Ugh, it's been NINE months since I last updated this? Good god, I hate having let that happen. -_-
But I have a new chapter at last! And it's hopefully enjoyable. ^^ There's a Dragonball Z Kai reference near the end too, to Piccolo. You should know it when you see it if you're a DBZ Kai fan. lol
Oh, and there's a reference to Fire Emblem: Awakening too, specifically one of Basilio's critical attack quotes. If you've played through the game, you'll probably know it when you see it. XD
Chapter 15: Inside the Volcano
Moshi led Luigi down a twisting and gradually sloping path as they ventured closer and closer to the volcano. The volcano itself soon proved to be much larger and higher than it had originally appeared, and Luigi could now tell that rescuing all of the Yoshis as well as finding the fourth Battle Star before Kamek had his way with the island wouldn't be an easy task. Especially since neither Luigi nor Moshi had any idea how long they had before the volcano erupted. They could only hope that fate and time would be on their side and that they would find a way to save the island. Suddenly, however, as the pair approached the first sloping path up the volcano, the ground rumbled beneath them.
"Whoa… We need to hurry," Luigi pointed out. "Kamek isn't giving us a lot of time before this mountain goes boom."
"Yeah, but luckily for us, there are some quick routes that we use to get up the volcano that he doesn't know about," Moshi replied. "I'll show you."
"Alright then. I just hope it's quick enough."
"Honestly, if it isn't, then Kamek works really fast. You'll see what I mean later."
"Well, if you say so."
With that, the two continued up the path and onto the volcano. Around the next corner, however, Luigi found the two were faced with a dead end. The path ended in a wall of rock, the top rising higher than Moshi could ever jump. The wall next to it was lined with a large and round light blue fruit. Luigi could've probably jumped to the top of the cliff if he used his Super Jump, but he needed Moshi for this mission, as only he knew the area well at all. But exactly how was the blue Yoshi planning to bypass this cliff?
"Uh, Moshi, are you sure we went the right way?" Luigi inquired, arching an eyebrow.
"Absolutely. See that fruit growing up there? That's our key to climbing this mountain quickly. Watch."
Before Luigi could reply, however, Moshi extended his long tongue and gobbled the fruit down. Suddenly, the Yoshi's dark blue color became more of a sky blue and he inflated like a balloon until his body was roughly three times its normal size. He gradually rose higher into the air, with a very surprised Luigi hanging on tight, until both landed safely on top of the cliff.
"See? I told you!" Moshi spoke up happily. "That fruit is called a Blimp Fruit. You can see why."
"Yeah. Not exactly what I expected, but it works," Luigi replied. "I see the first cave entrance up ahead. We should check inside for the Yoshis."
At that, the two quickly proceeded into the cave, hoping that the nearest imprisoned Yoshi wasn't far away. When they arrived at the first chamber of the volcano's interior, Luigi wasn't surprised to see streams of lava flowing through various holes and cracks in the rocky walls. However, there were also small, rock-like creatures enveloped in flames hovering near them. They were accompanied by a few red-shelled Koopas. Moshi shuddered as his eyes scanned their surroundings.
"Yikes… I should've known. The volcano's been infested w-with enemies too," he uttered shakily.
"Hey, this is no time to be chicken! I have a star to find and this island is in trouble! And we're the only ones that can save it and the Yoshis."
"Y-Yeah, but I didn't expect it to be this bad. Still, you're right, I've got to pull myself together here."
"Glad to hear it. And what's worse, everyone's sunk if Kamek manages to destroy this place before I can find that Battle Star. I need it! I need the power of them all!"
"Yes, of course…" Moshi agreed, arching an eyebrow. "But if you'll pardon my asking, is something wrong? You seem different from the last time I saw you. And I don't like this change. In fact, you're starting to sound like you care more about getting that star than you do saving this island and my brethren."
"What? No! Of course not! I-I mean, I do care about getting the star, but I care just as much about rescuing everyone! That's why I'm looking for the stars in the first place. To save the Mushroom Kingdom and finally be recognized a hero in my own right! And without my spotlight hog of a brother getting in the way!"
"…Right. Are you sure you aren't just jealous and craving more attention after being in Mario's shadow for so long? Because I think this power is starting to mess with your mind."
Luigi let out a chuckle before responding.
"Don't be ridiculous," he countered. "You act like I'm turning into some power-hungry madman bent on taking over the world or something. If anything, I'm trying to do the opposite."
Maybe not that exactly, but I still can't quite agree, Moshi thought with a sigh.
"Well, if you say so," the blue Yoshi replied. "But I'm curious about these Battle Stars. I'd like to know more about them and why you need them so bad."
"Alright. I learned of them from Toadsworth back in Toad Town," Luigi explained and then told Moshi of the story on the Star Tablet.
"I see. It sounds like they really are the only way to stop Bowser this time. But let me give you some advice. Such power comes with a lot of responsibility. If you aren't careful and forget that responsibility, it'll only control you, instead of you controlling it."
"Yeah, I get it. I think I see another Yoshi egg on the other side of this area. In that cage over there."
"So it is," Moshi observed when he peered closer at the object Luigi was looking at. "A yellow speckled egg. I think I can bust the cage open with a little fire power. I just need to gobble up one of those red Koopas."
With that, the two proceeded further through, avoiding the floating lava rock creatures and making their way to the nearest red Koopa. After Moshi scooped it up with his tongue, he held onto it until he was within striking range of the cage. Once he and Luigi approached it, the blue Yoshi let loose three balls of flames upon the cage. They melted and broke through the metal nearly instantly, allowing Luigi to dismount from Moshi's back and use his hammer once again. A yellow Yoshi emerged from the egg's remains.
"Ah! Moshi! And Luigi too! Thank goodness you both are here!" he cried in relief. "I thought I was doomed."
"Yeah, I thought the same, until Luigi found me," Moshi agreed. "He came at the right time. Do you know where everyone else is being held?"
"Not exactly, I'm afraid, but I do know that they're all in the volcano somewhere and that Kamek even put a few of the others near the summit. I think the higher you go, the more of us you'll find. Kamek scattered everyone to make it more difficult for anyone to save all of us."
"That figures. Kamek himself is probably up there too. And that must mean—"
"The source of this whole situation is at the summit," Luigi finished. "I have a hunch that something else I'm looking for is there too."
"Bingo," Moshi replied. "There's just one little problem…"
"What now?" Luigi wondered in irritation.
"I've, well…never been up there before."
"…What?! I thought you said you knew this mountain!"
"Not all of it! Nobody here has had any good reason to go that close to the mountain crater! It can be dangerous, there's nothing of value, and I'm really afraid of heights."
"…Are you serious? A Yoshi that uses blue Koopa shells and Blimp Fruit and can jump even higher than the Yoshi that Bowser kidnapped is afraid of heights?!"
"I don't go that high with those! I don't normally even use them much!"
"Oh for the love of… Whatever, arguing is only going to waste more time. Let's just go."
"Fine by me."
"Heh, you two are quite the duo," the yellow Yoshi commented with a snicker.
"Oh shut up," Moshi retorted. "Just get down from here safely."
With that, the three went their separate ways, the yellow Yoshi heading in the opposite direction of Luigi and Moshi to go outside. Luigi and Moshi themselves, meanwhile, headed towards another tunnel nearby. It led them back outside, where more rocky cliffs and Blimp Fruit awaited them. After the two scaled two more cliffs using the fruit, they came upon another cave entrance, which would hopefully lead to another captured Yoshi. Luigi also hoped he'd find out what Moshi meant when he said they would be able to get up the mountain very fast, as the Blimp Fruit was a start, but it was hardly a quick method of travel. Still, no matter how the pair got to the volcano's summit, they had to do it before Kamek's magic would cause it to erupt.
Inside the next cave, however, Luigi and Moshi found themselves faced with a large river of lava. There didn't appear to be any ground on the other side either. The river merely snaked around a corner. Luigi scratched the back of his head in confusion, as he couldn't imagine at all how he and Moshi would get past this.
"Ah, finally," Moshi spoke up, a smile on his face.
"What do you mean? We'll get burned to a crisp if we touch that lava," Luigi pointed out.
"Not if I use one of those," Moshi replied and pointed to their left. Growing near the rocky wall was what appeared to be a large red pepper.
"Another sort of power up you Yoshis use?"
"Yep. Just watch. But hang onto your hat!"
With that, Moshi approached the pepper and gobbled it up as quickly as he had the Blimp Fruit. Suddenly, he turned a bright glowing red and zoomed off down the lava river faster than a speeding Bullet Bill.
"WHOAAA!" Luigi hollered, gritting his teeth and hanging tightly onto his hat just as Moshi had warned. But he had been right. He was moving so quickly and his body had grown so hot that the lava could no longer hurt him and they couldn't sink into it.
"HOT YOSHI COMING THROUGH!" Moshi shouted happily as they passed and ran over more of the floating fire rock creatures.
Mere moments later, the two finally came to a screeching halt on some solid ground. However, Moshi had been moving so fast that he couldn't stop before running smack into the wall and sending Luigi flying off of his back. Luckily, the plumber didn't fall anywhere near the lava.
"Ow…" Luigi groaned as he got up.
"Ugh…" Moshi uttered. "See, I told you we'd be able to move fast."
"Yeah, but you need to work on your braking."
"Heh, sorry about that…"
"Well, what was that anyway?" Luigi wondered as he remounted Moshi.
"A Dash Pepper," Moshi replied. "If we need some extra speed, one of those will do the trick."
"So I noticed. Well, let's press on."
With that, the two continued down the path ahead, avoiding or defeating the red-shelled Koopas along the way. Luigi and Moshi didn't go very far, however, when they came upon a high ledge overlooking the rest of the area. Atop it sat another cage, and inside was a red speckled egg much like the yellow speckled one from earlier. Unfortunately, the ledge was too high for even Moshi to reach by jumping alone and there was no Blimp Fruit growing nearby.
"Ugh, there isn't anything I can do here," Moshi groaned in frustration.
"Hmm… I think I can do this," Luigi replied. "If you jump and I leap off your back, I should be able to get up there."
"Oh, that should work! But how will you open the cage?"
"These Battle Stars give me super strength that could probably rival Bowser's if he didn't have star power of his own. I can bend the bars."
"Wow. It's worth a shot then."
With that, Moshi leaped as high as he could go. Luigi then jumped off of him, and thankfully, his jump elevated him high enough to land safely on top of the ledge. The plumber approached the cage afterward and grasped two of the bars. Luigi pulled at them with all his might and they gradually began to bend. Bet you could never do this, Mario, Luigi thought to himself as he bent both bars far enough for him to slip through and grab the egg. He carefully carried it through the opening he had created and jumped back down from the ledge. Luigi ended up landing on his behind instead of his feet, but at least he had cushioned the egg and prevented the Yoshi inside from being hurt.
"Owww…" the plumber moaned as he stood up again.
"Now that's what I call an egg-cellent landing," Moshi joked.
"Oh shut it."
Luigi then wielded his hammer once again to free the Yoshi from its prison, shattering the egg to pieces just as he had the last one. A red Yoshi hopped out, relieved to finally have freedom again.
"Ah, Moshi! Luigi! Thank you so much for rescuing me! I was getting hot and bored inside that egg!" he said.
"I can imagine," Moshi replied. "You should get off the volcano quickly, it—"
Moshi was cut off by another rumbling of the earth. However, it was slightly fiercer than the first time.
"Yikes!" the red Yoshi cried.
"Argh! We need to move faster!" Luigi commented in frustration.
"You said it! I'm getting down from here! But please be careful!"
With that, the red Yoshi darted off, almost as if he had just eaten a Dash Pepper. Though, he would have to in order to cross the river of lava anyway.
As Luigi and Moshi continued, they eventually came to a fork in their path. The right tunnel led them to a dead end that contained an imprisoned light blue speckled Yoshi egg. After this Yoshi was set free, the other tunnel led Luigi and Moshi back outside. Along the way, they met more red Koopas and flaming rock creatures and also ran into large, round monsters with spikes that constantly tailed the pair. Their bodies were colored red and yellow and looked blazing hot. However, fireballs from Moshi using a red Koopa shell somehow destroyed them with ease.
As the pair climbed higher and higher on the volcano using the Blimp Fruit and Dash Pepper, they began to locate trapped Yoshis faster and the cave chambers grew smaller. This meant that they were nearing the summit. However, the periodic earthen trembles also grew stronger and closer together. Luigi and Moshi had nearly fallen off of the mountain a couple times because of them, causing Moshi to be severely shaken up due to his fear of heights. Fortunately, Luigi managed to calm him down quickly. They soon found, however, that the enemies also gradually grew in numbers, hinting that Kamek was doing all he could to stop the pair.
But neither Luigi nor Moshi were giving up, as the island and its inhabitants were still in grave danger. And Luigi needed to find the fourth Battle Star. The fate of his friends and the entire Mushroom Kingdom depended on their success. Moshi still wondered about the noticeable change in Luigi's attitude since the last time he'd seen him and hoped that it wouldn't affect his chances of saving everyone. If he continued to have the mindset of being better than Mario and getting the spotlight, someone would need to talk some sense into him and quickly.
"Ah, finally! We're almost there!" Luigi pointed out after the final Yoshi was rescued and the pair began traversing a staircase of rock.
"Yeah, the summit should be right at the top of these stairs," Moshi agreed. "We can't possibly be able to climb much higher. At least I hope we don't have to."
Luigi merely rolled his eyes as the two drew nearer to their destination. And as they had surmised, the staircase led them to the enormous volcano summit. It was a round, open area with a circular pool of lava in the center. All Moshi and Luigi had to stand on, however, was a fairly thin strip of rock surrounding the lava. If they had to battle Kamek there, it would not be easy. The two soon looked up to find the wicked Magikoopa himself hovering on his broomstick and waving his wand above the lava.
"Kamek! Hold it right there!" Luigi shouted angrily.
Kamek turned around to find the clad-green plumber mounted atop Moshi's back. Moshi himself yelped and began to tremble.
"Well, well, if it isn't Luigi again!" he replied with a cackle. "And I see you managed to team up with one of those Yoshis I captured. I must commend you both for making it all the way up here so fast."
"I-It wasn't hard!" Moshi countered in a shaky voice. "I know things about this volcano that y-you don't!"
"Oh, well woop-dee-doo for you! Too bad this is the last place you'll ever see! I was about to finally make this volcano erupt, but I now know how I can destroy you both and speed up this island's destruction at the same time!"
"Eeeep!" Moshi yelped again, trembling even more.
"Calm down, we can take whatever he throws at us!" Luigi commented.
"Then let's see how you handle Magmoopa!" Kamek replied and aimed his wand at the center of the lava pool. A large beam of colorful magic sparkles shot out of the wand and struck the lava.
"Bye! Hahaha!" Kamek cackled and flew off. Suddenly, the volcano shook violently, causing Moshi and Luigi to fall flat on the rock in seconds. The lava splashed as a large figure began to rise out of it. The figure turned out to be a giant Koopa-shaped creature with a shell made of hard rock. The shell had a pattern of cracks running all over it, inside of which flowed more lava. The Koopa's skin was red-orange and oozed flames and magma. The creature breathed a stream of fire as it roared deafeningly.
"AAAIEE!" Moshi cried, his eyes bulging at the sight of Magmoopa.
"Will you get ahold of yourself?!" Luigi retorted, returning to his feet. "We can't start panicking now!"
"I know, I know, sorry…" Moshi uttered, standing up and allowing Luigi to mount him once more. "I-I've just…never s-seen such a terrifying monster before!"
"Neither have I, but we have to destroy it if we're going to save this island! Otherwise, this thing will cause it to explode!"
Moshi then took a deep breath and gradually calmed down.
"Right. Then let's do this."
"That's more like it. Now to figure out exactly how we're supposed to beat the monster…"
Suddenly, Magmoopa roared again and spit balls of fire in Moshi and Luigi's direction.
"Whoa!" Luigi blurted as the two quickly dashed out of the way.
"Oh man…" Moshi uttered. Seconds later, however, his eyes found a familiar red pepper growing nearby. There were a couple in the lava as well.
"H-Hey!" he cried. "There are Dash Peppers in here. They're growing like crazy too! Probably because it's the hottest part of the volcano."
"You're right, they are. But how can we use them against this boiling hot terror?" Luigi wondered.
"I'm thinking, I'm thinking!" Moshi replied as the two evaded yet another blast of flames from Magmoopa. "Or at least I'm trying to!"
As the pair began to circle the summit while dodging Magmoopa's attacks, the creature decided to change up its strategy somewhat. It summoned a group of normal-sized Koopa, some of which had red shells. Surprisingly, the rest had green shells.
"Eeeek! This thing can summon regular Koopas!" Moshi blurted, startled out of his wits. "I would say I should spit them at Magmoopa, but the red ones wouldn't hurt him because they produce fireballs and he's much too hot for a green one to do anything."
"Yeah, you're right. Still, they're our only weapons besides my hammer, which would get fried faster than an egg if I used it. Hmm…" Luigi contemplated.
Luigi had just as much trouble thinking as Moshi did due to Magmoopa constantly attacking them and summoning more Koopas. He soon noticed, however, that the lava swayed a little in the direction he and Moshi were going as Magmoopa adjusted its position to keep facing them. A light bulb soon lit up in the clad-green plumber's mind.
"Hold on! I think I know what to do! Remember how you could run across lava by using those peppers?" Luigi spoke up.
"Yeah," Moshi replied. "…Oh! I get it! We'll run in a circle on the lava and make Magmoopa dizzy so it'll fall over and maybe cause itself to cool down some! Then I can spit green Koopa shells at it!"
"Exactly! It's worth a shot."
With that, Moshi gobbled up a Dash Pepper and zoomed across the lava. He picked up more of them as he and Luigi continued to circle Magmoopa, causing the lava to flow with them fast enough to rotate the creature itself. Within seconds, Magmoopa became extremely dizzy, just as Luigi had predicted, and it collapsed onto the rock. Its body grayed a little and smoke rose from its skin. Moshi quickly scooped up a green Koopa and launched it right at Magmoopa's head. As the pair had hoped, the creature was damaged by the blow and roared in pain.
"Yes! Take that, you overgrown pile of rock!" Luigi shouted.
"Yeah! We've got it now!" Moshi cheered.
With that, Luigi and Moshi made an attempt to repeat their tactic and strike Magmoopa again. However, it wasn't easy due to how quickly it launched its flames and fireballs and how large they were. Magmoopa was now angry over being hurt as well, causing it to be more aggressive with its attacks. Whenever it summoned a few green Koopas, however, Moshi and Luigi quickly rushed to the nearest Dash Pepper and snagged it up just in time. Now able to fight back again, Magmoopa soon found itself dazed and collapsed onto the rock a second time.
After being hit with another green Koopa shell and a third one later, however, the fiery colossal Koopa roared loudly in rage. Not only did it breath twice as much fire and spit twice as many fireballs, but it soon began to violently splash the lava with its red-hot clawed hands in an attempt to reduce Luigi and Moshi to ashes in seconds.
"WAAAAH!" Moshi yelped as he repeated leaped from side to side to evade the flying molten rock and keep it from touching himself or Luigi.
"H-Hey! Moshi, control yourself! Remember our strategy!" Luigi replied. In truth, though, he was actually rather frightened at this point too. His body trembled slightly as another blob of lava barely missed him. But with just a little more effort, hopefully, Magmoopa would be defeated.
"Well, one more hit better finish this beast! I can't take this much longer!" Moshi blubbered.
On the flipside, the Magmoopa also summoned more regular Koopas than before, and when they appeared, Luigi and Moshi gradually made their way to a Dash Pepper one more time. Just when Moshi was about to gobble it up, however, a stream of lava brushed his arm.
"AAAOWW!" the blue Yoshi yelped in deep pain as he watched his blue skin turn a deep, dark purple.
"Moshi! Don't worry, you're alright! Just eat that pepper! It might be our last chance!" Luigi encouraged. "Please! You can do it!"
"But it hurts so bad… Oww…"
"I know, but you can take it! The fate of the island and the whole Mushroom Kingdom is in your hands! Or, is it your tongue? Oh whatever, you get the idea! Just eat the Dash Pepper and do it NOW!"
"Okay, okay! I'll try…"
With that, Moshi gobbled up the Dash Pepper as fast as he could and sped across the lava once more. The cold air being generated from his high speed caused his burn to sting even more, but Moshi adamantly attempted to ignore it as Magmoopa gradually became dazed again. Tears began to fly from Moshi's eyes as the pain grew near unbearable, but seconds later, Magmoopa finally fell back onto the rock. And one more Koopa shell proved to be the last. Magmoopa roared wildly in pain as it thrashed about and slowly sank into the depths of its lava pool. The lava itself also soon began to recede slowly.
Moments later, a regular red-shelled Koopa climbed out of the summit, slightly dazed. Luigi dismounted from Moshi's back and approached it as he produced his hammer. When it finally shook itself back to reality, the Koopa froze when it saw Luigi deviously staring at it with his hammer raised.
"Bye!" he said and swung the hammer into the creature's shell so hard that it was sent flying into the sky and away from the mountain.
Luigi then rejoined Moshi and the two watched as the volcano calmed down and returned to the state that it had originally been in. Yoshi's Island was finally safe once again, thanks to a multitude of teamwork. A smile formed on Moshi's face as he stared at his and Luigi's success.
"I did it…" the blue Yoshi uttered. "Owww… I did it!"
"Yes, you did!" Luigi agreed happily. "I told you you could tough it out."
"Yeah, you sure did, didn't you? But I don't know if I deserve a lot of credit."
"What? Of course you do! You were the real hero here, Moshi. You were the one that used those Dash Peppers and spit those green shells."
"I know, but I wouldn't have been able to do all that without your encouragement! And you came up with that strategy in the first place."
"That's true, but it takes real courage to actually go out there and do it. Trust me, I had to learn that myself when I started on this quest."
"Ah, well… Thank you, Luigi. We do make a good team though, if I do say so myself!"
"Now that I can agree on, partner."
"Yes, partners we are! …Oww!"
Moshi clutched his burned arm again after cheering.
"Yikes, that arm is looking worse than before," Luigi noticed. "You sit down for a while. I still need to get that Battle Star, but I'll find it as fast as I can."
"A-Alright. I just hope I can hold out until then. …Hey! Hold on, there's a cave opening down there above the lava! It must have been underneath all of it when it was almost overflowing!"
Luigi then peered in the direction Moshi was pointing at. Sure enough, there was a small cave entrance sitting inside the summit where the lava had previously risen.
"That star must be in there then! It wasn't anywhere in those caves and tunnels throughout the mountain. I'll be right back."
Moshi nodded as Luigi carefully made his way down to the cave entrance. He then quickly entered it and just as he suspected, he was met with a glow like that of the other Battle Stars he carried. Only this one had a tint of orange. Luigi approached the glow and found the bright orange fourth Battle Star sitting atop a small pedestal of rock. Being literally inside the volcano's summit, it surely would have been lost forever if the mountain had successfully erupted as violently as Kamek had intended.
Breathing a sigh of relief, Luigi added the star to his collection and quickly exited the cave. He climbed out of the lava crater and made his way back to Moshi, who was still cradling his wounded arm and sitting against the rocky summit wall.
"Okay, I got the star!" Luigi announced. "Let's get you out of here now. It's a long way back down the mountain."
"Aw man… I wish I knew a shortcut. A really short shortcut…"
"I bet, but I'm sure most, if not all of the monsters are gone now."
"Hey, Hey! Luigi!" a familiar female voice cut Moshi off. Luigi jumped as it reached his ears and looked around to find where it was coming from. However, there was no one in sight except for himself and Moshi. The sound of a large propeller soon echoed as well, and Luigi looked up to find none other than Daisy piloting what appeared to be a flower-shaped helicopter. The white petals above were the propeller, and the stem and leaves made up the rest of it. The leaf in front held Daisy and the contraption's controls. The leaf behind held a large seat for passengers.
"What the—? Daisy?!" Luigi replied, shaking his head.
"That's right! In the flesh!" the brunette princess replied with a smile and lowered her flower copter.
"How did you know where to find me?!" Luigi inquired as loudly as he could when Daisy was near the ground. She wouldn't hear him over the sound of the propeller otherwise.
"It's a long story!" Daisy admitted. "But it looks like your Yoshi friend there is hurt badly! Get him on here and we'll bring him to a more comfortable place on the island!"
"Oh, right! We should hurry, his burn is pretty bad!" Luigi replied as he helped Moshi onto the passenger seat and then buckled himself in.
"Don't worry, my Heli-Flower can get us anywhere in minutes! Hang on!"
With that, Daisy steered the Heli-Flower back into the sky and set a course away from the volcano. Luigi was relieved that he and Moshi didn't have to make their way down to the base on foot. He had no clue at all where Daisy had gotten her bizarre flying machine, and he would be sure to ask her later, but it definitely was saving him a lot of time and energy. And once Moshi was treated, he would rejoin Wario and Waluigi out at sea to search for Battle Star number five. If the brothers hadn't already found it, that is. And if they had, that would only make the situation better still.