Chapter Thirty-three: Meeting Blake JonesEdit

The monster that had been Ernest Jackson ran farther into the woods. He knew he couldn't face the large crowd of people, all armed with guns. The human part of him realized that it would be instantly killed. So he decided to wait further up the mountain and kill any who came by. Suddenly, it could see a human nearby. It was a tall, dark-haired man who was wearing a white shirt and jeans. The monster went into a crouch, but then suddenly he heard a noise behind him.

Turning, he saw a large buck, which was a lot closer than the man was. Turning his sights away from Blake Jones, he went after the deer instead. But, just as it was about to pounce, its sensitive ears picked up an extrememly high-pitched scream—one that was too high for human ears. The Wolf looked up to see a monstrous Bat fly overhead. The deer saw it too, and took off running.

"Estimated cost of a standard vaccine...a hundred dollars. Not too bad, I suppose. The government definitely will have the supplies for that," declared Henry after reading it for only a few minutes.

"That is, if we don't consider the availability of the resources. We have produced around a thousand vaccines, and can currently produce three hundred of them daily. The questions now are, one, do we tell the public about it; two, what price we place it at; and three, should we produce the maximum, the trade-off being reduced ability to provide cures for the infected."

"What do the economists say?" asked Henry. Carol turned to another of the scientists.

"The ones working on this project stated that we should inform the others that both the cure and the vaccine are available, and make a demonstration of the effects of the cure--which takes only two hours to finish--on live television, so that there can be no doubt of it, as the public has difficulty believing that it works. They also say that the optimal apportioning is one part cure per nine parts vaccination, and that the vaccines should cost thirty thousand dollars."


"Yeah, that's what they said," the scientist replied.

"But WHY?"

"I don't know... the economists are weird when it comes to things like that..."

The group ran farther into the woods, with Margaret Harper puffing behind. She had been an avid athlete in her day, but hadn't done any strenuous excerise for a while. Montgomery stopped and turned around. "Hey," he exclaimed, "Where's the mob?"

"They've probably split up," said McPherson. "I'll bet that they're waiting in strategic places to kill us."

"Hold on a minute," said Montgomery. "There's a man back there, but he doesn't look hostile."

"Hey!" said Audrey. "That's my biology teacher, Mr. Jones. He'd never hurt anyone!"

"Except the occasional frog, of course," quipped Brain, but Audrey ignored the comment.

"What's he doing here?" she asked.

"I'm sure it's just a trick," said Brian. "I'll bet he's in on the whole thing. Let's go!"

"Hold up a minute!" called Mr. Jones. "The mob isn't after you all any more. They've given up. I just thought I'd tell you."

"Why are you interested in telling us that?" asked Dr. Harper. "I'll bet you're with them!"

"I'm a friend," said Jones. "I disagree with what they're doing, and didn't want to see you all killed. So I distracted them by making them think there was a were-animal over to the south. They're leaving that way now."

"Well, even if that's true, we're still trapped in a forest filled with were-beasts," said McPherson, but James froze suddenly.

"I'm hearing something," he said urgently.

"I don't hear anything," Jones said skeptically and neither did anyone else, although they strained their ears as hard as they could.

"It's a high-pitched noise," James said slowly, "a high-pitched noise that sounds almost like...giggling?"

Chapter Thirty-four: Fighting VampiresEdit

"Chaleen!" Brian shouted and, the next second, the giant Vampire Bat swooped down on them. McPherson held up his gun, but Montgomery pushed him to the ground to prevent him from firing.

"That beast is a person," Montgomery shouted, "And we can turn her back!

"We the right to self-defense!" McPherson said pulling himself back up to fire, but Montgomery pulled him back down to the ground. As their scuffle continued, the bat grabbed Dr. Harper with its sharp claws and lifted him up into the sky.

"Now, can I fire?" McPherson asked incredulously, holding up his gun again.

"No," Montgomery said, forcing the gun out of his hands, "you could hit Dr. Harper!" Still seething, McPherson reluctantly put his gun down.

"I have a cell phone," Jones told them. "We can call for help!"

"What about Dad?" Brian asked angrily. "Are we just going to leave him with that giant Bat?" Jones bit his lip.

"I know you don't want to hear this," he said grimly, "but he's probably dead already."

"General Stuart," said Lieutenant Marone, stepping into Stuart's office in downtown Detroit.

"What?" Stuart asked in annoyance. "Can't you see I've got my hands full with this were-animal crisis? It was bad enough when it was a secret, but now the public needs constant reassuring. Now, you've come to tell me about this new 'Alliance' thing, right?"

"No, sir," Marone said immediately.

"Well, good, because I already know about it," Stuart said grimly. "Some doctor in Penmount started this Alliance thing that now includes about a thousand people in the state of Michigan and it’s now rapidly spreading across the country, blah, blah, blah! It seems all our problems start in Penmount - maybe we should just nuke it one of these days."

"Yes, sir," Marone said anxiously, not sure if Stuart really meant it - he didn't usually make jokes.

"Well, what is it if it's not this Alliance?" asked Stuart impatiently.

"Well, Officer McPherson, Ranger Montgomery and the Harpers called for help from the Porcupine Mountains," Marone explained.

"And you need my permission to get them rescued?" Stuart asked incredulously. "You know, I'd authorize that. Just rescue them and leave me alone!"

"We already did rescue them," Marone told him. "They requested to be brought here immediately."

"You don't need my permission for that!" Stuart bellowed. "Just bring them -" Before he finished, McPherson, Montgomery, Brian, Audrey, Margaret and Jones stepped into the room. Stuart was at a loss of words for a moment.

"Well done," he said, giving a rare compliment. "You've finally learned how to work with my rules...Captain Marone." Marone looked up.

"I'll get the paperwork through as soon as possible," Stuart told him. "You'll officially be a captain within two hours."

"Thank you, sir!" Marone said excitedly before turning to leave the room.

Chapter Thirty-five: The MenagerieEdit

The Bat dropped Dr. Harper right onto the hard stone ground on the edge of a precipice. He turned to his right and saw a young freckle-faced girl wearing a grimy Girl Scout uniform.

"Would you like to buy some Girl Scout cookies?" she asked him, holding up her bag of cookies with a toothy smile. Confused, James looked past her to see an old man, a middle-aged woman in a jail uniform and Jack Ferguson, the mayor of Penmount!

"What the h...I mean, what in the world is going on here?" asked James in surpise, watching his language in front of the Girl Scout.

"You tell me, Harper!" Ferguson bellowed angrily. "That horrible beast swooped down into my office and carried me up here!" James looked around at the other four people.

"Did that Bat bring all of you up here?" he asked them. They all nodded.

"I was in the middle of selling my Girl Scout cookies!" said the Girl Scout as though to suggest that if the Bat had taken her at any other time, it would have been okay.

"You'd better have a good explanation for this, Harper!" Ferguson shouted.

"Why would I have an explanation?" James asked incredulously.

"Because you're the were-cat!" Ferguson told him. "How do you think I even know your name?" James closed his eyes in exasperation.

"Okay, who are the rest of you?" he asked them.

"I'm Harry Richards," said the old man.

"Samantha Bright," said the woman in the jail uniform.

"I'm not allowed to give my name to strangers!" said the Girl Scout.

"Bright?" James asked, turning to Samantha Bright. "As in Chaleen Bright?" Samantha curled her lip, looking very bitter.

"Yes," Samantha said, "Chaleen's my daughter."

"I'm sorry," James said sadly. "We can try to bring her back, though."

"But why has she taken us all here?" asked Harry. "Is she organizing a party?"

"She's organizing a dinner," said Ferguson, grimly. "I'll bet she's taken us all here so she can eat us conveniently later on!" There was a collective shudder.

"We have a fix on Sergeant Andrews," Stuart told McPherson and Montgomery. "I want two to go in after him."

"Why us?" Montgomery asked curiously.

"Because you have more experience with this than anyone on the face of the planet!" Stuart told them loudly. Montgomery was taken aback.

"All right, we'll do it," he said.

"May I come?" asked a voice. The three men turned to see Blake Jones.

"There's nothing else for me to do and I'm as able-bodied as anyone else," Jones told them. "Besides, I know somewhere where we could drop off the Harpers to keep them safe." McPherson and Montgomery turned to Stuart.

"Very well, Jones will join you," he decided.

"But sir -" McPherson began.

"Dismissed!" shouted Stuart. As McPherson and Montgomery turned to walk out of the room, Jones grinned to himself. Everything was going as planned.

Chapter Thirty-six: CapturedEdit

Meanwhile, at the Penmount High School, the janitor, Mr. Jansma, was taking the trash out of cafeteria. Suddenly, he heard a buzzing. Looking into the large black bag, he saw a large horsefly feasting on an old, stale doughnut. He tried closing it up, but suddenly the horsefly took flight and flew out of the bag. It landed on his arm, and gave him a bite. "Yowch!" he shouted, swatting it as hard as he could. The insect's limp carcass fell to the floor. "Little bastard," he swore at it, picking it up and placing it back in the bag.

As he walked outside, he suddenly felt rather strange. He felt his forehead. "Must've been that old salad I had earlier," he thought, throwing the bag into the big dumpster. Suddenly, he heard a scream behind him, and turned to see the most horrifying demon he'd every seen descending on him. It looked like a giant bat, but it looked vagulely human. Its eyes were large and yellow, and it had no nose; two nostrils were placed on the front of its snout. It had a mouth full of sharp fangs.

The monster bat picked him up in its large talons and flew with him into the air. "Hey!" he shouted, trying to hit it. "Let go! LET GO!" The demon paid no attention to him, but flew over downtown Penmount, and then out toward the wilderness. Finally, it lighted on the edge of a large stone precipice overlooking the Stone River. Jansen was shocked to see several others there.

"What in tarnation?" he asked incredulously. "What's going on here?" He looked over all of them. The mayor, Mr. Ferguson was there, along with a girl scout, a woman in a jail uniform, and a man wearing a torn shirt and jeans. "Hey!" he said, pointing at the man. "Isn't that James Harper, the cat-man?"

"Yes," said Ferguson, glaring at the doctor. James glared back.

"So, anyone know who that Bat is?" asked the janitor.

"Do you have a TV?" Ferguson asked incredulously. "Everyone knows the Bat's Chaleen Bright!"

"My set broke two months ago," said Smith. "I've been trying to get another one, but every time I get nearly enough money, something breaks down and I have to spend five thousand dollars to fix it."

"Well," said James, "She turned into a bat in our front living room, and then wrecked our ceiling by flying up through it. But that doesn't matter anymore because our whole house is pretty much destroyed."

Ferguson grunted. "Bunch of angry citizens decided they couldn't live with a few were-animals, so they go smashing up anyone's house that they think might be one!"

Suddenly, from the nearby woods there came a crunching, crashing sound. Everyone looked in that direction. "Great," said James. "I'll bet it's the werewolf again!"

"WEREWOLF?!" screamed the girl scout. "What'll we do?"

Just at that moment, the Bat appeared again, this time with a TV reporter. "There's Deryll Hendricks," commented Ferguson. Hendricks landed on his back, and moaned. "Ouch," he said. "I think my back's broken. Say, what's goin' on here anyway?"

The pine trees parted, and the wolf-man emerged. "Oh my word," the reporter said. "Another lycanthrope?"

The Bat let out a scream when she saw the creature coming toward them. "LOOK OUT!" shouted Samantha Bright, as the two creatures approached each other. "This'll be a fight to the death!"

The Vampire Bat dove toward its enemy. The Wolf leaped into the air and caught the monster in its teeth, dragging it back to the ground. Then there was a flurry of wings, fur and teeth as the two monsters rolled over, biting and scratching and clawing. "They're going toward the cliff!" shouted Smith, as the two were-beasts approached the edge.

Suddenly, there was a loud buzzing and then a helicopter came into view. Inside, James could see Marone, who was already a captain, along with several other soldiers. The two beasts stopped their combat when they heard it. The chopper hovered overhead, then began to descend until it reached the ground, and the whirling rotors began to slow. The soldiers jumped out, and surrounded the two were-creatures. "Okay," said Marone, "Let 'em have it!" There were some muffled bangs, and then the two monsters roared with pain as several tranquilizer darts found their marks in their bodies. "All right, get the net over them!" Marone ordered.

Three men carried the large, rolled-up net out of the chopper, and threw it over the now sleeping lycanthropes. Then the group hoisted it over their shoulders and carried it back into the chopper.

"C'mon," said Marone, turning to the group of incredulous captives. "Get in the chopper. It's not safe here. We'll get you back to Penmount. James, you'll be staying at the base. The general wants to see you."

Dr. Harper wasn't surprised.

The three men, McPherson, Monty and Jones, exited the military helicopter in the Cascade Mountains, where Sgt. Andrews was last seen. "There's an old mining town around here," said Jones. "Apparently this was where your reptile was seen last."

"This trail leads there," said one of the soldiers. "You boys be careful! There's no telling where that beast may be!"

"Don't worry," said McPherson. "I've got my gun ready."

The trio made their way down the trail into the small valley where the abandoned town was. Soon, McPherson saw a large, decrepit-looking building in the distance. "We're getting close," he said. Jones smiled inwardly. Soon, he would have three problems off his hands: McPherson, Monty and the Lizard.

Soon, they could see several old, delapidated buildings through the trees. "There's Montville," said Jones, "One of the first civilizations in western Washington!"

Suddenly, Monty saw something move ahead. A dark shape slipped into the front door of an old warehouse. "There he is!" the park ranger shouted. "C'mon! Let's hurry!"

The three ran toward the building. The Lizard wouldn't escape now.

Chapter Thirty-seven: The EscapeEdit

The building clearly hadn't been used for years. Old pieces of rotten wood and rusty metal hung from the walls, the windows were broken, and cobwebs were everywhere. Suddenly, Montgomery could hear breathing. "Andrews!" he shouted. "Andrews! Come out! We can make you better again!"

"I don't think it can understand you," McPherson remarked. Monty ignored this.

Suddenly, they spotted the ghastly reptile hiding in a corner. It looked at them through filmy eyes, and hissed in warning. "Calm down," Monty said. "We're going to help you, Andrews!"

In a flash, Jones pulled out his gun and fired several shots. The creature gave several agonized screams, clawing at the blood-spurting wound, and then fell limply to the ground. McPherson turned furiously to his companion. "Why the heck did you do that?!" he demanded. "We could've brought him back!"

"It's too late for that," snarled Jones. "We don't have time to round up everyone changed and bring them back anymore! Those of us that are left must kill them now before we become them!"

"You - you work for the Alliance?!" Montgomery asked.

"That's right," Jones said, smiling nastily, "And we don't like the way you people are doing things, if you know what I mean. I suppose while the country is in this state, killing you two would help our cause as much as killing one of the monsters."

"No, Jones, no!" Montgomery shouted. "Jones, think about this before you do anything!"

A wild, mad look in his eyes, Jones raised his gun until it was at eye level with the park ranger.

"Jones, put the gun down!" Montgomery hollered. "You don't want to do this."

"Oh, yes I do," Jones replied, a wide smile splitting. "Don't you tell me what I do or don't want to do!"

"Where are the Harpers?!" McPherson demanded.

"You'll never know," Jones told them silkily.

Shimmings sat across the table from the three Harpers, Brian, Audrey and their grandmother, Margaret, all tied tightly. He smiled sinisterly. "Now listen, you three," he said, "I don't know where your father is, but you're lucky he was captured by that stinkin' bat-woman."

"You'll never get away with this," Brian hissed. "You're killing innocent people by doing this!"

"Absolutely not," the doctor said snydely. "We're doing this to protect the truly innocent people in this country and to prevent the spread of this detestable virus. Now if you aren't willing to help me, then I'd be glad to depose of you. If that's not what you want, then you will find and kill your father, James Harper."

"Never!" shouted Margaret. "And if you so much as touch my son, we'll make sure that you get that virus inside you!"

"Very well," said Shimmings, and nodded to the two men standing in the corner. They aimed their shotguns. Audrey screamed. "No! Don't do this!"

"Why not?" asked Shimmings, with a smirk on his face. "Are you willing to help our cause?"

Audrey and Brian looked at each other, then at their grandmother. She looked back, then, after a few minutes, nodded and winked at them. Shimmings hadn't noticed, so Brian and Audrey, pretending to be reluctant, said, "All right! We'll find him! Now let us go." Shimmings placed his hands together and rubbed them in delight. "Good," he said smoothly. "I'll send my two henchmen here with you to see that your job gets done."

"Sir! Captain!" shouted a soldier, running down the hall towards Marone. "There's trouble!"

"There always is," said Marone. "What now?"

"The Wolf is gone! The Bat's still here, but the other one's escaped!"

Marone shut his eyes and clenched his fists in frustration. "That's the second one we've lost," he said angrily. "Do you have any idea where he went?"

"Not really," the soldier replied. "His net was ripped apart, and then we saw his footprints going out into the snow. They stopped in a dark alley."

Marone checked his watch. It was 2:00 in the morning. "He probably got into one of the buildings," he said. But the soldier shook his head.

"They stopped at a fire escape. From the looks of it, he got up! Now he's probably on top of the building by now! Shall we get the helicopter out?"

"No," said Marone. "It would be like looking for a needle in a haystack, as he's probably hidin' somewhere where we can't see him. I'm sure he'll probably find his way out of the city, then we'll track him into the wilderness."

Chapter Thirty-eight: The SewersEdit

Down in the sewers underneath Detroit, three workers were fixing a leak that had sprung in one of the pipelines. "Blasted pipes," complained one. "I thought this new material would stay together!"

"Oh, you know what happens with all this great 'new and improved' stuff," another said. "It always breaks down or fails. Besides, we're getting paid, right?"

"I'd much rather be paid for fixing the electrical lines," the first one said. "I hate walking around down here in all this slop!"

"Quit complaining," barked the third. "Somebody's gotta do it, and that someone's us!"

Suddenly, they heard a noise from far down the tunnel. "What in tarnation was that?" asked the first worker.

"Sounded like somebody screaming," said the third one. "C'mon, it's probably just another accident that's got nothing to do with us. Let's get back to work."

The sound came again. It was indeed a scream, but there didn't seem to be anything human about it! "What the heck is that? Some kind of giant insect?" asked the second worker.

Suddenly, they could see a dark shape moving toward them out of the darkness of the tunnel, and hear its feet sloshing through the water. They looked at it, and terror overtook every one of them. A huge, hulking form, covered in hair and with the most monstrous face they had ever seen: like a giant rat, but as deformed as a nightmare. It was wearing the shredded remains of a suit, like the one the three workers were now wearing.

"That's Smith's uniform!" shouted the first worker. "That virus got down here! Run!"

Which is exactly what they did. They ran for several minutes, never stopping or even daring to look around. Finally, they got so exhausted they were forced to quit.

The Rat leaped on the first worker's shoulder, and he screamed as the monster began tearing at it.

And that was all that was found later by the police.

Blake Jones grinned sinisterly as he held the gun to Montgomery's forehead. "You'll never leave this warehouse," he said. "Don't expect to see your lizard friend in heaven!" Suddenly, however, there was the sound of footsteps outside, and then someone shouted, "All right, Jones, turn around! We've got the building surrounded!"

The former biology teacher whirled around in shock. Blocking the doorway were three of the soldiers that had come with them to the Cascades, along with one of Stuart's subordinates, Colonel Henderson. All had M-16s, pointed at Blake. "Jones," the colonel said, chuckling, "We were watching you the entire time. We knew you were with the alliance!" Jones fumed, dropping his gun. "Now, come on out of here. You've got a lot of explaining to do!"

Cursing to himself, Jones reluctantly allowed the soldiers to lead him out. "This was all part of the plan," said Colonel Henderson. "Now that I know you're with the Alliance, you're going to tell us where your friends are!"

McPherson was still worried, though. "They've got the Harpers!" he told the colonel. Henderson turned to him. "Unless they give them up," he said, "We've got a special treatment waiting for Mr. Jones here!"

Chapter Thirty-nine: The FlyEdit

On Friday, the day after the Cliff Incident, Mr. Jansma was back at the Penmount High School, getting his vacuum cleaner out of the janitor's closet. He had not slept well the past night; the previous day's occurence as well as the horsefly bite, which had swelled up, had kept him up for most of the night hours. He had finally gotten to sleep at around 4:30, which was about four hours before he was supposed to get up.

Now, as he took the vacuum cleaner out, he suddenly felt a strange sensation coming over him. A feeling of nausea swept through his entire body; he felt like he would throw up. Then his legs cramped, and he fell to the floor and started rolling around in pain. His arm felt like it was on fire. Suddenly, he threw up on the tiled floor. Then the most bizarre thing happened; his vision began doubling, then quadrupling!

He wasn't sure how long he lay there, but when he finally got up, he could remember virtually nothing of what happened minutes ago. All he knew was that he was incredibly hungry, hungry for something rich or meaty. In his subconcious, he remembered that there was a large room at the end of the hall which had food in it. So he started in this direction.

Picture 017

The Fly

At this moment the principal, Mrs. Martin, was on her way down to the classroom where Blake Jones had taught before his joining up with the Alliance. She stopped dead in her tracks when she saw the hideous creature in the hallway. It was the most bizarre animal she had ever seen; it was as tall as a human, and had four limbs, but other than that it was anything but human. Covered in a blueish-grey skin, its body was thin and gaunt and its legs were long and rather spindley. It had two large compound eyes and a horrible, mucous-covered cavity at the bottom of its head which was probably a mouth. Three sharp, black fangs were visible on the outside of the mouth. All in all, the creature looked rather like a monstrous insect.

But the most visible to Mrs. Martin were the remains of Mr. Jansma's clothes which hung from the monster's twisted body. The janitor was now one of the were-creatures!

The creature stood perfectly still for a moment (except for a few twitches of its head), then started to slowly advance toward the principal. Terrified, she turned and ran back toward her office, screaming "There's a monster here! Get away!" The creature followed her down the hall, until it came to the entrance to the cafeteria. Several boxes of doughnuts had just been delivered through the back door of the lunch room, and the former Mr. Jansma immediately smelled them. With a ferocious appetite, it lurched across the room toward the kitchen.

It was at this moment that the garbage man, Mr. Bates, was taking the trash out of the dumpster out back and throwing it into his truck. The air was cold, and the snow was falling. Christmas was in three days.

Suddenly, he heard a horrible noise issuing from the open door. Curious, he wandered over to it and looked in; he was horrified by what he saw. Torn-up doughnut boxes were everywhere, the air smelled terrible, and the most terrifying creature was in the kitchen, horribly dissolving the remains of a doughnut in its mouth. It was like a giant fly.

He knew it was one of the were-creatures. Immediately, he turned around and ran for his truck, and got out his cell phone and dialed 9-1-1. "Hello?" answered a deep voice on the other end. "This is Officer Ernie Morris at the Penmount police station."

"Hi," said Mr. Bates shakily. "There's a were-beast in here!"

"Where?" Ernie asked urgently.

"At the Penmount High School!" cried the garbage man.

"We'll be there as soon as possible," said Ernie. "In the meantime, see if you can contain him. And make sure the Alliance doesn't get him!"

Mr. Bates hung up the phone, then slowly made his way back to the door. The fly-man had finished the doughnuts, and was now searching for more food.

Chapter Forty: The ThreatEdit

"Mrs. Bright, your daughter is now well," Dr. Samuels informed Samantha Bright.

"Does this mean you've finally given her brain surgery?" Samantha said acerbically. "Or, perhaps, that you've given her a heart transplant so she has one?"

"Uh, no," Dr. Samuels said. "It means she's no longer a Vampire Bat."

"Well, she may no longer be a werebat," Samantha said bitterly, "but she's still a blood-sucking beast!"

"Why do you say that?" Dr. Samuels asked. "By the way, if you want to see her now, you'd better hurry, because the prison warden wants you back as soon as possible."

"I rest my case," Samantha said angrily, before stepping into Chaleen's hospital room. Samantha and Chaleen, who was laying in her hospital bed, glared at each other several moments.

"Uh, I'll leave you two alone," Samuels said, stepping out of the room.

"So, how are you doing?" Samantha asked her. Chaleen smiled.

"Oh, I'm great!" she said happily. "In fact, I think this story's the best thing that's every happened to me."

"That's what everything is to you, isn't it?" Samantha asked. "Just a story - even your own mother."

"Well, I'm a reporter," Chaleen replied, "and a reporter has to make certain," she giggled, "choices."

"You think this is funny, do you?" Samantha told her. "What about turning into a giant werebeast? Didn't that have any effect on you?"

"Oh, not really," Chaleen answered brightly. "I don't remember any of it."

"Of course," Samantha said darkly. "Everything's just a story to you."

"I'm planning to write a book about it," Chaleen said happily. "I imagine it will be a best-seller. Considering the interest people have in these werebeasts, they'll be fascinated by one woman's inner battle to regain control of herself from the beast within."

"I thought you said you didn't remember any of your experience as a Bat?" Samantha replied.

"Oh, that's simple," Chaleen told her, "I'll just lie." Samantha growled.

"I don't know why I'm visiting you," she said, angrily. "Because of you, I'm in jail!"

"Sorry, but I just can't keep these little things obscured, Mother," Chaleen said with a girlish giggle. "That would be tantamount to lying," she added in a slightly sarcastic voice.

"You just said you were going to write a book that would be one big lie!" Samantha pointed out.

"Well, it's not as bad as meth!" exclaimed the reporter.

"Sure," said Samantha. "Nothing you do is as bad as what someone else does...especially not your own mother!" Chaleen smiled.

"Of course," she replied without missing a beat. "I'm a reporter; it's my job to judge other people, not myself."

"Maybe it's time you should judge yourself!" a voice shouted, but it wasn't Samantha. The door burst open and they saw Dr. Samuels pointing a gun at them. Behind him were several hospital employees carrying various sharp instruments.

"What is this?" Samantha asked in surprise.

"Chaleen Bright may look human now," Samuels said, "but she's still a threat and we're going to do something about that!"

"You work for the Alliance!" Samantha exclaimed.

"That's right," Samuels replied. "And we not only believe werebeasts should die - we beileve all witnesses should also die...unless you want to join us." There was a long pause. Samantha turned to her reporter daughter.

"Well, it looks like you've got yourself another story, Chaleen," she said sardonically. Chaleen looked at her mother for a few moments.

"Are you going to join them?" she asked. Samantha shook her head.

"No, I'm not like you," she replied.

"Then you will die!" Samuels shouted, raising his gun. However, before he could fire, Chaleen jumped out of her bed and grabbed Samuels, holding his arms in the air.

"Get the Bat!" he shouted to the rest of the people. But suddenly, there was a cry from down the hall. Then someone shouted, "It's a rat!"

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