The Kingdoms of Fallen Stars

Making Grand Escapes

The group struggled as they were dragged into the mountain, forced onto their knees once inside, within the very center. Their hands were bound, and even if they wanted to fight, they watched helplessly as monkey men lifted Tooth's cage with her inside, hanging it back on the large hook mounted upon the inner wall.

They needed to do whatever they could to save her now, even if it meant cooperating with the Queen.

"Hans, search them for any hidden weapons..." The Queen commanded, going over to Turbo to whisper something to him.

Hans went over to Sandy first, checking him over and deeming he had no physical weapons on his person. He then went over to Emily, who was conscious now. She glared darkly at him, her arms prickling with thorns.

"Attempt to touch me, human, and you shall suffer the consequences." Emily growled.

Bunny sneered at Hans from beside her, but narrowed his eyes when Hans held out a hand, producing a small flame. "Well, if your whole body is a weapon, then I'll have to destroy your entire form. I don't think you want that."

Bunny struggled against his binds. "Like bloody hell you will!"

Hans glared at him, going over to forcefully unhook his weapon belt. He then reared it back like a whip, smacking Bunny hard in the face with it before handing it off to a monkey minion. He then proceeded to Jack, pursing his lip. "You had a walking stick with you. Where is it?"

Jack scoffed. "Gee, I don't know, I must have lost track of it on the way to this fantasy resort."

Hans grabbed Jack by his shirt collar, shaking him a bit. "Don't you trifle with me, lowly scum!" He shouted before shoving him back. Alice widened her eyes wrathfully, trying to get to her feet. Hans quickly stopped her, moving towards her. "Hm... what could you be hiding... and where?" He smirked.

"Try anything funny and I assure you, you'll regret it." Alice spat.

"Hm... you're not really in any power to say that, are you...?" Hans asked, removing a glove to trace his thumb along her face. When it graced along her bottom lip, Alice growled, baring her teeth before biting down on it hard. Hans hissed in pain, yanking his hand back before looking down at it in shock. He chuckled lowly then, still wincing a bit from the pain. "So, that's how this is going to be, is it?" He asked, going back around to stand behind her, his hand moving her hair behind her ears. Alice's pupils shrunk as her anger boiled over, giving his hand a death glare as it moved down her neck, along her shoulder, threatening to slip under her dress collar. "I'm sure you're hiding something under here..." Hans said as Alice managed to twist herself just enough to be able to elbow Hans somewhere quite unpleasant. The arrogant prince cried out painfully, falling right to his knees behind her as he crawled to the side. He curled up, whipping his head around to shoot her a glare. "You are going to..." He winced. "... pay dearly for that...!"

"Enough!" The Queen shouted, approaching the group. "Where is the rest of your party?"

"I don't have to answer any of your questions, you slime ball!" Bunny shouted.

Turbo nearly lunged at him, the Queen holding up a hand to stop him. She nodded to one of the monkey men holding the shock pole they had used on Tooth. Bunny was taken off guard when they went up behind him, crying out painfully when he was shocked. "Oh, I'm sorry... I didn't quite hear what you said... care to repeat yourself?"

Emily screamed loudly then, thorns coming out of her hands to sever her ropes. As she shot forward towards the Queen, she smirked when the Phoenix came to her aid, spewing fire at Emily to subdue her. As she curled up, too weak to fight back against him, Bunny's breath hitched as his heart lurched in his chest.

"No, Emily! EMILY!" He screamed, monkey men having to hold him back despite his hands being tied.

"You can either answer my questions, or you can watch her burn!" The Queen hissed.

"A- Alright, fine, FINE!" Bunny screamed desperately. "Tell it to stop, please!"

The Queen snapped her fingers, the Phoenix ceasing its attack. Emily breathed wheezily, laboriously, as she lay on the ground. Her form was grey, crackling, as if she were turning to ashes.

"I love when noble individuals are reduced to pleading, broken wrecks." The Queen chuckled. "Now, let me pose my question again; where... is the rest of your party?"

"We told Pitch to sod off because he told us about the deal he made with you. Elsa went wherever he went, and Ralph and Vanellope went along their own way too. What happened after that, I don't know. We went to sleep, we woke up, and there you lot were!" Bunny replied.

"Now, was that so hard...?" The Queen asked. "We shall send out a search team later on to check the premises..." She noted out loud. "Now... I've been pondering what I could possibly do with you all when I would finally find opportunity to place you in captivity. I suppose I could just test the boundaries of your physical endurance... but I don't think that's quite enough to satisfy me." She tapped her chin. "No, you've given me far too much of a hard time to settle with just that. Luckily, I have something that will torture you even further... well, at least two of you. As for the rest of you, it shall be easy to come up with something; you're all so easy to work with. Someone who loves always has something to lose."

"Just proceed with whatever you have planned and get it over with!" Alice shouted.

The Queen glanced at her, chuckling darkly. "As you wish." She looked to Hans, now recovered from his... prior injury. "We'll start by introducing them to our new guest... she's royalty now after all, they should come to acknowledge her as such."

"Gladly, your highness." Hans replied, shooting Alice a glare before disappearing deeper into the mountain.

The Queen continued to pace back and forth, wearing a slight grin as her gown dragged along the floor. "You see, my little Alice... there is a reason why my empire has arisen, and yours has fallen. You try to do things the right way, the honorable way. The way of love, and truth. But I told you once before, when we first faced off against each other; this world is only meant for raw, well-ordered, ruthless individuals. All others are doomed to be squashed by the iron fists of those who retain those qualities. Unless, of course... such individuals were to join them." She smirked, glancing to the side when Hans returned. "Ah... how precious. My tentacles twist with joyous pride!"

Small, red heels clicked along the stone ground as Eliza, the Red Queen, made her way into their midst beside Hans. Her expression was stoic, emotionless, her face painted red as her hair was done up in a neat bun, a crown upon her head. She wore a red dress that made her almost look like a chess piece. She carried her clover shaped scepter, stopping in front of the group.

If she had not appeared so drastically different than when either of them had seen her last, Alice and Jack would have never recognized her. But her heart and mind, like her appearance, had been reformed, metamorphosed in the Queen's image. Her spine was straight, her head held up high. Her eyes burned into theirs, and they were all reduced to silence as they questioned whether or not the girl before them was reality or imagination.

"You've got to be joking..." Bunny muttered under his breath, a monkey minion hissing as they prodded his shoulder with a spear.

"May I introduce to you all... my ward, and heir to my throne. The new Red Queen, who shall rule alongside me upon my empire's completion." The Queen gestured to her as Eliza stepped forward.

Jack bit his lip, shaking his head in disbelief. "Eliza... hey, come on, this... you're just joking right? You... you know this is wrong... come on, look at me... we're your family, we've been fighting to try to protect you..." His voice shook a bit, furrowing his brows deeply. "Eliza, talk to me..."

Ignoring Jack's pleading, knowing it would do no good, Alice's eyes burned into the Queen's. "What did you do to her?" She asked lowly.

The Queen shrugged. "She simply sought my counsel; those who were in charge of her care in your absence did not satisfy her, so she decided to affiliate with me instead."

"Give her back to me..." Alice's eyes became crazed, and monkey men had to hold her down as she was pushed past the boundaries of her sanity. "GIVE HER BACK TO ME!"

"You dare to disrespect your Queen!" Eliza shouted. "You shall be punished for your insolence!"

"Eliza, listen to yourself, this isn't you! You would never turn against us like this!" Jack cried.

"I will sever every last putrid tentacle from your body and watch you writhe, I will murder you in cold blood, you heartless BITCH!" Alice shrieked, her screams animalistic as she thrashed about. The monkey men could barely restrain her as she fought against them, about to lose control of her when Eliza stepped forward. She waved her scepter to the side, Alice flying in the direction Eliza pointed it and colliding into the mountain wall harshly. As she landed onto the ground with a thud, her vision became blurry and her hearing muffled as her eyes became half lidded. She could just barely hear Jack crying something out at Eliza before he too was flown to the side, skidding to a stop a few feet from her. As he pushed himself towards Alice with his feet, the last thing she heard was him calling her name, as if from far away, before she fell into unconsciousness.

Vanellope parked the mega kart over on a rockier part of the mountain where it was a bit more difficult to see and access. She glitched Ralph over to a safer area where they climbed up the side. Luckily, no monkey men were posted to guard, all of them inside the mountain instead to help maintain their new prisoners. When they reached the top, glancing over the peak where the downward slope dipped down on the other side, they exchanged glances when they saw monkey minions and a few card guards in the lighter areas, and the eerie glow of the cybugs in the darker areas.

"There's a lot of bad guys down there." Vanellope said quietly.

"I'll say… how in the heck are we supposed to sneak them out of there?" Ralph asked.

"'We' are not sneaking them out. I am sneaking them out. You can stand by here and help everyone to the kart." Vanellope replied.

"Woah, woah, hang on a second. You are NOT going in there by yourself." Ralph said.

"Come on Ralph, you're my pal and all, but you're not the lightest on your toes, and someone is bound to notice some big, blocky guy walking around the joint." Vanellope replied flatly.

"Hey, I am not blocky." Ralph sighed. "But you have a point… it's just, what if you run into trouble and I'm not in there to help you?" Ralph frowned.

"I'll glitch myself out of any trouble I get myself into. If things get super bad, then you can come after me, okay?" She asked.

"Well, I don't want things to GET to that point but…" He sighed worriedly. "Fine. I'm going to be a nervous wreck until you get back though. No pun intended."

"Yeah, yeah, okay mom…" Vanellope rolled her eyes playfully. "Just stay put and leave the sneaking up to me."

As Ralph stood by and awaited her return anxiously, Vanellope glitched into the mountain, hiding behind large rocks and in tucked away corners. Her eyes darted all around, keeping watch of passing monkey men and card guards. As she kept up the search for her friends, she hoped she would find them alive, and soon, without running into any sort of trouble.

Meanwhile, Alice had awoken from being knocked out too long ago, glancing over at Jack forlornly. He winced as he tried to move over enough to be close to her.

"Jack… what have we done?" She asked, her voice strained.

He sighed lightly. "It's not what we did, it's what we didn't do. We didn't protect the people that needed us the most… and I didn't make sure the Queen was gone for good back in London when I had the chance."

"Em…" Bunny nudged her lightly with his elbow, grunting as he turned himself a bit more towards her. They were chained to the wall now, and the Pooka gasped as a cybug skittered over in the shadows to poke her with one of its front legs. "Hey! Scram!" He shouted, his brows furrowing deeply as his voice shook. "Leave her alone!" He kicked it in the face with his foot, making it hiss and retreat further into the low light. "Emily… come on, you have to wake up… they're thinking you're…"

Sandy rested on his side, absolutely devastated. All of his friends, his Tooth, were in this situation and he was helpless to stop it. One wrong move, and Tooth's life would be taken without a second thought. He was always chipper and optimistic… but regardless of what he tried to convince himself, he could find no hope or light to keep his morale strong.

"Jack… I knew this fact many years ago… and I was a fool to have thought it would change." Alice sighed, hanging her head. "Everyone I love… everyone I hold dear… dies a horrible, violent death."

"Don't say that." Jack said, trying to maintain faith that they would get out of this somehow. "We'll get through this. I thought it was all over when I lost you that day in the tundra, and-"

"This is DIFFERENT, Jack!" Alice exclaimed. "We are all captured, Tooth's life is hanging by a thread, Eliza has been poisoned against us with the Queen's venomous words and heaven knows the conditions of Arendelle and the remaining guardians!"

Vanellope bit her lip, finding herself wandering into the darker part of the mountain, where the Queen, Eliza, and Turbo dwelled with the cybugs and some card guards. When she heard a familiar voice, she gasped inaudibly to herself.

"That sounds like Alice…" Vanellope whispered, trying to listen closer to determine the direction it was coming from.

As Bunny tried all he could to help Emily, his ears flickered when he heard something. He looked into the darkness, squinting his eyes. "Who's there? You leave us alone!" He shouted.

"I think I'm the last person you want to say that to!" Vanellope whispered, smiling when she came into the low light.

"Blimey, it's Vanellope!" Bunny's ears perked up, elbowing Jack and getting everyone's attention. "What are you doing here, you little ankle biter? You're a sight for sore eyes!"

"Be quiet! Anyone of those stupid heads could be around here!" She gasped when she heard cybugs hissing nearby.

"How are you going to manage to sneak us all out of here, exactly?" Alice asked. "It's a miracle you made it down here unscathed as it is."

Sandy beamed; finally, a ray of hope had shone down upon them!

"You guys, come on… you don't give me enough credit!" Vanellope chirped. She glitched each one out of their chains, Alice and Jack nursing their wrists as Bunny took an unconscious Emily into his arms. "Okay. I'm going to glitch you guys out of this creepy place, okay? Ralph is waiting for you outside with the mega kart."

Sandy felt a new swell in vigor within him then, shaking his head. Alice gasped upon his communication to her.

"Are you mad?! Staying here would be suicide!" She exclaimed.

"Wait, what? Are you kidding me, Sandy?" Jack's eyes widened.

Alice's expression softened then, sighing lightly. "I suppose you're right."

"What? What is it?" Bunny asked.

"Sandy is opting to stay here… he said he will not leave until he can get Tooth and bring her to safety." Alice said. "He knows any of us would do the same for our loved one."

Bunny sighed, giving him a nod. "Sandy… just be careful, alright, mate? Don't go killing yourself again."

"Alright, there's no time to waste. Let's do this as quietly as possible and not be seen." Alice said.

"Uh, I think we're a little too late for that." Vanellope commented, looking around as suddenly, dozens of eyes glowed eerily in the darkness. The cybugs began to hiss, charging towards them. As Alice whipped out her vorpal blade, Sandy dove in front of her, telling them he would take the heat. Before Alice could protest, Vanellope cried out. "Bunny, hold Jack's hand!"

"Okay… why am I doing this now-" He was cut off when Vanellope glitched him, Emily, Alice and Jack out of the darkness, keeping up her rapid pace as she finally reached the peak of the slope.

Back in the cave, Sandy held his own until he was snatched up by Turbo, the cybrid shaking him. "What's going on here? Where are the others, how did they get out of here?!"

"Now Turbo, let me handle this." The Queen said as she approached, Turbo holding out a hand.

"You don't need the stress. I can squeeze the juice out of this stupid little-"

"I know what my body can or cannot handle." The Queen said, narrowing her eyes at Sandy. "Give him what he wants for now. Lock him in the cage with the fairy. You and I shall take our forces and hunt the others down."

Turbo growled, baring his teeth as he reared his hand back, tossing poor Sandy right into a wall and knocking him out.

"Ralph!" Vanellope cried out as they made their way down the outer side of the mountain. "Ralph, I've got them!"

"Vanellope!" Ralph hurried over to them, waving Bunny on as he carried Emily.

Jack whirled around when Alice stopped suddenly, looking back towards the mountain. "Alice come on! They're bound to notice we're gone!"

"… Eliza… I can't leave her in there." Alice said quietly.

"Nonononono, Alice, we cannot go back in there right now. Listen to me, we have to go!" Jack said, taking her shoulders and turning her towards him.

"Jack… she's… they took her from us… she's just a little girl… she can't hold her own with all of those monsters!" Alice shook her head, on the verge of tears.

"Look, I want to fly back in there and snatch her up just like you do Alice, but we can't do that right now! If we're killed on sight, then NO one will be able to save her! They're not going to hurt her, so at least we don't have to worry about that until we can come back and have a better chance of fighting against them." Jack said.

Alice scoffed. "No…" She shook her head. "They already have." She exhaled sharply, sparing one last glance behind her as a swell of sound began to erupt from inside. They then ran to the mega kart, getting inside.

"Jack, we found your staff!" Vanellope said as she started up the vehicle.

"Oh wow, you are the best!" Jack exclaimed, taking it from the back of the kart.

"Uh, kid?" Ralph asked.

"Yeah Ralph?" Vanellope replied, putting her kart into gear.

"You may want to start putting the pedal to the metal right about now." Ralph said. When they all looked out the windows, Alice stepping up to open the sunroof and look behind them, they all widened their eyes.

Cascading down the outer slope of the mountain, monkey men driving some of the cybugs that had reshaped themselves into cars while the rest joined Turbo and the Phoenix in flight, the Queen mounted on Turbo's back, and card guards soaring on their flying cards along with Hans, were all making their way straight towards the single vehicle the heroes were now inhabiting.

"Sweet mother of monkey's milk, literally!" Vanellope piped, gulping as she slammed the gasp petal down.

"SEIZE THEM!" The Queen screeched, pointing her scepter forward.

"Alright kid, just concentrate on driving, okay? We have a good distance ahead of them and at least we don't have any trees to worry about-" Ralph cleared his throat, catching himself as Bunny narrowed his eyes. "… sorry."

"I wouldn't say that too soon!" Alice called out, Jack poking his head out the side window to see that the monkey minions were quickly gaining up on them. "Jack, you have your staff back, and I suggest you prepare yourself to use it!"

"Seems like we don't have much of a choice, do we?" Jack replied, gasping when card guards began to dive towards them, throwing their spears. "Look out!"

He and Alice ducked, Vanellope crying out as the sharp points pierced the vehicle. "I'm taking fire over here!" She shouted.

"Ralph, how good is your aim?" Alice called out to him.

"Uh, okay, I guess?" Ralph replied.

"Take anything that hits this car and cast it back at them; your brute strength won't do any good now because you can't reach their distance otherwise!" Alice called back. "Jack, cover me!"

"You got it!" He replied, grabbing his staff and hopping out the window to shoot ice sparks at the card guards.

As he knocked them off their flying cards, Alice stuck her upper body out of the sun roof, closing one eye as she wielded her pepper corn gun. She aimed, turning the crank as she began to shoot at the monkey minions and their cybug "cars" gaining up on them. More came up to replace them however, Maharaja shouting at them as they began to shoot arrows at them. Bunny ducked down inside the vehicle, holding Emily flush against him to avoid any attacks. Ralph stuck his hand out the window, yanking spears out of the metal and hurling them at anyone who came within his range of sight.

Hans narrowed his eyes, conjuring a fireball and shooting it straight for Alice. She deflected it with her umbrella, smirking at him. He growled, continuing to send fireballs hurling towards them. Vanellope was no amateur however, zig zagging a bit while still maintaining her speeds.

Jack knocked down another card guard, trying to keep up with the car as he hovered near it. When he saw the Phoenix and Hans gaining on him, Turbo and the Queen not far behind, he groaned.

"Man, I could really use Elsa right now…" Jack said to himself, dodging an attack by the Phoenix.

Inside the vehicle, Emily began to slowly open her eyes, Bunny gasping.

"Em? Emily, are you okay?" He asked, patting her face.

As she sat up, her eyes widened as she witnessed all of the chaos around her. However, as she realized the barren land they were travelling upon was once her forest, her teeth clenched, looking up at him.

"They shall pay… they shall pay for their spite against me…" She said lowly, and Bunny noticed dark clouds gathering in the sky out the window as the wind outside picked up.

Alice shot another wad of hot, boiling tea at the Phoenix, trying to keep him at bay as Jack and Hans sent their attacks flying at each other. Monkey men began catching up to the mega kart, hopping off the cybugs and onto the sides as they tried to get into the windows.

"Alice, your knife!" Bunny shouted.

As she quickly handed the bladed weapon to him, Bunny held Emily with one arm, stabbing and kicking at monkey minions as they tried to climb into the vehicle. Ralph grunted, rearing his hand back as he sucker punched any who attempted to attack him or Vanellope. As all of this was happening, Emily looked upon the barren landscape, anger and despair filling her as the pressure threatened to overload her senses. When a clash of thunder echoed in the air, Bunny glanced out the window as lightning began to light up the skies. He looked back down at Emily, her expression dark as suddenly, rain began to hit the windshield. Alice gasped when Jack got hit hard by one of Hans's attacks, growling as she soared right towards him. Wielding her hobby horse, she shrieked as she reared it back, knocking him right off his card before he could even react. As he cascaded down, a couple of cybugs broke his fall, remaining stationary as he mounted one of them. He shouted to go after them, the cybug answering his command.

The Phoenix screeched loudly, the rain falling heavier and thunder crashing louder in the sky. It was dousing him, reducing the effectiveness of his attacks. Jack took this opportunity to attack him, keeping him away from the mega kart. Alice whirled around, diving straight towards the Queen. Turbo growled as he swiped his arms, the heavy rain making it harder to see as Alice unleashed her fury. The Queen hissed, using her tentacles to try to defend herself. Turbo felt helpless, wanting to simply dodge Alice at this point, but he knew if his movements were too jerky, he could possibly knock the Queen off of him. He tried to speed up away from Alice, but the angered young woman would not have it. Alice grazed the Queen's face with her hobby horse, nearly flinging her off Turbo's back as her head spun round. She held her hands up defensively, her tentacles wrapping around the outside of her dress up to her chest.

"Please! Let us be!" She shouted.

"You dare to make such a request of me!" Alice shouted above the wind and rain. "I will destroy every last fiber of you and you shall never cause harm to another again!" Alice reared her hobby horse back, about to strike the Queen down when she felt herself being spun around in the air.

The last thing she saw was Hans' eyes burning into hers, holding one of the monkey minions' metal poles. He stared at her darkly as he held her arm with one hand, the other shooting forward as the Queen witnessed the metal prongs pierce Alice's face.

When Jack heard Alice's frantic shrieking, he gasped, whirling around to see her being electrocuted. "NO!" He screamed, his voice cracking as Hans shoved Alice away from him. He grinned darkly as he watched her fall, nodding to the Queen.

Jack dove down, catching Alice before she could hit the ground and holding her close to him. She was no longer conscious, and tears poured from his eyes when he saw her state.

Meanwhile, the rain began to fall harder, hail cascading down with it. Vanellope began to whimper, wincing when she heard monkey minions not far outside her window. "Ralph, they're right there!" She cried.

"Just keep focusing on driving, kid, I'll handle the bad guys!" Ralph replied.

"But Ralph, I can't even see anything!" Vanellope exclaimed. "It's too dark even with the flood lights!"

"Just concentrate, okay?" Ralph said as he sucker punched another minion. "Everything's gonna be fine!"

Jack practically shoved himself and Alice in through one of the windows, soaking wet and gasping for air. "Alice is hurt, she's hurt really bad!"

When Bunny saw Alice's state, his hand shot to his mouth. "What the bloody hell happened to her?!" He gasped, finding it difficult to look at her.

Emily gazed upon Alice, a part of her feeling somber towards her. Alice had been understanding, and though she had been human once, she had no doubt that Alice was honorable and resilient.

Just then, As Vanellope continued to try to drive away, glass smashed inwards from her window, a monkey minion cackling as his hands shot in to try to pull Vanellope out. "RALPH!" She screeched.

"You leave her alone!" Ralph shouted, about to stop it when something yanked him back, the car jerking to the right from the force. Ralph struggled as Maharaja himself restrained the wrecker, shouting to his minion.

"Okhin avakh, tom amitny tüüniig avchrakh!" He shouted.

"No, let go of me!" Vanellope struggled, trying to glitch away but the monkey minion was relentless as her legs were already halfway out the window. She grabbed the wheel to hang onto it, the kart swerving to and fro.

"Vanellope!" Ralph shouted as he tried to pull away from Maharaja.

Bunny whipped out his boomerang, about to aim for the monkey minion when a back window broke, another monkey minion trying to nab Jack's staff. He was forced to help the ice guardian instead, Vanellope's grip on the wheel loosening. Emily gazed upon the scene, slowly rising into a seated position as her eyes narrowed. As the monkey minion cackled, yanking Vanellope out of the car and about to restrain her, vines shot out from inside the kart, grabbing Vanellope and yanking her back in. The child gasped for air, in shock as Emily placed her back into the seat.

"Resume your prior objective, leave the vile creatures to me!" Her voice began to deepen in a hiss, dark aura enveloping her as she gripped the sides of the window. As the monkey minion tried to attack her, Bunny cried out, fearing she would be too weak to defend herself. As he reached out however, Emily emitted an ear piercing scream, dark green vines snaking down her eyes as thunder crashed in the sky. They wrapped around the monkey minion, the creature unable to escape them despite his thrashing. As he choked from the strangulation, Emily growled as she tightened her grip on the sides of the window. Suddenly, large, sharp thorns emerged on the vines, impaling the monkey minion to death. As they retracted, she tossed him into another one approaching the kart from behind, knocking them both back as they sped on. As her vined retreated back to her, Emily groaned as she collapsed. Bunny gasped, catching her as she passed out from expending so much of her power.

"No, we cannot lose them now!" The Queen shouted, Turbo speeding towards them. His claws outstretched, he grinned wickedly as he threatened to grab the vehicle from off the ground.

"I'm gonna crush you into road kill, you suckers!" He growled, his claws grazing the roof and leaving deep scratches in the metal as he tried to grab it.

Ralph was still struggling with Maharaja, getting an idea. "Jack!" Ralph cried, the ice guardian trying to shoot ice sparks at him from the back window, but kept missing. "Let up for a second!" He shouted. He pulled himself forward, grunting as he slammed his back into the side of the kart. This slightly loosened the monkey king's grip, allowing Ralph to turn around to try to grab him. Maharaja jumped onto the roof, crying out as his sword impaled the roof, the blade just missing Bunny's head.

"Crikey!" He exclaimed, his heart pounding.

Ralph jumped up on the roof, trying to keep his balance. "Hey troll face!" Ralph shouted as Maharaja yanked his sword out of the roof. "Eat bugs!" He shouted, rearing his hand back as Maharaja charged at him. He sucker punched him hard, the monkey king slamming right into Turbo's face as he was about to sink his claws into the kart. The two flew backwards, the Queen crying out as the impact tossed her off of Turbo's back. As she went soaring down, Hans cried out to one of the cybugs, the creature diving down to catch her. The impact slowed them down, Ralph watching from the roof as they sped away.

Turbo flew down to the Queen, taking note of her condition and placing her back on him when he deemed she was alright. He growled as the others drove farther ahead of them, swearing under his breath. "I was so close!" He growled.

"Let them gain a lead on us for now." The Queen narrowed her eyes as another crack of thunder sounded, rain continuing to pour. "We still have the sandman and the fairy in our captivity; if they wish to see them alive again, they will give themselves to us." Maharaja mounted one of the cybugs, the Queen turning to the rest of her forces. "Come! Let us retreat, the Phoenix is weakening!"

They all turned back, leaving the heroes to get away for now. Though most of them had made it relatively unscathed, the same could not be said for Alice, Jack choking back a sob as he tore off a piece of her dress hem to wrap around her face.

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