Order of Peace: Baby Division Begins
This one's for you K :D
The peaceful night sky was filled with thousands of twinkling, merry stars, all singing out joyful songs of light. Kreludor was full that night, and Lorkine loved it that way the best. The young Faerie Xweetok was dressed in a brilliant white tunic stitched all around the edges with silver symbols that hummed with magical power. Her white breeches where ankle length, and had the same symbols of silence and protection.
She was about to engage in her mission.
Lorkine looked down at her outfit in distaste. The Order of Peace outfitters always made her wear men’s issue clothing, insisting that a dress wouldn’t be appropriate for the silent way that she would be required to move around that night, or for the next several days, or even weeks. Still, that didn’t mean that she had to like it, even if she was a master of fashion. What would Hannah say if she found her dressed like this? Her idol would be disappointed, that’s what.
Below the hill on which the agent crouched, Kiko Lake shimmered in the darkness, reflecting the light of the stars and moon. All of the residents were inside by that time, either in bed and sleeping or getting ready to do so. But there was something off about the whole town, Lorkine observed offhandedly--the shiny houses weren’t reflecting the light. In fact, they weren’t shiny at all. The young woman sniffed the air; ears perked up, and instantly came down coughing. Coal dust. The entire town was covered with coal dust, and it was her job to find out why.
Making a symbol of shadows on her forehead, Lorkine slipped down the hill and into the outskirts of the lake village, making sure to keep deadly silent. No one must know that she was here--no one at all. If she was found out before she blended in, the entire mission was compromised, and another agent would have to be sent. Plus, it would earn Rose, her twin sister, gloating rights, which was even worse.
The silent creature knelt behind a warehouse, ridiculously shaped in the form of a Kiko. Why would anyone take the pain and labor time to construct anything that way? High fashion clothes was one thing, but buildings were buildings, and you couldn’t change that ugly fact.
Lorkine looked around her, making sure no one was watching, and slipped in a back door. The inside of the warehouse was as dark as the outside night, but filled with row upon row of high stacked shelves of various items and trinkets. Food, toys, materials, and machinery were all stored in the warehouse, and not looking like any of it was getting ready to be used any time soon. The agent give one more look around, and curled up in a shelf between two large boxes, completely hidden. Making sure to change into commoner clothes, Lorkine shut her eyes, thinking about her idol Hannah, and promptly went to sleep.
The Faerie Xweetok awoke the next morning on her own, eyelids sliding open at exactly the time that she had set for herself. Lorkine checked to make sure everything was in place about her, and slipped back outside.
Kiko Lake in the daytime was much different from its night counterpart. Hordes of people bustled by, on their way to or from the market, all carrying baskets of differing size and shape filled with goodies and assorted foods for their kids or cupboards. A half mile away, Lorkine could see the glass bottomed boat setting off with its first load of tourists to see the underwater district of the small town. The jolly atmosphere, though, was masked by the layer of bleak, dull coal dust that blanketed everything like a plague of darkness. Passing people coughed out the stuff--way too much of it by the looks to be healthy for anything. Lorkine knotted her veil around her mouth and nose, just to be sure, and set off.
As soon as she did so, the agent noticed that as she approached the center of the town, the coal dust layers became thinner and thinner, until they were several shades lighter than that on the outskirts. Lorkine swallowed, itching to get to the source of the coal dust, but knew that a stranger walking back and forth through the village would set off warning signs to any casual observer. Walking over to the market, Lorkine bought a sticky bun and a bottle of Neocola, paying the vendor two hundred neopoints to do so, out of the Order of Peace’s money, of course. Lorkine went over to a table set up outside of a restaurant and sat down to eat and think.
The prices for the food had been ridiculously high--more so than she had ever seen. It might have been connected to the coal dust all over the village, which meant a mine, on the outskirts of town. But what was the mine for? Kiko Lake had never had any large deposits of any ore near it, let alone coal. Of course, no one had looked very hard, being only a few miles south of Neopia Central. A mine would get in the way of the growing mega city, and decrease the living conditions. Lorkine wondered if there was any coal dust near Neopia Central--that would give her a good clue as to just how big the mine was.
Lorkine got up, brushing the crumbs off of her village woman clothes, and walked over to an alley way that looked deserted. She rummaged around in her pocket until she pulled out a small mirror. Speaking a few words, her father appeared in it, looking concerned.
“Hello? Dad? It's Lorkine! Is Rose home?” Lorkine hissed when her father showed up in the mirror. He thought that she was off on a trip to study abroad for collage on Mystery Island, and could not know anything about the Order of Peace.
“Lorkine? Yeah, she’s home, but how are you doing? Having fun? Your sisters and brother misses you! And why does the wall behind you look like a Kik-”
“What? Oh, yeah, I’m having loads of fun, Dad. Can I talk to Rose?”
“Fine, I understand, you’re too old to talk to Dad anymore,” he said with a chuckle. “Here’s Rose.”
“Lorkine? What are you doing? Why are you calling me?”
“Because, Rose, things in Kiko Lake are worse than we thought-” Lorkine paused for a second, thinking. “Are you alone?”
“Yeah, Dad’s feeding Ajobi and Luktz. What is it?”
“It seems like there’s a huge mine just north of the village--there is coal dust everywhere! I need you to go to Neopia Central and see if the effects have stretched that far before I go in.”
“What? Lor, you know I would have to get the Order’s permission first, and I thought your mission was strictly to observe, and not to interfere!”
“It is, but look, Rose, I don’t know what’s going on here, and I don’t think it can wait. What if it’s something really bad? It takes the Order forever to do anything, and I’m already here! Just go to the Central and tell me what you see, without their orders. Pleeeeease?” The mirror was silent for a couple of seconds as her twin sister thought, her face messed up in concentration.
“Fine. But if the Order finds out I went without permission, I’m pinning it on you.”
“Thanks! You’re the best sister ever!” Lorkine squealed, delighted. “Report to me by tonight! Bye!”
Lorkine terminated the mirror spell and skipped away.
Rose closed the door to her house, chewing her lip. The young Faerie Xweetok was sneaking out in the middle of the day, the worst time to do anything like it. Her dad was out at the grocery store, and had left the babies here with her. That left Rose with a baby JubJub strapped onto her chest and back.
“I hope you two are happy I’m taking you along,” she muttered as her wings warmed up. Shaking her head, Rose jumped off the edge of Terror Mountain, the wind ruffling through her fur. Her baby sister and brother would be fine, being as their blue fur was thicker than hers, but she still was worried about flying with them. Ajobi the baby JubJub was strapped onto her chest, and was currently only protected from a two thousand foot drop by a thin piece of cloth and a flimsy charm. His sister, Luktz the baby JubJub, was on her back, weighing her down. Rose wasn’t too happy about that, either.
“Phhhh, bwahahaha!” Ajobi spit up his breakfast, the wind pushing it back under his chin to splatter against Rose’s new shoes. She bit the inside of her cheek, willing herself not to undo his carrier. It was just a little barf--she could clean it with a spell later. Right now, she was about an hour away from Neopia Central, and by the looks of things, she wouldn’t be home by nightfall. Thinking to herself, Rose thought that she might even have to come to Kiko Lake to help her sister after she took her look at the city.
“Come on, Rose!” Lorkine hissed to herself, pacing with the mirror. The sun was setting, and her sister still hadn’t called. A report for the Order was due tomorrow, and Lorkine wanted to check out the mine before then. But Rose was taking her time calling her with information, and she needed to go now. The agent of the Order took on last look at the mirror, and alighted into the twilight skies, zipping north, to the origin of the coal dust.
“Come on, Lor!” Rose yelled at her mirror, which was picked up by Kiko Lake’s answering spell. Lor had said that she would be waiting right by her makeup mirror all evening. Of course, she had probably gotten antsy and done something stupid.
Rose looked around the city, which was smeared with dust. She scrunched her eyebrows together, thinking. If her sister had done something stupid, she would probably need her help. Sighing, Rose checked to make sure Luktz and Ajobi were strapped in, and flew south.
“Mining 89% complete.” A Kreludor Mining Corp. Defending Robot beeped at a bigger, meaner looking robot. It then turned on its heels and clanked back down into the massive pit that was the coal mine. Lorkine looked around her and dashed closer to the entrance, hiding behind another rock.
Why was the Kreludor Mining Corp. in Kiko Lake? Didn’t they have something to do with Sloth? But why would Sloth need coal? Lorkine thought furiously. She had to get closer. Just as she was about to dash out, though, three Defender Robots rumbled out of the mind, and positioned themselves in front of the entrance.
“Mining 90% complete. Enhance security,” the middle one droned, red eyes flickering. Lorkine cursed under her breath. She would never get in now. Unless... Hannah always got past those things like it was no problem. So why not her?
Lorkine sucked in a deep breath, and cast a spell of no-see around herself. She blinked, and flexed her hands--completely invisible! The agent took a few steps forward, and stopped. Nothing happened. A few more steps--nothing. Carefully, Lorkine began walking straight towards the guards. It took all of her will power not to dash inside and make a circus full of noise--that would alert the guards for sure. No, she had to keep in mind that they couldn’t see her. Just as Lorkine began passing in-between them, she had a sudden thought--in the last Hannah adventure, didn’t the Defenders rely on more than just sight?
Suddenly, all three Defenders swung around and grabbed Lorkine, throwing her no-see spell into the pit they guarded.
“Trespassing. Life form, young age, magical abilities, Faerie Xweetok. Terminate immediately.”
Lorkine gasped, and struggled in the Defenders grip, but couldn’t break free. All three’s eyes began to glow cherry red, a sign that they were warming up their lasers. If only she could get her arm out, then she could--
A Defender exploded in a dazzling display of blue and green light, twisted chunks of metal flying everywhere. The other two did the same, dropping Lorkine to the ground. Blinking through the smoke and debris, Lorkine saw her sister, Rose, standing about ten feet away, hands aglow with magic. Also, her baby brother and sister were strapped onto her, both giggling like mad men.
“Rose!” Lorkine shouted, running to her sister.
“I told you not to do anything stupid, stupid!” Rose scolded her sister, embracing her in a huge hug. “Why didn’t you listen?”
“Do I ever?” Lorkine said with a grin.
“Trespassing. Life form, young age, magical abilities, Faerie Xweetoks. Two. Terminate immediately.”
Both sisters whipped around to find about two dozen Defenders lined up all around them, eyes aglow.
“Rose! About the mine!” Lorkine shouted as she jumped onto the head of the first Defender. The agent of the Order wrapped her legs around it and twisted, popping the hunk of metal right off. “It’s the Mining Corp.! It belongs to Sloth!”
“But what would he need it for?” Rose shouted back, as she blasted three Defenders with her magic, Ajobi and Luktz bursting into peals of laughter with each explosion.
“Think! It's coal, and coal fuels things!” Lorkine screamed, flipping over two Defenders, sending out tiny mines as she did so. The mines attached themselves to the robots, detonating with a massive fireball.
“What does he need to fuel?” Rose backed up against her sister, blasting away as she spoke. Lorkine threw more mines and electrical patches, which shut down Defenders even as they touched them.
“Something bad, I’m sure!” Lorkine and Rose grabbed hands and spun each other around, each taking out a Defender as they let go.
“I think that’s the last of them,” Rose said, wiping her forehead. “Now, what were we saying?”
As the sisters spoke, Ajobi and Luktz slipped out of their carrier, rolling away towards a Defender that was picking itself up. Giggling, Ajobi and his sister stopped right in front of it as it shot away a red laser from its eyes. The beam of light bounced off Ajobi’s and Luktz’s dummies, crashing into the robot. The hunk of metal flew away, and into the pit of coal, bouncing off the walls and destroying wooden scaffoldings as it fell. Finally, it hit the bottom, and ignited the coal, making the biggest explosion Rose or Lorkine had ever seen. Luktz and Ajobi sat there, unable to stop laughing, the dancing fire ball reflecting in their huge, black eyes.
“Whatever it was, he’s going to need to find a different fuel source now.” Lorkine whistled, watching the flames rise into the sky.
“We have sent out trackers to spy on Sloth already,” the Leader of the Order of Peace said from his chair at the center of the white marble hall. “But tell me, Mistress ViciousRose, how did you come about to the Kiko Lake mine? I thought that was Mistress Lorkine’s assignment.”
“I, uh...” Rose stammered, biting her lip.
“I called her there, your honor,” Lorkine said, loud and confident. “I saw the progress that the mine was making, and I knew the danger that Sloth posed to Neopia. I couldn’t wait for you to send backup, so I called her to come help me take out the mine ourselves. If she is to be punished, let me take all the blame and more.”
The Leader sat, silent for a second, contemplating Lorkine’s speech.
“Well,” the White Lupe said, leaning back in his chair. “Being as, in your report, neither of you destroyed the mine... I guess I can say that Rose was the backup I sent, eh? Now, for the rewards ceremony! I believe two little people deserve some honor!” The Leader clapped his hands, and Ajobi and Luktz were brought up by a servant, each sitting on a crystal white pillow. The two baby JubJubs looked enormously pleased with themselves, more so when the Leader drew out two crystal dummies.
“For your bravery in the face of danger, I present you, Mistress Luktz, with a crystal dummy, the sign of a baby member of the Order of Peace.” The Leader put the crystal dummy into her mouth, making the baby go cross-eyed looking at it. “And for you, Master Ajobi, for showing leadership and initiative, I present a crystal dummy, the sign of a baby member of the Order of Peace.” Just after he popped the dummy into Ajobi’s mouth, a servant came up and whispered something into his ear. “Wait a second; it seems like you two are the first baby members of our Order. Well then, you shall be the first of the Order of Peace: Baby Division.” The White Lupe said, looking pleased with himself. “Well, how do you like that?”
“Baby Division, Baby Division,” Ajobi repeated to himself as his older sister, Rose, carried him out of the room. “I like that very much.” He frowned, thinking of the next time he would go to daycare. Maybe he could even start a game about it. “Order of Peace: Baby Division.”
“Sounds like fun, don’t you think?” Luktz said, sucking on her crystal dummy.