BANG! A Dark missile ricocheted off the stone wall of a Water fortress, smashing with malicious impact into battle-stained cloud. The potent Dark magic seeped through the ground, birthing a pool of Darkness to be used as a foxhole base. Foul odours wisped off from the violet pool, but weren’t nearly as powerful as the reek emanating from a lone protestor, marching along in front of a Light Faerie base.
Smelly the Fire Faerie waved her sign in a valiant but futile effort to instil some sense into the battle-crazed Faeries who had caused a nation-wide melee. Each proud family of Faeries had become crazed guerrilla warriors, and the future of Faerieland was most uncertain. Even Fyora, the sensible, noble Queen, had been seen in the streets armed with menace and a Rainbow Gun.
As if that weren’t bad enough! Illusen, the kindest Faerie in Neopia, had taken up arms, specifically against the Water Faeries. Chaos was a blight on the once peaceful city, and mayhem the power that helped it to grow.
The Fire Faerie pondered this war, fingering her raven-black tresses. She was an oddity, an eccentric—even her hair didn’t make sense! Where all Fire Faeries were known for red or light brown hair, she alone had locks as deep and black as the stroke of midnight. They would be beautiful, if they didn’t stink like nothing else.
Her outfit gave off a powerful smell as well. Before the war, her wardrobe had been moved outside, along with most of her furniture, into a small alley called “Smelly Corner”. Now, though, when everything was about tactics and weapons, it was “Base 24S”.
Smelly wasn’t even sure of her true name. People had known her only as Smelly for so long, she had forgotten her true name. But it didn’t matter. She never had any friends; the closest thing was Julia at the clothes store. She was alone, as alone as a Faerie could be, especially as she was a protester.
Which led her back to what she was doing presently. She waved the sign amidst the turmoil, chanting.
“STOP THE MADNESS, AND THE SADNESS! STOP THE MADNESS, AND THE SAD—”
Smelly was cut off by a lavender dart that whizzed past her ear. The thrower, Queen Fyora, flew through the streets with contraband from the Hidden Tower, unleashing a deadly array of weapons.
“Your Highness!” Smelly called up to the flying fighter. “Please, stop! We must discuss ways to end this terrible war!”
Fyora sniffed the air and grimaced. “I can’t talk to stinky people when there are battles to be fought! Away with you!”
Fyora soared away over the streets, ignoring Smelly’s cries. Dejected, Smelly sat down, her hair covering her face in a pitiful, melancholy way.
Then, in a neon flash, an idea sprang into Smelly's head. No one would listen to Smelly the Fire Faerie... but what about Smelly the Water Faerie?
She would need a disguise. And perfume. Lots of perfume.
Smelly buzzed through the war-torn streets of Faerieland. Blasts and beams and magic orbs of all types hurtled through the air with deadly precision. She cruised idly over a small Earth Faerie totally surrounded by a guerilla Air Faerie group.
The Faerie Clothes Shop had taken a brunt of the blow. The windows had been torn open, the shattered glass hanging round the frame like the jagged teeth of some beast. Spiderweb cracks twisted and turned along the western wall; it seemed someone had tried to break it down. Smelly cautiously stepped through the door, arms raised. A faint whimper sounded from behind the counter.
"I-I have an Attack Pea, and I'm n-not afraid to use it!"
Frightened eyes peered up from behind the counter, relaxing when they saw the protester.
"Smelly! I've never been so glad to see you!"
"Hello, Julia," Smelly smiled, reassuring the shop owner.
Julia resumed a businesslike manner; it was second nature to her. "What can I get you?"
"I need a Water Faerie Costume."
Julia stared at Smelly for a moment before the penny dropped. "Oh... no. You can't, Smelly! It's insane!"
"Julia, you can either sell me a Water Faerie Costume, or I'll take a Water Faerie Costume."
Julia nodded sadly. She reached to a large rack behind her and plucked out a shiny blue ensemble.
"Please, please, be careful, Smelly."
Smelly nodded. "I will." She dashed into the change room and changed into the costume. The fishtail was a bit tight, and the wig made her sweat, but it seemed as though she could still pass for the Water Faerie, save for her infamous stench.
She rushed back to the counter, flopping in her faux tail. Julia had sorted through her shelves and left an endless array of perfume bottles on the counter. She took the largest, removed the pumping mechanism, and emptied the bottle all over herself.
Now she smelled vaguely of Loveberries, though a fraction of odour still poked through the cheap, strong perfume. Smelly flopped her way outside, tripping over cloud, and started to flap her wings.
She flew quickly, glad that her fake tail was not a hindrance in the air. As she wove over the cloud, the Healing Springs came into view. Or, as they were now called, Water Faerie Base 1.
Smelly quickly landed, tucked her wings into the wing-flap of the costume, and flopped right inside the base.
It was crazy. Water Faeries ran about, grabbing weapons and armour, and every so often a fully equipped group would head off towards Faerieland. Smelly plucked a Water Faerie Badge (the best way of telling support in the Faerie Wars) and pinned it to her costume. Now she was, for all intents and purposes, part of the Water Faeries’ team.
There were too many troops running around. Smelly needed to find someone in charge. There! Standing in the centre of a crowd of cadets was Well, the leader of the Water Faeries.
Smelly carefully flopped her away over to Well, avoiding strange looks and attempts at conversation. After reaching the general, she spoke in a disguised tone.
“Gen--” Smelly coughed. “General Well. Wouldn’t it be the best tactical manoeuvre to use reverse psychology? Drop out of the war, so we can psyche ‘em out?”
Well pursed her lips in thought. The other cadets waited, unsure of how this radical new idea would be received. Finally, Well grabbed Smelly’s arm, and dragged her off away from the other Faeries.
“C’mon,” the general said, pulling Smelly through a door.
Door. Door. Passageway. Double Door. Soon Smelly was so confused she could never trace her way back. The incognito Fire Faerie started to get nervous. Where was Well taking her?
Eventually, they reached a destination. Well pulled a miniature key out of her pocket, unlocked the door, and the two stepped inside.
It was just an office. Maps of Faerieland hung from a wall, a Rainbow Gun or two hid in the corner, and a few charts recruitment lists were spread over a desk. A picture of Well sat on the desk, marking this as her office.
Well sat Smelly down, making sure she was comfortable. She got Smelly a glass of water, made sure the light from the lamp wasn’t in her eyes, and sat down opposite.
“Smelly,” she said, ignoring the gasp, “if you get out of here now, I won’t sic the cadets on you.”
Smelly nodded. And suddenly, her view of the war shifted, just a little.