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Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Legend of the Star Rod
Prologue: A Plea from the Stars
“Today… I’m going to tell the story of Star Spirits and Good Wishes.” The page turns revealing a starry sky. Right in the center of it was what looked like a sort of town. The buildings looked like they were made of night sky auras and little figures that looked like stars walked around the town. The town appeared to be held up by seven, giant, different colored stars. These stars were known as the ‘Seven Stars Pieces’. (Super Mario RPG.)
“Far, far away, beyond the sky, way above the clouds, it’s been said that there’s a haven where the stars live.” The page turns again, this time revealing a path and a staircase leading into what looked like a shrine. The shrine had somewhat of a heavenly radiance to it. “In the sanctuary of Star Haven, there rests a fabled treasure known as the ‘Star Rod’, which has the power to grant all wishes.” The page turns once again showing the inside of the shrine, in the center of the shrine, on a pedestal, sat an ancient looking item. It looked like a rod that was red and green, with a yellow star at the end. Watching this ancient treasure, and sitting on pillars that circled the pedestal, were mid sized stars each holding a different a trait that separated them. One of the notable ones was a yellow star with a big white mustache. “Using the powers of the wondrous Star Rod, the seven revered ‘Star Spirits’, watched over our peaceful world. Carefully… Very carefully.”
The page turned again, showing an even bigger picture of the shrine and some more of the seven revered Star Spirits. However, there was something else there. There was a figure that appeared to be taped onto the page. It looked like a female turtle like creature known as a koopa, and an old one at that. It wore a dark blue cloak with a hood over its head, had bleached looking hair, and wore a pair of glasses. The koopa appeared to be riding a broom like a witch. “And then… Oh dear… What the? Who stuck this weird thing into the story?” Suddenly the tape disappeared and the animations on the page seemed to come to life!
The old koopa witch turned her head towards the outside of the page, gave an angry look, and yelled on the top of her lungs, shaking her fist. “I’M NOT WEIRD LOOKING!!!”
Just as soon as the old koopa said that, a humongous shadow appeared on the outside of the page. It seemed to be riding on some kind of semi circle craft with helicopter blades on the bottom. “HA, HA, HA! Yeah! I did!” His voice was deep and beast like, almost. Once he said that, he laughed an evil laugh, the tone of it was dark, and just seemed to scream that this was a character to fear. “So I can, at long last, defeat my old archenemy Mario! I’ll take this Star Rod!”
The page turned once again making a close up of the old koopa witch. “Do it Kammy Koopa!!!” Kammy raised her wand and energy started to charge. The energy had a sort of dark feel to it and was powerful in appearance. There was a flash of light and in an instant a new character was floating in the air next to Kammy Koopa. It was the same creature from outside the page; it was a koopa like Kammy, only it was male and much bigger. The body was a regular koopa shell aside from the white, somewhat yellowish spikes on the green shell back. On his head was fiery red hair, horns, the skin or scales, whichever one it is, was green on the head while the mouth area was yellow. His arms were covered with yellow scales, on his wrists were what looked like spiky black collars, and there was another black spiky collar around his neck as well. The vehicle he was riding in appeared to be a semi circle, with helicopter blades on the bottom, and what appeared to be a frowning clown face like design on the front The Star Spirits looked on in fear; it was none other then ‘Bowser, the koopa king.’
As soon as Bowser made his entrance, the Star Spirits were suddenly attacked by strange bolts of dark energy, preventing them from moving. As that happened, Bowser breathed fire on the Star Rod; riding it of the barrier that prevented anyone from touching the grand treasure. “No! You mustn’t do that!” The narrator called, but Bowser refused to listen, taking the Star Rod.
“Yeah!! Now let’s try using it!” Bowser said with glee holding the Star Rod above his head. Upon making an unknown wish, the Star Rods energy traveled across the room until it hit all seven of the Star Spirits. After a few seconds of struggling, the Star Spirits were eventually overtaken and they were forcibly zoomed in and were imprisoned into their own individual card like seal.
“Stop it! Cut it out, Bowser! You’re changing the story!” The narrator called, but it was impossible to stop Bowser from where he was. Soon all the Star Spirits were imprisoned.
“TE, HEH, HEH, HAH, HAH!!! We did it!!!” Kammy said; screeching with laughter at their victory.
“That was a piece of cake!” Bowser said then laughed evilly. Having said that, his vehicle took off out of the shrine and disappeared to parts unknown, Kammy and the card prisons close behind him.
“Now Star Kids may rise to grant people’s wishes, but those wishes will never come true… Whatever will they do?”
A small groan is heard… After a few seconds the darkness lifts, and light slowly peeks in. It is the sight of someone waking up. The boy that is waking up is a young looking character around the teenage years. He is also a toad, a kind of people commonly seen in the Mushroom Kingdom. The boy sits up, yawns as he stretches, and rubs his eyes. The toad has a white mushroom hat with black spots on it, with a few specks of blonde hair poking out from the front, not to mention his attire right at the moment was pajamas. He slowly crawled out of bed and turned on the lights. He stared at himself in the mirror, saying the first thing that came to mind. “Well it’s a brand new day.”
His solitude is suddenly interrupted by someone knocking on the door. The young toad just lowered his head and shouted to the door. “Go ahead and come in!” The door opened, revealing another toad only this one was an adult, and had the typical look. (Blue jacket, white pants, white hat with red spots, and brown shoes)
“Sorry to disturb you, but are you alright?” The adult toad asked. The younger toad stared at his visitor, somewhat confused.
“What do you mean, ‘Am I alright?’ Did you think I was sick or something?” The older toad stared at his young guest with an incredulous look.
“Well I’ll tell ya’ why I’m worried! Not too long ago, there was some kind of Earthquake!” The adult toad shouted, a look of concern on his face.
The teenager looked at the adult through the mirror, gave a smug grin and said, “Well I didn’t feel anything.” After saying that he crossed his arms. “Musta’ slept through it.”
The teen looked about ready to laugh his fool head off when he saw the look he got from the adult toad. “SLEPT THROUGH IT!?!?” When he said that, he slapped his forehead in disbelief. “You become more unbelievable everyday Zane, you know that?”
The teenage toad named Zane simply chuckled at the adult toad’s comment. “Well I try... Anyways I need to get changed so I can go and get the object of my chore here in Goomba Village… So… If you don’t mind.” Zane said, making the hand motion that easily meant ‘please leave’ to the adult toad. The adult toad sighed in disbelief, and left closing the door behind him.
A few minutes later outside, the adult toad had just explained about Zane to a middle-aged Goomba. The town they were in wasn’t at all big, but it was enough. The town was made up of three buildings, two appeared to be two story houses for any of the residents, while the third was a small one story, two room house with a small sign in the front yard. The sign had a yellow mushroom with a white top and red spots. Just below the mushroom shape, the words ‘Toad House’ were imprinted. “So the boy was unharmed?” the middle-aged goomba asked amazed. The goomba had a black mustache and somewhat thick eyebrows, which were raised in surprise.
The toad nodded. “A few things in the room fell off the shelves, but the boy seemed relatively unaffected.” After saying that, he once again slapped his forehead in disbelief. “That boy just continues to amaze me.”
They heard a sound coming from the Toad House. They turned to see the one and only Zane, now in his casual garbs which was a martial arts jacket, followed with a pair of black pants and blue shoes, walking through the door which he closed behind him. Zane looked to the originally conversing Toad House owner and Goompapa, as the middle-aged goomba was known to his kids, and gave a friendly wave. The two waved back and went right back to conversing. Zane’s head then turned to the forest just outside of town. He walked towards it slowly, allowing his mind to wander back to the strange dream he had the night before. ‘Star Haven, Star Spirits, the Star Rod? It’s the same dream, again… Although Bowser’s presence in the end was new.’ Zane thought.
For as long as he can remember since he was found outside of Toad Town some years ago, he had dreams about this strange place called Star Haven, and it’s great treasure, the Star Rod. For reasons beyond the young teen, everything he heard in the dream almost sounded familiar… And not familiar as if he read it before, but familiar in the sense that he had actually seen those things before. The boy groaned trying to get the dream out of his head so he could focus on the new day… Just like he did the day before… And the day before that, and the day before that…
However, what felt like fear seemed to creep into the boy’s being. “I know it isn’t real… But still, Bowser with the power to grant all wishes no matter how great? Now that’s a scary thought.” Zane then shrugged it off and smiled. “Aw, why am I scaring myself? Even if the treasure did exist, what I saw was still a dream.” He took another step…
‘CRASH!!!’ Zane was now on the ground, keeping himself from going into an unconscious state. Once that was taken care of he saw the thing, or person in this case, was another goomba. This goomba was a somewhat smaller then the other members of the Goomba family that lived in the village and was definitely female. She had pink skin and a big pink bow on top of her head. The goomba, he remembered, was the youngest member of the family, and her name was Goombaria.
She quickly got back on her feet; so did Zane, who immediately dusted off his jacket. After a second, Zane lowered himself down to Goombaria’s eye level and asked the obvious coming question. “Golly squirt, where’s the fire?”
If Goombaria had hands she’d probably use them to grab Zane’s shoulders and shake him so hard, his head would spin. That was how frantic Goombaria looked when she told him what was going on. “No fire!.. Get Dad, Goompa, and Goombario, and come quick!!! You-are-NOT going to believe what I found out in the woods!!” Her words sounded fearful and somewhat frantic.
Now, in most cases Zane would just think it was some kind of joke just to ‘get his goat’… But when he saw Goombaria’s face and how fearful it looked, he knew right and then it couldn’t have been a joke. He nodded and went to find the other members of the Goomba family.
After gathering up the necessary members of the Goomba family, everyone went into the woods. Upon arriving in a small clearing, he found that Goombaria was right… Quite frankly, he couldn’t believe what he was looking at. Laying face down on the ground was what appeared to be a middle-aged man with a black mustache on his face. He wore a tattered pair of blue overalls, which was over a red shirt, he also had light brown working boots, and topping a head of black hair was a red cap with a small white circle and what appeared to be a red ‘M’ in the center of it. Zane had to rub his eyes to make sure he wasn’t seeing things, but as soon as he did he found that he wasn’t… Laying there on the ground, as real as he was, was Mario… The famous, one and only, Mushroom Kingdom hero… And to boot he looked pretty darn beat up!
“Holy!...” He quickly turned to the goomba’s. “Quickly! Lets get him to the Toad House!” The goomba’s nodded in agreement and went to each side of the tattered Mario, save for Goombario (A young goomba with brown skin, and wore a blue baseball cap, he was the older brother of Goombaria,) who stared at Mario’s unconscious body, he seemed very concerned. Zane knew why too. 1.) Who wouldn’t be concerned to see the Mushroom Kingdom’s resident hero, beaten like a punching bag and then found in the woods, and 2.) Goombario was one of Mario’s biggest fans, so seeing ‘said hero’ down for the count would make him somewhat more concerned.
Zane approached Goombario’s side and placed a hand of comfort on the goomba’s shoulder… Well, if you can call them shoulders. “It’ll be okay.. Now could you give me and your folks a hand here?” Goombario looked up to Zane and nodded there was now a determined look in his eyes.
“Yeah, lets help Mario!” Goombario came up to Mario’s side and the goomba’s slowly started lifting. While the goomba’s lifted up Mario from his top side, Zane came up from behind and lifted Mario up by his ankles. Once he had a firm grip, the goomba’s and the toad, slowly carried Mario into Goomba village. From the Inside, Zane was filled with determination, just like Goombario… But deep inside he wondered if he would truly be okay.
After some work, Mario was safe in the Toad House and the owner of the establishment went inside to examine Mario’s injuries. After an hour or so, the Toad House owner finally came back outside. He was now wearing a doctor’s scrub over his old clothes to almost emphasize the hullabaloo. Goombario looked worried for a second, until he asked the obvious coming question. “Well Doc? Is he going to be okay?”
Doc (“I’ll just call him that from now on.”) took off his face mask and stared at the boy. At first he held a frown on his face, but after a second he started to explain. “Well he has a few claw marks, is suffering from a slight third degree burn, which shouldn’t leave any mark later, and he seems to be experiencing a bit of trauma…” Goombario looked down to the ground almost as if expecting the worst… Which he didn’t get. Doc smiled, “But, surprisingly, he’s going to be alright.”
Goombario looked up to Doc and gave a huge smile. Zane patted the little goomba on the head. He was nothing but smiles. “See? I Told ya’ he’d be okay.” However something was off about this smile… It seemed to lack it’s usual shine. Outside he was smiling but deep inside… He was worried… Very worried indeed.
Later that night, as everyone was preparing to go to bed, Zane was approached by Doc. “Hey Zane… I just thought of something.”
Zane, who seemed to be off in his own little world at the moment, popped into attention and looked to Doc. “Huh? Oh yeah, what is it?” Doc stared at Zane confused, he was hardly, if not ever, like this.
However, Doc decided to ignore that fact… For now. “Where are you going to sleep? Mario will be taking your own bed.” Zane didn’t seem at all bothered by this.
“Oh don’t worry I’ll fix a hammock, uh…” Zane took a good look around until he saw two tree’s close enough together to make a hammock. “Right over there.” Zane pointed at the two trees as he finished.
Doc looked at the two trees and then at Zane, after a second, he nodded and stepped out of the way. “Okay then… Go ahead.” Zane nodded as well and he left to the two trees.
Doc stared at Zane utterly confounded. Something was definitely wrong with young man. He almost seemed… Spooked by something. He watched Zane until the boy finished the hammock, then went into the Toad House. ‘Something’s really bothering that kid,’ Doc thought, ‘he almost seemed spooked by something… and if this thing spooks someone like him… Heaven knows what that means.’
Doc would never know how right he was… As Zane finished the hammock, his thoughts turned to the dream he had before all this happened. Somehow, no matter how much it scared him, he really knew that the dream of the stolen Star Rod and Mario’s sudden injured appearance were connected somehow… and that scared him more than anything.
He crawled into his hammock, minding his weight distribution, and lie down in it. It wasn’t long before he fell asleep and dreams filled his head… It also wasn’t long before Zane grunted in his sleep, a strange nightmare now filled his head.
The image was almost unbearable… It showed a grand hallway, probably one from the castle. The hallway was tattered, the rug was disheveled, the walls had burn marks, and in the center of the hall, where one of the biggest windows were, well more like used to be, four figures stood. One figure, unmistakably Mario, was lying on the floor, out cold. The second figure was a beautiful woman wearing a radiant pink dress, had long flowing blonde hair, a crown on her head, and diamond slippers stood above Mario, her hands were to the sides of her face in panic. This was the unmistakable figure of the princess of the Mushroom Kingdom, Princess ‘Peach’ Toadstool. She screamed in panic. “Oh no!!! Mario!! Please get up!!!”
The other figures there were more recognizable. They were none other then Bowser and Kammy Koopa. Bowser seemed to be celebrating something, and Kammy was sitting on her floating broom, looking with pride at Bowser. “Yahoo!!! I did it!!! I finally beat my old rival Mario!!! YEEEEEESSSSS!!!”
Kammy chuckled, and started to congratulate the Koopa King. “Congratulations on your victory, your Viciousness! That’s why you’re the king!” Having said that Kammy’s screeching laughter came after it.
Bowser turned to look at Kammy and pulled out the one item that helped him win this battle… The Star Rod. “So long as I have this Star Rod, any wish I make, comes true! I’m now invincible!!!” After that gloat, he turned to the beaten hero of the Mushroom Kingdom. “Well I might as well get rid of Mario… He’s no good to anyone now that’s for sure.” Bowser suddenly lifted up the Star Rod; it flashed with almighty power, and from a lightning bolt flashed down and slammed Mario. The force knocked the poor plumber out the big broken window.
As he flew outside, there was a sight of the Mushroom Kingdom Castle’s current plight. It was sitting on a big stone castle that resembled Bowser, riding his clown hover cart, and both were hovering above the clouds! Mario continued falling to earth below, as Peach went to the broken window and gave her final plead to Mario. “Oh no!!! MARIOOOOOO!!!!!!” As she continued screaming Kammy turned to a patrol of armor wearing koopa’s called the Koopatrols.
“You there, take Princess Peach to her room immediately!!” The Koopatrols nodded and obeyed their order without question. Meanwhile outside Mario had continued his descent to the ground below… He kept on falling…
Until he finally disappeared into the clouds, to continue his plummet to the ground…
End Chapter 1