"The NSPA is a very secret organization founded by pets
for pets. Few know of its existence, and even fewer truly know what it does.
We know through many run-in's with its agents. Sometimes we come off better,
sometimes they do. It's a never-ending battle between us. Kind of a stalemate,
really. Anyway, you'll be on the watch for their agents. They may have planted
one among us, so even our own people are suspect. Only a couple others and I
are shielded from you, Skyil. Keep a wide patrol range around the convoy. We've
got to get a shipment from the interior back to the boats. It's a three-day
journey and we can't be certain the NSPA don't know about it. Trust no one.
If you do encounter an agent, destroy 'em. No witnesses, understand?"
I started to shiver even though it wasn't cold
out. We were thieves really. But our powers had shoved us into this position
and it was not one I liked. Not in the least.
We reached the docks in a couple hours. A ferry
was waiting for us and the convoy drove onboard and parked.
"And what about me?" MiracleStar asked, lounging
in the driver's seat.
"You're still a driver," the Eyrie replied with
a grin, "Like I mentioned before, we're always short on drivers. Us NeoPets…
well, we just can't drive very well ourselves."
"I know," she replied softly and stared out across
Deep within the secret headquarters of the NSPA, a meeting of the top agents was being held. Angle regarded the Eyrie before her. Angel_72_21 was an electric Eyrie blessed with overly large paws. However, these did not seem to hinder her performance as a top-notch spy for the organization.
"This situation is extremely delicate," the white
plushie Aisha was saying.
Angel quickly snapped to attention as her superior
handed over a file. She took it and flipped through, scanning the available
"Malkus Vile?" she hissed, shutting the folder.
"Yes. Since you have had dealings with him before,
we have decided to assign you the case. This could be huge, Angel."
"Mystery Island," she mused, "Probably has another
smuggling operation built up. How could he have gotten one so fast? It seems
we just got finished busting up his last one."
"However he did it, there is something going
on. We have reason to believe he is pouring a vast majority, if not all, of
his resources into this one mission. He must be stopped."
"Of course. I will not fail you."
"Very well then. Stop by the lab before you leave;
we have some new toys available. Try not to break anything."
"I won't, don't worry."
Angel headed out into the hallway heading for
the lab. She reflected on her mission as she walked. It was tempting to take
either her owner, Spike, or brother Kougra, Rincham, with her. But no, there
was too much danger involved. This was her responsibility, she'd take the mission
Xx_Rockhound_xX was in his lab tinkering with
his latest gadgets, as usual.
"Watcha got for me today?" the Eyrie asked, slouching
on a counter.
"Lots of goodies," the Gelert replied.
He eyed her paws and nervously scooted some delicate
equipment away from her. She sighed and dropped her paws back to the floor.
"Now, if I give you this stuff, you promise not
to break it?"
"If you insist," she replied mournfully.
Our pickup point was in the interior of the Island. It would take about a day and a half to get there, then another day or so to get back. Everyone was optimistic about a three-day trip, but Froise reluctantly admitted she expected some delays. We Dragon Thieves split up for the trip. MiracleStar stayed firmly stuck as a driver, not that she was complaining much.
"I like this thing!" she said, patting the steering
wheel. "Might have to get me one someday."
The rest of us were to patrol from the air. We
four pets took flight and split up, each ranging out in a different direction
to scout for trouble. I took the front, Skyil the rear, Jaix and Taffin took
either side. I quickly soared out above the caravan, surveying the muddy terrain
ahead. No immediate danger presented itself so I dropped lower to keep a closer
eye on things.
I continued in this manner for most of the trip.
Fly high, survey the road ahead. Drop low and search for anyone or anything
out of place. I made regular reports to Froise each hour. It was hard work.
The sun was high and the day was humid. My cloak, necessary for concealment,
was making flying awkward. I eventually figured it out, wrapping the thing around
me while keeping my wings free. MiracleStar, back on the ground, had made some
concessions to the heat; not that they seemed to bug her. She had doffed her
cloak in exchange for a plain baseball hat and had pulled her hair up into a
ponytail. With dark sunglasses and short sleeves she looked more like a college
student than a professional thief.
The progress was slow. Even though it was blisteringly
hot the roads were still muddy from recent rains. The pets accompanying the
convey did their best to keep hydrated but even then one or two suffered from
a mild case of heat exhaustion. As for my siblings and me well, we were up high
where the air was cooler and breezes filled our wings and kept the heat away.
It was a miserable day on the ground, gorgeous in the air. I started to think
that this trip wasn't going to be so bad when I spotted Skyil gliding towards
me. She fell in beside me and matched her pace with mine, just within talking
"We're being trailed."
"A NSPA agent, Eyrie. She's doing an excellent
job of not being seen. She's sticking to the trees, using her wings only when
necessary. The convoy is having enough difficulty with the mud so she's not
having too much trouble keeping up. She hasn't made any reports yet, plans to
once she has definite proof that we're working for Malkus Vile. She wants to
nab him for good this time."
"Not if we can help it," I muttered. "Report
to Froise when your hour comes up. Tell her what you've learned and then let
me know what she decides. Business as normal."
"And what will you be doing?"
"Trailing the Eyrie," I replied, and folded one
Skyil drifted back to her area of sky as I fell
to the left in a controlled fall. The wind rippled through my fur and even though
I knew of the danger, I was not concerned. I was flying and all my worries where
I landed in the trees and sniffed for scents.
I didn't catch anything, but then again, I didn't expect to. I drew a dagger
and crept through the underbrush. I thought I heard something and quickly switched
to all fours, gripping my dagger in my mouth. Nothing appeared so I kept moving,
ears straining for any sign of movement. I could hear the noise of the jeeps
from the convoy but other then that the jungle was silent. It was then I caught
a glimpse of blue feathers.
"Nianso is doing WHAT?!" MiracleStar snarled
upon receiving Skyil's report.
"Watch the road!" Froise snapped, rapping one
paw on the dashboard.
The girl snarled something and kept her eyes
on her driving.
"Alright. I'm assuming Nianso knows what she's
doing," the Eyrie said worriedly.
"She does," Skyil replied, "She's very stealthy
and with her Zafara ear's she has good hearing."
"And what does she plan to do once she closes
in on this Eyrie?"
"I have no idea."
"You're positive she's alone?"
"Yes. I was able to read her mind quite clearly."
"Well then. One agent, this shouldn't be too
Froise chuckled darkly.
"Score one for Malkus Vile. Looks like the NSPA
will be needing a new agent soon."
To be continued...