Battle Quills... ready! Circulation: 151,901,457 Issue: 213 | 20th day of Collecting, Y7
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Shades of Grey: Part Two


by cloudybliss

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With a reluctant sigh, Tilaina continued, even though her gut feeling was screaming at her not to divulge her secrets. Telera had been so lovely to her over the past few weeks; it really was not fair to keep something so big from her.

      "It's no secret that we, the Dark Faeries, have been plotting a revolt against Faerieland for quite some time. I have not even tried to hide it, because it's a rumor that's been circulating for a while and rightfully so. We are tired of being spit upon by the public, being stepped on and being twisted into the vision of evil. We are the scapegoats; we are the targets, and we have had enough." A glint of mad passion sparkled in Tilaina's eyes, as she drew her breath and spoke again.

      "This hypocrisy has ensued for far too long. We do not wish to redeem ourselves, because we have tried to atone for our past mistakes and received nothing but blame. Our apologies are turned to dust, ignored and swept away. We are tired of being ignored, and if we cannot get attention through benevolence, then why not turn to malevolence? We, after all, are apparently no better than everyone says we are. We shall be what everyone expects of us. It is time to declare war on Faerieland, and I do not wish to leave on a bad note, Telera, not at all." Her eyes rose from the ground and locked with her sister's. "Sometimes, for the greater good, we must make sacrifices. This war will be my sacrifice," Tilaina finished sadly. Worry, anger, and passion mingled in her watery eyes, breaking Telera's heart.

      Telera did not know what to say. She sat in front of Tilaina, dumbfounded at what her sister had been brewing up all this time. She knew that this situation was serious, but its gravity had not fully registered. She felt guilty for being so demanding of Tilaina during the past few weeks now that she knew what strain Tilaina had been through. The uncomfortable silence was broken by the sound of a loud crash and the rapid fluttering of wings. Tilaina jumped to her feet instantly, fear shining in her eyes, and ran towards the door, yanking it open in one fluid motion. A flowerpot lay cracked into pieces, dirt and flowers spilling out of its broken pieces, having been knocked over by something moving extremely fast. But Tilaina's eyes did not assess the damage done to the flowerpot; instead, her eyes narrowed in on an Air Faerie flying at top speed towards Faerie City. Feeling dizzy, Tilaina stumbled inside, and Telera could only guess what had just happened.

      Tilaina shrunk down onto the sofa, resting her head against her sister's shoulder. Soon, the shoulder of Telera's shirt was covered in tears and remnants of make up, but she did not say anything. She ran her fingers absentmindedly through Tilaina's hair, gazing blankly at the wall, feeling empty and helpless. Tilaina continued to sob into the daytime and even into the night. Telera did not move; she did not want to upset her sister any further. Quieting slowly, she fell asleep, still nuzzled against her sister's shoulder. Tilaina's face, soaked with tears, was now looking peacefully contented as she dreamt, free from the realization of what had just happened in her real life. Telera's mind could not cast itself onto anything else worth thinking about, and against her best judgment she began to fall asleep. Her eyes lowered into crescents before shutting completely, letting darkness surround her overworking senses, falling deeply into sleep.

     ***

      Just as suddenly as sleep had come, light burst through her closed eyelids. Startled, Telera jumped, causing Tilaina to awake too. Standing before the two sisters was Fyora, her long purple hair flowing behind her in the energy that her light spell had created. She motioned laconically to two burly looking Eyries, who seized Tilaina at once. Screaming and trying to break free from their grip, Tilaina shrieked and attempted to throw herself out of their sharp grasp. She failed. Telera watched in shock as her sister struggled. She was not used to seeing her sister, who had always been stronger and smarter, be so helpless. She felt paralyzed for a split second, and suddenly Telera, unaware of what exactly she was doing, burst into action. As if possessed with unusual power and strength, Telera shouted out a spell that knocked both Eyrie guards off their feet, freeing Tilaina. Not wanting to miss her chance, Tilaina zoomed out of the door that her sister's spell had consequently knocked down. Fyora's usually kind eyes flashed with rage, and she muttered a spell that woke up the Eyrie guards with a start. She turned to Telera, her shoulders heaving with rage and her eyes positively glittering with malicious contempt.

      "You brat!" she hissed, glaring at Telera, who cowered under Fyora's deathly glare; being the subject of Fyora's wrath was something that she would have preferred to avoid. As beautiful as the Queen was, when she was angry she had an eerie glow to her that told Telera not to mess with her. But it was too late. The damage had been done, and now it was time for Telera to face the consequences of her actions. "Do you have any idea what you have unleashed on Faerieland? She was the top rung of the ladder, you fool! She planned it all! We have been monitoring her for ages, trying to find out what she was up to! And what she told you today confirmed what we've heard from infiltration and word of mouth! Interfering with the Faerie Queen's wishes to capture a wanted criminal-- yes, criminal," Fyora snapped, because Telera's eyes had widened in disbelief at that word. "--is a crime which will be punished with the harshest punishment any Faerie can suffer."

      Telera looked back at her blankly, her mind trying to figure out what that could be. Fyora coughed proudly, thoroughly enjoying her step above Telera.

      "Your wings, Telera," she said simply, blinking down at her with a cold smile. Telera's heart stopped.

      Wrath and loathing hit Telera with the force of a blunt knife. Her stomach ached with fear. Not her wings... no. A Faerie was nothing without her wings; in fact, a wingless Faerie was only something she had heard of in legends. Very few Faeries had been punished with this tremendous loss, perhaps because it was only a step above death. Telera could not even imagine the kind of crime that would have to be committed to lose one's wings, but somehow she had unknowingly committed one.

      "Please," she stammered, her eyes trying to lock in on Fyora's in a vain attempt to reason with her.

      But Fyora was beyond reason now. Blinded by her love for her citizens, she had overlooked Telera's innocence. Years of being a political leader of one of the most influential worlds in Neopia had taught her what Telera would never understand. The public always wanted to blame someone, and the blame would be on Fyora's hands if she did not make an arrest. Even a wrongful arrest made her look better in the public eye than no arrest at all.

      She gave off a ghastly glow as she chanted an incantation which resonated against the thin walls. Telera didn't know that Fyora knew such Dark magic, but she supposed that one needed a knowledge of the worst to be able to combat it. The incantation sounded somewhat manic and insane coming from the lips of such a gentle Faerie. But desperate times called for desperate measures, she supposed. Deep down, Fyora was not proud of what she had done, not in the slightest. But the punishment had to fit the crime, and she had seen to it that this was done, as much as it hurt her to do so. She hated using Dark magic, even against criminals and enemies, but sometimes she had to fight fire with fire. Telera had unleashed a war upon Faerieland by allowing Tilaina to escape.

      With another flash of light, Telera had vanished from her living room, leaving Fyora and her guards behind. She landed haphazardly on the grass, clearly not in Faerieland any longer. She looked around warily and saw giant, oversized stores looming in the distance, looking nearly comical in their size. She fought the strangest urge to laugh, even though she found nothing funny. Tears welled up in her eyes, and she cursed her emotions for playing tricks with her. She felt so bizarre; one second, she was laughing and another, she felt like crying. What was wrong with her? Was temporary insanity a side effect of losing one's wings? She brushed the tears away from her eyes, willing herself to be strong. Nervous, she assessed her surroundings, wondering where she was. She vaguely recognized the marketplace of Neopia Central and began to walk towards the central plaza. She caught her reflection in the window of a shop and nearly fainted.

To be continued...

 
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» Shades of Grey: Part One
» Shades of Grey: Part Three



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