Before you continue reading, I would very much appreciate it if you read the first six chapters first. If you have already read them, then you're good to go.
Three minutes later, Mark, Lily, and the Starlights all arrive at another building. "Well, here we are," Mark says.
"Mac? What kind of name is Mac? Is the owner named Mac?" Star says, reading the name of the building above the two front doors that lead to the entrance.
"Star, there's a period after each letter. It must stand for Mendocino Animal Center," Nite replies.
"Correct," Lily replies.
"Oh, sorry, didn't see that," Star says.
"There's no need to be sorry, Star," Mark says. "All that matters is that this Lily and I have two friends that are more willing to help than Mr. Wright is!"
"Are you sure about that?" Nite asks.
"Of course we are," Lily answers. "Plus, they have a 17-year-old daughter who's most favorite thing in the world is animals, and they opened this place especially for her!"
"Well, how do you think she'll feel when she sees us for the first time?" Star asks.
"Well, I'm sure she'd LOVE to see you three for the first time," Mark answers. "She's always loved seeing animals she hasn't seen before, and you're the first of your kind to be here on earth!"
"I don't know..." Solar says. "I'm a little nervous about this..."
"Don't be," Lily replies. "Just walk inside and we'll show you." She, Mark, and the Starlights then walk inside the Ukiah Animal Center. When they all walk to the front desk, they see Dave and Sarah on their computers. Mark and Lily greet them by saying, "Hello!"
"Mark, Lily! Fancy seeing you two here!" Sarah says, getting up from her chair to shake Mark and Lily's hands.
"Yeah, it must've been... maybe six months since we've seen each other here," Dave says, doing the same as Sarah. "So, what brings you here on this fine day?"
"Well, we here have three unique animals that we found in a forest the other night," Lily answers.
"Hello," the Starlights all say, waving their right hands.
"Oh, aren't you three just the cutest things here we've seen!" Sarah says.
"Heh heh... uh, thank you, miss," Nite replies, slightly blushing as he rubs the back of his head with his left hand.
"Oh, if Sophie we're here, she'd be FILLED with joy!" Sarah says.
"Oh, I'm sure she would be, our daughter LOVES animals like you," Dave says.
"Yeah, we know, thanks to Mark and Lily," Star replies.
"So tell me, how did you three end up in a forest in the first place?"
"Well, we actually come from another dimension where we're the main population, just like you humans on Earth," Nite answers.
"Oh, I see," Dave says. "And do you know how to travel there?"
"Well, we were all actually thrown out of there by an evil overlord wanting to take that place over," Star says. "And we've been trying to get help on how to get back there from here."
"Yeah," Solar replies, sobbing with tears coming from her eyes. "And if we don't stop him... everything we have there will be forever lost... including our mom and dad!" She then breaks down crying.
"Oh, that's not good at all," Sarah replies.
"No, it isn't," Mark says. "Especially for Solar, whose autism only makes it harder for her to EVER want to accept."
"And she's been through many hardships that no 12-year-old like her should go through, including everyone in her school always picking on her out of everyone else," Lily says.
"I don't want to lose everything that makes me happy!" Solar says, still crying. "There will nothing left to make me feel better!"
Dave then lowers himself to Solar's height by putting his left knee on the floor, and then he puts his right hand on Solar's left shoulder. He then tells her, in a calm voice, "Don't worry, Solar, Mark, Lily, Sarah, and I will ALL help you three on your quest. And I'm 100 percent positive Sophie would be too."
"You think so?" Solar asks timidly.
"I don't just think so, I know so!" Dave answers. He then gives her a hug, and then stands back up.
"So, do you think we can leave them all here for now while we work at our agency?" Lily asks.
"Absolutely," Sarah answers.
"Thank you so much!" Dave says, shaking Sarah's hand once more.
"No problem!" Sarah says. "Come on you three!" she says to the Starlights as they walk to the back of the center with her and Dave.
At the back of the center, a 17-year-old girl named Sophie is petting a white cat as she feeds him cat food. "There you go, Snowball!" she says gleefully. She then sees her parents Dave and Sarah and walks to them. "Hi mom, hi dad!"
"Hello, Sophie!" Dave and Sarah say.
"Well, looks like we have three animals that could certainly use our help," Dave says to Sophie. "Say hi to Sophie, you three!" He then says to the Starlights.
The Starlights move in front of Dave and Sarah, and then say, "Hi."
"Oh my gosh, you three are so cute!" Sophie says, hugging all three of them.
"Too... tight..." Solar says.
"Well, she seems to be the most happy she's ever been," Sarah says.
"Yeah, I figured when I first saw them here with Mark and Lily," Dave replies.
Sophie then lets go and asks Dave and Sarah, "Where did you two find these cute creatures?"
"Well, Mark and Lily needed a place for them to be while they work, and they also need us to help them," Dave answers.
"When animals are involved, I'm ALWAYS willing to help!" Sophie says.
"Well, seems like your parents were right about you," Nite says to Sophie.
"Yep!" Sophie replies. "So, what kind of help do you three need, and where do you come from?" Sophie asks.
"Well, it's a long story," Star answers. "Can we tell it somewhere else?"
"Yeah, I don't mind!" Sophie answers. "How about in the playroom?"
"Sure, that'd be nice," Star replies.
"The... playroom?" Solar says, nervous.
"Yeah, the playroom. Are you scared of playrooms?" Sophie asks Solar.
"Yeah, we might want to explain that too," Nite says. "Calm down, Solar, we'll be right here with you," he then says to Solar.
"Okay..." Solar replies as she goes with Star, Nite, and Sophie to the playroom.
"Have fun, you four!" Dave says. He then walks back to the front desk with Sarah.
In the playroom, Sophie and the Starlights sit down at a table Sophie set up with chairs. "So, as you all may know, my name is Sophie," she introduces herself.
"Yeah, we know," Star replies.
"So tell me, what are your names, and what are you about?" Sophie asks.
"Well, starting with me, my name is Star Starlight, and these are my siblings Nite and Solar!" Star starts. "We are a group of erinafelis, or hedgehog-cats, and we are collectively called the Starlights!"
"Interesting!" Sophie replies.
"So, about myself in particular. I really love superheroes, and I always aspire to be one, fighting crime and saving innocent civilians!" Star explains.
Sophie laughs a little and says, "Well, you sure look like one to me!"
"Why thank you, miss!" Star replies in a cheesy superhero-like tone of voice, making everyone laugh.
"And you, Nite?" Sophie asks Nite.
"Well, I like to get every bit of information I can out of everything I have a particular interest in! I also try to find every possible solution to every problem I face!" Nite answers.
"Oh, so you use knowledge to your advantage? That's cool!" Sophie says.
"Yeah," Nite replies. "Every little bit of info always helps!"
"And what about you, Solar?" Sophie asks Solar. Solar, however, doesn't say anything, being scared to. "Solar?" Sophie asks, curious.
"Oh, yeah... Solar doesn't really like talking about herself," Star says to Sophie.
"Really? How come?" Sophie asks.
"Well, uh... hey do you mind if we go to that closet over there?" Star asks.
"Yeah, I don't see why not," Sophie answers. She walks into the closet alongside Star and Nite, leaving Solar alone.
"Alright, so, why is Solar quiet? And also scared looking?" Sophie asks.
"Well, you see, Solar is... scared of meeting new peope," Star starts to explain. "She's always been harassed by her peers at school for never being able to 'fit in' with any of them. Autism's always made her the easiest target there, and she's never been able to stand up for herself; we have to help her."
"Aww, that poor girl," Sophie replies.
"Yeah, and then there's the fact that we've actually lost our home and parents," Nite starts, making Sophie gasp. "This evil overlord named Nebula threw us out, and now we're unable to find our way back home and help our parents."
"That's horrible," Sophie replies.
"Yeah, for both of us and especially Solar," Nite says.
"Hearing about this breaks my heart because, well, I myself have autism too, and I've gone through bad times in school as well," Sophie starts.
"Really?" Star and Nite both ask.
"Yeah. Much of my childhood was rough and I rarely ever got to do stuff normal girls do in school," Sophie explains, starting to tear up alongside Star and Nite. "But then, when I was eight, my parents knew about how much I love animals, and they figured that this place right here would make me a lot happier. I can't imagine not being able to work here anymore, so hearing this story feels like fire to my heart."
"It breaks my heart too," Star replies, starting to cry. "I don't want to lose everything I have!"
"Well, the only thing worse than losing everything we have is not fighting for it!" Nite says, catching Star and Sophie's attention. "No matter how big the scale of our problem is, that doesn't mean we can't at least fight back! I mean, why do you think Mark and Lily asked Dave and Sarah for help in the first place? If see if THEY, and you Sophie, can help us!"
"Yeah, you're right," Star replies. "I'm gonna show that Overlord Nebula who's the REAL boss!"
"Yeah! Let's go tell Solar than I'm here to help, and that she has nothing to fear!" Sophie says.
"Yeah!" Star, Nite, and Sophie all cheer together.