Jakkson: "Yes, I, uh...I need a sleeping bag. Two, actually."
After Phantom gathers his produce, Jakkson goes outside to meet him. Phantom conveniently has a bag for Jakkson to carry the apples and grapes in, then motions for Jakkson to hold out his hands.
Phantom: "Who knows? You may need it. It brings good luck. I still don't know where you're going."
Jakkson: "Oliver will explain later, Phantom. I'm sorry we have to keep you in the dark about this, but everyone's safer this way."
Phantom: "There's danger?"
Jakkson: "Oliver will explain later. That's all I can say right now."
Going back inside, Jakkson runs into Midnight. His stomach twists into a tight knot. He has to say goodbye...without Midnight knowing he's saying goodbye to her for good.
Jakkson: "Yes, in about an hour."
Amaranth: "Woofie, where are we going?"
Jakkson: "We're, uh...we're going to a neat place far away from here. You'll like it a lot. It's a surprise."
There are hardly any sounds throughout the house as Jakkson packs up some last things, trying to make it look like he's packing for Amaranth's stay at the boarding school. Once everything is done, Amaranth and Jakkson leave the house. Oliver watches after them until they fade into the distance, praying for the best. He feels almost unable to help. He just hopes that Amaranth is completely safe in Jakkson's care. He can't wait to see her again.
She never spent time with Amaranth. She has no connections with Amaranth. In fact, she put great effort into getting that girl away from her. So why does she now ponder whether she should've made such a decision? Why does her conscience even care?
The more she thinks, the sicker her stomach gets. So many realizations creep into her mind, realizations she's pushed away for so long. She's only a few days away from turning old, the one fear of her father. She's no closer to finding the secret of immortality than her father was. She'd barely listened to Jakkson's suggestion of keeping an heir around. Her days of childbearing are about over (not that she wants any more children anyway). Who will carry on the legacy after her if she never finds the secret of youth? What if her child rebels against her evilness and turns out to be good just to spite her? What if everything she and her father dreamed of crumbles because she was too stupid to think ahead, too stupid to see her own weaknesses?
Jittery and about to choke on the sudden rush of tears, Midnight gets up from the bed and summons for a taxi outside. She wants to go to the place where she last saw her father alive...and ironically, the last time she saw her father dead.
Does she regret anything she's done in life? Yes, some. She can't say she regrets capturing her three servants though. They do so much service and add so much wealth to the house, and, well...if she'd never set out to capture them, she might never have met Jakkson. She tries to just see him as a toy, as something to manipulate to get what she wants. She tries to invest no emotional attachment into him. When she tells him she loves him, she doesn't want to actually mean it. Why does she have to fight her natural desires? Why does she actually feel something for him?
Almost zombie-like, Midnight stumbles over to Rufus Overlord's grave, parked next to her mother Bambi's. No dam of any size could stop the tears from flooding down her cheeks.
Rushing home, Midnight whips out her cell phone to dial Jakkson. Maybe she can catch him in time. Maybe Amaranth hasn't boarded the ship to Bridgeport yet.
Jakkson: "It's alright. We'll stay here. It looks like a good spot."
Amaranth: "...Woof, why did we have to run away? Why are we hiding from Mama? Is she...is she really dangerous to us? I know all the kids at school are scared of us because we're Overlords, but would Mama really be mean to us?"
Jakkson doesn't want to answer the question. Amaranth still yearns for the affection and approval of her mother. Jakkson finds it tough to leave her too. But how can he explain to his daughter that they're running away for her own safety? Should he shatter her dreams and her opinions of her mother? Should he continue to let her believe what she wants to believe?
Unable to come to a conclusion, Jakkson changes the subject.
Amaranth: "...What are you counting to?"
Jakkson: "What do you want me to count to?"
Amaranth: "...Twenty. Count to twenty."
Jakkson: "Okay. One....two...."
Jakkson succeeds in getting the little one's mind off of her exhaustion and the topic of her mother. After finishing hide-and-seek (and then playing a long round of tag), both are hungry. They pull out some of Phantom's apples from the bag and take a bite. It's perfectly juicy and plump and delicious, like biting into a slice of heaven.
Jakkson: "He sure did. He's pretty good, isn't he?"
Amaranth: "They're the best! They're way better than those yucky ones the school makes us eat for lunch."
Jakkson: "Hmm. Bizzie should sell his produce to the school rather than the grocery store, I'm thinking."
Amaranth: "Woofie...how come Bizzie's the most annoying person on the planet and yet he makes you happy just by being around him? How does he do it?"
Jakkson: "If we all knew how to do it, there'd be a lot more Bizzies in the world. But there's only one of him. I think the world only needs one!"
Amaranth: "Yes! But it definitely needs him!"
Jakkson smiles in agreement. Jakkson knows his difficulty separating from Midnight, and he's even gotten to be good friends with Oliver. But he hadn't realized until today how much he would miss that mischievous little fairy. Even crummy days don't feel that bad when he's around.
Jakkson and Amaranth decide to rest for a little while before settling down to sleep.
Jakkson: "I don't know. I've never been across the ocean, so I don't know if there's anywhere on the world where they could be. It'd be pretty cool though."
Amaranth: "Yeah...I bet Mama would want one. Castles always have dragons in my storybooks."
Back to Midnight again. Jakkson sighs, then decides it's time to turn in. It doesn't take long before father and daughter are sound asleep on the fresh grass.
Phantom: "Oliver told me you were sending Amaranth to boarding school. That's probably why she's not back."
Midnight: "But where's Jakk? It's been two days, Phantom. I'm...I'm getting....worried about him."
Phantom: "I hope he didn't go to Bridgeport with Amaranth. The vampires there don't like werewolves, or at least that's what Mama Pixie always told me."
Midnight gently feels her pocket, feels the mechanism that could send Jakkson in pain. There's a distinct possibility that he has run away. She warned him what would happen if he ran away. Yet...she can't do it.
She charges up the stairs to find Oliver, hoping that maybe he knows something. Would Jakk have talked to Oliver before leaving? Does Oliver know something she doesn't?
Oliver: "...About what?"
Midnight: "Oliver, where's Jakkson? I need to know where he is. It's been two days and there's no sign of him coming back, and he left his phone in the dungeon."
Oliver: "Are you truly that concerned about him?"
Oliver: "I...I thought you wouldn't care if he were hurt."
Midnight: "...Oliver, did you do something to him?"
Oliver: "No, no. I'm just saying...I would've expected you to 'push the button' on him by now."
Midnight: "I can't. I'm cruel but...but not that cruel. Oliver, do you have any idea where he is? And if you do, you need to tell me NOW."
Oliver: "...I don't know where he is, Midnight. He...took off with Amaranth. I don't know where they went. He could be anywhere."
Then to Oliver's shock, Midnight bursts into tears. Real, genuine tears. Oliver can't believe what he's seeing. She'd been so heartless and ruthless in the days and weeks prior. How can she now be genuinely concerned about Jakkson's safety? Has she secretly been feeling this way for a while, or is this another ruse? Uncertain, Jakkson awkwardly tries to comfort her in a hug. Midnight latches on, something else Oliver isn't expecting.
Midnight: "I j-just...I d-don't want f-for this to happen. I don't know w-why I'm s-so weak right now..."
Oliver: "I don't think I've ever seen you like this."
Midnight: "I'm an O-Overlord, you're not s-supposed to see my this w-way..."
Oliver: "...Jakk and I thought so much differently about you. Jakk took Amaranth because...well, he felt like she...needed to be safe."
Midnight: "I've changed my mind about Amaranth."
Midnight: "I've been so bitter about having a child when I did, that I never did want her around. But...I'm about to get old, Oliver. I need someone to carry on the legacy of the Overlords. I need Amaranth to do that."
Oliver: "...So if she were to come back, you'd actually make an effort to interact and generally be a mother to her rather than a strange woman who lives down the hall."
Midnight: "Sigh. Yes, Oliver."
Oliver: "Well...I guess...someone's gotta go find them then."
Phantom: "I have to go all the way to Bridgeport?"
Midnight: "No, Phantom, I don't think they're in Bridgeport. Oliver thinks there's somewhere in town. You need to go find them, before something happens to them."
Phantom: "Like you pushing a button?"
Phantom: "Like weird stuff called snow? Mama Pixie told me there's stuff called snow in a land far away and the winds are shifting it to--"
Midnight: "No, Phantom. Just go find them."
Phantom: "Do you have a bucket of chicken fat?"
Midnight: "PHANTOM. GO before I STRANGLE YOU."
Phantom: "With chicken fat?"
Midnight: "Go search, Phantom. It's almost morning."
And off Phantom flies. First his wings take him to the park.
Woman: "No...have you called the police?"
Phantom: "Midnight won't even let us use that word."
Woman: "Midnight...Midnight OVERLORD?!"
Phantom: "Yes. Her big brown furry werewolf ran away with her daughter."
Phantom: "Don't worry, he's not going to eat her. Not until he runs out of produce, anyway."
Then Phantom flits by the arboretum and the fairy gardens, hoping Baby's Breath knows something. But no one at the fairy gardens has noticed Jakk or Amaranth. One particular fairy did, however, notice Phantom.
Phantom: "Uh...have you seen a werewolf and a little girl?"
Fairy: "No, but I did thee thtars when I fell for you!"
Fairy: "Wanna...join me in that fairy houthe over there?"
Phantom: "Mama Pixie always told me you Dryads were weird."
Fairy: "If you want my booody and ya think I'm theeexy--"
Phantom: "NOOO!! Not the sex talk again!"
Fairy: "So, what do you thay?"
Phantom: "Hello...I must be going. I cannot stay, I came to say I must be going. I'm glad I came but all the same, I must be going. La la!"
After checking more places with no luck, Phantom flies around aimlessly until he finds a gypsy wagon. He'd heard rumors that there was a gypsy wagon in Moonlight Falls. Mama Pixie always told him never to go near one, because the gypsies were cruel and treacherous, especially towards fairies. But what if Jakk and Amaranth are inside getting their fortune told?
Hesitantly at first, but figuring it couldn't hurt, Phantom goes inside to check.
The wagon is smoky on the inside. Phantom doesn't like smoke that much. It clogs up his lungs.
Gypsy: "...Well, hello. Oh..! You're a fairy! Oh, do come in and sit down."
Phantom: "Oh, I can't stay long. Have you seen a werewolf and a little blonde girl?"
Gypsy: "Well, I haven't personally, but...I think I can predict where they'd be, based on your fortune."
Phantom: "Really?! Oh boy! That would be great! Then I wouldn't have to go searching all over the world!"
Gypsy: "Of course. Why tire out your wings at such a tender young age? Come. First, I need you to breathe in this particular perfume..."
Phantom: "...It smells weird. I don't...I don't like smelling it..."
Gypsy: "Keep breathing it in."
Phantom: "Why do I feel all lightheaded?"
Gypsy: "That's good, that means it's working. Once your brain gets cloudy, you'll be able to see visions better."
Phantom: "Oh...but I'm getting...really sleepy..."
Gypsy: "You're close to the vision, little fairy. You're almost there."
Phantom: "...What is this stuff called?..."
Gypsy: "Why, it's my favorite perfume. I love to give it to little fairies like you who wander in. Your magic power is very valuable when extracted, you know. The perfume is known as chloroform. I think you'll..grow to like it."
Midnight: "...Where is that fairy? It's been another two days!"
Oliver: "I just...I hope he didn't get distracted or anything, and he's not wasting time at the arboretum."
Midnight: "Do you...do you think it was the wisest thing to send Phantom after Jakk and Amaranth? He's so..."
Midnight: "Yes. Sidetracked. Should we really have trusted him with this?"
Oliver: "...I don't think that's our biggest issue here. Phantom gets distracted easily, but that's not the most dangerous part. He's oblivious to people who'd want to take advantage of him. He looks for the best in everyone, and that's not always wise."
Midnight: "...So you're saying on his way to go find Jakk and Amaranth, he could've been harmed?"
Oliver: "He could be in danger. I don't know. I just...I don't really want to wait for him. He should've been back by now. Phantom's intuitive. I'm sure he could've found them by now..."
Midnight: "So now we have three people to find instead of two. This is just wonderful. Why did you ever conspire to do this?"
Oliver: "...Misunderstanding, I guess."
Midnight: "Well...as much as you hate me and as much as I don't really like you, we're going to have to work together."
Oliver: "If you want to see Jakk and Amaranth and Phantom home safely, then I'll tolerate you."
Author's notes: If anybody knows who sang the original "Hello I Must Be Going" song that Phantom sang, I will give you five chocolate-covered cherry cookies. I love the song (and the guys who sang it) a lot.
Where are Jakkson and Amaranth? What's going to happen to Phantom? Can Midnight and Oliver get along enough to work together and find them? Is Midnight really going to change her ways and start being a real mother to Amaranth? All this to come... :D