City Lupe on the Plains: Part Two
"What's your story?" Josephine asked when finished.
Before Nero had a chance to reply, Daenel had
walked right up to Josephine. "Who is he? I saw his paws and tail. You said
there's only you and Jane left."
"He was just about to tell me. But I know he
ran away from his owner or the Pound in Neopia Central, got attacked by Jane's
group, and is named Nero."
"Don't worry," Natalie whispered to Nero. "If
you've had the rare opportunity to hear him talk to himself, you'll know he's
just convinced no one in this world looks out for anyone but themselves, and
he wishes that didn't mean he should do the same. He's been trying to convince
himself he's only leading because he wants to prove he can, all though everyone
who knows this, even him, knows at least deep down it's because he wants to
look out for us."
"I was taken by humans to the Pound when I was
a pup," Nero answered. "The human who adopted me treated me cruelly after learning
I was a Plains Lupe. I ran away yesterday or today, I believe." Nero summarized
Amanda's treatment towards him.
"No wonder you ran away," Scout commented.
"I just have one question." Nero turned to face
Josephine. "Why did you leave the pack?" He couldn't help but notice that Zyx
was looking sorrowfully at him.
A few tears began to form in Josephine's amber
eyes. She stifled a sob. "A decade ago, we had one of the rare biggest storms
on the Endless Plains ever," she began. "The lake flooded. Jane and I only got
away because of our wings. No one else could swim fast enough. Nero... they're
Nero tried to hold back his sadness as well.
He now knew he couldn't return to his pack. Only Jane and Josephine were left.
Nero would stay there, with Josephine.
From that time on, Nero was also a part of the
Nero had been living with the outcasts for almost
six months. Over that time, Josephine had taught Nero how to use the little
magic they had. One sunrise, the time came for the pack to go on another hunt.
As usual, Natalie did the begging that had become a routine.
"Can I come this time?"
"No," Nero replied.
"Please? Pretty please? I won't get in the way
or into trouble, I promise!" she pleaded.
"Aw... " she finished, pouting.
Nero turned away and went towards everyone else,
and the five Lupes ran off, Xyo easily ahead of the others, while his brother
As they neared the edge of the forest, a net
fell over Xyo. Daenel, Josephine, and Nero prepared to face their foe while
Zyx worked on finding the fastest and most efficient way to free Xyo.
A group of humans along with some Aishas sprang
out of hiding, and the fight began, between the Lupes and the humans and Aishas.
The humans managed to get ropes around all of Zyx's paws and his neck and were
trying to drag both Red Lupes away. The Aishas went for Daenel, Nero, and Josephine.
Josephine and Nero managed to take care of the Aishas going for them with their
magic. Josephine went after Xyo and Zyx; Daenel was still in trouble. He had
managed to evade most of the blows, but the few he missed were from strong,
fast Aishas. The Mutant Lupe had a deep scratch across his chest, intersecting
with the purple stripe. He had shallower scratches everywhere else. Nero felt
rage literally burning inside him, and paws outspread towards the Aishas, he
sent a powerful blast of magic towards, them careful to steer it away from the
grass. The Aishas quickly extinguished each other's burning fur, and ran away
in different directions, whimpering.
Daenel smiled weakly at Nero before collapsing.
"You... saved me," he managed to say, breathing heavily from exhaustion. It had
taken most of his energy to fight the Aishas, and his strength had been diminished
due to his wounds.
A pup-like squeal entered Nero's ears, but he
decided it was unimportant as Josephine returned with Zyx and Xyo. Probably
Xyo, he thought.
"Let's go back home," Zyx said. "They might
"Withreinforcementsandwe'llbeweaker," Xyo said,
as energetic as ever.
Nero helped Daenel onto his back, and the five
Lupes walked back.
Once they had gotten back to the rock, they
noticed something: Natalie and Scout weren't there.
"Where's Scout and Natalie?" Zyx asked.
"You mean... they didn't come back with you?"
Marco turned away from the remaining food they
had and looked at the Baby Lupe. "You knew they left? Why didn't you tell me?"
"Well... Natalie decided she would follow you,
and Scout tried to stop her, and she ended up dragging him along. She said I
couldn't tell anyone at all," Benny said. "She said she'd be fine, and so I
guessed she would come back with or before you. Where's the food?"
Xyo launched into a summary of why they had
ended their hunt in one breath.
"I heard a squeal, but I thought it wasn't important,"
"I heard it too," Daenel said, climbing off
Nero and resting on the ground.
"Maybe the humans took them," Marco suggested.
"I'm going off to find them," Nero announced.
He walked back to the cave entrance.
Nero had been following Natalie's scent when
he picked up another, stronger one. Someone was nearby. Was it a human, or one
of the Aishas? Was it a friend or a foe? Nero looked up, to see a familiar brown-eyed
Baby Lupe standing in front of him. "Benny, what are you doing here? And... why?
You'd never do this, as far as I know."
Benny stood tall and sturdily... well, as tall
as a Baby Lupe can get on four paws. "I want to help Natalie and Scout. It's
kind of my fault they're in this mess, and I want to help them get out of it.
I want to fix this."
"It's too dangerous," Nero replied.
"Please?" Benny asked, using the cute-little-puppy-eyes
Nero sighed. "Fine. But only because no one
can resist that trick."
They had walked until the sun was high in the
sky, and soon, they came upon a dimly lit cave. Standing outside were a duo
of Darigan Aishas, and one human. The two Aishas were armed with QX-92 Neutrino
"What are those?" Benny whispered once they
were safely hidden behind thick brush.
"They're QX-92 Neutrino Blasters. They are weapons
from the VirtuPets Space Station," Nero whispered. "And I'm sure they're dangerous.
I think they're set to stun, so they can capture us Plains Lupes and bring us
to the city." Nero remembered sadly that these humans did not realize how some
humans felt towards Plains Lupes.
"Oh," Benny whimpered. It was clear he regretted
his decision to come along.
"There's nothing we can do about that," Nero
said, answering the pup's thoughts. "We'll just have to take them out before
they can stun us." He quickly thought of a plan. "Okay. I have a plan. First,
we get in front of the human and grab the Aishas' attention. We dodge their
attack, in such a way that they stun the human. Then, we do the same for one
of the Aishas."
"And then what?" Benny squeaked.
"And then... we'll wing it," Nero said. "But at
least it'll be easier with just one Aisha."
Benny nodded, and then leaped in front of the
human, turned to face the Aishas, and barked loudly.
Nero stayed hidden behind the brush, watching
as Benny managed to get one of the Aishas to stun the human. Nero leaped out
and leaped out of the way just before the ray hit him, and it hit the other
Darigan Aisha square in the chest.
The remaining Aisha blocked the entrance to
the cave, more than aware of what Nero and Benny wanted. But Nero glimpsed several
times Natalie's golden eyes, and just barely, Scout's brown. "Come with me,"
the Aisha beckoned. "You'll be able to see your friends, and you'll have a home,
and an owner, and you won't have to live off of survival of the fittest -the
city life is good, you'll learn."
An instant later, Benny shouted out a long protest,
"We're happy where we are! If we want to go into the city life, we can! But
we like it here! Besides, some humans are cruel, in some cases specifically
to Plains Lupes! They think of them as uncivilized, cruel and dishonest, unjust
savages who deserve to be starved and banned from getting fresh air and good
food!" Nero grimaced at the remembrance of his own past, the example Benny was
using. "... So, please, let us be and make our own choices! Please?" Once again,
the pup pulled off the trick that had allowed him to come along. "And if you
won't this, at least don't tell us caging up little pups in dark places is okay,
'cause it's not!"
Nero looked down, in his thoughts. It was good
Benny had come along. He had a good memory, and sometimes, pups were smart.
When Nero returned to reality, the Aisha was a small disappearing purple speck
on the horizon. Where he had stood, only a bronze key remained.
"He said that it's the key to the cage, and
he warned us that the humans and other Aishas know where we live, so we have
to get away from the hollow rock."
Nero entered and freed the two pups with the
key, and the four walked back home. When they returned, Benny quickly told of
their adventure and the Aisha's warning. "We have to leave, and find another
home," the Baby Lupe concluded.
"But where?" Daenel asked. The scar on his chest
had stopped bleeding, and seemed to be healing already.
Nero pondered. Daenel was right. Where? He tried
to think of a safe place. Suddenly, in his mind, an image of a familiar lake
with wide shores walled in by forest. His old home. "I know," he said. "My old
home. I think I remember the way."
"I do," Josephine added. "We'll take you there."
Due to the fact they didn't have many possessions,
preparing to leave took little time. They all set off quite quickly, with as
much food as they could carry while walking a distance.
Between Nero's memories and Josephine's clearer
memories, it took a day to get there; the forest that walled in the lake was
the same as the forest Nero had been living near.
A week later, Josephine confessed a secret to
"I'm going to the city to find an owner," she
confided to him.
"Why?" the bewildered Green Lupe asked. "You
know what happened to me! And besides, what will everyone else think?"
"I'll be fine. You know how some pack leaders
are. That's how we all got here. And I've spoken to city Neopets gone astray
every now and then; from what they've told me, most - or at least some owners
are kind and accept their pets for whom they are. And it's safer there, when
you have the right owner. And survival of the fittest is nothing in a warm cozy
house, and we won't have to worry about the dangers on the plains! Nero... you've
been a great friend to me. And I hope you'll accept my decision."
Nero pondered on Josephine's words. "I'll come
with you. You've convinced me to. Let's go." While Josephine took a couple days'
worth of food for her and Nero, Nero went to Scout. "Scout, I want to tell you
something. Josephine and I are going to the city. I don't know about Josephine,
but I'll try and visit every now and then. Okay?"
Scout nodded silently. "I know Benny will be
able to persuade whoever doesn't think this lets you still be acceptable when
you come into thinking differently," he reassured him.
In about a week, Josephine and Nero reached
the fence that separated them from Neopia Central. Climbing over it, the two
began to wander, careful to keep the other in sight (or scent).
Nero was just about to go back to Josephine
when a young human boy reading a map walked right into him.
"Ow!" the boy cried, rubbing his shin. He had
black hair and green eyes, and he was wearing a plain white T-shirt with blue
jeans. "Watch where you're- hey, where's your owner?"
Nero hesitated to answer. Should he tell the
human? Could he be trusted? Nero decided to tell him the truth. "I... don't have
an owner. My friend and I left the Endless Plains."
The boy hesitated to reply. Nero guessed he
was also thinking. The Lupe quickly motioned for Josephine to come over. "Well,
you could come with me, and live in my Neohome. I just moved here, and I don't
have any pets. We could be a great friends and family." He noticed the approaching
White Lupe. "All three of us," he said knowingly.
As the two now domestic Lupes and now owning
human, Nero and Josephine took turns sharing their story. Nero felt this was
a start of the better life he had run away for.