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Darigan Eyrie: Kass Or Nothing At All - Part One


by neonick19881988

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A green Eyrie raced through the pouring rain, her beady eyes frantically studying the view in front. Her home was a few blocks from where she was currently at, and her life depended on the fact that she arrived there as quick as possible, or else...

     "DON'T THINK OF THAT!" she screamed at herself, suddenly angry. "YOU AREN'T GOING TO LET THIS HAPPEN!"

     She had to get back, or she would never see her owner again.

     She continued forwards, shooting past startled pets of every colour and species without any other thought than to keep going. She'd been running for so long, longer than she'd ever run before in her short life, that every time her paws hit the ground pain seared through her thin, wobbly legs, and stars danced before her eyes. Her breath was short, sharp, and hurt so much it was unimaginable, while sweat poured off her thinly-feathered body in what seemed like gallons.

     But she wasn't going to stop.

     A pale piece of paper was fluttering in her front-right paw as she ran. It wasn't raining, so the dark smudges could only be tears. The words were long, scrawled slowly, painstakingly, but she had it scrunched up tightly, like it was just a scrap she wanted to throw away. Birdie held onto it, though, glancing down every few seconds, hoping that the words had changed. They hadn't.

     Suddenly a huge Skeith appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, and brought the Eyrie back from her thoughts, her memories. She slid to a painful halt; the fallen leafs that had been lying motionless on the ground were now flying in every direction. This sapphire-blue pet's bulky form blocked the entire street, and, desperately, Birdie yelled.

     "MOVE! MOVE!"

     The Skeith frowned, his glistening-blue brow lowering angrily.

     "Just what do you think you're doing?"

     "I NEED TO GET PAST! PLEASE!" Her pleads went unrewarded, though, as the huge obstacle just scowled.

     "Why? What's going on?"

     The Eyrie moaned.

     "It'll take too long to explain! My owner- I'm BirdieBirdie246, and my owner-"

     Her fierce eyes welled up, something they'd never done before. Since she'd read that letter- it'd been like opening a floodgate, but she wiped the droplets away viciously and pleaded again. "Please, don't make me explain. Please."

     The Skeith sighed, his frown vanishing. Adjusting his glasses, the immense creature took a step back, into the alleyway, and Bir shot forwards, the tears flying around her like a sudden downfall of rain. She ignored their shimmering shapes, instead trying to clear her sight and see where she was going.

     A real drop of rain hit her nose, and she looked up. Dark grey clouds had hidden the sky, cast shadows over everything. The Eyrie thought she saw a face amongst the clouds, a face with soft, caring features- but of course, it was just wishful thinking.

     Her head came back around and he glared ahead. This was familiar territory, she realized quickly. That drainpipe was the one she'd tried to climb, the one she'd fallen from; when she had first flown. And there, that dustbin was where she had found a quivering grey Anubis, not too long ago, and named him Bolt. And there-

     There was the back door to his Neohome. She'd sneaked out of it so many times, her Anubis Bag slung over her back and Bolt walking behind cautiously, always quivering, always jumping at the slightest noise. Birdie would give him a small piece of cake, or a sip of Neocola, and somehow convince the terrified Petpet to follow her out on night-time adventures, in the darkness, being superheroes…

     "SNAP OUT OF IT!" she yelled at herself ass he rounded the corner, onto the street. "THIS IS STUPID! I- I-"

     She was still there; her owner was stood outside their home, her long hair dancing slightly in the wind. A pile of cardboard boxes lay at her feet, each one with a label on the side. BOOKS. CLOTHES. EYRIE GOODS.

     A short, dark-purple Grundo walked out of the Neohome, another box in his hands. This one was labeled PETPET BED, and that was when Birdie gasped out loud, a gasp of shock and sorrow.

     The human turned on her heel, frowning, and saw the teary Eyrie. She frown vanished, replaced by a look of sorrow.

     "You're supposed to be at the pound."

     Birdie didn't know what to say. Her emotions were so mixed; grief was fighting against rage, confusion against horror. A storm was waging in her heart, but the anger was just too great, and she started to yell.

     "WHY? WHY DID YOU LEAVE ME THERE? AND WHAT IS THIS?" She shook the piece of parchment at the human angrily, making it flutter as if it had a mind of its own. "YOU WROTE ME A LETTER TO SAY YOU WERE LEAVING?"

     "I-"

     "YOU TAKE ME TO THE MONEY TREE, TELL ME TO WAIT, AND THEN DON'T EVEN GIVE ME THE LETTER YOURSELF! YOU GET THAT UNI TO HAND IT OVER, WHEN SHE COMES TO COLLECT ME!"

     "Please, you have to understand. I didn't want to have to do this."

     "WHAT?!"

     "I didn't want to have to say goodbye to you."

     Birdie growled fiercely, an impressive noise from such a young Pet. "WHY ARE YOU EVEN ABANDONING ME? WHAT- AM I A BAD PET?"

     "No. It's just- I have to leave. I have to go back to my world. I'm busier nowadays. I wanted you to have a better owner."

     "I DON'T WANT A BETTER OWNER! I WANT-"

     She fell silent momentarily. Birdie wasn't sure what she wanted, but one thing sprang to mind straight away, and she said it out loud. Her voice was lower, sadder, as she said it.

     "I want things to be the same. Like when you first created me. When I first hatched out of that egg-" her voice quivered. "I still remember it. I remember seeing your face, smiling, and- and everything was alright. You picked me up, lifted me past that other egg that was hatching, past everything, and out into the sun-" In the end she had too stop, to try and hold back the floods of tears that were threatening to escape those deep eyes.

     "Well, things can't be the same," was the bored response, a curt answer that shocked Birdie. "I'm sorry. Look, people will be turning up soon, I've already got bids on everything-"

     Birdie shook her head, tears flying everywhere. Her owner had watery eyes as well, but not nearly as much as she should, in the Eyrie's opinion, and she felt so- betrayed. The Grundo, who had dumped his box at the feet of the girl and walked back in, reappeared from the house, a large cage in his hands. A small dull-grey Anubis was slamming its head into the bars, barking and whimpering, desperate to get out. Birdie's eyes grew wide.

     "BOLT! GIVE HIM BACK!" She raced across and snatched the cage away, giving the Grundo an icy look. With a flick of the latch Bolt was free, and the Petpet leapt down straight away, racing into the nearby bushes to hide. Birdie tossed the cage to the ground and glared at the girl.

     "Even Bolt? YOU WERE SELLING MY PETPET?!"

     "You weren't keeping him, Birdie. You'd only get adopted for your Anubis, and then dumped again. I didn't want that to happen."

     The Eyrie scowled fiercely.

     "Only my friends call me Birdie. You can call me BirdieBirdie246- it was the stupid name YOU gave me."

     And with that she turned on her heel and walked away, dropping a crumb from her pocket onto the ground. Bolt came out slowly, nibbled at the piece of cookie, and then raced after Birdie, to catch up.

     The tears were gone, replaced by anger, as she strode forwards. And then she saw a pair of Blumaroos stood across the road, mouths wide in shock at the argument they had just seen. One was clutching a plushie to his chest, a Kass plushie, and something flickered in her mind.

     A tall, proud Eyrie, who had never been abandoned, who had gotten what he wanted whenever he wanted it- the most powerful creature the planet had ever seen, in Birdie's opinion. It had taken a whole army to stop him.

     And it would take a whole world to stop her.

     ***

     "What's your name?" the human asked, as his Gelert looked down at the Eyrie with contempt.

     "Kass," BirdieBirdie246 snapped, lifting the frightened Bolt close to her chest. "I'm Bir Kass. What do you want?"

     "I don't like her," the Gelert said sharply.

     "You didn't like the last Pet I adopted, but now you're best friends." The human straightened up, and turned to Dr_Death. "I'll take her."

     "OK," the Doctor said slowly. "You should know, Creation records have her as being BirdieBirdie246. Her last name isn't Kass."

     "I don't mind. Actually, some would see being related to that evil maniac a bad thing, so really it's good."

     Birdie glared angrily at him, and knew that getting caught was a huge mistake. She had been so hungry, though, that she couldn't resist asking around for some scraps. And that interfering human had seen, and asked about the Eyrie's owner, and then it was off to the Pound. And now she was stuck with an even stupider human than her original one, and what she could tell was an extremely annoying Gelert.

     Well, she told herself as she walked out into the dazzling sunlight, at least there aren't any noisy babies involved.

     "Come on, we have to get back quickly, or the babysitter will charge us double time."

     Oh no.

     ***

     A few weeks passed, and a dark winter's day found the dark-green Eyrie snarling, shoving the small Lupe to one side and barging ahead. Pacca_Xero whimpered as he fell to the ground, but Birdie ignored him, her eyes set on a small shop up ahead.

      "Hey!" snapped Toggerneo, who had just reached Pacca and was patting his head comfortingly. "What do you think you're doing?"

     The Eyrie just ignored him, and with a grumble the crimson-red Gelert started to jog, the baby Pet in his arms. He quickly caught up to the young Eyrie. "Well?"

      "The little idiot gets in the way," Birdie muttered, not turning away from her goal. "Why'd you even get him?"

      "I didn't, but that doesn't give you the right to pick on him. Nobody has that right!"

      The Eyrie just ignored this 'annoyance' and picked up her pace. The bag that was hanging over her shoulder swung violently, and a whimper came from inside. Toggerneo barked fiercely.

      "BIRDIEBIRDIE246, OPEN THAT BAG NOW!"

      Birdie jumped and then, with a grumpy moan, came to a stop. Hearing that name brought back memories about those last words she spat at her old owner- that was why she let them call her Birdie, even without being friends. But then, she had no friends, so it didn't really matter.

     Slowly Birdie placed the sack onto the ground, coming back from her thoughts and brushing a few feathers back into place as she did so, but after a few moments of silence the tomboy Eyrie straightened up again.

      "Hear that?"

      "Hear what?" Toggerneo growled, still furious.

      "Exactly. Nothing but silence! There's nothing in there. Let's get going." Birdie leant down to scoop the bag up, but Toggerneo's ear got to it first, wrapping around the zip and tugging sharply. A small blur of grey fur leapt out and shot for the cover of the nearby bushes.

      "I told you to leave Bolt at home!" the Gelert exclaimed angrily, his dark-brown eyes glaring at Birdie. "He's so hard to keep a track on, BirdieBirdie246!"

      Birdie flinched, but shook her head, feathers fluffing up uncontrollably.

      "I'm not leaving him with that Gruslen. Vicious little Petpet, I don't know why you bought that little brat one."

      "We didn't, he found his way to us, but that 'little brat' loves him as much as you love Bolt." Toggerneo sighed, brushing back one of his ears that had tumbled over his face. "And anyway, what's with 'little brat'? He's older than you, Birdie."

     "In days, perhaps, but not wisdom nor maturity."

     "Your Anubis doesn't seem to mind him."

     "What?" The Eyrie spun on her heel and glared across to the nearby bushes. Pacca_Xero was bouncing around the Petpet, tongue flapping wildly from his grinning mouth, and Bolt was just watching, his huge eyes straining to keep up.

     "See? They're friends- almost brothers, really. Both the same sort of age, both a bit shy-"

     "GET AWAY FROM HIM!" Birdie screamed fiercely. Her wings flapped and she was suddenly flying, sailing close to the ground, paws stretched out. She snatched the Anubis up, pressing him hard against her chest. Those broad wings flapped again, pulling them up into the air, and creating such a gust of wind as they did so that the baby Lupe was sent flying. "Stay away from Bolt!" the Eyrie cried as she came to a halt in midair, crushing the Petpet so close to her chest that he could hardly breathe.

      Toggerneo yelped in shock and raced forwards, snatching up the tearful baby. Birdie just smirked, like she had taught the child a valuable lesson, before turning in mid-air to look down the street. Before the livid Gelert had a chance to reprimand her she was gliding towards a small building down the road, loosening the grip slightly and finally allowing the grey Anubis to breath.

     The shop was painted a strange shade of dark-purple, with black zigzags thrown randomly amongst the daunting colour, and strange charms were hanging on the walls, casting eerie green glows on any passing Pets. The Eyrie grinned as she landed in front of it.

      The Murky Citadel was a small place, set back from the street, and was dimly-lit by flickering candles and more of the strange charms. As the young Birdie stepped inside and dropped Bolt on the floor, leaving him to whimper next to the door, her grin broadened. The Lady was in.

      "Ah, you're back," she croaked, brushing a pile of scrolls to one side of the heavily-worn counter. The Lady was a hunched-up old Zafara, with dark-grey fur and a strange scar along the right side of her face. Although most were too frightened to speak to her- to even LOOK at her sometimes- it came naturally to the small Eyrie, like she'd been doing it all her life.

      "Yep! Anything new?" Her eyes were already searching the small room, over the small clockwork toys and many charms, and they settled on a large case, made of a dark glass, at the back of the room. The Lady saw what she was looking at and nodded.

      "I thought that might interest you." She took a couple of slow steps forwards and pulled a small key from her robes, quickly sliding it into the lock. With a click the lid fell open, and Birdie leant over the edge, peering eagerly inside.

      Her mouth fell open in disbelief. A large, thick paintbrush lay on the floor, made of a dark, glistening oak. On the tips of the bristles lay small bubbles of purple paint, the same strange colour as the orb on the other end. Two broad wings lay motionless on either side, coated in very fine feathers, almost invisible to the naked eye.

      "It's beautiful," Birdie gasped, not turning away from this vision. "Real?"

      "Of course."

      "How… how much?"

      The old Pet sighed, and softly tapped the glass lid. It slammed shut, seemingly of its own accord, and the Eyrie leapt back. "Too much for you, I'm afraid," she said, hobbling back to the counter. Birdie sighed and, hearing the door swing open, turned on her heel. Toggerneo was stood in the doorway, his face set into a fierce scowl, while a whimpering Pacca_Xero hid behind his paws.

      "BirdieBirdie246, you are coming home NOW."

      The Eyrie flinched, but nodded. She had little choice, and so scooped up the Anubis, who had been sniffing around her feet, and started slowly towards the door. Before she reached the furious Gelert, though, she heard the Lady call.

      "You forgot your free gift, dear."

      Puzzled, Birdie turned around and looked back to the old Zafara. She was holding out her fist, and, still confused, the dark-green Pet walked across to her. The fist unclenched to reveal-

      "WOW!"

      There, glowing faintly in the wrinkled Pet's paw, was a Fake Kass Charm- a small green crystal, glowing intensely, below two broad leafs and a tiny skull. The Eyrie picked it up slowly, gently, more carefully than she had ever been with Bolt.

      "Hurry it up, Birdie," Toggerneo said, picking up Pacca_Xero. "We're going home- you've got some chores to do."

      The Eyrie ignored him and took her time, watching the stone glide slowly from side to side. Finally she placed it over her head, and could feel the stone's coolness through her now-thick layer of feathers. With a thankful smile at the Lady she walked out the door, into the full brunt of Toggerneo's wrath.

      The Lady smiled.

      "She has potential," she said.

      "Yes," replied a voice from nearby. "Yes, she does."

To be continued...

 
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