Chapter 5: Flavio Dies at the End
Crump: You wanted to see me, sir?
Grodus: Yes. Did you bring the snacks?
Crump sighs and places a tray of snack cakes in front of Grodus.
Grodus: Yes, excellent. Anyway, as I was saying, our source said the old Goomba claims the next Crystal Star to be located somewhere called Keelhaul Key. I want you to infiltrate Mario's party and get the Star first.
Crump: But, if we already have an agent in his party, why do you want another?
Grodus: ... Beldam is our ally, but she cannot be completely trusted. Make sure you get the Star before Vivian.
Crump: Yes, sir.
Grodus: Oh, and Crump?
Grodus: While you're in town, pick up some flour for the head chef, if you could.
Crump: ... Yes, sir.
Crump salutes, then exits.
Grodus: And now for you, my little snack cakes...
Computer Room, X-Naut Fortress
Peach: What do you want know, T-
She stops mid-sentence when she notices a candle-lit table for two in the middle of the room.
Peach: ... Okay, Tec. What's going on?
Tec: Princess Peach, would you be so gracious as to sit down to dinner with me?
Peach: Do I have a choice?
Peach: All right then.
Peach walks over to a chair, sits down, and falls right through it.
Peach: HEY! What's the big idea!?!
Tec: ... I am a computer. As such, I am unable to truly participate in a romantic evening together. Therefore, I assumed an illusion would suffice.
Peach: No, Tec. You've got it all backwards. When you're trying to impress someone you love, you do things as they would most want it, not as you would.
Tec: I must put the wishes of the other before my own?
Tec: ... Are you sure you won't partake of holographic snackcakes?
Tec: ... I must dwell on this further. Please return to your room.
Peach walks over to the computer and types an Email.
Peach: Send this, Tec.
As Tec sends the Email, Peach walks back to her room.
Tec: Good night, Princess Peach.
Koops: Wow, guys. Thanks for taking me to the hospital.
Bowser: For the last time, THIS ISN'T THE HOSPITAL!
Koops: Now I know you're really my best friends!
Koops leaps forward and hugs Bowser.
Bowser: Kammy, are you really sure we need him around?
Kammy: He used to be Mario's ally. Keeping him around could be useful.
Bowser: Fine, fine...
???: Excuse me.
The trio turns around to find a decomposing guy with part of his brain exposed.
Bowser: ... Who're you?
Dour: My name is Dour. I am the mayor of this fair town. What brings you?
Kammy: We're looking for something called a Crystal Star. Now hand it over!
Dour: ... The Crystal Star, you say? I'm afraid it's already been taken by Mario as a token of our gratitude for saving our fair town.
Bowser: Mario! I should have known!
Dour: And now, if you'll excuse me, it's lunch time.
Dour eyes each of them in turn. They shift uncomfortably.
Dour: ... Yes. I think Koopa shall make a nice lunch today.
Dour leaps at Koops and begins gnawing on his head. Koops shrieks in terror.
Kammy: Um, sir? Shouldn't we help him?
Bowser: I may be an evil overlord, but I'm not one to take someone's lunch away.
Rogueport Hospital for the Sanity Challenged
Goombella: Professor! Professor! Where is he?
Mario: Where's everybody?
A large, ominous figure steps out of the shadows.
Don Pianta: Well, if it isn't Mr. Mario and 'is liddle girlfriend.
Mario: Look, Don, I can explain everything.
Don Pianta: Dere's nothin' to explain. You betrayed me. Boys?
Don Pianta's two cronies step out of the shadows behind him.
Don Pianta: Take care of 'em.
Pianta 1: Sure thing, boss!
Pianta 2: Right away, boss!
The two thugs dash toward our trio of heroes. They merely sidestep, and the thugs run right past them, and continue running.
Don Pianta: Very clever, Mr. Stache. But dis is da end of you.
He draws a gun and aims it at Mario.
Don Pianta: Any last words?
Mario: Ummmmm... LOOK! THE GOODYEAR BLIMP!
Don Pianta doesn't look. Mario grabs Goombella and dashes out of the hospital anyway, with Vivian close behind.
Don Pianta: On one hand, dis makes me look bad. On da other hand, dey didn't find out I forgot da bullets...
Vivian: Um, what are we doing here?
Mario: Skipping town, that's what!
Goombella: But, what about the treasure?
Mario: Look, if you want to risk your life looking for a treasure when the mafia's after you, be my guest. I'm getting out of here.
Mario spies a ship floating in the harbor. Mario approaches the ship, but is accosted by the owner.
Flavio: Why, you're the famous Mario! I never thought I'd see the day I met you! Allow me to introduce myself, even though I am beyond all introduction: I am Flavio! The richest man in all of Rogueport!
Flavio: And look upon my glorious ship, the S.S. Flavion! She is beautiful, a wonderous feast for the eyes of whomever looks upon her! Powerful, yet graceful! Menacing, yet comforting! And you, fair sir, shall embark upon her with me!
Flavio: Come now! Climb aboard! We are about ready to leave for Toad Town, to pick up a load of their world-famous Mushrooms!
Mario begins to say something, thinks better of it, and merely climbs aboard. Goombella and Vivian follow, but are stopped by Flavio.
Flavio: And where do you think you're going?
Vivian: With Mario. We're his partners.
Goombella: So let us on!
Flavio: Hoh hoh hoh! So Mario has a girl for each arm, does he now? He's quite the ladies man, I must say! And where's the princess, hm?
Goombella: You're a creep. Look, just let us on, all right?
Flavio: No no no, sorry, but this boat is only for myself; my famous, special guests; and my crew.
Flavio gestures toward his crew, bustling about the ship. Goombella spies a large, ovoid fellow eyeing Mario.
Flavio: Now, if you'll excuse me, I really must be off!
Flavio jumps aboard, and the ship sets sail, leaving the heroines on the dock.
Vivian: Well, this doesn't bode well.
They turn around to find themselves cornered on the pier by Don Pianta's goons.
Pianta 2: You gots dat right.
Ship's Log, Day 1
And so, we set sail toward Toad Town and a shipment of their world-famous Mushrooms! It is amazing that I, the great and debonair Flavio, could embark on such an incredible business venture! Ho ho ho, I am just that stupendous!
My special guest on this voyage? None other than Mario himself! To think I have such an amazing individual (although nothing compared to myself) aboard on this expedition!
Speaking of which, it appears Mario has hit it off with our ship's navigator, a large man we've dubbed Four-Eyes, for reasons I can't really figure out. It seems that wherever Mario goes, Four-Eyes is right beside him! I'm sure they'll end the best of friends.
Ship's Log, Day 4
I am concerned. We were supposed to have landed in Toad Town yesterday, and yet there still isn't a single bit of land in sight. I questioned Four-Eyes about this, and all he said is, "Don't worry, we're right on track... Buh huh huh huh huh!" I offered him a cough drop, but he declined. I'm sure we're fine, though, he appears to know what he's doing.
Ship's Log, Day 6
I awoke early this morning to see Four-Eyes looming menacingly over Mario's sleeping body. I was kind of disturbed, but it's not my place to question these things.
Ship's Log, Day 10
Oh, travesty! The great S.S. Flavion lies in ruins, and we are stranded on an uninhabited island! Our navigator called the island Keelhaul Key, after which he had one of his mad coughing fits again. Mario appeared agitated, and began shaking his fist at the sky, cursing someone named Arthur, or something like that.
As I was asleep during the unfortunate incident, I am unaware of what actually happened. The crew claims we were attacked by ghosts, but that's utter poppycock. The minute we get back to Rogueport, I'm docking their pay.
Ship's Log, Day 12
All is not lost. Using the remains of the S.S. Flavion (Oh! My beloved!), we have created a makeshift town of sorts. Food is scarce, but we will manage to survive.
However, survival is not our top priority. I've heard rumors that pirates used to make their home on this infernal land mass, and I believe they may have left a ship or two behind hidden somewhere. As such, I asked Mario to search the island for any sign of the pirates' lair. Of course, I didn't want him to be lonely, so I sent Four-Eyes along as well. I'm sure they need the time alone. ^_^*
Crump: Buh huh huh huh huh! Great adventure so far, huh, Mario?
Mario: Look, Goggle-boy, that laugh is really getting on my nerves. Shut it.
Crump: Oooh, looks like someone got up on the wrong side of the bed today.
Mario: I hate you.
Crump: That's not very nice... Buh huh huh huh huh!
The duo presses deeper into the cave, until they come across the wreckage of a ship. Upon entering they find a black treasure chest.
Crump: Oh, no...
Chest: People! You've come to rescue me!
Mario: ANOTHER talking box?
Chest: What? You mean you've found other talking chests before? Talk about crazy!
Crump: ... I can't take it anymore!
Crump runs off screaming.
Chest: No problem. So, anyway, how about opening me up? If you do, I'll help you across the water around here.
Mario: Well, I don't have a key... but I DO think you can help me...
A short while later, Mario is sitting on top of the chest, using it as a raft across the water.
Chest: This isn't exactly what I had in mind.
Mario: Less talking, more floating.
Mario then spots a yacht floating in the middle of the pool. He climbs aboard, only to discover Francesca and Frankie aboard.
Francesca: You too!
Frankie: So, you've finally hunted us down and are going to finish the job, huh? Well, I'm ready! You may destroy my body, but my spirit will never rest! We shall find eternal happiness together in the next life! You cannot squelch true love!!!
Francesca: Oh, Frankie!!!
Mario: Actually, I don't really care anymore.
The embrace quickly ends.
Frankie: ... Oh. Never mind, then.
Mario: Say, I'm stranded on this island, do you think we could take this boat back to Rogueport?
Frankie: Sure. The Don can't catch us on this baby.
Chest: But, what about me? Aren't you going to take me aboard?
Francesca: What was that sound?
Mario: Nothing. Hit the throttle!
They take off in the yacht. The wake submerges the chest. As they leave the cave, they find their escape route cut off by Crump, aboard an armored battle cruiser.
Crump: Buh huh huh huh huh! There's no escape this time, Mario! I have the Crystal Star, so there's no reason to keep you alive any longer!
Crump fires a cannon toward the yacht, striking the Pianta couple and sending them soaring into the distance.
Francesca: Oh, Frankie, I feel like I'm flying!
Frankie: Not a good time, dear.
They land several miles off in the ocean, never to be seen again.
Mario: Wait! Stop shooting! What do you mean when you say you have the Crystal Star?
Crump: Buh huh huh. Let me tell you. After we encountered the talking chest-
Mario: That was you?
Crump: Of course it was me! Anyway, after I made my tactical retreat, I found myself face to face with a pirate galleon...
Crump climbs aboard the galleon, when suddenly, Cortez materializes out of nowhere.
Cortez: Arr, matey! What be your business aboard mine haunted galleon?
Crump: Um, steal it?
Cortez: Fool! You think you can beat me, the Great Cortez? Foolish mortal, you shall taste the ocean deep!
Crump pulls out a cell phone and makes a quick call.
Cortez: No matter who you call, nobody can save you now!
Crump: Someone can!
Suddenly, four men in jumpsuits leap aboard.
Men: Ghost Busters!
Crump: And so, I found the Crystal Star onboard the ship, called for this here battle cruiser, and now I'm sinking your dinky little yacht!
Crump suddenly realizes, much to his horror, that Mario is standing right in front of him, Crystal Star in hand, his hammer at the ready.
Mario: For future reference, pay more attention while you're doing a flashback.
Mario uppercuts him with the hammer, knocking him overboard. Mario guns the engine and returns to Rogueport with his new battle cruiser.
Ship's Log, Day Unknown
We've been stranded on this island so long, we've lost track of time. Mario and Four-Eyes never returned, and we fear the worst has befallen them.
Supplies ran out months ago, and I was forced to eat my comrades. This sustained me, but now I am alone, with no food, and not a friend in the world.
Well, one friend. I found a volleyball among the wreckage, drew a smiley face on it, and called it Wilson. He's my only friend. He understands me. He encouraged me to start eating my comrades! What a good fellow.
Wait... what's that, Wilson? We should go swimming? Capital idea! But where? Oh... brilliant, Wilson, brilliant! Let's go see if those sharks over there will play with us!
I hope they'll be my friend! ^_^
To Be Continued...
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