Preparing Neopia for the Meepits Circulation: 126,483,444 Issue: 255 | 1st day of Gathering, Y8
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True Sisters: Part Eight

by im_smarter_then_you


The second day was the same, march and march, stop, eat, march again. By the end of the day, all three of us were too tired to change, and we collapsed upon our worn out blankets, sleep catching up with us so fast we barely had time to close our eyes. Lyra was helpful for me; she fetched my meals and trickled cider into my mouth while I slept. Then again, she had ridden upon my shoulder all day and didn't need to march.

      Our third day of marching would have been just as bad if it hadn't been cut short by the arrival of a messenger. A large Hissi, one of our scouts, slithered up to Aaron, conversing with sharp whispers and motioning quietly. Aaron nodded and the Hissi joined our ranks, picking up his weapons on the way. A hush went through the straight lines of warriors as Aaron began to speak.

      "It seems we shall meet this Fanteni upon the field of war in less than one hour. Prepare yourselves, soldiers, for the time has come to battle!" A cheer went through the armed forces as they readied themselves to do what they did best; fight for what they believed in.

      Half an hour later we heard the rumble of hundreds of feet approaching and we marched right back at them. Feet thundering as one, we marched and felt proud; we were here to protect our world, and no one was getting in our way. Turning the corner, we saw them, all five hundred and sixty-three of them, as we later found out. Though I was expecting a large band of "insane losers," but these pets seemed, well, normal. They wore normal armor and carried normal weapons, though I did think I detected a small twitch in the eye of a small JubJub on the right. Then again, our large force, much larger than theirs, could have intimidated him, I wasn't sure. Lyra, Laborite, and Slowpoke were shooed off into the bushes; they had their own job to do.

      We grew quiet as Sir Aaron stepped forward, his armor shining in the sun. "Where is your leader, brothers? May I speak with her?" Without a word, the army shifted to both sides, creating a walkway, down which a small, blue Pteri, with eyes as bright as the stars, approached. Standing next to her was a large black Skeith, and sure enough, he was missing the tip of his left wing. Her eyes widened when she saw me, but they grew hard and cold once again at the sight of Aaron.

      "What do you want, Aaron? Not to hurt me, I suppose; oh no, that's not your nature."

      Aaron seemed shocked that she knew his name, and was about to speak, but she continued.

      "Wondering how I know these things?" A small chuckle escaped her and she stared deep into his eyes. "I've been keeping an eye on you, and you, and you, and you, and all of you!" she said, pointing at my sisters and me. "I know all about each and every one of you, and so does my army. There's no chance you can defeat us!" And with that, she launched herself into the air, sword flying and battle cry screaming from her lips.

     We rushed right back at her, our weapons raised and armor up. Our two armies collided with a crash of metal and it was begun. I pulled out my sword and charged at the nearest pet, the same JubJub with the twitchy eye. I raised my sword to attack, but he blocked it with an excellent flip of his blade. Even without any arms, he moved with an acute grace that I began to respect as our battle continued. He held all of his weapons in either foot or mouth, sometimes both. I jumped about and flipped in to the air to get an advantage. Dipping around, I corkscrewed and went straight for his big body, screaming. He rolled over and jumped high with his large feet to smash his club onto my head. Stars danced in front of my eyes and he faltered, sure he had defeated me. But nay, I was stronger than that! Billowing out my wings, I caught an updraft and flew straight into him, knocking him out cold. I pulled his distorted figure to the safety of the growth and jumped at a nearby Lenny.

     While this battle raged, I watched my sisters and Aaron out of the corner of my eye. Morbid seemed to be doing just fine, her three blades danced through the air, whistling softly. Many pets avoided her just by looking at her and therefore, she got only the toughest of the tough, which were keeping her busy. Three large Grarrls and a particularly fast Kacheek were after her and she took them all at once.

     Tid was taking on slightly easier opponents; Nimmos and Kikos were her specialty. She was an excellent kicker, but the next second she clutched a nearby tree and scampered up it. Pulling out her personal arrows, she began shooting with a deadly accuracy that frightened even me. One, two, three pets fell, only stunned by her flat tipped arrows meant to knock out an opponent.

     Looking over at Aaron, I was nearly knocked over by the Lenny in my awe. He and the Skeith were taking out their anger on each other, locked in a battle I could only describe as epic. Aaron's claws were extended and he growled so deep I thought I might scream. His teeth flashed, but they clanged against those of the Skeith, who was just as impressive. His wings were large and his whole body almost as muscular as Aaron's, he made up for the lost muscle in pure size. He was twice as big as Aaron and just as formidable. Aaron, however, was faster. They were both growling and circling one another. Aaron's tail was twitching and the Skeith's large wings quivered with rage. Roaring, he lunged at my knight friend, who lunged right back at him. Teeth, claws, swords, arrows, muscle, growls, speed and they pulled away, only to jump right back. Aaron latched himself onto the back of the Skeith who bucked furiously. More teeth and claws, Aaron was in the air flying and flying. He hit a tree and moaned, sliding down the trunk. The Skeith moved in but Aaron was such a trickster, he tackled him and then I saw no more, for I saw Fan.

     She was flying away and I changed, running with my new Gruslen feet between the feet of battlers. I caught a glimpse of our Petpets, who were deviously tripping the enemy, and I nearly laughed at the sight of Slowpoke deliberately pushing against the feet of a large Grarrl. Still I ran, all the while looking at Fanteni up in the sky. She was being chased by one of my Faerie Xweetok friends, but she pushed down the Xweetok and dived back down into the chaos. I jumped after her and came to a stop at her feet, changing back to my form.

     Her eyes widened once again, but she squinted suspiciously. Before she could ask, I pulled out my weapon and our battle began. She was quick and agile, but I was more so. However, she had more brute strength than I, and just as good of weapons. Our talons scraped at the moist earth and suddenly, thunder sounded. My cloak whipped through the air and her blade came down upon it, slicing through the beautiful fabric. Not thinking, I pulled it off and continued the fight. My sword screamed down towards her head and she blocked it easily. The clash of metal against metal harmonized with the thunder, joined now by large bolts of lightning. I brought the sword down onto her helmet, the effort of which cracked both of them.

     Desperately, I pulled out my dagger. Oh, the horror! Her large blade struck towards me and to dodge, I jumped into the sky. A feeling of familiarity flooded through me and I laughed, I had the advantage now. Another clap of thunder and the clouds opened, pouring their contents on our battle below. The rain skimmed off of our waterproof feathers and we only flew higher. I heard the thunder and an idea came to me. Timing would be crucial, but I knew it could be done, terrible as it was. Putting my dagger in my claws, I turned into a dive at the exact second the next bold of lightning came. Everything happened so fast, I could hardly think, I just did. The lightning bolt flew through the air and went for my dagger; the metal in its build attracted the electricity. I let go at the perfect second, and the lightning attacked the dagger that was streaming towards Fanteni and the three collided at the same moment. A large flash of light and a scream, scream so loud it tore at my heart, and Fanteni fell towards the ground, my charred dagger falling after her. I dove for her and pulled her out of the air at the last second, clutching her in my wings and landing on the ground away from the battle. My throat choked up as I supported her weak body, weakened horribly by the fall and the lightning.

     Realization hit me as the rain poured down and as I hugged her close to me, tears began streaming down my face and mixing with the rain soaked earth. Holding her, I sobbed my heart out with sorrow, for I suddenly knew her pain, her guilt. How all she wanted was for things to be better, better, better but that was all she couldn't have. She knew she didn't have to do this, believe this Skeith and help him, but she wanted so badly for things to be the way they used to be that she made herself believe that this was how she could make things right. I cried and cried with the injustice; why couldn't people just be nice to her? Suddenly, I heard a groan, and felt Fanteni move in my arms. Gasping, I very nearly dropped her but managed to control myself, cradling her closer to me.

      She groaned again and fumbled for her sword but I moved it away from her and lowered her wings. "Shhh, shhh..." I comforted through my tears. "Don't worry, it's ok..." and she sighed. Suddenly, her eyes snapped open and she stared at me, frightened, confused, and hurt.

      "Fa... Fan?" she murmured, and I nodded slowly, shushing her. Ignoring my attempts to put her to sleep she grabbed at my collar. "The flute... you have it?" I nodded again and she became more insistent. "Play it Fan, play it please! It needs to stop, it needs to..." she drifted out of consciousness and I realized that her time left was limited. "Play the flute Fan, please..." she whispered and then she fell into a sleep I knew only I could bring her out of: a coma. Shaking, I pulled the flute out and concentrated on nothing and everything. Pushing my sadness away, I put the flute to my beak and played, anticipating the soft healing notes.

      The notes were not soft at all, but hard and biting. The thunderstorm seemed to rage all the harder and I was worried I had only made things worse, but I never took my eyes of Fan. As I had already learned, there was no turning back once you began the song, and even if I made it worse I might as well look after her. I played on, waiting for a change in the music. Finally, it came. The notes mitigated and became soothing; so much so that even I felt as if a great load had been taken off of my chest. Fanteni sighed and I noticed her stir; she was waking up! The rain pounded on me hard and cold, but I played on.

     Quite suddenly I noticed a change in the atmosphere. No matter how hard I strained my ears, I could not make out the sounds of the battle. Looking up from Fanteni, my eyes widened. The two armies were now standing right in front of me, one on either side. Aaron led my army and the Skeith led his, but they were not fighting; nay, there were standing as if in a trance. I noticed my sisters and waved my tail at them, but they did not react, merely stared into space. I could feel the song coming to an end and began thinking of a way to get Fanteni away once the fighting resumed, but then the song stopped.

     Utter silence, except for the pounding of rain on the ground. I closed my eyes, held my breath and counted to three, but when I opened them again, the armies were still there. Slowly, ever so slowly, I moved towards Fan. She was shivering, and I wanted to warm her up. Grabbing my torn cloak, I wrapped it around her, and, still ignoring the warriors, I leaned in towards her.

     "Fan..." I whispered, trying to wake her up. "Fanteni, it's me. Fan. Everything going to be all right, don't worry. Can you stand? Just nod your head, don't talk." Indeed she could and I put my arm around her as a support. Turning towards the soldiers, we hobbled towards the gap between them. Still, there was silence. However, when we reached the gap, I heard a small, but heartwarming sound. A single, tiny, Cybunny was clapping, putting her two paws together in a ritual of respect for us. Fanteni's eyes opened ever so slowly, and she smiled a real smile for what I assumed was the first time in a long while. Suddenly, more and more pets were joining in, until both armies put their paws, claws, tails, anything together for us. We walked off this field to thunderous applause.

To be continued...

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Other Episodes

» True Sisters: Part One
» True Sisters: Part Two
» True Sisters: Part Three
» True Sisters: Part Four
» True Sisters: Part Five
» True Sisters: Part Six
» True Sisters: Part Seven
» True Sisters: Part Nine

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