Stand behind yer sheriff Circulation: 128,614,511 Issue: 257 | 15th day of Gathering, Y8
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Eavesdropper's Answers: Part One


by lightninglover34

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Yasha shouldered her backpack, waved goodbye to her friends, and started the walk home. It was just the sort of day that was perfect for walking - almost made for it. The sky was clear and bright; the air was warm and scented with the smell of lilacs.

     The yellow Cybunny sauntered down the sidewalk, nodding to those she knew. It couldn't have been a better day.

     She climbed the steps to her front door and was about to open it when she heard voices.

     "...can't do that. She's too young for it..."

     "...have to stop babying her... old enough to handle the truth..."

     "...dare you show up at my home and tell me what to do? ...lost your claim ages ago."

     Yasha stepped into the shrubbery just in time, for the door opened and a tall boy walked out. She ducked a little lower as he turned back to face her mother.

     "I will see her eventually. She's partly mine, and you can't keep her away forever."

     "Just leave!" her mother yelled. "You don't have the right! I raised her, and I intend to keep her as far away from you as possible."

     The boy laughed - a horrible, low, rumbly sound. "Just you try."

     And he left. He tucked his hands in his pockets and walked down the street, where he turned a corner and vanished.

     Still hidden, Yasha watched her mother as she gazed after the boy. Stifling a sob, she looked out across the neighborhood and withdrew into the house, shutting the door behind her.

     Yasha clasped her paws across her mouth, trying to slow her breathing. Who did that boy have a claim on? It had to be her sister, Sorrel. She was pretty, she was smart, and she was a faerie Pteri. But how could someone else partly own her sister?

     Judging that sufficient time had passed, she took a deep breath and crept out of the shrubs, opening the front door. Glancing around, she could see no one.

     She flitted up the stairs like a wraith, and found solitude in her room. Yasha threw her backpack in the corner and flopped down on her bed. Minda, her Airax, flitted up onto the bed and cocked her head to the side.

     "Minda?" The petpet squawked. "You are so lucky you don't know who your parents are."

     A knock sounded on the door. "Yasha? Can I come in?"

     "I suppose."

     Mom opened the door and sat down on Yasha's bed. "Honey, I got some news."

     Yasha interrupted, "I know what you're going to say. Last time you said that, we had to move here, to Neopia Central. The time before that, it was Mystery Island. And the time before that it was Tyrannia." She sighed. "Where is it now?"

     Mom cradled her chin in her hands, looking thoughtful. "To be honest, I've run out of ideas. Any particular place you'd like?"

     "Mom. We just got settled here. Why do we have to move? And why have you not even decided where?"

     "I can't tell you that. We just have to go, that's all. Sorrel says she'd love Faerieland. I thought you might prefer Terror Mountain, but I thought I'd ask your opinion before we picked."

     "It has something to do with that boy, doesn't it."

     Mom froze.

     "Yeah, Mom, I know all about the boy. The one who came here just a little while ago. The one you yelled across the neighborhood at."

     "Where... where were you?"

     Yasha laughed. "In the shrubs. Right beside you."

     Mom flared up. "How dare you eavesdrop! When I'm having a private conversation, you are not to listen in!"

     "When you're yelling, and it involves Sorrel, I have every right to listen! Sorrel's future has everything to do with me!"

     "Sorrel has nothing to do with that boy!"

     "Quit denying it, Mom. If he has a claim on Sorrel, I want to know why!"

     "No one has a claim on your sister! It's you!"

     Yasha stopped, confused. "What?"

     Mom bit her lower lip and stood up. "I'd better get supper on. I'll see you downstairs."

     She left and shut the door behind her. Yasha just sat there, the wind taken out of her sails. And then her back started to hurt, so she fell backwards onto the bed. Fishing her journal out from under her pillow, she grabbed a pen and prepared to write. Only problem was, words wouldn't come.

     Yasha groaned and shoved the notebook under the bed. Vaulting off the bed, she flew across the hall and into Sorrel's room.

     Her sister looked up from her book and greeted her with a smile. "Hey, what's up? And what was the yelling about?"

     "Sorrel, I need your help."

     "Sure. With what?"

     "I need to find adoption records. Where might those be?"

     Sorrel scratched her head with the tip of one wing. "Probably in the library, if we asked politely."

     "Well, then, grab your bag and let's go."

      * * * *

     "... and so you see, we would love to have a look at those records."

     The assistant librarian glanced back and forth between them. "A school project?"

     "Yes, that's right," Sorrel answered. "We're doing a report on the... um..."

     "The likelihood of certain age groups adopting different species of pets, and certain age groups having influence over the names that are chosen for the adopted pets," Yasha supplied.

     "I suppose I could do that. You realize that not everyone has access to these records. And you'll need to sign some forms. There are old documents, and they need to be kept in good condition. We need to know that you'll be responsible enough to take care of them. These are important papers, after all."

     The girls nodded. "Of course. We understand completely," Yasha assured him.

     "And, of course, you'll need to sign a parental consent form, and get a note from your teacher, complete with signature, to state that you are, indeed, doing a school project."

     The sisters looked at each other, and looked back at the assistant librarian. "I suppose we could manage. Could we get the forms we need?"

     The librarian handed them a stack of papers with a smile, and turned back to his work.

     Outside, Sorrel glanced through the papers. "Well, Mom should gladly give her consent for these forms. And your teacher will sign these quite readily, I imagine. Quite a fascinating project you're doing, actually."

     "Sorrel, you're so dense! It's not a school project. I just need to have a look at those records!"

     "Well, then. That could be a problem."

     Yasha rolled her eyes. "No kidding."

     "Why do you want to look at those records, anyways?" Sorrel queried.

     "It seems that my past has a whole lot to do with my future. I have to find out under what circumstances I was born."

     Sorrel laughed. "Oh. Well, if that's all you need it for..." She grabbed the documents and a pen, and scrawled names on the dotted lines.

     "What are you doing?"

     "Forging Mom's signature, and your teacher's too. What does it look like I'm doing?"

     "But you can't just forge signatures like that! We could get in a lot of trouble!" Yasha hissed.

     "True. But that librarian probably won't check up on any of these signatures. You're perfectly safe."

      * * * *

     "Here are the records from Y1, all the way through to Y4. Y5 to Y8 are in that box over there," the librarian huffed. He dropped a box of books on the table in front of Yasha, a cloud of dust rising as she did so.

     Yasha coughed out a thank-you, and the librarian left. Sorrel peered into one of the boxes and took out a heavy tome.

     "Well, you were born about a year after me. So you're probably in the Y7 book."

     "I know what year I was born in, Sorrel."

     "No need to get huffy with me," Sorrel replied mildly.

     Yasha ignored her and flipped through the book. "I have no idea how to navigate through this thing. There's, like, five or six columns on each page."

     Sorrel glanced at the pages, though for a moment, and grinned. "First column is date. Second column is location. Third column is neighborhood. Fourth is username. Fifth is the pet name. And sixth is the pet species."

     Yasha blinked in disbelief. "These people made way too much work for themselves."

     "They were just being organized. Do you know where you were born?"

     "Mom told me it was Lost Desert, but I don't know whether or not that's true."

     "Well, we do know the date. So we can easily figure out where you were born, and to whom."

     Sorrel lifted a large section of the book and flipped it over. Scanning the yellowed pages, she flipped a few more times and pointed with the tip of her wing to a line.

     "This should be it. See? April 14th, Terror Mountain, 4720 Freezy Path..." Here her voice faded out.

     "What's the next bit? It should be username, right?"

     "Well, it should, but this name is all faded out. It's like a splotch of water got on it or something. I can't read it."

     Yasha groaned. "Well, at least read the next part."

     "Um... lessee... Yasha, with a whole bunch of numbers after it... and Cybunny. That's it."

     "Wait a second," Yasha interrupted. "What does this mean?" She pointed to the line of information. "It's blue. Some of these other lines are blue too, and the rest are pink. What does it mean?"

     Sorrel flipped to the back of the book and scanned the pages. "Here we go. Apparently pink entries mean the owner of that pet is a girl. Blue means a boy."

     She looked up at her sister, comprehension dawning on her gentle features. "The person who created you is a boy."

To be continued...

 
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