The Legend Of The Ultranova
“Look, Dad, there’s another one!” a young, yellow Lupe by the name of Cody cried out, pointing up at the star strewn sky as another brightly colored twinkle of light fell toward them, only to disappear back into nothingness.
The boy had always been fascinated with the bright and beautiful lights of the sky, and his eyes absolutely beamed whenever he watched one fall.
“There sure are a lot of them out tonight. Brings back memories, it does,” Cody’s father replied, chuckling.
The large Lupe, with the same golden fur as his son, wrapped an arm around the shoulder of his tyke as he stared up at the sky. He caught himself quickly after reciting that word, a veritable trigger button in his young son; memories.
Cody’s ears perked as he heard his father and then looked up at him. It wasn’t too difficult; the father and son pair were sprawled over a patched blanket out in the backyard, spending some rare bonding time that families were too devoid of lately. Both the Lupes were on their backs, the vast black sea above them alight with the beauty of a million stars. Cody was always an inquisitive little guy, and he knew when his father had a story to tell. This was one of those times.
Turning over onto his belly to face up to the larger Lupe, he tilted his head inquisitively. “What memories, Dad?”
Noticeably wincing at his son's curious nature, Mason simply chuckled and then brought a paw down to ruffle over the boy's hair, earning a yelp from Cody.
“Heeeey, don’t do that!” he shouted as he smoothed his tousled hair back into place.
“What ya get, Cody!” The father grinned in that evil way that fathers tend to grin when they mess around with their kids.
But just as he did every other time his boy asked, he laid his head back on to the soft blanket and closed his eyes, preparing for his story.
“You see, Cody, back in the day when your old man used to be quite the explorer, he-”
“You? An explorer?” The pup immediately started to laugh as he heard this; however, he was silenced as soon as he got a glare from his old man.
“Don’t interrupt, Cody! As I was saying, back in the day when your old man used to explore the land, we relied on the stars to find our way around the vast valleys, oceans, and lands of Neopia. Plain as the ones you see above us right now. Do you see that big star, almost directly above us, Cody?”
As he said this, the Lupe pointed a paw upward and looked directly above the pair to a shining star, seeming to glow brighter and brighter than all the stars in the galaxy, even more mesmerizing due to the pinkish hue it seemed to emanate. The boy nodded while looking up toward it; he had always been fascinated with it, too.
“That star is called the Ultranova. It shines brighter than any star in the universe, and not only that, but it holds a special purpose. If ever Neopians find themselves lost on this vast planet, if you head towards that star, it will lead you right back to Neopia Central.” Mason paused, ensuring he had his son’s full attention. Realizing his son was enthralled in the story now, he continued on.
“You see how it’s right above us? That’s because that’s where we are right now, but I’m sure that you knew that, son.” Mason grinned a devilish grin at this and the resulting glare that ensued from his offspring.
“But there came a day, when I was visiting the far reaches of Neopia, when I stumbled upon a land called the Mystery Island. It was a fascinating land, full of foliage and greenery as far as the eye could see. The local natives were a bit strange, but they were some of the friendliest Neopians I’ve ever had the pleasure to encounter. And yes, I will take you there someday.” Mason smirked, watching Cody’s fidgeting stop, the question he had been dying to ask answered.
“Your father, however, neglected to tell you that he had to take a boat in order to reach Mystery Island. Well, you know how your father handles the sea, son.” The Lupe looked from side to side with a grin on his face; he had always had a fear of the sea, harbored from an unfortunate accident when he was a pup. Cody, however, was madly giggling as he heard this.
“You mean like that time you screamed when we went to Kiko Lake and went canoeing? That was hilarious!” Cody giggled still, but immediately yelped when his dad pinched his shoulder, silenced.
“I said not to bring that up,” the fatherly Lupe said to his son, though a smile still present on his face. “The boat trip to the island was fine, and I only got seasick twice, and stop that giggling before I ground you for a week. On the way home, however, there was a terrible, terrible storm. It rocked the boat, it lost myself and the crew most of our possessions, it even left your old man with a sprained paw. Worst of all, we could no longer see the Ultranova in the sky. We were lost.”
Cody had a pure look of worry on his face now as he heard this. Despite the fact his father was lying here on the blanket in the grass right now reciting the story to him, he felt compelled to ask, “But what happened? Were you okay, did you make it out alive?”
Mason smiled to this and ruffled his son's hair once more. “I said to not interrupt, Cody. You see, there was a myth. A myth of an ancient artifact called the Staff of Ultranova. It’s said that this mighty artifact will come to the aid of whoever needs it, in all of Neopia. Well, you could imagine my surprise when a great, shining light, pink as that star above us right now, floated down from the sky and landed right into my paws. I looked down at the beautiful staff, and somehow, I knew what to do.” Pausing for effect, Mason stopped for a moment. He could tell he had his son’s total attention now.
“I held the staff up to the sky, and immediately a bright, shining star rose up into the sky, brighter than any you see in the sky right now, even the Ultranova. And through those awful, terrible storm clouds, I could see it. I could see the light, shining over Neopia. And through that awful storm, I sailed, and I made it back to Neopia; back home.”
Cody was staring up at his dad in wondered amazement, his eyes almost bulging as he looked up at him. “But... But what happened to the Staff? Do you still have it? Where is it, Dad?!” The Lupe was frantic with questions, tugging on his father's arm all the while.
“I don’t have it anymore, son. The staff rose back up into the starlit sky, and I’ve never seen it since. I’m sure it would never be restricted to just one person. Its purpose is to help people, to guide Neopians when they need it most. Do you understand?” Mason looked down to his son, smiling at the amazement reflected in his eyes.
“Yeah, Dad, I understand. But I just have one more question.” Cody tilted his head. “Are you making this all up?”
Mason howled in laughter at this and pinched Cody’s shoulder once more. “Get to bed, you little scamp. It’s already a half hour past your bedtime.”
“You made it up!” Cody giggled and then raised himself back up on to his paws, beginning to bound toward their den, ready to head for bed as per his dads orders, despite his new found excitement. “Wait’ll I tell everyone the story; they’ll never believe it either!”
Mason just smiled, staring up at the sky for some time, his gaze focused upon that one pink light gleaming above him. The Lupe reached in to the front of his tunic and gently tugged out a tiny pink crystal that was dangling on the end of a leather cord around his neck. Looking down to it for a moment or two, he silently thanked the tiny stone that had been left behind from the powerful staff. Some day, his son would wear the star around his neck, and it would guide him whenever he was lost. But staring down at it, he immediately dismissed the crazy thoughts running through his mind every time he stared at the tiny eyes carved into the Ultranova replica.
He could have sworn it winked.