|Chella the Meerca looked up at the deep, dark sky above Neopia. Stargazing at night was his favorite thing to do, and his homeland of Brightvale was one of the best places to do it.
That evening was a particularly clear one; you could almost see the craters of Kreludor from the spot Chella had picked, on the hill outside of the castle. He had learned about the spot from a lucky spin on the Wheel of Knowledge: apparently King Hagan was fond of the odd stargazing session himself.
Well, if it's good enough for the King..!
Chella sighed. It really was a perfect night. There wasn't a sound to be heard; you could practically hear a scroll drop.
But then there was a sharp, loud bang and something very large and bright shot across the dark canvas of the sky. It caused Chella to jump so much that the fur on the edge of his ears was standing on end. His eyes became wide as he stared up at what looked like...
Date: Aug 14th
A shooting star, deep red and blazing bright, streaking--no, zig-zagging?--its way across the sky. Several loud bangs followed the first, echoing across the empty night, and Chella watched as the frantic star streaked across the sky until finally, with an especially loud crack, was sent plummeting downward. He watched it, mouth agape, as it spiraled toward the forest just outside the Motery.
Chella was on his feet immediately and broke into a sprint toward the star's crash site. At the edge of his stargazing hill he leapt in the air and landed back on to his tail, using it as a makeshift board to ride down the hill and into the forest.
The forest was usually dark and chilling at night, with the calls of whoots and crokabeks filling the air, but now it lay as still and quiet as a stone faerie. The darkness was pierced by a searing red light, a beacon that called to Chella. He hurried toward it, dirty tail dragging across the forest floor, and stood in awe of the scene he discovered...
Date: Aug 15th
He had come upon a giant crater, formed by the collision of the star with land.
A wave of heat hit Chella suddenly, warming his body on the brisk night; from his position, he watched the crater, as smoke rose in tendrils and sparks of bright, vibrant colors danced at the crash site. It was like a technicolor light show before his very eyes.
It was a beautiful sight to encounter, but oddly, the heat subsided, the crater's smoking ceased, and the sparks died down after only a few minutes of observing the phenomenon. Chella was then left looking at a ginormous hole that had ripped up the ground.
Chella considered his options; the star remains could be dangerous. Should he go tell someone and let others decide what to do? Or should he risk taking a peek inside of the hole?
Inhaling a big breath, Chella took a step towards the crater when a voice behind him interrupted his motion...
Date: Aug 15th
Chella turned around to see King Hagan standing over him. With a stern expression and a slight growl dripping from his mouth, he made Chella feel small and wobbly like a piece of jelly.
No matter how hard he tried, Chella could not muster the courage to speak a word. Not a squeak, not a whisper - nothing would come out. King Hagan was a truly terrifying sight to behold in this moment, with anger pouring out of him.
That anger appeared to melt away, even a tiny bit, as King Hagan closed his eyes and let out an annoyed sigh.
"I've been coming to this spot - waiting for this moment - for years, and it's you who sees it first. Who finds it first."
He moved slowly towards the star, showing a mix of disgust and disappointment on his face until, slowly, he looked to be near tears. Chella had never seen King Hagan so distraught, so sad, as he was in this moment.
"Do you know what this is?" King Hagan asked Chella, with this voice low and gravelly.
Chella could not utter a word. He only let out a slight shake to say no, remaining quiet.
Signing, King Hagan continued, "Then I should tell you..."
Date: Aug 15th
"There was a prophesy, from ages ago, that told of a great, burning star that would shoot through the sky, zig-zagging its way to this very spot," King Hagan told him. He took a deep, trembling breath before continuing. "And it was said that when this star fell, a terrible danger would come to Brightvale soon after."
Chella gulped. The star had looked so beautiful as it raced through the night; how could it be a precursor to danger? "Well, not all prophesies are true, right? Maybe this one won't be, either," Chella tried.
"Son, didn't you hear me? The sight of the crash was predicted exactly; it would a bigger surprise to me at this point if the rest of the prophesy was not fulfilled," King Hagan urged. "When I was crowned, I vowed to protect my citizens, but I'm not sure I'll be able to protect them from -"
A scream in the night cut him off.
Date: Aug 16th
"It has begun. IT is here." The king said almost dragging Chella into the hole.
Chella wanted to ask what was going on. However, he was transfixed by the red light that had again had started to beckon him. A light that he was being drawn closer and closer. Finally, he could move no closer to the light.
"Since you where the first one here the prophesy has chosen you. Young one, touch that which calls to you." King Hagan said theses words, but already Chella had used his tail to prop himself up closer to reach out and touch the red light.
There was another flash of light, followed by another scream. The scream was then followed by the sound of huge paws running in their direction. It seemed that whatever evil was coming upon Brightvale was also being beckoned by the red light that was now radiating from within Chella. . .
Date: Aug 17th
..."You said you knew about this prophecy and what is to come of it," Chella said to Hagan. "So what do I have to do with the light?"
"You have the light within you! Use it!" Hagan boomed up at him.
Up at him? Chella realized then that he had grown five times his normal size!
"How do I use it?" the Meerca asked, his voice shaking as the ground shook too. The paws were coming closer, and more screams could be heard.
"You have to figure that out!" the Skeith yelled. "I've only read about this, I'm not actually experiencing it! Decide what the red light means to you, and go and save Brightvale!"
Chella closed his eyes. Red light, red light... he had to become what the red light wanted him to be. He had to defeat this quickly approaching cosmic threat.
The Meerca then felt himself transform...
Date: Aug 17th
... as a flurry of red-orange rays emanated from his body, blinding King Hagan in his stead. The Meerca disappeared into the daze, and a ghastly figure rose in his place. The stepping noises stopped, only to be followed by loud screeching and hissing.
"A Wraith!" Hagan lamented, his mouth ajar, face full of fear.
"Fear not, my King." The ghost bellowed, drawing ever closer to the shaken Skeith. "It is still me, Chella. The red light... It draws on our fears. I cannot control its power... but I seem to understand it."
Chella waved his hand away towards the noises, the terrors in the night howling as if writhing in pain - and, suddenly, sheer silence.
"But how? By the fairest of the Queens, this must be the making of the Darkest Faerie!" Hagan picked himself up, his brow scowling, fixated on the apparition. "This power... It's a weapon? Is that what the prophecy meant? Is it her second coming?"
The red light flickered in Chella's eyes, as he turned to the Skeith...
Date: Aug 18th
"Such dark magic could only be of her making, my King," Chella confirmed. "She rises again against us, against all within Brightvale. But fear not, for her chiefest weapon is in our hands," he added, gesturing towards himself.
Hagan staggered forward. "The red light... itself, is the weapon?"
Chella nodded. "Fierce magical energy, of the kind I've only studied in our history books of the great wars. The Darkest Faerie used magic like this to multiply the strength of her armies. Yet now, this power has fallen to us," he concluded.
"Then you must hurry," King Hagan said, the urgency thickening in his voice, "there isn't much time."
Shouts were heard in the distance, and desperate screams broke out against the night.
"I must go," the Meerca said, and ran towards the sounds of the chaos. Suddenly, his body froze, stuck in mid-run. A gasp, then silence. A few moments later, he heard soft footsteps from behind him getting closer, then ceased. Then, he felt his form turn around, and as he looked behind him, he saw...
How will the story end?
Date: Aug 18th