Disclaimer: I don't own Mario and all that jazz. But I do own the story, the personalities of Bowser's father and mother, and everything to do with his wife (name included, and though I would be flattered if someone else felt like using it, I'd still like them to ask permission first).

Author's Note: I came up with this story in 2006 and published it in 2007 following its prequel The Queen of the Koopas, (which I recommend reading before this fic, as it contains spoilers for QotK). However, I found Super Koopas immensely unsatisfactory as the first of my Super Koopa trilogy, and have edited it mercilessly since its publication; odds are, I will continue to tweak it in the future.

Super Koopas

The lightning split through the sky, throwing Koopa Castle into sharp relief for one blinding moment before it was swallowed up in the pitch-black night. It was the wet season in Dark Land so the great lava pools surrounding the fortress were crusted over, preventing the molten rocks from casting their angry red glow on the castle. With storm clouds filling the skies night and day, Dark Land certainly lived up to its name at this time of year, though this particular stormy evening seemed blacker than usual.

The castle was silent and dark, the candle brackets in the hallways left unlit by the servants who were waiting anxiously alongside the soldiers in the entrance hall for the arrival of the heir to the Koopa Kingdom's throne. Dragon-Koopa pregnancies, while incredibly short, were not pretty, with the females turning violent and unruly. Everyone was nervous; no one wanted to see Queen Clawdia Koopa less than her usual self – a picture of grace, kindness and perfection. And she had not disappointed them, forcing herself to remain civil though her instincts screamed otherwise.

Regardless, Chief Advisor Kamek Koopa had insisted no one was to see her for the week of her pregnancy except himself and her husband. Then, when she went into labour Kamek had the halls cleared, lest someone's mental image of the queen was marred by the echoing sound of her maternal pain. Without the care of the servants, the howling winds of the thunderstorm quickly blew through the glassless windows of the ancient castle, extinguishing the few torches that had been lit and plunging the citadel into total darkness, inside and out.

Even the birthing room was black, with one faint candle left flickering in the night, its feeble rays not even reaching the walls. Fifteen minutes ago they had started off with many lights, but as Clawdia painfully tried to lay her first egg, the flames flickered and died one after another in the damp and moldy air. Any other day, King Morton Koopa would have simply turned his head and re-lit the candles with his firebreath, but this night was different, and all he could do was stand and stare at the dimly lit scene before him.

He wanted to look away from his mate Clawdia, not bearing to see her shimmering rainbow hair plastered against her sweaty face, her perfect features lost in exhaustion and pain as she crouched panting and heaving on her bed. It sickened him to see her tail in the air, indecently exposing her hindquarters to Kamek. While he was Morton's closest and most trusted friend and ally, the King of the Koopas felt somewhat violated by the Magikoopa's view of the Koopa Queen.

Clawdia's body suddenly tensed up. Recognizing the contraction, Kamek once again instructed the female to push. Morton wrinkled his snout in mild disgust as his wife shuddered and screamed in pain and frustration, trying to evict the egg from her body, only to be unsuccessful once again. Her head fell back onto the pillows, "I'm sorry Kamek," she panted.

"It's okay, Your Highness," responded the Magikoopa. "You almost had it – next time it will be over for sure."

"I hope so," moaned Clawdia, closing her watering eyes and gulping in air as if she had just run a marathon.

Morton remained silent; he didn't even extend a comforting hand to his wife. He was just so anxious – so much was at stake this night. He was facing a war with the Mushroom Kingdom, and he needed to be sure he had an heir to go on in case he fell. If something went wrong – if Clawdia died – Morton didn't know what would happen. The people loved the queen as much as they respected and feared their king; if she was lost, they might not march into battle so easily. Then there was the fact that Morton had just robbed all the other members of his species of their royal titles and power, effectively forcing most of them out of the newly formed Koopa Kingdom: finding a new mate would be quite difficult.

Suddenly Clawdia breathed in sharply and went rigid. "Right, now push!" commanded Kamek from behind her.

The Koopa Queen held her breath and once again shuddered at the effort, and as she let out another echoing scream a blinding light appeared behind her.

"What?" gasped Morton as Clawdia went limp on the bed, her job finished as Kamek held up a brilliantly glowing white egg. Morton walked around the bed and took the egg; it was quite warm, and the fluids that had coated its shell were already evaporating away.

"Do you know what this means?" breathed Kamek in wonder as he passed on the egg. "The child that hatches from that egg will be nearly invincible, and more powerful than any other Dragon-Koopa alive."

"The light, it signifies his great energy?" pondered Morton, examining the egg, knowing that the baby would be a male from the egg's lack of spots (a characteristic of female eggs only).

"Yes," said Kamek. "It is a rare condition known as Near-Immortality, I don't think there's been a case of it for two generations. This child, he will be a great warrior, and if I may be so bold, I predict he will also be a great leader. Perhaps even greater than you – the most powerful King of the Koopas we have ever seen, second to none but Queen Koopa of ancient lore."

Morton smiled at the thought. "The kingdom shall rejoice at that. My second victory: first unifying the Koopa people of Dark Land, now delivering to them a heir, powerful beyond our wildest dreams."

"In your wildest dreams perhaps," Morton looked around. He had nearly forgotten Clawdia, the perfect mother of his perfect egg. She had propped herself up and was now kneeling on the bed and while she still looked tired, she reached out and took the glowing egg from Morton, holding it aloof and watching as the white light it emitted reached all corners of the room. "Myself, I never thought our child could be anything more or less than what he is. And what he is, is our son, Bowser Koopa."

-xxxxx-

Two months later as old weaponry was being taken out of storage in preparation for Morton's war with the Mushroom Kingdom, an inanimate Bonsai Bill exploded. It took out the castle foundations and killed the hundreds of Koopas that had been inside it, including Morton and Clawdia. Kamek had the good fortune of being out at the time, only to return and find the sole survivor of the cataclysm was Bowser – the egg that still glowed with the magic that had spared it from death.

The power continued to fill Bowser as he hatched and grew from a child to an adult, but despite his immense energy and his Near-Immortality, the Dragon-Koopa never found greatness. He was defeated at nearly everything he did by two human plumbers: Mario Mario and Luigi Mario. All Kamek had taught him in his childhood was wasted as the Koopa Prince (and later the Koopa King) was beaten down time and time again by the plumber twins.

No matter what the Koopas did, Mario and Luigi would find some way to beat them. The people hated Bowser for always losing, yet still going back for more, and bringing about the pointless deaths of countless Koopan soldiers and civilians alike. It wasn't determination but stupidity in their eyes that Bowser did all this, and they ridiculed his reason for it all: his hopeless love for the Mushroom Kingdom's Princess Peach Toadstool.

Even Kamek felt like a fool for predicting that hapless Bowser would have grown to be the greatest Koopa King of all time. He rued the day Morton died, and joined in with the people's bitter feelings towards Bowser Koopa, as the ill-fated king led the Koopas down a dark and winding road to ruin and despair.