ACT 9: AN OLD FRIEND
“C’mon, Mario!” Yoshi said irritably. “Hurry up already!”
He, Sparkle, and Shine Guy had been waiting for ten minutes. Mario had gone into a store in Mushroom City for supplies. As a coincidence, it was the same store from which Blaze had stolen the Super Scope. Yoshi impatiently tapped his foot. Sparkle, showing hardly any impatience at all, glanced over at Yoshi and spoke to him. “Patience, Yoshi,” she said to him. “Mario should be out momentarily.”
“I hope so!” Yoshi replied. “Dark Paratroopa could be searching for the Brown Gem right now!” Shine Guy had sensed the Brown Gem on yet another island, far northwest of the Mushroom Kingdom. Neither Mario nor Yoshi had ever seen an island out that far, but Shine Guy’s senses made no mistake.
Yoshi sighed. “What is he doing in there?!” he asked, speaking to no one in particular.
Shine Guy was sitting against the wall, meditating. He could hear a voice speaking to him in his head. “Shine Guy…” He began to have a vision. Shine Guy was alone in the dark. The voice spoke yet again. “Shine Guy…”
“Who’s… who’s there?” Shine Guy asked nervously. A light began to shine above him. Shine Guy stood to his feet and looked upward at the light. “… Father?” he said.
“Shine Guy,” the voice spoke, “remember… The fate of the world is in your hands…”
The light began to disappear. “Father!” Shine Guy called. It was too late; the light had faded.
Inside the shop, Mario had just finished checking out his supplies. “Paper, or plastic?” the cashier asked.
“Why not put them all in-a the knapsack?” Mario answered. The cashier placed Mario’s items in a red backpack, which Mario had also paid for. “Thank you very much-a,” he said.
“Have a nice day!” the cashier replied.
“I’ll… try…” Mario said, slightly laughing. He exited the shop to meet the others.
“It’s about time!” Yoshi grunted.
“Sorry for taking so long,” Mario said, “but I thought we might need these. Things could get rougher in the future.” He opened the backpack, which held many items, including a shiny metal Hammer and an Ultra Mushroom.
“Why the Mushroom?” Yoshi asked.
“Well, ONE of us might need it.” He glanced over at the meditating Shy Guy, a bit of concern on his face. Yoshi and Sparkle also glanced at him.
“Is he asleep?” Yoshi asked, raising a brow.
Sparkle went up to Shine Guy. “Shine Guy?” she spoke. “Shine?”
Shine Guy opened his eyes. “Wha… what?”
“Come on, Shine. We’re going.”
Shine Guy hesitated before finally standing up. Sparkle was somewhat puzzled. “Shine? Are you okay?”
“… It… it is nothing…” Shine Guy lied. He climbed onto Sparkle’s back.
“Now,” said Mario, slipping the knapsack on his back, “you said the next-a Power Gem is-a on an island northeast of here… If there is an island, I-a haven’t seen it.”
“Well, it is there…” Shine Guy said as they started to walk down the street.
“Well, I-a don’t know of any boat routes going northeast…”
“Then how are we going to get there?” Sparkle asked.
As they were talking, Yoshi stopped when he saw something in an alley. “Hey guys! Look!” The others stopped too, and went up to the alley. In the alley was a Koopa Klown Kopter. “What’s THAT doing here?”
“Either there’s another Koopa in town,” answered Mario, “or Blaze left it behind… Wait… I think we can-a use this!”
“Do you even know how to drive that thing?”
“Well, it-a can’t hurt to try… Besides, it’s-a probably our only way to the island… whatever island it is…”
They walked into the alley. Mario helped Shine Guy up into the copter, then Sparkle, then Yoshi. Mario pulled himself in. He looked down at the controls. “Hmm… This-a doesn’t look TOO complicated… Let’s try… this…” He pressed a blue button on the right. The copter started up. “Okay… now… maybe this?” He pulled on the control stick. The copter slowly began to lift off. “Ah! This isn’t too hard! Well, let’s-a go!” He pushed the stick forward, and away they went.
“No, Mario!” said Yoshi. “Northwest is the OTHER way!”
“… Ooh…” Mario looped around, and they continued in the right direction.
Dark Paratroopa and Shadow Flame (aka: Blaze) were climbing a large hill in the center of the land. “Just a little further,” Dark Paratroopa said.
At the top of the hill was an altar. Dark Paratroopa walked up to it. On the altar was a large stone panel, surrounded by ten small holes. Two of the holes each held a Gem, one white, the other cyan. He turned back to his new comrade. Originally red with purple eyes and a flame-colored Mo-hawk, he was now a dark shade of purple with yellow eyes and dark green hair. “Now listen closely, Flame,” Dark Paratroopa explained. “The treasure Dark Master is after is right under this panel.”
Flame stared down at the panel, then at the small holes surrounding it, then at the two Gems. “And what are these?” Flame asked.
“Those are two of the Power Gems,” Dark Paratroopa answered. “There are ten of these, and Dark Master needs them all, pronto. We have these two, our enemies have four, and there are four others we need to find.”
Flame stared at the Gems. Why do I feel like I’ve seen one of these before…? he thought. He turned back to Dark Paratroopa. “So… what’s the story behind these… Power Gems?”
“The purpose of these Gems was to lock away the powerful treasure; however, in the hands of someone as evil as Dark Master, he could use them to release the treasure, which, of course, is exactly what he want to do with them.”
“Well, if the Gems are supposed to be on this altar, why are most of them… not here?”
“It happened about nine days ago. There used to be a guardian for these Gems, a powerful Shy Guy, to keep them from falling into the…” He did a finger gesture. “’wrong hands’… He guarded them for many years, until Dark Master sent his whole army to attack the altar. His troops were defeated, but the Master himself proceeded to battle it out with the guardian. Master overpowered him, but before the final blow, the guardian scattered the Gems to many random areas outside this land. Angry, Dark Master gave him one final blow before leaving him to die. It seemed that nothing could now stop us from finding the Gems, but, for some reason, this other Shy Guy, whom I had rivaled for the longest though he is much less powerful than the guardian, is now searching for these Gems. How he received the power to sense these Gems over long distances I have no idea, but he found assistance.”
“Where do I come in?”
“Well, you’re my assistance. Don’t tell Dark Master, but I’m sort of on two quests at once: finding the Power Gems, and finishing that Shy Guy who’s being screwing me up. He’s the main cause of my troubles. So, in addition to the Gems, the Shy Guy must die! Err… Excuse me for rhyming…”
“Well, where do we start?”
“I know the location of the Brown Gem. Let’s go. We have no time to waste.”
They both teleported away.
It was daybreak. The Klown Kopter was quickly flying across the sea. As they flew, Yoshi and Sparkle were enjoying the fresh, salty air, while Mario focused on driving the aircraft.
Shine Guy, however, was still thinking about the vision he had seen back in Mushroom City. How… strange… he thought. I could hear him in my thoughts, even though he’s… He couldn’t bring himself to say or even think about the word. He was very baffled.
“Land ho!” Yoshi cried as he spotted a speck of land in the distance.
Mario glanced at him. “Eh… Yoshi, isn’t that what you would-a say on a BOAT?”
“Well, what WOULD you say on an aircraft? Anyway, I’m interested to see this island up close. I wonder if anyone lives here…”
“There’s only-a one way to find out.”
“Bring us in for a smooth landing, Mario.”
They began to descend towards the island. As they neared, Mario suddenly realized something. “Uh… Better make-a that ‘rough landing’. This thing has no landing gear!”
Everyone looked at each other. “Uh oh…” they said in unison.
Mario tried his best to keep the Kopter steady, but it was no good. When they landed on the beach, the Kopter slammed hard into the ground and fell over, throwing them onto the sand.
Mario forced himself to his feet and shook the sand off. Yoshi stood up and shook himself off. “Very impressive, Mario…” he said, rubbing his head.
Mario turned to Yoshi. “Well, I-a got us down, didn’t I?” He took his hat off and emptied it of the sand.
Sparkle got up. She looked around. Beyond the beach was a very dense forest. She turned to Shine Guy and helped him up. “Are you okay?”
“I have sand in my clothes, but I’ll manage.” Shine Guy shook himself off. He looked around. “The Brown Gem should be somewhere around here…”
“Oh… no…” said Yoshi. “Well this is perfect!”
“What?” everyone else asked.
“Look at the chopper!” They looked over at the Kopter. The propeller was crushed! They were stuck on the island!
Mario slapped his forehead. “Well…” he sighed, “while-a we’re here, I guess we can explore for the Gem, and look around for a way off-a the island. Come on, guys…” They proceeded into the forest.
Mario and company bushwhacked through the dense jungle. “I’d-a sure like to know what this-a place is…” Mario said.
“I don’t know…” said Yoshi, shoving a large leaf out of his way. “But there sure are a lot of banana trees.” They all looked up. The trees were filled with bananas.
They continued forward. Eventually, they reached a clearing. They looked around. “Hey look,” Yoshi spoke. He pointed towards the left. The others looked in that direction to see a treehouse. “I guess someone DOES live here…”
“Come on, Yoshi,” said Mario. “Let’s-a you and I go check it out. Sparkle, Shine Guy, you guys stay here and watch for-a any trouble.” They nodded. Mario and Yoshi advanced towards the treehouse and started climbing.
Meanwhile, Shine Guy looked around cautiously. Strangely, he felt as though they were being watched. He shivered nervously. Something is not right… he thought.
Sparkle decided to take a look around the clearing. She walked around the perimeter of the clearing. Suddenly, she stopped, then looked back when she thought she saw something. She went back to the spot and moved the large palm tree leaves aside, and there it was.
Mario and Yoshi looked around in the treehouse. No one was present. “I guess they’re out…” Yoshi said.
“I wonder who lives here…” Mario thought out loud.
Sparkle stared at the cave entrance she had discovered. Curious, she proceeded into the cave. She rounded a corner, then gasped at what she saw.
Outside, Shine Guy watched as Mario and Yoshi were up in the treehouse. Unfortunately, he failed to take notice of someone else walking by behind him, entering the very same cave entrance Sparkle had entered. When he suddenly had the feeling they weren’t alone, he turned around. No one was there. He scratched his head.
Sparkle gazed up at the huge pile of bananas. Someone here must really like bananas… she thought. Suddenly, snoring was heard. She backed up, startled. She glanced in the right corner, and there was the source of the snoring, a small ape kid in a red shirt and cap, fast asleep on the cave floor. Sparkle raised a brow. How can that little guy eat all those bananas himself? she thought. She shifted her eyes back to the hoard of bananas. She felt somewhat hungry. Maybe one little banana won’t hurt… She walked up to the pile, and was about to grab a banana, when a shadow came over her. She froze stiff. She could hear heavy breathing. Chills slithered up her spine. Dare she look? She slowly turned around.
Outside, Mario and Yoshi clambered down from the treehouse, then went up to Shine Guy. “No one’s home…” said Mario. “But at-a least we know this-a island isn’t deserted.”
“I just hope whoever lives here is friendly…” said Yoshi.
Mario looked around. He noticed they were one person short. “Shine Guy…” he asked slowly. “Where’s Sparkle?”
Shine Guy looked around. The white Yo’ster was nowhere to be seen. “I… do not know…” Shine Guy answered slowly. “I did not even realize she was gone…”
Suddenly, they heard a loud scream. They jumped. “Sparkle? SPARKLE?!” Shine Guy cried. “WHERE ARE YOU?!”
“It came from over here!” Yoshi said. They ran to the edge of the clearing and shoved away the leaves to reveal the secret cave.
Dark Paratroopa and Shadow Flame materialized on the beach of the island. They looked all around. “Hmm…” said Flame. “Peaceful-looking place, no?”
The Paratroopa glanced at him. “No…” he replied. “At least it won’t be for long…” The two laughed. “Enough joking. Come, Flame. The Brown Gem awaits us!” They started forward into the forest.
He was large, strong, brutal… hairy… and wearing a red tie; the creature furiously stared down upon the frightened Yoshi, breathing heavily, his teeth bared. Sparkle wanted to make a run for it, but she was so scared she couldn’t move an inch. By now the small ape in the red hat had awoken due to the commotion. The large figure slowly and angrily advanced towards Sparkle. Up close, he looked larger and even more intimidating. Sparkle took one step backward, then fell onto the cave floor, still shaking.
“YOU?!” cried a voice. The ape turned around to see a plumber in red, a green dinosaur/dragon, and a short one in white.
Mario stepped forward. “DONKEY KONG?!” he said in a shocked tone. “WHAT IN THE WORLD?!”
DK growled at the site of his old adversary. “MARIO!” he roared. The two stomped towards each other.
“Stay back!” Mario said to the others, slipped his backpack off. “This is-a MY fight!”
The smaller ape walked up next the Sparkle, who was still a bit shaken. “What going on here?” he spoke.
“Donkey handle this, Diddy!” DK said to the smaller ape.
MINIBOSS!!!: Donkey Kong
Mario and Donkey Kong circled the small area, glaring at each other with fury, wondering who would make the first move. “Come on, Donkey!” Mario taunted. “Let’s play!”
“RRRRRRRRR!!!” The first move went to DK, as he suddenly lurched at the plumber. Mario jumped aside, barely avoiding DK’s fists. Mario jumped at DK and pounded him in the head. DK roared, then slammed Mario to the cave floor. Mario was momentarily dazed, but recovered and jumped at DK’s head again, punching him in the nose. DK roared again and swung his arms at Mario, who ducked, then jumped at DK’s head again. DK knocked him into the cave wall. DK roared again, pounding his chest.
Mario slowly stood back to his feet and rubbed his head. He glared at DK, then charged at him. “Take THIS!” he yelled. He jumped at the ape and pounded his head again. DK roared, his head already hurting from being hit so many times already.
“THAT HURT!” he roared. “DONKEY GIVE YOU BAD HEADACHE!!!” DK swung his arm at Mario, knocking his hat off. Mario looked down at his hat on the ground, then flashed DK a very angry visage. His grabbed his hat and put it back on.
“That’s it!” he yelled. “NOBODY touches-a the hat! It’s hammer time!” Mario jumped to his backpack, avoiding DK’s fists, and grabbed his new hammer. He jumped at DK and swung his hammer. DK ducked, and tried to swing at Mario in midair, but missed.
Shine Guy shook his head as he looked on. This is a waste of time! he thought.
DK roared, flailing his arms like a Boom Boom. “Calm-a down, you big ape!” Mario yelled.
“… HOW DARE INSULT DONKEY IN OWN HOME?!” DK roared.
That’s funny… Yoshi thought as he watched the fight. Lava Piranha said that exact same thing…
They were about to charge, when Shine Guy ran between them. “STOP!” he yelled.
Mario and DK stopped, then stared down at Shine Guy. “Cannot we settle this without violence?” the Shyster said.
“He’s right,” Yoshi said. “We’re losing precious time here.” He looked sharply up at DK. “Why were you about to attack her, anyway?!”
“She try to steel banana hoard!” DK protested.
“No!” Sparkle said. “That’s not why I was here at all!” Deep down, she knew she wasn’t telling the whole truth. She had made an unsuccessful attempt to grab one banana; however stealing was not at all her intent.
“Listen,” Shine Guy spoke bravely. “I am sure she never intended to do anything of the sort! Please do not hurt her!”
DK looked down at Shine Guy, then back at Sparkle. The white Yo’ster seemed innocent enough. He submitted to Shine Guy’s request. “… Okay…” he finally said. He stepped aside. Shine Guy rushed over to Sparkle and helped her up.
“Well…” remarked Mario, “that was a rather… unusual way to greet someone you-a haven’t seen in a long-a time.” He and DK laughed.
“What you doing here, anyway?” the smaller ape, Diddy, asked.
“We came looking for one of-a these…” Mario took out the Red Gem and held it out. DK and Diddy stared at the sparkling piece of jewelry. “Oooh! Shiny!” Diddy remarked.
“More than shiny,” explained Shine Guy. “It is very powerful.”
“We’re looking for a brown one like it,” said Yoshi. “Have you seen it?”
DK scratched his head, then looked at Diddy, who shrugged. “Mmm… no,” said DK. “Not seen one…”
“We must search the island,” Shine Guy said. “We must find the Gem before Dark Paratroopa shows up.”
“We help!” Diddy said eagerly.
“Err... Much obliged,” Shine Guy said, though he still felt a bit uneasy about having two apes in the group.
“Great!” said Mario. “Let’s-a go!”
Everyone headed to the exit of the cave. Shine Guy, however, hesitated. Yoshi looked back at the Shyster. “What’s wrong?” he asked.
“I am not sure…” Shine Guy answered. “Did we make a good choice in letting those apes come along?”
“Relax, Shine. They may speak funny, but they’re good. Really! Now c’mon, I hear the Brown Gem calling us!”
Shine Guy took a nervous breath, then followed.
“Where is that dang Brown Gem?!” Shadow Flame snapped a low tree branch from his view.
“Patience, Flame,” Dark Paratroopa said. “We’ll find it. My senses never…” He paused. Shadow Flame glanced at him.
“Uh… what’s up?”
Dark Paratroopa didn’t answer immediately. He just growled. “… Shine Guy…” he said without looking at Flame. “He’s here… I can feel it…”
The Paratroopa groaned irritably. “The Shy Guy I mentioned to you at the altar. He’s basically all my problems. Even if we DO find all the Power Gems for Dark Master, I won’t be satisfied until I’ve finished him!” Paratroopa growled at the thought of Shine Guy. What a despicable character. Nothing would’ve pleased him more than to taste Shine Guy’s blood. “Yes…” he said. “Shine Guy’s head on a platter. That’d make the ultimate birthday present! Sadly, my birthday is six months away, but whatever…”
“Well then… why don’t you just… kill him?”
Paratroopa turned sharply to Flame. “I’ve tried many times. Somehow, he’s always managed to escape me. It won’t be long, however. I WILL make it happen! Before our search for the Gems is over, it will happen!” He breathed heavily, a determined look on his face, much hatred in his red eyes. He turned to Shadow Flame again. “Come on,” he finally said. “I hear a Power Gem calling for us to pick it up!” He continued forward. Shadow Flame followed.
After continuing, the two came to a clearing. Dark Paratroopa looked all around. “… They were just here…” he said.
“How do you figure?”
“Like I said, my senses never lie. Besides, I can see their footprints in the dirt.” He walked up to the footprints, and was able to make out Mario’s, Yoshi’s, Shine Guy’s, and Sparkle’s. However, he spotted two other sets of footprints, totally unfamiliar to him. One of them was huge, much larger than his own shoeprint. Staring down at the large footprint, Dark Paratroopa suddenly had a surprised look on his face. “… Two others are with them… and looking at this particular set of feet, one of them seems pretty big…” He turned to Shadow Flame. “Shine Guy has more assistance…”
“Your point?” Flame asked.
“I think it’s time we made… or should I say… steal some assistance for ourselves… Come on. We’ve wasted enough time playing in the dirt!”
He teleported away, as did Flame.
It was nighttime. Mario and company were still searching. Though Shine Guy knew exactly where to go, the jungle was very dense, with nothing but trees and underbrush in view. The starry sky was almost completely hidden by the trees, making the forest very dark. Mario cautiously looked around, slightly nervous, but keeping calm. Donkey Kong was also slightly nervous. Though he knew the island like the back of his hand, the jungle seemed very creepy and eerie. Yoshi held an egg in his hand, ready for any emergencies. Sparkle’s fists were clenched, sweating heavily, constantly looking left and right. Diddy seemed deep in thought. Shine Guy, riding on Sparkle, was most nervous of anybody. The silence was getting to him, and he decided to speak up. “… Um… Nice night…” he said, although he immediately thought What am I saying?!
“Nice and creepy, if that’s what you mean…” Sparkle said. “It’d be even creepier if we knew Dark Paratroopa was lurking somewhere around here.” The thing was, they both knew so. Dark Paratroopa could very well pop out of nowhere at any time. They both shivered at the thought.
Donkey Kong overheard the conversation. “Who they talking about?” he whispered to Yoshi.
Yoshi looked up at him. “You’ll see, Donkey…” he said, with no hint of enthusiasm in his voice. “You’ll see…”
Hearing them converse about Dark Paratroopa, Mario suddenly remembered something. Before leaving Mushroom City, they had witnessed the Paratroopa teleporting away with Blaze. What did he want with the oversized Koopa? Then, in a state of shock, Mario remembered the story Sparkle had told them of how she became Ultraviolet. Uh oh… he thought.
“This is it,” Shine Guy said. They all stopped. “The Brown Gem is somewhere around here.”
“How we gonna find Gem?” Diddy asked. “Diddy barely see hand in front of face!”
“Split up and start-a looking,” said Mario. “But don’t go too far…”
They did so.
Sparkle peered though some bushes. She couldn’t see the Gem anywhere, but then, she could barely see anything at all.
Yoshi stretched his hands forward to brace himself if he ran into something he couldn’t see. He stressed his eyes to try to see his surroundings. He took another step forward and stepped on something.
“OW!” a voice cried. “That Donkey’s foot!”
Mario peeked around a tree. He could see no sign of the Gem. “Mamamia…” he sighed. “This is-a like finding hay in a needlestack…”
“Isn’t that ‘finding a needle in a haystack’?” Yoshi asked.
“You tell me. Is it harder to dig through a stack of-a hay, or a stack of-a needles?”
“Oh… I see your point…”
Diddy crawled low in the dirt, looking every which way we could. Suddenly, he saw it, a light-brownish glow, slightly hidden by some brush. He slowly crawled over to it. He moved the bushes out of his way. There it was, the Brown Gem. “Hey! Diddy find it!” he said excitedly.
Diddy was a bit further away from everyone else, and they could barely hear him. “Come again, Diddy?” Yoshi asked.
*STOMP* He froze. He looked directly in front of him. The Gem’s glow was hidden again. Something was on top of it. He tried to dig the Gem out from under it, but felt something pierce his hand. It felt like a spike. He yanked his hand back and yelped.
“I’ll take this!” said a cold voice. Diddy shivered. He took another look at the object that covered the Gem. Taking a closer look, he could see that the object looked like a shoe. The “spike” looked like a sharp toenail. Diddy slowly looked upward, but could see nothing… nothing but a pair of yellow eyes staring back at him!
“Diddy? What’d you say?” Yoshi asked. No one answered. “Diddy? Diddy?!” Still no answer. Everyone else stopped.
“Where’s Diddy?!” Yoshi cried.
“AHAHAHAHAHAHA!” someone laughed maniacally.
Shine Guy shivered. He knew exactly who it was. “… Dark… Paratroopa!” he said nervously. “Where are you?! Show yourself!”
“As you wish!” A hand suddenly rested upon Shine Guy’s shoulder, making him jump a bit. Shine Guy look back at the pair of red eyes, sinisterly glaring back down at him! Enjoying the night?”
Everyone gasped at the sight of the Paratroopa. “I knew you’d show up-a sooner or later!” snapped Mario.
“WHAT YOU DO WITH DIDDY?!” Donkey roared.
“WE haven’t done a thing with him… not YET anyway…”
“… Uh… WE?” Sparkle asked nervously.
“Oh yes… Let me introduce you to my new partner! Shadow Flame, come forth!”
“… Shadow Flame…?” Mario asked. “Who in the… Oh no… No… It COULDN’T be!”
Shadow Flame emerged from the darkness of the trees, holding Diddy around the mouth in one arm, and the Brown Gem in the other.
“It… is…” Mario said, wide-eyed.
“… Blaze?!” Yoshi gasped. “You look different…”
Flame raised a brow. “Blaze…? What are you talking about?! … But that name does sound a little familiar…” Upon hearing this, Dark Paratroopa got an anime sweatdrop. Flame looked at him. “Why do you look so nervous?” he asked.
Dark Paratroopa’s heart pounded. “Uh… Nothing!” he said, with a goofy grin on his face. Flame raised a brow again.
Dark Paratroopa turned to the others. “Anyway, I’m finally ending my troubles! This is gonna feel so good!”
“GIVE BACK DONKEY’S BOY!” Donkey roared. He was about to charge, but the Paratroopa stopped him.
“Don’t you move an inch!” he threatened. “Or your boy gets it!”
Diddy struggled frantically in Flame’s arm. He was so scared his was crying and screaming. Though his screams couldn’t be heard through Flame’s fingers, his frightened tears could still be seen.
“Now… uh… listen…” Yoshi said nervously. “Let’s not do anything rash here…”
“You haven’t seen rash!” Dark Paratroopa said coldly. “You’ll KNOW when I get rash!”
“Please, Paratroopa!” Shine Guy said. “You have what you wanted. Please do not harm him.”
Dark Paratroopa stared at the Shyster, then looked back at Flame. “It really amuses me to hear him plead!” he laughed. Flame laughed under his breath. Paratroopa turned back to Shine Guy. “Actually, I don’t quite have what I want… yet…” He grabbed Shine Guy by the neck and held him up! Shine Guy began to choke!
“WHAT’RE YOU DOING?!” cried Sparkle.
“Something I should’ve done years ago!” Dark Paratroopa grinned evilly as he watched the Shyster suffer.
“LET HIM-A GO!!!” Mario bellowed. He and the others charged towards Dark Paratroopa.
“Flame! Do your thing!” Dark Paratroopa ordered.
Flame parted his lips, releasing a huge, purple fireball that swiftly darted at them and knocked them back.
“SHINE GUY!!!” Sparkle cried tearfully.
Dark Paratroopa, ignoring Sparkle’s cries, stared sinisterly at the choking Shine Guy. “It’s been… fun…” he bantered, “but I have nothing to say, but… goodbye!” Still holding Shine Guy, he unleashed a powerful, steady bolt of lightning into Shine Guy’s body! Shine Guy cried loudly in pain, then, after a few seconds, his cries abruptly ceased. Dark Paratroopa threw him to the ground. He stared down at the motionless body, then laughed manically. “AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! NOW I have what I want!”
Heavy tears began to form in Sparkle’s eyes.
“Let the monkey go, Shadow Flame!” Paratroopa said. “We’re done here!” Flame did so, and the two teleported away.
Sparkle got to her feet. She walked up to the motionless Shyster and kneeled beside him. “Shine Guy?” he asked tearfully. No answer. “Shine Guy?!” Still no answer. More tears fell. “SHINE GUY!!! YOU CAN’T JUST DIE!!!” She broke down and began to weep.
The others wept as well, but none of them showed more sorrow for the Shyster than Sparkle. The two had known each other for years. They had been friends since their childhood. Now… with one painful shock, it ended.
Suddenly, Yoshi remembered something.
A flashback started.
Mario opened the backpack, which held many items, including a shiny metal hammer, and an Ultra Mushroom. “Why the Mushroom?” Yoshi asked.
“Well, ONE of us might need it.” Mario glanced over at the meditating Shy Guy, a bit of concern on his face.
The flashback ended.
“Wait!” he cried excitedly. “There’s still a chance!”
Upon hearing this, Sparkle looked back, still teary-eyed, with a look of hope on her face.
Yoshi dug into Mario’s backpack. He rummaged through until he came across the Mushroom that Mario had purchased. He went over to Shine Guy, then, noticing that he couldn’t do this with Shine Guy’s mask on, unstrapped the mask from his face. In an act of respect, he tried hard not to grimace. He put the Mushroom in Shine Guy’s mouth and forced it down his throat. He put the Shyster’s mask back on. Sparkle leaned over Shine Guy, watching anxiously to see what would happen.