I was just waiting for those five precious reviews, yes. See, I've got all the way up to Chapter 7 written but I won't post them if no one is reading them! Am I terrible person? No, I don't think so. :D

This one is short, but I'd like to think intense.


"Broken Masks"

Stefan burst into the warehouse, his black hair sticking to his cheeks and forehead and his arms dripping water. Ditto looked up from the computer screen that cast a sickly green hue on his child's face, but his smiling face soon contrasted it.

"What is Mr. Bashkir in such a frenzy over?"

Stefan marched to the table and sat down. Mona and Cosmo soon appeared at the table from workbenches, their hands greasy and sore from repairing weapons. Stefan held his head in his hands, kneading his forehead. "I found her."

Mona raised her eyebrows. "Oh, did you? Well, why didn't you bring the lady of choice to the palace?"

Stefan looked up and shot her a look of warning. "I found the girl that took care of me when I was away," He looked back down at the plastic table. "The one with the masks…"

"Why are you so upset about it then? Shouldn't you be happy?" Ditto asked.

"She had a Nightmare on her shoulder," Stefan said painfully, as he ran his fingers through his hair. He picked up the silence before it took its course. "And I'm not going to let it take a hold of her when I can stop it," Stefan jumped up from the table, pacing the cold floor. "There's got to be a way…"

Mona glanced at Ditto and Cosmo a look of amusement, in which it was returned. "So, are you interested in a girl, Stefan?"

Stefan halted in his steps, his boots harshly slamming against the concrete. His eyes narrowed and he seemed to grow a foot taller. "Mona, this is not about whether or not I'm interested in her. It's that for once someone took my life in their hands and protected and cared for me. And now that person is threatened, and I'm going to protect them in return."

Ditto held his hands out in front of him. "Okay, let's slow this down. Who is she? What is her name, what does she look like?"

"Her name is Scout," Stefan said. "She works at the Rose Tinted Café in the Neon District. She looks like she's about twelve, but when she starts talking, you can tell she's around my age. Um, she's small… brown wavy hair, pale skin."

Mona sat down in her chair, framing a square with her hands on the tabletop. "Okay, plan: tomorrow, we are going to go down to the Neon District and find this girl and see if she's in any major trouble—"

"If there's a Nightmare sitting on her shoulder, I'd say that's trouble," Stefan said.

"That's a good point," Cosmo said. "I mean, here we have a perfect shot at trying to get rid of a Nightmare, or at least figuring something out. I think we should take hold of this opportunity."

"So," Mona continued. "We're going to go to that café and see if she's there. What then?"

It was then that a loud alarm rang out in the warehouse. Ditto frantically navigated the computer screen to the video cameras surrounding the warehouse's exterior. He leaned back, his eyes widening. "Stefan…"

"Yeah?"

"Is this that girl?"

Stefan hovered over Ditto's shoulder, watching the screen. He stepped back quickly. "Where's a lightning rod?"

Cosmo went back to his workbench with Stefan close behind him. Cosmo picked up a rod and held it in front of Stefan. "We fixed a few of them, but we aren't sure—"

Stefan snatched it from his fingers and grabbed some cartridges, stuffing them in his damp pockets. "Come on, guys. Get a rod."

"What's going on?" Mona asked, going through the familiar routine or preparation.

Stefan was standing by the elevator, his hands yanking the grille open. "They've got her downstairs. The Nightmares."

---------

The elevator rolled down the shaft slowly and loudly. Stefan held onto the bars of the elevator, tightening his grip anxiously and tapping his fingers on the bars. He glanced behind him. "You guys remember how to use these rods, don't you?"

Cosmo held the weapon in front of him, uneasily. "Yeah, I do."

The elevator ground to a halt and Stefan ripped the gate open once the elevator stopped. "Come on, guys, don't wait around," he ran out of the elevator and through the garage to the door at the end. As he approached the door, the screaming of Scout became louder and louder, which threw him in more of a frenzy. "Scout! Scout! Hold on!" He threw the garage door open and was back out in the rain, which had grown from a light mist to a heavy downfall in the night.

In the alley and through the rain, the Supernaturalists could see a moving mass of black and the occasional flash of flailing arms and legs. The screaming was accented with a gurgling sound from the black mass, which seemed to grow with every movement.

Stefan charged toward the mass, and fired the lightning rod into the mass.

And amazingly, it blasted through the black cloud, uncovering a terrified Scout. She looked in the direction of the blast and saw Stefan and the Supernaturalists, who were all firing at the tangle of black. Stefan reached down to her, trying to pull her out of the mess, but the Nightmares sucked her back in, multiplying in their efforts.

"Scout! We're going to get you out!" Stefan yelled out, firing shots into the mass, kicking the black creatures out of the way as the others shot into them, eliminating the mass with each shot and round. Stefan threw his lightning rod aside when he found that he was out of cartridges and began shoving the creatures aside to his comrades.

The tangle had melted to smoky strands of black which coiled into the night sky, disappearing. Lying on the cold ground was an unconscious Scout and cloth bag hanging from her arm. Stefan knelt down, shaking with fear, and felt her neck for a pulse. He released a breath, saying, "She's still alive…" as he picked her small doll-like frame up in his arms. He looked at his comrades. "Let's get her inside. I think she'll be okay."

"What about this?" Mona asked, holding the cloth bag up.

Stefan looked over his shoulder at it, and turned around in curiosity. "What's in it?"

Mona peered in the bag and sifted through it. She looked up at Stefan. "Two broken masks."


Wanna try for ten reviews? Maybe. Just let me know what you think, that's all I ask!