"BAD DAY BAD DAY BAD DAY BAD DAY BAD DAAAAAAAAAAAY!!"
The three girls and Ron turned to face the sound of the shout. All four of them stared, slack-jawed.
A Chinese man who was anywhere from his late twenties to mid thirties wearing a khaki explorer's outfit and a young, slim, attractive woman with brown skin and long black hair in a dark blue spy suit were running straight toward them. Behind them were...
Well, the things chasing them were humanoid to a certain point, but covered in scales, with hideous, twisted, snakelike faces. They hissed and spat, long forked tongues snaking out of their fanged mouths. Their eyes were yellow with slit pupils. Most of them were clad only in loincloths and the occasional loose, open vest.
The woman spotted them first. "WHOEVER YOU ARE, RUN!" she shouted. The four teens looked at each other, nodded, and ran down the corridor in the opposite direction from the pit they'd landed in. A few seconds later, the two adults were hot on their heels, still dragging an army of irritable snake people behind them.
"What the hell ARE those things?" Kim yelled.
"Culebra!" the woman replied. "Descendants of an ancient cult! Worshipped an obscure snake goddess who was probably also a vampire!"
"Wonderful!" Ron complained.
"What the hell are you kids doing here?" the woman continued. "This place is dangerous!"
"No duh!" Sonata retorted. "Look, we don't have any control over where the portal thingie dumps us out at, okay? Boy, it'd be nice to get dropped on a nice soft comfy bed in a love hotel or something next time..."
"A love hotel?" Kim asked, arching an eyebrow.
"What? I like vibrating beds!"
"Bad day," the man muttered.
The woman snorted. "Hey, Toro told us to stay away from the Temple of Santanico Pandemonium, but you wouldn't listen!"
"It's my job, Viper!" the man cried in exasperation. "I didn't know it would be full of culebra! And anyway, if you were so worried about this place, why did you follow?"
"Uh, hello? Snake themed artifacts? Kind of my thing? Besides, somebody needed to cover your back."
"Can you guys argue this out later? Like maybe after we ditch the scaly squad?" Kim snapped.
"Yeah yeah," the woman said. "By the way, name's Viper. This pasty putz is Jackie Chan."
"Kim Possible," Kim returned. "This is Ron Stoppable, Twilight Sparkle, and Sonata Dusk."
"Pleased to meet you!" Almost in unison, Viper and Kim launched themselves up, flipped backwards, turned in midair, and landed between the rest of the group and the culebra. Nodding to each other, they began weaving among them, landing weaving, darting strikes that would have dropped humans, but had a tougher time connecting through thick reptilian scales. Nevertheless, they persisted, applying more force to their strikes until the culebra began taking damage and slowing down. As the ranks thinned, Jackie dropped back and entered the fray, his own punches solid enough to crack bone. The entire party never stopped their headlong sprint out of the temple and into the arid desert outside, but by the time they'd reached the edge of the ancient, worn stone steps, the culebra had retreated into the shadows of the temple atrium, hissing and agitated.
"Please tell me neither of you got bitten," Jackie said wearily. Kim and Viper looked each other over for damage, shrugged, and shook their heads. "Good," Jackie said. "That's the last thing we needed today."
"So...I'm guessing from the creepy snake people," Kim said shakily, "this is the Great Snake World."
"No," Twilight said absently, checking her scanner. "Dragon."
"Dragon? You sure? Because we just—"
"I'm positive," Twilight said. "Also, the Crystal is nowhere near here. So the snake people probably have nothing to do with it and we just came out someplace totally random."
A cough interrupted them. They turned to face Jackie. "Hello," he said politely. "Would you mind explaining who you are and what you are doing here?"
"And why two of you are in Technicolor?" Viper added, arms folded.
"Explanation time again," Ron said with a groan. "Getting a little tired of explanation time..."
* * * * *
"Atchaaaa," the wizened old Chinese man identified only as 'Uncle' mused as he examined the Rainbow Monkey Crystals. "Strong Good Chi magic! Very strong, but incomplete. Each of these is one part of a powerful summoning spell!"
"Yeah, we know that," Kim said.
"One more thing!" Uncle interrupted. "Spell is keyed to colors of rainbow, meaning there are seven containers to complete full spell!"
"We know that too—"
"ONE MORE THING!" Uncle said loudly, holding up a finger. "I have heard of these Great Zodiac Animal Worlds you speak of! Very ancient legend, magic far beyond Uncle's ken!"
"And we have the means to find them and cross into them, and track the Crystals, so we—"
"ONE MORE THING!" Uncle declared, standing up and slapping his palms on the table. "Uncle and Tohru will help you with location spell to find your missing Crystal here! Jackie will go with you to find it! Come, Tohru! We must do research!"
The massive Sumo wrestler seated in the corner stood up ponderously. "Yes, Sensei," he rumbled tiredly, following after the old man.
"Magic item hunt?" Jackie's niece Jade, a young Chinese girl in a soft orange hoodie and baggy jeans, said with an excited grin. "Sweet! Count me in!"
"No, Jade," Jackie said sternly. "You have school. Besides, it sounds like only one of these—err—Rainbow Monkey Crystals is here in our world, yes? Once the location spell is complete, it shouldn't take long to find it, and then our guests will be leaving." Jackie smiled at the four teens. "Until then, please, welcome. You'll be our guests."
"At a secret government facility decorated to look like an old Chinese junk shop?" Ron asked. "I mean, it's not the weirdest digs we've had, but—"
"Thank you," Kim said, elbowing Ron. "We appreciate it."
"You guys must have some awesome stories," Jade said. "Like, why are these chicks purple and blue? And what's with the funky hair colors? Oh! Are you anime? You so look anime."
Twilight groaned. "Seriously, why is it every new world we go to, people are so hung up on me being purple?"
"Jaaaaade," Jackie said, pinching the bridge of his nose. "Leave the purple girl alone..."