Hello there. A few days ago I started playing Gaia Online's MMO zOMG! again with a friend of mine. He gave me the crazy idea to write a story about a group of friends discovering what's going on adventuring through Gaia to find out the cause of the sudden Animated outbreak. This is the result!

This story is going to be a long one since I have a habit of making my stories very long. I'm not really sure when the updates will happen but I'm sure with enough encouragement the updates will happen fast, or so is the plan.

Another heads up: I like to make my characters suffer so you can expect some sad moments. There won't be any permanent deaths if any, though. You can expect the occasional curse word, so depending on that the rating of this story could go up.

Instead of spending ages on explaining the look of a character, I will link a tektek version of them here. So every time you see a link it's most likely introducing a new char. There's only one for this chapter. It makes things easier.

Dash: /avatar/50439713

This story is based on the plot line of zOMG! with a few added twists. If you don't know zOMG! or Gaia Online, I recommend you check it out right now.

If you find any mistakes, please let me know.

oxo - oxo

Gaia.

A chaotic world, plagued by strange creatures and events.

A world almost accustomed to its chaos.

Each threat is always bravely faced and swiftly defeated…

…until…

oxo - oxo

"Many Gaians continue to be baffled by the current events taking place in Bill's Ranch. The first report of strange activity came in only a few days ago from Bill himself. Since then the reported 'attacks' have continued every night. Many passing by Gaians reported seeing strange creatures…"

"Gold Beach: a well known haven for surfers and Gaians seeking a break from their hectic lives is now labeled as a nightmare zone. Many claim to have seen swarms of anchors coming to life and attacking others. Some say their works of art made of sand have also sprouted to life. However, the most bizarre case so far is the case of several missing surfers. Over a dozen people watching the last surfing contest reported seeing the waves themselves coming to life and dragging the surfers away. More on this later…"

"Village Greens Golf Course has been closed due to strange activity…"

"Bass'ken Lake no longer safe for fishing…"

"Gaians are advised to stay indoors…"

"…no one is safe anymore…"

oxo - oxo

A teenage boy with pearl white skin and pointed ears stood at a subway platform. His outfit consisted mostly of white. Large black sunglasses shielded his eyes, short gray hair framing what little of his face was visible. A light blue scarf was wound around his neck and pulled up around his chin to hide his mouth. A white messenger bag hung lazily over his shoulder. He was currently scrolling through all kinds of strange news reports coming from Gaia on his phone.

Today was the day he would be moving to Gaia to start college. His parents had insisted he attend one of the more well known schools in their own region, but he rejected the idea. He was almost 19, after all; time to move on and find his place in the world.

He continued to look through all of the reports while the people around him scrambled to get to their platforms in time.

Jeez, and I decided to live here? I always pick a perfect time to do these things…

A small white cat with sky blue eyes hugged the boy's leg as it watched the people run past them and occasionally brush against them while being caught up in their own thoughts. This cat was very different from normal cats you would see on the streets. For one, it could talk. Not often since nearby people would cast it a weird glance. Second, instead of walking on all fours it walked on its hind legs. Usually it would sneak onto the boy's back and catch a ride on his shoulder. Most people couldn't grasp the fact of a bi-pedal talking cat walking around.

The cat hugged the boy's leg tighter as a subway pulled up to the platform they were currently standing at. Dozens of people filed out of the subway. Many of them looked distressed and carried bags filled with their possessions. The boy peeled his eyes from his phone's screen and looked down at the cat.

"What is it, KiKi?"

KiKi looked up at the boy and clawed its way up until it was seated on his shoulder.

"S-so many people." KiKi whispered.

The boy turned his head back the subway and saw people still filing out of it. From the looks of it it had been jammed packed.

"Yeah, kinda weird. Maybe this sub doesn't run often." The boy shrugged and returned his gaze back to his phone. Before he could melt back into the reports a man ran up to him and grabbed his arm.

"Hey! What's the big ide-"

"Are you heading to Gaia?" The man fidgeted.

"Wha- Who are you and why do you want to know?"

"Answer me! Are you?"

The boy raised an eyebrow at the man in front of him. "Yeah, I am. Why?"

"Turn back now! There's strange things going on down there. If you know what's good for you you'll go back to where you came from. Unless you come from Gaia. Just stay away from there!"

"Huh?"

Before the boy could ask more questions the man had already ran off dragging all four of his bags with him. The boy turned around and stared after the man in confusion as the crowd of people finally died down. The lights above him flickered as he was left standing alone on the platform. His eyes scanned over the area as he turned back toward the sub.

KiKi whimpered as silence filled the air. "M-maybe we should listen to him…"

"No way! I finally convince my parents to let me move out on my own and you want me to crawl back to them just because a crazy old man tells me to?"

The lights flickered again.

"I-I just find it weird that all those people came from Gaia. They all looked so scared. What's even more weird is that no one except us is going there. Didn't you say that Gaia was one of the most famous places in the world?"

The boy sighed and pulled his ticket out to inspect it.

"Yeah, maybe, but I can't give up on my dream now. College starts in two weeks. That college is in Gaia. I seriously doubt I'll be able to transfer to another college outside of Gaia this late."

KiKi went silent and stared down at the tiled floor.

"Aw, come on! It won't be that bad! Trust me."

KiKi mumbled something quietly. They boy opened his mouth to question KiKi just as the intercom interrupted him.

-Platform 1B now boarding for Barton Town, Gaia.-

The boy stuffed his phone into his pocket. He pulled his messenger bag farther up onto his shoulder as he walked towards an open door of the sub. KiKi griped his shoulder as he stepped inside. As expected, no one was inside. They continued their way through the sub cart and finally decided to sit down. KiKi jumped off the boy's shoulder and sat down closely beside him.

The boy pulled his phone back out and open a random site on his browser as he placed a hand on KiKi's head.

-Attention! Doors are now closing. Please stand back away from the doors.-

The door next to the duo hissed as he closed shut. KiKi whimpered and pressed into the boy's side more firmly. The hand on top of its head absently wrapped itself around KiKi in a semi-hug.

The sub jerked suddenly as it began rolling down the tracks. KiKi jumped up to a window and pressed it's face to the glass watching the platform they had been standing on moments ago roll past them and out of sight as the sub picked up speed. The cart was enveloped in darkness as the sub entered a tunnel. The only light coming from the small lamps attached to the tunnel walls and from the boy's phone screen. His shades reflected the light giving him an eerie look.

The ride continued this way for several minutes: the boy lost in his phone and KiKi pressed up against the glass half expecting to see something besides the tunnel wall.

Without warning, the lights in the sub flickered on. KiKi jumped and tumbled over the seat landing on its head. KiKi slid over until it was resting on its side.

"Whoa there! You alright?" a male voice asked. The duo looked in the direction of the voice and saw a young man wearing glasses sitting at the front of the cart. He was twisted sideways so he could look back over his seat.

"Y-yes, I'm okay…" KiKi mumbled. The man smiled.

"You two headed for Barton?"

"Yeah, we are. Are you from there?" The boy leaned back into his seat.

"Not really but I visit often. I'm headed there now. Mind if I sit next to you guys?"

The boy looked at KiKi and back at the man.

"I guess. If you want." The man smiled again and slowly made his way over. He sat down across from the duo.

"Nice cat you got there. A little strange compared to other cats, but still cute." He directed his attention to KiKi. "You have a name?"

KiKi sat up and blinked. "My name is KiKi!"

"KiKi, huh? Well, my name is Frank! Pleased to meet you!" The man looked at the boy. "And you?"

"My name is Dash. KiKi is a little strange, if you wanna put it that way. She's always been like this."

Frank laughed. "No worries. She won't be the first talking cat in Gaia, that's for sure!"

"T-there are other talking cats in Gaia?"

"Yep! In fact, there's one in Barton Town. His name is Rufus. You should visit him sometime."

Frank and KiKi continued their conversation on all the talking animals within Gaia. Dash had turned his attention back to his phone and opened up the reports he had been reading before. He tuned the voices of the others out as he concentrated on the words presented to him.

"So, Dash," Dash jolted and looked towards Frank. Frank chuckled to himself.

"What's got your attention there?" Frank motioned to Dash's phone.

"Oh, not much. I've been reading these weird news reports coming from Gaia. People are saying that monsters are attacking people. Silly, eh?" Dash laughed to himself as he mentioned monsters. The friendly smile from Frank's face, however, slowly faded. KiKi noticed it.

"And back at the platform, some guy who got off the sub from Gaia said I should turn back and not come here. I wanted to ask more but he ran away with everyone else." Dash finally looked up from his phone again and his own smile melted when he saw Frank's serious face. Dash furrowed his brows together.

"Hey, Frank, do you know what these people are talking about?" Frank looked at Dash, at KiKi and back to Dash. His smile returned.

"I'm afraid I don't. Like I said before, I just visit Gaia every once in awhile, so I'm not up-to-date on all the crazy stuff going on. Maybe you could ask the people in Barton or, better yet, visit the news station."

"That's not a bad idea."

Silent overtook the cart once again. KiKi stared at Frank as Dash went back to scrolling on his phone. Almost a half hour passed before Frank spoke again.

"Why are you going to Gaia, if you don't mind me asking…"

Dash looked up and stuffed his phone back into his pocket again.

"My parents are on the more 'rich side' of life, if you get my drift. They think just because we have money that they have to spoil me. After I finished school I decided to move out and start college, a normal college. I finally got them to agree. I got the okay from a college in Gaia and decided to accept the invite. I think starting over completely on my own will be a good thing. So, here I am; on my way to my new home and life."

"I see. You're what they call a Dark Elf, correct?"

"Yes. Another reason why my parents think I should attend some high class school. I'm actually surprised you could tell."

Frank tilted his head slightly. "Why is that?"

"Most people always mistake me for something else because I'm much paler than normal Dark Elves. I was born this way. My hair is also a few shades darker than normal Elves, too." Dash looked at his feet nervously.

"Don't worry about that. You see so many different people in Gaia that one more different person isn't going to change things. You'll fit in perfectly." Frank reassured with a smile.

Dash looked up and scratched his cheek. "Thanks, I think."

"Speaking of shades, why are you wearing a pair? I mean I can understand that outside, but we're underground at the moment."

Dash's expression went back to nervousness. "It's because of my eyes. They're really sensitive to light of all sorts. When I was little I had many surgeries on them. Doctors were afraid I'd go blind. I've been wearing shades for over half my life now."

"Oh, sorry. That was probably a touchy subject."

"Nah, don't worry about it. I'm used to it by now." Dash laughed.

KiKi had returned to the window and had her face pressed to the cool glass again.

-We will be arriving at Barton Town within the next 15 minutes. Please stand-by.-

Everyone looked up at the speaker fixated on the ceiling of the cart.

"That was fast."

"It always is when you have someone to talk to." Frank grinned.

"We should meet up some time. I still have two weeks before college starts and I really don't know where anything is in Barton or Gaia, for that matter. Think you could help?"

"Sure. I'm positive that we'll see each other again."

"That's great! Do you have a phone or some why I can contact you?"

"I'm afraid not. Mobile phones aren't really my thing and I'm not really at home often."

"Too bad." Dash looked down. He got an idea and searched through his bag until he found a notepad and a pen. He scribbled something down on it and handed the paper to Frank.

"That's where I live. It's not much since I'm just now moving in but you can come by anytime you want."

Frank stared down at the piece of paper. His grip on it tightened until his knuckles turned white. He quickly stuffed it into a pocket of his coat and smiled back at Dash.

Moments later the sub slowed until it rolled out of the tunnel. It slowly rolled up to the platform of Barton Town until it halted.

-We have arrived at Barton Town. We hope your ride was pleasant. Please enjoy your stay in Gaia!-

"Looks like we're here, KiKi." Dash stood up after KiKi perched herself on his shoulder once again. Frank followed Dash out the door. Before Dash could get a good look of the place, dozens of people pushed passed him to board the sum he had just exited.

"Gahh! Hey! Watch it!" Dash pushed through the swarm of people until he made it to the back. He turned around and panted as he watched the people crowd into the sub. The doors closed and the sub slowly started back down the tracks until it was out of site. Dash looked back at KiKi and smiled. They continued to stand there until Dash yelled.

"Frank! Where are you?" Dash ran around the platform looking for any sign of Frank. Minutes passed and still Frank was missing.

"I hope he didn't get pushed back into the sub by the crowd. Poor guy."

KiKi crossed her arms and pouted. "I didn't like him, anyway. He was weird."

Dash stopped walking and looked at KiKi. "Look who is talking! What did he do to you?"

"You didn't notice? He was too happy! And when you mentioned all the weird reports he started acting funny. It was almost like he knew something…"

"KiKi, you're overreacting. Maybe he was just worried." Dash retorted as he dug through his bag to find the map of Barton he had brought with him. Upon finding it he smiled and yanked it out.

"Yeah, worried that he might get caught for what he did!"

Dash opened the map and looked around. He looked at a staircase, back to the map and started walking toward the stairs. "So, what? You think he's behind all the attacks? Why would he be coming here if he would want to get away and not be caught?"

"Maybe so he wouldn't look so suspicious?"

"Pft, sure. Whatever you say."

Dash made it to the top of the stairs and turned left. He continued until they were met with more stairs. At the top light spilled inward. "We're almost outside."

"Good. The air down here is giving me a headache."

Dash rolled his eyes but it went unnoticed since his shades blocked his eyes from view.

The two stepped into the warm streams of light. Dash held his hand up to shield his eyes as they stepped out into the open. They had come out right next to a giant arena, one you would expect to see in ancient Rome. KiKi looked up at it.

"Are you sure we didn't take a wrong turn back there?"

Dash ignored KiKi and scanned the area. Not too far from him was a building with a large windmill connected to its side. Farther behind it he could see a very tall building with a helicopter resting on the roof. Many large satellite dishes were also on the top of the same building.

"That must be the news station." Dash pointed towards it.

KiKi climbed on top of Dash's head as he walked towards what appeared to be the center of town. A large fountain stood in the middle of the open space. Pigeons flew across the sky, catching KiKi's attention. Her tail whipped back and forth.

Dash finally stopped and looked around. A large group of people crowded around a few men dressed in what appeared to be lab coats caught his eye. "I wonder what all the commotion is about."

KiKi looked towards the group as well. "Maybe they are looking for Frank, if that's even his real name."

Dash scoffed and slipped his hands under his shades to rub his eyes. "I wish you would stop that already."

After Dash straightened his shades he slowly walked toward the crowd.

"What are we supposed to do? These things are taking over everything! We can't even leave Barton anymore!" A woman from the crowd shouted. Many around her nodded in agreement.

"Yes, we understand this. However, we have finally come up with a way to defend ourselves. Why will you not listen and accept this help?" A woman in a lab coat argued.

"You expect us to prance around outside and use rings to defend ourselves? Take a moment to picture that!" A man from the crowd yelled out this time.

"These rings are the only known effective weapon against the monsters at this time."

A woman with her child glared and started to walk away from the group. "Come on, sweetie. Let's go get our things together. We're leaving the city."

"She's right! We have no choice but to leave. It won't be long and the monsters will be in Barton, too!"

The group of people started shouting while those in lab coats tried to calm everyone down. Dash and KiKi stood dumbfounded. The reports were true. He now understood why so many people we're on the sub that came from Gaia.

Dash sighed and turned around. He walked out of the town square and down the path leading to the south of town.

"You there!" A voice boomed at him. Dash paused and looked around. He spun around and was met with a huge armored person.

"Wha!" Dash stumbled back in surprise. KiKi screeched and tumbled off of Dash's head. She landed perfectly on the ground next to him.

Dash looked up at the man who was currently towering over him. He was like a wall compared to Dash."M-me?"

"Yes, you! Who else?"

"Good point. Is there something I can help you with?" Dash straightened himself, a little intermediated by the man in front of him.

"You're new here, aren't you?"

"Yes, we are. We just got here actually."

"I knew it. You probably have no idea what's going on here, either."

"I might have heard a thing or two about monsters attacking people, but that's it."

"You heard right! Here, take this. You'll need it in case you see any of them." The man forced a small ring into Dash's hand before Dash could protest. Dash stared down at the ring.

"How is this supposed to help?"

"No time for questions! If you want more information, meet me down in Village Greens." He pointed to the south gate of town. "Just follow the path until you see another giant wall. I'll be near there."

"Okay." Dash looked down at the ring again. "So, what's your nam-"

Dash looked up to see that the man was already gone. He slapped his forehead.

"Why does everyone I talk to disappear? It's like I'm cursed or something."

"You're not cursed, Dash. I saw him go out the gate while you were eyeing the ring. He's pretty fast for a big guy…" KiKi informed Dash as she climbed back on his head.

"He still disappeared… Whatever." Dash clutched the ring in his fist and stomped off toward the gate. Standing on either side of it were two guards also wearing armor. They eyed him as he strolled past.

"Be careful out there." One of them said. Dash looked over his shoulder and nodded as he continued walking.