Chapter 5: The Plan
Construction resumed at the site across the island over the next few days. The workmen finished the main pipe and supports of the oil derrick, and now came what was perhaps the hardest and most complex part of the entire project: setting up the pumping mechanisms. This would most likely take several days before finally being completed. Of course, Boss T. hated waiting; he preferred processes such as this to pass by quickly. As such, he pushed his men harder and harder each day to work with much quickness and precision. The men struggled and toiled, but otherwise, made great progress.
In addition to working fast, Boss T. had also assigned some of his men to patroll around the perimeter of the area. The footprints he had seen in the ground a few nights ago had told him everything, and Boss T. didn’t intend on letting anything stand in his way. Today, however, his rashness and hastiness would prove only to be trouble.
The guards patrolled around the outer edge of the area as usual, all carrying fully loaded hunting rifles in their hands. One man (a Koopa) was walking along the border between the jungle and the construction site. Suddenly he heard a noise coming from the bushes to his left. He stopped abruptly, then glanced into the jungle, taking a good look around. So far, he saw nothing, until he noticed a bush rattling and shaking. With lightning fast reflexes, he aimed his gun and fired.
Another guard (a Toad) happened to be nearby and heard the gunshot. He ran over to his fellow worker to see what the trouble was. “Hey, I heard a shot over here!” he said. “What happened?”
The Koopa turned to him and spoke in a gruff voice. “Somethin’ was tryin’ ta sneak in through dem bushes over dere,” he replied. “But he didn’t git very far.”
“May’ve been one of those Yoshis again. What do you say we have a look-see, eh?”
The two advanced into the underbrush. The Koopa showed his friend where the bush was. They proceeded towards it and peered into it, expecting to find a Yoshi. They didn’t, however. Instead they saw a Grinder, lying motionless in the brush.
“… Eh… Whoops,” the Koopa chuckled. “False alarm… heh heh… Ah well, I needed som’a dat dere target practice anyways…”
The Toad laughed. “Let’s go back,” he said. “The bugs’ll take care of it eventually.” The two headed back.
Across the area, close to the river, a mobile crane was preparing to lift the large, heavy pumping engines and carry them over to the derrick. Ricky stood nearby, spectating, as a few other men attached the crane’s hook to the engine. Once the hook was attached one of the workers signaled to the crane operator (a Toad) that it was ready. The crane operator responded with a nod and proceeded to hoist the engine upwards. Slowly, the engine lifted off the ground.
However, this proved to be much more difficult than they’d thought. The engine was quite heavy, and the crane began to struggle in lifting it. When the engine was about ten feet off the ground, it stopped. The crane’s motor began making loud, ear-piercing noises. The operator then attempted to move the crane forward. He managed to move a few yards forward, but that was as far as he could go, as the crane’s main engine expired.
Ricky slapped his forward as he watched this happen. He walked up alongside the crane and called to the driver in an impatient tone. “Hey! What’s going on?!”
“I’m afraid she quit on me, sir,” the driver said. “She won’t move another inch…”
Ricky sighed in disbelief. “Great… I guess we’ll have to find another way to move this engine… Boss ain’t gonna like this… Let’s get another crane over here!” The workmen followed Ricky’s orders and hurried off to fetch another crane.
Unknown to them, however, another problem was beginning to develop. A trail of oil began to leak from the motor of the immobilized crane. The oil trail flowed down the slope and into the river. No one bothered to check what had gone wrong, and simply left the rig there as gallons of oil flowed into the river.
“I say we go up and tell those idiots to get out of here or we’ll eat them alive!” Boshi suggested. “No one gave them the right to just barge in here and mess everything up!”
“Boshi…” Yoshi sighed. “The guns… remember?”
Boshi groaned, realizing the direct approach would not be the best idea. “… Right…” he muttered.
Yoshi, Boshi, Kroshi, and several others had gathered at the center of the village for a meeting. The group was discussing what they were to do about these men and their actions. They all agreed that something must be done, but none knew exactly what.
“Come on, guys,” Kroshi said. “We’re running out of ideas. We need to plan something, stick with it, and do it now. Already those guys have caused a terrible smell in the air and destroyed a chunk of the jungle. Who knows what could happen next.”
“One thing’s for sure…” said Yoshi. “We can’t try to face them directly. Those men are pretty rash, and they would most likely attack us on sight, or worse…”
“Then what?” another Yoshi (yellow) asked. “What?”
“Looks like we’re completely out of options here…” another (cyan) said. “I guess we’ll all just have to get used to wearing these leaves on our noses…”
Yoshi cringed after hearing this. There was no way he’d let this fly. “… No…” he said. “We’re not stopping now. After all, it’s not just our own safety that’s the main concern; it’s also the safety of every other living, breathing thing on this island.”
The other Yoshi sighed, but agreed. This island was not only their home, but home to many other living creatures. They couldn’t simply let these men takeover and threaten the very well being of the plants, creatures, and perhaps the whole island itself.
The only question was, how could they prevent possible disaster? How could they phase Boss T. and his men? How? The Yoshis pondered hard.
Elsewhere, Rashi and several of his friends were wading and playing down at the river. The children were having splash fights and playing Marco Polo, a game Yoshi had learned from Mario and taught everyone else. Of course, the kids were not unsupervised; Rashi’s mother had insisted on coming with them to make sure they stayed safe.
The Yoshi kids splashed around, having a wonderful time under the sunny sky (or at least as sunny as it could get, what with the grayish haze of exhaust hanging in the air). The children refused to let this bother them, however. They were determined to enlighten themselves and have some fun.
Rashi then noticed his mother sitting alone on the river bank. He called out to her. “Hey Mama! Why don’t you come in and play with us? The water’s great!” The other kids agreed and chimed in on the invitation.
His mother turned to him, and decided not to disappoint them. “Well… okay!” she replied. The kids cheered as she slipped off the bank and into the water. She joined in on the splash-fight, finding the water quite cool and refreshing. The Yoshis were having so much fun that they failed to notice an approaching danger…
Further up the river, the water was darkening to an ominous dark blue color. The dark, seemingly unclean water flowed along with the river, in the direction of the Yoshis. None of them even noticed when it reached their feet, and simply continued splashing around. Nothing happened immediately, until Rashi’s mother suddenly slipped, falling forward into the water. The kids stopped and gasped.
Rashi was shocked. He ran up to his mother and knelt beside her. “Mom?” he asked. “Are you okay?”
To Rashi’s relief, his mother was able to get back up on her knees. “… Don’t worry,” she replied. “I just… *COUGH*” She suddenly started coughing loudly. She had accidentally swallowed some of the water. She then began wheezing as she crawled back to the river bank. She didn’t know what it was, but she suddenly had a terrible, painful feeling in her stomach. Once on the bank, she slipped down to a lying position, on her belly.
The kids rushed up to her. Rashi grew more and more worried. “… Mom? MOM?!” he cried. His mother could only reply with an agonized moan. In a dance of nerves Rashi sprinted away as fast as he could to look for help.
“Perhaps we could try to… you know… negotiate with them, in a peaceful and less threatening way…” a red Yoshi suggested.
“Hmmm…” Yoshi said. “Well, he may not get rash if we do so. The trouble would be trying to get him to see reason.”
“We can still get him to see reason,” said Boshi. “If we… persuade him—”
“No, Boshi… no…” Yoshi interrupted. He knew exactly what Boshi’s definition of the word “persuade” was, and brute force was not the answer.
“Come on, Yoshi!” Boshi persisted. “There’s no way we’re going to get Boss T. out of here if we don’t rough him up a bit.”
Yoshi put his hand to his head in frustration. The situation was beginning to give him a headache. “Then… I don’t know…” he sighed. “I really don’t know…”
“HEEEEEEEEEEELLLLLP!!!” cried a high-pitched voice. The Yoshis jumped and turned to see the source of the cry, Rashi, running towards them frantically. The orange Yoshi kid slid to a halt and panted heavily.
“Rashi?” Kroshi said. “What’s wrong?!”
“Please! Help!” Rashi cried tearfully. “My mama’s in trouble!”
The Yoshis gasped in shock. “Meeting adjourned!” Yoshi said quickly. “Where is she?!”
“Follow me!” Rashi ran ahead, followed by Yoshi, Kroshi, and, after hesitating, Boshi.
They arrived down at the river as quickly as they could. There they could see Rashi’s mother lying flat on the river bank, with several Yoshi kids standing around her and a flowing river of unclean water nearby.
Yoshi knelt down beside the sickened mother and whispered to her. “Are you all right, ma’am?” he said. “What happened here?”
The mother didn’t answer, as she was in too much pain to speak clearly. She let out a moan, then tried to move, but to no avail, as she felt so weak. Yoshi turned to Rashi. “Do you know what happened here?” he asked.
“Well,“ Rashi explained, “we were all playing in the water. Then she fell. She got back up, and then she started crawling on her stomach and moaning. Maybe she hurt her stomach really badly when she fell.”
“Hey guys!” one of the other kids (blue)
called. “Look at this! Look at the water!” The others came over to see
what the blue kid had pointed out. Sure enough, something was amiss with
the water, as it was dark and dirty.
“… Woah…” Kroshi remarked. “That’s unusual…”
“It kinda smells strange, too…” added Boshi. “Smells almost as bad as the air… And is that a dead fish?!” Boshi pointed down the river at a fish floating along the surface in the current of the river. As it neared them, they could see that it was a Blurp. It floated past them.
After seeing this, Yoshi knew what was going on. “… Uh oh… Rashi, I think your mother may have swallowed some of that water…”
Rashi’s heart nearly stopped. He spoke in a tearful, frightened, shaky voice. “You don’t mean… my mama’s gonna…”
“No, Rashi. We’re not going to let that happen, I promise.” Yoshi then turned to the other Yoshis. “Hurry, guys. We need to get her back to the village now.”
Boshi and Kroshi hoisted Rashi’s mother up onto their shoulders and carried her away, the kids, Yoshi, and Rashi following.
Rashi’s mother had been taken back to her hut, and she was now lying in her hammock with several other Yoshisstanding over her. Rashi was in tears. Never had he seen his mother in such a terrible condition. Whatever had gone wrong, he very much hoped it wouldn’t be life threatening.
“Let’s go, guys…” Yoshi said. “She needs rest…” The other Yoshis left the hut. Rashi, however, couldn’t leave, not while his mother was like this. Yoshi noticed him, and walked back over and bent down next to him. “… Rashi?” he said.
Rashi tearfully looked at him. “… Yoshi…” he spoke. “… Are you sure my mama won die?”
“I’m… not sure…” said Yoshi. “But…”
“It’s those new people’s fault…” Rashi muttered. “If they didn’t come here, this wouldn’t have happened! I want them to go away forever!”
“Rashi, calm down,” Yoshi said. Yoshi pondered, however. After all that had happened in the past week, it was very likely that the river pollution was Boss T’s doing as well.
“The kid’s right, you know…” said a voice. Yoshi turned to see Boshi reentering the hut. “Before all this, Yoshi’s Island was a paradise. Then they show up and everything starts falling apart. Yosh, we can’t just lay back worrying about being too violent. If we’re going to save our island, we need to take action, now. You gotta do what you gotta do, get it?”
Yoshi sighed. As much as he hated to admit it, Boshi was right. This had gone on far enough. First, the air had been polluted. Second, part of the jungle had been demolished and the Grinders were forced to move. And now, the river was polluted and a Yoshi had become sick because of it. Yoshi was quite fed up. They needed to stop this immediately.
Yoshi stood up and turned to Boshi. “Well, Boshi…” he said, “you actually made some sense. Still, we don’t have a plan…”
“Correction,” said Boshi. “We didn’t have a plan, until now, that is.”
“Well, what do we do?”
“Meet me at the center of the village at dusk. I’ll tell you then. Don’t be late, we’re doing this today, tonight. We’re getting those guys outta here ASAP.”
“And you’re sure this plan of yours will work?”
“If I didn’t think it would work, I would’ve scrapped the idea by now.” After speaking, Boshi noticed the worried Rashi standing next to Yoshi. He walked up and knelt down in front of him. “Those men are going bye-bye tonight,” he said with a snide grin on his face. Rashi was still worried, but cheered up slightly, smiling weakly.
That evening, once the sun was no longer visible on the horizon, most of the village had turned in for the night. However, a few Yoshis had been called out by Boshi to meet him in the center of the village. Yoshi was currently on his way there now. Along the way, he crossed paths with Kroshi. “Hey Krosh,” Yoshi greeted. “I see Boshi must’ve told you to meet him as well.”
“Yep,” Kroshi replied. “What do you think he’s up to?”
“Well, he promised me it wasn’t the direct approach, so this should be interesting.”
The two continued to converse as they headed for the center of the village. There Boshi had set up a fire and was waiting for everyone to arrive. Boshi stood on the other side of the fire, watching as Yoshi and Kroshi approached. “Glad you guys could make it,” he greeted. “Do sit down.”
Yoshi and Kroshi did so. Eventually everyone else had arrived, and Boshi had assembled a group of twenty Yoshis. Once the last Yoshi had sat down, Boshi began to speak. “I’m glad you’re all here. As you guys know, those men across the island have been causing us quite a large deal of trouble, making the air smell bad, destroying trees, and on top of that, messing up the river and making one of our own feel ill. This has got to stop, and pronto!”
“Here here!” the other Yoshis said in unison.
“If this keeps up, we’ll never again be able to enjoy the paradise that is the very island we’re standing on. For that reason, I’ve come up with a plan that will give those guys the shock of their lives. Once we’ve carried this plan out, they’ll know not to mess with us anymore!”
“What exactly are we doing?” Kroshi asked.
“What we’re gonna do,” Boshi explained. “is march back over there and show those guys what’s what.”
“Boshi…” Yoshi began.
“Yes… yes… I know they’ve got guns, but we can’t let that one thing stop us. Besides, Yoshi, I hear you’ve handled things far worse than this. In fact, I heard you once took on this Bowser guy when someone made him a giant. So what if they’ve got guns? We’re bigger than they are, except for that Ricky guy. We could swallow them all whole if we wanted to!”
“But Boshi…” another Yoshi (blue) interrupted. “Not everyone here has decent fighting experience…”
“That’s no problem,” Boshi replied. “They can’t fight very well either. Once the gun is out of hand, that guy’s helpless. He can’t hurt you because he has no weapon. You can do whatever you want with him from there. Show ‘im you mean business. Scare the daylights out of him. This is one of those times where you’ve gotta get rough! It’s the only way we’re going to force them to leave. It’s called… persuasion, if you take my meaning.”
The Yoshis chattered amongst each other, and finally came to the conclusion that Boshi’s plan was exactly what they had to do. “I agree!” said a Yoshi (yellow), standing up. Other Yoshis stood up and chimed in.
“Those guys have got to go!” (orange)
“We’re not letting them mess up our home anymore!” (red)
“Let’s show them what we’re made of!” (purple)
The rest of the Yoshis all agreed. It was time, right here, right now, to make a stand… a stand for nature.
“Now you’re all talking my language!” Boshi said, quite proud.
“Boshi…” Kroshi said, also standing up. “I’m impressed, actually, I think your idea might actually work. Plus, it sounds fun!” Boshi chuckled, quite surprised that he would get this reaction from Kroshi. Now then, could he get the same reaction from Yoshi? He turned to him.
Yoshi hesitated, but finally stood up with the rest of the group. After a moment, he spoke. “… You think this will work?”
“Yosh, I told you. If I didn’t think this would work, I would’ve scrapped it.”
“And do you realize this is, indeed, the direct approach?”
“I’l say it again, Yosh. You gotta do what you gotta do.”
Yoshi looked at Boshi, then smirked. “Well, if you think it’ll work, and I think it’ll work, and I do by the way, then let’s do this, for Yoshi’s Island!” The other Yoshis cheered, and Boshi, seeing as how he had addressed their concern, felt quite pleased with himself.
“Of course, we’ll need plenty of eggs for defense…” Yoshi said.
“Well, that’s no problem,” Boshi said. “Let’s go stock up on them before we head out.”
“Wait!” cried a voice from somewhere behind Boshi. “Don’t forget about me!” The Yoshis, startled by the voice, looked around to see where it came from. There was Rashi, approaching the campfire from the darkness.
Boshi whipped around to him. “Rash? Kid?” he said, surprised by his sudden entrance.
Yoshi walked up to them. “Rashi… this is kind of a dangerous task…” Yoshi said. “You might want to—”
“Dangerous shmangerous!” Rashi snapped. “Those guys made my mom get sick, and they’re not gonna get away with it! I’m coming, too!” The Yoshi kid had much rage burning inside him. His mother meant the world to him, and he was not going to let these men do any more damage.
Yoshi and Boshi were amazed at Rashi’s anger. Of course, after what happened hours ago, there was no blaming him for being angry. Yoshi and Boshi looked at each other. “… Eh… Why not?” Yoshi said.
“All right, kid,” Boshi said. “You’re in!”
“Yes!” Rashi cheered.
“Well, then…” said Yoshi. “Shall we get going?”
“Yes,” Boshi replied. “Those guys are gonna get what’s coming to them. Let’s DO this!” The Yoshis all cheered, yelling out battle cries, adrenaline flowing through each of them as they were ready to protect what was theirs and the other creatures of the island as well.
With that, the group advanced toward the exit of the village to the jungle to create eggs for themselves. They could all tell this would be a rather intense course of action, and they’d need their own means of defense.