Friday, June 20, 2008

Battle for the Fountain (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 discovers her teleportation abilities and true identity (Katherine Grayson); Lianna finds her long-lost cousin, Ditto Rider/Katherine Grayson and joins the Ditto Team soon after; 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 the VF has a “dirty little secret” that some others know about, which enables people to completely control her with a device; Conner, 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 opens the Apothecary (between stories).

A man inquiring information of the Ditto Rider tells him he is here to rid the town of all evil. This quickly puts him at odds with everyone in town, as very few people believe he can and feels he’s up to something. This man turns out to be J, the trainer and close friend of “Rock On!” Girl…and the very frustrating superior of the VF. Meanwhile, Phoenix Archer, a vigilante, and her companions come to town. She quickly puts herself at odds with the vampires and VF, due to her dislike of vampires (both as Phoenix Archer and as her alter ego, Vanessa Jones), and a bit with the Ditto Team. Also, Cymru, the owner of the Pub (the Cup & Platter), finds that her search for escape from her past has failed when she discovers that there are vampires in Ditto Town---and that Giles, someone she has begun to have a crush on, is one. Giles manages to regain her trust when he tells her that she was taught to fear vampires by a man who was trying to protect her by lying to her about vampires. Her parents were legendary pro-vampire advocates and were killed for it by the Dark Fancier, a cruel breeder who was ruined by their actions. He tells her that she is, in fact, legendary herself among the vampires---almost revered. However, the Dark Fancier is also interested in her, as his revenge won’t be satisfied without her dead.

Song DeLaverok, the newest member of the Ditto Team, buys a horse from a strange woman with a painting, but later, the same woman attempts to steal her back. Song is found by Phoenix Archer, and her horse by Ditto Rider. After the news gets wide-spread, the Vice President and Phoenix Archer work together to bring the horse thief to justice. Afterwards, Phoenix Archer leaves town.

Elsewhere in Ditto Town, J proves himself to be as worthy of skepticism as was first believed---not only is he not going to make good on his promise to rid the town of evil, but he’s bringing it! He and the Organization, which many Dittopians had previously thought was their benefactor, are really far more interested in an underground fountain---the Fountain of Youth. The Organization is actually under the control of the Dark Fancier himself. They have been using the VF in their schemes, though she was unaware of it until J tried to trick the other Dittopians with that information. However, in the end, she (along with the Ditto Spies) betrays the Organization and fight to take J down. In the end, they win, but not before J “fatally” wounded the VF---revealing that she was an android. Lianna’s parents had built her, but also had installed in her an ethics program to prevent her from becoming evil thanks to orders given by the Organization (they didn’t realize what the Organization was up to, but they put it in as a failsafe).

With J and the horse thief behind bars, the Dittopians look to the future with uncertainty, yet assurance that they’ll take what the Organization throws at them. Giles mentions a Plan F---F stands for Freedom.

Important notes for the next story: The Organization has proved itself evil and interested in the Fountain of Youth below Ditto Town; the VF is an android; Cymru’s parents were pro-vampire advocates but she was trained by Professor Ian, her caretaker, to despise vampires; Cymru has a crush on Giles but feels she can’t go forward with it because he’s a vampire; the Dark Fancier still has an interest in Cymru; Katherine and Lianna have begun to form a very strong empathic bond; Thundershadow the Unicorn and Phoenix Archer come to town (though Phoenix Archer leaves again afterwards).

While she and the rest of the Ditto Team finish stabling their horses, a man comes up to Ditto Rider/Katherine and asks her about recent events, mentioning that he has been sent to rid the town of all evil. She briefly mentions the Count No Dittos, his nephews, and Medulus, but recommends he talk to others. She finds him mysterious and suspicious and does her best to avoid revealing too much to him about too much. Soon after, she and the rest of the Ditto Team leaves, and she fills them in on what happened. Lianna is slightly disturbed by the news and wonders if this idea of ridding Ditto Town of evil will extend to the Originalists; if so, she wants no part of it.

Meanwhile, just outside of town, a phoenix (who is later named Brianna) is scrying on Ditto Town and sees this conversation. She is with a human at the time and relays the news. The human (later revealed to be Phoenix Archer) is interested and asks her to call for “Anna and Diana”, who are also phoenixes. Soon after, they arrive, and all three turn into humans, then they change their appearance to rather “normal” appearances (as opposed to their very unusual original ones). The human also changes her hair and eye color. Soon after, a woman goes to the Tea Shoppe with three children and waits for someone to attend her.

When Aurora arrives, the woman introduces herself as Vanessa Jones, and the children as her younger sisters, Rose, Tara, and Sarah. Later, it’s revealed that they’re really the same four; Vanessa is Phoenix Archer, Rose is Brianna, Tara is Anna, and Sarah is Diana. As Aurora is telling them about the town, she mentions the vampires, and all of them have a disturbed look…which grows after Ditto Kitty and her vampire, Willow, enter. Vanessa explains that they…don’t exactly like vampires. They leave soon after for the Inn Between, leaving a bewildered Aurora and hurt Willow. As they exited, however, Ditto Kitty caught wind of their scent and knew that they weren’t human…they were most definitely something different. What, however, she can’t identify. As they continue their walk, Ditto Kitty is reminded of the old woman’s message: “Your time will come….” Kitty wonders what that means.

Nennare is working when the stranger asks her about a girl…whose description matches “Rock On!” Girl almost perfectly. He mentions he’s looking for her, but Nennare is too unsure to answer him. Instead, when Nessa walks in, she does her best to work around it and talk to Nessa. She mentions that she doesn’t much like the feeling of the stranger and wants to warn “Rock On!” Girl.

Lianna visits the VF in order to buy a vamp to help her out at the Apothecary, and she ends up choosing Giles due to his intelligence and ability to speak English. As they’re preparing to part ways, the VF asks him if he “knows who [Lianna] is”. He nods, and she instructs him to take very, very good care of her for reasons unknown.

That night, Phoenix Archer, Anna, and Diana display some of their skill against a couple of unlucky bank robbers. In perfectly vigilante style, they knock the men senseless and bind them for the authorities to find. During the battle, Anna shows that she has lightning abilities, Diana has similar ice abilities, and Phoenix Archer can literally sprout wings. They see the Ditto Team coming and leave, but not without leaving a message on some of the ice Diana created: “Phoenix Archer was here.”

The Ditto Artist, Song, goes to the Pub to wait for a woman who has offered to give her one of her horses in exchange for a painting. She meets Friend of Ditto there, and they discuss it. Soon after, the woman arrives, and Friend of Ditto has a very bad feeling about her. Song, however, seems oblivious and eagerly buys the horse, who she names Hwesta.

Ditto Rider dons her Rochil disguise and takes a ride to help her sort some things out emotionally. She then meets up with Salabis and the two discuss things. She comes back and, overhearing a conversation between Lianna and Friend of Ditto which causes her to realize Lianna’s very worried about her, changes into her regular clothing and goes to see Lianna. When they all meet up, they begin discussing things in town, and Friend of Ditto mentions the woman who sold Song Hwesta. Lianna also mentions she should be easy to find---she’s in the Inn Between, and the bucket is feeling particularly cantankerous and won’t let anyone out. During the course of their conversation, Lianna admits to two things: first of all, that she’s too busy to take on extra projects because she’s training Giles, so she sends Emily the raccoon after the stranger. She also tells them what she thinks of the man who promised to rid the town of evil.

Darth is trying to clear her mind of all her worries when she meets up with Guin-nor again. They go into town and to the Pub. At the same time, Shieldmaiden is visiting with Earel and they’re talking about schoolwork; Shieldmaiden sees Darth, but Darth feels this isn’t a good time to reveal that they know each other. Shieldmaiden and Earel find it strange that she’s with an elf, but they realize it makes sense. Meanwhile, Guin-nor is talking to her about recent events, mostly about the man who promised to rid the town of evil. He’s concerned he’ll consider Darth part of the “evil” and try to hurt her, so she promises to take Merry or Pippin with her at all times. As if on cue, Merry arrives soon after…and soon after that, Vanessa and her sisters arrive. Rose reacts unkindly to the sight of a vampire, so Vanessa sends her outside, then orders drinks to go rather than staying. Merry is a little hurt, but his mistress does her best to console him and suggests a visit to the VF’s compound.

Meanwhile, outside, Vanessa gives Rose a short lecture about “drawing attention to herself”. Rose seems to shrug it off mostly, and changes the subject to whether or not she can go somewhere that night (exactly where is kept ambiguous). Vanessa reluctantly agrees.

Katherine is still feeling very restless, thanks to her capture just a short while before, and Friend of Ditto recommends she visit the elves as a “vacation” of sorts. At first, Katherine resists because she’s not supposed to visit them without an invitation, but Ditto Kitty soon arrives to show her that Gwanuig has arrived…with an invitation (Salabis relayed a message to his father through Guin-nor). As Rochil, Katherine eagerly accepts the offer.

Nessa goes in search of “Rock On!” Girl and finds her at the Tea Shoppe. She tells her about the mysterious stranger, and soon after, he actually shows up. “Rock On!” Girl reassures her, telling her that his name is J, and he’s the Organization operative who trained her and was responsible for her assignment to Ditto Town. The three begin talking, though Nessa leaves soon after, feeling that “Rock On!” Girl needs some time to catch up.

Ditto Kitty visits Song in the stables, who is visiting Hwesta. Ditto Kitty offers her membership in the Ditto Team, and as someone who can act as a “spy”; while Song won’t participate in anything dishonest nor will she shirk her other work, she will be sure to keep an eye out for trouble and report it if she sees anything suspicious. Song eagerly agrees.

That night, Vanessa tries to leave the Inn Between, but since she hasn’t paid, the bucket won’t let her out. Having been frustrated all day, she vents it on the bucket, kicking it half-way across the counter. While Tara is amused, neither Vanessa nor the bucket is. She gathers her things, pays him for the time they’ve spent, then leaves. They find a cottage for rent and take it. Later that night, she leaves as Phoenix Archer. While she, Brianna, and Anna are flying around, she sees Ditto Kitty, Willow, and Lianna. Despite her best attempts to escape notice, she’s spotted by Lianna.

At first, Lianna is unable to convince the others that she saw phoenixes (though Ditto Kitty and Willow did smell them) until she shapeshifts into Phoenix Archer…which causes a near-violent reaction in Willow (the “after-effect” of this cured by a visit to the Apothecary to see Giles). This prompts a discussion about the strangers in Ditto Town, including Vanessa and her sisters. Soon after, Emily arrives with news about the bucket, and what she saw about Vanessa and her sisters later. Emily now is more interested in watching Vanessa and her sisters, and Friend of Ditto is concerned that no one is watching the other stranger...though Ditto Kitty reassures her. Soon after, Friend of Ditto gives her a note Katherine wrote before leaving, explaining where she was going. Lianna goes home to read it, and although somewhat upset, she seems to understand.

As the VF is training some of her vamps, she is interrupted twice by other groups of vampires: first, by Spike and Harmony, the former running from the latter (she has a crush on him), and then by the three “nerd” vamps, Warren, Andrew, and Jonathan. (The nerd vamps are well-known for skill with mechanics and talking entirely in allusions/references to science fiction/comic books/etc.) The VF tries to get things in order again, but she is interrupted by a knock on the gate. The VF’s caller turns out to be J, who was asking her for a “progress report”. She coldly informs him that she feels that all is well; she has helped protect the town and she feels that they trust her and her vamps now. She also feels that the Ditto Spies don’t “remember anything that would require action taken”…though she isn’t sure why they’re keeping something a secret at all. She also doesn’t seem to trust J’s intentions, but J just seems to like the position of power he seems to hold over her. She kicks him out as quickly as possible.

Cymru is at the Pub, newly named the Cup & Platter, and is preparing to turn in for the night and she begins thinking of a mysterious man, who she has only seen outside the Pub, who she has nicknamed Tweed for the kind of clothing he wears. Later that night, she hears a commotion, and when she runs outside to investigate, she finds that one of her pet chickens---her first one---is dead with two strange holes in his neck. As she his mourning his loss, “Tweed” appears, having heard her crying, and asks what the matter is. She tells him, though nervously, and soon after, they introduce themselves. “Tweed” introduces himself as Giles. After he leaves, Cymru goes in and tells Hugh, her holographic bartender, to get her some ice cream to console her. After she finishes them off, she goes to bed, feeling many emotions at once.

Vanessa hears Cymru’s cry and goes to investigate, as Phoenix Archer, with Brianna. When she arrives, she sees DaVinci, and Brianna surmises that it was a vampire. They turn around and see the Ditto Team (sans Katherine and Song). While restraining Willow, they ask her a couple questions, which she tersely responds to---the only thing she really tells them that she is indeed Phoenix Archer. She and Brianna take off, and on their way, Brianna makes a sarcastic comment about Phoenix Archer being her mother. She quickly realizes her mistake and apologizes, but the Archer seems hurt all the same.

Soon after that, Oz and Fred bring the VF over to the chicken pen to see DaVinci. When she arrives, she and the vamps smell what’s left of the phoenixes’ scent. The Ditto Team members fill her in on what happened, and the VF agrees with Phoenix Archer: a vampire did it. What’s more, she knows which one: Conner. Giles comes soon after and tells them what he saw: he saw Conner drinking DaVinci’s blood, but he wasn’t sure how to confront him. Conner took off after Cymru looked out the window, and when she came out, Giles offered his assistance. Since she didn’t require it, he left. After praising him for his honesty, Lianna sends him home.

Vanessa buys a newspaper to find out what’s going on. She reads about the chicken and notices she’s mentioned---by name. Despite being irritated with that, she reads on until she finds another article---about what she did to the collection bucket. She notices the author’s name and begins putting pieces together, deciding that “Emily” must be some kind of animal. However, she managed to miss the part that mentioned there was a possible connection between her and the Archer. After arriving at her house, she shuts all the windows to avoid conversations being overheard.

Cymru is still mourning the loss of her chicken when the Ditto Fool visits the Pub. After a bit of poetry and his typical “shenanigans”, he manages to cheer Cymru.

Meanwhile, “Rock On!” Girl is at the Soulful Bowlful, talking to J. He points out that what happened the night before should be proof that the town needs him, but “Rock On!” Girl reassures him, telling him the town just needs a chance to learn to trust him as she does. The VF comes in at that moment and doesn’t seem pleased by that statement.

Katherine spent much of her time with the elves training her skills, which was a welcome distraction from her memories. Soon, they began to fade entirely, and their effect was greatly diminished. During this time, she also has a discussion with the Elvish king about the Ditto/Original conflict. As Elves are Originalists by nature, he wanted to hear her side of the story, which she told him. He was impressed by her response, but not converted, so they agreed to disagree. Later that day, the King and Gwanuig give Katherine her Rochil armor, newly repaired and polished, and a new bow. While she is very excited about her new gifts, she also concedes to their request that she use them only as Rochil. She rides back with Gwanuig to town, and after that, she goes to visit the Ditto Team, who were out in the woods mostly because Lianna felt the need to ride to help cope with the temporary loss of her cousin.

After a short discussion of her time there, she suggests that she shows them a few teleportation tricks she learned. Before they can ask what she meant, she jumps on her mare and teleports. Over their communicators, they receive a playful message: “Catch me if you can!” Eventually, the other members give up, and they all head back into town. On the way back, however, Lianna encounters a wounded horse. She sends a message over the communicators, but receives no reply. She assumes it’s not working until Katherine arrives. Apparently, they could hear her, but she couldn’t hear them. The horse responds positively to Lianna, and Katherine points out this is unusual. Lianna decides to keep it, as she needs one. As they’re ready to head back, Lianna realizes what the communication error was about: she forgot to change the batteries in her communicator.

Song rides Hwesta for the first time, but before they finish their ride, Hwesta suddenly begins to act agitated and throws Song off. Song sees something in the woods that seems to almost mimic her movements, but she can’t see what it is. Before she can find out, she discovers a woman trying to steal Hwesta! Before Song can act, the woman shoves a sticky substance over her mouth which quickly knocks her unconscious. The last thing Song notices is, “That woman seems vaguely familiar….”

Two days later, Friend of Ditto decides to take action. Song and Hwesta have both been gone for two days, and she feels it’s time to bring the Ditto Team in on this. As she makes this decision, she also finds herself remembering the woman who originally sold her Hwesta---and can’t help but be suspicious of her. Phoenix Archer notices an article about Song’s disappearance and goes to the stable to find out more. She gets a general direction of where she was going from a stable girl, and she and Anna go to find out. They find Song, and soon after removing the substance, she’s awake. They share what explanations they have, then Phoenix Archer brings her back to town.

“Rock On!” Girl and J are in the Soulful Bowlful (again) when Nennare jokes to “Rock On!” Girl that they’ve been there a lot lately. “Rock On!” Girl points out that most of the rest of the town is ignoring him, and she hears Peter Pevensie comment that it’s not a matter of ignoring; it’s a matter of trust. “Rock On!” Girl overhears it, and despite her best efforts to ignore it, she finds herself suspicious of J. Later that day, after he drops her off at the Mansion, she notices he’s going in the opposite direction he said he was going (the Library). Finally the curiosity compels her to move and she follows J…however, without her invisibility cloak or map, as she doesn’t have time to get them. A little while later, while following him, she runs into a tangle, which leaves her stuck for nearly two hours thanks to many vain attempts to recover her foot. Later, she comes back in and talks to Alenta, who tells her she saw a man she didn’t recognize at the Library, and soon after, J shows up.

What “Rock On!” Girl doesn’t know was that J picked up on her presence not long after she started following him, and he dropped a green pellet which caused the tangle. As soon as he had lost her, he goes to a tree with a secret knot which turns out to be a secret passage to some caves. He goes inside, and later goes back to the Library to make for an alibi.

While Cymru is driving around town putting up posters for a contest to be held at the Pub, Giles watches her, knowing he will have to be the “bearer of dark tidings” to her, and that he must talk to her “before it’s too late”.

After Song is rescued, Katherine goes out to look for Hwesta, and she sends her horses to do the same. During this search, however, she runs into Conner. Before anything can happen, however, her horses---plus Hwesta---come back, scaring Conner off. Katherine rides back for the stables, drops Hwesta off, then rides to the VF’s compound, hoping the VF is home so they can discuss the situation with Conner. As it turns out, the VF has been planning to find Conner and bring him back until she can figure out what to do with him, as he’s just causing too much trouble. She asks Ditto Rider if she wants to come along, and she agrees.

Cymru stops by the Apothecary to pick up some rosewater…and hopefully to see Giles. While she’s stalling for time, hoping to see him, Vanessa and her sisters arrive, along with the Collection Bucket---or rather, Boo-Kay, as he insists on being called. When he sees Vanessa he’s more than happy to leave, and soon after he does, Giles comes out. Lianna notices the reaction of Vanessa and her sisters and recommends that Giles take Cymru to see the herb garden. However, before he can leave, Vanessa makes a comment which startles Cymru: "I can’t believe you have the courage to let him roam free at night in your store, Lianna." Lianna is infuriated by Vanessa’s comment, while Cymru is startled. She begins to defend Giles, who is desperately trying to get her to leave so he can talk to her, as Vanessa mentions DaVinci. Just as Giles explains he needs to talk to her about the “Professor, the man who raised [Cymru]” and calls her “Miss Llewellyn”, one of Vanessa’s sisters finally tells Cymru that he is a vampire. Cymru faints.

The Vice President, Frinio (FRIendly Neighborhood Insane One), is musing over the recent return of Song and Hwesta and wonders about the woman responsible. She decides to look into it herself, and heads out to where Song was found. She finds some tracks---human and wild horse---left from before Song was rendered unconscious. As she’s looking, however, she runs into Phoenix Archer. Phoenix Archer briefly explains that she’s also looking for Song, along with Diana. After Diana and Phoenix Archer hold a brief telepathic conversation, Diana suggests that the MVP and the vigilantes work together. Frinio agrees, and soon after, Diana sends a message to the other phoenixes.

As they’re walking towards where Katherine last saw Conner, the Ditto Rider asks the VF if she’ll share more information about her vamps. At first, the VF resists, but she concedes to answering five questions---not counting ones she’s unwilling to answer. She tells Katherine that she was born almost for the job of vampire breeding, her first vampire was a female named Yves who died before the VF came to Ditto Town (she won’t say how) and that Methos is now the oldest, explains vampire aging. She also mentions that she has probably had over 100 vampires since she started, they are probably immortal unless killed by injury/starvation/in battle.

She also mentions that she can understand the noises vampires make in the same way animal trainers can understand their animals, but Katherine is unconvinced, since she seems to understand things that are too complex. The VF mentions she has an “unfair advantage”, but since she’s already answered nine questions, she won’t answer more. Before Katherine can argue, however, the vamps catch onto Conner’s scent, and the chase is on. Soon, they find him in a cave, but he doesn’t seem eager to start a fight. They take him back to town with little difficulty, though Conner seems to have difficulty containing the desire to drink Katherine’s blood again.

Ditto Kitty and Willow were wandering around, considering all that was happening in town, when they run into the old woman again. She tells Ditto Kitty that she should spend some quality time with Cymru---both her and Willow. She feels Cymru will need them sometime in the near future. She also gives them an old and beautiful box with two strange mushrooms inside, which they are instructed to give to Lianna. They both turn to leave, and the old woman disappears. Kitty gives the mushrooms to Lianna, who informs her that they’re mushrooms with only one purpose: if you’ve been transformed into something, they will transform you back. However, she’s also convinced they’re not very useful as very few people get transformed around the area that don’t know how to get back to their original form. At first she wants to sell them, but Kitty recommends that she keep them (without mentioning the old woman in specific terms). After this, she and Willow go to look for Cymru.

After she and the VF part ways at the compound, Katherine heads to the Apothecary to talk to Lianna and ask where Cymru is. They discuss all that has happened recently, including Kitty’s mushrooms. Katherine wonders if the old woman is involved again. After that, she leaves to find Cymru.

Meanwhile, the VF takes Conner to a secure kennel where she seems to intend to keep him if he remains a problem. They talk about his choice, and he admits that part of his decision had to do with the fact that his sister, Faith, was sold and his brother doesn’t like him. The VF eventually is able to convince him to come back to her, although they both know he won’t be able to stay---the other vamps wouldn’t accept him. They decide to find someone who would be willing to buy him.

DD is coming back from the Elvish kingdom when she stops to unload her saddlebags into the cave. As she is doing so, however, she hears Andur whinny in terror and a scream. She realizes that something is happening to Andur and the vampires and rushes back…just in time to see a stranger riding Andur away and Pippin running up in a panic. He’s having difficulty talking in English due to his panic, but he manages to communicate that a man took Merry and Andur. Still unable to decipher what he’s saying, she calls for Nostim, another horse of hers (though it’s not nearly as well trained), and rides to see the VF. When they arrive, Pippin relays the news to the VF. She tells her that a man took them by surprise while they were feeding, and managed to knock Merry unconscious as he attempted to save Andur, then rode off. Darth thanks her and leaves.

Around this time, Merry wakes up on Andur’s back, tied and gagged, and soon after realizing his situation tries to struggle free, but his captor knocks him out. He pretends to be knocked unconscious, but is actually waiting for his moment to strike.

MM wreaks Originality havoc on Ditto Town, but after leaving, she discovers that one of her hamsters is missing. He shows up a little while later, but she’s still unsure why he was so late. She soon discovers that one of the VF’s vampires, Haldir, was chasing him so that he could deliver a message to MM through the hamster. The message was about Conner and whether or not she’d be willing to take him in. She agreed, and the VF came along soon after with Conner, complete with a shock collar to prevent any further attacks on things that shouldn’t be eaten.

After the VF leaves, MM and Conner both consider their new situation…and they both seem to think the other doesn’t like them and end up disliking the other. In the end, Conner takes off, and MM angrily presses the button for the shock collar. However, after a while, she begins to realize that she’s been holding it---keeping him in pain for a while instead of a brief shock. She tries to help him up but, again, he misunderstands, and they end up in a scuffle. Finally, they begin to work things out, and MM tries to patch things up. They eventually start heading back to her abode, and she begins to teach Conner sign language so that they can communicate.

Cymru wakes up the morning after she discovered Giles was a vampire. She mentally laments over the fact that her past has, once more, caught up to her in Ditto Town---and her concern over what to do about Giles. She doesn’t know how to speak to him, as the Professor “told her everything to know about them”, and she feels vampires are the reason her parents are no longer alive. However, she manages to gather enough courage to go back to the Apothecary to talk to him.

Giles takes Cymru out to the herb garden to tell her what he meant to tell her before, while Lianna stays inside to give them privacy and to work on compounds. A few minutes later, Friend of Ditto comes by, and as they talk, she mentions that she didn’t see Giles or Cymru in the herb garden. Concerned, Lianna runs outside and discovers that they’re gone. She calls for Emily, who tells her that Giles and Cymru were in the garden, the Cymru began to cry and passed out. Giles took her to the Pub. When Lianna assures her there’s nothing newsworthy, Emily threatens to write about Lianna’s time in Calormen if she doesn’t get a good story. Lianna reminds her that she promised not to write it, and that she has “the Tisroc’s forgiveness”. Friend of Ditto manages to distract Emily and cause her to leave, which she does because Lianna’s hair began to transform into something else. Giles comes back soon after, and they all go into the Apothecary.

After Giles talked Cymru in the garden, he tried to talk to her, but made the mistake of calling her “Miss Llewellyn” again. This, apparently, is a very sore spot for her and she responds angrily. She feels he’s using her past against her to manipulate her into this conversation. Slowly, Giles begins telling her his side of the story: he knows that all her life, Professor Ian protected and cared for Cymru. However, he did his best to teach Cymru to despise vampires to protect her because her parents had been pro-vampire advocates. There was a breeder, almost a dark version of the Vampire Fancier, who was very cruel to vampires and trained them for cruel purposes. Her parents fought against him and won---and he killed them for it.

The Professor wanted to protect her from him and tried to make her seem small and insignificant. However, Giles tells her that it doesn’t matter---the breeder still wants her for the simple reason that she’s the daughter of her parents. As it turns out, Cymru actually passed out because she stepped on the hoe and hit herself on the head with it inadvertently. After Giles brings Cymru to the Pub, Kitty finds out she’s there, but also that she’s sleeping. Rather than disturb her, Kitty goes outside to wait.

Darth comes back to see the VF and tells her that she followed the trail up to a tree, then it stopped cold. The VF tells DD her theory about what’s going on: she thinks the second thief, the man, is trying to imitate the first, but they know it’s not the same person as the first was a woman and he is a man. She also believes the man is J. To help get Andur and Merry back, she called in Friend of Ditto, Ditto Kitty, Willow, and Cymru. The VF reveals that she knows DD is Salabis (her sense of scent helped), but there isn’t time for her to change. Although the Ditto Team members and the Originalist are nervous in each other’s presence at first, they eventually decide to work together anyways.

Since she is unneeded at the moment, Ditto Rider dons her Rochil disguise and goes to see Inky, and inkwell and cousin of Boo-Kay, leaving a note for Lianna. She has come to update the Ditto Town Archives.

“Rock On!” Girl and J are together at the Soulful Bowlful once more, and J notices that she doesn’t seem involved in the conversation. She passes it off as her not feeling well, so eventually he talks her into going home. After he drops her off, she pulls out her invisibility cloak---she’s left it in a more accessible place since last time---and follows J. This time, she follows him to the tree, then through the caves. Eventually, she sees Merry chained to a wall. While looking for something to help him, she takes off her cloak…and she notices an underwater fountain, which she is quite certain she’s seen before. J catches her and is about to knock her out when Merry warns her with a squeal. She spins around, then suddenly remembers the first time she saw it, and realizes that is why J came back. She also realizes that he did something to her to cause her to forget it.

The VF, DD, Friend of Ditto, Cymru, Kitty, Willow, Pippin, and three other vamps continue riding towards their destination. Along the way, Cymru begins to ask the VF about what Giles told her. The VF confirms it, and describes the Dark Fancier in a little more detail. The only names they know him by are the Dark Fancier and Scorpio, and the VF is sure he will try to kill Cymru…but is equally sure that he’s not going to get the chance. After this conversation is over, they find the tree and the VF opens it using the secret knot. They start heading down the passage, the VF leading the way, but the VF doesn’t turn on a light; she seems to be fine without it. She doesn’t seem to realize, however, that the others need a light until they ask for one a few minutes later. When DD asks her about her flashlight, she replies hesitantly. However, they arrive in a place with torchlight before DD can ask anything else, and the VF tells them they’re almost to their destination.

They arrive in the same cave with the underwater stream, which the VF tells them runs all under the town. While the others are in awe, she seems to wish it didn’t exist. However, their musing is cut short when they spring a trap and a cage forms around them. A hollow in the cave uncloaks to reveal J and a chained Merry and “Rock On!” Girl. J praises the VF for her “good work” in tricking the others, and instantly, the vamps and the other captives are at odds, while the VF is doing her best to explain. She temporarily re-gains their trust by having her vamps tear the iron bars apart, but after they get out, they find they’re trapped behind a force field. J continues to praise her, commenting that she managed to get her vampires into all the circles of town. Darth asks if this was some kind of plot, then the VF realizes that that’s what was intended to happen, though she had no idea. She thought she was just watching over “Rock On!” Girl and the town, not assisting in its takeover…or, as J corrects her, destruction. Cymru also asks about the Dark Fancier, and J confirms that he’s working for him.

Friend of Ditto asks what’s so special about this place that he would kill everyone for it, and “Rock On!” Girl (That or Rocks from now on), who managed to get her gag off, tells them it’s the Fountain of Youth. She stumbled across it once, and the Organization almost killed her for it, but someone convinced them to wipe her memory…and now, they want it for themselves and are going to kill all the Dittopians to get it. Darth asks the VF what she knew, and she admits she should’ve figured it out but had no idea what they were planning; she thought she was just protecting the town and the fountain. After this, J tells the VF to have her vamps kill the others, and at first, it looks like the VF might do it…but it’s momentary, and she turns around and informs him she won’t. J is shocked that she disobeyed him, convinced she had to, but she merely tells him she nor her vamps take orders from him. She pulls a device out of her pocket and disables the force field. J, infuriated, actives several metal balls which turn into six-foot robots. The battle begins, and Rocks, who freed herself, delivers J a punch in the face, then goes to free Merry. J knocks Rocks over the edge, but she manages to keep her footing and joins the battle.

Lianna suddenly gets the feeling that Friend of Ditto and Kitty are afraid, for some reason, and goes looking for Katherine. She receives Katherine’s note a few days late which tells her to see Boo-Kay if she needs to find Katherine. After giving him an “office” (a cardboard box with “OFFICE” written on it) so his crankiness is abated, he tells her that Katherine is with his cousin, Inky. He offers to come with so that he can give her directions (and see Inky). They arrive and find Rochil, who has just completed her work. Rochil tells Lianna of her “secret identity”. While Boo-Kay and Inky are enjoying their reunion, both the Ditto Team members suddenly become pale and begin to collapse. They both realize that Friend and Kitty are in trouble---Rochil explains that she’s had an impression when they were in trouble before, but never anything this strong. Now she knows exactly where they are. They realize this ability is now strengthened because the two of them are together and it has something to do with their teleportation/transformation abilities.

Rochil teleports back into town to leave Song a note telling her the rest of the Team is out of town and to gather supplies, including the teleportation machine. She comes back and teleports Lianna, Giles, and herself to where she knows Friend and Kitty are. They arrive just in time to overhear “Rock On!” Girl’s part of the conversation. Soon after, the battle began, so they rush into it. After confirming that the VF is a friend, Rochil begins to fight the robots, only to discover that her sword is useless unless used on joints.

Ditto Kitty is watching the battle, trying to find some way to join in and be useful, when she sees J trying to escape. She follows him and leaps on him, but after he pries her off, he throws her into a wall. She’s too winded to move and lands in the river. The VF sees this but is too caught up in battle to do anything; instead, she gets Willow’s attention, who immediate goes to her master’s rescue.

Thundershadow the unicorn, servant of Aslan, comes to the Wood Between The Worlds from the world of Crestant. Soon after arriving, Aslan instructs her to go Ditto Town. She arrives where the battle is and, after a prompt from Aslan, joins the battle on the Dittopians’ side. However, she soon finds herself overwhelmed. Eventually, however, as the other Dittopians begin unleashing their fury on the robots, she finds herself reasonably safer…and then notices J escaping. She sends a telepathic message to the nearest fighter, who turns out to be DD, that he’s escaping, then rejoins the battle. Though Merry warns her about the traps, they realize they have to catch J and go after him…but they also know there is another way to get to the same destination, and they’ll be able to get Andur.

The VF notices her leaving, so DD mouths to her “J”, and the VF understands. She gets “Rock On!” Girl’s attention and they both also head after him, but down the tunnel he went through, as they’re equipped to handle the traps. After using their devices to get through them, they find a door with a handprint scanner---which still works for them, and their betrayal hasn’t been noted by the computer yet.

Meanwhile, J is running down the hallways, now rather concerned about what he’s going to do when he faces the Dark Fancier with bad news. At the end of the tunnel, he discovers that Cymru is waiting for him. Seeing this as an opportunity to redeem himself, he pulls out two pistols and tries to turn the situation in his favor. J hears the VF and Rocks getting closer and, almost in desperation, tricks Cymru into turning it into hand-to-hand combat…which, despite her best efforts, he wins. He puts restraining cuffs on her and begins leading her away, but they both know that the others are close behind.

Back in the cave, the last of the robots has been destroyed, and after Thundershadow briefly introduces herself and Kitty introduces the others to her, they remember J. They find the tunnel and go down it, fortunate that Rocks and the VF had already deactivated the traps.

The VF and Rocks arrive just in time to see J starting to drag Cymru off. However, he pulls another trick on them---inflates a huge beach-ball-like object in their path---that gives him enough time to put some distance between them. J drags Cymru outside and, after she begins causing too much trouble, ties her to a tree. As he’s looking for a secret door, however, he realizes that Darth and her vampires have caught up to him. Pippin frees Cymru while Merry and Darth keep him from moving. Not long after, the VF and Rocks arrive, the VF giving Cymru her weapon back. J realizes the bad situation he’s in and tries to convince Rocks that it wasn’t his fault, that he was forced to. He tells them that there is a shift of power going on in the Organization’s higher levels, and that now everyone works for the Dark Fancier.

The VF, however, is getting very sick of J and picks him up by his collar. Thundershadow, Kitty, and the others that came from the cave arrive at this moment. However, as J is in the air, he pulls out a retractable spike and extends it…straight through the VF’s torso. She falls over, now unresponsive, and Pippin quickly pins him to the ground. As the others stare in horror, Merry turns and tells them, “We need Lianna.” DD misunderstands and begins concocting an herbal compound that will help her, which she gives to Merry to put on the wound. Merry, surprisingly, begins to laugh. When Giles arrives, he convinces Merry and the other vamps to show the others the VF’s wound. She’s not bleeding…sparks are emanating from it. She’s an android. Giles tells them they need to get her back to the compound, and soon---there’s a time constraint. They secure J and head for the compound---though Lianna recommends that those who are bleeding head somewhere else to avoid the vampires smelling human blood.

Rochil, knowing there might not be enough time to ride back to town, slips away and gets the teleportation machine. She comes back with it as Ditto Rider, claiming Rochil went to get her so she could use her teleportation abilities…and feigning surprise at the VF’s situation. Friend of Ditto explains it to her, and soon after, they split into two groups---one to bring J to the Sherriff and the other to bring the VF to the compound. Rocks is one in the group to bring J to the Sherriff, and she is the one who confiscates all his gadgets. Again, he tries to convince her it wasn’t his fault, and at first, she resists. However, he turns it into something personal---between him and her. Now it’s working. Rocks feels almost like she is in a daze, and J’s words begin making sense. She sets him free and leads him out of the Sherriff’s office…only to have him lead her to the “Absolutely!” Man’s abandoned house. She is confused and isn’t feeling well, so J gives her something to drink. However, before she does, the Ditto Rider appears, telling her it’s a trap.

Ditto Rider had seen Rocks leading J out of the station and realized she was drugged. Luckily, Lianna had long-since given her a compound to help fix that if it ever came up again. She saw J giving Rocks something to drink and remember Salabis telling her about that particular substance---it was a poison. She warned Rocks, then dove into the room, taking J down temporarily. She managed to snap Rocks out of her daze, but J began laying some blows on her. Rocks is still unable to see or move as well as she would like, but she manages to capture J. Ditto Rider looks at her hands and realizes that J put the drug there, then puts more of the antidote there. Rocks is fully snapped out of it, and they bring him back where he belongs.

At the compound, Samwise sees what’s happening and quickly goes to get the nerd vamps. They go into a lab-like area and the nerd vamps begin repairing her. Lianna is still confused as to why they need her, but Giles assures her she will when they get there. Finally, the nerd vamps are done, only to discover that the VF’s systems have been reset to their most basic programming. After that, Jonathan grabs some kind of scanner and begins scanning Lianna. After a while, he finds something…and removes a chip from her arm! This chip is a back-up which will restore the VF. Lianna is startled to see this and demands an explanation…and the newly-awakened VF promises her some (as well as gives her the rare opportunity to call her “Fance”).

Around the same time, Cymru wakes from sleep in the compound. Samwise leads her to another cot, where another female vampire (who can speak English; later named Crusher) and some young vamps begin caring for her. Cymru notices the lack of proper clothing (the VF doesn’t have time to make them all clothes), so she promises that she will get them some. The VF comes in a little while later while preparing to talk to Lianna and sees this. She’s a little annoyed that they chose to use her room to care for Cymru, but she knows it’s to be expected, but turns the caring over to Lianna. After the VF changes shirts and Lianna sends Giles to get her things from the Apothecary, the VF begins her explanation: Lianna’s parents created the VF for the Organization when they turned their sights to vampire breeding. They wanted someone that could match a vampire, physically, and without blood. Lianna’s parent didn’t realize the VF would be used in such an evil scheme, but they did set up some safeguards: an ethics program, which was how the VF was able to resist J’s command to kill her friends, and a backup chip in case the Organization ever tried to reset her system. They hid the chip in Lianna’s body as it was the last place anyone would ever look.

After this explanation, Cymru points out that the Organization is going to come after them, especially with neither of their operatives reporting back, and the others agree. However, they agree that capturing J has given them some time to plan. Lianna recommends going back to town, but Cymru is worried that the Organization might come after the vampires. Giles decides now is time to fill her in on Plan F---“F” standing for Freedom. However, before he can explain it, Ditto Rider and Rocks knock on the compound door, coming to see Lianna, and the VF goes to let them in.

During this time, Lianna sends Giles out to get her and Cymru something to drink…but that is a pretense so she can talk to Cymru about her relationship with Giles. She and many others know that Cymru seems to like Giles, but Cymru isn’t sure since her liking began before she realized he was a vampire. She’s decided it’s not really an option for the time being, although she will still count him among her dear friends. Not long after, Giles comes back with the drinks, and Rocks comes to tell them that they are all going to town. On their way, they discuss their future.

Meanwhile, all this time, Emily has been spying on Lianna, and now knows about the VF’s injury…but little else, much to her annoyance. She’s going to print it up in the paper…on the front page.

DD and Thundershadow talk while their wounds are being tended to; Thundershadow tells her that she’s telepathic. DD asks how she came, and Thundershadow reluctantly declines to tell her.

Meanwhile, out in the middle of nowhere, the horse thief uses a communication device not unlike the one the VF uses to talk to the Organization. She contacts her superior who, concerned about Song’s return to town, tells her to come back, bringing all the horses with her. He also tells her to retrace her path and make sure no one is searching for her (which she is quite certain no one is, since everyone’s busy with J). Elsewhere, Frinio, Phoenix Archer, and the phoenix are still looking, and they hear a horse whinny. They begin following it to its source. Along the way, Phoenix Archer begins remembering the night at the Apothecary with regret. She hates the fact that she’ll always have an instinctual hate of vampires; unlike her phoenixes, she will literally never get over it.

Phoenix Archer shakes it off and they begin planning. They find the thief’s cottage and stable. They go inside the stable and find all the horses. The horse thief had been going out to get a horse to do her job when she discovered the five. After a brief scuffle, they disarm her and take her back to town. On the way, they run into the group that was coming back from the compound. Brief explanations later, the phoenixes and Phoenix Archer are going back to the stables to retrieve the horses (mostly as an excuse to get away from the vampires) while Frinio and the others take the horse thief to jail. Despite some interrogation, they learn nothing from her except that she was indeed the same woman who sold Hwesta to Song in the first place.

Soon after, Vanessa goes to see Lianna and Cymru to apologize for what happened at the Apothecary (and asks Lianna to pass it on to Giles). She also gives them her goodbye, as she and her sisters are leaving Ditto Town. This is natural for them; after they do their “job”, they leave---Vanessa, for the most part, feels they need to stop evil wherever they can find it. However, this time, they all seem reluctant to go. As they are leaving, Vanessa takes one look back and makes a decision: “From now on, I am the Ditto Phoenix Archer.”