I pumped my fist. "I swear to you, I won't be a burden. I won't mess things up for you. Whatever you or Pit command, I will do to the best of my ability."
"I can tell you're determined." Palutena replied, smiling. "You've got a lot to learn, but we'll be happy to have you. Welcome aboard, Shane!"
"Whenever we get some downtime, I'll help you out!" Pit said, walking over to stand next to his goddess. "I know exactly what you need to work on, so it'll be a cinch to get you all trained up!"
"Th-thank you. Thank you both!" I replied, doing a ninja bow. "It's truly an honor!"
So began my first real adventure, the biggest step toward becoming the hero I always wanted to be.
For those who have read my awesome friend Sai Kunai Blade's story, Blade League, you will likely be surprised by how different the same character is between our stories. That is no mistake on either of our parts. This Shane is five years younger than the one in Sai's story, and a lot happens in those five years between this and that.
Anyway, this chapter is a rewrite. This version is much more serious than the original, and I didn't even let anyone break the fourth wall this time, but don't worry. From here, we'll settle into the same mostly lighthearted tone as the game. Shane will not be quite as meta as the other characters, however. He'll still make references to other series, but that's about it. Also, while I've decided to portray Pit and my OC's abilities mostly the same as how they work (or would work, in Shane's case) in the game, this is by no means a limitation. I will stray from gameplay accuracy for the sake of making an awesome fight. While I didn't do much of that this time, you'll be seeing this later on, especially in chapters 6 and 9.
Let me know in reviews if you'd care at all to see my explanation of Shane as a playable character. Trust me, he wouldn't be OP.