Andover's Quest: Part One
The electric Lupe opened one eye and glanced out beneath
his heavy eyelid. It was the middle of the day at least. Had he really slept that
long? He stood up, stretched, yawned, and shook his head to clear his thoughts.
He hadn't stayed out that long last night; why was he so tired then?
"Good-morning, sleepy head," a voice said from
behind him. He turned sharply, ready for a fight. He had had some bad experiences
with someone sneaking up on him.
"Oh, it's you. Gosh, Lex, stop sneaking up on
me like that," he growled. His sister just smiled brightly.
"What do you want, anyway?" Andover asked sleepily
as Lex started toward some unknown destination.
"Gammot wants to speak to you," she said simply.
The small blue Lupe bounced around as she spoke, always energetic in the mornings.
Andover was the one who slept all day in this pack.
Lex - or Alexis as she was known to the pack
elders - led her brother through a maze of other Lupes eating, playing, fighting
and such until they came to a small cave set into the side of a rocky hill.
"Gammot?" Andover called softly. "You wanted
to see me?"
Andover and Lex immediately fell silent as the
old silver-haired Lupe slowly came into view. He was the oldest Lupe in their
pack and he was well-respected by everyone - even the pack leader and the hunters.
"Thank you for your services, Alexis, you may
go now," Gammot croaked. Lex nodded and scampered off to find her friends.
"Come," Gammot said softly. Andover silently
followed the old Lupe into his cave and waited to be invited to sit. "Sit, sit,"
the silver-streaked Lupe said impatiently. Immediately, Andover sat.
"Sir, why have you summoned me?" the electric
Lupe asked politely, his bushy tail flicking back and forth like a cat's.
"I have summoned you, because you are the next
Chosen One." Andover swallowed hard. This couldn't be possible. Chosen Ones
were special Lupes born with great wisdom and power - Andover could hardly hunt
small game, let alone be a Chosen One to a whole pack of rambunctious Lupes.
"B-but, Gammot, sir. I-I…." Andover trailed
off, uncertain of how to plead his case on this one.
"But nothing, young Lupe. You are the Chosen
One and whether you accept that or not, you will become one and take my place
when it is my time to step down - or pass on, whichever comes first." He smiled
softly at his own joke.
"Gammot, I can't be the Chosen. There has to
be a mistake. Chosen Ones are born with superior knowledge, great strength,
wonderful endurance, amazing grace and speed, monstrous courage, and more. I'm
no Chosen, sir. I can barely hunt enough for myself and as for courage, I cower
at the first sign of danger," he said. Well the last one wasn't completely honest,
he argued with himself. You do fight a lot with the other pack members…
"You will learn, Andover. That is why you are
here. You are going to learn to become the Chosen and you will be honored by
your comrades, family, friends, and all in this pack. To be Chosen is something
most Lupes only dream of. I would think you'd be delighted to discover that
you were born Chosen."
Andover sighed softly. There was no getting
out of it. He was meant to be a Chosen One and a Chosen One he would be, according
to the laws laid down by the pack. He still didn't really understand why he
was Chosen. What superior knowledge or monstrous courage did he have?
"Andover! Kindly do not daydream while I am
speaking to you," Gammot barked, annoyed. Andover snapped out of his thoughts
"As I was saying: What you are about to embark
on is a perilous journey. You will learn how to fight your enemies, use knowledge
in times of danger, protect those you care for, and above all, how to come out
unscathed and alive."
Andover gulped. This wasn't what he'd had in
mind for today. Today he had planned to go hunting with his best friend Shaylee
- a very rambunctious brown Lupess he'd befriended while he was still a young
pup. But Gammot did not have that in store for him today.
"Frown all you want, Andover; it will not get
you out of this. I do not choose the Chosen. A Chosen is not made, he is born.
And you, my young friend, were born Chosen. So shall we get this all down to
pat now?" Gammot asked him. His golden eyes shone brightly, and were full of
knowledge and wisdom. Andover sighed and nodded heavily.
"Gammot, come quick! A fire!" someone yelled.
Andover leapt to his feet and scampered to the entrance of the cave, Gammot
hot on his heels.
Below was a raging fire - luckily not spreading,
but not getting any smaller either. Andover, who had seen plenty of bad fires
in Neopia Central before, had never seen a plains fire. The grass it consumed
burned brightly and a huge cloud of black smoke hung over them.
"Gammot, my son!" someone yelled. Gammot looked
sharply to his left to see a horrified red Lupess staring at the fire. "Please
help him, Gammot! Coron is in there!" she screamed, pointing to the small wooden
building consumed in flames. That was the only building the Lupe pack had -
besides caves they found in hillsides and whatnot - and it was a place they
had to rebuild every time they moved. Andover knew perfectly well what resided
in that building and it wasn't helpless pups either.
"What is a young Lupe like Coron doing in there?"
Andover murmured to the elder. The formerly shadow Lupe shook his head.
"You have to ask? I seem to remember another
young Lupe who wandered in that building once or twice before," the old Lupe
A pitiful howl came from inside the burning
building and Jennica - Coron's mother - started sobbing.
"Gammot, aren't you going to do something?"
Andover asked furiously. He couldn't stand this!
"There's nothing we can do. That building is
consumed in flames. I'd be surprised if anyone could even get within ten feet
of it," Gammot replied sadly.
Andover snarled furiously at his elder, surprising
the old Lupe considerably. "You're supposed to help Lupes, not let them die!"
he yelled. Without another word, the angry young Lupe loped down the rocky hillside
toward the burning hut.
"Andover get back here!" Gammot yelled. "Get
back here this instant! You'll kill yourself!"
Andover ignored the calls he got from the other
Lupes watching and circled the weapon hut quickly. If he could just find a window…
Aha! He spotted one window, about five feet off the ground. It had not been
consumed by flames yet. Taking a deep breath, the electric Lupe backed up and
ran toward the opening. He sailed through the window easily and landed hard
on his feet.
The Lupe winced when he discovered a shard of
glass had cut his foot open, but he ignored the pain and called out, "Coron!
Coron where are you? I'm here to help!"
A whimper came from nearby. Andover whirled
around, straining to see through the black smoke and bright flames.
"Coron, you have to speak up!"
"Over . . . here!" The two words were immediately
followed by a coughing fit and Andover followed the sound.
"Coron, is there a big wall of fire in front
of you?" the Lupe asked, hoping the pup would say no.
"Y-yes." Andover sighed and backed up again,
trying not to run into burning logs or step on broken glass, metal, and copper
"I'm going to jump the flames, stay out of the
way!" Andover called.
Taking Coron's silence as an okay, the young
Lupe bounded toward the fire and flew over it, just inches between him and the
ceiling. He landed hard on the other side, and collapsed from the weight of
his body on his sore feet.
"Andover, help me!" a small chocolate-brown
Lupe pup limped forward and cried pitifully up at him. "I'm scared!"
This would be so much easier if I had been
born a fire Lupe, he couldn't help thinking to himself as he took Coron's
scruff in his mouth and once again, looked for a way out. He jumped as a large
portion of the roof caved in exactly where the pup had been cowering a few seconds
"I want my momma," Coron cried pitifully as
Andover's eyes darted frantically around for a way out. It was getting hotter
and he was sure they couldn't get out the way he'd come in. There had to be
another way out. He turned in all directions but for the life of him could see
no way out. He jumped over a burning piece of the floor and turned a corner.
They had to find a way out soon or they'd both die from this smoke…
To be continued...