Chapter 3: Off to Petal Meadows!

(All characters from Nintendo go to their respected owners. I own nothing from Nintendo.)


Rogueport, Wednesday, 11:15 A.M.


I wake up with a bit of exhaustion from last night and get up to do my morning stretches. I check my duffel bag to make sure that I still have all my swag, making sure that all of my weapons are ok, and check my guns to make sure that they're all still loaded. As I finish up, I check the time on my iPad, put on my usual dark outfit and head downstairs. The typical people in the tavern were still drinking their time away and drowning themselves with wine, booze, and other types of alcohol.

"Hey! Over here, Rick!" Yells Goombella.

I look further to my left to see Goombella and Mario eating some pancakes on the far end of the tavern. A young man with yellow skin, a pointy nose, purple hair, and red conquistador garments with a red skull jewel was singing some song right next to their table. I went over and sat down with the two and ordered some hash browns and a glass of water. My tired eyes still made me feel and probably look ready to fall back asleep.

"Aww... Still tired?" Asks Goombella.

"Yeah..." I simply say groggily as I thought it would be best to not mention anything about last night out loud, at least not in front of Mario.

"Here. Drink this." She says as I turn my head.

Goombella slides a drink on the table over to me and I drank the whole glass in a few seconds without hesitation. Suddenly, a burst of energy sends a shock through my entire body and my eyes felt like they just shot open.

"Well? Whatcha' think?"

"Wow! This tastes great! What is it?" I ask curiously.

"It's a Tasty Tonic. I bought two of them at the item shop next door the day before you two got here. A few too many all-nighters studying helped me learn how to give them a little extra kick by adding some Mushroom right into the drink." Goombella replies to me.

"Well, it's damn good. I'll say that much."

We continue our conversation with my many questions about this world while eating our breakfast. After finishing up we head upstairs and I soon made the suggestion that we should stop by the badge shop to get more badges for good measure. We walked in and we were both soon greeted by two mouse people. One of them was wearing a business tie, white pants and shirt, and he had light yellow fur. He also had a black mask over his eyes, blue shoes on his feet, and a red cap on his head. His tail was curved into a swirl. The other one was female and she had white fur on her. She had D-Cup breasts and she looked to be in her mid 30s. She had voluptuous thighs and a slender figure. Her mask was black as well and she was wearing a skirt, a black work dress, red heels, and her tail was shaped into a heart. Both of their ears were round like perfect circles.

"Welcome to the Lovely Howz of Badges! How can we help you?" The yellow one asked.

"We were just wondering if you happened to have any attack badges for weapons or close range." I told them.

"Oh! We have just the thing!" Replied the white one.

She went behind the counter and reached inside a drawer. She pulled out two badges labeled "Power Jump" and "Fire Drive". The lady mouse walked back over and gave us the badges.

"Here you go! Consider these 'free of charge'!" Said the lady.

"Wait, they're free? Is there some kind of catch, here?" I asked with suspicion in my tone.

"Maaaaybe... Hehe!" The lady mouse said playfully.

"Hmmm..." I muttered.

The female worker got close to me, held my right arm, and pressed her breasts against my side.

"Don't worry, my sweet cheese-hunk! It's just like I said, free of charge." She said reassuringly to me in a sort of seductive tone. She smells sweet, like...candy.

When she calls me a "cheese-hunk", that actually makes me blush pretty hard, so much that my face was as red as a tomato. I try to maintain a straight face and turn away so that no one would notice my embarrassment.

"Well, thanks for the badges, ma'am. We'll just be going, now." I said as she released my arm while my head was still turned away from her.

"Hmm hmm! Come back anytime, sweetie!" She said as we walked out the door.

As we jumped off of the ledge connecting the badge shop to the inn, Goombella was starting to chuckle a little bit. I started to get curious.

"What are you so giggly about, Goombella?" I asked her.

"Your face! It was priceless back there! Hahaha!" She said laughing out loud in front of me.

"Oh... You saw that?" I said embarrassed.

"Yeah! You looked pretty flustered around the manager! Ha!"

"It wasn't that funny!" I snort angrily, but something about hearing Goombella laugh made me smile. Even though I was the butt of her joke.

She was still laughing about it even when I started walking ahead of the group. As we went into the same pipe from yesterday, I started fighting some enemies that were already trying to get in our way. I wasn't in much of a mood to mess with my opponents at the time, so I just strike them all in the back of their heads before signalling the others.

As the two walk through Goombella now looks a little nervous. It can't be that I knocked these guys out-she's already seen that pretty much any of these goons are easy to beat. Instead of continuing forward she actually stops standing right next to me.

"You can go on ahead Mario: I need to talk to Rick privately for a little bit." Goombella tells the plumber as I look at her curiously.

Nodding at us, he moves to allow us some personal space. AFter gesturing towards it we move to sit at a nearby wall, but she still waits a while before answering.

"Errm... Listen, I'm sorry that I laughed at you like that. It was kind of mean for me to do that. I should've thought it through a bit more and..."

"You can stop right there. I forgive you. Just don't go pulling that shit too much, k?" I reply.

"Right. Sorry. I just kind of thought with how much you made jabs at others, it wouldn't be a problem to do the same to you. Guess I shouldn't have done that, huh?" She asked.

"Yeah. In the labs there was no one who really talked to me and most of the scientists were simply used to me hollering insults at them to not say anything. I guess I have never really dealt with being mocked." I say.

"I hope that we can forget about it and just move along. I still feel bad about it."

"Why? You could never have assumed that."

"I know, but something about seeing you get angry… made me think I should have." She answers.

"Look, it's fine, Goombella. Like I said, you couldn't have figured that out. Speaking of that, there's something that I wanted to talk to you about." I said before sitting down as she decided to follow suit and sit with me.

"What?" She asked me with a tilted head.

"After last night… what exactly are we now?" I say. "Not saying I didn't enjoy it, but if we are going to be travelling together it would be nice to know what exactly our relationship is."

"I-I don't know," she stutters "This is all kind of new to me too. I don't normally sleep with some guy I just met, but with you it felt right. Does that make us a couple, or not because we have only known each other for a day?" she wonders out loud, gradually developing a deep blush.

Honestly I don't know how to respond at first: a lab facility is hardly the place to learn proper relationships, and my online ventures were of a more… sexual nature than a loving one. Eventually one idea comes to mind.

"Maybe we aren't a couple yet, but if you want we can try being friends and see where that takes us."

"I'm pretty confident that most friends don't have sex with each other." She jokes, but now is far more relaxed.

"Okay, friends with some added perks then. Does that sound better?" I ask.

"Much." she answers before leaning in and giving me a little peck on the cheek.

"In that case how about a bit of extra benefits now?" I say, wrapping her up in my arms and going for a deep kiss. As our lips meet a large jolt of energy runs through my spine, and we both lean into each other for more.


(10 minutes later...)


"Hey, Mario! Sorry if we took so long. It turns out we had a fair bit of "talking" to do." I say to him, the Plumber probably deeply confused by my failed attempts to not laugh and Goombella's wry grin in return.

As Goombella and I catch our breaths from catching up with Mario, we noticed that there was something really slimy and wet coming from the canal.

"What the eff is that thing?" I curiously wondered out loud.

My curiosity soon gets the better of me when I take a knife from my bag and stab it a little bit. The weird object reacted and retracted itself from us as it started vibrating and shaking.

"Bloop! BLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOP! (Ouch! That HURT!)"

"The fuck?" I say out loud in curiosity.

The weird object turned out to be a tentacle and it soon pulled itself into the water.

"If the tentacle was that big, then... That means... Oh fuck." I said while face palming myself in stupidity.

Something bubbled from underneath the water's surface and it jumped out at us. It revealed itself to be a Giant Blooper! It looked pretty angry with us. Well, me in particular, since I was the one who stabbed it.

"Bloobloobloobloop! (Who just up and stabs someone's tootsies like that?) Blooblooop! BLOOP! (Somebody with some serious moxie, that's who!)"

"Oh, hell." I muttered.

"Bloobloop! Bloobloobloop! (Would you look at that! It's some punk with a knife!) Bloopity bloop! Blooooo! (You're in a WORLD of hurt, mister!)

It soon launched its tentacles right at me, but I didn't even need to move at the time. I easily predicted its attack movements and intercepted with my knife. It was like the thing was trying to hit a porcupine.

BLOOOOOOOOP! Bloop! Bloop! (AAAAAAAH! You little shit!) Bloobloobloop! Bloop! (I'm gonna smash you flat, you little bug!)

I soon dropped my knife and equipped my Fire Drive badge. Since I didn't have time to make a hammer, I simply closed my eyes and started rubbing my hand together at an incredible pace. The squid soon took that opportunity to strike at me with my guard down.

"Rick! Do something! It's tentacles are heading right for you! Use your head!" Goombella yelled.

I still stood there just rubbing my hands. Once I had built up enough friction heat in my palms at the last second, I opened my eyes to see two tentacles flying right at me. I lunged forward and dodged them while grabbing on to them. My hands burned into the Blooper's arms. It howled in pain as I held on to it with my fiery, iron grip. I pulled it directly into my path and jumped right into its flight path, delivering a massive headbutt knocking it back underwater.

"Anybody up for some hot SUSHI!?" I said as I slammed my hands on to the water's surface.

The burning friction from my hands was so hot that I managed to boil all of the water in the canal. Mario and Goombella were amazed at my newest display of raw power.

"BLOOOOOOOOOOP! BLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOP!"

The Blooper launched itself right through the ceiling from freaking out from my attack. Suddenly, platforms started to appear on the water right in front of us.

"Geez, Rick... I knew you were strong but... Wow..." Said Goombella still astonished.

"Yeah well, I used to bust up tanks and mechs for a living. If anything, this really isn't much of an issue for me to handle. Now, let's get going!" I said as I hopped on to the platforms.

We had soon reached the pipe after hopping the platforms and got ready.

"You guys all set for this?" I asked.

Mario nodded in confirmation.

"Yeah!" Exclaimed Goombella.

"Then let's lock and load." I said in a badass tone.

As we all jumped into the pipe, I still keep thinking about what happened with the Thousand Year Door. Even compared to everything else that day that sensation from simply touching the door was too weird. No matter what I am going to find out what is inside it!

As was come out of the pipe, the bright light of the sun shines intensely in our faces and we marvel at the beauty of the grassy landscape. The view is just perfect. Even more considering the only times I had ever seen something like this was in stories and video games I was in awe of the simple pleasure of being absolutely surrounding in a meadow of grass and flowers.

"Well, here we are! The Petal Meadows, where folks say a Crystal Star hides. Woo hoo! Here we go, boys! The start of our adventure! This is completely awesome!" Exclaims Goombella.

"Man! This new life of mine is gonna be SO FUCKING BEAST!" I yelled.

(ROOOOOOAAAARRRR!)

"WHAT...IN THE...FLYING...FUCK...WAS THAT!?" I gasped.

"Whoa! What was that? Ooh! Is that a... Wow! Guys! Look!" Said a shocked Goombella.

We turned ourselves around and looked up to see a giant, red dragon flying into a nearby castle. It was freaking HUGE!

"Totally incredible... I've never seen anything that humongous before. It looked kinda scary, too. Weird... Professor Frankly said this place was peaceful. Wow! Crazy! We just started and already there's intrigue! C'mon, boys! Let's go!" Said Goombella.

"Jesus... Who'd have thought that dragons could live in this world? Not me! I always got tutored in the facility and got books about mythical creatures that didn't even exist in my world. Never thought I'd actually see one in person. Maybe it's power could be useful to me if we beat it..." I thought.

I decided to listen to some music while we walked, so I took out my iPod and my wireless headphones from my bag and put on some tunes to listen to. I found "Can't Hold Us" by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. I was about to listen when Goombella stopped me.

"Hey Rick, what're those?

"Oh, these things? They're my headphones. I was about to listen to some songs. Wanna listen?"

"Sure!"

I took out one of my extra sets and gave her one. I turned it on and we instantly let ourselves get lost in the music...


[Intro:]

Ay, ay, ay

Good to see you, come on in, let's go

Yeah, let's go

Alright, alright

OK, uh, alright, OK

Alright, OK

Return of the Mack, get up!

What it is, what it does, what it is, what it isn't.

Looking for a better way to get up out of bed

Instead of getting on the Internet and checking a new hit

Get up! Fresh out, pimp strut walking, little bit of humble, little bit of cautious

Somewhere between like Rocky and Cosby. Sweater gang, nope, nope y'all can't copy

Yup. Bad, moon walking, this here is our party, my posse's been on Broadway,

And we did it our way.

Grown music, I shed my skin and put my bones into everything I record to it

And yet I'm on.

Let that stage light go and shine on down,

Got that Bob Barker suit game and plinko in my style.

Money, stay on my craft and stick around for those pounds,

But I do that to pass the torch and put on for my town

Trust me. On my I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T shit hustler,

Chasing dreams since I was fourteen with the four track bussing

Halfway cross that city with the backpack, fat cat, crushing

Labels out here,

Now they can't tell me nothing

We give that to the people,

Spread it across the country

Labels out here,

Now they can't tell me nothing

We give it to the people,

Spread it across the country

Can we go back, this is the moment

Tonight is the night, we'll fight 'til it's over

So we put our hands up like the ceiling can't hold us

Like the ceiling can't hold us

Can we go back, this is the moment

Tonight is the night, we'll fight 'til it's over

So we put our hands up like the ceiling can't hold us

Like the ceiling can't hold us

Now, can I kick it? Thank you. Yeah I'm so damn grateful.

I grew up, really wanted gold fronts

But that's what you get when Wu Tang raised you

Y'all can't stop me, go hard like I got an 808 in my heart beat

And I'm eating at the beat like you gave a little speed to a great white shark on shark week

Raw. Tell me go up. Gone!

Deuces goodbye. I got a world to see, and my girl she wanna see Rome,

Caesar make you a believer. Now I never ever did it for a throne.

That validation comes from giving it back to the people. Now sing this song and it goes like

Raise those hands, this is our party

We came here to live life like nobody was watching

I got my city right behind me

If I fall, they got me. Learn from that failure gain humility and then we keep marching ourselves

Can we go back, this is the moment

Tonight is the night, we'll fight 'til it's over

So we put our hands up like the ceiling can't hold us

Like the ceiling can't hold us

Can we go back, this is the moment

Tonight is the night, we'll fight 'til it's over

So we put our hands up like the ceiling can't hold us

Like the ceiling can't hold us

And so we put our hands up

And so we put our hands up

Wa oh oh oh wa oh oh oh wa oh oh

Let's go!

Na na na na na na na na (aha)

Hey

And all my people say

Na na na na na na na na (that's right, feels good)

Hey

And all my people say

Na na na na na na na na (it's alright)

(oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh)

And all my people say

Na na na na na na na na

Ma-ckle-more

[Album version ending:]

Can we go back, this is the moment

Tonight is the night, we'll fight 'til it's over

So we put our hands up like the ceiling can't hold us

Like the ceiling can't hold us

Can we go back, this is the moment

Tonight is the night, we'll fight 'til it's over

So we put our hands up like the ceiling can't hold us

Like the ceiling can't hold us.

(Song Ends)


"That song was really nice, Rick! Thanks for sharing!" Goombella said happily.

"No problem."

As we continue through the meadow, we deal with several more idiots trying to cause us trouble. I managed to deal with a few, but Mario and Goombella assisted me in cracking a few of their skulls as well with little effort. Compared to us, these guys were complete cannon fodder. After walking for about 15 minutes, we came across a town with plenty of Koopas. Like Goombella, all of the inhabitants actually looked more anthropomorphic. Definitely a lot of human characteristics but with the additional or turtle-like shells on their backs. A Koopa resident walks up to us.

"Welcome, travelers!" Said the friendly Koopa.

"Thanks... Um... Where are we, exactly?" I asked.

"Hm? Where are you, you ask? Why, this is Petalburg! Sorry, but it's been a long time since we've had visitors here. We're kind of remote."

"Yeah. No kidding..." I said in a 'no shit, Sherlock' tone.

"Yeppity, once that dragon Hooktail was spotted flying around this area... Well, it didn't help tourism, put it that way. People just stopped visiting."

"Sounds like you're talking about the big, flying lizard that we saw earlier. It doesn't look that tough." I said without giving a crap while crossing my arms.

"So, it's called Hooktail, huh? Oooooh, scary name! Pffffft! So anyway, green boots, have you ever heard of these things called Crystal Stars? We're on this quest for them. It's very important!" Goombella asked.

"Crystal Stars, you say? Hmmm... Nope, can't say I have. Sorry about that. You might want to speak with the mayor, though. He's old... Really, really old. As such, he knows all kinds of stuff we don't. Koopas of his age, are...um...really smart. Anyway, the mayor lives in that pink house up ahead. You should go check it out." He replied.

"A pink house? Sounds totally hideous...but it should be easy to find. Thanks for your help!" Says Goombella.

"Right. We have our objective. Now, let's get moving." I said to Mario and Goombella.

Looking around, the town itself was very peaceful. No crime, no pollution, no worries to be seen, really. This looked like the kind of town that a person would go to if they wanted to take a quiet little vacation. Or at the very least, somewhere to clear their thoughts. Taking it all in, I still kept getting this nagging feeling in the back of my head that my troubles with MEGATech were far from over.

I don't want my friends to get dragged into my bull shit, but something tells me that when the time comes, I won't be able to stop it...


End of Chapter 3...

(Let me know if you guys get confused about anything in the story or if you have any questions in general. Later!)