The Katapies Experiment; Part 12

Submitted into Contest #100 in response to: Start or end your story with two characters sitting down for a meal.... view prompt


Fantasy Drama Teens & Young Adult


    I woke up to bustling and hurried orders yelled at me. Apparently in the night Leuko had come across an old servant of his and everyone got excited to go to Necron. Once everyone had packed up and gotten ready to leave, Augur pulled a crumpled piece of paper out of her pocket and unfolded it, then ripped it into tons of tiny pieces, wrote symbols on each of them, and gave them out to everyone. 

    “Don’t lose these. They’re protection charms. They’ll make sure you’re safe and sound and Isabelline can’t get you. Now, we need a distraction. Something that’ll make her go away from Necron. Anyone got an idea?” Augur looked around at our pale faces and frowned. 

    “Alright, no one’s got any ideas. Personally, I was thinking we could leave someone behind to try to trick her, but that seems cruel.” 

    “I mean, I can try staying behind to be her servant again, and you can spy and make sure you know her plans.” Dune smiled nervously and shrugged. “I feel like it’ll be best, because she still thinks I’m dumber than a chipmunk.” 

     Augur grinned and waved her arms in approval. “Perfect. Alright, what I’ll have you do is walk back to her base and plead to be her servant again. If anything goes wrong, I’ll come over as soon as I can. That okay?” 

    “I can do that.” Dune smiled widely and started walking back to the camp while Auris chided us to keep walking. Trudging single file through miles of forest isn’t fun, especially when you have to hurry against a murderous pink-haired menace. Isabelline’s creepy smile still haunts me to this day. 

     “Come on, faster! We don’t have all day; Dune won’t last that long before Isabelline comes and finds us.” Fuchsia passed the whispered words from the front along quickly and quietly, and picked up the pace, leaving me barely able to keep up with her. 

     I rushed by brambles and thorns, snagging the worn beige jacket and leaving the sleeves torn and ripped. My fluffy mess of brown hair got caught on a couple branches, and I tried to ignore the stinging pain it gave my head. I had to scrunch up my wings, so they’d be less inconvenient as I ran. 

     We all stumbled out in a cleared area with no plants or grass whatsoever. The forest halted abruptly right where I was standing. Eyes widened as everyone looked up at the walls of Necron, towering over us menacingly with fortified stone walls and small holes to shoot out arrows from. 

    Auris led us quietly to the front gate where armored guards stood, blank-faced and immobile. He yanked a slip of paper out of his pocket and handed it to one of the guards nervously. The guard looked over it quickly and glanced at all of us, then frowned.  

    “Now, why would a servant have so many companions? Explain this.” The guard loomed over poor Auris and kept frowning. 

    “Well- I, uh... Do you remember that Necron Contest a little more than a month ago?” Auris kept fumbling with his words and playing anxiously with his hair. 

    “Yes, why?” 

    “Well, uh, do you remember who won?” 

    “Of course. Leuko Cruor, Deccie Caedence, Soros Libitus, and Ragnis Flux. Didn’t think they would all be so young, but oh well.” The guard flashed a yellow-toothed smile at us and chuckled. 

    “Oh, then you remember what they look like?” Auris seemed like he was gaining more confidence and stopped playing with his hair.

    “I would be a terrible citizen if I didn’t. They posted signs everywhere honoring those kids.” 

    “Then you’ll definitely let us in.” 

    “Why would I-” Auris smiled and motioned for the Summoners, who were standing in the back, to introduce themselves. The guard’s eyes widened and he shouted the news to anyone who would hear it. While we heard bustling and yelling behind the gates, the guard looked at us wildly and frantically fumbled with the piece of paper that Auris gave him. 

    “Okay, well, I can let all you Summoners in, but who are the rest of you?” 

    We all shifted where we were standing and Auris shrugged. “It’s a long story. I mean, do you remember the Corrus War? It has a lot to do with that. The pink-haired Messenger is still alive, she’s still torturing children, you know? Just- could you just let us in for now, and if you prove us to be untrustworthy, we’ll leave? Okay?” 

    The guard looked at us skeptically until the gates gave a loud creak and started to slowly open. A crowd was waiting behind and swarmed us as the gates fully opened. A frazzled-looking woman shoved her way through the crowd and screamed for Deccie, shrieking when she saw the burn on her face.  

    The happy crowd turned frantic as people started to call for medics and doctors to help Deccie, who followed the woman who called for her with rigid attention. I think she was Deccie’s mother. All of the contestants managed to get away from the flood of people and stood somewhere off to the side, waiting for someone to come collect us and bring us somewhere. 

    Once the crowd had left, a guard came and brought us all to a large stone building that seemed like a prison of some sorts. Iron bars, dim candlelight, the works. We were all cramped into a small interrogation room and questioned for every bit of information we had. It took hours, and I lost track of time in the stuffy room. 

    Once the guards left us alone, carrying a stack of parchment with notes, we were free to go. Well, not really. The Summoners were allowed to leave and see their families, and everyone else had to find somewhere else to stay. Leuko said he had enough room for all of us and led us to his house, a huge intricate mansion with a beautiful garden and pretty lanterns lining the path to the front door. 

    A tiny kid burst out of the front door and tackled Leuko, hugging him tight and beaming, giggling and squealing. Leuko smiled and picked her up gently, then turned around and introduced her as Maare, his six-year-old little sister.  

    Maare had cute pigtails and bows in her black hair, as well as the sweetest blue eyes I’ve ever seen. She gasped overdramatically at all of us standing there and listened patiently as we all introduced ourselves.  

   Leuko asked Maare gently if she was okay with all of us staying, and she smiled and said it was fine. Maare then told all of us to come follow her on a tour and pushed all of us through the ornate front door. 

   I couldn’t believe it. It was beautiful. Dark brown wood lined the walls and covered the floors and was carved with tiny little flowers and swirls. A grand staircase led up to a second floor, and I could spot another staircase leading to another floor. There were so many hallways it was like trying to navigate a maze, vibrant paintings hung on the wall, and there were enough rooms for all of us to sleep in.  

   The basement held the kitchens and storage rooms, the first floor was filled with bookshelves and couches, and the second and third floor held all of the guest rooms. I had never seen such a big house. Maare was still showing us around when I noticed Leuko slipping behind us and walking toward a back door.

   I followed him quietly as he walked up a small graveyard, making a beeline for a pristine marble gravestone that seemed newer than the rest. He stood looking at it for a couple moments then lifted a finger, Summoning a tall misty figure. 

   Leuko sighed and sadly smiled. “Hi, Finis.” 

   “Leuko! How did you get here? I thought you were going to be dead already, honestly. Who’s that behind you?” 

   Leuko jerked his head around sharply and frowned. “Avia? Why aren’t you with Maare?” 

   “I saw you walking up to a graveyard and followed you. Who are you talking to?” 

   “My dead brother.” Leuko glared at me with red eyes. I don’t think he got much sleep. 

   The spirit laughed and shook his head, turning to me. “He’s just joking. My name’s Finis. I’m his older brother that died in the Necron contest. Well...” Finis paused for a second, pondering what Leuko said. “Technically he wasn’t joking. I am indeed his dead brother.” He grinned and ruffled Leuko’s hair. 

   “Stop joking. This is serious. You died and I almost got murdered. Exan killed you, and now Maare’s alone.” Leuko’s frown grew deeper, and he crossed his arms in defiance. 

   “Well, now Maare has you. You’re safe in Necron, Malvada got kicked out of office because she said that she hated her son anyway, we’re all fine. We’re okay, Leuko.” 

   “Malvada got kicked out? Who told you that? Was it Clarette?” Leuko smiled just a bit and sat on a bench near Finis’s grave. 

   Finis started rubbing the back of his neck, looking embarrassed. “Well, who else could it be? I mean, she works in the court; she knows literally everything. Stop looking at me like that! She’s just an informant! Leuko...” Finis’s vague shape started covering his face in his hands, while Leuko burst out in laughter. 

   I must have looked so confused. Leuko stopped wheezing for a moment and explained it all to me. “Clarette works as a servant at the Necron court. Finis’s been dating her for a while now. Well, not now, because he’s dead, but he did. For almost a year. He’s still embarrassed about it.” Leuko snickered. 

   “I’m not- well, it’s because you always make fun of me for it! Stop it, Leuko!” Finis waved his hands in disapproval and quickly changed the subject. “Wait, Messenger girl, I never asked you your name. What is it?” 

   “I’m Avia Fye. Nice to meet you.” 

   “Great. Okay, Avia, did you want to know about Malvada? Just realized you probably know nothing about Necron.” 

   “I don’t know a lot about Necron, so sure. Who’s Malvada?” 

   “Malvada is – was – the leader of Necron. She did everything. I was a part of the Necron court, which she consulted for important decisions. She has a kid named Ragnis, you probably know him, who she basically forced into the contest, even though she didn’t have to. Remember that this was all under the guise that winning would give you the best life that Necron could offer. The thing is, she knew that Ragnis would be sent off into Disarus and still sent him in the contest. It was a really bad thing to do.” 

   Finis’s tone grew angry, bitter, resentful. “And guess what she did next? She announced it publicly, said that she hated her only son. Keep in mind that everyone still thought Ragnis was living luxuriously in the tallest tower in Necron. They all thought she was saying this and her son was hearing it. Lots of publicity scandals and frantic authorities covering everything up, and eventually Malvada got kicked out of office and put in prison. A little bit harsh, but the citizens of Necron believe that family comes before anything.” 

   “That’s horrible. She deserves it. Who would even say that? Does Ragnis know yet?” 

   Leuko shrugged. “I guess he would now. He has servants, they’ll tell him everything. Avia, this has been a really great conversation, but do you mind if I talk to Finis alone? I just want to catch up.” 

   “Sure.” I said my goodbyes and ran back to Leuko’s house. Maare was done showing everyone around and was sitting on one of the chairs drinking water. Everyone else was sitting at the dining table arguing.  

   “Who knows what Isabelline is going to do? She can fly, she obliterated Deccie’s face, and I don’t want my friends to get hurt!” Tsuni slammed her hand on the table and made the vase of roses on the table jump. She looked wildly around and frowned. “Don’t you agree?” 

   Nobody said anything until Celadon smiled and nodded. “I want to see my sister again. If we can, we should try to get everyone’s friends and family into Necron as soon as possible. I hope Leuko knows authorities to make that happen.” 

   Everyone collectively agreed and relaxed, silently hoping that something would magically make everyone they loved appear in Necron. There wasn’t much we could do, just pray and wait. 


   I still can’t believe Isabelline believed me. I think she was tired. Like, really tired. She invited me to have lunch with her, and I agreed.  

   She sat down at a long dining table and had me sit on the other side, and we were served the most delicious meal I’d had in years. Piles and piles of candied fruit (which Isabelline devoured), platters of fish and meat drizzled with the best sauce I had ever tasted, pastries and fresh bread, everything you could think of. 

   Isabelline smiled at me with her signature creepy grin and stuck a sugar-coated strawberry in her mouth. “So, Dune, I’ve been thinking about the latest candidates for the Experiment. They all seem... unusually attached to each other. They must have a strong bond to their families, don’t you think?” 

   I gave her a smile and nodded. “Yes, Ruler Isabelline.” You’re doing this for Augur. She would be good at this. Stay focused.   

   “So, wouldn’t you think that the most logical course of action would be to take their families and friends first? That’d make them come groveling back to me. Right?” 

   “Y-yes, Ruler Isabelline.” Don’t stutter. Be calm, Dune. Put on a nice face. Be agreeable. 

   “Alright. Good answer. Let’s take over Nephele first. Hit those puny Messengers where it hurts.” Isabelline’s face grew wider as her smile stretched across her face. “Maybe kill a few. They never fight back. They’re legally obligated to let us wipe them out. How about it?” 

   “Perfect, Ruler Isabelline.” I gave another smile and pushed my thoughts to the back of my head. 

   “Great. You are dismissed. Send the captain of the army my message. I think his name was Carmine. Say that I plan to start travelling to Nephele in two days.” 

   “Yes, Ruler Isabelline.” I hurried out of there and sighed. How could I go along with this? How could Isabelline go along with this? 

   Augur’s counting on you, Dune. 

June 25, 2021 16:58

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Mira Caplan
13:20 Jun 29, 2021



Penny Tang
14:23 Jun 29, 2021

YESSSSSSSSSSS Eclipe’s chapter is next week, stay tuned~


Mira Caplan
14:47 Jun 29, 2021

AHHHHHHHHHHHHH YAY!!! And Memememmemememmeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee


Penny Tang
15:33 Jun 29, 2021

Yepppppppppp Lol


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Mira Caplan
14:47 Jun 29, 2021

AHHHHHHHHHHHHH YAY!!! And Memememmemememmeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee


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Show 1 reply
23:52 Jun 28, 2021

Henlo :D


Penny Tang
00:10 Jun 29, 2021

Hellooo How are you?


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