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Petpet Name: Meseni
Pet Name: Maijitesa
Breed: Mutant Ona
Neopia was filled with Petpets -- most of them cute, fluffy little things that bumbled over their own paws as they chirped in cheerful little voices. Maijitesa abhored them all. Lifting his flaming hooves high as he travelled the land, delicately avoiding stepping on any of these adorably irritating creatures, Maijitesa attempted to maintain an air of aloof indifference.
One day he found himself in the Haunted Woods. He felt more at home there. The perpetual darkness, the dreary atmosphere, the occasional scream of terror -- it suited Maijitesa just fine. He let himself get lost in his thoughts, and presently he found himself in an area of the Woods he had not yet explored. Surrounded by trees reaching their branches toward the bleak sky, he could no longer smell the scent of the fires burning in the gypsy camp, the strange acrid stench of the Esophagor, or even that odd mixture of burnt popcorn and rancid cream pie that always seemed to hang around the old fairground.
Pricking his ears forward, he lifted his head. It paid to stay alert in the Haunted Woods, even if you were naturally a creature of the night. Powerful as he was, there were still things lurking here that were even more deadly, with far less patience. He wasn't worried. Eventually, he knew, he would find his way out. Even the Haunted Woods did not go on forever.
Soon there was a new, unfamiliar scent on the breeze. As he moved closer, it seared his nostrils and burned his throat; he snorted, ears back, pawing the ground a little in actual distress. What could be causing such a powerful stink? It was far worse than the Esophagor even at his most malodorous. Curiosity won out as he began to become accustomed to the foul fumes, and he cautiously stepped forward. The scent grew stronger, and he knew he was nearing its source.
One ear flicked as he heard a raspy, gravelly mewing. It sounded like the noise a Kadoatie made -- a Kadoatie who'd had a sore throat for eighty years. What an annoying sound, Maijitesa thought. I would pay at least five thousand Neopoints to get that to stop. He shook his head and wrinkled his nose. A moment later, his hoof came down in something cold, wet and sticky. Jerking it back, he saw he had stepped into a trail of green ichor that crossed the path before him. Looking around, he spied a hideous... what even was that? It looked like a Slorg, but one that had been horribly deformed. Crawling past it was a Yullie, but its skin was covered in pus and its movements were stuttered, jerky, as if it could barely hold itself up.
Something fluttered past his head and landed on a branch above. Looking up, he saw it was a creature that somewhat resembled a Beekadoodle, but it had far too many eyes. It squawked at him.
Maijitesa was a bit disturbed. What were these things?
He came upon a clearing: a ring of twisted trees, devoid of leaves and surrounding a pool. The water -- if indeed that was water -- was covered in a scum of green slime and all around the banks, more of the deformed Petpets crawled and slithered. Their deformities seemed to grow worse in proximity to the pool. Maijitesa lost count of how many extra eyes and limbs -- and heads -- he saw. This was the source of that stench. Maijitesa made a disgusted noise, low in his throat, and turned away. Curiosity assagued, he now had no wish to stay here any longer.
One of the creatures disfigured by the pool stood in his path. However, it was not as hideously deformed as the others. Dark red in colour, its general shape suggested an Ona, one of the cutest Petpets in Neopia, but the little star antennae had turned into long horns, the star facial marking had become a crescent moon. Long claws had sprouted from its paws, and the Ona's tiny, fluttery little wings had become leathery, like those of a bat. But it had no extra eyes, no extra limbs, and only one head, and for that Maijitesa was rather grateful.
It clicked its fangs and glared up at him. "Excuse me," Maijitesa said politely, and made to step around it. Though small, those claws and fangs looked like they could inflict some damage. With the fumes from the pool all around him, Maijitesa had no wish to receive any wounds that might invite that foul stuff into his body, and he did not want to offend the creature and provoke it into attack.
The Ona hissed. Dropping to all fours, it ran past Maijitesa and leaped, wings flapping, grabbing onto the trailing hairs of his long tail. Before Maijitesa could so much as protest, it had scurried up his tail and perched on his flank. When Maijitesa swung his head around to investigate, the Ona hissed again and scowled at him, as if daring him to try and dislodge it.
"Brazen, aren't we?" Maijitesa was amused.
The Ona just glared at him and trundled across his back to his shoulders, where it grabbed a chunk of mane in each paw. Maijitesa was pleased, and surprised, to note that it had been very careful not to dig its claws in. "I take it you've decided you're coming with me," Maijitesa said. His only response was a little sigh as the Ona settled between his withers, still gripping his mane. Still amused, Maijitesa merely shook his head and walked away from the fetid pond. Once he was sure the path ahead did not hold any slimy surprises, he sprang into a canter and ran until he could no longer smell the odour of it. It seemed, without even trying, he had earned himself a Petpet.
Soon they emerged into the Woods proper, and the familiar scents returned. He almost welcomed that burnt popcorn stink. Maijitesa slowed, and then stopped, and tilted his head to regard his little passenger. "I suspect that's better, hm?" he said.
The Ona sniffed.
"My name is Maijitesa. What am I to call you? I can't just call you Ona."
The Ona stared at him, and made a very faint croaking noise, nothing like the usual happy chirp of an Ona. This pleased him -- he couldn't stand that noise.
"I'll have to think of a suitable name, I suppose. I have no doubt that you'll let me know if you don't like it."
The Ona sniffed and made that odd croak again.
Regarding his little companion, Maijitesa tilted his head. "You can't make any proper noises, can you?" he said. Thinking back, he could not recall a single occasion where the Ona had made any noises even approaching the normal voice of a Petpet.
The Ona made a little growling noise, but even this was very faint.
"Perhaps I should call you Meseni," Maijitesa mused. The word meant "silence", and it was something Maijitesa valued most highly.
The Ona blinked at him. Sitting down, it tilted its head back to scratch at one ear with its back claws, as if considering. When it straightened, it looked at him for a long moment before once again settling down contentedly between his shoulders, and closing its eyes.
"Does that mean you accept it as your name, Meseni?"
Meseni opened one eye and scowled at him with it briefly before closing it again. Maijitesa chuckled, and walked on.
Meseni was not the usual type of adorable, cuddly Petpet who followed their Neopet owners like little fools, always eager to please. He was very independent, and Maijitesa never worried about him; he knew Meseni could care for himself. He was not affectionate, but Maijitesa did not look for affection. Nevertheless, Meseni was a good and brave companion. He followed Maijitesa duitifully, trotting at his heel or riding contentedly between his shoulders with a chunk of mane held in each paw. And sometimes, when he thought the Uni long asleep, Meseni would curl up against his side, snuggling close, and purr -- a soft rumbly rasping, deep in his throat -- until he too fell asleep.
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