Caught in a Conspiracy: Part Two
So now here I sit, inside a dark wooden cage, just waiting for horrible things to happen. Jet and the other Shadow Walkers left already, to go attack Meridell. The only one who could possibly stop them was me, and I blew it. I completely messed up.
Why? Why would Jet do this? I spent the whole day in prison with him, and for a few moments I actually liked him, I actually thought of his as a friend. Now, I actually miss him. I couldn’t believe myself, I actually missed that egotistical sarcastic, in your face Jet. Jet is right, I am caught in a conspiracy. But how? How did I get myself in this mess?
“Red,” came a whisper. For a moment I thought I heard nothing, but then I heard, “Red!”
I turned my head and looked up, to see Jet poking his head out of a tiny window up above. Wow, I didn’t realize there was a window in here; after all, I am in a secret hiding place inside a tree. “Jet?” I asked. “Why are you here?”
Jet didn’t answer; he just opened the window and stealthily slipped his shadow body through the small window. “I’m here to break you out of here, on one condition,” he answered.
“Psh. Aren’t you the one who put me in here?” I retorted.
“Yes, but that was because the others were here. Now that they’re gone, I can set you free, if you promise me something.”
“You have to promise me that you’ll leave Meridell, and you stay far away from this place. I’m breaking you out because once Shade and the others return, they’ll hold you captive. You’re not safe here, or in Meridell. So, will you leave this place?”
I stood up, and locked my yellow eyes with his shining green ones. “Why do you care anyway?”
“I don’t!” But I knew Jet was lying. He knew he was lying. “I care a little,” he growled. “Enough to set you free.” He took a key and unlocked the wooden cage.
“Jet, I know you’re not telling me something. I know you’re not evil, like the rest of the Shadow Walkers. So what is going on? What is wrong? I want to know, and maybe even help you.”
“Jet! Where are you?” a voice screamed.
“Shade!” Jet exclaimed. He shoved me in the other room where the armory was hanging up. “Sorry, Shade! I forgot my sword!” Jet lied. While Jet’s attention was diverted, I quickly grabbed what I saw, which was a bow and arrow they had hanging up. There were five arrows, and a bow that was just my size.
“Well, hurry up, Jet! You should know this is no time to fool around!” Shade yelled. “This is the night we’ve been planning for!”
“It is, sir,” Jet called back, pretending to sound happy. “It certainly will be a glorious night.” He turned to me and whispered, “Wait until Shade and I walk away, then run away from here.”
“Okay,” I whispered back.
Jet walked out the door, and I watched him walk away with Shade. Jet had a huge sword that slung around his shoulder and Shade had no weapon oddly. As Jet said, I waited until I couldn’t see Jet and Shade anymore. Then, I burst out of the tree hideout, and broke out into a fast run through the dead looking woods.
Freedom! I finally had freedom! So why do I feel bad? Why do I feel like I’m doing something wrong? Without looking where I was going, or even paying attention to what I was doing, I once broke out in a fast paced run, when I bumped into someone... again! We crashed to the ground and I fell on top of a blue Kougra.
“Ouch,” she groaned.
“I’m so, so sorry! Are you okay?” I asked, helping her up. The blue Kougra looked to be fourteen or fifteen, was wearing a yellow boy on her head and smiled.
“I’m just fine,” she replied. “My name is Caitlin, but please, call me Cat for short.”
“Uh... hi. I’m Sky. Have you by any chance seen a shadow Kacheek and a Darigan Gelert pass by here?”
“Nope. I was on my way to Meridell’s festival.”
It then dawned on me I was in a forest in an area I wasn’t familiar with, a place I didn’t know how to get out of. “Could you please lead the way to Meridell and show me how to get out of here?”
“Well, sure!” Cat exclaimed, her voice squeaky and loud. She put her paw on my shoulder. “Come on, best friend!”
“Best friend? I just met you!”
“But I can tell that we’d be great friends already. So let’s go!” Cat pulled me forward, and we headed towards Meridell’s castle.
“Just imagine, Jet. Having ultimate power over all of the spell faerie abilities, and to see that stupid King Skarl’s face when we take over his castle,” Shade laughed. “It certainly will be glorious.”
“Yep,” I replied.
“You’re not showing much enthusiasm. Usually you’d be excited and ready to battle.”
“Sorry, Shade,” I replied. “My head is in the game, trust me.”
“It’d better be,” Shade slightly hissed.
I sighed, because I couldn’t stop thinking about that girl Sky. I really hope she escaped from here and listened to me, but I’m not sure she did. But I have to act like I don’t care and that my main concern is our mission. So with a fake grin I said, “Look, there’s Meridell up ahead. Let’s get this party started!”
Shade smiled as well. “Yeah, we’re going to make this night a night no one will forget.” He started to run, and I followed him. We crept through large crowds of unsuspecting Neopians; they were all too busy with the festival festivities. We reached the entrance of the castle, where a Bruce guard stood.
“Sorry, no one is allowed in the kingdom tonight,” the guard said firmly.
“Hear that, Jet?” Shade asked me. “We can’t go in.”
I grinned. “Well, I guess I’ll just fix that.” I took out my sword and flung it out at the unsuspecting guard, sending him down on his back. He’s lucky he was wearing armor, otherwise my powerful blade would’ve cut him in half. Before the guard had time to reach for his sword or get back up I took out a pouch of sand and threw it on him. The guard immediately froze, like he couldn’t move.
“Where did you get that sand?” Shade asked.
“Freezing sand, causes anyone I throw it on to be frozen still for at least a few hours. Stole this little pouch from a snow faerie.” I grinned.
“Impressive,” Shade replied. “Now let’s continue.” We slunk into the castle unnoticed, and continued to sneak towards King Skarl.
“By now the people in the festival should be under our control,” I told Shade.
“Yes,” he agreed. We were now at the door to King Skarl’s royal room. “Ready?” Shade asked me.
“Of course.” I smiled. I drew my sword, and Shade broke down the door, and we rushed in, ready to attack! There was King Skarl, sitting down on his throne with three guards on either side of him. My sword immediately clashed with a guard’s sword, and I began to battle with the six.
Dodging a swipe from one guard’s sword, I jumped up on the ceiling, kicking off it and propelling myself forward towards King Skarl. Landing beside the King, I took my sword and put it in front of his throat. “Leave here, or I think you’ll know my next move,” I warned.
The guards stood and looked at me for one moment, wondering if I was bluffing or if I was serious. To prove I wasn’t bluffing, I made my sword go closer to King Skarl’s neck, and the guards left the room. I grinned. “I bet you really aren’t laughing now, are you, King?”
King Skarl didn’t reply, he just growled. “Whatever you plan to do, please, don’t hurt my people.”
“Oh, I don’t guarantee that, but I can guarantee they’ll hurt you.” Shade laughed. “Now, you’re going to tell me something. Tell me where your potion is.”
“What potion?” King Skarl asked.
I laughed. “Did you hear that? He wants to know what potion.” I put more pressure on his neck with my sword. “You know which one,” I hissed.
“In that vault I have hidden behind my painting of Meri Acres Farm!” the King exclaimed. “The combination to the vault is 5-27-93!”
“Nice to see you cooperate,” Shade replied. He walked up to the huge painting on the wall and threw it down. Sure enough, there was the giant silver vault. Carefully and quickly Shade put in the combination and opened the vault- our eyes growing wide.
Holding up a circular, bright, and multicolored potion, Shade stared into it in awe. “Finally,” he whispered. “Finally I found the potion.”
“Drink it, Shade!” I exclaimed. “Do it!”
“No! Please! Don’t drink the potion; you don’t know how powerful it really is!” King Skarl cried.
“Shut up,” I hissed, once again tightening my grip on him.
“I will drink it.” Shade smiled. My heart pounded faster as I saw Shade lift the potion to his lips. But right before the potion’s liquid quenched him, an arrow shot out right in front of him, almost hitting him! “What the!” Shade exclaimed.
My eyes shifted and there I saw Sky standing there, with a bow in her hand and an arrow ready to shoot. “That’s enough,” she stated sternly, “Put down the potion, or I’ll shoot you... and I won’t miss.”
“Sky! I told you to leave here!” I exclaimed. What is she doing? I should’ve known she wouldn’t listen! There was a blue Kougra behind her; where did she come from?
Sky’s yellow eyes flitted to mine and I saw the seriousness in them. “I don’t take orders from you.” Oh yeah, NOW she starts acting like me. Sky then locked her eyes with Shade’s. “Put down the potion.”
Now Cat and I have reached Meridell and I wish I could stay for the festival. All around were jesters juggling fruit, and stands of Neopians selling funny looking hats, food and toys. There were also tons of performers, some who could swallow swords, some who could breathe fire and some who were amazingly flexible... and everyone here were oblivious to what was really going on. To conceal myself from the Shadow Walkers that were here and to hide my bow and arrows I wore a black cloak with the hood covering my face.
“So now that we’re in Meridell, do you still want me to accompany you?” Cat asked.
“No, I think we should go our separate ways now. I have to go into the castle to... take care of some business. Thank you, though, for showing me the way here out of the forest.” I smiled and headed towards the castle.
“You know, I work in the castle. I can get you in, past all the guards and get you where you need to be.”
I turned around and faced her. “Why would you do that?”
“We’re friends.” Cat smiled.
“You could be risking your job.”
“Trust me, it’s no problem. Would you like my assistance?”
“Okay. Thank you, Cat. I really do appreciate this.”
We reached the entrance of the castle, where I saw a Bruce who was a guard frozen on the ground. Looking at him for a moment, I saw his eyes filled with fear, and his face in panic. “He was battling,” I surmised.
“I know that guard! Who could’ve done such a thing?” Cat gasped.
I knew who did that; it was either Shade or Jet. Lying, I replied, “No clue, Cat. Let’s keep going.” Cat nodded and led me through the castle and finally we reached where King Skarl’s throne room was. “Cat?”
“Whatever happens inside this room, stay quiet and behind me. Understand?”
Before entering, I peeked my head through the door and gasped. There stood Jet with his sword at King Skarl’s neck. All it would take was a swipe of his sword to finish him off. Then I saw Shade, opening a secret vault and taking out the potion. This must be the potion Jet had spoken of, the potion that grants anyone who drinks it ultimate power of all of the faerie abilities. And there was Shade, holding it in his paws. I have to think fast! I can’t let him drink it! I have to stop this conspiracy!
So I did the unthinkable, and I drew my bow and shot off an arrow! I barely missed Shade, but my intention wasn’t to shoot him, it was to direct his attention towards me. “That’s enough,” I growled. “Put the potion down or I’ll shoot you... and I won’t miss.”
“Sky! I told you to leave here!” Jet exclaimed angrily.
“I don’t take orders from you,” I replied. Sorry, Jet, but I can’t let you and the Shadow Walkers continue this treachery. I glared straight into Shade’s eyes. “Put the potion down.”
“You think you can stop me, girl? You think by pointing that arrow at me, you can stop me?” Shade questioned. He wasn’t intimidated by me. But I can’t show him weakness, I have to be strong and show no fear... even if I am a little scared.
“I can stop you,” I responded. “I can stop you in my sleep.”
Shade half smirked. “Then I’ll make sure you stay asleep forever.” Shade then disappeared right before my eyes! What’s going on? Where did he go? Before I could even register in my mind my next move, Shade appeared up behind me and slashed me with his claws, sending me to the ground. He laughed ferociously.
“Watch out!” Cat screamed, dodging his swipe. She ran to the corner of the room, which was good because there it was safe.
Shoot! I forgot Jet said Shade could slip in and out of shadows, and I didn’t think he literally meant he could slip in and out. There’s no sunlight; it’s nighttime! This isn’t looking good for me. Shade once again disappeared, and I grabbed my arrow without my bow. “Show yourself!” I shouted.
Shade appeared right in front of me for one millisecond before disappearing again. I couldn’t see him, but I could hear his annoying laughter. “It’s hopeless, girl!” Shade continued to laugh. He showed up to the side of me and slashed me with his powerful claws again.
I now have two slash wounds on my back and on my side; if I take another one I’m finished! So this is how I go down, trying to protect Meridell. I could feel my breathing get harder, and I braced myself for Shade’s next slash. He appeared right in front of me, but before he extended his paw forward the unexpected happened-
Jet leaped out and delivered a side kick to Shade’s ribs, sending Shade down to the ground. “Jet!” I cried. He didn’t reply, he stood in front of me in protection with his sword drawn.
“Jet Black! How could you kick your own leader! I thought you were loyal to the Shadow Walkers!” Shade exclaimed.
“I was,” Jet replied, “But then I decided I don’t take orders from you.”
Shade snarled, and bared his pointy fangs. “I’m disappointed to see you chose that girl over your own kin. But your fate will be the same as hers.” From his armor, Shade took out a sword that was twice as long as Jet’s and twice as sharp.
Jet glared at me and said, “Don’t interfere.” That being said, he jumped out and began to battle Shade, their swords clashing every second! Jet is fighting... for me. He’s risking his life... for me. But I can’t just stand here and watch! I must help, even though Jet told me to stay out of it.
So with the last ounces of my strength, I stood up and got ready my bow and arrow. This is my last arrow, and I can’t miss. I have to shoot my target. Pulling back the bow’s string, I released the arrow, and watched it shoot out!
My arrow hit Shade right in the stomach, not killing him, but making him pause for a moment with a look of grimace on his face. Quickly Shade took out the potion, but Jet didn’t stop him! Jet watched Shade drink the potion, and jumped back to where I was. “Jet! Why did-,”
“Not now,” he interrupted. He picked me up and grabbed me (something I did not anticipate) and jumped towards King Skarl and Cat! Jet knocked down King Skarl’s throne chair and then made all four of us duck under it. Because the next sound we all heard was BOOM!. “Stay down!” Jet exclaimed, holding me down in his grip.
Finally after a few minutes he let go of me and I lifted my head to see... an Ona?!? Standing where Shade was, is a cute little Darigan Ona.
King Skarl laughed (which, as you can imagine is a rarity) and put a paw on Jet’s shoulder. “Well done, Jet,” he laughed, “Well done.”
What? Well done? “What is going on here?” I demanded.
Jet grinned and looked at me with his once again playful green eyes. “This was all a part of the plan, Red,” he answered.
“Plan? What plan?”
“I was a double agent for Meridell, working with them to help them capture Shade and the other Shadow Walkers,” Jet answered, a big grin still across his face. “I’ve been a good guy this whole time.”
So this whole time Jet was on the good side? This whole time he wasn’t really evil? “Why didn’t you tell me!” I cried.
Jet laughed and put a paw on my shoulder leaning on me. “Don’t get choked up, Red. If it weren’t for you, I would’ve never broken out of prison. I didn’t tell you because I didn’t think I could trust you with keeping a secret, and I had no idea you would show up at the castle.”
“Why were you even put in prison, though?”
“My guards weren’t in on the plot. It was only Jet and I,” King Skarl answered.
Kayla, and several of the guards entered the room. “Are you okay, my King?” one guard asked.
“Yes,” King Skarl answered, “Just fine.”
“So the potion Shade drank... it turned him into an Ona?” I asked.
“Yep. This is the real potion he wanted,” Kayla answered, holding it up. The potion was small, square and crimson red color.
“Take Shade away, and put him in prison with the other Shadow Walkers,” King Skarl ordered. The two guards nodded and grabbed Shade, taking him away for good.
“So you work for Meridell?” I asked Jet.
“Nope. I work for a secret club whose job is to fight bad Neopians like Shade, and take them down. We’re called the Rebels. Not a very original name, but it suits us. So what do you say, Red, do you want to join us? You’d be fighting and going under cover just like the rest of us.”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Now I’ve got an invitation to a club called the Rebels? And I’d be in there with Jet? But now I grinned. “I’ll join... but you didn’t ask me right.”
“What do you mean I didn’t ask you right?”
“I mean, you didn’t ask me properly. I think you know what I’m talking about.”
Jet half smirked, and cleared his throat. “Would you like to join the Rebels... Sky?”
I smiled. “Yes.”
“Good,” Jet said. “Now let’s go tend to those wounds.”
“What about me?” Cat asked. “What do I get?”
“Nothing,” Jet replied.
“Wait, Jet. That’s not all fair; Cat helped me out of the forest and led me through the castle. She should join the Rebels as well.”
“Pretty please?” Cat smiled.
“Fine! You can join our club,” Jet huffed. “Now let’s go, you two.”
“Hooray!” Cat cheered. “Thanks, best friend!”
“Best friend! I’m not your friend!” Jet growled. I smiled and put my arms around Jet and Cat’s shoulders, as the three of us walked out of the castle and into the cool night.