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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 18th day of Gathering, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 28 > New Series > Does Free Will Matter That Much? Part One

Does Free Will Matter That Much? Part One

by shattaga

Invitations and The Arrival
"Let's give a hand to the valiant loser, Grelish4475!" Even though the image flickered, the sound was good, and the Sorcerer watched three holograms with an interest bordering on boredom. He turned to his right hand man, a Lenny named Fortilius, and boomed out in a deep voice: "You told me this contraption would show me my next target, and anything else that we need to see in the Neopian world. Have you been..." He pointed a long, dagger-like claw towards the trembling Lenny. "Lying to me?"

The Lenny shook with the talon tickling his throat. "Lendolin, l-look at the p-projection now. We have found your first targets!"

Lendolin glanced at the now stable projection, and knocked Fortilius into a clammy wall with a careless sweep of his paw. One hologram showed a shadowed Shoyru walking out into an arena, with a red glint and glow in its eyes. Another one showed a fire Shoyru holding an Attack Fork and a goblet of blue-black blood. The last one showed a starry Shoyru plunging an ice scimitar towards a pet, laughing the entire time. He gazed at the images with a predatory hunger.

"There they are, two of the most evil hearted NeoPets in all of the dimensions," He paused to glance at Fortilius, who was still senseless from the blow. He grinned evilly, showing four inch-long teeth, and patted a glowing white glass ball, filled with images of screaming pets.

"And easy targets..."

Fortilius straightened up. "But what about the starry Shoyru, sir? Isn't he a target? He is certainly strong enough." For once, Lendolin looked troubled.

"I am not sure, Fortilius. He seems to have too much light in his heart. He may cause us trouble when he arrives at our isle. But maybe I am getting too nervous about these things. We have swayed many a good-hearted NeoPet to our cause. Why should I be worried about a puny little Shoyru?"

"Shall I send out the invitations? Sire?" Fortilius choked out.

"Yes," Lendolin replied with a regal tone. "Of course..."

Meanwhile, at the Battledome, three Shoyrus walked down an empty concrete hallway, laughing and bragging about their own victories. The fire Shoyru, scith_2000, was particularly boastful. "Then, that dumb Poogle tried to hit me with a wet snowball. Easily avoided! You would think that he had never been in the Battledome before."

"Scith, that's because that Poogle had never gone into the Battledome before! You broke him in with a loss!" the shadow Shoyru piped up. "Because of that, he might go to the pound for losing his first fight!"

"Well, Shalecasha, you would know all about that losing thing," a starry Shoyru snickered. The two male Shoyrus laughed and high-fived each other. Shalecasha punched them both, sending starrynights19 and scith_2000 stumbling back a few steps. A fight was beginning to start, when a white Usul came running up toward the trio, his tiny feet padding on the cold concrete.

"Are you guys... the Shoyrus named... pantpant... Scith_2000, Starrynights19... pant... and Shalecasha?"

"Yeah, so?"

The Usul pulled out three papers and handed one to each of the Shoyrus. They were written in some strange language.

"These came for you while you were fighting. Almost everyone in the Battledome got one." He scratched his head. "Good luck figuring them out."

The bunch of Shoyrus translated the messages and read them in silence. Starry rubbed his head.

"These look like invitations," he said slowly.

Scith gave Starry a weird look. "To what, exactly?"

"It's an invitation to a battling tournament, you dolt!" Shalecasha shouted happily, and ran over the paper again. "If you come, you will receive a priceless treasure..." Her eyes sparkled with the prospect of riches. "I wonder what it could be... A Rod of Dark Nova? An Alien Aisha Sceptre? I'm going. No butts about it." She looked at Scith and Starry and sneered. "Are you two going? Or are you going to chicken out and run to your owners?" She laughed heartily, dropping her parchment in merriment while Scith and Starry boiled over with anger.

"I would have gone even without the offered door prize," Scith said hotly, striking the cement with his Attack Fork. "I would have been driven to fight because my thirst can never be quenched."

She turned to Starry. "And how about you? Are you going to go and kick some NeoPet booty?"

The starry Shoyru seemed hesitant about the idea.

"I think maybe this is where my brother has gone. He went off into the woods--"

"And they never came back," Shalecasha said with fake pity riding on every word. "I've heard it before, and I don't need to hear it again!"

"Well, how would you feel if one of your family members disappeared?!" Sensing a fight, Scith got between the two arguing Shoyrus.

"All right you two, if you're going to fight, do it in the Battledome," Scith said, keeping them from tearing at each other's throats. Once they had calmed down, Scith turned to Starry. "Well," Scith inquired. "Are you going?"

Before Starry could say "Yes", a bright red light began to emanate from the papers. The insubstantial rays of crimson light seemed to become solid, and began to wrap itself around each Shoyru. All eyes went round. "What's happening?" Shalecasha asked, surprise and a hint of fear in her voice. The solid lights now began whirling around the group, and with a loud popping noise and a gasp from Starrynights19, the whirling stopped, the red light faded, and the dizzy Shoyrus could look around. They seemed to be on some tropical isle, and it looked completely normal, except the sun didn't shine with it's yellow light.

"The sun..." Scith whispered. "It's brown."

To be continued...

Previous Episodes

Does Free Will Matter That Much? Part Two

Does Free Will Matter That Much? Part Three

Does Free Will Matter That Much? Part Four

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