A/N: here's my contribution for this year's MFAD. Work and university wouldn't give me a break and I wasn't sure I would make it until the last day, but I finally managed. Phew. But this is what I get for only getting to work when time is almost up. Happy, MFAD!
About the fic, it's my take on what happened between "The Full Monkey" and "Gorilla Fist", and on the reason why the monkey ninjas are not in the latter.
The chime awoke him from his trance after exactly two hours of meditation. Monkey Fist opened his eyes and sighed in satisfaction, his mind finally cleared from any worry or distractions that might have clouded it. Ancient texts held so much wisdom in them, and it would have been a shame should any of it go wasted because he was not in the right state of mind to understand it.
Monkey Fist reached to take a voluminous, ancient-looking book and opened it on his lap with the utmost care… and then frowned as he realized there was something sticking from its pages. "What on earth?" he muttered in irritation, pulling out the sheet of paper, and his irritation grew as he realized it was a pamphlet about some tropical paradise – yet another less than subtle attempt from the monkey ninjas to convince him they should take a vacation, no doubt.
He couldn't tell what annoyed him the most between the fact his monkeys had been fiddling with his ancient texts to put garbage like that among the pages and the fact they kept wasting time trying to convince him over and over even though he had already refused to take any kind of vacation. There would be plenty of time to rest once he had finally fulfilled his destiny, he had told them, so they had better focus on their training and serve him well if they wanted to be rewarded in the end.
But would they listen? Obviously not. It looked like it was time for them to have another chat, he thought before getting back on his feet and walking out of his dojo and to the lounge, the holding the pamphlet between his index finger and his thumb as if it were something filthy.
His call was still echoing in the castle when his monkey ninjas appeared in the room as if coming out of thin hair and bowed in front of him. Monkey Fist shortly bowed his head as well before holding out the pamphlet. "May I ask who was it who put this… thing… in the middle of one of my most valuable texts?" he asked, his eyes narrowing as he stared down at his minions. All of them shifted uncomfortably under his gaze, but no one stepped forward.
"I have no patience for games," Monkey Fist growled "if the responsible doesn't step forward now, you can forget banana split for a week."
The monkey ninjas seemed to hesitate for a moment, then they exchanged a few glances before stepping forward – all of them. Monkey Fist raised an eyebrow. "Are you telling me you're all equally responsible?" he asked.
A few nods.
"Very well. And what, pray tell, are you hoping to achieve by constantly stuffing my books with these?" he sneered, letting the pamphlet fall on the floor "I already gave you my reply, and it's no. What makes you think putting these in my books and in the trays – yes, I did take notice of the one beneath the last tea cup you brought me – would serve any purpose aside from annoying me?" he asked.
The monkey ninjas looked at him pleadingly, but he shook his head again. "For the last time, I'm not changing my mind on this. I see no reason why you should want to take a vacation in any case, considering you've been doing very little lately. You should rather focus on serving me well – once our efforts have paid off and I'm the monkey master, then you might-"
Whatever he was about to say next was lost as the phone suddenly rang. It wasn't that to stop his tirade – he had set the message machine so that it would take whatever call was coming in so he wouldn't be bothered – but to make him suddenly trail off as if he could choke on his own words was a very familiar, very cheerful and almost unbearably shrilly voice coming from the message machine.
"Yoo-hoo, monkey muffin! Are you home? Oh, too bad! I wanted to let you know those meanies released me, so I'm coming there with the first train I can catch! And don't worry, I'll forgive you this time for your mean prank – a restraint order! You just don't know where to stop when you play hard to get, eh?" a giggle "but you can't get away this time, and I'm going to kiss you and hold you, and we'll cuddle all day! See you soon, Monty Wonty!"
There was a click, and the communication was interrupted. A long, heavy silence followed. The monkey ninjas looked at their master – who, on the other hand, kept staring at the answering machine with a horrified rictus on his face – until he finally turned back to them. "As I was saying, I supposed a few weeks' vacation in Taiwan is much needed. Pack up everything we might need. Now."
The monkey ninjas were more than eager to obey.
By the time they reached the hut in the middle of the Taiwanese jungle, the monkey ninjas were panting: it had taken quite a lot of effort keeping up with their master while also having to carry the luggages. They knew he didn't like the woman in pink – they had no idea why, she was always nice to them and gave them sweets before going after their master – but they hadn't expected him to almost run through the jungle on their way to the tree hut: what was the point since the woman in pink had no idea they were even there? Sometimes they just couldn't understand their master.
Unaware of their musings, Monkey Fist nodded in satisfaction as he took a look inside the hut – a few snakes and insects aside, it looked like no wild animal had made it inside, and there was nothing out of place. Making the door sturdier had been an excellent idea: he wasn't looking forward to deal with a leopard like the previous time.
"You, do start unpacking," he said, barely turning to the monkey ninjas standing at his right "and you start cleaning up – I wouldn't mind sleeping in somewhat decent conditions tonight. I'll take care of the snakes. As for you," he turned to a few monkey ninjas still waiting for instructions "go get something edible before it gets dark. We do have enough supplies for today and tomorrow morning, but some more wouldn't hurt."
Getting rid of the snakes only took a few minutes, and as the monkeys kept themselves busy cleaning up and unpacking Monkey Fist went to check the other parts of the hut. The rudimental piping system to bring water in the hut had to be fixed a little and he needed to make a new basket to lift supplies on top of the tree, but it looked like everything else was working – especially the traps, he was satisfied to notice after throwing down a rock. No one who didn't know the exact path they should climb could reach the top of the tree and thus the hut alive from the ground, let alone someone like DNAmy – but why was he even worrying about her? She had no chance to ever find out where he was; he had taken all precautions to make sure of that.
Yes, Monkey Fist thought, hiding – no, retiring – there had definitely been a good idea. He ignored the fact it hadn't been his own idea and simply sat cross-legged on the top platform, enjoying the slight breeze that made the leaves rustle. Now that he finally felt safe from that… that woman, he could finally relish in the pure air and the wonderful sight and sounds of the jungle. It was rejuvenating, especially now that he had recently been released from prison – perhaps he had needed that vacation after all. It was so peaceful that, with his mind free from the constant worry of having DNAmy showing up at his door, he could finally focus on his ancient texts and soothe his nerves at the same time.
He couldn't know that the idyll was not to last.
The first sign that something was off was a sudden chattering snapping him from his meditation. His monkey ninjas knew better than disturbing him as he meditated and those monkeys didn't sound like any of them, so the most logical conclusion was that there had to be some wild monkeys nearby. He frowned, glancing around to see where the intruders were, and he didn't like what he saw one bit: approaching the tree hut together with the monkey ninjas he had sent out to get food were at least eight or nine wild monkeys.
What on Earth were his minions doing? They were supposed to keep intruders away, not to invite them over! Monkey Fist scowled and quickly climbed down the platform to catch up with his minions. As they saw him, all monkeys stopped chattering. His monkey ninjas bowed, while the wild ones stared up at him with curiosity. "What's the meaning of this?" he asked, folding his arms over his chest.
The monkey ninjas exchanged a few glanced before one of them stepped forward to explain. Monty's frown deepened as the small animal explained. Apparently, they had met those monkeys while looking for food; they had showed them where to find the best fruit and roots and had told them that they were on the run because some furless apes – men, Monkey Fist assumed – had been chasing them. They had already imprisoned most of the pack, they had said, and they couldn't help.
"So that's when you had the brilliant idea to bring them over for tea and biscuits," Monkey Fist snorted "in case you forgot my orders, you are not to bring anyone to this place! This is not some animal shelter," he added, but he did glance at the horizon a little worriedly. If there were people in the jungle, his hideout may not be safe. He was going to have his minions taking turns to watch for intruders all the time, he decided. Perhaps those people wouldn't get anywhere close to his hut, perhaps they had left already, but he wasn't going to take any risk.
Monkey Fist glanced back down at his monkey ninjas. "In any case, they can't stay here: they're untrained and certainly undisciplined, and I have no intention to waste any time with them. They'll have to look-" he trailed off as another monkey ninjas muttered something, then he sneered. "Helping them? I see no reason why I should. Whatever happened to their pack and whatever their fate could be is none of my business. Be gone," he snapped at the wild monkeys with an impatient gesture of his hand.
They kept staring up at him. A few of them tilted their head to one side.
"Didn't you hear me? Get lost!" Monkey Fist yelled again, this time stepping forward, but they didn't flee as they had hoped – they simply backed off a little and turned to glance at his monkey ninjas almost pleadingly. Monkey Fist groaned as one of his minions hesitantly spoke up again. "I do not care if they helped you finding food," he said sternly, though he did take a first look at the food his monkey ninjas had brought back – truth to be told, the fruit and roots looked far better than most of those they usually ate while in the jungle. He hoped his minions had memorized the place they took it from, he thought before turning back to the monkey ninja. "As I said, getting ourselves in trouble to help them is out of question – aren't we supposedly here to take a vacation?" he asked "so tell your… friends to get out of here and-"
The monkey ninjas kept looking at him pleadingly.
"…what?" Monkey Fist was starting to feel uncomfortable. Why were they still staring at him like that? He had already given them a reply, and it was no. They had their orders, too – where did that stubbornness come from? They would have to be severely scolded for that, too. He opened his mouth to harshly rebuke them, then he felt something tugging at his gi. He glanced down to see a female monkey with her young clinging to her back looking up at him just as pleadingly as his monkey ninjas.
Monkey Fist groaned. "Oh, for heaven's sake," he growled "fine. Fine. I'm not going to risk being spotted to help those who were foolish enough to let themselves be caught, but I suppose you can stay on this tree for a while – that one platform hasn't been used yet," he nodded towardss a platform he should have built a small library onto that he never really got around to build "don't even try to get inside. As for you," he turned back to his monkey ninjas "you'll take turn to watch out for any stranger that might approach. If you see anyone approaching, report immediately. The traps would take care of them, but I'd rather be prepared. Is that clear?"
His minions immediately nodded, and that seemed to set the matter. As he turned to get back to his meditation, however, he didn't notice the glances the monkey ninjas were exchanging with their new friends.
Stealth was something the monkey ninjas had always been good at – their master had taught them well – but since he was a trained ninja himself, getting out of the hut while he slept without him noticing hadn't been easy. They knew that their master wouldn't approve of what they were doing and that he would have ordered them not to if awakened, so they had to take the utmost care in each small movement on their way out.
When they made it, they allowed themselves a long, collective sigh of relief before climbing up the platform their new friends were waiting onto. Most of them – the ones strong enough to lead them to the place where the rest of their pack had been captured – were awake already, and waiting for them.
They didn't lose any time to chatter this time: the wild monkeys just leapt on top of the next tree and then on the next, leading the way, and the monkey ninjas followed as silent as ghosts.
If everything went well, they'd be back far before dawn and their master would never have to know about their little escapade.
To Monkey Fist, there were at least three things in life that were above any possible doubt. The first one was, of course, the fact his destiny was to be the Ultimate Monkey Master. The second one was that Amy Hall would never have him – at least not alive. And the third one was that no matter where they where or what they were doing, his loyal monkey ninjas would always drop anything they might be doing and come to him immediately any time he called for them.
It looked like he had been wrong on that third assumption.
"Monkey ninjas!" he bellowed once again, his voice loud enough to make a few birds on the nearby trees fly away. He waited for a few more instants, and as no one showed up he had to finally admit to himself the unsettling truth – his monkey ninjas had left the hut without telling him anything. He scowled in anger, though there was a hint of worry in the back of his mind. Why had they left the safety of the hut? Where…?
A sudden thought hit him, and he glanced up at the platform where the wild monkeys had settled for the night – he had completely forgotten about them until that moment. A few monkeys stared fearfully down at him, but it wasn't hard to see they were barely half the number they had been the previous night, and Monkey Fist could have bet his castle that he knew exactly where the others went, and with whom.
"You!" he barked, swiftly climbing on the platform "I allow you to stay, and this is how you repay me? Tell me exactly where they went, and when!"
The monkeys whimpered, a few of them glancing around as if considering the idea of escaping.
"Answer to me, or you'll be sorry," Monkey Fist growled. There were a few more moments of silence, then one of the monkeys began ooking. Understanding what it was saying proved to be more difficult than anticipated – Monkey Fist hadn't any kind of code to communicate with them like the one he had developed to speak to his monkey ninjas – but Mystical Monkey Power helped, and in the end he could grasp that his monkey ninjas had left with a few of the wild monkeys while the moon was still high in the sky and had headed for the place where the river split in two, where the people who had captured the rest of the pack were. And, was the part that worried Monkey Fist the most, they planned to free their companions and head back before dawn so that he would never have to know what they did.
"But they did not come back," he muttered with a frown, turning to glance towards the river. Could it be that something had gone wrong? That seemed the only explanation. Those fools – they knew perfectly he didn't want them to get involved in any way! How dare they disobey him! They could count themselves lucky that training another pack of monkey ninjas would have been too much of a waste of time, or else he would have left them to their fate. Still, he thought, once that business was over they were going to regret dearly their actions.
"I need one of you to lead me to the camp," he said "you should know a quickest route to get to the river, don't you?" he asked. He took water from another small river closer to the hut, so he wasn't really familiar with the other one.
A few monkeys nodded.
"Very well. Then show me – yes, of course I can follow," he said, frowning a little in annoyance "don't make me waste any more time."
A couple of monkeys immediately leapt off the platform and on a nearby tree, and then to the next, and Monkey Fist followed them just as swiftly. It turned out that they did know a very fast way to get to the river, for not even twenty minutes later Monkey Fist could see water coursing almost beneath them. They began following the river, still moving from tree to tree.
"I do hope they didn't move the camp," he said to no one in particular, a scowl on his face. He knew nothing about those people anyway, only that they were apparently out to capture monkeys – poachers, maybe? – and for all he knew they could have decided they had enough monkeys and left. How would they find them in that case? And what was going to happen to the monkeys they captured?
The thought bothered Monkey Fist more than he was willing to admit, and he chased the thought away. Of course they would still be there, and he was going to get his monkey ninjas back to give them a lesson they wouldn't forget in a lifetime, and-
A sudden, familiar screech snapped him from his thoughts. Monkey Fist abruptly stopped, as did the monkeys leading him, and glanced around to see the source of the screech. Said source was hard to miss, for it leapt right in front of Monkey Fist and bowed – a small, brown monkey with some straps of black cloth still on. One of the monkey ninjas.
"Darwin," Monkey Fist said, and for a moment before frowning upon his minion he seemed almost relieved "spare me your excuses, you and your companions will be punished for your disobedience in due time. Tell me what happened!"
The tale was short enough, and pretty much what Monkey Fist had expected to hear: they had reached the camp to see a lot of people sleeping inside tents and camper vans and the monkeys inside a stock of cages. It had seemed an easy task getting the cages open and getting away quickly, and everything would have worked out fine hadn't they forgotten a detail: wild monkeys were nowhere as disciplined and behaved as they were. The moment they had seen them approaching they had begun screeching and ooking, waking up all men in the camp in a blink of an eye. And then they were all out to get them and-
"You should have still been able to get out of there," Monkey Fist said with a frown "you're supposed to be trained ninjas – haven't I managed to teach you anything?"
Before his minion could even begin explaining, Monkey Fist silenced him with a snort. "Nevermind. That's yet another matter I'll have too address later. Now let's keep moving – you come with us anyway," he added, turning to the wild monkeys "if anything, you could make yourselves useful as distractions. And I said no excuses," he snapped again at his monkey ninja as it tried to speak again "as I said, you'll have plenty of time to explain yourselves later on. Now let's keep moving," he ordered.
After just a moment's hesitation, Darwin just shrugged and followed. If the master wasn't worried and didn't want to know anything more, there was probably no point in trying again to tell him about the guns with tranquilliser darts those people had used to knock down most of the pack.
Monkey Fist wasn't sure what to make out of what he was seeing. Up to that moment he had assumed the people who had captured the wild monkeys – and now his monkey ninjas as well – were poachers, but now he wasn't so sure anymore. Not that he had met many of them, but he was pretty sure poachers didn't usually wear expensive clothes and didn't fiddle with so much scientific equipment. Perhaps they were simply monitoring wildlife – back when he was a widely known explorer and expert of all things simian, he had happened to be part of a couple of expeditions like that: they would catch a few monkeys and put a small chip under their skin that would monitor their movements. It was an easy way to effectively study their behaviour, even though Monkey Fist had always thought it couldn't replace direct observation.
Still, he thought as he shifted a little on the branch of the tree he was perched onto, those people didn't act like any animal behaviourist he had known. They usually captured one monkey at time as quietly as possible to not scare off the rest of the pack, chipped them and then released them immediately; they didn't capture so many of them, nor he held them in their cages for so long. No, something different was definitely going on there. But what…?
Monkey Fist shook his head a little, frowning to himself. What did that matter to him? Nothing. All he wanted was getting his monkey ninjas out of there, get back to the safety of the hut and give them a lecture they were never going to forget. Anything else was absolutely irrelevant.
He observed the camp for a while more from above, moving around it from tree to tree, careful not to be spotted. The cages were on the far side of the camp, pretty much separated from the rest – that didn't surprise him, since the monkeys were surely rather noisy and Monkey Fist wouldn't have been surprised in the slightest to know they had developed a habit of throwing their waste at their captors – and seemed to be rather easy to open, each of them having a switch to open them placed just beyond the reach of whoever was inside. Well, now that made things easier. How could his highly trained monkey ninjas not manage to complete a simple task such as that one?
"You," he said, turning to the monkeys by his side "go on the west side of the camp and get their attention – and you had better not get caught again. I'll free the others. Once I do we'll all split up and meet again at the hut. Is that clear?"
The monkeys nodded.
"Very well. Now go," he ordered. He watched as the monkey moved from tree to tree towards the other side of the camp, and waited. He didn't have to wait for long – only minutes later screeches and shouts could be heard, and Monkey Fist could see all the men in sight running towards the noise. Had he observed them for a few more moments he might have noticed some of them were holding something suspiciously similar to a gun he had already seen years before in the hands of one of the animal behaviourists he had worked with, but he was too eager to set his minions free and get back to the tree hut to bother.
He swiftly climbed down and quickly approached the cages, barely ducking under some waste that one of the wild monkeys – one of those he hadn't had the displeasure to meet yet – threw at him. "Try to do that again. It's an excellent way to make sure I'll leave you in there," Monkey Fist snarled as he approached. His monkey ninjas immediately recognized him and began enthusiastically screeching and ooking, causing their wild companions to stop shrieking against him or trying to throw scat at him.
"Scatter in the jungle and reach the hut – we'll all meet up again there. If you don't make it, I will not be getting back to save you again. Is that clear?" he grumbled, reaching to quickly flip the switched on the cages. As each cage opened all monkeys inside immediately bolted forward and scattered to the jungle. Monkey Fist heard a closer shout, and he saw a few men running towards them – but it didn't matter: they were too slow, and they wouldn't manage to catch up with them. He opened the last cage and began running along with the monkeys to the jungle, his mind already trying to come up with a harsh enough punishment for his minions' disobedience and-
His thoughts were interrupted by a sudden stinging sensation on his thigh. He let out a small yelp, more out of surprise than out of pain, and suddenly stopped. He reached for the stinging area, and his fingers met something stuck in his thigh. For a moment he didn't realize what it was, then a sudden memory hit him, his eyes widening: an animal behaviourist capturing a monkey they were going to chip by hitting it with… with…
There was another sudden stinging sensation, his time on his back, and Monkey Fist simultaneously realized two things: that what had just hit him were tranquilliser darts, and that he suddenly felt so heavy and clumsy, as if each limb weighted a ton, and focusing was starting to get more and more complicated. He desperately shook his head in the attempt of keeping his mind clear and tried to keep moving to the jungle, but his arms and legs failed him and he fell in an useless heap to the ground.
He opened his mouth and tried to yell, to call out for his monkey ninjas, but all that came from his mouth was a pathetic groan and his minions were surely far by now, probably not having even noticed he had been hit. But no matter, he tried to reassure himself, he could handle those men by himself, and even if he couldn't his monkey ninjas would realized he was gone, and they would come back, they would…
Unable to follow his own thoughts anymore, Monkey Fist could feel consciousness slipping away just as he heard footsteps approaching, and then voices somewhere above him.
"…something wrong, look at his…"
"…a missing link, perhaps…?"
"…told me something like this, could it be…?"
"…you think she has something to do…?"
"…should contact her to ask…"
Whatever they said next was lost to Monkey Fist. Nothingness reached to swallow him and he knew no more.
Shrieks of joy and triumph resounded through the jungle as the monkey ninjas and the wild monkeys finally reached the hut where the rest of the wild pack was waiting. Despite the fact they knew a punishment was coming for them, the monkey ninjas couldn't help but feel glad to witness the reunion of the members of the other pack. They just hoped that whatever part of the jungle they moved to would be safer than their previous home; it would have been wonderful if they could stay with them for a while to make sure they'd be fine, but after what had happened they very much doubted their master would allow-
Wait. What about their master?
The monkey ninjas exchanged a few glances, but for a while they didn't worry – their master was perfectly capable to take care of himself, and he was probably on his way. Maybe he stopped to rest. And in any case, the orders were to wait for him at the hut and they didn't want him to be disappointed in them again because they went against his orders. They would just wait a little more, they decided.
And if he really took too long… then they would get back to look for him. His safety was worth risking a punishment after all.
Regaining consciousness required long minutes – or was it hours? – of drifting on the thin line between consciousness and unconsciousness, almost remembering what had happened one moment and forgetting it the next. In the end, however, Monkey Fist finally managed to get back to a reasonable level of awareness and opened his eyes with some effort.
The first thing he noticed was that he was lying on something cold and hard – steel. The second thing he realized was that the light had changed, meaning that it wasn't morning anymore: it was afternoon now, if of the same day as before or not he couldn't tell. And the third thing he noticed once his eyes could finally put things to focus a little better was that he was seeing everything through bars. Well, he couldn't say that didn't feel kind of familiar. Familiar, but no less infuriating.
Monkey Fist struggle to ignore the headache building in his skull and sat up – the cage was large, but not enough for him to stand – before yelling. "I demand to be released this very instant! Release me now, or I swear you will regret-!"
"Hey, it's awake!" a voice suddenly cut him off, and he turned to see a few men walking in his vision field.
"He's awake," another, slightly older man with greying hair and thick glasses corrected him before turning to Monkey Fist "Lord Monty Fiske, I presume?"
Monkey Fist blinked in surprise. He certainly hadn't expected any of those men to know who he was. Maybe they actually were animal behaviourists after all? Had he met them? None of their faces seemed familiar, but then again he had never really bothered to remember most people he occasionally worked with on some project after said project was over. "You're correct. Have we met?" he asked.
"I haven't, but you did meet a colleague of ours. Recognizing you wasn't too hard," the man's eyes briefly turned to his hands holding the bars.
"I can imagine," Monkey Fist said dryly "now that we've been properly introduced-"
The man blinked. "Oh, that's right – I didn't introduce myself. I'm doctor Samuelson. This is my colleague, doctor Bowden. There are more of us in the camp, of course, if you're interested to meet them."
Monkey Fist – who hadn't even noticed they had not introduced themselves nor had really cared – shrugged. "I don't think I am," he said "as I was saying, now that we have been properly introduced, would you mind letting me out? I'd like you to know you'd very, very much regret it if you don't," he added, his eyes narrowing.
"Of course, we didn't mean to…" Samuelson immediately fumbled to open the cage "my apologies, we still were not sure about your identity until a phone call cleared the matter. Thankfully our colleague remembered you very well and was able to tell us without a shadow of doubt who you are. We had guessed already since she speaks of you so… often, but we needed to be sure."
Monkey Fist frowned a little in thought as he walked out of the cage and cracked his back – odd, he couldn't recall any animal behaviourist or zoologist he had worked with more than just a few times, and while most people admired him he couldn't remember making such a lasting impression on any of them. "I had no idea your colleague was so… impressed," he said.
"Why, it shouldn't surprise you. It's not often people in our field meet such cooperative… patients. Most people are simply scared at the thought of letting us work on them."
Monkey Fist blinked. "Work on people?" he asked "last time I checked, you worked with animals."
The man sighed. "Most of the time we have to limit ourselves to that, yes. Laws are so very strict, sadly. But sometimes we do get brave volunteers such as yourself for our studies.
Fine, now Monkey Fist was pretty sure his headache was about to get worse. What in the world was that man talking about? "I was under the impression human behaviour is something you leave to sociologists."
Now it was doctor Samuelson's turn to be confused. "Behaviour?"
"Isn't that what animal behaviourists are supposed to study?"
Finally seeing where the misunderstanding was, Samuelson laughed. "But we are not animal behaviourists, not at all. We're genetists."
Monkey Fist suddenly felt like he had just passed through a cold shower. His hair stood to an end. "Genetists?" he repeated slowly.
"Yes. We're currently in need of some animals to experiment with – to see how they behave in the wild after a mutation, and… are you feeling well?" he asked with a frown as he realized how pale Monkey Fist was now, his left eye twitching a little and his mouth hanging open.
No, he didn't feel well, he didn't feel well at all. All the pieces finally clicked in place and he knew with horrible certainty who the colleague they referred to had to be. And hadn't they said…?
"You…" Monkey Fist began, suddenly feeling the mere act of speaking incredibly difficult "you said she told you who I am. Does that mean you… contacted her, by any chance?" he tried and failed to keep his voice steady.
Oh God, does it mean she knows? Does it mean she knows I'm here?
Samuelson seemed taken aback by his evident shock. "Why, of course. As I said, we needed to be- ow!" he trailed off with a yelp as the monkey man let out a horrified shriek and grabbed the collar of his shirt. "You… you fool! You have no idea what you've done!"
"Hey, calm yourself!" the younger doctor tried to finally speak up again "what's the-"
"You let her know where I am, that's what!" Monkey Fist screamed, finally letting go of Samuelson "I'm not safe anymore here! Now she'll find me, and she-"
Whatever horrors he was about to utter were cut off by a terrible noise the same moment Monkey Fist felt wind – but it wasn't actually wind, was it? – ruffling his hair. A horribly cheery and familiar voice reached his ears even through the helicopter's noise.
"Yo-hoo, honey bunny!"
Monkey Fist shrieked and looked up to see that… that terror in pink looking down at him from the passenger seat, her smile impossibly wide.
"There you are, you meanie! You got me all worried – good thing these sweeties told me where you- aw, honey bunny, do you have to do that again?" she sighed as she saw him shrieking again and turning to run away, into the jungle. She turned to the pilot with a slightly apologetic smile. "He likes playing hard to get," she said "would you mind following him, sweetie?"
The pilot – who had turned out to be quite a fun of her cinnamon cookies – swallowed his mouthful of cookie and nodded. "Sure thing."
The high-pitched scream that rang through the jungle caused the monkey ninjas – who were heading back to the camp after some hesitation, worried for their master – to abruptly come to a halt. From the highest branches of the tree they were perched onto, they worriedly looked around. That was their master's scream, they were sure of it! But where was he? What were they doing to him? Before they could even ask aloud another scream was heard, this time closer. The whole pack swiftly moved closer, only to stop again after a few moments at the sight before them.
Their master was still screaming and running away, jumping from tree to tree as he desperately tried to lose what was chasing him – a helicopter. Still, it wasn't the helicopter that got their attention: it was the pink-clad figure they could see in it, leaning outside as much as the security belt allowed her and calling out for him to come back. Unsurprisingly enough, their master seemed to have no intention to do as the woman in pink – how could she find him? – said and kept running like his life depended on it, heading straight to the tree where his monkeys were.
"Out of the way, you fools!" Monkey Fist almost screeched before rushing past them, heading to the heart of the jungle where he probably hoped he could hide. The monkey ninjas were about to follow him for a moment, but then the helicopter passed just above them and the strong wind caused by its paddles threw them off the tree and to the ground – hadn't they been quick to grab on branches of other trees they would have been up for a painful meeting with the ground.
By the time they made it back on top of the tree, they couldn't see either their master or the helicopter anymore – maybe they went behind that one hill on their left? Or maybe behind the one on their right? A few unsure glances were exchanged, and in the end they came to the conclusion that there wasn't much they could do in any case; the master had also made it clear he wanted them out of the way, so it would probably be for the best waiting for him at the hut until he escaped from her and got back as he always did.
Until then, they could help their new friends to find a new home for themselves and maybe also teach them how to fight so that they wouldn't be caught unprepared next time. It would probably be fun, too, they thought before finally heading back home after one last glance at the horizon, where neither there master nor his chaser were to be seen.
It was going to be their best vacation ever.