"Tito, Jermaine, y'all take care'a Sumo over there. Randy, Marlon, y'all deal with monkey boy an' the old lady." Carter gave Jackie a frosty stare. "Chan's ass is mine."
"We don't have to do this, Carter!" Jackie insisted.
"Aw yeah, we finna do dis," Carter said, narrowing his eyes. "I been waitin' a long time to whoop yo little Chun King ass."
"Since when do you even know martial arts?" Jackie asked, shaking his head in disbelief.
"Since Rio," Carter replied. "I learned capoeira just so I could put yo bitch ass on the ground!"
Jackie cracked his neck and locked his wrists. "I'd like to see you try...punk bitch."
"I ain't no punk bitch, punk bitch!"
Ron blinked. "Okay, this...is not something I expected from Jackie."
"Same," Tohru grunted, eyes wide in confusion. "I have never once heard Jackie swear until today. This is a side of Chan I didn't know existed."
"Sometimes rivalries and old friendships bring out hidden sides of people," Mama Tohru said sagely. "More importantly, there are four large Muay Thai kickboxers about to—"
And that's when the kickboxers chose to attack.
"Randy" and "Marlon" drove Ron and Mama Tohru away from the others, backing them into a corner, while "Tito" and "Jermaine" piled on Tohru, who drew them into the corner furthest from his mother while endeavoring to stay within range of Jackie and Carter. Their attacks were fierce, but Tohru's stamina and considerable bulk held out against the onslaught.
"Ropey-face boy know how to fight?" Mama Tohru asked.
Ron narrowed his eyes. "Just watch me," he said dangerously as he took a Monkey Kung Fu stance. As one of the bodyguards came at him with a high kick, Ron jumped up, coiling his legs against the wall behind him, and sprang forward in a diving tackle, letting out a loud whoop as he grabbed his opponent by the collar and took him down with him in a rolling throw. The unfortunate man smashed into a painting on the opposite wall, shattering glass with a loud crash. Ron rolled to his feet and rolled his neck as he taunted his down foe.
Mama Tohru nodded approvingly, then used her opponent's reach against him, turning her own short stature and short reach into an advantage as he overextended. A simple but brutal judo throw dropped the man to the ground; Mama Tohru picked up a heavy gold and jade statue and dropped it on his head with a loud thunk. He twitched and groaned on the floor before going still.
Tohru, meanwhile, slammed one of his opponents into a couch while catching the other by the face and piledriving him through the low table, raining splinters of wood.
"HEY! Y'all gon' pay fo' all dat?!" Carter roared as he traded lightning-fast blows with Jackie. Both of them were grabbing random things from around the room as they matched each other punch for punch; presently, Carter was swinging a table lamp around by the cord like a flail, which Jackie was holding...a lacy black bra. Jackie looked from the bra, to Carter, to his friends, seemingly unsure of what to do. Then Carter came at him with the lamp, and his reflexes decided for him. He rolled to the side, jumped up, twisted around behind Carter, and slung the bra around his head, blinding him with it. While Carter dropped the lamp and reached up to grab at the bra, Jackie kneed him in the kidneys, then swung him around with the bra and threw him at the floor. Carter recovered quickly, rolling to his feet and launching himself at Jackie with a string of vicious kicks.
"Now I know why you're not friends with this guy anymore!" Ron called. His opponent had recovered and rushed him like a bull; Ron was on the defensive, as the bodyguard was much larger and stronger and he had less space to move around in than was ideal for Monkey Kung Fu. Unfortunately, Mama Tohru was too concerned with assisting Tohru—who hardly needed it—to help him.
"We're still friends!" Jackie called back, dodging a kick and replying in kind with three quick punches to Carter's face. "This is just a disagreement!"
"Disagreement my black ass!" Carter snarled, wiping a trickle of blood from his lip and picking up the table lamp again. "I had TWO fine pieces of ass on the table in Rio an' I hadda drop 'em both 'cuz things got too hot after that shit you pulled!"
"I didn't pull any shit!" Jackie retorted, ducking under a swing of the lamp and trying to sweep Carter's legs. "You stole priceless artifacts! They belonged in a museum!"
"Imma put yo ass in a museum!" Carter replied. "The Museum of You Got Yo Ass Whooped!"
"THAT IS NOT A REAL MUSEUM!" Jackie retorted as he used an errant table leg to do away with the lamp once and for all, then punched Carter repeatedly in the chest and face before kicking him hard in the knee and dropping him with a roundhouse. He pinned Carter down and cocked a fist. "CALL THEM OFF!"
"Okay, okay, damn!" Carter snapped. "Yo, man, it's cool! Y'all chill, a'ight? It's over. It's over."
The bodyguards calmly slid back away from their opponents, dusting themselves off and adjusting their jackets and fedoras. Ron, Tohru, and Mama Tohru watched them all warily.
"A'ight a'ight, man," Carter said, looking Jackie right in the eyes. "Look, you done shit all up in my business a buncha times, man. That ain't cool, know what I'm sayin'? So yeah, I's a little bit pissed when I heard you was comin', I ain't gonna lie. But I don't wanna kill yo' punk ass, an' I see right now I ain't gonna win this fight without killin' you. I don't kill friends, even bitch-ass bullshit friends like you." He held his hands out to his sides, open wide. Jackie watched him warily for a long moment, then stood and backed away, not lowering his guard.
Carter stood up, brushed himself off, straightened his clothes, then slowly reached into his inside jacket pocket and pulled out a round green gem. "This what'choo lookin' for?"
"Yes," Jackie said. "I just need to see it."
Carter held it out in his open palm. Jackie slowly reached for it and turned it this way and that, studying it intently. He frowned and put it back in Carter's palm. "It's not what we're looking for," he announced to the room.
"It's not?!" Ron cried. "Aw man!"
Carter frowned in confusion. "What? Dassit?"
Jackie smiled sheepishly, scratching the back of his head. "I said I just needed to see the stone," he said. "We just needed to know if it was the one we were looking for." He sighed. "I guess it must be in Hong Kong, which means Jade and Uncle probably have it by now."
"Wait, hol' up," Carter said, throwing up his free hand. "You mean you came bustin' up in here like that, wit'cho Sumo an' these two, startin' all this SHIT up in here, an' you ain't even takin' this goddamn thing?!"
Jackie shrugged. "It's yours," he said. "You won it from Owen fair and square. Jewels like that get passed around from private owner to private owner all the time. It's not my business."
Carter stared at Jackie slack-jawed. "Mo-ther fucker," he said, even as his bodyguards watched in blatant confusion.
"So all this was for nothing?" Mama Tohru asked harshly.
"Ah...heheh. So it would seem," Jackie said. He clapped Carter hard on the shoulder, offering a big, goofy smile. "Sorry for disturbing you," he said. "We will be going now."
As the group left the room, Carter called out behind them, "BullSHIT! What about all this shit'choo busted up?! HEY! You gonna pay for this fucked-up shit, Jackie?!"
"You fucked up your own shit," Jackie called back cheerfully over his shoulder. "We were just defending ourselves! You started the fight, remember?" More quietly, to his party, he said, "Let's go. Quickly."
"Man FUCK YOU, Jackie Chan!" Carter yelled from behind them, but his bodyguards made no move to give chase. The very last they heard of Carter was:
"Y'all can ALL eat the biggest, blackest bag of DICKS!"
Once they were on the street, Tohru scowled. "If I had known we were meeting with such a foul-mouthed, unsavory individual, I would not have allowed my mother to come along."
"Me?! I would have made you stay at the hotel!" Mama Tohru retorted sharply. "My baby boy has no business being corrupted by such things!"
"I just hope KP never finds out I was in a strip club in Thailand," Ron said morosely. "She would so kill me."
"Mm-hm, mm-hmm, keeeer-krek," Rufus agreed.
Jackie sighed. "In any case, it's all up to Uncle and Jade now. Let's get some rest." He rubbed at a forming bruise. "Tomorrow, we will go home."
* * * * *
Two days later, at Section 13...
"So...none of them were the Rainbow Monkey Crystal?" Jade asked, slack-jawed.
"But then...where is it?" Kim wondered. She frowned. "And...where are Twilight and Sonata?"
"They took off this morning with two agents," Captain Black said. "They didn't say where they were going."
"So, I guess we need to crack open the books again," Kim said tiredly, "get another lead—"
The tracker, which Jackie still had, began beeping insistently. Everyone stared at him.
Jackie slowly pulled the tracker out of his pocket and stared at it, frowning. "The Crystal is moving...toward us!"
"Hey everyone!" Sonata's bubbly voice called from down the hall. "We got it!"
Sonata and Twilight walked into the conference room, all smiles. Everyone stared at them in confusion.
Twilight held up a green crystal with four golden bananas gleaming just beneath its surface. "Behold, the Green Four-Banana Crystal!" she said excitedly.
The room at large gasped. "No way!" Jade cried. "How? WHERE?!"
"How'd you girls find it when the rest of us struck out?" Viper wondered.
"Turns out that actor had it the whole time," Sonata said. "You know, the Star Trek guy? We just went to his place and asked nicely."
Everybody stared at them, then looked at each other. Numerous palms met numerous foreheads.
"That should've been our first stop," Kim muttered.
"Aiyaaaah," Uncle groaned.
"Well, at least...we all got an adventure out of it?" Jackie offered hopefully. At the flat stares he received in return, he sighed. "You're right."
"Well, now that we've got the crystal, we'd better get out of here," Kim said.
"Aww!" Jade cried. "You're leaving already?"
"Sorry, but we really should," Kim said. "We've already been here way too long as it is, and the longer it takes us to find the rest of these things, the worse things are getting back home." She looked around the room. "Everybody ready?"
"Yeah, we're good to go," Ron said.
"I need my tracker back," Twilight said. Jackie handed it over; Twilight checked it, nodded, and put it away, pulling out the portal control. "Alright, stand back everybody..."
* * * * *
Wispy clouds drifted across a low, bright full moon. Leaves rustled. Crisp spring scents filled the air.
"Aw man, did we land in a forest again?" Ron wondered. "Because I'm really getting sick of these forest landings." He sniffed the air. "Do I smell cherry blossoms?"
"That! Was! SO! COOL!"
Four teenagers slowly turned.
Jade Chan stood behind them, a cheeky grin on her face. "It was day and now it's night and are we really in a whole other WORLD?!"
Kim's eyes widened. She pointed a trembling finger at Jade. "You...you're not supposed to be here," she said.
"Duh," Jade replied, rolling her eyes. "I tagged along! It's kind of what I do."
"But..." Twilight stared at her, slack-jawed. "But...we don't have any way to send you back," she said.
Jade blinked. "Oh," she said. "Huh. I...guess I didn't think about that..." She looked at Twilight's portal control. "You can't just zap us back over real quick?"
"It doesn't work that way," Twilight said numbly. "The vortex only moves in one direction. We may never be able to go back to your world."
"N-never?" Jade said shakily. "But...but..."
Sudden movement and a brief rush of unnatural noise and wind made her stop.
Eyes gleamed in the dark all around them. Lots of eyes.
Blackened steel gleamed dully in the moonlight.
Without warning, the air was thick with shuriken.