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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 13th day of Swimming, Yr 26
The Neopian Times Week 122 > Continuing Series > Katanya: Part Four

Katanya: Part Four

by amysaisha101

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.
Henry David Thoreau, American author, poet and philosopher

-1 week later-

It was 3 am, and Illusen was awake. Something was bothering her.

     "It couldn't be true, it hasn't even been proved yet… but if it is…"

     She tossed and turned anxiously, her foggy mind trying to discern a rational thought. But the same phrase kept echoing through her mind…

     "The Order…"

******

"Tell me Mulgurg, how old were you when your mother decided it was a good idea to replace your brains with cement?" Furg snapped.

     The Grundo remained silent.

     "Well!?"

     "I don't know… sir."

     The words were forced. Mulgurg and his brother Zrax went through this more than twice a day now, ever since they had failed in their last mission. Mulgurg ground his teeth. Everyone believed him and Zrax to be nothing more than ignorant brutes without any other thoughts besides what was for dinner. This wasn't true. Mulgurg had purposely let the Aisha escape, so they could get out on honorable discharge.

     Being discharged was the only way a member of DFSA (Dr. F. Sloth's Army) could leave once they were drafted. Unless they escaped, which was unheard of. It had been a mistake in the first place to join, Mulgurg knew it. The ads had promised adventure and visits to exotic places, plus a paycheck. It had sounded like a dream job, but it turned out to be the opposite.

     Locked in a shuttle with nothing to eat but nameless grey muck breakfast, lunch and dinner, in close quarters with loutish morons who broke out in fights with one another nearly every day, and not a book in the whole place. Just technical manuals, and even those were reserved solely for the pilot and computer engineers.

     Mulgurg longed for a book, any book. He missed them even more than a home-cooked meal, and that was saying a lot. But he never said a word. He didn't dare… yet.

     "I have a feeling I'm going to regret this," Furg announced, "but I'm sending you blockheads back out again. But if you mess up this time, I'll have your brains for breakfast. If you have any."

     "Yes, sir."

******

"Vai, we've been here three weeks. They can't still be following us."

     "And what makes you such an expert?"

     "We can't stay here forever."

     "Why not?"

     "Illusen is a wonderful person, but she won't want us around forever. You don't want to be a burden, do you? And what about Mom? What will she think when she comes home in two weeks and we aren't there?"

     Vai sighed, and rubbed her forehead. "I don't know… we'll tell her we've been attacked by aliens."

     Keagn groaned and rolled his eyes. "Okay, tell you what. We'll go on a shopping trip this afternoon when lots of pets are around, and if nothing happens we can go home. Deal?"

     Vai thought for a moment, and then, "Deal."

******

Zrax adjusted the strap on his Qazar 3000, the best stun weapon DFSA could provide. Audrilene was famous for her gel coolant technology, and of course when her patented blasters came out on the market, Sloth snapped them up like hotcakes. The model he had was arm length with a hair trigger and diamond coated blue chrome.

     Zrax detested it.

     Usually he loved weapons, but not ones with the Sloth logo engraved into the barrel. Everything Sloth touched was poison as far as Zrax was concerned.

     Although Zrax was an intelligent creature, he was not near as peace loving as his brother. When he wanted revenge, he got it. And considering the fact Zrax was a solid 7 feet tall and in a perpetual bad mood, very few pets had the guts to get him that mad.

     Except for Sloth; it was Zrax's greatest dream to grind a bowl of "breakfast surprise" into the hated villain's face. Instead he was taking orders from him.

     Right now that order was to find the Aisha he should have caught last week. He would have, if his brother hadn't been distracting him with mindless escape plans. It had finally made him lose the trail.

     Of course, Zrax had thought about deserting, but that was near impossible. Mulgurg still thought it possible, but Zrax had given up. He was stuck working for someone he had never met and still thoroughly detested, but it didn't matter to him anymore. Just follow orders, and forget about anything else. It wasn't worth the anger.

     "We have a new video feed; she's been tracked to Illusen's Glade, due west of here," Zrax grunted. Right now, they were resting against a tree near the edge of the Glade, going over the briefing again.

     Mulgurg shrugged. "But…"

     "Yes Mulgurg, I am sure. It doesn't matter anyway, Aishas are a Neopoint a dozen. And we won't have to kill her, just bring her back to the ship."

     Mulgurg looked apprehensive, but nodded.

     "We'd better hurry, Furg doesn't like slackers."

     Zrax rose, and disappeared into the trees. Mulgurg sighed, but followed, feeling a lot more than sorry for the poor Aisha…

******

Illusen scrubbed dishes over the sink, humming softly. She was worried about Vai and Keagn; they had been through a lot in a short time. Keagn seemed to have recovered, but Vai was upset as ever. And why shouldn't she be? Illusen thought, especially with what she's got coming for her…

     At that moment, there was a knock on the door. Illusen undid her apron as she walked to it, muttering, "Lousy questers, why can't they bother some other Earth Faerie for a day?"

     Slipping the apron off and hanging it on the coat stand, she unlocked the door. In a moment, she regretted it.

     Two huge Grundos filled the doorway, blocking the light. The one closest to her grinned, and held up a strange weapon.

     "Hello, Illusen. I don't think you'll mind if we relieve you of a few guests."

     Illusen didn't even have time to gasp when a sedative dart flew into the side of her neck. The world spun, and went black…

******

"Look, Keegs. You've been cloned."

     Vai grinned, holding up a Sloth Faerie doll. Keagn growled.

     "Ha ha, I'm laughing."

     The marketplace was bustling with Neopian life, streets packed to the breaking point with all species of pet and an assortment of owners. Right now, the three pets we have come to know were standing under the awning of a toy shop, finishing off hot dogs. Katanya was wiping her mouth on the sleeve of her black sweatshirt, now stained with cheese and mustard. The hood was up, and it hid all of the Aisha's features from sight, except for her mouth. Vai pulled the hood further down over Katanya's face, glancing around for anyone who looked menacing. She checked her watch and said, "I'm going to visit SanLin. Can you take Kitty, and I'll meet you back at Battle Magic in about an hour?"

     Keagn nodded, and Vai headed off to the bazaar.

     SanLin was a very old Nimmo who owned a shop near the edge of Central, and those who knew her guessed that she had been in Neopia before the Space war, and even the Tyrannian Land war. Vai loved the shop; the way the dim light would cast strange shadows on the walls, the dusty items atop even dustier shelves, and the way it was always the perfect temperature, despite the weather outside.

     In the time she had known the old Nimmo, Sanlin had become like a grandmother to Vai. Wise and not one to mince words over sore subjects. And for a shy Aisha like Vai, that was the best thing possible.

     As Vai entered the shop, she caught the familiar whiff of something sweet and dusty in the air… Vai didn't even ask to know what it was, she already knew. SanLin's shop always smelled like magic. Vai went to the counter and rang the service bell, and after an age, the sound of a cane tapping along the floor was heard.

     "Hello, Vai. I haven't seen you in months. What's the occasion?" SanLin asked, leaning on her cane.

     "Not much. Just wondering about that Asparagus Powered Ray Gun you had when I was here last…"

     SanLin smiled wryly, Nimmo eyes glittering in the half light.

     "I see. Keagn out of hand again?"

     "Something like that."

     Sanlin picked the item in question off of a shelf, and handed it to Vai.

     "It's on the house, love."

     Vai blushed and shook her head. "You don't have to…"

     "But I already have. Now, you came here to talk about something. What was it?"

     Vai couldn't help a grin. She swore that Nimmo could read minds.

     "Just some… stuff. Weird stuff."

     "Weird stuff? Don't insult me Vai, I know you aren't that inarticulate."

     Vai felt a twinge of fear. She shook it off; no one could hear her now. But SanLin noticed.

     "Is this about your birthday, dear?"

     Vai jumped. Her birthday! She had forgotten completely in light of everything else, and now she had only 3 days until it came.

     "No, no it's not that. I forgot about my birthday, actually."

     "I doubt that."

     Vai ignored the comment.

     "Actually, I wanted to know if you knew someone who knows about Alien Aishas."

     Sanlin raised an eyebrow, but replied,

     "Yes… if you mean besides myself. There is a Faerie I know, she lives on Terror Mountain. Been around even longer than I have. Anything you need to know, she can tell you. Only trouble is, she's very hard to find…"

     Vai was interested immediately.

     "What's her name? What kind of Faerie is she? Did she fight in the Space War? Where…"

     SanLin held up a silencing finger.

     "All I know is that she lives in the Ice Caves. Besides that, you're on your own."

     Vai was about to continue asking questions, but her eyes fell on a clock on one of the shelves. She had five minutes to meet Keagn! With a rushed goodbye, she dashed out.

     SanLin sighed, and watched her go. Maybe I should have told her, she thought, but she wouldn't have believed me, anyway. No… let her find out by herself. She will anyway…

To be continued...

Previous Episodes

Katanya: Part One

Katanya: Part Two

Katanya: Part Three

Katanya: Part Five

Katanya: Part Six

Katanya: Part Seven

Katanya: Part Eight

Katanya: Part Nine

Katanya: Part Ten

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