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FANFICS

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

By Toasty

-Preface

June 2000; Montesquieu and Robespierre launched a massive attack on Tokyo, covering the entire city in a blanket of ice. However, when Peach summoned all of her determination and combined forces with Kid Icarus to cast a double light arrow, they succeeded in wiping out this menace. Montesquieu and Robespierre seemed to have been reduced to nothingness....And with them dead, the ice that they had caused to fall started to slowly dissolve. The massive blocks of ice were gradually reduced to heaps of minuscule particles, that were so light they just drifted away on the air. Masses of these tiny ice shards floated away from the city, with the bleak sunshine reflecting in them. It was as if a shower of light ascended to the sky....No longer entrapped in the ice, the people of Tokyo could move again and beheld in amazement as all these glittering particles floated upwards. But during this scene, something happened on the rooftop one of particular skyscraper in Tokyo. A large and imposing building, with a logo that read "DataDyne" emblazoned on it's roof. An employee of the DataDyne company; a lone man was standing on the rooftop of this DataDyne building, contemplating the millions of shimmering drops that were rising from the city. His long, white lab coat fluttered in the wind as he whispered to himself.

-"It's....this is amazing. Such a phenomenon has never been seen before. And it's so beautiful...."

But suddenly, he noticed a small, bright glimmer in the sky, among the masses of floating ice shards. He looked on in tension as two small objects came drifting down from this shimmer towards him. He eagerly held out his hand and watched as two tiny diamond-shaped crystals of a pitch black colour fell into his outstretched handpalm. He looked at the tiny black crystals closely, wondering what they could be. But as he pondered this question, he suddenly heard the sound of a whispering feminine voice, seemingly coming from nowhere:

-"What you hold there are the very last remains of our person...."-

Tho hear a voice emanating from the small crystals he had just grabbed surprised him greatly, and his confusion increased when he heard a second voice, this time a low and dignified male voice, whispering as well:

-"Those are the keystones for restoring the destiny that we had planned...."-

Amazed to hear these voices, he stared around for a few moments. Puzzled, he then stared back at the black crystals in his handpalm, wondering what they could really be.....


Episode 6: Destiny's Revival!

-June 2000-

Early afternoon at the Great Deku hospital building, in Shinjuku. The hospital's visitor hours have just started. An elevator's doors slide open at the building's 6th floor, and the tall silhouette of Falco, with his broad shoulders draped by a red leather jacket nonchalantly strides out of the elevator. Down the corridor of the 6th floor, two nurses who go by the names of Navi and Tatl are taking a moment to have some coffee, but they suddenly halt their small-talk when Falco walks past them. Once he's out of sight, they exchange the following remarks:

-Nurse Navi: That was him! He's the gorgeous guy I told you about! Did you see him?

-Nurse Tatl: I sure did. I heard a rumour about that from some of the other nurses. Ryoko told me one hell of a beautiful guy comes to the sixth floor every single day.

-Nurse Navi: Exactly, and that was him! He's here every day exactly in time for the visitor hours. Don't you think he's just to -die- for? He's totally ultra hot!

-Nurse Tatl: You weirdo....But anyways, why does he keep coming here day in day out? Does he come to see someone?

-Nurse Navi: Yup, that's right. According to what I heard, he always comes to visit a certain patient in ward 6-4U.

-Nurse Tatl: Ah, I think I know that patient. He's that redhead boy who got his arm broken. They say it happened during that freaky incident last week, you know, when all that ice suddenly rained down on the city. That's where that boy got his arm broken, or so they told me.

-Nurse Navi: Really? Well, he can't complain in that case, I'd say he got off easy with just one broken arm. And to top it off, he has such a gorgeous guy visiting him every single day! He must really be very close to him to show so much consideration to that boy.

-Nurse Tatl: You're right. Such a thing is rare nowadays....

-Nurse Navi: Ahh, I envy him, I wish someone looked after me so well!

In the meantime, Falco had made his way to the hospital room were Foxy was being kept. He slantered into the chamber, and opened with this phrase while leaning in the doorway:

-Falco: Yo. So, how's the ol' arm?

Foxy looked up and his face brightened. He answered in these words:

-Fox: Ah, it's getting better, thanks. Just a week or so more and I'll be in good enough shape to come back home again. I'll still need to wear a plaster around my arm, and it'll take quite a few months until it's back to normal again...

-Falco: Hmm....Several months....

-Fox: You....you feel that bad about it? I told you it isn't your fault. You look as if this really bothers you.

-Falco: Hrmph....Yah, well, to tell the truth, I do feel lousy about it. It should've been me who had his arm broken.

-Fox: Hmm, somehow I'm not as flattered as I think I should be by that comment. Frankly, I totally disagree with you.

-Falco: Right, so much for a bit of gratitude, then.

-Fox: No, I mean, it's not bad of you to feel that way, but all the same, that makes no sense at all and I can tell it really bothers you. You're looking so very forlorn...

-Falco: It's the first time anyone says -that- to me.

-Fox: Look, just stop worrying yourself like that, I don't like to see you in such a state. So relax already, okay? Are you managing allright at home, by yourself?

-Falco: Yes, I get along just fine...Say, why do I feel as if I'm being lectured here?

-Fox: Heh...sorry about that. Guess I was being a bit too bossy to you. All the same, you could appreciate it when I give you some much-needed advice.

Falco then grins along and leans closer.

-Falco: Oh, but I do appreciate you, you -know- that. And I'll promise that I won't blame myself so much anymore. You seem to be in pretty good shape as it is.

-Fox: I'm really feeling fine. I hardly need to take painkillers any more, but they were very efficient. The hospital gets them from none other than the DataDyne company.

-Falco: DataDyne? That big shot company you see in the news all the time?

-Fox: That's right. They seem to manufacture pretty much anything you can think of, from paper tissues to toaster-ovens. And their pharmacy branch produces a very popular type of painkiller tablet.

-Falco: Hmm, DataDyne...That company really seems to pop up -everywhere- lately....

 

-July 2000-

A radiant morning sun shimmers over the rooftops of the city. In a small apartment, Yoshi is putting the finishing touches to a spicy tofu curry. He tastes some of the dish and grins contently.

-Yoshi: Yup, it's just about perfect. I can leave them with this, it'll do nicely.

He then turns towards the doorway of the kitchen and shouts these words into the other rooms of the apartment:

-Yoshi: Big brother Hiroshi! Big brother Tsukoshi! I'm off to the airport now! I've left you breakfast in the kitchen, eat it while it's still hot!

Upon the sound of these words, two young men appear in the doorway of the kitchen. These are Yoshi's two brothers; Tsukoshi, aged 26 and Hiroshi, aged 22. Tsukoshi's blue hair is neatly styled, and he is dressed in a pale grey jacket, whereas Hiroshi still looks half-asleep in his pajamas, with his sandy blond hair severely ruffled.

-Hiroshi: Hurrmmm....Yoshi, what's all the yelling about? And.....is that delicious smell a tofu curry?

-Tsukoshi: Yoshi, you sure are up early today.

-Yoshi: That's because I have to get to Narita airport first thing to see off Ibis. She's going back to Cairo today, I really have to dash now in order to say goodbye to her. So I'm going, then. See ya!

Yoshi then rushes out of the apartment, leaving his brothers behind. Tsukoshi chuckles lightly.

-Tsukoshi: How cute, that he should make so many efforts to be gallant to Ibis. You know, Hiroshi, since our parents are no longer around, it's pretty much you and I who have raised little Yoshi. Ahh, to see my little brother's first love really makes an impact on me as well...*big sigh*.

-Hiroshi: Cut the melodrama, the curry will get cold. Let's eat, quickly!

-Tsukoshi: Really, Hiroshi, you aren't even dressed yet. It's not becoming of a university student to loaf around so much. And must I remind you that you have morning colleges today? You have no time to waste, go and get ready, or else you will be late!

-Hiroshi: But....*wail of despair* but what about the curry?

-Tsukoshi: Don't worry, the breakfast our little brother has prepared won't go to waste. Since you have no time to eat because of your morning classes, I'll take the responsibility of enjoying this meal for the both of us.

-Hiroshi: Grrrmbl, your just as devious as Yoshi when it comes to conning others out of food! And what about your duties? Don't you have to work?

-Tsukoshi: I'm not expected at the office until 10 o'clock, and since I got up early to get dressed and washed, I have all the time for an extensive breakfast. Unlike you who can only afford five minutes to get dressed. Now run along, you need to take your university seriously so that you set a good example for little Yoshi.

-Hiroshi: *sigh* This is so unfair....

While Hiroshi lamented his cruel situation, Yoshi had rapidly taken the subway to the airport, where he found himself face-to-face with Ibis, just a few minutes before her departure.

-Yoshi: Well, it looks like this is it....

-Ibis: Indeed. I've got to go home now, but Yoshi, I really enjoyed my stay in Japan. I want to thank you for everything!

-Yoshi: Oh, don't mention it *big grin*.....I only wish you could've stayed just one or two more days, for the Tanabata festival.

-Ibis: Tanabata festival? Some kind of holiday?

-Yoshi: Sort of. It's based on an old fairy tale, about the spinster Vega and her fiancé Altair. They're separated by almost a whole galaxy, but they can meet each other once each year, and it's on that day that we have the festival.

-Ibis: I see, that must be why I saw all those kids carrying bamboo branches in the streets.

-Yoshi: Yeah, that's part of the festival too. One writes his wishes on strips of paper and hangs those wishes in bamboo branches. I don't really believe in that kind of hocus-pocus, but I did write down the wish that you'd come back soon, and put it up in a bamboo branch at home *sigh*...

-Ibis: Aww, don't look so downcast about it. I'm not going away forever, you know that.

-Yoshi: Myah...It's pretty ironic, isn't it? On the day that Altair comes to meet Vega, you're leaving me for Cairo. It's really weird, come to think of it.

-Ibis: Yoshi....But, now that you mention it, next time, I'd like you to come to Cairo, if that's agreeable to you.

-Yoshi: Whoa, you mean it? In Cairo? I'd absolutely love that! That'd be brilliant!

-Ibis: *smile* Okay, then it's settled. I'll make the arrangements as soon as I'm back. But you must promise me that you won't get all depressed in the meantime, okay? I really prefer to see your usual smiling nature.

-Yoshi: You got it! Oh boy, oh boy, Cairo, that'd be just so cool!

By that time, passengers had started to board the plane to Cairo, and Ibis joined them, leaving Yoshi with these words:

-Ibis: Well, enjoy the Tanabata festival, and see you soon in Cairo!

-Yoshi: Sure thing!

As Yoshi watched from Ibis' plane take off, he contemplated these thoughts:

-Yoshi: Well, whaddaya know, that wish I put up in the bamboo branch sort of came true, and I even got more than I bargained for. Maybe there is something to the Tanabata festival after all...

 

-August 2000-

Ness was lounging around in the empty Earthbound Karaoke bar. Very few customers had visited the bar lately, but his mother still insisted that he'd lend a helping hand in running the place. That was the least of his worries, however. He was thinking many thoughts about the discovery he had recently made that Mario and Luigi were really the two winged figures that had been appearing at the mysterious incidents, just as Joanna Dark had described to him. He was very insecure as to what he should do now. Presently, his mother came in, and seeing her son's troubled look, she spoke these words to him:

-Ness' Mom: Why, Ness, you look so gloomy. Is anything the matter?

-Ness: Well....

-Ness' Mom: Ssh, no need to talk about it. Mothers understand these things. Eat some steak and scoot up to bed, okay?

-Ness: But it's barely two o'clock in the afternoon, mom.

-Ness' Mom: *big sweatdrop* Oh, my mistake. Well, in any case, if something -is- bothering you....

-Ness: Never mind, it's nothing. I have to go out for a while, so I can't look after the bar right now. I'll be back soon, though.

-Ness' Mom: Okay, but don't forget to give your dad a phone call when you come back!

As Ness left the Eartbound Karaoke, he shortly asked himself the following question:

-Ness: Why do I have to put up with such eccentric parents? *big sigh*

He then began to walk towards the nearest subway station. He knew that his "employer" Joanna Dark had recently quit her job at TV Tokyo, and had instead moved to a newly-established press syndicate called Carrington, who had offered her a far more agreeable job than TV Tokyo. Ness made his way to the building of the Carrington Institute. Once there, he went towards Joanna Dark's office, walked right up to her, and told her quite bluntly that he wanted to quit. This produced the following reaction from Joanna:

-Joanna: Eh? What do you mean, you quit?

-Ness: I mean, quite simply, that I'm not going through with this anymore. It's nothing personal, but I just don't want to go on with this.

Ness then handed a small suitcase to Joanna.

-Ness: This is the spare Nintendo High uniform you had to arrange for me. I won't need it anymore, so I'm returning it. I won't keep you any longer, have a nice day.

Having spoken these words politely but firmly, he then went towards the door.

-Joanna: No, wait, don't do this to me! Think of the money! You don't know what you're doing!

-Ness: No use insisting, my mind is made up. Goodbye, miss Dark.

He then left the office and turned his back on the Carrington building for good, which greatly puzzled Joanna. While he was waiting for the subway train, Ness contemplated his latest action.

-Ness:...It really is better this way. I'm not sure how Mario and Luigi are involved in all these mysterious happenings, but nonetheless...it's really something that should be left alone, that's what my intuition is telling me. During the short time I spent with those people, it gave me the impression that they couldn't be bad. *sigh* I really hope that I'll be able to find such friends as they have....I only hope miss Dark won't be in too much of a pinch because of this.

However, Joanna was most deeply panicked and paced around her office nervously:

-Joanna: Oh, no way, there goes my major scoop. I'll look like a total idiot now. If the boss finds out, I'm finished! Oh, for the love of God, pleeease don't let the boss find out!

But just then, the door to her office was flung open and none other than her boss, Masahiro Carrington the head of the insitute walked in, speaking these words:

-Carrington: Ah, miss Dark!

-Joanna: Hyaaargh!

-Carrington: Oh, I'm sorry. Did I frighten you?

-Joanna: *muttering to herself* Damn near gave me a heart attack, man. *to Carrington, with a bright smile* Why, not at all, sir. What can I do for you?

-Carrington: Listen, we've been offered an exclusive interview with a top executive of the DataDyne company concerning a new building project.

-Joanna: Eh? DataDyne and a building project?

-Carrington: Well, they didn't want to give me too many details over the phone, as it's all very sealed-lips. Apparently, they're planning to expand their current Tokyo headquarters into a full-fledged scientific facility of the highest order. Instead of just one skyscraper, they want to build up a whole complex pf several interlinked buildings, right here in Tokyo. It's a huge project, one of the biggest things to have hit Japan recently, and we will have the exclusive scoop on it!

-Joanna: Oh, uhm...that's quite a story...*to herself* So this mean I'm -not- getting the axe? Oh pleasepleaseplease....

-Carrington: Now, this really is a hot item, so I'd like to ask you to drop that silly story about mysteries around a high school and white winged men, no-one is going to believe that. Instead, please concentrate fully on covering the development of this DataDyne building, understood?

There was a pause, during which it slowly dawned on Joanna that this meant her position at Carrington was saved.

-Carrington: Uhm....miss Dark?

-Joanna: Ohhh, thank you, sir! Thank you so much! You are wonderful! Wonderful!

-Carrington: Oh, uhm....you're welcome *puzzled smirk*. In that case, please get on the job. They want an interview on location, where they'll give you more information. Please head over to the DataDyne building as soon as you can.

-Joanna: Yessir! Joanna Dark, reporter extraordinaire is on the job! To the DataDyne building!

She then stampeded out of her office with a mixture of joy and relief. After a pause, Masahiro Carrington made the following observation:

-Carrington: And...those mountains of paperwork on her desk, has she just forgotten about those?

 

-September 2000-

In a small chapel known as the Super Happy Tree chapel, the wedding ceremony was being prepared during which coach Gannon would marry Syrup at long last. For the occasion, everyone had been invited. There was still some time to go until the ceremony would start. Malon, Peach, Samus and Saria were making their way to the chamber where the bride was preparing, while exchanging these remarks:

-Samus: It's pretty cool of the bride and groom to even invite us to their ceremony. I've been waiting for an occasion to wear an evening dress, and this was just the thing. Can you believe I got this dress when I turned sixteen and hadn't had a chance to wear it until now?

-Peach: Well, the dress you chose does look very good on you. I'm a little unsure whether this one I chose is really right for the occasion.

-Saria: Nah, it's just fine, even though it is important to get your wardrobe right for a unique occasion.

-Malon: How true, and a wedding is always unique! It makes me long even more intensely for the day when I will marry my adored Bowser-baby!

-Saria: So...you're really serious about that?

-Malon: Of course, I'm determined! And once that day arrives, I guarantee you will all be invited!

-Samus: Oh, cool, so I'll get to wear this dress again pretty soon, I suppose!

-Saria: Come to think of it, Malon...It's possible to get married in Japan from age sixteen onward, with the mutual consent of the families. You could have married him already, you know.

-Malon: Of course I know that, but now would be too early. We can't even support ourselves yet, or live on our own. There's no use in rushing things, even if it's difficult to wait.

-Peach: That's very true. Let's go and see the bride now, shall we?

They entered Syrup's bridal suite, where she welcomed them, dressed fully in her wedding dress, but looking slightly nervous.

-Syrup: Thanks for coming, girls. So, how do I look?

-Samus: Ohh....it's gorgeous!

-Syrup: Really? Well, I'm glad to hear it, but somehow, I think something's missing....

-Peach: Maybe a little more make-up will do the trick. Please allow me...

Peach took out her powder compact and began to carefully make some final adjustments on Syrup, while the others commented in these words:

-Malon: Ahh, she really makes a lovely bride. I hope I'll look as beautiful as that on my wedding day *big sigh*

-Saria: Oh yes, me too. It must be great to be a bride...

-Syrup: Well, it's not as easy as it looks, let me tell you. I feel dead nervous.

-Peach: There's no need, everything will be fine, I'm sure of it.

-Syrup: Yes, I suppose so, but still....

At that moment, the door opened a little and Foxy's face appeared in the doorway, hesitantly.

-Fox: Uhm...excuse me....

-Saria: Hey! No men allowed in here!

-Fox: Oh! *big blush* I'm...I'm sorry....

-Syrup: *smile* No, no, it's allright. I won't mind if McCloud comes in.

-Fox: No, really, I shouldn't intrude. But the coach sent me, and he wants to know how long it will take.

-Samus: Oh, just a few more minutes. We're putting on the finishing touches here.

-Saria: Really, how tactless. It will take as long as it has to take. A woman should be allowed to take the time to get 100% ready for her wedding ceremony. So don't be pushy, ya big macho!

-Fox: Macho? Me?

-Syrup: Take it easy, Saria, there's no need to be offended. I must say I'm glad to see that you could make it here, McCloud, even with a broken arm. It wasn't too much trouble, I hope?

-Fox: Oh no, not at all. It's gotten much better already, and Falco drove me here, so there was no problem.

-Samus: He has a -car-? Oh man, I bet he drives like a maniac....

-Fox: Uhm...you win. The only bit I'm worried about is having to wear a formal suit while having this big plaster bandage around my arm.

He looks down to the thick white platter covering his broken arm, then looks back to the others with a slightly embarrassed smirk.

-Fox: It's really not very elegant, is it?

-Saria: *big sweatdrop* You get your arm broken and only worry about fashion compatibility? Sheez, Lombardi's obsessive vanity must be rubbing off on you. I knew being with a guy like him can't be good for you.

-Fox: Oh, stop that *slight blush*. You'd make a scene out of it if you had to wear such a thing around your arm.

-Saria: Hmm...'s right, I would, but then again, plaster would go very badly with this emerald green dress. Anyway, no offense meant, huh? Will you still let me sign your plaster?

-Samus: Oh, I want to sign it too! Will you let us do that? Please?

-Fox: Yes, of course. But I'd rather not intrude on miss Syrup's privacy any more. Excuse me.

While Malon and Peach stayed with the bride, Foxy then left the bride's room, followed by Saria and Samus. The three of them went back to the main hall of the Super Happy Tree chapel. On their way, the two girls wrote down their signature, as well as some other comments on his bandage, where a large number of friends had already written down various messages. Since they had no marker pens with them, they used their lipstick instead. Sammy's message read "Recover soon! The Space Club needs you!", while Saria simply scribbled down the comment "Hang in there!". Once they made it back to the main hall, they met up with the coach, who was surrounded by several other students.

-Gannon: Ah, McCloud, how is she?

-Fox: Miss Syrup is doing fine, but it'll take a little while longer.

-Gannon: Does it -have- to? Waiting like this is hell on me!

-Saria: You men are always so impetuous! Your bride is every bit as nervous as you are, coach, so give her a little more time!

At that point, Mario and Luigi joined into the conversation with the following comment from Mario:

-Mario: Yeah, ease down, coach, it'll be just fine! At least now that the wedding cake has arrived, nothing can go wrong!

-Gannon: Uhm...somehow, I don't find that thought all that comforting...

-Mario: But coach, that wedding cake is the masterpiece of Nintendo High's cooking club! Yoshi and Kirby spent three whole days on it!

-Luigi: Which explains why they're guarding that cake right now with extreme fierceness. They don't want anyone coming near their master work.

Indeed, Yoshi and Kirby were as of now patrolling around a large, white wedding cake which had just been dragged into the hall. From time to time, they exchanged a few remarks;

-Yoshi: Private Kirby, no signs of intruder activity?

-Kirby: A-Okay, general sir! Coast is 100% clear and general situation is entirely just peachy!

-Yoshi: Good, but we must keep the defenses around our base tight. Oh, and remind me to save a piece of the cake for Ibis as well.

-Kirby: Read you loud and clear, general sir!

With a slightly bemused look, Mario summed up the situation to his friends in these words:

-Mario: They've been pulling that routine for about half an hour now. At least we can be sure it'll taste swell.

-Luigi: So you see, there really is no need to panic, coach.

-Samus: But there is one thing that worries me...

-Gannon: Oh no, what is it? Is my hair looking bad? Did I forget to floss? Are my socks not matching? Oh my god!

-Samus: No, no, that's not it *embarrassed grin*. What I meant is that, I've just noticed that Wario is sulking all by himself in a corner over there. What could be the matter with him?

Indeed, Wario had tucked himself into a discreet corner of the chapel and didn't look very much at ease. Saria rapidly analyzed the situation.

-Saria: Oh, that's obvious. You know very well that he always had a secret crush on miss Syrup, don't you?

-Mario: Really? *totally clueless look* I had no idea at all....

-Saria: Typical of you, Mario. Anyway, Wario must be feeling a bit down about this.

-Gannon: Poor boy. I never took that into consideration...

-Saria: Oh, no need to worry about it, silly crushes like that go past, he'll get over it. He knows very well that he could've never gotten together with miss Syrup, he just needs a little time. It's best to leave him alone for now.

Everyone agreed on this subject, but at that moment, Zelda stepped forward from the bystanders and went towards Wario. She spoke up loudly to him with these words:

-Zelda: Come on now, Wario, snap out of it! Such a gloomy face isn't becoming for a wedding ceremony!

-Wario: Leave me alone! Nobody asked you!

-Zelda: *sigh* Oh really, not again with the Syrup-crush. Wario, that is not like you at all!

-Wario: Stop rubbing it in already!

-Zelda: No, seriously, Wario. It'd suit you much better to marry a rich woman!

-Wario: Eh??....*pause* Why...why of course! Find myself a nice millionaire girl, who will immediately fall for my suave charms and lead an easy life with her fortune! It is -the- way to get rich quickly! Thanks so much, I feel lots better now!

-Zelda: Hey, anytime *grin*.

Mario's group breathed a sigh of relief at the end of this little talk and commented as follows:

-Mario: I was afraid Zelda would deal him a killing blow. She's usually as subtle as a jackhammer, after all.

-Luigi: But this time, her approach seems to have been effective. Even if the advice she gave him was rather immoral.

-Mario: Oh well, it got Wario happy again, so what's the difference?

At that moment, the last few guests arrived and the ceremony was ready to start. Backed by Peach and Malon as bridesmaids, Syrup made her way up the aisle. In a few moments that seemed like painstaking eternities for the happy couple, the ceremony had been completed. They then went back down the aisle, accompanied by cheers and encouragements, and left into the shimmering mass of Tokyo's streets.

 

-October 2000-

A dusky evening in Hong-Kong. From the windows of the restaurant "Sir Kibble's kitchen", Musashi could clearly see the myriad of lights stretching out into the night sky. She turned to Wolf, who was seated opposite to her and opened the conversation in these words:

-Musashi: This is Hong-Kong all right. It's even more beautiful than I had imagined!

-Wolf: You like it, then? I'm glad to hear it. Say, won't your brother Kojiro be too upset that he couldn't come along?

-Musashi: Oh yes, he will be. You remember what a scene he made at the airport, wailing like a baby, it was just painful. I'm still half expecting him to pop up out of one of our suitcases any minute now.

-Wolf: But I think that shows he's really very fond of you...

-Musashi: Yeah...and to be honest, I do appreciate Koji as well, but there are times when I'd rather not have him around. Luckily he agreed to finally let us leave for Hong-Kong on the solemn promise that we'd bring him back "one of those daaarling Chinese dresses".

-Wolf: *grin* He has some rather unusual tastes from time to time.

-Musashi: Tell me about it. I'm sure he'll be jealous to death when he sees photos of this totally gorgeous city skyline!

-Wolf: Hmm...it really is beautiful, seen from here. But you know, like every city, Hong-Kong has a shadow side as well.

-Musashi: Shadow side?

-Wolf: Yes, only you can't see it from here. Looking at Hong-Kong now, it looks like one big sea of light, but under that surface, there are the small, dark streets where you can only fight to survive. Every beautiful city can be a beast under it's shiny mask...

-Musashi: Wolfie...

-Wolf: Oh, excuse me, I didn't mean to sound so gloomy. Never mind what I just said, let's just enjoy the evening. The Peking duck of this restaurant is one of the best there is!

So they spent the evening talking about this and that and enjoying the city sights, but when she had some time to herself, Musashi pondered these thoughts to herself:

-Musashi: Wolfie never told me much about how he grew up. Even now that we're in Hong-Kong for a week, it might be best not to ask him how it had been, having to struggle for himself on these streets. I'm sure he had his reasons for abandoning his family and fleeing to Tokyo. He's had enough hardships in his life, it's time to allow him to forget all of this and look at the future instead of the past...

With these thoughts in mind, a smile appeared on Musashi's lips. Noticing this, Wolf returned the smile, and added this question:

-Wolf: You seem to be in a good mood. Care to share the joke?

-Musashi: Oh well, it's nothing really....I was just thinking about Koji.

-Wolf: What about Koji?

-Musashi: *big grin* Poor, pooor Koji.

Indeed, poor Koji was not at all happy with the current situation. Consciously mopping the floors of the Nintendo High building, he gnashed his teeth and grumbled these words to himself;

-Kojiro: Muuusashiii.....damn you to hell! I always get the short end of the stick! She goes off with big brother Wolfie to Hong Kong and leaves me to do the work of two! How much more unfair can you get?!

This question was answered by Leon, who had been watching Kojiro while leaning his shoulders against a wall. Even though he hadn't been asked directly, he spoke up in these words;

-Leon: Hey, nobody ever said life was fair. Don't let it get to you so much, Koji. It's not like this'll kill you or something.

-Kojiro: Oh, was I speaking out loud to myself again? I hadn't noticed you were here....

-Leon: With Wolfie away, I had nothing to do. Thought I might as well drop by. Oh, that reminds me, I bumped into this guy on my way here who's asking around for the principal's office. I think you know him....

-Kojiro: Really? I wonder who that could be...

At that moment, a door behind Kojiro slid open, and the trenchcoated figure of Sekai Rousseau made his entrance.

-Rousseau: Ah, finally I meet a living soul. Maybe you can tell me how to get to the principal's office?

-Leon: That's the guy I mentioned. He was at the Tokyo Tower during the last battle as well, I remember now....

-Kojiro: That's right. Anyway, for mister Hare's office, you just take the elevator to the top floor. It's pretty straightforward from then on.

-Rousseau: Thank you. I won't keep you any longer.

He then left in the direction of the elevator, while Kojiro and Leon still exchanged a few remarks

-Kojiro: That's odd, I wonder why he want to see the principal?

-Leon: Dunno. But most people in this place are rather odd...

-Kojiro: Ouhhh, I'm hurt.

Rousseau, meanwhile didn't take long to find his way to the principal's office, where he was immediately welcomed with these words;

-Peppy: Ah, mister Rousseau, thank you for taking the trouble to come here!

-Rousseau: Not at all, I'm looking forward to working as a teacher here with you and the others.

-Peppy: Yes, of course. We are fortunate to have someone like you in our staff now. After all, you are one of the most prominent Japanese names in modern astrophysics. It is an honor to welcome you among us!

-Rousseau: Oh really, you flatter me, principal. But you understand of course that I'm not just here for teaching....

-Peppy: Of course. I was expecting as much from a leading astrophysician, who has worked on some of Japan's most notorious universities. You would have more up your sleeve than to give simple high school level education. Please follow me...

The principal then left his office and took Rousseau to the vault on the building's top floor. After it's large doors were opened, the hovering N-force relic revealed itself to them. They contemplated it in silence for a moment, until picking up their conversation again in these words;

-Peppy: It's for this that you're really here, am I right?

-Rousseau: Indeed it is. Ever since I became involved with these mysterious events around those creatures you refer to as S-type, I've wanted to know more about the source of this strife. I take it you have not yet uncovered everything about the N-force?

-Peppy: Much about this mysterious object and it's powers is still a secret to us. Your help in studying the relic's properties would be greatly appreciated.

-Rousseau: So you'll allow me to work on this?

-Peppy: On the condition that you will maintain the utmost secrecy. None of this must leak to outside sources.

-Rousseau: I quite understand, you can count on me.

-Peppy: Only, are you really sure you want to do this? There is no obligation for you, you can turn back if you want to...

-Rousseau: No, my mind is made up. You see, I can never resist a challenge....

 

-November 2000-

A gathering was taking place at the Nintendo High archery club's clubhouse. None of the club members were really surprised when their current president Link gave a short but clear speech in which he announced, rather briefly, that he was resigning from his post as president. Addressing the other members, Link continued in these words:

-Link: The time as president of this organization has been a very enjoyable one, and I will keep a pleasant memory of it. My hope is that you will carry on successfully afterwards, and therefore, I'd like to appoint a successor before I take my leave...

This latest remark caused a slight commotion between the club members, who mumbled a few words among themselves. The general conclusion was drawn that it would very surely be Kid Icarus who would be chosen as Link's successor. When the rumors had died down, Link resumed his words;

-Link: Now then, the one I view as most suitable to be my successor....is Gordon!

-Everyone: Eh??

Link had his eyes fixed on a small young man with light green hair in the crowd of club members. With a light blush and a dumbfounded look, Gordon stepped forward, seemingly very insecure.

-Gordon: But...but president Link, are you serious? Everyone agrees that Icarus is...

-Link: Of course, if you wish to decline this title, you may do so, but Icarus and I have thought this matter over thoroughly.

Kid Icarus then stepped up as well and let his voice be heard;

-Kid Icarus: That's true. Gordon, even though you have only recently taken up archery, it is clear that you have great potential. Your raw natural talent is only waiting to be developed. Link and I are hoping that in the position of president, you will be able to advance and mature more.

-Link: Even though the responsibility may seem much to face, it's also a good opportunity. We are both sure that you will do very well.

At that point, Saria joined in as well with these phrases:

-Saria: Yeah, and it's not like you'll be all on your own. After all, I'm determined to remain firmly at the post of manager, as dynamic and efficient as ever! Let the men turn tail and run, I'm not so easily dissuaded!

-Kid Icarus: Uhm...are't you taking it a little too far there?

-Saria: Whatever! What I meant to say is that we're all on your side, Gordon!

-Gordon: Oh well, if you put it that way....Allright, you've talked me into it! I'll try my hardest to do justice to our former president Link!

-Everyone: Yaaaay! Viva, viva!

During the outburst of cheers that followed, Link rapidly slipped away from the clubhouse and met up with Zelda who had been awaiting him, just outside.

-Link: There, all done. It seems to be going well this way.

-Zelda: And that guy Gordon, you're sure about him?

-Link: Oh, entirely. Not only does he have natural talent, but he's also undertaking and energetic. It seems like the kind of person that the archery club could use. Besides, I couldn't stay in that position any longer. They've had me as their club president, team captain and ace member for a whole three years now, it's about time some changes were made.

-Zelda: I'm not too sure if you'd really want to cut off something that is going well so suddenly....

-Link: I've done this out of personal interest as well. Next year's final exams will surely tax me very heavily. Apart from that, I also have other engagements to devote myself to....

-Zelda: Other engagements....? Wait a minute! You're not saying you've quit archery for my sake?! You idiot! You shouldn't do that! Don't make that kind of sacrifice just because you think I'm more important!

-Link: *grin* That's not really what I meant....It's tricky to explain, but basically, I'm not the same as I was when I started out as their president. Don't worry, I have my good reasons for this decision. But I will say that I like your reaction, Zelda. Only, what I really mean to say by "other engagements" is something very different. Actually, I'm not supposed to talk about it, but I'll tell you if you promise to keep it a secret.

-Zelda: Oh, I can keep a secret, no prob! Go on, tell me what those engagement are, I -really- want to know now!

Saria, who had finished packing up her things then left the clubhouse, only to hear the voice of Zelda shouting very excitedly at Link;

-Zelda: Eeeeeh?! Student council president?! Wow! Link, are you serious?!

-Link: Not so loud, I told you I don't want it to leak out yet!

-Saria: Oi, what was that about Link and a student council president?

-Link: Nothing! It's just a rumor, please forget all about it!

Link then rapidly dragged Zelda away, while some mutters about "so much for keeping a secret" could still be heard. Saria shrugged the matter off and went back to her own business by speaking these words to herself;

-Saria: Those two will always be odd...Now, I wonder what's keeping Renn? He said he'd pick me up here, he'd better not be late.

With a quick glance around, she soon spotted to silhouette of Renn Descartes, conversing with two others near the entrance to the volleyball clubhouse. As she walked closer to him, she was able to identify the two others to whom he was talking as Foxy and Falco, and let out a loud yelp of surprise.

-Saria: Whooaaah! It's a ghost!!

-Fox: Eh?

-Falco: And just who are you calling a ghost?

-Saria: Oh, sorry, force of habit. It's just that I didn't expect to see Foxy back on the school grounds so soon.

-Fox: But, I wasn't dead! *slight blush* It's only my arm that got broken, and you already send me to the grave. I'm so touched....

-Saria: Oh, allright, but you've been absent for a long while. So, the whole arm got better?

-Fox: Yup, more or less. They removed the plaster just a few days ago. Only now, after having that plaster on for so long, my shoulder feels all numb.

-Falco: Does it? Here, hold still, let me try something...

Falco then placed his hands on Foxy's sore shoulder and administered some slow rubs to the numbed spot, intended to ease the cramped muscles down.

-Falco: There, how's this?

-Fox: Ahh...mmh, pretty nice. Where did you learn to give massages?

-Falco: Nowhere, I'm improvising.

-Fox: Hmmm...ah, a little more to the left.

-Saria: *ha-herm* Oi, do you -have- to do that sort of thing in public, you two?

-Falco: Yah, you got a problem with it?

-Saria: No, come to think of it, I don't....anyway, Renn, shall we go now?

-Descartes: Uhm...right, yes. I'm sorry once again, McCloud. If I had been able to beat Montesquieu and Robespierre with Rousseau and the others, you wouldn't have been wounded like this.

-Fox: Oh, it's allright, I told you it's not your fault. Please don't worry about it.

-Descartes: Okay...but I'm still uneasy that I've been of so little use in the last battle. I'll have to try harder next time.

-Falco: *big sigh of despair* How come I'm always surrounded by guys who have an obsession with apologizing?

-Fox: You should talk, you were blaming yourself all the time when I was in the hospital. Rub a little lower, now.

-Falco: Hrrmph...yessir.

-Saria: *big sigh* Those two will also always be odd. Let's split already, Renn.

-Descartes: Okay, but you'll have to show me the way, I'm not used to the Tokyo subways, even after moving here.

-Saria: Ah, that's right, you did move from Sapporo to Tokyo. How are you coping, otherwise?

-Descartes: Not too bad, I just need some time. Thales and Socrates attend the same university as I do, they help me out mostly.

Saria and Descartes then disappeared from the scene, still exchanging a few words. After they had gone, a slight smirk flashed across Foxy's lips, as he muttered these words, more to himself than anyone else.

-Fox:...Hmm, it's nice to be back.

-Falco: Yeah, being called a ghost really makes things worth it, eh?

-Fox: Oh well, I suppose it's just Saria's way of putting it. After all, you know how she is...

-Falco: Terminally flipped, you mean?

-Fox: Mmmh....never mind, rub a little more to the right.

-Falco: Man, you are so hard to please....

Just at that moment, the door of the volleyball clubhouse was swung open and two figures slantered out, looking rather sulky. Juno and Vela, two of the most ardent members of the volleyball club dragged themselves out of their clubhouse, with long sighs of lamentation;

-Juno: This is no good, we'll never qualify for national tournaments with the state our club is in now....

-Vela: How true. If only we had that guy McCloud back, without him, our team is completely out of shape.

-Juno: We're so unlucky. The guy on whom our whole team rests gets injured, and we're left to listen to coach Gannon's bellowings all on our own.

The two apparently were so immersed in their self-pity that they didn't even notice the presence of Foxy and Falco, right under their noses. They, however, had noticed the presence of the two depressed volleyball players, and having overheard their words, commented on the situation thus;

-Falco: I never knew you had that kind of a high reputation.

-Fox: Neither did I, actually. Somehow, I'm not all -that- sure if I should be flattered, though...

This was enough to catch the attention of Juno and Vela, who turned around in a flash, with wide eyes. After staring at Foxy and Falco for a short while, the following words were uttered;

-Vela: Whooaaaah! It's a ghost!

-Falco: There we go again....

-Fox: For the last time, I was never dead!

-Juno: Please excuse her, Mr. McCloud, it was the shock! Please hear us out, we really need you to listen!

-Vela: Without you, our volleyball club is in a terrible slump! Please, we're begging you to come back to us! We need you, you are our saviour!

-Juno: Oi, don't overdo the drama factor -too- much, now...

-Fox: Errr...well, since you put it this way, I...

-Falco: Just one moment, hold everything.

-Fox: Eh? What is it?

-Falco: Now listen, you two, don't push him too much. He's only just recovering from a heavy injury, after all.

-Vela: Oh, you're right about that. Only...we didn't mean to sound pushy, but you see, it's of a great importance for us to have him back!

-Fox: It's allright, I was always planning on picking up the club again as it is. And besides, if people are counting on me, it's my duty not to let them down, after all. You really don't need to worry about me, Falco.

-Falco: Oh man, there is just -no- hope for you. You'll never grow out of this obsession you have to take all the misery of the world onto your own shoulders and pretend nothing happened, it's driving me to despair. And they say -I'm- capricious.

-Fox: Speaking of shoulders, could you massage a little more to the left?

-Falco: See, you don't even listen. Oh well, more to the left, coming right up...

-Juno: Errr...so, is this a "yes" answer?

-Falco: Won't those two ever calm down?

-Fox: Probably not until they've heard what they want. But, it's always been a yes answer, you guys can count on me.

-Vela: Really, really? Oh, thank heavens, that means we're saved! Halleluyah! Yahoo!

-Juno: Err...yes. And, thank you very much as well.

-Fox: Oh, that's allright.

-Falco: I still get the idea you were tricked into this somehow...

-Fox: It's allright. You don't need to worry about me too much, I'm tougher than I look.

-Falco: Oh, I know, you're marvelous. Mmmh, what a star *big grin*.

Foxy's slight chuckle at this last remark was more or less drowned by the relieved cries of joy from a near-ecstatic Vela, but the smile that crossed over his lips hadn't gone unnoticed for Falco, who let a genuine smile cross his face as well...

-(note: the character of Gordon is another reference to the Fire Emblem games, where a boy called Gordon appears who's weapon of choice is a bow and arrow. I must admit I'm very fond of this character and was looking for a spot to squeeze him in)-.

 

-December 2000-

An afternoon where a pale winter sun lights the bleak, white sky above Tokyo. In the house of the Mario family, a tense curtain of silence hangs in the main living room. Luigi and Sammy are seated opposite to each other, across the living room's kotatsu, while Luigi is holding a large sheet of paper, and brushes a grey pencil across the paper's surface a few times. He narrows his eyes in concentration as he tries to re-create Sammy's face on the paper before him. So far, she has been modeling quietly, but after a while, she speaks up hesitantly;

-Samus: Uhmm...Luigi, is it going to take much longer?

-Luigi: I still need a little time. I'm sorry, is this an inconvenience for you?

-Samus: Only sort of. My back's getting a little numb....

-Luigi: Sorry about that. I'll try to get a move on. You know how our art professor is, mister Paint Roller is unreasonably strict sometimes.

-Samus: You're right, he demands total perfection. That guy's bordering on pure fanaticism, unless your work's perfect, he'll have a freak attack.

-Luigi: Yup. But that's not all.....

During this short conversation, Mario and his father Alfonso had secretly been watching the whole scene, peeking from behind the door. Mario sighed and commented on the situation in a low voice.

-Mario: Man, this is so -lame-, all Luigi does is make Sammy sit there and scribble on a piece of paper. She must be having her skull bored out.

-Alfonso: But Mario, why does all of this matter so much to you?

-Mario: Oi, you're spying on them as well, I remind you. Anyway, the point is, if Luigi isn't more forceful and undertaking, he will never be successful in a relationship! I mean, just look at them, their whole being together lacks any kind of enthusiasm! It looks like my hopelessly clumsy brother will need my advice on how to live with a woman. On his own, he'll be a resounding failure!

-Alfonso: Hmm, that's true, Luigi could use some guidance from strong-minded men of the world. In other words, men like us!

-Mario: Exactly! We need to save the situation while there still is something to save, and make sure that Luigi remembers to strongly impose himself, like a man should do! We have to do this!

But suddenly, the sound of footsteps was heard, and Mario's mother Paloma appeared behind them, carrying a tray of tea, and looking rather cynically at them.

-Paloma: Oh, puh-lease, as if-a you hadn't caused enough malediziones already, you big machos!

-Mario: Errps! Mom, you overheard us?

-Paloma: Thank-a the virgin Maria I did, as you seemed to be about to do something very stupid. Mario, you were sounding like an imbecile, acting as if you know a damn thing about how a woman feels! And that-a goes for you too, Alfonso!

-Alfonso: But...but carissima Paloma....

-Paloma: Really, you men make-a me laugh, acting like such big shots! Don't-a you know that the thing people really appreciate is gentleness, consideration, understanding. Plain niceness, basically. Big machos like-a you are -so- out of it!

-Mario: ....Why do I keep getting scolded for anything I say or do?

-Paloma: Because you only say or do stupid things, miserable boy! Now, let me through, I was about to bring our guest some tea.

Resolutely, Paloma then opened the door to the living room. To everyone's surprise, they were then treated to the sight of Sammy running around the room in joy, exclaiming enthusiastically;

-Samus: Oh wow, Luigi, that is so touching! That picture of me looks gorgeous, I'm so flattered! And you even said you wanted to take the full time and effort so that it'd do me justice! Ahhh, you're so wonderful! Yaaay!

-Luigi: Heh....well, thank you, I suppose...

Paloma slowly turned to her husband and her son with a slightly mocking smirk upon seeing this.

-Paloma: There, you see?

-Alfonso: To think you used to say that Sammy was a mad girl and that she'd end up killing Luigi....

-Paloma: Nonsense, she's a very nice person!

-Mario: I just wish this humiliating scene could end soon...

Mario got his wish sooner than he expected, as Sammy noticed his presence at that moment, and rushed right up to him, grabbing his arms.

-Samus: Ah, Mario, you're here, how fortunate! In that case, we can go to Peach's place right away! Let's go already!

-Mario: What, what? Go to Peach's place? What do you mean?

-Samus: Oh, don't play innocent! Peach's cat has recently had kittens, and Luigi solemnly promised me that once he had finished with his portrait for the art class project, we'd go to her place to see those kittens!

-Mario: Errr....he never told me about any of this. Hmph *angered look*. So now my own brother cooks up elaborate schemes involving me and doesn't even tell me about it.

-Luigi: Oh, did I forget to mention it? How odd, must've slipped my mind *clueless grin*.

-Mario: Now, I wonder who exactly is playing innocent here...*sigh* Oh well, I see I'm outnumbered, I can't prevent you two from taking advantage of me, so fine, I'll take you to see Peach already.

-Samus: Yaaay! I knew we could count on you! Now let's get a move on, I can't wait to see the cats, I simply looove cats! Let's go already!

Dragging the two brothers along forcefully, Sammy then barged out of the house and into the streets. After taking a slight moment to catch his breath after this chaotic scene, Alfonso Mario looked down to the kotatsu where Luigi had left his portrait of Sammy and contemplated the drawing for a moment.

-Alfonso: Hmm, she's smiling on that picture just like she does in reality...Luigi has really outdone himself.

A few moments later, Mario, Luigi and Samus emerged from the subway station closest to where Peach lived. All eyes were turned towards Mario, who was expected to lead them to Peach's house. He had accepted this task rather reluctantly, and with quite some grumblings.

-Mario: *completely cynical tone* Right, well, there's a few minutes worth of walking to go until we get there, so sorry I couldn't get the red carpet ready in time, I'll have to be thrown into the dungeon and whipped severely for my criminal offences to you.

-Luigi: Mario, you don't have to make such a huge deal out of doing us a small favor such as showing us the way to Peach's house....

-Mario: Oh, really, mister has the nerve to drag me out here and use me as a tour guide against my will and calls me capricious on top of that. You've always been arrogant, manipulative and power-hungry, Luigi!

-Samus: Enough already, you two can go for two seconds of your lives without bickering insanely, now. Instead of arguing, you'd be much better off enjoying the view. Just look; we're in a more elevated part of the city here, you can see for miles!

After a short pause, Mario and Luigi decided to drop it and follow Sammy's advice. They took a few moments to contemplate the city panorama that stretched out below them, until Mario made this remark;

-Mario: It sure it huge....Hmm, look at that, the DataDyne company has even grabbed itself a prominent place in the Tokyo skyline now...

And Mario pointed towards a group of tall, silvery office towers in the distance, who reflected the bleak winter light from their glass walls.

-Luigi: That's the DataDyne complex over there. It seems as if the name of that company is cropping up -everywhere- as of now...

A few moments later, the three found themselves in front of a large, luxurious apartment complex, with a guzzling fountain at it's base. Luigi and Sammy looked up to the building in slight awe.

-Samus: No kidding, Peach lives in -this- place? It looks enormous, not to mention swanky. Almost like a palace!

-Mario: Well, her mother makes quite a living with her acclaimed research. Let's get moving already, I thought you were so eager to see the cats.

They then made their way into the building and towards the apartment where Peach lived. It was Peach in person who greeted them at the door with these words;

-Peach: Ah, welcome. Luigi had called and said you'd come at around this time, do come in.

-Mario: I see, I was the only one left in the dark about this twisted plot of my brother's....Hrrmph, I'm so touched.

As the three newcomers took off their shoes, they noticed another pair of large-sized, men's shoes in the hallway, which didn't fail to catch Mario's attention.

-Mario: An extra pair of shoes...so she's already entertaining a guest? Wonder who that might be...

This question was answered when the three arrived in the living room, where apart from Peach, they found the presence of Bowser, who sort of grinned as a greeting. Mario, however was in no mood to return this gesture, and instead seemed very displeased.

-Mario: Aaaahh?! What is that maniac doing here?! Wait, I know, you've barged in here brutally to molest Peach, that has to be it! I knew you couldn't be trusted, but if you've had the bad idea to do Peach any harm, you'll have to answer to me!

-Bowser: What?! But, it's nothing like that, I did nothing of the sort!

-Samus: No need to overreact like this, Mario. You're almost sounding as brash as Saria does.

-Mario: Allright then, I'll leave you a chance, if it wasn't for a sinister motive, then why are you here, huh?

-Bowser: Well, you see, it's....*big blush* actually, uhm....*cough* errr.....

-Mario: There, you're at a loss for words, which proves my theory. Now of course you realize this means war!

-Peach: Err, if you'd let me speak for one second, Mario. The situation's nothing like that, really. In fact, the reason why Bowser is here is because he was planning to get one of the kittens as a Christmas present for Malon.

-Mario: Eh?

-Bowser: Dohh *big blush*, don't broadcast it around like that, it's so humiliating!

-Samus: Aww, you're really a big softie under your macho airs, aren't you?

-Bowser: Go ahead, rub it in while you're at it.

-Peach: Now, Mario, shouldn't you apologize for your faux pas back there? It would be the most proper thing to do...

-Mario: Oh man, now you want me to apologize to someone like Bowser? Oh well, you realize I'd only do this for you, princess. *deep breath*. Errr.....well, look, Bowser, I...uhm...I am.....well, sorry, okay. There, I said it.

-Samus: Oh, amazing, Mario even set his way too large pride and uncouthness aside upon Peach's request! Now there's a miracle if ever I saw one.

-Mario: Hrrmph, why is everyone always picking on me?

-Bowser: Well, uhm...apology accepted, I guess. Just promise solemnly that you won't let the details of this matter leak out, I'm embarrassed enough as it is that I need to go out and select a kitten for Malon. It's not becoming for my image!

-Mario: Ouhh, I sense a blackmail opportunity here...

-Everyone: Mario!!

-Mario: Oh, come on, I was joking, just joking! Come on, don't give me the cold shoulder for this, pleeease, I won't be mean to Bowser anymore! I promise!

 

-January 2001-

A pair of chopsticks plunged into a plate of steaming, deep-fried shrimps and fished one of them out. The bite was then transported to a pair of lips, belonging to Yoshi, who swallowed the piece of fish and commented in these words after a few seconds;

-Yoshi: Hmm, a full-bodied flavor, with just the right degree of warmth, a very accomplished piece of work. Private Kirby, your operations report?

Yoshi and Kirby were as of now seated in a small seafood restaurant named "Zora's den", tasting the local cuisine. Kirby paused for a short moment before summing up his impression of the fried fish before him thus;

-Kirby: Quite an achievement. Obviously, they know their stuff in this place, we'll have to come back here.

-Yoshi: Indeed, a full overview of this facility's resources and firepower will be necessary for our operations.

From across the table they were sitting at, three pairs of eyes were glued onto them with growing disbelief. The eyes in question belonged to Satoshi, Takashi and Kasumi, who had already ventured to Tokyo and met up with the students of Nintendo High once before. Now that they had traveled to Tokyo a second time, they had met up with Yoshi and Kirby by coincidence and had ended up in this restaurant. After a short pause, Satoshi tried to pick up the conversation again;

-Satoshi: Errr...excuse me you two, but...-what- exactly are you going on about?

-Kirby: Hm? Oh, never mind, Yoshi just starts to speak like this sometimes.

-Yoshi: That's "general Yoshi" to you, soldier. This is beginning to sound like insubordination....

-Kirby: There, you see *silly grin*.

-Satoshi: *big sigh* Never mind, I can't make sense out of you guys, you're just too flipped.

-Yoshi: Oh, well that's nice, we get these three out of a big pinch in the subway and take them to this place, and all he does is call us flipped.

-Takashi: Come now, he didn't mean it, we're honestly very grateful for your help.

-Kasumi: Exactly, never mind about Satoshi, it's just in his nature to be impolite, ungrateful and generally clunky company.

-Satoshi: Ouch. How come you always say such horrors about me with a completely serene face?

-Kasumi: If you had any common decency whatsoever, you'd put a sock in it and apologize already! If we hadn't bumped into these guys, we would've been lost in the subway forever!

-Satoshi: Hrrmph, I don't think so. We could've found our way to the right subway station by ourselves, we didn't need any help at all.

-Kirby: But still, there must be -some- reason why you threw yourself at our feet shouting "It's a miracle! We're saved! Thank heavens!" when we spotted you lot, running around in the subway, completely lost.

Indeed, the reason why these five were gathered together was because Yoshi and Kirby, on their way to a new restaurant to "investigate" had run across the three young trainers from Osaka in the subway. After quite a lot of beating around the bush, mostly from Satoshi's side, they ended up admitting that they were completely lost, had already taken three wrong subway trains and were close to the edge of despair. Once Yoshi and Kirby had stopped laughing hysterically, they had offered to first take the three young trainers with them, to freshen up a bit at a restaurant, after which they'd show them the way to their destination. Satoshi, however, brushed these hard facts aside as he resumed the conversation in these words;

-Satoshi: Well, it's ridiculous anyway, why -must- you guys in Tokyo have such a ludicrously huge subway system? It's utterly too over-the-top for words.

-Yoshi: Hmm *smirk* well, one can tell -you're- a typical Osaka citizen, now...

-Satoshi: And just what do you mean by that? Do you think you can make fun of me just because I live in Osaka and you in Tokyo? What a snobby git!

Yoshi, however, brushed the whole thing aside with a slight chuckle, and answered Satoshi's semi-outburst with these words;

-Yoshi: Don't take it badly, I've nothing personal against you. Only, I wouldn't be much of a typical Tokyo guy if I didn't poke fun at visitors from Osaka a -little-, it's an honourable tradition.

-Takashi: Hmm, well, that's news to me, but...

-Yoshi: Ah! It's the way I am, Tokyo is in my blood! I travel by subway, adore sushi and support the Yomiuri Giants!

-Satoshi: Th....that is...the last straw...

-Kasumi: Ohhh no, you're -not- going to make a meal out of this just because you happen to like the Hanshin tigers better! Really, you men are impossible!

-Takashi: She has a point. Satoshi, you might want to keep calm instead, we do need these two guys to show us the way to the DataDyne building complex.

-Satoshi: I'm beginning to wonder if we'll ever get there. They've been stuffing their faces here for hours on end and have showed no sign of taking us to the DataDyne complex whatsoever! We're still at square one!

-Kirby: Don't worry, we'll just grab a dessert, and then we'll show you the way to the DataDyne complex.

-Yoshi: Ah yes, we cannot leave before we test their level with desserts, it is -vital-. Only, why exactly do you want to go to the DataDyne complex?

-Kasumi: Well, it's like this. The DataDyne company claims that it wants to promote the protection of rare and threatened species as part of their new agenda for this year, and to this end, they are developing new techniques to capture, preserve and nurture rare species of animals, including roaming Pocket Monsters.

-Satoshi: What's more, rumor has it they actually captured samples of some of the most elusive types of Pocket Monster using these new techniques. It's reason enough for us to check it out....

-Takashi:...And get dreadfully lost in the subway.

-Kirby: So DataDyne starts to make like Greenpeace as well now? I'm wondering if there's something they -don't- deal in, you can't avoid their name anywhere you look now.

-Yoshi: Yes, that is a bit odd, come to think of it. Well, you'll have to hang on a little longer, our mission here won't be complete until we've performed a full check-up on the desserts. Yo, waiter, over here!

Responding to this call from Yoshi, a small and slender male figure in a black waiter's costume moved up to their table and inquired as to what he could do for them. Yoshi was too deeply plunged in the restaurant's menu to notice that it was none other than Mizuru Thales standing before them as a waiter.

-Yoshi: Errr, let's see now...I'd like the caramel crèpes. Or no, a strawberry sorbet. Or perhaps a dame blanche? No, wait, I'd prefer the meringues. Ah, heck with it, I'll just take all of them!

And Yoshi looked up from the menu with a big grin. But his smirk turned into an expression of surprise when he found himself looking into the face of Thales, who brushed aside a strand of his pale blue hair and smiled politely.

-Mizuru: Very well, one dessert-overdose, coming up. Anything else?

-Yoshi: Aaahhh, it's you! Thales! I had no idea you worked here!

-Mizuru: I've only recently started. The work hours don't get in the way of my colleges too much, and best yet, Sora's working right across the street from here, at the "Lakitu Driving School". It's all very convenient.

-Kirby: Gee, so Socrates is now a driving instructor...

-Yoshi: Talk about major revelations! Well, at least we have something to boast about to Mario now, and make him feel sorry for not coming with us today.

-Kirby: That's what you were planning for all along, wasn't it?

-Yoshi: Not at all, but I am still shocked that he'd desert the cooking club, to which he has been so loyal for an important mission like this!

-Kirby: Well, it's only for this once. He said he was joining in on an expedition of the space club, probably to help out his brother a bit.

-Yoshi: I still don't trust it. Would Sammy be trying to pry my club members away and attract them into her space club? That's bound to be it; a colossal conspiracy!

-Kirby: Errr...maybe that's a slight overreaction. Mario did say he only went along with the space club's expedition for today as an exception. I'm sure he has his reasons.

-Yoshi: You're probably right. I don't see what the space club would want with someone like Mario in their ranks as it is.

As Yoshi and Kirby chuckled slightly, Satoshi and the others hesitantly scratched their heads, thinking about the strange company these two were.

Later that day, after sundown, a large mass of stars was illuminating the sky. Standing on a tall and grassy hill just outside the city, Samus Aran, president of the space club had a perfect view of both the stars above her, and the myriad of Tokyo's city lights below her. She looked down to a few figures struggling up the same hill below her and addressed these words to them;

-Samus: Come on, you lot, knock off the dawdling! The proud members of the space club must show themselves swift and full of endurance! Get the telescopes up here already!

At the bottom of the hill, the at this moment not so proud club members were struggling to carry boxes filled with telescopes, star charts and other such materials up the hill. Sammy's encouragements from above didn't quite have the desired effect, as Toad reacted in these words;

-Toad: Easy for her to say, this equipment is dreadfully heavy!

-Fox: I think I'll break another arm lugging this stuff around.

-Toad: Our president has some nerve, not carrying any of the stuff herself, and letting a poor guy who only recently had his broken arm recovered do it instead.

-Fox: Oh well, I don't mean to make a melodrama-display out of myself...

-Toad: As if I believe that...Well, it's not going to help that Shine and Bright are both trying to carry the same crate...

Indeed, both Shine and Bright had taken hold of one large box, but weren't getting anywhere for the sake of arguing with each other instead.

-Shine: Slow down already! You're deliberately trying to drag this thing up the hill at full speed so that I get exhausted from trying to keep up!

-Bright: Of all the stupid things you've ever said, that one beats them all! You're the one who's dawdling on purpose so that I get exhausted from waiting around with all this weight on my shoulders!

Toad let out a long sigh after witnessing this, and continued his lamentations;

-Toad: And having Mario tagging along for this expedition is just begging on both knees for disaster to strike us.

-Fox: Maybe we should call a taxi to take us up this hill?

-Toad: It would be faster than standing around here, listening to everyone complaining.

As they struggled up the hill, Mario grumbled a few phrases in Luigi's direction from beneath the crate he was carrying.

-Mario: The whole afternoon spent packing this equipment, now the whole evening dragging them up here on a hill all the way outside of Tokyo. And to think I missed out on a seafood restaurant that Yoshi and Kirby both tipped as being really good...Luigi, you're going to -pay- for this.

-Luigi: As if it's my fault. You know that we agreed to test out our transformation powers at least once a month, and a desolate hill outside of Tokyo is a good place for us to transform and practice any new abilities we have gotten from Lady Étoile, without anyone seeing us.

-Mario: Well, okay, fair enough. But that still doesn't explain why I have to suffer so much....

With much effort and many over-the-top displays of self-pity, the brave few members of the space club finally did make it to the top of the hill, where they immediately collapsed into piles of fatigue. Gradually, they peeled themselves off the ground again, and after setting up the telescopes, began with the actual activity that had brought them here in the first place; getting good views of the stars and planets that could be sighted and gather notes on them. Sammy in particular was full of enthusiasm as she peered through the lenses of the many telescopes.

-Samus: Ohhh, brilliant! Mars is more clearly visible than ever, and the surface of the moon never looked better! Thanks be for these new types of telescope. Although this DataDyne company sometimes gets up my nerves, they sure know how to make telescopes, that's one thing in their favor.

-Toad: Another opportunity for the DataDyne company to plaster their names over something. Sometimes I think they're trying to stamp their logo over the entire face of Japan....

-Samus: Ah, you just worry too much. Now take a look at this, all four of Jupiter's moons can be seen, it's a rare sight!

While the others busied themselves with watching the stars, Mario and Luigi had moved a little away and out of sight of the group. Mario took out his transformation transmitter in the shape of an N64 controller and looked over to Luigi, who had taken a telescope with him.

-Mario: Eh? What do you need that telescope for?

-Luigi: I've been scanning around the sky with this thing all evening. I'm trying to see if the Star Road is visible from the earth. It sure looked as if it was orbiting in space when we were there. Only, so far I've seen nothing that could be the Star Road.

-Mario: Well, we did get there via a dimensional gate kind of thingie, so who knows where it might be exactly? Besides, if it really was floating around the earth, it would have been spotted by any more powerful telescope you can mention long ago.

-Luigi: Gee, Mario, you're making much more sense than usual suddenly....

-Mario: Hrrrmph, don't get too fresh with me!

-Luigi: Oh, allright, allright. It's just that I can't help wondering if our visit to the Star Road really did happen, and if the Lady Étoile we saw there really existed...

-Mario: Well, somebody must have given us our new powers. We've trained our powers a few times over the past months, and we look different than we did before in our transformed state, not to mention that our power level feels as if it's vastly superior than it was before that, which is proof enough that Lady Étoile has really talked to us and amplified our power. Look, even our transformation transmitters look slightly different now.

-Luigi: That's true. They used to look like plain red and green controllers, but as of now, they've turned into a transparent red and green color. Say....Mario, how come you come up with not one but two lucid reasonings in one evening suddenly?

-Mario: Oh, enough with that already! Let's just practice our powers instead!

-Luigi: Very well, I'm ready...

The two of them then pointed their transformation devices towards the star-lit night sky and shouted out their new transformation phrase, as instructed to them by Lady Étoile after their last battle:

-Mario & Luigi: Supreme Star Power! Double Transformation!

A column of intense light shot up to the sky, enveloping the two brothers once they had spoken this formula. When the storm of light that had engulfed them died down again, and they opened their eyes, they found themselves transformed once again. Due to the power that Lady Étoile had bestowed to them, their transformed appearance was now different than before; their until before white overalls were now of a shiny silver color, their white wings were larger, and almost seemed luminous in the night sky, and a symbol representing a golden star glowed on their foreheads. Mario contently took on a showy pose.

-Mario: I must say this looks pretty cool. The principal should be jealous of Lady Étoile's flair for design!

-Luigi: In any case, we haven't yet discovered the full extent of our new powers. There must still be many new abilities that we can use with these increased powers, we won't know what exactly we can do until we've experimented around.

-Mario: You're right, and we had better be on our marks. Lady Étoile has given us these powers for a reason, after all. If one day, we need to use our new powers to fight for Tokyo again, we'll be ready.

And Mario paused for a while, looking up at the sky. He then took a deep breath, and punched up into the air, shouting these words;

-Mario: Hey, Lady Étoile! If you can hear us, look at this!

A column of pure light shot out of Mario's arm and cleaved through the sky, to vanish as a bright shooting star in the distance. On the shimmering plains of the Star Road, a slight smile played around Lady Étoile's lips as she looked out over the endless mass of glowing wishes before her.

-Lady Étoile: I was right in giving those two boys my benediction, they are just and reliable. I know certainly that, should a new menace stretch it's claws towards Tokyo once again, there will always be two brave and honest heroes, soaring on their white wings to defend the city, and the whole world along with it. It's this world I've watched over for so long, and from which I've seen all these wishes. This world, which is so dear to me is now in good hands with them....

END of episode 6


Look out for episode 7: "Tokyo Revolution Soldiers!"

Who is the mysterious scientist deep underground in Tokyo, and what is the purpose of the "revolutionary creature" that he is slowly, but carefully breeding? When a new enemy appears and targets Thales and Sokrates, will Mario and the others make it to their rescue in time? And will Tokyo be plunged in the shadow of an old and lethal enemy once again?

The new revolution begins in Mario's High School Days Super Turbo 7!

TO BE CONTINUED...


 

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