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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 17th day of Sleeping, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 108 > Continuing Series > Searching for the Stars: Part Nine

Searching for the Stars: Part Nine

by adoriblelapin

Ajliso clutched the two necklaces dangling from her neck. They were hidden from everyone, as they were tucked into the collar of her slim space suit. She breathed deeply, an old memory crossing her mind…

     “Our mother gave us these?” asked Ajliso keenly, poking at her necklace. She looked at her sister.

     “Yeah,” her twin replied, showing no signs of interest at the necklaces.

     Sensing the disinterest in her sister’s tone of voice, Ajliso said, “I bet it’d look brilliant if we washed these, you know. Maybe it would match your dress.”

     The twin tossed the necklace to her sister. “Go ahead.”

     Ajliso took the necklace rather groggily, rethinking if she should be bossed around by her two-second-younger twin. She did it anyway, washing hers and her sister’s necklace. They fit together perfectly beside each other, forming the two curves at the top of a heart. Ajliso wondered which other piece fit at the bottom…

     Soon, she found out it belonged to her mother. Ajliso walked into a store one day and found the bottom piece, determined to buy it. In the end, Ajliso had two necklaces and her sister had one, which she had most likely thrown away already.

     On another day, Ajliso chuckled sadly to herself, she had helped her twin with the world domination project. Her sister wanted a machine to make every Aisha in Neopia have four ear stalks.

     Thinking her twin would give something back to her, Ajliso drew out a basic but complex plan on blueprint. She handed it to her twin, and she took it without a single thank you, depressing Ajliso…

     Aglyco. That was her name. Aglyco was the name of her twin, the attempted world dominator, most likely content at this exact moment. Unlike Aglyco, nobody in Neopia but Rosch and Eyelle knew about Ajliso. That was why she was not in their records, nor ever would be…

     Ajliso closed her eyes, breathing in the last bit of air, and for the first time, believing that this monster world was merely an illusion. It was.

***

Eyelle gasped as he watched the alien Aisha make her way from the odd building. She had no oxygen tanks or suppliers, nor did she have a strap around her waist. In fact, she looked exactly like a regular yellow Aisha, if she had not had an extra pair of ears.

     “Ajliso!” Eyelle squealed, for he could now talk without the translator. He called his missing friend’s name a second before he realized it was not her.

     The Aisha turned around to look at Eyelle, her deep blue eyes looking directly into the Shoyru’s. He hoped with all his heart that this Aisha knew Ajliso, where she was, and they that could save her.

     “Hi!” the Aisha said sweetly, her voice unfamiliar.

     “Hello,” Eyelle forced himself to say, his heart thumping loudly.

     “My,” the Aisha said. “What are you two doing out here, considering you both look plenty young? Would you like to come into my office?”

     Eyelle could feel his heart racing, as he nodded intently. Perhaps this Aisha could help him, whether she knew Ajliso or not. Perhaps she could just be the Neopet he needed.

     The Aisha lead him into her building, flicking on the light by the side of the doorway. The lights turned on to show the many strange objects in the room. They were polished, glimmering and shining in the incandescent lights.

     “I guess a little introductions would be quite pleasant,” the Aisha said gleefully. “I am Cheyenne, the alien Aisha.”

     “I’m Eyelle,” the Shoyru said. He then pointed to his Doglefox. “That is Rosch.”

     “Nice to meet you, Eyelle and Rosch. Now,” Cheyenne said, “what is it that you two would like?”

     “Ajliso,” Eyelle replied simply. “We want to save Ajliso, wherever she is, whatever she’s doing.”

     Cheyenne seemed to ponder for a minute, then smiled. “I have just the thing for you, if you’d like. It’s a time machine, really, but it can transport you to anyplace you’ve been to in your lifetime.”

     Eyelle gasped, and followed Cheyenne’s hand as she beckoned toward a large metal cylinder with buttons covering most of the insides.

     “It would take about a week to get it up and moving again,” she explained. Then she sighed, adding, “I wish I could have used it a few years ago.”

     “Why can’t you?” inquired Eyelle.

     “I can’t change the face of history after years of being written,” Cheyenne said sadly. She shook her head. “Well, I won’t charge you anything, but just to liven things up, could you promise me to allow me to meet this Ajliso when you’ve done?”

     “Yes!” Eyelle exclaimed. “Yes, we’d be more than glad to.”

     “Alright then,” Cheyenne said, grinning. “I’ll see you in a week, okay, little guy?”

     The week past by rather quickly, as Eyelle and Rosch both had a large amount of hope. They continued their daily traveling, except with much more happiness and cheer. They also visited Cheyenne every evening just to chat. It seemed everything was getting better, and when Ajliso returned, it would have been even better.

     At long last, a week past. Cheyenne gave them a small slip of instructions for the time machine. Unfortunately, the ‘time machine’ was merely a name, Cheyenne had once explained, because it could not travel forward in time.

     Eyelle and Rosch went inside the machine, their hearts racing. Eyelle examined the paper thoroughly before pushing the small buttons upon the surface of the machine. There was a combination of buttons to press, and they followed the instructions as best as possible.

     When they were at their last button, as Cheyenne had detected, she said, “Good luck.”

     Visions and pictures whirled around the two, the colours mixed and puzzlement surrounded them. Eyelle and Rosch held their breaths, as dizziness had begun to claim them. They closed their eyes tightly; cool air rushing past them, as they finally landed on the grass.

     Eyelle looked around. This was where Ajliso’s supposed space ship was, and where he had last seen her. His eyes focused to a figure lying in front of him. Ajliso was sprawled on the ground, a triumphant smile on her face, clutching two necklaces.

     “Ajliso…” Eyelle muttered, nearing her.

     Ajliso smiled and picked herself up. “You came back for me,”

     Eyelle nodded happily, restraining himself from doing back flips and jumping up and down. Rosch barked happily as a welcome for Ajliso, who was more than glad to accept his licks.

     “We have to go back now,” Eyelle said, looking at the slip of paper in his paw.

     “I’m glad that we do,” Ajliso replied with a broader smile. “It wasn’t very fun here, battling a big Isha blob thing. No doubt other monsters will be out for revenge, but it was fair enough.”

     Eyelle nodded, looking at the paper. It gave instructions of how to get back, which was to say the numbers of the buttons he had pressed backwards, standing around where he had appeared. Each button had a marked and clear number in the machine.

     Eyelle, Rosch, and Ajliso stood on the clump of grass. Eyelle called out the numbers loudly and clearly, as they zoomed forward into the present time.

     They opened their eyes. Many alien Aishas crowded in the room, every one of them smiling broadly. Cheyenne was standing closest to the ‘time machine’, as the three climbed out.

     “Oh no,” Ajliso said. “This isn’t another trick, is it?”

     “Nope,” a gruff voice said, coming from the side. They all turned to see the real commander. “We escaped from our captors. Mostly thanks to you.”

     “But -- how?” Ajliso stammered, surprised. “How did you all get here? How did I help? What’s going on?”

     Eyelle grinned. He had forgot to tell her they had traveled back in time to retrieve Ajliso. As though the commander read his mind he said, “Did you not know that you traveled a week forward in time?”

     “I what?” Ajliso exclaimed in shock. Cheyenne smiled. Eyelle pointed at her, and Ajliso understood. “Thank you.”

     “After you had defeated the monster,” the commander said, as though they had never paused. “Most of their guards and defense had been terminated, which provided us more than enough time to escape. We came here and saw this young alien Aisha, telling us everything.”

     “Oh,” Ajliso said bluntly. “Well, it’s nice to see you all. Does this mean that we’re all going… home?”

     There was a deathly silence filling the room. Eyelle had a prickle of fear and sadness flooding him. He would part from Ajliso, yet again. Rosch made no sound, not even the faintest whimper. The alien Aisha troops had heard of Ajliso’s adventure, and knew it was like departing from home, as they all had done once before.

     “It was merely your decision,” the commander explained. “You may choose any path you wish, although in certain cases I would immediately say ‘no’. This is a special case, as you have saved all of us, and perhaps even the whole of Neopia.”

     “Umm,” Ajliso said slowly. “That was a dramatic cliché, Sir.”

     “I wouldn’t have made it so if it was not for your actions,” the commander said in his rough voice. “But it is your choice whether you’d like to follow us or not.”

     “Just tell me one thing. Do you have Eyelle’s mother?” asked Ajliso, as Eyelle’s heart leaped.

     The commander turned. The Aisha troops made a pathway for a glamourous-looking Shoyru walked through, her face pale, but it lightened when she turned to Eyelle. Her face then turned bright with excitement and happiness as the two came together again as a family.

     Ajliso smiled, as everyone followed after her. Rosch barked and ran around the room cheerily. Suddenly, Ajliso’s grin faded. She turned to the commander.

     “Sir, please give me until tonight to make my decision.”

     “Very well,” the commander said. “Tonight.”

***

Throughout the rest of the day, Ajliso, Eyelle, Rosch, and Eyelle’s mother had a fun time, chatting and doing various activities in Neopia Central. They went in parks, shared stories, and ate together.

     At last, night arrived. The stars filled the navy blue sky, which twinkled at them. The silver sphere of the moon gleamed beautifully above them.

     Ajliso stood before her fellow ship members, the commander, and Eyelle’s reunited family. They were amongst the plains, where many Neopians did not wonder. It was a beautiful night, a gentle zephyr blowing the grass gently.

     “Do you wish to stay, Ajliso?” the commander questioned.

     Eyelle’s heart skipped a beat. He was looking at Ajliso, trying to catch her eye, but she did not look his way. She couldn’t go, she just couldn’t. With the events today they did together, he was almost certain she would not go.

     “No,” Ajliso said. “No, I do not wish to stay.”

     Eyelle’s eyes widened. The troops looked at each other and began to mutter, but fell silent after a few seconds. The Shoyru could feel his heart tearing up, his stomach twisting and turning. No, she couldn’t go. He wouldn’t let her. But something inside of him said it was her choice, and it was her choice of whether to go or stay, and he could not keep her from her chosen path…

     “The spaceship is my home, and it always will be. When I first signed up, I knew what years would be ahead of me, and I will not abandon you now. I will continue to help Neopians, no matter what the cost.” Ajliso said robotically, as though she were a machine being controlled and revising the rules.

     “If that is your wish,” the commander said. “Then it will be done.”

     “Please give me a few minutes,” Ajliso said. She walked over to Eyelle and scooped him up in her hands, walking away from the troops, Rosch, and Eyelle’s mother. She walked until the troops could no longer be seen.

     “Eyelle,” Ajliso said softly. “I –”

     The Shoyru made no effort to hide his emotion. Tears streamed down his cheeks, muttering, “Why? Why?”

     “Eyelle,” Ajliso repeated gently. “You’re my friend. I had the happiest times of my life here on Neopia, with you and Rosch. I don’t want you to think that it was for nothing, because as long as you keep the memories, I will always be here.”

     Eyelle nodded. He wiped his tears quickly and looked at Ajliso. She took a necklace from her neck and smiled. It was her piece, the one that paired up with her sister’s. Ajliso explained to him about the necklaces while putting it around his neck. It was much too big, but she assured him that he would grow into it quickly.

     Her space ship landed a few meters away from her, the door opening and Eyelle’s mother and Rosch walking from it. Ajliso turned toward the sky.

     “It’s a beautiful night tonight,” she said. She pointed up toward a group of stars. “If you ever see those, think of me. If you ever need someone to talk to, remember that I will always be there, thinking of you day and night.” She paused, as though she could not get the words through her mouth. “And Eyelle…”

     Eyelle turned to her.

     “…goodbye.”

     Ajliso went inside the ship, Eyelle’s mother and Rosch running up to Eyelle. The ship rose from its position, Eyelle watching it as it hovered into the air and shot up into space.

     In the distance, in the form of the stars, Eyelle could spot Ajliso smiling down at him. He smiled back to her, clutching the necklace around his neck. He breathed in deeply, whispering,

     “Goodbye.”

The End

Note: A special thanks to Peachifruit who allowed me to write this and use one of her characters. I hope you have enjoyed the series!

Previous Episodes

Searching for the Stars: Part One

Searching for the Stars: Part Two

Searching for the Stars: Part Three

Searching for the Stars: Part Four

Searching for the Stars: Part Five

Searching for the Stars: Part Six

Searching for the Stars: Part Seven

Searching for the Stars: Part Eight

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