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Mario and Bowser: Frenemies Forever 2

'The Enemy' (Chapter 1)

Preface: Mario and Bowser, eternal enemies, rivals, and more before a single pivotal decision splits their lives and the world in two. Can they make another one to fix it or is it all too far gone?...

Zoom! A mushroom powered racer lifts off a ramp to clear the one-thousand foot drop below. Screech! The racer in eighth overshoots a tight curve. Sparks fly from the metal rails separating them from death. The racer directly behind misses even that and Lakitu rushes to 'fish' them to safety. The first place racer uses their Koopa Troopa shells to block the perfectly aimed red shell barrage from the disgruntled second place racer.~

This was a Mario Kart race where a group of heroes, villains, and those somewhere in between routinely took it to the streets, the dirt tracks, the underwater tracks, sand paths, snow piles, and whatever Cheese Land is supposed to be to win the gold. On this day as the start of a recreation weekend, the race took place on the spacey Rainbow Road. Calming music played and comets darted through the dark sky. It would almost be easy to miss fierce rivalries at every turn..

"Finally I caught up with ya, moustache.." King Bowser Koopa growled as he trailed a few yards behind Mario in his kart. His massive clawed hands gripped the steering wheel tighter in concentration. He'd fought his way up from the pack and not even his low acceleration was going to stop him.

Gentle wind blew through Mario's hair and mustache as he cooly held the lead in the final lap. He lived for the thrill and would host these death defying events everyday if he could. (In fact he had for a moment but then all of his friends protested outside his house, so that was cut short real soon.) The next item box gifted him a single banana, immediately deployed behind his kart as he saw Bowser approaching in his rear view.

"Now you can't ignore me, plumber boy!" Bowser pulled up parallel, and so he and Mario took turns glaring at each other for a half second before bringing their attention back to the daring terrain. "Just wait until I get a Super Leaf!" Bowser veered into Mario's path, bumping the plumber almost off the edge.

Mario tried to retaliate but Bowser didn't bulge from the middle of the road. "Gained some pounds? You know that item's only in Mario Kart 7, right?"

"Like I care what blasted game this is! Gahh!"

Bowser veered over again and Mario had to tap the breaks, allowing the third place racer to come up. With unusual speed Toad zoom past Mario and Bowser. Ahead of them and right before a anti-gravity loop in the stage, the thundercloud trailing the mushroom retainer went off. Zap! In a blinding flash Toad was shrunk, letting Mario and Bowser overtake his spot.

"Good riddance. These losers were starting to get too much narration," Bowser said. "This is about OUR rivalry. Now watch this. I've done all of the calculations and this will hit you smack in that stupid round face!" Bowser tossed a shell at the wall before the loop but it bounced back and instead hit someone way behind him.

"Daddy! Whhhhy?" someone that sounded like Bowser Junior screeched.

Nervously whistling, Bowser pretended he didn't hear that. Still neck and neck with his rival, they went on the anti gravity loop around, the last one before the finish. They heard Yoshi catching up, then many other racers when catastrophe stuck! With a clap of thunder everyone was shrunken now, even the twelfth place racer. How could this happen? Well actually far up in the heavens, even farther than Rainbow Road, the Great Eldstar's pager went off, a way to relay that their known Mushroom World needed attention somehow.

"Strike? Y/N?" the flickering screen of the fate altering device conveyed. Before the ancient star could answer, the pager vibrated off his counter top to the white marble floors with such a loud clack that he also dropped the star shard he was polishing. The priceless artifact made more noise and now he'd surely woken everyone up in the Star Temple.

"Are you okay?" Twink's childlike voice echoed from across the hall. The star child had company as a few other stars, guardians of the world for the pure hearted, poured into the cramped space.

"All is fine," Klevar spoke first, ancient books for study tucked under his arms. "There was a Mario Kart scheduled today and the Great Eldstar must consider the plead for his power carefully..."

Eldstar nodded but retrieving the interstellar communication device he didn't bother to correct Klevar with the fact that he always auto replied 'yes'. It was just easier that way. What could go wrong?

The race continued just yards from the finish, but in fun size! Eleven racers, Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Peach, Toad, Bowser, Donkey Kong, Koopa, Toadette, Junior, and Birdo were in one massive group with all the same stats. Condolences to anyone who spent many coins on a high tier list max speed load out. They bumped each other relentlessly and a few racers even fell off. Mario pushed the pedal to the metal at the opening for first. Bowser saw this and slammed the gas as well. The finish line was only a few meters away and the two gunned it past all remaining racers. Both hero and villain crossed the line in miniature form.

Later and normal sized, the eleven racers eagerly gathered around in the an open garage like area Rainbow Road had to see their final score.

"Dfkd s flksdj f lksdfe wr!" Toad spoke to everyone who was getting restless. Getting lightning attacked twice, he was twitching a lot and everyone stood back.

"Keep your pants on, alright? I finally got this junk to work," Lakitu grumbled behind the dusty laptop. "Third place Yoshi. Second… Toad by some miracle." Lakitu paused for a while before reading the final result on screen, counting over and over on his little fingers.

"WHO WON ALREADY?!" several racers shouted.

Lakitu rolled his eyes, ready to quit forever. "First place in the cup with the highest score is….Mario-"

Mario jumped in the air in triumph.

"-and Bowser with a score of fifty points. The rest of you? You lose, go home!"

Mario landed on the ground wide eyed as everyone else dispersed. Baffled beyond belief he had no clue how this happened. He came up with this sport based on his brief experiences as a taxi driver and knew the game well. There could not be two winners, if so no one really won!

"Umm, excuse me?" Mario spoke up to Lakitu who ignored him.

"Get over there!" Bowser cut him off. "I don't count this as a win either. Me sharing the trophy with you? Gross. But, uh, I'll keep it safe for ya." He held fake gold trophy close to himself dearly.

"Keep it koopa since you're already breathing all over it. Let's have a rematch right after this week's sports. My tennis game with Luigi is tomorrow but after that we can duel. Deal?"

Bowser flashed his sharp teeth in an expression that could vaguely be described as a smile."You're on!.. Oh, the brats are here to pick me and Junior up," he added as a massive koopa airship was approaching above. Bowser looked around. The lobby had soda machines of several sorts and stale candy under a hood. "I'm getting a drink, want something?"

"I'm on a diet." Of course the plumber wasn't, and Bowser staring through him let him know the deflection failed.

Bowser instead guffawed. "Yeah right! Since one of us here isn't fat, spare me a few coins. A want a Morel Moxie and I left my wallet in my other shell."

Mario begrudgingly dug in his pocket to see what he had, noting how quickly everyone had left. His friends sure knew how to hustle away after a sports game. He had lint, a paper clip, and three coins. "Where is everyone?"

Bowser flashed him that 'grin' again. "Dunno. What's stopping you from joining 'em? I'm the one stuck here waiting here for my ride. You could have left anytime but I know, I'm irresistible. Ha! Why don't you tell the princess that too sometime?"

Mario face palm so that he didn't see the shadow of the anchor from Bowser's doomship on the ground and swinging right over his head. Right as Bowser was slipping the coins in a machine, the heavy steel anchor made a sudden drop. Bam! There was another wipe out, but it wasn't on the track this time. Mario was now sprawled out on the ground, knocked out cold…

Keep your friends close, enemies closer. That motto the plumber took to heart whether racing to save the world and save the princess or casually go-karting with Bowser. Either way 'the enemy' stayed under close watch visually and audibly. The two spoke nearly everyday, if only just to make sure the koopa had nothing up his sleeves! The fight against 'the enemy' never stopped and so Mario never stopped- Unless he had a mild concussion…

After a six hour stay at the Sky Land ER, Mario was discharged and told to rest and take his aspirin. Before leaving a traumatized looking nurse handed him a special discharge letter from a 'pal'.

To Mario: This is Bowser. Yeah my koopaling brats don't really have a license to drive the airship. Whoops! I guess they were rushing because Junior has a Koopa Scouts trip to go on tonight. Anyway I'll make it up to you, especially since my kids are driving me crazy these days. How? I'll be your tennis partner tomorrow! Genius right? Cause then you'll actually win and that'll mean I will win! Luigi can sit on the bleachers. I changed the forms and everything already by [the word 'threatening' is scratched out] 'explaining' the situation to Lakitu. Get ready!

PS. This isn't a ploy to get my very own medal for once or anything.. Btw, our shared trophy is still safe and under my watchful care!

To be continued...

Author note: Titled as a sequel but actually a do-over of my story from 2017. While the theme and some events are borrowed early on, I'm going in a completely different direction very soon and I overall consider this a new story which is why its a new separate entry and I'm keeping the old stories up.

TL;DR: This story is meant to replace 'Mario and Bowser: Frenemies Forever' (1) and 'Mario and Bowser's New Frenemy Adventure'.

Completed (for my reference): 5/16/19, 5/17, 5/26/19, 6/2, 6/4, 6/10

edit: 6/20/19, 6/23, 7/1


Mario and Bowser: Frenemies Forever 2

'Bros before Koopas' (Chapter 2)

Disclaimer: Mario and co. belong to Nintendo

Luigi groggily leaned up and bed and stretched while Mario snored loudly on the other side of the room buried in covers. This was typical when back-to-back weekend events were scheduled. Mario would sleep a few minutes longer and somehow, to Luigi at least, he'd gain twice as much energy for the day because of it. Luigi wished he could use that tactic but he couldn't ignore a blaring alarm like his brother could. He stared at the darkness for a moment when Mario's cellphone, a basic Yoshimobile identical to his own, rung on the nightstand. Luigi checked the caller id.

"Bowser?!" he gasped.

"Booowzer..." Mario mumbled, tangling himself in the sheets.

Luigi jumped on Mario's bed and shook him violently. "Bro wakeup wakeup it's Bowser calling! WAKE UP WAKE UP WAKE UP!"

'You have one new message.'*Beep*

Mario's eyelids slowly open as the voicemail began to play:

"Hey pipes for brains, wake up call! Bwa ha ha!" A loud 'Koopa Symphony' was in the background of Bowser's voice, being so loud as to go through thick walls. "Friendly reminder for ya: we gotta win, or else! ...Oh and tell the Princess I'll be looking my best just for her!"

Mario rolled his eyes. Luigi didn't notice over the clacking of his own teeth.

"Lastly. Umm, well. What's the recipe for that Couples Cake again?... You know, the one only friends eat together? *Mumbling noises were heard*- Kamek, no this isn't Mario- *mumbling noises* Umm, gotta go. Keep that touchscreen smokin'! That's what phones use now right? See ya, plumber breath."

*Beep* 'End of message. You have no new messages.'

Mario slowly craned Luigi's way, knowing he'd screwed up when his brother sat on the bed slumping. "Listen, I didn't know Bowser took your name off the board until yesterday."

"Just forget it. My tennis elbow's been acting up anyway."

"Don't say that. I would have told you when I got home from Sky Land-"

"About that, are you feeling aright?" Luigi asked all a sudden. He was nearly in bed by the time Mario returned yesterday and didn't perceive much other than the word 'concussion' before he was too sleepy to think about it.

"Just a small headache. Little bro, I promise this whole thing won't happen again.. Bros before koopas, right?" Mario really meant it, but he couldn't tell if his brother realized it when he left the bedroom without a response. Now what did he say wrong?


"Bowser kicked you off the roster and so now you're just gonna spectate today?" Toad repeated to be sure. The twitchy subordinate of the princess ran a concession stand in front of the tennis stadium among others. It was sunny in Toad Town with crowds already starting to gather for the tournament. Toad had a glass tip jar half full of shiny coins testifying to the fact that he was the most successful of the vendors selling useless junk.

"You heard me right," Luigi replied. "Do you have a chill? You've been jittery since yesterday."

"I'll live. Wanna try a shroom shake?" Toad held up a pitcher full of something pale blue. The other flavor was yellow.

"What flavor is that?"

"My favorite, homeboy. Purple flavor."

"But that's blue."

Toad shrugged. "Stop being picky. You're already the player two option so don't be a jerk too!"

"Okay okay! I'll try it!" Well, he didn't want to be jerk did he? So Luigi took a sip, tasting a flavor explosion of every fruit except blueberry. While his head was tilted up Mario snuck up on him and poked him in the back. In alarm Luigi sprayed juice all over himself and Toad's stand.

"Get lost!" Luigi lashed out.

Mario tried to apologize but Princess Peach, ruler of the Kingdom came along just in time to whisk him away. As far as Luigi was concerned, that was good.

Toad was looking at how his yellow cups were now green due to Luigi spitting blue juice. "Whoa. You just made a new favor! Thanks." Toad picked up a megaphone. "SHROOM SHAKES 50% OFF! TRY MY NEW 'LUIGI' FLAVOR!"

"I don't think people should drink that, but I have to go." Luigi really itched to sit down and see the game. Seeing Bowser in his spot wasn't going to be the hard part, it would be resisting the urge to root for Daisy, when ever she chose to show up. He and the Sarasaland ruler talked a lot, but kept it down low. He let the general rush of the audience get past him first and curiously someone else was doing the same.

"Hey, I haven't seen you since Mario Party- whatever number we're on! Do you still play tennis with that mean curve?" Luigi asked the boo diddly who gazed back bashfully.

"Luigi! I was just thinking about you, hehe!"

Meanwhile Yoshi arrived from the bus. The bus system was new to Toad Town in the recent decades along with cell towers and he appreciated it, living isolated from most at Yoshi's Island and otherwise having to rely on boat. Despite the inconvenience he always supported anything Mario did. He hung up on the call he was having with his fiancee Birdo, who stayed home mundanely or perhaps wisely. Toad was packing up when he approached the stand.

"Toad, how's Mario? Is he still going to play? I heard rumors that Bowser rigged the match."

Toad busily stacked up cups and other materials as Yoshi read his banner and dropped a few coins in the tip jar. He tried to support or at least be neutral with everyone but he wondered deep down if it was all just to avoid feeling irrelevant as the oldest hero still running around with Mario and crew. He was older than the famous brothers, the princess, even Bowser!

Toad lifted his head up from the overstuffed bag he was cramming things in. "I didn't see ya. Thanks you crazy dinosaur! Mario seemed okay earlier so I guess Daisy and I will have to knock him out a second time."

Yoshi's smile flattened and his tail lowered, not finding it funny.

"What? Too soon? Here, try a freebie."

Yoshi received the green drink. After a sip or two, he slurped it all up. "Hmm. I like it but why does this taste like Luigi?.."


To be literate was a marvelous thing. Accurate communication was the cornerstone of advanced civilization, even if attributing that label to Dark Land was a stretch. Ludwig Von Koopa would know as the land's prince and commander in chief. 'Reprisal in A minor', his very own masterpiece, played from the closed up auditorium room of Bowser's Castle and he stood outside listening. At least one sibling had great taste. The music stopped suddenly and Lemmy kicked open the door, smacking Ludwig in the face.

"Oops! I didn't see you there." The younger koopaling juggled five bowling pins and was his junior by almost two years. "I love blasting music, especially your stuff. You didn't tell me your hit was on the Top 40 pop station."

Ludwig held the knot on his snout. "I told the record company I only wanted the adult contemporary- Oh forget that. Since you are here I need my radio back, thank you."


Ludwig tuned in to WMUSH for local Toad Town news. The sports coverage was coming right up and while he hated sports if board games didn't count he wouldn't miss it this time.

Bowser threw another dart at Mario. The metal tipped barb dug in an inch deep, straight in Mario's nose. Crudely taped to a wall in the dark locker room with most of the bulbs out was a tattered 36x24 poster of Mario doing a 'v' sign, speckled with innumerable tiny holes.

"Aww, you own posters of me!" Mario watched Bowser assault that poster for thirty seconds, long enough to notice that Bowser's red hair gelled back and a nice smell overall.

"Yes, AND?!" Bowser retorted, jolting Mario from his stare. "These are for motivation to wipe the floor with you in real life. I've been in here for like an hour and I've warmed up. Whatta bout you?"

"I got plenty of warm up. A reporter from the Mushroom Press flagged me for an interview, I ran across a hot dog stand inside of the stadium, I spoke to Princess Peach in the umpire area and then-"

"That ain't exercise!"

Mario walked around in a circle. "Guess again. The hotdog guy was packing up and I had to chase him down."

"So much for that fake diet, eh?" Bowser smirked.

Mario smiled back. "Clever koopa. What's our game plan?"

"Hit the ball hard! Also… don't suck!"

"Sure. We'll do it your way. Just this one time." A great opportunity to get to know 'the enemy' better so that he can be crushed later, he reasoned.

It clicked in Bowser's head that they were smiling at each other for too long so it contort into a scowl. "Exactly moustache. Here's my next tip just for you: have some equipment! Where's your racket? You ain't playing with that are you?"

Mario held out his signature 'M' tennis racket, burnt black from years of his fireball power shots. He swung in the air a few times, testing his grip. "Why not?"

"Your crappy tennis racket is toast. Literally! I could put it on bread."

Mario noticed some black crumbly bits stuck to his glove and quickly hid the racket behind his back before Bowser could see. "So maybe it's well used, but everyone knows you have speed problems on the field so it evens out."

Bowser snatched him up by his collar. Mario flailed as his boots dangle above the ground several feet. Who would be daft enough to pulverize their own tennis partner minutes before the game? Bowser apparently! But then the doors of the locker room opened just wide enough to let the outdoors light bleed in and shine on Bowser. It was Toad.

"I can't see!" Bowser yelled, shielding his face and dropping the plumber with a cracking noise.

"Then we'll win even easier! Nice poster by the way!" Toad said while poking his head inside the room. The door shut and it was just the two again.

"Ugh... Fungusface," Bowser muttered under his breath, "Didn't we have this talk before about extra characters?"

"I think a bad thing just happened.." Mario got off his butt. Thankfully- or not, the crack came from his racket in his back pocket. It was in pieces. Each piece he grabbed shattered into another before it soon reassemble a pile of charcoal.

Bowser with a sigh punched a locker. The door popped open and let his own ragged duffle bag hit the ground. "This is just sad to watch so stop crying. I'm gonna be nice because it might have sort of kind of been my fault, but mostly 'cause we need to play. Here!"

He gave Mario a spare green tennis racket which otherwise resembled Bowser's purple one, down even to the red menacing Bowser emblem on it. Its balance was different but Mario tried to test it out as Bowser observed. "Different flex than I'm used to, but thanks," Mario admitted, feeling weird about what he was saying.

"Just try not to fall on your face, hear me? It's game time." Bowser stomp toward the door like he was satisfied. "Ahhg!"


"That stupid bright light again!" Bowser growled as he blindly stumble outside and bump into people in the sunlight.

Toad skipped back to his team's locker room in the same mood he was always in. How could he not be? He got to live in the castle as a manager, represent every toad ever in games, and play with Daisy who always rejected his efforts to team until now. Daisy was sitting on the benches doing something on her phone. The princess had on an orange tank-top and shorts and her hair was tied back with a hair band.

"You ready Daisy?"

Daisy continued to jab at at the touchscreen with hints of frustration. "Just remember the plan we discussed over the phone."

Toad inched closer. "Are you alright?"

Daisy drop the phone on the bench, shedding the prickly exterior. "It's political stuff from back home. There was an excavation at an old temple near my castle and since then it's just so different there lately..."

"What? They got a gold rush?" Toad guessed. He knew little of her land though.

She shook her head. "I can't even call it that. I posted about it on my wall but Mario scheduled a game on this Friday anyway!"

"Would you rather not play?"

Daisy leaned back against the nearest grungy locker. "I don't wanna miss out on whooping them, I just think the others forget that I live across the globe with other things to worry about sometimes."

He came up closer and almost put an arm around her, except he backed out at the last minute from of shyness. "I'm sure they totally care about you. I care about you!.. Mario and the others were probably just distracted or whatever. You know how much drama they get in. Yeah, basic craziness for them."

Daisy faced his way, smiling for the first time. "I guess you're right. Thanks."

"No problem-"

"-And I fight for myself anyway," she remark proudly.

Right outside of locker room as the music was starting, they got ambushed by a delivery guy with a baseball cap tilted down covering his face and a low dry tone when he spoke briefly. He dropped off a paper bag with two 12oz cans in it. He scramed so quickly the duo hardly had time to recognize what happened or tell him thank you. Daisy turned to her left to find Toad gulping his soda down immediately. It was a can of Fungus Up, an expensive beverage and her very own. Could it mean?- No it couldn't. But free was free.

"You can't step on the field with a drink," Lakitu told them, one of several gathering around as Mario and Bowser were arriving from the other side to much excitement. A modest sized crowd gathered in the all purpose outdoor stadium, intended to host small sports events in Toad Town. The right side of the stadium had lots of toads, bob-omb buddies, nokis, piantas, and other friendly species but on the left however were koopa troop soldiers, bandits, thwomps, and other enemies likely to root for Bowser.

Daisy gave the umpire an 'ok' symbol. She burped and then crushed the can, the lemon-lime aftertaste still fresh.

"YEEEAAAHHH DAISY!" she suddenly did a triple back flip and stuck the landing like a pro, exciting the crowd. Toad just ran around in circles in a hyper way but it was enough to get their side of the audience going.

"Ladies and gentlemen...and Bowser!" Lakitu and Bowser exchanged nasty looks. "In this doubles match we have Mario and Bowser verses Princess Daisy and Toad!"

Everyone was now into position. Toad and Bowser were hugging the net and Daisy and Mario farther back. To Mario the competition seemed fierce and both Toad and Daisy had developed a twitch, not unheard of from Toad considering how often he got electrocuted, but very odd for the princess. Even odder, Mario thought, was the slight foaming at the mouth.


The tennis ball hit Mario in the gut, bouncing off to the sidelines. Laughter could be heard from the crowd.

"Bed time's over, plumber boy! Wake up!" Bowser growled. His eyes had well adjusted to the light again by now and Mario could almost feel his daggers.

"For the LAST time, first serve Mario!" Lakitu repeated. Mario could have sworn it was never said a first time. Either way he got up. It was game time.

To be continued…

"Author note: Get Ready To Rumble! Next chapter at least." -taken from Mario and Bowser: Frenemies Forever Chapter 3

Dates: 5/13/19 -5/19, 5/24, 5/26/19, 6/2, 6/4, 6/8, 6/10, 6/12

Page breaks: 8/11/20

Mario and Bowser: Frenemies Forever 2

'Power shots were cheap anyway' (Chapter Three)

Disclaimer: Mario and co belong to Nintendo.

Luigi settled in the nosebleed section with his friend, where he liked it. The hike there was never fun but there was always room for personal space.

"What were you going by again?"

"Booigi the second because there's already a 'Booigi' out there. But it's super cool to see you again, hehe. I just live in Forever Forest now East of Toad Town."

"I'm going to have to visit." Even if that place is terrifying, Luigi added in his mind. A moment later his attention drifted towards the field way below for a shock. Mario had a Bowser racket! "Hey, that's not right!" he blurt out. He stood up to get zero attention so he sat back down. "Sometimes I don't know why I sit up here."

"I know why. Because I'm a loser," Boo said matter of factly.

"Me too. Thanks for the reminder."

The crowd around them cut the conversation short with roaring laughter.

Luigi squinted his eyes. "What happened?"

Boo in turn covered theirs. "I think the umpire hit Mario with a ball!"

Luigi didn't want to admit it but that served him right.

The sun beat down on everyone, thousands of eyes were watching, including radio and news reporters, and the game was on. Mario swung towards Toad who sprint to return the ball. Bowser intercepted at the net and hit hard in Daisy's direction. The ball was almost past Daisy when she did a back-flip into the its path and hit it backhand. It then flew straight between the gap of Mario and Bowser and neither could reach despite the effort.

"Love-15." Lakitu announced.

Mario was left scratching his head at that one.

"Don't know either, plumber boy. Let's just win."

Mario served again towards Toad who curved the ball around Bowser at the net. Mario sliced the ball in front of Daisy. She delivered a nasty topspin straight down the line. Bowser did a mad dash towards center and returned it too hard so it shot out of bounds.

"Out. Love-30!"

Mario hit lightly towards Daisy. She shot back towards Mario who returned it center. Toad sprung ahead and then the ball was flying back to Mario before he could prepare. In one blink it was gone.

"Game point!"

Mario couldn't believe how the points were adding up. Every move he made was now calculated against their unpredictable rivals. Thing was, he'd need to be a super computer process it all when he was a cheap Game&Watch at most. They were collectively faster, coordinated without looking, and hard hitting. He avoid aiming towards either Toad or Daisy directly and let Bowser get aggressive up front. After several volleys Bowser did an illegal power shot sending the ball like a bullet bill past Daisy. She did a last ditch back-flip and lobbed the ball in the air, far enough to make a tiny shadow on the ground.

Bowser followed the shadow. "I got it! I got it!"

The shadow moved over Mario's head. "I'll get it!"

Bowser pushed Mario aside. "You'll screw it up, stupid. Move!"

Mario shoved back. "I was already here!"

"You heard me, grrrr!"

"Adsdfdsf sdf sdfsd!"

They turned their heads to the other side of the net where Toad was making those strange noises and Daisy was doing a handstand for no reason. The ball bounced right between Mario and Bowser. Both swung and the two iron rackets clung against each other spectacularly. Mario was bounced back while Bowser's racket escaped his claws and flung into the crowds.

"Game, Daisy and Toad," Lakitu announced. He ducked as cabbages and rotten cheese originating from the Koopa Troop affiliates in the crowd soar over his head. Peach was uneventfully in the other umpire chair. She disapproved of what was happening on Lakitu's side but she was more concerned with the winning team. Daisy was now spinning on her head like a break dance move, gaining more and more uncontrollable speed. Toad stood in one place shaking violently while still speaking those nonsensical words.

Peach hopped down from her seat. "Oh my, call the medics!"

"Just in time because I quit!" Lakitu fled as medics flooded the field. Some attended to Daisy after she finally collapsed like a spin-top that's run out of steam while others attempted to stabilize Toad. Reporters and civilians were also joining the crowd even though they were certainly not authorized to.

"We need space people!" shout one magikoopa nurse checking Daisy's pulse.

"Could have used a pause after 'space'," remarked his Kong ER assistant. Just then however, they spotted whom they thought was Tatanga the Space Alien in the crowds, so they began to pack up and evacuate Toad and Daisy out of the tennis court before any baddie got any ideas.

Bowser was like a bump on a log until seeing Toad and Daisy leave on cots woke him up. He followed the last of the medical staff. "How dare those losers bail now! Hey! Yeah you!"

Mario intercepted him. "Because they totally chose to have a medical emergency right now in a game they were easily winning? Even you aren't that stupid."

Smoke threatened to pour from Bowser's nostrils. "Shut up!" But otherwise he stood back from the commotion, waiting impatiently with his arms crossed.

Luigi watched as Mario and Bowser lost the first set. Crowds stood up and blocked the view of what was happening for a moment and poking his head around them, Luigi saw medics on the field. He thought he'd imagined it but it was all too real.

Boo jumped out of their seat. "We'd better get out of here!"

Luigi joined them. "Uh huh! But how?"

Boo grabbed his hand, startling Luigi. His vision went dark for a second or two then he was right outside the mostly vacant courtyard standing on the ground. They'd phased completely though the building astonishingly.

"Thanks, buddy!... Umm, we can let go now."

Boo let go slowly, flushing. "Sorry, hehe. What do you think happened?"

"Something fishy so lets make a special stop. I never get to do anything with Mario around, but since he isn't.." He fumbled on his phone to message Mario as people began to spill out of the stadium.

"Let's?" Boo squeak. "You want to work with me?"

Luigi put the phone away. "Why not? I've always wanted a sidekick. Remember when we were the 'Scare Pair' in Mario Party 6? Instead of collecting stars let's collect.. bad guys!"

Boo rushed forward and joined their hands to his to form the official handshake of the bestest unlikeliest friendship.

Peach called security and left with Toad and Daisy, taking advantage of these strange new air medical helicopters. Mario got mixed up in the crowd before someone flagged him down, a familiar face in the sea of many confused people still zipping around the stadium.

"Mario, I have enough for the bus. Come on," said his dinosaur friend. Yoshi strolled along side him, studying his confused expression. "Oh right. Your brother texted you that he's taking your bike for an emergency but I think he mass sent it by mistake. I'm flattered that I'm in his 'favs' list I guess."

"Emergency? Well thanks for having this all planed out so soon. I hope he's alright."

"He didn't make the text sound urgent. I'm more concerned about you."

"Huh?" Mario replied dismissively. "I feel fine and I'll buy you lunch if you get over it! Are we even now?" Mario smiled.

The seemingly endless but not actually bus ride dulled the mind of one passenger in particular. Mario had two types of daydreams: those involving food, the good ones, and ones involving his heroic duties in a town and among people that counted on him the most. Those were the even better ones. He could blast down battleships, topple tanks, flatten fortress, even go toe to toe with a dragon koopa beast, but he was still the linchpin. He could never forget that. What if he found himself up against something bigger than him?

Who would his friends rely on then?

Then the packed Mushroom Bus swung around another curve.

"You always were rough transport," Mario jest to Yoshi on his right.

"Was Bowser suspicious at any point today?" Yoshi asked more bluntly than Mario expected. "When did he arrive with his Mushroom Kingdom pass? Strange sights or smells?"

Caught off guard he thought about it. "Nothing out of the ordinary except how he smelled which was.. good! The cologne was probably 'Fleur de la mère koopa'. It's popular in Dark Land when koopas are trying to attract- Er. No, I'm sure that's not a clue." In the process of explaining that, being scrutinized made him sweaty. Or maybe it was just the bus's air condition being broken..

The bus arrived at Mushroom Kingdom Hospital, a flat roofed three story building made of whitewashed stone on the Eastern side of Toad Town. There was the center and then a left and right wing. A tall mushroom flag was atop the roof which also was the spot for their airlift services. Mario and Yoshi went inside where the waiting room was already full of people. After saying 'excuse me' a lot, they approached the reception office where the head nurse named 'Nass T.' was stationed. While glued to her computer screen, her mouse darted around the mouse pad frequently, clicking every five seconds.

"Hello? Are Toad and Daisy in a room by now?"

"Room 444," she droned, never bothering to look up.

In another side of town, Luigi and Boo continued to ride the Mach bike. It had a compartment on the side for passengers that Luigi typically occupied, but now he was the driver and he finally knew what it was like to be in control, while adhering to the speed limit of course. Still, he felt like a rebel, wild and free even if in a very small way.

Boo pointed to an item shop. "I know that place. Some bullies beat me up over there this one time!"

"The 'Toddlers-R-Us'?"

Boo was hesitant for a moment. "...Yeah?"

Luigi nodded instead of judging. "Oh, me too! Toddlers can be fierce, more so than adults!"

They stopped at the Mushroom Press, a small building that provided the town's newspapers and offices for many local reporters and journalists. Luigi parked off the sidewalk and squeezed off the thick helmet to find Boo shaking beside him.

"C-can I wait outside?"

"It'll be alright," Luigi assured.

Boo faced the door for a moment, biting their tongue. "Okay. I'll do it.."

The press had an open floor plan with office cubicles being the only thing forming little rooms and hallways. On their left was the nicer ones, with gold plaques, file cabinets, and an overall professional aura. On the right had less reporters, ostensibly the 'fresh on the block' folks with a few folders to their name if that. Boo heard the clacking of the keyboards, the scribbling of the pens, and the shuffling of the papers then bolted back out the doors.

"Are they okay?" the desk clerk asked.

Luigi spun around. "Uh, I'll have to check. Before I go, was Kylie Koopa in? She's a friend of Mario-"

"Right here!" A female koopa with a pink shell and green hat stumbled out of a nearby cubicle, sending paper everywhere. Others around her eyed her exasperatedly. "You gotta 'scoop' for me?!"

Luigi quickly explained what happened during the game because he didn't trust his brother to not screw something up. He was about to excuse himself when she reached out and grabbed him.

"Don't bail yet, brother! I can't believe such a promising game went south. Susie Que over there interviewed Mario before the game. Let's see, are they back yet? Yoohoo!" A green capped toad in a suit, 'Mitch Toad' according to his fancy name plate, had a cubical across from hers. He pulled his chair out into the hallway and observed, his thick black eyebrows down turned.

"Why don't you just relocate to the amateur side already, babe?" the toad asked in a mocking yet unexpectedly deep tone.

Kylie chucked a huge pink eraser at him which created a shouting match. Caught in the middle Luigi blew a whistle. Everyone stopped abruptly.

Outside, Boo paced around and around on the sidewalk slapping themselves repeatedly in the forehead. "Uggghhh. Boo, you're so stupid! Can you be brave for once? Okay. 1..2..3.."

Boo was startled by a dark boo with blonde stringy and obvious wig floating up all of a sudden. Boo knew them vaguely, a boo cousin!

"Laugh or else, buddy," the dark boo spoke gruffly but jokingly.

"This guy giving you trouble?" Luigi said as soon as the door swung open.

"The Luigi? Neat. Wait. Oh crap!..." the dark boo brushed past the plumber to head inside. Luigi shut the door quick suppressing a shiver.

"I'm sorry, Luigi! I freaked out," Boo explained, emotions flooding forth. "I just- I just heard-"

Luigi grabbed his helmet again. "Don't worry about it. I don't know how some people function! Eek!"


Mario knocked on room 444 before stepping in.

"Visiting hours are-" The doctor leaned up from stooping over where Toad and Daisy lay in the wheeled beds. "Ah hem. I am Doctor Professor Koopa. Why don't you wait outside?" he asked very politely. His tone was wispy.

Yoshi stood in the doorway. "Who again, if you don't mind?"

"You haven't heard of me? I've served your princess for many years in the castle! Ask her!"

"You? A koopa doctor?" Mario almost laughed at the absurdity.

"Don't be speciest," Yoshi said under his breath, gently nudging Mario back.

Mario obliged and walked back out with Yoshi. "I didn't mean it like that. Why aren't they checking vitals? All I had was a bruise yesterday after the race and I was hooked up to a million computers."

The dinosaur shrugged. "Let's just let them do their job for a moment."

With a smile Mario adjusted his cap. "Perfect idea."

Yoshi eyed him skeptically. "You actually agree?"

"Of course, it's not like I'm Dr. Mario.." From where they stood Mario could see the crowded lobby full of Toad Town citizens. What was Bowser doing right now? Before thinking about it too hard, he saw Luigi walking inside.

Mario waved him over. "What took so long? Why did you have to take the bike?"

"I walked outside and saw that it had a flat tire and went to fix it. Also this is Boo. They were at seated next to me during the game." Luigi subtly tapped his friend, prompting them to speak.

"Hi guys, hehe.." Boo waved awkwardly.

"So where are they?" Luigi continued. "Is it bad?"

Mario lead the way retracing their steps but this time they got stopped by a nurse long before reaching the right room.

"No one past this point!" The shy guy nurse in blue robe held his stubby arms out.

Mario sized him up but remain cordial. "That must be a mistake. We were just back here."

The nurse shook his head smugly. "Sorry. Princess's orders! She's at the outside tables right now with a guest. Oops! I mean she's in a secure location. Don't go there, or else!"

"Or- or else?" Boo repeated, jittering all over.

While Boo sit it out, Mario, Luigi, and Yoshi rushed to the emptied out eating area around the back of the hospital to get a surprise. In the center Princess Peach was at a table having a quiet chat with someone else very dear to Mario's heart, just in another way he supposed.

"Mario!" Peach greeted, trying to not blush. "We were just discussing old times with someone we both happened to know. The person was at my castle when I was a little girl and then he moved out."

Luigi rushed to the middle of the table. "That's nice and all but Princess, but Bowser is within thirty feet of the you! Get him!"

"Hold it, hold it," said Bowser seated across from Peach, legs crossed. He had no pastry like her, instead a bi-folded Dark Land newspaper, easily distinguishable by the yellow tinged crusty look. "I'm just sticking it out to see if those idiots will be well enough for a rematch. She mentioned that professor guy and I remembered that he was a mad scientist at my castle before I fired 'em. We couldn't talk about it in the open. You mushroom freaks would lose it. Does that make you feel better?" Bowser bared his fangs in that smile but not a smile expression. Luigi felt silly for the overreaction but collectively they were all a bit flustered.

Peach scoot off the bench with a pout. "The staff here are always twisting my directions."

"Please twist my direction! Ha!"

Yoshi tossed an egg at Bowser on behalf of everyone. "Are we supposed to believe that you're going to wait around outside?"

Bowser growled and the heat from his face made the egg fry right away. "OF COURSE I AM! What else am I gonna do?"

Luigi began to recount a list. "Terrorize everyone around you, steal stuff, send your army here, try something with the princess, eat all of the food..." He dropped his hands. "I'm just saying, It's all been downhill since that power shot of yours during the game."

"Gah! Why bring that up? Power shots were cheap anyway. I wouldn't of needed it to win."

Peach shushed Bowser and strangely he listened. "This is getting off topic. We can check out this issue with the management, but in the meantime we cannot exactly leave you out here alone," she said, slowly gravitating Mario's way and into his arms. He held her stiffly as his eyes narrowed and his moustache twitched.

"Bowser. Why don't you stick with us then?"

Eyebrows all around raised at that but the hero's mind was made up. The closer to 'the enemy' the better.

Boo hid in the bathroom following that panic attack and stayed for several minutes. "Stupid stupid stupid.." they started again. Squeaks of shoes travel past the door and then stopped.

"Yes sixty at this point. Why?.."

Someone else mumbled something.

"Well, I just got the call and so we will do things different today- Hold on we have a code blue on floor three. You answer my calls only while I'm gone and if it is who I told you about just now, put on hold and tell Nass."

"Yes sir. I won't leave here. Even for lunch..."

A minute later. "Lunch break! Guess I'm leaving," the same voice as the last said.

The bathroom door slowly crept open. No one was in the halls, including the nurse. Boo wondered if they should sneak around and not feel useless, but the thought of the consequences shattered that fantasy. Then a phone vibrated on the medical cart. Boo stared at it for five seconds before something deep inside pushed them to pick it up.


"This is Giant Land Hospital, bro. I just called my bank and the funds will totally be on your way tomorrow. You're gonna do what we agreed now, right?" Beeps and blips of a computer game was in the background along with some clacking of a typewriter.

"But that doesn't.. sound right," Boo thought out loud.

"… Transfer me to your bosses please," the person on the line hissed. "If you try something funny, believe me pal, I can find you and make your brain leak out of your skull into a puddle on the ground!"

With a loud shriek Boo dropped the phone and didn't remember much else after.

To be continued…

Author note: This is the last chapter that resembles the old story. I go in some new directions from here.

Completed: 5/13- 5/18, 5/26/19, 5/31/19, edit 6/2, 6/3, 6/4, 6/6, 6/10

Edit: 8/28/19

Fixes: 8/11/20


Mario and Bowser Frenemies Forever 2

'In which there is a mystery' (Chapter Four)

Disclaimer: Mario and co belong to Nintendo.

Kylie Koopa circled in red ink a particular spot on her huge roll out map of Toad Town where the tennis stadium was. It was about three cubicles long and the entire hallway wide.

"Don't mind me Steve," she mentioned, letting the tie wearing bullet bill by. Steve the Bullet Bill ran the press and kept it speedy with a respectable 150 wpm, but only on a specific typewriter. He hid in his office before Kylie could remember to ask him something. She decided to just visit the stadium and find clues on her own. How would she get past security? She she had one idea..

"Hey, wanna go back to the stadium with me? I'll let you snap the pictures!"

Susie gave a start, spinning away from the issued office computer and phone. "You want to what? I can't!"

No matter, Kylie thought, she could always get her scoop even working alone. However, something stopped her at the door, a mental prick. She rolled her eyes hard, the only person that could do that to her was not surprisingly also a 'prick'.

"Whaddya want, Mitch?" She forcibly swiveled Mitch's chair around to face her.

"I need to speak to you, babe. That new guy down there-"

"Susie? Pffft. It takes real levels of douche to talk trash about someone who hasn't even worked here for a day. Worry about yourself, greeney."

"I don't think you understand," he whispered. "Be careful at the stadium. That's.. all."

Kylie left. Meanwhile Mitch kept watch over Susie's space until the lunch bell rang. Everyone working made their way out in one big hungry group but when the dust settled, Susie was missing!


Many miles away most were blissfully unaware of Toad Town and more concerned about making sure their sunscreen was up to par against the intense rays of the tropical sun. Outside of Sirena Beach's Hotel Delfino, tourists were spread everywhere outdoors under umbrellas or on beach rugs to have a great time. No one paid attention to the dark blue shelled noki passing them by on the trail to the hotel. The most average tourist imaginable, he dark sunglasses and a red loose fitting Hawaiian shirt. He greeted the desk clerk inside with a crisp and pressed uniform.

The pianta quickly glanced over and stamp his documents. "Cool, no one ever has this crap filled out legibly. That's why I gots these, brah!" He pointed out the thick glasses on his nose. "Yours are neat too. Anyway, you're approved Mr. Jelectro. Take this card key."

"Merci." Jelectro went up the many stairs to his standard single bed room all the way at the top. It had all of the usual furnishings and a great view of the beach outside the window. Only something was off… The noki corrected the slightly crooked watercolor painting showing off Noki Bay. Very alluring, if only he'd ever visited before. They didn't have that sort of thing where he came from! He opened his suitcase up on the bed. He had flowery shirts of all colors, a wet suit, a wallet with a badge, and a silenced handgun.

He phone vibrated and he anwsered. "Agent 0064, status?"

"I am here safely. You?"

"Not good," Agent N, the voice on the other line said.

"Okay? What has happened so soon?" Jelectro replied with a more casual but alarmed change of tone.

"I got a niece sick back in the Mushroom Kingdom along with a string of others. HQ is still getting details. I don't mean to ruin your vacation though. You did just assist with a counter-terrorist operation a week ago so you deserve peace."

The line disconnected before enemy spies could trace the call. The noki thought it over while watching the beach and those on it from his vantage point with keen interest. He concluded that a week was plenty of time to rest as long as five hundred steps to the top floor weren't involved, that and he really wished the grounds keepers would stop picturing some of the beach goers without clothes.

"Brah with the sunglasses, leaving already?" the desk pianta asked the panting tourist returning with their luggage ready to go.


Five people reentered the hospital from the back which lead to the kitchen. At around lunch time now, the cooks were busily preparing meals for staff, patients, and guests.

"I can't believe I'm saying this, but don't mind Bowser," Peach told the head chef, a toad with a brown twirly moustache and a tall white hat. He nodded but by now others who saw Bowser stomp inside started chain reaction of screaming, pots clanging, white flour clouding the air, and eggs cracking to the floor.

The chef clap two pans together for a louder clang. "Ze princess has spoken! Come, come!" He motioned the rest inside.

Mario, Luigi and Yoshi followed on the Koopa King's heels but Peach blocked the way out, staring pensively through the little round window and into the seating area that was steadily filling up. "Bad timing," she remarked. "There is no way we're getting Bowser through there without a mass hysteria."

Bowser gave out a haughty laugh. "That's your dumb toad subject's faults. Mine down home wouldn't bat an eye at something scary, strange, suspicious-"

"Gee that explains a lot," Yoshi cut in.

Mario stepped forward. "I'll stay here and watch Bowser then."

Luigi unfavorably glanced Bowser's and Mario's way. "I need to find Boo. Mario? I gotta admit, I was late meeting you here because I hired a reporter to get more information." He hoped to vex his brother a little and it worked, Mario's eyebrows not moving but the corners of his mouth shifting downwards to reveal his feelings.

"We'll deal with that later," Mario replied stiffly.

"I'll go with you to find Boo," Yoshi said, also to dissipate the tension. Thankfully Bowser was situation blind as always.

"Ya'll suck at planning but I'll hang out here for now!" Bowser announced, his butt seated on a table meant for food preparation and about to break it at that.

Peach went through the entire building on a linear path to visit Nass up front, passing by and through many sterile and brightly lit halls and feeling off. It was maybe even a little creepy. "Where is the Doctor Professor?" she asked.

Nass folded up freshly printed data sheets to add to many others meticulously organized in trays. "Wait at his office."

Peach power walked to his office. 'Dr. Prof. Koopa' was printed in white bold letters on the door of the room in which there was a mystery, but not the professor because the lights were out. "How wonderful.." She groaned, resisting the urge to childishly huff and puff.

"Don't they know I gotta bad leg? I don't care about the weight limit, I'm taking this," mumbled a whomp at the end of the hall, suited in a wrinkled white doctor's coat and trudging to the elevator.

Peach found herself going that direction, ignoring the voice in the back of her mind to just be a docile princess for once. The things you do for friends, she repeated, sprinting up steps to the third floor where she thought the doctor might be heading and where she knew were more offices. She got there and cautiously strolling down the seemingly deserted area, one room labeled 'Board room #6' stuck out because the lights were actually on. Then out from the door spilled an elderly toad woman, the whomp from before, a blue shy guy, a first responder, several junior assistants, and last Doctor Professor Koopa, slipping something into his pocket. She froze in place when everyone faced her equally surprised except for her old childhood doctor who wore a weak smile. With zero subtlety everyone but Doctor Professor distanced themselves or pretended to be busy doing other things, even whistling when they clearly didn't know how.

"Princess! What a fine young lady you are now. What do you need?"

Peach cocked an eyebrow subconsciously. "I didn't mean to.. interrupt anything but honestly I have so many questions!"

"You're worried about your friends I know. While the specialty tests cannot be rushed, don't you worry. Everyone will be fine 'Sweet Pea'." He gently put a hand on her shoulder.

Peach was almost mollified by that warm grandfatherly tone, but there was still that slightest chill to his touch. "Could we please at least see Toad and Daisy?"

Doctor Professor scanned a handheld pda. "In fifteen minutes. Is that alright? Good girl."

Peach walked away satisfied she'd gotten the upper hand. Maybe. While sanctioned under her name she regrettably had little clue of the inner workings of such a large place. Peach took the stairs again while the elevator door open and a nurse rushed out arms flailing. The toad girl resembling a shorter version of Nass T. tackled the koopa doctor and both collapsed.

"Sorry sorry," she pulled him up roughly. "I'm Emery T., roof top emergency services dudette. Did I miss the big vote?"

Doctor Professor slap away the girl's hands. "Your ballot wouldn't have counted anyway so get your butt to the cafeteria and away from here!"

A pipe above rattled, the main water line leading below. That was because someone was flushing over and over to make noise and deter a certain dinosaur from sticking around.

Back on ground level, Yoshi tapped on the stall door anyway. "Boo, I know you are in there. Luigi and I searched all over. He's getting worried." Yoshi heard Boo sniffing a lot. He leaned up against the door. "What's wrong?" he asked with a gentler tone.

"...Y-you wouldn't understand.. They never do."

"Boo. How old are you?.. Twenty-five you say? I was even younger than you when Yoshi's Island had its first disaster. Do you know some old friends of mine didn't make it through that horrific journey to stop Kamek?"


"I know. But I'd be messed up if I internalized everything I've ever been through. You don't need to do that to yourself either."

The stall door unlocked and crept open with one beady eye looking out. "But I feel like everyday something bad happens to me. Or I see things I can't deal with. I want to change it. I want to change myself- but I can't!"

Yoshi was about to speak when someone entered the restroom with a joyous shout. "Buddy! How'd I missed you here?" Before Boo could do much else, they were swallowed up by Luigi's hug. "Are you alright?" he asked, still squeezing.

"Yeah," Boo answered in an obviously phony way. Yoshi noticed and decided to not press it for now.

"Do you want to deliver ze koopasta?" the chef asked, poking Bowser with a rolling pin. The Koopa King had now waited about ten minutes in the kitchen forcing everyone to work around him. Now it was time to put out the food into the eating area and serve.

"DO I LOOK LIKE I WANT TO WORK HERE?" Bowser bellowed.

"Well, we might learn something out there. I'm sure there's a hair net your size." Mario picked up the large salad bin. "Besides, workers of the kitchen get their meals free!" he mentioned as he left.

Bowser's eyes opened wide. "Actually I mean- Get me a hair net now!" he growled to the chef.


A teenage koopaling with a blue mohawk yank off his headphones, springing up from the couch in the den of Bowser's Castle. "Hey, quit them downloads! You're making the internet connection too dang slow!" he yelled at the ocean princess koopaling on the floor stomach down playing the Playstation 4 a few feet away from the wide screen tv.

"Hold on Larry, gosh!" Wendy replied. "I'm trying to get my account set up."

"Can't you use Iggy's like you always do?"

"Now way. I have to download my personal games right now on my own account- Plus, I have privileges to use the tv and you don't!"

Larry groaned and moaned, and made whatever prepubescent and unimpressive growling noises he could to show his disdain. "Sooooo lame!" Wendy's phone and videogame privileges were rarely revoked unlike with her brethren so Larry was stuck with Kamek's dusty laptop where the plastic would start to melt if he played solitaire too long and the hinges were loose so it was constantly snapping down on his fingers.

His phone made a noise, then Wendy's. "Attention! All koopalings meet in 'the room', now!" the text said, sent to all of the koopalings at once.

"Nope!" Larry shut it off.

"Now you sound smart, sugar!" Wendy's bejeweled phone sat aside, she proceeded to download 'Princess Parlor 7'.

"Wonderful for some of us to be here," Ludwig said as he sat on top an upside down mop bucket. The single light bulb above among cobwebs flickered as it always did. 'The room' was a broom closet the Koopalings used for secret meetings. The secret room used to be in a better more convenient place that didn't have a bad smell, like the kitchen, but that wasn't very secret of course. Cramped up with him in tight space were Roy, Lemmy, and Morton.

"I got koopaball practice today. Make it quick."

"I am not to be rushed!"

Roy shot up and gave his eldest brother a noogie, completely ruining his styled hair.

"Stop it stop it!" Ludwig pushed him away.

"But I need the time. I'm starting a book club, you know? I've been talking online and these people are really going to fund my Kickstarter for the eight hundredth edition of the 'Bestest, Most Superior, Most Exquisite Thesaurus Ever' with me as the writer, author, and wordsmith!" Morton explained in one breath.

"What are we even doing again?" Lemmy asked, twirling a broom handle between his fingers.

"We are here because of the plan!"

Morton snapped his fingers like he caught on. "...I…I… Oh no, I lost it. Can I have a hint?"

Ludwig sighed heavily. "Take a guess. Wait, do not. You might spread some of your stupid. Vater does not know at this moment what our plans are because that is how surprises work," he explained like teaching a kindergarten class.

Lemmy raised one hand while in the other was a cellphone with different colored buttons and a pink plastic shell. "So this means I can't text King Dad to tell him I broke another speed gymnastics record?"

"Lemmy, your phone is merely an effigy. You just turned twenty-two last month. I thought Vater was going to get you a real cellular phone?"

Lemmy revealed a real one that had a huge touch screen and was super expensive. The plastic wrap was still on it. "He did give me this one but it's boring. So can I text Dad or not? I'm still not getting the rules."

Ludwig felt his face get hot but he wasn't going to hurt anyone. Yet. "Call Vater then but be discreet!"

"Okay!" Lemmy happily pressed the speed dial for Bowser but only after he peeled that protective plastic off, savoring the moment. Maybe that was how they got people to buy new phones every year. It was just that satisfying to peel that new plastic!


Mario scooped up and served salad to various people in the open while Bowser was cooped up in a window out of direct view serving scoops of green peas to everyone who passed him with a tray. The Koopa King kept an eye on that pesky plumber a short distance away. His goofy movements were amusing to see along with that dumb smile he flashed at every visitor. Bowser had to admit it was slightly infectious but why he didn't know..

Bowser gave the next person, a toad girl, two giant helpings of peas. "I'm feeling generous. Get your vitamins in. Ha!"

Emery T. glanced up from her tray. "But hate peas uh, Bowser… BOWSER?!"

Bowser quickly scoot back farther in that window to hide his face. "Uh oh."

"No no no." Emery leaned in, even though it was holding up the line. "I'm like your biggest fan!"

"You? A fan?"

Emery raised her hidden gold Bowser brooch necklace that was tucked into her shirt. "See? Only you can save this hospital."

Someone tapped her shoulder. "Excuse me ma'am-"

"Go around me then!" she barked at the nurse behind her. "-But anyway something strange is going on. A bunch of people, including Toad and Daisy haven't gotten treatment since they got here! We've never done that plus I missed an important meeting so I don't know who to complain to! I know you're the best Bowser, can you help?"

"Slow down," Bowser said as he got a call on his busted up flip phone. He saw it was from home so he shoved the oversized serving spoon to the server besides him.

"I cannot sssserve your peassss and my fried mushroomsss at the sssame time," the fire snake complained. "I have no handsssssss!"

"Shut up. Hey, this is Bowser… Lemmy?"

"Hi King Dad," Lemmy greeted, bouncing down the castle's hallway with Ludwig following and trying to listen in.

"Keep it down!" Ludwig repeated. "And do not reveal-"

"I'm just calling because you didn't finish your tennis game and we were gonna inva- ack! Mmm mm mm!..."

Ludwig kept his arm around Lemmy's face. "Give me the phone. Hello, Vater?... Enjoying the city? I heard about the game canceling... Tough, correct?... Take your time. Kammy went shopping to purchase you some items you enjoy like-" He held the phone away to whisper in Lemmy's ear. "What does Vater like, aside from princesses?"

Lemmy, still being strangled shrugged at first but then remembered something. He motioned with two fingers someone running then jumping high over another object represented by this fist. Ludwig stared at that blankly, clearly not getting the picture.

"-Anyway whatever she will procure you'll enjoy once you get here at a time later than now," Ludwig continued.

Bowser stayed silent before exploding, "You talk too much! I ain't leaving anyway until either someone kicks me out or I find out what's wrong with my tennis rivals!" Bowser had by now walked outside around back with the tables again for privacy. "Now don't bother me again!"

Ludwig dropped his brother and tapped his foot. "You are prohibited from external communication until further notice. Understood?"

Lemmy bounced right back up without a scratch. "Yeah whatever. And why did you miss my clue? That other thing King Dad likes?"

"And what would that be?"

Lemmy spun his ball on one finger and rolled his eyes like it was a dumb question. "It's Mario, duh. The only other thing he's always thinking about..."

Bowser returned to his spot. He couldn't find weird toad fangirl and the crowd thinned out. Mildly irritated he ripped off the hair net and found a little note near his station with a number scribbled on it.

"Zat ist it for now!" the chef declared, hanging up his hat. "Good job."

"Yeah, especially since we didn't have many patient meals to prepare," said a hammer bro washing dishes.

"Let's meet around the side this time," Mario said to Bowser, surprising him. "Peach texted with some news."

Bowser tried to play it cool and obeyed. They walked outside and around to the side of the hospital where the Starman lane ran past it and everything was normal enough. Peach stood inconspicuously under a tree with her parasol up and as the hero and villain joined her Yoshi, Luigi, and Boo strolled up as well.

"Thanks for meeting me here, everyone. I spoke to the doctor and he had a perfectly reasonable explanation," Peach explained with an edge in her tone that hinted she really believed other wise.

"I'd love to hear it Peach," Mario said.

"They are running 'special' tests. We can walk in and visit right now… though," she paused with one hand on her chin. "Bowser is still an issue."

To their surprise Bowser didn't fuss. "Then I'll just stay outside 'Hotness'. Moustache, text me when you're in the room and I'll meet there and listen from the window outside. I'm good at stalking people from windows ya see."

"Ah hem. I do hope you practice that skill only at home," Peach said wryly. "Anyway we should get going. I don't like anything about this place."

Like a squadron Mario sent the five including Boo back through the front lobby and down that hall all over again. The blue shy guy sipping on a canned soft drink said nothing as they walked pass. Boo took one lingering glance backwards but kept on moving as they rushed forward to that room 444. Finally they made it and Mario stopped before the door.

"Alright. Finally some answers, right? Let's-a go!"

To be Continued….

Author note: Well, things are becoming interesting aren't they?

Created: 5/18/19 – 5/21, 5/26, 5/31 edit 6/2, 6/3, 6/5, 6/7, 6/10, 7/1, 7/9

Page breaks 8/11/20


Mario and Bowser: Frenemies Forever 2

Ludwig's Schemes (Chapter 5)

Disclaimer: Mario and co. belong to Nintendo.

Author note: A few touch ups

Kylie Koopa got off the bus near the tennis stadium. There were yellow banners blocking the entrances but no police around, at least not anymore. She walked around cautiously, camera and grappling hook in hand. Maybe she'd try around back and away from the busy street just in case. The local police station was probably getting sick of her.


Her spine was hit with the sensation of a frigid winter breeze growing in intensity. By the time she reached the coliseum like outer walls, her fingers were too stiff to untie her ropes. Giving up she dropped them to the ground and hugged her arms up, making a decision to take the direct route after all. The tunnel in was dark but she saw the light on the other side. She ran forward to something in the middle of the tennis court. Trash and other items were discarded all around, including an orange flowery hair band.

Kylie picked it up and studied it before seeing a shadow move in the corner of her eye. She whipped back around her found nothing. She then checked the locker rooms. The first was dark inside was faintly musty but also empty aside from something charred up in the center. She reasoned that was the one Bowser used given the Koopa King's known tendencies so she checked the other locker room to find it locked. Light was creeping out from its bottom but that was as far as she could theorize. With other clues picked over she was going call it there, especially since she was now sweating, burning up with a heat inside and out and she wondered what was with the temperature changes. She thought she heard a bell chime and familiar voices some distance away and distorted while she hurriedly stumbled upon discarded Fungus Up soda cans. Feeling to muggy to think, she snapped a picture and retreated back to the exit before she passed out. The last thing she wanted was to do that in the middle of somewhere she shouldn't be.


Bowser had his back against the wall of the hospital under some shade. He kept his voice very low unnaturally while he dialed the number left on a note. "This is Bowser. Fangirl chick, right? I found your little love letter."

Stationed on the hospital's roof, Emery covered her mouth as she squealed. "It's really you again!"

"Listen, you might can help me but.. hmm I just can't see a toad as so loyal.."

"What?! I totally am!" She glanced over her shoulder for security cameras. "I've, like, been a fan since forever. Before my mom took permanent night shifts she would tell me scary stories about you but I was never scared. I even made my own stories. I'm totally a social outcast because of it… Oh and because I don't mind seeing blood and guts and stuff.. but I'm sure it's mostly the Bowser thing why people don't like me. So what do you need me to- uh hello?"

Bowser continued laughing hard. "Just help me get to the bottom of what's going on quicker. You had something about ya, I could tell you were different than most dumb toads. I think you could help after all. Ha!"

Emery checked her back again. "I totally can! I think I still have the number of an old classmate who's with a team that does some things- Uh oh gotta go!" She hid her things away and got into proper position as she spotted a helicopter approaching for landing.

Bowser hung up on his end, eyes still watery from his guffaws when he found a text from 'Plumber Breath' waiting for him… He wondered what Mario had him labeled as in his contacts. Oh whatever. Via the text he learned where room 444 was and found it, putting his ear against the window with blinds blocking a view in. There was talking inside..

"This is it? And what are you doing in here?" This was Mario, he knows.

"Just checking records," replies someone unfamiliar with a low gravely voice, likely literally. Likely a whomp or other rock baddie species.

"Well it's good you're here isn't it? What's wrong, nurse?" Luigi's unmistakable voice asks.

"Prognosis unknown. I will be leaving." The doctor shuffles away with heavy footsteps.

"Oh man! Bro, get a look at this. They are green! Aww..." The bed squeaks as if someone is leaning on the edge. Luigi probably.

"Is t-that bad?" a new soft spoken person asks. It seemed to Bowser like that boo diddly 'loser' tag-along.

"I'd say so since they certainly weren't during the game. I- I mean I would know from the umpire position!" That is Peach for sure nearest to the window. If only he had a visual from the rear, Bowser thought with a dark chuckle. He tapped lightly on the window to capture their attention, not really sure why he'd hesitated that long. Bowser didn't know what he thought he'd glean from eavesdropping the Mario brats. Even if he heard something bad said against him it's not like he'd care, he reassured himself.

Shortly the window and the blinds slid up just few inches for him, courtesy of Mario. Bowser could now see Toad and Daisy on beds with an iv system hooked to them along with beeping computers. Their skin had a pale green hue. Luigi was clutching on the ends of Daisy's bed with Boo right behind him. Yoshi was silently watching something on their monitors and Peach's reaction was hidden by facing the other way.

"I'm doing something about this right now. 'Prognosis unknown' my royal pedicured feet! They've had ample time to do something!" she said, facing Mario. The plumber seemed wound up to reply when Bowser cut him off.

"I like that new attitude 'Hotness'!" Bowser was still eyeing Peach's backside when suddenly the window shut and nearly took off his claws with it.

Inside the room, Mario sheepishly spun back around after ridding everyone of that nuisance. "Sorry. Are all for shutting this place down? Uh, perfect!"

"W-wait...I heard something on the phone."

Everyone turned to Boo. "You mean on the internet?" Luigi asked.

After gulping Boo shook their head. "Not a smart phone, the hospital's phone. While I was hiding some doctors were talking. They said about sixty are sick right now in this building and then one of their phones on the wall just rung and no one was around and and- Oh don't let anyone know I answered! Some other hospital is paying this one to do something really weird and usual!" Shivering, Boo backed themselves in a corner.

"As if we didn't have enough reasons to take control," Peach held the handle to the door. "As the princess this place will listen to me from now on-" She swung it open.

"Visiting time over!" Announced the blue shy cheekily, Azul as his name badge stated, standing in the door way.

Peach and everyone else brushed past the nurse, ignoring him completely.

Azul panicked and followed, trying to keep up and wave them down. "Guys! I mean it! Doctor Professor Koopa is the new leader as of thirty minutes ago! Princess, you don't control anything any more!"

Peach froze and everyone ran into her from behind. "What did you say?!"


In Dark Land Tuesdays were unfavorable and inconvenient for even the locals as storms wiped out visibility even in the nicer areas like Neo Bowser City. Bowser Castle wasn't there however, it was just in World 8 and it wasn't Tuesday but instead a certain magikoopa's shopping day, a day that could be any day of the week she managed to sneak the keys away from Kamek. An enormous dust cloud shot into the sky after an aircraft crash landed behind the castle with a rumble felt for miles. Most of the koopalings were in the castle's spacious den when it happened goofing off. Larry yanked off his headphones again and his light blue eyes scanned the room for the most likely culprit.

"Sis! That's too much bass from the stereo. I felt like the whole freaking ground was like, shaking, which would usually be cool but not with your trashy-"

Wendy flung an extra controller at him without taking her attention off the dating sim she played on the television. "Not me! It was probably Morton's horrible ring tone from DJ Drybone5 or somebody."

"I believe you are false, wrong, inaccurate as I changed it to this!" Morton played the new tune that had an even more grating beat.

Lemmy sat in the corner building an impressive doll sized house of multicolored building blocks. He stopped and sniffed the air. "Anyone smell smoke?"

Iggy's head snap up from the green transparent gameboy it was buried in. "My radioactive microwave downstairs!... Wait no that blew up last week... Oh that reminds me, there's still a ton of extra sodas stacked up in the basement so I got bored and you should see the stack formations I've made with them like a convex icosahedron!"

"Shut up before I punch you," Roy mumbled from the couch, leaning all the way back lazily with his arms folded.

"Attention! Mandatory meeting in the back yard!" Ludwig group texted everyone, resulting in a half dozen phones going off at once. There was some of everything, techno songs, rap songs, trap songs, and a simple bell because one of them were basic..

Larry silenced his first. "Crap, I think we all gotta do what it says or Luddy will get us triple grounded." The other Koopalings dismissed Larry and went back to what they were doing except his sister.

Wendy paused the game and rolled her eyes. "Luddy IS a tattle tell. Listen to little runt just this once."

"Thanks sis!… Hey!" Larry retorted as everyone dragged their feet out the room and left him behind. "And wait for meeeeee!"

Koopa Airships were nearly indestructible but the Earth not so much. In the barren backyard typically used for mass enemy formation training, the family's one really good airship was half way sunk into the ground creating a crater. Tall red dirt mounds were littered everywhere and cracks were forming in the dry desert like soil. Despite all of that, Kammy Koopa walked away from it like nothing had happened, arms full of shopping bags.

"Dearies, I got something for yoooooou!" Kammy sang, heading towards the koopalings.

Everyone couldn't help but to cheer. Their father and Kamek rarely got them gifts but Kammy on the other hand? Of course they were frequently odd gifts but something nonetheless. Meanwhile a particularly Ludwig sized dirt mound started to jiggle. It had been there all along unoticed. Some bloodshot eyes appeared from it, next a red hot face emerged, then the rest of the body, fists balled and shaking.

"What in Eldstar's name is wrong with you crazy woman?!" Ludwig screamed, making everyone silent.

Kammy's little head poke around the stacks of shopping bags. "You know how I have lil problem reaching the break pedal, ee hee hee! Take this and chill out, boy!" She tossed a yellow Banana Bird Republic bag full of hair spray his way.

"I'm totes jealous," Wendy muttered, giving Ludwig the stink eye.

"But you're bald... Ouch you little-" Larry was jabbed by his sister.

"Focus! Everyone focus!" Ludwig snap his fingers. "Time?"

Lemmy checked his artsy 'wrist watch'. "There's been exactly zero minutes and no seconds since we've been standing here."

"Lemmy, your watch is drawn on your wrist with crayon. Hey, I should invent a watch that can freeze time like yours!" Iggy said, rubbing his hands together as he got unfortunate ideas.

Ludwig put snobbishness aside and resorted to checking his phone for the time then craned his neck back, facing the sky as he bellowed, "Curses! We are massively delayed. Blast it!" He dashed inside the airship so fast Kammy spun in place and flung the rest of the bags. Makeup, a new broom, granny clothes, old people knickknacks, as seen on tv products, and flat walking shoes flew everywhere. Ludwig ran right back out, using the black blazer he wore to cover his mouth from dust. "Good *cough* news."

"I can go back to bed, snooze, slumber?" Morton asked.

Ludwig called someone shockingly to the family since the commander had no friends, girlfriend, or social life. "Hello, underling?... It's Prince Ludwig to you, not 'bro'!...I accept that apology now listen, Bowser is in the city so keep it that way while we handle this set back... Yes you can. I know of your escapades in this castle..."

"Underling?" Iggy mused, the first to dare speak up. "Oh that guy! What about our other dudes, Sam and Slam with the delivery trucks this morning? I bet they quit early arguing over something like always, hehe!"

Ludwig hung up. "What about them? For now we need to excavate our means of transport!"

Wendy scoffed with her nose aimed high. "Don't we have like, soldiers for this?"

"But work is fun," Lemmy said.

"No one listen to Lemmy!" Iggy waved his arms around. "I can't mess up my video-game playing hands!"

"ENOUGH! Here's a wise lesson I was taught: Physical training builds character." Ludwig dropped a pile of shovels at their feet with a smirk. "No one reenters the castle until then!"

Everyone scrambled to dig up their airship, including Larry who grumbled the entire time. Why did he have to be forced to take part in another one of Ludwig's schemes? He didn't even want to be a villain when he got out of high school...


Mitch's Lexus, a black sedan he'd owned for five years now and spotless, came to a stop at Starman Lane's many red lights. He had in his lap a rolled up magazine from the movie star K. Kool Koopa he was to interview later and many other appointments so he needed to hurry back and look presentable. The glove compartment was unsuccessfully ravaged for more facial tissues and aspirin for his searing headache. He hoped he could make it to the press before he stained his suit with the nose bleed he got from successfully deterring that creep at the stadium away from Kylie Koopa. The light changed green so he mashed that pedal. Traffic was thin expect for a bus on the opposite side farther down.

Ding ding ding.

That noise. It was that creep again! His attention darted back to the road in time to see a speeding mushroom bus veering into his lane head on and there was nowhere to go. Before he had time to dread even, the vehicles collided and his car crumpled, the frame warping and compressing, and tiny shards of glass from the windshield spraying him. The driver of the public transportation vehicle never let go of the gas, instead limp and deceased before the crash ever happened. The ghost bus kept rolling down the street while the Lexus was slung into an empty grass field off the road. Only then did the airbag deploy with a weak sounding poof. Mitch was conscious just enough to realize that he could neither move nor scream...

The first person to notice the horrific accident was koopa on an afternoon jog. Around this block he always exercised and the usual excitement never toppled bad street performers dizzy dancing. Jogging in place he started to call emergency services when he was whacked with a tennis racket, a green Bowser racket a number of people might have caught a glimpse of at a certain tennis game. Knocked out the fitness junkie fell at the feet of a dark looming figure with no feet at all. Surveying the accident scene the attacker's eyes squint slightly due to astigmatism while their lips curled upwards in satisfaction.

"That'll teach you to follow me around, bro," the person softly said into Mitch's driver window. Then they vanished like the boo they were…


Mario slammed his hands down at Nass's desk making the entire hospital lobby get silent. A dozen eyes were now on him and crew and hoping to use that to his favor he became loud and dramatic. "We know others are sick like our friends! We know you've changed leaderships! You're going to tell us what's going on!"

Nass stared blankly before shooting up form her chair. "Don't complain to me!" she belted. "Talk to Doctor Professor for crying out loud!" She pressed a button over and over but no one was responding.

"Are these guests giving you problems?" asked the whomp doctor in passing to Nass T.

"You ain't seen problems yet!" Bowser pushed open the doors and stomped inside to make many gasp.

"This is getting out of control.." Peach held her temple. If only she could just vanish away from this madness. Boo could actually do that, but they were petrified beyond movement.

"Why are you up here Terrace? But since you are, please escort these people out!" Nass ordered.

Dr. Terrace shrugged. "Right now? With my knees? Ha! Oh, and the health inspectors are right about.."

Someone else burst through the doors, strong enough to knock Bowser out of the way. "Dis is Jimmy M. of the Mushroom Kingdom Disease Control Unit!" announced the short monty mole grandly. He wore a bright yellow hazmat like plastic suit and he scurried to the front desk very quickly to dig into their business.

"Who sent you here?!" the head nurse gasp as James dug into all of her files and flung them high in the air.

The mole whistled loudly, finding what he wanted. "Dis is it, boys!"

This prompted three others to rush in against the traffic of the lobby guests they'd scared away, a mega goomba, a koopa paratroopa, and a wiggler. They split up and went down all of the halls banging on doors and disturbing the peace. Every nurse and patient that could scrambled out the doors during the emergency. Mario got separated from Peach first then he lost Luigi then Yoshi when the wave of the evacuating people finally swallowed him and the world went from black to blue because he was staring at the partially cloudy sky in the parking lot outside the hospital where the crowd left him. Mario leaned up. Everyone else was displaced in the yard and a huge truck with 'MKDCU' was parked in front of the entrance. On autopilot he ran that way just in time to catch those health inspectors again, already wheeling patients out. There was a yoshi, a koopa, then a toad- Toad Toad and a girl- Daisy!

"Wait!" Mario shouted but the snifit driving the truck slam on the gas. The car sped off into the distance with his friends. He watched it down the road in disbelief.

"Uh, plumber… We gotta find our tennis rivals!"It almost seemed like Bowser seemed to almost say more but Mario had no time to read into that.

"You think?!" Mario faced his rival. Bowser just shrugged.

Six people regrouped at Club 64, a landmark diner most Toad Town residence knew well for his homely atmosphere. It especially made it stand out to sleeker and larger but less cozy competitors, like Club Gamecube across the street. Mario ordered a piece of toast for everyone at the round table in the front. The mood was predictably sour, zapping most appetite anyway. The spinning ceiling fans purred on the hot day and that was mostly the only sound heard, Bowser being there scaring everyone else out. Yoshi's attention remained on the bulky old television screens usually set to closed caption only, but there was no report of the hospital incident in the mix of mundane miscellaneous news and toad fashions...

"Yoshi, what do you think?" Mario asked him.

Yoshi slid away his juice. "Too early to say."

"It ain't that complicated. I know exactly who did it," Bowser explained all important like.

"You do?" Peach said skeptically.

"Themselves, or Toad and Daisy I mean. Yep. Afraid to face me in my prime they force a reschedule. Do ya read flower chick's profile? It's all over Daisy's Facebook wall that she didn't want to play today."

"So they stage their own fall out? That's ridiculous. Bowser, if you're not going to help leave!" Luigi pointed out the door, glaring at Bowser who wore a little smirk but didn't move in his silent dare. Luigi's eyes then wandered to Mario subconsciously for support. Mario seemed to shrink a little under that gaze, almost unheard of the younger brother thought. Then again Mario was always awkward for no reason when Bowser was in company but they weren't fighting. What was typical of Mario however was the ability to mask over that vulnerability in an instant.

"Bowser. We don't need you anymore. Get out," Mario told Bowser plainly.

Some annoyance or anger, no one was sure, flashed over Bowser before he stood up abruptly. "Smell ya later then, losers." He stomped out, letting the chair fall over.

Peach wrinkled her nose while Bowser was leaving. "Thank the stars.." She stood up and straightened out her clothes. "I am not abandoning this situation or anything but I should return to the castle briefly, assuming I have not been 'voted out' there also," she said with hints of bitterness at the end.

Mario's arm reached for hers. "I'll escort you. The rest of you head back to the hospital for clues." He escaped with her before Luigi could question anything else.


Kylie Koopa arrived back at the Mushroom Press well past lunch and returned to her desk, dropping her notebook flat with a plop. Immediately something hit her, she spun around to realize that Mitch was missing from his cubical. He rarely left even for his lunch, even more alarming she found when his lunch box was still under his table with sandwiches in it.

Kylie came up to the front desk. "Jessie, have ya heard from that ol' Mitch since lunch? Just curious."

The desk lady shook her head so Kylie returned to her space. She had to work with Luigi's eyewitness account and the two cans Toad and Daisy might have drank before the game. She knew from past work that Fungus Up was hardly sold anymore but a quick search on the Toad Town message boards had a post marked around seven that morning saying that a stand of Fungus Up cans appeared in the park as a sort of promotion. It was up for grabs. What did her old reports say on that company? Some of Kylie's files were purged a few years ago in the process of relocating but maybe Mitch still had them. -If he was still around…

Feeling she was in a bind, she scraped up what she could. One message purportedly stated that a truck dropped them off and had much more in the back but the two drivers began discussing some sort of tabletop game. Next they were speedily driving off leaving only one bunch. Another said that someone added the promotional material later. Neither had images to back anything up, assuming it even transpired as they claimed. Kylie would contact Luigi for an update even if she had nothing definitive to prove. Her office phone rung for a moment while someone entered the press for a paper.

"Right here, sir," Kylie heard Jesse say a distance away. She idly watched the noki in a Hawaiian shirt and black sunglasses scan the newspaper nearly as tall as him and nod his head.

"Didn't see your stories?"

The noki rolled it up under his arm and handed over the coins. "No, merci." Kylie eyed him out the door as he approached an Aston Mushroom car, a super expensive 'thang' as she'd put it, at a parking meter. Had to be a tourist, she thought.

To be continued:

Author note: Yeah a little short, but..

Created: 5/18/19 -5/26, 5/31, 6/1, 6/2, 6/3, 6/4, 6/10, 6/13

More edits: 6/20/19, 7/1, 7/9, 7/17.

Again: 8/4/20

Mario and Bowser: Frenemies Forever 2

A soggy high heel (Chapter 6)

Disclaimer: Mario=Nintendo Me=not much

"Are you sure you want to do this without Mario?"

"Of course," says the plumber hopping over the fence with ease, entering a protected 'employees only' area. Their third companion after a brief hesitation phases through the barrier like thin air. Last the dinosaur rolls his eyes and hops over as well with a well timed flutter jump.

"We could have at least chosen a less blatant way," Yoshi admits, crouched near the partially obscured back doors with the other two like burglars.

Luigi stands up then. "That's too bad because we have to do something and not just because Mario suggested we do."

Yoshi sees the hurt flash on his features and takes a different route. "Just message him that we couldn't find a safe way."

Luigi shakes his head quickly. "I'm afraid to text anything after this morning. Next I might end up sending all of my friends my private pictures of tropical beaches!"

Yoshi stares at him funny, wondering it that's a euphemism. "Never mind. I have an idea. A safe one."

Boo silently thanks Eldstar for that.

Yoshi turns to Boo. "But we'll need you."

Boo retracts that.

Nass is back at her desk tending to her data sheets. Mushroom Kingdom hospital's front lobby is as straightened up as they can manage but the automatic door is a casualty, broken and permanently stuck wide open. Leaves and dust from outside piles up to the staff's annoyance so Doctor Professor Koopa has just called in an intern from their sister hospital in Southern Mushroom Kingdom to help with clean up.

"Howdy. It's me," greets the mature koopa paratroopa in blue janitor outfit holding a mop bucket. A grey pony tail reaches his back.

"Probabilly Koopa?"

"Yup." Unceremoniously he begins tidying up the dust without further instructions. Nass wonders if she should say anything but decides not to as a little boo comes in.

"Nurse I'm not feeling well.." Boo mumbles. Very little of the performance is an act. The jittering, shortness of breath, and general look of unwellness is very typical.

Nass takes one look at their sad state and not even her usual apathy prevents her from pressing the intercom. Right away an older toad woman with a pink outfit, Mariam, arrives from the right wing. "This way deary."

Boo follows down those cold halls, hoping no one recognizes them when someone speaks.

"Run! Get your friends away from here too!"

Boo stops, teeth chattering. The nurse turns back. "Everything fine?"

"Run, dude! Actually, snatch the red letter on Nass's desk since she's not there anymore, then run! Do it!" It's a deep and soothing tone yet still frightening with no apparent source.

Boo struggles to obey the voice, stumbling back to the lobby. The red envelope is there on the desk miraculously. They pick it it up and scan it over.

From: Jimmy M. of Mushroom Kingdom Disease Control Unit in response of an anonymous tip to survey Mushroom Kingdom Hospital East. In accordance to protocol 347a we counted about one-hundred violations and we evacuated five patients that were turning green. By the way, you'll be getting our bill soon.

"Signed: James Monty, Richard Goomba, Parabilly Koopa, Wiggletron Berry, Sebastian Bullet?" Boo reads out loud.

The janitor leans up from vigorous mopping he did near the tables. "That knuckle head younger brother of mine was here? That 'splains it.."

Boo slowly faces the paratroopa. "Y-you know them?"

"Yup. Home base just outta city limits. They raise ruckus on purpose then wheel the sick to that Toadley Clinic in town. Mosey on out youngin 'cause here comes the watch dogs!"

Nass and a few others are coming back around the corner. With the note held tight to their chest Boo gets out of there just in time. With a start, Nass scoops up the MKDCU's empty envelope from the floor.

"How did this get off of my desk and where is the letter?" she pointedly asks the janitor.

"Wind musta blew it away," Probabilly answers, seemingly unbothered.

Doctor Professor snatches it out of her hands and rips it up. "It doesn't matter what happened because I know who is to blame anyway. Okay? Now back to work. All of you!"


Boo ran out to Luigi and Yoshi. "They're at the T-toadley Clinic!" they squeaked while a noki who had just pulled up in a sports car walked past the trio. The stranger had a flat but curious face as he scurried by.

In walked Jelectro, taking in the scene of wet floor signs and bleach in the air. Nass had switched her front desk shift and now seated was Mariam in her pink spotted cap and matching nurse uniform.

"Welcome to MK Hospital. You look like a healthy young man," she spoke with an accent that seemed a little phony. The slight harshness of the consonant reminded him of Dark Land actually.

"Where is the information station? I'm not sick just a tourist," he replied, suppressing his own.

"From somewhere exotic?" she inquired with some mischievousness laced in. "Down the hall to the left."

He played along and went down that hall then diverted as soon as he wasn't being watched. He had on him a pseudo badge that could get him in some important places as soon as he knew where to actually go. All he knew was that Agent N's niece was somewhere inside. The visitor section rose nearly to the ceiling with colorful pamphlets showcasing the Mushroom Kingdom and surrounding. 'Have dinner at the historic Club 64'. 'Come see the Southern hemisphere's famous yoshi wrangling!' 'Take a tour through Boo's Mansion if you dare!' 'Book a cruise to Isle Delfino', though Jelectro knew from just this morning that the beaches weren't quite so commodious and tranquil and devoid of screaming children like the images suggested.

"Jelectro Bond. Come to room 26."

The noki froze in his tracks, hands reaching to see if the earplugs were there.

"Aww, you really think those things stop your powers? If you weren't so handsome I'd call you stupid."

"Would you now?" Jelectro snarked out loud and not telepathically like he meant. The detective covered his mouth.

"Just get to my room already."

The noki debated running away and never returning. He'd do anything rather than deal with a person like that, but he had to get to the bottom of it all for Agent N's sake. Reluctantly he found his way to the message's origin slowly pushed open the door. Inside was a toad with a green cap under covers with his eyes shut. Bandages were all over his face and his monitors indicated steady heart rate and breathing.

"Told you I don't bite. You know, I've met a telepathic whomp, a mouser, not a little noki," he said without looking, or moving his mouth. "Did you like Sirena Beach, French boy?"

Trying to keep a stony composure Jelectro stood beside the bed, though inwardly he felt jitters all over. "What happened to you?"

"Got hit by a bus. For once I do something proactive for an old friend and- oh never mind, I'm not gonna complain. If you are wondering about what's going on here it's horrible. Problem is only Theodore knows the real details and who the conspirator is but that wacko can block me out of his head somehow."


"Doctor Professor Koopa. Just focus on this thug that works for Bowser- the one who did this to me and it'll all come together. Get to the press and get my stuff some kinda way but don't tell Kylie I'm on the mends. Here's some details about me if someone clocks you..Now find my papers on 'chimes'-"

With a grunt, Jelectro held the sides of his head as he unpleasantly got the large bundle of information hot wired straight to his brain. Feeling queasy and faint he fell backwards and into a recliner in the room, nearly knocking it over.

"Whoa! Sorry dude!" Mitch said out loud for the first time. "… I didn't realize you had that atrophy of the frontal lobe like-."

Jelectro blindly bolted out the patient room to be disoriented by horrible buzzing from a hundred distorted voices he couldn't tune out. Despite his best efforts as some sanity slipped back into him, splotches of red dripped onto the white tiles as he stumbled a few more steps into the lobby just time time to catch someone at the service desk, a dark boo with a decidedly thuggish aura.

"Ah, no dearie they aren't around anymore. Nope," the nurse told the boo, smiling but clearly intimidated.

"Alright…" he said sort of slick like. "You did not see me here."

"I did not see you here," the nurse droned back with a sudden vacant expression.

The boo floated right back out through the automatic doors and across the janitor stooping down near some tools he'd just used to repair it.

"Follow 'em." Probabilly said, inconspicuously watching the noki with a nose bleed.

Jelectro caught the boo jumping on an old dirt bike and putting off. He hopped in his own car and followed for a street before loosing the zippy and maneuverable motorbike. Eventually he had to give up and chase his next lead. There was no doubt about it however, that was the 'thug'.


The princess's shoes instead of being embedded in the usual plush sun pattern carpet were instead in a pool of shallow water, very clear and crisp with a hint of shamrock smell.

"It just blew up princess! The world exploded basically," Toadette explained, gesturing to the sky or ceiling rather, the only dry thing left.

Peach glanced all around somehow doubting that.

"Good thing I'm here then, right? I'll see what I can do by myself. Where did it start?" Mario asked the group of toads standing around in the water. There was Toadette, Yellow and Blue Toad, another toad holding a spear, a few others and Toadsworth in the background dragging water logged furniture from the inner rooms.

"The kitchen. The basement. Upstairs. Outside. Inside. I don't know I woke up underwater!" they all answered at once.

Mario felt his head spinning. "That can't be right!"

"Right or wrong what I have now is a flooded castle, sick friends, a backstabbing hospital, anxiety and a soggy high heel!" Peach exclaimed, finally unleashing her emotions and breaking down to cry.

"Don't feel bad, princess. Just be glad to be alive and healthy! Some people aren't!" the blue toad, Buckenberry said.

Peach's downcast expression softened. "Thank you dear- I-I suppose."

"I mean, because just a few streets away there was a horrible bus crash with one death and one serious injury. The dead guy's brain melted! I heard it went everywhere!" Buckenberry continued obliviously until Toadette jabbed him with her elbow hard to shut up.

"Where the chores at least completed this morning?" Peach nearly groaned. "The ones I post up very clearly?" She got blank stares from everyone and sighed. "One day I will hire someone competent. Like Captain Toad!"

"Princess.." Mario reached for her but she moved away.

"Not now, Mario." The frustrated princess wadded through the water to retreat into upper rooms. "Toad was competent but look at where he is now! If only a certain plumber's constant dangerous activities with dangerous people didn't lead accidents like this!"

"How is this my fault?" Mario yelled at the door shut in his face, confused as he was upset. He couldn't believe her attitude. There were only a handful of people that would bicker with the plumber since whether he wanted to admit it or not the general attitude of most in the Mushroom Kingdom was to worship the ground he stood on. Because of that even mild contention from friends had a tendency to stun him. Well Mario knew he deserved it. He was right at MK East yet he didn't get anything done for Toad or Daisy and the head staff there didn't seem to respect him and they all shared and accent- like they weren't from around the Mushroom Kingdom... Like Bowser! Was he involved after all? But nothing really pointed to that. He was getting the head spinning sensation again and let it go.

Mario did what he could for the next half hour, a pipe replacement here, some bolt tightening there, a lot of duct tape, working as quick as he could without getting sloppy. He did pride his plumbing work. Suddenly his phone rang, making him jump. It was from 'lil bro' as the call id stated. "Talk to me, Luigi."

"Actually this is Yoshi. Your brother handed me his phone so he could finally understand it so here's a status report. Luigi had all kinds of stuff going on, messages left and right, including one Kylie Koopa finding some Fungus Up cans. Know about that? She thinks Toad and or Daisy had them."

Mario scratched his head. "I don't recall if they did or not."

"Never mind that then. Big news: Toad and Daisy might be at the Toadley Clinic so can you meet us there?"

Mario held the phone upwards while basement water steadily rose to his knees. "Might be a moment. Do a guy a favor?"

"Can do old friend. We'll check it out-"

"And have you seen Bowser around?"

"No. Why?"

Mario paused.

Knowingly Yoshi continued, "We'll keep our eyes peeled though alright? Bye."


Luigi, Yoshi, and Boo have now walked to the Toadley Clinic, not far from the castle or hospital. They had to avoid Starman Lane due to the clean up and investigation still going on. Yoshi is especially disturbed by what reports on the Toad Town online message boards mention about the sole occupant in the bus apparently being deceased before he veered into incoming traffic. The dinosaur tries to shake it off, to be strong. Now the mushroom shaped building is before them and he lets Luigi walk in first. The Toadley clinic has an area with seating and an intern waiting at the desk. The rest is walled off behind double doors.

"Welcome, do you have an appointment?" she asks right away, a younger toad woman with blonde medium length hair.

Luigi rushes to the desk. "No, not really."

"Well that'll be a problem-" she starts before a voice booms from behind those doors.

"Do I take patients without appointment? No I do not!"

Boo shrieks and hides behind Yoshi. Yoshi looks to Luigi then to the intern. "How long will it take to make one then? We just want to know if some friends are checked in here."

Luigi nods. "Toad Toad and Daisy Bloom. We think some health agents transferred them here."

The intern nodded back quickly. "James did send them here. In fact his crew just left for a late lunch. Did you have any questions?"

"Yeah! What's wrong with them?"

The intern plays with her pen. "...Maybe the doctor could explain." She presses a buzzer. "I'm sending them anyway!" she yells.

"Arrgh! Must I allow if you insist? I must. Come in!"

Cautiously the three enter those double doors where it is much darker. A large room has beds along with their friends and a few more on them. The titular doctor dressed in purple is on the other side of the area where a shrine of sorts is set up. In the middle of shelves of various herbs and powders is a table with a laptop on it. The wallpaper of that laptop is the round crystal.

"Can I answer anything? Yes I can. What do you inquire?"

Luigi steps up after gulping. "..What's wrong with Toad and Daisy?"

Dr. Toadley presses the internet browser icon. The answer appears on screen 'miraculously' and much more quicker and accurately than the doctors old method of supposedly knowing everything. "They have the Mushroom Flu and there is no cure on file and I have no idea how they and the other test subjects- ah hem patients got it-"

Yoshi and Boo gasps.

"-YET! But will I find it? Yes I will! I am currently working night and day doing nothing else but finding that cure!"

Peering at something, Luigi raises one finger. "Is that a computer game open?"

"Luigi!" Yoshi yells.

"I'm just saying!"

As they speak, Boo inches closer and closer to those beds, something beckoning them for a closer look. One is a red yoshi girl who seems to be a child laying back, skin pale and with a sicking green hue. The others are the same including Toad and Daisy in the far corner. Boo has no idea why they tried to be brave all a sudden. So panicked, they float past Yoshi and Luigi who calls out for them and out of the entire clinic.


"So you don't wanna this time?"

"Wanna hang out with you? No, weirdo," replied the first responder Dave, a handsome Boom Boom about three years Emery's senior who always wore an army jacket and got off from the helicopters with a smug laugh. He got the fly that thing all over so who blamed him?

Emery T. sighed and got back to work staring at the clouds.

"Miss Emery," said someone behind her. Doctor Professor Koopa arms crossed, stood there with a bored looking lakitu beside him. "Log out of your workstation."

Emery did as he said. "Am I taking another break?" she asked, walking down stairs and noting that the lakitu was taking her position. She was led all the way down to the doctor's office. Doctor Professor closed the door behind her with an ominous click.

"Are you aware of a certain Sebastian Bullet?"

Emery smiled weakly. "Maybe?"

Doctor Professor sat down at his oak desk, fingers clasped. "Then are you aware of how unscrupulous service reports harm this facility. Of course you are, smart girl."

"But I don't know about that other stuff." She shrugged.

Doctor Professor tilted his head down a little, smiling. "I am an old man you know that, but not a stupid one and I know how these doohickeys operate." He held up Emery's cellphone that she didn't even realize had been confiscated. "You are fired."


Bowser had one foot in the clown car that got him to the Mushroom Kingdom. He was just about to leave Toad Town for Dark Land and just let the entire tennis game go as a write off. It was almost disappointing. Almost. Someone called him and instantly he knew it wasn't his children or Kamek or his old lady Clawdia. Especially not the later... "Yeah, this is Bowser… Oh fangirl chick again. What?"

"I got *sniff* like totally fired!" Emery explained, sitting on the sidewalk outside. She knew mother wasn't getting off work for a while or even acknowledge her termination so she was stranded for the umpteenth time in her life.

Bowser figured that. "Keep going gal."

"Like, can I work for you?"

Bowser paused for a minute. "I know I said I liked ya, but what will that do for me?"

"Lots of stuff! I'm a toad so like I can be within thirty meters of the princess and you can't, for starters."

Bowser gaped at the revelation. "Tell me where you are 'cause I'm picking you up!" The clown car's propellers soon made the vehicle soar. Wind and grass blew right into the eyes of the person whose motor bike was just pulling up. The biker beat a fist against the handle bar but then thought of a new plan so they revved up again and head towards Royal Raceway.


To forget that experience with Mitch Toad Jelectro decided to dive right into work. He returned to the Mushroom Press with a fool proof idea on how to walk in and get the items of that popular gossip writer, forty-one, 'single', living in a complex around Pleasant Path.. He kept reciting those facts, just in case he was quizzed.

"Nice to see you again," Jessie at the front desk greeted.

"Same. I need to pick up some items of Mitch Jamerson Toad. I'm actually his intern."

Jessie hummed with a thinly veiled spark of jealousy. "Interesting. I just thought he was lone wolf these days.. He's a local public figure and others try to steal his stories so you don't mind can you prove that you really know him?"

"He is forty-one, writes for the Mushroom Enquirer-"

"Other than what you can easily find on his website," Jesse laughed. "Something personal."

"Personal?..." Jelectro hesitated at the sole intimate detail he had to spout. "He has hanging in his bedroom behind the bed stand a life sized picture signed by celebrity Zip Toad."

The desk woman's face flushed. "You've been in his?- I knew he was a two timing little!- Ah hem." The human combed her hair back down that was standing on edge. "Go ahead..."

Jelectro quickly walked away from that disaster of a situation and proceeded to the empty cubical space that had Mitch's golden name plate on it. He dug into a cabinet full of manila folders labeled 'aliens', 'ufo', 'super abilities' 'the stars', etc and finally 'artifacts' which had a 'chimes' subfolder. So intently he searched he didn't notice someone standing right behind him.

"Excuse me, sir. What are you doing with his stuff?" Kylie asked.

Jelectro froze with the files in hand. "...I'm Mitch's intern?"

She stared at him hard then snapped her fingers. "Neat. He'd been weird lately so I can see him doing something he doesn't usually do like outsourcing his garbage. No offense."

Jelectro stiffly nodded. "I'm Jelectro and I'm not from around."

"Clearly by your peppiness. No offense again. Nice to meet ya." She shook his hand and he shook back, unaware until then that he was peppy apparently. "Where is he? Not to be nosy."

"He's taking an impromptu vacation and but wants an article on the hospital so I needed to pick things up for him."

"Well I'm investigating the same thing for the Mario bros but for the truth rather than gossip magazines. Okay, I'll stop teasing ya! I've been to the tennis stadium so I was going to visit the hospital their friends were said to be at."

"I think it's on some sort of lock down but I don't really know how that works," he mentioned, belying his understanding of the situation.

"Darn. I have contact with Luigi so maybe lets just get to the princess." She stood up with shoulder bag over her shell, patiently waiting for the 'intern's' response. "I can't believe I'm working with a Mitch associate, but there's something about this case I feel I'm missing. Something big. You know what I mean?"

Jelectro remained stuck in place, feeling a disturbance from far off. "I know exactly what you mean."


Someone far away there was a digital clock on the wall with the red LEDs being the only source of light in the room as a dark figure observed intensely. Without warning the digit went down from 12:00 to 11:59. It was time to make a move. One person whispered into the ear of another and another. Soon the entire population of the nearly ancient building in the desert knew but they chose to not let the secret slip yet...

To be continued:

Author note: The narrative tense shifts were intentional. Just a style I wanted to play with along with the general flow of the scenes. I probably won't return to it though. Also, things are adding up, stay tuned..

Created: 5/24/19, 5/25, 5/27, 5/29, 6/1, 6/2, 6/3, 6/5, 6/10, 6/13, 6/14

Edits: 6/20/19, 6/29, 7/1, 7/30

More: 8/4/20


Mario and Bowser: Frenemies Forever 2 (Redux)

No courage, nerves, or pronouns (Chapter 7)

Disclaimer: Mario=Nintendo Me=still not much

Author note: Newly edited.

Mario tossed aside his wrench. It landed with a soft sounding clink on tiled floors marred with his boot prints. Water mostly drained, he leaned away from underneath the cabinets.

Great job saving us from killing our selves, you know like usual," said the blue toad observing closely the work. Buckenberry semi-famous for volunteering for 'New Super Mario Bros' often breathed down his neck unless Luigi was around to shoo him away.

Mario leaned on top the cabinet, surveying the patch job one more time. "What do you want, Cool Blue?"

Luigi called the castle. Mr. Toad and Princess Daisy have the Mushroom Flu. Mario? Mario, wait!"

Mario tumbled out of the kitchen. He quickly tore the castle up looking for Peach but only found her toads cleaning up damp floors and furniture. "Mr. Toadsworth, have you seen the princess?" he demanded, spotting the old mushroom gazing out the open front doors.

Toadsworth tapped his cane with a downward face. "I tried prevent her rash endeavors, Master Mario. She wished to revisit that hospital of doom and I would have accompanied her but dear me, I am too traumatized by that bus accident that happened to deathly near here. The roads and no longer safe!"

Mario checked outside with mixture of irritation and concern. "You don't have to worry about that because she didn't even take her car.." Peach's pink Birthday Girl kart was untouched in the castle lot. He slapped his forehead and sprinted away from the castle with no further explanation given.

Toadsworth watched and waited and waited some more, eyelids drooping lower. He then asked some one else to guard the door while he left to prepare hot tea for concentration. Despite his request no one did, the typical clemency becoming common in the castle as the princess became less and less authoritarian with age. But that was a debate for later. Soon someone rapped on the door which alerted the toads in expectation of the pizza guy or a gift from one of the princess's admirers that they'd get to dig into first. Or something from Amazon. A teenaged toad swung open the door.

Hey. What's up?" The dark boo attempted it seemed to smile reassuringly, yet his jagged teeth and devious squint directed at the castle's address posted up in a bold but regal font hinted otherwise. There wasn't an obvious mode of transportation he'd arrived via.

OOOOO-k.. Well you don't have pizza or a Prime shipment so bye?.." Thomas attempted to shut the door, but the visitor held it open with sudden strength.

Listen to this, bro. I got a rare thing." The boo presented in his other hand a can of soda that was dented but unopened, Fungus Up.

Uhhhh whatever..." Thomas groaned, letting him in flippantly.

Thanks bro. Peach collects memorabilia doesn't she? And Mario's here too right?" The dark boo brushed past him into lobby, his expression flattening when his gaze raised at the ceiling. He clicked his tongue. "...They ain't here."

Excuse me, who are you?" Toadette appeared in the dark boo's way when he lowered his head. She'd came from upstairs.

He collects stuff… maybe..." Thomas shrugged as their visitor began to slip out the castle.

Stop that guy! He's totally suspicious!" Toadette yelled like a siren.

Buckenberry bust from a room hurled himself towards the stranger. In a ball both tumbled out the door and flat onto the stone moat. The boo then punched the blue toad in the face before knocking him off.

Piss off," the boo spat, dragging himself up.

Buckenberry ignored his busted lip and charged again. The boo 'pointed' at him and something undetectable by their senses struck the blue toad. His world spun like a vortex, making him launch himself over the railing to splash into the clear water below. Seeing their toughest toad go down roused the onlookers. Peach's toads weren't obsequious, or the best at jumping in platform games, or the best at cleaning, but they cared about each other and in numbers their confidence grew exponentially. Toadette, Thomas, a toad who ran the castle's visitor podium, Yellow Toad known also as Ala-Gold, the gardener with a hoe, a cook with a metal pan, and many more poured from the doors like scurrying insects. The dark boo dragged a bike hidden off the side with him, attempting to crank it up when he realized someone was helping him roll it. He whipped around to find Alagold.

Sweeet, ride brah! What's your name?" he asked innocently.

Bro?!" Zoo gasped.

Your name is 'Brah'?" Alagold's eye began to twitch as he detected an item, his special gift he used a lot in NSMB. He reached into a compartment on the bike and took out a Dark Land identification. "No, your name is Z-"

Gimme that back!" 'Z' yelled in his face.

He raised an arm again and sent an intangible biology tampering wave slicing through Alagold. The yellow toad seized up and stiffly collapsed on the road while Z escaped, on edge anew when Thomas's hurled spear, bestowed to him as technically the front door guard, nearly impaled him. Then the others threw rocks that pelted the dark boo relentlessly. His motorbike refused to start up as the toads slowly became a monstrous regiment close to overtaking Z. The entire castle was involved in chasing him off. He dropped his motorbike all together and, nerves getting the best of the young boo, did something drastic.

Trying to ignore the ruckus from whatever was going outside, the restless young ones these days!- Toadsworth blew over the hot ceramic cup of Herb Tea. He relaxed in a recliner up stairs in his room, his sanctuary. Before taking the first sip, a violent rumble shook the cup out of his hand and tea all over his lap. He clinched his teeth as his shelves rattled heavy books to the floor. He sprung up and to a window. Outside was only a pure black abyss Toadsworth peered into. A vision was forced upon him, that of a single five pointed object hanging above barren flattened land and the Princess' Castle in ruins. He screamed until he felt his lungs giving out.


Boo heard their name being called when Luigi and Yoshi poked their heads into Club Gamecube, Club 64's competitor established in 2001. Boo wanted to respond but remained frozen. They slapped themselves in the forehead again. "Why can't you do anything right, Boo? Why?" When not pathetically tagging along with someone more important all they had was a lame part time job at a diner in Forever Forest, a Youtube channel no one watched but their mother, no courage, nerves, or pronouns. Not all of that was bad but they were fully convinced they were useless.

Give a round of applause for Dolphin!" the manager said on stage, introducing a comedian. The lights went dim as some people were loudly entering the restaurant.

I just want a Chuckola Cola, the Japanese version. Mom never let me do this."

I ain't her am I, so you'll get it! Waiter?! We need service!"

Boo peered over a banister that separated the dining area from the front to see Bowser and a toad girl at the takeout desk. Emery received her beverage after Bowser flashed his ID card for her and they left. Two minutes later, tugged along into action by some part of themselves unknown, Boo was zipping between alleys following the slow but steady Clown Car in the air. Boo weaved through more people on sidewalks and narrowly avoided traffic on streets.

In the air, Emery belched. "Awesome! Uh, what to do with-"

Toss the bottle over the side. It ain't littering, it's a custom where I'm from."

Boo then watched as something glistening in the sky fell over the edge and whacked them in their forehead. The little boo collapsed in the middle of Toad Town park.


A silver Aston Mushroom continued its steady pace towards Peach's Castle, each mile tense for the noki driver within. Would the koopa passenger stop staring at him? If Kylie Koopa made the mistake of leaning over him the right way, easily due to his small height, she might catch a glimpse of what was behind his sunglasses and he couldn't have that.

Can you read this?" he asked, handing her Mitch's file to direct her attention away.

Kylie opened it up in her lap. "An old case study on ancient artifacts. You interested in something specific?"

Something capable of a 'chime'?"

That narrows it down… Off topic but can I ask you something?"


I know species names are a hit these days but how did you end up being called Jelectro when you're a noki?"

Before he could answer he slammed the breaks a few feet before displaced toads on the road. Papers flew all over the car. Just across the bridge of Royal Raceway, Peach's Castle was suspended a few hundred meters in the sky on top a pure black and flatly textured disc. Faintly yellow hologram like musical notes drizzled underneath like a rain shower. They collectively jumped when someone banged driver's window. It was Buckenberry still soggy and wet. Jelectro rolled it down.

Finally someone drives down this road! Get Mario's help!"

Kylie Koopa jumped out of the car. "What the crap?! Where's the princess?"

She's not in," Toadette explained quietly, shock very evident on her and others stranded about.

Well, Mr. Toadsworth was inside when that freak with the bell did this. He screwed up Gold too!" Buckenberry warned, referring to someone a little farther back laying face down in the grass.

Jelectro investigated the yellow toad as his special training took over. He lifted a closed eyelid to discover Alagold's rolled back and clouded over irises. He bolted back to his drivers seat, hyperventilating as a thought dawned. The mystery thug he was after was like Mitch, and thus like himself! This was becoming his worse nightmare.

Bond! Or Jelectro, whatever you call yourself! Check this out!"

He craned his neck her way but remained planted in the car. Kylie was snapping pictures of an old motorbike. "You know something? I've saw this bike parked at the Mushroom Press this morning. Yeah I'm sure it was. Someone give me the straight dope on this guy."

A thug. A dark boo. A young adult. Some scars. Squinted all the time. 'Z'," the toads all answered.

Kylie let the camera dangle freely around her neck. "...What was that last one again?"


Peach's shoes or high heels, dry ones that was, clacked rapidly as she stomp down the sidewalk, arms swinging in rhythm. She'd reached her limit of secrets, lies, plumbers, and koopas who constantly inserted themselves into her life despite a so-called Peace Pact between kingdoms. She spotted the Koopa copter hovering her way and quickened her pace when something else approached, a taxi speeding down the street. Peach instinctively dove into the nearest dark alley as the cab pulled over to the side of the road to let someone jump out back seat.

Princess, don't you know how dangerous that was with weirdos and such after you? Just look at that! At least have your cellphone on," lectured Mario.

Peach stepped out of the alley, grimy and dress splattered with dirt. "I knew what I was doing, my dear Mario," she responded icily. Both turned their heads at the rabid toad girl holding a lit bob-omb running their way.

Diiiiiie princess!" screamed the girl.

Mario stared at her vacantly before letting his foot out so that she tripped over his toes and completely overshot Peach. The girl rolled on the sidewalk and the bomb even farther away in front of a building.

That was weird."

Yeah, for once you're right plumber boy," growled Bowser from the lowering Koopa Clown copter. "Anyway, I spotted Peach wandering around but then my new mook had to mess it up.."

Sorry Bowser..." Emery mumbled from the pavement. The bomb went off and shattered some windows of the post office.

Is everyone alright?!" wailed Parakarry, bursting out those doors. He saw Emery on the ground and sighed in relief. "Stop trying to be a terrorist. You aren't good at it," he remarked bluntly.

You know this traitor?" Peach asked.

Mario's ex partner nodded. "She works at the hospital and is always posting these Bowser propaganda fliers in the mail. I still send them out of course, a postman can't be biased. See y'all!" Smiling, he returned to the post office.

How ridiculous that a Toad Town citizen work with Bowser," Mario said with some disgust.

It's a free kingdom, mustache. Lay off! Besides you partner with me, how's that different?"

Emery peeled her face up from the asphalt. "Ouch. Clearly I'm not wasted like I thought cause I totally felt that. Are we still going to the clinic?"

Mario snapped his fingers. "That's perfect, 'little traitor girl'!"

I have a name!"

Whatever. That's where we need to go for real results, not that other hospital," Mario said. "And I know that's where you were going Peach." She didn't respond to that vexingly.

Bowser scoffed. "So what? You idiots hitch a ride with me? Yeah right!" he howled. He lowered his head and Mario was giving him that look again.

They have the Mushroom Flu."

A jolt went through Bowser's system. "...Get in. NOW!"

Everyone squeezed in his koopa copter including Peach, uncomfortable so close to Bowser and his deranged sidekick. Well, as long as she was even closer to Mario it could be tolerable. She didn't want to admit it but she did need him and she knew it was mutual no matter how many times they annoyed each other. Soaring a short distance over the villa, anyone on the ground scattered like ants at the sight of the koopa aircraft.

Alright now everyone except fangirl get out quick! Go go!" Bowser forced Mario and Peach out after landing before the clinic. "Watch the clown car."

Yes sir!" Emery saluted.

The intern inside screamed when they came in, making her chair flip. "B-Bowser?! Birdley, get him!"

A white bird perched on a hanging cage swooped down at Bowser, smacking in his face and making a poof of feathers explode from impact.

Bowser's with us," Peach explained reluctantly. "Doctor please?"

The intern pointed backwards. She went through the double doors and located her inexplicably green skinned friends right away on the cots.

Dr. Toadley spun away from the computer. "Quiz time. Is Mushroom Flu a localized virus? Yes it is."

Peach tore her gaze away. "Localized? From where?"

Bowser barged in, feathers stuck to him everywhere and still spitting some out. "Just great. I swallowed one… Anyway they can't have the Mushroom Flu 'cause people only get that in Dark Land! Lots of us are allergic to mushrooms there."

Mario walked in last. "Didn't you both confirm Doctor Professor worked in Dark Land? He would have known this."

Yeah he should have known I guess." Bowser's arms crossed and his mind drifted somewhere he didn't want.

Peach yanked Mario her way in a sudden fit. "Mario? I knew that advanced testing from that horrible 'doctor' was just an excuse to waste our precious time!"

I know that too! How did they deal with this in Dark Land, Bowser?"

Bowser glared back at the plumber. "Your clone Dr. Mario dealt with it way back. DO I LOOK LIKE A DOCTOR?! But that Doctor Professor Koopa was working in my castle at the time so he should of known what was going since this morning if this purple lunatic right here could figure it out in minutes! Stop looking at me like that! Your hospital is what's messed up right now so shut it down!"

The room got silent, Mario reflected a lot of things he'd done all day, granted for only a few seconds, but enough to know it was time to try something new. Or old. "Alright. Let's forget our history for a moment."

Bowser's eyebrows rose a little. "..What? That's a heck of a lot to forget, mustache."

Mario held out his hand with an exasperated but wryly sigh. "Shut up and let's fix this together already."

The princess rolled her eyes. "Mario."


Bowser paused before squeezing Mario's hand hard. "Fine. We're both at a loss here anyway. After all, it's all about the tennis game and the gold medal! Who cares about these other losers?"

Uh, well actually-"

-Shuddup. Doc? What else you got to tell us?"

Toadley spun the computer monitor towards them with 1s and 0s flying in space. Very impressive. Of course Dr. Toadley jiggled the mouse and what was actually the screensaver faded away, revealing a plain webpage of patient entry forms Toadley procured by digging through insecure servers of a certain mushroomy eastern hospital.

What was the last beverage consumed? A soda, Fungus Up."

Mario nodded. "Kylie Koopa told Luigi that she found some cans outside Toad and Daisy's locker rooms." His head tilted slightly lower. "Eh, guess I shouldn't of been so harsh with him over hiring her.."

Will I contact the Special World Hospital for advice? Yes I will." The toad doctor whistled and Birdley entered the backroom on cue.

Bowser dived flat to the floor, covering his head. "Keep that winged psycho away from me!"

Mario and Peach shuddered. The International Medical University of Special World was a remote and specialized research facility located beyond Star Road as the name suggested. Rumor had it that they took test subjects only for them to never see the light of day again. Plus they were nerds... Peach approved hesitantly then decided to make use of her cellphone for once for her own revenge on the hospital with the audacity to oust her. She was a princess after all.


Luigi scanned his surroundings one last time in the search for his boo pal. He should not have forgotten that he himself wasn't someone willing to go on Mario's adventures initially. The acceptance of such great responsibility, the get to the point where risking his life was a mundane sometimes 'fun' activity, came very gradually. An average person, someone like boo wouldn't grasp that in a day. He and Yoshi traversed the Toad Town sidewalks in growing desperation. Things were so normal all around, bright evening sky, warm weather, and pedestrians on the streets. It made their problems seem so small and isolated in the grand scheme.

I'm sorry." Yoshi pat him on the back. "Earlier, back when we first infiltrated that twisted hospital I spoke to Boo for a moment. I can tell he or she has, well, some issues."

And I made them worse."

Don't get too bent out of shape. Some people keep their issues to themselves and if they do, how can you know?"

Luigi thought he detected traces of inward frustration from Yoshi then. They crossed through the large park as a shortcut. Denizens were sun bathing in the open spots in-between shade trees. Luigi and Yoshi tiptoed around them, including a little boo near an empty glass bottle.

Luigi dove down and shook the boo. "Buddy! It's Luigi wake up!"

Boo's eyes fluttered open while rubbing the red bruise on their head. "...Where am I?"

Luigi helped them up. "Park. It's my fault. If this is too intense for you we'll get you home."

Boo scanned the plumber up and down curiously. "But why would I want to go home? By the way, it's 'Booigi the second'."

Yoshi got a closer look at the knot then suspiciously picked up the glass Chuckola Cola bottle, dreading what he was about to ask. "..That head injury and- You weren't drinking were you?"

No. I was tracking Bowser and.." Booigi let their words settle in the air. "...I don't remember, but the heck does it matter? Let's kick Bowser's butt! That's what we're here for!"

Luigi was stunned all over. "Boo, what are you saying? We-"

Stop talking. I hear something." Booigi leered at a more wooded area. Trees and foliage rustled as a tired looking dark boo approached...

...Kylie rushed back inside the press where many had clocked out for home by now, darting to the amateur side and the space of Susie Que. She dug in their desk but nothing was left, only a small decorative painting. It had a red backdrop that spiraled to a black splotch in the middle, edgily titled 'I'm a mess' by artist 'Drew'. The computer had beneath its screen saver an internet browser left on a flash games website, like the person goofed off all morning.

Kylie knocked on the door of Steve's office. "Did Susie ever return?" A typewriter the bullet bill used clacked away, audible through the closed door.

Time clock says no," he grunted back.

Kylie spun back around as Jelectro was walking in. "You contact Mario with our office phone. His number is posted on the board. I gotta check something."

Jelectro found the office phone tucked away in a semi-isolated spot where a five gallon water dispenser was. The beige note tacked to the cork board said 'Call this for Mario, or this' with two numbers written. He chose the first and it picked up right away.

HELLO?" A pure black and particle like appendage jetted out from the speaker and wrapped tightly around Jelectro's neck.

Merde!" he squeaked as the phone slipped to the floor. No one around him had any reaction to the noisy struggle as if he was invisible. The creature knocked the noki back into the water dispenser again and again, toppling the stacks of paper cups and splashing the floor. He mustered all of his strength to pry it from his windpipe, growing feeble by the micro second. Out of options, he attacked the 'thing' mentally with his incredibly rusty telepathic prowess. With a low rumble the dark matter phased away from his pale palms, leaving everything normal except a giant puddle of water and a nose bleed. Someone frantically pulled the blue faced noki back to his feet.

Are you alright?" Jessie propped him up and began to remove his sunglasses before his arms shot out and stopped her.

Don't touch that- I mean, I passed out because where I come from.. we don't have conveniences such as this.." Jelectro shakily grabbed a paper cup and dispensed some water in it before taking a little sip. "Ahhh…"


Canada, mon ami."

No I mean you're bleeding- well, alright.."

He snatched a wad of facial tissues pressed quickly to his upper lip and glanced at the phone with malice. "Just allergies. Petit bâtard…." he muttered. After a second he chuckled at his own insult to the phone, that very phrase often directed at him growing up.. He scrutinized the bulletin note again and, surprise, that first number was actually labeled as Peach Castle's number while the second was Mario's cell phone. He called that.

Hello? Why is the newspaper company calling right now?" Mario responded.

Bonjour. I am an intern of a reporter and there was an incident at the princess's castle. Her servants are homeless now."

The line went silent before Mario exclaimed, "How did I miss all of these notifications from your toads, Peach?! Look at this!" Then Mario's line disconnected.

There was another curious detail then, the office phone had logs of call history to Mushroom Kingdom Hospital and exactly one return call back with a message left hours ago. Jelectro snooped into that, playing the record out with low volume.

*Beep* "This is Nass Toad, head nurse and secretary of Dr. Prof. Koopa, responding to Giant Land Hospital regarding our deal. Just calling off record to let you know that disguising your number as the Mushroom Press downtown to communicate has ruined up all of my data sheets and I don't appreciate having to redo them. Please contact us back with your REAL number. Thank you."*Beep*

Bond, does it take five minutes to operate a phone?! Come over here!" Kylie beckoned him, buried in her computer research. "Twelve years ago in Donut Plains there was a 'Zoo Diddley', the son of a popular at the time juggler. Zoo rung a very special object one day in the middle of an act and something really bad went down. Mitch heard of the story back then and it left an impression for a personal reason. Anyway, I'm positive Susie is Zoo, but why pretend to be a reporter? His current vocation is listed as custodian." She spun her chair around and had a double take at how quickly the sorta attractive intern deteriorated. "Are you okay?"

Still holding the tissues to his face that were thoroughly bled through, Jelectro had the office phone under his arm. "Interesting."

What? No, I'm asking you," she replied quizzically.

Interesting because this morning right before you met 'Susie' for the first time a stand of the sodas appeared for 'free' in the park, a pallet's worth dropped off by a truck according to message boards. Who owns the largest truck company around? Koopas. If Susie is actually Zoo and has been confirmed to attack Peach's castle, could Zoo be associated with the koopas? Bowser's castle is a dump as we all know, but likely he still has non-combatant staff such as janitors. Would Bowser association not be a motivation to compromise the sodas that we know Toad and Daisy drank, and the hospital holding those sick from that very thing?"

Alright Batman," she chuckled, "I was getting to all that. We better check Koopa now and- Uh, why did you yank our phone from the wall though?"

Because it is the key to-" Jelectro felt a sting in this forehead and held it, trembling. "I have to go! Now!" He stepped away then stopped, facing Kylie again. "Actually, accompany me!"

She sprung up from her seat galvanized by the panic in his tone. "Sure? You have to leave the phone though. Company policy and those pidgits in corporate are scary!"

More than this?" Jelectro suddenly raised a silenced pistol from his pocket, making anyone remaining inside scream and dive under tables and desks.

I was kidding about the Batman thing, brother!" Kylie shot her arms up. Stuck between him and her own cubical there was no where to run. "Now what the heck do you really want from us?"

Est-ce que je ne parle pas anglais? I thought not, so let's go!" Jelectro hissed while grimacing from stabbing pain.

To be continued!

Completed: 6/2/19, 6/3, 6/4, 6/5, 6/7, 6/10, 6/13, 6/14, 6/27

Edited: 7/21, 7/30, 8/3, 8/4, 8/20, 8/29
6/17/20 (page breaks added)

Fixed. FOR. REAL: 5/22/21