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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 18th day of Swimming, Yr 21
The Neopian Times Week 89 > Continuing Series > Year 8: Part Two

Year 8: Part Two

by child_dragon

The note was hand-written versus typed. For a long time, Felicia stared at it, puzzling over who could have left it there. She pulled out her chair and sat down, still holding the note. The handwriting was atrocious. Eventually she was able to decipher enough to grasp it's meaning.

     "Felicia:

     I've got to talk to you in private. Meet me in the commercial district after work today, by the old magic shop.

     Kiddo"

     That name rang a bell. She shuddered as she realized who it was. Kiddo, aka, child_dragon. Rumored to be Un-eairkagh's top propaganda agent and high up within the hierarchy. There were also rumors - darker and much more secret ones - rumors that she was somehow involved with Aldrai and the rebellion. Whatever Kiddo wanted, it couldn't be good. She crumpled the note up and shoved it in her pocket, still undecided on what to do. She'd finish the day up and see how things went. Then she'd decide.

     The day continued uneventfully. She received a good deal of material to shift through, but somehow managed to finish it all up in one day. When the ending bell rang she stood and walked towards the door in a daze, her eyes aching. Near the exit was a small clump of the propaganda writers, positioned away from the cameras and listening devices, talking in whispers. Felicia edged closer.

     "I don't know what she's playing at," one whispered.

     Felicia recognized the speaker as Oddhatter and the other three as Tdyans, Meratocat, and Stoneman3x.

     "I mean, Un-eairkagh obviously favors her over everyone else here, so why is she acting so suspiciously all of a sudden?"

     "I know," Meratocat said, chewing on her lower lip, "one would almost start to believe that those rumors are true..."

     The conversation abruptly died then and Felicia hurried away before anyone noticed her. They were treading on things that could constitute treason and she wanted nothing to do with it.

     She was not thinking of treason when her feet eventually turned down towards the commercial district. It was just a harmless meeting. There was no laws against meeting someone after work. But as she passed yet another viewscreen portraying a smiling picture of the striped Eyrie, his eyes seemed to follow her accusingly.

     Felicia had never met Kiddo in person and hoped that the writer would be able to recognize her. As it was, it wasn't even Kiddo who met her.

     "Hello Felicia," a tall girl with long brown hair said softly.

     Felicia stared for a moment then quickly looked away, not wanting to appear rude. The girl's ears were off somehow, and if she didn't know any better, she'd say they were pointed...

     "My name is JenJen26785," the girl was saying, "Or you can call me Spike."

     That would explain it then. Another propaganda writer. She'd heard that this girl was a bit of a recluse and many people whispered that she was actually an elf.

     "Here, follow me."

     They walked behind the magic shop down the alley to where there were no view-screens. Felicia heaved a sigh of relief to be gone from their constant glare.

     "Kiddo couldn't come herself," Spike explained, "So she sent me. What do you know of Aldrai?"

     Felicia thought a long time before replying.

     "He's trying to overthrow Un-eairkagh's government," she finally said, opting for the safe route, "he's evil."

     "Not quite," Spike said carefully, "He and Un-eairkagh are brothers."

     Felicia gasped in amazement.

     "I don't know how it happened, for Kiddo won't ever talk about it. Now, Kiddo is their owner."

     Felicia reeled in shock, staggering and leaning against the wall for support. This was so unreal.

     "She has always had a lot of freedom as a result. After Un-eairkagh took over, he kept his owner around as a propaganda writer. She does a good job of it too, and is one of the few people that can actually pronounce his name. However, after Aldrai started this rebellion, she was caught in the middle. She used to play off of both sides, supporting both her pets, but eventually she got caught. Un-eairkagh won't get rid of his owner, but he keeps her under a much tighter guard. Not just her, but everyone who has had contact with her, which is pretty much all the propaganda writers. I can get away with meeting you simply because I'm practiced in stealth and can shake those that watch me."

     "Why are you telling me this?" Felicia whispered, keenly aware of how much danger Spike had just put her in.

     "Kiddo needs help. She longs to see Aldrai but cannot. I used to act as a go-between but I can't anymore. We need someone new to help."

     Felicia weighed her options. She liked the writers, she truly did. They were a nice lot. This however, this was treason. She could be arrested in a heartbeat just for mentioning anything she'd just heard. Then she remembered how she lived everyday, censoring and practicing the rhetoric of the party, longing to be able to speak her mind.

     "Alright. What do you need me to do?"

****

Kiddo sat alone in her study at the royal palace of Un-eairkagh. There was a polite knock and then Karma_Leafbarer entered.

     "It work out?" she asked softly.

     Karma nodded, not sure to be envious or to feel sorry for her friend. Of all of them, she did not have those cursed veiw-screens. in her room, following her every move. 'On the other hand,' she thought, 'I don't have guards posted outside my door and escorting me around the city.'

     "I do hope this works out," Kiddo said softly, looking infinitely tired.

     "I'm sure it will," Karma reassured, "Everything will be fine. Now, what do you have for me?"

     "Nothing. I found someone else to relay things to my pets. I'm sick of putting you in danger."

     "So you just endanger someone else."

     Kiddo's head snapped up sharply, her eyes flashing in anger.

     "She knows the risks!"

     "And you're just using her, like you've used all of us."

     "I can't help it. There's nothing else I can do... I..."

     She fell silent for a long time then sighed heavily.

     "Just go. Leave me alone."

     "Fine."

     Karma_Leafbarer quickly turned and left, glad to be gone from the most dangerous person in Neopia.

****

Felicia could hardly sleep that night. Thoughts whirled through her mind, confusing her, distracting her. It was in this state that she was able to hear the commotion from next door. She slowly stood and walked over to her own door, leaning against it to listen. The police. Felabba. She sighed and returned to her bed, wondering if it was the Christmas Lupe that had said something. As she finally drifted off to sleep, the only feeling she had was thankfulness. Thankfulness that it wasn't her. And hidden inside her dresser was a stack of papers that would be delivered to a certain spotted Zafara the next day.

To be continued...

Previous Episodes

Year 8: Part One

Year 8: Part Three


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