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FLINT THE TIME DETECTIVE

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* Flint the Time Detective *

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The Moonlight Effect

By: Merlock101

Part II

There was but a split moment. A flash of light. Merlock waited for the pain. The end that would befall him. What a waste! That last thread that separated life and death was licking at his heels, and breathing the scent of death down his back. But, he wasn't afraid. He had lived for a long time. Too long. And now, it was time to die the death of a hero, saving his fair young lady.

'Good bye, Sara, I love you,' Merlock thought, as he braced himself for the fall. He clenched his fists tight, and clamped his teeth down. "Death for the already deceased." Falling, and falling. Down, down. The rush of wind was overwhelming. Crashing to the ground, and he had no wings to lift him up.

It wouldn't be long now. But, for the first time, Merlock was afraid. He didn't want to die not yet. Not when there was so much in the world he did not know. And so, he screamed. Then, there was impact. A great wrenching feeling as though being grabbed. Merlock assumed this was the body's odd twisted position after falling. Now, he felt as though he were hanging from something. Merlock assumed this was because he was beginning to lose feeling in his body. And then weightlessness. He assumed this was his soul parting the earth. This was how it was to die.

Maybe it wasn't so terrible at all. It wasn't really all that bad. But, still, he wondered, what it looked like to die, if this is how it felt. Feeling something was depth, an idea. But, seeing was understanding. 'Seeing is believing. Believing is seeing.' Merlock concluded. Then, he slowly opened his eyes.

There was the earth below him, miles and miles below him. It was an awesome sight that only few can behold. The wind whipped at his face in great exhilaration, flowing like the whoosh of air when you ride a roller coaster. It was wonderful. Merlock could hear the flutter of great long beautiful wings.

    'Are those mine?' he wondered. 'How am I working them?'

It was then that he noticed the strange pressure at his shoulders, Merlock looked to either side of his shoulders and saw that there were great big claws holding onto them. Panic. Merlock looked up. Panic. Those claws were attached to long legs. And those legs were joined to a great, big, hairy and feathery body with wings. Panic. But, this time- everything blacked out.

Who knew how long it really was before Merlock awakened? He sure didn't. But when he did regain concsciousness (though his eyes were still closed), he found himself lying on solid ground, most likely in the dirt. Had he died?. . . Again? No, b/c he was in pain. His chest was throbbing- probably bruising. He felt a slight draft on his chest as well, something being wrapped around it, and soft, loving hands. His eyes automatically opened. At first, all he could see was big beautiful eyes. When the world came into a dizzying focus he realized that those eyes were attached to a head, and that head was attached to the body of a young girl.

"So, you're awake," the girl said, it was not a question. Merlock stared at her, aghast, because she has seen him without his shirt on. *Bandaged* him up infact. He searched around to find his shirt, which he slipped on in a clumsy haste, and put on his jacket over that shirt. Then, he stumbled to his feet. The girl was smiling at him, amused at what she saw.

"W-who. . .*gasp*. . . W-who are you?" Merlock was finally able to blurt out, between straining gasps. The girl only looked at him strangely through big, expressive eyes. Big, RED, expressive eyes. But, the rest of her face was covered with a veil much like the Arabian women wore in the harem. Infact, everything about her outfit suggested that she'd just been dropped here from Saudi Arabia. She wore the strange fluffy pants, the curved shoes, (which were gold) a long white cape, and the Nomadic Herder type hat. Interesting. Plus, she was all dressed in pink.

'Okay, she's either a big *I Dream Of Genie* fan or a *Moonlight Knight* wannabe,' Merlock thought.

But, what was strangest thing about her, was the long graceful, pale blue creature behind her. It looked like a giant cat, or a graceful lion with lovely slanted, dark eyes and long pale-pink colored wings extended from it's shoulders. It seemed to be purring and flipping it's tale contently as it laid next to the strange girl. A time shifter.

Finally, the girl spoke: "Who is to say what I am? Isn't being here enough to prove my existence? Or would you rather have a name? Nothing seems real to humans until they've named it." Merlock was taken aback, he hadn't anticipated such a reaction. Infact, he hadn't really expected her to even answer. But, he was mad that she hadn't given him a *straight* reply.

"Enough of these games, give me an answer, and stop talking in riddles!" He demanded. "I might've known you'd say that," the girl rolled her eyes. She shook her head in pity, and for the first time Merlock noticed that she had long, dark-green pig tails. The genie-girl took a low bow and smiled. Then, she looked up and said: "I am the Moonlight Princess..."

'Just what I thought,' Merlock pondered. 'A Moonlight Knight wannabe.' "I'm the protector of Time and History, sent by the time police to capture the Dream Shifters. And, you are Merlock Holmes of the Time Bureau. You are a vampire and have a shifter called Bindi. I hope I didn't leave anything out. Do I need to read your mind again?" Okay, now Merlock was surprised.

"You can read my thoughts? How could you- unless... you're a vampire too?" The Moonlight Princess shook her head. "I'm actually a werewolf. I might add, that I'm here to protect you as well."

"ME? Merlock Holmes! Need PROTECTION? Yeah right! Come-on, I can take care of myself!"

"So I see," she muttered skeptically. "That's not the major concern. It's the fact that your insurance rates have rocketed so greatly that the time police can barely afford to pay for you. SO, they sent me to keep you out of trouble."

"Just what I need, some kid who think she's Ali Baba watching like a hawk over me." Merlock grumbled. "Some plan."

"It's better than having yourself get killed by some gigantic monster... Chew on that for a while!" "Sorry, but werewolf is much too bland, and who knows what it's infested with!" "Hey, pal! You better take that back! I saved your life ya' know!" "You werewolves are so territorial, so barbaric!" "And you vampires are all alike! A bunch of snobs, who's main joy in life is sucking the blood out of people's veins!" "Whoa! Hold on! Who told you that?" "Everybody knows that!" "Hey, I don't know who told you that (whoever they are) but--"

"Easy, you guys, calm down! This isn't the debate team!" Said a boyish voice from behind them. The boy from which the voice came from, revealed himself from behind the great Time Shifter. The boy was well built, blond haired, blue-eyed, and almost rugged-looking, (as influenced by his long hair.) He had dazzling white teeth. Perfect smile. Tall, but not nearly as tall as Merlock. But, all at the same time, everything that Merlock wished he could be. The boy also looked as though he had some sort of head set attached to his head, and one of the cords from it was attached to a pocket-sized laptop computer. The boy grinned, and held out his hand to Merlock. "Hey, I'm Zak. Pleased to be working with you," the boy said. Merlock grudgingly shook his hand. "I'm the Moonlight Princess's associate. And bestfriend."

    "You're human" Merlock said, it wasn't a question.
    Once again, the gleaming smile. "Yeah, but I'm in-training to be a warlock, so I'm not exactly mortal."
    "The Time Bureau is particularly fond of immortals to be their workers since they have such fast reflexes, keen senses, and live forever. Long enough to learn all about history at least." The Princess told him.
    "Hmm, I never thought of it that way," Merlock's eyes widened. There was something strange about this girl. Something besides being a werewolf.
    "We should probably take you back to your friends, I'm sure that they're worried about you. Besides, it might be best that we meet up with them. So, that we may work side by side."
    Merlock nodded, and pulled his cape around him indignantly. "I suppose. Shall we be off then?"
    "We *shall*," the princess teased him. "But, perhaps it would be easier to take Flight instead."
    "Flight?" Merlock inquired.

The princess qestured toward the huge blue creature beside her.

    "I'd prefer to walk!" He scoffed.
    "No you wouldn't," the princess replied. "You're just too full of pride."
    "You can read my thoughts, but you can't read my feelings."
    "Can't I?... Really?"
    "I'm not riding that big blue ox!"
    "Yes, you will."
    "No, I won't! I refuse to! I'll just walk! No way am I going to mount that thing!"

**********

Merlock held on tight for dear life. He couldn't believe he was riding this damn thing. It was huge. It could have easily swallowed him whole if it wanted. And though Merlock couldn't tell for sure, he wasn't at all certain that the creature liked him very much.

    "How much further until we can get off this thing?" He asked.
    "Whenever it's *time* to get off," the princess said.
    "Just take it easy, man," Zak assured Merlock. "Ol' Flight hasn't dropped a single person yet. And I don't think he will now."
    "I'm fine, I just want to get off so that we can find the others," Merlock grumbled.

Merlock sulked for a while. 'Who does this Moonlight Princess think she is?' He thought. Coming around here acting like she owns the place. Like she owns me! The nerve of her! The way she talks, the way she acts, the way she flips her hair... What a snob! Well, I guess I can't hate her too much, after all she *did* save my life. But, that was only because she was instructed to do so. How much extra is she getting paid for this?'

Merlock scowled over at the princess as she pulled on the great Time Shifter's reins. But, he did not feel hatred and loathing towards her. Rather, his heart gave a strange throb.

That feeling again...

There was something strange about this girl. Yet, he wasn't sure what. She was rather pretty though. That pine green hair was truly something else. So, exotic! It played with his every male instinct.

Her red eyes...

Had he ever seen anything quite like them? They reminded him of his own, but they held a dark unknowing expression. So innocent, but also filled with secrets no one would ever know. Ones that she would probably carry to the grave.

Such a mysterious little wanderer. What was her face like beneath that cloth and mask that she wore. Merlock wanted to know. Terribly wanted to know. He wanted to reach out and rip that mask off her face and reveal the beauty unseen. To finally ask...

    'Who are you?..."

Interesting. He'd hated her only a moment ago, and was now enchanted by her. Eventually, they arrived at the place where Flint and the gang were, and the creature slowly descended to the ground below, stopping once in a while to breath out air.

"Flight gains his flight power by digesting limestone, limestone contains a large amount of calcium. That calcium mixed with his highly flammable stomach acid causes him to fly. That's why he breathes fire when he wants to go down. He's releasing the gas," the princess pointed out to him.

    "Uh huh..." Merlock muttered, still trying to catch all that.
    "I guess those are your friends," Zak said.
    "Yep, Flint, Tony, Get-a-Along, Pteri and... Hey where's Sara?" Merlock exclaimed. 'Could something have happened to her?' He pondered. 'She was fine when I left her, but who knows how long ago that was.'
    "Sara?" Zak asked.

Flight barely touched his claws to the ground, before Merlock jumped down from him and raced to Tony.

    "Hey, Merlock! Where ya' been? Flint's already defeated Petra *again*, and-." Tony began to say, but was quickly interrupted by Merlock who grabbed him by his shirt collar.
    "Where's Sara?" Merlock demanded.
    "I-I don't know, she was here a minute ago!" Tony just noticed for the first time.
    "You don't know where your *own* sister is?!" Merlock wanted to grab Tony around the neck at that moment, but that would just make one less moment to look for Sara.
    Tony shrugged and shook his head. "Nobody can ever keep track of her."
    "I guess we better find her then, instead of sitting around here talking about it!" Flint suggested. "C'mon!" And he sped off in the other direction.

By now, Zak and the Princess had come dashing up to meet them.

"Quick! We've got to find Sara! Split up!" Tony ordered. Everyone nodded and did so, the clearing was soon filled with the echoing shouts of people yelling Sara's name. Zak wandered around the trees.

"She probably just walked off to the forest here to look at something... Either that or she had to make a pit stop." He chuckled. But, his laughter stopped at the sound of rustling leaves. From above him. Right above him. In the tree next to where he was standing. Rustle. Rustle.

Suddenly, something that looked like a girl fell from the branches. But, Zak couldn't be too sure because the creature was falling right on top of him.

    "Eeek!"
    "Auugh!"
    *Whomp!!!!*
    "Oooh.."
    "Oww..."

At first, all he could see was pink hair. He wasn't sure what this creature was, how many animals have pink hair. When a groan, he shifted beneath the creature to face it.

"Watch your step," Zak mumbled. Then, he saw the creature's face. His heart froze for a moment in time. Chills crept up everywhere in his body. He could move if he wanted to, but he didn't. He could speak, but he didn't. His jaw fell open. This was one beautiful creature. A very interesting creature. It's habitat could exist anywhere from the country to city and even in your own heart. It's behavior was varied depending upon the individual one. Ones of this particular breed were rare. They were called: the pretty human girl. The two couldn't pull their eyes away from each other. It was like they were seeing the best part of the movie and couldn't pull away. The movie was titled: 'My Destiny.'

    "A-are. . . Are you. . . Sara?" Zak finally managed to blurt out.
    The girl called Sara nodded.
    'YES!' Zak thought. That meant he'd get to be around her a lot. "Um, they're looking for you."
    "Oh dear," Sara said. "I didn't mean to worry them, I just went to go look for Merlock."
    Zak laughed. "Well, we found him for you. . .That is, my friend and I."
    "Your friend?"
    "I think you'll just have to meet her."
    Sara looked down for a moment, her eyes widened. "Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to fall on you. I-."

Zak shrugged it off. "Don't sweat it." He wanted to say: 'Why don't you stay there a little longer? In fact, how about we seal this first meeting with a nice, long kiss?. . .French style?' But, he didn't, figuring that he really didn't want his face slapped right now. Instead, he just dusted himself off, and gave Sara his enchanting smile.

"Well, we better head back," Zak offered her his arm- and she took it (a little hesitantly though) and they walked on back to the meadow where the whole gang had assembled once more. "Hey guys! I found her!" Zak called to them. "Alright!" Flint yelled back. "Sara's back! Hey everyone! Sara's back!" Once again, Flint did his little interpretive dance to show his happiness. Merlock turned his head to reveal a faded smile. A snarl formed on his lips, and he rushed to Sara- whisking her out of Zak's arm, he glared viciously at Zak which gave him the message that silently told him to: 'Watch it buddy!' Merlock then looked at Sara with both concern and happiness on his face. "Oh, Sara! I'm so glad you're alright. I hope that Arithma-Con didn't hurt you. I-."

    *Whomph*

Merlock was knocked to the ground by Bindi who had wrapped her little tentacles around him in a hug so fierce that it sent him falling to the ground.

"Oh, Merlock! I was so scared you'd never come back! And when that creature came along and grabbed you, I thought you were a gonner for sure! I might never have seen you again!" Bindi smacked him on the face. "Don't you ever do that again! Oh Merlock I was so afraid!" *Smack* " I'm so glad you're back! You wreckless boy!" Smack again* "I love you so much Merlock! Stupid vampire!!!" Bindi smacked him again and started to cry- big fountain-like tears coming out of her eyes- as she hugged him again.

"Bindi, I'm just fine, it's okay," he murmurred as he rubbed his burning cheeks. "But, I probably wouldn't be here, if it weren't for Zak and the Moonlight Princess. . . Hey! Where'd they go?"

    "They must've just took off," Pteri said.
    "I never even saw 'em leave," said Flint.
    "They sure didn't stay long," Tony stated. "Must not be too friendly."

"Zak was!" Sara added. "He was really nice. And so cool! I hope we get to see him again." Sara gazed off into the setting sun, which was streaking the sky with orange, red, and pink, and just on the east horizon there were shades of purple. A sight that appealed most to the romantic at heart- Sara was definitely that. Her eyes sparkled. 'What an amazing guy. . .' She thought happily.

Merlock thought about Sara's last words. 'It didn't really mean anything, did it? No, of course not. The two had just met, there was no way that Sara could have feelings for. . .' But, as he continued to look at Sara's glittering eyes- in a dream world of her own- he found it a little harder to believe.

    "This has been one really wierd day. . ." muttered Pythagoras.
    "Does he really have to go?" the young mathematician asked them.
    "Yep, but don't worry, we'll take good care of him," Flint replied. "He'll be happy, and have lots of friends like him where we come from."
    Pythagoras looked at his feet, sadly. "I understand. Goodbye Arithma! I'll never forget you!"
    "Bye-bye!" Arithma called. Flint revved the engine of the time cycle and they took off into the air.
    "Memory-beam, erase mode in effect!" Pteri said, sparkly dust fell from his wings onto the world below, blanketing it in a spell that would make it forget.

Merlock shook his head. "Bittersweet, isn't it Bindi?" He asked as they flew into a sky that was just being crowned with stardust. . .

To Be Continued....

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Good Fic Huh! If you want to send comments to the author, Merlock101, the email address is PinkWizard@juno.com.


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