Author's note: The Mad Chasers are from Parasite Eve 2 while the Hard Hat Macs are from the Mega Man series. Informative, aren't I?

Chapter 2: We sure ain't in Kansas no more…

Hana and Rain gazed upwards at the huge beast menacing them, its powerful arms spread apart in triumph.

It was big.

It was strong.

It was…

"Oh, how cuuuutte!" Rain squealed, her eyes growing insanely wide while she clasped her hands together.

…a giant, mega-cute pink teddy bear.

"Ghaaa", said Hana, her mind threatening to up and leave if it kept seeing things like this.

"HUG!" suggested the teddy, opening its arms even wider.

"It wants to HUG!" Rain squealed in Hana's ear. "Oh man, I SO would want one of these in my collection."

Hana rolled her eyes in exasperation. Oh god, please don't let her start going on about that blasted Beanie Baby collection of hers again… she thought to herself.

And lo, some deity or other heard Hana's plea, for at that moment the teddy's chest suddenly opened up, revealing four massive cannons, each with eight turrets, aimed directly at the Hana, Rain and the horse, who during all this had remained perfectly still and disinterested.

"Ohhhh, great" muttered Hana.

Suddenly, just as the teddy unleashed its deadly arsenal on the mercenaries, the horse decided to actually do something. It sprinted out of the deadly hail of fire with a surprising agility, alternately skipping and racing away from machine gun blasts and rocket powered grenades.

Recovering from the shock of seeing such a cute creature metamorphosising into a rampaging war machine, Rain lowered the red tinted goggles on her head to her eyes and raised the Hypervelocity to her shoulder.

"Better brace yourself!" she yelled to Hana as the cannon quickly charged up.

As soon as the charge had reached its apex, Rain squeezed the trigger. Unfortunately, the horse chose this moment to stop running.

The massive kickback of the cannon combined with the horse's sudden inertia caused Rain and Hana to fly over the horse's head and into a nearby sand dune. Hana dug her way out in time to see the horse disappear in a blue light, accompanied by a loud 'SNORT!'

She pinched the bridge of her nose again. "This does not bode well…"

"Well, on the bright side", said Rain, who appeared from underneath a pile of sand, "at least I took out the teddy."

This at least was true. The teddy was now nothing more than a pair of legs with a few sparking wires hanging out.

Hana sighed, running her hand through her ebony hair. "Now what do we do?"

Twelve giant teddies, each outfitted as their dead brother, chose this moment to rise out of the sand.

"How about running for it?" Rain suggested.

"Sounds like a plan", agreed Hana as they both leapt to their feet and sprinted in the opposite direction of the marauding stuffed toys.

As they ran they noticed a large building off in the distance.  

"What is that?" Hana yelled. As the structure came into focus her voice was raised an octave in incredulity. "And why the hell does it look like a giant penguin wearing a top hat?!?"

Rain didn't answer. She found it best not to in this circumstance.

As they neared the non-flying bird shaped building the door built into the foot swung open.

"Quickly, in here!" a voice called from within.

Not having the time to weigh the merits of accepting shelter from an unknown individual whose mental state could quite possibly be gauged by the shape of his house, the duo dived in and slammed the door closed behind them.

"That…that was close", Rain wheezed.

"Are you two all right?" the same voice as before came from behind them.

Turning as she spoke Hana replied, "Yes, thanks to-"

She found herself staring at thin air.

"-you?"

Hana and Rain looked around confusedly for a few seconds before they felt something tug at their pants legs. "Down here", the voice instructed.

Fearing the very worst, they both looked down…

…to find that their saviors were two foot high garden gnomes. Or rather, garden gnomes crossed with parakeets crossed with Mad Chasers crossed with Hard Hat Macs.

Before either Rain or Hana could react, the Mad Hat Paragnomes suddenly got to their knees in front of them.

"Behold!" the same guy as before spoke. "As prophesized in the ancient teachings, our saviors have come to free us from the tyrants!"

"Hail!" the other little freaks replied in a creepy unified monotone.

Wanting to avoid the steady gaze of the Paragnomes Rain looked at Hana, then proceeded to look at the far wall when she saw that the older mercenary was looking at her with murder in her eyes.

*****

Not all the Paragnomes were in the main hall celebrating the arrival of the saviors. For in the next room, behind a huge metal door, sat one Gilbert Frumperdink who was feverently re-reading his horoscope.

Virgo

You will soon meet a beautiful woman who will ride into your life on a mechanical lobster. Or maybe even a horse. She will be in her late teens/early twenties, EXTREMELY shapely, and a brunette. Or a blonde.

Gilbert stood up and peered through the letter-slot in the door. There were TWO beautiful shapely women there, they HAD arrived on a mechanical horse and they were a brunette and a blonde. An age scan which had activated the second the duo had entered the building showed them to be 18 (the blonde) and 20 (the brunette), at which point Gilbert had to stop himself from squealing with joy, as was his wont. 

Everything's coming up Gilbert! he thought happily, mere seconds before the heavy steel door swung open and mashed him into a fine paste against the wall.

*****

*SQUISH!*

Rain's face dropped from a smile to a horrified frown as her hand, which gripped the handle of the door suddenly felt very cold. Slowly she peered around the other side of the door. Her face managed to find a new shade of white to turn.

"What was that?" asked the Paragnomes leader, whose name was revealed to be Carl Carlson.

"Nothing!" Rain breezed, leaning against the open door with a huge fake grin on her face. "Nothing at all! Why don't you show us that technology of yours?"

"Yes…technology!" the Paragnomes chanted as one, shuffling toward the massive super-computer as they did so.

Hana, who had seen that look on Rain's face before and knew as a sign that she had done something wrong, immediately became suspicious of the open door. Bracing herself she peered around it. Rain noticed uncomfortably that Hana's face, while completely drained of color, had once more the Look of Death. She made sure to stay a good distance away when she saw that look.

What the hell did you do?!? mouthed Hana, pointing furiously at the door. The Paragnomes' attention was focused on starting up the super computer.

It was an accident! Rain mouthed back.

An accident?! Hana replied, looking incredulous. You turn one of these freaks into something the consistency and color of raspberry jam and you call it an accident?!

You always have to blow everything I do out of proportion don't you? Rain shot back, an annoyed expression on her face.

Hana opened her mouth to respond, but had to bite her tongue when the Paragnomes finally got the super computer working.

*****

"So do you see the peril we are in?" Carl Carlson asked Hana and Rain when the monitor had finished spewing forth a truckload of war images from this dimension.

"Yep", said Hana, who was beginning to wish they had stayed in Zif to face the lynch mob. Part of the reason for this was that it had sounded like complete and utter nonsense from the word go, especially for a seasoned assassin such as Hana. The Chuppa-Chops (the masters of the pink War Teddies) must be stopped from sucking the world dry of its supply of its precious supply of buttermilk? She had heard similar stories from senile psychiatric patients.

The other, more significant part for her finding little interest in the Paragnomes plight was Rain. As she had listened intensely to Carl Carlson's narration of the war, Rain had pulled her ponytail out of its scrunchie, letting her hair fall onto her shoulders. She then lightly tossed her hair a bit before tying it back up into its cute little ponytail. She did this three or four times during the two-hour display, and each time Hana was transfixed on her, her brain playing the ritual in slo-mo. She tried not to notice how hot it suddenly felt within the room.

"But now that you are here", smarmed an engineer by the name of John Frink, "we can now initiate a final strike against our foes."

"Of course", interjected Carl Carlson's second in command, a lady by the name of Maude Flanders, "we wouldn't dare insult you by giving you our meager mortal riches."

"Of course you wouldn't", Hana replied, who found her desire to keep out of this insanity strengthened.

"Oh, mighty saviors! Will you deliver us from our enemies?" boomed Carl Carlson.

Hana opened her mouth to say no but Rain beat her to it.

"Of course we will!" she chirped enthusiastically.     

Hana groaned. This was going to be a long epic…

To Be Continued…