Crusaders of the Lost Fan Fic #2 Like Stabbing Monkeys in a Barrel

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Chapter 2: Like Stabbing Monkeys in a Barrel

And so, after upsetting untold years worth of adapted environmental balance, our heroes set off in search of adventure, riches and a new place to call home. By which I, of course mean a new residence to replace the former home. Not a new habitation from which to contact the aforementioned antecedent abode via some form of futuristic communication, or something. I think we have those, but I get my eras confused. Anyway, it was not long before our heroes were met with the Call to Adventure, and promptly chose not to answer.

"Someone is really enjoying the sound of their own voice." Natalie commented dryly, not properly appreciating the running color commentary available to her and her brother, something most adventurers did not have. Or at least not to this degree. She was clearly cranky from the endless parade of boring, featureless sights.

"I'm not cranky." Natalie replied, rather crankily. "Stop that!"

The terrain was still all woodsy and nature garbage. Not a whole lot of change in overall themes or appearances, save for the occasional fallen tree here, or boulder over there. (Yawn) Kinda boring just to describe it.

Tree, tree, another tree. Oh look, a tree! What a surprise! How novel! Wake me when we get to the next area.

"Oh no you don't! You're half the reason we're in this freaking mess!" Natalie said crankily- oh wait. I already used that one. Still appropriate for the description though.

I... would love to know how any part or portion of this blame belongs to me.

But before Natalie could mount what would surely be an intellectual retort of legendary caliber, a sudden, merciful diversion appeared. The blessed side-quest.

"Is it really a side-quest if the main quest is kinda imaginary?" Nate wondered from somewhere farther up the pathway. But that was a question for the philosophers to argue.

"Help? Someone to help old Farmer Brown? Literally anyone, I'm not picky and my grandson never comes to visit." Farmer Brown interjected, in a dejected fashion. The merry band of heroes just happened to be passing by his small, middle-of-nowhere farm. One of the few habitations between the village and the mountains, which probably have names but I'm not putting pants on for this one.

On second thought lets skip the side quest and just hit the mountains. These things are normally optional, right?

"I refuse to believe I'm saying this, but I agree with the narrator. Lets get to a real quest already." Natalie planted her hands on Nate's shoulders and began shoving him forward. "Don't look-don't look-don't look-don't make eye contact!!" Natalie hissed in his ear. "I refuse any quest that will figuratively or literally reward me with peanuts or something equally absurd in nature."

"A knight errant never hangs up when nature calls!" Nate argued loudly.

"You mean when adventure calls, you dingbat!"

"No I mean nature. I really have to go potty." Nate began dancing from foot to foot while he was... uh... restraining himself.

"We're in the woods! Go behind a tree or something!"

"I don't want to use a tree." Nate whined, his dancing becoming more frantic.

And I don't want to narrate on that scene...

"I'm still here. Still need the desperate assistance of whatever violent stranger darkens my yard." Farmer Brown added.

Violent stranger. How...predictive. Hehehe.

"Shut it." Natalie snapped as Nate disappeared in search of relief.

"Oh you hear the voices too! That's so comforting to me."

"So. You petition random adventurers on the side of the road much?" Natalie asked, making awkward small talk. Or trying to. Or trying to seem to. Points for Dragon House regardless.

"Yes! Increasingly! Minus the adventurers." Farmer Brown lamented. "Oh who knows where they are by now."

"The... who? In the bathroom? Or whatever you have for an equivalent." Natalie's bored apathy was mildly and briefly interrupted via irritably confusing clarification. I love this job.

"The monkeys, of course! You have to find the monkeys!"

"Present." Nate re-entered the story having accomplished his own side-quest.

Then our heroes moved on to the next, certainly more interesting area...

"Hang on, I heard something about an adventure, I believe?"

"No I don't remember saying that." Farmer Brown was baffled.

"But I was thinking it." Nate replied confidently.

"Monkeys..." Natalie prodded the old man.

"Monkeys?" Nate asked in confusion.

"Monkeys?" Farmer Brown echoed.

AARRRRRRGGGGHHHHHH! KILLLLLL MEEEEEE! SAVE ME FROM THIS CONVERSATION!!!

"The monkeys you want an adventurer to-" Natalie was interrupted.

"We'll do it." Nate immediately volunteered, much to everyone's annoyance.

"I'm not annoyed." Farmer Brown offered, not realizing he did not get a vote. The dingus.

"What. Do. Monkeys. Have. To do. With. ANYTHING." Natalie hissed, well past this subpar comedy routine.

"The monkey thieves are always thieving me! Twelve monkeys, to be exact. An army you might say, albeit a small one. A guerrilla army if you like."

Was that a joke or something? I don't get it...

"Always thieving my apples! How can I sell apples if I have no apples to sell?" Farmer Brown continued as if he had not been interrupted. "Should I be selling apple I.O.U's? Would that work? Are either of you my grandchildren?"

"A fetch quest. Look, I'm not a beginner level-" But she was cutoff for the umpteenth time as Nate charged into the woods in a random direction, waving his wooden sword wildly.

"Prepare for vengeance, monkey-citizens of the woods!"


Meanwhile, sitting around in a grassy clearing and minding their own filthy-thieving-monkey-business were a couple of said filthy-thieving-monkeys. I may have given that bit away too early. With them was a sack of filthy-thieved-apple-shaped objects. Also commonly known as evidence. Now it was just a simple matter of bringing the fruit fetchers to proper Juicetice. I mean justice!

"Ook ook oo oo ook oo? Ook ook! Ook oo oo ook oo ook?" One monkey hooted in monkey gibberish, gesturing around the clearing.

"Oo ook. Ook oo oo ook." The other monkey agreed, looking around uncertainly.

"Oo oo ook." A third monkey growled as it reached for an apple-shaped lump in the sack.

"Oo oo ook oo ook oo oo ook oo ook..." The first monkey objected. I really hope they aren't saying anything plot relevant.

The third monkey rolled its monkey eyes. "Oo ook ook oo ook oo oo-"

"HIYA!" Natalie shrieked as she stabbed a monkey several times from behind. Holy freaking murder hobo! It freaks me out how she can sneak around like that.

Another monkey ran screaming into the tree line on the edge of the clearing, where it was suddenly silenced. The other monkeys scattered in all directions in a blind panic. Reasonable, given the circumstances.

And that, my dear children, is the story of how Natalie Dragon became the Monkey Society's Angel of Death, and thereby adding the invasive alteration of a sapient culture, to their pre-existing crimes against the natural biome. I'm keeping score out of boredom.

"That was easy. We're gonna get a sick awesome payout for this."

"Yeah I still haven't heard anything about a reward, actually." Natalie replied, but slightly less testy, because she got to murder something, and that always put her in a less horrible mood. This mild uprising of positivism was doomed to fail, as they returned to Farmer Brown for some steaming hot, fresh disappointment.

"The monkeys stole my tractor! How can I be Farmer Brown if I have no tractor?"

"You... you're an apple farmer. Why do you need a tractor?"

"Natalie, you're asking the wrong question! We can't let our advanced technology fall into the paws of monkeys!" Nate had either forgotten his original motivation or hadn't known exactly what it was to begin with.

"Fine." The sister Dragon sighed. "Lets go get this stupid- hey wait. Your friend is being really quiet. Did he leave or whatever?"

I'm here. I was just too entrenched in a bored rage to offer my delightful commentary.

"Prepare for vengeance part the second, monkey citizens of the woods!" Nate ran crazily into the trees for the second time today. I'm just happy he's getting plenty of exercise.


Elsewhere, a small barrel's-worth of monkeys were joyriding on Farmer Brown's tractor, cutting some very low speed doughnuts in the meadow. The conversation however, inevitably drifted to the events of mere hours earlier. Something had happened, and their numbers had been dwindled in a horrible, horrible fashion.

"Ook ook oo ook ook?" Monkey... uh. (Lets say number four) commented to his companions. This was the driver. Number Six was picking bugs out of Number Five's fur.

"Oo oo ook oo ook. Oo oo ook oo ook ook ook." Monkey Five commented. Or maybe this was Number Two from earlier. I don't know, monkeys all look alike to me.

"Ook ook!" Monkey Six suddenly pointed to ahead and to the side of the tractor path. A cute monkey girl was standing with one thumb out. I know it was a girl monkey because she had on a skirt, of course. She had the drivers attention she stuck out her pale monkey leg.

"Ook ook?" The driver growled. When he didn't get an answer he looked around to see Monkey Six kick a bloody and dead Monkey Five off the tractor. Ripping the mask away, Natalie revealed her real face. The driver barely had time to process the improbability of this situation before Natalie's two machetes came into the scene.

Well this was a fun little distraction, but now we can all-

Unfortunately, before the duo could return the tractor, and wrap up the quest, the machine ceased operating altogether. The monkeys semi-wild joyriding had ran out all of whatever it used as fuel. Maybe fun? Because no one was having any when it happened.

"Get off and push?" Nate suggested.

"Better idea. Just get off." Natalie shoved her goofy brother to the ground, herself landing easily beside him. "How many more monkeys do we have to kill?"

"I thought the quest was to get the tractor back?" Nate replied.

Did we even have a quest? I forget.

"Let's just go collect our reward." Natalie grumbled.

Back at the farm things were strangely quiet. I think. Admittedly I'm not familiar to the area. It seemed strangely quiet though.

"He's right." Nate interjected. "There is a noticeable lack of rambling dialogue."

"No, the overlord is still here." Natalie replied.

W0W

"No, that's not it. Farmer Brown is missing!"

"What gives you that idea?"

"He left a note." Nate pointed down. The words 'The monkeys took ME this time.' was scratched in the dirt in an amazing display of earthly calligraphy. Who would have guessed the old timer was such a penman?

And thus taken in with Farmer Brown's pencraft, one noticed the tan beast watching them from the trees, not until it tackled Natalie herself off the tractor and onto the ground. "Son of a-"

"Stop killing my dumb sister, you dumb cat thing!" Nate charged the lion with his wooden sword outstretched. With one lightening fast slash of its claws the sword was reduced to pulp. "Hey! I found that in a ditch once!"

"You have the heart of a lion." The big cat grinned, holding a furious, monkey-clothed Natalie face down with one huge paw. It was mostly a normal lion, except its exceptional size and of course the talking bit. So not really normal at all. Not sure why I said that. "Two lost children dressed as monkeys and traveling with a specter. Interesting."

"I have the heart of a dragon, I think you mean!" Nate replied, trying to reassemble his splinters into a sword. The lion reached out one huge paw and flicked Nate on the forehead casually, knocking him backwards. "Ow."

This allowed Natalie to flail around one arm wildly behind her, and making the lion dodge back to avoid her manic machete swings.

"Well, this is an awkward meeting. Allow me to introduce myself." The lion sat on his haunches, sitting stiff and proud. "I am Artaxes, rising political star of the greater animal kingdom. So... if I may... an obvious question."

"Why did you attack us?" Natalie suggested, wiping dirt off her furious face.

"I now see that 'obvious' was an over estimation bias on my part. I'll mind that in the future when addressing the masses." The lion conceded.

Aw, he's so humble. I'd totally vote for him now.

"Thank you, dear mystery voice. But I suppose I should respond to one point at a time. You see, there are rumblings of voter poll gouging by the leader of the monkey party. Enraged by such an obstruction of democracy I may have initiated my interview a bit... heavy pawed."

"That just raises more questions." Nate whined, trying to reassemble his sword from wood chips.

"Well, I suppose if you really want to know." Artaxes purred, settling down into a comfortable position, but keeping a wary eye on Natalie's dual machetes. "I could share my story with my pair of new constituents.

Really starting to think we are never getting to the mountains...