Age of Shadow

By Jack Goomba

Chapter 5

The six Bandit gangsters threw themselves upward, and dived upon our heroes in a delta formation, all with matching daggers drawn.

Mario made a brave first offensive for his team, and jumped into the air, fist forward, striking one of the Bandits out of the air; however, another thief came to his comrade’s aid, and slashed the heroic plumber in the arm with his knife.

Mario inspected his wound; just a small gash, but he would need to be more careful.

Luigi immediately adopted his own tactic- running like crazy. One of his Bandit pursuers grabbed his knife and tossed it at Luigi. The knife pinned the green plumber’s shoe to the ground, causing him to trip. Luckily, the sharp projectile didn’t touch the skin underneath his leather boot.

Tim was faring extremely well; one of the assailants had been furiously stabbing at him with his knife. Skillfully, the robed mystery skillfully sidestepped to dodge every assail. Tired of toying with his opponent, he finally sidestepped once more, but this time stuck out his leg to trip the fiend. Tim confiscated his knife, and went to aid his comrades.

Mario currently had to deal with two Bandits. Using acrobatic skills seemingly impossible for a plumber of his stature, he was able to dodge most attacks, and counter with a skull mashing jump on the head.

Luigi, however, was not faring so well; in his mad dash to avoid the Bandit’s knives, he tripped, spilling the contents of his pack. In the plumber’s state, one of the assailants dashed over to the Italian and stuck a knife to his throat, smiling sinisterly. In his blind terror, Luigi saw a fallen item from out of his pack- a Dizzy Dial. He slowly reached his hand for the item, as the Bandit raised its arm and drove the blade at Luigi’s chest.

Fortunately, with a little more luck than skill, Luigi brought forth the item right when the blade fell; the weapon ended up piercing the item, sending the Bandit into a state of dizzy confusion as well. Luigi grabbed himself a knife, and looked around; there were only two bandits remaining.

Mario nodded to Luigi, and his brother nodded back. Just then, Luigi fished in his pack for his hammer, just as Mario took his place in front of him. Once the hammer was drawn, Luigi hit Mario in the head; rather than squishing the poor plumber, however, he merely shrunk in size. Luigi called, “Knockback Bros!” as he gave Mario one final smack.

Mario, who rolled into a ball, smashed into one of the Bandits with impressive force, sending him hurling back to his brother. To finish off the fight, the green plumber slightly changed the direction of his hammer, so as to propel Mario toward the other assailant. With a satisfying “Bang!” the fight was over.

Just as the celebration began, however, the group puzzled themselves over what had become of their tickets. They soon found out as another opponent stepped out of the shadows.

It was a Goomba of all things; he wore a fedora hat just like his predecessors, and also was accoutered in a pinstripe suit, also bearing a red carnation. “Heh, pretty impressive,” he cackled. “Da name’s Nab, and youse guys are in my territory.”

He unsheathed a knife, and waved it menacingly. “For dat, I can’t let ya leave here alive!”

With that, the gangster Goomba flew up into the air, apparently rather swift. Mario and Luigi jumped after him, but Tim stood stationary; he seemed to be scanning his enemy’s movements.

While in the air, Nab kicked off the wall of the alley, sending him toward Luigi; the poor plumber got a slash in the chest, and fell the ground. Mario, however, got in a good kick on the Goomba’s head.

Apparently, this was no ordinary Goomba. Normally, a blow to the head would flatten a Goomba without resistance, but Nab took the blow without so much as regular damage.

Nab landed on his feet, while Mario landed flat on his face. “You’re gonna hafta be a lot better den dat ta beat me!” The assailant then dashed at Tim, who was damaged for once. The specter took a slash to the chest, but no visible wound could be seen. Using the dagger he confiscated earlier, Tim chucked it at the tiny warrior with almost amazing accuracy- the dagger flew at Nab, and pinned his fedora to the alley’s wall.

In the enemy’s distracted state, Luigi kicked the assailant into the concrete. This angered the tiny assailant, who reared up and headbonked poor Luigi; the green garbed hero staggered to the ground, clutching his now throbbing head.

As Nab relished in his triumph, however, Mario jumped into the air, and crashed into the unfortunate Goomba. With the enemy now immobilized, Tim pinned the mobster into the ground with his foot, and held out his hand. Mario could tell he was grinning under the hood. “Tickets, please,” he said.

The party now had to dash; after taking so much hurt, Nab finally relinquished the tickets, but they still needed to make it to the blimp in time, or the whole ordeal would have been a failure.

Luckily, they got to the blimp departure station just as the disgruntled ticket Cheep was about to announce lift-off. So, without further to say or do, the group got onto the Glitzville Blimp, ready to face any challenges coming their way.

Chapter 6

“Bright ideas?” Beldam replied to Doopliss. “Yeah, I got one. C’mon my sort-of-lovelies! LET’S FIGHT!”

Upon Beldam’s command, the group sprung into action. Marilyn seemingly rained lightning on the Piranhas, and Beldam was conjuring frostbite-inducing winds from seemingly out of nowhere. Doopliss had adopted another tactic, or rather, Petey Piranha’s. Doopliss morphed into his enemy, and spewed sludge every which way.

The real Petey Piranha, however, didn’t remain idle. He flew up into the air and created miniature tornados to impede the party’s progress.

This battle was a tough one for the Shadow Sirens; our sort-of-heroes were overwhelmed with a barrage of fireballs.

Beldam found herself in the middle of two assailants; the Piranhas reared back, and let loose their burning projectiles. It would appear as if the assail had her sandwiched into submission, but the sly warrior simply disappeared into the floor, leaving only a rippling shadow behind. The flames, however, continued on their respective courses; unfortunately, a Piranha Plant can’t duck as fast as a Shadow Sirens can; the pair was singed medium-well.

Marilyn was no tactical genius, but she sure packed a wallop. One of her assailants launched a fiery surprise her way. Being as obese as she was, she didn’t have the time to dodge; however, in an odd, and slightly disturbing twist of fate, the burning projectile simply disappeared into her immense flab. After the assail, Marilyn dived toward her opponent and launched a devastating punch, after which she fell into the green tinted pipe.

When she reappeared, she found herself face to face with yet another ferocious plant. She gave a childish grin, and punched this enemy into oblivion. You could almost see the little “KO” sign above its head.

Our favorite Duplighost found himself face to face with P.O.O’s leader, Petey Piranha. It wasn’t exactly Doopliss, rather a clever copy of his foe. The two battered heads- literally.  After a while of this attack method, both combatants developed migraines, and new methods.

Petey spewed a stream of sludge, causing the Doopliss-Piranha to slip in the muck. While he was down, the plant ferociously whacked Doopliss with his staff. “Good,” Doopliss thought. “He must not be able to use the Crystal Star!”

After taking a decent beating from his foe, Doopliss pushed away and reverted to his normal form. He was panting heavily, and rips in his sheet were visible- yet he was smiling. “Some a’ my friends in Creepy Steeple taught me this one!”

Doopliss held out his hands before him, and a blue light developed at what would have been his fingertips. It grew until an orb of blue and yellow energy pulsated in his grip. He chuckled as he looked up and yelled, “Hyper Beam!”

The orb turned into a solid beam of energy. If you weren’t on the tail end of such an assail, the attack would have looked beautiful, the blue ribbon of light, solid gold wisps dancing around it. Unfortunately, Petey couldn’t admire the spectacle as the force of the attack propelled him into the airship’s wall.

The impact caused the Crystal Star to come ajar, and fall off its place onto the floor. Doopliss approached the unconscious enemy, and picked up the artifact. “I got it! I got it!” he cheered.

At this point, the rest of P.O.O’s forces had been defeated. “Great job, Freak-Doopliss-Sheet!” praised Beldam.

Doopliss smiled, “She said my name!” The Sirens had a brief moment to celebrate.

It was just then however when a voice rang out from the ship’s rafters, “There’s the Crystal Star! Nab it!”

Chapter 7

“There’s the Crystal Star! Nab it!” called Jack as the trio swooped down from their hiding place in the rafters.

The party had arrived recently; when they discovered that a battle was already raging, Iggy suggested that they hide until the battle subsided. With the Sirens just finishing off their battle, they would be an easy fight, at least to what the group had figured.

“Blast!” cursed Beldam. “Koopa’s Kids! And a Goomba! C’mon my sort-of-lovelies, let’s get 'em!”

Doopliss would have fired a Hyper Beam, but the technique required immense amounts of energy- in other words, he was tuckered. Marilyn too was out of energy. “Guh!” she yelled in protest.

Beldam would have threatened them with her trademark “punishment session”, but her thoughts were cut off when a shell came slamming into her face, driving her into a wall. Iggy popped out of his shell, cackling.

“Guh!” Marylyn yelled at her injured sister. Just then, a blue ball was hurled from out of the blue, followed by mad cackling. Lemmy laughed hysterically as his ball sent the purple warrior to the ground.

Jack took it upon himself to combat the sheet-attired wonder, Doopliss. The Goomba furiously hacked and slashed at the phantom with skill that you wouldn’t expect from the lowliest of Bowser’s ranks.

The Sirens were taking a considerable beating facing this new and highly skilled foe. Beldam adopted a new stratagem; she mustered her energy and tried to summon an artificial blizzard- yet, the icy winds wouldn’t come. Her heart sunk as she realized she was out of energy to conjure her spells.

Marilyn too came to the same conclusion as she found herself unable to rain lightning upon the assailants. Doopliss desperately tried to scrounge up the energy for a Hyper Beam, but fell short. He went to diving into the air and ramming his opponent, a good tactic for a while, but Jack soon learned to dodge it.

It seemed like a failed attempt for the Sirens, but the Koopas/Goomba were feelin’ fine.

The twins gave a battle cry as they used their own brand of Bros Attack- “Meteor Bros!” they screamed. Iggy jumped into the air; as he was coming down, Lemmy kicked his ball at him with extreme force. Iggy and the ball became a joint, meteor-like projectile that hit all three Sirens (you may have noticed that they all stand in a single file line.)

As Doopliss plopped to the ground, the Emerald Star fell out of his robes. “That’s it!” he called. As he touched the artifact, he felt as if he was being flooded with energy.

Beldam shot him a gaze. “Clock Out!” she said. “Say, ‘Clock Out'!”

The confused Doopliss obeyed; he held the Star aloft and yelled, “Clock Out!”

To the Koopas' surprise, a bomb dropped from above, a bomb with an Emerald Star insignia. Before Jack could yell “DUCK!” the bomb exploded; rather than charring the unfortunate Koopas, however, it simply stopped time all around them.

“Marilyn, Freak-Doopliss,” Beldam cackled, “attack!”

The trio didn’t hesitate; in the enemy’s frozen state, the group took pleasure in pummeling them with no resistance.

Finally, the spell wore off. Lemmy and Iggy were ready to go, but before they launched an attack, they caught a glimpse of Jack winking. As if they could read the Goomba’s mind, they understood, and remained frozen.

So, just as Doopliss launched another furious punch, Jack yelled, “Attack!” The opposing group was caught unaware. Shells flew, swords slashed, and spells fired. With what seemed like the winning strike, Lemmy walloped Doopliss a good one with his ball, launching the Emerald Star into the air.

Before it fell, Jack caught it with some sort of invisible hands; the Koopas marveled in their handy work. They didn’t hesitate- the party dashed off. Beldam however, had other ideas. She teleported into the ground and reappeared right in front of the victors.

Jack gasped as the Siren tore the Star out of his grip, and tossed it. “Go long, Marilyn!” she screamed. There came a “Guh” in response, and the dim dynamo caught the Star.

“Now run!” Beldam ordered as she sunk into the ground once more. Unable to teleport, Doopliss just made a mad dash for the exit.

It had all happened so fast, the Koopas and Jack hardly comprehended what just happened. “Did they just run off with our Star?” asked a puzzled Iggy.

Read on!

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