Malkus wasn't kidding about having equipment for us.
Froise led us to a small room with a single table. A green Gelert stood behind
it. He cocked his head at us as we entered.
"Ah, Froise. Hello. I just brought in the last
weapons a couple minutes ago. Need me anymore?"
"Nah, I can get the stuff divvied up myself.
You going on the latest endeavor?"
"No, I'm stuck here at home base. Malkus seems
to like the job I'm doing on getting necessary equipment. How about you?"
"I'm in charge," she said proudly.
The Gelert patted her on the shoulder and left.
"In charge of the mission?" Skyil asked.
"Hang on. You make me nervous," Froise said quickly.
She dug through the pile of stuff and picked
up a headband. It was black with a strange blue gem on it.
"Put this on."
Skyil caught it and inspected it carefully.
"What's it do?"
"Keeps you from picking everyone's mind bare,"
the Eyrie replied with a snarl. "Our lab developed it. Everyone wearing a matching
bracelet is blocked."
She held up one paw upon which a black bracelet
with a gem was secured.
"I'm not wearing it," the Aisha replied, starting
to hand it back.
"Then you spend this mission tied up in a corner
somewhere where you won't cause any trouble."
Skyil glanced up at MiracleStar, who closed her
eyes and nodded sadly. The Aisha sighed and reluctantly put it on.
"There. That's better. Now, I am leading this
mission. You'll learn more later, and only what you need to know. You're old
equipment is all here, along with some new stuff. Jaix, I have been informed
that you are the fighter of the group."
"Then this is for you."
She handed him a Sinsis Sword. He gave it a few
test swings, then accepted the sheath from her. He put it on his belt, then
found his old Virtupets Energy Sabre and added that on the other side.
"I'm keeping this one," he said softly, "Just
for old times sake. You never know when two swords might come in handy."
"Suit yourself," she replied, handing the rest
of us a couple Poison Tipped Dagger each.
I inspected mine carefully than replaced my old
two. On an afterthought, I bent down and strapped one around my thigh like MiracleStar
did. It never hurt to have spares in case I needed to throw one.
"And here's these," she said, handing us each
a hand painted scarab, "Unfortunately, they are no were near as powerful as
they used to be, but at least they aren't as expensive."
"Indeed," MiracleStar replied, putting hers away.
"And last, we have these," she said, handing
each a cloak.
I unfolded mine and inspected it. It seemed to
blend with the area around it.
"Diganis helped with those," Froise explained,
"They should keep you hidden in most situations."
"Why all this money spent on us?"
Frois looked at us solemnly.
"Because if this mission goes off well we'll
be making ten times what we spent on it. We cannot have anything go wrong. Too
much is at stake here."
"But why us?"
"I think you know why," she replied, "Dragon
Thieves. Blessed with incredible powers."
"They don't always work," I said softly.
I don't think she heard me.
We were to spend the night - what was left of
it - at Malkus's complex. We were leaving with the rest of the pets assigned
to this mission in the morning. A room had been prepared for us, nothing more
than an upper-story room with five cots laid out. There was no window. There
weren't any windows anywhere. We didn't talk, merely laid our things aside and
wearily went to sleep, one by one. Soon only I was awake. I sat up and looked
over at MiracleStar. She returned my gaze, also awake apparently.
"You scared?" she asked me in the darkness.
"No. Worried, but not scared."
Malkus's words drifted back to me. 'I don like
"You have reason to be frightened, I guess,"
I replied, "but don't worry. We'll be fine."
"I hope so."
I rolled over and went to sleep.
We were woken early that morning by the green
Gelert we'd seen the previous day.
"Com'n everyone!" he said brightly, "Breakfast
is on the go, you need to be on your way now."
We got ready with astounding speed, gathering
up our weapons and cloaks and following him out the door and downstairs. We
met with the rest of the group in the warehouse portion of the complex. A couple
jeeps were parked nearby. A motley crew of pets were arranged, all well-armed
and ready for trouble.
"Alright, everyone knows the drill! Let's go
pets!" Froise called out.
The group quickly broke up and boarded the jeeps,
two pets per vehicle. The backs were empty of cargo and I assumed that would
change once we reached the island. Froise gestured for us to follow her, and
we climbed into the back of the jeep she boarded. She took the passenger side
and I assumed her owner would be driving.
"No, MiracleStar, you drive today. My owner is
taking another car. It's hard to find drivers around here," she explained, "not
many humans want to work with Malkus Vile."
"I don't blame them," she muttered, climbing
into the driver's seat.
She started the engine and waited for instructions.
"Just follow the convoy," Friose instructed,
pointing towards the car in front of us. "We're around the middle."
MiracleStar nodded and followed the train of
cars through an opening garage type door. The convoy turned onto the main road
and started down to the seaside. It would be several hours, so I settled back
for the ride. MiracleStar was a good driver and I was able to tune out her complaints
about the automatic transmission. Since I didn't drive, I could care less whether
the car was a stick shift or not.
"There is one main reason Malkus hired you,"
Friose said suddenly, "There is an organization that is very well equipped with
the latest scientific breakthroughs and dedicated personal. It is dedicated
to stopping people like us."
My ears perked up at this.
"We have reason to believe they will be after
us for this mission. You're priority is to keep them from stopping us."
"So who is it? Who are we up against?"
"The NSPA. Neopian Special Protection Agency."
To be continued...