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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 27th day of Sleeping, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 31 > Continuing Series > Does Free Will Matter That Much? Part Four

Does Free Will Matter That Much? Part Four

by shattaga

One Less Companion
Lendolin waved a paw at Starry, and he was thrown against a remaining wall and shackled once again. He waved another paw, and the Will Stealer appeared in his hand.

"So, you came for your companion, eh? Valiant effort, but it will come to nothing. This time you will fall. You will not receive the privilege of serving in my armies. You will become my house slaves!" He smiled at Shalecasha, glad to see that his poison was working so well. Starry also stared at her, taking full measure of what Lendolin had done to his friend. "Feeling well, I hope?" He laughed deeply at his own joke, while Shalecasha tottered on her buckling legs. Scith began to creep around towards Lendolin's back, poisoned Attack Fork in hand. "It seems that my concoction is working wonders on you. It looks like you're dead on your feet. I'm surprised that you are still alive. The poison should have destroyed you long ago. But at the moment, you look ready to pass in the shadow world at any moment."

He's right on that point, Starry thought. She looks as though she'll drop any minute.

Shalecasha glared at Lendolin and tried to shout at him, but it came out as a hoarse whisper. "Even if I am gone," she murmured, eyelids twitching. "I'll have the joy of watching you be destroyed as well."

"I doubt it. Look at you, it is evident that you're going to join the shadows in the next few minutes. I, on the other hand, am going to live a long life."

She did look like a very weak pet. Instead of her coat of black, it was a light gray. Her wings drooped. Her eyes were bloodshot with blue. The very colour of her eyes had changed. They were no longer light blue, they were dirty yellow. She wobbled on legs that would barely support her weight, and would weave and sway like a leaf in the wind. The flesh around the dagger wound had swollen up around the dagger. Scith had gotten around to Lendolin's unprotected back, and raised his poisoned Attack Fork. He threw it at Lendolin with all his might. Lendolin spun and caught the fork just inches from hitting him. Scith stomped his foot in frustration. "Ouch! Now why did you have to go and do that?!"

Lendolin ignored him. He rubbed the black poison in between his fingers, and tossed the fork into the hole in the opposite wall. Suddenly, Shalecasha rushed Lendolin, and Scith, seeing his chance, ran over to Starry and began to melt his chains.

Lendolin pulled out a Mono-Scimitar, and blocked the oncoming blow. Shalecasha, weak as she was, struck blow after blow with Fire Sword with a fury Lendolin had only seen once before. Lendolin blocked most of the strikes, but a few came home. Lendolin dropped the Will Stealer, and in the fall, it was chipped. Two wills floated out, a Lupe's, and a Lenny's. Scith helped Starry to his feet, now free of chains, and they ran toward the hole in the wall.

"I've got a headache the size of Happy Valley," Scith said, rubbing his head.

"What took you guys so long?" Starry questioned.

"Sorry, it took till dawn to get Shalec to wake up. We were going to come at night, but then she passed out while making poison for my Attack Fork. She could think of nothing except getting you out of here. Strange how her mind works, isn't it?"

They reached the outside, where the sun wasn't quite so brown anymore, and flew to a cave.

"All right, I'm going to go help Shalec destroy that freak of nature, and you stay out here until we come back out." Scith grabbed his fork and ran back inside. Shalecasha sliced downward, and cut Lendolin's Mono-Scimitar in half. Weaponless, Lendolin shot a look at Scith, and his pupils began swirl. Scith relaxed, the colours of his eyes swirling in time with Lendolin's eyes.

Shalecasha looked at Scith, and tried to shout: "Don't look at his eyes! You'll become one of them!" It only came out as a grating whisper. It was too late. Eyes spinning around, Scith charged Shalecasha, fork raised high. He was too close for her to dodge, and Scith ran her through with the Attack Fork. She gasped with the pain from the Attack Fork sticking out of her stomach. Scith's eyes stopped swirling, he was back to himself. He looked on the scene with horror and confusion.

"Thanks a lot, Scith..." Shalecasha rasped, giving him the evil eye.

She ripped the weapon from her belly, and tossed the fork back to Scith. She was closer to the end than ever before. Her eyes were half-lidded, and her breathing came in shallow gasps. Her coat was no longer gray. It was white. She collapsed, unable to support herself anymore. Lendolin began to sneak away from the scene. He was in a state of denial. Nobody had ever come this close to defeating him. Never. Vast armies had attacked him when he was completely alone, and he had defeated them all easily. Now here come three puny Shoyrus and they almost destroy his entire empire. He crept from the room, not knowing that from every side, he was being watched.

Scith watched Shalecasha collapse, weapon still in hand. At the same time he heard padded feet and the sound of a cloak dragging the ground. He was torn. Should he stay here and get his companion out? Or should he go and pursue Lendolin? The very name of the fiend made him grit his teeth. He ran off toward the sound of the dragging cloak.

The Golden Dubloon
Shalecasha lay there. One... last thing to do. But can I do this task? She thought back to the day they had gotten those accursed invitations. How gullible we were. I hope that Starry is all right. She looked up at a hole in the ceiling. The sun was almost yellow. I am slipping away. Better do it before I pass off. She crawled toward the chipped Will Stealer. With a large effort, she drew herself up to a kneeling position. She raised her Fire Sword, and slammed it into the Will Stealer. A small explosion threw Shalecasha back to her original spot as a thousand wisps of will rushed out of the halved orb.

Starry was pacing around in the cave. He stood on the lip of the cavern, and looked up. The sun was yellow now, giving out a cheerful glow. He looked down and saw the masses of Neopets below. A cracking sound above him caught his attention. Out of the hole in the fortress's wall, a fog of white vapour began to float toward the pets below.

"They'll have free will again! Then we can finally go home." He looked back up to the castle. "I wonder how they're doing." He slurped down a healing potion that had been made the night before, and took wing toward the fort.

Lendolin turned a corner and saw the front door. "Thank evilness!" He looked back, and he saw Scith flying after him, teeth bared and Starry's Ice Scimitar in hand. Lendolin yelped and ran toward the wooden doors. He put one paw on the handle. Scith landed a few feet in front of him, and brought the icy sword in front of himself. Lendolin turned to Scith with a triumphant smile, his paw still on the handle. "You are too late, Shoyru. Once I open this door, my armies will flood into this hall and tear you apart!"

Scith simply smiled and leaned against a wall. "Go ahead. Open the door. We'll see who gets torn apart."

Lendolin cackled and opened the door. Xtreme stood on the doorway. Standing next to the white Lupe was a bruised and scowling Fortilius Behind him were the hundreds of thousands of pets that had been enslaved. Scith snuck up behind the gaping tyrant and sent the Scimitar through the Kougra's back. And there marked the end of Lendolin, tyrant, ruler of all who live under the brown sun, who was killed by the very people he enslaved. He fell into the steps in between Xtreme and Fortilius, and they pushed him into the masses, finishing him off and leaving his dead body for the buzzards.

The sun warmed Shalecasha's white face, and she smiled. The sun is completely yellow now. So much for the ruler under the brown sun. Her eyes dimmed, and their lids dropped like trap doors. I wish I didn't have to go. I haven't said... goodbye to anyone yet. What's going to happen to my family? What's going to happen to shattaga, and Miataun, and Snow_angel? They'll be fine. I guess Scith will have to find a new person to slaughter on a regular basis. He eyelids twitched open slightly. Starry will have to find another friend to complete the trio. Too bad, I was beginning to like him. Why do I have to leave now? I had so many plans but, as shattaga would say, 'The end comes to all of us. It hangs around, waiting for the worst possible moment, and then it comes like a ton of bricks.' You just have to... move on...

A red light began to wrap itself around Scith, Xtreme, and Fortilius. A gigantic light wrapped itself around the mass of pets, sending them into a panic.

"Not again!" Scith shouted, disappearing with a pop.

Further away, Starry had just discovered Shalecasha, light shining on her paper-white face, her Fire Sword still clutched in her hand, and a small smile on her white face. Starry slowly strode toward the body, not daring to believe. A red light appeared and wrapped itself around Starry and Shalecasha. They popped out of existence, and popped back right where they had disappeared. Scith pooped in next to the shocked Starry and the still Shalecasha. Nobody else was there except them; all the other pets had popped back to where they had disappeared. Starry knelt by her, took his Ice Scimitar, and put it above her mouth.

"Starry, what are you doing? She's gone, you know that."

He ignored Scith, and kept the sword over her lips. No breath fogged the ice on the blade. He took the blade away, and held the limp head in his hands, and felt under her horn, where you'd feel for a Shoyru's pulse. No pulse at all.

They began to walk away, wondering how they were going to tell their owners about all this. "How are we going to break this to Shalec's family? They're going to be heartbroken."

"Break what to my family?" a cocky, annoyed voice behind them spat.

Not daring to hope, they both turned to see none other then Shalecasha, picking up her Fire Sword, her coat returning to its normal jet-black.

"SHALECASHA!!!" Starry rushed at her and gave her such a hug that she couldn't breath.

Eyes bulging, she choked out, "Please... let go of me. I can't breath!" Embarrassed at his own behaviour, he pulled away. Scith slapped his own forehead and shook his head in an expression of 'Why me?'

"Sorry," Starry muttered. "But how did you... you know..."

"The teleporting gave my heart a jump-start. It just took a while for a noticeable pulse to start up." She gave him an affectionate look. "You want to know what the afterlife looks like?"

She turned to Scith. "Now, my friends, how about a celebration? It's not every day that we get thrown onto an island, save a thousand NeoPets, and come back to life!"

They began back down the concrete hallway, and Shalecasha looked thoughtful.

"But where are we going to celebrate? Can't be too expensive, I'm flat out of Neopoints," Scith whined.

"Yeah, me too," Starry admitted.

"We're going to The Golden Dubloon! And don't worry." She pulled out three 100-Dubloon coins. The two males gaped at the gold pieces. "I'm paying!"

The End

Previous Episodes

Does Free Will Matter That Much? Part One

Does Free Will Matter That Much? Part Two

Does Free Will Matter That Much? Part Three

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