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.
I've got to talk to you in private. Meet
me in the commercial district after work today, by the old magic shop.
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
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
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
"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
She fell silent for a long time then sighed heavily.
"Just go. Leave me alone."
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...