"Hmm," the Monkey King droned, rubbing his hairy chin as he held up the battered old lamp. "To rub or not to rub..."
"Uhh...if there's a genie in that lamp? Like, don't rub it, monkey dude," Dave said. "Things are weird enough around here already."
"Oh, I dunno," Bill Shatner said. "I think you should rub it. You want those three wishes, right?"
"Dude! I mean, Mr. Shatner, Captain Kirk, uh, sir! Don't give him ideas—"
"Hmm, the ham has a point," the Monkey King said, flicking the lamp away. "I hate it when people try to trick a trickster."
"Well, it was worth a shot," Bill said with a pained grimace.
"I don't get what just happened," the pirate said.
"The genie in the lamp," Bill said. "In all the stories, the genie is a trickster. He always interprets your wishes in some way that'll backfire on you."
"Oh yeah, that's right," Dave said, eyes wide.
"And it was a good try, really it was," the Monkey King said. In a flash of magic, he was wearing a Star Trek costume identical to Shatner's. In a mockery of his voice, he said, "Captain's Log." He pointed his staff at Shatner...
A massive redwood log encased Shatner. Shatner rolled his eyes. "Ha ha," he said. "Very funny."
"Hey, at least it was a wooden log," the Monkey King said. "I could've stuck you inside a giant tur—"
The doors burst open. Jackie Chan, Jade Chan, Hua Mulan, and entourage stood in the entrance.
The Monkey King's eyes narrowed. "Chan," he said. "Well, well. Just the chump this chimp wants to chomp. Put 'em up, champ!" In a flash, his outfit changed again, this time to boxing trunks and gloves. He threw a punch, and one of his gloves fired out on a spring, straight at Jackie. Jackie dodged, punching the glove so that it went off course and slammed into the door frame behind him.
"Oh god, is this one of those guys?" Ron moaned. "You know, reality warpers? Turns up into down, left into right, Coke into tap water?"
"He is a spirit of great mischief," Hua Mulan said. "It is said he so thoroughly annoyed the gods with his infantile pranks he was transformed into a wooden puppet—"
"Old news," the Monkey King said, waving his staff at Mulan. In an instant, she aged dramatically, becoming a wizened, shriveled old lady with sagging skin, weighted down by silk and armor her ancient bones would no longer support.
"Oh, that is SO not right," Kim said. "Are you okay?"
"I...now understand my grandmother's complaints," Mulan wheezed. "But do not worry about me. Sun Wukong must be stopped!"
"Stopped? Stopped?! But I'm just getting started!" With another wave of his staff, Jackie, Viper, and Jade all underwent a costume change: Jade's outfit changed into a yellow T-shirt over a white long-sleeved undershirt, baggy blue jeans, and blue and white sneakers, Viper's casual attire was replaced by a black V-neck top, a short white jacket, a pink skirt, white socks, and pink hi-tops, and Jackie's khakis and blue shirt changed into dark grey cargo shorts, a yellow polo shirt, a mauve sweater vest, white socks, and brown loafers. A heavy backpack appeared on his back.
Ron frowned, tilting his head. "I don't get it," he said.
"Eh, you will one day," the Monkey King said. "But something's missing...ah! I know!" He pointed his staff at Sonata, who had time to blink comically before she turned into a big, shaggy blue llama.
Sonata the Llama blinked twice, then bleated blankly.
"How's that for a llama incident?" the Monkey King asked in his best Groucho Marx voice, complete with glasses, mustache, eyebrows, and cigar.
"WHY JACKIE LEAVE UNCLE BEHIND?" Uncle roared sharply from outside the shop. "Uncle too old to spend last twenty minutes smelling Ieyasu Tokugawa's farts! ONE MORE THING! Need to fix history! Too many historical figures wandering around in present time very dangerous! ONE MORE THING! What are you weariiiiiiiiiing?"
"Wow, who's this old fossil?" the Monkey King, now back in his normal garb, asked.
"Old fossil is powerful chi wizard, trickster monkey! One more thing! Uncle is going to put you back in puppet body, undo all your shenanigans!"
"Oh yeah? I'd love to see you try it," the Monkey King said derisively, scratching under his arm.
Uncle raised an eyebrow and pulled a dried salamander out of his pocket. "Yu Mo Gui Gwai Fai Di Zao, Yu Mo Gui Gwai Fai Di Zao, Yu Mo Gui Gwai Fai Di Zao..."
"Oh no, we're not doing THIS again," the Monkey King snarled, leaping at Uncle. "First that dude in the black dress did a magic whammy on me, now some shriveled up old baboon? Nuh-uh. NO WAY! I DON'T THINK SO! I—"
"Hey, monkey brains," Kim said suddenly. She grabbed the Monkey King's right paw, shoved the leg of the Arab merchant puppet in it, curled the Monkey King's paw into a fist, and gave a sharp yank before throwing him across the room.
"Ah, fu—" the Monkey King got out before the magic surrounded him, returning him to a wooden puppet, which clattered across the floor. The Arab trader expanded into his full, stout size and landed with a thud on his rump.
All around the room, the effects of the Monkey King's magic wore off, returning everything to normal. "Well, that was quick," Jade said.
"Excellent strategy," Mulan said. "The chi wizard's diversion gave this young warrior just the opening she needed to defeat Sun Wukong. I am impressed."
"Xie xie," Kim said, bowing. "Now, we just need to find that Monkey Crystal—"
"OKAY, LISTEN UP, HISTORIC DUDES!"
A youth in slacker garb with dark, shaggy hair ambled into the shop, clapping his hands together. "Time to go, dudes! Express shuttle back to the past leaves in two minutes! Come on Chinese dude...ette? Whoa. Oh, pirate dude, Arab dude, Captain Kirk, come on, we're going..."
Mulan turned and bowed to the Chans and their companions. "It was an honor meeting you," she said.
"You as well," Jackie said, returning the bow.
"Stay cool!" Jade added, waving.
"Err, yes, well, it is winter, or was...I believe the weather will be cool for some ti—"
"It's a modern expression," Bill interrupted as he guided Mulan out of the shop. "Just...don't worry about it. So, you're a girl, huh? Had me fooled..."
Once the shop was clear of time-displaced persons, Dave let out a huge sigh of relief. "Wow. Dudes. Thank you so much. That monkey dude..." He picked the puppet up carefully and frowned at it. "Yeah, I'm so puttin' this guy in the wood chipper out back on my break," he decided. "So! Let me make it up to you. Anything in the shop, on the house!"
"Sweet!" Jade said.
"Actually, we were wondering if you'd seen any crystals resembling this," Kim asked, pulling the Blue Five-Banana Crystal out of her satchel.
Dave scratched his head. "Yeah, now that you mention it, I do have this like, emerald or jade piece, it's got a bunch of gold bananas in it. Tried to appraise it, nobody could figure out how much it was worth." He shuffled over to one of his display cases. "Now where did I put...oh no." He stared at an empty cubby in his display case, a dark frown on his face. "That crystal was here just this morning," he rumbled.
"I'm picking it up on my tracker," Twilight said. "It's moving...it's headed for the parking lot! It—" She blinked, smacked her tracker a couple of times, then fiddled with the instrumentation. Her face drained of color. "It's gone," she said tonelessly. "It just...it just vanished."
Jade groaned, smacking her face with an open palm. "Oh, man! One of those guys from the past must've stolen it when nobody was looking!"
Sonata blinked. "So...what, now we've gotta chase the crystal into this world's past?"
Ron groaned heavily. "Bad day," he said.
"You said it," Jackie agreed with a sigh.