ACT 5: THE AMBUSH
It was midnight. Dark Paratroopa was strolling through the dark halls of Dark Master’s keep. He couldn’t sleep. Out of all five of his tries to find the Power Gems, he was only successful twice. All the other times, his efforts had been thwarted by Shine Guy, Mario, and Yoshi. There was only one way he could fix this. Before he could carry his plan out, however, he needed to inform Dark Master, who did not allow any of his minions (including Dark Paratroopa) to leave the castle without his permission.
Dark Paratroopa suddenly stopped. Wake up Dark Master? What a crazy idea. Dark Master would get very cranky if his slumber was interrupted. Of course, nobody likes to be awoken in the middle of the night, but with Dark Master, if he were to be awakened, the unfortunate soul who woke him up would most likely be zapped into nothing. It was a chance he’d have to take.
Dark Paratroopa found himself standing in front of the huge door to Dark Master’s personal room. The Paratroopa took a deep breath. He flew up to the doorknob, which was too high for him to reach from the floor. He made an effort to turn the large doorknob. When he turned it all the way, the door slid open a bit, enough to where he could go through. He entered, and landed on the floor. He could hear the rather loud snoring of Dark Master. In front of him was a giant-sized bed. He slowly advanced toward the bed. He flew upward, following the length of the bed until he reached the oversized Magikoopa’s head. Dark Paratroopa felt he would regret this, but he had no choice.
“Master?” he whispered. Dark Master didn’t answer, as he was sound asleep. “Master?!” he said, this time a bit louder. Dark Master was still asleep. Why do I bother? Dark Paratroopa thought. He flew over to Dark Master’s microscopic ear and took a deep breath…
Dark Master shot upwards, nearly losing his nightcap. He adjusted his cap, then turned to the relatively small Dark Paratroopa. He stared down at him momentarily. He narrowed his yellow eyes, which shown through the darkness of the underside of his king-sized nightcap. “I’ll have you know that oftentimes I can’t even get a good night’s sleep without you in my dreams!” he hissed. Dark Paratroopa shivered. “Anyway, you interrupted my sleep, so this had better be important!”
“Master,” began Dark Paratroopa, “I’m fed up. Nearly every time we come close to finding a Gem, he and his friends mess us up!”
“I find that very obvious. Continue.”
“Yes. If we are to obtain all the Power Gems, well need to get that Shine Guy out of our hair.”
“Is that all you came to tell me?”
“Actually, no. I actually came to ask if I may borrow some of your minions so that I can bring my plan into action.”
“… Meh… Do what you want, just, don’t mess up this time!”
“Thank you, Master.” Dark Paratroopa turned to leave. He stopped when he thought about something, and turned back to Dark Master. “You know,” he said, “as an afterthought, you look a lot more intimidating without your glasses on.”
“… Really? Perhaps I should wear my contacts more often then…”
Dark Paratroopa had gathered a small group of dark minions and was giving them orders.
“This assignment will be very vital towards finding the Power Gems, but you probably knew that,” Dark Paratroopa explained. “Anyway, you know what you must do, right?”
They all nodded. “Good, now go!”
Shine Guy suddenly woke up, frightened, as if he had been switched on. He had sensed danger in his sleep. He jumped on Mario’s bed and began wildly shoving him. “MARIO! WAKE UP! WAKE UP!” he cried.
“Ah, pasta… Ah, linguini… Ah, pizza… Ah, mamamia…” Mario was talking in his sleep. Shine Guy slapped his mask. He ran to the closet and yanked it open. Rummaging through the closet, he came across the trumpet. He picked it up. He held it up to his mouth, and gently…
The startled Mario jumped out of his bed. Luigi also jumped, as did Yoshi. “What’s-a the big idea?!” Mario yelled.
“Well, Mario,” Luigi mused, “now you know how it-a feels when-a you blow that thing in-a my ear!”
“Very funny, Luigi. Ha ha ha…”
“Will you stop arguing?!” Shine Guy yelled, breathing heavily. The others stared at the Shyster. He seemed very frightened.
“Something must be very wrong if you’re acting like that…” said Yoshi.
“Exactly!” said Shine Guy. “We need to leave! NOW!”
“Why?” Mario asked. “What’s-a wrong?”
*BLAM!* Everyone jumped. They all looked up. They could see the starry sky. Then it hit them; part of the roof was gone! They all froze. “… What just happened?” asked Yoshi, slowly.
Suddenly, a purple Bob-omb fell in through the hole in the roof! It landed in the middle of the floor! “EEP!” cried Luigi. “SOMEONE GET THAT THING OUTTA HERE!!!” Yoshi quickly grabbed the oddly-colored Bob-omb and hurled it up through the hole. It exploded in midair seconds later.
“What’s-a going on here?!” Mario yelled.
*BANG!* They all turned toward the stairs. “Uh… Someone’s at the door…” Yoshi squeaked.
“It must be another Koopa attack,” said Luigi. “Maybe I can-a fix him!”
Luigi headed toward the stairs, but was blocked by Shine Guy. “I would rather you not go down there!” the Shyster cried.
“One, you are still wearing your pajamas. Two, the attackers are not the… Koopas… you speak of…”
“I think he’s-a right,” agreed Mario. “Apart from the pajamas, the Koopas don’t have Bob-ombs with that sort of color…”
“Then… who is it?” asked Luigi.
Outside, two Sledge Brothers with purple helmets were repeatedly slamming into the front door, and purple-shelled Lakitus had been dropping Bob-ombs on the roof as warning shots. A Koopatrol with purple gear was coaching.
“That’s enough Bob-ombs!” the Koopatrol said. “Keep ramming, and if they don’t give in, torch the house!”
Back inside the house, Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, and Shine Guy were trying to decide what to do.
“It’s foolish to try to-a fight them now…” said Mario. “We’ll-a have to run…”
“But how do we get out?” Yoshi asked. *BANG!* “Certainly not through the front door…”
“Luigi and I have an emergency exit,” said Mario. “Yoshi, you take Shine Guy and-a go into the bathroom. Open the cabinet under the sink and-a go in there!”
“Cabinet?!” Yoshi quirked his brow.
*BANG!* “Trust me!” said Mario. “Luigi and I need to grab our clothes!” Yoshi nodded. He and Shine Guy headed quickly down the stairs.
“TORCH THE HOUSE!” the Koopatrol ordered from outside . Purple-colored Embers began blowing waves of fire at the house!
Back inside, Luigi was just grabbing his hat when…
“LUIGI!!! YOUR BED’S ON FIRE!!!” Mario cried. Luigi whipped around to see his bed engulfed in flames! He shrieked.
Yoshi and Shine Guy reached the bathroom. Yoshi threw open the cabinet and peered in. “Well whadaya know?” he said. “Mario had an escape pipe installed. Very clever!”
“Yes, now let us go in the pipe!” Shine Guy urged.
Mario and Luigi came up behind them. “Hurry!” Mario cried. “I-a think the house is on fire! Everybody in the pipe!”
Moments later, the roof caved in! The whole house was now nothing but a flaming wreck!
Dark Master’s minions rejoiced as they watched the house burn, cheering and laughing evilly, saying things like “YES! WE RULE!” and “THEY’RE GONE! THEY’RE HISTORY!”
“Excellent, boys!” remarked the Koopatrol. “Dark Paratroopa will be thrilled… and so will Dark Master!”
Meanwhile, high above, Dark Paratroopa watched as the house burned to the ground. Looks like we’ll have no more trouble from here on out! he thought. He felt very pleased with himself.
“What is this?” said a voice behind him. Dark Paratroopa whipped around to see Dark Master, who had just materialized behind him, wearing his contacts. “Why… Master!” Dark Paratroopa remarked. “This is one of the only times I’ve seen you outside your keep… And I see you’re wearing your contacts…”
“I decided to see your plan for myself,” Dark Master replied. “Anyway, what is going on down there?” He pointed to the flaming rubble below.
Dark Paratroopa looked at his master and smirked sinisterly. “Master,” he said, “what you see down below… is Shine Guy’s grave!”
When his right-hand man said this, Dark Master stared back at him, speechless, but proud.
Four figures emerged from a pipe in a forest. The first was short, wearing white clothing and a mask over his face with two holes for his eyes and another for his mouth. The second was bigger, and green with a white underbelly and a large, round nose region, and wearing orange shoes. The third and fourth looked very similar to each other, both wearing hats and suspenders, the differences being that one was shorter, wore a red undershirt, and had an “M” initial on his hat, while the other was taller, with a green undershirt and an “L” initial on his hat.
“My…” Shine Guy remarked. “That was too close for comfort…”
“WAY too close…” added Yoshi. “Uh… Where are we?”
“Mushroom City Forest,” Mario answered. “It surrounds our house…”
“What’s-a left of it, anyway…” said Luigi.
“It seems Dark Master is now sending his minions after us…” said Shine Guy.
“Oh great,” Yoshi said sarcastically. “This just keeps getting better and better…”
“We can’t stay here…” said Mario. “If-a the dark minions are-a gunning for us, anybody close to us might get caught in-a the crossfire… Besides, Mushroom City is already having enough trouble with the frequent Koopa attacks.”
“Where will you go?” Luigi asked.
“Away from here, I guess…” said Yoshi.
“Take care of-a Mushroom City while-a we’re away, Bro,” said Mario.
“Not to worry, Bro,” replied Luigi. “I can-a handle it… I think…”
“Come on, guys,” said Yoshi. “We have no time to lose.”
Mario, Yoshi, and Shine Guy bid goodbye to Luigi, who then set off for Princess Peach’s castle.