Fortunately for Iggy, his eldest brother wasn't quite as sadistic as the other Koopalings, and spared him from making the overnight culture. Instead, Iggy went to supervise the preparation of the battle chambers; the cavernous interior section of the box-like Koopa Castle. These rooms could be pumped full of lava or drained into seemingly bottom-less pits. They could be connected with a maze of warp pipes or the walls could be removed, forming a massive chamber that is, more often than not, swarming with Bowser's soldiers. Every time Bowser was about to kidnapped Peach, he would have the battle chambers remodeled, so the Princess' plumbers wouldn't grow accustomed to his trap-laden castle. After all, the Koopa King valued every second the Princess was his "guest", he loved her, and he would do anything in his power to make sure she remained that way longer. Even if it was as trivial as rearranging the furniture.
In fact, the Koopan soldiers were so practiced at these refurbishings that they had completed most of the preparations by the next morning. All that was left was to rig up a couple moving platforms, fill the trenches with Cheep Cheep-infested water (they couldn't use lava because its glow would mess up the UV sensors in the Bullet Bills), and adjust the lighting; though Iggy was in-charge of this last item. In fact, he was just about to test out the lights with the modified missiles actually activated when Ludwig came into the control room.
"Hello," he said.
"Hi," responded Iggy, not looking up from the terminal he was working at.
Ludwig walked over beside Iggy and looked out through the picture window above the control panels. Since all the battle chambers had been merged into one (to give the Bullet Bills more time and space to chase Mario), he could see the entire inner section of the castle. The workers looked like tiny ants from the room, which was situated near the ceiling, still, Ludwig could make out various species: Koopa Troopa foot-soldiers, some skeletal Dry Bones, and even some Magikoopas.
"Uh… she's off using her crystal ball to locate Peach and the Mario Bros." said Iggy, "did ya hear? King Dad plans to head out this afternoon!"
"Yeah, he told me ven I showed him zee overnight culture."
"How'd that turn out?"
"Great," smiled Ludwig, "bright green, even wizzout zee UV light, zough I guess zat's a bit pointless, since zee LB/AMP/ARA bross is already green…"
"Yeah," said Iggy looking sideways at Ludwig, he then notices something amiss and craned his head around, "where are the bacteria anyway?"
"Fazzer took zem to his Clown Car after I showed zem to him after breakfast, he's gonna drop zeir container on zee Mario Bros. as zey approach zee castle: he'll fly in, and BOOSH!"
"Heh heh, cool."
"I guess, zough it sounds a bit more like a prank vee'd pull, zen one of Fazzer's 'sinister plots'."
"The only thing sinister about it is how fast he's making me work!" sighed Iggy, "if it were up to me, I'd test the Bullet Bills in the UV light after everyone's cleared out, but he says that will take too long."
"Vat about zee radiation?" asked Ludwig concernedly.
"The Goombas are the only things that don't have natural protection, so I sent them all away hours ago," shrugged Iggy.
"Good," mused Ludwig, watching his brother turn on the intercom.
"Okay everyone, I'm turning off the main lights again, the Bullet Bills'll be activated this time, so absolutely NO ONE make anything light up. If King Dad has to postpone today's kidnapping he'll be seriously ticked-off," warned Iggy. The windows were one-way and invisible to the workers, so no one bothered looking up at the announcement. However, when a Koopaling's saying something in Castle Koopa, you listen, and squinting about the room, Ludwig could see wands being unlit, and torches extinguished.
Iggy gave the Troops a moment to blacken themselves before typing something into a monitor imbedded in the terminal and flicking five switches in succession. Section by section, the battle chamber went pitch black.
"See anything?" asked Iggy, scanning through the darkness before him.
"No," said Ludwig, "but's it's hard vit zee glare on zee vindows…"
"Fine," grumbled Iggy, typing something else into the panel and flicking yet another toggle, turning off the lights in the observation room too.
"Zat's better," said Ludwig, but Iggy wasn't listening, instead he was once more fiddling with the tiny computer screen. He pushed enter on the keyboard and the chamber was bathed in eerie blue light. Now, the Koopalings could pick out the basic outlines of the chamber's obstacle-course-like layout. With this faint light to guide them, the workers were once again moving, though without their magic or tools, they weren't doing much useful work.
"Vere are zee UV lights?" asked Ludwig, leaning forward so he could see the ceiling of the chamber, which was devoid of any light at all.
"They're up there," explained Iggy, "we put magic cloaks over them, it lets light through coming from the bulbs, but it doesn't let you actually see it coming out.
"Strange," mused Ludwig.
"I don't get it, actually," admitted Iggy, before turning on the intercom one more and addressing the workers below, "alright, I'm activating the Bullet Bills now, in a few minutes, you can go back to your work."
"VAIT!" yelped Ludwig, but he was too late.
Iggy paled, his finger still resting on the key he had just pressed on the pad, "what's wrong?"
"Zat!" cried Ludwig, pointing to a group of wavering green lights in the gloom.
Iggy pressed his snout against the glass, fingering his glasses to try and augment their magnification, "it looks like… King Dad!"
Indeed, Bowser was strolling through the darkness, totally unaware that his snout and hands were coated in glowing bacteria.
"Vere are zee Bullet Bills positioned?" demanded Ludwig.
"The far wall," said Iggy hurriedly, flipping on the intercom once more, "King Dad! Whatever you do, don't turn around!"
"Huh?" grunted Bowser, his rumbling voice echoing through the battle chamber as he stopped and looked back over his shoulder. Big mistake. With an ominous 'BEEP! BEEP!' noise, one of the Bullet Bills caught sight of the King's glowing nose, and roared out of the wall, it's fiery trail lighting up the room.
"No!" shrieked Iggy, staggering away from the window as sparks danced in front of his dazzled eyes.
"Shut it off!" ordered Ludwig, watching in horror as Bowser flung himself onto the ground to avoid the missile.
"I can't!" said Iggy, rubbing his face, "once they're launched, it's too late!"
The Bullet Bill was making another pass at Bowser. He was now running for his life. Unfortunately, when he had ducked last time, he had smeared bacteria from his hands into his hair, and now the back of his head was also a target for the rapidly approaching projectile.
"Zen turn off zee lights!" said Ludwig, who was practically hopping up and down in agitation as he ripped himself from the window and made a dive for the light switches. He reached them at the same time Iggy – still blinded – did, and as a result all five blocks of light flared on in an instant.
"Ahhh!" roared Bowser, leaping into a shallow trench as the Bullet Bill arced over his back, ripping up towards the lights. But the reprieve was not long, and as soon as the lights had come on, they were extinguished in a cascade of sparks as the circuit breakers exploded in the ceiling.
Bowser looked up as the missile flew in figure-eight's through the electric rain. But as the air cleared, it once again turned it's scanners on him, and this time, as it dived through the smoke, it was joined by a swarm of it's kin.
"You MORON! Why'd you flip the switches? King Dad's dead now!"
"Hey, I told you to deactivate zee Bullet Bills! Remember?" snapped Ludwig in response to his brother's outburst, "oh! I knew somezing like zis vould happen!"
"GAAAAAAHHHH!!" Bowser's screams brought Iggy and Ludwig back to their senses. They both rushed to the window, watching in horror as Bowser sprinted down the trench, hotly pursued by three Bullet Bills behind him, and another pair diving down on him from the heavens.
"TURN LEFT!!" shouted Ludwig, but his father couldn't hear him.
Suddenly, Iggy turned and made a dash for the terminal, flicking on the intercom and relaying the directions throughout the entire chamber.
Bowser once again looked up, vainly seeking the window he knew his children were watching from, and in the process, giving the skyward Bullet Bills a clear shot of his green snout.
Whistling menacingly, they made a final dive. Bowser howled and lunged to the left, putting his back to the exposition resulting from those missiles colliding with one that had been pursuing Bowser along the ground. He rolled to a stop, dazed and bruised. That would have been the end of him, if the other Bullet Bills that had been chasing him hadn't gotten confused by the fireball and spun away from the Koopa King.
"KING DAD!! KING DAD!!" Iggy's frantic shouting brought Bowser to his senses. He pushed himself up onto all-fours, still groggy from the explosion, when an all-too-familiar roaring filled his ears. Panic-stricken, he shot a glance over his shoulder at the oncoming Bullet Bill. Without thinking, the Koopa King did what he always did in those situations, he belched out the biggest fireball he could manage and ducked into his shell as it detonated the missile, mere feet in-front of him.
The blast sent Bowser flying, and he landed beside the lip of the trench in a heap. There was no time to lose, he could hear more Bullet Bills approaching as he scrambled to his feet, his claws scraping against the concrete as he pulled himself forward.
"The computer's locked," moaned Iggy, frantically typing in the control room, trying to shut off the UV lights, "I can't do anything."
"Bah!" hissed Ludwig, "vat happened to zee good old days ven vee used simple light svitches?!"
Iggy was about to growl a retort when he noticed something in the darkness. He leaned over and shouted into the microphone: "No! Go right! The trench ahead is filled with Bloopers!!"
Bowser skidding to a halt and about-faced, leaping into space as a Bullet Bill whizzed beneath him.
"Yeow!!" roared the Koopa King as he fell through the rocket's burning tail. He landed heavily and kept running. He didn't know how long he could keep it up, sprinting was one thing, but he stank at long-distance.
"Left! Left!" came Iggy's disembodied voice, but his father was beyond caring, and as he heard the missile's roaring grow louder, he made a jump for the nearest moving platform, which was on his right.
"No! No!" shouted the workers, standing on the far end of the platform, but Bowser didn't listen and when he landed on the stage the cables nearest them (which they hadn't finished reinforcing) snapped. They screamed as they fell off into space; Bowser roared in anger as twisted around and dug his claws into the metal scaffolding, sending sparks flying as he tried to hold on.
He looked up and saw two more Bullet Bills bearing down on the sparks. Knowing what would happen if he didn't act, Bowser let go of the platform, and fell away as it was consumed in a fireball.
"Vere'd he go? Vere'd he go?" wailed Ludwig.
"There!" pointed Iggy, as Bowser pulled himself out of a warp pipe. He was exhausted, but there was still a Bullet Bill in the air, and it soon caught sight of his glowing face, hands and hair. Fortunately it was relatively far away, and he feebly started jogged away, immediately falling into a trench his tired eyes missed.
The shock of a hard landing reawakened his senses and with his last bit of strength, he wrenched himself upright and charged down the trench. His heart was hammering in his ears. He could hear the roaring of the Bullet Bill gaining on him from behind, and he could hear it whistling through the air too. Or was it something else? He could hear Iggy shouting something. "Turn left"? "Not left"? Bowser couldn't tell. The kid might also be saying "right", or "up"? It wasn't making sense. The Bullet Bill was closing.
Bowser swerved into a corridor to his right, his feet splashed in water. Maybe he could make it to the pumps, then he could wash the bacteria away. Ludwig had told him something about that, if only he had paid attention. Bowser sped up, one last burst of speed, he could hear the Bullet Bill, its roaring was everywhere. But the water was getting deeper.
The Koopa King turned a corner. The water was gushing into the trench from a vent in the wall; he was saved!
Then, another Bullet Bill appeared, diving down towards the glittering water and breaking through the waves, coming straight for Bowser. He didn't bother stopping.
Ludwig and Iggy turned from the window, cringing as the explosion echoed through the battle chamber.
"Ouch," groaned Iggy.
"Yeah, zat's vone of zee vorst ones I've seen yet," said Ludwig, "and it vasn't even Mario's fault zis time!"
"Do you think they'll be enough left to resurrect?"
"Of course," said Ludwig, "as long as his shell's intact zere'll be enough of his energy, and zus, his life force, left for zee Magikoopa's potions and spells to rekindle."
"Hmm," said Iggy, returning to the computer terminal as Ludwig watched Magikoopas fly about the room in a panic. Iggy had managed to get the emergency lighting back on, and the eldest Koopaling could barely make out Kammy's purple robes amongst the Medikoopas' white.
"What do ya think will happen to our bacteria?" asked Iggy, after a moment.
"He'll probably dump 'em into zee lava, as revenge, y'know," shrugged Ludwig.
"So it was all a waste of time?"
"I dunno, it vas good practice for your Biology course next year," said Ludwig.
"Still, it's a pity," sighed Iggy, "this plan seemed pretty effective, if you ask me."
"If only he had vashed his hands…"
"What I don't understand, is how come the bacteria growing on him was glowing," commented Iggy after a pause.
"He vas contaminated vit bacteria from zee LB/AMP/ARA Bross," explained Ludwig, "zey already had GFP in zem."
"But you said you showed him the bacteria right after breakfast, that was hours ago."
"He's varm, and he's messy; his skin's a breeding ground for bacteria," said Ludwig nonchalantly.
"But not for bacteria producing GFP," argued Iggy, "you saw how bright his snout was. Unless he stuck his face in the bacterial bucket, there's no way a chance contamination from his hands made that mass of glowing bacteria, unless-"
"Unless he was covered in arabinose," floated a gloating voice from the doorway. Ludwig and Iggy turned to see Lemmy rolling his ball into the room.
"You?" gasped Iggy, "but, how-"
"How did I get him covered in arabinose? I fed him some of Kammy's awful jello-fruit-juice things," grinned Lemmy.
"Okay," interjected Ludwig, "but how-"
"Did I know to feed him arabinose to get the bacteria to glow?" finished Lemmy, "you're forgetting, Roy's not Kamek's only Biology student this year."
"Of course!" cried Ludwig, recalling that Lemmy and Roy were in the same age bracket when it came to their education.
"You all forgot?" said Lemmy incredulously, "come on! Just 'cause I don't need help with my homework's no excuse to forget me."
"We're sorry, okay," said Iggy.
"And now King Dad's sorry too," smiled Lemmy, being uncharacteristically cruel.
"Told you," whispered Iggy to Ludwig, "Vibe Island."
Lemmy herd the remark, "maybe so, but why should I care about bad Vibes when I've got an A+ in Biology?"
"Because Fazzer's gonna kill you vonce he's resurrected," offered Ludwig.
"Because he's gonna pull you from the class anyway now that you've used your knowledge against him," quipped Iggy.
Lemmy shrugged, "don't worry, I've got a plan for that too."
Kammy and the Medikoopas had Bowser back in one piece by the evening. Knowing that his second-oldest son set him up, Bowser sent for Lemmy.
"What the Underwhere were you thinking!?" he demanded.
"I wanted revenge," said Lemmy meekly.
Bowser was simmering with anger.
"Look on the bright side," said Lemmy, peering up at his father, "your plan works without a hitch. Iggy says he's got a couple of Bullet Bills left, and the bacteria'll be good for a while, it's perfect."
"Uh…" said Bowser, his anger being replaced with ego, "yeah, it is a great plan, isn't it?"
"One of your best," nodded Lemmy.
"Hah! Brilliant!" grinned Bowser, "Kammy!"
"Yes, Your Elatedness?" said the Royal Advisor, who had been lingering in the shadows, lest she needed to swoop in to rescue Lemmy from the King's fiery retribution.
"Go make sure the battle chamber's being fixed up and completed! The kidnapping's rescheduled for tomorrow!"
Meanwhile, Ludwig and Iggy were washing their hands: they had decided to save Bowser the trouble, and dumped all the MM294 into the lava.