Andover's Quest: Part Four
Kit watched as Andover and Simon sat together and planned
everything out. She still hadn't found any time alone with Andover to tell him
what Shaylee had said. That poor brown Lupess had looked so sad when she'd heard
he wasn't coming home anytime soon. She looked as though her heart had been broken
"Andover? Can I talk to you?" Kit asked. Simon
looked over and glared at her as though she had interrupted the talk of a lifetime.
The electric Lupe beside him however, smiled
and came over. "It'll only take a second, Simon. Don't get all worked up," he
said. "What do you need?" he asked Kit.
The striped Lupess led him back to her tent.
"I have a message for you from Shaylee," she said.
"You talked to Shaylee? What did she say?" Andover
asked eagerly. Kit smiled at his reaction and relayed the message. At the end,
Andover no longer looked eager. He looked sad.
"Don't be sad, Andover. She knows you have to
do this. She understands," Kit lied. She knew that Shaylee didn't understand
no matter what the Lupess had said. The poor thing had been devastated when
she'd seen Kit instead of Andover coming toward her.
Andover sighed. "She'll never understand why
I came. You don't have to lie to me, Kit," he said, getting up. "I have to go
finish planning things out with Simon."
Kit watched as he walked out, tail and ears
drooping sadly. Poor Andover, she thought. He really misses that Lupess.
Andover sat down beside Simon again and glanced
at the green Kougra, hoping he wouldn't say anything about his new attitude
"What's wrong, sport?" Simon asked, concerned.
Andover sighed. "Nothing. I'm just tired, I
guess," he lied. He wasn't ready to tell anyone just how much he wanted to go
home. Or how much he missed Shaylee.
"Well, we're almost done here," Simon said,
gesturing toward the charts and lists they'd made for strategizing the next
attack on 'The Purest Ones'. Those Lupes had some serious issues…
The two of them worked a while longer, putting
each of the many neopets they'd acquired as allies into different groups and
positions for the attack. After a couple more hours, Simon finally dismissed
him and Andover trudged across camp to his own tent. He stopped at the entrance
and looked around, wishing he was back home; wishing he could see his mother
and his sister; wish Shaylee would stop worrying; wishing everything would be
right again. But most of all, he wished Shaylee was here with him instead of
all the way on the other side of the world.
He jumped as a big white flash lit up half the
camp and there was a thump by his feet. He blinked, still blinded by the light
that had flashed so close in front of his eyes.
"What was that?" he asked himself. He looked
down to see the pouch he had worn faithfully around his neck the last week had
fallen off. The strings looked like they had been cut or burned. He touched
the pouch - it was hot. Gingerly, he picked up the strings and took the pouch
back into his tent and shut the flaps. He was enveloped in semidarkness.
"What happened?" he said aloud, opening the
pouch. The remaining neopoints he had in there fell out along with the gem and
a now slightly singed letter. He picked up the gem and immediately dropped it
again, yelping. It was red-hot - literally in fact. The normally cool light
blue gem had turned a fiery red and was burning hot.
He didn't understand what had happened. He wondered
if the letter had anything to do with the gem… But he couldn't read it. He wasn't
allowed to read it unless he was on his deathbed. But what could it hurt? What
horrible knowledge could really be in there? After all, he was the next Chosen
One, wasn't he? Shouldn't he have superior knowledge concerning whatever the
letter said? He reached for the letter but there was another white flash again,
temporarily blinding him once more. He looked down at the gem to see the white
quickly fading into red. So the gem was what had flashed. But why? He had to
read that letter. He grabbed the letter and unfolded it. He had just read the
first line which read To Whom It May Concern, when the gem flashed yet again.
Now annoyed, Andover picked up the gem and neopoints,
stuffed them back into the pouch and stuffed the pouch under a pile of blankets.
He started reading the letter but this time there was an angry buzzing coming
from the gem. Sighing, Andover folded up the letter and put it down. He opened
the pouch again and picked out the gem. It was warm in his paw.
The gem obviously didn't want him to read that
letter. But why? What did it really say? But if all the gem wanted was for him
not to read the letter, why had it tried to blind him when he'd been thinking
of home? He looked at it curiously, rolling it back and forth in his paws. He
wondered if it did that often. Maybe only when he was thinking or doing certain
things. Like if he was being … selfish? He wanted to see if this worked or not.
I sure wish I had a million neopoints so
I could be the richest Lupe in all Neopia, he thought. He knew this was
a lie, but the gem obviously didn't, considering it gave of an extremely bright
white flash and nearly burned his paws off. He dropped the gem and watched it
fade to red, then orange, to yellow, and eventually back into a light blue.
So it did that when he was thinking selfishly. Well that was new. It hadn't
done that before when he'd been thinking like that. Maybe it took a while to
get used to him?
But I need to read that letter! What if it
contains something that could save everyone in Neopia from those Lupes? What
if I never got to tell anyone what it said before I died and someone else died
because of me? What if Shaylee died because of me? These thoughts forced
their way into his mind, scaring him out of his wits. But the gem didn't flash.
He didn't really know why, but the thought of Shaylee dying because of him,
because he might never have the chance to tell anyone what that letter contained,
those thoughts made him reach over and unfold the letter once again. And this
time, the gem became warm in a pleasant way and when he glanced at it, it was
a friendly purple color.
To Whom It May Concern: Wherever you are right
now, I sincerely hope you are not in danger of any sort. The purpose of this
letter is solely to warn you about the powers of the gem that is undoubtedly
in your possession if you are reading this. This gem has the power that is so
extraordinary that some may be unable to contain it. It may seem like something
you would get countless neopoints for if you sold it, but it is much more than
an expensive piece of jewelry. This gem has knowledge. Yes, that sounds awfully
funny when you think about an inanimate object having knowledge of anything,
but it is true. This gem has the power to heal the sick; make the dimwitted
wise; mend broken bones; keep one from dying when in grave peril; protect one
from evil; keep one from going mad; enforce decent, selfless thoughts in one's
mind; and most powerful of all: the power to ki-
Andover was cut off by his tent flaps being
thrown open and a very angry-looking green Lupess storming in, followed by a
two small Lupe pups - one orange and one red. He stood up, confused. "Can I
help you?" he asked.
The Lupes marched right up to him and made herself
as big as she could. Andover, wondering what on earth he had done now, backed
off. "What did I do?" he asked.
"What did you do? What did you DO?" she screeched.
Andover cringed as she stepped on the pouch containing the gem. "I'll tell you
what you DID!" she yelled, only to stop and start screaming in pain from the
heat coming from her foot. Andover tried not to smirk as he snatched the pouch
away and tied it around his neck again. He grabbed the letter and stuffed that
in the pouch too.
The green Lupess, having regained her composure,
stomped her foot against the ground. "You shouldn't be here! Go back to where
you belong, you filthy plains Lupe," she said, disgusted. "My daughter and my
nephew have enough bad influences without the likes of you hanging around. Why
don't you just go back to where you came from and stay there, oh Electric One!"
she snarled, baring her teeth angrily. "I mean it. Get out of here!"
Andover, deeply offended by now, stood his ground,
baring his own teeth in anger. He knew better than to fight with his elders
- even if they didn't belong to his pack - but this one Lupess was really making
him mad now. "Look, lady," he growled. "I don't wanna fight you - especially
in front of your pups, but I will. I belong here, helping Simon fight off those
crazy Lupes on the other side of the forest and if you don't like that, then
you and your precious daughter and nephew can go back to your comfy neohome
and stay there, house pets," he snarled viciously. The Lupess backed off a bit,
not expecting him to fight back.
"Well I have never been so offended in my life!
A young Lupe like yourself mouthing off to your elder! Well…" the Lupess said
huffily, not seeming to be able to come up with words to express her feelings.
"Then don't insult me or my pack. Especially
not my pack! House pets don't belong in battle - especially if they have kids.
You're the one who should leave lady. Go back to your neohome with your precious
pups and stay away from here. They could get hurt. And again never insult my
pack, you understand?" he snarled, shoving his face right into hers. She glared
"Don't you be telling me what to do," she snapped,
baring her teeth again. "No kid is going to mouth off to me!"
"Who do you think you are - Fyora?" Andover
snapped back. He growled deep in his throat to show he meant business and the
Lupess took another step back.
"I am going home, but not because you told me
to! I'm going so my children aren't exposed to the likes of filthy plains Lupes
like you and so they can't learn the vile talk you speak. You dirty, filthy
creature. I can't believe you even call yourself a Lupe!" And without ado, she
turned and herded her pups out of the tent. But Andover wasn't about to let
that one slide. He lunged at the Lupess, knowing perfectly well he shouldn't,
but the anger that overtook him just made him. He was about a foot away from
her - still in the air - when a huge shock ran through is body and knocked him
to the ground. He landed in a heap and groaned.
The Lupess looked back and stopped. "Oh you
poor thing!" she exclaimed, her mothering instinct canceling out her vicious
attitude. "Oh, what happened to you?" she cooed comfortingly.
"I'm … fine…" Andover insisted heavily, trying
to stand. He collapsed again onto the ground. That gem sure had a lot of power
to make a Lupe weak…
"You are not fine! I'm going to go fetch someone.
Marie, James, stay here," the Lupess said. The two pups came over and sat beside
Andover tried to sit. His front legs were wobbly
and he could just barely lift himself back onto his haunches. His head was pounding
and he knew his legs would collapse under him any minute now - which they did.
His legs gave out again and he slid right back into lying down on the cold ground.
"Andover what happened?" Kit asked, hurrying
over with the green Lupess. "Mandy said you were hurt!" The striped Lupess looked
down in concern at her friend.
"I'm fine," Andover insisted, his electric fur
crackling. He pushed himself painfully into a sitting position again. "See?"
He smiled at her, but it came out like a grimace, and she could see how hard
it was for him to sit like that.
"I'll help you back into your tent," Kit offered.
"Thanks, Mandy. You can go now." Mandy nodded and took her pups back toward
the other side of camp where her own tent was.
Kit helped Andover back into his tent and made
a bed out of his blankets for him. "Lay down, Andover. You don't have to act
like you aren't about ready to collapse from pain."
Andover sighed and plopped down into his nest
of blankets. He curled into a slightly comfortably position and looked up at
her. "Thanks," he said. She laid down and brought her face to his eye-level.
"That's what friends are for," she said. She
smiled at him.
"You're a good friend," he yawned, feeling his
eyelids start to close. Kit smiled and scooted closer so she was lying next
"You are too," she murmured in his ear as he
fell asleep. "You are too." Kit watched as he fell asleep. She wondered what
secrets he was hiding from her - from everybody it seemed. He still hadn't told
her what had hurt him. He didn't have any scratches or anything. It seemed as
though suddenly all the energy had gone out of him and he couldn't stand anymore.
"I wish you'd tell me what was wrong," she whispered.
She noticed the pouch around his neck. He had his paw protectively covering
it. She wondered what was in it. She reached toward him and gently moved his
paw away from his pouch. He fidgeted in his sleep, but Kit slowly took a hold
on the strings around his neck and lifted them over his head. He sighed in his
sleep and turned his head toward her, making her freeze, paw still in midair.
Andover continued sleeping however, so she took the pouch and looked inside.
She gasped softly in surprise. It couldn't be!
It was. It was the Knowledge Gem! The same gem that… No! Andover wouldn't do
something like that! He wouldn't! Would he? Kit knew she had to take the gem
to Simon right away. After all, he would know what to do with it. But I have
to trust my friend too, don't? After all, the gem belongs to him now - that
was probably why he'd been knocked down in the first place. This gem contains
power - power even Andover shouldn't have. But - Kit's thoughts were cut
off by a growl from Andover.
"Give … that … back," he snarled angrily, struggling
to rise. "Give it back now!" The gem in Kit's paws gave off a flash of angry
heat, causing her to drop it.
"Andover! I wasn't trying to steal it, honest!
I just never thought I'd actually -" Kit started to apologize but he cut her
"Save it. I don't care," he growled. He picked
up the gem and snatched the pouch out of her paws. "Just don't do it again."
Andover lay down again, exhausted just by moving that little bit. This gem certainly
did have power. Whoever had written that letter sure knew what they were talking
Andover went back to sleep, but not before lying
down on top of the pouch and making sure no one could take it. It wasn't so
much that he liked the thought of having such power, but more the fact that
it had belonged to his father. The father he knew was dead now. He'd left one
day on a quest for Gammot - and never returned. The fact that Gammot had even
had the gem to give him in the first place was a miracle because it had been
lost with his father. Some Lupe had shown up when Andover was still young -
a little younger than Lex was now - and given it to him and then just disappeared.
* * *
Kit sighed. Why was Andover so overprotective
of that gem? It's not like it actually belonged to him. No, it only had one
true owner. But he was long gone. Not dead for sure. No, he just disappeared
one night. Kit knew a little water couldn't kill off Moran any more than a blizzard
could kill the Snowager. But she still wondered how that gem had come into Andover's
"Simon? Can I come in?" she called softly into
the Kougra's tent.
"Sure, come on." Kit went into the tent which
was lit only by a small gas lamp. "What's wrong?" he asked, seeing the look
on the striped Lupess's face.
"It's about Andover. You know that pouch he
wears around his neck? Inside it is the Knowledge Gem that Moran used to carry."
The green Kougra snorted. "Yeah, right, and
"Simon, I'm serious! Those strange white flashes?
Those were probably from the gem! And he was hurt - knocked down or something
and he doesn't even have the energy to stand. I don't know what's going on,
but Simon, how could he have gotten a hold of that gem? What if he plans to
sell it?" Kit asked anxiously.
Simon looked at her hard. The anxious look that
had come across her face made him wonder if she was serious. After all, no one
had heard about the gem for years - not since Gammot had received it anyway.
And it would explain that Lupe's strange behavior. But if it was the Knowledge
Gem, then where had Andover gotten it? Gammot had promised not to give it away
until just the right Lupe came along. But as far as Simon had heard, everything
in the plains was going fine at the moment. So that only left the possibilities
that either Gammot had died and Andover had just found it by chance after Gammot's
pack had left, or that Andover had stolen it… Simon highly doubted the former
of the two, but he had thought Andover was a pretty okay Lupe. Why would he
steal a gem that he had no idea how to work or use?
"Okay, I'll talk to him. But I want you to keep
clear of that kid until then, you understand me?" Simon said to Kit. The Lupess's
"You can't tell me what to do. You aren't my
father." She bared her teeth slightly, angry that he was trying once again to
control her every move.
"I can tell you what to do because your mother
left me in charge of you. And whether you like it or not, I care about you.
Until I'm sure about Andover, I don't want you around him. He could be dangerous."
"Dangerous!" Kit scoffed. "He's anything but!
Andover's sweet and kind and decent and…" she trailed off, seeing Simon's expression.
"My thoughts are your heart is speaking out
more than your brain, there, Kit. Stay away from Andover until I'm sure about
him. Don't make me remind you that this has happened before," he said, eyeing
"You just did," she muttered. "I'm going to
bed. Good-night, Simon," she growled, stalking angrily out of the tent. She
walked back to her own tent and went inside. How dare he tell me what to
do? He's not my father and he never will be no matter how much he cared for
me or my mother. She snarled angrily and collapsed on her make-shift bed
of blankets and towels. How would he know if Andover was safe or not? He
doesn't know anything about Andover! And where did Andover find that gem? Who
gave it to him? If someone gave it to him that is… No. Andover wouldn't steal.
Andover was not the type to steal! Kit shook her head as though by shaking
it she would empty her head of her thoughts. After a while she finally laid
down and drifted off into a dreamless sleep.
To be continued...