Old Friends and New Discoveries ★
► I'm to deliver this to you
the mynci whispered. It was dark, about 01:30am and there were Community officials everywhere. Sullivan didn't reply, he took the package from Vargul and disappeared silently into the darkness.
► VUHLGAR! GET UP HERE YOU SWIVLING STOAT! I called for you over an hour ago! WHERE IN FRITH'S NAME HAVE YOU BEEN!? You better have a good explanation for this!
Vuhlgar rolled his eyes, it wasn't like Svithin to get angry at him, It wasn't like Svithin ever got angry at all. Besides, it wasn't like they had any ties. Vuhlgar was loyal to the highest bidder and everyone knew it. Something catastrophic must have happened, something he was most likely going to have to fix... They've done it again Vuh, they've done it again.
The 50-some year old xweetok dabbed at his sweating brow with a tidy white handkerchief. One of their men has something that belongs to us, something very important. I can't understand how he got away. He was such a thin sickly looking Ogrin. HOW DID HE GET AWAY?!!?!
Vuh waited for the storm to pass. Svith was usually not a man of many words, though he had a voice smooth as cold molasses and could con a bee into handing over honey. We've got him now of course, but it's too late. The package he stole is gone and the beggar won't talk. You see Vuh, what they took... what they took, it contains vital information regarding the Community, if it were to fall into the wrong hands... if it were to fall into the wrong hands, the results could be devastating. It could set us back several months, years even. We'd have to change everything, but it might be too late and the Revolutionaries might have time to gain an upper hand. No, you must find the package before it reaches the Revolutionary officials. He's in the 4th underground level, in room 34. Here's a pass for you.
Without a word Vuh took the slim plastic card and headed out the door.
Alias: Vuh, Bones, Jack
DOB: Exact date unknown
Weight: 140 lbs
Hair: Charcoal Black
Community Role: Assassin, Strategist
Sullivan didn't waste any time making it to his hideout. There was no doubt that the entire Community's best hunters were out to find this package. He didn't even know what was in it yet, but he was about to find out. As he carefully opened the package Vargul had taped up he realized how quickly he'd come to be important in the Revolution. He was glad though, Hector would be proud. And so was he, he hadn't really done anything that did a great service to the world and it felt good to be on the right side for once. Shaking the bits of tape off his fingers, he opened the flaps of the slim package. Su prided himself on his ability to remain cool and collected, but seeing the contents of this package almost sent him into a panic. Something had to be done about this, and fast.
There was no time to waste. He slipped in front of the mirror and painted his face. he would be more difficult to recognize now. His face was a well known sight within the Community and it was a known fact he'd switched sides. Pocketing the items in the pouch on his belt, he burnt all other traces of the package. Other than what he had on him, it was like the package had never existed.
He ran for what seemed like hours. Sometimes waiting at corners for a sliver of chance to pass unnoticed, sometimes climbing on rooftops to throw any dogs off his trail. At last, at the very edge of the city, too tired to go a step farther he found a safe and quiet hideout to examine more closely the contents of the mysterious package.
It was a Maapallo
, the Finnish word for "Globe", signifying Global Knowledge. When set up properly, it could reveal all the data it contained. Names, locations, dates, plans.... everything important pertaining to the community. It was the most incredible object known in the history of Neopia. Legend said only 5 of them were made in history and he knew that only 2 had ever been discovered. One was owned by the Community, he'd seen it once before by accident, but it was damaged and did not function properly, and the other was owned by a private collector in another world. The one in his hands must be the third to ever be discovered. The object was prized because it was the most reliable way to keep information safe. It was a miracle Ferris had intercepted this package.
He knew now why they'd chosen him for this mission, not just anyone could assemble these, even the wisest Maapallo readers couldn't always assemble them, or so he'd read from stories in an old history book he and Hector had dug out from an abandoned barn. Probably no one that couldn't read minds in the way he could would be able to take on such a task. And even then, you needed to have seen one before, something that didn't happen every day, the study of Maapallo's were banned and their pictures could not be found in any legal books. The Maapallo functioned by speaking to the reader using vibrations and humming noises. You had to read its mind to find out where the next piece should fit. The instructions were given in a variety of languages. It was like a 3D puzzle, but much deeper, Su had never read the mind of an object before. There was a particular order to it and he had to be incredibly careful, one misplaced piece and it could be damaged forever. Fumbling the pieces in his palm, he carefully started assembling them together one by one. The farther he got in the assembly, the more the item shone. So much that he was afraid to be discovered because of its bright light. Unwilling to put it down he continued and at last, the Maapallo was back together.
It was a small one, but still incredibly powerful. Though he didn't know how it worked exactly he knew he had to deliver it to headquarters. His job was done, he was probably the only member of the Revolution to have ever seen one and understand the mechanical and mental functioning required for it to be installed. Now it would have to be transferred over to those well versed in reading it. Sullivan wondered how the Revolution had acquired such people. From what he'd heard while serving the Community not more than a small handful of mages could actually read them, and most of them were loyal to the Community. Shaking the thought Sullivan tucked the item in his coat and curled up for a short shut eye moment. In a few short hours he had to deliver the goods.
Vuh poked the tied up ogrin with the blunt end of a heavy walking stick. You'll talk yellow dog. I always find out what I want, one way or another.
Flashing a smile that could freeze boiling water, Vuh glanced at his trembling victim. The ogrin would be no good to him dead, and he knew it wouldn't take long before fear made him spill the beans. You know my favourite thing to do Ferris? That is your name isn't it? At least, it was written on the inside of your jacket. Unless you stole the jacket. It isn't nice to steal Ferris, you know the Community loaths thieves.
The ogrin didn't reply but Vuh heard him mumble something about the Community stealing away from the population under his breath. My favourite thing Ferris, is pain. Lots of pain. Pain and I, we are good friends you see. We just have this long history.
He took a step toward the ogrin who let out a frightful scream, a scream in the form of a word: "Quartet". Vuh froze in his tracks for an instant, turned on his heel and left the room without another word.
The name Quartet wasn't new to Vuh. He'd actually been the one to come up with it. It was a long story, and he didn't wish to think of it. But if Quartet was who he thought he was then he was in for a load of complications. Vuh was a professional; he had no ties and lived for the massacre. He was proud to have no one that could get in the way and this new situation was crossing this line. Vuhlgar knew Sullivan Quartet, and he didn't like what he was assigned to do.
If it was indeed Sullivan, he'd have to act fast. Last he'd heard of his long-lost childhood friend he'd been rapidly advancing though Community ranks. But that was years ago, the last time he'd seen Sullivan was when little Sully had joined The Voice and the boys had went their separate ways after a heated argument. Vuh had never liked The Voice for specific reasons. Sullivan would never be a match for him though, but he would most likely be more difficult than most. That and Vuh wasn't sure he had the heart to get rid of his old friend in such a way. He shook the thoughts from his mind; he'd have to take it one step at a time.
They'd been close as brothers once and Vuh still remembered every nook Sullivan had ever called his own. He knew Sully would be taking the package into the Never Never, a black forest so dark and filled with fog that the Community limited the excursions within its perimeter even though it was rumored the Revolutionaries had a hideout there. It wasn't called the Never Never for nothing; it was the only known place that the Community feared. At the edge of the city where the looming forest began, Vuh selected a large tree and approached closely. Sullivan would detect his movement any minute. Sure enough, a flash of red escaped from beneath the roots of the tree and started running. Vuh didn't waste any time. Any doubt that it wasn't his old Sully vanished from his mind. He'd always been faster and time hadn't changed things. Taking a leap, he tackled Su to the ground. Hey Sully, remember me?
Suhq moaned, How could I forget... get off me you oaf.
Vuh got up and helped Su get to his feet. There was an awkward moment before Vuh replied: I heard about Hector... I'm sorry. He was always the best one of us you know.
Sullivan nodded and showed a painful smile: Yeah, I guess he was.
The silence continued before Vuh broke it once again asking quietly: We both know why I'm here Sully. You'd better hand it over.
Su feigned ignorance: hand what over?
Vuh shook his head, Don't play stupid with me bro, the ogrin said you had it, and he sure as hype wasn't lying, way he screamed out your name like that.
Suhq frowned, so one of their guys had been caught, and if he was talking it couldn't be good. The tension between Sully and Vuh was only growing as neither was willing to make the first move. Neither was looking forward for what was going to happen. I have to deliver this Vuh, I have no choice, it could mean such a difference to the Revolution, to the people... to everyone. I used to be like you, blindly siding with those who could give me what I needed, but now I'm fighting for a cause. You don't have anything personal in this conflict anyways. What's this package to you?
Truth was, the package wasn't just another paycheck to him. He had his professional pride and spotless reputation. He was one of the best hired trackers and hunters in the entire community circle. His record was perfect, "failing" just wasn't in his vocabulary. It was a completely foreign principle to him. Struggling with an inner and personal conflict, something he hadn't done in years, he pushed his own needs aside and nodded at Suhq; You got yourself ten minutes Sully.
Ten minutes wasn't more than Su needed, he slapped Vuh on the back and ran straight into the Never Never.
A few hours later he finally arrived at the designated trade area. Waiting for him were the highest members of the Revolution. He'd never met them before, but recognized them immediately by the description Vargul had given him in a coded note. Approaching slowly, he asked them for the code word. Once satisfied, he removed the Maapallo from his sweater and held it out. Eyes shining with excitement, the one Suhq assumed to be the mage, reached out and took it from him. The Maapallo hummed loudly as soon as touched by the mage. It sounded almost happy to be whole again. The mage smiled; We've got them now!
End Mission 4.