Chapter 2
Getting to know you

After the disaster in the MasterDome, Alex, Fidget and Grinder searched the entire place with no luck. Finally, Alex decided to contact Grey. He activated his watch.
"Hey Simon, can you get anything in that plant? I have a feeling that it was just a diversion."
"It seems to be an ordinary houseplant with a few altered properties. Almost like it was mutated." Alex scowled.
"How is that going to help me find Rikki and Brandon?" He said to himself. "It might be a clue," Grey responded, "Can you think of anyone who uses plants and chemicals?" Alex thought back to the rainforest. Gangrene. "As a matter of fact, I can," he said while turning off the watch. He walked toward Grinder and Fidget.
"We have to go back to the rainforest. I think I know who took Brandon and Rikki."
"Sure," Grinder said, "But that will take at least a day."
"I don't care." Alex said as he walked into Big Air. Nothing was going to stop him from getting his friends back.

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Rikki and Brandon walked down away from the lab until Rikki suddenly. "Just where exactly are we going? Do you even know?" He demanded. Brandon looked around.

"Sure I do." Rikki glared at him.
"Um, we're going downhill." Rikki threw his arms up.
"I knew it! We're lost! We're never going to be found! We're doomed to wander this forest forever!"
"Is there a problem?" asked a voice behind them. They both turned around to see a dark-skinned women standing right there.
"Allow me to introduce myself," she said, "I am Maria Montez. From the looks of it, I'd say you were lost."
"Yes," Brandon said, "Do you know where the nearest city is?" Rikki interrupted. "How did you know we were here?" he blurted. Maria stared at him.
"Well, for one thing you were making enough noise to wake the dead. I just came up to see what you were screaming about." Rikki looked embarrassed.
"Anyway, there is a trail just a little ways down. I will show you." She lead them down to the trail.

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Gangrene awoke. He was just standing in the hallway. He sensed something was amiss. He walked over to the locked room only to discover that the door was broken and the prisoners had escaped. With a yell, he quickly went to the plant. It was dead, chopped to pieces by an axe. He screamed. "You did this, didn't you Greenhorn?!" There was no answer. He smiled. "No matter. I have a trick up my sleeve. And not even you will be able to stop it!" Quickly, he went to work.

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Maria stopped. It was a very wide trail, leading to the base of the mountain. "The nearest city is a few days away. Just follow the trail." With that, she headed in the opposite direction.
"Thanks!" Brandon yelled after her. Then he and Rikki started the journey downhill. They walked in silence for a long while.
"It's a nice day, isn't it?" He asked. Brandon didn't say anything.
"Yep. Not a cloud in the sky." Still nothing. Rikki let out a frustrated sigh. "You know, you could say something!"
"Like what?" Brandon said in an irratated tone.
"I don't know! Just anything. Don't you think it's better then walking in silence?"
"Yes. But I certainly don't want to talk about the weather!" Brandon said angrily.
"We could use this time to get to knew each other better."
"That's actually a good idea." Rikki smiled.
"So. What do you want to tell me about yourself?"
"I don't know. Ask me something." Rikki thought for a moment.
"What's your favorite color?" Brandon sighed.
"Purple." Deciding to go along with it, Brandon asked a question of his own. "What's your favorite food?"
"I've always liked grilled cheese sandwiches. What's your favorite drink?"
"Coffee. What's your favorite desert?" They continued this for a long time. They asked about their favorite animal, car, plant, tree, donut movie, tv series, sport, book, type of music and anything else they could think of.
"Ugh, I need a break," Rikki said breaking the chain of questions. He sat down on a nearby rock. Brandon stopped.
"Come on, we've only been walking for an hour and a half."
"Well, Excuse me! I'm not an athlete like you! When I say I need a break, I NEED A BREAK!!" Rikki stared straight ahead.
"Fine." Brandon said coldly. He sat on a rock next to Rikki's.
Rikki regretted yelling at Brandon. He turned to apologize but seeing the anger in Brandon's face made him afraid to say anything. He looked ahead again. He wondered why they always got along together on the team. He realized it was because they rarely ever talked to each other. Well, he thought, I guess we're making progress. After a twenty minute rest they were on the road again.
"So, what's your favorite color?" Rikki said, getting into the question game again.
"You asked that already. I have a better question. When did you first meet Simon Grey?"
"Well, it was a week after you had been captured by Dr. X. To be precise, I didn't actually see him until the incident was just about over. When Grey told him he couldn't look after us, Alex told him it was all of us, or none of us."
"But why did you chose to remain with him. Action and adventure isn't really your specialty."
"I did help when Asazi and Dr.X were broadcasting those phony news reports." Rikki said sharply. "Besides, he's my friend." Then he said, under his breath, "Which is more than I can say about you." Brandon froze, and turned around.
"What was that?!" Rikki grew angry.
"Well, you get him arrested for terrorism. And you did try to kill him!" "Y-you don't know the whole story!" Brandon spat out.
"Oh? And would you care to inform me of your reasons?!" Brandon said nothing. Rikki snorted.
"I thought so." He walked past Brandon and continued on the path. Behind him, Brandon's face was full of anger. Then it faded into sadness. With a depressed sigh, he followed Rikki.
They had walked for a few hours when they come across a rope bridge. They stopped.
"Heh. It looks kinda unstable." Rikki said nervously. "We have to cross it if we want to get to the city." Brandon reminded him. "Yeah. I can do this." He slowly walked onto the bridge and took a couple of steps. Without warning, the plank below him gave way. He fell through but grabbed another plank at the last minute. Dangling, he started sceaming. Brandon quickly grabbed Rikki's hand.
"Don't let go!" Rikki screamed.
"I won't." Brandon assured him. Slowly but surely he lifted Rikki and they both walked off the bridge on to the dirt.
"I can't do it! I can't walk across." Rikki said, trembling.
"We have to. It's the only way to the city. If we go off the trail, we'll get lost."
"I can't do it." He repeated.
"Yes you can. I'll be right behind you." After a few minutes Rikki said, "Okay." They went back on the bridge. Rikki stepped over the hole that had been made moments ago. Step by step they went across. When they were almost to the other side, the bridge creaked.
The rope was breaking.
"We gonna die!" Rikki screamed.
"Keep going! Just a few more feet!" Rikki froze.
"Jump!"
"I can't!" He sobbed. Suddenly he felt something push him. He fell face flat with solid ground. He whirled to see the bridge break in two right at that moment. He turned to Brandon.
"You saved my life! THANK you, thank you, thank you, thank you!"

Chapter 3
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