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Animus, Chapter 4: "Hatred is Everything"


Mika quietly raised her hand and said, "I overheard someone talking, or burping, about Scaraba. I didn't see what that person or thing was... but he seemed fairly interested in that place..."
"Burping, talking? Sounds like Master Belch to me." Mike crossed his arms, with his left hand rubbing his chin.
"I'm for Scaraba!" Luna shouted behind Poo.
Poo yelled out in surprised and held his ear, "Let's go there, if it stops her from yelling into my ears!"
Luna did nothing, but gave an innocent smile while the group quietly laughed.
"Ay gang! Look out there! It's a se` creature!" Rusty yelled out in surprise as he caught sight of a large green scaled creature swimming toward the ship. "And it's coming for us!"
Ness, who was immediately in the crow's nest to get a better look at the creature, immediately recognized it as a Kraken!
"I thought we destroyed the Kraken?" Ness pondered to himself. "Better get ready for battle!"
Mika pulled out a spear, which had a golden spike at the end and the handle looked like two twisted sticks mixed together in perfect harmony. Dan pulled out his Zapper while Skulryk gripped his dagger, which he stole from the museum. Paula pulled out her frying pan as Poo... well, Poo was hiding behind Rusty who was flexing his muscles, hoping to scare away the Kraken. Suddenly a captain came from underneath the boat and saw the group there. Luna stood there, looking at the large creature as SulamiTea laughed to himself. Mike stepped in front of the group, as if he was leading everyone.
"Hey! What are you doing with my boa-" The captain was interrupted as he saw the Kraken looming over the ship. "Oh crud... I'm outta here!"
The captain jumped off the side of the ship and immediately swam for Scaraba.
"Lucky guy, he can swim..." Poo muttered to himself.

They landed in Deep Darkness, and Anthdragn reverted.
"Siris!" Cyan exclaimed, waving to the third member of their previous group.
"Hi, you two!" Siris replied. "Where'd you end up after the Pyramid collapsed?"
"We ended up in Onett," Anthadd answered. "Do you know where RG was?"
"Nope," Siris answered, "but he did appear out of nowhere a little while ago."
Uh oh... Anthadd and Cyan thought simultaneously. However, neither of them knew the other was thinking that.
"Don't worry. Some dumb looking ghost carted him off."

A small location of Chartreuse's head, about where his ears would be, reddened.
"I guess someone's talking about him," Scarlet said, stifling a laugh.

"Oh Poo, you're so handsome and dashing!" Luna declared.
"Yes!" Poo said, excitedly.
"Yes, he is," Mika agreed.
"Oh Poo...Poo...Poo...POO!"
Poo woke up to see Mike staring down at him. "I don't see how you can sleep while a Kraken is ramming our boat..." Mike said.
"Slee...ping?" Poo asked with a yawn.
"Uh huh. Help us figure out how to get rid of this Kraken. Go into your 'mode'," Skulryk said from nearby.
"All right," Poo said, with a glare in his eyes. "Where there's Kraken, there's Kraken Soup. Let's make soup out of the critter!"
"How do you suppose we do that?" Luna asked.
"Well, I think we should feed it," Poo said with a grin. "If it's like me, it'll be happy after it gets fed."
"What a stupid idea... yet it's worth a try," Mike said as he got food ready.
"Wait, what're you doing with that food?" Poo asked, concernedly. Mike sighed and threw a Hamburger at the Kraken's mouth. It missed and went into the water. The Kraken dove after it. After it resurfaced, it begged for more.
"Hey," Mika said. "We can control it using food!"
"Why the heck do you have to waste food like that?!" Poo screamed as he pulled the boat's steering wheel off and threw it at the Kraken's head. Luckily, the wheel hit the Kraken at just the right angle and it swam away, nursing its wound.
"Poo, you're brilliant!" Skulryk said as he patted Poo on the back.
"No, he's an idiot!" Mike yelled. "He threw away the steering wheel!"
Mike rubbed his temple, trying not to think about throwing Poo overboard while Skulryk slapped Poo's back a little bit harder, once he heard that the steering wheel was now gone.
"Uh... we're stuck here now, are we?" Dan asked. "No worry! I think my Game Genie is perfect for this job! That is, if I can find a code to suit this problem."
The group collected into one loud sigh as Poo said, "I don't see what's the problem!"
Luna smacked Poo in the back of the head and screamed, "We're stranded and you did this to us! Why?! WHY MUST YOU DO THIS?!"
Rusty, who was left unnoticed by the group said, "Ay, it's ain't a problem! Nyah sir! All we need `s a new steering wheel!"
"The problem is, where can we find a steering wheel?" Mike sighed, as he rubbed his forehead once again.
Rusty stood there, looking puzzled and while he was eating his hamburger, he said, "That's a gud question."
Mike looked at Poo and replied, "That's a mouthful."
"Oh, sorry. I forget me manner." Rusty pardoned himself as he went below the deck to find some napkins.
"Since we're stranded on this boat, we'll have to draw straws to see who gets which females," Poo remarked with a large grin on his face.
Luna and Mika took offense to this remark and slapped him in unison across the face while yelling, "Pervert!"
Poo jumped back and cried out, "What did I say?!"
"I say we use Poo as a floatation device..." Luna grumbled.
"I second the motion." Mika glared at Poo with hatred.
Mike snapped upright suddenly. "I've got it!"
Everybody looked at him, wondering what in the world he was thinking. "Uhh... go ahead and spill it, Mike," Poo said. He was nursing a glass of iced tea.
"Well, look at where we're at."
Everybody looked around. "Okay..." Luna said, slightly annoyed. "What do you want us to look at. All I see is water. And this ship... and assorted parts, like that barrel... !! Hey, waitaminute! Mike, you have your toolkit with ya, huh?"
Mike nodded with a smile. "Yup. We can make a makeshift wheel out of some wood. It doesn't even necessarily have to be round."
Rusty wandered around the ship. "'ey, will this do, Mike?" He picked up the top to a barrel.
"Perfect! Break up some of that barrel while you're at it. I can make some stoppers or something so that way the wheel will stay attached. Then we can notch it so that way Rusty can keep his grip on the wheel." Mike pulled his toolkit from his pocket. He chose a miniature saw and looked at it very carefully.
"Uhh, Rusty, if you don't mind, do you think you could saw those pieces of wood into a stopper of some sort? I'm kinda... not as strong as you. Don't forget to notch your wheel, too."
Rusty took the miniature saw and went to work. "Aye. This reminds me of me sailin' days. I 'ad to do this kinda stuff all tha time, ya know." He went on like that for a few minutes. "Aye, it's beautiful. Alls we need now is for you to attach it."
"See? This wasn't so bad. I'm going to make a burger to celebrate." Poo went below and into the galley.
Mike, with lots of help from Rusty and Ness, managed to position the barrel top into position. "Well Rusty, it's all yours. Do your thing. Perhaps Poo will... ahdunno, stay in the galley or something until we get to Scaraba..."

Ness, Paula, and Tracy were alone for the most part. Together, they discussed their current situation.
"Okay, so Master Belch has returned and wants to kill me. He's turned everyone in Summers into zombies, and tried to use them to do the job." Ness took a breath, and then finished. "Now that we're escaping, we need to come up with a plan. So what do we do?"
Sitting cross-legged on the deck, Tracy squinted at Ness. "Well, with everyone here, couldn't you just beat him again?"
Paula shook her head. "It won't be that easy, Tracy. The second time we met Belch, he was more powerful than at first. It's likely that he's even stronger this time. And he can control a whole town."
"Add to that the fact that Belch can knock you unconcious just by being within a yard of you," moaned Ness, nearly gagging at the memory. "We need to consider this. We need to try to find a weakness."
The trio put their heads together to come up with a pile of slime's weakness. "The main thing that stopped him last time was Poo's Starstorm," said Paula.
"Even that may not work, if he's become stronger," sighed Ness.
Tracy patted her brother on the shoulder. "Don't worry! We can think of something! I know we will!"

The boy sailed quietly over the ocean as the sky darkened. Great, I made a scene. I guess Ness was right in making that comment. SulamiTea made a few angry noises as a pit seemed to grow inside of him. I'm still a little mad. But then, they probably tried to lose me because they don't trust me. I'll be darned if I change to suit other people's tastes, though, he thought bitterly. I've got to be me, even if it means I make enemies. I have to stay myself. Sulami watched the ocean water move cooly, slipping in all directions. Well.... I still want to know what's going on. Something's going on, since there were those zombies and Ness was attacked. I'll find out, too. Maybe I can find something in Scaraba....? SulamiTea yawned, but he couldn't fall asleep while flying over the ocean. I'll leave a little treat for them all at Scaraba, then I'll head for the Sphinx. After my performance, I don't expect to get along with them, but I'll still follow along and see if I can do something about this situation.
The boy gathered his energy, and headed off to the southern horizon. He almost wasn't sure he'd make it. Of course, there were islands between here and Scaraba. If he couldn't last, he'd stop over at one and have some rest, then continue on his way. He might not arrive before the others, but drowning in the ocean was not an option, so it ultimately didn't matter.

RG had managed to get away from the ghosts and had fallen in the murky water. RG got out and started walking towards the huts and cave again.
RG walked over to Siris and the others, covered from head to toe in goop, and asked them, "What the hey was that all about?" The others shook there heads and said they knew nothing of the ghost incident.
RG and the others walked back over to where Apple Kid was doing some experiments and testing some of his theories. Just then, Apple Kid's face brightened and a huge smile formed across his face. "What did you find?" RG asked excitedly.
"Well, I have found that Belch is indeed reborn of animus, and there is another evil present."
"What evil would that be?" asked Siris flatly.
"I do not know, but it is very dangerous from what I know," sputtered Apple Kid.
"Could it have been those ghosts that attacked me?" RG asked.
"No, I think there is only one," said Apple Kid.
"Could it have been one of those ghosts that attacked me?"

Luna watched Rusty steer for a bit, then went below into the galley, to see the hamburger Poo was cooking up. However, she couldn't see a thing, because the place was so full of smoke.
"POO!" Luna coughed. "WHAT are you doing!?"
"Cooking a hambuger!" he coughed back, as Luna's head suddenly appeared next to him.
"What the... POO!" she screamed. "YOU LIT THE BOAT ON FIRE! Have you ever even cooked a burger before!?"
"...no..." he said, admittedly. "But I thought now would be a good time to try!"
"What's going on?" asked Mike, coughing and trying to wave the smoke away. "Wha... POO! What'd you do!?"
"Nothing!" he said, trying his best to look innocent as Luna grabbed him by the back of the shirt and hauled him away from the stove, which looked like it was about to explode.
"We gotta get out of here, half the gally's on fire!" Luna yelled, trying to find the stairs through the thick smoke.
"Over here!" Mike shouted, and the three climbed the stairs to the deck. By then the fire had extended, and the flames were licking at the fixtures on the deck through the galley's windows. By now, everyone on board was alert of the fire.
"Are you angry at me again?" asked Poo meekly, as Luna glared at him, and then knocked him into unconsciousness with a plank.
"Remind me never to get you angry," snickered Mike.

Having finished examining whatever had caught his attention for awhile, Cyan turned his attention back to Siris and Anthadd when he noticed the arrival of RG.
"Aaah! Muck-Monster!" he shouted. "Honour-Armour energize!" His armour quickly changed.
"Uh, Cyan..." started Anthadd.
"That's not..." continued Siris.
"Ice Shards!" called Cyan.
"Hey! I'm no Muck-Monster!" stammered RG as he was hit by the attack. RG was frozen very solid, but was still alive.
"Cyan!" Anthadd and Siris shouted, trying to get his attention.
RG just stared at Cyan, incapable of even blinking for the time being.
"Cya! Grrrgh," said Cyan as he shoved the ice statue that was RG into the water. It started to drift slowly (relativistically speaking) towards the ocean.
"Cyan!" shouted Siris.
"That was RG!" added Anthadd.
Cyan looked at them funny. "What? You thought I didn't know that?"
Anthadd and Siris gaped at him.
"Now that we have a little bit of peace again for awhile," Cyan continued, "what do we do next?"
Siris grinned, and slapped Cyan a not-so-discreet high five. He then grew serious, and addressed the situation.
"Alright, you guys, here's what we know, in a nutshell:
"Master Belch was here in Deep Darkness, and he's probably connected with the 'Animus' that Anthadd read about. What we need to do, apparently, is destroy Animus. That would probably mean destroying Belch, but we can't be totally sure about any of this."
Cyan and Anthadd frowned, and Apple Kid looked pensive.
"We could either stay here and formulate a plan, or we could try to find others who may already know about this," Siris continued. "Though I personally don't know if anybody else is aware. We might be the only ones."
Suddenly, Siris felt a faint energy from very far away. Actually, he thought, several auras, and they're concentrated. Far away... and I can sense a lot of water energy coming from around where they are... They must be at sea. Come to think of it... Fire energy too. That's odd... I wonder who they are, and where they are...
Siris decided to keep this insight to himself for the time being, as he didn't know exactly what he was dealing with here.
"Siris?" Cyan said, and Siris snapped out of his thoughts.
"Uh? Oh," Siris acknowledged. "So... what should we do?"

RG burst from his icy coating and started to float. RG thought about how others usually treat him. RG didn't like that. RG floted off to where Siris, Anth, and Cyan were. He came back and RG smacked Cyan, knocking him down. "You did that on purpose didn't you?" RG cried. Cyan got back up and tried to hit RG, but RG easily dodged the blow.
After Cyan and RG's little outbreak they made a truce, and RG could sense some negative energy coming from Siris and Cyan. RG walked over to Anthadd, the one who didn't seem to have a whole lot against him, and asked him what they were to do next.
RG was almost ready to go over to the evil side rather than stay with Cyan and Siris.
However, Cyan wouldn't let him escape. He let loose another Icy blast, and the three boys had a good chuckle as they pushed his once more frozen body out to sea. "Let's hope he doesn't come back again..."

Anna followed Cyan and Anthadd with her eyes, until they were over the horizon. Once she had done this, she took time to take in her surroundings.
"I heard that the black sesame seed I used to love is somewhere in this desert..." a voice said softly.
Anna looked down, and all she saw was a black seed. "I wonder where he is..."
Anna scowled, and crushed the seed beneath her heel.

Within 15 minutes time, she had mounted her now-regenerated fire staff. Deciding against her instincts, she decided not to track Cyan and Anthadd. "It's obvious Cyan doesn't like people who make an honest living, even if it IS godfather-esque... oh well. I still have to repay the favor of him saving me. I'll do it later." Suddenly a thought struck her, as she saw the swamps of Deep Darkness come into focus. "Where are those stupid ghosts?"

'Those stupid ghosts' were now back on their private island, looking at an object that had washed up on shore. It was a giant ice block, and a person seemed to be encapsulated inside.
Chartreuse knocked it slightly with this trashcan. "It's not moving. Stupid humans and their ice weakness."
"You're weak to ice too, twit," Indigo said nastily, tapping the ice with her horns.
"No Im not! I'm weak to fire... No, wait..."
Indigo sighed, and shook her head. Meanwhile, Saffron had grabbed something from Anna's bar. It was a long, green bottle with a cork in the top.
"What are you doing? Get out of Anna's margarita mix!" However, Saffron wasn't listening. With a quick raise above his head, he brought it smashing down on the ice block. The ice shattered, and one of the shards entered Chartreuse's good eye. The other was still weak from the fight with Ness.
"Augh!!! THIS BURNS!" He began to fly statically around the room, yelping in pain.
"Hey look!" Scarlet said, causing the other two to look around at her. "The thing is waking up!"
The person inside started to shake, and with a small groan, pulled himself up from the pile of glassy pieces.
Saffron blinked, and cracked up laughing. He began to cough, he was laughing so hard, and Scarlet had to hit him on the back with her tail. He finally managed to sputter out a sentence. "It's RG!"
RG looked blearily at his captors. "Why have you brought me here? This is cruel imprisonment! Feel the burning wrath of my PSI BLAST!" he said, raising his hands in a blast position, he fired off a large beam, hitting Saffron in the head. During the confusion, he ran from the room.
With the door slam heard, Saffron looked at his sisters. ".... HAHHAHA!!!" Saffron fell over again, howling in laughter. His sisters giggled loudly, oblivious to Chartreuse's waning pain.
"That boy is hilarious!"

RG wandered out on the shore of the island. Thinking once again how the people around him treated him, he began to scowl menacingly. "They'll pay for this..."
RG decided not to run, maybe he could make some new friends. He walked back in the hut, appologised for any damage he had done, and asked for a truce. The ghosts were laughing so hard that they were all starting to turn blue. RG said that he could join them in whatever they were doing. They agreed and they gave out the details of what had happened over the last few days. RG, now making Cyan his target, plotted with the ghosts so he could exact his revenge on Cyan and maybe, just maybe, gain some friends in the process.
RG hoped that it were a possibility.

The four considered the recent turn of events.
"If this Animus is what he was reborne of," Cyan began, "Belch obviously relies on the Animus for his power."
"But is Animus a power, a thing, or a concept?" Anthadd proposed. "I mean, the definition of animus in the dictionary is hate and hostility."
"So, basically," Apple Kid said, making the connection, "he was reborne of Animus because he hated someone so much, he was hostile to them with a hostility never seen before..."
"Therefore," Siris concluded, "this Animus should be aimed someone he hated very much."
"But who would that be?" Anthadd mused. "It would have to be someone who fought him. And won."
Ness? Paula? Jeff? Poo? Cyan thought. Probably not Poo, though...
"Perhaps Ness," Apple Kid offered.

"I think that we need to abandon ship," Mike said. He noticed that the flames had come up over the gunwhale. "I think that there's a rowboat located on the port quarter. Let's go!" Mike ran over to the boat and began to secure it for passengers. Man, if only Poo wouldn't have burned his burger. We wouldn't even need to go abandon. We were near Scaraba... probably another hour sailing, Mike said with a frown.
Rusty was right alongside of him, unlashing the boat. The boat fell into the water with a splash. "Awright, ladies and children first." Poo jumped right in.
"Hey, I'm a child! I'm 15 years old for cheese sakes!"
Mike glowered at him. "Ya know, you could have let Tracy or Luna or Mika go first. Oh... forget it."
Tracy, Luna, Mika and Ness jumped into the ship. Dan followed them. Mike let Skulryk go before him. Mike then jumped into the boat himself. Rusty jumped into the water and swam into the boat. He then got on one of the oars and started to row. Mike had the other one.
When they were about 100 meters from the ship, it exploded. Poo was amazed, as was everybody else. "Wooooow."
"I didn't know that there was anything explosive on that ship," Mike said between strokes. "Must have been a powder locker or something."
"Yeah, or something..." Poo said, trailing off. He remembered that he forgot to turn off the stove in the galley. Gas and fire doesn't mix well at all.
"Well, I saw an island about 2 nautical miles thataway," Rusty said. "Mebbe we should take refuge there for tha night. It's gettin' dark."
Luna nodded in approval. "Alright, get us there. It shouldn't take us but an hour."
Thus, Rusty and Mike started to row. About an hour later, they arrived at the island.

Having made his pact with the ghosts, RG headed back for Deep Darkness again, using the ghosts for his transportation. "RG is not going to sit around and be treated like that," he said to himself over and over again.

Anthadd, Cyan and Siris were still discussing what to do when RG returned, again. They didn't notice his approach with the ghosts.
"RG wants to duel you!" he shouted at Cyan as the ghosts set him down.
"He's back again?" asked Siris.
"And he brought company this time," added Anthadd.
"He wants to duel me?" wondered an amazed Cyan.
"We'll back you up," said Siris.
The ghosts took this oppurtunity to leave RG.
"It wouldn't be fair for you to help me. His entourage just left," said Cyan.
RG stopped approaching Cyan and turned around. "RG wants to know where you think you're going!" he shouted at the ghosts.
"You wanted to fight him, do it yourself!" Saffron shouted back.
"Let's just go, already," said Cyan calmly, while checking his sword. "Honour Armour energize."
"SIP Blast!" called RG as he raised his hands to the blast position. The attack knocked Cyan backwards, landing unceremoniously on his back.
"Ooof. That packs a punch," muttered Cyan as he stood up and brushed himself off.
"SIP Blast," called RG again.
Cyan was again unceremoniously dumped. "Ice Shards!" shouted Cyan, loosing two bolts of ice from his hands.
"RG isn't going to fall for that again!" shouted the gangsta as he dodged the attack. Too late did he look where he was going and noticed he was running straight to where Cyan had moved to.
"That's quite all right. I didn't want to freeze you this time," commented Cyan, coolly. "Cold Silver Claws!" Cyan shouted, punching RG once with each fist in the upper chest.
RG now only stared back at him blankly.
"Ice Sword!" Cyan shouted again, slashing him in the stomach.
RG slumped onto his knees. The wounds, while severe, were not going to kill him right away.
"Anthadd, I believe he needs a hospital, if you would be so kind...."

Anna saw the whole incident, right from her perch in the trees. She snorted, as Cyan felled RG with a slash to the gut.
"Now that wasn't very sportsmanlike..." she clucked. "Oh well. I wonder if I should take him to the hospital."
She jumped down from her tree, landing swiftly behind Cyan.
"Good day there, Science boy!" she said merrily.
Cyan whirled around and sighed. "I'm not a scientist. I'm a swordsman. Anthadd is the Scientist."
Anna appeared disinterested. "I find that incredibly interesting, I can assure you of that. However, I don't have time to chat. Mind if I take your boy to the hospital?"
Anthadd backed away from RG. "Hes all yours."

Anna became airborne again, with RG slung over her staff. "Hope he doesn't get too burned..." she said, watching the embers from the staff slowly char his face. As she looked down, a flash of color appeared in the corner of her eye.
"Saffron! What in the name of Fire are you doing here?"
The stinky siblings paused in midair, from where they had been flying. Chartreuse raised a bloated eyebrow. "What's with the kid? Why do you have him around?"
Anna glared at them warily. "How do you know him?"
Indigo gulped. "Well, he wanted to join up with us. We said yes."
"And?"
"That's it. We told him basically what our itinerary had been for the past three days, and then we ditched him for the duel," Scarlet said plainly.
"I don't wanna get hurt more than I already am," Chartreuse said, blindly grabbing for something familiar.
Anna nodded slightly, and smiled. "Well, keep up the mediocre. Work. For your new job, do you mind finding Belch for me? I want to have a chat with him later..." she said. She looked down at RG, who groaned slightly. He looked up at the Stinky Siblings, blinking.
"Are you the ghosties from Pacman?" he whispered, disoriented. He wearily collapsed again, and Saffron snickered.
"Now would you excuse me, I have to get him to a hospital."

Anna reached her destination in a short amount of time. She landed in front of the Hospital in Summers, and walked inside with RG over her shoulder. Greeting the nurse with false warmth, she handed her some money and asked for RG's speedy recovery. The nurse nodded politely, and carted RG off to his room in a stretcher.

RG awoke in his room to see a tall woman with red hair sitting in the corner.
"Who are you?" he said, his bandages restraining him slightly.
"Oh, you don't need to worry your pretty little head about me," she said. "Just don't get in my, or my employees', way."
With that, she turned on heel and walked out the door.

Slowly, birds' calls became audible. Something rustled under a tree. SulamiTea sat up and yawned. "Great.... lately I sleep in the most uncomfortable places," he groaned. He decided that he had best look for something to eat.
Shuffling around the island, he was disappointed to see that there wasn't much in the way of fruit that he could collect. He pulled some leaves off of the trees and chewed on those, but quickly realized this as a mistake, and spit them out in disgust.
Sulami walked out to the mainland and sat on the shore. "At least my MP is restored from that rest," he sighed. He stared out at the sea, feeling the cool breeze wave over him. In his enjoyment of the atmosphere, he just sat down and dreamily looked out to the ocean for a quarter of an hour.
After such a time, his reverie was interrupted by a large explosion far out in the water. "What the...?!" Standing up, SulamiTea tried to discern what it was. What could possibly explode out at sea? A ship? SulamiTea's eyes widened. Oh brother! Of all the ridiculous luck! He couldn't tell if there were other islands nearer to the ship, but he didn't want to take any chances. I'm awake anyway, with my magic restored, so I'd better head to Scaraba as fast as I can so I can get my surprise ready! I have a feeling these people are going to want to be my enemies from now on, so I'd better not disappoint them.
Running to the edge of the island and using a compass from his backpack to determine which way to head, he chanted under his breath, and then shouted, "Fly!" Lifting up into the air by magical force, he rose over the ocean and headed once again for Scaraba.
Maybe once I reach Scaraba, I can at least get a decent breakfast. Good thing dollars are accepted there.

The group proceeded to dock and tie their rowboat to a root in the ground with a rope. Mike sighed with relief, as it had been a long time since any of them had been on land.
"Hey, what's this doing here?" Poo asked. All heads turned to look at Poo, who was currently untying the rope which held their only means of transportation.
"Poo! NO!!!!!" Mike and the others screamed. But it was too late, the damage had been done and the boat drifted off in the vast waters.
"Poo, you've really done it now," Luna said, her face red with anger. "Thanks a lot!"
"Poo, you're no doubt, the biggest idiot I have ev--" Skulryk started to say, but was pushed out of the way by Mika.
"Moron!" she screamed as she stomped off to stand next to Luna. Ness, Paula, Tracy, Dan, and Rusty just shook their heads.
"Hey, look," Mike said, calmly. "I think we should find signs of civilization. Killing Poo won't do any good at this point. Besides, I don't think Poo meant to do what he did..."
"Thanks, Mike," Poo said as he cracked open a coconut.
The group looked out on the island. "I guess we should start walking," Luna said.
Fortunately for them, the island had been inhabited. However, the only place they could find to stay lead to a little trouble.
"$500 a room? That's insane!" Mike said. "And we'll need at least... uh..." Mike counted the people. "4 rooms..."
"I'm sorry, sir, but those are the prices. You will need 4 rooms. That will make your total... $2000."
"Uh... I can chip in a bit too, Mike." Skulryk said. "I still have money on hand from my job... just not a lot. Besides, I probably wouldn't have gotten out of Summers if I hadn't have run into you. Here." Skulryk handed Mike $1000.
"Well, that's good," Luna said. "Someone actually pays for something. Unlike some other people we know." Luna glared at Poo.

Skulryk sighed as he sat down on one of the bunk beds on the island. The rooms in the inn were only bunk beds; rooms at Summers were cheaper... The rooms had cost a good part of the money Skulryk and Mike had on hand.
"I call the upper!" Poo yelled as he ran into the room and threw his stuff on top. He then stopped and walked over to Luna and Mika. "Unless any of you fine ladies would be willing to share with me, of course. How about it?" Poo grinned.
Luna and Mika let out a sound of disgust and shoved him across the room. He stumbled and tripped over Skulryk's stuff, then went crashing into Dan as he came into the room with some soup, sending it all over him.
"Aaah!" Dan yelled. "What did you do? This was really expensive!"
"Oh my god!" Poo said. "What have I done? Such a waste of good... food!" Poo looked at the soup which had spilled across the floor or splashed all over Dan. "It's their fault!" he said, pointing to Luna and Mika. "They shoved me! And it's also Skulryk's fault for leaving his stuff all over the floor!"
Luna and Mika sighed and made their way to the other room. Mike came in, got a look at the scene, looked at Poo, and sighed.
"What did I do?" Poo said.
"Well, I need some more food..." Dan said. "But it's late already... why don't we all have dinner?"
"Great idea!" said Poo. "Mike, I know you're just dying to pay, so I'll do the only polite thing and let you. Or, of course, I could cook again." Poo smiled, then ran out of the room. Mike sighed and followed the rest of the group.

RG had finally recovered and was back up on his feet. "Where am I?" RG asked to no one in particular. All he could remember was Cyan slashing at him with something, and then the blood, and then some lady. RG wasn't sure of anything anymore, except he still had a score to settle with Cyan. RG walked out of his hospital room and towards the exit.
Outside the hospital, RG floated high into the air and started to fly back towards the strange island where he had met the ghosts.

He soon arrived at the island and walked into the small hut to see the same lady who had taken him to the hospital. He sat down in a chair next to her and asked, "Who are you anyways?"
The lady replied, "My name is Anna and I am the employer of those ghosts."
RG sputtered, "EMPLOYER?" Anna then explained the whole story to RG. "So if you are the ghosts' employer, then does that make us allies?"
Anna responded, "Well, I guess it does."
RG had made an ally, and maybe a friend, out of this Anna woman. He knew that today was a lucky day. He also knew he still had a bone to pick with Cyan.

"I don't wanna eat right now. That sounds boring," whined Poo. "Let's play a game or something."
"Well," said Dan. "We didn't eat too long ago... I hate to admit this, but I guess you're right. Let's all go to the lobby and have ourselves a snack. That is while we play a game."
"Spin the bottle!" suggested Poo as they were in the elevator.
"Punch the idiot!" suggested Mika as she punched Poo in the stomach.
"Fine...You don't have to play!"
"How about Guess My Identity?" asked Tracy. "You act like someone and they have to guess you!"
"Good idea!" complimented Ness. "How about Paula, Poo, Mika, Tracy, and me on one team and Rusty, Dan, Mike, Skulryk, and Luna on the other team. And to make this harder, you can only have three guesses so use them wisely!"

They all got off of the elevator and sat down in the main lobby.
"I'll go first!" demanded Tracy. "BoIng! SaY yEs tO mE SaY nO To mE? ZoOm!"
"Captain Strong!" Poo started yelling out random answers. "Mad Duck! Worthless Protoplasm! Doctor Andonuts! Big Bad.."
"WRONG!" screamed Tracy.
"POO!!! That was sooooo easy!" Mika was furious. "How could you not get it right AND waste all our guesses???? Ugh.... Who's next?"
"I'll go," volunteered Dan. "SIP Teleprot!(&#("
Everyone stared at Dan.
"Why hello, I thought. I turned around, and said 'Bang,' and Ninten said 'wha?' and I said 'i killakillaed him!%*&#(!&%#$('"
The group continued staring.
"Never mind..." explained Dan. "It's from a movie. You probably wouldn't get it."
"Sounds surprisingly familiar," replied Ness. "I just can't put my finger on it..."

"Odd," Anthadd mused. "I'd never have expected Anna to do that."
"She's evil, remember?" Cyan retorted. "I wouldn't be surprised at anything she'd do..."
"You know her?" Siris asked.
"Only slightly," Cyan replied. "She's evil, and once stooped to attack us."
"Wait a minute," Anthadd protested, "I think that was more of a 'Hey, I'm over here!' sort of attention getting ploy."
"Gyork gyork gfaw!" a new voice exclaimed. It was very faint.
"Uh oh," Apple Kid muttered. "That's Master Belch. It seems like he's coming towards us."
A silence hung over the four for a second or two.
"We should get out of here fast," Apple Kid warned. "He probably left me for dead. Who knows what he'll do if he finds me alive? His Animus might not be solely towards Ness now..."
Apple Kid let that sentence hang.
"I'd have to agree with Apple Kid," Anthadd noted. "We may not be able to overcome his Animus. Therefore, it would be in the best interest of all involved if we sought out others sharing the same goal as us, and combine our powers."

The elevator arrived at the lobby. *Ding*. The doors opened. Mike, Luna, Skulryk, Poo, Dan, Mika, Ness, Rusty, Tracy, and Paula filed out.
"Well, we're at the lobby. I think that I saw a TV around here somewhere. Perhaps they have a PlayStation or something around here," Mike said.
Mike looked into his wallet. "Hmm... I'm going to make a quick run to the ATM machine. I've got a lot of money and whatnot in the bank. This looks like a good time to dip into that stuff. Besides, I can always work overtime or something."
He wandered off, looking for an ATM machine. Now, if I were an ATM machine, where would I be? The closet? He walked over to what appeared to be a closet door and opened it. To his surprise, he found an ATM machine stashed away behind a mop. Neat. He stuck his card into the slot. He pressed a few buttons and withdrew a large sum of money. This oughta hold us over for a while. I'll keep some as an emergency cushion in case Poo does something. He walked out and went into the main lobby.
"Hey guys, I found an ATM machine. It was in the closet. Heh heh, it makes me laugh just thinking about why it was in there..."
"Ya know, Mike, this hotel doesn't have much to do. Maybe we should just buy our snacks and take a walk around this island for a while. I mean, it's not like we've never played a video game before or something, right?" Luna said.
"Yeah, I guess that you're right." Mike shrugged. "Ya guys wanna go for a walk?"
"Sure! That sounds like fun! Great!" Generally, replies that denoted that the group liked the idea were made.
"Great! I already charged a bunch of snacks to your platinum card. It's funny because they said that it has reached its day limit..." Poo said. "Oh well."
Mike sighed. "That was my parent's credit card... Oh, what's even the point in getting mad. Let's go."
"Awright, a neightcha walk. Let's do it! Mebbe we'll see some of de night spookies like ghosts I keep tellin' ya about in ma' stories, Paula." Rusty was obviously excited.
"Hey! Be quiet! Those stories freak me out, ya know," She giggled. "Besides, I can take care of them if there were any."
The group left. They started to wander towards the heart of the island.
As the group were walking to the 'heart of the island', Mike sighed as Poo started making up wild stories involving llamas taking his wallet away during his stay in Summers.
Mika put her hands behind her head and said, "Sounds like they didn't have a hard time doing that."
Poo tried to make a comeback, but didn't, in fear of being punched in the stomach. As they were walking along, Poo noticed something that caught his greedy little eyes.
"A penny! It's all mine!" Poo screamed as he jumped for the shiny object on the ground.
He hit the mud with a sickening splat while the group shook in head in embarassment as Poo opened his hand to look at his new-found treasure. Once he opened his hand, he noticed that it wasn't a penny. Frustrated, he said, "Poop," and threw it away. Skulryk reached out and grabbed the object and looked at it.
"Hey, what is this thing supposed to be?" Skulryk queried the group.
"Looks like a fragment of some sort..." Mike pointed out.
"Looks likes a rock ta me," said Rusty.
"It's more than just a rock, it's a..." Dan tried to find the right word for it and came out with a, "thingy."
"Well-put, Dan." Mike chuckled as the group joined in the laughter, even Dan himself.
"Seriously, what is it?" Mike said as he wiped his eyes.
Dan stood there, with a puzzled look on his face and said, "Don't know."

"We should get going then," Siris said. "Shouldn't we?"
"Yes," Apple Kid agreed. "But to where? I can't fly like you can, remember?"
"I suppose I could carry a passenger," Anthadd sighed. He transformed to Anthdragn and allowed Apple Kid onto his back. The group took flight across the ocean.
"I can sense a group of people..." Siris reported. "They're far away, but I can feel that they are strong; many of them have strong auras, suggesting that they may possess PSI or other skills. I think it may be best to follow these auras."
"Lead thhhhe way, thhhhen," Anthdragn hissed, and Cyan agreed. Siris flew in front of them, and led the way, as Anthdragn had instructed.

Anna stared at RG, startled. "I don't think he spent enough time in the hospital..." He was obviously unstable, she noted, in that he thought an alliance could be forged. Hadn't she just told him to stay away from her, and her four employees?
By now, the four ghosts had made it to the island, and were making faces at RG from the next room of the hut. Anna sighed slowly, and motioned for RG to sit down at the table.
"RG... we can't ally," she said slowly, watching him carefully. She had no idea when he could snap, so she regarded the case lightly.
"Why not?"
"Well...I'm beginning to question your... uhm..." Anna faltered, and the four ghosts helped her out.
"Sanity?"
"Hearing ability?"
"PSI?"
"Taste in clothes?" Scarlet said, wrinkling her nose. Anna glared at the four ghosts, and went on.
"Motives. You obviously aren't working for the same goals as I am. You said you had some sort of Animus against Cyan..."
Saffron perked his ears up. "He's... got... an animus... thats just like Belch's..." The wheels were turning in his head, but Anna failed to notice.
"Whereas I have no problem with Cyan. I don't know what he considers me, but I consider him an ally of sorts. You obviously don't share the same opinion of him I do, do you? Plus, look at you. You aren't cut out for evil..."
RG fumed. "I am too cut out for this!"
Anna snorted. "Well, whatever. I've made my point, and I think it is time we part. You can stay in this hut as long as you need, but I, AND my employees, are going. Good day to you, sir." She tipped her hood smartly, and exited the room. Scarlet blinked, but she and the others faded through the walls. Within seconds, the five were airborne.
"Did you find Belch for me?" Anna said hurriedly.
"Yeah... I think he's over in DD." Saffron said. However, his mind was on RG's animus. 'That's an interesting epiphany...' he thought, but Chartreuse staring at him blankly cut his inner mantra short.
"Shut up, cleanface."

Once he had reached Scaraba, SulamiTea was able to buy some fruit so that he could eat. He also bought plenty of water, and traveling clothes - he'd need them for his journey through the desert. Even if he didn't make it all the way, he could teleport back to the town with his magic and restock.
With his pack loaded with food and water, SulamiTea stood by the gate that lead out into the desert. He finished wrapping his new clothes around himself so he wouldn't get burns from the wind.
Just before he prepared to leave, he opened his backpack and got out a single piece of paper. On it was a drawing of what looked like a woman with spiky red-brown hair. Instead of hands, she had pincers, and from behind her extended a long, sharp tail. She was clothed in a plain, dull yellow dress with cherry boots. SulamiTea wadded up the piece of paper and started spinning around. "Special reaction delay.... go! go! Stingale!" As he spun around, he threw the paper ball somewhere close to the inside of the gate. The ball lay innocuously on the sand.
"Here is what I have to say," said SulamiTea, talking to the paper ball. (Fortunately, no one was watching this.) "Wait for the kid named Ness Lee. When he draws near, you'll rise up and attack. He may have friends with him... if so, don't attack them unless they do so to you. If they do, counter them." Sulami took a breath. "There's no need to hurt Ness badly, just give him some small bruises and poison him. Once this is accomplished, if they haven't sent you back already, give me the signal and I'll reverse the magic, sending you back to your own universe." Sulami made another pause, and smiled. "And finally.... give them all my regards."
SulamiTea shouldered up his backpack and walked out the gate, into the desert. Now I just have to hope that Ness passes by that way, he thought. "Good luck, Stingale." With that, he headed out for the great Sphinx of the desert.