Of enemies and friends
Slowly, we snaked through the corridors. My instincts
from the years of pick pocketing kicked in, my senses in overdrive as I strained
my ears for any noise. Behind me, I could hear Lae whispering something to Jeronik.
Then the soft whoosh of wings as Drushii and Jeronik took flight.
"This way," Lady Likisha said, pointing us in
a direction I was positive that took us further into… wherever we were.
"Sari?" Lae hissed behind me. I turned round,
aware we were starting to lag behind Lady Likisha. "Isn't the exit that way?"
she asked, pointing in the opposite direction. I winced.
"Keep your ears pealed," I whispered, and hurried
after Lady Likisha.
"Lady… Likisha!" I hissed, finally catching
up with her. She had stopped outside a set of double oak doors and was now pulling
them open without a care in the world. Gracelessly, I tripped over the hem of
my robes (I had been running quite fast,) fell into Lady Likisha, the resulting
force knocking us both into the room.
"I can't accuse you of making uninteresting
entrances now, can I Sari?" a smooth voice said. It was then Lae, Jero and Drushii,
seeing the commotion, rushed into the room, only to trip over Lady Likisha and
I and land in a heap on the ground.
"Oh yeah, there goes my dignity," I mumbled,
slowly getting to my feet. Immediately, rough hands grabbed my arms, forcing
them behind my back. "Hey!" I yelled, seeing similar things happening to Jero,
Lae and Drushii. Drushii and Lae were forcibly pushed into cages; the doors
banging shut behind them and firmly padlocked.
"What in Neopia are you up to?" Lae yelled,
trying to force apart the bars.
"I am merely taking back what is mine," Mr.
Brown said, watching me in amusement as I squirmed. The hold on my arms was
tight, but I wasn't going to give up without a fight. Meanwhile, Jero was being
dragged towards a table of sorts. It was upright, with two cuffs attached to
"Jero was never yours," I yelled. "And he never
will be! You'll never get the jewel."
"Ah yes," Mr. Brown said pleasantly, as one
might discuss the weather. He watched as they attached Jeronik to the table.
I winced as the cuffs clamed his paws in. "The jewel. Well hidden, I must admit.
But it doesn't matter now; I will soon reclaim it. I took the liberty in telling
Jeronik of his legacy," he added, almost as an afterthought.
I immediately turned to Jeronik. He looked at
me for a second, before averting his gaze. Rather than try and talk to Jeronik,
which would probably serve only as an amusement to Mr Brown and his lackeys,
I turned to Mr. Brown with an arrogant glare.
"I must thank you, Lady Likisha, for leading
them so very nicely into my trap," Mr. Brown said in amusement, looking at Lady
Likisha. I turned my glare to her, wishing my eyes were daggers.
"You what?" I yelled.
"You made your living through lies, Sari," she
said calmly. "And so do I."
I had no answer to that. Despite shaking with
a rage I'd never felt before, I still needed to think fast. "What are you accomplishing
by doing this?" I asked, changing my track. "It won't work."
"Say's who?" Mr. Brown asked. It was then I
noticed something being pushed towards Jeronik. It was large, standing about
my height. A red blanket covered it completely, but from the rough shape, it
resembled a gun. Immediately, my heart stopped.
"What…" Jeronik asked, his eyes firmly placed
on this blanketed shape. He'd got to the same conclusion I had. And by the look
in his eyes, he knew what was going to happen.
"Don't you need to do the typical I'm-a-bad-guy-and-here's-my-speech
thing?" I asked hopefully, praying he would buy us a few minutes of time. I
could see out the corner of my eye that Lae had already started picking the
lock using one claw. Drushii had followed her lead, I knew Lae had been teaching
Drushii a few tricks of the trade.
"Ah yes, sarcasm," Mr. Brown said with a slight
upturn with his lips. It was then I wondered why on earth I'd even half believed
him. Oh yeah, I thought, I didn't. I remembered something I said
when we first met Mr Brown…
"Lae," I replied, struggling to keep a straight
voice. "I don't know if it's a good idea."
"The jewel can only be used once it's--shall
we say extracted--from the source. In this case, Jeronik." Mr. Brown's eyes
flitted towards Jero briefly before resting on me again. "So, naturally, I need
to extract it. By destroying Jeronik, I will release the jewel and thus, I gain
"And let me guess," I said, desperate to allow
Lae a few precious seconds more to pick the lock. I could see she was almost
finished. "Then it's off to Faerieland to overthrow them, and then world domination?"
Mr. Brown chuckled, "Such a smart little girl."
He paused. "Now, excuse me, I'm off to take over Neopia. Starting with Jeronik."
He whipped the blanket off the machine, confirming my worse fears. It resembled
the lab ray, except it was jet black with a silver skull on one side. Somehow,
I doubted it would increase Jero's stats…
"NO!" I yelled, and started to resume my struggles.
I heard the soft click from behind me, and suddenly an Orange bundle landed
on my capture's head. With a yell, he let go of me, and I rushed towards Jeronik.
In the confusion, Mr. Brown started the machine.
"SARI!" Lae said in a very uncharacteristic
I didn't stop to think. I just ran in front
of Jero. What was once directed at Jero was now directed at me, and with a blast
of bright blue light, the gun discharged. It hit me in the chest, flinging me
to the side.
I didn't even feel myself hit the ground.
To be continued…
Author's Note: Neomails will be stuck on a pedestal and worshipped by Chia
gods for a while before being replied to.