Searching For Paradise: Part Ten
Tye leaned her head against the ropes. She was exhausted
from an hour of trying to get out of the net. All four of her legs were numb from
their awkward, cramped positions. Allehya, too, stopped struggling.
"We were so close!" the shadow Kougra said in
a fierce whisper.
"They were expecting us," Tye said, closing her
eyes. "They knew we didn't die when Charger pushed us off the cliff, and they
knew we would try and find them."
"I'll bet they left the flint trail on purpose."
Allehya slashed at the net once more. It continued to resist her efforts to
tear it open.
Tye watched sadly. Her horns hadn't been able
to tear the net either. "Allehya, stop," she said. "Obviously your claws and
my horns aren't going to help us out."
Allehya narrowed her eyes. "What should we do,
then?" she shot at the faerie Ixi.
"Figure out how this trap works, and from there
find a way out."
Allehya sighed. "All right," she said, looking
at the tunnel entrance. "There's a rope tied to two rocks," she said. "Probably
the rocks were spread out, so the rope was tight."
Tye craned her head to look. "There's a dip in
the ice," she said, "Right where I tripped."
"The net was there, probably held tight by some
nails," Allehya reasoned.
"Yep. See? They're on the floor. But why would
the net go up?"
Allehya twisted around to look behind her. She
followed something up to the ceiling and grinned. "They tied a rock to the rope
here," she said. "And the rock pulled you up as it went down. The rope's balanced
on that hook above you."
Tye looked up and saw a hook, like the one on
a pirate Krawk sticking out of the ceiling. Experimentally, she stuck her hoof
through the netting. It didn't go all the way through, but it would be enough.
Tye pulled her hoof back into the net, then stuck
it through a hole near the top.
"What're you doing?" Allehya hissed.
Tye smacked the hook hard. Her hoof stung, but
she ignored the pain and began digging at the ice surrounding the hook. "I'm
unburying the hook," she explained to Allehya. "Without the hook, the rope can't
hold the net up. We'll fall, and I can get out that way!"
The hook was dangerously loose now. Tye paused,
checking to see how far her wings would spread, so she could slow her fall if
necessary. Suddenly the hook dislodged from the ice, and the net fell along
Tye hit the ground hard, but she stood quickly,
shaking off the net.
"You okay?" Allehya whispered from her net.
"Yeah, I'm fine. Come on!"
Allehya began digging at her own hook. It fell
from the ceiling with less surprise than Tye's, and Allehya shook off the net
before landing on her feet.
"Let's go," the shadow Kougra said, running toward
the tunnel. Her golden bands glimmered in the light from the Orb.
"Wait!" Tye said, running toward the table. "We
have to get the Orb first!"
"You heard Wring!" Allehya said, turning around.
"The bars are unbreakable!"
"And you believe him?"
Allehya narrowed her eyes. "That'd be pretty
stupid for a thief, relying on a lie to keep his treasure safe."
"But it's not like he thought we'd be any trouble,"
Tye pointed out. "Hey….look at this!"
"What?" Allehya asked skeptically, trotting toward
Tye pointed at her discovery. "Looks like claw
holes. I think he just has to stick his claws in and the bars appear."
"Maybe that's what he was doing earlier. I thought
he was pressing a button."
"So did I. Think you can get your claws in there?"
Allehya unsheathed her claws. Stretching her
'fingers' wide, she tried to get a claw in each tiny opening. But as hard as
she tried, she couldn't get her paw to stretch wide enough.
"It's too big," she said at last. "Any other
Tye looked around the cavern for ideas. The second
time, something glimmered from the bundle of ropes that had once been nets.
Tye ran over to the rope and began digging through it. She came back, carrying
something shiny in her left wing. Setting them on the table, she reveled what
"The hooks?" Allehya said, puzzled. "But why…"
a look of understanding swam over her face.
Grabbing one hook in each claw as if she were
about to play drums, Tye said, "I'll take the two right holes. You do that one
on the left."
"Got it," Allehya said, unsheathing one of her
silver claws and putting it in the hole. Tye stuck the tips of the two hooks
into the second and third gaps, and the bars disappeared back into the table.
"We got it!" Tye said happily, grabbing the Orb.
Allehya ran over to one of the corners. "Here's
their bag," she said, coming back and holding it open. Tye dumped the Orb in
it and slung the black bag over her shoulder.
"Now let's go get them!" Allehya said
fiercely, running toward the tunnel. Tye followed close behind.
As the two pets ran through the tunnel, Allehya
scooped up the burnt out torch.
"Do we have any flint?" Tye called ahead.
"No, but if we find some I don't want to hunt
for a stick!" Allehya replied.
They burst out of the ice tunnel, and blinked
in the daylight. The sun had almost fully risen.
"Guess we won't need this," Allehya said, tossing
aside the stick. She sniffed the ground.
"Anything?" Tye asked, looking around.
"No scent," Allehya said, lifting her head. "But
there is flint."
Tye paused. "Wait," she said. "Last time, they
used the flint to lead us to the cave and into the traps. What if this is another
"They think we're up in nets, remember?" Allehya
retorted, beginning to follow the trail. "Come on, or we won't catch up to them."
"Oh, really?" purred a sinister voice. Allehya
and Tye jerked their heads up, and saw Wring, Charger, and Ness perched on ledges.
Tye narrowed her eyes. "Another flint trail,"
she muttered angrily.
Wring grinned. "I didn't think you'd fall for
it a second time."
"How did you know we'd escape?" Allehya demanded.
"We didn't," Ness snapped. "But when we came
back, we figured it'd be safest to see if you got out."
Tye pawed the snowy ground angrily, and as she
did so, several inches of snow was shoved aside, revealing a layer of thick,
slippery ice. Tye glared at Wring, all the while thinking about the ice, and
how wide the patch was.
"Enough talk," Wring snarled. "Ness, Charger-
I want these two dissected and served as appetizers."
"You got it, boss," Charger said, leaping off
the ledge and tossing his head angrily.
"Allehya," Tye hissed, "There's a bunch of ice
under the snow. If we can clear it-"
Just then, Ness charged at Tye. Tye pushed herself
backwards, dragging a pile of snow with her. Ness's hooves slid and clambered
on the ice for a few precarious seconds, then the Ixi fell, stunned on the ice.
Charger was barreling toward Allehya. The Kougra,
whose back feet had been pushing snow away, leapt over the Kau, using his back
like a spring. She landed on the ledge next to Wring.
Charger's hooves slipped right away, causing
the Kau to flip over and land on his back. Tye hastily clambered toward the
peak, joining Allehya on the ledge.
"Just give it up!" Allehya snarled. "We've got
the Orb, your assistants are stunned on the ice, and you have no traps set."
Wring's teeth were bared, and his claws were
Wring took a step back. Allehya and Tye took
a step forward.
Wring was now at the edge of the peak. A long
fall awaited him below. The Kougra turned sideways, hissing angrily, eyes wide
Just then, a voice shouted, "NEOPIA POLICE!"
Wring whirled around, and the three pets saw
a fire Gelert, a purple Lenny, and the Techo officer all looking up at them.
Wring gaped at them in disbelief, then said quickly, "I'm not the thief! They
have the Orb! See?"
He pointed at Allehya and Tye, who hastily tried
to explain what had happened.
"Oh, can it!" a familiar voice snapped. "You're
caught! Now shut up and come down!"
Ricki and Jack appeared behind the officers,
both looking angry. Jack's suit was ripped in several places, and both of them
had dirty fur.
"Ricki?" Tye said in disbelief. "Jack?"
"Wha-?" Wring growled angrily. He turned, glaring
at Tye and Allehya. "This ends now!" he snarled, leaping forward.
Tye leapt forward headfirst. She saw the Kougra's
stomach getting closer and closer, then…
WHAM! Wring fell backwards as Tye's horned head
smacked him in the stomach. The Kougra rolled a few inches, then moved as if
But Allehya had already leapt at him, pinning
the Kougra to the ground. The purple Lenny quickly flew up to the ledge, two
sets of paw cuffs in his feathers.
Tye and Allehya went down the mountain side until
they were in front of the fire Gelert and purple Techo. Allehya unzipped the
bag, and Tye and Allehya pulled out the Air Faerie's Orb, which glimmered brightly
in the morning light.
"But how'd you two get up here?" Tye asked. She,
Allehya, and the three officers were in one of the small inns in Happy Valley.
There was a fire burning, and each of the pets had a blanket wrapped around
them. Tye and Allehya had just told the officers, as well as Ricki and Jack,
"Well," Ricki said. "Your parents fired us for
speaking out against their parenting skills."
"No way!" Tye said, amazed.
"Way," Jack said seriously. "We headed through
the forest, and found the general store you two…er…borrowed food and
"Then we met a Korbat who said he'd seen you
two," Ricki added.
"Reno?" Allehya said, interested. "He told you
where we were?"
Ricki nodded. "On the way to the Ferry, we saw
that the police were heading for Terror Mountain. We told them we knew the real
thieves, and they helped us find you two, and of course Wring, Ness, and Charger."
"And the Orb?" Allehya asked the purple Lenny.
"It's on its way back home," the Lenny replied.
"Er, sorry about that dung jelly," Tye said to
the Techo cop.
The Techo shrugged. "Hey. It was an emergency."
After the officers left, there was a moment of
"So now what?" Tye muttered, standing and looking
out the dark window. Snowflakes were coming down lightly now. "Do we just go
Jack sighed. "I don't think we can. Especially
"Well, what can we do?" Allehya asked.
"I have a lot of housekeeping savings," Ricki
said. "We could buy a little house up here…live as a makeshift family."
Tye gave Allehya an excited look. "Really?"
Jack nodded. "And of course, I'd pitch in my
Allehya stood up. "That's a great offer," she
said. "But Tye, we can't just live up here."
"Why can't we?" Tye asked.
"Because we're the Peacemakers. We're not just
supposed to become friends. We're supposed to help other pets learn to accept
each other, not just in the mountains, but in Neopia Central and Mystery Island."
Tye sighed. "Yeah," she said, walking to the
window and looking outside. "You're right."
"That's what Reno meant about us closing a gap,"
Allehya said, joining her friend by the window.
"So how do we do that?"
Allehya shrugged. "The same thing you and I did
for each other. Made the other understand."
"Like I used to think all alley pets were thieves…"
"And I thought rich pets were all snobby," Allehya
said seriously. "But we don't think that now. That's what we need to
make the strays and rich pets understand."
"But how're you going to get off Terror Mountain?
It costs a lot to travel Neopia," Ricki said.
Just then, someone outside knocked loudly at
the door. Jack went to open it, and outside was the Lenny cop, holding a tan
"We almost forgot," he said apologetically. "For
catching the thieves and all." He tossed the bag to Allehya, who caught it.
The Lenny nodded, then left, closing the door behind him.
Everyone crowded around Allehya. She tugged the
gold colored string loose, and opened the sack. They all gasped loudly. Inside
was the fifty-thousand Neopoint reward money for catching the thieves.
"Well, Ricki," Tye said at last, looking at the
Bori. "I think we've got enough to get around Neopia."
Several days later, while Allehya, Ricki, and
Jack were playing the Neoquest board game they'd bought at the Igloo garage
sale, Tye got out the quill and paper she'd gotten. Dipping the Eyrie feather
into a barrel of black ink, she stared at the paper meditatively. The sound
of a dice hitting the board seemed to coax forward the beginning.
To My Family,
This is Tye. I'm not telling you where I'm at.
Even if I did, I doubt you'd do anything about it. I just wanted to let you
know some things before I finally disappear from your lives.
First off, Allehya and I didn't steal the Orb.
By the time this arrives, you should have heard about it anyways. And guess
what? We caught the thief.
Who's Allehya? Well, here's my next bit of information.
She's an alley Kougra. That's right, I made friends with an alley pet. I told
you, I never could get along with the other pets at the boarding school. And
I snuck out that night to help her. You know why? Because stray pets never wind
up that way voluntarily. They deserve our help and friendship, not scorn.
I'll bet you're yelling about strays being thieves.
Well guess what? Strays aren't necessarily thieves, just like thieves aren't
always strays. And you know what? I think of you four as thieves. No, what you
do isn't illegal, but you're still hoarding the Neopoints you could use to help
others so you can afford jewels and a fancy house and tablecloths. So
sometimes the biggest thieves are the pets who have more than they need.
Allehya, Ricki, Jack and I are living together
here. Allehya and I won't be here much, however. We're going around, helping
the strays, rich pets, and those in between realize that the others aren't so
different, and that they CAN become friends. Maybe one day we'll come to Neopia
Hopefully this makes everyone happy; me, being
with the pets I actually like, Allehya having a home, Ricki and Jack being treated
the way they deserve, and you, with me gone forever.
Tye sealed the envelope carefully, scribbling
her parents' names and address onto the letter. She slipped out of the cabin,
and stuck the letter in the mailbox. As she slammed the mailbox's door shut,
she felt like she was slamming the door on her life as a rich pet.
"Finally," she muttered, looking around at the
snow, and the massive, icy mountain looming above. Finally, she was away from
the boredom of her old life. The anxiety, the stress, the constant anger over
her family's selfish, the feeling that she wasn't quite welcome. With a smile,
Tye turned around, walking toward the cabin as defiantly as if she was walking
away from her old life.