Panting, Keeta half-fell down the stairs,
regaining herself at the bottom and pounding forward again. She burst into the
stable and stopped, fiery tail lashing. Her ashy lips curling and she gave a
low growl as she glared at the silver Zafara, fire Kyrii before her, instructing
their troop on harnessing Sparklene, a creamy-coloured island Uni, also Keeta's
"Get away from her," Keeta snarled.
The fire Kyrii turned, looking at her
with disdain. "Oh? And what will you do?"
Keeta launched herself forward and the
Kyrii snapped his fingers.
FLAMEKEETA! Sparklene screamed in her
mind and out loud, but she was too late. Keeta fell on the floor, a deep brown
mutant Grundo standing above her, bouncing a large metal bar carelessly in his
hands. Sparklene wavered. "Keeta…" she murmured and a yellow Shoyru slipped
a black halter over her face and they led her away.
Keeta opened her eyes weakly. She struggled to look around her and didn't
have the strength to gasp as she saw a blue Lupe pulling her back with a rope
in his teeth. Looking below her, she saw she was on two hastily tied boards.
There was a small gap in the middle, but not large enough for her to fall through.
"So you're awake," the Lupe muttered
through the rope in his teeth. He lurched his head to the side as a silver streak
of a bullet flashed past his ear, nicking it slightly.
Keeta just groaned. And her eyes began
to droop, her head pounded. The sled lurched to a stop and she heard hurried
footsteps and the occasional pop of a gun going off or a whoosh of magic being
"Is she okay?" A voice asked worriedly.
"Yeah, I think so. She was hit pretty
- Chango! Look out!" The one who carried her yelled.
Keeta's vision was blocked by gray fur
and the graying Eyrie fell to the ground. A silver Eyrie and the blue Lupe hurried
to his side, glancing over their shoulders at the enemy.
"Chango!" The silver Eyrie choked.
"The girl… Save… The girl…" Chango murmured
and breathed his last breath as Keeta fell back without seeing or hearing anything
*Lifemates (singular is one
of the two): Magically connected beings. They can feel what the other feels within
a range. They read each other's minds, and also speak through them.
Marylena put her nose to the ground and tried
hard to catch the scent again. There! She had it! Hurrying forward, keeping
her nose down, she ran forward. That Chia was as good as hers!
She reached the end of the trail and
looked up. "You're mine, little Chia!" she cried and was about to pounce when
the little green Chia turned around, a Fire and Ice Blade in its chubby little
"Hrrrahh!" he cried and cut Marylena's
leg, a deep gash. "That'll teach ye to be chasin' us!" He lunged again but Marylena
was faster. She jumped and grabbed onto a tree trunk, scrabbling up.
"Hey!" she cried, panting. "I got nothing
against you! But I got to make a living, you know!"
The Chia didn't listen; he put the oversized
blade between his teeth and began to climb the tree. He slipped half way up
and cried out in pain as the Fire and Ice Blade cut him. Marylena jumped and
struck. This fat fellow would get her a good price.
"What do you mean 80 NP?" Marylena cried, waving her fiery paws about in anguish.
"Well," the red Lupe on the other side
of the table drawled, sucking on the end of his bubble pipe. "It's not exactly
a quality Chia. I tried some of it for myself and it wasn't very satisfactory…"
"That thing nearly killed me and you
say it's not satisfactory? I bit the thing in the neck and it tasted just fine
to me!" Marylena screeched. "If I'm going to be paid like this, I'm quitting.
I won't go hunting Chias for 80 NP each!" She spat in his face, pivoted on all
for heels and stomped out of the office. "Jerk," she muttered and threw
the swinging door aside as she exited the Chia Hunters Corp. building. Turning,
she spat on the foundation too, just to show them how disgusting she thought
they all were.
"Looking for a new job, girly?" A chubby
red Grundo said, hobbling up. He had dark sunglasses and a too-large suit on
that made him look more than a little unusual. He pulled a little box out of
one of the too-large pockets and pressed a little red button on its side. The
box snapped open and unfolded a rather unreliable-looking table. He slammed
his briefcase down on it, causing Marylena to flinch, and snapped it open. Off
the top flew, straight into the gutter. The Grundo laughed nervously. "It's
an old briefcase."
Marylena raised her eyebrows and nodded
slowly, forcing a smile.
"Anyway, I've got the perfect job opportunity
for you…" He said and shuffled through his papers.
"Uh… I'm not interested," Marylena insisted,
"Sure you are!" The Grundo yelled, a
smile as that matched his too-large suit on his face. He brandished a packet
of papers and hustled over to her. "See, the army of Neviumbre needs you, as
there's a bit of tension between Neviumbre and Jurelsi*,
you see. You've probably heard, though. I'm sure they'd be thrilled that an
excellent hunter like yourself were to join them, should they go to war." The
Grundo was flipping furiously through the papers, pointing at various pictures
and text, jabbering on and on quickly. "So, would you like to take the job?"
Marylena, dazed, simply nodded, unsure
what to do. She swayed slightly before shaking her head, blinking and snapping
herself out of it.
"Marylena Harez," she murmured.
"Current residence? Age? Phone number?"
"The right hand gutter on Rester Street.
Unknown, no phone number."
The Grundo looked up, brow raised. "You
live in a gutter and you don't know your own age?"
Marylena nodded sadly. "I recently left
my old lodgings and job as a maid to make it on my own, I haven't been very
successful… I like Chias, so they don't exactly want me back in there," She
jerked her head in the direction of the Chia Hunters Corp. where a protest group
was gathering, waving signs. "I hate cleaning and I'm terrible at waiting tables.
That's why I live in a gutter."
"What about the age thing?"
"Abandoned," Marylena said simply.
"Mmmhmm…" The Grundo nodded. "Well, this
job should be good for you." He handed her some forms, which she took in a gentle
"Well, I must be going. Toodles!" The
Grundo picked up his briefcase, left the unreliable table and hurried off, holding
his pants up with one hand and the briefcase in the other. Papers were flying
out in his wake.
"HEY! SAVE THE CHIAS! HUNT THE LUPES!"
A purple Chia screamed and knocked in to Marylena's side, waving a sign in her
face and knocking her to the ground. Other Chias began swarming over to her.
She jumped up quickly, spun, and took off running, a queue of angry Chias hurtling
To be continued...
*Neviumbre and Jurelsi:
Two of the 14 provinces that make up the country of Kastillia°.
°Kastillia: A country
filled with mostly unexplored wild lands inhabited by natives, Kastillia is
a country located on North-eastern Tibejb².
A monarchy, Kastillia (in this story) is ruled by one Queen (Queen Tiatha) with
four daughters and one son. The King was exiled for his bloodlines (shallow
²Tibejb: A planet located
in the solar system of the star Pegasi51 known as Starrius to those living there.
They people there are called Tallists after the original name of 66% of its
land mass was named 'Tallistene' by the creatures living there. (By the way,
I might add that Pegasi51 is real and scientists do believe the planets orbiting
it have life. Cool, huh?)