Mario and Bowser: Frenemies Forever 2 (Redux)
Property of Bowser (Chapter 11)
Disclaimer: Mario and co belong to Nintendo.
Author note: This chapter was in dire need of edits. Much belated fixes ahead...
"Let's GO! Get out there! DO SOMETHING!" Bowser commanded.
Scampering around the green hills, koopa troopas frightened all toads taking residence out, allowing the Troop to secure an entire region of Sky Land to plunder. Many resources would be needed starting from scratch so they worked quickly. Aerially the winged baddies soared in clusters to reconnoiter the land. Satisfied with the group- and it truly was more than he expected, of soldiers smart enough to read the sign posted on his castle's crumbling front doors, Bowser returned to the spiraling landmark tower. It rose into another portion of the kingdom he was yet to grace with his presence. Bowser climbed inside a puny airship for a solo trip with only himself and this thoughts of how all his troubles were Mario's fault. Somehow it always came back to that plumber, like a part of Mario was always with him. -A part Bowser would like to rip out and obliterate with fire..
Still shuddering, Tanner lowered the basket of ice flowers and speed flowers, now scorched flowers. He guessed it was his fault for talking to Bowser while he was clearly in a reverie. "If you don't like these, sorry sir!"
"Forget the stupid decorations. Since you're here, all status?" Bowser growled. Sulking on his throne salvaged from his old castle and in one of the most isolated parts of the tower he could find, he was sure his minions would get the picture. Apparently not.
"Most never showed up because they 'went south' boss," reported Sentry 11, significantly less menacing in broad daylight. "But this is a big kingdom and you got a thousand tallied."
Bowser stomped his foot repeatedly. The brick began to crumble. "Go back to where you need to be. NOW!" And they left.
On the tower's roof top that stopped just short of the puffy white clouds realm, the royal honorary Koopa Troop were hanging out for fresh air.
"So our janitor Zoo is dead? Perished? Deceased?"
"Yeah, Morton and angry mobs came around by morning blaming us," Lemmy explained. All he needed was a flashlight to shine under his face and a thunder effect to add the cherry on top of that haunting tale. "Aaaand we...well we had to hide and just didn't see the rest." The rainbow haired koopaling paused and fidgeted in place, unable to fix his gaze on anyone in particular. Without a formal meeting, he Ludwig and Iggy silently agreed to not speak about anything. It wasn't just to not look bad, at least they assured themselves. Ludwig for instance insisted something 'bizarre' happened, additional descriptors uncharacteristically escaping him, while viewing video capture on Larry's laptop. Footage from Iggy rather, who had no recollection of what he'd recorded from Peach's floating castle. Lemmy had nothing to do with anything, too occupied all of yesterday making sure their other siblings cooperated with Ludwig's scheme. It seemed all to easy to detach himself, somewhat, from the predicament. All connected to Zoo and his weird item they saw fleetingly before disaster. Problem was, he was gone.
After the mummering happening finally registered, "Listen guys! I know it's crazy as a cracker, but it'll be alright," Lemmy concluded with a weak smile.
Roy pretended to not listen. He kept waving formations for the paratroopas above to perform advance maneuvers. He was to invade the castle with a squad Bowser selected for him, just as he begged for. It embarrassingly took five minutes for him to realize they were spelling out the name of his last ex girlfriend and so he yelled at them the rest of the time. Junior was leaning on his elbows airily looking down from the tower and watching little Bowser mooks below move around like insects. To the six year old they'd be returning home anytime soon. This was like an extension of Koopa Scouts, practically the same thing! The constant moving around, sleeping outside, people screaming, frequent injuries, and leadership mismanagement to the extent the kindergartener could understand. He didn't know what the big deal was. Wondering how scouting skills could help, he tipped toed off 'secretly'.
Wendy let her little brother live his adventure hero fantasies, ignoring his departure. She half listened to Lemmy while leisurely rolled on her stomach, blue eyes glued to her phone and manicured, though it wouldn't last now that they were homeless, fingers flicking often. Anxious she was still in the hot bench over alluding to be associated with the group that kicked her family out of their own kingdom, she'd been busy with something. After scrolling around she found it and got up. "Look at this, it's all over Facebook now that we left Dark Land due to a Bowser Bomb gone wrong! Well we all know that's FAKE NEWS so I'm going to report all of their accounts!" she blared. That got Morton, Roy, and Lemmy to turn and stare at her dumbfoundedly.
Ludwig, trying to be invisible before that point, felt the pit in his stomach threaten to become a black hole. He inched away from the situation, at least as much as he could on that tower. He was going to go mad over what went wrong last night. He needed someone for a reality check and reluctant to admit it there was someone he could always count on for clarity, even if a few coarse words would often get thrown into the mix.
"Larry, could you assist me?" Ludwig discreetly approached Larry, another anti-social one at the moment. The fifteen year old was listening to music then on the floor. Ludwig directed him to a moisture faded page of his 'Ex spatio obiecti specialem Lexicon'.
Larry slung the headphones off with a flash of fear. "W-what did I do?"
"Oh, nothing. I desire to hear your thoughts on this."
He sighed vexingly. "Stars: Stars are celestial beings, a 'higher authority' to aid the Mushroom Kingdom-" Larry shoved the book back into Ludwig's chest. "I know this junk already. Why a theology project now? You sneak out last night and now you want to pick on me?"
"We all know you know what the flip is really going-" He sighed out again and faced the tiled floor, eyes clinched. "Whatever you know doesn't freaking matter because obviously we can't fix it. We're homeless.."
Ludwig leaned down. "Do not say that! This is our home now, General Larry. Chin up."
"Don't call me that," he snapped back. Larry pulled himself up. "Why did you shove your nerd book in my face anyway?"
"...I was just thinking too much as inclined, little brother," he answered with some intrigue masked by reservation. "But are you actually studious regarding stars? Most koopas would not be, unless you are a wierdo, like me," Ludwig ventured. Roy and Wendy picked up the conversation then and locked eyes with Larry, a snort of disapproval soon following.
Larry's gaze whipped from them to his eldest brother again. "Me?! No way! -Say that again and I'll slap ya! ...I just heard about that star stuff through the grape vine. I ain't one of them hippy toad appeasin' lame koopas. Alright?"
Ludwig shrugged. He'd ran out of stalling time and gotten nowhere. Now was the time to catch his ride for the badge he'd rightfully earned with the successful Mushroom Flu plot. All of this, whatever this situation was unfolding to be, would be for naught if he did not. Peach was still in their possession so he did it. He won? Why was it a question?
He was about to head for the stairway when he realized that's where Iggy had set up his 'lab'. The watch salvaged from Zoo's home was disassembled on the descending stone steps, as haphazard as expected, multicolored wires outstretched and resembling a sort of monster sprawled and dying. Probably. In fact he wasn't sure how such circuitry fit in the pocket watch in the first place.
"-Luddy, sorry! Here." Iggy suddenly some of the wires away to clear the leftmost side.
"Not, that Iggy... Those other events. You lost all of your projects in the castle. I am sorry."
"...What happened back home was pretty messed up," Iggy replied in a less squeaky and more naturalistic tone of voice. He paused his work. Behind those thick glasses, there was a twinkle in his eye. "But, what did you really do wrong? I don't mean in hindsight, I mean, what could we have done right? I can't get Lemmy's wrist watch out of my head... but never mind for now."
Ludwig pondered, leaning on the stairwell wall. The watch Lemmy likes to drawn on his wrist as a joke, what did it mean? It was unclear as the direction of the junk dangerously scattered on the steps. "Well, I know better than to attempt to predict you Iggy, so I must thank you for the encouragement. I think. I've decided to leave and register for my badge out of town. I'm about to tell Vater now."
"Oh, cool. Go ahead to Poshley Heights or whatever! It'll be alright in the end."
Ludwig pat him on the shoulder with a chuckle. "We will see." He stood up with renewed zeal. He would take a quick train and return just in time for his father's wedding, hopefully with new valor.
A short figure with a large scarlet scarf wrapped around them tightly inched their way over a hill. The young koopatrol stationed at the north boarder felt on edge spotting the intruder drawing closer to the newly erected gate. He readied his spear, the first line of defense for the new 'Dark' Land, Sky Land. Tanner almost regretted volunteering for the perilous duty. It was spontaneously because he needed some distraction from the recent avalanche of problems aching his heart. On top of the pile he hated to admit was losing his friend Zoo. The dark boo's house was reported destroyed and his friend never missed a day of work. Plus he was telepathic for crying out loud, closeted or not. He would not have missed the mental 'pinging' his friend would have surely sent if lost or hurt somewhere. So it was pretty conclusive.. Second on the pile was whatever happened to his latest friend, that new new toad girl minion. They occasionally had a Mushroom Kingdomite cross over to the Dark Land side, but they were usually enemy species feeling neglected in that toad world. This was was different- and familiar. Familiar?
"Halt! This kingdom belongs to King Bowser Koopa!" Tanner announced, or sputtered rather because he'd day dreamed again.
The person, a woman it seemed, stopped abruptly. "I know. I read the sign on the castle." She cocked her head to the side at him. "Oh, duh. Hold on.." She removed a part of the scarf forming a hood. "Tanner, it's me dummy!"
Tanner slung the spear away. "Emery! You're okay!" They run up and clung to each other instantly.
Bowser's one-thousand and first soldier squeezed him harder. "So glad to be here! Yeah I shoulda said something earlier 'cause you totally was gonna stab me and I would have been my fault and I would have felt stupid bleeding to death but whatever! Neo Bowser City has these weird dorks taking over so it took forever to get here. Eventually I borrowed this car."
"Oh my God. Emery, like I'd stab you. Maybe Z- well, my other friend when he pissed me off but not you," he regrettably pulled away some, blushing madly under his iron helmet. "Pro tip for the new guy, let's focus before we get reported. Uh.. where's the car?" Tanner scanned around.
A wide bodied black colored limousine was stuck in a low hanging cloud down the hill. His herculean strength plus her lesser but earnest effort eventually pushed it up and over the other side for it to roll freely and crash into the gate and then keep on going, making others wonder where the in the world it came from. Tanner held his breath until Emery burst into laughter. Soon he joined her, fears draining. Some of them at least.
Yoshi was outside in the high grass playing with Poochy and occasionally waving to neighboring yoshis going about business. No real conversation, he didn't really know them like that. He tossed back and forth the stick with his pet to wind down from that last argument. Birdo could be overbearing but her motivations made perfect sense after he stopped being fussy. He should just stop to enjoy life sometimes. He wasn't getting any younger.
"Isn't that right, boy?" Yoshi's friend licked his face and barked happily. "Poochy! Stop! Ha!"
When Yoshi returned 'the misses' was out. How she snuck around him he didn't know. Funny, he never grilled her for disappearing.. A bit deviously he let the dog in since typically his fiancée hated that. They were going to have to reach a consensus on that issue if they were really going to tie the knot, among other petty ways they'd get on each other's nerves. Yoshi knew he wasn't always the best fiancé. He'd need to fix that maybe with another expensive gift even better than his last one to her, her iPhone. Then she'd come around like usual when things got heated. Speaking of which he noticed she'd left her device on the counter and its screen was on from a missed notification. Picking it up he caught some of the national news on the lock screen.
"Bowser taking over Sky Land and abandoning ruined Dark Land? Isle Delfino hit by typhoon? Mario still missing in action?" The phone slipped from his hand while he scampered around looking for things to leave with, a hat, passes, snacks.. Poochy barked and snarled at the door before circling around. The front door was opened and Birdo stepped in, her attention darting to her phone on the floor unlocked.
"Yoshi!" She scooped it up with a scowl. Her fiancée's prints were all over it she noticed.
Yoshi's head popped up from the drawer. "I didn't mean to eavesdrop honey, but that's besides the point now. I HAVE to go." He weaved around her before she had a chance to put up an excuse. He grabbed his hat from the rack and his bag. It was too light. Yoshi froze with a foot out the door.
"Can't leave Yoshi's Island without a passport, T. Yoshisaur."
Facing out the door, he rolled his eyes. "I'm coming back, soon this time I promise."
"The one-hundredth empty one."
He resisted the urge to sigh. If someone wanted to tally, how many times had he explained to her how it works when you are a protector of the Mushroom Kingdom? "When I leave like this, it's not to hurt you. It's just to take care of important stuff."
"Stuff more important for me, dear? I get it," she replied in monotone.
Yoshi faced her again. "No! But I can't ignore it regardless, baby. This timing is- awful I know- but bad guys are unpredictable. It's just gonna happen like that some times."
Birdo kept puffing with her arms folded tightly, as if ready to blow. "I understand Mario's business is your business but, it's just not fair to me! Look at it from my perspective. The other girls? When their heroes leave they have support, they have each other over in that Kingdom. You think that Princess Peach ever has to pine for Mario's attention? But when you leave, and it's not just for the big things you know it. You just want to hang out with that Mario for fun sometimes, and I'm just stuck here alone. I don't have friends like that. You are just stringing me along for arm candy. Do you really like me?" the pink dino screamed in an eruption of tears.
Her words slapped him. Her glare sliced through him. Yoshi felt like he was about to stagger backwards. Poochy barked protectively behind his heels. He shook some sense back into himself. "Of course I like you honey! We're getting married! ..Right? You're over reacting aren't you?"
"When then?" she shot back. "What was the date planned?"
"Soon, honey. Soon." He didn't like the complex frustration brewing in him then. There wasn't one really, just the concept of it needing to happen. It was what you were supposed to settle and do. Yoshi had gotten old enough, using up his younger years to help an even younger Mario. He hated when she failed to be.. understanding with him. As if he hadn't address most of those issues. It wasn't his fault she didn't gel with the princesses or toadettes, or want move to the Mushroom Kingdom together, and she was always complaining about Mario while putting on a friendly face when they actually met. That was especially irksome. "...So, where was that pass though?" he asked, ushering the dog into a bedroom for more peace.
Birdo creeped up to him then with a look he couldn't discern. "Guess what, you aren't getting it." After cornering him against the bedroom door a second longer she walked off again and sat on the bed one leg over the other, seemingly unbothered.
"We will go over ALL of this when I'm back. I'm serious. I'll get you something nice too. You know I'd buy an entire island for you if I could." He began to reach for her.
Birdo dodged his hand by shifting over on the bed. She refused to face him. "Lies lies lies again! But then here's a gift, a tiny little bandage to heal of the bleeding open gashes in my heart! You're never leaving again!"
"Calm down, baby! The pass isn't a big deal, it's just a dumb rule thing. I.. I don't know what else to say. I'm just sorry." In a split decision he spun for the door again, dropping the passless travel bag to the floor, but keeping the hat. "It's just a walk," he said exasperatedly.
"Like I believe a word for your mouth, T. Yoshisaur. You were a liar from the start and your charm as a celebrity had me fooled. You list your residence as the Mushroom Kingdom to evade taxes, you sneak your dog inside and think I don't know, and you lie to your girlfriend about marriage! Who does that? Worse yet, you lie- to yourself! I'm telling the village leader about everything you do and then we'll see if you care about dumb rules!"
Yoshi nearly gave himself whiplash looking back. She was on the phone as dreaded and calling the resident village leader. He stumbled out the treehouse and down the ladder into his yard. The coast around was clear. If Birdo riled up the leader there could soon be a herd of fifty or more fellow dinos after him. Most of his neighbors were young and insular, literally. Being Mario's pal or another other credentials of his relating to the Mushroom Kingdom would do little to protect him. He could loose it all, his treehouse, his dog. He needed help quick. Help like- Mario! A mile through the forest he found a train passing through at a crossing and flutter jumped into a musty car, landing in a pile of hay. He spat out the twigs and examined his surroundings, old props and banners saying 'Emerald Circus'. It must have been an off season, the cars were packed with trampolines and props but not staff. He went into what he thought was the most vacant car until he brushed up against something, or someone.
"I guess Mario sent you to hunt me down and stomp my face, Yoshi?"
Still shocked, Yoshi plopped down next to the plain clothed koopa. "No you creep. I'm.. running from my own bride." He grit his teeth.
"Know that feeling. I'm married to trouble." Doctor Professor Koopa smiled at him. He kept holding his shoulder and had stubble spotting the corners of his face, but was otherwise just as Friday. "Aren't you gonna ask what am I doing in here?"
"No," Yoshi answered honestly.
Doctor Professor attempted to shrug a shoulder, but winched instead. "Might as well. They say Sarasaland is a modern kingdom with a booming medical field.."
"Eldstar," Yoshi put his palm to his face. "So you and your crew can reek havoc there?"
"Save some of that indignation. The rest of the crew got caught I heard. Oh, but then get riled up again, because they'll find a way. I mean, we found a way from the pits we came from into the most prestigious sparkly clean health facility of those bigot toads and even ran the princess out. We can do anything."
Yoshi breathed in and then out heavily, ignoring that bait and facing the koopa. "I didn't need more on my plate but, since something placed me here...I really shouldn't let you get a clean getaway. You may have been a friend the princess once, but not anymore."
Dr. Prof. Koopa clicked his tongue. "Funny there's a line to cross to become the dreaded 'bad guy' and now all you can think of is what they program you 'heroes' to. I know I may have inconvenienced a few Mushroom Flu patients yesterday but if I told you that I was doing my job like any other for years? What if I told you decades ago I even saved untold lives partnering with Dr. Mario when we wiped Mushroom Flu out of Dark Land? Wanna know how it got there in the first place?"
Yoshi could compare himself to a bear being poked, and not the ones that would ride the tricycles this car held. "Don't deflect," he growled.
"I'm not. You don't get it, boy. Which registers more on the scale of good and evil? You might change your mind if I tell you something. Something about the flu and, pertinent to you, of how heroes and villains really work.."
Yoshi scowled. "Who do you think you are? Tell me then. I dare you!"
The doctor smiled again with a twinkle in his eye. "As you know I was known as Dr. Koopa to Peach as a little girl. I got shafted by her father. Kicked to the curb. Over paranoia. I quickly became Prof. Koopa to a young adult Bowser, obtaining all sorts of free reign to press science further. Things were booming in Dark Land. The army was growing, there was a large city to be built nearby. Then the Mushroom Flu broke out. Ah. What a coincidence. Progress hit a brick wall until, well, you know about the old good doctor's deeds. There is a rumor to this day that they tried to kill Dark Land's budding kingdom off back then. Who would be so heartless to attack a koopa king with one son and a pregnant wife with their second? The new one's name was gonna be Lemmy-"
Yoshi felt a jolt. "They would never if that's what you're-"
"Perhaps you don't really know your Mushroom Kingdom friends well! What I am saying is as real as you are green. And red apparently-"
Yoshi shot up and noticed his hands shaking.. He stepped away and lashed out by kicking a bike across the room. "No! They wouldn't try to brutally kill off the koopas if that's where you're going! They wouldn't!" He closed back in. " I saw the news, you were in a conspiracy with a Bowser baddie. You backstabbed Peach the other day. I'm sure such a 'smart' person only gets fired from two great gigs for a reason. You're credibility is shot so I don't care if you swear it's real this time!"
Was there an echo in the room?
Doctor Professor leisurely directed his attention out the window while high brown grass scrolled by. With a bump, the train began to cross a bridge over water. "As someone that's worked on both sides, one person's good is another's evil and who's right? Who tells you, the stars?"
It was a feeling in the heart to know you are doing what's right. But how do you explain such to someone without one, like the doctor at his feet. Furthermore how to explain when he'd been missing that feeling for a while. "You just know it."
The koopa did a creepy little laugh. "So predictable," he said perspicaciously. "Do you ever catch Mario eyeing younger, fitter dinosaurs?"
Yoshi grabbed the koopa doctor and dragged him up to his level. "You're saying a lot of dumb things for someone with so many medical degrees. My friends may die because of Bowser- and the role you played! And your attitude...You abated us Friday so if our sick friends don't make it-"
"What will you do? Kill me?" the doctor struggled to answer with his collar snatched tight. He managed to smirk regardless. "It was never personal, at least not to you Yoshi. But ..I will admit, if worse comes to worse, and it will, there's no cure, that's what some of you mushroom bastards deserve and I wouldn't take it back!"
Yoshi gawked, then shoved the doctor halfway across the cabin. Hay and dust clouded the air. Yoshi tripped on the bike he'd kicked. Getting up something blunt whacked him in the back, an iron bike lock from the wicked doctor. They struggled over it, Yoshi thought he felt a liquid running down the back of his head but ignored it. Their fight went back against the window. Outside the open window were deep gravel filled pits. Yoshi grappled with the frailer slightly older koopa and pried away the weapon, then raised him up again. He felt so light, or maybe it was adrenaline. Yoshi had his wedged between him and the open drop. This squirming repeat offender was caught at last. "Cut it out, or you'll fall if you lean to far. Though, I wouldn't cry over it," Yoshi grumbled at last. "Now what's so funny?"
"Nothing much," the koopa replied, dropping his frivolous tone and sounding neutral if calculating. "Just thinking 'bout my dear 'Sweat Pea', that's Peach. About how she's doing with that Bowser guy all helpless and such. Her castle and the secrets it held crumbling to the ground purportedly. Her toads stranded. No where to run from problems. Her pretty face can't keep her image spotless anymore. It was really all about her now that I think about it. I guess I was obsessed, heh, in a different way than her usual admirers. The rest of you are just collateral and you will be too Yoshi once you're too old to be of any help. We all know it's coming."
Yoshi just let the breeze hit him, saying nothing. It his emotions were a tank, in that moment it was empty. The doctor stopped struggling, yet did not resist his firm grasp as they stood off.
"Listen, tell you what," Doctor Professor said, the mockery returning in his horse shaky voice, "Let's see how ballsy you are. I'm worse than Bowser in your mind right now. I don't plan on changing what I do best for the foreseeable future, and I do hear they are still lax in what experiments they allow in other Kingdoms. Oh, and If I'm just so irredeemable really do something about it! I don't mean deferring to your precious Mario, I mean YOU do something!"
Yoshi made his move and a second later his supporting hands were empty. He quickly looked out the window in time to see a faded green shell spinning as it rolled down the gravel pits. He must of- Did he just consciously- Time seemed to slow as he saw the doctor accidentally dislodge his shell enough to suffer a direct head smack against the rock. Limp body continued rolling out of view. The train moved on the flatter land and did not let up. Yoshi slid away from the window. The rest of the trip was quiet for him. After all, the tank was still on E.
A bowl of edible land snails was dropped on the table before the noki seated alone, thinking about whatever to keep his mind busy, nursery rhymes like 'Une Souris Verte' to that dog he and Agent N were going to adopt back home. High barbed iron fences caged him in with the others, hooligans and gangs, during lunch break outside, the sounds of plastic utensils scraping against like trays filling the air. There was a single south and north guard stationed and three barriers separating him from a Poshley Heights shopping center with a food cart and all. He questioned the entertainment value of this for tourists in town.
"To think, something worse than hospital food.." Jelectro picked up from the next table over. Nass, a shy guy, another toad, and a whomp from Mushroom Kingdom Hospital East huddled together at one table. He stood to join them as friendly as he could, watching them stare. In return, he saw in them his key out.
"Madam, thank you for those directions to the information station," he said to the elder toad, '(Mariam?)' as he'd just bothered to learn.
Her face sparkled in recognition. "Dearie! How-?!"
"Tourist, remember? I kid. Still planning that getaway to Sarasaland?"
The whomp, Dr. Terrace, sized him up and down. "You're the extra that was dragged here. He ain't one of us."
"One of you? You are all from Dark Land, and I not," Jelectro declared.
Nass continued leaning on her elbow. Her black hair was limp and oily and she would be unrecognizable if not for her designer prescription glasses. "Theodore, Doctor Professor, told you right? I don't get why when he doesn't even tell me info sometimes," she said with hints of bitterness. Of course to the noki it was more than a hint. Immediately he knew it all and wished he didn't!
"That's rough for someone always doing those 'personal' favors for him," piped Azul, the blue shy guy. On Nass's behalf, Mariam punched the young man much bigger than her rather, and unfittingly for an eighty year old.
"I am not here to socialize. I can get us all out of here if you listen," Jelectro explained under his breath. "You Miss Mariam, escort me out while disguised as a guard. The rest will fall into place. I know you can, because you are not a toad at all!"
With a poof so quick only those at the table could perceive it, the toad became a being covered with white bed sheet like clothe. Yellow frightened eyes and a tuft of red hair were the only distinguishing features. "H-how did you? I just wanted better job opportunities twenty five years ago and being a toad old lady gave me that!"
Nass, Azul, and Dr. Terrace were astonished for only a moment, then it was back to moping. Nothing excited them, they really were from Dark Land.
"Are we all in agreement?" Jelectro received only grunts. He guessed they would just have to see it to believe it. Mariam became a toad guard at the detective's lead, quickly enough to avoid suspicion and walked together to the gate early.
"What's wrong with the runt?" The guard barked, right hand on a radio for backup.
"I'm sick," Jelectro answered feebly. The noki drooped over and puked right on the concrete and inches away from the guards shiny black boots. The guard reeled back along with the other two closest guards.
"Get him out of here!"
Jelectro and Mariam ran through the first gate and in the little clearance. Ahead next gate was even taller than the rest with more guards. "I didn't know you were unwell, dearie," the duplighost whispered with some concern.
"I wasn't at first. It's just a bio-manipulation, disgusting but it works," Jelectro explained, already putting the next phase into action and directing his attention to the guards manning the office next to the doors out. It had been a while since he'd done the next trick he was about to do.
"-It's Zip Toad!" a guard on lookout squealed. Guards rushed out the office and unchained the second lock to line up against the most outer fence as the celebrity strolled by. They did this so abruptly they left the doors to the office wide open, allowing Jelectro to slip in and see the rows of steel lockers with confiscated items. He told Mariam to stay with the other guards and pretend to care so they did so.
"Autograph? Please?" the warden, huddled with many others, asked Zip T.
The blond toad celebrity lingering around the food cart stopped and pointed to his self. "Me? Lost my pen when I outran all five of 'em MKABC or whatever health inspectors last week," he explained in a unusual raspy tone. "Especially the big ol' goomba Richard. He was crazy. Have sometin' else for y'all! Grilled straight from my trailer home!" He grabbed a 'Boggles Dogs' from the cart, extra stuffed with cheese and offered it to no takers. Shrugging he helped himself only to make many of the guards watch him fall over and choke due to eating too quickly.
"Whoa! Somebody do something! Even if I wouldn't eat his disgusting food he's my idol!" one said.
"I don't know CPR. Any doctors in the house?"
"Over there!" Mariam spoke up, pointing to the MK East doctors back in the eating court.
"We can't let inmates.. oh whatever! Open the gates and let them!" the senior warden ordered.
The staff got shoved away from their tables out the gates to aid the blonde super star sprawled out on the sidewalk turning blue all the while. Disorientated but aware of civic duty they surrounded him just as a flash went off. 'Zip T.' coughed and miraculously a grubby clubba in a rain beater appeared in his place.
"Oh!" Nass exclaimed, piecing it all. "Someone created a sort of illusion or ruse on this young man. Go!"
"Thanks but sorry!" Apologetically Mariam ran ahead with the doctors onto the clubba's food truck. The guards realized the break and spilled out of the jail building in vain as the truck sped down the finely cut brick road. Jelectro was brushed aside and ignored in the drama, all according plan. So it seemed that guy he'd rather not think about, Mitch was right. Use the gifts Eldstar gives you.
Mere minutes after Roy's army of one-hundred stormed the clouds above, his soldiers were kicking out remaining mushroom retainers and lastly the king, an old man still in slippers, this part of the kingdom blindsided by the invasion. Two hammer bros dragged the King to Roy's crusty feet.
"Remember when I promised to return years back? I was telling da truth! Now I run dis joint!" the koopaling laughed. Roy relaxed on the plush red throne in the exquisite gold and checkerboard halls in peace for all of five minutes before someone barged in.
"Great job, Roy. Everyone GO GO GO!" Bowser ushered in as many minions as could be packed inside, busily stepping all over Roy's toes with supplies in hand and banners. Shortly they forced him off and on to those polished floors he was just admiring.
Bowser continued, "This castle's gonna be the wedding hall. Hey, no I want fruit punch there! You! Drop the ice sculpture here! Kamek, you're holding the ruler upside down.."
Disgruntled, Roy stomped out into the clouds and down to the tower. What to do. There was a hole in him yet again, and not like when he was trying to sneakily fast for a weigh in at school. Just to be busy with something he considered DMing random girls despite trying to get his ex back for a month straight now, or sneaking peeks at Peach who was getting fitted for her dress in a locked room of the tower despite her not being his type. He knew he was desperate.
"You like to swim right?" Wendy showed off a sleeveless flowing dress that was also flowing with water from the hose and sprinkler attachment. It was a beach inspired, blue as the ocean with real starfish!
"You don't like it? Our dear Clawdia wore this one anniversary, you know!" Kammy lectured nostalgically.
Peach politely declined, forced to be seated on a stool. At least with the time it took to present each outfit, she had time to think. It was nothing super strategic about escaping admittingly, just happy comforting thoughts. So in other words, Mario. Kammy next presented something very vintage and regal and white with a crinoline many times her width. Peach estimated it might be her style in oh, about fifty more years when she was also a great great granny.
"...I'm telling!" Bowser Junior snickered right outside the door they were in.
Larry, crouched down at the keyhole jumped, nearly wetting himself. "Shhh!" He twisted around a few times to check for others. "It ain't what you think! I gotta stop this!"
Larry poked Junior's chest right between his badges. "That's right! If dad marries it's gonna suck for all of us. Us runts gotta, you know, cooperate in this thing."
Junior snapped his childish fingers. "Like that thing people do after their married?"
Larry went blank before his face wrinkled up. "COOPERATE not 'consummate', you dirty little!... Whatever, shorty. It's good that you're here 'cause I just thought of something… NO not that!"
The next dress was an avant-garde piece by a foreign koopa, featuring six arm holes, two trains, and a waste line suspended by suspenders, detailed by flashing jewels and the pattern of a funeral home's curtains. Peach's saving grace, the door clicked open and in came Bowser Junior smiling cheekily.
"King Dad wanted to take some early pictures with the bride." The six year old reached out his arm for Peach so adorable like she almost didn't resist.
"Actually, that's more time for us to make it perfect!" Wendy dragged her little brother out with Peach. "But get her back here soon enough, okay brat?"
Junior stuck his tongue out in return, leading Peach to the bottom of the tower. Questioning Troop watched them but refrained from impeding. On the ground they found a limousine waiting. Larry rolled down the automatic window all cool like with a chauffeur hat on and all. Toadsworth was already in the back and 'transferring him to the mines' was the excuse Larry used to procure him.
Peach became quietly ecstatic, taking back the attitude she had with Junior. While trying to not look too comfortable she got in the passenger seat with Junior crawling into the middle between them. She thanked both profusely. There were other matters to discuss if a koopaling, or two, really managed to rescue her but she brushed it aside for then. Toadsworth had a concern or two or three about Larry's help, but again she silenced it. There was a time and place, after all the land was beautiful and vibrant if one ignored Bowser dumping it up. Larry cruised away from the tower and they were turning heads where ever they rolled in the grass, as there were no streets built yet just pure lush fields. Larry increased speed as he drove by a new fortress build site. Morton handled the blue prints with his remarkable speed reading. One glance and he'd memorized all the details from the size of a bolt to the slab of concrete needed. Lemmy's lazy eye gave him double vision frequently so it made the best choice, but it also meant he spotted two copies of Larry plainly escaping with the princess for triple the heart rate increase and quadruple the urgency to stop it.
"Catch that car!" Lemmy blared.
Zealously their builders including the monty mole controlling the crane abandoned the site to give chase. A huge block of stone swung around and into the wall newly constructed with a crash. The wall adjacent disconnected and mounted on it were the Bowser family chests, heirlooms and treasures. Morton dove forward just as the wall leaned down and caught it so that it didn't crack open the centuries old keepsakes.
"Run ahead! Expediently! Godspeed!" Morton strained under the weight as Lemmy rolled across steep hills becoming larger and more arduous as they went. Larry repeating 'oh crap oh crap oh crap' kept on and Peach held the coat rack to stabilize, fearing how they'd make it all the way across the kingdom with the mob behind them and the car struggling with the incline. Peach didn't know about motors much but she feared that backfire every five seconds wasn't a good sign.
...Meanwhile Bowser had the castle's throne room decorated with tables and arrangements about 109 percent there. That meant- the Koopa king counted on his claws, only forty-three percent thingys to go before he'd be happy. They installed an ice sculpture of himself and a lava fountain across from each other. Shortly a table clothe caught fire.
"Ahhg! Why didn't I see that coming?!" Bowser exclaimed.
"On it!" Tanner hurled himself on the flames to snuff it out.
Bowser gave a thumbs up. "Great! You always were the best."
Tanner smiled back despite the pain.
"Who's gonna make me this?" Bowser waved around the scrap of paper with his measurements. Fangirl? Are you a qualified seamstress for the King of Dark- I mean Sky Land?" Bowser addressed the toad girl who rose her hand.
"Nope, but I watched a Youtube video once!" Emery held up pins and yarn.
The work kept going until it started getting darker outside unnaturally early. Bowser called all his children up and the princess to see the work so far. While waiting things got more strange, as bad weather rolled in. Eventually the wind could be heard howling through the walls. Bowser stepped outdoors to find everything shady and darkened. All wind but no precipitation. He craned his neck to see an object that wasn't clouds blocking out the sun. "The heck is with this place?!"
Right then Roy and Wendy came running up from the tower that lead to the cloud realm, sending up poofs with every frantic step. "Daddy! Daddy! That brat Junior didn't bring Peach back!" Wendy screamed.
"And that lil punk Larry took the our new car!" Roy said.
Bowser whipped their way just as a thunder like voice came out of the sky. It seemed like mumbling from a giant. Wind roaring, Bowser and everything around were swept right off of their feet. He only caught, "...CANNOT ESCAPE!"
...Back on the ground, Larry continued to flee from the horde as the weather, explicitly wind but so thick it was like a mist, aggravated until he could hardly see. Bowser Junior dropped a banana peel through the sunroof which slipped up Lemmy and caused a small pile up. They burst through a wooden boarder to some adjacent kingdom. Peach was terrified but hopeful. But mostly her eyes were closed. Toadsworth in the bench seats noticed someone's brandy in the drawer of the limo. He took a sip, then two, then three and suddenly this was a run ride! Now they were reaching forest with no accompanying path for the car. That didn't stop Larry though, he'd never win backwoods drag races if he paid attention to 'safety'. What stopped him instead was an object causing the limousine bump off of something, hydroplane and then get wedged in a tree tilted upwards. The car shook violently for a minute in the mist and then it was over as they only caught a fringe of whatever terrible storm happened. The area around them brightened up quickly. The land was as flat and barren as Dark Land. All of Bowser's minion's work was ruined, the fortress crumbled, the tower was damaged heavily, and in the skies above the castle had taken a brunt of the hit and only the foundation was left in the clouds. Bowser himself was still flailing in the sky. He curled up defensively until he landed somewhere in Giant Land's forest...
"Larry, what were you doing? This is the most jerk thing you've ever.. Jerked!… I didn't mean it like that! Ugh!" Red faced, Lemmy yanked opened the door on the drivers side. The car was still between two willow trees and all four passengers were fine, aside from their underwear. The surviving members of Bowser's forces surrounded them.
"You will be going with us to find King Dad," Lemmy told them very stern like. Wendy, Roy, and even Morton were there and not happy.
"That's right, shrimp! March!" Roy kicked Larry into the forest. Peach and Toadsworth were detained and the surviving army marched on. They found Bowser easily by first finding his random junk. He'd lost his phone which was now dead, the tie he was getting fitted with, and an extra sign saying 'this land property of Bowser', like a treasure map all leading to a clearance with a small crater marking his spot.
"WHY WERE YOU IN A CAR WITH OUR CAPTIVES DRIVING AWAY?!" Bowser bellowed the moment he came to.
Larry sat on his butt before an explanation that came natural to him slipped out. "I was trying to be a pimp?"
Bowser held his aching head. "Report!" he groaned.
"Sire we lost everything," a koopa troopa reported.
Then Bowser spotted a part of what was going to be his new tuxedo flowing freely in the wind. Something rung over and over in his mind, the weird talking or voice in the clouds. No he had to have imagined it, so back to square one. Of course… they were already in a fresh new world to pillage…
Luigi and Captain Toad were stopped outside the warp pipes in the back of the Mario bros house. The plans, after some bickering, were to go to Sky Land like Morton's note suggested until Mario texted Luigi urgently. Instead they returned to Southern Mushroom Kingdom. The younger brother gawked at the blacked out helicopter that had landed in someone's unfortunate prairie, moo moos grazing around it. A particular barn seemed like a ufo spectacle, a green glow radiating through the windows and in between the wood paneling.
Luigi approached it after a gulp. Inside, an X-naut PhD was adjusting a large green tube while four other doctors were crowded at a table. The three other doctors were a normal toad, a hammer bro, and a goomba with Mario who spun around when Luigi came in.
"Bro? Perfect. We need all of this stuff for the cure." Mario handed over a list. Luigi held it up and it unfolded many times until it touched the floor. There had to have been nearly a hundred or more ingredients on it...
To be continued.
Created: 6/26/19, 6/27, 6/29, 6/30, 7/1, 7/4, 7/5, 7/7
Edit: 7/26, 7/31, 8/4, 8/30, 8/31, 9/1, 9/13, 9/18, 9/24
Fixed and much better reflecting my current writing style. 1/6/22