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* Flint the Time Detective *


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.

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 also 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!"
    "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.

* Click Here for Part II *