Bite Size Brains

(Cubed Cinder; idea by Twilight Prince)

Rottytops sighed as she continued to twirl the fishing rod all around the nearby swamp water. She was all by her lonesome, as her two brothers Abner Cadaver and Poe were on vacation somewhere in Sequin Land with some of the other zombies.
"(sigh) I swear if I don't get another brain soon, I'm going to lose my senses… what little I have of them too!" Rottytops said to herself. Part of her depression came from when she was tricked by the nefarious Risky Boots during the events of Shantae: Risky's Revenge. Risky had promised the zombie girl all the human brains she could ever dream of (and coffee for her caffeine-loving brothers) if she captured Professor Mimic in order to lure Shantae to the underground. But of course, Risky backed off the deal, leaving the trio empty-handed. Rottytops pretty much crawled back to the swamp, wondering if her secret friend, Shantae, was okay.

Rottytops soon put all thoughts aside when she felt something tug on her line.
"Oh! I got something! I hope it's not another old shoe or can of coffee my brothers threw away!" Rottytops said. After fighting with the line for a few more seconds, Rottytops was finally able to reel in what she caught… another empty can of coffee.
"Ugh… I have REALLY got to talk to my bros about littering." Rottytops said. She pulled her arm back and was ready to throw the can back into the swamp, but something shiny caught her eye and made her cancel that action.
"Huh?" Rottytops said as she noticed the glitter of bright light. She looked inside the can of coffee and noticed what it was that produced the bright light. It was a gem, looking no different than the kind one would find in a jewelry shop, especially all the way out in Scuttle Town.
"Pffft… it's just a gem. Us zombie girls have no use for jewelry. Although…" Rottytops said. She was at first quick to dismiss the gem and throw it back into the swamp water, but quickly remembered that almost anything in Sequin Land could have a magic touch to it. It wasn't too long ago, after all, when she witnessed an old lamp making an evil giant clone out of Shantae. So she thought maybe this gem could do something if she literally put her mind to it.

She didn't have to search far to find something to test the gem on. With the empty can of coffee in one hand and the gem in the other, Rottytops closed her eyes and concentrated.
"Oh magic and mystical gem that probably won't work for my ugly but beautiful self… um… turn the can of coffee into a zombie prince!" Rottytops said. She opened her eyes, and nothing changed.
"Okay… make it walk and do a dance!" Rottytops shouted. Still nothing.
"Make it talk and tell me how fast I can run!" Rottytops shouted. Still nothing.
"Sheesh! What a piece of junk! Make the can bigger or something!" Rottytops shouted out of the blue, thinking that wouldn't work either. But Rottytops could suddenly feel something in her hand becoming heavy very quickly. It was the can of coffee, and it was growing bigger.
"What the…!?" Rottytops said as she quickly dropped the can onto the ground, watching it slowly grow bigger and bigger. It finally stopped growing, and the can appeared to be ten times bigger than before. It was now closer to the size of an oil barrel.
"Ooooookay, so it can make things bigger? Um… I wish the can were back to its normal size?" Rottytops said. The gem faintly glowed and the zombie girl watched as the can was now shrinking. It eventually returned to its normal size, just as Rottytops suggested. And that got her thinking…
"NOW I wish the can would grow legs and talk and become my friend!" Rottytops shouted. But nothing happened.
"And I wish the can were even smaller…" Rottytops said. And that's when the gem glowed again, and now the can was shrinking even smaller. Rottytops didn't care how small the can shrunk anymore (it was too small for her to see anyway), she had figured out what power the gem had.
"Ah ha… so this thing can make things bigger or smaller, just with my wishing to it." Rottytops said. And that's when she got a fiendish idea.
"Heeeeeeeeey… if I were, say, 100 feet tall, I can scoop up a bunch of people and eat their brains like zombie ice cream! Oh oh oh oh! Magic gem, I wish to be 100 feet tall!!!" Rottytops excitedly shouted, anxious to grow to a gigantic size.

But nothing happened.
"What!? I can't make myself any bigger? (sigh)" Rottytops said, disappointed to learn that the gem apparently didn't work on the owner. She briefly thought it made sense, as such a power could be very dangerous if someone like Risky Boots were to get their hands on such a gem.
"Still, there has to be some way I can use this thing to more easily get the human brains I want." Rottytops said to herself. She then heard a couple voices out in the distance. She looked up and saw two human travelers out in the distance, looking around frantically like they were lost or something.
"Mmmmmm… perhaps I can try something else, like shrinking those people." Rottytops said. Clutching the gem tightly and then putting it in one of her shorts pockets, the zombie girl started walking towards these people, anxious to meet them and put the plan she had in mind into action.

The two people, a husband and wife pair, were wandering around almost aimlessly trying to find their way out of the swamp. They were traveling from Scuttle Town and got lost thanks to the husband's proclaimed keen sense of direction.
"Trust me, honey! With my navigation skills, we'll be out of this swamp in no time." the man said as he waved his flaming torch around to help light the area.
"Ugh! That's what you said over an hour ago! Can't you just admit we're lost!?" the woman said.
"Have no fear! Only the weakest admit that they're lost!" the man said. The two then had to stop walking when Rottytops leapt out in front of them from behind a group of trees.
"Hello, travelers!” Rottytops said.
“Eeeeek! A zombie!” the woman said as she clutched tightly on the man’s arm. The man waved his flaming torch towards the zombie girl.
“Stay back! I know how to use this thing!” the man said.
“Hey hey! Chill out, everyone. I’m not as bad as I look. You guys are lost, aren’t you?” Rottytops said.
“Yes, yes we are. Can you help us?” the woman said.
“Sure! But first, there is a favor I’d like to ask of you. Can I pretty please have your braiiiiiiiiiins?” Rottytops said as she licked her lips and drool came out of her mouth.
“Errrr… you’re joking, right, young lady?” the man said.
“No, I’m not kidding. I really want your brains!” Rottytops said.
“Come on, hubby, this girl isn’t going to help us.” the woman said.
“Oh, but I can! You’re trying to get to your destination, right? I can actually take you someplace better.” Rottytops said.
“Huh? W-w-w-what do you mean by that?” the man said, now trembling in fear much like his wife.
“Yep! Watch this!” Rottytops said. She pulled the gem out of her pocket. Right away, the husband and wife sensed nothing good was going to come out of this and they started to back away.
“I wish my two new friends were three inches tall!” Rottytops shouted with much enthusiasm. The gem glowed brightly, and the running husband and wife both screamed as the world around them seemed to be getting bigger.

The husband and wife were smart. They didn’t try to sugarcoat what had just happened to them.
“Oh my god! Honey, we’re tiny!” the woman said.
“I know! How does something like that happen!?” the man said.
“Hey, we DO have a half genie girl guarding Scuttle Town.” the woman said. The two then heard the sounds of booming footsteps behind them. They turned around and both screamed in fear over seeing Rottytops’ giant brown boots and zombie green legs towering above them.
“Heeheehee! It works, it works!! I can’t believe it works on real people!” Rottytops said.
“Please! Change us back!” the man pleaded.
“Sorry, but with my test successful, I really can send you two on a better location for your honeymoon.” Rottytops said, making the assumption that the two were traveling from Scuttle Town for that reason. She reached down and easily picked up the two tiny people.
“Down the hatch you go!” Rottytops said as she licked her lips full of drool once again. She opened her mouth wide and finally dropped the duo inside.
“EEEEEEEEEK!!!” they both screamed as they fell inside Rottytops’ mouth. Rottytops cleanly gulped the two tiny people down her throat, dropping them down her long esophegus and into her stomach.
“Mmmmmm… that was satisfying. I wanna do that again!" Rottytops said. That's when she looked out in the distance and saw another person, this time just one man. Rottytops licked her lips and couldn't wait to get one more human brain, albeit a tiny one, down into her stomach.

Over the next couple of days, more and more people traveling from Scuttle Town would make their way to the swamp, either searching for their missing relatives or being forced to go through the area because it was between home and their destination. At the same time, Rottytops even tricked people into coming to the swamp as a place to find treasure or something of that nature. More and more of these same people weren't coming back, a feeling that was not lost on the mayor of Scuttle Town.
"Oh… where is she? This is a disaster!" Mayor Scuttlebutt said as he paced back and forth. Finally, the she he was referring to finally arrived, as Shantae, the protector of Scuttle Town and former half-human/half-genie girl (her genie powers were taken away after the events of the last story, Opposing Genies), ran up to the mayor. She bowed her head a couple times.
"Hello, Mayor Scuttlebutt. I'm sorry I took so long…" Shantae said.
"Ah, think nothing of it, Shantae, I'm just glad you're here." Mayor Scuttlebutt said.
"You said it was an emergency?" Shantae said.
"Yes. Many people have been disappearing from our beloved Scuttle Town for the last couple days. And I'm hearing rumors other towns may have people disappearing as well." Mayor Scuttlebutt said.
"Oh dear! Any clues?" Shantae asked.
"Only that these people were heading to places like Oasis Town and Bandit Town… but those places wouldn't possibly do anything nefarious, would they?" Mayor Scuttlebutt said.
"Hmmm… what's the one place that lies between Scuttle Town and those places?" Shantae said.
"I… I don't know. Sorry, Shantae, I can't think straight when I'm flustered." Mayor Scuttlebutt said.
"It's okay, Mayor Scuttlebutt. That's what I'm here for. The best in between place to start with is the Zombie Caravan in the swamp." Shantae said.
"Oh! That does make sense, but why start there?" Mayor Scuttlebutt said.
"Well… the zombies and I have a bit of history there, namely Rottytops. I can't help but wonder if she's capturing these people and intending to eat their brains." Shantae said.
"Oh… how terrible!" Mayor Scuttlebutt said.
"Never fear, Mayor Scuttlebutt! Shantae is on the job! I'll find those people no matter where they are!" Shantae said before she ran off and eventually out of Scuttle Town.
"Good luck, Shantae! Please bring our citizens of Scuttle Town back!" Mayor Scuttlebutt shouted as he waved Shantae goodbye.

It took several minutes of walking through grassy plains and other towns, but Shantae finally made it to the swamp land where Rottytops and the Zombie Caravan rested. As for Rottytops herself, she was getting ready to suck another shrunken victim into her mouth. The man's lower body was already in her mouth, leaving the upper half exposed. The man pushed in vain against Rottytops' lips.
"Please! Don't eat me!" the man shouted.
"Bon appetit!" Rottytops said as she finally sucked the 3 inch tall man into her mouth, gulping him down. After doing that and licking her lips, she looked around seeing if there were any other lost victims to shrink and munch on. Her eyes opened wide when she saw Shantae out in the distance.
"Oh? Shantae's here… and WOW! Won't it be awesome to shrink her and eat her brain!?" Rottytops said as she clapped her hands together in excitement. She started running her way towards where Shantae was standing.

Shantae was walking around, trying to find where the Zombie Caravan was parked, when she was spooked to see Rottytops jump in her path.
"Hey there, Shantae!" Rottytops shouted.
"Ack! Rottytops, you really got me going!" Shantae shouted.
"Haha! Don't I always? You have to be on your toes here in the swamp. So what brings you to my domain?" Rottytops asked.
"Well, you're just the, well, zombie, I needed to see." Shantae said.
"Oh, why is that?" Rottytops said.
"People all over Scuttle Town have been disappearing. I think only 30-40% of the population is still around. The only clue I had is that they were coming through this part of Sequin Land." Shantae said.
"Hmmm… I see." Rottytops said. Of course, the zombie girl knew full well why these people were disappearing (due to her shrinking and subsequently eating them), but she wasn't about to spill the beans to someone as smart and clever as Shantae. That's why she wanted her brain the most.
"Oh? That sounds like big trouble. I can help you find them, Shantae… if you beat me in a race, of course!" Rottytops said.
"Rottytops. This is serious… innocent people may be in danger. This is no time to be thinking about another one of your foot races." Shantae said.
"Okay, okay, I understand. You have my word. Myself and the other zombies will start looking around for any clues." Rottytops said.
"Well, okay…" Shantae said.

However, before the two could continue their conversation, Shantae was the first to react to a faint voice calling for help.
"Help! Miss Shantae, please help me!" the male voice said.
"Huh? Did you hear that?" Shantae asked.
"Huh? Hear what?" Rottytops said.
"HELP ME!" the voice shouted, again very faintly.
"That… it sounds close by even though it sounds very faint." Shantae said. The two looked around until finally Shantae was the first to find the source of the voice. It was a tiny three-inch-tall man, tugging as hard as he could on Shantae's pants.
"What the…!?" Shantae shouted as she looked down on the man.
"Please, save me! That zombie girl was going to eat me!" the man shouted. Shantae then looked back at Rottytops.
“Rottytops, what’s going on? How did this man get so small?” Shantae said.
“Um, well… funny you should ask! There’s this experimental swamp water that’s going around. I’ve been warning people not to drink it, but…” Rottytops said, only to be interrupted by Shantae.
“Rottytops, I know this man. He lives and works in Scuttle Town. I need you to be honest… what happened?” Shantae said as she reached down and picked up the man. Rottytops knew there was no trying to get around Shantae, and so she reached into shorts pocket and pulled out the gem she has been using to shrink her victims.
“Alright, you got me. I used this gem that I found in the swamp water not too long ago. Its only power is making whatever I wish, except myself sadly, to be bigger or smaller.” Rottytops said.
“Wait, so that means…” Shantae said.
“Yep! All those people that have gone missing, I’ve been shrinking them. You gotta admit, that’s pretty fun to be much bigger than someone for a change. Abner Cadaver’s always teasing me about my height and…” Rottytops said, only to be interrupted by Shantae once more.
“Rottytops!! You can’t just go around shrinking innocent people from Scuttle Town! Why are you doing this!?” Shantae said.
“I told you, because it’s fun! And… so I can eat their brains more easily.” Rottytops said.

This made Shantae snap, almost to where she whipped her powerful hair towards the zombie girl.
“ROTTYTOPS! I demand you return these people back to their normal size now! Starting with this young man!" Shantae said as she showed the scared tiny man to Rottytops.
"Okay, okay! Don't lose your head! I had that happen to me one time." Rottytops said. Clutching the gem tightly with her hand, she secretly wishes for the man to return to his normal size. Once he starts growing, Shantae sets him down on the ground and the two watch as the man grows back to his original size.
"Alright, run home before I change my mind!" Rottytops said. The man did just that, sprinting his way past Shantae and eventually out of the swamp. Shantae now turned her attention towards anyone else shrunken that Rottytops was keeping.
"And now everyone else. I guess you're keeping them hostage at the caravan, right?" Shantae said.
"Well… not exactly. That one guy was lucky enough to escape my grasp. I swallowed everyone else." Rottytops said.
"You did what!? Why would you do that?" Shantae shouted.
"Why else? So I could feast on their braiiiiiiiiiins… I seriously need to get that fixed." Rottytops said, noting the extending she was giving to the word brains again.
"It's… it's not right, Rottytops! They were innocent people!" Shantae shouted.
"Hey, why should I care!? Human brains are not exactly easy to come by anymore, you know? But even then…" Rottytops said.
"What!?" Shantae said with a mean look and her hands on her hips.
"…now that I have the brain I crave the most standing right in front of me, I won't be doing any more shrinking!" Rottytops said, suddenly with a smile on her face. Shantae, at the same time, quickly changed to a worried look on her face once she realized what Rottytops meant by that.
"Uh oh…" Shantae said as she slowly backed away.
"Magic gem, I wish for Shantae to shrink to three inches tall!" Rottytops shouted with a smile on her face. Shantae turned around and tried to run away, but Rottytops watched with delight as the purple haired girl shrunk before her very eyes.

Even though Shantae ran, she knew quite well she was shrinking. She was quite familiar with the art of changing perspectives, having once had the power to enlarge herself temporarily. The marshy grounds of the swamp quickly closed in on her until she felt the shrinking stop. Shantae stopped running and gulped nervously.
"*gulp*" Shantae said as she turned around and watched the now giant Rottytops walk up towards her. She fell on her behind as Rottytops firmly planted one of her boots in front of the former half genie hero.
"Oh! My! Gosh! This is the coolest thing ever! The mighty Shantae smaller than an action figure!" Rottytops said.
"Rottytops, please! You don't need to do this!" Shantae shouted.
"Not when I can have the best brain of them all in my belly. Let's not waste any more time!" Rottytops said. She bent her knees as she reached down to try and grab the tiny Shantae.
"Not if you can't catch me!" Shantae said as she took off running just before Rottytops could wrap her hand around Shantae. But Rottytops was not flustered. Instead she had a smile on her face.
"Heehee, good! Please try and run for as long as you can! Makes it more fun for me!" Rottytops said as she slowly walked after the tiny Shantae.
Rottytops had no problem keeping up with the shrunken Shantae, and Shantae knew that too.
"She's playing games with me… I just have to evade her long enough until she gets bored or tired." Shantae said as she would occasionally turn around and see the zombie giantess walking towards her. But Rottytops wasn't interested in playing cat and mouse for long. She finally took a few mighty steps and was now directly in Shantae's path. Shantae came to a screeching halt before she could run into Rottytops' boots. Rottytops licked her drooling lips as she kneeled down to pick up the tiny Shantae.
"Come here my little half genie toy!" Rottytops said.
"Eeeeek!" Shantae screamed as she tried to get away again, only to have Rottytops wrap her hand around. Shantae watched helplessly as she was raised up in the air and looking right at Rottytops' huge face.
"Heeheeheehee… I feel so powerful holding onto you." Rottytops said.
"Y-y-you don't say?" Shantae said nervously.
"But now I have you just where I want you… into my mouth. Thanks for the brain, Shantae… I hope you won't take it personally!" Rottytops said. The zombie girl didn't waste any more time as she lowered Shantae into her open mouth.
"Noooooooo!!!" Shantae said as she felt herself falling down the dark pit that was the pathway to her stomach.

Shantae felt like she was falling for a long time when it was really only for about 15-30 seconds. When she finally felt like she landed on something spongy, but she couldn't tell at first because of how dark it initially was.
"Where… where am I?" Shantae asked.
"Look, there's Shantae!" a male voice suddenly said. When Shantae looked ahead, she saw a group of people all gathered around a couple of candle lights.
"Oh my gosh, that zombie girl got Shantae too?" another male voice said.
"Oh! You must be all the people that she's captured!" Shantae said.
"Yes! Yes we are! Thank goodness you're here to save us!" a male voice said.
"Huh? What do you mean save us? Don't you remember what happened not too long ago? She lost her genie powers!" a female voice said. Shantae, meanwhile, took the time to study her surroundings. She realized she (and the other surviving citizens) were standing on large particles of food, no doubt digested earlier by Rottytops. Those particles, however, were floating in a green slowly flowing river, which Shantae quickly determined to be stomach acid.

But it was high above these citizens, who had a range of emotions from scared and frightened to angry, that caught Shantae's eye.
"Huh? Floating platforms? It's like I'm in a video game…" Shantae said to herself. Indeed, a series of yellow platforms, the first of which was a bit too high for anybody to reach, were moving back and forth in random directions. And it looked like they were leading upwards. Where that was she couldn't tell because of how dark it was up there. Still, those platforms were enough to make Shantae stand up and say defiantly to her admirers…
"Don’t worry, everyone. I'm still Shantae, and no matter how tough things seem, I'll get us out of this!" Shantae said as she clenched both her hands into fists and prepared herself for her next challenge.

Shantae didn’t stop at any time to think about how these floating platforms came to be, because she knew they were her ticket to getting out of her dark and digestive prison. Shantae still had to make sure she timed her jumps correctly, otherwise she’d fall right into the stomach acid. On occasion, Shantae had to watch out for more falling people that came screaming in from above.
“Whoa… that was close! Rottytops must still be hungry for shrunken people and their brains.” Shantae said. As she continued to scale up the magical floating platforms, she realized she was slowly making her way back up Rottytops’ esophagus. She couldn’t help but notice how pink the walls looked.
"Wow… for a zombie girl, Rottytops sure has a healthy esophagus." Shantae said.

Finally, the shrunken heroine had made it back into Rottytops' mouth, hopping off the last of the platforms and onto the zombie girl's enormous tongue. Right away, she picked up the foul smell of bad breath.
"UGH! I know Rottytops never brushes her teeth but I didn't think it would be this bad!!!" Shantae said to herself. She did her best to fight off the smell, and for that matter sight, of her dangerous surroundings. While she thought of a way to escape, she watched as an intense burst of daylight came inside. That's when Shantae figured Rottytops was opening her mouth and tossing in another shrunken man, who Shantae had to sidestep to keep from getting hit by.
"Hahaha! This is too fun! Maybe I'll shrink and eat everyone on this planet and keep all their brains! In you go too, little cutie!" Rottytops said, as Shantae covered her ears from the loudness of the zombie girl's voice. In the meantime, Shantae realized Rottytops opening her mouth was her only way out.
"I've gotta time it just right!" Shantae said to herself as she waited as patiently as possible for Rottytops to open her mouth again. When she did that, Shantae ran as hard as she could on Rottytops' tongue, no easy feat given how slippery it was from being covered in rather gunky saliva, and made a leap. She made it through before Rottytops could close her teeth together again, but Shantae had one more problem.
"Uh oh…!" Shantae said to herself as she saw Rottytops rather large chest closing in.

After Rottytops gulped down her latest victim, that's when she felt something squirming between her breasts. It was Shantae as she was trying to wiggle her way through the cleavage. Rottytops couldn't help but be amused, but instead of reaching down and trying to pick off Shantae, she waited until Shantae has escaped from between the breasts. When she did, she felt herself falling down towards the giant zombie girl's shorts, only to suddenly watch as a giant hand came underneath and caught her. Shantae stood still as Rottytops moved her hand up towards her head.
"Hahaha! Oh, Shantae, you naughty naughty little girl!" Rottytops said.
"Um… what can I say? I'm always full of surprises!" Shantae said with an awkward smile on her face.
"I'll say! How did you even manage to get out of my stomach?" Rottytops said.
"Let's just say I'm still an expert at climbing and jumping." Shantae said.
"Oh well, it doesn't matter. I still have you in my clutches and I will still eat your brain. Although…" Rottytops said as she suddenly lowered her hand onto the ground, dropping Shantae in front of her boots.
"I better make sure you don't try to escape again." Rottytops said as she slowly raised her boot up high above the shrunken Shantae.
"Goodbye, Shantae. I'll kinda miss you…" Rottytops said.
"No, please!!!" Shantae said as she tried to beg for mercy, watching helplessly as the boot slowly came down closer and closer to crushing her.

But just then, there was a loud screech high up in the air. When Rottytops looked to see where the screech came from, she suddenly had to leap out of the way as a familiar giant bird came swooping in from above.
"Eeeeek! Don't eat me, giant bird!" Rottytops said. Shantae looked and saw the bird chasing after Rottytops, and she immediately recognized the creature.
"Oh! That's Wrench!" Shantae said. However, the shrunken girl stood still when she felt a loud thump behind her.
"Shantae!" a familiar female voice said. Shantae finally turned around, and that's when she saw one of her good friends towering over her, Sky.
"Sky!!!" Shantae shouted with happiness. She stood still as Sky reached down and picked up the shrunken girl and held her up to her face.
"Shantae, are you alright?" Sky said.
"Sky… oh, I'm so glad to see you! How did you know where to find me?" Shantae said.
"I'll explain later. We better get out of here first before Rottytops uses that gem on me and Wrench!" Sky said. She let out a loud whistle, and that's when Wrench stopped chasing Rottytops and approached her master. Sky, carefully clutching Shantae in her hands, hopped onto Wrench's back.
"Home, boy!" Sky shouted. Wrench flapped its wings and soared into the sky again, with Rottytops watching from the ground.
"Hey! Come back! Get your own teeny tiny Shantae!!!" Rottytops said, but the zombie girl sighed knowing there was nothing she could do.
"(sigh) I wanted to eat Shantae and have her brain…" Rottytops said, pouting over losing her precious shrunken Shantae. She wasn't thinking of anything else at the moment, not even with a few tiny stragglers (that had previously escaped from Rottytops before she could eat them) running about wildly.

Eventually, Sky and Wrench, along with the shrunken Shantae snuggled against Sky’s chest, made it back to their home turf, which of course was Oasis Town. Wrench landed just outside Sky’s home, and Sky walked inside quickly so nobody else in town would see the tiny Shantae (even though she was hidden well from view). Once Sky was inside, she set Shantae down on a nearby table, finally sitting down in front of the table.
“Sky… thank you soooooo much for rescuing me! I was so close to becoming zombie food.” Shantae said.
“Hey, anything for a life long friend.” Sky said.
“So, you were going to tell me how you found me, let alone so accurately given my size?” Shantae asked.
“I sensed the power of the gem that Rottytops was using. It’s an ancient gem my ancient ancestors once used generations ago. It was meant to shrink travelers and allow them to be more easily transported by our warbirds. It’s the same power that allows Wrench to switch between its different sizes.” Sky said.
“Wow! Fascinating! You didn’t tell me you possessed such a powerful treasure.” Shantae said.
“Well, my parents knew of the dangers that the gem would produce if someone evil or heartless were to possess it. That’s why they threw it out to sea where it was presumed lost forever.” Sky said.
“Oh… I see. And somehow it ended up in the swamp.” Shantae said.
“Yes. I don’t know how, but that doesn’t matter now. What’s more important is that Rottytops has the gem and is shrinking people against their will.” Sky said.
“But reversing it is no problem, right? All we have to do is get the gem back from Rottytops and wish on its power to grow me back to normal.” Shantae said, able to recall exactly how the gem worked after Rottytops demonstrated it to her.
“Well, that’s easier said than done. You’ve seen how easy it is to use the gem… Rottytops could very easily use the gem on us before we even think of a plan!” Sky said.
“Well, yes, but we have to do something! I don’t want to stay this tiny forever!" Shantae said as she folded her arms looking frustrated.
"If only there were some way to convince Rottytops what she's doing is wrong…" Sky said.
Only a few seconds later, an idea runs through Shantae's mind and she snaps her fingers.
"Hey, I got it! I just have to get inside her head and talk her into growing me and the others back to normal with the gem." Shantae said.
"Okay… but how are you going to do that? And what about all those people that Rottytops has already eaten?" Sky asked.
"Well, I know it's going to sound crazy, but…" Shantae said. She walked closer to the edge of the table, standing close to one of Sky's resting hands, and carefully explaining her strategy to Sky. Sky still didn't feel comfortable with the plan, but it was probably the only chance of getting the gem back from Rottytops and setting things right.

Later, back at the swamp, Rottytops was still feeling a bit depressed over losing the shrunken Shantae. She sat quietly on a stump, staring at the gem.
"(sigh) If only there was a way to make myself giant with this thing. I'd march over to Oasis Town and give that bird girl what for!" Rottytops said. Suddenly, she heard the same loud screech from earlier, and she ducked thinking she was going to get hit again. Instead, she heard the sounds of footprints landing on the ground. She looked out in front and saw Wrench landing on the ground. Sky hopped off Wrench's back, and Wrench shrunk himself down to a smaller size and perched itself on one of Sky's shoulders.
"Hello, Rottytops. Did you miss me?" Sky said.
"Ugh… can't you tame that wild beast of a bird or something? That screech gives me the creeps!" Rottytops said.
"Wrench is a loyal and faithful companion, much more than I can say for your fellow zombie brothers." Sky said.
"HEY! I resent that remark! But never mind that. Where is Shantae?" Rottytops said.
"She's safe and sound back at my home. I've come back to reclaim that gem." Sky said.
"Oh no! I don't think so! This gem is all mine! I found it first! In fact, why don't you try and get it from me? I'll even give you a free 60 seconds before I use its power." Rottytops said.
"Pfffft… your threat of shrinking doesn't scare me, Rottytops. I could beat you no matter what size I'm at." Sky said.
"Huh? Even in a footrace?" Rottytops asked.
"Even in a footrace." Sky said.
"HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! OH! OHOHOHOH!!! That's so rich! So funny! I'm surprised you haven't joined the Scuttle Town Comedy Club!" Rottytops said.
"Glad you approve of that joke. I had to slap Bolo silly to get him to laugh." Sky said, again with a confident smile.
"Alright then, forget the 60 second limit! I'll make you as tiny as your friend and then eat you and your brain!" Rottytops said as she clutched the gem tightly.

She started to chant out her wish to shrink Sky just like Shantae and the others earlier.
"Oh great and powerful magic gem, I wish to shrink…"
"Wrench, go!" Sky suddenly shouted. With rocket speed, Wrench hopped off Sky's shoulder and zoomed its way towards Rottytops. Rottytops was taken aback by the incredible speed in which the bird was flying. The zombie girl had no chance to get out of the way and Wrench crashed into her head… knocking it completely off her body. The head landed on the ground as the rest of Rottytops' body wandered about almost aimlessly. Rottytops immediately knew what had happened judging by her perspective.
"D'oh! Not again! Why is it I'm always losing my head!?" Rottytops shouted. The zombie girl then started whistling.
"Here, body! Here, girl! Over here!" Rottytops said. The rest of Rottytops continued to wander around as it tried to find her head. While this was going on, Sky implemented phase 2 of the plan she and Shantae discussed. She gently reached into her hair and pulled the shrunken Shantae out.
"Okay, Shantae, you're up." Sky said.
"Good work, Sky!" Shantae said. Sky lowered her shrunken friend down to the ground.
"Once again, Shantae. Please be careful." Sky said.
"Don't worry about me. It'll be like exploring the insides of a whale." Shantae said as she winked her eyes up at her giant friend. Shantae took a deep breath and started running towards Rottytops' head, watching to make sure the rest of her body didn't come close to crushing her.
Finally, Shantae made it to the opening underneath Rottytops' neck and climbed in. Already she was being succumbed to slimy, mucus like fluids as she navigated her way inside the zombie girl's head.
"Ugh… I bet surgeons all over the world are jealous of me right now." Shantae said to herself.

Sky breathed a sigh of relief when she saw Shantae go inside Rottytops' head. Now it was a matter of hoping Shantae would do phase 3 of the plan before Rottytops could get her head back on and attack Sky. It would have to be right now as Rottytops finally tracked her own head down and picked it up.
"Whew… that's better. It's great that I'm undead and can live even without arms, legs, AND a head, but that's still no fun." Rottytops said.
"You should be so lucky. I'd probably have done much worse if you were alive." Sky said.
"Well, never mind that! It's time I add you to my collection of shrunken people and eaten brains! Maybe I'll shrink you so small even Shantae will look hundreds of…" Rottytops said.
But before Rottytops could do anything else, she suddenly couldn't move.
"Wha… what the!? What's going on!?" Rottytops said. She also watched as the hand holding the gem opened up, allowing it to fall to the ground. Wrench flew to the ground and scooped up the gem into its mouth, flying back to Sky and dropping the gem onto his master's open hand.
"Good job, Wrench!" Sky shouted.
"No! My gem! Why can't I move anymore!?" Rottytops shouted.
"I'll tell you why, Rottytops. Shantae is now inside your brain. When Wrench knocked your head off, Shantae managed to get inside your head and make it into your brain. She's now controlling your every move!" Sky said.
"Wha… What!? How is that possible!?" Rottytops said.

Indeed, inside Rottytops' brain, Shantae did her best to hook her hands and feet up to the many, many neurons inside. For a zombie girl's brain, Shantae thought, it was every bit as elaborate as a human brain.
"Maybe this is why she likes human brains so much." Shantae said. Nevertheless, she paid very careful attention to the outside world, listening for aural cues from Sky. At the same time, she concentrated hard to make sure she stayed in control of Rottytops and the actions she would take.

And that first such action saw Rottytops getting down on her knees and then reaching up and grabbing her head.
"What? Oh no no no no… anything but taking my head off!" Rottytops pleaded, but the zombie girl soon found herself beheaded again, watching as her body fell front first onto the ground.
"Everyone, come out quick!" Sky shouted towards the opening in Rottytops' body. A few seconds later, perhaps miraculously despite the fact really anything is possible in Sequin Land, a throng of shrunken people came running out of the zombie girl.
"No, wait! Please don't leave! I was going to let you out anyway! Honest!" Rottytops shouted, watching helplessly as the people ran away. She tried hard to get them back, but she still laid motionless with her head firmly in her own two hands and was unable to move thanks to Shantae being in control.
Suddenly remembering she had the size changing gem in her possession, Sky wished upon it to return the shrunken people, one by one as they ran by her, back to their normal sizes.
"Run, everyone! Get back to your homes as quickly as you can!" Sky said.
A couple minutes passed, and no more people could be seen running out from inside Rottytops, which made Sky believe everyone that was still alive was safely out.
"Okay, Shantae! You can come out now!" Sky said. As she shouted that, she suddenly had a very funny idea, one that would include returning Shantae to her normal size and make sure for a little while that Rottytops would not cause any kind of trouble.
"Great magic gem, I wish for Rottytops head and ONLY her head, to be 20 times bigger than normal!" Sky shouted. As Rottytops felt control of her body being returned, causing her to drop her head onto the ground, she started to control the rest of her body as best as she could to allow it to reattach her head. But then she watched the perspective change, even with a sideways view of the world as a result of the way her head was laying.
"Huh? Wait… what's going on now? Why do I feel like I'm going up?" Rottytops said. As per the gem's wish, Rottytops' head was expanding, and at a very VERY fast pace. It was only about 15-20 seconds before it was indeed 20 times its normal size, far too big to fit onto her normal-sized body.

Finally, not too long after that growth spurt was done, Shantae re-emerged from inside Rottytops' head, and at her normal size too. Though she didn't know it just yet. She ran from Rottytops' head to make sure the zombie girl wouldn't try and grab her again, and that's when she noticed Sky at nearly the same size as her. Initially, she thought the worst.
"(gasp) Sky! Don't tell me Rottytops managed to shrink you too…" Shantae said.
"No no, you're just back to normal now." Sky said with a smile.
"Huh? That quickly, eh? I guess you've got that gem mastered." Shantae said.
"You might say that. Take a look behind you." Sky said. Shantae did just that and got her first glimpse at Rottytops' normal-sized body and her gigantic head.
"Whoa!!" Shantae shouted.
"As you can plainly see, I decided to enlarge just Rottytops' head. That way you'd not only return to your normal size, but this will make sure Rottytops doesn't cause any trouble for at least 48 hours, when the spell naturally wears off." Sky said. Rottytops heard the conversation and now came to grasp over what had happened to her.
"Waaaaaaah!!! This isn't fair! Please change me back!!!" Rottytops yelled.
"Hahahaha! I like it! It suits you well, Rottytops!" Shantae said as she couldn't help but laugh (as did Sky) over what they were seeing.
"Ugh… yeah, yeah. Go ahead and laugh now, but when I'm back to normal, I'll get your braiiiiiiiiiin no matter what!" Rottytops said.
"Well, come on, Shantae. We should get back to Oasis Town now." Sky said.
"You're right, and make sure everyone who was captured there made it back safe and sound. I'll do the same thing myself for Scuttle Town." Shantae said. Rottytops could only watch as the two ladies walked away, leaving her to just lay around with a head far too big to put on her shoulders for now. She did, however, find one lone bright spot regarding the matter.
"(sigh) Then again, maybe my giant noggin alone will be enough to scare wandering travelers out of my swamp. Hehehehehe! That'll be fun!" Rottytops said as she waited for such travelers to eventually come walking by.

As for Sky and Shantae, they flew back to Oasis Town courtesy of Wrench. Before Sky could walk back inside her home, she and Shantae had a quick conversation.
"Wow! It sure is great to be back to my good ol' normal size. I'll never take my normal size for granted ever again after going through an ordeal like that." Shantae said.
"I don't know. I liked it when you were gigantic. You know, when you had that dance to temporarily enlarge you." Sky said.
"Oh yeah, that was pretty cool! I do miss that dance… along with all my dances and genie powers." Shantae said.
"There there. You've done quite well, in my opinion, adjusting to your new lifestyle. But what am I going to do with this gem?" Sky said.
"Oh?" Shantae said.
"I'm with my ancestors in that this gem needs to go far, far away. Throwing it in the ocean clearly isn't going to cut it after Rottytops had luck finding it in her swamp." Sky said.
"Sky, Sky. You want to know the easiest way to get rid of something so small and yet so dangerous?" Shantae said.
"Oh? What's that?" Sky asked. She gently took the gem from Sky's hands and placed it on the ground right in front of her shoes. In seemingly a split second, Shantae raised her foot up and then brought it down with great speed and force onto the gem, shattering it into about a hundred pieces that scattered all over the front lawn of Sky's home.
"Heh, that's what I like about you, Shantae. Always coming up with a quick solution." Sky said.
"Oh come on, I'm sure anyone else would've done the same thing." Shantae said.
"So how are we going to clean this mess up?" Sky asked.
"Er… you got a sweeper and dustpan?" Shantae said.

Both ladies gave a quick laugh as they went inside Sky's home to get the tools they needed to clean up the mess.