The Faerie Pet: Part Four
Outside the palace, I turned and gazed up at the magnificent
towering structure. The pale blue walls were faintly glowing as before. The
palace might be empty, but it was still beautiful. I would love to restore the
queen to her throne. But how was I going to do that? The Acara had said to find
That part was easy. The blue Jetsam that had
asked me to enter the palace to begin with was waiting outside. He swam up to
me, eyes flashing sharply at me. "Where is the Sea Sapphire?" he hissed through
crooked, pointy teeth.
I didn't know how to answer. My first thought
was of releasing Naiyania. The Acara had said, "You must find a Jetsam…you will
have the power to release her then…" Well, I had a Jetsam right in front of
me, but I hadn't any idea how to release Naiyania. I certainly didn't feel any
I just floated there in the water, unsure what
to do. A flicker of anger seemed to rise in the Jetsam, and his glare bored
into me uncomfortably. I thought to myself in disgust, this is the Jetsam that
I was going to steal the Sea Sapphire for? What was I thinking? He was so clearly
evil. I couldn't believe I'd ever thought of helping him.
"Why didn't you bring the Sea Sapphire?" the
Jetsam asked harshly, eyes snapping at me with anger.
"I…" I couldn't avoid the truth. I might as well
not seem scared about it. I said boldly, "I met someone in the palace who told
me not to take the gem, so I didn't."
The Jetsam looked at me sharply. For a moment
he looked worried, almost afraid…perhaps because I'd turned against him? A moment
later, though, the look was gone, and the Jetsam's face hardened as he looked
at me. "Not all of the queen's subjects supported her," he said curtly. "The
pet you encountered in the palace must be one of the rebels. Doubtless, the
pet told you not to take the Sea Sapphire in an attempt to make sure that the
palace was never restored. Don't believe such foolish lies. You must go back
into the palace and bring the Sea Sapphire to me so that I can release its magic
and restore the palace."
I frowned. Did this Jetsam really think I'd believe
his story? It sounded even more false to me when I heard it in his rasping voice
as his eyes darted around shiftily. Now the Acara in the palace was someone
I could believe. This Jetsam was not, and after hearing the Acara's story about
the evil Jetsams who were in league with the Dark Faeries, I was hardly going
to agree to help him again.
I had to release Naiyania. How? Where was she
being held captive? I had no idea how I was going to pull this thing off, or
even if I could do it at all. The Jetsam was staring at me coldly, seeming expectant.
He wanted me to say that I would get the Sea Sapphire for him. I wasn't going
to do anything of the kind, but what was I supposed to do?
"Tell me more about the palace. What happened
to the subjects?" I asked, hoping to elicit a clue to their location.
"I believe I told you before," the Jetsam said
coldly. He looked a little nervous, and seemed to distrust me now, as if he
thought I was going to betray him if he wasn't careful. "The subjects of the
kingdom had no place to go after their queen fell, so I graciously gave them
a place to stay for the rest of their lives."
"Oh, right," I said, feeling no small amount
of disgust with the Jetsam. Graciously…ha! He had taken them captive! "I'd like
to meet some of the subjects. Could you take me to meet them?" I asked politely.
Now seeming more than a little disturbed, the
Jetsam's eyes darted over me, as if searching out my motives. "I'm sorry," he
rasped. "The palace subjects are the best of the best, you understand, and they
don't like to associate with common, ordinary pets. You have heard of royal
ranks, have you not?" he asked almost accusingly, as if he thought I hadn't.
"They would be very uncomfortable in the presence of a commoner."
As if the Jetsam was any sort of royalty! "Are
you the only Jetsam around here?" I questioned.
"No," the Jetsam answered readily, suddenly looking
more confident. He smiled widely, revealing rows of sharp, crooked teeth, almost
as if he did it on purpose. "There are many of us," he said, his teeth flashing
at me. Now I was sure he was showing his teeth intentionally. Was he trying
to intimidate me? Trying to make me think that I had better back down and do
what he wanted, or I'd have to face the other Jetsams?
I wanted to be courageous in the face of this
manipulative Jetsam, brave and faithful to my duty, but the truth was that his
attempt at intimidation was working. I had never even met that Acara before,
and now she was expecting me to save her queen? Now that I wasn't in her glowing,
caring presence anymore, I was starting to wonder why I was trying to help her.
This was just crazy. Nut and my siblings were waiting for me on the surface.
Forget about this palace; I had to meet them for lunch before they sent search
parties after me.
"You know what?" I asked, turning and starting
to swim towards the tunnel through which I had entered the area. "I've got to
"Do not go!" The Jetsam's commanding voice stopped
me in my tracks. He swam past me and blocked the entrance to the tunnel, eyes
flashing. "You wish to see this kingdom restored? Get the Sea Sapphire!" he
ordered. He seemed to have changed his mind about making me take the jewel willingly,
and was resorting to forcing me into it.
I shuddered at his ugly voice. Bravely swimming
towards him, I said, "I really can't stay here any longer. My owner and my siblings
The Jetsam frowned, his face clearly reflecting
his anger. "Are you aware of what the Sea Sapphire would be worth in the surface
world?" he asked sharply. "It could be worth hundreds of thousands, even millions,
of Neopoints! If you retrieved it from the palace, I would even let you keep
it. You could do anything you wanted with it. Show it off, and you'd be the
envy of every pet in Neopia. Sell it, and you'd be able to buy anything you
could possibly want."
The Jetsam was changing his plan now, and making
it even more obvious that he was trying to trick me. Now, instead of trying
to make me want to restore the palace, he was appealing to what he hoped would
be my own selfishness. It was too bad for him that I'm not the kind of pet to
be greedy. Well, not usually, anyway. At any rate, he wasn't convincing me.
I knew that all he cared about was having the Sea Sapphire removed from its
pedestal, not the jewel itself, so that the power would be cut off and the palace
made vulnerable to his evil. I wouldn't let that happen.
However, I wasn't sure what to do. I wanted to
return to the surface and forget this whole thing, but the Jetsam wasn't going
to let me until I did what he wanted. And I didn't want to hang around the Jetsam
for much longer; he was creepy and weird, not to mention that I knew he was
"All right, I'll get the Sea Sapphire, but on
one condition," I said. "I want to see the rest of this area of the sea before
I go into the palace again. I know there's more ocean area behind the palace.
I'm a bit of a sightseer," I said, not sure whether that was true or not.
The Jetsam seemed to consider this for a few
seconds. Then he said, "I will show you the surrounding ocean."
The Jetsam seized my fin roughly in his. I wanted
to pull away, but he wouldn't let me go. He began pulling me through the water,
and I followed. I kept my eyes out for anything that looked like a prison where
Naiyania might be held.
The Jetsam dragged me through the sea, leading
me past coral and rocks and seaweed, much the same things that I would see in
the normal part of the ocean. However, even the rocks and seaweed had an empty
feel, and there were no Petpets swimming around in these areas. Not a living
thing was to be seen except for the Jetsam and I, and I shivered to think what
would happen if I got into trouble. I've never been strong, and I doubted I
could defend myself should the Jetsam turn nasty.
After we had been swimming for a while, I spotted
another Jetsam, a red one, hanging out in the shadows of an underwater rock.
The blue Jetsam dragged me by him without calling attention to him, but I noticed
that the red Jetsam began following us after we'd gotten a sufficient distance
away. It made me nervous, but I had to find that prison and release Naiyania.
As we swam, we passed other Jetsams. They always
watched us as we swam by, but didn't say a word until we were gone. Then they
began following. I grew increasingly worried every time another Jetsam joined
the large pack that was trailing us. The blue Jetsam that was leading me around
didn't seem to notice, but I knew that he did.
I was relieved when at last the ocean palace
loomed again into view, and the Jetsam and I returned to the undersea courtyard.
The other Jetsams hung back in the shadows, watching us in a way that made me
uncomfortable. We had made a complete circle of the ocean area.
I decided to just come out and ask. "Where are
the pets you imprisoned? Where is Naiyania?"
The Jetsam's eyes flared with anger, and I was
suddenly afraid. What had I said? Had I just doomed myself by tipping my hand
too early? I couldn't possibly hold my own against this Jetsam and all the reinforcements
that were watching us. What was I thinking?
"So! You know!" the Jetsam hissed loudly. "The
brat in the palace told you all, I suppose! I suppose you also know that you
are the faerie pet!"
In seconds, I was surrounded by Jetsams. They
all glared at me, showing their crooked teeth as if they wanted to eat me up
that moment. I was scared. I couldn't escape, and for all I knew, they were
going to kill me here and now. What about Nut? And Quiggler, and Lulu, and Sparkler?
Was this the last they were to see of me? I had long since lost my bravado,
and was now just trying to keep myself under control.
"You could have helped us," the dark blue Jetsam
hissed. "It would have been easy for you! All you have to do is take the Sea
Sapphire off the pedestal. We will let you go free if you do. Otherwise, you
will be doomed to a life in the dark chamber!"
Dark chamber? What was he talking about? I didn't
know what to say. I couldn't agree. I couldn't betray the Acara, a stranger
though she was. I believed her. And I wanted to see the Water Faerie queen restored
to her throne.
The cruel Jetsams surrounding me were all glaring
balefully. The blue Jetsam looked expectantly at me, with malice in his eyes.
"Well? Will you help us? Or spend the rest of your life in prison?"
In prison! I couldn't let them put me in prison.
The Acara told me not to let them, until I had released Naiyania. But I couldn't
help them, either. I didn't know what to do. I've never been good at making
"You are taking too long to answer," the Jetsam
rasped. "Does that mean you are unwilling to help us?"
"Yeah," I whispered. I hadn't meant to whisper,
but it came out that way anyway.
The Jetsam's eyes blazed. "Then be confined in
the dark chamber!"
He touched my fin, and in that moment, everything
around me went black. Complete darkness surrounded me. I couldn't see anything
at all. The Jetsams were gone, the palace was gone…everything was gone. There
was only the darkness and me.
I was frightened. Where was I? Where was the
light? My eyes were wide open, and I couldn't see anything. It was just pitch
darkness, everywhere I turned. I was scared. I couldn't feel the water anymore.
I didn't feel anything anymore, not land, not water, not air. What was I breathing,
then? Was I alive?
Scared, I began to race away. I didn't know where
I was going, only that I had to escape from the darkness. At first I swam, and
was moving at a good pace, but that seemed strange when there was no water.
So I got up and walked, as I would on land, but there wasn't any land either.
Nothing was there. It was only me. And the darkness was endless. I walked on
and on without bumping into a wall. I couldn't escape from this darkness.
A harsh laugh reached my ears, seeming to come
from right inside my head. It was the blue Jetsam's laugh.
"You can never escape," he rasped. "You have
been imprisoned in the dark chamber, and you cannot get out. Meet the fate of
Naiyania and her subjects!"
To be continued…