Sirasine and Brak flipped around staring at the figure
in the doorway.
It was Ryussin -- but he was so much different
than the Ryussin they'd seen, Brak had a hard time believing it was him -- but
Sirasine was more sure who it was than ever.
His face was a black and shimmering purple-hued
mask of cold deadly fury. His sleek black feathers were ruffled, making him
look larger than he really was. Muscle rippled powerfully beneath the feathers
and his wings were spread wide, spanning a good ten feet at the least.
"Ssssso," he hissed, his voice so cold and haunting
that Brak shuddered at the very sound, "you're sssssmarterrrrr than I thoughtttt!
Buttttt I'm afraid I cannotttt let you get live."
He clapped his humungous paws and suddenly six
other Eyries his size and build were standing in the room, glaring at the two
siblings with slitted red eyes.
"Givvvvve me the braccccelet, Sssssssirassssine!"
Sirasine's face was cold as ice. "Come and get
it!" she snarled, then roared to Brak, "RUN!!!"
And they bolted, bowling over two of the Eyries
and racing out the door of the office into the hallway. "GETTTTTT THEMMM!" Ryussin
Brak scrambled down the polished wood stairs,
digging his claws into the floor so as not to slip. Sirasine loped along at
his heels, bracelet glowing around her neck. The pounding of the Eyries' feet
combined with their horrible screeches created a chilling, deafening roar.
"Get out of the house!" Sirasine hissed sharply.
"Get as far away from this place as you can! I will follow behind you -- don't
worry about me, I have the bracelet! Now flee!"
Brak was only too happy to comply. He raced down
another flight of steps to the first floor and slammed his body into the door.
It creaked open slowly. Brak slid between the two semi-open doors and raced
out into Faerieland. The last thing he heard before the heavy doors slammed
behind him was Sirasine's laughter as a blast of light lit the entrance hall,
and seven awful high-pitched screeches sounding like one.
As he fled from the house and all the terrible
things in it, he wondered if it was all his fault just because he'd messed up
that one day in the Neopian Bazaar. Or maybe... it was just a cruel twist of
Brak had been running hopelessly for hours. He had almost reached the other end
of Faerieland, and his sides were ragged with pain. He heard a distant shrieking
scream, and limped as fast as his tired, bedraggled body could carry him. But
after only several minutes, his body gave into the pain, and he flopped down onto
the soft clouds, wishing he could lie there forever.
But then he heard the muffled sound of pawsteps
on the clouds, and raspy breathing. A white shape skidded to a halt in front
of him -- Sirasine.
"Brak," she gasped, "I held 'em off as long as
I could--I even managed to bring one down, maybe only temporarily though." She
panted and removed the bracelet from her neck, throwing it down at Brak's side.
"I don't know exactly how to use it, but it can help us to some extent."
Brak stared at the bracelet. "Who... does know...
how?" he gasped.
Sirasine sighed, a slight, grim smile appearing
on her face. "That idiot Eyrie, Ryussin let slip that there was only one person
he knew that could use it. It was--thank Fyora -- not him, but..." she stopped
and took a deep breath. "Now," she continued severely, "we don't know where
he is or even if he's alive, but it's our father."
Brak merely raised his eyebrows. Things were so
weird right now that this fact barely even surprised him. "So," he grunted, raising
himself into a sitting position, "what do we do now? Can we just take this thing
to Fyora and be done with it?"
Sirasine laughed dryly. "I don't think so, Brak."
There was a cold, determined tone to her voice. "She'd never believe us," she
hissed coldly. "Ryussin isn't quite as dumb as he looks -- he's been donating
to the Money Tree and doing all sorts of volunteer work to make it look like
he's a nice little upstanding citizen." She grimaced. "That little brat's left
us with only one thing to do..."
"What's... that?" Brak said hesitantly.
Sirasine sighed. "I have to find our father,"
she said wearily.
Brak raised his eyebrows. "You have to find him?
Sirasine sighed. "You're too young Brak -- as
far as I know, you're the only family I've got left. I'm not going to have them
chasing you, hunting you down until they find you and kill you. I'll go alone.
I can take care of myself."
Brak took a shuddering breath. "But... what would
A piercing shriek split the air, uncomfortably
close. Sirasine glanced towards the edge of the clouds. There was a dim orange-grey
light at the east horizon. "For now, we get out of Faerieland, Brak -- we run!"
And they did just that. The two took off across
the clouds bounding lightly over them, Brak overtaken with a second wind. Then...
they reached the edge of the clouds.
"We're stuck," Sirasine hissed. "We're trapped
Brak glanced at the sky. "Sometimes... sometimes
they say the darkest hour comes before the dawn..."
Sirasine's face was grim. "The darkest hour is
yet to come. There will be a dawn of darkness..."
Brak sighed and stared over the edge of the clouds,
hideous hissing screeches echoing in his mind. He glimpsed a spot of clear blue
-- water. His eyes lit up. "Throw it over," he whispered breathlessly.
Sirasine turned to him. "What?"
"Throw that cursed bracelet over the clouds. It'll
land in the water -- not destroyed... but safe for the time until you find your
Sirasine stared at the bracelet. It was meant
to protect her -- the only part of her mother she had left. To throw it over...
to lose what little she had forever...
"Alright," she breathed. "But promise me this
Brak -- when I've found you again, you'll have made a name for yourself. You'll
be Brak, Lord of the Alleys." She turned to him, smiling.
"I promise," he said, also grinning.
Suddenly, a memory slipped through Sirasine's
mind. A memory of another broken promise... one that now left both hers and
Brak's lives at stake.
She tossed the bracelet over the cloud and she
and Brak watched it fall until it disappeared.
And Sirasine trotted away, without a backwards
glance at her brother. The bracelet was safe for the time being, she
thought as she walked away.
Brak turned and head for the Uni's that could
fly him down to Neopia Central. He too thought it was safe.
They were wrong.
The bracelet tumbled through the sky, gleaming in the dim pre-dawn light. It
slipped through fluffy clouds and was glimpsed by several pets flying to Faerieland.
But they thought nothing of it. And eventually, it hit the water with a splash.
Maraqua was in chaos. A swirling whirlpool had started several leagues away,
and was moving swiftly toward the underwater city.
Pets swam about frantically, grabbing their belongings
and starting for the surface where they hoped they'd be safe.
As the whirlpool neared the city, several pets
saw a small glimmer of gold drifting down to the bottom of the ocean. But none
of them noticed that when the whirlpool hit, it was sucked up along with what
was the once-great city of Maraqua...
Now, this isn't really the end. Only the end of this story. Well, actually,
there is one more part...
Brak climbed wearily onto the back of a blue Uni stationed at the edge of the
cloud city. He gripped its mane as it flapped its wings and took off from the
They flew down through the clouds, and swooped over
the ocean... just as a storm, created by the swirling whirlpool over Maraqua hit.
They were hit with a gust of wind like that felt
to Brak like a wall of lead. He was thrown off the Uni's back and into the ocean,
flailing and yelling.
He fought to keep his head above the water, but
soon he slipped under and drifted out of consciousness.
Sunlight. Brak blinked. There was sunlight. He opened his eyes slowly and tried
to sit up, wondering whether or not he was dead. A rough paw pushed him back
"Stay down, imbecile!" said an annoyed voice.
Brak squinted up at the speaker. It was a Kyrii -- a blue, no, an electric Kyrii.
"Where..." Brak started, then trailed off as
his eyes drifted to his left. Water. There was water all around him. He moaned.
He was alive -- that was for sure. But he was out on the water again. But...
"What're we floating on?" he said blearily to the Kyrii.
"My surfboard, stupid!" she said, rolling her
eyes. She scratched her head. "Eh, what's your name?" she demanded.
Brak tried again to sit up. There was dull pain
in his head. He laid back down, then propped himself up on his elbows. "Uhn,
I'm Brak," he muttered. "Who're you?"
She glanced down at him. "Weird name. I'm Leye."
She raised her eyebrows high. "What were you doing floating around in the ocean
like that, stupid! Tryin' get y'self killed, dumbo!"
Brak sighed. "Long story. What're you doin' out
The Kyrii shrugged. "I was surfin'. Then this
stupid storm blew in and I got swept out pretty far. I saw you floating in the
water all half-dead like some drowning idiot, so I picked you up." She whacked
him between his ears with her paw. Brak blinked.
"What was that for?!" he cried, rising into a
sitting position. He balled his paw into a fist and drove it into the side of
To his surprise, the Kyrii grinned. "Ha! No one's
ever hit me before!" she laughed. "You're either really stupid, or really bold."
"I'd like to go with bold, thank you!" Brak said
indignantly, feeling the tender spot on his head.
Leye smiled. "Hmm... I've decided not to hate
you. Now, let's try an' find land, y'little idiot!"
Brak glared at her, but as she turned away, he
felt his mouth twist into a satisfied grin. He glanced up at the sun, which
was reaching its zenith. The dawn of darkness was gone. It was time to start
a new day.