She was sitting in her chambers with her most brilliant followers, plotting the downfall of Altador (third time’s the charm) and that of the rest of Neopia (she’d never quite understood the concept of ‘quit while you’re ahead’. Why stop? The point wasn’t to be ahead; the point was to win) when a thought surfaced suddenly. She was startled, but curious (and bored – very bored), and allowed it to continue its train.
She’d had a name once.
She’d had a real name, not a title like ‘The Betrayer’ or ‘The Darkest Faerie’. (Not that titles were a bad thing - so much more memorable then something boring like Illusen, or, even worse, Fyora.) After centuries of plots and wickedness in which she’d responded only to the latter, her given name now slipped her mind. (Well, to be perfectly correct, Fyora had taken it from her. But if she let her mind go down that path right now, she’d probably smash something. Or blow something up something. Or both. ...Probably both.)
But she’d had one. (A name.)
And along with it (the name, of course), she’d had a family, and friends even. (Before she’d strayed from the path of light.) She’d lived in Faerieland, gone to Neoschool, even paid her respects to Queen Fyora (sniveling, frilly, holier-than-thou Fyora) in her castle once or twice. The memories were hazy and distant, and she’d pushed them far away into the back corners of her mind so she need no longer dwell on them. (But they were there.)
She shook her head, having had quite enough of this ridiculousness. (Ridiculousness, reminiscence...)
The memories were unimportant now.
No longer was she that small, Fyora-fawning little shrimp of a faerie.
Now, she was the Darkest Faerie (The Betrayer, the Commander, the One-To-Be-Worshiped, etcetera, etcetera). Now, she had power, had followers. (She had a goal.)
Her history was long and tedious, full of triumphs and secret plans. (Failed plans, mostly.) She’d been many places, seen things no one else had, and done so much that most Neopians would never even dream of attempting. (For more reasons than one.)
She was a legendary hero, a founder of Altador.
She was a legendary villain, destroyer of Altador. (Well, almost-destroyer. For now.)
The foolish goody-goodies of the world had practically worshiped her. She didn’t care for them (at least, not now), ignorant little fools who put up on a pedestal whoever found or saved this land or that one. (She’d liked that pedestal once.)
But now, she was an idol amongst the shadowy figures of Neopia. She was their greatest hope, the best chance they had of stealing this land for their own. (Silly creatures. As if Neopia would ever be anything but hers, once she held it in her clutches.)
She would not fail, like the other times. She was now more powerful than they could imagine. She would rule the world.
(Because she couldn’t, shouldn’t, wouldn’t go back.)
But maybe (just maybe), after this was all over, she’d let herself look back. Maybe then, she’d let herself remember who she once was. Perhaps she’d even return and find those who’d loved her, who she herself had loved. She might rediscover her old life.
(Rediscover, restore, retrieve. Salvage. )
But not now. Now, she had a goal to complete. Now, she was the ultimate villain, to be admired by some and feared by all. (Especially Fyora. Fyora had better fear her, when this was finished.) She couldn’t afford to be distracted, to let up now. Maybe (possibly) someday, she could soften a little. (But not now.)
Her minions were looking at her strangely, and she gave them her best death glare (you know, the one with the flames and the lightning bolts). They shuddered and quickly averted their gazes, continuing to blab on about whatever their latest silly scheme was, albeit at a higher pitch. She didn’t even know why she bothered to hold these meetings - they bored her to tears. (And besides, she already had her plan.)
She sighed, and let her mind wander again. (Wander to less dangerous subjects.)
She had been defeated. (Again.)
She was a statue (again), trapped, brooding, at the bottom of the ocean. Her amulet hung heavy around her neck (again – you get the picture), and she felt a wave of fury towards it (and Neopia, Fyora, Altador, King , etc., etc.). But most of all, she was angry at herself.
She’d let her sweet (cotton candy, sugar plum, chocolate factory) thoughts of how kind King Altador had been to her, and how nice Altador was, so maybe she didn’t need to destroy it completely, distract her from her purpose. Even after she’d firmly resolved to leave them be and concentrate on complete desecration, they (the thoughts) had swirled around and around in her head until she’d had no choice but to snatch them up and think them. (Aggravating little things. She blamed them too, and whoever or whatever had sent them.)
It had been her downfall. (It wouldn’t happen again.)
She would release every desire she had to return to her old self, the self that had cared for others. She had years to do it, and with the rage she was feeling now, it would be easy (so easy). It had been a weak (stupid, boring, useless) self anyway. She didn’t need it. (No one needed it.)
But what made her angrier then anything else was the fact that her downfall came entirely upon her own shoulders. (Not King Altador, not annoying Jerdana, no one but herself to blame. Well, the thoughts could be blamed, but she didn’t want to sound crazy.)
But when she returned, she’d be more powerful then ever. And nothing would distract her. She’d take them out, one by one. (See how they liked being statues!)
She’d sit down on Queen Fyora’s throne, and flatten Altador (and then the rest of Neopia) until it was nothing but dust. She’d erase all laws, and imprison anyone who got in her way (not that anyone would dare to). When she returned, there would be chaos. (She was eagerly anticipating it.)
And she would be back.
Eventually, some dim little Neopet would wander down here and release her because her necklace looked shiny or something. Even Fyora herself would do it, if she waited long enough – the Faerie Queen harbored some silly notion that time healed all wounds. Apparently, to her, evilness was as tangible as a scrape on your knee, and could be ‘cured’ easily.
(Fyora was wrong, of course, but the Betrayer didn’t feel the need to explain that to her.)
But she could wait. She could scheme, and plot, and think. And when the time was right, she knew she could break out of this stone prison herself, if need be. She would hide; recover her powers and obtain new minions. She’d send spies, and discover her enemy’s weaknesses beforehand.
(And then she would strike.)
She laughed from frozen lips, and the haunting sound drifted upwards and away, to be lost in the dark abyss of seawater surrounding her.
They’d pay. (They would all pay.)
A millennium later, Neopia was rudely awakened by the sound of shattering stone.
(The Darkest Faerie had returned.)