A/N: OCs are very tricky, especially when used in fanfiction. When I started reading fanfiction, I found myself annoyed that people were writing more about their OCs then they were about the canon characters. I wanted to hear about the canon characters, not the OCs. Yet one day, I entered a contest which required the creation of an OC. An aquaintance on DeviantArt also happened to enter the contest. We got talking about original characters, and I suddenly realized how much I missed writing with my own. But I refuse to use them until I'm ready to write a decent novel. And I'm not. Not yet.
But ElasticPoodle dared me to write a story involving my OC - Lanche - and her OC - Aniadana. More info about them can be found on DeviantArt. I'd post a link, however this seems to be impossible in this format. Seeing as I'm no good at giving directions...Well, long story short, this was born.
I don't expect anyone besides ElasticPoodle to understand what's going on, though I tried to. Basically I'm just filling up space.
I don't own "Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go." I never will own it. I never want it. However, I think I'd like to strangle Disney for living us on such a cliffhanger. Or maybe not. Actually, I'm glad they canceled it at that time. Gives me more story ideas.
However, ElasticPoodle owns Aniadana. I own Lanche.
At the end of the day, Nova sometimes took a long walk along one of Shuggazoom's many avenues. What made this one different was that, by day, cars practically touched each other. But during the evening and night, you could hear the wind and the waves crashing against the sea.
Right now, she couldn't really enjoy the sights and sounds – so far from the lifestyle she was accustomed to. Nova was gazing at the same suspicious building, with the same suspicious sign in front of it. "Sooth Laboratories" was a general sanctuary for science. Gibson had once asked for a tour of it, only to be harshly denied access. (He'd taken it quite hard, actually.) Ever since then, Nova had given the facility dirty looks. She didn't trust it.
It was actually an attractive place. The building was circular, with three floors that extended outwards as the elevation increased. Although there were few windows, it made a rare humourous smiling face out of its front. But the gate and the barbed wire immediately gave it a demotion in the friendliness area. It looked more like a prison then anything else. Employees seemed to go through a unique process to confirm their identity. Security was tight, and Nova couldn't figure out why. Of course, she did now. Rather, she wouldn't admit it. She didn't want to think about what they were trying to keep in.
Nova glanced at her companion. 'Otto...what are you doing?'
Otto was standing on his head, his legs crookedly stretching out. 'You know, when you look at it upside down, it kinda looks like a cake! Wouldn't it be cool if it really was a cake?'
'It's far from cake,' said Nova. 'Gibson thinks they're doing animal experiments in there. That's why they wouldn't let him inspect the place a few years back...And to think some creeps actually don't care about what happens to animals.'
'I never really thought about stuff like that,' Otto came upright. 'I mean, I always thought that everyone loved animals, because of the Hyperforce.'
'True,' Nova agreed. 'But maybe once we're done with Skeleton King, we can get to work on solving the internal problems.'
'...Do you ever feel lonely?'
'Because you're the only girl on the team,' said Otto. 'Do you get lonely?'
This seemingly off-topic question surprised her. But she didn't hesitate to answer.
'Well...since Jinmay came, it hasn't been so bad,' shrugged Nova. 'But...yeah, I used to get a little lonely. I know I shouldn't be. Sometimes I just wish that the Alchemist made a seventh Robot Monkey. Another girl, maybe. I think I'd like that.'
'Yeah. Too bad.'
And they walked away. Completely oblivious.
Lanche waited until her kindred had disappeared until popping her head out of her hiding place. She wished they'd stop showing up whenever she was trying to get some work done. Still, she could partially sympathize with Nova's remarks. But contacting them was out of the question. She wouldn't be able to do what she loved if they knew about her existence.
There was something rugged about this Robot Monkey that set her apart from the Hyperforce. Her soft green fur allowed her to blend in perfectly with her surroundings. A dark patch over her right eye was in stark contrast with the rest of her body. As Lanche peered over her shoulder – back towards the beach – she caught sight of the two bracelets hanging from her tail. She grinned and admired them.
The sun was still just sinking over the water. In a few more minutes, it would be completely dark. But she saw no reason why she couldn't start now. She picked up her messenger bag.
A final car drifted by. The last pedestrian rounded the corner. Lanche bolted.
She aimed for the laboratory, the grand one shaped like an upside down cake. (She had to agree with Otto on that one.) The gate was sealed shut. Just as a security camera turned in her direction, she darted to her right, towards the building next to it.
One jump. Lanche went some twenty feet in the air, ricocheted off the wall, and hit the building's roof. Another nearby camera turned upon detecting the movement. She somersaulted into a green courtyard situation in the dead center of it all.
Lanche landed on the topmost branches of a tree. Leaves flew up. She remained still.
After a few seconds, upon no alarms going off, she cackled.
Lanche, you smooth cat, she thought.
She pulled out blueprints from the messenger bag. At least the customer had been a little bit prepared. But another part of her was disappointed he'd had a map. This would've been a lot more exciting had she done it with no prior knowledge of the layout. All she had to do now was find the right room. Grab the doe. Maybe mess around a bit, and then hightail on out of there before anyone saw her.
But even if someone did spot her, they'd probably mistake her for a member of the Hyperforce. She giggled at the thought of one of them getting blamed for the chaos she was going to cause.
Out of the corner of her eye, she spotted what appeared to be a ripe apple. She plucked it and took a bit. Weird, it tasted like a grape.
'Must be one of those weird genetic mutated apples,' she muttered. Lanche turned her attention back to the blueprint.
The room he'd circled was on the third floor. That would make it a little difficult to get to, seeing as there were cameras everywhere. But not so difficult that she considered it impossible. Lanche peered out through the branches, trying to pinpoint its exact location. It appeared to be just opposite of her, right in between two other trees. She leaned out a little more. No windows near that area, and she couldn't risk encountering any of the employees. The ventilation system was obviously out of the question; it was far too small to squeeze through. Looks like she'd have to approach it directly.
Again, she checked the location of the cameras. Well, it was easier said then done. She'd have to bide her time until a break in the system came.
Lanche chuckled, but couldn't help but feel weary at the same time. This was too easy.
She hesitated at the corner for as long as was necessary. The scientists passed, totally unaware that she was present. Lanche was amazed at the stupidity of humans. She'd at least been hoping for some problems to rise up in her journey deep inside this place. So far, nothing had come up. That was the thing about treasure hunting. Usually there was a booby trap guarding the treasure in question. You easily learned to be on edge. Here, it was as though she could just stroll in, steal what she needed to steal, and walk off. Nobody would stop her.
Yes, humans were very disappointing competition. Lanche couldn't wait to get back to the underground. The ones there just barely managed to be intelligent. She smirked at the thought and continued on her tedious trek inland.
This place was also clean, which also made her nervous. Walls of metal intimidated the strongest of people. She's seen men crack in facilities such as this. Clean and quiet facilities that at first glance had nothing to hide. But every place had its share of secrets and hindrances. That's why Lanche made sure to keep on edge, revolving to make sure nobody was stalking her from behind.
She shuddered. Someone had to be following her; she was sure of it. And while any competition was welcome, it wasn't welcome if they were sneaking up on her. Lanche hurried on ahead. The door should be near.
Sure enough, she rounded the corner, and there it was. Alone and unguarded. Lanche breathed a sigh of relief and scurried inside like your regular mouse.
Instantly, she was shrouded in an electric blue glow.
Lanche slowly turned. The laboratory was worse then they'd described it. Aside from the glow, it was totally dark. It came from the tube situated in the center of the room, the blue liquid bubbling as oxygen was pumped into it. Floating in its protective core is what she desired. A wrinkled brown object that, at first, had no distinction to it. But as she pressed her nose to the glass, she saw its partially formed body.
'Hello there,' Lanche smirked. 'Someone's payin' big bucks just for you...Now how the hell do I get ya out?'
Monkey Doodle, Lanche thought. She looked up. A towering figure was right over her. She screeched and retreated to the far side of the room.
Humans. Bah! She hated them. But wait...this wasn't a human.
It was a Robot Monkey.
If it could even be called that. This being was about a foot higher then your regular Robot Monkey, with dark orange fur and shining pink eyes. A horrific weight settled down on her. Numerous swears crossed her mind. But she forced herself to remain calm. Lanche squinted at her.
'Uh...Nova's your name, ain't it?' she asked.
'I'm not Nova,' answered the Robot Monkey, in a surprisingly straight tone. 'What are you doing here?'
'I'm a janitor, obviously. Place can never be too clean, ya know.'
The stranger folded her arms.
'...Would you believe I'm from PETA?'
'I'd say you were from the Hyperforce?'
Lanche burst. She snorted and began cackling insanely for quite. She only managed to get a hold of herself when she saw the stranger's expression. She had her arms crossed, tapping her foot impatiently.
'Look, toots, I ain't never was and never will be a member of the Hyperforce,' giggled Lanche. 'Doubt they even know they exist. Now, I don't know who the hell you are and what you're doing in a stupid place like this, but step aside. I'll be taking that little token...' She indicated the creature in the tube. '...and be leaving.'
'That "token" is a living creature,' the Monkey said. 'Have some respect for life!'
'Yeah, well, that "token" is also worth some 4000 bucks.'
'It is also guarded by sensors and state of the art security systems. Professor Sooth will immediately be notified if this fetus is removed from this chamber. I recommend you find something else to steal, little thief.'
'Hey, I ain't a thief!' shouted Lanche. She took a few steps towards the creature, waving her arms frantically. 'I'm a treasure hunter!'
The Robot Monkey abruptly changed her stature. She pinned herself against the wall. Lanche got a better view of her. The creature's face was...mutated, for lack of a better word. A strange ridge between her eyes resembled that of a humans. Her mouth constantly hung open, making her voice breathy and quite difficult to understand. Lanche suppressed a laugh.
'O-wee!' she cackled. 'You are one weird lookin' Robot Monkey!'
The stranger looked away.
'Anyways, much as I'd like to be a-hangin' around, I gotta scram,' Lanche said. 'And I'm still takin' that thing with me.'
'I can't let you do that!' roared the Robot Monkey. She grabbed Lanche's forearm. 'Please, just leave and I suggest you don't return! The Professor already knows you're here, you know, she's –'
'I dun believe you,' said Lanche. 'Although...I could be convinced otherwise...Nah.'
'It doesn't matter,' said the Robot Monkey. 'You won't escape. The Professor has security teams set up all over the place. I wouldn't be surprised if she's listening to this conversation, just using me as a lure to get to you. She's always wanted a full Cybernetic Simian, you know. She's tried so hard –'
'Didn't as your for life story, toots,' Lanche rounded over to the console, trying to make heads or tales of how she was going to get to the fetus.
'Amy-a-wa-wa?' Lanche winced. 'What freak of nature named you? Meh...probably human. Say...'
A sudden thought came to Lanche. A thought was instantly spread a characteristic sly grin across her face. She began to orbit Aniadana, regarding her with the air of someone admiring a particularly expensive car. The Robot Monkey instinctively kept stock still.
'May I ask what you are doing?' asked Aniadana.
Lanche held up Aniadana's arm. Then she moved on to her feet and tail. She got up on her toes to examine her face. She touched a spot between her eyes. Here, she further examined the nose ridge. There didn't appear to be any nostrils, which explains why she felt Aniadana's humid breath against her face.
'Can you smell?' asked Lanche, as if asking what she thought of the weather.
'As a matter of fact, no. When I was born –'
'How interesting,' said Lanche. She resumed her pacing. 'How much do you think you're worth?'
'Well, my life is very important to me.'
'No, how much do you think the idiots in this place would pay to get you back?'
'...A great amount, I suppose. My mother went through quite a lot of trouble to –'
'That's nice; shaddup,' demanded Lanche. 'How 'bout you come with me and we can pull off a little scam? I pretend to kidnap you. I send a ransom note. You get 10% of the ransom. Deal?'
'Well, I – excuse me?! Are you some sort of crook? This isn't very reminiscent of the Hyperforce.'
'I ain't Hyperforce, toots!'
'You ought to le –'
In the distance, heavy footsteps. Several of them. Aniadana abruptly froze. Without warning, she grabbed Lanche's arm and dragged her to the far side of the room. She opened up a trap door blending in perfectly with the wall. She shoved Lanche inside. But the door wasn't the strongest. Still dazed, Lanche managed to pick out the muffled noises outside.
The entrance had opened. Several people stormed inside, and the dreaded smell of humans filled the area.
'Aniadana, where is it?' demanded a harsh, woman's voice.
'What are you talking about?' asked Aniadana.
'Don't LIE to me! Where is the Robot Monkey?!'
'Professor, I –'
'ENOUGH LIES! Take her to the confinement cell. Until you learn to stop lying, you're going to stay there! Understood?!'
There was no word of protest from Aniadana. But Lanche could taste the terror in the air.
'I'll let you out when you tell me where that Robot Monkey is.'
'There is no Robot Monkey. I've never seen another Robot Monkey in my entire life.'
The Professor shuddered. Even though her hair was hair sprayed into a tight bun, it seemed to stand on end. Aniadana – standing tall just within the cell – fixed her with a very innocent expression. She had to keep up the play. If she did tell the Professor about the Robot Monkey, the consequences would be the same.
'I have tolerated your presence here for a very long time,' the Professor growled. 'I thought I could trust you with valuable secrets. Apparently, I was mistaken. If you don't tell me where that Robot Monkey is right now, I will personally see that you're destroyed!'
Aniadana's heartbeat quickened. 'I don't think you will.'
She turned. The click of her heels was soon the only evidence that she was out there, and even they faded away. Aniadana breathed a sigh of relief and slouched against the wall. That was close. Under normal circumstances, she might have informed the Professor on all she knew. However, these weren't normal circumstances. The intruder wasn't a human, like she should be. Instead, it was a Robot Monkey.
Aniadana suppressed a joyous cry that longed to be released. The first Robot Monkey she'd seen up close and personal. Before, all she ever saw of them was on magazine covers, newspapers, television, and perhaps if one of them walked by the laboratory. Or attacked the city. Aniadana recalled seeing the whole group on the beach after they'd temporary been lost in it, working alongside an unusual undersea race to defeat the enemy.
The reason she remembered this so well because the Professor captured a specimen.
Still, even if the Professor truly planned on destroying her, she felt...fulfilled. All she'd ever wanted was to meet another one of her kind, be it under the best or worst circumstances.
She didn't care.
Of course, she could always use the shortcut...
She glanced at it. The Professor obviously didn't know about it. She could slip out and nobody would catch her. But what would happen then? Why, she'd be free. Free for the first time in nearly sixty years. It was her chance to explore things unknown.
But she'd be by herself. No shelter. No guidance. She didn't know anything about what was out here. She'd die on her first night.
The smartest thing to do was stay put.
Aniadana looked up at the sound of rushed footsteps. The guard? She stood to make herself more presentable.
Instead, she got the last visitor she'd expected. A Robot Monkey. The same green one she'd encountered earlier, panting heavily. She took a quick look around, spotted Aniadana, and opened the cell.
'Did you steal those?' Aniadana indicated the keys.
The Monkey glanced at them. 'No.'
'No I'm not! The guard just handed them to me, I swear!'
'What do you want? Why are you here?'
'Getting you out, idiot,' the Monkey rolled her eyes. 'Ya want to be the next dissection victim of that old hag lady? Boy, you should've seen the look on her face when she spotted me...'
'She noticed you?! Are you psychotic?!'
'Aye...at least, that's the term they used.'
'We have to get you out of here!'
Aniadana rushed to the back of the cell. She opened the hatch. The Monkey gaped at her.
'You mean I went all through this trouble and ya could'a just crawled in there?!' she exclaimed.
'It's a long story,' said Aniadana. 'Hurry, get in! It leads right out to the street.'
The Monkey glared at her suspiciously, and never took her eyes off until she ducked right into the tunnel. She could just fit. Aniadana breathed a sigh of relief and looked back towards the door. The Professor wouldn't be long. This time, she'd tell the truth. And conventionally leave out the part about the Monkey escaping.
'Go!' Aniadana urged.
'Aye, I will, but are ya comin?'
'...I can't. I can't leave the Professor. She doesn't mean it; she's just stressed. She'll be very upset if I leave.'
The Monkey leaned casually on one elbow. 'You a prisoner or something?'
'Heh, and they say I'm the liar. What the hell's this place look like to you? A prison cell. This might be ya only chance to blow this joint.'
'Look,' Aniadana said. 'I've...I've lived here my entire life. If I do depart on some...some silly adventure, I won't be able to return.'
'Hey, silly adventures is what make life awesome. 'Sides, living here really what you want?'
Aniadana opened her mouth, then closed it.
'C'mon,' the Monkey gestured. 'Go have some zany adventure! Cause chaos! Throw tiolet paper at the Super Robot! Chase cars! It's a big world out there! I haven't explored all of it! Keeping in mind that I know Shuggazoom better then any ol' human you'll meet. Last chance, toots. You comin', or ya staying?'
She looked at the door. The Professor had to be nearby. She could sense it. Meanwhile, the stranger was patiently waiting for her reply. After initial hesitation she followed the Monkey inside. Though it was a tight squeeze, she managed to shut the entrance behind her. The air seemed suddenly stale. She suddenly felt nauseous, and shook all over.
'You feel sick?' asked the Monkey.
'Excellent!' she cackled. She began to crawl ahead, with Aniadana right at her tail. 'Aye, let's get outta here. Never liked the smell of labs. Reminds me of eggs. Bleh!'
'What's your name?' Aniadana whispered.
'Me? Name's Lanche, toots. Treasure hunter extraordinare. Ya've probably heard of me.'
'I have not.'
'WHAT?! I'm gonna have to call my publicist.'
Aniadana managed a faint smile, and looked back one last time at the secret door. She sure hoped she wasn't over her head. But at the same time, she felt something that she had never experienced before. The unknown was ahead of her. The strange and capricious.
This really was her chance.