Paper Mario: Evil's Rising

By Dark Boo

Chapter 3
Well, the battle between Zegorus and Bowser had come to a halt, with  Bowser as the winner. However, Zegorus had escaped to the shadows, and Bowser  had claimed one of the Shadow Keys. Not finding Larry, though, has made the  Koopalings and Bowser leave Twilight Town. Back in Rogueport, Dopple, Luigi, and  the other two were on their way to Frankly's house, wondering over their own  key. As for Doopliss and the Shadow Elder, the latter had told Doopliss of their devious plot. What happens next? You can guess, or... You can continue this story!
Chapter 3, Part 1: Zegorus's Punishment
"You failed too!?" the angered rogue roared at Zegorus, who was in a rather bad condition. "Shrindo was one thing, but I wouldn't have expected you, my best pupil, to mess this up."
"I apologize for my failure, but I shan't fail again," Zegorus said rather calmly. Kaztran just stared at him, fire in his eyes.
"And how can I believe that, Zego? You say you won't lose again, but how is that guaranteed to me?! You think I should just go by your word and trust what you say?!" Kaztran shouted.
"It was beyond my control. I didn't know it would happen," Zegorus now muttered.
"Oh really?! Do you even realize that none of this would've happened had you just come back to me with the key, as I demanded?! If you can't even obey a simple order like that, then maybe you are just like Shrindo!" Kaztran continued to yell.
"Listen, I was challenged by a large brute. I underestimated him, and he bested me," Zegorus said back, his voice now starting to show some anger.
"Which I find pathetic. You could've won, Zego, but something happened, and you lost. Pretty bad by the looks of it," Kaztran said, slightly calming down.
"And I suppose you could do any better?!" Zegorus barked back, starting to get a little edgy.
"That is unconfirmed, though I would surpass you by far. But now, back to the main point," Kaztran said, finally turning to his lackey. "You  failed me, just as Shrindo did. He was punished, and so will you." There was a long silence after this, Zegorus not moving, and Kaztran not acting. "However. You still have great potential in you. Because of this, you shall be given another chance, as Shrindo was."
"That means I don't receive the punishment?" Zegorus asked curiously. A few laughs could be heard from Kaztran, before the same sphere that  had attacked Shrindo, was fired at Zegorus. The blast sent him into a wall, but  unlike Shrindo, he managed to return to his feet.
"Always were stronger than you seemed, weren't you? But to my next point. Since you and Shrindo both failed, you must work together on your next assignment." Zegorus growled. "In the meantime, Felicia shall take the next task."
"Felicia? Why her?! She hasn't come even close to my standards!"  Zegorus began shouting rather loudly, even for shouting.
"True, but she hasn't screwed up in any way either," Kaztran responded calmly. "Now go to your quarters. You need rest."
Chapter 3, Part 2: Reactions
Doopliss simply stared into the shadows, blinking occasionally at what he heard. "No way. No way I'm going through with this," Doopliss said coldly.
"Unfortunately, you don't have a choice in the matter," the Shadow Elder responded to Doopliss, in his raspy voice. "I have been quite kind for some time, but I assure you, I can become pretty nasty."
"Well, what if I refuse to go through with this?" Doopliss mouthed back.
"As I have just told you, you don't really have a choice in the matter. This is for the greater good of the Shadows," the Shadow Elder said with a stern tone. "If you refuse, then we'll have to kill you. Apologies, but that's the way things go."
"... Is there any possible way to get out of this?" Doopliss now muttered just loud enough so the Elder could hear.
"Only one possibility. And that is if your clone manages to make it here before the ceremony," the Shadows answered a puzzled-looking Doopliss.
"So if my son-" began Doopliss, before being cut off.
"I would wish you to stop referring to him as your son. He is not real offspring, just an accidental clone," said the now icy voice.
"... Fine. So if my clone manages to get here-" said Doopliss again, before getting cut off. Again.
"Even then your chances are slim. The only real threat against me is that Luigi character, and even he is laughable."
"Enough questions," the Shadow Elder responded quickly. "You shall wait for the time to come, then you shall see what happens." The Duplighost simply sighed, and began to pace the chamber.
Chapter 3, Part 3: A Frank Opinion
"Hmm! Oh! Yes!" said an old Goomba excitedly. Staring at the Shadow Key through his thick glasses, he looked fascinated.
"Well? What can you tell us?" Luigi asked impatiently.
"Absolutely nothing!" Frankly responded with a grin. Dopple and Boomer groaned loudly.
"You sure? Nothing? Spill the info!" Larry said, slowly getting louder. Frankly just shook his head.
"I can't tell you what I don't know! However, I can look up as much on it as I can. Louie, do you have a Mailbox SP?" Frankly asked Luigi curiously.
"I have Mario's with me... And my name is Luigi!" Luigi quickly added in agitation. Frankly ignored him and continued on.
"That's good! Now, if you don't mind leaving that key-thingy with me, I can get back to you as quick as possible. You okay with leaving the key here?" Frankly asked the four. They muttered a few things, before finally nodding in agreement. "Good. You should leave while I work on this."
"Bah, this place smells bad anyways," Dopple said before exiting, soon followed by the others. "So... What do you suppose we do now?" Dopple looked from one face to another, trying to seek out an opinion. Boomer cleared his throat, then began.
"Well, I think we should just wait until ol' Frankly gets an idea about the key." The other three just looked at him oddly before shaking their heads, except for Luigi of course, who began nodding. Majority overruled,  though.
"If it were up to me..." said Larry with a grin, "we would go find my family." He added a snicker on at the end, before Dopple glared at him.
"Why don't we see if there are anymore keys?" Luigi finally said, sounding nervous.
"That might just work..." Boomer said under his breath. Larry shrugged, while Dopple just nodded in agreement. Luigi looked disappointed. He didn't really want to look for keys, just to sit back and relax.
"Nice one, Luigi." Dopple said with a smile. "But where to start...?"
"How about Rogueport Sewers?" Boomer piped up. Dopple simply stared at him, blinking a few times. "Well... Yeah. There's all sorts of stuff down there. Plus, there IS a fortune teller who could tell us..."
"Where one of the keys is!" Larry caught on.
"So, the sewers it is!" Dopple said, looking partly disappointed. He had not expected part of their journey would take place in such a location. "How do we get there?"

Luigi pointed over at a pipe nearby. "There. It leads right into underground," Luigi told Dopple.

Soon, the three departed underground, and made their way, with some trouble, to the fortune teller. Once there, they discovered that one of the keys was surprisingly close. In fact, it was located right before the Thousand-Year Door! The only thing keeping me from putting this in detail is the fact that nothing really interesting happened. So there. I saved you time.
"Thousand-Year Door, eh?" Dopple asked. "Sounds cheesy. Where is it?"
"Close. Very close. Just follow me," Luigi said, now heading down for the Thousand-Year Door, the other three close behind.
"So, what's so special about it?" Larry asked Luigi, looking somewhat sinister.
"It just has the Shadow Palace within it, a place that concealed   demon once. Thankfully, I don't think we'll ever have to go in there!" Luigi said with a sigh of relief.
"I've got a bad feeling about it now," Boomer said to himself, nerves shot.
Chapter 3, Finale: Betrayal
The family-sized Koopa Copter hovered high above Rogueport, high enough so that it wouldn't catch any attention. Seven of the eight passengers were snoozing happily, while the Copter followed its own set course. On  Koopaling, however, was fiddling with his radar, when it began to beep slowly. Alerted by this, Ludwig began poking his father.
"Um... King Dad?" Ludwig asked his sleeping father. Soon he began jabbing his father in the arm. A few mutters came from Bowser, before he punched  Ludwig for having woken him up. Ludwig clenched his stomach, and nearly fell out of the copter.
"What do you want?" Bowser asked Ludwig in an annoyed tone. Ludwig held up his radar.
"According to this... Ow... Larry is nearby." Ludwig moaned in pain. Bowser became alert quickly.
"Morton! Wendy! Iggy! Roy! Lemmy! Ludwig!" Bowser shouted at the top of his lungs.
"I'm already awake," Ludwig added as the others slowly began rubbing their eyes, groaning about being up that early.
"Shut up, Ludwig." Bowser added finally. "Okay, everyone. We are now going to descend down into that fowl-looking town. And keep an eye out for Larry!" No sooner than the Koopa Copter landed did the radar's beeping pick up in speed. "He's gotta be close!"
"King Dad?" Ludwig added again. Bowser snorted before staring at Ludwig ight in the eyes.
"What?" he asked sternly.
"We're right on top of Larry, according to what I see," Ludwig said, now staring at the radar. Bowser was now checking the soles of his feet, as were the other Koopalings.
"Bah, that piece of rubbish can't tell anything," Roy commented in a smug tone.
"I woke up for THAT?" Wendy said, looking angrily at Ludwig.
"Your radar must be broken, or something!" Iggy added in.
"It probably never worked!" Lemmy said to Iggy.
"Man, now we'll never get back to sleep!" Morton finished up, also glaring at Ludwig. Slowly, they approached him.
"But I swear! This thing is positively accurate!" Ludwig quickly said in a panic. As the other Koopalings almost reached him, Bowser stepped in between Ludwig and the others.
"No! You five are not allowed to attack Ludwig!" Bowser quickly shouted in anger. The five groaned, while Ludwig sighed in relief. "That's my  job!" Ludwig swallowed hard as Bowser began to approach him, claws curled up into fists. However, the ground beneath them shook. "Eh? What's happening?" Bowser looked around curiously.
"This ground might not be able to handle all of us standing in one spot," Ludwig noted. Bowser began to laugh.
"That's great, Ludwig! Oh, the ground beneath us won't hold! Oh no, we're gonna fall in!" Bowser taunted in a mocking voice. A few seconds later, though, the ground collapsed, and they all fell in.
"What did I tell you?" Ludwig said in mid-fall.
"Shut up, Ludwig." Bowser said again, while the radar beeped even faster than before.

"Are we there yet?" Larry moaned, now dragging his feet.
"You've asked that question four times already, and my answer is the same! Almost! Wait... We're here, never mind," Luigi yelled at Larry before calming down at the sight. The Thousand-Year Door was right before them.
"Odd. It looks just I pictured it would," Dopple said to Boomer.
 "I always thought it would just be some sort of door with a sign that said 'Thousand-Year Door' on it," Boomer added sarcastically.
"Well, now that we're here, where is that key?" Luigi pondered. The four began to search the room, until Larry saw something out of the corner of his eye. It was yet another Shadow Key, as black and sharp-toothed as the one they had claimed from Shrindo.
"Hey! Over here!" he shouted, holding the key above his head. The other three started over, before...
Bowser, followed by Ludwig, Roy, Morton, Wendy, Iggy, and finally Lemmy fell down from the ceiling, piling up between Larry and the others. This shocked Luigi, making him fall backwards, while Dopple and Boomer couldn't help but chuckle at what they saw. Followed quickly by a few moans and groans, Bowser leapt up, the others falling off of him.
"LARRY!" he shouted in delight, staring at Larry and the key.
"Told you my radar worked," Ludwig said with a smug smile. Roy simply punched him across the face. Boomer, Dopple, and Luigi simply stood, waiting for what would happen when Bowser saw what was going on. And as if he had read their minds, Bowser spun around, staring angrily at the three.
"Hmph. You've got some nerve thinking you can steal one of MY kids! Well let me say, you can't! Because they're MY property," Bowser shouted at them. Dopple gave Bowser a sickened look.
"Listen, you can take him back, as long as he gives us that key," Dopple said to Bowser. The young Duplighost knew it wasn't worth fighting over Larry. But the Koopaling peaked out from behind Bowser, and with a grin, simply said, "No."
"That's m'boy!" Bowser commented with a chuckle. "You three are lucky I have a tight schedule, or I would-" While Bowser spoke, Dopple leapt up on his head, to Boomer and Luigi's horror, kicked off, and landed on Larry, now wrestling for the key.
"Dopple! Don't be stupid!" Boomer shouted.
"The key isn't worth it!" Luigi said with a panic. But the other six  Koopalings had surrounded them, while Bowser was still rubbing his head. With no  words, Wendy fired a candy ring at Boomer. Boomer hovered a little higher just  in time for the ring to hit Ludwig in the nose. Roy swung at Luigi, who leapt up and stomped him on the forehead. Meanwhile, Larry managed to cough up a  fireball, getting Dopple to release him from his grasp while the Duplighost  tried to extinguish the flame that was burning his hat. Unfortunately for Larry, he let his guard down, and Dopple tackled him once the flame was out. Soon, Bowser was back up, and ripped Dopple off of Larry, tossing him into a nearby column. As Bowser approached, Luigi managed to jump away from Lemmy's attacks, knocking the Koopaling down in the process. Seeing Dopple was now cornered by Bowser, Luigi leapt forward and stomped onto Bowser's head.
"Is that all you got?" Bowser snorted, spinning around and engulfing the green-clad plumber in flames. Dopple took advantage of this opportunity, and focused on Bowser with all his might. Soon, he was surrounded by purple smoke. Boomer, who was currently avoiding multiple attacks with much difficulty, took  note of this. In this time, Iggy managed to knock Boomer to the ground with a jump of his own. With Bowser focused on Luigi, he barely noticed when he had suddenly became a purple silhouette; the purple smoke around Dopple faded, revealing a second Bowser.
"Heh heh! It worked!" snarled the new Bowser, quickly grabbing Larry and shaking him upside down by his ankles. Soon, the Shadow Key fell from Larry's shell, and Dopple-Bowser tossed Larry at Iggy, who was crushing Boomer. Of course, they both fell in a heap on the ground, and Boomer was free. Neither Larry nor Iggy moved, now out cold. Luigi was having trouble with Bowser once he managed to get the flames off of him.The now-purple Koopa spat fireballs at Luigi, who expertly dodged them. Unfortunately for Wendy, who had leapt at a now cowering Boo, one of said fireballs had crossed paths with her, knocking her face first into Iggy's spiked shell. She didn't get up. Now satisfied with the key he held, Dopple reverted back to his Duplighost form, in time to be slashed in the side by Morton, who followed this up by an annoying laugh. Boomer was busy ramming into Ludwig, who saw this simply as an annoyance, easily swatting the ghost away. Luigi finally escaped Bowser only to walk into Roy's fist. Rubbing his now sore cheek, he tripped Roy while he was busy laughing. Luigi went around Roy and grabbed him by the tail, and started to spin him. Bowser knew what was happening, and spat a large fireball at Luigi.
"Perfect," said Luigi with a grin, now tossing Roy, who was screaming, into the blast. Bowser saw Roy flying at him, and batted him away. Ludwig had finally got a hold of Boomer by the tail, and began to reel him in. But suddenly, Roy smashed into Ludwig with incredible force, knocking them both out simultaneously. Boomer simply sighed in relief, and went off to the sidelines. Luigi finally escaped Bowser, to find Lemmy resting behind a column. Of course, since Lemmy didn't notice, Luigi snuck up from behind, and conked him on the head with a large piece of rubble.
"I didn't even get a chance to fight..." Lemmy moaned, slowly sinking into a coma. Luigi wiped his hands together before going to run and help Dopple, who was currently being knocked around by Morton with no chance to attack. Of course, Bowser had given Luigi chase, but that didn't stop Luigi from stomping on Morton's head and cutting off in another direction, Bowser still closing in on him. Once Morton was no longer dizzy, and after he had mumbled a few things under his breath, he turned back to Dopple, who was oddly grinning.
"Why do you look so happy, huh?! I'm just getting ready to defeat you once and for all, you ghost-like person!" Morton shouted at Dopple, his mouth now curved into a frown. Soon enough, Dopple had pulled a lightning bolt-shaped trinket from behind his back. "And what's that? Tell me! I need to know!" But Dopple said nothing, as he threw to bolt upwards, the area darkening. Just as Morton opened his mouth to say something, a bolt of lightning struck him, flinging him to the ground, where he lay not moving.
"Only one left..." said Dopple, giving himself a Mushroom, approaching Boomer, and doing the same for him. The two looked at each other and nodded, running/floating towards Bowser and Luigi. Luigi was currently dancing between Bowser's fire breath and swipes of his claws, now having got himself up against a
wall. The massive Koopa lunged at Luigi, who jumped and stomped off his head. He dashed over to the other two while Bowser was trying to get to his feet.
"Take this," Dopple said, handing Luigi a Fire Flower. "Don't ask where I got it."
"Thanks, I guess," Luigi said, giving Dopple an awkward look before absorbing the Fire Flower. Finally he turned to Bowser, who was up, and approaching steadily. Luigi ran at Bowser while Dopple and Boomer ran the other way. With Luigi in range, Bowser swung his claw, just missing Luigi, who had barely leapt over Bowser, and shot a fireball at the back of his head. Bowser simply growled and responded with one of his own, scorching Luigi. While Luigi was busy dousing the pants fire, Bowser was gathering more flames in his mouth. The room darkened again, however, and Bowser was struck by a lightning bolt! Of course, that didn't take him out, but Dopple and Boomer did a high-five. Bowser was now dizzy, and Luigi was using a constant barrage of fireballs on Bowser. Without warning, though, Bowser leapt up high, and ground pounded, causing a small tremor. Luigi and Dopple tripped because of this. The Koopa King stood in his spot, inhaling many breaths of air. Oddly, Luigi wasn't moving. After a while, Bowser's stomach expanded a tiny bit. Just as he was opening his mouth to launch a massive breath attack, Luigi flicked his wrist toward Bowser, firing one last fireball down his throat. As Luigi got up, Bowser appeared to be choking, and he couldn't get out his attack. Therefore, within a few seconds, there was a small explosion, Bowser's stomach expanded rather comically, and smoke began to billow out of his nostrils and mouth. He wobbled back and forth before he tumbled to the ground.
"Well... That was interesting..." Boomer said, now heading over to Luigi with Dopple.
"How did that work?" Dopple asked Luigi, sounding shocked. Luigi simply shrugged.
"Lucky guess, I suppose," Luigi responded. There was an awkward silence. Something fell out of Bowser's shell with a clang. Dopple went over to inspect it.
"It looks... like another key!" Dopple said excitedly. Boomer hovered beside him with a grin on his face.
"Two keys in one go? That's pretty lucky!" Boomer said in response. Dopple leaned over to pick up the key, feeling good they had managed to snag three keys in total. Strangely... the key slid out of his reach, and began to float.
"F-floating keys?" Luigi stuttered. "I've seen that once before, in that awful mansion." Dopple and Boomer ignored him, both alternately leaping at the key, which in response, would move out of their reach every time.

"Hey... Thanks for picking this up for me!" said a happy-sounding voice. The three's eyes darted around the area, searching for anyone who it might be. They even checked the Koopalings and Bowser, who still didn't move. Black smoke appeared near the Thousand-Year Door, accompanied by a slight chuckle. The three turned and watched.
"W-what's that?" asked Dopple, taking a few steps back.
"D-don't ask me..." Luigi said, doing as Dopple had. Boomer simply stayed floating where he was, waiting for something to happen. A few seconds passed, and the smoke became solid, now revealing one of the rogues, still laughing slightly. The key floated towards the being, who then snatched it from the air.
"It was nice of you three to get this key back from that monster," it said, indicating Bowser. "But I think you should give me the one you hold as well."
"Shrindo?" Dopple finally muttered as clear as he could. The rogue let out another chuckle.
"What? No, no, I'm not that idiot. I am Felicia!" she responded with glee in her voice. "And Kaztran will be so pleased when he sees what I found! That is... once you give me your key, that is..." She held out her arm, as if expecting one of them to place their key in it.
"Um... You're crazy." Boomer said calmly, and with no emotion.
"You'd have to get it from our dead bodies!" Luigi barked at her.
"Shut up, Luigi!" Dopple muttered through his mouth, elbowing Luigi slightly. Felicia simply laughed at this.
"Fine, but I only have so much time to mess with you three before I really have to go back," she said, two claws emerging from her sleeves. Dopple swallowed hard and took a step forward. Boomer soon floated forward as well.
"See ya," said Luigi, ready to leave, before Boomer went over and dragged him back by his coller. Felicia cackled one more time, and the three spread out. The battle for the keys was ready to begin.

To Be Continued...

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