KRV Standalones

Kamen Rider Vortex: A Spooky Win!

Making sure she was breathing with a corset on, a woman had dressed herself up as a vampire woman, complete with black and red dress, a blood-red rose in her hair, and pale make-up with fake fangs. “Perfect!” she declared as she looked herself in the mirror.

“Not going fuzzy this time?” asked her husband as he came in, dressed like a zombie.

“No, not this time,” replied the woman. “…What do you think, Richard? Should I wear a flower in my hair more often?”

“That’s up to you, sweetie,” answered her husband, Richard Saunders. “You look beautiful no matter what you wear.”

“You’re sweet,” sighed the woman, Megumi Hishikawa, happily. When they finished, a woman of African descent with pink hair, eyes, and dress appeared in pink light.

“Spooky,” praised the pink woman, the Chizaran Princess of Peace, Rosadera.

“That’s what I was going for,” chuckled Megumi. “Is everything ready?”

“All set!” answered Rosadera.

“Good luck!” wished Richard as Megumi and Rosadera vanished in pink light. He then turned on the t.v. to see Megumi on a set of railway tracks during the night. Rosadera was accompanied by her fellow Princesses, Azuliterii, Moradelia, Rojenthi, and Verdutha. Opposite of Megumi was a steam engine, an old Furness Railway K2 “Larger Seagull”. However, this engine had a difference from its compatriots, it had a face! The engine was blue with red stripes and had a number 2 on the tender. The lamp in front of the engine’s funnel was modeled after a jack-o-lantern. The Chizaran Princesses began.

“I am Rojenthi, the Red Princess of Chizara, and the war-time leader.”

“I am Azuliterii, the Blue Princess of Chizara, and the technological leader.”

“I am Rosadera, the Pink Princess of Chizara, and the peace-time leader.”

“I am Verdutha, the Green Princess of Chizara, and the environmental leader.”

“And I am Moradelia, the Purple Princess of Chizara, and the history leader.”

“This is it, ladies and gentlemen!” cheered Rojenthi. “The final round of the 591,009thVerse Vs. Verse Rumble Royale! With this round, we’ll determine who controls First Place prize, the Time Amethyst!”

“Representing her home of 8-3-Y-0-N-D-C-1-T-Y,” Azuliterii introduced, “we have Megumi Hishikawa! Representing T-H-0-M-4-5-4-N-D-F-R-1-3-N-D-5, we have Edward the Blue Engine with home-turf advantage!”

“The final outcome shall be determined,” continued Rosadera, “by whoever can tell the scariest story!”

“Megumi and Edward,” explained Verdutha, “must each tell the scariest story they can come up with. Whoever manages to frighten us more is the winner!”

“Each contestant,” Moradelia went on, “is limited to one story and neither of them are allowed do-overs.”

“Edward the Blue Engine, are you ready?” called Rosadera.

“An engine of the North Western Railway is ALWAYS ready!” declared Edward.

“Megumi Hishikawa, are you ready?” asked Rosadera. Megumi chuckled.

“Been ready since I first fought Vortech!” she answered.

“Then all that’s left,” declared Rosadera, “is to determine who shall tell their story first! With this round, we shall determine who will take home the Time Amethyst! Tell your stories with honor, tell them with pride, and, most importantly, tell them well! Who shall call?”

“Ladies first,” offered Edward kindly.

“As you wish,” replied Megumi. “Heads!” Rosadera flipped a coin and checked it.

“…Hard luck, Megumi,” she answered. “Edward, you may begin.”

“My pleasure,” answered Edward. He drew in a breath, then began. “The year was 1861, the rails belonged to the Metropolitan Railway in London. The famous engineer, Sir John Fowler, was a great man in many ways. Indeed, any engine that has crossed his famous Forth Bridge knows of his work. However, his greatest folly was a locomotive he built for the Metropolitan Railway.

“He had designed the engine to work in the tunnels without producing smoke. Any engine driver who is at the controls of a steam engine would occasionally get a cough while going through a tunnel, but there were engines that needed to go underground, spending their working lives in the tunnels. Some drivers simply coughed the entire journey. Sir Fowler ordered a locomotive built to his unique design.

“Unfortunately, the engine was a poor steamer. On its first test run, it failed miserably just outside Hanwell Station of the Great Western Railway. Its second test later that year was no better, failing to live up to expectations.

“Fowler was angry! The engine had failed him! He ordered it to be sheeted up and left where no one could find it. He then went on to order the tests to be covered up and he had denied that the engine ever existed.

“Before the engine was hidden, Fowler had some of its parts sold for scrap, mainly boiler fittings. Once he had regained some of his financial loss, he banished the poor engine to a disused tunnel on the Underground System. Down in its tunnel, the engine grew angry. It wasn’t his fault that he had failed! It was the work of his designer! He plotted his revenge!

“A few years later, some workmen were down in the tunnels, removing the rails to the engine’s final resting place. They bricked up the line, not knowing what lay inside. As they turned to leave, an all-mighty crash was heard, and they turned to see the bricked-up tunnel disappear in dust and rocks. The shaft of the tunnel had collapsed, and the engine was lost beneath a ton of rubble. They had sealed the shaft off and, for a while, nothing happened.

“Then, one night, an alarm went out on the Underground System! A runaway engine had been seen thundering down the tunnel towards Edgeware Road! Men went down into the tunnels and lifted some rails to derail the engine! …It never came.

“This happened night after night for a few weeks until men started muttering about the ghostly specter being one of Sir Fowler’s designs. Try as he might, he couldn’t keep it secret any longer. Some photographs of the engine were released to the public.

“The sightings of the ghost train stopped for a while, and it was only with Fowler’s death that the engine was forgotten about. …But, on the 50th anniversary of the engine’s failed run to Hanwell, it was seen again, and on every anniversary since!

“The engine, now and forever called Fowler’s Ghost, haunts the Underground Tunnels to this day, but it does more than that! It haunts the valleys and haunts the stations! It haunts the goods yards and the sidings! It shrieks across bridges and thunders through the cuttings! It comes to take old engines away, to sheet them up and remove them forever from this world!” Edward paused impressively, watching the nervous reaction of the Chizaran Princesses and Megumi.

“That’s…that’s just…wow!” breathed Verdutha as Moradelia hugged her tight.

“I must say, I was truly terrified,” mumbled Rojenthi as she held onto Azuliterii’s arm.

“Edward, that story was VERY impressive!” praised Rosadera. “However, this contest is not yet over. Megumi, whenever you’re ready, it’s your turn.”

“I don’t know if my story will be AS scary as Edward’s,” muttered Megumi, “but I’m not giving up now.” She cleared her throat and began. “In Japan’s Kyoho period, 1716 to 1736, there was a rule called Sankin-kōtai. During this time, the feudal lords, called the daimyos, were required to alternate living in their own homes and in Edo for a year, to strengthen the rule of the Tokugawa Shogunate’s central power over Japan. One particular samurai, Hotsumi Kanji, a minor prefect from Kitakuni Province, was making such a journey.

“He stopped by an inn along the way to rest for the night and heard the most beautiful singing voice coming through his room’s walls. It was coming from a Goze, a blind woman who would earn money by singing and playing an instrument, a shamisen being the most commonly used instrument.

“Hotsumi thought that such a beautiful voice could only come from a beautiful woman, so he let his lust take over. He had learned which room the Goze was staying in and hid himself there during the night. Once the Goze returned, he sprang from the shadows and seized her, ravishing her throughout the night. Oddly, the Goze was not repulsed by such an act. If anything, she enjoyed herself being dominated in such a manner.

“The next morning, the two had woken up. Hotsumi then got a good look at her face and gasped in horror. The Goze’s face was unspeakably ugly! Joy crossed the Goze’s face, thinking she had found love! Oh, if only that were true. But Hotsumi didn’t pronounce her face to be ugly out loud, no. Instead he concocted a plan to get rid of her…permanently!

“He took the Goze with him on his way to Edo and they went on a mountain road, a convenient mountain road. Along the way, Hotsumi pushed the ugly Goze off the road and into a ravine down the mountain, the impact snapping her neck and killing her instantly! When he was satisfied that the deed was done, Hotsumi continued on his way to Edo as if nothing had happened.

“A year later, it was time for another journey to Edo and Hotsumi had completely forgotten the incident. This time, he stopped at a small mountain temple, graciously accepting the monks’ aid and offer for rest. As he slept, he heard a beautiful voice coming through his window. He opened it and a crazed, blind woman jumped into the room! The woman’s milky eyes bored into him as if she could see him!

“‘Who are you?!’ demanded Hotsumi. ‘How dare you attack me!’

“‘I intend to do worse, Hotsumi!’ hissed the woman. Hotsumi was taken aback when he heard his name. The woman then stepped into the moonlight to reveal her features. Hotsumi almost shrieked in terror! It was the Goze he had killed! Her ghost had returned! ‘Have you already forgotten last Autumn?!’ demanded the Goze’s ghost. ‘You played with me, and then tossed me away when you were finished! I have no eyes, but I see you now!’

“The ghost grabbed Hotsumi by the ankles and tore him from his bed! He tried to get away, but the strength of a man is nothing compared to the strength of the rage-fueled dead! She dragged him to the temple’s graveyard and stopped before an open grave. She gave a wicked smile, then pulled him into her embrace, the pair of them falling into the grave! The pull was so strong, it moved the earth over the grave, suffocating him and killing him!

“The monks at the temple heard the commotion and ran to the graveyard to investigate. They dug as fast as they could, but it was too late. They found Hotsumi’s dead body with the skeleton of a woman wrapped around it. By fate or by bad luck, Hotsumi stayed at the very temple the Goze was buried at after the monks had discovered her corpse in the ravine.” Megumi drew in a breath as she finished her tale. The Chizaran Princesses were all hugging each other tightly and Edward’s jaw was near his buffer beam.

“That’s…” he stammered, “that’s…er…that’s…quite a chilling tale!”

“Indeed!” whispered Moradelia. “Quite a frightening warning!”

“I have to say, both stories were scary!” gulped Rosadera. “However, only one of you is going home with the Time Amethyst. We shall discuss who shall take it.” The Chizarans vanished, leaving Edward and Megumi alone. The silence was a little awkward for the pair of them.

“…So…” muttered Megumi, “…did you see any ghosts lately?”

“None of the scary types,” remarked Edward. “The only time there was a ‘ghost’ on Sodor was because of Percy playing a trick.”

“How so?” asked Megumi.

“…Well, Thomas doesn’t like it when the story’s told,” mused Edward, “but, then again, he’s been bragging how he never gets scared as of late, so having someone else to call him out on that will do him good. You see, it all started when Thomas, Percy, and Toby…”

After a few minutes of deliberation, the Chizarans returned to see Edward finishing his less-scary story. “‘Anyone would think,’ chuckled Toby, ‘that our Thomas had just seen a ghost!’” Megumi was giggling when the story finished.

“I can’t believe Thomas fell for that!” laughed Megumi. Rosadera cleared her throat, grabbing their attention. The Chizaran Princesses then turned to the camera.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” she announced, “we have our winner! The one that told the scariest story, the new owner of the Time Amethyst, the winner of this round, the champion of the 591,009th Verse Vs. Verse Rumble Royale…is Megumi Hishikawa, Kamen Rider Royal and the champion of 8-3-Y-0-N-D-C-1-T-Y!” The cheers were loud and long! “Congratulations, Megumi Hishikawa! You have earned the Time Amethyst! Tell me, do you intend to use it or is it too powerful for anyone to use?”

“…You know, I think I WILL be using it at some point in the future,” remarked Megumi. “I did see my future self during some points in my life and I distinctly remember purple portals being involved.”

“There are multiple ways to open portals of that nature,” replied Moradelia. “Heck, for all we know, I could have sent you to your past.”

“…You can do that?”

“Hello? Chizaran? Mastery of space and time is part of our gig.”

“Oh, yeah, I keep forgetting that.”

The Closing Ceremony took place on Halloween, with all the Chizaran Princesses and princesses decked out in costumes. Megumi, Edward, and the Third Place Winner, a version of Ben 10’s cousin, Gwen, with her own Omnitrix, stood in front of the Princesses. Gwen dressed as a classic witch, given her Anodite heritage. “Ladies and gentlemen,” began Rosadera, “we thank you all for joining us for this particular 3V2R! These three combatants,” she gestured towards Megumi, Edward, and Gwen, “have proven to be the toughest of this tournament’s contenders. Now, they shall claim their rewards.” Moradelia approached Gwen and handed her a metal glove colored like her Omnitrix.

“Gwen Tennyson,” she announced, “Third Place prize is the Omegatrix rig. This will evolve your Ultimates to their projected final evolution before they go extinct.”

“Using this thing as a last resort then,” muttered Gwen as she put the glove in her purse. Verdutha then placed a lamp on Edward’s buffer beam.

“Edward,” she pronounced, “Second Place prize is the Lamp of the Lady, generously donated to us by Lady of the Magic Railroad. This lamp can show hidden paths, find lost engines, and grant incredibly good luck to the user for a full month.”

“I know of an engine who could use a lot of good luck after this month,” mused Edward.

The engine he was talking about was a green tank engine with a saddle-tank and the number 6 on his bunker. Somehow, the poor engine, Percy, had ended up in a tree after his train of trucks had pushed him down a hill! He rested in the tree with bent buffer beams, a cracked funnel, snapped side-rods, and a hole in his bunker. His crew had jumped clear before he ended up in the tree. His best friend, Thomas, a blue E2 tank engine with the number 1 on his side tanks, was trying to figure out how Percy could stay up in the tree while the rescue crew used the Breakdown Train to secure Percy. “How did this…?!” spluttered Thomas.

“I don’t know, and I don’t care!” hissed Percy. “All I want to do is get down!”

“I’m…kind of in the same boat as Thomas,” muttered Megumi after Edward explained what happened to Percy. Rosadera then handed Megumi an amethyst length of her pinky.

“Megumi Hishikawa,” she proclaimed, “as promised, you are the master of the Time Amethyst. Use it however you see fit but guard that thing jealously.”

“I know where to keep it until the time is right,” promised Megumi. The winners then thrust their prizes into the air in a sign of victory.

“With all that,” declared Rosadera to the audience, “it’s time for the Closing Parade! If the winners will follow us, we’ll all go to the Winner’s Float!” Edward offered them a ride and they graciously accepted. The Chizaran Princesses simply made themselves a coach while Megumi and Gwen entered Edward’s cab. Once he was coupled to the coach, Edward whistled twice and puffed to the float garage, a few miles away. It had recently been modified to let living engines into it and onto the float. Once Edward slowly puffed onto the float, everyone stepped out of his cab or coach. In fact, the coach vanished once the Chizaran Princesses stepped out. The float then moved through the streets of Chizara as the Chizaran Spectrum Marching Band led the way. The parade was definitely Halloween-themed as various Chizarans came out in costumes and spooky decorations lined the buildings and streetlights. Like the last time Megumi fought in the 3V2R, the parade was a good two hours before it arrived at the closing torch. Because he had no hands, Edward’s fireman accepted the torch on his behalf as Gwen and Megumi took theirs. They then threw their torches into the Closing Torch and it leapt high into the air, flashing in all the colors of the Chizaran rulers. “Ladies and gentlemen from all realities,” began Rosadera, “we cannot thank you enough for supporting past, present, and future tournaments. We thank you all for tuning in to this rare occasion when all Halloweens line up so perfectly! As we all return home, we urge you all to stay safe and have fun! Happy Halloween!” The cameras then turned back to Blancalmarem and Nemengra.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we thank you all for joining us this Halloween!” began Blancalmarem.

“We enjoyed seeing all the costumes of the viewers and contestants!” continued Nemengra.

“Thanks to your support, this tournament was a success! We hope to see you tune in to more tournaments! I am Blancalmarem, the white princess of Chizara and the life leader!”

“I am Nemengra, the black princess of Chizara and the death leader!”

“And we thank you for joining us for the 591,009th Verse Vs. Verse Rumble Royale!” the two princesses finished together.

Megumi returned home, bringing Verdutha dressed as Wonder Woman with her. “You sure you want to do this?” asked Megumi.

“Are you kidding?!” replied Verdutha. “Your home’s a place where adults can trick-or-treat, and no one bats an eye?! Chizara doesn’t have that! I want in!”

“Verdutha?” asked Richard as he and Lisa dressed as Lilly Munster came up to them.

“Madam Verdutha, what are you doing here?” quizzed Lisa.

“Megumi told me that the people here trick-or-treat at all ages!” answered Verdutha. “I came here for advice on a route. I’m long overdue for free candy!”

“I see…” muttered Richard.

“She’s not joining us,” assured Megumi. “We’re still going on our own route.”

“I’d advise staying away from Anders Street,” called Lisa. “The one guy that hands out stuff’s a dentist. He’s giving out floss!”

“…Weirdo!” muttered Richard. Verdutha checked her tiara, then left the house in one direction while Lisa took another direction and Richard and Megumi went another way, all of them carrying bags for candy!

The Three Realms The Three Realms (Book 3: The First Strike)

3 Realms 3-8

It was now a month into vaccine progress. The doctors were doing what they could to help treat the symptoms, but they knew it wasn’t an actual treatment. 17 people had died of gel-pox, King Jonthar’s parents included. Jonthar had already set aside a lot of money to develop a vaccine, but he set aside more and urged the upper class to donate what they could so a vaccine would come faster. I’m sorry to say that his actions weren’t totally well-received. The essential workers praised him, as did their employers, but the previous king, Queen Keelma’s father, Santha, publicly called it a waste of resources. He believed the problem would just go away on its own, an argument he and Keelma constantly had. “You ALWAYS did lack empathy!” hissed Keelma during one such argument.

“And YOU lack clarity!” accused Santha. “You and your bug husband are wasting time on trivial people!”

“Farmers, food workers, doctors, they’re trivial to you?!”

“They can be replaced!”

“They’re not non-Mechanica machines! They CAN’T be replaced!”

“Anyone can do their job!”

“That’s not true!” Before the argument could go any further, a doctor entered the room.

“Your Majesty! Good news!” he called.

“You dare interrupt…!” began Santha.

“Dad, shut up. Someone more important than you is talking,” hissed Keelma. She turned to the doctor, leaving her father to stand stunned at what she said. “You were saying, Doctor?”

“We’ve gotten the genetic makeup of this particular strain of gel-pox,” reported the doctor. “It’s an artificial strain!”

“Artificial?! Are you sure?!” gasped Keelma.

“Indeed! And the mutation factor’s consistent! We begin experiments on one version of this strain and it already mutates to account for that! I don’t mind telling you, we could actually have a vaccine next month!”

“Has my husband been informed?”

“He’s being told the news as we…” the doctor was interrupted by a loud cheer.

“Sounds like he’s received the news,” mused Keelma. “Doctor, you and your teams are instrumental! Once you have the vaccine, deliver it to essential workers first. Leave us royals and rich people for last.”

“Understood, Your Majesty!” confirmed the doctor as he bowed and left the room.

“…You once called our methods a waste of money, Dad,” Keelma remarked to Santha. “Can you still say that?”

“Quite easily,” scoffed Santha. “And a waste of time too. You gave the unimportant people too much money!”

“They just discovered that this strain of gel-pox is an artificial strain and promised us a new timetable and you STILL say they’re unimportant?!”

“They are nothing more than pieces in a ruler’s game, something YOU’VE never grasped!”

“And there’s the difference between you and me! Don’t bother saying anything else, you WON’T change my mind!” Keelma stormed out of the room and made her way to the stables. She went to her horse’s berth and found her beautiful black and white horse speaking to the Centaur Stable Master. The conversation was…not really what she expected.

“That’s impossible!” protested her horse as she stamped her hoof in frustration.

“I’m sorry, Gale,” replied the Stable Master, “but I don’t know what to tell you! We’ve searched every inch of the grounds and the doctor and his carriage aren’t even here!”

“What’s this about a missing doctor and carriage?” called Keelma.

“Your Majesty, Doctor Anful and his personal carriage are gone, but none of the horses are missing,” explained the Stable Master.

“Anful’s one of the best stable doctors here,” remarked Keelma. “How do you just lose him?”

“We didn’t LOSE him,” corrected the horse, Gale. “He went missing.”

“That’s not much of a difference in this case.”

“Hold on, I just had a thought,” muttered the Stable Master.

“What’s that?” asked Gale.

“If none of the horses are missing, how did his carriage move?”

“…I…I don’t know…”

“His carriage isn’t a horseless one, is it?” asked Keelma.

“No,” replied Gale, “it isn’t.”

“All right, that’s put a frightening spin on this!”

“I think I need a good run to clear my head.”

“Mind if I join you? I just had an argument with my dad.”

“Hop on, then.” The Stable Master helped Keelma up onto Gale. Once Keelma indicated she was comfortably on Gale, Gale trotted out of the stables and then sped up gradually until they were in the woods behind the castle. Gale liked running in the woods, it kept her skills to make quick decisions up to scratch. Keelma just liked feeling the wind blow her hair back, it always soothed her mind. While the forest was thick, the trees still allowed sunlight to pierce the canopy.

“A lovely day, wouldn’t you agree?” asked Keelma.

“Wholeheartedly,” answered Gale. “The air is clean, the sun is out, this is a day where nothing goes wrong.” That phrase invited disaster that day. The instant Gale entered a clearing, she saw something that made her rear up and whinny in fright. Keelma almost fell off!

“Easy, girl! Easy!” called Keelma as Gale put her hooves down and moved back. She finally saw what scared Gale. There was a smoldering wreck of a carriage in the clearing. “Okay, maybe you spoke too soon!”

“What’s going on here?!” yelped Gale. “Where’d all this come from?!”

“We better get back to the castle and raise the alarm!”

“His Majesty’s not going to like this!” Gale turned around and broke off into a gallop. King Jonthar and the Royal Guard were told about the situation and a member of the City Guard told them to expect an investigation team at the site as an Elven convent in the woods had already informed them of the carriage wreck. Jonthar, Keelma, and members of the Royal Guard rode towards the wreck and met with the investigation team and the convent’s Abbess, Nanfel. She and a novice of her order were giving their statement when the King and Queen arrived. The investigators had ordered everyone to stay back as they conducted their preliminary investigations, not wanting the crime scene to be contaminated.

“Goodness me!” whispered Nanfel. “Who could have done this?”

“Hoodlums with little to no respect and even less self-control,” replied the Dryad in charge of the investigation, Redwood.

“But to strike HERE of all places?!” protested Jonthar. “Children play in these woods!”

“If they had any sense of decency,” hissed the novice, “they wouldn’t have thought to do this!”

“Yallen!” admonished Nanfel. The novice subsided, realizing she spoke out of turn.

“Don’t worry,” assured Redwood, “we’ll find these scoundrels and bring them to justice!”

“SARGE!” called an Alraune. “COME HERE! QUICK!” Redwood, the Royals, and Nanfel followed Redwood. He stopped and his eyes widened, seeing evidence that the case was now worse.

“Oh no!” he groaned.

“What’s wrong?” asked Jonthar.

“Mother Superior,” Redwood called to Nanfel, “I’m sorry to report that we need your order’s services.” Jonthar, Keelma, and Nanfel gasped when they got a good look.

“By the Ones!” breathed Keelma as she hugged Jonthar tightly, feeling very scared. What they saw was the shiny, yet still very skeletal remains of an Elf. The pelvis indicated that it was a male Elf and dental records identified the victim to be the Stables’ doctor, Anful.

When the Princesses heard about this, they were mortified and saddened at Anful’s death. News reached the Endeavor and the doctors working on the cure for the gel-pox pandemic. Everyone offered their sympathies and whatever help they could give to Anful’s family. There was little solace to be had at the poor man’s funeral. It was hardly surprising; there were just too many questions surrounding his death. The whole affair was perfect fodder for the news, and it became a media sensation, its details talked about everywhere. Under normal circumstances, the Realms’ top criminal investigators would be tasked with solving it, but that was hard to do safely, given the gel-pox pandemic. The murderer picked an excellent time to strike, even going so far as to kill him in such a way that was unknown. Foresna and Gorfanth were talking to Elmar and Bashoon about it. “Did you guys hear the latest?” asked Gorfanth. “The City Guard had to call off the investigation until a vaccine’s been made.”

“Understandable,” replied Elmar. “What else can they do, given that they’re clueless during this pandemic.”

“Come on, Sir!” admonished Bashoon. “That’s hardly fair!”

“If I came off as derogatory, then I apologize,” answered Elmar. “I merely meant that they’ve exhausted every investigatory avenue given the current public health circumstances. To be honest, though, I doubt Enfanti could solve this one.”

“You’re not really wrong,” remarked Foresna. “I mean, how does someone steal a carriage, kidnap someone, manage to not tip off castle security, destroy it, kill the kidnapped person, then dump their remains in a forest clearing, all within the span of an hour, if the investigations are any indication?”

“If you hear some of the crew,” muttered Gorfanth, “they’ve got some theories about that. I assure you, none of them are good.”

“Like what?” asked Foresna.

“How about you two wait until Ensign Barmek and I are gone,” suggested Elmar, “before you discuss those theories?”

“Gone?” repeated Gorfanth. “Where are you guys going?”

“To Anful’s house to give his family financial aid, if you can believe it,” replied Bashoon.

“I thought Anful’s family hated yours, Elmar,” remarked Gorfanth.

“The feeling is mutual,” answered Elmar, “but neither side would wish death on the other. This is a gesture to help Anful’s family, given their recent loss. Perhaps this will mend fences between our families. As of this moment, I don’t mind assisting them.”

“Good to hear,” praised Foresna. “Just make sure your robes are secured for the ride!”

“What?!” yelped Elmar, momentarily losing his composure. “How did you…the Captain told you, didn’t she?”

“Actually, I did,” giggled Bashoon.

“I’ll be putting a reprimand in your file for that,” muttered Elmar as he and Bashoon headed to the cargo bay.

The Three Realms The Three Realms (Book 3: The First Strike)

3 Realms 3-7

The Endeavor arrived at Vorkath and picked up the doctors and witches of Crossgene Hospital. They had full gear on, protecting themselves against the gel-pox pandemic. They examined the crew first while the supplies were being loaded. “Doc, come on!” protested a crewman.

“We can’t risk anyone bringing disease,” remarked the doctor.

“We weren’t even in the Over-realm!” argued the crewman.

“Lieutenant, let the doctor check you over,” called Arsha’s voice.

“But Captain…!” protested the crewman.

“That’s an order from both me and Marshii,” commanded Arsha. The crewman grumbled but complied.

“You know,” remarked Marshii as she came up to Arsha, “I DIDN’T give that order.”

“No, but you would have,” mused Arsha.

“…You’re right, I would have,” replied Marshii as she shrugged.

“Have all the doctors been briefed on what’s going on?” asked Arsha.

“Briefed and briefed all over again,” answered Marshii. “How soon until all the supplies are all loaded in?”

“Two minutes, according to our estimations,” replied Arsha.

“A bit long, in my opinion,” grumbled Marshii.

“We need to be careful that we’re not missing anything,” reminded Arsha.

“I know, I know,” grunted Marshii. Time felt like it was going at a crawl for Marshii, wanting to help as quickly as possible. Soon, everything was loaded, everyone was present, and all items and people were accounted for. The loading ramp then went up and the ship took off, on course for the Sacchrinda Kingdom.

The ship landed outside the kingdom, as was recommended. The doctors and supplies were taken to a small bunker near the border to work on a vaccine. As per protocol, shore leave was cancelled due to gel-pox concerns. Arsha was NOT going to run the risk of a virus on her ship, especially since the ship now had an organic body on top of being a ship. Speaking of, Endea and Thangred were having a chat at Barmek’s. “All I’m saying is,” urged Thangred, “we should pay attention to what’s going on in the Lunarimba Sea.”

“Why?” asked Endea. “It’s no concern of ours.”

“If it’s the result of Dr. Borg, I beg to differ,” argued Thangred.

“Even if you’re right,” countered Endea, “I doubt Realmfleet will be called. King Hindegar DOES tend to tell Realmfleet not to interfere in matters like this.”

“But if Dr. Borg’s involved, won’t Realmfleet be a good deterrent?” asked Thangred.

“What’s going on?” called Shalvey’s voice as she glided up to the table.

“Shalvey, you know what’s going on in your home, right?” quizzed Thangred.

“Actually, I just got news on that front,” replied Shalvey as she parked near Thangred. “Turns out it was all a prank from Queen Ulumeye’s dad.”

“Are you serious?!” snarled Thangred.

“Why, the nerve!” snapped Endea. “Faking out the people like that?! Oh, I wanna slap him!”

“I’m afraid you’ll have to get in line,” remarked Shalvey. “My home’s demanding his head for stealing our crops like that.”

“Seriously, didn’t the king pass a law saying that stealing from farm people is punishable by life in prison with no chance of parole?” quizzed Thangred.

“Which puts him in a very awkward position,” answered Shalvey.

“Oh, yeah, that’s his father-in-law,” recalled Endea.

“Exactly,” confirmed Shalvey. “If he follows through on the sentence, the media will call him too hard-nosed towards anyone, even his own associates. But, if he lets him go, they’ll say he’s too soft.”

“The media’s gonna eat him alive anyways!” realized Thangred. “How unpopular IS the poor guy?!”

“…You REALLY don’t want to know,” muttered Shalvey.

While the doctors were working on the vaccine, they had been sending Arsha their progress reports and she passed them on to Realmfleet and the Maropwems. When she had free time, she called her family to make sure they were okay. During one call, Arsha noticed that Elgrad looked twitchy. “Never been away from the throne for such a long time, Daddy?” guessed Arsha.

“Yep,” confirmed Elgrad. “Call me arrogant, if you will, but I feel like Largandra, much less the Mid-realm, would fall without me there!”

“I hear you, it’s like with me and the Endeavor.”

“Yeah, looks like you got that curse from your old man.”

“At least your impulse control’s a lot better,” chuckled Hanako.

“Hana, please, no!” wailed Elgrad.

“Wait, what?!” giggled Arsha. “Hold on, I think I want to hear this.”

“Well, when your father…”

“I’ll tell the story, thank you,” grumbled Elgrad. “When I was a Prince, I had TERRIBLE impulse control. It all came to a head when I was 150. A rather racist woman cast a curse on me that I would die the night before my 300th birthday. My parents both already went through an operation to prevent any future children, so they were really scared for their family’s future. The advisor at the time, Tonsho…”

“Wait, which Tonsho?” interrupted Arsha. “That’s, like, the most common name in Largandra.

“This guy was a Centaur,” answered Elgrad. “Not anyone you knew. Anyway, he was wringing his hands as he explained the curse to me and my parents. As they were about to demand he find a solution, adolescent me called out, ‘Wait, before my 300th is when this curse kills me?’ He answered yes and my next out-loud thought was ‘So, until then, I’m effectively immortal?!’”

“Uh oh,” gulped Arsha.

“Yeah, I wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. Mom and Dad said that I was technically right, but I didn’t hear the word ‘technically’ and announced that I was going to teach myself how to juggle axes while hang-gliding over shark-infested waters.” Arsha laughed like a maniac when she heard how dumb her dad was.

“Glad Grandma and Grandpa found the counter-curse in time,” she managed to get out between her giggles. “I can’t believe you would do something so dumb! You wouldn’t have caught me doing something like that!”

“Arsha,” remarked Hanako.

“Yeah, Mom?”

“There’s something I need to tell you.”

“What’s that?”

“…Sparkle, sparkle, sparkle!” Arsha then screamed into her hands.

“Depths, YEAH, sparkle, sparkle, sparkle!” laughed Elgrad.

“MOM, COME ON!” wailed Arsha. “I thought you would forget that incident!”

“Arsha, ALL adolescents do dumb stuff like that,” answered Hanako. “Your kids will do something just as bad.”

“Dalengor to Arsha,” came Dalengor’s voice over the intercom.

“One minute,” Arsha bid to her parents. “Go ahead, Dalengor.”

“One of our crewmate’s was caught trying to get out of the ship,” reported Dalengor. “She’s in the brig now for fighting the security officer at the ramp.”

“Oh, Ones, the last thing I want to hear!” Arsha groaned. She then turned to her parents. “Sorry, guys, need to discipline someone. See you as soon as possible.”

“Bye!” bid her parents as she ended the call.

“It was only going to be for five minutes!” protested the Werewolf lieutenant as she faced Arsha. “Where’s the harm?!”

“I won’t risk gel-pox on this ship,” answered Arsha. “All shore leave is cancelled to prevent the spread of disease to other Realms.”

“I was wearing a mask and gloves!”

“That mask was under your nose and the gloves had holes so your claws would stick out!”

“Captain, you must release me!”

“I will only release you when I have evidence that you are as committed to this as your husband!” The Werewolf rolled her eyes as Arsha indicated to the male Werewolf guard to step forward. “Look at him,” directed Arsha. “He’s standing tall and proud, ready to sacrifice his outdoor time, knowing the risks of…” she trailed off when she saw something in his pocket. She quickly yanked it out and saw that it was an exit card, used only to leave the ship. “…Lieutenant Tentar,” growled Arsha as she moved her hairpiece to her waist, “what is THIS?!”

“…I don’t know how that got there,” gulped the male Werewolf, Tentar.

“You lie!” accused his wife, Lieutenant Enfal. “How many more do you have?!”

“I have duties to perform,” answered Tentar.

“Don’t change the subject! Where are the others?!”

“There ARE no others!”

“If you don’t tell me where the others are, I will sleep in separate quarters for a week!” Tentar growled but relented as he pulled another exit card out of his uniform’s shirt, another out of his shoe, then opened a drawer full of exit cards.

“…You hypocrite!” hissed Arsha.

“You hold me here for trying to leave, yet you planned to leave this ship yourself?!” snarled Enfal.

“Well, I have a proposition,” growled Tentar. “From now until the vaccine is ready for mass-production, we will watch each other!”

“Yes! Closely!” agreed Enfal.

“I’m holding you both to it,” warned Arsha.

“Five days!” hissed Rosalmia to her sisters as vaccine work continued. “Five days since Daddy passed that order! Five days of staying inside! Five days of not finding any more lovers! Five days of going to this very ballroom and not having a dance partner!”

“You were the one,” remarked Yasnima as she touched up her eye makeup, “that urged Daddy to pass a stay-at-home order.”

“Yeah, well, I thought it would take at least two days!” hissed Rosalmia. “Not five days of uncertainty!”

“Viruses take a long time to develop a vaccine for,” reminded Grenmaf as she and Blamfem looked over some medical journals. “We might get a vaccine in about three months.”

“That’s three months too long for someone like me!” wailed Rosalmia. “I need to find more lovers!”

“You said,” muttered Purhalmaf, “patience is key.”

“For you girls! Not me!” snapped Rosalmia. “I hate patience! Patience is for wimpy introverts!”

“Our mother was a conscious stone statue for three years after looking directly into a Gorgon’s eyes,” grunted Orsanmii, “and you can’t be patient for three months?”

“She’s just as extroverted as you,” reminded Blamfem.

“I can’t do this!” groaned Rosalmia. “Don’t make me! I need to be busy!”

“FINE!” shouted Pinalk, fed up with her red sister. “Be busy! We could all use a break from your complaining!” Rosalmia scowled, then ran out of the ballroom, making a beeline straight for the kitchen. Whenever one of the Royal Family was bored, they usually helped their staff, a tradition started by her mother. She put on a mask, a hairnet, and a jacket designed for kitchen work as she entered the castle’s kitchens. The head chef saw her and approached her.

“Is her Highness getting buggy?” she asked.

“Her Highness is losing her mind from being so bored and isolated!” replied Rosalmia.

“I believe Yalfeen would like some help on preparing the veggies,” mused the head chef. “Just wash your hands before you help.”

“Got it.” Rosalmia then washed her hands and put on gloves that were designed for kitchen work, then she joined an Elf woman chopping veggies.

“Looking for something to do during all this,” the Elf woman, Yalfeen, guessed.

“Isolation’s just torture for extroverts,” sighed Rosalmia as she grabbed a carrot and started chopping.

“I hear you. I can’t exactly travel to the Under-realm and meet with my own lovers.”

“Then you understand my predicament perfectly.”

“Granted, I only have two.”

“You still get it, though.”

“Oh, I do.”

Lunch was put together and Rosalmia helped the staff serve up the soup. Once her family arrived in the dining room, they all sat down. “Much better,” sighed Rosalmia. “Nothing like a little activity to pass the time. Hey, Blamfem, how long was it since I left you girls?”

“Half an hour,” replied Blamfem as she checked her watch. Rosalmia’s smile faded.

“…I can’t do it,” she muttered as she slouched in her seat.

Transformers: Mobian Chronicles Transformers: Mobian Chronicles (Arc 11: Seconds of Speed)

TMC 11-6

Optimus had just gotten a report from G.U.N about Eggman in the park. He rolled his optics about the whole thing. In all honesty, he wished Eggman would just quietly fade into the background and be forgotten so he could concentrate on the Decepticon threat. He poured over the recommendations for troop deployment. As he worked, a voice piped up. “Hey, Prime,” greeted the voice.

“Oh, Primus,” Optimus thought, “not what I need right now.” The speaker jumped onto his desk. “Sonic,” Optimus admonished aloud, “I’m very busy. This better not be a social call.”

“It’s not,” replied Sonic. “Teletraan’s been trying to reach both of us.” Optimus’ optics flickered, Cybertronian blinking, then he activated his desk’s interface with Teletraan.

“Were you trying to get me?” he asked.

“Yeah,” answered Teletraan, annoyed. “I’ve been trying to get you for an hour now!”

“Sorry,” groaned Optimus. “I was buried in work. What’s up?”

“Someone’s trying to talk to both you and Sonic,” explained Teletraan. “They said they wouldn’t reveal themselves until you two contacted them. They left their contact info behind, but it doesn’t tell me the name.”

“…Is it going to be secure?” asked Optimus.

“Very, actually,” replied Teletraan. “They’ve accounted for Soundwave, for some reason.”

“Then they feel that what they need to say to us,” declared Optimus, “would have the potential to tip the war in the Decepticons’ favor. Call them.” Teletraan connected the call and a ringing was heard as Sonic and Optimus waited. Soon, the other person picked up. Their face appeared and…

“EGGMAN?!” yelped Sonic.

“Excellent!” praised Eggman over the call. “I understand this is a rather unique situation…”

“How did you find Teletraan in the first place?!” demanded Optimus. “What’s Megatron planning?!”

“If I were calling on behalf of the Decepticons,” retorted Eggman, “I wouldn’t make sure Soundwave wasn’t listening in.”

“…He’s got a point,” remarked Teletraan.

“Well, I’d say it’s good to see you,” chuckled Sonic, “but it’s not nice to lie.”

“Very droll, you pincushion,” grumbled Eggman. “Listen, I have news that will affect life on Mobius AND Cybertron as well. I need to discuss the terms of a truce with you two and the other leaders.” Sonic and Optimus blinked, then looked at each other.

The two met Eggman in an area that neither Autobot nor Decepticon had found. The area was rich in Energon, so robot mode would be affected instantly, and weapons fire would cause the area to ignite. They waited as Sira, Bokkun, Topaz, and Aleena arrived. “All right, Eggbreath,” snarled Bokkun, “YOU called the meeting! What’s this nonsense about a truce?!”

“Absolutely true, my old messenger, I assure you,” soothed Eggman.

“When you call a truce,” growled Aleena, “it usually means that you need time to rebuild the Eggman Empire!”

“Under normal circumstances, yes,” answered Eggman, “but, given that the Decepticons are going to weaponize a relic of the Transformers’ past, not this time.”

“A relic of our past?” asked Optimus. “What do you mean?”

“Go ahead and verify this footage,” urged Eggman as he handed over a flash drive, “but it IS all true. Optimus, the Decepticons have found the Allspark here on Mobius!”

“What?!” protested Optimus. “Absurd! The chances of that happening are astronomical!”

“I tell you now, the Decepticons found it and plan to weaponize it!” insisted Eggman.

“Could you explain what the Allspark is?” Sira asked Optimus.

“It’s our species’ old means of propagation before females came into existence outside of our demi-gods,” explained Optimus. “It’s a giant cube that can bring machines to our form of life.”

“But you guys got it off your planet while you were fighting the Quintessons, right?” asked Bokkun.

“We did,” confirmed Optimus. “However, only a Matrix-bearer could activate it.”

“Well, Megatron found it here!” urged Eggman. “He intends to weaponize it and use you to activate it!”

“That’s absurd!” scoffed Optimus. “Even if I believe you, the playing field’s still even. Like me, Megatron doesn’t know how a Matrix-bearer activated it. That knowledge was lost during the Great War.”

“Do you really think Megatron won’t relearn the knowledge?!” argued Eggman.

“Even if he did, why would you be so concerned?” asked Topaz. “A world ruled by machines; that’s your dream, right?”

“I’M the one that needs to rule the machines,” answered Eggman. “If Megatron has his way, I’ll be toiling with you lot, not ruling over you! To be frank, I can’t have Megatron upend my work and I can’t be distracted by you heroes. Thus, I propose a truce lasting long enough for you to get the Allspark under guard. I’d feel more comfortable with the Autobots holding onto it.”

“Do you take us for fools?!” snarled Sonic.

“No, old friend,” chuckled Eggman as he flew off, “I take you all for heroes.” He then left the area, leaving the Mobius Leaders, Sonic, and Optimus to ponder the next move.

“I…I mean, it can’t…” Prowl was floundering at the results of the repeated analysis tests of the flash drive. They had all come back the same, the footage simply WASN’T tampered with. There were Eggman robots with the Decepticon symbol guarding the Allspark. Teletraan even verified the coordinates with a Sky Spy.

“I don’t know what to tell you, Prowl,” muttered Teletraan. “Eggman was telling the truth.”

“But he’s a known crook!” protested Prowl. “Maybe there’s something we’ve missed! Let’s run a…”

“No!” argued Teletraan. “We’ve run every form of analysis on that flash drive three times over and the results are all the same! I’m not going to let myself be called insane again! Besides, it’s nighttime! Even I need my sleep!” Prowl sighed as a fact weighed down on his mind.

“I suppose it would be irresponsible of us,” he muttered, “to wait any longer if the Decepticons really DO have the Allspark. We better tell Prime.”

“Thank you!” bid Teletraan as relief crossed his avatar’s features.

“A Sky Spy?!” roared Megatron as Eggman told him what the Autobots did.

“Yes!” confirmed Eggman. “The Autobots know about the Allspark! They’ll try and take it!”

“If Unicron’s coming,” growled Megatron, “we can’t afford to let those bumbling Autobots have the Allspark! Have the guard doubled and tell Metal Sonic to get involved!”

“I will!” promised Eggman. Megatron left and Eggman doubled the guard, informing Metal Sonic that he was needed at the Allspark. Once all that was done, he relaxed. “Computer, how go the simulations?” he asked.

“All simulations complete,” answered the computer. “We’re ready to begin construction.”

“Get to it,” ordered Eggman. “Oh, fire up my music as well. Playlist: Tunes of Anarchy, Track 1.”

“Construction of Final Drafts: Initiated,” droned the computer. “Where Evil Grows: Now Playing.” The song then began.

I like the way you smile at me.

I felt the heat that enveloped me.” Eggman then activated a display that monitored construction completion.

And what saw I liked to see,

I never knew where evil grew.” He then activated a hologram of a rave with him at the center of attention and started dancing, checking the construction status all the while.

I should have steered away from you.

My friend told me to keep clear of you.” A pair of groupies then swooned for Eggman as he wiggled his eyebrows and grinned.

But something drew me near to you,

I never knew where evil grew.” The area then went dark for a minute before the hologram changed to a skiing trip. Eggman then joined in the illusion and pretended to ski down the slopes.

Evil grows in the dark,

Where the sun, it never shines.

Evil grows in cracks and holes,

And lives in people’s minds.” The hologram then changed to a T-rex chasing him down city streets.

Evil grew, it’s part of you,

And now it seems to be,” Eggman then “tripped” and turned just as the T-rex bit his head. He pretended that he was headless for a bit as he continued dancing as the rave came back.

That every time I look at you,

Evil grows in me!” Eggman continued dancing, unaware that one of the ravers was out of place.

“…Doctor,” called the raver. “…Doctor…DOCTOR EGGMAN!” The “raver” was Shockwave’s holo-form. Eggman yelped and shut off the music and hologram. “May I ask you something?” inquired Shockwave.

“Of course, Shockwave,” answered Eggman.

“What, pray tell, are you doing?” quizzed Shockwave.

“I’m designing new weapons to defeat the Autobots,” explained Eggman.

“YOU are making weapons to DEFEAT the Autobots?” asked Shockwave. The doubting tone was strong in her query.

“That’s right,” replied Eggman, a little hurt. “After all, it’s been said across the media that Dr. Julian Ivo ‘Eggman’ Robotnik has the most magnificent machines on Mobius!”

“Doctor,” remarked Shockwave, “they actually called your failures to kill Sonic magnificent, not your robots.”

“Very funny,” scoffed Eggman.

“I didn’t joke,” countered Shockwave. “I stated facts.”

“You’re just jealous,” argued Eggman, “that Megatron still needs me!”

“I don’t feel any jealousy,” replied Shockwave.

“You obviously have emotions,” chuckled Eggman. “How else would you explain your freak-out on Metro…” Shockwave then grabbed him by the shirt.

“I don’t know how that knowledge came your way, and I don’t care!” she hissed. “You will NOT use that against me again, if you value your internal organs!” She released him roughly and stormed out of the lab.

“…Meh, what do I care?” dismissed Eggman as he brushed himself off.

“Construction complete,” reported the computer.

“Excellent!” cheered Eggman. “We’ll deploy them once the Autobots and Decepticons meet in the cave!”

Standalones Super Mario Heroes

Super Mario Heroes: Ch 4

The Heroes made it to the castle as Ridley landed inside it! “This is bad!” gulped Zelda. “They must be in the middle of their search!”

“We must stop them!” declared Link. The Heroes entered the castle gates to find Ganondorf, Ridley, and Dedede talking to Bowser.

“HEY, BOWSER!” called Mario. The four villains turned to see the Heroes.

“You again?!” groaned Ganondorf.

“Can’t you take a hint?!” roared Ridley.

“The only hint we took,” bellowed Donkey Kong as he thumped his chest, “is that your evil needs to be stopped!”

“He’s right!” declared Mario. “Your evil was manageable back in the past, but THIS?! This is just out of control! We won’t give up, though! As long as our hearts are full of light, we will NEVER…”

“Good lord, not another hero speech!” interrupted Dedede. “You Heroes remind me of an outboard motor! All the time, putt putt putt putt putt putt putt putt putt putt!”

“Examined your OWN mouth recently?” grunted Ridley.

“Enough!” roared Bowser. “They’re too late anyway!”

“What?!” yelped Link.

“You heard me!” laughed Bowser. “The guy who organized this alliance, he already burned the book!” To prove his point, Bowser tossed the scorched remains of a book at the Heroes’ feet. “Can’t do much research now, can you?” taunted Bowser. “Your one chance to piece together how the Princesses can be saved, and it’s nothing more than ash!”

“You monster!” snarled Peach.

“I’m gonna enjoy kicking your shell!” growled Daisy as she cracked her knuckles.

“The Princess of a poor kingdom?” laughed Bowser. “You’re not worth the effort to crush.”

“Why you…!!” snarled Daisy.

“Oh, I just remembered,” recalled Bowser. “I think you would remember the person who got us Villains together.”

“…I would?” quizzed Daisy.

“Oh yes, you would,” chuckled a dark voice. Bowser stepped aside to reveal a purple humanoid creature with pointed ears, fangs, and large eyebrows.

“TATANGA?!” yelped Daisy.

“Greetings, my little flower,” chuckled the alien, Tatanga. “I see you’re more proactive in trying to deal with people like me.”

“It serves my people, given our usual environment,” declared Daisy.

“Serves your people?” scoffed Tatanga. “Tripe if I ever heard it! Rulers don’t serve the people; the people serve rulers!”

“Your culture sounds pretty backwards!” snarled Daisy.

“Backwards?!” thundered Tatanga, offended. “Mine is the most advanced in the universe!”

“Tatanga, whatever plan you have, it must stop!” called Terraxila.

“And Ignisarix’s friends arrive,” chuckled Tatanga. “Good, I so wanted all of the Elemental Knights here.” Tatanga then pulled a man in red out from behind him and tossed him towards the Heroes. He looked bloody and bruised.

“Ignisarix!” yelped Ventarix. The Knights dashed towards him to help. The man, Ignisarix, opened his eyes weakly.

“The…the stars…” he gasped.

“Don’t talk, you’re hurt!” begged Aqualixar. She then summoned water and used it to run all over the wounds.

“Deal with the Heroes,” Tatanga directed the four Villains. “I will brook no opposition. Make sure you take their Elemental Stars. We must keep at least one of each type.” He then left through a portal.

“Bowser, you’ve gone too far!” declared Mario.

“What can you do against me now?” laughed Bowser. “Me and my friends gained new powers to crush you!” He then adopted a ready stance like that of one found in Northern Shaolin style. Ganondorf, Dedede, and Ridley adopted stances from the remaining Knight’s fighting styles as well, giving Aqualixar a nasty idea.

“What did Tatanga teach you?!” she demanded.

“Why, how to harness the elements, of course!” laughed Ganondorf. “We’ve learned to master all four of them!”

“Your affinity is too dark to master them!” argued Ventarix. “You couldn’t handle that kind of power!”

“I AM power!” replied Ganondorf before he lashed out with a water whip. The Heroes ducked as the Villains attacked, using the elements to enhance their attacks. Bowser retreated into his shell, spun around and projected fire from the openings, and moved quickly towards the Heroes. Mario and Luigi moved aside, trying to avoid the attack. Ridley simply fired air blast after air blast, buffeting the Heroes with terrible winds. Dedede hammered the ground and created sharp spikes beneath the Heroes’ feet to throw them off balance. Ganondorf slung water into the Heroes’ faces, causing them to cough to try and get water out of their lungs.

“That…is…ENOUGH!” roared Andrew as he took out his Krak-on Roller and activated its old ability, the Kraken Squid Form. This form, however, looked different. While he was a massive squid, he was making deep trenches in the earth as he spun. The sudden tremors caused the Villains to lose their balance. Samus then automatically moved like Aqualixar to lash out with water. Rosalina then spun to make a small tornado to bring Ridley down. Mario then held back the fire erupting from Bowser’s shell and turned it against all the Villains. Ignisarix then stood up, fully healed. He then showed off a greater mastery of fire by putting out Bowser’s flames, then launching fire from the ground to beat the Villains back.

“We cannot win in these conditions! Retreat!” called Ganondorf as he summoned a portal to wherever their base of operations was. The Heroes panted as they looked around, confirming that the battle was over. Zelda then collapsed.

“We failed,” she mumbled. “We’ll never get started properly! We’ll never be able to piece together the story of the Elemental Princesses!”

“What’s the big deal?” asked Ventarix. “That book can be fixed.”

“It’s ashes!” protested Link. “I doubt even your fire friend can fix it!”

“Not alone, no,” replied Ignisarix. “But, with my fellow Knights and an Elemental Star of each type, we can bring it back, even update it with current information.”

“…Do you have the Fire Star?” asked Donkey Kong. “Because we’ve got the other three Elemental Stars.”

“They could touch them safely as well,” recalled Terraxila. “Given that a few of them just discovered that they could use the elements, I’d say that explains why.”

“But that was an accident,” replied Andrew.

“Perhaps,” remarked Ignisarix, “but accidents like that tend to show that you have the affinity towards the Elements.”

“So, what, that means we can use the elements like you?” asked Daisy.

“That’s part of the meaning,” answered Ventarix. “The other part is that each of you can use all four elements.”

“…All four of them?” repeated Peach.

“But, first, we need to fix the book,” declared Ignisarix. He then pulled out a red star. “Now, we need to find the rest.”

“Not really,” countered Rosalina as the Heroes pulled out the other Elemental Stars.

“Then repairs will be made,” chuckled Ignisarix. The Elemental Stars were given to the Knights and they took the ruined book in their hands.

“With this spell declared,” the Knights chanted, “let this knowledge be repaired!” The stars then glowed a bright white as they orbited the book, taking it high into the air and making it glow. The lights then combined and glowed brighter than ever. The light then died down and the book was looking much better as it floated down. The cover was brown with gold trim and each of the Elemental Stars laid into it.

“All fixed and updated,” declared Terraxila.

“So, what’s next?” asked Luigi.

“We read,” answered Rosalina as she opened the book and read it aloud. “‘Water, earth, fire, air. Long ago, the four Elemental Princesses, masters of the elements, considered each other a friend and ruled the cosmos in harmony with each other. Then, everything changed when a Palndrani from the Fire Princess’ sector of space named Tatanga set his plan into motion and attacked! Planting lies in the heads of each Princess, he quickly sowed discord throughout the universe and started kidnapping other princesses, hoping to find the one that would grant him the power of the stars, thus giving him a direct path to the elements. Only a group of 18 Heroes, Masters of all four elements, could stop them. But, when the universe needed them most, they vanished. When the Princesses closed their borders, Tatanga neared victory. But, 31 years ago, he lost his chance and so pursued another plan.’”

“Mario, we met Tatanga 31 years ago,” reminded Daisy.

“Yeah,” recalled Mario. “I guess beating him back had more of an effect than I thought.”

“…You beat Tatanga back?!” yelped Ventarix.

“How?!” inquired Terraxila. “It would take an entire fleet to beat him back!”

“Well, if the story was right and he was looking for a princess that was blessed by the stars,” mused Daisy, “he got the wrong one. That’s Peach here. I was blessed AFTER that incident. He never showed his face until today.”

“Then he botched his original plan,” realized Ignisarix. “He’s desperate enough gaining the Elemental Grand Stars!”

“That’s not good,” gulped Rosalina before she continued reading. “‘The Princesses, as guardians of the most powerful of Elemental Stars, the Elemental Grand Stars, held power beyond what any mortal would dare dream of. They had all sworn to their respective parents to never let the Elemental Grand Stars come together unless in the direst of circumstances. Tatanga didn’t heed the warnings and launched a plan to bring the Elemental Grand Stars together to become the absolute ruler of all. He would have the power to do so as he is one of a few to learn how to use all four elements so quickly. Unfortunately, that is because his affinity for the elements is dark as he believes light to be too blinding.’”

“Dark can be just as bad,” remarked Diddy Kong.

“‘Only with the Heroes and the fully powered Knights of the Elements can restore balance to the universe,’” Rosalina read on, “‘but, after the Knights pleaded with the Princesses to restore contact with one another, they were exiled and their Armor Rings scattered across space. One may only hope that the Princesses will see sense.’ My friends, you were exiled?!”

“I’m sorry we didn’t tell you,” answered Terraxila, “but we had barely any resources when we were told to leave our sectors of space. We couldn’t scrounge up enough equipment to tell you.”

“I’m sorry that you had to suffer that way,” sympathized Rosalina. “If you want sanctuary, the Comet Observatory is more than welcome to have you.” That was when she got an idea. “…In fact, the Observatory may JUST be what we need to stop the Villains.”

“Rosalina, not to sound rude or anything,” interjected Luigi, “but, while it IS big, the Observatory isn’t exactly accommodating for all of us, especially with four new friends.”

“Wait a sec!” called Ventarix.

“Oh, yeah,” realized Rosalina. “Even if we added the Starship Mario, that’s still not enough for all of us.”

“All of us?!” repeated Ventarix.

“Come now, Rosalina,” remarked Aqualixar, “you didn’t think the Villains would force us to this place, would you?”

“Remember the Observatories you helped us build?” reminded Ignisarix.

“Of course!” realized Rosalina. “They can link up to the Comet Observatory and we can get star maps of each sectors’ galaxies!”

“Hang on!” argued Ventarix.

“And, with the Starship Mario,” offered Mario, “we can add more galaxies and have a bigger map of the universe!”

“You lot aren’t coming with us!” shouted Ventarix.

“Oh, yes they are!” argued Terraxila. “Their archenemies are working with Tatanga and the Red one has done battle with him once and survived! They ARE coming with us.”

“Let’s put it to a vote!” declared Ventarix. “All those in favor of getting this done without deadweight, say aye! Aye! All against?”

“Nay!” called her fellow Knights.

“Looks like we’re NOT leaving them behind!” remarked Ignisarix. Ventarix rolled her eyes.

“Then it’s settled!” declared Rosalina. “We shall unite the Observatories and the Starship Mario to act as our base of operations!” She waved her wand and the Heroes and Knights disappeared in a beam of light.

Ganondorf played a large pipe organ in the Villains’ main base of operations. He was really into playing his haunting music as he failed to notice Tatanga enter the room. He only stopped when he was tapped on the shoulder. “Ah, enjoying this?” Ganondorf asked. “It’s my own composition.”

“That fight was ridiculous and appalling!” snarled Tatanga. “You failed to stop the Heroes!”

“I fail to see the issue,” remarked Ganondorf as he took a chalice of a crimson liquid. “We destroyed the book AND ruined their only chance to get any advantage over us.”

I destroyed the book,” corrected Tatanga as Ganondorf drank, “and the issue is that you failed to take the Elemental Stars! Now that book is repaired, and the Heroes most likely have a means of pursuing us across the universe! Ganondorf, I’m going to replace you!” Ganondorf spat out his drink at the news.

“You can’t replace me!” he spluttered. “I’m the only one worthy enough to be second in command!”

“Ganondorf, you have never been more wrong,” growled Tatanga. “Allow me to present your replacement, King Bowser Koopa!” Bowser then stomped in.

“How’s it hanging, Ganny?” laughed the Koopa King. “Looks like you’re taking orders from ME this time, not the other way around!”

“I have to take orders from this lout?!” protested Ganondorf.

“He DOES have a record of taking Power Stars,” replied Tatanga.

“They’re quite different from the Elemental Stars!” argued Ganondorf.

“Oddly enough, Power Stars can be found all over the universe,” answered Tatanga. “Heck, one of the Heroes uses Power Stars to fuel her Observatory. The Elemental Stars are nothing more than Power Stars that utilize the Elements.”

“And we’re already finding other Elemental Stars after a little tweaking of the sensors,” reported Bowser. “We’re ready to claim them.”

“Then let’s do so!” declared Tatanga. “Order our fleet to move out!”

“As you wish, Tatanga,” replied Bowser. As they moved to the door, Bowser couldn’t resist a parting shot towards Ganondorf. “Sorry, Ganny,” he chuckled, “but it’s time for someone with a little military know-how to lead us to victory.” He then left.

“…Mark my words, Koopa!” growled Ganondorf, “I WILL reclaim my rightful place as your master!”

Standalones Super Mario Heroes

Super Mario Heroes: Ch 3

Ganondorf walked through the canyon that served as Kakariko Village’s southern entrance. He was dragging a man in chains behind him. Like his main foe, the man wore green. Normally, the man would be shouting at Ganondorf to release him or suffer the consequences, leading Ganondorf to scoff at the man and say that he wouldn’t be able to do much since the man was blind. Ganondorf wished the man WOULD say something, because his travelling companion, a fat, blue penguin in royal robes with the “peace” hand sign and a large hammer, would not STOP saying something, and his southern drawl was getting on Ganondorf’s last nerve. “So then, I told him, ‘If you ever talk that way to me again, you’ll be a Waddle Dee pancake and I’ll make sure there’s plenty of tasty syrup on you before I feed you to the dogs!’ The Waddle Dee then high-tailed it faster than Kirby! Hey, did I ever tell you about the time Kirby…”

“Please say something!” Ganondorf hissed to his prisoner.

“And miss out on the entertainment?” chuckled the man. “No way!”

“…and I had just finished a full breakfast too, so I wasn’t…” continued the penguin.


“Hey! I was telling a story here!” snapped the penguin, King Dedede. “You know, it’s very rude to interrupt someone when they’re spinning a yarn!”

“It’s ruder still,” growled Ganondorf, “to keep talking and talking and talking! I think I just learned what being ‘talked at’ means!”

“Will you zip it?!” snarled King Dedede. “At least my talking got the people of Popstar to respect me!”

“I highly doubt that, you gluttonous hog!” retorted Ganondorf. “Unlike you, I don’t conquer things just to get to the head of an all-you-can-eat buffet!”

“Yeah, well, conquest is hardly enjoyable without a tasty reward!” argued King Dedede.

“We’ll see how you enjoy even a carrot,” growled Ganondorf, “when I slice your useless head off!”

“Oh man, if I only had popcorn!” chuckled the man.

“SHUT UP!” shouted Ganondorf.

“You wanted me to say something earlier,” giggled the man. “Now you don’t? Man, so confusing.”

“You won’t be laughing when we use the Elemental Princesses’ power to control this universe!” growled Ganondorf.

“You can’t even control the Elemental Stars yet!” laughed the man. “What makes you think you can control the Princesses?”

“Oh, we have our ways,” chuckled Ganondorf darkly. “Dedede, would take over dragging him? …Dedede?” Ganondorf then looked to King Dedede to see the penguin distracted by his foot. “Dedede, will you PLEASE pay attention?!” snapped Ganondorf.

“I am,” replied King Dedede. “My corn hurts. It must be starting to snow.”

“Your ‘corn’ must be broken, then!” snarled Ganondorf. “It’s the middle of summer! How can a hurt foot even detect snow?!” That was when a huge pile of snow landed on the two villains.

“…Ask a silly question, get a silly answer,” chuckled the man.

“Terraxila!” called Aqualixar’s voice. She and the Heroes then approached the site at top speed.

“Aqualixar!” cheered the man, Terraxila. “Thank the stars you’re here! Who’s with you? My magic glasses are gone and I can’t feel the earth all that good. My feet are covered.”

“I didn’t get all their names,” explained Aqualixar as she summoned an ice knife to cut the chains. “The names I DO know are because one rescued me and the other’s an old friend of ours.”

“I believe you recognize my voice,” called Rosalina.

“Your dulcet tones CAN’T be mistaken, Rosalina,” replied Terraxila. “Good to hear you, since I can’t see you.”

“Hold on, let me just make some new magic glasses,” declared Rosalina. She waved her wand and summoned a pair of glasses, handing them to Terraxila. He unfolded the glasses and set them onto his face. His eyes then started tracking movement.

“And there’s the old black and white vision,” sighed Terraxila happily.

“I can forge glasses that can help you see color, if you wish,” offered Rosalina.

“That won’t be necessary, old friend, but thank you,” bid Terraxila. He undid the crude shoes and stood up. “Ah, sweet earth’s touch, how I’ve missed you,” he sighed in another happy tone. The instant Terraxila was freed, Ganondorf and King Dedede freed themselves from the snow.

“How in the…?!” spluttered Ganondorf.

“I told you my corn’s never wrong!” snarled King Dedede. He then saw the Heroes. “What the?! I thought you said they couldn’t get past that goop monster without water!”

“They must have freed that woman and she assisted them!” snarled Ganondorf.

“Well, there’s always the Nightmare Enterprises monsters to deal with them!” declared Dedede. He pulled out a small stone cube, then tossed it into the air. The cube grew until it was as large as a hill. It then grew eyes, arms, and legs and glared menacingly at the Heroes.

“Blocky?!” gulped Kirby.

“Have fun, kiddoes!” laughed Dedede as he and Ganondorf made their escape.

“Kirby, you know this guy?” asked Mario. Kirby nodded. “Then you can easily swallow him, right?” Kirby shook his body side to side to indicate “no”.

“Blocky’s a living being made of earth,” groaned Terraxila. “We can’t control beings made of the elements; it would cause a painful feedback!”

“Even controlling beings that are 80% water is uncomfortable for me,” muttered Aqualixar.

“However, I think I can still beat this thing,” mused Terraxila. “Star Warrior, any advice?” Kirby then swallowed a rock and became Stone Kirby. “…Er, what good’s THAT going to do?”

“Hurl him!” called Samus. “Throw Blocky off balance!”

“Say no more!” declared Terraxila. He then employed a stance that was almost Kung Fu like and made a stone pillar to launch Stone Kirby into Blocky. Blocky was struck on his topmost edge and toppled into a large stone spike, causing both the spike and Blocky to shatter. Kirby returned to normal and cheered. “Good work, Star Warrior!” praised Terraxila. He then turned to Samus. “I take it this is a young Star Warrior, one who’s yet to master speech?”

“Bingo,” confirmed Samus.

“And your power armor,” mused Terraxila, “is that of Chozo design?”

“Yep,” answered Samus.

“Then we’ll definitely need your help, Ma’am,” declared Terraxila. “A Space Pirate by the name of Ridley has taken Ventarix, the Knight of Air, as his hostage.” Under her suit’s helmet, Samus’ eyes went wide at the name of Ridley.

“…How long?!” she whispered in a dangerous tone. “…How long have I got to fight that mutant dragon?!”

“Then you two have a history,” realized Terraxila.

“We’ve all faced him once or twice,” interjected Mario, “Samus having the most encounters out of all of us.”

“Well, Ridley’s holding my fellow knight in a town outside this world’s castle,” explained Terraxila.

“Castle Town!” realized Link.

“My people!” called Zelda. “Hurry, everyone!”

“Wait, we need the…!” yelped Donkey Kong.

“Got a green star here!” replied Luigi. Terraxila goggled in shock.

“H…How did you not…?!” he gulped. “I mean…you should be a stone statue after touching the Earth Star!”

“That was my reaction when they all safely touched a Water Star!” answered Aqualixar.

“Could you lot be…the Legendary Heroes?” mused Terraxila. He then shook his head. “Never mind. Let’s go!” The Heroes then took off, with Zelda and Link leading the way to Castle Town.

A giant, winged creature, looking like a cross between a Western Dragon and a Pterodactyl, held a woman in cyan clothing in his grasp and looked down at Ganondorf and Dedede. “What was THAT all about?!” snapped the creature. “You just threw a giant block in the Heroes’ way?!”

“What are you complaining about, Ridley, you turkey?!” argued Dedede. “Blocky can hold them off!”

“How many times did Kirby beat him?!” thundered the creature, Ridley. “You do know what the clinical definition of insanity is?!”

“Blocky’s been upgraded!” snapped Dedede. “He’ll beat Kirby this time!”

“With his current allies?!” argued Ridley.

“Good grief, and people call ME a windbag,” muttered the woman in his grasp. Ridley clenched his fist, nearly crushing the woman.

“Personally, I can’t wait to pop you like a zit!” snarled Ridley. “Your blood will make a nice decoration to the ground!”

“Save your sadism,” advised Ganondorf. “It looks like you were right, Ridley.”

“Why’s Ridley right?!” argued Dedede. Ganondorf said nothing, he just pointed to the Heroes running up to them. “…Those Heroes are just like taxes; they just don’t know when to stop!”

“Let me handle this,” directed Ridley. He stomped forward and brandished the woman. “Not one more step, Heroes!”

“Or what, monster?!” snarled Samus.

“Or I crush this woman and her entrails litter the ground as your mother’s did on K-2L!” replied Ridley.

“How many times must I kill you?!” growled Samus as she readied her arm cannon.

“Oh, Samus, I am eternal!” bragged Ridley. “Let’s see, how many names did I get? There’s just Ridley, Meta Ridley, Omega Ridley, Little Birdie, Neo Ridley, heck, I might as well be called Cyclone Ridley now!” He then revealed the cybernetic implant on his chest. Inside a small dome was a cyan star.

“Ventarix, don’t worry!” called Aqualixar to the woman in Ridley’s grip. “We’ll get you down!”

“Take your time,” snarked the woman, Ventarix.

“It’s clear that the Air Star is powering him right now,” observed Terraxila. “We must break the implant and…”

“He’s mine!” shouted Samus as she morphed into a metal ball and rolled up the side of a house, then unfurled and fired her arm cannon at the implant. The shot hit and Ridley roared in rage, dropping Ventarix.

“Thank you, Ma’am,” bid Ventarix as Samus continued firing on Ridley. Ridley took to the air as Ganondorf and Dedede personally fought the other Heroes. Ventarix looked up to Ridley and decided on her actions. Utilizing moves that were like the Baguazhang style of martial arts, Ventarix created a vacuum bubble and maneuvered it around Ridley’s head. It was then that Ridley felt his breath being sucked out of his lungs! Ridley lost concentration and plummeted to the ground, desperately trying to regain his breath. Unbeknownst to Ventarix, Dedede saw the whole thing. He rushed to the rescue by swinging his hammer into her side, making her lose concentration.

“Now what, I say, WHAT was that all about?!” he ranted as Ventarix recovered from the blow. “Ridley may be a space monster, but even he can’t hold his breath forever! He ain’t someone who can breathe in space! He’s gotta have air, like you and me! His lungs crave air! You gotta think of things like that!”

“I did!” hissed Ventarix. “That’s why I declared myself his Angel of Death!”

“You can’t kill him!” protested Dedede. “You heroes have moral codes!”

“I’m a knight, not a hero!” snarled Ventarix as she adopted a ready stance. “I’ll do whatever it takes to protect my ruler, even in exile!”

“You’re a nice girl,” muttered Dedede as he readied his hammer, “but you’ve got more nerve than a bum tooth.” The two then dueled. For a man of his bulk, Dedede was surprisingly fast, never giving Ventarix the chance to take his breath. They soon entered the battle between Ridley, Ganondorf, and the Heroes. Ridley’s implant had cracked where it held the Air Star. Samus saw it and readied a shot. She fired and the implant exploded, damaging Ridley and causing the star to fly out of the implant, into Daisy’s hands. Ventarix was amazed at how Daisy could safely handle the star.

“How is that…?!” she gasped before Dedede knocked her into a building. He then rejoined Ganondorf and Ridley.

“I don’t wish to sound like a coward,” gulped Dedede, “but we’re all starting to look like two miles of bad road! We better head for the hills!”

“Are you kidding?!” snarled Ridley. “The Air Knight tried to kill me! I won’t rest until her blood coats my teeth!”

“Enough!” shouted Ganondorf. “We will consolidate our power at the castle! The book is still the goal! Retreat!” He and Dedede hopped onto Ridley’s back and spurred him on.

“I’m not a horse, you know!” grumbled Ridley as he took off in the direction of the castle.

“We have to go after them and put them in the ground for…!” Ventarix didn’t get far as she was splashed with a tremendous amount of water. She spluttered, then glared at Aqualixar. “…Explanations?” she hissed.

“We all swore an oath!” snarled Aqualixar. “We will not kill anyone unless it’s absolutely necessary!”

“What’s gotten into you?!” snapped Terraxila. “You wouldn’t hurt a fly normally!”

“After I heard that my Princess was being targeted,” replied Ventarix, “I had to put aside my personal feelings and do what I needed to do to protect her.”

“What, by giving the enemy a way out?!” argued Aqualixar.

“No one will have closure if you kill them!” continued Terraxila.

“Far be it for me to interrupt,” called Rosalina, “but we DO have a mission to complete.”

“She’s right,” agreed Zelda. “There’s a book we need and it’s at the castle! We MUST retrieve it to stop our nemeses!”

“…You know them?” asked Ventarix. The Heroes nodded. “…Very well, I will accompany you.”

“Good, but no killing!” declared Mario. “Your friends are right.”

“Very well,” grunted Ventarix. The Heroes then dashed towards Hyrule Castle.

Standalones Super Mario Heroes

Super Mario Heroes: Ch 2

“The first question then becomes,” mused Marie, “where do we start?” The heroes stopped in their tracks when they realized they had no foggy idea where to begin.

“Well, er…” stammered Mario.

“I’d say we start by learning more about the Elemental Princesses,” answered Zelda. “During the passing of a comet, a book landed in the gardens of Hyrule Castle. My father took it in and had his people translate it, since the language used was an ancient one.”

“…Funny,” muttered Rosalina, “I lost a book on the Elemental Princesses a while ago. I have other books on the individual Princesses, but the knowledge would be confusing without the book I lost. Perhaps we should start in Hyrule Castle and see if Zelda’s book is the same one I lost.”

“Then let’s get to Hyrule Castle!” declared Mario. “Link, you’ve still got that flute thing, right?”

“The Ocarina of Time?” asked Link. “Yeah, but…”

“Then take us to Hyrule Castle!” interrupted Peach.

“BUT,” continued Link, “I never learned any song that could warp us to the castle directly. I can get us to the nearest area, Kakariko Village, but that’s about it.”

“Oh, yeah,” winced Zelda. “That song was lost a long time ago. That’s why I never taught you it.”

“Well then, I guess we’re walking to Hyrule Castle,” sighed Samus.

“Link, if you please,” directed Mario. Link pulled out a blue ocarina and put it to his lips. He then played a haunting song and the whole group vanished in light.

The heroes reappeared in front of a small alcove in a graveyard, leading to a temple. Zelda shuddered. “This place, the Temple of Shadow, was NEVER a good part of Hyrule’s history,” she gulped.

“Why’s that?” asked Marie.

“This was where the Hyrule Royal family tortured its enemies,” explained Zelda.

“…Torture?!” gulped Peach.

“My ancestors were savages,” remarked Zelda.

“This way!” called Link. He led everyone out of the graveyard and towards Kakariko Village. As they walked, everyone noticed that the villagers were watching them.

“…Are they…usually this suspicious?” asked Donkey Kong.

“No,” replied Link. “Something’s not right.”

“WHAT THE?!” yelped Mario. He ripped a poster off a home’s wall. The poster was a wanted poster with Mario’s face!

“What in the name of Hylia…?” muttered Zelda. She turned to a little girl. “What crime has my friend committed?” she asked.

“Some friend!” snapped the girl. “Why are you friends with someone who keeps painting graffiti?!”

“How is that possible?” asked Zelda. “Mario was in the Mushroom Kingdom with me this whole time.”

“With all due respect, Your Highness,” called the girl’s mother, “you are being deceived. We all saw this…Mario character using some sort of paintbrush to spread goop of various colors across the village!”

“Not again,” sighed Mario.

“Ma’am, I can personally promise you,” assured Peach, “Mario was nowhere near your village!”

“DOGGONE VANDAL!” called an old man as he stumbled up to the heroes. “I don’t know what you’re trying to accomplish, but this graffiti nonsense must stop! People are sinking into the goop! I tell you, if you don’t…!” The old man stopped as he peered closer to Mario. “Wait a minute, shouldn’t you be a shadow person?”

“Shadow person?” asked Daisy.

“Yeah, and where’s his brush?” quizzed the old man.

“Sir, we have reason to believe,” answered Zelda, “that someone’s impersonating Mario.”

“And we have a good idea who,” supplied Mario.

“We do?” asked Link.

“There was a similar situation back in my world on an island called Isle Delfino,” explained Mario. “Bowser Jr. stole a brush from a scientist, Professor Elvin Gadd, and disguised himself as me to pollute the island and cause the island’s guardians, the Shine Sprites, to vanish.”

“You think Bowser Jr.’s trying again?” guessed Rosalina.

“It sounds like it,” replied Mario.

“Then we need to stop him!” declared Diddy Kong.

“Everyone, we WILL handle this crisis, I promise!” Zelda assured the villagers.

“HELP!” called an old woman. “THE GOOP’S MADE A MONSTER!”

“Proto Piranha!” yelped Mario.

“Where’s the monster?!” called Link as he drew his sword.

“By the windmill!” replied the old woman.

“Come on!” called Link. The heroes dashed to the windmill and found a mound of green and yellow goop with a large tendril in the center with a pair of jaws on the end. Villagers were throwing what they could at the monster, the Proto Piranha, but nothing affected the thing. It just shrugged the attacks off. The Heroes turned to Mario for guidance.

“The only thing that defeats it,” he explained, “is a steady stream of water into its mouth.”

“A pity you don’t have that F.L.U.D.D. device,” taunted a voice. At that moment, the Shadow Mario that the old man talked about stepped forward. He held the brush in his hand as if it were a sword.

“Bowser Jr., this nonsense must stop!” declared Peach.

“I had flashbacks from Isle Delfino!” supplied Mario. Shadow Mario laughed.

“I figured you would,” he purred. “That tape didn’t achieve my desired effect, but, then again, I suppose it was to be expected.”

“…Bowser Jr.?” asked Mario. Shadow Mario wasn’t talking like a child.

“I suppose that assumption has merit, but no, I’m not Bowser’s son,” replied Shadow Mario. A dark cloud surrounded him and shrouded him. It soon faded to reveal…

“GANONDORF?!” called Link and Zelda.

“Good to see you, my friends,” greeted Ganondorf.

“How did you get that brush?!” demanded Peach.

“Bowser Jr. loaned it to me,” explained Ganondorf. “In exchange, I taught him how to use a few spells. He became quite proficient in them.”

“Ganondorf, listen!” called Mario. “That brush is a Gadd device! It was never meant to bring harm!”

“Anything can be a weapon,” remarked Ganondorf. “Now, I know you’re trying to fill in the gaps of your knowledge concerning the Elemental Princesses, so I intend to burn that particular book. I would wish you farewell, but that would be counterproductive to the reason I made the Proto Piranha in the first place. At least TRY to put up a fight without F.L.U.D.D.” Ganondorf then vanished in a cloud of black and purple smoke.

“This is bad!” groaned Mario. “The only thing that can defeat a Proto Piranha is a steady stream of water shot into its open mouth! You’d have to do it three times!”

“Maybe the Song of Storms will help!” suggested Link.

“He said STEADY stream,” reminded Zelda.

“Besides, that would really hurt us!” called Pearl.

“Well, we have to do SOMETHING!” argued Link. “We can’t just…!” That was when the Proto Piranha fired a stream of goop from its mouth!

“That’s new!” yelped Peach.

“They never did that before?!” called Donkey Kong.

“Guys!” shouted Diddy Kong. “There’s someone trapped in the goop!” The Heroes could make out a tuft of something blue and hair-like poking out of the goop surrounding the Proto Piranha.

“Now we REALLY need to clean up the mess!” groaned Luigi.

“I have an idea!” called Daisy. She then turned to the villagers. “Everyone! We need buckets of water! We have to clean the goop here!” The villagers wasted no time in collecting water. While Daisy organized the water efforts, the rest of the Heroes did what they could to keep the Proto Piranha distracted. Samus activated her power suit and fired her arm cannon. Unfortunately, the Proto Piranha shrugged it off.

“Good grief, even energy blasts?!” protested Samus. Daisy had gotten the villagers to clear away the goop so she could pull whoever was in there out of it. As she reached into the goop and grabbed the person, a sense of filthiness ripped through her.

“Ugh, GROSS!” she gagged. She then took deep breaths. “Okay, here goes!” She got a hold of the person and pulled them out. While dirty, one could see that the person was a plump woman with blue hair and clothes and a currently disgusted expression on her face.

“Water!” she gulped in disgust. Daisy got her a bucket of water. The woman then moved her arm in a fluid fashion. The water in the bucket then floated out and hovered over the woman. The woman then stopped her arm and the water just splashed onto her, getting rid of the goop. The woman sighed in relief. “Much better,” she whispered. “My thanks, Ms. …erm…I’m sorry, I don’t know your name.”

“Hi, I’m Daisy!” Daisy replied on instinct. “…Really gotta work on that. Anyway, are you one of the Elemental Princesses?”

“I wish,” chuckled the woman. “I’m just her teacher. Though, I’m no less powerful than her.”

“Well, if you’re a master of water, we could use you,” explained Daisy.

“Daisy, are you done talking to her?!” protested Callie.

“She’s the Water Princess’ teacher!” called Daisy. “I think she may be just what we need to get rid of that thing!”

“I’ve done battle with it before,” replied the woman. “I was unsuccessful.”

“Well, the Proto Piranha,” explained Mario, “needs a steady stream of water shot into its mouth three times before it melts and evaporates.”

“In that case, round 2 will be infinitely better,” declared the woman. She used the remaining water buckets as her weapon, using fighting moves resembling Tai Chi to control where the water went. The woman waited until the Proto Piranha opened its mouth to spew goop before launching a steady stream of water. The instant the water entered its mouth, the Proto Piranha roared.

“That’s it! Again!” cheered Mario, feeling a sense of progress. The woman struck again at the Proto Piranha’s open mouth, making it roar. “One more will do it!” called Mario. The woman struck the open mouth for the final blow and the Proto Piranha gave off a death rattle before the mouth and neck collapsed into its mound body and the mound of goop evaporated, taking all the graffiti with it. The windmill then appeared before a small blue star with a pair of eyes appeared.

“A Water Star!” breathed the woman. “So, they’re taking the Elemental Stars too. Smart, they’re starting their plan on the right path.”

“Water Star?” quizzed Daisy.

“Can’t say as I’ve heard of it,” rumbled Donkey Kong as he reached for the star.

“Wait!” yelped the woman. “Don’t touch it! It will…!” Donkey Kong took the star into his hand and examined it. Every Hero got a chance to touch it and examine it. “…turn you into…water?” mumbled the woman, finishing her warning weakly. “…Impossible! I thought only the Legendary Heroes and my other Knight friends could…I mean, unless you were…but you CAN’T be!”

“What are you talking about?” asked Link. The woman shook her head.

“Never mind,” she declared. “We must save my fellow Knights! There are a group of people wishing to kidnap our Princesses and they’ve incapacitated us all!”

“Those people are our main nemeses, Aqualixar” explained Rosalina.

“Rosalina,” chuckled the woman. “It has been too long! These are your friends?”

“In every sense of the word,” replied Rosalina. She then turned to the Heroes. “Everyone, I’d like you to meet Aqualixar, the Knight of Water from the Blue Galaxy Sector of the universe.”

“I’d ask for your names, but my fellow Knights are in danger,” continued Aqualixar. “We MUST rescue them! They’re being held along the way to this world’s castle!”

“That’s all part of the job for us!” declared Mario. “Let’s-a go!”

“Follow me!” called Link. He led everyone out of the village.

Transformers: Mobian Chronicles Transformers: Mobian Chronicles (Arc 11: Seconds of Speed)

TMC 11-5

The next day, Sonic was racing towards Station Square Park. He had gotten wind that Eggman was planning something there and was determined to stop him. As he tore through the streets, Shadow appeared from a turn he had made. “Hey, Shadow!” called Sonic. “Long time no see!”

“Move it or lose it, Faker!” snapped Shadow. “I’m after Eggman!”

“Hey, what a coincidence, so am I!” chuckled Sonic.

“Oh no, you don’t!” snarled Shadow. “He’s mine!” The two then raced each other towards the park. They then went through the park entrance and raced halfway through the park until they found Eggman having a solo picnic. “All right,” whispered Shadow, “we need to approach him with caution. Sonic, you circle around to that bush over there and…and…and you’re just RUNNING RIGHT AT HIM! GET BACK HERE, YOU BLUE IDIOT!” Shadow dashed after Sonic and both Hedgehogs ended up dangling by their feet from a noose in a tree.

“Ah, Sonic,” greeted Eggman. “So kind of you to join me. And I see you’ve brought a friend.”

“I’m not his friend!” denied Shadow.

“What are you up to, Eggman?!” demanded Sonic.

“Well, I don’t want to spoil any surprises,” replied Eggman, “but, since you’re here, I might as well tell you my most impressive and evil scheme to date! You see those non-Mobian pigeons over there?” He pointed to a flock of the birds just doing their thing by a path. “Well, observe that sign as well!” continued Eggman. It was a standard “Don’t feed the pigeons” sign. “When that cop over there comes here,” Eggman went on as he pointed out the cop, “I’m going to feed the pigeons!” He cackled in his usual manner while Sonic and Shadow raised an eye-ridge and looked at each other. Eggman then noticed the expressions on his enemies’ faces and his cackle died off.

“…That’s your ‘most impressive and evil scheme to date’?” asked Sonic.

“Seems a little tame, compared to breaking the planet open,” muttered Shadow.

“…Okay, all cards on the table,” sighed Eggman as he started untying the noose, “I’m going through a mental block on my evil plans.” Sonic and Shadow then fell to the ground, giving Eggman a slight sense of amusement. “Seriously, I’ve got nothing. I feel like all the stupendously EVIL plans are being gobbled up by the Decepticons. I try to come up with a plan for world domination, but Megatron would have already thought of it and organized teams to enact it. I mean, yeah, the only upside to this is that they’re the ones being stopped by you heroes instead of me…”

“Actually, it’s more the Autobots that are stopping the Decepticons,” replied Sonic.

“Oh, so you’re feeling sidelined by your Transformer friends too, huh?” muttered Eggman.

“Yep,” sighed Sonic. “All I’ve been doing lately is doing the tamer hero stuff. You know, helping an old lady cross the street, rescuing a cat from a tree, getting a lost child back to his parents, that kind of stuff.”

“At least you’re DOING something,” grunted Shadow. “This is my first proper deployment in months. Lately, I’ve been cleaning my motorcycle and training with Omega. Sometimes Rouge ropes me into being her pack mule whenever she goes shopping.”

“Looks like this slump is affecting us all,” sympathized Eggman. “Sonic, my friend/nemesis, I’m dry! Seriously, I’ve lost my mojo! Can you offer any advice?”

“I’m not an evil scientist, Eggman,” answered Sonic. “And you’re not exactly a hero, so I think it would be counterproductive for us to ask each other for advice.”

“I know, I’m just grasping at straws right now,” mumbled Eggman. “Well, I needed to get away from the Decepticons for a while. I guess I’ll see you around, Sonic.” Eggman packed up his picnic and left the park in his egg-mobile, abandoning his latest scheme.

“…You know, I can’t help but pity him,” sighed Sonic.

“I don’t pity him,” rumbled Shadow. “I’m going back to G.U.N.” He pulled out a communicator and connected to G.U.N. “Command, this is Shadow. False alarm. Eggman’s scheme was feeding the pigeons in the park near a sign saying not to do so. …Yes, I’m aware at how sad that is. He didn’t even fight me and Sonic. He just gave up when he announced his plan and didn’t get the reaction he wanted. …Yeah, he’s in a slump like the rest of us. Unfortunately, his slump’s Transformer-related too. …Yeah. …Yes, Ma’am. …Understood, on my way back now.” He ended the call and sped back to G.U.N.

Sonic sighed when he was left alone in the park. He sat under a tree, just staring off into space, thinking about the Autobots. He considered visiting Amy, something he hadn’t done in a while. He wanted advice and Amy, while lovesick for Sonic, DID give good advice and told her friends what they needed to hear. “SONIC!” came a voice Sonic knew. Amy was running up the hill in her Scarlet Specter outfit, forgoing the wig, mask, and hat.

“Hey, Amy,” greeted Sonic, “I was just thinking about you.” Amy gasped.

“You were thinking…about ME?!” she squealed happily. She then spun around, gushing about how Sonic was thinking about her.

“Yeah, I need your advice,” explained Sonic.

“My darling Sonic needs my help!” gushed Amy. “What can I do for you, my precious Blue Blur?!”

“I’ve been feeling sidelined lately,” answered Sonic.

“Sidelined?” asked Amy.

“Yeah,” confirmed Sonic. He then explained what he, Shadow, and Eggman were talking about. Amy sat near him and just let him talk for a while. “I don’t know,” he finally sighed, “maybe I’m getting jealous of the Autobots.”

“I don’t think it’s that,” replied Amy as she sat next to him.

“What makes you say that?” asked Sonic.

“I think it’s the fact that the Autobots and Decepticons are at war,” explained Amy. “When they first landed here, we all believed we’d have a few good adventures with Optimus and his friends. But, thanks to Megatron, the Autobots are more concerned with survival. Not just their own, but ours as well.”

“So, what, isolating themselves from us will protect us?” quizzed Sonic.

“I don’t know what their thinking is,” replied Amy. “Right now, I think we should try and understand them a little better, give them help when they ask for it.”

“If they ask for it,” muttered Sonic.

“WHEN,” insisted Amy. “They’re still our friends.” Sonic didn’t say anything. He just sat there, letting Amy rest her head on his shoulders.

Eggman returned to Robotropolis and made his way to his lab. He just sat down in a chair, staring at his equipment. He tried coming up with ideas, but everything went up in smoke before he could even move himself to use his tools. Eventually, he just shouted and flailed his limbs angrily with no direction and no purpose, scattering tools and papers everywhere. After that fit, he just flopped into his chair again. “What’s going on?!” he demanded to himself. “I was a threat to the world! THE biggest threat! …Why would the Decepticons just let me rot? I gave them a base of operations! …Now they barely give me the time of day.” He just sighed again, sitting alone for a while…until Megatron entered.

“Doctor, I need you for guard duty,” boomed Megatron.

“What is it?” sighed Eggman.

“I need a guard detail around the Allspark,” explained Megatron. “Give it top priority. The cube can, quite literally, change the world as we know it. We must NOT let Optimus get his hands on it.”

“I’ll see to it,” grunted Eggman.

“Excellent,” praised Megatron. “You’re giving us the tools we need to win this war.” Megatron then left the lab. Eggman grumbled as he prepared to detail a guard unit, then he recalled something.

“…Computer, remind me of the Allspark’s significance to the Transformers,” he ordered.

“The Allspark,” replied the computer, “was the primary means of Transformer reproduction before the female gender was included in the species. The Quintessons attempted to weaponize it when they had controlled Cybertron, making all sorts of vehicles into living weapons. To do that, the Quintessons forced the Prime of the time to use the Allspark to their whims. During the war that led to the Transformers’ freedom, they had to launch the Allspark into space, resulting in Transformer victory in the long run.”

“…Make machines come to life, you say?” mused Eggman. “Only a Prime could activate it?” Eggman pondered his next moves…then his wicked grin came out. “Computer, detail a guard and make sure they’ve got the Decepticon symbol on them. After that, get me a secure channel with Sonic and Optimus, out of Soundwave’s reach.”

“At once,” confirmed the computer. Once the computer switched itself off, Dr. Eggman began chuckling, then giggling, then launched into a full-blown evil laugh!

“Look out, Mobius!” he cackled. “Dr. Eggman’s got his mojo back!” He then made his way to a drawing board and started creating new vehicles for his plans.

Transformers: Mobian Chronicles Transformers: Mobian Chronicles (Arc 11: Seconds of Speed)

TMC 11-4

After the meeting had ended, Rodimus had pulled Hot Rod to the basement, filled with all sorts of stuff for the Autobots that had been relegated to storage. “Unplug your exhaust pipe, Old Me,” scoffed Hot Rod. “I’m a star!”

“This is a military operation!” snarled Rodimus. “Not an Alien Hunt! set!”

“I’m only the greatest bot here!” countered Hot Rod. “That kid, on the other hand, seems to be a little puffed up in the carburetor!” Rodimus then slapped Hot Rod across the face.

“That ‘kid’,” he corrected as Hot Rod rubbed his cheek, “is your Prime! A little humility MIGHT earn some respect!”

“Dad always said ‘Fume-running bots take in Energon, humble bots serve it!’” argued Hot Rod.

“Dad was a coward!” roared Rodimus. “You let Nyon and Ki-Aleta make us an even bigger one!” That did it! Hot Rod’s hand retracted into his forearm and a buzzsaw replaced it as he slashed across Rodimus’ face.

“Never…EVER…call me that again!” growled Hot Rod. Rodimus then swept his leg at Hot Rod’s and tripped him up. Hot Rod’s hand returned, and he grabbed Rodimus’ leg, pulling him to the floor. The two bots then wrestled, hell-bent on tearing the other a new one. While their fight went on, Optimus, Prowl, Strongarm, Kup, Ironhide, and Chromia dashed into the basement. Kup, Strongarm, and Ironhide pulled Hot Rod off Rodimus and Optimus, Prowl, and Chromia held Rodimus back.

“That’s enough!” shouted Optimus. “THAT’S ENOUGH!” The two fighters stopped struggling for just a second. “I don’t know what in the Pit has gotten into you idiots,” the two fighters opened their mouths to explain, “and, frankly, I don’t care!” Optimus interjected before either of them could speak. “You two are Autobot soldiers! I thought we were all above petty infighting! Prowl! Strongarm! Have Ratchet look them over in the brig!”

“Yes, Sir!” replied Prowl and Strongarm as they led Hot Rod and Rodimus to the brig.

“Teletraan,” called Ironhide, “pull up any footage from before the fight.”

“Got it,” replied Teletraan.

“Display,” ordered Optimus. A screen played the footage of Hot Rod and Rodimus’ conversation before they started trading blows. “That’s twice now,” muttered Optimus.

“So, he still hates himself over Nyon and Ki-Aleta,” mused Kup.

“You know why he gets so defensive over those names?” asked Optimus.

“He hasn’t told you?” quizzed Kup.

“No,” replied Optimus.

“Sir, those were his two greatest disasters,” explained Kup. “It’s why he acts the way he does.”

“…I think you better tell me,” directed Optimus.

While Optimus had to discipline Rodimus and Hot Rod, Galvatron had led Megatron back to Mobius. They arrived in a cave system that offered little light. “For Primus’ sake!” grumbled Megatron. “Must you drag me through caves?!”

“These caves,” assured Galvatron, “will lead to a great power that helped defeat Unicron before!”

“Oh, please!” scoffed Megatron. “The chances of that are astronomically dismal!”

“I found its remains in my time!” insisted Galvatron. “It was discovered whole a few days ago!”

“And you told the crews not to tell me immediately?” quizzed Megatron. “Last time I checked; ALL FINDINGS WERE TO BE REPORTED AT ONCE!”

“This one needed,” argued Galvatron, “to be kept under the radar, since Eggman is sure to bungle it!”

“Oh, come on!” protested Megatron. “What could possibly be so important that Eggman didn’t need to know until later?!”

“Observe!” directed Galvatron as he gestured to a large cave opening. A blue glow emitted from inside the cave, giving Megatron a sense of curiosity. He entered the cave…his jaw dropped, and his optics widened when he saw the source of the glow. Embedded in the rockface was a massive cube that dwarfed him. From what he could see, the material seemed to be a mix of stone and metal and the face of the cube that was uncovered was coated in hieroglyphs of an ancient time. Megatron turned to Galvatron as the future Decepticon entered the cave. “I had to confirm my findings before anyone got a chance,” he explained.

“Then, this is…?” stammered Megatron.

“It is,” answered Galvatron. “In my time, Unicron had shattered it, thus rendering it useless for any immediate attacks. We had gathered the pieces, but we don’t have a vessel to utilize its power.”

“…We need a guard posted,” declared Megatron, “and a means of getting it out of the rock.”

“The comms still work down here,” revealed Galvatron. Megatron then called the moon-base.

“Megatron to base!” he demanded. “Detail a guard platoon and prepare an extraction team!”

“What for, Lord Megatron, Dude?” asked Soundwave’s voice.

“Galvatron has just made the find of the age,” replied Megatron. “Right now, I’m staring…at the Allspark!”

Optimus approached Hot Rod’s cell in the brig with Kup on his heels. He stared at the upstart Velocitronian for a good minute before speaking. “Kup told me what he knew about Nyon and Ki-Aleta,” he began. “However, he’s only got bits and pieces. You never told him the full story. Care to fill him and me in?” Hot Rod said nothing. “…Well?” Still nothing. “…All right, let’s try again with Rodimus.” He turned to Rodimus’ cell. “Willing to help?” Rodimus said nothing, then sighed.

“They were my greatest failures,” he explained. Hot Rod flinched.

“Kup already told me that before he told his interpretation of the story. I need more than that,” directed Optimus. “Nyon was a Cybertronian city. What were you doing there?”

“…Recon work for Velocitronian Command,” replied Rodimus. “I was stationed there because there were rumors of a Velocitronian Decepticon force about to commit genocide on the populace because of their natural artistic expression being used to further the Autobot cause. I was only 2,002 at the time, a brasher upstart with delusions of heroism. I thought that, if I could avert the crisis, I would be a hero. I had confirmed the rumors to Velocitronian Command and further explained that the Velocitronian Decepticons had gotten ahold of Vamparc Ribbons.”

“Vamparc Ribbons?!” repeated Optimus.

“Those things that drain a bot of their Energon and use it as a weapon?!” gulped Kup.

“The same,” answered Rodimus. “I was ordered to return to Velocitron and then return to Nyon with a full platoon. …I didn’t. I went straight to the Decepticon Command Center in Nyon and attacked the base single-handedly.”

“Okay, I’m not exactly a brilliant strategist,” remarked Optimus, “but even I would have been hard-pressed to do something that dumb!”

“I don’t know,” mused Kup, “Sonic told me about how you stormed Eggman’s base when you lost your magic.”

“…I am going to SKIN that rat!” hissed Optimus.

“In any event, I ran through the base, thinking my actions would save everyone,” continued Rodimus. “…They didn’t. The Decepticons were instructed to use the Vamparc Ribbons the instant an intruder was detected inside the base. They found me. Once I was captured, the commander of the base, Lugnut…”

“That idiot?” asked Kup.

“You and I clearly have different views on that monster,” replied Rodimus. “Lugnut made me watch as he… as he…” He was choking back tears.

“…Lugnut?” asked Optimus. “He was ready to…commit genocide in the name of the Decepticons?!”

“I broke out of the base, dialing my speed up to 11,” Rodimus finally continued. “I shouted to the people, using my after-images to outline a safe path…but the Ribbons…” At that moment, Rodimus broke down.

“Oh, Primus…” realized Optimus as he looked at Hot Rod.

“…Since he can’t go on, I will,” grunted Hot Rod. “After Nyon, I took a crew of Autobots with me to find the Magnificence, a legendary super-computer that could tell you the answer to every question. I only had one on my mind.”

“Whether or not there were Nyon survivors,” guessed Optimus.

“Yep,” confirmed Hot Rod. “I had a crew of four with me; Download, Gizmo, Backbeat, and Dealer. We were using an ancient map to the Magnificence as a guidebook and soon landed on its resting place, Ki-Aleta. That world’s got storms charged with ionic energy over its rocky surface, making our scanning equipment useless. We had gotten past the dead Omega Guardians and were ready to enter the Magnificence’s resting place. Dealer stayed behind to watch our backs while I took Download, Gizmo, and Backbeat inside the tomb. We approached the Magnificence and took it from its resting place…”

“You SAW the Magnificence?” asked Optimus.

“It looked like a Transformers brain module,” explained Hot Rod. “I took it, then it all went to the Pit. Dealer tried to contact us, telling us to get out of there, but the transmission was cut off by his dying screams. At that point, the Magnificence didn’t matter. I knew I had to get everyone out. We ran, trying to avoid the traps as fast as we could, but Gizmo lost his head to an axe from the ceiling, Download was dumped down a pit that was flooded with acid, and Backbeat was speared from the floor. All I could do was run and run and run until I returned to the ship. I flew solo, gave my report, then left the Autobots to return to what really matters to a True Velocitronian; the racing circuit.”

“And that regret has haunted me!” growled Rodimus. “You fled like a coward!”

“My old life was better!” shouted Hot Rod.

“Was it?!” argued Rodimus. “Can you really look anyone in the eye and say that you made a mistake in joining the Autobot Militia?!”

“Yes!” declared Hot Rod. “An entire city died because of me! My entire team died because of me!”

“Hot Rod, Rodimus Prime, you two couldn’t be more wrong on either count,” interrupted Optimus.

“…Excuse me?” asked Rodimus.

“What’s THAT supposed to mean?!” snarled Hot Rod.

“That ‘acid pool’ that Download fell into,” began Optimus, “was nothing more than coolant. He told me vague descriptions of a mission that went awry. In any case, Jazz is living proof that there WERE survivors of Nyon. His grandmother, Songbird, led as many bots as she could out of Nyon through the catacombs below the city. She helped everyone find new refuge in Praxis after liberating the city. Their artistic expression rallied more Praxian freedom fighters than ever before to the Autobot cause, Prowl and Strongarm included.”

“…You mean…all my screw-ups…” realized Hot Rod.

“Led to Sentinel Prime and his team first landing on this planet and ending the first war,” confirmed Optimus. “Don’t get me wrong, you two are still on waste disposal duties for two weeks for conduct unbecoming an Autobot, but just know that you DID save people back in the day.” He then turned on his heel and left the brig, Kup following behind.

“…I…I ran away from…” mumbled Hot Rod.

Standalones Super Mario Heroes

Super Mario Heroes: Ch 1

A blonde man in a green tunic and hat swung his sword at a wooden dummy. He usually kept his skills up to par as he didn’t want any surprises from his usual enemy. As he practiced, he heard a woman politely clear her throat. He turned around to see his beloved princess standing outside his training field. “Princess Zelda!” called the man. “What can I do for you?”

“One of my royal friends has organized a party,” explained Zelda. “I was wondering if you would be my plus one, Link.”

“Come on, you know I’m not so good with parties,” groaned Link. “Besides, Ganondorf’s been a little too quiet and I need to figure out why.”

“I think THIS particular party will make you forget Ganondorf safely,” mused Zelda as she showed him her invitation. The symbol made Link think for a second.

“…Then again, I haven’t seen him since the Ultimate Smash Tourney,” remarked Link. “…All right! I’m in!”

Two squids and an octopus arrived at a landing site after launching themselves with tons of ink pressure. After landing, the cephalopods morphed and changed into humanoid creatures with tentacles for hair. The octopus was a girl with her tentacles’ suckers facing out while the squids, a boy and a girl, had smooth tentacles. They approached another octopus girl and three squid girls. “Agent 1, Agent 2,” greeted the squid boy.

“Andrew, I thought I told you we’re using our names,” remarked a squid girl in a kimono.

“Apologies, Marie,” replied Agent 3 gruffly.

“Hi Callie! Hi Marie!” called Agent 4, the squid girl.

“Hi, Bella!” called the long-haired squid girl, Callie.

“Greetings, Pearl, Marina,” greeted the octopus girl, Agent 8.

“Hello, Octavia,” returned the other octopus girl Marina.

“So, what’s the sitch?” asked the last squid girl, Pearl.

“We all got invited,” explained Marie, “to a party with your new Smash friends.”

“A party?” asked Andrew. “What for?”

“See for yourself,” replied Marie as she showed the New Squidbeak Splatoon the invitation. Their eyes goggled when they read the invitation.

“Oh, we’ve gotta go!” begged Bella.

“I agree,” affirmed Octavia, “let us go!”

“Eh, why not?” mused Andrew.

An armored bounty hunter sat by her ship. After a long, tedious mission from the federation, she couldn’t wait to just do nothing for a while. Unfortunately, Samus Aran, the hunter, couldn’t do nothing for long before thinking about her late parents, both biological and adopted. While she thought, her armor’s computer told her that her ship received a message. Samus rolled her eyes. “Just ONE vacation!” she hissed before entering her ship. She made it to the controls and opened her messages, reading the newest one before she relaxed slightly. “You know, that might JUST be what the doctor ordered,” she mused to herself.

A giant, brown-furred gorilla in a red tie snoozed in his hammock. He was enjoying a nice nap after a large banana lunch. His hammock gently rocked as he listened to the waves gently crash against the shore of his home island. He slept soundly…until a monkey in a red shirt and baseball cap kicked the door in. “HEY! DONKEY!” called the monkey. “WE’RE INVITED!” The gorilla, Donkey Kong, yelped and his hammock spun him around a few times before dumping him onto the floor, HARD! The monkey, Donkey Kong’s best friend, Diddy Kong, seemed slightly oblivious to Donkey’s accident. “Oh man, this is such a huge milestone!” cheered Diddy. “I wonder how big the cake’s gonna be?! Ooh! You think they’ll have bananas?! Maybe New Donk City’s…!” Donkey picked Diddy up by the tail and held him in the air.

“Diddy, what ARE you talking about?” grunted Donkey.

“We got an invitation to a party this morning!” explained Diddy as he handed Donkey the invitation. Donkey set Diddy down and read the invite.

“…Like I wanna miss this!” he decided. “Get yourself washed up, Diddy! We’re DEFINITELY going!”

A small pink ball with large feet, big eyes, and a mouth strolled through the meadow of his home. He didn’t have any major threats to deal with, so he could just enjoy the day. As he strolled, someone ran up to him. “Poyo?” quizzed the pink creature.

“Kirby! There you are!” gasped the person as he caught his breath. “Got a message for you!” He pulled the message out of his postman’s sack and handed it to the creature, Kirby. Kirby opened the message as the person left. He smiled wide when he read the contents and summoned a warp star.

A woman in a pale blue dress walked around her observatory, contemplating the choices she made to become the guardian of the cosmos. Rosalina, the woman, watched the stars as they danced by her home, the Comet Observatory. As she looked, she felt a sense of boredom. When the stars are your backyard, that’s all they are, a backyard. Rosalina sighed. “I hope you and your special someone are all right,” she whispered.

“Mama!” called a star with eyes, a Luma. Rosalina snapped out of her thoughts and focused on the Luma.

“Yes, Lumeeli?” she asked.

“We got a transmission inviting us to a party! Look who it’s from!” urged the Luma, Lumeeli. Rosalina checked the main monitor and saw the message’s address.

“…That long?” she mused. “Well, we’ve been an important part in his life. Polari, set course for the Mushroom World!”

A woman in a yellow dress with orange trim sat on her throne, after listening to various cases. While she enjoyed being a princess and helping the people, it got tiring. One of her guards then entered the throne room. “Well?” asked the woman, Princess Daisy.

“A man in green has approached the gate,” explained the guard. “He seems to carry himself like a plumber and…”

“LUIGI!” cheered Daisy. “Let him in!”

“My lady, I fail to see your infatuation with a commoner…” the guard trailed off as he noticed his princess’s mood turn sour at the comment. “…Er, then again, it’s not my place to question your heart,” he gulped. “I’ll just…go get him.” He dashed out of the room.

“Smart,” remarked Daisy. She sat for a few seconds until a voice came through the throne room.

“H-Hello?” stammered the voice. A plumber in green then entered the room and stepped forward for a few steps until Daisy leapt off the throne and tackled him into a bear hug.

“LUIGI!” she cheered as she squeezed the plumber, Luigi.

“N…Nice to…see you…too!” gasped Luigi. Daisy then released the younger Mario brother, letting him catch his breath.

“What are you doing here?” asked Daisy. “I mean, not that I don’t mind seeing you, but I didn’t summon you here.”

“I came here to deliver a message to you,” explained Luigi. He handed her a letter. Daisy read the letter to herself, then her eyes widened.

“…He’s been doing this for THAT long?!” gasped Daisy. “He definitely deserves a party! You better believe I’m coming! We’ll take my plane!”

“I guess I’ll…” sighed Luigi.

“Oh no, I said WE!” declared Daisy. “You’re coming with me!”

“R…Really?” stammered Luigi.

“Yeah! You’re my boyfriend, right?” asked Daisy.

“Well, yeah, but…” gulped Luigi.

“Then it’s settled!” declared Daisy.

A short plumber in red walked towards a castle. He had gotten a summons from his home’s princess and was confused at how short it was. “Did I do something wrong?” he pondered to himself. He approached the main gate after crossing the bridge over the moat.

“Ah, Mario!” greeted the guard, a Toad with a spear. “Her Highness, Princess Peach, is expecting you. Please come in.” The Toad opened the gate and the plumber, Mario, entered the castle. He was led to the main ballroom. It was dark inside.

“Hello?” asked Mario. The lights suddenly came on and Mario gasped. Princess Peach, Luigi, and all their friends appeared from behind a large cake!

“SURPRISE!” everyone called.

“What in…?!” yelped Mario.

“HAPPY 35th, MARIO!” everyone cheered.

“But I’m not 35!” gulped Mario.

“No,” replied Peach, “but you’ve been fighting Bowser and other various evils for 35 years.”

“…It’s been THAT long?” realized Mario. “Mama Mia!”

“Just think,” chuckled Donkey Kong, “ages ago, you and I were fighting over Pauline!”

“How IS Pauline, by the way?” asked Peach. “I haven’t seen her since I went on my world tour after Bowser tried to marry me on the moon.”

“She’s doing all right,” replied Mario.

“I’m surprised she’s not here,” mused Donkey Kong.

“She had to decline,” explained Peach sadly. “Her city’s in a power crisis.”

“I thought New Donk City got its Power Moons back,” remarked Mario.

“Something or someone’s leeching off Power Moons,” answered Peach.

“Yikes,” winced Mario.

“I’ve already offered assistance,” assured Peach, “I just haven’t gotten a reply. Oh well, enough of that, this is a party for you!”

“Speech!” called Link.

“Link!” protested Zelda. Too late, the call for a speech was taken up. Mario thought about a small speech for a few seconds before holding his hand up for quiet.

“Miei amici,” he began, “it’s really an honor to be around friends and family. Before Luigi and I came to this world, we were Brooklyn plumbers who had a few jobs. At that time, I had met Donkey Kong and he kidnapped my then-girlfriend, Pauline.

“I still remember the barrels you kept leaping over,” snickered Donkey Kong.

“Then, after saving her,” continued Mario, “Luigi had quite a job that opened our eyes to this world. I think you remember that job, Luigi!”

“I had Shellcreepers, Sidesteppers, and Fighter Flies coming out of those pipes!” grumbled Luigi.

“So THAT’S where the song came from!” realized Daisy.

“Please, NO!” wailed Luigi. Too late, nothing was stopping Daisy from singing.

Something’s gumming up the plumbing,

Poor Luigi’s in a bind!

Giant turtles out to get him,

Creepy crabs are right behind!

Fighter Flies, jeepers, yikes!

They’re all coming out the pipes!

Mario, where are you?!”

“And someone used the theme for an old sitcom to make that song,” mused Mario. Luigi grumbled as Mario continued. “That incident, though, led us to this world. While we DID get a better plumbing job here, you guys helped me be a better person. You didn’t let me and Luigi be nameless nobodies. Yes, we’ve had our ups and downs, but I don’t see myself trading the life I’ve led so far for anything else. To friends and family!”

“To friends and family!” repeated the crowd. The party lasted well into the night, with everyone watching the old cartoons made about each other. Link winced when the Legend of Zelda cartoon came on. He hated how the show depicted him as a jerk and the phrase “Well, excuse me, Princess!” really got on his nerves. As the evening wound down, everyone retired to bed.

When Mario woke up, he was acutely aware of Toads screaming in a panic. “What now?!” he grumbled to himself. He put on his usual outfit and went downstairs, joining his friends.


“Which one?” asked Peach’s voice as she, Daisy, Rosalina, and Zelda came into the room. The Toads stopped panicking and looked at the princesses in confusion.

“Wait, Peach, you…WEREN’T kidnapped?” asked another Toad.

“No, I was sleeping peacefully,” answered Peach.

“But…but the tape says…” mumbled the second Toad.

“What tape?” asked Mario. He was then handed a video cassette tape with the phrase “Kidnapped Princess” on it. “…Did anyone watch it?” quizzed Mario. The room was silent.

“…Someone get a t.v. in here,” sighed Peach. A pair of Toads wheeled a t.v. into the room and Mario put the tape into the v.c.r. The tape showed a little static before it cleared to reveal…

“GANONDORF?!” yelped Link and Zelda.

“My apologies,” began Ganondorf in the video, “were you planning a relaxing time, heroes? Well, forget it! I, Ganondorf Dragmire, the King of Thieves, the Great King of Evil, the Emperor of the Dark Realm, and the Dark Lord, have made this message to have you all watch my greatest triumph! To prove, once and for all, that darkness will prevail, I will…!”

“What are you doing?!” called a voice that the Mario Brothers and their princesses knew.

“…Er, nothing, Lord Bowser,” replied Ganondorf, slightly embarrassed as Bowser stomped into view. “What are YOU doing?”

“You’re not making a video to tell our enemies,” growled Bowser, “what our plans are, are you?!”

“You presume me to be that stupid?” asked Ganondorf.

“But weren’t you going to tell the heroes about how we were gonna kidnap the Elemental Princesses?” asked the cameraman.

“Shut up!” hissed Ganondorf.

“Yeah, you were gonna tell them,” continued the cameraman, oblivious to what Ganondorf ordered, “about how you villains were gonna take the Elemental Princesses and drain them of their power and…”

“SHUT UP AND GET ANOTHER TAPE!” ordered Ganondorf.

“I don’t have any more cassette tapes,” rumbled Bowser. Ganondorf sighed as he slumped in his throne. “Ganondorf, I thought you said stealth was key! If this tape reaches the heroes, there’s a good chance they’ll beat us to the punch!”

“I understand your frustration, Lord Bowser Koopa,” grumbled Ganondorf, “but I already told your troops to make this tape and send it to our enemies! Now, if I DON’T, I’ll end up looking stupid!”

“A little late for that now, isn’t it?” grunted Bowser. Ganondorf then rose from his throne and summoned a ball of shadowy energy in each hand, growling at Bowser. “…Was that out loud?” gulped Bowser. Ganondorf fired one ball at Bowser and used it to lift the Koopa King into the air. “HELP!” cried Bowser. “I TAKE IT BACK! SEND THE TAPE! SEND THE TAPE!” Ganondorf then fired the other ball at the camera and the video ended in static.

“Elemental Princesses?” asked Daisy once the tape was ejected. “I never heard of them.”

“I have,” replied Zelda. “They command the four basic elements, water, earth, fire, and air. They keep our worlds in balance.”

“Well, if it’s the kidnapped princess business,” declared Luigi, “Mario and I are the best heroes!”

“Wait, I’ve rescued Zelda plenty of times!” argued Link.

“…You know, there’s a good point,” mused Luigi.

“Then let’s pack our bags and…” began Mario.

“Hold on!” called Donkey Kong. “Who said anything about just you guys? Diddy and I wanna come!”

“Besides, that cameraman,” remarked Marie, “said all the villains are involved.”

“Meaning you WILL need our help if it’s OUR villains,” supplied Samus. Kirby squeaked his desire to come along.

“And I’m frankly tired of the constant kidnapping and being sidelined!” proclaimed Peach. “This time, I want to save princesses!”

“…We COULD use the help,” mumbled Luigi.

“Then it’s settled!” declared Mario. “It’s time for an adventure! Let’s-a go!” He led everyone out of the castle. “HERE WE GO! SUPER MARIO HEROES!”