Downtown, San Francisco, 12 p.m.
"Alex. I have to get to Alex, before it's too late." The man thought as he ran through the alleyway. He could hear the footsteps running behind him. He just looked straight ahead, too afraid to see who or what was after him. He was in search of someplace public. It never followed him into crowded places, but waited until he was alone. He had to get to a phone. As he cleared the alley, back onto the brightly lit streets, he spotted an all night diner. "Perfect." He thought, hoping they had a phone so he could get help.
Angel Island, 12:15 p.m.
Alex had been in the control room, going over her records on the tomb of King Tut. She wanted to make sure everything was in order before she left for Egypt the next morning. She was excited about being asked to help explore a secret tomb found under the original one. She knew she would be among the first to see it's contents, since it was first sealed. She was even more excited, that with the new microscopic cameras and Mics, furnished by the Legacy, everyone in the Ciaro house would be able to see everything as it happened. Alex was just about finished, and was ready to head up to bed when she heard Dominick voice on the speaker phone.
"Miss. Alex, are you still in there." Dominick had brought Alex a sandwich eariler, and she had told him she would probably be there for awhile.
"Yes Dom, I'm here. What's up." Alex said, standing at the light switch.
"You have a call on line one. A Mr. Jeffery Star."
"Jeffery? I'll take it, thank you Dominick." Alex said, walking to the phone.
"You're welcome and goodnight, Miss. Alex." Dominick said before clicking off. Alex picked up the phone and opened line one.
"Hello Jeffery, are you there?" Alex said, sitting back down.
"Yes Alex I'm here." Jeffery said in a shaky voice. "Alex I know I promised I wouldn't bother you again, but I need your help. Something's after me."
"What's after you Jeffery? Where are you."
"Ah, I'm at Neil's all night diner, down town. I don't know what this thing is, but it's been following me for days now." Jeffery said, looking around paranoid.
"I know the place. OK you stay there and I'm going to come get you."
"No! It might hurt you. Send Nick." Jeffery said. Alex smiled, remembering that Nick and Jeffery never did get along.
"I'll bring Nick with me. We'll be there within the hour. You stay put Jeffery, you understand?" Alex commanded.
"Don't worry as long as that thing's out there, I'm staying in here. But please hurry." With that he hung up. Alex headed upstairs to Nick's room. She gently knocked at his door.
"It's open." Nick yelled. He had been unable to sleep, so he had decided to lift weights. Alex peered her head inside the door.
"Hey, I'm glad you're still up." Alex said as she walked into the room, closing the door behind her.
"What's up?" Nick said, sitting up from the weight bench, and looking at Alex with concern.
"I just got a call from a friend who needs help. He's absolutely terrified. I told him that I'd come pick him up, but I don't want to go alone. I was hoping you'd come with me.
"Sure, just let me get dressed." Nick got up and walked to his bureau. He got out some sweats, which he started to put on. He totally forgot that Alex was there, or was so comfortable with her, that he wasn't embarassed stripping down to his boxer's. However, Alex stood there waiting and blushing. Nick noticed her discomfort, and suddenly realized why. He was half naked. He hastened in his task to put on his clothes.
"So, does your friend have a name? Is it anyone I know?" Nick asked as he sat to put on his shoes. Alex hesitated telling Nick who it was for fear he wouldn't help her, but she had never lied to Nick. She knew this was why they were so close, and she didn't want to lose his trust in her.
"Ah, yeah. It's Jeffery." Alex said, nearly mumbling.
"Jeffery Star?" Nick asked. "What's he gotten himself into this time? I can't believe you're even considering helping that guy again."
"Look Nick I know you don't like him, but he is my friend and he was scared. If you don't want to go I understand..."
"You don't think I'm going to let you go out there and get dragged into whatever new scam he's working on, do you? No I'm going, but only because I know that you're going to go no matter what I say." Nick said, grabbing his gun from the nightstand.
"You really think we're going to need that." Alex asked, watching Nick tuck the gun in the back of his pants.
"Well let's look at the track record we've had with Jeffery so far." Nick said, causing Alex to laugh.
"You right, I'd better take one too." Alex said jokingly, but Nick grabbed a another gun from the stand. He handed to Alex, who didn't readily take it.
"I think you should always keep one handy, and tomorrow I'll show the basics of handling and firing a gun." Alex looked at her friend, then at the gun in her hand.
"So I just stick it in the back like so." Alex asked, mimicking Nick moves with his gun.
"Yeah, here turn around." Nick twirled Alex and put the gun in the appropriate spot. "Now you just need to wear a coat or jacket , to conceal it." Alex smiled, still feeling a little uncomfortable with the gun. Especially now that it was down her pants. "OK let's go." Nick said leading the way out of the room.
"Hey this thing isn't going to go off or anything." Alex said, following behind him. "I don't have much of an ass to start with, and I'd like to keep what I do have." Nick just laughed.
"You're fine the safety's on." They headed down the stairs and to the main door. Alex went out first. "Actually I've always thought you have a lovily ass, Alex." Nick remarked, smiling as he closed the door behind them.
Later, at the diner:
Nick and Alex arrived to find Jeffery in a back booth, looking scared out of his mind. They walked over to join him.
"Jeffery?" Alex spoke, causing the man to jump, nearly out of his seat. "Hey take it easy, it's just us." Alex said, putting a comforting hand on his shoulder.
"Alex!" Jeffery said, putting his hand to his chest. "Thank you guys for coming." He looked past Alex and Nick, towards the door. "Where's the brooding fellow, you the one with the accent? I thought he'd come with you."
"Derek is at home in the bed, sound asleep, which is where we should be." Nick finally spoke.
"It's nice to see you too, Nick." Jeffery smirked at Nick, as Nick return the favor. "I told Alex not to invite you."
"Well, I've always been a party crasher." Nick said, smiling.
"Will you two behave? We're all here, so let's try to figure out what's going on, OK." Alex said, looking at both of her friends. They both nodded their heads. "Now Jeffery, tell us what's happening."
"Well, at first I thought I had imagined it all, but then she spoke to me." Jeffery said, gulping the cofffee he had ordered an hour ago.
"Wait, on the phone you said you didn't know what it was." Alex interrupted.
"I thought you might not want to help me if I told you a ghost was after me, again."
"You thought right." Nick interjected. Alex gently placed her hand on his, her way of telling him to shut up.
"Go on Jeffery, Tell us what she said." Alex said.
"I see this girl, but she doesn't speak, at least her mouth doesn't move." Nick looked at him skeptiaclly. "I know how it sounds, but there's a voice. It's deep and kind of scratchy."
"And whenever you see this girl, you hear the voice?" Alex asked. Jeffery nodded."Well, what does the voice say to you?" Nick shifted in his seat, and folded his arms, as if preparing himself for a long untrue story, that he already knew the answer to. Alex glared at him in a scolding manner.
"Hey I didn't say a word. I'm listening, no matter how far-fetched it sounds." Alex turned back to Jeffery.
"What does she say, Jeffery?"
"I'm still alive. That's all she keeps saying, over and over again. I'm still alive."
"When did you first see her? Where were you at exactly?" Alex continued questioning.
"Ah I was at home. I just inherited my Dad's place, a brownstone. I hadn't been in there more than a week, before she showed up."
"She just appeared, you weren't performing another one of your "contacting the dead" sessions. Were you?" Alex asked, suspiously.
"Or maybe fell and bumped your head." Nick added with a smirk. Alex smiled too, despite herself.
"No." Jeffery said, shooting Nick a look. "The only thing I was doing was my laundry. Separating the whites from the colors, to be exact." He gulped more of the cold coffee. "Then when I turned to leave, she was there, and the voice said, I'm still alive."
"Ok I guess the only thing to do now, is to go home with you." Alex said.
"For what? Hoping Casper comes out to say hello?" Nick asked, still very skeptical.
"Yeah something like that." Alex said.
"Great, I didn't want to stay in that house tonight by myself." Jeffery said, relieved.
"Whoa, we're not spending the night." Nick quickly spoke up.
"Oh Nick be a pal." Jeffery pleaded. "Don't leave me alone in that house."
"First of all, I'm not your pal, and secondly, no." Nick said then he turned to see Alex smiling at him.
"Please Nick." Alex pleaded, now rubbing his hand. Nick looked at her then rolled his eyes. He hated that he could never deny her anything.
"Well, Alex if you stay we won't need Nick. We can protect each other. You'll watch my body and I'll watch yours." Jeffery smiled at her.
"Yeah right. We'll both stay, but only for tonight." Nick stated.
"That's fine, and we'll leave first thing in the morning, I promise." Alex smiled. Nick groaned.
"OK I'm going to go call the house, and leave a message with Dom, so Derek won't wonder where we are." Nick said, rising from the table.
"Thanks Nick." Alex said, giving him her biggest smile.
"Ya know I really need to work at saying no to you." Nick said, shooting her a smile and a wink, before walking off to make the call.
"Thank you Alex." Jeffery said, clasping Alex's hands with his. "You really are a lifesaver."
Later at Jeffery's house:
Once they arrived at the house, they found it to be quite normal. After a sweep of the house turned up nothing, they decided to turn in for the night.
"Ok, this sofa turns in to a sleeper." Jeffery said, tossing some extra linen, pillows, and a blanket onto the sofa. "I'm sure you'll be comfortable Nick. Alex we'll be sleeping in there." He pointed towards his bedroom.
"Not even in your dreams Jeffery." Alex smiled at him. "Nick and I will be fine out here. You go on to bed now." With that Jeffery turned to leave.
"Well suit yourself, but if you change you mind, Alex, I'll keep the door unlocked."
"Thanks, but I won't be changing my mind. However, if you have some extra pjs I could wear, I'd appreciate it."
"Sure." Jeffery walked into his room, then returned a few seconds later with pajamas in hand. He tossed them to her. "The bathroom's down the hall, to the right. Goodnight." Jeffery went into his bedroom, closing the door behind him.
"Would you like the bottoms?" Alex asked Nick.
"No way. I'm not putting any of my body parts in a place where Jeffery's had his crotch." Nick said. Alex crinkled up her nose.
"Good point." She said, tossing the pajamas on a nearby chair. "I'll just sleep in my clothes." She then left to go use the bathroom. Moments later she emerged to find the light off, and Nick already in bed. She entered the bed, from the opposite side.
"You're not going to try and take advantage of me, are you?" Nick said, smiling as he laid back with his hands behind his head.
"Shut up, Nick." Alex laughed too, as she smacked his chest. She rolled over on her side, and curled up. Nick rolled over too, throwing his arms casually across her waist. After many assignments that placed them in positions where they had to sleep in the same bed, Alex had grown used to Nick snuggling with her. She knew Nick would never overstep any boundries. Not without her permission, and she found safety in his arms. With a sign she closed her eyes, then she swiftly opened them again.
"What is that, poking me in the back." Alex asked, smiling a little.
"What this?" Smiling, he nudged the object further into her back.
"That is my gun." Nick said, lifting it from the under the covers.
"Since when do you sleep with your gun, near your crotch?"
"Hey that's my most valuable asset, and I got to protect my jewels." He laughed as did Alex. She rolled over to face him, and instantly caught sight of a young girl, standing over him. Alex froze and Nick, seeing the look on her face, went on the defensive. He lifted his gun again, but Alex put a steady hand on his.
"No. It's the girl." Alex whispered. Nick's eyes widened.
"What is she doing?" Nick whispered.
"Just watching us. She's beautiful, Nick." Alex smiled at the girl, who returned the smile. Then the girl put her hand over her chest.
"I'm still alive." She spoke, but without moving her lips. Alex began sitting up now, but motioned Nick not to move.
"Where are you? How can I find you?" Alex spoke to the girl. "Let me help you." The girl smile again.
"You will help me?"
"Yes." Alex said, slowing standing from the bed. Nick gripped her hand. "It's OK Nick. I'll help you just tell me where you are." the girl disappeared. "Damn! She's gone." Alex said standing up now.
"She's behind you." Nick whispered. Alex slowly turned and faced the girl. The girl touched Alex's chest. There was a ball of light, which burrowed into Alex, sending Alex flying against the far wall.
Nick quickly jumped to his feet, and Jeffery ran from the room. They both ran to Alex's limp body, which was leaning against the wall. He checked for a pulse.
"What the hell happened?" Jeffery asked, also kneeling beside Alex.
"We got a visit from your ghost, and she ain't too friendly." Nick found a pulse, but it was weak. "Alex? Alex come on baby talk to me." He gently stroked her hair. "We've got to get her to the hospital." Nick scooped Alex up into his arms, and stood up. Alex suddenly began to rouse. She opened her eyes and looked at Nick.
"Hello." Alex said.
"Hey darling. You gave me a scare there for a minute." Nick said, walking to the sofa, and laying her down. "Do you know what happened."
"Yes, the pretty lady is going to help us." Alex said, smiling up at Nick in a childlike manner.
"What the hell is she talking about?" Jeffery asked.
"Who are you and what have you done with Alex?" Nick said.
"Alex. Is that the pretty lady's name?"
"Yes that's her name, now tell me where she is."
"She here." The child placed Alex's hand over her heart. "She's going to help us."
"Us. There's more of you?" Jeffery asked, looking around paranoid.
"Oh yes, thirteen of us in all. We're trapped here, and Alex is going to help us. At first we thought you were our savior," She said looking at Jeffery. "But now we realize you were just a messager. Someone to help us find Alex. Our true savior." The child smiled.
"We need to get back to the house." Nick said.
"NO! We can't leave, if we leave he'll get the others. She is the only one who can protect us. When she's here he can't hurt us. She won't let him." The child said frightened, then a calm came over her face, as if she was listening to someone or something. "Yes, I understand. I'll try." The child laid back and closed her eyes.
"What is she doing? Who was she talking to?" Jeffery asked, frightened and confused. He and Nick watched as Alex's body began to glow, and a light in the shape of a form, lifted from her body. Nick and Jeffery moved back as they watched in shock, as the form took the shape of Alex., but she was nearly transparent.
"Now you can go with Nick." Alex spoke. "I'll stay with the others." Then she turned to Nick. "Nick you have to hurry, if I stay this way for too long, I can never return to the living."
"You're dead?" Nick asked.
"Yes, well my soul has left my body, but as long as my body is a live, and I'm not out of it longer then 24 hours. I can return to it. I'll explain it all later." Seeing the worry in Nick eyes, Alex smiled. "I'll be fine Nick, you just find what we need, and hurry back."
"What is that you need?"
"Justice. There are so many of them, Nick. these children are trapped here, and being tormented by him."
"By who, Alex?" Nick asked, reaching out to touch her, only to have his hand pass through her.
"His name was Spencer Cunningham. he owned this whole brownstone. Back in the 30's. He lurd the children of poor immigrants here, by promising work, then he tortured and killed them. Now their souls are locked here forever. So is his. Cunningham is still here tormenting them. They're so scared Nick, and some of them don't even realize that they're dead. You have to to get a wrecking crew here, and the living realatives of the children. We have to free them, giving them justice and peace."
"You can't tear down my house. Come on I just bought it."
"It's either that or you live with a house full of ghosts, who will probably be pissed at you for not helping them." Nick said. Jeffery became silent. Nick turned back to Alex. "What reason do I give to Derek and the Luna Foundation, for ordering a buliding to be destroyed?"
"They're still here Nick. Their bodies are buried in the basement." Alex said, then she quickly answered the question she sensed he was going to ask. "We have to destroy the house. It's too full of evil. So long as it stands, he'll have a place to dwell, and the children's souls will remained trapped."
"I don't want to leave you here, Alex." Nick said, reaching out to touch her again.
"I'll be OK. I'm not afraid of him. I can stand up to him, for the children. Besides they want me to stay." Alex said, pointing behind Nick and Jeffery. They turned to see all the children standing there. All pleading for Alex to stay.
"Please stay with us Alexandra, Please." They cried.
"See Nick I have to stay, for them." Alex said.
"Oh no, he's coming." The children spoke in a panic.
"Nick you have to go now. I don't know what he'll do if he discovers Melissa isn't here. Go, take Melissa, and hurry back." Alex said, walking to the children. "I have to hide them." She then disappeared through the wall. Nick stared after her, torn between leaving, but not really wanting to go without Alex.
"Come on Nick. The sooner we do all the stuff she asked, the sooner we'll get her back." Said Jeffery, who wasn't too thrilled about leaving her behind either. Nick picked up Alex's body, and the girl inhabiting it, and they left, heading back to the house.
Later, back at the house:
Nick had called Derek on the way home, and filled him in on what was happening. He then called Rachel and asked her to come over to monitor Alex's vitals, to make sure her body stayed safe, until she returned to it. He felt bad asking for he knew she would have to wake Kat, and bring her. Nick and Jeffery arrived at the house first, to find Derek waiting for them in the Parlor.
"What the hell were you two thinking Nick, going out in to the field like that, without telling anyone?" Derek said, jumping right on his case.
"Derek now is not the time. We have to hurry with Alex's plan. The longer she's out of her body, the harder it will be for her to return. So, save the lecture." Nick said. Derek knew he was right. The most important thing now was helping Alex. Melissa had been standing behind Nick, clutching his arm, as she watched Derek. Derek noticed her peeking around at him.
"So you must be Melissa." He said, stepping closer. Melissa retreated further behind Nick.
"You hurt her." Melissa said.
"Hurt who?" Derek questioned her.
"Alex. You hurt her. She's healing now, but you hurt her badly. I felt it when we shared her body."
"We had a misunderstanding. We adults have them from time to time, but Alex and I resolved them. We're still friend, I hope or did you not feel that." Derek asked, curious to know if by rejecting Alex, he lost a good friend forever.
"Yes, she still sees you as a friend and mentor." Melissa said, smiling now. "What does mentor mean?" She asked, looking at Nick.
"It like your teacher."
"This is all very cute and all, but don't you think we need to get started with the mission?" Jeffery said. As they turn towrds the control oom, Rachel and Kat walked in.
"Hey, what's going on?" Rachel asked, as she released Kat's hand. Kat spotted Melissa, and walked over to her.
"Hello, my name is Kat."
"Hi, I'm Melissa." Melissa said shyly.
"Kat honey, does Melissa look like Alex?" Rachel asked.
"No, mom, she looks like a kid." Kat answered, then she turned by to Melissa. "Hey do you want to go up to my room and play?" They both smiled Now.
"Sure." Melissa responed.
"Whoa, it's way past bedtime young lady." Rachel interrupted.
"Oh come on mom it's the weekend." Kat protested. then she put on the puppy dog eyes. "Pleaseeee."
"OK you can entertain our guest, until we're done here, but don't go hiding, I have to check Melissa over first." Rachel called after the girl, who were already running up the stairs. "I'll be up there in a minute."
"Ok Nick, what is it that we have to do?" Derek asked, calmly.
"Melissa gave us this list on the way here." Nick said, handing it to Derek. "It's the names of all the children's relatives. According to Alex we need to find those that are still living, and bring them to the house."
"Well, that should be simple. We'll use the Legacy databanks." Derek said. "Nick, you and I will do that. Rachel you go find out as much as you can from Melissa. Jeffery you can make yourself comfortable in the den."
"Hey as long as there's a comfy couch in there, I'll be just fine." Jeffery said, finding his own way to the den. Nick and Derek headed for the control room. Once there they began cross referencing files, trying to find matches to the names Melissa had given them.
Up in Kat's room:
Rachel entered to find the girls looking at magazines.
"No they're the Backstreet Boys, and they are NSYNC. I can see how you would get them mixed up." Kat said. "Just remember NSYNC is the better group, and they're cuter."
"I don't know Kat, I think the Backstreet Boys are pretty hot." Rachel, coming further into the room. Kat looked at her and rolled eyes.
"Mom please, you know less about the Backstreet Boys, then she does. And everything she know, I just taught her." Kat focused back to Melissa. "What year were you born in anyway?"
"1921. On January 15th." Melissa said, still flipping through the magazine she was holding. Rachel sat down on the floor beside her.
"When did you die, do you remember?" Rachel asked, feeling kind of weird seeing Alex, but knowing it wasn't her inside.
"December 24th, 1935." Melissa answered, looking down at the floor, remembering.
"Christmas eve." Rachel said in dismay. "Poor baby." She thought.
"I had wanted to get my baby sister, Amanda, one present. We were so poor, my parents couldn't afford to." Melissa said, now standing and walking to the window. "Then he stopped me on the street, and he told me he was looking for a girl to clean up his house. That it would be hard work. I would just have to pick up around the house, sweep, and wash the dishes, and he would pay me a quarter a day. With that I could by my whole family presents. But..." She paused, tears unning down her face.
"Instead of giving you work he killed you?" Rachel finished.
"Yes but not at first. In the beginning, that very first day, he was so nice. He had bought me a pretty dress he wanted me to wear. He took me to a room filled with toys, and he said they were all mine, if I wanted them. You see he was lonely. His wife and child, as I would later discover, left him. I don't think he was too kind to them."
"So he wanted you to stay with him, as a mate?" Rachel questioned further.
"Oh no, nothing like that. He brought me there for the same reason he brought all the others. He wanted children. Someone to carry on his name. Some did, like Jeffery's grandfather, but those of us who resisted. Those who wanted to go home, he got rid of, fearing they would tell."
"And you wanted to go home?" Rachel asked. Melissa nodded.
"He killed all of us who did, and hide our bodies in the basement. But I wasn't dead, when he buried me. I screamed for a long time, until I was just too exhausted." Melissa said, tears falling from her eyes. Tears also began to well up in Kat's and Rachel's eyes as well, as they listened. "I must have passed out, died, and when I awoke I was in that house with other children. Some were my age, but most of them were just babies."
"Your family never looked for you?" Kat asked, saddened.
"Oh I'm sure they tried. They probably went to the police, but you have to understand, Kat. In those times, immigrants weren't too popular with the natives. They would never waste their man power on finding some polish kid. Unless, their parents were rich, and mine weren't."
"Bummer." Kat said. Melissa looking at he strangely.
"Bummer?" Melissa repeated with a complexed look on her face.
"It Means That's too bad. You know, tough break." Kat tried to explain. Melissa nodded her head as if she understood, but really didn't. Rachel began standing and wiping the tears from her eyes.
"OK girls, I'm going down stairs to see how the guys are doing. You two don't wonder off."
"You're grounding us?" Kat asked.
"No Kat, you can show Melissa around the house, but don't go outside. Do you understand me young lady?" Rachel asked, pointing her finger at her only child.
"Fine." Kat responed, rolling her eyes. Rachel left the room. Melissa then turned her attention to Kat.
"Do you know how lucky you are to have your mom. I wish I had mine. You really shouldn't spend so much time being mad at her Kat. Time is too short, take it from me."
Back at the control room:
Rachel walked in to find Nick and Derek, both at the terminal, going over the files that they had found on the children's families.
"Hey guys you find anything yet?" Rachel asked, going to stand behind them.
"Yes we were able to find all the parents, right here in San Francisco. Unfortunately, there are only five of them still alive. We also found some of the children's siblings." Derek answered. "Hopefully that will be enough to give them peace, getting a chance to say goodbye."
"So, who's parents did you find?" Rachel asked, hoping they had found Melissa's parents. As if reading her mind, Derek answered.
"Both of Melissa's parent's are dead. As for any other relatives, well, we haven't been able to turn up any."
"Oh God. The poor thing misses her family so much, and I had hoped there would be someone." Rachel said, twirling a lock of her hair.
"Did she say anything to you about having siblings?" Nick asked. "Maybe they're still alive." Rachel perked up, and couldn't believe she hadn't remembered.
"Yes, she had a younger sister. Her name was Amanda." Rachel said with delight.
"OK." Nick said typing in the name. "Let's see what we get." After a second a picture of a woman, who looked to be in her early eighties, appeared on the screen. "Bingo!" Nick said. Rachel smile.
"So what do we do now?" Nick asked.
"Now we give these people a call, and tell them that we've found their missing loved ones, and have them meet us at the Brownstone, as soon as possible. We need to get to Alex." Derek said, picking up the phone to start calling. Nick followed suit.
"Well, I'm going to go tell Melissa we found her sister." She left the room, heading back up the stairs to Kat's room.
Later, at the Brownstone:
"Alex he's coming." The Children cried, as they clung to Alex. She tried to put up a front, but deep down she was terrified.
"It's OK, I won't let him hurt you. I promise." Alex said, pushing the children further behind her. "My friends will be back soon, and they're gong ot get us out of here. All of us." Alex siad, smiling bravely. However she herself was beginning to doubt if Nick and the others would be able to save them. It had been several hours since they had left.
"Come out from yer hiding." He spoke, looking around. He could smell them, but he couldn't see them. It infuriated him when they hid. They were being naughty children, and they would have to be punished. He did so like punishing them. "I'm goin to whip every last one of ya, to an inch of yer lives. Ya hear me?"
"Alex, We're scared." The children clutched her hands, arms, and legs tightly.
"Shhh. I'll protect you."
"Where are you?" He spoke as he appeared through a wall. He spotted the children, standing behind a black woman. "Who the hell are you? What are you doing to my chill'ins?" He moved closer to get a better look at his new guest.
"I'm here to keep them safe, from you." Alex said, glaring him down. "You will set them free. You can't hurt them anymore, I won't let you." Alex yelled at him.
"Oh, really and who are you, missy." He demanded, moving closer.
"Someone who's not afraid of you." Alex spoke bravely. "I'm not some child you can imtimidate, and manipulate. So go away!" He stared down at Alex angrily. His eyes blood shot, and his breath freezing cold.
"You dare defy me? You ungrateful brats. I'll destroy you, I'll destroy you all!" He rose high above them, and opened his mouth. It grew wider and wider, and Alex realized that he intented to engulf their spirits. She moved the children further back, but they were in a corner. Their only way out was through him. As his mouth widen more, he moved closer. Alex shielded the children with her own body.
"No!" A voice cried out from behind them. It was Melissa. "Leave them alone!" The ghost turned to see several strangers standing there.
"More uninvited, unwelcome guest. Well, you can die too."
"Oh I don't think so, we know who you are, and what you've done to these children." Derek spoke. He than turned and nodded to Nick, Melissa, and Jeffery, who stood just behind him. They left heading to the basement, with a couple of pick axes. "We are going to set these children free." Rachel suddenly ran in. She had been out side awaiting the arrival of the children's relatives, and the demolition crew. They had all pulled up and she now came in to let the others know. Her eyes insantly fell on Alex and all the children.
"My God." Rachel mumbled to herself.
"Rachel, bring the families in now. Let them see their loved ones for the last time, before they are laid to rest in peace." Rachel just nodded, still staring at the children. Saddened that there were so many of them. "Rachel, now!" Derek's voice snapped her back to reality, and she hurried out to get them. Down in the basement, Melissa, Nick, and Jeffery set out on their task to dig up the children's bodies.
"OK Melissa where are the bodies?" Nick asked as he and Jeffery both, looked around on the ground for any cracks or uneveness in the dirt.
"No not there." Melissa, who was standing the doorway, spoke. "We're in there." She pointed to the brick wall. Nick and jeffery followed her finger.
"You're in the wall?" Jeffery asked in disbelief. "He buried all of you behind that wall?"
"Yes." Melissa answered, her tears wetting her face. "And most of us were still alive." Nick swallowed hard, as he began to feel his own tears wanting to fall.
"Ok let's do it." Nick said, moving to the wall, raising the ax, and bringing it down against the wall. "Jeffery I need you here." Jeffery came over, and he too started hitting the wall.
Back up stairs:
"You will not have these children. They don't belong to you." Derek said.
"They are mine. I'm the only family they got." The ghost hissed. He then turned back to the frightened children. "Aint that right, chill'ins?" He smirked at them, seeing the fear he envoked in them.
"No! Don't listen to him. You all have families. Mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers." Derek said. "And they're here to say good-bye to you all." The children smiled at these words.
"No. That's not true." The ghost said, and for the first time the children could see fear in him.
"Oh but it is. Rachel, now!" Derek yelled. Rachel then entered with the relatives of the children. The children instantly recognized their parents and siblings. They smiled at them, but didn't leave the safety of Alex's arms, which they still clung to. The mothers, fathers, and siblings cried for their long lost family. Their tears were of loss, anger, regret, and happiness. Nick and Jeffery re-entered the room.
"No!!! Their mine, you can't do this." The ghost screamed. His form began to fade in and out.
"Yes. You have no control over them anymore." Derek said, smiling. "They are free."
"Nooooo!!!......." With that the ghost faded completely out.
"Is he gone." The children asked.
"Yes, for now, but the only way to ensure he doesn't come back is to destroy the house." Derek said. "But first we have to find all of your remains and give them proper burials."
"We found all of them." Nick announced. "The son of a bitch, buried them in a wall, and the way most of them are positioned. I'd say most of them were still alive, and died trying to claw their way out. I have a crew down there now, retrieving the bones."
"Poor babies." Rachel said. "At least they get to see their families again, one last time. Where is Melissa, there's someone here who wants to see her too."
"She was right behind us." Jeffery said, turning to look back throught the doorway. Then she appeared. She walked over to Alex, who still stood guarding the children.
"Thank you Alex. I knew you would help us." She smiled at Alex, then put her hand into Alex's spirit. They were both engulfed in blinding light, and when it cleared. Melissa stood in her true form, that of a ghost child, and Alex's body lay on the floor unconscious. Nick and Rachel hurried over to her and checked her pulse.
"She'll be OK. She's just tired." Melissa said, smiling down at her. "When she awakes tell her that we will be eternally grateful to her. To all of you for helping us."
"Missy?" A woman's voice called out. "Is it really you." Melissa turn to see an elderly woman standing beside her. Melissa stared at her. The woman looked familiar to her. "It's me, Amanda."
"Mandy?" Melissa smiled. "I didn't think I would ever get to see you again." Melissa then looked around. "Where's mama and papa?"
"They both died soon after you left. Papa died from the flu. He went out every night, after he came home from work, to look for you. Mama died of a broken heart."
"So I will still see them again." Melissa smiled at this thought.
"Yes, and you can give them my love." Amanda said.
"Oh I will, I promise. I missed you so much Mandy."
"Me too." Amanda said as she choked on her tears. One of the crew members walked in.
"Dr. Ranye, we have all the remains, and we've set the plastic and detonators. We're ready to blow the house."
"Oh man do we really have to blow up the house?" Jeffery asked.
"It's the only way to ensure that they will be free." Derek said, pointing at the children. Jeffery watched them as they said their farewells to their families. Jeffery then knew there was no other option. "Everyone it's time." Derek said to the children and their relatives. They all fifnished saying their good byes, and moved to the center of the room. A bright light surrounded them, and started lefting their souls, up to heaven.
"Good-bye, and thank you all." The Children called out as their souls disappeared up into the light. Before completely disappering, Melissa's soul returned. She moved to where Nick was standing, holding Alex in his arms. Melissa leaned in and kissed Alex's cheek.
"I will never forget you Alex." She whispered, then flew up into the light, which disappeared behind her.
"Ok let's go." Derek commanded the others to leave. Once outside they all watched as the brownstone crumbled to the ground, and as a bulldowser plowed over the rumble. Derek had promised the families that once they had identified the children's remains, he would make sure that their remains were returned to them for proper burial.
Later, back at Angel Island:
Alex had awaken to discover she was in her bed, and it was noon. She got up, showered and made her way to the control room. As she was about to enter, she was greeted by Eve, the automated voice, installed into the house when it was rebuilt.
"Good morning Alex."
"Good morning Eve." Alex walked into the room to find Nick at one of the terminals. "Morning Nick." She smiled at him.
"Well, good morning sleeping beauty." Nick smiled back at her. "I was beginning to think you were under some kind of spell."
"I lnow, I've been out of it for a while. What happened?" Alex asked, running her fingers through her hair. "I mean the last thing I remember is you guys arriving just in time, before we were all eaten by that ghost."
"Well, the children were able to say goddbye to their families, and then they were freed. All thanks to you." Nick said.
"Oh I had help, thank you." Alex said now standing behind Nick. She leaned down and threw her arms around his neck.
"What are you thanking me for? You were the one who had her body taken over by a ghost, and then left alone to battle a ghost."
"Yeah but you were the one who went out with me in the wee hours of the morning to help someone you don't even like, and giving me support, like always." Alex said, kissing his cheek.
"I have to admit, I'm no fan of Jeffery Starr, but you, I adore, and I'll always have your back." They both smiled.
"Speaking of Jeffery, what happened with him. He's technically homeless now." Alex asked, still standing behind Nick with her chin resting on his shoulder.
"No he's not homeless, in fact Derek thought it would be a good idea to let him stay here for awhile, until he finds an apartment." Nick said, looking sour. "That it was the least we could do." Alex started laughing.
"You and Jeffery, living under the same roof." Alex laughed harder as she stood upright. "Wait where's is he sleeping at? All the spare rooms are storage area for all the achives we retrieved from the rumble of the old house. The only rooms available are Mine, Derek's, and yours." Alex snickered, knowing that Nick had a new roommate. Nick just groaned. "Well if you'd like, I'll volunteer to share my room.
"With Jeffery? No way, I' ll endure the agony." Nick said standing. They both headed towards the exit.
"Actually I meant that you could sleep with me." Alex said. Nick's face turned red at her words. "I meant come sleep in my room, with me." She too was now blushing.
"You really wouldn't mind?" Nick asked as they now stood out in the hall.
"Why would I. I've slept with you before, and believe me It's nothing that I'd brag to my friends about." Alex said, amiling.
"Oh wiseguy aye?" Nick lifted her up and threw her over his shoulder. He bolted down the hall and then down the stairs as fast as he could. Alex screamed and laughed the whole way. This new place was beginning to feel and sound like home, again.