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Eleonorea Versus the Scarab Mother


by misscookiecrumbs

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Eleonorea squinted her eyes against the desert sand billowing up in the wind. In a remote, sun-scorched corner of the desert behind Sakhmet Palace, far from the soothing breezes lifting off the sea, she crouched. Her proud red fur was matted with dust and sand, effective camouflaging in this barren place. Eleonorea's throat was parched with thirst and her Ixi tail wiggled slightly with anticipation, but she calmed herself, waiting patiently.

      She was aware that she needed the greatest of discipline and patience to hunt the elusive Scarab Mother. Now was the time of the greatest peril the Scarab Mother posed to Neopia, ready to lay hundreds or even thousands of eggs somewhere in the vast, shifting desert sands. Now was also the time it was most vulnerable as well, heavy and slowed with the weight of the eggs. If Eleonorea was going to find the awful, huge beetle, she needed to find it before it laid its eggs. Eleonorea would never find the eggs, buried in the miles of arid sand, in time to stop them from hatching into a ravenous scarab horde. The brave Ixi knew she had to find the Scarab Mother first.

      She thought of the moment that she had first realized the peril the Scarab Mother posed to the land. Her mother was always collecting more books and telling her how important it was to increase her intelligence. From Sakhmet Tales to the Tome of Selket, Eleonorea had read them all, excited to be learning as much as she could. Lost Desert books had always been her favorite. Then she read a small paragraph in Nune about the terrible Scarab Mother menace that had haunted the sand dunes for centuries. Coltzan had battled her last, but she would return again... and soon! Eleonorea glanced at her calendar. Not just soon! The Scarab Mother was due to emerge on this very day!

      How had everyone forgotten? Nobody even knew about the Scarab Mother anymore. Clearly not enough Neopians had been reading books. Eleonorea had to do something about it. She set off for the desert, all her best Battledome items equipped. They used to belong to her mother, but now they were hers to play pretend-Battledome with. There were all sorts of wonderful battle items in her toy chest in their Neohome. She was lucky her mother had saved them.

      "Where are you going, sweetie," Eleonorea's mother had asked as the young Ixi swept out the door. Her mom glanced up and down at her equipment, a smile on her face. "Now, honey. I told you that if you're going to play pretend-Battledome, you have to let your brother come. He likes playing too."

      "Mooo-m. I'm not playing pretend-Battledome! I'm saving the world!"

      "Oh. Right. Well, be careful and be back before dark, okay?" Her mother gave her a kiss on the forehead right under her slightly dented helmet. Eleonorea scurried out, knowing that she had to hurry. She didn't have much time to stop the monster. Today was the day it would come out of long hibernation and she was going to stop it.

      The Scarab Mother was described as enormous, but she was quick and quiet, scuttling through with hardly a sound. Eleonorea would have to keep alert watch, not allowing the grainy sand in her eyes to bother her. The only way would be to spot the sleek, black body and hope that she wasn't spotted first. The Ixi slid deeper into the shadows cast by Sakhmet Palace, grateful to be out of the flaming sun. She scanned the empty, rarely traveled land which lay behind the castle, hoping to find a glint of sunlight off the black back of the huge beetle.

      Her eyes failed her. She didn't see the lumbering creature at all. It was the dry scratching of its movement that in the end, alerted her. Eleonorea scanned the horizon, but she didn't see anything at all.

      The Scarab Mother rose from the sand right as Eleonorea understood and saw the hillock of sand rising and sloughing off the creature. The dry skritch-scratch she had heard was the noise of the monster swimming through the sand, somehow. She stared into the horrible pincers of the Scarab Mother, all of her well-laid plans crumbling into uncertainty.

      "Sooooo... It looks as if I shall have some lunch before I lay my eggs," hissed the Scarab Mother. "A fresh Ixi is quite delicious, you know. I might even take you with me and keep you until my babies hatch. They can have you for supper before we take over Neopia!"

      "You'll never leave the Lost Desert," Eleonorea told the creature firmly.

      "Ah, I think you mean that YOU'LL never leave the Lost Desert. Your Cobrall Dagger cannot pierce my exoskeleton, silly Ixi. Your Studded Ixi Battle Boots cannot crush me," the Scarab Mother laughed mockingly. It was true - Eleonorea had relied mostly on the element of surprise in her attack, and that was lost. She had no real weapons against the monster.

      She was just a tiny Ixi, after all. The Scarab Mother loomed huge before her. What could she use to fight the awful bug? She had never even been to the Battledome before. She was too young. But Coltzan had fought the Scarab Mother when he was just her age, the book Nune had claimed. She visited Coltzan's Shrine every day. He had given her many things over time.

      It was then that she remembered Coltzan's gifts to her. She had a Serf Lens and Coltzan's Gem, and it would have to be enough. Coltzan had given her enough, she knew. A plan formulated quickly in her head. She didn't need to be the biggest or the strongest. She could just use the intelligence her mother had praised so much.

      "Not so fast, Scarab Mother," Eleonorea cried out as she lifted the Serf Lens, placing Coltzan's Gem in behind it. She raised them high, the desert sunlight piercing the gem, and the lens magnifying the ray. She had made her own powerful beam of light!

      The heat of the day was already searing, and the concentrated beam of sunlight was even more powerful. The Scarab Mother flinched as the beam blinded her and the direct heat became unbearable. Eleonorea seized the opportunity of weakness, falling upon the Scarab Mother with her Ixi Clout move that she was practicing to use someday in the Battledome. The Scarab Mother fell to the sand, groaning with defeat.

      There, in the empty desert land where no one saw, Eleonorea quietly saved Neopia. When others saw a dusty, tired Ixi with tangled, sandy fur lope up to Coltzan's Shrine, they thought little of it. Eleonorea didn't mind. She did it for Neopia, not recognition.

      She needed to hurry home. The sun was setting and her mother would certainly be worried. Not to mention the whole shelf of books that she had yet to finish reading. There was much more learning she had to do. What if there were other forgotten creatures that could hurt Neopia? What if the Gallery of Evil was not necessarily complete? She would read about it all and find out.

     Eleonorea then turned to Coltzan's shrine, remembering that he had bravely defeated the Scarab Mother before her, thanking him quietly. Then she gazed out at the setting sun, knowing she had much more traveling ahead of her, and much more left to do for her land.

The End

 
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