"I'm sorry for bringing you here under these circumstances,"
a voice said, punctuating my rise from oblivion. I rubbed my eyes, startled in
the bright light. I felt like an Ixi trapped in the headlights.
"You could've just asked," I said pointedly,
coughing slightly. I sat up, feeling the world tilt dangerously. "Ergh," I said,
feeling my breakfast swirl in my stomach. I closed my eyes, screwing them against
the bright light.
"It will stop in a minute," the voice said.
I blearily opened one eye, and saw a large figure looming over at me. He was
wearing a dark suit and jet black hair was greased back on his forehead. He
was scrawny, though he was someone who relied on brains rather than brawn. His
eyes were but mean slits.
"Where's Lae?" I demanded, sitting up again.
I took note of the room. It was a pleasant dining room, with several wooden
chairs lined up around a dark mahogany table. Lae was sitting at the table,
a glass of water in front of her. Slowly, trying hard to keep my balance, I
made my way over to her.
"Okay?" I asked, sitting down, fighting the
urge to sink my head into my arms.
"Sari?" Lae said finally, looking quizically
at me. "You look terrible."
"Thank you," I replied.
The man walked over to where we both sat. He
cleared his throat and spoke. "I will cut to the point, I am a man of very few
words. I have a proposition for you."
"Does it involve sleep?" I yawned.
"I can make it so you need never go hungry again.
In return, I ask you to acquire a... an item that was once mine," he said. "I
have heard much about you, stormydreamer."
I winced as he used my full Neopian title. "I'm
no longer a Neopian," I replied.
"You shall be if you acquire what I need," he
replied. "Sari and Laeyan, you are well known throughout the criminal underworld.
You are known for your potential."
"Okay," I replied at last. "You're telling us
we need to steal something for you, and then you're gonna give us enough Neopoints
to buy a NeoHome?"
The man nodded.
"Lets set something straight then. Sari, s-a-r-i.
And we wanna know details, before I sign anything."
"I am Mr Brown," he said "My grandfather once
owned the jewel of the lost Desert," he paused. My grandfather never fully recovered
from his loss. But now, my associates have informed me that it is back in the
temple of which my father found it. And I want you and Laeyan to retrieve it."
"What's in it for us?" Lae interrupted, earning
a triumphant grin from me. It was nice to know Lae wasn't the innocence she
often tried to pretend to be.
"In return, I offer you a house in a quiet street
of Neopia and enough money to ensure you need never go hungry again," he said
with a trace of irritant in his voice. "It is a large wage for such a simple
There was a pause. I studied his face deeply,
trying to see if he was speaking the truth. "We need to talk about it," I said
eventually. Lae raised an eyebrow but, thankfully, refrained from making an
"Very well," he nodded. "I shall give you five
minutes." He exited the room, though I doubted very much that we were left completely
"So," I said in a hushed tone. Lae, on the other
hand, had a lot to say.
"What do you mean 'we need to talk'," she said
in an angry tone. "There's nothing to talk about, we go in, grab this jewel
and get out. And then what? We're stinking rich Sari!"
"Lae," I replied, struggling to keep a straight
voice. "I don't know if it's a good idea." I trailed off. Lae sighed.
"Look, we'll be fine. You heard him, we're the
best. If anything goes wrong, then we'll get out of it. We're Sari and Lae!"
Lae grinned. Before I could point out her flawed logic, Mr Brown reappeared,
flunked with two bodyguards.
"Do you accept?" he asked nervously. I frowned
but Lae replied for me.
"Yup," she replied firmly. "We accept."
We arrived at the Lost Desert late that night, after packing up. I was now
changed, my jeans and sweater discarded. I wore a pair of loose stone coloured
shorts, and thick soled boots. A dark sweater hung around my waist and I wore
a plain shirt of dark grey. I had also been given a baseball cap, and my shoulder
length hair was pulled back into a plain ponytail. I felt like an archaeologist
or a tomb raider. Maybe both.
"Where's the Jewel then?" I asked as we stepped
out of the car. The night air was warm, more with humidity than real heat.
"In the temple," Mr Brown said, pointing to
a large pyramid nearby. It was tall, far taller than any I had seen previous.
It was a wonder they had missed it, or not exploited it, like most of Neopia
had been. I thought sadly of Meridell, now exploited by the general public for
no reason other than newness. Some things should be left alone.
"So we go in and grab this Jewel?" I asked,
tucking a radio I had just been handed into my belt. Mr Brown nodded before
looking at his watch.
"I will let you two depart, I shall be awaiting
your return," he said with a subtle sigh. I shrugged, picking up my heavy rucksack.
Lae copied my actions and together, we entered the large pyramid.
To be continued…
Neomails will be loved and worshipped. Pwease?