An Interview with The Space Faerie
Some people say that Neopia came into existence with a single ray of light. That Dr. Sloth himself had been the first to witness the wonder of Neopian life and became obsessed with ruling it as a result. Still others say that this world was brought to life by the original elemental faeries combining their powers. Finally, others do not believe there was a specific moment at all. They believe that Neopia simply has, is, and will always exist. But who is right?
This question has plagued my life ever since I was a tyke. Name's Nic, the best personal investigator this side of The Haunted Woods. Only this white Kougra doesn't handle matters where I would have to pry into someone else's life. No, I spend my life roaming Neopia, searching for answers to bigger and grander questions. Questions that demand why and how, rather than what and who. One day I woke up and decided that I would finally find the answer to this particular question. So I grabbed my explorer hat and tattered safari jacket and headed straight for the Virtupets Station. Fyora would be too busy rebuilding Faerieland to see me. Besides, my initial leads required the help of another Faerie entirely. So some say it was Sloth who saw it first huh? Well, then why not interview the one Neopian who knew Sloth the best?
The last minute shuttle I caught was jam packed full of Grundos and the random tourists who were no doubt going to try the lever of doom or whatever it was tourists went to Virtupets for. I shoved my way through the slow, bustling crowd onto the unloading deck. The smell of metal, exhaust fumes and whatever Grundo was cooking up for the day hit me and I grimaced. I try to avoid Virtupets when I can, but I needed to get to the Battledome. So, I walked on, breathing as infrequently as possible. I finally made it to the recreation deck and walked straight to the information booth right next to the Battledome's gate. The guy behind the counter was an electric Grundo who looked even more bored than a grey faerie. As I approached I noticed his nametag read "Gimlik".
"Hey Gimlik, any information on when the Space Faerie is going to show up today?"
"Space Faerie's not fightin' today. Haven't you noticed how empty the place is?" He eyed me. "Why? You a fan or somethin'?"
I never follow the Battledome fights. "Not really, though I do need to find her. It's important."
"Oh? Why's that?"
Normally, I ignore nosy pets who want to know too much. However, Gimlik here was trying to find an answer to one of my favorite questions: why? So I decided to humor him.
"I need an interview. Got some questions here about Neopia's origins," I said, pulling out my small notepad and tapping it a couple times on his counter.
"Well, she's not comin' in today. Even if she did, you'd be lucky enough for her to just look at you, let alone answer questions."
"Yeah, great. Thanks anyways," I grunted and turned to leave. I was walking away when he called out behind me.
"Yeah?" I turned my neck to look back.
"I've got a couple new weapons she needs to test out before her next fight. If you want, you could deliver them to her. I hate flying anyways."
My eyes bulged at the sheer luck I had just encountered. Instantly I was back at the counter.
"The Space Faerie's place? As in her actual house?! How?"
"Simple. I give you the weapons. Since this is under official Battledome work you can take the transportation ship and deliver 'em. She's already programmed in to our database so the ship'll fly itself." He looked like he was talking to a nimrod, aka me. At this moment I didn't care. This was too good to be true. He led me towards the battledome's loading deck and there it was the tiny, beat up piece of tin that would take me to see The Space Faerie.
"Weapons are already inside. Just don't forget to bring the ship back." Gimlik handed me the key and left. I swear, Grundos will trust just about anybody, which was good for me. I hopped in without another thought and fired up the engine.
The flight was bumpy to say the least. First off, I have never flown a spaceship before in my life... even if it was on autopilot. Second, there were asteroids and meteors flying at me from every direction. This tiny beat up piece of tin must have been the most durable ship on the planet. I mean, it's a wonder it could survive this kind of damage and still make deliveries. Every time an asteroid soared past, the entire ship would rattle and I would flash back to the two weeks I spent in the jungles of Mystery Island. I had hired a Tiki Tour to take me into Geraptiku (back before it had even been discovered I will proudly admit), but it was a miracle I made it there alive. The poor young island Techo that I paid to be my guide kept getting lost and I kept getting smacked in the face with tree branches when he made a sharp turn. In the end, I made it to Geraptiku only to meet a dead end. Truth be told, I felt a whole lot safer while running for my life from poisoned darts than I felt at the idea of going back with the Techo.
A red light started flashing and I was pulled away from my memories. The main screen was blinking rapidly and showed a large object that was drawing closer and closer with each second. Panic gripped me and I turned my gaze to the window thinking that I was about to crash for sure. I couldn't believe my eyes. It looked like a giant floating space cloud. It glimmered in foggy reds, blues, and golds, with sparkling stars embedded in the mist. I squinted, not sure how I could avoid flying through it when it began to transform before my very eyes. The stars aligned themselves into a landing dock, and a section of red mist opened into a ship hanger. Was this where she lived? Had I arrived?
With great caution, I eased the ship on to the strip of stars, completely unsure of whether or not the craft would hold. I winced as I landed it but to my amazement... the stars held! With wonder I watched as the red fog closed around me, sealing me and the ship in. As if on cue, the hatch to the spaceship opened and I stepped out. I was in the entry way of her house. The floor was an inky blue and the outer walls were glass, allowing for an amazing view of Neopia, with giant golden pillars for support. I looked up and was met with the same lunar chart as the one in Shenkuu. I was in awe.
"Can I help you?" I was so startled by the voice that I almost toppled over. Regaining my balance I looked up and realized I was five feet away from the Space Faerie herself. She hovered in midair, arms crossed and looking at me in a way that made me suddenly feel very, very small.
"Um... um... my n-name's Nic a-and I h-have some w-weapons for you." Smooth.
"I know who you are, Nic. What I want to know is why you're in my house and not Gimlik." Her eyes narrowed.
She knew my name? She knew my name!
"W-well, see the thing is... I was... well, what I mean is... I was hoping for... an interview." My words had been spluttered and my voice faint but she was still able to understand me.
"An interview? On what? How to obtain quests more easily? Or perhaps the life of a champion in the battledome? Go find the Snowager or The Drenched. I don't give out those kinds of secrets." She began to turn and in my haste I cried out.
"Wait! No, please! It's not like that!" I stumbled forward but stopped dead in my tracks at the look in her eyes.
"No? Then what?" She raised an eyebrow.
"I want to know how did Neopia come about? Was it really Sloth?! Was there an epic battle long before any other Neopians were around?! Who gave Boochi that ray gun and why does the Paint Devil steal things that aren't paint?!" Don't ask where the last two came from, dark day in my life.
She evaluated my words for what felt like an eternity. Finally, she spoke.
"Your questions are unique. I shall give you one afternoon but that is it. I do not like intrusion but I also do not like to turn young Neopians away without good reason." The Space Faerie offered me a small smile and it felt like the sun had begun to shine in that very room.
"Really?! You'll talk to me?!" I was so happy I could almost cry.
She chuckled softly and nodded. Her feet touched the floor and with a gesture of her hand, she motioned me to follow her. It was amazing; every step she took created a trail of tiny stars behind her. I was so fascinated that I didn't realize we had entered her living room until I saw the plush white carpet. The two outer walls were once again made of glass, but the wall that divided the entryway and the back wall were both white. There was an archway in the back wall that led to the rest of her house. Against this wall, there was a Fyora bookcase completely filled with ancient looking books and a stylish scroll rack right beside it. In the center of the room there was a chair of darkness, a light faerie sofa, and a nova coffee table in between.
"I don't usually have many visitors. Feel free to take a seat on the sofa." She proceeded to sit on the chair of darkness.
"Would you like something to drink?" Her question surprised me.
"Uh sure. That'd be great, thanks."
"Nissa, two drinks please!" A minute later, a carmariller came floating into the room holding a small try with two mugs on it. With great care, it placed the tray on the nova table and rushed over to the Space Faerie to be congratulated. The Space Faerie smiled, stroked its head.
"Thank you, Nissa." The carmariller gave a happy squeak in reply before flying off to another part of the house. The Space Faerie raised her mug to me, and I did the same to her. We both took a drink and it was the best borovan I had ever tasted.
"So, you want to know about Neopia's origins? Is that correct?" she asked, crossing one knee over the other and reclining in her chair.
"Yes! I want to know how Neopia came to be. How it all started." I eagerly pulled out my notepad and a pen.
"Well, I'm afraid I cannot help you there. See, no one knows Neopia's origins for sure and as far as Boochi and the Paint Devil go... well some things aren't worth finding out."
I tried to keep from showing how disappointed I was.
"But, but Sloth claims he was the first one to see life happen here." I hoped that if I kept pushing then I'd get some kind of answer from her. However, at the mention of Dr. Sloth, her entire demeanor changed. She uncrossed her knees and rested her hands upon them. The Space Faerie looked past me, out into the blackness of space. When she spoke, her voice sounded hallow.
"I encountered Frank Sloth back when Neopia was still very young. He was plotting how to take over the young untamed planet... raving that he had caused its creation in the first place. However, I knew he was an evil man and it was the light of the faeries that drove him into the darkness of space. He's come back several times over the years, trying to reclaim the land he had once possessed. We kept driving him off but it was very clear to us that Neopia needed to be defended. They selected me to be the defender in space, and the Battle Faerie to be the protector on the ground."
"Yes, but why you two?" Hey, I may not be getting the answer to Neopia's beginnings, but there was no way I was going to pass up this golden opportunity.
"Because, we were two of the rare mixed faeries."
"The mixed faeries, special faeries that are a combination of two elements. I am part fire faerie and part air faerie, what other kind of faerie could harness the power of burning stars and still be able to create oxygen out here? The Battle Faerie is part Earth and part Darkness. The Earth gives her a natural advantage to land war and the Darkness grants her stealth, cunning, and the ability to see in the dark."
I was stunned. I had always thought it strange that there were specialty faeries out there, but I had never guessed there was a reason behind it!
"So what about the other faeries? What about the Soup Faerie, Negg Faerie and the Snow Faerie?!" I think she was amused by my excitement, for she chuckled a little before continuing.
"Well, the Soup Faerie I haven't seen in years but I know that she is part light faerie and part earth faerie. The Negg Faerie is a basic earth faerie with a surprisingly high tolerance for the cold, and Taelia, the Snow Faerie, is a very unusual water faerie."
"I'm sorry, but don't water faeries... you know, live in water? Don't they also have tails instead of wings?"
"Have you ever seen what's under her coat?"
I swallowed and shook my head no.
"Then don't assume she doesn't have one. As for the wings, like I said, she is an unusual water faerie. She loves frozen water and is more comfortable in the snow than out at sea. If I remember correctly, it was her who suggested that Fyora become the Queen Faerie."
"Fyora was elected into the position?!"
"Oh yes, and as far as I'm concerned, she was the perfect candidate."
"Because, she is part light faerie and part darkness."
"The Faerie Queen is part darkness?!" I couldn't hold myself back any longer. This piece of information is the most astoundingly shocking news I've ever heard.
"Well, back then they were not called darkness and light faeries. They were known by different titles. Darkness faeries were called night faeries, entrusted to watch over Neopia during the night. Likewise, light faeries were known as day faeries, and watched over Neopia during the day. Fyora, being the perfect combination of the two, was able to govern over Neopia constantly." This was too much. Even for me, and I'm the guy who once discovered the secret headquarters of the Meepit Invasion Association or M.I.A. as I soon learned to call it.
"So... what happened? Why did the names change?"
She sighed and looked back out the window. Heaviness suddenly fell over the room and I took another drink of Borovan just to give myself something to do. It seemed like forever before she spoke again.
"There was an argument; a terrible disagreement between the day and the night faeries. See, up until this point, pets had roamed freely all over Neopia. They were wanderers, they were nomads, they were independent. Then, little by little, the pets began to settle. They began to form family units and would live together in one house, in one land of Neopia. That's when the fighting started amongst the faeries."
"But I don't understand. Why would something as small as domestic families cause such a big problem?"
"We weren't sure either... at first. We quickly learned that the night faeries hated the idea of the family households. They claimed that domesticating pets and having them live in one particular land was just a couple steps away from the complete submissive control Sloth wanted. They said that this would ultimately lead to pets being ruled and controlled... and that the only way to combat it was to abolish the family units. They wanted pets to go back to being free and untamed. Day faeries, however, objected. They claimed that these families would cause stronger unity and bonds amongst the pets, and that would be what prevented Sloth from ever truly taking over. The other elemental faeries agreed with the day faeries, believing that if this was the lifestyle pets wanted then they should be welcome to live it. The night faeries rebelled at that thought and vowed never to give up. It was a sad day."
"What happened then?" I could feel my voice growing soft.
"Fyora was placed in a very hard position, for the two elements that she represented were split down the middle. She had to make a choice for which side she was on, and in the end... she chose the day faeries. As a gesture to show her support, Fyora renamed the two feuding sides. Night faeries became darkness faeries, and day faeries became light faeries. The darkness faeries were enraged and vowed to not cease until Neopia was back to its original state of freedom. For a long time, they made life very difficult for all of us who were trying to adjust to these new changes. Shops were being developed, the lands were becoming thriving communities, and we had to stay involved. At every chance they got, darkness faeries attempted to disrupt these changes. Finally, Fyora had enough. She created a council of faeries, selecting a representative from each of the elements and naming them the Uber Faeries. As a gesture of peace, Fyora appointed a Uber Darkness Faerie to her council. She hoped that this council would be responsible for overseeing each of their fellow faeries and tending to the issues that arise on a day to day basis. With the Uber Darkness Faerie welcomed to the council, things began to quiet down. The darkness faeries stopped causing so much trouble, and the other faeries began to soften towards the once hated darkness faeries. However there are still some, like Jhudora, who harbor strong enough convictions that they will never rest until pets are 'freed' from the enslaved mindset of communities and families."
"Wow, and all this time I thought darkness faeries were evil." I whistled.
"Don't become misguided. While the darkness faeries believe their cause to be noble, the things they have done were not. There were acts and deeds committed in the past that have permanently earned them the title of darkness. What may have started out as a noble cause, driven by the fear of a Sloth-like rule, has turned into a nasty hate of the society that Neopia lives in." She sighed and shook her head. She took another sip of her drink and continued on.
"Some days I wish life could go back to how it used to be. I've been alive longer than you can imagine. I've seen this world change, grow, and develop into what it is today. I have stood guard and defender over it. I love this planet and the pets in it more than you can imagine. Yet still, there is a part of me that sometimes wishes for a simpler life." She started to look nostalgic, almost remorseful.
"So what keeps you from joining the cause of the darkness faeries?" I felt the question was pushing it a little, but I couldn't help myself. I needed to ask.
She looked back at me and smiled.
"Simple, if it wasn't for all the changes over the years I would have never tasted borovan. That alone is worth never going back."
I laughed out heartily and raised my mug in agreement. We cheered and drank the last of our borovan.
"Well, I do not mean to be rude, but I have given you my afternoon and there are some weapons I need to test."
I nodded and rose from my chair. I knew the conversation was over and that it was time for me to take my leave. She rose as well and walked me back over to the ship. It had already been unloaded; no doubt by her petpet, and now was waiting for me to take it away. I turned back to look at her.
"Thank you again, so much! I mean it. This is the most important conversation I've ever had." She smiled and nodded her head.
"I hope you were satisfied with my answers to your questions. However, the history I just gave you is not to be repeated." My heart sank.
"Because that history is one that very few Neopians know and it is something that they are not intended to know. If this history got out, then the darkness faeries would have a field day causing mass confusion and misunderstanding amongst the pets. No, it is too shocking for most to handle. So it is for your ears alone."
"But if it's such valuable information, why share it with me in the first place?"
"Because... you were curious enough to find it. Goodbye, Nic, it was a nice afternoon."
I flew away that day, completely reveling in all the knowledge that the Space Faerie herself had shared with me. It was a story that is too great for words, and yet... it's all right here in my notepad, the story that will never be told.