Super Mario Adventuria: Journey of a Thousand Jumps

Plumbers, Under Construction (Part 4)

"Hahaha! Looks like everything really is going according to plan" says Mouser with glee.

Foreman Spike briskly walks up to Mouser, rubbing his stomach with one hand and waving a finger at the rodent with the other. "This isn't a good time! I thought I'd told you stay put underground!" he shouts.

"Whatyamean? I'd say this is perfect timing, considering all the fuss you spout about these two." Mouser waves his hand toward Mario and Luigi, who still stand there in disbelief. "Did you at least set the master timer in place?"

The brothers snap out of it for a second. "Wait, what timer?" asks Mario.

"Of course I did! And if you'd please stay out of sight and let me handle things, we can do this in a neat, orderly, and destructive fashion! The last thing I want is a repeat of those reptiles and bugs running rampant in the streets, like you caused last time!" Spike rants.

"You're-a going to do what now? You did what when?" Mario waves to try to get their attention, but the two seem to be too much on a roll to care.

"Excuse me?!" says Mouser, "What bugs? Do I look like the kind of ringleader who'd lead a bunch of bugs in a raiding party in broad daylight? Just because I have the Cubrick, doesn't mean I made the last mess, Mr. False Accuser!" Mouser flicks his tail toward Spike, still holding the strange glowing cube.

"What's a Cubrick?" Luigi shouts as he steps to Mario's side, but to no avail.

"Why you…while you're here, give me that!" Spike quickly grabs hold of the cube. "I'm going to need a few reinforcements, besides you, to keep all the out-liars in check!"

"Excuse me?" pesters Mario.

"You barely even know handle it, much less use it" says Mouser as he tightens his grip.

"Hello?" says Luigi, also growing annoyed.

"You'd be surprise how resourceful us New Yorkers are!" growls Spike.

"HEY!" Mario and Luigi shout simultaneously. Spike and Mouser stop tugging on the cube and look to the brothers. "Do you mind giving us your undivided attention?" says Mario.

"Of course, where are my manners?" says Mouser sarcastically. He loosens his tail around the cube, allowing the foreman to finally get a full hold of it. "As I already said, the name's Mouser. Not to be confused with another rising bad boy from my home turf, but just as deadly and way more charming."

"Charmed," says Mario in disgust, "but why are-a you here, away from…wherever you came from?"

"Ah yes, well, that aforementioned 'bad boy' sort of staked his claim on my old stomping grounds, and left practically nothing good left for anyone else; namely me. So when I overheard that he found a 'bridge' to other worlds, I decided to sneak my way over, and wound up here. But not without bringing along a little souvenir I found along the way!" He waves his hand toward the cube Spike is holding. The foreman moves it a little further out of Mouser's reach, shielding it a bit with his arms.

"So what is-a that?"

"That…" starts Mouser.

"This," interrupts Spike, "is the Cubrick. With this, I can create minions to dispose of troublesome jerks, like you!" Spike raises one hand, which gets the attention of the Eggplant Men and Gotcha Wrenches in close proximity. Soon, a small ring of minions circles the four of them.

"It does more than that!" continues an irked Mouser, "With it, I can manipulate its physiological properties, and do things from my world I couldn't do here, like this!" Mouser flicks his wrists, and two round bombs materialize out of thin air into each hand.

"Yikes!" gasps Luigi, "Hey bro? I don't know about you, but I feel like our win streak is vanishing fast!"

Mario vents in frustration. "Rrrgh! We've-a fought baddies as tough as these, right?" Then Mario calms a bit, taking deep breaths. "Hey, Luigi?" he whispers, "Get out your hammer. Don't you feel that?"

"What are you talk…" Luigi stops. "No way. The same as last time?"

"Same as last time, indeed." Mario readies his hammer.

"Well, I'm over it." Luigi grins as he pulls out his own hammer.

"'I'm-a over it' he says" he teases.

The two brothers stand off against the two villains, staring each other down. A solid ring of minions now surrounds them.

"Well I certainly didn't crawl out of the sewers to just stand around," says Mouser, "so let's brighten up the place!"

Mouser tosses one of his bombs toward Mario. Mario jumps out of the way, and the mini explosion propels him forward. "Not even a scratch?" gasps Mouser as Mario hammers him over the head.

Luigi sprints toward Spike, who uses the Cubrick to increase the size of his own mallet. "Come on!" grumbles Spike, "Just 'will' it to do what I want! How hard would that be?" But Luigi already steps in front of the foreman and jabs his hammer onto the foreman's left foot.

"That's for all the stress I was supposed to vent out on this job!" Luigi flips the hammer onto the foreman's other foot, not even allowing the foreman to finish his scream in pain. "And this is my way of saying I quit!"

"Argh! Not unless I fire you first!" bellows Spike. He raises the Cubrick out and from off the side, a fireball comes spiraling toward Luigi. Luigi shrieks as he jumps high and out of the way.

Mouser throws one bomb after the other, constantly materializing a bomb in an open hand. Mario slowly backs off, swinging his hammer left and right to deflect them away. "Come on, bring it! I can handle your puny bombs all day!"

"You've got all day, huh?" sneers Mouser, "Well, in probably an hour, you're going to be seeing way more bombs go off than what I've got on hand!"

Mario and Luigi stop next to each other and look toward Mouser. "Wait, you have more bombs?" says Mario.

"You have a timer…" Luigi thinks out loud.

"…and a large-scale construction project..."

"You're going to blow up all of New York?!" they both gasp.

"Wait a go, pipsqueak!" Growls the foreman as he lifts up his giant mallet with one hand. "One more word out of your blabbermouth, and I'm going to have to force it shut for you!"

"No worries! They have no idea where you hid the timer. Anyway, I'll just let my own bombs speak for me!" Mouser readies four more bombs in his hands.

"Come on, bro!" cries Luigi who turns toward the edge of the roof. "We can't waste any more time on the foreman and the rat. We've got to find the timer!"

"Right with you, Weegee!" says Mario. The two try to get off the roof, but are stopped by a group of Eggplant Men.

"Oh no you don't!" exclaims Spike.

"I'm not a rat!" yells Mouser as he throws all his bombs on hand. Luigi jumps high over the Eggplant Men, while Mario whacks one out of the way before jumping off the roof with his brother. The bombs explode, catching the Eggplant Men and Gotcha Wrenches standing on the roof in the blast. The explosion also gets the attention of the other construction workers. Foreman Spike stands there for a moment, fuming, while Mouser shrugs, "My bad."

Mario and Luigi land onto the ground floor. They remain where they land for a few seconds, stunned by the sharp pain in their legs. "Let's…not do that again." Luigi cringes.

Mario looks around the construction site. Eggplant Men and Gotcha Wrenches scatter almost evenly around. Most of the other construction workers remain around the borders to keep the little minions in. A few are chasing the minions around.

"Alright, Weegee, here's-a what we're going to do:" says Mario, "the timer has to be hidden somewhere on this site, so we're-a going to have to look high and low for it. Tear the place apart if we have to."

"Break stuff, find the timer, keep away the minions, and don't fall hard…got it!" agrees Luigi.

"Then let's-a get started!" Mario runs ahead toward one of the bare-bones skyscapers, while Luigi runs to another. Foreman Spike and Mouser just finish running down the ladders of the office tower, and chase after the brothers.

A couple of construction workers pass by Luigi. "Hey, fellas?" says Luigi to them. "We're looking for some gadget that looks like a really important timer. We're looking on the half-finished buildings, but in case it's underground, do you mind doing some digging for it?" The two workers grumble, but nod and call up a few more co-workers. Luigi continues on to a skyscraper, with Mouser almost right behind him.

Mario starts climbing up his skyscraper and breaks down doors and bricks that were randomly installed. Some Gotcha Wrenches climb toward him, but he evades most of them and smashes one as he aims for a section of brick. Spike tries to climb up a ladder underneath him, but Mario bashes his hammer onto his hard hat, causing him to fall back down.

Luigi jumps from one floor to the next, smashing doors and bricks as he works his way up. While Mouser doesn't have jumping prowess, his bombs make up the extra reach. Some of the bombs explode, messing up Luigi's climb. However, some of the bombs tossed up his way have a slight delay in their explosion. Luigi uses these opportunities to set up the bombs near a row of bricks, and then detonate the bomb himself to break more parts of the skyscraper.

Mario makes it to the top floor of the skyscraper, but is disappointed not to find the timer. Furthermore, he is dismayed to see that there are four more skyscrapers he and his brother have to inspect. "Less than an hour; no big deal" he says wearily. After a quick breather, he jumps back down each floor, evading Gotcha Wrenches, a few Eggplant Men, and Foreman Spike, who complains about the downward climb he'll have to do.

Luigi also makes it to the top of his skyscraper, but gets surrounded by Eggplant Men who were camping on the roof. "You haven't happened to find a timer here, have you?" smirks Luigi. But the Eggplant Men file after him. Luigi notices a tall pillar when he gets chased, and gets an idea. He runs behind the pillar, and the Eggplant Men still chase him in a straight line. After a quick aim, Luigi gives the pillar a hard whack with his hammer. The pillar slowly falls over, and crushes the unfortunate pursuers. Then Luigi makes his way down, seeing that there is, alas, no timer.

When Mario makes it to the ground, a bunch of Gotcha Wrenches closely follow him down four ladders. He makes quick work of the ladders with his hammer, and the Gotcha Wrenches fall to the ground, immobilized. Foreman Spike also nearly falls from the now broken ladders, and is cut off from a direct route to the ground. "Grrrr! That little grunt! I'm going to have to make some more grunts of my own!" He raises the Cubrick in his hand, and it flashes a quick burst of light. The construction workers on the ground find, to their horror, their wrenches spring to life from their belts and tool boxes. These new, redder colored Gotcha Wrenches quickly follow the lead of the others of its kind still up and about.

Mario climbs his second skyscraper, with more minions in pursuit. To avoid them, he weaves through doorways on his way up. This causes enough confusion of the enemies to give Mario extra time. There's even one instance on his destructive ascent where he slams the door in an Eggplant Man's face, knocking it all the way down to the ground.

Luigi gets narrowly close to Mouser on his way down. Mouser throws a flurry of bombs his way. Luigi acrobatically dodges all of them. "What is your aiming streak anyway? A thousand to one?"

Fuming and stamping his foot, Mouser materializes one more bomb, gives it a little extra wind up, and then pitches a fast one. "Yikes!" says Luigi, just before it beams him straight to the chest, and then explodes. Luigi falls to the ground hard. Mouser grins devilishly at his success, but then notices Luigi still writhing and groaning in pain.

"Sheesh, who the heck are these clowns?" snips Mouser, "They don't even get knocked out cold from a direct bomb toss! Certainly not like the foreman."

Mario makes it to the roof top and scans the area. "Darn it! No timer! Got to keep looking…"

"You ain't going anywhere!" yells Foreman Spike. Mario turns to see the foreman standing on a tower crane. He walks along the long working arm and onto the same roof as Mario, eyes fixed on him.

"Spike, you don't have to do this" says Mario, his hands in front of him. "Why would you destroy all of New York?"

"Me, destroy it? It's already damaged beyond repair. And it can be a win-win for all of us! I'll make millions from the workload and expansion of my company, while the New York residents will get new buildings the likes of which the world has never seen."

"That's-a crazy! You're-a crazy!" Then Mario gets an idea. "Look, since you can't hit me for your life, and I need to find your timer, why don't you put your hammer down and we'll…"

"You want me to put the hammer down?!" he bellows, raising his enormous mallet high above his head, "I'll show you where I'll put my hammer down!" The foreman dashes toward Mario, winding his mallet at the ready. Mario stands his ground. At a mere few feet apart, Spike brings down his hammer with all his rage-induced might.

Mario smiles. He steps out of the way at the last second. The mallet hits the roof with a clang. The impact hits so hard though, that big cracks spread across the surface. Mario wastes no further time. He jumps into the air, raises his own hammer, and strikes the same spot the foreman hit. This final blow punctures a hole, and Mario's falling momentum continues, landing a few floors down.

Mario jumps and climbs his way down the tower. Foreman Spike follows a few floors behind in a blind rage. During his descent, a bunch of Eggplant Men hear their master's cries, and try to block Mario towards the bottom. Mario stops for a moment, then eyes a group of barrels nearby, resting on some pillars. Mario takes his hammer and strategically chops down the pillars. The barrels fall over, trapping some Eggplant Men in a ring. With the remaining Eggplant Men, he tricks them into following him toward another group of barrels above a ladder, and then breaks the ladder to cut off their escape.

Mario wipes his hands together. "There, now on to the next…"

Suddenly, Foreman Spike comes from above, and whacks Mario with his mallet. "Take this, damn it!" he says. Mario falls off the skyscraper and onto the ground. Thankfully, he only fell a few floors, leaving Mario only briefly dazed. Spike grits his teeth and glances at the trapped Eggplant Men. "Sheesh, first I got to teach them how to climb ladders, and now this!"

Luigi wakes up, standing himself back up. "Ugh, no wonder I don't usually taunt like my brother." Then Luigi notices that a whole bunch of Gotcha Wrenches have surrounded him in a ring. He quickly picks up his hammer off the ground next to him. "I have had just about enough of you!"

As Luigi pummels his foes, Mario approaches a couple of construction workers who are digging. "What are you doing?" asks Mario.

"We're looking for that master timer your brother told us about" says one of them.

"Oh, good idea. Actually, mind if I help you out a sec?" Mario bends down and puts his free hand on the ground. He quickly uses his 'pipe sense' to track and map out the New York sewer systems underneath the construction site. Then he gets back up. "You two are-a digging in the wrong place; the underground pipes are-a too close to the surface in most of these places, and if not, the subway tunnels will be." Mario points toward a corner of the site. "Although there is-a spot that has a decent depth. You might find the timer if you dig there." The two construction workers shrug, then pick up their tools and go where Mario pointed out.

After finishing their disputes, Mario and Luigi each climb up their own skyscrapers. Each of them smashes and bashes their way up, trying to uncover the hidden timer. Meanwhile, Mouser is on the ground and starts running toward the skyscraper Luigi is climbing. "They already wrecked half the place." Says Mouser to himself. "At this rate, they might find the timer before the demolition can begin!"

"Hold up, Mouser!" shouts Foreman Spike. He pulls up next to Mouser on a giant, mobile wrecking ball crane. "I'm going to have to cause a little 'pre-demolition' of my own and bring down the house over where those bozos stand. Feel free to join in, if you want."

Mouser grins. "And be a 'Wrecking' crew member? I thought you'd never ask!"

The foreman pulls levers at the controls. The crane swings the wrecking ball over to Luigi's skyscraper first. Luigi screams as the building rattles violently from the impact. Mouser throws a flurry of bombs at the same spot the wrecking ball had just hit. Entire frames of metal shed of the building's structure.

"Oh geez! Mario!" cries Luigi as he tries to jump up to higher ground. The wrecking ball comes swinging back, hitting the badly weakened spot. The building starts collapsing upon itself as the top half tilts over to one side. Luigi makes a high leap of faith…and grabs onto the crane's chain as it swings away from the wreckage.

Foreman Spike pays no notice to the panic-stricken stowaway as he turns the crane to the other building, which is occupied by Mario. Spike and Mouser repeat the process of striking down the building, whacking it with the wrecking ball and making explosive precision strikes.

Mario spots Luigi hanging onto the crane's chain connected to the wrecking ball. "Luigi! I'm-a coming!" He rushes back down the ladders, whacking the few Eggplant Men that stayed around in the carnage out of his way. When the wrecking ball delivers another hit, Mario leaps out onto the wrecking ball itself. Luigi slides down cautiously to meet up with his brother.

"So, now what?" asks Luigi.

Mario hangs on as the wrecking ball swings back to its center. "Well, we have four buildings down now with no timer, and…"

"Hey! Get off my crane!" shouts Spike as he waves a fist at the brothers.

"Don't worry, foreman!" says Mouser, running up to the crane. "I'll…" Suddenly, a loud rumbling sound is heard from the fifth skyscraper. The four of them stop what they're doing and turn around, very slowly. To their misfortune, the top half of the skyscraper tilts…in their direction!

"Mama mia!" shouts Mario and Luigi.

Spike frantically thrusts a few levers and presses the gas as hard as he can to drive away from the falling building. "Outta my way!" he shouts to incoming construction workers and anthropomorphic minions alike, as Mario and Luigi hang on to the wrecking ball for dear life.

Mouser stands firm, staring up at the enormous chunk of the skyscraper falling his way. "I'm not about to be flattened here!" he shouts, and materializes armfuls of bombs. In rapid succession, he chucks bomb after bomb at the building. Bit after bit of the building gets blown to shreds. When the building finally reaches the ground, a semi-neat ring of debris settles around Mouser first. Meanwhile, a significant chunk of debris comes crashing down over Mario, Luigi, and Spike. The brothers and the foreman jump out of the way before the debris flattens the crane, leaving nothing left but the wrecking ball itself intact.

The four of them settle down where they stand to catch their breath.

"You know, Mario," pants Luigi, "I think I'm going to need a break from my break from plumbing. Was my spot taken, yet?"

"Nope," heaves Mario, "left it warm and ready, just for you."

As the dust settles, a construction worker runs over to them. Mouser also comes over to the foreman, still catching his breath.

"Hey, Mario," says the worker, "we were digging where you suggested, but we couldn't find a timer of any sort."

"So," says Luigi who turns to his brother, "where else could it be?"

"I don't know," Mario ponders, "but if it isn't-a buried underground, and we basically wrecked all the buildings on this site, perhaps the rubble broke it already, and we prevented the worst that could happen…"

"Actually," Mouser interjects, "there's still one building you didn't wreck…"

Everyone present stops to think about what was just said. Luigi and Foreman Spike stare at Mario and Mouser respectively. "You just had to open your big mouth, didn't you," the two of them mutter simultaneously. Then the brothers, the foreman, and the anthropomorphic mouse all sprint toward the last standing building, knocking some workers out of the way.

All four of them race against each other up the skyscraper. Mouser causes the brunt of the chaos, throwing bombs semi-carelessly at the brothers. Mario and Luigi respond by either hitting away the bombs with their hammers, or breaking parts of the skyscraper to fall toward Mouser. Poor Foreman Spike bemoans the careless demolition surrounding him, until Mario bashes him back down a few floors behind the rest of the group, to which he then complains about being hit all the time. Eggplant Men and Gotcha Wrenches try to keep up, but are either caught in the explosions, or cut off by the brothers' precise demolition.

As the four of them reach the top, Luigi gets cut off from his brother by one of Mouser's bombs. "Go!" he beckons to Mario. "I'll stay behind and cut off everyone else. That should give you less trouble with finding the timer."

Mario nods, "Okay, Luigi, you got it." While Luigi keeps the rest of the Eggplant Men and Gotcha Wrenches from following, Mouser still paves another path to the roof. Mario makes it to the roof first, and shortly after scanning the surroundings, the master timer is finally found. "There you are! At long last, this chaos can finally be put to rest…"

A small explosion blasts in front of Mario. He leaps back a bit in surprise, as Mouser comes from below. The anthropomorphic mouse steps in between Mario and the timer, grinning and sweating. "Just won't give up, will you?" teases Mouser.

Mario brandishes his hammer. "I was-a going to say the same about you."

Mouser throws a flurry of bombs with one hand as he picks up the master timer with the other. Mario dodges most of the bombs, and blocks a few with his hammer. Mouser looks at the timer, and snickers to himself. "I'd pick up the pace, if I were you!" Mouser laughs, "Says here that you got five minutes left!" He turns the face of the timer toward Mario, allowing him to see the timer's numbers.

Mario sees that the timer does indeed have less than five minutes read on the counter. As Mario stands there in shock, Luigi gets bashed by Foreman Spike onto the roof. The foreman steps up onto the roof, with two Eggplant Men and two Gotcha Wrenches following behind him. Luigi leans on his hammer to steady himself as he gets up.

"This…can't end here…" Mario thinks to himself. Then he tightens his grip on his hammer with both hands. "This…ends now!" Mario starts running as fast as he can toward Mouser. Foreman Spike catches on to Mario, and beckons an Eggplant Man and Gotcha Wrench to get him. Mario spots the oncoming minions, and darts over to a small stash of barrels. Mario knocks over a few of them toward the minions. One hits them far out of the way, and the rest continue rolling toward Spike. "Jump over that!" jibes Mario as Spike poorly gets out of the way of the barrels and falls on his face.

The Cubrick the foreman was holding flies into the air and drops into Mouser's hands. The mouse casts the timer aside, and uses the Cubrick to generate fireballs. He then throws all his new bombs and fireballs toward the brothers. Mario hits one barrel in the direct path of the barrage to prematurely detonate the cluster of bombs. He hits the last one nicely toward his brother. "Luigi! Aim and hit!" Mario shouts.

"Got it!" says Luigi, who winds back his hammer in a golfer-like fashion. Once the barrel comes in front of him, Luigi hits the barrel straight to Mouser. The anthropomorphic mouse squeaks as the barrel hits his stomach hard, causing him to release the Cubrick accidentally into the air.

Mario continues his run toward Mouser, eyeing the Cubrick spinning through the air. "I just about had enough with this thing!" he says. Then he jumps into the air as hard as he can, hammer at the ready.

"Oh no you don't!" screams Mouser, and he chucks three more bombs in Mario's direction. Mario hits the first off to his left, and then the second one to his right. Then he makes no hesitation in swinging his hammer at the Cubrick. However, he forgets about the third bomb, which ends up directly in between Mario and the timer as he swings the hammer down. Surprised, Mario slightly slows his swing, which just catches the bomb, and brings in down upon the Cubrick.

"Oh no" says Mouser and Spike simultaneously as they agonizingly watch the bomb and the hammer connect with the Cubrick. A bright, colorful explosion expands from the Cubrick. Although no blast-wave pushes out upon anything like a normal explosion, the blinding flash forces everyone in the entire city to shut their eyes.

When the flash dissipates, Spike, Mouser, Luigi, and the remaining Eggplant Man and Gotcha Wrench look to where the Cubrick once was. In its place, Mario stands unscathed. However, when Mario opens his eyes too, all of them look at his hammer in shock. The hammer grew a little bigger in size, and the head was completely reshaped. It also entirely glows in gold.

Mario holds the hammer in one hand for a bit, then refocuses his attention toward Mouser and Spike. "Luigi, get ready to smash that timer. I'm-a going to give these two hard-heads a few well-deserved wallops!"

Mario runs to the foreman first, barely touching the ground as he sprints. Spike barely moves his hammer in front of him to block his fleet-footed opponent. Luigi tries to run to the timer, but gets stalled in a barrage of bombs from Mouser. Mario and the foreman have a duel of hammers, but Mario's newly upgraded hammer practically parries the foreman's own hammer in every stroke. In under a minute, Mario disarms the foreman, and makes one more overhead swing onto the foreman's head. The strike bashes him halfway through the roof, leaving him stuck.

"Damn, damn damn!" shouts Spike, "Curse you, dropout!"

Mario turns to Luigi and Mouser, who are still locked in combat. He also eyes the timer, which has under a minute left read on the counter. Without hesitation, Mario runs toward Mouser with the hammer held in front of him. Mouser spots Mario approaching him quickly, and tries to throw a bunch of bombs his way. In response, Mario swings the hammer up and down so quickly that the bombs explode from the air friction alone.

"Not…possible!" shrieks Mouser.

Mario then shoves the hammer toward Mouser, and thrusts him off the roof. Mouser screams as he falls all the way from the top of skyscraper onto the dirt below. Luigi smashes the timer, with seconds to spare, without even leaving his gaze off of Mario's new feats. Mouser dazedly tries to get up, but Mario also jumps off the skyscraper, and smashes the golden hammer down onto Mouser. The two break through the surface of the Earth, and into a deep sewer pipe.

"Who…who are you?" gasps Mouser as he tries to stay conscious.

Mario fiercely stares into Mouser's face. "I'm-a Mario," Mario lifts his hammer above his head, "And I'm-a plumber!" And with that, he swings the hammer down toward Mouser for a final swing. Mouser richochets down the pipe line.

"I'll get you…" but in seconds, Mouser vanishes into the dark corners of the pipe system.

Mario takes a moment for a breather, and a moment to admire his new hammer. "Well, this is-a certainly a keeper!" Then he climbs and jumps back out of the hole he made in the ground.

When Mario reaches the surface, he immediately notices policemen coming onto the scene. A few talk to the other construction workers, who point toward Mario, as well as Luigi and Foreman Spike on the roof. From the roof, Luigi can see a large crowd of people gathering all along the perimeter of the construction site.

"Not fair!" growls Spike, still stuck in the roof. "I've been tricked! Deceived by a sewer rat!"

"Oh, can it, will you!" says Luigi, "Save your breath for the police." Luigi then walks up to the foreman and smirks. "Oh, and I highly doubt your 'Wrecking Crew' will ever be the same again. So take a good look at what you've done."

On the ground, a police officer approaches Mario. "Jeez, you again." Says the officer, "I guess you've now made yourself quite the super hero for our city!"

Mario beams at the officer's compliment. The people outside the fence also spot him, and start to cheer. "A hero. A super hero." Mario puts his hammer back into his belt loop. He fishes into one of his pockets, pulls out his folded red cap, and puts it on. "I'm-a going to have to bring Luigi into this, too!" And he runs toward the last-standing skyscraper.

Meanwhile, just outside the ring of people, the long trench coated man stands to witness the results of the construction mayhem. Even though he is really tall, he still can't see who the crowd is cheering for. "Oh well," sighs the tall man. "Looks like he's finally caught in the act" Then he eyes a lone Eggplant Man curiously interacting with a child's Giga-Robo. The tall man devilishly smiles. "Which means I'm on my own now!"

Toadsworth walks into a basement room, where Peach is checking up on a Power Star within a vault.

"Have you got it to work?" says Toadsworth.

"Yes, I have," smiles Peach, "my powers have grown strong, and with this Power Star, I can channel my shielding abilities into it, and generate a force field big enough to encompass at least the whole castle." She closes the vault to the Power Star. "We'll be ready."

Meanwhile, in an undisclosed corner of the Mushroom Kingdom, Kamek returns to Bowser on his broomstick, holding a long case.

"So, how did the meeting go?" says Bowser, a bit impatiently.

"Splendidly, Your Humbleness," says Kamek as he lands in front of him. "The ruler has agreed to a small partnership, including this." Kamek opens the case, and presents to Bowser a rod with a brownish-yellow block at one end.

"Excellent! Just what I wanted!" Bowser lifts the rod into the air, feeling it for himself. Then he puts it back. "Pack up the Blockra, and rally the troops. We'll be ready."

Toadsworth leaves Peach alone for a bit. "Bowser…" she says to herself.

Kamek flies back out on his broomstick. "Princess…" Bowser says to himself.

"I will fight you down and…defeat you!"

"I am…

"I am…


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