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Fallout, The Wurymmar Story: Part Three


by scarrift

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Fallout: The Truth of Wurymmar

"Focus Wurymmar, you got to focus on your opponent. Never let your guard down. Let's do it again."

     The red Lupe nodded grimly and raised both his rubber power axes again before him, breathing heavily out of exhaustion. Scar, who showed no outward signs of fatigue, brought up his Sword of Domar before him in one hand and motioned for Wurymmar to approach with the other. Wurymmar circled Scar, who turned on his heel to follow the prowling Lupe, and came in hard with a howl, axes slashing in a scissor-like motion.

     But Scar had already anticipated the move and moved a step backwards. The axes clattered together in thin air and were immediately knocked aside by the upward motion of Scar's slashing sword. In another swift motion, Scar spun his sword downwards and ran straight at Wurymmar.

     Luckily the Lupe had leapt aside at the last moment and Scar barrelled past him. Wurymmar whose axes were raised high in the air, slashed down with all his strength. Instead of stopping, Scar continued rushing forward and Wurymmar's hard swing missed Scar by more than an inch, embedding slightly into the hard rocky ground with a crunch. At that moment Wurymmar regretted swinging so hard because Scar had stopped abruptly and twirled, sword leading, too fast for Wurymmar to raise his axes to meet it.

     He was hit by the flat side of the slim blade and instinctively stumbled backwards. Panting, his hands on his knees, Wurymmar raised his sweaty head and saw Scar sheathing his weapon, shaking his head slightly.

     "You must remember, Wurymmar, that you must use more than your brawn in battle," Scar lectured dully without looking at Wurymmar. "You must also keep a level head.

     "That's enough for today, Wurymmar," Scar continued, motioning for Wurymmar's axes. "You have shown marked improvement today. Go get some rest." Wurymmar's shoulders slumped and he dejectedly handed back the Rubber Power Axes. Scar kept them in the backpack along with his sword. As he moved to fasten the buckles of the pack, he watched Wurymmar file past from the corner of his eye. He's tired, Scar thought when he saw the Lupe's gloomy expression and listless pace. And dispirited. Maybe I should give him a break. No, I can't. I have to get him ready. Scar sighed and followed Wurymmar down a rocky hill towards the jungle below.

     Wurymmar and Scar had travelled a long way from the Tyrannian Plateau where they had met and three days of hard walking, complaining (mostly from Scar) and awkward conversations (mostly from Wurymmar) they had reached the edge of the Tyrannian Jungle.

     As the two wanderers walked down a low hill leading into the lush jungle, the scenery changed almost drastically from sparse, sun-dried rocks to wet, moss-covered undergrowth so thick that passage was only possible through narrow trails cut through the foliage, undoubtedly by other travellers before them.

     Moving carefully through one of the trails, Scar, being the tallest and also the only one who walked on two feet, was reduced to cutting his way through the plants with his Sword of Domar but it was still not enough to prevent the jungle's wrath. Wurymmar looked behind bemusedly at Scar, who was still being slapped in the face by wet leaves the size of giant Spyders as he weaved among them, but the smile left his face quickly. Wurymmar resumed his slow pace through the jungle, the sound of Scar cursing and grumbling about leaves and Teasquitos echoed behind him, and thought of his life as Scar's Neopet so far.

     Scar had committed him to a strict and rigorous regime, so to speak, of battle training and exercise. Other than frequent mock battles for weapons training and battle tactics, Scar had also asked him, and in not so polite terms, to run a certain distance every morning and had even restricted him to a diet of low-fat omelettes. Wurymmar had at first jumped at the opportunity to train himself further, completing all the tasks that Scar had set for him, but he soon realized that he was only about par to Scar's standards. Scar had gradually increased the difficulty of the tasks and soon Wurymmar barely managed to scrape through by the end of the day, feeling like a lump of bricks every time.

     And far from encouraging him, Scar had lectured him continuously on his mistakes and the improvements he needed. No kind words. No pats on his back. Nothing. Wurymmar's ears drooped even lower as he brushed past a fern plant. Finally he ground to a halt beside a tree in a small clearing and turned to face the bushes behind him, looking blankly at the rustling a few yards away and listening to the crashing of undergrowth and relishing the brief rest from travelling.

     Well, it's too late to back out now Wurymmar, he thought to himself wanly, absentmindedly watching a small bug scurry past his paws. I have to stick to Scar; I owe him my life after all. I just… He sighed. I just wish he'd say something nice for once. Oh well.

     With a great crashing sound, accompanied with the slap of another huge leaf, Scar stumbled into clearing, hair dishevelled, leaves and twigs sticking out of them at odd intervals. Wurymmar watched as Scar ruffled his hair to get rid of the mess before moving on to dust his now filthy jacket, which looked even more horrendous with the unwashed bloodstains on them. Scar looked down at his grimy pants and muddy shoes and decided against cleaning them for fear of touching something he would regret later.

     "Well Wurymmar," Scar declared half-heartedly, resting his sword against the tree. "Only half a day more of this stinking jungle to go before we reach the docks. Then we'll take a boat to Neopia Central." Then he noticed that his statement had gone unnoticed by the red Lupe who was still watching the ground listlessly. Maybe I should let him rest, Scar wondered thoughtfully. Then he shook his head slightly. No. I want to get out of this stinking jungle, the sooner the better. I'm sure he would also want to too. He put his hand on Wurymmar's shoulder and ran it briefly through the now scruffy coat, letting a few loose hairs to fall. "Come on, just a little bit more before we're out of here," Scar asserted, his voice emotionless. "Let's go." With that, Scar retrieved his blade and started off on the trail again, hacking away at anything green above his waist.

     Wurymmar stared tiredly at his slowly retreating owner and slowly got up on all fours again. Then, with barely a whisper or a groan, he subserviently followed in the wake of Scar's trail, padding off silently and surely.

     A lone strand of fur floated down slowly to the ground from where a stray branch had nicked it from Wurymmar's haunches. And there it lay on the ground.

     A stray blue fur glinting in the rays of the sun.

     ~*~*~*~*~

     "We be nearly at Neopia Central. I'd be suggesting that ya collect yer belongings and prepare ter get off."

     "Aye, thank you captain, you've been too kind," Scar said in a falsely jovial voice. Then in an undertone, "Especially after I paid all those Neopoints. I'd better go get Wurymmar."

     Leaving the Pirate Techo alone at the helm of the swift schooner, the Silver Hawk, Scar proceeded on deck towards the door that led into the belly of the vessel. Leaving the delightful sea breeze behind and entering the dank lower levels, Scar walked slowly towards a door at the end of the short hall. He put his hand on the knob and prepared to open the door but hesitated. He knew that it was most likely Wurymmar that lay behind the door, and it was exactly that knowledge that caused the pause.

     Along the course of the last five days Scar had noticed a subtle change in Wurymmar; and it wasn't just his behaviour. Wurymmar had grown more and more withdrawn, refusing to come on deck to take in the sea spray or even to continue with regular training, each time muttering, "I just can't do it, Scar," before rolling over in his bunk bed. Sure Scar had been mad at first but his anger soon gave way to worry and, surprisingly, to curiosity. It seemed to Scar, though he couldn't really see properly, that every time he looked in on Wurymmar the Lupe's once bright red fur seemed to be fading even more into a dull shade of blue. Scar, in all his experience with Neopets so far, had yet to see such a thing and it puzzled him mightily. But one thing he did know: Wurymmar was depressed and he wouldn't be surprised if that was the source of Wurymmar's subtle colour change.

     Behind the warped wooden door, Wurymmar lay on the bottom bunk of the bed in the room that he shared with Scar, light barely peeking through the curtained porthole into the darkened room, his head resting somewhat comfortably on his furry forepaws. His eyes focused dully on the cobwebs hanging lazily in the darkness of the top bunk bed. The gentle rocking motion of the ship lulled him into drowsiness but his mind was still as wide-awake as it was the night before.

     We must be nearly there, Wurymmar reasoned wanly, caring not the least. Throughout the sea voyage he had tried to recall all that had happened in the past week but all it did to him was bring another twang of pain to his already wounded heart.

     Why did they turn on me? We were friends, comrades … Wurymmar's face twisted in pain. Family. After all we've done together why did they attack me? His thoughts wandering back to the Endless Plains. He rolled over on his back in the uncomfortable bed. Was it because I was unworthy to be in the pack? Then he recalled all the training sessions with Scar, all the mistakes, all the reprimands, the shortcomings, his own inadequacies and a sigh escaped his chest, realization hitting him like a hammer. Maybe I am. My battle skills stink and I'm not smart. I just can't do anything right anymore.

     He rolled over again, this time thinking of when he first met Scar. How can I ever repay you Scar? You've done so much for me and I've failed you time and again. Now I know why you're so cold to me. Why did you rescue me, Scar? You should have just left me to die in that barren wasteland.

     Then the corner of his eyes moistened when Vrynian's face surfaced in his mind. I'm sure you're worried about me right now, my friend. I wish you wouldn't. I … I'm not worthy enough to be your friend. I hope you'll forget about me. You're better off without me.

     Slowly he held up his left paw and glanced at the now blue fur that covered it. Oh well, at least it's a change from red, Wurymmar thought. Then he chuckled sardonically. Ironic that I now look like that my former leader; the one that cast me out. My luck just seems to be getting better and better.

     A knocking on the door snapped him out of his thoughts. The door creaked opened slowly and Wurymmar saw Scar's figure outlined by the soft light from a lamp outside standing in the doorway.

     "Wurymmar," Scar began, squinting into the darkness of the room. "We'll be approaching land in a couple of hours. Why don't you go up on deck?" Scar saw some movement in the shadows, followed by a noisy creak, then a thump, and finally the sound of padding paws. Scar watched the dark figure that was Wurymmar emerge from the darkness, for what seemed like the first time in days, and was greeted by a stranger.

     The Lupe was no longer the red Lupe he recognized and though his features were predominantly that of Wurymmar but the marked differences remained. Shiny thick furs were now replaced with dull, lifeless ones. Dark rings hung under the once lively eyes and even the eyes themselves projected the bleakness that lurked beneath in the Lupe's heart. The spring of youth in the Lupe's powerful legs was replaced with the languid pace of one condemned to the Pound, a place Scar had been to countless times before and was thus familiar with.

     Wurymmar moved slowly past Scar, who was stood stiffly to one side, and without a word walked down the corridor, up the stairs and onto the deck. Scar started after him, wanting to stop him and say something to, maybe, cheer up the Lupe, but stopped. Casually he leaned back on the grimy wall of the ship and folded his arms. I really should say something to him, Scar thought to himself. But … but, oh come on Scar who're you kidding. I'm not good with this stuff and I don't do sympathy. Scar shook his head. No, this is different. I got to do something about Wurymmar, but how?

     Scar rubbed his chin for a few moments, swaying gently with the slow movements of the Silver Hawk. And then he thought of something. It just might work. What is there to lose? Scar told himself. And off he went in pursuit of Wurymmar.

     Scar, too busy with his plan, hardly noticed that he was actually, for the first time in a long, long time, experiencing an emotion that he usually left buried deep down. Scar barely noticed that, for once, he was caring for someone, worrying about his or her emotions, not in a practical way but out of concern.

     Strange for someone who made a living on the misery of Neopets but there must always be a first time for everything.

     ~*~*~*~*~

     "Aye, I'll be seeing ya lot around," the Techo captain of the Silver Hawk bade farewell to the disembarking Lupe and human. Wurymmar had moved past the Techo without acknowledging him, eyes downcast. As Scar made to walk past the captain beckoned to him. "That there Lupe o' yers don't look to pleased with 'imself. Maybe yer should cheer 'im up a bit." Scar glared at the Techo.

     "Don't lecture me captain, I can handle my Neopet and myself," Scar snapped. Then he turned and started down the gangplank, but not before he noticed Wurymmar's pained expression as the Lupe turned away from him and continued down the plank. Scar shook his head and cursed himself for his outburst. Sighing, he went down the last few feet and finally came to a stop on the docks, next to Wurymmar. He lifted his eyes to the sky and watched its reddish tint turn darker and darker as night approached. Scar beckoned to Wurymmar. "Let's go to my Neohome. We'll spend the night there. What do you think?" Wurymmar shrugged.

     "Whatever is fine with you, Scar, I don't know anything about Neopia Central." Scar nodded and led the way, Wurymmar following leisurely behind, not the least interested in the new scenery. A while later, the duo arrived at a small Neohome along Winding Wood Drive. Scar fumbled with the keys before finding the right one and inserted it into the lock. He opened the door and led the way in.

     "I know it doesn't look like much but I don't use it that often," Scar stated matter-of-factly, beckoning to the insides of the Neohome.

     Wurymmar looked around at the sparsely furnished home before turning back to face Scar with a shrug. "It's alright," he said. Scar nodded and beckoned him into a small living room then pointed to a door.

     "Normally I'd sleep there but you can have it for the night," Scar muttered. Wurymmar gave another shrug.

     "Don't do me any more favours, okay Scar?" the Lupe said softly. "I'll work for my favours, and not before. I'll sleep outside tomorrow." Scar watched as Wurymmar walked up to the door, opened it with one blue paw and closed it shut behind him. Shaking his head sombrely, Scar moved to a chair near the small, unlit fireplace and lay in it, slowly drifting off to sleep.

     ~*~*~*~* ~

     "Where are we going now, Scar?" Wurymmar muttered as he trotted alongside Scar. "The Battledome? Somewhere to train perhaps?"

     Scar stayed silent and just led the way through the throng of Neopians crowding in The High Street, walking down broad avenues and curving through narrow alleys. Finally, Scar came to a stop in the middle of an almost empty square. Wurymmar stared quizzically at the tall, white building across from the cobbled plaza, the words "Neopia Central Museum" carved on the roof in bold, graceful script, and back again at Scar.

     "What are we doing here?" Wurymmar inquired questioningly. "Is there something I should see here?"

     "Let's go inside," Scar replied vaguely, starting towards the marble steps of the structure. "There may be something you'll find interesting."

     A while later, they, Wurymmar and Scar, were wandering the long halls of the museum, their footsteps echoing on polished marble floor. Wurymmar stared all around him, taking in the various sculptures and paintings. Then Scar stopped at a large painting that looked like it had just been put up recently.

     The shiny gold frame held a painting that depicted a blue Lupe, sword upraised in victory, three fiendish creatures lying all about him.

      "Observe Wurymmar," Scar said in a low tone that only Wurymmar could hear. "Sir Jeran Borodere, Defender of Meridell. When Jeran was transported to Meridell in a freak magical incident, he was separated from his sister and at such a young age too. But Jeran didn't dwell on the loss of his sister, didn't wallow in self-pity. Instead he focused on being a knight and protector of Meridell. He didn't need to prove himself to anyone and despite his shortcomings he still persevered and defended the country he had grown to love to the best of his ability and with all his heart, all for the good of the citizens of Meridell.

     "Jeran was a hero but not even heroes are free from their faults. No one in Neopia and beyond is perfect but, like Sir Borodere, you should never stop trying to be the best. Humans are, at best, slightly better than Neopets but Lupes have long shown the capacity that surpasses even the strongest, smartest or most courageous humans.

     "You don't need to prove yourself to anyone or me, just to yourself. 'Your best' and 'my best' are two different things and it's the former that is of far more importance.

     "This is what Lupes are capable of," Scar continued, gesturing at the painting. "You are capable of great deeds, Wurymmar, just like Jeran Borodere. No matter what colour you are, you are still a Lupe and Lupes stand for loyalty, confidence, determination and courage. Never forget that as long as you live, Wurymmar."

     Wurymmar turned his gaze from Scar to the painting of Sir Borodere. He saw the determination in the Lupe's proud eyes, the feeling of accomplishment at having done the best he can and then it hit him.

     I could be just like him, Wurymmar pondered. As long as I try my hardest and never give up I can be just as good as Sir Borodere. I know now that as long as I try 'my' best I'm just as good as any other person out there. A dead weight seemed to have lifted from his shoulders and for what seemed like ages, Wurymmar felt his heart become much lighter. Lifting his shoulders with new resolve, Wurymmar turned to Scar, wanting to thank him, but he was already walking away. Then a small smile crept on Wurymmar's face as he looked at his owner.

     Maybe I misjudged you Scar, Wurymmar thought. You may be cold and forbidding on the outside but I know that, deep down, you actually care for me. Wurymmar gave a small chuckle. And I bet you're too embarrassed to say you care about me, right you softie?

     Thank you Scar, I really appreciate it, Wurymmar said silently to Scar's retreating back. Now smiling sincerely for the first time since the Tyrannian Plateau, Wurymmar started running across the polished marble to catch up with his owner.

     If the Lupe could have seen his owner's face he would have seen the small, smug grin in the corner of his mouth. Who says I stink at motivational speeches?

To be continued …

Author's Note: And that is how Wurymmar became blue. So Scar doesn't really stink at motivational speeches. Will Scar ever redecorate? Now that the preliminaries are over, who knows what the two of them will come across next? Stay tuned to find out.

 
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Other Episodes


» Fallout, The Wurymmar Story: Part One
» Fallout, The Wurymmar Story: Part Two
» Fallout, The Wurymmar Story: Part Four
» Fallout, The Wurymmar Story: Part Five



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