Disclaimer: Nothing from the realm of Nintendo even remotely belongs to me, nor do I claim it does.
Peach frowned as her friend sat down across from her. Anna looked as if she hadn't gotten any sleep these past couple of days.
"Morning." the young magikoopa yawned, oblivious to her companion's concern.
"Morning." Peach replied. "Is everything all right? You look tired." Exhausted was probably a better word for it.
Anna shrugged. "I haven't been sleeping well. I keep having these dreams."
Peach stifled a groan. "You mean like the ones you keep having right before we have some kind of confrontation with Bowser and his people?"
Anna nodded. "Last night was the third night in a row that I've had them."
"But nothing's happened yet." Peach suggested hopefully. "Maybe nothing will."
"I hope you're right." Anna grumbled in reply. "I've had enough of those people." The last time they had had a run in with any of Bowser's people, Anna had ended up being disowned by her family, courtesy of Kamek himself, from what Peach had heard. The whole ordeal had left its mark on Anna, but Peach had no idea how to help her friend, or if she even could.
"I just don't understand why I'm seeing these things." Anna complained.
"What do you mean?" Peach asked.
"Well, some magikoopa have been known to have the sight, that it, the ability to see into the past, present, and future, but it is always passed down through the family. The most it can skip is seventeen generations before it dies out of the line."
"Okay." Peach wasn't sure what the problem was.
Anna sighed. "So I'm eighteenth from the last person with the sight on mom's side. Neither mom, Kammy or Kamek ever had it, they were tested for it as children; and dad's side never did had it."
"So it couldn't be the sight?" Peach asked hesitantly. Anna knew it couldn't be, she realized, but suspected it was anyway.
"I don't know." Anna rplied, and the two were silent.
"So what were your dreams about, then?" Peach asked after a minute or two. "Sighted or not, you seem to see trouble coming through them."
"The first one was three nights ago." Anna replied, trying to bring back every detail. There hadn't been much at a time.
A magikoopa, robed in purple, was bent over a desk, searching through the scrolls, books, and who knew what else, trying to find something. The sound of approaching footsteps resounded in the hall, and she jumped. The footsteps receded, and muttering she resumed her search.
At last, she must have found what she sought, for she straightened triumphantly, shoving something into one of the pockets in her robes. She turned to leave the room, but, changing her mind at the last second, darted back and removed a second item from the desk. Then she left the room, locking the door behind her.
A magikoopa in blue stood before the council, his back straight, his hands clasped neatly, his jaw clenched. A word was pronounced: guilty. He turned to glare at a magikoopa in purple.
A magikoopa stood before none other than King Koopa, bowing with great flourish. King Koopa raised an eyebrow; he was impressed by the stranger. They spoke, but nothing was discernable. King Koopa laughed, and the stranger bowed again. He stood, and the embroidery on his robes seemed familiar. His robes were a deep blue, hemmed with green, the symbols on his robes done in blood red.
The stranger excused himself, and left with a magikoopa in purple following closely behind.
A magikoopa in black stood before King Koopa. King Koopa was furious, snarling, practically breathing fire. The magikoopa in black answered a question, and started to bow.
King Koopa growled and struck at the magikoopa. He turned, but not quickly enough, and the impact sent him to the ground. He drew himself up, slowly, and with a shake of his head excused himself. He walked briskly out of the room.
"Hmm." Was all Peach could think of to say as a mushroom guard approached her rather nervously.
"Princess?" He said, bowing as he spoke.
"What is it?" She asked, exchanging a glance with Anna. Was this what the dreams were warning them of?
"A disturbance. In one of the villages. The guard have a prisoner, but they want someone to deal with it immediately."
Peach sighed, "And father is busy. Have Toad meet us at the entrance to the castle." She turned to her friend. "Anna , are you with me?"
Anna nodded. "Of course, princess."
"Peach." She corrected. It just reminded her too much of Kamek to be addressed that way by Anna. Besides, this was her friend, and Peach didn't feel formality appropriate in this case.
Anna smiled. "Peach."
Toad met them at the gates, and they set off to the village.
"I heard, rumor, of course, Peach, that it was a magikoopa." Toad said softly as they traveled. "Whoever it is, it's got the guard scared."
Anna frowned. "It would have to be allied with Bowser. None of the neutral magikoopa would cause trouble. They go out of their way to avoid it." Neutral meaning, of course, that they were not in Bowser's employ.
"Who then?" Peach asked.
"They would have to be under orders." Toad suggested. "The top magikoopa under Bowser wouldn't have been caught." He meant, of course, Kamek and Kammy.
"And no magikoopa in his right mind would enter the mushroom kingdom without orders." Anna added. "Not if they worked for Bowser."
"Something odd is going on, then." Toad noted. "We should be careful."
"Agreed." Anna said as they reached the village.
A wary toadstool led them to what seemed to be an inn of sorts, though not one of very high class. Guards stood on either side of the door, bowing to Peach as they allowed her to pass.
One of the guards broke away from a group in the corner and hurried up to her as she entered the inn. "He started a fight with a koopa paratroopa twice his size. At least, that's what we were told. A goomba came running for us, and by the time we got here, the crowd was turning nasty, and the paratroopa was no where to be seen."
"The koopa paratroopa is gone?" Peach asked. Odd.
The guard nodded.
"Where is the goomba?" Was her next question. The guard led her to a goomba who was watching the gathering in the corner nervously. It jumped and let out a squeak as it noticed them. Peach smile reassuringly. "Hello."
The goomba was a rather small one. "H-Hello." He bobbed in the goomba equivalent of a bow.
"The guard said we have you to thank for avoiding a nasty mess here." Peach said, keeping her voice soft and friendly. The goomba nodded uncertainly. "Did you see what happened?"
The goomba swallowed nervously. "The magikoopa and his friend came in and sat down in the corner over there." He nodded to where the guards were. "The paratroopa was passing by him when suddenly the magikoopa went ballistic on him. He blasted the paratroopa with some spell or other, and he fell to the floor, writhing. I left for help as someone ran to help the paratroopa."
Peach glanced at Anna, who was frowning at the thought of a magikoopa going ballistic for no reason, then at Toad, who was frowning at the missing pieces of the story.
"Thank you." She said. To the guard she said, "I'll see to the magikoopa now." He nodded, and led her over to where the crowd of guards stood uneasily. They separated for her to reveal a magikoopa robed in black sitting at a booth, his hands cuffed with some metal that seemed to glow slightly.
"Magic blockers." Anna muttered. "The black robes indicate banishment by the council."
Peach frowned. Something seemed rather familiar about this magikoopa.
He frowned as one of the guards jerked him up to stand in the presence of the princess. He was small for a magikoopa, she realized, though his bearing almost kept you from noticing. He was having trouble keeping the steady, indifferent pose that he held, she realized.
"You may sit." She said, but he merely looked at her in reply until the same guard that had pulled him up gave him a rough downward shove. Peach frowned. "That is enough." She told the guard sternly.
"He's a magikoopa." The guard hissed.
Peach turned to Anna. "I suppose that makes it okay then, doesn't it, Anna?"
Anna bowed ever so slightly. "Of course it does, princess."
"Peach." The princess corrected.
"Peach." Anna fought back a smile.
The guard shifted uncomfortably. "Begging your pardon, princess."
Peach smiled. "Of course." Then she turned to address the magikoopa. "I have half of the story, but I'm interested in what your side is. What happened?" She hoped she sounded friendly rather than threatening.
He simply looked at her. He would not speak, Peach realized. She could do what she wished, but he would not speak.
She frowned, then turned to the guard. "Where is the one who was with him?" That got a response from the magikoopa. He flinched, ever so slightly.
A guard reached under a table and something started shrieking. "Let me go! Let me go!" The shout was followed by a string of words foreign to Peach.
"High Koopa." Anna hissed. "An ancient language."
The guard dragged out a small koopa that was struggling frantically to get loose. "I didn't do anything! Let me go! Stupid-" Again he trailed off into the same language.
They would hurt the small thing if it did not stop struggling, Peach realized. "Hush." She said softly, hopefully kindly. "They won't hurt you if you stop fighting them."
Miraculously, he froze, staring at her with wide eyes.
"Did you see what happened between your friend and a koopa paratroopa?" A flicker in his eyes said he did. "Would you tell me, please?"
He opened his mouth, but was interrupted a shout from the magikoopa. One of the guards hit him for it, but the koopa closed his mouth, his eyes darting from the magikoopa to Peach and back.
"It was a command to be silent." Anna translated in a whisper. "A familiar order for silence rather than formal, too."
The koopa turned to stare at Anna, then back at the other magikoopa. Peach frowned, wondering what was going on here. Something odd was happening, and she had no idea what.
She had a banished magikoopa, a small koopa who obeyed him, and a missing koopa paratroopa. She had half of the story, and wasn't likely to get anymore. What on earth was she supposed to do?
She wasn't given time to decide. A loud noise that sounded like an explosion set both the small koopa and the magikoopa into action. The koopa bit the guard and ran forward to latch onto Peach's skirt with one hand and Anna's robes with the other.
At the same instant, the magikoopa disappeared with a pop! only to reappear in front of Peach.
As Toad grabbed the magikoopa, Peach wondered how he was doing magic if the handcuffs were supposed to block magic. The magikoopa didn't bother shaking Toad off, grabbing Peach rather roughly.
A she tried to throw him off, noise erupted from everywhere. Shouting, crying, laughing, and the sounds of things being destroyed filled the air. Peach wondered what was going on.
Then, quite suddenly, they were somewhere else, and Peach felt as if she were going to throw up.
Toad was by Peach's side in an instant, looking rather nauseous himself. Anna, however, grabbed the other magikoopa by the front of his robes and shoved him backwards against a tree. The small koopa merely groaned as he collapsed into a sitting position.
"Are you okay, Peach?" Toad asked.
Peach nodded shakily. "I think so. Are you?" Toad nodded. "Anna?"
"I'm fine, no thanks to this stupid lunkhead."
Peach had never seen Anna this angry. Or use such rough language. "What do you mean?" She asked.
"Are you nauseous? Dizzy?" Anna asked instead of answering.
"Well, yes, but-"
"Everyone is. Because this moron decided it would be a good idea to use a transporting spell on all five of us at once and nearly botched it. We came close to not reappearing at all, or worse, only partly reappearing." She turned her attention back to the other magikoopa. "Why on earth would you try something so absolutely stupid? You could have killed us all! What were you thinking?"
The magikoopa took a deep breath. "I was thinking that it might be preferable to risk a faulty transportation spell than to risk running into those attacking the village." He said dryly. "I found the idea of death by transportation failure the more appealing option. I do regret not being able to warn you before hand."
Anna's hands fell to her sides. "Kamek!" She exclaimed, stepping away from him and retreating to Peach's side.
Peach frowned. Was this Kamek? Why had he been banished? That was what Anna had said the black meant. Why had he been in the village? Who was his companion then? What on earth was going on? Peach was distracted by a horrible feeling in her stomach.
Peach stood and excused herself. Toad and Anna gave her worried glances, but let her go.
She returned after a few minutes, her stomach rather emptier, to absolute silence. Toad and Anna sat together, trying to ignore Kamek and the small koopa, who had sat down by the tree.
"I do apologize for the inconvenience, princess." Kamek said as she returned, as if guessing what had happened. That was definitely Kamek, but what?
She waved the apology aside. Apparently she was going to have to be the peace maker here. "I seem not to be the only person affected. What caused it?"
"Trying to overload a magic blocker and transport five people a large distance with little warning is never easy." He answered.
"What were we avoidng?" Peach asked.
Kamek shook his head. "I will not speak his name here." The small koopa whimpered.
Peach caught the puzzled expression on Anna's face, but the younger magikoopa had apparently decided she wasn't speaking to her uncle.
Peach tried another question. "Who is that?" She gestured towards the koopa.
The koopa grinned, and his shape shifted from that of a small green shelled koopa to that of a familiar koopaling.
"Iggy!" Peach smiled back at the koopaling.
"Hi, princess-Peach-uh-" He looked to Kamek for help.
"Princess is appropriate." Kamek commented.
Peach eyed Iggy. "And Peach is better. Remember?"
"Right!" Said Iggy.
"We need to move." Said Kamek suddenly, rising to his feet.
Iggy looked worried. "They're tracking us?" He asked.
"Who?" Peach asked, standing as well.
"The council." Was the only explanation he offered as he looked up at the sky, then picked a direction to travel in. Iggy followed.
"Come on." Peach said to Toad and Anna. "Without him, we're lost."
That made sense, so the two stood and joined the rest of the group.