Mistress of the Double-Cross
A cold wind blew across the frozen ground of Terror Mountain.
Up on a snow covered hill stood a green Acara, silhouette fading into the night
sky. Her cold blue eyes did not reflect the light of the moon. Beautiful earrings
of golden bands shined on her large ears, a diamond dangling from one of them.
Her dark cloak was lifted by the wind, and was fluttering around her. An emerald
brooch with beads of magenta dangling gleamed in the darkness of the starless
night. She stood gazing down into the thieves' encampment below. Firelight flickered,
wavering. In groups, the thieves talked quietly, anticipating. Swords and daggers
flashed as the restless thieves worked off their excitement. The cold wind went
pass quietly, almost as if it were afraid to make a sound. And Masila smiled,
remembering. It was not a nice smile.
Masila could hear her mother's cold voice. Telling
her, again and again, "Power is our whole world; is your whole world. Power
is the reason we live; for power." She had repeated. The green Acara stared
into her father's cold, dark eyes. Feelingless. They had taught her all she
knew, were responsible for her position now, and for that, she was not sure
if she was thankful. They had given her no love, no happiness; nothing that
a child needed. She grew up hearing the same diction repeating over and over
again, as it was now in her mind. "Power is everything." She had hated going
home to their grim faces, always set on power, always expecting too much, always
putting her down, saying how her brother was so much better. Masila seethed,
nearly growling. Anger flashed from her eyes. And so they had paid, for Masila,
Mistress of the Double-Cross, did as she wished.
"Sila!" an Island Cybunny called.
"Hey Cione!" replied Masila. Cione waved excitedly
at Masila, and the Acara wondered what there was to be so happy about. But that
was Cione, always happy and hyper for no reason at all. Masila wondered if that
was the reason she had finally done it, just to silence that hyper, happy pet
forever. Sometimes, she wondered if Cione was really that blind, if Cione knew
that it was coming, but decided to befriend her anyways. But it was impossible.
That Cybunny knew nothing of the dark side of the world beyond her own nose,
the perfect picture of innocence. Cione was innocence and a child's sense of
Cione asked, "Masila, do you want to come over
to my house today?"
"Sure!" Masila answered.
The two Acaras laughed and played, skipping down
the road to Cione's house. Cione was the pet of a rich girl, one of the richest
people in Neopia and very sweet. She greeted them with a soft smile, leading
them into the kitchen, where a snack was waiting for them. Masila loved Cione's
home. The riches never ceased to amaze her. To her, the house seemed made out
of gold, and all that was in it out of gold-rich jewels. It seemed that Neopoints
were left carelessly around the whole structure, and glazed windows scattered
colored light around the house, looking for the world like glistening jewels.
Cione's petpet, a white Weewoo, called. Cione was an only pet, unlike Masila.
Masila studied the room, but as always, found nothing to criticize. Just one
piece of that furniture would make Masila's large family rich. Cione hung up
her cloak, a soft, dark thing that Masila had coveted for so long, and led the
Acara up to her room.
They fooled around for a while, laughing merrily
over Usukis, though as always, Masila's was forced. Masila hated Usukis. She
looked at Cione's white Weewoo. That would fetch a pretty price. Suddenly coming
back to her senses, she realized that Cione was looking at her a bit funny,
and realized that she was smirking, twisted and cruel. She did her best to cover
up the blunder, sweetly suggesting that they go down to the river, all the while
fingering the one thing that was prized in her life. Her dagger. Cione agreed,
getting ready, and chattering on about millions of ways to catch a Bowla. Irritated,
Masila wondered why Cione would care about such a cheap petpet when her owner
could buy her so many other ones, ones much more expensive than a Bowla.
Once at the river, Cione sat on its bank, trying
to catch a petpet, preferably a Bowla, but with no success. Masila sat down
besides her. After a few minutes, Masila told the Cybunny that she thought she
saw something move in the forest, probably an Angelpuss, and that she was going
to go after it. Cione nodded, but did nothing else, completely absorbed in her
work. Masila smiled. Cione had passed the test. It would be easy. She got to
her feet. Her poisoned dagger whistled as it flew.
Masila ran back to Cione's house, after burying
the evidence in an opening that she had found a few days before. Upon reaching
that beautiful mansion, she started to bawl. A talented liar, she told Cione's
owner a farfetched tale, tears streaming down her face, which the poor girl
bought. They always did, no matter how implausible the story. Gloating as Cione's
owner ran off to find her beloved pet, Masila laughed as she raided the house,
leaving nothing behind. If she was right, Cione's owner would not come back
to stay. Masila was very neat in her dark dealings; she had always taken everything.
The frozen wind tugged against Cione's cloak.
The golden earrings in Masila's ears, those pretty bands that reflected the
moon so brightly, had belonged to the Island Cybunny as well. Yet Masila's unseeing
eyes were colder than ice. There was no room for regret. She was a being that
was above feelings, though some would say below them. She had no love, no compassion;
no hate. All that was in her was a void; nothing except the desire for power,
though occasionally anger and hate surfaced. Still there were some that would
call her dead, with only the dream of power to keep her alive. She would use
anything; she would do anything, to get that power. Some had underestimated
her passion for power, trusting her, trying, even, to reform her. They had paid
with their lives. Not one was left on the face of Neopia. Masila had always
done what she pleased, whenever she pleased.
"Yes," Masila thought. That twisted smile had
no mirth. "My parents are the cause of all this. They taught me themselves.
Trust no one, not even yourself. They forgot their own rule; was wary but not
wary enough. They grew weaker, falling away from their own principle. They are
responsible! They were the ones who raised me to be like this. They have gotten
what they wished for, but do they like it?" Masila laughed bitterly. Her eyes
showed no feeling. Her whisper drifted away on the wind, "They were forming
their own death, the price for their actions, when they raised me; for I am
the Mistress of the Double-cross"
And the frozen wind blew on, sweeping across
the lonely ground of Terror Mountain.
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more honor in being strong and taking a stand against war and fighting and standing
up for peace? It takes more character to stand up for what they believe in,
not flow with the crowd.