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Luna's Saga: The Dark Side of Kreludor


by ilovetoread_247

--------

Stayyr’s Journal- Day Thirty

I’ve been here for thirty days, now, Bob for sixty-one, ‘Tari for seventeen. We’re all awaiting new arrivals, wondering what happened to everyone else. I’ve heard of plenty of us who’ve vanished in the depths of the pound, but there’s only the three of us here. We moved out further from base camp today, but only to find food. Neither Bob nor T seem interested in exploring further. Even though I’m sure it’s the only way to escape...

     *~*

     Luna smiled as she sniffed the morning air. Today was a good day. The yellow Lutari had been shopping, and had come back with a bunch of fun items, including a petpet paintbrush for her Kadoatie. Princess would be so happy to be painted plushie!

     “I’m home!” she yelled, pushing open the front door of the family Neohome. Her two grinning younger brothers, Mort and Louey, ran to see what she’d bought them.

     “No, there’s nothing for you two!” Luna laughed, pushing away the eager Yurble and insistent Bruce.

     Mort scowled, and opened his beak to ask something (probably “Why not?”) when the three pets heard the garden door slam.

     “Bea’s home, Bea’s home!” yelled Louey, running into the living room nearest the garden.

     “Hey! You aren’t Bea! Who are you?”

     The Yurble sounded annoyed.

     “Stay here,” said Luna to Mort, but the Bruce instead ran to see what was going on. Luna followed nervously.

     If it wasn’t their owner, who was it?

     The Lutari edged one trembling yellow paw around the door to the living room.

     Her head came around the doorframe next.

     A purple-haired girl was rummaging through Bea’s safety deposit box.

     “I’ll have this... Sell this... This is useless...”

     Mort and Louey were huddled under a table, obviously planning to make a run for it.

     Suddenly the two pets burst out, and darted out the door. Luna heard footsteps running up the stairs. The purple haired thief whirled around, but didn’t follow. “Honestly,” she muttered, “not even painted... Is there anything valuable around here?”

     Luna tried to creep back through the door, fairly sure that limited edition pets would qualify as valuable.

     The thief’s head twisted a little more. Then she smiled.

     Sloth would’ve been very envious of that smile.

     “I thought there was a Lutari somewhere around here!”

     *~*

     Luna wasn’t quite sure how it had happened, but suddenly she was approaching the pound, and she had been sure that she had just been standing in the Neohome doorway.

     Ow. And where had this green leash come from?

     The thief moved forward, and Luna couldn’t stop moving, too. Then she caught sight of Doctor_Death, and all of a sudden her Lutari instincts came in play.

     She wanted to run, and she could run, and soon she would be far away.

     The thief bypassed Doctor_Death as Luna fought the leash.

     “Hey, wait!” yelled the Uni in charge of adoptions. “Where are you going with that Lutari?”

     Luna felt herself flying into the pound, and she wasn’t sure how this was happening.

     Then she wasn’t at the pound at all.

     Princess mewed, and Luna realized that her terrified petpet had followed her.

     The Kadoatie pounced on a pebble.

     The entire world, as far as Luna could see, was covered with pebbles and boulders on a purply-gray surface. It was lonesome and beautiful.

     There was no food.

     Luna could see that at once, grumbling to herself. She stomped a foot and bounced slightly above the ground.

     She did it again. And again.

     “Who-hooooooo!”

     “Who-hooooooo!” came another voice.

     A red Lutari came running up to her, and Princess hissed.

     “A petpet! Another form of life! Oh, the joys of- and who are you? I’m notbobtheforemanlutari, but you can call me Bob. Or Not Bob.”

     Then he ran off, and Luna grabbed Princess and ran after him.

     *~*

     Stayyr heard him first, and the green Lutari realized that this time Bob had brought another pet.

     They’d been here, wherever here was, for so long without seeing anyone else. And Stayyr was starting to like it that way.

     She wasn’t really sure why, but the Lutari was enjoying life with her friends almost as much as she’d enjoyed life at home.

     Why’d she have to be transferred to a side account, anyway? It’d been completely out of the blue. Ronnie had just suddenly wanted her beloved Lutari on another account. She’d muttered something about wanting to have four painted pets, for some guild or other. It wasn’t Stayyr’s fault Lutaris could only be basic colors.

     It wasn’t Stayyr’s fault at all.

     *~*

     “So,” said Stayyr to Luna, “what’s your name?”

     “Luna,” said the yellow Lutari nervously. It was quite obvious to her even wherever this was that Stayyr was popular and important. Probably back home she was adored and rich.

     Bea’d blown a lottery win on Princess, and Luna ate omelettes most of the time.

     “I’m Bob, obviously.”

     The quiet blue Lutari on the other edge of the circle finally said something. “I’m ‘Tari,” she said. “Actually it’s LuTaRi12348890... I don’t remember!”

     She might have been crying a bit. Luna couldn’t tell.

     “Hey,” said Luna, “calm down. I’ve got underscores all over my name.”

     “Yeah, yeah,” said Stayyr, patting ‘Tari on the back. “Calm down, ‘Tari.”

     Bob shook his scarlet head. This was not going well. Stayyr was being obnoxious, ‘Tari was upset about her worthless former owner again, and the new girl was obviously confused.

     “So,” said Bob, “Who wants fungus pie?”

     *~*

     Fungus, it turned out, was pretty much all there was to eat. More specifically, Neopian Chomby Fungus. There were a few other varieties, but Stayyr assured them all that these were poisonous.

     The last thing that anyone needed was Neomonia with no access to the healing springs.

     Bob had invented multiple ways of preparing said fungus, but it still tasted wretched. Totally wretched.

     Never eat fungus. Just don’t.

     Luna sighed and pushed the flat rock plate away. Princess mewed sadly.

     The fungus was even unappetizing to the petpet.

     “So,” inquired Bob, “How’d you end up here, anyway?”

     “This purple haired girl tried to steal me and ended up dropping me in the pound.”

     “Yeah, my owner’s sister got mad at him and...”

     “Wait!” said ‘Tari, coming up to join them. “Did you say she had purple hair?”

     “Why?”

     “Nothing,” said ‘Tari, stepping away.

     They stared at her for a few seconds before Stayyr’s imperious voice came in. “My owner tried to put me on a side account so she could have four painted pets for an elite guild.”

     “Wow,” said Luna sarcastically. “It appears that even your misfortunes are oh-so superior to those of us normal pets.” The yellow Lutari glared at the green one.

     Stayyr held her stare angrily, and then ducked her head.

     “Fine. If that’s what you think. I could care less, anyway. About anything, including my owner and that stupid purple-haired guild leader girl.”

     ‘Tari stared at them all again with her huge blue eyes.

     “Wait,” said Bob. “Are you saying that all three of us have this purple-haired factor?” He still seemed funny to Luna, but this was the first hint she’d seen of something hidden inside him. He seemed almost serious. She smiled at him, lost in her thoughts.

     “All four...” said ‘Tari softly.

     “What?”

     “I mean,” whispered ‘Tari, “That the purple haired factor that you have, Luna, that Stayyr has, and that I guess Bob has...”

     Bob nodded. “I thought that Sam’s sister had just died her hair...”

     “I... Well... It’s just... See... My old owner had purple hair. Except that for all she said about pounding me to get an Aisha and trying just to be a n00b... I think... She was a Dark Faerie.”

     ‘Tari stared at them. She’d always been paranoid, of course, part of feeling so unwanted, but this was something that she was sure about.

     She’d seen her old owner do magic, once, though she hadn’t told anyone. She never really told anyone anything. She’d only had two days in Neopia, after all, she couldn’t really connect with anyone. She needed friends so much... The Lutari cast her blue eyes to the pebbles below them.

     “But she didn’t have wings,” said Bob. “If you don’t have wings, you turn into a grey faerie.”

     “Actually,” said Luna, “There’s this old legend...”

     “I read it,” said ‘Tari. “I snuck into her library... And, well, I read some of the books.” ‘Tari flashed the first grin that Luna had ever seen on the Lutari’s pale blue face. “If a faerie loses her wings, she can steal wings from someone. It’s this obscure spell. She doesn’t really have the wings- she can’t wear them- but she can use her powers. And the faerie she stole from is a grey faerie until she wins the wings again.”

     All of them stared at ‘Tari.

     *~*

     The next day Stayyr headed out to explore. She was going across this wilderness until she found, well, anything.

     Her green fur stood out against the dull purple stones, more of a fashion risk than anything she’d ever done before.

     A laugh somehow escaped her embittered throat.

     Stayyr didn’t need them. She knew that they thought she was mean. She didn’t care. Why should she bother with them? Those stinky little losers.

     If she stayed at a distance, they’d never be able to throw her away like someone she used to trust had.

     She remembered her laughing, happy owner. Keisha had always been so wonderful. Until she heard about that elite guild, and then all she’d wanted was to join it. Stayyr was a rare pet! She shouldn’t have needed to be painted... And Lutaris could be painted now, anyway, Bob had told her.

     Pink. Stayyr had wanted so badly to be pink.

     She pictured again the distant look in her owner's deep brown eyes.

     Keisha’d seemed so distant, almost as if someone had put her in a trance. She remembered ‘Tari’s theory about the dark faerie.

     That was impossible.

     Stayyr turned in the direction of the camp and stomped one chartreuse paw.

     “Oh!”

     The green Lutari fell back into something.

     The void behind her was solid- a force field? Staring into it, she could just see the outline of Neopia below them...

     They were on Kreludor.

     The moon.

     Stayyr began to run to camp again, as fast as her paws could move.

     *~*

     “Wow,” said Bob, staring at the barrier.

     Luna pressed her nose to the clear energy.

     ‘Tari just sighed at the place that was less of a home to her than the moon.

     “That shadow’s really Neopia?” asked Luna.

     “Yep,” said Bob. “Neopia from the dark side of its largest satellite.”

     Stayyr felt a tear run down her face, then another. She batted them away then burst into sobs.

     “I’m sorry,” she managed to say.

     *~*

     They moved the camp to the barrier after a flood of apologies all around. No one quite understood what they were saying sorry for, but it got weight off their backs.

     There’d be days when all Luna did was stare at the almost invisible wall.

     So of course she spotted the faerie.

     The yellow Lutari called out, and everyone rushed to see.

     A grey faerie flying on the stubs of wings, desperately trying to reach them.

     She might have been a light or an earth faerie once, but now she was the saddest thing any of the pets had ever seen.

     They stared transfixed.

     As she reached them, she managed to touch one hand to the barrier, and then she lost her strength, practically falling on the shards of gray light where her stolen wings had been, until she disappeared into the shadow.

      The handprint remained, and it was glowing.

     Then Princess leapt forward, through the handprint, and the Kadoatie disappeared.

     “Princess!” screamed Luna.

     A tiny blue paw emerged, and the petpet heaved herself onto the pebbles of the campsite again, carrying in her mouth a plushie petpet paintbrush with a tag on it.

     “Property of Luna Lutari.”

The End

 
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