Nikki sighed as he watched Mikki finish her solo, merrily flipping a ponytail in his direction. She had a great singing voice, and was usually very serious about her work… but he could swear that sometimes she just tried to annoy him on purpose. She threw him a grin and stepped off the stage, tossing her guitar lightly onto a pile of costumes and pulling off the small-attached mics.

“So what do you think, Nikki? Sound like it’ll work out for the big show coming up?” she looked at him earnestly, trying her best to imitate the sort of expression a dog would give when begging for food. Nikki groaned under his breath and managed to nod to her before throwing off his own mics and heading towards the door.

“Hey! Where are you going?! We have to finish rehearsal!” Mikki called after him, but Nikki had already slammed the door shut behind him and instructing the guard to make sure she nor her backup dancers left the rehearsal room.

She just doesn’t understand.. you cant just perfect the music, learning every painstaking note… you have to feel the music, know the music, and express true emotions through the music. But I suppose that she’ll never understand that.

As usual, Nikki headed towards his favorite spot to practice, a shady spot in the Shadow Woods, just East of the city and the Mansion. He smiled and nodded at the guards at the entrance of Termina, and quickly made his way to the woods. Small marsh monsters bobbed or slithered their way around him as Nikki made his way to his favorite marsh tree, where a slight octopus monster awaited. He calmly sat down in front of the creature and pulled out his guitar, running through a couple of quick cadenzas and retuning the strings. The creature observed him oddly as he began to play his song…


Serge jogged up the connecting steps to the singer’s ship, and knocked on their door, struggling to catch his breath. Kid stood patiently behind him, only slightly panting as they waited for an answer. Finally the door opened and a slight girl with swinging ponytails opened it, and then almost shut it in their face. Hesitating for a moment, she seemed to realize something and let them in.

“Sorry about that. I thought you would be Nikki. I’m Mikki, and that’s You and Mei.” She smiled apologetically at them, and Serge drew a deep breath, trying to calm his quaking nerves. He had just begun to calm down when the ponytail girl erupted into a rage.

“Erg, where is that guy! Two days until the big show, and he walks out on us! GODS! What a weirdo! We can’t practice without him.” Slowly, Mikki calmed down, the color of her face lightening several shades. She looked harder at Serge and Kid, and nodded her head, as if coming to a decision.

“Hey, can you do a really big favor for me? Could you go find Nikki? He’s probably in the Shadow woods…” She trailed off and looked at him with lost puppy dog eyes, and Serge nodded.

“Really? Oh thank you! Thank you so much.” Serge nodded again, and Kid giggled as Serge turned and left. They headed for Shadow Woods, following an old map that Kid had produced from nowhere. Soon they found themselves walking knee deep in mud and water.

“Och, what is this gook? Slimy marshes for heavens sake. Why would anyone want to go takin’ a pleasure walk in here?” Kid asked, and Serge merely kept walking, keeping his thoughts and conversation to himself as usual. Kid snickered quietly as they kept trudging through the thick murky depths. Finally they found who they had come looking for… the orange haired rocker stood in front of a small monster, playing a song on his guitar while singing along with the tune. Suddenly he stopped and sighed, shaking his head in dismay.

“Um, excuse me, are you Nikki?” Kid asked tentatively. Nikki stood up quickly and turned to them, then groaned very audibly.

“Let me guess. Mikki sent you after me.” He asked, his tone very much implying that he already knew the answer. Serge nodded, and Nikki made a soft “tsk” sound.

“Well, I’m not coming back. I came out here to.. explore. I’m going to go see what’s inside Viper Manor. Care to join me?” Serge looked at Kid momentarily, then nodded, and Nikki fell in step behind them as they walked towards Viper Manor, now equally interested in what they would find inside….