Chapter 9: Just before the Ambush

The night passed quickly- and in the morning, Pan had been found asleep. Allen and Sara both, awake and having already eaten even as the others slowly woke and began to have their own breakfasts, found the Pink Eye Suezo sub-type. Allen just shook his head. "I guess we should've known that Pan couldn't stay awake for a watch." he said quietly, but not just to simply stay quiet enough to let the monster continue to sleep. No, his voice was low because it tended to crack when he first woke up, and this way it wouldn't. Sara simply nodded, and then stepped forward, her segmented wings glistening in the bright light that came with the sun's being out from behind clouds and above trees. With a wind-up kick, she fired off a Psychic Kick, the mental energy slashing from her leg and clawed foot toward the Pink Eye.

A direct hit! The suezo got booted into the nearest tree as a result, and was quite pissed off as a result. "Hey! Ya didn't have to wake me up like that!" she exclaimed, hopping back over toward the two now laughing beings that had been around Pan when she was sleeping. Black, the saurian, looked as if he was going to laugh, or at least say something... but, for some reason, didn't. Laughter came from the rest of the camp though, as the others looked over and saw what was happening. Even Genki laughed- the entire scene reminded him somewhat of his old friends. Quite a lot like Golem's launching Suezo up and into the air to get a look around... and then the fall that would take place when Golem forgot to at least try and catch the falling eyeball.

Chuckling a little, Genki pulled his backpack on, and grinned- the area was so familiar. But it didn't look quite so familiar. It was green, when it likely should have been desolate, almost like a desert or plateau. "Hmm... close to Pixie's old place." he says to himself, and then, pulling on his rollerblades, he takes off in the direction of Pixie's old palace, and the villagers that lived there. Everyone else was startled, especially the two hares and the two young Pixies- Mia and Lepus. Then, with thundering applause it seemed, the Battle Rocks ran after the young human, trailing dust and ripping up plants that weren't quite stably in the ground yet.

And then, finally, everyone else ran after them as well, after dust had cleared. Lepus and Mia flew, Fae and Evan bounded along with grins on both their near identical faces. Pan hopped onto Black's back and then the Black Saurian took off toward along the road. This left only Allen and Sara, who took their sweet time walking along the road behind them, to make sure that no one was following them. Which there was.

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The being that followed the group was the same one that had spied upon Gara's headquarters the previous day. It grinned to itself- it recognized fully the identity of the very energetic one. "Genki, huh?" it asked itself, and simply took to the air, stone-gray wings spreading to catch a breeze as she streaked off in the air after them. Finally, she thought. Finally, my waiting is over! I was right! He's still in this world!

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A few hours later, the group made it to Quarrytown. A few humans stopped in their tracks as they took note of the large group of monsters and two humans who stood outside the massive stone wall. They even recognized Genki, the one who had saved their town from the evil of Moo itself by defeating the powerful member of the Big Bad 4- Master Pixie. More and more humans, who had been enslaved by the Pixie and her troops of various Plants and Clays, stopped in surprise as they saw the boy with clear eyes. Looks of shock and amazement registered on each and every one of the people- including the monsters, as they saw the looks on the human villager's faces. Finally, after about 10 minutes and a bit of tumbleweed floated by, Genki spoke.

"Well? Do you expect me to say, 'take me to your leader?' Come on, I know ya recognize me!" he exclaims, chuckling a little as the villagers burst out in a bit of laughter. One of the villagers came up and grinned as he dwarfed the teenage Genki by at least a foot and a half. "Well now. Finally decided to come back this way, have you Genki? Come, rest in town! We have a few surprises in store for you, oh indeed we do!" the gruff voice almost commanded his compliance as he clasped a hand onto Genki's shoulder, driving the young man's shoulder down a few inches as a result. The monsters and Allen behind Genki all laughed some at this scene, and Allen walked forward as well, pulling up beside Genki. "A surprise? I hope it is not like the one that we were given back in Shinoku-town."

"Shinoku-town? What happened there?" the man asked, as he escorted everyone into the town proper, leading them all toward a rather large building that reminded Genki of the IMA building from Monster Rancher 2 on his playstation. Once inside, the similarity simply increased- a lot of people, some monsters, and most definitely, there were some ranchers and explorers mingling with others. There was even a large sign in the middle, hanging from the rafters with the initials IMO, with words sprawling horizontally from the initials that had been set vertically- International Monster Organization. The man that helped them into the place had listened to what Allen told him about what happened in Shinoku-town. The man promised that the surprise was nothing like that, as they could see, but this was only half the surprise. Well, actually, not even half the surprise, the man explained, as he led the entire group through large doors, doors large enough that even Battle Rocks could pass through. It was a long walk- this IMO place was huge! Down stairs, around several corners, and back up stairs again they all walked, and then suddenly they found themselves in a large clearing. It was a stadium, Genki saw, but it was empty.

"Stay here for a few moments and rest, please... I have to go and check on a few things real quickly." the man said, grinning as he left the stadium area and back along the way they had come. He soon was out of sight, and the large doors shut, effectively trapping all but the flyers on the arena floor. "This... had better be one heckuva surprise." Allen muttered, to which everyone else nodded. Why would they be trapped here? It did not make any sense- these people owed Genki, didn't they?

Suddenly...

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Author's Note: Okay all, I am back, but I'm just getting back into the MR spirit of things again- please bare with me as I get back into the 'groove', so to speak. I was deeply engrained in it when I was writing the first 8 chapters, and this time I'm returning. Sorry about the short chapter, but I've got to make a few extra notes and jot down a few more ideas for the next one. I've decided to take the series on a slightly quicker curve, so I may be sacrificing some details until I am fully in the 'groove' again. If this chapter seems to incoporate a different style of writing, this is the reason- I haven't been completely re-integrated in Monster Rancher for a while, so my writing style will slowly return to what you guys seem to enjoy so much.

And one more thing- if my jumping from person to person, changing the point of view without telling you whose it is within the first sentence is bothering you, here's my response- it keeps you reading, doesn't it?! hehe. I figure, if I came up with a way to keep a reader reading, wanting to know who it is who's acting or talking, then that's a good thing, not a bad thing. I'll have Chapter 10 up (and it'll be a longer one, too) soon, but only after I get back into things.