Out of Place
His smile was wicked, more wicked than anything I had ever seen. His eyes had no shape, simply red spirals of lunacy. His hair frizzed as though he was a bolt of electricity. For all I knew, he was just that. His wicked smile flashed my way again, before taking one of my fragile paws in his hand, examining it, and strapping me into a large metal plate. The leather dug into my fur, and I howled in pain. The Scorchio turned in anger, and shoved his hand over my mouth. “This won’t hurt a bit, little Lupe,” he whispered, “as long as you stay still. Let me run this experiment once, and you’re free to go. It’s the penalty for trespassing.” When he removed his hand, I couldn’t move my mouth, or make a sound. My eyes widened in fright as the ray faced toward me, it’s towering cannon turning until it was no more than a foot from my wet nose.
“FIRE!” he cried, and I flicked my head to the side.
Oh no, I thought. Oh no, oh no, oh no... My thoughts melded into the darkness that sent me flying into another world, away from everything I cared for, cherished, falling away in one single zap.
“Oops,” I heard from behind me. “I told you not to move.”
My eyes opened as I pawed the ground beneath my feet. Pushing myself upward, a cloud of sweet smelling earthy dust filled my nose. I sneezed silently before moving to wipe it off, finding my once luminous starry coat a dazzling white. Mouth agape, my head turned on its own will to see how the rest of my coat had transformed as I had fallen into this world.
A vague memory filled my mind, and reminded me of what had taken place a few minutes ago. I left the world I had come to know behind. This is not my home. I flipped my tail upwards and shook dirt off my white coat – if this was the new me, I’d like to look as great as possible. Still, I felt a heavy weight fall in on me. How was I ever going to escape this? A single tear turned the coat below my eye to a grey color, before I trudged onward toward a city in the distance.
Beforehand, I thought the grasslands had been an uninhabited area of mystery. But when I heard a growl behind me, I knew I was not alone, and it was not a good thing. The poorly groomed Lupe behind me must have been startled, for it launched itself at me. Crying out, I ran as fast as my legs would carry me on the land I was not accustomed to. I rushed into the city walls ahead of me. The Lupe behind me gave out a look of disappointment. With a sigh, I headed inside the city walls to find out where I was to begin with.
Hustle and bustle engulfed me in an instant. Many were lining up at small stalls to buy food and water, small pieces of paper that were books, clothing, and everything in between. I managed to make my way to the stall, and although the owner gave me an odd look, he listened to me as I asked him, “Where am I?”
One of the owner’s eyes bugled from his huge Skeith body, dyed a nasty greenish color. “’Ow do you not know, me friend? Dis is Neopia Centra’. We one of tha few cities left ‘ere, in this stretch o’ land.Only others are Swamp Edge and Sunny City, ya know? Don’ ever leave this town, ‘cause it’s yer safe place.”
I blinked and attempted to translate whatever the owner said. “Well... I arrived here by accident, you see? And this isn’t Neopia Central – Neopia Central has books and clothes and food and medicine much farther advanced than yours.”
“Well th’n, I think you got the wrong Centra’. Dis place ‘ere is the only Centra’ in all o’ Neopia. Best o’ luck to findin’ your centra’, though.”
I turned away, more confused than I had been before. How could this be? Where was I? I looked around the city, before noticing five tall buildings around the city. The largest was in the center, made of stone, and the four smaller buildings were made of lesser stone, one on each of the cities corners. Still confused, I walked slowly towards the center building.
A guard stood by the double wood doors to this towering building, and his blue, scaley face had a look of concern on it. “Who are you?” His monotonous voice, deep and penetrating, made me fear what was inside.
“Kadjin. Please excuse me, sir, I don’t know where I am and I was wondering if I could speak with whoever is in this building.”
The guard had an annoyed expression on his face, but he pulled one of the double doors opened. “Touch nothing,” he spoke warningly.
I stepped into the building, keeping my head and tail low so I wouldn’t hit a thing. A tall creature with brown, wrinkled skin at the back of the room turned its head to me, and I could see that, despite his age, it knew quite a bit.
He smiled and spoke. “Hello. How do you do?”
“Fine, thank you, sir.”
“Please, call me Eleus. Where are you from, Kadjin?”
Startled that he knew my name, I took a moment to reply. “I’m... from Neopia. Not here, though. I don’t know where this place is, but it seems older. Is this the past?”
Eleus nodded his head slowly. “In your eyes, it probably is. How you got sent here, I do not know. But perhaps... you were sent here for a purpose.”
I lifted one eyebrow at this remark. “Purpose? What kind of purpose would I serve?” This made me even more confused. I began to wonder what kind of place this was I had landed in in the past.
With a sigh, Eleus began to pace. “Simply enough, for many years, this land that was once the most visited place in all of the land has been plagued by monsters of all sorts. Not many are powerful or even brave enough to leave here. But perhaps... perhaps you could help us.” With a flick of his wrist, he reached around and pulled out a brilliant white staff with a white stone centerpiece perched on top. “It’s my old training wand... not very powerful, but useful. Please, take it. You must venture into parts unknown and fight for your life. If you can save us, then maybe you will be taken home.”
That sparked my interest. “Yes!” I said eagerly, not knowing what I would get in to. “I will help you!”
Eleus smiled warmly. “Be brave, Kadjin, and be careful as well. I wish you the best of luck.”
With that, I strode out the door, my white coat shining in the sunlight, and stepped outside of the city walls. Waiting there for me was the Lupe that had pushed me into this.
“I’m ready for you now!” I said, smiling. Perhaps things wouldn’t be so bad after all.
This is based on part of the game Neoquest. I hoped you enjoyed it! Neomail me any comments!