The four teens emerged from the glowing vortex into a peaceful forest. The scent of fresh, springy green growth and the twittering of birds surrounded them. A bright sun shone down from above.
Ron looked around. "Wow. Green."
Twilight took a deep breath. "Ahhh, this air smells so nice..."
"Been a long time since I smelled air this clean," Sonata said. She looked down at herself, then at the others, and pouted. "Aww, we changed back to normal..."
"We still have those thingies they gave us, though," Kim pointed out, fingering her hawk talisman. "Okay, Twi, what's the sitch?"
"Okay, so this is the Great Monkey World," Twilight said as she adjusted her spectrometer. "Which is where we were headed in the first place. I'm scanning f—uuuuuuh..." Her eyes widened, her glasses sliding down her nose.
"Twi? What's up?"
Twilight shook her head and slammed her hand against the side of her spectrometer a couple of times, frowning. "Either this thing's broken, or there's two Rainbow Monkey Crystals less than half a kilometer away, and a third approaching fast from the east."
The others blinked. "Three Rainbow Monkey Crystals?" Ron asked. "Score! Why couldn't it be this easy all the time?"
Kim frowned. "Something doesn't sound right," she said. "I'm pretty sure Sensei said they were all scattered..."
Twilight pushed her glasses up. "Well, we should check it out just to make sure," she said. "This way." She led the group through the forest, which was at the base of a broad mountain. After several minutes, they found a dirt trail which wound through the low hills and trees.
"Look there," Kim said, pointing. Just over the rise of the hill, the top of a thatched roof was visible, a white clay chimney jutting out of it.
"Hmm...the crystals are in that structure," Twilight said.
The trail plunged into the valley, then climbed a steep hill. At the top of the trail, they rounded a bend and found themselves in the lawn of a dwelling comprised of three buildings, with a stone well at the center of the property. The thatched-roof stone cottage had two main buildings, erected perpendicular to one another, one much smaller than the other. At the bend of the two cottages, a white metal dome-shaped building sat; its front door had a red diamond-shaped marking above it, and a squat round chimney poked up out of the top. Off to the side was a smaller shed, or perhaps a shrine of some sort, in an Oriental style; it was brick at the bottom with clay or stone walls above the bricks, and a black tiled steeple roof.
"Huh. Interesting place," Kim said.
"I can't even tell what that dome is made of," Twilight said, looking at it. "I mean, it looks like metal, but it also looks like plastic..."
"So, uhh...do we knock, or what?" Ron asked.
Sonata walked brazenly up to the white dome and knocked. After a moment, the door opened, and a massive man leaned out. He wore brown pants held up by thick suspenders, a white shirt, boots the size of trash barrels, glasses, and a helmet with broad, curved bull horns on the sides. He sported a full, bristly beard. He looked down at them, blinked, and frowned. "Yes?" he asked. "Can I help you?"
"Eep!" Sonata squeaked, jumping back and hiding behind Kim. Kim swallowed and stepped forward.
"Ah, hello. Good...afternoon, sir. We were wondering if perhaps you had seen a small crystal sphere, about so big, with unusual markings—?"
The man frowned. "You're looking for those," he said. "I'm sorry, kids, but I can't—"
The sound of engines filled the air. The leaves in the trees rustled, and the grass began to stir. The teens' clothing was buffeted by the wind. They looked around and saw an aircraft land. It was a strange mix between a helicopter and a VTL plane, with an overall grasshopper-like appearance. As it touched down and the engines went silent, a bald old man in Chinese clothes jumped out, holding a gnarled old walking stick. He had a pointed white beard and wore sunglasses with plastic frames. A short anthropomorphic pig in overalls landed next to him, followed by a flying cat-like creature with dark bluish-black fur on most of its body except for the light brown fur inside its ears and on its face and belly. Lastly, a girl a few years older than Kim got out of the aircraft. She had shortish, slightly teased blue hair and wore a striped blue-and-yellow tube top, a black leather jacket, blue jeans, riding boots, and fingerless gloves. A round compass-like device with a green screen on the front hung from a long nylon cord around her neck.
"Gyuumaoh!" the old man called, waving.
The massive man squeezed himself out of the house, brushing past the four teens. "Roshi, you old fart!" he called jovially. "Took you long enough to get here!"
"Yeah, well, we had a couple things to do first," the old man said. "Besides, we're not exactly in a hurry here, you know?" He frowned, adjusting his glasses. "I mean, we've got ten months...it doesn't really take that long, you know..."
"Maybe not long at all," the woman said. "Since we moved into range, two more Dragonballs showed up right at your doorstep..." She paused, frowning, and looked at the four kids. "And I'm guessing this is why," she said.
The man identified as Gyuumaoh nodded. "They just got here," he said. "I...think we'll have to explain to them why they can't—"
"Excuse me," Kim said, interjecting herself between them. "Hi, sorry to interrupt, but it sounds like we're about to have a situation here, so I'd like to make introductions, sit down, talk this out calmly..."
The blue-haired woman, Gyuumaoh, and the old man looked at each other and shrugged. "Yeah, okay," Gyuumaoh said. "But we'll go around to the old house. Chichi's asleep inside, and...and it's not a good idea to upset her right now..." The visitors looked solemn at that.
* * * * *
The inside of the old cottage was as rustic as the outside. It was well-tended, but given the haphazard decoration and the fact that most of it seemed to be used for storage and laundry, it was clear that the residents had moved into the white dome house. There were, at least, comfortable chairs and sofas.
Kim, Ron, Sonata, and Twilight sat across from their hosts. "Alright, so let me start," Kim said. "I'm Kim Possible, this is Ron Stoppable, and our friends Sonata Dusk and Twilight Sparkle." She tilted her head. "You...don't seem the least bit weirded out that one of them is blue and the other is purple."
"We've seen things," the old man said. "Besides, a cute girl is a cute girl, no matter what color her skin is."
The blue-haired woman slapped him upside the head. "Not now, you old pervert," she said. She sighed. "Right. My name is Bulma, this lech is Master Roshi, this is Gyuumaoh, the pig here is Oolong, and the flying cat is Puar."
"Pleased to meet you!" Puar said in a high, squeaky voice. The teens blinked.
"Okay, now I know why you're not freaked out about the blue girl and the purple girl," Kim said. "So anyway...we're here from another universe, looking for something we need to save our home from an ancient demon."
"The Dragonballs, right?" Bulma asked.
The teens blinked at each other. "Dragonballs?" Kim repeated in a confused tone. "What...?"
Master Roshi reached into his tunic and pulled out a smooth orange crystal. He turned it around and showed the kids the four red stars that marked it.
Kim, Twilight, and Ron looked at each other. "Well it looks like a Monkey Crystal," Ron said, "except..."
"Stars instead of bananas," Kim said, frowning.
"Bananas?" Bulma asked, tilting her head.
"Bananas," Kim repeated, reaching into her belt pouch and pulling out the Violet Seven-Banana Crystal, which she rolled across the floor. Bulma blinked at it, picking it up and inspecting it.
"Huh," Gyuumaoh grunted, scratching his head. "Well that isn't a Dragonball at all," he said.
Bulma frowned, turning on the device around her neck. "No, but my Dragon Radar is picking it up," she said. "Right now I'm showing five Dragonballs here in this house."
"And my spectrometer is showing five Rainbow Monkey Crystals," Twilight said, adjusting her glasses. She and Bulma looked at each other significantly.
"Hmm. Curious," Mutenroshi said. "You have two of these?"
Kim pulled the Blue Five-Banana Crystal out of her pouch and held it up for all to see.
The locals looked at each other significantly. "Well...this is unexpected," Oolong said. "Do you think they, y'know, grant a wish?"
"I dunno," Bulma said, rolling the violet Crystal back to Kim. "But it's obvious they're a completely different set of...umm...whatever from our Dragonballs." She smiled sheepishly at Kim. "Sorry, we thought you were after our Dragonballs, and we kinda need them to wish this friend of ours back to life..."
"No big...I think," Kim said, putting the Crystals safely away. "So just to make sure you don't have the thing we're looking for...?"
"Huh? Oh! Right," Gyuumaoh said. He got up and rummaged through a nearby dresser, pulling out two orange crystal balls. He showed them to Kim; one had three red stars on the face, and the other had six.
"Yep, not our target," Ron agreed.
"This complicates things," Twilight said, frowning. "If our scanners can't tell Rainbow Monkey Crystals apart from these...Dragonballs?" She absently fingered her spectrometer. "We could literally cross this entire planet chasing after something we can't use." She looked up at Bulma. "How many Dragonballs are there?"
"Seven," Bulma said. "We've got three of them, we're about to set out looking for the rest later this afternoon." She grimaced. "After I check on Chichi, let her know everything's going to be okay."
Gyuumaoh frowned. "I...wouldn't right now," he said. "She's not nearly as upset about Goku being dead as she is about Gohan...you know..."
Bulma winced. "Y-yeah..." She sighed. "But I still need to talk to her before we leave."
Ron sighed. "So what do we do?" he asked. "I mean are we sure there's even a Rainbow Monkey Crystal here at all?"
Twilight grimaced. "Honestly? I don't know anymore," she said. "I mean, what I locked onto here could easily just be the Dragonballs, but..." She pursed her lips. "We can't just leave without at least checking, right?"
"Twilight's right," Kim said. "We need to be sure."
"Umm...but how are we gonna do that?" Sonata asked. "I mean, I doubt this place is small enough for us to just search on foot, and if it could be anywhere—"
Bulma, Roshi, Oolong, and Puar looked at each other. "Well..." Bulma said, "you could just tag along with us. I mean, we're hunting the Dragonballs anyway. If that thing you're looking for is here, we're bound to run into it eventually."
"Oh, dude, sweet!" Ron said.
"That would help," Twilight said.
"Yeah, it really would," Kim agreed. "But your little airplane thingie looks like it'd be really cramped with all of us, and I wouldn't want to, y'know, be a drain on provisions or whatever..."
Bulma laughed into the back of her hand. "OOOOO-HOHOHOHO! Not a problem!" She smirked, flipping her bangs. "You happen to be talking to the heiress of Capsule Corporation and world's greatest inventor! You think I'm not prepared to transport, shelter, and feed a small army at a moment's notice?"
"Yeah, four kids tagging along with us won't be a problem," Oolong said.
"I'm cool with it," Roshi added with a grin. Bulma thumped him hard.
"Well...okay then!" Kim said. "We'll do that. We'll tag along with you until we figure out whether or not our Rainbow Monkey Crystal is here."
"Great, welcome aboard!" Bulma said. "Soon as I check on Chichi and rest up a bit, we'll get underway."
"Please and thank you!" Kim said brightly.
"Woohoo, road trip!" Sonata cheered, thrusting a fist into the air.