A Very Peophin Christmas: Part Three
The inside of the Transfer Station was hot and sticky, despite the cold winter air that blew outside. There was only six days until Christmas, yet Sam and her entire family were gathered around the smelly room, awaiting their turn. Apparently, when a pet is transferred, they are placed on an underground Uni Carriage that brings them to a station in another part of Neopia, which, in Sam's case, was in Meridell. Bree had volunteered to instead meet them there so that they may exchange the neopoints, but Savannah had rejected the offer, saying that she didn't want the blonde's money.
"Next," a robot-like voice called from the office. Madalleena watched as the group in front of them scurried into the robot Hissi's office, the door slamming shut behind them.
Sam had told everyone her decision when they had gotten home from Neoschool the night before, and Savannah had promptly burst into tears. The faerie Kougra herself had had mixed emotions, wanting to cry and scream at the same time, before settling on leaving the dinner table and flying up to her room, where she had started to sob.
The Tyrannian Peophin had soon come upstairs as well, where the two had cried and helped pack up her things, leaving only a few items.
The older sister had wanted to promise daily neomails and visits, but the social worker had alerted them, saying that they were forbidden to stay in contact, as it would only make things harder for Sam.
A few tears slipped down Maddie's face as she squeezed her best friend's paw. Memories of when she had first moved in flooded into her mind. Memories of Sam in the hospital. Halloween. Thanksgiving. She remembered on Thanksgiving, the two of them had been the most thankful for each other.
"We'll always be sisters," Sam had promised, smiling warmly. "And I am so thankful for that."
That brought back a rush of tears, and Maddie broke away, burying her face in Savannah's shirt and sobbing.
* * * * * *
The Tyrannian Peophin watched sadly as her family stood around her, some sniffling, others sobbing. Sam closed her eyes. She felt like crying, and yet no tears came, making her feel somewhat guilty. Everyone else was crying, and she couldn't even shed a tear.
"Next," the robot Hissi called, and Sam reluctantly dragged herself into the office, followed by her soon-to-be ex-family.
The office was made completely of metal, aside from two seats that sat opposite the desk. On the desk was hundreds of folders, each stuffed with papers.
"You are Dee-Sam-an-tha, am I corr-ect?" the robot Hissi asked. His voice was monotone, and though his expression couldn't be read, he sounded bored. "And you are mov-ing from the ba-by-girl2-2-9-9-1-1 acc-ount to the lit-er-ary-girl2 acc-ount?"
"That's right." The blue-eyed girl nodded, sniffing loudly. "And here's the needed one thousand neopoints. Bree should have already neomailed you the transfer papers."
"Thank you. Now, if Miss Dee-Sam-an-tha would please step in-to the un-der-ground tunn-el, I will take care of the rest." He stood and slithered over to the open door that led down the stairs. "You may quick-ly say your good-byes." The robot pet then scooped up Sam's bags and disappeared through another door.
"Well..." Sam turned to face her family and saw Savannah, her eyes glistening with tears. "I guess this is good-bye... You were the best foster I ever had, and I'm so glad that you and Taylor joined our family." Taylor yelped in his petpet cage, as if to prove that he was there, and the girl gave a half-smile. "I will love you always." Pecking the Peophin on the head, she backed up to allow everyone else a final good-bye.
When there was only Maddie left to bid farewell, the two sisters stood silently, gazing at each other, as if trying to soak up every last detail. Finally, the faerie Kougra embraced her, and between them ran thousands of memories.
"Good-bye," the elder murmured, and then backed away as the robot Hissi returned, grabbing Sam's hoof and pulling her away.
"Good-bye," Sam whispered, and then turned, allowing herself to be pulled away.
* * * * * *
"There's only one hour until we go and pick up Samantha." Bree smiled to herself as she moved the vacuum cleaner back and forth across the carpet in swift, horizontal movements. She had already dusted everything twice, done the dishes, and vacuumed most of the house, wanting everything to be spotless. A smile was plastered on her face as she worked, thinking about how in just one hour, her family would be complete again.
One million, four hundred thousand neopoints in the bank, the blonde thought, clicking off the machine and rolling up the cord. And absolutely no stocks this time. Bree felt terrible about what had happened almost a year ago, and wanted desperately to make it up to her pets.
Running her fingers through her corn silk colored hair, the bespectacled girl glanced around, nodding happily. Almost everything was in the exact same place that it had been in when they'd left. In fact, the only thing different was that all of the clothes had been removed to make room for a new wardrobe.
"Perfect," she whispered, clasping her hands together. Now all that was left to do was wait.
* * * * * *
The ride in the Uni Carriage seemed endless, and the only sound other than the clip-clopping of the Unis' hooves was the gentle whoosh of wind outside the carriage. The cold night air made Sam want to curl up in a blanket and drink hot cocoa, but instead, she had to shiver.
Looking up from her shaggy hooves, Sam glanced at the other passenger. The pet opposite of her was a stout, male plushie Cybunny with a bored look on his face that suggested he'd been traded one too many times. In the entire time they were in the carriage, he never spoke, and instead stared out the window.
Turning so that she didn't have to look at anyone in particular, the Tyrannian Peophin tried to think happy thoughts. For instance, did her siblings still look and act the same? Laura had been a sensitive desert Aisha, Dylan, a cool starry Gelert, and little Meg had been an orange Kougra, still in diapers at the time.
And what about her home? All she knew was that it was the same two-story home in Meridell, only two minutes away from Illusen's.
Just then, there was a loud whinny, and the carriage jolted to a stop. "Okay, everybody out!" the lead Uni, a spiffy shadow one with a sapphire pendant. "Make sure to get all of your items, because anything left behind will be donated to the Pound. Thank you!"
With a sigh, Sam stood and grabbed all of her bags, including Taylor's petpet cage, and dragged herself out onto the platform. The platform wasn't much, just an elevated area by the Rubbish Dump. Sliding out onto the grass, she looked around her owner. What if she was late?
The Peophin whipped around, eyes wide. There, under the streetlight, was Bree. The girl knelt down, arms wide and tears falling down her cheeks as Sam galloped over to her.
"Bree!" she cried, burying her face in her owner's hair and breathing in.
"I can't believe it! You're home!" The owner smiled, wiping away her tears and pulling back so that she could get a better look at her pet. "Oh, my! You have changed so much! Won't your sisters be shocked!"
"Wait, sisters?" Sam wrinkled her brow.
"Aw, yes. I forgot to tell you!" Bree smiled and smacked her forehead. "Dylan went through the lab ray in her temporary home, and was zapped into a girl. Thankfully, she's adjusted rather well, and Dylan's a boy and girl name! And, she enjoys shopping now! That has made some things easier, now that we don't have to listen to her whine."
The Peophin chuckled, remembering how in the past, they had needed to practically drag Dylan through the furniture and clothing departments.
"Well, come on! We should get home!" Bree grabbed her hoof, and the two scurried through the night until they reached the Neohome.
Sam couldn't help but smile. It looked exactly the same as it had before, except that now, it was covered in Christmas lights that twinkled merrily.
Almost exactly .01 second after they had stepped into the abode, their was a clatter of paws running down the stairs, followed by excited squeals of 'Samantha!'.
The first to run into Sam was Laura, the oldest of Bree's pets. Her tunic was neatly cleaned and in place, as it had always been, and she was smiling like crazy. Around her neck was in Air Faerie Bubble Necklace, which caused a knot about the size of a golf ball to rise in Sam's throat. Madalleena wore the exact same necklace.
"Samantha! Oh, Samantha, it's you! It's really you! I didn't think that I'd ever see you again!" The desert Aisha wrapped her paws around the Tyrannian Peophin and squeezed her in delight.
Next down the stairs was Dylan, who was now a starry Xweetok wearing a pair of Earth Faerie Wings. She, too, flung herself at her long-lost sister in delight.
The last one down the stairs, toddling uneasily on her orange Kougra paws, was Meg. She looked around, trying to see what was going on, and then widened her eyes when she saw Sam.
"Sam-am-fa!" she squealed in her baby voice, and dashed over to the group hug.
"We're finally all together!" the blonde-haired girl cried, joining the hug. "And now, we're all going to be happier than ever! I just know that this is going to be the best Christmas ever!"
Sam nodded, but inside, she felt a slight sense of betrayal to her now ex-family.
To be continued...