Alph couldn’t believe how long this cave was. It felt like they had been running for hours, but they couldn’t stop. They needed to get Olimar to the S.S. Drake as soon as possible, and the strange, invincible creature chasing them wanted to keep Olimar where he was, though no one knew why. But with Brittany and Charlie by his side, he was sure they could make it out somehow.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, an Amprat leapt out at the captains and their Pikmin, taking out several of the blues.
“Cover me!” shouted Brittany, “I’m moving things here!”
“We already are covering you!” shouted Charlie, “What do you think we’re doing, scuba diving?”
“Guys,” shouted Alph, “We don’t have the time for this! We need to focus on getting out of here!”
“Fine.” grumbled Charlie, “Brittany, you keep guiding the Pikmin. Alph and I can take care of this thing.”
The Amprat lunged at them and their Pikmin, with Alph just barely dodging it in time. The mysterious lifeform was moving surprisingly fast, and the Amprat was blocking their escape. They needed to finish this battle quickly.
Alph was throwing all the Pikmin he could reach at the Amprat, but in his panic, failed to notice that there were no yellow Pikmin. Most of them had been killed by Shearwigs earlier on, and the remaining ones were with Brittany. The other colors were just stunned by the beast’s electric charge, falling harmlessly to the ground without getting anywhere near enough to do damage.
Finally noticing the lack of electricity-resistant Pikmin, Alph shouted “We need to make a run for it! Brittany’s got all the yellow Pikmin!”
Whistling the remaining Pikmin back to them, Alph and Charlie dashed straight towards the Amprat. The creature charged in their direction, but they jumped out of the way before it could reach them. But the Amprat wasn’t done yet. As Alph looked back to make sure that he hadn’t left behind any stray Pikmin, he saw the beast turn around, and dash towards the two at seemingly impossible speeds.
“Look out!” shouted Alph, but it was too late.
Charlie turned around just in time to see the creature behind him. It slammed into him, sending a powerful shock of electricity through his whole body. He went flying backward, and hit the wall of the cave hard.
He wasn’t moving.
“Brittany!” shouted Alph through the microphone embedded in his suit, “We need help over here, quick! Charlie’s down, and you have all the yellow Pikmin!”
It wasn’t long before Brittany appeared out of the darker areas of the cave. “Alph! She said, “You take the yellow Pikmin and get rid of the Amprat, I’ll help Charlie!”
After taking care of the Amprat, he quickly caught up with Brittany. The mysterious lifeform was a fairly safe distance behind them, so they had a couple minutes to discuss their situation. “How is he?” he asked.
Brittany looked up, her eyes full of worry. “Not good,” she said, “He’s been badly hurt. We need to get him out of here, now!”
“We can have the Pikmin carry him,” said Alph, “But we need to hurry. The mysterious lifeform is catching up to us!”
They continued through the cave, now at a much quicker pace, avoiding the enemies rather than fighting them off. But no matter how fast they ran, the mysterious lifeform was right behind them, never fast enough to catch them, never slow enough to let them rest.
The cave was now very dark, lit only by a few small clusters of glowing fungus. There didn’t seem to be any enemies nearby, but Alph still had a strange sense that something was wrong.
“I think we should be careful,” said Alph, “Something feels off about this place…”
“We’re on an uncharted planet being chases by some unknown, plasmatic alien who wants to imprison a random Hocotatian for unknown reasons!” shouted Brittany, “Of course it’s going to feel off!”
Suddenly, the earth beneath their feet began to shake. Rocks and debris fell from the ceiling, and the Pikmin ran around in a crazed panic.
“Earthquake!” shouted Brittany, “We need to get out of here, before the whole thing caves in!”
The two ran for their lives, doing their best to avoid the debris falling from the ceiling. The mysterious lifeform seemed unfazed by the impending destruction, simply absorbing the falling boulders along with anything else in its way. Up ahead, Alph could see a wall made of earth. They couldn’t get around it, and breaking it would take time, which they didn’t have much of.
“There’s a wall up ahead!” Alph said, “Do we have enough time to break it?”
Brittany looked up at him, her face grim. “I guess we’ll just have to find out.”
Alph commanded the remaining Pikmin to swarm the wall. There weren’t many of them now, as quite a few had been left behind on accident as the two captains dashed through the caverns, and even more had been caught by the mysterious creature.
They had just broken down the dirt wall when, out of nowhere, several very large boulders were dislodged from the ceiling.
“Look out!” screamed Brittany, shoving Alph out of the way of the boulders.
Alph heard a loud crashing noise behind him, and when he turned around, he saw something that filled him with dread. “Brittany!” he screamed.
The pink captain was half-buried under the rocks. She was still alive, but barely.
“Brittany! Speak to me!” pleaded Alph as he dashed over to where his friend was trapped, “Oh, please be okay!”
Her dull, unfocused eyes lit up with recognition. “Alph?” she said in a fragile voice, “Is that you?”
Alph struggled to dig his friend out of her rocky prison. “Brittany, are you alright? We need to get out of here!”
“No, Alph it-“ she broke off in a fit of coughing, “It’s too late for me. My helmet’s been damaged, I can barely breathe!”
“I’m not going to sit here and watch you die!” said Alph, “I’m going to save you, I promise!”
Brittany smiled weakly. “You’re so brave, Alph, that’s what I like about you.”
Her eyes closed, but for now, she was still breathing. There weren’t enough Pikmin left to carry Olimar, Charlie, and Brittany, but Alph couldn’t bear to leave anyone behind. Grabbing a piece of wire that had been severed from the circuit, he tied both Charlie and Brittany to his back, and ran faster than he ever had before to find the exit of this horrible cavern.
He was exhausted. He wanted to just lie down and let darkness overcome him, but he refused to give up. He had promised that at least Brittany would get out alive.
The whole time, the disgusting blob of plasma crept along behind him, never fast enough to catch him, never slow enough to let him rest. Anything that stood in its path was absorbed, whether it was Pikmin, or fallen stones, or even the terrible illusions it had created to guard its lair.
No time seemed to pass, or if it did, it did slowly. Alph felt like he had been running for days on end. Had he? Was this just a dream? Or had it been going on forever, and all the memories of previous times were illusions?
He had been pondering this for a while when, suddenly, he realized something terrible. It was completely silent.
Brittany’s last short, rasping breaths had stopped.
His eyes widened in fear. “No, no, no!” he shouted, in a voice filled with terror, “Please, hang in there, Brittany! Please don’t die! We’ll be back to the S.S. Drake in a few minutes, and then you’ll be alright!”
But no matter how much he begged and pleaded, the pink captain remained silent as the horrible monster creeping behind them, not fast enough to catch them, not slow enough to let them rest.
“No,” said Alph to himself, “She’s not dead. She can’t be! I promised she would be okay! She’s going to be just fine. They all will.”
He knew that the exit had to be just around the next corner, and if he could only reach the Drake, everyone would be alright. Charlie would be there, playing with his rubber ducky, Brittany would be teasing him and worrying about their food supply, and Olimar would finally give them back their lost cosmic drive key. Koppai would be safe, and so would the others.
The world started to swim before his eyes, but that didn’t matter. He just needed to hang on a little longer, just long enough to escape the cavern and the horrible, slimy beast that engulfed everything in its way. It still continued to hunt him down, never fast enough to catch him, never slow enough to let him rest.
Faces of the people he knew were projected onto the cavern walls, Brittany, Charlie, Olimar, his grandfather Drake, even the Hocotatian food-thief Louie. Their expressions were of fear and pain, and their terrified screams filled his head. They needed him, he couldn’t give up!
A twisted laugh rang out through the cave, filling the air above the screams. Was the horrible cavern laughing at his pain, or was it his own voice? He could no longer tell. He no longer even cared. The only thing that mattered was that the others make it out.
And still the terrible, malformed creature pursued him, never fast enough to catch him, never slow enough to let him rest.
The whole world flashed with colors unknown, and the faces ripped off the walls and circled him. Their faces were still twisted, but they were now laughing. Was this torture even real? His mind was too scarred to make out what was really, truly real. But as horrible as this nightmare was, he wasn’t sure that if he woke up, if he could understand what had happened, that he would be able to face the truth.
Then, something stirred the cold, still air of the cave. A way out! Alph ran, not for his life, but for the lives of the others, to reach the exit. The only thing he knew for sure was that this exit was really, truly real. He just needed to leave the caverns, to let the sun touch his skin once more, and everything would be fine.
The beast roared in fury as its captive escaped its lair, but Alph was sure that it could not do anything to stop him. As he left the cave, he felt his head clear as the blinding sunlight filled his eyes. The sun was going down, and he knew he needed to get to the S.S. Drake, but he was so very tired. He tried to crawl over to the Drake, but he was overwhelmed by exhaustion.
“I’m sorry, Brittany,” he thought as the world started to go black, “I failed you. But I swear I’ll make it up to you, somehow…” Black filled his vision, and he fell into darkness.