Author's Notes: *grumble* Why do I even bother with this no-selling waste of space...oh, hey. Yes, I'm back. And kicking! Which means I'm kicking myself for starting this story in the first place. What a waste of time. For all of you who were hoping for a total Robin-Lee-knockout-story (which doesn't happen often) you will be sorely dissapointed.

With a heavy heart I tell you that am writing this story in the most crappy of ways. It takes no thought whatsoever because I have no time whatsoever for crap such as this. So those of you who have come this far, congrats. If you make it to the end, you're awesome. ^_^ I hope this chapter enthralls you and makes you dance like there's no tomorrow. 8P






Daisy woke up slowly, a terrible headache plaguing her. She felt something on top of her and squirmed, squealing.

"Ah! Get off of me!"

"Ugh…"

"Getoffgetoffgetoffgetoffgetoff--"

"Daisy! It's just me!"

The girl looked up and saw Peach's face. Then she proceeded to scream again.

"Ah! Zombie Peach!!"

"What?"

Pauline sat up as well, restraining Daisy. "Hey, it's okay now, she's not a zombie anymore."

Releif flooded her face. "Whew. That's a relief!"

"I wasn't aware I was ever a zombie," said a confused Peach, scratching her head.

"Tatanga hypnotized you…you were trying to kill us," Pauline stated casually, as if commenting the weather.

Peach brushed herself off and looked around. "Wow, that comet sure did a number on Sarasaland."

Daisy sighed sadly. "I hope my palace is all right."

Peach patted her back. "Don't worry, we were far from it when the explosion went off."

"We've got a bigger problem, ladies. We still don't know where Wario and Whatshisname are, and Aster is probably long gone now."

"We'll find them. Come on." Daisy stood up with her mind made up and started walking back to the crater in search of the kooky Kumo.

"Hey Pauline. Was I really a zombie?"

"Yep."

"Well if I tried to kill you, I'm sorry."

Pauline raised an eyebrow. "Don't worry about it, I'm used to traitors."

Peach stopped in her tracks for a moment, hurt and confused until she realized Pauline was not talking about her. Sighing, she continued on, keeping a small distance between herself and the two girls ahead of her. I hope Mario is okay...

Daisy gasped and stared into the distance. "No, don't tell me…" She ran ahead of them, towards a once tall building on the horizon.

"Where is she off to?"

They followed after until they stopped at a ruin, watching Daisy cry into the ash.

"Nooo!"

"Oh Daisy, I'm so sorry," Peach patted her shoulder sadly.

"Why did it blow up the recreation center?? Now I'll never play badminton again!"

Pauline rolled her eyes a bit, surveying the rest of the damage. "It seems like Tatanga is gone for good--oof!"

The Princesses were oblivious to Pauline's dangerous situation. "I'm sure you can build a new one, Daisy."

"Not like this one!" she sniffled sadly. "We'll never get the funding for a new gladiator arena!"

"Mff!"

"I bet Pauline would have enjoyed--huh?"

Peach turned and saw Wario and Waluigi dragging off Pauline, each carrying two arms or two legs. She glowered and charged over at them.

"You let her go!" She took a swing and missed, landing on her stomach and getting a face-full of grass. Pauline rolled her eyes and shouted under the gag. "Mm mph, mm!"

"What was-a that?" asked Wario.

"Mmmmm!"

"She sounds a bit angry, bro!"

Wario laughed. "What's a-she gonna do? Kick our butts?"

The fat one spoke too soon. His legs flew out from under him and he dropped his end of Pauline. Both fell with a grunt and Wario looked to the sky to see and upside-down Peach above him, her eyebrow raised as well as her staff.

"No, I'm gonna kick your butts!"

Waluigi looked a little less sure of himself and decided to make a break for it…dragging Pauline behind him by her ankles.

"Mmph!" she grunted with every rock that hit her head.

"Drop her!" screamed Daisy as she leaped incredibly and landed on Waluigi's back. He did drop her and started running in a frenzy to rid of the Princess that was tugging on his mustache mercilessly.

"Owe owe owe owe!"

"Where are they?? What have you done with my Luigi??"

"Owe, how should I know? Owe!"

"Where are they?" demanded Peach.

"I don't a-know anything!" Wario cried, shielding himself with his arms.

"You're won't have anything to know once I'm through beating you senseless!!"

Waluigi meanwhile, was so busy spinning around in circles to get rid of Daisy, had fallen to the dust, extremely dizzy.

"Tell us where they are!" Daisy repeated.

"Who?"

"Don't play stupid with me!"

Pauline had removed the gag from her mouth and sat up, holding her head and rubbing it sorely.

Peach narrowed her eyes. "I'm going to ask for the last time, Wario. What have you done with Mario and Luigi?"

"But I didn't do it!"

"Then who did?"

"If I tell you, I'm-a dead-a man!"

"You're a dead man if you don't tell me!"

Wario closed his eyes painfully in reserve. "She did it."

"She who?"

"I don't-a know her name. She…"

Pauline interrupted. "No, come on. We'll finish this as soon as we get comfortable."

With the Princess's help, Pauline had successfully tied both brothers to a lone tree with Daisy's chain.

"Now, you were saying?"

"Saying what?"

Peach kicked up her foot and placed it squarely on his neck. "You said something about a she…"

Wario choked. "She did it."

"What's her name?"

"I told you, I don't-a know!"

"Do we know her?"

"Not exactly."

"We need real answers, big butt." Pauline crossed her arms. "Who is she?"

"I don't know. She was like a-nothing I've ever seen--"

"Yeah!" interrupted Waluigi. "We were just a-peekin through their window and we saw her take a-Mario!"

"You saw her?" asked Daisy. "What does she look like?"

"…black."

"Just black?"

"Yeah, like a shadow or something!"

"Where did she take them?" asked Peach.

"I don't a-know. But…she saw me. I left as soon as I could, cause I thought I was a-next. I never seen anything like it."

Peach lowered her foot. "Go on."

"There's nothing more to tell! That's all I know! Honest!"

"Where can we find her?"

"How should we know?" asked Waluigi. "We never seen her before!"

"I'm not feeling your cooperation anymore," growled Pauline, drawing out one of her swords.

Wario's eyes grew big. "That's all we know! That's all we know! The only thing I can tell you is to check you're a-history books, cause she may be from-a the Dark Times!"

Peach stepped back a little, a horrified look on her face.

The Dark Times? No...anything but that.

"Now let us-a go."

"We're not finished with you," said Pauline.

"Yes, we are," Peach whispered. "Let them go."

Daisy reluctantly removed them from the chain. "If you cross our path again, you'd better pray that you'll stay in one piece!"

Pauline watched them run into the distance, then looked at Peach, who still seemed in shock. "Peach, what's wrong? What were those Dark Times Wario was talking about?"

The Princess raised her head sadly, and faintly said, "We may be dealing with something stronger than we imagined."

~*~

Arms bound in front of him, Mario grunted painfully as he and his brother were thrown facedown on a cold, slate floor. Blinking away the stars, he dizzily lifted his head, but didn't get very far when it was forced back down again.

"You dare to look into the face of the one who--"

"Enough, slave. If he dares to look, we must not hinder his efforts."

Mario was starting to doubt it was worth the effort, but Luigi had beaten him to it.

"It's too dark, I can't see anything."

"Foolish man. You're looking straight at me." Luigi slowly pushed himself up to his knees and raised his eyes upward.

If you've ever lit a candle, then blown it out again, you've noticed the smoke that follows the extinguished flame. It curls, waves, cuts through the clean air gently and slowly. There was black, pitch black mist just like a candle's smoke. It hung like a shapeless cloak, but it was always waving, always moving. Within the mist was a face so white it almost looked like a mask. The face had no ears, and no eyes. It its place was emptiness, black as ebony. Only its mouth and nose were fully defined. Luigi stared at the sockets uneasily.

"What is the matter? Never seen a girl dressed in black before?"

Mario sat up and stared with his brother. "Who are you?"

The black shadow seemed to take a bow. "I am Mistyk." She raised her head, still curtsied, her white face grinning eerily. "And you are the famous Mario Brothers?"

They just watched her suspiciously as she floated around them casually, inspecting them from head to toe.

"Of course you are," she chuckled.

"What do you want with us?" asked Mario.

Mistyk began to giggle at this question. Her laughter grew louder and louder until Luigi demanded "What's so funny?"

Mistyk was suddenly eye-level with the plumber, her expression serious. "Want you? Want you? My dear boy, I need you two for my plans."

"So stop playing around and just tell us, your foggy freakness," Luigi spat out. Mistyk slowly straightened, emotionless and stared at him. Like a hand, a tendril of her misty cloak reached under Luigi's chin and raised it upward.

"It isn't polite," she began icily. "To call names at those…less fortunate than you." Mario watched her step back a few paces and found himself frozen rigid. Her presence seemed to demand attention, and her tone inflicted fear on his heart. He dared not move.

"Didn't your mother ever tell you Luigi?" The mist released the plumber's chin, but hovered around his face. Without warning it rushed forward, entering his nose and mouth rapidly, causing him to gasp noisily then hold his breath.

"If you can't say anything nice…"

The plumber's chest heaved once.

"…don't say anything at all."

Eyes as big as saucers, Luigi grasped his throat clumsily with his bound hands. Mario kneeled next to him urgently.

"Luigi, Luigi breath! Breathe, Luigi!" Despite Mario's pleas, all his brother could manage was a strangled sigh. Mario watched in horror as the black fog, like a hand of death, reemerged from Luigi's mouth slowly. He turned to Mistyk, eyes wild.

"What are you doing to him?"

She cocked her head innocently. "It's not any of my doing. Blame the 'freaky fog' that is stealing his breath away…literally."

Luigi shut his eyes tight and tried listening to Mario. Everything sounded like it was being said from behind a brick wall. He remembered this feeling. It was the same feeling he had when he tried to reach the telephone, only this time the mist was taking its time, like it enjoyed killing him. Another sigh of breath escaped him as Mario placed his hands on his shoulders.

"Luigi! Breath in, Luigi! Breath in!"

He couldn't.

"You know, I once heard that you two were known as the Super Mario Brothers…and look at you now. Not bad for a couple of washed up plumbers…but you certainly don't look super to me," brooded Mistyk mockingly. "No hero would dare disrespect his elders."

Mario jumped up and rushed towards her. "You monster! Leave him alone!"

Mistyk suddenly raised a resemblance of an arm and Mario skidded to a halt, her inky black hand inches from his face.

"Don't make me do anything I might regret later."

"Please," whispered Mario. "Stop it!"

Mistyk carelessly glanced over his shoulder and the dying young man, his face scarlet red, his body trembling.

"Apologize on his behalf."

"He's sorry." Mario said bitterly, about to burst with anger.

Mistyk threw one last glance, then dropped her hand. Luigi dropped to the floor, choking and gasping as Mario rushed to his side. He held his face in his still bound hands. "Luigi…you're breathing? Talk to me."

Still gasping erratically, his little brother nodded, then wheezed, "Yeah."

A shadow as black as night fell on the brothers as Mistyk hovered over them.

"Perhaps, young man, you should think twice before you speak. What you say could have lasting effects on you…" She gazed at Mario. "Or your brother." The white face whipped up. "Take them back!"





Mistyk's name is pronounced mist-EEK. I had to point that out. And the plot thickens! I just love original villians. ^_^