Grey Wolf stared at the Allure standing in front of him. He was more than a little apprehensive. She used to work under Pixie, and none of the male monsters in Moo's army were comfortable calling on her or the 44th airborne squadron.
"As I was saying..." He spoke quietly, trying not to think of the risks of offending Allure.
A Futurity from the back of the group stepped up. "Proven Truth: You have been unable to capture or destroy the Rebels or the two traitors. Proven Truth: Master Moo grows impatient. Proven truth: No-one calls on us unless totally necessary. Conclusion: You want us to track them down."
"In a word, yes."
"Metalgirl was never one for small talk. And she's pretty sharp, for a NON-COMBATTANT." Allure said, casting a nasty glare at the Futurity.
Metalgirl was, and would likely remain, a mechanic, not a soldier. A childhood injury to her wings ensured that. She could fly, but not with any speed or agility. But she had a reputation for being able to patch up any piece of machinery and those that threatened her or Janne quickly found out that one of Metalgirl's gadgets was not to be trifled with.
"Your mechanic is right. But we both stand to profit. Pixie and Gali's positions are now up for grabs now that they are both...indisposed."
"And I stand to gain one of those positions, and you their territory, Grey Wolf. We have a deal. I will bring you them, or their lost disks. Vanity! Night Flyer! Check the records! I want to know when they were last seen and where. Futurity. Go find Janne, tell her to prepare for an extended mission, lets get moving." Allure spoke in a low voice.
"This hunt may prove a challenge." Allure said, laughing, as she left.
Elsewhere... "Lets go lets go lets go! Come on people, work with me here."
"Genki, we don't always have to get up before the sun rises." Said Holly, yawning.
Slowly, the other monsters started to awake.
"Don't you ever sleep Genki...I know you're name means energy but this is just plan ridiculous." An exhausted sounding Suezo commented.
"Get your hands off my breakfast you money grubbing furball!" Tiger shouted at Hare.
"Who said it was yours?" Hare replied as he continued to eat.
"That's it Hare." Tiger said, jumping him.
"Please...Don't fight!" Golem held the two monsters apart.
"Everyone's awake? OKAY! Let's go find the Ph..."
"Genki?" Holly said gently.
"How about breakfast?"
Genki's stomach rumbled and he sweatdropped as the others laughed. He sat down next to Holly and began to eat...
"I wonder how we can ever defeat Moo, if our hatred for him only makes him stronger." And if he's my father...
"I don't know Holly, but that doesn't mean we don't try. We just have to keep going forward right? We can't just stop now. Look at how far we've come." Genki said, smiling.
Holly nodded and smiled. "We'll, lets get going then."
"Awesome! Hey Golem, Suezo, how about checking out the terrain!"
Golem picked up Suezo and threw him into the air.
"Just make sure to catch meeeeee!"
"Did you hear something?"
"AHHHHHHH!" THUMP! GOOOLLLLLEEEMMMM!"
*Sigh* "Must be Genki, come on Big Blue, lets check it out." Pixie jumped into the air, moving among the trees so quickly see seemed like a blur.
"huh? Oh! Hi Pixie, hey Big Blue. How's it going?"
"Fine. The occasional group of baddies, but nothing the two of us couldn't handle."
"Considering the way she dealt with those Scale Jells, I wouldn't be surprised." Suezo said, pulling himself out of a small crater.
"So Holly, where does the magic stone say we should go?"
"You planned your entire journey based on the advice of a pebble?" Pixie asked, raising one eyebrow while sitting on Big Blue's shoulder.
"Hey, it's gotten us this far."
"This way." Holly said, pointing North.
"Well it can't be that far off. We might as well join you for the time being, we were going the same way."
"All right! Then lets go." Genki yelled, powering ahead on his rollerblades.
The Vanity watching from the cliff side laughed. "Gottcha now!" She said, jumping into the air. "Gottcha now!"
The group walked along some old forgotten path. The air was turning colder, and the journey seemed to be constantly uphill.
"Must be getting closer to those mountains Moo showed us." Genki commented.
Suddenly the air around them seemed alive with lightning.
"Delta formation!! Strafing runs! Don't let them get on their feet! Ignore the Golems, they're too slow to hit you, get Pixie and Moo's daughter! Leave the males to me!"
"What?" Yelled Holly as she was knocked to the ground by a lightning attack.
Pixie jumped into the air, in flight, she was a better fighter than any of these Pixies. However, the fact that 8 or 9 of them were going after her at once made this a challenge.
The monster barking orders flied into view.
"Allure!" Pixie yelled. At this point, she was nervous...this could get ugly, fast.
"So pleased to see you still remember me, traitor. Will you surrender? Same terms apply to you, Holly, daughter of Moo." She said in a cold voice.
The other monsters stared at Holly, shocked beyond belief.
"Is it true, Holly?" Genki asked gently.
"How do you know about that?" Holly said, hands shaking in anger.
"The wise warrior knows her opponents weaknesses. For example, LIFE STEAL!!!"
A sickly yellow light filled the air as Allure sucked the energy out of the males of the group.
"GENKI!" Holly yelled, kneeling beside an unconscious Genki.
"BLUE!" Pixie gasped, as Big Blue fell to the ground.
The two females looked around in shock as their teammates fell to the ground.
"As I was about to say. Surrender, or I drain the energy that keeps their hearts beating." She began to laugh. "This was beyond easy. They should have called us in the minute you turned traitor."
Pixie was shaking in anger. "You BITCH!!"
"Such anger over your servant? Pathetic. I'm waiting, but I warn you..." She bared her fangs, grinning. "I grow hungry."
Holly stepped forward, her eyes on the ground. "I surrender." She stared at her unconscious friends. I'm sorry...
"Tie her up, Metalgirl. You always tied the best knots. Then knock her out." She turned to face Pixie. "Well will you surrender, or do I suck your boyfriend dry..."
The Futurity was starting at her now. Looking for something. She carefully tied the knots tight and gave Holly a shock to knock her out.
Pixie was shaking, the closest she ever allowed herself to tears. "All right." She stared at Big Blue for what she thought would be the last time. "So much we didn't..." Allure walked up to her.
"Foolish traitor." Then her fist connected with Pixie's jaw and everything went black.
The baddies were clustered around a fire, laughing at how simple the battle had been, at old quarrels between the Vanities and the Night Flyers, the two groups of scouts, having their wounds mended by the quiet Janne, who was too soft to fight. They laughed at her too.
"Janne: Data Query: Can we discuss." Metalgirl's metallic voice spoke in a quiet voice to the medic.
"Yeah, of course. Shoot."
"Negative: Not here."
"All right." She smiled. "Later..."
"Uhhhhhhhh." Genki pulled his tired body to its feet. "Everybody wake up! Holly's gone and so is Pixie!"
Slowly the other monsters woke up and came to their senses. They had to decide what to do and fast. However, things quickly turned into an argument.
"We have to rescue them!" Yelled Genki.
"And how do you propose we do that? Allure nearly sucked us dry." Hare snapped back.
"Don't be such a coward Hare!" Suezo yelled.
"Genki's right!" Tiger put in his two cents.
"I'm going after Master Pixie. You can stay if you want too." Big Blue turned and started to leave.
"Hey! Come on guys!" Genki yelled.
"Genki, think clearly and try not to let your feelings for Holly get in the way." Hare said.
"And what the hell is THAT supposed to mean!"
"Oh brother. This could go on all day Mocchi."
"CHI CHI CHI CHI CHI!!!" Mocchi shouted at the top of his lungs. "Stop fighting Chi. We have to go look for them."
"Yeah, without the magic stone, we don't stand much of a chance." Said Hare.
"He's right, we've got to get going before they get too far. Come on Mocchi, It's time to kiss the sky!" Genki yelled and took off on his rollerblades. "Hey Big Blue! Wait up!"
"I'm with the kid." Said Tiger, who set off after him.
One by one the monsters followed Genki.
Elsewhere. "Observation: I have never seen anyone so angry...I wonder why he did it."
"Quantify." Janne said, smiling at her friend. Metalgirl's machine like language put a lot of monsters off, but she was tough.
"Why he went with her instead of staying with Moo."
"I think he made up his mind on his loyalty long ago. The heart is an astonishing, curious thing Metalgirl. She had reached the point where she wanted more, he had reached the point where she was his purpose." Janne closed her eyes thinking quietly. "They are more than they are willing to admit to themselves...And thanks to us it will end."
Metalgirl turned away. "Query: would you do that for me? Betray Moo?"
"Yeah. Of course. Would you?"
"Without parameters: Yes."
"Thanks." They turned and walked back to the camp where the prisoners were being held, both contemplating their roles in the world.
Pixie stirred and tried to move. Her limbs were tied behind her back, and pretty much everything hurt. "Hey!" She yelled to the guard.
"Pathetic." The guard said and ignored her.
"Holly, wake up. Holly..." She nudged her with her feet. "Damn it Holly, wake up!"
"ughhh...Pixie? Where are we."
"Don't know, heh. Goddesses.... I'm going to die." Pixie closed her eyes. "I always wanted...so many times I just wanted it to stop. But now...Flame eternal I sound pathetic...I just realized all the things I wanted to DO god dammit."
"Yeah...Genki and the others will show up." Holly tried to open her eyes. "Pixie, I'm blindfolded. Do you see anything?"
"We'll, we're in some kind of ruin, defiantly. Pipes on the ground, crumbling walls. It's night and..." She squinted. What was that? A small yellow dot soaring into the air, and then falling back to earth? It came up again, this time a little higher. "Well. Brave Fools! They came through! It's Suezo." She said in amazement.
"I SEE THEM! GOLEM!!!" THUMP. "Thanks a lot."
"Where are they? Genki asked.
"Over there." Suezo pointed, pulling himself out of a hole in the ground. Hare stepped forward. "So here's the plan. Golem and Big Blue will throw Suezo and Mocchi into their camp. Their job is to free Pixie and Holly. In the meantime we attack and try and distract the other Pixies. With any luck, Pixie will take down Allure before she kills us." He looked around. "I can't think of any other way to do it. They'll be able to see us coming no matter what." Hare looked at Tiger. "What, no insult du jour?"
"Nope, I'm waiting until you screw up."
"Why I oughta..."
"Come on, let's go. You ready, Mocchi?" Genki asked.
Mocchi nodded. Big Blue picked him up. Suezo and Mocchi flew through the air, toward the encampment. Only two guards were standing watch, and Allure was asleep. This was it.
Pixie could defiantly see the two monsters flying over the trees. She sawed away at the ropes with the knife. What had that Janne been thinking! They would kill her for this if they found out.
Suddenly all hell broke loose as the two monsters landed. Suezo and Mocchi ran to untie them, and the guards perused.
The knife slipped from her hands as one of the guards kicked her.
"Damn!" She screamed.
Suddenly the other Searchers rushed the camp.
Trying to reach for the knife, swearing...
Seeing Suezo fall in a battle with a Mint.
Holly was up on her feet yelling. But nothing seemed real.
Mocchi filled the air with cherry blossom petals. Almost had the knife.
"Master Pixie." She twisted around and stared at Big Blue, who quickly broke the ropes holding her in place.
She took to the air...
"Trust me, traitor, you don't want to do that. Life steal."
Allure was standing quietly in the middle of the battlefield as the males in the group fell. "Should have killed them there. Pathetic how you would surrender so easily when he was threatened. And the human..."
"GENKI!!!" Holly yelled as he collapsed.
"Weak. Just plain weak. Might as well just finish them off. Hey, Janne. First blood. Take the Mocchi." She laughed wickedly.
Janne stared straight forward. "No, he's just a kid." She replied in a whisper.
"No." Janne said, stepping back.
"You just crossed the line between being soft," Said the Mint, building a ball of lightning. "and being a traitor."
"NEGATIVE!" The Mint was knocked down as Metalgirl brought her metal toolbox down on her head. A second later there was only a lost disk.
Then Holly rushed forward and brought the pipe down.
And the males woke up.
And the Pixies decided this would be a good time to leave.
And Genki cheered, twirling Mocchi around as the other monsters celebrated.
And Metalgirl helped Janne up, and arm in on they walked away.
And Pixie wrapped her arms around Big Blue's neck, murmuring in his ear.
Allure was only a lost disk like any other. Quiet, cold, dead and abandoned.
And Holly stood and stared on the blood on her hands.
The searchers sat around a small campfire, a ways away from the battleground. They were eerily silent. Holly sat beside Genki, staring straight ahead of her.
Pixie, holding a bowl of soup, smiled and said: "You're all fools. Brave fools, but fools none the less." No one said anything.
"Genki." Holly said, morose.
He looked up. "Yes Holly?"
"How can we stand it. My father...I can't hate him, can I? But I do. I hate everything he represents. But if our hate only..." She continued.
"I guess Moo has to be stopped, no matter what. Don't worry. When we find the Phoenix, maybe we'll be able to separate Moo and your father. Maybe we could..." Genki began, trying to comfort her.
"Genki...what if the Phoenix can't? What are we going on? A legend from my village? A story to ward away the dark?" She was sounding more and more desperate.
"And Monol's story." Tiger added.
"And the fact that you unlocked some kid who, moments before had been playing a game in a different world." Hare added.
"Thanks." Holly said, a lone tear snaking down her cheek. Genki leaned against her, one arm around her shoulder.
"Well..." She said, smiling just a little bit. "There's often truth in legends."