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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 13th day of Storing, Yr 21
The Neopian Times Week 88 > Continuing Series > The Reality of Dreams: Part Two

The Reality of Dreams: Part Two

by sabreur

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Things change in life, sometimes quicker than we could have imagined possible. A random choice, a moment's hesitation, and a chance encounter can all change the course of our entire existence. I don't know why things happen the way they do. I suppose no one in Neopia really does understand.

End of Prologue

Location: Sabreur's Lab
Time: 12:23 PM NST

"Is it ready yet?" Infernus asked, peering cautiously over my shoulder as I bent over the lab bench.

     "Not quite," I replied, looking up from my work to glance around the lab. My lab is the largest room in my house, and is where I spend most of my free time. Half-finished projects cover the various tables like metallic insects. Boxes of circuits and parts sit on metal shelves against one wall, while sets of chemical vials and beakers sit in half-open cabinets. The walls are made of thick, blast resistant materials. There are two doors, one leading into the supply closet and one leading into the hallway. Both are solidly built. Fire extinguishers are mounted anywhere that's convenient, and close inspection would show that they've all been used fairly often. A few scorch marks show the locations of past experiments.

     I turned back to my work, thankful that Infernus was watching. He is a great partner in the lab, due to his intelligence and fire-resistant scales. I carefully screwed in the last circuit on my current project, then welded the casing shut. "It's done!" I cried triumphantly, holding the sphere-shaped object aloft.

     At first glance, the thing I held in my hands didn't look like anything special - just a simple firebomb. Firebombs are interesting weapons, and they are one of the first Battledome weapons Infernus and I tried. Unfortunately, they are terribly weak, barely putting out enough flame to turn bread into toast, let alone be effective in a fight.

     This firebomb was a bit special, however. It was slightly larger, for starters. Extra connections had been added to charge it with electrical power. The fuel inside had been removed and replaced with a formula of my own devising. The outer plating was covered in solar panels, so it constantly drank in power. I didn't know if it would work on not, but it sure looked fearsome. My less-than-secret goal is to turn Infernus into a Battledome champion. This device, the Improved Firebomb, could go a long ways towards fulfilling that goal.

     "Um, you might want to turn the arming switch to the off position," Infernus commented.

     "Oh, yeah. Oops," I said, hurriedly flicking the switch off. I plugged the Improved Firebomb into the nearest wall outlet just as the phone mounted on the far wall rang. I ran to pick it up. Kiddo's voice spoke on the other end of the line.

     "Hey Sabreur. Forgetting something?"

     "Um, no..."

     "What about meeting for lunch?"

     "Oh yeah, that! No, I didn't forget. Meeting at your house at noon, right Child_Dragon?"

     "Okay good. I was worried you were busy in your lab and had forgotten. Especially since we were supposed to meet half an hour ago!"

     "Uhhh...." I stalled, trying to think up a suitable response. Kiddo's laughter came over the line.

     "Lemme guess, you were just about to finish a new project, right?"

     "Yeah," I replied, feeling myself blush again.

     "Don't worry. I planned on you being late. Just hurry over here, okay?"

     "Alright," I replied, picking up the Improved Firebomb from its resting place. "I'll be right over."

Location: Neopia Central: At the Restaurant
Time: 12:55 PM NST

     Kiddo had picked her restaurant well. The soup dishes were superb, and the weather was nice enough for us to sit outside at one of the many outdoor tables. We ate and chatted about school, friends, and life in general. Infernus' soup had been a little too cold for his liking, so he had calmly blasted it with his fiery breath until he was satisfied. Unfortunately, he didn't give us any warning so Kiddo and Un-Eairkagh nearly fell out of their seats. We also had some trouble getting Un-Eairkagh to actually eat his food, since he kept trying to catapult vegetables with his spoon.

     After a while, Kiddo turned to me with a question. "What were you working on in your lab, anyway?"

     "This," I smiled, taking the Improved Firebomb out of my jeans pocket. I knew my sister would ask that question sooner or later.

     "What's it do?" Un-Eairkagh asked, turning away from the napkin he'd been trying to fold into a ninja star.

     "I'm not sure if it works, but it's supposed to blow stuff up," I replied, ready to explain in full detail all of the scientific principles involved.

     Kiddo gave me a blank look. "Doesn't everything you make do that?" she asked innocently.

     "Hey, take that back!" I laughed. I was trying to think up a suitable retort when a massive green Skeith walked up and grabbed the Improved Firebomb right off the table.

     "Nice toy," he commented, casually tossing it in the air and catching it. "Mind if I play with it for awhile?" He grinned, and I noted with a sinking heart just how sharp his teeth were. Infernus and I slowly got up from our seats. Kiddo looked carefully at all of us, and then whispered something to Un-Eairkagh that I couldn't make out.

     "That's not a toy," I replied, trying to keep my voice level. "Please give it back."

     "Why?" the Skeith asked, still grinning. Something kept tugging at my mind, something I couldn't quite put my finger on. Suddenly it hit me. Infernus and I had spent a lot of time in the Battledome. We had played against many opponents, sometimes winning, sometimes losing. A week earlier, Infernus had fought against a Skeith - the same Skeith that now stood holding my latest creation in a clawed hand. The Skeith had been obviously stronger than Infernus, but he hadn't been as skilled or well equipped and had lost the Battledome fight. But now Infernus was without his equipment, and his skill with a blade was useless in a straight brawl.

     "What do you want?" I said, feeling the edges of panic creeping into my voice. Kiddo was still watching, but Un-Eairkagh was nowhere to be seen. Infernus had slowly moved to the side of the Skeith, his eyes locked on the firebomb.

     "What do I want... Hmm... Let me think a bit..." The Skeith was obviously enjoying this. "How about.... THIS!"

     Without warning he lashed out with a massive fist, catching me in the chest and knocking me backwards over a chair. Infernus sprang with a furious roar, crashing into the Skeith's side. The surprised Skeith stayed upright, but lost his grip on the firebomb, which rolled to Kiddo's feet. Infernus clung hard to the Skeith's right arm, digging his claws in painfully. He inhaled deeply, and then bathed the Skeith in flames from his mouth. The Skeith laughed, his thick scales repelling the fiery attack. Flexing his massively muscled arms, he flung Infernus aside and turned to face him. I quickly got to my feet, and pulled the saber from its sheath on my back.

     "Hey ugly!" I taunted, "Over here!" The Skeith turned away from my neopet as Infernus sprung to his feet. I ran forward, blade ready. The Skeith slammed a massive fist towards my face, but I ducked under the blow and drove my sword at his chest... only to watch in dismay as the Skeith's thick scales deflected the blow. The Skeith lashed its thick tail at my face. I raised my blade in a parry, but the strength of the attack still knocked me staggering backwards. Infernus took advantage of the Skeith's distraction to spring onto its back, trying to force the larger neopet into a headlock.

     "Get off!" the Skeith growled, trying to reach Infernus with his arms. Infernus said nothing, but evaded the Skeith's grasp, pummelling the Skeith with his free hand.

     "Sabreur!" I turned towards the sound. It was Kiddo holding the Improved Firebomb.

     "Here!" she shouted, tossing the firebomb underhanded towards me. I dropped my sword, and grabbed the firebomb out of midair. Kiddo turned to watch the Skeith, obviously wishing she had a weapon to help out. I turned towards the fight and gasped in horror.

     While I had been busy catching the firebomb, the Skeith had grabbed one of Infernus' wings and now had him pinned cruelly against a wall. One huge arm held him in place, while the other was raised, ready to deliver a massive punch.

     "Wait!" I yelled, frantic. The Skeith turned. He had taken a beating, and was breathing heavy. He wasn't grinning anymore.

     "What?" he growled, his voice low and dangerous.

     "You want this!?" I shouted, holding the firebomb aloft. "It took me weeks to figure out how to build it. You want it, it's yours." Police sirens wailed, obviously heading our way.

     "Just take it and go!" I shouted, "And leave Infernus alone!" The Skeith seemed about to pummel Infernus anyway, but as the sirens came closer he appeared to think better of it. He lowered Infernus from the wall, still holding him by a wing. He raised his other hand and motioned for me to hand over the firebomb.

     "Catch!" I shouted, intentionally flinging the firebomb at the Skeith's face with all of my might. Surprised, the Skeith dropped Infernus and raised both hands to catch the firebomb. The firebomb struck the Skeith's hands, bounced, and hit the floor. The Skeith bent over to pick it up. At which point Kiddo knocked over a table and all of us dove behind it.

     There was a bang like the end of the world. Fire and light washed around the edges of the (thankfully solid) table we hid behind. Dust and debris swept by like water around a rock. When it finally stopped, echoes of the bang reached us from several blocks away. I stood up, looking cautiously over the edge of the table.

     The Skeith was still standing, a shocked expression etched onto his face. His green scales had been scorched black, and a charred outline of him was plastered on the brick wall behind him. Without a word, he toppled backwards with a thud, unconscious.

     "Looks like Un-Eairkagh got the police like I asked," came a voice from my right. My ears were ringing, so it took me awhile to realize it was Kiddo who had spoken. From around a corner, several vehicles with sirens blaring swerved into view. Infernus rubbed his sore wing, then looked calmly at the vehicles as uniformed officers got out and started our way.

     "I think," he muttered, "we have some explaining to do."

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Previous Episodes

The Reality of Dreams: Part One

The Reality of Dreams: Part Three

The Reality of Dreams: Part Four

The Reality of Dreams: Part Five

The Reality of Dreams: Part Six

The Reality of Dreams: Part Seven

The Reality of Dreams: Part Eight

The Reality of Dreams: Part Nine

The Reality of Dreams: Part Ten

The Reality of Dreams: Part Eleven

The Reality of Dreams: Part Twelve

The Reality of Dreams: Part Thirteen

The Reality of Dreams: Part Fourteen

The Reality of Dreams: Part Fifteen

The Reality of Dreams: Part Sixteen

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