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FANFICS

Super Mario Alternate Universe Story:
Mario's High School Days

By Toasty

Episode 9: Welcome, Masako! A Lady Returns!

Prologue:

Dear diary:

It seems that my life, as well as Mario's is taking an unexpected turn....After the last battle, I'm beginning to think that me and Mario have a key role to play in the events that are taking place at Nintendo High. Mario told me everything that the principal had revealed to him, and I understand a little better now. If Mario and me are special and important for some reason, then it means that people will depend on us soon. I'll have to get used to that idea and do my best so as not to let them down....Oh yes, we've had a long period of sunny weather, but today, it suddenly began to rain fiercely, and it hasn't stopped yet. It's probably nothing to worry about, though.

-Luigi


Scene 1: Sharing the same umbrella.....she knows him??

(A Friday afternoon, classes have just finished at Nintendo High. Outside, a vigorous rain is pouring down onto the streets. Peach, Samus, Saria and Zelda have just managed to catch the bus home. Inside the vehicle, they begin to comment on the situation)

-Zelda: They just had to make it rain today, huh?

-Peach: But I thought you liked rain, because it gave you an excuse to wear that oh-so masculine trenchcoat and black brolly of yours....

-Zelda: Well, yes, at least there's a bright side to it. But it still makes me feel bad somehow...

-Peach: Oh well, you'll have the whole weekend to shake off you blues.

-Samus: By the way, doesn't Malon usually take this bus as well?

-Saria: She does, but she preferred to walk home today.

-Peach: Hmm...She must really like rain....

-Zelda: Maybe she's trying to catch a grippe so she won't have to go to school for a few days?

-Saria: No, she said something about it being dead romantic to walk home sharing the same umbrella with Bowser, and lots of other sugary talk. You know how she is when you get her on the subject of Bowser, you can't get one sensible word out of her anymore.....

-Peach: You're right. But it's nice that they're so happy together, isn't it?

-Samus: I suppose it's kind of cute in a "beauty and the beast" fashion....And it's true that many couples take walks sharing an umbrella.

-Saria: Aah! How I'd love to share umbrellas with my Mr. Hare! Oh, I do hope he doesn't catch a cold on his way home!

-Peach: But, he drives home in his own car, there's no risk of him catching a cold....

-Saria: And he even has his own car! Aah! How I'd love to take a ride in a car with my Mr. Hare!

-Zelda: She's off again....*sweatdrop* And then she says that you can't get a sensible word out of Malon...

-Saria: Why I ought to.....

-Samus: Heeey! Look at that! Over there!

(The bus was standing still in front of a red light, thus giving Samus the time to spot something very interesting through the window and draw everyone's attention to it)

-Peach: What? What is it?

-Samus: Over there, by that café, look!

-Peach: Oh, that's the "Wright's Tearoom" café. I've heard that it's very good...

-Samus: No, that's not it, look at those two people who have just left the café! Haven't you seen one of them before?

(Samus was referring to a young man and a woman who had just gotten out of "Wright's Tearoom" and were walking off underneath an umbrella. The others peered as hard as they could as these two individuals)

-Zelda: That boy looks kinda familiar. Nice butt by the way....

-Saria: You are so gross....

-Peach: Just a minute....that young man....that's Foxy! I'm sure it's him!

-Samus: Yes, that's what I was trying to tell you!

-Saria: You're right, that's him.....but who's that woman by his side? I'm sure I've never seen her before....

-Zelda: Well, whoever she is, she's been to a tearoom with him....

-Samus:...And she is sharing the same umbrella as him.....

-Peach: Oh! Could she be.....?

-Saria: Could it mean they are.....that this girl and Foxy are.....??

-Zelda: No way! You're not thinking what I'm thinking, are you?!

-Saria: Never in my life would I think your sick thoughts, you Sailor Uranus wannabe......

-Samus: But still, all the evidence hints that Foxy and this woman, whoever she is, have a very intimate relation!

-Zelda: But, that is so hard to believe! Foxy is the most hesitant and insecure guy I've ever seen! How could this have happened so suddenly??

-Samus: That's true. That boy always has his head in the clouds and the only person he ever seems to pay attention to is Falco, so you can imagine how surprised I was to see this!

-Saria: My guess is that he's had a secret relation with this woman for a long time and has always kept it from us! I wouldn't be surprised if there was also someone else involved in there and that this really is a tense and complex love triangle that we've just discovered! My expertise as a woman of the world makes this whole matter crystal clear, yes, yes....

-Zelda: Oh, give me a break, you're just a kid.

-Saria: That is not true! I am a young woman at the prime age of sixteen!

-Zelda: But you still look like a little child of about ten years old.....

-Saria: Oh, who cares?! I'm short for my age, okay?! And size matters as little as age to me when true love is concerned! Speaking of which, did you notice that Foxy's possibly-girlfriend looked quite a bit older than him?

-Samus: Oh, another one who goes for oldies....

-Peach: But...we really shouldn't jump to conclusions...and it's not really any of our business either. After all, there is such a thing as privacy.

-Saria: Awww......you're no fun at all. Look, privacy or no privacy, my curiousity is stronger than any unwritten rule of etiquette, I've simply got to know more about this! Trouble is, I have no idea where to start....

-Samus: But it's simple! Who is Foxy's sole confident, soulmate, sort-of best friend, and father figure all rolled into one?

-Zelda: But..... We really can't ask Ultraman, the idol of every young boy if he knows something about this.....

-Samus: I was not referring to Ultraman! It's obvious to anyone with even half a brain that I meant Falco!

-Saria: Aah, of course! There's even a good chance that Falco is the third angle of this love triangle!

-Peach: Nothing proves that it really is a love triangle....

-Saria: But nothing proves that it isn't one either!

-Peach: *sigh*...Oh, forget it....

-Zelda: Trouble is, Falco isn't exactly the most communicative person in the world. I mean, the only one who can even attempt to talk to him without the risk of getting his head bitten off is Foxy....

-Samus: Well then, we just ask Foxy to ask Falco about Foxy and this woman! Yeah, that's a brilliant plan!

-Peach: I'm afraid that doesn't really make sense....

-Samus: Drat, you're right....I suppose there's nothing we can do for now then....

-Saria: Awwww......what a let-down....

(The next day, the rain had briefly stopped and some weak sunlight was reflecting in the pools of rainwater that littered the city streets. It was on this saturday that Yoshi was heading towards the Wright's Tearoom café, accompanied by Mario and Luigi.)

-Yoshi: Grrr, just you wait, you Wright smartass, we'll soon see how good you really are!

-Mario: Yoshi, aren't you overdoing it a bit?

-Yoshi: What?! How can you say that?! Ever since this café opened last week, it has quickly gained the reputation of serving some of the best food in the city! Everyone claims that this Wright is a tremendous cook, I can't let him get away with stealing my thunder like that!

-Luigi: You're beginning to sound like Falco.....

-Yoshi: Oh, shut up, you're not even a member of the cooking club, you would never understand what this means to me! If only Kirby was here, he'd understand.....Why did he have to go visit his relatives in Hokkaido exactly this weekend anyway?!

-Mario: First Sammy starts to spend weekends in Okinawa, next Kirby goes to visit his folks in Hokkaido...why is everyone going to hip places except for us?

-Luigi: Do you really think Hokkaido is such a hip place?

-Yoshi: Oh, who cares about Hokkaido?! I have other things on my mind now!

-Mario: But, Yoshi, what are you going to do? You can hardly barge into that café and machine-gun the entire staff...

-Yoshi: Mario, that is actually quite a good idea! I should've thought of it before!

-Mario: Yoshi!

-Yoshi: Just joking! What I want to do is go there and try some of their food, see how good it really is, and see if I can discover what exactly makes it so good. Once I've measured the enemy's strength, I can go about improving my level to eventually beat this Wright character! So, in a nutshell, we are going to infiltrate the enemy base on a reconnaissance mission! Understood?!

-Mario: Umm...Yes, whatever...

-Yoshi: But I don't really understand why Luigi has joined us...an enemy base is no place for mere civilians!

-Luigi: Oh stop it, it's just a café! And anyway, it was Mario who forcefully dragged me into this!

-Mario: But Luigi, you need to get out a little, that's what weekends are for! You musn't waste them doing only homework!

-Luigi: That's your policy, not mine! Anyway, the reason I did agree to come was because Sammy told me something about this café over the telephone. She said she had seen Foxy go there with a mysterious woman, and she's dead keen on finding out who this woman really is....

-Mario: I see. Tell me, Luigi, Sammy has been telephoning you quite often lately, hasn't she?

-Luigi: Umm...well, now that you mention it, she did, yes...it hadn't really occurred to me...But so what if she does?

-Mario: Oh brother, are you slow on the uptake...

-Luigi: You're a fine one to tell me that!

-Yoshi: Stop it or I will put you in military court for insubordination! Now, we've reached the enemy base, let's move in, carefully....
 

Scene 2: "Lovely Charming is our service"! Who is the mysterious woman??

(The three had reached the tearoom. They went in and sat down at a table. Suddenly, a spotlight flashed on and in the beam of light, two figures appeared who performed the following intro speech:)

"To protect you from going hungry at lunch time...."

"To attend to your every wish and desire..."

"Lovely Charming is our service..."

"Musashi!"

"Kojiro!"

"Team Rocket waiters, standing by for your order!"

-Mario: Oh, it's you two again....

-Kojiro: *big sigh* Doing our intro speech just isn't the same without chief Nyath yelling at us afterward....

-Musashi: The manager, Mr. Wright does yell at us as well, but there still is something missing....

-Yoshi: Oh, cheer up, you've at least found a job as waiters, right?

(Suddenly, the manager of the café pops up behind the two waiters)

-Wright: Idiots! How many times have I told you not do to that dumb intro speech in front of customers!

-Kojiro: Gulp...it's Mr. Wright....

-Luigi: It's allright, we're used to the intro speech routine ^_^;

-Wright: That is no excuse! Oh, why did I ever hire these two freaks as waiters!?

-Musashi: Umm...because no-one else applied for the job?

-Wright: Oh, forget it, just serve the customers. And don't let this happen again, got that?!

-Musashi & Kojiro: Yeeeesss.

-Yoshi: Allright then, I'll have a lemon meringue pie, garlic ramen noodles, a club sandwich, a slice of watermelon, plum-flavored rice balls, prawn dumplings, a fruit salad and some green tea.

-Luigi: Yoshi, you're going to eat all of that?!

-Yoshi: Just watch me!

-Luigi: But, that must cost a fortune!

-Yoshi: Well, inside information on the enemy's tactics is hard to come by!

-Kojiro: So, that's a plum rice pie, green tea noodles, a garlic sandwich, watermelon dumplings, sliced lemon balls and a prawn meringue salad. Anything else?

-Musashi: Kojiro, you've screwed up the order again! You are so absent-minded! If this goes on we'll be fired again in two days, all because of you! You drive me mad!

(Musashi's bitter monologue was suddenly interrupted by a voice behind her pronouncing a phrase with a question mark tagged at the end, it's content sounding a bit like this:)

-"Oi, got any good saké in here?"-

(Musashi turned around and put on her brightest smile to answer the question she had just been asked with these words:)

-Musashi: Why certainly, our saké is freshly-brewed with nothing but the finest ingredients, I'm sure you will find it most satisfactory! We will bring you a helping of it in just a seco....oh! Ah! Aaaaaaah! It's you!! Star Wolf!!

-Wolf: Yeah, that's me, but what's it to you anyway?

-Kojiro: What's that? Star Wolf is here??!

-Wolf: Oh, it's you two, uhm....Muchacha and Cocorico.

-Musashi: That's Musashi and Kojiro!

-Wolf: Oh yeah, that's it. Anyway, what's up?

-Kojiro: What's up is that you are under arrest!

-Musashi: Kojiro, you can't do that! Remember, we're waiters now, not cops, we can't go around arresting customers, the manager would kill us if we did!

-Kojiro: Aiieee! But that is so unfair! He's right there, in front of us, and we can't arrest him! Nooo!!

-Musashi: Yes, it makes my blood boil as well...there's nothing we can do....Wait a minute! You were asking about saké?!

-Wolf: Yeah, 's right, I was.

-Musashi: Ah-hah! Gotcha! You are exactly 19 years, 4 months and 12 days old! You're not allowed to drink yet!

-Wolf: Ah, this sucks, I'm outta here.

(Wolf leaves the café, much to the disappointment of Kojiro and Musashi)

-Musashi: Noooo! He got away again!

-Kojiro: Yada Kanjiiii!!

-Wright: And stop yelling like lunatics, you two!

-Kojiro: Oh, sorry...By the way, Musashi, how did you know his age so precisely?

-Musashi: We've spent three years chasing him, I know everything about him! Not only his exact age, but also that he's 188.6 cm tall, weighs 78.2 kilos, was born under the sign of the Capricorn, has an O blood type, that his favorite color is black and his favorite videogame is Mortal Kombat!

-Kojiro: Wow...you know all of that by heart...

-Musashi: And I miss chasing after him so much! I'm sure he misses us as well! Couldn't you tell how lonely and troubled he looked, Kojiro?

-Kojiro: Not exactly, no....*sweatdrop*

-Musashi: Well, I could! He seems so lost, he needs someone to lean on, I'm sure of it, and that someone...I want to be that someone!

-Kojiro: Oh great, first "little Albertine", now this....

-Mario: Well, we still don't know what the food's like here, but the waiters sure are fun to watch *grin*.

-Yoshi: I just hope they won't end up serving me watermelon meringue noodles or something....

-Mario: Actually, watermelon meringue noodles doesn't sound too bad to me....

-Luigi: You are so gross....

(Before Mario and Luigi can fly at each other's throats, the door opens and two new customers enter the café. Mario and co. are surprised to recognise one of the newcomers as Foxy, but the lady who is accompanying him is unknown to them...)

-Kojiro: Ah, welcome! Please be seated we'll serve you in just a minute!

(Not noticing the presence of his three friends, Foxy sits down by the window, and the unidentified lady takes a seat opposite to him)

-Luigi: Did you see that? That's what Sammy was talking about!

-Yoshi: If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn't have believed it! But maybe the torture of hunger is making me hallucinate!

-Luigi: I rather doubt it....Mario, what do you make of this?

-Mario: Wowww, that girl...she's a babe!

-Luigi: *big sweatdrop* Oh, never mind...

-Yoshi: Well, what are we waiting for? Let's eavesdrop on them!

-Mario: Yes! They're too far away for us to overhear their conversation now, but we can hide in the potted plants near the window!

-Yoshi: Excellent! Let's do it!

-Luigi: But, wait a minute, you mustn't do that!

-Mario: Don't you want to give Sammy inside info on the identity of the elusive Miss X?

-Luigi: The potted plants will be a perfect hiding place!

(Hidden between the leaves and branches, the three are able to pick up the following bits from the conversation of Foxy and the mystery woman:)

-??: I'm sorry for dragging you back here, but I liked it so much yesterday, I just had to come back and try some more of their food! You can't believe how glad I am to have good old Japanese food again after living abroad for so long!

-Fox: It's all right, really, please don't apologies for it.

-??: Heh heh heh, that's right, I think I should leave the apologizing to you!

-Fox: Uhm...huh?

-??: Just joking, but I do think you're a bit too docile sometimes. You should stand up for what you want a little more!

-Fox: Oh, um...I'm sorry...

-??: There, what did I tell you?

-Fox: Oh! Yikes, I'm s...

-??: Don't say it again!....Oh, never mind, I suppose it's sort of my fault for leaving you with a nutter like James. How is he, by the way?

-Fox: He's allright, I suppose. He caught a bit of a cold in the rain, though....

-??: That's so like him. He's too absent-minded to even think of taking an umbrella when it's raining outside. Instead he wears sunglasses in the rain....honestly, he's the most warped person I've ever known.

-Fox: Um...I don't think you should bring him down like that all the time...it's not really fair...

-??: Hm, yes, I suppose so. He is your father after all. By the way, he doesn't know that I'm in Japan, does he?

-Fox: No, I haven't told him...

(Musashi then nears their table, notepad in hand)

-Musashi: Hello, may I take your order?

-??: Sure, I'll have an okonomiyaki and a mint soda.

-Fox: Just lemon tea for me, please.

-Musashi: Allright, coming right up!

-??: Just a helping of tea? Foxy, are you at all eating properly?

-Fox: Yes, that's not it, I'm just worried that they might misunderstand the order again....

-??: Oh yes, better safe than sorry, I suppose. And anyway, you seem to be in good health. Are you still doing volleyball?

-Fox: Yes, I am, but I haven't had much time for that lately...so many things have happened.

-??: Yes, same here. We do have a lot of catching up to do, don't we? Speaking of which, when will I finally get to meet this Falco of yours? You've mentioned him at least a million times, I should at least get to see him. I've heard he's quite a looker too *grin*.

-Fox: Yes, he is, but...well, he doesn't really like meeting people....

-??: Oh, I see. Excuse me for a second, Foxy, I need to make a phone call.

("Miss X" leaves the table and heads for a payphone at the other end of the tearoom. While she's away, Mario steps out of his hiding place and joins Foxy at his table)

-Fox: Mario?! You were here all the time?!

-Mario: Yup, and Luigi and Yoshi are here as well. It's really uncool of you to keep this a secret from us, you know. You could've told us you had such a great girlfriend, even if she seems at least twice as old as you, we would understand. And we wouldn't have been jealous at all.

-Fox: I...I don't understand what you're talking bout...

-Mario: It's too late to play innocent, we've heard everything and the whole matter's crystal clear now!

(Luigi and Yoshi are still hiding in the potted plants and discuss the situation in these terms:)

-Luigi: Oh no, Mario has ruined everything again.....

-Yoshi: Sssh, don't make any noise! The unknown lady is coming back from the phone!

-Luigi: But, she'll see Mario and our cover will be blown!

(Indeed, Mario's presence had not gone unnoticed for the still-nameless lady, and this discovery produced the following reaction from her:)

-??: Foxy, I do hope that this is not the great Falco. Because if that's what you call "quite a looker", you have very bad taste indeed!

-Fox: Oh, don't worry, this is not Falco, this is Mario. He transferred to Nintendo High just a few months ago. He was born in Italy and he's a member of the cooking club.

-??: Oh, I see. Well, it's nice to meet you, Mario.

-Mario: Likewise, "Miss X", or should I say "future Mrs. McCloud"? Heh heh heh....

-??: You've got it a little wrong, there. I'm the ex-Mrs. McCloud, not the future one. My name is Masako Katsuki. I switched back to my maiden name after the divorce.

-Mario: Wow, I'm speechless! So you've already been married to Foxy in the past?! I had no idea!

-Masako: I have most certainly not been married to Foxy! Why should I marry my own son?!

-Mario: Your....son??

-Masako: Exactly! I am the former Mrs. James McCloud and the mother of Foxy.

-Mario *goes bright red in the face* Oh dear....oh dear, oh dear....

(Luigi and Yoshi then rush out of their hideouts to somewhat save the situation)

-Luigi: Please excuse my brother, miss Katsuki, he was mistaking you for someone else. We're terribly sorry!

-Yoshi: Yes, please don't hold it against him, he was born an idiot, he can't help it.

-Mario: What was that, Yoshi? *menacing stare*

-Yoshi: Yeep! Don't stare like that at your club president, Mario!

-Kojiro: Uhm, excuse me...

-Yoshi: Yes, what is it?

-Kojiro: Here you are: one lemon garlic salad, green plum dumplings, watermelon rice balls, and a slice of prawn pie. Anything else?

-Yoshi: Aaargh! Take it away, I can't stand the sight of it!

-Masako: Foxy, who on earth are these two?

-Fox: Oh, this is Luigi, he's Mario's brother...

-Luigi: I do apologize for my brother's behaviour....

-Fox: ..And this is Yoshi, who runs the cooking club.

-Yoshi: At your service!

-Fox: Luigi, Yoshi, this is Masako, my mother.

-Masako: Delighted to meet you. I've just arrived in Japan yesterday, and I'll be staying for a week. After that, I'm returning to Brussels. I work at a space research lab there, you see.

-Yoshi: Really? Kewl! There is a club in our school that works on amateur spacecraft mechanics, in fact, both Luigi and Foxy are members of that club.

-Masako: Is that so? Go on, tell me more about it, then!

(A few hours pass while everyone talks about daily life and other such things... At around three o'clock, Masako announces that she has to leave.)

-Masako: I'm sorry, but I really must go now. I have some business to attend to. It was very nice meeting every one of you. That reminds me, Foxy, I do want to at least see this Falco before I leave again.

-Fox: Oh, allright, I'll see what I can do....

-Masako: Good. Foxy, remember this well: there is a point in everyone's life when they meet the one person that understands them completely...it is something inevitable, it happens to everyone someday...Oh, sorry, I really have to go now ^^.

(And with those words, she leaves her son and his friends behind in the café)

-Mario: What did she mean by that anyway?

-Fox: I...I don't really know...

=NOTES: Okonomiyaki: sort of a Japanese pizza, speciality of the Kansai region. Hokkaido: region in the north of Japan. Those who have forgotten what "Yada Kanji" means, check the side notes of episode 6. Wright is a reference to Dr. Wright, the mascot of the SNES version of Sim City.=
 

Scene 3: Slowly....the shadow comes closer....

(A little while later, Mario and the others had left the café and were walking back to the subway station. Suddenly, Mario notices a familiar silhouette walking down the street in front of them and calls out to this person)

-Mario: Heey! Peach! Over here!

-Peach: Oh, Mario, it's you!

(The one Mario had spotted was indeed Peach. Needless to say, he was overjoyed to see her once again)

-Mario: It's amazing! Even when the weather's lousy, you look great!

-Peach: Oh...uhm, thank you....

-Mario: Anyway, what are you doing around here?

-Peach: Well, we ran out of soy sauce at home, so I offered to go get some. I'm on my way back now.

-Mario: I see. Well, please allow me to carry your groceries home, I insist!

(Mario takes the shopping bags from Peach's hands and starts walking down the street)

-Mario: It's this way, right?

-Peach: Yes, wait for me!

-Luigi: But Mario, Peach's house is completely in the opposite direction to the subway station!

-Yoshi: Luigi, sometimes you really are slow on the uptake.....

(Yoshi and Foxy drag Luigi away to the subway station, while Mario and Peach continue to walk in the other direction)

-Peach: We've got to turn left here. I hope the bags aren't too heavy...

-Mario: Oh, not at all! Anything for you! By the way, aren't we in the street where the Venom building used to be?

-Peach: You're right, that used to be here...

-Mario: The Venom building...that sure brings back memories...

-Peach: But it really is nothing more than a memory now. After our battle there, all the building's residents had disappeared and the building was decaying very rapidly. It was no longer fit for residential purposes, it was just a wreck and soon it was torn down...But a while ago, a big electronics company bought the soil on which the Venom building used to be and built a large office building there. We're passing it now...

(Mario turns round to take a look at this office building and sees an imposing black tower piercing into the pale grey sky...)

-Mario:....Hmm...Somehow it looks...I don't know...unusual....

-Peach: I agree. I always feel uncomfortable when passing this building...it looks so gloomy.

-Mario: And you say it's the office of an electronics company?

-Peach: That's right. I think it's a company called Seny enterprises or something.

-Mario: Seny enterprises, huh?....I don't know why, but I don't like this one bit...

(At that moment, they were passed by two men in black suits wearing sunglasses and badges emblazoned with a large S, who went towards the large black skyscraper)

-Peach: Those two must be employees of the Seny company. I've seen men like that around the building a few times. It's strange; they all wear the exact same clothes, hairstyles etcetera, and there are no female employees at all. Even their faces look very similar...It's a little spooky, isn't it?

-Mario: Well, probably, but you don't need to be scared. I promise that nothing bad will happen to you! Remember, should you ever need help, you can always count on me and Luigi!

-Peach: Mario.... thank you...

(Meanwhile, Masako had made her way to the Nintendo High building, where she was welcomed by most of the school's staff)

-Peppy: Welcome, Masako. It's good to see you again.

-Masako: Thank you. I'm glad to see that everyone here is safe. Nobody was injured during the last attack, right?

-Gannon: No need to worry, we're just fine. But what about you? I mean, how are things going in the Benelux region?

-Masako: No problems at all. I'm using a space centre as a cover. Everyone thinks that I'm just training young astronauts for their eventual ventures into space while I'm really teaching them the 64 secret techniques.

-Syrup: A space centre, huh? It's kind of original....

-Geno: When we found out that the S-types were appearing in regions all over the world, we made partnerships with gifted people in other countries and provided them with the means to secretly train young men and women to fight the S-types. They usually use monasteries or martial arts schools as a cover, I think you're the only one who came up with using an astronaut training ground...

-Masako: Yes, well, that's me. I like to innovate ^^. But the thing is, there have been no S-type attacks at all in the Benelux region lately.

-Peppy: Yes, our partners in the central European area and the Mediterranean area have confirmed the same thing...Also, reports tell me that there have been no attacks at all in the Scandinavian area, the North-African area, the Thai area and the Chinese area.

-Syrup: It's strange. The S-types have returned, but only Tokyo is being attacked by them. They usually appear at random all over the globe, why are they concentrating on just one area this time? Why would Japan be the epicenter of the attacks?

-Gannon: Yes, it makes no sense. It's not like our school is any different from the other secret bases where our partners fight the S-types.

-Peppy: Oh but you know very well that it is different from the others. After all, this building is where we've stored the greatest secret of them all....the key that will shift the tides in the final battle, it lays dormant right here.

-Gannon: You don't think they could be coming after it? That they will try to get their hands on it?

-Syrup: If that's what they're planning, it could be very bad. They already seem to know that this building is our base and that this is where they should attack us...

-Peppy: You're right, it is rather worrying. But it should normally be impossible for them to notice it's presence, so I'm also thinking that there may be something else in Tokyo that is important to them. They may be looking for something in this city....And that's where you come in, Masako. We need your talents to determine if there might be anything in the city that could attract the S-types.

-Masako: I see, that's why you called me here.

-Peppy: I am sorry to have imposed this inconvenience upon you, but you are the only one I know of who has properly mastered the 50th secret technique, "scan".

-Geno: It's strange, but somehow, different people are more adept at using certain special techniques than others...

-Peppy: By using "scan", one can search a certain area for whatever one wants to find. It could be a person, a lost object, or even something vague, such as "a danger". The trouble is, unless one has reached a high level of mastery, "scan" will only cover a small area. With my level, I can only cover around one room. The use of "scan" is just too draining for me. I really must be getting too old for this....

-Masako: You're always so harsh on yourself, Hare. Do you have any idea of what it might be that attracts the enemy to Tokyo?

-Peppy: Well, there is only one thing I can think of. When seven years ago, the city was invaded by an armada of S-types, the current students of Nintendo High sealed them away in another dimension, thus briefly restoring the world's peace. I'm guessing that somewhere in Tokyo, there may be a gateway to the dimension where the enemy was sealed and that they're trying to blow this gate wide open....

-Geno: But even if there is a gate to that dimension, wasn't there a seal placed on this opening?

-Peppy: There was, but it's well possible that this seal has weakened with time, and that the work of Andross has further weakened it. Already the fact that we've been attacked twice means that the seal is sufficiently weakened to let a few S-types appear in our world.

-Syrup: And since the seal's location is in Tokyo, it makes sense that they have only appeared here so far...

-Gannon: But if they further break up this seal, they will be able to reach other parts of the world as well.

-Peppy: And that's why we must hurry. Masako, are you ready?

-Masako: Sure thing, just show me a map of the city or something.

-Peppy: Please come this way.

(A large map of the city is attached to a nearby wall. With her eyes on this map, Masako goes into action...)

-Masako: Allright, here goes..."scan"!!

-Geno: Well? Are you picking anything up?

-Masako: Just a minute, I'm trying to concentrate here.

-Geno: Sorry....

-Masako: Wait, there's something.....in the centre of town...it's strange...

-Geno: Well, what is it then?

-Masako:...I can't really tell yet....it's....No, it's terrible!!

-Syrup: What's the matter?

-Masako: It's very bad....I've located the gateway, and it's still sealed, but something terrible is happening. There is a huge amount of enemy activity right on top of the seal!

-Gannon: Are you sure?

-Masako: Positive. The enemy have made some sort of settlement, or rather a base on the very spot where the seal is located.

-Geno: And how will this affect the state of the seal?

-Masako: Well, I can't say for sure, but with so much enemy pressure on the seal, it will probably take them only around 48 hours to have completely erased the seal. In just over two days, they will be able to swarm all over the world!

-Peppy: Unless we do something, that is. The trouble is that our students are nowhere near prepared enough for this. We've had only very little time to train them, and even though they've done well so far, they are not yet prepared enough to face something like this...

-Syrup: So then what will we do? Just stand here and watch while the city is being trampled?

-Peppy: That is not at all in my intention. The enemy may think they've outsmarted us, but we still have one last trick up our sleeve.

-Gannon: Principal...you're not thinking of...??

-Peppy: Yes, I am. We will have to enlist the aid of the chose one I ordered you two to find, the one who will be the "harbinger".

-Gannon: But we still have no idea who this chosen one is! We haven't found him or her yet!

-Peppy: Don't worry, I'm taking care of it. I'm quite certain about the identity of this person.

-Syrup: You know who it is? But are you sure it's safe to use this method?

-Peppy: There's no other way. I've held back for too long, and now we're cornered. This time, it will be all or nothing! Masako, what is the exact location of this enemy base?

-Masako: The exact location is the former ground of the Venom building, the office tower of the Seny company. That is the enemy base!

-Geno: I see. So it was there all along....

-Peppy: Well then, this is it. The big day has arrived. We will send our students into battle first thing Monday morning!

-All: Understood!

-Peppy: Good. Then you may leave now. We will meet again on Monday. Masako, thank you for your help.

-Masako: It's nothing. I just wish I could do more. After all, my own son will be involved in this battle as well.....

-Peppy: I'm really amazed that you don't hate me to death. After all, I was the one who forced you to leave Japan and abandon your family to take care of S-type attacks in the Benelux region. I was really cruel to do that to you, just because I wasn't able to find another candidate.

-Masako: There you go again. You just love to balme yourself, don't you?

-Peppy: I am often told that ^^. Must be a bad habit of mine...

-Masako: Look, you have no reason to hate yourself for this. If I hadn't wanted to leave Japan, I would have flat-out refused. But I accepted this mission from my own will. I chose to do this because, like everyone else, our world matters a lot to me. To protect it, I would give up the ones I love and my own happiness. My little life isn't that important when compared to the destiny of everyone in the world.

-Peppy: But still, if you keep thinking like that about yourself, you will eventually drag yourself down into a situation from which there is no escape. You are being far too harsh on yourself as well, Masako.

-Masako:...Perhaps I am....

(As Masako leaves the building, a new rainshower strikes down upon the city. Considering the current climatological situation, Masako pronounces this phrase:)

-Masako: Drat, I should've brought a brolly.

-"Oi, over here! If you stand in the rain like that, you'll ruin your hair!"-

(Masako turns around and speaks the following reply to the one behind her who had just addressed her in his familiar voice:)

-Masako: James, I don't know quite how to put this....but sunglasses don't go very well with a raincoat and an umbrella.

-James: Really? I thought it looked quite suave...

-Masako: You've always had bad taste...at least you didn't give me the excuse about having sensitive eyes. Wouldn't have worked with the current lack of sunlight anyway.

-James: Yes, I figured as much ^^;. I didn't know you where in Japan, by the way....

-Masako: Right, so this is supposed to be chance encounter "determined by destiny" and bla bla bla, is that it?

-James: Like a woman of science like you would ever fall for that....

-Masako: For such a hopeless romantic you're being quite logical there....

-James: I'll be even more logical: if you don't get under this umbrella, you'll catch bronchitis and have a bad hair day. Come on, I'll walk you to the hotel.

-Masako:......Oh, very well.

(Masako joins James under his umbrella and they walk off towards the hotel, exchanging the following words:)

-Masako: So, how did you know I was here?

-James: Actually, I got a call from Hare about an hour ago...

-Masako: He's a little old to play cupid....

-James: You know he's still young at heart. Tell me, what's that perfume you're wearing?

-Masako: It's a new line from Chanel. It's flying off the shelves like nobody's business. Foxy told me you've caught a cold, by the way....

-James: Oh, so you've seen him?

-Masako: Twice, actually. I do hope you're looking after him properly....

-James: Well, sure. He means everything to me, you know that.

-Masako: Yes, I quite know that sentiment....oh, you will take care of that cold of yours, right?

-James: Sure, sure, not to worry....

(And even despite the icy rain, there is some kind of warmth in the air that late afternoon.....)

-scene 4: The last morning....Our destiny is waiting!

(Early on Monday morning, before the classes have started, Luigi and Peach are standing in one of the school's corridors.)

-Peach: You said you wanted to see me...?

-Luigi: Yes. There is something very important I want to tell you.

-Peach: I'm listening....

-Luigi: It's about Mario. I'm not sure how to put this, so I'll just cut straight to the point. See, he has this thing about you...I mean, he thinks you're very special. You really matter very much to him. All the efforts he's making...he does it for you.

-Peach:.......

-Luigi: I know he's not the best-looking guy in the world. And he is kind of clumsy...but even so, he is a good person. He has a very good heart, and I'm sure he means well for you. So, if he should someday ask you if he can stay with you forever, please think it over well.....

-Peach:...Luigi.....

-Luigi:...I'm...I'm sorry...this was stupid. I have no say in who you want to live with. Forget what I said....

-Peach: No, it's allright. I knew what you told me all along. I know very well that Mario loves me....but, he also loves us all.

-Luigi...eh?

-Peach: I've been watching him. You are right in saying that he has a good heart. He cares about us all, he is always doing his best for everyone....if a person like that has chosen me as the one he wants to live with....then I am very honoured.

-Luigi: Really? So...if he makes a declaration, you will accept?

-Peach: No, I don't think that's what I'll do.

-Luigi: But...but you just said....

-Peach: Oh, you misunderstood. I'm sorry, what I meant was, I think I will tell Mario that I care for him as well....

-Luigi: I see.....Thanks....I'm sorry for being pushy about this....

-Peach: It's allright. He's your brother, so of course you think of him.....

(At that moment, Wario hurriedly arrived on the scene and brashly addressed Luigi)

-Wario: Ah! I've been looking all over for you! I have very important information!

-Luigi: Really? And what would that be?

-Wario: I'll tell you for 20 yen!

-Luigi: Well, I think it's about time I got going....

-Wario: Aah, wait! I'll tell you all right! Don't leave now!

-Luigi:....Allright then....

-Wario: Well, it's like this: you're wanted in the principal's office. And Mario's there as well. It seems to be quite urgent. Well, don't you think that such information is well worth 20 yen? I'd usually charge 50 yen, but I'm giving you special price rates on account that we're such good friends, yes, yes....So, what do you say? 20 yen?

(However, Wario's question remained unanswered as Luigi had long since left for the principal's office, leaving Wario to monologue on his own....)

-Wario: What a rip-off! That's the last time I do him any favors! It's not as if I'm asking for much, just 20 yen!

-Peach: Perhaps you could send him a bill?

-Wario: Hey! That is actually a very good idea! I never knew you had such a sense for business!

-Peach: Well...neither did I, really...*embarrassed grin*.

-Wario: Oh, that reminds me, there was an announcement just a while ago that all students are to come to the school auditorium. Apparently, we will be told something very important there.

-Peach: I see. Well then we should be going to the auditorium....

-Wario: Wait a minute, don't I get paid for supplying such precious information?

-Peach: I'm afraid not. You never said you wanted payment.

-Wario: Drat....

(And so, Peach and a still-penniless Wario head for the auditorium. Meanwhile, Mario and Luigi where at the principal's office. There, the principal opens the conversation with these words:)

-Peppy: I'm glad you two could make it. A matter of the highest importance has come up.

-Mario: Is it another S-type attack?

-Peppy: Sort of. You see, we have succeeded in locating the enemy base. In just a few hours, the enemy's power will have increased so much that they will be able to expand their influence to all parts of the world, so we must launch an attack on their fortress and wipe them out before this happens. We only have a few hours left.

-Luigi: But...why are you telling this to us in private?

-Peppy: The reason why I had you summoned here was because on this day of our decisive battle, you have a key role to play. You two are special, your destiny is to become the ones who will decide the outcome of this battle...

-Mario: What....?

-Peppy: Come with me to the top floor of the building. There, you will see for yourselves what I mean.....

(In the auditorium, Gannon and Syrup had told the assembled students about the enemy base and the plan to attack them directly. They concluded their story with these words:)

-Gannon: So now you know. This day will decide the future of the world...

-Syrup: You know what there is at stake here. Decide for yourselves whether or not you want to be part of this. Those of you who don't feel up to it may leave the building as of now.

(With that a silence fell. After a few moments, certain voices spoke up:)

-Falco: Well, finally someone's making some sense. I was sick of just sitting here, waiting for them to attack us. A full-frontal attack to wipe out the base of those pests sounds much better!

-Fox: Falco......

-Falco: Well, I mean it. Finally we get to kick back!

-Bowser: Yes, that's right! No more waiting around: this is it! Our big chance for victory!

-Malon: Well said, my dear! And with the power of love, this victory will surely be ours!

-Link: I must say that I agree. With so much at stake, I for one am determined to carry this to a successful end.

-Saria: I'll do this for my Mr. Hare! He's counting on us, and I will not let him down!

-Zelda: Right on! I was hoping for a bit of action! Those S-type suckers won't know what hit them!

-Wario: I will fight them with my full force! An enemy that wants to ravage the world is very bad indeed. The damage it could do to the economy is terrible! If I don't do something, I might lose loads of profit!

-Yoshi: I won't let them harm my home city and my friends! Anyone who wants to do that will have to answer to me!

-Kirby: I will do my very best! I will be just as brave as president Yoshi!

-Samus: Right! We can't just stand here and do nothing, we're the only defense the city has left against those freaks!

-Toad: Agreed. We will obtain a triumph of mind over matter!

-Slippy: I'm not afraid anymore! I won't cry this time!

-Peach: This is what we're here for. We mustn't turn back now!

-Falco: We showed them who's boss when they ripped off our principal, we can do it again! If they still haven't gotten the message, we'll give them some shock treatment to jug their memories!

-Everyone: Yes!!

-Syrup: Well, they sure seem to be taking it well.....I'm quite surprised, really.

-Gannon: *grin* Those kids, they really are something, eh?

(As the students leave the auditorium and head out onto the streets, on their way to the enemy base, Bowser suddenly adresses Malon with these words:)

-Bowser: Malon, wait a minute.

-Malon: My beloved, what is it?

-Bowser: Before we leave for this enemy base....I think I should give you this.

(He then rapidly pressed a ring into the palm of her hand)

-Malon:....Bowser....

-Bowser: Look, I'm sorry. I don't really know how to put this....I'm not really good at that sort of thing...But you get the message, right? You can yell at me for being so blunt once this over, okay?

(He then rushes off into the streets to join the other students, leaving Malon to think the following thoughts:)

-Malon: My Bowser....thank you....thank you so much...I won't yell at you. I'm so very happy...I will fight today, not just for you, but for everyone. So that everyone can one day find someone as special as you..... I won't fail, I promise you!

(The students continue to leave the school grounds and begin their journey towards the Seny tower, the enemy base. In the meantime, the principal has taken Mario and Luigi to the top floor of the school building. The are standing in front of a massive sealed door.)

-Peppy: In here lies the greatest secret of them all. The sacred entity known as the "N-force". Mario and Luigi, you are the ones chosen by destiny to wield this revolutionary power. You are the "harbingers".....This is your destiny.

END OF EPISODE 9
 

Preview of the next episode:

The day of the final combat has finally arrived! While the brave students begin the last attack against the enemy, Mario and Luigi must face their destiny and come to grips with an enormous and dangerous new power which will lead them to victory! It's the moment for everyone to fulfill their purpose and to give it their all for the future. It's the next episode: Appearance of the ultimate evil!

TO BE CONTINUED...


 

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