Secret of Fire
Once upon a time there wasn’t time. Or rather, there was time, but it was blurry and immeasurable, so no one knew what time it was, and didn’t know if much time had passed at all, or if there was time there, or time here, or time anywhere and everywhere. It was not comparable to the time we have now; it was only a feeble rippling rather than wave-guiding waters.
In short, there was not really much time to speak of.
The first of them were the powerful Masters, or the Draiks, and in the respectable company of them were the JubJubs, the Koi, and the Jetsam. The JubJubs were not quite the same as the JubJubs we know today, for they were bigger, more durable, stronger, and had fur along their backs in a position much like small spikes.
Their dwellings were small and of stone, hard and gray, hollows and nooks and maybe a spacious cranny, and all around them there was a barren dusty wasteland, and the little trees there happened to be so few and of charred bark, and held only dry fruit, more like the ashy ground in a shell than a fruit.
No verdant grass was there to cushion, and weeds were close to the ground and always covered in the dust. Their roots were small and also like the ground, but left a bitter and slightly numbing tang in one’s mouth long after it was eaten.
There was a neutral amount of light, not of that of the afternoon, but not quite evening, which only increased how little knowledge there was of the blurry time.
Additionally, there were not even green Neopets. The color green had not yet been introduced for the Neopets to be colored with it.
There were not many Petpets then, and they were cowardly and unintelligent----with the exception of the Crokabek. Back then, Crokabeks were not a clumsy, dark-feathered bad omen.
For one thing, their feathers were colored as of snow. No, not painted---in fact, they looked snowier still than the Crokabeks at the Puddle, and their eyes were not sinister, more like that of dragonish protectors.
They did not hoarsely croak and caw. They chirped, whistled, hummed, trilled, and even laughed in their own avian way. They were a melody in the wasteland.
They were beings of thought, that eventually appeared into existence due to the primal thoughts, however few, of that time before time.
At equinoxes, mid-summer and other special times of Neopia, they went to the glow-sphere (of which only mythologists know much about, due to its legendary inaccessibility) in the skies, beyond the dark plains of air, beyond the misted cloudy ocean, to it, and glided till they had caught their breath, diving down and picking a single reddish-gold branch, a branch that may be compared to the uppermost branches of tall trees in country Meridell briefly seen at the sunset’s rays.
The glowing heat revitalized and reinvigorated them from their scaled talons, and they flew back, back like a miniature fiery comet, and alighted upon a branch of a charred-bark tree. Picking out a berry and swallowing it whole, the berry was so potent even within its acidic stomach that it could still feel its nonflammable heat through its entireness.
At one time of the time before our time, a Crokabek perched upon a tall stony mountaintop and watched the Neopets of long ago. Wishing to aid them, it sought a branch and brought it to the Champion, the leader of the Neopets.
The Champion, a Master, a Draik, lived within a mountainous cave, and as the Crokabek approached, the Draik simply realized the Crokabek had some---some sort of glow to it, some sort that could only mean things.
The Draik also saw the berried torch it brought, and then came the realization that somehow that sort of thing had never before been thought of.
The Crokabek dosed the Champion with a single berry, and for but a moment it seemed the Champion was cloaked in a dragon essence as it lay supine.
Draiks and the true Dragon after them, the Scorchio, possess a mystical sort of flame within them. The Champion did not know of this flame, and even less could it use it. It was like a fledgling Pteri trying to fly before it was ready, as unknowing of the flame it was. But the Crokabek knew of this flame, because of the fruit, and planned to seek it out.
The Crokabek gently pulled out a feather and whistled, as the mountain dwelling shifted from sight.
Mists comparable to that above in the skies surrounded the Crokabek; otherwise it was blank, and with the exception of a translucent cloud of a thought that passed by occasionally, devoid of occupants.
Time passed, or did it, in this time before time, or little time really passed at all until the Crokabek encountered this aforementioned flame. Gripping it, the Crokabek had to tear out its own feathers to keep it blazing. As the Crokabek passed by, the flame it was carrying ignited a thought and it turned into a winged Petpet, helping it bring it back and soothing its wings.
In a column of blaze they came back, and suddenly the Champion knew of this fire, and was to tell all the others of its secret.
Now in its deeds the Crokabek’s snowy feathers have changed to an ashy darkish, its throat hoarse from the smoke, and its wings and therefore its flying weakened and lacking of grace from all of the feathers painfully pulled out.
The winged Petpet that had helped the Crokabek was the Bazatlan. If not for its aid, the Crokabek would not be able to fly at all instead of just clumsily, and the smoke had an effect on it as well, for its daytime vision was now not strong, and its being out of thought so suddenly made it more vulnerable than other Petpets, for now it could only be it the protection of the night and roost in the cave, like the one of which it came from in ancient times ago.
In remembrance of the fire, the mountain of the Champion became a volcano, and from that other volcanoes, as they spewed out flames in knowing of that time.
Sparks of fire from the volcanoes reached the darkness of the sky, and set aflame its plains, and the sparks from those in turn reached the layer of mist, which built up as the plains were burned and turned to droplets by the sparks still coming from the volcano.
The mist-droplets collected more and more till it finally crashed down as the ocean, its unusual taste because of its origin and eventually becoming salty as we know it. The small amounts remaining dripped down as rain, and it had a noticeable effect on the plants down below. They grew verdant, the trees grand, and came the flowers and sweet fruits. Finally the layer of darkness was so weak that any remaining sparks simply blew it past to the glow-sphere as a veil.
Light, perhaps from the glow-sphere, perhaps not, shone upon the land.
That time, before our time, had finally started.