Tales From Number Five: Origins of the Sway - Part Two
It would be an understatement to say that the Blue Eyrie was devastated. For the next three days, he neither ate nor went out of the house nor slept. He just couldn't get over the loss of his notes.
He tried recreating them from memory, but that turned out to be impossible. He had done so much over the years he only really remembered an insignificant fraction of it.
Once the shock subsided, there was only rage left. He called the Chia Police, but they said they couldn't do anything without evidence. Plus, the real perpetrators were on Krawk Island, a foreign territory. The Blue Eyrie had been placing his bets by mail.
There are several forms of power. A common one is gold, another one is that which arises from force, and there is the kind that arises from magic.
The Blue Eyrie realized these things, and he also realized that simply sitting in his house making up ciphers wasn't going to get him anywhere. What use was that when all of his information was useless?
So, he began forming a plan to take down the arsonists first and then whoever had ordered them to do something. He was much more careful this time, placing bets under various pseudonyms to avoid it being traced back to him again.
But then he hit a stumbling block on his road. Though he did have neopoints, how was he supposed to get the loyalty of others with them? No, with neopoints he could only temporarily get loyalty. And that didn't mean that things couldn't be traced back to him. He needed a different solution, a way to make others obey unconditionally.
He realized that he was really seeking mind control. He then turned his attention towards magic and spent hours pouring over books in the library. Finally, he found one with the answers that he needed. A mind control perfume, it was called.
The Blue Eyrie formulated it at his home in a secret room that he had built. He then started making other things with similar properties, and after quite some time he finally got his hands on a mind control amulet.
Now he was ready. With both of those tools, his wits, and a fat bag of neopoints he began hunting his enemies down.
The local tavern seemed to be the best spot to try. It was one of those more shady pubs that normal people avoided, which meant that for the Blue Eyrie it was perfect.
The pub was called The Misty Marionette and was owned by an Orange Lupe. Our protagonist walked into the pub late one evening when he knew that the thoroughfare there was poor, and so was fortunate to walk into an empty pub.
"What do you want?" the owner asked the moment he saw the Blue Eyrie walk in. The only types that came into his pub were thieves and other sorts of questionable character, and this one clearly wasn't like them. He couldn't have possibly been any more different from them, actually, standing in a suit that was unbeknownst to him, sewed in Neovia. In short, the Blue Eyrie reeked of money. The owner understood it then, this person wanted some sort of job done, either that or he wanted some sort of information.
The Blue Eyrie wasn't averse to handing over neopoints to the owner for information, but as he was already aware, loyalty that was bought using neopoints could easily be taken by someone else who offered more.
"I have something to show you, have you seen this anywhere?" the Blue Eyrie said. When the owner came closer to take a look, the Blue Eyrie opened his amulet and at once the owner was under its hypnotic gaze.
"Good," the Blue Eyrie said. He then began his interrogation, and at its end he wiped the owner's memory of the whole thing. This was the first time he had done something like this, and he strangely felt an odd sort of tingling under his skin as he carried out the operation. Is it possible for a person to have a natural inclination, or rather, a natural talent or fondness towards subterfuge and planning heists? If so, the Blue Eyrie clearly was one such person.
One by one, he found those who he was looking for, and he was careful never to leave a trace of evidence. He communicated with those he had stationed under his mind control using ciphers, and so all the years of his study were finally paying off in the real world. He even began experimenting with one sort of petpet, the Crokabek, which he found was extremely suited for his purpose. When he found a perpetrator, he would put them under mind control and ask for all the information they had, then he would calmly notify the police of their location who would suddenly find evidence seemingly out of nowhere.
When he finally found the people at the very top, he didn't turn them in to the authorities like he had the others. No, he realized, these people were too strong and big. Their disappearances would only lead to suspicion, and eventually someone would find out and trace it back to him. And they would want what he had. They would want the amulet, and the neopoints, and that would only lead to trouble for him.
No. And furthermore, he realized that he was at the end of his journey. He was about to take out his revenge, but was that all that he lived for? Was that the sole purpose of his life?
He realized that that couldn't be it. There would have to be something more... something else that he had to do.
So, he slipped some potion into their drinks, and with that he controlled them. And it was then that a huge amount of information was finally known to him. He had information on many royals and criminal lords, information that he knew just had to be used.
But the Blue Eyrie also realized that though he would try to be good, if he did things too overtly, he would eventually be caught. And then what would happen? He would become nothing more than Chia Police or the Defenders of Neopia, and neither of those two entities had ever caused true change.
No, the Blue Eyrie thought. He couldn't allow himself to become like them. Even though he knew everything all the wrongdoers in Neopia, although he could stop various criminal acts from happening, he would not. Of course, he would interfere, he would always interfere, but no one was to get even a sniff of his presence.
As he made up his mind on that matter, he realized something else as well. No matter how successful he might become, the truth was that he and his techniques would eventually pass away, just like his notebook had. And what would be his lasting legacy on Neopia then? Along with this, it was equally true that for larger schemes he would need to genuinely gain the trust of certain people, rather than subjugating the minds of everyone he needed to help him.
And so, he set out and started contacting people he thought right for the task. He made sure to be perfectly safe of course, he set up the whole organization so that betrayal or its collapse simply wasn't possible.
And that is how the Sway was born.
* * * *
"The Sway probably exist even today," Number Five said. "Some say that they have died out, but I believe that is nothing more than a ruse. They are definitely out there. Though they are unseen, they are like sugar dissolved in water. Though no one can see them, you can definitely taste, perhaps that's a weird way of saying it, feel, yes, you can still feel them around. You can still feel their presence in almost every single decision made around Neopia. They are everywhere. If they have a weakness, there is only one, the same weakness that the Blue Eyrie had: pride."
Now, you must probably have already guessed what is going to happen next in the story. This is the part of the story where Jacob is supposed to say that he doesn't believe Number Five at all and that there's no way that what he's saying is true and walk away, only to see something that sort of confirmed what Number Five had said.
After all, that was what Number Five had seen for so long happen all the time, and when Jacob didn't do that, Number Five was filled with hope. He thought that silence meant that Jacob believed him, and that gave great peace to Number Five to know that someone finally believed him. Then Jacob would become his friend and eventually convince Master Vex to release him.
Too bad he would be disappointed. It wouldn't play out exactly like he had hoped.
"What was that last thing you said?" Jacob asked.
"Their greatest weakness is pride," Number Five said.
"No, no, before that," Jacob said.
"The Sway are everywhere," Number Five said.
"You're right," Jacob said. "We are everywhere."
Jacob opened the amulet that had suddenly appeared in his hand and hypnotic light fell over Number Five.
"Forget all that you told me," Jacob said. Once he had left the prison, he sent a Crokabek with a message that read:
I was playing Cellblock in the Darigan Citadel as part of my front and keeping an eye on the prisoners as per orders. Number Five somehow knows all about our origins. I have erased the memories from his mind, but I believe that there is still a treasure trove of information in his head. I tried to force it out using hypnotic magic, but it seems that his dementia somehow prevents that. What do I do?
A reply came within an hour.
Leave him be. He will remain safe from others in the dungeons of the Citadel, and no one believes a word he says anyway. We will find a way to get the secrets inside his skull eventually, there is that machine we confiscated from Sloth that may seem promising. Until then, continue going about as you always have.