A/N: When I started writing my Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story novelization, Mario & Luigi and... Bowser, I had Starlow's sage friend be Geno, from Super Mario RPG: The Legend of the Seven Stars, since I like making connections between games. But eventually I worried that bringing in a canon foreigner would be egregious, so I retconned him into Wisdurm and had to rewrite a lot of exposition and conversations accordingly. Which kinda sucked, because I really liked how they turned out, so I decided to preserve them and put them in this archive.
M&L3 pg 2-3
Starlow certainly never thought she'd be tested. When the Star Sage once known as Geno by his mortal friends asked her to help the Mushroom Kingdom with a nasty plague, she didn't once suspect that something bigger was about to unfold. She just figured she was given the Blorbs case because she had a good repoire with Geno – he liked her spunk, and appreciated how hard a researcher she was. A bookish girl, she read long into the night looking for a way to cure the Blorbs, but she didn't have much luck, and drifted off into an uneasy sleep about swollen Toads, fire, and red, glowing eyes in the dark.
"Yo, you're gonna be late."
Starlow jerked awake at Geno's voice. "Huh? Wha-?"
"The meeting's about the start down in Peach's Castle," said the sage. He was in his puppet form, as always. Starlow remembered when he had just looked like a Star, but after his adventure in the Mushroom World, he came back different. He had found his "true form", he liked to say. Most Sages do, sooner or later. Starlow couldn't imagine looking like anything but what she always looked like – she wouldn't even know what to do as a Star, without her feet or her flashing star-shaped headpiece…
Geno frowned: Starlow was getting lost in her thoughts again. She had a long night, so it was understandable, but she really did need to come back down to earth. Literally. "You're. Going. To. Be. Late." He repeated.
This time, it clicked.
"LATE!" yelped Starlow, shooting into the air. "Oh, what an awful first impression! And I was so looking forward to meeting Peach and Mario and Luigi…"
"Well, Mario doesn't usually show up on time either, so you don't have to worry about him," chuckled Geno as Starlow raced around her study, telepathically whizzing her books back onto the shelves.
"But what if I'm even later than him?! … And why didn't you wake me up earlier!?" she snarled.
Realizing what she had done, Starlow's face paled. "I- I mean- I didn't mean it, Mr. Geno. I'm so sorry!"
Geno laughed. "Don't worry about it. But other Sages might not take so kindly to being snapped at, so you might wanna watch your temper a little."
Starlow sighed. "I guess. I doubt I'll have to worry about bumping into any Sages while I'm down there, but I suppose I should play nice with the surface-dwellers too."
"Mario and Peach shouldn't give you any trouble anyway. Even if you are late…"
Starlow yelped again. "Late! Oh no! How could I forget I'm in a hurry! Why are you distracting me!? Argh, I'll never get there in time now!"
"Good luck!" Geno laughed as she zoomed past him and headed for the nearest Star Road back down to the surface. But as she disappeared around the corner, his face grew somber. Soon, being late would be the least of her concerns, but it was the only way. Her test had begun, and the fate of the world now rested with her, Mario, Luigi… and Bowser.
M&L3 pg 5
Toadbert looked around. "So uh… What's up? They're not here yet? The bros…"
Mario doesn't usually show up on time. Starlow smiled to herself: Geno was right.
But at that moment, Mario and Luigi hurried into view at the end of the hall, stopping at the foot of the conference table.
M&L3 pg 13-14
She couldn't do it.
She needed help.
"Knowing your limits is the first step to wisdom."
"Hello Starlow. Or, should I say, hello yello?"
Geno, what's happening?
"You already know what's happening."
But what do I do? I don't have enough power to help them. They're all going to die…
"You mean 'we' are all going to die."
I- I suppose…
"Putting others before you – you may have 'tude but I told them you had heart too."
Wh- what? Oh, nevermind. Geno, if you're here too, can you-
"Oh no, I'm not there. I'm just watching."
So… you can't help?
"Not yet. I'll help you soon, but you need to help yourself first."
But I don't have enough power. And I thought curing the Blorbs was beyond a Star Sprite… How can I possibly pull everyone out?
But then what do I do?
"You don't NEED to get them out. There's only one soul you need to stabilize for now, and the rest will lie dormant."
"Got it in one."
But I don't want to help BOWSER! He caused this. He SHOULD suffer!
"Now that's not very nice. Besides, you know he couldn't have done this to himself."
Then what happened?
"You'll find out soon enough."
Why won't you tell me what's happening? Do you want us all to die?! Mario is your friend, and so's Peach, and… I thought I was your friend too…
"You are. And so is Bowser. I'm not telling you because I can't. You need to figure this out on your own. But don't worry, we'll help you. You just need to-"
Yeah, yeah, I remember: help myself first. But you're not listening to me, Geno! I don't have enough power to stabilize Bowser.
"That's true, you don't. You need help."
THEN HELP ME!
"You don't need MY help…"
M&L3 pg 16
"Kind of a weird choice." Geno was back.
It wasn't me, explained Starlow. I wanted to have some sort of way to explain stuff to Mario, but Bowser's energy just manifested itself like that.
"Guess you'll have to go and do the explaining in person."
But I can't – I need to stay focused on maintaining the illusion, and I haven't resolved Luigi yet.
Not close enough.
"You can do it."
Ugh, FIIINE, I'll give it a try.
"That's my girl."
M&L3 pg 17
As Mario battled with the Goombule blob, Starlow tried calling Geno.
What's going on? The Emoglobins were bad enough, but now attacking blobby things?
"Did you expect Bowser's energy to just roll over while you hijacked it?"
"You're all parasites – ENERGY parasites. The worst kind. Just as a body tries to fight off invading pathogens, so too will Bowser's energy fight you lot."
Guess we'll just have to fight 'em off.
"At least fighting is Mario's second nature. After jumping, of course."
Of course. …But, if these are Bowser's energy, does fighting them off hurt him, or…
"Do my ears deceive me? Starlow's concerned for Bowser?"
I'm concerned for my host – like a good little parasite. If he dies, we die, remember?
"Cool down, I'm only teasing. Anyway, don't worry about it: the amount of energy lost by these little encounters is a pittance. Besides, it's all Bowser soup down there, really. You may have separated Mario's consciousness, but he and Bowser are still connected. Lots of feedback and mixing and all that. Don't sweat it."
If you say so…
M&L3 pg 20
Gennnooo, talk to me. I have no idea what to do. The energy's there but the mind's not able. I can't get a lock on anyone else's consciousnesses. I'm beat.
"Beat, but not defeated."
About time you picked up!
"Too many hints would be cheating."
Don't give me that riddle talk! I'm SO not in the mood.
Geno sighed, but he understood Starlow's frustration. Granted, he didn't need to ask his mentor for quite so many pointers during his test all those decades ago, but he supposed his task hadn't been quite as abstract. Even putting the Star Road had been more straightforward – had the Star World itself not been in peril, it would've made for a good Star Sprite trial, now that Geno thought about it. But this was no time to reminisce, and he took pity on Starlow.
"There's one more consciousness available to you – one you don't need to pull from the ether."
You mean BOWSER?! I'm not waking HIM up, if that's what you mean! …Geno? Geno! COME BACK! And give me some GOOD advice this time! Grrrrr!
M&L3 pg 38
A 'Sahje days et-wall'? Sahje… Sage? You mean Sage? You used to be a Star Sage?!
"Oui oui! But I have not forgotten how to handle zee power. And a good thing too, because late zis morning a fellow named Geno contacted me. "
"Oui. I have never met him in person until today, but he is very nice. He even spoke la belle langue! He said, 'Pardonnez-moi, Monsieur Broque. Est-ce que vous aidez mon ami? Il est une grande tortue avec un grand problème. À cause d'une condition d'énergie, il a besoin d'aide. Votre aide. Je sais que vous n'êtes plus un sage, mais c'est très important que mon ami ne meure pas. Il y a une profétie. Maintenant, une force dangereuse se réveille…' But I say too much."
Starlow's head was spinning. She didn't know Geno spoke French – she sure didn't.
M&L3 pg 47
"Uh… Ummmm…" Starlow hadn't expected Bowser to care enough about her to ask for her name and was taken aback. "My name is… Uh…" She couldn't tell him the truth – she couldn't remember if someone had called her by name in front of hi, and she didn't want to risk it. She didn't really care for the evil Koopa King knowing her personally either. In fact, she figured it'd be easier just telling him to mind his own beeswax, but in spite of herself, she suddenly blurted out the nickname Geno sometimes called her. "…CHIPPY!"
"Chippy? Weird name…"
"Yeah, a little weird…" said Starlow. She was a chip off the old block, the Star in the form of a wooden puppet used to say to her. But she didn't know why she told Bowser that. She blamed the Scutlet. The energy ordeal had scrambled her senses. "Look, it doesn't matter."
M&L3 pg 69-70
"So what do you think?"
"She was very fortunate that Wisdurm was there."
"She could have figured it out on her own."
"But before the river of carrot juice ran dry?"
"Sure, why not?"
"Why indeed… she is unenlightened."
"But she's getting better, Chakron. At least she TRIED."
"Yes. She is indeed learning to stand on her own… I suppose…"
"She will make a fine sage, I'm sure of it."
"And in the meantime, Wisdurm will remain in Bowser's energy. I fear that we will need a conduit to lend him our powers again before this is over."
"Of course. You don't think I know what's at stake?"
"You are a sage, but you are still young, Geno. You were not there. The ominous waves that crash upon you now are nothing like the whirlpool of evil that lies below."
"They can handle it."
"They HAVE to handle it…"