Author's Note: Yes, I know this is late... Again. That's for two reasons: First, schoolwork is evil, especially when you take two AP classes. Second, if you haven't checked out my 'homepage' in my bio as of late, you should do so now. With the help of fellow fanfiction author AnT, we've begun an awsome Mario RP forum! Things are still starting up, so if you wanna join, now's the time! Sales pitch aside, getting that sucker started took up a lot of time, hense the delay. Regardless, I hope you enjoy this chapter!
The sun had already set by the time Mario and crew arrived at the Studios. The foursome quickly made their way towards Fantasmic!, Mario leading the way.
"Come on, guys!" Mario called out, urging them on, "The show starts in thirty minutes!"
"Momma mia," Luigi panted, "what's the rush? If we've still got thirty minutes, we can relax a bit, right?"
"Actually," Mario corrected, "this show's popular… Really popular. The amphitheater fills up to capacity almost every night, and that's usually long before the show actually starts!"
Sure enough, he was right. As the group reached the entrance to the amphitheater Fantasmic! was hosted in, one could already see hundreds of people going in! Thankfully, the group was to weave their way through the crowds with relative ease. Regardless, though, the pathway leading from the entrance of Fansasmic! to the actual amphitheater itself was a long one.
"Phew! This is really a hike!" Peach gasped.
"Well, it takes up an awful lot of real estate," Daisy explained, "You see, this show was originally in Disneyland, staged on the Rivers of America and people would watch it from the shoreline around Frontierland and New Orleans Square. Unfortunately, that caused a major traffic issue whenever the show started, causing people who wanted to keep going on rides and stuff to force their way through the audience. When they brought it here, they built this huge amphitheater for it to avoid that problem. Of course, they couldn't just plop something like that in the middle of the park, so they have it here on the outskirts, hence the long road leading to it."
Peach just looked at her fellow princess.
"How'd you know all that?"
"That guide book you gave me on the plane!" Daisy replied.
Peach thought back to when she gave Daisy the guide book. That was all the way since before they were even in Disney World, and now it was already their last night. It was incredible how quickly time flew by…
"Hey! Peach! We're here!"
Peach quickly snapped back to reality upon hearing Mario's voice.
"Oh, we are?"
"Yep! Look: there's the amphitheater!"
The group was currently in the very back of the amphitheater, looking down on everything below them. Before them was a massive stage, separated from the audience by a huge moat. At the moment, there was nothing on the stage except a huge mountain as a backdrop. On the other side of the moat was dozens of very long bleachers that were sitting hundreds of people. As more and more people filled in the seats, it was starting to look like there would be standing room only!
"Great galloping goombas, Mario, you weren't kidding!" Luigi hollered in disbelief, "We do have to hurry! I don't think there's a seat left!"
The foursome quickly began searching for some open spaces as close to center as possible. Thankfully, they didn't have to look for long. As luck would have it, there were four empty spots right in the centermost set of bleachers. They quickly got situated and began to relax.
"So… Now what?" Daisy asked.
"Simple…" Mario replied, letting out a huge sigh, "We wait for the show!"
Unbeknownst to anyone in the group, they were being watched. Bowser and his son were hiding in the shadows, chuckling to themselves as they watched the foursome chat and wait for Fantasmic! to begin.
"There they are, Pops!" Bowser Jr. called out, "They're all sitting ducks! Come on, let's cream 'em!"
"Wait, Son!" Bowser interrupted, "We still have to be stealthy about this… If we can just take Mario out, everyone else will fall easily, even if we have to wait until they get back to the Mushroom Kingdom to get rid of 'em!"
"Fine, fine…" Jr. grumbled, "I still wanna beat 'em all up, though…"
Bowser reached into the back of his shell and pulled out a magic wand. It was one of those shape-shifting ones he 'borrowed' from all the royalty in the surrounding Mushroom World when he sent out his Doom Ships in full force that one time. He began patting it in his hand as he glanced down at his son, who was still glaring at Mario and co.
"So, Pops…" the little brat continued, not noticing the wand in Bowser's hand "How are we gonna get Mario out of the way, anyhow?"
"I'll explain it to ya in a second, but first…" he held the wand up, "You're gonna need a disguise."
Bowser Jr. turned around just in time to see the spell hit him.
Mario quickly came to the conclusion that Fantasmic! was, indeed, one of the best things in Walt Disney World. The show had only been going on for about fifteen minutes at this point, but already he was certain of this fact. The plotline of the show had been relatively simple so far: it was all about Mickey Mouse's dreams and imagination. However, it was all told though fireworks, laser lights, and a sort of 'mist screen' where water from the moat was shot into the air and images were projected on it. It was, without a doubt, some of the best special effects Disney had. The show was reaching a turning point, though: Maleficent was none to happy with Mickey's happy dreams, and was about to set out with a bunch of other villains to turn them into nightmares. However, at this point, Mario felt someone tap him on the shoulder. Turning around, he noticed Cast Member standing behind him, motioning to him.
"Uh… Sorry to bother you sir…" the Cast Member said (in an oddly familiar voice…), "But can we see you for a second?"
Mario glanced at Luigi, Peach, and Daisy, who were all looking at him, trying to figure out what was going on.
"Don't worry guys, I'm sure it's nothing," Mario assured before turning back to the Cast Member, "Okie-dokie, I'll come."
Mario got up and followed him out of the amphitheater, leaving the remaining trio a bit confused, but otherwise fine.
"That's weird…" Luigi muttered, "I hope everything's alright."
"Me too…" Peach agreed, "What would they want with Mario?"
"Aw, listen to the man! Don't worry about it!" Daisy replied, "What's the worst it could be? Bowser?"
Mario began to get the feeling that something wasn't quite right when the Cast Member led him backstage into a room that seemed to be underneath the Fantasmic! stage. Looking around, it appeared to be the place where they kept all the pyrotechnics: fireworks were lying around virtually everywhere.
"Um… Okay, what's going on?" Mario demanded, "Something's seriously wrong here!"
"Heh, heh… Nothing is wrong… Mario," the Cast Member hissed, "You're just about to be blown into oblivion, that's all."
Suddenly, there was a blinding flash, and in an instant, the 'Cast Member' revealed his true form: Bowser Jr.!
"What!?" Mario shouted, quickly getting into a fighting stance, "Bowser Jr.!? What are you doing here!? Shouldn't you be at home with your dad?"
"Oh, don't worry about that…" another very familiar voice came from the shadows, "Daddy wouldn't let his kid go somewhere as big as Disney World all by himself…"
Then, Bowser came lumbering out from behind a pile of firecrackers.
"Man, you're really dense, you know that?" Bowser laughed, waving the wand in the air, "You fell for my son in a dorky Disney disguise because of this magic wand? What, did you eat a bowl of stupid for breakfast?"
"Actually, I thought I did a pretty good job…" Bowser Jr. mumbled under his breath, although no one else heard him.
"Knock it off, Bowser!" Mario shouted, glaring daggers at the father/son duo, "What are you two doing here?"
"It's very simple, Mario…" Bowser replied with a chuckle, "It's the same thing we've been trying to do to you this entire trip: blow you off the map while your guard was down!"
Mario raised an eyebrow.
"Wait… You've been trying to do this the entire trip?"
"Yeah! You got a problem with that!?"
"Well, you must've done a pretty lousy job!" Mario retorted, taking his turn to laugh, "Except maybe for those bob-ombs in DisneyQuest, we didn't even notice your antics at all!"
This did not settle well for Bowser. He let out a huge roar and, although very risky considering all the flammable objects in the immediate vicinity, expelled a huge plume of flame.
"Oh yeah? Well, subtlety is gone now, buddy!" Bowser growled, "It's just you verses us now, and unlike Mickey Mouse upstairs, this battle ain't staged in your favor!"
"Fine… If that's the case…"
Mario ripped off his suit and tossed it to the side, not wanting it to get dirty. Incredibly enough, he had his traditional red-and-blue outfit on underneath the entire time.
"I'll show you, Bowser! This is our vacation and Peach's birthday, and I'm not gonna let you ruin it!"
Bowser just took a moment to adjust his neck, which was accompanied by a loud 'CRACK!'.
"Bring it on, Mario! This is going to be the happiest place on earth… When I remove you from it!"
"Yeah!" Bowser Jr. agreed, "And we're gonna take Momma Peach back, too!"
And then the battle began.
Mario ran in to try and get a hit on Bowser, but he quickly had to retreat when the Koopa King used his fire breath. Unfortunately, he stumbled right into Bowser Jr., who tripped him up and sent him flying into a crate of fireworks. The danger in this fight was clear: one misstep on Bowser's part, and this entire room would get blown up!
However, if Bowser was concerned about this, he certainly wasn't showing it. He dived for Mario, who frantically rolled off the fireworks as the giant turtle smashed into them. Thankfully, none of them went off, but it was only a matter of time…
"Hey, Bowser!" Mario called out, "You sure you wanna fight here? I don't think both of us getting blow into the Overthere would exactly qualify as a Stalemate!"
"Ha! I've been blown up about twenty times already on this blasted trip!" the Koopa King retorted, "Another batch of bombs isn't gonna hurt me! You on the other hand…"
Mario leaped out of the way as Bowser used his flame breath once more. Afterwards, he ran in to try and deliver a blow, but Bowser Jr. leaped in the way and walloped Mario in the face with his shell, sending the plumber sprawling back into a wall.
"Yeah! Take that, Mario!" Bowser Jr. taunted, "When we're through with you, you're gonna be packing your bags and moving into the Haunted Mansion!"
Mario slowly got to his feet and tried to get his bearings back. In the meantime, he could hear Fantasmic! still going on above. All this was going on… And no one else noticed? He shook his head and quickly got back into a fighting position. If he was gonna fight Bowser like this, he might as well keep it discrete!
He ran at the monster turtle and, finally, managed to land a blow. The punch sent Bowser tumbling backwards into another rack of fireworks, but once again, none went off. Bowser Jr. quickly tried to sneak an attack in, but Mario was on guard this time and dodged out of the way, which caused the spoiled prince to just hit the ground face-first.
Meanwhile, Mario could feel the whole room rumble. He wasn't quite sure what it was, but if the promotional videos were any indication, he had a pretty good idea what was going on upstairs: Dragon Maleficent was coming out onto the stage, threatening Mickey in the final showdown.
Heh, Disney always makes these good vs. evil fights seem so easy… Mario thought to himself.
As he was pondering this (and while the Bowser duo was getting back up onto their feet), Mario noticed something else happening: the roof of the room was opening up… Fireworks were about to be launched! This caused an idea to run though Mario's mind: Didn't the villain from Mulan get killed by a launched firecracker?...
His thought process was interrupted when he got punched in the face, courtesy of Bowser. The blow sent him flying across the room, hitting the ground hard, and sliding along the floor for a few yards before hitting something metal. While shaking the Power Stars out of his head, Mario observed what, exactly, he had hit: a series of 'cannons' designed to launch the pyrotechnics.
Mario leaped to his feet, back against the silos, and waited for Bowser to lunge at him. Sure enough, he did, claws out, fangs bared, and nostrils smoking.
"Time to put an end to your vacation, Mario!"
"No…" Mario replied, "It's time to put an end to yours!"
He dropped to the ground so that the Koopa King, who was aiming a bit higher, went over him. Then, with a somersault kick like the ones he did during the Strikers tournaments, Mario delivered a hit to Bowser's chest, sending the turtle over the top of the cannons… and landing head-first into one!
"What the… HEY! GET ME OUTTA HERE!" Bowser screamed, his feet wiggling comically in the air.
"Don't worry…" Mario assured, putting his dress jacket back on and dusting the sleeves off, "You'll be outta there in a few minutes. I'm sure of it."
Unfortunately, the heroic plumber forgot to take into account Bowser Jr. He was promptly reminded of this fact when he suddenly found a small reptile latched to his face, as if he was trying to claw it off.
"You big meanie!" Bowser Jr. pouted, "You get my daddy outta there right now!"
Mario, already quite tired of all this (and not wanting to mess up his outfit), simply reached out for a crowbar lying on one of the crates and bopped the spoiled brat over the head with it. In an instant, he was out cold on the floor. He picked the limp body up and tossed it into the silo next to Bowser.
"Like father, like son…" Mario mumbled as he turned to leave, "Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a show to watch."
By the time Mario rejoined Luigi, Peach, and Daisy, Mickey had just defeated Maleficent (and all the other villains) and the grand finale was about to begin.
"There you are, Mario!" his brother called out, "What happened? You missed all the exciting stuff!"
Mario let out a weak laugh and sat back down.
"Trust me, Luigi, I think I've had enough excitement for one day."
"Goodness, Mario, you're all sweaty!" Peach gasped, "What happened?"
"Oh nothing…" the plumber replied, "Another guest had a… Heated argument with me, but it's all fine now."
"You sure?" Daisy asked.
Mario paused and watched the finale. Sorcerer Mickey was standing at the very top of the mountain, 'conducting' the water and light effects below him while a triumphant score played. In the background, all sorts of fireworks were going off and, although it was hard to tell over the music, he could've sworn he heard someone shouting, "CURSE YOU MARIO!!!" as the fireworks shot into the sky and exploded.
"Yeah…" Mario replied, letting out a smile, "I'm sure."