"Right in here, ma'am." A Teensie in purple clothing stepped aside as a fairy with a green and gold dress approached a door. The Teensie quietly whispered something to the magical door, and it swung open without a sound. The fairy, named Betilla, thanked the Teensie and continued. She entered a dark and dreary room. Unlike the rest of the council, this room was made of stone and it was as cold as a ghost's breath. This place was like a prison, it was a holding place for creatures in the forest who misbehaved, and they were set straight. Fortunatly, this room has barely been used, so it was let go a little. Since it was rarely used it was unclean with insects, spiders, and the occasional rat.

Betilla stepped up to a cell with bars made of powerful magic. It sent a green glow around the room and made a pleasant humming noise. A Teensie standing beside the door nodded to her. "What do we have here?" The Teensie stood up straight. "Well, miss... as you know, there have been mysterious disappearances for the past month now. We think that we have captured who has been causing the trouble." He motioned towards the cell. "We found her hunched over a dead body last night in the Fairy Glade." Betilla looked into the cell. Held back by magic chains was a strange creature. She had no limbs, a large nose, blue clothing, brown hair that would have been shoulder-length, and a white ring was on her chest. "A Raymanian." The gaurd nodded. Betilla looked down at him. "Raymanian's are very rare. I've never seen one attack another creature." "Well, there's always a first time, ma'am."

Betilla loked at her. The Raymanian was now glaring at her, pure anger and hate in her eyes. "Does she have a name?" The guard looked at her. "No. She won't talk to us, and we have no records of her." Betilla looked at him, a little surprised. "No records? She must be an outsider." "Perhaps." The both jumped back, startled. The Raymanian was now going wild, thashing and trying to get out of her chains. She let out an angry roar and tried to bite her chains, only to get a burned mouth from her attempt. Betilla held up her hands and sent a cool wave of energy towards the Raymanian. Upon contact, she fell asleep and slumped to the floor. "We must do something about this. I will have no wild Raymanian running around here." "Yes, ma'am." Betilla turned around and walked away. The guard sat down on a nearby stool, facing the cell. He didn't notice it, but the Raymanian looked right at him and grinned. Nobody will put me out that easily, she thought to herself.

Two hours later, a fairy named Ly approached the door that led to their mini prison, holding a small bag. The Teensie in purple clothing stood up straight. "Yes, ma'am?" She held up the bag. "I'm here to feed the prisoner." "Very well, ma'am." The Teensie whispered to the door and it opened again. As soon as Ly entered, the door closed on it's own and cut off most of the light in the room. As she approached the cell she stopped, then dropped the bag and ran towards something on the floor. She kneeled beside the Teensie who was guarding the Raymanian. She checked for his pulse, then realized that it wouldn't help her here. Those eyes... she recognized what they meant. "... a soul stealer..." She looked up at the cell, unsurprised to see that the prisoner had somehow escaped. But, how could she escape without the guard on the outside knowing? Psychic powers would normally get her to escape easily, but the magic bars would have held that back.

"I wonder... could it also be a... puppet master?" Ly looked down at the Teensie and found that her assumption may have been correct. The Teensie still had his keys in his hand. The Fairies considered a soul stealer to be a major threat, but a puppet master? They had a very serious case on their hands. Then, the guard on the outside door... she stood up and ran for the door. She used her magic to open it and when she got to the outside, the guard looked at her with a surprised look on his face. "Is there something wrong, ma'am?" "More than you know." She put her hand on his forehead and said something in another language. Immediatly, a harsh purple glow lit up the room and the Teensie slumped to the floor. His soul was stolen as well. But judging by how bright the dark energy was, the captive had escaped not long ago.

"If she escaped not long ago, then..." "Hmm, such a smart lady. Let's see what your prize is!" Ly turned around quickly, not seeing anything. "Come now, I'm right in front of you!" Ly looked up at the ceiling. Sure enough, hidden in shadow was the Raymanian creature. Her blue eyes looked down at Ly with such an odd look, like she thought it was all a game. She gave her a smile of pure evil. "My my. It took a while for me to escape, but that little Teensie had a surprisingly strong will. No matter." She jumped down from the roof and landed on all fours right in front of Ly. She stood up and continued to smile at her. "I have escaped, and I have two new souls to add to my collection. Let's make it three, shall we?"

Ly screamed and fell to her knees, holding her head. It felt like it were about to explode. The Raymanian laughed at her, then she kicked her to the floor. "So powerful, yet so weak. Is that all you've got?" As she was about to kick her again, Ly sent a fast ball of energy toward her. The Raymanian dodged it with ease and now had a very amused look on her face. "Ooh, naughty girl! Haven't your parents told you to respect your superiors?" The Raymanian created a ball of dark energy in her hand. "It was nice knowing you, girl." As she was about to fire, she suddenly yelled in surprise and was swept off of her feet, hit by a wave of energy. She landed about seven feet away. Ly looked down the hall in surprise and standing there was Betilla.

"I knew that you were bad news. How could you do such a thing, stealing souls from innocent creatures?" The Raymanian pushed herself up with her hands. "Nobody is innocent. A life is destroyed every second of every day, whether it be a creature like you or an insect. I see you all as insects, so does it matter if I squash you or not?" She sent a powerful wave of dark energy toward Betilla, but Betilla merely waved her hand and it disappeared. "It does matter. You have done evil and now you must pay." Betilla walked over to the Raymanian. When she was standing over her, the Raymanian looked up at her with a twinge of fear in her eyes. She was prepared for death but instead, Betilla held out her hand to her, as if wanting to help her to her feet. "Things don't have to be this way. If something is wrong, let us help you."

The Raymanian looked a little surprised. She took Betilla's hand and got to her feet. She looked at her, a small smile apearing on her face. "Thank you..." Betilla returned the smile and nodded. The Raymanian had a look of gratefulness in her eyes, but then her smile changed. "Thank you... for nothing!" Like a flash of lightning, Betilla was sent flying into a wall, dark energy crackled around her body. The Raymanian giggled, and started to run down the hall. Ly got to her feet and ran to Betilla, who had fallen to the floor. "No, try to catch up with her! I'll be right there!" Ly nodded, and started to run after her at full speed. Ly was extremely fast, but so was this Raymanian. She couldn't figure out why. This Raymanian appeared a little smaller than her friend Rayman, but she was very fast. Having no legs, you wouldn't expect her to be. Fast or not, Ly quickly caught up with the runaway. She reached out her hand, trying to atleast get a hold of her hair and maybe stop her. But, without any warning, the Raymanian suddenly stopped. Ly, looking back at her and not watching where she was going, ran face-first into a wall.

The Raymanian began to howl with laughter. "I can't believe you fell for that! Idiot!" Ly turned to her and prepared a ball of energy in her hands. The Raymanian put her hands where her hips would be and tilted her head. "Come now, do you REALLY think that will work?" "Infact, I do." Ly fired the ball of energy and it flew past the Raymanian just to her left, she didn't even move. She began to laugh at her again. "I think you got a little more brain damage than I intended, you didn't even come close to hitting me!" It was Ly's turn to smile, and the Raymanian gave her a puzzled look. "I wasn't aiming for you."

There was a loud noise like the crack of a whip. The Raymanian turned around to see what caused it, too late. She didn't even have time to scream as a large slab of stone fell on her, along with a few other pieces that had broken away from the wall. As the dust settled, Ly walked towards the heap of stone and put her hands together, as if praying. "I didn't want it to end like this, but I had no choice." She felt another presence beside her, and then she heard Betilla's voice. "It isn't over yet." Ly opened her eyes and looked at Betilla. Her attention snapped back to the pile of rubble as the largest stone began to glow an angry red. Knowing what was about to happen, Betilla formed a kind of magical bubble to protect them both and just in time. The rock suddenly exploded, sending what looked like molten lava all around the hallway. In a protective bubble of her own was the Raymanian, pure anger in her eyes. "How dare you! You will pay for trying something like that!"

Betilla merely lifted her hand into the air. Both of the bubbles disappeared, and the Raymanian looked bewildered. "No, how dare YOU. I only wanted to help you, but you pushed me aside and tried to kill my friend. Not only that, but you've been spreading a wave of panic through the entire forest with all of your merciless soul stealing and murdering. You should be ashamed." Both Ly and the Raymanian were staring at Betilla now. She said that entire speech in such a calm voice, no emotion whatsoever. But it had a light and airy sound to it. The Raymanian took a few steps backward. "You... why are you so powerful? My business is my own, get away from me!!" She began to run again, but was soon stopped when she noticed that she was floating in the air. Betilla was using her magic to stop the stray Raymanian in her tracks. All that she could do was give Betilla an icy stare and yell,"LET ME DOWN YOU HAG!!!"

Using just her right hand, Betilla began to carry the Raymanian down the hall in her floating, magic prison. Ly followed, unable to say anything. She was considered one of the most powerful fairies, and she was almost killed by this creature twice in only a few minutes. Yet, Betilla acted as though it were nothing to her. They walked, and floated, for a long time before they came to a heavily guarded door, the exit into other parts of the council. The biggest guards were Teensies, but rather large for their species. Infact, they were as tall as Ly and held well-made spears. The guards all stood to attention, flinching only slightly when the Raymanian snarled and cursed at them all, yelling foul, unmentionable names.

In direct contrast to the Raymanian's violent actions, Betilla walked with a perfectly calm face, not saying a word. Almost like she were taking a walk through a lovely garden and not walking along the halls of the Fairy Council with a badly confused Fairy following her and a savage animal in her grasp. One of the guards pointed the sharp tip of his spear at the Raymanian, a mere inch from her face. He grinned knowing that she couldn't do anything. His irritated friend nudged him in the side, then he noticed the look at Betilla gave him. Her face remained that same, emotionless stone. But her eyes held something, a strange mixed feeling. She seemed to feel very sorry for the Raymanian, and she also gave the Teensie a bit of a warning look at the same time. Clearing his throat, he stood up straight and with the spear standing at his side. Betilla gave him a slight nod, then she said something to the door in their language and walked through. The Teensie who had just teased the Raymanian gave Ly a questioning look, she could only shrug her shoulders and continue on her walk.

They continued, twisting and turning, going into this door, left, left, another, right, straight... then it occured to Ly what was happening. Betilla was taking her to... "B... Betilla! You're not really--" Betilla continued to walk, and she gave Ly a sad look. "I wish that it didn't come to this, but we have no choice. If she can't learn to somehow cooperate... she must be neutralized." Hurt came over Ly's face. "You mean destroyed!" Betilla flinched at the last word and stopped walking. The Raymanian had become silent at that word as well, looking at them both with wide eyes. Ly looked at Betilla's face, her eyes were closed and her face remained the same. The Raymanian looked at Ly with pure terror on her face. She talks big, but Ly saw that this menacing beast was nothing more than a coward who got lucky with her powers.

Betilla took in a slow breath and turned to the Raymanian, giving her an apologetic look. "I'm sorry, but I don't know what else we can do." Ly stepped toward her. "We'll help her! She isn't really evil, I just know it!" Betilla lowered her head a little. "I know that you feel for this... creature," Ly flinched," but there is not much that we can do for her. She has done unspeakable crimes and there is no forgiving that. I'm sorry, Ly. But she has no place among us." No place among us... those words seemed to echo in Ly's head for a few moments. The Raymanian turned her hopeful gaze onto Ly now. When their eyes made contact, she nearly choked. This creature seemed so much like her best friend, Rayman. Just like him, they were afraid of him and didn't think that he had any place among them either. Raymanians were said to be a common species, but they were rarely seen ever. Rayman was the very first that anybody has ever known to have strange powers. He could use the very Heart of the World's power, something that very few creatures who have ever existed could do. He got his power from their heart and used the energy to make him almost tireless, and to attack. This frightened all of the magical beings in the forest and they believed that Rayman should be exiled, or even destroyed. Where this creature got her powers, she didn't know. This dark force couldn't possibly have anything to do with the Heart of the World, but what else was there?

The Raymanian lowered her own head and closed her eyes. She tried to think, but couldn't. Only now had she ever tried to think, now, right before her death. Where did she come from? Why WAS she doing these things? She gasped when she felt something on her face. Ly had her hand on the side of the Raymanian's face, it was so comforting. Ly looked into her eyes with a kind of caring. The Raymanian stared at her, confused. For a minute she relaxed and stared back. Then, reality caught up to her. They're about to kill me, and she's PETTING me! The Raymanian's eyes flashed with anger and she snapped at Ly's hand. She pulled it away just in time, surprised. The Raymanian snarled at her, evil seemed to be sparking from her blue eyes. "YOU KEEP YOUR FILTHY HANDS TO YOURSELF YOU REPULSING PIXIE!!!"

Betilla slowly opened her eyes, her face the exact same as it was a few minutes ago. "She has no place among us." She began to walk again, the Raymanian once again struggling and screaming to escape. Ly hesitated, then began to follow again. "Betilla, I can help her. I can CHANGE her! Please, just give me a chance..." "You've already had yours." "No!!" Ly ran her fingers through her hair, frustrated. "That barely even counted, she can't be very calm if she thinks she's going to die in two minutes!" The anger began to build up quickly in the Raymanian's chest. They talked as though she wasn't even there, and it wasn't helping her mood. Suddenly, Betilla gasped and fell to the floor, holding her head in pain. The Raymanian was quickly let go and fell to the floor. She layed there for a moment, stunned. She sat up and looked around, looking for a fast exit. Not even thinking, Ly flung herself at the Raymanian and caught her around the torso, trying to prevent her from running again. Ly didn't know what caused Betilla to fall over in pain like that, but something in the air was very unsettling. She held on tight and stood up, gripping the struggling Raymanian. She was used to doing this already, Rayman had put up a fit or two in the past.

She gently whispered to her to calm down, but she merely struggled harder. Betilla finally sat up, looking at them confused before she remembered what she was even doing. She stood up and calmly brushed herself off. "Fine. Ly, I want you to convince me otherwise about... HER. You have one week. If she causes even the slightest bit of trouble, it's over. Got that?" Ly nodded, the Raymanian was finally beginning to tire. She panted and stared up at Betilla with a deep loathing in her eyes. Betilla pretended that she didn't notice and began to walk back to where they came from. Ly followed, glad that she was given the chance to save the little spitfire. She looked down at her and tried to give her a reassuring smile. "All that you have to do is cooperate and you'll be fine." She looked up at her. "Easy for you to say, you filthy..." She mumbled something that Ly couldn't hear, and she had a feeling that she didn't want to know what the rest of that sentence was.

----

"What do you mean?" "I MEAN, that thing can't stay here so close to the Heart of the World! Take it to the forest, I don't care. Just take care of it!" Ly gaped at Betilla. She had never acted like this before, and she never called something an "it" like that before. The Raymanian growled. Ly was still holding her and she was surprised that the Raymanian didn't try to escape. She may be very powerful, but even she had her limits. She was calm for the moment, drained from all of her attacks. Ly walked out of the front door. When she was a few feet away, she turned and looked back. Betilla nodded, then turned her back and began to walk away. The door closed. Ly sighed and began to cradle the Raymanian without even noticing that she was. "What am I going to do with you..." "You can start by letting me go," she said with a hint of mockery in her voice. Ly set her down. At first, the Raymanian acted really high and mighty. But when Ly let go of her completely, she fell right over. "You're too weak to--" "Shut up, get your hands off of me!" The Raymanian slapped Ly's hand away and tried to stand up again, shaking slightly. "You stupid Fairies think you know everything..." "Please, I can carry you. You're very light." She gave Ly a death stare. "I...can...walk...on...my...OWN!!"

The Raymanian started to walk away, nearly falling over on her third step. Sighing, Ly followed. "Where do you think you're going?" The Raymanian was annoyed now. "Keep your nose out of my b--" Ly nearly dived to try and catch the Raymanian, she had fallen over in exhaustion. She had only taken a few steps, but she was already panting for air. "Let... me... go..." she said, weakly. Ly picked her up again. "No, you can't walk on your own. I'm carrying you and that's that." The Raymanian was stubborn, but knew that there was no use in fighting. All that she could do was rest her head against Ly and close her eyes. She mumbled something, probably another insult, then she fell into a nearly instant sleep. Ly couldn't help but smile a little. She may seem evil, but she knew that it was only a mask. Deep down, she didn't think that she was so bad. Ly looked ahead, and started to walk towards the forest. Their week together started first thing the next morning, and she had a feeling that it would be a very long week.