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Hi everyone , this is my 156th Daily Deviation Highlights journal. I'll share with you some awesome Daily Deviations of the last 10 days! Hope you will enjoy this feature ! (June 5 - June 15)
Pylon by OttoMagusDigitalArt / FEATURED BY C-91
Dad and Daughter
Journey to the Center of the Earth - psychedelic
T-1000 cosplay
MermAY 2020
Fifth Element
Pride Demons
Pride Demons by Andcetera / FEATURED BY THIEFOWORLD
Start With Love
Asha's Beybread Bakery
winter morning
winter morning by roblfc1892 / FEATURED BY JENFRUZZ
Nezuko by lak0n / FEATURED BY TSAOSHIN
antithesis by sleurope / FEATURED BY JUSTACAPHARNAUM
55555344 by 25kartinok / FEATURED BY MOONBEAM13
Shatter by GabrielGajdos / FEATURED BY COSMICBOUND
Turasaenlammet by m-eralp / FEATURED BY ELYNENOIR
Fragile Truth
Fragile Truth by AshesDrawn / FEATURED BY ASTRALSEED
No Worries
Odessa, Preobrazhenska St.
Ursula C
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With Love , GeorgeXVII

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Mature Content

Silver and Gold: Chapter 14Chapter 14: A New WorldI was alone once again in a world no longer my own. Everything that I knew, everything that I always remembered to be...was gone.The world I know has changed and everyone else around it. Things were no longer the way they were before anymore.The world I knew was ruled by fear and everyone was ruled by that fear. The hope that I thought to be...was gone…It was a nightmare that I wish I could wake up from, but every time I opened my eyes the nightmare was real, and it was only the beginning of my troubles.---Date: UnknownTime: UnknownAnna was once again floating in that sea of darkness. She couldn’t remember how many times she’s been to this place. However, something felt odd...she could actually feel her body floating. Groaning slightly, her eyes began to slowly open, her vision was blurry at first, but when it came too, her eyes widened as she gasped at what she was seeing before her…Around her, she was in open space...literally!It felt strange to her, not just this world, she didn’t feel cold at all nor was she suffocating to death in this place. Not only can she breathe in this place, she didn’t feel a change in the temperature, she didn’t even feel hot at all. To add-in the strangeness of the space-filled world, it wasn’t black, like how you see it in science fiction movies, but she did see stars and the whole world was filled with a multitude of colors, almost like that of an aurora mixed-in with the rainbow.She was trying to remember how she got here...then she remembered. She remembered that elderly mouse giving her that watch, which strangely looked similar to that of the silver watch, then the last thing she remembered before white engulfed her vision was shouting to Basil and she blacked out. She couldn’t figure out why the elderly mouse sent her here, but the bigger question was: How long was she here? A few hours maybe? A day...a week...month...years? Oh God, she dreaded the thought of being stuck in here for years. If she did, would she die of dehydration or starvation? Floating here in an endless world of nothing but space and colors? As she started to think, something began to appear in her vision, and it was happening all around her. Looking around, she began to see...algorithms? Then, everything became random. Her eyes darted here and there as she saw everything. The strange part about it was that she was learning. It felt like someone took a thinking cap and placed it on her head, making her go back through all the years she’s learned in school and college as she learned so much that was in advance, and that was way beyond her years. But then all of a stopped. She closed her eyes and nodded while placing her hands on her head, it felt like her brain was shoved into a car and drove hundreds of miles an hour. While she was groaning and massaging the sides of her head, she heard something. It sounded like the wind. Was somebody here?“Hello!” she shouted as her voice echoed throughout space.The wind sounded like it was picking up speed, as if it actually heard her voice. Then...she began to hear electricity. Looking behind her, as that sound was where it was coming from, she saw sparks of electricity, like something was trying to open up. As the wind was gathering more speed, the electricity around it began to twist the colors like a spiral, then it opened up as it revealed a swirling portal of light. Electricity shot out at her, but she didn’t feel any pain, and like someone throwing a lasso at her body, she was pulled in so fast she didn’t have a chance to breathe.She was screaming as her body was twisting and turning while electricity surrounded her body. Anna’s body began to glow as it was starting to change shape, then with another flash, she was tossed to the ground as she landed hard while rolling and her vision turned black once again.---Anna was once again in a world of darkness, but instead of floating...she was standing. She had no idea where she was now, then...familiar voices spoke to her.“Anna…” The voice echoed of a middle-aged man.Anna turns her head left.“Anna…” The voice echoed of a young boy.Anna turns her head right.“Anna…” The voice echoed of a young girl.Anna turns behind.“Anna…” The voice echoed of another young girl.Anna turns behind again.The voices began repeating the name “Anna” over and over again from each different voice, until they became distorted as Anna looked here and there saying, “Hello! Hello, who’s there!”She started to back up...until she bumped into somebody as the voices ceased. When she turned around...she gasped at the person she saw before her…It was a young man, a boy no bigger than her age, had dark hair, a blue jacket, tan shirt, blue jeans with a belt, and white tennis shoes. His brown eyes were looking at her as he said to Anna, “Why...Why did you let this happen to us?” His brown eyes changed white, almost looking like that of a blind man...except he was dead. What became even horrifying...bullet wounds appeared on his chest and stomach as blood stained his shirt.“I...I didn’t…” Anna nodded her head as she backed away from him. But then...she bumps into somebody else…When she turns around, she sees a middle-aged man who had short tan-brown hair and wore that old light-brown coat with pockets, buttoned-up red shirt, dark-blue jeans, and dark-brown boots. His light-brown eyes were looking at her as he said to Anna, “Why…” His eyes turned white as his appearance changed to a pale look while his throat was already torn and blood had already dried. “Why did you get us killed, Anna Johnson?”“I didn’t mean for this-”“Oh really,” A female voice interrupted her as Anna turned around and faced a dark-brown haired girl, another person who was around Anna’s age, as she wore a grey short-sleeved shirt with black trimming, blue jeans, and grey and white tennis shoes. Her blue eyes changed white as two bullet wounds, one on her chest and the other right at her heart was bleeding. “You were the one who brought us into this mess, and because of you, were dead because you failed to save us!”“YOU KILLED US!” Another female voice said as this one shouted. Anna turned to face yet another girl, who once again was around Anna’s age, as she had dirty blonde hair and wore nothing more than a hospital gown. Her light-blue eyes changed white as her appearance turned grey. “YOU DID THIS TO US YOU MURDERER!”“No…” Anna nods while clutching her head as she pants. “No…” She continues to pant while breathing through each word. “No...I...I swear...I didn’t…”Everywhere around her, faces began appearing...and they were laughing. Many of them were insulting her by saying “Murderer!” “Killer!” “You did it, you failed!” “Failure!” and so many more that she couldn’t hear over the mixed voices of both men and women alike. Anna started to run while covering her ears, trying to drown out the noise, but it was still there, as if it was reaching out deep within the depths of her soul. “STOP IT!” She shouted. “STOP IT PLEASE!” The voices of insult and accusation continued as it started to distort...until once again, she bumped into somebody.Looking up, she was relieved to find Basil as his back was turned. “Oh, Basil!” Anna hugged him as she cried on his back, wanting so desperately to be with a friend or anybody else other than them. “Please,” she begged. “Please, help me. I don’t know what to do.” As she buried her face at his back, she wasn’t sure how much strength she had left before she collapsed from the emotional pain, but as everything remained quiet...Basil said this…“Help you?” He chuckles at her...then his voice becomes distorted. “Help you, you say?” Anna felt something wet as she already gasped and pulled away from him. Looking at her hands...she sees blood. But that couldn’t be possible, Basil was alive! She knows that he is, so why was his blood on her hands! “Their blood is on your hands!” When that distorted voice said “there blood”, she felt relief in her heart that it wasn’t Basil’s. However, she already knew whose blood was on her hands. Looking up at the figure who looked like sharply turned around as it revealed the barrel of a pistol. As the form started to melt while becoming more of the gun she knew all too well, it shouted, “YOU CANNOT ESCAPE YOUR FATE!”The hammer cocked...Anna screamed...BAM! Light engulfed her vision.Anna sat up while screaming slightly, her heart beating in her chest from pure fear as she woke up from the nightmare. She curled herself as she buried her face in her legs, crying from experiencing the dream from the memories that she wanted to forget, now they were somehow coming back to haunt her. She stood like this for a minute, until finally coming to her senses as she took a deep breath to calm her nerves. However, when her senses caught up to her, she felt...cold. Realizing the temperature somehow dropped, but only to realize even further that she was no longer in that space-filled world and was now...well, wherever she is.She stood up while rubbing her arms to keep herself warm as she started to look up, only to see a grey sky. Looking ahead, she sees light ahead as she goes to it. When she got there, she covered her eyes with her arm until her vision adjusted. However, as her eyes adjusted...they widened as she gasped at what she was seeing before her…Somehow, she was in some kind of city that looked similar to that of the Victorian Age when she was first thrown through time by Ratigan. Except this time she wasn’t small, she was in her own size as the world looked a little normal...But it didn’t, not to her.As she stepped out while looking behind, knowing that she came out of an alleyway, she looked around while walking as she noticed many things. Where were all the street signs? Where were the traffic lights? The city didn’t have a lot of crowds, but there were people walking about, except...they weren’t human. Everywhere she looked, they were animals, ranging that of mice, cats, dogs, rabbits, foxes, and everything she couldn’t list. Where were all the humans? Better yet, why were they not noticing her as she walked past a mole and into the road? I mean, she is human, so why were they not expecting to be scared like what happened before when she met the Victorian mice in Basil’s world?Her thoughts were put to a halt as she heard a honk, quickly looking ahead as she yelped and ran across to the sidewalk, watching the car go by as she heard someone yell, “Stay off the road next time, woman!”Her eyes widened as her mouth was agape while watching that car. In fact, that car looked like it came from the 1940s, but those went out-of-date and were now museum items. So why was that here?Ding-ding-dong-dingShe looks ahead to that sound and finds a clocktower in the distance. It looked like Big Ben from London, but apart from that there was a castle. She sighed as she looked to the right, only for her to yelp again as she saw a female mouse right next to her. Sighing in relief, she said to the female mouse, “Oh, excuse me, you really scared-”She stopped speaking as she noticed something...her mouth was moving the same way as hers. She wore the same clothes as she did, and as she moved towards the mouse girl, so did she. Bringing out her hand to start waving, she gasped as she saw her hand wasn’t normal anymore. Instead of being five fingers, she now had four and it looked like a mouse’s hand. She brings out her other hand, only to see the same thing. Looking at the mouse girl, she could see light-brown fur on her face, a black nose, and tan under her muzzle. Bringing her mouse-like hands towards her face, she watched as she was doing the same thing as she felt the muzzle. She then brought them towards the sides of her head to feel her ears, except...they were not in the right place. Bringing them upwards, she watched as she felt the ears as they were flat and leathery. She gasped as she realized two things. One, she was seeing a reflection from an abandoned shop, and two, this wasn’t just a mouse girl she was staring at…It was herself! Anna Johnson was no longer human...but a mouse!As she continued to look at herself, the only thing that hadn’t changed was her auburn hair and green eyes with a hint of grey. Pulling up her shirt, she didn’t see her bellybutton as she rubbed her stomach and only felt just smooth fur. Patting down her rear, she felt something that felt like leather. Giving it a small tug, she grunted slightly while feeling a little pain as if if it was attached to her. Holding onto whatever it was, she brings it around, only to see a mouse’s tail...her tail. She gasped as she let her tail drop, bringing up her hands, she said, “Oh my God! This isn’t happening…” She started to run while nodding. “This can’t be happening!” As much as Anna wanted to deny this, the fact was she was a mouse, and her world was different. However, speaking of different, her thoughts returned to her as she wondered about some things like:Where were all the tall buildings?Where was all the traffic?As she kept running while her sense of sight hadn’t left her, she noticed a carriage was being pulled by a horse, except this one wasn’t humanoid. So she could rule out that not all animals can become human-like. But now she added to her thoughts like:Why was there a carriage? Better yet, why were there cars that came out of the history books?Why were people that she was passing dressed in fancy clothes that came out of the Victorian Age?Then came the biggest question of all… Where was California, and what happened to her world?When that thought came, she stopped herself as she remembered something… “I’ll be able to merge worlds and rewrite history in my own image.”“Ratigan,” she muttered. Somehow, he was the one responsible for this. So...that would mean he did merge her world with his to create...this! This place didn’t make any sense, what the hell has he done to the rest of the world?! She needed answers, but the first thing she wondered was what day is it? Better yet, what was the year? Maybe it was still 1897 and when it merged with her world, it could be possible that technology may have advanced.Luck seemed to be on her side when her ears heard the sound of ringing from a bell. Looking ahead, she sees a field mouse paperboy who had tan fur with a chip on his ear, and was wearing a grey cap, red turtle-neck, and brown boots was waving a bell as she quickly jogs over there and picks up a newspaper from the stack. “Oi, Miss,” the field mouse paperboy said in a Scottish accent. “Aren’t ya gonna pay for that?”“I’m not buying it, I just need to look at the date.”She wasn’t paying any attention to the front of it, but instead was looking at the date. Immediately...she gasped at what the date of it said…November 25, 2018What! 2018! It was only 2017 when she left! How could a single year just pass?!Out of shock, she drops the paper. The field mouse paperboy noticed that shocked look and asked her, “Ma’am, is there something wrong?”Anna looks at the field mouse paperboy, bends down while grabbing his arms and saying, “Please tell me that this isn’t 2018?”“Umm…” He had an odd look on his face as he tilted his head slightly and answered, “I’m afraid it is. I mean, you just looked at the date. Did you not?”Anna was beyond shocked as she stood up. This couldn’t be possible, but the answers were right before her. None of it still didn’t make any sense at all, she was trying to think on this. However, she didn’t notice herself pacing while placing a finger under her muzzle. Stopping herself, she was surprised at herself as this was so unlike her. Why was she acting like this? She was acting similar to how Basil would do it when he needed to be in his thoughts.When the thought of Basil crossed her mind, she sighs while looking down on the ground. She wondered what became of him during the merge. Better yet, whatever happened to Dawson and...No, she mustn’t think about those two, she had already cut ties with them, then after that when she finds out if Basil and Dawson were okay, she was going to turn around and leave them. She had nothing left for them, and it was better to be alone.But then...something happened within her thoughts. Something within herself was telling her like this, saying, If you truly did cut ties with them. Then why are you thinking about them?Because...Anna thought, They are just nothing more than pictures in my head, they’ll go away in time, and they mean nothing to me anymore.Really, is that so?Before her very eyes...Anna was seeing her own memories. The good times she had with Hiram and Olivia, Dawson showing kindness while he hugged her after Olivia was kidnapped, Basil smiling at her while placing his hand on top of her human hand, her being on top of him after he rescued her from nearly falling off the window sill, and her being at the bottom with him at the top after he managed to save both her and Dawson from a gruesome death, but he also accidentally kissed her when he lost his balance from when the anvil crushed the axe, feeling his own lips pressed against her own.A thought like that made Anna’s heart beat fast as she had no idea about these...unusual feelings towards him. She knew everything about him from watching the movie, but she never knew anything else about him. Like his life and other things. Anyway, every memory that happened in Basil’s world was appearing before her very eyes. The good and bad, friendships she made, and the struggle she went through were all there before her very eyes.If they truly mean nothing to you. Then why are you thinking about them?She had no clear answer.Exactly, the way I see it, you still care about them as much as they care about-Just like that, her memories went black. The hell? Anna thought. She wondered what happened to her memories from her stay in Basil’s world. It felt like someone just threw the switch and shut everything off. Come to think of it. What was that voice that was in her head? It sounded so...feminine. But then…Must you forget the pain you will cause to others…Anna gasped as she heard that same distorted voice from her dream. Then...her memories came back, but not the same as she remembered only the bad ones instead of the mixed.Should I remind you that you will never have friends again. As long as you remain alone no one-The distorted voice was cut-off as well as the bad memories, and was replaced with single memories, showing Anna her mice friends as well as other people while she heard the feminine voice say, You don’t have to be alone, Anna. There are other people who will be there for you as long as they still care and-The feminine voice was cut-off and was replaced by the distorted voice as it showed her single memories, but instead of the good ones shown by the feminine voice, it showed her the bad ones. No one will care about you! You will only bring them pain as well as towards yourself! Then after that you’ll-The distorted voice was cut-off with the feminine voice yelling, Anna, listen to me! Sooner or later you’ll have to let someone in. Her memories were showing her mice friends. You need to tell them how you feel. That way they'll understand, and you won’t have to be so ashamed anymore.But I...Anna thought about her past mistakes.We all make mistakes Anna, it’s a fact of life, but you can’t let your mistakes get-The feminine voice was cut-off again with the distorted voice shouting, ANNA, LISTEN TO ME! You will only bring them suffering and loss! Her memories were showing her a cemetery and families gathering there. You know I speak the truth! You will only hurt them… Her memories were showing her painful stares and seeing Hiram’s angry look when he learned the truth about Anna’s secret. As well as yourself. You know you can never-The distorted voice was cut-off again with the feminine voice yelling, Anna, none of this was your fault! You can’t predict everything that’s going to happen! Her memories were showing her the choices she made so far in life...and they were bad, but at the same time, the feminine voice had a point. No one can predict the outcome! You know that I’m right! You can’t keep blaming-Every choice you make, The distorted voice cut-off the feminine voice, only ends up going in reverse! Everything that’s happened is because of you! Her memories were now showing her Fidget getting beat up by her as Anna’s eyes widened when the forgotten memories of what happened at the toy store resurfaced. Then she remembered the earthquake and lightning striking. Every choice you make… She was now seeing the dead bodies of the people she saw in her dreams, then the painful looks of both humans and mice mixed together. Will only bring you more pain to yourself and others around you. Because of your choices… She now sees Ratigan, in the form of a human who disguised himself as Mr. Moriarty, giving him both the copy of the gold watch from his time and the silver watch. You gave Ratigan the power necessary to create more suffering, loss, and pain. There’s no telling what more he’s done because you were the one-Anna, you were being used! The feminine voice cut-off the distorted voice. You had no idea that it was him to begin with. You remember what he said. Her memories were now showing her what Ratigan had told her and showing her his scheme. He said that he needed you to steal his own watch, and you didn’t know about that or the rest of his grand plan. So the one to blame for this is him, not you!You were the one who created this! The distorted voice said as it was showing her the bad memories. You should share the blame, because remember what Hiram said to you…Her memories stopped as she saw Hiram say these cruel words that echoed in her head…“'re no different than Ratigan…” You see… Her bad memories resumed. You're just as monstrous as he is. Hiding behind the face of a good woman. And now, your fate was sealed the moment when-YOUR NOTHING LIKE HIM! The feminine voice shouted as she now saw her good memories. You're not a monster! You're a brave, smart, talented, and courageous woman, even Basil would agree! Her memories were showing her Basil, then it showed her holding the mop when she had already blocked the window using the broom as she was ready to defend Hiram and Olivia once Fidget broke through the window. Would a monster protect those you care about? She was now seeing herself fighting against Ratigan’s thugs, even Ratigan himself at the clocktower of Big Ben.Anna, don’t listen! The distorted voice said as it showed her the bad memories. You must shut yourself away and remain alone! She was now seeing the memories of laughter and insult. If you don’t, you’ll only invite more-Anna, don’t listen! The feminine voice cut-off the distorted voice as it showed her both the good and mixed memories, shutting off the laughter and insults. You can’t keep running and hiding away your problems! You need to open that door and let someone-Anna, don’t listen and listen to me! The distorted voice cut-off the feminine voice as it was showing her the bad memories. You know I speak the truth!Anna, don’t listen and listen to me! The feminine voice yelled as it once again showed her the good and mixed memories. Not everything is true! You know that I’m right!ANNA, LISTEN TO ME! The distorted voice shouted.ANNA, LISTEN TO ME! The feminine voice shouted.ANNA! The distorted voice shouted again.ANNA! The feminine voice shouted again.As the two voices continued to shout out “ANNA!”, her memories were going back and forth, like someone hitting the fast-forward and rewind buttons at the same time. She wanted to shout out “STOP!” to those voices and put an end to this. But...she felt a hand on her back as she heard the field mouse paperboy say, “Oi, Miss, are you alright?”Anna blinked her eyes as the memories ceased. She was staring at the ground while her legs were feeling the cold hard ground, and she felt her own hands clutching the sides of her head as she was breathing hard. Which, of course, she didn’t understand why she was doing that, but felt as if her own body was running a marathon while her heart was beating in her chest. When she sat up, she slowly stood up while the field mouse paperboy said, “What was all that about?”She looked at the field mouse paperboy with confusion. “What was what about?”“You were clutching your head, like this,” he simplified by clutching the sides of his head. “And you were grunting like you were somehow in pain.”Did...Did that actually happen? Anna thought as she clearly had no idea what happened. Better yet...what the hell did she just see? Why was her memories somehow showing before her and why were they going back and forth? Not to mention those voices. What were they? Out of confusion, she sighs as she covers her eyes with a single hand, trying hard not to think about those other memories that she wanted to desperately forget.Seeing her confusion, the field mouse paperboy tilted his head slightly and asked, “Are you ill or something?”Taking her hand away from her eyes and placing it on her forehead, she answered, “No.” She sighs again while moving her hand to the side of her face as she mutters, “God, I hope not.” She didn’t know what was happening to her. However, a sense of dread was in the back of her mind as this was in her thoughts…Was she...was she losing her mind?Putting it behind her and setting aside her thoughts, she was about to walk away from the field mouse paperboy. Before she did, she heard him say, “By the way Miss, haven’t I seen you somewhere before?”She looked at him with a confused look as this was a little strange coming from him. “Can’t say that I have.”The field mouse paperboy crossed his arms and narrowed his eyes while humming in thought. Then...his eyes widened. “Wait a minute!” He quickly dashed over to the newspaper that Anna dropped and picked it up.Going over to him and wondering what’s gotten into him, she asked, “What is it?”As the field mouse paperboy looked at the front page of the newspaper, he gasped as he looked at Anna, then at the front page, and back again as he exclaimed, “It’s you! You're the woman on the front page!” “What?” She quickly snatches the newspaper from him and looks at the front, since she didn’t pay attention to the front of it the first time. Her eyes widened with shock as a small gasp escaped her mouth at what she was seeing on the front page…It was a drawn picture of her! In her mouse form no less. But right below it was an article that said this:Proclamation From King Ratigan, Lord of Time and SpaceKing Ratigan has proclaimed that this woman has been chosen to become his bride-to-be. Anyone who sees this woman must contact the Royal Guard from your local town districts or inform the whereabouts of this woman. To whom, who either brings this woman to the Royal Guards to be delivered or helps in capturing this woman. Will be rewarded handsomely of their choice. Anna just couldn't believe this. Ratigan, a king of this world, and now proclaiming himself as “The Lord of Time and Space”, already makes a proclamation as her intended bride on the front page of a newspaper. If anyone saw this then…“I can’t believe me luck,” The field mouse paperboy said as Anna was brought out of her thoughts. He gives a big smile as he cups his hands and yells, “Guards!” Anna shushes with a single finger, trying to keep him quiet, but that didn’t stop him as he points a finger at her and continues to yell, “Guards, I found her! It’s the girl who King Ratigan wants!” Anna looked at the crowd, some were looking at her while most didn’t seem to care as they continued walking to wherever it was they had to go. Muttering a curse as she didn’t know who these Royal Guards looked like and not wanting to stick around and find out, she roughly tossed the newspaper away, without paying any attention to the field mouse paperboy as his face was covered by it.Pulling the newspaper out of his face, he went after Anna while yelling, “Stop, come back!”At the crowd, the people who were looking at her shrugged it off and left as some didn’t even care while most who already read the newspaper about that same woman that they saw didn’t care as well. However, from out of the crowd...a figure clad in a familiar grey cloak that covered the entire body, watched as Anna left with that little mouse boy chasing her. From out of the hood that concealed the face in shadow...the figure smiles and chuckles slightly.Back with Anna, she continues to run while hearing that field mouse paperboy shout from behind her saying, “Guards, anyone, stop her!”Taking a peek behind her, she sees him as she thought, Damn, that kid’s relentless!She took a sharp turn, causing her to slide her boots a bit, then took another turn to an alleyway as she placed her back against the wall. She was about to take another peek to see if she lost him, but her keen mouse ears prevented her from doing that, much to her surprise that these ears were a bit keener than a human’s ears. In fact, Basil did say that a mouse’s ears were keen.As she hears the sound of feet moving closer and closer to her, she quickly grabs, picks him up, then covers his muzzle with her hand after he already yelped in fright. Looking back, she didn’t see anyone else who followed him as she sighs in relief. “OUCH!” She felt teeth clamp at her wrist as she tossed him to the ground, making the field mouse paperboy grunt as he landed at his front and his cap came loose. Shaking her wrist to ease off the pain, Anna and the field mouse paperboy looked at one another as she said to him, “You bit me!”The field mouse paperboy got up quickly and was about to make a run for it, but was stopped by Anna as she quickly stomped on his tail, making him yelp again as he tripped and fell on his front again. Anna grabs his tail and picks him up, much to her surprise that despite there being a little weight on him, he wasn’t heavy. The field mouse paperboy sits up while grabbing a hold of his own tail as he is being dangled by her. He glares at her and says, “Oi, let go of me tail!”Anna looks around to hopefully leave him somewhere where he won’t cause trouble for her. “HELP!” she heard the field mouse paperboy shout. “GUARDS! SOMEBODY! ANYBODY!” She sees a trash can nearby as she brings him over to it. Just as the field mouse paperboy was about to shout again, hoping at least someone would hear him, he notices the trash can right below him as he lets go of his own tail, looking at the woman in front of him upside down while waving his hands and crying out, “Nonono, please no! Nooo!”His cries fell on deaf ears as Anna let him go, making the little mouse boy yelp as he fell to the trash can with a metallic thump as he started wiggling and kicking his feet in the air. Anna was about to turn around and leave him, but felt a little guilty doing this to him as she bends down and knocks on the trash can slightly and says to him, “I’m so sorry about this. But please, don’t take this personally, okay?”As Anna left him, the field mouse paperboy was grunting and still kicking his feet as he was trying to get out. Once he got out of there, he was going to smell very bad.---It has been an hour for Anna, which luckily for her the sky remained grey as the day was still young, and has slowly begun to learn about this city. So far, the alleyways here and there felt like a great place to hide for someone like her. Unfortunately, she learned that some of the people used these alleyways as shortcuts to get to whatever it is they have to go to, but if one of them were to see her, she was afraid that someone like that kid she encountered would sell her out to the Royal Guards. In short, as long as her face remained open to the public, no place was safe for her.However, luck was once again on her side as she found some kind of brown cloth lying near some crates. One good look at it meant that someone else must’ve used it as a blanket, then left it there. Taking it, Anna could tell it was a little dirty, but on the other hand it was useful for her. Tying it around her neck, which she could thank her luck for the third time that it was long enough to cover her body, she used it as a makeshift cloak as she pulled the cloth over her head like a hood. It wasn’t much, but at least it’ll protect her from being seen.Coming out of the alleyways and back into the street, Anna continues to look around the city while hoping to try and find her way out of it. But as another hour ticked by, no such luck for her as she was just wandering around this city blindly and having no clue where she was at now. What became worse for her, hunger finally caught up to her as her stomach was growling.Wanting to take a rest, Anna sat down on a lamppost and placed her back there while keeping her makeshift cloak wrapped around her as the cold was slowly getting to her. She was a little surprised that despite the fur that she now possessed kept her warm a little, but the makeshift cloak that she also had did a splendid job keeping the cold out as long as she kept herself in that position. As she sat there, most of the people who passed by her thought that she was just some dirty beggar woman while others didn’t seem to care who she was as they had their own problems to worry about. Anna sighs and rubs her belly as she hears the sound of her stomach growling again. She didn’t know which was the worst case scenario. Getting lost in a city that she has no clue where she was or where the hell she was going, getting spotted by someone if anyone saw her face and called the Royal Guards, or worst of all, seeing Ratigan again. Thinking about Ratigan, she did remember reading the newspaper that had the proclamation and it said “King Ratigan”, she even remembered the field mouse paperboy even saying his name. Looking back at the castle that she saw two hours ago, she seemed to put a lot of distance. But she wondered if Ratigan even lived in that place?What the hell was she even thinking? Of course Ratigan would probably live there, it was painfully obvious. Nevertheless, as long as she kept herself further away from the castle and anyone else, she was safe. Right now, she needs to think on what to do next. Unfortunately with her hunger getting the best of her, she couldn’t think at the moment.However, fate seemed to be on her side for the moment as a male dog was pushing a trolley of crates that had some food in them. And with a single bump from the road, a biscuit fell off as it bounced and rolled towards Anna. Seeing that biscuit, Anna wondered if it was considered stealing, but after quickly rethinking this through, it wasn’t really stealing unless it was dropped and nobody claimed it. Looking in both directions to see if anyone was watching while whistling a catchy tune, she quickly snatches the biscuit off the ground while returning to the warm comfort of her makeshift cloak and clearing her throat.As she cleans the biscuit by rubbing it on her shirt, due to it being slightly dirty around the edges, she brings it to her muzzle as she blows on it to remove any dirt that was still there. At first, a part of herself told her not to eat this dirty thing, but her stomach told her otherwise. So with that, she brought it towards her muzzle as she was about to take a bite…That was until she heard a female voice speaking in a Scottish accent that said to her, “I wouldn’t eat that if I were you, lass.”She turned her head slightly without looking to see who that was, but she could tell that this woman was nearby, she could feel it. Showing the biscuit to this woman, she tells her, “I’m actually lucky to have this. I don’t have any money so...five second rule.”She was about to take a bite, but her keen ears heard feet moving and saw a hand slap away the biscuit that Anna had as it bounced off towards the road, making her cry out “Hey!” as she watched her food slip away from her. She heard something being put down and someone sitting next to her as she gasped slightly while pulling her hood to hide her face more, then she heard the sound of a rip...and a half loaf of bread being shown to her. “Here, take it,” the woman said. “I want you to have it.”Anna reached for it, but she was hesitant at first until the woman insisted by saying, “Go ahead, I’m offering it to you.” Hearing her stomach growling for the third time told Anna to just take it. After all, she did say she was offering it to her. Taking the half loaf of bread, she quickly took a bite as it made a wonderful crunch sound. While she was chewing, swallowing, then taking another bite, she heard the woman ask her, “You must be really hungry, aren’t you?” After swallowing another bite, she only shook her head without answering her face to face. “Here,” she started to slowly move Anna’s hood away without taking it off completely, “let me see you so I can find out if you're alright or not.”Anna protested by saying, “No, no, nooo!” “It’s alright, I’m not going to hurt you.” the female said as Anna saw that it was another field mouse. She had a white head scarf wrapped around her head, light-blue dress, a white apron tied around her with a tan patch sewn on it, and brown boots. “See,” the female field mouse smiled at her. “No harm done.”Anna was a little surprised that she didn’t shout out to the Royal Guards now that this woman had seen her face. But as she stared at her, the female field mouse narrowed her eyes and hummed in thought. “Hmm, you look alright.” She then placed a hand on Anna’s forehead. “You don’t seem to have a fever.” She removed her hand and continued, “The only thing that’s wrong is you being hungry.” She smiled and giggled slightly. “Oh, look at me, acting like a worrywart over someone I don’t know. Still, I would suggest you not staying here until tonight. Because if the guards catch you after curfew, you're going to be in a lot of trouble. That is of course unless you have a permit to be roaming around after curfew, which I doubt you even have one.”Anna never knew about that until now. Still, it felt a little stupid for her to have a permit if she wants to roam around at night after curfew. What kind of stupid laws has Ratigan made in this world?“So tell me, do you have anywhere else to go, lass?”Anna nods truthfully no to her.“I thought not. Why don’t you come with me? It'll get pretty cold this late at night, and I doubt that dirty old thing you have will keep you warm.” She leans in and whispers, “Don’t worry, I know who you are since I read the article. I won’t rat you out to the guards.” She winks at Anna, much to her shock that this woman already knew who she was and was attempting to gain her trust. Leaning back, she adds while continuing in her normal voice, “I also have a spare bedroom you can use to sleep in until you land on your feet, and I’m already planning on making supper tonight for me and me son, Phillip. So it would be a waste if we had anything extra for no one to share with.” She stood back up while picking up her basket of groceries that she left next to her, then waves for her to follow while saying, “Come, my home isn’t too far from where we are.” As Anna stood up, she was a little sceptical in wanting to follow this woman. But the way she was acting, there was no intent on tricking her, just being a good woman as she was to let her come to her home wherever it was. On the other hand, what choice would she have? It was better than staying here and risk getting caught by either someone else who might rat her out or the Royal Guards. So with that, knowing that this woman can be trusted, she starts to follow her...However…You cannot trust her, Anna, you know you must remain alone!Anna slightly gasped as she looked everywhere after hearing that distorted voice. The female field mouse looked at her and asked, “What’s wrong?”Taking a deep breath, she answered, “Nothing.”Anna had to lie to this woman to avoid concern. Still, that same distorted voice that she heard an hour earlier when she was experiencing her memories flashing before her eyes. Not to mention hearing a female voice that she heard in her head. Nevertheless, she couldn’t figure out what was going on as she rubbed her forehead with her four fingers and thought, What the hell is happening to me?She wasn’t sure if she wanted to answer that question as that same sense of dread remained in the back of her mind.While they were walking, the female field mouse pinched the bridge of her nose and said, “Oh, forgive me, I haven’t had the chance to introduce myself. My name is Francine Brunhilde.”“Well, it was a pleasure to meet you, my name is-”“I know who you are,” Francine whispered. “Your name is Anna Johnson.”Anna gasped as Francine already knew her name while looking at her. “How did you-”Francine shushed her while bringing a single finger towards her muzzle. “I’ll explain later once we arrive at my home.”---Anna was a little surprised when they arrived at Francine’s home...Well, more like an apartment from her perspective. However, the inside of it looked a little old, almost like that of a grandparents home, but nevertheless it looked a little modern, much to surprise her even further. Anyway, after taking off her makeshift cloak and helping get the groceries out of the basket, Anna wanted to help Francine make the supper, which she gladly allowed. But while they began making it, which Anna learned from Francine that it was vegetable cheese soup, she wanted to know some things as she asked Francine her first question, “How did you know my name earlier?”“I met someone while looking at the article, and he told me that the drawing from the front page was Anna Johnson. He even told me to look out for that individual whenever I find her.”“He”? Who’s this “he”? Anna thought. Wanting to know who this “he” was from Francine, she asked another question, “Who did he look like?”“He was a small bat. An odd sort of fellow, but at first glance, he doesn’t look or seem bad at all.”A bat? Why does this sound so familiar?“Has he told anyone else besides you?”“Well yes. In fact, I overheard when I passed by some folks saying that a bat has told them about your name and everything else that you already know.”Anna nods at this. However, that left her with another question. “If you already knew my name and who I was. Why didn’t you turn me over to the Royal Guards?”That stopped Francine from shredding any more cheese into the pot. With a sigh, she told Anna, “Well for one: because no one should be kept a prisoner, especially from someone like King Ratigan. And two: I doubt he even knows anything about you. So why would he want to have someone as his bride for someone he doesn’t even know or love?”Anna couldn’t agree more with her. Still, she couldn’t understand why Ratigan even wanted her. She was just a simple human, she was nothing to him. So why would he want her as his bride? With a sigh, she muttered, “You don’t know the half of it.”“What did you say?”“Nothing.”As Anna continued to chop the carrots, she was going to ask Francine where she was, or better yet, where here was. But was interrupted as the front door opened and Francine once again stopped shredding the cheese into the pot. “Oh, that must be Phillip who came back from work.” When she left Anna to finish chopping up the carrots and putting them inside the pot, she heard Francine say, “Goodness gracious! What happened to you! You're filthy and...What is that smell? Have you been frolicking in the garbage?”Anna stopped what she was doing when Francine mentioned “garbage” as something familiar reminded her of something. Then...she heard an all-too familiar voice as it groaned and said, “Please don’t ask, momma.” Next she heard feet coming her way as it continued, “I’ve had a really bad-” Anna looked behind her, familiar eyes widened as a gasp came and she recognized who it was…It was the field mouse paperboy and his name was Phillip, Francine’s son!“You!”“You!”Francine looked at her son, then back at Anna. “So you already know each other?”“Momma,” Phillip said while slowly backing away as Francine looked at him. “It’s her!”He quickly dashed away from them with Francine yelling “Phillip!” as she went after him and Anna muttered “Shit!” as she put the knife down and went after him as well.Phillip quickly opens the door and shouts, “Hey some-Mmff!” His mother quickly clamps his mouth shut while looking in both directions and Anna shuts the door for her. Francine brings him to the living room and says to him with narrow eyes, “Phillip, what are you trying to do?” She crosses her arms while continuing to give him that look. “Are you trying to get us into trouble from where we already are?”Anna was confused by that last part. What did she mean by that?“But momma, that’s the woman from the front page of the article, and the same one who dumped me in the garbage!”Francine looked at Anna with a surprised look, but Anna retorted to Phillip by saying, “Well, you started it! You were chasing me and shouting to who-knows-how-many-people-who-noticed-me, and on top of that, you kinda deserved that for biting my wrist.”Francine looked back at her son while glaring and saying with a hard tone, “Phillip!”“This was out of self-defense, momma,” Phillip explained. “She grabbed onto me mouth! Besides, she too also deserved it for grabbing onto me tail like-”Phillip didn’t finish as Francine grabbed his ear, making him grunt in pain as he was being dragged by his mother to another room. Right before she went in, she turned her attention back to Anna and said to her, “Go ahead and finish cutting-up the vegetables, I’ll be right back, I just need to straighten him out.” With that, she closed the door and left Anna alone to have a private chat with Phillip. Anna was about to resume her task, but her keen mouse ears couldn’t help but overhear Francine say to Phillip, “What did I tell you about biting people unless they're either the Royal Guard or somebody that looks and acts bad.”Wanting to know what they were saying to one another, Anna goes to the door and brings her ear out as she heard Phillip say to Francine, “But momma, I already told you, she grabbed onto-”“That’s still no excuse! On top of that you started chasing her around the city and started shouting out to so many people which might have attracted the Royal Guards! So give me one good reason why I’m not putting you over my knee and lighting your tail up, young man!”“Because that’s the same woman on the front page of the article. I mean, haven’t you at least read the article about her?”“I have.”“Then you must know that at the bottom of the proclamation it said ‘Will be rewarded handsomely of their choice’. So just think about it for a minute. If we hand her over to the Royal Guards, we’ll be able to lift our city arrest.”Anna’s eyes widened when she learned about that. However, that left her wondering what sort of trouble they got into that got them the city arrest.“On top of that will be able to wipe our debt clean and then will-”“Phillip stop!” She heard Francine sigh as she softly said, “Just stop.”Anna notices a keyhole as she bends down and peeks through it, watching as she sees Francine bend down towards Phillip and saying to him, “Listen, you're young, but you need to understand that even if we were to trade her life for ours it wouldn’t make a difference. They’ll never let us go and they’ll never wipe away our debt.”“Maybe not but...but at least…” He sniffs while his eyes start to water. “ least they could let daddy out.”“Phillip, listen to me. No matter how many rewards you’ll get, it’ll never be enough to set your father free. Once someone is sent to the workhouses, nothing will ever bring them back.”“But I…” Anna saw him shut his eyes tight while a single tear escaped his eye and his fists clutching tight while shaking, as if he was trying his very hardest to stay strong for his mother’s sake. “...I just want my daddy back.” Francine embraces her son while rubbing her hands on his back to comfort him and saying, “I know do I.”Phillip embraces his mother as he could no longer hold back the tears. Anna sighs as she hears him sob while taking her eye away from the keyhole. Seeing this made her wonder what Ratigan has also done to others to make them suffer like this. Better yet...what the hell has he done to this world? However, the distorted voice said to her, You see, Anna, this is the consequences of your actions for you are the one responsible-Anna, don’t listen! The feminine voice cut-off the distorted voice. None of this is your fault! It’s Ratigan who’s done this! Not you!Anna didn’t hear those voices as she was lost in her own world of thoughts. In fact, she couldn’t deny what Phillip was trying to do, despite it being wrong. If she was in his shoes, she would’ve done it in a heartbeat. The reason why he wanted his father back, and to wipe away this debt they were in, along with being free from this city prison, was because he was desperate. If anyone becomes desperate, they’ll do anything, even if it means doing something wrong for the right reason.As her ears became droopy from listening to Phillip’s sobbing, she was about to resume where she left off, but her ears rose up when she heard Francine say to Phillip, “Our only hope now lies with the resistance at The Freedom Lands...and The Masked Phantom. They are the only ones who will save your father.”Anna had an odd look as she thought, Freedom Lands...Masked Phantom?“That’s why tonight after supper we’re leaving and we’re taking her with us. But first, we need to get you out of those dirty clothes and…” She heard Phillip giggling in there. “ need a bath to wash that stinky nose of yours.”As Anna had already resumed where she left off, Phillip and Francine came out of the room, but right before Phillip left for the bathroom to clean-up, Francine instructed him to apologize to Miss Anna Johnson, which he now did with Anna telling him it was okay. However, before he left to go to the bathroom, he stopped himself and said, “Oh, I almost forgot since I know that you're Johnson.” He starts digging in his pocket while Anna and Francine watch. “A stranger managed to get me out of that trash can and told me to give this to someone named Johnson.” He showed them the pocket watch as Anna and Francine had odd looks while he continued, “At first I didn’t want to take it from him, but he insisted. So he didn’t seem bad at all once he gave it to me.”Anna bends down and slowly takes the pocket watch from him as she stands back up. Looking at it, there was something...unusually familiar about this pocket watch. It was platinum with three buttons at the top, and there was a gear symbol etched on the lid of it.Noticing Anna’s familiar look in her eyes, Francine said to her, “Anna. Anna, is there something wrong?” “No,” Anna nodded. “Not really.”She was still wondering about this watch that she was still holding. Could it be that it was...No...No, it couldn’t be...Could it? Maybe she’ll figure it out later over dinner. Along with her other questions that needed to be answered from Francine.---Another hour had passed for Anna and The Brunhilde’s. But as that hour was passing, the two continued to work on the soup while Phillip was cleaning himself up in the bathroom. When he was done, he joined in with finishing up on the soup while Francine left them to go to another room somewhere. After finishing the soup, Anna wanted to have a little taste, which she immediately brightened because the soup was absolutely delicious and she couldn’t wait to have a bowl of this stuff. When Francine came back, she asked Anna if she could use the bathroom as well, which she immediately complied for two obvious reasons. The first reason was because she needed to remain completely oblivious as she already knew that Francine and Phillip were planning on taking her away from the city and to this…“Freedom Lands” or whatever it was called. And two, she was a little dirty and probably needed a shower. Not to mention she needed to get out of these clothes or else someone would immediately notice her.As she left for the bathroom, Francine told her that once supper is done they’ll wait for her until she’s done using the bathroom. When Anna got to the bathroom, she was immediately surprised to find out that it looked a little...modern, almost like that in her time. Nevertheless, at least she knew how to use this bathroom. However, she was once again surprised as she saw the clothes that Francine picked out for her. Instead of being girl’s clothes, it was men’s, consisting of brown trousers, black belt with a gold buckle, tan buttoned-up shirt, muddy-brown coat with a white fur-lined hood, and a grey cap. She didn’t understand why Francine would choose these clothes for her, but maybe she’ll find out about that later.While she started up the shower, she started to take off her clothes, only to realize that she completely failed to notice that her bandages and wounds were completely gone, as if they were just erased from existence. However, the only things that didn’t leave her were the scars. The puncture wounds that she got from Ratigan at Basil’s world...and the bullet wound. With another sigh, she didn’t want to think about the other scar or the memories of how it happened as she just wanted to keep moving forward.After about a minute or two, when it felt like God-lord-knows-how-long-it’s-been since she hadn’t taken a shower for a while, she came out of the slightly warm bathroom with a smile on her muzzle and was now wearing the clothes that Francine picked out for her, with the exception of the coat and cap as she decided to put those on last before they leave.At the dinner table, the three individuals were now eating the soup while sharing the half loaf of bread, after already giving the other half to Anna on the street. Anna had two bowls of the soup as she was so hungry it wasn’t even funny, but after getting a third bowl of the soup, which they had managed to finish only half of the pot, Anna decided it was time for some answers as she said to Francine, “Francine, I was going to ask you earlier. But can you tell me where I am exactly?”“You mean you don’t know?”Anna nods her head truthfully no to her.“Well, you're in the capital city of Kingsland, right here in the land of Britannia.” “‘Britannia’? You mean this isn’t the U.S.?”Francine had an odd look and Phillip stopped himself from taking another spoonful of soup while looking at Anna. “U.S., what’s that?”“Is that the name of The Freedom Lands?” Phillip asked.“Well...I...uh…” Anna wasn’t sure how to explain it to them. Better yet, what other sort of changes has Ratigan done to this world? So with a sigh, she tells them, “You know what nevermind, just forget what I just said. However…” She points her spoon at the both of them. “...maybe you two could tell me a bit about King Ratigan and the history. The slightest detail could be important to me.” Once again, Anna was surprised, even though her face didn’t show it as she thought, Wait, what the hell did I just say? She still couldn’t figure out why she was acting the way Basil did. I mean, sure she is smart, but she’s not that smart.Nevertheless, she quieted her thoughts as Francine said to her, “You mean you really don’t know anything? Anything at all?”Once again, Anna wasn’t sure how to explain it. I mean, how the hell could she tell Francine that she, Anna Johnson, was once human, and after coming out of some space-like world and popping into this world while transforming into a mouse, she knew that Francine wouldn’t believe her and would probably assume that she’s crazy. However, on the other hand, there was one advantage she could use. So with a make-believable story, she told Francine, “Well, not everything. I have a few important memories that I remember, but the last thing I remember was hitting my head and finding myself wandering around the streets of Kingsland. So, it would be nice for someone to fill-in the blanks for me.”Francine nods in understanding. It was to assume that she must’ve suffered a small case of amnesia. Which heaven forbid, Anna didn’t lose all her memories, as evidenced when she was introducing herself while they were on the street with Francine leading her to her home. “Well, according to history, King Ratigan was the one who created most of the cities using the power which he calls ‘Time and Space’, which is also the reason today that society has advanced.” Anna had an intrigued look as Francine continued to explain, “History also explains that before he created Kingsland, his most crowning and glorious city, he has lived for literally centuries thanks to the power that he has. And to top it off, he claims that he is immortal and cannot die.”Anna couldn’t believe any of that shit coming from Francine. It was completely bull-crap! It was pretty obvious that Ratigan did change history in his own image to make it look like he was some immortal god or something, but all of it was a lie, just to fool the entire world. However, there was one part that was absolutely true. Ratigan does possess the power of time and space, that’s as long as he possesses that watch.“Well, I think it’s a bunch of hogwash.” Phillip said.“Now Phillip,” Francine said to Phillip for interrupting.“No, it’s okay Francine,” Anna assured her. “Why don’t you tell me what you think about King Ratigan?”“Well, he’s a tyrant, that’s what! I mean, sure he could keep his word to certain degrees, but I think that the history about him being all-powerful is a complete lie. If he truly was claiming to be ‘The Lord of Time and Space’, then he would’ve ended the revolution before it began along with The Masked Phantom.”There it was again with this “Masked Phantom” thing. “What’s this about a revolution?”“The revolution began five years ago,” Francine explained to Anna. “When a small group of rebels took back a city, and one of them called themselves ‘The Masked Phantom’. The Masked Phantom proclaimed that this revolution will be the end of King Ratigan’s tyranny. Since then, many others have joined the resistance and took back many lands, hence these lands are called ‘The Freedom Lands’.”“But who’s this Masked Phantom?”“Not everyone around here knows. Some say that this phantom could be a man or maybe a woman. Others say that this phantom could be a real phantom that’s cloaked in shadow while many others claim that they saw this phantom and it possessed advanced technology that nobody has ever seen. But nevertheless, this phantom is the face of the revolution.”Once again, Anna was intrigued by Francine’s second story. She didn’t know who or what this Masked Phantom was, but she could definitely tell that it could be trusted. However, she wanted to know more as she asked Francine the obvious question while remaining oblivious to what she already knew, “Alright, then that leaves me with another question…” She leans forward slightly. “What’s your next move?”“Well, that’s easy,” Francine shrugged. “Tonight after we’re finished with supper, we're heading for The Freedom Lands and you're coming with us.” “Okay,” Anna nods while leaning back on her chair. “Just how do you intend to do that?”“I have three Exit Visas with three fake names. Will use those to take the train away from here.”Anna understood Francine’s plan and why she wanted her to wear these clothes. It was pretty obvious that one of those fake visas would have a man’s name on it. However, there was some kind of link between these fake visas and Phillip’s father. “Where did you get these Exit Visas?” she asked.Francine sighed while her ears became droopy, as if she was being reminded of something painful. “My husband, George,” she explained to Anna. “You see, the visas are very expensive to buy, unless you're either of high social standard or an aristocrat of Britannia. Those who try to leave beyond the city districts without a visa will be arrested.” She sighed again as she continued, “When my husband learned about the revolution and The Freedom Lands, he became determined on wanting to leave the city and start our new life there.” Her eyes started to slowly water. “Then one day after my husband managed to get these fake visas for us...he never came back.” She sniffed while wiping away a single tear. “A messenger came in our front door bearing a red letter with the royal insignia. It said my husband was arrested for aiding rebels into the city. While the rebels were executed, my husband was given mercy, courtesy of King Ratigan as he was sent to the workhouses. On top of that, we were given city arrest, never to leave the city and were given a huge amount of debt.” She wiped away another tear as she finished explaining, “We were lucky we could keep our home and not be on the streets without a permit. Another merciful courtesy to King Ratigan.”As Phillip came down from the chair to hug his mother while Francine used her arm to hug her son, Anna felt really bad for them. To lose someone you love over wanting to leave the city for your family, then losing them was too heartwrenching for anyone to bear. To add salt to the wound, they were being punished for something they never did, and that right there made her a little angry over this. What right would Ratigan would do this to this innocent family? Unfortunately, she knew she felt partially responsible, because she was the one who gave Ratigan that power to do these horrendous acts to not just one, but to countless others as well.“I’m so sorry about your husband, Francine,” Anna said as she comfortingly rubs Francine’s shoulder with her hand. “If your husband was still here, he would’ve wanted you to go to The Freedom Lands, with or without him. He probably would’ve also wanted you to be strong for both yourself and for your son.”With a smile from those encouraging words, Francine wipes away the tears that came and says to Anna, “Thank you, that really means a lot to me.”With a smile of her own, Anna gets off the chair and hugs Francine with her hugging her back with a single arm. To Anna, this sorta reminded her of her time with The Flaversham’s, but this felt different than that. Nevertheless, she finally made herself some new friends.However...her ears heard the sound of something rattling. This didn’t go unheard from both Francine and Phillip as all three of them looked at the table and saw their bowls start to rattle and shake. Then, they felt everything starting to shake, as if a small earthquake was happening right now. “Momma, what’s happening?” Phillip asked.“I…” Francine stood up. “I-I don’t know.”Anna was the first to make her move as she went towards the window, with Francine and Phillip following her. Unfortunately, none of them noticed that while the rattling continued, the watch fell off the table as it opened up after landing on the floor. Anna pulls the curtains back to find out what the hell was going on, only to cover her eyes with a single hand as a flash of light suddenly appeared. Taking it down, her eyes widened when she saw a blimp with creatures on it, each of them wearing black uniforms with the symbol of an R etched at the center. It’s light was pointing in their direction with a male’s voice shouting through a megaphone saying, “This is The Royal Guard! Come out with your hands up!” She gasps as she quickly shuts the curtain, but leaves a smidge of it open for her to peek. Looking below, she notices each truck appearing, each of them containing Royal Guards as they come out from them.She heard Francine gasp as she looked at her and saw her covering her muzzle while saying, “I don’t understand. How did they know?”Going to her, Anna grabbed her arms and said to her, “Isn’t there a back entrance in this apartment?”“No,” Francine nodded. “The only way in or out is through the front door.”“Shit!”Anna began pacing as she was trying to think while Phillip said, “What do we do?”Francine picked him up and answered, “Don’t worry, Phillip, will think of something.”Anna stops pacing as an idea formed. “What time does the train leave?”“I-I don’t know,” Francine answered while she shrugged. “I haven’t looked at the time when the train leaves. So maybe it hasn’t left yet.”Going back to the window, she takes another peek outside. However, her keen ears heard the sound of feet stomping their way. Closing it again, she looked at them and said, “Alright, will just have to make a run for it.”“What!” Francine exclaimed. She couldn’t believe what she heard from Anna. Them making a run for it, with literally so many Royal Guards with their tails behind their backs! “But that’s madness! Will never make it!”“We have to try, Francine,” she went over to the table to get the watch, knowing that might be useful in case she needed to know what time the train leaves while quickly putting on her coat that she left hanging on the chair, tying her hair into a bun, and putting on her cap that was also hung on the chair. If the train did leave, then maybe she could either ask or find out when the train returns and leaves again, and with that she’ll be able to plan ahead. Still, there was also the chance if the train didn’t leave, but she’ll have to risk it. However, she notices the watch wasn’t there as it probably fell to the floor while she wasn’t looking. Looking down, she sees the watch on the floor with the lid already open as she bends down while picking it up and saying, “Besides what choice do we-” She stops what she was saying after already closing the lid and was about to put it in her pocket, and finds a small piece of paper on the floor.“Anna, what is it?” Francine asked as she went to her while Anna stood up and turned to face her.What Anna was holding in her hand was a note as it said this:Consider this a pre-wedding gift, my dear. Use it however you please.-RAnna knew what that R stands was Ratigan.“Anna, there’s something written in the back.”Turning the note around, what Francine said was true as there was more as this also said:P.S. Don’t try anything clever. You cannot escape from me.Crumbling the note and roughly tossing it aside, she said through clenched teeth, “Just watch me.”Knocking came from the door as all three of them looked while Phillip wrapped his arms around Francine’s neck and buried his face in it. “Open up in the name of King Ratigan!” A Royal Guard said behind the door. “You have nowhere to run!”Looking at the platinum watch with the gear symbol, Anna’s suspicions about this watch had already confirmed the moment she read Ratigan’s note. This was the watch that had the power over time and space. The same power that she used against Ratigan at Basil’s world. She didn’t understand why Ratigan would give her this watch with the same power that she knew all-too well, but could care less, this was Ratigan’s mistake for giving her the advantage she needed.Knocking came from the door again, this time a bit harder with three hard knocks while a Royal Guard said, “Open up or we will break down this door! This is your last warning!”Clutching the watch tightly while determination was filled in her eyes, she was painfully reminded of what happened to The Flaversham’s in Basil’s world. She didn’t want to let this happen again. No, not this time, she won’t allow it! Looking at Francine, she tells her, “Do you trust me?”Francine looked at Anna, not sure how to answer her, but knew there was no other alternative so she nodded yes to her. “Take my arm,” Anna offered her arm which Francine took. “No matter what happens, do not let go of my arm.”Beating came from the door as The Royal Guards were attempting to break it down, making Francine gasp in fright. “Listen,” Anna tells her, “I’m gonna try something, are you ready?”“No, not really,” Francine nodded truthfully while at the same time confused at what Anna meant by that.“Fair enough.” Looking at the watch again, she was contemplating on what button to use. So far, she already knew that the left button could go back in time by a few seconds, and the right button could slow down time completely. However, there remains the question about the middle button. What would happen if she pressed it? As the door came close to breaking, she didn’t have enough time to ponder as she went by her instincts and just try-out the middle button, see what happens. So with that, as her finger was now poised at the middle button, ready to be pressed, she said, “Okay, on three. One...two...three!”Anna pressed the middle button as a flash of light came, making Francine turn her head away and close her eyes. After that, she opens them while wondering what in the world just happened. But for Anna, she had a smile on her muzzle as she found out what the middle button does...It stopped time completely, as evidenced when the door was brought open slightly, but stopped completely before it was opened. As she led a still confused Francine while Phillip already opened his eyes after seeing the light flash and wondered what was happening, she grunted as she kicked the door down, breaking the door off of it’s hinges while a Royal Guard groaned as he was thrown back and time resumed being frozen.Francine and Phillip had shocked looks while their muzzles were agape, even Anna was a little surprised that even though time remained frozen it acted a little similar to how time would slow down, but she didn’t have time to ponder about her new discovery. As she leads them out the door, Francine and Phillip are once again shocked to see everything completely frozen. “W-What’s going on here?” Francine asked while still shocked and confused. “What’s happened?”“There’s no time to explain!” Anna hits a Royal Guard using her free arm that had the watch, then backhands another one and kicks the other out of the way, each of them groaning while the one who was kicked was pushed back a bit. After they get past the guards, Francine stops Anna while handing Phillip to her as he wraps his arms around her neck and saying, “Wait, I forgot the Exit Visas! I’ve gotta go back for’em!”She was about to drag Anna back inside, but she yanks her and tells her, “Forget the Exit Visas! Will just have to sneak aboard the train, come on!”With that, they made a run for it away from the still frozen guards. As they kept running while taking the stairs, Anna wondered how long this’ll last before time resumed at it’s normal pace. She hoped it’ll be for a while until they reached the train. However, as they passed by the entire group of Royal Guards and were about to go past a truck...a figure clad in a grey cloak steps in front of them, making Francine gasp and saying with confusion, “Why is that one still moving?”“Momma,” Phillip said while pointing at the figure. “That’s the same stranger who got me out of the trash can and gave me that watch.”The figure chuckled...then said in a male voice, “Indeed...little Phillip.”“You!” Anna said in a hard tone as she recognized that grey cloak and that voice all-too well.The male cloaked figure slowly brings his white-gloved hand towards his hood and slowly brings it down...revealing none other than Ratigan as he had a golden ringed crown on his head, much different than the one he used to wear when he tried to take over Mousedom in Basil’s world. He gives a smug grin and says, “Hello, my dear Anna. It’s been quite a while, hasn’t it?”“King Ratigan!” Francine said with complete shock.Anna makes a run for it as she continues to carry Phillip and Francine while taking a different direction away from Ratigan as he watches them leave and chuckles again. As she took another turn, Ratigan stepped in front of them again while leaning on the side of the truck with his arm. Francine gasped again as she looked behind from where Ratigan was and said, “How did he…” She had no idea how fast Ratigan appeared before them.Ratigan waved a finger and tsk at Anna, then said to her, “Naughty, naughty, my dear, that’s just rather rude after we’ve haven’t seen each other for quite some time.” He straightened his posture. “After all, I did say in my note…” He smiles at her. “ cannot escape from me.”He took a single step...then vanished.All three of them looked in all directions while Francine said, “Where’d he go?”Anna was shocked after Ratigan did that, she didn’t even see him pull out his watch and use it. Next thing she knew, Phillip and Francine vanished before her eyes as she no longer held onto them. “Francine! Phillip!” She looks around to find out where they were, only to gasp in shock as she finds them where the Royal Guards have them. “Shit!”She was about to run over there and save them, but something grabbed her by the arm as she yelped while being yanked backwards. Ratigan reappeared before her, holding that same arm that had the watch she held as he said to her, “I think you’ve had enough fun in using time and space for one night.” With a snap of his fingers a flash of light came, returning time to normal.Anna watched as Francine struggled with the Royal Guards holding both of her arms and Phillip trying to get a Royal Guard to let go of him as he was held by him. “No! Francine! Phillip!” She hits Ratigan’s gut hard, making him groan as he releases Anna while clutching his gut. Running towards the Royal Guards without realizing she didn’t have her watch or her cap on as her bun was already loose, she tries to make them release Francine by pushing, shoving, and even pulling them away from her while saying, “Stop it! Let them go!”She felt a club hit her stomach hard, making her groan while clutching it and collapsing on her knees. The Royal Guard who held the club was about to hit her again, but Ratigan stops him by grabbing his wrist and saying with a hard, threatening tone, “No one must lay a hand on her or harm a single hair! Do that again and I’ll kill you myself, understand?!” The Royal Guard quickly nods his head with fear in his eyes as Ratigan picks Anna up and waves another Royal Guard to come forth, then tells them both, “Both of you hold her and don’t let her out of your sight.” “My lord!” A Royal Guard called as he went to Ratigan and showed him three red cards. “We found these inside her apartment.”Ratigan takes the three cards, then takes out his reading glasses from his pocket. Opening up each of the cards, it took him almost a few seconds to look, then he closed them while making his way towards Francine with a smile as he said to her, “Three Exit Visas with names, but no match.” He tosses them to the ground in front of her. “A crime like this would’ve earned you twenty to thirty years behind bars, but your punishment is going to be much more severe than that.”“W-What’re you saying?” Francine said with confusion.Taking off his reading glasses, he calls, “Fredrick!”“Coming sir, coming,” came a voice as it made its way from the crowd of Royal Guards. A male mink, dressed in a fancy blue suite with yellow trimming and blue trousers, appeared before Ratigan while carrying a case. “Computer.”“Yes sir,” Fredrick obeyed as he pressed a button on the side of the case and two stands popped out from the bottom as he placed it on the ground, then opened it up, revealing it to be a computer.Ratigan began typing away as Francine watched with awe as numbers and letters cascaded downwards on the black screen while Anna was surprised that Ratigan knew how to use a computer. Perhaps because Ratigan told her that he was trapped in her world for thirty-one years, so maybe he must’ve learned how while remaining there. He turned to face Francine as a rectangle with a single line appeared on the screen and said to her, “I believe these were your words that you said to your son, Phillip.”With a press of the key, Francine heard the same but all-too familiar words:“Our only hope now lies with the resistance at The Freedom Lands...and The Masked Phantom.”“And this…” Ratigan typed away using a single hand without taking his eyes away from Francine. There was fast-forwarding, then there was more familiar words:“That’s why tonight after supper we’re leaving and we’re taking her with us.”Ratigan tsk at Francine while waving a single finger at her. “Such a shame, trying to kidnap my bride-to-be is a very serious offense.”Francine couldn’t believe how King Raitgan knew about that. But for Anna, not only was she shocked…she was pissed! This was complete bullshit! Francine didn’t kidnap her, she offered her a place to stay! On top of that, she was planning on leaving with Francine and Phillip! However, she still couldn’t figure out how that was recorded. Was Francine’s home rigged? If so, did Ratigan...did Ratigan even know she was there? She still wasn’t quite sure about her answers.“For your crimes at attempted kidnapping of soon-to-be royalty and soon-to-be aiding rebellion against the crown. Your death by firing squad.”Francine gasped at her death sentence, Anna was trying to wring away from the Royal Guards to save her, and Phillip protested by shouting, “No! King Ratigan, please have mercy on my momma!”Ratigan looked at Phillip while smiling and saying to him, “Ah, little Phillip.” He goes to him while waving a single finger to Fredrick to follow him as he picks the computer up and obediently follows. As he sat it down, Ratigan began typing away without taking his eyes away from the child. “I believe these were your wishes if you’ve given Anna to me, of course.”There was rewinding as Phillip heard his own words and his mother’s from the computer: “So just think about it for a minute. If we hand her over to the Royal Guards, we’ll be able to lift our city arrest. On top of that will be able to wipe our debt clean and then will-” “Phillip stop! Just stop.” There was more typing and fast-forwarding, then he heard his own words once again from the computer:“I just want my daddy back.”After that came to an end, Ratigan closes the computer and says to Phillip, “Such a shame that such wisdom has been wasted by letting a foolish mother get to you. If you would’ve listened to yourself…” He bends down at his level while smiling at him. “...then maybe I would have granted your wishes.” Phillip’s eyes widened with shock, knowing that everything he hoped for would’ve come true if he’d given up Anna to the Royal Guards. “But since I’m in a generous mood and wanting to thank you personally for doing such a splendid job for giving my dearly beloved the watch, and leading me to where she was. I will grant you your wish in wanting to be reunited with your father.” He straightened up as his smiling face turned to a serious look. “By joining him in the workhouses unless I say otherwise for you, until you learn your place young man. Take him away!” As a Royal Guard begins to place handcuffs on him, Ratigan turns his attention to another guard and orders him, “You there, carry out the sentence.”“Yes sir.”As Ratigan went towards Anna, she was still struggling to escape from the grip of the Royal Guards. “No, stop it!” Anna could only watch with helplessness as Francine was cuffed on her hands and feet, preventing her from escaping her fate. Even if she could try to escape, she couldn’t hope to outrun the assault rifles being cocked and readied, much to Anna’s surprise that those were M14’s, something that she recognized from her world.“Now, now,” Ratigan said to her. “There’s nothing for you to see here.” He picks her up, making her yelp as she was placed on his shoulder. “Come along, my dear, your place is with me at the castle…” Anna couldn’t hear the last thing he said to her as she continued to helplessly watch.“No…” She muttered as she watched Phillip ringling from a guard trying to place the cuffs on his legs. “No…” Several guards finished loading their rifles.“Alright men,” A Royal Guard said. “On my mark! Ready…”“Momma!” Came the last shout from Phillip. “...aim…” The Royal Guards took aim at Francine.“Phillip, I love you!” Came the last words from Francine.“!”They started shooting her, each of their rifles set to single fire as she was riddled with bullets, then collapsed on the ground dead.Anna’s ears were ringing as she was shouting while trying to get out of Ratigan’s grip, she couldn’t hear anything from Phillip’s shouting and sobbing as he saw his own mother executed before his very eyes. She wanted to deny what she saw, but the hard truth was there...Francine was dead and she failed in protecting another family once again.She was taken to a royal carriage where the doors were locked to prevent Anna from escaping while Fredrick sat at the front of the carriage, as Ratigan ordered him to because he wanted to be alone with her. While the carriage and a jail truck containing a single little prisoner as he was being delivered to the workhouses were going in opposite directions...a silhouette of a bat watched from the rooftops as it saw the carriage where Anna was as it was going straight to Ratigan’s castle. “Uh-oh,” it said as eyes widened. “I gotta warn the others!”The bat fluttered and flew off at a near darkened sky to wherever it was going.
Silver and Gold: Chapter 13Chapter 13: The Face of Evil ReturnsEverything was falling into place, but I never realized that the evil I thought was supposed to be dead. I was a fool, I should’ve noticed the signs.Everything was coming together, but I never imagined I would play a part in a very sick game to become nothing more than a pawn. It was my fault for not seeing it beforehand.Little did I realize that I would play an even bigger role and an unseen fate was about to happen to me…But little did I also realize that I would also be the one to blame for the changes that were about to occur, which would turn everything upside down.--- December 13, 2017 11:05 a.m.Anna was still shocked as her heart continued to beat in her chest. Her body was shaking with absolute fear after seeing that. She just couldn’t believe it, Ratigan was alive! On top of that, he was in her world and was Moriarty this whole time! How was this even possible?! How did he even get to her world? When Ratigan’s evil smile remained, she flabbergasted, “B-But how...How are you…”“How am I still alive, you ask?” Ratigan giggled. “Let’s just say that fate changed for me.”“But I...I don’t understand,” Anna remained confused, none of this didn’t make any sense. “I saw you fall off the clocktower.”“And indeed you did, but…” Ratigan held up a single finger. “Did you or anyone else find my body to know I was really dead or saw something during my fall?”Now that he mentioned that, Anna did see something while watching Ratigan fall. Then...her eyes widened when she muttered, “That light.” There was some kind of connection, but she realized one thing...the silver watch was connected to that light. However, looking at Ratigan she says, “But I don’t get it, you didn’t have the watch, Basil did.”“True, Basil did take my watch, but unfortunately he never realized that sooner or later, his fate was sealed by my hand.”“W-What?” Anna clearly didn’t understand what he meant by that.“I’m sure you are already aware that there is more than one silver watch. However…” He shows Anna the silver watch. “I never created the watch.”Anna was shocked when she learned about that. If he didn’t create the watch, then who did? Better yet, where did he get it from and who was the one who made the silver watch?“Despite not being the creator of the watch. There are, however...other ways.”“Other ways?” She repeated. None of this didn’t even add up. “But I don’t understand any of this. Why does this-”“Why does this have to do with you?” Ratigan interrupted as he knew what she was going to ask. “Well, since you asked…” He smiles as he goes behind her and turns her chair around, then he walks to a chain while reaching up and grabbing it. “Allow me to shed some light on the subject.”With a pull, the lightbulb was turned on and the barely lit room was illuminated slightly with light. Anna gasped at what she was looking at…Right in front of her was a billboard filled with drawings of plans and right in the center was the face of Basil. What became even more shocking was that she was seeing a photograph of herself and right below it written in red ink said: “The red-head”. But right next to the photograph stuck with a tack was her driver’s license. “Marvelous, isn’t it?” Ratigan giggled while Anna looked at him. “A carefully constructed but laid-out plan, and you my dear, had just played a part in that plan.”Anna thought about this carefully...then she said, “So then...the accusation of me stealing the watch. All of that was-”“Yes, that was a part of my plan.”“But, it felt so real.”“That was the idea, it was all part of an act to make you think it was real, and it all worked really well.”Anna’s thoughts were in a state of turmoil. If all of this was just an act, why does this still have to do with her? Ratigan still hadn’t told her why and none of this still didn’t even add up or make any sense.Seeing that she was lost in thought, Ratigan says, “To put your mind at ease, let me tell you a bit about the first part of my plan.”--- An hour and ten minutes earlier…“The first part was replacing the security guards.”Four of the real security guards were knocked out unconscious as they were tied up and their mouths taped shut. They were stripped of their uniforms, leaving them only wearing their white shirts or tank tops and underwear. “Wait a minute,” Anna says. “So those security guards that I met, they were-”“Yes, they were fake, the men you’ve seen are working for me...Well, more like working with the human Mr. Moriarty. They never knew who they truly worked for.”As the four men finished dressing in the stolen security uniforms, Mr. Moriarty...well, more like Ratigan in human disguise, was looking at the blacked haired man and saying, “You know what to do.”“Yes sir,” he acknowledged his boss as he left the locker room.He looks at another man who has light-brown hair and dark blue eyes as he nods at him. Getting the gist of what he has to do, he nods back at his boss and takes out a cell phone from out of his pocket and begins dialing.At another part of the mall, a black man wearing a grey beanie, black jacket with grey sleeves, blue jeans, and white tennis shoes, was leaning his back against the wall. He feels vibration coming from the inside of his pocket as he takes out his cell phone and hit’s the call button while placing it by his ear. “Yeah,” he answered.“Are you in position?” The light-brown haired man asked.“Yeah,” he answered as he looked at the bakery, waiting for the girl to come out from work. “She should be done in about several minutes.”“Good, do you still have it with you?”“Of course,” he pats the pocket of his jacket which contained the silver watch. “I’d make sure to take good care of it.”“Alright, but just be sure-”“Yeah, yeah, man, I know the deal. I’ll I have to do is make sure the girl doesn’t lose me while I lure her to one of the other guys.”“Alright, but just make sure you don’t make any mistakes. The boss won’t tolerate any mishaps.”“C’mon, man, the boss knows I haven’t let him down at all. Besides, this’ll be too easy.”He closes his cell phone and puts it back in his pocket as he walks away while continuing to wait for the girl.“So then, the thief…” Anna says. “The real thief had the watch and he works for you as well.”“That is correct, my dear.” Ratigan says. “He was a very valuable asset for me, but nevertheless, he was good at what he does best, and it was all a matter of just luring you towards my men.” The black haired man was waiting patiently while the crowd passed him by, waiting for the real thief to lure the girl straight towards him. “Help, somebody!” He heard a shout. Looking ahead, he noticed the thief running from the crowd while the girl was chasing him and continued to shout, “Stop him, he’s got my bag!” As the thief got closer, the blacked haired man charged and tackled him, making sure it looked real enough to fool the girl or else she would’ve gotten suspicious of what’s going on.The thief hissed in pain while whispering to him, “Damn it man, that hurts!”“Did you handle it while she was chasing you?” The black haired man asked while whispering.“Yeah, it’s already in the bag.”“Good, I’ll take it from here, get going.”The thief nods while quickly getting up and starts running while the black haired man picks up the bag. As the girl was waving a fist and shouting, “Yeah, that’s right you better run you asshole!” He managed to quietly zip the bag shut where the thief had already placed the silver watch inside it.---“But there’s one thing I don’t understand,” Anna says. “Why did you even send me to the past, could you even steal your own watch?”Ratigan chuckled as he answered, “Believe me, my dear, if I would I could’ve done so. But no, if I did manage to see myself, time itself would have reseted the day and I wouldn’t be able to reach it. So I needed someone else to get the watch from myself.”“And that’s where I came in.”Ratigan nods his head.“But out of all of this, it was because of…” Anna’s eyes widened when something clicked and she gazed at the picture of Basil. “Because of revenge, isn’t it?”“Hm?” Ratigan cocked an eyebrow.“I don’t know what your ‘grand plan’ is or why it still has to do about me, but somewhere around your plan you intend to harm Basil, then take over Mousedom like you tried to do before. Right?”Ratigan threw his head up and laughed while clapping his hands and saying, “Very good, my dear! You figured out a little bit of my grand plan!” He smiles as he looks at the picture of Basil. “But I’m going to do more than just harm him.” He takes the picture off the billboard. “Everyday, my mind is plagued by an image of him with that smug grin of his. Everyday, in every waking moment, I hear him laughing at my humiliation. Everyday…” His teeth gritted in anger, then he viciously tore the picture apart. “I want to rip him apart until he’s nothing more than tiny little pieces!” He roughly tosses the ripped pieces as they were scattered on the floor, then he clutches his hands while raising them. “Better yet, I want to wring his scrawny little neck until his eyes pop out!” He breathes heavily, then he composes himself while fixing his hair by brushing it back. “But I have a different plan in mind for him.” He giggles slightly while giving a wicked smirk. “Oh, he’ll be in for a surprise…” He reaches inside his suit coat and pulls out something...Anna gasped at what he just pulled. “ what I’m about to do to him.”What Ratigan just pulled out...was a silver revolver! He digs through his pocket and pulls out a speed reloader while flicking the barrel open, then he puts the bullets in and says, “It’s really impressive…” He spins the barrel and flicks it shut, then closes one eye while aiming through the sight. “How your world had evolved throughout the centuries and managed to create such powerful weapons.” With a smile, he points the gun at Anna, making her gasp as she wanted to back away, but couldn’t as she remained tied to the chair. As her heart was beating with fear while looking at the barrel of the gun, Ratigan said to her, “With a little pull of the hammer…” There was a click as the hammer was pulled. “And a single squeeze to the trigger could blow someone’s head wide open.” He giggled as he added, “Imagine what it would do to a mouse.”Anna could already imagine what he meant by that. Like Ratigan said, he wasn’t just going to harm Basil. No, that went way beyond that…He was going to kill him using that gun from her world! She could almost see Ratigan pointing that gun right at Basil and shooting him point blank right at his head. The sound of the gunshot that she imagined flashed as she saw the same young boy with dark hair stumbling towards her as he was already riddled with bullet wounds and collapsed on the floor dead. Seeing this made Anna gasp as she closed her eyes and the memory fades, she didn’t want to see it again.“But to answer your question,” Ratigan says while putting the gun back inside his suit coat and Anna opening her eyes while slowly breathing to calm her racing heart. “If I was going to take over Mousedom?” He smiles as he gives her his answer. “The answer is no, that ship has long since sailed.”Anna was confused by what he said. “If you’re not going to take over Mousedom...then what do you want?”“Simple...everything.”“Everything? What do you mean by-”“Why settle with one world, when I can have every world.”Anna was once again confused. “What the hell are you talking about?”Seeing her confusion, Ratigan explains, “Tell me, my dear, have you ever seen an intellectual creature like myself?” Anna nodded her head no to him as he giggled while tapping the side of his head slightly with a single finger and saying, “Then think, my dear, do you even know if there’s even a single intellectual creature or perhaps seen an intellectual society in your world?”When Ratigan mentioned that, she remembered Basil explaining to her that humans only see the mice or rats as vermin and they don’t actually see them as intellectual creatures. When that thought once again crossed her mind...her eyes widened and she gasped at the most shocking revelation of all. She never knew that the answer was right there in front of her, yet she was so blind, it was completely oblivious to her. “No…” she muttered, then looked at Ratigan. “That can’t be...that’s impossible!”“Oh, nothing is impossible, my dear.”Anna still couldn’t believe it, but the answer became clear…She didn’t just warp through time...she was sent to another world! But it still was impossible! How could she even go to another world? Yes, she knew that she could go backwards in time, but it was impossible to go to another world and another time completely. None of this didn’t make any sense!Ratigan could sense her distress as he smiles at her while giggling and explains, “To make it clear for you to understand. Yes, it is true that it is impossible to crossover to such worlds, but what became impossible, is now possible.” Anna watched as he took another picture off the billboard. “And it’s all thanks to not just time and space, but this world.”Ratigan shows her a drawing as this one stood above the rest. The picture showed her pathways here and there while showing her doors, and each of them within those pathways had clocks and watches. Looking at those clocks and watches closely they looked...modern. To add to the strangeness, there were also antique clocks, many of them consisting of pocket watches or grandfather clocks while the modern clocks consisted of digital watches or clocks, or ordinary wristwatches. She even noticed other clocks that were unfamiliar to her while right next to every single watch or clock was some kind of...hole? She couldn’t tell what those were, but she did notice out in the center of the picture was a giant clock face that had no numbers or a single roman numeral on it. It only possessed hands, nothing more. “What the hell is this?” Anna asked as she wanted to know what this odd drawing was.“This, my dear, is a world where time and space resides. Where many worlds are connected to this world,” he points at the picture before her. “Where many different realities and timelines coexist. I like to call this place: The Outskirts of Time Itself.”Anna was beyond shocked. A world where many different worlds other than her own and many different time periods exist in that world. Could this so-called “Outskirts of Time Itself” bear many different universes while keeping the different timelines altogether? Could it show her the many different possible outcomes in her future and anyone else’s? Could there be links to different dimensions in time? If so, could any of those worlds have another...her? The list of questions kept on piling as she couldn’t even answer any of them.“It was thanks to this world,” Ratigan continued explaining. “That I have learned many different ways to use these powers to bend them to my will. Which is the reason why I was able to become human and blend in your world, but that was just the beginning of what I can do…” He gives her a wicked smirk. “I managed to find a way to link my world and yours while remaining trapped here in this world, and it took me thirty-one years to understand how.”Anna was surprised by that, it took Ratigan that long to understand the watch's power and he was stuck in her world for thirty-one years. How come no one even noticed him? However, she managed to piece some parts as she says, “So that’s how you were able to do it. Since you couldn’t see yourself, you needed me to steal your watch from yourself. But there’s one thing I don’t get. What was the point in all of this?”“Easy, it was all just a test.”Anna had a confused look. “A test? What the hell do you mean by that?”“I wanted to experiment to see an alternate version of my world. Which is also the reason why I gave you that watch so you can understand its power while trying to steal my gold watch. Still, I was a bit surprised that you haven’t been able to use it’s power to blend in my world.” He shrugs his shoulders. “But nevertheless, you’ve done well. Now we have some alternate worlds.”What the hell did he mean by “alternate worlds”? Did Ratigan...experiment on her world? If so, then how come she hasn’t noticed any unnatural changes to her world. However, there was something that crossed her mind. If she somehow created an alternate world in Basil’s world...could it be…Anna’s eyes widened when she asked, “Ratigan, do you still have your own watch?”Ratigan smiles, then answers, “Why of course, my dear,” he rubs the side of his suit. “My real watch is right here where it belongs. While the other one that you had to steal…” He pats the pocket on the right side of his black dress pants. “Is right here in my pocket.”Anna couldn’t believe it. Not only does Ratigan have his own watch, but also had another gold watch that was...well his. This not only confused her, but she said to him, “If you already have a gold watch. Why do you need another one?”“Remember what I said that there are other ways?”Anna nods at him.“Well, I know you're still wondering who the other informant was that warned me of your arrival. Let’s just say I found another way, one that would be impossible for anyone to achieve, but I alone managed to achieve the impossible.” He turns his attention away from Anna and looks at the door. “You can come in now, I know you're listening and watching through my eyes.”Anna was confused by what he meant by the last part. Then, she heard a door opening behind her. She tried to look behind, but couldn’t see who it was. Instead she heard the sound of footsteps. When it got closer and got next to her...she gasped at what she was seeing…There was another figure clad in a grey cloak that covered his entire big frame, but when he took his hood was none other than Ratigan!Her face darts at the two Ratigan’s while saying, “Oh my God! There’s...there’s two of you! H-How is this even possible?!”“Simple,” The cloaked Ratigan answered her. “The power of time and space. Since I can’t see myself, it would be impossible…”“...however,” The other Ratigan spoke. “If I can’t see myself, I can bring myself to a different world entirely. Which also means, I can copy myself.”Things were starting to make some sense. “So then, the watch that I gave you...That was a copy as well.”“Ding, ding, ding,” Ratigan made a knock-knock gesture, “you got one right.”“And the other informant who warned yourself…” Anna looks at the cloaked Ratigan. “Was you.”“Very good, Anna, you got the other one right!” Ratigan started giggling while pinching the bridge of his nose. “It was just so hilarious that I was able to fool myself…”At the hideout, the cloaked Ratigan motioned the other Ratigan to come here…“I told him the one thing which only I would know.” The other Ratigan turned his head as the cloaked Ratigan whispered, “I know you intend to replace the queen so you can become king.”The other Ratigan had his eyes widened as he gasped and backed away. “So it is true, you do know everything about me.”The cloaked Ratigan smirked as his plan to fool himself worked.Everything was starting to come into place. She figured out that since Ratigan couldn’t see himself, he used that cloak to disguise himself so he could warn...well his other self, that she was coming to steal his watch. However, there was something strange about this. So far, she knows that Ratigan used her for an experiment to create an alternate world. But still, what was more to it than just that?So with that, she says to the other Ratigan, “What was your endgame behind all this and why do you even need a copy of your gold watch.”The other Ratigan giggled as he answered her, “To answer your other question as to why I needed a copy of the gold watch.” He takes out the copy of the gold watch from out of his pocket, then takes out the silver watch from out of his suit pocket. “Allow me to demonstrate more of the watch's power.”He spreads his arms out, then slowly brings the two watches to each other. The silver and gold watch’s lids opened itself, their hands spinning so fast it became a blur. Their faces began to glow as sparks of electricity surged from the silver watch to the gold watch, then a flash of light came as Anna turned her head away and closed her eyes while the cloaked Ratigan giggled in delight.When the light came to an end, she looked back at the other Ratigan, only to see that the watch had changed. As the hands continued to spin in a blur, it came to a stop as it showed 11:25, but the color of it was different. The watch itself was now platinum, the face of it remained crystal while the inside of it showed aurora lights that danced here and there, and the hands went from diamond-shaped arrows at the end, to pure crystal as little stars were trapped at the inside of the crystal arrows. It was hard to believe this, even for Anna. This was Ratigan’s goal, to merge a copy of the gold watch with the silver watch to create this. But what was it for?“Now then,” The other Ratigan closes the platinum watch. “To answer your question as to what my endgame was. Remember what I said that I wanted to experiment on making an alternate world. Well, there’s more to it than that. For you see, I already know that your kind created a movie called The Great Mouse Detective, but I decided that I wanted to change it a little bit. Think of this as a little play I like to call: The Thief and The Crime Lord, and you my dear...” he made a shift picture frame with his hands. “Are the star in my play, so picture this, you traverse through time and space to find a gold watch, but you need help to find it so you seek Basil since you know that he can help you. But neither you nor Basil realize that you had to steal it from The Napoleon of Crime himself. After succeeding by defeating the enemy, you return back to your time to give the gold watch to Mr. Moriarty. However, there’s a little twist to the ending. Do you know what happens in the end?”Anna didn’t answer him or nod, she just stared at him.“The crime lord’s arch-nemesis gets what’s coming to him.”The cloaked Ratigan slid his throat with a finger while hissing to simplify Basil’s death.“Mr. Moriarty was actually the crime lord himself who actually had a silver watch as well as he traverses through time and space, but had already learned a few new tricks. And do you know what happens when he sees the girl?”Anna leaned slightly away from the cloaked Ratigan as he puckered his lips and made smooching noises, making her cringe in disgust. However, seeing this odd outcome made her put two and two together as she looked at the other Ratigan who smiled at her. “Yes, the crime lord gives her an offering...his hand in marriage.”Anna was once again beyond shocked...He couldn’t really be serious?!Her look of shock changed to anger as she said, “First you tried to kill me in the past, and now you wanna ask for my hand in marriage...Are you insane?!”“Oh no, my dear,” the other Ratigan chuckled. “It is just as I said. Just mad…”“And wicked my dear!” The cloaked Ratigan says.The two Ratigan’s threw their heads up and laughed maniacally. “Well you can forget, asshole!” Anna yelled as the two Ratigan’s stopped laughing. “There’s no way in hell I’m marrying a mouse-pretending, freakface, scumbag of a rat like you!”Anna yelped as the other Ratigan backhand her, knocking her chair down sideways. He was about to kick her in the chest if the cloaked Ratigan hadn’t held him back while saying, “Easy, Ratigan! Easy! She already deserved that, but remember the plan! We can hurt her physically, but not damage our prize, remember!”The other Ratigan took a few deep breaths to calm himself, then said as he relaxed, “Of course, the plan.”The cloaked Ratigan puts Anna’s chair back up, her lip begins bleeding slightly while he says to her, “Be grateful that I was here or else you would have suffered.”“And next time,” the other Ratigan says while bending down at her. “I watch that tongue of yours.”Anna spits her own blood at him. “Screw you!”The other Ratigan sighs unamused as he takes a handkerchief out and starts wiping the blood off his face while saying, “You know, this is the reason why I dislike humans. They are such primitive, slow-minded fools who act so savagely without realizing the damage they are causing to others.” He places his handkerchief back in his suit while the cloaked Ratigan nodded in agreement. “They are no better than animals that need to be kept on a leash. Which makes them so disgustingly dainty.” He giggles slightly then adds, “But all that’s going to change.” He looks at the platinum watch. “With this new power, I’ll be able to merge worlds and rewrite history in my own image.”Anna gasped at this. Could he actually do that with that watch?The cloaked Ratigan could sense what she thought as he said, “Yes, when that happens, everything will change...and so will you my dear.”“Once I reign supreme,” the other Ratigan says while chuckling. “You will soon be by my side and bowing to my every whim.”“Like hell I am!”“Believe what you want, but just remember, it was you who gave me the watch so I can get this power.”Anna felt guilty, but at the same time horrible by what he just said. It was true, she did give him the gold watch which made him create the platinum watch. Now that he has it, he’ll be able to merge her world.“Now that the first part of my grand plan is done, the next part of the plan will soon begin.”“Oh yes,” the cloaked Ratigan says. “The next part will be some loose ends to tie-up.”“And once that ends,” the other Ratigan says. “No one, not even Basil himself will stop me this time.”“Then after that, everything will be ours. But to put it more frankly, it will be mine. That’s once our minds become one.”Anna had no idea what he meant by “minds become one”.The other Ratigan giggles slightly, then says, “And you, my dear, will play a part in my grand scheme, but now…” The cloaked Ratigan takes out a silver watch from the confines of his cloak. “You got a front row seat to see it begin.” The cloaked Ratigan presses the middle button as light fills Anna’s vision. When it came to an end, she was standing up, but her mouth was muffled by the arm of the other Ratigan. She wanted to elbow him, but couldn’t as her hands were now tied behind her back. “You know what to do,” he says to the cloaked Ratigan.The cloaked Ratigan nodded, then said to Anna, “Farewell for now, my dear,” he pulls his hood up, then winds the three buttons on the silver watch three times. “I hope you enjoy watching Basil’s last moments while I not only help the third version of myself, but to deal with an interfering interloper who poses a threat to the plan.”Anna was confused by that last part, then something dawned on her. Could he be talking about him? Could it be...could it be that mysterious elderly person with that brown bowler hat that she saw in her vision?The cloaked Ratigan presses the three buttons, then disappears in a flash of light.The other Ratigan giggles as he reaches forward with his other hand and starts turning the middle button while saying, “Shall we depart, my dear.” He pressed the middle button as the hands ticked fast. Anna notices a cane hanging on Ratigan’s wrist. If she were able to pull herself free from his grip, she would’ve noticed that he was now cloaked in the same grey cloak as the other Ratigan did before he left, and had a top hat with a silver band on it. Anna knew that she had to get out of his grip. Luckily for her, Ratigan’s foot was just near hers. With that, she stomps on it, making him wince in pain. Then when his arm was away from her mouth, she lounges forward and clamps her teeth down on his wrist hard, he howls in pain just as the loud sounds Tick-Tock-Tick came as she pulled away, but both her body and Ratigan’s had already been encased in light.With a flash of light, both of them had vanished.--- In an alleyway, everything was quiet...until…A flash of light and a yelp came from Anna as she rolled and her back crashed onto something that made a sound of a ding. As she grunted while nodding her head to get the dizziness off from being thrown through time, her hands felt something cool and smooth as she opened her eyes, only to gaze at the familiar enormous world around her. She had returned to Basil’s world, but she looked around and hoped that Ratigan wasn’t with her. Much to her surprise, he wasn’t. What she didn’t realize was that when she separated from him while they were encased in light then warped, they separated through two different directions in this time period.She didn’t know where Ratigan was, but could care less. As long as he was far away from her that was all that mattered. However, now that she was back, she had to get out of her bonds, and luckily for her, she crashed into a broken glass bottle that had serrated edges. Standing up, she goes to a serrated edge and starts sawing her bounds off. It took a minute until the ropes came off with a snap, quickly tossing it away as she made a beeline out of the alleyway. But while she was running, she didn’t notice a lot of the mice noticing her. Instead of those cold judging eyes, they gave off smiles or watched her with happy looks in their eyes. Since all of Mousedom now knows the truth about the rumor of her presence and bravely fighting against the most dangerous criminal in all of Mousedom with the help of the famous detective. She was a hero to the mice for helping to protect a queen while preventing a major disaster which would’ve changed all of Mousedom.However, all were wondering why she wasn’t at Buckingham Palace since the queen is probably expecting her. What no one realized was that they got that thought right, because Anna knew since watching the end of the movie, she saw a newspaper detailing Basil and Dawson getting honored by the queen herself, which she also knew he would be there.So now it was a heartfelt race against time as she ran as fast as her legs could carry her…But she hoped and prayed to God that she wasn’t too late to warn Basil about Ratigan’s return and that he was out to kill him.--- (Basil’s World)June 21, 1897 11:58 a.m.A minute after Anna’s return…Basil was pacing inside the royal dressing room while he and Dawson were currently waiting for the queen to summon them. He was currently back in his old Inverness coat after it was repaired by the tailor shop owner, much to the owner’s surprise that the man who frequently visits his shop was in fact the famous detective, and had already got a new deerstalker hat after losing his old one during his showdown with Ratigan at the clocktower. While Dawson was now dressed in a fine suit after getting rid of that awful disguise that he had to wear all night and had on his grey bowler hat, he was sitting down on a chair and was watching Basil.Basil’s mind was in a state of turmoil, there were so many missing pieces to the puzzle and so many unanswered questions he couldn’t piece together or figure out was starting to drive him mad. Most of all, he still couldn’t remember who this “Moriarty” was and Anna was the connection to some of those pieces. Speaking about Anna, he couldn’t get his mind off her, it was starting to distract him from trying to figure out more to the puzzle and unanswered questions. He still couldn’t figure out what became of Anna’s life so maybe he could try to help her and…Oh, blast it all! Why was he thinking about Anna’s life when he should be trying to figure out Moriarty?! On the other hand, Anna has been through a tough night and maybe he should be with her-What, why was he thinking about that! Him, with her! That’s ridiculous! It’s not like he he has…Could it be that he has...feelings for this woman? But that would be impossible, it wouldn’t even work, they were two very different species from two different worlds. However, he couldn’t deny that she was a lovely lady and he did kiss-Wait no, that was just an accident, it wasn’t like he was doing it intentionally! But when he felt his lips on hers, it felt like his heart was beating so fast it would burst through his chest and he wanted to…Basil grunted as he clutched his head, then slammed both fists on the wall while laying his forehead there. This was starting to become difficult, he just couldn't get her out of his head or forget those odd moments he had with her. Despite that, he knew that somehow she was the key to some of those missing pieces. But now that she was...gone, so were his answers. A part of him felt a little guilty for not being sure that the door was closed. If Hiram hadn’t listened to everything Anna had told him, maybe things would’ve been different. Unfortunately, he couldn’t change anything from the outcome and Anna had left him without saying goodbye, and he will never see her again. The thought of that made him sigh with sadness.“Basil, are you alright?” Dawson asked with concern.“Yes, everything is fine, Dawson,” he lied. Basil didn’t want to tell him, he knew that he had to try and stay strong, and hoped he would put it behind him. But part of him was telling him that she’ll be back, Anna was after all a hero the same as him. However, something crossed his mind as he gave a questionable look, then looked at Dawson and said, “I have a question for you.”“That is,” Dawson gave a confused look at the sudden change.“Does ‘Moriarty’ mean anything to you?”“Moriarty?” Dawson cocked an eyebrow. “You mean James Moriarty?”“Mr. James...Moriarty?” The full name started to become a bit familiar to him...then the wheels in his head started to turn.“Why yes,” Dawson began explaining. “He was a famous criminal mastermind in the human world, but he died seven years ago after he was defeated by the human private investigator named: Sherlock Holmes. Everyone knows that story, even us mice.”When Dawson told Basil that...he finally remembered! It was true that there was a criminal mastermind in the human world and that he intended to bring all of London to his knees, but from what he learned in his youth, long before he became a private investigator, he was defeated by Sherlock Holmes during a fight at Reichenbach Falls, which resulted in both individuals falling. However, upon remembering from what he read in the newspaper seven years ago, Sherlock Holmes survived, but was barely alive and as for Mr. Moriarty...well, let’s just say that they found his dead body floating in the water. Not only did this bring a big relieved sigh for the human world, but also Mousedom as well. Because if things would’ve been different, it would’ve been disastrous for them. Since whatever damage that causes in the human world, will affect their world as well.Basil’s eyes widened when something clicked in those wheels. Dawson noticed that look as he says, “Basil…”“That’s it!” Basil yelled while slamming a fist on his palm.“W-What is?” Dawson asked, confused.Basil began pacing again while explaining, “How come there is another Moriarty when the Moriarty in our world is already dead. I highly doubt he had a silver watch which would’ve led him to escape his fate. So how come there is another Moriarty in Anna’s time?”“I...I don’t understand what you're getting at, Basil.”Basil looks at Dawson and gives him a serious look. “Dawson, can you promise me you’ll keep a secret?”This was an unusual change. “Well of course I-”“I mean it, Dawson,” Basil says with a hard tone as if he wanted him to swear as if his life depended on it. “You have to swear that you will never tell anyone what I’m about to tell you that is the utmost importance.”“Uh, alright but-”“Swear it!”“Alright! Alright!” Dawson waved his hands to calm down Basil. “I swear, I won’t say a word. But I have to know what’s important that I can’t tell anyone?”“Because, first of all, no one will believe us not without crucial evidence, and I doubt anyone is ready for the truth. The second reason is that you are the only one I can trust.” Dawson tilted his head slightly while giving a confused look. “Listen, what I’m about to tell you is exactly what Anna told me. It’s going to sound a bit mad, but within this story there are connections. So you need to listen to me carefully, and I mean very carefully. Now listen…”And so, Basil told Dawson exactly what Anna told him. He started off with Anna’s accusation of petty thievery, which was actually the real thief placing the silver watch in her backpack, and her meeting Mr. Moriarty himself who sends her across time to their world to find a golden watch. Then, he began telling Dawson the most shocking thing which made his jaw drop…She told Basil about a movie called: The Great Mouse Detective which featured him and everyone else. He detailed everything that was supposed to happen without Anna in it, then all the way to the showdown at the clocktower. Dawson couldn’t deny what Basil said before he explained. It was maddening! But at the same time, it made sense, and it would explain how Anna knew certain things before they happened. However, there was one question that crossed his mind. “If Anna knew all this, why didn’t she tell anyone?”Basil sighed while having a downcasted look and answered, “I wish I knew.”Dawson thought that he had unintentionally made Basil sad. Deciding to change the subject, he says, “If Mr. Moriarty knew about Ratigan’s gold watch, why would he send her?”“I’m not sure what his intentions were,” Basil admitted. “However, I think...that this other Moriarty isn’t what he appears to be.”Dawson’s eyes narrowed. “You mean to tell me that this Moriarty is an imposter?”“Yes, that is a possibility.”“But how could you know?” Dawson shrugged.“Because, think about it, Moriarty doesn’t have any children,” Dawson places a finger under his chin while thinking. Then he nods as he understands that Mr. Moriarty doesn’t have a next of kin. “And why would he know about Ratigan, much less know about our world?” He starts pacing again while explaining, “I think, for all we know, that he could be our mystery informant.”“You're saying that he could’ve been the one who warned Ratigan of Anna’s coming?”“Yes, but that’s just a theory, I’m not quite sure how he did it. For all we know, it could be possible that there may be more than one silver watch which is also another possibility that he gave Anna the other silver watch while keeping the other one. Now I’m not sure who are mystery man is that’s posing as Moriarty or what his true intentions are for letting Anna gallivant here in our time and learning how to use the silver watch while fetching a golden watch for him without realizing that she has to steal it, but out of everything that’s happened comes down to two simple connections.” He brings out two fingers to simplify as he stopped pacing while keeping his back turned. “The first is the silver watch which allows someone to traverse through time, and the Anna herself.”“Anna?” Dawson said, confused by Basil’s theory. “Why does she have to do with all this and what would Moriarty want with her?”“That’s the part…” Basil nodded. “I don’t know.” He then shook a finger. “But mark my words, Dawson,” he then turns to look at him with a serious look in his eyes. “Whoever he is and whatever the blazes is going on, I think that we-” A knock came as it interrupted Basil, just as he was about to say “we were pawns in a much bigger plan that neither of us knows about.” A real Royal Guard who wasn’t a replacement for Ratigan’s thugs, opens the door and says to them while Dawson stood up off his chair, “Begging your pardon gentlemen, but the majesty is ready to see you now.”They looked at one another while Basil said to Dawson, “Will discuss more later. For now, look yourself presentable.” He starts dusting Dawson’s shoulders, then takes off his hat while dusting the top of his head, but puts his hat on the wrong way as it covers his eyes while making him cry “Oh!” Then he tightens his tie while straightening his back and holding his head high. “Heads held high and let’s be on our way.”He starts walking out while Dawson takes his hat off to fix his noggin, then puts it back on while straightening his suit coat and clearing his throat as he follows Basil to see the queen at the audience chamber where she and all of Mousedom were ready to see the heroes.---Meanwhile, Anna continued to run like there was no tomorrow, pushing and shoving past her way from the crowd of mice as she tried her best to get to Buckingham Palace. However, she came across the end of the sidewalk which led to the cobblestone road. She places her hands on her knees as she tries to catch her breath, then she wipes the sweat off her brow with her arm. It was starting to become hopeless, she wouldn’t make it to the palace in time and it was only a few miles from where she was, but only at this height, it felt so long for her. If only she was big again, it would’ve been easier.However, she got lucky when she heard a familiar barking coming her way. Looking ahead, she sees Toby bounding his way towards her, stopping as his tail wagged excitedly while panting happily as he saw her again. What Anna didn’t realize was that after the basset hound had finished taking his master and Dawson to Buckingham Palace, he decided to roam the streets for a bit to kill some time. But then, his nose picked up a very familiar scent as it led him straight to Anna.Seeing Toby made Anna sigh in relief as she says, “Oh, thank God, Toby I need your help. It’s Basil, he’s in danger!” Toby tilted his head with confusion. “It’s Ratigan, he’s back!” When he heard that name, Toby started growling. “Yes, I have to get to Buckingham Palace, and if I don’t hurry, he’s going to kill him! Do you understand?” Toby understood as he panted while nodding his head excitedly. He bends down as his stomach touches the ground, allowing Anna to easily walk on Toby’s back and climb on top of his head. “Hurry Toby, there’s no time to waste!”Toby barks as he takes off back to Buckingham Palace, carrying his little friend with him as it was a race against time to save his master.While Anna was riding Toby, her mind was in conflict with herself. A part of herself was telling her what the hell she was doing? You have already cut all ties with these mice, so why are you even here? She told herself that she couldn’t stand there and let Ratigan shoot Basil, she wouldn’t forgive herself. In fact, her heart wouldn’t take it if she sees her friend die right before her eyes. However, once all of this is over, she’s going home and not looking back or saying goodbye to any of them. Better yet, she wasn’t going to kiss…Wait a minute, where the hell did that come from? Why was that in her head? She thought back on the moment back at Ratigan’s lair where she got her first but chaste kiss from Basil. Anna puts that thought out of her head as she shuts her eyes tight and nods, getting rid of that thought. She knew that it was an accident and it meant nothing to her now. Right now, she has to focus on getting to Basil before Ratigan does.As Toby made another turn, he made it back to Buckingham Palace as he was at the fence and was close to getting to the rose archway where he left his master. But then…He whimpers in pain as something cuts his paws, both his front and back feet, making him collapse suddenly as Anna yelps while being thrown off the basset hound and lands hard on the ground while rolling to a complete stop. She grunts while sitting up, then notices Toby continuing to whimper in pain while placing his front paws on his chest and rolling side to side. Quickly getting up, she says, “Toby, are you okay?” She went to him, but then a light appeared, making her gasp as she slid too hard and landed on her rear. Ratigan had appeared.He turns around and looks at her with an evil grin. “Hello, my dear,” he takes out the platinum watch and opens the lid, looking at the time while Anna slowly crawls away from him. “You arrived just in time.”Anna wondered if he managed to arrive at the palace before she did or perhaps he had already arrived and was waiting for her. Whatever the reason is, he was here.Toby’s eyes narrowed at the rat and turned right-side up, he growled at him and started barking. Ratigan sighed and looked at him with an annoyed look. “Oh, shut it, mutt!” Anna took this distraction as a chance to quickly get up and run while Toby handles Ratigan. He looks ahead and smiles with delight while saying, “Go ahead and run my dear, run back to your precious Basil, but it will be the last you will see of him.” Looking back at the basset hound, Toby tries to get up and go to him, hoping that he would clamp down his jaws at him and make that rat his chew toy, but the cuts were so bad, it made him whimper in pain as he collapsed on his stomach. Seeing this made him giggle slightly with amusement. “Hurts doesn’t it?” he asked.Toby gave him his answer by growling at him, but Ratigan smiles as he closes the lid of the platinum watch, then presses the middle button as he vanishes in a flash of light. The basset hound whimpers in pain while clutching his snout as he is cut there. Ratigan reappears with the same cane he brought to Anna’s world before he left, but this cane was glinting with a sharp edge. The cane that Ratigan had was no ordinary was a sword cane. The sheath was already strapped on his belt, hidden within the confines of his cloak. “Don’t think I don’t know what you did to my precious Felicia.” The basset hound’s eyes widened. How did this rat know about what he did? “I think it’s only fair that since I lost something precious, Basil will lose something precious as well. But don’t worry, he’ll be joining you soon enough.”He goes into a fence-like position, his finger ready to hit the middle again as he would stop time, charge straight at the basset hound and embed his sword cane on the hound’s skull. The thought of that made him give out a toothy grin...but then his grin faded as it changed to anger. With a frustrated shout, he embeds his sword cane on the ground. “Curses!” he shouted. “Confound that insolent meddler!” Taking a few breaths, he places the platinum watch back inside his cloak while taking out the sheath, then he takes his sword cane off the ground and says to Toby, “Consider yourself lucky mutt,” he sheathed his sword cane. “Because the next time I see you…” He slid his throat with a finger while hissing. He takes out the platinum watch again. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a party to attend to.” He presses the middle button and vanishes in a flash of light.Toby was confused by that gesture before Ratigan left. However, the oblivious basset hound didn’t notice something. Something which made Ratigan stop him from doing the killing blow on Toby…The cuts on his paws were shimmering, like light reflecting on water as the cuts were slowly starting to close and heal.Meanwhile, Anna made it to the rose archway while mentaling praying to God that Toby would be alright and hopefully deal with Ratigan. At the entranceway, two of the Royal Guards saw her coming, but didn’t see that it was Anna herself as she was panting like crazy and was almost out of breath as one of them shouted, “Halt! Who goes there?”When she had gotten close, she stopped to catch her breath while bending down and clutching her knees. “Hey, it’s her,” one of the Royal Guards said. “If it isn’t the heroic lass herself. The queen’s expecting you.”“Basil...I have...he’s going to…”“Hey, easy there,” the Royal Guard helped her stand up. “Take a deep breath and start over.”Anna took a deep breath, then said, “Where’s Basil?”“He should be at the audience chamber where you should be,” the Royal Guard chuckled while looking at Anna’s attire. “That’s once we get you properly ready and inform the queen that your here and-”Anna interrupted him by grabbing his arms and telling him, “Listen, you have to take me to him, he’s-”“Hey, calm down and take it easy,” the Royal Guard gently moved her arms away from him. “What’s all the hurry, your only going to be several minutes la-”“Listen to me!” Anna interrupted again while shouting. “Basil is in danger! Ratigan is back and he’s going to kill him!” The other Royal Guard starts laughing at her while the Royal Guard who was talking to Anna was smirking and snorting with amusement. “Damn it, this isn’t funny! I’m telling you the truth, he’s coming this way!”“That’s preposterous!” The other Royal Guard says while wiping a tear from his eye. “There’s no way he’s coming here. Because he’s dead!” A few chuckles escaped his lips while nodding his head. But when he looked ahead...his look turned to shock.“He’s right you know,” the Royal Guard assured Anna. “I’m sure you're just imagining things.”“If she’s imagining it...then maybe I am too.”The Royal Guard looks at his comrade with confusion while noticing that shocked look. “What’re you talking about and what’s wrong?”He got his answer as the other Royal Guard points ahead, making both him and Anna gasp as they see Ratigan. Anna began to worry for Toby, since he couldn’t stop him, she still hoped that Ratigan didn’t do anything terrible to him while she made a run for it. “It can’t be,” the Royal Guard says with a shocked look of his own. “That’s impossible!”Ratigan giggled with an evil grin. “Oh, nothing is impossible.” He takes out the platinum watch while opening the lid and checking the time. “It seems I arrived just in time for the party.” He shuts the lid. “And where I will tie-up a loose end.”The other Royal Guard grew a fearful look. “Mousedom is done for.”“Not yet!” The Royal Guard assured his comrade while having a brave look. He looks at Anna and says to her, “Go straight ahead and take a left turn, then keep going straight until you reach the audience chamber. You need to warn everyone and ensemble the law enforcement and the rest of the Royal Guard. Go!” Anna didn’t have to be told twice as she made a run for it. “Will handle him!”The two Royal Guards point their rifles at him while the other Royal Guard takes shaky but fearful breaths. His arms shook while trying to keep a steady aim, but looking at Ratigan who had returned was like looking at the devil himself had returned from hell and was ready to wreak havoc. “Steady ol’boy,” his comrade assured him. “We can take him, he’s just one man!”“He’s no man at all...He’s a monster!”Taking that as a compliment, Ratigan giggles evilly, then he slowly walks towards them while swinging the platinum watch by its chain. The two Royal Guards cock their rifles. “On my mark. Ready…”Ratigan stops swinging the watch and brings it on his hand.“Aim…”He gives them a toothy grin while having his finger poised to press the middle button.“Fi-”He pressed the button, then one of the Royal Guards screamed.--- At the audience chamber, every mouse of men, women, children, young, and old were there. Now joining the crowd was Scotland Yard who were proud to witness the greatest detective in all of Mousedom to be thanked and honored by the queen herself. However, all the crowd wondered what became of the human. So far they only know that the detective and his friend were here. But where was she? Surely she wouldn’t want to miss an opportunity like this.Their minds were put aside as trumpets and drums were played by the Royal Guards. Queen Mousetoria herself sat upon her throne, waiting patiently for the two heroes to step forth. Right next to her was a Royal Guard who was carrying a pillow that had three medals. But since the human hadn’t come, the queen will probably ask what became of her since she too should be honored to be a part of the glory. As the blue curtained door parted and the two heroes stepped forth, the audience applauded. When Basil and Dawson were walking straight towards the queen, they could hear a familiar little girl shout out through the crowd, “Basil! Basil!”Basil looks and sees Olivia, who was waving at him while being held up by her father Hiram. He knew that since this morning, Olivia asked where Anna was, and Hiram told her before Basil that she left for home. This not only saddened her since she didn’t say goodbye to her, but she asked if she’ll ever come back. Basil was against lying to a child, but he had told her that she’ll come back one day, which he knew that’ll never come to pass. Nevertheless, this’ll cheer her up by watching him being congratulated by the queen herself. So with that, he smiles at her and waves back.When they come before the queen, she raises a hand to silence the audience. “Today, is a momentous occasion,” her voice echoes throughout the audience chamber for all to hear her speech. “Not only London is safe, but all of Mousedom can finally rest in peace. For the greatest evil in history has fallen and it is thanks to our great heroes!” The audience burst into applause. She raises a hand to silence them again while continuing, “To commemorate them of their greatest victory, I shall now give them their honors.” She motions a hand to the two heroes, taking this as a command from their queen, they get down on one knee and bow.The queen takes her staff and gently taps their shoulders while saying, “As Queen of Mousedom, I dub thee, Sir Basil of Baker Street and Sir Major David Q. Dawson of my regiment.” She then motions them to stand up, then she takes the two medals from the Royal Guard. “For your heroic efforts, I now give you the congressional medal of heroism.” She hangs the medals on the necks of both Basil and Dawson. “May Mousedom forever remember you as the heroes of our history.”As the crowd once again burst into applause, the queen asked them, “By the way gentlemen. Whatever happened to that human?”“I’m…” Basil sighed. “I’m afraid she’s not coming. She’s...she’s well, uh-”“She’s gone home, Your Majesty,” Dawson answered for him. “She’s returned back to the human world where she belongs. So she won’t be joining us today.”“Oh, I see,” the queen nodded in understanding. She knew that it was in her nature to return back to her own kind. But despite that, it was still hard to believe that a human got shrunk down to their size and was introduced to their world. The queen also understood one simple fact. Humans were an odd, but strange bunch. “Well, I’ll make sure that her name and medal will be erected. So everyone will remember her as the first human to ever set foot in our world, and courageously fought against Professor Ratigan. But speaking of names, can either of you tell me what her name is?”With a smile, Basil answered, “Her name is-”“BASILLLLLLLLL!”Basil, Dawson, and everyone else turned around to see who it was that shouted...It was none other than Anna herself! The crowd was happy to see their hero had finally appeared. Well...all except for Hiram. He was surprised that she came back after she told him that she was going home and never coming back, this didn’t amuse him when she went back on her word and came back. But for Olivia, she grew a big smile and was overjoyed to see her friend had actually returned. As for Basil, his heart soared as he saw her again.Anna took a few deep breaths and started running towards him while yelling, “Basil!”“Anna,” Basil muttered while smiling as he too ran for her. Anna was about to collapse from exhaustion from running too hard and hoped she would be caught by Basil who would support her balance. However, when the two individuals were getting closer...BAM!“Ah!” Basil shouted as a hole came right at his heart. He collapsed face first on the floor as his hat came loose.The entire audience gasped in shock at what just happened, even the queen and Dawson gasped. Hiram and Olivia grew fearful looks with the little girl muttering, “Basil…”Anna stopped right in front of Basil’s form, her legs shaking and ready to collapse. She took shaky breaths when she heard the gunshot behind her. Her eyes did not leave Basil’s form as her shaking legs started to slowly back away from him. “No…” She nods her head, trying to deny what she was seeing. “No…” She clutches her head as her breathing becomes erratic, growing faster as her eyes shake. “No…” A part of herself didn’t want to believe it, but there it was right in front of her very eyes…Basil was dead and she failed to get to him in time.Her legs collapsed as she screamed. Olivia ran to the seemingly dead detective while yelling, “Basil!” Hiram followed her daughter towards the dead detective while Dawson also said and went to Basil with the queen following him, “Oh my...Basil!”As the four individuals went to the dead detective, Olivia collapsed and buried her face on Basil’s back while sobbing. Hiram gently picks her up and hugs her as she continues to sob on her father’s shoulder. Dawson turns him over, he presses two fingers on his neck while placing his ear on his chest, trying to make sure if Basil was truly dead. In fact, over the sound of a gunshot, he could’ve sworn he heard something else. But as a doctor, he had to check to see if there’s a pulse before he could make any assumptions.Anna continues to scream while shouting, “OH MY GOD, NOOOO! PLEASE GOD NOOOO!” Her body slumps over as her head touches the floor while tears are pouring from her eyes. “Nooo…” She hits the floor slightly with a single fist two times. “This can’t be happening,” she muttered. “This can’t be happening again.”Unfortunately for poor did happen again. Once again, she lost someone right before her eyes…In her mind, she saw the same four graves and four tombstones...but an ethereal fifth grave and tombstone with Basil’s name written on it appeared…A crack came from her mental state as it almost came close to shattering.Once again, a wound was cutting to her painful heart, leaving a new scar which would be forever imprinted for the rest of her life. The guilt of failing to save a friend was starting to become too unbearable for her to take. The guilt of letting this happen will never leave her. She knew that this was all her fault, if she hadn’t given that watch to Ratigan, Basil would still be alive. The thought of that poured fresh new tears as she cried loudly for all to hear her mourning.The crowd couldn’t blame her pain. For today marked the end of the greatest detective in all of Mousedom, the hero who saved London and their beloved sovereign, shot dead in cold blood. Some of the crowd started shedding their own tears while their loved ones hugged them for comfort. Others took off their hats and placed it over their hearts while bowing their heads. For Scotland Yard, some of them turned their heads away from this while others grew angry looks and clenched their hands into tight fists. Many were wondering who shot Basil? It couldn’t have been the human, because she wasn’t armed when she went to Basil. So who was the fiend that shot him?Well, they got their answer when a nearby lady mouse heard someone say, “So ends Basil of Baker Street...permanently.”The lady mouse turns...only to gasp.Dawson’s eyes widened as he was about to say something, but was interrupted when he heard a scream coming from the lady mouse.Everyone turned, gasping in complete shock and fright as they saw Ratigan alive!Murmurs came from everywhere from the crowd, shocked looks came as they couldn’t believe this. Hiram and Olivia grew fearful looks with the little girl turning her head away from the rat and saying to her father, “Daddy!”“Don’t worry, Olivia,” Hiram assured his daughter. “I won’t let him get you.”Anna also gasped while seeing Ratigan as he placed his top hat back on his head, after he had already shot Basil while silently blowing the smoke off his gun and took it off to place it over his heart. Putting the gun back inside his cloak, he takes out his cane and platinum watch, and starts to slowly stroll through. “Well, I’ve already missed out on the beginning of the party,” he says while chuckling. “But I would never miss out...the end of it.” Anna started crawling away from him while he said to her, “Come along my dear, you’ve seen Basil. Now it’s time for you to witness history in the making...with your fate being by my side.”Anna didn’t want to go through with this. There was no way she wanted to be near that rat, much married to him! She didn’t want to go through this fate, there was no way in hell!“Guards! Stop him!” Queen Mousetoria shouted an order.The Royal Guards didn’t hesitate as they rushed forward while letting Anna pass them as she crawled her way to Basil. Scotland Yard joined the Royal Guards by their side, despite not being armed with their clubs or guns, but they could still take him. Ratigan was after all just one man.Ratigan chuckled as he stood before them. “Fools,” he muttered. He was about to use the platinum watches power, then use his cane sword to cut down all of Scotland Yard and Royal Guard alike, just like how he did with the other two guards who stood in his way. Even with this many men, this was child’s play for him. The thought of cutting down many of his enemies where he stood on top of the bodies, made him tempted to revel. However, as an extra bonus, he’ll probably kill the queen herself, then the chubby one who was with Basil, then maybe the toymaker and his daughter...Nah, he wouldn’t want to waste his time over trivial matters, but he does have other plans in store for them. Then after that, he was going to take Anna.With a smile, he was about to press the button…But out of the crowd, an elderly voice shouted, “MADMAN WITH A GUN!”Gunshots were fired as the crowd came out of their fearful stupor and started screaming and running. Ratigan was nearly knocked over from the stampeding crowd of fearful mice, but managed to keep his balance while pushing some mice who came his way. As the gunshots continued to be fired by somebody, Scotland Yard broke away with the Royal Guards and started helping the fearful mice by leading them calmly out of the other exits before things started to go completely out of control.When more gunshots were fired, one of the Royal Guards took the queen while saying, “Your Majesty, we must get you to safety, now!” The other Royal Guards surrounded their sovereign in a protective circle as they led her out to one of the exits.When Ratigan heard those gunshots, he was looking around the crowd of running mice, trying to figure out who was shooting. Nobody else should be shooting, except him. But then...he saw an arm raised as three more shots came, Ratigan mentally counted about ten shots fired from that weapon. However, his eyes squinted ahead as he looked at that weapon, only for them to widen when he realized that the pistol was not from this time period. In fact, it looked similar to the silver revolver he had, except this one had more bullets and had the same silver coating. The arm lowered while the crowd started to shorten, giving Ratigan the chance to see who that was…Only to see a familiar brown bowler hat and blue eyes that narrowed at him.“What!”The figure vanished, then Ratigan was sent sailing towards a wall where his back crashed into it. He grunts as his hat comes off while he slid to the floor. His eyes opened as he saw an elderly mouse coming towards him. The elderly mouse had light-brown fur and had a black nose, he wore a grey suit coat, brown vest with a white undershirt, grey trousers, and black shoes. In his gloved hand he had a cane with a golden ball on the top.“You!”The elderly mouse tipped his hat at Ratigan and greeted, “Good evening, how wonderful for you to join us today.”Ratigan grunts as he quickly gets back up and draws the blade.“Go ahead, Ratigan, fight me if you wish,” the elderly mouse smiles at him. “That is, of course, you want time getting ripped in the process? Do you want to take that risk?”Ratigan’s sword arm started to shake with hesitation. He wanted so desperately to cut this man down, but he knew he couldn’t take that risk. At least not here. So with a grunt, he sheathed the blade and picked up his hat. “Understand this,” he points at the elderly mouse. “You can’t stop me, not even Basil anymore! And you can never...stop...fate!”“You're right, I can’t. Which is why I won’t stop you. But we’ll settle this elsewhere.”“Indeed we will,” Ratigan takes out the platinum watch. “Just know that the next time I see you, I will kill you and anyone who stands against me or tries to make a mess of my plan.”With the press of a button, Ratigan vanished.“We shall see,” the elderly mouse turns around and walks away. “And it is true, fate will never be stopped now that it is rewritten…” He grew a smug look. “But that doesn’t mean I can alter its course to my advantage for the time being.”Anna continued to sob while clutching Basil’s head and saying, “I’m so sorry, Basil. You shouldn’t have to die because of me.” She buries her face on his neck. “I’m the one who should be dead, not you,” she muttered. As her tears soaked his neck...she heard a weak chuckle. She looks at him and sees his eyes open while saying, “That really tickles when you do that.”Anna gasped in shock...Basil was alive! “Oh my God!” She embraces him deeply.Dawson, Hiram, and Olivia managed to regroup after the stampede of fearful mice came to an end. “Mr. Flaversham, Olivia, are you two alright?”“Yes, we’re fine,” Hiram answered.“Guys!” Anna shouted as they looked to her, only for them to gasp. “It’s Basil, he’s alive!” Hearing this made Olivia smile wide while yelling, “Basil!” She runs to the detective as he already sat up, thanks to Anna, and jumps on to him, nearly knocking him down if Anna hadn’t kept him straight up. As she hugs Basil, a tear escapes her eye as she says to him, “I thought you were dead.”“Oh, don’t worry,” Basil assured the little girl while giggling. “This’ll take more than a bullet to keep me down...Miss Flamerpickle.”Olivia was surprised at him, he never got her last name wrong after several hours. She shook her head at him while Anna chuckled and said, “Whatever.”She wrapped her arms around his neck, then did something which made Basil’s ears redden and his eyes widened…Her lips kissed his cheek.Anna opened her eyes as they widened. She was shocked at herself as she thought, What...What the hell are you doing? A part of herself was telling her she shouldn’t do that, she had already cut ties with anyone she held close in this world. Her mind was reminding herself what happened just now, if she starts renewing those old bonds, she’ll only hurt others including herself. However, for her heart, that was something else entirely. The pain in her heart subsided as it became numb, despite receiving a new wound that laid there, and it started beating fast, making her cheeks flushed red.When her lips left his cheek, their eyes looked at one another. “Uhhh…” was the only thing Anna could say. Olivia looks at them both and giggles, seeing how adorable this was, despite it being slightly awkward.Well, the awkwardness came to an end when Hiram said, “It’s a miracle.” Basil and Anna stood up while the detective handed the little girl to his father and said to him, “But I don’t understand, I saw you got shot. How are you-”“Maybe I should elaborate,” Dawson said. “The moment when Basil got shot, I heard something else. It was faint, but I had to check first to see if he was alive.”“But how does it explain-”“Allow me to show you to further explain why I’m still alive.” Basil says.Hiram, Olivia, and Anna watched as Basil reaches in from inside his Inverness coat and pulls out something. Opening his palm, he shows a lidless pocket watch. The glass face was cracked, and the face inside it was completely damaged. Showing it was a smushed bullet, stopping it completely from ever reaching Basil.“W-Where did you get that?” Hiram wondered.Anna wondered too and was about to ask where he got it from, but an elderly voice spoke, “That would be me.”They looked and saw the elderly mouse as Basil said, “You!”Anna looked at him and asked, “You know him?”“Yes,” Basil answered while looking at her. “Dawson and I met him before we left.” Dawson nodded his head as it was true. He looks back at the elderly mouse. “What’re you doing here?”“Simple, I came here to see the party. Also, there’s one last thing I have to do.” He digs through his grey suit coat, then his eyes look at the girl next to Basil and says, “Miss Anna Johnson.”Anna and the rest of the group were completely shocked. How did this man know her name? However, Anna saw something...inexplicably familiar about this man. She couldn’t understand why, but deep within her consciousness, it was telling her this man? She had no idea why that was in her head, but her body was compelled to move in front, which is exactly what she did, then she asked, “Who are you?”He didn’t give her his name, but instead he smiled while pulling something out and said…“Catch.”He tosses something to her, which she managed to successfully catch with her two hands. Basil and the rest of the group gather around Anna to see what the man had given her. She opens her palms as they see...A bronze watch? Something was different about this watch, but at the same time it looked familiar. It looked similar to that of the silver watch, long before Ratigan transformed it into the platinum watch. The entire watch was made out of bronze and had the same three buttons on the top.But then...the lid opened itself suddenly as all the hands continued to spin in a blur.“What the devil,” Dawson says.Light appeared on the face of the watch...then flashed, making Anna and Olivia yelp as the three mice were pushed from the force and landed on the floor, all except for Anna. Wind surrounded everywhere in the audience chamber, as if a hurricane had just somehow appeared inside. Anna wanted to let go of the watch, but her body was already encased in light as something was pulling her in and her body was turning into light. This not only frightened her, but it made her scream.Basil raises a hand to keep the light from hitting his eyes, then he gets up while seeing Anna’s face looking at him and yelling, “Bas-” Her face was covered with light. He takes off in a run and shouts, “Anna!”When he gets to her, he tries to wrap his arms around her, but she fades into stardust. It then traveled inside the bronze watch while it was surrounded in light. When all of that was inside, the light fades as the lid shuts itself, then is sent sailing towards the elderly man who caught it with one hand. “There, that should alter fate’s course for the time being.”As the elderly man put the bronze watch back inside his coat, Basil grew an angry look and went towards him, then he grabbed the man’s coat while saying, “What have you done to her, where is she?!”“Relax, Basil,” the elderly man assured him while calmly taking his hands off of his coat. He straightens it as he continued, “I sent her to a time limbo where she will be safe. Oh, I would suggest bracing yourself.”Basil was confused. “Brace myself for-Whoa!” An earthquake suddenly appeared, Olivia yelped again as she wrapped her arms around her father’s neck. “What’s happening?” Hiram asked Dawson.“I don’t know,” he answered.Outside of Buckingham Palace, chaos was happening everywhere around the streets. People were starting to become frightened by the mysterious earthquake, horses started to whine with fright, others were trying to grab onto something for balance until the earthquake passed. But then, something strange happened. A paperboy was the only one who noticed it as he shouted while pointing, “Look! Big Ben’s hands are going mad!”When everyone close to the paperboy looked at the clocktower, the hands were truly going mad. The hands continued to spin as if an unknown force was compelling them too. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the only unknown force that came.Grey storm clouds suddenly appeared as thunder roared across the sky and lightning danced here and there. Everyone, including the mice that hid from the earthquake, watched with curious eyes as everyone wondered what was going on.At Buckingham Palace at the very roof, Ratigan had already turned and pressed both the middle and left button, which started the earthquake and made the storm clouds appear. He then turns the right button, then lifts his arm up towards the sky. With a chuckle, he says, “Now, everything will change.” With that, he presses the right button…The sky opens up for all of London to see. Inside, it looked like they were seeing a galaxy of stars which started to slowly spiral.Back inside the audience chamber, Basil says to the elderly man, “What’s going on?”“Everything is about to change pretty soon,” he answered the detective. “But don’t worry, I’ll see you again, and you will see Anna again as well. Until then…” he tips his hat at him. “...cherio.”Back with Ratigan, wind surrounded him as his cloak bellowed from the wind, and with an evil smile while having his fingers poised to press the three buttons, he said, “And God said…‘Let there be light’.” He pressed the three buttons as the lid of the platinum watch opened itself and the hands had spun into a blur. The face glowed as a beam of light shot forward into the spiral, then the spiral glowed like a thousand suns as beams were shot here and there. One beam hit’s Big Ben, making its hands stop right at the top. A loud bong came as all four faces of the clocktower flashed with light, then a dome of light surrounded all of London, making Ratigan revel with laughter as he was covered by the light. As for the other beams, they crashed on each part of the globe as more domes of light covered every part of the planet, until the entire planet itself was covered in light.--- At Anna’s world, a worldwide phenomenon happened everywhere across the world. Clocks everywhere were starting to spin fast, digital clocks were going on the fritz along with anything else like: wristwatches, cell phones, computers, and alarm clocks. No one knew what was going on, until all the hands everywhere from around the world reached the top and every digital clock became four zeroes…Domes of light appeared everywhere on Earth. Until the entire planet itself was covered in light…Then with a flash...everything was engulfed in white light.
Let it FlowThe rain gleams fair through the nebulous airMisty clouds hide every lightMy spirit calls to the oceanThe horizon in my sightThe waves roll higher like this storming sea insideSorrow, anger, hurtIt's all too much to hideKatara rose early the day after the Blue Moon Ball. All the adults had drunk themselves stupid, so they'd be hungover all day. The young children sleep in from being up so late. As for the teens, who knew?Still, Katara dressed in her most exquisite royal blue coat, pausing in front of her mirror to check her appearance. The necklace she'd inherited from her mother shimmered on her neck. However, this morning unlike every other morning, she swore she saw a brilliant azure jewel shard sparkling back at her in the mirror. Blinking her eyes, the supposed jewel shard vanished.Figuring she was still a little sleepy-eyed that she saw things. Noiselessly and gracefully, she slipped out of her icy palace. She deliberately traveled to a nearby icy lagoon. Ignorant, someone was shadowing her.At last, she reached the inlet grinning. This specific cove held exceptional significance. It's where the white narwhals came to give birth to their babies. Katara held a unique connection with one in particular. She didn't understand why she and this particular female had a connection. Yet, from the moment their crystal blue eyes meet, they'd become seemingly one. Katara didn't desire Sokka to laugh at her for believing she could positively converse with this female.Though, how could he laugh when his dream girl been blessed by the Moon Spirit herself? Either way, Sokka remained the least spiritual in the family. He favored logic and science. Nevertheless, Katara felt she and Neona (that's what the whale said her name was) held a spiritual bond. Katara beckoned to Neona, and she came to the surface, chuckling joyfully to see her friend."Good morning, Neona! How is everything going?" Katara courteously inquired as she stroked the rubbery skin of the white whale.Once again in her mind, she swore she heard a voice answer her question. "Everyone is doing excellent. Though my older brother, Llyr, is making googly eyes on the most attractive female in the pod."Stifling a laugh, Katara replied, "Yeah, my older brother is a lovesick fool whenever Princess Yue around. The Northern Tribe will be here for at least another week and a half. Consequently, he'll get plenty of time with his dream girl. I know my parents are highly encouraging of the relationship. Though I assume Yue's father is having difficultly with the concept.""Parents. Ugh, they never want their children to leave the nest. Furthermore, forever thinking they know whose most suited for their offspring. Nine times out of ten, they're mistaken.""Too true, Neona. Consequently, how much longer before the calves are born?""They won't be born until the new moon. It was a blue moon last night. So we've two weeks before the moon is new.""Dang it! I hoped they'd be born before Kenai had to go home!""Kenai? Katara are you smitten?""Well," suddenly she detected someone behind her. Instinctively she attacked the threat behind her, except ice cold hit boiling, releasing ample quantities of steam.Just keep it in, keep back the tearsDon't you remember those painful, flooded years?Stay underneath, don't come up nowWell, I'm here now!"Wow there! I come in peace!" cried out the person. Katara crimsoned furiously when the vapor cleared, and she saw her crush."I knew you're the most competent waterbender in your tribe. My cousin spoke highly of you on the journey here. Though, she mentioned you lack in wittiness plus preparation. That's your brother's department.""Kenai! I'm so sorry! You just startled me!" she rapidly apologized. He shook his head. "You don't have to apologize, Katara. I should for panicking you. I spotted you leaving and decided to see where you went. Nice little hideaway, by the way.""Um, thanks," though she couldn't help but glance at his face. He had a large discoloration around his right eye. She overheard Sitka last night making all kinds of wisecracks about it."It's a birthmark, not a scar," Kenai unexpectedly said, making her do a double-take. "Huh?" Taking a deep breath, he clarified what he meant. "I'm used to the stares and japes, believe me. Though, it's a birthmark, not a scar. My father has the same birthmark as does my brother. It's merely located elsewhere on them. I know it resembles a burn scar. Yet, it's merely a birthmark. I get exhausted of explaining that to people. Though, I don't mind explaining to you.""I'm sorry for staring."Shaking his head, "It's alright. I figured you ask about it sooner or later. I just wanted to get it out of the way. Therefore you going to introduce me to your friend?" The young waterbending princess forgot why she came here, "Oh, where are my manners today? Come over here," as she guided him closer to the edge of the cove."Kenai, this is my special friend, Neona. Neona, this is Kenai from the Northern Water Tribe."The crystal blue eyes of the unicorn whale sparkled, "He's charming. You've great taste, Katara. Though why is he so hot? I don't mean that he's a hottie. He's hot.""What did she say about me?" Kenai asked, making Katara blush even further. "What makes you think she's saying anything?" she asked apprehensively."Katara, I overheard you having a conversation with her. So tell me what she was asking?" he questioned sincerely."You aren't going to call me crazy for talking to a whale?""No, my brother also possesses the capability to speak to animals and spirits. Mother calls it a precious blessing. So, what did Neona ask you?""She asked why your hot?""Oh, that," chuckling, "Could you explain to her I'm half Fire Nation."Katara did as he said, then translated Neona's next question. "She wants to know if you're a firebender?""No, I'm a waterbender. Except whenever I bend water? The temperature of the water spontaneously turns scalding due to my Fire Nation blood."Katara raised an eyebrow about that, "I never heard of that regarding a waterbender. I doubt Hama has either.""Do you know many people whose parents are from opposing nations?""Well, no. Does this mean your brother flames are cooler?""In a sense, yes. They're standard fire, except it never truly seems to burn anything. Though, I'm not so much concerned regarding our bending as making certain neither of us gets bullied.""I presume because the Water Tribe not that open to interracial marriages, it must be hard.""Well, that plays a part in it. Though, my brother and I are each different in other ways. Ways the world unfeeling too for the simple crime of being different.""What makes you different? If I'm not offensive?""Well, a majority of the world doesn't understand what it means to be color-blind. Nor are they extremely accepting of transgender people like my brother. The world has never been sympathetic to those who are different.""Colorblind? I'm not familiar with what that means.""It means I can't distinguish certain colors. Largely I get red and green mixed up. I also have some difficulty with blue. Consequently, that's troublesome for me.""I see. Well, we all grapple with some impediment. Though you said your brother?""Please, don't tell me you or your brother are one of those jackasses who thinks its a transgression against Alanna for being transgender. That it makes you an atrocity or something else."Katara looked like she been punched, "I would never be that narrow-minded! I know Alanna conceived humanity. Furthermore, none of her children are abominations.""Most souls neglect to remember that when you speak of the White Spirit of Life," he grumbled before Katara replied pointedly to him."Alanna is the mother of the human race. She created us in her image. Therefore none of us is a mistake to the mother of us all." Neona appeared to coincide with how she acted, "Well, I suppose I misjudged you. I'm sorry.""Next time, don't make assumptions. We should get back, or my father will send the hunters out looking for us."Let it flow, let it flowLet the water run pure and clearLet it flow, let it flowLet the daylight disappearI don't care if all the skies turn grayLet the seas rage onThe rain never bothered me anywayThe couple said goodbye to Neona then walked hand-in-hand back to the village. The snow-white whale seemed to smile before she disappeared underneath the ocean blue. When they got back, Sokka and Yue rushed to meet them. Unquestionably anxious regarding where they'd been. "Are you trying to make my hair go prematurely white, Katara?! Dad's been in a frenzy all morning!""So your own mother, cousin! She's been driving us all batty with how anxious she's been," Yue reported."Is it a crime to go for an early morning walk? I didn't go far. I honestly went for a walk." Katara explained."Yes, we were just going for a walk along the coastline. How much danger is there in simply taking an early morning stroll?" Kenai desired to know."I suppose nothing, but the spirits are unsettled. You know how the elders are when the spirits grow restless." Yue offered up why there been a slight panic."How do you know the spirits are agitated, Yue?" Sokka asked before smacking his head, "Nope, stupid question. Of course, being blessed by the Moon itself, you know about spirits."Yue smiled, lit up like moonlight. She then pecked Sokka's left cheek. "It's nice you are concerned, Sokka. Either way, we better go quell the panic."I always feared this power.Would sweep me off my feetAnd this current I feel swirlingWould pull me in too deepLater that day, the girls went to watch the boys training. Master Denai firmly believed even benders should know how to fight without bending. As you never knew when you wouldn't be able to use their bending.He preferred to instruct females in a separate class from males. More to avoid bruising egos then sexism. Plus, to avoid any accidents. Denai's wife taught him long ago to respect female warriors.But now I'm through. I've had enoughUnlock the floodgates and never close them upSo far away, but finally... I'm free!Currently, Sokka was engaged in a sparring match with Kenai. Before the match, Kenai stated he'd go easy on Sokka. Sokka didn't want anyone to go easy on him.The girls were enchanted as the sparring match went on. Unquestionably, Kenai knew quite well how to utilize a spear or club. They're evenly matched. The girls kept cheering on the boys. "Your cousin impressive, Yue! Does he have a sister?" Nita whispered over the gathering. The elegant aristocrat grinned, knowing specifically what Nita implied.Yet again, the LGBT community still struggled quite a bit. Times were changing. Yet, some individuals refused to see that love wasn't unrighteousness. Nor was anyone getting hurt, in any sense of the word, with people simply being themselves. However, countless souls twisted the words of the Mother. Twisting it into ways that they perceived to be 'normal.' However, as Katara and Kenai discussed earlier, no one was an abomination in the eyes of Alanna."No, he's got a twelve-year-old brother, though. Smart as a whip, that kid. Though a tad shy. That's him over there," pointing to a small boy greatly resembling his brother other then his eyes were blue."Looks like he could use a friend. What's his name?""Kodiak.""Should we ask him to sit with us? I mean Grandpa, not going to get to the preteens anytime soon.""That I'd think to be appropriate," Yue called out to her cousin. He looked up as she gestured for him to join them. Hesitant at first, then the young boy sprinted up the stairway to sit with them.They quickly made him feel welcomed. Immediately they turned back to watch his brother spar. The match ultimately concluded when Master Denai called it a draw. He congratulated both young men on their impressive skills. Moreover their excellent sportsmanship.He then asked who'd like to spar next. That when everyone stomachs collectedly dropped. Sitka had entered the ring challenging Kenai to a match. Everyone could feel it in the crisp air. This wouldn't end well at all.Let it flow, let it flow.To the ocean, I belong.Let it flow, let it flow.Hear my siren songSay goodbyeTo staying dryLet the seas rage onMaster Denai glanced at his grandson before issuing both boys a warning. If either fought dirty, they'd be immediately thrown out. Not only that, he'd talk to both their parents and chiefs. They'd decided what a befitting punishment was.Kenai immediately asserted he wasn't a dishonorable person. That wasn't how he been brought up. Nevertheless, Master Denai stressed it again to both of them. However, it unmistakable meant for his grandson. Not their guest. With that said, the match began.Katara privately worried if Kenai's color-blindness would affect him. However, it hadn't hindered him before. Yet, she couldn't count on Sitka to fight sportsmanlike. He gleefully takes advantage of anyone.My power roars and tempests rise, but I won't drownMy hydrophilic heart is pumping fierce at thunder soundI can't contain this aqua force so hear my pleasTo turn the tide is all I ask. I'm begging on my kneesKenai kept his cool while Sitka let his narcissism get the better of him. Sitka's pride and hatred caused him to make careless blunders as he attacked recklessly. Kenai's cool level-head gave him the upper hand.Ten minutes into the match, Kenai knocked Sitka off his feet and won. Everyone cheered for Kenai's victory. However, being the sore loser, he was Sitka suddenly attacks him from behind.Kenai wasn't prepared when Sitka slashed him with his concealed dagger. Everyone screamed in horror as Kenai collapsed onto the snow, staining it red from the large cut on his back. Katara and Nita immediately attacked Sitka with their waterbending before racing to heal Kenai. Master Denai's bronzed face turned as red as blood on the snow.He seized his grandson's arm and dragged him out to face the consequences of his despicable behaviors. Everyone didn't waste their breath feeling sorry for Sitka. That bastard had crossed the line. Whatever his punishment, he richly deserved it. They knew everyone involved would be equally appalled and full of rage. Which meant this would end badly.Sitka actually got thrown temporarily into the Tribe's prison. They still hadn't reached a satisfying punishment for him. Currently, everyone was in the roundhouse, seeking to decide what to do with him. Sitka spat on the floor. Snarling with hatred. He didn't deserve to be punished! That hybrid deserved what he got! Humiliating him and having the audacity to make moves on his woman.Snarling like a monster, he seethed, "I wish I had the ability to get rid of him! I won't be refused anymore! I do anything to get my vengeance!"A threatening cackle permeated the chamber before an even more ominous voice said, "So you do anything to take care of your freak of nature rival? My, my, aren't you the little demon? I perceive exceptional potential within in you, Sitka!""Who there?! Show yourself!" he commanded. The disembodied voice lamented vehemently while a peculiar portal opened. Stepping out of the gateway were two teens plus a bald gentleman with bone-white skin and catlike eyes dressed all in black."Who are you three? How did you get here?!""My name is Princess Azula, and this is my friend Anil. As for him?" pointing to the Black Spirit of Death, "That's Anto. I'm positive he doesn't need an introduction. A pleasure to meet you, Sitka!" Azula approached him holding her hand out. The narcissistic Water Tribe lad didn't take it. However, he eyed the trio with increasing enthusiasm. "So what do you two want with me?" he demanded in a cocky manner."Not so much what we want as much as you want. You yearn for the power to control both Water Tribes? Furthermore, have this Katara as your wife, correct?" Azula quoted the teen's indirect request."Yes, I desire that more then anything. Yet how can you help me accomplish that?""Simple. We work together to obtain power even more substantial then the Avatar!" The Black Spirit divulged the secret they'd shared with Anil."Eons ago, the initial benders concentrated their essence into four shards. Each shard includes the avatar-level power of its element. Yet, more significantly, if all four shards fused?Not only would they've got the capability to rival the Avatar, but they could also enslave the Avatar. With the Avatar as your thrall? Why you could have anything, your heart desires."Like a ravenous wolf, Sitka's blue eyes lit up. "Hmm, there got to be a catch. Why would you share this kind of power with me?""It's simple, frankly," the Fire Nation Princess revealed once more. "The shards are both concealed. Plus have impressive protection. Furthermore, only humans can locate them. In exchange for helping us, we will bestow the water shard's power to you. All we ask in return is you swear allegiance to us. There is one more requirement we ask of you.""What other requirement?""You've to help me liberate my father, Prince Ozai, from Soto Island. Once my father has all the shards, he will become the Phoenix King. As King, he can grant his associates a fraction of the power. With him in charge. Plus, you've got a fraction of the avatar's power? Well, what more could you dream of?"Licking his lips, the Water Tribe boy nodded before shaking the diabolical trio's hands. "I see we are surprisingly alike. I'll happily join you in the hunt for the shards. Anything to make me chief and Katara, my wife!""Then shall we retreat to my castle in the Spirit World? We need to plan. Furthermore, secure stronger allies if we desire our dreams to come true!" Anto snickered darkly. Chortling as the portal reopened before they all evaporated into thin air.Let it flow, let it flow.And I'll start anew at last.Let it flow, let it flow.I'll wash away my past.No more rules, my heart I will obeyLet the seas rage ON!The rain never bothered me anyway.
Pink flowers (2) by Xhelys-Chernota
|OPEN 2/2| Adoptable Auction #23 by li-ar
Do the Dew by Citrus-Chickadee
olivin by Mittelfranke
Photography 2
Photography 3
Pink flowers by Xhelys-Chernota
Motorola MicroTAC 8700 by Redfield-1982
20210514 130838~2 by Mittelfranke

Mature Content

The Lucky Fan! - Photo 1 by DDFAN10
Redraw and Paint Your Favorite AnimeHey there, anime fan, fellow artist, art enthusiast and aesthete!Have you ever wondered how your favorite anime character would look like if you drew and painted him / her yourself?If you haven't, this is the venue where your imagination might get that extra push to get you started. If you are already doing it, then welcome aboard to verusxmb's "Redraw and Paint Your Favorite Anime" a.k.a. RPYFA. I host this art experience in my social media pages including DA to support artists like myself to express their own understanding of Art and Aesthetics through work products.In this art experience, I pick characters that inspired something good in me and reflect on how I can share that or part of that inspiration with my audience. RPYFA is essentially capturing character and sharing it in the form of an illustration. The anime fan may find something new in viewing a certain character that I painted. A fellow artist may pick something as a reference from a drawing. The art enthusiast may start exploring a different technique. And the aesthete might leave valuable feedback.RPYFA is embodied in the Fanart section of my gallery. To date, I painted characters from anime ranging from Doraemon, Pokemon, Fairy Tail, Full-Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood. One Piece: Straw Hats is currently on going. A wealth of art works showcasing different characters drawn in different perspectives, views, and lighting is what I have to offer. See you around, everyone! Share the inspiration.One Piece: Straw Hats (currently running),Pokemon, Doraemon, Full-Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Fairy Tail,
Resources and Stock
Karla Hermosillo, 2021 Gif Painting Process by carlosalbertosalva1
Marloes White Cowboy Hat by pcurto
Hiyaa! [ych ver.2 commission] by macaarons
Draw with me chibis by Silerna
Icons and Customization
Sirius icon by Allsted
[CLOSE/TY] ADOPTABLE Royal WolfGang by O-iamzoey
Snow Leopard - Auction OPEN! by DHaro
(Closed) Adopt Auction #81 Black rose by Anrig
Bombproof (Helluva Boss): Yu-Gi-Oh! Card by PopPixieRex
you're just mad 'cause I play them better by Doodlebear5904
Plant Something for You and Me
Spring peas 14-8-2019 by Hoppety
Digital Closed
melody by FyllindTess
Digital Art 2 Closed
FA-Welcome to Nightopia by dantiscus
Digital Art 3
Flower by himeRra
Traditional Art 2
Portrait of Tsuki by louverusee
TRaditional Art 3
TRaditional Art 4
Photomanipulation and Mixed Digital
Cute girl - 4 by moreasian
ARCHIVE - Photomanipulation and Mixed digital
Frost by RGBdesigns
Photomanipulation and Mixed Media 2
Digital 4
League of Babies :3 by SP4Evar


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