Author's Note:

Welcome, to the first "Movie" of Clash of the Elements. I described just why I'm calling this story a movie in a previous entry, so go look for that in Part 1 if you wish to know. That story of course can be found here:


And it is considered essential to read if you want to comprehend some of the things that occur in this story. This story has been divided up into 7 parts, and each one will be posted three days after the next. Why you may ask? Because while these are being uploaded I'm getting started on Part 2, and I would like to at least get a decent part of the chapters ready to be posted by the time this is finished being uploaded. So yeah, with that brief explanation out of the way you won't hear anymore from me until the end! So enjoy!

It is nighttime in the land of the Beanbean Kingdom. Two citizens, with their smiling green faces and their plain orange work shirts and small blue jeans, can be seen walking east across the smoothly cut grass towards the Castle Town's gated bridge marked with two giant green bean posts. They are happily discussing their day, even though they know little about each other. "Man, working for Cork and Cask at the Chateau de Chucklehuck is a riveting experience, wouldn't you say?" "Indeed it is. I'm glad the two of them decided to start hiring us Bean citizens again after they've managed to come up with some new flavors of their famous Reserve." "I must say, the night sky is looking absolutely enchanting, eh?" The two of them look up as their feet touch down onto the cobblestone pathway. Though there are a couple of puffy clouds in the air, there is enough of a gap between them that they can catch a glimpse of the waning crescent moon and a few of the stars surrounding it.

"Indeed." The second citizen says in agreement. Thus the two of them step onto the bridge and proceed into the town. In a section of the plains not far off from the town, a lone Sharpea senses something amiss in a nearby bush and walks over to investigate it. Using it's miniscule nose to sniff out whatever it is that it is sensing, it ends up peaking his head through the leaves, where it sees a distorted dark blue, violet and black pulsating orb roughly the size of it's pupil being formed in front of it's eyes. But it doesn't stay that size for long, for after a second it has become the size of it's head, and in two more it has become as big as it's entire body. Fearing for it's life, the Sharpea turns around and gets ready to flee. However, a second of hesitation causes the wall of the orb to touch the beast's tail.

And that right there is enough to seal the poor thing's fate, as no matter how hard it tries to build up a momentum by shuffling it's feet, it cannot escape the pull of the orb as it continues to grow. The sensation the Sharpea experiences can be compared to that of a black hole, as it's molecules are broken down bit by bit until it is eventually fully consumed by the orb. With no other living creatures in sight, the only other things the orb consumes as it expands is the multitude of foliage in the area and the dust that rises up as the bottom portion of it scrapes along the ground. Eventually it grows to the approximate size of a large stadium dome, and with it's growth now done the suctioning noise is replaced by that of a quiet, steady heartbeat...



The following day, in a lone, humble looking wooden household in the Mushroom Kingdom that has the familiar sign on the front that says "Mario", we find a certain young boy with medium length brown hair, blue eyes, a brown t-shirt with complimenting blue jeans and a black glove wrapped around his right hand leaning elbow first against the arm of a comfy leather love seat that rests in the living room. While the rest of his body lays on the proper side, his eyes boringly gaze at the small TV screen in front of him, which is currently stuck on the News Channel, which is known by all as the Shroom Channel Daily News. As of now the topic being discussed is the weekly weather. Not surprisingly, the forecast calls for Sunny with a small chance of clouds for every day of the week in Toad Town. After letting out a tired yawn, the boy uses his left arm to reach out and grab the Shroom Shake that sits all by itself on the glass table in front of him, lifting the rim of the can up to the tip of his lips and letting the reddish-brown liquid flow between both them and his teeth until the inside of his mouth is full, at which point he seals his lips and swallows it down with one mighty gulp. As he goes and places the can back onto the table, a sudden Emergency Broadcast program comes up on the TV screen.

"We interrupted this scheduled broadcast to bring you this important news bulletin live from the Beanbean Kingdom! As you can see from our footage here today..." His eyes widening in interest, the boy decides to sit up and lean forward to pay closer attention to what is being said. As the news broadcaster continues to speak, the boy keeps a stern eye on the footage, which reveals a massive swirling dark blue, violent and black orb in the center of the normally serene plains outside of the Beanbean Castle Town. "...It is unknown just where this mysterious orb came from, but eye witnesses report seeing the thing sucking in everything in sight as it continuously grew in size. We will now hand things over to one of our top reporters on the ground, Kaylie Koopa, as she speaks to one of Beanbean's longest living rulers, Queen Bean, about the current situation."

The camera, which unknown to most is being carried around by the fishing rod of a Lakitu, flies down to ground level, which it then proceeds to focus on a young female Koopa with a pink shell who is currently wearing a light-blue news vest, some square reading glasses, and a little make-up to add a somewhat reddish glow to her cheeks. In the grasp of her two hands is a microphone, which she keeps held low enough below her chin to avoid any static. After nodding once to acknowledge and thank her cameraman, Kaylie begins to speak. "Thank you Minda for the introduction. Now as you can see here around me, the orb has already been surrounded by a ring of police tape to keep any citizens from attempting to examine it. We have also received word that the M.S.I. is sending in one of their top men to personally check up on this strange occurrence and find out what it is and what kind of threat it may or may not pose to our fair Kingdom. Here with us today to give their input on this matter is the ruler of these fair lands, Queen Bean, and accompanying her is her ever loyal yet sometimes crazy assistant, Lady Lima."

After her professional, confident introduction, the young news reporter turns to the left and raises her mic up into the air so it's closer to the person she is interviewing, who is a large, portly green woman wearing a stretching orange dress buttoned together by a single pink brooch. Her wide, toothy frown shows the distress she is feeling in the face of this current crisis, while her accomplice, a stout, long-nosed old green woman wrapped in a yellow cloak that is made distinguishable by the red and white jagged stripes on her sleeves and hat, keeps a smile on her face despite her left eye twitching in the face of Kaylie's comment. "Miss Queen Bean, do you think this orb poses a threat to you or your lands?" The little reporter asks. Switching to a grin, the Queen lets out a jolly laugh before she lets her answer be known. "Hohoho! To be fair, I have no clue about this strange phenomenon. Never before in the history of our fair Kingdom, nay, the world has there ever been any record of such a thing every coming into existence. But we are not worried. Should this turn out to be a threat though, I've already told Prince Peasley to have my soldiers ready to strike at it." "I see...So what about-"

Before any more questions are asked, the boy shuts the TV off with a press of the button on the nearby remote control and swiftly gets up on his own two threat to stretch his two tired arms over the top of his head. Once he is done, he wiggles his arms around and lowers them down by his sides, with a smile that says "I'm ready to go" gleaming brightly on his face. "Hmmm, don't know why, but there is something...Familiar, about that orb. Well, Mario and Luigi are both off at Peach's Castle since Mallow came down for a visit, so I got nothing else to do...Besides, I bet Gemini will be the agent being sent to investigate whatever that orb might be, so it'll be nice to see how he is doing as well." After doing a couple more stretches to wake up the rest of his muscles, the boy energetically rushes out the front door. In doing so, he ends up waking up a flower who before then was resting peacefully in a soil filled light-brown clay pot while the rays of the morning sun caused him to under-go photosynthesis.

It takes two seconds for the floral creature named Driad to steadily creak it's eyelids open and look out at the boy as he kneels down in preparation for his take-off into the skies. To recap for those who may have forgotten, Driad is a Crayzee Dayzee with a body made up of nothing but vines and his head surrounded by teal-blue petals. He is the last living survivor of the Elemental Overlord's legacy, and the former Outside Guardian of the Nature Castle. After the titanic battle between the successor of both the Elemental Overlord and the Dark King had come to a close, Driad reconstructed the damaged parts of the Osagi Woods where he once lived along with helping with the relief efforts in Toad Town, Koopa Village, and Goomba Village. After that, he has chosen to live contently with the Mario Bros. alongside the boy who he now calls his master. The same boy who at the moment he is currently looking at. And his name is Alex Whiter.

"Uuugh...Alex, what is going on?" The weary flower asks while lifting a portion of his vine out of the soil to scratch the front of his forehead. Alex glances over his shoulder with that smile still on his face, only at the moment he is having a hard time keeping that expression going when he is starting to feel a bit guilty for accidentally awakening his friend. "Heh, sorry about that Driad. I hate to just head off like this, but something is going on in the Beanbean Kingdom and as the Elemental Overlord it is my duty to step in whenever anything suspicious pops up. So could you tell Mario and Luigi about my whereabouts when they get back?" "Sure...Assuming I don't slink back into a slumber before they return..." After the warrior of the garden leans his head back and lets out a quiet yawn, Alex gives him a thumbs up and shifts his head so he is looking up towards the sky. He takes a few seconds to look back and forth in order to make sure that he doesn't jump right into the path of a passing by airplane like he did once before. With the air clear of such a vehicle, the young Overlord rockets into the air, and upon reaching the proper height he points his body in the right direction and flies off at such breakneck speeds that he almost leaves behind a sonic boom in his wake.

It takes him all of a minute to reach his destination, and as he flies over Stardust Fields he decreases his speed to the point that he is going at a walking pace once he sees the tip of the warped looking orb appearing on the horizon. Ten seconds later, Alex flips his body around so his feet are pointed at the ground and he descends upon the area where Kaylie Koopa is wrapping up her interview with Queen Bean and Lady Lima. With the act of the young reporter bowing her head in respect out of the way, the two royal figures say their goodbyes and walk back across the nearby bridge into town. Afterwards, the Koopa turns herself around, and upon seeing the Elemental Overlord standing before her she lets out an excited squeal before quickly catching herself and returning to her more focused attitude with a single cough. Waving her arm to tell the Camera Lakitu to follow her, Kaylie starts to approach Alex.

The boy, unaware of the two of them coming his way, looks around for any familiar faces, but all he sees is a rather familiar chopper looming behind a giant tree in the distance. "So he has already arrived..." Before Alex can seek out whoever "He" is, he is interrupted by a certain reporter drawing his attention towards her with a wave of the mic in front of his field of vision. Turning his head to the left, he graciously smiles at the camera as it's pointed right at him and politely invites the female Koopa to hold the microphone close to his face by waving the fingers of his right hand towards his body. Complying to his wishes, Kaylie does exactly that, her fingers rattling nervously as she is overcome by a feeling of excitement due to the fact that she is about to interview the savior of the planet.

"We are back once again folks, as the one and only Elemental Overlord has appeared just now to investigate this mysterious phenomenon. So tell us, almighty conqueror of the eternal darkness, have you been able to determine what kind of threat this orb poses to our world?" With the question laid out in front of him, Alex extends one of his hands out in front of his stomach before he starts talking. "Sadly, no. Though I feel like I've seen this type of substance before, I'm incapable of remembering all the details at present. But don't worry..." The young Overlord turns his head to the left, and sees a Koopa with a yellow shell walking about around the circumference of the orb with some sort of scanning device in his right hand. "For now, I can assure both you and the rest of the populace that you are in good hands. Now I hate to cut things short here, but there is someone I need to talk to right now..." After answering the reporter's question with the utmost respect for her position, Alex turns to the left and leaps over the police tape to meet up with the yellow-shelled Koopa, leaving Kaylie to relieve herself of her excitement with one nice long sigh.

Shifting our point of view over to said Koopa, we discover that he is yet another familiar face. To the people of Plit, he is known as "The Blood Thunder" and the Lieutenant of the M.S.I., but to both his friends and the other members of the base he lives in, his real name is known to them as Gemini. With his eyes of purple, a mechanical right arm, and a red scarf wrapped around the lower section of his left arm that has remained untouched despite the many battles he has been in, it is quite obvious to see how he is not only easily identifiable among yellow-shelled Koopas, but among the rest of his species as well. With that being said, the calm and collected Lieutenant taps down onto the green screen of his octagonal metal scanner, which causes the spherical tip of the antenna to glow red. Once he has done this he sticks said glowing tip into the orb and waits for the results to come up. With his mind completely focused on this process, he fails to notice Alex coming his way until he is standing about a foot behind him.

"Yo! Gemini!" The young Overlord hollers out, which causes the Koopa to flinch and in turn almost causes the scanner to get disrupted by the vibrations being sent through his body. "Alex...What are you doing here?" He says quietly, but in such a way that it sounds like he is trying to avoid having a conversation with his friend. "Just checking up on the situation. You?" The boy says with a grin, his mind oblivious to the tone of which Gemini spoke in. "Alpha assigned me here to scan this orb to see if it is composed of any recognizable materials, and then report back to him if the results come up negative." Though Alex failed to catch on to the way his friend had spoken just a moment ago, he does pay attention to the fact that the Koopa is trying his hardest to make sure that the scarf of his arm is hidden from view, and that his lips are moving in such a way that it is easy for the young Overlord to make out what he is saying. "But why did she have to be here on this day..." Is what he is saying from under his breath.

"Huh?" Puzzled as to why the Koopa Lieutenant made such a comment to himself, Alex glances over his shoulder to look at Kaylie, who at the moment is the only female in the area, as she spends her time waiting patiently for an update of some sort while she speaks to her ever loyal Camera Lakitu. Then he looks back at Gemini, who was also glancing over his shoulder at the time, until he catches his friend looking at him, at which point he quickly looks back at his scanner without saying a word. After a couple more times of looking back and forth between the two Koopas, the young Overlord lets out a snicker that is muffled out by him leaning the side of his right hand against his mouth. "Got something funny you wish to share there Alex?" Gemini says in a lightly irritated tone of voice.

"So, what is your relation to the reporter?" Alex asks in a cheery tone. "That's none of your business." The Koopa bluntly retorts while wiggling his left arm around ever so slightly. "I noticed that you are trying to keep your scarf hidden from her. Did she give that to you a long time ago?" "No. Now stop pestering me about her and let me concentrate." There is a second or two of silence where the young Overlord hesitates before deciding to ask one more question. "Was she your girlfriend?" At that point, the scanner lets out a small beep, which conveniently happens at the same time that Gemini snaps. The Koopa promptly turns around and uses one hand to draw his trident from his shell, which is soon after shoved prongs first underneath Alex's chin. The boy doesn't flinch though, for he knows his friend won't harm him in any way.

"Listen here Alex. You may be my friend, you may be the Elemental Overlord, but if you ask even one more question about me and Kaylie, I will not hesitate to kick your ass here and now, you got it?" In the face of Gemini taking a rather defensive approach to his constant pestering, Alex decides that it would be wise to relent before his friend is pissed off any further. "I'm sorry, it was wrong of me to pursue something that you obviously don't wish to mention." It takes all of five seconds for Gemini to calm himself down and withdraw his trident back into his shell, and upon doing so the two friends share a breath of relief, only for the Koopa Lieutenant to get back to work only a moment afterwards as he lifts the scanner up in front of his chest in order to see the results. The green screen on there that usually reveals the composition of whatever it is that the wielder chooses to scan has instead been replaced by a glowing dark red "ERROR!" sign.

"So that's how it is huh..." After confirming the results and guiding his fingers over to the small black switch on the right side of the device, Gemini shuts it down and places it inside of his shell before taking his right hand and using his pointer finger to tap a miniature device attached to the side of his head. "Whatcha doing there now?" Alex curiously asks, not even bothering to question just what the results of the scan were despite how important it might've been for him to know. "Setting up a com. link with the other members that are investigating their own assigned orbs." Gemini quickly responds, taking a moment to cover the device with the appropriate hand due to not wanting the others to hear him conversing with Alex. "Wait, there are more orbs on Plit than just this one?" The young Overlord says as his body stumbles back a step in shock.

"Counting this one there is only three at the moment, though Commander Alpha suspects that this is only the start of something bigger, so he sent me and couple key agents out to check out different aspects of this phenomenon and then report back when everything checks out ok. I was assigned to this orb to check the composition, as you already know, Field Agent Torvus was assigned to the orb in Water Land in order to see if any weaponry could disrupt it's structure, and Snidek of the Shadows was told to check on the orb that spawned first near the forests outside of the Mushroom Village in order to see if any hostiles might end up spawning from it. Now I'm going to have to ask you to be silent for the time being Alex, this device of mine can only pick up the sound waves of one person at a time...Any more join in and we will run the risk of the radio signal getting broken up." Having been asked to do that task with the utmost politeness, the young Overlord complied to his friend's wishes, signifying said compliance by moving two fingers across the front of his lips to pretend that he is sealing them up like a zipper.

Once that is done and the two exchange a respectful nod, Gemini removes his hand from the device and begins to speak into it. "This is Lieutenant Gemini checking in. Results have come up negative, respond with an update of your status within five seconds." "This is Field Agent Torvus. I've tried everything possible. EMPs, missiles, and geothermal lasers, but the orb managed to absorb them all without any noticeable changes on the outside, over." "This is Snidek. I haven't seen any signs of movement and with no ripples vibrating along the surface I think it's safe to say that these orbs aren't meant to teleport anything to our world, over." As the two agents report on their situations, Gemini can be seen visibly nodding as he is able to easily understand what is going on. Once they are done, Gemini places his hand over the device so he can relay the info over to Alex.

"None of our tech is doing anything yet it seems as though nothing threatening is emerging from the orb. What is your take on all this Alex?" The young Overlord grabs a hold of both of his arms with the opposite hands and presses them against his gut as he stares into the sky to think things through. "Hmm...I vaguely remember seeing these types of orbs before, but I don't know, the facts aren't adding up..." Before he chooses to say anymore though, he shifts his eyes down to look at Gemini, who is looking rather worried as his own eyes are looking off to the right in the same direction where his device is located, as he begins to hear a buildup of static interference mixed in with the panicked screams of his two comrades. "Bzzrrt...Gem..Bzzrt...Stran...Bzz...ures...Bugs...Zzzrrrt...Ru...ssssssssssssssssss..." "Gemini...brrzzzt...Enemies have suddenly...*crackle*...I'm being overwhe...ssssssssssss" And then, the signals die out simultaneously, instead being replaced by a long, high-pitched screech that forces the Koopa to shut his device off before he goes death, his pupils shrunk in horror as his mind suspects the worse. "They're...dead." He whispers to himself.

"What is that?" The sound of Kaylie's perplexed sounding voice causes both Alex and Gemini to turn themselves around to investigate just what was her startled. Standing all by its lonesome near both the bushes and the edge of the orb is a creature that is unfamiliar to the Lieutenant, but not to the young Overlord. This stout creature has a curved olive-green body with a silver saucer shaped ring connecting the round, onyx-colored head to it. On top of the head is a cylinder shaped hat that not only has the same coloring as his body, but is as tall as his head to boot, with a thin red antenna attached to the center of it. It's two red oval shaped eyes are surrounded by thick white lines, it's gaze looking absolutely lifeless as it refuses to blink even once. The creature's black, limp and rather noodle-like in appearance limbs have attached to them two light-brown four-fingered gloves and two similarly colored boots.

"I remember now. These mysterious phenomena are known as Subspace Orbs...And the creature that just appeared is part of the Subspace Army, with the name 'Primid' being given to it." Alex says in a somewhat serious tone as he moves his body around to get into a fighting pose with his fists clenched on both of his sides. Reacting appropriately to the appearance of this rather unknown to him creature, Gemini quickly pulls the prongs of his trident out of his shell and with a thought the rod extends for him to grasp onto as he holds onto it backhanded. "Since you seem to have recalled just what this thing is, tell me if there is anything I need to worry about before I strike it down." "Not really. These enemies are basically fodder, what with their slow movement speed and rather tame attacks."

But unbeknownst to the two of them thanks to them being unable to see it from this viewpoint, this Primid has two small bronze exhaust pipes sticking out of its back that are clearly not just for show, as it is about to now demonstrate by activating them. As the blue flames roar out of the holes in the pipes, Gemini is quick to catch their appearance from where he stands, and as the creature dashes forward towards a frozen in place Kaylie with its orange glowing fist held behind it's back ready to strike, it's life is unexpectedly cut short when the Lieutenant's swiftly flung trident impales itself right into the side of the Primid's head, knocking it straight off and causing the rest of the body to fall flat on the ground due to its balance now being thrown off. Instead of blood coming from its body though, a series of black dots surrounded by a hazy violet glow scurry out as the entire thing starts to dissolve and in turn create more of them. Once the Primid has vanished complete, these "Shadow Bugs" fly back into the orb from whence it came, and Gemini uses a slight magnetic pulse to call his trident back into the palm of his right hand.

"You were saying..." He confidently says while spinning his trident around in front of him. Alex, however, ignores that and keeps shifting his eyes back and forth as he awaits the emergence of more enemies. Meanwhile, Kaylie, who is breathing heavily with a hand pressed against her chest as she tries to come to terms with the fact that she was only seconds away from death, turns her head to look at her savior. But when she does show, she lets out a quiet gasp that is followed up by a momentary pause as she sees that the one that the Elemental Overlord referred to as "Gemini" is wearing a familiar red scarf on his left arm. As memories of events she had tried so hard to forget begin to rise up to the surface, the confused reporter understandably turns herself around and walks a few feet away to gather her thoughts while also trying to reassure herself that the person she is seeing is not who she thinks it is.

"Why does the Lieutenant of the M.S.I. have his scarf on his arm? It couldn't be that he is...No, get a grip Kaylie. It is just a coincidence, yeah...I mean after all, many people probably wear red scarves on their left arms...Yeah, it can't possibly be him..." With her mind distracted by her own personal concerns, the reporter fails to notice a Primid holding a golden gun with a scope standing behind her with energy charging in the barrel. The Camera Lakitu tries to alert her with all of his might, but with his words falling on death ears she can do nothing as a yellow superheated shot is fired from the gun.

It's lucky for her though that Alex's vision is keen, for he quickly teleports behind her and cuts the shot in half with a sword strike so swift that it is almost a blur to the normal eye. At the same time, the act of slashing sends out a wave of flame that splits the Primid in half and causes it to dissolve just like the one before it. The crackling sound the fire makes as it moves across the ground is enough to bring Kaylie to her senses as to what is occurring around her. When she turns around, she sees that the young Overlord has taken up a defensive stance with his sword grasped in both hands as it's held at level with his pelvis area.

"I'll stay here and keep these two protected! You can take care of the other enemies for now, right?" With his eyes looking over to his battle-ready friend, it can be seen that he is currently prepared to confront five Primids that just emerged from the orb. Two of them have a red coloring on their bodies but with a big red "X" across their face instead of the two eyes like the previous ones, two of them are wielding an energy sword with a sky blue-ish glow in their right hands while their faces have one eye that consists of a small red dot with a really thick white line surrounding it, and the last one is a gigantic version of the normal ones who lumbers behind the row of the other four while it's completely blank face somehow manages to draw a bead of sweat from Gemini's forehead as it gazes down onto him. But it was not created out of fear, but because he is excited to fight again after so long.

"Creatures drawn from the unknown...Make your first move." Stopping himself in the middle of his invite to the Primids to attack him, Gemini shuts his eyelids halfway as his glare pierces deep into whatever part of the creatures you could claim to be their souls and waves the fingers of his other hand out to taunt them even further. Being the emotionless creatures that they are, they are totally unaffected by the Lieutenant's attempts at intimidation, and without so much as a thought the Sword Primids run forward to deliver the first attack. As they stand on the tip of their left foot, the two creatures spin themselves around with their swords extended out in front of them for the maximum possible range. The Lieutenant takes a cautious step back to avoid the first slashes, and then raises his trident to block the second blows, which throws off the Primid's momentum and almost causes their arms to be ripped right from their bodies.

Acting quickly on this, Gemini overpowers the two creature's offense by dropping his trident right on top of his feet, pulling his arms back with the palms surging with electricity, then thrusting both of them out at the same time to strike the Primids in the chest area to sending them flying away from him with their bodies spinning rapidly around until they are dissolved into "Shadow Bugs" thanks to the massive hole that was blown into the center of their bodies by the electric burst that the Lieutenant attacked them with causing enough damage to keep their solidified forms stable. While the "Bugs" float down towards the ground, the Fire Primids are the next to attack, as they march forward beside each other with the Giant Primid following not soon after.

As the remnant of the sparks are absorbed back into Gemini's body, he pulls his arms back and back flips to just narrowly avoid a fireball that was spat at him by the left Fire Primid while at the same time kicking his trident with both feet to propel it high into the air above him. With it's target missed, the ball of fire impacts with the nearby bushes and ignites them in a furious blaze, though it's presence is only short-lived due to Alex flinging a ball of water into it to put it out before it has a chance to spread. With that out of the way, the young Overlord turns his head to the right as both he and his friend exchange a nod of appreciation before Gemini can no longer see Alex due to flipping his body around and landing down with his knees bent and one hand resting on the ground with his eyes refusing to let his enemy escape from his sight.

Next up, the Fire Primids rear their heads back and cross their arms in front of their neck braces. Before they've finished charging however, Gemini kicks his feet off the ground to dash towards them and reels his right arm back to try and punch the left Primid, only for him to be forced to grind to a halt as the Giant Primid stamps it's right foot down in front of him to block his way momentarily as his companions have built up within their "mouths" the maximum level of heat necessary for their next attack. So as the Giant pulls it's foot up, the two Fire Primids move their arms out of the way and lower their heads to release a steady stream of fire from within that the Lieutenant just manages to avoid by jumping to the left, though the flames come dangerously close to scorching his legs.

Thinking he is safe now that he is out of the line of fire, Gemini fails to realize that the creatures can still move their heads despite the amount of effort being put into doing their flamethrower attack. One Primid shifts their head to the right to target the Lieutenant, while the other one turns to the left to try and burn the spectators due to assuming that they are defenseless. Of course, Alex swiftly proves their line of thinking wrong by summoning a wall of water around himself with a snap of the fingers, Kaylie, and the Camera Lakitu that turns the fire into smoke once it makes contact with it. And the young Overlord effortlessly keeps the wall up with only a thought until the Fire Primid gives up and turns his head around to join his partner in targeting Gemini.

Up until that point, the Lieutenant had managed to avoid the first flamethrower by side flipping back and forth through the air. But with the prospect of another one joining in to pressure him even further, Gemini decides to set up a defense before he burns to cinders. Raising one hand into the air mid-flip, the electricity-infused Koopa uses a magnetic pull to call his trident back to him, grasping onto the rod with both of his hands while pointing it down towards the ground. Once he lands, he quickly raises his weapon above his head and slams it into the ground, surrounding himself with a static barrier that successfully prevents the flamethrowers from reaching him. But he knows he can't stay in there for long, especially considering that the Giant Primid is getting ready to break through his defense with his pulled back glowing right fist.

To counter all three of his opponents at once, Gemini twists his trident ninety degrees to the left to reverse the polarity of his electricity and causing the barrier to spread out all-around and pushing back the flames into the "mouths" of the Fire Primids. With too much combustible particles being shoved into them at once, the creatures heads explode only five seconds after the barrier has expanded to the point of being too stretched out to keep it's stable form, but before it vanishes it makes contact with the Giant Primid and causes it to get briefly paralyzed, giving the Lieutenant just enough time to lift his trident out of the ground and fling it prongs first right through the giant's head, dealing enough damage just like with the rest of the enemies and causing it along with the Fire Primids to dissolve into "Shadows Bugs".

Now no longer being able to sense the enemies' strange presences, Alex drops the wall of water and sees Gemini standing both triumphant and virtually unscathed from his battle. As the Lieutenant walks forward with his eyes closed while clapping the palms of his hands together to dust them off, Kaylie peaks out from behind the young Overlord and takes another look at this mysterious yet familiar yellow-shelled Koopa. "Who is he?" Her question, which she would've rather preferred stayed in her head as a thought, gets overheard by Alex, and his quick response sends a jolt through the reporter's nerves that causes her to flinch due mainly in part to the fact that she was so focused on Gemini that she failed to realize her mistake until just that moment.

"Him? That's the infamous Gemini of the Blood Thunder, Lieutenant of the M.S.I., and one of my closest friends." The way the young Overlord speaks not only shows how strong the bond of friendship is between the two of them is, but his tone is also laced with a strong sense of honor for the way that Gemini had bravely fought and won his battle. As Kaylie's eyes widen and her pupils shrink, she slaps her forehead upon realizing what a complete idiot she has been. "Gah! Why didn't I see it sooner...The yellow shell, the blood-stained cloth, the name..." After berating herself she slowly draws her hand away from her face as her expression has become heavy with sadness and a bit of guilt being noticeable in her melancholy frown. "And to think...That for even a moment I tricked myself into believing that there was even a glimmer of hope that he was still alive after all this time..." This insight into her momentary lapse of foolishness manages to stay inside her thoughts, luckily for her though; Alex still has something to say to her despite not knowing about what she is thinking of.

"Blood-stained cloth? Hehehe...Hate to be rude here, but for a reporter you don't seem to know your facts very well. Then again, this isn't something that is very well known about Gemini anyways, so I guess I can't blame you for getting things mixed up." Alex humorously states with a shrug of the shoulders and a shake of the head. "He isn't called Gemini of the Blood Thunder because he wipes the blood of his enemies onto that scarf of his. Quite the opposite actually...He is called that because no matter how many times he draws blood from his foes, he has never once allowed even a single drop to land on that scarf. I don't know why he fights like that, but I guess that scarf has to be like some sort of valuable heirloom or a parting gift from a comrade who died on the battlefield if he tries so hard to avoid getting it stained."

With the truth of the matter now revealed to her, Kaylie stands speechless for a few moments as she thinks back to a period in time six years ago, when someone she once knew departed from the place where they lived, never to be seen again. "...There is one thing I want you to have though before you leave." "There...Now, until the day that your transformation takes hold, you can look at that scarf, and remember that no matter what happens, I will never forget that you were my friend...Ko-." "...I don't care what you think, I don't care what they say, I believe that there is some way for you to return to normal...But if you have to leave for our own sake, then promise me that you will never give up hope, don't let yourself be taken over by whatever it is that plagues you...And...And...I'm sorry...For never..." As the final words of that heart wrenching memory echo continuously inside her head, a teardrop forms in the corner of her left eye, and as it trickles slowly down her cheek she takes the upper part of her vest and wipes it clean off of her face. A light sniffle being heard from her as she starts to get overcome with feelings of regret. "All this time...And I still haven't been able to let go of the past...All because I was a foolish little girl who lacked the courage to let my feelings be known...In the end, I just wanted him to know that I-"

"Gemini! Watch out behind you!" Alex's panicked utterance of those words snapped the reporter out of her momentary depression just in time for her to witness the events unfolding before her eyes in full capacity. For at that very moment, the remaining "Shadow Bugs" are swarming together behind the unaware Lieutenant and fusing together to create a new, more powerful creature to face down the obstacle that blocks "their" path of conquest. Once they have merged into the proper shape, the fuzzy, bumpy texture is replaced with that of the new creature's true form.

Gemini turns around to see the new combatant that his friend has warned him about. With a black body that resembles a pot with two small light-red jeweled wheels on the bottom allowing it to move around with ease, it's arms are simply four giant sickles, two for each side of the body that rotate all around their orb-shaped shoulders while the tips of the blades carve up the ground as if it were butter. The small head that is connected to the rest of the body by a series of intertwining nerves is protected by a executioner style metal mask with spikes covering every possible square inch of it. Because of a couple key changes, the young Overlord almost fails to remember the name of this specific creature.

"That's a...Greap? It looks like one, but...Bah, I don't even know!" While he wastes time trying to comprehend what is going on, Gemini acts quickly on his new opponent by calling into existence on the back of his shell his metal demon wings and form-fitting horned helmet onto his head. With the full force of his demonic powers now awakened in his heart and extending out to the rest of his body, the demon Lieutenant spins his trident around once beside himself, skidding the tip of the prongs against the ground to ignite a black spark that follows the weapon as it's raised into the air in the form of a trail of black electricity. He holds the trident up so the rod is at arm's length before pointing it straight at this mysterious new creature.

"You really want to go another round? You sure you don't want to change your form to something less...Metallic?" Having given the creature a fair enough warning, Gemini is quite frankly unsurprised when it lashes one of its scythe blades out at him, which he calmly blocks with a swing of his own weapon without exerting any visible effort, the clashing of the two metals releasing a miniature burst of black sparks that does little to make either fighter flinch. "Alright then..." As the Lieutenant closes his eyelids and sighs, the metal composition of the scythe that struck at him can be seen melting thanks to the super-heated type of electricity circulating through it. "Don't say I didn't warn you." With his expression remaining stoic and his weapon flipped around to a backhanded grip, Gemini does what he did with the first group of enemies and waves his fingers towards himself to invite them to attack.

From the viewpoint of the spectators, the only one concerned for the Lieutenant's safety is Kaylie. The Camera Lakitu is too busy getting footage for later news stories, and Alex knows better than to doubt his friend's strength. "Kaylie, was it?" Taking attention to the young Overlord's question, the reporter raises her head while keeping her eyes focused on the mysterious Koopa's battle. "Y-yes?" She mutters in a scared tone of voice. "I don't know what occurred to you in the past, and I don't what your connection to Gemini is, or his connection to you, but I can say one thing with confidence. You have no reason to worry about him. For as long as he draws a breath, he will keep on fighting 'til the bitter end." Alex's tender words ease the reporter's mind, as she sighs and wipes a sweat drop clean from her forehead. "Now, we got things from here. You should head back to the news station and spread the story around the Kingdom just in case more of these orbs show up."

With a complying nod, both the Camera Lakitu and Kaylie head off, though it takes the reporter tugging her partner by his cloud for him to stop filming the battle between Gemini and the creature that shall now go by the name of the "Death Greap". By this time, the Lieutenant has melted off two of the creature's scythes, and with an opening now available to him he leaps into the air and with one powerful thrust he jams the tips of his trident right into the metal plating of it's spiked helmet. Unloading as much black electricity as he can through the piercings he just made, Gemini pulls his weapon out and leaps off as the creature's "flesh" is overloaded and the head explodes in a burst of "Shadow Bugs", which in turn causes the rest of the body to dissolve into them as well. But before the Lieutenant can do anything about them upon landing on the ground, they fly back into the orb.

Thus, with the battle now won, Gemini reverts back to his original state and retracts the rod of his weapon back into the prongs before storing them into his shell. "Guess that's it..." He says with a sigh of relief as he claps his hands together three times. While he does this, Alex approaches him from behind while tilting his head to look up at the orb. Hearing his friend's footsteps ahead of time, the Lieutenant looks over his shoulders to see that Kaylie has already left. "..." His eyes lying heavy with regret, it takes the act of the young Overlord communicating with him to snap him out of it. "So, what do we do now?" He asks, obviously having no insight of his own on the matter at hand. Gemini turns his body around and begins to walk towards his ride while keeping a hand held in the air to let his friend know that he is still paying attention. "I'm going to head back to base and tell Alpha about what happened. You should head back to Toad Town and tell Mario and the others about this. Anyways, I'll see you later..."

As he enters the aerial vehicle, Alex could've sworn that he heard a hint of sadness in his friend's voice. But as the motor blades go off on top of the chopper and send a breeze across the plains that ruffle both the grass and tree leaves, he realizes that he can't really confront Gemini about that matter at the moment. So as the vehicle rises into the air and flies off, the young Overlord decides that he in turn should do the same. Before he kneels down to launch himself into the air, something whispers to him from within the orb. It's faint, but he is able to make out a couple of words in what seems to be a complete sentence. "I...Revenge..." Shaking it off as a hallucination possibly brought on by being in close proximity with the orb, Alex leaps into the air and like a bullet he speeds off back towards Mario's house to first update Driad of the events that unfolded there just now.

In a matter of seconds he is back, but when he slows himself down and lands on the porch, to his surprise he finds that his flowered friend is nowhere to be found. Checking around to see if he might be doing some work on the yard, the young Overlord cautiously walks up the steps just in case there is someone waiting inside the house to ambush him. When at the top, he turns around and glances over the whole yard once again, only to shake his head to correct himself over how paranoid he is acting. "Geez Alex, you shouldn't be worried about the enemy being here. After all, there aren't any orbs within range...But still, wonder where Driad is? I was only gone for about...Not even ten minutes, wow, feels like it was longer than that." Upon wondering about things for a little while longer, the boy comes to the conclusion that should've been obvious from the start.

"Duh!" And with a quick 180 degree turnaround, Alex finds a note nailed to the front of the door addressed directly to him. Pulling it off of there gently to avoid a tear forming on it, the boy holds it up in front of his face to get a better view of the writing. "Alex, by the time you read this, me, Driad, and Luigi have headed on over to E. Gadd's lab to discuss the issue of the Subspace Orbs that have been popping up around Plit. If you read this, come and join us there, because this concerns not just you, but the fate of the planet hangs in the balance as well. Signed, Mario." Releasing the note from his grasp, a light gust of wind blows on by that carries it away while also ruffling the strands of hair on the front of the young Overlord's head. "Well, can't dawdle around here then. Better get moving!" With a single back flip, Alex gets enough height to suspend himself in mid-air for a moment, turn himself around, and fly off in the direction of Toad Town.

When he arrives there, he immediately heads towards the district where the Professor's chrome covered lab can be seen in plain sight and after five more seconds he has landed on the ground with his back turned to the door. Sensing the urgency in Mario's note, Alex turns around and rushes down the stairway to join up with his fellow friends. When he reaches the bottom, he sees all of them sitting around a stainless steel round table with their lifted up in anticipation due to them hearing his footsteps clinkering against the metal stairs as he headed on down. Obviously, I shouldn't have to describe Mario or Luigi's appearance to you; they are iconic enough in this day and age to be recognized all around the world. As for the elderly E. Gadd, he looks just the same as he usually does, with his round, swirly glasses, signature white lab coat and that little mound of hair on the top of his age-spot dotted head being his most recognizable features.

"Sorry I'm late!" Alex says in an overly apologetic tone. "It's alright, ohohoho, though I was beginning to think that you had disappeared from the face of the planet." As E. Gadd brings that up, Alex glares over at Driad, who flinches and begins to shake his head back and forth to try and find a way to divert his friend's attention away from him. "Driad, did you forget to tell them where I headed off to?" With his blunt accusation, the living flower stops fidgeting and lowers his head in shame. "Sorry...I guess since I was so tired and all it just slipped my mind..." Seeing as he looks absolutely guilt-ridden right now, as he pulls one of the chairs out and sits down on it, Alex lets out a sigh and decides to forgive him, to which Driad generously thanks him for by nodding his head once with a smile. "Anyways, I was investigating one of the orbs in the Beanbean Kingdom. Gemini was there on orders from Alpha, but save for a few enemies coming out that were dispatched easily by him there was nothing dangerous about it...Speaking of which, where is Mallow? I thought he had come down for a visit." As he looks back and forth for signs of the cloud Prince, Mario leans forward with his arms resting on the table and an uncharacteristically serious frown on his face.

"He went back to Nimbus Land to prepare the citizens just in case a Subspace Orb were to appear in the area. He said that once he was done there he would come back and help us out." Luigi quickly answers, his expression being just as serious as his brother's. "So what is up with the orbs? You seem to have some experience on the matter if you know what they are composed of Mario." Alex asks while folding his arms behind his head and leaning back to better relax himself. "Well, since you are here now it would be best to not waste any more time. This will be a long story, but an informative one at that, so pay close attention if you will please..." As Mario lifts his head up off the table, everyone stops talking and looks right at him as he begins to weave together a tale from his past, from a time before Alex had arrived on the planet...

"Unknown to almost the entire populace of Plit, there have been three occasions where me and a few other people from this world have been transported to a strange dimension known as the World of Trophies by a pair of sentient beings known as the Master Hand and the Crazy Hand. Their motives were pure. They wished to see how fighters from other worlds fared against those they had no idea about, a combat to the death. But there was no cause for alarm, they assured us. Because of the world they had created, we had become 'Trophies', and would thus respawn on a holy platform every time we 'Died'. In the end, when we've proven ourselves capable of facing our opponents, we would get a chance to face the Master Hand himself in combat on Final Destination. Whenever someone finally won, we would be sent back to our home world with our memories untouched.

The first time around, besides me and Luigi, we were also joined by Yoshi, Donkey, a swordsman in a green tunic named Link, a pink puffball named Kirby, a anthromorphic star pilot named Fox, a bounty hunter named Samus Aran, an electric mouse and another Pink puffball who were apparently called Pikachu and Jigglypuff, as they kept calling themselves whenever we tried to speak with them, a grand prix racer named Captain Falcon, and a boy with telekenetic powers named Ness. It was simple, and we were allowed to fight as we pleased until we wished to take on the 'Classic' Gauntlet, as they so called it. In the end, after conquering both a Metal version of myself and wire-framed clones of the fighters, I defeated the Master Hand and we were sent home, with time having not passed even a second since we departed.

Then came the second time, this time the fight was escalated to the point that the two hands dubbed it a "Melee". Peach and Bowser were brought in this time, along with a few combatants from Link's world, which surprisingly enough included a younger version of himself, two swordsmen named Roy and Marth, a couple of 'Pokemon' named Pichu and Mewtwo, a two-dimension black man named Game and Watch, Fox's friend/rival Falco, two siblings who called themselves the Ice Climbers, and oddly enough, my Doctor persona was cloned from my memories. This time around, we were allowed to battle in three gauntlets, a revamped 'Classic' one that allowed us to face off against Metal versions of ourselves and if we performed well enough, both hands at the same time, an 'Adventure' gauntlet that consisted of us traveling across a multitude of environments taken from various worlds to reach a battle with a genetically modified clone of Bowser who had the ability to take the form of Giga Bowser, just like the one in our world did when he came in contact with the seven elemental stones, and finally the 'All-Star' gauntlet, which was the toughest of the three, and had us facing off against all the other fighters with little reprieve in between. Unlike before, defeating the Hands in combat didn't allow us to return to our worlds. We instead had to clear through all three gauntlets to be allowed freedom. Fortunately, the most experienced of the swordsmen, Roy, was able to endure this difficult task and we went back home.

The third time around...Things were very, very different. A plethora of new fighters were brought in. Wario, Olimar and his Pikmin crew, Lucas, Ike, Snake, Sonic, Pit, Toon Link, Diddy Kong, King Dedede, Meta Knight, Wolf, Lucario, and a Pokemon Trainer and his Squirtle, Ivysaur and Charizard. Mewtwo, Roy, Pichu, Dr. Mario, and Young Link did not come back this time though for reasons we never knew...The gauntlets remained pretty much the same, though 'Adventure' was removed and 'Classic' got rid of the Metal battles. However, this time around we were given some more freedom by being allowed to actually explore the so-called World of Trophies that the Hands were discussing in the first place. It was a vast, mysterious world, but there were a couple elements of it that looked similar to locations in our own individual worlds. Taking a liking to said locations, each of us proceeded to wander about trying to determine what the goal of victory was this time around. In time, some of us discovered a stadium where we could fight to our heart's content if we so wanted. We were still allowed to fight in arenas both old and new, but having that world took the ease off of the lonliness we felt for our own home planets, and for a while everything was peaceful...

Until that fateful day, when the Subspace Army attacked. Using Meta Knight's famed battleship, the Halberd, to drop "Shadow Bugs" and Subspace Bombs into the stadium. The Bugs formed into creatures called Primids and Spaaks that me, Kirby, Peach and Zelda managed to fight off. However, as I went to disarm the bomb, I was ambushed from behind by a cannonball shot fired off by a foe from my world, Petey Pirahna, and sent my flying for what seemed to be forever, until eventually I landed and collapsed on a lone platform in a place called Skyworld, where my body turn into a trophy until my stand was touched by Pit. Having told each other of the situation, we joined forces and went on a journey across the land to find and try to stop the mastermind behind the Bombs, the Ancient Minister, a strange, crimson cloaked figure. Our efforts proved to be in vain, as we eventually lost track of where he was going.

After some time, we came across a shadow version of Zelda, who was duplicated thanks to "Shadows Bugs" copying her DNA structure. After defeating it, it just so happened that Link and Yoshi were passing by at that time, with Link mistaking the dissolving of Zelda's trophy as a sign that we had killed her, and acted in a state of blind fury. After I had no choice but to defeat the both of them, which as you can imagine with Yoshi was incredibly hard for me to do due to our relation to one another, they turned into trophies that were promptly snatched by King Dedede on a carrier car. As he spun around and went on his way, I noticed that Peach and Luigi were two of the trophies he had on his trolley, but I could do nothing to catch up to him. Luckily, Kirby came to the rescue and restored Link and Yoshi to their original forms, though he was shooken off before he could get to the others. Once Link and Pit damaged the vehicle with a couple of precise arrow shots, the five of us proceeded to give chase across the lakeside to find Dedede.

We traveled through a cave and dealt with members of both the Subspace Army AND the Koopa Troop, who Bowser had somehow managed to bring to this world for his own personal use. But once we reached the ruined castle that Dedede was residing in, we found that he was nowhere to be found and that Peach's trophy had been snatched away. Giving chase through a hole in the wall, we eventually came across Bowser, who was carrying her trophy away to some unknown location. Try as we might though, he slipped away into his Clown Coptor and flew off towards the Halberd, leaving us with no choice but to try and find some sort of aerial vehicle with which we would use to pursue the great battleship. During out travels we discovered that more and more parts of the land were getting consumed by the detonated Subspace Bombs, and we chose to divert our attention away from the Halberd to see if we could find the Ancient Minister again. After all, if we stopped him the bombs in turn would stop as well, right?

We encountered him again in the Wilds, but when the time came to strike at him, his maneuverability and cunning made it impossible for us to even connect with the backside of his cloak. So once again we went after the Halberd, since we saw is floating close-by over a mountain top, fighting Fox's main HQ, the Great Fox. By the time we got even close enough to the canyon at the bottom of the mountain, the Great Fox had fallen and the Halberd began to drop as many "Shadows Bugs" as it possibly could in order take down the fighters at the bottom, which consisted of Marth, Ike, Lucas, Pokemon Trainer, and the Ice Climbers. The enemies were coming in by the hundreds, and were it not for our intervention they would've been turned into trophies. After that, thanks to the help of Lucario, Snake, Fox and Falco, Meta Knight managed to free both Peach and Zelda from their confinement and reclaimed the Halberd, while also freeing Mr. Game and Watch from the Army's control, which we then later learned that his body was being used to harvest the "Shadows Bugs" that had plagued us so.

Not very long after that, we were joined by a second group who had been dealing with matters on a floating island called the Isle of the Ancients. That group consisted of Captain Falcon, Pikachu, Samus, Olimar, Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, and a fighter we had never seen before, R.O.B. As we soon came to realize, R.O.B. was the Ancient Minister, but he was forced into it by the ruler of Subspace, Tabuu, who told him to either succumb to his will or lose his island forever. Because R.O.B. disliked the treatment of his people, he betrayed one of the Subspace Generals, Ganondorf, which led to a multitude of bombs going off on the isle, causing the creation of the biggest mass of subspace that we had seen yet. But that was only the beginning. Ganondorf and Bowser soon emerged from the orb, commandeering a gargantuan mobile weapon known as the Subspace Cannon, whose namesake could be believed simply for the fact that each shot was like the equivalent of blowing up a Subspace Bomb.

As R.O.B. told us as we all went into the Halberd to prepare for battle, Tabuu had planned on massive producing that ship. We knew then and there that we had to somehow destroy that massive ship and get into Subspace to stop Tabuu before that could happen. So Snake, Meta Knight, Zelda, and Captain Falcon devised a plan of action. Meta Knight would set his ship to auto-pilot and use it as a decoy while everyone else got onto the smaller ships to prepare to ride once the ship was blown up by the Subspace Cannon's exterior blasters. While we out-maneuvered the lasers being fired out, Kirby would sneak out of the sinking ship from behind on his Legendary Air Ride, the Dragoon, and fly around at a 180 degree arch to build up speed and ram through the weak point that R.O.B. told us about to destroy it.

The plan went off without a hitch, and as Bowser and Ganondorf retreated into the massive orb, we followed in after them with the ships to end things once and for all. But upon entering we found that the Subspace Army was much stronger thanks to being in their home realm, and it took many struggles for us to finally reach the heart of the land. But when we got there, we found that Bowser and Ganondorf were already turned into the trophies, and Master Hand, the one that brought us to this World in the first place, was lying on the ground with five wounds bleeding a grotesque, blue liquid thanks to the strings that Tabuu used to manipulate him with, as we later found out. The man responsible for everything was floating right in the air above us...But without saying a word, he summoned a pair of archaic looking wings and sent out a powerful ring called an Off Wave, and in an instant we were all turned into trophies...

Every last fighter was down for the count...Tabuu only an hour or so away from merging all of the world fragments together to doom the World of Trophies to oblivion...But hope was not yet lost. Dedede had placed specially designed badges onto both Luigi and Ness earlier on so when no other life forces were detected, the fighters that they were put on would return to their normal states, and he would then proceed into Subspace to gather the fighters and take down Tabuu. Kirby himself had swallowed one of the badges earlier on, so he did his own thing while the other three heroes freed their own set of fighters. Eventually, though it took some heavy convincing from Link and Zelda, we managed to also free Ganondorf and he joined our side for the time being, along with also getting Bowser and Wario to help out too. So we entered the "Great Maze" and split into different groups to cover the four corners, where we had to confront copies of ourselves along with reborn versions of the bosss enemies, such as Petey, Porky, Rayquaza, Ridley and his Metal Form, and the two Subspace Frontline Generals, Galleom and Duon.

Along the way, Dedede revealed just why he did what he did. Having seen the Subspace Army taking Meta Knight's ship early on, he caught a glimpse of Tabuu and determined just what kind of threat he posed to the world. So he purposely went around KO'ing the other fighters and placing badges on them for his master plan. We thanked him for doing what he did. So once everyone was taken down, we went to the center of the maze and entered the giant pulsating doors to confront Tabuu once more. But we had forgotten about his Off Waves, and though we looked ready to be trophified once more, Sonic showed up at the last possible second and decimated Tabuu's wings with two quick spin dashes, meaning his threat level had decreased significantly.

Even so, it took everyone's efforts to take him down, and Sonic even had to access his 'Super' Form in order to deal the final blow once Tabuu saw fit to collapse the entire dimension in order to take us all down with him. With his defeat all of Subspace vanished and the lands returned to the normal, save for the Isle of Ancients, which was hit with too high of a concentration of Subspace to ever have a chance of reforming, leaving R.O.B. as the last of his kind in a world that no one will probably ever return to...Which is why when the Master Hand finally regained consciousness with the help of his brother and he was ready to return us to our worlds once again, I asked him politely if R.O.B. could come back with us. Seeing no problem in that request, the Hands returned us all back, and R.O.B. has been here ever since that day, and we never heard eye or ear of either Subspace or Tabuu..."

"Until today..." Alex feels fit to say as he is able to catch on to the fact that Mario had reached the end of his story. "That's what it looks like." Luigi responds. As the young Overlord unfolds his arms and begins to lean forward, he closes his eyelids and begins to think to himself about everything that was just said, crumpling his forehead as there is one thing about the tale that has him puzzled. But before he can let his problems be known, Driad interjects. "Now hold on a moment. Didn't you say that the Subspace realm vanished? If that's the case, then how could these orbs be popping up now?" As he looks intently at Mario for the answer, he finds that the plumber has gone completely silent, but that's only because he knows not the answer to that question. "I got nothing to really say on the matter Driad. Perhaps I should've worded things better...While it is true that the masses of Subspace created by the Bombs vanished, we had no way of confirming for certain if the actual realm was erased. It is possible that Tabuu wasn't killed, but he did explode right before our very eyes...It's also possible that someone else usurped control of the realm after its master died out."

"I doubt that second theory highly." Alex is quick to interrupt. Interested to hear his friend's thoughts, Mario rests his arms against the table and raises an eyebrow to wait for what he has to say. "Before I left the Beanbean Kingdom, I heard someone whispering to me from within the orb...I didn't recognize whose voice it was, but they spoke of 'Revenge', so it only makes sense that Tabuu somehow survived his encounter with all of you guys." "Hmm...Seems sound, but what is his purpose in targeting the areas that orbs have been summoned in so far? And more importantly, how are the orbs even being created in the first place if he no longer has access to the Bomb Factory?" All these pressing questions weighed heavily on the heroes' minds. But fortunately, there was someone watching over them on a computer screen at that very moment who could easily answer one of their concerns. Reaching his mechanical hand out to press a lone button on a nearby dashboard, the heroes are surrounded by a field of sparkles as their visibility quickly fades away due to them being teleported to the location where their observer currently resides at.

Within seconds the five heroes along with their table have arrived in a spherical room with a series of monitors, electronic devices, and blinking colored lights covering the walls around them. When they finally realize that they are not in the Professor's lab, all but E. Gadd looks about the area with obviously puzzled expressions. Being somewhat familiar with this room though, the stout old man gets out of his chair and walks around the table so he is standing on the first step of the staircase with his head held up to gaze upon two golden, bulky, metallic arms that are resting on the arms of a turnaround leather chair. Standing beside that chair is the proud Lieutenant of the M.S.I., Gemini, which to Mario and Luigi is a tip-off sign as to where they are now at, as it is to Driad and Alex too once they twist themselves around to look at him.

"Well well, bringing us to your main headquarters with a push of a button. I didn't know you were capable of doing such a thing, Commander." As E. Gadd does his signature laugh and nudges his glasses upward, we take a look at the person he is referring to. He is a Goomba that is slightly bigger than the average sized one, with two arms made completely out of metal and wires, a black eyepatch on his right eye that covers up most of the X-shaped scar that surrounds it, and a trenchcoat of the same color on his body. In his base and by those who respect him he is referred to by the title of Commander, but to everyone else his real name is known as Alpha. He is the one who runs things in the M.S.I., or the Mushroom Spy Industry as it is sometimes known. Being the main reason why Gemini was deployed on a mission to help Mario with the rebirth of the Elemental Overlord, he himself also saw fit to join up with them later on, and was a valuable ally for the remainder of the journey, even if he did usually keep things to himself...

Turning his chair around to look down on the heroes, his almost invisible smile is enough of a "Welcome" sign as any for the group. "It's nothing too hard...Just had to figure out how the extract some of the energy that is poured into the bottom of warp pipes and then in turn...Ok, actually, it is rather hard to explain, so I'll tell you later. Either way, I welcome you all to my Command Sphere, which rests deep within the heart of the M.S.I. base; I assume nothing was lost in transition? A couple of test runs of this teleportation mechanism did result in the loss of some particularly vital organs." Realizing all too soon that they could die if what Alpha says is true, the heroes begin to panic and start doing various things to test out their bodily functions, such as breathing, muscle flexing, and biting. Of course, it turns out Alpha just made a humorous quip to have a little fun before things got serious, and after assuring them all that they are fine his expression quickly turns serious as he turns his chair back around and begins to type things up on the keyboard in front of him.

Once the proper inputs have been entered, the screens change to show the places where the Subspace Orbs have sprouted up at so far. Besides the locations Gemini had mentioned to Alex earlier, it can be seen that Stardust Fields, the outside of Sarassaland, and Shiver Valley have all become victims of these otherworldly phenomena. "In the last hour, three new orbs have sprung up in the locations that you can see on the screens before you...And thanks to the info Lieutenant Gemini has given me, I can confirm for certain that not only are these things incapable of being disrupted by the technology we have in this base, but they are also meant to call forth soldiers for that 'Subspace Army' that Mario mentioned in his story." "You were listening in on that?" Mario quickly asks, to which the Commander replies with a scoff and a brief sentence. "It wouldn't be the first time I did that...But yes, I did."

With a few more clicks of the keyboard's keys, an overhead map of the entire Mushroom, Beanbean, and Sarassaland Kingdoms appears across the screens, with a glowing dark blue dot marking the exact locations of the Subspace Orbs that have appeared thus far. "And because I was listening in, I'm positive that I can answer one of the question you brought up before I teleported you all here. If you would kindly direct your attention towards the monitor for a moment gents..." Moving their gazes away from the chair that the Commander sits upon, all the seated heroes stare do just what he asked them to do, and after a few more key clicks some plain red dots appear around the map. But they aren't scattered across a variety of places, but instead if you were to connect them together with one continuous line you would find that they form a symbol that is easily recognized by the Mario Bros.

"That's the insignia that most members of the Subspace Army wear on their bodies!" Luigi blurts out, standing up out of his chair while pointing his left pointer finger up at the screens. "Is that what it is? ..." As Alpha's mind starts to work he puts his hands together and rests the elbows on the arms of the chair. Beside him is Gemini, who glares wide-eyed at a particular inactive dot on the eastern side of the map. His left arm trembling as the face of his face begins to look distraught. Then, without any forewarning, he turns himself around and storms down the stairs in a manner that's rather inconsistent with his personality. Before he reaches the door though, Alpha stops him with a few words. "Where do you think you are going, Lieutenant?"

Gemini tightly clenches his right hand into the shape of a fist as a cold sweat begins to drip down his face. "Tell me Alpha, are you positive that that is where one of the orbs is gonna show up at?" The Commander's silence only helps to further the Koopa's anger. "WELL?" "...With the data you gave me, I can say for certain that my calculations are accurate. So yes, it will..." "...Then I'm leaving." In the span of a second Alpha spins his chair around and yells out to the rash Lieutenant "Like hell you are! What gives you the right to leave without permission? You've been loyal to a fault for years already, and never once have you disobeyed my orders. Isn't that right, Gemini?" The fierceness in the Commander's single glare cuts the tension in the room, and as the Koopa calms himself down, he responds in a tone similar to the emotion that he is feeling at this time. "You're right, Gemini has never disobeyed a command. Unfortunately, Gemini isn't here right now, so I guess his slate will still be clean when he returns..."

Realizing just what the Koopa means by saying that, Alpha eases up on his glare and quietly turns his chair back around with a proud smile on his face. "My apologies, I didn't know that you had returned to the world of the living...I shouldn't have been an inconvenience to you, carry on." With a thankful nod that only the heroes looking at him can notice, the Lieutenant exits through the open and shut doors, leaving the rest of the group bewildered. "What was that all about? Where is Gemini going?" Driad asks out of his concern for his close friend's well-being. "That's known of our concerns. Not mine, not yours, just his...OUR concern, on the other hand, are the positions of the remaining orbs. In particular, the one located in the very center of the symbol. You recognize where it's at?" Diverting the heroes' attention away from that of their now gone friend to the dot that has a golden coloring to it, it is plain to see that it is hovering over the center of a spiral, purple hill.

"Isn't that Shooting Star Summit? ...Wait a minute..." As Alex thinks about the implications of that orb going there, Alpha makes haste to get his explanation across before he can come up with an answer. "No, the orb isn't going to appear on Shooting Star Summit persay. Rather, it's going to appear on the end of the very Star Road itself." Horrorified by the Commander's revelation, all the heroes slam their hands against the table and lift their bodies up while exclaiming an appropriate sounding "WHAT?" E. Gadd tries to do the same, but realizes that doing so would strain his voice too much, and instead stays silent. "Why, why would the Subspace Army target that area?" Alex asks while keep his shocked expression visible.

"The Star Rod. In the hands of the Star Spirits, it helps them keep the dreams and hopes of the people on this world alive. As you saw though beforehand Mario, in the hands of Bowser it almost allowed him to take over the Kingdom. But despite how he acts the Koopa King is not exactly the most malicious of creatures, he does have a soul. However, what if one without a soul was to touch it? In the hands of a wielder who has no deep desires of their own, the Rod will be drained of its power and in turn will cause the stability of the world to crumble until it eventually collapses into itself. So in other words, the Subspace Army CANNOT be allowed to reach Star Haven no matter the costs."

In the face of Alpha's rather grim outlook on the outcome of the heroes' possible failure, Mario stands out of his chair and slams his right fist into his palm. "So what are we waiting for? Let us head up and get ready to repel the enemy!" Though he is happy for the plumber's bravado, the Commander has another plan ready to be put into motion, as he will now detail. "You are going to be needed elsewhere Mario. After all, don't you see that there is a certain town that will need their heroes' protection?" As Alpha talks to the overall wearing man, he spins his chair around and motions his fingers towards the dot to the right of the golden one, to which Mario quickly identifies as Toad Town. He then moves his hands apart from one another and nods his head as he easily understands what the Commander is getting at.

"Alright then, so who will be going to Star Haven then?" Alex asks while leaning back in his chair with a bored look on his face. "Actually, if you don't me making a humble request to you, Mr. Overlord...I would like you to do it." Alpha's overly dignified tone of voice catches the young Overlord completely off-guard as he almost stumbles out of his chair due to swinging his arms around rapidly while he struggles to keep his balance intact. Once he has regained his composure though, he breathes a heavy sigh and lurches forward slightly while keeping one hand on the back of his chair and his eyes focused on the Commander, who in turn is also looking directly at him. "Why me? I mean, I don't mind you asking and all, but wouldn't it be better for me to go into Subspace and confront Tabuu directly?" "You'll get your chance to do that, but don't you agree that it would be in our best interest to repel the forces that'll appear on Star Road beforehand?" "Fair point. Very well, I'll go." Swiftly agreeing to the Commander's kind request after hearing his line of reasoning, Alex stands up and does a nod before turning towards the door and taking a step forward.

"No disrespect to you Alex, but do you even know your way through this base?" E. Gadd's question halts the young Overlord in his tracks, as he freezes in place with an arm raised out in front of him. After lowering both of his arms, he stands silent for a couple of moments before blurting out the following "You know..." He then turns around with a puzzled look on his face as he tilts his head to the left. "I don't..." "That's fine. Just stick around a bit and I'll teleport you over to Star Road." Alpha responds, before looking over at the other heroes to restate the plan. "Alright, Gemini is off doing his own thing, the Mario Bros. are going to go back to Toad Town to repel the enemy forces that come from that orb after they've evacuated the people, and Alex will head to Star Haven to deal with the Subspace Army there. Which leaves Driad and E. Gadd here to help me with my own agenda. When an opportunity arises, I'll give Alex and both Mario and Luigi the signal, and they'll head into Subspace to defeat Tabuu. Remember; don't leave this time until you can say with absolute certainty that the Lord of Subspace is dead. He invaded our planet, and we sure as heck don't want him here again now do we? Do I make myself clear everyone?"

All of the heroes reply with a heavy nod of their heads and a loud utterance of the word "Yes!" "Alright then, let me send you off then." And with that, the Commander flips his chair back around and begins to rapidly tap away at the keyboard, setting up the coordinates for Toad Town first before pressing a button that sends both Mario and Luigi away in the same way that they were brought in. After a little more tapping, Alex too is sent away to Star Haven, leaving the stout Professor and the flower warrior alone with Alpha as he once again turns his chair around and leaps out of it, landing feet first on the second step below him. "So Alpha, how come you want us to stick around? I'd rather be with my master or Mario and Luigi to help them out." Driad asks, to which the Commander is more than happy to answer. "Simple, I'm going to need your long-range attacking capabilities because it just so happens that I have pinpointed one of the orbs appearing right outside my base. As for you Professor..."

Alpha walks up beside him and puts his mouth right beside his head and whispers the following to him. "I'm going to need you to man the defense system. Just go sit on the chair and press the lone button underneath the keyboard once I give you the signal to activate it." E. Gadd leans towards him and whispers his own response to the Goomba. "You mean, you want me to use the weaponry against the Subspace Army? Are you sure you can trust me not to accidentally hit you or Driad in the process?" "Hey, I trusted you in the past to do some repairs to my arms. I have faith in you Elvin." Pulling back a bit, Alpha lightly pats the Professor one on the shoulder before continuing his slow descent down the stairs. "Come now Driad, we don't have any time to waste. I got to brief you on a few more things before we reach the front doors, so try and keep pace with me." As the Commander exits through the sliding metal doors, Driad hastily jumps out of his chair and runs after him, taking a quick glance behind himself to wave to E. Gadd for good luck as the doors close shut. After that, the elderly Professor quietly does his signature laugh, nudges his glasses, and walks up the rest of the staircase and seats himself down onto the comfy leather chair to prepare himself for the upcoming battle.