My name is Pixie. You all know that I was one of Moo's Big Bad Four when Genki and the other searchers came along. But none of you know what happened before…

Part 1

You have no idea what it's like to be born into bondage.

Imagine being unlocked and seeing the world for the first time. Everything seems so new and exciting, and you want to take in everything.

The lush green vines sprouting up through the cracks in the ancient stone floor, the sunlight filtering down on the four mysterious pillars - then imagine the crack of a whip on your back, a voice barking at you that he is your master, that you are to obey him and all the other humans, or else.

Imagine a rough hand grabbing you, fetters being clapped around your ankles, then being dragged off, stumbling over the heavy chains. Suddenly things don't seem so new and exciting anymore.

Northtown was hell in those days.

The humans forced us to mine the ruins, searching for anything even remotely valuable. There was no way for us to fight. Fighting only brought more pain.

Not that they needed any excuse to hurt us. The humans punished us monsters all the time, no matter what we did. There was no escape.

After a while, the pain becomes a part of life. The days become and endless cycle of waking up to the crack of a whip on your face, forcing yourself to move despite the heavy restraints you wear, doing anything they tell you to try and escape the pain, but knowing they would just hurt you anyway.

You want to just crawl up in a corner and die, but you can't. They won't let you. So you force yourself to keep moving, to try and ignore the pain, until they march you back to your cell, where you snatch any moment of rest you can before the cycle begins anew.

Like I said, it was hell.

One day I just collapsed. I couldn't go on anymore. I just wanted it all to end.

I felt the human come up behind me, and I squeezed my eyes shut. I knew what happened next.

There was a loud crack as he brought the whip down on me, but not as loud as my scream. I felt the warm blood run down my back as he whipped me again and again. "You worthless piece of trash!" he shouted at me. "Get back to work!"

The other slaves didn't even turn. Why should they? This sort of thing happened all the time.

When the human was through with me I struggled back to my feet. My vision blurred, and the ground seemed to sway beneath me. I was covered in my own blood, and every fiber in my body screamed in pain. But somehow I had to keep working. If I didn't, the humans would only whip me again.

"Pixie," I looked out of the corner of my eye to see who had spoken. It was the Nagisa (Pixie/Jell), Flirt. She didn't turn towards me. If the humans saw us talking, they'd punish us for sure. "Doomy and I are holding a meeting tonight," Flirt continued. "So try and stay awake."

"I will," I promised. Flirt and DoomBigBoom, a Draco Hopper (Hopper/Dragon), had belonged to a couple of human sisters. They had been abandoned by them and ended up here. I was just glad that the humans here weren't as imaginative with names as those two sisters.

That night I couldn't have slept even had I wanted to. My back felt as though it were on fire. It had stopped bleeding, but I could feel the angry red welts the whipping had left me.

So I was relieved when the humans were out of earshot and Flirt began to speak. Listening to the "meeting" at least took my mind off the pain.

"Is everyone awake?" Flirt asked, poking her head through the bars.

There was a general murmur from every cell.

There were several clunking noises and groans as DoomBigBoom tried to stick his head out, too. This went on for quite some time, until Flirt sighed and pulled her head back in. "Like this, you idiot!" I heard the Nagisa whisper loudly. The next thing I saw were Flirt's hands, shoving his head sideways through the bars.

The Draco Hopper cleared his throat, then began. "Fellow slaves, throughout our lives we have suffered from oppression..."

"Oh, stuff it, Doomy!" Flirt said, poking her head out again. "You're going to put everyone to sleep if you keep carrying on like that!"

DoomBigBoom rolled his huge yellow eyes at her. "Oh, and you could do better?"

Flirt nodded. "Definitely." I saw her hand reach out and push Doomy's head back into the cell. "Look, we gotta get out of here. This isn't a life! I know none of you like getting beaten everyday. So, we have to find a way to escape. If we all work together, I'm sure we'll think of something."

There was a quiet uproar as everyone tried to make themselves heard, but not so much as to alert the humans. One voice carried above the rest.

"And if we try to escape, and fail? The humans will be sure to punish us terribly. We'll only have made it worse for ourselves."

It was Niton (Niton/Niton). Flirt turned to face his cell.

"That's a risk we're just gonna have to take," she said.

"Think about it, everyone," Niton said. "Do you really want to bring yourselves more pain?"

There was a clunk, and then DoomBigBoom remembered to turn his head sideways. "Oh, and you'd rather spend the rest of your life in chains, would you?"

Flirt pushed his head back once again. "Listen, Niton, if we're gonna even have a chance to succeed, we need everyone with us. I know I'm asking a lot, but the alternative - to be slaves here for the rest of our lives - is simply unthinkable. We have to escape."

"I'm with you, Flirt," I spoke up. All eyes turned toward me. "The humans will punish us no matter what we do. If we can get out of here…it's worth the risk."

"That's an awfully big 'if' you got there, Pixie," Niton remarked. "I thought you were the pessimistic one. What makes you think this 'if' is worthwhile?"

"I don't know what will happen if we try to escape, Niton, but I know what will happen if we continue like this," I replied. "I don't want to die on my knees."

Niton stood silent for a long time, staring at me. Finally, he looked away. "Alright, Flirt, Doomy," he said. "I'm in."

Flirt brightened up considerably at this. She had gotten over the two major obstacles she had anticipated. "Great, Niton! Now, any more objections?"

There weren't any. Niton and I had pretty bad reputations among the slaves - I as a pessimist and Niton as a coward. Once the two of us had joined in, no one else could think of any reason not to.

"Great!" Flirt said. "Now all we need is a plan."

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I really hope you liked it. Oh, and, by the way, Flirt and DoomBigBoom actually existed, in the Monster Rancher game. Flirt hated me, and my little sister hated DoomBigBoom. So, I thought, who better to lead a revolt?


Part 2

There were two clunks and a groan, then Doomy stuck his head out of the bars. "If you'll stop pushing me back, Flirt," he said. "I'll tell you my absolute foolproof plan."

"You've got a plan, Doomy? That's wonderful!" Flirt exclaimed. She leaned over and just managed to kiss the top of his head.

"Well, um, uh…" DoomBigBoom blushed. "Ah, anyway, here's the plan. We wait until the humans lead us all out of our cages in the morning. Then, as soon as the last of us is out, we all attack at once. There is no way the humans could possibly overpower all of us."

Everyone was leaning forward, some pressing their faces against the bars, giving Doomy their rapt attention.

The Draco Hopper cleared his throat, then continued. "The humans are bound to have the keys to these restraints. Once any of us gets them, we can go around freeing the others. The humans can't possibly stop us once we're free."

"That's a great plan, Doomy!" Flirt exclaimed. "Is everyone okay with that?"

Everyone was.

"See? Told you it was foolproof," Doomy said.

Flirt pushed his head back. "Now, everybody get some sleep. We'll need our strength in the morning." She pulled her own head back in, and the rest of us tried to follow her advice.

I wasn't the only one who lay awake that night. Others were too nervous or excited. Some, like me, were in too much pain. But one by one I watched them drop off. Eventually, sleep claimed me, too, as I was turning Doomy's plan over and over in my mind. It seemed sound enough. I could only hope nothing had been overlooked. It was as Niton had said, we couldn't afford to fail…

"Wake up, you lazy scum!" The human's words were accompanied by the crack of a whip and one of my cellmates' cries. I got up as quickly as I could, trying to get out of the cell before the human could whip me.

The whip caught me anyway; it always did. But this morning it hurt more than usual, as my back was still raw from yesterday.

The humans began to march us toward the ruins in two lines. Flirt and DoomBigBoom were side by side, directly in front of me. A Frozen Gaboo (Gaboo/Tiger) oozed along beside me.

I was just passing a human when I heard the last cell closed behind me.

"NOW!" Flirt shouted.

"LIGHTNING!" I screamed, aiming at the human. He slumped over against the wall, out cold. All around us the humans fell as the other slaves attacked.

Flirt quickly knelt down by the one I had knocked out and began rummaging through his clothes. Then she laughed triumphantly.

"Aha! Got it!" she exclaimed, holding aloft a small, silver key. She wasted no time in freeing herself and the others around her from the chains.

As soon as I was free I took off, flying towards the castle. The human ruler was responsible for all this. He enjoyed seeing us monsters suffer, and would occasionally choose one of us to be tortured for his own amusement.

It was high time for him to pay for what he had done.

He was standing on the balcony, watching the scene below. I think he knew he was doomed.

I swooped down on him from above. "LIGHTNING!"

I will never forget the look of sheer terror on his face when he looked up and saw me. In a split second the Lightning had hit him, and he toppled over the balcony rail. Sometimes I think I can still hear his scream…

I turned away from the mess he had left on the ground far below me, feeling slightly sick. I had never killed before. Moments ago he had been a living, breathing creature, and now…just a red stain on the ground.

I pushed those thoughts out of my mind and thought instead of all the things he had done to me. A quick death had been more than he deserved.

I looked over to the other slaves. They were free. Any humans in sight were either dead or unconscious. We had succeeded. So now what? What did we do, now that we were free? I wasn't going to stay at Northtown; there was nothing for me there, and there never had been. But where else could I go?

Part 3

I found that the others felt the same way I did. For us, staying at Northtown was not an option; Northtown held too much pain. We quickly went our separate ways, eager to leave Northtown far behind us. Some set off in small groups; Flirt and Doomy, I know, stayed together. I flew off alone.

I don't know how many days I spent, wandering aimlessly. At first all I felt was relief. I could do whatever I wanted, and there was no one to try and stop me, or hurt me. I could move and fly unhampered by any restraints. Having been born and raised in bondage, such small things seemed miraculous to me.

But after a while the joy of finally being free wore off, and reality set in. I was all alone, in a world I knew nothing about. A world ruled by humans.

Maybe…maybe they weren't all like the ones at Northtown. They couldn't all be that cruel, couldn't all take pleasure in another's pain.

It was with these thoughts that I entered the town.

It was a small place, where everyone seemed to know each other. The humans seemed friendly toward everyone, and they appeared to work together with the monsters.

I hesitated at the edge of the forest. It seemed wrong to just traipse into a human village. I felt like some unknown horror would befall me if I dared even approach it. But I had to know, one way or another. I couldn't just keep wandering aimlessly all my life, never to be sure what might happen if I ever approached a human. I gathered my courage and stepped into town.

I had taken only a few cautious steps when a man plowed into me.

"Hey, watch it!" I shouted. I wasn't going to let any human push me around ever again.

"You watch it, monster!" he shouted back. "Where's your master?"

"I have no master!"

All of a sudden everyone around us stopped going about their business and began to gather behind the man who had pushed me. Some looked shocked, some angry, and others afraid. Even the monsters regarded me warily. There was a babble of voices as they all began to murmur to one another. I caught only a few quick snatches of conversation.

"…doesn't have a master…?"

"…a wild monster…?"

"What now?"

"…but how…?"

"…a runaway…"

"What should we do?"

"Listen, you!" the man shouted. "We don't want your kind here!" Behind him, the crowd shouted encouragement. "So beat it, before things get ugly!"

I growled and shifted into a fighting stance. These humans might pretend to be decent, but they were really no better than the ones at Northtown. They reduced monsters to servants and pets, and thought of them as little more than animals. They practically brainwashed the monsters into obedience.

To them, a masterless monster was dangerous and all but unheard of.

"I said beat it!" the man shouted, then picked up a loose stone and threw it at me.

I didn't dodge in time, and it hit me right in the face, snapping my head to one side. Before I could recover, the other humans had joined in with several of their monsters. I found myself facing a hail of stones. Some of them missed, but quite a few of them didn't.

I took off into the air. It was pointless to try and fight so many. Even if I did win, I'd just be leaving anyway. Still…no sense in letting them get away with this so easy.

"LIGHTNING!" I shouted.

I missed. My Lightning hit the ground right in front of the man who had plowed into me. He turned dead white and merely fainted as he realized how close to death he had come. I grinned at the sight, then turned and flew back towards the forest.

Now what was I supposed to do? Just keep wandering? What's the point of that? But what else could I do?

The humans were all alike. They feared and despised that which they could not control or even understand. I had been a fool to hope otherwise.

I would never take orders from a human again. If they hated me for that, fine. I hated them. Who needs the approval of creatures who see you merely as a talking beast?

But now I felt more alone than ever. Humans ruled the world, and I could never live with humans. The days after I entered the town passed strangely, like some endless dream; not bad enough to be called a nightmare, but not good enough to be called anything else. I wanted so badly to wake up, but I couldn't. I simply continued living, although I had nothing to live for. I was empty inside. Through all that time, I never felt truly alive. And I was always alone.

Until I met him.

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I hope you liked it. I think there's only going to be a couple more parts to it.


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