Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The Disappearance of the Ditto Rider (Full Summary)

This is the summary for the third installation of the Ditto Story: the Disappearance of the Ditto Rider. Just like the summary for the Ditto Club Murder Mystery, you can read the part in blue for important notes you'd need to know from the last one, the shortened summary, and what you need to know for the next one. However, if you want a more detailed explanation, continue reading the part in black.

Note from Rya: I would still like some feedback on how this format works. I would like three people: someone familiar with this story, someone unfamiliar with this story but familiar with the other Ditto Stories, and someone completely unfamiliar with all of it. If you fit any of those and could read this over and tell me what you think, that'd be great!

From the person who knows this story: I'd really appreciate it if you could tell me if I summarized it well, if I have all the necessary points and/or if I have any extra ones, etc.

From the person who knows the Ditto Story (but not this one): If you could tell me if this helped you understand the story in consideration to the other ones, please let me know! I'd like to make the summaries fluid with each other.

From the person unfamiliar with it all: If you could let me know if this was understandable for you, please do so! Part of the purpose is to help non-Dinklings understand the Ditto Story a little better. :

Important notes from previous stories: Ditto Rider and Darth Devaricate have worked together under the aliases of Rochil and Salabis against the Count No Dittos and his nephews; The Vampire Fancier moved to town and opened her compound, where she sells vampires; it was revealed that “Rock On!” Girl and Queen Nessa, the Ditto Court Songstress, worked for the same organization as Ditto Rider’s parents and that there was another unknown agent of the same organization in Ditto Town; Miss Vice President became Miss President (between stories); three vampires were bought (Kitty bought Willow (Ditto Story #2) and DD bought Merry and Pippin (between stories)).

On a stormy night, while the Ditto Team is riding into town from their patrol, Ditto Rider suddenly disappears during a flash of lightning. As soon as Friend of Ditto sounds the alarm, the town begins looking for Ditto Rider, but to no avail; the only thing they discover is that she seemed to completely disappear (no footprints or scent left anywhere), and there is some great evil. While Ditto Kitty and Willow are searching, they stumble upon an old woman, who tells Kitty (specifically) that she (along with most of the other townspeople) will not be able to save Ditto Rider since the one who took her is “human, but not entirely human”, and can “jump” (teleport) from place to place. However, she also tells them that butterflies will some how help them. As it turns out, butterflies become redder (from a vampire’s point of view) when they approach a place Ditto Rider was teleported to, and fluorescent chrysalises are left behind at each of the locations.

While the VF is looking, she is captured by Ditto Rider’s captors, who turn out to be a gang of men working with (for) a woman named Medulus. The VF and Ditto Rider talk, after which the VF and Medulus talk. Medulus reveals that she knows the VF’s “dirty little secret”, but before much more can be said, the VF escapes with her vampires. She has a run-in with some vampires she banished from her compound (for vile practices), but she manages to tell them off. However, three of her vampires---Worf, Spike, and Connor---hear about it, and they begin to search for the evil vamps, as some of them are close family of theirs. Worf, Spike, and Connor end up working for Medulus and her gang, though Worf and Spike eventually see the error of their ways and escape. Connor, on the other hand, tastes human blood, and willingly stays with her, now essentially an evil vampire himself.

As it turns out, Ditto Rider’s real name is Katherine Grayson. Her uncle was David Gibson, and his daughter (Katherine’s cousin) is Lianna Gibson. When she was young, Katherine displayed teleportation abilities. David Gibson invented a medallion and a machine, which amplified her abilities. However, he worked with Medulus at the time, and she when she saw some of his notes about the technology, she decided to take it for herself. She rounded up a gang of other people interested, and together, they stormed Katherine’s family’s home, forcing both families to retreat (in separate directions) after hiding the teleportation machine. Katherine’s mother convinces Katherine to teleport away, but not before giving her a charm bracelet which will open up a panel to her medallion when she needs to (which, in turn, will let her get to the machine). Medulus and her gang lost their teleportation technology, but they remembered enough of it to put it in a cybernetic arm of one of the men of her gang (the “human, but not entirely human” captor). When Ditto Rider settled in Ditto Town for a long period of time, they felt it was the time to act, and kidnapped her in an attempt to get her to give them the medallion and the machine. Ditto Rider didn’t remember any of this because she had repressed the memories after losing her family, and they only started coming back after she was captured.

Lianna Gibson, Katherine’s cousin, wound up in Ditto Town after years of wandering, and she hears the news of Ditto Rider’s disappearance. After checking up on it, she realizes that Ditto Rider is really her cousin. Around this time, they begin to realize what Medulus and her gang are up to, and decide to stop them at the location of the teleportation machine. They find them, and after a battle (during which the VF is briefly on Medulus’s side, thanks to a device planted on her while she was captured), and manage to give Ditto Rider a chance to teleport away on her own. Afterwards, Connor decides to go with the evil vampires, intensely angering the VF (her anger was towards Medulus). Ditto Rider/Katherine catches up with Lianna, and the latter woman joins the Ditto Team. The teleportation machine is safely moved to Ditto Team Headquarters, where Katherine will be able to guard it.

Medulus attempts an escape, but the VF catches her. Despite begging for her life (and promising not to tell anyone her secret), the VF kills her, not for the secret she holds, but in vengeance for what Medulus did to Connor.

Important notes for the next story: It’s revealed that the VF does indeed work for the same organization as the Ditto Spies; it’s revealed that there are several evil vampires in the woods outside Ditto Town; It’s revealed that Ditto Rider’s father and uncle (Lianna’s father) invented many things, including some of the Ditto Spies’ organization’s gadgets; it’s revealed that Ditto Rider has teleportation abilities; it’s revealed that Ditto Rider’s real name is Katherine Grayson, and her cousin is Lianna Gibson; it’s revealed that the VF has a “dirty little secret” that some others know about, which enables people to completely control her with a device; Connor, the VF’s vampire, turns evil; Medulus, a woman who worked with Katherine’s uncle/Lianna’s father, was the one responsible for breaking up their family; Kitty begins feeling restless after the old woman tells her “your time will come”, but also tells her she can’t help save Ditto Rider; Lianna joins the Ditto Team; Katherine begins using her teleportation abilities again.

The Ditto Team is riding to Aurora’s Tea Room together on a very stormy night. Kitty and Willow rush inside as soon as possible to get out of the rain, but Friend of Ditto and Ditto Rider have to go stable their horses. Just as they are headed to the stable, Ditto Rider sees something, but before she can relay to Friend of Ditto what she saw, there’s a flash of lightning and clap of thunder. When Friend of Ditto can see clearly again, she sees that Ditto Rider has vanished. Shocked and shaken, Friend of Ditto rushes into the Tea Room and reports the news. As she relays the details, Ditto Kitty and Willow rush to the spot where she was last seen. They both try to pick up her scent, but after the spot she was last standing in, her scent simply vanishes.

The VF is taking care of her vampires at her compound when she passes by Drusilla, a vampire of hers who is both psychic and insane. She relays a mysterious message: “Epona’s gone off to fly with the birds, but she doesn’t have the selkie’s skin.” The VF is disturbed for two reasons: one, Drusilla normally “creeps her out a little”, and two…“[she] may be insane, but she’s never wrong.”

Upon hearing word of Ditto Rider’s disappearance, Aurora closes up shop (somewhat) and begins trying to find clues. The first thing she does is send Graycie, her cat, and Ebbie, her dog (both highly intelligent animals) to look for clues. She realizes that she knows what she has to do, despite not having done so in a long time. She goes into her closet and pulls out a box. As she does so, she hears the name “Minouetta”…a name she hasn’t heard in a long time. In the box is a saber (with John 1:4 written in Welsh on the blade), a dagger with Welsh carving, a riding outfit, a crystal, and armor. She puts on the armor, despite some mixed feelings on putting on things she had, apparently, long ago decided to put away, and heads out to help the others find Ditto Rider. Around the same time, the MP, Frinio, and Lucy the Librarian come to see what is happening and hear the news.

Ditto Rose also hears of the Rider’s disappearance from a talking mouse friend of hers, Piper, who saw it, and she immediately rushes off to the stables to discover more. On her way there, she runs into another talking animal; a talking squirrel named Johnathan, who was a young squirrel she met when he was a baby and she cared for him. She remembers that Piper said he saw something, and along with the appearance of Johnathan, she assumes that the culprit is someone she once knew named Mario Luigi. However, before she can lend her aid on the quest, she realizes that what Johnathan wants and needs is to get into a warm, comfortable, safe shelter and rest. Despite her eagerness to find him, she decides that her friend is more important, and brings him home.

Ditto Rider wakes up in an unknown location, very disoriented and now unarmed. All she can tell is that she’s somewhere with trees and vines. However, she finds a weapon her captors failed to find: a small, formerly-evil hamster, who she sends back to Ditto Town to get help. However, just after it leaves, she hears footfalls approaching, and the dizziness returns so much that she nearly passes out. Just before she does, she hears someone say, “Time to move.”

The Ditto Jester, who had been wandering around the woods, finds the hamster and offers to bring it to the others. After he brings it back, Aurora encourages everyone to go back to their homes just long enough to gather provisions in order that they might go look for Ditto Rider immediately. She asks the hamster to go spread the word, and it chooses to tell Darth Devaricate and the Manipulator of the Mundane (DD and MM for short, respectively) all that has happened….

“Rock On!” Girl is reading in the Ditto Mansion, unaware of recent events. The hamster stops by the Mansion and relays the news to her. Startled, she goes to call Queen Nessa, her fellow Ditto Spy, who was on vacation in order to see if she can help. Nessa receives the message and immediately goes to visit D for supplies. After a brief argument with her “boyfriend” and gadget supplier, D, “Rock On!” Girl arrives, and they head off to find Ditto Rider.

Ditto Kitty and Willow start scouting out the woods, looking for clues, and after a while, they run into a mysterious old woman. She tells them that Ditto Rider’s captor isn’t quite human, and that they won’t be able to catch him by conventional needs because he will just teleport away if they get close. She tells them that the most that they (Ditto Kitty and Willow in particular, not the whole town, as she says it’s not their time) can do is pray. She also hints that butterflies are somehow important.

DD receives a message from the hamster and immediately sends word to DD and prepares to head to Ditto Town with Merry and Pippin. Around the same time, the VF receives a message from her superior for her painting-like-communication device, in which he tells her to help them find Ditto Rider. (At this point, she realizes that the “Epona” Drusilla mentioned must be Ditto Rider.) After the VF leaves to fulfill these commands, Merry and Pippin arrive with a message for her. Samwise, one of the VF’s vamps, is there to receive it; it turns out to be DD’s way of trying to let at least someone know she’s on their side. (She trusts the VF because she’s not a Dittoer.) After they relay the message, Merry and Pippin (who are joined by a hamster) catch up with DD in order to help her with the search.

As Friend of Ditto is preparing, she remembers her butterfly companions. She calls on Gaudenzia, a large butterfly friend of hers, and asks him to look for any clues. He shrinks to the size of a nearly-invisible butterfly and flies off.

The old woman Kitty and Willow encountered appears next with Ditto Rider as she awakens once again. She gives her something to cure her dizziness, and she tells her that she’s (Ditto Rider) has been kidnapped by a teleporter, and once again mentions butterflies. Almost as if on cue, Gaudenzia arrives and relays what Friend of Ditto knows and that they’re going to try to find her. The woman tells Ditto Rider that they’re looking for a medallion that they shouldn’t get their hands on, under any circumstances, and that both she (Ditto Rider) and the medallion are key to their plans. Before she can elaborate more, however, they hear footsteps approaching. Gaudenzia flies away, the old woman disappears, and Ditto Rider finds herself stricken with the paralyzing dizziness again. Once again, a voice says, “Time to move” just before she passes out.

Gaudenzia returns to Friend of Ditto and tells her everything he saw. She contacts Ditto Kitty and, while telling her she has news, mentions her butterflies, which (apparently) reminds Kitty of what the old woman said. They agree to meet up. Meanwhile, Lucy the Librarian meets up with Aurora and asks to go with her, which she agrees to. As they’re heading out, they see Gaudenzia and Friend of Ditto. They approach her and ask if she has any news, and she tells them that Gaudenzia has found her. Aurora points out that Ebbie caught Ditto Rider’s scent before and would be helpful in tracking her again.

Samwise becomes worriedly impatient and decides to go to town to relay what he’s heard about DD. He takes some of the other younger vampires with him, including Giles, and heads into town. They run into the group waiting for Kitty and Willow and attempt to relay their message. However, since vampires generally can’t speak English, they give up trying…until Giles reveals that he can speak English (even with a faintly British accent).

Manipulator of the Mundane receives the message about Ditto Rider’s disappearance and immediately sets out to help. She sends a hamster carrying a white handkerchief (a white flag, so to speak) in order to let the town know she’s calling a truce in order to help find her.

The Ditto Spies study the enchanted map (which reveals where people of various alignments are, though it doesn’t tell you who’s who), hoping to find clues to Ditto Rider’s whereabouts. While they do so, they notice that a group of the dots suddenly disappeared and moved elsewhere.

Meanwhile, the Secretary of Homeland Defense (who is unaware of the events around town) decides to go out to get some tea. While he’s out, he sees a platypus, who he names Bob Saget, on account that he looks a lot like the real Bob Saget.

Friend of Ditto, Aurora, Lucy, and the vamps agree to work together to find Ditto Rider as soon as Ditto Kitty and Willow arrive. However, when the pair do arrive, Kitty tells them what the old woman told them (without mentioning the woman herself), and they decide to look for DD and the VF, who they’re now concerned about as well. They split up into three groups. Samwise and Frodo don’t feel comfortable going out without more experienced vamps, so they go back to the compound and recruit some.

The VF wakes up and finds herself and the three vamps she took with her (Data, Methos, and Q) tied up in a room they don’t recognize. From what the man guarding them tells her, she got too close to Ditto Rider---apparently, they almost found her---so they had to capture her. They try an escape attempt, but a woman with a tranquilizer dart gun manages to stop them.

During the search, the Ditto Jester decides to leave the stable and go out…though it’s apparent that, in his usual less-than-sane manner, he’s both sure of and entirely unsure of where he’s going.

Aurora and Lucy ride out and end up finding one of the places where Ditto Rider was held, and they find the substance they believe was used to keep her subdued. Just as the vampires arrive and they’re discussing what to do next, an old woman appears.

Ditto Rider wakes up and two of her captors inform her that they’re getting closer to the location of the medallion. They threaten to hurt her friends if she doesn’t cooperate when they find it. The next time she wakes up, she finds herself with the VF. She tells her everything…except about the flashbacks she’s been happening. She also has realized that they’ve been tracking her for a couple of years, but because she moved around so much, they waited to make their move until after she settled down. As she tells her story, she unties the VF. The VF promises to relay the information to the rest of the town if she escapes. Soon after, Ditto Rider passes out again. When she wakes up, she finds herself in a different room and alone.

MM rides out on her horse, Rocky, and ends up exhausting herself. After she takes a short nap, she wakes up and finds herself under the gaze of glowing eyes. However, a few moments later, she discovers that the glowing eyes belong to Merry and Pippin---she and DD have run into each other.

Ditto Kitty talks to Friend of Ditto, telling her the truth about why she feels the way she does about Ditto Rider’s captors and the butterflies. They realize that Gaudenzia found her by luck, so they doubt that’s what the old woman meant. As they continue, Willow tells them that Gaudenzia is turning redder. While the other two can’t see it, they are able to determine that he turns red as they approach a place where Ditto Rider has been teleported to.

The VF manages to get out of the room she’s been held in and begins sneaking around the place where she is being held. After using a device, which she reveals to the audience to be from the same organization the Ditto Spies work for (as they work for the same one), as a lock pick to get into a room she believes her vampires are in, she finds herself facing the red-haired woman…and a dozen or so masked, armed men. After noting that they expected her to escape, she finds herself captured again and knocked unconscious (knocked unconscious by a strange device, to boot).

Aurora and Lucy greet the old woman, but she replies mysteriously to them. First, she turns to Lucy and appears to talk to her, offering “strong and powerful promises” (though Aurora couldn’t hear what she said, as she spoke to her mind), then she turned to Aurora…and spoke to her in Welsh, her native tongue, and by her real name, Minouetta. Ignoring Aurora’s questioning as to who she is, the old woman tells them that they must continue riding on, as their friends are not far. She tells them not to look for Ditto Rider specifically, since her captors will just move her again when they get close, but to look for “the markers”. At that moment, several crystal-like lights appear, and one of them comes close enough for Lucy to take it. After this, the old woman tells them to continue searching, but that they will meet up with their friends, who also hold vital clues. Her final instruction is to Aurora…to “remember”.

She then sends some kind of lavender light towards Aurora before disappearing, but Aurora doesn’t realize the effect of it until Lucy comments that there is something on her face. Aurora feels it and realizes it is the mark of her family, a royal house in Wales…and she tells Lucy that she is the last of that line to have fey blood. However, she avoids any more explanation…which she is helped in doing by Lucy realizing that the light she took was really a butterfly cocoon. They then realize that these cocoons are being left behind after every teleport, becoming the markers the old woman mentioned. Using this knowledge, they began looking for more cocoons.

The VF wakes up and finds herself with her vampires, but more heavily bound and guarded now. The red-haired woman reveals herself to be named Medulus (med-JEWEL-us), and she and the VF discuss some things. During this time, Methos, Data, and Q are humming “Pop Goes The Weasel”, though Medulus ignores them. While they talk, Medulus reveals that they have “plans” for her…and that she knows the VF’s “dirty little secret”. The VF comments that she had picked that up by how they had subdued her, and she does so to the point where she nearly completely puts Medulus off-guard by her casual attitude considering the fact that she knows…though she does comment that she clearly doesn’t “know all about me. Or at least, about us”. Before she can explain that, Q finishes “Pop Goes The Weasel”, and with a POP! and bright flash of light, the VF and the vamps teleport away and right to her horse, who has all her weapons. (It is revealed later that Q has strange abilities, and he was the one who teleported them.) Almost immediately after arriving, she discovers that the Ditto Jester is also there. He cryptically comments that he was waiting for her, though his response indicates that he just was assuming that someone was coming (having come to this conclusion through his usual…less-than-sane manner.)

Ditto Rider wakes up again and finds herself actually able to hear her captors talking…and luckily, they felt it would be dangerous to give her another dose of the sedative. She overhears them talking, mentioning that the next jump would bring them to the medallion, that the jump to “the machine” would be more difficult, and that the “other one” (Ditto Rider realizes this is the VF) escaped, and probably brought a message from “Katherine” back to town. Ditto Rider is confused to hear herself being called “Katherine”, as that is her real name, but they shouldn’t know that. She finds a piece of paper and pen at her feet, to her surprise, and when she has oriented herself enough to do so, she writes a note and hides it. Just as she finishes, her captors return. Among them is a cyborg---her captor that is “mostly human but not quite”, and also the cause of the teleportation as he has the technology built into his cybernetic arm.

They teleport once more, then the woman (Medulus) sprays something in her face to fully wake her up. She forces Ditto Rider to open a secret panel using a charm on a charm bracelet of hers (which she remembers about shortly after Medulus mentions it), threatening to destroy the town if she doesn’t obey. She does so and receives the medallion they were looking for. However, they are forced to leave when they receive word that two women on horseback are approaching. Ditto Rider purposefully stumbles and leaves her note behind. Just as they’re about to teleport again, the cyborg gives her the sedative once more, but she calls out to the women, whose voices she recognizes as the Ditto Spies. However, she’s only able to say their names before she passes out and they’re gone.

Nessa and “Rock On!” Girl found Ditto Rider’s location using the map. However, they were just in time to see her disappear. While they’re looking around, they find her note, which tells them everything she knows…including about the butterflies.

As the VF and the Jester are talking, three vampires emerge from the forest…three the VF isn’t fond of. They are the “evil vampires”, as she considers them (with good reason…she banished them from the compound for doing several horrendous things, including mating with family). The evil vampires are outnumbered (and outmatched), and they relinquish some information somewhat easily to the VF and Jester. Apparently, they were disturbed by some more of the chrysalises appearing (which came in flashes of light, which hurt them), and also by “travelers”, who were heading into the “great stone’s heart”. The VF and Jester realize that the “travelers” are Ditto Rider’s captors, and they’re headed into the heart of a nearby mountain. They decide to see if they can catch them when they arrive.

Lianna, who has been keeping herself out of the spotlight in the Tea Room knitting ever since the disappearance, decides to leave. She appears to be an old woman when she’s in the Tea room, but after leaving, she ducks into an alley and transforms herself into her “usual self”---a green-haired, green-eyed young woman. She enters the Ditto Town Library, and when there, she finds a newspaper with an article about Ditto Rider’s disappearance (including an “exclusive interview” of the VF, as she was the last person to see her). She reads a biography about everything known about Ditto Rider, and realizes that it sounds a lot like her long-lost cousin, Katherine, and what the VF had reported about the teleportation machine her captors were looking for reminded her of what her father had for the same cousin. She feels the stories are too similar to be coincidental. Without realizing it, she transforms into a replica of her cousin. Shakespeare, Lucy’s dog, sees her…and recognizes her as Ditto Rider. Confused, Lianna switches back to her normal self and tells him that she wasn’t trying to change into Ditto Rider, but her cousin. They compare notes and decide it’s very possible that Ditto Rider is indeed her cousin.

Lucy and Aurora find another cocoon during their riding, but after they find it, they realize they’re exhausting their horses. They find a stream and decide to let them rest and drink. While they’re resting, the vampires also go off to find food. While Lucy and Aurora are waiting, Lucy points out that they’re both keeping secrets, and tells her own: she used to live in England, and she belonged to a very old family---she refers to them as “older than the Druids”. She also has Elven blood. However, there were some “others” who wanted them gone, so they fought her family. Her family was defeated and told to leave England, never to return on pain of death. Lucy tried to escape her past, but she feels it constantly haunts her. She reveals that her real name is LĂșthien Galathil (which she shortened to Lucy). Aurora tells her that her own family was also persecuted and mostly destroyed---only she survived. She escaped it and came to Ditto Town, vowing never again to pick up her sword and fight, and only to live a normal life.

After they tell their stories, they realize that the old woman was trying to tell them to stop running from who they were, and instead use it to help them fight this evil…which they believe to be the same evil that tried to destroy their families. After they come to this conclusion, Lucy realizes that they should be leaving, but the vampires haven’t come back. They look around and find them, all fast asleep. However, despite the rather amusing sight, they aren’t pleased when they hear another sound…one that worries them both, though they can’t identify what it is. They decide to investigate.

Ditto Rider wakes up in another room, and she finds a package from her captors. It contains the medallion and a note. After realizing the note is just another way of her captors ordering her to behave, she ignores it and instead puts on the medallion. As she’s looking it over, she has a flashback to when she was a little girl…a flashback to a previously repressed memory. She remembers her parents becoming very worried because of a phone call they received. They are trying to dismantle the teleportation machine, and at the same time, they tell her (calling her Katherine) and her cousin, Lianna, to hide. They do so, and not long after, men with machine guns burst in. Her mother and uncle make it over to them, and her uncle gives her the medallion, takes Lianna, and escapes; her mother does the same, but they run in the opposite direction. After they make some distance, her mother asks for the medallion (which Katherine willingly gives), and she hides it in a secret compartment in a wall. She then gives Katherine the charm bracelet which will get it back out for her when she needs it, and gives her strict instructions to never lose it. Just then, they can hear the men coming closer. Katherine’s mother tells her to teleport away without the machine. She also gives her a note. Reluctantly, Katherine teleports, and finds herself in a field. The note tells her not to tell anyone what happened, where the cave was…anything. It ended with, “Keep your abilities hidden and remember that we love you.” At the end of the memory, Katherine heard someone coming….

Ditto Rider snaps out of it, and she realizes that that was soon before she met her foster parents, and she had repressed the memories because it was the day she had lost her parents. However, just as she’s wondering why she can’t remember how to teleport, the old woman reappears. She tells her not to tell her captors about her returning memories, as it would put both her and the town in greater danger if they realize she remembers where the machine is. She also tells her that the machine is worthless without her; only Ditto Rider can use it, as it amplifies her natural teleportation abilities. Ditto Rider asks her about Lianna and her uncle, but before she can answer, she hears Ditto Rider’s captors approaching. Unfortunately, she can’t take Ditto Rider with her (as she can only jump alone), so Ditto Rider climbs into the bed and falls asleep.

Shakespeare and Herbert (Lucy’s bookworm) direct Lianna to the Fountain in order that she can get in touch with Friend of Ditto through a butterfly. However, instead, she goes back to the Inn Between to the room she is staying in and grabs some equipment, including two guns and biomechanical lenses (which tell her the time and her location). She heads back out towards the Fountain…but not before having an encounter with the talking collection bucket, which refuses to let her out until she has paid her rent. Frustrated, she throws in a month’s worth and leaves. When she arrives at the Fountain, she finds a butterfly. It tells her that Friend of Ditto is too far away for her to find on foot, so she will have to borrow a horse. It offers to guide her, but she tells it that she can find Friend of Ditto if it will tell her where she is; meanwhile, she instructs, it is to go around Ditto Town, spreading the word that everyone is to meet in the meadow outside of town if they can. She rides out and finds Friend of Ditto, Ditto Kitty, and Willow and relays everything she knows. They agree to meet in the meadow.

A butterfly flies through the bars on Ditto Rider’s window, and she relays everything she’s remembered so far, and instructs it to bring the message to Friend of Ditto.

Lianna, Friend of Ditto, Kitty, and Willow come back to find the meadow crowded with people. Shakespeare and Herbert managed to get the collection bucket to let them use a balcony on the second floor. They decide that they should have six speakers: Friend of Ditto to tell them about the disappearance; Kitty, Lucy, and Aurora to tell about the old woman; the VF to tell them about when she last saw Ditto Rider (when they were both abducted); and Lianna to tell them about how she believes that Ditto Rider is her cousin. However, just before they begin speaking to the crowd, the butterfly that found Ditto Rider arrives and relays the news to Friend of Ditto. She decides to tell the crowd the news in her part of the speech.

DD and MM receive the news of the meeting from a butterfly, but MM is nervous about going into town because she has no disguise (unlike DD’s Salabis persona) and would possibly get arrested as soon as she steps into town. DD is unperturbed, however, and instead leads them in the opposite direction of Ditto Town, to a cave covered by a large rock. After using Andur to move it aside, she and MM manage to get him to fall down a large hole in the cave, and DD drops a carrot down it in front of him. He goes in, and with a strange pop! sound, he vanishes (and it is later revealed that DD sent him to the dwarves, as she feels she won’t need him for a while). DD tries to get Merry, Pippin, and MM to go, but they are too nervous, so she goes. A hamster tries, but he fails; he then mutters something about needing to want to go to do it, and he tries again---this time, succeeding.

MM is still nervous about it, but not long after, Guin-nor (DD’s Elven friend) comes along, and explains to her that it is an Elvish mode of transportation…but it is one you have to trust in and want to go in for it to work. After some discussion, they all decide to go through. As MM goes through, she discovers that she has a choice of where she wants to go: to Ditto Town or to the place where she and her captors would be. Due to the fact that she’s not even sure if she wants to help her arch enemy, she has to ponder it for a while. Eventually, she makes a choice.

Merry and Pippin end up in the Tea Room, where there is a group gathered, discussing Ditto Rider’s disappearance. Pippin tells them that he was sent by Salabis (he also says Darth Devaricate), and reveals that he and Merry have the speech mutation, as well. The others allow them to join up with them. The VF finds it strange (but fortunate) that so many of her vampires are developing the speech mutation, as very few of them had had it before. At the same time, she realizes that she hasn’t seen the large pack of vampires who went searching in a while. She finds Frodo and Samwise, and it’s apparent that there’s a problem.

Meanwhile, DD finds herself between two places; there is a hut with a fire, and a bedroom with a young woman in it. The room with the young woman slowly becomes more tangible, and as it turns out, the young woman is Ditto Rider! However, she’s not fully there (Ditto Rider can even see through her), so they can only share a little information. DD has to leave soon after arriving, but she does report that the butterfly has made it to town. She ends up in the hut with the fire, which belongs to the old woman. Apparently, that was where she was needed the most, and that is why she ended up there. However, the old woman seems to want to talk to her, so she decides to wait to leave until she’s done. DD is suspicious of her and asks who she is, but her only reply is that she is “a friend of those in need”. She asks DD if “Rochil was surprised to see [her]”.

Spike, Worf, and Connor, having heard the news about the evil vampires, leave the compound in search of them, as some of them have family out there, and they miss family---especially in Spike and Connor’s case, as they lost most of their family in the battle against the wargs. However, just as they get close, they spring a trap, which binds them in mithril cords (the mithril was stolen from the dwarves). It was set by the evil vampires, who decide to take them to their leader. The three are convinced into going when they see Sela (who looks just like Yar (Spike and Connor’s grandmother)), and are too caught up in the fact that it’s almost like she was raised from the dead to fight anymore. They are taken to Zoey, the matron of the evil line, but soon after arriving, they discover who is really in charge: Medulus.

The group that decided to speak does so to the crowd. (In the VF’s speech, she leaves out a lot about how she escaped, and comments that she wasn’t quite sure how an interview with her got into the paper, as she didn’t authorize it. Lianna later tells her that her journalist friend, a (intelligent) raccoon named Emily Bronson, spied on her to get the interview.) After hearing everything about her disappearance, many of the townspeople are very willing to help.

DD is startled to hear the old woman mention Rochil and, due to the fact that she hasn’t slept in two days and she is no longer rational, she assumes the woman has something to do with the plot and all-but tries to attack her. However, the woman is able to defend herself and knock DD to the floor; she informs her that she needs to calm herself before they can continue, since she has lost her rationality. As DD is calming down, they get into a discussion of the nature of the old woman. She admits that she can “manipulate certain things, such as…my person, settings…”, and that she once was evil (in the same sense that DD once was, when she worked for the Count). She tells DD that she knows that she helped fight the Count No Dittos and his nephews, and she tells her that she needs to let the other townspeople find Rochil this time. They share a meal, and after which, the old woman tells DD to make a healing potent for Ditto Rider, who “will be weak from her exertions”. After she has Rochil drink it, she is to leave. DD asks how she will find Ditto Rider, but the old woman merely tells her to believe in herself. After this, DD teleports away from the house in a similar manner to when she came. She finds herself outside in the woods, but she’s not quite sure where she is. She makes the healing potion, then finds a hiding spot to wait in for Ditto Rider.

The group of townspeople meets at the Stables to discuss their plans. They decide to split into two teams; one to enter the caves where the machine is (using Lianna’s memory to guide them there), and the other to stay just outside the opening. To communicate, they decide to use the sugar cube communicator Ditto Rider left behind when she was captured. Lianna uses it to contact the Ditto Spies and, after Friend of Ditto vouches for her, they agree to meet them by the caves an hour later.

Medulus arrives in Ditto Rider’s room with the three vamps who recently left the VF’s compound, and who now seem to be working for her. They take her to another room while hers is cleaned. As they are taking her there, she tries to get them to let her go, and during this time, she discovers that Worf seems to have regrets, Spike is loyal to Medulus, and Connor is both loyal, and seemingly in charge. While they are taking her back to her room, she tries to escape, but Connor tackles her…and manages to cut her leg and drink a little blood from the cut. Though upset by her failure to escape, Ditto Rider decides that she’ll just have to keep trying.

Meanwhile, Worf, Spike, and Connor have some time to think after what happened with Ditto Rider. Worf no longer has much desire to stay, Spike is unsure, and Connor is wickedly happy at the taste of the human blood he had drunk from Ditto Rider’s cut---something he had never tasted before, as the VF never allowed her vamps to have human blood. Medulus comes to scold them about nearly letting Ditto Rider escape, threatening to keep them from her family. Connor reasserts his loyalty to her, but Spike finally decides to side with Worf over Connor. They break out, and although Connor tried to catch them, they managed to get away.

After a while, Medulus (along with the others) returns to Ditto Rider’s room and informs her that she was the one behind the raid. She had previously worked for her uncle, and when she saw the plans to the teleportation machine, she saw the “potential” in it, and rounded up a gang to take it. After this, they take her back to the caves, and there, they find Manipulator of the Mundane. Now threatening her life (as well as the rest of the town), they tell Ditto Rider to open the door to the machine. Ditto Rider realizes that MM has a plan, so upon seeing her signal, she stops cooperating. MM uses the fact that Medulus is watching Ditto Rider (not her) to her advantage and, after breaking free from the man holding her, she ducks behind a rock and begins throwing rocks, causing confusion. Things only become worse (for the villains) when a woman shows up in the cave….

The group continues towards the caves. While they’re going, the VF ponders what is happening to her vamps, sans the group she brought with her. She feels remotely confident that the ones at the compound are all right, but she is still unaware of where Worf, Spike, and Connor are---and she is worried that they may have even joined the other side, given the fact that the news of the evil vamps has gotten around the compound. However, her musings stop when she suddenly freezes. Data notices this and, despite his attempts to get her attention, she remains completely motionless for a few moments. However, it only lasts for a few moments, and she continues---but Data feels there’s something wrong, as she is acting strangely emotionless. However, no one else notices anything, as it would only be something someone that knows her well would notice.

They meet up with the Spies outside of the caves and discuss their plans. After they have decided where to go, Lianna leads a group into the caves. She finds a secret door, which she remembered from when she lived in that area, and is just in time to hear Medulus threaten to hurt MM. However, before they enter, MM begins throwing the rocks. Believing that they’re being thrown at Ditto Rider, she bursts into the cave.

Upon seeing Lianna’s face and recognizing her as her cousin, Ditto Rider’s memories begin to come back---including her memories of how to teleport. While they are returning, both groups converge on the area. Medulus tries to hold off her rescuers by threatening her life, but Ditto Rider concentrates and finds the strength to teleport. She ends up in a grove of woods, but she is very dizzy. DD/Salabis is there, and she offers her the healing tonic. Her dizziness dissipates, and DD follows the instructions the old woman gave her by meeting up with MM and riding off.

Meanwhile, the VF enters the cave entrance with the rest of the group…but she makes sure she is last. As soon as she is inside, she uses a device to erect a force field…in front of her vampires, preventing them to enter. They are startled and confused, but they can’t break in. When she arrives in the cave, she was just in time to see Ditto Rider teleport. However, when the Ditto Spies try to take down Medulus, the VF rushes forward, too…in order to take out the Ditto Spies! Connor has the same idea, and they succeed…momentarily. Nessa and “Rock On!” Girl realize that there is something wrong and, though reluctantly, Nessa uses a taser on the VF. By this time, it’s become a full-fledged skirmish between Medulus’s gang and the groups from Ditto Town.

Meanwhile, Worf and Spike join the other vampires outside the cave…just in time to see the evil vampires come. Medulus wanted them to guard the cave, and they decided that, since the VF’s vampires were alone, this would be a good time to attack them. However, Data realizes that the evil vamps are outmatched, so he convinces Q to teleport them into the cave. They join the battle; Data takes on Medulus, and manages to knock her down. He finds a device, and he and Q destroy it, quite sure that everyone will know the effect of it when the VF wakes up.

Lianna is attacked by Connor during the battle, who manages to wound (and almost kill) her. In an adrenaline rush, she manages to knock him back, then knock him out with a tranquilizer dart (what her guns are loaded with). However, she shoots just as the VF wakes up…and by now, the battle is essentially over, in the townspeople’s favor. She is startled to see Lianna harming her vampire, and upon questioning from Lianna, it’s discovered that the VF seems to have no idea what just happened; not only does she have no reason for why she attacked the Ditto Spies, but she doesn’t remember doing it. Lianna passes out from blood loss, and while Friend of Ditto is bandaging her wounds, she and the VF talk. The VF reveals that she doesn’t remember anything since the walk in the woods to get to the cave. However, Data shows her the device he and Q smashed, and she seems to realize something. They realize that the VF hadn’t acted under her own will, and (naturally) forgive and untie her.

As they are wrapping things up, Friend of Ditto asks the VF how Medulus was able to control her with the device, but the VF avoids the question. Medulus comments that it was “clever avoidance of the question”, and she threatens to find a way to control her again. The VF disagrees…then threatens to exact her own justice on her for causing one of her vampires to go evil. Medulus is sure that the townspeople will protect her, but the VF tells her she’ll find a way.

Everyone goes out to the front of the cave, and upon seeing the force field, the VF removes it. When the evil vampires see that they’re outnumbered (and they were suffering the most injuries), they leave. The VF tells Connor that he has a choice: come back to the compound with the good vamps and earn a chance at redemption, or join the evil vamps. He chose the latter, and darted off into the forest to find his new family.

Lianna and Katherine are reunited, and they decide to leave the machine in the caves while they recuperate. Eager to catch up with her cousin, Katherine calls one of her horses, and they begin riding back to town. When they get back home, they talk, and the subject of their abilities is brought up. Lianna tells her what happened since they last saw each other thirteen years earlier: her father, who continued his work as an inventor (and even invented some of the Ditto Spies’ gadgets), had been working on a machine with her mother (and her in the room) when a bolt of lightning struck the machine. Her mother was killed instantly, and her father died three days later…but not before telling her the location of the teleportation machine, “among other things”. However, the lightning bolt also hit her, and it awoke her shapeshifting abilities. The other people in the town she lived in feared this, believing her to be an evil witch or sorceress. Eventually, she had no choice but to leave. In fact, for the next four years, she found herself traveling from place to place many times in order to avoid the persecution. Eventually, she came to Ditto Town for two reasons: first, because she knew the teleportation machine was nearby, and two, because she had heard (correctly) that the people of Ditto Town were accepting…to surprising lengths. They spend the rest of the day (and well into the night!) catching up.

The next day, the Ditto Team (plus Lianna) decides to move the teleportation machine to the Ditto Team HQ. That way, Katherine/Ditto Rider has access to it, but her enemies do not, and if anyone tries to use her again (which she considers unlikely, as she can teleport away if anyone tires), the Ditto Team can lock her out of the HQ. They move it there (using Katherine’s teleportation), and when they get there, they offer Lianna a place on the Ditto Team, and a room at the Ditto Mansion; she says she has to think it over. After a little while, she decides to do both.

After this, Kitty and Willow wander around town. Kitty is feeling a little restless, considering how little she actually did to help. However, she remembers what the old woman told her: “Your time will come.”

That night, Medulus breaks out of the Ditto Town jail, but as she tries to escape on a horse she stole from the stables, she finds that the horse won’t move…and that she’s surrounded by vampires. The VF arrives with her weapon (a bat’leth), and it’s clear that she intends to exact the justice she threatened earlier. Medulus uses several attempts to save her life, including bringing up Connor. However, all this does is remind the VF of why she is doing what she is doing. A few moments later, Medulus dies at the VF’s hands.