Princess Peach woke up. Her head was spinning as she tried to take in her surroundings. She was in a cell of some kind, and she seemed to be on an airship.
was her first thought, but then the footsteps, the voice, and the evil plot came racing back into her brain. She tried to clear her mind and think.
She reached far back in her memory. Past the Shadow Queen and the Shroobs. Past King Boo and the Master Core.
Who was it?
Luigi didn't panic. This was so simple. All he had to do was stand here, right?
"LUIGI!!! Throw Mario the 1-UP!" Toad yelled.
Luigi snapped to attention. He was too used to winning by doing nothing. He pulled out a one-UP - his last one - and threw it to where Mario was lying on the ground. Mario popped up, looked around, and then stared at the airship floating high above them.
"Luigi, what'sa going on?" Mario demanded. "Bowser up to his old tricks?"
Luigi didn't have to respond.
did it for him.
"Implacable, insolent fools! Your scheming and skirmishing is over now."
Mario and Luigi stood frozen. Wart? King Wart? This was the tyrant from the Subcon, the one who had captured the dreams of all the members of the Mushroom Kingdom.
Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad had freed the Subcon from his grasp once before. How was he still here? How had he escaped the Subcon and come to the Kingdoms?
"I have long planned this day, a day of revenge. I will avenge your defeat of my kingdom. And that coward Bowser will not stand in my way!"
"I have captured your Princess and raised an army. No more standing in the shadows. Your worst nightmare, Mario, has come to life."
Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, and Toad were stunned.
Wart continued his monologue, unabated and rather pompously. "I will not be denied my plans. This castle and Peach's castle are surrounded. You must face my minions and I in a staged combat. But it will be unlike what you desire."
"I have recaptured the Subcon and turned it to my personal advantage. I can control dreams and visions, and I am a master of mirages. I have hidden my minions, and soon you will not even be able to tell me apart from those in your kingdom. We will see just who is smarter after all, Mario."
Mario grimaced. Was this a dream? Too many mushrooms?
While he considered this, Wart drove the ship into the side of Bowser's castle. Stone fell and smacked Mario on the head, letting him know that this was no dream. Worse, it seemed he would have to play Wart's game. Wart had apparently imprisoned more than the Princess - many members of the Mushroom Kingdom jumped out of the ship and into the Castle.
At least, he thought they were from the Mushroom Kingdom.
Now he had to look for the deceivers, or the Kingdoms might be lost for good.
TO BE CONTINUED IN...
MARIO MAFIA TWO
RISE OF WART