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And The Sky Was Alight


by skutterbotched

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Forward:

    This was written a week after an odd occurrence took place just west of Altador, outside of the city limits. There were seven witnesses, two of which would only repeat the phrase “they’re coming” when asked of the event. I am Melanch, a Scorchio of sound mind and body, am a Special Investigator of Faerieland’s High Court in the service of Your Highness, Queen Fyora of Blessed Rule. If something happens, we SIFGC go out and speak to witnesses and clean up the mess. If there is one. I went into this assignment assuming a light duty.

    Written here is my report, dictated with a magical pen. Only the witness’s words are present, though you can likely infer my questions from the text. As requested, of course, Your Majesty.

    

    

SPECIAL INVESTIGATOR OF FAERIELAND’S HIGH COURT

    

Can you give me a report on what happened that night? I need it in detail.

    Yes, everyone can answer separately. I’d prefer it. Let’s prevent people from talking over each other.

    Yes, please begin.

    

     AMULATT

    “It’s funny,” Doe said, rolling on to her back. I shifted out of the way to ensure the big Uni didn’t squish me, a small eventide Peophin. “All those stars. Some of them must have planets, right? You’d know.”

    “There are, and in greater Number than thee might think, sister-mine.” I laid down next to her, but did not roll on to my back. It’s a bit too barbaric for my tastes. She lifted an eyebrow at me, which was humorous as all it did was press more folds of skin into her face mask. “But None are near enough that thee should lose Sleep over them,” I added with a grin. Yes, I feel it’s important you know I thought this.

    “Aren’t you night blind or something? Liin said you ran into a wall when you were in Brightvale.” I will need to remember to tell my dearest sister to [i]not[/i] discuss my misadventures with our other comrades.

    “It was a very dark Hallway. And the Torches were out.”

    “That’s not what Liin said.” She was smirking. “Said they were those blue-flame lights that were bright enough to light up a cavern and you still ran smack into a wall.”

    “Regardless, sister-mine, I can see Stars well enough.” I could see she was still smirking, and likely biting her tongue. I shot her a look, and she stopped.

    I do have a little authority- stop looking at me like that.

    “But there are still star systems out there close enough that things like Alien Aishas- and you- could come to Neopia. What’s to say something less friendly than a weird Peophin and a bunch of four-eared Aishas couldn’t come blasting through the stratosphere?”

    “Thou art correct.” I hesitated to let her know- there is really nothing to stop it. “On that Day, Neopia shall change. For Good or Bad.” I Hoped it wouldn’t happen.

    But Hope is often hollow and ill-met.

    

    RAYNEANCE

     I looked outside the window to see several of my housemates lounging on the grass. At least Liin and Amulatt were separated- those two always get in more trouble than a pack of Kadoties in a yarn shop full of catmint. I turned to Flutter, our keeper, who was reading the latest in a strange serial she’d picked up at the market that day.

    “It’s been a little… quiet.”

    “I hate it when you say that. We’ve gone three weeks without any eruptions, fires, monsoons, typhoons, bank robberies, tears in the space-time continuum, or even a split end.” She had put her novel down and was glaring at me, her green eyes narrowed. It was unsettling. “If anything happens in the next three hours, it’s your fault.” Her hair (currently tinted teal) fell around her shoulders like a curtain. I thought about complimenting her and asking what shampoo she used, but this was probably a bad time. And yes, I know that’s not relevant to your… investigation, you called it? Odd.

    “You’re unreasonably superstitious, my old friend.” I admit now that I was maybe a little too self-assured when I said that. “Nothing is going to happen.”

    Hoof, meet mouth, because yes, sir, I actually said that.

     AERLLIIN

    I was happy to see Doe and Amu getting along. After Doe traipsed around in her worst nightmare for a bit, the two got closer together. It’s nice because now we can all go on separate adventures and Amu doesn’t think she’s getting the short end of the stick when I go caving or something and Doe takes her somewhere without magical torches. I’m not entirely certain she realized there were six dozen torches in the courtyard that night, because she and Doe were stargazing.

    Oh, it’s not relevant? I suppose the others didn’t really go into detail just yet. Ok.

    So we were really just getting ready for bed- we’ve all got our evening rituals. I play with the petpets, Doe and Amulatt stargaze, Ance and Flutter read. The others have their rituals, too, but they didn’t see what we saw.

    It came from above, lighting up the whole sky. At first, I thought it was a flight of Draiks or maybe a flock of Lightmites. It happens from time to time. It wasn’t really the light that bugged us, though- and all three of us that were outside can attest- it was the noise.

    What did it sound like? Oh, that’s kind of… difficult to describe. Well, one time Flutter kicked our Neovision set because it went to static. Then it started this squealing sound, on top of the static, like when you put two microphones too close together. Yeah, it’s called feedback. Well, the entire sky started making that sound just over the Park District in Altador. But it didn’t sound mechanical, like the feedback that came from the Neovision set. It was a biological one.

    Well, yes, I can tell the difference. I work with petpets pretty much all the time and not one of the organic ones has produced a sound that would come out of a mechanical one. This was definitely biological. And it was terrifying.

     AMULATT

    Oh, NOW you want to know our reactions. Fitting, Investigator.

    I am an Equine, and have sensitive ears. Aerlliin’s petpets scattered in all directions, but none of us could even attempt to corral them. The sound paralyzed us, and the light itself seemed to electrify the very air.

    Now, I am aware that only a few others saw what happened and they were certifiably insane. That does not make the five of us one and the same. One, our Manse is directly west of the Park District. Two, the shattered windows of the Manse are further proof that [i]something[/i]occurred that night.

    Everyone’s hair stood on end for a moment, and then it fell back when the air discharged. I don’t know what it discharged into, Messer, only that it did, and there was a lightning bolt so bright it looked pink. When we were finally able to move, none of us did. Fear took hold where static had been moments ago.

     RAYNEANCE

    Flutter and I had somehow gotten outside. We’ve spoken about it, since, and neither of us recalls walking. Our books were burnt to a crisp when we looked down, and when Flutter yelped, it wasn’t because of the book. It was the… things, I guess, that were coming towards us. I think Doe was most heavily affected because she wears a lot of armor all the time- yes, I realize it’s part of her- but thankfully she was still on her back when the electricity discharged so her feet weren’t burned.

    Sorry, I know. Not relevant. I like making sure nobody gets hurt, though, and Doe seems to get injured or sick more than the rest of us do.

    The things- aliens, you called them?- came at us at a pretty freaky speed.

    “I sort of want to pretend none of this is happening,” Flutter said in nearly a shout. I don’t blame her for shouting. Not just because our hearing was shot from the radiofrequency, but because the creatures were terrifying. Amulatt has this petpet, a Tiny Giant Squid. Ugly little thing. These things looked a lot like it, but with the ribbons of a Frillabon and more heads than a Hydruplit. And, yes, they glowed. Brighter than a Blobagus, for certain. It’d be fine if there weren’t hundreds of them and they weren’t over two meters tall.

    You see that line of dead grass, cutting through our yard right there? That’s what their slime did. Flutter says it looks like it’s been salinized, and nothing will ever grow there again. You could watch the grass die as they moved through it, like it was catching fire or attempting to retreat from whatever unholy compound these invaders were made of.

    Yeah, you could say I’ve had a hard time sleeping this week. I’m not sure I’ll ever really sleep well again.

     DOE

    Sorry, what? You’ll have to speak a little louder. I’ve still got a bit of tinnitus from when those things attacked our yard.

    I mean, yeah, of course I was the one who ‘handled’ it, as you so graciously put it. It’s my job, right? To defend my home? The others are still bothered by it. And knowing that it could happen again, that maybe these ones were just scouts and- oh, yeah. That acid stain on the marble right there is what happens when these things pop like a balloon full of yogurt.

    Oh, I’m sorry. I don’t like yogurt, but I don’t actively try to ruin it for people. Please stop crying. Please. Oh- it was your mother’s favorite comfort food? And she’s… oh. Oh I’m so sorry.

    Please, I didn’t mean it. Yeah, I can give you a moment.

    Alright, you’re good now? Ok. It won’t happen again. So yeah, these things started that whole stereotypical ‘take me to your leader’ malarkey and one of them started monologuing about how doomed Neopia was because they were taking it over. I don’t like monologues in books, plays, or in real life, so yeah, I fired off a spell at it and lugged my Ghostkerbomb into its face. You can probably guess the rest. Yeah, that’s when the… comparison happened. And it turned out their insides were really bad for their outsides, so it sort of set off a chain reaction. It was- yeah, repulsive is the word.

    You know, if you have such a sensitive stomach, sir, you probably shouldn’t ask for details.

    Point is, the event wasn’t publicized because I didn’t want all of Altador- or Neopia- freaking out over an invasion that stopped before it started. I mean, sure, our gardener is a little miffed that there’s not really anything left to garden, but he’s always extremely angry. But the world didn’t change like Amulatt said it would. Even these wounds will heal, over time, even if the grass is a little scarred.

    Yeah, I figured that’d be all you wanted from me. And uh… sorry for your loss.

     FLUTTER

    Oh, you’re gonna wrap things up with me, are you? That’s fine. You seem to have upset my girls, anyway. Or at least made them uncomfortable.

    Getting right into it. King Altador, may he live forever, noticed the change in the sky before we did. Doe had taken care of the problem pretty much before even the city guard noticed, but persuaded them to help clean up the yard.

    From what His Majesty can guess, they came from a planet much like the Alien Aisha’s home planet, but are a notoriously hostile race. Yes, they will come back. No, sir, I don’t know when, as I can’t divine future events. I can write about what happened, in great detail, so perhaps others might know. A warning, immortalized in print.

    They’re coming.

    

    The End.

 
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