X Dark Lands, Bowser's Castle, throne room X
The great dragon king- er, queen? Ahem. The great dragon potentate sat upon her now oversized throne, with enough space to curl her extended tail around her hips comfortably without touching the sides of the chair. The armrests which had been within easy reach moments before could now barely be touched with bent arms, in fact she could probably sit on the arms themselves as easily as Junior had previously. "Junior." Bowser mused aloud, still unnerved by the silky feminine voice that had replaced his kingly rumble. "This is going to be awkward to explain to him, if I can't reverse this." The sudden reappearance of Kamek made her jump and cover her exposed body with her hands. Embarrassment at being nude was something she was going to have to adjust to, it seemed.
"I can't find anything about a crown right now, but I have several koopa pouring over books in the library-" Kamek paused. Where the lord of the Dark Lands normally sat was now a nude, blonde humanoid, awkwardly (and somewhat ineffectively) hiding her nakedness. "Well, I guess we know what the crown does now, huh? Maybe we should have tested-"
"Shut up!" Bowser yelled, though it had lost a lot of its former power. An angry blush bloomed on her pale cheeks. "I… Shut up. You're right but I don't need this right now. Sorry I snapped." Kamek nearly fainted out of the air. Lord Bowser never apologized! Nor was he- I mean she- really required to, but still a historic event. And admission of being wrong at that. A much stranger change than merely physical had occurred here. "Take this to wherever you and Kammy do magic things, and figure out how it works. I want a full report ASAP." She tossed the crown to Kamek, who fumbled, then handled it gingerly for multiple reasons.
"Don't you think we should take care of something else first?" Kamek gestured to Bowser's bare form.
"Ack!" Having momentarily forgotten, Bowser hastily covered herself up with her arms again. "Yeah let's do something about this first." Kamek teleported Bowser to his (I mean her) room to avoid any further awkward encounters, opting not to go along. Seeing Bowser as a naked human girl was making him uncomfortable. Instead he went to the laboratory he and Kammy shared to begin research.
The koopa k- ah, koopa queen, on the other hand, was starting to feel weirdly comfortable in her new body. She felt lighter, her movements were more fluid, she could sense the movement of air on her skin as she walked around the room. The less obvious change she slowly became aware of was her mental state. On some level she knew she would normally be raging now. Mad at being out of control, mad at Shadow Guy, and though she wouldn't have admitted it before- mad at herself.
Instead she found herself rather calmly taking stock of all these new events, and pondering how to turn them to some advantage. Bowser had never enjoyed such a state of clear mindedness before.
"Ooh hoo hoo, you have Kamek flustered something fantastic!" Kammy cackled as she phased into Bowser's room. "He wouldn't even- Oh! I see. Well, let's get you some modesty then, shall we?" She summoned a measuring tape from her sleeve and began taking Bowser's sizes. "I could have told you what that crown was, but no one asked old Kammy Koopa. Nope. No siree."
"Consider yourself asked." Bowser replied dryly, tucking a sheet around her body while Kammy knitted dark clothing, seemingly spun from thin air. She wondered why Kammy had to take measurements or bother knitting if she could produce material from nothing, but that's how magic is. It operated on its own illogical rules.
"The crown is an old family heirloom that has existed as long as the toadstool royal family. Though it may in fact predate them, if such legends are even true. Its origins are a mystery so far as I know, though I wouldn't be surprised if there wasn't something about it stashed in the castle somewhere." She handed Bowser a couple dark items.
"What do I need this for?" Bowser asked in confusion, in regards to the bra.
"Trust me, you'll want this." Kammy replied, chinching the support garment tightly behind Bowser's back, causing her to gasp quietly.
"Anyway, the toads are a skittish people that don't care much for change. They've always been sheep if you ask me. And so a queen many generations ago used the crown to copy her beauty and her knowledge as a ruler, and passing the crown to her daughter she gained her mother's good looks and world knowledge, and so on and so forth. The daughter copies were similar, but never exact. Close enough to keep the toads happy, but maintaining their original personalities, albeit it-" She paused, looking at Bowser.
"Well, aspects of the former princess was merged with their personalities. To keep things... streamlined." She handed off a strapless black dress that, when pulled on, came down to about mid-thigh on hBowser. Kammy fussed over her smoothing wrinkles and adjusting the dress around Bowser's 'assets.' Bowser suspected she was avoiding some bad news.
"Unfortunately…" Bowser prodded her.
"Unfortunately it was designed for Toadstools and humans. Not koopa. That's why the transformation only partially worked. As such I'm not sure if it can be reversed easily, if at all." She was now making herself busy styling some footwear out of leather and rubber.
"About that.." Bowser hesitated, feeling out the idea as it came to her. It was the most radical idea she had ever had. Of course the majority of her plans had involved kidnapping Peach, and being happy afterwards somehow. Bowser had never had deep plans or considered broad implications before today.
"Maybe we shouldn't rush to change things just yet. Bowser is a loser with a long record of failures, a joke to other rulers. Is this what I'm leaving to Junior? A legacy of bad decisions and losses? He deserves then this. Better then… Me." It was Kammy's turn to nearly faint. Bowser's ego seemed to have taken a massive downgrade.
"I could start over now. I could be someone better!" Bowser was speaking faster now as she warmed up to the idea. A train of thought that had bloomed up seemingly from nowhere, but once it had taken root she latched onto it eagerly. "I can remake myself, avoid old pratfalls, leave a proper legacy for my son. But first I have to kill myself."
"Beg pardon, Lord Bowser?" She finished the footwear, a thick-soled pair of leather boots that came up her calves. They were covered with silver spikes and buckle straps.
Bowser shook her head. "Not Bowser anymore. I have been given a new life, and a new mission. I need a new name. Call me... hmmmm. Bowsette." The koopa queen nodded to herself, satisfied. "Now we just have to decide how I'm going to kill myself."
"We could just report your untimely demise..." Kammy began.
"No. This has to be grand. They have to know I really am gone. We need to play this out on a big stage, like Peach's front yard." Bowsette smiled evilly. "Prepare the troops. Ready a lot of airships. I want this to be huge." Kammy was busy taking notes.
X Peach's Castle, personal quarters X
Sunlight filtered through high castle windows, illuminating Peach's simply decorated pink bedroom. Grandma the chambermaid was surprised to see the princess still asleep, with the sun this high in the morning. "Princess?" She said quietly, as she stepped into the room.
"Nnngh." Peach replied, making no move to get out of the bed. The chambermaid waited a moment, but when Peach opted not to elaborate on her previous comment Grandma dared to venture all the way to the bedside. Peach had a flushed face, her forehead was hot and sweaty to the touch and she was shivering despite the temperature of the room. "Head hurts." She mumbled, coming at least part of the way awake. Her eyelids fluttered but did not open.
Grandma pulled out her pocket communicator that linked all the castle staff together, calling one of the undermaids. "We have a code eleven. Bring to the princess's quarters a cold cloth, some Megavitamins, and a bottle of Banana Juice." She carefully adjusted the blankets around Peach's body.
"Aye boss, on my way." The undermaid chirped on the dual-screen device. Grandma wasn't too worried, all things considered. The princess had been under some degree of stress lately and had probably just overdone it. Unfortunately bad news loves company, and it was at this time that the castle warning sirens went off, indicating something bad was happening.
"Bowser." Peach feverishly murmured as the boss chambermaid frowned.
x Mushroom Kingdom (still), Mario and Luigi's house x
Luigi was swinging his tennis racket back and forth, warming up for some light game play, in anticipation of the fast approaching carnival season. It was a time period marked for competitive sports, racing and game playing in general. It only came once a year and everyone was encouraged to take time off, relax and generally foster comradery with their fellow citizens. Or short of that, settle scores in 'non-violent' sporting competitions. The younger of the two Mario brothers may not have been as well-known for heroics as his famous sibling, but he was an absolute demon at certain sports. Most especially at tennis. It was with some dismay that he received the kingdom-wide email alert on his communicator. 'Mama mia! What a time for this!' Luigi told himself.
It seemed Bowser was up to his old tricks yet again, and Mario was dealing with some trouble far away in Sarasaland. No one had expected Bowser to mak a move this soon after his last failure. He usually took a break for several months, and formulated some new plan or crashed a sports tournament or a party or whatever. There was a rhythm to these things is what I'm saying. Almost a dance, with well practiced steps. Better suited to this dance or not, preferable poll approved hero or not, Luigi was a knight of the kingdom and was honor bound to answer the call. "Here we go." He told himself, pulling down his green cap resolutely.
The Mushroom Kingdom army (largely consisting of toads) took their dutiful place in front of the castle, most of them armed with spears to compensate for the height difference and tiny arms, others manned the Bill Blaster cannons. Secret bunkers installed underground opened their hatches and prepared to launch Bullet Biff missiles at the incoming airship armada. In the distance could be seen the steady march of legions of Dry Bones. An army that didn't fear dying, needed no rest or supplies, and were very hard to put down.
'This isn't just a simple kidnapping' Luigi realized. 'This is a full on invasion from the Dark Land'. The Dry Bones foot soldiers would be immune to fire attacks and spears. Jump attacks and hammers would only slow them down. 'If only I had a Super Star' but those were increasingly rare these days. Regardless of this Luigi took his place at the head of the line, armed only with his fists and a strong sense of duty. No one, however, was prepared for what was about to happen.
"Fire!" Luigi yelled to the Bill Blaster cannon operators. Entire columns of Dry Bones were shattered apart, but left many more intact. Even some of the broken soldiers would soon reconstitute themselves. Preparing to give the charge order, he was preempted by an explosion that rocked the sky above the two armies, a ball of fire ripped through the side of Bowser's flag airship. Luigi thought someone had fired upon the ship early, but quickly realized the damage had come from inside. Something was wrong and the ship was now self-destructing.
The Dry Bones continued to march mindlessly forward, seemingly unaware of what was happening above them. The majority were crushed to dust by the flaming wreckage raining down from the sky. Luigi quickly reorganized his crew into a firefighting troop, re-arming everyone with Fluud packs. The fire itself raged for hours but was prevented from spreading, and eventually extinguished without major incident. The remaining Dry Bones were easily apprehended and sent to the dungeon until the princess decided what to do with them. The biggest surprise was still to come however, lying blackened and broken in the ashes of his former flagship were the skeletal remains of King Bowser.
x Peach's Castle, personal quarters x
"Dead? Are you positive?" Princess Peach was sitting up in bed now and eating a bowl of Spicy Soup. Her headache was gone but she still felt a bit flush, though that may have been the soup. It was quite spicy. "He's been dropped in lava before and survived falling pretty far. Hard to imagine this did him in for good."
Luigi just shrugged. "It looks like his skull and its rather big to be any other koopa we know."
"Doesn't he have a younger brother or something?" Peach replied after another big slurp of soup. "There will have to be an investigation. If it is him then there could be backlash from the Dark Lands, even if his death was not our fault, by your own account. Don't let anyone contaminate the scene. I'll call in an investigator."
"Ummmm" He shuffled his feet uncomfortably.
"They've already contaminated the scene, haven't they?"
"Selfies with the skull." Luigi confirmed.
"Can you see to it that no one else messes with the scene?"
"Yes Princess." Luigi bowed and left the room awkwardly, nearly tripping over his own shoes in the process. The princess didn't notice. She obviously had other things on her mind.
x Dark Lands x
"Are you sure this is truly the best course of action?" Kammy asked. She and Bowsette were standing beside one of the Dark Land's few warp pipes "Junior will be devastated."
"No more hurt then what I've done for him so far. I haven't just ruined my life, I've ruined his future. I'm doing this for him."
"And you won't just let me take you wherever?" Kammy sighed.
"I can't be seen with a high level Bowser associate this early in my career. I have to make a completely fresh entrance. And I have to make peace with this choice. For that I need some space." Bowsette took a look around her, her long blond lock swaying in the wind. "Things are going to be changing when I get back."
"So, Rogueport then?"
"It's as good a getaway place as any." Bowsette briefly grasped Kammy's hand. "Take care of Junior til I get back." With that she disappeared down the warp pipe.
"Actually I can think of plenty better getaway places." Kammy muttered to herself. She didn't look forward to telling Junior his 'dad' was 'dead.' What Bowsette didn't realize, or was simply too stubborn to realize, was it would be all the harder now to explain the situation, when the day came.
There wasn't actually a warp all the way to Rogueport, but it did go to a ship port where she soon caught a ride. The captain, a pianta, wasn't thrilled to take her there, even with the promise of extra pay. "Lady, that isn't no nice place. Let me take you to sunny Isle Delfino or Banana Lagoon. I dunno what you're running from but those are places a pretty face like you could settle, find an easy job, make a new life for yourself."
"That's the idea." Bowsette said with a resigned smile. The captain just sighed, shaking his head to himself but giving up trying to change her mind.
"This is your funeral lady." The captain shrugged.