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Everyone Has a Name: Part Two


by dark_goddess_rising

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Demon followed the Lenny's directions. The path through the woods astounded her: it was perfectly kept.

     Some welcome, she mused. Someone must spend a lot of time working out here.

     The whole area was matted with perfectly cut grass and the path edged with varieties of plants she'd never seen before. Even the placing of the trees looked deliberate. Deep in the forest, Demon caught sight of strange shadows. Strange, moving shadows. She tried to watch them as she walked along, but they were elusive. The chase lasted until she ran headlong into a tree. Unexpected turns in paths work wonders.

     Around the next bend she came to, Demon ran headlong into something else. This time, however, it didn't hurt. It felt like softened rubber and she just bounced off.

     The creature resembled a green bouncy ball with an equally green tail. A long, green tail.

     "What are you?" she demanded.

     "I could ask you the same thing," the creature shot back.

     Demon was taken aback by the thing's response. She stood quietly, watching it.

     He sensed her surprise. "You must be a newbie."

     "A what? What's a n00b?"

     "Not a n00b, a newbie. You haven't been here long, have you? You're new. That's what 'newbie' means," he explained. "I am a Meerca. One of the dozens of species of Neopets in the world. A green one, in case you stunned yourself and couldn't tell."

      "Oh, I thought you looked a little reddish." Demon laughed.

      "You have an interesting sense of humor, human. What do they call you?"

      "Dark-underscore-goddess-underscore-rising, I think," She double checked the card. Oh, that's what an underscore is.

      "No, the other name. The 'real' name."

      "It's Demon. What's yours?"

      "I don't have a name yet," the Meerca confessed.

      "The Lemmy I talked to back there said everyone has a name. Sorry, Lenny. Lenny, not Lemmy." She repeated it over and over to herself.

      "I'll have a name someday. Hey, you could give me a name. Then we can go around exploring together."

      "But, I don't know where I'm going. I don't even know where I am."

      "Which is why we'll have to explore. I know the area around here, up to the edge of town. C'mon. It'll be fun. You can even name me whatever you want."

      "Will you be my muse? Give me things to write about and make fun of me when I mess up. That sort of thing," she explained.

      The Meerca liked the prospect of making fun of Demon when she messed up. He couldn't imagine the revenge she would take--all in fun--for it. "Sure."

      "Then I will name you Sruthair. What do you think of that?"

      "I am most impartial to names. But I like that. Sruthair." He tried out the name. It felt good on his tongue. Now even he had a name.

      "So that Lenny," yes, I got it right! "said to follow this path through the woods to the town and look for a building of some sort."

      "By any chance is the building you're looking for big, funny-shaped, and yellow?" Sruthair the green Meerca recalled the words exactly as he heard them in the mouths of others so many times in the past.

      "Yes, I think that's what he said. Something like that. Do you know where it is?"

      "Of course I do, silly. I hang out around there, sometimes," looking for an owner, he added silently. "I'll show you the way."

      Demon noticed immediately how lucky she was to have run into the Meerca. She was so busy running into trees and talking to strange creatures that she didn't see the fork in the road just ahead. Having no sense of direction, she would have gotten lost after a few meters.

      "I'm told that road," Sruthair pointed to the far right, "leads to Meridell. The travelers coming back say it's primitive there and counting potatoes is all the rage."

      "That sounds a bit boring." Demon looked at the other roads winding off into the distance. A chill, steady wind blew in from the left. "What's that way?"

      "Terror Mountain, supposedly. The most hostile place in Neopia, unless, of course, you believe the stories you hear about the Haunted Woods..." He paused for effect, watching her expression contort. "...which you shouldn't."

      Only the middle path remained. It undoubtedly led to Neopia Central, the destination the pet and his owner were seeking. They started off.

      As the path wound on, the trees' positions became more sporadic. They were more clustered. The grass was growing more wildly here. Far-off voices sounded louder with every step. As the trees huddled closer together, the path narrowed.

      Then, at last, the tree line broke and the architecture of Neopia Central sprawled before Demon and Sruthair.

      "Welcome to Neopia Central," the Meerca announced. "The world's center of commerce and art; home to millions."

      Demon looked around, awed by the busy streets and ringing bells. "Hey," she pointed out, "there's another Lenny-thing. But why is that one gold?" Sruthair let his eyes follow her pointing finger.

      "Oh, that's no Lenny. It's a Pteri. One of the other winged wonders of the world. And, that's no ordinary Pteri, either. It's the-"

      His words were cut off by the creature's screeching. It flew just over Demon's head and cast a scrutinizing eye on her Meerca companion. Satisfied that Sruthair wasn't a Pteri in disguise, he flew off across the tree tops.

      If only I were a Pteri, he thought, she'd probably have something wonderful right now.

      Demon interrupted his thoughts. "I didn't catch the last few words of that."

      "The Golden Pteri. If you have a Pteri, something--I'm not sure what--happens," he explained again.

      "What are you called again?"

      "Sruthair."

      "No, I know your name. Your, what do you call it, species?"

      "I'm a Meerca. If you look at that card, the one the immigration officer gave you, you can see all my stats. It's a bit of faerie magic and lets you see your page in the Directory at any time. It also lets you see my page in the Pet Directory."

      "Really? You have your own page too?"

      "Yep, I sure do. Check it out."

      Demon finished in her pocket for the card. Near the bottom Sruthair's picture had appeared. "Umm... it just has your picture."

      "Poke it."

      She poked it. Low and behold, the picture slid to the top of the card. Demon's information disappeared and her Meerca's appeared. "Oh. That's cool." She read down the page. "You're content, eh?"

      "I am. Wouldn't you be content if you just made a new friend?"

      "I would. Wait, this says I'm your owner. Look." She tried to show him the card.

      "I know. You officially adopted me back there in the woods, when you gave me a name." Please don't get mad.

      A playful glint shone in Demon's eyes before she tackled the Meerca. They both lost their footing on the hill. Demon burst out laughing halfway down the hill; her Meerca's laugh followed seconds later.

      A big funny-shaped yellow building stopped their descent.

      Demon mustered her best announcer voice: "It appears that we have arrived." It took all the self control she had to keep a straight face. She didn't have much self control. The straight face didn't last long.

      Using the building for balance and support, Demon struggled to her feet. Her green counterpart used his extra large tail to the same effect. The double glass doors beckoned.

      A few Neopets and humans were scurrying about. One of them extended a hand in welcome. This species of Neopet looked particularly obese and particularly yellow.

      "Are all of those kind-" Demon whispered.

      She didn't need to finish: Sruthair knew the question. "Yes. That's an Elephante. They like to brag about being the biggest pets in the world, but I don't believe them. There has to be something out there bigger than they are. It just hasn't been discovered yet." Demon could barely hear him; the Elephante was approaching.

      "Hello, miss. Welcome to the inventory building. Here you can manage all your items. You can send them to your Safety Deposit Box, shop, gallery, or anywhere else the particular item can go. Of course, you can carry up to fifty items with you to use in your travels."

      "Items? Like stuff? Food and toys and furniture?"

      "Yes ma'am. Do you have any you want to leave with us?"

      "No, I don't have any items at all."

      "Do you have your ID card on you? You should have gotten one when the Lenny added you to the Directory."

      Demon had become distracted by the business taking place around her. People were coming in, doing what they came to do, and leaving in seconds. They must do this a ton to know the ropes so well. The Elephante asked again.

      "Yeah. I mean, yes." The building was alive with pets and humans scurrying around. Items were appearing and disappearing and Demon was eager to see all that she could.

      "May I see it?" the Elephante prompted.

      Sruthair had to prompt his owner with a prod from his tail to get her to pay attention. "Card," he hissed.

      "Right." Once again, Demon dug the card out of her pocket.

      "The seventeenth of Swimming, eh? You are new. You know what that means?"

      "Umm... no. Not at all."

      "You qualify for a newbie pack. Some food and toys to get you started around here. It's the least we can do, considering you didn't have much of a choice about being here. Our way of saying, 'Welcome to Neopia,' if you want to think of it that way." The Elephante turned away from Demon and Sruthair to pick something up off the floor.

      It was a backpack of sorts, made of the same material--blue velvet--as the Neopoint bag the Lenny had given her.

      "Here." The Elephante took the Neopoint pouch from Demon. She was about to protest until she saw what the big creature was doing: unzipping a secret compartment in the backpack to stow away the Neopoints.

      "They'll be safer in there, dear. And, you should never let anyone grab that bag the way you let me grab it. There are some greedy characters out there that won't give it back." She gave Demon a kind look.

      "And I see you already have your first pet. Meercas are an excellent choice. Just make sure you keep him out of trouble." The last bit earned the Elephante a harsh look from Sruthair.

      "Oh," the Meerca suddenly remembered. "She hasn't gotten her fifty Neopoints for adopting me yet."

      "Well, we'll have to take care of that, won't we." The Elephante turned away again and produced fifty shiny gold coins from somewhere. "Here you are, with my personal thanks for taking care of this pet."

      "You're a pet too," Demon pointed out. "Why are you working here?"

      "My owner got me a job through the Faerieland Employment Agency so I can earn my room and board. By the way, my name's Loreli. It's nice to meet you, Demon. And you, little Meerca."

      "How do you know my name?"

      "It's on your ID, silly. Speaking of which, I'm sure you'll want this back. It's another thing you want to keep a close eye on." Loreli handed back the card and waved good bye.

      Demon and Sruthair departed the hustle and bustle of the Inventory building to find themselves in the hustle and bustle of Main Street as the shops restocked.

      "What do we do now?" Demon asked her Meerca.

To be continued...

 
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Other Episodes


» Everyone Has a Name: Part One
» Everyone Has a Name: Part Three
» Everyone Has a Name: Part Four



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