A Star in the Pipe: Mario Meets Aladdin
By Master Pencil
Chapter 1 Antics on a Dark Night
Wario and Waluigi, the two mischievous opposites of the heroic Mario and Luigi, were taking an ordinary walk on a seemingly ordinary day. The Mushroom Kingdom was just as peaceful and normal as it would be, but they could not help but feel something different hidden in all of it.
"I've got a weird feeling today don't you?" Wario asked Waluigi.
"Yeah, it's weird," he replied.
"A little too weird," Wario grumbled.
A Toad Mart was almost upon them, and they entered the store casually. A group of Goombas, Koopas, and a Toad were standing around, the Toad managing the store. Such an environment would have been normal if it was not for the bundle of dirty rags standing at the store counter. It was about the size of Mario, but its body was hunched over much like a Shy Guy. Wario and Waluigi watched the strange figure cautiously.
The Toad manager walked back to his counter to assist the dirty figure. His face was hidden by the heavy hood so the Toad would not be able to see him. The Toad was curious, but figured that the customer was just a Shy Guy missing a mask.
"Welcome to Toad Mart!" he said kindly. "May I help you with something?"
"I need the treasure," he said, his voice extremely raspy and coarse.
"What kind?" the Toad asked, a little shaken by its voice.
"Half of the scarab," he replied.
Wario and Waluigi watched the customer from behind a large mound of canned mushroom.
"What a freak," Wario snorted.
"He sure is one messed up Shy Guy!" remarked Waluigi.
Back at the counter, the Toad realized that the treasure was located at the same spot the group of Goombas was corralled around. The shape remained shady and concealed, and the Toad was worried that it was a thief.
"Over there sir," he said, pointing at the crowded spot.
It ambled and hunched its way to the treasure, half of a gold Scarab held inside a plastic box eyed by the Goombas. It carelessly bumped into them and snatched it immediately.
"We were looking at that!" a Goomba exclaimed.
"You should have got it," he said menacingly.
Suddenly, it pulled out a deadly dagger and slashed it at all the Goombas. The poor creatures were deflated like balloons, leaving Wario's and Waluigi's jaws hanged. He then struggled out of his rags to reveal himself as a very dirty, little man with an ugly smile and deadly eyes.
"It's a thief! Run for cover!" the Toad cried.
All the other Goombas and Koopas fled as the thief did the same. For reasons they hardly knew, Wario and Waluigi had an urge to chase the little man. Outside Toad Mart was the thief's just-as-dirty horse, and he was well on his way to an escape by the time they came outside.
"Hurry up! That guy just murdered a bunch of Goombas just for that golden bug!" Wario snapped.
"Since when did you stop crime?" Waluigi asked.
"…Fine! Let's get his golden bug!" Wario exclaimed.
They jumped into Wario's big purple car and chased after the dirty thief. It was not long until they caught sight of him and his horse racing to an open field. A large yellow pipe jutted out of the ground, and the thief's horse jumped into it.
"We're goin' in the pipe!" Wario exclaimed.
The Wario Car entered the yellow pipe, and all was dark until the Wario Bros found themselves flying into a starry sky in the middle of a desert. They screamed pitifully, crashing into a sand bunk minutes later.
"Where are we?" said Wario. "Do you have any idea Waluigi?"
Waluigi was crushed to his seat by the air bag.
"And to think this was used for Kart Racing," Wario sighed.
Meanwhile, a dark man with a dark purpose was waiting on top of a high sand hill, the thief galloping to meet him.
"You are late," he told the thief ominously.
"A thousand apologizes oh so patient one," he apologized.
"Where is it then?" he asked, his dark brown eyes piercing him.
"I had to slit some throats, but I got it," he said, holding out the half scarab with a wicked smile.
The man was about to claim the golden piece until the thief suddenly drew back.
"Ah, ah, ah," he muttered, waving his finger. "The treasure?"
"Rawk!" a parrot squwaked as it snatched the piece from him.
The parrot gave it to the dark man, who was smirking contently.
"Trust me my pungent friend, you'll get what's coming to you," he assured.
Holding both pieces of the scarab, he carefully placed the two pieces together. The scarab immediately sprang to life and zipped around the man, startling him with its quick magic. The scarab then darted off into the desert.
"Quickly! Follow the trail!" he ordered.
He, the parrot, and the thief chased the scarab, completely ignoring the stuck vehicle and the two strangers looking on dumbly.
"Let's go see what happens next!" Waluigi exclaimed excitedly
Wario revved up the Wario Car and managed to chase the two bad men toward wherever the scarab was leading them.
"FASTER!" the dark man bellowed.
Driving in the desert proved difficult even to the Wario Car. The bumps and dips of the dunes sent Wario and Waluigi on an unknown course forward. Only when a quick sparkle of golden light and a flat area of sand made their vision very clear to them.
"Watch out Mr. Road Rage! You're gonna hit it!" Waluigi cried.
"Is that...OH NO!" Wario yelled.
The golden scarab smacked against their windshield wiper hard, and it bounced off into a mound of sand. The two pieces of scarab formed into two eyes and a magical force brought the sand mound to use. The Wario Car unexpectedly drove on top of the mound just as it began to form, sending the car into the sky and forcing Wario and Waluigi out. They landed right next to the two men, their horses running away from the enormous tiger head shaping before them. The Wario Car landed unharmed on the other side to meet the two horses, curious to see this strange-looking animal.
"At last, after all my years of searching, The Cave of Wonders!" the tall man said delightfully.
"Awk! Cave of Wonders!" the parrot said.
Even with Wario and Waluigi staring up at it with him in amazement, the man still ignored the strangers.
"My Allah..." the thief muttered in disbelief.
The dark man grabbed him by the collar and gave him a hard stare.
"Now, remember: bring me the lamp. The rest of the treasure is yours, but the lamp is mine!" he told him.
The thief slowly approached the cave as Wario and Waluigi realized the dark man's ignorance of their presence and made funny faces at him.
"Rawk! The lamp! Rawk! The lamp! Sheesh, where did you bring this bozo up?" the parrot asked his master.
"Yoshi's Island," Wario whispered, with Waluigi snickering in response.
"Shhhh..." the man shushed the parrot.
The thief was slowly creeping up to the cave's mouth, and that was when the head came to life.
"Who disturbs my slumber?" the cave's voice boomed.
"It is I, Gazeem, the humble thief," he said, bowing before the Cave of Wonders.
"Know this, only one can come in here, one with one's heart may come in here, the Diamond in the Rough!" the cave explained.
"How can someone be a diamond?" Waluigi wondered. Gazeem turned to the dark man and shrugged his shoulders.
"What are you waiting for? Go on!" he said.
The thief turned back to the cave and carefully inched his way to the first step. Once there, he hesitated to put a foot on it, but slowly brought it down onto it. He cringed for something to happen, but nothing happened. He relaxed comfortably until the cave roared to action. All they heard was the scearm of Gazeem before the mouth closed on top of him, sending a powerful wind across the desert.
"NOOOOO!" the dark man yelled.
Wario and Waluigi were thrown backward, very glad that they did not think of going in there.
"Seek out the Diamond in the Rough," the cave echoed, the scarab pieces falling back out.
"Serves that creep right!" said Waluigi.
"My car's been avenged!" Wario declared.
"I can't believe it! I just don't believe it! We're never gonna get a hold on that stupid lamp! Just forget it! Look at this, I'm so ticked off that I'm molting!" the parrot ranted.
"Patience Iago, Patience," the man told him. "Gazeem was obviously less than worthy."
"Oh there's a big surprise! I think I'm about to get a heart attack and die! What are we gonna do? We've got a big problem here..." the man shut his beak closed before he could rant any longer.
"Yes...only one may enter. I must find this one...this Diamond in the Rough," he said calmly.
Wario and Waluigi decided to play around in the sand, since they thought they must have been invisible to them.
"That bird's a mouthy one," Wario growled.
"How can that guy live with that thing?" Waluigi asked. "The pet shop must have had a sale!"