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Hidden 12 mos ago 12 mos ago Post by Lugubrious
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Weapons drawn, tensions high, and muscles wound up; no matter how heartening Linkle's response or intriguing her follow-up comments about the light, any pondering about what happened needed to be put on hold until people felt sure they wouldn't be plugged full of holes. Tora just about hit the deck when the gunslinger started blasting in Bowser's direction, but after the initial shock wore off and the Courier congratulated himself on a job well done, everyone came to about the same conclusion.

Tora snapped his wingtips. “Ah! Friend is not bad guy after all. Is just insane person!” He observed as the Courier invite the grim-looking warrior for a drink, seemingly disarming that situation as well. Unfortunately, Death found new probable cause to attack Bowser when the King Koopa let out a frustrated roar a moment later, shaking the earth with the pounding of his feet. When he finished, instead of piping down, Bowser made tracks in Kirby's -and therefore Tora's- direction. The Nopon froze in place, breaking out in sweat and with mouth agape, as the giant stomped over and took one hell of a seat. Popped up by the resulting shockwave, Tora toppled over, and with faint protest wiggled his arms and legs to try and right himself.

Kirby, meanwhile, seemed to stir from his unconsciousness at Bowser's prodding. He looked incredibly weary, and more than a little sick, but the shadow of a smile could be seen in his face. “Oh, oh?” he uttered weakly, the sounds a far cry from speech. He tried a little longer, but did not seem capable of speech. He held up a hand to shake, as if with of a friend he hadn't imagined he'd see again.

Recovering from his tumble, Tora straightened himself and laughed brightly. “Mehmeh! Friend Bowser overestimate pinkypon's talky-talky skills, methinks.”

He fell quiet, however, as Kirby rolled over a moment later, and with one of his tiny nub arms pointed toward the bottom of the hill. At the foot of the hill lay a great expanse, grassy and flat at the beginning but more and more difficult to traverse farther on. Blocks floated in the air, pipes stuck up from the earth amid great swathes of tall grass, and a few strange plants could even be seen. A long way off, across the whole of the expanse, a castle loomed. As one looked into the distance, one could make out very different terrain in different directions—a towering forest, a land shrouded by darkness, several cities, a mountain range, an ocean, a desert, and more.

Most of all, however, one could see something that floated in the sky, so far away as to appear minuscule, but nevertheless recognizable to a few. It was at that singular point that a second sun gleamed, a brilliant orb surrounded in majesty by seraphic wings of red and blue, and encircled even further by a barrier of multicolored light, at least ten different shades undulating in a slow, joyous dance.

“Whoa...” The sight left Tora in awe, and he rubbed his head with a wing. “How did not see before? World is super biggie, and...definitely not mine.” For a moment he seemed depressed. He squinted as he tried to make out the light in the distance, then grunted in disgust. “Ugh. Even from here, very nasty-brighty. Worse than staring at sun.” He glanced at Kirby, who appeared to have fallen unconscious, and thought no more about the far-off entity. “Oh. Lights out for little friend,” he remarked as he settled his wings. A pensive look then overtook him. “Wonder what happened.” As Blazermate's treatment finished, Tora looked over the fresh bruises and scars that covered the pink puff's body. Precision burn marks, long cuts, fist-shaped indentations, a number of closed-up holes, and of course the gash on his back all made for an incredible assortment of injuries. On one cheek there even lay a the vaguely cone-shaped remnant of a puncture wound that struck Tora as strangely familiar.

Putting the bothersome feeling aside, he backed away from the sleeping puff and tried instead to think about what Rex and Pyra would do. Never give up. A determined optimist like Rex would likely say something to that effect, maybe even bringing up a line of his infamous Salvager's Code. But Tora didn't know what to not give up on. He knew almost nothing about this situation, and especially the strange people around him. All these tempers made for a terribly stressful atmosphere. If Rex were in his shoes, he would...ah, of course!

Tora cleared his throat. “Meh meh meh! Hello, friends biggie and small!” he called out, drawing as much attention as he could. “Things right now very confusing, know bugger-all, meh. But instead of running around like Skwaror with head cut off, can reduce unknowns by saying 'hello' and giving name! Me first!” The Nopon bounced off the ground, rising up with a flap of his wings to achieve a 720-degree spin. He landed, gave an adorable smile, and slapped his chest with his wings before declaring, “Am Tora! Full of super science know-how, and Driver of Poppi! ...Who not here, but Tora will surely find!”
Hidden 12 mos ago 12 mos ago Post by ProPro
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Courier 6 remained in a sitting position as the large spiked turtle creature rampaged by in quite the hissy fit. Impressive, to say the least. The Courier bounced a bit on the ground. But it shouldn’t be too surprising given the size and stature of this “King Bowser.” Then the man who previously advocated for peace came right up to 6, sarcasm self-evident.

“I know that, but do you? I’m not an idiot, I can read tone. No idea what pissed you off, but maybe sharing a drink will improve your mood?” He offered up his bottle of whiskey, now inviting two drinking buddies. At this rate, he’ll be out and then... Best not to think about it.

6 then paid attention to the scene going on around the pink puffball. Bowser didn’t get the answers they all wanted, as it seemed the little guy was either still too injured to talk, or simple unable. In its place, the bizarre bird man did its best to fill in the gaps. Unfortunately this “Tora” possesses the diction of a drunken super mutant, leaving the Courier to guess at much of what it was saying. Still, some core concepts shined through, like the introductions.

“Sounds like a plan!” The Courier shouted in a friendly manner, standing up. “Let’s see. If I remember right, this huge lizard guy is King Bowser. Nice to meet you, your highness. This little guy is Geno. No idea how a puppet can talk, but I’ve seen stranger things I suppose. Next up I suppose is the Centurion. Thought I had to worry about you for a minute, but after looking you over it’s clear you’re not part of Caesar’s Legion. As for everyone else...”

The Courier looked the rest over, some of whom hadn’t even woken up yet, then exaggerated a shrug. “No idea. Nobody else has said yet. But I’ll tell you something, I’m 100% certain this pink thing saved us from... Well, that big light ball up in the sky, I guess.”

Totally oblivious to the idea that speaking for others was, perhaps, a bit rude, the Courier sat back down without so much as introducing himself. He took another swing of whiskey, then called out, almost as an afterthought, “Oh, and I don’t appreciate being called insane, Tora! I just do what needs to be done.”

Hidden 12 mos ago Post by Hokagae
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Death



As the commotion went on, he noticed a wooden doll walked up to the large creature, introducing itself as “Geno” and also mentioning that the thing’s name is “Bowser”. Just then, the man in the wide-brimmed hat fired off a few shots from his gun. It seemed he missed both Geno and Bowser, but the latter was definitely unhappy. Bowser started off yelling in anger at everyone before he began stomping in his direction. Death wasn’t intimidated and was ready to attack, but he could tell that he wasn’t going to just start attacking things, especially since it didn’t look to be going into any sort of battle stance or anything similar. Instead, he just stepped out of the way of the beast, holstering his scythes to his belt again.

As he watched the the beast walk past him and over to the pink blob his attention was redirected to the gunslinger who had shot earlier. The man offered a drink but Death simply ignored him, not caring for the man’s unusual behaviour. He didn’t think about it before but he noticed that the man in the hat was a human, which means that his mission had been completed, he had resurrected mankind from extinction. Before he could think more on this, the small furry creature that he noticed from earlier started talking, suggesting everybody introduce themselves.

Again, the unusual one chimed in. Death didn’t listen to too much of it, again, not caring for whatever the man had to say. He was tempted to just leave all these people behind and go his own way but he had a suspicion that he wouldn’t last too long in this new land, especially not in his current weakened state. So, instead he just went along with what Tora was suggesting. ”I’m simply known as Death.” He said bluntly, not wanting to give these people too much info as he still didn’t trust any of them at all.
Hidden 12 mos ago 12 mos ago Post by Lmpkio
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Direct Mentions: @DracoLunaris Bowser, @ProPro The Courier, @Gentlemanvaultboy Linkle



It would appear that Bowser seemed to have remembered the wooden doll - which indeed made Geno rather happy. However, considering how long it had been since their last adventure, he also wouldn't be surprised if he only vaguely remembers him - let alone if at all. It truly didn't matter much to him. He was just glad to finally see someone familiar around here. And like him, he also appeared to be a victim of a large "glowing light". Really everyone should've recalled somewhat of that terrifying event...

But he caught Bowser in a rather bad spot, as he'd been on the verge of having a meltdown over the other conflicts that were happening around him. There were two armored swordsman fighting over who killed the "pink marshmallow" - one Geno recognizes to be the Star Warrior of another world. It appeared Kirby fought all that he could, yet died at the hands of the now purified allies. It was a real shame to see Kirby this way, yet an argument he does not want to get into. One hard slice can easily decapitate him or chop his limbs off. He is still a wooden doll after all.

Then he glanced over to see another warrior still attempting to recognize her surroundings. The blonde woman looked oddly familiar - perhaps too familiar to him. She looked very much like another legend he had heard about on his travels. The "Bane of Evil" known simply as Link. She looked as if she was the splitting image of him, if he was a woman that is. This had definitely caught his attention as the wooden doll began to walk to her...

Only to be interrupted by four gunshots that nearly brushed him and Bowser as they flung towards their supposed target. Geno instinctually ducked as the bullets nearly staved part of his head and past the Koopa King's face. The doll glared towards the firer as he readied his arm cannon in response, readying himself for a fight. He ultimately said nothing towards him. However, the firer claimed that he wasn't shooting at them, but rather at a large "deathclaw" that was behind them. Geno would turn around, only to see absolutely nothing behind them - or at least anything that resembled one.

"But there was... nothing behind us." the doll replied confusingly, not knowing of what else to say about it.

And then the Koopa King himself began to throw a fit as he issued a deafening roar while spewing fire everywhere. Geno managed to jog a safe distance away before looking back at the commotion developing nearby.

And speak of the devil, it turned out that Kirby was actually alive. How surprising given how he had a sword wound that was gouged through his back. But as he pointed down the hill, Geno would instantly recognize where he was as soon as he saw a familiar castle below. It was Princess Peach's castle! Was he in the Mushroom Kingdom? However, as he looked beyond, he could very much see a far more expansive world ahead of him.

And a very unfamiliar one at that.

Yet beyond the various terrain, he can barely make out a bright object in the distance. The doll would suddenly realize that it belonged to the same creature that had attacked Star Road. A flash of anger surged through his wooden joints - one also of shame due to how he failed in protecting his home - but he quickly put himself under control. He will get to him eventually. Or perhaps, they, considering how it seems that everyone is getting quite acquainted with one another so quickly. The first of which was a small pudgy cat-like figure who introduced himself as "Tora". Then the same guy that shot at them began to recall the names of those he heard like Bowser, the Centurion, and Geno himself, whilst asking how he could talk.

"This 'puppet' you speak of serves only as my vessel." Geno answered his question, "I - Geno - have come from above... from a place known as the Star Road."

He felt like he shouldn't have mentioned his origins so soon, but regardless he'd make do with this. Meanwhile, another guy wearing a creepy-looking mask called himself "Death". Geno then looked back to the castle below and pointed towards it.

"That castle over there," he said eagerly towards anyone close to hearing him, "I know of it. It belongs to the Princess of the Mushroom Kingdom. I suggest we head towards it for shelter."

He then looks over to the giant Koopa.

"Am I correct, sire?" he asked him for confirmation.

He had only once visited the Castle during his first outing with Mario and the others, and only one other time he was invited was as a special guest to a party from Princess Peach herself. This may very well not be the same castle he'd know, but perhaps they may find the Princess in that castle... or maybe in another castle. They'll at least be able to find something or someone in there right?


Hidden 12 mos ago Post by Vega7
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Beasts.

Beasts, bloody fur growing in unnatural patches where skin once was. They spoke with the voices of men.

"Beast! Oh foul beast!"

"You plague-ridden rat!"

"No! I'm not one of you!"

Poor fools. Still fancied themselves human.

The Hunter's cleaver passed through them like scissors through silk. They were not the worst of his fears. No, they were simply Beast Plague victims. There were things far worse than that.

He left their corpses on the ground. In a perfect world, they would receive a burial. In this world, they were simply abandoned. He had better business to attend to. Besides, all he could do for them anyway was burn them.

The Hunt goes on.


The Hunter awoke, nearly launching himself to his feet. The first thing he did was cover his eyes. Light, he thought. Then he realized what this meant. Had he escaped the Hunt? Had he been blessed with the sight of the sun for the first time in what felt like aeons? The second thing he realized is that there were quite a bunch of figures surrounding him.

He drew his pistol and saw cleaver - only thinking for a split second how lucky he was that they had still been by his side - and waved them menacingly in the direction of the nearest figure. He nearly pulled the trigger until he realized that none of them seemed hostile. Even then he had to restrain himself. He'd seen some strange things, but that didn't mean he got anymore used to it, and these people seemed very bizarre. He scanned the horizon, still holding his weapons. Just in case. Upon catching site of the castle, he tilted his head quizzically,and, ignoring the other dozen or so figures, promptly broke into a light jog, sheathing his weapons. Castles were just a bit more to his tastes than this bright field, apparently.
Hidden 12 mos ago Post by Old Amsterdam
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Zer0 continued to stand almost mockingly, unflinching, as the centurion continued their excessive rambling.

"I got Second Wind
Metaphorically speaking
Breath overrated."


His answer given, he promptly turned and started walking before turning sound and holding up a finger and pointing it at the sky. Bowser dropped down at that point, though Zer0 didn't seem phased by the temporary shaking.

Farewell, foolish thing
Know that you have been deceived
As your soul moves on."


Again he spoke to the centurion, his finger still pointed exactly where Kirby's blob thing had.

Actually, looking closer, one might notice he only had four didgets on his hands. What even was he?

His point made, however, Zer0 went to plop down next to the little pink blob. Extending a hand he crouched there, unmoving, as he... Apparently did nothing.

"A friendly second
Wind it seems was not to be
I cannot help him."


The mention of names and a 0 displayed from his helmet, with him pointing it. He was even friendly enough to carve "Zer0" into the ground with his sword!

That was friendly, right?


194 words
Hidden 12 mos ago 12 mos ago Post by Archmage MC
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Things weren't going nearly as bad as Blazermate thought. Keeping herself behind the fellow that would soon introduce himself as 'Death', she healed the pink ball until he was stable, which made this bird-vegetable person named Tora excited. His speech pattern was very... odd to say the least. Rambling on about her being a 'blade' or something. If thats what he called a medabot in his universe, then that was fine. Although she really couldn't understand what he was saying overall, but that bit about 'going back on design' felt like an insult, if an unintentional one. But considering the situation, she decided to ignore that little tidbit at the end.

For one thing, the giant lizard man, who was one of the primary aggressors, seemed to calm down a lot while Blazermate was healing this pink ball person. Well, calm is a strange word, considering the slight anger tantrum he had at being shot at, but considering only a roar and some stomping happened, and not another injured patient or two, that was probably the best case scenario. And after the cowboy, who was apparently a bit out of it still, put his weapon away the man with the sub-machine gun put his away as well.

Of course the roman centurion as he called himself, wasn't too happy with the tall robot-looking guy who seemed to only talk in poems and emojis, but at least their possible fight probably wouldn't be nearly as catastrophic as a shootout so Blazermate only paid them a little attention, only catching the poet's name he drew in the ground as she made herself known to everyone. "Hello, everyone. Besides all the confusion, it looks like everyone here is pretty friendly." Turning to look primarily at Geno, who out of everyone seemed to know most about what was going on, but still trying to keep her face visible to as many people as possible, she continued.

"My name is Blazermate, and it looks like this Geno Medabot knows the most out of everyone right now about what is going on so far." she pointed out, pointing her thumb at Geno as she turned around to look at the others, making sure to remember faces to names. Of course Geno only seemed to know about the castle in the distance, but that was more than this vague mention of a bright sinister light. "Now, does anyone else here need some healing like that pink thing? No one looks injured yet, but best to ask."

376
Hidden 12 mos ago Post by Stekkmen
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The Centurion rubbed the chin of his helmet once again, pondering the strange man's words. "Very well. I accept your surrender." The man seemed to want be called Zer0, a curious name, indeed, but it was good enough. Easy to say, unlike some of the bizarre names of the Samurai. Why couldn't they have nice, simple, easy to say names, like Magnumus Agoston?

Centurion did indeed glance over towards the indicated expanse. There was a man in black, the Hunter, walking over to it right now. But Centurion was more focused on the beautiful terrain before him. Almost as beautiful as the Empire.

"It's beautiful, indeed. Travelling to that castle does seem wise. Perhaps we can parley with the Lord of this land. Do not worry, whoever they are, they will recognize an offical representative of the Southern Empire." He said confidently. Magnumus had not quite thought too hard about how he got here. It was magic, or something. Now he was in crazy world. He was still in his armor, still had his blade, and he still had his unflinching faith in God and loyalty to the Empire. What more could he need? This was all just new lands to conquer and explore.

Ah, yes, but Magnumus realized the missing piece of the puzzle. A few people around him were beginning to notice it, and now he was too. There was two suns. The normal sun, and then a much more intimidating, sinister looking sun. Yes, indeed, that looked like pagan evil if the Centurion had ever seen it. And he had! Much more powerful than anything he had ever seen before. The most he had seen it do was grant the Viking Berserkers and Shamans great fury, strength, and immunity to pain. Or gave the Shinobi the ability to go invisible to the untrained eye. But this...was this connected to the light that had consumed him? Perhaps it was much more evil than even his normal enemies. It did not matter! The Centurion would destroy the evil being with a little help from these newfound allies.

"Well! I reckon if we are to begin exploring this new land, we should get to know each other first. I am Centurion Agoston, Leader of Legions, the Light of Valkenheim, the Fire That Purges, and the finest among the Emperor's Champions!" He literally flexed his muscles triumphantly, listing off his accolades proudly. He glanced over at some of the people who had mentioned there names.

"Let's see we've got...uh, 'Death'. Bit of a simple title, but no judgement here." He looked over the Courier. "Glad to see you've come to your sense! Caesar's Legion is lame, my legion is far superior. My armor is made of steel, not tin, by the way."

He kept looking. There was a talking wooden puppet named Geno, the big dragon man, the armored woman Blazermate (it was very tight armor, how did she even fit into it?) and a few others. Like Tora, the annoying birdman. There was also just a man in a blue shirt who looked astoundingly normal. A woman who called herself Linkle was one of the first to come to the conclusion about the evil light.

"Do not worry, ma'am," He said to Linkle, "The light of the Empire shines brighter than any false god."

"We can get to know each other as we continue towards that castle!" He pointed his gladius, gleaming in the sun, towards the far off objective. "Onwards, friends. Glory awaits!"

With that, he began marching towards the Mushroom Kingdom's main castle. He had a quick pace about him but he was not trying to outrun his new allies.

-
619 words.
Hidden 12 mos ago 12 mos ago Post by Stern Algorithm
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Din

Level 1 - (1/10) EXP
Location: Hill of Beginnings
Word Count: 272

Din awoke, later than the others. Perhaps this was because she was delicate. But her head still swam from jumbled memories while arguments swarmed above her. By the time she felt well enough to sit up, it seemed much of the tension had already eased. Most of the attention seemed to be focused on the round, pink creature, from which Din was able to sense enormous amounts of good magic. No wonder all present were concerned for it. Fortunately it was already being healed by what Din could only assume was a woman knight, or an automaton of ancient Hyrulean technology. Lost and confused, Din simply listened as the conversation drifted towards introductions.

"Ugh, I'm Din, traveling dancer," Din obliged, still sitting in the grass. So far everything that had been mentioned about being 'attacked by light' seemed to fit her blurred memories as well, and following this group to their decided-upon destination seemed as good an idea as any. Din stood up, patting herself off, and scanned the motley crew, before her eyes fell upon a Hyrulean dressed in green.

"Link!" Din called out in joy at seeing someone familiar. She ran over and threw a big hug around her past savior. "It's been so long, Link! You've...grown...?" Din pulled herself back and looked down at Linkle's chest, then back up to her face. Din suddenly jumped back a few steps, "I-I'm so sorry! I-I thought you were someone...else..." Din became a bit crestfallen, realizing that Link wasn't here to save her from this strange predicament, and in fact she knew no on here. "B-but you are Hyrulean, are you not?"
Hidden 12 mos ago 12 mos ago Post by DracoLunaris
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The utterly terrible state of kirby’s constitution was enough to dull even the inferno of rage that had ignited in Bowser’s soul, pity and concern smothering the embers till nothing was left, leaving only guilt as the king vaguely recall attacking him along with the other. The king let out a sigh, expelling the anger from his body as his expression softened somewhat.

“Man. We really did a number on you didnt we huh” he said quietly

The titanic turtle extended a single claw and touched it to kirby’s little nuby hand shaking the proffered hand. “Don’t worry little guy. Bowser's gonna fix this.” he assured Kirby before the star warrior slipped out of consciousness. Briefly startled by this the king was glad to see that kirby was continuing breath, giving a short sight of relief. Grunting to himself Bowser stood himself up from his seated position, dusted the back of his pants off and the carefully scooped up the wounded puffball in a single calw. Then he removed his hat, gently deposited the wounded hero inside its luxuriously soft padded interior and slung the improvised medical bed under his arm for safe keeping.

“Thank You” the king muttered quietly to the medibot before he turned to find out what everyone was examining. This turned out to be yet more familiar sights for the king, as he was confronted by one of his favorite stomping grounds, Peach’s castle, surrounded by some out of place terrain. He was struck by a brief moment of nostalgia, his mind wandering back to memories of breaking into the poorly defended castle, more of a palace really, causing terrified toads to scatter in his wake as he stormed through the halls to find Princess Peach so he could whisk her away to his much better castle. This fond relocation was broken by concern about her wellbeing, and also anger about the fact that the glowball thing might have kidnap her. Only he got to do that and yet other villains were constantly trying to take her away from him, the wrenches! The king’s heart hardened once more as he gazed up at the sight of the enemy floating high above them and he swore to himself that when this was over he would personally crush the thing beneath his foot. Or eat it. It did look rather tasty. Like a massive gobstopper. Before his mind would wander back off track, this time to food, Genno suggested they head over to Peach's castle, before asking him if that was the right move. Bowser hadn't considered that, he had been much too distracted to do any planning, but this did not stop him from claiming that “Yes. That was exactly what I was thinking Geno! ” completely unaware that the doll was probably being playing his ego like a fiddle.

“As were those guys apparently” the king added as the ragged looking hunter took off at a jog towards peach’s castle without a word, followed soon after by the centurion.

As the king followed the path of the two human warriors he once again took in the patchwork landscape and the floating form of Galeem he started to piece together a somewhat inaccurate understanding of what was going on, one primarily based on their memory of the events of smash bros brawl and the repeated mentions of the others mentioning blasts of light. The king nodded to himself, a decision made, and then turned to address the remaining heros.

“Alright you mooks listen up! I’m Bowser, the Koopa King, and you are all going to be working for me if you know what is good for you! That thing” Bowser pointed with his free had up to the angelic ball found in the sky “is the one responsible for transporting us all here and mind controlling us into attacking Kirby. Its beat some of the greatest Heros and Villains ever by staying way out of range like a cheap coward and blasting them. Then it went around blasted big chunks of all our worlds into subspace, taking you lot along with it, and cobbled them together into this mess while also probably taking over the minds of every fighter in them. I don't know why it’s done this, frankly I don't care, but I do know that if we beat the snot out of it then everything should go back to normal, just like it did last time. So if you all want to see your homes again your going to fight for me! We’re going to form the greatest army ever by doing whatever kirby did to us to anyone else we find and then we’ll get some awesome ships or something to take the fight up there too the stupid christmas ornament so we can punch it in the face. Got that? Good. Lets move out.”

As if there was no room for discussion the turtle turned and began stomping off towards the castle, bringing the unconscious form of kirby with him in his under arm held hat. Of course, Bowser’s pace wasn't exactly a quick one, particularity considering he was trying to avoid jostling Kirby to much, and so he was unlikely to outrun any complaints that might be raised.

Wordcount: 876
Hidden 12 mos ago 12 mos ago Post by Archmage MC
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The tensions with this group seemed to be going away, especially with the biggest of them advocating peace. Even those who were aggressive, like the centurion man, named Agoston as he introduced himself as, even gave up the chance to fight and instead went into a wordy introduction. The man was pretty full of himself it seemed, and considering how he looked at Blazermate, she couldn't help but roll her eyes. (Which most probably couldn't see, considering how her eye plates covered her optics.) But at the same time she couldn't help but find his rederec amusing. After giving his little speech, he turned and went towards the castle.

Soon after, another person approached the group, a lady in red, and seeing the lady in green, she made her way over to her and started to strike up a conversion. From the way this Din lady was talking, her and this green clothed lady came from the same world, much like Bowser and Geno. At least Blazermate wasn't the only robot in the group, looking at Zer0 as she thought this. The lizard man, named Bowser, thanked Blazermate, then went on a long explanation in his, cute bumbling sort of manner. It was really adorable, Blazermate thought, at how Bowser was trying to be commanding, menacing, and caring all at once.

"Wait, so that second sun is actually a living thing that brought us here? I just figured it was something with this world. I already know I'm not in Tokyo anymore." Blazermate said as Bowser explained everything, telling everyone to follow him at the same time. She flinched a little as Bowser carefully picked up the pink thing, calling him Kirby, and ran her way over to the pair, putting her medi-beam on Kirby as they walked. It was then she noticed that there was another person who was walking with the Centurion guy. Blazermate didn't recognize him, but for now it looked like no one was attacking him so he was probably friendly.

"You don't have to be that slow Bowser, I'm healing the little guy for ya." Blazermate said, giving a little giggle as she said that, a constant light hum coming from her hand.

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Hidden 12 mos ago 12 mos ago Post by ProPro
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6 sat back as a few more of the group introduced themselves, making sure to pay special attention to each of them. First to speak was the ghoul, calling himself “Death.” A bit melodramatic, but a lot of people called him death back home, too, so it wasn’t like he was in any position to judge. The closer he looked st the ghoul, the more he noticed is very un-ghoul like he was. No ghoul he knew had bluish skin. The closest was Brother Bright, and he was a glowing one. Damn, glowing ghouls were weird. How someone could be so irradiated that they were constantly glowing, yet still be alive, was beyond him. Yet that didn’t seem to be the case with Death here. Maybe if he could see behind that mask, it’d be more clear? In any case, Death saw fit to completely ignore him, so the Courier figured he’d return the gesture. Ass.

After Death came the wooden puppet, Geno or rather, some alien living in a puppet? Eh, only like, the fourth weirdest thing 6 had seen. While he had had his doubts, he figured he’d go with it for the time being. No big deal, right? Besides, Geno seemed to have a stronger grasp of the situation than most of the others. He even identified the castle in the distance as belonging to some princess. The Mushroom Kingdom? Sounded like a place to party. By the sound of it, this princess would be a supportive ally.

As Geno spoke, another of their group stirred. The man in black stood up from his previous place of rest, then drifted away without a word. Odd fellow. A loner, that one. 6 understood completely, and figured it was best to let the black clothed man do his own thing.

Next in introductions was the most bizarre of the group, in the Courier’s opinion. Someone wearing armor that reminded him of the advanced stealth suit he got from the Big Empty. The centurion has been picking a fight with him, but this man (if that were even an apt description, considering his fingers) apparently found the conflict laughable... Or so the Courier thought. This assassin’s manner of speaking was even more unintelligible than Tora’s! But it held a certain... poetry to it? He couldn’t quite put his finger on it, but it made a weird sort of sense, despite making absolutely no fucking sense. Anyway, his name was apparently Zer0.

Next spoke the robot, calling itself Blazermate. It referred to Geno as a “medabot” but was that really true? The Courier didn’t think so, more like it was applying the logic of its limited programming to an unfamiliar situation. Still, it spoke with a lot of emotion, more than any robot he was familiar with...Except for the AI of all the appliances in the Sink back at the Big Empty. Boy, the less said about that place... The Courier shivered, then considered Blazermate’s offer of healing, only to conclude the only aches and pains he had were the usual. Besides, he doubted it could reactivate his cybernetic enhancements. As sophisticated as it looked, it clearly wasn’t a RobCo model.

Then.... “Sigh,” he said aloud, quite intentionally, for the centurion decided to open his stupid fucking mouth. He was, without a doubt, the least perceptive of the lot, yet to have noticed the drastic change in situation. 6 had heard stories of these “samurai” from before the Great War, and this assassin most definitely wasn’t one. Neither did he surrender to the centurion, so double failing marks. And all this talk of god? If god was real, the world never would have burned in nuclear fire. This soldier’s brain clearly was on the same level as a brahmin. Scratch that, half a brahmin. At least they had two heads to think with.

That’s when another of their number woke up, a particularly hot piece of ass. Damn. Redheads, man. Reminded him of Cass, back home. Something told him she wouldn’t be as fun as Cass was, thought the Courier as he swiller his bottle of whiskey. That aside, she introduced herself as Din, then mistook the green hooded woman for someone else. 6 narrowed his eyes. So they were at least familiar, while Bowser, Geno, and the pink puff knew one another. Interesting. The Courier didn’t recognize a damn one here.

Finally, the towering figure of Bowser commanded everyone’s attention for the second time. After a formal introduction (koopa king, eh?) he appointed himself their leader (as a king does, thought the Courier with a twitch of rebellion in his trigger finger), and provided direction: to the castle of Mushroom Kingdom, from where they’d stage a plan to attack the source of that damnable invasive light. Finally, some tangible answers were provided. Different worlds, fighters brainwashed, it was all a bit much to take in. At least it would’ve been for any normal person, but 6 hardly gave it a second thought. With the unfamiliar landscape, bizarre creatures, what else could make sense? Besides, he knew about aliens. Damn, if only he kept that alien’s blaster, just to prove it...

The koopa king began lumbering down the hill, pink ball in tow, so 6 stood up and dusted himself off. Welp, might as well hit the dusty road. Not like there was anything better to do, right? The Courier took a place near Bowser, drawing his Ratslayer rifle, just to be on the safe side. As he kept pace, a thought occurred, which inspired guilt. Why should he help? This world, mish-mashed as it was, had life! Beautiful lush environments! So much to explore! So many worlds to see! If they fixed it, he’d go back to the wasteland, to that Hellhole of nuclear fire and warring remnant-nations. No, no he had to join the efforts to end this. The rest of these worlds shouldn’t suffer, and other warriors had been stripped of their wills. No gods. No masters. The Courier has to join the fight. But it didn’t have to be free.

“Good speech,” he lied, glancing up to Bowser. “So if I’m working for you, what’s the pay?”

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Waking much later than the rest Ratchet slowly leaned up and looked around. Had he crashed? No there was no sign of the Aphelion anywhere not even a smocking wreck off in the distance. The Lombax slowly got to his feet continuing to look around, this place wasn't like any planet he'd ever seen. "Hey Clank you got any idea where we are?" He said as he spotted the group of uhh, well he didn't know what a lot of them were but somebody was better than nobody. It took a moment for Ratchet to realize that he'd not gotten a response, at that moment he lost his cool a little. "Clank!?" He'd call out taking a quick look into some nearby bushes. No sign of him. Maybe that flash was the Zoni calling on Clank again? Ratchet went with that idea, time it helped explain all the other weird things that were going on. Though maybe the strangers knew some things he didn't.

Ratchet quickly made his way towards the group of things a few of them already seemed to be on the move. Taking a closer look at them he didn't recognize a single species, the only ones he could rationalize were the robotic looking ones. There was a taller more sleek looking one that looked like some kind of gladiator, a robot that looked like it was made out of wood and a feminine robot that reminded Ratchet way too much of a psychotic singer he used to know. As for the others he wasn't sure where to start, you had a fat rat looking thing with floppy ears, a gargantuan turtle monster that oddly made Ratchet think of the Argorians. There was a bunch of similar ones that all generally looked like light skinned and decidedly less reptilian Blarg. Aside from the massive turtle none of them looked overly threatening.

"Uhh hey! Wait up!" He called out as she caught up to the group skidding to a stop just behind Bowser and Blazermate. "Uhh hey, any of you got a clue what's going on? Oh and have any of you seen a little robot about this big?" He said holding his hand a bit over half way up his torso.




word count: 376
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Direct Mentions: @DracoLunaris Bowser, @Archmage MC Blazermate, @Gentlemanvaultboy Linkle



Geno sighed at Bowser's "false" response as he claimed it to be his own original idea. Even after all these years, the Koopa King still hadn't changed a bit. He was very much like the one he knew - except the fact that he's currently wearing a fancy white suit and all. He probably had another escapade in kidnapping Princess Peach again, while trying to look slick and professional in order to kidnap her. Granted the fact that she's not here means that he had most certainly failed. Could he have been fighting Mario and... what was the brother's name. Was it Linguine? Or~?

No, it was Luigi. Right? Right.

Could Bowser have been fighting the Mario Bros before the divine unintentionally granted his attempt as utterly futile? It was highly probable according to what he knew and heard already. And Geno almost forgot to mention how he somehow seems to actually care for the pink puffball. And that is rare to see, other then both the Princess and his Keep. Perhaps there is more heart in him then he realized.

And with it, the Koopa King gave a speech towards the other members regarding their current position, how they all got here in the first place, and the plan of action to engage the seraphim in the far distance. Geno had to admit that it came out disastrously crude and unprofessional coming from a King, but for such desperate times come desperate measures. The star warrior was just going to have to go with it. After all, it really wasn't that bad of a speech.

Regarding the introductions of the other characters, the next person he set eyes on was already heading towards the castle on his lonesome. He was a rather somber-looking fellow, yet wore and harnessed gear that made him something more. He looked as if he was a hunter of some sort, although he wasn't too sure. Only thing he knows is that he's definitely a loner.

Geno would then glance back to see the initials "Zer0" - "Zero" ending with a 0 instead of an O apparently - carved by one of the robotic-looking characters. It appears the one speaking in haikus was named "Zer0". The doll found it weird to end his name with a number instead of a letter, but nevertheless he knew what it implied. Even if it was an unnecessary one.

There was then the armored Centurion Agoston - a seemingly arrogant warrior who served his emperor proudly. Geno wasn't necessarily too interested in him, although he did wonder what master he served.

Then the robotic female healer introduced herself as Blazermate and considered the "Medabot" to know the most of what was going on at the moment. The wooden doll tilted his head in confusion towards the title.

"Medabot?" Geno asked confusingly, "I don't think I quite follow you. What's a medabot?"

He assumes that's another way of saying "robots" but it sounded oddly too specific to be considered an alternate saying of said term. Although he did quickly note the term "Med" and what she did to Kirby to be enough in considering her as a healing unit of some sort. She would definitely suffice as a reliable healing unit for the battles ahead.

But just as Geno was about to fly towards the castle, he overhead a conversation behind him. Another character - Din - had risen from the ground later than usual and was immediately gravitated to the female Link. Even she believed that she was the legendary hylian warrior that she once knew. And she couldn't blame her either. Again, everything about her looked like that very hero. And it didn't seem like mere coincidence. And even if it was, she was too uncanny to pass it off. And he knows this because he had seen Link before - at least his universe's version of him anyways - sleeping in a bed in Rose Town inn all those decades ago with Mario and friends.

He still doesn't know why he came so far out there that day.

However, the questions that are still orbiting him are going to have to wait. He's already wasting more time than he wants. Without further ado, Geno activated his thruster boots as he made his way towards the castle at a speed significantly faster than the others. The least he can do is scout out the castle perimeter and see if it's empty or occupied. He hopes that the inhabitants inside are friendly...

Or there's gonna be a smashing fight on their hands.



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Linkle clapped her hands over her ears and flinched as Bowser bellowed his demands for silence. King Dodango had roared about that loud, each time threatening to tear her ears right off he skull, but even that thing would have been intimidated. Not that she could blame him for reacting like that, after what the courier had done. So that thing he had been pointing around had been some kind of loud, boltless crossbow. She would have to keep an eye on something as cool as that, not that it had done much more than make Bowser mad.

Another thing he had in common with King Dodongo along with the fire and the roar and, as it happened, the whole royalty thing. She tensed up for a moment as he started stomping his was over to them, but he only wanted to plop down and check on his friend Kirby. Despite how big and scary Bowser was, this made her think that Tora was right: none of these people were bad people.

Kirby stirred at Bowser bequest, and though still weak and injured from whatever had happened to him, the little guy greeted him with a smile that warmed her heart. Then he rolled over and pointed out over the sweeping landscape, and for the first time Linkle really looked at the world she'd landed in.

Oddly enough if felt very familiar. Not that it shared any landmark she recognized from Hyrule, at least not that she could see. It was the way things seemed...messy. One place ended and another just began, as though the entire place had been patched together like a quilt. She'd come across something like this on her trip to Hyrule castle, places that just began as though something in the sky had plopped them down from somewhere else. It had always felt weird.

She stared out at the sickly light of the second sun that floated ominously above the landscape. That light was familiar too, in the same stomach churning way as the landscape, and as she looked at it she couldn't help but wonder whether both landscape had the same cause. That maybe, just maybe, she had stopped to soon and that the real cause of all the problems in Hyrule was the same thing that did this. It made sense. Now that she thought about it things seemed too easy. She had never even confronted whatever great evil had been messing everything up in the first place, or picked up the Master Sword, or any of the things that were supposed to happen besides saving Princess Zelda.

Her quest wasn't over, it was only beginning! Despite the situation the thought exited her.

Tora took the opportunity while everyone was
Surveying the landscape to take charge and get everyone to introduce themselves. Linkle listened. Death, a creepy name for a creepy guy. Geno, maybe some kind of god given the way her talked about himself? That was the only thing she figured "from above" could mean because it wasn't as though regular people could live in the sky, though she'd never heard of anything called the star road. The kind centurion Agoston and the Fi like woman that had healed Kirby, Blazermate. The mysterious, poetry talking swordman Zer0. A familiar looking women that was only just now stirring introduced herself as Din, something that took Linkle by surprise. For a hot second she wondered if this was the Din, but then she introduced herself as a dancer. Linkle felt silly for jumping to conclusions. It wasn't as though you had to be a thing just because you were named the same.

"Pleased to meet you everyone," she said as soon was she found a break in the conversation. " I'm-"

"Link!"

She was nearly bowled over as Din suddenly wrapped her arms around her and pulled her into a hug. Linkle was confused, but luckily for her it didn't take Din long to notice two glaring contradictions of her memory and realize her mistake. Linkle felt bad for her, looking so sad. "-kle." Linkle finished for her, before smiling and holding out her hand. "I'm Linkle, so you were almost right. It's great to someone else from home! You don't have anything to worry about, because I'm an incarnation of the legendary hero! Wait, did you know another me?" She asked, suddenly starstruck. She clapper her hands on Din's shoulders. "That's so cool! What was he like? Oh..."

She noticed that a few members of their party had already started moving toward the castle in the distance, notably Bowser picking up the unconscious Kirby and nestling him into the depths of his hat. She turned back to Din. "We should talk as we walk. Don't want to get left behind, after all." She walked over to where her crossbows were strewn on the ground and snatched them up, slotting both into her boot holsters before starting to make her way down the hill after the others.

She stopped, though, and looked back. Tora had short little legs. She turned back with a concerned look on her face and made her was back up the hill, kneeling down next to the little gut. "Hey Tora?" She asked, pulling down her hood and pointing her thumb at the little back pouch it created. "Want a ride?"




Whether the little guy had taken her offer to ride along, Bowser style, in her headwear Linkle followed after the others on the way ton the castle. It was a good first move. Geno had said that a princess lived in that castle, and if things were as dangerous around here as she suspected then there was no way she wasn't in peril. Saving a princess was not only classic, but her duty as hero.

It wasn't long before another face appeared of the woods, a short cat thing asking questions about a missing friend. "Sorry, we all just woke up ourselves. I think Bowser might know more about this than anybody." She said, pointing to the Koopa kings back.

As if in answer Bowser laid out the facts. The world, the light, how Kirby had gotten so hurt, and what he intended to do about it. Besides the pang of guilt she felt at the revelation that they'd been the ones to beat Kirby so badly every single word of his declaration of war got her more and more fired up. "Yes. Yes! Let's get a bunch of heroes together and show that light thing the door!"
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One after another, the various people took Tora's suggestion -to his great gratification- and introduced themselves, though the clueless and apparently nameless gunslinger couldn't be counted among their number. The names Death, Geno, and Agoston flew to meet him, the owners of the latter two offering a bit of insight into their origin. From above? For a moment, Tora regarded Geno with a curious look. Though unassuming, there did seem to be something subtly fantastic about the animate mannequin. Could this Star Road be in Elysium, and could he be an Aegis, like Pyra and Malos? He put a pin in the idea to peered over and read 'Zer0' scrawled in the dirt, the name of the faceless assassin in black. A nice lady who called herself Din, newly come to her senses, rushed past Tora to accommodate the girl beside him, who turned out to be 'Linkle'. Perhaps more than any of the others, though, Tora perked up when he heard the automaton introduce herself as Blazermate. He had opened his mouth to address her when Bowser started up once again.

Though he did not in particular like being called a mook, even if he did not know what a mook was, Tora listened to the scaly beast with wide eyes. Bowser didn't offer much of a choice when it came to cooperation, but the Nopon wouldn't have objected even if given the chance. Ever since he started working with Rex, Nia, and the others, he'd realized how much more a good team could accomplished, and gotten used to the team's dynamics. Somebody needed to be in charge, and Tora was glad to have someone else take that responsibility.

The rest of the King Koopa's tirade confronted him, with some portions of it passing over Tora's head, but a number of poignant details stood out. Whatever that colorful, splendid thing was that floated so far away, it was the one responsible for...this. He suspected from the moment he gazed into the distance and beheld no trace of the cloud sea, but he was no longer in Alrest. If Bowser had the right of it, his world -and those of all these others, and likely many more besides- no longer existed in the same sense. To bring it back, to bring his friends back, he needed to fight. To Tora, this was no question. He flapped his wings, hopping up and down. “Once Tora may have rolled over in bed when destiny called, but today Tora stop being rude and say 'hello' back! Am with you all the way.”

A few moments later, Bowser kicked it into gear, picking up Kirby as best he could to carry with him as he followed in the footsteps of the Hunter and the Centurion, who seemingly fixated upon the distant castle. With the moment available to him, Tora turned toward the Medibot and piped up, “Blazeymate! Very nice name, very blushy-crushy! Even if healypon have boring metal face, is obviously very advanced, and Tora happy to learn more about inner workings!” To his chagrin, she started to move away, following the King Koopa. Tora scooted along after her, calling, “W-wait! Friend blade not like Tora? Or maybe just bad time?” She seemed more attentive to Bowser, striking up a conversation as she left Tora behind. “Mehmehmeh...” Dejected but undeterred, he made to hurry after them along with the Courier and make his way toward the bottom of the hill.

Before he could really get going, however, Linkle crouched down beside him to offer a ride. For a second or two Tora couldn't put two words together to save his life, but once composed he gave her a chuckle and his brightest smile. “Meheheh! You too generous. Even if Tora little short, actually quite heavy, probably heavier than Linky-Linky.” He glanced at her hood dubiously. “And definitely not fit in there! Still, many thanks for offer. Even Rex-Rex, nicest human Tora know, never offer to carry me. So that make you new nicest, maybe? Meheh!” For the moment, it seemed that the Nopon even forgot about Blazermate, and contented himself with walking alongside Linkle. Another new face appeared, having missed the introductions and such, and since Bowser designated himself the leader Tora left the exposition to him. He did, however, offer the Lombax a friendly wave.

726




1-1


The north-facing cliff that lay opposite the direction taken by the misfit group overlooked an endless, barren landscape of dust and rock, crag and canyon. Its influence reached around the knoll itself, making the grass at its foot somewhat sparse, but only a hundred meters or so farther south the grass thickened into vibrancy. Rolling green fields, marked occasionally by flower patches, extended a fair way in every direction until they hit this first area's borders on either side. There, clusters of bizarre hills poked into the sky, cylindrical with domed tops and pale yellow, green, pink, or blue in coloration, with round, white spots all over.

Ahead, however, the terrain got more interesting. Sudden dips and potholes gradually gave way to gorges and dangerous pitfalls. Some of the pits, too large to jump over, appeared to be spanned by bridges of rubbery orange blocks, and some harbored enormous mushrooms within large enough to build a shack on. There were little plateaus that jutted up from otherwise normal earth, some of which moved up and down on their own, and even hills that appeared to roll as though they were the tops of massive, grassy spheres buried underground. And of course, a number of man-made structures could be seen. Green pipes sprouted up everywhere, whether straight or at angles, and lines of bricks hovered in the air, suspended by nothing. All in all, what first appeared to be a rather ordinary landscape soon devolved into anything but. A veritable obstacle course awaited them, though parts of the land weren't all that moved.

A number of creatures could be glimpsed as well. Most prominently, strange mushroom-shaped things marched along the ground on endless patrol, their surly grimaces inviting any challenge. They did not, however, seem to mind the turtles that strode back and forth across the elevated brick-rows, plateaus, and mushrooms. Wherever pools of water could be found, a group of gelatinous dollops invariably oozed nearby, attacking any foes that wandered too close. Animals rustled in the tall grass, which parted occasionally to reveal a chittering purple rodent or scuttling insect. Flocks of birds and small groups of fairies inhabited the huge, striped-trunk nut trees that dotted the landscape. In the pits and crevices one could catch the odd glimpse of a beady-eyed, somewhat hard-edged spider. Farther off the beaten path, a couple camps could be seen strewn about the entire area, inhabited either by ratlike pink kobolds, slack-jawed purple goons, or bow-legged green goblins. Without fail, each specimen bore a charred exterior and unnerving scarlet eyes.

The variety of the land and its inhabitants presented three immediately-visible routes that a visitor interested in approaching the castle might take. Straight ahead the road lay most clear-cut, bearing the most pipes and bricks as it developed into a smorgasbord of platforming, though tall grass remained plentiful. To the left, the terrain grew far more treacherous, a canyon path stretching downward that promised a few run-ins with the local savages. To the right, neither difficult road nor troublesome turf presented an immediate obstacle, but the unchecked vegetation and plentiful water rendered run-ins with the wildlife inevitable. Of course, to one who could fly, the immediate land and its denizens posed no challenge at all.

Yet, of all this, perhaps the most interesting thing lay at the very beginning. Before even setting foot on the route ahead, a glance to the left would reveal a strange sight beneath the shade of a gigantic mushroom. A few crudely-made tables, covered with makeshift implements, doodads, potions, and samples of all sorts, surrounded the remains of a campfire. Behind it, with one end stuck on a spike in the mushroom's trunk and the other on a wooden post in the earth, hung a hammock bearing a cloaked figure a-snooze within.
Hidden 12 mos ago 12 mos ago Post by Lmpkio
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Journey to the Castle



With the rest of the team trekking on foot, Geno's rocket boosters made him significantly ahead of the game. He couldn't help but to feel a light sense of pity for their lack of flying material. Especially now that they're approaching a three-way intersection that shows the surrounding lands that separated them and the castle. The wooden doll halted his advance for a moment as he took in the vast and wondrous atmosphere of the landscapes ahead.

There were three paths in which the group can take. The path straight ahead looked like an easy stroll through the park, which also happened to feature very familiar things to Geno. The green-pipes and question marked blocks, along with the various amounts of platforms, giant mushrooms, and some of the familiar creatures, immediately gave the doll nostalgia of the good ole' Mushroom Kingdom. He missed being with Mario and the others, they really were a good team. If it weren't for his duties on Star Road he would've visited him and the others way more often. Sure there was Bowser, but the Koopa King didn't really seem to care for him. Then again, who other than Princess Peach, his Keep, and his "Kids", does he really care for anyways?

The other two paths however looked somewhat more complicated then he would've liked. The path to his left was a treacherous and foreboding, featuring a dry canyon road with hostile-looking opponents crawling up and down the crevices. And to his right, there was a thick forest with overgrown foliage and tons of wildlife lurking beneath the canopy - vaguely reminding him of a certain Forest Maze. If Geno had to pick which path the group should take, he would undoubtedly take the easy road ahead. It was mostly clear, with the creatures ahead being relatively easy to deal with. The goombas and koopas that he sees roaming in the far distance would no doubt be the easiest to beat as only one hard hit would immediately cause them to disperse. Or maybe King Bowser would recruit them into his "growing army"? It wouldn't be surprising at all if he did such a thing.

And somewhat primitive if Geno had to be honest.

However, since he can fly, the immediate obstacles ahead will prove to be one of little concern. His mission currently is to get to the castle before everyone else, scout out the surroundings, and prepare them for a warm welcome. With that, Geno picks the road straight ahead of him, knowing very little else of what he may encounter.


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By the time everyone had begun introducing themselves, Michael was only half-listening, his mind instead occupied on the bizarre sights in the distance. What he saw had killed any hope that he was still in San Andreas, or on Earth for that matter. It looked as if someone had ripped pieces from different worlds, and sewn them into some sort of inter-dimensional tapestry. He could even see what looked like cities in the distance, but nothing that resembled Los Santos. Once Bowser had begun his speech, he turned his attention to the sun- or rather, suns. One was normal, the other was...decidedly not as normal. So this is what that light was? Turning to face the rest of the group, he listened to the rest of Bowser's speech. So, that pink thing is Kirby, and were all being brainwashed to attack it. And now, we're stuck here...shit.

His thoughts immediately jumped to home. Is my family out there? Shit, what about Frank and Trevor? They were right next to me when we all got swept away, but they're not here...where'd they go? Maybe they're still brainwashed, like I was. He shuddered at the thought of it. If they were brainwashed like he and the rest of these people was, it would mean they would have to fight. He had personally helped train Franklin, and Trevor was...well, Trevor. It wouldn't be an easy fight, but...

He turned back to see that everyone was starting to head out. If there's more brainwashed people out there, I won't make it far alone. Although he knew nothing about most of these people, he could at least trust them to not kill him right away. If human history was anything to go buy, there was nothing that brought people together quite like a common enemy. With that, he began to walk with the group, lugging the sniper on his back. Soon, he remembered that he had forgotten to introduce himself. Walking closer to the group, he raised his voice.

"Well, I'm Michael... Michael De Santa, if any of you wanted to know. Y'know, since it looks like we're all working together now."




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As he slowly wandered on down towards peach’s castle Bowser was secretly pleased at the number of people who had joined his cause. He was less pleased with the amount they poked and prodded him with questions and talk, though he supposed it did pass the time as they traveled. First up was the helpful medbot Blazermate who commented

"You don't have to be that slow Bowser, I'm healing the little guy for ya."

“I am not slow!” The king barked in response to this as if he got this complaint a lot, before he quickly added “I’m just being careful. But if you think you can keep that up we’ll pick up the pace” and pick up the pace he did, ever so lightly, shifting from a casually slow stomping to a somewhat faster, and rather unpleasant in the king's opinion, march. The king grimaced with envy up at Geno as he flew by, wishing he had one of his airships to transport them. Or his flying clown car. Or a go-cart. Or that he could fly still like he had when he had been trying to take over the galaxy. Any of those would have been better than this ground pounding.

“Also if keeping pace with me is tricky then feel free to hitch a ride” he added gruffly to the cute helpful robot, partially because it would put kirby’s transport hat at a less precarious angle while still keeping him in healer range, partially because further tying himself to their only healer would be good for keeping the mooks in line.

The next was the cowboy who had shown himself to be of a mercenary disposition asking for payment in return for service. The king had mixed opinions about this because while it would be good to have someone who wasn't a goody two shoes under him heros generally seemed to work for free. “You get to work for the greatest badguy the worlds ever known” he began by boasting, before adding “also my army has excellent perks. We got steady pay, health insurance, dental and... Well we would have those but I’m kinda not sure where my kingdom is at the moment… hmmm” the king scratched his head as he pondered for a few moments, before reaching down to his jacket and, with a single claw, snipped off one of the golden buttons from his waistcoat. Then he held it up in front of his mouth and carefully heated the tennis ball sized button with his fiery breath till it melted down into a puddle. This puddle the king allowed to cool till it hardened into a disk, creating a dinner plate sized crude replica of one the mushroom kingdom’s signature gold coin which he then coin flipped over to the Courier. “Humans like gold right? Stick with me and I can assure you, here be plenty more where that came from” mostly because gold coins where dim a dozen in the mushroom kingdom, and he was sure he could get some at peach's castle either by robbing the place or coercing the toads to hand over whatever wealth the princess kept in her palace. “Plus Blazermate can provide he healthcare part. Right Blazermate?”

Michael was basically the only person who did not get on the kings nerves in any way as he seemed to have imiediatly fallen into line as a member of his army. Or that was the kings impression anyway. “Welcome to my army Michael” he responded offhandedly to the man’s introduction as he continued to deal with the trials of leadership.

Then there was Linkle. Bowser did not understand how she had been mistaken for link by the redhead. The King was not excatly good at distinguishing between human faces, so mainly he went off of outfits to identify them instead, and linkle lacked the signature silly green had that the king had used to tell the legendary hero apart from all the other sword wielding pretty boys that had been at the battle with Galeem. While she did not cause trouble for the king personally she did direct a rodent looking fellow to him, someone who seems to be quite the heavy sleepe, as he had managed to miss bowser's speech. The king gave a rude exasperated sigh at their perfectly reasonable questioning and gave a rapid fire summary of their situation “The winged rainbow ball in the sky stole lots of bits of or worlds and the people in em to make this place. I’m King Bowser, your now in my army, we’re going to defeat the ball and put everything back to normal. Your robot friends probably possessed and out here somewhere” he finished just as they arrived at the crossroads “bit like those guys” the king added, referring to the many low level enemies scattered across the area, all of them sporting the same menacing purple aesthetic.

Bowser then took a little time to take in their new location. The first most noticeable thing was, of course, the only person not controlled by Galeem that they had met so far, the mysterious cloaked figure currently napping in a hammock dangerously close to all the minions crawling around in the the three paths beyond. Bowser took note of the fact that there would be free people on their journey but was not really interested in actually dealing with the person. Partially because he was quite certain Hero’s would see too it, as it seemed to be a hero's solemn duty to talk to literally everyone they came across during an adventure, but mainly because he spotted some familiar creatures in familiar surroundings down the middle lane. The various koopas and goombas patrolling the road were, of course, parts of Bowser’s regular army and the king was very displeased to see them serving someone who had kicked his butt. Again. This kind of thing happened way too often for the king’s liking but at least he was used to it by now. Ignoring the other two paths, he’d likely get stuck in the woods and the canyon looked like a pain anyway, the king stomped his way through the brief enemy free beginning part of the obstacle course, literally in some cases as he swatted floating bricks aside with his free hand while crushed grass underfoot, as he headed straight for the first group of minions patrolling the area. Once adequately in range the king started shouted at them, a course of action that was probably coming to be expected at this point by the rest of the team.

“Oi! Minions! Your King is here! So shake off that stupid bauble's control before I come over there beat it out of you!”

The king then roared at them for good measure before proceeded to torch a nearby thicket of long grass with his flame breath for emphasis. This inadvertently caused a bunch of rat and bug Pokemon to scatter out from their former hiding place to avoid incineration, which left Bowser, and the unconscious Kirby, facing down a bunch of alerted monsters a little way down the central path. There was perhaps some kind of comic irony or poetic significance about Bowser starting out his journey to save the world much the same way Mario would, on a grassy platforming filled road facing down koopas and goombas, but if there was any deeper meaning to be had it was lost on Bowser. Instead the King was simply grinning from ear to ear, eager to get going because right now, after suffering the embarrassing defeat at the hands of Galeem, he was really looking forwards to a good old fashioned rampage.

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As Courier 6 kept stride with king Bowser (who now that he thought about it, didn't look or behave much like a King at all. Where was the haircut? The accent? The singing? He had a white suit, but it was the wrong kind of white suit to be a King.) another newcomer approached, one that had yet another unique physiology about him. Some sort of furry dog-like person? No, that was the wrong animal to compare this guy with. Wait, he recalled something vaguely in some of the old pre-war books he'd seen. Pictures of some kind of animal called a cat? Yeah, this guy looked more like a cat person. Of course, cats had been extinct for over two hundred years on earth so he could only go off of memory of vague pictures, often burnt or scorched, but it seemed to feel right. The cat person had a sort of sass about him, and was worried about a friend. A robot friend? My my, there seemed to be a good share of robots going around today. The Courier wondered how one could be a "friend" with a robot (unless he meant a very special sort of friend, wink wink nudge nudge), but now wasn't the time to ponder such things. The-not-so-King Bowser had answered his inquiry of payment by melting down one of his own golden buttons into a coin and passing it along to the Courier, who caught it and had to toss it between his hands a few times before it cooled off, with the promise of plenty more. For the mailman used to being paid in bottlecaps, he practically beamed in anticipation.

"Yeah... I reckon this will due nicely, Your Majesty."

That's when they had come to a crossroads, as it were. Three paths of varying levels of danger. One clearly quite treacherous. One looked like a cakewalk. One more of a wilderness than a dangerous battle zone. Even still, someone else had their own camp setup nearby. The Courier thought it strange, but paid the hooded figure no mind. He was being paid to deliver a package safely to the castle of the Mushroom Kingdom. That package? The Koopa King, Bowser and Kirby. Courier 6 never failed a delivery.

"Looks like y'all have got things handled over there," the Courier called out to Bowser and company as the koopa king made his declarations to the goombas and koopas, burning up some grass for good measure. "I reckon we need to minimize danger and secure the area if we're to work out of that castle. Anybody who wants to head into the thick of certain doom, I'll kindly accept your company!"

With his intentions made clear, the Courier holstered his Ratslayer and drew out his hunting shotgun, but made sure to keep a hand near his magnum as well, just in case he spotted something dangerous out of range. Carefully he strolled into what appeared to be the most dangerous of the three-branched path: into the dark canyon. If he could walk the Lonesome Road of the Divide, he could walk this. Easy peasy.

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