The End: A Shoyru Tale - Part Four
Fyora landed on the windowsill and looked at each of us. Her show of power had promised safety for Faerieland, at least for the time being, by inspiring fear in our enemies. As a side effect, however, her natural glow had become slightly dull due to the expenditure of energy.
"Illusen, please, take me to my seat." The Earth Faerie helped her to sit at the table, and spoke with her to the side for a few minutes. Despite her being an Earth Faerie as opposed to a Water Faerie, Illusen was still a skilled healer. Jhudora glared at her with a malicious look. She obviously didn't think too highly of Illusen, and probably didn't want her anywhere near the Queen, and the feeling was likely mutual. The Battle Faerie stood still at the window and watched over the city. She hadn't said a word.
"Victoria?" I asked of the Shadow Faerie. "Is Fyora alright?"
"Yes," she assured me. "She's just a little tired. It has been a long day."
"And are you alright?"
"I've been better, but I've also been worse. How are you, Mac?"
"I'm worried," I admitted. "Will I also be fighting?"
"Well, Mac, I can't stop you; no one can. Ultimately, it is your choice. Just remember that this is developing into a war, and will be a real, dangerous battle. You could be seriously hurt, and we can't protect you the entire time."
"I understand that. Will you be fighting?"
"Of course. I may not look like it, but I'm a very powerful faerie. In fact, I remember one time when—"
Victoria was interrupted by a sudden flash of light. After the flash, the entire room was filled with light grey smoke.
"Are we under attack!?" the Snow Faerie yelled out. I stood behind Victoria; she was more battle-ready than I was, and anyone who would attack the Queen directly would probably be too much for me.
"A direct attack, so soon?" Illusen called out to the smoky haze. She seemed to think it was a dirty move. Then, a familiar voice came out from the smoke, saying:
"Queen Fyora, are you here?" As the smoke cleared, I saw none other than my older brother, Arthur, standing in the room.
"Arthur!" I called out to him.
"Tiny Mac!" He responded to my call and ran to me. "You're alive – not a mutant! You made it to the Queen? How?"
"I should ask you the same! Last I saw you, there was a massive mutant Grundo throwing you around!"
He told me a fantastic story about what had happened. Back in the fallout shelter, he had wrestled the mutant Grundo and knocked it out. He and our friends had to defend the shelter for twenty full hours against Sloth's troops, who had retreated, or grown tired of attacking, about two hours from this point. Once that happened, each of them – Arthur, Cherry, and Trek – began searching through books for a way to reach Fyora. My brother was the only one to try magic, and incidentally, the only one to actually reach Faerieland.
I explained to the faeries that Arthur was my brother, and to be trusted. At first, the Battle Faerie was uncomfortable with his presence, but like the others, she soon grew to accept him. I quickly filled him in on Fyora's plan to attack Sloth.
"That's a great idea," he said, "but how do we know we can overpower Dr. Sloth's armies?"
"Trust me," Fyora said. "We won't have a problem."
With that, we decided that we all needed some rest for the night. Tomorrow, we would attack.
When the sun rose, Arthur and I were treated to the best breakfast we had ever experienced. There was a good balance of both cold and warm food, but the thing that stood out to me more than anything else was the jelly. That was the best darn jelly I had ever eaten in my life. It was lime, I remember, and it went down as easy as water.
Once breakfast was done, Fyora came to the two of us. Arthur bowed, but she assured us that it was not necessary, and then took us to her armory. She knew that we wanted to fight, and was ready to outfit us with whatever weapons we wanted.
Each of us were equipped with a great array of weapons: one Ghostkerbomb each, a sword (he took a Sword of Ari, I took a Sword of Reif), a freeze ray, a vial of healing potion, and a shield – he took one with Hubrid Nox's face on it, and I took a Ghostkershield. When we were combat-ready, my brother pulled me aside for a word.
"Mac," he said, "this could get serious. You don't have to come with us. You've come far enough by now, and I don't want to see you get hurt."
"Don't worry, Arthur. I made it this far, didn't I?"
"Yes, but... listen, if we're going to fight Sloth, we'll be going alongside the Space Faerie. We'll be going into space. Are you ready for that?"
I hesitated to answer. Before a few days ago, I hadn't even been to Faerieland, much less outer space. I wondered what Kreludor was like, or what the inside of the space station looked like. Would I be in new, uncomfortable territory? Of course. Would it be worth the risk? I believed so.
"Yes," I told him, "I'm ready for this." Arthur looked almost upset. I knew that he was concerned, but I just had to fight against Sloth. He had thrown Neopia into chaos, and justice had to be served.
Victoria, Arthur and I went to the Space Faerie, who like the rest of us had been spending her time before battle in Fyora's castle. Victoria explained that we would be under her command; there were no objections, and the Space Faerie had even said that she assumed I would want to go there. Arthur and I were each assigned a rocket ship to fly. They were the same model that Sloth's troops flew, a single passenger ship painted red, with no insignia on either side which would show our alignment.
Victoria told me that she would be going with the Dark Faeries, but would try to join us as soon as possible. I wished her good luck, and then got into my rocket ship; she walked away. Outside, the Snow Faerie was working her magic. A thin sheet of clouds had covered the sky. Very shortly after this began, the sky had become dark, covered with a blanket of thick, black, heavy clouds. Despite the fact that it wasn't even noon, it looked to be midnight.
Then, from my parked vessel, I saw a wave of magical energy as a countless number of Dark Faeries flew off in all directions. It didn't look like much from the pod, but I understood that it meant we were to begin.
I turned on my rocket. It gave a pleasant buzz. The ship was very comfortable, despite the hard seat I was in. I looked over my shoulder; Arthur was already taking off. My ship followed. The computer screen gave me all of the instructions I needed to fly, as well as a detail of our strategic approach. It also told me information when I spoke to it, including vague details on the space station, which was our target. We were to invade and enter, disguised as the enemy, while the faeries fought outside.
As I flew out of Faerieland, I saw the fight on the ground below. The mutants were being completely overpowered. I was happy to see that as my ship began ascending. A light bump went through the vehicle as it began passing through the thick clouds. I could fly with my wings, but this was completely different, a whole new experience. I liked it.
Empty. Vast. Black. That was my first impression of the space beyond the clouds. It was like an infinite void that seemed to only get darker as I went on. From time to time, the sight of a distant star would obscure the infinite blackness, but for the most part it was just dark.
*Mac, over to your left.* It was Arthur's voice, and it came through the computer system in the ship. I looked to the left and saw his ship flying alongside the Space Faerie.
"Arthur, I see you. Others are behind us." This was true; a mass of various faeries, mostly dark, were following the three of us. This was our attacking fleet.
*Reminds me of chess, but we're the pieces, and we don't all have a specific function.*
"You were never very good at analogies, Arthur. Or chess, for that matter!"
*No more jokes. Seventy degrees to the left of you.*
"I can see that." The Virtupets Space Station floated in the air as if held in place by some great magical force, like the novas which lit the Faerie City at night. From it came a great number of ships identical to our own. Those ships formed a barrier between our fleet and the space station.
The Space Faerie flew between us and the fleet, both of which had come to a standstill.
*What's she doing, Mac?*
"I don't know, Arthur."
*The computer doesn't--* Static fuzz overpowered his speech. The Space Faerie had waved her hand, and many of the opposing ships flew off in random directions; she had cleared a hole in the barrier. Arthur, I, and the entire faerie fleet saw this opportunity and shot ourselves through.
There were great blasts of multicolored energy going all around the black void of space. Faeries going after ships, lasers meeting magical blasts; it was a real spectacle. Arthur and I were not pursued by either side's forces, but we did each shoot down a few enemy ships – Arthur seven, me nine. I was always better than him at games like Evil Fuzzles from Beyond the Stars, so I was naturally a better shot. That was one of the few things I could beat my brother in.
But our goal wasn't to shoot down ships, it was to enter the space station. We activated the energy shields on our ships and flew threw the chaos of the battle, towards the station.
At the bottom of the space station was a hangar which the ships had been flying out from. We flew in without a problem and landed on a designated landing area. In all of the commotion, we weren't noticed at all.
*Mac, are you ready?*
I answered by opening the ship's doors and stepping out. The space station was cold, uncomfortable, and I imagine usually dead silent, but this was overruled by a blasting alarm system. One thing that stood out to me was the presence of all types of mutant Neopets, instead of just Grundos.
To make our entrance, Arthur and I both threw our Ghostkerbombs. Smoke filled the air after the explosion, and in that smoke we made our way out of the hangar and into another room. The new room was quiet, soundproof, and nearly empty. The only thing in it was a small table and some chairs, which were stuck in place and more of stools than chairs, really. I sat down for a moment's rest and laid my arm on the table, which accidentally activated a 3-D map of the space station.
"That was convenient," Arthur remarked.
From there we began planning, uninterrupted for a few minutes. Our planning was cut short, however, as the image began to flicker. The lights did, as well. The image of the map was soon replaced by an image of Dr. Frank Sloth's face. It was a still image, but still surprised both of us when it appeared.
"This message is being broadcast to all available screens. It appears that we have some unwelcome visitors in sector 74-D. All available minions of Sloth, capture them! You will be rewarded! That is all. End transmission."
As Sloth's voice cut out, the doors to the room opened all around us.
To be continued...