The Moonlight Effect

By: Merlock101

Note: To my readers, I'd like to inform you, that no this story is not written because I
enjoy romance (and I can tell you that I am not particularly fond of it) but I do find it rather
interesting in a story. And really quite pretty from an artistic-psychological standpoint. I've also
grown tired of how people are always writing fanfictions involving Sara and Merlock locked in a
beautiful love story, so I have formed a story with an odd little twist of fate, romance and even
horror... so I'm not really sure what to classify this story as. But, please read, and enjoy, all the
same. No flames please.


Thankyou,


The Writer




'Love, well, if you could've called it that, which I'm not sure you could have at least at the
beginning. But, maybe so. It truly is a rather remarkable tale. And even romantic, in the sense of
the word in dictionary terms as: visionary, full of feelings. It even contains a sense of swash-
buckle, and breath-taking horror that few stories crave, and even fewer have.
It is with this information, dear reader, that I begin my story. One that you may argue of
it's actually happening. As I said, it truly is a remarkable tale. But, yes, it is true. Everything said,
stated, quoted and described is only that which is and has been. So, let me begin with...'

"Merlock! Get your nose out of that book and let's get going!" A familiar voice ordered.
"Huh?" Merlock muttered with a jump.
"We're going to be late if we don't hurry!" The familiar voice warned, reminding Merlock
of the chains that had him bound to his work. He turned to the voice. That voice belonged to his
Time Shifter, the precocious Bindi that resembled a floating pink snail, with large green eyes.
"Sorry, Bindi, I just got wrapped up in this book," Merlock apologized while gesturing
towards the red, hard-backed book in his gloved hand. "The writer is excellent, she had me
captivated with the story in just the first paragraph." Bindi glanced at the book with curiosity.
"The Moonlight Effect, by TerraFina Dagmar," Bindi read the cover. "Hmm... I wonder if
there's any relation to Petra."
"Maybe," Merlock shrugged.
"Well, I've never heard of her, TerraFina that is," said Bindi.
"Keep in mind that we're about ten years into the future from where we normally live.
And besides even now she's probably a new writer."
Merlock flipped the book over and over in his hands, wanting to just curl up on a
cushiony sofa and finish reading it, rather than attend some Time Police meeting. But, then
again, as long as Sara was going to be there, perhaps it was all worth-while. Merlock looked
down at the novel and thumbed through some of the pages. His mission to gather notes about how the fututre was getting along had alkso turned into an afternoon to window shop. He really wanted to buy it, but he didn't exactly have the money right now to spend on non-essential items. But, if he didn't buy it, he'd probably go nuts wondering what was going to happen. So, he tucked it under his arm and headed towards the counter to make it belong to him.
"Come along, Bindi," he instructed. Bindi obeyed and floated behind him like a faithful
pet, as she always did. She observed the object of her affection's features for maybe the one-
thousandth time with detailed precision.
'Merlock truly is beautiful,' Bindi decided. 'Now, only if he'd acknowledge the fact that I'm
crazy about him and then get a crush on me, instead of that annoying Sara.'
At the counter, Merlock placed the book on the table and began digging through his
pocket until he located his wallet. Inside, there were several pictures: one of himself, Sara, and
him and Bindi at Six-Flags theme park. He eyed the one of Sara while he reached in and pulled
a five dollar bill out of the pocket of his wallet. The cashier kept glancing at Merlock and Bindi
suspiciously, as people always did whenever the pair walked in. He was a very short, and very
homely-looking, man that looked as if he hadn't showered in a few weeks and Merlock began to
wonder why anyone, even a dinky little drug store, would hire someone like this. Merlock
grumbled under his breath. He hated mortals like these who always gawked at people who were
different- like they were gaping at an alien. It made his-own blood boil. But, he didn't say
anything. His mother always told him, as a child, that you can never win an argument with an
idiot anyway- so it was best not to bother. And, like the gentleman that he always tried to be, he
was not likely to disobey his mother.
Merlock placed the five dollars on the table.
"Thank you... Have a nice day," he murmured as calmly as possible. Bindi noticed that
his fists were clenched very tightly. He tucked the book under his arm again and walked out the
door, which opened with a jingling noise.
"Remind me never to shop here again, Bindi" Merlock grumbled.
Bindi nodded. She wanted to comfort Merlock, but decided it was best not to say anything- he
needed time to think. Besides, she didn't know what to say to him anyway. It wasn't the first time
that something like this had happened to the two of them. People pointed, and stared, at them
wherever they went- like it was some kind of game where the person who pointed at the most
different people walking by won. Adults and teenagers made comments and whispers just loud
enough to hear...
'Did you see that weirdo and his little floating pink snail?'
'Did you see his skin?'
'Yeah he looks dead!'
'Watch out, Sally, or the monster with the purple hair and green skin is gonna' get ya'!'

Little children were afraid of them, thinking they were some kind of monster or beast. No
one would talk to them. It was such a sad and lonely life at times. Merlock didn't deserve that at
all. He deserved a pretty, lavish world, full of people to talk to, beautiful women, lovely ballroom
dances and all the riches and delicacies that could ever be owned. But, most of all, he deserved
to be loved by the most beautiful, smart, and influential woman in the world. Bindi placed a hand
at her broken saddened heart.
'Oh, Merlock,' she thought. 'I wish I could be that woman. For she is the luckiest in the
world.' A glimpse of Sara flashed through her mind. 'No.' she shook her head. 'No, it can't be
true. Why would he choose her? Sara was just a little, frightened child. And she doesn't even
love Merlock back. Oh, Merlock, you deserve so much better than that! But, why can't you see
it?. . ."
Merlock had mounted his time scooter by now, Bindi perched herself on his shoulder and
held on tight as the scooter shot off through time and space.



* * *




'A new mission. A new time. A new place. A new life!' Merlock thought. 'That's really
what I need,' he glanced down at the book in his hand. 'Not a new book about some wacko girl's
life! All I want is to be with Sara, forever, but am I given that? No. Instead, I'm given some new
mission to find a bunch of stupid creatures with a bunch of useless powers. New Time Shifters,
they call the Dream Shifters: little creatures that travel through time and space through people's
dreams. Sounds like a lot of work to me. Something that I really don't want to do . . . but, what
am I saying? Of course I like being a time detective, but sometimes it can get tiring. Besides, I'm
just bummed-out because of how that wretched cashier acted earlier today. I really shouldn't take
it so hard. Hell, I should be used to it. And, plus, Sara wouldn't let me flirt with her during the
meeting, which also pissed me off. Then, Bindi going-off on her and, smacking my hand when I
reached out to touch Sara, sometimes I worry about that shifter. . . Maybe this mission will give
me a new sense of purpose, I have been depressed lately, and besides, these are dream
shifters- perhaps they can make my dreams come true.'
The scooter shot through a burst of light that was almost blinding. The two found
themselves in an open field filled with grass and wild flowers. Off in the distance, you could see
the great city of Athens, which looked like new in this particular time. For, here, it was new and
had not been forced to bear the erosion, war, and time yet that must come to everything on this
earth.
Merlock lifted a hand to block the sun from his eyes. It was odd being a daylight vampire
since most have heard of the kind that stalk the nights and await their prey. But, here he was, a
creature of night, brought to sunniest, brightest day. He hid his scooter in the bushes, and
grabbing a good hold on his walking stick- leapt up into the tree, thus hiding himself. As a
warning to keep silent, Merlock placed a finger to his lips. Bindi nodded and placed her tentacles
over her mouth to keep it shut. So, in silence, they waited, and waited, and waited.
Nothing happened.
"Merlock?" Bindi whispered. "Are they ever gonna' show up?"
"Eventually," Merlock shrugged.
"What is this new shifter called? I forgot."
"Arithma, they say he has the power to give people great dreams of mathematics. And
arithmetic inspiration."
"Oh, sounds interesting," Bindi lied- she was never a math whiz anyway.
There was silence for a long time, until several recognizable shapes appeared on the
horizon.
"Hey look! There's Sara!" Merlock said in an excited whisper. "And the rest of them. Oh,
Sara! Perhaps today I will win your heart with my exquisite charm and perfection!"
"Do we have to talk about Sara on *every* mission?" Bindi asked.
"Shh! Here they come!" Merlock warned her excitedly.
And, sure enough, Flint, Sara, Tony, Get-a-long, Pteri, and Rocky came over the hill and
into the meadow. With his supersonic hearing, Merlock was able to distinguish every word of
their conversation:
"So, this is ancient Greece, huh?" Tony inquired. "It's pretty cool!"
"Grease? Did someone say grease? Isn't that the stuff that's on cheeseburgers? Because
I'm real hungry!" Flint exclaimed.
Merlock, overhearing this, simply shook his head pitifully. 'Will Flint ever learn?'
"Flint! You're always hungry!" Sara stated.
Hearing the voice of the object of his affection made Merlock feel like melting. His eyes
became little hearts as he gazed at the creature he so adored.
Sara.
Was it just him? Or was pink hair majorly attractive?
"C'mon, you guys, we're here to find Arithma! The Time Bureau said he's made friends
with the Greek mathematician: Pythagoras!" Pteri stated.
"Yeah, we better get going!" Sara said.
The group then walked away.
'Damn pterodactyl!' Merlock thought.
"Well, let's go, Bindi" he mumbled. "We've got a job to do!"
The pair leapt from the tree and landed lightly on the ground. Then, dashed off. Merlock
raced after them, leaping over things, dipping, diving. A familiar routine that occured everytime
they went after a Time Shifter. Merlock had become used to it by now, especially since his prize
was awaiting him at the end of this race.
"Hey, Sara, do you feel like we're being followed?" Tony piped up.
'Dammit, Tony!' Merlock silently cursed, then grabbed Bindi and dove into the bushes.
He couldn't let himself be seen without making a dramatic entrance. Flint and the gang stopped
and turned. No one was there.
"I think your just imagining things Tony," Sara shook her head. "There's no one out
here."
Tony scratched his head curiously, "I could've sworn I'd heard something. Oh well."
"Don't be so paranoid Tony, you always get the feeling that something's after us," Pteri
said. The group turned around again to continue their journey, but someone was missing...
"Hey? Where's Flint?" Get-a-long asked.
"Yeah, where is the little guy?" Tony questioned.
"Flint! Flint? Where are you? This is no time for hide and seek!" Sara cried.
"Where could he have gone?" Tony wondered.
The brown-haired boy looked around him, no Flint anywhere. It figured, Flint always
disappeared when they went on their missions. And it was always for the same reason; food.
'Well,' Tony decided. 'If we find food then we'll find Flint. It shouldn't be too hard, and if I
find him, then I'll be the hero! Joy!' Tony puffed out his chest and said:
"Don't worry, I'll find Flint. We just have to follow our noses and--."
"I found him!" Pteri called.
"Great, Pteri!" Sara said and ran off to join him.
Tony hung his head in exasperation. "I never get to be the hero. . . Damn pterodactyl. . ."
Sure enough, they found Flint sitting on the grass next to a young man, obviously a
Grecian, with a basket of food in between them both. Flint, of course, was already shoving food
from it into his mouth- looking quite pleased. The boy seemed to be enjoying the cave-kid's
company as well since was smiling, but what was so interesting about the boy- was the little
colorful creature beside him. It looked like a whole bunch of numbers jumbled into one heap in
a square shape, each number being a different color. It also had two big dark eyes covered by
thick square glasses, it also appeared to be holding a math compass in one hand. The gang was
now looking upon the first dream shifter: Arithma.
"Didn't take him long to find that shifter," Sara giggled.
"Didn't take him long to find the food either," Tony mumbled.
"Hey guys!" Flint waved a friendly hand toward them. "Meet my new friend Pythagoras!
He was just telling me about Arithma!"
"Pythagoras?!!!!" They all exclaimed. "Father of the Pythagorean Theorem?!!!!"
"Huh?" Pythagoras asked. "When did I do that? Father of the Pythagorean what?"
Giant sweatdrops appeared on Sara, Tony, Pteri and Get-a-Long's forehead.
"Oh, uh, nothing. . . Did I say Pythagorean Theorem? I meant uh. . . Something else.
He- he. . ." Sara stammered. 'Lame excuse Sara,' she thought.
Pythagoras still looked a little clueless. "Your friends seem a bit mixed up," he told Flint.
"Ah no," Flint replied. "They're just kiddin' around. Pyth, this is Sara, Tony, Pteri and Get-
a-Long." Flint pointed to each one as he said their names. "Now, you guys can be friends too."
"Tee hee! Friends! Yeah!" Arithma cheered.
"That's the spirit!" Flint told him. "Let's sing the 'friends' song!" He grabbed Arithma's
hand and proceded to dance around with him in circles. "Yeah, yeah friends! Yeah yeah friends!
La la la. Friends! Friends! Friends!"
Pythagoras laughed.
"He doesn't look much like how I imagined Pythagoras to look," Tony whispered to Sara.
"Yeah, but afterall he's still just a teenager," Sara said.
"You're right. Hey, do you think Arithma has given him any dreams yet?"
"Maybe. Let's ask." Sara turned to Pythagoras. "Mr. Pythagoras? Has Arithma given you
any sort of dreams or inspiration?"
"Oh yeah! He does that all the time, don't you Arithma?" Pythagoras replied.
"Uh huh," Arithma nodded.
"Shall we demonstrate?"
"Sure!" Flint and the gang said.
"Alright," Arithma began. "Everybody close your eyes!" They obeyed. "Now, listen to the
sound of my voice. Math is creation. Algebra is solving. Geometry is understanding." Arithma
recited many equations and waved his compass around in a rhythmic pattern, over and over
again in a syncronized pattern. Soon, his voice seemed to fold into a dreamy-like sound that
fluttered over their closed eye-lids, and tickled their ears.
"Okay now," Arithma said. "Open your eyes."
The group blinked their eyes open, but what they saw made their eyes open up twice as
wide. The sight before them was just one big expanse of beautiful scenery, fields, trees, a road,
and little pond. And everything there was made of numbers. Equations floated past them like
birds- Sara tried to catch one. Multiplication, addition, subtraction and division symbols hung
from trees like fruit- Flint tried to eat one and found out that the addition ones tasted like cherry.
Tony observed the road they were standing on was composed of thousands of tiny number 4's.
Pteri and Get-a-Long just gazed at their surroundings in awe. Such knowledge that could be
gained here! Pteri began to wonder if this is where all the Mathematicians go in their dreams to
get inspiration. Even if you weren't a mathematician, it was still a wonderful place. The soft light
from the sun cast a warm pretty glow across an red-orange sky spotted with fluffy pink clouds.
The grass itself suggested of royalty as it donned the color of pale-purple. And if you looked
closely at it, you could see that each blade was a small number 1.
"So, what do ya' think?" Pythagoras asked them.
"It's great!" Flint and the gang all said.
"I want to live here!" Sara giggled.
"Sorry, you can't live here, no one can," Arithma told her. "But, you can make it even
better for the next time you visit!"
"How?"
"It's easy! I'll show you!" Arithma pulled- out of thin air- a large pencil that was as thick
as Sara's arm and just as long and handed it to her. "Just draw into the air lots of numbers,
equations, whatever is mathematic and you'll find out."
Sara lifted the pencil into her arms and held on tight, a little unsure as she had no idea
as to what was going to happen, then she drew a huge letter 3.
"Three's my lucky number," she said. Then, just seconds after she drew the three, it
began to move, shrunk, and then placed it's self onto a flower stem.
"Wow," was all Tony could say.
"How'd you do that?" Get-a-Long asked Arithma.
"Oh, just a little Mathemagic!" Arithma replied.
Everyone giggled, then continued on to their activities exploring this math dream world.

"Now this is an odd scene," Merlock concluded. "Flint, Sara, Tony, Get-a-Long, and Pteri
all standing around in a field jumping around, waving their arms and talking, accompanied by
some Grecian kid and Arithma. But, what's really strange is that they all seem to be looking at
objects and discussing them, but there's absolutely nothing there! It looks as though Sara is
holding something and moving it in different motions. But, there's only air! What is going on?"
"I always knew that Sara was a little kooky!" Bindi stated.
Merlock rolled his eyes. "I'd interrupt but, but I'm not sure how I could make a good
entrance."
A large sweat drop appeared on Bindi's forehead. Then, a thought hit her.
"Hey, wait a second, Arithma's a Dream Shifter, so maybe he's got Flint and the others
under some kind of dream spell."
"That's a good theory," Merlock aggreed. "Glad *I* thought of it." He added with a teasing
smile.
"Merlock Holmes! Cut that out, you don't always have to take the credit!" Bindi playfully
punched him playfully in the shoulder.
"PETRA STAMP!!!!!!!" Screamed a feminine voice. Merlock and Bindi knew that voice,
and they knew that particular saying, it could only mean one thing. . .
"Oh no, Petra's got Arithma!" Merlock exclaimed.
"Hah hah hah!" Petra did the triangle laugh as she cocked her head back. "I've got
Arithma and there's nothin' these little bratty bums can do about it!"
Still in the dream, Sara, Tony, Flint, Pteri and Get-a-Long had absolutely no idea as to
what was going on in the real world.
"Hey, where's Arithma?" Pythagoras asked. He searched around frantically, but he was
nowhere to be found.
"It's getting awfully dark around here too," Get-A-Long added. The earth beneath them
began to shake violently, and the sky turned a deep red color as though about ready to bleed
upon them.
"What is going on?" Sara demanded.
"I want out of this dream. . . NOW!!!" Tony screamed. Suddenly, the world around them
began to fade into a mist, revealing the real world that they had been in not long ago. Except
now, there was a tall, beautiful woman dressed all in red with long green hair tied in a ponytail.
Beside her were two strange creatures, grinning evilly.
"Time to take care of these losers once and for all!" Petra lashed out with her whip at Arithma. " Petra-form to Arithma-Con!" With that, Arithma began to glow with an irredescent light and grew to a size of great porportion. Arithma was now a giant number thirteen with evil- slanted- eyes and a huge pencil.
"Ooooh, real scary," Merlock muttered, rolling his eyes. "A big, scary pencil! What's he gonna' do? Draw little numbers on our faces?" As if in response to the comment, a sharp, gleaming knife-like point extended from the tip of the pencil. "Okay, now this could be a problem." Merlock observed.
"Merlock! *Do* something!!" Bindi exclaimed.
Merlock shook his head. "Nah, not yet. If Sara were in trouble, then I would. But, I think Flint can handle it, for now. . . "
Meanwhile, Arithma-Con was lashing out with his pencil-sword in anger. Flint came forward- his stone ax in hand prepared for battle.
"I don't want to do this, Arithma- but you give me no choice!" He cried.
"Hammer-head ROCK!!!!!!!!" Rocky shouted his battle cry as the stone ax unleashed it's mighty fury upon Arithma. Arithma raised his sword- repelling the attack. The opponents kept their weapons crossed over each other.
"Don't do this!" Flint pleaded. "You're my friend!"
"Friends are for the weak!!!!" Arithma-Con flung Flint to the side.
Petra, Dino and Mite waved little paper fans. "Go Arithma-Con go!" Dino and Mite yelled in unison.
"Nice goin' Arithma-Con! Now, chase after those twerpy-kids!" Petra commanded.
"Your order shall be obeyed, Master!" Arithma-Con replied. Then, noticing Sara, made his first move. He charged after her, shaking the ground in his wake.
"Run Sara!" Tony cried. Sara nodded then high-tailed it into gear, running at full speed to escape her chaser.
"Now, is when we spring into action," Merlock said to Bindi, and took off after Sara. Sara, meanwhile, was running for her life- when she came to a stop at the edge of a very tall cliff.
'Oh no!' She thought, fear swept over her. There was nowhere to run. No way to escape. She could run off to the side, but Arithma would still chase her. A turn like that would just be easier to catch her. The girl froze as she faced her fate- charging viciously towards her. She closed her eyes and did the only thing she could: pray.
Then, in flash of lightening fast reflexes- Merlock dove at Sara and pushed her out of the way. But, those reflexes- although fast- were not rapid enough to save himself. Within seconds, Merlock felt a mighty blow and was thrusted off the edge of the cliff.

There was but a split moment. A flash of light. Merlock waited for the pain. The end that would befall him. What a waste! That last thread that separated life and death was licking at his heels, and breathing the scent of death down his back. But, he wasn't afraid. He had lived for a long time. Too long. And now, it was time to die the death of a hero. Saving his fair young lady.
'Good bye, Sara, I love you,' Merlock thought, as he braced himself for the fall. He clenched his fists tight, and clamped his teeth down. "Death for the already deceased." Falling, and falling. Down, down. The rush of wind was overwhelming. Crashing to the ground, and he had no wings to lift him up.
It wouldn't be long now. But, for the first time, Merlock was afraid. He didn't want to die not yet. Not when there was so much in the world he did not know. And so, he screamed. Then, there was impact. A great wrenching feeling as though being grabbed. Merlock assumed this was the body's odd twisted position after falling. Now, he felt as though he were hanging from something. Merlock assumed this was because he was beginning to lose feeling in his body. And then weightlessness. He assumed this was his soul parting the earth.
This was how it was to die.
Maybe it wasn't so terrible at all. It wasn't really all that bad. But, still, he wondered, what it looked like to die, if this is how it felt. Feeling something was depth, an idea. But, seeing was understanding. 'Seeing is believing. Believing is seeing.' Merlock concluded. Then, he slowly opened his eyes.
There was the earth below him, miles and miles below him. It was an awesome sight that only few can behold. The wind whipped at his face in great exhilaration, flowing like the whoosh of air when you ride a roller coaster. It was wonderful. Merlock could hear the flutter of great long beautiful wings.
'Are those mine?' he wondered. 'How am I working them?'
It was then that he noticed the strange pressure at his shoulders, Merlock looked to either side of his shoulders and saw that there were great big claws holding onto them.
Panic.
Merlock looked up.
Panic.
Those claws were attached to long legs. And those legs were joined to a great, big, hairy and feathery body with wings.
Panic.
But, this time- everything blacked out.

Who knew how long it really was before Merlock awakened? He sure didn't. But when he did regain concsciousness (though his eyes were still closed), he found himself lying on solid ground, most likely in the dirt. Had he died?. . . Again? No, b/c he was in pain. His chest was throbbing- probably bruising. He felt a slight draft on his chest as well, something being wrapped around it, and soft, loving hands. His eyes automatically opened. At first, all he could see was big beautiful eyes. When the world came into a dizzying focus he realized that those eyes were attached to a head, and that head was attached to the body of a young girl.
"So, you're awake," the girl said, it was not a question. Merlock stared at her, aghast, because she has seen him without his shirt on. *Bandaged* him up infact. He searched around to find his shirt, which he slipped on in a clumsy haste, and put on his jacket over that shirt. Then, he stumbled to his feet. The girl was smiling at him, amused at what she saw.
"W-who. . .*gasp*. . . W-who are you?" Merlock was finally able to blurt out, between straining gasps. The girl only looked at him strangely through big, expressive eyes. Big, RED, expressive eyes. But, the rest of her face was covered with a veil much like the Arabian women wore in the harem. Infact, everything about her outfit suggested that she'd just been dropped here from Saudi Arabia. She wore the strange fluffy pants, the curved shoes, (which were gold) a long white cape, and the Nomadic Herder type hat.
Interesting.
Plus, she was all dressed in pink.
'Okay, she's either a big *I Dream Of Genie* fan or a *Moonlight Knight* wannabe,' Merlock thought.
But, what was strangest thing about her, was the long graceful, pale blue creature behind her. It looked like a giant cat, or a graceful lion with lovely slanted, dark eyes and long pale-pink colored wings extended from it's shoulders. It seemed to be purring and flipping it's tale contently as it laid next to the strange girl.
A time shifter.
Finally, the girl spoke: "Who is to say what I am? Isn't being here enough to prove my existence? Or would you rather have a name? Nothing seems real to humans until they've named it."
Merlock was taken aback, he hadn't anticipated such a reaction. Infact, he hadn't really expected her to even answer. But, he was mad that she hadn't given him a *straight* reply.
"Enough of these games, give me an answer, and stop talking in riddles!" He demanded.
"I might've known you'd say that," the girl rolled her eyes. She shook her head in pity, and for the first time Merlock noticed that she had long, dark-green pig tails. The genie-girl took a low bow and smiled. Then, she looked up and said: "I am the Moonlight Princess..."
'Just what I thought,' Merlock pondered. 'A Moonlight Knight wannabe.'
"I'm the protector of Time and History, sent by the time police to capture the Dream Shifters. And, you are Merlock Holmes of the Time Bureau. You are a vampire and have a shifter called Bindi. I hope I didn't leave anything out. Do I need to read your mind again?"
Okay, now Merlock was surprised.
"You can read my thoughts? How could you- unless... you're a vampire too?"
The Moonlight Princess shook her head. "I'm actually a werewolf. I might add, that I'm here to protect you as well."
"ME? Merlock Holmes! Need PROTECTION? Yeah right! Come-on, I can take care of myself!"
"So I see," she muttered skeptically. "That's not the major concern. It's the fact that your insurance rates have rocketed so greatly that the time police can barely afford to pay for you. SO, they sent me to keep you out of trouble."
"Just what I need, some kid who think she's Ali Baba watching like a hawk over me." Merlock grumbled. "Some plan."
"It's better than having yourself get killed by some gigantic monster... Chew on that for a while!"
"Sorry, but werewolf is much too bland, and who knows what it's infested with!"
"Hey, pal! You better take that back! I saved your life ya' know!"
"You werewolves are so territorial, so barbaric!"
"And you vampires are all alike! A bunch of snobs, who's main joy in life is sucking the blood out of people's veins!"
"Whoa! Hold on! Who told you that?"
"Everybody knows that!"
"Hey, I don't know who told you that (whoever they are) but--"
"Easy, you guys, calm down! This isn't the debate team!" Said a boyish voice from behind them. The boy from which the voice came from, revealed himself from behind the great Time Shifter. The boy was well built, blond haired, blue-eyed, and almost rugged-looking. As influenced by his long hair. He had dazzling white teeth. Perfect smile. Tall, but not nearly as tall as Merlock. But, all at the same time, everything that Merlock wished he could be. The boy also looked as though he had some sort of head set attached to his head, and one of the cords from it was attached to a pocket-sized laptop computer. The boy grinned, and held out his hand to Merlock. "Hey, I'm Zak. Pleased to be working with you," the boy said. Merlock grudgingly shook his hand. "I'm the Moonlight Princess's associate. And bestfriend."
"You're human" Merlock said, it wasn't a question.
Once again, the gleaming smile. "Yeah, but I'm in-training to be a warlock, so I'm not exactly mortal."
"The Time Bureau is particularly fond of immortals to be their workers since they have such fast reflexes, keen senses, and live forever. Long enough to learn all about history at least." The Princess told him.
"Hmm, I never thought of it that way," Merlock's eyes widened. There was something strange about this girl. Something besides being a werewolf.
"We should probably take you back to your friends, I'm sure that they're worried about you. Besides, it might be best that we meet up with them. So, that we may work side by side."
Merlock nodded, and pulled his cape around him indignantly. "I suppose. Shall we be off then?"
"We *shall*," the princess teased him. "But, perhaps it would be easier to take Flight instead."
"Flight?" Merlock inquired.
The princess qestured toward the huge blue creature beside her.
"I'd prefer to walk!" He scoffed.
"No you wouldn't," the princess replied. "You're just too full of pride."
"You can read my thoughts, but you can't read my feelings."
"Can't I?... Really?"
"I'm not riding that big blue ox!"
"Yes, you will."
"No, I won't! I refuse to! I'll just walk! No way am I going to mount that thing!"

* * *

Merlock held on tight for dear life. He couldn't believe he was riding this damn thing. It was huge. It could have easily swallowed him whole if it wanted. And though Merlock couldn't tell for sure, he wasn't at all certain that the creature liked him very much.
"How much further until we can get off this thing?" He asked.
"Whenever it's *time* to get off," the princess said.
"Just take it easy, man," Zak assured Merlock. "Ol' Flight hasn't dropped a single person yet. And I don't think he will now."
"I'm fine, I just want to get off so that we can find the others," Merlock grumbled.
Merlock sulked for a while. 'Who does this Moonlight Princess think she is?' He thought. Coming around here acting like she owns the place. Like she owns me! The nerve of her! The way she talks, the way she acts, the way she flips her hair... What a snob! Well, I guess I can't hate her too much, after all she *did* save my life. But, that was only because she was instructed to do so. How much extra is she getting paid for this?'
Merlock scowled over at the princess as she pulled on the great Time Shifter's reins. But, he did not feel hatred and loathing towards her. Rather, his heart gave strange throb.
That feeling again...
There was something strange about this girl. Yet, he wasn't sure what. She was rather pretty though. That pine green hair was truly something else. So, exotic! It played with his every male instinct.
Her red eyes...
Had he ever seen anything quite like them? They reminded him of his own, but they held a dark unknowing expression. So innocent, but also filled with secrets no one would ever know. Ones that she would probably carry to the grave.
Such a mysterious little wanderer. What was her face like beneath that cloth and mask that she wore. Merlock wanted to know. Terribly wanted to know. He wanted to reach out and rip that mask of her face and reveal the beauty unseen. To finally ask...
'Who are you?..."
Interesting. He'd hated her only a moment ago, and was now enchanted by her.
Eventually, they arrived at the place where Flint and the gang were, and the creature slowly descended to the ground below, stopping once in a while to breath out air.
"Flight gains his flight power by digesting limestone, limestone contains a large amount of calcium. That calcium mixed with his highly flammable stomach acid causes him to fly. That's why he breathes fire when he wants to go down. He's releasing the gas," the princess pointed out to him.
"Uh huh..." Merlock muttered, still trying to catch all that.
"I guess those are your friends," Zak said.
"Yep, Flint, Tony, Get-a-Along, Pteri and... Hey where's Sara?" Merlock exclaimed. 'Could something have happened to her?' He pondered. 'She was fine when I left her, but who knows how long ago that was.'
"Sara?" Zak asked.
Flight barely touched his claws to the ground, before Merlock jumped down from him and raced to Tony.
"Hey, Merlock! Where ya' been? Flint's already defeated Petra again, and-." Tony began to say, but was quickly interrupted by Merlock who grabbed him by his shirt collar.
"Where's Sara?" Merlock demanded.
"I-I don't know, she was here a minute ago!" Tony just noticed for the first time.
"You don't know where your *own* sister is?!" Merlock wanted to grab Tony around the neck at that moment, but that would just make one less moment to look for Sara.
Tony shrugged and shook his head. "Nobody can ever keep track of her."
"I guess we better find her then, instead of sitting around here talking about it!" Flint suggested. "C'mon!" And he sped off in the other direction.
By now, Zak and the Princess had come dashing up to meet them.
"Quick! We've got to find Sara! Split up!" Tony ordered. Everyone nodded and did so, the clearing was soon filled with the echoing shouts of people yelling Sara's name.
Zak wandered around the trees.
"She probably just walked off to the forest here to look at something... Either that or she had to make a pit stop." He chuckled. But, his laughter stopped at the sound of rustling leaves. From above him. Right above him. In the tree next to where he was standing.
Rustle. Rustle.
Suddenly something that looked like a girl fell from the branches. But, Zak couldn't be too sure because the creature was falling right on top of him.
"Eeek!"
"Auugh!"
Whomp!!!!
"Oooh.."
"Oww..."
At first, all he could see was pink hair. He wasn't sure what this creature was, how many animals have pink hair. When a groan, he rolled the creature off of him.
"Watch your step," Zak mumbled. Then, he saw the creature's face. His heart froze for a moment in time. Chills crept up everywhere in his body. He could move if he wanted to, but he didn't. He could speak, but he didn't. His jaw fell open. This was one beautiful creature. A very interesting creature. It's habitat could exist anywhere from the country to city and even in your own heart. It's behavior was varied depending upon the individual one. Ones of this particular breed were rare. They were called: the pretty human girl. The two couldn't pull their eyes away from each other. It was like they were seeing the best part of the movie and couldn't pull away. The movie was titled: 'My Destiny.'
"A-are. . . Are you. . . Sara?" Zak finally managed to blurt out.
The girl called Sara nodded.
'YES!' Zak thought. That meant he'd get to be around her a lot. "Um, they're looking for you."
"Oh dear," Sara said. "I didn't mean to worry them, I just went to go look for Merlock."
Zak laughed. "Well, we found him for you. . .That is, my friend and I."
"Your friend?"
"I think you'll just have to meet her."
Sara looked down for a moment, her eyes widened. "Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to fall on you. I-."
Zak shrugged it off. "Don't sweat it." He wanted to say: 'Why don't you stay there a little longer? Infact, how about we seal this first meeting with a nice, long kiss?. . .French style?' But, he didn't, figuring that he really didn't want his face slapped right now. Instead, he just dusted himself off, and gave Sara his enchanting smile.
"Well, we better head back," Zak offered her his arm- and she took (a little hesitantly though) and they walked on back to the meadow where the whole gang had assembled once more.
"Hey guys! I found her!" Zak called to them.
"Alright!" Flint yelled back. "Sara's back! Hey everyone! Sara's back!" Once again, Flint did his little interpretive dance to show his happiness. Merlock turned his head to reveal a faded smile. A snarl formed on his lips, and he rushed to Sara- whisking her out of Zak's arm, he glared viciously at Zak which gave him the message that silently told him to: 'Watch it buddy!'
Merlock then looked at Sara with both concern and happiness on his face. "Oh, Sara! I'm so glad you're alright. I hope that Arithma-Con didn't hurt you. I-."
*Whomph*
Merlock was knocked to the ground by Bindi who had wrapped her little tentacles around him in a hug so fierce that it sent him falling to the ground.
"Oh, Merlock! I was so scared you'd never come back! And when that creature came along and grabbed you, I thought you were a gonner for sure! I might never have seen you again!" Bindi smacked him on the face. "Don't you ever do that again! Oh Merlock I was so afraid!" *Smack* " I'm so glad you're back! You wreckless boy!" Smack again* "I love you so much Merlock! Stupid vampire!!!" Bindi smacked him again and started to cry- big fountain-like tears coming out of her eyes- as she hugged him again.
"Bindi, I'm just fine, it's okay," he murmurred as he rubbed his burning cheeks. "But, I probably wouldn't be here, if it weren't for Zak and the Moonlight Princess. . . Hey! Where'd they go?"
"They must've just took off," Pteri said.
"I never even saw 'em leave," said Flint.
"They sure didn't stay long," Tony stated. "Must not be too friendly."
"Zak was!" Sara added. "He was really nice. And so cool! I hope we get to see him again." Sara gazed off into the setting sun, which was streaking the sky with orange, red, and pink, and just on the east horizon there were shades of purple. A sight that appealed most to the romantic at heart- Sara was definitely that. Her eyes sparkled. 'What an amazing guy. . .' She thought happily.
Merlock thought about Sara's last words. 'It didn't really mean anything, did it? No, of course not. The two had just met, there was no way that Sara could have feelings for. . .' But, as he continued to look at Sara's glittering eyes- in a dream world of her own- he found it a little harder to believe.
"This has been one really wierd day. . ." muttered Pythagoras.

"Does he really have to go?" the young mathematician asked them.
"Yep, but don't worry, we'll take good care of him," Flint replied. "He'll be happy, and have lots of friends like him where we come from."
Pythagoras looked at his feet, sadly. "I understand. Goodbye Arithma! I'll never forget you!"
"Bye-bye!" Arithma called. Flint revved the engine of the time cycle and they took off into the air.
"Memory-beam, erase mode in effect!" Pteri said, sparkly dust fell from his wings onto the world below, blanketing it in a spell that would make it forget.
Merlock shook his head. "Bittersweet, isn't it Bindi?" He asked as they flew into a sky that was just being crowned with stardust. . .

To be continued. . .