II: The Final Rage
Boss T. smirked as he gazed at the line of netted Yoshis being dragging up the ramp and onto the freighter from a narrow beach on another side of the island. He would’ve hoped to die before he saw the day he would be shooed off an island that easily, especially considering what he was after, and that was riches.
As he watched, he noticed a kicking and biting red Yoshi, viciously struggling to free himself, but to no avail. Boss T. grunted. “Wait!” he said. “Let me see that one…” The men dragging the red Yoshi nodded and dragged the Yoshi over to Boss T, who chuckled when he saw him. “Ah… I remember you. You’re friends with the annoying green one…”
The red Yoshi, Kroshi, growled. “For your information, that ‘annoying green one’ is gonna totally kick your fungus butt when he finds you!”
“Oh, I don’t think so…” said Boss T. “We’ll be long gone before he shows up… IF he shows up… But if he somehow does…” Boss T. formed a gun with his hands and pointed at Kroshi, make a “click” and “boom”-like noise with his mouth. Kroshi, quite ticked and out of character, thrust his foot towards Boss T, trying to kick him through the net. One of the men (Koopa) smacked his rifle hard against Kroshi’s head, causing the Yoshi to become dazed, then unconscious.
Boss T. chuckled in amusement. “Get that red turd on the ship,” he ordered. The men nodded and towed Kroshi aboard. As the last Yoshi was dragged of the ramp, he smiled in satisfaction, savoring the moment. Not long now… he thought. Meat industry sounds fun…
Ricky came up to him. Boss T. turned to him. “What is it?” he asked.
“Just letting you know,” Ricky said, “the engines need to be warmed up before we get rolling.”
“And how long will that take?”
“About fifteen minutes… We still have a batch of crates left to load, so we should be good to go once the loading is finished.”
“Well, make it snappy, understood?”
“Yes sir.” Ricky walked off to supervise the loading, while Boss T. decided to take a rest nearby, next to a crate that was larger than the rest (and carelessly left open by a worker).
Several yards away, where the jungle met with beach, bushes were rustling. A pair of eyes peered through, catching a glimpse of several men carrying crates onto the ship, as well as the large crate where Boss T. was resting. The eyes retreated into the brush.
Behind the bushes were the Yoshis (and Boshi’s Grinder), looking on as the equipment and netted Yoshis were loaded onto the ship. This mission would require taking many, many chances, and this, getting onto the ship, would be the one to initiate the rest. Yoshi looked on. “There’s gotta be some way on board…” he whispered.
“But how?” Ore replied. “They catch sight of us and we’ll be shot on sight…”
“There’s always a solution to a problem,” Boshi said to Ore. “… Too bad not every solution comes immediately…”
“… Very optimistic of you…”
“It’s called logic…”
“Well… keep it to yourself for now, will ya?”
Yoshi rolled his eyes. “Knock it off, you two,” he said. “We need to focus.”
For that moment, no one was more focused than the little orange kid, Rashi, who was still watching the crew as Boshi and Ore were arguing. As he looked on, he noticed a certain orange Yoshi, his mother, being dragging carelessly up the ramp to the ship. She didn’t seem to be struggling much. Rashi feared that it was likely due to her health. He remembered back to a few days ago. He, his mother, and his friends had been splashing around in the water without a care in the world, then out of nowhere, oil pollution, all because of the carelessness of these workers. Rashi practically had fire in his eyes. Don’t worry, Mama… he thought. I won’t let those meanies hurt you!
Yoshi noticed Rashi at the edge of the bush, and put a hand on the Yoshi kid’s shoulder. Rashi looked up at Yoshi, who gave him a pat. “We’ll save her, Rash,” Yoshi reassured. “We’ll save everybody.” Rashi nodded, cheering up slightly but still with burning rage within his heart. Out of the group, Rashi had the most to lose. His mother meant the whole world to him, and he wasn’t about to lose something so precious.
Boshi grunted. “We’ll, if we’re going to get onto their ship, we need to think fast. It looks like they’re about done loading…”
Boshi’s Grinder softly “oohed” and pointed ahead. The Yoshis looked to see a large crate sitting next to a stack of smaller crates. Ore scratched his head. “… I don’t get it…” he said. “What’s he trying to say?”
Yoshi pondered for a moment. “… I think…” said Yoshi, “he’s saying we could try to sneak onboard by squeezing inside that crate. It looks large enough to hold all five of us, so I think we can make this work.”
Boshi chuckled. “Heh heh. Smart little guy, ain’t he?” the blue Yoshi said, giving the Grinder a stroke along the head. The Grinder gave a relaxed look.
“Well, no time to lose, guys,” said Yoshi. “Let’s move.” Yoshi looked ahead to see that there were no bushes between their position and the crates, only some fairly tall grass that ended at the narrow beach. “Go slowly, guys,” said Yoshi. “Crawl, low as you can.”
Yoshi headed them off with Ore following. Rashi was about to follow, but Boshi stopped him, then grabbed a large leaf from a nearby tree and covered Rashi in it. “Keep that on you,” Boshi whispered. “It’ll help you blend in the darkness. Your color is too bright.” Rashi simply nodded. He didn’t have much to say. He was only focused on one thing. Boshi crawled slowly out of the bush, followed by the Grinder and Rashi in his leaf.
Yoshi reached the crate and stood up with his back flat against it. He peered around the corner of it, and to his surprise, there was Boss T, dozing away as he was waiting for the crew to finish loading. Hmph… What a lazy slacker… Yoshi thought.
Ore sidled up to the box alongside Yoshi. “Okay,” said Ore. “So how—”
“Shh!” Yoshi said, covering Ore’s mouth. “Easy. Boss T’s right on the other side of this box.” Ore jumped a little and quickly sealed his lips. Yoshi looked at the crate as Boshi, the Grinder, and Rashi came up. “… Now… how to get this thing open…”
“Shh!” said Ore, covering Yoshi’s mouth as a worker (Toad) came towards the crates, his rifle hanging from a leather loop on his pants. The Yoshi’s and Grinder stayed low behind the crates. At that moment, Boshi figured out a way to open the crate. He smirked at Yoshi, then crawled slowly around the corner. The worker was picking up a smaller crate from the stack. As the worker turned to walk away, Boshi judged his moment and slipped the rifle off the worker’s pants. Boshi crawled back to the crate with the gun in hand. He looked at Yoshi. “Always a solution,” he said yet again.
Yoshi rolled his eyes. “Just open the box…” he said. Boshi then began to carefully pry the crate open with the rifle. Fortunately, Boss T. was too deeply asleep to hear the crate bolts loosening.
A few minutes later, Ricky came up to the crate and Boss T. “Uh… sir?” he said to him.
“Zzzz…” Boss T. was snoring loudly.
“... Sir?” Boss T. snored again. Ricky began to loose patience. “SIR!”
Boss T. shot up onto his feet in surprise. He wiped his eyes and snapped at Ricky. “Watch who you’re yelling at, Ricky!”
Ricky stepped back. “… Erm… uh… sorry… sir?” he stuttered. “But we’re nearly done loading. All that’s left is this last big crate here.”
“Oh, then very good,” Boss T. said. “Get this box into the cargo hold, make sure all the Yoshis are locked up, then meet me on the bridge.”
“Yes sir,” said Ricky. Boss T. headed onto the ship, while Ricky followed, soon to return to the crate. However, what neither Boss T. nor Ricky knew was that the engine parts that were supposed to be in the crate were actually sitting behind some trees a few meters away.
While no one was near the crate at the moment, voices rang from within it. Inside, Yoshi, Boshi, and Ore were laying next to one another in a row, with Rashi and the Grinder laying across the bigger Yoshis’ torsos.
“… I don’t hear them anymore…” said Ore.
“I hope they didn’t forget about this box…” Yoshi said. “Just our luck if so…”
“They have to come back for it,” said Boshi. “Those parts we took out looked important. Omph!” Boshi winced. “Watch where you put your elbow, Rashi…”
“Sorry, Boshi,” Rashi said.
“Shh!” said Yoshi. “I hear something…” The group silenced themselves. The noise seemed to be a roaring motor, and it gradually became louder and louder.”
“Uh… heh heh… um… That sounds like one of those bulldozers…” said Boshi.
“Please don’t run us over…” Ore said in a worried tone.
“Brace yourselves,” Yoshi said. “It’s… right next to us…”
Rashi gulped, and the Grinder whimpered. The two embraced in fear as tightly as they could, shutting their eyes tight.
Suddenly, the Yoshis felt the crate begin to sway and lurch. Rashi and the Grinder held each other tightly, while Yoshi, Boshi, and Ore held onto them, everyone trying not to move too much to prevent the crate from swaying. Their feer had gone from getting run over to finding themselves dangling over the edge of a cliff. The Yoshis and Grinder braced themselves as firmly as possible. After a minute, the swaying abruptly ceased with a thud. The group bounced slightly within the crate. They breathed heavily.
Ore looked at the others. “… That was… weird…”
“A-a-are we… s-s-still alive?” Rashi asked, opening his eyes but still holding onto the Grinder, who opened his eyes as well.
“No worries, Rashi,” said Boshi. “Everything’s—”
“Hold it, guys,” Yoshi said. “I hear more voices…” The Yoshis listened.
“All right, guys. That’s the last crate. Let’s shove off!”
“Hey! I give the orders around here!”
“Eh… Sorry, sir…”
“… Ahem… Let’s shove off!” A loud, deeply pitched horn was heard from somewhere above the crate. “Ah yes… The oil project may’ve failed for now, but not too long from now, I will have invented a new food.”
“… But sir… how will people react when they see—”
“We’ll label it as a new brand of ham or something. Consumers are suckers.”
“Well… that’s true…”
Close footsteps were heard until they slowly faded away, ending with the sound of a door closing. Then there was silence. The Yoshis and Grinder looked at each other. “… I guess the coast is clear…” Yoshi finally said.
“’Bout time…” said Boshi. “My shoulders are starting to hurt from being squished between you guys…” Boshi stuck his foot up and began to kick the crate lid. It wouldn’t budge immediately, until Yoshi and Ore pushed as well. The crate popped open. Rashi and the Grinder hopped out first, with Rashi accidentally stepping on Boshi’s belly and making him “oof”. Yoshi and Ore got out, and finally Boshi. Boshi popped a few joints to loosen himself up after being stuck in the cramped crate.
Yoshi looked around. “Looks like this is the storage room,” said Yoshi.
“Can’t say I have a good feeling about what those guys were saying a second ago…” said Boshi. “A new food…? Does he mean…?”
Everyone looked at each other. Then, in shock, they realized what sort of revenge Boss T. was planning. Yoshi’s eyes shot wide, Ore’s jaw’s dropped, Rashi slapped his hands over his mouth, and the Grinder shook a little.
“… That… crazy little…” Boshi said.
“Well…” Ore said, trying to get their thoughts off the traumatizing fact, “we’re on the ship anyway, so where do we start?”
“Well we can’t free all the other Yoshis just yet…” said Yoshi. “All of the men are likely armed, and moving as one huge crowd of Yoshis could make stealth tough. We can’t afford to lose anybody…”
“I know I can’t…” Rashi said with concern.
Yoshi put his arm around his shoulder again. “I know, Rash. I know,” he said to him.
“We’ll at least need one more hand of assistance though…” said Boshi.
“Right then,” said Yoshi. “We can’t all stay together though. A whole group of five isn’t stealthy enough. We’ll split up to cover more ground and see if we can find where the Boss is holding the rest of the Yoshis. Boshi, you take Rashi and Grinder. Ore, you’re with me.”
“Gotcha,” said Boshi.
“Right,” said Ore.
“Ook! Eek!” said the Grinder.
Rashi simply nodded, readier than ever.
“Okay,” said Yoshi. “Let’s go.” They headed over to the door. Yoshi slowly opened it and looked left and right. “All clear,” Yoshi whispered. “Let’s get moving.” The group exited the storage room, then split, with Boshi, Rashi, and Boshi’s Grinder heading left, and Yoshi and Ore going right.
A few minutes later, a guard (Koopa) was strolling through the same hallway. As he walked, he suddenly noticed the open door to the cargo room. “Huh…?” he said. “Egh… some people are so careless…” He walked over to it and was about to close it when he noticed something inside. He opened the door and walked in to see that the largest box had been left open. He walked up to the box and was surprised to see it was empty. “… Very careless…” he muttered.
The large Koopa closed the red Yoshi’s cage, with a “click” as he locked the barred door with his key. All the other Yoshis in the room were already locked into their cages, and had been left in their nets to ensure that they wouldn’t be able to break out somehow. A lot of the Yoshis were struggling, some frantically trying to rip through their nets, some whimpering, and some laying still, looked worried about what was to happen to them.
The red Yoshi, Kroshi, was squirming in his netting. The large Koopa smirked as he watched the captive in front of him wiggling helplessly. Kroshi glared angrily at him. “Oh quit looking at me like that!” Kroshi said.
“Why?” Ricky said. “Watching you squirm amuses me.”
“I’ll be out of this…” said Kroshi, “so you can wipe that stupid smile off your face!”
“Trust me,” said Ricky, “you don’t wanna get out… You get out, I get you…” Ricky sized up the Yoshi, then winded back and punched one of the bars. The cage rattled, as did Kroshi. Ricky snorted and left the room, swinging his key around his finger and slamming the door hard behind him.
Kroshi watched him go, then looked at the bar Ricky had punched. He could see a small bend in the bar where Ricky’s fist had landed, which gave him a shiver. He lay there, sighing, and turned onto his side. When he turned, he found himself facing a female orange Yoshi. Unlike most of the other Yoshis, she wasn’t squirming, and she didn’t show any real emotion… save for sadness. She also seemed a bit ill as she lay there, sighing and moaning in sickness.
Kroshi indeed recognized the Yoshi—Rashi’s mother, who was still not fully healthy from the oil poisoning. In fact, her state seemed to be getting a little worse, as she hadn’t had any healthy berries to eat since the batch Rashi had given her the previous day. Kroshi could see the sadness in her eyes as he gazed as her. “You’re worried about Rashi, aren’t you?”
Rashi’s mother turned to look at him. She stared at him for a second before nodding with a moan. Kroshi nodded too. “Well,” Kroshi said, “me, Yoshi, and Boshi have really gotten to know the kid over the past week. As far as I know… he thinks the world of you.”
“Mmmm…” Rashi’s mother nodded again, this time with a smile. Kroshi smiled as well. “If I know Rashi… he’s never going to give up on you… In fact… I know he’s trying hard to rescue you right now…”
“Oh yes… I know I have a reason to be confident,” Kroshi said. He looked around the room at all the Yoshis, and from what he could see, there were no orange Yoshi kids staring at Rashi’s mother without a blink, none of the blue Yoshis in the room wore open-toed shoes and shades, and most, all of the green Yoshis here had panicky looks on their faces. The one green Yoshi he knew, however, wouldn’t be whimpering.
Said green Yoshi, along with the purple Yoshi, were rounding a corner in the many hallways of the ship. They were in one of the upper sections of the ship. “So if, uh… when we free the rest of the Yoshis,” Ore whispered to Yoshi, as softly as he could, “what do we do from there? We’re probably miles away from Yoshi’s Island by now, and I don’t think all the Yoshis know how to swim…”
“Well…” said Yoshi, “I guess we’ll have to think about that when the time comes… but every problem has a solution…” Yoshi sighed after saying this. “Feels weird saying that right after Boshi…”
“I wonder what the solution will be though…” said Ore. “Does one of us seriously learn how to control this ship—” Ore was interrupted by Yoshi covering his mouth. Voices were heard around the corner. Yoshi and Ore hid in the shadows as two guards (Toad and Koopa) walked by, chatting with each other.
“Man, can you believe the Boss really had all this planned beforehand?” said the Toad. “He must be real ticked.”
“Not to mention downright bad,” said the Koopa. “… But then, that’s’ the cool thing about the Boss.”
“Besides… things seem to run more smoothly like this, even if his decisions can be… rash?”
“Rash? Pfft. It’s the Yoshis’ fault for not staying out of our business. I think it’s justice… and maybe a bit of revenge…”
The two guards continued on without catching sight of the Yoshis, who were most shocked. They looked at each other. “Sheesh…” Ore said with a shiver. “These guys are so barbaric…”
“All the more reason for us to put a stop to them,” said Yoshi. “Come on. No time to waste. We need to find the Yoshis, and then we need to have a little chat with the Boss…” Ore nodded, and the two pressed on.
The one blue Yoshi who did wear shades and open-toed shoes was scouting through another area of the ship, in a lower sector, with the Grinder riding on his back, and Rashi following behind. “This thing is really huge…” Boshi commented. “This may be tougher than we thought…”
Rashi sighed, slightly worried. Boshi looked at him. “… Well, not to say this is impossible,” Boshi reassured. “We just need to keep searching…” Boshi then gave a grunt. “… As long as this is taking, we’re probably halfway to the Mushroom Kingdom by now…”
Rashi became a little annoyed. “Boshi, why do you think bad thoughts right after thinking good ones?”
Boshi stopped and looked at the orange kid. “… I just call it like it seems…” Boshi said, shrugging.
“But why does it have to look bad to you all the time?” Rashi asked in an annoyed tone. “Can’t you see things good for once?!”
Boshi looked away, feeling embarrassed to be lectured by a kid. He couldn’t answer. The Grinder cocked his head. Rashi sighed and walked up to Boshi. “… I’m sorry, Boshi,” he said. “I didn’t mean to get mad… It’s just… I’m really scared about my mama… and I wanna keep my hope that we can save her and everyone… My mama… she means everything to me…” Rashi stood close to Boshi, with his head down and a small tear coming out of his eye. Rashi stood there for a moment, then felt a blue arm come around him and pull him close against a white torso. “I’m… I’m sorry too, kid…”
Rashi looked up at the blue Yoshi. Boshi had a bit of a guilty look on his face. He could see that Rashi had a lot more to lose than he did, and Rashi was more determined than ever to prevent losing it all. The Grinder reached down and gave Rashi a pat on the back. Rashi gradually began to cheer up as he heard Boshi speak again. “We’ll save her, kid… We’ll save everybody.”
Rashi smiled. “I know we will,” he said to Boshi. “I can feel it.”
Boshi eyes shot open wide, however, when he heard a noise from around the next corner. Boshi looked at Rashi. “Shh,” he said. Rashi nodded. They slowly crept forward and peered around the corner. There was a guard (Koopa) asleep on the floor, snoring loudly, with a rifle in his lap and sitting under a red button on the wall. Boshi motioned Rashi to follow, and slowly snuck past the sleeping guard.
Rashi was following, but as he did, he noticed the guard talking in his sleep. “Oh, honey…” the guard said. “You’re looking so… beautiful today…” He was dreaming and, manipulated by his dream demon, he reached forward and wrapped his arms around Rashi. The orange Yoshi was staring blankly. “… Boshi… he whispered. “Help me…”
Boshi didn’t hear him, nor did the Grinder. The guard continued to squeeze and rub Rashi as he began talking again. “You’re so… gorgeous… Come on, baby… Gimme a smooch…”
“Mmm! MMM!” Rashi whimpered as he felt the guard’s beak come up against his nose. The guard then thought his dream was reality, and when his eyes suddenly twittered open, he got a good look at his “honey”.
“… AAAAAAAAAAAACK!!!” The guard jumped up in shock and began spitting on the floor, as Rashi did likewise. The guard then stared down at Rashi. “… You little… I’ll teach you to mess with peoples’ dreams!” He aimed the rifle at Rashi, who gulped. Before the guard could pull the trigger, a blue fist struck him in the side of the side and knocked him to the floor. The same hand grabbed that of Rashi and pulled him along.
Boshi had a bit of a grossed-out look on his face. “Um… you okay?”
“I… I… don’t know anymore…” Rashi replied, looking freaked out. The two continued running.
The guard slowly stood back up, rubbing his head where Boshi had hit him. He looked in the direction the Yoshis ran. “… Dang Yoshis… just never give up…” he grumbled. He reached his hand up and slapped the button on the wall, setting off an alarm.
Yoshi and Ore heard the alarm sounding throughout the ship. Yoshi slapped his forehead. “Great…” he muttered. “Somehow I figured Boshi was going to get careless…”
“Well… what now?” said Ore.
“Boshi and Rashi may need some help trying to free the Yoshis,” said Yoshi. “Can you go find them and make sure they’re okay?”
“What about you?” Ore asked.
“I gotta find Boss T. before worse happens,” said Yoshi. “No time to debate now. Just go!”
Ore nodded and ran off, while Yoshi ran the other way.
On the bridge, Boss T. and Ricky could hear the alarm as well. Boss T. rolled his eyes. “I should’ve known…” he said. “Those Yoshis just don’t know when to quit…”
“I’ll go secure the meat storage, sir,” said Ricky, holding up a rifle and clicking it. Boss T. looked at Ricky, who had a mean-looking grin. Boss T. simply nodded and let Ricky head off the bridge.
Meanwhile, Boss T. walked over and looked out the front window, grabbing his own rifle off the desk, and simply waiting.
Boshi kicked another guard (Toad) out of the way, then grabbed the Koopa backing up the Toad and body-slammed him. The next guard, another Koopa, took aim and fired. Boshi slid low just as the guard took the shot, and Rashi jumped to the side. Boshi executed a sweeping kick to trip the guard, making him fall flat on his face. Boshi motioned Rashi to follow him on, and Rashi ran after him.
Ore jumped down a set of stairs, slamming into a guard (Toad) at the bottom and causing his rifle to break. Ore looked back, smirked, and continued running forward.
Yoshi was surrounded by four guards (two Toads and two Koopas). He walked in closer. “Okay, you…” said one of them. “Just stay still. This will only take a second!”
Yoshi wasn’t about to just let him do so, of course. He ducked low, and when they were each inches away from him, his spun around suddenly, knocking all four of them back. Yoshi then quickly ran off.
Ricky casually walked through the hallways with his rifle, the alarm sounding everywhere and a few guards running by. Ricky was still grinning, looking ready to shoot up his prize.
Several guards ran by while Boshi, Rashi, and the Grinder hid in the shadows. They waited until they couldn’t even hear a hint of footsteps, then began to proceed slowly at first. Ahead, a pair of double doors could be seen. Boshi kept his eyes fixed on the door, cautiously glancing around to make sure no one was following them. “All right, Rashi. Run fast!” said Boshi to the orange kid. Rashi nodded, and their slow creep quickly shifted to a bolt for the doors. Once they reached the doors, they slammed their backs into the wall on either side of the door, with Boshi on one side and Rashi and the Grinder on the other, and looked around once again. It seemed most of the guards had shifted to the other wing of the ship when the alarm sounded.
Rashi turned to Boshi after his glance around. “Are you sure this is it?” he asked.
“Heh… ‘Course I’m sure!” said Boshi. “It’s the only place we haven’t been yet on this big thing… Just be ready to attack in case something we don’t want is on the other side.” Boshi faced the door, and with a strong kick, the doors slung wide open.
The two Yoshis and Grinder gazed at the huge room full of trapped Yoshis. Boshi smiled. “See? Told ya,” he smirked. Rashi immediately ran forward into the room, searching around frantically for his mother. Boshi and the Grinder looked around as well. Rashi looked thoroughly through the room, but his mother was nowhere to be found. “She’s… not here?!” Rashi cried. “Where is she?! WHERE?!!!”
“Rashi! Simmer down!” Boshi snapped. “Look, she’s probably locked up in another room with the other half of the Yoshis.”
“Then let’s go find her! Now!”
Rashi’s eyes were tearing yet again. Boshi sighed and bent down to his height. “Rash, listen to me. I promise you we’ll get to her, okay? I promise… but right now, we need to focus on freeing everyone in this room, then we can focus on finding the second room and your mom. Is that okay?”
Rashi took a deep breath, then nodded. “… Okay…” he said.
“Good,” said Boshi. He glanced at a lock on one of the cages. “Now we just need to figure out how to bust these open…” He then lifted one leg upward and kicked the lock several times, but the bolt was stiff. Boshi panted. “Dang… This is a puzzler…” he said.
“I know how to open it…” said a cold voice. “But I sure ain’t telling YOU how…” A “click” was heard. Rashi was staring at something beyond Boshi, in the direction of the door. The orange kid was shaking, and the Grinder seemed a bit tensed up. Boshi remained still, as he didn’t have to turn around to recognize the voice.
“… ‘Sup… Ricky?” he said through gritted teeth.
“Ergh! Outta my way!” Ore yelled as he mowed over a guard (Toad) who didn’t seem to see him coming. The Toad was left with a shoeprint on his cap, and his gun was on the floor, fractured. The purple Yoshi didn’t stop to look back, as he was focused on a door ahead of him. With seemingly no one near, he bolted straight for the door and jumped into it, bursting it open. He looked around. Yoshis were everywhere, each netted and caged. Aha! he thought.
Several of the Yoshis turned to look at him, looking very relieved to see a hope of rescue. “Ore! It’s about time!” said a voice. Ore looked to see a caged and netted red Yoshi. A sick-looking female orange Yoshi was across from him. “Heh, hey Kroshi,” said Ore. “Kept you waiting, huh?”
“Never mind that,” said Kroshi. “Just get us out of here!”
Ore nodded. He proceeded to try to open the lock on Kroshi’s cage. “By the way, where’s Yoshi?”
“He’s taking matters to the Boss,” said Ore. “So he asked me to look for Boshi and Rashi, but I found you guys instead, so that works just as well… And I can’t seem to get this to open… and it’ll take too long to carry every cage out of here one-by-one…”
Kroshi thought for a moment. “… Ah! I forgot. You need the key.”
“Right… and where do I find the key?”
“Ricky, that overgrown red Koopa? He has the key. You’ll have to look for him and try to get the key from him.”
“Easier said than done…” Ore said. “He could snap my neck in one grab… but I’ll have to take that chance.” Ore rushed for the door. “I’ll be back! Don’t go away!”
“Fat chance…” Kroshi muttered.
The Boss continued to stare out the window of the bridge, his rifle in hand. He sighed. I should’ve been more prepared… he thought. I never anticipated that the Yoshis would be this resourceful… But it isn’t over until it’s over… and I’ll by danged before I let a bunch of overgrown lizards ruin me…
As he stood there, the door behind him burst open. “All right! Playtime’s over!” said a voice. “I’m putting an end to your shenanigans right now!”
Boss T. simply stood there, chuckling. “Hmph… I figured you’d up here sooner or later…” He turned to face the furious green Yoshi. “You know, I must admire your determination, you being one of the few to escape that sneak attack… even though I specifically ordered my men to shoot you and your blue friend.”
Yoshi waved off the comment. “Tell me something… Boss!” he said. “What’s your ambition here? What are you trying to prove with this madness? What are you even doing?!”
Boss T. narrowed his eyes, turning his back to Yoshi. “My ambition?” Boss T. replied. “One word… money. Several times I’ve tried to achieve it… but all it has earned me in the past is nothing but job loss, debt, and ultimately, failure… You have no idea how hard it is when you try, and try, and try, but you can never get there…” As he spoke, he gripped his gun tightly. “So… finally, I said, forget this. There was an easier path, and so I took it. I ended up finding many other people who wanted the same as I did, and soon I had an organization full of people with a burning ambition for riches. We kept our organization so secret and so well hidden that no one would find us out: not the Mushroom City police force, and not even the famed Mario Brothers… And we were willing to do anything it took…
“But I found the largest ambition, other than myself, in Ricky. He was worse off than me, having been alone for most of his life and without having found success… or any care… and he never felt the need to care for anyone back… That’s why he seems like such an emotionless Koopa… Now he looks to cause pain whenever he can… and so I appointed him as my right hand. With him in addition to the rest of us, no one would stand a chance… So we… quote-unquote… BORROWED some equipment for this oil project.”
“So you’re not only a crazy old Toad,” said Yoshi, “but you’re also a greedy criminal…”
Boss T. chuckled again. “Call it want you want,” he said. “Our plan seemed like it would work… Then YOU interlopers had to butt in …”
“And for good reason,” said Yoshi. “Your actions were killing the rest of us!”
“And you made things worse for yourselves by trying to stop us, and now you’re all going to pay the price once we get to the Mushroom Kingdom… well… at least your friends will. As for you, however…” Boss T. faced Yoshi again. “It’s best if I simply finish you off right here. I can’t have you slowing me down any further…” He took aim at Yoshi. “I’ll give you one final chance to give up, and maybe I’ll spare you long enough to be able to see your friends again… before I make mincemeat out of them, of course…”
“You wish…” said Yoshi. “Just try me!”
“Hmph… Well, you just killed your last chance, and now I’m going to kill you.” He clicked his gun. “Farewell!” he uttered as he pulled the trigger. The bullet flew forward, but bounced off an egg that was suddenly in place of Yoshi. Boss T. gasped and ducked as the bullet ricocheted around the room before smashing a hole in the window. Boss T. stood back up, looked at the window, then looked at the egg, which rolled around the room for a few seconds before flying apart as Yoshi popped out. Boss T. stared in disbelief as Yoshi smirked a little. Boss T. snorted. “… Fine, I admit that is a neat little trick, and I take it you’re the only Yoshi who knows it?”
“Pretty much…” replied Yoshi.
“Heh…” said Boss T. “Clever, but I’m afraid it won’t save you. I AM going to win this battle…”
“I prefer to let the fight speak for itself,” Yoshi said.
“So be it,” said Boss T. as he again tried to fire at Yoshi, with his target encasing himself in an egg again and rolling around the room. Whoever heard of a bullet-proof egg? he thought.
Boshi stood in front of Rashi and the Grinder in defense, as other Yoshis in the room watched the scene tensely. Ricky spoke coldly to Boshi. “Boy, you crossed the line,” he said. “Now I’m gonna get you good!”
The blue, shades-wearing Yoshi chuckled. “I’d like to see you try that!” he challenged. He then whispered something to Rashi and the Grinder. “You guys sneak out while I keep him occupied. Grinder, take care of the kid.” Rashi and the Grinder nodded and crawled low behind one of the cages, unseen by Ricky.
“All right then,” Ricky said. “I’ll try that.” He fired, but just as he did, Boshi ducked behind another cage. Ricky ran up and looked around behind that cage, but Boshi wasn’t there. Boshi was using his color to blend into the room with the caged Yoshis. “Okay, where are you?” Ricky said.
“Might want to be careful where you shoot,” Boshi’s voice was heard within the room. “You may hit a Yoshi that the Boss wouldn’t otherwise want you to shoot…”
“As long as it’s en route to me nailing you, I could care less about that…” Ricky said. He quickly turned and fired when he thought he saw movement. The Yoshis tensed up when the bullet passed through the bars of several cages, but luckily no one was hit.
Boshi was behind a cage behind Ricky’s back. Boshi looked back and saw Rashi and the Grinder crawling towards the door. Rashi looked back at Boshi, who gave him a thumbs up, then turned his attention back to Ricky.
Rashi and the Grinder slipped through the door and escaped. “Whew…” said Rashi, whiping his sweat off. “I hope Boshi will be okay… He’s taking that big, tough bully by himself…” The Grinder tugged on Rashi’s hand to get him to follow. “Oh yeah,” said Rashi. “Find Yoshi and Ore. Let’s go!” The two ran off, and as they did, they could hear another gunshot from the room. Rashi swallowed hard. Please be okay, Boshi… he thought.
Another shot missed as the egg rolled around the room. Boss T. continued to blast at it. “Hold still, so I can crack you wide open!” he yelled. The egg stopped, but suddenly jumped at Boss T, who jumped to the side to avoid it. Yoshi popped out of his egg, kicked off the wall, and slammed into Boss T. with an extended foot. Boss T. was hit in the head, but his cap slightly absorbed the impact. He was still knocked to the floor, but quickly jumped back up and to the other side of the room to shoot Yoshi from that distance. Yoshi dove to the side, with the bullet putting another hole in the window. Yoshi went into an egg again and rolled into Boss T, tripping him. Boss T’s gun flew from his hand, and Yoshi’s egg rolled toward it trying to crush it, but Boss T. jumped up and dove for the gun, grabbing it just before Yoshi reached the spot. Yoshi popped back out, snapping his fingers as a way of saying, “Shoot! I missed…”
“Nice try,” said Boss T. “But you’ll have to try harder.” He shot at Yoshi again, but Yoshi dodged and ran fast along the walls. He kicked off and shifted into his egg again, rolling towards Boss T. again. However, Boss T. saw it coming and jumped over it. However, Yoshi quickly jumped out of his egg and kicked Boss T. in the back of the head. Boss T. lost his gun again, but snatched it back up and fired at Yoshi again. Yoshi ducked, with the bullet grazing his saddle shell. He ran across the wall again as Boss T’s trail of bullet holes followed him. Yoshi jumped off the wall and went into his egg, now swiftly bouncing around on the floor, making it harder for Boss T. to read his actions. After a bit more bouncing, he made a huge, fast jump towards Boss T, but the Toad side-jumped to avoid him. Yoshi’s egg slammed the wall, putting a bit of an impression into it.
Boss T. noticed the hole, now realizing just how hard the egg was. He turned again to the egg, which was bouncing there in one spot. Boss T. knew that shooting it would do nothing, and all he could do was wait for the next move.
Inside the egg, Yoshi was pondering. I need to put his weapon out of commission so I can attack him directly… I just need to judge my moment… I’ve got it.
Yoshi continued to bounce there, making Boss T. slightly confused. After about half a minute, the egg charged towards him. Boss T. was ready again this time, and he jumped. However, Yoshi jumped at precisely the right moment, and Boss T. was rammed in the face by the egg, getting dazed as his gun was knocked ten feet away. Before Boss T. could move towards the gun to pick it up again, the egg was already rolling directly over it. The gun lay on the floor, broken in three pieces. Boss T. groaned.
Yoshi popped out of his egg and folded his arms. “Now I’ll give YOU one last chance!” said Yoshi. “Regardless of how crazy you are, I don’t want to be forced to totally finish you off. I don’t do that…”
Boss T. stood up again, grinning in a rather crazed-looking way. He reached into his pocket, pulling out a knife. He laughed as Yoshi glared coldly. “Ah…” he said. “But I can’t wait… to finish YOU off!”
Yoshi was slightly surprised to see Boss T’s second weapon, but readied himself nonetheless. “Then come and get me…” Yoshi said.
Ricky blasted again, grazing the netting of one of a yellow Yoshi. The Yoshi was frozen stiff in shock. Ricky laughed. “You might as well come out, wherever you are,” said Ricky. “It’s only a matter of time before I find you and put a bullet through your big round nose!” He noticed a bit of dark blue two rows of cages away. Thinking it was Boshi, he quickly peered around a cage and fired. However, it wasn’t Boshi, it was only another blue Yoshi, who was hit in the foot. The Yoshi let out a blood-curdling scream as he saw the hole in his shoe.
Across the room, Boshi, crawling low on the floor, heard the cry and cringed. Dang… This is gonna get worse before it gets better! he thought. This needs to end now before any more Yoshis get hurt! … But he’s got sharp ears… if he has ears… How can I sneak up on him?
Boshi jumped when he heard Ricky’s footsteps behind one of the cages behind him. “I’ve got you now, you blue bugger!” said Ricky. He suddenly rounded the cage the cage and aimed, but Boshi was not there. “… Slippery little pest…” he said. “Come on out and face me!” Unbeknownst to Ricky, Boshi had jumped on top of one of the cages and was watching Ricky from above. When Ricky walked by, Boshi hopped to the next cage. Ricky whipped around when he heard a noise, but didn’t see Boshi. “You’re startin’ to test me…” Ricky muttered.
“Oh, am I?” Something landed on Ricky’s shell and a pair of blue hands covered his eyes. Ricky stumbled around. “Hey! You get off! I can’t see!” Ricky shook violently until he threw Boshi off. Ricky turned around to fire, but Boshi was gone again. Ricky bared his teeth.
Boshi stayed low to the floor, crawling along the cages, until he noticed the blue Yoshi in the cage next to him. The Yoshi lay in his netting, wincing and panting from the pain. Boshi shook his head with a concerned and sympathetic look for the Yoshi. He then noticed Ricky coming toward his area, and crawled away.
Ricky looked around, clicking his gun again. “… You’re pretty good…” said Ricky.
Boshi began to ponder as he distanced himself from Ricky. He then spoke from within the room. “Better than you think,” he said. “You’re not so bad yourself… but let me ask you something…”
Ricky raised a brow as he searched for Boshi. “… Ask me?” he said, puzzled.
“Yeah…” said Boshi. “You’ve got a lot of strength in you, and I love to see that in anyone I come across… but why waste it all helping Boss T?”
Ricky stopped. He lowered his weapon slightly as the question struck him. “… What prompted you to ask that, not that you have any right to know…?”
“I just don’t see your motive… I mean… I admit, I may do rash things too, but at least I have good reason. What’s your reason for siding with Boss T?”
Ricky paused for about a minute, then hesitantly answered. “… I had nowhere else to go… This is the only place I’ve ever gotten any recognition. Nowhere else did I get that. No one gave a crud about me… So why should I give one about anyone else? Joining Boss T. is just the opportunity I needed to get back at all my misfortune and anyone who was part of it… And you and the rest of your ravenous friends just threw yourselves into that category…”
Ricky raised his gun again before continuing. “Boss said something to me when I first joined him… The world is full of disappointment… never let a moment of injustice for yourself go without being avenged… You have no clue how much injustice I’ve suffered in my life.” He paused yet again, a tear coming from his eye. “… Now that I’m with Boss T, getting back at all my problems is suddenly easy and satisfying… And my problem right now is you.”
Boshi crawled backwards a little to make sure he wasn’t seen. “I know what you’re probably feeling, but believe me, it isn’t worth it anymore to cause others pain because of your own feelings…” Boshi shut his eyes, remembering the Yoshi Derby. “You should really think it over. You don’t have to go completely ruthless just to make yourself heard…”
Ricky began to sweat a bit as well as growl. “Shut up! … You have no idea! This is what I want… got it?! You don’t tell me how to take care of myself! You cause trouble for me, I cause trouble for you, and you’ll be in big time trouble once I find you!”
Boshi continued to stay low, thinking to himself, So that’s it… his own way of expressing his loneliness…
Rashi and the Grinder were exploring the hallways. They were heading for a corner when they heard fast-paced footsteps coming from around it. The two flattened themselves against the wall. Rashi turned to the Grinder. “It’s another bad guy,” he whispered. “We’ll jump on him when he gets to the corner!” The Grinder replied with a soft “Ook!” and readied himself for the attack. “Ready?” said Rashi. “Here he comes! On three.” Rashi judged the moment. “One… two… three!” The two jumped from behind the corner and slammed someone to the ground. “Gotcha!” Rashi yelled.
“Rashi?! What do you think you’re doing?!” said a startled voice.
Rashi recognized the voice and noticed that he and the Grinder were laying on top of the purple Yoshi. “… Ore?!” he said in surprised.
“Yes, it’s me…” said Ore, catching his breath.
“Gee, sorry about that,” said Rashi. “We thought you were a bad guy…”
“Well, now you can see I’m not.”
“HE’S not, but I am!” said a voice. The Yoshis and Grinder looked back to see a guard (Koopa) aiming at them as they lay on the floor. “Now hold still, and I promise to make this quick and painless!”
Ore held still, for a moment at least, then when the guard didn’t expect it, Ore reached and grabbed his leg, tripping him. The Koopa fell flat on his face, his gun hitting the floor. Ore, Rashi, and the Grinder stood back up and Ore stomped on the gun, breaking it. “That was a little close,” said Rashi.
“And we’ll probably have more close ones like that if we’re not careful,” said Ore. “But never mind that. What’s going on now? Where’s Boshi?”
“That’s the problem!” said Rashi. “We found the place where the Yoshis are stuck, but that big meanie Ricky guy found us. Boshi told us to get out and find you, and now he’s fighting that Ricky by himself!”
“That’s convenient,” said Ore. “I’m looking for Ricky too. He has something that we need in order to unlock the Yoshis. Can you take me to him?”
“Yeah! Follow us!” Rashi ran ahead, with the Grinder and Ore following. “And you say he’s fighting Ricky on his own?!” Ore said in surprise. “Double time, Rashi. There’s no telling how long he’ll last against that guy.”
Yoshi jumped to the side as Boss T. lunged at him with the knife. Yoshi jumped at him with a foot extended, but Boss T. ducked to avoid him. He charged after Yoshi flew over him, trying to stab Yoshi in the back. Yoshi shifted into his egg and rolled straight into Boss T, knocking him back a bit. Boss T. quickly recovered, and Yoshi came out of his egg. The two distanced themselves, circling the room. Boss T. smirked sinisterly at Yoshi. “You’re too resourceful, you know that?” he hissed. “If I can’t end you quickly, I’ll have even more fun ending you slowly and painfully!”
“You’ll have to catch me first,” Yoshi retorted.
“Then I will.” Boss T. charged at Yoshi again. Yoshi dodged him, then immediately dove at him, tackling him to the floor. Yoshi threw his whole weight on Boss T. to try to hold him down. Boss T. struggled, reaching his arm up to try and lodge the knife into Yoshi’s neck. Yoshi shoved Boss T’s hand, causing him to miss Yoshi’s neck and instead give him a cut on the cheek. The two rolled on the floor, locked together, until Yoshi kicked Boss T. off and into the wall. Boss T. rubbed his head. “I swear…” he said, “this knife is taking a one-way trip into your throat!” He charged at Yoshi again, with Yoshi dodging and Boss T. whipping around to face him again. Yoshi ran towards him. Boss T. expected Yoshi to jump and kick, so he ducked. However, he still received a foot in the face as Yoshi instead slide-kicked him. Boss T. was tripped again. He jumped back up and tried to turn around and slash Yoshi, but Yoshi had jumped back to the other side of the room.
Boss T. grunted. “I’m through playing games with you,” he said. “You should’ve kept your green nose out of our business…”
“If it means keeping our village safe,” said Yoshi, “then it is my business!”
“Oh… you are going to die, today…” Boss T. “You are totally going to DIE!”
Boshi was as low to the floor as he could possibly get as he crawled between cages. He moved backwards when Ricky was entering his general vicinity. The caged Yoshis were tense and still as they watched the duel go on. Ricky glanced all around him, looking for any clue to where Boshi was within the mass of cages. Ricky thought for a moment. He then noticed the one blue Yoshi he had shot, then smirked when he had an idea. He called out. “I reckon you aren’t going to show yourself anytime soon?”
Boshi, a few cages behind him, watched him closely. “… Maybe… maybe not…” said Boshi. “It depends…”
“I see…” said Ricky. “Well, whether you like it or not, I’m gonna make a deal with you.”
“… A deal?” said Boshi.
“Yeah, a deal,” said Ricky. “Let’s say… for every ten seconds you don’t come out, I shoot one of your friends dead. Does that sound fair?” Upon hearing this, the rest of the Yoshis gasped and shrieked, and Boshi jumped. Ricky took aim at a caged pink Yoshi. The Yoshi curled up in the very corned of the cage, frozen in far, as Ricky began to count. “One… two… three…”
Shoot… What now? Boshi thought.
“Four… five… six… seven…”
… I can’t… I gotta… AGH!
“Eight… nine… te—”
“I’m over here!” Boshi yelled. “Don’t shoot her!”
Ricky lowered his gun after hearing the voice right behind him. The pink Yoshi was slightly relieved, but she, like all the other caged Yoshis, gasped as Boshi revealed himself. They looked on, hearts pounding, as Ricky turned to Boshi and walked towards him. He sized up the blue Yoshi. “Wise choice,” he said. He then kicked Boshi in the stomach.
“Ooooorf!” Boshi’s eyes nearly popped out as he stumbled, gasping for air, his hands on his belly,. Ricky chuckled sinisterly and shoved Boshi to the floor on his back. He bent down, setting his gun aside. “I could shoot you now…” said Ricky. “But this is more pleasurable!” Other Yoshis in the room watched in terror at Boshi’s peril while other Yoshis shut their eyes tight, finding the scene unbearable to watch.
Ricky gave a mean smirk as he wrapped his mammoth hand around Boshi’s neck. “And now, to finish what I tried to do last night…” Boshi felt Ricky’s hand begin to tighten. Boshi wheezed, trying to use his one good hand to force Ricky’s hand off, but Ricky’s grip was too firm. “Quit struggling,” Ricky said coldly. “You ain’t getting outta this one… Like I said before, this is what happens when you give me trouble! You get punished!”
Boshi tried again and again to force Ricky’s hand off, but to no avail. He felt himself losing his breath. As his view began to blur up and blacken out, he caught a glimpse of a purple figure appearing, and Ricky looking back and suddenly falling over, seemingly with his hand over his eyes.
“…shi… Boshi… Boshi? Are you okay?”
Boshi’s view slowly began to clear up. He could see three figures—red, brown, and purple—standing over him. Boshi panted as he could see they were Rashi, the Grinder, and Ore respectively. The Grinder jumped on Boshi in excitement. Rashi was jumping as well. “Boshi! You’re okay!” The caged Yoshis all cheered as Boshi was finally awake.
“Ugh…” Boshi moaned, catching his breath and giving the Grinder a little pat. “Guys? What… happened?”
“Rashi and your Grinder led me here,” said Ore. “By the way, I found a second room with the rest of the Yoshis.”
Rashi gasped as looked at him. “Did you find my mama too?” he said.
“Yeah,” said Ore. “I found her and Kroshi too. Kroshi was the one who told me how to open these cages. We need a key, which Ricky over there has.” He pointed to Ricky, who was laying unconscious with his gun having fallen nearby.
Boshi stared in surprise. “… What happened to him?” Boshi asked.
“Well…” said Ore, “I kind of… smacked him between the eyes with his gun…” Ore scratched the back of his neck.
Boshi burst into laughter. “Poor guy…” he said as he stood up and went over to examine him.
Rashi turned back to Ore. “By the way,” he asked, “I forgot to ask. Where’s Yoshi?”
“He should’ve met up with Boss T. by now,” said Ore.
“Really? By himself?” Rashi said. “I hope he kicks his butt!”
Boshi walked back to them with Ricky’s key. “I guess this is what you were looking for,” said Boshi. “Okay, so here’s the plan. We unlock all the Yoshis in here, then Grinder and I will lead them all out to the outside part of this place while Ore and Rashi take the key and unlock the rest of the Yoshis.”
“Sounds like a plan to me,” said Ore.
Unbeknownst to them, however, Ricky’s arm was slowly moving. It reached for the gun and gripped it. The Yoshis were still talking, but the Grinder noticed. Ricky slowly began to come to his feet, starting to aim at Boshi, whose back was turned. Ore then noticed next. “… Boshi! Behind you!” he yelled.
Boshi looked back just as Ricky was pulling the trigger. At that moment, a shadow passed over Boshi’s head as the Grinder leapt in front just as Ricky’s gun fired. The Grinder let out a loud screech and its body slammed into the floor, motionless.
Yoshi and Boss T. were locked together on the floor again as Boss T. slammed Yoshi’s head on the floor and tried again to stab him, but Yoshi held Boss T. arm back. The two rolled around on the floor again until Yoshi kicked Boss T. upwards, with Boss T. going airborne until he spun himself and landed on his feet. Yoshi jumped back up to his feet as he saw Boss charging at him knife-first again. Yoshi jumped up, somersaulted, and slammed down onto the floor hard, making it shake a little, causing Boss T. to stumble while trying to avoid getting pounded on the head. He caught himself and lunged at Yoshi again. Yoshi dodged, but Boss T. immediately jump in Yoshi’s direction, somersaulting off Yoshi’s head and landing behind him. Yoshi turned around only for Boss T. to take a wild knife swing, slashing Yoshi’s leg. Yoshi yelled, as he now had blood streaming from two cuts, on his cheek and leg.
Boss T. smirked and jump-kicked Yoshi in the face, with Yoshi stumbling backwards and falling into his back. As he tried to get back up, Boss T. took another swing, this time cutting Yoshi’s knee. Yoshi yelled out again. Boss T. jumped on him and slashed both of Yoshi’s arms. Yoshi lay there in pain as Boss T. folded his arms and laughed. “I told you…” he said coldly, “I’m going to win this battle. You said to let the battle speak for itself, and it has certainly spoken. It speaks victory for me… and death for you…”
Yoshi tried to move, but his wounds were deep and painful. Boss T. continued. “This is what happens been you get in my way… You know… once I’m rid of you, I’m going to have myself a nice plate of chopped lizard, and guess who that lizard will be?” Yoshi just glared at Boss T. angrily as the suited, blue-spotted Toad prepared for his moment. “And now… you die. Now DIE!” He swung his knife down towards Yoshi’s neck, but Yoshi lifted both of his blood-streaming arms up and grabbed Boss T’s arm to hold back the knife. Yoshi was in a lot of pain, and this straining sent jolts of pain through his arms. Gradually Yoshi’s arms were beginning to give, and the knife inched closer and closer to Yoshi’s neck. Boss T. weighed down on the knife with his other hand, and the tip of the knife was now right against Yoshi’s neck. Boss T’s eyes were full of stress as he struggled to force the knife down deeper. Yoshi opened his mouth as his hands finally gave.
Boss T. tried to shoved the knife further, but all he could get out of it was a very small cut on the side of Yoshi’s neck, away from his throat. Boss T. found himself floating in the air all of the sudden, with a long, pink, stretchy object wrapped about him. Boss T. noticed the object’s origin, which was Yoshi’s mouth. Boss T. stared in disbelief as he was held in the air by Yoshi’s strong tongue. “… Are you serious…?” he muttered.
Yoshi began to swing Boss T. around in circles, with Boss T. yelling as he picked up speed. After about twenty seconds of spinning, Yoshi released Boss T, slinging him at the window and sending him crashing through it. Boss T. yelled loudly as his voice gradually disappeared, ending with a faint thud.
Yoshi lay there on the floor, panting heavily. He was bleeding in several spots and his arms were quite sore, but he was alive, while Boss T. was down and out. Yoshi slowly sat up, panting again, before forcing himself onto his feet, though he nearly fell from exhaustion. Yoshi slowly limped over to the window, of which the glass was completely shattered. Yoshi stared out to see that the next deck down wasn’t too far. He gingerly crawled out the window and gently dropped down to the next deck, fluttering his legs a little to make sure his landing was soft. He legs still hurt badly, and he sat there for a moment to rest himself, looking up at the full moon as he panted.
Boshi dropped to his knees, staring down at the Grinder, now shot. A rare tear could be seen creeping from under Boshi’s shades. Rashi had his hands covering his mouth, and Ore was stunned. The other Yoshis were horrified. Ricky was laughing as he watched Boshi drowning in his sorrow. “What are you so broken up about?” Ricky said. “He was just a monkey… That’s where you Yoshis are so weak. You lose just one, and everybody falls apart.”
Boshi’s eyes were stressed and tearing. Ricky went on. “In fact, you guys got upset just because of us tearing down trees… I mean, come on. They’re just trees!” Ricky laughed hard. Rashi and Ore began to tense up in fury, as were the rest of the Yoshis, but no one at that point was any more furious than the shady blue Yoshi.
Ricky still continued. “You’re all the sappiest bunch of idiots I’ve ever seen. That, and you guys just don’t seem to know the best time to just give up… You chose not to stand down, and now look. Your monkey friend is dead… gone...” Ricky aimed at Boshi, Rashi, and Ore. “And now you’re about to join him… Now it’s time to say goodbye… You first, bluey…” He aimed in the direction of Boshi and slowly pulled the trigger.
… Nothing happened. Ricky looked at his gun. He pulled the trigger again, but it still wouldn’t fire. The gun had jammed! Ricky dropped the weapon, staring at it, then staring at the furious blue Yoshi directly in front of him.
Boshi came to his feet, looking down at the Grinder one last time before glaring forward at Ricky with fire in his eyes. “… You… sad turtle…” he uttered. “You’re… too lonely for your own shell… you… YOU SICK MONSTER!” Boshi jumped at Ricky and punched him between the eyes, in the exact spot where Ore had hit him with the gun. Ricky fell back with a major pain in his head. Boshi then jumped onto Ricky’s stomach, standing on him, and winded back his foot, his large, pointed toenails extended, preparing to give Ricky a piercing blow to the head.
“Boshi! No! Don’t do it!” Rashi ran up. Boshi stopped when he heard the orange kid’s tearful voice. “Boshi… please… I know what he just did… but you can’t do it back to him… You’re a Yoshi, Boshi… You don’t have to do this… You’re not a killer…”
Boshi’s eyes were still stressed, tearing heavily, as he was struggling in his mind now. One side was telling him to finish the Koopa off, while the other was telling him to think about the Koopa’s life. Boshi stood there, tense in a state of confusion.
“Be a Yoshi, Boshi…” Rashi said tearfully. “Don’t be a heartless killer… Let the guy stay alive… Please…” The orange kid was rubbing Boshi’s side, hoping the fierce blue Yoshi would simmer down and see his reason. Even after what Ricky had done, even though it was because of Ricky and everyone else that his mom was sick, he didn’t wish for their entire lives to be forsaken.
Finally, the blue Yoshi gave, falling backwards off Ricky into a sitting position. He sat there in sorrow, fury, and pain. He was still very angry with Ricky, but saw reason enough from Rashi not to kill him off. This is exactly what he had said to Ricky. He didn’t have to inflict pain on another to avenge his own sorrow, but he had almost betrayed his own words.
The orange Yoshi kid walked up in front of Boshi and embraced him, Rashi too in tears. “It’s okay, Boshi…” he said softly. Ore walked up from behind, knelt next to Boshi, and put a hand on his shoulder. “I’m sorry, Boshi…” Rashi said softly. “I’m really sorry…”
Rashi felt Boshi returning the embrace. “… I’m… sorry too, kid…” came the reply. Never before had Boshi felt such comfort, and he only found it right to return it.
“Boshi…” said Ore. “Come on…. It’s time to finish the job…”
Boshi, having finally calmed down, turned to Ore and nodded. “… Yeah… all right…”
Boshi stood up, taking a moment to catch some deep breaths. Ore looked at him. “Are you okay?”
“… I’ll be fine…” said Boshi. “Let’s just get everyone out of where… and net Ricky up…” The Yoshis then began to unlock and untie everyone.
Ricky was a bit stunned at what had happened. He… could’ve just killed me… he thought. He could’ve gotten just the justice his monkey friend deserved… I know I would’ve… Why didn’t he…? He had no idea how to react, but he couldn’t react now if he wanted to as the Yoshis wrapped him in a net to make sure he wouldn’t try anything funny, not to mention he had a bit of a headache. Boshi led the Yoshis out of the room while helping the one Yoshi who had been shot in the foot. Rashi carried the Grinder’s body on his back, four other Yoshis dragged the heavy Ricky out, and Ore ran off with the key to find the other Yoshi-filled room.
The Yoshis didn’t have to worry about the guards, as the hallways were littered mainly with guards that were either knocked out or badly hurt. The few guards they ran into that were still on their feet were easily overcome due to the Yoshis now severely outnumbering them.
Eventually, the first mass of Yoshis made it to the main outer deck, where a few machines were parked. As they all walked out onto the deck, the four Yoshis who had been dragging Ricky set him against a wall, while other Yoshis tended to the blue Yoshi whose foot was shot. However, Rashi noticed a gruesome-looking site on the deck. “Woah! Look!” he said and pointed.
Everyone looked in the direction Rashi was pointing and were shocked to see Boss T’s body laying there. Several of the Yoshis crowded around to get a closer look, including Boshi and Rashi. Boshi bent forward and sniffed the Toad’s body. “… He’s dead…” said Boshi. “Looks like Yoshi really got the best of him… Speaking of Yoshi, I wonder what happened to him…”
“He looks badly bruised,” said Rashi. “Yoshi sure taught him a lesson… But did he mean to… you know… do THAT to him?”
“Knowing Yoshi…” said Boshi, “he wouldn’t have done that if he didn’t have to…”
“Hey, Rashi!” someone called. “I have someone whose been dieing to see you again!” The other Yoshis turned, with Rashi running to the front of the crowd. There was Ore, he and Kroshi on both side of Rashi’s mother, helping her to walk straight.
Rashi burst into tears of joy as he ran towards his mother. He ran into her arms, the two embracing as soon as they made contact. “Mama…” Rashi said tearfully, “I’m here…”
“… Rashi…” his mother moaned, still ill and finding it hard to speak properly. “… I… knew… you’d come…” His mother was in tears as well as they held onto each other as closely as they could. The rest of the Yoshis were all greeted by the first group.
Boshi walked up to Kroshi, who was chuckling. “Heh, what kept you guys?” Kroshi chuckled.
“Hey, we came, didn’t we?” Boshi said, chuckling as well.
“How’d you guys fair with Ricky?”
“Ah, no trouble at all.” Boshi pointed to Ricky, who was sitting next to a wall, tied up in a net.
“Isn’t he strong enough to just break out of that?” Kroshi asked.
“Maybe,” Ore said, walking up. “But considering his bad headache, I don’t think he’ll want to make any sudden movements…” The three Yoshis shared a laugh.
“By the way,” Kroshi said, “where’s your Grinder friend?”
Boshi and Ore were silent. At that moment, Kroshi realized what had happened. “… Oh… I see…” he said. The three lapsed into a moment of silence… which was interrupted by a shout.
“Hey! Look, everybody!” someone yelled.
Everyone looked, and there was a battered, weary, but unbeaten Yoshi, slowly limping down a set of steps to the main deck. As Yoshi reached the deck, Boshi, Kroshi, and Ore ran up to examine him. Yoshi was cut in several places: both arms, the right knee and left shin, the cheek, and on the side of the neck. Yoshi struggled to take another step and nearly fell, but Kroshi and Ore caught him on both sides.
Boshi walked up. “… Yoshi… was it that bad?” he asked.
Yoshi panted for a second before his spoke. “… Boss T.… was… serious…” he said.
“In that case… nice job!” said Boshi. “He sure looks like you handled him.”
“You… saw him?” said Yoshi. “Where’d he end up?”
“Oh, he’s right over…” Boshi turned to the spot where Boss T’s body was, but he was gone! “… There…?” Boshi said, raising a brow.
An engine sound was heard. Everyone abruptly ceased their chatter and looked over to see an excavator’s light’s turning on and its arm rising. Yoshi and Boshi looked closely to see who was in the driver’s seat, and who should they spot but Boss T. at the controls! “… You have GOT to be kidding me!” Boshi yelled.
The excavator began to move towards them, its digging arm raised high and ready to scoop someone up, The Yoshis all cried in shock. “Up the stairs!” Ore yelled. “Quickly!” The Yoshis all ran up the stairs as fast as they could to get to the deck above, where the excavator couldn’t reach them. Rashi and his mother were the last two Yoshis to get up the stairs before Ore, Kroshi, Boshi, and Yoshi.
Then trouble struck. The excavator had reached them, and Yoshi, not being able to get up the stairs quickly enough, was scooped up. “Aaaaagh!” Yoshi cried. The other Yoshis shrieked in terror as Boss T. had the injured Yoshi in his digger.
Boss T. was grinning maniacally. “You think… you could… get rid of me… that easily?” he said coldly. “Guess again!”
Boshi looked on. He turned to Kroshi and Ore. “Come on, guys!” he said. Boshi jumped from the upper deck to confront Boss T, and Kroshi and Ore followed suit.
Boss T. glanced over to see them coming. “You… guys, too, huh?” he uttered. He moved a lever, making the excavator rotate and swing its arm, which had the scooper curled up so Yoshi couldn’t get out.
“Look out!” Boshi dove to the side to dodge the arm, while Kroshi ducked and Ore jumped backwards. The three Yoshis ran behind the excavator and Boss T. began to reverse. The Yoshis ran to avoid it. In the process Ore tripped, but was able to get back up and avoid the excavator’s treads.
As the Yoshis ran to the other side, Boss T. swung the arm the other way. Boshi and Ore avoided it, but Kroshi was hit and knocked back. Ore slid to a halt and looked back. “Kroshi!” he yelled.
Kroshi rubbed his head. “I’ll… I’ll be fine!” said Kroshi. “You just stay on him!” Ore nodded.
“Hey, Boss!” Boshi yelled. Boss T. turned to him. “Why don’t you bring that thing over here one more time, eh?”
“Gladly…” Boss T. said. He swung the arm towards Boshi. However, Boshi jumped up onto the arm and held onto it, trying to climb up it to get to the excavator’s cockpit. Boss T, however, continued to swing the arm violently, trying to sling Boshi off. Boshi held on as tightly as he could, but the excavator was shaking much too hard. Eventually Boshi lost his grip and flew off, slamming into a wall hard and seemingly getting knocked out.
Boss T. laughed. “Pathetic!” he said. “Getting rid of you annoying reptiles… will be all too easy!”
“Hey! Over here!” Ore yelled. Boss T. turned and swung towards him, but Ore ducked, then ran towards the excavator, jumping up onto its treads. Ore was about to move further when Boss T. rolled the machine forward. With the threads shifting under his feet, Ore stumbled and fell, hitting his head against the treads and falling back onto the deck. He wasn’t unconscious, but still dazed. Boss T. rolled forward a bit more, then reversed to try to run Ore over. Ore gasped and rolled to the side to avoid the treads.
Kroshi, having recovered, rushed towards the machine, jumped onto its back, and tried to climb to the top, but Boss T. suddenly rolled forward, causing Kroshi to fall off and land badly on his foot. He yelled out as his foot was sprained. He tried to stand back up, but the pain the too great, and a low swing from Boss T’s digging arm was heading straight for him. Kroshi had no time to react, and was hit and knocked unconscious.
Ore’s head was pounding, as he had hit the treads hard. He tried to stand up, but the excavator’s arm knocked him back down and out.
Boss T. grinned. “You all made it too easy… You can’t stand up to heavy metal…” He looked at his scoop, where Yoshi was trying to squeeze out, but couldn’t. “And as for you…” said Boss T. to Yoshi, “you’re nothing but a pile of dirt… And piles of dirt… get dumped…” He drove the excavator towards the edge of the ship, preparing to dump Yoshi into the sea below. The arm was hanging over the edge as Yoshi started to slip. Yoshi held on as much as he could, but the scoop was all the way upside-down, and Yoshi had nothing to grip.
The Yoshis on the deck above were terrified as they looked on. Rashi’s heart was pounding. “Boshi’s down… Kroshi’s down… Ore’s down… Yoshi’s about to get dropped…” he said. “… Mama! I gotta help them!”
“… Rashi?” his mother said, shocked. “I… can’t lose you… again…”
“Someone’s gotta help, though!” said Rashi.
Boss T. was laughing as Yoshi struggled to hang on. “And now, you big salamander, you die!” Boss T. began to shake the scooper, making it harder for Yoshi to stay on. One hand slipped, and Yoshi was now barely hanging on with his other hand. He was down to three fingers. One more shake would fling Yoshi into the water below. Boss T. was about to hit the lever one last time to shake Yoshi off for good.
Boss T. suddenly felt an open-toed shoe and three huge toenails slam him in the side of the head. The foot belonged to Boshi, who had just woken up. The kick knocked Boss T. out of the driver’s seat and unconscious, but not without him catching the lever prior to being kicked. The scooper lurched, and Yoshi’s grip slipped away as he plunged into the water. “YOSHI!!!” Boshi yelled.
The Yoshis on the deck above were in shock. Kroshi and Ore were just awakening to see the excavator’s scooper hanging over the side of the ship, with Yoshi no longer in it. Boshi pounded his fist on the deck in anger. Kroshi and Ore walked up on both sides of sides of him. “Yoshi…” Kroshi said, a tear in his eye. “He… tried so hard to keep the village safe…” said Ore, closing his eyes. “He didn’t give up…”
“He was… a great rival… but… a great friend too…” Boshi said. All the Yoshis on the deck above were taking a moment of sadness as they reminisced about Yoshi.
Ore opened his eyes, which then shifted to the left when he saw something. “… RASHI!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!”
Everyone turned their attention. The orange Yoshi kid was standing on the edge of the deck, looking down at the sea. Kroshi knew what he was about to do. “… No… Rashi! Don’t do it!”
It was too late, as Rashi jumped off the edge and into the water. Boshi, Kroshi, and Ore rushed to the edge of the deck, and the rest of the Yoshis came up soon after. “Dang it, kid!” Boshi yelled. “Why?!”
“RASHI!!” Rashi’s mother yelled. It was the loudest she had screamed in a long while, and it hurt her insides a little as she did.
Everyone stared down at the waters below. There was no sign of Yoshi or Rashi, nothing but blue water and foam. They stared for another minute or two until they were sure nothing was there. Rashi’s mother was in heavy tears. Kroshi began to comfort her.
The Yoshis began to walk away from the edge, except for Boshi, Ore, Kroshi, and Rashi’s mother. “… Why…” said Boshi. “Why’d the kid have to take himself out too?”
Ore shook his head. Rashi’s mother kept watching the water, though Boshi didn’t know why she bothered. He looked at Ore. “What is she still looking for?” Boshi asked. “There’s nothing down there now…”
Ore sighed. “… Boshi… do you believe in miracles?”
“I’ll probably believe it when I see one…” said Boshi.
“You got one back in that room,” said Ore. “You were almost choked to death.”
“That was just perfect timing…” said Boshi.
“Hey, Rashi… and… Grinder… well, they would’ve never been able to find me in time, and then you would’ve been dead…” said Ore.
“…” Boshi took a breath. Ore put his arm around Boshi’s shoulder. He directed Boshi to Rashi’s mother. “See?” said Ore. “She believes in miracles. We can only hope for another one…”
“How do YOU know it’s coming?” Boshi asked.
“Well, look at that!” Ore said, pointing down at the water. Boshi noticed Rashi’s mother’s eyes were widening.
Boshi stared down at the water. Other Yoshis heard Ore and ran over to the edge again to see. A large shadow was appearing in the water. It became larger and larger until it finally surfaced. It was a Dolphin, and whom should they see on its back but a green Yoshi and a smaller orange Yoshi. “Hey Mama!” the orange one called. “I’m all right!”
His mother breathed a sigh of relief at the sight of her son. The other Yoshis cheered loudly and happily.
Boshi looked at Ore. “… Okay… Maybe I believe in miracles now,” he chuckled. Ore laughed. Boshi called down. “Hey, Yosh! How are ya feeling?”
“Wet…” Yoshi said back. “But I’m fine!” Boshi laughed.
Yoshi looked at Rashi. “Wow, Rashi…” he said. “Did you really have to dive in for me like that?”
“I couldn’t sit there and let you drown,” said Rashi, laughing. “I knew I had to save you somehow.”
“Well… thanks, Rashi.”
Rashi giggled as the two caught their breath, Rashi leaning against Yoshi. The Dolphin squeaked; Yoshi looked down at him. “Oh, and thank you too, big guy,” Yoshi chuckled. The Dolphin squeaked again.
“Well…” said Rashi. “Is it over now?”
Yoshi heard a distant ship horn, and looked out to see another ship coming in their direction from the horizon. “… Yes,” said Yoshi. “It’s finally over.”
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