Brought Together II: Part Three
The new, possessed version of Smatty brushed herself off
and continued to grin as she walked quietly back through the pink and purple halls,
which were dimly lit at night. Everything about the Kyrii had changed; her casual
stroll had turned into a fierce march, her humble eyes instead now gave a dark,
vicious stare. She looked down hastily at the Amulet of Ascendence, which clenched
her throat tightly but not enough to cut off circulation. Her eyes shifted right
and left, and a moment later the dark-golden light emitted from the gem ceased
to shine, and the Amulet became invisible seconds afterwards.
Coming down briskly from a flight of steps, she
spotted Strophagus's room and stepped through the door mechanically, but with
complete stealth and silence. She gazed around the room, as if she was searching
for threats, and saw everything the way it was when she - well, the old Smatty
- had left only a half an hour before. Her covers were still rumpled and halfway
down the mattress, and Strophagus was still sleeping still in a sideways position
in his bed. She tiptoed back to her own bed, keeping a close eye on him. For
a moment her eyes softened and someone else in the back of her mind was telling
her this Quiggle was a friend....
She shook her head and dismissed that thought
as fast as her eyes had regained their dark, heartless look.
"I cannot believe this has happened!" Strophagus
exclaimed full of worry, not hesitating to panic. It was the next day, early
in the morning. Strophagus had been notified during breakfast (during which
he had noticed Smatty was in a peculiarly unpleasant mood) that the Amulet had
gone missing and both of them had rushed down to Fyora's basement immediately
after that. Smatty had faked an expression of shock, which everyone had obviously
went along with. Why would they not, after all? Smatty in her right mind would
never do such a thing - it wasn't like she could have ever broken into that
box anyway. It was guarded with all sorts of curses. To top things, no one could
see that Smatty was wearing it around her neck, due to its ability to turn invisible.
Fyora had made a grave mistake, she underestimated and had not forseen the powers
of the Amulet, which had a mind of its own.
The Amulet was using her body as a tool, and
the real Smatty was trapped somewhere in the smallest corner of her mind, unaware
of what had happened and not in control of anything. All she knew then was that
she would have one task at a time in order to achieve her ultimate goal, and
as of that moment, her task was to take Strophagus and Fyora out of the picture.
"...I sensed something wrong as soon as I woke
up, so I rushed up to the office," Smatty tuned in from her thoughts to hear
Fyora say. "The door had been locked with regular mechanical security, and magical,
so I can't see how anyone could have just marched in like that. Then to my horror,
the curtain was lying on the ground, leaving the hallway down to the basement
in clear view. I drew my Rod of Ultranova and prepared myself for the worst.
Obviously, someone that could break into my office and locate the Amulet of
Ascendence is powerful enough. To my surprise...the Amulet was gone and the
room was deserted."
Strophagus looked at Fyora sympathetically, but
Smatty looked almost indifferent. A second later, her head seemed to snap into
a barely convincing look of sorrow that was highly uncharacteristic of her.
Strophagus glanced at her with a crooked face but she ignored him.
"Alas, now, I have absolutely no idea what has
happened to the Amulet," Fyora said, her voice cracking towards the end of the
sentence. For a second she looked as if she was about to cry, but she quickly
straightened up and took a deep breath. "Now, it is critical that we locate
it," she announced in a much deeper voice. "The Amulet of Ascendence is extremely
powerful and for all we know, someone around the hidden tower could be wearing
it right now. The tower is being highly guarded with faeries and is being searched
too. Security levels have been raised to a high level. And," she added, turning
towards Smatty, "I'm sorry that all of this had to have happened on your vacation
Smatty stared at the Queen icily, with a look
of pure hatred. But again, that face snapped into yet another superficial grin,
and she said, "No problem. Can Strophagus and I do anything to help?"
The Royal Quiggle next to her winced. Smatty
had just called him Strophagus - something she never did.
"Oh, really, you shouldn't...." Fyora was trying
to refuse the offer, but having a bit of trouble. She could use the help. And
yet, she was beginning to notice something strange about Smatty too.
"No, I insist, Queen Fyora," Smatty urged. "I'm
sure we could do something to be of service."
Strophagus winced again; his jaw dropped open.
Smatty had just called Fyora 'Queen Fyora' instead of her usual 'Queenie.' Something
was definitely wrong, he had felt it since that morning. He knew Smatty too
well...and this red Kyrii standing next to him was not Smatty. The thought that
somehow the Amulet was controlling her crossed his mind, but he couldn't see
how. She wasn't wearing it, he thought.
He kept an eye on Smatty as Fyora replied to
her uncertainly, "It would be fantastic if you two would go up to the Hidden
Tower Store and help the faeries hide away all of the dangerous weapons; we
don't want anyone to go near those, even less purchase them...."
So that's where they're hiding the weapons,
Smatty thought, pleased with herself. Strophagus continued to watch her intensely,
and by now he was positive that the Amulet was controlling her, he could simply
sense it. He had worked in the hidden tower for too long a time not to sense
things like this, and Smatty would have never behaved the way she had in a million
years. He then finally stopped gazing at the Kyrii as there was no point in
continuing to study her, and he stared meaningfully at Fyora. The Queen had
acted as if she hadn't noticed anything in Smatty, but she wasn't stupid. She
knew something was going on, but also couldn't find enough evidence to prove
"I will get right to it, Queen. Strophagus, come
on," she said in the most robotic voice Strophagus had ever heard in his life.
"I think I need to stay behind for a moment with
Queen Fyora," Strophagus said slyly. "We need to discuss...something. I'll catch
up with you," he finished lamely.
"It will only be a minute," Fyora said to the
Kyrii. She was already pulling out her Wand of Ultranova when she saw Smatty
stare at both of them maliciously.
Smatty laughed, but there wasn't a shred of warmth
in it. "I don't think so. Both of you are going to stay right here." Her hand
reached out to touch the Amulet on her neck, which was still invisible, when
her face screwed up and she pulled her hand back down to her side with difficulty.
"Wait," she said, her eyes becoming less dark and turning into the ones of the
real Smatty. For just a brief second, both Strophagus and Fyora thought they
saw an outline of the Amulet of Ascendence show up around her neck.
Strophagus and Fyora knew instantly that Smatty
was trying to take control from the Amulet over her body, and getting extremely
confused in the process. Fyora had never known anyone to be able to fight the
Amulet in all history, it had always been completely empowering to all who wore
it. The Queen gaped but did not waste time taking out her Wand of Ultranova
and pointing it at Smatty. She looked like she was beginning a magic spell,
but she was stopped dead in her tracks.
The Amulet had regained control over Smatty once
more, Strophagus (who was standing completely still with shock), knew it because
her eyes gave it all away. The Amulet had become completely visible now, and
a beam of white light shot out from its gem straight at Fyora. The beam seemed
to soak into Fyora's skin and paralyzed her entire body. Her mouth remained
open, the Wand stood still in her hand, and she ceased to move completely.
Strophagus gasped. "Queen Fyora!" Not knowing
what to do, he ran towards Smatty, and desperately tried to grab at the Amulet,
but of course it was no use. A beam of orange light burst out from the gem and
knocked the Quiggle back. He fell to the ground and lost consciousness, feeling
Smatty glanced around the room. Fyora would be
paralyzed for a while; she had thought about getting rid of her completely,
but perhaps she could be of use later on. Strophagus was knocked out on the
floor, and she assumed he would stay that way for a while. With an evil, satisfied
smile, she pulled the Wand of Ultranova out of Fyora's hands, walked up the
steps of the gray hallway, through Fyora's office, and out into the corridors.
Her next task would be to find the other weapons.
To be continued...