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Pet Name: Vulturius
When Vulturius was young, he dreamt of becoming one of the finest chefs in Neopia. But the other Mutant Lennies laughed at him mercilessly, living up to their reputations as being cruel and heartless. So Vulturius from that moment on became an outcast, wandering alone through barren landscapes where there were no other pets.
If anyone tries to approach Vulturius, he'll snap at them (quite literally with that beak!) as he is wary to make friends, fearing ridicule from them. This is why Vulturius' only companion is a small Turtmid, named Aristurtle.
The pair met by chance one late afternoon over the vast dunes of the Lost Desert, where the young petpet was aimlessly shuffling along the sandy ground. Now, as you well know, Mutant Lennies are notorious for preying on shelled petpets- such as Turtums, and Turdles. They swoop down and clasp them between their menacing talons, before dropping them back down to the ground. Vulturius does at least stay true to some of his creed's traits, and was seeking a meal when he saw the Turtmid down on the ground. He glided around and headed for his victim, grabbing the helpless petpet and climbing high into the air with it. Vulturius found the right altitude, and then released his meal, lazily following it on its descent.
However, the plan had a flaw in it this time, and Vulturius felt infuriated with himself for not foreseeing such a thing- the Turtmid did not fall to its doom at all, but rather rolled over and over on its pyramid-shaped shell like an unwieldy die, before coming to a stop and looking around in disorientation. Vulturius landed in front of the petpet and glared at it with all his might, humiliated that he had been outsmarted by such a dimwitted creature. Mutant Lennies are equipped with that rather dangerous-looking beak; perfect for finishing the job at close range. But as Vulturius looked down at the Turtmid, he then wondered why it was all alone, as Turtmids usually lived in small groups- much like Mutant Lennies.
"Are you an outcast? Like me?" he asked it croakily, surprised to hear the sound of his own voice, after having not spoken to anyone for a long time.
The Turtmid did an approximation of what could only be described as a shrug, and continued to gaze up at this monster in perplexity, puzzling over why he was being so lenient.
Vulturius ruffled his feathers, and nudged the petpet's shell cautiously with the tip of his beak. "You're not hurt, are you?" he mumbled, now beginning to feel guilty. Usually there were no survivors, the whole incident being over and done with in a matter of seconds; too short a time for even Vulturius to develop remorse for what he had done.
The Turtmid sort of shrugged again, this time indicating that it meant 'no'.
Vulturius exhaled quietly in relief, and then weighed up his options. He had grown rather proud of being a loner, feeling strong in the knowledge that he depended on no-one. But on the other wing, this timid creature meant him no harm, and would hardly be able to be cruel to him.
The Turtmid curled up inside its shell in fright, as it felt those heavy talons gripped around it once more.
"You're coming with me," Vulturius told it. "I'm not going to eat you."
The young Turtmid poked its head out of its shell and cautiously looked up at the underside of its new owner. "I'm Aristurtle!" it squeaked, before retreating into its shell again.
"You're just shy," Vulturius realised. "Not dim-witted at all... My name is Vulturius."
The Turtmid did not reply this time, still quivering inside its pointed shell.
From that day on, the two gladly became companions, venturing together across Neopia in the search for food and books- although Aristurtle sometimes got the two mixed-up, and was often scolded fondly for having nibbled his way through an old paperback. It was fortunate that they met each other, really, as they are both two of the shyest individuals you could ever come across. Neither like being in crowded places, as they both draw rather a lot of unwanted attention in their own way. Aristurtle is somewhat of an oddity, due to the unusual shape of his shell. As for Vulturius, well... let's just say that Mutant Lennies have that 'wanna fight?!' look about them, so he often gets difficult attitudes from other pets- ones who look like they probably live in the battledome. Vulturius of course abhors any social situation, and especially one where fighting comes into it; he is more than a match for any opponent, and does not trust himself to keep all that anger and resentment bottled up. So whereas there are some pets who love to be the centre of attention, this Mutant Lenny would like nothing more than to just be left in peace.
On the off chance that pets want to try and be friendly to this fearsome-looking character, Vulturius remains standoffish, unable to relax or trust them. He is always filled with paranoia every time he hears laughter- for he always assumes that he is the subject of others' laughter, even if he knows full well that the two parties have never come into contact with each other. Sadly, Vulturius will probably always be this way, scarred by the rejection of his own kind, and not willing to try and see the good in others. He also has to live with the knowledge that he will never be a gourmet chef, no matter how hard he tries. It is impossible for him to even make a sandwich, because he has long raggedy feathers instead of opposable thumbs.
This is why it is often a mystery to Aristurtle, when he and Vulturius are eating scraps and leftovers they find littered across Neopia (they are both scavengers by nature), that his owner closes his eyes and pretends as though he is eating the finest food to be found.
Vulturius has often tried to find something about his life that he can be satisfied with, and it is then that his imagination comes to aid. Now, mouldy old pieces of omelette become slices of deluxe asparagus gateaux, or exotic Shenkuu noodles. It is one of his dearest ambitions to live in Shenkuu, and to work with others who share his love of good food. But after so much time spent being a recluse, it is doubtful that Vulturius will ever find the confidence to pursue his dreams...
So, if you ever see a Mutant Lenny, alone but for a strange pyramid-shaped object, then it's probably Vulturius and Aristurtle- and they would appreciate it if you let them slip by unnoticed.
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