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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 26th day of Awakening, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 125 > Continuing Series > All The Colours: Part Seventeen

All The Colours: Part Seventeen

by hot_pink_lizard

Of Scars and Sunbeams

Another scrap of shadow flew upwards and hit the ceiling. A few seconds later it fell again, coming unstuck like a badly tossed pancake.

     "Twenty-one!"

     Elenna speared another on her horn, flinging it out of her way as she thundered down the third set of stairs.

     "Twenty-two!"

     Perilo swung her sword at a passing Golem, Lu clinging to her middle. "This isn't working! We've got to find Waterlily fast or we're going to have casualties on our hands!"

     "Yeah, us! We're dead meat if we don't…" Luaunoau trailed off, then grabbed Elenna's mane and hauled back hard. "Stop! Stop! Go that way! The shadowy way!"

     Skidding to a dead halt, hooves slipping on the polished floor, the Uni back peddled and shot for the darker passage. A Shadow Golem reared from the darkness quicker than she could react to, slashing her side as she passed. The deep cut quickly turned a poisonous shade of green and Elenna stumbled suddenly, stars exploding behind her eyes. It was only the momentum of her charge that carried all three of them crashing through an ironbound door and tumbling down the stairs behind it.

     There was a moment of quiet darkness. Then, in the patient tone of someone who had been singing for a long, long time and was going to keep on going all day if she had to, a voice rang out.

     "And if ONE green bottle, should accidentally fall, there'd be six green bottles, hanging on the wall."

     Elenna tried to focus in the darkness, and failed miserably. "Waterlily?"

     "Hey, you're here already? I've still got a six-pack! Never mind, just get me down, will you?" The Ixi twisted her body to see her sister better. "You know, Elenna, you don't look so good."

     "Understatement of the century," Perilo quipped, glancing up the stairs. "Why aren't there Golems tearing us apart right about now?"

     "They won't come in here. They're afraid of me. Will you let me down, please; I've got back pain from hanging up here so long. Plus I think Elenna might appreciate me healing her."

     "Sure." Lu drew her gun and blasted the chains, causing Waterlily to fall several feet and land with a depressingly loud thud. There was a long and painful silence before she managed to force out a rather strangled. "Ow."

     Waterlily finally managed to drag herself across the floor and examine Elenna a few seconds later. "Yep, thought so, Shadow Essence. Typical of Anuina, really, poisoning her Golems. She has no regard for longevity. This won't take a second." Placing both hooves on the Uni's damaged side, Waterlily closed her eyes for a few moments. Just when Perilo was about to ask what on Neopia she was doing, Elenna GLITTERED.

     "Where am I?"

     "That's a good sign." The Ixi pulled her hooves back and looked at her handiwork. The wound had gone. "Hey, sis, good to see you again."

     Elenna sat up, blinked twice, and flung her hooves around Waterlily in a bone-crushing hug.

     "YOU," she barked. "Are the single MOST stupid, MOST reckless, MOST annoying, LUCKIEST little Ixi in the whole of Neopia. Thank sky you're my sister!"

     "That's nice." Perilo raised her eyebrows. "But can we please get GOING now?"

     "Sure thing." Waterlily leapt to her feet. A globe of pure sunlight sparked into life between her hooves and she carefully balanced it on top of her head. "This should deal with the Golems." She explained, creating three more and passing them around. "It's a little something I picked up when I should have been studying."

* * * * *

Nightwing wheeled and flung the dagger randomly into the darkness. There was a loud clang of metal on metal, and then three swords surrounded the Shoyru in a web of steel.

     "You SO should not have done that."

     Kunila didn't look quite so cute with two blades practically wrapped around Nightwing's neck. Fabialla almost fell backwards when Hina's dagger swung under her chin.

     "Hold it, dude and dudette, or you're like, gonna be missing a head."

     Keeragh pulled the knife out of his shield and casually flung it at the remains of the Blackstone Golem, where it stuck and quivered ominously. Nightwing hissed loudly.

     "Fools," he spat. "You think you can harm me with mere steel?" flinging up both paws suddenly, he yelled a word that was, perhaps thankfully, lost in the sudden roar. A wave of darkness shot out from him in all directions, flattening all four pets and the remains of the Golem. With the sound of a whip crack and a small, melodramatic puff of purple smoke, the Shoyru vanished.

     "Hmm." Fabialla was the first to sit up. Several months of living with a Faerie and two powerful sorcerers had given her a surprising resistance to magic. "Wave of darkness. Three hundred and sixty degree coverage. He's better than I thought."

     Hina dragged himself to his paws, wavering slightly, and swung his dagger to face a point several feet to the left of the Uni.

     "Erm, I'm over here. Are you ok?"

     "Fine, dudette," he mumbled, as she helped the other two to their feet. Keeragh squinted at her through the green lenses of his mask.

     "Hang on a minute, you're that Uni who was with the Sharks that killed Malania!" Fabialla reared back again as the Eyrie swung his sword back. "Give me one reason why I shouldn't kill you."

     "Because I'm on your side," she replied. "I know where the last piece of the Spectrum is, I know where Waterlily is, and I have this." She held up a small amulet. "Which I palmed off Benjy when he made the mistake of leaning over. It controls the Blackstone Golems," she explained. "I dropped the Orb of Storms so your Peophin friend could smash it, I tried to stop the Sharks, I really did… and I can bring Malania back."

     "That," Hina replied. "Is one darn good list of reasons."

     "You can bring Malania BACK?" Keeragh lowered his sword, looking incredulous. Fabialla nodded quickly, pulling out a string of what looked like spherical silver beads.

     "These are souls. Benjy has been hoarding them. Malania is here, and so is a Shoyru Chrissy used to know, and…" she stared at the floor. "And my sister and owner."

     "I thought you were hurt," Kunila frowned. "You were hurt, weren't you? Weren't you? You went all still and funny. You weren't speaking right."

     "I…" Fabialla was briefly thrown by this sudden change in the subject, but frowned when she realised what he was talking about. "I thought I broke my back. I must have been wrong."

     "Ah, no, you did… sort of…" Keeragh shuffled his paws nervously. Hina raised one eyebrow.

     "It's my Faerie gift, alright!" the Eyrie exploded. "I didn't know who she was, I just knew that she was hurt and… OK, I CAN HEAL PEOPLE. Tell everyone, why don't you."

     "That's cool!" Hina grinned. "Why don't you tell people?"

     "It's humiliating to explain that you've got some sappy do-gooder's gift. Are we going to go help the others or what?" Keeragh turned on the Fire Uni, breathing hard through his beak.

     "You're right." Fabialla leapt to her feet. "We've got to get Chrissy the last piece of the Spectrum. Follow me!"

* * * * *

"Face it, spirits." Anuina began circling with an evil grin. "You're all going to die. This little wretch you've enslaved is going to die. Her little friends are going to die. I think I might actually enjoy this, after all the trouble they've caused me."

     Immacolata, fighting back to back with Ramei, took a chance and lunged for Anuina. She merely cackled, flinging out one hand. The ground underneath them both leapt suddenly and the two pets were flung back into a wall of Darkfire Golems.

     You've really messed this up, haven't you? I pointed out quietly, inside my own head. The reply was, quite predictably: Shut. Up.

     "You know," Ramei pointed out calmly, as he grabbed Immacolata by the ears and somersaulted over the heads of the Golems. "Who'da thought that all those tricks I learnt fighting Sharks might come in handy one day when my life actually was at stake."

     "Right now, I'm rather more concerned about the state of my ears," Immacolata replied, skewering one particularly aggressive Golem. "I think you almost pulled them off my head."

     Anuina lunged sharply. The thing that had once been me raised the Spectrum, fending off her attack in a swirl of blades that barely missed decapitating her. They were holding back. If they killed Anuina, they would be destroyed. If they didn't kill Anuina, they wouldn't be destroyed.

     It's kinda what I would call a lose-lose draw.

     The Faerie closed again, and this time they couldn't defend what had been my body well enough. The sword slipped through, only a little, but it slashed a line of fire across what had been my forehead.

     Ooh, that's gonna scar. It's gonna look real strange if my eyebrow doesn't grow back over it.

     Shut. Up. They replied, raising what had been my eyes to a sudden flurry of movement near the ceiling.

     "CATCH!"

     Something, a stone, maybe, skittered across the floor. Every muscle was shoved into overdrive as the spirits flung my body across the stone with a sound like a dozen bruises being formed. One hand shot out, reaching for the small purple gem with desperation…

     I am SO going to have to buy a new pair of gloves after this, I thought.

     What had been my fingers closed around it. Twisting sharply, the stone was pressed into the slight indent at the centre of the Spectrum.

     There was nothing so melodramatic as a flash of light, but all of a sudden, there were five voices where there had once been four.

     "Well well, Anuina. I suppose this means you are going to die anyway. What a pity."

     Her face turned ugly and she flung back her head to shriek at the Fire Uni hovering near the ceiling. "YOU! WHY? YOU STUPID UNI, I SHOULD HAVE KILLED YOU WHEN I…"

     The spirits forced what had been my body to its feet, flinging it at her in a frenzied attack. The sword was sent spinning across the floor; the shaft of the Spectrum hit the back of her knees with an ugly noise. On her hands and knees, the blade was swung under Anuina's chin, tilting her head back so the spirits could see into her eyes.

     "Finally, after so long… we owe you a great deal, Anuina, though we doubt you meant to help us in this way… we will finally be free…"

     In my minds voice, I said something that can't be repeated here and dug my metaphorical heels in.

     They were going to kill her anyway. I was doomed. If Anuina died and the spirits were freed, I'd be destroyed in the after burn. I knew it with absolute certainty.

     "WAIT!"

     There was a sudden burst of light, like a sunbeam, that obliterated the Darkfire Golems like light obliterates shadow. Black Waterlily, precious Black Waterlily, thundered into the hall at full speed.

     "WAIT! NO! CHRISSY, DON'T!"

     The sight of her, my first pet, which I had raised and protected through everything life had flung at us for a year, gave me strength. I flung myself back in control of my body with every ounce of self-control I possessed.

     The blade of the Spectrum lowered. I looked around, myself again, and saw Neopets. Not just Neopets. Waterlily, Immacolata, Elenna, Hina, Ramei, Perilo, Lu, Keeragh, Kunila, and even the Fire Uni whom I didn't know at all. My friends, my family. People who had put themselves on the line to save me.

     What are you doing? KILL HER! FREE US! PLEASE…please…<*~/>

     Almost a plea. They were as helpless as I was. They had been alone and lost for so long…

     Leave.

     What?<*~/>

     Leave. Leave now, and never come back. Get out of my head and leave us alone.

     Just like that?<*~/>

     Just like that.

     And then they were gone. No drama. No flashes of light. No special effects. They were just gone.

     I dropped the Spectrum to the floor, turning to look at Anuina again. "Goodbye, Anuina. I hope I never see you again." Then, after a pause. "Try getting a pet of your own. It helps, believe me."

     Then I just walked away. Walked away, scooping up Waterlily into my arms when she dissolved into happy tears, and looked at the pets clustered around me.

     "Immacolata, take us home."

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 Sixteen

All The Colours: Part Eighteen

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