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Chronicles of the Mahirmai Khan: Wildfire


by nimras23

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The waving grasses of the endless plains stretch as far as the eye could see, calm and serene. Its peace marred only by the tussling of Lupe cubs, under the watchful eyes of the seven adults of the pack. The red cub, the odd one out from his all yellow family, leaped and tackled his brother, "Got you, Brighartal!" he cried.

     Brighartal twisted and rolled on top of the red cub. "Who's got whom, Azureyigh?" he asked.

     Kamildilys, the third boy cub, leaped on top of the pair. "I've got you both!" he cried. The adults of the pack, and their sister Eiradiya, laughed.

     Their father Emyrbasim rose up, "Okay, bedtime for cubs." A chorus of protest rose from the cubs, but their father was firm. "Come on, in the den you go." He pushed the cubs towards the packs den, hidden under the roots of a great tree.

     Brighartal always had to push the rules, "But it's just starting to get dark, can't we stay up a little late tonight?"

     Emyrbasims response was firm. "No," he silenced the protest about to rise from the pup with a sharp glance, "For two reasons; number one because I said so, and number two, if you stay out too late, the humans will come and steal you. Little cubs who wander off at night tend to never come back."

     Brighartal held his tongue until he was with his siblings in the cubs section of the den. "It's not fair!" he exploded. "They get to stay out as late as they want, see whatever they want, whenever they want!" He shook his head, "The humans will get us," he said sarcastically. "Have any of them actually seen a human?" Eiradiya and Kamildilys shrugged their yellow shoulders; Brighartal was a bit of a bully, and they didn't want to get involved in another of his fights against the rules.

      Azureyigh however, yawned and stretched. "Normally I'd agree with you," he responded. "However, it's late, and I'm tired. I know that Aunt Kamilarian claims to have seen a human once, so maybe they do exist, and only live far away. After all, she used to live much further east than we do, before she met Uncle Abbasnar." He fixed his eyes on Brighartals. "Let's just go to sleep, and worry about humans tomorrow." Then, with a show of indifference, he curled up to sleep.

     Brighartal squirmed. He hated to admit it, even to himself, but his red furred brother intimidated him. Azureyigh was by far the biggest cub in the litter, and he was the only Lupe with red fur anyone in his pack had ever met. Instead of brown eyes, like every other Lupe in the world, he had sky blue eyes that were rather intimidating when he fixed his gaze at you. He also never seemed to get upset by anything, which was especially unnerving for someone like Brighartal.

     The next morning dawned humid and hot, with dark storm clouds on the horizon. Everyone, even Umaymacara, the cubs' endlessly patient mother, was grumpy and snappish. Brighartal was brutal, bullying his sister Eiradiya to tears and picking fights with Kamildilys.

     Eiradiya and Kamildilys finally sought refuge with their grandmother, Karumahugu; the cubs' grandfather, Sayyiborbo, said that if Brighartal was looking for a fight, he'd be happy to oblige him. After that, Brighartal settled on sulking; he'd rather pick a fight he knew he would win.

     Azureyigh spent the day with his uncles Abbasnar and Raghidmab, who spent the time swapping stories that got more and more outrageous in the telling.

     His parents and Aunt Kamilarian spent the day watching the sky and surrounding plains. They were worried that the storm would throw lightning, but no rain. It was the end of the dry season, and according to Uncle Abbasnar, all it took was one lightning strike to have a really bad day. While Azureyigh had never seen fire, he understood that it was very dangerous.

     As day turned to evening, the sky began to flash bright lights and boom loudly, which Emyrbasim called 'lightning' and 'thunder'. A brilliant arc of lightning came down straight at them; it landed squarely on the tree above their den, which immediately burst into flames. More lightning landed to the west, and the dry grasslands became a wall of encroaching fire.

     "Everyone run!" Sayyiborbo ordered, "Stay together!" He scooped up Brighartal and ran to the east, away from the flames. Umaymacara grabbed Eiradiya and followed him, while Emyrbasim rescued Kamildilys.

     Uncle Raghidmab looked Azureyigh over, "You're too big to carry; you'll just have to keep up on your own." He called over the roar of the approaching flames. Together they ran as fast as they could after the rest of the pack.

     The smell of charred grasses clogged Azureyigh's nose, making it hard to breathe. His shorter legs meant that he had to take two steps for every one of his uncles, and he started to fall behind.

     The air around him crackled, and on some instinct Azureyigh threw himself to the side, the grass where he had been moments before burst into flames as lightning struck. He heard Uncle Raghidmab scream his name, but couldn't get the breath to answer him. He ran from the fire, and then turned towards what he hoped was east.

     A blue light blazed through the smoke in front of him, Azure used it as a beacon to keep from getting turned around in the heady smoke. As he drew closer, he realized that the blue light was an air faerie who was desperately trying to save a Wadjet whose tail was pinned under a fallen rock.

     Skidding to a stop, Azure rolled the rock off the Wadjet and scooped her up. The exhausted faerie fluttered onto his shoulder. The flames were getting closer behind him, and Azure ran with his passengers as fast as his legs could carry him. He knew he couldn't keep running much longer, his lungs burned and his legs screamed in pain from over exertion.

     Sighting a band of trees, Azureyigh remembered there was a river there; hoping it was wide enough to stop the fire, he made one last mad dash towards the river. As he bolted under a burning tree, Azureyigh heard a loud cracking sound as the ancient tree fell; pain blossomed along his side as when the tree hit him, he tried to shield the Air Faerie and Wadjet he carried, but blackness overtook him.

     A pounding headache woke Azureyigh. He slowly opened his eyes. A charred wasteland greeted him. Crawling out from under the fallen trees trunk, he saw that a hollow in the ground had kept him from being crushed. One of the branches of the tree, however, had cut his right side deeply from his shoulder, across his ribs, down to his flank. He must have been out of it for a while, because it was completely scabbed over. He limped over to the river bank and drank the charcoal tasting water deeply.

     The blue Air Faerie sat on a rock on the riverbank. Seeing that he was moving around okay, she flew off. Azureyigh hoped she was flying to find his family, if they had survived the fire, and tell them where he was.

     Slowly he explored the rest of the riverbank. The green Wadjet he'd saved was basking on a large flat rock, she had a rather nasty burn on her side, and the end of her tail looked broken from being pinned by the rock. He carried her back over to the hollow under the tree trunk. His stomach pinched with hunger, but anything edible had burned away. Exhausted and hungry, he curled up under the tree, with the Wadjet curled up against his chest, purring loudly.

     Hours later, Azureyigh woke up burning yet again; this time from fever. He tried to get up and get a drink, but his legs wouldn't support him. All he managed to do was drag himself halfway out from under the tree. The Wadjet made concerned sounds, and spun in circles. Azureyighs world lurched, and faded to black.

     Something was squeezing his ribs. And the ground had somehow gotten much softer. Slowly opening his eyes, Azureyigh found himself face to face with a bright green Lupe like creature; with ears longer than any ears had the right to be. Azureyigh opened his mouth to say 'What are you?', but thought better of it, and substituted it with "Who are you?"

     The green Lupe like creature seemed to be delighted. "Your awake!" he exclaimed with a broad smile. "I'm doctor Vaneyen. You're in the Neopian Hospital; you've been unconscious here for 5 days." While the doctor rambled all this off, he flipped through some papers on a clip board attached to the wall. "You were brought here by a Ms. Nimras, who claims she found you in the endless plains, after a wildfire had scourged the area. Is this correct?" He looked at up expectantly.

     "I don't know anything about anyone bringing me anywhere," Azureyigh confessed, "but there was a big fire. A tree landed on me." He twisted to look at where the cut was, only to find that it was all bandaged up.

     The doctor sniffed, "Yes, that was quite a cut you got here, and it got all infected too. It took quite a few stitches to put you back together again. You'll have a scar from it for the rest of your life, I'm afraid. Your owner should have taken better care of you, than letting you out there during fire season." He said this all rather disapprovingly. "Speaking of which, could I have your owners' name, so we can assure them that you are alright?"

     Azureyigh had no idea what an owner was, but he did know that his parents would be worried about him. "My parents are Emyrbasim, son of Sayyiborbo and Karumahugu; my mother is Umaymacara. They are of the Mahirmai Clan."

     Doctor Vaneyen looked up sharply. "You are a wild Lupe?"

     Azureyigh was growing sleepy, "I am Azureyigh, son of Emyrbasim and Umaymacara, of the Mahirmai Clan," he said sleepily.

     The doctor bowed politely to him. "I am Doctor Vaneyen, a green Gelert," he replied, then turned and walked briskly out of the room. Azureyigh watched the Lupe like creature, no, Gelert, leave. He'd never heard of a creature called a Gelert before. As he settled in to sleep, he wondered if Brighartal would believe him when he told his family about his adventure.

     A soft giggle woke him. Sitting across from his bed was a blue Aisha about his age looking out the window. At least he knew what this creature was. He tried to sit up to introduce himself, but his ribs were wrapped up too tightly. The Aisha looked over at him. "Hi! My name is Fire." She gave him a grin. "You look a lot better now than you did when we first met."

     Feeling lost Azureyigh asked, "When was that?"

     "When Mom pulled you and your Wadjet out from under that log, of course! Not that you were awake then. Mom's been talking to all of her friends to keep an eye out for any members of your clan whenever they are in the endless plain, but no one's met any of them yet. How do you say that anyways, and your name?"

     Looking at her dazedly, Azureyigh decided that she meant pronouncing his clan and his name. "I'm Azureyigh, Ah-zur-eye; and my Kan is Mahirmai, Mah-hir-mai."

     A new voice came from the doorway, "Good, you're back in the land of the living." Azureyigh looked for the source of the new voice, and his insides froze. She could almost pass as a fire faerie, except she had no wings and was far too tall. Humans are a myth! He thought franticly, they were invented to make cubs stay in line.

     Apparently she didn't know she was a myth that shouldn't exist, because she walked in and sat next to Fire. The human's green necklace twitched and uncoiled from around her neck. It was the Wadjet he had rescued during the fire. The human picked her up and placed the Wadjet on the bed beside him. "She missed you."

     Azureyigh busied himself with getting reacquainted with the Wadjet This was a lot of new information to handle. Okay, he thought to himself, humans aren't a myth. So what? What's one more creature? Feeling calmer he asked, "So are you Nimras?" She nodded, feeling braver he continued, "You're also Fire's Mom?"

     "That's right."

     Well, Fire didn't look like she had been stolen from her family and mistreated. "What happens now?" he asked.

     "That depends on you. You are well enough to leave the hospital, provided you have a home to go to. We haven't been able to find anyone from your clan however. That could mean that they have moved to a new part of the Endless Plains; but it's a very large area to search. Because are a cub, you can't leave until either an owner or a family member signs you out. As we can't find your family‚Ķ" she spread her hands.

     Azureyigh looked at her curiously, "What does an owner do?"

     "They provide you a home, feed you, they basically do the same things as parents do." She shrugged, "I could adopt you if you'd like. You could stay at my place while we look for your family. If we find them, you can choose who you want to stay with."

     Azureyigh thought it over and nodded. He didn't like the idea of staying in the hospital any longer than he had to, especially as he realized that it may be a very long time until they found a member of his family.

     Weeks passed, and Azureyigh, or Azure as he was coming to be called, got used to life outside of the Endless Plains. Life for Azure was full of new and interesting creatures and ideas. School was interesting, and every weekend Nimras, or Nim as she was usually called, would take him to the plains to look for signs of his family.

     He'd named the Wadjet he'd found Zith, and she went with him everywhere. Azure with his Zith, and Fire with her Feepit, Snow, were a common sight; doing homework together or playing in the park. Azure learned everything that he could, for the day he was reunited with his Clan, Nim promised to do all she could he help him be reunited with his family.

     Though he's looked long hand hard, Azure has yet to find them. So if you're ever on the endless plains, and meet a member of the Mahirmai Clan, pass the word about Azure; or pass the word of where you saw the clan to a hopeful red Lupe.

The End

Author's Note: Super, huge, enormous thanks to Ani; my Queen of Editing Faeries.

 
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