None of us really spoke for the rest of the mission.
We kept our lookouts as usual, but my heart wasn't really in it. I could see
the guilt in Taffin's eyes and knew it was reflected in mine. I had first tagged
Froise as competent and rather likable. Now, when I looked at her, all I could
see was the utter uncaring as she gave the order to destroy Angel. It was tearing
me up inside.
We reached the pickup point as scheduled and
loaded up. I didn't try to find out what we were picking up, I really didn't
care anymore. The ride back to the dock we landed at was similarly unexciting.
Apparently the NSPA had called the mission off at the loss of one of their agents.
We reached the dock and loaded up on the boat. I stayed by myself, gazing out
across the water. I did not look at Mystery Island. I heard MiracleStar come
up to stand beside me.
"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that
in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look into the abyss,
the abyss also looks into you," she quoted softly, "I am so sorry Nianso. This
is my fault as well."
I didn't say anything, no words were needed.
She gathered me up in her arms and I cried.
Malkus Vile must have known he'd get caught in some way. For him, the key factor
wasn't when, rather how. Us Dragon Thieves were not there to take guard duty
really, we were the scapegoats. I didn't know this until they came to our house
and announced us under arrest. Apparently, we were the only ones they could
find ties to for the mission. So we'd take all the blame for whatever illegality
Malkus had committed and he'd get off scot-free. It was so brilliant.
Angel woke up to the pristine whiteness of the hospital. Her owner was sitting
by the bed, quietly reading a book. Rincham, the spotted Kougra lay nearby,
"Hey," she said weakly.
Both leaped to their feet, faced radiating joy.
"Angel!" Spike, her owner, exclaimed, gingerly
hugging the Eyrie.
"You're fine. You've just been unconscious for
the past two days, that's all."
"It gets better," Rincham gloated, "They've caught
the pets that attacked you. Your fellow agents over at the NSPA were able to
track them down. They've been arrested and are currently in jail awaiting a
The electric Eyrie let out a startled gasp.
"No, they can't do that!"
"Did the pets arrested, did they have anything
unique about them?
"They all have dragon wings. That's pretty noticeable."
"Then they're not part of this!"
Both Rincham and Spike stared at her in confusion.
"Don't you see?" Angel stammered, desperately
thinking up a story, "They were being used by Malkus Vile. He's the real villain.
I never came in contact with dragon winged pets, there wasn't a single one among
"Tell Saf they've arrested the scapegoats! They're
I was pretty surprised when a police officer came over and unlocked our cell.
"You're free," the Lupe said gruffly.
"You heard me. Just received a call from NSPA.
Apparently they figured out that you five have been framed. No go on and get
I was dumb-founded. There was no question of
our guilt and the top spies of Neopia couldn't have made such a mistake. But
none of us were about to question this sudden turn of luck and we tromped out
of the prison. Once back on the streets of Neopia we were joined by an electric
Eyrie. She had silver-tipped wings and for some reason, they struck me as familiar.
"Hey Nianso," she said softly, dropping in step
I started to stop, as did MiracleStar and the
"No, keep walking. Don't want to arouse suspicion,"
she quickly instructed.
"You're, you're Angel?" MiracleStar asked in
a tiny voice.
"Your Kyrii here spared me," she said, nodding
"I didn't tell you," he said guilty, "cause it
was safer that only I knew."
"Anyways," the Eyrie continued, "when I woke
up in the hospital, I knew you had just been used by Malkus Vile all along.
What you did was wrong, there is no doubt about that, but… you saved my life.
And I guess that deserves something. So I denied ever seeing you involved in
any way and since I'm a NSPA agent that was enough. I don't understand you at
all. You'll do great evil on one hand, but on the other side of the spectrum,
there is great good in you. That good I see is why I broke all my oaths as part
of the NSPA. I'm leaving you now, and I doubt we will ever meet again. I hope
we don't. Farewell, Dragon Thieves."
The Eyrie walked away and soon vanished amongst
Skyil cried herself to sleep that night. I heard
her as I lay sleepless. Eventually she drifted off and the house was silent.
I tossed and turned for a while then finally gave up and headed for the roof,
my favorite retreat. Amazingly, Taffin was up there also, holding his glaive.
"It wasn't made for evil," he said as I sat by
"No, I don't think it was either," I replied,
watching the moonlight reflect off the blade.
"Were we made for evil?"
"I think we were made neutral," I said softly,
watching the stars, "Free to chose our own paths."
"Then which one have we chosen?"
I was silent for a long time.
"I don't know Taffin. I really don't."
Author's Note: Huge thanks to Jenjen26785 (Spike!). You gave me the inspiration
for this story and the permission to use some awesome characters. I have neither
riches nor fame; but of all people I am truly blessed because of those that
I call my friends. Also, thanks to sonicoem for allowing me to use the NSPA.