MERIDELL - No one has forgotten the day when a ragtag bunch of NeoPets fought
off bullies and discovered a whole new world. A world where Draiks and Ixi
roam in peace. A world where knights in shining armor defend honor and protect
the weak and innocent. Now, the leader of the ragtag bunch of NeoPets has become
one of those knights.
I managed to snag an interview with the brave Aisha heroine herself.
I saw her staggering out of the Battledome, exhausted. She was badly bruised.
Her glasses were cracked and her skirt was ripped in two places. All in all,
it looked like she had had a rough time.
"Excuse me? Ms. Lisha?" I strode out from behind a tree with my blue Eyrie,
Lisha took one look at my Eyrie and growled. "Now you want to challenge me
too? Oh my gosh, haven't I had enough for one day?"
"No, Ms. Lisha!" I replied, stunned. "Sapphire here wouldn't hurt a fly. I'm
a Neopian Times Reporter and I would like an interview, please."
"You and every other wanna-be in Neopia," Lisha responded. "But very well.
I suppose I'll have to give you an interview if I'm to tell the truth to the
"Truth?" Now I was puzzled.
"I'll tell you later. It'll be a dramatic ending to your article."
"Okay. Now, Lisha, it looks like you've taken a bit of a beating."
Lisha growled again, the hairs on her neck standing straight, like a cat's.
"A level 50 Lupe with a Wand of the Light Faerie and a Million-Degree Sword,
among other powerful Hidden Tower items. But that's not the point. The fact
is, I'm in a bad mood and I'll beat any one of Darigan's soldiers," she
paused with suspicion gleaming in her eyes. "You're not on Darigan's side, are
"No, I'm on your side," I replied calmly. "Cool it. So, are you proud of the
contributions you've made to the war?"
This question seemed to cheer Lisha up considerably. "Oh, yes. Very proud.
I'm currently one of the most powerful warriors in the Battledome. I think my
fights may make the difference between winning and losing the war. More likely
losing the war…"
"Everyone makes a difference in the war, Lisha," I said in an effort to comfort
the spirited fighter.
"Even me with the 2 points I won for Meridell," Sapphire giggled.
"Two points that your sister won, Sapphire. Not you," I scolded my Eyrie.
"In any case," I said to Lisha. "I've heard tales about Darigan leeching your
I noticed that Lisha trembled with rage. "That evil monster sucked a lot of
the power from my Wand of Nova. I received this as a gift from the Faerie Queen
herself. It was supposed to be a special wand. Now, it's ordinary. It's beyond
ordinary, it's weak!" Lisha smashed her wand against a nearby rock. "Strength
from my wand was magically transferred to that fake, phony, zombie version of
myself. Hideous, sick, twisted…"
My heart went out to the suffering warrior. After all, I wouldn't want a zombie
twin running around doing evil deeds. But I was supposed to be a reporter. All
facts, no emotion. So I tried to hide my feelings by going to the next question.
"What do you mean, transferred?"
"The zombies have to have equal but opposite power of their normal counterparts.
It's a bit hard to explain… but it's like a weighing scale. If there's too much
magic on the zombie's end, spells will go haywire. If there's too much magic
on my end, the zombie will disappear like smoke on the breeze."
Lisha paused to control her anger. "I would like nothing better than to see
the zombies disappear. The problem is, Darigan has control of the scale. And
he isn't going to mess up the proportions."
"How did you get the Wand of Nova from the Faerie Queen?" I asked. Hopefully,
this question would keep her mind off her anger.
"I rescued her rose garden from a swarm of hungry insects. I had good aim
with my Rainbow Gun, and I scared all of the bugs off. The Queen gave me my
"How do you feel about Illusen joining your side?"
"Pretty good. Illusen is an honest, kind-hearted, generous faerie."
"And what about Hubrid Nox joining Darigan?"
"It's awful. That dreadful Chia wants to get rid of all of the Lupes in Neopia.
My brother is a Lupe, and he doesn't hunt Chias. Hubrid Nox is nothing short
"Okay, that about wraps up my interview," I concluded. "You said you wanted
to say something important before we go?"
"Yes," responded Lisha. "Whatever you do, don't fall for Darigan's tricks.
He isn't as innocent as he seems. Think for a moment. If Darigan were good,
would he make mutant zombie clones of my friends and me? No! That's just sick
"If Darigan were good, would he team up with Hubrid Nox? No! Nox is out to
eliminate Lupes! To destroy an entire species for no reason!
"If Darigan were good, would he wage war on Meridell? No! He would send a
peace mission with some sort of treaty first!
"I'd like to congratulate everyone who won points for Meridell. Everyone's
"Also, I'd like to give you further proof that Darigan is evil. He hasn't
taken over Meridell yet, and look at what he's done! He's turned friend against
friend, and NeoPet against NeoPet. He has literally started a civil war! Neopians
are pressured to take sides. Debates rage in chat rooms, in guilds and in the
Neopian Times. Darigan has separated the world of Neopia.
"And we don't even know who Darigan is.
"The NeoPets' Staff made a point of not showing Darigan's face to us. What
sort of pet is he? Is he an Ixi or a Draik? Is he even a NeoPet? Is he Adam
with a face-lift?
"Okay, so that last joke wasn't funny. But it is strange. I thought Dr. Sloth
would be the one to separate the world of Neopia."
"Maybe Darigan is Dr. Sloth," I said solemnly.
"Maybe," Lisha said. "Now, I want the Neopian public to think about my words.
Keep fighting the good fight. And consider where your loyalties lie. To an unknown
face that can divide a world? Or to the one who deserves the Orb, King Skrarl
"And remember, when you're fighting a war, every blow counts in the final
tally. A level 2 Jubjub with a Rainbow Gun and a few Snowballs can change the
world. A single Lupe can become the King's most trusted knight. A bunch of NeoPet
schoolchildren can discover an uncharted land. And an Aisha with a lunchbox
can face up to bullies.
And with that, this remarkable young champion strode off into the sunset,
hardly the Aisha she once was.
I guess, ultimately, the war changes everyone.