Of Meepits and Dark Faeries: Part Four
Also by kjpanda
“Did you see that? Irathatora just teleported out of here!”
Caira jumped. The voice seemed to come from... the Meepit!
“She did?" Caira asked quickly. "How do you know?”
“My friends told me. We can use telepathy.”
Good, so the talking Meepit hadn't been her imagination.
Alexa came running over. “Caira, Irathatora’s gone to Faerieland!”
“How do you know?”
“The Meepits told me. Now do you like them?”
Alexa tugged at Caira. “Come on! Let’s go! Meepers, over here!”
Caira turned to go. Snowflake leaped off her shoulder and flew as far away as possible from the Meepit.
* * *
“Irathatora, if the stories are true, this is going to take several hours.” Bob was getting jumpy.
“Shut up. I’m trying to concentrate!”
Just then they heard the telltale call of ”Meeeeeeeeeepit.”
"Hurry up, Irathatora!" Bob urged her. "The Meepits are coming!"
"I have ears, now be quiet!" Irathatora snapped. She quickly finished the statue and levitated the Darkest Faerie off of the fountain. She took Jerdana's Orb off of the Darkest Faerie and put it onto the statue, and levitated the statue into the Faerie's place. She began removing the spells around the courtyard.
And then the Meepits came.
Irathatora grabbed Bob and the Darkest Faerie and teleported away with them back to her castle.
Unfortunately, the Meepits had been teleported along as well.
Irathatora gathered the last of her energy and expelled it in a blast that shook the castle and knocked out every living being inside it, including Bob and excluding Irathatora and the Darkest Faerie.
But Irathatora had exhausted herself, so she collapsed on the spot, leaving the Darkest Faerie alone.
And since the Darkest Faerie was still stone, she didn't really count much.
Or so you'd think.
* * *
After a few minutes, Irathatora woke up, took a healing potion, grabbed a few seaweed necklaces, and teleported herself, Bob, and the Darkest Faerie again.
* * *
Caira was watching over the wall, levitating on an air shield.
"Darn it, Irathatora teleported herself along with all the Meepits!"
Alexa rolled her eyes. "So let's go after her."
"But where is she?" Caira wondered. "There are still a fair few Meepits at her home. She can't do whatever-it-is-she-has-to-do-to-free-the-Darkest-Faerie there very easily. But how are we supposed to figure out where she is?"
Alexa rolled her eyes. "Wherever she is, the Meepits she teleported along with her are still going to bother her."
Caira gasped. "The Meepits! They can communicate telepathically! Meepers," the Xweetok addressed the Faerie Meepit, "where are they? Could you ask them?"
Meepers frowned. She was silent for a while. "They're somewhere underwater," she said finally. "They're all in an air pocket which has scared Neopets holding fishing poles inside it, though most of them are running away. Irathatora got away with the Dark Faerie, because Irathatora can breathe underwater and Meepits can't hold their breath long enough to follow."
"Let's go to Maraqua, then," said Caira. "Race you to the Eyrie Taxi station!" She landed on the cloud and started running. Then she stopped. "On second thought, riding an air shield will be faster. Just hang on tightly to me!"
The Poogle wrapped her arms around Caira's shoulders, grinning. "This should be fun," she said.
Caira created an air shield around them and pushed them up on top of it using a gust of wind. Then they started moving forward extremely rapidly. Meepers flew off of Alexa's shoulder, preferring the steadiness of her own wings.
"Woo-hoo!" Caira yelled joyfully.
Alexa rolled her eyes. She was barely hanging on to Caira, but the Xweetok didn't seem to notice.
At least it wasn't long before they got to the Eyrie Taxi station. Caira had said that she didn't want to take them the entire way to Maraqua, because she would get tired before they reached their destination. Alexa was thankful for this; though she wasn't afraid of heights – well, who would trust a gust of wind to carry them safely across miles of ocean, miles above the surface?
* * *
Irathatora was staring at the Darkest Faerie, with one glowing hand touching her. She was trying to figure out how the spell which turned her to stone worked and how to reverse it.
"It might help if I had Jerdana's Orb," she muttered. But she had had to leave the orb on the statue which was in Faerieland, because she hadn't had a replacement. "I'd been hoping that she would turn back as soon as I took it off of her, but I didn't really think that would happen. Jerdana and Queen Fyora are smarter than that."
Why don't you just ask me how the spell works?
Irathatora jumped. That voice – the voice inside her head – sounded so familiar... but how could it be? It could be her imagination...
Idiot. I can do telepathy, remember? And so can you – you could use your skills instead of making me read your mind.
Now, that definitely wasn't her imagination. It didn't feel like her thoughts at all. She was sure, now, of who it was.
Irathatora closed her eyes. Oh my goodness, it's so good to hear your voice.
It hasn't been a thousand years or anything, Irathatora, the Dark Faerie said, annoyed, though there was clearly affection in her voice.
But... you couldn't do this before... how –
Jerdana's Orb was inhibiting my magical ability. It's not doing it any longer, though I'm not strong enough to free myself. I'll need your help. Can you do it?
Of course I can. Just tell me what to do.
I'm much more familiar with the curse than you are. I've got a fair idea of how to break it, but you might need to work out the kinks. Now listen carefully, I'm only explaining once.
"What's going on?" Bob asked anxiously. "Is –"
* * *
The green Eyrie landed on a large platform in the middle of the ocean.
"The bubble-boat's going to come in a little while. They hand out free seaweed necklaces that give you the ability to breathe underwater for forty-eight hours, but it can be recharged with some Faerie dust or something magical like that. If you've got the Faerie ability Spark, you can charge it up yourself, and maybe if you're a fair magician you could do it anyway even without the ability, but you don't look like you've learned a lot of magic. There are also other seaweed necklaces that last longer which you can buy if you want, though, even one that does it forever without recharging."
"Thanks for the ride, sir," said Alexa, as she gave him a handful of Neopoints.
"Just doing my job," he said cheerfully.
Then the boat emerged from the depths of the ocean, and a Maraquan Acara emerged from the depths of the enormous boat, if you could call it that. It looked like an enormous egg made of glass with seats inside. Caira could see why it was called a bubble-boat.
"Welcome to Lucas & Allen's Ocean Transport Service," said the Acara. "I'm Steve Allen and I'll be your conductor for this afternoon. A ride to Maraqua will cost 1599 Neopoints. First-class seats cost an extra 2000 Neopoints. When you take a ride with us, you receive a free underwater-breathing necklace that lasts for forty-eight hours of underwater breathing. Other longer-lasting underwater-breathing necklaces are available for purchase on board, as is food and drink. The ride will take approximately one hour."
Caira groaned softly. An hour? Did they have that long? Though they didn't really have a choice, did they?
"Okay, let's go," said Alexa. "We'd better hurry."
They ran between the other Neopets on the platform to the boat and quickly paid for a ride to Maraqua and received their free seaweed necklaces.
"Can we have necklaces for our Meepit and Weewoo, too?" Caira asked quickly.
The Acara frowned. "Why?"
"You made us pay extra for them, so we should get necklaces for them, too! And how are we supposed to travel with them if they can't breathe?"
Mr. Allen sighed. "I guess it can't do any harm." He handed two extra seaweed necklaces to them.
"Thanks!" Caira said cheerfully, and skipped into the bubble-boat.
The inside of the bubble-boat was half-filled with water, though fortunately, it wasn't that deep. The seats were raised above the water. Caira and Alexa picked two at random and sat down.
"Guess we should figure out what to do once we get there," said Caira. "Wish we could have got the Defenders of Neopia to take care of it."
"They wouldn't believe us," said Alexa. "There were a ton of powerful security spells around the Darkest Faerie. There's no way that anyone should be able to get through them. And there was a hoax a few months ago that involved the Darkest Faerie getting free, but the Dark Faerie roaming around was just a look-alike and there was a simple invisibility spell cast on the Darkest Faerie, and that incident would only make it seem less believable. But somehow Irathatora managed it, and we're the only ones who know, so we're the only ones who can take care of it."
"So we need to somehow keep Irathatora in one place and get the Darkest Faerie back to Queen Fyora, right?" Caira said matter-of-factly.
"That's just about it."
"Yeah, shouldn't be that hard to trap a sorceress who can teleport herself easily. Not many Neopets can do that. It takes a lot of energy to teleport yourself, you know. And a lot of skill. Assuming you don't have the Air Faerie ability, of course, and I don't think she does. But she might, you never know, I guess. So –"
"Caira," Alexa cut her off sharply, "you're babbling."
"Oh, right. Sorry. I tend to do that when I'm nervous. It must be kind of –"
"Yes, I know that. Now, please, let's focus. And don't panic."
"Yes, panicking doesn't get you anywhere. I can usually remember that. I don’t know why I can't remember that now. Though I guess I've never been in a situation where if we fail, Neopia could be –"
"Sorry." The Xweetok took a few deep breaths. "So, how should we do this?"
"Well, what advantages do we have?" asked Alexa.
"Well, I have some Faerie abilities and so do you. We have Meepers and Snowflake to help us."
"Like a prissy little White Weewoo can do anything," Meepers muttered. Nobody heard except Snowflake, who chirped angrily at Meepers.
And what, exactly, is so much better about Faerie Meepits? Snowflake demanded telepathically. The incredibly practical and flexible stubs-for-limbs? Or the wings which are barely big enough to –
Meepers flew at Snowflake furiously. Snowflake dodged quickly and attacked Meepers. They tumbled into the water, fighting and telepathically arguing with each other.
"We have seaweed necklaces to help us breathe underwater," Caira continued, either oblivious to or ignoring the Petpets' fighting, "but Irathatora can breathe underwater, too. We don't have anything else that can help us, though, that I can think of."
"There's got to be some way to use our Faerie abilities to our advantage," said Alexa.
"If we had a rope, I could tie a rock to the end and move it using my Faerie ability so that it would tie the rope around Irathatora. I bet if we hold on to the rope while she teleports, we would go with her."
"They have ropes in Maraqua, Caira, but it wouldn't be able to move as quickly underwater as it does on land."
"It's still worth a try. But we still need to figure out how to keep her in one place long enough to get the Darkest Faerie."
"Knocking her out would be the best option."
"But can we do that? She's very strong and she didn't even seem to notice when I bit her."
"You bit her?"
"Never mind," Caira said hastily. "I guess I could just make a rock hit her."
"That would work, probably. But we should think of an alternative, just in case."
They continued discussing the problem as the submarine took off.
To be continued...