CHAPTER I: Kamella
I stared at my long blue fingernails, not really paying attention to anything that Bowser was saying. Instead I stared at Kamek out of the corner of my eye. I saw him looking at me too, and turned away quickly, blushing bright pink. I had come to Bowser's castle hoping to find work. Action was what I enjoyed most, and joining Bowser's minions seemed the best way to get into action. I had trained as a Magikoopa for years. Being the best was my goal in everything. Replacing Kammy as Head Magikoopa with Kamek was a great achievement for me. After all, Kammy was really just an overrated old hag whose powers seemed to be going down the drain. I noticed Kammy glowering at me from across the room at Kamek's side. A pang of guilt stabbed my conscience. I shouldn't have broken Kammy's leg, but she seemed to hate me. From the moment we met, I knew we would be the worst enemies, always trying to outdo the other.
I stole another glance at Kamek. I had never been in love before... until now. Kamek stole my heart from the moment I met him. He was all I ever would want: he was kind, supportive, smart, powerful, and he seemed like he might be in love with me too! I couldn't wait until nine o clock tonight when I would go to discuss battle strategies with him. My heart fluttered impatiently.
"Kamella!" a voice shouted loudly. I jumped about a mile. I glanced up from my daydreaming to find everyone in the room was staring at me disapprovingly. I flushed and said, "Yes?"
"I really cannot have you falling asleep on the airships, Kamella!" Bowser disapproved, frowning.
"Sorry, King Koopa," I apologized, bowing my head in shame. I would try not to let myself get mesmerized by Kamek next time.
Bowser nodded. "Yes, I expected better from you. Anyway, I expect you at the airships at 8:00 sharp tomorrow morning. I am leaving for Princess Peach now, so I need you to be at the airships in case Mario goes there first."
I nodded. "Anyway, everyone is dismissed... except for Kamek." Bowser pointed all the minions to the door with a long, yellowish fingernail. All the troops hurried to the door. I allowed myself one more glance at Kamek before following Hammer Bro out the heavy, oak door. He smiled at me and waved. I felt as if I had butterflies dancing excitedly in my stomach as I smiled nervously back.
"Hey! You're the new Magikoopa, huh?" Hammer Bro asked me as I exited Bowser's throne room. "What was your name again? Camilla or something?"
"Kamella," I corrected. "You're Hammer Bro?"
"Yup! I've been working for Bowser with Boomerang Bro and Fire Bro for eight years now." He puffed out his chest with pride. "You must be pretty good for Bowser to put you in charge of the Airship Armada. And I hear you've replaced Kammy as Head Magikoopa!"
"She's not good at all," a voice sneered from behind us. "She's merciless." It was Kammy.
"Woah, having a bad day or something, Kammy?" Hammer Bro asked, shocked.
"What do you think?" Kammy asked sardonically, pointing at her broken leg. She glared at me once more before disappearing with a wave of her wand.
Hammer Bro shook his head. "I don't know what's up with her. She can be kind of moody. Anyway, if you need any help finding your way around the castle or anything, I'm available!" He flashed a big smile at me.
"Oh, thanks," I replied. "Maybe sometime you can give me a tour of the castle, but I've got to practice all my spells now if I'm going to be fighting in the airships tomorrow. And I've got to meet Kamek in a half an hour."
Hammer Bro's face fell, disappointed. "Oh. Kamek really doesn't know that much. You're much more powerful than him anyway. We'll have to have dinner or something together sometime. I like to get to know all the members of Bowser's troops."
"Okay," I agreed. "Somtime soon we'll do that."
"Well I'll see you soon," Hammer Bro said as we came to the door to the courtroom.
"Yeah," I said as I pushed the heavy door open.
I quickly walked through the courtroom and out to the courtyard to wait for Kamek. My heart fluttered nervously as I sat down on an ornately carved wooden bench in the courtyard. Kamek meant so much to me. He seemed to be the only person who understood me.
* * * *
About twenty minutes later, the door to the courtyard opened and Kamek appeared. He smiled at me and strode over to the bench where I sat. I moved over to allow him to sit beside me. Kamek took his place next to me and grimaced. "I really don't think Bowser is wise in putting you in charge of the Airships." I opened my mouth to protest, but he put a finger to my lips to stop me. "I know you're powerful, Kamella. I don't doubt your ability at all! It's just... what if something happened to you?"
"Nothing is going to happen to me!" I protested indignantly. "I can fight a plumber any day and win! That's all Mario is, Kamek, a helpless and weak plumber. Remember that!"
Kamek smiled gravely. "You are also so sure of yourself, Kamella. I admire your optimism, but do remember that Mario has even beaten me before."
I couldn't think of a good response to that, so I said nothing.
"It's just that... I... I... luh... er... like.. er... Don't you know?!" Kamek asked me intensely. I was caught off guard by the change in his emotions. I didn't understand his stuttering, so I shook my head.
"Kamella, what do you truly think and feel about me?" Kamek asked, taking my hands in his and gazing into my eyes intently.
"Why, I think you're amazing, Kamek! You're the most powerful Magikoopa ever, you're the smartest person I know, you're kind, loyal, friendly, and you truly understand me. You know, I've never had any real friends before you," I smiled at him.
"So I'm your... best friend?" Kamek asked, trying to hide a look of disappointment from me.
Truthfully, Kamek was much more to me than a friend. I wanted him to be here for me and to love me forever and ever... But could I find the nerve to say that to him? I chose my words carefully. "Well... no... You're not just my best friend. It's just... well... I love you, Kamek." I gazed at his face intently, trying to decipher his thoughts.
"W-what did you just say, Kamella?" Kamek asked, looking shocked. I was taken back by his reaction... maybe I had misread his affections. Maybe he truly liked Kammy better than me. Maybe she was his best friend...
"Oh nothing..." I said looking down, silently embarrassed. Kamek put a finger under my chin and tilted my face upwards so I was staring right into his eyes. I felt like my heart leaped into my throat, I had never been so close to Kamek before.
"I need to know, Kamella," Kamek said strongly. "I feel so strongly about you... I've been in love with you since the day I first met you. I just didn't know if you loved me back."
I felt my heart pounding loudly against my chest. "Oh, I do love you, Kamek! I love you so, so much!"
Before I knew what was happening, Kamek had wrapped his arms around me in a tight embrace. Feeling as if my heart would burst out of my chest, I tucked my head into his chest and wrapped my arms around his neck. We stayed like that for a long time... When we parted, the sun had set and we were engulfed in a romantic moonlight.
"Be careful on the Airships, Kamella. I just could never bear to lose you," Kamek warned me.
"Don't worry," I reassured him. "I would never let a weakling like Mario take me out! Besides, as soon as we've seen the end of him, the sooner we can be together again." I smiled happily at the thought of spending all my future days with Kamek at my side.
"I am supposed to banish Mario to a little galaxy in the middle of nowhere. I wish I could fight by your side in the Airship Armada, but Bowser has required my assistance in other galaxies." Kamek frowned unhappily.
"Don't be such a pessimist!" I chided Kamek. "We'll both be careful and soon Mario will be taken care of. You wait and see."
Kamek glanced up at the full moon above us. "It's gotten really late! We should really go get some sleep." Kamek rose from the bench and I followed suit. Slowly we walked back through the winding corridors of the castle and up to my room. Kamek paused timidly outside my bedroom door, then quickly kissed me on the lips.
"Good night, Kamella. I love you," Kamek said before waving his wand and vanishing from sight.
* * * *
I awoke with a start at seven o clock the next morning. Yawning widely, I stretched and tumbled out of bed, thinking it was just another normal day. But then I remember that I was to fight on the Airships today. I was quite excited at the chance to prove my power to Bowser and Kamek by defeating Mario. It hadn't even crossed my mind that Mario might actually stand a chance against me. He was only a weak plumber after all, right? After rapidly fastening my ruby necklace around my neck and smearing on green lipstick, I grabbed my wand and waved it in a few complex movements to transport myself to the Airships. I closed my eyes for five seconds and then reopened them to find myself on the Airships. The sky was black as night with stars twinkling faintly in the distance. The airship I was on was painted a gloomy gray color. What bothered me most, though, was that there was no sound. Absolutely nothing. All I could hear was my own breathing... This was really starting to creep me out. I really wished Kamek was here with me. Oh well, I was here now. I couldn't let myself be scared of the sound of my own breath!
Now that I was here on the Airships, what exactly was I supposed to do? Wait for Mario? I supposed that was all I could do really. I sat down on the hard, wooden floor of the airship to wait.
Not even ten minutes later, I heard a loud thud from the front of the airships. Without a doubt, it would be Mario. I twisted my wand around in a circle and reappeared where I had heard the thud. Sure enough, Mario stood on the floor of the airship looking puzzled and determined. I pointed my wand at Mario and laughed my high-pitched cackle. Mario stared at me rather defiantly. I smiled back and sent a stream of fireballs at him from my wand. He avoided them rather easily. So I sent green Koopa shells at him. One hit him in the head and he stumbled backward. I send more fireballs at him. He would get eventually worn down avoiding them, and besides, most of my shells were hitting him anyway.
Then I felt something smack me directly in the chest. I lost my breath and stumbled slightly... What had hit me? I stared at Mario suspiciously, then saw that he was trying to throw my own green turtle shells back at me. How dare he? Anger boiled in my blood, I had always had a hot temper. Just as I started to fire off more fireballs, another shell whizzed directly into my stomach. I doubled over, now furious. How dare this little plumber beat me? I waved my wand back and forth a few times to summon two Magikoopas. They appeared next to me and immediately started sending fireballs at Mario. One of them hit him and he jumped comically around in pain. I smiled... It shouldn't be too hard to finish him off now. But then the hardest blow of all came. Another shell went flying into my arm. I heard a loud snap and felt the pain searing from my arm. My arm was broken, no doubt. The pain was so excruciating... it filled my mind and obscured my vision... The airships blurred in and out of my vision. I was going to pass out and there was nothing I could do about it.
I screamed a last, bloodcurdling shriek before my wand went flying to the floor and I collapsed on the ground.