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 Toads and Koopas (IC)

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ViperaUnion

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PostSubject: Toads and Koopas (IC)   Sun Apr 19, 2015 5:36 pm

Minori opened her eyes, and rapidly blinked them as bright sunlight shined directly into them. The first sensation that hit her was the stiffness all over her body, along with the realization that it was the result of being contorted into a strange position that nobody would intentionally assume. She could feel the chain-mail of her armored vest digging into her back. She would never fall asleep in armor on purpose, but something told her that she hadn't fallen asleep; she had been knocked out, somehow. She then remembered something that had happened, and was suddenly sitting up with a start. She had been guarding a diplomat from the Beanbean kingdom, when Bowser had burst into the meeting hall with a large number of minions. Bowser's face was well-known, but she had never seen the Koopa King in person, he was big enough to break down the door, and could breathe fire, as everyone had been told he could do. Had Bowser done something? The place where she was didn't look like any sort of prison cell, far from it.

Looking around, Minori saw that she was in a large, grassy meadow of sorts, with trees on all sides. The grass was wild, but thick and heavy, where it fell over in shiny waves of dark green; it almost seemed to have a sort of blue tinge to it. The trees were extremely tall, and Minori could not see anything past them. Their trunks were thick, and the trees themselves grew so close together that in certain places a person might have gotten stuck, had they tried to wedge between them. The bark of the trees grew in smooth strips of various shades of orange, green, maroon, blue, and purple, almost as though they contained faded rainbows. Minori was not familiar with any of the foliage she saw, and noted that wherever she was, she was in the wilderness. There were no definite paths that she could make out in the woods that looked as though they had been traveled by people.

Suddenly, she remembered what had happened that had led up to her being in this strange place. The strange, menacing voice: the dry, chuckling laughter as a shadow on the other end of the room tried to do something to all the people in the meeting hall. There had been a red orb in the center of the room, and it had turned into a red vortex with a black hole at its heart. Minori had been pulled into it, and she must have blacked out when that happened. Whatever it was, the vortex didn't seem to kill people, but it had somehow transported the people who were caught in it to a different place. Looking around, Minori saw that, scattered in the grass, there were various others in the clearing with her. Some were other toads, but she then saw that there were various Goombas and Koopas, as well. They had all been transported to the same spot, it seemed.

She heard a moan behind her, and a Koopa with honey-colored scales sat up, rubbing his head and getting to his feet, "Where am I?" He asked, taking in the area with bright blue eyes, somehow vividly aware that he wasn't where he was supposed to be. At this time, everyone in the clearing seemed to stir slightly, as though they were all beginning to wake up at roughly the same time.

This is great, Minori thought bitterly, stranded in an unfamiliar forest with the enemy.

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PostSubject: Re: Toads and Koopas (IC)   Sun Apr 19, 2015 6:34 pm

Magnus Tardi woke up on face first on a patch of grass. The sleep he was just in sure felt like sleep, but he didn't feel rested at all. Rubbing his eyes, Magnus picked up his hat and staff that fell off of him and onto the ground and put the hat on. He sat up on the grass he was on and thought about everything that had just happened. Why did he have to be chosen to aid Bowser with intruding on that meeting? Why was he thrown into this? What did he ever do to that strange voice? Thoughts like these were rushing through Magnus' head when he got up and started to lean on his staff.

Looking around, Magnus realized he was in, well, he didn't remember the name for the kind of terrain that this place had. It was something that started with the letter m. Magnus also noted that he was surrounded by a wall of trees. He really should of talked to those Koopas who go outside often, or even better, there could be some here. They would be able to understand and describe this environment better than he could. Only then Magnus realized that there were bodies of Koopas, Goombas, and even Toads, lying around him. In the distance, Magnus could see another Koopa with a Toad. Magnus would prefer to talk with the Koopa alone, he didn't really trust these Toad people, but the last thing he needed was an argument with a Toad. With this thought, Magnus' stomach made a groaning sound. He didn't realize how hungry he was until then, and he decided that talking to both at once would be a much better idea then it originally was. That way, there was a greater chance of one of them having food that he could eat. Magnus lifted his staff up as he began to walk towards the Koopa and the Toad.
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PostSubject: Re: Toads and Koopas (IC)   Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:01 pm

Kohaku, the Koopa Troopa that had just woken up, was by all means a rookie in Bowser's army. Fresh out of training, and pulled into a red vortex on his first-ever mission to kidnap Princess Peach, he had no idea if third parties interfering with kidnapping plans was normal or not. He strongly felt that while there did not appear to be any immediate danger, the situation he was in was not a good one to be in. He had little idea of whether or not he was justified in being alarmed, as most of the trainees that had graduated with him had accused him of cowardice before. He was not skilled in hiding his true emotions, and he was not certain if the right course of action was to panic, or to force down whatever he was feeling and start interrogating people. He had studied maps of Bowser's Kingdom and surrounding lands, but none of the maps had contained anything relating to forests with rainbow-colored trees. This was a new place entirely that had not yet been explored and put on the map—if it belonged on the map at all. It was not as though alternate worlds and dimensions could not be visited; it was generally ill-advised, though, to do any such thing relating to spatial travel. Magikoopa instructors during training would hammer it into everyone's shell that you should never, ever jump into a bizarre spatial anomaly unless Bowser told you so. Kohaku had been pulled into a red vortex, so either he was in an alternate dimension, or the vortex was a teleportation rift that had left everyone stranded on some alien planet; it was either the former two, or the world was a lot bigger than everyone first thought.

He looked at something moving and saw that a Toad lady was glaring at him, "What's going on, Koopa?" She demanded testily, "Is this some trick to get Mario and Luigi out of the way so Bowser can kidnap the Princess? Well, it looks like your plan backfired, whoever you teamed up with betrayed you. Now you're stuck here with the rest of us, wherever 'here' is." She said, seeming to jump to the conclusion that Bowser had somehow orchestrated this whole mess. In all honesty, it was ridiculous that she was accusing him of anything, when he was clearly just as confused as she was. Perhaps she decided to blame him, simply because he was an enemy of the Mushroom Kingdom, and happened to be the first person to wake up near her that wasn't another Toad.

Kohaku raised his hands, palms out, "Wait, hold on! King Bowser wouldn't do something like this to us! Sure, you Toads, maybe, but he wouldn't just sit by and let someone kidnap his soldiers, too! Whoever stranded us here is a complete stranger. King Bowser would have let us into the loop if he had partnered up with anybody. Even then, you, of all people, as a trusted palace guard, should know that King Bowser doesn't share his conquests with anyone." He spoke quickly, but even as he made this bold statement, he could feel the tension building inside his shell. This was scary, was he going to get attacked?

Kohaku was quick to slowly back away from the Toad, while inwardly wondering if all females of these mushroom people were as terrifying as the one he was talking to.

The Toad lady wasn't amused by the response, "You coward, you're running away from me, aren't you? What kind of soldier runs away from a battle? You should be ashamed." She scolded.

Kohaku suppressed the urge to shudder at the fact that this guard was calling him a coward, "I-I'm not a coward." He said, stuttering a small amount at the beginning of his sentence, "I-I just don't think it's f-fair, for you to c-come and t-threaten me for n-no reason!" He said. "I-I had nothing to d-deal with this! I was f-following orders!"

He accidentally backed into a Magikoopa who had walked up behind him. He jumped and whirled around, "Oh, sorry, sorry, sir!" He said, suddenly embarrassed that he was in this situation at all. Kohaku at this time wished that he could sink into the earth and be invisible. Was this Magikoopa going to be angry at him? The only Magikoopas Kohaku had met were several instructors from training, and if this person was anything like them, then it was possible he was about to get turned into a tiny wiggler as punishment for his sheer stupidity and gutless attitude.


Minori was already sick of looking at the Koopa Troopa that had just backed into another of his kind. Were all of Bowser's minions cowards, or was this one person just spineless? Well, you have to be fair, nobody is happy about waking up in this place, a voice chided in her head. It was what her brother would have told her, had he been there. You shouldn't pick fights or be mean to people when you're in the same situation. Minori at first thought that perhaps the voice was right, and that she was, indeed, being too harsh on this Koopa, but she forced it down. They were the minions of Bowser. Enemies.

She opened her mouth to speak again when a shadow suddenly blocked out the sun that was shining on her. She turned around and suppressed the urge to jump back in fear herself. Looming over her was what looked like an extremely large Goomba, except its head was more like a chimney in appearance. It appeared to be made out of rusted and tarnished metal. It was not the size of this Goomba that scared Minori, but the dark look it was giving her, with its eyes that appeared to be holes revealing fire inside of them. "Excuse me, young lady," The Choomba said in a female voice, "But King Bowser had nothing to deal with our current situation. As far as I can tell, you have transposed your anger at being turned into a victim to a young Troopa who is clearly on his first mission. Be nice, we're just as happy about this as you are." She said, annoyed.

Minori felt a cold sweat break out, "Why should I l-listen to you?" She demanded, her voice faltering, much to her surprise.

"Because, I'm older than you by a few decades, and if we're both in this mess, it won't do us any good to start fighting amongst ourselves." The Choomba said. "My name is Tsubame, pleased to meet you." She said, before walking past the Toad guard to join the two Koopas.

Minori's heart beat quickly, what was that? She thought, shocked at what had just happened. Had she just been reprimanded?

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PostSubject: Re: Toads and Koopas (IC)   Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:16 pm

Agent Carl Toadratty, check-fraud investigator, lost in the unfamiliar bough.

The aged Toad muttered under his breath and rubbed his forehead, straightening the brim of his cap.

A plethora of questions swirled through Agent Toadratty's head. Who--or what--was that voice, how did it whisk so many Toads, Koopa Troopas, and Goombas away from Princess Peach's castle, and why would it upend the law like this, with a mass kidnapping of Toads and the Koopa Troop?

Toadratty scratched his chin and adjusted his glasses, before grabbing the edges of his coat and tightening them. "Alright," Toadratty said to himself, "first order of business. Obviously, I'm not prepared for a little walk in the forest, let alone being stranded due to a massive black hole from a disembodied voice." Toadratty scowled and looked around. "Koopas, Koopas, and more Koopas," he muttered. He was surrounded by Koopas. Toadratty knew that not all Koopas adamantly fought for the Troopa cause, but all Troopas at the castle that day undoubtedly aligned themselves with the Troop. Of course, Koopa control wasn't Toadratty's belt; after all, he dealt with bad checks, not bad Troopas.

But Toadratty could not let this stand, when so many lives, Toad, Koopa, and Goomba alike, were at stake.

Toadratty trusted Koopas about as much as he trusted Bandits (which, for obvious reasons, wasn't very much), so he scanned the crowd of waking Troopas for a Toad face, any Toad face. Toadratty squinted (his eyesight wasn't what it used to be) and searched for the iconic bulging cap of the traditional Toad fashion. He spotted a blue Toad cap among the beaked turtle faces in the crowd. "Good to see some friendly faces around here," Toadratty remarked, shuffling through his pockets for his ID badge. "Now, which pocket did I put my wallet in..." he murmured, sifting through his pants pockets, and then his coat pockets.

In reality, Toadratty wanted to punt something; crime without a cause made him especially furious. But as long as there was something to investigate, Toadratty had to stay professionally on the job, and that meant not punting something if he gets angry. He fumbled through his wallet before finding the brass Mushroom Kingdom investigations bureau badge folded over the Coins pocket. Toadratty kept his wallet open to this page.

Toadratty looked back up. While he was browsing his wallet, several things had happened: the lady Toad had scared off the rookie Troopa that had just woken up, that Troopa had backed into a rather hefty Magikoopa, and an aged-looking Choomba had appeared to reprimand the lady Toad.

Clearly this was going to be more difficult than Toadratty had initially thought.

Toadratty purposefully approached the other Toad, flashing his badge and saying, "Agent Carl Toadratty, Mushroom Kingdom investigations bureau. Now, I'm not assuming that you, or anyone else in this glade, have an idea 'bout what happened with that ominous mist and that dimensional toilet bowl, since you all look about as confused and dazed as I do." Toadratty put the badge away, before pacing back and forth. "Now, there's got to be some reason, some motive behind taking all these Toads, Troopas, and Goombas outta the castle like this, but that'll require a bit of investigation." Toadratty stopped, stooped, and swiveled his head towards the female Toad. "If we're all gonna be lost in this place all together, might as well start learning what to call each other. What's your name, ma'am?"
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PostSubject: Re: Toads and Koopas (IC)   Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:51 pm

Within every community across the nation or universe as a whole, there was bound to be at least one person reputed for possessing a notably choleric temper, and a stubborn inability to calm down once riled up. Because such people had an alarming tendency to act on impulse, and take out their frustration on the first target that presented itself, most people would learn to instinctively avoid that person when they appeared to be visibly irritated. Among the Koopa Troop, Goomba Brigades, and all other enemies reputed for following Bowser, the famous person with the notably choleric temper was none other than King Bowser himself. Although known for having a sometimes surprising degree of concern for his minions, Bowser was also not above attacking them, if they did something foolish to put him in a bad mood. Because of this, Bowser’s followers were able to recognize on sight if a person was the sort who would attack people out of rage or frustration, and erring on the side of caution, carefully avoided them, unless they had reason to believe they wouldn’t get hurt.

Unlike Bowser’s Kingdom, the Mushroom Kingdom was not known for possessing people with foul temperament in the line of command, so it was not unusual that residents were less likely to recognize people with such traits in their personality. Unfortunately, the Mushroom Kingdom, just like its enemy across the border, also possessed a handful of people with rather violent tempers. Minori, a prodigy guard, was well-known among those sharing her profession for her extremely vicious personality. She had a harsh glint in her eyes that one didn’t see in the gaze of a Toad on a regular basis, and most people would have avoided her the moment they saw it. The look on her face clearly advertised that, after being reprimanded by an elderly locomotive mushroom-creature, she was in no mood to talk or cooperate with anyone, even her own kind.

She fixed the stranger, Agent Toadratty, with a sharp gaze that looked like it could have frozen someone solid; not far from what she could actually do with her training. She briefly considered saying something to the investigator about how the intended targets of the kidnapping weren’t the guards and Bowser’s minions, but the ambassadors and leaders that appeared at the meeting. What she wanted to say was that, like always, Mario and Luigi had reliably protected everyone, just as they had always done. Princess Peach and the ambassadors were nowhere to be found, so they couldn’t have been caught in the vortex, right? Bowser looked too tough to be pulled into a vortex, and he wasn’t anywhere in the meadow of waking victims, either.

“I understand that there’s someone with a motive for kidnapping people, but is now really the time for investigating that?” She asked, looking exasperated. She was currently wondering what sort of thing she had done wrong to be stuck in a strange place with enemy forces, and complete strangers that were already driving her up a wall. She wanted to punch the nearest object that would break and splinter at the force, but her brother would have been ashamed of her if she had done such a thing. Additionally, this investigator was a Toad, and an older-looking man, at that. “My name’s Minori, but please…just…I’m really frustrated right now…can you please not interrogate me? I just woke up and I’m stuck with people that under a regular basis I would be fighting with. I have to come to grips with the fact that I have to get along with them, and I really need some time to think.” She said. She suddenly looked exhausted, with the realization that directionless anger would be a futile effort in this situation.

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PostSubject: Re: Toads and Koopas (IC)   Tue Apr 21, 2015 11:13 pm

Berry opened her eyes only to be blinded by the sunlight. Wait a minute, something's off here. Berry blinked a gain and tried to remember what had happened leading up to the present.

It was nice day, the sun was shining and there was a nice breeze. Berry was carrying a hammer that was intended to be delivered to the castle that day, Berry wasn't informed who the hammer was for other than she was supposed to give it to the oldest looking toad she could find. Berry had assumed that she was sent to get some kind of deal to arm guards with hammers. She also had a second theory that the hammer was for the Mario brothers, but why not include a second hammer in that case?

Regardless after an unspecified amount of time Berry had arrived at the castle and began to look for the elderly toad only to find that the Koopa Troop had appeared. Great is the Princess getting kidnapped again!? Berry thought.
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PostSubject: Re: Toads and Koopas (IC)   Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:06 pm

Toadratty had dealt with nasty glares and jeers in his career; Minori's laser glare fazed him not. But Toadratty recognized the tension, the danger in the Toad guard's voice. "Don't worry," Toadratty said, "I haven't got any questions for ya. Unless, of course, you've passed a bad check." He folded his arms and took a step back. "Take your time," Toadratty said.

Toadratty pondered the situation for a while. He had noted the presence of several well-known leaders from across the Mushroom World. "Something doesn't jive here," Toadratty muttered, pacing left and right. "One could easily eliminate Goombas and Koopas by stomping on their heads, and Toads (I'll be the first to admit) aren't usually the fighting type. Discounting certain exceptions." Toadratty made a glance at Minori. Toadratty's brow furrowed as he clutched the brim of his cap, gritting his teeth. "It just doesn't make sense," Toadratty growled, his eyebrows arched in consternation. He took a deep breath.
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PostSubject: Re: Toads and Koopas (IC)   Fri Apr 24, 2015 6:07 pm

Minori sighed with irritation, and picked up a nearby spear that had been abandoned by one of the other guards who had gotten kidnapped. She held it up to the sunlight to examine it, and rather than noticing the spear, she realized that the sky appeared to be a pale mint green in color, and that there were two small suns, rather than one. Even though it was still daylight hours, she could see twinkling stars behind a light feathering of clouds. Her teeth clenched reflexively, and her hand that was holding the spear trembled, as the realization hit that wherever the kidnapping victims were, no amount of walking would help them get back home. They weren’t even on the same planet anymore, the strange-looking sky proved it.

She looked around, and saw that several others had also noticed the sky, most wearing a similar expression of shock and terror. It didn’t matter if the person who saw was a Toad, Goomba, or Koopa, and for a brief moment, Minori felt a pang of sympathy for every single person in the clearing. Deep down, she was just as frightened by the realization as everyone else, but she knew that she couldn’t afford to show fear as a guard. Her job was to protect people, so she couldn’t afford to behave with the mentality of a victim. She was already reacting in a negative way, taking out frustration on the first things she saw; that wasn’t behavior befitting a soldier. Her brother would have scolded her for it. She was a prodigy among the guards; she needed to behave as though she were one, or nobody would believe for a moment that she was capable of handling her own problems.

She forced herself to ignore the coiling sense of alarm that twisted around in her gut, and looked at Agent Toadratty, commanding her face to remain harsh and resolute, “Well, regardless of what the culprit’s motive was,” She said, responding to what he said as he thought aloud, “We aren’t even on the same planet anymore, and we need to start being more concerned with how we’re going to deal with being stranded here. It doesn’t matter who did this or why, we won’t last five minutes if we don’t maintain some sense of order. Focus on the situation at hand that we have right now. People are starting to panic, and we need to make sure that things don’t fall into chaos.” She said.


The elderly Choomba Tsubame walked up to the young rookie soldier, who had accidentally bumped into the Magikoopa when the Toad guard snapped at him. In all honesty, Tsubame could fully understand the guard’s actions, in wishing that the one responsible for kidnapping everyone was right in front of her, so that she could run them over. She also understood the hostile feelings that existed between Toads and the Koopas and Goombas that were loyal to Bowser, how the Mushroom Kingdom was depicted as a place where everyone was good, and Bowser and his minions were the epitome of evil. It caused a great deal of confusion, although one as ancient as Tsubame was already aware that everyone had to get along. They had both been kidnapped by the same individual, so they had a common enemy, and for once would be better off ignoring the rivalry between their kingdoms.

Tsubame leaned over the Koopa Troopa greenhorn, who noticed her shadow looming over him, and promptly jumped, almost out of his shell, as he shifted rapidly to one side, trying to avoid bumping into the Magikoopa for a second time. “There is no need for panic, I am on your side, after all,” The Choomba said to him, causing him to promptly sigh with relief. She turned to look at the Magikoopa, “Since you have skill with magic, or at least awareness of things others may not understand, do you know possibly how we might have been brought here?” She asked. As terrifying as she looked, she seemed to be extremely polite. She also sounded like she could have been somebody’s grandmother, and appearance set aside, one had trouble being afraid of an old lady, even if this elder did not appear to be weak or frail.


Kohaku flinched, having been startled and frightened off by two different people in rapid succession, even when he was aware from the beginning that this Choomba was likely an ally. He took deep breaths, trying to calm the fluttering in his heart from the panic, “They sky’s the wrong color, and there’s more than one sun. The trees look like rainbows, where are we?” He asked, worrying. He looked cowardly, but at the same time, a large number of people aside from him also now seemed to be on the verge of panic. It was as though people had woken up and almost thought their situation was a dream, before being slammed back into reality.

One could not help but pity the Koopa Troopa, as the emotions on his face were so earnest and real that there was no possible way that he was simply acting. “This is bad. Who kidnapped us? Why would anyone want to abduct King Bowser? They did say they were targeting him, didn’t they? He caught himself before he got pulled in, so the attempt failed, but what does that mean for us?” He abruptly clamped his hands over his beak, stopping himself from spouting his thoughts aloud. The poor Koopa had been traumatized on his first-ever mission.

The Choomba turned to him, “It’s alright, don’t think about that right now. Just stick with me. You’ll get through this; the first mission is always the most difficult.” She said. “I’m Tsubame, what’s your name?” She asked, her voice very quiet.

“K-Kohaku, my name’s Kohaku.” He stuttered.

The Choomba nodded, the coals in her eyes flickering, “Alright, then. Be quiet, and let us here what this Magikoopa has to say.” She said.

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PostSubject: Re: Toads and Koopas (IC)   Sun Apr 26, 2015 12:09 pm

What else had happened? Berry remembered that she had gone unnoticed as a room appeared to be the main interest of the Koopa Troop. Berry felt some sort of force pulling her towards the room, wait wait, this wasn't some regular curiosity, dear sweet mother of Peach! something was literally pulling Berry towards the towards the room.

Alright that sort of made sense, OH CRAP where did the hammer go!? Berry looked around frantically for a few moments before spotting the hammer, the wrapping still looked good too. She let out a sight of relief before picking up the hammer and looking at her surroundings.
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PostSubject: Re: Toads and Koopas (IC)   Thu May 07, 2015 6:16 am

Motch awoke to the muffled sounds of birdcall and the scent of damp earth. Cracking his eyes open, the Goomba attempted to look around but found himself unable to move aside from his feet. His efforts at wriggling free only attracted the attention of his prisons startled owner, at the sight of which Motch felt crushing shame well up as he realised where he was.

The vortex had dropped him down a rabbit hole.
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PostSubject: Re: Toads and Koopas (IC)   Mon May 25, 2015 1:24 pm

At the edge of the clearing, a strange Bone Goomba emerged out of the forest, almost completely unnoticed, due to the fact that he was the same species as others within the clearing. Not only was his appearance not noted as strange, but others may have even mistaken him for a member of Bowser’s army, as it seemed many Goombas and Koopas did not even know half the people they worked with. This Bone Goomba had a distinctly strange appearance for his kind, regardless of standards. Something about him was wrong, and overall, he seemed somehow menacing.

He was somewhat tall for a Goomba, with an almost liver-colored body with veins of paler shade, and the skeletal cap on his head possessed long fangs instead of the typically-seen small square teeth. He kept his head lowered, a long midnight-blue scarf gently blowing in a faint breeze that stirred up, almost as though he did not want anyone to look directly at his face. Anyone who saw his eyes, though, would have been filled with disgust or revulsion, as they looked at the dead gaze they held. His eyes were eerie, almost apathetic, and one would have felt that there was something disturbingly twisted about this individual. His soul somehow seemed rotten, and though one could tell that he was about a third taller than other Goombas, he slouched, and therefore seemed smaller, regardless.

This strange Bone Goomba, pale yellow pupils glowing faintly from black scleras, walked up to a Goomba with a large helmet on his head, who was somehow trapped inside of a rabbit hole at the edge of the clearing. He stared at this stranger for a moment, looking somehow irritated, as though he disliked the obligation of common courtesy. Despite this, he banished the look, replaced it with what seemed to be a typical scowl, and grabbed one of the Goomba’s legs with his own. With what seemed to be little effort, despite the awkwardness of the entire task, he twisted around and tossed the stranger out of the hole. He looked away, not meeting the stranger’s eyes, his posture displaying uneasiness, though his face didn’t change.

“You should be ready to duck down. Something big is coming, and judging from where you came from, you have none of the capabilities to handle it. Spread the word, something’s coming.”

With this alarming message, the Bone Goomba vanished into the forest.


At another part of the clearing, a strange-looking Paratroopa sat in a tree, dark grey scales shimmering rainbow colors wherever they caught the light. The beak curled back, revealing sharp fangs, two of which protruded from the upper jaw constantly, as she silently growled at an impending threat. Stormy feathered wings stretched in anticipation, as the scaly skin rippled, covered with old healed-over wounds. Goggles hid the eyes as they gazed over at the opposite edge of the clearing, and hands curled into fists as she rose into a standing position on the branch where she was resting. The eyes were not focused on the new arrivals on the ground, but at the source of a distant crashing that kept growing louder with every passing moment. A roar sounded, and frightened birds took to the air as they flew to escape. The murmuring of the crowd below fell silent.


An older middle-aged Toad emerged out of the woods, deeply tanned and muscular, looking as though he had spent a lifetime in the wilds. Fierce, bright green eyes gazed at the people who had been dumped by the red vortex, his right hand tightening around a long wooden staff that doubled as a walking stick. His voice echoed across the clearing, “All of you! Danger is coming! Head over to that side of the clearing and hide! If you value your survival, do so quickly!” He called, pointing over to the side of the clearing opposite of where the roar had come from. Several people moved to follow the order without hesitation, while others stared at the strange bearded Toad, perhaps wondering if he was responsible for the vortex that had kidnapped them.

The strange Bone Goomba from before emerged next to the Toad, no one knowing that he had been coming, because he made no sound at all as he moved. “Ah, Noriko…You decided to investigate that strange flash of light, also?” He raised an eyebrow at the Goomba.

“Shut up,” Noriko distinctly looked uncomfortable, though his face didn’t change, “You know that flashes of light can only mean more people were taken. I don’t like people, but I don’t like death, either. I’m not here with any intentions of working with you or having friends.” He said.

“Ah, so you just came to make sure these people don’t get hurt?” The Toad prodded, taking on a position to strike anything that got close with his staff, as he pulled a strange-looking mushroom from one of his pockets.

“If you want an answer so badly, Hikaru, that will suffice.” Noriko said, looking as trees started falling close by. A disturbing smile came over his face, “I wanted nothing to deal with people, but if there’s one thing I would like to do for myself,” He said, the smile faded as quickly as it came, “I want to murder the person who did this to me.”

With this alarming statement, what seemed to be a giant frog-monster appeared out of the woods. It was enormous, and its body was somewhat dog-like, but it did not have a tail, and spikes ran down its slimy back. Two long, serrated tusks protruded from its jaw, and claws sprouted from sticky webbed feet as it reared up on its hind legs and roared, revealing three rows of menacingly sharp teeth. It landed back on its front legs, and fixed its rectangular, amphibious eyes on the victims who had remained still instead of running to take cover in the bushes. The creature was pure black, but the eyes glowed violet like some horrible, demented nightmare.

“This creation is new.” Noriko noted, as he lifted up a stone expertly on top of one foot, and tossed it at the creature, perfectly hitting one of its eyes and getting its attention. “He’s going for sheer brutality on this one, none of the pretty polish of all his other monstrosities. I guess something put a dent in his plans and he’s angry about it.” He said, before a slight chuckle came in his voice, “I really hate him.” There was something so sad about those words, but there was no time to puzzle over it. The frog-creature was mad, now, and focused solely on the group the stone had come from.

“I’ll be asking you about that, later,” The old Toad said, as he swallowed the Super Acorn Mushroom that he had pulled out of his pocket. His clothing changed, as he sprouted furry ears and flaps between his arms and legs. A long, fluffy tail came from his back as he transformed partially into a flying-squirrel creature. He swiftly jumped up and took off into the clearing, gliding up on warm drafts on the air, looking for an opening as he continued to grip his staff across his back.

Within minutes, the clearing was a battlefield.


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