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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 17th day of Eating, Yr 26
The Neopian Times Week 30 > Continuing Series > Does Free Will Matter That Much? Part Three

Does Free Will Matter That Much? Part Three

by shattaga

Scith stirred. He was on some kind of rock cave, connecting to a ledge of some kind, and there was a warm fire blazing. He looked around. It was night, and two green moons hung in the sky. He looked behind him, and in the back there was Shalecasha, sharpening the tips of her Fire Sword, and seemed to be adding something to the tines of his Attack Fork. The blade was still there, the now clean tip still sticking out the back of her neck. He noticed the sweat beading on the back of her head, and how she was more red than black.

She was sitting on a rotting stump, was muttering to herself, and mixing some kind of dark liquid in a glass vial. She didn't notice him, even after he took his Attack Fork from her, she was so completely wrapped up in her work. After he was heading toward the fire again, she finally spoke.

"Don't poke yourself accidentally with that weapon," she said slowly, her voice deeper then normal, and very hoarse. "You'll be destroyed before you feel the poke of the fork."

He looked at the fork points. Black liquid dripped from them, sizzling and eating away at the stone that it dripped on. He held it close to his nose and sniffed it. A pleasant cinnamon scent wafted off of it.

"What is this stuff?" he asked, eyeing the dripping parts of his weapon.

"Drankelinor poison. The deadliest stuff this side of Neopia," she said, giving him an evil smile. "The Uber Dark Faerie taught it to me. A mixing of some herbs I found on the cliff side, a few scales from me, and a little bit of Dark Faerie magic go into this. I'm going to give Lendolin a taste of his own medicine." She gave a cackling laugh that echoed around the walls, that was soon interrupted by a hacking cough and harsh wheezing. The poison was beginning to take its toll on the Shoyru.

"Why haven't you taken out of your neck? It looks uncomfortable." She took a deep breath before answering, turned, and looked at Scith with pale, slightly clouded eyes and a strained smile.

"Lendolin's poison is not known to me, therefore I cannot cure myself of it. It is a quick worker as well. I have left it inside my neck because I know I'll be destroyed in a couple of hours, so what's the point?"

Scith sat next to the fire, absorbing all of this. I hate being the guy in the middle... he thought.

"But, I need to do one more thing before I go." She stood up, unsteadily at first, and her Fire Sword flashed in the firelight. "I need to get Starry out of Lendolin's fortress." Scith grabbed his Attack Fork, and a battling light came to his eyes.

"Tell me what to do. You know this terrain better then I do. You get me through," he said, making stabbing movements with his fork. "And I'll do the rest."

Starry lay on the stone floor; exhausted from the mental beatings Lendolin had used. Starry's eyes were purple veined from pain and stress, his coat had gone pale. His Ice Scimitar lay in the corner. Lendolin himself stood in the shadows, chuckling.

"You're strong of mind. But I have something new for you. This one... you will turn after this." He nodded to the wall, and shackles clasped themselves around his arms. He hung like this, too weak to stand. Lendolin walked out from the shadows and stood in front of the weakened Shoyru, and glared at him. "You know that you should give in. You will be much happier. Look." He gestured out into the dark. "It seems that some of your family members have better sense then you do. Xtreme! Come show your brother that I'm not all bad." A white Lupe trotted out into view, and sat down next to Lendolin. Starry, exhausted as he was, still gaped at his brother, temporarily forgetting his pain at the sight of his missing brother. "Xtreme?" he said, staring at his smiling sibling. Xtreme smiled even wider, showing every tooth.

"Now," Lendolin said, turning to Xtreme. "My faithful general, show this nonbeliever that our cause is the right path to travel." The white Lupe looked at Lendolin, nodded, and turned to Starry.

"I was in the woods, on my way to the Lab Ray, when Lendolin teleported me here. I resisted at first, thinking that I had been kidnapped for torture reasons," Xtreme continued, his smile straining a little. "And then he showed me the one way, the only way. The cause... Once I stopped struggling, I began to see how wrong I truly was. You see, now I have everything I have ever wanted. Power, fame, someone to command about... I have it all, now." Xtreme strode up to his hanging brother, who was still staring at his as though Xtreme was a madman. "But it can only happen if you join us. All this." He swung his paw around to the slimy, clammy walls, and they disappeared to reveal rooms of gold and gems, glimmering and glittering under a crystal chandelier. He turned back to Starry. "Can be yours, but only if you give in. Lendolin can take the pain away, and surround you in luxury for as long as you live. He will give you an army to command, as he has done for me, but only if you stop defying him. He is only trying to help you."

Starry was still staring at the images of the riches before him. He blinked and shook his head to clear his eyes, and the images disappeared, showing the wet walls again.

"And my family? What about them when you invade Neopia? And Scith and Shalec? What's going to happen to them?"

"Your family will be protected from harm, don't worry about that. And who is Shalec?"

"You didn't answer my question. What is going to happen to my friends?"

For once, Xtreme didn't know the answer. He looked to Lendolin. The Kougra stood up from a chair he was sitting on, and padded over to the chained Shoyru.

"They, unlike you, have evil in their hearts. I will just torture them until they give in, and thankfully it won't take as long." Starry gritted his teeth at the upright Kougra.

"Then you won't be getting my collaboration anytime soon." And he spat a fireball at Lendolin, which he dodged. The fireball instead hit Fortilius square in the beak. He squawked and passed out, his red feathers singed. Lendolin's paw shot out and grabbed Starry around the neck and ripped him clear of the wall, shackles and all.

"If you not going to join," Lendolin snarled, tightening his grip on the Shoyru's neck. "Then you must be destroyed. I cannot have a rebel running around the island." He tightened his hold on the gasping Shoyru, but a chunk of stone hit him in the back of the neck. He turned, dropping Starry like a bag of dirty laundry. The wall he was facing was shaking and quivering, and little pieces of rock were flying off of it. "Why is that wall shaking like that? I had that infestation cleaned out a month ago," Lendolin muttered, and Starry chuckled.

He couldn't help himself; the thought of the tyrant of the lands under the brown sun getting termites was just too much. The wall shook more violently now. The stones around the centre were being knocked out of place. Something was hitting the wall with the force of a battering ram. Starry backed away from it, knowing things were going to get very messy in a few seconds. The thing hit again, and you could see brown light through the cracks. Lendolin stepped away, eyeing the bulging wall. Fortilius stepped toward it with a wondering eye. With the noise of a two-ton cinder block hitting concrete, the wall gave way, burying Fortilius in rubble. Through the hole flew two Shoyrus, one a strong red colour, the other fire, both holding some weapon.

Starry gaped at them, waves of relief running through his tattered body. "Scith! Shalec! It took you long enough."

To be continued...

Previous Episodes

Does Free Will Matter That Much? Part One

Does Free Will Matter That Much? Part Two

Does Free Will Matter That Much? Part Four

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