Still thwarting Sloth's mind control... Circulation: 98,096,637 Issue: 194 | 10th day of Relaxing, Y7
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A Day of Infamy: Part Four


by shadih_temporary

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"The heart of Faerieland…" Samantha repeated Adalia's words. "That'd be the direct center of the city, would it not?"

      "I guess," AJ shrugged.

      The two pets had departed the Hidden Tower and were now sitting on a bench in front of a rather small building.

      "Well, how do we find the center of this humongous city?" Samantha asked.

      AJ turned around to face the building the sign behind then.

      "Tourist Trappe," he read the signs posted on the building aloud. "Visiting Faerieland? We have maps, souvenirs-"

      "Maps?!" Samantha hopped off the bench. "That's perfect! All we have to do is locate the center on a map!"

      Samantha rushed inside the building. AJ sighed and picked up the jar the Spyder was in, following Samantha inside the building. It was indeed a very small store. Maps and pamphlets featuring tourist attractions bombarded the shelves that were propped up against the walls. An aged Faerie Kougra with thick spectacles and a pearl necklace around her neck sat behind a desk.

      "Can I help you children?" the Kougra looked up at the two and squinted. She obviously had trouble seeing.

      "Yes," Samantha approached the desk. "May I please look at a map of Faerieland?"

      "Sure!" the Kougra placed her arms on the desk. "That'll be 50 Neopoints."

      "Erm…" Samantha's eyes darted around the room. "I don't need to buy it. I just need to look at it,"

      "50 Neopoints to look at it, and 100 to buy it!" the Kougra snapped. "Now, either you pay for the map or you get out of my store,"

      "C'mon Samantha," AJ headed for the front door.

      Suddenly, a loud crash came from inside a door behind the front desk. The words "Employees Only" were printed on the door in black ink.

      "Junior?!" the Faerie Kougra spun around to face the door. "What in tarnation is going on in there?!"

      "Sorry!" Came a soft, male voice. "I dropped a couple boxes."

      "Oh my goodness!" The Faerie Kougra groaned and departed into the "Employees Only" room.

      "Wait, AJ. Don't go yet," Samantha demanded. "Quick, get a map off of the shelves over there!"

      AJ made his way over to a shelf against the wall and selected a map of Faerieland off of it. Samantha rushed to his side as he unfolded the map.

      "There!" Samantha poked her finger at the direct center of the map. "That dirt path in between those trees!"

      "Er… Samantha?" AJ eyed area Samantha had been poking at.

      "Hm?"

      "That can't be where we have to go. That's where the Hidden Tower was!"

      "No," Samantha snatched the map out of AJ's hands and pressed her face against the one spot. She eyed it very carefully, and found that it was indeed where the Hidden Tower was.

      Samantha balled up the map and tossed it aside. "That can't be it! Maybe the map is a little distorted! I mean, there was no way we could fall or whatever Adalia said from inside that huge tower!"

      That's when Samantha realized where Adalia wanted her to go. "AJ! I've got it!"

      "Got what?"

      "The heart of Faerieland! I know where it is!"

      Samantha grabbed AJ by the arm and tugged him out of the shop. The two pets ran through the huge city as fast as they could, dodging stray pets and Faeries and making sure they didn't run into buildings.

      "Where are you taking me?!" AJ finally managed to ask.

      "You'll see," Samantha smirked.

      Five minutes of running non-stop went by before Samantha and AJ arrived at the very beginning of the city.

      "Samantha, this is where we came in from!" AJ exclaimed, remembering the trip with the Faerie Bubble. "We ran that far just to come back here?"

      "AJ, don't you remember?!" Samantha asked.

      "Remember what?" AJ scratched his head.

      "Don't you remember the shape of the clearing where we found the Faerie Bubble?" Samantha continued. "It was a heart! That has to be the Heart of Faerieland!"

      "What makes you so sure of that?" AJ crossed his arms.

      He stepped onto the part of the cloud where the Faerie Bubble first dropped him and Samantha off. AJ hopped up and down on the cloud, but did not fall through.

      "Adalia said you must go to the Heart of Faerieland and let yourself free, and you will fall," AJ explained. "Well, I'm not falling."

      "Adalia also said I was chosen to do this," Samantha stared at the cloud AJ stood on. "You may not the free heart needed to do this… but I do."

      And at that, Samantha took one step backwards and shut her eyes tight.

      "Samantha… what are you doing?" AJ stepped off the cloud and began walking towards her.

      Samantha took in a deep breath, and her eyes shot open. The Yellow Aisha the lunged forward, her feet slamming against the soft cloud as she ran towards the cloud AJ stood upon. Samantha jumped forward and AJ quickly hopped off the cloud.

      Samantha did not land on the cloud. She broke right through it. AJ stared in wonder as he watched Samantha fall through the sky, heading for the heart-shaped clearing. Realizing there was nothing he could do to stop her, he lifted the Spyder Jar into the air and called to his friend.

      "Samantha! Catch!"

      AJ then brought his arm down, letting go of the jar. The jar broke through the cloud, traveling faster than Samantha was. Samantha spun around in the air so that she was now facing the cloud Faerieland sat on. She reached out he arms and caught the Spyder Jar when it had come close enough to her. The Spyder inside the jar chattered uncontrollably and kicked at the walls of the jar with its legs, obviously frightened.

      Samantha smiled at AJ, who was looking over the edge of Faerieland's cloud, and then turned so that her back faced him. The clearing came ever so nearer and nearer. But from high up in the sky, Samantha could clearly see the heart it formed. To her, it was an amazing site.

      That's when Samantha noticed the ground was coming a little too close. She expected something to happen to her to prevent her from hitting the ground by this time, but nothing of the sort had occurred. By this time, Samantha had begun to panic. She shut her eyes and clung tightly to the glass jar. Samantha fell and fell and fell until she broke through the lowest cloud in the sky.

      And then, something miraculous happened.

      Samantha fell through the cloud, but did not come out the other end. The Aisha seemed to be stuck in the center of the cloud.

      What's going on? Samantha thought to herself, curling up in a ball and shivering. I-it's so cold…

      The Aisha shut her eyes tight as she remained trapped inside the small cloud. Tiny droplets of freezing cold water plopped onto Samantha's yellow fur. Or was it yellow? Somehow, Samantha felt rather different on the outside. She tried to open her eyes, but couldn't. She couldn't see or hear anything… just the back of her eyelids and the sound of the Spyder banging its head against the jar.

      And then, Samantha broke through the bottom of the cloud. Almost immediately, the Aisha had returned to her normal body temperature. Yet, she did not fall. Samantha slowly opened her eyes and looked around. She tilted her head down to see the ground was a long ways away. She was floating!

      Samantha brought her paws to her face to discover they were no longer yellow. Her paws were a light blue. Samantha turned her head to look at her back.

      "Wings!"

      That's right. A pair of pink, feathery wings was attached to Samantha's back. They were flapping wildly, keeping the Aisha in mid-air.

      She was no longer Yellow. Samantha was now a Faerie Aisha.

      "So, this must be what Adalia meant by having a free soul," Samantha said aloud. "Those with hearts and souls pure enough are meant to be what I am: a Faerie. She's right; everyone has a purpose in life. And right now, my purpose is to stop this horrible plague of the living dead."

      Samantha looked down at the heart-shaped clearing, her facial expression stern and hard. Her eyes stopped at the pointed end of the heart. She looked straight ahead of the point to find an ocean, far, far away.

      "There it is!" Samantha exclaimed. "The sea!"

      And at that, Samantha straightened out her body and began flapping her wings even harder than they were. The Faerie Aisha then speedily flew over the tops of hundreds of trees, heading towards the ocean.

      Once Samantha had reached her destination, she landed gracefully on the sandy beach. Samantha watched the dark blue waves crash to the shore and send droplets of water into the air as they collided with large, jagged rocks for just a moment.

      Samantha sighed. "I wish I could say this will be easy. I wish I could say all I'll be doing is hopping in the water and looking for cave. But there's a lot more to it than that. And I know it. I can't fight the truth; I can't prove it wrong. This will be far from easy."

      Samantha looked down at the glass jar containing the frightened Spyder in her right paw. She pondered for a few seconds.

      "I can't possibly take you into the ocean with me," Samantha spoke to the Spyder. "That'll just be mean. There are holes in the lid of the jar; you'll drown. I can't let that happen. If I die down there, I die down there. There's no stopping fate's decision. If I really am to save Neopia, then I'll be all right."

      Samantha squatted on the sandy beach and popped open the glass jar. She allowed the Spyder to crawl out of the jar and scurry away, leaving itty-bitty footprints in the sand. Samantha stood up and watched the Spyder hurry off until it was out of sight. She then dropped the jar onto the beach and turned to look at the ocean.

      Samantha took a deep breath, and put one foot forward. She hesitated, and then darted down the beach and lunged right into a rolling wave.

      It was cold underwater. Very cold. And the taste of salty water filled Samantha's mouth. It was hard for Samantha to open her eyes. But she managed. Luckily for her, the water was pretty clear. It would be easy to locate a large cave that might just belong to a Dark Faerie.

      There was just one problem: Samantha could not breathe underwater. She had to find Ferra's cave quickly, or she would surely drown.

      And almost miraculously, a large cave bombarded with towering spokes along the sides of it and a garden of seaweed and coral decorated the front came into view. It was just so sudden; Samantha could hardly believe it!

      But she didn't let that hold her back. Samantha squealed with excitement, sending bubbles of air to the surface of the ocean. The Aisha began swimming quickly towards the cave, when her foot got caught in a patch of seaweed.

      Samantha let out a small yip when the seaweed jerked her backwards. She turned around and began pulling at the seaweed with her paws, slowly running out of breath.

      In the distance, Samantha saw two Maraquan Aishas emerge from behind a large rock. Their mouths were wide open and lined with razor-sharp teeth, and their eyes were completely black. They were zombies.

      Samantha stared wide-eyed at the two Aishas for a moment, and then began tearing at the seaweed wrapped around her leg. The Aishas noticed Samantha caught in the seaweed, and hissed furiously. They then zoomed through the water, flapping their tail fins furiously and hissing as they did so. Samantha screamed in terror, continuing to pull at the seaweed.

      Finally, she managed to rip the seaweed off of her leg. But she was too later. One of the Maraquan Aishas floated under Samantha and grabbed her by the arms. Samantha looked down at the Maraquan Aisha as it opened its mouth and breathed out, sending an air bubble floating right towards Samantha's open mouth.

      Samantha noticed what was happening. She shut her mouth and jerked her head to the side, allowing the air bubble to float to the surface. Samantha then kicked the Aisha away and began swimming extremely fast towards the mysterious cave.

      Unfortunately, Samantha was completely out of breath. She wished she could cry as she swam towards the cave. But she couldn't. And it was so painful to not have any oxygen left in your body. But she made it. Samantha courageously swam through the seaweed and coral bed and into the opening of the cave. The Maraquan Aishas gave up on Samantha and swam off, searching for a weaker prey.

      The water in the cave seemed darker than the water outside the cave. But a light from above guided Samantha. Samantha swam towards the light, using her wings to push her there faster. And then, her head was out of the water. Samantha inhaled deeply and climbed out of the dark water and onto the rocky floor of the cave. There, she coughed and coughed and coughed, enjoying the sweet air around her.

      When Samantha finally had enough strength to open her eyes, she discovered the source of light came from several tall, black lamps that lined the floor of walls of the cave. Samantha stood up and eyed the rest of her surroundings.

      The floor, walls, and ceiling were all made of the rock of the cave. To go along with the ten or fifteen lamps, a desk made of dark driftwood was at the very end of the cave. Behind the desk was a large, black, leather chair, its back facing Samantha. She spotted the top of someone's head poking out of the chair.

      "Ferra," Samantha whispered.

      "You call my name?" Came a soft, feminine voice.

      Samantha stared at the back of the chair firmly.

      "I've been expecting you," said the voice.

      "Everyone's been expecting me," Samantha replied.

      "Have you taken the time to think why?" The voice asked. "Could it be because this is your purpose: to come to my cave and stop my evil plan?"

      "Adalia said so," Samantha crossed her arms.

      "Child, don't believe that wretched witch," the voice laughed to itself. "She is but a liar; a con artist. She wanted you to foolishly dive down into the depths of the sea. She wanted you dead!"

      Samantha gasped, staring at the back of the black chair in disbelief. "No. Adalia may be insane, but she's not evil… like you."

      "Oh, so I'm evil? Tell me, what have I done to be presented the title, 'evil'?"

      "You know good and well what you've done,"

      "You mean granting the CAP machine the power to create zombified pets?"

      Samantha didn't reply.

      "How is that evil? I'm just having fun! Plus, it's just to get back at all the freaks in Faerieland who had me banished. And there's nothing wrong with the succulent taste of revenge, now is there?"

      "Yes, there is."

      "Foolish child."

      The black chair spun around so that the figure sitting in it was facing Samantha. A Faerie of purple skin and dark purple hair stared at her. She wore a black, flowing dress and dark purple gloves on her arms. The Faerie smiled sinisterly at Samantha.

      "As you know, I am Ferra."

      "Yes."

      "And you are Samantha."

      "Yes."

      "What a simple name."

      Samantha scoffed.

      "Well, go ahead! Come up to my desk and stop me from creating any more zombies! Go on; go on! I'd love to see you try."

      Samantha hesitated. She hadn't thought about this. How was she to stop Ferra? She had come all this way, thinking it would be as easy as counting to three to stop Ferra's plan. Samantha hadn't thought properly though. Ferra was right. Samantha was nothing but a foolish child.

      "I'm not getting any younger!" Ferra snapped, picking at her fingernails.

      Samantha gulped. She could think of merely one thing to say. "Ferra, I demand you stop making zombies, and that you fix the CAP Machine."

      "Whatever you say!" Ferra smiled. "If this is your purpose, why shouldn't I do what you say?"

      Samantha's jaw dropped. She stared wide-eyed at Ferra, gaping. It couldn't really be that easy! She thought.

      "Be back in a second!" Ferra exclaimed.

      Ferra waved her arms in the air and shut her eyes. She disappeared in a puff of purple smoke. Samantha continued to gape at the chair where Ferra once sat.

      Minutes later, Ferra returned in another puff of purple smoke. She plopped into her black, leather chair and propped her feet on her desk.

      "Okay, I'm done." Ferra said, sounding rather bored. "Anything else you want me to do before you go?"

      Samantha blinked. "Wait a second! This is too good to be true! You didn't really go and fix the CAP Machine. You probably just poofed to another cave in the ocean or something a waited a few minutes, and then came back here. Ferra, I most certainly am not as stupid as you think."

      "No," Ferra toyed with her hair. "I know. I really did fix your stupid machine. If you'd like, I could take you there to show you. But it would take like a half an hour for me to poof a Neopet halfway across Neopia, and another thirty minutes to poof you back here."

      Samantha tilted her head. "Well, I guess I can believe you. If you were willing to show me, you obviously did your job. And I don't feel like wasting an hour of my life on nothing."

      "Okay, bye." Ferra removed a nail filer from her desk drawer and began scraping away at her fingernails.

      "Wait!" Samantha cried. "Sure, you've fixed the machine. But there are still hundreds of zombified pets lurking around out there! It's a hazard to society, and I demand you get rid of them all!"

      Ferra suddenly stopped filing her nails. She smiled widely. "Are you sure you would like me to do that, Samantha?"

      Samantha nodded.

      Ferra smiled even wider. "Your wish is my command."

      The Dark Faerie pulled open her desk drawer and fished around for something. Ferra found what she was looking for and removed it, shutting the drawer afterwards. Ferra placed the object on the desk. It was a small flute made of a very dark wood.

      "This is the part where you go 'Oooooh' and 'Aaaaah,'" Ferra pointed out.

      "Haha, very funny," Samantha sneered. "What's that flute for?"

      "Once a pet has regenerated after death, it will listen to no command other than the sound of this flute," Ferra explained, picking the flute up off the desk and placing the end in her mouth.

      "Play it," Samantha commanded.

      Ferra did not hesitate at all. She blew on the end of the flute, lifting her fingers off the holes on the sides of the flute and pressing them back down. The sound that came from the flute was so peaceful. It was the most soothing melody Samantha had ever heard in her whole entire life. She couldn't believe it was used to call in evil.

      Ferra stopped playing, and placed the flute in her desk drawer.

      "The zombies will follow the sound of the flute," she said. "And they will stay in the place where the flute was last played for all eternity."

      "Thank you," Samantha couldn't help but smile.

      "No, thank you," Ferra said, snickering evilly. "Now, goodbye."

      The Faerie disappeared in a puff of purple smoke.

      Samantha realized she had made the biggest mistake of her life. Ferra said the zombies would follow the sound of the flute and stay there. In this case, that place was the very cave Samantha stood in.

      Samantha's lips quivered in fear, and the rest of her body was shaking very fast. The sound of air bubbles floating to the surface of the dark water behind Samantha could be heard. Samantha yelped and dashed across the cave floor, collapsing in Ferra's black chair.

      Samantha could only watch as hundreds of pale, soaking wet hands broke through the surface of the water and grabbed hold of the cave floor…

The End

 
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Other Episodes


» A Day of Infamy: Part One
» A Day of Infamy: Part Two
» A Day of Infamy: Part Three



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