The Winds of Change: Part Three
Crystal wiped the tears from her eyes and went to the door. “What’s anyone doing here now, of all times?” Crystal muttered before opening the door. Seeing who was at the door gave Crystal a big smile.
“Flight!” Crystal cried, hugging her old friend. Flight tried to push herself out of Crystal’s grasp.
“Easy there, girl. I may be a plushie, but you’re squeezing me too hard!” Flight said. Crystal let go of her old friend.
“What are you doing here? How are Lexi and your siblings? WHERE’S FEATHER!” Crystal asked all at once. Flight patted her.
“Everything is fine. Stop flippin’ out,” Flight said. “Let’s go inside and discuss it over some refreshments. You do have some, right?”
“Yes, I do,” Crystal replied. She led Flight inside and put some refreshments on the table that she had saved from her trip to Neopia Central. They were nothing more than a batch of cookies and some smoothies. Flight sipped her smoothie before speaking.
“Did you read the letter Ivy left for you?” Flight asked.
“Well then, that means I don’t have to explain much. My family’s doing just fine. Feather’s happily living on Mystery Island. And we don’t believe that Ivy is going to be coming back, even though we’ve pinpointed your location,” Flight said.
Crystal glared at her. “Pinpointed my location?” Crystal growled in a slow and angry voice. Flight and Crystal stared at each other for a moment, then burst out laughing.
“Ivy said that she just might come back if she knew exactly where you were.” Flight giggled. Crystal nodded.
“That definitely sounds like Ivy,” Crystal said. The laughing ceased as Crystal sighed.
“Ivy... I really miss her. I wish I never went away. She might still be here...” Crystal was cut off by Flight’s voice.
“She probably would have still left. Did you think that she’d stay forever? She does have another life, you know,” Flight said.
A little tear ran down Crystal’s cheek. “You’re right. I - I should have never have thought that anyone would remain here forever. I just wish I could see her again, to tell her how much I miss her. Maybe she’d come back. Maybe just for a little bit, to visit me. Maybe - just maybe,” Crystal said solemnly.
“Maybe you can! Lexi has already contacted Ivy a couple of times after her departure. Maybe she can arrange for a message directly from you to be sent! I can get you there as soon as possible!” Flight cried, before pausing for a moment. “But first, can we relate stories? I want to know what you did during your adventures, and I have some really fabulous tales to tell you.”
“Sure. It would be nice to have and old friend I can talk to about what I’ve experienced. Why don’t we go outside? The sun is looking brilliant on the snow right now, and there’s a little cliff ledge in the back where we can sit,” Crystal replied. They got out of their chairs and walked out of the back door. Crystal led Flight up a path and the pair sat on the ledge to tell their stories.
Crystal went first. She told Flight about all the great times she had, from the more recent time in Neopia Central to her very first wandering adventures. The thing that seemed to interest Crystal most was her flute playing.
“So your flute is really half of your life right now?” Flight asked.
“Well, it does get me Neopoints and food and a place to stay for a night every now and again. But it took me a lot of practice to get to that point,” Crystal replied.
“Can you play for me? Please?” Flight asked eagerly.
Crystal nodded and took out her flute from her bag, which was still draped over her shoulder. She began to play some tunes that they both liked to listen to when they were young. Crystal heard Flight humming along. Crystal soon put her flute back.
“We had some really great times together when we were young, didn’t we?” Crystal asked.
“We really did. I wish we could go back there...” Flight said, before telling her story. She spoke before Crystal interrupted at one point.
“You seriously got a Fountain Faerie Quest?” Crystal asked.
“How else could I have gotten painted Plushie?” Flight replied.
“Good point,” Crystal sighed.
And then it happened.
Flight and Crystal stopped chatting as a large boulder-like item fell from the sky. It came down at great speeds, looking as if it could make a gigantic crater if it did not slow down. But, it did slow down, right before it crashed into the ground. Crystal could see it better. It was a large, silver metal sphere with the same red “V” that was on Virtupets Space Station. Crystal and Flight exchanged worried glanced as the metal sphere sprouted little legs and landed in Crystal’s old front yard. A platform extended and revealed an opening in the sphere. A swarm of Grundos flooded out, their colors ranging from Shadow to Faerie and Robot to Fire, all fierce looking and ready for combat. Then an army of Mutant Grundos came marching out. The last two that came out were carrying a chair, perhaps a throne, and on that throne was a sight Crystal never wanted to see. Flight and Crystal whispered one dreaded word together.
“What’s Sloth doing here? And why here on Terror Mountain? Why not somewhere else that has a safer landing zone?” Crystal thought anxiously.
The Grundos lowered the throne that Sloth was sitting on. All of the Grundos looked anxiously at him, as if they were waiting for a signal. Sloth nodded to one of the Mutant Grundos. The Grundo went right back into the sphere and brought out a small ray. Sloth took the ray and aimed it at Crystal’s house.
“No!” Crystal silently cried. Sloth pulled the trigger, and a deep red ray destroyed Crystal’s home.
“Crystal, I’m sorry,” Flight whispered. Crystal clenched her paws into fists.
“This might only be the first part of his evil plan, but my home was the only remains of my family. Sloth is going to pay!” Crystal growled through clenched teeth.
“He might be too powerful for us,” Flight observed.
“I don’t care. C’mon, let’s go,” Crystal said.
“But what if he sees --” Flight was cut off.
“Shhhh. He won’t see us. I’ve got some Faerie Abilities that can help us,” Crystal said. She took Flight’s paws in her own and focused her mind. The pair began to fade away; the only thing left from them was their imprints in the snow where they sat.
“Whoa, where’d we go?” Flight whispered.
“Long ago I was given an ability from an Air Faerie that let me turn invisible. A while later I figured out how to transfer invisibility to another pet when I turn myself invisible. It can really be useful in situations like the one we’re in right now,” Crystal breathed her reply.
“Awesome. They’ll never see us coming!” Flight said.
“But they’ll hear us unless you lower your voice!” Crystal said in a hushed tone. “Anyway, I’m going to fly in with you. Just hang on and trust me!” Crystal added. She grabbed onto Flight and took to the skies. Once she was at a height she was comfortable with, she got ready to fly down.
“Are you sure ‘bout this? You know I’m afraid of heights, Crystal!” Flight asked nervously.
“I won’t drop you! Just hang on and get ready for impact!” Crystal replied, readying herself. She positioned herself at a diagonal angle, and she surged forward, straight at Sloth. Flight let out a startled yell. Sloth looked up at the noise and formed a force field around himself. Crystal and Flight crashed into the field with a massive impact. Their invisibility disappeared and they appeared again. They fell to the ground.
“What’s this? A pair of Neopets trying to do something to me? You do know that you’re way in over your heads, don’t you?” Sloth asked with an evil smile on his face.
“You destroyed my home. I wanted vengeance,” Crystal replied, sitting up.
“Well, I needed somewhere to construct my new lair, and, well, this place seemed ideal,” Sloth replied.
“You will never take Neopia, no matter what you do!” Crystal shouted.
“Ah, but I will. I can ensure you that. Minions, get them away from here,” Sloth said. The Faerie Grundos flew at them and lifted them up and away into the skies. Crystal struggled as much as she could, but the Grundos were too strong; she couldn’t get free. Once they had flown far enough that they were over the ocean, the Grundos dropped them.
“Never try to defy Sloth again!” one of them called as Flight and Crystal fell towards the ocean.
Crystal fluttered her wings and grabbed Flight. They floated a ways over the water.
“That was close,” Flight said. Crystal simply nodded and flew towards Neopia Central. They landed near the Money Tree to see a shocking sight. Grundos were all over the place, doing paw-to-paw combat with innocent Neopets.
“Sloth’s taking over!” Crystal cried out in dismay.
And the battle for Neopia’s freedom raged on for a couple of months, and in Sloth’s favor. The Grundos who were fighting for Sloth were fierce, and Neopia was beginning to give up. Crystal and Flight battled along with other peace-craving Neopians, but soon they too were defeated.
The battle for Neopia was over.
And Sloth had won.
To be continued...