Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 196,662,418 Issue: 932 | 2nd day of Eating, Y23
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Chet Fae Wuz Here


by black_skull725

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If one picks up a copy of the Neopian Times or the Faerieland Gazette, one might notice that periodically, the paper prints a cryptic message that simply says “Chet Flash wuz here.”

     Despite the phrase appearing so frequently, asking about Chet Flash around Faerieland usually gets you a blank stare. The faeries all seem to wonder if Chet Flash is another faerie that likes to hide. And then all sorts of strange rumours start to crop up.

     Knowing the rumours, we decided to send our Faerieland correspondent to Faerie City to investigate. His first stop was the Faerieland Library. Surely there would be a book that might give a hint, right? Here is what he found.

     —

     I first decided to make a stop at the Faerieland library. As I made my way in, a couple of faeries were on their way out, clutching required reading materials from the Faerieland Academy.

     I waved at them and they stopped to wave back.

     “Hello faeries! I’m Geo from the Neopian Times. How are you all?” I said.

     A light faerie stepped forward along with a fire faerie and we shook hands.

     “I am Ana. My fire faerie friend here is Amelie. We’re doing fine, except the Faerie Queen kind of saddled us with a ton of homework this week. She seemed so nice on the outside, but she’s a bit of a ruthless professor,” the light faerie sighed.

     “Oh, uh, I guess this is a bad time. You should go study.”

     “You were going to ask us a question, right?” Ana asked.

     “Uhhh, how did you-“

     “No, we have no idea who Chet Flash is. I’m sorry,” Ana said.

     I was surprised, but then I remembered she was a light faerie.

     “Did you just see the future?”

     The light faerie grinned ear to ear as Amelie laughed.

     “It worked! And he didn’t even notice,” Ana exclaimed. “I guess I’m ready for the practical exam for light faerie clairvoyance spells.”

     Ah yes, the one thing about being a Faerieland reporter, the faeries want to try all sorts of spells on you. Usually, they are harmless spells.

     “So, can you tell me if I will find the book I’m looking for?” I asked.

     Amelie stepped forward and shook her head.

     “She’s only allowed to see a minute into the future. It’s much harder to do for a longer period. We do have to go, otherwise we’ll never get our work done.”

     “Ah, well, best of luck with school!”

     “Thanks!”

     The two of them then floated away. I then entered Queen Fyora’s enormous library that had every book ever printed in Neopia.

     The library was brightly lit all the time, whether by daylight streaming in from the enormous windows that went from the floor to the ceiling with stained glass patterns at the top representing various faeries, or the grand chandeliers hanging from the ceiling that looked like larger light faerie lamps.

     As usual, the library was also busy. Various assistants in the library were busy organizing and putting books back on shelves or wrangling the books that had wings. The Writer’s Workshop was full of academy attendees, nervously awaiting feedback from the Comma Faerie and her teaching assistants.

     The library faerie was busy doing a crossword puzzle as usual. Needing to know information about Chet Flash though, I made my way to her desk.

     The library faerie doesn’t particularly like to be interrupted but standing in front of her desk is enough to let her know that you are there. She may not acknowledge your presence right away, but she will eventually if you wait patiently.

     Patience was not my strong suit though, so I subtly cleared my throat.

     The library faerie looked up. She appeared annoyed. She looked away for a moment and then looked back, this time with a smile on her face.

     “How may I help?” she asked.

     “I was wondering if you have any books on Chet Flash,” I asked.

     The library faerie raised her eyebrows.

     “Who? That name doesn’t ring a bell.”

     “Chet Flash. I need some info on them.”

     The library faerie shook her head and went over to a large magical book. She placed her hand on it and it began to glow. She stood there for another minute and came back.

     “Sorry, sir. I’ve checked the catalogue and found nothing. There’s nothing else I can do for you. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a crossword to do, unless you want to help me out with it?”

     “What about the restricted section of the library?” I asked.

     The Library Faerie then grew impatient.

     “Sir, you know you cannot search that! Only, Fyora can! Now you’ve wasted enough of my time, out!”

     A couple of the Faerie Kougras guarding the castle and carrying spears started to move in. That was my cue to make my way out of the library before the Kougras could get to me.

     “Whew!” I said to myself as I ran outside.

     A passing water faerie stared at me for a few seconds before sliding up to me.

     “You look like you could cool off a bit.”

     Before I could say anything, she sprayed the water all over me and laughed and then went back to a group of faeries, who were all giggling. Fortunately, an earth faerie scolded them and they scattered. The earth faerie then floated over to me and handed me a towel.

     “Sorry about that, that group, ugh, they’ve been quite the nuisance lately.”

     I took the towel from her and wiped down as much as I could.

     “Thank you, ma’am.” I handed her the towel.

     “You seemed like you were in a rush. Is everything alright?” she asked as she rested her right hand on my shoulder.

     “Uh, yeah! Everything is just fine! It’s all awesome!” I replied. “I need to go see Queen Fyora!”

     “Huh? But your clothing is still wet! You’ll get sick!” the earth faerie scolded. “Come with me! Let’s at least get you some dry clothing.”

      Unsure how a random earth faerie acquired human-sized clothing, but not wanting to upset her, I followed her. She then brought me to what appeared to be a secondhand clothing shop.

     “I run this shop for less fortunate Faerielanders, but I’ve picked up some human clothing recently. No humans have been buying though so I might as well give it away. Why don’t you have a look and try something on?”

     The shop wasn’t particularly full, although there were a couple of faeries and faerie pets rummaging through a rack of clothes. However, it was quite full in terms of inventory. There were even boxes of donated clothing that weren’t even on the racks yet because there was no room. One thing for sure is it seemed like the people of Faerieland were quite generous.

     “Oh, I never told you my name. I’m Anna and this is my humble little clothing store. Here are boxes of human clothes you can try on.

     I went through the box and selected a small I Love Fyora T-Shirt and a pair of small Executive Grundo Pants. After I got changed, I thanked Anna for her generosity and hoped to do a story about her shop in the Neopian Times after I get to the bottom of the Chet Flash business. And as usual, she did not know anything about Chet Flash either. We said our goodbyes, and as she turned to go back to the shop counter, I snuck 10k worth of Neopian banknotes into the shop till and quietly left.

     My next stop was to try and see Queen Fyora. That isn’t particularly easy to do since her schedule is so busy. Plus, she’s also never in one place all the time, often preferring to do various things to stay active.

     Still, it was worth a try to make my way to the castle and attempt to see if she’s in. However, my previous run-in with the guards at the library complicated things. The guards frequently shared information about security incidents so it was natural for them to have heard about the library incident by now. However, no one was guarding the Hidden Tower to keep the tower hidden. After all, guards entering and exiting an invisible tower would tip others off. Therefore, my way in the was probably going to be posing as a Hidden Tower customer. Fyora didn’t always run the tower, sometimes letting Baelia take over while she was busy.

     Now I just needed to walk in the general location of the tower which required me to get my bearings.

     “Ah, it’s in between this tower and that tower. So, I just need to take a few steps north, then turn east at that intersection.”

     After a few more steps though, suddenly, something grabbed me from behind and then wrapped their arms around me.

     “Hush, don’t move. I don’t want to have to hurt you,” said a firm, familiar voice.

     I tried to turn around and I caught a glimpse of some light purple hair. Putting the voice and the hair together, along with the strong grip of the individual, I decided it would not be worth fighting this.

     “Ae-THEE-ah… what are you doing?” I managed to say.

     “Didn’t I tell you to hush, bud? And don’t bother trying to get free. Fyora asked me to minimize distractions today and the last thing I need is you barging in while she’s doing something,” Aethia said.

     She swung around so now I could see her in front of me, still maintaining her grip. She then began to fly up with me.

     “Ok, ok, just please don’t drop me!”

     “Are you questioning my strength? Of course, I’m not going to drop you. Now just relax, I’m not trying to hurt you.”

     The Battle Faerie flew me into another part of the Hidden Tower via a hidden doorway and into a small room without windows. There was a soft Queen Fyora rocking chair inside. She sat me down in the chair and shut the door. She then stood there and sighed.

     “You ok, Geo?” she asked.

     “I mean I’m not hurt, what is the place?”

     “Well, the Hidden Tower has thieves all the time, so we hold them in these rooms when we catch them, but before they are processed.”

     “I’m not a thief!” I shouted and stood up.

     “No, but please calm down!” Aethia said, pushing me back into the chair. “Please don’t make me restrain you.”

     “You’re treating me like some kind of criminal.”

     Aethia sighed. “I do acknowledge that this is a bit harsh. But, my dear Fyora’s been super busy lately and everyone wants to see her.”

     “But, I really need to see Queen Fyora.”

     Aethia shook her head. “Again, Queen Fyora’s had a rough week and doesn’t really want to have guests right now.”

     “Is she ok?” I asked, worried about the Faerie Queen.

     “Yes, she’s fine. She just needs a break from it all.”

     “I mean, I could give her the break she needs. I want to ask her something unrelated to her work. Unless… you wouldn’t happen to know who Chet Flash is?”

     Aethia gave me a confused look.

     “Who?”

     “Chet Flash. You’ve read the Neopian Times right? Or at least the Faerieland Gazette?”

     Aethia nodded. “Of course, I read both.”

     “Then you’ve noticed that sometimes there’s a small print at the top that reads ‘Chet Flash wuz here?’”

     “Oh yes. I never read too much into that.”

     “But Chet Flash is apparently everywhere.”

     Aethia thought for a moment. “Maybe they’re a faerie. Only a faerie can get to so many places so quickly. And the ‘flash’ part makes them sound like a light faerie.”

     “Are you just guessing here?”

     “Uh, yeah. But Fyora’s never mentioned such a faerie.”

     “Exactly why I need to ask her!” I got up from my seat again and tried to walk past Aethia.

     “Oh, no you don’t. Where do you think you are going? And besides, the door is locked with faerie magic.” Aethia once again steps forward and this time went for a ‘bear hug’ style restraint to keep me from going further.

     “Ugh. Can you just please let me see her?”

     We were interrupted with a knock at the door.

     “Aethia honey, can you come out here for second?”

     It was Fyora. Remembering that she was a gentle and kind faerie, I figured that it was worth a try to call out to her.

     “Hi Fyora! Can you tell Aethia to-“

     Aethia pressed her hand against my mouth tightly to keep me silent.

     “Not yet, just a moment,” Aethia replied.

     “I heard Geo’s voice in there. Maybe you should let him go, dear? He’s not a threat.” The plan worked. Of course, Fyora would come to my rescue.

     Aethia relaxed her grip. “No little detail gets past Fyora I guess.” She opened the door and Fyora stood in the doorway.

     “Aethia, that’s so sweet of you to want to minimize distractions for me, but I think you overdid it. I didn’t say to detain anyone that could be a distraction,” Fyora said after giving Aethia a hug.

     The Faerie Queen then turned her attention to me which concerned me a bit. Perhaps she was going to be too busy for me? Or maybe she was actually upset with me, despite rescuing me from my predicament? Either way, there wasn’t any indication from her demeanour that showed she was upset. She looked at me and smiled slightly.

     “Geo, I presume you are here to ask me something? Is there something about Faerieland that piques your interest again, dear?” she asked, leaning over a bit as she was much taller than me.

     “Do you know who Chet Flash? I’ve asked several faeries already and they don’t really know.”

     Fyora rested her chin on her index finger and thumb as she pondered the question.

     “That name does seem to ring a bell, but I can’t remember why. I’ll tell you what, it’s been a long day for all of us. How about we head to the garden for some refreshments and some relaxation? Maybe I’ll remember something about Chet Flash?”

     Eager to find out more about Chet Flash, I gladly accepted, fully aware that Fyora might spend hours talking about other things.

     Aethia shook her head. “I need to be on guard.”

     “Oh, come on Aethia dear. You can take a break occasionally.”

     “I’ll be fine Fee-fee. I’ll just lurk. You two can talk about Chet Flash. As for taking a break, I could give you the same advice.”

     Aethia then gave Fyora a tight hug and flew away.

     “She calls you Fee-fee?”

     Fyora scowled a bit. “Yes, but you’re not allowed to. Now you are coming with me to my garden, right? You know I do need a distraction from my day.”

     I followed the Faerie Queen as slowly floated next to me. The gardens weren’t far from the Hidden Tower. Fyora could have flown there, but she obviously didn’t want to leave me behind. And it would have looked awkward if she tried to carry me and fly me over to the gardens.

     “Hey Baelia, I’m going to leave for a while, is that alright?” Fyora said.

     The Grey Faerie came out of the back room and sat at the counter of the hidden tower.

     “Sure, I can handle this while you are gone!” she said.

     As we left the tower, I commented that the Grey Faerie looked pretty happy.

     “I’m glad she’s happy,” I said.

     “Me too, she’s a hard worker and deserves to be happy,” Fyora replied.

     As we made our way to the garden, I began to wonder if Fyora was alright.

     “Is everything ok, Fyora?”

     “Huh? What makes you think it’s not?”

     “Aethia said you were stressed out?”

     “Stressed? Nah. She’s just worried too much about me. Why do we have a seat here?” we arrived at one of many gazebos in the garden. This one was under a few Fyora Apple trees that were blooming with flowers shaped like Fyora’s wings but did not bear fruit yet. The gazebo had a round table with a bench and several potted plants, mainly daisies and pink roses.

     There was also a small counter and a few bottles of drinks, NeoCola and Fyora Day Fizz mostly. Fyora reached for two glasses, added some ice cubes that she magically made appear with her hands, and poured out two glasses full of Fyora Day Fizz. She handed a glass to me.

     “Lovely day out here, isn’t it?”

     “Yes, it is nice. But you know the weather in Faerieland is kind of the same all the time.”

     “Is there something wrong with it?” Fyora asked, looking a bit confused.

     “No, but you know, it would be nice to have some variety. I know you have air faeries that keep it ‘perfect’ right now.”

     “Hmmm. You do bring up a good point. It is a little boring. But my garden expects that kind of weather.”

     “I guess so, but you could get hardier plants.”

     “Hmm, I’ll have to ask Illusen the next time I see her.”

     Realizing that Fyora was doing everything in her power to avoid talking about Chet Flash, I decided to steer the conversation back to Chet Flash.

     “Anyways, Chet Flash. It seems like every time I’ve asked about them, something thwarts me from getting more information. So, do you have any details?”

     “Jumping right to it quickly, are we? I was hoping to have some time to think about it some more.”

     “Is Chet Flash a faerie?”

     “How about you take a sip of your Fyora Day Fizz?” Fyora suggested, pretending not to hear my question. It was annoying, but I figured appeasing Fyora would increase my chances of getting an answer so I took a sip of my Fyora Day Fizz.

     “I took a sip, now can you please answer…”

     I stopped as Fyora’s eyes began to glow pink, and she stood over me.

     “You are not going to ask about Chet Flash anymore,” she said. Her voice was much different now, it was almost like someone was controlling it.

     She then stared into my eyes and I realized what she was trying to do. It was a memory charm. I then immediately used the skills the Neopian Times taught me to resist such spells. I tried not to think about anything. Moments later, Fyora’s eyes stopped glowing, and she began to fall. I rushed over quickly to her side. Aethia suddenly came zooming in and both of us helped to stabilize her and sat her down in a chair. Aethia nodded at me as if to express gratitude.

     Fyora woke up from her trance and looked groggy.

     “Huh? What happened?” she asked.

     “You fell into a trance and tried to erase my thoughts about Chet Flash,” I replied.

     “Did I? I’m so sorry, Geo,” Fyora apologized and gave me a quick pat on the shoulder.

     “So I feel like someone or something doesn’t want me to know about Chet Flash. They just might be someone skilled with magic. Maybe we can find something in the library’s uhh… special section?”

     “Maybe we should let Fyora rest?” Aethia suggested.

     “No, I’m fine. Let’s go to the library then. The first thing we need to check is the Book of Faeries. It lists all the faeries that exist in Neopia.”

     Fyora gulped down the rest of her Fyora Day Fizz and we both went to the library. Aethia followed closely behind. As we approached the library, the guards that chased me earlier showed up again and tried to stop me. However, Fyora waved them off and they moved out of the way.

     The restricted section of the library had its own entrance in the back and Fyora reached into a hidden pocket and pulled out the key for it. It was a pink key with a carving of a winged book on the handle. She inserted the key and appeared to do an intricate pattern of twisting and turning until the door opened to a small room with three rows of shelves. In the middle sat an enormous pink leather-bound book. Fyora hovered up to it and opened it.

     She thumbed through some page as peered over her shoulder. It was quite literally a list of faeries and their element and then their ages.

     “Hey, Illusen’s age is—mmmm”

     Fyora shushed me and put her hand over my mouth.

     “Don’t you dare announce any faerie’s age to all of Neopia!” Fyora’s shouted.

     Fyora never usually raises her voice so it was quite shocking. She then beckoned Aethia over.

     “Can you take care of him while I look through this?”

     Aethia grinned and gleefully came over and grabbed me from behind, wrapping her strong arms around me.

     “Hahaha, you’re mine again!” she taunted. “How does it feel to be so helpless? Oh, don’t worry, I’ll try not to crush you.”

     By now I had learned to let Aethia have her fun, knowing that deep down she had no intention of hurting anyone. Still, she had a strange idea of fun, and someone who didn’t know her well might misconstrue her taunts as actual threats.

     As Aethia dragged me away from Fyora, Fyora continued to flip through the book. “I still don’t see any mention of Chet Flash here,” she muttered. I tried to talk to Fyora, but Aethia was doing a decent job at preventing that.

     “Why don’t you just be patient and let her look?” Aethia suggested, shushing me and wrapping her hand over my mouth.

     “Hey, I found Chet Flash!” Fyora exclaimed.

     “Where?! Let me see!” I shouted, trying to get away from Aethia. Aethia still held onto me though and walked me over to Fyora.

     “You were going to run her over!” Aethia claimed.

     “Oh no! The page of the book just disappeared!” Fyora lamented.

     “What? Are you serious? Your book is totally broken,” I said, folding my arms.

     “Hey, I’m serious, I’m not joking. The whole page is gone!” Fyora kept closing and reopening the book to no avail.

     “Did you see what it said about Chet Flash at least?”

     “Uh, well they are a faerie without an element and uhhh, their last location was… everywhere.”

     “Umm… that doesn’t help.”

     “Well, it’s the best I could do!” Fyora snapped.

     I jumped at her tone. It was unusual for Fyora to snap at anyone. Aethia even appeared a bit taken aback and jumped in between Fyora and me, fearing there would be additional conflict.

     “Umm… I mean, I’m sorry, I can only do so much, Geo,” she softly said this time.

     Out of the corner of my eye, I started noticing some other books glowing.

     “Fyora, look!”

     Fyora turned to look at the books, and then tried to reach out to grab one. I could make out the first four letters... “Chet” in the title, but as Fyora tried to open it, the book disappeared. One by one, she tried each of the books only for them to disappear as well. Then suddenly, I saw a bright yellow glow from my pocket, so I took out the folded copy of the Neopian Times that said, “Chet Flash wuz here!” at the top. But it now read “Chet Flash wuznt here!”

     “Oh no! What’s going on? What type of magic is this?” I asked Fyora.

     “I-I don’t know. It doesn’t seem to be harmful, but I can’t even sense if this is something sinister or not,” Fyora replied, equally confused.

     I then turned to Aethia who shrugged. “You know me, I’m not as good at this magic stuff. But I think I’m right to say that Chet Flash is some sort of faerie that just doesn’t want to be found. Perhaps we should respect their privacy. Besides, don’t you have plenty of other things to write about? Why don’t you write about me?”

     It was true that I mostly wrote about Fyora, but rarely focused on her trusted friend by her side. Perhaps Aethia was right, but it still bothered me greatly that I wasn’t able to get to the bottom of the Chet Flash mystery.

     “Huh? But I failed at my assignment. The NT HQ won’t be happy.”

     “Do you need me to tell the NT how much trouble you ran into?” Fyora asked.

     “No no, I don’t need you to help me come up with an excuse. I’ll just detail my findings today and hope the NT understands.”

     “Hmm, ok. I’d best be going back to my duties then,” Fyora said, and then she disappeared in a puff of pink smoke.

     “Hmm... there’s a ton of interesting books here, perhaps if I had a look...”

     “Not so fast buddy,” Aethia said. She stood behind me and gave me a playful shove toward the exist.

     “Ahh.”

     “This is still the restricted section and I’m obligated to make sure you don’t read anything here. Now, out!” Aethia ordered and then took a few steps towards me.

     “Ok ok! I’m going! Sheesh,” I said, scurrying out of the library as Aethia began to chase me out. Not looking at where I was going, I ran straight into a faerie. It did not appear this faerie had an element. She wore a purple dress with pink pinstripes. Her hair bore the same pattern and was tied back into a bun. She also wore a bracelet with beads that were shaped like faerie wings representing the colours of every faerie element. She was shorter than the Faerie Queen. Her wings had pink feathers on them, almost like Taelia’s wings. She stumbled slightly as I ran into her.

     “Oops, sorry ma’am!” I stammered, looking embarrassed. I then gasped as I saw the initials CF on her dress.

     “You’re-”

     She placed her fingers on her lips.

     “Shh. Whoever you think I am, I am not,” she whispered. She then blew gently and moments later, the world went black.

     --

     “Weewoo!” said a loud voice.

     I awoke and found a few white weewoos sitting around my head. They flew away as I sat up. I then turned to look and realized that I was in the Neopian Times Faerieland Building, laying on a cot.

     There was a knock at the door. I opened it and found the director of news operations standing there. She was an Air Faerie named Florence that was a kind, but strict boss that demanded a lot out of her reporters

     “Oh good, you’re awake. Now I’m looking forward to your piece on Chet Flash soon. I hope you weren’t sleeping the whole time,” she said. “Because if you are, then I’m going to send you to cover something boring, like the Poogle Races.”

     “AH! I should have it ready for you soon!”

     “Good,” she said, closing the door.

     “After pondering whether what I just experienced in Faerieland was real or not, I decided that perhaps it would pass as something newsworthy, so I sat back at my desk and began writing.

     

 
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