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Fanfiction Super Ridley Bros 2: Subcon Nightmare

Discussion in 'Literature Library' started by BZRich64, May 28, 2024.

  1. BZRich64

    BZRich64 The Mustachiod Machamp

    Late For A Date
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    Previously, on Super Ridley Bros:

    Ridley, captain of the space pirate ship Alectys, received a transmission from an unknown world outside of Federation space, designated SMB-985. Answering the call, he was hired by the local warlord King Bowser to assassinate the local hero, Mario. After finishing the job and taking Mario's hat as proof of his deed, Ridley visited the Mushroom Kingdom to taunt the locals with their hero's death. However, ingesting a sample of local fungi permanently altered his physiology, shrinking him to the size of a human. Combined with an unknown enchantment placed upon Mario's hat, Ridley found himself mistaken for the late Mario by anyone who did not already know his identity or could see through such illusions.

    With the local Princess Peach being abducted by Bowser once again, Ridley found himself forced into taking Mario's role in rescuing her, alongside a growing list of unlikely allies.

    Luigi, Mario's brother who eventually found himself having to cope with the knowledge of his elder twin’s death and what that meant for his own sense of mortality.

    Roshi, a shy member of the Yoshi species with self-worth issues developed by years of being bullied for being overweight.

    Rosalina, a cosmic sorceress of mysterious origins who failed in her quest to revive Mario.

    Daisy, Princess of Sarasaland and Luigi's long-time paramour, who accepts his proposal late in their journey and finds herself bonded to the ghost known as Roger, granting her spectral powers.

    Samus Aran, Ridley’s former nemesis who was once the poster child for the Federation before being banished after uncovering a web of conspiracies and cover-ups, as well as her teammates Armstrong Houston, Joey Apronika, Diesel and ADAM.

    Through their many adventures on the way to Dark Land, they uncovered the truth that the Mario that Ridley killed was an imposter, the real Mario having already been dead through unknown circumstances.

    After finally defeating King Bowser and his forces, Ridley surprised everyone by vying for a peaceful conclusion, his experiences in this world having changed him for the better. Through negotiations, a political marriage was arranged between Princess Peach and King Bowser to consolidate their kingdom’s resources and put an end to their war.

    With their adventure now over, our heroes went their separate ways. Samus left her teammates behind to investigate a mysterious call she received, traveling to the planet ZDR where she teamed up with her redeemed X Parasite clone now going by the name Justine Bailey, and the former space pirate Kraid Junior. Together they defeated the vile Raven Beak and his plans to conquer the galaxy with Samus as his pawn, while also ensuring that the X Parasites remain extinct save for Bailey.

    Meanwhile, Luigi and his employees visited his old mansion to clean it up in preparation for his wedding. While vacuuming the study, Luigi found himself trapped within the magical tomb known as the Grimoire of Souls where he was forced to live through a thousand-year war between the Dark Lord Dracula and the Belmont family of vampire hunters who stood against him. At the end of this traumatic adventure, Luigi teamed up with Death and other allies to defeat a fragment of Chaos posing as Dracula to stop it from unleashing its evil upon the world once again. Back in the real world, Luigi found himself with the memories of his adventure and a replica of the famous Vampire Killer whip.

    With their latest trying adventures behind them, our heroes look forward to a peaceful break. The day of Luigi and Daisy's wedding draws near and with it, celebrations. But, dark forces are on the move with plans to invade the waking realm. What new trails await our heroes?

    Super Ridley Bros 2

    Subcon Nightmare
    World 1-1: Down the Rabbit Hole

    Ridley flew through the skies, a gentle breeze brushing against his face as he glided along the wind. He loved flying, both the sensation and the freedom that it brought. He’d never had the chance to realize that before, in his previous life. A rogue bioweapon turned pirate didn't have room in his blackened, shriveled heart. But with his new lease on life, Ridley could finally take the time to enjoy the simple pleasures in life.

    He looked down at the endless expanses of emerald fields. He didn't recognize where he was but it was beautiful. Smiling, Ridley flapped his wings to gain a bit more height.

    Nothing happened.

    Ridley flapped again. He still didn't move up at all. Confused, Ridley turned back to check his wings. They weren't there.

    Ridley stared at his bare shoulders for a moment before it finally settled in. He didn't have wings. But if he didn't have wings, then how was he flying?

    The simple answer, he wasn't.

    Ridley suddenly fell out of the air, no longer capable of holding himself up. Thankfully, there was a tall mountain directly underneath him to break his fall. Weirdly tall, considering that the surrounding area was mostly flatland. Of course, the mountain itself seemed oddly flat. More like a model of a mountain made out of really tall boxes. But that was a good thing, he just needed to guide his fall into the center of the-

    Ridley crashed into the corner of the mountain, tumbling down the sheer cliff side until he bounced off a lower peak and continued falling. He ended up tumbling down the entire mountain, bouncing from one plateau to another until he finally crashed into ground level, a mangled heap of limbs. He might have stopped but the world around him still felt like it was spinning.

    “Ridley?”

    He poked his head out from under the crook of his arm to see a mustachioed man in overalls, a green shirt and a matching hat with a capital ‘L’ on it.

    “Hola, boss.” Ridley worked on untangling his limbs before finally standing up and working the kinks out of his back. His wings were still mysteriously missing but at least his long, spear-tipped tail was still there. He also had his hat, a red twin to Luigi's but with an ‘R’ instead. It was modeled after the one once worn by Luigi's late brother, Mario, who Ridley had spent a while impersonating after he thought he'd killed him.

    “Are you alright?” Luigi asked him.

    “Been better, but I’ll live,” Ridley replied before popping his neck with a loud crack. “By the way, where are we?”

    Luigi looked around nervously for a moment before turning back to the purple space dragon. “I was-a hoping that you would-a know. I’ve-a never seen this-a place before.”

    “Well if you haven't been here, then I certainly wouldn't have,” Ridley pointed out. “I haven't gone anywhere on this planet without you.”

    Just then, a chubby yellow tyrannosaur in green shoes and a red shell on his back ran out from around the corner of the mountain. He was also wearing one of the hats that served as part of the Mario Bros Plumbing uniform, green like Luigi's but with an ‘r’, lowercase to distinguish it from Ridley's.

    “Guys!” Roshi called out as he ran up to them. “Guys, where are we?”

    “That's-a what we were just-a wondering,” Luigi said.

    “You guys are here, too?”

    The trio turned to see a tall, blonde woman in a blue crop top and matching shorts walk up to them.

    “Samus?” Ridley questioned. “You, too?”

    “Wait, is that really you?” Roshi asked. “You look different. More like that other lady, uh, I forgot her name.”

    “What?” Samus instinctively reached up to her face and started feeling it in her hands since they lacked anything that she could use as a mirror at the moment.

    “Huh, that’s right.” Ridley tilted his head as he noticed it. “You look like you used to.”

    “Wait, do I have my real face back?” Samus’ eyes widened in stunned shock, though Ridley noticed that one of the corners of her mouth twitched up slightly. “How?”

    “I-a don’t know, but where’s-a your armor?” Luigi asked, noticing the conspicuous lack of pseudo-magical alien power armor that she usually wore.

    “Probably the same place as Ridley's wings.” She shrugged. “That's a really weird look on you, by the way.”

    “I don't like it.” Ridley absently reached behind his shoulder, grasping at air.

    Luigi frantically dug his hands into the pocket of his overalls. Whatever he was searching for clearly wasn't there.

    “Sara’s gone, too!” he said.

    “Who's Sara?” Samus asked.

    “The boss’s new imaginary friend,” Ridley explained.

    “Should your wife be jealous?” Samus joked.

    “From what I've studied of human mating rituals, they should get along very well.”

    Luigi stiffened at that, turning red.

    “I feel like I'm missing context but also I don't care,” Samus said dryly before pointing her thumb back over her shoulder. “Anyway, there's a door around the corner. Doesn't look like it goes anywhere but it seems to be the only thing around for miles and magic’s a thing now, so who knows?”

    “Worth a shot.” Luigi shrugged. “It's-a not like we have any other leads.”

    Samus led the assembled plumbers around the side of the perfectly square mountain. Sure enough, there was a doorway standing there. It wasn't attached to anything and Ridley walked around it to confirm that there was nothing behind the red wooden door. The handle seemed to be made of solid gold, as well as the large, old-fashioned knocker. Other than that, it seemed like a perfectly ordinary door apart from its strange placement.

    “Who would build a door out here in the middle of nowhere?” Roshi asked.

    “Someone who forgot to build the rest of their house?” Ridley suggested with a shrug, then rested his hand on the knob. He opened the door and had to blink a few times. He leaned to the side to look past the frame. It was the same as before. Then he straightened up and looked through the open doorway into the hilly landscape full of waterfalls and more boxy mountains. “Magic.”

    “My scan visor isn't picking anything up,” Samus said.

    “You don't have your Scan Visor!” Ridley pointed out.

    “That's why it isn't picking anything up.”

    “Should we-a go through?” Luigi asked, glancing around at the others.

    “It's not like we have anything else to do.” Ridley shrugged.

    “Alright, then-a here we go!”

    The four of them stepped through the doorway, leading further into this strange, unknown land. The door slammed shut behind them and vanished from sight.

    * S * R * B *​

    The previous morning:

    When Ridley had agreed to be the best man at Luigi's wedding, he hadn't been prepared for how much work that would be. Especially since this was on top of his court-ordered community service. And he didn't get paid for either, apart from room and board.

    “What do you mean, you're running late?” Ridley yelled furiously at his phone, as he walked through the woods around Luigi's house. “You're the maid of honor!”

    “Look, I’m sorry!” Came the woman's voice on the other end. “I love my little brother and I'm looking forward to finally meeting my soon-to-be sister-in-law, but I'm also the mayor of the biggest city in the US and that comes with certain responsibilities-”

    “You have a responsibility to your family!” Ridley shouted. “They're the only family you have left, or have you forgotten!?”

    “No, I…” Pauline Mario sighed in defeat. “Look, I’m going to be there tomorrow for the wedding, no matter what happens. But I won't be able to make it to the bachelorette party.”

    “But you're supposed to be in charge of that!” Ridley pointed out.

    “I’ve been busy,” Pauline defended herself weakly. “You’ve already got the bachelor party ready for tonight, right? Just combine them.”

    “That's not how that works and you know it!” Ridley stood there for a minute, waiting for her response. “Hello? Pauline? You still there?”

    “...I’ll have to call you back, something just came up.”

    The phone clicked and Ridley stared at it. Did she really hang up on him? The nerve.

    “You don't have to put up with this kind of thing, do you, Bow Wow?” he asked the big black ball tethered to the other end of the chain he was holding in his other hand. Luigi’s pet chain chomp barked twice and tried to bite his head off. “Yeah, didn't think so. Well, probably time to head back to the house.”

    Ridley pried the beast’s jaws off of him and began to head back to the clearing where the Mario Bros Plumbing headquarters was, aka Luigi's house. While Luigi and his bride-to-be would be moving into his old mansion when they got back from their honeymoon, the youngest Mario sibling was kind enough to let Ridley and Roshi continue living here without him for the time being.

    Speaking of Roshi, Ridley could see the friendly yellow dinosaur outside the red-roofed cottage, watering the back garden. Roshi waved as he spotted Ridley walking up to him, then froze up when Bow Wow suddenly shot forward. Fortunately, despite his wiry frame, Ridley was more than strong enough to hold the chain chomp back.

    “I'm not going to miss that thing when he's gone.” Roshi shook his head. “I'm glad Luigi's taking him with him when he moves.”

    “Whaaaaat?” Ridley gave a mock gesture of surprise. “Are you saying that this vicious beast out for blood isn't a ‘good boy’?”

    Bow Wow proved the point by biting Ridley's arm up to the shoulder.

    “I have no idea why anyone would keep one of these things as a pet,” Ridley said as he marched over to the stake that usually kept Bow Wow in place. “Even gronkats aren't this much of a hassle and those things like to eat eyeballs.”

    “The more I hear about space pirate culture, the worse it sounds.” Roshi shook his head as Ridley returned sans chain chomp.

    “Yeah.” Ridley gave a nostalgic sigh. “Part of me still misses the old days, though. Not the killing and stuff, though. The things I’ve done still keep me awake at night.”

    Roshi shivered as ominous music began to play in the background. Ridley pulled his phone back out of the tool belt that he’d recently taken to wearing to see who was calling him. Pockets were nice but he refused to wear proper clothing.

    “Huh, don't recognize the number,” Ridley muttered to himself before answering. “This is Super Mario Brothers Plumbing, where plumbing’s our game. We’re not like the others, who get all the fame-”

    “Cut the singing,” a gruff-sounding toad cut off Ridley's rehearsed intro. “Is this the kingdom's extraterrestrial invasion specialist?”

    “No, this is Ridley,” the purple alien replied.

    “Well, according to my records, you're the guy I'm supposed to call,” the annoyed toad said. “This is Lieutenant General Fly T. of the Mushroom Kingdom Air Force.”

    “We have an air force?” Ridley asked, genuinely shocked.

    “Haha, very funny,” Fly T. said dryly. “Now, we’ve got a large, unidentified object heading into our airspace from outer space. We suspect this to be the first step of an alien invasion.”

    “Uh-huh, yeah, let me just get back to you in a sec.” Ridley ignored the Lieutenant General’s protests as he put him on hold, making another call. After a few seconds, the recipient picked up.

    “This is Samus,” the bounty hunter said.

    “Hey, this is Ridley. Are you the ship currently headed for the Mushroom Kingdom?”

    “Yeah, we’re here for the wedding tomorrow,” Samus explained. “I also brought along some guests.”

    “Okay, good, I’m just going to connect you to my other call real quick. Hold on, how do I do this?” Ridley fiddled around with the buttons on the old flip phone he’d managed to get at the Toad Town Market shortly after settling in. “Ah, here we go.”

    “-does he think he is, hanging up on me? So just because this new hotshot somehow managed to-”

    “Hey, Lieutenant General,” Ridley said, cutting off Fly T.’s rambling, “this is Ridley. I got in contact with your supposed alien invaders.”

    “Alien invaders?” Samus repeated, clearly offended by the remark. “Who do you think I am?”

    “This is Samus Aran, who is an invited guest for tomorrow’s royal wedding,” Ridley explained for the air force toad’s benefit. “Which means that you're going to let her in, right?”

    Fly T. muttered something incoherent but probably offensive. “Very well, you're clear to land at the Toadstool Royal Airport.”

    “I’ll meet you there,” Ridley said. “Don't want to cause another incident after you land.”

    “Good, the big guy's going to want to see you.”

    “Big guy?” Ridley parroted, though Samus had already hung up.

    “If this goes south, it's on your head, not mine,” Fly T. muttered before hanging up as well.

    Ridley just sighed and slipped the phone back into his pocket before turning to Roshi.

    “You know where the airport is?”

    “What airport?”

    * S * R * B *​

    After asking for directions in town, Ridley flew over to the airport with Roshi in tow. It didn't take long after that for the two to find that the far-most terminal had been cordoned off and guarded by security guards.

    “What do you want to bet that this is us?” Ridley gave his companion a sideways glance.

    “Um, five coins?” Roshi shrugged after hesitating slightly.

    Ridley stared at him for a moment. “That was a figure of speech.”

    “Oh, right.” Roshi blushed slightly.

    “Halt, this area is for authorized personnel only.” A guard raised his hand as the two walked up to him.

    “Hello, my name is Ridley,” Ridley introduced himself politely, brushing his hand over where his primary heart was located in his chest. “You killed my father, prepare to die.”

    “What?” The toad was clearly taken back by that.

    “He's joking.” Roshi shook his head dejectedly.

    “I don't even have a father,” Ridley mused, scratching his chin in thought. “I was made in a lab by a black ops Federation research team. I suppose you could consider them my fathers, but then that would mean that I killed my father.”

    “We're here to see the… um, aliens.” Roshi glanced at Ridley, who the guard was staring at in open-mouthed horror.

    “If you're waiting for me to take offense to that, then you're going to be here a while,” Ridley said. “I will proudly admit that I am an alien. I am an extramushrestrial lifeform!”

    “I don't think that's a word.”

    The guard grabbed a walkie-talkie and put it to his mouth. “Um, sir, we have a situation. Over.”

    “What is it?”

    The guard jumped as the reply came not from the speaker but from a few feet behind him. A surly-looking toad in a green jacket, with a black pencil mustache marched over to them.

    “Hello, my name is- Ow!”

    “You’ve gotta stop using that joke,” Roshi said as he let go of Ridley's tail.

    “If quoting movies from the mythical long-lost planet of Earth that I illegally downloaded with my boss' Wi-Fi is wrong, then I don't want to be right,” Ridley declared triumphantly. “My space pirate days may be behind me, but a part of me will always be a pirate!”

    “You must be the specialist.” Lieutenant General Fly T. massaged his temples. He was simultaneously too old for this crap but too young to retire. “Right this way.”

    Roshi and Ridley followed the Lieutenant General outside, where a large spaceship had just landed.

    “Hm, this is new,” Ridley noted as he studied the unknown ship. “Federation design. Likely a research vessel from the hull markings. Large cargo hold suggests that it's meant for transporting large amounts of materials… Looks like an evolution of the Shuruppak-class freighters. That suggests a weak point on the upper back of the port hull, where the armored plates can be pried apart to create an opening inside. From there it's a straight shot to the secondary cargo hold, which can be manually opened from the inside to allow a raiding party to board. Wait, no. Looks like they fixed that vulnerability. Smart.”

    “Um, we’re not raiding the ship,” Roshi pointed out.

    “Huh? Oh, right.” Ridley snapped back to his senses. “Slipped into old mindsets for a moment there.”

    The main cargo bay’s primary door slowly opened, revealing several humanoids waiting in casual clothing. Before they could exit the vehicle, however, a loud roar pierced the air. Roshi and the others shuddered at the loud sound unlike anything they'd ever heard before, while Ridley's eyes widened in recognition.

    “Kraid?” He would recognize that call anywhere. The fellow space pirate captain was Ridley's oldest comrade and, though he never would have admitted before, his closest friend. “No, that's impossible. Kraid’s dead, unless… Junior!?”

    The giant green saurian came into view as the door continued opening and Ridley couldn't believe his eyes. Last he had seen his friend’s son, he hadn't even reached Ridley's old height. Now? He stood at least as tall as his father. They really did grow up so fast.

    Before he’d even realized it, Ridley had dashed past the other visitors on all fours and was standing directly in front of Kraid Junior. The giant stared back down at him.

    “Where have you been?” Ridley gasped up at friend’s son. “I thought you were gone!”

    Junior grumbled a reply.

    “Ah, that would explain it.” Ridley nodded and turned to where Samus and her companions were staring at him. “Thanks for rescuing him.”

    “Yeah, no big deal.” Samus smiled and shook her head. “I saved his life, he saved mine. I’d say we’re pretty much even.”

    Junior growled softly.

    “Of course you can stay here!” Ridley told him without even thinking about it. “Well, I suppose finding a place for you might be a bit tricky but we’ll manage.”

    “Now, hold on just a ‘shroom pickin’ minute!” Fly T. yelled angrily as he walked into the ship, arms crossed. “We are not allowing unknown alien lifeforms onto our planet! We don’t even know what their intentions here are or what effect their presence will have on the local environment. They could be planning an invasion! Or riddled with unknown pathogens! For all we know, they could be planning to lay eggs in our chests or something!”

    He poked Samus in her exposed navel during that last comment and she had to visibly hold herself back from beating the ever-living daylights out of him. Ridley, for his part, just stared at the officer incredulously.

    “I’m an alien,” he pointed out. “That space witch that’s here sometimes, Rosalina, is an alien. Frak, even Luigi is technically an alien since he’s from Earth!”

    “Not to mention that most of us have already been here.” Samus stared daggers down at him. “We helped rescue your princess, in case you forgot.”

    “Or so you say.” Fly T. narrowed his beady black eyes. “But I don’t-”

    “Lieutenant General!” Ridley snapped, standing at attention and causing the mushroom-capped toad to instinctively do the same. “You admitted earlier that I am the Mushroom Kingdom’s ‘Extraterrestrial Invasion Specialist’. Now, I don’t know I how ended up with that position but that means that I am the authority when it comes to matters of alien lifeforms and what to do with them, correct?”

    “Sir, yes Sir!” Fly T. saluted him.

    “And I, in my expert opinion, believe that it is safe for these alien lifeforms to visit this planet and the Mushroom Kingdom in particular,” Ridley continued. “Now, unless you have any further objections, I suggest you let them go.”

    The Lieutenant General scowled at him but held his solute. “Yes, sir.”

    Once he had left, Roshi walked up beside Ridley and the two were properly able to welcome their visitors.

    “Sorry about the cold welcome,” Ridley shook his head. “I have no idea what that was about.”

    “Don’t worry about it,” one of Samus’ companions said. A tall, burly redheaded man with a bushy beard. Ridley seemed to recall his name being Armstrong Houston and like Samus, he’d forgone his usual power armor in favor of a more casual outfit. In his case, a blue and black jumpsuit. “Not the most hostile greeting we’ve ever ever had.”

    “Man, that guy was a jerk.” The blue-haired boy in a green tracksuit, Joey Apronika, said as he hovered overhead. Ridley was a bit surprised to see that he still had the Cape Feather powerup he’d been given during the battle against Bowser last time.

    It seemed that Samus hadn’t brought along her mechanic this time, or even her usual ship, which just left one member of their group who Ridley hadn’t had a proper introduction to yet, a woman who looked suspiciously like a younger Samus. Ridley wasn’t good at determining human ages but he’d put her as being just past the adolescent phase. Her hair, which was bright green, was in a choppy bob cut and she was wearing a red and purple version of the bodysuit that Samus generally wore under her armor. More distinctive than that, however, were her yellow eyes with distinctly inhuman vertical pupils and which seemed to glow faintly in the dark. To say nothing of her scent, which wasn’t like anything that Ridley had smelled before.

    “Ah, you must be the sister that I’ve heard nothing about,” Ridley said to her. “What are you?”

    The ‘woman’ seemed to tense up at the question. “Well, that’s a bit of a long story…”

    “This is Bailey and she’s a shapeshifter who helped me out on my last mission,” Samus summarized. “The sister thing was her idea but honestly I don’t mind that much. That’s all that you really need to know for now. Oh, and I brought my pets with me this time. Hope you don’t mind.”

    “What?”

    A trio of blue monkey-like creatures suddenly jumped from the ceiling, tackling Ridley to the floor. As he pulled them off and got back to his feet, a tall green bird trampled over him, followed by a smaller one.

    “Hey! No!” Samus yelled at the alien animals, which Ridley vaguely recognized from his time on Zebes as etecoons and dachoras, respectively. He had assumed that those species would have gone extinct when the planet blew up. “Behave yourselves!’

    “Oh, and the robot is mine,” Bailey added before Ridley spotted said robot walking up to them. It was a tall bot with a slender frame. Mostly black but with mismatched patches of armored plating over its body, red and green on the arms, blue and yellow on the legs, with purple on its torso and cyclopic head. Overall, it looked like something that had been patched together with spare parts. “I named her Emmy.”

    “Well, at least this one’s under control.” Ridley grumbled before ‘Emmy’ immediately proved him wrong by walking up to him and stabbing him in the arm with a giant probe spike that shot out of its eye, sucking his blood like a giant mosquito. “I stand corrected.”

    * S * R * B *​

    Luigi paced back and forth in the master bedroom of his mansion, going over everything in his head. The wedding had seemed like it was still so far away but it had now finally settled in that it was only tomorrow. Thankfully, he wasn’t getting cold feet or anything. While his proposal had been a spur-of-the-moment thing brought on because he thought that he was going to die soon, he really did love Daisy and he wasn’t going to back out of this now just because it turned out that he wasn’t dying anytime soon after all. No, he was just stressed out trying to make sure that everything was ready.

    “Are you alright, Master?” A woman’s voice asked, coming from the magical black whip draped over the bed.

    “I’ll-a be fine,” Luigi waved his hand dismissively as he continued to pace. “And I told you not to call me that.”

    “Right, sorry. I may be just a copy of the original Vampire Killer but I still have most of its memories and habits,” the whip said. “Though I don’t think that the real Vampire Killer can communicate with its wielders like this.”

    That was another thing that Luigi was struggling with. Not only was he about to marry the love of his life and by extension become a part of another country’s royal family, but he was also now the founder of a new clan of vampire hunters or something, wielding a copy of the mythical Vampire Killer whip used by the secretive Belmont clan back on Earth. He hadn’t even known that vampires were real.

    “It’s-a fine, Sara,” Luigi replied.

    “Why do you insist on calling me that?” the whip asked.

    “Because-a calling you the Vampire Killer just-a doesn’t sound right,” he explained.

    “Whatever suits you, I suppose.” Sara paused for a moment. “Someone’s coming.”

    Luigi turned, feeling like his heart was about to jump out of his chest. He jumped to the bed and grabbed Sara, preparing for a fight. He could hear footsteps outside before the door creaked open and… oh, it was just his friends. Luigi let out a sigh of relief.

    “Boy, you look agitated,” Ridley said as he strode into the room.

    “I told you that we should have knocked.” Roshi shook his head.

    “What are you-a doing here?” Luigi asked them.

    “You need to check your watch more often,” Ridley told him. “It is time.”

    “What?” Luigi started to panic again, checking the cheap wristwatch he kept under his glove. “But the wedding isn’t until tomorrow!”

    “No, not that.” Ridley shook his head, to Luigi’s confusion. “It is time… to party!”

    The groom-to-be blinked a few times. “What?”

    “The bachelor party,” his best man elaborated. “The party which I was left in charge of planning. It is time for it to commence.”

    “But I-a told you I-a didn’t want a bachelor party.”

    “No, you said that you didn’t want ‘one of-a those rowdy stag parties where-a guys get drunk and do things that-a no honest man who’s about to pledge themselves to-a the woman they-a want to be with should-a do’,” Ridley corrected him. “And you’re not getting one of those. We got cake, which I will point out does not have any surprises inside, non-alcoholic cider and a selection of soft drinks, and a few games that I pulled out of the game room. None of the cursed ones, though. We checked.”

    Roshi shivered. “That jungle one was horrifying.”

    “And also now burned to a crisp.” Ridley placed a calming hand on his friend’s shoulder. “We’ll never have to go to that awful, awful place again. Oh, and we’re limited to the west wing.”

    “What’s wrong with the east wing?”

    “Nothing’s wrong,” Ridley replied quickly, raising his hands. “We’re just double booked. Due to circumstances that I am not privy to for some reason, I ended up in charge of the bachelorette party as well, so I’m holding that one in the east wing. Samus is currently overseeing things on that end for me, so it shouldn’t be a problem.”

    “Wait, what happened to Pauline?”

    Ridley shrugged. “Come on, everyone’s waiting.”

    * S * R * B *​

    Bowser looked up from the card in his hand to study his opponent wearily. The old man just sat in his chair with a goofy grin on his face, his eyes hidden behind the thick frames of his glasses. Finally, he reached forward and grabbed a card. His eye twitched slightly, giving himself away. Professor E. Gadd grabbed his other card and placed it down on the table along with its match.

    “Looks like I win!” the professor said triumphantly.

    “Gah, I hate this game!” Bowser fumed angrily but managed to keep himself under control. His new therapist seemed to be working wonders for his temper. Instead of lashing out, he simply reached for the small plastic cup in front of him. It turned out that he’d already finished it off, though, so he turned to the refreshment table instead. “Hey, it looks like we’re out of drinks!”

    “What?” Ridley looked up from the game of Parcheesi he was playing with Roshi, Joey and a talking suitcase that had introduced itself as Stuffwell. The suitcase was winning. “Oh, I’ll get right on that. Merlon, take over for me.”

    The cloaked figure whose only discernible features were a bushy white mustache and glowing yellow eyes walked up to him and held a hand out. “It’s dangerous to go alone, take this.”

    Ridley accepted a shining yellow trapezoidal crystal from the fortune teller.

    “What’s this?” he asked.

    “That’s a star piece,” Merlon explained.

    “What does it do?”

    “It’s shiny and you can collect them. My grandson Merlow collects them, actually. He’s known to trade star pieces for the badges that he used to collect, which can have various effects on the person who wears them such as changing the sound they make when they walk or making them resist heat or cold. Why, back when my grandfather’s grandfather was still a boy, they-”

    “Shiny collectible, got it.” Ridley slipped the crystal into one of his belt pockets and walked over to Roshi. “Hey, can you give me a hand? We can grab more bottles together.”

    “Yeah, sure.” Roshi walked up to him and the two headed out of the room.

    “I’ll-a come with you,” Luigi said as he quickly ran after them.

    “What, no!” Ridley objected. “This whole party is for you, you should go enjoy it.”

    “I know but I-a need to-a stretch my legs, anyway. Besides, this is-a my house.”

    “Fair point.”

    The trio of plumbers quickly made their way into the cellar, where they found the stash of cider that Ridley had hidden away in the corner. To their surprise, however, they were not alone down there.

    “Samus?” Ridley asked questioningly as the bounty hunter in question turned to them. “What are you doing here?”

    “Same as you, I would imagine,” she said, holding up two bottles. She then let out a very unlady-like yawn. “Oh, sorry. I don’t know where that came from.”

    “Alright, then I guess we’ll all just grab some… just grab some…” Ridley’s tongue rolled across his mouth as he yawned so big that someone could have stuck a goomba in there. “Man, those things really are contagious, aren’t they?”

    “Would anyone mind if I just… lie down for a second?” Roshi fell flat onto his stomach, snoring loudly.

    “I didn’t think that we’d partied… partied that hard?” Right, Luigi?” Ridley turned to see that Luigi had also managed to fall asleep, curled up on the floor. “What…”

    Ridley found himself growing exponentially more tired by the second to the point where he was having trouble standing up. He couldn’t detect any sense of gas or other agents that could explain this strange phenomenon.

    “You know, that sounds like a good idea.” Samus slumped into the corner of the basement, closing her eyes. “Just gonna… rest mah eyes a sec’.”

    Ridley dropped to his hands and knees, unable to keep standing. Were they under attack? Was this some kind of spell? Just what was going on?

    …Well, he supposed he could figure that out after a quick nap. After all, he was just too tired to do anything else. He laid his head down on the cold floor and closed his eyes. Then he was flying through the skies, a gentle breeze brushing against his face as he glided along the wind. He loved flying, both the sensation and the freedom that it brought. He’d never had the chance to realize that before, in his previous life. A rogue bioweapon turned pirate didn't have room in his blackened, shriveled heart. But with his new lease on life, Ridley could finally take the time to enjoy the simple pleasures in life.

    See you later, space pirate…
    Welcome back to Super Ridley Bros! I’ve been waiting to get to this storyline for years and I’m so excited to finally be able to get started on it. A new adventure lies before our heroes but what new trials shall they have to face? A story of nightmares, visions of the past and future, enigmatic star warriors, vengeful mice and singing toads (not the mushroom people kind) awaits!

    Welcome… to the Subcon Nightmare!
     
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