Baery's Quest: Part Five
He was born from the smallest of Draik eggs, into a family of Draiks. He was always the runt and the smallest of his older brothers, but he also knew he was destined to be greatest of all of them. That was what he liked to dream anyway. While sitting at his desk in Neoschool, he would really be off in some foreign land battling evil and defending justice. It was not until he decided to set off on a quest, however, that he began his destiny.
“You are not going alone!” Ailemea insisted.
“Absolutely not!” Mimi agreed. Nexy blinked, looking up at all of them.
“I have to!” Baery said tearfully. “I know she will kill my family!”
Ailemea frowned. “She’ll kill you, too.”
Baery shook his head.
“We need Jeanie,” Mimi said.
“NO! Absolutely not!” Baery said. “If anyone is going with me – which isn’t set yet – it is only going to be you.”
“I’m going with you,” Ailemea said sternly.
“Me too,” Mimi added.
“No you aren’t,” the blue Xweetok said, glancing at her.
“Of course I am! If you are then I am!”
“Who is going to take Nexy home?” The two grew silent and glanced at the baby Yurble staring innocently up at them. Mimi looked hopefully at Aile.
“Don’t you think...”
“Jeanie would kill us.”
“Well, if we don’t go, then Cemia will kill Baery!” The two grew silent once more and once again glanced at the baby Yurble who was still looking innocently up at them.
“She won’t get that mad...”
“He will have the petpets...” Once again they looked at the baby Yurble.
“Just as long as she knows it is your idea...” Aile said. Mimi nodded agreement and Ailemea whistled at the sky. An Eyrie glided down and settled in front of the blue Xweetok.
“Three petpets and a baby Yurble,” she informed him. “Our owner will pay when you arrive.” The Eyrie nodded and Aile gave him directions to Bread Street. In another five minutes they had Nexy settled on the Eyrie’s back with Suki, Haelee, and Aros in his lap. The Eyrie confirmed the address then took off into the sky.
Mimi and Ailemea frowned after it.
“Let's hope Cemia gets us first.”
“That isn’t funny!” Baery frowned. The two laughed.
“You haven’t met Jeanie,” Ailemea said, picking up the note that had been in Landon’s cap. “I don’t understand. Come alone. That’s all. She doesn’t even tell us where.”
“I know where,” Baery said solemnly, and the look in his eyes made the sisters shudder in discomfort.
There was no moon, and Baery led Aile and Mimi with the deadest silence. The wind broke off of Meridell’s walls and fell on them, chilling them to the bone.
“Baery, is it much farther?” Ailemea whispered. Baery held up a hand to signal her to be quiet. Her mouth snapped shut and she glared rather reproachfully at the blue Draik’s back.
There it was. The seemingly empty pit had a slight light shining out of it. The stairs. Baery gestured and then slowly began to step down. Ailemea and Mimi followed, sticking to the walls and praying none of the stairs creaked. Baery reached the bottom of course, and he stuck his eye hurriedly to the door that was still slightly ajar.
“If he isn’t here soon, I’m going to Egg one of you.” Cemia was standing in the center of the room, Minto and the Acara from the night before hovering behind her. She held a broken Pteri egg in her hands. “Just to show him not to mess with Cemia.” The mutant Draik’s lips moved into a smile that looked like a snarl.
“What do you want with Baery? What did he ever do to you?” Clover shrieked.
“He knows something that he shouldn’t,” Cemia said simply.
“Which is?” Clover demanded. Cemia considered the teenager sitting tied beside her three other Draiks. Baery’s heart clenched, but Ailemea and Mimi held him back, listening.
“The little organization that I’m running. We take from the Draik owners, and sell to the future Draik owners!” She laughed heartily.
“But that is... that could disrupt all of Neopia,” Clover said quietly. “Don’t you understand what that could do?”
“I don’t care.”
“How can you not care?! That is inhumane! Taking pets away from their owners and selling them?!” Clover’s voice was getting louder.
“I’m getting tired of you,” Cemia said irritably. “But you do bring up a good point. I can’t exactly Egg your Draiks while you’re still around, now can I?” Baery stepped forward, but Ailemea and Mhyme still clutched him. Cemia snapped her claws and Minto stepped forward with an Ice Club. Cemia lightly set her Pteri Egg down and turned to take it. “I think I shall ice you now, since Baery is taking his own sweet time.”
Baery watched as Joshie, Jake, and Landon all struggled against their bonds to get in front of Clover. The teenager stared in wide-eyed horror at the club in Cemia’s claws. Now was the time. He leaped forward, but Mimi was still holding him. He looked at her in surprise and turned to see Ailemea fly through the door.
Cemia turned with a yell and smacked Ailemea with the club, sending the Xweetok flying. As she settled, her body turned to ice. Cemia cackled and turned to smile at Baery and Mimi who had no choice but to enter.
“Now you can watch, Baery-Boo-Boo,” she said in a high-pitched nasal voice. She turned and rose the Ice Club, but to her surprise it simply slid in halves and fell to the floor shattering. She stared at it in surprise and then furiously glanced over at the frozen smirking Xweetok who was holding an Obsidian Dagger. Baery smiled, suddenly having a strong urge to hug the vain blue Xweetok.
“Baery!” Clover had been yelling repeatedly since Baery had entered the room. Baery smiled and stepped forward but Minto leaped forward and restrained him. The Acara grabbed Mimi and the skunk Poogle cursed, wriggling and struggling. Cemia smiled dangerously.
“You didn’t think that would be the end of it, did you? Oh no, Baery. This isn’t the first time I’ll have to break the law to get what I want. So who will it be first, Baery?” Cemia picked up the Pteri egg she had put down a few minutes before. “Landon?” She turned to the royal boy Draik. “Joshie?” She turned to the shadow Draik. “Or Jake?” She turned to the white Draik. The twins’ eyes filled with flames as she mixed up their names.
Baery looked hopelessly at his family, at Ailemea, at Mimi, and then at Cemia.
“Who will it be, Baery?” Cemia hissed, stepping closer to him and breathing in his face.
“Why are you doing this?” Baery said softly, tears filling his eyes. Cemia’s eyes flickered.
“You want to know? I’ll tell you. My owner didn’t want me,” she retreated, looking at the wall in front of her. “He transformed me and for a while we were the happiest owner and pet. I felt proud to be a Draik. And then he got some new friends, and they all decided that I was just too disgusting. I know he didn’t regret it when he left Neopia, leaving me to fend for myself. Suddenly, I was alone, hungry, homeless, and... ugly.” The Draik turned furiously on him, tears of fury in her eyes. “So why, Baery, should you and Landon and Joshie and Jake have Clover? What makes you Draiks different from me?”
“I’m sorry,” Baery said softly. Cemia’s tear-filled eyes looked at him full on in fury. She leaped forward and smacked him roughly across the face.
“I don’t want your pity,” she hissed. “Make your choice.” Baery looked at her, and a light filled his eyes as he had an idea.
“Pardon?” she growled.
“Egg me first,” Baery said simply. Cemia glowered but then her face slid into a sickly smile.
“Very well. I’ll let you be a hero in your last moments. It will be utterly thrilling knowing you won’t have any memory whatsoever. And heck... you’ll even be a yellow Draik,” she laughed and signaled for Minto to release him. “Come on then, Baery. Be a hero.”
“Baery, no!” Clover shrieked, but Minto slapped a gag across her mouth. Baery stared at his family with a sad smile.
“I’m sorry.” He stepped forward and Cemia held the egg. It began to glow as she held it above Baery’s head.
“I promise it won’t hurt very much,” she said with a laugh. Baery nodded, looking numb. The Pteri egg’s light slowly covered him, enveloping him and growing larger. He felt himself beginning to change, as if he were growing older and larger. He looked at Cemia.
“I’m sorry.” Her eyes flickered with surprise and with a sudden inborn speed, Baery snatched the Egg from her hands and slammed the large pieces shut around her. There was a huge flash of light and everyone was blown backwards into the walls. Minto and the Acara, with Mimi, had been closest to the light – besides Baery - and were thrown farthest. Baery still held onto the egg though, refusing to let go as Cemia’s shouts and screams faded into calm and peace. Baery could have sworn, as the light faded, that he heard a slight whisper emanate from it.
The Eyries settled elegantly in front of Ailemea’s and Mhyme’s house, and Baery smiled. Ailemea carefully slid off of the Christmas Eyrie whom had given her the ride, and then lifted the unconscious Mimi off behind her. Clover sat behind Baery, arms wrapped around him. Joshie and Jake and Landon landed lightly beside them, their wings slightly more awesome than the Eyries.
Ailemea set Mimi down on the lawn then turned to Baery.
“Thanks, Ailemea,” Baery said, his arms wrapped around the yellow Draik egg in his lap. The blue Xweetok was still rather damp from being frozen and then thrown into the Healing Springs.
“Thanks,” Clover added.
“No problem,” Ailemea said with a shrug. “It is always fun to have a little excitement.”
“AILEMEA!” The blue Xweetok flinched and turned to see a very irritated Jeanie running out of the house. “How could you send Nexy home by HIMSELF with only the petpets? He could’ve been kidnapped!”
“Petnapped,” Ailemea muttered, then said louder, “It was Mimi’s idea!” Jeanie rolled her eyes then saw Mimi. She glared at Ailemea with a look that said, you will explain this and you are in BIG trouble. She easily picked up the Poogle, patted Clover’s hand and said a few words of greeting, then dragged Ailemea back into their neohome.
“Honestly, Ailemea, blaming it on your unconscious sister is really low...” The door slammed, cutting off the owner and pet’s conversation.
“Isn’t that the cutest?” a familiar voice said, and the Draik family turned to see two familiar faeries landing beside them.
“Jeanie and Ailemea always did have an odd relationship. Though I do treasure Nexy,” Jhudora said fondly. Baery hurried off of the Eyrie and ran to them.
“Ah, the hero Baery!” Illusen squealed, pecking him on the cheek.
“I don’t understand,” Baery said with a frown. “You said all that stuff about me on some great journey!” Illusen and Jhudora shared a smile.
“Don’t think about it too much, Baery,” Jhudora said.
“We faeries know everything, but sometimes we just like having a little fun. Darigan is always the greatest to confuse.” Illusen laughed.
“I still don’t-” The faeries’ expressions hardened.
“We told you, kid, stop thinking about it. If Fyora heard wind we were talking to you then-” Jhudora stopped short as Illusen elbowed her. Illusen smiled slightly more tightly.
“Don’t worry about it, Baery.” She hugged him, pecked his cheek again and then whispered in his ear, “I never said it would be in the next two days, you dunce.” She then withdrew, smiling ever wider.
“I think I know what you came for,” Baery said hesitantly. The faeries glanced at each other. “You want Cemia, don’t you?” Jhudora smiled slightly.
“She isn’t Cemia anymore, Baery,” she said softly. “But just in case she hatches and... well.”
“I understand.” Baery nodded and handed the yellow Draik egg to Illusen. The two faeries hugged him once more, said a hurried good bye, then flew off in the direction of Faerieland. Clover sighed and squeezed Baery.
“Baery-Boo-Boo... you have a lot to explain,” she said quietly. The Draik, slightly larger after the magical Pteri light, shrugged.
“We have forever, don’t we?”