Never Wish to Fly: Part Five
Groggily, Glia half opened one eye. Where was she? This
wasn't her room! Ah, wait... yes... that was right. She must be in that creepy house
still! But how much time had been wasted? Had she slept straight through the night
and past noon the next day? Gently rolling over, she could feel the weight of
the wings still on her back. So she hadn't slept too long! It wasn't too late
to find the other map piece!
The Ixi... where was he? Just as Glia's thoughts
drifted back to him, she heard voices in the hallway, just outside the door.
Using her better judgment, she decided it would be best to pretend she was still
asleep. What had caused her sudden departure to sleep anyway? It must have been
something in that darn-- Glia's thoughts ceased as the Ixi strode back into
the room. But he looked different--his beard was gone and he was wearing some
sort of... was that a lab coat? Eek! Who was this Ixi, really?
"Good. The mutt seems to still be asleep from
the effects of that sleeping potion I snuck into her tea. I thought she would
never be quiet, asking all those pointless questions about my house and my 'butler'."
There was some evil laughter. Wow, if Glia ever managed to get herself out of
this mess, she never wanted to hear any more evil laughter ever again! But who
was it the Ixi (who Glia now presumed to be the Haunted Woods scientist that
the lab ray scientist had ranted about earlier) was talking to? "You were right
all along, Eblor... that bratty Gelert did show up to pester us!"
"Thaaank you, Massssterrr! But it waas Scepppton
who fooound out!"
"Yes, Scepton helped out a great deal in this
whole scheme. First he figured out that she was going after that space map,
then he confiscated that powerful gem! It would be great if we could figure
out what it does, but you can't rush these things... I'm sure it's powerful though,
we just need to find it in one of my books!
"Scepton told me that he spoke to old Slothy...
told him about this little sneak," she imagined he was gesturing at her, "And
you'll never guess what he told me Sloth said!"
"He told me that Sloth had gone ahead and abducted
a little faerie Kougra who they'd seen in her yard on Mystery Island... " Faerie
Kougra? Mystery Island? Sure, there were other faerie Kougras on Mystery Island,
but it sure did sound like Pangra! Glia listened to the conversation with a
new interest. "... and they locked her in a storage room, but she somehow found
a trap door and fell into another locked storage room, which wouldn't be a problem,
but they had stored a.." He shuddered. "... non-evil... robot, and both of them
managed to escape. They caught the Kougra again and questioned the robot...
said her name was... " He must have looked at a clock then, because he said,
"Sheesh! Look at the time! Three AM already? Well, I must be off... Slothy said
he wants to meet me for an early meeting on the Space Station. He wants me to
get up there early so I don't get hit in case of an early collision. Remember
Eblor, guard that space map piece and gem while I'm gone... who knows what the
brat'll do if she wakes up and takes them back! They're stored down stairs,
in the lab, on top of the counter!" She heard the pair left the room, and Glia
dared to open her eyes completely. What a relief that they had believed she
was still asleep! What had they meant by a "collision"? Well, Glia intended
to find out. She'd have to follow him. But how would she get up to the Space
Station? Still feeling somewhat foggy from the potion, she fought to remember
back to that unit in school on the Space Station... Hadn't her teacher said
that it was occasionally open for tours? Yes... It was becoming more clear in
her memory. But how did people get up there? She couldn't exactly remember.
So this was what she got for not doing all that homework!
Okay, so now that Glia had figured that out,
there was much to do! First she had to find that laboratory and get the gem
and map piece. But if she had ever seen any movies resembling her situation,
she knew that she was probably restrained somehow... tied to a chair, locked
in a room with metal bars over the windows? Glancing down, she realized that
she was free to stand up. Cautiously tip-toeing to the door, she tried the knob.
It turned easily in her paw. Starting down the hallway (which was trap-free),
she couldn't help but laugh at this Ixi. Where had this dude gone to evil villain
school? No restraining, no traps, he didn't even make sure that she was asleep
before spouting important information! Heck, at this rate, Glia almost expected
signs pointing out the way to the lab!
She was now back in the main room. Let's see...
which hallway or door should she try first? The door immediately to the right
of the end of the hallway was the first door she selected to try. She quietly
fumbled with the doorknob, letting herself inside.
Even though Glia had been in the dark for awhile
already and her eyes had adjusted, the depth of the darkness in the new room
was enough to make her eyes readjust. "Here you go," came a voice. A small dish
holding a lit candle was thrust into her paw.
"Thank you," mumbled Glia. Nearly immediately
after she had spoken, she shot her glance over, shocked and scared. Who had
given her the candle? Was she trapped?
A thin stream of light flashed upon the owner
of the voice. It was... it was only Eblor. He was just standing there, with
that dopey smile on his face. Not even trying to prevent Glia from finding anything,
just... standing there. Shrugging, she looked around the dark room. It was filled
with long tables and counters with assorted flasks and other containers. Ah,
this must be the laboratory! She found her map piece and gem fast enough and
snatched them up, hurriedly excusing herself out of the house. Now back on the
winding path through the woods, she couldn't help but laugh at how pathetic
the scientist's evil attempts had been. Next time, Glia chuckled to herself,
he should inform Eblor of what "protect" means. For Pete's sake, the creature
had just stood back and watched while she took her property back! Then a suspicious
thought crossed Glia's mind. What if these items really weren't what
she had been looking for, and they were really just copies? Pulling the gem
and map piece back out, she inspected them thoroughly. Curious, she tried fitting
the last map piece in with the rest. It was the missing piece to the puzzle
and fit exactly. But the gem? She held it out in front of her in the moonlight
to examine it; it looked exactly as she had remembered it earlier. There was
a hazy gray smoke on one side of it which moved freely. She had to test its
communication powers. That would be the only way to find out if it was authentic
"Glia paging the Lab Ray scientist... " She realized
that the whole time she had been visiting the scientist, she had never asked
what his name was! Oh well, bigger problems to worry about now!
"Glia? Are you there?" came a faint voice out
of the stone. "Are you ok? Did you get the map piece yet?"
"Yes, I'm fine." She decided not to mention
to him that the gem had been stolen earlier. "I've got the last map piece, and--"
"Great, bring it here!" he pleaded.
"I can't... The Haunted Woods scientist and Sloth
are up to something, I can tell! I'm going to follow him up to the Space Station
to find out what it is... "
"Ok, but be careful, and don't lose the map
Glia looked up and realized that she had stopped
walking. She started again and put the gem and map piece back into her backpack,
wondering how on Neopia she would get up to Faerieland. Yes, she could fly,
but not that wel-
"You have a new quest! The Air Faerie wants
you to bring her 'Tan Blush'!"
Glia had never been so happy to get a faerie
quest in her life! Before the faerie disappeared again, Glia spit out, "Can
you take me to the Space Station?"
"I don't know... " The faerie took out a nail
file and started filing her nails, looking incredibly uninterested. "I'm not
exactly supposed to go around, transporting neopets all over the place! Especially
at this time in the morning! What are you doing up now, anyway?"
"I just... oh, nevermind! But it's really important
that I get there! Please?" she pleaded.
"Oh, fine, but you had better not turn this
quest down!" The air faerie raised her wand to transport Glia.
Pangra groaned as she rubbed her sore side which
had contacted with the steel floor first when she had been roughly thrown into
the cell. Surveying her new surroundings, she noticed that there were long rows
of cells identical to hers in the room. Hoping there would at least be someone
to talk to, she tried to introduce herself to her cell neighbors. She looked
through the bars on the one side of the cell and saw a mutant Chia.
"Hey, my name's Pangra, and I'm... I guess I'm
new here? Do you have any idea how I could get out of here?" Ugh, stupid question!
If any of these inmates knew how to get out, none of them would be here!
The Chia's eyes rolled and shifted around. "Jelly
"If you could just tell me anything about this
place, I'd be--"
"It exists, I tell ya!" the Chia shouted and
immediately fell over, asleep and snoring.
"Ok then... " Pangra turned to her other neighbor,
a darigan Aisha. "I'm--"
"Yeah, yeah, I know. I heard your little introduction
already. Look, you're new here, and I'm not. Don't expect me to take instructions
or answer questions from a prissy little faerie Kougra," the Aisha hissed.
Well, it seemed pretty clear to Pangra now that
neither of them, and most likely no one else here, was going to help her. For
the first hour or two, Pangra frantically searched her cell for a way out: an
open latch, a loose bar, something! She even tried inserting a nail into the
lock the way she had done earlier. All with no luck. The heavy burden of the
guilt towards Neopia made her drift into a troubled sleep.
To be continued...