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A Mind in the Moonlight: Part Two


by costa_rican_girl

--------

No, that wouldn't work. Lael crumpled up the piece of paper and went on to another idea for revenge.

      Then she remembered something. When Clark's grandmother died, she left him with one item. It was a charm that she had worn around her neck until her dying day. Lael could still remember Clark's grief when he heard the news, and he wore that charm everywhere.

      It's too easy! All I have to do is take the charm!

      But there was still one problem; Lael had no idea where her former friend lived. He could be anywhere; perhaps he had moved all the way to Mystery Island! The thief had no idea at all.

      Knock! Knock! Knock!

      Lael quickly stuffed her paper inside a box and called for whoever it was to come in.

      It was the Thief Master, Joden.

      "Joden!" Exclaimed Lael happily. "How've you been?"

      "Well, that's just the thing," The fire Eyrie replied solemnly. "I think we may have a spy on our hands. A traitor."

      Lael gasped, forgetting all about her previous thoughts.

      "A spy? In these caverns?" She asked.

      Joden nodded.

      "But we have no idea who it is. All we know is that someone is passing information to the Defenders of Neopia."

      "Okay," Lael began. "And you telling me all this… why?"

      "Because we could really use you during these times," Joden replied. "Mainly because of your, er, special gift."

      My invisibility.

      Lael agreed to do it.

      "Trust me, Lael. We're not taking advantage of you," the Thief Master said apologetically.

      "It's fine," Lael replied coolly. "But what exactly do I have to do?"

      "During the daytime you'll need to go to the Defenders of Neopia headquarters and sneak around a bit. Gather information, and take special notes about any names that come up. Got it?"

      "Yep, when do I start?"

      "Tomorrow, if possible."

++++

The Next Day

      Lael woke up at 5:30 that morning, when everyone else was going to bed.

      It had been eleven years since she had been awake during the daylight hours. She had tried to forget that she became a ghost in the sun, but now it was all coming back.

      Lael was still visible, since she was still in the underground corridors where the sun's awful rays couldn't creep in.

      Finally she reached the exit, nodded to Dustin, and entered the blinding light.

++++

Clark

"Sir? There is someone here to see you."

      "Okay." Said Judge Hog. "Let him in."

      In walked a white Kougra who was wearing a suit and carrying a briefcase.

      Clark had been waiting to speak to the Moehog all week. He had a very interesting idea.

      "I have a proposal," began the Kougra. "I think we should stop the 'thief search' project and look for missing Neopets instead."

      The leader just stared at him. It was obvious he thought that Clark was hopelessly insane.

      "But what about all of the information that that Kacheek-I think his name is Hank-gave us? We can't just ignore his help! And besides, what Neopets are missing? We would need a list or something."

      Clark opened his briefcase and fished out a piece of paper. It said:

      Lost Neopets:

     Keely, yellow Aisha, 20 years

     Trudy, blue Acara, 14 years

     Kenny, baby JubJub, 6 months

     Tracy, orange Mynci, 10 years

      "Those are all of the names I could find," he said. "But I'm sure there are more. Aren't missing citizens more of a danger than a missing handbag?"

      Judge Hog shook his head.

     

     "I'm sorry, Clark," he replied sadly. "But we are on a roll! Hank has more information for us, and I'm meeting him in one hour. Please go back to your study on those thieves-the Grey Lupes, wasn't it?"

      When Clark returned to his desk, he sighed sadly. That was his only chance to get Keely back.

      ++++

Lael

Lael had forgotten what her "gift" was really like. It had been so long since that fateful day…

      Swoosh! Lael gasped. She had stepped right through an innocent Quiggle! She began to apologize when she realized he hadn't even noticed. So she simply scowled and walked on.

      She found her way to the Defenders of Neopia headquarters and stepped inside. Joden had warned her to keep to hallways and rooms with windows, or else she would become visible again. Lael heeded his warning and walked through the busy hallways until she reached a room. She decided to go inside and see what was happening in there, in case they were talking about thieves.

      There was only one person in there, who was wearing a suit and had a briefcase on his desk. Lael couldn't see who he really was, until suddenly he turned around and gasped.

      To Lael's surprise, is was a white Kougra that looked oddly familiar. It was Clark! Clark worked here! It was too perfect! Unfortunately, Lael's joy didn't last. Clark was staring right into her eyes! He could see her!

      Lael looked down at herself, and saw a black body; there were no windows in this room!

      "Keely?" Clark whispered, obviously recognizing Lael's face. "Keely, is that really you?"

      Lael let out a groan and flew out to the sun-filled hall.

      ++++

Clark's Diary

      Dear Diary,

      Today the oddest thing happened. I am still shaking from my astonishment. But, first thing's first.

      I asked if we could look for lost Neopets instead of exterminate thieves, so that I could find my old friend Keely. But my idea was rejected.

      A few hours later I was researching about the Grey Lupes when I heard a noise behind me. I turned around and standing there was a Shadow Aisha. She was staring right at me, and she had a strange smile on her face. She looked as if she were taking note of my every move, and was unaware of my gaze. Then I recognized her face; she was Keely! I just know she was, even if she is now Shadow! I whispered, "Keely? Is that really you?" which seemed to startle her, and she scurried into the hall. Then, to my amazement, she disappeared! She just disintegrated into thin air! I haven't seen her since.

      Maybe I'm just having hallucinations, but maybe it really was her. I'm looking forward for tomorrow to see if she comes again.

Love,

Clark

      ++++

Lael

      "Did you find out anything, Lael?"

      "No. I'm sorry, Joden. It's just-" Lael wasn't sure if she wanted to tell Joden about what had happened at the Defenders of Neopia Headquarters.

      "Lael," Joden began. "You knew from the very day you joined that you mustn't keep any secrets from me. You know I am your friend, and being friends we must be honest with each other. I have spilled out all my secrets to you, now you must do the same. I will not force you to do anything, but I trust you will make the right decision."

      Lael sighed. She knew she wanted to tell him. She needed to tell him! She took a deep breath.

      "I'm so sorry, Joden. I should've told you straight away. I am just so confused… Anyway, the reason I didn't have a chance to get any information was… Well, I saw Clark. Clark works there. And I think he saw me, too."

      Joden thought for a moment.

      "So," he said. "You saw your old best friend who betrayed you. And why do you think he saw you?"

      "Well, I saw him so I went into his office. Unfortunately his office has no windows. I became visible. I didn't even realize someone could see me until he turned around and-and said my name. The name I used to have. Keely." She whispered the last word as if she were cursing. It brought back painful memories.

      Suddenly the room begins to spin and everything becomes black.

      ++++

      An old Mynci is sitting in a rocking chair. She has grey hairs and a sad expression. She is knitting a tiny sweater for someone who must only be nine years old.

      "Oh, Keely. If only I could just catch a glimpse of you before… Before I also disappear. Where are you?" She mutters, tears in her eyes. "Why can't you just come home? I miss you so much."

      She stitches the final stitch in the sweater and holds it out.

      "I made you a sweater, dearest. Please come home. I made you a sweater!" She begins to sob uncontrollably. Then she looks into Lael's eyes.

      "Return to me!"

      ++++

      "Lael! Poppy, get the medic."

      "'Kay."

      "Lael? Lael! You're okay!"

      Lael opened her eyes. She was lying on the floor in Joden's quarters. Suddenly the thieves medic bounded into the room.

      "Oh good!" She said. "If the patient's awake it means she'll survive. What happened, anyway?"

      Lael closed her eyes. She felt herself getting lifted into a bed. Most likely Joden's.

      "Well," Lael heard Joden say. "We were talking about something, and she just fell! After a few seconds she started squirming and saying, 'Mom! Mom, I'll come!' I think it was just a dream. She's not used to being awake during the day. And that's when she was awake today."

      "Well then, no more daytime hours for Miss Lael! Only nighttime, like she's used to. Make sure she gets at least 10 hours of rest before moving around, and she should drink plenty of water. She'll be fine." Lael heard the medic leaving the room and opened her eyes again.

      "Joden?" She whispered. "Joden, I need to talk to you."

      "Sh!" Joden replied. "Not now. Once you've gotten plenty of rest we can talk all we want. We can talk about anything."

      Lael nodded but then stopped because it made her head hurt. She lay her head on the soft pillow and instantly fell asleep.

      ++++

The Next Night

Lael opened her eyes.

      "Hey, Lael! Drink this." Joden tipped a cold container of water to her lips. She drank as if she had been stranded in the Lost Desert for the past few hours. The liquid felt cool and wet as it slid down her parched throat.

      Lael wiped her dry lips and sat up.

      "How long have I been asleep?" She asked.

      "15 hours straight. I was really worried, but the medic was very happy about all that rest. The medic loves rest." Joden's eyes were twinkling in laughter. Lael smiled weakly, but her mind was on something else.

      "So… I was talking to myself after I fainted? What did I say?" She asked.

      "I couldn't make out most of what you were saying but one part I remember distinctively was 'Mom! Mom, I'll come home.'"

      My poor mother! She must have been so sorrowful for all the years I have been gone. I need to see her!

      "Are you feeling well enough to go on a mission?"

      Lael nodded. She was feeling surprisingly better than how she felt 15 hours ago.

      "We still need to find the traitor. Today is Friday so the Defenders of Neopia Headquarters is open until ten o' clock. That means you can go there but you don't have to be awake during the daytime. What do you think?"

      Lael nodded her approval.

      "But we never-"

      "Great! Go on then!"

      Joden pushed Lael out the door. She had a feeling he didn't want to talk.

      So Lael stepped into the outside once again.

      To be continued…

Author's note: Wow, this is really getting interesting, isn't it? So many things to resolve like figuring out what that little dream about Lael's mother was, stealing Clark's charm, learning who's feeding the Defenders information about the thief caverns… How does Lael keep all of this straight? We'll have to see what happens next… stay tuned!

-Rose-

 
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