They Came With a Shriek of Misery
Sequel to Mutant Bog.
Chris never thought he would've gotten here now, fighting Violet and the Black Pteri. He never thought Violet would betray him, or discover who he truly was, or his connection to a Wraith several years ago back at the War of Faerie's Ruin. And he never thought that the mark meant to protect him would hurt him later.
His war career wasn't one he talked about frequently unless it came up. He had the stories to tell, but he couldn't tell them all, for various reasons. Most complicated was Void's story, a Wraith resembling a bird more than a Wraith.
If you saw her, you would see a purple-feathered being with black on the underbelly, and plum-colored tail-feathers that went in a wedge. She had claws no sharper than a pencil's point, along with a dull beak. Unlike other Wraiths, she had eyes instead of holes, specifically white eyes with black pupils, and the eyes were round instead of an almond-shape. More plum-colored feathers extended above her head, as a crest of three feathers slicked backwards.
She was one of many things Chris brought back from the War of Faerie's Ruin. That, and a scar on his chest. A black splotchy scar that looked like a bird's foot almost. Not that anyone would make that comparison immediately. He would recommend that as a shape, and some Neopets made out similarities. Three lines extended from a blob, with a fourth line as a heel.
Chris seemed to love the bird, for no real reason. He claimed she was a relic he found from the war. Usually, you had to obtain a license to own a Wraith, but Chris had no license. Still, it's not like the Defenders of Neopia were trying to find any miscreant who had a Wraith against their approval. And so sometimes Chris could be seen, flipping channels on the Neovision with one hand, and stroking the birdie-wraith with the other hand...
Chris ran towards the Black Pteri, sliced the air twice. She flew under and over the blade, took a deep breath, and sang.
It was a Song of Futility. A screech that sounded off depressed music. Chris covered his ears with his hands to drown the nails-on-chalkboard sound. He felt a razor burn across his cheek. The Hawk Feather shot from Violet landed several feet away from him.
The Black Pteri unleashed a Caw of Despair, and the sound waves hit Chris and flung him back against a tree. The collision sent the force through his spine and shoved the air out of his lungs. He gasped in a vain attempt to swallow enough oxygen. Then he slid down into a sitting position, the two Pteris still staring at him. His back was likely bruised, and he felt a warm line on his cheek where the Hawk Feather grazed. Still, he was in a battle.
He stood up, gripped his sword tighter, ready to fight.
Whisper bolted awake when he heard a thunk where Chris hit a tree. He ran over to the window and saw Chris, Violet, and the Black Pteri. From the swordplay, and the thrown feathers, he could tell a fight raged outside.
He ran over to Starry's bed and shook her awake. "Starry, Starry, wake up!"
Starry groaned. "Whisper, it's, like, still night."
"Chris and Violet are in danger!"
Starry opened her eyes. "What?"
"The Black Pteri is attacking Chris and Violet! They both must have encountered her!"
"I'm not much of a battler, Whisper," Starry said.
"You don't have to be. All I need you to do is be out there," Whisper said. "Come on, we have to go." He rushed downstairs. Starry threw her sheets off and followed.
Whisper slammed the door open and rushed outside to see the fight. However, he noticed Chris wasn't warding off only the Black Pteri with his sword, he was warding off Violet too. Was he trying to protect her in some way? Violet shot at Chris with another Hawk Feather. Denial fell on Whisper. She couldn't be the enemy. Was she possessed? But he did see the Black Pteri, on the first day back to school, with another bird who looked a lot like Violet...
Starry needed less time than her brother to understand the problem. She went over to a rock, put a Rainbow Gun over it, and fired at Violet. Violet dodged underneath several of the multicolored bullets, but a few nicked her.
Chris didn't notice help had arrived, too busy flicking his sword at the two birds. He slashed downwards at the Black Pteri, only to hit a blue force field. Thyora's Tear. The shield could collapse any second, so he pushed harder.
"I know who you are," The Black Pteri said, "and I know that I have to destroy you. I will pluck out your eyeballs and I will-"
"You shut up," Chris told her with a grunt. "I will... Slash off your tail-feathers and... Cram. Them. Down. Your. THROAT!" His push managed to push the force field against a tree, and Thyora's Tear exhausted its energy meaning the shield disappeared.
The Black Pteri prepared a Shriek of Misery, but a flash of light caught both participants off-guard. After the flash, Chris and the Black Pteri both blinked as their pupils grew back to normal size. Anyone paying attention would've seen a purple glow come from Chris' chest.
Whisper, the flash's source, slashed the Black Pteri's side with a Sword of Wraith-Smiting. Twirled. Coupled it with a slash from a Sword of Skardsen, stunning the bird.
"No!" Violet shouted as she watched her master get hit. She yelped when she felt something tackle her onto the ground, face-first.
"Anything you say can and will be used against you," Starry warned.
Chris followed Starry's example and grabbed the Black Pteri's wingpits. She kicked the air.
"You are the destroyer and you will kill us all! Let go of me! He is the source of all evil!"
Chris and Starry went back towards the house with their catches, while the Black Pteri gave one last shriek. An actual Shriek of Misery. The sound waves traveled, disturbing everyone's eardrums, with their power, and their message. And the message seemed to echo in Mutant Bog, perhaps spreading the message so all of the Haunted Woods could hear.
"CHRIS FORESTFLEET IS THE BEGINNING OF THE SECOND WAR OF FAERIE'S RUIN!"
Chris never would have discovered he was the "THEY" foretold in the Black Pteri's legend if he hadn't met Void. But he wouldn't have been able to save Lanius while in Mutant Bog if he hadn't accepted Void's power. He never would've fought off that Wraith Annihilator. It was a long story as to why a Wraith was helping someone fight other Wraiths, but thinking of Void as a normal Wraith was a fatal mistake most Neopets could make. And the power granted gave him many abilities.
However, meeting Void and obtaining her power came with a dangerous allergy that meant he could never be anywhere near Faerieland.
"Are the birds still muttering nonsense?" Whisper asked casually as he came up, eating a sandwich.
Chris currently had the Black Pteri pinned down over his knees since she easily broke through her rope constraints. Starry had her back turned to Violet, but figured Violet couldn't break free. Violet was stuck in a chair, with rope wrapped around her midsection.
"That I'm the source of all evil?" Chris asked as the Black Pteri struggled. "I suppose so."
"You can let me go now." She growled.
"Only if you answer a few questions," Chris said.
"No," the Black Pteri said. "Why would I share information with the likes of you?"
"Tell me. Otherwise, you will be punished."
"Do it, or else I'll spank you."
Her eyes widened. "I am not a child, and you can't spank me as you're not my dad!" The Black Pteri said with a blush. Whisper, meanwhile, laughed.
"You've hunted me down, led me all the way to the Haunted Woods, with some dark, devious plan in mind for me, and you tried to kill me. I think a spanking is well-deserved." And he slapped her rump.
She squawked. "Okay, okay, I'll tell you!" she said.
Chris nodded. "Okay, so... Am I 'THEY'?
The Black Pteri nodded, her eyes glowing red. "Yes, you are. You're going to ruin everything..." She fell into a trance with those dark red eyes.
Chris couldn't see that Violet had gotten her claws up high enough to slice the rope. He didn't see that Violet's talons found a bow with arrows full of Snow Faerie magic.
Chris snapped his fingers, trying to get the Black Pteri out of the trance, while Whisper called out insults. Chris even spanked her again like a naughty chick.
Violet sighted the arrow, and waited for Starry to get out of the way. Starry made her way over to the bed, and that's when Violet took full advantage.
"Why are you so afraid of me!?" Chris shouted, only to pause when he sensed something. The same second that his Neopets realized something was up, the arrow came.
Chris gasped as he felt something penetrate his back. His scar glowed through the fabrics of his shirt, similar to what happened during the food fight at the cafeteria on his fateful last day of teaching. The same scar Void granted him.
And he screamed.
As he screamed a horrid scream, the scar crackled with dark purple electricity. Starry and Whisper panicked.
"Get help, get help!" Starry shouted.
"Chris, what's going on!?" Whisper put Chris on his side.
Violet slipped out of her bonds, got to the Black Pteri, and carried her in her talons before flying out of the house.
Chris fell unconscious from the pain.
"This is bad, this is so bad," Whisper said. "We need to carry him to help. Stat." He carried Chris off the bed and rested him on Starry's back. Then, he went over and grabbed the Baby Draik from the other room, and that Draik was certainly not sleeping anymore after all the commotion.
The group of four went outside. An unconscious boy, a Lupe, a crying Draik, and a Scorchio. Then, they saw a couple of wagons.
One Techo said, "We noticed you guys hadn't come for a while, and we came back for you!"
Whisper nearly cried tears of relief. "Yes! We need help! We seriously need help, he needs a hospital!"
"Take him to Faerieland," Starry said. "He obviously has a dark magic mark on him!"
And they loaded Chris up on the wagon, destined for Faerieland, still unaware it was reacting to faerie magic.
Chris never thought his field trip would end up so poorly. He never thought he'd end up with his old war scar activated, forcing him to go to the one place he could never go. And he never knew that when he got there, a new spark would be provided to an old war, threatening everything once the new dance came. The dance of Void and Faeries.
Author's Notes: To be continued in "Void and Faerie's: The New War", a four-part series.
This is the final prologue. If you think the situation is bad now, I assure you, it can always get worse. Can meaning will.
Also, anyone who has fought the Black Pteri before has to admit what Chris did was well-deserved. Seriously, that bird is overpowered and can kill you in one turn even if you had a 100 HP. The Down for Maintenance Pteri is worse... But does anyone else also get the feeling that the Black Pteri is also slightly nice? I mean, the after battle quote when you win doesn't seem sarcastic.