Disclaimer: Nintendo owns the majority of the characters, all the species, and the mechanics of the Marioverse. All I own is the plot, the setting and a couple characters (but don't worry, this isn't an OC-centric fic).

Author's Note: This story had been kicking around my head for a while before I actually sat down and wrote it – regrettably, it was long after the details of the perfect battle sequence I had initially planned out had leaked out of my memory. The title comes from the expression, "Well, mercy be!" – I thought it sounded better than plain "Mercy", or anything else I could think of. When I first published the fic, I wasn't very proud of it, but over the years it's really grown on me, and I hope you like it too!

Mercy Be

Wednesdays were truly dreadful days. Bowser hated Wednesdays – every week on that accursed day, Kammy and Kamek forced him to go out amongst his people and meet with some puny municipal mayor, or tribal council, or whatever. It took hours to get to some places, many of which had populations hovering around twenty individuals; in these instance, Bowser often had the urge to burn down the villages (so that the outing weren't a total waste of time). Instead, he often brought his kids to do the destruction for him. Ludwig and Roy sometimes sat in at the meetings, but generally the eight little terrors would run amok in the town while their father toughed the boredom out alone. The Koopalings almost always enjoyed themselves; for them, Wednesdays weren't as bad as Bowser mad them out to be.

This Wednesday, Bowser had to visit the town of Bayside, which was about a two-hour flight northeast of his castle. It was located on the coast, within the borders of the old Clubba regime, meaning it was one of the few places that was proportioned to the larger species. Bowser's shell actually fit through all the doorways, and everything the Koopalings came across in their explorations looked like it was made with them in mind.

Ludwig found a music store and whiled away his hours playing every instrument the ecstatic Sledge Bro. shopkeeper handed him. The majority of the townsfolk weren't very musically oriented, so the Sledge Bro. was more than happy to enable Ludwig's curiosity, and since the Koopa Prince eventually bought a couple instruments, it paid off quite handsomely.

Wendy also spent every last Coin she had in her purse as she blew from store to store. She bought a few new necklaces and bracelets, but the majority of her purchases were exotic lipsticks whose dispensers actually fit her lips. Generally, Wendy had to settle for Koopa Troopa-sized lipsticks when she wanted to buy Heliotrope Purple or Sparkling Cochineal, but her lips were the same size as a Clubba's, and the dispensers in Bayside were a perfect fit. She was even able to get her shell hot-waxed at a salon specializing in "Spiked, Electric or otherwise Elaborate Shells". Simply put, she was in heaven.

Morton and Larry had simpler tastes: they simply found themselves a bookstore and never left. Larry bought a field guide to the local flora and fauna of Bayside while Morton browsed through the shelves. The clerk wasn't too fond of his guests, as Morton insisted on relaying every trivial fact he came across to the nearest bystander, but like Ludwig, their royal reputation ensured the Koopalings were met with full cooperation.

At first, Iggy had joined Lemmy and Junior as they frolicked on the Koopaling-sized playground behind the local school, but he soon grew tired of it and started looking around for some interesting stores. Unfortunately, Clubbas, Boom-Booms, Electro-Koopas, Sledge Bros. nor any other resident of Bayside seemed to be intellectually-inclined, and except for one dilapidated electronics store, Iggy was out of luck. He tried the bookstore, but Morton's chattering got the best of him and he left before long, eventually settling in the local library. They had an updated copy of The Encyclopedia Koopa, and with nothing better to do, Iggy settled into the most comfortable chair he could find and began to look for any entries he hadn't already read.

Too impatient for books, too proud for playing on equipment, and too gruff for shopping, Roy found himself wandering aimlessly though the town. He soon noticed that law enforcement was rather lax here, though that seemed to be the norm for most coast-side towns, from Rogueport to Burt's Cove and beyond. There was graffiti and signs of neglect on many of the buildings, even along the main streets. After a quick lunch at a local diner, Roy decided to check out the back alleys next. He knew Kammy and Kamek would have a fit if they knew what he was planning, but he didn't care.

The alleyways had just as much traffic as the roads, though the people were much seedier and tended to travel in close-knit gangs of three or more. They all knew not to mess with Roy, though, and he figured a lot of the shadier dealings were put on hold as he passed by. It was no secret that the royal Koopa family was in town, and most of the truants knew enough to stay out of the Koopaling's way. Still, there were a few people who weren't on the ball, and Roy caught some sights and smells of drug abuse as he sauntered along the garbage-filled underbelly of Bayside. He wondered if the mayor would mention that to Bowser – he was a rather daft old Clubba who wanted nothing more than some extra funding to bolster Bayside's floundering fisheries. Mentioning that his citizens would spend much of that money on imported, illegal Kremling drugs would not be a smart move.

Ambling along the waterside, Roy had to admit that Bayside's fishing industry was suffering. Many of the boats lay abandoned and rotting along the wharf, and there were only a few trawlers in the bay between the shore and Sleeper's Island. The island was where Dark Land's only population of Snooze-A-Koopas lived, and while they ate things other than fish, Roy knew that if the mayor invoked his endangered neighbours, Kammy and Kamek's interest in bolstering the fish population would increase tenfold. Roy figured he would – Clubba's were resourceful like that, even ones as dotty as the mayor.

It was almost 3:00 by the time Roy neared the end of the pier, and he turned back inland to meet his family back at the Koopa Cruiser. However, he hadn't gotten far when a shrill cry floated through the air and made the Koopaling pause. He turned his head, and caught the sounds of distant laughter coming from a launching strip Roy had seen from afar not two minutes ago. Thinking back, he was pretty sure he saw people on the strip, but he wasn't sure. Another wail rippled through the air, followed by the unmistakable sound of jeering laughter. Roy had whaled on his siblings enough to recognize the sounds of someone in trouble.

He turned on his heels and jogged towards the strip, the noises getting steadily louder until he turned the last corner and finally caught site of the scene. There was a group of three hulking creatures – an orange-shelled Clubba with blue skin, a Sledge Bro., and a blue-shelled Electro-Koopa – standing in a circle around their persistently screaming victim.

"Hey!" called Roy. "What d'ya 'tink you're doin'? 'Tree against one? Are you kiddin' me?"

The bullies turned their attention to Roy with a growl. The Clubba smirked. "Well lookie here boys, this Boom Boom's lookin' ta join the fight."

As he spoke, he turned right around and stepped to the side, revealing that he and his cronies had been harassing a baby Snooze-A-Koopa. The Sledge Bro. put his foot on the youngster's back as it frantically tried to scramble through the opening, pinning it in place as it shrieked in fear.

"Fight? All I see is a bunch of cowards torturin' a baby! What's wrong, are ya too weak ta pick on someone yer own size?" spat Roy. People like these guys disgusted him; when he fought his siblings, he'd always let them go long before they got as distressed as the Snooze-A-Koopa was, and he would never attack a hatchling. The Snooze-A-Koopa was only the size of a Goomba; it couldn't be more than a couple months old.

"Oh a cliché, how clever," mocked the Clubba.

"Yeah!" grunted the Sledge Bro. sycophantically.

"You see," giggled the Electro-Koopa as he waddled around from behind the Snooze-a-Koopa to sit on the Clubba's right. "We at least have enough style to not respond to your cliché with another 'like you' cliché. Isn't that right, boss?"

He looked up at his leader's face with a grin. "That's right. But if you're looking for a fight, Boom Boom, you'll get one. Once we finish with this punk, of course."

He nodded at the Sledge Bro., who started pressing down on the Snooze-A-Koopa. As his foot ground against the baby's shell, it cried out in pain.

"Hey! Whoa! You can't do dat! Leave dat baby alone, you freaks!" Roy advanced on the trio, his eyes flashing in rage behind his sunglasses.

"Oooh, Boom Boom thinks he's sooo tough. Listen here, punk, this little rat was on our territory: they got an entire island to themselves, and we got our town."

"Yeah, and they eat all the fish too!" added the Electro-Koopa.

"So? It's dey're Koopa-given right ta eat all da fish dey want."

"Oooh, are you religious too? Look out, the born-again Koopan's gonna get us," said the Clubba in mock-fear, unperturbed as Roy closed in on his adversaries.

"Your Koopa Saint ain't gonna save you if you fight us, Boom Boom," said the Sledge Bro.

"I won't need savin'," growled Roy. "But I 'tink it'd only be fair ta tell you dat I ain't no Boom Boom – I'm a Dragon-Koopa, and my pa's King Bowser."

"Yeah right," said the Clubba. "If the royal Koopas were in today, we woulda heard about."

"I heard about it," said the Electro-Koopa.

"Oh yeah? Like last week, when you heard Indiana Joe was in town?"

"Or last month, when you said Rawk Hawk was doin' a book signing," guffawed the Sledge Bro.

"He doesn't even have a book!" said the Clubba exasperatedly.

"Believe me or not, it don't matta, cuz I can still beat you lot to a pulp myself," threatened Roy.

"You can try," sneered the Clubba, pulling out his mace. "C'mon guys, forget the little worm, let's get the BIG baby!"

The Sledge Bro. took his foot off the Snooze-A-Koopa and kicked it back towards the water. It tumbled and cried some more, but Roy saw it slide into the safety of the bay before the bullies were upon him. After a brief skirmish of fisticuffs, Roy jumped backwards and let out a series of shockwaves. The Sledge Bro. did the same and the ripples tore up the concrete as they collided. The Clubba and the Electro-Koopa were experts at dodging shockwaves after battling alongside a Sledge Bro. for so long, but they were still taken aback.

"Since when do Boom Booms make shockwaves?" growled the Clubba.

"Maybe he is a Dragon-Koopa," said the Electro-Koopa.

Roy smirked and let out a barrage of fireballs. "Caught on, have ya?" he jeered as his adversaries frantically jumped away from the flaming projectiles.

The Sledge Bro. managed to parry most of the fireballs with his hammer, but one still hit its mark. "Yow! Who does this guy think he is, Mario?" he grumbled, rubbing his burnt stomach.

His companions paid him no mind, however, as the Electro-Koopa sent his electrified shell spinning towards Roy. The Koopaling hopped out of the way, only to find a barrage of sledgehammers raining down upon him. He ducked into his shell for safety, feeling them batter his back. He pulled his head out just as the Clubba swung his mace. Roy grabbed it mid-swing, stopping it before it could bludgeon his face. Suddenly, electricity coursed through Roy's body as the Electro-Koopa's shell hit him from behind.

The Clubba cackled triumphantly. He should have been shocked through the mace, but seeing how he shook off the jolt immediately, Roy figured that combo attack was one they used on all their opponents. Roy had been shocked a fair number of times by Iggy's lightning, so he was able to get up rather quickly too, but he wasn't fast enough as the Sledge Bro.'s latest shockwaves ripped across the launching strip.

By the time the painful paralysis wore off, Roy was encircled by the bullies, just like the Snooze-A-Koopa before him. He pulled out his wand to defend himself but it was immediately knocked from his hand by the Clubba, who then started beating the Koopaling with his mace. The Sledge Bro. kicked at Roy's side and the Electro-Koopa discharged his electricity into the Dragon-Koopa (and his unfazed companions as well). Roy could see why the Snooze-A-Koopa had cried and wailed so much, but he kept his mouth shut and fought back, punching whatever he could reach. He managed to deliver a nasty blow to the Electro-Koopa, who promptly let out an enraged blast of electricity, sending Roy and the other bullies flying.

"You idiot!" snarled the Clubba as he picked himself off the ground.

"Sorry, boss!" yelped the Electro-Koopa.

The Clubba didn't hear the apology, though, as he had already turned back to Roy. The Koopaling had been blasted against a wall, and was stiffly picking himself up, ignoring the pain all over his body.

"Had enough, Boom Boom Baby?" jeered the Clubba.

The left frame of Roy's glasses had been cracked in the scuffle, and he was bleeding from the mouth, but he still had some fight left in him. "Neva! Ya creeps!" He sent another round of fireballs bouncing towards his opponents, but not a single one hit its mark this time. The bullies had a couple scratches, bruises and burns, but their injuries were nothing compared to Roy's, and they were advancing once more, murder in their eyes.

Roy braced himself, but before his assailants could reach him, they were hit by a barrage of spinning, colourful shapes. Roy looked up as Kammy and Kamek swooped over head, raining magical justice on the Clubba, Sledge Bro. and Electro-Koopa.

"Get away from the prince!" shrieked Kammy, hovering in front of Roy on her broom.

"I told ya not ta call me dat," he growled, but Kammy ignored him.

"You mean he is a Dragon-Koopa?" gasped the Clubba, as Kamek flew down behind the group to make sure they didn't try to make a break for it.

"Told ya so," smirked the Electro-Koopa.

"We're boned," sighed the Sledge Bro.

"You sure are!" bellowed Bowser, appearing at the top of the strip. "No one attacks my kid and gets away with it! I oughta kill you where you stand!"

"Your Angryness, maybe it would be best if we did this by the books…" said Kammy.

"She's right," nodded Kamek. "If you take your revenge here and now, it's nothing more than a backroom brawl, but if we take it to court-"

"Spare me the political hoopla," interrupted Bowser, waving his hands in the air. "I can't take anymore… Not today… Just throw them in jail, and we can worry about it later."

Kammy and Kamek nodded and with a wave of their wands, the bullies were in magical handcuffs. The Magikoopas led the offenders away as Bowser stomped over to Roy.

"Didn't I tell you to stop looking for fights? Remember what happened in-"

"But Pa, they were torturing a little kid – a Snooze-A-Koopa. Dey're endangered species and it's against da rules to hurt 'em, especially helpless babies like da one dey were after."

"Really? Great! We can add that to their charges." Bowser scratched his chin thoughtfully. "How many years will it get them in jail?"

"I dunno, it might just be a fine…" shrugged Roy. He was only interested in crime, not the punishment – identifying creeps was one thing, but navigating the justice system was another.

"Sometimes I wish we had the death penalty in Dark Land," said Bowser shaking his head. "I hope you're not too badly beat-up."

"No way!" said Roy. "Dose idiots were nuttin' compared ta Mario – dey just caught me off-guard, is all."

"You're bleeding," noted Bowser. "Why the Hell did those idiots leave before giving you a swig of healing potion? Kammy carries that stuff – man, when I get my hands on her withered hide, I'll-"

"No, it's okay. Potions are for weaklings," said Roy, standing up straight and casting a furtive glance at the top of the strip, where the Koopalings and a few locals were watching curiously. He pushed his way past Bowser (who was still simmering) and started towards the crowd, trying not to limp, but failing miserably.

Bowser fell in step at Roy's side and scowled at the observers. "Hey you lot, show's over, get going! Even you, Dusty."

The stuffy Clubba mayor standing beside Ludwig puffed up indignantly. "My name's not-"

"GO!" bellowed Bowser. In an instant, the Koopalings were alone at the top of the strip, and half of them looked ready to bolt too: when Bowser was in one of his moods, no one was safe. The only thing holding them back was the extraordinary sight of their tough-as-nails brother having been reduced to a punching bag.

Roy chose to ignore their stares, and instead looked back over his shoulder at the water. There was nothing there, but what did he expect? The entire Snooze-A-Koopa family showing up and thanking him for taking a bullet for their little runt? They weren't a very sentient race – Roy ate Cheep-Cheeps that were smarter than Snooze-A-Koopas for dinner – but some sort of "thank you" would've been nice. Kindness was supposed to be its own reword, but as the Koopalings and Bowser rounded the corner and lost sight of the empty ocean, Roy couldn't help but think that kindness was an ungrateful little snot.

Wednesdays were truly dreadful.

The End