Author’s note and warning: Wohoo! Now thangs are cracking...err..sorta :P I love having a whole bunch of new people to deal with. So this story has violence, profanity damn it, actual sexual issues/dealings/situations, and as always missing words and bad grammar! Read the preview at the end to find out about the title.
        Sonic, Sally, Tails and all related characters are © Sega and/or Archie comics. All others are © of the [Zetallis Corporation].

Emerald and Brass Chapter 9 by Nin’nako Foxie
Another Try At Life.

        Ark walked by the the living room, where Oni was sleeping spawled out on the couch in a t-shirt and shorts. He continued on, passed the dining room, passed the other FFs’ rooms, until he got to Socara’s room. The door was open, but he didn’t enter. Instead he just leaned against the doorway and quietly watched her. After a while, he sighed and walked away, back to the extra room he was staying in, which had once been Dimitri’s room. Coniau had taken Lacoria’s room.
        He didn’t notice Oni standing in the dark glaring after him as he walked away.

        The Shadow found Chaonen standing by his desk, looking over the calender, the next morning. “Chaonen-daimyou, is it wise to be out of bed? I highly doubt you are well enough,” it said.
        “I don’t know any cure for Nin’nako poisoning except hoping it wears off sooner or later. So why bother if I can still walk and think properly. I’ve been in beds for days on end. Besides, I feel fine at the moment,” Chaonen replied. “This calender says that there’s a meeting today, is that correct?”
        “Yes, Chaonen-daimyou,” the Shadow replied, sitting on his shoulder. “The generals of your army in the Downunda are having a strategic planning session. They requested that you would take part in it, Chaonen-daimyou.”
        “Hmm. Have they gained anymore ground?”
        “No, the rebels are holding us off at the edge of the plains, Chaonen-daimyou.”
        “I see.” Chaonen touch the control panel on his desk, and a screen projection appeared. He tapped a flew smaller panels and the screen shifted to show a map of the Downunda.
        “Also, this information was found from one of the recently captured prisioners, Chaonen-daimyou.” A note appeared in Chaonen’s hand.
        He quickly looked over it, then read it again in more detail. “Is this...?”
        “Yes, Chaonen-daimyou. You’re hunch was correct and we followed in on it. We were very lucky Chaonen-daimyou. That village guards it’s secret very very closely. We had to use the Memory Replay to obtain this information.”
        “Are you sure?”
        “Yes, Chaonen-daimyou. I sent a quick investigation and it was confirmed. It is there.”
        Chaonen looked at the note again. “After all these years...” Then he threw back his head and laughed.

        Oni came late to breakfast. Everyone else had almost finished. “Morning, Oni,” said Tails.
        “Good morning peoples!!” Oni shouted happily, grabbing a bowl and dumping cereal into it. Sally passed her the milk. “Tankies!”
        “Well I’m done. Take your time everyone,” said Sally. She got up from the table. “I’m taking a shower.”
        A few moments later... “What the in the Ancients’ names happened to the bathroom?!”
        The whole group got up and ran to where Sally was and gasped. The bathroom which had once been a tiny room with just he necessities was now about the size of a pool. There was wild florae and waterfalls everywhere. A light mist filled the room and the tiling shone with small drops of water. The “bathtub” which did look like a pool was heated and had seats as well.
        “Oh...” gasped Tails.
        “My...” gagged Ark.
        “Ancients,” gacked Sonic.
        “So, I take it you like what I’ve done with the place,” said Coniau as she walked up to them. “Yeah, I know. I was kind of in a hurry, had to get my lab set up too.”
        “A hurry?! When...when did you do this?!” asked Sally. “It’s magnificent!”
        “Let’s see...I woke up at 4...” Coniau muttered to herself for a moment, then said. “It took me about two hours this morning. Now my lab isn’t close to finish. I still need to teleport all sorts of equipment in and set up a few more psuedo-dimensions.”
        Everyone just stared at her.
        “Okay, the tub is right here as you can see and the showers are over there. Oh by the way this is the girl’s bathroom. The guy’s bathroom is...” She got out and closed the door, then made Sonic open it again. It was the normal bathroom. “...and here’s the guy’s. It depends on who opens the door. If the person is female then it leads to a psuedo-dimension with the other bathroom.”
        More stares.
        “Yep, just another feat of the greatest scientific genius in the universe,” Coniau smiled, slapping the dust off her hands. “Now I have work to do.” And she walked away.
“No one uses the broom closet do they?”
        Everyone shook there heads, except for Oni, who was still trying to eat.
        “Where’s Socara?”
        “Well... Chaonen-daimyou...”
        After a few moments of explaining...
        “YOU WHAT?!”

        “Bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored.”
        “Oni, will you stop that?” sighed Ark, who was relaxing on the couch and watching the news. Oni had been pacing back and forth in the back of the room for about an hour.
        “But mes bored!”
        “Go bug someone else then. I’m trying to watch the news.”
        “Mes wassa bugging you?”
        Ah shit...thought Ark.
        Oni got a grin on her face. “Boredboredboredboredboredboredboredboredbored boredboredboredboredboredboredboredbored.”
        “What have I done?” muttered Ark into his hands.
        Suddenly, Oni stopped. Ark looked at her to see why. She was lookin at the tv screen. Something had caught her attention. Ark looked too.
        The anchorman had moved on to the next subject. “We have just recently obtained new information on the development of the “LON-42” prototype.” The screen switched from the anchorman to a video file of the cameramen slowly circling the craft. It had enough room to fit two pilots back to back. It was built low to the ground and thin. Most of the mass were the wings that could expand or narrow. The camera stopped at the engine. “The engine is the newest technological breakthrough...”
        A reporter talked about the engine for a while, but mostly the interesting parts were over.
        “Interesting,” said Ark. Near the end of the report, they mentioned a little about the weaponery that the craft would be equipped with. They looked pretty nasty.
        “Have you been monitering the news?” asked Coniau, walking in.
        “Yeah,” said Ark.
        “I didn’t think they had technology that advanced.”
        “Did you see the engine? Those reporters have no idea what they were talking about.”
        “Seems likies dey did tas mes,” said Oni. “Looked likies a pretty good engine.”
        “That’s the thing. What they said only scratched the surface.” Coniau paced a little, muttering to herself.
        “They were just developing something equal to that where I come from. It’s very advanced even by my standards.”
        “Advanced by your standards? Damn, that’s some engine. What about the weaponery?” asked Ark.
        “How can this planet have technology that advanced suddenly? I mean you people only have one orbital station and that’s not even very advanced! Something isn’t right...” Coniau said to herself.
        “It’s that bad?”
        Coniau stopped. “If Chaonen has a fleet of those than taking this planet is nothing. Those types of ships are made for interplanetary conquest. If only I had the blueprints.”
        “So, somethin’ big gonna happen?”
        “Somethings just not right,” muttered Coniau. I don’t like things that don’t make sense.
        “It’s all a matter of time, I suppose,” said Ark.
        “’LON’...where mes heard o’ seen dat before?” asked Oni quietly. She glanced at Ark, but he just shrugged. He didn’t know either. She thought about the small symbol she had seen on the side of the craft, but just couldn’t place her finger on it. “NEone wanna ice cream?”

        Chaonen was pacing back and forth angerily by the Nin’nako Mirror. How was he going to get Socara back? And if he did, how was he going to get around the Nin’nako poisoning. From the image in the mirror, he could tell she was still pretty badly effected by it. It’s too late to train anyone else. It took the full nine years to get Socara to where she was at.
        “How could it just let them have her?!” he yelled at himself. “Why was I being so stupid?!” He muttered some curses to himself in a different language.
        Alright, just calm down, he though to himself. You’ll figure out what to do. Getting angry doesn’t help. “But it makes me feel better!”

        It was Sally’s turn to moniter the surveillance screens. So far, nothing out of the ordinary. But her mind wasn’t really on that. She was pondering what to do about Socara.
Over the two week time, she still hadn’t gotta any better at all from whatever she was suffering from.
        “At least I hope it’s an illness,” she said softly. At least with Coniau, her arm could be fixed. What she really was worrying about was what if Socara was under some sort of shock from her ordeal. with Chaonen.
        An hour or so later Sonic came up to take his shift. Sally went down to talk to Coniau hoping she would have some answers. Feeling silly, she knocked on the closet door. After a moment Coniau opened the door. “Oh, It’s you,” she said. “Hey! Now I ca n show you my lab!” She grabbed Sally’s arm and pulled her in. Inside was kinda of dark. The floor was a smooth marble like blue. There was a platform that lead down to the work area where machines hummed and computer screen constanly processed information.
        “It’s amazing,” exclaimed Sally.
        “It is isn’t it?” smiled Coniau. “So what do you want?”
        “Well, a while ago. Socara had her armed injured and I was hoping you could fix it.”
        “I’m no doctor!” said Coniau.
        “No, her arm is robotic you see. I was hoping you could fix it or even return it back to normal.”
        “Return it to normal? Oh, it’s that robotization thing you told me about. Ah, I see.” Coniau rummaged around on a messy table nearby, picking out a few tools. Then she grabbed a small laptop. “I’m a busy Quezactliohian, but I’ll do it.”
        “Thanks Coniau. When Dimitri and Lacoria died, none of knew enough about machinary to fix her arm.”
        “So what did you do with it in the mean time?”
        “We bound it tightly so it would fall apart.”
        “Ick, sounds like trash.”

        It was evening when Coniau finished with Socara’s arm. It had taken her no time at all to fix it, but then her curiousity made her figure out how to reverse the robotization process. She lifted Socara’s arm up and down a few times. “Good as new!”
        “Kewlie!” shouted Oni, who had come in to watch for the last half hour. “Now Soca won’t be mad anymore.”
        “Huh, what do you mean? You weren’t the one who messed up her arm were you?” asked Coniau. Oni just grinned sheepishly.
        “Coniau, do you by any chance no what’s wrong with Socara?”
        “Nothing wrong wit Soca,” said Oni, but no one paid attention.
        “Hmm...” Coniau thought for a moment. “I think it’s Nin’nako Poisoning. Sheesh how rare is that?”
        “Nin’nako poisoning?”
        “Uh huh. Overdose of Nin’nako must of overloaded her mind.” She waved a hand in front of Socara’s eyes. “What did she do? Fall in a pool of it?”
        Sally nodded. Coniau’s face fell. “Infernos! Damn what is she?! When someone falls in a pool of it and stays in for over 5 seconds they’re dead! Kaput! Bought the farm! Went to the happy science facilty!”
        “Soca na dead,” Oni said. No one paid attention.
        Coniau grabbed her stuff and ran out of the room. “Where are you going?!” Sally shouted after her in the hallway.
        “Now I want to know if there’s a cure!” Coniau shouted over her shoulder.
        “No cure fer Nin’nako poisoning,” said Oni, but no one was in the room except for Socara. “U wait itta out, don’t ya Soca?” Oni smiled. “Yeppers!”
        She pulled up a chair to the side of the bed and looked at Socara. Her eyes were moving slightly, under the lids. Wha’ U dreamin’ ‘boutz?

        Socara hated dreams. That thought had been established a long time ago. 4 years, 3rd month, 2nd week, 7th day, 12:33:86 AM, ago to be exact. [Want me to go into nano and micro seconds?] She hated them, hated them, hated them, because she always seemed to dream about past events, most of them involving Chaonen. She hated him more than anything in the world. She do anything to kill him, but a little voice in her head prevented her from doing so, same thing with suicide.
        Unfortunately for her, the Nin’nako poisoning wreaking havoc with her subconscious. [Stuff does that to you]
        “Right this way, Socara,” smiled Chaonen, teasing her. He gave her a gentle shove in the right direction. They passed down several corridors, until they got to his workroom. Inside, he went to a panel on the wall, pressed a few buttons, and a secret doorslid open.
Chaonen walked in and gestured for Socara to follow him.
        The passageway turned out to be another hallways, Socara glanced into one of the rooms and show another computer, by the looks of it, it was far better than the one Robotnik had. But mostly she had her eyes glued to the floor. She had felt something odd when she entered the corridor, but just didn’t know what it was and it bothered her.
        Chaonen stopped and said,” Hmm. Alright, so where are you going to stay? He popped his head into a few of the rooms looking for a place she could sleep and such. “Huh, I guess you’ll have to stay in my room, ‘till I can get something more suitable for you. Like I said, I’m going to remodel a bit.”
        Hi-his room?! Socara thought.
        He walked behind her and pushed her foward. “It’s not too bad. Better than all this metal everywhere anyways.” His room was well furnished, warm and pleasant looking. It reminded Socara of a picture she had seen in a book about some places in the east with guardian dragons that were really long. “You can sleep on the bed over there,” he continued, gesturing to the low bed in the corner. Bathroom is down the hall. You can explore tomorrow, but first...” Suddenly, Chaonen snatched something from her pouch.
        Socara suddenly, felt very violated and scared. Chaonen had snatched her lifestone from her pouch. She reached out to get it back, but he held it out of her reach.
        To her surprise, he placed in on a table nearby. “Want it back?” He asked with a smiled. She nodded, eyes wide with fear at what he might do with it. “Then come to bed with me.”
        “What?!” Socara shouted in horror.
        “I own you now. I’m only asking to be polite,” Chaonen said softly , but with his usual smirk, “and all I’m asking for is your virginity.”
        Socara backed away, but she could start feeling the pain she felt when she was too far from her lifestone. Yet she refused to stay anywhere close to Chaonen. True that he was handsome, well-built, and intelligent. Plus evil, cruel and twisted.
        Chaonen wasn’t giving an inch either, he could see that she was in pain. He could wait until she agreed or he would just force her. They stood like this for an hour. His gaze was almost penetrating. She shifted uncomfortably, her anger fading into a deep fear.
        Socara had no idea what to do. She wanted her lifestone back desperately, but she wasn’t about to sleep with him.
        After a little longer, he walked closer to her. She was trapped in the corner and had nowhere to run. He stood behind her and started to massage her shoulders.
She shivered under his touch and tried to jerk away, but couldn’t.
        “Surprised?” he asked. “You didn’t by any chance feel a little funny when you came in here did you. Well, that was a field nuetralizing your robotic strength.”
        Socara wasn’t stronger anymore, she paniced and screamed. Chaonen lean and was licked her neck. She struggled to no avail. Slowly, he forced her towards the bed and pulled her down onto it. He kissed her again, probbing the inside of her mouth with his tongue. She bit down hard, but couldn’t even draw blood, his tongue was too tough.
        She struggled even harder when he lied onto top of her. “Get away from me, you pervert!!” She screamed.
        “Pervert?” Chaonen said, drawing his face away from her. “Now that wasn’t very nice.”
        Neither is raping someone!! Socara wanted to screamed back
        “All I’ve done is kiss you,” he said. She didn’t like that look in his eyes. He leaned close to her and whispered. “I’ve waited for this moment for so long. The moment I could touch you, explore you.” He took hold of the edge of her shirt that was tucked in and pulled it out. “The moment I could feel you.” He rubbed her bare stomach.
        Socara shuddered again. His touch felt horrible. “The moment I could take in your scent,” he continued, kissing her on the cheek and forehead. He had a trouble with her belt, due to lack of thumbs, so he just cut it off with his claws. She tried to kick him, but his own legs pinned down hers and he was pressing his body really close to hers.
        Chaonen tugged his own shirt off and tossed it with his cloak/robe over a nearby chair, then kicked off his pants. “That’s better,” he said. With much protest and struggling, he pulled off Socara’s shirt. He gently carassed her back and rubbed against her. “How does that feel?” He asked. She refused to answer him. After a while she gave up struggling, having no strength or energy left, and just went limp, shutting her eyes tightly.
        He was able to fully undress her with ease, which he did very slowly. Socara tried to block out as much as she could, but physical feeling was always hard to and was so scared, living through the nightmare all females feared. She could feel him touching her entire body, and tried not to gasp when he carassed her breasts.
        “Still there?” he asked softly. “Good. Like I said. I’ve waited for this moment. The moment I could touch you, violate you.” Then he whispered so softly she could barely hear him. “The moment to could I could fuck you as hard as I want.”
        Phyiscal feeling was hard to block. Any feeling is hard to block. Fear, panic, pain.
She knew he was going to take her now. Fully make her his own, when she felt her legs being spread apart. Him rubbing against her most private of parts.        
        Her screams delighted him when he thrust deeperly into her. He thrust harder and her screams increase dramatically.
        All the panic, fear and pain caused her conscious brain to shutdown for a while. She fell unconscious.
        Chaonen withdrew from her, but didn’t get up. “So warm and wonderful to touch,” he said to himself. He kissed her a final time and fell asleep himself.

        Socara woke up the next morning feeling like she got ran over or something like that. She felt uncomfortable and didn’t want to open her eyes quite yet, but a warm body was next to her and something lay across her breasts. Slowly she opened her eyes, then shut them immediately. It’s just a dream, it’s just a dream! She screamed furiously at herself. Oh, Ancients. Please let it be a dream.
The body next to her shifted. The weight on her breasts moved away. She sighed in relief, then tried to move, a bad mistake. She groaned from the pain she felt all over her battered and bruised body. She tried to first move her legs, then her arms. After a few gasps from the pain, she gingerly touched a bruise by her hip. When she looked at her hand, there was bits of dried blood on it. Horrified she looked at the silk sheets. There were blood stains all over them, but mostly near the point where her legs connected to her body. From the looks of it. She had been blooding quite a lot.
        She tried to get out of the bed without waking Chaonen, but just as she tried to sit up Chaonen suddenly grabbed her arm and pulled her back onto the pillow next to him.
Socara winced and turned away. “You’re a digusting bastard,” was all she said.
        “Come now,” Chaonen said. Leaning over her, propped up on one elbow. “At least I found last night enjoyable.” He leaned back down and carassed her. “Maybe someday you’ll learn to enjoy it. I’ll going to derobotize your legs later today alright?” Socara could feel his breath on her neck and shuddered. I’ll never enjoy.
        “It’ll take time, but don’t worry. We’ll be spending many a nights in each other’s arms.”

        Socara’s subconscious decided to skip forward a couple of years in the dream, about 9.

        It was pouring outside, and Socara was standing by the window in her room. She was in a velvet robe and a silk nightie. A fire the keeping the room warm, her dinner was sitting untouched on table nearby. The rain reflected the feeling of sadness inside her. But mostly all she felt anymore was nothingness, and deep void of darkness. Her clothes kept her warm, but she still felt cold.
        So cold.
        Chaonen was sitting in a large comfy chair closer to the fire. His feet were on a small table with a chess board on it. He was carefully carving another piece with his knife and sometimes his claws for the tiny details. On the board were only a few pieces so far. . On one side were pieces that resembled the Freedom Fighters. The King was Sonic. Queen was Sally. All the others were harder to tell. Tails, Dimitri, Lacoria, and many others that had died in the Lost Night. Several pieces were knocked down. On the other side, in the King’s space, was a piece that resembled Chaonen. There were pieces that looked like Metal Sonic and Mecha Knuckles as well.
        He finally finished the piece that he was working on, got up, and showed in to Socara. She turned away without a sound. Chaonen just shrugged and walked back over to the board and placed the piece in the Queen’s space. It looked like Socara.

        Back a few years, yet again.

        Socara was laying on her side in the snow. She could barely move, it hurt so much. She waited for the coldness of the snow to numb up the wounds that Chaonen had inflicted upon her. He had gotten very angry when he pulled her out of the pond, in the garden, while she was trying to drown herself. She had finally hit a point low enough for her to try to commit sucide, a point she resolved never reach again in fear of him.
        The snow was still slowly falling as she watched the snow red with her own blood being covered with new snow so white, clean, and peaceful.

        “Is this why you sleep in late most of the time?” asked Coniau, she held a glass of water and a sandwich in her hands.
        “Probably,” replied Ark, who was sitting in the dark, idly in front of the computer and fiddling with his staff.
        “I guess a guy can’t help it if his internal clock tells him to stay up all night until its almost dawn, then go to sleep,” shrugged Coniau, taking a bit of her sandwich. “And don’t you ever let go of that staff?!”
        “Nope. What about you? Midnight snack?” he asked. Coniau nodded.
        There was silence after that. “So, want to know my verdict on Socara?” Coniau asked to break the uncomfortable silence.
        “You’ll probably tell me anyways.”
        “Smart boy! Now, I did a bit of research on Nin’nako. Rare stuff. It look me a few hours but I found out that the only source of Nin’nako on the entire planet is in the Darkintis. Right where the castle is, mind you. My home never had any. Anyways, I couldn’t find any cure for it. Apparently, Nin’nako poisoning in rarer than Nin’nako so there wasn’t much data on it. I tried to hack into Chaonen’s computer system but that thing has one hell of a security system and I didn’t want to give away our location.”
        “Good,” said Ark, nodding to show that he was paying attention. “So, all you’re saying is that you have nothing on it. Soca-chan probably as good as gone?”
        “I was getting to that,” snapped Coniau. She took another bite of her sandwich.
“There is a way around it I believe, but it’ll won’t solve the entire problem.”
        “Right again!”
        Ark shrugged. “The thought just popped into my head.”
        “Well, it was what I came down to as well. The brainwashing, correctly done might be able to neutralize the poisoning for the time being, and if we’re lucky the problem will just fade away like some normal poisons. I’m thinking if we did that, we can just tell her that she’s been in a comma for, what was it?”
        “I think 9 years.”
        “Right. Nine years. That way we don’t really have to explain what happened. Not like I really know much.”
        “Why not tell Sally in the morning?” commented Ark. “Well, it’s almost dawn. I’m going to sleep.”
        “Whatever. Good night.” Coniau finished her sandwich. “Wish I could get my hands on some of that Nin’nako.”

        “Are your sure you know what you’re doing?” asked Sally.
        “Of course, don’t worry, it’s not like I can mess her mind up anymore,” replied Coniau. “Now everyone can leave the room and wait outside.”

        Oni paced back and forth, something she did a lot when she had nothing else to do. It annoyed the hell out of Ark too, so he sat down on the floor, took out a deck of cards from his pouch, and began a game of Solitare. Sally leaned against the wall rubbing her hands together in anxiety. Sonic placed a encouraging hand on hers. Tails just waited like everyone else, expect he had nothing do do.
        It seemed like forever to Sally. Worrisome thoughts were running through her head, thinking of every possible bad thing that could happen to Socara. If only Dimitri was still with them. He could brainwash her with magic, which seemed safer to Sally.
        Finally, Coniau came out. “Okay everyone, everything’s fine since is was the work of a genius,” said Coniau in a low voice, but with a bit of pride. “Someone needs to go in there and explain what she’s been doing the last nine years I suggest that you Sally, tell her she was in a comma.”
        Sally nodded, then entered the room. Socara was sitting up and slowly rubbing her eyes, then stretched like she just woke up after sleeping. “Who are you?” she asked, looking at Sally. Sally tried not to cry her tears of joy when she heard Socara’s voice.
        “I’m Sally Acorn. Your adopted mother and leader of the Freedom Fighters. Has Coniau told you anything yet?”
        Socara shook her head. “Not much, except what the Freedom Fighters are and do. Also that she’s the greatest scientific genius in the universe.”
        “And do you believe her about the genius part?” Sally laughed, smiling kindly.
        “I suppose,” Socara replied. Both could hear Coniau shouting ‘yes’ in the hallway. She leaned against the pillow. “I don’t remember anything at all.”
        Sally sat down on the edge of the bed. “That’s because...” She didn’t really know if she wanted to tell Socara the truth or not. A lie would be so much less pain for and shocking though.” Because, you’ve been in a coma for 9 years. It was after a horrible accident while on a major mission. You lost your memory and barely came out alive. In fact, we thought you’d never wake up.”
        Socara tried to process this information. It sounded right and fit too. “Would you like to meet everyone else?” Socara nodded. Sally gestured for everyone to come in. It was a little crowded but no one minded.
        “This is Sonic, he’s my lifemate and second in commanded.”
        “Hey Socara. Glad to see you’re back among the living,” Sonic laughed and winked at her.
        “You’ve met our scientist, Coniau. He’s Mile Prower but everyone calls him Tails and he’s learning Illusionary Magic.” Tails smiled and gave a little bow.
        “That’s Ark.” Ark nodded. “And finally, that’s Oni.”
        Socara looked back and forth at everyone. She was trying to remember them but couldn’t. “So who’s”
        “Chaonen,” Sally said with a scowl, “is the evil dictator located in the city Darkintis. He’s been the dictator for years, even before you were born. We believe he’s trying to take over the planet, and through his actions it would appear so. Only part of the Downunda isn’t under his control, everything else is. But don’t worry about that now. I can give you the details and answer any questions after you’ve rested properly.”
        Socara was tired and lay back down. As Sally made everyone leave the room, Oni gave her a small wave. Socara smiled and waved back.

        “Wow! Dis issa first time mes eva hear Soca talk!”shouted Oni. Everyone was in the living room now.
        “But remember everyone, no one is to give anything away,” said Sally again. “We can’t risk what might happen.”
        “Yeah, so that means you shut up, Oni,” said Ark. Oni glared at him but quieted down anyways.

        The next day.
        Socara wandered into the kitchen. It didn’t take her too long to find everyone else, but she had stumbled into every other room before finding the right one.
        “Hi Soca!” Shouted Oni. “Wanna some breakfast?”
        “Sure.” Socara looked around for a moment, unsure on where the food was.
        “Mes can get fer U!” Oni shouted, jumping out of her chair and slamming Ark’s face into his cereal at the sametime. She opened the cupboard. “Dere’s da bowl ova dere. Some cereals, oatmeal anna stufferz inna here, anna milk stuff inna frig of course.”
        Socara glanced at Ark, who was wiping the milk of his face and giggled a little. He looked up and smiled at her. Then he got up with what’s left of his cereal, walked over to Oni and humped it on her head. They got into a huge, but funny fight after that. She barely managed to get her breakfast without getting caught up it in, but enjoyed every moment of it.

        Chaonen watched Socara silently in the Nin’nako Mirror. He watched her smile, watched her laugh, watched her talk to everyone else, and wished she was here with him.
        He knew he needed her. For several reasons. But most importantly, without her, he couldn’t get the last thing he needed to complete the task he had started years ago and had gone through years of trouble to cover up. He needed to get her back, but how? The simplest way would be for him to just take her from the Freedom Fighters right there and now, but that would be too messy. Or maybe he could start a rumor for a full cure of Nin’nako poisoning to lure them in...

        Socara was running through a few photos of the Freedom Fighters. Some were still around, bu most of them were dead. Nothing looked familiar at all. A button started flashing on the computer panel. No one was around, so she pushed it. The screen blurred for a moment, then the face of a dragonian appeared. She was dressed in some sort of armor and looking down at some papers.
        “Hey guys. I got my daily report here and I believe it’s going to be useful. For one thing. There’s a rumor going around that a cure for Nin’nako Poisoning, what ever that is, has been found. Obviously, only Chaonen really knows about it, but since Socara was suffering from it, you might want to look into it. Keep in mind it is still a rumor,” the dragonian said. “Now, the LON-42 was completed, too fast in my opinion. There’s something funny about it. We were given a quick overview on what it can do. It’s going to end this war if a fleet of it is made and commanded by Chaonen.” The Dragonian finally looked up at the video camera she had been talking into.
        Socara only blinked in confusion, having no idea what the dragonian was talking about. “What’s this about Nin’nako Poisoning?”
        “Oh Ancients,” gasped Draca. “Socara, I didn’t know you have recovered from the Nin’nako stuff! I’m sorry, I should have looked to see who was on.”
        “Who are you? And what’s this abou recovering from the Nin’nako Poisoning?! I’ve been in a coma for 9 years!” Socara said back.
        Draca had a feeling she really should have noticed who was in the computer room. “I’m Draca, one of the Freedom Fighters undercover in Darkintis. Could you get someone, like Sonic and Sally?”
        “Um...all right,” Socara said. She got up and ran out of the room, nearly knocking over Sonic who was just coming in.
        “Where are you off too in such a hurry?” He asked. “Did something happen?”
        “You tell me. Some lady named Draca wants to talk to you.”
        “Draca?” Sonic glanced at the computer screen. “Okay. Why don’t you go find Oni or someone. This is important.” Sonic closed the door after her, then ran up to the screen. “Did you tell her anything?!”
        “Sonic, I didn’t know. I said practically my whole report before I noticed that it was her.”
        “Repeat what you said, please.” After Draca repeated her report, she mentioned how Socara started asking questions about Nin’nako Poisoning and that she had actually said that Socara had been suffering from it. “This is not good,” said Sonic. “Don’t worry, it wasn’t your fault, we should have told you sooner. You see, we told her that she had been in a coma for 9 years. This made it easy for us, because we wouldn’t need to explained what’s been happening in the last 9 years, though we’re not really sure ourselves.”
        “Do you think she’ll put two and two together and demand that you tell her what really went on?”
        “I hope not. It’s going to be Hell doing so,” sighed Sonic.
        “Have you told her about Chaonen and the war?”
        “Only the basics.”
        “Sorry, but I have to go. I’ll report again tomorrow as usual,” said Draca and the screen went blank.
        Sonic sighed again and opened the door to leave. He stopped when he was Socara standing in the doorway. “I...I forgot the photos, Sally had a-asked me to put them back when I was done,” she stummered.
        “Oh yeah, of course,” he said with a smile. He got the photos and gave them to her. “Better put them back now.”
        She nodded and ran off. I hope she didn’t hear anything, thought Sonic.
        Socara rounded the corner and slowed down. She mind was going a mile a minute. What had all that talk been abou her suffering from Nin’nako Poisonig? What had Sonic and Draca been talking about? Socara flipped through the photos again. “I wonder why Oni and Coniau aren’t in here,” she wondered out loud. She stopped at the photo with her in it. It was pretty old and turning a slight yellow at the edges. It was a group photo. There were so many more people in it, but next to her was someone who looked almost exactly like Ark. Different hair and clothing of course, but the same taunting expression with one eye open and one closed.
        She found Oni, Ark and Coniau all in Coniau’s lab. Socara had knocked on Coniau’s door, then dragged in when Coniau insisted on showing Socara her new invention. “You want to know why I’m not in any of the photos?” Coniau asked as she lead Socara in. “Simple, sweetie. I just recently joined the Freedom Fighters. Same with Oni and Ark.”
        “But Ark’s in this photo,” Socara objected, “ and it was taken around 10 years ago.”
        “What?” Coniau took the photo. “Let me see this.” She looked over it. “Hmm. Let’s go ask him.”
        Moments later Coniau was giving Ark the third degree and shoving the photo in his face. Ark finally got a chance to mutter something in return.
        “What?! I can’t understand a word you say,” said Coniau.
        Ark grabbed her arm and moved it so the photo was no longer mashed to his face. “I said I could answer your questions it the photo wasn’t stick on my face!”
        “Uh hee, sorry,” Coniau said. *sweatdrop*
        Ark looked carefully over the photo. He raised an eyebrow.
        “Well is that you or not?” asked Coniau.
  “Looks like me,” he said. “How many years ago was this again?”         “Around 10,” said Socara. “Sorry to bug you with this. If you want us to go away, we can.”
        “That’s alright Soca-chan. I can call you that right?” He replied.
        “Sure, but what does -chan mean?”
        “Just a term of endurement I believe,” explained Ark. Socara giggled when he messed up her hair with his hand. “If I had a younger sister, I think I’d like for her to be just like you.” Socara blushed and looked at her feet, but she suddenly coughed.
        “U okies Soca? Na gettin’ cold o anythin’?” asked Oni.
        “I’m fine,” Socara replied, rubbing her throat. “Maybe it’s something in the air.”
        “My lab is perfectly clean,” insisted Coniau. “Back to the photo and by the way Ark. I did a little research in my spare time and found out that there had been a freedom fighter by your exact description, name, and DNA structure.”
        “DNA structure?! Is that why you stabbed me yesterday?!” shouted Ark.
        “U did dat ta mes too!” Oni said, adding her voice to the complaint.
        “Now now people,” Coniau said embarassinly. “I can’t help it if I’m curious about these things, and I wanted to be sure!” She turned to Ark and pointed an acusing finger. “You sir, are suppose to be dead.”
        “Mes wish,” grumbled Oni under her breath.
        “I heard that,” Ark snapped back.
        Socara sat down on something that looked safe to sit on, but it’s hard to tell with all the machinary in Coniau’s lab. She was starting to get a headache, but she knew it wasn’t from the odd conversation she had started. It wasn’t so bad, not having her memory when she was around Oni, Ark, and Coniau. They didn’t give off the feeling that they were hiding something, unlike Sonic, Sally and Tails.
        “Hey everyone!” Sally was shouting from the closet doorway. “Do you want dinner?”
        “Wohoo! Dinner!” shouted Oni. “Come on Soca! Maybe we can get takeout!” Socara laughed and ran after Oni. Ark and Coniau followed with more dignity.
        It wasn’t until late at night when Socara was lieing on the makeshift bed in the living room, did she realize that Ark had managed to avoid answering anything at all.

        “Hey Ark!” Socara shouted, just as she tackled him to the ground thenext morning and messed up his hair. “Did you have a good night? Guess what? I get to go to the city today with Oni and Coniau to get food supplies. Can you come with us?”
        “Did you have a lot of sugar this morning or what?” asked Ark, very surprised.
        “She had coffee for the first time in 9 years,” said Coniau. “What did you think would happen?”
        “Could you give her decaf next time?” Ark asked as Socara helped him get to his feet, than ran off to get Oni.
        “Ha! What’s the use of decaf?” she laughed.
        “So I can keep my hair at least somewhat neat?” Coniau tossed him her pocket mirror so he could straighten up. “Yeah, I guess I’ll be going with you guys then.”

        “No one knows us yet, so we’re still relatively safe,” said Coniau in a low voice to Ark as they walked down the street.
        “Don’t worry, we have Oni get get us arrest for public disturbance,” sighed Ark.
        “How do you know Oni anyways?”
        “Let’s just say we’re old ‘friends’.”
        “Do I feel sorry for you.”
        “Tell me about it.” Ark looked around to see Oni and Socara had stopped infront of a certain booth and were buying some fruits. Coniau went her own way to find the stuff on her part of the list and Ark went his way. They had all agreed to meet each other before dusk at a small cafe near the park.

        Oni showed Socara a whole bunch of things after they were done shopping, but the castle seemed particularly interesting and she convinced Oni to let them have lunch in a small resturant by it.
        “Why U wanna stay here?” Oni asked her.
        “That castle seems so familiar,” Socara said, looking in its direction.
        “’member anything?” Oni prompted.
        “Not really,” sighed Socara.
        “Don’t okies, Soca” smiled Oni encouragingly, taking a sip of her soda. “When U ‘members, U ‘member.”
        “Thanx, Oni.” Socara turned so she could look at Oni. “So what about you? What were you doing before you, you know signed up?”
        “Mes? Oh, mes wassa mercanary anna stufferz. Mostly dat.”
        “A mercanary? Whoa, sounds funky.”
        “Yeah, yacca have lots of peep mad atta ya. Get inta lots o’ fights. All dis ‘You killed our boss!” o’ ‘Come back here you *beep*!’ butta itta still funz. Get ta do wha’ eva U wanna dos.”
        “So why did you join?”
        “Na knows. Looked fun anna sucherz. Kinda ended up savin’ Tails’ life so just kinda went alon’ wit itta. Like how thin’s turned out though. Wha’ eva upz.”
        “That’s good.” Socara looked at the castle again. Something was nagging her, but she just didn’t know what.

        Ark was sitting close by, just behind a bush. Not like he was following them or anything. After all, he was there first, but why not eavesdrop anyways? When Oni and Socara left, he put his head in his hands and thought about what he was going to do about the photo problem. Knew I should have burned that.
        “Now what?” he sighed. Yeah, he hadn’t wanted to leave, but there wasn’t much of a choice. And now he still owed Chaonen a favor, and he highly doubted that Chaonen had forgotten.
        “Fancy meeting you here,” came a voice behind him.
        “Right on cue,” sighed Ark. “Care to make a bold move and leave me alone?”
        “I don’t think so,” said the stranger, sitting down across from Ark. An Asianic Dragon Shadow from sitting idly on his shoulders, but its eyes flashed with curiousity.
        “Haven’t seen you in a while,” said Ark.
        “I’d say the same for you, Ark,” smiled Chaonen. “Now about that favor you owe me...”

        It had started to rain rather hard. Coniau darted under a canopy. “At least I got everything I needed,” she said, looking at her list. A stranger passed by, accidently shoving her to the side and out in the rain. “HEY! Watch it you jerk!”
        The stranger laughed. “Like I’m going to listen to a little girl like you!” Then disappeared around th corner.
        Coniau grumbled to herself. “I’m extra petite.” She bent over and picked up a few things that she had dropped. Great, now I’m soaked. “Arghh!”
        “It’ll probably turned to snow later. After all, winter’s right around the corner,” said Ark, as he run by and under the canopy. He helped Coniau with some of her items. “I have an extra shirt and pants in my pouch that you can borrow if you want.”
        “Ewww! Wear you clothes? Ick!”
        “Want to stay soaked huh? Fine with me.”
        Coniau shivered. “Oh fine, let me borrow them.” Ark rummaged around in his pouch then tossed Coniau the shirt and pants. She held up the shirt to herself, it went all the way down to her knees. “Now all I have to do is find a place to change quick, or I’m going to get a cold.”
        “I have enough money to rent a room in a relatively cheap in. Why not do that,” suggested Ark. “I don’t think we’ll be getting home tonight.”
        “Point taken,” Coniau nodded. “Know a place?”
        “Greaaaaaat.” Coniau sighed. “Alright, we’ll go find one. Plenty of inns around the Square area.”

        When Oni and Socara arrived at the meeting place, they were soaked to the bone. Ark was waiting for them and told them that they’d be staying in an inn for the night. He told them to hurry up and showed them the way.
        All three of them arrived in the inn wet and cold. In their room, Coniau was sitting on one of the two beds, waiting for her clothes to dry off by the fire.
        “Argh. I hate the cold,” muttered Socara. She immediately sat down close to the fire and sighed happily.
        “All wet,” said Oni. “Icky.” She pulled out an extra t-shirt and shorts from her sleeve and went into the bathroom to change. Ark hang his cloak and pouch close to the fire to dry as well, though only his cloak was wet, since it was thick enough to act as a raincoat for a short time.
        “Oni!” Ark shouted in the bathroom’s direction. “Do you have anymore extra clothes for Soca-chan?”
        Oni opened the door, having finished changing. “Mes thinkies so.” It took her a bit, but she finally found a large sweatshirt and some gray, loose shorts. “Here ya go, Soca. Anna dry Urself offz before U get cold o’ something ‘kay?”
        “Thanx, Oni,” she smiled and went to change. As she walked to the bathroom, she accidently stumbled on the edge of the rug. “Clumsy me,” she laughed.
        When Socara was in the bathroom, Ark coughed, then said. “Is it just me, or is something a tad wrong with her?”
        “Yeah, she’s not that clumsy,” said Coniau. “Oni on the other hand...”
        “Hey!” Objected Oni.
        “Maybe the Nin’nako poisoning still has some effect. It could grow worse,” continued Ark.
        “Dat would suckz,” said Oni.
        “Did anyone mention anything about the rumor of a cure for Nin’nako Poisoning going around?”
        “Yes, but it sound suspicious,” said Coniau. “Besides, she’ll be fine.”
        “Actually, I found out that the rumor orginated from the other rumor that the new LON-42 runs of Nin’nako.”
        “Rumors rumors rumors, blah blah blah,” sighed Oni.
        “Heard the LON-42 plans were also being sent to another production line here in the city. Far less security there.”
        “Hey, let’s look into that one!” Coniau said, almost jumping with excitement. She instantly calmed down then said,” I mean. It is a major new weapon and we Freedom Fighters should look into it and steal it too so if needed the forces in the Downunda can produce them too.”
        “Uh huh,” said Oni, raising an eyebrow. “We believe U.” Coniau scowled at her.
        “What’s everyone talking about?” Socara asked as she walked in.
        “Just on some plans to steal the LON-42 blueprints,” Coniau answered.
        “Hey, wes na agree onna dat!” Oni objected.
        “Yes, we did,” insisted Coniau, putting emphasis on the ‘yes’.
        Socara looked at Ark. He just smiled and shrugged. “Could you guys fill me in on this in the morning? I’m feeling really tired.”
        “Sure, Soca!” Agreed Oni. “Yeah, mes gonna turn in tooz.”
        “But there’s only too beds,” said Coniau. “Who gets them?”
        “We can let Socara have one of them.” said Ark.
        “Yeah, mes gotta sleepin’ bag. Ark can take da sofa, anna Coniau get oda bed,” Oni said.
        “Aw, you guys are too nice to me,” smiled Socara.
        Everyone had gotten ready for bed and the fire was left to burn itself out. “Hey Oni,” whispered Socara.
        “Yeah?” Oni whispered back, looking up at her.
        “How do you keep all those things in your sleeve? It’s so cool the way you keep pulling a million things out of there.”
        “Dat’s ‘cuz mes gotta ‘pocket’ inna dere. Dis magic thingie dat let’s you keep stuff in a dimensional pouch likie thin’ anna you can grab wha’ eva you want when U need. Unlimited space.”
        “Sweet! That must be so handy for travel.” Socara yawned. “Thanx for telling me, sorry if I bugged you for asking.”
        “Nothin’ ta itta! Now get soma sleep, Soca. Wes might be gettin’ up earlies tamorrow.”
        Socara smiled again and turned over. She had a headache again and was feeling cold. Pulling the blanket tighter around herself, she fell asleep.

        Ark woke everyone up the next morning, but when he got to Socara’s bed, he hesitated. He carefully put his hand on her forehead for a few moments. “Damn,” he whispered. He shook Socara gently until she woke up.
        “Wha...” asked murmered, blinking her eyes slowly.
        “Are you feeling allright?” He asked.
        Socara tried to get up. “I’m fine.” But then he grabbed her shoulder and made her lie down.
        “Yeah right. You’re burning up with a fever. You are far from fine.”
        Oni leaned sat up and looked at Socara. “OooO, Soca. U should stay inna bed. U na lookies so good atta alls.” Socara tried to object again, that she was fine, but Oni made her be quiet and stay in bed. Coniau gave Socara a moist cloth to place over her forehead, since she had overheard the conversation.
        Socara was just about to object again when Oni stuck a thermometer into her mouth. “Iffa U worryin’ ‘bout dat LON-42 thin’, U na needs ta. We can wait. ‘side still gotta talk ta Sally anna peeps.” Oni took the thermometer out of her mouth. “Owwies. Dis ain’t so good.” She passed it to Coniau.
        “You’re telling me.” She pointed at Socara. “You are not getting out of the bed, young lady. You’re staying right there until we figure out what to do.”
        “Shards, a 104,” whispered Ark to Coniau when they had left the room to let Socara to get some sleep.
        “Wha’ wes gonna do. We can’t stay herez anna we can’t get Soca back home eitha.”
        “Infernos, why did she have to get sick now?” sighed Coniau. “I know its not her fault!” When Ark and Oni both glared at her.

        Socara couldn’t sleep. She was thinking about how worthless she was. Why did I have to get sick now? I’m probably holding everyone back from important things they need to do. First thing I do after 9 years in a coma is mess up everyone’s life. She sniffled. Oni and Ark are being so nice to me too.
        She sighed and rolled on her side, staring at the fire.Everyone else can probably fight really well, really smart, or just really good at something. I would probably suck when I need to go where the action is. My first chance to do something and I get a fever. Hmph.

“If you don’t be nice to it, it would work!” Coniau snapped, snatching the commincator from Oni who was banging it on the side of the table for not working. She fiddled around with it for a moment. “It looks like its in working condition, but why isn’t it working?”
        “’cuz stufferz likies dis anna comps suck!” shouted Oni. She grabbed it and banged it on the table again.
        Coniau snatched it back again and tinkered with it some more. An hour later she got fustrated and banged it on the table. “I can’t work ith inferior technology,” she snapped at Oni who was laughing at her so hard that she fell off the couch.

        Ark was sitting at an empty table in the same cafe he was in the other day. No one else was outside. It was pretty cold and had started to snow finally. He sipped at the hot chocolate and a slight bit of liquor in it, he had bought. It was several hours past noon.
        The wind picked up slightly, then settled in a second. “Well?”
        “I can’t hold my end of the deal,” Ark said, keeping a nonchalant tone in his voice.
        “Socara woke up with a fever this morning. I wouldn’t be able to convince the others to come to where you instructed in even if I tried. And I wouldn’t try.”
        Chaonen sighed and sat down in the sit he had taken yesterday. “So, how is she?”
        Ark nearly jerked up in surprise. Surprised that Chaonen actually sounded concerned. “Wha-what do you mean?”
        “Things like, how is she feeling, how high is her temperature.”
        “Why?” Ark asked suspiciously. “How well do you know her?”
        “Far better than you,” Chaonen grinned, his eyes diluted for a moment. “I didn’t question you about your motives those many years ago. Don’t question mine.”
        “She has a fever of 104 last time we checked, which was this morning,” Ark finally said. Chaonen reached up and scratched his Shadow’s chin. It tilted its head up and made a sound that was almost like purring, but slightly more reptilian.
        “104...” Chaonen got up. “Fine, our arrangement is canceled, but not your debt.” He turned around, and was about to disappear, but decided to walk back to the castle for a change.
        “You’re different,” murmered Ark, as he watched Chaonen walk away with his Shadow flying around him, chittering. He watched him until he couldn’t see him anymore. Putting the the tip for the waiter on the table, he returned to the inn.

        “Why haven’t they contacted us yet?” asked Sally, clearly worried. “They should have been back by last night.”
        “Do you think they ran into trouble?” suggested Tails.
        “Oh, Ancients I hope not.”
        “I’ve tried to contact them, but the signal is being jammed,” said Sonic. “It might be the weather, but I doubt it.”
        “I hope they can contact Draca then,” Sally sighed.
        “But do they know about her?” Tails objected.
        “Socara has an inking, but I think Ark knows. Yeah, I remember telling him,” said Sonic.
        “Shouldn’t we go look for them?”
        “Too risky. Don’t worry, they can take care of themselves. If we don’t get any word from them by tonight, well search for them the next morning. Okay buddy?”
        Tails nodded and so did Sally.

        Oni was enteraining herself by blowing one of her feathers up into the air, letting it fall down, then blowing it back up. She was lying on the other bed next to Socara while she still slept. Everynow and then she would change the moist cloth on the echidna’s forehead. Coniau still couldn’t get the communicator to work. She had finally taken out her laptop and was analyzing the communicator. Nothing wrong had showed up yet.
        “There is nothing wrong with it at all,” grumbled Coniau. “It should work!”
        “Maybes signal messed up by weather,” said Oni, between blows.
        “I highly doubt it,” Coniau replied. “Weather shouldn’t interfere...” She suddenly started typing rapidly. Oni watched as numbers and symbols in Coniau’s native language fly by on the screen. “Infernos, I can’t believe this. Why didn’t I realize it sooner.”
        “Realize wha’?”
        “I had redone all of the communication systems in Knothole so it would be more efficent. Now, it seems that someone is blocking our signal from getting out of the city.”
        “Wha’?!” Oni jumped over the couch and looked onto the screen. “Dis na good.”
        “You’re telling me! These are my upgrades that someone’s blocking! Who ever this guy is, they’re good,” snapped Coniau.
        “So who itta bes?”
        “I can’t trace it, but I have a feeling it’s Chaonen or whoever came up with the LON-42.”
        There was a sound by the door. Both Coniau and Oni looked up as Ark opened the door, then shut it behind himself.
        “Where were you?” Asked Coniau.
        “Looking for Draca,” he replied.
        “A FF spy here in the city.”
        “Mes na know dats,” said Oni. “NEways, Coniau finds out dat signal being blocked by someone.”
        “Splendid,” Ark sighed. “What do we do now?”
        “Someone could go back to Knothole while the other two stay here,” suggested Coniau.
        “Den wha’ dey do inna Knothole?”
        “Tell Sonic that we’re allright, you idiot! Then come up with a plan on getting Socara back without being caught or worsening her condition.”
        Ark looked out the window. It was dusk now. The snow was still slowly piling up, around two inches now. “That won’t be easy.”
        Socara had woken up. She rubbed her eyes and looked out the window too.
A idea of snow splattered with blood flashed across her mind, but she lost the thought when Ark spoke up.
        “Are you feeling any better Soca-chan?” He asked, sitting on the edge of her bed.
        “A little,” she said weakly. Ark checked her temp which had dropped down to a 102. “What time is it? How long was I sleeping?”
        “It’s dusk now. You’ve only been sleeping the whole day,” he smiled, trying to cheer her up a bit. “What would you like for dinner? We’re going down to get some.”
        “Anything warm,” she replied.
        “Okay, umm... do you eat meat?”
        “I don’t remember,” she said. “But I think I do.”
        “All right, how does Chicken soup sound?” Socara smiled and nodded. Ark reasurred her that they would be back soon, and got up and left with Oni and Coniau. He locked the door securely behind him and caught up with the others on the stairs. Socara felt really weak again, so closed her eyes and waited for them to get back. She felt something brush against her nose, and sneezed. A small asian-like Shadow dragon was sitting on the pillow close to her head. It was clutching its tail as not to accidently made Socara sneeze again.
        “Sorry, Socara-hime,” it said.

        Everyone was halfway up the stairs when Oni dropped the bag with their dinner in it and ran full speed up the stairs. Ark and Coniau ran after her, sensing something was wrong.
        He unlocked the door as quick as he could and ran inside. Oni had somehow gotten inside before them despite her not having a key or breaking down the door.
        “Soca?!” she screamed.
        The room was completely empty. Ark noticed a small note tucked under the pillow. He read it before anyone else saw it.

You’re debt is paid.

        Was all it said.

End of Chapter 9

Preview: I know, I think I said this chapter was to be called ‘A Fatal Step?’ But that’s now going to be the title for the next chapter. I ended up splitting this chapter in half when I hit the 20 page mark in Microsoft Works, I didn’t want to go farther. Besides this let me keep anyone reading this in suspence as I take forever to write the next chapter! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Sorry, can’t help myself.
        Anyways. Next chapter, things get more intense. The FF in Knothole and FF in Darkintis have no communication and are cut off from each other now. Worse, Chaonen’s decided to take over the rest of the planet in one full swipe. Socara’s missing and we’ve got a pretty good clue as to who has her. Well, at least Ark does...