Mario and Parakarry made their way through Desert Land. It was nighttime, making visibility a bit difficult for them. They were both still shocked at the unusual abilities the Dry Bones zombies had. Laser vision? Being able to detect their target without the need for seeing them? Exactly what kind of Dry Bones were these? Mario and Parakarry just couldn't figure this out. Mario, however, had other thoughts as well.
Parakarry was right about the Dry Bones only trying to attack me, he thought. But then that means Parakarry doesn't really have anything to do with this…I hope he's not putting himself in danger… He DOES, after all, have a bad wing… I wonder if Luigi's all right… I hope so…
Parakarry also had thoughts of his own. I hope Mario doesn't find out that I wanted to avoid my boss… he might think I'm a coward or I was just using him… which I'm not… But if my boss ever found out about this… he'd surely fire me… I really hate it when he gets tough… Parakarry then thought of the Postmaster's scary, stern look. He grimaced, then shivered.
Mario looked at him. "Are you okay?" he asked. "You look worried…"
Parakarry jumped. "Huh?" he said. "Oh… I'm fine…"
They continued walking. Desert Land was chilly at night. The cool wind blew bits of sand in their faces, making visibility even harder. Nevertheless, they kept walking. Just then, something came to Parakarry's mind. "Mario?" he said. "How far back do you think those Dry Bones are?"
"… I never really thought much about that…" said Mario.
The wind suddenly picked up. As they took more steps, the wind kept blowing harder and harder. "Um… Mario?" said Parakarry. "What's going on with the wind? Is there a storm brewing?"
"It can't be…" said Mario. "I've been here several times in the past, and it hardly ever rains here…"
"No. I meant like a windstorm."
Mario stared, not moving a single inch. "Mario… Could you stop looking at me like that?" said Parakarry. "You're making me nervous…"
"What? What is it? More zombies? If so, I'll blast their skulls off!"
"No… It's something a lot worse…"
"Turn around and tell me what you see…"
Parakarry did so, and as the wind picked up even more, he could see a tall, swirling mass of sand heading right towards them! Parakarry turned back to Mario. "I see a Tweester," he said. He thought for a second. Tweester?! He whipped back around. "TWEESTER!!!" he screamed.
They both ran away, but to no avail. The Tweester simply sucked them up. After a few seconds of swirling, they were flung far and wide!
Mario pulled himself out of the sand. He looked all around him. Parakarry was nowhere to be seen. He got up. "PARAKARRY?!" he called. "WHERE ARE YOU?!" No answer. Mario was a little shocked. Maybe Parakarry really had put himself in danger. Mario kept his hopes high and walked off to find his partner… wherever he was.
Parakarry woke up. The landing had knocked him out. He looked around. "W-w-where am I?" he asked himself. He looked down at his chest. He saw nothing but ribs! He screamed. After a few seconds, he stopped. He was still alive. Then he realized he was half-buried in the sand, with the ribs of another Koopa (obviously dead) lying on top of him. Parakarry felt relieved, though somewhat embarrassed, even though no one was watching him.
The Super Scope lay ten meters away from him. Parakarry pulled himself out of the sand. He felt a sharp pain in his wing. He winced. Then he went over to the gun and picked it up. He looked around. Where was Mario? Was he okay? Parakarry was a little too nervous to call for him, so he set off to find Mario.
After about fifteen minutes, he stopped. He suddenly (and literally) got a sinking feeling. He looked down. His feet were missing! He looked all around him. He had stepped into quicksand! Before he could panic, he remembered an old trick? don't move. Parakarry didn't move a muscle. He sunk more slowly, but that still didn't help the sinking. Parakarry still didn't move. He couldn't move even if he wanted to. He was scared stiff, so stiff he couldn't speak. He would've preferred getting fired than death. Parakarry could only hope that Mario would come and save him, even if it was at the last second.
Mario charged across the sandy plains. He was doing two things at once: looking for Parakarry, and trying to evade something else. Mario continued running. Suddenly, he spotted something up ahead. It looked like half the body of a Koopa sticking from the ground. As Mario got closer, he could see that it was Parakarry, slowly sinking into the sand! Mario ran over to him. A relieved Parakarry stuck his arm out. Mario started tugging. "Don't worry," said Mario. "I'll have you *groan* out of this in *groan* no time…" Mario continued pulling.
Suddenly, Parakarry spotted something. "Um… Mario?" he said. "I don't like to be the barer of bad news, but look out behind you…" Mario looked back, seeing more Dry Bones zombies - about eleven of them!
"I know," said Mario. "They were chasing me earlier."
The Dry Bones moved slowly towards them while Mario struggled to pull Parakarry out of the quicksand. Then came more trouble. A Piranha Plant suddenly rose from the quicksand! It leaned towards Mario and Parakarry and snapped at them. Mario pulled even harder. The Dry Bones began throwing bones at them. Mario jumped out of the way, while Parakarry ducked his head into his shell to avoid getting hit by accident (as well as avoiding the Piranha Plant). He was still holding the Super Scope, but his hand with the gun was in the sand. Parakarry tried to pull the Super Scope up. Mario jumped around wildly while avoiding the flying bones. He suddenly charged towards them. He jumped on one, which fell apart. He jumped on another. And another. And another. He kept jumping on them until they were all in pieces. He rushed back to Parakarry. The Piranha Plant suddenly snapped at him. Parakarry popped his head back out, and stuck out his arm. Mario began pulling again, ducking to avoid the Piranha Plant's snaps.
Mario suddenly looked over. There, slowly walking towards them, were the nine Dry Bones zombies from earlier! They walked past the other Dry Bones, which reassembled themselves. Now Mario and Parakarry had their hands full with twenty Dry Bones and one hungry Piranha Plant! Mario pulled for dear life while Parakarry still struggled to free his arm and the Super Scope. Mario suddenly felt Parakarry coming out of the quicksand. The Dry Bones got closer. Mario gave it one more good heave, and finally pulled Parakarry out. Parakarry shook himself off and began blasting at the Dry Bones with the Super Scope. One by one, each Dry Bones was blown to pieces. Parakarry then turned to the Piranha Plant and blasted him. The Piranha Plant yelped, then retreated into the quicksand. Mario and Parakarry then took off running. They ran until they saw a pipe in the distance. They ran up to it.
"Ya think this pipe will take us to Sarasaland?" asked Parakarry.
"It's worth a shot," said Mario. They jumped in.
Mario and Parakarry emerged from the pipe. They looked around. They could see nothing but trees and underbrush (there was grass this time, but you guessed that). Mario knew this place.
"Oh… Now we're in Forest Land," said Mario. Parakarry groaned. He looked around.
"Yeesh!" he said. "This place looks almost as creepy as Forever Forest!"
"I think Forever Forest may be part of Forest Land…"
Parakarry gulped. "Well…" said Mario, ";et's go before all those Dry Bones catch up…" Parakarry nodded, too nervous to speak.
They walked off into the forest. Parakarry was still a little worried about Mario discovering his secret about avoiding his boss. But then he was also starting to get second thoughts. Had he made a good choice? After all, he was almost killed by a quicksand-dwelling Piranha Plant (as well as the quicksand itself). Then again, Luigi was in trouble… there was a good reason why he should keep going. Suddenly Parakarry's wing pain started to come back.
Mario still thought about Luigi. Exactly who kidnapped him? Mario was stumped. He looked over at Parakarry and noticed he was wincing. "What's wrong?" said Mario. "Is it your wing?"
Parakarry looked at him. "Uh… Don't worry about it…" he said. "It's nothing serious…"
Mario didn't fall for it. "Did you fall on it in that windstorm?" he asked.
"I'm fine!" Parakarry protested.
Mario shrugged. "Um… Well, tell me if it really gets worse," he said.
"Really! It won't! It's fine!" Parakarry said. He winced again. His wing felt a bit worse than before, but if it meant avoiding his boss, then he would have to take it.
Mario was a little concerned about Parakarry. Parakarry's acting a little strange, thought Mario. I don't think he's as fine as he thinks… I wonder if something is bothering him… Hmm… That may be it… I think I'll ask him about it later though… I don't want to aggravate him…
Suddenly, something interrupted Mario's thoughts. He looked all around. Parakarry noticed him. "What's up?" he said.
"Something's not right here…" said Mario.
"What do you mean?" asked Parakarry.
"Sh-h-h!" said Mario. Parakarry began to feel nervous. What was about to happen? Suddenly, they heard nearby bushes crackling. Parakarry shivered.
"Who's there?!" yelled Mario. No answer. Mario kept looking around. Parakarry shook even more. His teeth began to chatter a little. Then they heard footsteps! Mario started to get a little nervous himself. He motioned Parakarry to follow him. Parakarry reluctantly followed. They heard more footsteps. Parakarry's legs quivered. Suddenly, they saw two silhouettes walk out of the bushes ahead.
"HEY YOU!" yelled Mario. "STOP RIGHT THERE!!!"
The two figures froze. Parakarry got the Super Scope ready just in case. The figures suddenly jumped back into the bushes.
"AFTER THEM!!!" said Mario.
They ran towards the bushes. When they got there, the two figures were nowhere to been seen. "W-w-where'd they go?" stuttered Parakarry.
"I'm not sure…" said Mario. "I think they went… this way…"
Mario and Parakarry crept slowly forward. The two figures were hiding behind a tree. They both peered from behind the tree.
"All right," said one, "listen. On the count of three, we'll jump on 'em."
"Gotcha," said the other.
"One… two… three!"
They both jumped out into Mario and Parakarry just as the two were walking by.
"HEY!!! WHAT ARE YA DOING?!" cried Parakarry. "OW!!! LET GO OF MY WING!!!"
"ALL RIGHT!!! THAT'S ENOUGH!!!" yelled Mario. They threw the two figures off. Mario and Parakarry got up and walked over to the two figures. One of them was a red Yoshi with purple shoes and blue hair. The other was a yellow-shelled Koopa with green hair.
"What's your problem?!" Parakarry scolded.
"Gee… Sorry about that…" said the Koopa. "We thought you were gonna kill us with that gun…"
"Now why would we do something like that?" said Mario. Then the Koopa and Yoshi stared at him.
"Hey…" said the Yoshi. "You're that Mario guy I've been hearing so much about."
"Um… Yeah…I am… And who are you guys?"
"Oh… I'm Woshi."
"And I'm K.K."
"K.K?" said Parakarry. "What does that stand for?"
"Uh… I'd rather not say it…" said K.K.
"Anyhoo," said Woshi, "what're you guys doing here?"
"We're trying to get to Sarasaland so we can save my brother," said Mario.
"Your brother?" asked K.K. "… Hmm… Isn't his name… Luigi?"
"Oooh… Well be careful, guys," said Woshi. "We saw some Dry Bones back there." Woshi pointed ahead.
"MORE Dry Bones?!" asked Parakarry. "We have twenty of 'em on our tails! ... How many did you guys see?"
"About ten…" said K.K.
"TEN?!" Parakarry screamed.
Suddenly, they all heard some clumping noises. They looked ahead to see ten Dry Bones zombies slowly walking towards them!
"Uh oh!" said Woshi. "Here they come now!"
"Don't worry," said Mario. "You guys are safe. It's me they're after, not you."
Then the twenty Dry Bones zombies from the desert were coming towards them in the opposite direction!
"Well…" said Parakarry, "here we go…"
The twenty Dry Bones started firing laser beams from their eyes. They all dodged. The other ten threw bones at them. Woshi swallowed a Dry Bones and made an egg. Then he took aim. Parakarry started blasting at the Dry Bones. He hit two of them. Mario wildly jumped around to avoid the laser beams, eventually jumping on a Dry Bones. He jumped on another, but was then surrounded by three others. Another Dry Bones snuck up behind Mario, its eyes glowing. Mario didn't see him.
"Mario! Behind you!" called Woshi. Mario whipped around and ducked just as the Dry Bones fired its laser. Woshi hurled his egg at the Dry Bones, smashing it to pieces. The other three Dry Bones were hit by a spinning yellow shell. Parakarry blasted the Dry Bones as they all tried to charge at Mario. K.K. smashed into two other Dry Bones just as they were about to throw bones at Mario. Woshi ate another zombie and threw it at another Dry Bones. Mario jumped on two more. Woshi ground pounded near four other Dry Bones. Three of them fell apart. K.K. slammed into the zombie Woshi missed. Parakarry blasted the remaining Dry Bones.
"Phew!" said Parakarry. "Let's go before they put themselves together!"
The four ran away. Ahead was a pipe. They all jumped into the pipe.
Mario, Parakarry, Woshi, and K.K. all emerged from the pipe. They looked around. There were pipes everywhere.
"Great…" said Mario. "Now we're in Pipe Land."
"Aaaaaarrgh!" groaned Parakarry. "… Oh well… Maybe one of these pipes will takes us to Sarasaland…"
"Hey, thanks for helping us fend off those zombies," said Mario to K.K. and Woshi.
"No prob!" said K.K.
"You guys need any more help?" asked Woshi.
"Oh… No thanks…" said Mario. "I'm sure we can handle ourselves."
"Yeah," said Parakarry. "Besides, I'm gettin' good with this gun."
"Oh… Well okay," said Woshi. "Good luck!"
"Thanks," said Parakarry.
Mario and Parakarry bid the Yoshi and Koopa duo goodbye. They walked away. Suddenly, Parakarry's wing pain came back. He tried not to wince, but he couldn't help it. Woshi and K.K. had, after all, irritated it in their little tangle. Mario noticed Parakarry's wincing. "Are you sure your wing's okay?" asked Mario.
Parakarry was annoyed. "For the last time!" he protested. "I'm fine!"
Mario quirked a brow. Was Parakarry really okay, or was he only trying to get Mario off his back? Or was he hiding something? Mario wasn't so sure, but decided to shake off the thought for now. He had more important things to think about, such as who kidnapped Luigi.
The two continued walking. What else lay ahead for them? How many more zombies would they have to out-battle? Would they ever find a Cape Feather or a Starman? Those were a few questions they hoped to have answered in the future…