General Ares straightened the thick, dark red coat that hung around his red
shoulders. He admired the shiny brass buttons, each carefully polished and the
many badges that hung on the coat. At such a young age, (just 682 days old)
the handsome Lupe was one of the best and the fittest generals in the Neopia
General Ares padded softly over to General Anwar. Years of training and experience
had turned the old Lupe's once creamy white coat into a shaggy grey one, but
General Ares could still see the twinkle in Anwar's large, alert yellow eyes.
"General, you seem worried," Ares murmured to the Lupe, hoping that he would
voice his fears soon. With things the way they were now, he was absolutely certain
that bad news was at the tip of Anwar's tongue.
"The swarm is massing, more of its forces are joining the group. If we do
not take action right away, the whole of Neopia will be doomed!" General Anwar's
words were received with a sharp intake of breath on Ares' part. "Do you know
what these… creatures are?" he asked the older Lupe.
General Anwar shook his head wearily. "We can only guess. They are still too
far for our screens to tell," he informed Ares. And with a nod, Anwar was dismissed.
Ares stood with his back towards the door. It had happened a few years ago,
but he still remembered it as though it only happened yesterday. Ares had been
born into a wealthy family in Neopia. His father had been a general in the Neopia
Army too, but had been destroyed under enemy fire during the first Neopian War.
Ares remembered how his mother, too had grieved too long--she had loved Ares'
father dearly. And so, two weeks after Ares was born, he was made an orphan,
and General Anwar kindly took Ares in. Well, it wasn't family, but it was the
least Ares had, and he treasured it.
Ares spent his childhood in Neopia, where he found his best friend Jack. Jack
was a magnificent fire Scorchio, and it was his brilliant flaming wings that
had brought the two of them together. Jack had accidentally set Ares on fire
once and until now Ares still bore remembrance of that incident--a black patch
on his back, where his beloved azure fur had been singed.
But despite that little incident, Ares and Jack grew up to be the best of
friends, and Jack passionately shared Ares' dream of becoming a fire Lupe.
Ares was zapped back to the present as the wooden oak door to the room opened
and a haughty looking starry Lupe stepped in. "Ares," the Lupe that had just
entered bowed slightly, all the while keeping his eyes on Ares.
"That's General Ares to you, Letard," Ares said curtly to the Lupe. He had
always despised Letard's haughty airs and ways.
Letard kept quiet, and Ares felt a surge of triumph. A stray wind blew through
the room, ruffling Ares' coat. "Proceed," Ares told Letard.
"I have summoned a full force of Neopia's Faeries and Uber-Faeries, General
Ares. They have pledge loyalty to the Battle Faerie, and she will serve the
Neopia Army with her heart." Letard reported. General Ares nodded.
"That means that the Neopia Army forces will be adequate for battle. What about
our sea spies? Do they have any information to report?" Ares questioned Letard.
"As a matter of fact, Lord Reise is outside waiting to talk to you," Letard
cast a glance out of one of the ship's portholes and into the deep blue of the
ocean. General Ares nodded firmly, "Yes, I'll go right on deck to greet Lord
And with that, the two Lupes padded softly out of the room.
General Ares and Letard stepped out of the wooden oak door and found themselves
in the dimly lit corridor of one of the largest battleships in the Neopia Army.
Turning left, the Lupes walked down the corridor and pulled the door at the
end open. They stepped on the deck of Psellia, named after the Air Faerie, and
out into the sunshine.
"And where are we anchored now?" Ares asked a passing sailor.
"Between the shores of Faerieland and the Mystery Island, General Ares. To
the south you can see the newly found Krawk Island," the burly Skeith looked
a little surprised and nervous. General Ares smiled his most reassuring smile
at the Skeith and carried on walking with Letard.
The starry Lupe brought General Ares to the starboard side of the ship and
both Lupes placed their furry paws on the wooden side of the ship and looked
peered down into the dark waters below. At first nothing met Ares' eyes, but
then a fleeting dark shadow darted through the waves and a split second later
something shot out of the sea, sending sprays of saltwater all over Letard-
Ares was smart enough to jump back.
The creature that had jumped out of the water was Lord Reise, the swiftest
jetsam and the smartest sea spy that the Neopia Army had. Lord Reise had half
of his sleek dark purple body out of the water and was looking up at the Psellia
at General Ares. Lord Reise raised a fin and saluted smartly to Ares.
"General Ares, Lord Reise at your service," he greeted the Lupe. Ares nodded
in return and smiled. "I hear you have something to report, Lord Reise," he
told the jetsam in his deep voice, making sure to be very polite to the jetsam.
Jetsams had their pride.
"Yes, General Ares. My sea spies have spotted clouds of Faeries and Uber-Faeries
heading for our battleships and we were wondering…" Ares cast a sideways glance
at Letard, then turned back to Lord Reise. "Ah… no Lord Reise it appears you
have made a mistake. The faeries are on our side, and have agreed to go into
battle side by side with the Neopia Army, which, I believe is a very good idea,"
General Ares told the jetsam.
Lord Reise nodded and said, "Yes, General Ares. I shall tell my spies to personally
escort the faeries to the Psellia." And with that, he leapt into the air and
entered the water with hardly a splash. General Ares watched the retreating
back of Lord Reise for a few seconds later, then turned to Letard.
"Letard, head off to the Iyana to welcome the faeries. No doubt that will
be the first boat they will see," Ares told the starry Lupe.
"Yes, General Ares," Letard bowed low and trotted off, his head high in the
General Ares stood for a moment at the side of the ship looking into the water,
but then finally he headed back under deck and into a small, dark crowded room
where the air was filled with cigarette smoke and loud, raucous laughter.
General Ares settled down in a corner of the room, and when the cook, Betty,
came around to get his order, he asked for a mug of his favourite drink and
a bag of Cheesy Neos. The Kau nodded at General Ares and then made her way past
crowds of Skeiths, Gelerts and other NeoPets and into the kitchen that bustled
General Ares settled back in the cushioned chair and sighed. It was going
to be a long day for him.
To be continued...