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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 17th day of Sleeping, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 127 > Continuing Series > Deckswabbers and Destinies: Part Eight

Deckswabbers and Destinies: Part Eight

by ridergirl333

"Shouldn't you be packing now?" Kara Lee asked me.

     My name is Arielle Dragonwing, one of the best sword-wielding red Shoyrus in Neopia. And I was ready for action.

     "Packing? Kara Lee, you don't think I'd abandon you again! You've done so much for us and you've been so kind, it's the least I can do to repay you."

     "Ari, you don't seem to understand. This is war. You're a child. The two don't mix."

     "I'd appreciate it if you referred to me as a teenager."

     "Quit being difficult. You have a school to go back to. Friends and family depend on you. You have a life outside of the walls of a ship… I'd give anything for what you have. Now you want to throw it all away!"

     "I'm not throwing it away, merely putting it on hold. For you."

     "You don't have to do anything for me!"

     "Then I'm doing it for Neopia. Neopia doesn't need an evil beast like Goldtooth running around nearly drowning Neopets." I felt a wave of red-hot fury wash over me. "Like Brenda. Like Marcus."

     "You know what your problem is?" Kara Lee yelled. "You're overly-confident!"

     "I'm very confident in my destiny," I replied.

     Then, I froze.

     Where had those words come from?

     Just when I thought I had seen enough surprises, my vision blurred and went black. A Peophin sat there, a sharp contrast to the blackness behind her. She had fur as white as fresh snowfall and she had two horns, one on her nose and one on her forehead.

     Then, Lily spoke this rhyme to me.

"Sea and Air is a pirate's domain,
Yet another comes to meet again,
That Land and Sea may then unite
To end the bitter fight.

"Then, lo! Beneath the seabirds' call,
Comes the one to make wickedness fall.
Lily's tale again unfolds,
Her secrets to behold.

"Out of Fire comes the maid,
To wield the flower's battle blade.
Hence the Fire and Sea be one
Beneath the burning sun."

     "What?" Kara Lee asked. "What was that?"

     I suddenly realized that I had spoken the rhyme aloud. I covered my mouth and blushed bright red.

     "That's the same poem that Captain NightLupe said in his sleep." Kara said, shocked. "How did you know?"

     "Lily…" my voice froze and I could say no more.

     My vision went black again, and I saw… a spark. A tiny spark. It didn't look dangerous. It didn't seem like it could do a lot of damage. But then, it caught a piece of hay. The hay blazed, and soon a raging inferno burned across my mind.

     All started by that one tiny spark.

     My vision cleared and I realized that I had come out of Fire.

     I had joined the ranks of heroes, true and fictitious.

     Kauvara's prediction was coming true.

      "It would only be logical. Goldtooth and his forces are planning to attack tonight. So, I need sentries posted throughout the night, changing every hour. Stay awake, sentries."

     "Ye can count on us, Kara Lee," Flapp said, grinning.

     "Call her Cap'n, now," Flubb corrected his friend.

     Kara Lee grinned, but pretended not to hear Flubb. Instead she said, "Remember, this is like no watch you've ever taken. There are children counting on you now. Fail to do your duty, and you report to me, understand?"

     There was a loud chorus of, "Aye, aye Cap'n!"

     "Good," Kara Lee said. "Continue doing whatever you were doing."

     "Ari, I'm scared," I said to my friend as I handed her a plate of pancakes.

     "Brenda, don't be scared. Kara Lee will take care of us." She said to me. Then, her voice lowered to a whisper. "These pirates depend on you, Brenda. Food warms the soul, you know. And no army can march on an empty stomach. You're nearly as important as Captain Kara Lee."

     "Wow," I breathed. I had never thought of myself as important.

     "Keep your courage up, Head Cook Brenda," Arielle told me. "And keep the grub coming, fresh and hot. We're counting on you."

     I grinned.

     That night, we camped out on Mystery Island. I shivered and shook, laying on the cold, dry sand. A Lupe howled in the distance. A Kougra sharpened her claws in a tree. A soft wind rustled the treetops. Each of these noises meant something different to me. Was the howl a signal for pirates to attack? Was the Kougra hungry? Was the wind a ghost, seeking vengeance in the darkness? It was hours before I finally fell asleep.

     Hollers in the night woke me. I heard screams, and I felt the heat of our campfire blaze angrily. Someone must have stoked it up in order to see well.

     I knew there was a battle going on, but I was afraid. Maybe if I keep my eyes closed, I'll find that this is all a dream, I thought. But no. This was very real.

     Jessica shoved me. "Brenda! Wake up, please! We have to go now!"

     Jessie was shoving me. This was serious. She was never rough to me! Reluctantly, I opened my eyes.

     Pirates wearing the yellow bandana of Goldtooth had surrounded us in the night. Now, they had attacked Kara Lee's pirates.

     "Marcus!" Jessica raced around frantically, looking for her NeoPets. "Sammy! There you are. Where's Arielle?"

     I looked around, first at the place in the sand where my friend had slept, then at the enemy mob. I couldn't see Ari anywhere. And trust me, a red Shoyru would stick out among a crowd of pirates.

     I searched and searched. She wasn't there.

     She wasn't there.

***

Lily had visited me in a dream. She told me that my flame was to be discovered today.

     I knew what I had to do.

     The campfire raged in the background, illuminating the scene of chaos. I paid no heed to the battling pirates. I had to look for the ship.

     I found it, anchored around the corner. Carefully, I flew to Goldtooth's vessel and looked around.

     It was dusty and empty. Not a soul was in sight, save the rats and the bugs. All of the pirates were needed on shore. The room I was in was the perfect picture of sea-going sloppiness. Sticky cider and juice covered an expensive hardwood table. The oriental carpet was torn and dirty. Fine, high-backed chairs bore deep scratches. And a once-beautiful tapestry was stained with something that looked suspiciously like old blood.

     I shuddered and moved on. This room was obviously the kitchen. The only things on the menu were skilly and duff. Brenda would be furious!

     I continued exploring the ship, looking, not sure of what I was searching for. I just knew that I'd find it when I found it.

     Down, down many flights of dingy, creaking stairs. I lit a lantern to light my way. The light cast eerie silhouettes on the wall, and morphed shapes into monsters and demons. My mind tried to play tricks on me. Every gust of wind was the breath of a ghost. Every shadow was an enemy pirate. Every creak was an agonized moan.

     But wait… what did I really hear?

     I raced through rooms and down stairs, scattering dust and knocking over candles. The rats and bugs fled from my stampeding feet. But I knew what I was looking for. I knew that moan.

     "Cap'n NightLupe!"

     I found my old Captain limp and motionless, tied to one of the fine, high-backed chairs. Wearily, the black, scarred Lupe opened his eyes. "I tried to stop them, Ari me lass. On me honor I did. But they hit me over the head… Oh what a headache!"

     "Quiet, Captain," I hissed as I began to untie his bonds. "They must have knocked you out for an hour or so."

     After a few minutes of rope burns and struggle, I had freed Captain NightLupe. We raced up the stairs, heading towards the deck. Then, two floors below the deck, we ran into a pirate.

     My first reaction was shock. Then, I gripped my sword, ready to fight. But I needed light to fight by, so I lifted my lantern.

     It was Kara Lee.

     "You scared me!" I yelled at the Kyrii.

     "Sorry, Arielle. I was told you went down here and I thought you could use some help."

     "Thanks Kara Lee, but I found what I was looking for."

     "I never gave you orders to look for anything, Ari! Now your friends are worried sick about you! Get out of this boat now, Captain's orders."

     "Sorry, 'Cap'n' Kara Lee, but it looks like ye may be out of a job."

     Kara Lee knew that voice, but she dared not hope, dared not guess… but she snatched the lantern out of my hand and saw Captain NightLupe, here and very much alive.

     "How… Why…"

     A vision appeared in my mind. A white Peophin. "You haven't completed your mission yet," Lily told me. "Find your inner Fire, then find the wickedness."

     "No time for questions now, Kara Lee," I whispered. "Get Captain NightLupe out of here, then you tell my friends that they'll have to worry a little bit longer. I have a date with destiny."

     Dawn's first light saw me walk across the ship and search for the wickedness. I was no longer a helpless child.

     I knew what I had to do.

To be continued...

Previous Episodes

Deckswabbers and Destinies: Part One

Deckswabbers and Destinies: Part Two

Deckswabbers and Destinies: Part Three

Deckswabbers and Destinies: Part Four

Deckswabbers and Destinies: Part Five

Deckswabbers and Destinies: Part Six

Deckswabbers and Destinies: Part Seven

Deckswabbers and Destinies: Part Nine


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