Brothers: Part One
"Dayith? Dinner's ready." Ash poked her blue head around the corner of her brother's room. "Dayith?"
There wasn't any signs of him in the darkened room. Ash narrowed her eyes. "Thief."
Her Griefer appeared over her shoulder. "Yes?"
"Scan the room for Dayith."
There was a humming. "No white Lupes found, no Dayith found."
Ash frowned. "Scan the house and yard."
"Dayna!" Ash grabbed Thief and ran towards the living room.
Dayna, her owner, looked up from the table. "What is it, Ash?"
"I think I know." Kanuah, a black Lupe, walked in. "Dayith's gone."
"What?" Dayna stood up.
"I saw his footprints when I was walking in; he was headed for the harbor."
Ash nodded. "Thief couldn't detect him in the area."
Dayna walked over to the open door and leaned her head against it. "Oh, Dayith, what are you doing now?"
"Free!" Dayith grinned to himself as he ran. "I'm almost free of that family. All I have to do is get to the harbor, then Neopia is mine." He had never wanted to be in a family, why had they forced him to live there? "It's doesn't matter now." Dayith hiked the backpack up higher and continued to run. "No one can stop me now."
Something shifted in his pack. He looked over his shoulder. "You ok, Whish?"
A Sklyde poked his head out and growled.
"I'll take that as a yes." Dayith turned back around and continued to run. Come to think of it, he had gotten his petpet from that family.
"Dayith, I've got something for you." Sirenia, a Tyrannian Peophin, smiled with her hooves behind her back.
Dayith looked up from his book. "Oh?"
Sirenia nodded, looking very pleased with herself. She got along with Dayith because they both knew she could lay him out flat if she wanted to, she was the battledome pet. She even showed a few moves to him when she could drag him into it.
"There was something raiding the kitchen at the training school, today they finally caught it, and no one wanted it. It sorta reminded me of you, so I brought it home!" She produced a tied up Sklyde. It was wrestling and growling. "It's got your personality."
Dayith rolled his eyes. "Very funny, give him here." He took the wriggling bundle and held it up to his eye. An empty eye socket looked back, the wriggling stopped. Dayith put it down and untied him. It sprang up and bit him on the paw. Dayith ran a hand along the back bone. "It's ok."
It continued to growl and hold his paw in its mouth. Dayith continued to stroke it and talk. It slowly stopped growling then loosened its jaws. "That's it." Dayith patted the bony head.
A soft giggle came from Sirenia. Dayith's head shot up. "What?" He demanded.
She smiled. "I didn't know you could be gentle with anything, or charm anything."
Dayith blinked and shook his head. At least something good had come out of that house.
He ran until he came to the harbor of the flying ships, there he hid behind a crate. "Ok, Whish, now all we have to do is sneak aboard one when no one's looking. Where should we go?"
He looked at the lands written on schedule. "Faerieland, I have some business there." He slid through the shadows pulling up the hood of his cloak making his way towards the harbored flying ship. "It's time I paid my respects to my old master."
"Kanuah?" Dayna tapped on the doorway to his room. Kanuah was busy packing his backpack. Kanuah was her eldest pet. He cut a fearsome figure from his black fur and amber eyes to his ear piercings and tattoo. Kanuah looked up as Dayna closed the door behind her and leaned against it.
"You're going after him." It wasn't a question, Dayna knew Kanuah.
Kanuah continued to pack away various things. "Yes."
Dayna nodded. "I won't stop you, just be careful."
Kanuah slung his backpack over his shoulder and his katana around his waist. "I will."
Dayna drew him into a hug. "Remember that there's a family waiting for you when you bring him back and we love you."
Kanuah hugged her back. "I will."
Kanuah slipped out of his room and padded softly down the hallway. He didn't want the whole family to know he was going. He slid the front door open and closed and gave a small sigh of relief.
"Where are you off to?" Ash was sitting on the front porch with a bag packed.
Kanuah sighed and knelt down in front of his little Aisha sister. "I have to go alone."
"But I know the black market and dark corners of Neopia better than you, Thief is the best at tracking people, and I want to help find my brother too!" two tears weld up in Ash's eyes.
Kanuah ruffled her antennas. "There are a few tricks up my sleeve still that even you don't know about." He gave her a hug. "I'll bring you back Dayith."
Kanuah let go and began to jog down the hill. There were things about him that no one but Dayna knew and he was going to use those to bring Dayith home.
"Is it just me, or am I standing on ground instead of clouds?" Dayith asked himself as he disembarked on Faerieland. Things sure had changed since the Faerie's Ruin. Everything seemed brighter. But Dayith wanted to go where it was less bright. He pulled the hood of his cloak up and made his way through Faerie City. The city was a mixed crowd of tourists, faeries, faerie-painted pets, and those who knew that Faerieland was not all it seemed. Dayith fit the last category. He made his way through the shadows stepping around houses and shops. He came to stop in front of an old looking house that rested in the shade of the book store.
He knocked three times and whispered. "Lizark skulls." The door was opened by a shady looking Acara. She looked Dayith up and down. "It's been a while, Dayith."
"Dayith?" A voice asked from the darkness in the back of the room.
Dayith entered and took his hood off. "I'm back, Jesik."
An old Techo shuffled out of the shadows. "So you are." He narrowed his eyes as he looked Dayith over. "And you've been with a family I see."
"Don't deny it it's written all over you. You're white and you have a petpet. So what did you do to get them to paint you white?"
Dayith looked down uncomfortably. "She asked me what color I wanted to be painted."
"Hey, Dayith." Dayna had the sly smile on her face. "I have a surprise for you!"
Dayith rolled his eyes and put his blue head on his paws. "Oh?"
Dayna grinned and pulled a bandana from behind her back. "Yep! Hold still." She pounced on him and tied on the blindfold.
"Hey!" Dayith reached to take it off.
"Grab him and get him to the racer!" Dayna yelled.
Dayith felt two hooves and two paws take his arms and hustle him off the the faerie racer. "Let go!"
"Nope!" Kanuah and Sirenia said with obvious glee.
Dayith settled down once they were in the racer, no sense making a fuss and falling out 10,000 feet up.
"Here we are!" Dayna announced cheerfully.
Dayith smelt water and grass. "You dragged me out in the middle of the night to got to a meadow?"
Dayna untied the blindfold. "Not quite."
Dayith looked around Neopia Central in confusion. The darkened park was almost empty. "What are we doing here?"
Dayna pulled something out of her bag. "Well, today is your half year anniversary of being with us so," She held out a wrapped package, "We got you something."
Dayith took it cautiously and unwrapped it. He couldn't stop his jaw from dropping when a new, gleaming white paint brush rolled out.
Sirenia laughed and clapped her hooves together. "We surprised him!"
Kanuah leaned against the racer and smiled. "Staring at it isn't going to turn you white."
Dayna nodded towards the rainbow pool. "Go on."
Dayith slowly waded into the pool holding his paint brush. As soon as the bristles touched the water, it began to spread through the whole pool. Dayith took a deep breath and submersed himself. There was a tingling all over his body. When he opened his eyes, the pool was clear. He broke the surface with a gasp.
There was a collective gasp from the shore.
Ash was the first to speak. "You look wonderful." She smiled at him. The rest nodded in agreement.
He looked at his paws and chest, he was a beautiful white. As he turned, he heard a giggle. He whipped around. "What?"
Dayna smiled. "Look at your tail."
Dayith picked up his tail, the tip of it was dyed orange. "How the?!"
"There must have been some orange residue left over in pool, it happens sometimes." Kanuah flicked his own blue tipped tail. "It doesn't look bad."
Dayna smiled as Dayith walked towards them, still admiring his coat. "Well, what do you think?"
Then Dayith said the one word, he had never said before in his life. "Thank you."
"They gave you one? You must have had a pretty stupid owner." Jesik scoffed.
Dayith looked at the ground. "Yeah, I guess. I'm here for my sai."
"You came back for one stupid sai?" The Acara laughed.
Dayith glared at her. "Yes, I did."
Jesik laughed with her. "The only honest thing he ever bought."
Dayith brushed passed them walking towards his old room. He gritted his teeth, the faster he got out of here the better. He held aside the curtain that covered the entry to a small brick room. He looked around the dark room. He had spent two years living here. He walked over to the far wall and brushed dust off of it. The place was empty, come to think of it, most of the whole house was. He gently pulled out some bricks that he had loosened two years ago. He reached behind them and pulled out his old sai and belt wrapped in a cloth. He fondly rubbed the leather before strapping it on and walking back out.
"You leaving then?" Jesik asked as Dayith strode in.
"I see no point in staying. You're a has-been, everyone's gone." Dayith smiled as he saw Jesik frown.
Jesik pulled his cloak around his shoulders. "Then get out, you ungrateful whelp."
Dayith walked proudly out. "Gladly." He slammed the door behind him.
"But you don't understand, I have a store to run!" The Kacheek pleaded.
Ylana Skyfire rolled her eyes. "Cry me a river, like I haven't heard that story a thousand times before." She tossed him into a cruiser. "You own someone a lot of money, and he wants you to pay up."
Ylana slammed the door and spoke into her radio. "He's all yours." She watched the cruiser take off. Another day, another bounty. She rubbed her temples with a sigh.
"Long day?" A voice asked behind her.
Ylana turned around a whipped out her blaster. She smiled and lowered it. "Well, Kanuah, what are you doing on Krawk Island?"
Kanuah smiled and tossed her a dubloon. "How about I buy you some grog and we talk about it?"
Ylana smiled. "Sounds fair."
Fifteen minutes later found Kanuah and Ylana at a table in the GOLDEN DUBLOON.
Ylana laughed. "Seriously? You're looking for a runaway?"
Kanuah nodded. "My family wants him back."
Ylana rolled her eyes. "If he doesn't want to be there, just let him go."
Kanuah shook his head. "I couldn't go home if I just gave up on him."
"How badly do you want him back?"
Kanuah pulled a black throwing star out of his belt and thwacked it on the table.
Ylana stared at the star. "You're serious about this?"
Kanuah nodded. "Dead serious."
Kanuah nodded again. "I am."
Ylana took another swig of her grog. "This is big news."
"It doesn't have to be; all I want is my brother."
Ylana nodded. "I haven't heard anything about him, but I know a friend that might just be able to help. I'll give you a lift."
"Who is it?" Kanuah got up and tossed a dubloon to the waiter.
Ylana smiled. "The last member of the guild of the Black Star."
"Hey." Something poked Dayith in the side.
Dayith opened one eye. "Huh?"
An official-looking Bruce was glaring down at him. "If you have no business in the bank, you'll have to move along."
Dayith shifted the hood of the cloak he had been sleeping in so he could see better. Last night, he had stumbled exhausted into Neopian Central and fallen asleep under the first tree he had found. In the daylight, he could see that he was in the front lawn of the bank.
"Sure," he muttered and picked up his knapsack. "Whatever."
A few feet away he looked at the small pouch of coins he had swiped off of the Bruce. "Thanks for the breakfast."
Dayith looked out of the corner of his eye, putting a paw on his hidden sai.
A Halloween Hissi was slithering his way, his skeleton bones rattling rhythmical. "I saw that."
Dayith narrowed his eyes, loosening his sai. "What ya gonna do about it?"
The Hissi gave a fanged smile. "Offer to buy you breakfast. I've been looking for someone, and now that I see you, I think I found the perfect person. How would you like to make twice that in a day?"
Dayith weighed the coins in his paw. "Let's talk."
A few minutes later, they were sitting at a table in a small shop. "A guild?"
The Hissi, who said his name was Yorn, took a sip of his drink. "That's right, we're called the Black Bones. We're small but powerful."
Dayith leaned against the back of his booth, Whish was curled up under his chair. "So you want me to join as a... what again?"
"Wraith thief. You get in, get the items, get out, and no one ever knows you're there. That swipe you pulled on the Bruce cop was epic."
"What's in it for me?"
"Fifty percent of whatever you bring in."
Dayith looked down at his Sklyde. Whish looked back with empty eyes. "I'll give it a trial run."
"This is where the last member lives?" Kanuah looked with apprehension at the decrepit house in front of him.
Ylana pushed the rusty gate open. "He keeps a low profile. It's that Bori that did surveillance and reconnaissance for the Black Star when it was in operation." She knocked on the splintering door.
Kanuah crossed his arms and waited. Soon there were footsteps. "Who is it?"
"Black Star," Ylana answered.
The door opened a crack. One faded blue eye looked out. "What business do you have?"
Kanuah stepped in front of Ylana. "Surveillance. I'm looking for someone."
The eye got wider. "You!?" The door swung open. A middle-aged black Bori stood in the doorway. "Are you..." He left the question hanging.
Kanuah pulled at the neck of his tunic baring a scar over his heart. "Good, Tessa?"
The Bori smiled and held out a claw. "More than enough. Welcome back."
Kanuah stepped in, Ylana after him. "So what's the state of things around here?"
Tessa swept a claw around his house. "Old habits die hard, and it turns out it was for the better. Guilds pay well for good information. If they want to know about a group, movement, battle, treasure, they come to me. But I only serve the best who can pay the best."
Ylana looked at the dusty house. "With all that gold you could buy a better house."
Tessa shook his head. "This house is perfect location-wise, it doesn't gather much attention, has escape routes, a tunnel, and places for messenger petpets to get in." He stroked his own Mallard. "This guy has been with me the whole time, he's the best when it comes to getting into hard places."
Kanuah sat down gingerly on a rickety chair. "So you have recent information?"
Tessa nodded. "You want information, I have it. In fact." Tessa smiled and held up a small stack of papers. "You're little sister has come my way several times. Is it true she's found Sloth's headquarters three times?"
Kanuah laughed, That's Ash."
Tessa chuckled. "What can I help you with?"
"I'm looking for a white Lupe with an orange brush, probably accompanied by a Sklyde."
Tessa rustled through a stack of papers. "Let me see... ah!" He pulled a paper out. "A few days ago the old Lizark guild had a visitor. According to the Acara that reported it to one of my informants. It was a young Lupe that use to be a part of the guild, but he had been painted white. He took a sai and left."
"Well then he won't be in Faerie land." Kanuah mused to himself.
"What makes you say that?" Ylana asked.
"He never stays in one place for long." Kanuah stood up.
"So what now?" Tessa asked him.
Ylana stood. "I would love to stay and chat, but I have my own business to run. I'll catch you guys later."
"Ylana." Kanuah flicked something into the air. "Thanks for your help. If you ever need something..."
Ylana tucked the black throwing star into her belt. "I know how to use it."
Tessa watched her walk out. "Where you headed to?"
Kanuah looked at the report. "Is there no more information?"
Tessa shook his head. "I remember everything that comes in here. Nothing more about a white Lupe with an orange brush."
Kanuah frowned. "How long has it been since Black Star ended?"
Tessa gave a snort of laughter. "Ended?"
Kanuah's frown increased. "We broke up, all went our separate ways, some joined other guilds, some went to homes."
Tessa grinned. "We all broke up, but what makes you say it ended?"
Kanuah looked shocked. "You mean..?"
Tessa held up a medallion. On it glowed several spots of light. "Black Stars never go out."
To be continued....