Chronicles of the Mahirmai Khan: Wildfire
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
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
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
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
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
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
Doctor Vaneyen looked up sharply. "You are a
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
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?"
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…" 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
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.
Author's Note: Super, huge, enormous thanks to Ani; my Queen of Editing