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The Keeper of Maraqua: Genesis


by jedimaster891

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I know what you're thinking. "What? 'Keeper of Maraqua?' But Maraqua is nothing but ruins. How can there be a keeper?"

      But there is.

      Very few people know of her because she doesn't do much now. She can't. I won't tell you why she can't in this story, but I will in another. But even though the Keeper doesn't do much now, she has done great work in Maraqua and she has great plans for it.

      But enough of my blabbering, I should begin the story.

     *****

      The sea was dark and dreary today.

      Far above, the clouds were dark and lightening split the sky. The constant rumble was heard even below the surface of the water.

      Most of the sea's residents remained home, even though they were not forced to like the surface-dwellers.

      Even the streets of Maraqua were next to deserted. But a few still wandered the streets.

      One of these was a resident named Micella, Maraqua's only resident Water Faerie. Fingers were pointed at her everywhere she went and unkind words followed her constantly.

      "They threw her out of Faerieland because she was so ugly," and, "I heard she has no magic," were among the most common. In reality, Micella had left Faerieland by choice years ago and few Faeries dared call her unique beauty "ugly." As to her magic, she had far more than most Faeries did.

      So where did all of the rumors come from?

      When one stayed secluded from society, people began to talk. But the talk did not bother Micella at all.

      So as she home, she ignored the fingers pointed at her and kept on swimming. She turned down the small street that she lived on, down her walkway and opened her front door.

      She swam directly in to her study and set down her parcel on a table. It was a large, square box that was weighed down by rocks so that it didn't float away.

      Micella pulled off her cloak and laid it beside the box. She opened the box and began taking books from it. She examined each one closely before placing it on the shelf.

      When she was about halfway done, there came a knock at her door. No one ever dared to knock on Micella's door.

      Frowning, she swam to and opened the front door.

      A small Maraquan Krawk dressed finely was there.

      "Yes?" Micella asked, cocking an eyebrow.

      The Krawk bowed and handed her a piece of paper that was folded and sealed with the royal seal. "Greetings from the palace, Miss Micella. Queen Aangeela requests your presence at the Palace of Maraqua for dinner. There will be three courses and then dessert. Her Majesty wants you to know that you are in no trouble, she merely wishes to speak with you."

      Micella opened the paper and read it.

      It said: "Greetings, Micella the Water Faerie. Her Royal Majesty, Queen Aangeela requests your presence for a semi-formal dinner. This is not an order; merely a request and you will not be punished for denial. However, Her Majesty will give a gift to you if you are her guest.

      "Dinner begins at 17 o'clock, Neopian Standard Time and you are required to be at the gates to Palace of Maraqua 15 minutes before then."

      Micella turned and glanced at a clock. Two hours. She turned back around and nodded at the Krawk. "You may tell Her Majesty that I will be there."

     *****

      Micella combed and fixed her long aqua curls and polished her blue and green scales. She brushed on green eye shadow and accented her blue and green eyes well. And lastly, she put on gold bracelets and a necklace.

      She looked the best that she had in several years.

      She had never seen Queen Aangeela before, nor had she seen been in the Palace of Maraqua. Micella hadn't even seen the Palace up close.

      But an hour and forty-five minutes after the Krawk left her doorstep, Micella swam down the streets to the palace. The rain, thunder and lightening had stopped and the night was calm. Even more fingers were pointed at the Water Faerie as she swam down the streets to the palace, dressed finely and without her usual dark cloak.

      She reached the palace in no time. The palace reminded her of Queen Fyora's Faerie Palace in Faerieland, but with a great underwater touch. She swam to the gates and they opened to let her through.

     *****

      Moments later, she was sitting in the dining hall, waiting for Queen Aangeela to make her entrance. Micella was looking around, thinking of how much this place reminded her of a Faerieland palace . . .

      "So it is true," a voice said from behind Micella. "Micella the Water Faerie is in Maraqua."

      Micella rose from her chair and turned around. A figure stood in the entrance to the dining hall. She stood in the shadows so Micella could not see her well, but she could see that she was gowned in rich robes of sea silk, and so she assumed that it was the Queen.

      "Yes, Your Majesty," she said with a bow. "I am Micella the Water Faerie."

      And then the Queen stepped out into the light.

      Micella's heart stopped as she recognized her. "By all of the Faerie magic there ever was," she said in disbelief, "it can not be."

      The Queen smiled but there were tears in her eyes. "Oh, but it is."

      Both Water Faeries rushed forward and embraced each other strongly. There were tears in both of their eyes as they stood back.

      "Sister, I thought that I would never see you again," Queen Aangeela said, wiping at her tears. It made a strange scene because they were underwater. She reached out a hand and touched Micella's face. "Is it really you?"

      "Yes, sister, it is really me," she replied. "I thought I would never see you again either, Geela."

      The Queen dropped her hand back down to her side. "It is no longer 'Geela.' I am now Aangeela."

      "Yes, of course, Aangeela," Micella replied with a smile. "Where have you been the past ten years?"

      Aangeela did not reply, she gestured for Micella to sit and sat herself. Micella did. "I will tell you where I have been, but first, you must tell me what you have been doing the past ten years. You have come a long way from the 6 year old that I knew."

      Micella smiled at the sister she had not seen in a decade as servants laid the first course in front of Aangeela and herself. "OK, I will tell my story first. When you left the Water Faerie clouds-why did you, by the way?-without saying good-bye to me, I was devastated. So I spent the last 4 years of my apprenticeship wondering about you and where you had gone. I used to lie in bed at night and wonder where in Neopia you might be. And as soon as I was 10 and free to live by myself, I left Faerieland as well. In search of you.

      "But Neopia's seas are large and after five years of searching and no results, I gave up. I searched the seas like my life depended on it, and then realized it didn't. I tried returning to the Water Faerie clouds, but I could not. Everything reminded me of you and the other Water Faeries were impossible. So I settled in the sea. And," she gestured, "in Maraqua." By the time Micella was finished, they were done with one and a half of the three courses. "So, Queen Aangeela, what is your story?" Micella asked through a mouthful of food. "You have come a long way from the 14 year old who left me."

      Aangeela placed both of her hands palm down on the table. "Oh, come on, Micella. You can't hold a grudge after a decade. Especially since you haven't heard my story yet."

      "I hold no grudge, sister; I merely require your reason for abandoning me."

      Aangeela rolled her eyes but started her story anyway. "Well, years ago, when I was still in my early apprenticeship, I had a fierce rivalry with two Dark Faeries that they called the Night Twins. Those two were pure trouble and we were always having fights.

      "I didn't see much of them after I finished my apprenticeship. But when I was 14, they came back. They tricked me into stealing something. I can't mention what to you though. What I stole was very important and the person that I stole it from was planning to use it for evil purposes. When I found out, I couldn't let her have it back. It would mean countless deaths and I couldn't let that happen." Aangeela's voice had gone lower as she spoke of the item that she had stolen.

      "So I left Faerieland. I had to go without telling you goodbye She would have come after you then."

      Micella nodded. She understood.

      "I was chased by her for five years," Aangeela continued. "I ran all over the sea and had to keep moving so that she couldn't get me. After that, I settled here in Maraqua and changed my name. Then, two years after I settled and three years ago, when I thought it was safe, I resumed normal life. With my assumed name, of course. I got involved in politics and next thing I knew," she shrugged, "I was Queen. I could not contact you for fear of alerting her to my presence. For that, sister, I am sorry."

      "You don't have to be sorry," Micella replied, pushing her third empty plate away. "You did what you had to."

      Aangeela smiled and nodded. "So, where are you living now?" she asked.

      "On Coral Circuit."

      Aangeela frowned. "Coral Circuit? That's a poor part of town, Micella. You must come live with me in the palace!"

      Micella's eyebrows rose. "Here?" She looked around. "Sure! How could I turn down living with my sister in a palace?"

      With a smile on her face, Aangeela called a servant. "This is my sister," she gestured to Micella, "Princess Melleia. She will be moving into the palace. Find a suitable suite and get her things."

      The servant nodded and swam off.

      After he was out of earshot, Micella turned to Aangeela. "Princess?!" she exclaimed. "Melleia?!"

      "Yes!" Aangeela said. "You didn't think that you could get away with being the sister of the Queen and not be called 'Princess?' And of course you'll have to live under an assumed name."

      Micella cocked her eyebrows but didn't argue. "So," she said, "when's dessert?"

     *****

      So Aangeela and Micella-or should I say Melleia?-lived peacefully as Queen and Princess of Maraqua for two years.

      Then the peace was abruptly broken.

      "Princess Melleia! Princess Melleia!" Someone grabbed and shook her shoulder. "Your Highness, wake up! Your Highness, WAKE UP!"

      Melleia rolled over onto her back and groaned. "What?! It is the middle of the night and I'd like to sleep!"

      "It's Her Majesty," the servant said, sitting on the side of the Princess's bed.

      The Princess sat up against the headboard and groggily rubbed her eyes. "What is wrong with Aangeela? She can't sleep or something?"

      "No, Your Highness," the servant replied. "Her Majesty's been shot."

      Melleia was out of her bed and past the servant in a heart beat and she swam as fast as she could down the corridor. She used her powerful tail to thrust herself down the corridors and steer.

      She reached the Queen's suite in no time. Melleia pushed the servants that were swarming Aangeela's room out of the way. Only one person was in Aangeela's suite and she left when Melleia entered.

      If they had been on the surface, Aangeela would be laying on the floor, but because they were underwater, she floated parallel to the floor at about waist height.

      Melleia swam to her sister's side and held her hand in her own.

      Aangeela's eyes were closed and she was noisily straining to draw in water. Her long blonde hair billowed around her and swayed in the current. After a few seconds, she opened her eyes and looked at Melleia. Her eyes were hazy.

      "Sister," Aangeela whispered.

      "Yes?" Melleia asked softly.

      "I am . . . dying."

      "No, no, Aangeela. No, you are not dying," Melleia insisted. "You can't die. You can't die."

      "Do not . . . deny the truth," Aangeela whispered every word an effort. "I am . . . dying and we . . . cannot stop it."

      Melleia's eyes began to tear. "No, no, no . . ."

      "Listen," Aangeela demanded. "You must . . . take this." She weakly reached a hand up to her neck and removed a necklace. She dropped it into Melleia's hand. "This is what . . . she is after. You . . . cannot let her . . . have it."

      Melleia examined the object that her sister had just given to her. At the end of a glimmering gold chain was a round ball with swirling blues and greens inside of it. "Aangeela, what is it?"

      Aangeela closed her eyes. "The Heart of Maraqua . . . It keeps . . . Maraqua alive . . . You cannot . . . let her have . . . it." Her breathing became even more laborious.

      Melleia clutched the Heart of Maraqua tightly in her hand. "I won't. I will rule Maraqua as the second greatest queen ever, next to you. She, whoever she is, will not get the Heart and Maraqua will not die."

      "No," Aangeela said firmly, eyes still closed. "You cannot . . . stay in . . . Maraqua . . . she will come . . . for you. You must . . . run. Leave Maraqua . . . and don't return."

      Queen Aangeela drew in one more breath. Her chest rose one last time and then was still.

      Melleia looked at the object in her hand, realizing how big of a responsibility had just been dropped into her lap and how complicated her life had just become. She took the Heart of Maraqua and put it around her neck as tears began to stream from her eyes.

      And the salt of her tears joined the salt of the ocean.

The End

 
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