Only Liv, Phyllis, Link, and Amanda were allowed inside. Doc and Elijah leaned against the wall, each taking turns looking at their feet and the double doors. Susan sat down in one of the six chairs in the hallway and read her local newspaper, trying to hide her worry. I sat next to her and messed around with a Rubik's cube, not caring whether I solved the dumb thing or not. BOB sat next to me, filling up the rest of the chairs, and counted the tiles on the ceiling.

"If something goes wrong, Doc," BOB spoke up upon finally noticing our grave expressions. "Ya know, with Liv or Monger, what'll we do?"

Doc rubbed his forehead aggregately and didn't really want at all to tell my darling every word of his fate, so he mumbled, "I don't know."

"Yes, you do." I hissed through gritted teeth.

"Fine then, if you know, then you tell him!" He snapped.

"Sheesh." I growled. "So, BOB, remember what Amanda said?" I reminded him. He shrugged. "She, Link and Phyl are gonna take care of you."

"Yeah, that's right." He nodded. "I remember now."

Doc looked at me. "I'm sorry, Jennifer, about my behavior." He apologized. "It's just that—"

"S'okay, Bennett." I consoled, standing up out of my chair and patting his shoulder with my hand. "Um…Rubik's?" I offered.

"No, thank you, my dear; I've solved it several times. Lost count actually." He slightly smiled in vanity.

Boringly, I twisted away at the stupid block a few times and…

"Wait!" BOB cried. Everybody exclaimed in surprise.

"Don't! Do that!" Elijah snarled.

BOB widely smiled as he swerved a piece and…well, I'll be. I—he—we did it. He gasped. "Billie?"



"Geniuses!" We chimed in unison.

"Sshh!" Susan shushed.

"Yeah, please." Elijah grumbled. "And don't say it in unison."

"No," I whispered. "Look." I knelt down before Doc as if giving a marriage proposal with the solved cube in my hand.

"Wow…" Susan whispered, smiling. "And I think I've never seen that for reals." Doc smiled, his antennae perking up. The brief escape from cold cruel reality broke when Link opened the door.

End of POV

He could've been a corpse right there in that bed, except that his chest rose labouredly. His fluid-filled demolished lungs fought harder than ever before, even harder than they had done before in the most intense of his military training and war. But he knew well it would be useless soon. He felt Liv's hand stroke his cold-sweat soaked face. No one said anything about it. They knew it all. He did too.

He was dying.

Monger weakly smiled at his love and reached out his shaking hand to hold her wrinkled cheek. At the sound of the doors opening and people/monsters coming into the room, his now-dull green eyes turned from Liv's face toward his pride. The apples of his eye.

Their hearts dropped into their stomach and far beyond seeing their notoriously tough, strong, almost Chuck-Norris-like guardian as weak as most any other man his age. They all, even the toughies, felt like crying but held their heads high and stiffened upper-lip in his honor.

"Howdy, monsters…ladies…doctor…" He greeted wearily.

They all smiled sadly. Some waved shyly and muttered, "Hey, General."

"Y'all…y'all have been somethin' great…in my life…" He slowly glanced at each human and monster. "...'Glad I got to know you…even if I was…a warden…

"Know this…seize the day…the blasted day…'cuz you'll never know…when it's your time…" His eyes fluttered and began to lose focus. He coughed, his entire body shaking. "…Y'all…take care…take care of each other…"

Smiling sadly but proudly, Link gave a strong sturdy salute. Everyone at the military man's bedside joined along. That made Monger chuckle, and a subtle but proud smile grew on his face. The expression began to fade. The strong-chinned head sunk into the pillow. The heart monitor's beep slowed down and finally reduced to a long endless droning. The small odd group retained their salute. "Taps" gently played from a soldier's trumpet.

General Warren Robert Monger was dead.

"Warren?" Liv's cracking elderly voice called. Her bony hands lightly shook pinched parts of the hospital gown fabric. "Warren?

"Warren!" She shrieked in disbelief, her former voice surreally returning. The young voice screamed again but in pain as the elderly woman threw her arms around her chest. The frail body fell limp off the chair it rested in. Elijah caught his surrogate mother in time before she plummeted to the metal floor.

"Oh, dear! Oh, dear!" Dr. Bennett whispered loudly, hovering over Liv and observing what he could at the moment of her condition.

"Get the undertaker into the hospital ward, immediately." Amanda spoke into her walkie-talkie.

"And get a doctor in here for Pete's sake!" Phyllis added yelling.

"You crazy dame!" Link whispered after he grasped her body in his hands. "What in all that's holy were you thinking? We're taking the lead!"

Phyllis coursed an electric shock into the fish-mans arms. He jumped back and let go, letting out an animal-like growl. "I know." She glared. "Little Miss Mandy may have the reins in her clutches now but that doesn't mean she's got everything down."

"Thank you, Electrill," Amanda peeped. That made Phyllis smile.

"See?" She looked over at Elijah. "Elijah…oh, dang; this has got to be so hard for him."

Later on…

Elijah's POV

It couldn't get any worse. Liv, Jenny, Susan and Doc had to be kicked off the team, Monger died, what next?

"What do you know, Doc?" I finally spoke up after holding myself against the wall. Amanda didn't have us wait in the hospital ward again, and so we stayed in the main room. It was still as tense as if we were waiting in the hallway by those double doors. "About Liv?"

"Elijah, my dear, boy…I'm sorry I can only know so much at the moment." Doc expressed, the antennae dangling in front of his face. "I'm afraid she's…in a coma..."

Link and Phyl came in. Seeing their dreary baggy eyes showed how many hours we were in that room and how late we stayed up, waiting for a good report on Liv.

"Well?" Susan asked, hoping for a little ray of light in our now dark world.

"How do I even put this?" Link hesitated, trying to stay strong.

"I heard you right, Doc." Phyllis stepped in. "She's really in a coma." She cupped a hand over her mouth and shut her eyes tightly. "And I think her time alive has really run short."

I stood up, fighting back against the tears and howling that wanted to burst out. "I'm going."

"You're what?" BOB asked, his head cocked in confusion.

"I'm gonna hunt down that alien ship down and take back what was stolen." I stated and stood tall. "Even if it's the last thing I'll do."

"Li, listen!" Phyl called. "C'mon! Think about it!"

"Last time we saw them was a month ago. They could be anywhere!" Jenny reasoned.

"I've thought about it and don't care!" I turned around to face them. I could feel my eyes bore into their heads and my hair stand up on my tail and back. "I lost my parents and—"

"What about Phyl here?" Link pointed at the blond-haired monster. "She's your sis—"

"I don't know about that yet! But I won't lose any more of my life! I refuse!" I yelled. I noticed a surprise and slightly pained look on Phyl's face. "It may sound like it's all about me, but it's really about you all. If you three—Doc, Link, and BOB—could find Susan and help her become a giant again, we can all, as a team, do it again.

"Monger's gone, Amanda just got started, so we really have no guide, but we've got a little bit of help. We're all we've got and it's all up to us of what we're gonna do about it. So who's with me?"

Holy…I cannot believe myself in this chapter. Killing a character, something's gotta be wrong with me. Maybe too much sun from camping.