The sun shined upon the city, as serene a day as ever. The birds sang their song loud enough for people inside buildings to hear. Inside one building, we see a girl speaking to herself...

"Oh. Hello. Umm... My name's Anna. I... just turned 20, and I'm a senior in high school next year." She sighs, a little disappointed sounding, "Again. I'm still in school because I was held back a grade. I'm not like.. dumb or anything..." She scratched her head nervously, chuckling out. "But I had other ugh... duties that year. I guess I should uhh... tell you how I got here?"

*15 hours Earlier*

Three people, two girls and one guy, are sitting in front of a tv, playing video games. It appears to be some type of multiplayer beat 'em up, such as Super Smash BrothersTM. (like Super Smash Bros.)

One woman, a blonde, started talking, rolling her eyes as she did. "I don't know how you guys can still wanna play this game EIGHT years after it came out, and FIVE years after it stopped being fun to play."

Sneering, the man, a brown haired fellow spoke out, "Aww, you're just upset because you're no good at it, Mary."

"Excuse me, Clint!? I am SOOOOO good at it. I just don't care about it enough to try."

The third woman, Anna, the same woman from the beginning, just laughed.

Mary turned quickly to face Anna, infuriated, "What's so funny?"

Anna smiled mischievously, "This." As she spoke, the TV boomed out a loud "KO!" She had managed to double KO both of them at the same time!

Simultaneously, Clint said "Nice!", while Mary said, "What the!?"

Clint high fives Anna before getting off of the couch. "Do you guys want anything from the kitchen while I'm up?"

Mary nods, "Grab me a couple of beers."

Clint just looks back at her, raising a brow in confusion, "Uh... It's like 11 AM."

Mary rolled her eyes, "Thanks for the update Captain Clock. What's the news on my brews?"

Clint sighs before he goes to the fridge and brings back two tall, yet skinny gold cans of beer. Mary wastes no time in taking them and cracking one open.

Anna called out to the man, "So.. Is Brendan almost ready in there?"

Clint opens a door that leads from the house to the garage. He waved to the man there, "Hey, you almost ready?"

Brendan sighed out, looking over to them, "Yeah dude, hold your horses. It would already be ready if SOMEONE had restrung the bass after SOMEONE decided they had to learn how to play 'Green Grass and High Tides' 12 seconds after eating a plate of hot wings!"

Clint raised his hands in a defensive manner, then pointed a finger accusingly, "That was Mary!"

Brendan shrugged, "Whatever! Bring 'em in, I'm ready."

Clint turns to motion the others inside of the garage. Clint, Anna and Mary step in, with Clint picking up a guitar, Anna going to the microphone, and Mary picking up the now cleaned bass guitar. They all begin to play a song when they are stopped by a ringing at the doorbell. Clint goes to look through the glass windows on the garage door.

Clint sighed out, "Aww, crap. It's Grandpa."

Tilting her head, Anna asked, "Dad's side or mom's side?"


Anna face palmed, "Oh crud!"

She almost drops the mic, but catches it and sets it down before darting out of the garage to go to the front door to answer it.

Anna smiled out innocently, "Grandpa. What an... unexpected surprise to see you."

Grandfather nodded, walking in like he owned the place, "Hmm, yes... I trust you have been studying?"

"Yes sir."

"Good. Not still letting that... buffoon fill your head with fantasies, are you?"

"No sir."

"Good. Well you know the deal, I'll be back to check on you again in a month."

Eavesdropping, Mary whispered to Clint, "What do you think they're talking about?" Clint rose a finger to his lips, motioning for Mary to be quiet.

The door opens and Anna sees Mary and Clint hunched over by the door.

Anna crossed her arms, looking at the pair, "Umm, what are you guys doing?" ._.

Clint smiled awkwardly, "We were just umm..." He looked at Mary, hoping she would help out in their lie.

Mary smiled bright and wide, "I was showing Clint how to arch his back and make all the guys go wild."

Clint's eye twitch, face deadpanned, "...Why say something more embarrassing than what we were actually doing?"

Mary just shrugs.

Anna chuckled, nodding along, "Well now that Grandpa left, we can finally go over that song."

Another distraction. Her phone began to ring. "Oh shoot."

She reached in her pocket to take it out and the screen said 'Max'.

Anna frowned, grinding her teeth, "Max.."

Almost in an instant, Mary was at Anna's side.

Mary looked at the screen, "Max is calling you."

Brendan rose a brow, walking over to the pair, "Max Sora?"

Clint scratched his chin in wonderment, "Max? Why does Max have your-? Wait a second..." He gasped out, eyes wide, "You didn't!"

Anna raised her hands defensively, with a look of embarrassment on her face. "It's not what you think! we're just friends!"

Mary smiled teasingly, bumping Anna with an elbow, "With Benef-?"

Anna nudged her back with a resounding, "NO!" her face totally flashed red.

Clint chuckled, "Okay. Okay. We won't pry."

Anna quickly ducks out of the room to answer the phone. "Hey Max. I'm just hanging out with the guys. We were playing some music if you wanna stop by. I-." A pause. "What? No way! Okay. I'll meet you at my Grandpa's. The one who's not an ass." She made sure to emphasize that as she ran back into the garage.

"Hey Mary. Remember that club we joined in 8th grade? Well, they're having a meeting tonight after almost a year of no meetings."

Mary tilted her head in confusion, "Club?"

Anna sighed out, "You know... the CLUB we joined. The one where we get to meet new and exciting... people."

Brendan grumbled out, "If you guys don't stop speaking in code, I'm gonna think you're both selling ass."

Anna shushed him, continuing, "Come on Mary! Remember the club where we would help these people plan trips. The one way kind?"

"Oh." Mary's eyes widen, the wheels finally turning, "Ohhhhhhh."

Clint mouth dropped, "Wait a sec, are you guys hit men or something!?"

Anna laughed nervously, "No, no. Don't be silly. We're not hit men. Heh heh."


Anna and Mary are walking to Anna's Grandpa's house.

Mary stretched her arms out, letting them dangle and swing down, "Wow, I can't believe after all this time... Good thing I always keep something good around to read." She pats a side bag that she was carrying. "So, did Max say what he saw?"

Anna shook her head, "No. He just said to meet him somewhere, so I told him my grandpa's house."

Mary began to sniff at the air. "Oh man, I can smell his sweet and spicy chicken yakitori from here. Mmmmm."

Anna seemed shocked, "He's cooking?"

The two of them go inside.

Anna called out, "Grandpa Kashikoi?"

Kashikoi returned the call, "In here my dear!"

In the next room over, Kashikoi and Max were seated at a small table, eating a few things.

Kashikoi smiled at the pair, "It's been so long since the 4 of us were together."

Max spoke over his food, mouthful of it, "And I couldn't think of a better reason."

"I trust you brought the big book Mary?"

Mary nods, patting her side bag, "Heh. You know it pops."

"Excellent. Let me know how things go."

Max frowned, "What? You're not coming with us?"

Kashikoi shook his head and hand dismissively with a laugh, "Oh heavens no! I'm far too old to be out ugh... Tour Guiding." He gave another laugh.

Anna nods, turning to Max, "So just us 3 then? Max, do you still have-."

Max interrupted rudely, "Hinoken? You know it."

"Good. Let's head out."

"Good luck you three!" Kashikoi cheerfully said to them. "If you get back by the morning, I'll have a nice, big breakfast waiting.

The three of them leave the house, with Mary's thoughts focused on that meal when they returned.

In the woods...

The woods were dense with trees. It would be very easy to get lost there. The three of them stuck close together as you made their way down a slope.

Anna turned to Max, scared, "So just what did you see?"

Max shrugged, "I'm not sure, but whatever it was... it was pretty big."

Mary butted in, "Well we need to know what we're going up against so it doesn't sneak up and ram us from behind." Making a thrusting motion on the word 'Ram'.

Max smiled wickedly, "All I know is after we take it down, I claim it's head."

Anna frowned, shaking her head, "That's not how we do things. It's catch and release. You know that."

Max rolled his eyes with a sigh, "That was back when it was more of them. This is just one. No one's gonna miss... whatever it is."

Anna replied sternly, "No Max, we're not killing it. End of story."

The three of them pause when they hear the sound of a twig snapping behind them. Mary is the first to turn her head to take a look at what could possibly be behind them. When she saw that nothing was there, she felt a little less tense, but decided to take her book out of her bag.

"Okay, we should all split up." Max suggests before he nods at the two of them, signaling his exit as he took off, running away from their direction.

Mary chuckled nervously as she started to walk, "Oh boy. Hope I don't die out here looking for some-. Ahhhhh!"

Mary shouted out as she tripped and started to tumble down a hill. She came to a stop when she hit a tree. Not hard enough to knock her out, but just hard enough to hurt. She cried out, "Owwwww!"

Anna gasped out, "Holy crap, Mary! Are you okay?"

"Yep. Totally fine. My giant head and big fat ass softened the blow." She groaned as she stood up and dusted herself off.

Anna was silent, eyes closed, listening to the area around her. She was trained in a few different things. Some fighting styles, weaponry, firearms, bow and arrow, and other things of the sort, but her best asset was her brain. There were no animals in the forest. Maybe a few birds, but nothing like deer or bear or fox. Listening to her surroundings might help her pinpoint her target. When she opened them, she came face to face with a large creature. Tall, with pointed ears, long, dark black fur all over its body and a long snout. It was like a big wolf standing on two feet. Well, not standing. It was now leaned over to be at eye level with her. Anna didn't scream or anything. She just looked at the creature kind of stunned.

"H..Hello." Anna managed to get out.

"H..Hello." The creature replied back.

"What are you doing out here?" Anna asked the creature.

"What.. are you doing... out here?" The creature responded back.

It seemed it was copying what she was saying. She looked the creature in the eyes and took a few steps back. Seeing this, the creature stood up, his height more obvious than ever. She backed up a few more steps before taking a look around to plan an escape route.

"Stay back! You seem nice, so I don't want to have to hurt you." Anna said with a calm, yet friendly voice.

"Have to hurt you?" The way he said it made seem like it was asking a question. He was still taking steps towards her as she stood there.

Anna took a stance like she was ready for a fight. "I mean it! Just be a good uhh... Dog thing and SIT!"

That was when the creature stopped in his tracks and tilted his head to the side a bit. "Sit..." he grumbled out as it sat on the ground and crossed its legs. The creature was now looking up at her from where he sat.

"What the..?" Anna said, now puzzled. "Umm... Stay?" She looked around to see if she could spot Max or Mary around. She didn't see them, and she didn't wanna run the risk of looking for them only to have this thing follow her.

Mary was making her way through the forest, trying to see if she could spot anything out of the ordinary. All she could see was darkness. Trees and darkness. As she kept walking, she noticed an odd smell in the air. Bitter. Stale. It was making her stomach turn. "Ahh geez, this is so gross! I hope Anna and Max are having better luck then I am." There was a ruffling sound from behind Mary that she didn't notice at first. She continued walking until she had reached the source of the smell. There was a body. Well, at least part of a body. It looked human. At least what was left of it did, but it didn't appear to have blood on it. Instead, it had some bright neon green stuff on it. "What the hell? This looks like-." Mary stopped in the middle of her sentence when she heard something behind her. She slowly turned her head to look.

Anna had spent the last minute or so just looking down at the creature, who was just staring back at her. "I REALLY need to go, so don't follow me." She started to go through her pocket, eventually pulling out a half eaten candy bar. "This is chocolate. It's really tasty. I'll give this to you if you promise not to follow. You understand?" The creature just continued staring at her. She decided to toss the candy bar down anyway. The creature slowly moved towards it, nose to the ground as he sniffed the air more and more the closer he got to it.

"Cho...colate." It said before it started to bite at the bar.

"Probably should have unwrapped it for them." Her eyes went wide for a second as she realised what she might have done. "Crap! Crap! Crap! What was I thinking giving it chocolate!?"

"Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh." A loud scream ripped through the forest, followed by a bright blast of pink energy.

"Holy shit. That was Mary." Anna quickly darted off towards the direction of the scream. She was clearing a large amount of ground in a small amount of time. As she was running, Max joined her at her side.

"Figures Mary would stumble onto it first." He reached onto his back and unsheathed his sword. When the two of them reached the scene, Mary was firing off bolts of energy at a large creature that appeared to be made out of some green slime.

"That's... not what I saw before!" Max said as he gripped his sword tighter before he ran up to take a swipe at it.

"Max, wait!" Anna shouted out to him as he was quickly knocked back and slammed against a tree when the slime extended itself a fist that punched into him.

"You can't just try and take it head on you dummy!" Anna shouted out, more in annoyance than worry. She held out one of her hands. "You have to strike at a distance." Her hand began to glow white and it fired out a palm shaped blast of energy at the thing. It went through it like.. Well like a hand through slime.

"Ugh. Shit!" Anna quickly blurted out.

"What the hell do we Anna? My spells aren't working on this thing." Mary asked through a shout as she jumped to dodge one of the monster's swinging limbs. Anna noticed that Max was knocked out. As she was turning to look back at the monster, something landed in front of her. Her view was blocked by complete darkness and... fur? It was the creature from before.

"Ahhh, Anna! What the heck is that thing!?" Mary said, freaking out more about it then the monster from before. Mary let out a soft yelp as she was picked up by the slime monster.

"Oh no, Mary!" Anna shouted out. The big furry creature turned to look at Anna before looking back at the creature. Slowly, it makes its way toward the slime before going faster and faster, gaining more speed every step. With only a few feet between it and the slime, the beast leaped towards it, grabbing Mary out of its grasp. She was placed down next to a tree before her savior leaped back at the slime and swiped at it with its clawed hands. His sharp claws just kept going like a knife through butter, doing virtually nothing. Then suddenly, as if something in the beast's brain ticked, it seemed it had an idea. Bringing its claws up to one of its arms, he dug into it, drawing blood. Now, with his claws dripping in his own blood, the beast swiped at the slime again.

This time, a loud sizzling sound occurred. Steam was rising from where the slime had been slashed. This seemed to put something of a smile on the beast's face. Bringing his hand to his face, he bit into it, drawing more blood. Jumping forward, he extended his open palm and slammed it against the slime's face. The slime started to melt away with a loud hiss until it was nothing but a puddle of green water. The beast began to lick at the wounds it had given itself while fighting the slime creature. As it was doing so, Anna ran to it, looking up.

"... Thanks. I don't think we could have done it without you." Anna said to the creature. She wasn't sure what this thing was, but she was thankful it was there.

"Welcome." It replied back. Finally, something that wasn't just mimicking her.

"So you... can talk?" Anna seemed puzzled by the response.

"Can talk." It mimicked back once again.

Mary came running up to Anna's side.

"How the? What the? And most importantly, who the hell is this!?" Mary couldn't believe her eyes. This big fur ball just swooped in and saved the day.

"I'm trying to find that out myself." Anna replied with a tired expression. The large creature was looming over the two females as they talked, just letting its eyes drift between the two of them. That's when suddenly, the creature let out a pained gasp as blood spurted from it's mouth before dropping to one knee. Max had driven his sword through the creature's lower back, no doubt having pierced something. It was still sticking out of his body.

"Don't worry, I'm here to save the day." He said with a somewhat heroic smile.

"Max, you absolute fucking shit bird!" Mary cursed out.

"What the hell did I do!?" He responded with anger in his voice.

"That thing just saved us while you were busy being knocked out by a big green cumshot!"

"What? That thing... saved you guys?" Max turned to Anna.

"Yeah... it did." She looked back at him with an upset look on her face. The creature let out a low growl as it stood to its feet. It attempted to remove the sword that was poking through its body, but this only made things worse. The wound started to bleed heavily due to how rough the creature was being with itself in trying to pull it out. It dropped back down to one knee before slowly lowering itself to the ground with a whine.