Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 110,063,541 Issue: 170 | 19th day of Celebrating, Y6
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Hearts of Destiny: The Beginning - Part One


by nighthawk_moonshadow

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Chapter One: Breakdown

Everything has a reason and a rhyme. Everyone has a destiny and a fate. It's how the world goes around. Whatever happens has happened for a reason, and we can't change it.

But what if we could? What if everything you did wasn't set in stone? Is it possible that we can choose our own path, and not let destiny change what will happen? Is there a reason why we have choice, or is it all an illusion of what we know must happen and what has already been decreed.

We cannot change the past, but we can change the future. The question becomes, will you decide to change it?

What path will you take?

It was flashing before his eyes, like a speeding blast of magic. He was running and running. It was endless running. CJ was ahead of him; he could hear the other two behind him. Keiko… she was at the end... almost…

Acaneno woke up in a cold sweat to find himself lying on the floor of his room. The Christmas Zafara had just been sitting on him bed, reading, when he had gone into another one of his blackouts. His Sight had seemed to be getting worse over the past few months. He had been having that same vision at least every two weeks, and had yet to figure out what it was about.

Slowly, he got up and settled himself back onto the bed, wondering if he should go tell CJ that he'd had it again. She was probably working in her workshop right now, and she usually didn't like to be disturbed. Also, she'd been stressing over his visions, and he didn't want to worry her more.

He checked the clock and saw that it was almost one in the morning. He shut the lights and crawled into bed, still thinking about the vision. It's just so annoying, he thought to himself as he drifted off. What could it mean?...

{}

CJ opened her eyes slowly, feeling a screwdriver sticking into her cheek. She groaned and sat up, realizing that she had fallen asleep in her workshop. She looked at her watch and saw that it was ten in the morning. The last time she had looked it had been about two. "Gah, I hate when I do this," she said, standing up and wiping the drool off of one cheek.

She headed out of the lab and into the bathroom. After showering, she dressed into her normal wear: brown pants, a white shirt, a brown jacket, and aviator's goggles. She tied her light brown, shoulder length hair into a ponytail and then headed out towards the kitchen.

Moonlighthawk, a purple Eyrie, and Calachaneo, a red Shoyru were already there, eating breakfast. Moon was reading the Neopian Times; Cala was flipping through a magazine. Each had a bowl of cereal in front of them, forgotten by the pets after getting engrossed in their reading material.

CJ started a pot of coffee and sat down, pouring herself a bowl of cereal. "Fell asleep in the workshop, didn't you?"

Cala mumbled, not looking up from her magazine. CJ nodded to her.

"I was working on the teleporter," she said. "I can't get the calculations right on the sphere of the time streams. I wonder if Night could help with that…"

"Don't bother," Moon said, laying down the paper. "That thing will never work anyway and you know it. You can't program magic into woodwork and make it teleport."

Here they go off on another one of their arguments, Cala thought. She backed out of the kitchen as the argument started up. It was an old argument; Moon thought that CJ's inventions were useless, CJ thought Moon didn't have a wide enough imagination to accept them.

She went outside and sat down on the porch, still holding her cereal bowl. Keiko, her sister, a blue Ixi, was on the porch as well, standing on one of the steps and looking out into the neighborhood. "Morning," said Cala, sitting on a step above her. "You weren't in last night."

"I was out at my guild," Keiko said, turning her head to look at her sister. "We had some trouble there. That's also why I'm back here; I have to go off for a day or two. Some rebels who were stealing from us escaped the last raid and I need to get them back to punish them. Can you tell CJ?"

Cala shook her head. "I'm not getting yelled at again," she said. "Tell her yourself."

Keiko sighed. "Gee thanks," she said, walking past Cala and into the house. Cala watched her go, and then realized that Moon and CJ were probably still fighting.

"Keiko, wait!" she yelled, running back into the house. "Gah, Uni snot!"

Acaneno woke up to the sounds of bickering coming from another room in the house. Groaning, he got out of bed and changed into blue jeans and a black T shirt, his standard day wear. He walked into the kitchen and in an instant everyone was floating in the air, and strong winds were holding their mouths shut. "Everyone just shut your mouths for once," he said. "This is stupid to fight over." He let them down and freed their mouths.

CJ dropped into her chair. "Keiko why do you have to leave now!" she said. "Of all the times! You know I have to leave for Meridell tomorrow to get the materials I need for the teleporter."

"Sorry CJ, but I have to. I don't want to let these guys get away. They stole loot from our coffers, and they're as good as dead now. I have to do this. People have already been giving me enough trouble about not being at the guild enough."

CJ sighed and nodded. "Alright," she said. "But I want you back here in three days, got it?"

Keiko nodded. "I promise," she said, crossing her hand over her neck and heart, a sign of her guild. "Thanks, and I'll see you all in a few days!" She fell onto her four hooves and galloped out of their house and down the street.

Acaneno picked up a bowl for cereal as Moon got up and stalked into his room. "I'm going to the Battledome!" he shouted back into the house after emerging from his room with his long sword. "I'll be back in the afternoon!"

"Fine!" CJ shouted after him, getting up and storming to the sink. Picking up a bowl, she began to scrub it vigorously, muttering all the while. "Blasted bird-brained pet of mine," she grumbled. She caught her reflection in the pool of water in the bowl and stared at it for a moment. A tear fell into the water from her eye. Acaneno noticed it and put a hand on her shoulder.

"I know it's tough," he said to her quietly. "That blasted taxpayer is on our heels, but you can't worry. I know one of your inventions will make us money. I know it." CJ nodded, then turned and hugged him fiercely.

"Thanks," she said. "Now go get ready to leave, you're coming with me."

Acanano smiled. "Are we gonna go see Night and her pets?" he asked. CJ nodded.

"You and Terano can hang out. I'm sure he wouldn't mind." Acaneno gave a whoop and dashed out to get ready. CJ turned and looked back into the sink, the bowl still full of water and reflecting her face. "Such an optimist" she said, sighing. "I hope he's right."

{}

Keiko's guild, the Solat Thieves Guild, was located in Meridell, near Illusen's Glade. The faerie knew about the guild, but allowed them to do their business because they frequently donated to her and never caused her customers any danger. In return, the faerie had cast a few protective spells on the building.

Keiko slipped past the trees near Illusen's tree house and went to a tall oak with a knot in the center of two forked branches. Pressing down on the knot, she revealed a door down into the tree. She entered the door and climbed down a passage until she entered a dirt hallway. The hallway lead into a large meeting chamber. It was about ten feet high and circular, with a diameter of about thirty feet. A few long tables were situated around the room, where several pets were sitting, some talking, some playing cards, some taking care of business affairs. Keiko walked past them all to go up to the large gold throne in the back, set upon a set of stairs. This was the guild leader's throne, and it was engraved with her markings on the head of the chair, a horizontal dagger with a vine wrapped around it, and a large rose in the center. Keiko stood in front of the chair and looked at the crowd. All the thieves in the room immediately hushed and watched her. They all knew she never stood on top of the platform unless there was something important to be discussed.

"I need three thieves to accompany me to take out the two traitors that robbed our vaults. Anyone who volunteers will be paid handsomely." Every hand in the hall shot up.

"Darius, Clive, and J'thelia," Keiko said, pointing out a Kougra, Acara, and Usul. The three followed her as she left the hall, all the thieves looking as they went.

"That girl's got quite a lot of trouble on her hands," someone murmured.

To be continued...

 
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