"Scout Master Jenny, I think we're lost." a young blonde girl said to the dark haired woman holding up the map before looking at her two sisters.
"I think you're right." Scout Master Jenny sighed before tossing the map on the ground and slumping up against a tree. "I don't know how this could have happened. We were on the right track a second ago!"
The rest of the young girls in the group groaned as they dropped their stuff and sat down on the ground. The sun was setting and it was about to get dark soon. They were surrounded by forest all around.
"Great, now we'll never make it to Peppermint Park!" the young blonde girl sighed as she hugged her knees and leaned up against one of her sisters. "Our summer is ruined"
"Lexus, it's okay." her sister told her as she brushed her hair.
"Yeah! We'll get there soon, this is just a minor set back!" a girl with messy red hair smiled hopefully.
"Shut up, Emily!" Lexus hissed.
"Hey! Now's not the time to be fighting!" A young girl with brown hair tied back in a half ponytail scolded as she brought her small white dog up on her lap.
"Should we set up camp here, Scout Master Jenny?" Lexus's other sister asked.
"I suppose." the scout leader nodded. "Lexus, Lori, and Lisa, you set up the tents. Emily and Jackie you can help me start a fire. Sandy, you can get the food ready to get cooked as soon as we make the fire."
All the girls nodded and set out to do their tasks. Once Emily, Jackie, and Scout Master Jenny got the fire going, Sandy went ahead and handed everyone a stick and a hot dog to cook over the fire. Once everyone got a hot dog and stick, they sat around the fire to cook their hot dogs. The blonde sisters huddled together for warmth. Emily happily whistled to herself. Scout Master Jenny sighed and rested her cheek against her palm, wondering where she went wrong with looking at the map. She figured as soon as she gets everyone settled into their tents she'd take another look at the map to see where she may have made a mistake.
"You know, it's not all that bad! This is kinda fun, actually!" Emily giggled.
"I'd rather have been at Peppermint Park by now!" Lexus groaned.
"I heard their cabins are full of candy!" Lori gave a half smile. "Too bad we aren't there now."
"Relax, like Emily said, it's a minor set back!" Sandy reminded them as she ripped a piece off her hot dog and gave it to her puppy.
"Agreed, for now, we'll relax here for the night. First thing in the morning we'll be back on track to Peppermint Park!" Scout Master Jenny reassured them.
"Can we sing campfire songs?" Lisa asked.
"Oh c'mon Lisa!" Lexus rolled her eyes.
"I think campfire songs are a great way to help us relax and take our minds off of getting lost!" Emily clapped and giggled.
"Yeah, c'mon Lexus, don't me such a sour puss!" Lori smiled at her sister and pinched her cheek.
"Alright alright!" Lexus sighed before giving a half smile.
They began to sing scout songs they learned in their Little Miss Scout class before their current field trip. Everyone except Jackie, who remained silent but vigilent. She had a bad gut feeling the minute everyone realized they were lost. Something wasn't right about the woods, but she knew if she said something they would tell her she's being crazy or a party pooper. She carefully watched the other girls sing their songs, scanned the woods behind them, and looked at Sandy's dog Flufferz.
Suddenly, the hair on Flufferz's back stood up as the dog quickly got up and began to growl. Sandy stopped singing to tend to her pooch. "What's wrong Flufferz?" she asked.
Everyone stopped singing and looked at the dog with worried looks on their faces. Flufferz went toward the trees and began to bark. Everyone got up and tried to see what the dog was barking and growling at. Suddenly, they heard a low, gutteral moan coming from the direction the dog was barking towards. The dog quickly whimpered and retreated into Sandy's arms.
"W-What was that?" Lexus shivered and held onto Lori and Lisa.
"I don't know..." Scout Master Jenny stepped in front of all the girls before calling out into the woods. "H-Hello?"
As soon as she called out, something stepped out of the woods. It looked like a person, but it wasn't quite a person. Their skin looked rotted, their hair was falling out, and they were walking with a limp. The strange being let out another low moan.
The girls huddled together, looking at the being with frightened expressions.
"Are you lost?" Scout Master Jenny asked, thinking (and hoping) that maybe this was just a very ratty looking person.
The being hissed before it lunged at Scout Master Jenny and took a big bite out of her neck. Scout Master Jenny let out a loud scream and sent the whole Little Miss Scout group into a fit of blood curdling screams and cries.
"Shit!" Jackie sighed. She hated when she was right about things, but she definitely wasn't expecting this. She immediately grabbed a flashlight, her backpack, and anything she could use as a weapon and went to go grab Sandy. Sandy immediately scooped up her backpack and her dog and ran toward Jackie.
Emily also grabbed anything she could use as a weapon and ran for the blonde sisters, who were already booking it through the woods. As they were running, Lexus got her foot caught on a loose tree root and fell over. Lori and Lisa immediately went to go help Lexus up. Emily was able to catch up with them, but she was not ready for what happened next.
As they were helping their sister up, another one of those rotting beings came out of the woods hissing and threw itself on top of Lisa. Lisa screeched as it began feasting on her arm.
"LISA!" Lori screamed and tried to fight the thing off of her.
"NOOOO!" Lexus began crying.
Emily gripped her chosen weapon, which was one of the spare tent poles. She let out a battle cry before running toward the thing and beating it off of Lisa. She was able to successfully pry it off of Lisa. As she fought off the rotting being, Lori helped Lexus onto her feet and then helped Lisa off the ground. Lisa was sobbing hysterically and staring at her torn up arm. Once Emily beat the being down, she followed the sisters.
"We have to get out of here!" Lori shouted.
They were able to run far away from their camp site and get to a small clearing. In the clearing, Lori and Lexus carefully lied Lisa down on the ground and went to tend to her wound.
"Oh no! This is really bad!" Lori teared up.
Lexus took off her badge sash and began to wrap it around Lisa's arm to try and stop the bleeding.
"I know I worked hard for these badges, but my sister's life is more important than some stupid badges!" Lexus sobbed.
"I don't feel so good!" Lisa sniffled. "My head... it feels like it's burning up!"
Emily felt her forehead. "You are burning up!"
Lori and Lexus panicked. "Oh no! What are we gonna do? She could die!"
"There's nothing we can do right now! We don't even know if we're anywhere near civilization at this point!" Emily sighed. "Did any of you pack an ice pack in your bag?"
"We left our bags at camp! We didn't have time to grab them!" Lexus told her.
Emily sighed. "Well shoot."
"We can't stay here!" Lori shook her head. "What if those things come back?"
"Where are we gonna go, Lori?" Lexus hissed. "There's no where to go!"
"Hey! Please don't fight!" Emily tried to comfort them.
"Excuse me, Emily, but if you haven't noticed, my sister is in really bad shape!" Lexus crinkled her nose and glared at Emily.
"I know, but fighting won't make her better!" Emily tried to reason with her.
"I don't think you FUCKING understand, Emily! I want you to shut your goddamn mouth you useless piece of-" Lexus was about to get up, but Lori put a hand on her shoulder.
"Lexus! Calm down, please! Emily has a point, you know. Fighting isn't going to help Lisa get better!" Lori told her.
Lexus sat back down and combed her fingers through Lisa's hair. "Alright, but how do you propose this is gonna work?"
"We're going to have to take turns to keep watch until morning." Emily suggested. "That's usually what they do in those survival shows. It might work for us, especially with whatever those things were that attacked Scout Master Jenny and Lisa."
"That could work, one of us will keep watch, and the rest of us will stay here with Lisa. If we can hold out until morning, we can get Lisa the medical attention she needs." Lori nodded.
"Good. Emily can keep watch." Lexus nodded and crossed her arms.
"Will do." Emily smiled and gripped the tent pole she brought with her.
"Hey Erron, it's our first mission together!" a woman with short, wild black hair giggled as she walked along side her cowboy partner.
She then put her finger up to her chin and looked up for a moment. "Mmm well, second mission if you count the first mission we went on before the Emperor hired me!" she giggled.
Erron sighed. "The only reason you're joining me on this mission is because you know this place better than anyone else does. You also can handle the land's natural effects better than anyone else could, or at least that's what the Emperor believes." he turned and gave her a stern look. "Do not disappoint me, and more importantly, do not disappoint Kotal Kahn."
"Did I let you down before?" she grinned and winked at him.
"No, but don't start." he warned her.
She gave him another wink. "You got it, darlin'!"
Erron sighed. "Don't call me that."
They walked into the yellow portal in silence. Once through the portal, they were met with thick forest.
"Hmm..." Nac tapped her chin as she looked at her surroundings. "This doesn't look familiar at all."
Erron smacked his forehead. "I'm already regretting having to work with you again..."
Nac shot Erron a look before grinning. "It could be worse. We could have gotten transported into the sea of aging." she laughed and gave him a pat on the shoulder. "Giving a whole new meaning to growing old together, huh?"
"I don't have time for this" Erron rolled his eyes and began to move forward.
Nac moved a bit faster to catch up with him.
"So why does the Kahn want us to chase down and kill this guy?" Nac asked. She actually already knew, but she wanted to hear Erron talk. She liked it when he talked to her. She had grown even more attached to him ever since their last mission together.
"If you were paying attention, you'd know why." he was short with her, as usual when they were on missions. He was all business and to the point when on a job. Part of her thought it was cute, part of her thought it was a bit annoying.
"I know, I just wanted to hear you say 'mayonnaise raid'." she laughed.
He shook his head. "You Chaosrealmers have weird traditions. Who came up with sacrificing a condiment to a god? That makes no sense."
Nac shrugged. "I could explain the religions of chaos to you, but you'll probably tell me to be quiet or something."
"Here, since you're probably dying to show off your knowledge of this place to me, I'll let you explain it all to me later. Preferably when we finish the mission." he told her.
"Promise you won't glaze over or tell me to be quiet?" she asked him.
"I'll give you my full and undivided attention," he told her. "Of course, I expect something from you in return."
She could tell he was grinning at her from under his mask. She gave him a sly grin back. "Anything for you, Erron." she gave him a wink.
Soon they reached an open field. In the distance was a large sign. They weren't able to read it at first, but once they got closer they were able to make out the letters. The sign read "Welcome to Peppermint Park! Where good friends are gonna get together with good friends!"
Erron rolled his eyes at the sign. "Pathetic..."
Nac giggled and elbowed him. "Yeah! You don't even have any friends!"
Erron shot her a look before sighing. "You don't have any either."
"I do too!" Nac hissed.
Erron ignored her defense. "So is this the place they hold the ceremonies?"
Nac nodded and followed Erron who immediately began to move on. They entered through the gates and were met with what looked like an empty village.
"Hmm, where is everyone?" Nac looked around.
Suddenly, they heard footsteps behind them. Nac grabbed onto her battle ax hilt as Erron placed his hands on his revolvers. They turned around, ready to attack.