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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 7th day of Running, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 56 > Continuing Series > The Crows: Part Seven

The Crows: Part Seven

by geovii

BEFORE ALISTAR COULD set his pick to his guitar, something boomed from the far end of the Battledome. It was one of the competitor entry doors. A second boom issued forth from behind it, and this time a large dent appeared in the door. The audience turned their attention away from the band to watch this disturbance.

     "May," Alistar said, "this isn't supposed to be happening, is it?"

     "Uh-uh," May shook her head.

     "Then why is it happening?"

     A third boom. The dent was very large now.

     Flick stepped back. "Something tells me we shouldn't be here. Something tells me we should be far away from here..."

     The door boomed again. There was a metallic squeal as the bulging door began to split down the middle.

     Umbriel stood up. "Does 'something' have any more pearls of wisdom for us, Flick? Because I'm for getting the heck out of he..."

     There was a great crash as the door was rent in two. A hulking black form emerged from the darkness, its eyes glowing a fiery green.

     "What is that thing?" Flick shouted, near panic. "How'd it get in here?"

     "A Monocerous..." May gasped. "I heard rumours that the Battledome kept a few for fights, but I never thought they were true..."

     There was a twang as Alistar dropped his guitar. "Those eyes..." he whispered. "It's those eyes again!" Old fears were rekindled within him. A chill gripped him, and he shivered.

     "Alistar," May said as calmly as she could, "stay right there and don't move. It can't see you if you don't..."

     Alistar bolted for the nearest exit. The Monocerous turned and pawed the ground.

     It charged with a terrifying roar that stopped Alistar in his tracks.

     "ALISTAR, WATCH OUT!"

     Alistar didn't remember much of what happened next, it all went so fast. Something hit him from behind with incredible force, and he went flying. He landed on his left shoulder, and he felt something pop, followed by a searing pain. He opened his eyes. A red haze gnawed at the corners of his vision.

     The Monocerous snorted and began to close in on Alistar.

     Thinking quickly, May grabbed Alistar's guitar off the ground. It's no Usul Axe, she thought, testing the weight of it in her paws, but it'll do.

     She made it to Alistar's prone form just as the Monocerous closed the remaining distance.

     "Hey ugly!" May shouted.

     The Monocerous turned in surprise.

     "You've got a spotty bum!"

     May swung the guitar with all the strength she could muster. It came crashing down onto the Monocerous' head, breaking into pieces as it hit.

     The Monocerous snorted and shook its head. With a surprising turn of speed, it spun around and caught May with its horns, throwing her aside like an Usuki doll. She landed about ten feet away.

     "Miss May, are you all right?"

     May got up, rubbing her head. Patterson and Smith were standing over her. "It certainly took you two long enough."

     "Sorry, Miss. Couldn't get through the crowd in time."

     "Well don't just stand there gawking like a couple of ninnies! Go help Alistar!"

     The two saluted. "Yes, ma'am!"

     Patterson produced a pair of Rainbow Guns from inside his suit. Smith opened up his hot dog box and quickly assembled a Gelert Wand. They rushed the Monocerous, weapons blazing. The crowd cheered.

     "May!"

     May turned. It was Flick.

     "May, are you okay?"

     "I'll be fine. Where's Umbriel? Why isn't she helping?"

     "She's over there."

     May looked at where the Shoyru was pointing. Umbriel was near the wall opposite the Monocerous. Her hands were in front of her, aimed at the Monocerous. Her eyes were glowing green, and she appeared to be chanting something.

     May looked from Umbriel to the Monocerous and back again.

     The eyes were the same! Umbriel seemed to follow the Monocerous' every dodge and attack as it struggled against the onslaught of the two Gelerts. May didn't need her college education to recognise a Fiery Gaze spell when she saw one.

     Without thinking, May charged, screaming as she hurled her body against Umbriel's. The Faerie tumbled to the floor. At the same moment, the Monocerous succumbed to the relentless assault, falling unconscious into a heap on the ground.

     The crowd went berserk with excitement.

     Umbriel got up, rubbing her head. "Ow. What in blazes did you do that for?"

     "Don't play dumb with me, Umbriel. I saw the whole thing! That was a Fiery Gaze spell you were casting, wasn't it? You were controlling the thing the whole time! And to think we trusted you! All the while it was you toying with the band! Alistar was right about you! You really are nothing but a treacherous Faerie!"

     Umbriel looked at the Usul with eyes full of anger. "How dare you challenge me with such words! After all I've done for this band..."

     "After all you've done for this band, I'm surprised we're still alive! You came along with your flashy drums and expensive gifts, tricked us into putting our trust in you, and then ruin our only chance at making it big, nearly killing Alistar in the process! And what did we ever do to you? Nothing! I was a fool for trusting you, and a fool for not listening to Flick and Alistar from the start!" May pulled out a Wand of the Light Faerie. She pointed it at Umbriel. "But I'm not as much a fool as you'd prefer, Umbriel! After the last concert, I decided to take precautions, and it seems my fears were well justified!"

     Umbriel's eyes went wide in surprise. "You mean to tell me you've been suspicious of me all this time?"

     "I'm nobody's fool, Umbriel. Certainly not yours. And nobody double-crosses me without something to show for it! Prepare yourself!"

     As May spoke, the wand began to glow with a bright yellow light. But Umbriel was too fast. As May brought the wand forward, Umbriel's hand flew out. There was a flash of violet sparks as a bolt of purple lightning struck May full in the chest. She dropped the wand, and its glow faded.

     May gritted her teeth as Umbriel looked down on her.

     "Girlie," Umbriel said, "you have no idea what you and your band have gotten themselves into. Not even Fyora can help you now."

     Umbriel opened her wings and took off.

     May got up slowly, her quivering limbs still recovering from the attack. Then, remembering Alistar, she made her way as quickly as she could to where he lay. Smith and Patterson were already there, seeing to his wounds, while Flick looked on.

     "Is he all right?" she asked.

     "Well," said Flick, "currently he is not all right. But if you're asking if he's going to be all right, then the answer is yes."

     Patterson turned to May. "His left shoulder has been dislocated, and there's probably some strained ligaments, but he should recover."

     Smith nodded. "He was very lucky. Not very many pets have gotten away from a rampaging Monocerous in such good condition. There's an ambulance waiting outside the 'Dome to take him to the hospital right away. We'll get him there."

     Smith and Patterson took the injured Kyrii by both ends and carefully carried him to the exit.

     As she watched them depart, she heard someone clear their throat behind her. She and Flick turned around.

     "Oh, Mr. Bakomoto, hello."

     Bakomoto looked at them furiously. His lips curled up in a sort of angry sneer, revealing his gleaming white incisors.

     "What," he said through his teeth, "is going on here?"

     May smiled. "Funny you should mention that, sir, I was just wondering myse..."

     "IS THIS YOUR IDEA OF A PUBLICITY STUNT!?" he barked. "You've ruined the concert! You destroyed my equipment! You humiliated me in my own stadium! Just look at this mess!" He looked at the platform where the band was supposed to be performing and narrowed his eyes. "What's this?" he asked, looking at the drums. "These aren't my drums! What have you done with my drums?!"

     "Hehe, yes," said May, "Er, the drums. I... ah... don't know. Do you know where they are, Flick?"

     "I believe Umbriel said she got rid of those pieces of garbage, didn't she?"

     May elbowed him. "You weren't supposed to say that!"

     "I wasn't?"

     That was all Bakomoto could take. His eyes blazing and twitching, he drew a Kougra Tech Sword, long and slender.

     The crowd burst into cheers. Tonight was turning out to be more exciting than they had expected.

***

It was Tuesday morning. The battered remainder of The Crows were gathered at Alistar's apartment.

     "What's got you so down, May?" Alistar asked, his left arm dangling in its sling.

     "I'm a bit worried about what Mr. Bakomoto said last night." Flick laughed. "Which part? 'You'll never play in this town again'? 'I invested thousands in you'? Or was it the part where he started screaming obscenities and chased us halfway around the Battledome at swordpoint?"

     "Take your pick."

     Alistar sighed. "So it really was Umbriel all along, wasn't it?"

     "I'm afraid so," May said. "I saw her controlling the Monocerous at the Battledome." Flick pounded his fist against the coffee table. "Blast! What are we going to do without a drummer?"

     "I'm sure we'll figure something out. I could always rig something up with a synthesiser..."

     Alistar shook his head. "It's just not going to be the same without Umbriel. In a way I'm kind of sad she's gone."

     "Me too," said May dejectedly. "I really wish she weren't the culprit in all this. I'm going to miss her."

     Flick nodded. "Without her, The Crows just don't seem like The Crows anymore. I feel more like a bluebird."

     "We're all a little blue, Flick," Alistar lamented. "But what choice did we have? It was either her or us. Right?"

     "Yeah," agreed May. "But still..." She sighed. "I wonder where she is right now?"

***

"Did you feel something just now?"

     Outside the door, Smith and Patterson stood guard.

     "You mean like a sort of... chill?"

     Both turned and looked down the hall. Something was amiss. They couldn't see the end of the corridor. It was shrouded in darkness.

     The darkness was getting closer. A pair of green eyes could be made out staring from the gloom.

     "That can't be good."

     As the darkness drew near, Patterson pulled out his Rainbow Guns.

     "I have orders not to allow you to pass, Umbriel," he said. "Go back!"

     The green eyes only narrowed. The darkness continued to advance. Patterson fired. The bolts of light disappeared into the darkness.

     There was an evil laugh.

     The blasts came flying back, erupting into flashes as they pounded the two Gelerts and sent them flying. They slammed against the wall and slid to the floor.

     "That takes care of those two for a while. And now, to business."

     A dark hand reached for the door.

To be continued...

Previous Episodes

The Crows: Part One

The Crows: Part Two

The Crows: Part Three

The Crows: Part Four

The Crows: Part Five

The Crows: Part Six

The Crows: Part Eight

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