The Prophecy Faeries 3: Linisa's Return - Part Nine
PART NINE: THE VOICE
Bernadette waited in the chamber for several hours without any sign of her friends, or any other living being for that matter. She was beginning to wonder whether she should go looking for them when she heard hushed voices issuing from the nearby tunnel.
“Are you sure this is right?” someone asked.
“Shh! They might hear you!”
“This has to be it....”
Cautiously, Bernadette moved closer to the tunnel, preparing herself to cast a spell. After a moment, she caught sight of an Earth faerie attempting to peer into the room.
“Whoever you are, you’d better come out right now, before I hex you!” Bernadette called. Five faeries emerged from the tunnel, looking rather terrified. Bernadette knew she was outnumbered, but thought that as long as she acted authoritative, they might be too afraid to act.
“Who are you?” Bernadette demanded.
“I’d like to ask you the same question,” said the Earth faerie, looking afraid but masking it as well as she could. “How dare you betray your queen and your land to follow Linisa?”
“What in Neopia are you talking about?” asked Bernadette, looking from one terrified faerie to another. After a moment, she realized what was wrong. She, Bernadette, was a dark faerie. Not one of the others was a dark faerie. That was why they were so afraid of her, and why they assumed that she was working with Linisa.
“Who are you, anyway?” Bernadette repeated.
“We are representatives of Queen Fyora and of the nation of Faerieland, coming to stop the evil faerie Linisa from threatening our Queen and terrorizing our land—”
“Fyora sent you? Where is she?” Bernadette asked, suddenly excited.
“Fyora will be here shortly, with the rest of her army.”
“You mean she’s not with you?” Bernadette’s hope vanished as quickly as it had come. “Well, that’s just great,” she muttered sarcastically. “Just when we need her help, she sends a few worthless faeries instead.”
“Excuse me,” said a water faerie, looking offended, “but we are some of the most famous faeries in Faerieland. Each of us knows the Faerie Queen personally. Lyna here—” she nodded to the earth faerie, “—is personal assistant to the Queen herself.”
“Let’s see, where have I heard that before?” laughed Bernadette. “Oh, yeah, Linisa was Fyora’s personal assistant too, wasn’t she? I never liked her much either. Anyway, you’re about the sorriest, most terrified bunch of faeries I’ve ever had the displeasure of—”
“Actually, we’re some of the bravest faeries in Faerieland,” snapped the water faerie. “We all volunteered to come here alone, knowing that we faced danger and certain death, to defend Faerieland at Queen Fyora’s personal request, as she assembles her army and marches here. As I said, we are some of the most famous faeries in Faerieland, and—”
“Well, I’ve never heard of you,” said Bernadette. “And actually, my friends and I are the most famous faeries in Faerieland, aside from Queen Fyora, of course. Maybe you can guess who I am?”
“You’re Bernadette,” gasped Lyna suddenly. “You’re one of the Prophecy Faeries!”
“Good guess,” said Bernadette. She could tell, from the looks that the faeries exchanged, that they still didn’t trust her.
“So, what exactly is going on here?” asked Lyna, looking around the room and catching sight of the immobilized faerie on the floor.
“Nothing,” said Bernadette. “I think it’s time we get started, don’t you? I’ll need two volunteers to stay here and guard this room. If Linisa, or any of the faeries working with her, comes in here, you immobilize them like I did this one. Everybody else, come with me to find Linisa.”
The faeries exchanged questioning glances, but Bernadette didn’t wait for them to agree. She took off in the direction that Clarisse and Victoria had gone. After a moment’s hesitation, three of the faeries followed her. The water faerie and one other stayed behind.
Bernadette flew ahead at a frantic pace, worrying about her friends. She was certain that they should have come back by now, if everything had gone as planned. She only hoped that she wasn’t too late.
It soon became clear that getting everyone out of The Rose and to the mountain was a slow process. Such a vast number of people couldn’t travel quickly, especially since they needed to remain as silent and unseen as possible. In addition, many of them were injured or weakened as a result of their extended confinement. Finally, Hortensia was forced to make a decision. She selected Dr. Greymond, the head scientist, to be in charge of the group. He quickly designated several assistants to help organize the group and get them all moving.
Meanwhile, several of the guards who were relatively unhurt and able to fly would accompany Hortensia; they would fly ahead of the group and reach the mountain as quickly as possible. The Korbat scientist, whose name was Dr. Jonair, would accompany them as well, mainly because she and Dr. Greymond couldn’t stop bickering, and Hortensia was afraid they might kill each other if she left them unsupervised.
So Hortensia, Jonair, and three guards set out from The Rose and flew rapidly towards the mountain. Hortensia led them back towards the tunnel she had exited from, and they began the long journey towards the heart of the mountain.
Clarisse and Victoria followed Linisa and Tyrrin at a distance, trying to keep out of sight. They flew through a narrow, twisting tunnel that seemed to descend to the very base of the mountain. Finally, they reached a small chamber at the end.
The scientists had clearly been using this chamber to house some of their equipment and conduct tests away from the Sun’s influence. The chamber was lined with long tables, which were covered with row after row of scientific equipment, all of which bore the Virtupets label. Clarisse, who had never been to the Space Station, had never seen anything like it and couldn’t guess what its purpose might be, but Victoria was able to correctly identify some of it.
“I guess this where they did all their research on the Sun, trying to figure out what it was,” Victoria whispered.
“I wonder if they figured anything out before Linisa took over,” muttered Clarisse.
“Let’s hope they didn’t. Otherwise, Linisa will have that knowledge now. The less she knows about the Sun, the better.”
Three light faeries worked busily in the room, adjusting equipment or jotting notes on sheets of paper. When Linisa entered, with Tyrrin at her heels, they stopped working immediately and focused their attention on her.
Clarisse and Victoria hid themselves behind a nearby rock that jutted out from the wall, shielding them from view but also blocking their view of the room. For what seemed like hours, they huddled in the space and listened intently to the conversation.
Linisa quickly explained what Tyrrin had told her. “The Prophecy Faeries are the biggest threat posed to us. They work as Fyora’s spies, and will not hesitate to kill anyone who doesn’t support the Queen. You must be careful not to underestimate them, for whatever their appearances may be, they are powerful. They defeated three dark sorcerers in this very mountain only a few months ago. It will take all of us to defeat them.”
“What should we do?” asked one of the faeries anxiously.
“Summon all of your allies. The Faeries will be here at any moment. We must prepare to be invaded. We need guards in every chamber of this mountain and around its entire perimeter. Anyone who sees anything out of place should report it to me immediately. When they arrive, we must attack at once. Do not hesitate, regardless of anything they might say to you. Undoubtedly, they will try to convince you that Fyora is perfectly just and compassionate. They might even be delusional enough to believe it. Do not fall for their lies. Remember, we know the truth about the Queen.
“Also, expect them to travel together. If we find one, the others will be nearby; they rarely separate. Remember that they are more powerful together than alone. Try to cut them off from each other if you can.”
“Understood,” said one of the faeries quickly.
“You will need to relay all of this information to the others. Now, we must assign guards....”
As Linisa continued to delegate each faerie’s assignment, Victoria listened intently, trying to keep track of all the faeries’ names and where they would be located. After a moment, however, she sensed that Clarisse was no longer paying attention. Turning around to face her friend, she knew instantly that something was wrong. Clarisse’s eyes seemed hazy and unfocused. As Victoria watched, Clarisse’s eyelids fluttered rapidly, and she sank to the ground.
“Claire!” Victoria whispered frantically. If Clarisse was having a vision, it was unlike any that Victoria had ever witnessed.
Clarisse had been overcome by the vision so quickly she didn’t have time to understand what was happening. The sensation was unlike any she had experienced before. Her eyelids grew so heavy that she could no longer keep them open; darkness clouded her vision and her mind. For a moment, there was only silence. Then, out of the dark, a small spot of light appeared. It grew bigger as Clarisse watched, until it blinded her with its brightness. Out of the light there came a voice.
Do not presume to understand the prophecy, the voice whispered. It was soft and delicate, almost childish, yet it carried a sense of authority. I have foretold, but you do not yet understand. It is vital that you do. In your visions you see, yet you do not understand. You listen to thoughts, yet still you do not know the truth. You must, if you are to succeed.
“What don’t I understand?” Clarisse said. “Tell me!”
In response, the voice began to recite the words of the prophecy. As she heard them, Clarisse knew exactly who was speaking to her.
Before the Month of Sleeping comes to a close,
The scorned faeries will enclose
The guardians in the rose.
The Eyrie, firmly planted, lies,
And Faeries take to the skies,
Heading to an unwelcome surprise.
A trap, a castle, a trip, a confession
All precede the final transgression
As evil attempts another accession.
The messages, carved in stone, are read;
Aware at last, the Faeries are lead
To fulfill the Fate previously unsaid.
Events of the burning battle unfold,
The Sun consumes, and a fall uncontrolled
Leads to the inevitable death foretold.
Understand... the voice whispered, and it seemed to fade away, growing more distant each moment.
“Wait!” cried Clarisse. “Tell me more. What do I need to know?”
In the chamber that contains the Sun, there are two cracks in the rock, creating openings. One is large, and laid into the ceiling above the Sun. The second is small enough to be unseen, and lies in the far wall, just above the Sun. As the voice spoke, the light Clarisse saw seemed to be growing dimmer.
“Why does that matter?” whispered Clarisse.
When the time comes, you will know, but only if you remember what you have been told. You have the knowledge now. Good luck. The voice faded completely and vanished; the light winked out.
Just as quickly as it had come, the darkness passed. Clarisse opened her eyes and looked up at Victoria, who was hovering over her with a panicked expression. “Are you all right?” she asked frantically.
“Fine, I think,” muttered Clarisse.
“Who were talking to?” Victoria whispered. “I cast a silencing spell over us, so Linisa and Tyrrin and the other faeries wouldn’t hear us out here.... Who were you talking to?”
Clarisse sat up without speaking. She remained silent for another moment, considering everything she had just heard. “I think...” she said slowly, “that I was talking to Khorianna.”
To be continued...