Past Reflections: Part Seven
Running from Fate
When I woke up the next morning, a strange feeling of
being ordinary overwhelmed me. I felt dizzy as I stood, due to a lack of blood
as a result from yesterday's ordeals, and I fell back onto my bed. I made no
attempts at standing until I had flexed my arms a little, sending the blood
flowing through my veins again. Taking a deep breath, I stood. I felt a slight
dizziness, but I could stand.
I staggered over to the mirror standing lazily
against my wall and stared blandly into it for a moment. At first, I expected
to see a regular Shoyru staring back at me. But for a split second I saw MirrorEyes
glaring lividly at me, his every feature twisted to match his contempt. Startled,
I looked down at my paws and quickly back up to the mirror. It was me, eyes
wide with fear. Why would MirrorEyes be mad at me? I thought in confusion.
Maybe it's because I'm trying to forget what happened yesterday. But... wouldn't
any ordinary pet want to forget? How can he be angry with me for trying to be
normal? As I pondered this, I more than happily turned away from the mirror
and directed my course to the stairs. I had been hallucinating. Yeah.
I stumbled down the stairs once again, nearly
doing a face-plant on the floor. There was a soft clinking of dishes and when
I looked up, I saw my siblings, each one staring at me with mild confusion.
"S-sorry," I croaked quickly, trying to mask the surprise that I had felt moments
ago. Yubioke snorted, Mesbeto shrugged, and Hiterkuna stared back down at her
soggy cereal. Yubioke was, as usual, reading the Neopian Times. She skipped
over the other sections without a second glance and went straight to the articles.
"This says that they've caught a few of them,"
she announced, and it took us all a while to realize what she was talking about.
Then I blinked with mild surprise, realizing that she was talking about the
assassins that we had encountered years ago. I still couldn't believe they had
kept that search up. Didn't they usually forget stuff like that in a matter
of weeks? Hiterkuna nodded, her eyes still on her cereal. Mesbeto made a fist-pump
in the air, giving the Defenders of Neopia a silent victory shout. I didn't
reply at all; to me, this whole situation seemed like it had only days earlier.
After breakfast, I used the fact that there
was a market festival in town to get out of the house. Market festivals were,
basically, tourist traps. King Skarl had suggested them ever since after the
Meridell War. Owners of market stalls would price their ordinary items at less
than half, and they would receive super-rare items from the treasurer of Meridell.
It was nothing new to me, but it was interesting enough to see the exotic pets
that came from all around Neopia.
As I walked down the cobblestone road, more
and more sounds made their way to my ears. Stall owners bellowed out the various
items they were selling. Children giggled and whined towards their parents,
begging for items that would be impossible to afford. Petpets that were new
to the area honked and whinnied loudly in discomfort. I kept my head down, to
avoid any unnecessary attention, and walked around the stalls. I rose an eyebrow,
impressed, when I passed by a paint brush stall. Then I grimaced when I saw
the prices. Too bad, I thought forlornly. I would like to be ghost,
but we couldn't ever afford it... I mentally noted the irony of it all;
MirrorEyes had been silver, and I was silver. How odd.
I shoved all thoughts of MirrorEyes from my
mind and desperately focused on the attractions decorating the town. As I passed
through the crowd, I elbowed into a Hissi and a Uni, both decorated in black
cloaks. The two pets glared at me and I apologized multiple times, but they
didn't seem intent on accepting my thanks. Nervously, I turned away and walked
quickly through the streets. Something about those pets made me shiver.
"That's the boy," the Hissi whispered to the
Uni, who looked at him questioningly.
"That little runt? Why would MirrorEyes choose
him as a host, of all the warriors in Neopia...?"
"The boss says that a Shoyru was the closest
thing his soul could find, and it also carries some of the genes of a Draik.
Also, the boss thinks that MirrorEyes wanted someone weak, so he wouldn't look
The Uni nodded in agreement. "Boss did
say that the host was about that kid's age... but how do we catch him? MirrorEyes
is obviously very powerful, and he's probably on his guard."
The Hissi opened his mouth wide, to reveal long,
deadly fangs. "I can give him a dose of my venom. Not enough to kill him, of
course, but enough to keep him down while we collect his sisters and brother.
We wouldn't want MirrorEyes interfering with that, would we?" At this, the Uni
nodded, and the two pets strode after the Shoyru, keeping low profiles.
I stared with little interest at the pottery
lining the shelves. The painstaking designs made my head spin once I stared
too long, but they nonetheless reminded me of the hard work an artist had to
go through before coming out with a complete success. Those were extremely rare,
weren't they? I wouldn't know, because I wasn't an artist.
I walked to another stall, keeping an eye on
the rare weapons while trying to ignore the old Zafara that was trying to make
the stall keeper haggle the items. MirrorEyes watched with interest from inside
me, and I could feel him. "You enjoy looking at things that kill, don't you?"
I mumbled, hardly audible.
"I never said that," MirrorEyes argued.
"They just remind me of home. And you're not one to accuse me of anything.
You can't just forget yesterday and pretend it never happened. Doing that will
get you killed, eventually."
"Not everything winds up killing you," I retorted
quietly. "You're just too paranoid to notice that."
There was a silence, and I felt mildly surprised
that I had won, but MirrorEyes spoke again. "Kyradose, get out of this place.
Something's going on around here and I'm starting to get worried for Yalina
and the others."
If MirrorEyes had possessed a physical form,
I would have given him a confused look, but it was hard to do that to yourself.
Before I could utter any more words, MirrorEyes
sent a flood of panic through me, and I felt the immediate urge to run. I jumped
in a different direction than the one I had been facing, and the place that
I had been rooted to was smashed under the hooves of a Uni. I gaped in surprise
at the portion of the stall that had been smashed, then focused my attention
on the Uni. A Hissi stood at his side, and both looked livid with rage. The
Hissi's face seemed to contain a little amusement mixed along with it, though.
"If you come quietly," he hissed, "I won't have
to sharpen my fangs on you."
The protesting cries from the stall keeper were
silenced when the Uni brayed at him fiercely. The Hissi slithered forward, his
fangs bared menacingly. I stumbled back, numb with fear. The words that Mesbeto
had uttered last night flooded through me: "...the Bruce went like, totally
insane and attacked us."
"MirrorEyes made a big mistake in choosing you,"
the Hissi sneered. "He must have been truly desperate, to choose a whelp like
you... having a trained warrior as a host would have been much more useful to
Then, with the speed of a whiplash, he lunged
forward. MirrorEyes immediately ordered my body to jump to the side, and I was
more than happy to. Even the trained Draik's power was hardly able to dodge
the attack. I panted heavily as I stumbled back, with one paw extended to keep
me as safe as it could, while my free paw searched for something that would
aide my struggle. My fingers closed tightly around a broom leaning against a
stall and I held it forward, praying that it would protect me in any way. The
Hissi laughed and lunged at the broom, grabbing it with his mouth and snatching
it from my hand. I stared in terror - I had never counted on a pet with no arms
or legs being so strong.
As I backed away constantly, dodging any blows
that I could, my thoughts raced wildly. Is he trying to kill me? No... they
need MirrorEyes to finish the project they're working on! As I ducked under
another blow, my fist automatically coming up and knocking the Hissi under the
jaw, the solution came to me: They're trying to immobilize me!
Just after this thought raced through my head,
the Uni opened his wings and flew over me, landing roughly behind me. I gasped
and tried to evade whatever attack he was throwing at me, but it was nearly
impossible to move while the Hissi attacked my front. I felt a surge of pain
run through my arm as the Uni shoved his horn forward, scraping it shallowly.
My pause gave the Hissi plenty of time to lunge forward. Before I could clasp
a hand over the small cut, I felt new pain: the other pet had sunk his teeth
into my paw.
I felt a dizzying pain flood through me, and
I staggered. The Hissi held his teeth in for less than half of a second, then
released me, a look of smugness on his face. I gawked at my hand, which bore
two small holes. It didn't bleed at all, but I knew the venom inside them could
be deadly. The Hissi cackled, and, as if reading my thoughts, said, "Oh, don't
fret. The dosage I gave you won't kill you. However..." As he said this, I felt
my knees collapse and I fell to the ground. "...you might feel a bit still."
I glared daggers at the Hissi and the Uni, but
that did nothing to stall them. The Uni scooped me up on his back and followed
the Hissi from the town. I wondered, vaguely, why no one had interfered. Couldn't
they see that I had been in trouble? They thought registered slowly, and the
solution came just as slowly: They don't care.
The poison had immobilized me completely. The
only movement I experienced came from the small jolts that the Uni's trots sent
through me. The Hissi seemed to think that checking on me was wasting his time,
for he didn't even glance back at me. I searched my mind vaguely for any sign
of MirrorEyes, but it seemed that he was as immobile as me. My mental world
seemed to be falling apart, bit by bit, and everything was going slightly dark.
"He's blacking out," the Uni said, and the Hissi
slithered back around to look.
When he saw that I was indeed going out, he
chuckled. "I overestimated him, then. He couldn't take a small dose of my venom."
"It's because we're moving him," the Uni clarified.
"The poison is spreading quickly through his veins."
The Hissi shrugged with little worry. "He won't
die." The Uni seemed satisfied with this answer. My ears seemed to lose their
ability to hear. My body ached all over terribly. The small scratch and the
Hissi bite throbbed with the worst pain possible, and my eyes seemed to be coated
with sleep. The Uni padded along, creating a dull thumping through my body,
and finally stopped. I looked up dully to see what was happening.
The thoughts were barely able to register, but
they came nonetheless: Oh, please no. We were on the hill. The hill that
led to my house. The house that my brother and sisters were in, unsuspecting
of what lay ahead of them. I attempted to cry out, to warm them, but all that
came from my mouth was a low, croaking sound and a few blubbers. The Hissi snorted,
slithering up to the house. I croaked some more, and he glanced back at me.
"What, do you think that I'm going to bite them as soon as we get in? No, I
merely need to negotiate with them." And, with an attitude that was almost gentleman-like,
he rapped on the door with the tip of his tail.
It only took a few moments for the door to open,
but each one of those moments seemed to last an eternity. I could hear my heart
thumping wildly in my chest, pounding in my ears. Please, let them have left
the house. Let them have gone somewhere for the day.
My hopes were shattered as the door opened to
present Mesbeto, looking mildly confused and sleepy. It was, after all, a weekend,
and it was expected of him to sleep in. Mesbeto blinked and looked around groggily,
seemingly unable to register the fact that he was in terrible danger. From my
spot atop the Uni's back, I silently prayed that he would soon discover it.
Finally, the Acara's eyes landed on me, and they snapped open. "Kyradose?"
"Boy," the Hissi ordered immediately. "Go and
get your sisters. Or..." He poised his fangs over my neck, all the while keeping
his eyes on Mesbeto. "...Well, you can use your imagination." By this time,
Mesbeto seemed wide awake, and he turned and dashed into the house. The Uni
sniggered, and, had I the ability to move, I would have tried to escape. But
the poison held myself and MirrorEyes down. Dimly, something began flickering
inside my mind...
Yubioke stormed out the door, with both Hiterkuna
and Mesbeto behind her. The Aisha looked enraged by what Mesbeto had told her,
and, jumping forward bravely, she aimed a punch at the Hissi. The snakelike
pet slithered from the attack, but Yubioke grabbed him around his spine and
bit down - hard. The Hissi's eyes widened in mild shock and he strove to shake
her off. The Uni jabbed his horn threateningly at Yubioke until she let go,
"W-well..." the Hissi began, looking, if anything,
a little impressed. "I must say, you have far more bite than your brother."
Yubioke wiped a trickle of blood from her lip.
"That's to be expected, scumface!" she shrieked. "It doesn't matter if he's
got some ancient warrior stashed inside him... in the end, I'm the big
sister!" And, having said her extremely short speech, the catlike pet ran forward
and aimed another punch at the Hissi. The Uni, this time fully prepared, jumped
in the way and knocked her over easily. Yubioke shook as she pulled herself
up, glaring at the two pets with utter contempt.
Hiterkuna squealed suddenly; I didn't know the
reason why until I saw the fangs merely inches away from my arm. "One more false
move..." the Uni said, speaking for the Hissi. "...and we'll kill your brother."
To be continued...