The group had arrived at the ticket booth of the movie theater, waiting in a rather long line for "The Exorcism of Mary Sue". After 12 minutes they had reached the front of the line and Gage paid for all 5 tickets (Amelia wanted to stay home). After buying some popcorn and snacks, they went inside the room where the movie was being played and scanned it for good seats. The room was packed, but they did manage to find a couple of good seats around the middle. Sandro, a tall, tan Brazilian boy, picked a seat at the end, and then Karen sat in the seat next to his. Gage was behind her, and was about to turn to the last seat next to hers.

Oh, yeah! This is my chance! Gage smirked.

Oh no, you don't! This is my chance! And not with you! Karen thought to herself, apparently picking up on Gage's intentions. Then, she got up from her chair to head-butt him in the back and pulled Jason into the last seat. When Gage got to his feet, he turned around again and saw "his" seat occupied by none other than Jason, gave the two of them a "Come on! Seriously?!" look, and then walked out of the row to search for another seat.

Suddenly, Beatrice timidly poked the back of his shoulder and said, "There are two open seats this way, Gage…" Gage let out a small sigh of relief, hugged her and said, "Thanks, Bea-chan! You're a saint!" To him, "Bea-chan" is like a cute, affectionate nickname. But it embarrasses her, hence her blushing and nervously twirling her blond, pigtailed hair. She and Gage walked to the pair of seats in the corner and sat there. Jason glanced at Gage giving him a "Don't get cocky, kid! You haven't won yet" glare, pointing two fingers to his eyes then Jason's to mean "I'm watching you…" Then he turned to the screen to eat his popcorn sullenly. And I paid for those ungrateful brats' food, too… he thought bitterly. The movie began with a normal young girl named Mary Sue playing tag with her friends in a barn. Then, in the middle of the game, she suddenly stops moving, tenses up, and starts writhing on the floor in pain. The other kids cry out, "Mary Sue! Mary Sue! Are you okay, Mary Sue?" Then, when the curly blond turns to answer, she answers with an ear-piercing screech that makes everyone in the audience jump from their seats. Beatrice yelped and hid under Gage's shoulder, whose body was curling over hers protectively and saying happily, "Don't worry, Bea-chan! I'll protect you!" Karen, on the other side of the aisle, flirtingly jumped to Jason's side, only to get splashed with buttered popcorn and sweat from his palms. As she disgustedly tried to wipe the butter and sweat off of herself, Jason smiled bashfully, "My bad." Then they got up to go to the bathroom and clean themselves up. Karen could hear Gage snickering half-maliciously from behind her, so she turned around and gave him a hard, violent glare, and he looked away with an "innocent" look on his face.

Jason went into the boys' bathroom and turned on the faucet in the sink in front of him. He grabbed the paper towels, soaked them in the water and began to wipe his face. He couldn't believe he had gotten so nervous about sitting next to Karen that he started sweating and then dumped his popcorn on her. He smacked himself on the forehead and muttered to himself, "Ugh! You idiot!" A man using the sink next to him asks, "First date? I've so been here, man…" "Shut up! And she's not really my date… I mean, I do sort of want her to be, though… Like that will happen now..." Jason replied sullenly. "Got to go. Good luck, man…" the man said as he walked out the door. After he rinsed his hands and turned off the faucet, he heard a loud thump that he could have sworn came from the ceiling. He looked up and saw nothing. He shrugged it off and checked his face in the mirror again. He stepped back from the mirror for a moment, and yelped at the gruesome dark face he suddenly saw standing behind him.

It had been what appeared to be a young girl, about preteen age, with pigtails, an evil, murderous glint in her eye, and holding a big, black cleaver. The girl's hair appeared to be stringy and ink colored, and her skin completely black and rotten looking. "What the…?" Jason muttered to himself. He took a few steps back from this horrifying girl when she let out an ear shattering scream that blew her bangs away and revealed a manic, red eyed face. Jason jumped back and screamed, running towards the door. The horrific, shadowy girl teleported in front of the boy, and swung her cleaver at him while laughing hysterically. Jason staggered all the way to the sinks before catching a glance of the girl's cleaver swinging toward his neck and ducking. Before he knew it, he had slashes on the sleeves of his shirt, blood spurting to and fro.

There was no way in hell he was "just imagining" this.

The cleaver stuck to the wall for a moment giving him the chance to run out of the room. He sprinted for the door, but just when he was about to touch the knob, he was slashed on the back with the shadowy girl's cleaver. He fell to the floor, the girl standing over him and not even hesitating to make the next strike. He quickly braced his arms in front of his as a blocking reflex.

Suddenly, his arms started to glow a surprisingly visible white, considering the brightness of room already. The brightness of the light sent the shadow girl staggering away in what seemed like fear and pain. "Cool. How am I doing this?" He muttered as he got to his feet. He chuckled and went closer to the girl. Then the glowing in his arms started to expand into a large sphere. The sphere started to change shape, eventually taking the shape of a bow and arrow. Jason stepped back in concern. He had no idea what was happening or how he had caused this. He gingerly picked up the bow with one hand and suddenly the arrow generated from the other hand. Jason wasn't stupid; he had seen this in movies before. He now knew that he had to fight back, terrified as he was. It was kill or be killed.

He aimed the arrow towards the girl, focusing it on her even while she was skipping around, laughing maniacally. He saw an opening when she was spinning around playfully, and fired an arrow right at her back, almost in the same spot where she had slashed him, and then the arrow then exploded on her. He gave a weak smile and thought: Hehe… you know what they say: "An eye for an eye"…

The shadow girl screamed in pain, then turned to Jason and suddenly disappeared. Jason scanned the room for her, and then jumped when a black hand touched his ankle. The girl smiled, her red eyes opened wide and she raised her cleaver to Jason's leg when another glowing white weapon slashed through the girl's arm, severing it. This glowing weapon was shaped like a sword; more specifically, a rapier, the sword that the fencing swords are made to look like. Jason turned further to see his red headed crush kick the ghoul to the floor and pull him out of the fray.

"Karen…? W-what's happening? Why is she...? How are we…?"

"I'll explain later. For now, stay back. Your bow and arrow is useless from this range."

"O-okay…" Jason stepped away from her.

"Alright, ugly! You mess with him you have to answer to me!" Karen declared. The shadow girl charged at her. Karen jumped and did a spinning drop kick, hurling her enemy to the wall. Then, as she was about to land she hurled forward and slashed the shadow girl with her sword. "Spirit Rapier! Extend!" she cried, and sword did as she commanded. Her rapier and the shadow girl's cleaver collided and sent them both flying backwards. Karen landed on her feet, while the one with the cleaver fell on her back. Karen rushed up to the shadowy girl and held her glowing blade to her neck.

"Who sent you?" she asked sharply.

"He he he he …. I won't tell you, Moderator…" the little girl giggled dementedly.

Jason, sitting on the other side of the room, growing weaker and weaker from blood loss, thought: Moderator? What could she mean by that? "That is a Shadow Monster, in case you're wondering. They are severely corrupted spirits who feed on the souls of the living. Their origin is unknown, but we're looking for answers." "We? Who's we?!" Jason asked dubiously. "Never mind. I'll tell you-…" Karen started to say, when the Shadow Girl laughed its insane laugh and kicked Karen in the stomach, sending her falling back. "Karen!" Jason cried. "Don't worry; I'm okay!" Karen smiled, lifting her rapier to shield herself. The cleaver hit her sword several times before she kicked the cleaver girl off of her. She got up to her feet and stabbed her rapier downward, aiming for the other girl's stomach. But, the girl's cleaver stopped her, and then slashed her shoulder, though only scratching her shirt.

Wow… where'd Karen learn to fight like that? Jason pondered in awe.

Karen elbowed the shadow girl, then slashed her in the air, and again, while jumping unusually high and doing a spinning somersault. She kicked the shadow girl while still in the air, knocking the cleaver out of her hand. The cleaver hit the ground and disintegrated before their eyes. Then the Shadow girl generated a dark orb from her hand, and out came another cleaver, appearance as shadowy and dark as its wielder. "Heheh… Oh yeah… they can also use their dark energy to regenerate their weapons." Karen giggled nervously. "Oh yeah… That's great to know…" Jason frowned and said sarcastically. The shadow girl charged at Karen furiously, who was charging at her. The two blades collided, and then both stepped back. The shadow girl charged again, Karen dodged with a side step, and then began to make multiple jabs to the other girl's chest. Exactly how she had done it in fencing practice. Only five times as fast. Only one thought kept echoing in Jason's mind: Where the hell did Karen learn to fight like that?! Then, Karen spun and struck her once more with a stronger jab, and the shadow girl suddenly screamed and exploded into a puff of black smoke.

Karen panted, out of breath from the fighting, and staggered over to Jason's limp body, who was nearly about to pass out from the amount of blood he had lost. "Are you okay?" she asked in a concerned tone. "Yeah." Jason replied, just before he noticed how beautiful Karen's face looked so close to his, and so worried about him nonetheless. "Uh… Why're you looking at me like that?" she asked, blushing. "Umm…I … no reason." Jason replied, chuckling nervously. Karen's face dropped a bit at hearing this, because she knew he looked happy about something. She suddenly summoned more of the glowing energy that her weapon had, though this time it was only a small orb. She spread the energy from the orb to Jason's wounds. He started to ask Karen what she was doing, but she interrupted by saying, "Shhh… I'm healing you." "Oh…" Jason blushed. Karen stepped away from him and said, "Hold still." He did what she said, and then suddenly the light consumed his body and engulfed the room. When the light went away, he looked at his clothes and felt his shoulder. He couldn't see or feel a scratch on him. His injuries were completely healed, as though the whole fight had never happened. "Wow." He said to Karen. "I know. This is one of the many abilities of a Moderator." Karen replied proudly, but was careful not to sound too boastful. She took his hand and said, "Come on; let's get out of here. I bet the others are worried sick. And we're missing an awesome movie!" "You're still ready to watch a movie after all that?!" Jason cried. "Yeah…" Karen blushed, "What of it?"

Preferring not to upset her, Jason followed Karen out of the bathroom door, immediately standing before their entire group of friends, all looking at them, concerned. "What happened to you two? We were getting worried!" Beatrice cried. "Ahhh… It would appear our two lovebirds have been a bit busy…" Gage teased, raising his eyebrows seductively, "Geez, guys! Talk about getting a room!" Sandro said standing behind him, stifling giggles. Beatrice knew better not to, for she knew Gage was actually a bit hurt by what he saw. Aware of this or not, Jason and Karen blushed, stepping away from each other. Gage impatiently said, "Come on. Let's get back to the movie already! We'll miss the good parts!"

During the movie, Jason squirmed in his chair, not paying attention to the movie at all. Not only was he emotionally exhausted from that whole ordeal with the Shadow girl, finding out about a new power of which he has no clue as to how he got it, and finding out Karen has these powers, too, but he still needed to know what a "Moderator" was. Karen said she would "explain it later", but ever since, he's been less and less able to wait for "later". All of these things that happened to him and all of these unanswered questions were making him restless.

"What's with you?" Karen asked him. "Are you even watching the movie?" she chuckled. "I actually need to know something." Jason said with a serious face. Shocked at this serious face instead of his usual timid, mild-mannered disposition, Karen asked, "What is it?" "I want to know about Moderators, and where that white glowing stuff you and I had before came from, and what that freaky shadow girl wanted with us." "I'll explain later." Karen replied stoically. "I can't wait for 'later'! I want to know what's going on here NOW!" Jason cried impatiently.

Jason paused for a moment to realize that he had stood up in his seat over Karen and was actually yelling quite loudly. Everyone in the room was staring, when someone in the background shouted, "SHUT UP! WE'RE TRYING TO WATCH A MOVIE HERE!" Jason turned bright red and quickly sat back down. He could see Gage whispering in Beatrice's ear, and laughing a bit, probably mouthing "Loser!" "Fine, then. Follow me." Karen maintained her stoicism, getting up from her seat. Jason got up from his seat as well and followed her down the steps and to the door again. They both could see Gage looking at them with a confused look and blushing, mad with jealousy. Karen smiled at the fact that she had gotten a rise out of him, while Jason cringed in fear for the same reason.

Jason and Karen were outside of the movie theater and by the curb. Karen walked up the cross walk to the next street, gesturing for Jason to follow along. Once they reached the other side of the street, she led him down a dark alley, where there was a small crack. "Uhhh… Why are we here?" Jason asked. "Just be patient, will 'ya?" Karen snapped. She used her glowing orb and pressed into the ground. The floor around them suddenly began to glow over their feet. The light then turned into many bright, almost kaleidoscopic colors, wind-milling under them. Suddenly the floor was spinning. "Whoa… What's happening here? Why is the floor changing colors?" Jason panicked. The kaleidoscopic colors completely engulfed the two children, until they were completely blinded by them. Then their bodies plunged into complete darkness. Jason could feel himself falling, and fast. It was so dark wherever he was that he couldn't see his own hands, let alone Karen.

He shouted, "Karen?"



Still no response.

He felt scared out of his mind. He was falling and he had no idea where to. At this point he didn't want to know anything; all he wanted was to go home where it was safe. Suddenly, there was a bright light. It grew bigger and bigger the faster he fell towards it. Soon it engulfed him as did the darkness. Suddenly he felt himself fall hard on the ground.