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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 27th day of Awakening, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 80 > Continuing Series > Dragonmist: Part Eleven

Dragonmist: Part Eleven

by jenjen26785

Untitled Document The Plot Thickens…

"It's not a real sword, dufus! It's a hypothetical sword. Like the sword of justice."

     Jakeio and Angle had been arguing this for what seemed like an age while Saf sat silently in the corner, thinking deeply. All of her sudden her eyes flicked in realisation, and she sprung from her seat.

     "No it's not - it's a position!"

     "Don't be silly, Saf…"

     "No, it is! Seriously! Do you remember where we all first met?"

     Angle and Jakeio quietened down a little, becoming nostalgic. "I do. It was on the other side of Kiko Lake, at Krawk Swamp. But that's all closed down now."

     "And do you remember who was third on the council there?"

     "Hmmm… it was Jen, wasn't it?"

     "And what position did she hold?"

     "Bronze Blade. Wait a minute… Bronze Blade! Copper Sword! It's another synonym!"

     "And it also says it's never wielded, which is also true. It's a sword that can't be wielded because it's a person!"

     "Yeah, but what in Neopia would she have to do with this?"

***

"So, what, you couldn't get in contact with her or anything? Not even Rincham?"

     "Not once. And I tried for hours. I even had to cut my mini-break to Meridell short when she didn't answer."

     "Well, in all honesty, I think you're overreacting. She'll be fine. Just wait and see."

     Angel thought she heard Twist mutter something to the effect of 'Famous last words' as they plodded along the track, nearing the Oak. The bustle of noise usually accelerated at round about this point, since although the bookshop rarely got any customers, it was usually teaming with insect and bird life. Yet now there was nothing. It was frighteningly odd.

     Suddenly, a high-pitched rhythmic screech started to echo through the air. Twist and Angel quickened their pace and came into view of the Oak - it's magnificent green branches colored by the Autumn - where the gate was hanging open and screeching as it dangled there, quarry to the wind. The odd duo, Eyrie and Acara, wandered down the garden path wearing identical dubious expressions. Angel rose onto her hind feet and reached out her arm to open the front door… and a light gust of wind blew it open.

     This sent alarm bells ringing through Angel's mind. "Why is the door open? Surely Jen should have heard the gate squeaking like that."

     Twist gave her a meaningful 'no duh' look, and ventured into the house.

     Silence. The whole room had been plunged into darkness for quite some time now. No sign of their owner running towards them to greet them home. No sign of Rincham skulking in the corner. There weren't even any Tigermice running in and out the bookshelves and trying to bite their tails when they walked in the room.

     "What the heck is going on?" murmured Angel, fumbling around the walls for a light switch. She flicked the switch, illuminating the room, and was faced with a shocking sight. The place had been trashed. Totally. The bookshelves had been thrown down from their places and smashed up, ruined. The beautiful hand-carved picture frames had been torn apart, and the pictures inside gashed and split beyond recognition. Pages had been ripped from books and were scattered across the floor like a smooth sheet of snow. A few broken chains of yellow and black teeth were dotted here and there like ominous calling cards. And across the walls in black paint was scrawled the taunting and badly spelt message: 'DARCGONZ ROOL'. A stale, smoky, familiar smell hung in the air. Angel was speechless. Her life's work. All gone. All destroyed in some ruthless act of violence. And where was Jen? And Rincham? What had they done with her owner and brother? She gritted her teeth and clenched her fists, feeling a deep down rage suddenly bubble to surface …

     After a few minutes of staring at the battle-induced scene Twist found her voice and spluttered, "What happened here? Where's Jen? JEN?"

     Angel tried to shush her, but it was too late. There was a shuffle of movement from somewhere in the room, and a book was displaced from the top of the pile. Angel slunk towards the source of the room and delicately tried to move one of the books to identify the intruder. There was another stir of muscle from underneath, and Angel was face with a pair of enormous, bleary amber eyes and a familiar face, now distorted with pain.

     "Rincham! Oh my goodness, are you alright?"

     "Yeah, yeah, I'm fine," he stuttered, "just - er - can the t'ree of yoose help me stand up?" The hologram that projected his true form and masked his current lab ray body flickered a couple of times.

     If the situation hadn't been so bad she could've cried, Angel would have rolled her eyes at that comment. Triple vision. Fantastic. Rincham wasn't in the right mind to be explaining anything. She clicked her beak in annoyance, retrieving the vial of Patocol Potion from her bag, and brought it close to his head.

     "What's that?" asked Twist, who was still sifting through the trash and torn literature that littered the room for clues.

     "Just something Aren gave me. He said it might become useful in the future." The Patocol Potion started to swirl and glow, then a very small image of Rincham's memories came into focus.

     She saw everything through his eyes. It was mid-afternoon. The sun was streaming through the open window, jewelled by the flitting silhouettes of moths and spiders and other such creepy-crawlies - a direct contrast to what it was like now. The Oak was swathed in this golden glow, accentuating the beauty of the carvings, which were currently splintered and scattered across the floor. Jen was dressed casually and was sitting at the desk, catching up on her English project on Oscar Wilde and bursting into laughing fits every few seconds. Slowly Rincham's eyelids started to droop, and he fell into a deep sleep. The next time he woke up was to the gentle ring of a bell drifting through the air. He opened his eyes. It was a few hours later and Jen had a customer. Several customers, in fact. All clad in dark robes with their faces covered. A smaller, squatter one was deep in conversation with her. Rincham watched them through slit eyes as their conversation turned rapidly into a debate, then into an argument. Then suddenly, at the command of the smallest one when he snapped his fingers, one of his followers, obviously a Skeith, strolled forward and seized Jen roughly by the arm. Rincham was lightning-fast to react, and before Angel could blink she was watching herself - through her brother's eyes - standing protectively in front of Jen, with a very beat up Skeith slumped against the wall. All the Skeiths attacked at the same time. Rincham fought off most of them, his claws whirling like the deadliest of weapons, but altogether they were way too much for him to handle. Especially when one of them picked up a rather large vase and slammed it across the back of his head, knocking him out cold. The last thing he could remember was his slipping out of consciousness, his owner's desperate screams echoing in the back of his mind …

     Angel barely had time to talk things over with Twist before yet another ringing filled the air. But it wasn't the ringing of the doorbell. It was coming from the desk. Jen's mobile phone.

     "Answer it," urged Twist. "It could be Angle at the HQ. Maybe they've managed to track her down already."

     She grabbed a handheld memo recorder from off the floor and held it up to the receiver. Not without hesitation, Angel pressed the button on with a talon, raised the phone to her ear and spoke in slow and solemn tones: "Hello?"

     ~Hello Angel.~

     "How do you know my name?"

     The voice on the phone snickered eerily. ~We know a lot about you, Angel. We have many sources. Some don't even know they are sources.~

     "You've got her, haven't you? You've got Jen."

     The voice gave a sight satisfaction. ~Clever girl, Angel. You're smart. It looks like the negotiations will take even less time than I had anticipated.~

     "Listen, psycho, if you've harmed a hair on her head, I will never listen to any of your requests!" growled the Eyriess, emotion wavering the stability of her manner.

     ~Don't you worry, Angel_72_21. She's fine. Now we have something you want, and you have something we want. Let's do a swap, shall we?~

     "What do I have that you could possibly want? Our shop? What little money we have? Some badly-written poetry?"

     ~The key.~

     "…What?"

     ~Give us the key to the Dragonmist, and Jen will go free. Fail… and you will never see her again.~

     Angel's eyes darted to all corners of the Oak in panic. "I really don't know what you're talking about."

     ~Oh really?~ taunted the voice. ~I would've thought the last of the Kumlaas would want to know everything about her past, and her destiny …~

     "Last?" Angel coughed. "I'm not the last."

     ~Are you?~ scorned the voice before hanging up, leaving Angel to ponder that last thought. And the sinister, boding feeling that she knew what the voice was implying hit her like a ton of bricks. Her face became pale and wan, and her beak hung open. When she at last found her voice, it was crackled and shaken.

     "Twist? I want you to listen carefully. Take Rincham and the tape to Angle at the HQ and get him fixed up. Tell Angle exactly what happened. And tell them not to come after me."

     "Where are you going?"

     "I've got a score to settle," muttered the Eyriess, her eyes glinting in a flicker of spite.

     As she stormed out the door, Rincham suddenly croaked to her: "Angel? Wait! There's something you should know." But she didn't listen. He was dazed. He didn't have anything relevant to say …

     …did he?

The End

Author's Note: *sniff sniff* Is that a plot twist I can smell? Read the next issue to discover what has happened to Aren.

I love to know the audience's opinions on my stories, so if you have any compliments, criticisms, whatnot, send 'em on in!

Previous Episodes

Dragonmist: Part One

Dragonmist: Part Two

Dragonmist: Part Three

Dragonmist: Part Four

Dragonmist: Part Five

Dragonmist: Part Six

Dragonmist: Part Seven

Dragonmist: Part Eight

Dragonmist: Part Nine

Dragonmist: Part Ten

Dragonmist: Part Twelve

Dragonmist: Part Thirteen

Dragonmist: Part Fourteen

Dragonmist: Part Fifteen

Dragonmist: Part Sixteen

Dragonmist: Part Seventeen

Dragonmist: Part Seventeen

Dragonmist: Part Eighteen

Dragonmist: Part Nineteen


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