Chapter 3: United Divided
At Beanbean Castle…
Princess Peach, alongside her Mushroom representatives, Toadsworth and Toad, sat across the table from Queen Bean, clutching a pen, with the peace treaty in front of her. “Just sign here, and here,” said Queen Bean, “and our kingdoms will forever be allies!”
Peach raised the pen to sign, but the castle started to rumble and shake. Soon, the noise of a spinning helicopter blade could be heard clearly. “I know that sound!” piped up Peach, “It's-”
Before Peach could finish, Bowser and his Clown Copter burst through the stained-glass window, and nabbed Peach. “Mwahaha! You didn’t seriously think that I wouldn’t make an appearance in this story, did you?” said Bowser. “That’s madness! Anyway, I have devised the ultimate plan, and it involves you, Princess!” he said, pointing to Peach.
“Oh no…” Peach said lethargically. “Bowser has captured me. Again.”
Bowser flew off with the princess prisoner, but Queen Bean had a plan of her own. Queen Bean took out a walkie-talkie and said into it, “Peasley! The princess has been kidnapped! Again! We need you!”
“I’m on it!” replied Prince Peasley. “Peasley, out!” Prince Peasley came out of his chamber and gave chase to Bowser on his flying bean thing.
Back on the Dark Road…
Cackletta and her sisters glared at the Marios' misfit party. “These are the famed Mario Brothers?” exclaimed Laughletta.
“HA! It’s just a couple mustachioed plumbers!” yelled Chuckletta.
“Honestly Sister,” began Oholetta.
“These things couldn’t be the pair that beat you,” finished Hoholetta. (Oholetta and Hoholetta are twins, so they often share sentences.)
“They’re tougher than they look. Come on, little Mario! Show us your skill!” said Cackletta, in a tone as if she was talking to a dog.
Rage swelled up in Mario. He dashed at Cackletta, and jumped up in the air to perform a super jump, but Cackletta fired a bolt of lightning at him before he could finish. “Mario!” yelled Luigi to his unconscious brother. “Take this, witch!”
Luigi charged his Thunderhand. Cackletta tried to shock Luigi with the same move, but Luigi skillfully absorbed it with his own shocking attack. He jumped and prepared to fire, but Cackletta swatted him to the side like some cheap doll. Lakilan, weak though he was, acted bravely and launched a Spiny shower, but the spiked projectiles simply bounced right off the sorceress. Lakilan met the same fate as his companions.
Our heroes all lay face down on the Dark Road, all defeated by the mighty Cackletta. “I… won? I defeated the Mario Brothers? Eeheehee! Eyehahaha! EYAHAHAHA!” Cackletta’s laughs could be heard throughout the land.
Geno, with his last ounce of energy, stood up to face Cackletta. “My my, what a persistent little doll!” said the witch. “Well, I’ll take care of that!” Cackletta swatted Geno clear off the Star Road. The doll began to plummet to the ground. Cackletta, satisfied by her work, thought of further torture for her prey.
“I say we feed them to Goombas!” suggested Chuckletta.
“That won’t do!” said Oholetta.
“Let’s throw them in a lava pit!” finished her twin.
“You’re all wrong!” said Cackletta. “No, the best way to do this, is to send them to that god forsaken hole of a dimension that we were forced to go to when we failed!”
“That sounds fine to me,” agreed Laughletta.
“So be it!” Cackletta said as she raised the Super Nova. It’s aura expanded, so that its evil red glow could be seen for miles around. Suddenly, the area where Mario and Co were laying turned into some sort of goop like quicksand. The black liquid sucked them all in until they could not be seen. It seemed as though Cackletta had fulfilled her evil desire. “Now, we must inform the world of our victory!” yelled Cackletta in triumph.
At Star Haven…
The seven Star Spirits gazed woefully at the scene before them. The world's greatest heroes, defeated. Not only that, but the Star Spirits had even lost their ability to grant wishes. Yes, the Star Rod was intact, but when Cackletta contaminated the Super Nova with her evil desires, it disrupted the whole process. You see, the Super Nova, even when it was way out of reach, sent good energy that helped the spirits grant wishes. But since it was now in the hands of Cackletta, it sent out evil energy that was so powerful, not even the Star Rod could counter it. And so, they continued to stare glumly at the fallen heroes. Until of course, Eldstar got an idea.
“Maybe,” the elderly star began, “maybe, if the Mario Brothers can find the Anti Nova Prophecy-”
“Then we can work together to drain the Super Nova’s power!” finished Mamar.
“At least counter it!” agreed Klevar.
“Oh, but the Mario Brothers are trapped in that dark dimension!” added Muskular.
“Drat! We can’t reach him there! Only Geno can save them, but he’s near death!” said Eldstar.
“And our magic can’t reach into such an evil place as that!” exclaimed Skolar.
“You know, we could send Twink to help,” suggested Misstar.
“He’s too young yet!” said Eldstar. “His powers are not yet developed!”
“But he’s our only chance,” added Mamar.
“Oh, fine. TWINK!” Eldstar yelled. Twink’s theme randomly started playing, and the little star appeared before the Spirits. “Twink,” began Eldstar, “we need you to aid Geno in freeing the Mario Brothers and Lakilan from their dark prison.”
“Me? You are really entrusting me?!”
yelled an excited Twink. The star nodded, and Twink swelled with joy. “Don’t
worry Mister Eldstar, Sir! I won’t let you down!” With that, Twink flew
off to aid Geno.
When we last left our doll friend, he was careening off the edge of the Dark Road barely clinging to life. Well, not much has changed since then, because Geno was still falling to his demise, quite ironic really, but it puts it into perspective how high the Dark Road really is. Anyway, when Twink found Geno, plunging ever faster toward the ground, he quickly used his power to slow Geno down.
Eventually, Twink had lowered the doll softly onto the earth. Twink smiled at Geno and went to work on his healing spell, Refresh, taught to him by the esteemed Eldstar. Geno opened his eyes, and began to blink. At this point, it was night and Geno sat up with a start. The first thing he saw when he awoke was Twink, hovering over him with a brilliant grin. “Oh bless the Star Spirits! You’re awake!” squeaked Twink.
“He-hey! Who are you? And where am I?” Geno said as he inspected his surroundings.
“My name is Twink!” said the little star. “And I’ve been sent by the Star Spirits to help you find Mario!”
“Mario…” Geno muttered. He than remembered the group being sucked into that vile black goop, into the dark void. “But how?” he blurted. “I’m sure that monster has him under lock and key, o-or something!” he said frantically.
Twink’s bright smile was replaced with a somber frown, “He is stuck in a horrible place called The Void. It was a dimension made for the sole purpose of imprisoning evil. In there, you have nothing but your ability to feel sad, as there is no happiness to be spared for the evil.”
“But Mario’s not evil! No good guys like them deserve to be in such a horrible place! But what can we do to help them?” wondered Geno.
“Well, I know of a sorceror in Toad Town named Merlon, who may be able to help us,” suggested Twink.
Geno loved Twink’s unbridled optimism, and so the two set off. “To Merlon!” they said together.
Let’s check back with Prince Peasley…
Prince Peasley had thought the most likely place that Bowser would go after kidnapping the princess was, obviously, his own castle. Peasley infiltrated the fortress, sword drawn, ready to fight for the princess. When the prince entered Bowser’s throne room, Bowser was sitting casually on his thrown, staring at the door, as if waiting for Prince Peasley. “To what do I owe this unfortunate run in?” asked Bowser with a smug grin on his face.
“Ha, you don’t fool me, fiend! Every one of the Beanbean representatives saw you capture the princess in full sight!” bellowed Peasley.
“You know, I had her on my schedule this week, but I decided to go golfing instead. So buzz of and sign some autographs or something.”
“I’ll have you know that my next autograph signing is- hey! That’s not the point! Just give up the princess,” Peasley waved his sword in front of his face, “or prepare to taste my blade!”
“Now think it over here before you start pointing swords!” began Bowser. “Honestly, you can even check out my Clown Copter. It’s gathering dust!”
Peasley inspected the entire castle and found that Bowser’s story checked out. He then formed two possibilities: either he was telling the truth, or he got really smart all of a sudden and was forming a devious plan. Peasley wasn’t really willing to bet on the second one, so he let Bowser be.
“Now, my one question is, who is the fake Bowser, and what is he doin’ with Peach?” wondered Bowser out loud. Just then, a loud noise was heard, and the castle began to quake and tremble. When the quake stopped, Bowser looked out of a telescope out his window, to see if he could find the cause of the disturbance. “Yo, Peasley,” he said, “what can you make of this?”
Prince Peasley looked out, and gasped, “My goodness! Why it seems that a giant citadel is rising out of the ground towards the Star Road!”
“My money says that my clone buddy is somewhere over there!” said Bowser.
“Yes, it seems as if I must go there
to rescue the princess.” replied Peasley. Just then, they looked at each
other, puzzled. Peasley sighed, and held out his hand. Bowser took it,
and Peasley’s duo set out to inspect the ruckus.
Now, I believe to sticking by my word, or in this case, my character’s word. You may recall Popple specifically saying “I’ll be back!” so obviously, the thief has to make some sort of appearance. It just so happens, that Popple and Croco’s most significant appearance is now.
You see, when Popple and Croco left Peach’s Castle, they immediately made their way to their hideout in Teehee Valley. Now, about a year or so ago, after the Marios had beat Cackletta’s Spirit, Popple went to his Teehee Valley hideout to do some planning for the future. His plan was to connect every thief on Plit by a series of tunnels and caves called The Thieves Network. He set to work, branching many caves and tunnels off of his own, so hidden hideouts for robbers would be far and wide. It was then that he met Croco, who had stumbled upon one of Popple’s caves and ultimately stumbled upon Popple. The two joined forces to construct this web of tunnels, gathering more and more members to help. Eventually, Popple’s dream was realized, and The Thieves Network was constructed. After the grand opening in Popple’s cavern, Popple adopted Croco as his rookie, and their dysfunctional friendship began.
Anyway, as Popple got back to his cave, one of the other members rushed to his side via one of the convenient tunnels and said, “Master Popple! A large castle has risen out of the sky and destroyed the Star Road! My clan wished that the esteemed Master Popple receive this information before anyone else!”
Croco grumbled in a corner, and Popple said, “Very well. See to it that your gang member gives you a raise, and be gone.” Once the messenger left the cave, Popple burst with joy. “Woohoo! I bet a huge castle like that would have tons of treasure for the takin’! Let’s go, Rookie!”
“I’M NOT YOUR ROOKIE!” yelled Croco at Popple, who was dashing down a tunnel.
“No time, Rookie! Just come on!” With that, Croco angrily followed.
Back at Castle Cackletta…
“Fawful? Is the equipment ready for broadcast?” said Cackletta, who was at the highest tower with her sisters.
“The equipment is of readyingness! Now, the hotdog of your desires can be complete, this broadcast being the sweet relish on that hotdog!” replied Fawful.
“Fine, role the tape!” Cackletta commanded. The camera went on, and every Mushroom Kingdom TV turned on to the hideous image of Cackletta. “Greetings Mushroom Kingdom inhabitants!” began Cackletta. “My name is Cackletta, Queen of Evil, Sorceress of Darkness, and now…” Cackletta took out the Nova, “the Almighty Wielder of the Super Nova! Now, you will bow down to me as your lord, or suffer the fate of say… that village!”
Cackletta pointed at an innocent Mushroom town below the Star Road. Fawful turned the camera so that he could see Cackletta and the town. Just then, Cackletta charged a beam of darkness, as laughed her sickening cackle. She fired her dark beam at the little village, and in a split second there was no sign of life, just a huge crater.
“Now peons, bow! Bow down, or suffer my wrath! EYAHAHAHAHA!” The camera turned off, and it seemed as if everyone in the Mushroom Kingdom was silent. Cackletta, satisfied with her evil accomplishment, returned to her throne room.
Soon, Fawful came running in. “Cackletta, you are of having a guest!” he said.
Just then, what seemed to be Bowser and Peach walked in. Cackletta took out a remote and pressed a button, and the Android Bowser dropped Peach in front of Cackletta, who was smiling menacingly. “Hello Princess!” she said. “I hope you enjoy your stay at my wonderful castle!”
“What do you want, you witch?! I’m not telling you anything!” screamed Peach.
“Oh, I don’t need you to tell me anything, my dear,” said Cackletta in her sinister drawl. “As you may have seen, I wield in my possession the most powerful tool imaginable. I used it to build this castle, make Android Bowser here, and even destroy that little village outside.” Peach looked down, and was filled with tears to see a large crater where a Mushroom town used to be. “Anyway, you may think such power is unbeatable, however, I have done much research and found that I have one fatal weakness. Fortunately for me, there is a way to cancel out that weakness if you will, and that is…” Cackletta held up the Nova, “to suck the very soul out of the princess’ body! EYAHAHAHA!”
Tears streamed down Peach’s face as she called “MARIO!!!” but to no avail.
“So enjoy your last few nights! There’s
no place like Castle Cackletta! EYAHAHAHA!”
During the time of the explosion, Popple and Croco were quite close to the actual village. Both of the thieves were startled by the explosion, but even more so was a certain familiar face that happened to be in the area. “AHHHHH! HELP ME!” yelled Jr. Troopa as he ran onto the scene. Upon seeing Popple and Croco, he stopped in his tracks and said, “Yo! This is my territory, and if ya don’t get off I’m really gonna ruff ya up!”
Popple and Croco could not suppress their laughter, making Jr. Troopa even angrier. “C’mon! You gonna fight or are you gonna stand there?! Put up your dukes!” Popple stopped his laughter for just a second, and bent down to speak with Jr. Troopa. When Popple got close enough, the little guy socked Popple hard in the jaw. Popple rubbed his bruise, and began whispering to Croco.
“Ok,” Popple began, “my Rookie accepts your challenge! But, on one condition!”
“State your terms!” yelled Jr. Troopa.
“Ok, if you win, we’ll leave your territory and never come back. But, if Croco here wins, you have to be my new Rookie, and Croco can graduate to my Sidekick!”
Jr. Troopa thought it over and said, “I likes them odds!” he said. “Now let’s go!”
Croco stepped up to face Jr. Troopa, confidence showing on his face. But when Jr. Troopa sprouted wings and took to the air, that confidence wore off somewhat. Croco jumped up and tried to hit Jr. Troopa but missed, leaving him open for an attack. Jr. Troopa took that opportunity, and punched Croco hard to the ground. Jr. Troopa then relinquished his wing power and dived at Croco, fist outstretched. The little egg dude hit him hard in the chin and sent him flying into a tree.
It seemed as if Croco had been defeated, but just then, Jr. Troopa heard a chuckle from the seemingly battered Croco. What followed all happened in a split second; Croco, on the ground, reached into his bag and grabbed a Bob-omb. He then whipped around and hurled it at his opponent. The explosion took Jr. Troopa completely by surprise, and Croco emerged the unexpected victor.
Popple was clapping while leaning against a tree, “Nice moves!” he said as Jr. Troopa composed himself.
“He cheated! I would have won!” cried Jr. Troopa.
“Look my friend,” began Popple, “you’re
a thief now. That’s just what thieves do. Don’t worry though; you’ll learn
all this stuff as my Rookie!” Jr. Troopa grumbled and accepted his fate.
And so, the Thieving Three, as they were soon to be called, departed onward
to the unexpected dangers ahead.
Geno and Twink, Peasley and Bowser, Popple, Croco, and Jr. Troopa, and the Mario Bros and Lakilan (Lotta ands, huh?) now all lead separate but intertwined adventures. Can Geno and Twink find a way to convince Merlon to help them? What will Peasley and Bowser find at their arrival at Castle Cackletta? Can Popple train Jr. Troopa to be loyal to him? And if so, can they steal anything anyway? And just what fiendish things does Cackletta have in store? All these questions and more will be answered next time on Mario and Luigi 1.5: The Super Nova Prophecy!
To Be Continued...
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