Chapter 1: New School Year
"Mario! Get up! Come on, bro, we're gonna be late for school!"
A boy dressed in green was trying to shake his brother awake, though it was proving to be difficult. Mario Segali wasn't exactly a morning person. "Nngh..." he moaned. "Luigi, what time is it...?"
"It's time to get up, bro!" Luigi said, pulling the red comforter off of Mario's bed. "We can't be late for the first day of our senior year!" Too impatient to wait any longer, he ran out of Mario's room and down the stairs.
"All right..." Mario begrudgingly got out of bed and got dressed, then followed his brother downstairs. Their mother had already left for work, so the brothers each grabbed a package of Pop-Tarts and headed out for the bus.
The bus arrived at Nintendo High quicker than expected, passing through the high-tech security gates. Normally the gates only opened upon sensing an authorization signal that was generated by both devices in the buses and every student and staff's ID card, but the gates were left open during school hours of the first week for new students to get their IDs. When the bus pulled up to the drop-off, it brushed up onto the curb. "Hey, sidewalk!" the driver shouted. "Get outta my way!"
Mario and Luigi were among the first to get off the bus, followed by a pink Kopidama, a brown-haired boy wearing a red hat, and many others. The last one off the bus was a tan-skinned boy with frizzy blond hair, wearing mostly yellow. He seemed nervous, shying away from the others. A guy on a motorcycle with a flaming horse design painted on the side drove by the Segali brothers, parking in a spot near the entrance of the school. The guy pulled the helmet off his head and lightly brushed his dirty blond hair out of his eyes.
"Hey, Link!" Mario called out to the motorcycle boy. "See you finally got that motorcycle you've been wanting since forever."
Link took of his biking jacket, put both it and his helmet in the motorcycle's side box and pulled out a knit hat that was the same green as the shirt he wore. "Yeah, it took two summers of working at Lon Lon Ranch," he said with a relieved sigh, "but I have to say, it was completely worth it. I even named it." He pointed to the horse design on the side and smiled. "Epona, after one of the horses there."
"That's pretty cool," Mario said.
Just then, Bowser, a spike-shelled Koopa and one of the school bullies, made his way over to Mario and Link. He was obviously quite furious for some reason. "Hey, pretty boy!" he shouted, pointing at Link. "Catch!" He threw a scrawny boy dressed in orange who seemed to be made of wood at them. Link caught the boy, but the impact knocked him backwards over Epona.
"Bowser, you jerk!" Mario yelled. "What was that for?!"
"Ask the stick," Bowser snorted. "I'm outta here." He stormed off towards the school doors, muttering angrily to himself.
Mario helped Link and the wooden boy off the ground. "Rigby, you okay?" Link asked the wooden boy. "What happened?"
Rigby put on an angry face, though both Mario and Link could tell he wasn't serious. "I told you not to call me Rigby anymore!" he exclaimed. "I'm the Skull Kid now!" He laughed. "Eh, Bowser's just an oversensitive pinhead. He thought I called him a 'fat son of a gun', but I was just trash-talking the boss in my game."
The three had a good laugh, then they hurried to make it inside before the bell rung.
All the students shuffled their way into the auditorium, looking for a good seat before the start-of-year assembly started. Pika sat by himself, sighing that he still had not met anyone who would even give him the time of day. At that moment, a boy in a red hat approached him. "Excuse me, mind if I sit here?" the boy asked. "You look like you could use the company."
"Oh, sure," Pika replied. "Go right ahead."
"Thanks," the boy said. He sat down beside Pika. A moment passed before the boy turned to Pika. "So, you new around here?" he asked. "I know pretty much everyone in the area, and I'm pretty familiar with a lot of the incoming freshmen as well."
"Yeah, I moved here over the summer," Pika said. "I used to live in Hawaii. I'm a freshman too, so it shouldn't be too hard to adjust."
"Hawaii, huh? Sounds cool." The boy held his hand out for Pika to shake. "Name's Red, by the way. You?"
"I'm Pika," Pika replied, taking Red's handshake offer. "Nice to meet you."
"Nice to meet you too, Pika," Red said happily.
Meanwhile, Mario and Luigi were sitting with their girlfriends, Peach and Daisy, respectively. They were a tight-knit group of friends even without the romance, but they hadn't had much time to get together as a group over the summer. "So, girls, how was your summer?" Luigi asked.
"I spent the summer skiing in Colorado," Peach said, seeming slightly embarrassed to say it. It was widely known that Peach's father was a wealthy banker, so her family was very well-off.
"Why would you wanna go somewhere cold during the summer?" Daisy asked.
"Well, the beach isn't that much fun when you already live in a coastal city..."
"Skiing sounds pretty cool," Mario said. He motioned towards Luigi and himself. "We didn't really do much, ourselves."
The chatter began to die down as a white-haired man in a white suit stepped onto the stage. He approached the podium near the front of the stage and tapped the microphone. "Good morning, everyone," the man announced to the students. "To our incoming freshmen, let me extend a warm welcome to Nintendo High. My name is Hans Masterson. I am the principal of this school, and I will be happy to help you with anything from now until your graduation. To our returning students, welcome back for another year. I hope your summer vacations were all enjoyable and that your next year with us is fruitful. Now, if you would," (he motioned toward the left exit doors) "freshmen should exit through the left and make your way to the cafeteria to get your ID pictures taken." He motioned toward the right exit doors. "Sophomores, juniors, and seniors should exit through the right and head to your homeroom. Have a wonderful first day!"