Retribution: Part Two
Part Two: Plan
A younger Cam stared out into the streets of Darigan Citadel, trying not to feel nervous as he stood by his Eyrie caretaker. "Um, so, what are we doing, Wraith?"
The Eyrie's red eyes slid briefly to him. "We're watching, and waiting."
Wraith sighed. "We're waiting for someone to drop something." His eyes suddenly lit up as something tumbled from the pocket of a neopet passing by. Faster than Cam believed possible for someone so large, the Eyrie had dashed out, grabbed the fallen item, and dashed back to the alley. He grabbed Cam's arm, pulling him a little further into the shadows before showing the Bori the item. "Breakfast," he commented.
The small Bori's nose scrunched up at the small but of moldy bread. "Ew! I don't want to eat that! Why would someone carry moldy bread?"
The Eyrie sighed. "You haven't been on the streets long, have you?" When Cam shook his head, Wraith continued, "You can't pick and choose what we get; we just have to take whatever we find." He broke the bread into two pieces, giving one to Cam. "We're scavengers; we take what's left behind by other neopets, faeries, humans, and even petpets." He sighed, looking out into the streets with shadowed eyes; eyes that concealed the fire that burned beneath skin, fur, and feathers. "That's our lot in life."
Cam blinked open blurry amber eyes to morning sunlight. He groaned, lifting a hand to rub the sleep away. "Sometimes," he muttered, "I wish there was more light here." Even in full day it seemed like twilight.
"Well, you can quit complaining," his boss told him gruffly, startling him. "We're about to go someplace where there's lots of sun."
"Right. Meridell." Cam sighed, slowly standing. "Do you have a plan, Boss?"
Wraith sighed. "Well, maybe." Then he laughed. "Not really. I've been up all night thinking about it, and I still can't come up with a good plan."
"So we're winging it?"
Wraith bobbed his head. "It's looking that way."
Cam's bored amber eyes shifted out into the streets briefly, then back to his boss. "Do you think we could adapt one of Kass's plans? They seemed to work well."
The Eyrie stiffened, anger vibrating off him. "I won't use a plan concocted by that monster, Cam. Besides, they'd never work in our situation."
Cam snorted. "I realize you don't like him," he said slowly, "but you at least have to admit he had some good ideas."
"Ideas that started a war with Meridell and gave both Darigan and Eyries a bad name."
"Sounds like what we're doing, doesn't it?"
There was no verbal reply, just the sound of heavy footsteps as the Darigan Eyrie brushed past him in the narrow confines of the alley. "Come on; let's get moving."
The two traversed quickly through the streets of Darigan Citadel, few neopets out in the early morning. Upon reaching the edge they peered over. "Long way down," Cam commented.
He felt a jolt of surprise as hands wrapped under his arms and held tightly onto his shoulders. "Brace yourself," Wraith warned before jumping into the air, wings beating furiously to give him lift. Cam couldn't help an involuntary cry of alarm, eyes stretching wide as his feet dangled in the air. "Try being quiet," Wraith told him gruffly.
You try being quiet, Cam replied mutinously. You weren't just hoisted into mid-air! He closed his eyes, flattening his ears against his head and trying to stay as still as possible until they landed.
He felt an immense wave of relief as his feet touched down on solid ground. "Ok, you can open your eyes," Wraith sighed, exasperation laced through his voice.
The Bori slowly blinked open amber eyes, a neutral expression crossing his face to replace his scared one. "Good. I was getting bored."
"Sure you were," came the sarcastic snicker.
He gave the Eyrie a half-glare before turning his eyes to scan the much brighter landscape around him. "So this is Meridell?" The area where they'd landed looked dreary and depressing despite the greater amount of sunlight, brown and faded grass poking up through cracks in the gray stone. Truthfully, he thought Darigan Citadel was a more welcoming place.
"It's part of Meridell," the Eyrie responded. Looking around with his eyes narrowed, he added, "I believe it's a place called Drackonack Ridge. Speaking of which, watch out."
Cam bit back a yelp of surprise as he was suddenly jerked backwards. He stumbled, catching himself and beginning to turn to Wraith to ask a question when he saw the ferocious looking purple petpet charging towards them. Wraith was in front of him in an instant, kicking out a powerful foot to send the Drackonack sprawling across the ground with a yelp. "Get out of here," the Darigan Eyrie growled, and the petpet seemed willing to obey.
"That won't earn any points with the Petpet Protection League," cam commented dryly.
Wraith scoffed at that. "I've never been close to winning anything from there." He began walking forward, adding, "Come on; we still have a job to do."
Cam followed behind his boss, amber eyes locked on a spot in the distance. "I'm guessing we still don't have a plan?"
The Darigan Eyrie hummed thoughtfully. "I suppose," he said slowly, "that we could attack some knights, see if we can spread some rumors."
One of the Bori's ears twitched. "That sounds more like insanity than a plan."
The Eyrie laughed. "Perhaps," he agreed, "but I don't have anything better, do you?" Cam's silence was all the answer he needed.
The two walked in relative silence after that. Despite his best efforts, Cam's amber eyes kept sliding towards his boss. Why are we doing this, Boss? he wondered, making sure to stay several paces behind so Wraith couldn't see his concerned face. Was what you told me all those years ago a lie? Or have you just gotten too desperate? Still, who was he to question his boss's orders? After all, the Eyrie had taken him in and raised him when he'd been alone; there was no way he'd disobey him now.
Wraith's arm suddenly shot out, barring Cam's path. "Quiet," he whispered at Cam's questioning look. The Bori didn't bother mentioning that he hadn't spoken during the entire trip, instead following the Eyrie's gaze until it alighted on what looked like a very large sleeping Drackonack. His stiffened, hackles raising as Wraith continued in a whisper, "Be very careful; if we wake that up, we're in trouble." Cam nodded stiffly, and the two proceeded to tiptoe around the imposing mound.
They'd almost made it by when the petpet stirred. Cam stiffened, ears flattening and eyes widening. "Don't stop," Wraith hissed, but the Bori's amber eyes were locked on the flaring nostrils, massive teeth, and slowly opening red eyes of the petpet before him. "Cam!"
The Drackonack's eyes opened fully, locking on the Bori's for a very brief staring contest. Then the monster roared to life, and Cam regained control of his limbs, taking off at a sprint in the opposite direction of the creature. He could hear its snarling behind him, but didn't dare look back.
The hard, unmovable weight of a stone collided with his foot, causing him to tumble onto the ground. He groaned, trying to push himself up quickly, the voice of his boss rising above the exited snarling of the Drackonack. He rolled over in time to see the giant petpet nearly upon him, and tried to scramble to his feet. His actions didn't prove to be fast enough, however, and long, powerful claws slashed across his chest, sending him flying with a gasp of pain.
His flight was stopped abruptly by something hard and unmovable - a large rock wall - slamming into his back and driving the breath out of him. He tumbled to the ground, noticing with frustration and fear that his vision was blurring, his hearing flickering in and out. N-no... The last thing he was conscious of was the Drackonack charging towards him again.
That idiot! The words flashed through Wraith's mind as he sprang into the air, wings beating powerful until he was just above the massive petpet. "Stay away from him!" he snapped, collapsing his wings and allowing his full weight to drop onto the Drackonack's head. The creature released a half-roar, half-yelp as its jaw was slammed onto the hard stone. Wraith took the opportunity to launch himself from the head, dashing on foot to the place where Cam had fallen. He picked up the unconscious Bori, red eyes narrowing in frustration.
Then his eyes turned to the long gashes across the blue fur and his heart plummeted. He needs a doctor, he thought, grimacing. He looked at the recovering Drackonack before jumping into the air, wings carrying him high as he clutched his young companion to his chest as he tried to brush away his fear and sadness. Why is it that trouble seems to follow me wherever I go?
To be continued...