From the base of the Home Tree, Jake stood waiting for his allies. He waved a small but bright torch back and forth into the night air. In the distance he could see the dim glows of the approaching fairies. Recently, the rebels had learned a way to make their glows dimmer to avoid being discovered during their more stealth based missions. It was truly impressive just how much these fairies had been able to accomplish with such limited resources.

Jake deeply wished he could've been with them more often as they learned these skills, but for the past few months he had been posing as one of Veronicas highest ranking gaurds. He had been ordered by Clarion to infiltrate the ranks of the enemy, learn their ways, and report any information he found out back to the rebels. The patrolling patterns of the gaurds, the layout of the Home Tree, and any other useful tidbits he could find. When Clarion felt they knew enough, she ordered an assaination on Veronica. With the information Jake had given them, it was decided that this night would be the best night to carry it out, when the patrolling patterns of the guards was the easiest to work with.

For Jake, the past few months had been a life-altering experience. He had joined the rebellion, not necessarily because he was stong believer in their cause or because he wanted a change for Pixie Hollow, but because he wanted to feel useful to someone. He had been a very quiet sparrow-man who kept mostly to himself during his days as a Tinker. The rebels didn't know much about him, but one of the things they did know was that he was good at what he did, and they needed somebody like him to make tools and weapons. When they approached him and asked for his support, he agreed, but his personality was not much different than before. He still kept to himself as he worked. He wasn't unfriendly or anything. He would usually give a friendly "hello" or nod of the head to anyone who greeted him. But other than that, he didn't say much.

When the idea fot the assasination came about, it was a huge shock to everyone that Clarion had chosen Jake to act as the double agent. But Clarion had a good reson for it. Jake was relatively unknown to most of Pixie Hollow. He had never shown his face during any battles due to the fact that he never took part in them, he only made the weapons. No one would suspect him, and the rebels had to agree that it was a clever idea. Once again, Jake was willing to go through with it. It was his chance to feel useful again, which was all he wanted, though no one knew that because he never said anything about it.

Jake was recruited, but was at first given the lowly job of patrolling villages like Tinkers Nook (his own home) and just making sure that order was kept. The Rebels knew they had to give him a way to show off any fighting skills he had and possibly get promoted, so they staged a fake attack on a supply wagon that he was the sole guardian of. They made it appear as though he had single handedly fought them off. His accomplishment was reported to higher ranking guards, and was given their status. From there, Jake continued to work his way up through the ranks until he was eventually made into an elite guard, who were the highest rank of them all. These gaurds were charged with protecting Veronica, herself. They were the only guards who actually got to come into contact with her.

Jakes skills had been mentioned to her and she, herself personally commended him at one point. Veronica and the gaurds had made Jake feel better about himself than anyone else ever had. He recieved more praise from them for his skill than he had from the Rebels. It was what he truly wanted more than anything else in the world, just to feel needed. But now, tonight, her had to show his true colors, or at least what he thought were his true colors. His job was to take out all the elite guards who stood between the Rebels and Veronicas chambers. He had to take out the people who he had spent more time with than he had with any of the Rebels. People who he had become closer to than anyone else. Now he stood there, waving his torch, prepared to lead the group to what they hoped would be the end of Veronica.

Violet was the first to land in front of him, with Sandy and Marco at her sides. The others all gathered behind them. Violet gave Jake a small, but warm smile, which he tried to return, but found that he couldn't.

"Hello, Jake." Violet said kindly, extending her hand. "It's been so long since we've seen you. How've you been?"

"Alright... I've been alright." Jake replied, taking her hand and briefly shaking it. "It's been quite a time playing these dual roles, having to sneak back and forth every night. I'm just glad I won't have to do it anymore after tonight."

"Yeah, we hope." Marco said under his breath.

"Is everything taken care of inside the Home Tree?" Violet asked.

"Yes." Jake said simply.

"You're sure?" Sandy said. "We're not going to go marching there only to find that you forgot a couple of guards, right?"

Jake didn't answer immediately. He seemed deep in thought about something. The others assumed that he was just trying to remember if he got all his targets.

"Everything is ready for you." He finally said.

The others all looked around at each other and nodded. They drew their bows and arrows.

"Lead the way then, Jake." Violet said.

And with that, the group headed into the dark tree. Even with the light from Jakes torch, it was still hard to see further than a few feet in front them. Their foot steps echoed off far off into the distance, leading them to believe that the area they were in was very large. It was a tense situation. With every step they took, it felt as though they would bump into a live gaurd, or maybe stumble over a dead one. It was becoming unbearable. Someone had to break the tension.

"Can you believe I've lived here for about four hundred years and I've never been in this part of the Home Tree?" Jenny said lightly.

"That so?" Micheal asked. "Because I don't think any of us have."

"Yeah, all I've ever seen of this place is the Pixie Dust Well." Jenny replied. "Too bad it's so dark, I bet this place looks incredible."

"Hey, why is it so dark in here anyway?" Marco asked suddenly. "Jake, all we wanted was for you to take out the guards, not the lights."

"I just figure it'd be best to play it safe." Jake said. "I haven't taken out every guard. I only got the ones who patrol this area."

"Well, you do know where we're going, right?" Crystal asked.

"Oh, yes." Jake said in almost a dark tone. "I know exactly where we're going." He paused for a moment, then said quietly "I know this place by heart."

As they continued onward, Violet turned to Sandy. She wanted to say something encouraging, but saw that the look on her face was deadly serious, so she said nothing. Violet hadn't met Sandy til after she had lost her love. She smiled very rarely and almost alwys seemed to have a tear in the corner of her eye. Violet wished she could've known Sandy before all this had happened. She seemed like a wonderful girl.

After walking for about ten minutes, Jake held the torch out further in front of him and it lit up a plain, wooden door.

"This is Veronica's chambers right here." He said.

The fairies and sparrow-men all looked at the door apprehensively.

"Really? This is it?" Violet asked.

Jake just nodded.

"It's just, this seems a little plain to be the door to the Queens chambers." Violet said.

"Have you ever been in here before?" Jake asked.

"No, but-"

"Then you wouldn't know, would you."

Violet looked around at everyone, and they all looked as nervous as her. Still, Jake had a point: none of them would know this place except for him.

"Well, alright then." Violet said. She then turned to Sandy. "Are you ready?"

"I've waited so long for this." She whispered. "I wish Simon could've lived to see this day."

"We'll make him proud." Violet said.

She turned back to the others and gave them all nods. They all nodded back, a sign that they were ready. Violet turned back to Jake and gave him the nod. He pushed open the door and stepped aside to allow them in.

The rebels entered one by one, their arrows drawn and held at the ready. This room was no brighter than the last one. In fact, it seemed even darker. When all ten of them were in, they huddled together and pointed their arrows in different directions.

"It's too dark in here." Marco hissed. "We need that torch. Where's Jake? Would somebody please get a light on in here?"

"I'll give you some light..." a cold voice from above them said.

The rebels snapped their aim upwards, but were immediately blinded by bright lights from large lanterns. Soon the whole room was lit up, and when their vision cleared, they knew this was not the Queens chambers. They were in a large open area with no cover anywhere around them. Above them were a large group of balconies that encircled the whole room. And in these balconies were hundreds of guards and soldiers aiming their arrows at them. The rebels were greatly out-numbered, and behind them, Jake was blocking the door. Violet stared at him confused for a moment, but a sinister laughter from above them caught her attention.

"Oh, this is just too perfect." It said nastily.

On one of the balconies, a group of soldiers parted way to allow a sparrow-man with much bulkier and heavier armor to pass through. He had short black hair and a sharp, pointed face. He smiled wickedly down at the group. Violet glared up at him with rage in her eyes.

"Irving!" She hissed.

The sparrow-man gave a small bow and lept over the railing of the balcony, slowly flittering down to them. General Irving was the highest ranking gaurdian and the commander of Veronica's army. During his years as General, he had proven to be more than willing to carry out Veronica's sadistic agenda. He had personally over-seen many massacres, including the one that took Sandy's love. He was also the one who performed executions on suspected rebels or anyone who was believed to have offended the Queen in some way. Killing rebels was his favorite past-time, but he would also settle for anyone who got in his way.

When Violet had been a guard for Veronica, Irving had shown a romantic interest in her. But she had never liked him, nor did she approve of his brutal tactics. When she had angrily refused him at one point, Irving swore to make her pay, and when she was imprisoned for insubordination, he made a point of attending all of her torture sessions. Now he approached her and looked her over. He chuckled at the look of rage she gave him.

"You know I think I preferred you when you wore our armor." He said, laughing.

"Well, I always thought it made people look fat." Violet replied. "But I guess no one told you that."

Irving just laughed even harder. The other rebels glared angrily at him, particularily Sandy. To her, he would always be known as Irving the Butcher, and she longed to bleed him out slowly. Iriving looked over the rest of the group and his laughter died down.

"Well you all just came loaded for bear, didn't you?" He said lightly. "Why, if I didn't know any better, I'd say you didn't like the way we were running things around here."

"How did you know about this?" Marco snapped at him.

Irving regarded him with a nasty look.

"What? You mean how did I know about you're pathetic little assasination attempt?" He laughed. "Well, let's just say someone within your worthless little organization knows where his true loyalty should lie. Isn't that right, Jake?"

The rebels all turned to Jake, who was looking down at the ground.

"I'm sorry, everyone." He said quietly. "But this is where I belong. This is where I am truly appreciated."

"You sold us out!" Crystal roared at him. "YOU SCUM!"

"You can't win, you know." Jake whispered. "Your cause is hopeless. Veronica is too powerful. She is the only future Pixie Hollow has."

"A FUTURE YOU WON'T LIVE TO SEE!" Crystal screamed.

She drew a knife from a sheath on her boot and lunged at him. Jake didn't even have time to react before she stabbed him right in the throat. He gurgled as his mouth filled with blood. Crystal drove the knife in as far as it would go. Then a sharp pain exploded from her back al the way to her chest. She had been hit by an arrow that a gaurd had fired from the balcony. It struck her right between the shoulder blades and pierced all the way through to her heart. She fell to the ground, gasping for air, then went completely still. She was gone. In front of her, Jake fell to the floor, and he was a done deal, as well.

Violet turned and took a quick shot at Irving. Her arrow bounced off his chest-plate, and he smiled nastily at her. Violet didn't have time to take another shot. She turned to the door and sped off, the other following right behind her.

"SLAUGHTER THEM!" Irving shouted.

Groups of soldiers flittered from the balconies and took off after the rebels. The whole tree was now brightly lit, so there was no longer any need for the torch, luckily. Still the rebels were in too much of a hurry to enjoy the vast hallway that they had earlier wanted to see so badly. It wasn't long before arrows were whizzing past their heads. None of them dared stop to look over their shoulders. Veronica's soldiers were notoriously good shots. And they proved that by hitting Jenny and Micheal right in the back of their heads. There was no point in stopping to help them. They were gone, along with a second sparrow-man who took a few arrows right through his lower back.

Violet could see the exit just up ahead of them, and a brief wave of relief swept over her, but it was short lived when she realized that it wouldn't matter anyway. The soldiers would pursue them all the way to the rebel headquarters if they had to. They couldn't give away that position, so it looked as though they would have to lead them to some secluded area and make what would most likely be their last stand.

Violet looked next to her to see that Sandy was right there. For a brief moment they looked each other in the eye, and it was as if they both knew where this was going. But then, to Violets surprise, Sandy said something.

"Whatever happens, don't look back!" She shouted. "Just keep flying!"

Violet looked confused.

"What are you-"

At that moment, Sandy immediately stopped and turned to face the guards.

"SANDY! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" Violet shouted, stopping as well.

"GO!" Sandy roared over her shoulder.

And now, Violet knew what was happening.

"SANDY, NO!" She screamed.

She tried to fly back to her, but she was seized around the wrist by Marco and pulled away.

"NOOOOOOOOO!" She screamed.

Sandy could hear her screams getting fainter and fainter over her shoulder. Ahead of her, a group of guards approached. Sandy pulled three arrows into her bow and fired them at the same time. Two arrows hit two gurds right in their throats while the third stuck one in the armpit. The gaurds fire simultaneously. Sandy dodged all of them and fired three more arrows back at them. This time all three hit the same guard right in her face.

The guards fired again, and this time Sandy took one in the leg. The pain was severe, but it didn't drop her. She fired another arrow, hitting a guard through his eye. The guards fired back, and Sandy got hit in the side of her gut. This time it was enough to drop her. She fell to the ground, but still managed to hold her bow up. She reached back for her last arrow and pulled it tight in her bow. Ahead of her, she saw Irving making his way up the middle of the group. She aimed right between his eyes. If she couldn't take Veronica, she could at least take her closest ally. She fired a perfect shot, but in one swift motion, Irving caught the arrow in his fist inches from his face. he squeezed it tightly and broke it.

The guards approached Sandy, who was now laying sprawled out on the floor. They raised their bows and arrows and prepared to finish her. But before they could...

"Wait!" Came Irvings voice.

They all turned to face him. He made his way up the center of the group stopped right in front of her. She stared defiantly up at him, and he smiled wickedly down at her.

"Don't kill this one yet." He said. "I have something else in store for her."

And in one swift motion, he smashed his foot into her face, knocking her unconscious.


Meanwhile, on the far outskirts of the Home Tree, Violet, Marco, and the others were all hidden in the grass again, catching their breaths. When Violet had finally caught hers, She let out a loud screetch of frustration and kicked a nearby pebble.

"Hey, stay quiet!" Marco hissed. "They might still be following!"

"They're not!" Violet snapped at him. "We have Sandy to thank for that!"

"I know, but-" Marco started.

"Months of planning and preperation for nothing!" Violet roared. "That two-bit snake, Jake! I knew Clarion shouldn't have chosen him! He always seemed like an odd one! Now, not only has he cost us a chance to end this horrible conflict, he's cost us five very brave fairies and sparrow-men, one of which I loved like a sister!"

No one needed to say anything, because Violet had said it all. What was supposed to be their finest hour, had now become their darkest. They stood their in silence for a while, a few sobs escped one of the other fairies. Eventually, Marco broke the silence.

"So, what do we do now?"

Violet sighed, then answered "Clarion has to know that the mission was a failure. Not only that, but none of us wore face paint to hide our identities. Not that it would've done me much good since they already knew me, but the rest of you may never be able to show your faces in public again. You'll be forced to stay within the headquarters from now on. Clarion has to know this."

The others all looked at her apprehensively, and Violet knew they were all too afraid to do this. She sighed again.

"I'll tell her alone, don't worry. I led this mission, it's my responsibility."

The others looked slightly relieved, but Marco still look worried.

"Are you sure?" He asked kindly. "You don't look like you could handle anymore hardships tonight."

"I'm sure." Violet said sadly. "Let's go."

And with that, the defeated rebels took off for the outskirts of Pixie Hollow, where their headquarters was located.


Far off the coast of Neverland, a single white flower petal drifted gracefully through the wind, over the calm ocean. Contained within this flower petal was the first laugh of a newborn baby.