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SPOILER WARNING
This article contains spoilers from the second installment of Virals, Seizure! Read at your own risk.
Seizure
Virals seizure cover
Author Kathy Reichs

Brendan Reichs

Illustrator Unknown
Publication date 2011
Published by Razorbill
ISBN 9780099571452
Publication Order
Preceded by
Virals
Followed by
Code

Seizure is the second installment to the Virals series written by Kathy and Brendan Reichs. It was published in North America in 2011, by Razorbill.

The book continues to follow Tory Brennan and her friends, who find themselves in danger of being separated due to budget cuts which may mean the closure of the Loggerhead Island Research Institute (LIRI) where their parents work. Discovering that pirate Anne Bonny's treasure is believed to be buried somewhere near their home in Charleston, South Carolina, they set out to follow the clues to the treasure, using their "Viral" powers gained in the previous book in the series, in the hope that if they find it, it will be worth enough to save LIRI. However, it is not just them that wants the treasure. The Virals must beat their opponents to the treasure.

Plot

Part One: Broke

Seizure begins with Tory Brennan, Hiram Stolowitski, and Benjamin Blue experimenting with their flares on Turtle Beach. It has been nearly two months since the events of the first book, Virals. They were all grounded for quite some time, but Ben got off the hook first, as the senior Blue's aren't all that strict with discipline. Tory was "put on parole" on August first. after constantly moping and wearing Kit down. Hiram finally talked his way out the previous week. and Shelton is still on lockdown.

Hi and Tory's flares come rather easily, but Ben is struggling to ignite his own. He still needs to be angry to flare. Hi slips behind him, and unceremoniously kicks Ben in the ass. Ben flares, and lifts Hi over his shoulder with ease. He spins Hi overhead like a chopper blade, until he turns a pale shade of green, then throws him face-first into two feet of surf. Hi tries to splash him, but Ben takes off down the beach. When he returns, Coop is chasing him, after he had thrown the puppy into the water. Whilst ringing out his soaked shirt, Hi asks Tory is she wants to try the telepathy thing again. Tory tries to connect and send a message but bumps into an invisible wall that she can't break. The bond frays and her flare snups.

After Tory's flare snups, Shelton emerges onto the beach. He had just been pardoned that morning and figured he would find them on Loggerhead, and that he can guess what they're up to. He adds that he ran into Tory's dad, Kit, who had asked for them to come back ASAP. When The Virals get to LIRI, they notice that the facility is much emptier than it usually is. Kit takes Tory home, and Tory notices that he is acting strangely. When they arrive home, she demands that he tell her what he's hiding from her. Then Kit finally confesses. A new lab had been found in Lab 6, housing unauthorized experiments, and unrecorded expensive equipment. The publicity caught the eye of many environmental rights activists, and now they are beginning to protest about 'monkey abuse' on Loggerhead Island. But that's all secondary. Bottom line: CU lacks the funding to keep LIRI operating. The shortfall is huge, and as a result, LIRI is being closed. With that, the University won't be able to keep the townhouses. Everyone is going to have to move.

Kit suggests that they may move to Nova Scotia, Canada, making Tory flip and storm off to her room. Her pity party is short lived though, because she begins to contact the other Virals. One by one, they join the video conference and discuss the news. Ben surprisingly is the one to tell them that they cannot be split up. They're a family. A pack. And a pack never gives up its own. Ever. Shelton confesses that he cannot deal with flaring while flaring solo and that they don't know what is happening to their bodies. They decide to come up with plans and agree to meet at the bunker to discuss them. The next morning, Tory has a nightmare about becoming a wolf. She wakes up and ends up listening to even more of Kit's new job plans. Tory asks how much they need to power LIRI. They're going to need 10 Million annually to run the facility. At the bunker, Hi projects his plan to 'make thousands of dollars, from your own living room' but it doesn't blow over well. His folder gets tossed at Ben, then Ben throws the papers at his head. They contemplate bank heists, the lottery, a Nigerian Prince, and Vegas before Tory excuses herself to go to a cotillion event. The boys all have the same idea.

Ben takes Tory to the event but ends up bickering with Jason and storms off on Sewee. During the cotillion, Tory flares, and panics that someone had seen it. She snups it, right before The Tripod finds her.They begin making fun of her, and the flustered Tory tries to shoulder open a clubhouse door. Turns out that she has to pull on it. Humiliated, she goes inside and finds herself admiring a portrait of Anne Bonny, who looks very much like her. A butler named Brincefield explains Bonny's history, and her mysterious treasure, that is supposedly buried somewhere in Charleston, but nobody has found it. He also tells her about his brother Jonathan, who went missing after going to search for the treasure. After the event, Tory goes home to research Bonny and proposes that they try to find her treasure. At first, the boys think it's a joke but slowly come to realize that Tory is serious. Ben reveals that there's an old Sewee legend regarding Anne Bonny, but doesn't quite remember it. Two Googles and a boat ride later, they are at the Charleston Museum. A lady working at the museum named Sallie Fletcher tells them that Anne Bonny's display is closed for renovation, but after some persuasion agrees to take them to see it. She and her husband Chris explain much of Bonny's history and invite The Virals to a ghost tour that they run in downtown Charleston. Chris leaves to reorganize the colonial ceramics and Sallie has to return to her unmanned front desk, but they let The Virals continue to look at the map. After they leave, Tory persuades the boys and they steal the map. Then, they flee the crime scene.

Part Two: Buccaneer

The Virals are too tired to look at the map that day, so they wait until the next morning and meet in Shelton's garage. The map looks like a scribble of random lines and is very underwhelming. There is writing on the map, though. The cryptic phrases are supposed to lead it's reader to the treasure's sight, but The Virals are stumped. After bouncing ideas back and forth, they theorize that the treasure is buried near East Bay Street, which is close to where Bonny used to dock her ship Duck Hawk. Shelton washes out an image of the map so that only the lines remain, then superimposes it over the satellite photo of Charleston.The map finally matches up with an image, revealing that the treasure is hidden underneath of East Bay Street. Tory realizes that the ghost tour will help give them access to some downtown basements, but all of their parents refuse to let them go on a Wednesday night. That evening, while watching TV with Kit, Tory is once again faced with the fact that they may move. Kit tells Tory about possibly moving near Lake Winnibigoshish, Minnesota, and tells Tory about all of the fun things she could do. Tory finally snaps at Kit, yelling that she has just gotten settled, and now he wants to move her away from her friends, just like that. After her brief fit, she takes Cooper on a walk and ends up bumping into Shelton. Shelton is also taking a break, as it is like walking on eggshells at his house. They try to cheer up by recalling Hi sitting on an anthill near Dead Cat Beach, and Ben being chased by monkeys, but the mood quickly becomes somber again. Tory returns the subject back to what Shelton had wanted to tell her. He's found an ad from a pawn breaker in North Charleston, who is selling a box of pirate artifacts. The seller claims the collection includes papers belonging to Anne Bonny, and a tell-tale cross with a curved tine turning to the right, Anne Bonny's way of watermarking. The same watermarking that was found on the map.

On following day, after some persuasion, Ben agrees to take Kit's 4Runner and take them to Myers, North Charleston, but he makes it clear that nobody is allowed to speak. He needs to focus. They arrive near the sketchy pawn shop and find themselves trying to bargain for a cheap price. Tory puts on some shades and flares so that she can sniff out Bates' (the pawnshop owner) emotions. She realizes that he was anxious that they would call his bluff, so she calls him out on it and say's they'll pass. This causes Bates to cave, and he sells for 100$. As they are leaving, Shelton tells Bates that they know the items are real. Bates tries to take back the crate, but Ben stops him. Tory goes back to sign the receipt, and Bates curses at her. Ben gets angry and has to be stopped by Hi and Shelton. In a 3rd person chapter, Bates phones his sons and demands that they find out what the items were being used for.

The story picks back up with Tory eating with Kit and Whitney on the roof deck. Whitney accidentally grazes Coop's tail, and the wolf-dog growls at her. Whitney claims that Coop tried to bite her, and Kit orders the dog back inside. Back at the table, Kit breaks the news to Whitney, who thinks she has done something wrong. Later, Tory is back at the bunker with the boys. They briefly scold Tory for flaring in public, then move onto investigating the loot that they just purchased. They discover a two-page letter, supposedly written by Anne Bonny. The letters seem to confirm everything, including their theory that the treasure is burIed beneath East Bay Street near the old docks. Before they get too excited, they head to The Karpeles Manuscript Museum to find out if the letter is authentic. A man named Dr. Short confirms that it is. Before they leave, Tory asks about a place called Half-Moon Battery, which had been mentioned in the letter. She finds out that the Exchange Building was constructed on the site of an older fortification known as Half-Moon Battery. The Exchange Building is also located on East Bay Street. They decide to look into the tunnels that could have possibly aided in Bonny's escape, to get access to the tunnels, the Virals decide that it's time for a ghost tour. On Friday morning, at 7 AM, Tory is at Saint Michael's on Broad Street, doing community service, which is fundamental to the debutante system. Jason brings her more bags and offers to take Tory home, but she turns down the offer because Ben is coming to get her. He leaves, and she goes back to sorting through the bags. One of the bags has a noxious stench, and it causes her to flare. She slams on her shades and hears the Tripod coming along. They automatically begin to torment Tory. Tory catches Madison's scent and finds that she becomes very nervous when Jason comes around. Jason's scent tells her that he's angry. To ruffle Madison's feathers even more, Tory takes Jason's offer for a ride home and texts Ben not to come. But Ben was already half across the harbor, and quit responding after getting the news. With Ben nursing a grudge, Tory visits Hi to talk about what happened. They discuss whether it's really possible that emotions can be smelled. After their debate, Hi feasts on some Hot Pocket's while Tory gets the mail. While she's getting it, she senses that she's being watched, but nobody is there.

At 7:45, the Virals meet on Market Street for the ghost tour. Ben is still slightly bitter about the whole Jason thing. They wait for more visitors to arrive with Sallie Fletcher. One of the visitors is Rodney Brincefield, the butler Tory had met at the yacht club. He greets them, then leaves to introduce himself to the other visitors. After Tory has an awkward encounter with two young men, they head inside. The first hour turns out to be fantastic, they tour dark streets and listened to Sallie and Chris spin tales of famous paranormal activities. Eventually, they make their way to the linchpin of Half-Moon Battery. The Virals hang in the rear and melt into the shadows, as the group begins to leave. Once alone, Shelton, Hi and Tory flare, but Ben still can't. They spread out, while Ben keeps watch. Shelton finds moving air at the rear wall. They don't have time to investigate it though because Marlo and Brincefield come looking for them. The Virals snup their flares and leave, acting somewhat natural. They're heading to Sewee when they realize they're way past curfew. Tory ends up being grounded, but it's not stopping her. She calls an iFollow conference and says that they need to go that night. Hi tells her that the treasure can wait for two weeks, until Tory is no longer grounded, yet Tory simply says "fine" and reveals that she will go alone. The boys instantly pile in and agree to go with her. At 3 in the morning, they're huddled behind a jewelry store, planning to break in. Shelton manages to pop the lock, and they all scurry to the basement. As usual, everyone but Ben flares, so Hi taunts Ben about his Native American blood until he flares. He alone is strong enough to push a large stone back from the rest of the wall and creates a small gap. Soon, they're barely wriggling through a small tunnel. Even flaring, Tory cannot see more than six feet. Her flashlight goes out, and she snakes ahead faster, cutting her elbows and knees up. Her hand finds a solid wall, and she almost panics, thinking they had found a dead end. She rolls over and feels the cEIling finds that it's nothing but open air. One by one, they emerge into the space. Ben forgets about his anger and insists on checking on Tory's elbows. Then he investigates a ladder and finds a three-foot metal blade, set to cut a person in half if a spring release is triggered. They advance on past the already disarmed trap and find themselves in a second tunnel. This time it's large enough for two people to walk side by side. While Tory is pondering the next verse, Hi spots a tripwire. If tripped, metal grates with spikes along the bottom will crush them. Hi checks for other wires, but finds none. He straddles it so that the other Virals can see it, and one by one, they pass. Once everyone is over, Hi shows off and accidentally slashes the wire. Ben manages to save him using his added speed. They next face a strange mound, which, when triggered, causes spears to shoot out and to the opposite wall. The Virals pick their way past and face the next trap. It's already been tripped. In the middle, between twin metal spikes, is an impaled corpse. It's Brincefield's missing brother, Jonathan.

In Jonathan's grimy canvas sack, Tory finds a polished stone disk, an inch thick, with four holes running vertically and three more crossing its face. A tiny triangle protrudes from the center. Hi leans against the wall, triggering spikes from the walls. Once again, Ben's quick reflexes save him. A ways down, they begin to hear water. Hi spots a fissure, which Ben quickly climbs, but the exit is bolted shut. He needs the bolt cutters that they left in the dungeon. Tory reminds them that if they quit now, then they will be split up, which propels the boys onward. They press on and hear footfall behind them. Gun shots send them running. Eventually, they run into a five foot wide stone hedge overhanging a deep, black chasm. They can't jump to the ledge on the other side, despite Ben offering to toss them. Hi spots a giant stone platform hanging overhead, attached to rusty chains. The riddle reveals that they need to choose the correct bridge, and have to "spin Savior's Loop in chasms niche". Shelton spots a nook in the corner, which, after trying to rotate by hand, they place the disk into. Now, the stone turns easily and causes a chunk of wall to tumble from the edge. A new niche is revealed in the wall behind the ledge, revealing seven dusty levers. Ben then realizes that they are standing on the incorrect bridge. If they pull the incorrect lever, their bridge will fall. The footsteps are heard again, and once again two more shots are fired. Tory, Hi and Shelton struggle to chose the correct lever. Hi finds the central handle has a perfect cross, but Tory is unsure about it. She finds one with Bonny's signature cross on it, and together, they pull that one. The loud noise of the bridge coming down causes The Virals to lose their flares. When their regular senses return, the bridge is down, but it teeters, only one corner on the opposite edge, threatening to fall at any moment. Shelton runs first and hits the opposite wall. Next goes Hi, then Tory. Ben, the heaviest. As he runs, the end of the slab slips from the edge and Ben plunges downward with the slab. He catches the ledge, thankfully, and is pulled up by the other Virals. Their brief moment to slow down is short lived, as the shooter is still firing at them. They scramble down a ramp, only to find that the platform, supposedly holding the treasure. Bonny had taken her treasure and moved it elsewhere. And there's no way out.

Tory finds a mysterious verse from Bonny written on the wall and writes it on the map. Meanwhile, whilst searching for a way out, Ben accidentally triggers a pressure switch, which causes the room to start flooding. A boulder blocks the opening they came through. Ben tries to go out through the waterfall that is currently filling the room, but it's much too strong and pushes him back. Tory then finds a hoola-hoop sized drain and swims down it, discovering a potential way out. She returns to relay her idea, and after hugging the boys and putting the map in a baggy, dives in. She swims for a tantalizing twenty-four seconds before her flare kicks in. She loses her air but sees the roof of the tunnel bubble upward. She goes for it, and catches her breath in the pocket. She sends a message to the boys, directing them to the pocket. They regroup and swim along the tunnel until they hit another dead end. Tory sinks down and finds the next opening, then once again relays to the boys and they go through. One the way up, Tory hits her head, and her flare slips away. The world starts getting fuzzy, and she begins to sink. Ben drags her up, saving her from drowning. They get to shore and see that dawn is breaking. Hi starts to laugh at a statue of Stede Bonnet and his pirate cronies quickly joined by Shelton, Tory, and Ben. They're going to be in big trouble at home but can't find it in themselves to care and sit watching the sunrise.

Part Three: Bull

By some miracle, none of the Virals are caught by their parents upon returning home. At noon they meet in the bunker to discuss the dead body, unknown gunman, and missing treasure. With their track record, they can't report another ancient skeleton and another mysterious gunman. Even if they could, they would be arrested and committed. The boys are convinced that there is no way that they're saving Loggerhead, but Tory refuses to give up and as usual, convinces them to continue. They end up having to hand over Bonny's letter to the Karpeles Manuscript Library, in order to look at several documents that may help them. Short looks at a paper with the mysterious verse from the cave, and suspects that it is in Gaelic. After some investigation, Shelton finds that Anne Bonny's mother was named Mary Brennan, sharing Tory's surname. A series of similarities follow, supposedly Bonny fled north to Massachusett's, their similar handwriting, and similar appearance. Tory is painfully reminded of her mother. They find nothing that they don't already know and quietly leave the Library. As they leave, they see two men from the ghost tour, Marlo and 'Tree Trunk'. Ben moves the subject from the two men to getting the Gaelic poem translated, so Tory decides to consult her great-aunt Tempe. Tempe agrees to try to translate the poem. Following the call, Tory calls the boys over, who are all running on fumes. Hi mentions that his mom had seen a cherry red 1960 Studebaker Lark station wagon cruise up the driveway, idled a few minutes, then left.

The Virals suspect Lonnie Bates, from the Pawnshop, Marlo and his ogre buddy, and Brincefield. As the topic begins to lose steam, Ben mentions that he finally talked to his Uncle Bill about the Sewee legend regarding Anne Bonny. The chant says,"When the night sky burned as daytime, a flaming brand mounted the field of bones, and staked the devil's hand." He has a theory that the night sky burning as daytime means that it is a full moon, which, it just so happens that the next full moon is in three days. The talk doesn't last long, as Shelton and Tory start to research the cross that Anne Bonny always draws. A Celtic cross. Shelton does some more research on the curved tip of Bonny's version of the cross, but fifteen minutes later he finds something and slams the laptop shut. After a brief scuffle, Tory finds that Shelton located Bonny's bent cross, but the only problem is that in order to access it, they have to get through Chance. The Virals visit Chance at the Marsh Point Hospital and get past security by pretending to represent the Bolton Academy student council, to present Chance Claybourne with the year's Human Spirit Award. They get past and are greeted by Dr. Javier Guzman, who is oblivious to the whole thing. Only two are allowed in, so Ben and Tory go, though Chance makes Ben stand outside. Chance agrees to take Tory to the cross, but on one condition. They have to help him escape. Chance holds all of the cards, so eventually, everyone comes to accept it. As they head home, they are followed by the red Studebaker that Hi's mom had seen. They group is left uneasy following the encounter. At home, Tory gets the translation back from her Aunt Tempe but is too tired to read it and instead goes to sleep. Mid-afternoon the next day, the Virals head out on Sewee to break Chance out. Ben waits in the rushes, aboard Sewee whilst the other Virals slip inside. The Virals flare but hide it with their sunglasses. Inside, Tory gets Chance and they make a break for it, but spy a med cart and have to hide in a linen closet to avoid being seen. They get out via a dumbwaiter. Tory's flare goes out, but they still successfully escape and meet Ben aboard Sewee. While they leave, Chance decides to make the Virals wait until the following night, and insists on staying with Tory. She begrudgingly lets him and hides him in her room, but if he is caught then the story is that Chance broke through the window and attacked Tory. As Tory is at dinner, it is revealed that Marlo has called three times, and Kit brings up that they may be moving to Seven Mile Island, Alabama, with Whitney. Enraged, Tory leaves and goes back upstairs. When she goes to sleep, Chance tells Tory about how Tory needed to get tough and show no fear in front of the Tripod, and for once, Tory takes the advice. The next day, at Cotillion, Tory runs into Brincefield. She questions if he has been following her, but he insists that it is Tory who is now crossing his path all of the time. She manages to dismiss herself, as Jason finds her, and flares behind her sunglasses. She uses her sense of smell to figure out that Madison is really nervous, despite looking relaxed. She uses this to her advantage and brings up that she is a Bolton Scholar and Madison is not, and that they will both be taking the same AP schedule the next year. Then adds that Madison's parents' money may be able to buy her a college application.  She turns the crowd on Madison and watches as they scurry away. In the ladies room, though, she flashes her golden eyes at Madison and leaves. After her flare snups, she becomes weak and dizzy, and hurriedly leaves the Cotillion.

At home, Tory manages to weave by Kit's questions and gets him to finally leave for his movie date with Whitney, which frees up her entire evening. As soon as he is gone, she phones the Virals, gets Chance, and heads out to the docks. Chance leads them to Sullivan's Island, and to his father's fishing camp. Inside of the million-dollar house, he takes them to a safe. The code, 8-16-24, fails to work. Tory gets an idea and leaves the room to get a glass of water. When she returns, she is wearing sunglasses and flaring. The boy's tense, and Chance questions it, but Tory wipes it off as having a headache from being light sensitive. The Virals distract Chance by searching the house for the cross, while Tory, using her flare and a now empty glass, gets past the lock. 24-12-36 is the correct code. Just before the Virals get their hands on the cross, Shelton lets word of the map slip. Chance refuses to give up the cross until he hears more about the map. Tory gives him a sanitized version of the events of the past few days and then remembers the poem translation that Tempe sent her.

On the moon's high day, seek Island People.

Stand the high watch, hold to thy faith, and look to the sea.

Let a clear heart guide you through the field of bones.

After Tory reads the poem, Ben excitedly points out the full moon reference, 'on the moon's high day', and even recalls an Island calls Oneiscau. Chance makes a remark that they should plan a cruise, and Ben surprisingly agrees, because, in Sewee, Oneiscau translates to 'Island People'. Oneiscau turns out to be Bull Island, and the crew makes plans to go to the island the following night. Chance insists on coming along, otherwise, he will not give them the cross. Ben and Chance once again clash, but not for long. Twin yellow beams flash through the room, and someone rattles the door handle. Tory tells Chance about the unknown people shooting at them and suspects that these people could be dangerous. All of the doors are blocked, so Chance leads them through an old tunnel that was once a part of the Underground Railroad for escaped slaves. They get to Sewee that way, and escape, with their chasers still on the dock. Back at home, on Morris, the Virals finalize their plans to visit Bull Island during the full-moon, then Tory ditches Chance in her room to watch 30 Rock reruns.

At midnight, on the following night, the Virals, accompanied by Chance, slip out to Bull Island. Chance and Ben butt heads again, but it doesn't get out of control, as usual. On land, Ben leaves to scout ahead, whilst everyone else stays behind. Not long after Ben's departure, the Virals encounter snarling red wolves. They flare so that Tory can communicate and calm them down. Their flare is amped up due to the full moon, which is agitating the wolves. Tory once again fights the invisible barrier, and eventually sends a message to the alpha, whom she calls White Muzzle, that they mean no harm. The wolves leave, and the Virals' flare leaves. Moments later, a concerned Ben arrives. He found the watchtower but had a sudden feeling that his friends needed help. Tory explains the wolves, and they follow Ben back the way he came. Upon the summit, they begin to piece together the clues. They're on Bull Island on the full moon, so line one is done. For line two, they need to 'hold to thy faith and look to the sea'. Chance points out that the Atlantic ocean is behind them. Tory stands the high watch, at the center of the hill, and holds the cross aloft before herself, then turns due east and faces the Atlantic ocean. She see's Jack's Creek, where gators most likely live, so the treasure couldn't possibly be there. Shelton reveals his hunch that beyond Jack's Creek, is a stretch called the Boneyard, which matches up with 'the field of bones'. Everything fits. The bent cross aligns within the horizontal arms of Bonny's cross, but the alignment gets lost when she holds the cross straight up and down. She has Chance lift her, as they're too low. A fort once stood on the hilltop. Now much higher, everything aligns. The curved portion of the cross arcs to the center of Moccasin Pond, where an island stands in the center. A third pile of rocks. The treasure is buried on Boneyard Beach.

The Virals and Chance retrace their steps and follow the coastline to the beach. Up on the Boneyard, they look for a gigantic tree with branches spreading like Medusa's hair. They find it, and Ben recognizes it as the devil's hand, from the Sewee legend. Chance and Ben begin to dig, which, after a while, causes them to butt heads again. Chance is doubtful, but Ben keeps yelling at him to come back in. After two long hours, and digging about six feet down, the boys strike something solid. Together, they pull up the item and reveal the chest. Their excitement is shortlived, though, because they have company. Sallie and Chris Fletcher.

The couple is quite impressed that the kids have found Bonny's treasure, but are bitter at the same time. They searched for years, the Virals searched for a mere week. Both are armed with weapons and are intending to kill all of them and bury them on the island. As nobody would ever suspect to find them there. Tory flares, and forces the rest of the boys to as well. Chance notices their golden eyes and goes into a mini state of shock. Tory easily sends a message out to them to scram but before they do, they begin to hear howling, and White Muzzle leads his pack to protect their brothers. The red wolves distract the two Fletchers, giving the Virals time to kick into action. Ben goes for Chris, Hi and Shelton after Sallie. Chance jumps in to help Ben, all hostiles forgotten, and the Virals beat the two into unconsciousness. After, a horrified Chance flips out and ends up bolting down the beach. The Virals decide not to follow him and take the treasure chest onto Sewee. When they're near home, Ben stops the boat and they decide to open up the chest, after disposing of the two guns. Ben manages to break the padlock on the chest, and they all wait on Tory to open the chest. There's only one problem. The chest is empty.

Part Four: Booty

Everyone but Tory has given up. After two losses, they're beat, tired, and willing to give. They have many problems now, the Fletchers, the Studebaker that's been following them, and Chance seeing their flare. Tory admits that she flashed her golden eyes at Madison Dunkle, though she cleans the slate by explaining her theory of smelling emotions and her flare at the yacht club, and how she read Lonnie Bates like a book. Tory remains determined to find the treasure, but one by one, the boys reveal where they're moving. Shelton to Palo Alto. Hi to Missouri. Ben over to Mount Pleasant with his mom. And Tory to Alabama. One by one, the boys leave, and Tory finds herself alone. She cries for a while, both missing her mother, feeling beaten, and not wanting to leave her pack. It doesn't last long though, as she then becomes determined to figure out where the real treasure is, once and for all. She inspects the chest and notices a small mound of debris that they hadn't bothered to inspect. She finds small, round, uniformly sized pebbles and a mix of strange dried leaves. She'd never seen leaves like those before. Then, she develops a new idea.

At Shelton's garage, Tory insists that they try one last time. For an hour, she and Ben go over every board, slate and nail. Nothing inside, and no hidden compartments. Hi though, can identify the leaves. They are the leaves of Dionaea muscipula, commonly known as Venus flytraps. The plants are incredibly rare, only growing wild in a forty-mile area around Wilmington, North Carolina, so it's unlikely that they just happened to end up in the chest by accident. Meanwhile, Shelton has identified the pebbles as Limestone, but it's also highly unlikely that three perfect pebbles ended up in the chest. A quick Google search using keywords 'flytrap,' 'limestone,' and 'South Carolina,' reveals that a nature website confirms that Venus flytraps once grew on Dewees Island. No cars are on Dewees, so roads are not paved, instead that are lined with crushed limestone from a local quarry. The boys are reluctant to go again, but Hi comes to the rescue and persuades them to go one last time.

Before leaving, Tory heads home to feed Coop. The wolfdog slips out and stands by the mailboxes, agitated by something. Chance steps from the bushes, looking awful and explains that he got off of Bull Island by catching the morning ferry. Tory admits that the chest was empty, which disappoints Chance even more. He confronts her about the golden eyes, and how fast they moved, but Tory makes him believe that he was imagining things. He finally decides to go back to Marsh Point for a bit, and quietly heads off. Out on Sewee, Tory explains what happened. The boys all agree that she did the right thing. Just then, Hi comes racing to the boat and demands that they turn on the radio news. Ben turns it on, and they are all hit with the news. The past night, Chris and Sallie Fletcher drove their 2010 Toyota Prius off of the road near the Highway 17 Interchange. The car burst into flames and instantly killed them.

They're all in shock. Half believing that it was their fault that the Fletchers died, and half not. Hi is suspicious, though. The Fletchers aren't the type to drive off a bridge, and they never drove a red Studebaker. So, could the driver of the Studebaker be the person who caused the "accident"? They decide to head on out to Dewee's Island. On their way, the Virals are followed by another boat. Ben speeds up and pushes Sewee's limits, but the boat continues to follow. Ben steers the boat through Bowers Creek and hides Sewee, behind an islet called Big Hill Marsh. Their chasers go right on past, not once noticing them, and the Virals are able to get to Dewees safely. Upon their arrival, Tory immediately notices the limestone and compares it to the limestone from the chest. Unfortunately, there is no match. At first, they head straight, towards the lagoon, as the area would be ideal for venus flytraps, but Tory notices another area towards the right. Hi explains that its Old Church Walk, a tiny chapel tucked in the trees by the lagoon's edge. Built by an Irish monk in the early 1700's. They head to the building, upon Tory's request.

The pebble matches the gray limestone blocks perfectly. Shelton is in shock, and Ben is afraid of hitting paydirt for a third time. Inside, Ben starts staring at the rear of the chapel, where white rocks formed a Gaelic cross. They attack the wall, trying everything in their power to find some sort of clue or spot behind it. That's when Tory notices an irregular stone before the cross, with Bonny's personal cross on it. The flagstone is much too heavy for them to move, so Ben runs off and fetches a crowbar from a shed they had passed on their way there. He manages to pry up the stone, revealing a hand carved wooden box. Tory cuts the wax using Ben's Swiss Army knife and opens the box. Inside are two items. A black velvet pouch secured by a leather cord, and a ten-page letter to Mary. The pouch contains Spanish doubloons, each worth thousands, but not nearly enough to keep LIRI running. Though they're excited, they are also forced to accept the fact that their pack will be fragmented in a months time.

Shelton and Ben put the stone back, and Hi returns the crowbar, while Tory carefully packs the letters into her bag. She hears Hi return, and gets ready to leave, only for an unfamiliar voice to call out and order them to stay put. They scramble to the back door, only to find Nigel Short blocking it. Armed with a 9mm Beretta. With Marlo and Tree Trunk near the first pews and Short in the back, they're trapped. Marlo demands that the kids give them the treasure, but they try to deceive their captors by telling them that there was nothing there. In a panic, Tory accuses Marlo and Duncan (previously known as Tree Trunk) of murdering the Fletchers, to which they admit to doing. The two men, who are Lonnie Bates' sons, and Short are willing to kill the kids over the treasure, especially Dr. Short, who has been searching for the treasure for thirty years.

Tory flares, and dives into her subconscious to make the boys flare. She tries to fire out a message but hits a barrier. Hi's connection slowly begins to solidify, and a fault line appears in their barrier. That's when she realizes why their telepathy doesn't work at times. For their power to work, they have to be together. As Hi closes in, the walls weaken and Tory is able to make the boys flare. Marlo aims his weapon at Ben, intending to shoot him to make Tory talk. Just as the gun rises, Tory tells the boys to move. Shelton wings the coin pouch at Marlo, distracting the man just long enough for Ben to drive a heavy foot into his head. Hi body slams Duncan and sends him flying, then shoves Short towards Tory. She goes for the Beretta, but can't pry it from his hands. Desperate, she head butts him and frees the Beretta. Ben is also on his feet, aiming a gun at Marlo. One by one, the Virals lose their flares. They make the men sit on the bench, though Duncan gets up and demands the gun. In response, Tory fires the gun between Duncan's massive feet. The man pees himself and goes over to sit beside his brother. Shelton and Hi take the gear and head out to get the treasure on Sewee, while Ben and Tory keep watch. After, Hi goes to retrieve the police.

Initially, they're all handcuffed, but after hours of interviews and statements, they're released to their families. Tory tells Kit about what happened that night, and through her tears admits that they did it to stay together and avoid separation. On the following morning, while taking out the trash, Rodney Brincefield confronts Tory. He admits to following her a bit and asks about their findings. Tory tells him about the gold coins and some old religious drawings and finding Jonathan between the spikes. Brincefield explains to her that the papers are the treasure, as they are a lost folio from the Book of Kells. Later, in a video conference, Tory tells the boys about it. The documents' value are incalculable. Priceless. One by one, the Virals start celebrating and run outside. Their excitement drives them to form a ragged circle, spinning around like five-year-olds playing a mad version of Ring-Around-the-Rosie. When they hit the grass, Hi is set on becoming ric, but is persuaded into Tory's plan for the documents. Though, it doesn't mean that they have to come out empty handed. When Kit gets home, Tory shows him the rare documents. She tells him about finding the treasure and having the documents analyzed by an expert. After Kit has a few seconds to process, she tells him that she and the boys have agreed to give up the folio in order to save Loggerhead Island, but first, Kit has to promise that they will not be split up. Kit agrees.

Two weeks later, Tory, Hi, Shelton and Ben are at a rededication ceremony in LIRI's courtyard. Each of them have had their fair share of spending. Ben bought new gear for Sewee, Shelton a new iPad, Tory some camping gear, and Hi has purchased diamond-stud earrings. They saved some of the money to spend on the bunker, and gave a few coins to Rodney, too. During the past weeks, the folio was authenticated, and the Irish government demanded the return of the pages. Negotiations were made, and a deal was met. First, Kit created a nonprofit trust and donated the manuscript. The cotrustees were made the new Loggerhead Island Foundation, of which Kit is the director, and Trinity College in Dublin, keeper of the Book of Kells. Then the newly created trust secured a loan from the Bank of Ireland. The trust now owns LIRI and all of Morris Island, and both islands would forever remain nature preserves. This way, LIRI will never have budget issues again. Before the ceremony starts, Tory sees Cooper, Whisper, Buster, and Polo come up to the silver fence. It's too risky, so Tory flares and tells the pack to scram. They do, and the other Virals hiss at Tory to get out of their heads. She smiles and complies. There is no way that she would ruin her father's big day.

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