Chapter two - Kidnapped!
Waterlily ran down to Fire Faerie Square, arriving with
three minutes to spare. It was empty, apart from a small Shadowed Shoyru, watching
the Fiery Fountain with a bored expression.
"Excuse me?" Waterlily walked closer. The closer
she got, the more hesitant she was. The Shoyru didn't exactly look bored… more
blank, as though nothing could interest him.
"Excuse me, are you from the Expedition? Only
I got the job description from the Employment Agency… I'm not late, am I?"
He turned to look at her, staring hard at her
face as though imprinting her features in his mind. "Your name is Black Waterlily?"
"Yes. Did the Agency tell you I was coming,
then?" A tiny thread of doubt made Waterlily frown. She hadn't given her name
to the Job Faerie.
"No. I have been waiting for you. The Job was
merely a decoy, to ensure you came here."
"And…" Waterlily took half a step back, apprehensive.
"And why is that?"
In response, he smiled. It was a tight, grim
little smile that was more terrifying than warming. Raising one paw, he said
three words that twisted into themselves and had more syllables than was decent.
Waterlily felt a gathering of energy over her head and dove aside just in time
to avoid being hit by a line of black and purple lightning.
A second arced down and the Ixi just avoided
it for a second time. This Shoyru was trying to kill her! There were only two
rational things to do; run, or hit him so hard he wouldn't be able to do any
Waterlily had never been one to run from a fight.
She ran straight for him, rearing up and head-butting the Shoyru as hard as
she could. There was a brief spark, a whiff of sulphur, and he was flat on his
"That never happened before…" Waterlily's surprise
only grew as a woman, a blond woman with WINGS, stepped out from a nearby alley.
"Oh yes, you're the one alright, especially
if you can defeat my dear Nightwing with no training. Pin her, Deathstrike!"
A fire Uni shot out from behind the woman and
pounced. Waterlily struggled and began screaming as Anuina began dragging the
senseless Nightwing, followed by Deathstrike and the Ixi.
"Help! Blue Murder! Fire! Kidnap! I'm being
shanghaied! Chrissy! Elenna! Hina! Immacolata! Help MEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!"
"UNHAND MY SISTER, FIEND!"
It was Elenna! With that cheesy fantasy catchphrase,
who else could it be? Unbelievably, the little Uni was here. Anuina hissed and
flung a black lightning bolt, which Elenna dodged. A pair of ragged wings unfolded
from the woman's back and she leapt into the air with a screech.
"Deathstrike, Nightwing! Follow me! FOLLOW ME!"
The fire Uni took to the air, clutching the squirming
Waterlily. The Shoyru wasn't in a fit state to retaliate, although he had regained
consciousness. Elenna flew through the air like an avenging angel, crushing
the small pet against the floor.
"Bring back my sister and I'll let him go!"
she demanded, fierce as ever. Anuina laughed, hovering.
"Not so, little Uni. The TRUE queen has returned!
Kill her, Nightwing!"
The Shoyru looked up at Elenna, eyes completely
devoid of hope. He spoke so low that only the Uni could hear him.
"Black Waterlily is beyond your help now. You
cannot kill a Faerie, much less an Uber Faerie. There are places pets were not
meant to go, things pets were not meant to know. You will remember this."
Then, with a powerful blast of magic, Elenna
was flung against the wall with a crack. She slumped to the ground, limp and
lifeless, her coat deathly pale. Anuina cackled as Waterlily screamed.
"ELENNAAAAAAAA! NOOOOOO! YOU MONSTER, YOU KILLED
MY SISTER! I'LL GET YOU FOR THIS!!!!!"
Nightwing took flight lazily, head and limbs
hanging as though he couldn't support his own weight. Anuina was fiddling with
a small device, but reached out to cuff the Ixi around the head.
"Be silent, little minx! You couldn't get me
if I had both hands tied behind my back!"
With a last maniacal laugh, the four of them
disappeared, just as Immacolata, Hina and myself arrived on the scene. We had
been searching for Waterlily when Elenna, with her sharp hearing, had heard
some strange noises coming down a dark alleyway and run towards them.
"Elenna? Sweet mother of Wombats, Elenna! Talk
to me!" I knelt by my Uni's side, trying to shake her back to consciousness.
Hina leaned over, mouth slightly open.
"Is… is she going to be okay?" I leaned close,
pressing one ear to her chest. It was very dull, but it was there, a barely
"Yes, but we've got to get her to the Healing
Springs! Immacolata, help us out here…"
"Put her on my skateboard," Hina suggested.
"Then we can, like, wheel her along."
I nodded. "Great idea, Hina! We've got to move
fast, I don't know that she'll last much longer…"
* * * * *
I leant over Elenna's head. Her lips were moving slightly.
"Hey, dude! She's moving! That's good, right?"
Immacolata shrugged, the Aisha correcting Hina
emotionlessly. "It could be phantom reflex."
I leaned closer so I could hear what the Uni
was saying. It wasn't exactly comforting.
"… And as for my Christmas Chia plushie, I'll
give that to Hina. He likes shredding them. Waterlily can have my Snow Faerie
Snow Globe, I know she's had her eye on it…"
"Elenna, wake up. Wake up. WAKE. UP. NOW."
Her eyes blinked open, large and dark. In a small,
wondering voice, Elenna asked. "Is this heaven?"
"The Healing Springs," I informed her. "Close
enough. Sweet mother of Wombats," I repeated, for the second time in fifteen
minutes. "We thought we'd lost you. What happened?"
"They got Waterlily!" She sat up so fast she
almost fainted, swaying and clutching at my sleeve. "There was a Faerie, a Fire
Uni and a Shadowed Shoyru. They stole Waterlily, so I pinned the Shoyru, and
he said something…"
"Dude! A FAERIE? Have you gone, like, totally
"No, I swear it was a Faerie!" Elenna brushed
her pale fringe out of her eyes, glancing from me, to her sister, to Hina. Immacolata
looked sceptical. "A Dark Faerie?"
"I don't think so. Her wings were sort of grey,
but her hair and eyes were golden. She shouted something about the true queen
having returned, and then ordered her Shoyru to kill me…" Elenna shuddered,
closed her eyes and continued. "The Shoyru said… let me see… 'Black Waterlily
is beyond your help now. You cannot kill a Faerie, much less an Uber Faerie.
There were places pets were not meant to go, things pets were not meant to know.'
That's funny." Elenna opened her eyes again. "I remember it, word for word.
After that, everything went black. I thought I was dead."
"Well, you aren't." I helped Elenna to her feet,
thanking the Water Faerie for healing her. "I think we ought to go home and
think about this over a couple of Thornberry Crepes. An Uber Faerie, huh?"
"I believe I may have heard something to the
effect of a Banished Uber Faerie when I was reviewing some old copies of the
Neopian Times," Immacolata informed us, scratching her head. "As for the places
pets were not meant to go, there are infinite possibilities. For a Faerie of
supreme power, creating a tiny loophole in the Neopian Algorithm would be entirely
possible, since this is a four-dimensional algorithmic universe she would have
to reprogram the Algorithm for a fifth dimensional plane, and like an Internet
Trapdoor she would probably have it keyed to a specific item or pysicon…"
"Okay, dudette, slow up and give it to me strait."
Hina rolled his eyes, casually skateboarding at our side. "What's the Neopian
Algorithm and, like, what's it got to do with us?"
"We are the Neopian Algorithm." Immacolata explain,
the Aisha already unfolding her laptop as she spoke. "It surrounds us, it is
everything that exists, every shall and ever has. In Neopia, at least."
"That'd make a really great book one day, but
for now, lets focus, shall we?" I was still helping Elenna walk, which was kind
of difficult since she was almost the same height as me and weighed a good bit
more. "What do we know? One, our opponents are probably a banished Uber Faerie,
a Fire Uni and a Shadowed Shoyru. Two, they have some kind on non-dimensional
Limbo set up so we can't get to them. Think of it as a cube, Hina." I explained,
seeing his confusion. "It's got no windows, no doors, but it's hollow. It's
also really small, so we can never find it. They can shrink themselves down
to get inside, but we're too big."
"So… we have to squish the cube?" The Baby Kougra
wasn't too sharp on the uptake. Immacolata sighed.
"No, Hina, it was a METAPHOR. You do remember
what a metaphor is, don't you?"
"Shut up," Elenna groaned, rubbed her eyes.
She had a massive headache coming on.
Immacolata turned to me, flipping through the
contents of her laptop. I caught several unusual file names, 'The Book', 'Operation
Ghostkerchief' and 'Platform +/- Infinity' before she shut down the screen.
"I think I may have some answers, but it will
take me a while… I will meet you back at our house in a few hours."
I nodded reluctantly. "Alright, but take your
mobile and keep in touch. If they went after Waterlily, they might be after
Immacolata nodded, with a tiny smile. "We shall
see if some of the legendary Aisha stealth has rubbed off on me, shan't we?"
And then she was gone. Just melted away into
To be continued...