There are ants in my Lucky Green Boots Circulation: 143,499,168 Issue: 300 | 13th day of Swimming, Y9
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Of Meepits and Dark Faeries: Part One


by whiz_bang12

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Also by kjpanda

Late one evening, as Caira and Alexa were coming to their home in the Ice Caves from a dismal ice skiing championship, Caira, a green Xweetok, stopped to pick up the mail.

     "Alexa, look! We got another letter for that Kelly – kell-ee-ay-en? – girl again!"

     Alexa, a smallish blue Poogle with sunglasses stuck her head out of the door. "Let's open it and see what it says! I think that Kelliaien sent away for the muffin of the month club!"

     "Um... since it was delivered to us... okay!" Caira grinned.

     Alexa took it and ripped it open.

     Kelliaien –

     I'm going to say this in plain Neopian, since you obviously don't have the brains to understand even the simplest of codes. The 15th day of the Month of Swimming would be a very good time to get the statue of the "boss" (since that's what you call her), since Queen Fyora will be on vacation in Mystery Island for a week, starting then. Meet me in Faerieland by the Healing Springs at 9:00 PM Neopian Standard Time. (That's nighttime, in case you can't tell.) Make sure you bring the rock.

     – Irathatora

     "Who the heck is Irath – Iras – atora?" asked Alexa after a long silence.

     Once the silence was broken, questions started spilling out of Caira's mouth. "Who's the 'boss'? Why are they getting a statue of her? Why does it matter if Queen Fyora is there or not? Is it important or something?"

     Alexa said, "Oh be quiet, Caira! The only thing that matters is that someone's going to steal something and that we need to find out what before they do!"

     "Is it a crime to ask questions?" asked Caira, slightly miffed. "An adventure sounds good, though, even if it doesn't end up being anything.” She glanced back at the letter. “The 15th day of the month of Swimming, 9:00 PM... that’s tonight!”

     “Duh,” Alexa said eloquently.

     Caira grinned. “So, what are we waiting for? Let’s go catch the next Eyrie Taxi to Faerieland and get those girls!"

     Alexa started laughing. "Caira, Kelliaien is a boy! Besides, I think that that Irathatora is more important to catch!"

     Caira was a bit annoyed. "How do you know he's a boy? Did someone say that? And shouldn't we stop Kelliaien first? I mean, he or she going to steal 'the boss', right?"

     "Come on, Caira, Kelliaien's stupid, Irathatora said so," Alexa said impatiently.

     "And what do we know about this Irathatora? Nothing, right? At least we know that Kelliaien must live somewhere in the Ice Caves. Probably in an area I haven't mapped out yet."

     "Caira, if you had mapped out the area he lives in, you would know that he was there."

     "I know that, but never say never, right?"

     "That's a contradiction, you know."

     "I know, but you can still get the point of it. Anyway, I'm going to find Kelliaien. Maybe he knows something."

     "I'm sure he doesn't, Caira. Irathatora said that Kelliaien didn't understand her other letters."

     "Fine, you do what you want to do and I'll do what I want to do. I can take Snowflake so we can communicate. Okay?" Snowflake was Caira’s White Weewoo.

     "All right, I’m off to do the really important stuff!"

     Caira rolled her eyes, but was still grinning, annoyingly. "Yeah, half of it."

     Alexa grabbed her ice skis and leaped off a cliff. Caira grabbed her map of the Ice Caves, a pencil, and her rope, and shot off in the opposite direction, deeper into the Ice Caves.

     * * *

     Alexa skied to Happy Valley and caught a ferry to Neopia Central. She figured that there had to be someone who knew about Irathatora. The trip seemed fairly short and soon she was in the bustle of it all. This Irathatora had to buy something sometime.

     The first shop she tried didn’t work. “Irathatora.... Sorry, don’t know her. Who is she? I see. Would you like something from our store?”

     * * *

     After a really long time, she headed into what seemed like the millionth shop she’d visited. “Excuse me, but I was wondering if you had something for my friend Irathatora for me to pick up?”

     The shop keeper, a Kyrii, paled immediately. “Yesss, we have something for her. Of course we would have only the best for her.” He led Alexa into the back of the shop and gave her a small dark purple stone that shone with a soft light. “Tell her that she has to place it directly on to make it work.”

     “I will, just wondering, where does she live? We have to check to make sure you are trustworthy.”

     “Whyy, in the Haunted Woods, of course.”

     “You are correct. Thank you.” Alexa headed out of the shop, her mind spinning.

     * * *

     Caira immediately went down a path she knew she hadn't explored before and started mapping it out. It was probably more than an hour before she came across the fire pit which was still smoking – and that had to be a sign of life – but at least she got a lot of mapping done.

     She looked around. She could smell food from here. She walked through a doorway-like hole in the wall and found a Pirate Mynci eating some kind of meat on a stick.

     "Excuse me," Caira said pleasantly, "but do you happen to know anyone called... Kel-lee-ay-un?"

     "Nope," he said. "I'm Kell-yai-en. Who are you?"

     "Um, Caira," she blurted. Then she pounced on him, pinning him to the ground. She took her rope and used it to tie his hands and feet together.

     "Now, tell me what your plan is and I might just let you go," said Caira, holding up the end of her rope threateningly. She couldn't help grinning, though. That Kelliaien looked pretty funny.

     "What plan?" he said stupidly.

     "The plan to steal the boss!" said the Xweetok.

     "Huh?"

     "You know, with Irathatora. Who is she?"

     "She – she's my boss. Kinda. She's my second-in-command boss."

     "Which boss are you stealing?" I asked.

     "The big one."

     That didn't help much. "What does the big boss look like?"

     "She's really tall and she's got huge purple wings and really dark colored hair. I think she's a Faerie."

     A Dark Faerie? It had to be. "Why are you stealing her?"

     "'Cause she's all rocky now. We need to make her un-rocky."

     What in Neopia was he talking about?

     "Where's Bob?" he asked. "Bob's gone!"

     "Who's Bob?" asked Caira.

     "I'm his Mynci."

     "Is he human?"

     "Nope, he's a Slorg."

     "So you own him?"

     "No, he owns me. He tells me what to do and I do it."

     Caira had a feeling that this Slorg was important somehow, and that Kelliaien was just Bob's devoted servant. "What's Bob like?"

     "He tells me to do a lotta stuff. He says he wishes he was a Meepit. Then people would take him seriously."

     Meepits. Not good. "Meepit" was practically a synonym for "very, very bad" in all the Neopian Times stories she'd read, and many of the books that involved Meepits. Then again, since when did Neopian Times stories reflect real life? It was kind of hard to tell when the stories in there were fiction and when they weren't fiction.

     "Does he want to take over the world?"

     "I think I heard him say something about that once or twice."

     "Does he know Irathatora?"

     "Yes. He really likes her."

     Okay. She had to find this Slorg. "What does Bob look like?"

     "He's a Tyrannian Slorg."

     Great. Slorgs, especially Tyrannian Slorgs, are known for their incredible speed – it could be miles away by now.

     Not.

     A Mootix would be faster than a Slorg.

     But Tyrannian Slorgs do have pretty big teeth.

     And there was a green trail of slime going out the door, which would easily lead her to him, anyway.

     Caira yanked Kelliaien's bandana off and tied it around his hands and feet before taking her rope off of him.

     "Okay, gotta go now, bye!"

     Caira took off like a shot, following the trail.

     "Wait!" she heard the Mynci's voice. "Don't leave me here! I gotta get to Bob so I can do what he says!"

     What a weird Mynci.

     * * *

     This Slorg called Bob must be faster than she thought. She kept following it, but she never even glimpsed him.

     Then she stopped dead in her tracks.

     The trail was going up; sloping right into the sky.

     She touched the trail tentatively. It was very slimy, but it seemed kind of solid and stretchy, like strong Poogle Putty.

     She stepped on it. It moved a bit, like elastic, but it was strong enough to hold her.

     She took a deep breath, pushed her coiled rope into a more secure position on her shoulder, and started climbing the slippery Slorg slime.

     * * *

     Bob looked furtively around him. He hated Terror Mountain, but the Ice Caves afforded him a hiding space. Soon, he would go back to his true home, the Haunted Woods. He looked up at that stupid Xweetok on the slime trail he had made to lead her off course. He wasn’t that stupid. But that didn’t mean he couldn’t have delusions of grandeur. He was a Tyrannian Slorg, and knew that he would some day rule beneath Irathatora. And then... he would take over and rule all of Neopia. After this little caper... No, he couldn’t daydream about that at the moment. He had to focus on the matter at hand – getting to the Healing Springs. He turned and saw to his satisfaction that the Xweetok had disappeared over the cliff. The trail was confusing enough to lead her in circles for a while and then, eventually, back to the Ice Caves, if she was lucky.

     With a grunt of satisfaction, Bob headed the other way, this time without the trail of slime.

To be continued...

 
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