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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 23rd day of Awakening, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 97 > Short Stories > Lady Falcon

Lady Falcon

by superixionffx

Only one year had passed since I had entered Neopia, but it felt like a century. I guess it was because I had endured near to everything.

     After all, I had become an all-elemental Faerie, adopted the heir of possibly the most powerful wizard in all of Neopia, and I had beaten a powerful Dark Faerie in a battle.

     And just recently I had broken my right wrist, making it hard to write.

     Sure, I had healing powers. But as for mending bones, the most I could do was to put it in a splint and wait until it got better.

     It wasn't that bad, though. Lightspeed had volunteered to write down my stories for me as I said them aloud, and besides, my splint looked pretty cool. As Dagger had pointed out one day, I looked like a falcon trainer.

     And so I earned the affectionate nickname "Lady Falcon".

     At first it was just Dagger who called me that, but soon her pets joined in, then my pets, then my NeoFriends -- you get the point.

     Now I sat outside, alone on a star-shaped boulder.

     Silver shafts of moonlight enhanced the beauty of the forest around me. The glowing gold trees arched gracefully around the silver crescent moon.

     My hair glistened like spun gold; my sharp hazel eyes shone like stars.

     I sat for a few moments, watching the sky.

     Then I sighed deeply and closed my eyes, thinking. I wondered what my pets were doing now.

     Shiva was probably diving into the crystal ocean. Lightspeed was snoozing on a cloud, most likely. Nexxus was still sleeping. I knew that for a fact. And Laser was probably darting around in the forest somewhere...

     My thoughts were interrupted when I felt something soft land on my arm, followed by a damp nose nuzzling my face. I opened my eyes, and held my breath.

     A Faellie sat, perched on my right arm. I grinned, thinking about the "Lady Falcon" comments. I would have to tell everyone about my "Lady Faellie" experience.

     Its face was exquisite, with curious black eyes examining me carefully. Its huge yellow ears spread out like fans, and its creamy white wings were folded onto its back.

     We both sat for a while, just staring at each other. Soon I got up to leave, but the Faellie stayed on my arm.

     I gave a gentle shake of my arm, but the Faellie would not let go.

     I shrugged and kept walking, the Faellie still perched on my arm. Soon it fell asleep.

***

In the morning, the Faellie was curled up at my side, awake. It blinked its sparkling ebony eyes at me, then made a cute grumbling sound that must have meant, "I'm hungry".

     I sighed and handed it a box of Neoflakes.

     The Faellie stared at it for a second as if wondering what it was. Then it tore open the box and began stuffing the cereal into its mouth.

     "So," I asked, "Will you be staying here permanently?" I didn't mind the Faellie's company, and I crossed my fingers, hoping it would stay.

     The Faellie nodded quickly, pausing for only a brief second before going back to eating its breakfast.

     "You'll need a name, then." I guessed that if the petpet had no owner, it wouldn't have a name, either.

     The Faellie nodded vigorously, this time not bothering to pause from eating.

     "Fae, then." I wanted something simple. And, after all, this was going to be my petpet, so I should choose the name.

     "Fae," the Faellie repeated, Neoflakes falling from her mouth.

     I leaped back in surprise. "You can... TALK??!!??" I asked, shocked.

     "Yep," said Fae. "Not much, but some."

     She had finished her cereal and had now settled on my right arm. "Would you like to see my pets?" I asked, unsure of what the answer would be.

     "Yep." Fae's ears swayed back and fourth like weather vanes.

     So I introduced my pets; Nexxus, Laser, Lightspeed, and Shiva.

     "Which one?" Fae asked.

     I gave her a confused look, and then I realized that she was asking whose Petpet she was to be. My pets all had Petpets, though. Still, my heart ached at the mere thought of sending her off into the wilderness again...

     "Me," I answered, shifting into my Peophin form.

     "Okie-dokie," said Fae, snuggling into my arms.

     I smiled happily.

***

My wrist was getting better.

     Ever since Fae had come and perched on my arm, it had improved incredibly.

     A healing petpet, I thought to myself. I think I've found the right friend for myself.

***

It was a busy day in Neopia Central, and I had to fly parts of the way because there was simply no room to walk.

     I was glad when I reached Dagger's NeoHome. Dagger answered the door. She looked a little surprised to see me without my pets.

     "Who's that, Lady Falcon?" Dagger asked, pointing to Fae, who would not get off my arm.

     "I'm Fae," Fae replied.

     Dagger leaped back in astonishment, just as I had done when I had heard Fae talk for the first time.

     "She... Talks???!!???" Dagger asked.

     "Yep," Fae nodded.

     "So how are you going to get her to leave?"

     "She's staying."

     "Oh." Dagger looked at me awkwardly. "Oh well. Is your arm better?"

     "Yes," I nodded.

     "Why'd you visit?" Dagger asked me.

     "To say hi," I told her. "And I need to stock up on food. My Neopets were too hungry to come along. Want to shop with me?"

     "Okay." We walked out the door and into the busy streets of Neopia Central.

***

Lightspeed padded along the dusty dirt road. His wings were folded along his back and he surveyed the forest ahead. Dusty gray clouds loomed menacingly overhead. He knew he would be back in time for when Lady Falcon got back from the groceries.

     He paused when he saw a starry Lupe sitting alone in a tree. She looked lonely, even though a Doglefox sat beside her.

     Quietly he unfolded his wings and flew over to the starry Lupe. "Hi," he said. "Lonely?"

     She nodded, then smiled at the Airax (named Crossbow) perched on Lightspeed's shoulder. He had begun to chirp noisily.

     Lightspeed introduced himself.

     "I'm Star," said the starry Lupe.

     Just then, rain began to fall. Lightspeed was soon soaking and he lifted his wings to shelter the rest of his body. And, much to his surprise, Star lifted hers.

     "You have wings?" he asked.

     She nodded. "They were given to me the same day I got this."

     Star lifted a necklace for Lightspeed to see. It had a white chain and a blue crescent hung from the end.

     Lightspeed gasped. The day he had become Protector of Air, he had found the same type of medallion around his neck!!

     "Is there anything engraved on the back?" Lightspeed asked, his heart beating faster as he realized that Star might be a fellow Protector!!

     "Yes, it says 'Star, Protector of Sky and Stars.'"

     Lightspeed gasped again. He said, "Lightspeed45neo, Protector of Air."

     He told Star this, and then suggested, "Maybe we should go see the Faerie Queen about this."

     Star shook her head, dark blue fur swishing back and fourth. "Let's wait until this storm stops," she said. "It'll be hard flying in this weather."

     Lightspeed nodded in agreement. "Do you have an owner?" he asked.

     She shook her head sadly, and a tear trickled down her cheek. "I used to," she told him.

     Lightspeed was about to say more, but Crossbow began to sing a tune, haunting, enchanting, and very beautiful.

     Star leaped up, searching for the source of the song. She got herself soaking, but didn't seem to care. "It's Crossbow," Lightspeed said helpfully.

     "It's so... familiar," Star admitted.

     "Tell me more about it later." Lightspeed raised his voice as the wind picked up and a tornado became visible across the horizon, coming toward them. "Quick, I'll take you to shelter!!!"

     Together they ran along the soaked dirt road, rain pelting down and soaking their fur. Crossbow's talons cut into Lightspeed's back as he fought to hold on.

     Finally, they reached the forest where Lady Falcon lived.

     Lightspeed and Star flew up to Lady Falcon's room.

     They sat together in front of the burning fireplace. Laser, Shiva, and Nexxus were already sitting in front of it.

     When they entered, Nexxus asked, "Where were you? And who is that?"

     So Lightspeed and Star explained. And when they were finished, all the other pets were staring at them, open-mouthed.

     "A Protector?" Shiva asked.

     Star nodded. They chatted for a few minutes, but were soon interrupted by a swishing of the silk curtains that covered the entrance to Lady Falcon's room. Lightspeed looked up, expecting it to be Lady Falcon.

     He didn't realize he was wrong until a clawed hand gripped Star tightly by the throat.

***

I looked up at the sky. It was raining hard, and thunder clapped overhead. Clawed hands of lightning tore at the blackened sky.

     "We ought to be leaving soon," Dagger told me, her teeth chattering.

     I agreed, and turned to leave. Then I remembered something.

     "Dagger," I said. "I need to get something from my Inventory. Care to come?"

     Dagger nodded, a little reluctantly, and followed me as I hurried off to grab a special present for Lightspeed.

     When we had reached my Inventory, I picked up a paint brush.

     "This," I told her, waving the paint brush high in the air like a torch, "is a split paint brush. I'm going to use it to paint Lightspeed."

     "But that's not a split paint brush," Dagger told me, a hint of amusement creeping into her voice. "What kind of split paint brush glows?"

     I looked at the paint brush, and found that Dagger was right. It was a neon green, and it glowed brightly. A glowing paint brush!!

     "Close enough," I muttered, wondering how my split paint brush could possibly have morphed into a glowing one.

     Suddenly, the lights in my Inventory went out. I shivered, and led the way to the exit with the steady glow of the paint brush.

     Once out, I said goodbye to Dagger and began the long walk home through the deserted streets of Neopia Central.

***

When I entered my room I did not like what I saw.

     My Neopets were tied up in a corner. Their eyes darted toward me as I entered the room, looking scared and upset.

     Lying beside them was a small starry Lupe. Her eyes were closed and the only indication that she was still alive was the unsteady rise and fall of her chest.

     And in the middle of the room was Ahlora, a Dark Faerie I had met a long time ago.

     "So we meet again." Her voice was menacing, a threat. I wanted to pounce on her, to tear her into little tiny bite-size pieces.

     But if I did, she would hurt my pets. Maybe kill them. It would be best to remain still.

     "Why are you here?" I demanded.

     "I want you to do something for me." Ahlora looked at me with her dark eyes. They seemed to pull me, in, making me sleepy. The world around me became fuzzy, then black...

     "No." I broke away from Ahlora's dark eyes and concentrated on making my reply calm and firm.

     "Oh, how rude of you," Ahlora sneered at me. "I haven't even told you what I want yet."

     "Be on with it, then." As soon as I said these words, I regretted them. I should have listened to the sickening feeling in my stomach that clearly told me No.

     Ahlora snapped her fingers, and a green cloud with an image in it appeared. The image had a picture of an orb on it. It looked something like King Skarl's orb.

     "Steal from a King??!!??" I asked in disbelief. "Are you crazy?"

     "No, I'm not." Ahlora's sneer became even meaner, and she was beginning to remind me of Lord Darigan; an evil, greedy creature that wanted to rule the whole of Neopia.

     She wants all that power, I thought. She can rule Neopia with that orb!

     I shook my head. "And let you rule Neopia?" I asked, choosing my words carefully. "Dream on, Ahlora."

     "Fine then." Ahlora's tone remained cool and collected, but her eyes burned with a dangerous fire.

     She grabbed Shiva and snapped her fingers. A halter appeared around Shiva's neck.

     Shiva reared up, eyes rolling wildly. Her mouth foamed as she bucked, leaped, tore at the chain connected to the halter. Her ears snapped back and she snapped her teeth at Ahlora.

     Ahlora only grinned evilly. She whispered a few words and Shiva reared higher, wild and untamed. She snapped free of the chain and charged at me, moving at breakneck speed.

     I dodged her attack, realizing with horror that Ahlora had turned Shiva against me!

     My mind raced as I dodged Shiva, trying to think of a counter spell. I couldn't just use a spell to put Shiva back on my side again; I didn't have the energy for that. But I could still break the spell some other way, and, after dodging Shiva's fourth attack, I knew exactly how.

     Now, before I tell you of what happened next, I must inform you that Dark Faeries absolutely despise light. So you won't be surprised when I tell you what I did next.

     There was no time to get to the Rainbow Pool, so I went on and began quickly stroking the glowing paint brush along Lightspeed's fur.

     At first nothing happened. Then his coat began to turn a neon-green color, and he began to grow dimly, then brighter, and brighter, and brighter until the light from his coat lit up the whole room. His left ear was still blue and glowed only dimly, but other than that the Paint Brush had worked perfectly well.

     Ahlora was looking at me oddly. "It's no time to paint your pet," she told me, still looking at me strangely, as if wondering what I was up to.

     I ignored her words, only pointed in her direction and whispered a few words in Lightspeed's ear. He nodded, then bounded toward Ahlora.

     "Wha...?" Ahlora said, but she could not continue, for Lightspeed leaped up on her and knocked her flat on her back.

     She screamed as Lightspeed licked her face, sending neon green drool flying all down her neck and onto her black cloak.

     Soon, Lightspeed stopped and walked to my side. Ahlora was screeching like a banshee as her skin became to glow dimly, then neon green. She began to move her lips, to scream a threat at me, but then her skin became black and crumbled; leaving a pile of ashes on the floor.

     I just stood there for a moment, looking back and fourth, from the ashes to Lightspeed, from him back to the ashes.

     I knew that she would be defeated by the bright glow of Lightspeed's fur, but I didn't think she would disintegrate!!

     "That was one big, bad Faerie." Shiva's eyes were becoming wider now, more normal and losing their look of Dark Magic.

     I nodded. "And to think, this paint brush used to be split!! Someone changed it. But if they hadn't--" I paused for a moment, wondering what could have happened.

     Lightspeed's eyes widened. "Someone switched it?" His mouth moved like a broken door in a windstorm. It opened up and down, but no sound came out.

     "But who could have switched it?" Laserbud asked. "I mean, the Pant Devil and the other bad guys steal stuff and turn them into piles of sludge, but a paint brush turning into another? That is truly beyond me with oddness."

     "That is easy enough to answer," Fae said. "I did it."

     "But how... why..." I wouldn't believe it. I couldn't believe it.

     "I'm Protector of the Future," Fae said proudly. "I do stuff like that a lot. But I came to you because you were a Protector. Although Protectors can be separated, they must all be united at one point. So I found you by following the large radiation of magic coming from where you live."

     She cleared her throat, then continued, "I saw into the future, watching you go to the Rainbow Pool to paint your Lupe. I watched your surprise when you found Ahlora in your home. And I watched her defeat you easily. She was much more powerful this time than she was before, you know. I knew the glowing paint brush had become your only hope, so I messed around with the Future and gave you a glowing paint brush."

     "Where did you get all the Neopoints?" I asked, still not believing that Fae had gone through so much trouble just to save me.

     "None required." Fae waved her hand in a wide arc over a cup of water and it turned into a Split Paint Brush. "Would you like it?"

     Lightspeed stared at the paintbrush, then shook his head.

     "I can't take it," he replied, sounding very sure of himself.

     "Why not?" Fae and I asked in unison.

     "I like glowing," Lightspeed said quietly. "Now can you please save Star? Ahloraa hurt her."

     I looked at the starry Lupe lying on the floor and ran over to help. Within minutes, Star was back on her feet.

     "Want to live in this forest?" I asked her. If I couldn't adopt another pet, that was the next best thing.

     Star nodded.

     Then Fae flew over to perch on her shoulder. "I will be her sidekick," he informed me.

     I nodded, then noticed that my wrist was better. I yanked off the splint and found that my wrist was perfectly healed.

     Lady Falcon no longer, I thought with a grin.

The End

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