Lina was armed and ready. Gripping the Instruction Box tightly under one arm, she strode confidently into Ember's Town Hall. She looked for the short man who led her to the mayor when she had a message for him. As soon as she spotted him, she motioned for him to follow her down a short corridor that led to a chair and a window.

"I have to tell you something," the pretty young messenger whispered. The mayor's short assistant nodded nervously and looked around. No one was watching. "The mayor is stealing food the people! The shortages aren't really as bad as everyone thinks. I saw him in a secret room in the Pipeworks where all his food is stored!"

The assistant blinked rapidly and licked his lips. "Wow…our mayor? Stealing?" He shook his head incredulously. "I can't believe this…"

"It's true! Doon saw it too!"

The assistant, Barton Snode, nodded slowly, his face still holding an expression of disbelief. "Thank you Lina Mayfleet. Thank you for helping the people. We will go file this right now!"

Lina nodded excitedly. Barton took her by the arm and led her down the hall. Lina chattered on. "After you arrest Mayor Cole, we can tell the people that the shortages are over! Then Doon and I can show you where the room is!" Barton nodded once.

Just then, Lina noticed that his face had changed to a determined and angry look. She turned her head to see the portraits of the previous mayors on the walls up ahead. "Wait, where are we going?" When he didn't answer, she stopped walking.

Barton stopped pulling her and stared at her for a moment. Lina's eyes widened at his sinister glare and began to struggle to get free. Barton pulled at her, trying to move her forward. Suddenly, he whipped her around to his other side and slammed her into the wall. As the back of her head hit the portrait of the fourth mayor, Lina could see stars. But she fought to stay conscious. Her fight was in vain, however. Barton grabbed her arms in a vice grip and shoved her up the three stairs to the mayor's office and practically threw her in.

Lina stumbled forward a few steps before whirling around. Barton had shut the door and was now leaning on it, blocking her escape. The teen breathed slowly, trying to shut out the pain from her mind as she turned to face the mayor.

He was leaning over his desk, gingerly guiding a greasy sardine to his mouth. Mayor Cole seemed surprised but unfazed to see Lina standing before him. "Hello," he garbled.

"Mr. Mayor, this young lady is here to accuse you," Barton sneered.

Mayor Cole swallowed his slippery bite and looked confused. "Accuse me? Of what exactly?"

"Of stealing food from the people of Ember," Barton finished, smiling slyly. Lina swallowed nervously and swayed for a second. She shut her eyes quickly, willing herself to ignore the pain until she was far away from the mayor and his guards.

Mayor Cole wiped his mouth on his napkin and laughed forcibly. "I love my people! I would never do something like that!" Absentmindedly he pulled a caramel-colored square of glass from his shirt pocket. Lina watched as he gnawed on the end. Did the man never stop eating? "I would never do anything like that."

These words plus the throbbing pain in her head angered Lina and she exploded. "But we saw you, we saw you in it!" She screamed at him. Then, realizing she had just yelled at their mayor, she shrunk back a bit, even more frightened.

To her surprise, Mayor Cole didn't yell at her for disrespecting him. "We?" he asked.

"She and her little friend, Doon Harrow," Barton offered. The blood drained from Lina's face as she realized what she had done. She had accidentally put Doon in the same dangerous position that she was in. She closed her eyes in pain.

Hope you all like this! When I watched the movie for the seventh time, (or so), I wondered how Doon would have reacted to Lina being treated so bad. So this story is about that! Enjoy!

Hearts! 3