Chapter 1

"You seriously think this is a good idea?" I heard Zander ask Seth—my supposed legal guardian. Who knows why; Seth was hardly the type to care about other people. He never had seemed like it.

"Yes, this plan is flawless," Seth replied, his voice told Zander that he had asked a very obvious question. "If we send her out there, she's trained well enough that she can beat the D-Team—a mission you, Ed, and Ursula don't seem capable of accomplishing."

"You just don't believe in us enough." Zander mumbled, making me half-smile. I could tell that he wasn't kidding about it either. Zander was the type of person to think something like that. Ed seemed like that kind too. Ursula would just complain that they didn't get enough money or food for it though.

But just because that's what he thought, didn't mean that he'd wanted Seth to actually hear it. Seth glanced over at him with a strange look on his face; I figured that he'd heard Zander's little comment. And probably hadn't liked what he heard. "What?"

"Never mind, never mind. But why do we need to send her by herself? Can't we send Rod and Laura with Rante? She'd be better off then, and maybe they could help her defeat the D-Team—"

Zander tried to argue with Seth, but he was taking none of it into consideration at all. His mind was made up, and there was no changing it now. Seth cut him off saying, "No. They would only slow her down. Now go and find Ran—"

I figured that now was as good a time as any to make my presence in their conversation known. "I heard my name?" I walked into the room, curious to find out why they were talking about me, but trying to make both of them think that I'd just been walking by and really had just heard my name.

"Why are you here?" Seth asked coldly. I guessed I wasn't supposed to be there yet to hear about the plan; me overhearing it wasn't part of it at all, and I was supposed to be somewhere else until he actually called for me. Well, that little bit kinda back-fired for him.

"I heard you say my name in your plans a few times. I was just curious about the reason why." I answered him, trying to sound like I'd just walked by and heard my name instead of standing outside with my ear pressed up against the door so I could hear what they were talking about.

He sighed, aggravation all over his tone, though, there was barely ever a time anymore that there wasn't. "Doctor Z. and I have decided to let you have this," Seth reached into one of the pockets in his dark brown and red lab coat and handed me an Alpha Scanner—I, however, preferred to call them DinoHolders. I didn't really know why, it just sounded better to me. "And have you actually start working for us, not just hanging around here and not studying like you should be—which you always seem to be."

"I don't get a say in this, do I?" I questioned with an attempt at a sly grin as I reached out and took the well-known to me device from him. Little did he know, I'd been screwing around—er, practicing with both Rod's and Laura's DinoHolders, just to see what would happen if I did or didn't do something to it.

Apparently they could withstand lemonade, iced tea, and regular water. And a really big mallet.

"No, you don't. And you may want this too." Seth answered, ignoring my try at a joke and taking it just as seriously as he did everything. He handed me a card, not even glancing at the picture to be sure of what he had.

"…A platypus?" I asked him, a confused and 'are you seriously that stupid' look on my face as I stared at the very strange, cartoon-like creature on the face of the card. It had an air soft gun, and a safari hat.

"…Oh, wrong card. Here," He took the platypus card and tossed it to Zander, who didn't hesitate to drop it on the floor. Seth then handed me a different card, most likely the one I was supposed to have gotten in the first place: a Deinonychus.

"A Deinonychus? Right?" I asked, making sure that was the dinosaur I was supposed to be being given, so I wouldn't end up looking stupid for taking the wrong card.

"Yes, or at least that's what it should be. I don't believe I took any other cards from Zander and Ed today. And speaking of that," Seth turned to Zander before scowling, his tone changing to a bit more of an angry one. "If you two ever skip off on your work again—"

"No, no, it's not a platypus Seth." I replied, a stupid smile on my face. Though, I couldn't help but wonder what he was going to say to Zander if I hadn't cut him off.

"You should already know how to use these from what you learned in your studies, correct?" Zander asked me, a small amount concern in his voice.

Oh yeah, my studies, the only thing I could ever do around here. Of course I knew what to do with what they gave me. "Yeah, I know what to do. What exactly do you want me to do? I heard some of the plans, but it would help if you explained a bit more of it to me."

Seth sighed again; I guess I was supposed to read his mind and figure it out on my own. Even from the time he'd adopted me—I still don't know why he did in the first place though—he'd always expected me to be the best of the best. And whenever I couldn't do what he expected of me, he would reject being around me for a while, but would eventually give me another chance.

This was my last chance. "All you need to do for now, is just befriend the D-Team, simple enough?" Seth told me, making the whole thing sound even more simple than it had when just he and Zander had been talking. I assumed he was trying to dumb it down for me; like I needed him to at all.

I thought about what he was asking me to do. I didn't know where the D-Team was. I'd only heard of them from Rod and Laura's stories. I never really got along with many people. Ed and Ursula always told me it was my personality; I guess I was just never really the type to be able to go right up to someone and immediately be able to become their best friend.

But maybe it wasn't just how I was, maybe it was all based from my past. Ed and Ursula had tried to tell me what had happened to my parents, but I didn't let them get far. It hurt too much to hear that I'd never actually had them there for me, to know that I didn't know what it felt like to be loved by someone.

I wanted to know that feeling that someone actually cared. Ed, Ursula, and Zander did show slight concern for me every now and then, but that was only because to them I was a child. They thought I didn't know how to live my life normally, like they knew what normal was, and I didn't. I knew I wasn't like a normal kid. They didn't have to rub it in.

"Yeah. I can do that." I replied, my grip slightly tightening on the card. I was going to show all of them that I wasn't just some little kid, doing nothing but get in the way. I would show them that I could handle a mission better than any of them.

"Good. Now take this," Zander told me as he handed me a phone. "This is the only thing we have to communicate with you for the time being. Try not to loose it, but don't worry if you do. We'll just figure out something else out I suppose."

I looked it over. It was probably one of the coolest phones I'd ever seen. It was a video phone, a camera, it could record anything, and it did a lot of other stuff too besides just being a regular phone. I would have to test everything out when I got the time to later.

I slipped it into my pocket, and looked back over at them. I wanted to get started and leave already, but I didn't want to screw anything up right off the bat because I didn't know something, so I asked, "Is there anything else I need or should know?"

"Laura and Rod wanted to talk to you before you left." Seth told me, his face still held no emotion to speak of at all. It was impossible to see anything in his eyes; emotionless, blank, and dark. Nothing that I knew or could see that told me he had a heart.

"Okay. Good luck with the whole lab/research stuff while I'm gone, Seth; and Zander, make sure he doesn't blow anything up." I replied as I turned and headed to the door. I didn't want to come back to a blown-up island.

"No promises." Zander told me smiling. I knew that if anyone was going to blow something up, it was most likely going to either be Zander himself, Ed, or Rod. Laura and Ursula didn't seem like the type to go around blowing stuff up all the time. Everyone else on the other hand…

I smiled back slightly at him before turning to go and find Laura and Rod. Though, honestly I didn't really want to talk to them. Knowing them, if they knew I was leaving, they were gonna cry for no apparent reason. And I didn't like it when people cried in front of me. I never knew what to do when it happened, and it sucked feeling so powerless against someone else.

When I did actually find them, Laura kept sniffling, and I could tell Rod was trying not to. Rod was the first one to speak. I knew one of them was gonna cry soon; hopefully they could hold it in until I was well out of hearing range. "We heard from Ursula that you were going to be leaving today."

Darn you Ursula. "Guys, I'm not leaving forever—though, if I'm lucky, I will be. I'm just going to try and actually complete the mission that Ursula, Ed, and Zander couldn't. I'll be back sometime—maybe; and you can call me anytime you want to, I guess." I told them, trying to soothe their sadness the best I could so that they wouldn't start bawling if they had it in them right now.

I never would've guessed that they would care that I was leaving, but I suppose that since I was older then them by a little bit, they might see me as a friend, though, I never really considered it.

"We'll probably call every now and then…about maybe five minutes apart at most." Rod told me, a grin glued to his face. I didn't doubt that he wouldn't do that. Actually, I expected that he was going to go through with that plan.

I was surprised when they both hesitantly moved over to me and gave me a hug. This was new to me actually. I'd never actually been hugged before that I could remember. I didn't mind it I guess, but it wasn't something that I wanted to get used to.

I thought about wrapping my arms around them and returning the hug because I would miss them a little bit too, but I didn't. I wanted to, but I wasn't used to this kind of contact.

They pulled away smiling, tears in their eyes. I don't think I could handle it if they both cried at the same time. I don't think I could even take it if just one of them started crying. "Call me whenever you guys want to, even at one AM. I won't mind, I suppose. I'll just kill you when I get back…"

I started backing up towards the door, waving the whole way there so they knew I was leaving, and this wasn't some kind of cruel joke. When I got to the door, I opened it, and dashed outside, heading straight for one of the jets to take me off of the island.

Luckily, I was able to sneak to the hangars without being caught in a bear hug by Ed, or given a huge lecture on whatever Ursula felt like lecturing me about. I jumped into one of the jets, and got up in the air.

I'd been up in the air for a few minutes, when my phone rang. Even though I hadn't even started messing around with all the setting on it yet, it had a pretty sweet ring tone already. "Rante." I answered the phone, despite the fact that the awesome sounds stopped.

"Rante, do you know where you need to go to find the D-Team?" I heard Seth's voice ask me. Even over the phone he was cold, and went directly to the point. Though, I couldn't see him asking about the weather like normal people do when they call each other.

"…No, I've never been told where to go, just to befriend them. And I think you know how hard it is to do so if you can't find them. So where to?" I glanced out the window for a split second as the sound of thunder rumbled through the air.

"Japan. I'm downloading the exact location of their home into your phone." Seth replied. I could hear him typing in the background. I couldn't help but wonder how cool it would be to play Pinball on that giant computer screen of his.

"Alright. How's everything actually holding up back at Zetta Point?" I asked, remembering how sad Rod and Laura had looked. Knowing them, they were probably getting rid of their sadness by blowing stuff up or seeing what would happen to a tomato if you put it in the oven for an hour.

I switched on the auto-pilot, and looked out the window. It had just started raining. And it wasn't just normal rain-rain, it was holy-crap-that's-a-lot-of-frickin'-water-rain.

My mind was drawn back to the phone call when I heard Seth grunt, as if he were pushed away from the phone. Either Zetta Point was being robbed, Seth had just been murdered, or Rod and Laura had just happened.

"Hi Rante! Are you there?" I recognized Rod and Laura's voices.

"Hey guys," I said, thinking over if it was raining back there by them or not. If it was, they were probably wondering if it was raining by me. The vicious cycle of 'is it storming over by you'. It never ended till you answered the other person's question. "What did you do to Seth?"

"We shoved him," They said it as if it were normal. Though, they did shove Seth a lot when he got in their way. To me—and probably them too—it was normal. "Where are you now?"

"On my way to Japan. Is there anything I should know about the members of the D-Team before I meet them? Like, if one of them is an escaped convict or something, I think I'd want to know." I asked as I watched a drop of rain run down the window, imagining that it was me and that the other rain drops chasing after it were one of the D-Team and their other escaped convict buddies.

"Uhh, not really. All you need to know is that there are two boys, and one girl." They were ecstatic about giving me all the details. I could tell in their voices and by how many big words they were using.

"Anything out of the ordinary in their personalities I should try to stay away from?" I asked, still looking out the window, trying my best to get as much information about the people I was going to be encountering as I could.

"Uhh…" Rod thought about it for a while. His apparently small brain thinking over all the times he'd met the D-Team and actually taken the time to notice their personalities and stuff.

Laura answered faster than he did. "I don't think so, but the girl can get quite a temper. The leader can get kinda, strange at times, just so you know. And—" Their phone died before she could tell me more.

I sighed; I thought to myself with a half-smile, "I think they hit a button. You never give Rod and Laura a button they aren't supposed to push. Because they'll push it anyway, even if it says right on it 'do not push'. Rod will push it saying, 'This looks fun!'"

I glanced at the recent downloads on the phone; at least Seth had enough time to download the D-Team's coordinates before Rod and Laura stole the phone from him. I turned off the auto-pilot, and steered the jet a few miles away from their exact coordinates. I didn't want to land right in their backyard, that would be stupid, and in one of their enemy's jets? I wasn't that dim.

I landed in a wooded area, where barely one raindrop hit me. It was actually quite serene; the sound of he rain hitting the leaves on the trees in a rhythmic beat was calming. A nice way to start out the mission; a whole different story for the middle of the sidewalk.

The rain beat down heavily upon me, to the point that I could barely see. Every so often someone would run by me, nearly running into me each time. I'd stopped by a street lamp to rest for a moment, when someone actually did run into me, knocking the back of my head against the pole.

As my surroundings grew black, I saw three pairs of feet run over to me. None of them were the person who'd rammed into me, even though I really hadn't gotten a close look at that person's feet anyway.

I felt warm arms wrap around me, their heat being the complete opposite of the rain; consciousness left me swiftly. Though, honestly I didn't care. It was cold outside, and whoever this person was, they were heating me back up.