Disclaimer: I don't own Bowser or any other characters in this story. Also, the procedures for transforming MM294 were provided to me by my Biology teacher, with supplementary information stemming from DNA Science, by Micklos & Freyer, 1990.
Author's Notes: After almost a year-long hiatus, my computer spontaneously decided to start supporting this site again! And even though it's exam time at school and I don't have time to write anything, I just so happened to write this story a couple months ago for my Biology class! That being said, please bear through the parts that get a bit heavy on the science and jargon, because the story's worthwhile. However, I did get 100 on the assignment, so if you're planning on taking high school biology, you might just find this story helpful as well as entertaining! Rated T for violence.
Bowser and the Transformation of MM294
The three children were rigid with attention, standing around a small lab bench in a semicircle, their eyes fixed on the steaming Erlenmeyer Flask in the tallest boy's claws. His name was Iggy Koopa, the middle-child in King Bowser Koopa's brood of offspring collectively known as the Koopalings, many of which looked nothing like their siblings. Being Dragon-Koopas, they all had the same basic features: arms, legs, stubby tails barely visible under the rim of their spiked turtle-like shells, teeth, claws, the works. Of course, like humans, these basic features aren't consistent throughout the family, and without knowing them, few would guess the Koopalings were related at all.
Iggy was the only one of his siblings to have teal facial scales and a shell of the same colour, his two companions, Ludwig and Lemmy were both green. Like Iggy, Lemmy had a rainbow mohawk atop his head, while Ludwig's hair was wild, puffy, and blue. Iggy's large fangs stuck out from the corners of his mouth, but any menace was lost on his thick, round glasses that magnified his steel grey eyes to gargantuan proportions. Lemmy's eyes were large but with beady pupils, though that was the least of his problems: he was a runt, and would scarcely be taller than his brothers' shoulders if it weren't for the star-covered ball he balanced atop 24/7. Ludwig too, had issues. His front teeth had been fused by an unlucky mutation and he would sport a lisp if he hadn't taken to speaking with a German accent, in honor of his namesake and idol, Ludwig von Beethoven.
"Now, add zee Xenon tetrafluoride," instructed Ludwig.
"Yes, I know," said Iggy, rolling his eyes at his eldest brother before taking a test tube filled with small crystals from a rack. He turned it on its side and started to tap the crystals down towards the end of the tube and the bubbling red liquid below. Bit by bit, the rocks rolled, nearing the edge. One wrong move and it could be disastrous, not that these kids were strangers to danger: they lived in a castle surrounded by molten lava in a country made up of mostly active volcanoes. Also, the Koopalings quarreled often, and sibling rivalry involving fire-breath, magic wands and lighting powers is much more destructive than that of humans and other simple creatures.
A crystal reached the precipice with a whole pile millimeters behind. One more tap and-
Iggy jumped and crystals poured out of the tube, splashing into the liquid which promptly exploded.
"Ahhh!!" shrieked the three Koopalings, leaping backwards and covering their heads with their arms as drops of corrosive chemicals flew through the air around them. It splattered on the grey brick walls and the red-carpeted floor, where the drops stuck and hissed evilly.
"What are you kids doing?" asked Bowser incredulously, standing in the open doorway and staring at the mess before him.
"Experimenting," smiled Lemmy, hopping back onto his ball, unscathed and unbothered by the mishap.
"A better kvestion," grumbled Ludwig, "is vat are you doing, fazzer, smashing open zee doorvay like zat."
"Yeah, didn't you see the sign?" said Iggy, pointing to the plaque still swinging from a nail in the door.
"'Knock Before Entering,'" read Bowser, before turning to his kids, "this is my castle, so why should I waste my time reading?"
"Uh, so something like this doesn't happen," said Iggy, holding out his arms to invite his father to observe his ruined room. While never a clean place, Iggy's domain had always had some level of order. The piles of machinery he loved to tinker with had been piled in one corner-table, but were now toppled over in an unwieldy heap on the surrounding floor. His lab bench was covered in chemicals, only now they were free to mix and react, instead of being housed in test tubes, beakers and other assorted containers, all of which were now smashed around the room, the broken shards of glassware making the carpet sparkle dangerously. A breeze wafted in through the shattered window, making the smells of a hundred concoctions fill the smoky room.
"Oh this? This is nothing, I'll tell Kammy to clean it up later, but first I wanna show you guys something," said Bowser, carelessly dooming his thankless Chief Advisor to a very nasty chore. Sure, Kammy was one of the most powerful Magikoopas in Dark Land; and yes, her witch's magic was surpassed by none but her brother Kamek; but still, some of the chemicals dripping onto Iggy's floor would require some hefty spells to remove. And poor Kammy, as loyal as she was decrepit, would solder through it without a word of complaint to her dear King.
So, without a second thought, Bowser turned from the doorway and marched down the hallway. His children, having leapt over the worst of the mess, followed hot on his heels.
"So, whatcha going to show us?" asked Iggy.
"I've got a great plan to finish-off Mario!" announced Bowser, grinning. There were very few things that cheered the Koopa King more than the prospect of defeating his arch-nemesis. For years, Mario had been foiling every one of Bowser's plots, whether he was trying to take over a neighbouring country or kidnap the beautiful Princess Peach, with whom both the heroic plumber and the megalomaniac Koopa King were enamoured.
"Vat is it?" asked Ludwig.
"You'll see in a moment," said Bowser peering over the rim of his spiked green shell with a gleaming red eye. The three Koopalings fell silent, each pondering what "brilliant" new idea their father had. He wasn't known for being a genius; on the contrary, most people felt he was rather simple. After all, how could a creature as powerful and determined as Bowser lose to an overweight plumber time and time again? The people of the Koopa Kingdom thought less of their King each time he forced Mario to come after Princess Peach, and therefore, each time he forced his hapless soldiers into an unwinnable battle. He used to have the Koopalings fight as well, but there had been enough near-misses to convince him his children were better off away from the plumber, no matter how verbosely they complained.
Therefore, it was no surprise that Ludwig, Iggy and Lemmy were eager to help their father; he might not let them fight anymore, but anyway they could bring about victory for him and his people was better then nothing.
Bowser came to a stop and resting a large, meaty hand on the handle of the door nearest door, turned to face three of his kids. "Ludwig, Iggy, my two most smartest sons-"
"Hey!" interrupted Lemmy, "what about me?"
"Oh, uh, right," said Bowser sheepishly, peering down at the runt, "uh, Lemmy, my most, uh, balancing-est, er-"
"Uh, just forget it!" snapped Lemmy, his sunny disposition quaffed by his indignity, "I've got better things to do anyway."
With that he turned and sped off down the hall, tears streaming from his eyes as he rounded the bend. Ludwig, Iggy and Bowser stared after him, blinking in surprise.
"He hasn't been the same since we went to Vibe Island," mused Iggy.
"Whatever, he'll get over it," shrugged Bowser, turning back to the door, "as I was saying, Ludwig, Iggy, behold!"
He slammed the door open with another CRASH!! Revealing a medical lab. There were micropipettors and racks of eppendorf tubes carefully lain along the spotless counters alongside a centrifuge, a spectroscope, and a massive fishtank in which floated a big blue jellyfish.
"Is zat Jerry?" asked Ludwig uncertainly as Bowser walked over to the tank.
"Yeah," said Bowser nonchalantly as he lifted the lid off Jerry's abode.
"Does Larry know you took him?" asked Iggy, conscious of the fact that his little brother was rather protective of his pets.
Bowser ignored the question, "okay, so I was helping Roy with his homework-"
"Wait a minute! You were helping him? Since when did you start helping us with our studies?" demanded Iggy.
"And since ven did Kamek start assigning homevork?" scoffed Ludwig, "all our vork is homevork."
"He was going off to the Beanbean Kingdom for his yearly retreat, and Kammy doesn't teach you guys Biology so he left Roy some sheets on bacteria transformation," explained Bowser, screwing up his face as he regurgitated Biotechnology jargon.
"I remember zat unit," smiled Ludwig, "fun times."
"Yeah well, I didn't get much of it, but Roy was being a pain and I figured if I looked it over he'd stop pestering me about it," said Bowser, "I mean, how am I supposed to know what an inuculating loop is?"
"Its pronounced 'inoculating'," interjected Iggy.
Bowser growled at the impudence, but pressed on with his story, "anyway, reading his textbook, I got this great idea, see, there's this protein, right, and it makes stuff glow green under UV light, or something."
"Yeah, Green Fluorescent Protein, or GFP," said Ludwig, turning to Iggy, "it's cool, zey've inserted zee gene for GFP into loads of sings to make zem glow green; like mice, and monkeys."
"And bacteria," said Bowser, "so, I was thinking, Mario's a always getting filthy dirty when he comes through, right? So, when he approaches the castle we could dump a big bucket of glowing bacteria on his head, but they wouldn't be glowing at that point and he wouldn't care that he's wet and come right in. And then we'd turn on the right lights, and use those special Bullet Bills you designed, Iggy."
"The ones with the light sensors? But they're just prototypes, they don't work, they smash into the faintest light. I tried them out in the dungeons, and-"
"Yeah, yeah, Johnson's gotten over it, you should to. Your missiles will work fine, since we'd turn off all the normal lights and Mario'd stick out like a sore thumb in the UV and they'd have no choice but to go after him!"
"Hmmm, zat's not half-bad, actually," said Ludwig.
"I guess…" murmured Iggy.
"Yeah," said Bowser brightly, "it's a great plan. And I even thought out the details. I don't know much about transforming bacteria – that's your job – but I do know about that protein. It comes from jellyfish, so all we need is some of Jerry's DNA and…"
But Iggy and Ludwig were too late; Bowser plunged his arm into the tank and seized Jerry, who promptly wrapped the King's fingers with his tentacles and shocked him. Unfortunately for Bowser, Jerry wasn't your average Jellyfish; he didn't just sting his assailants, he electrocuted them.
Thus Bowser learned the hard way that not all Jellyfish glow because of GFP.
Iggy and Ludwig explained to their father that they could simply order bacterial plasmids recombined with the jellyfish gene coding for GFP. Irritated that he didn't think of it himself, Bowser sent Kammy to retrieve the pGLO plasmids from the University of Koopa, and gave Jerry back to Larry.
"Next time, label your electric pets," he had grumbled to his second-youngest son, "and teach them who's the boss: me!"
Larry, never one for words, merely nodded and gave Jerry an extra helping of chopped Cheep-Cheep once "the boss" had left.
Shortly after Kammy departed, Ludwig and Iggy ran into another hitch in Bowser's plan: the castle's doctors didn't stock bacteria feasible to the experiment.
"Don't worry, Roy and I already thought of that," said Bowser, shuffling over to the kitchen fridge after the two Koopalings had shared their problem with him, having finally tracked him down snacking in the kitchen.
Iggy and Ludwig exchanged a worried look, the former then spoke up, "uh, you told Roy?"
"Why not?" shrugged Bowser, rifling through the refrigerator, "it was his homework that gave me the idea."
"And how did he suggest you procure bacteria for us?" asked Ludwig, cocking an eyebrow; Roy was as renowned for his scientific genius as his father.
"Well bacteria are everywhere, and there was a page about collecting them in Roy's book, sooo…" said Bowser, spinning around to show his kids what looked like a petri dish containing a layer of semi-solid green agar (a substance used to grow bacteria on that's supposed to be hard and yellow). In-turn, the decomposing agar was covered in horrendous, multi-coloured, misshapen, numerous, bulging colonies oozing with festering bacteria.
The two Koopalings reeled away from the pathogenic agar plate. "Ugh! Get that away from us!" said Iggy, aghast.
"Why? We got lots of good bacteria! See?" said Bowser, opening the dish.
"Vhat are you DOING?" yelped Ludwig, "close zat!"
"Or better yet-" said Iggy, slapping the dish out of Bowser's claws with a ladle he had snatched from a nearby counter. It clattered to the ground, sending the liquefying agar splattering onto the floor. Not wasting a moment, the bespectacled Koopaling spat a fireball at the mar, incinerating the offending material in an instant.
"What'd you do that for?" growled Bowser.
"It vas dangerous," explained Ludwig, "who knows vat sorta bacteria vere growing on zat plate, it could've been teeming vit infectious pazzogens."
"Huh?" grunted Bowser, "you were fine with working with bacteria yesterday."
"With MM294, yes, but not with whatever random bacteria you and Roy happened to scrape off the floor," huffed Iggy.
"Now, now, we're not stupid," growled Bowser, crossing his arms hotly, "everyone knows public washrooms are the most filled with germs."
"You got that stuff from the- No wait, forget it, I don't wanna know," said Iggy, throwing out his hands.
"Yes, it vas bad enough zat he vas keeping zat cesspool in zee fridge," muttered Ludwig, "vee'll have to tell zee chef…"
"Huh? What're you talking about Ludwig?" demanded Bowser.
"Nozzing, just asking Iggy vere vee're going to get some proper bacteria," lied Ludwig.
"Hmph, you could've asked me," huffed Bowser.
"No need," said Iggy, saving his brother an earful, "we can order the bacteria like we ordered the pGLO."
"Well why didn't you say-so earlier?" said Bowser exasperatedly, "we could've got Kammy to get them at the same time."
"Bah!" said Bowser, shrugging off his sons' mistake, "she'll just have to go to the University twice."
And with that, he left, munching on the piece of cake he had swiped from the fridge before Iggy and Ludwig had found him in the kitchen.