The Dangers of Being A Faerieland Reporter: Part One
Alright, many of you who have read my stories have probably seen a trend. I mostly write stories about Faerieland or faeries. It is my passion to fill the gap in Faerieland reporting. I felt that somebody had to provide extensive coverage of news stories in such a mysterious land where few NT reporters have ventured. It was that and the fact that Faerieland had a five-star Neolodge that brought me there. However, I soon had to find out the hard way the answer to my question and that pivotal question was: Why do so few reporters cover Faerieland news stories?
Well, I soon got that answer after publishing "ILL-usen Day". I won't spoil it for you just yet. I'll give you a hint, though – faeries are very sensitive creatures.
I was ripping my own story apart in my head when I heard a few knocks on my door. I laid my quill down carefully with my paw and walked to the door. - Yes, I am a blue Lupe who walks on two feet. The name is Geo. What are you staring at? - As I peered through the peephole, I saw two faeries, and both of them were light elemental with navy blue uniforms.
"Oh, the faerie police, they must require some assistance," I thought. I scrambled to the door and opened it.
"May I be of any assistance, ma'am?"
One of the officers pulled out a bright pink slip of paper and held it up for me to read:
The following is the arrest warrant for Geo the Blue Lupe under the charges of slander and defamation of faeries.
I jumped back in shock.
"I'm a mere Neopian Times reporter!” I shouted in protest. “How could I possibly bring myself to defame anybody? As an NT writer, I am totally against defamation! I have done nothing wrong!"
The light faeries shifted in to make their arrest.
"Sorry, all we are doing is carrying out our orders. If you have a dispute, take it up with a higher authority. We suggest that you cooperate and let this go as smoothly as possible so nobody gets hurt and you'll be able to speak to someone to rectify any mistakes," the faeries said while closing in on me.
I tried to turn and run, but as soon as I moved, the faeries immediately reached forward and seized me with a gentle but firm grip. One of the faeries then brandished a pair of shiny pink handcuffs. Out of fear I tried to yell, but the other faerie gently covered my mouth.
"Unless you wish to have your actions and words used against you, I'd keep my cool," they cautioned. One light faerie drew out her scepter while the other readied the pair of handcuffs.
Not wanting to start a fight with magic, I obediently turned around. The light faerie, seeing that I was cooperative, became gentler.
"Is that too tight?" she asked after snapping on the cuffs.
"N-no..." I replied, not daring to lie since the other faerie with the scepter was pointing it at me the entire time.
"Good. Then let us go out to the cloud racer."
Outside the Neohome was a navy blue cloud racer with a golden Faerieland crest. The crest was similar to the Faerieland seal of crossed Fyora scepters, but it was one solid color. On the back of the racer were the police lights, flashing red and blue. As I got ready to step into the racer, I realized that I had forgotten something.
"May I take my pens and notebook? I'm an NT writer, you see, and I enjoy those things. They are on the kitchen table."
"Azalea, go inside and get it for him while I escort him to the racer."
The light faerie that handcuffed me went in while the one with the scepter beckoned me to the racer and grabbed one of my arms gently to pull me along.
Azalea returned with the pens and notebook. She placed them in a bag and put the bag in the racer's back compartment. I was strapped into the backseat and Azalea took the driver's seat. The other faerie slid into the other back seat and held her scepter out, twirling it and smiling at me.
"Don't try anything funny now," she cautioned.
I sat there shaking nervously and wondered why I was being detained and arrested. The other faerie, noticing that I was shaking, laid her hand on my shoulder.
"We're sorry that we had to take you away but we were given orders. We know not what you did... The name's Angela. We're of course from the Faerieland police department. Anyways, we’d best be going.”
I felt the racer lurch forward and sat up to look around, and I saw my Neohome floating farther and farther away. I saw Shenkuu, disappearing beneath the clouds. I saw the land disappear into the water, the sea. A few moments later, the racer began to decelerate and the clouds began to thicken. A slight lurch forward and a small drop in altitude revealed Faerieland with the stars right behind it. Azalea pressed a few buttons and the racer dropped to hovering a few centimeters above the street. We cruised on into the Faerie City with the sirens on. The faeries fluttered out of the way, retreating into the side streets and alleyways to allow the racer to pass through the main street. Azalea then turned the racer onto a side street and headed towards the Faerie Castle. The guards at the gate bowed to the faeries and opened the shiny pink gates. This wasn’t the normal entrance to the castle, though; it was the back entrance that led to the underground levels of the castle, where the dungeons were located. I began to shiver nervously again.
“Geo, we’re here. You need to get out now.”
“No,” I replied weakly.
“This is not the time for willful defiance, Geo.”
“I don’t care! I didn’t do anything wrong!”
Azalea pulled out her scepter.
“Geo...” she said softly.
I stared at the scepter and realized that I was helpless. I was not skilled in sorcery and didn’t have any sort of defense. I had no choice.
...Or did I?
I broke off into a run.
“Geo! Get back here!” Azalea shouted.
She took flight along with Angela. That was the one miscalculation I made – they could fly faster than I could run. I watched as they approached and drew their scepters. I slowed to a walk and then sat down on the ground. I had been defeated.
Angela was muttering a spell when Azalea shouted to her.
“Angela, stop! He’s surrendering. Look! Don’t hurt him. Please don’t.”
The two faeries landed and they each took one of my arms and began to fly slowly and steadily. I watched as they lifted me a few meters above the ground and flew me into the back entrance.
The dungeon was surprisingly well lit. However, like all parts of the castle, the cells were made of pink stone and the bars were metallic pink. The dungeon was also surprisingly clean with shiny sinks and toilets in each cell. The beds even had mattresses and clean sheets and comforters.
“Why is everything so neat and clean?” I blurted out.
“This is the low security part of the dungeon. Since you aren’t a dangerous prisoner, you are allowed to reside here. Make yourself comfortable. There’s no telling how long you’ll be here,” Azalea replied.
“Does it have to be pink, though?”
“Yes, unless you want to go into maximum security where it’s all dark and moldy.”
“Good, I’ll just unlock cell 71b and allow you in.”
Cell 71b was tucked in a corner where there was only one other prisoner nearby. The other prisoner was a Halloween Moehog who also stood on his hind legs. Angela slid her fingers over the door and the door sprang open. Azalea then escorted me in, her scepter in her other hand. I took one final look behind us and then nodded helplessly.
“Here are your things, notebook and pens.”
“Can I speak to Fyora now?” I asked.
“That request is denied. She will speak to you if there is anything important. She is not to be disturbed.”
“But... how do I tell her I’m innocent?”
“You don’t, not until your trial. Any further questions?”
“What about food and...”
“Geo, I assure you that you are not going to starve.”
“How is slander an arrestable offense?”
“Look, you are now questioning Faerieland law. We had orders and we obeyed them. Take it up with Fyora when your trial comes.”
Azalea walked out of the cell and shut the cell door, sealing it with magic as well as inserting a key to secure the door shut.
“Make yourself comfortable,” they both said, ignoring my final attempts at any further inquiry.
“Don’t waste your breath. These faeries are ultra-sensitive to whatever is published in the Neopian Times. If anything offends them, they’ll go mad trying to get you in trouble for it. Consider yourself lucky that they haven’t done anything else to you,” said the Halloween Moehog gruffly.
“Who are you?” I asked abruptly.
“Forgive me for being rude and not formally introducing myself. I am Mordecai. I report for the Neopian Times just like you do.”
“You do? How come I haven’t seen...”
“That’s beside the point!” Mordecai snapped.
“I’m sorry! I didn’t...”
“Don’t worry about it. I just... just...”
“I’ve written so much and it seems to be all in vain.”
“How so? How can your writing be in vain? NT Writers do not write things in vain. They write for the sake of writing!”
“I understand that but it seems that every endeavor I have always gets rejected for ‘Too many good entries’.”
“Aww, all you have to do is be persistent.”
“No, you fail to comprehend. My stories, I have been told are great. However, there seems to be some element in those stories that is a problem and I haven’t any idea what. Perhaps it was what got me in here in the first place.”
“What are you in here for?”
“Slander, libel, my stories had some plot events that included harming a few faeries. They are notorious creatures sometimes, faeries.”
“Oh... that’s what I’m in here for and I never harmed a faerie in my stories. I simply wrote about them. What’s wrong with that?”
“Don’t you see? They don’t appreciate you writing about them. They are notorious ingrates!”
“I will not hear such blasphemy!”
“Suit yourself, I won’t try to push my opinions on you.”
I felt empty. I had always respected faeries and I still desired to stick with the status quo. I did not want to believe what Mordecai had said. I did not want to think of faeries as notorious ingrates. I did not want to despite the fact that the faeries had arrested me.
I turned to Mordecai’s cell again as if to try and persuade him to change his opinion on faeries but soon realized that he had slid into a peaceful slumber. I turned to look at my bed. The sheets were... pink. The comforters were... pink. The pillows were... pink. However, they were comfortable and by then that was all I cared about. I rolled back the comforters and collapsed into a deep sleep.
I awoke to a ringing bell and a knock on my cell door. Standing at the door was a familiar looking air faerie.
“Alysanne?” I asked nervously.
“Geo... I heard about your arrest. I have some important things to tell you but first we must sit down and have some breakfast. Sorry, I don’t have cereal but I did bring some of the Soup Faerie’s instant soup mix.”
“The soup faerie has instant soup mix?”
“Sure. She and I need a break every so often. Sorry, I didn’t tell you about that for your ‘Slippery Soup’ story. Have a seat.”
Azalea came and unlocked the door to let Alysanne in.
“Thank you Azalea, I assure you I won’t take too long.”
“Don’t mention it and please, remember you have one hour. Please adhere to visitation rules.”
Azalea sealed the door again and left.
“Where was I? Oh yes, soup mix, better get that ready.”
“How do we heat it up?”
“I’ll take care of that.”
Alysanne went over to the sink, filled two bowls with water and tapped them with her scepter. The bowls immediately began to boil. Alysanne then carefully emptied two instant soup mixes, one in each bowl and then tapped the bowls again, dropping them to edible temperature.
“Here, alphabet soup, instant style.”
“Thanks. So what news did you come to bring me?”
“I have an idea about who your accusers are, and it’s not Fyora, before you start jumping to conclusions.”
“Who?” I demanded. “Who would dare to hinder us Neopian Times writers?”
“You mustn’t get let this secret get out at all. Not until the trial. It’s important.”
Alysanne stood up and knelt down to whisper into my ear.
“Geo, think about your stories and tell me, which ones seem to portray certain faeries negatively?”
“None of them.”
“Do you want my help or not?”
“I... I do.”
“Think harder, Geo. Just think harder.”
“You’re not saying anybody was offended by ‘ILL-usen Day’, are you?”
“You hit the nail on the head.”
“Illusen and Jhudora are after me?!”
“Shh, not so loud, dear.”
“Who are you to start calling me ‘dear’?”
“Geo, we are all practically older and more mature than you are... dear.”
“Alright, alright, you win.”
“You’re not eating. The soup is getting cold.”
“You need anything else?”
“No, not really.”
“I’ll leave instant soup mix with you, but I’m not sure if they are necessary. Azalea didn’t deliver breakfast today because I took care of it but the food isn’t too bad down here. Oh and don’t worry if other faeries you wrote about show up here, they are here to help you, everyone except the two obvious ones. They might bring food too.”
“Alright, thank you.”
Alysanne patted me on the back a few times.
“You’ll be alright, Geo. You will be alright. Just remember that you’ve done nothing wrong. Fyora will have to understand that. She’ll be strict and may seem harsh with her speech during the trial. Don’t let that bother you, she’ll be fair and she’ll listen to you.”
Azalea suddenly reappeared.
“Alysanne... time is up.”
Azalea opened the cell door, allowed Alysanne out and then immediately closed the door.
I sighed and waved Alysanne goodbye. As soon as the faerie left, I heard sinister laughter.
“They’ve got you where they want you, powerless. You have to rely on their help. One of these days, the faeries will just let you fall.”
I turned to face Mordecai who seemed to be laughing uncontrollably.
“Never! They are always willing to help others. Take the Soup Faerie, for example. She helps by giving the needy soup.”
“The Soup Faerie gives them free food and creates a lazy bunch of Neopets unwilling to work for their food.”
I was shocked at how Mordecai could spin anything so pessimistically in his favor.
“You’re an ingrate! You refuse to acknowledge that most faeries are out there to do good in this world!”
“I’m an ingrate? How amusing? What have faeries done for me? They’ve locked me up and persuaded the NT editor to never allow any of my stories through.”
“How can you be sure faeries are behind that?”
“How can you be sure they aren’t? I mean it seems blatantly obvious that all my stories are in vain because I have harmed a few faeries. All they’ve done is censoring all I have worked for.”
“Has a faerie never visited you for a quest? Have you never released a bottled faerie?”
“I don’t care for the Battledome so they don’t help me at all.”
I stood there, speechless. I had no words to utter in order to mollify Mordecai’s opinion of faeries.
“Out of words, are we? Not a problem. All I’m advising is to take caution. These faeries will catch you off guard.”
At that I turned away and sat at the small table in the cell. I took out my pen and paper and began to write. What was I going to write? Was I going to create a petition for my release? Was I going to write a letter to Fyora and wonder if she’ll ever receive it? If she did receive it, would she care to open it? Eventually I ended up jotting down all the events of the day, trying to keep calm.
To be continued...