The Adventures of Cleckstarr: Meuka Madness - Part One
Just a real quick mention, but I’d like to thank Ratluvr1, for helping me write the first story by coming up with the idea of a Superhero Paint Brush, thus starting all of Cleckstarr’s adventures! *cheers* Yay Rat!
First, before you read this story, you must learn of Cleckstarr and how he came to be a Defender. You have to read the prequel to this series, the Superhero Paint Brush. This will tell you about how Cleckstarr came to be where he is now, and that there is still much for him to learn. This is one of many adventures that he will have, and this is a prologue to all of them.
Are all heroes big, tough, and strong? Do they have to be well-known? Are they judged by the number of villains defeated? But then again, what if someone beat fifty Chia clowns trying to take over a town, while another beat just one villain, but that villain was Dr. Frank Sloth. Who is more of a hero?
Heroes vary. They come in all shapes, sizes, and ages. Even the youngest, most inexperienced Neopet can become a hero. All it takes is an honest heart and the sense of right. The hero has to be merciful and kind, not just mighty and huge. They must be perilous in battle, but willing to spare the villain’s life in the end. How do you know if one is a hero? It all depends. Can a baby Kougra from the farthest reaches of Neopia become a hero? Yes. Can a Darigan, one who has been scorned all their life, be a hero? Yes. Can a beautiful Uni, filled with vanity and hatred, be a hero? No. It doesn’t matter what you are on the outside, but what you are within. Can a Zafara, a former comic fanatic with little experience or training, be a hero? It all depends on the heart.
Cleckstarr the Brave crept silently through the forest, wary of crackling any leaves and twigs. The blue Zafara knew he was on the right trail, because next to him the forest was coated in mucus. Dressed in a crimson cape, a green bandanna with eye slits, Volcano Run II shoes, and a lucky Gormball necklace, he tread carefully, trying to avoid losing any of his possessions to the slime. He had ocean blue fur, with a thick, golden line of fur that extended to right below his glowing eyes, set like sapphires in his face. A tuft of blue fur jutted over his head and his ears were decorated with three black spots each. Three yellow spikes went from the back of his neck to his hefty, agile tail which ended in a feathery flourish.
Cleckstarr was formerly known as Lepus Cleck, a little comic geek. However, when he wanted the Rainbow Fountain Faerie to make a Superhero Paint Brush, he went on a heroic rescue and nearly lost his life battling Dr. Frank Sloth. After that, Judge Hog himself asked him to join the Defenders of Neopia. Cleckstarr the Brave was his superhero name, to conceal his identity.
Cleckstarr was on his first solo mission. It had been three months since he joined, and he was determined not to mess this up. His mission was simple: stop Meuka. Easier said than done. Meuka, the slime-covered Meerca, had been terrorizing a nearby village in Meridell, and Cleckstarr was sent to stop him!
The masked Zafara stopped. He saw the town up ahead, Meuka right in the middle of it. “Uuugghhh! Why’d I get stuck with Meuka?! Ah well, ‘tis the life of a superhero. Here goes.” With those few ‘encouraging’ words, Cleckstarr launched himself into the fray!
Meuka was having a blast! Literally. He was constantly blasting buildings with mucus, trapping Neopets underneath the sticky goo. He would cough up mucus and morph it into a snotball, then run at the nearest group of Neopets, the ball held in his hands. Cackling with glee, the Meerca would toss the slimy ball at the Neopets, making sure to send it splattering over them. The poor Neopets would stand covered in gunk, unable to fight the beast who was destroying their village.
The town lay ravaged in despair, many buildings destroyed from Meuka’s onslaught. Suddenly, a loud, heroic cry pervaded the village.
“Defendeeeeerrrrrrsssss! Face me, Meuka!”
The villagers turned hopefully to the voice, their faces falling back into despair as they saw their rescuer. Cleckstarr leapt in, roaring at Meuka. Still not having a power yet, he wielded a stout wooden staff, one of its ends sharpened to a point for serious battles.
The Neopets watched as the new Defender leapt at the Meerca, staff held out blunt end first. Meuka had known this was coming, and he neatly sidestepped the Zafara. Reaching out, the Meerca grabbed Cleckstarr’s tail and swung him high above his head. Meuka swung with all of his might, releasing Cleckstarr at the fastest point possible!
Cleckstarr didn’t fight the throw, merely soaring through the air. Lucky for him, he was heading to open ground. He pointed his staff at the ground and somersaulted neatly on his landing. He turned right back around and rushed Meuka again, this time waiting for a trick.
Meuka watched Cleckstarr get up and start barreling towards him. Tough little feller. Ah well, I’ll get him again this time, same move.
Cleckstarr rushed Meuka again, and again Meuka sidestepped. The only difference was that Cleckstarr sidestepped too. He bulled into Meuka, leaving the slimy Meerca sprawling on the ground. He stood on top of Meuka, victorious.
Cleckstarr jabbed the point of the staff at Meuka’s throat. “Don’t move,” he growled in what he hoped to be a menacing voice. “Get me some rope!” Cleckstarr commanded the villagers. They scurried about hastily to obey.
The Zafara was handed some rope and left to his vile task. He bound Meuka from head to toe, and then turned and addressed the townsfolk. “First off, I must ask. Have there been any fatalities?”
The Neopets looked around, then chorused together, “No!”
Cleckstarr smiled. “Good, good, we don’t want any lives to have left us today. Now, there is work to be done. There are homes to be repaired, injuries tended to, and this foul Neopet taken to captivity,” Cleckstarr announced, gesturing his paw at Meuka on the last phrase.
“Yay, yay!” the town cheered joyously, their taunting enemy lying captured at their rescuer’s feet.
A Baby Poogle came forward, and shyly inquired to Cleckstarr, “Sir, are ya a supa ‘ero? I haven’t seens ya in any of my Defender comics.” The little Poogle was a deep shade of yellow, with some light gray stripes on his back. His ears were large and floppy, and they hung down humorously near his feet. A light blue bow was tied around his neck, and his eyes were bright with interest.
Cleckstarr smiled gently at the little one and tweaked his nose. “That’s because they’re so busy writing comics about your bravery that they don’t have time for simpletons like me! I’m no superhero, I’m just a training Zafara, to do menial tasks. You big, tough superheroes get all the glory! I’ll bring you a comic soon, and you’ll be the main star!” he said, pointing at the Poogle. The baby Poogle grinned and ran shouting down the street. “I’m a supa ‘ero! I’m a supa ‘ero!” Cleckstarr grinned and shook his head at the baby’s antics, chuckling at his undeveloped speech.
Meuka glared at the blue Zafara from underneath his bonds. How dare he tie him up and act as if he were nothing! Meuka allowed himself a small smile. He could feel the ropes around his body beginning to loosen and grow soft due to being soaked in his slime. The fool! He’s a n00b, no doubt about it! Any SMART Defender woulda known to take me to a dungeon straight away! Soon I’ll break free, and that kid’ll scream for mercy afore I’m done with him!
An old Poogle approached Cleckstarr, trying hard to keep a straight face as she watched her young one dashing about the streets. “Bungle’s his name. A right little terror if you ask me. Always dashing about someplace or another. Anyway, thanks for talking to him. He idolizes the Defenders, and I know that he’ll make a good addition some day. I’m his grandma, Doleen. The poor mite had his parents killed in a raid on our town by some Darigans who were still feeling a bit sour about the war. It’s hard living in Meridell. The war may be over, but the feelings haven’t gone yet. No one really trusts each other on each side, even though we are supposed to be at peace for a thousand years. Ah well, at least they’ve been gone for years now. It had been peaceful here, until yonder slimy creature decided to mess with our village.” Doleen gestured to Meuka.
Cleckstarr nodded sadly. “Wars are wounds. Even when they are healed they still leave scars.”
Doleen peered at the Zafara curiously. “Yore a wise one, aren’t you? An old head on young shoulders. By the way, who are you? Not your real name, of course, but your superhero one.”
“Cleckstarr, although a few Defenders call me Cleckstarr the Brave. Of course, if they do that, they get a good whack on the head. The Brave sounds a bit exaggerated, considering only three months ago I was reading comics, wishing I could also be a superhero.”
Doleen was a Red Poogle, with a light red body and dark, scarlet stripes on her back. She stared behind Cleckstarr. “Bungle, you scamp, leave the disgusting beast alone.” She ran towards Bungle who had been poking Meuka with a stick. “Silly Neopet, don’t ever do that again!”
Bungle looked at Doleen and grinned hugely. “Mooka can’t hurt me! I be a supa ‘ero! Whoosh!” With that baby Bungle leapt from Doleen’s paws and ran down the street, probably to cause terror to someone else.
Meuka had almost made it through the ropes. Just a few more minutes and he would be able to snap them. They were growing soft and weak. He waited and watched.
“Whew, that little brat really takes it out of me!” Doleen came panting up and threw herself flat on the ground. “I’m worn out!”
Cleckstarr helped her up and deposited her in front of a diner down the street. “There you are, my friend. Drink and rest; I’ll watch after Bungle.”
Doleen smiled at Cleckstarr and walked inside, thanking him far too much. Cleckstarr turned to try and find Bungle. He spotted the yellow pelt over by Meuka. “Get back here, you little terror!” Cleckstarr bounded toward him when Meuka made his move. Leaping in the air, the Meerca grabbed Bungle and shook him around.
“Cleckeeeeee! ‘eeellpp meee! Cleckeeeeee!”
Cleckstarr grabbed his staff and ran like a juggernaut, throwing Meuka off balance and making him release Bungle. Bungle ran off to join the spectators who watched in growing horror as the battle progressed. The leap had sent Cleckstarr sprawling on the ground, and Meuka seized his chance. He started making a giant slime ball as fast as he could. Roaring in anger, Cleckstarr turned and was about to get up when the ball hit him. Stars burst in his vision and Pteris flew around his head. He could faintly hear the sounds of Meuka laughing. Then, nothing.
To be continued...