Main Page Go to Short Stories Go back to Articles Go to Comics Go to Continued Series Go to Editorial Go to New Series

Show All | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10 | Week 11 | Week 12 | Week 13 | Week 14 | Week 15 | Week 16 | Week 17 | Week 18 | Week 19 | Week 20 | Week 21 | Week 22 | Week 23 | Week 24 | Week 25 | Week 26 | Week 27 | Week 28 | Week 29 | Week 30 | Week 31 | Week 32 | Week 33 | Week 34 | Week 35 | Week 36 | Week 37 | Week 38 | Week 39 | Week 40 | Week 41 | Week 42 | Week 43 | Week 44 | Week 45 | Week 46 | Week 47 | Week 48 | Week 49 | Week 50 | Week 51 | Week 52 | Week 53 | Week 54 | Week 55 | Week 56 | Week 57 | Week 58 | Week 59 | Week 60 | Week 61 | Week 62 | Week 63 | Week 64 | Week 65 | Week 66 | Week 67 | Week 68 | Week 69 | Week 70 | Week 71 | Week 72 | Week 73 | Week 74 | Week 75 | Week 76 | Week 77 | Week 78 | Week 79 | Week 80 | Week 81 | Week 82 | Week 83 | Week 84 | Week 85 | Week 86 | Week 87 | Week 88 | Week 89 | Week 90 | Week 91 | Week 92 | Week 93 | Week 94 | Week 95 | Week 96 | Week 97 | Week 98 | Week 99 | Week 100 | Week 101 | Week 102 | Week 103 | Week 104 | Week 105 | Week 106 | Week 107 | Week 108 | Week 109 | Week 110 | Week 111 | Week 112 | Week 113 | Week 114 | Week 115 | Week 116 | Week 117 | Week 118 | Week 119 | Week 120 | Week 121 | Week 122 | Week 123 | Week 124 | Week 125 | Week 126 | Week 127 | Week 128 | Week 129 | Week 130 | Week 131 | Week 132 | Week 133 | Week 134 | Week 135 | Week 136 | Week 137 | Week 138 | Week 139 | Week 140 | Week 141 | Week 142 | Week 143 | Week 144 | Week 145 | Week 146 | Week 147 | Week 148 | Week 149

Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 17th day of Sleeping, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 124 > Continuing Series > All The Colours: Part Sixteen

All The Colours: Part Sixteen

by hot_pink_lizard

"Fuzzles are gonna eat me Fuzzles are gonna eat me Fuzzles are gonna eat me…"

      Keeragh dropped the edge of the space blanket with a sigh. He had just about given up on trying to get the Kougra out from under the bed. Ramei flicked his tail with a bored expression, leaping off the top bunk. "Come on, we ought to go see Chrissy."

      "Typical." The Island Eyrie padded at his side as they headed for the Bridge. "All this way and it turns out Kunila is scared of Evil Fuzzles."

      Frend leapt onto Keeragh's shoulder with a 'Meep'. The Eyrie stroked the unusual Gallion's head gently. "Been terrorising Elenna's Neca again, have you?"

      "Oh, that reminds me!" Ramei jumped. "Elenna wanted me to help her make a list of the spaceship's inventory!" He darted down a nearby corridor, then skidded to a halt and ran back. "Oh, and by the way, tell Frend to leave off that Snowbunny, will you? Elenna gets angrier than a hibernating Usul every time she finds it hiding in the cupboard, quivering, and we might need you to help us do a map later. We're working on a new RPG!"

      Keeragh watched the Black Eyrie sprint off back down the corridor with a mystified expression, and then continued walking towards the bridge with Frend chasing his tail.

      The Starborne was another of HQ's spaceships. It was a lot smaller than the Archangel, conveniently big enough for a crew of sixteen, and only Scout-Class. The cabins were small, the bunks were uncomfortable and you could only get recycled water that tasted like there had been half a dozen Cubett swimming in it (And depending on what was in the fish tank, that was sometimes true). It was, however, the fastest vehicle available. The Bridge was probably the second biggest room in the entire ship. The doors swooshed open with the obligatory noise and Keeragh trotted up next to me. "How long now?"

      I frowned. "Only a few hours. How are Immacolata and the Kougra Twins doing with the X-Scrub 4000?"

      "They say that when they're finished, it's gonna purr, but I don't see why it should." The X-Scrub 4000 was a Walkerbot, and the best we could get on short notice. Our technically minded crewmembers had stripped it down and started upgrading it the moment our two-day journey had begun.

      The bridge was much emptier that it should have been. Usually, the Captain, Pilot, Navigator, Transmissions Officer and Bridge Engineer would have been here 24-7, but now there was only me, White, Shift and Midnight. Midnight was the leader of the HQ Space Corps and Admiral of our Starfleet. Currently, our Starfleet numbered two. Midnight was a Shadowed Gelert with mirror-like eyes. He was an excellent pilot, but solemnly quiet and never got the joke. We'd got along by mutually disliking each other.

      "We better go down there." I patted Frend when he affectionately tried to chew my leg off. White and Shift nodded and followed us, but Midnight remained fixed on the controls of the Starborne.

* * * * *

Immacolata swept a spare strand of hair behind one ear with a sigh, dropping her screwdriver into a toolbox. The Walkerbot looked considerably more battered than it had done. "We're done. Admittedly, it doesn't look the best, but it has a larger shield and smartbomb capacity, better weaponry, more effective radar and two advanced repair droids. There's only one slight problem."

      The rest of the crew had gravitated to the Hold, all except Midnight and Kunila, who was still quivering. Shadow had accompanied us as Weapons Officer, and had just finished loading plasma packs into the Walkerbot's weapons system. Luna gave the paintwork a last, pointless polish, and then padded up to me with a grim expression. "We're gonna have a bit of trouble finding a pilot."

      "These bots were designed for Grundos," Solar appeared from underneath the Walkerbot, with a smudge of oil on her nose. Her sister finished the sentence.

      "They average around forty two centimetres in height."

      "But we've upgraded…"

      "All that extra capacity had to go somewhere."

      "So, FYI, we need a pilot who's got a decent aim…"

      "And is about thirty centimetres tall."

      "Maybe less."

      Glancing around the room, I sighed hopelessly. "There isn't anybody! Perilo's got hooves, she can't operate the controls…"

      "Ahem."

      "What about me?" Shift frowned. I just raised my eyebrows. "Toss me that screwdriver, then."

      It landed about four feet short and six feet to the left, narrowly missing giving White a concussion.

      "Okay, I've got the aim of a herring. Big deal."

      "AHEM."

      "You see? We're doomed."

      "Oi! When someone clears their throat repeatedly, right, it means they got something to say!"

      Elenna turned around, and grinned suddenly. "LU! Of course!"

      The Kyrii shrugged. "Whatever. How does this thing work?"

      Luna helped her into the Walkerbot. "Very easily. Aim and fire."

      "Good luck." Solar added, closing the glass canopy. "You're going to need it…"

* * * * *

"Right. Remind me why I'm doing this."

      Luaunoau adjusted the earpiece nervously. Lucky for us, when the Kyrii got nervous, she also got angry. Very angry. And it only seemed to improve her aim.

      "We're all depending on you. So no pressure." Ramei grinned at her through the view screen. She smiled back grimly, checking her status display for the fifteenth time. Midnight flickered up on the second screen.

      "We're going to drop you as near as we can to entry hatch B17. That's the closest we can get without risking serious damage." The Gelert's voice was his typical growl, but on this occasion there was a touch of concern. "The Fuzzles have eaten right through the space station, so don't try and take them on in the tunnels. Stay on the surface and head towards the Archangel, the nearest entry hatch is E22."

      "We've plugged your Walkerbot with all the right codes." Luna flared into life on screen three. "So just get inside the Archangel's docking bay and you'll be alright." "She's got a titanium and admantium alloy hull." Solar added, shoving her sister to one side. "The Fuzzles can't get in, but they're all over her. We'll tell you what to do when you get inside."

      Midnight took over yet again. "I'll be operating the drop mechanism, so at least THAT will be on target. It does mean we have to suffer with Chrissy's flying."

      "Oi." I activated screen four from my position on the bridge. "You just hang on to your ears, Old Dog, you won't know what's hit you."

      "Knowing you, probably a mine."

      "WILL YOU ALL JUST SHUT UP AND LET ME PILOT THIS THING?"

      There was a long pause. "Sure thing, Lu." Ramei gave her a thumbs-up as the screens faded to black. "Good luck! Shoot a couple of Fuzzles for me, won't you?"

      The Kyrii didn't reply. She was staring ahead blankly, fingers drawn tight around the controls. This was going to be a rough ride.

      Immacolata peered over my shoulder as I brought the Starborne down in a wide swoop that would take us within feet of the space station's Fuzzle-ridden surface. They rose up to meet us like a cloud of red and black, constantly shifting as the individual Fuzzles moved. I hit the comm. button a little harder than I intended to. "Midnight! Lu! GO!"

      The hatches opened, and I caught sight of Lu's Walkerbot touching down gently onto the torn metal in one of my rear cameras. Meanwhile, we had Fuzzle problems. I hauled the controls back, slamming most of the crew to the floor with G-force at my sudden turn, and hit the Fuel Dump switch. Generally, emptying one of the fuel tanks while the engines were running was not a good idea, but in this situation the after-burn neatly incinerated the large swarm of Fuzzles attempting to follow us. Lu was on her own.

      And surprisingly enough, panicking.

      Luaunoau shot a smartbomb into the centre of a particularly dense patch of Fuzzle activity and revved the throttle a LOT more that was necessary. Anything that was unlucky enough to get in her way was very quickly blasted into oblivion. For those who didn't know, a panicking Kyrii is a vicious Kyrii, and Lu had a mean streak as wide as Faerieland.

      She thundered along the curved metal shell of the station, raising clouds of angry Fuzzles from the tunnels behind her. The distance meter was clicking over with disturbing speed. Six hundred… five hundred… four hundred…

      Three hundred feet from the Archangel, Lu slammed the brakes on. An impenetrable wall of Fuzzles rose up in front of her. There was no way through, except…

      'Don't try and take them on in the tunnels'. That was what Midnight had told her. Of course, he also hadn't told her what to do when there were over thirty thousand animated balls of fluff intent on destroying her Walkerbot surrounding her completely.

      Dropping the aim of her gun, Lu revolved quickly, sinking charges into the metal that formed a burnt and blistered circle around her. Unfortunately, thanks to the lack of gravity, it lacked the classic comic book effect. Still, it moved enough for her to worm the Walkerbot into the tunnels and start off thundering along the metal passageways.

      The corridors didn't run strait, and she was taking a lot of damage from Fuzzles that floated in at the edges, where she couldn't shoot them. Abruptly, Luaunoau hit a dead end. No way through. She was doomed.

      Then, suddenly, she sat bolt upright and her eyes crossed. With a flash of inspiration, she KNEW.

      "Heh heh heh," the Kyrii cackled. Then, with feeling, she added. "Oh, Krawps."

      Wheeling around, she blasted the access panel open and sent every smartbomb she had left howling down the narrow service tunnel to whatever was at the end. Even though the inside of the Walkerbot was horribly cramped, Lu ducked. It was instinctive.

      Luckily, or perhaps not so luckily, what was at the end of the service tunnel was the main fuel reserves.

      Rumour has it the afterglow took three days to fade. I don't know. I was more concerned with the fact that Midnight had me cleaning crispy fried Fuzzle dust off the Starborne for weeks afterwards.

      The blast knocked Lu back to the surface, sheets of flame roaring around the tiny metal capsule. The tongues of fire burned away the shields as fast as she could load them, until she finally settled on slamming her fist onto the 'Shield' button and keeping it there. When the explosion subsided, the Walkerbot was able to limp its way towards the Archangel, with not a Fuzzle in sight.

      Inside the ship at last, Luaunoau wriggled out of the Walkerbot, took two steps… and collapsed.

      "Come on, Lu, almost there." Luna buzzed in her ear. Solar finished the instruction. "Find the Bridge. It should be four floors up from where you are, there's probably a service lift."

      Somehow, the Kyrii managed to drag herself into the lift, and then slither back out again when it reached the bride. Plonking herself down in the pilot's chair, she watched three small, bedraggled Fuzzles creeping away from the ship as quickly as possible.

      "Right, what do I do now?" She mumbled. Luna replied encouragingly.

      "Just press the little flashing button. I'm already trying to remote pilot her."

      "This little button?" When Solar gave an affirmative, Lu hit it.

      "Wait! NO! NOOOO! Don't press that button! Don't press that button!"

      There was a long silence. Finally, with the air of the eternally exhausted, Lu sighed. "Luna?"

      There was another long silence. Finally, the Kougra's voice mumbled out of her earpiece. "I was only having a joke. Lighten the tension a little."

      "Right." Luaunoau watched as the ship began to draw away. "Is that it? All you want me to do?"

      "Yep."

      "Good, because I'm gonna faint now." And, just to prove her point, she did.

***

"Immacolata, I sure hope you know what you're doing."

      We stared blankly at the tangle of wires that resembled nothing more than a plate of spaghetti. Almost every control panel in Engineering had been opened, and the thick ropes of multicoloured wires unravelled, snipped and joined together again in a huge Spyder's web that filled the entire room. At what could, given the circumstances, PROBABLY be called the centre sat Immacolata's battered laptop, quietly leaking a mixture of sand and seawater. The Blue Aisha to which it belonged was darting between one nodule of electronics and the next, making constant adjustments that no one understood except her.

      Luna and Solar trotted through the doors. "Right, you lot follow us." Solar grinned. Luna also bared her sparkling white fangs.

      "Time for a briefing."

      "And you lot have got to get kitted out."

      "You can't storm a Faerie's castle unarmed, you know."

      "Or unarmoured."

      The Archangel boasted a large and impressive armoury, which Shadow and White had been pouring over for several hours. We managed, after a few minutes, to pry Immacolata away from her circuitry, and joined them there for a few last minute instructions.

      "Okay, first off, we want you all in constant communication." White selected a small capsule and slid a pair of tiny metal discs out. "One picks up, one receives. They're magnetic… just put one on either side of your ear and they'll snap together."

      "Hey, I have a pair of these at home." I added, "After about an hour, they really kill your lobes."

      Luna produced a small device on Velcro straps. "We took a leaf out of Immacolata's book."

      "It's a tracker." Solar explained, strapping it to my arm. "Slightly more sophisticated that shampoo"

      "Should pick up any Neopets within the area. Members of your team show up green, hostiles red, plus Waterlily will be a little blinky blue dot. Cute, huh?"

      "Wow," I replied. "You can't get the candy machine at HQ to work, but you can make an Ixi blink blue. Amazing."

      "We also want to monitor your vital statistics." Shadow stared at the ceiling. "Just in case, you know, something happens…" He produced a large sheet of acetate, covered with what looked suspiciously like micro-circuitry. The strips peeled off, like stickers.

      "You stick them across the side of your neck." White explained. "We can monitor your blood pressure, brainwaves, oxygen levels, even how much caffeine you've had."

      "Now, the moment you've all been waiting for!" Shadow flexed his paws. "Armaments!"

      "I thought that we should stick with what we know." The Lupe helped Elenna into her Draik Skin armour, and Shift buckled the rapier around her neck. "There's also a pair of Silver Uni Boots for you, Elenna. As well armour and weaponry, we've got Bronze Scorchstones for all of you, and a couple dozen assorted snowballs, potions, etceteras."

      The only thing I'll say against Shadow is that once he starts lecturing, he doesn't stop. "Now, Hina, mobility seems to be your thing, so we're not going to weigh you down. You've got your dagger, but here's a Silver Scorchstone and a Faerie Kougra Totem too. Immacolata, since you're fighting with a spear, you can afford to layer your defences… I think a Golden Aisha Helmet and Shield combo will do perfectly. Now, as for you lot…" He turned to the other pets.

      "Firstly, Ramei. You seem to do best with a trident, so I think an Attack Fork will do the trick. Again, you're fighting with a reach weapon, so here's an Ultra Eyrie Eye Mask and an Ancient Eyrie Crest Shield. Keeragh, same for you plus a nice Ancient Eyrie Longsword. Kunila, I don't know how you do it, but two swords seems to be your niche… A Kougra Power Sword and a Faerie Kougra Sword gives you a nice arsenal, plus a Silver Scorchstone like Hina's. Perilo, I've got just the thing. Mighty Peophin Shield, Helmet and Blade, I think it'll be just up your street. Lu, you've got a touch for the rapier, and there just isn't a Kyrii weapon to match that… A Super Ice Sword will have to do, even though it's a bit heavier than you're used to. Since you're also an excellent shot, I think a Rainbow Gun should do the trick… and a Silver Scorchstone for you too. Finally, Chrissy." He paused, looking me up and down. "This is going to be tricky. I think a Silver Scorchstone… and… an Improved Lightning Beam?"

      "Make it two," I replied. "And I've got the Spectrum, after all."

      There was an uneasy shiver all round. Luna scraped pink spikes out of her eyes. "Well, I think that's it, apart from your usual bag of tricks." She handed out surprisingly small pouches.

      "They're a design we've been working on," Solar added eagerly. Luna chipped in again. "Based around the good old fashioned Bag of Holding…"

      "They've got EVERYTHING in them."

      "Lock picks. Anti-magic frequency emitters…"

      "Demolitions kits. Exo-datology units…"

      "Piloting override units. Holographic emitters…"

      "Scanners of many kinds… basically, everything you could ever want." Solar concluded.

      "Including one shot morphing potions?" I chipped in excitedly. Luna grinned.

      "Including one shot morphing potions, though I don't think you'll get a chance to use them." The Kougra ignored the fact that I looked crestfallen. White took centre stage again.

      "Well, Immacolata, I believe you're almost finished?" When the Aisha nodded, he cleared his throat nervously. "Well, then… good luck."

* * * * *

Nightwing padded despondently into the half demolished throne room. Anuina had finally burnt her anger out, slumped in her rather battered throne with a sour expression.

      "Well? WHERE ARE THEY?"

      "They are currently orbiting Neopia in a spaceship." The Shoyru replied. The Faerie slammed both fists down on the arms of her chair with a snarl.

      "What about the Fuzzles?"

      "They are, somehow, immune."

      "WHY WON'T THESE PEOPLE DIE?!?!?!?" She shrieked, leaping to her feet. "I've tried Dark Sharks, I've tried Imps, and they've fought off EVERYTHING!!!!!"

      Taking several deep breaths, Anuina began to pace the room. "Tell me, Nightwing, since you're obviously so GOOD at this… what have we got that is more powerful than Sharks and Imps."

      The Shoyru narrowed his grey eyes. "We… could try… Golems."

      "Yes! Of course…" The Faerie began to cackle. "Darkfire Golems! Shadow Golems! Blackstone Golems! We must begin at once. THEY will come to US. We will fight them on our own ground and DESTROY THEM! Come, quickly, Nightwing…"

      "There is a slight problem." The Shoyru took a few steps back, anticipating Anuina's response to the news. Her face turned utterly sour.

      "PROBLEM? WHAT PROBLEM?"

      "I am convinced that they have found a way to enter our Limbo Castle. We do not have much time."

      "WELL THEN WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR????? GET WORKING!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

      In a dark corner of the hall, hidden behind a pillar, Fabialla stifled a snigger until both the Faerie and the Shoyru had left. "Not long now." She whispered. "Not long now, Waterlily."

* * * * *

"Right. When we get there, we split into three groups. Keeragh, you take Hina and Kunila. Perilo, you go with Lu and Elenna. Ramei, Immacolata, you're with me."

      There were a smattering of nods, but most pets were too nervous to do much. Immacolata made the last few adjustments.

      "Are we ready?" she asked, claws hovering over the keyboard. I nodded grimly, unwrapping the Spectrum.

      "We're ready. Flip the switch."

      She rolled her eyes. "It is a little more complicated that 'flip the switch'." Even though she sounded confident, her fingers shook slightly as they tapped out the command and the Aisha hit the enter button so hard it broke in two. "On the count of five. One."

      "Good luck!" Solar yelled. "Come back soon!" Luna added.

      "Two."

      "Good on you, Chrissy, come back in one piece." Shift hit my shoulder. I barely felt it.

      "Three."

      "It's been a pleasure working with you all." Shadow was chewing his claws. White shuffled his paws uncomfortably.

      "I concur. If, I mean, when you come back, if any of you fancy a further career in HQ, I'd be happy to have you."

      "Four."

      I held one hand over the Spectrum. I could feel the spirits, like an evil presence, just under my fingertips.

      "Lets go," I whispered, and closed my hand around the shaft.

      "FIVE!"

***

It's a little hard to describe what using Platform +/- Infinity feels like.

      It looked like the inside of your eyelids when you've just been smacked round the head with a fluorescent purple strobe light. It smelt like stepping out of a pleasantly air-conditioned building into muggy, damp heat so thick you could cut the air with a knife. It tasted like the last fifteen seconds before the biggest roller coaster in the amusement park started, when you knew, with absolute certainty, that you never should have eaten those four bags of candyfloss beforehand. It sounded like having every single noise being made in Neopia at that second played backwards, at full volume, and through a distortion box. It felt most unpleasantly like being swallowed by a marshmallow full of nails, put through a printing press and then having every cell in your body carefully examined, tagged and put in a little box on some dusty shelves in the back of a small museum. Coupled with all this was the uncomfortable not-quite-experience that your conscious thought was a funny pattern, like oil on the surface of a puddle, dancing just behind your eyeballs.

      Falling two feet and hitting the ground very hard afterwards was, by comparison, quite a relief.

      The mind-numbing trip through Platform +/- Infinity must have stunned the spirits as much as it had stunned me, because they were silent for several seconds. Long enough for me to pull myself to my feet, sling the Spectrum over my shoulders and tack stock of my surroundings.

      I like Gothic stuff. I wear black velvet and long gloves all the time. My favourite T-shirt has a skull on it, albeit a very cartoony one. I'm even prone to reading Edgar Allen Poe on occasion. But this castle was just plain tacky.

      It was a rather shabby black. What wasn't black was purple, or dark red. Gargoyles clustered round the top of every pillar like there had been a world wide mass gargoyle eviction and they'd all decided to roost here. The windows were all gothic arches. With gargoyles. And Spyder webs. And black velvet curtains. Black lace had been sewn onto black velvet that had been overstuffed and used as pillows. There were black lace doilies on every surface, supporting black vases full of dead flowers. It resembled nothing less than what would happen if Vira the Acara took over the Coffee Shop.

      The other pets disentangled themselves and got to their feet, paws, fins or hooves. Perilo took one look an overstuffed black leather chaise lounge with black velvet pillows and a black lace headrest and snorted loudly.

      "Right. Now we've got to stop her, she's not just a pain in the tail fins, she's a crime against fashion."

      "We concur." A shiver went down my spine as I heard my own voice. I switched my gaze to the tracker quickly. "It appears there are many floors. Black Waterlily is on the lowest floor. And there are many enemies. We would assume that the Faerie is where they are densest, in this large room. "

      "Great," Elenna muttered. Besides me, she was the oldest there, and since I wasn't in a fit state to give orders she took over. "Right. Immacolata, Ramei, get Chrissy to that Faerie. I'll take my group left, Keeragh, go right. We'll work our way down to get to Waterlily. Keep in contact." Then, almost as an afterthought. "Ladies and gentlemen, it's been a pleasure." She held out her hoof.

      "Likewise." Ramei put his paw over it. The other's followed suit.

      "Was nice while it lasted."

      "See ya around, dudes and dudettes."

      "The best of luck to you all."

      "I kinda wish I'd got to know you lot better."

      "It's been fun, everybody."

      "Why are you all sounding so miserable? You aren't miserable, are you? Are you?"

      The spirits were kind enough to give me a few minutes leeway, in which to be myself. I put my hand over the collection of paws. "I'm sorry I dragged you lot into this."

      Elenna just smiled weakly and let me hug her tight. Immacolata and Hina did the same. I held out my hand and Perilo shook it. So did Ramei, Luaunoau and Keeragh. Kunila just dove for my stomach and hugged me.

      "Whatever you do," I begged, swinging the Spectrum into a two handed grip. "Get Waterlily out of here. Don't worry about me."

      With that last, slightly morbid note, we parted company.

* * * * *

Kunila bounded along the corridor at full tilt. He was totally unprepared for the huge, lumbering creature that rounded the corner.

      Unluckily for the little Kougra, it was at least twice his size, made entirely of some dark, razor edged crystal. It was roughly humanoid, with a short sword and a broad shield made out of the same stone, engraved with vicious looking runes. The whole thing glittered unnervingly and made a groaning sound, like stone on stone, as it moved. Seeing, or perhaps sensing, the small creature in front of it, the huge statue raised its sword…

      Unluckily for the Golem, Kunila didn't slow at all. He ran strait up its carved front, leapt off its chest, turned a double forwards flip, drew his two swords in the same movement and neatly sliced its head off. He actually hit the ground before the lump of crystal did.

      Hina took one look, gulped and ran around the huge sculpture that was now no more than an inanimate lump of silicate. "Like, Kunila, dude, slow up! There's probably more of these dudes around!"

      Keeragh, panting slightly, padded up in the rear. "I agree! SLOW. DOWN."

      A few seconds later, the Eyrie ran strait into the two Kougras. "About time! I thought you were never going to sto-…" he trailed off. The sudden sight of six huge, sword-wielding monoliths surrounding you can do that to you.

      "Aw, come on, we can take 'em!" Kunila was practically bouncing. Hina just drew his dagger with an expression that said very, very clearly 'I REALLY don't wanna be here'. Keeragh just shouted.

      "Go for the neck!"

* * * * *

"SLOW DOWN!"

      Elenna ignored the yell and continued galloping down the tasteless passage. Lu dug both paws deep into the Uni's mane and shut her eyes. Perilo, however, wasn't quite so complacent.

      "ELENNA! IF YOU DON'T SLOW DOWN I'M GONNA FALL OFF!"

      Of course, you should never say something like that. For it just so happened that at about that moment, someone chose to stick his or her foot out.

      Luaunoau flew ten feet through the air, hit the chamber wall and slid slowly, head first, down to the floor. Perilo simply skittered ungraciously across the floor, struggling to draw her sword. Elenna, of course, smashed her nose severely on the solid stone floor.

      "Maybe it's just because I'm upside down, right, but it looks to me like those shadows are moving."

      "You're right, Lu," Elenna replied, backing up against the wall and drawing her rapier. "They are moving. They are MOST DEFINITELY moving."

      "Ah." The Kyrii scrambled into an upright position, drawing her sword and gun as quickly as she could. Then, quite passionately, she added. "Oh, Krawps. This had to happen to me."

      "There are some stairs over there," Perilo offered. Elenna narrowed her eyes, squinting through the Shadow Golems.

      "Get on my back," she replied, a grim set to her mouth. "And I'll show you what in Merridell, we call JOUSTING."

* * * * *

Another set of doors was blasted off their hinges with a sudden explosion of wind and fire. When the dust cleared slightly, a small, darkly clad figure holding a staff of pure light could be seen.

      That was me.

      Emphasis on the word 'WAS'.

      A sheet of fire roared up in front of us, with darkness at its centre. The Darkfire Golems rushed to meet us, the hopelessly inanimate teenager and two small pets wielding pole arms.

      What had been me raised one hand and calmly blasted them into oblivion with a well-placed water spell. Immacolata and Ramei, guarding my flanks and back, took out the remainder the more traditional way.

      She was sitting there, quite calmly, at the centre of a holocaust. Laughing. A small, detached part of my brain that was still totally myself noted that if evil Faeries have one weakness, it's a tendency to sit back and laugh manically when they think they've won.

      The Golems just kept on coming. Every few seconds another Golem, whether Darkfire, Blackstone or Shadow, pulled out from the maelstrom of magic and either joined the fray or moved away, down the corridors. I had barely enough of myself left to feel worried about what would happen when they met my pets.

      Even Anuina was surprised with the quite, unfeeling efficiency with which the spirits kept destroying the Golems. Within seconds there was nothing between my body and the Faerie except the floor, but a ring of flame and shadow around us. Immacolata and Ramei, back to back, were faring much worse.

      "You're dead, Anuina," they hissed, through my body. She just sneered, raising both hands and summoning a blade of pure energy.

      "Actually…" Despite the situation, her voice was perfectly calm. "I do believe you are. Or at least, you will be. You see, I do believe you've forgotten something…"

      Fire, water, earth, air, light and…

      Uh oh.

* * * * *

Fabialla was running so fast she could barely see the ground under her feet.

      "Got. To warn. Waterlily," she panted, forcing her screaming muscles to carry her a little bit further. "Friends. Here. Got. To help. Owner."

      There was a loud thud. It was a few seconds before the Uni actually wondered why she wasn't moving anymore.

      A few seconds later, she decided it was because of the huge stone hand pinning her to the floor.

      "Well, well, well. I think, sister dear, that you've been lying to me."

      Uh oh, Fabialla thought in an oddly distracted way, this is not a good thing. You weren't supposed to run into Nightwing yet. And not being able to feel your back legs isn't going to help. Oh dear.

      "Are you listening?" The Shoyru leaned down so he could look in her eyes. She just blinked sleepily.

      "Meep?"

      "You are listening." He began pacing back and forth in front of her, carelessly tossing a razor sharp dagger in one paw. "I don't like being lied to, Deathstrike."

      "Meeble." Then, almost automatically, wriggling under the Golem's grip, she added. "Fabialla."

      "What?" Nightwing's voice was pure ice, but he signalled for the Golem to raise its hand slightly.

      "Fabialla. My name's Fabialla, not Deathstrike." Wow, and my head's actually starting to clear. And I can feel my legs. They hurt a lot. Wow. I don't think that's supposed to happen when you have a broken back.

      "Your name is Deathstrike. Fabialla is no more. You left her behind when you came here."

      Fabialla shook her head from side to side. It was like she'd never been hit. Slowly, she raised her head to stare Nightwing in the eyes, and then shifted her gaze to something behind him.

      "I am not going to fall for that old trick," the Shoyru sneered.

      Something vaguely resembling a rainbow coloured cannonball shot over his head and buried a dagger in the Blackstone Golem's neck. Fabialla barely managed to wriggle free in time to avoid being crushed by a huge lump of stone. Flaring her wings, she wheeled to face her brother.

      "What trick?" The Uni quipped, as innocently as she could manage. Nightwing swung his dagger to point at her throat, suddenly seething.

      "I am going to kill you."

      "No you aren't," Fabialla replied, looking over his head again. "BENJY."

To be continued...

Previous Episodes

All The Colours: Part One

All The Colours: Part Two

All The Colours: Part Three

All The Colours: Part Four

All The Colours: Part Five

All The Colours: Part Six

All The Colours: Part Seven

All The Colours: Part Eight

All The Colours: Part Nine

All The Colours: Part Ten

All The Colours: Part Eleven

All The Colours: Part Twelve

All The Colours: Part Thirteen

All The Colours: Part Fourteen

All The Colours: Part Fifteen

All The Colours: Part Seventeen

All The Colours: Part Eighteen

Week 124 Related Links

Daine's Sea Sadness
"Oh no, where's she going? I'm going to follow her, guys, and..."

by taipeiss


The Curse of the Dark Nova: Part One
It was a beautiful and quiet morning in the kingdom of Meridell and something very special was about to take place...

by dancepixie100



Search :
Other Stories

Neoschool of Nightmares: Part One
Torkkin followed Shadowcat as she peered into a dark classroom and bumped into her as she came to a quick stop, "Ow," grumbled Torkkin as he rubbed his beak, "what's the hold-up Shadowcat?"

by lunagirl52


The Path to the Stars: Part One
"One… two… one, two, three…"

by buddy33774


Bart Mint Bart: Part Two
Who did that voice come from? Did I just imagine it? BattlerJoe supposed it was possible.

by futureshrinksme


The Return of the Terrible Two: Part Two
"'Anyway, the second reason I'm contacting you is to ask you something. Would you… would you consider babysitting the twins again?'"

by bqueen6430


Neopets | Main | Articles | Editorial
Short Stories | Comics | New Series | Continued Series | Search