The Search for Darkness

By Dark Koopa

Before Larry could begin his quest to find the Crystal Stars, he had to find a party willing to help him for no pay. He tried to find a willing Koopatrol first, but to no avail. Then he tried Magikoopa. Again, no luck. Hammer Brother. Ditto.

"Why doesn't anyone want to help me?" Larry groaned. "I'm only putting their lives in danger for no apparent reason."

Pretty much giving up hope, Larry went to the Goomba chambers of Castle Koopa. He knew he wouldn't get a decent party member out of this group, even if someone accepted his offer of nothing, but he was desperate.

"Who here is the strongest Goomba?"

A Goomba with a black hat stepped forward. There was a sword at his side, but Larry didn't have a clue of how he was carrying it.

"I'm the leader of King Koopa's Goomba squadron," the Goomba said.

"Cool, what's your name?"

"Jack," the Goomba responded.

"Hmm, Jack, how would you like to help me find some Crystal Stars?" Larry asked.

"Crystal Stars?" the Goomba wondered. "I am unsure of what those are, but a quest like this sounds perfect for improving my skills."

"So, are you in?" Larry asked.


"YES!" Larry exclaimed, "Erm, I mean great. Now I just need one more person and we can go."

"Have you talked to Regal Cannon?" Jack asked.


"He's a Bob-omb," Jack said. "A pretty tough one too. I'm sure he can help."

"Where can I find this Regal Cannon?" Larry wondered.

"I believe he can be found somewhere in Fahr Outpost," Jack answered.

"Good," Larry said, "then we shall go there."

And with that, Larry and Jack began to head towards Fahr Outpost to find Regal Cannon.


Pura began to enter Grodus's chambers, now back in the X-Naut base. Lord Crump stayed outside the door and listened, still complaining over the fact that he didn't get to present the Emerald Star. Pura walked up to Grodus and kneeled before him.

"This is for you, Sir Grodus," she said, presenting the Crystal Star.

Grodus's eyes shined in the reflection of the Crystal Star. "Excellent work, Pura. I knew you were right for the job."

"Thank you, Sire," Pura said, still kneeling.

"Crump wasn't too much of a pain for you to bring along, was he?" Grodus asked jokingly.

"No, Sir," Pura responded. Not too far off, some grumbling could be heard.

"Very good," Grodus said, placing the Emerald Star on a pedestool. "You may take the rest of the day off. I will have another assignment for you in the morning."

"Thank you," Pura said again, walking towards the exit of Grodus's chamber.

"One down, six to go," Grodus said to himself as Pura left. "Yes, then that wretched demon will truly be under my control, with help from that Yoshi."

"This is so unfair..." Lord Crump whined as Pura exited.

"Shut up."

"It's not though," Crump continued to complain. "Grodus gives you all the rewards, all the money, all the power. Why does he like you so much?"

"Don't know. Don't care," Pura simply said.

"He even gave you the power of first in-command, and almost immediately after you joined up with us!" Crump exclaimed.

Pura ignored him and walked into her room, locking the door so Crump couldn't enter.

"Well, fine!" Crump shouted. "I have better things to do than worry about why Grodus likes you!"

Lord Crump stomped off, wondering nothing but why Grodus treated Pura so nicely. Now in her room, Pura got into her bed and quickly fell asleep. While asleep, Pura had a dream, but it seemed more like a vision. In it, she was on what appeared to be a roller coaster. Sitting next to her was that same blue cat that she saw in her previous vision. They were riding the roller coaster together, having a good time. As the roller coaster ride ended, Pura was awakened by a knock at her door. She had completely forgotten the dream as she woke up, and simply went to answer her door. It was Lord Crump.

"What is it?!" Pura demanded.

"Grodus has our next assignment ready," Crump answered.

"Oh, all right." Pura followed Crump to Grodus's chambers.

"Good to see you two here," Grodus greeted them as they entered. "We've found another Crystal Star."

"Where's this one?" Crump asked.

"This one appears to be in Rogueport, just like the one we found a long time ago."

"If you've found this one before, why haven't you been able to find this one sooner this time around?" Pura

"It's not the same Crystal Star as last time," Grodus answered. "I know it seems odd, but a different Crystal Star is there. I believe it is the Garnet Star."

"We shall retrieve it," Pura assured.

"Good, you may go now," Grodus said.

"Yes, Sire." Pura and Crump answered. They left the chambers, preparing to head to Rogueport.


"Maaaan, it is COLD here!" Larry pointed out the obvious.

"Well, this is Fahr Outpost," Jack informed. "It's one of the coldest places in existance."

"Whatever, let's just find this Regal Cannon so we can leave."

Larry and Jack began to walk through the snow. They spotted a few Frost Piranhas, none of which attacked them since they were loyal to Bowser. Soon, they had reached a town-like area full of Bob-ombs.

"We're here!" Jack announced.

A Bob-omb greeted them. "Welcome to Fahr Outpost! BOMB!"

"Yeah yeah, whatever. I HATE this place!" Larry complained, "Now where can we find a Bob-omb named Regal Cannon?"

"He lives BOMB right there." The Bob-omb showed them in the direction and Larry quickly ran to it and went inside.

"Hey! There's nobody here!" Larry shouted.

"He may have gone to Keelhaul Key. BOMB!"

"You've got to be kidding me..." Larry said, very annoyed.

"Well, we should get going then," Jack suggested.

"Fine," Larry said, walking off. Jack soon followed, as they headed for Keelhaul Key.


"Yup, this is Rogueport all right," Lord Crump said.

"I already knew that, you twit!" Pura snapped.

"Can't you show a little decency around me?" Crump asked.

"No," Pura simply said.


This time there were no X-Nauts with them. Grodus was confident they could do it alone. As they began to walk through the town, they could hear gunshots. Soon after, a Dark Craw ran by them.

"And dat's what you get for messin' wit da Don!" they could hear someone shout.

"Who was that?" Crump asked.

"No one of our concern," Pura responded, as she continued to walk. After a while, she asked, "Do we even know where it is in this town?"

"Grodus never specified," Crump answered.

"Great..." Pura said to herself, and then aloud, "Well, perhaps Frankie Pianta would know."

"Where is he?" Crump asked.

"Just follow me."

Pura walked to the west side of Rogueport and entered the shop.

"How can I help you?" a Boo asked.

"I need a Dried Shroom and a Dizzy Dial," Pura ordered.

"What's your favorite color?" the Boo asked.


"So you're here to see Don Pianta?" the Boo wondered.

"Correct," Pura answered.

The Boo opened the back door of the shop, allowing Pura and Crump to enter.

"How did you know that?" Crump asked.

"I've been here many times before," Pura responded as she began to walk up a flight of stairs and entered a building.

"Who dis be?" a voice asked.

"I think the better question is: Who are you?" Pura asked.

"I'm da Don," the orange Pianta responded. "Now tell me who you are."

"I believe dat's that Pura girl who used to come here all da time to see Frankie," a yellow Pianta said.

"What's going on?" Crump wondered.

"What happened to Frankie?!" Pura demanded.

"He quit. I guess dis business wasn't good enough for him," the orange Pianta responded. "I'm Don Jr, also known as the orignal Don Pianta's grandson."

"But you're so young..." Crump observed. "You appear to be about Pura's age."

"Frankie quit early. He gave da job to me," Don Jr. answered. "Now what are yous two here for?"

"We're looking for a Crystal Star," Pura answered.

"You mean dis?" the Don asked, holding out the Garnet Star.

Pura's eyes widened a bit upon seeing it. "Yes, that. We need that."

"Too bad!" Don quickly said. "Dis is mine. I'm not giving it to some stranger."

Pura had little patience left. "Fine, then I guess we'll have to take it from you by force!"

"Buh huh huh huh!" Crump laughed. "You'd better listen to her. Us X-Nauts are a nasty bunch."

"You dare threaten da Don?!" Don Jr. shouted. "Boys, remove dees two from my sight."

The two yellow Piantas stepped forward. "I'm really sorry about dis Miss Pura," one of them said as they approached Pura.

"Do you two really think you can beat me?" Pura laughed.

One of the yellow Piantas picked up the other and threw him at Pura. He looked like a missle as he speared Pura right in the gut. The attack knocked the wind out of Pura, and she fell to the floor unconscious.

"Do you want da same thing to happen to you?" the Don asked Crump.

"No!" Crump quickly decided.


Crump picked up Pura and quickly ran out of the office and all the way out of Rogueport to the outskirts of town.

"Pura? Wake up!" Crump shouted, after placing her down.

Pura slowly opened her eyes and saw Crump staring down at her. She quickly jumped back.

"What?" Crump wondered.

"The last thing I want to see when I wake up is you!" Pura shouted.

"That's the last favor I do for you..." Crump mumbled.

"Um, what happened?" Pura asked. "Weren't we in Don Pianta's office?"

"Um, we were..." Crump said slowly, "until those two Piantas took you out."

"What?" Pura asked, surprised. "Fool, are you telling me that I was beaten up a couple of Piantas?!"

"Yes," Crump said quietly.

"Ugh, that's disgraceful! They musta caught me off-guard," Pura believed. "I won't allow that to happen a second time," With that Pura, began to walk back towards Rogueport with Crump reluctantly following.

"Um, do we think this is a good idea?" Crump asked.

"Shut up. I know what I'm doing."

Pura entered the shop and blasted the back door open, heading for Don Pianta's office. The door of the office was soon blasted open as well.

"Where'd they go?!" Pura demanded.

"Uh, I think they left," Crump observed.

"SHUT UP!" Pura stomped back towards the center of town. "Cowards. They knew they were no match for me so they ran off. But I will find them."

"And how ya gonna do that?" Crump joked, followed by a laugh.

Pura grabbed Crump by the throat. "Do you think this is funny?"

"N-no," Crump stumbled.

"Then why, might I ask, are you LAUGHING?!"

"Buh... I... uh..." Crump continued stumbling.

"Fool, you are completely worthless to me," Pura said, tossing him aside. "I'll deal with you later, but I think now we need to find those cowards."

Pura walked off, unsure of where to look.

"Yes, I got it. I'm sure that Ishnail guy can show us. He seems to know that Don Pianta better than anyone," Pura finally said as she began to walk towards the eastern part of Rogueport.

Crump followed. "You seem to know this place pretty well," he said.

"Yes, I was born here," Pura said quietly.

"You were?" Crump asked, but before he could get a response, he froze next to Pura, both of them staring in front of them.

"Get out of here, Don!" someone yelled. It was Ishnail, although he looked much older now.

"Why would I do dat?" the Don asked, "I'd rather just get rid of you for good."

"You can't get rid of us," Ishnail simply said.

"I can wit dis!" Don shouted, holding out the Garnet Star. Pura and Crump were still staring, not too far away.

"Ooo, look boss, he's got a star!" a Dark Craw taunted.

Don Pianta said nothing. Soon after, the Crystal began to glow and a bright beam came out of it, blasting Ishnail and his gang. They fell to the floor, severely hurt if not dead.

"I love dis thing," Don said to himself, "Let's get out of here, boys." And with that, the Piantas were gone, not even noticing Pura or Crump.

"What... was that?" Pura wondered aloud.

"Grodus said those things had a lot of power," Crump answered, "but nothing like that!"

"We'll still be able to get that star, right?" Pura asked.

"I'm... not sure..." Crump said.

"Well, I think we should at least try," Pura said, heading in the direction of the Piantas. Crump silently and reluctantly followed.

"Hey Boss?" one of the Piantas started.

"What is it, Tony?" Don asked.

"Those two from earlier are followin' us," Tony answered.

"Kill them," Don simply said.

"But Boss," Vinny started, "that Yoshi, Tony, and me go back."

"I don't care. Kill them."

"Yes Boss," both Piantas said reluctantly, heading towards Pura and Crump.

"Eek! Them again!" Crump hid behind Pura as the Piantas approached.

"Sorry Miss Pura, but da boss wants you dead..." Vinny said.

"Then by all means kill me," Pura retorted, "if you can."

Vinny sighed and picked up Tony, throwing him.

"Not this time!" Pura shouted, firing a dark beam at the oncoming Tony, who fell to the ground unconscious. She then turned to Vinny. "If you want to live, tell me where Don Jr. went."

"He's going to Glitzville!" Vinny quickly said.

"Oh no he doesn't!" Pura shouted, running towards the blimp that goes to Glitzville.

Crump looked over at Vinny. "Buh huh huh huh huh!" he laughed. "I see you're no match for us."

Vinny began to walk towards Crump, cracking his knuckles.

"Eek!" Crump screamed, chasing after Pura.

"LET ME THROUGH!" Don Pianta shouted, now at the blimp.

"But the blimp isn't back from Glitzville yet!" the Cheep Cheep named Stewart said.

Don reached into his pocket, pulled up a handgun, and began firing at Stewart, who ran off screaming.

"You're cornered, Don," Pura shouted, reaching the area where the blimp took off, "so just give me the Crystal Star."

"I don't think I'll be doing dat," the Don said, holding out the Garnet Star, preparing to fire off another beam from it. "I'd rather just eliminate da competition."

The Don fired a beam from the Garnet Star. Pura tried to counter it with a dark beam, forcing the two beams to hit and block each other.

"What is dis?" the Don wondered. "No matter. You can't keep dat up for long."

Indeed, Pura was beginning to weaken, and the beam from the Garnet Star was starting to overpower the dark beam.

The Don laughed. "Looks like you gonna meet da same fate as Frankie and da Robbos," he said as his beam completely took over Pura's and knocked her into a nearby wall.

Just as Don Jr. was about to inflict the final blow, he heard a "Buh huh huh!" and was body slammed by Crump, causing him to drop the Crystal Star.

Pura quickly got up and grabbed the Crystal Star, pointing it at the Don like she was planning on firing a beam at him. "Now, tell me, what happened to Frankie?"

"He's fine," Vinny said, walking up.

Pura glared at him. "What do you mean fine? According to Don Jr, he was blasted by this thing's beam."

"He was," Vinny answered, "but he survived. He'll be back on his feet in no time."

"Ah, good." Pura said, a bit relieved, "What should we do with him?" she then asked, pointing at Don.

"Leave him to me," Vinny answered. "You may take dat Star now."

"Thank you," Pura simply said, walking off and back towards the X-Naut base.

Crump followed, making sure Pura heard him say "You owe me big time."

Read on!

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