The Story of Zeirn
A boat rocked side to side in the harsh gale. All the sails were furled to prevent them from ripping, and crew members worked frantically to free themselves from the rigging.
Down below the decks, however, it was much more peaceful. You wouldn’t know it, however, by looking at Zeirn.
Zeirn the Red Kougra was currently curled up on a hammock under a blue blanket, shivering with fear. Every time the lightning struck or the thunder rumbled, he would flinch and shrink down closer into the hammock. Every now and then he would whimper slightly.
“Zeirn! Relax already, the Captain said it was going to be a small storm!” his sister snapped. “I can’t sleep!”
Zeirn’s sister, Shar, was a Brown Ixi and shared none of Zeirn’s fear about storms. She actually found the rocking motion soothing, unlike her brother, who found it terrifying.
Nevertheless, the Captain had been down not ten minutes earlier to tell them that the seas were going to be choppy and that it would be over by the time they woke up in the morning, assuming, of course, that Shar would be able to sleep with Zeirn freaking out. The Captain had been very specific when he said that the ship had handled much worse and come out perfectly fine, and that there was no need to worry. So Shar didn’t.
But Zeirn did. He hated storms with a passion he usually reserved for asparagus. Storms while at sea sounded like his worst nightmare.
He hadn’t even wanted to come in the first place. It wasn’t like he didn’t want to go to Mystery Island, but the trip by ship wasn’t worth it in his opinion. His parents had forced Shar to take him along anyway.
He forced himself to think of home, of the nice warm fire that was sure to be in the fireplace, the comfy couch, and the hot chocolate. . .
The next thing Zeirn knew his sister was shaking his shoulder.
“Zeirn! Come on, wake up, we’re on land!”
Zeirn snapped awake, slightly panicked at first. He relaxed once he realized that the ship was completely still, unlike last night.
“Wait, wait,” he said as his sister attempted to pull him. “Where are we?”
“I don’t know, some island! But it’s so pretty. . .”
And it was. There was a lush, inviting jungle, with what looked like plenty of shade and fruit, and in the middle of the island there was a tall mountain, so tall Zeirn found himself craning his neck trying to find the top.
He then reasoned that the mountain wasn’t all that tall, but it was huge for such a small island. He was snapped out of his thinking by the Captain, who had walked over once he saw them.
“Well, we’re gonna be here for the day at least,” the Blue Gelert started, not beating around the bush. “Wasn’t expecting it to blow that hard. We’ll have to reinforce the mast and replace some of the rigging.”
The Captain paused, stopping to look up at the sky and rub the back of his head.
“I’ve never known Matt to be wrong about the weather,” he mumbled to himself. “The weather’s been so weird lately. . . All kinds of freak storms. . .”
Zeirn and Shar exchanged slightly frightened looks. No one told them that they were going to be traveling through a freak storm infested patch of water. . .
The Captain shook the thoughts from his head. “Anyway, feel free to go ashore and wander around. There shouldn’t be anything or anyone on this island.”
Ten minutes later Zeirn and Shar were walking through the jungle, picking fruits they recognized off the branches and staying far away from the ones they didn’t.
“Hey, Shar?” Zeirn called after finishing a bright blue berry.
“Hm?” she asked.
“Is that a Tchea Fruit?” he asked in confusion.
Shar swallowed the rest of the fruit she had been chewing and walked over to the plant Zeirn had been pointing at.
“I think it is. . .”
“Doesn’t it only grow in the Lost Desert?”
“It’s supposed to. . .” Shar said, her voice trailing off worriedly. “Maybe it’s the weather the Captain mentioned?”
“Because more rain is going to cause fruit that only grows in the desert to suddenly spring up,” Zeirn said sarcastically.
“You got a better idea?” Shar said harshly.
“Yeah, let’s go back to the ship until we can get out of this place,” Zeirn said. “This island is freaky. Wait, Shar, where are you going?”
Zeirn hurriedly bounded after his sister, who had curiously pushed aside a branch.
“I thought I saw something move!” Shar said, and then she pointed at a small creature that burst out of the bushes.
“Wait, Shar!” Zeirn said as he followed his sister, who was eagerly chasing down the thing. Soon they were up against the cliff face of the mountain with the creature trapped. It wasn’t frightened at all though.
“It’s a Kookith!” Shar exclaimed.
“But why is it grey? Or I guess it’s kind of a greenish color,” Zeirn said. “And why is it wearing a lab coat?”
That was when the trap door fell out from underneath them.
Instead of hitting a hard floor, they instead hit a soft cushy mattress. It was dark, and the trap door through which they had fallen was sealed back up.
Before long, the place they were in was flooded with light, and Zeirn and Shar heard a voice speaking, but it didn’t seem to be addressing them.
“Hm, in good condition. . . Can’t have damaged specimens, can we now? Unlike those other ones that were lured here by that storm. . . might have made the wind a bit too strong that time. . .”
Soon a figure in a white lab coat like the one they had seen on the Kookith came into view. He appeared to be a yellow Scorchio, and his hair was white and stuck up in every direction possible. Possible the strangest, though, were his eyes. They were whirling around in circles and were made of yellow and red segments.
It was the strangest thing either Shar or Zeirn had ever seen.
“Good boy,” the Scorchio continued, this time directing his praise toward the Kookith, who was sitting on his foot.
“Err-” Zeirn started.
“Now,” the Scorchio said brightly. “Which one of you wants to make a venture into the realm of scientific wonders?”
Zeirn and Shar stared at the strange creature in front of them.
“Um, I think we’ll pass on the scientific wonders, thank you-”
“Wonderful!” the Scorchio said, grabbing Zeirn’s arm. “Come with me.”
Zeirn yelped as he was dragged alongside the Scorchio.
“Wait! I’m not a lab experiment!” he protested.
“You weren’t a lab experiment,” the Scorchio pointed out. “Now you are.”
“You can’t do this.”
“Actually,” the Scorchio, “I won’t.”
He then released Zeirn’s arm and walked over to some big and bulky with a sheet thrown over it. The sheet was pulled off, and still Zeirn couldn’t figure out what it was.
“What is it?”
The Scorchio walked over to what could only be a control panel.
“It’s a ray.”
“What does it do?” Zeirn asked nervously as the ray began to move and positioned itself at him.
“I’m not sure yet,” the Scorchio said. “I was hoping you’d help me out with that.” Then he pushed a button on the panel, and Zeirn’s world went glaring bright, than horribly dark.
Soon he became aware that he wasn’t in any pain, he just felt a bit. . . jittery. Then he realized that the reason he couldn’t see anything was because he had his eyes closed. He slowly opened one eye, than the other when he realized that he still couldn’t see anything, but he could hear the Scorchio moving around and tripping over things.
“Stupid thing. . . Still haven’t got it calibrated right. . .” His voice got closer, and when the Scorchio resumed his tight grip on Zeirn’s arm and pulled him down a hallway.
“What did you do to me?” Zeirn cried out.
“I’m not sure.” The Scorchio removed his grip from Zeirn’s arm. He heard a door slam.
“Zeirn?” he heard a voice call out.
“Shar!” he said.
“Zeirn,” she said, and the scared tone in her voice made Zeirn wary. “You’re glowing.”
“But that’s impossible!” Zeirn said, looking down at himself. “Especially since Glowing pets are green. I’m pretty sure I’m blue. Hold on, why am I blue?!”
“No, I think. . . I think you’re Electric,” Shar said nervously. “Did he give you a morphing potion or something?”
“No, he just fired some kind of ray at me. . . But it didn’t work! I heard him say so!” Zeirn stopped for a second. “Jeez, how am I going to explain this to Mom?”
“I think the better question is, how do we get out of here?” Shar asked.
Almost as if she had said the magic word, a door flew open to their right. Zeirn and Shar stared at it.
“Leave while we can?” Zeirn asked Shar. She nodded, and they ran for it.
The doorway led into a tunnel, but it was short and they could see the light on the other side. Soon they were running through the jungle, pushing branches out of their way and crashing through bushes. They didn’t stop until they were at the beach.
They could see the ship and crew farther down the beach. They could also see the dark clouds that appeared to have materialized out of nowhere overhead.
The thunder boomed, and lightning struck.
Shar thought that lightning was supposed to strike the tallest thing around. If so, it should have struck the mountain. But it didn’t, and it struck Zeirn instead.
Instead of knocking him to the ground, though, it lifted him up in the air. His face looked absolutely terrified, and he fought to escape.
The lightning stayed instead of dispersing, and Zeirn stayed captive to its pull, until he threw his weight forward and scrabbled at the air with his paws. That’s when he flew forward.
He didn’t hit the ground but maintained a forward momentum, flying through the air, until he hit a tree. He disappeared for moment, but Shar could still hear him crashing down through the branches until he became visible once again.
Shar ran over to him, but slowed and stayed a careful distance from him when she realized that there were sparks flying off him.
“Zeirn!” she cried. “Are you okay?!”
Zeirn stood up carefully. Soon he was floating a foot off the ground.
“I’m fine.” He looked down and saw that he was floating off the ground. “Or not.”
Zeirn looked back at his sister. “Shar, I’m going back. I’m going back to that mountain, and I’m going to figure out what that freaky Scorchio did to me!”
“Okay, let’s go!” Shar said.
“No, I’m going alone. You go ahead, I’m sure the Captain will want to sail soon. I’ll catch up to you eventually.”
“But I have to do this. I’m going to make him fix this, or I’m going to make sure he doesn’t do this to anyone else. I’ll find you later.”
She sighed, knowing she wasn’t going to be able to talk him out of it.
To this day, Zeirn still stays on that island, leading people away from that mountain. Occasionally he meets people who willing go into the mountain, sure that the ray will help them in some way.
Don’t say he didn’t warn you.
Inspired by the "Zeirn the Electric Kougra" Collectable Card.