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Shattered and Brought to Life

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The last thing Zan remembered was being dissolved into the Jamba Heart and fueling the Destroyer of Worlds that was so highly praised by her and almost everyone she was around. Before that... well, there wasn't much. A huge chunk of her memories was gone after Void Termina was defeated. There were a few little things left. Singing to a baby Flamberge to calm her down, using her first small lightning spell, seeing little Francisca for the first time, reading to her younger sisters after dark, frozen in place by Hyness as he used the power of the Jamba Heart on her as Flamberge was forced to watch it happen. Nothing past that last one. The reason almost all the other memories were gone was unknown...

Until she was still just lying down on what seemed to be a huge crystal. It was cool and hard, and the starlight was reflected on it. All other times she was lying down like this, unable to fight, with Hyness nearby, she was forced to get up by some unknown power. Now, she could just lay down, exhausted, without having to strain herself even more. This power was gone, and this power must have taken her memories with it.

Realizing that she and the other were pretty much abandoned here and had to find help, Zan quickly took action. She struggled to stand up, but still managed to do so. Floating in midair, even the usual ten inches she’d levitate to ‘walk’, was too much effort, so she resorted to gliding just a half inch above the small planet's cold, crystalline surface. She noticed that shards of the Jamba Heart were scattered everywhere. Zan saw plenty of little shards nesting in Flamberge's and Francisca's unruly hair, and one particular shard happened to perch itself right on top of Hyness' nose.

Slowly but surely, Flamberge got up as well, and Francisca followed suit. Hyness remained unconscious, and Zan decided that this was for the better.

"Do either of you guys... know where we are?" Zan noticed that her voice sounded different, too, though it was probably just her being exhausted. She just hoped that Franny and Berge didn't have their memories wiped like she did.

"We're on Void Termina's arena. Kirby managed to defeat the Destroyer of Worlds, some way or another..." Francisca responded. Flamberge's abrasive nature brought a different response from her.

"What do you mean you didn't know where we are? Really, Zanny, this place is something we've always been- oh..." The short-fused redhead was suddenly overwhelmed by memories.

~~~~

"We can't afford mistakes like you here, Zan Partizanne. You shall now be turned into perfection, whether you like it or not." Hyness's voice boomed an ethereal volume when harnessing the magic of the Jamba Heart. A piece of the deadly crystal was shining with its constant purple glow. Zan was frozen, turned into a stone statue. She was unable to move, but her face was contorted in horror.

Just like her older sister, Flamberge was just the same. A frozen statue, unable to move, save for watch in horror and cry constant tears as the sister she knew and loved was slowly being chipped away. The only difference was that Zan was subject to the torture, and Berge was merely watching it. She couldn't tell which was worse.

Zan gritted her teeth and braced for impact. Hyness formed a magic rune with the Jamba Heart and, using a finger covered up by the especially long sleeves he always wore, traced it over Zan's heart. Her floating hands - and Berge's - could do nothing to stop this. The rune seared Zan's skin, and she screamed from the agonizing pain. Flamberge could sense Zan's pain, as she knew how much fire could hurt. Soon enough, though, she stopped. It all stopped. Flamberge was yet to be freed from her stone prison, but the sound of rocks crumbling and hitting the ground meant Zan was freed from hers. Despite that, Zan still remained unmoving, disembodied hands by her sides.

"Now, General Zan. What is your goal?" Hyness asked her, knowing what her answer would be.

"To restore Void Termina to his eternal glory, Lord Hyness. It has always been and will always be the goal of our people." Zan's voice sounded hollow, not at all like herself.

"Will anything get in the way of this goal, the goal of our people?"

"No, Lord Hyness."

"Not even your beloved sisters?"

"The only things beloved to me are our Savior Void Termina, and Lord Hyness, who will break our Savior free of his prison."

"Perfect." Hyness was pleased.

What had her sister become?

~~~~

Flamberge's thoughts snapped back to the current world. Francisca had a cool hand on her shoulder, trying to comfort her. She was breathing heavily, and could feel beads of sweat on her forehead. Sweat?! She was a fire mage, for the stars' sake. She didn't sweat- unless it was cold sweat, from fear...

"It's okay, Berge, calm down..." Francisca was clearly worried, trying to comfort her. Flamberge could feel the cold energy she was releasing in an attempt to cool her down and help her feel better.

"No, Franny. She isn't overheating, that's a cold sweat. She needs heat, warmth. I think I'm going to have to help handle this." Flamberge hard a voice that she didn't remember in who knows how long...

"...Zanny? Is that really you?" Flamberge recalled that voice as the voice of Zan Partizanne that she used to know

"Well, I don't remember much about you, but I remember that your name is Flamberge, you can never stay calm for long, singing helps you calm down, you are very protective over Francisca, whom you nicknamed Franny, your worst fear is the ocean planets like Aqua Star, and the last thing I saw of you was imprisoned in stone, with tears in your eyes. Other than that, I don't remember much else." Zan recollected the few memories she had of her fiery sister.

"You're back!" Berge rushed in to tackle hug her restored older sister.

"Oh yeah... and you really like hugs. That too." Zan laughed.

"Franny, it's really her! Zan's back! She isn't just Hyness's puppet anymore!"

"Zan... are you really back?"

"Oh! Francisca! Well... I remember that you like singing just like me and Berge... and you wanted a heat-based magic too, and were a little sad when you had to use ice magic. And you liked the dark, because the hot sun was gone and it felt cool and comforting. I'm sorry, I don't have very many memories of you, something happened to me when you were little..."

"It is you!" Francisca rushed up to hug Zan on the side that wasn't taken by Berge. Zan hugged her sisters back, but none of the three noticed Hyness regaining consciousness, or Kirby noticing the action, riding on his Warp Star.

"Wait. Is... do you hear something?" Zan paused the hugging and laughter as the mage's battle instincts snapped them into a state of silence and alertness.

"I think that's..." Berge pointed to the figure beside them, barely moving. Soon enough, that figure was identified as Hyness. A crystal shard fell off his nose as he stood up, the powerful mage struggling to do so. The three generals braced for verbal impact.

"IDIOTS! How could you have let that puffy pink piece of bubblegum and his little chums destroy THE ALMIGHTY VOID TERMINAAAA?!?!" Hyness was clearly enraged, not bothering to take in his surroundings, only focusing on the beat-up mages in front of him. "This was THE ULTIMATE GOAL OF THE ENTIRETY OF JAMBANDRA! You couldn't have POSSIBLY given that up!" His speaking got faster and faster, as it always did when he was mad. It didn't take long for it to get so fast it would've been impossible to write it down and have it make sense. The only real benefit to this was that the three mages didn't have to take each individual word as a verbal slap to the face.

Zan couldn't take it. She'd dealt with this for too long. Her spear now in hand, crackling with electricity, she marched up to the rambling wizard and pointed her partisan in between his eyes. Francisca tried to hold her back, but her floaty hands did nothing.

"You cannot keep doing this. I won't allow it." Her tone of voice was as serious as ever, but there were clear signs of rage in her voice. "I'm no longer your puppet."

"No. You will bend to my will at all times. Now go back."

Zan remained still, her sparking partisan pointing at the space between Hyness's eyes.

"I SAID GO BACK, YOU HOLLOWHEADED SCRAP!"

Zan said nothing. Just stood still, keeping the spear aimed at the same lethal area.

"Say that one more time."

Hyness remained silent, which was quite the surprise. No angry rambling, no barking orders, not even an irritated grumble. The whole crystal arena was silent, in fact. Not even Flamberge made an angry remark/insult at Hyness, and Francisca didn't even try to soothe Zan's anger. The only thing that could be heard was the sparks coming off of the energy of Zan's partisan.

And the sound of said partisan being shoved through Hyness's head. And the sound of the blood spraying and splattering onto the floor of the crystal planet, Hyness’s lifeless body slumping to the ground, and the sound of Zan pulling her spear back out of his skull.

"Never again will I be under anyone's control." Zan had killed many beings before, just taking one life - and a corrupt one at that - didn't faze her. Francisca and Flamberge, on the other hand - while they knew that Zan would hate Hyness for what she did to them, they didn't expect her to go this far. Much like their older sister, they had killed many others before, so the death wasn't what shocked them.

"I did what had to be done." Zan turned to her sisters as Hyness's blood leaked on the hard crystalline ground.

The somber mood dissipated rather quickly when Francisca came to a realization. "You guys, we're free. Hyness isn't here anymore, there's no one to force us to do anything."

"Free..." Flamberge let the word and its meaning seep in. "Yeah... we're all free!"

"No more crazy goblin using us as baseball bats." Zan added. Flamberge snickered.

"Look at the shards here! They must be what's left of the Jamba Hearts..." Francisca's childlike wonder found a piece of the now-normal Jamba Heart. She picked up the little crystal piece, and let the starlight shine through it. The shard was a deep, beautiful shade of teal.

"There's some in your hair, Franny." Flamberge added.

"She's not the only one, Berge. Your hair looks like a flaming disco ball." Zan laughed.

Francisca kept on collecting the shards, until she found one that was purple. This one was different, and she picked it up out of curiosity-

~~~~

"You'll be under my control, and you'll always do what I say, if you don't want to end up like your sister here." Hyness brought Zan Partizanne into the room. "She disobeyed too many times, and now look at her. Zan, who is this?"

"A soldier, Lord Hyness. Nothing else."

"Now leave." Hyness ordered, and Zan turned and left without a word. She moved and sounded like a shell of her former self.

"What... what happened to her?!" Francisca was worried.

"Simple. She didn't follow orders, she received proper punishment." Hyness spoke as if this was nothing.

But it would never be nothing to Francisca. She'd never watch as Zan helped her make little weather clouds, she wouldn't soothe her when she got yet another terrible nightmare, she'd never listen to her read another story... She was all gone. A puppet. Francisca shuddered at the thought.

She swore never to disobey Hyness again.

~~~~

"Ngh-!" In a flash, she was returned to the real world, still clutching the specific shard. It was no longer purple, but a deep teal like all the others. She was panting, in a kneeling position on the ground, a disembodied hand pressing against the side of her head.

"Franny!" Flamberge noticed, and rushed over to help her.

"It's the memories. They're doing this to you... and to me." Flamberge could tell Francisca had the memories, she herself remembered feeling the exact same way. Filled with fear that was almost palpable, at Hyness's booming voice. It was a voice they'd never hear again, but a voice that would always haunt them, follow them no matter where they were.

 

Zan found another shard of what used to be the Jamba Heart and added it to a tiny pile.

"I think I'll call this stuff 'heart glass'." she told nobody in particular. She set her eyes on another shard further away, but upon noticing it was just as purple as the deadly Jamba Heart pieces, she immediately tried to get as far away from it as possible, but not before it started skittering over to her. Soon enough, a blunt side of the shard hit her in the back of the head. This wouldn't have been very painful on its own.

But, of course, this shard came with memories. Memories filled with screams of pain from behind a mouth that was forced shut. Memories filled with hot tears running down her cheeks, herself being tied up by some invisible force. A searing symbol on her chest, the burns almost unbearable. The feeling of her hands actually being restrained, attached to the ground and unable to move.

And the needles.

By Nova's clockwork, the needles.

They weren't in many places other than her head, but the sheer amount and pain made it feel like they were everywhere. Blood running down her face, the feeling of her brain tearing apart. There were a few in her hands, forcing them to the ground. There was one weaving a sort of magic thread through her mouth, bringing more pain with each individual stitch. There were whispers coming from the needle, saying "You can only speak the words of Hyness and Void Termina.", saying the same thing over and over again. She was nothing but the puppet of Hyness...

Nothing...

She returned to the real world, but her condition was much worse than Francisca's or Flamberge's when they came out of their memories. Much like in the memories, tears streamed down her face. She was shaking, curled up in the fetal position, and could still feel the needles, the damned needles-

Kirby found the crystal arena, and, jumping off his Warp Star, landed on it to find the three mage generals still alive, but Hyness dead. And good that - the guy was insane, and revived one of the greatest evils in history. What Kirby did see of the mage generals wasn't too pretty either, though.

For one, Zan was crying and shivering on the very edge of the crystal arena. Flamberge and Francisca seemed to be normal, and just noticed Zan's condition. They rushed over, Francisca bumping into Kirby.

"Oh! Sorry- wait. Are you...?" Francisca's caring nature caused her to immediately apologize.

"Hey!" Flamberge interjected. "You're that annoying little pink ball-"

"No fight, poyo." Kirby stopped Flamberge. "Help friend. Nightmares, memories, Jamba Dark Lord." The little puff calmly walked over to the lightning mage and placed his two - arms? Hands? The Jambastion mages weren't sure what to call them - on Zan's head. A star inside his body began glowing, and soon enough, Zan stopped shivering, although she was now unconscious. Kirby's arm-hand-things lifted, and his star stopped glowing as his body returned to its normal state.

Flamberge started shaking Zan in a desperate attempt to wake her up. "Zanny! C'mon, Zanny, wake up, wake up, wake up!"

Hyness... Void Termina...

Zan gradually came to. Realizing she was on the very edge of the crystal arena, she scrambled back from the edge, not wanting to fall into an infinite abyss. She was still panicked, both from the memories and the fact that she just almost died. Once she saw the familiar pink puffball, she became even more alert.

"No fight, poyo. Friend."

"...friend?" The word was somewhat foreign to Zan, having only known sisters and a leader gone off the deep end.

"Yes. Friend-poyo. You need help, and you not crazy dark thing. So, friend!" Kirby held out a - Zan decided to call it a 'nub' - and waited for the mages to accept the offer.

Francisca's face lit up at the thought - her first real friend! - and immediately shook Kirby's nub, sealing the offer for her. Flamberge was more reluctant to accept, but anyone willing to help her and her sisters - and who wasn't an insane sorcerer - was good by her standards, and she did the same.

"Friend... okay." Zan loosely shook Kirby's nub, still drained from the resurfaced memories. Nevertheless, the agreement was made. Kirby led the three mages to his Warp Star.

"Come. Popstar, Dream Land. Safe." Kirby made a 'come here' motion with one nub, the other holding onto the Warp Star. The Jambastion Mages followed the puffball onto the star-shaped transport, Francisca stopping to collect shards of heart glass along the way. As the ice mage climbed onto Kirby's Warp Star, heart glass in tow, the star soared through the star-filled skies and out to Planet Popstar.

 

But, despite what one would like to believe, the Jamba Heart never dies...