The Lost World of Stnaltia: Part Six
What in the world is that Pteri doing now? Brave_Eyes
wondered as he regained his balance. Sore, wounded, and now very dirty from the
muddy swamps, he looked up to see Blackwingedbird flying around, bag in her feet,
and just circling around.
"Black!" Brave_Eyes yelled, trying to get both
her and the dkarpalht's attention. "The factory!"
Brave_Eyes didn't get the attention of the dkarpalht,
but Blackwingedbird was glad to see him standing. She swooped around, heading
towards Brave_Eyes, and grabbed him with her other foot and headed for the factory.
"They want the energy bubbles," Blackwingedbird
told him, and he could tell she was out of breath.
"Is that it?" Brave_Eyes pouted. He reached
into the bag and pulled out three of them. He saw the dkarpalht get excited.
Brave_Eyes sighed. "I thought they wanted to
play with me," he said jokingly. He then tossed one of the energy bubbles down
into the closest group of dkarpalht. The first group swarmed around it, but
the group behind them kept coming.
"What are you doing?" Blackwingedbird gasped.
"What if we need them?"
"Don't worry." He laughed. "We are going to
Laiperoa where the dkarpalht who captured her are. I doubt we'd be able to use
them there. If we can use some now to get them off our trail, I think it'll
be better for us here, rather then have them later just because we were too
conservative to use them."
He tossed the second one in the middle group,
and the third into the final group. They now had two left, and Brave_Eyes decided
that was enough for the dkarpalht.
Blackwingedbird gently landed by the factory,
as he could tell she was exhausted. As tired and worn out as he was, Brave_Eyes
decided to be strong for a few minutes longer before giving himself a break.
He knocked on the door and it slowly opened
to reveal a long, Maraquan Skeith swimming in the air as though he were swimming
in the ocean. Brave_Eyes and Blackwingedbird were both stunned and stood in
the doorway for a moment.
The Skeith raised an eyebrow and cleared his
throat. "May I help you?"
"Um... yeah!' Brave_Eyes said as he watched
the Skeith's tail sway back and forth. "Could we stay here for a little while?
The dkarpalht were chasing us and we need to rest a little, and freshen up a
The Skeith let out a sign and gestured them
to come in, "Very well then, I'm not nearly as busy as I usually am, so I suppose
two extra bodies won't hurt."
"Thank you," Blackwingedbird said as they entered.
This factory was much emptier than the first
one, though there was the constant stream of hissing noises. Blackwingedbird
wondered what the Skeith did here.
But first, they were taken to two rest areas.
They took baths, cleaned their bumps and bruises, and then went to look for
the Skeith. They traveled through a great deal of Stnaltia already, and they
both had a feeling there were very close to the castle and to saving Laiperoa.
The Skeith was in the first room of the factory,
staying in one spot with his tail moving back and forth the same way they saw
him through the doorway.
"Thanks for your hospitality, sir," Brave_Eyes
said, with his eyes wondering around this factory and his fingers wanting to
touch a few of the buttons. "What do you do here?"
"It's no problem, young ones," the Skeith replied.
"I'm Krebs, and I used to take the energy from the sweet-dissolve game and change
it to the air we breathe and also some water. That's why it's so misty and wet
around here, as I'm sure you've noticed. But without the constant game playing,
my factory may shut down soon enough."
"So that's why this area is so different than
the rest of Stnaltia," Blackwingedbird replied.
The Skeith laughed. "What do you think was going
"We didn't know," Brave_Eyes said. "We're from
the surface and were asked to help save Laiperoa. This world is new to us, and
we've had a lot of fun exploring it so far, but then the dkarpalht attacked
"I am really surprised they are doing that now,"
the Skeith interrupted. "They seemed to be happy under the maze, because that
is where the meepits play and they used all the energy that Laiperoa didn't
capture, which was a lot. Then they started to come out, climb the walls, and
take the energy bubbles from there, so the swamp wasn't getting enough energy
and started to die. Then one of them started hanging around her all the time,
which I didn't understand at all."
"Wow," Blackwingedbird gasped. "You sure know
a lot of information!"
"I've been around here the longest." The Skeith
laughed. "I was one of the first pets down here with Laiperoa. Most of residents
call her "The Energy Faerie," but she's really a Light Faerie. At first, she
had her light bubbles all around the cavern, but as it grew and more pets came
to live here, we discovered an energy that was more powerful that her light
- the spirit of the pets. The friendships we've formed, the fun we have, the
creativity in all of that good stuff, which is strong energy. Laiperoa and the
first King found a way to capture that energy when it was given off, and then
capture it into bubbles like she did for the light bubbles. The energy bubbles
are really the spirit of Stnaltia."
"So why would the dkarpalht want to steal that?
Don't they help make that energy as well?" Blackwingedbird questioned.
"No," the Skeith replied with a frown. "Since
they had decided to keep to themselves, they keep their spirit within themselves
too. That's why recent events have surprised me. They get plenty of energy from
being under the maze, then they wanted more - first from the lights of the Misty
Swamp, and now Laiperoa herself."
"Then they do need light to survive," Blackwingbird
mumbled "Thank you, Krebs, you've been a great help to us. Can you tell us how
far we are to the castle?"
The Skeith was a little confused but pointed
towards the door on the other side of the factory. "If you go through there,"
he began, "the castle is just beyond the great bridge over the swamp. You should
be there in no time, though there are a handful of dkarpalht staying there with
Laiperoa, so I ask that you reconsider."
"We are going to try to save Laiperoa and Stnaltia!"
Blackwingedbird said with conviction. "As much as I have enjoyed your hospitality
and conversation, we won't be able to do that if we stay here. Don't worry,
we'll be careful!"
She smiled and ran off towards the door. Brave_Eyes
was still standing by Krebs, not sure if he should talk more to the wise Skeith
or if he should run after his friend, who always acted so cautiously and now
was running into danger.
"Thanks again for your help," Brave_Eyes replied.
"I'm not sure what's gotten into her, but until Laiperoa is saved, maybe you
can use these." He handed Krebs the last two energy bubbles they had.
"Where did you get these?" Krebs wondered as
he gratefully took them.
"Melvin and Calvin gave them to us when..."
"Nevermind, there's no need to explain," Krebs
replied. "Thank you for these, now go follow your friend. I don't know what
she's thinking, but the castle is no place to rush into now. Make sure you both
are careful and try to return safely!"
Brave_Eyes nodded, then raced after Blackwingedbird.
He hadn't realized how fast she was until now.
"Black!" Brave_Eyes called. "I know now that
each time we race, you let me win! Now let me catch up please!"
Blackwingedbird didn't slow down, but came to
a halt, and Brave_Eyes almost ran into her. "I think I know what's going on,"
she told him with a gleam in her eyes. "The dkarpalht seem evil and bad if you
look at what is happening, but with what Krebs tells us, I think they are misunderstood."
"But they tried to hurt us, Black," Brave_Eyes
tried to reason with her. "We both have small cuts and scraps from them. Granted,
you were right, they wanted the energy bubbles, but look what they did to us
to get it. Do you really think they won't do the same when we try to take Laiperoa
"No," she replied with certainty. "I don't think
so. I think with what they are trying to do, they will have their answer now.
The ones that attacked us were left behind and trying to survive; the ones with
her are thriving. It's the exact opposite of what everyone is thinking."
"What are you talking about?" Brave_Eyes was
completely confused. "They took energy from the meepits, they took it from the
swamp and caused it to wilt and die, and now they took a light faerie so the
rest of the pets here are suffering and getting weak, and you are trying to
tell me you think they are just misunderstood good guys?"
"Yes," Blackwingedbird replied and started running
on the great bridge to the castle. "Will you be able to keep up this time?"
"Only if you tell me what's going on!" Brave_Eyes
"I can do even better," Blackwingedbird said.
"If you come with me, I'll show you!"
To be continued...
Pronunciation guide : Stnaltia: stuh-null-tea-ah
Laiperoa = lie-per-row-ah
dkarpalht = car-fault