|Super Mario Alternate Universe Story:
Mario's High School Days: Super Turbo
In the sky above Tokyo, a cluster of four tall, silvery skyscrapers pierce into the clouds above. This group of buildings is known as the DataDyne complex, the Japanese headquarters of a large company that has suddenly expanded into a great number of different business fields and holds large parts of the world's market in it's grasp. One morning of March, in the year 2001, the main entry doors of the DataDyne complex slid open, and a high-heeled figure made her way into the building, while long strands of vivid chestnut hair brushed along her shoulders. As soon as she had set foot in the building, she was greeted by a DataDyne employee with these words;
-"Ah, Miss Sartre, the professor has been expecting you anxiously. He requests you join him in his lab immediately."
Shizuka Sartre, for such was her name, merely replied with a brief "understood", and walked on in the direction of the professor's laboratory to which she had just been summoned. A few steps later, and she was inside a large, metallic elevator which took her down to the underground of the DataDyne facility, to the highly classified research center of the company's most acclaimed scientist, professor Plato. As the elevator descended under the surface of Tokyo with a dull buzzing sound, Sartre leaned herself against one of the steely walls and pondered a few thoughts to herself.
-Sartre: ...The professor will probably want to work on what he calls his "creature" again today. It's strange, ever since the month of June, last year, he has been acting most peculiar. Then again, this creature of his, whatever it may really be is indeed something very special, judging by what I've seen of it so far. Nevertheless, I wish I knew a little more about where this creature so suddenly came from. The professor hasn't told me anything whatsoever....
With a dulled clank, the elevator stopped moving and it's doors slid open. Sartre walked into a large chamber containing all sorts of machinery with messes of wires and cables sticking out of them. The unfinished mechanic devices littering the area were only dimly lit by the flickering of a large number of monitors in the otherwise shadowy chamber, making their messy shapes but vaguely visible in the obscurity. Upon her entry into this sinister laboratory, she was immediately greeted by her superior, the most valued scientist of the DataDyne company; professor Plato.
-Plato: Ah, Sartre, you've finally managed to come here! I'm glad to see you, you've arrived just in time to see how our fabulous creature has grown yet again!
-Sartre: It has grown again? Professor, it's growth ratio seems to be speeding up by the day, in that case....
-Plato: And that's not everything, something tremendous has happened as well! It speaks! It is actually speaking in perfectly articulate Japanese! Just think, a mere nine months ago, last June, I found this being as two tiny crystals, and look at it now!
The enthusiastic professor accompanied these words with a theatrical gesture towards a large, lightly glowing mass in the centre of the room. There, on a large pedestal, a huge, transparent crystal formation had grown up to the ceiling. And inside this mass of minerals, two distinctly human figures could be seen, embedded in the dull glow of the stone. One of them a finely built woman who's face was surrounded by thin strands of long, silvery hair, the other a robust male with stark raven black hair. Montesquieu and Robespierre were floating in this mineral womb with their eyes shut. However, after Sartre had contemplated the grandeur of this discovery for a few seconds, she began to clearly hear voices emanating from the crystal formation. Just as the professor had said; it "spoke" to her in these terms:
-Montesquieu: Soon, very soon....our new awakening won't be delayed for much longer now....
-Robespierre: Our memories will come flooding back, and we will soon be lifted to even greater power than before. It won't be much longer now....
Sartre paused for a moment, unsure what to say, but it was the professor who took the word in her place;
-Plato: You see, isn't it amazing? Sartre, this being is unlike anything the earth has ever seen! With this creature, we could revolutionize the entire world! It is a true miracle!
Sartre decided to hold her peace and just glanced over the two figures entrapped in the giant crystal before her, wondering where exactly this was going....
With a heavy sound, a large plate of steaming curry rice was placed onto one of the tables of the Nintendo High school cantine. Mario was seated in front of this plate, and without further delay, he dug in vigorously. Luigi, seated next to him blinked a few times as he observed his brother's face-stuffing, until commenting in these words;
-Luigi: Mario, do you really need to eat that much? It's a huge serving, and you're chomping it down as if you're on the brink of starvation.
-Mario: You don't understand! We're in our final year now, I need to eat as much as I can so that I have enough energy reserves to pass our final exams!
-Luigi: Oh, for a minute, I thought you were trying to become a sumo wrestler....But, come to think of it, it's not by eating as much as you can that your chances at the final exams will be any better. That sounds like wishful thinking to me.
-Mario: Say what? You mean to say this won't help me for my final exams at the end of the year?
Mario gave a look of genuine shock and disappointment to his brother for a while, before turning back to the plate of food with a careless grin.
-Mario: Oh well, in that case, I need to eat a lot to overcome my nervousness and soothe my aching and overworked soul!
-Luigi:*sigh* You'll take any excuse, won't you?
Kirby had been seated opposite to the two brothers all this time, listening in, but he chose this moment to cut in with these words;
-Kirby: Actually, if you don't mind to, Luigi, please let Mario eat as much as he wants. It does me good to have someone around who pilfers up food like a maniac, it feels as if Yoshi's here.
-Luigi:...Does it? I'm afraid I don't quite follow.
-Mario: Never mind, you should listen to him! Kirby is absolutely right, I suggest you follow his advice to the letter!
-Luigi: Please, stay out of this, Mario....
-Kirby: Well, what I mean is that it feels strange to have Yoshi gone, even if it's just for a few weeks. He left for Cairo last weekend, and he won't be back until the end of the month.
-Luigi: Ah, that's right, Ibis did invite him to stay with her in Cairo like she said she would. So he's in Egypt now, isn't he?
-Kirby: Exactly, and he's left me in charge of the cooking club for that time. He said Mario was still too immature to handle such a thing.
-Mario: Gee, I love feeling appreciated like this....
-Kirby: Well, in any case, seeing someone eating so much does me good. To be honest, I rather miss our illustrious club president....Oh, but I almost forgot, he did write a letter. In fact, a letter of fourteen whole pages describing every single fine point of Egyptian food....oh, and he gives you two his regards as well.
-Luigi: That sounds like Yoshi allright. It seems as if just now when we enter our final year, everyone has forgotten about the work they need to do and prefers to travel, stuff their faces or act silly. Even now, Sammy has been insisting so much that I go to this carnival in the city with her that I simply couldn't refuse....
-Mario: Aaaah?! Not -the- carnival, the Donkey Kong Jungle Paradise carnival fair that has just been set up in Shibuya?!
-Luigi: The same. There's been loads of publicity about it, hasn't there?
-Mario: You bet your life there has been! Ohh, I wanted to go there so badly, so so badly! Rumor has it they serve some of the most delicious sweets on their stands, and that the attractions are just to die for! I'd go there tomorrow, but Peach wants to meet me at the aquarium in the Ikebukuro Sunshine building, and she said it was important....
-Luigi: And you don't want to risk triggering the wrath of a samourai, I suppose. Hmm, Peach keeps cats, goldfish, plants and she gives Mario a rendez-vous at the aquariums of Ikebukuro...She really must like animals very much.
-Kirby: Well, there must be -some- reason why she fancies Mario....
-Mario: Yah, go ahead and rub it in. What a rip-off, my stupid brother gets to go to the carnival while I'm forced to drag myself to Ikebukuro. You're lucky that Sammy is such a relaxed person!
-Luigi: Well, that's life. There's nothing to be done about it, Mario.
-Mario: Hrrrmph....You really think this is hilarious deep down, don't you? You complain that others don't take their work seriously, but all the same, you go off to have fun at the carnival with Sammy. You're really just a phony!
-Luigi: Ohh, he's getting cranky again....
The various discussions among the students continued on familiar lines afterwards. However, another discussion, of a far less familiar and easygoing nature was being conducted at that same moment in the principal's office, where he and Rousseau were seated around a large number of notes concerning their findings about the mysterious relic so far. After a short silence, Rousseau let out a sigh and addressed these words to the principal;
-Rousseau: The one thing I don't quite understand is what exactly you mean when you say that the course of destiny has been deformed...
-Peppy: Well, that's because the usual course of events has been interrupted. According to the writings we've found and deciphered about the N-force so far, each generation is supposed to feature five possible harbingers, only one of which will awaken to full power at some point, while the four others' powers will forever remain dormant. I suppose you can see that the current situation is vastly different from that.
-Rousseau: Indeed it is. I take it that, if everything had been in it's right order, Descartes, Thales, Sokrates and I would have never had conscience of our powers to manipulate elements, which makes us potential candidates to be a harbinger. Furthermore, instead of only one person to be the harbinger, there are two for this generation. But on the other hand, Mario and Luigi's powers depend on each other to function. The two harbingers need to be like one in order to deploy their powers.
-Peppy: That's true, but nevertheless their level of power vastly exceeds that of a regular, single harbinger. Especially since their powers were somehow enhanced even further after their last battle, or so it would seem. One other thing that worries me is what we've found out thanks to Descartes....
-Rousseau: Ah, that's right. When he was still under the influence of Herakleitos' minions, he went around the world, blowing up ruins of ancient civilizations. The Mayan temples in the rainforest, the Egyptain pyramids...Apparently, the purpose of this was because these civilizations had been able to flourish due to the relic's influence somehow.
-Peppy: Which leads me to believe that the current prosperity of Tokyo, perhaps even of all of Japan is due to the relic's presence here. However, all of the old civilizations where we have reason to believe that the relic's power had any sort of influence have perished at some point. So maybe Tokyo is looking at that same fate....
-Rousseau: I see what you mean now...the repeated attacks from Herakleitos' cohorts, and the many abnormalities which have occurred in the planned course of events....Perhaps Tokyo is really just standing on very fragile ground as of now.....
And Rousseau turned his eyes pensively towards the sea of concrete and iron that could be seen from the windows on the principal's office. A few days afterwards, somewhere deep in Tokyo, the seafood restaurant Zora's Den, where Mizuru Thales had recently started to work was experiencing busy times. Mizu carried an ever larger stash of plates around, while every now and then, a few customers made some comments in hushed voices;
-"I didn't know such a pretty guy worked as a waiter here..."
-"You're right, he really does look elegant in a waiter's uniform..."
However, Mizu himself took no notice of these comments, and fled into the restaurant kitchen, where he could finally get rid of the heaps of crockery that were weighing down his arms. Once he had done so, he turned to his two colleagues; two other young waiters who worked in the restaurant and went by the names of Mikau and Ruto. It was with a long sigh that he addressed the following words to them;
-Mizuru: It's hell out there. Those people at table two are asking for their bill right now.
-Ruto: Good, go ahead and take it to them, in that case.
-Mizuru: Just a minute, I've been lugging plates around all day, isn't it about time you two did some work as well? You're waiters too, after all, yet it still feels as if I'm running this place on my own.
-Mikau: Ah well, you see, that's all part of our marketing strategy.
-Mizuru: Explain to me how doing hardly anything at all and dumping all the work onto me translates as a marketing strategy, now. I don't believe one word of it.
-Mikau: Which proves that you don't know how economy works, Thales. You're clearly very popular with the customers, several people are attracted here purely by the rumor of a very beautiful young man working here, and we'd hate to disappoint them....
-Mizuru: Well, it's true that anyone expecting a beautiful person would be disappointed if they got to see you two, now that you mention it....
-Mikau: Nuts, didn't see that one coming.
-Ruto: Moron. Well, in any case, Thales, you get our point now, so hurry up and go back to work, the whole restaurant counts on you!
But at that point, a large figure appeared behind them, and the menacing voice of chef Johnny Jones, the head cook of the restaurant pronounced these words;
-Johnny Jones: So that's what you lot are up to, eh?
-Mikau: Gulp! The....the boss....
-Ruto: We can explain, sir, it's for the benefit of this establishment....
-Johnny Jones: Rubbish! I expect all three of you to work a good deal more than you do now! Get to it already, before I capitally fire the lot of you! Arrrgh, utter wussies, the lot of you!
The three waiters fled out of the kitchen, chased away by the chef's angry bellowings. Once they made it to a safer location, they lamented in these words;
-Ruto: Oh man, chef Jones is simply terrifying, I never feel comfortable around him!
-Mikau: And his habit of sneaking up behind you and shouting like a maniac, it gives me the chills! Except you, Thales. How come you can stay entirely calm like this? You don't seem frightened at all....
-Mizuru: Well, he doesn't really mean any harm in the first place. Besides, I know when he's going to pop up and shout at us. *smile* I can sense it.
-Ruto: Sense it? You're flipped, you must've read too many supernatural-themed comics.
-Mizuru: Errr, well, maybe....*thinking to himself* But still, lately, my powers of enhanced sensitivity have manifested themselves so little, they're hardly noticeable.....
While Mizuru pondered the decrease in his power's activity, another power was at this moment gradually increasing, deep underneath the soil of Tokyo. Professor Plato's secret lab located beneath the DataDyne building complex was still functioning as a home to the reborn Montesquieu and Robespierre, who's bodies remained entrapped in the crystals they had grown from. The professor and his assistant Sartre checked in every day, after which the professor would usually commit himself to extensive studies of the unusual "creatures". This particular day, the energy reactions inside the crystal were found to be especially strong, and the professor urged Sartre to take a look with him in these words;
-Plato: Sartre, how fortunate that you should be here! Look at how unusually intense the energy flux inside the crystal formation is!
-Sartre: And, do you have an idea of what might be causing this reaction?
Sartre's question was answered, not by the professor, but by the voices of Montesquieu and Robespierre, echoing within their surroundings.
-Robespierre: It's our memory....the memory of our past life is beginning to awaken again. We are slowly beginning to remember all these events....
-Montesquieu: This place....we've been here before. I remember now; this is Tokyo.....
-Plato: This is unheard of....the creature has lived in Tokyo before, and it had subconscious memories of this....
-Montesquieu: While our powers are slowly regenerating inside this crystal, our memory is being regenerated as well, piece by piece. It is drifting back to us slowly, very gradually.....
-Robespierre: It is only a matter of time now, before we are entirely reborn. We can already remember the name of Tokyo....and, the ones we faced the last time we came to Tokyo in our bygone lives....the harbingers. Yes, it was those harbingers....we were sent to kill them. We will kill them!
-Sartre: Kill the harbingers? Professor, what could it mean by this?
-Plato: I'm not sure....It's not clear what it means by "harbingers".
-Montesquieu: In every generation of this world, five chosen people will be born under a destined star. These five will have exceptional powers, far beyond those of normal humans. One of these five destined ones will one day awaken to his true, full power. If the world has need for a savior, one of these five will undergo a new awakening, and his power will unfold to the limitless supreme power of the true harbinger. That is what they are. These five young men are who we must eliminate!
-Robespierre: Professor Plato!
-Robespierre: You will remember these four names; Renn Descartes, Sekai Rousseau, Sora Sokrates and Mizuru Thales. From now on, you will put every effort into killing these four individuals. You must obey us!
As the professor stared up to the giant crystal formation in disbelief, the energy reaction within the crystal suddenly jumped in intensity, and a powerful energy discharge illuminated the entire chamber. Sartre shielded her eyes from this powerful flash, and when she looked up again, she noticed that the professor had knelt down in front of the crystal, and had placed both hands on the mineral's surface.
-Plato: Yes.....yes, of course, my beautiful creature, I will do whatever you say to me. I'll get rid of that harbinger, just as you told me to, I'm at your service. Sartre! Quickly, run a search for those four names through our databanks! In the meantime, I will prepare....our weapon.
While Sartre turned to the massive computer screens on the walls around her, the professor went over to a collection of bubbling flasks and test tubes, from which he pulled a particular test tube, filled with a thick, black substance. He held this test tube up triumphantly in the glow of the giant crystal.
-Plato: Ahhh, here it is! The most amazing thing to have been discovered in years! Although our marvelous creature looks like a crystal which encases two almost human-like beings, it's true, primordial shape is this dark liquid. This black matter is the creature's true essence, I've discovered so after breaking off a fragment of the crystal and experimenting on it. And here's the really fascinating part! This black liquid is unlike any other substance, it's capable of re-forming itself, and taking on any shape you can think of. After many long and hard efforts, I have finally discovered a way to manipulate the structure of this substance. Now, I have come to a point where I can shape small amounts of this primordial liquid to my own will. Using fragments of this creature's original form as a base, I am able to bring any kind of thing into the world! With an ability like this in my grasp, I am almost a living god! And to think this is just the beginning...when we learn how to exploit more of this creature's powers, the extent of our capabilities will truly become limitless! Sartre! We can both become gods in our own time!
-Plato: It's true, Sartre! For instance, this test tube I'm holding now...for the moment, the liquid sample within is just that, a shapeless liquid. However, I have manipulated this sample of the creature. Once released from this tube, it will transform into the shape I have coded into it, and this is just the kind of weapon we need for our current task. Yes, I call this creation of mine King K.Rool. You will see, Sartre, this weapon will make anything possible for us. Now then, have you found anything on those four names in the databanks yet?
-Sartre: Ah....yes, there are two matches here: Sora Sokrates, aged 23, born in Nagoya on the 10th of February, 1978 and is currently residing in Tokyo and attending the Hyrule University's medical faculty. Also, I've found a match for the name Mizuru Thales. He is aged 22 and was born in Kyoto on the 19th of march, 1979. He is as of now living in Tokyo and also attends the Hyrule University, but at the marine biology faculty. They apparently live together as well.
-Plato: Well then, we have a place to start. Sartre, we must absolutely see to it that our creature's wish is fulfilled. It has ordered us to eliminate these men, we cannot ignore it's command! Now listen, Sartre, you will take this test tube containing my creation K.Rool with you. Look for a moment when those two are vulnerable, and then let K.Rool attack them. He will surely finish this job off with ease. Now go, Sartre! Return here once you have finished. And don't forget, we are on a mission given to us by a higher form of existence!
Sartre then took the small test tube into the palm of her slender hand and left the laboratory, to go out into the vastness of Tokyo. She wasn't the only one who had gone into the city at that moment. After meeting up with each other like they had agreed, Luigi and Samus had made their way to the Donkey Kong Jungle Paradise carnival which had settled down in the heart of Tokyo for the coming few weeks. Once there, Sammy immediately manifested every sign of the most vivid enthusiasm and dragged Luigi from attraction to attraction, while gorging her eyes on the many colourful sights. From shooting galleries to arcade machines, a large variety of stands flashed their multicolored lights on the Tokyoite crowds. A humble balloon stand in particular was the cause for many commotions. The stand in question was manned by a young woman named Candy Kong, and her way of addressing customers either attracted or repelled large crowds. As of now, she handed a red balloon in the shape of a gorilla's head to a small boy with the following words;
-Candy Kong: There you go, big boy. Come back anytime if you want to play with my balloons, I'll make you a soft price.
The child just blinked, not grasping the blatant innuendo, but before any more could be said, the small boy's mother had already dragged him away furiously, shocked at this type of language. Candy Kong grinned contently to herself about this sale, when she suddenly felt the familiar, but all the more unpleasant sensation of a wooden walking cane tapping on her head. She cringed as she slowly turned around to face what she knew but all too well; the displeased, wrinkled face of the Kong Jungle Paradise carnival's owner and manager Cranky Kong, who had just given her a reprimanding tap on the head with his walking stick.
-Candy Kong: Ah, why, mister manager, what a surprise....
-Cranky Kong: Don't you give me that routine, young lady. I'm fed up with having to tell you not to use talk like that in front of our customers!
-Candy Kong: But.....other customers seem to like it.....
-Cranky Kong: Perverts, perhaps. But the world isn't filled with just male, straight and brain-dead perverts, and they are certainly not the kind of crowd we're trying to attract! Behave more like a lady, or you will be looking for another job!
-Candy Kong: But sir, you can't throw me out, I'm part of the Kong family as well, I belong in this carnival!
-Cranky Kong: I know, I know. But running a fun fair that travels from city to city through Asia is already an unconventional way to make a living, so don't make it any harder on me than it already is. Any kind of chaotic behavior around here -really- gets my temper up.
It was at this very moment that a sturdy young man wearing large sunglasses and gold necklaces burst onto the scene; Funky Kong, who was in charge of the carnival's UFO catcher machine gallery for the day sprinted up to the old manager and began to rattle out the following panicky phrases;
-Funky Kong: It's an emergency! Sir, you've got to help me, I don't know what to do anymore!
-Cranky Kong: Harrrumph, why does nobody ever listen to me here? I keep repeating that any kind of chaos is strictly unwelcome here, but there is simply no way to discipline you young rowdies nowadays. Now what is it with you? Running the UFO catcher gallery is a simple occupation, if you can't even handle that without panicking, you're not suited to the fairground business!
-Funky Kong: What? You can't be serious, sir! I'm part of the Kong family as well, I belong in this carnival!
-Cranky Kong: My heart bleeds. Instead of giving me that same routine again, just tell me what this big emergency is already.
-Funky Kong: Well, it's about this girl. A young woman is at my UFO catcher machine gallery right now, and not only is she obsessively hogging the machines, she also keeps winning and winning. If this goes on, we'll lose a huge amount of plush doll prizes!
-Cranky Kong: All this for just one young woman? You can't even handle a simple young girl on your own, a big guy like you? What a wuss!
-Funky Kong: But you don't understand, sir. This isn't a normal girl, she frightens me...*whimper*
The girl Funky Kong was referring to was none other than Sammy, who had rushed off to the flashing lights of the UFO catcher crane game machines as soon as she had spotted them. With an ever larger crowd of impressed onlookers around her, she was racking up an unheard-of winning streak, catching a staggering number of plush dolls from the machines in a row. Each obtained doll was accompanied by a victorious shout from Sammy, and amazed cheers by the group of onlookers. Luigi had been standing by, carrying the stash of dolls Sammy had won so far. She joined him again after having used up her last scrap of change, grinning widely.
-Samus: That was great! Lucky I was in such good shape, we've had a great haul!
-Luigi: Well, I didn't know you were so skillful at UFO catcher machines.
-Samus: Oh, it's my hidden talent! I've been compulsively pumping coins into UFO machines ever since I was just a kid, collecting the plush dolls from those machines is a bit of a hobby for me. But these dolls are especially nice. Just look, the collection of jungle animal plush dolls is exclusive to this carnival, they're very sought-after. To own the famous Enguarde the Swordfish or Espresso the Ostrich dolls, found exclusively in the Kong Jungle Paradise carnival machines is an achievement for any UFO catcher enthusiast! Now I can finally brag about owning the highly sought-after Rambi the Rhino and Squawks the Parrot dolls as well!
-Luigi: So in a word, you're very satisfied. Perhaps we could get something to eat now....
-Samus: Not yet. Experience learns that it's best not to eat -before- going on a rollercoaster. Unless you want to puke all over yourself while suspended in mid-air that is.
-Luigi: Hang on a minute, did you say something about a rollercoaster?
-Samus: And not just any rollercoaster! The one and only Diddy and Dixie Tropical Adventure rollercoaster! It's what this traveling carnival is famous for, the biggest rollercoaster ride in all of Asia! We simply cannot afford to visit this carnival and miss it's key attraction, and besides, rollercoasters as just too groovy. So let's go already!
With those words, Sammy began to drag Luigi in the direction of an enormous-looking rollercoaster, whose looping railways reached high up in the sky. Luigi didn't even try to reason with her, and just winced when he saw the size of the coaster ride, thinking to himself that Mario was far better off going to a nice, safe and familiar place such as the Ikebukuro Sunshine building. If Mario had overheard these thoughts, he would have strongly disagreed, however. He had as of now made his way to the topmost floor of the building in question, and paced through the large aquariums situated in there, without even bothering to look at the fish swimming past. Leaving the dim blue glow of the aquariums behind him, Mario went to the penguin pool terrace of Ikebukuro where he had agreed to meet Peach. There was nobody there, so he leaned over the railing and cast a disinterested glance at the penguins, while muttering these words to himself;
-Mario: Well, she's always complaining that I'm late, or very nearly late when I'm supposed to meet her, which isn't true at all, so I'm extra early this time. That way, there'll be no possible way of saying that I'm late, if anything.
He left the penguins for what they were and looked out over the city instead. Since the Ikebukuro Sunshine building was an impressive 62 stories tall, a tremendous view over almost all of Tokyo revealed itself to him. However, a detail in the city view caught Mario's eye; the twisty, spiraling shape of a large rollercoaster, which he recognized easily reminded him that Luigi and Sammy were as of now at the famous traveling Donkey Kong Jungle Paradise carnival, certainly enjoying themselves. They might even be on that rollercoaster, so large that it stood out among the tall buildings of Tokyo at this very minute. Mario sighed and tried to make himself at ease with the thought that if they -were- on that rollercoaster, at least his wimpy brother would be scared silly by it, but found little comfort in a thought that would otherwise make him chuckle heartfully. After a few moments of silence, he heard the voice of Peach, who had just arrived at the appointed place, coming from behind him.
-Peach: Ah, Mario, there you are.
-Mario: Hiya, princess.
-Peach: The mazarin penguins are very active today, aren't they? They look as if they're in full shape.
-Mario: Myah, I wouldn't know. You notice these kind of things better than I do. Anyway, you said you wanted to talk about something important to me in this place, so here I am. What do you want to say?
-Peach: Ah...well, since you ask, I suppose I should come straight to the point. Mario, I want to ask you...who is this Lady Étoile that you've mentioned several times? I mean, who is she really, and where do you know her from?
-Mario:...You want to know about Lady Étoile? Actually, that's a long story....
It occurred to Mario at that point that he and Luigi had never told the full story of their meeting with Lady Étoile after their last battle to anyone. He hesitated for a while, then turned to Peach with a sigh, having made up his mind to tell her everything. He began his long story, and Peach listened to his words while the two of them remained high above Tokyo at the very top of the Sunshine building.
Dust whirled up from beneath the wheels of a small, grey car with the inscription "Lakitu driving school" printed across it's doors. The vehicle was carefully maneuvering around the practise track of the very same Lakitu driving school in Tokyo. Seated inside were Sokrates, and Bowser next to him, at the wheel. Observing his student's actions, Sokrates commented in these words;
-Sora: That's good. Now slow down and try parking.
-Bowser: Yessir. At the parking spaces near the end of the track, is that right?
-Sora: That's it. Hmm, you've turned eighteen only recently, you're one of the youngest to take lessons here, come to think of it....And for that matter, you're doing quite well compared to some of the older students.
-Bowser: Funny you should mention that, I was just thinking you're a pretty young guy to be working as a fully-qualified driving instructor.
-Sora: It's because I've been working with motors and mechanics ever since I was a kid. And this isn't so bad as a part-time job, it's just across the street from the seafood restaurant where Mizu works, so he can come over once in a while. Now, try to park over there, and we'll be finished for today. Mizu must be waiting for me around here.
Indeed, after the small car had slowed to a halt, two figures who had been waiting alongside the practice track came towards the car's two passengers. Both Malon and Mizuru were there, who had been watching their driving from the trackside. While Malon and Bowser headed for the driving school building's check-out, Sora strolled down the now empty driving track with Mizu next to him. However, they were unaware of what was going on, just a short distance away from them. A figure whose long, brown hair floated on the air had penetrated into the Lakitu driving school building, and had made her way into the building's dimly lit basement. There, Shizuka Sartre had placed the test tube the professor had given her on the floor, after opening it. She watched for a moment as the dark substance inside the test tube began to run over the floor, and slowly started to twitch and undulate....
-Sartre: This seemed like the best place...one of our targets works here, and the other one regularly comes to see him around this time each day. With some luck, K. Rool will be able to eliminate them both right here. Now, I need to leave this building quickly, the involvement of the DataDyne company shouldn't be known...
With this in mind, she hurried out of the basement, and onto the practice track. In her hurry, she crossed the track blindly, wanting to get away from these surroundings as quickly as she could. It was only when she heard the noise of a car's horn that she noticed how one of the driving school's student cars was rushing right towards her. With a yelp, she threw herself onto the ground besides the road, so that the passing car narrowly missed her. The car itself had ground to a halt and it's passengers had gotten out to check on the one they had almost crashed into. When Sartre opened her eyes and got back on her feet again, she was surrounded by not only the instructor and the student from the car she had just dodged, but also by her two "targets", Mizuru Thales and Sora Sokrates, all of them eager to inquire about her well-being.
-Mizuru: What happened here? You were almost run over, aren't you hurt, miss?
-Sartre: I...I am....
-Sokrates: Oh, that's the uniform of the DataDyne company you're wearing. We do apologize about this incident, don't let your company take it badly, please.
-Sartre: Enough already, I'm fine! Now let me -through-!
Seemingly angered, she wrestled away from the ones surrounding here and bolted off, disappearing from the Lakitu driving school grounds as quickly as she could, scolding herself for this faux pas as she made off.
-Sartre: Damn, not only did I attract full-scale attention, they also noticed about DataDyne. I should've never come here in the company's uniform, what a fiasco! But it doesn't matter, in just a few moments, the professor's creature will have materialized, and it will deal with everything. I'm leaving it up to you, K. Rool!
Indeed, unnoticed to anyone, the small quantity of inky black liquid that Sartre had left behind had trickled from it's test tube and was beginning to pulse and quiver more violently by the second, until it burst upwards, slowly taking on a hulking, menacing shape.... None of the people inside the Lakitu building were in the least aware of this event, as they had simply continued with their occupations after Sartre had left. Thales and Sokrates, in particular had gone into the building to pick up Sora's belongings before going to lunch, and calmly exchanged a few words;
-Mizuru: That was pretty strange, back there, with that DataDyne woman rushing onto the driving track. Does the Lakitu driving school have ties of any kind to the DataDyne company?
-Sora: No, not that I know of. Then again, the way that DataDyne company has been expanding all over Japan, one should expect to see them pop up in almost every place sooner or later. You just can't get away from them....In fact, they worry me a little, but you say that you don't feel anything particular about them....
-Mizuru: Nope, I don't. My powers don't manifest themselves in the slightest where DataDyne is concerned, I feel no premonitions whatsoever about them.
-Sora: Well, if you say so....
However, they were then interrupted by a crashing noise, as the entire building began to quake on it's foundations. The violent rumble sent them both crashing to the ground, but looking up, they could see with disbelief how a door leading to the building's basement was slammed to bits, and a monstruous figure appeared before them. A giant, reptilian sort of creature with a bulging stomach and a golden crown on it's head looked at them with one eerily swollen eye, as a red cape fluttered around the creature's shoulders. Their surprise increased even more when the beast began to speak;
-"Ohhh, this is indeed a pleasant surprise, I've immediately found the both of you. Sora Sokrates, and Mizuru Thales, my two targets, you have pretty much dropped right into my lap. How very kind of you...."
-Sora: Targets? What is that thing talking about....more to the point, who in hell -are- you?
-"Ah, of course, you should indeed know my name, and never forget it anymore. I am called King K. Rool! It's my mission to eliminate both of you. You have no chance, you will not get away!"
-Sora: Another enemy...? But...impossible! The very last of the S-types died a year ago, at the Tokyo Tower....could it be something else? Mizu, isn't there anything you've sensed, are you absolutely sure?
-Mizuru: Nothing whatsoever! I...I don't understand...if this thing really is of S-type nature, I would have sensed his presence long ago, but there has been nothing.
-Sora: In any case, it looks like we'll have to fight...I don't like having to use my powers in a place like this, but we can't let a creature like this get out in Tokyo, we need to contain it as much as we can.
-K. Rool: Contain? You talk of containing -me-. Ho ho ho, that is most amusing. You had rather be a bit more worried about how I will contain you!
With those words, the animal took the crown from it's head, and removed a set of bright, glowing beads that had been incrusted into his crown. He held up the shiny pearls in one hand, and then flung them away forcefully. The small orbs, surprisingly, floated by themselves, and crashing through nearby windows, they hovered away and remained floating in a wide circle around the Lakitu building. Slowly, a shining wall was dressed around the whole building by the hovering pearls, until the entire facility was entrapped in the strange force field that K. Rool had created with the pearls from his crown. The monster grinned contently at this.
-K. Rool: You see, now no-one will get away from me. I don't want to go at large in Tokyo, my only orders are to kill the two of you, and I'll make sure you won't run away from me.
-Mizuru: D...damn. Now we really have no choice but to fight him....I can't tell how strong he is, my senses aren't reacting at all. But if he could create a barrier around a whole building, who knows what else he's capable of....
-K. Rool: You will know, very soon. For instance, I'm able to do...this!
The monster picked the golden crown from it's head again, and this time, the whole object began to glow in his hand. He swung his crown around like a weapon, and a shimmering razor-sharp disc of light was shot out of it, which whizzed through the air in the direction of Thales and Socrates at breathtaking speed. However, before the monster's projectile could make contact, a crackling bolt of energy suddenly came crashing through the air and collided with the golden disc projectile, throwing it off it's path so that it went sailing past it's two targets harmlessly. With an angry snort, K. Rool looked around him to see who had just messed with his attack, and found himself face-to-face with Malon and Bowser. Malon had already transformed, and had fired her energy discharge to destabilize the monster's attack.
-Malon: A new enemy, huh? You must be responsible for that strange barrier that has just appeared around the building....
-Bowser: Whoever you are, if you want to kill Thales and Sokrates, we'll stop you from it at any cost!
-Mizuru: Malon! Bowser!
-Sora: You mustn't stay here, this is too dangerous! Get to a safe place, and let us deal with this!
-Bowser: No can do. The whole building is sealed off by that force field, and besides, we can fight as well! We don't want to lag behind at a moment like this!
-K. Rool: Ho ho ho....so you are the cavalry, or something like that? How most amusing. Well, since you've pulled out reinforcements, I'll do the same to even the odds a bit. Four against one is hardly a worthy match, so....
He was still holding his crown in his claws while speaking these words. Although he had removed most of the small pearls decorating this crown when creating his force field, two more gems remained, embedded in the golden crown. A large sapphire and a rich ruby were still adorning K. Rool's crown, and he now removed these two largest stones as well. He held the stones up high and then hurled them onto the ground. The jewels shattered into small pieces after crashing onto the ground, and drops of similar black liquid that had formed K. Rool himself appeared. Before the staggered eyes of the others, these small amounts of black substance gradually formed into two more monsters. An overweight creature in military attire mockingly faced Malon and Bowser, while a hulking blue creature rolled it's oversized muscles, staring at Thales and Sokrates. K. Rool leaned back contently and summed up the situation thus;
-K. Rool: Krusha and Klump, my faithful bodyguards who were concealed in the stones on my crown. I'll let them handle this little job. Once they're through with you, I'll only have a little bit of cleaning up left to do. No matter what happens, I can't lose now!
-Sora: You bastard, don't take us lightly, you'll be the first one to go down instead!
An angered Sokrates then threw himself forward, while a small whirlwind began to form around his clenched fist. However, before he could unleash his power over the air upon K. Rool, the gigantic Krusha blocked his path and slammed him back with a mighty punch. Sora's fall was intercepted by Mizuru, while Krusha himself just chuckled at them.
-Krusha: Don't be so hasty. You should also not take us lightly. We're here to protect our master, we won't let you come close to him that easily!
-Sora: Ungh...damned bastards....
-Mizuru: Sora, are you allright? They're determined to act as shields for their master, we have no choice but to fight them first. We can only hope that we'll last long enough to eventually take all three of them down.
Malon and Bowser, meanwhile had both tried their utmost to take the mighty Klump down, but none of their techniques seemed to have any effect. A haze of kicks and punches from Malon darted around the massive beast, while Bowser's fire breath surrounded him, but he merely shrugged off these attacks and grinned.
-Klump: Useless, useless. You're trying hard, but it's just not enough to actually damage me.
-Bowser: Damn....he has an extraordinary protection. It must be his build, or his skin, even if we use our strongest techniques, they just don't reach him hard enough.
-Malon: I haven't said my last word yet! This will knock him down, definitely! Half circle back, forward, forward, X and Y! The powered-up energy discharge technique!
A stronger, brighter energy bolt was blasted from Malon's hand and soared towards Klump, who still didn't look impressed. He merely swung his arms forward and slammed his fists together, which created a glowing shockwave that clashed against Malon's energy ball. The two projectiles disappeared into a cloud of sparks and smoke, leaving Bowser and Malon looking deeply worried.
-Malon: Even that didn't work, he was able to counter it....I didn't count on this.
-K. Rool: That was the same technique you used to knock my razor crown blast off it's track back there, isn't it? Not a bad technique, it might have won you the match, or at least done some severe damage if Klump and Krusha weren't experts on defense as well as resistance. But as you see, whatever you try is useless.
-Bowser: Damn you...In that case, we'll just attack him again and again until we can pierce his defense! We won't give up!
-Malon: No, wait, that's exactly what he wants us to do. Don't you see? He wants us to waste all of our energy in vain against those two. If we just keep attacking them, we'll use up all our strength for nothing, and then we'll just be sitting ducks for them. We need to do something else...what we need, is to find a way to kill that monster with one blow, it's the only way to do it!
-Bowser: Well....I suppose so, but how are we supposed to do that? None of our moves have had any effect....
-Malon: There might be a way...if I can get in close and use all my strength in one blast on him, it'll surely have an effect of some kind. I can take him down if I explode my full force right in his face, but....the way to do it will be very risky....
Malon and Bowser prepared themselves for a risky counter-offence against the living shield before them. In the meantime, a furious barrage of water and wind strikes had been thrown at the imposing Krusha by Thales and Sokrates. But the monster just let their attacks wash over him, seemingly unaffected, still taunting them with a mocking smile.
-Sora: Still no good. He's resistant enough to take on the impact of all our techniques. But that girl Malon...it looks as if she's going to try something.
-Mizuru: Yes, but...I'm afraid she won't make it. She knows how much we're at a disadvantage....
-Sora: What are you saying? Don't talk like that, we can still win this battle!
-Mizuru: It's not like I'm giving up, only....unless we change our tactics, we won't win this. Even if there are three of them and four of us, with their defense ratios, it's as if we're outnumbered ten to one. It's like Malon has just said, the way things are going, we'll burn up all our energy for nothing whatsoever. And she has also understood that the only way to change the balance in our favor....forces us to risk our own lives....
They focused their looks on Malon and Bowser, who were standing tensely, facing their foe. Everything pointed to the fact that they were ready to attack...
-Bowser: I'll ask you this one last time; are you absolutely sure about this?
-Malon: My mind is made up. It's not like I don't see that this is dangerous, but we need to grab every chance we can get. Don't hesitate anymore, do just as I've told you!
-Bowser: Allright then, we're counting on you.
Bowser then faced the mighty Klump and took a deep breath to blow a ball of dense flames in his direction. Seeing the thick mass of red fire hurtling in his direction just made the rotund crocodile laugh nastily.
-Klump: Hah, this is the big thing you were planning? Just another one of your fire breath attacks? Ridiculous! You've already seen that this technique is of no use at all, it doesn't even scratch me. You won't break through my flawless defense with that! But...wait...what is...?
In the large ball of flames that was slowly rolling towards Klump, a shadow suddenly became visible. This shadow took on a human appearance as it rapidly came closer to Klump through the fire...
-Klump: That shape....there's something inside the fire? No, they wouldn't be trying that....?!
But Klump had already taken too long to understand what Bowser and Malon had been planning. The wall of fire split apart at this instant, and Malon jumped out, soaring in Klump's direction. The full realization hit the crocodile monster; she had thrown herself into the flames, regardless of the injuries this would cause to her, so as to use the fire as a cover so that she could get in close, taking advantage of the fact that he had just regarded the flames as harmless. She was now rushing towards him, with a all her strength concentrated in her fist, with which she would deliver a blow at point-blank range.
-Malon: Eat this!!
-Klump: No way....I'm trapped, I'll be hit...no, there still is time to counter! You're the one who's going to eat it!
Both Klump and Malon's fists lunged forward. The crocodile's scaly hand punched into Malon's sides fiercely just as she delivered her blow. Both punches unleashed a powerful energy discharge as they connected, the force of which flung Malon backwards and sent her crashing against the ground roughly. She still gathered enough brittles of strength to look up and see how the energy shot she had launched from her fist had indeed engulfed the hulking monster. She passed out at that moment, considering her duty to be done. What she didn't see, however, was that Klump survived her attack. Once the intensity of the blast had died down, the monster still stood there. It's army helmet had been blown off and shattered into small pieces, and heavy bruises covered the right side of his body. However, he was still standing, despite breathing heavily and having clearly suffered damage.
-Klump: D...damn it...that girl...good thing I managed to knock her punch off it's planned path by hitting her first. She was aiming for my vital points. If she had hit me where she was aiming to, right in the chest area, the damage would've been fatal. She missed her attack, but only by a split second. Damn them...how can such wimps still find the resources for an attack like that?
-K. Rool: You don't seem to understand who we're dealing with here. Our target is the one and only harbinger, who's power is said to be truly immense. Your mistake almost cost you your life.
-Klump: Grrrmbl...no need to lecture me like that!
-Krusha: Ha ha ha ha! You should see yourself, you look ridiculous! Beaten up by a bunch of mere brats, who could be so stupid?
Krusha evidently found the whole situation hilarious, but this prevented him from noticing that his opponents had taken advantage from this one moment of inadvertence. When he turned back to them, it was already too late. Mizu had rushed up to him, surrounded by roaring masses of water that slowly converged into one thundering mass.
-Mizuru: Now it's your turn! Go to hell!
-Krusha: Whoah, jeezus!
Despite his surprise, Krusha was speedy enough to counterattack. Before the full violence of the water could crash down onto him, he lunged both his fists forward, while sparks rained from the golden armbands around his wrists. A ball of energy was shot out, which blew Mizuru backwards violently, just as his torrents of water severely battered down upon Krusha. Struck by Krusha's last second reaction blast, Mizu was hurled against a distant wall with a loud crash. He sank to the ground, apparently unconscious, but Sora had noticed the quick glance that his companion had shot to him before closing his eyes. He knew what this meant; Mizu had cooked up a plan that might get them out of this risky situation.
Mizu had rapidly told Sora how he evaluated the situation before rushing in against Krusha. He hadn't minced words, the outlook was bleak according to him, and Sora had to agree with that. They would never have enough resources to last against three such defensive powerhouses, and they couldn't escape due to the barrier K.Rool had created around the building with his pearls. So Mizu decided that he would use his powers of extra-sensitivity to bail them out. His highly developed sixth sense allowed him to notice and feel such things as powerful energies, or spiritual waves. But this time, he would use his power to -send out- such waves. By all logic, it should be possible for him to emit as well as receive psychic waves, and since there were two boys in the group of Nintendo High students that had similar, although weaker, sensorial powers to his, there was a good chance that they'd pick up the spiritual waves Mizu was going to send out. Basically, he was going to broadcast a psychic SOS for them, in the hope that Mario and Luigi and their group would pick it up and arrive in time to save them. For that, he had faked taking a hit from Krusha and passing out. If it looked as if he was unconscious, the enemy wouldn't concentrate on him, and he'd be able to send out his mental waves all along. The last thing he had told Sora before heading towards Krusha was that he had to use his full powers, to try and kill at least one of their enemies. He had added that he was counting on him, and Sora was determined to live up to this.
An angrily trembling Bowser, furious at the sight of seeing two of his friends being struck down stood ready to rush in against all three of his foes, but the hand of Sora, placed on his shoulder withheld him.
-Bowser: ...mister Sokrates?
-Sora: Don't try anything yet. It's my turn now. Listen...Mizu is going to try something that might save us. He faked taking a hit, now we need to keep the enemy focused on ourselves. I'm going to use my full power, burn up all my energy at once. If I use my power over the air to it's limit, I should be able to kill at least one or two of them, but not all. Now, after this attack, I'll be just as vulnerable as Mizu and Malon are, so it'll be up to you. You'll need to keep the ones that will survive my next attack busy. I have no right to ask you to risk your life like this. Nevertheless, even if I don't know you that well, something tells me you're the type who's brave enough to go in against a foe stronger than yourself. So, after I'm done, you're on your own. Stall them as long as you can. Don't try anything, just win us time.
-Bowser: I...I don't really understand, but...but I'll do it. I know you and mister Thales can be counted on, I'll risk everything if you say it'll get us out of here!
-Sora: Good...you're just like I thought you were. Now, get down. If I use my power to the fullest, it might be very violent.
Bowser nodded in agreement, and Sora turned away. He took a few steps in the direction of the three monsters, and faced them with a look of bitter determination.
-Krusha: Ha ha ha! That one's really very stupid! He thinks he can do something against us on his own, but his little trick to control the air is already old news, it doesn't work!
-Klump: Ahhh, I'll be able to let off some steam. I'm enraged that those brats almost managed to kill me with their sneaky tricks, pounding that sucker to bits will be a big relief!
-Sora: Idiots. I'm warning you, you will die due to this attack. Say your prayers!
A rapid movement of air was already beginning to form around Sokrates' body, and forceful winds began to strike down on the whole area. The Kremlings were still not impressed by these warning signs and showed no intention of moving from their gloating spots.
-Klump: You say you're going to kill us? Ho ho ho, you're bluffing, there's no way! You don't scare us, you moron!
-Krusha: No matter what you'll try, it won't harm us in the slightest, just like all your previous techniques. If you think you can intimidate us, you're wasting your time.
-Sora: Have it your way. I've warned you....now, my full power! Go burn in hell, you bastards!
Before the Kremlings were able to properly seize what was happening, Sora had already unleashed his full force to control the air. Gusts of wind of an immense violence hammered down on the three monsters, and the walls and windows around them were being torn to bits as if they were made of mere paper. The entire building structure around them was reduced to rubble as an immense tornado shot up into the air, howling with the deafening sound of a raging funnel of air. The violence of the elements that Sora had set free swept away everything in it's path. Krusha and Klump disappeared into the thundering tornado, hurled up in the air like paper puppets. The tornado that Sora had summoned only lasted a few short moments, but it was enough to spread a cloud of complete destruction around it. Once the immense force of the air died down again, a silence followed, after which the limpid bodies of Klump and Krusha came hurtling down again. While falling, the dead bodies of the two lizard monsters rapidly melted into a familiar kind of black sludge that splattered down onto the ravaged soil in front of Sora before vanishing into smoke.
-Sora: That way of melting into black slime when dying....so they -are- S-types after all. But then, it's impossible that Mizu wouldn't have felt their presence before. How could they have escaped his power of sensitivity...? I don't get it...guh! Ack...damn, this hurts....
Clutching his chest, Sora fell to his knees, breathing painfully. He looked up, covered in sweat after the seizure had ended.
-Sora: Looks like I overdid it...I used way more energy than I should. I'm so drained I can't move a muscle anymore. It's up to you now, Bowser. The last one survived...be careful, he's up to something. Look closely...it's his hands...
Those were the last words Sokrates could pronounce before losing his consciousness entirely and sinking to the ground.
-Bowser: Sokrates! ...No good, he passed out. What did he mean, about the hands of that other monster?
Bowser followed Sokrates' advice, and glanced over to the hands of K.Rool, who was still standing, fully unharmed despite the force of Sora's attack. The storm seemed to have washed over him with no effect, somehow. That's when it hit Bowser; Sokrates had meant the rings around K.Rool's fingers. He had been wearing rings, encrusted by large, white pearls, just like the ones he had used to make a barrier around the building. But now, the rings were all missing their pearls. Bowser had to squint a little before he could see that a smaller barrier, similar to the one around the building was surrounding K.Rool himself, very probably made using the pearls he had kept in his rings.
-K.Rool: ....I'm speechless. I refuse to believe that this has happened. He killed both Krusha and Klump, with an attack stronger than anything I've ever seen. There's no doubt about it....with a power so strong, that blond young man who controls the air must be the harbinger, it can only be him!
-Bowser: Harbinger? Hold on, you mean to say you know about the harbinger? You know about us, but how come?!
-K.Rool: What's it to you, stupid brat?! Just stay put and watch while I tear this harbinger to pieces. He's passed out, it's my chance to kill him!
-Bowser: No, I won't let you! As long as I'm still standing, you won't lay a finger on them! Sokrates....you've pushed yourself to the very limit, for our sake...You fought with your utmost resources, all for us. I'm not as strong as you are, but I'll keep going to the very end, to do justice to the courage you and everyone else has shown. I won't let any of my friends down!
With those words, he placed himself between K.Rool and the immobilized Sokrates. Whatever was going to happen, he was determined to endure everything until Thales and Sokrates' plan would work. Mizuru, in the meantime was concentrating to the fullest to send out his psychic call as strongly as he could. Honing his sixth sense to the maximum, he continuously cast out the voice of his mind, pleading for help with the utmost urgency;
-"To anyone who hears me....I pray to all the spirits, someone out there simply -must- hear me! You must come here quickly. We're under attack at the Lakitu driving school building, come there at once, if you hear this!"-
He continuously sent out this call all over Tokyo, and it didn't go unnoticed. Link, for one heard all these words, echoing within his head crystal clear, and looked up, startled. He was at Zelda's home, and the scene seemed peaceful, with Zelda taking care of feeding the goldfishes in the small pond outside her family's dojo. Nevertheless, the urgency of Thales's prayer hadn't escaped Link, and he had clearly recognized the voice. He resigned himself to the thought that this could only mean that a new battle was awaiting them.
-Link: Excuse me, Zelda....You don't have anything really urgent to do right now, have you?
-Zelda: Hm? Nah, no biggie. Just need to tidy up a bit around the edges, should be done very soon.
-Link: I see...well, I regret it, but I won't be there to help out today anymore. I've just heard something...didn't you notice it yourself? The voice of that young man Thales, calling for help?
-Zelda: Eh? Nope, I didn't. I don't have a power like yours, I can't notice these things. But if you say that Thales guy's in trouble of some kind, then what are we waiting for? Let's get to him already!
-Link: But, won't it get in the way of your tending to the dojo?
-Zelda: Nonsense! This facility is a firmly established and longly respected martial arts dojo, and the prime responsibility of a martial artist is to help those in need and uphold peace and order, so let's go already!
-Link: Hmm...*smile* Yes, you're right. All the same, we should try to gather as many of our group first. Our destination is the Lakitu driving school...
Apart from Link, Thales' words had also been picked up very clearly by Falco, who looked up in slight shock at their echoing sound. He was seated around a low table together with Foxy, laden with a luxurious lunch just when he heard the calling voice resounding inside him.
-Fox: What's the matter, you look terrified.... Something wrong with the food?
-Falco: No, that's not it....
-Fox: I should say, it's delicious. You never told me you could cook like this, these dishes wouldn't be out of place in a high-class restaurant.
-Falco: Never mind. I can do anything, nothing's too difficult for me. But anyway....
-Fox:...Hmm, maybe I should let you do the cooking more often. A regular diet of this stuff couldn't hurt a guy, I suppose. Or maybe we should start a restaurant, you have the talent for it....
-Falco: Oi, will you listen to me for a second? Never mind restaurants right now, something's wrong. I've just heard a voice, calling for help very urgently. And there was no mistaking that it was the voice of that skinny guy with the power over water.
-Fox: Thales? You say you've heard his voice? It's true that you have that kind of power, so I believe you. And you say he was calling for help?
-Falco: Yup. Sounded like a major thing. In the worst case, this'll mean that there's a new battle for us....I'm not going too try and talk you out of going with me, I'd be wasting my breath. But are you sure that your arm's recovered enough to fight again?
-Fox: Even if it wasn't, if someone we know needs our help, there's no time to hesitate. We should get going this instant, he might not survive much longer!
-Falco: ....You can decide such things so much more easily than me... Heh, I must be growing soft if I let you order me around now. But you're right, we should go. It's at some driving school that we're wanted.
And so, they left for the Lakitu building as well. In the meantime, Mario had finished telling the whole story to Peach. Just as she had asked, he had recounted all the events of his meeting with Lady Étoile at the star road. It had done him good to share this story with someone else, and he concluded his account with these words;
-Mario: So that's all I know about Lady Étoile. It sounds a bit far-fetched, I guess, but that's how it is...
-Peach: Oh, I believe you. Mario, you're too earnest to make up a lie that would be so elaborate *smile*.
-Mario: Errr, I'm not sure of that's really a compliment, but thanks anyway.
-Peach: I'm sorry to have made you come here and miss out on going to the Donkey Kong Jungle Paradise fair, I know you would've wanted to go there....
-Mario: No biggie, there's always another chance. Besides, Luigi will tell me all about it. He had better not forget to bring some food from the carnival home for me, or else.....
To Mario's great surprise, Luigi's voice resounded right behind him at that moment.
-Luigi: Or else what?
-Mario: Kyaaah! Luigi! What the heck are you doing here? Since when did you get here? Am I going insane or something?
-Luigi: ....I wonder which question I should answer first.
-Peach: Oh, Sammy, Link and Zelda are here as well...
Indeed, those three others were standing behind Luigi as well. In answer to Mario's look of hopeless confusion, Link began to explain;
-Link: There seems to be some kind of emergency. I've heard the voice of Thales, calling for help. Lombardi and McCloud are already on their way. They've gathered a few others, and should be at the place by now. I figured it would be best to fetch both Mario and Luigi as well before going in, since there's a good chance that there will be another battle.
-Zelda: Lucky we could head for the top of the Ikebukuro Sunshine building quickly using my Heavy Metal of the penguin pool, I knew it would come in handy someday!
-Mario: Ah...warp songs again, right?
-Link: In any case, it's the Lakitu driving school building where we need to go. Let's not waste anymore time, we don't know how long Thales and the others can hold on in there...
-Mario: I don't really understand, but it looks like our powers are needed again.
-Luigi: Right then, let's transform.
-Mario & Luigi: Supreme Star Power! Double transformation!
In a surge of brightly burning energy, Mario and Luigi transformed upon speaking this formula; smooth and shiny metallic dungarees wrapped themselves around their bodies, and broad, pure white wings grew from their shoulders. They were entirely ready to head into this new battle now...
While this was going on, Foxy and Falco had gathered a small group and had made their way to the Lakitu building already. There, they found themselves in front of the energy barrier that K.Rool had created around the building. They had only found the time to pick up Kirby and Kid Icarus on their way there, and the four boys seemed to be unable to break through the force field.
-Kirby: Damn it! My chopstick cutter technique is useless, it can't breach that shield no matter how many times I try.
-Kid Icarus: Even a light arrow hasn't done the trick. And if you two tried a double fire arrow, do you think it would have any effect?
-Falco: Annoying as though it is to admit, I doubt it. Whoever could create such a solid barrier must have some impressive talents.
-Kirby: So in other words, we're just stuck. That's just great!
-Fox: Perhaps a double fire arrow won't be enough, but if the others arrive, we might try a double fire arrow, launched at the same time as a double ice arrow. It's probably the best we can try.
-Kid Icarus: You're right. And it would be a shame to waste the double light arrow so early. We might need it, and with Peach's current level, casting one light arrow will drain her of all her strength, so double fire and ice arrows would be our best shot...
Another voice then joined in this talk; that of Link. He and his group had arrived at the building in the meantime and had joined the others.
-Link: It's worth a try. Whatever the outcome is, we need to act quickly, Thales and the others in there must be fighting for their lives.
-Samus: He's right...and, aren't Bowser and Malon in here as well? She did tell me that Bowser's taking driving lessons, and that she comes to see him. They might be in the same danger.
-Zelda: Right, that settles it. We're going to blow away this shield with a combo of double fire and ice arrows. Any questions?
-Link: Errr....nope. Let's go for it.
-Link & Zelda: Double freeze arrow!
-Fox & Falco: Double fire arrow!
From one side, a surge of hellish flames battered against the force shield, while from the other end, a storm of icy cold whipped against it's surface. Under the effect of both these techniques, the force field lost it's stability and cracked open, shattering into invisible pieces. Bowser and K.Rool, who were the only ones still standing inside the building looked up in surprise when they noticed how the barrier had suddenly broken. Bowser had done as he was told, dodging the onslaught of razor-like discs K.Rool had mercilessly shot at him using his crown, but relief flashed over his face when it hit him that this meant his trial was over. Mario and Luigi's group stepped onto the battle scene, overviewing the damages.
-Luigi: Bowser! What happened, are Malon, Sokrates and Thales still allright?
-Bowser: They'll live. But you took your time. I had to keep that big freak quiet all the time. I'm exhausted. I don't even care that I was saved by Mario, which I should really hate, I'll just leave the rest up to you. But be careful. The enemy is protected by a shield just like the one around the building. Apart from that, he's no biggie. You'll smash him to pieces, I'm sure of it, or else you'll have to answer to me.
Completely out of breath from keeping K.Rool at bay all this time, Bowser then sank to the ground and passed out as well in front of the Mario brothers, who looked up sternly to K.Rool.
-Mario: So that's our new enemy, huh? Bowser was right, there's a shield as well. Can we break it with another freeze and fire arrow combo, guys?
-Link: Yes, it should work a second time. Only, I'm not sure if we can really pull this off.
-Mario: Eh? Why's that?
-Fox: I...I'm sorry guys, but...it's my arm, it isn't fully healed yet, and it couldn't take the shock of firing such a strong blast. I can't move it anymore, so I can't use another fire arrow. I'm sorry, it's my fault....
-Falco: Knock it off already, nobody's blaming you. And if anyone does, I'll shut him up. We still have the double light arrow, that should do the trick. Besides, it's just as Bowser said, that guy doesn't look too tough. Can't believe he could beat both Sokrates and Thales...
-Kirby: Then the double light arrow is our best bet. Peach, Icarus, you can do this, right?
-Peach: I...I'm not sure. At the Tokyo Tower, it was different....it was everything or nothing, and the kind of determination that I had then...I don't have it now. I'm not sure if I can cast a light arrow again...
-Mario: Princess....I shouldn't order you around like this, but still, I believe you can be counted on. Please, try to be as strong as you were in that last battle again...
-Peach: Ah....yes! Even if I'm not sure that it'll work, I'll try my best!
-K.Rool: Hah! Because you brats think I will -let- you?! I've allowed you to warble on for far too long as it is. You say I'm weak, I'm no big danger, but I'll prove you wrong! You're just a bunch of pesky vermin, I'll wipe you out in one blow!
-Kid Icarus: Peach, quickly! The light arrow! He's going to attack!
-Peach: It....it won't work! I can't find enough strength!
-K.Rool: Eat this, brats! My golden crown razor disc!
Furiously, he took off his crown and turned it into a sharp circular blade of energy, which he projected in their direction. Peach still found no means to summon the light arrow in time, so Icarus had no choice but to fire a single light arrow from his hands at the glowing giant buzzsaw.
-Kid Icarus: Allright then, there's no other way, my own light arrow will have to do the trick!
He fired the shimmering white arrow which he rapidly dressed into the path of the crashing disc projectile, but alas, the spinning disc rammed through the arrow effortlessly. Peach and Icarus, who were standing at the front of the group at that moment had no more time to dodge. They were hit by the energy disc's blast and were slammed to the ground, passing out due to the hefty shock.
-Mario: Icarus! Princess!
-Luigi: It's a terrible technique, that disc attack of his....And now, what will we do? With Icarus and Peach passed out, we can't use the light arrows and we don't have any techniques left that could break his shield!
-Mario: Damn him, that bastard! I'll punch him to death for what he did to the princess!
-Luigi: But we can't do anything until we've broken his shield. Get a grip, Mario! There's no point in using our powers now, even if our techniques are strong enough to shatter his shield, he'll survive the blast, and then we'll be entirely defenseless. We need to save our tecnhique for the very last, but before that, how will we find a way to break his shield?
Luigi's plea was suddenly answered by the voice of Thales, who had slowly staggered back to his feet. He had to lean against a wall to stand up, and had trouble breathing, but he was still standing.
-Mizuru: I'll do it...I've used lots of energy in order to call out for you, but I should still be able to use my power over water one more time....
-K.Rool: What, you? I thought Krusha had taken you out, how can you still be standing?!
-Thales: I was bluffing, you idiot. Your big dopey henchman didn't even scratch me. It's using so much strength to send out mental waves that has drained me. Mario, Luigi, I'll break his shield, don't worry. After that, you'll have an easy time with him. A person who has to use cheap tricks such as hiding behind shields and using his bodyguards to fight in his place can't be strong on his own. I'll show you!
-K.Rool: You bastard, you talk too much! You're the one I'll kill next!
But before K.Rool could make another move, Thales had already let loose his full force. The ground burst open around him, and powerful jets of water blasted up into the sky. The water gathered in one massive bulk that was shot out over K.Rool, flinging him backwards and hammering him into a wall. The overwhelming jets of water were more than his shield could take, and it shattered like glass under the water's force. K.Rool himself was flung to the ground harshly, but he got up on his feet in a few short seconds, overcome with anger.
-K.Rool: Now you've done it, you little bastard! For a humiliation like this, I'll make you pay dearly. You'll pay with your life, big talker! Let's see how smug you look after eating a golden crown razor disc! Hyaaah!
Before anyone could stop him, K.Rool had already hurled one of his glowing discs at Mizuru. It would be too quick for him to avoid, and the idea flashed through him that, in his current weak condition, such a blast could very well kill him. The feeling turned to panic when it hit him that this might mean he would never see Sora again. But just as this though invaded Mizu's mind, someone's large, familiar body wrapped itself around him protectively. Sokrates had summoned his utter last slip of strength to get up again and shield Mizu from the blast with his own body. They were both sent crashing against the soil in the blast, with big clouds of dust whirling up.
-K.Rool: Damn it, they're not dead. If it had been just that one guy, he would've died, but that idiot with the power over air just had to mess it up. Grrr, I'll get those idiots yet!
-Mario: I shouldn't think so. You've managed to really, really piss me off. It's just like Thales said, you can only win by using cheap tricks. I see right through your disc attack, you have no chance against me! Here I come!
-Luigi: Wait, Mario...!
But Mario was already rushing head-first towards K.Rool. With a smirk, the reptile monster drew the conclusion that Mario was volunteering as the next victim of his disc attack. But before he could take off his crown, Mario leapt in the air and spread out his large, white wings. Gliding over the air like a bird, Mario soared towards K.Rool and snatched the golden crown from his enemy's head. He then flew up into the air and remained hovering, a little above the others, with K.Rool's crown in his hand.
-K.Rool: You bastard! You stole my crown!
-Mario: And without that, you can't use your attack, so you're finished now! Luigi! What are you waiting for, come up here! We'll hit him with out newest technique!
-Samus: Ohhh, that's amazing. Luigi, Mario, you can fly now?
-Luigi: Yes, it's one of our new powers. Lady Étoile gave us much stronger wings. In our old transformation, they just served to increase our jumps, but now we can actually fly for a short time. And that's not all, wait until you see the new technique we've developed. I'm coming, Mario!
Luigi spread out his wings as well and joined Mario in the air, with one last glace down to K.Rool.
-Luigi: You're right, it is just like Thales said; a person who has to rely on sneaky techniques such as his is someone who can't fight on his own. I'm sure that if he had fought Sokrates and Thales bare-handed, he would have been killed in the blink of an eye. But now we'll deal the final blow instead of them.
The two brothers then joined hands and let an intense glow surround them. Engulfed by a ball of light, they shot up into the sky, flying higher and higher at insane speeds. They eventually shot up so high that they were hurtling through space, circling around the planet earth so far below them. Their physical form, their minds, everything was melting away into a blast of thundering, blinding pure light. Their bodies had transformed into a soaring comet, which plunged back down to the earth, targetting Tokyo. At first, the were just a small glint up in the sky to their friends, down at the Lakitu building. However, the small glint rapidly grew, and turned into the overpowering flare of a pure white comet, shooting out a rain of sparks as it cleaved through the air, dead on collison course with a stunned K.Rool. As the comet drew closer, Mario and Luigi's voices could be heard, shouting out with all their might;
-"Luminous Comet Storm!"
And the comet they had transformed into struck down upon it's target. Before being engulfed into the light and reduced to nothingness, K.Rool could still utter some last words;
-K.Rool: No....they became a comet...such power, it's impossible! The harbinger...it's them, they're the ones! Uh....Uwaaaahh!
And he vanished into the blazing storm of light that thundered over him. The others had to shield their eyes from the intensity of the light, but when they looked up again, they saw that their enemy had well and truly been annihilated completely by the comet's impact. Only a shower of small, glowing light particles still floated down from the sky.
-Samus: Whoaah, amazing! So that's their new technique for which they've been secretly training, to transform their own bodies into a comet to smash the enemy! With a technique like that, they'll be completely unstoppable!
-Fox: But...where are Mario and Luigi after this?
It took them only a few moments to locate the two brothers; Mario and Luigi had landed in an awkward, and rather embarrassing pose, lying face-forward on the ground. Everyone gripped their foreheads, emitting a loud sigh of "duhhhh!" at this sight, while Mario and Luigi crawled back on their feet again.
-Mario: Heh heh, looks like we still need to practice landing smoothly again. Which is not easy when you come crashing down from space at blinding speed, by the way...
-Falco: Tell me you're joking...With Tokyo's prime line of defense displaying such a lack of style, I suddenly feel much less comfortable about the fate of this city.
-Fox: Oh, but I think we can count on them. For now though, shouldn't we get everyone to a hospital? Malon, Bowser, Peach and Icarus don't seem to be very badly hit, but I'm quite worried about Sokrates and Thales...
-Zelda: You're right there, we should get a move on.
Foxy's improvised medical analysis proved to be quite correct. Once everyone had been taken to the Great Deku hospital, it was declared that no overly serious harm had been done to either Peach, Kid Icarus or Bowser, who could leave after a general patch-up and one or two days of rest, while Malon only needed a few more days than that, and wouldn't be able to fight for a while afterwards. Things looked more somber for Sokrates and Thales. Although very much alive, their wounds were more serious than those of the others, and they needed to be hospitalized for a long time, while they remained fast asleep or barely conscious most of the time. As for the Lakitu driving school building, one more figure stood on it's ravaged ground, looking deeply puzzled. Sartre had been hiding out in a small café near the Lakitu building, waiting for a signal that K.Rool's mission had been carried out. But this signal never happened, so she went to the place in person, only to find the building half destroyed, and no sign of either the professor's creature or their targets. All she found was the damaged crown of K.Rool, that Mario had dropped and forgotten about after snatching it during the battle. She picked up the object, still confused over this turn of events.
-Sartre: I don't understand....Someone or something has interfered here, but I can't tell what happened exactly. Hmm, it looks as if some unexpected things will happen....
END of this episode
-Look out for episode 8: Panic in Akihabara!
Professor Plato, furious over his first defeat sends out a group of more powerful and dangerous creatures to spread chaos across Tokyo's "electronic town" district Akihabara. Yoshi, Kirby and a group of Nintendo High students must battle to keep the cyber-district in one piece, while Sartre targets Descartes with a vicious monster, created from Montesquieu and Robespierre's crystal fragments to eliminate him. Can Mario, Luigi and the others defeat all these threats to save both Akihabara and Descartes at the same time?
The new revolution reaches fever pitch in Mario's High school days Super Turbo 8!
TO BE CONTINUED...