I'm back with another installment of Thunder Storm! A few things to get out of the way. First off, I've decided to make this a full length fic. It will cover the events of Super Paper Mario up until the end and maybe even a little bit after. This is good because my sister actually got Super Paper Mario for her birthday! That means I can use the game as a reference.

Second, I read that an hour in space is actually seven years on Earth. I know that Mr. L was not gone for seven years, so we're just gonna ignore science and say that he was gone for a number of Earth hours instead. (Mario games ignore science anyways. Just look at Super Mario Galaxy.)

And finally, to the person who sent that request: I'm glad you enjoy my writing and think I can do your idea justice, but no. Sorry. I don't take requests. Plus, I don't watch Dragon Ball Z. I haven't even played Superstar Saga, so I didn't understand what you were talking about for most of that. But I can tell you put a ton of thought into that idea. Maybe you should try writing it yourself?

But enough rambling. On to Chapter 3!

Chapter 3: Mixed Feelings

After checking the meeting room and finding no one there, Mr. L decided to check the next best place. He stood outside the Count's bedroom door and knocked. "Come in," The Count said.

The man in green opened the door. He entered a room that was twice as large as his own. The walls were covered in navy blue paint. There was a large bed in the center of the room with elegant purple blankets and two navy blue pillows. There was also a small nightstand and rectangular purple carpet on the left side of the bed. To the right, there was a dresser along with a full body mirror off to the side.

The Count was sitting on his bed, reading the Dark Prognosticus again. He looked up, then smiled and closed the book. After putting it on the nightstand, he said, "Ah, Mr. L. Count Bleck didn't think you would return so quickly. How did it go?"

"Not very well, Count." Then he explained what happened. He left out the part about wanting to protect the hero.

The Count frowned. "Count Bleck sees. So, the heroes defeated you."

Mr. L nodded. "Yes. I'm so sorry, Count. I tried my best! I just..." He stopped himself.

The Count raised an eyebrow. "You just...What, Mr. L?"

How would he explain his conflicting feelings towards the heroes? After a bit of thinking, Mr. L decided that he wouldn't explain them at all. He didn't like keeping secrets, especially from his master, but he had a feeling that it would be better to keep that part to himself.

He shrugged. "I just couldn't beat them. They were better than I expected."

The other man was quiet. Then he smiled. "Calm yourself, Mr. L. Count Bleck knew you would fail all along."

His eyes widened. "What?"

"The man in green shall reach the end of the Maze of Death. Though he will try to snuff the hero's flame, he will remember his own light and surrender in shame.' As told in the Dark Prognosticus." He glanced at the book on his nightstand and nodded.

"Oh. So...what was the point of sending me if you knew I would fail?"

"Count Bleck thought that you needed practice. Plus, you know how the heroes fight now. Did you study their movements?"

No. I was too busy trying to block out these stupid thoughts.

"Of course, Count."

"Excellent! Don't worry. The Count's minions have been failing their missions lately. Yours was just a minor setback. Count Bleck still has every intention of defeating the hero when the time comes."

Mr. L smiled. "Of course!"

Even though he was smiling, the man in green didn't feel right on the inside. It wasn't because he failed his mission. It was because Mr. L didn't want the Count to defeat the hero. He wanted Mario to be happy and safe and...

"Mr. L, are you alright?"

The Green Thunder nodded. "Yeah," He lied. "Why wouldn't I be?"

"You seem a bit...off somehow."

He laughed nervously. Was it really that obvious? "I'm just upset that the hero defeated me. That's all."

"Never mind about the hero. The situation is under control, Count Bleck assures you. Now you should probably get ready for bed."

Mr. L's eyes widened. "Bed!?" He glanced at his watch. "But it's only 2:30 in the afternoon!"

The Count shrugged. "Time goes by slower in space. This means you also missed lunch and dinner. You must be famished."

"Well, now that you mention it...I am a little hungry."

"Hmm. Well, then, you can wake one of King Bowser's former minions and ask them to serve you something. Some of them are surprisingly good at preparing meals."

Mr. L thought of the giant koopa who stole his shroom shake and called him a wimp. So, that's where the Count got his lower class minions. Count Bleck and Nastasia often talked about how some of the goombas and koopas around the castle used to serve a ferocious monster king. That is, until Nastasia brainwashed them. Mr. L secretly thought that it was plain wrong to manipulate someone like that, but it wasn't his place to judge.

"It's okay. I can whip something up. Good night, sir."

Mr. L turned around and started to leave. He opened the door and was about to step into the hall when the Count spoke. "Oh, and Mr. L? One more thing."

He turned to face him. "Yes?"

"Our next meeting is tomorrow at noon. Same place as always. Don't be late."

His eyes widened. "You mean...?"

The Count nodded. Mr. L had been asking if he could attend a meeting for weeks now. The Green Thunder beamed. "Thank you so much!"

After having a bowl of Spicy Soup, Mr. L started to get ready for bed. He dressed in his pajamas and washed his face. When he returned to his bedroom, he turned the lights off. However, instead of going to bed right away, he turned on the small lamp on his desk. This was his way of getting around Nastasia's annoying sleep schedules. Plus, after a long day, it was nice to do something for himself.

Mr. L pulled a book down from his bookshelf. Robotics 101: A Beginner's Guide. Then he sat down at his desk and opened the book. He skimmed the chapter titles in the table of contents, then skipped to the section about repairs and upgrades. His brother would need those things if Mr. L ever wanted to face the heroes again.

Half an hour later, the man in green shut the book. To his disappointment, there wasn't a whole lot of information in there that he didn't already know. "Oh well. This is a beginner's guide." He put the book back on the shelf. "I'll need to ask for a more advanced guide the next time we go shopping in the village. I've only built one machine, but I feel like I'm advancing faster than the average person. Not that I'm surprised. I am a fast learner." He paused. "At least...I think I am."

Mr. L sat at the desk, pondering. Most people remembered being small children or even toddlers. Mr. L couldn't even remember his last birthday. (He wasn't quite sure how old he was, but he felt that he was in his late twenties.) Whenever he brought up this problem to Nastasia, she would grow pale and change the subject. Something told him that she didn't want him to remember the past. But she couldn't stop him from wondering.

He was about to turn off the lamp when he noticed something in the corner of his eye. It was a dark green journal with the letter L on it. He smiled and grabbed it. "Oh, what the heck?"

Mr. L laid in bed and wrote about the day's events in his journal. This time, he didn't hold back. He wrote about how he loved and hated the hero for reasons that he couldn't understand. He wrote about how frustrating his amnesia was. And he also wrote about the meeting he would attend tomorrow afternoon. After he was done writing, he couldn't deny how tired he was anymore. He finally gave in and turned off the lamp. Then he got in bed and buried himself in his blankets, trying to forget about that stupid hero.

The next day, everyone was in the meeting room. Mr. L stood on his own platform. He was calm and collected on the outside, but on the inside, his heart was filled with joy and excitement. It wasn't the fact that he was at a meeting that made him feel this happy. These meetings were reserved for the Count's best minions. If the Count needed him this much, then he would be on another mission in no time.

After getting the boring stuff out of the way, Nastasia finally got to the real reason everyone was there. "Yeah. So, guys? Huddle up, 'kay? We're just gonna have a quick new minion orientation," She began. "His name is Mr. L, and he comes to us from one of our key competitors."

Mr. L stared at his friends: Mimi, O'Chunks, and Dimentio. Although he knew each of them had their own strengths and potential, the Green Thunder still felt like garbage after losing to the heroes. And when he felt bad about himself, he had the tendency to take it out on others.

"Mmm. Can't say I'm impressed by the minion quality," Mr. L began. He sighed and shook his head. "No, indeed. No wonder you've been trounced up to now. You're like junior minions."

O'Chunks glared. "JUNIOR!? C'mere an' I'll introduce yeh to Fist Jr. and his wee pal, Slappie!"

Mimi narrowed her eyes. "Gosh, Mr. L, but didn't you get pretty spanked too? So maybe you're the junior!"

The Green Thunder stepped back in shock. "Spanked, you say?" He only won because I was distracted.

Then he broke into a grin. Mr. L laughed. "I was scouting him, dear. He will be mine next time."

Mr. L spun around and did his trademark pose. "Yes, he shall know the fury of the one and only Mr. L, AKA the Green Thunder!" Then he returned to his normal standing position. "But enough about me...I need to head to the repair bay for Brobot modifications. L-ater!"

With that, he jumped down from his platform. He only had to stay long enough to introduce himself since it was his first meeting. That was alright though. He loved talking about himself.

As he was leaving, Mr. L heard Count Bleck speak. "Though the man in red shall wield formidable powers, one shall stand against him. The man in green shall use the Chaos Heart's power to bring darkness to all." The Count laughed. "So it is written in the Dark Prognosticus."

The man in green shut the door behind him and headed to the 'repair bay,' otherwise known as the garage. He and Brobot were connected in more ways than one. Brobot was installed with the same teleportation technology that Mr. L had in his belt. It was also set to turn on whenever this technology was used.

The Green Thunder went out the back door, then went to the garage in the back of the castle. He entered the four-digit code. The door slid open. Mr. L went to the light switch. He took a deep breath, then flipped it on. Brobot was in pieces in the center of the room.

His eyes widened. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. This was the price he had to pay for holding back. Mr. L went to the robot's pieces, then picked up one of Brobot's eyes. It had lost its bright yellow glow.

Mr. L frowned. "I'm sorry, fratello. I shouldn't have let them do this to you." He smiled. "But don't worry! I'll fix you right up! You'll be bigger, better! You'll..." His eyes lit up as an idea came to mind. Mr. L beamed. "YOU'LL HAVE MISSILES!"

"Missiles, huh?" A voice said.

Mr. L jumped. He turned to the source of the voice and glared. "You scared me!"

Dimentio was hovering a few feet away. He was wearing that stupid grin on his face. "I did? Oh. I apologize. I had no intention of scaring you."

Mr. L rolled his eyes. That apology didn't sound sincere. "What do you want?"

"I just wanted to watch you fix your robot, like an art student who has a deadline to meet."

The man in green tilted his head to the side. Dimentio loved to use similes in his everyday speech, but Mr. L couldn't understand this one. "In what way am I like an art student?"

"Brobot is a work of art, wouldn't you say?"

Mr. L smiled. "Well...when you put it that way..." He glanced at the pieces, then sighed. "You got on my good side, so I suppose you could watch. Just don't do anything stupid."

He sat down and sorted through the pile. He knew that he would have to replace several of his brother's parts, but he wanted to save as much money as possible by reusing what he could. Mr. L found his levers, one of which was snapped into two. He also found a few pieces of the engine, which he knew he would have to replace.

"So, I hear that you've met the man in red. What did you think of him?" Dimentio asked.

Mr. L cringed. "I hate him."

Dimentio laughed. "You do? Why's that?"

Because he makes me want to protect him and I don't know why.

"Because he's trying to sabotage the Count's plans to create a perfect world. Duh."

"I suppose you're right. What about the others? The princess and the koopa king?"

"I don't mind the princess so much. She's actually kinda cute. It's too bad we're enemies or I would ask her out. As for the koopa king, he's a total pain in the ass! Next time I see him, I'm gonna show him what for!"

The magician chuckled. "I see the heroes are firing you up, like a child with a terrible fever. Why don't we change the subject?"

"Please. If I think about those heroes anymore, I'll want to punch someone."

Dimentio didn't have to think for long. "So, at the meeting today, Nastasia said that you came to us from one of our key competitors. Do you know what she meant by that?"

Mr. L shrugged. He found Brobot's other eye and examined it. The glass exterior was shattered, but other than that, the eye was in good condition. If it was fixed, he could possibly reuse the eye. "As if I know."

"Do you remember anything about who you used to be?"

Mr. L's eyes widened. He turned to his friend. "Why are you asking?"

"I'm just curious. That's all.'

The Green Thunder rolled his eyes and turned back to Brobot's pieces. "Well, curiosity killed the cat."

"But satisfaction brought him back. People always forget that part."

"Whatever. Can you hand me that hot glue gun over there?"

Dimentio nodded and snapped his fingers. Suddenly, the hot glue gun was right next to where Mr. L was sitting. He smiled and grabbed it. "Thanks." With that, he began gluing his broken lever back into one.

Ten minutes later, Mr. L had all of Brobot's pieces in neat piles based on what functionality they had in the system. He smiled and nodded, satisfied with his work. Then he stood and walked towards the door that lead to the inside of the castle. "I'll be right back. I gotta use the toilet. Don't touch anything or you're dead."

Mr. L walked out of the garage and shut the door behind him. Dimentio chuckled. He knew the secrets of everyone in the castle, with the exception of one. This had to change. Dimentio snapped his fingers. Then a dark green journal appeared in his hand. The magician looked for a lock, but couldn't find any. His smile grew. This was easier than getting into Mimi's diary! He flipped to the most recent entry and began to read.

Entry #20: Another long day working for the Count. Sometimes, I feel like I should be doing something else with my time, but I'm not needed elsewhere. Anyway, I just got back from my first mission. A real mission, not carrying Mimi's shopping bags or taking care of the groceries like I have been for the past six weeks. Today, I finally got to face the hero.

I was so sure that I would win this fight. Instead, I lost. He defeated me and destroyed my metal brother. I have absolutely no reason to care about the hero. After all, he's the one getting in the way of the Count's plans. But for some reason...I feel like I know him from somewhere. Not only that, but I want to protect him. I know that the Count is going to defeat him one day. The end just seems to be getting closer and closer. Is it wrong to want a little more time? I mean, I still haven't figured out who I used to be before I met with Nastasia that day. What if my true family is out there, waiting for me with open arms? What if the Void kills them?

No, I shouldn't be thinking about such things right before bed. But I can't end this entry on that dark note. The Count invited me to a meeting tomorrow. I'm so excited. Don't get me wrong; I'm not actually looking forward to the meeting itself. Just the fact that he invited me proves my worth as one of his best minions. I hope it goes well. I need to work hard if I'm going to get another chance to fight the hero. Next time, I won't hold back. (The first step is to get a better Robotics guide when I have the time.)

Dimentio grinned from ear to ear. He knew something about Mr. L that few people in the castle did, not even Mimi or O'Chunks. Dimentio was one of the few people who knew that Mr. L's real name was Luigi and he was the fourth hero mentioned in the Light Prognosticus. The poor fool was just hypnotized into thinking he was one of Count Bleck's faithful servants. Dimentio almost pitied him. Almost.

Most of the time, Nastasia's hypnosis was so powerful that it was impossible to overcome. The only way that a person could be free again was to have the assistant undo it herself. However, since Luigi was one of the four heroes, he had incredible power inside of him. It was this same power that allowed Princess Peach to resist Nastasia's hypnosis, albeit for a short time. This power could also undo any brainwashing.

Nastasia was well aware of this and kept a close eye on the man in green. If he remembered his true self, then all of the Count's hard work would be for nothing. But Dimentio knew that she couldn't keep Mr. L in the dark forever. Memories would gradually start coming back. The feelings of love that Mr. L felt for the hero would only grow stronger. With time, the man in green would remember who he really was and turn on Count Bleck. If he reached that point, no one would be able to stop him. Of course, Dimentio would take care of things before that happened. But since it hadn't reached that point yet...

"Oh, my. This is interesting." He snapped his fingers. The journal teleported from the magician's hands to the room where he found it. The jester chuckled a little. "I wonder how I'll use this to my advantage."

If you don't remember, Spicy Soup is an actual dish in Super Paper Mario. Here, it's this world's equivalent to chicken noodle. Just spicier.

So, if you've also read Swirls of Black and Green, you'll notice some parallels with that story and this one. That's because I wrote the first chapter of this story while also working on SBG. However, they take place in the same timeline, meaning this is happening before all that shit in the next story happens. I'm also pleased to say that Dimentio will be a lot more involved with this story than the other one. He's not exactly a good person, but he's a fun character. I love how mischievous and clever he is. *cough* And this story may or may not have Mr. L x Dimentio later on. *cough cough*

Also, about Mr. L saying that he would ask Peach out. I don't actually ship them, but I can see him thinking about it. Remember this is BEFORE he met Daisy, so Peach looks like the best option right now. Of course, it will never happen, but you can't stop a man from dreaming. ;)

The end of all worlds is drawing near. Will Mr. L realize who he truly is? Or will the Count keep him restrained? Just how does Dimentio plan to use Mr. L's self doubt for his own benefit? Find out in Part 4! Coming whenever I feel like it! (Possibly in January 2018, since that's the rate I've been updating lately.)

-Colorful and Free