The Chaos Trilogy ~A Super Mario Fanfic~
Part 1: The Insane Smiles
Chapter 1: Revival
The Underwhere. It was a bleak place, shunned by light of any kind. It was a dark, desolate cave. The rocky floor was as rough and uncomfortable as the place felt, and damp with water droplets, which constantly gathered on the rugged stalactites and stalagmites that littered the ceiling and ground. Odd formations could be seen in the walls, like odd squares.
Fawful absolutely hated the Underwhere.
The little bean boy, wrapped in his torn, red cloak, fastened together by two golden buttons, hated everything about it. He hated the depressing rock walls, the stalagmites which he constantly tripped over every day. He hated the cracked, stone fountain near the hub of the Underwhere, which spewed never-ending gallons of a strange orange liquid, which healed all wounds and ailments when soaked in. He especially hated the Shaydes. They were odd, slug-like beings made of shadows, their eyes and mouths only lighter, shadowy depressions in their faces. They were all far too cheerful for Fawful's liking. They spent every day wallowing in this filthy, desolate pit, chatting with each other about dismal things. Fawful had a deep frown on his face. He grunted; he didn't see that there was anything about the Underwhere to be happy about. It was a place of sorrow and suffering, where the wind never blew: it was the land of the dead.
Fawful sat on the banks of the River Twygz, the eerie, pink liquid giving off a soft glow. Fawful looked down into its depths, his distorted reflection staring back at him. He pushed his large, round glasses back to the bridge of his nose, the spirals on them adding to Fawful's all-around insane appearance. Insane. He had always been called that in life. Between the worn, red cloak, the spiral glasses, and the incredibly wide and toothy smile he normally wore on his face, he fit the part. All that combined with the fact that he was only about 9 years old made most people who saw him weary.
He picked up a flat, grey rock and threw it at the waters of the Twygz. It skipped along the surface before sinking down to the dark bottom of the River. He picked up another and threw it. It skipped twice before a white, bony Underhand burst out of the water and grabbed the stone, pulling it down with it. Any time before now Fawful would've jumped in fright, but not now. He had seen and experienced far too much now. He had died.
He remembered the scene like it had just happened. He had built up a glorious empire, stolen both Princess Peach's and Bowser's castles, and secured the powerful Dark Star. He had used some of its power to combat Bowser and Mario and Luigi. But he had failed. He had been defeated and the Dark Star destroyed. He had left the world of the living grinning insanely, and causing an explosion of dark energy strong enough to throw the irritating plumbers several kilometres. He knew, however, that they wouldn't be dead. They couldn't be. They were the Mario Brothers. They survived everything. Fawful grounded his teeth in frustration. They had put him through so much.
Death had not been easy for Fawful. Fawful was scared of many things: the dark was one. Ghosts were definitely another; he turned an unhealthy shade of pale green whenever he saw a Boo. Then there was failure, disappointment, a lack of technology, and possessing stupidity. All those, he feared. But death had surpassed even the most terrifying of them, and the worst of his nightmares.
Fawful had seen people die several times before, and they had not daunted him. People often told those who were dying, "Don't go into the light." Going into the light was bad. It meant you were dead. But Fawful found out that they were all wrong; there was no light, no bliss. Only pain, and visions of things that only belonged in nightmares. When he had died, given that last, insane smile, his soul had been thrust through the portal to a different dimension, to the Underwhere. It had been horrible; images of evil creatures and places blasted through his mind, and pain had dominated all feelings, like thousands of spikes being driven into him, magnified by 1000. He had felt like something was pressing in on him. He couldn't breathe, and he longed to scream, but he found that he couldn't. It was only when the pain was at its most unbearable did a word issue from him mouth.
'CACKLETTA!' he had screamed. When a moment passed, he felt no pain, saw no visions. He opened his eyes to find himself in the Underwhere. A Shayde had walked up to him.
'Hey!' he had said, with an overly cheerful tone. 'First time in the Underwhere?' Fawful had just been about to ask where he was when the Shayde laughed. 'Haha! That's just a little joke! No one comes to the Underwhere twice!' Fawful had asked what the Underwhere was, and the Shayde looked at him like he was crazy. 'You don't know the Underwhere? Well, some call it World -1. Ring any bells?' Fawful shook his head. 'Huh. Well, here's the gist of it: your game's over. You're dead.' At first he had been in complete shock, but he had grown to accept his demise. He had looked for his old mistress, the bean witch Cackletta, searching from top to bottom, but he had no found her. She wasn't just dead; her soul had been destroyed. She was gone. Fawful had cried for hours after that. He had been closer to Cackletta than he had been to anybody else in the world, and, despite her strict exterior, Fawful knew she felt the same way. They were like family to each other, even if they weren't related by blood. Ever since her disappearance when Bowser's aerial castle had exploded, a void had been present in Fawful that he knew could only be filled if he could see her again. Now that he knew she was no longer in existence, that void could never be filled. It was like everything he had lived for was gone from him forever. He was alone.
Seven days had passed since then, and now Fawful was sitting over the Twygz. He had remembered what a Shayde had said to him at one time: "Whatever you do, make sure you don't fall into the Twygz. If you do, there's no coming back... Fawful stared into the fluorescent water. How easy it would be, to simply fall in. His afterlife would end, and he wouldn't need to sit in this pit and feel this eternal pain. He stood up, and a tear fell down his cheek. Perhaps he would see his mistress again. If there was anything he knew by now, it was that anything could happen when you thought it impossible. He slowly tipped forward...
...and something grabbed him by the back of his collar.
'Ack!' Fawful choked. As his eyes shot open, he found his nose was merely an inch away from the Twygz waters. He had been so close to falling in.
Just then, an Underhand burst out of the water, gripping him around his face. Fawful screamed out in terror as the bony hand tried to yank him into the River, while something else was trying to pull him away. Fawful felt stupid; what had he been thinking? The thing pulling on his cloak gave a final tug as the Underhand lost its grip and Fawful was sent tumbling backwards, landing on something very slimy with a thud.
'Mmph! MMPH!' it groaned. Fawful got off and a rather distressed looking Shayde stood up, glaring at him. 'And what,' he growled, 'was that?!'
Fawful decided not to answer. 'Why did you have the saving of me?!' he yelled.
'That doesn't seem like an appropriate way to thank your rescuer,' the Shayde noted.
'I did not have wanting to be rescued!' Fawful protested.
The Shayde grunted. 'Believe me, you did. You never end your aftergame. There's nothing left.' Fawful remained silent. 'So, how did your game end?' the Shayde asked. Fawful didn't say anything. 'Listen, it helps to talk.'
Fawful gave a thought. 'I was destroyed by the brothers of red and green.' The Shayde raised an eyebrow. 'They had the overheating of my ship, and the killing of my mistress. They had the tormenting of me in my mind. They put the fog of rage in my eyes, and gave me fury. So much fury...' He fell silent for a moment. 'I had the building of an army of greatness, and I almost had the destroying of those hateful brothers!' He was getting much more agitated as he spoke. 'But it did not have success! It had failure! Those fink-rats had the defeating of me! And now I can no longer do anything but be sitting here wallowing!' He hung his head.
The Shayde waited for a moment. 'I bet you want revenge,' he said, finally. Fawful looked at him and nodded. 'What if I told you that you could?'
Fawful shook his head. 'It is an impossibility.'
The Shayde grinned. 'For most, yes. But not for you.' Fawful looked confused. 'You see, when you are living, you possess certain energies that keep you the way you are, define you. When your game ends, you are stripped of those energies. However, it is possible not to have those energies removed.'
'How?' Fawful asked, curious.
'Simple: there is something there to take your place, something protecting you.'
'I do not have understanding.'
'Think. Did you have anything on you, or part of you, that had a high energy content?'
Fawful thought for a moment, then the answer was clear. 'The star of darkness!' he exclaimed. At the look on the Shaydes face, he corrected himself. 'The Dark Star. I had the taking of energy from it.'
'So when you died, the Dark Star's energy took the place of your own. You are now half dead: you are in the Underwhere, while possessing your energy.'
Fawful was still confused. 'But how am I being able to go back to living?' he questioned.
'That,' said the Shayde, 'is difficult, and you aren't able to do so yourself.'
'Then why bother having the telling of me?!' Fawful exclaimed.
The Shayde laughed. 'Just thought you should know.' He gave Fawful a look. 'You know, I believe we could have a friendship down here. Don't you?' Fawful just grumbled. 'What's your name?'
Fawful looked at him; perhaps it would be nice to have a companion if he could never leave the Underwhere. 'I am being called Fawful,' he answered.
'Well then, hello Fawful.'
'What is your name being?'
The Shayde hesitated. 'It doesn't matter. Down here, we are all the same. Why bother with names? Why bother being different?'
'I am being different,' Fawful noted.
'True. Why don't we shake on it?'
Fawful frowned. 'You are not having any hands.'
The Shayde grinned and stuck out his tongue, a long, shadowy strip that dripped some unknown fluid. 'Thlake,' he said.
Fawful was repulsed. 'I am not having the shaking of your tongue!' he exclaimed.
The Shayde gave him a look. 'I wun bite,' he assured.
Fawful gulped, and, slowly but surely, gripped the Shayde's tongue.
It was as if an electric shock had blasted through Fawful's being, shaking him to the core. He quickly withdrew his hand, gripping his with the other. The Shayde jumped, its form rippling and changing. It reverted back to its original shape.
'What was that being?!' Fawful demanded, still holding onto his hand.
The Shayde shuttered for a moment. 'That,' he answered, is our ticket out of here, I believe. Try one more time.'
'I am not holding your tongue,' Fawful repeated.
The Shayde laughed. 'That was a joke. I was going to see if you would actually do it.' Fawful stared at him in disbelief, the scowled. He put his hand on the Shayde's head, and once again felt that rush of energy. The Shayde rippled once more, and Fawful held it for a moment. 'Stop!' the Shayde said. Fawful withdrew his hand. The Shayde went back to normal. A wicked smile was developing on his face. 'This is good, very good,' he said, his voice coming out coolly.
'What are we doing now?' Fawful asked.
'Now,' said the Shayde with excitement. 'We go see Queen Jaydes.'
Fawful was nervous; Queen Jaydes was the ruler of the dead, the queen of the Underwhere. She watched over all of the departed souls, granting the good ones passage to the Overthere, the land of bliss, and refusing all those who were sinners. Fawful had been told that she would most likely not allow passage to the Overthere, and definitely not grant life. So why were they going to see her?
The Shayde led Fawful to somebody standing in front of a simple wooden boat. It was large, and had a long, also wooden pole resting on it. On the front of the boat, facing toward the other side of the river, were three lanterns emitting a strange, blue light. The man was a short, dark blue creature, dressed in an orange, crudely made shirt and long hat, several large, dirty teeth sticking messily out of its mouth.
'Thisss is the River Twygz...' it hissed. 'Its watersss are the tearsss of centuriesss of sinnersss. For four coinsss...I will ferry you to the other side...'
'Yes, and hello to you to Charold,' the Shayde said. 'Never get tired of that old line, do you?'
Charold frowned. 'Never. Do you have four coinsss...?'
'Er...' he looked down. 'I have no pockets.' The Shayde turned to Fawful. 'Do you have any money?' Fawful looked reluctant. 'Unless of course, you want to swim to the other side.' Fawful grumbled and took out four coins from a pocket and handed them to Charold.
'Thanksss,' he said. 'Now we depart...'
The three of them hopped on the boat. Charold grabbed the pole from the boat and stuck it in the water, rowing the boat along.
'So, Fawful,' the Shayde said. 'How're you feeling? Ready to see the Queen?' In truth, Fawful was very nervous; he didn't know what the Queen would do when she saw them, and, as the Queen of death, she was probably terrifying.
'I am possessing much nervousness.' he admitted.
'Ha. Don't worry. She's not scary.'
'No.' The Shayde grinned. 'In life, I was much scarier than her, or so I'm told.'
'What were you liking in life?'
'The Shayde's grin didn't falter. 'You'll see.'
The boat slowed, then came to a stop. Fawful and the Shayde hopped off, followed by Charold. He gave a small wave. 'Sssee you,' he hissed.
The Shayde had a sly look on his face. 'No, you won't.' Leaving Charold with a puzzled look on his face, Fawful and the Shayde departed towards Jaydes' temple.
They saw it in no time. It was made of dirty, grey stone. Pillars kept the temple upright, and Shaydes and odd, devil-like creatures in suits walked the halls.
'What are those creatures?' Fawful asked.
'Them? They're called D-Men. They were once Shaydes who went to Jaydes and were transformed. They do her every bidding without question.'
'Why would they be wanting to?'
'Because when you're a Shayde, you don't really have a body; you're just a soul. Despite being force to do never ending work, you at least have a body; you feel alive.'
'Why did you not have asking?'
'Me? I've been waiting for someone like you to come along. If I already had a body, this wouldn't work.'
'You'll see.' Fawful grumbled again.
It wasn't long before they reached Jaydes. She wore an elegant, purple dress, flowing down beyond her feet. Her collar was made of a black material, gradually toning down to a dark red as it went lower down. She wore a crown made of the same material, of the same colour. Her face was a pale purple, and wore a look of distrust on her face. Despite what the Shayde had said, Fawful couldn't help but be intimidated by the Queen.
'What business do you have with me?' she demanded at the sight of the two of them. She eyed the Shayde. 'You. Come back to demand life? Or is it a passage to the Overthere you want?' Fawful wondered how she knew exactly who the Shayde was; he looked exactly the same as the others.
'I'm afraid not Jaydes. I've come for a much better reason.'
'And what would that be?'
Both Jaydes and Fawful looked dumbfounded.
'To gloat?' About what?'
'Why, about this day of course!' Fawful looked at the Shayde; his mannerisms had completely changed. Perhaps he used them in life.
'And what is so special about this day?' Jaydes inquired.
The Shayde grinned. 'It is the day I cheated death.'
'What?' Jaydes demanded.
'Oh Fawful, I believe I deserve a pat on the back for my accomplishment, don't you?' Knowing what to do, Fawful put his hand on the Shayde's head, and felt, once again, the shock of a transfer of energy. This time, however, he held on tightly, willing himself not to let go, even when the feeling gave way to pain. The Shayde rippled and changed into something different. He began to grow arms and legs, hands and feet. A rough silhouette of peculiar clothes appeared on the featureless body, though Fawful couldn't get a good look at them; he was blinded by the energy rush. His eyes were squinted closed.
'I believe that's enough Fawful.' He gripped Fawful's arm and laughed. 'Jaydes! Farewell! Give my regards to Grambi for me!' He put his arm up.
'No!' Jaydes yelled. 'D-Men, secure them!' The D-Men obeyed without question, running at the two.
It was too late. The figure holding Fawful's arm snapped his fingers, and they were thrust into another world.
Fawful still had his eyes closed, but he felt awful. He felt wind whip across his face and heard noises he had never heard before, ringing in his ears. Something was pressing in on him, his whole body felt sore. He opened his eyes to see a vast array of colours zooming past too quickly to see what they truly were. It was just like dying, except without the visions and massive pain. Then, without warning, it all stopped.
Fawful was lying on his stomach in a dead patch of land, all the life drained out of it. The soreness in his body was slowly leaving him. He opened his eyes, which he had closed again, taking in the scene. Outside the confines of the lifeless circle, it was grass and trees for a while into the distance, though Fawful could see the beginnings of a town on the edge of the horizon. White and pink flowers littered the ground, blowing softly in the wind.
He got up and looked around. There was no sign of the one who brought him here. Where was he?
'Greetings,' came a voice he'd never heard before. He turned toward it; a figure was standing beneath a tree, barely visible in its shadow.
'Who are you being?' Fawful demanded threateningly. Although, he couldn't really make threats; he had no weapons.
'You don't know? I'm the one who plucked you from the Underwhere.'
Realization dawned on Fawful. 'Oh,' he said. 'Erm...' he didn't know how to say it.
'Thank you?' the person suggested.
'Yes,' Fawful decided. 'Thanking you...' He turned. 'I am going now.'
'Oh no, I don't think it'll be that easy.' Fawful froze. 'No no, I'm not going to let you just walk away. I saved you from that place, and now I need to you do something for me.'
Fawful sighed; he knew this would happen. 'What are you wanting?' he asked.
'Revenge. Revenge on four people.'
Fawful turned back to him. 'Who are they being?'
'I'll name them.' He put a fist in the air, out of the shadows. 'Princess Peach, King Bowser, Mario, and Luigi,' he said, putting a finger up for each.
As they were all named, a smile grew on Fawful's face, growing bigger as the names went on. Soon he had that characteristic, insane smile, which stretched from one ear to the other. His spiralled glasses glinted in the sunlight.
'I believe I can be helping you.'
'Good, good, then we all have an understanding.'
'Now, what is your name being?' Fawful asked, not willing to be unanswered this time.
The person laughed. 'Ah ha ha. I believe I can tell you that,' he said, as he walked out into view.
Fawful's smile vanished instantly. As soon as he saw who he was talking to, he became afraid. It wasn't because he had seen this person before. It wasn't the odd, purple and yellow jester poncho and hat he wore, it wasn't the way he walked, with a confidant and mysterious air, and it wasn't the magical feeling he seemed to admit. It was his face. It was hidden behind a mask. It was like a theatre mask. It was split into two halves. The left half was black, while the right half was white. The eye on his left side was a bright yellow and his right eye was a dark black. In fact, Fawful didn't even think that it was the mask itself that really unnerved him. No, that wasn't it at all. It was his smile. It was a constant, almost creepy looking smile that would simply not yield. The way the figure just stared ahead, the smile remaining etched on his face, made Fawful shiver. He had been right; in death, he was much scarier than Queen Jaydes. He was dangerous; Fawful could just feel it.
'I am the Master of Dimensions!' he said with flair. 'The Pleaser of Crowds!' He gave an extravagant bow, spinning his hand around as he did so. 'I am...Dimentio!' he finished. He stood back upright. 'And I believe we will have quite the career together, my little beanish friend.' Fawful stood in shocked silence. 'Well, I believe the time has come to establish a base of operations, don't you?' Dimentio put his hand on Fawful's shoulder. 'Did you enjoy your first experience of inter-dimensional travel?' he asked. Fawful shook his head, unable to talk. 'Well then, you won't like it this time either.' Dimentio snapped his fingers, and Fawful yelled as he was hurled through the dimensions for the second consecutive time.