Moral Code Ch.1

Chapter 1

Danny was so tired. Every muscle felt like it had lead weights attached to them, weighing him down. He couldn’t move without pain searing through him from his chest and abdomen. He almost laughed at his misfortune. He was already late for curfew when Skulker came out of no where, sporting what was obviously new tech. Said tech had done a number on the hybrid, leaving his already exhausted body immobile. He couldn’t even change back into his human form and go home. He considered calling Sam or Jazz but then realized that his phone had been destroyed last week by Technes.

And so here he sat, too hurt to really move anywhere, too tire to even change, and had no way of calling for help as he bled green ectoplasm all over the grass. At least he had managed to suck Skulker into the thermos before sinking down to the buildings below and finding temporary shelter in the deep shadow on a corner where the street lights couldn’t reach him. He was safe as long as no one with searching eyes came walking around. At this time of night, nearly midnight, no one was walking around regardless.

He groaned as he reminded himself of what time it was. His curfew was eleven o’clock. He was in so much trouble. He closed his eyes and rested his head against the brick building behind him. He hoped that if he rested for a little while, he could transform back and go home. There he would suck up his pride and ask Jazz for first aid. He knew she didn’t mind but he still felt it was rather demeaning when he had to ask her to stop him from bleeding or straiten out a dislocated limb. At those times, he was glad that ghosts healed ten times faster than a normal human.

As the ghost boy rested, another enemy stalked the streets, looking for the place the ghost had run off to. Maddie Fenton looked down at the ghost tracker in her hands and then back at the street ahead of her. The device said that the ghost was only a few yard up the street. As she grew closer to the spot, she pulled out her ecto-blaster and readied herself for the worst. When she rounded the corner, she was not expecting to see Danny Phantom resting against the apartment building in front of her. His jump suit was torn, pieces missing and exposing pale flesh, his hair hung in his face, preventing her from seeing if was awake or not. But what got her attention the most was the large gash running across his chest and down his torso. One arm was draped over the wound, green ectoplasm oozing from between his fingers.

The huntress powered up the ecto-blaster, aiming it at the ghost boy’s alarmingly young face. Briefly she felt sorrowful for the ghost, having had died at such young age. She wondered if his family had died with him or if he was alone. That thought made her falter. What if when this kid had died, he had died without his family? Maybe in a horrible accident, that that was why he insisted that he was trying to protect this town. He was maybe trying to protect his family?

Her musing came to an abrupt stop when the sound of the charging gun brought the boy to his senses again. His green eyes looked subdued and dull as he looked up blurrily at the huntress standing over him. They lit up a little, looking both confused and relieved at the same time. “Mom?”

Maddie gasped, dropping the gun. Do I look so much like his mother that he mistakes me as her? Maddie kneeled down to his level, hesitated for a moment before showing the first act of gentleness toward a ghost as she grasped his face. She was surprised to find that, even though it was too cold to be human, he still created a heat of his own. She lifted his head to look at him but his eyes had already slid shut.

“Phantom? Phantom, wake up.” She slapped lightly on his cheek before he started stirring again. It was obvious this time that he recognized her for who she was as he jumped and tried to shuffle away.


Okay, that was puzzling. It sounded like he was about to say ‘mom’ again but tried to correct himself. He tried to sit up and stand but didn’t even get to the first part as he suddenly winced, his face screwing up for a moment. He trembled momentarily before falling back against the building. He sighed, defeated, looking up at her with fear shining in his glowing green eyes. The same color as the ooze creeping out from between his fingers and staining his pristine white gloves.

Maddie moved to his side and carefully pried the hand away. Phantom stiffened but gave no real fight. “W-what are you doing?”

Did he just stutter…? “I’m helping you, you’re wounded.” She stated the obvious in case he really was too out of it to realize.

“Y-yeah but w-why?”

He did stutter! “Because it’s against our moral code as hunters; never kill or capture a specimen that we did not weaken ourselves. So you got off easy tonight, ghost.” Maddie paused, her voice taking a gentler tone. “Besides, I can’t bear to see a child hurt like this, even if you are a ghost.”

Grounded in Reality Credits

Inspiration: The general inspiration was based off my own life and experiences in a high school I hated. The fire, the tree (both trees), the pendent are all true. Fortunately, my dogs are not dead, though Shadow and Porky are, (though this story was originated from a time when our dogs did get loose, we found them, but I had a nightmare that night that we had not), and obviously I am not dead either.

Development: This was defiantly a spur of the moment story. It was never fully developed nor had a definite story line all the way through. It wasn’t until I wrote the last chapter that I knew what was going to be the ending. It was like walking in a dark room, only knowing where the next step was going to be after I put it there.

Title: This one took me a time to try and name it. As I began writing it, there were several scenes that never came to be where I was trying to explain my take on the definition of Freedom. I had the image of a bird with broken wings, thus the grounded. The reality was something that I do not enjoy, especially at the time I had written this. So I finally decided on ‘Grounded in Reality’.

Characters: All the characters that are in this one are based on me and the people I know.

Rough Draft vs. Final Draft: This story didn’t have a rough draft. It just was written as it came to me. Again the ‘Dark Room’ metaphor comes to play. The very first inkling of this was a short poem like drabble that was named ‘Society of Me’. That was deleted soon after the first chapter was written.

Setting, Tone, and Theme: The setting was basic life in today’s society, with flashbacks into my/Sasha’s childhood. It was supposed to be nostalgic, and portray the longing for once was and the hate for what was. The theme was the classic cliché of: You don’t know what you have until you lose it.

Music: Like Cure, the music was varied. It didn’t have any particular artist and I honestly can’t think of anyone that really gave me inspiration during this.

Popularity: I was not expecting this to be popular, and it wasn’t. So it was okay. Not much else to say about that.

Learned: I learned a lot in this as well as Cure. This was written about the same time. Looking back at this, I realized that you can’t just write a good story without some kind planning as what will be the ending.

Sequels: No, I never thought of a sequel to this. Never crossed my mind once. I was so happy when this was finished, I don’t think I could do a sequel. Besides, the story line is a dead end.

Thanks and Dedications: I want to thank my parent and English teachers. This is dedicated to my dogs!

Cure Credits
This is the ending thoughts on the story 'Cure'. It may contain spoilers, you have been warned!

Inspiration: Well, the first inspiration came to me when I was in eighth grade and watching a movie in my English class. The movie was space ball. It’s a wonder how I came up with such a depressing story line from such a silly movie. It was, actually, the rebellious princess which you’ll find in this story.

Development: The idea originally was very much like the ending product. This story was not very complicated. We started with a simple rebellious princess that wasn’t happy with her life. I wasn’t sure what her story was for a long time, all I had was her. She wasn’t named for a long time either. After some time, I decided that I wanted to put in a story about shape shifters, then gave it a science fiction twist. I started the actual writing process long before I had really perfected the final idea. I find that now, as I look back upon this story, I feel many things are very under-developed and my characters not at all dynamic or life like.

Title: The title, ‘Cure’, was one of the first things that I came up with. I thought it was so simplistic and ironic in the beginning that it fit. It was an easy thing to name.

Characters:  Sam started out without much. She was generally had no really physical image. Even to this day, I don’t really have solid image of her. That just goes to show how much I’ve grown in my writing.

Nathanial and Scrandel was not very much into the idea either other than they were base extremely loosely off the G1 Transformer twin, Sideswipe and Sunstreaker. I really loved their names, to the point that I might use them again in larger roles in a different story.

Sam was based off partly myself; feeling differently than her parents thought she did but too afraid to fix it; and a friend of mine that happened also to be named Sam; very rebellious and willing to fight for what she believed in.

Rough Draft Vs. Final Draft: The two versions are different. The ending and beginning are not; for example, the ending scene on the junk piles in nearly the exact same in both drafts; the means of getting from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’ are different. The rough draft was fifteen chapters long while the final was thirteen. The plot was not different, the same general things happened just in different order.

Setting, Tone, and Theme: The setting was supposed to be in a futuristic yet medieval society. I succeeded in some places but I found that it could very confusing for outside readers. The tone was one to be dark and gritty, especially in the climax. The theme was an environmental one. It was supposed to show us that we shouldn’t always fear what we don’t understand.

Music: Every story I have had its own music playlist, including fanfictions. This particular story had a varied playlist. It was really anything that I was really interested in rather then lyric value. Artists ranged from Within Temptation to Linkin Park. 

Popularity: When I first started writing this, I thought it was well written. Only now as I look back at it that I am not surprised it didn’t get as much cookies as I wanted. I wasn’t really writing this story for popularity anyway, so it’s okay.

Learned:  I learned a lot while writing this. This was the first step for my professional career. Which is why, no matter how bad it is, I won’t change anything about it. It was defiantly a huge learning experience. I learned what a real character takes, what description really is, how important it is to know the plot before beginning, et cetera. It was an amazing experience and even though I don’t enjoy looking back at this story, it was defiantly fun!

Sequels: I thought about if for a while, since I left the ending very open, I even had a concept plot. But I decided in the end that I would leave it for reader’s interpretation. Maybe one day, but not anytime soon.

Thanks and Dedications: I want to thank my parents, but that’s a given. They supplied me with the resources and motivations for this. I would also like to thank my seventh and eighth grade English teachers for all the knowledge. This story is dedicated to anyone that wanted to take the time to read it.

Grounded in Reality Ch.11

Chapter 11

A barren death land. That was the only way I could describe it… Everything was gone, the trees were black skeletons, the landscape was grey and black, the sky a pale grey, blending into the ground. I felt dizzy with grief.

A new realization had come to me. Life was not all fun and play. Eventually, all that joy comes back to bite you in ass. For me, this is what happened. My home, my sanctuary was destroyed beyond recognition. This wasn’t what I had left only two days ago. I sifted through the ashes that was my home, in the place that was my room.

I hoped to find what I had left there. But as time went by and I didn’t find it, I was sure there was nothing left of it. It wasn’t until the shine caught my eyes that I found it. Luckily, it hadn’t fallen too far when the floor collapsed and fell three stories. I picked it up gingerly, afraid that it would shatter like I felt I would.

The multi-colored glass glinted against the sun but it was only half of what I remembered it to be. The heart that I had taken off the night of the fire was only half there. One half had been melted away, leaving no clue that it had once been whole. While the other half still shone bright and perfect, untouched by the scorching flames that had melted the other half away.

“Half my heart burned and died. The other half lived on to cry.” I stood and left, walking until I came upon the Ancient Oak. I gasped and dropped to my knees, tears coming from my eyes. My Oak had fallen. It lay unrecognizable in a heap of blackened wood nearby. I wanted to scream but remained silent, afraid to utter even a sound or I would shatter into a million broken pieces.

In one of the holes that had been left by the roots I dropped my half heart and shoveled dirt around it. The shine disappeared quickly, never to see the sun again. I would never see the sun in the same way. I could never look upon the world in the same careless joy that only a few days ago reined supreme in my way of life.

“Half my heart burned and died. The other half lived on and cried. But that little piece will shatter someday…

…but before then, it will be destroyed piece by piece.” Today, I turn fifteen. My birthday. What a nasty birthday present I received. My dogs died, we buried them in the back yard and set little rocks around them to protect them. My dad wanted to go the pound and rescue a couple of dogs but I wasn’t interested in replacing my family.

So, welcome Monday, and with brought more heart stopping grief. I went to eat my lunch but when I arrived at my favorite spot, I found my tree was gone. All that sat as a reminder of what had been was now a stump with students standing on it.

“I guess today was the day my heart shattered. I’ll be home soon, Shadow.”

The End

(no subject)

Chapter 1

-Blood Warning-

After a night like the one Sam had just had, she had never been so glad to lye down on her soft and warm bed. She shook her head against the pillow, eyes planted to the ceiling. Three empty graves in one night. They must have stumbled upon those who had died in that explosion a while back. She closed her amber eyes, blocking the light of the moon from her mind. She drifted in the twilight zone, random thoughts racing across her mind. As fast as they came, they went. She caught the faint noise of pounding somewhere along her journey. She ignored it at first but it seemed to be getting louder until it sounded like it pounding in her ears. She opened her eyes to find the source.

The moonlight had gone and been replaced by bright sunlight. She turned her pale face to the door on the other side of her room, examining it with great displeasure. She considered not answering but that would mean that whoever was pounding on her door would just come in and shake her till she woke again. She mused for a minuite, the locks on her door where almost impossible to break but the fact that she giant locks on her door would be a cause for concern. Not what she really needed. She decided the best option was to get up and answer it.

She cracked it only enough to look out. On the other side, looking rather distressed, was a palace maid. "Come quickly, Princess." The young women took Samantha's hand and dragged her down the hall, not giving her a chance to dress in proper out-of-her-room clothes. At least she looked decent. They passed windows and halls, being dragged down a hallway by a maid in her sleep ware, Samantha felt slightly awkward. She made a mental note to chew this women out later for the inconvenience.

The maid stopped at a balcony with a number of people on it. Those people included her father, King Royan, her younger sister, Isobel, Callahan Crave, directer of the clean-up committee and CSI, and a number of maids and servants. They seemed to be looking at one thing out in the market courtyard. She sighed. With all the training she had, she got rid of the devious glint in her eye and the smirk gracing her pale, pink lips.

Mr. Crave was closest to her, standing behind the King. He was watching him instead of what everyone else was so dumbstruck by the sight of. He had already seen it enough times.

"Good morning, ."

"Good morning." He seemed tired, his young face looking older than it should. Lines on his face, his silver eyes a greyish color. The bag under his eyes betrayed the hidden excitement of his next words. "Another attack."

She gasped, acting accordingly, and rushed to the edge of the balcony. As expected, on the wall in the center of the market were the word painted in red, almost like blood, "GIVE US FREEDOM." At the bottom of the wall was a very ragged looking corpse with a severed head. she looked at the soil covered body with great hatred. Surrounding the wall was a growing crowd of civilians, this she smiled at but quickly stowed the expression away for later. They all looked with awe, shock, fear, sadness, or anger. People wailed that the threat be killed, destroyed, terminated. Others called that the king should just give in and let them go.

"Oh, no," she muttered, "not again."

"'Fraid so, dear," her father said quietly. He also looked tired but not as worn as Mr. Crave did.

She looked at him suddenly, an expression in between fear, hope and caution written on her face. "Maybe..." she trailed off, looking back to the words painted on the wall. "Maybe... we should... let them go..."

Her father suddenly turned on her, looking furious. It surprised her at how fast he advanced on her, towering over her before her tired mind had time to react. "Let them... Let them go! If we let them go these attacks will only increase. They don't understand I'm trying to help them!" He backed off, strain written on his face. The mood swing left Samantha a little scared, still wheeled back on her heels, hands up in an innocent gesture. She looked to Mr. Crave but said nothing to her father.

"Mr. Crave, I want this mess cleaned up and at least one individual suspect by tomorrow evening." The king paused and turned to his subordinate, Mr. Crave put away the angry expression just in time, "is that enough time?"

"More than enough, Sire." Mr. Crave replied silkily, hidden annoyance in his smooth voice. He turned and departed from the balcony, tail coat waving behind him as he strode off. She watched him go, feeling a pity for the young man.

She looked back at the market but instead of looking back at the message on the wall, the young princess drew her attention to the crowd below. The streets of Sanktered City were as busy as usual. The panic of the painted message hadn't died away yet. She examined the crowd, immediately pulling out multiple people dressed all in black. They all had a single word written on the front of the shirt in blood red letters.

Normally, someone looking at the shirt would think it was simply a frashion statment to wear a shirt with a word in another language. But to Samantha it wasn't just a word. She had seen the word too many times, written it too many times, read it too many times to just let the seeing of it pass her. She knew what the foreign word meant even if no one else did. She knew why they wore it.

One of them was staring at her from the center of the crowd, his blue eyes never blinking. He looked like he was waiting for something, anything. His handsome face portrayed in a hopeful frown.

"Nat..." she whispered to herself as she violently jerked her head to the left as she turned away from the scene. To anyone but the young man, her action could have just been a simple way of getting her long, dark hair from her face as she turned away. But to the blond, he knew what the flick of her head was.

He turned a moment later to be faced with him brother, Scrandel. "Well, what she say." Scrandel asked his twin. Scrandel and Nathanial were identical twin unless for the exception of Scrandel was well tan while Nathanial was pale. Scrandel enjoyed the day hours, working in the endless heat. Nathanial preferred the night life, besides his belief that the city's Black Market, Sank, had a much better pay.

"No." Blue eyes met the identical pair across from him. Scran swore and turned away.

"See ya later." The tan brother said as he walked away.

"Yeah, see ya..." Nat remarked coldly.

Cure Ch.13: Drowned in The Storm

Chapter 13

-Drowned in the Storm-

It was empty. All empty. The junkyard, the tunnels, the abandoned track, Sam’s heart. Hollow, cold, empty. She couldn’t believe what she saw around her. The place that had teeming with life in even her earliest memories was still and lifeless. The storm brewed over head, as if Sam where not the only one angry.

Isobel stood behind her, looking over her shoulder at the empty junkyard. If only she could have seen it when it was full of people that would have welcomed her as family, if only it was all still there. She felt as if she would do anything to just go back in time and prevent any of this from happening. To think only a day ago, she was running a mission with them, all of her close friends by her side, always and forever.

She barked a hollow laugh, making Bell look at her with concern in her innocent eyes. The laugh turned into a sob, as she fell to the ground. The storm above them broke, lightning lighting up the world, the palace in the back ground rising like a nightmare out of the darkness and thunder screaming through the clouds. The sounds of Sam’s raw screaming where drowned out by the down pour.


The storm was moving away, the bright morning sun fight for a chance to shine. Sam stood on the highest mound, looking at the city in apathy. The sun won for room in the sky, bathing parts of the city in angelic light. A cold wind buffeted the two Animars as the world woke at last. With the tempest past and the screams dyeing away as the clouds melted, the city emerged from its slumber, innocent to horrors that the storm had brought.

“So, what now?” Bell asked timidly.

“There is no longer much here.” Bell resisted the urge to flinch away at the death that seemed to echo in her sister’s voice. “We’ll go to next city over; there might be Animars still alive. We’ll have to regroup our numbers and start over.”

Sam turned away from the seemingly beautiful sight. “In the mean time, we’ll have to hide in some city. Not this one though, we’ll be recognized too easily.”

Bell watch with slight amusement as her sister practically surfed down the side of the mound on a large piece of steel. Bell tried as well but ended up falling on her behind instead. She laughed at herself and brushed off. She hoped Sam would laugh but knew she wouldn’t. The Sam she and all of anyone else knew was gone. That Sam had drowned in the storm.


Grounded in Reality Ch.10

Chapter 10

Grandma was waiting by the highway, a second car parked nearby. A tarp had been spread out and two motionless lumps sat on it. My belly clenched in horror and my vision blurred with tears. I escaped out of the truck and ran to the mangled bodies of my dearest friends. I tried to hug them both at the same time but it was impossible. I brought them as close to me and sobbed.

They’re gone, forever gone. They will never wag their tails, never bark or howl; never will they run to my side when I come home, never again. Only an hour ago, they had sat at my feet, snoring softly and enjoying the company of their masters. They were lifeless and broken, without a heart beat or warmth. I couldn’t stop crying and when my tears dried, I still sobbed.

It wasn’t fair! I had lost so much and now my beloved animals were taken. Why? What did I do wrong? Was there something I was missing? Something I didn’t understand? Was I supposed to die? I wanted to, so badly did I want to die.

The woman that had ran down, killed my animals was trying to talk to Dad. I don’t know how he was reacting; he loved them as much I did. She was crying, practically begging for forgiveness. Somehow, to me that just wasn’t enough. Not enough for the death of my dearest family.

Cure Ch.12: Itching to be Free

Chapter 12

-Itching to be Free-

The clouds growled angrily above, flashes of light to reflect their anguish. But they didn't let go of the water that they held. They stay, hovering over the city in the darkest time of night, waiting. For what...?

Sam had lay in the mud, the rags that were once her night gown plastered to her skin. Her dark hair flouted aimlessly in the water around her head, her pail face splotch with mud. The shabby building around and above her towered, like quiet guardians. The uneven, decaying road beneath her stabbed into her back where she had finally collapsed onto the ground after running as far as she could.

She couldn't go to the junkyard, not yet. She didn't know if her excuse of being ill dressed for such a journey was very justifying. She knew the reason was that she didn't think she could handle to see her ravaged second home. She blinked away tears that threatened to surface at the thought of all that had been lost.

She pulled herself off the ground and tried her best to smooth out the jumbled night gown. It was useless, the mud and water that clung to it took no heed to her brushing hands and the silk cloth stayed firmly attached to her body. She gave up her attempt and started waking along the deserted streets. It was far too late for the living to be out and about so she felt safe. She snorted to herself. She supposed she wasn’t really living anymore.

She shoved the depressing thought away and concentrated on what lie ahead of her. She needed to get into her room and find a better pair of clothing. So she was off, growing wings and half flying, half hopping her way to the palace. She felt too tired for a real or full transformation and didn't think she could manage or sustain flight well enough for her to make to the palace in one piece, or at least in more pieces that she already was.

She was revolted and had to stop the nausea from overwhelming her when she finally came into sight of the place she once called home. The lights were still on, like golden beacons on the dark, intimidating outline of the palace. It looked like a monster, towering over its prey, ready to strike and devour. How she had ever found this sight welcoming, she didn't know.

She found herself again, after being lost in thought, started into reality by the white flash of lightening and the horrendous roll of growling thunder. She instinctively ducked downwards and fled the flat rooftop she had been loitering. She sprinted from shadow to shadow, being this close to the palace and still being the number one most wanted person in the city made her suspicious of the light.

She hid in the shadows of the roof she had met Nat and Scran only a few nights earlier. She off handedly wondered about the fate of her lover's twin but threw the thought away knowing he was probably dead like the others. The lights from random rooms bled light across the lower rooftop and she could see her room from here. The lights where on.

She check and rechecked that the coast was clear before sprinting across the platform and jumping up to catch the ledge before it rose out of reach. She hauled herself up, ignoring her body's scream of protest, and sat on the rail to catch her breath.

She heard a soft gasp and looked up sharply to find her sister, looking rather frightened. Isabel stood up and Sam jumped to her feet, ready to stop her if she tried to run for the door.

"Sam? Please, you have to help me! I hurt all over and I'm afraid to tell Father..."

Understanding swept through her like a wave of ice cold fear. She couldn’t believe it, didn’t want to subject her sister to the horror she had just witnessed.

Isabel was an Animar.

Grounded in Reality Ch.9

Chapter 9

The wind was strong this October day. The little girl didn’t mind though. She spent all day outside, as always. Shadow followed her as usual and when the day ended, they returned to the house together. But today was different, something was off, the night seemed quieter than usual.

She passed it off and the evening went as usual. School was tomorrow and Sasha had to get to bed early. Only in the fourth grade, that was still pretty early. So by eight thirty she was ready for bed and snuggled under the blankets, the sound of Shadow nearby was almost a lullaby.

But tonight was different, there was no sleep in store for her it seemed. She simply couldn’t fall into peaceful silence of sleep. There was some thing wrong. So terribly wrong but nothing seemed to be out of place. The air was different but she couldn’t figure out why. It seemed she was the only one with this strange fear, everyone else was already asleep.

As she continued to roll around in the bed, her necklace, a glass heart on a bras chain, started to irritate her skin. She took it off and told herself that she would put it on before she left for school in the morning.

Then the phone rang. It was three in the morning according to the Sister’s alarm clock. Who would be calling at this unholy hour? Because she was the only one with some what aware senses, she was the one nominated by the continued snores of her family to answer the phone.

When she picked the phone the panicked voice of the neighbor made her stomach do flip flops. “Sasha, get you parents on the phone, right now!”

“Okay.” The little girl ran to her parent’s room and shook her mom into awareness.

“What? Why aren’t you asleep?”

Sasha shoved the phone into her mom’s hands and dashed outside. Something was propelling her to the front yard, though she wasn’t sure what.

But when she reached her desired destination, all her fears were realized in that instance. It was as if the world had gone to hell, the sky a deep blood red and heat was everywhere, it was hard to breath and hard to see, Sasha’s world seemed to be dyeing in front of her eyes. Only a mile away, a suddenly painfully short distance, was a wall of red fire, engulfing anything and everything in the way

Cure Ch.11: Poison

Chapter 11


Sam sunk into the shadows of her new cell. Fear, anger, hate swirled around in her head. Hate for Cal, for betraying all that she knew. He was her mentor when her mother had died. She felt sickened by his betrayal.

Hate for her father, for only seeing her as an Animar and not a daughter. For not believing in her cause, all her hard work. For not believing her reason when he had wrongly blamed the Animars for the death of the queen.

Hate for her mother for leaving her with such a large burden. She was so young when her mother was killed. The king had been told that it was an Animar but it was actually a guard that had stabbed her in the back. She was an Animar just like her and had been trying to pull off a raid to destroy the labs. It had almost worked when, on her way out, Saffa was stabbed in the struggle to escape before the detonation went off.

Sam soon found out that she was an Animar. Her mother had never told her of the adventures she had at night so Sam had thought that she was sick like her father had always told her. Then Cal told her what Saffa had done and Sam wanted to be just like her.

Now she felt so alone, so afraid of the future. She had never been afraid of what lie around the corner, but now she was terrified. Tears slipped from her eyes, as she remembered the bodies being dragged away. It hadn't seemed real but now it sunk in at last. Nat was gone, Cree, her Cal, and perhaps all the other Animars in the junkyard. They had all gone. And now here she sat, in the underground labs, the last place she wanted to be, sitting in the darkness of her cell, crying in her ragged and beyond recognition night gown. And she could do nothing.

She fell into an uneasy sleep. She thought she heard Nat next to her. He was talking to her, telling her he still loved her and always would. Then she realized it wasn't Nat, it was her father. The king crouched over, whispering word of comfort and sorrow. Sam kept her eyes closed, afraid that if she opened them, the words she had wanted to hear for so long would disappear. Then she realized that she didn't care anymore. The cause was over, everyone was dead, she didn't want to remember, and she didn't want to exist.

"Please wake up." She heard him say. She found that she could not deny him this.

"Have you given me the cure?" She asked, surprising him.

"It's fatal..." The sorrow in his voice was evident.

"But Cal-"

"Is dead," he cut her off. She vaguely wondered how long she out when her father started talking again. "The effects where slow but once it had time long enough in the body, it turned to poison."

"What about all the people in the junkyard?"

"When we thought we were curing them, we didn't know of the long term affects."

Sam stared in disbelief. Not only where all the people she had worked with been cured, but now they where dead, gone for good. "Now do you believe me?"

"Samantha, no matter what, there is always a search for a cure,” the way he said it made Sam want to cringe away. She hoped that her father could see the truth but that was squished like a bug under a boot. She had to get out, to escape. She saw that the king had left the door open and that there were no guards around to stop her. She pushed her father out of the way and bolted for the cell door. She ran down the hall and that was when she realized that all the Animars in the cages lay still and cold eyed. They where all dead. Why hadn't she been cured?

Her moment's hesitation was a mistake though thankfully, not fatal. She could hear her father yelling for the guards to stop her from leaving but she was one step ahead. She bolted down hallway after cage lined hallway until she could see the door in front of her, just in her reach. She could smell the fresh air leaking in, mingling the smell of dead. She burst out into the open air and took flight, away from the cold hell she had just escaped.


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