Here we go again! Time to get some OCs introduced so we can finally get to the good stuff! Oh, and a bit of warning: I have to power down OCs sometimes. Can't have them blowing stuff to smithereens with a rocket launcher, y'know? No Mary Sues allowed.

To Engi-Head: I had to power down Max a lot. I can understand pistols and maybe rifles, but a chain gun, rocket launcher and plasma rifle? Really? Don't get me wrong, it sounds cool, but can you imagine trying to carry all of that and still go close-range as well? It's a bit unrealistic.

Very sorry that this took me so long. I could list all my excuses, but the main one is that my muse basically shot me in the foot, slapped me with a fish, and left.

LET'S-A ****ING GO!

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As one group rested, another pushed on. Through the jungles they trekked, the great trees providing ample cover from the shades that sought their blood.

In the lead was a lean, teenaged boy in a grey shirt and torn jeans, cutting through the foliage with a large knife as though he harbored a personal grudge against the plants. Close behind was a small, barefooted boy in a straw hat, who leapt from rocks to roots with enthusiasm, as if the harsh terrain was nothing more than a playground for him to enjoy.

Next in line was a boy of similar stature, with hair as green as the canopy above, and who swung a wooden staff at imaginary attackers, screaming the appropriate warrior yells as he did so. Walking slowly behind him with slumped shoulders was a teenage girl with long brown hair and glasses, who stared sadly at the ground, speaking only rarely and in quiet tones.

In great contrast to the girl, the boy behind her had seemingly endless energy. He never stopped speaking, and often threw back his head and laughed like a madman, sending his blond hair flying and often nearly impaling himself on the deformed trident strapped to his back.

Behind him, a tall, dark-haired girl with a shaggy ponytail and black coat covered her ears, wincing.

"Seth, would you please quit laughing like a psychopath?" she asked the boy.

Sheepishly, Seth turned to her and muttered, "Sorry, Dark. Won't happen again." But the corners of his mouth began to lift slowly, and soon he had fallen into another round of maniacal cackling.

"Dude, if you don't stop laughing, I'm going to beat you into a coma," muttered a heavily muscled teen at the back of the crowd.

"Aw, come on, Jason!" exclaimed Seth. "Laughter is the best medicine, and I'd say you could use some right about now." He pointed to a long cut on Jason's arm, the blood seeping through the makeshift bandage.

"Ever heard the phrase, 'Too much of a good thing'?"

"Nope."

"…Just shut up."

"Sir yes sir!"

Walking silently beside Jason was a lean, dark-clothed teen with a hood over his eyes and a sword sheathed on his belt. The hood covered his entire face, not showing his foxlike ears and snout. He moved swiftly and silently through the undergrowth, as though he were afraid to be dragged into the conversation. Lost in his own thoughts, he accidentally bumped into two young kids in hiking gear trying to keep up with the boy in the lead. The twins, Tobi and Toni, could not have been more different.

"Hey, watch it, Sankai!" shouted Toni. She scowled at the boy before walking off again. Tobi remained silent, calmly stopping to retie his shoe before running after his sister.

"Sorry," murmured Sankai softly.

Back in the lead, the green-haired young boy had finally caught up to the knife-slashing teen in front of him.

"Max, when are we gonna get to the ruins?" he asked for the umpteenth time.

"For the last time, we are almost at the edge of the forest!" shouted Max in frustration.

"But you said that an hour ago!"

"It was five minutes ago. Now just shut up and let me get us out of here!"

"Fine! I'll just go talk to Addy then!" The boy in the straw hat raised his head at the sound of his name, but then quickly lowered it again when he realized who had spoken.

"Hey, Addy!" shouted the younger boy.

Addy groaned. "What do you want, Cabbage?"

"I told you to stop calling me Cabbage!"

"It's your name, what else am I supposed to call you?'

"I don't know! Something other than Cabbage!"

"Alright, how about Lettuce?"

"No!"

"Grassy?"

"Double no!"

"Oh, I've got it! How about Leaf?"

"No, no, no!" shouted Cabbage, jumping and swinging his staff in anger.

"Well, if you don't like those names, I guess I'll have to call you Cabbage."

"Agh! I am not a fruit!"

"Of course you're not. Cabbages are vegetables."

"Why did I have to be named Cabbage?"

"Just a guess, but have you thought that it might be your hair?'

"What about my hair?"

"Oh, never mind. Hey, I bet Dark would love to help you with a new nickname. Why don't you go talk to her?"

"That's a great idea! Hey, Dark!"

As Cabbage left, Addy said a prayed silently that Dark would not rip his head off before he could act on his plan. Then he readjusted his hat and walked up to Max.

"Hey, Max, can I please just use Sing on Cabbage? Please?"

Max smirked. "As long as you can get someone to carry him."

"Thanks."

Slowly, Addy crept up behind Cabbage. In one motion, he put the boy into a headlock and sang a soft but sweet song into his ear, Jigglypuff's power instantly putting him to sleep in Addy's arms.

"Thanks for distracting him, Dark," Addy said with a smile.

"You owe me one."

"Fair enough."

Addy dragged Cabbage's unconscious form to Jason, unable to carry the boy's weight.

"Would you carry him?"

Jason sighed. "I guess. Give him here."

Addy managed to lift Cabbage long enough to hand him to Jason, who simply slung the child over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes.

"You got him?" Addy asked, just to be safe.

"Yeah, he's fine. But we'd better hurry if we're gonna catch up to the others." Addy nodded in response and jogged back to the front.

About fifteen minutes' worth of walking later, the strange group finally reached one of their few landmarks- a large stone bridge spanning the crashing river below. Until a decade before it had been a fragile rope bridge, but a boom of travelers had caused the nearest settlement to build a sturdier structure. But tourists had long since stopped using the path, and it had been reclaimed by the jungle. The bridge was covered in moss and vines, but still stood strong.

"Finally!" cried Dark. "This means we're almost out, right?"

"That's right," Max replied. "At least, that's what the map says. Wait, do you hear that buzzing sound?"

"Yeah," Dark replied. "I've got a bad feeling about this. Maybe we should wait and see before we cross."

Tobi and Toni did not seem to hear what their older companions were saying, or simply didn't care. "Yes!" shouted both of the twins at once. They dashed forward, paying no mind to the growing noise in the air.

Sankai was the first to notice the problem. "Wait!" he shouted at the duo. "Something's not right here!"

Sankai was correct. For no sooner had the words left his lips than a hailstorm of bullets hit the ground. Tobi and Toni screamed and sprinted forward to the other side of the bridge. Sankai's heightened sense of smell picked up on the different odors in the air. Gunpowder, gasoline… and explosives?

Suddenly realization dawned on the teen. "Get down!" he roared across the bridge. Adrenaline surging through his veins, Sankai rushed forward as fast as he could and tackled the twins to the ground, shielding them from the blast.

A number of explosions rocked the bridge, sending debris in all directions and utterly obliterating the entire structure. The sound was deafening, causing everyone to cover their ears, and forcing Sankai to howl in pain as his sensitive eardrums were nearly destroyed. The teen fell onto his back and clutched his ears, unable to move.

A slow chuckle echoed through the area, chilling Max to the bone. Seth was the first to get to his feet, his usual grin replaced by an angry snarl, his trident in his hands. The others followed suit. Even Cabbage, who had been awakened by the blast, was managing to stand up.

Out of nowhere, a heavily-armed, streamlined metal ship, essentially a rocket-propelled platform, appeared. Two translucent beings stood on it, one red, and one blue. Both had gleaming yellow eyes. The red wisp seemed to have long hair and looked vaguely feminine, while the blue one resembled a thin boy, showing razor-sharp teeth. As one, the figures laughed and disappeared as suddenly as they had arrived.

When at last Sankai could stand, he shouted across the bridge, "Is there any way back across?"

Jason roared back, "No! We can't get to you from over here! We'll have to find our own way to the ruins! We'll meet back up with you there!"

Sankai nodded. "Good luck!" He turned to the twins. "Alright, we'd best get moving. I'd like to be out of this damned place by nightfall, if possible."

The children nodded numbly, their minds still reeling from shock.

After about fifteen minutes, they could see the end of the trees giving way to grasslands. They ran towards it, only to find the way blocked by two girls. One blonde-haired and garbed in glue, with two swords sheathed at her belt. The other had hair the color of sand, and was armed to the teeth with blades of all kinds.

Cautiously, Sankai drew his blood red blade. "Stay behind me," he whispered to Tobi and Toni. "If something happens, make a break for it and run." The twins nodded, although Toni looked more like she was going to confront them herself.

Sanki took a step forward. "Who are you?" he asked the girls, trying to sound casual.

The sandy-haired girl faced him. "I could ask you the same question. Who are you and what are you doing here?"

As a show of good faith, Sankai sheathed his blade and bowed. "My name is Sankai. These two here are Tobi and Toni. We're on our way to the ruins."

The girl snorted. "Wow, you're a gallant one, aren't you? Around here, that gets you killed." She drew a long dagger from one of her many sheathes.

The blonde stepped forward. "Olivia, control yourself for a second. Sankai, did you say you were going to the ruins?"

The boy nodded. "That's right. And we're kind of in a rush."

The girl smiled. "Are you… Chosen?"

Sankai's eyes widened. "You know about that?"

"Of course I do. We're chosen as well!"

Olivia stepped forward once again. "Uh, sorry about the threat," she said sheepishly. "I think we got off on the wrong foot. I'm Olivia, and this is Brook. I'm Diddy Kong's chosen, and she's DK's. What about you?"

Sankai smiled. "You can probably guess Toni and Tobi are the Ice Climbers. I'm the chosen of King Dedede."

Brook raised an eyebrow. "You sure don't look like Dedede would have picked you."

Sankai shrugged. "You don't look like DK would have chosen you, so I guess we're in a similar position."

Olivia stepped between them. "We can talk on the way to the ruins. Let's get going!" With that she charged off, the others struggling to catch up.

….

Woo, chapter done! I know it's been a while since I've updated, and I'm sorry for that. But now I've introduced every OC (at least I think I have), so now we can get down to business.

If this chapter seems sloppy, it's because I haven't had much sleep lately. I can't guarantee many updates. To put it simply, I've got a lot of stuff to do. Please leave constructive criticism- it's the thread this story is hanging by.

See you next time!