Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 119,635,638 Issue: 241 | 26th day of Hunting, Y8
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City Lupe on the Plains: Part One

by kindheartedfairy


Nero gazed out the dirty cracked glass that was supposed to be a window, to the west, where the Endless Plains lay. He sighed and looked away. He knew he would never be able to go back home. He felt miserable, much sadder than he had before. He needed another emotional boost.

      He turned to the equally well-kept Full Length Mirror he had gotten long ago and kept in his room ever since. He was a Green Lupe, barely bigger than a pup, though he was a few years older than his size revealed. Thin, barely visible parallel lines of fire-colored fur ran across either side of his tail. Another symbol of his heritage was his eyes with a fiery glow. He smiled slightly at the eyes. But the small, short, thin scar running diagonally up the middle of his left foreleg reminded him of his past.

      He began to remember his past, back when he was barely old enough to remember it now to his current life... all the way back to when he was a Plains Lupe. He had been a small and young member of a pack descending from fire mage Lupes. One day, humans had come, but Nero was the unfortunate individual to be captured, taken to the city, and adopted by a seemingly kind girl, who immediately tried to make him as perfect as she thought her twin Faerie Zafaras. Once she had learned he was a Plains Lupe, complete mistreatment had begun. He was nearly starved, and so grew very little, never taken well care of, given nothing but bits and pieces of Rotten Omelette, and his room and few pieces of furniture were old, dark, and dirty.

      A long creak as the door opened interrupted Nero's thoughts. Andrea and Angela, Amanda's other two pets, entered. Had it not been for Andrea's gold locket and Angela's gold bracelet, it would have been difficult to tell them apart.

      "Nero," Angela began in a sweet, angelic tone of voice, "why don't you go down to our party?"

      "Yes," Andrea continued, fluttering her transparent blue wings, "you should. There's a delicious cake, and lots of guests, and anything a savage could possibly like! Oh, yeah, I forgot…"

      "You can't!" the twins shouted together.

      "I'm not a savage! And I'm being unfairly and unjustly punished!" Nero shouted. "I didn't do anything to deserve this!"

      "Amanda!" Angela called to their owner. "Nero's being savage-like, dishonest, cruel, and everything he was last time, when he untruthfully protested to our complete kindness and honesty!"

      "Nero!" Amanda yelled, storming in, careful to avoid the sight of any nosy party guests. "You are grounded from our next party!"

      Nero curled up on his Dried Bamboo Mat. Every party and the time between them, the three other members of his "family" always found something as a reason to ground him from a growing list of the next parties. And most of those times were exactly what had just happened. Nero felt like running away. He was hardly allowed to leave his room. He was barely fed, neglected, his few belongings that were really just trash near him were in terrible condition, and more. But as soon as the thought to run away re-entered his mind, he remembered the last, first, and only time he had tried to run away, only a week after the mistreatment began…

      He had just gotten down the stairs, when Amanda had caught him trying to sneak out. "Where are you going?" she had asked.

      "I'm running away," he had said, trying to make himself feel strong and brave. "And there's nothing you can do about it. I'm finding an owner who will treat me nicely. I'm getting a better life than you are willing to give me."

      He had expected Amanda to stop him or be as cruel as he knew her to be, but instead, she had smiled kindly, and sat the pup down on her lap as she sat on the floor, stroking his fur gently. "I'm going to tell you a story," she had said in a soft whispering voice. "Once there was a Gr- I mean Mutant Lupe, a Plains Lupe, who was adopted by a boy. When the Lupe, Ne- Savage, left the boy, he met a young woman, who, upon learning he was a Plains Lupe, abandoned him as a monster. Savage wished he had stayed with the boy, who had treated him as he, a savage, deserved, and had been kind enough to keep, house, and feed him."

      Once she had finished the story, she had concluded sweetly, "So, now that I've told you my story, good-bye." She faked a sob.

      Nero's ears drooped. He knew Amanda's story to be probably accurate, and just turned and dejectedly walked back to his room.

      But now Nero knew what to do. He still remembered what the story meant, but he had another idea. He would flee to the Endless Plains, his true home. He would find his pack and live there.

      He began to get ready, which took little time. He had nothing to take. He slipped through the broken window in his room, sneaking back to the Endless Plains.


     Eventually, the Lupe reached the edge of Neopia Central that met the Endless Plains. Nero climbed the fence, and made his way through the little territory he found vaguely familiar.

      Suddenly, a light blue and white blur shot past him. Nero stopped, and looked around. At first, he saw only a single Cloud Lupe glaring at him, but a moment later, there were nearly a dozen of them, and a Faerie Lupe with the same expression, hovering over the Cloud Lupes, her orange wings flapping frequently.

      "Get away, you city scum!" the Faerie Lupe growled. Nero, looking at her paws, realized she was one of his pack. "We know where you come from. One of us saw you leap the fence. You city pets couldn't do anything if your life depended on it! You think you can be one of us? Well-" She stifled a gasp at the realization Nero also had fire-colored paws. This seemed to make her angrier. "You may have once been a Plains Lupe, but we will not have contamination in our pack!" she yelled. "Attack!" came the order.

      "Stop!" another voice yelled.

      A dozen Lupes turned their heads to face a thirteenth Lupe, her fur entirely snow-white, with the exception of a pair of symmetrical blue teardrop-shaped markings on the front of her neck. Her amber eyes seemed to have a fiery glow, just as the Faerie Lupe and Nero.

      "Josephine," the Faerie Lupe said, her voice full of scorn.

      "Jane, sister," Josephine replied, in a calmer voice.

      "Go away. I said you were never to return, and now that you have once more, I will just tell you that you have nothing to say in my interest. Now leave us to destroy this renegade scum."

      Nero was about to protest, but between hunger, sleepiness, and just plain exhaustion from running to evade the eyes of any other Neopians as he had made his way back to the Endless Plains, the Green Lupe fell asleep.


     When Nero awoke, he found himself at the edge of a forest. Standing near him was the White Lupe evidently named Josephine.

      "Here," she said, handing him a few Bacon Omelettes. "Eat these."

      Nero savored the taste as he chewed the bacon. He had never tasted anything so good in his life, but most of his remembered diet had consisted mostly of Rotten Omelette and the like. He supposed he had eaten these when he was a tiny pup, before the humans had come.

      He remembered, if only a little, that his pack had lived on the wide shores of a beautiful blue lake, walled by a great forest. Perhaps this was the forest, and the lake was nearby? Or had the pack moved to the other side of the forest? And either way, where was anyone else?

      He was just about to ask Josephine this when a hyper Red Lupe zoomed towards them.

      "HiyaJosephinewhere'veyoubeen wecouldn'tfindyouandsoDaenel sentmeto lookforyou! Solet'sgoc'mon! HecancometooIguess," the Lupe said, disregarding all vocal pauses, punctuation, and most spaces. His brown eyes scanned the scenery as he spoke to Josephine.

      Josephine followed the energetic Lupe, beckoning for Nero to follow.

      Once Nero had caught up, the two Lupes began to talk. Nero introduced himself, and learned that Jane was Josephine's sister. When they had left the pack, back when Josephine had been a Faerie Lupe also, they had been accepted into the pack of Cloud Lupes, who saw the sky as of great significance, and were amazed by the two winged Lupes. Jane had greedily managed to take over the pack, and developed scorn for all who weren't a Plains Lupe of the pack she led. The ten Cloud Lupes were the team that patrolled with her, attacking everyone Jane wanted them to. Jane had also seen Josephine as a threat, and right before Jane would have tried to steal the fire magic her sister possessed, Josephine had painted herself White, erasing her wings, the only way Jane knew to steal Josephine's magic. Jane had then angrily banished Josephine. Not long after, the newly-painted Josephine had become part of a small group of lone Lupes without a pack. Daenel was the leader, and Xyo, the Red Lupe leading them to cave the outcasts lived in, was just a year out of puppyhood, but still hadn't quite grown out of it.

      They stopped at a large rock, ten feet wide and twice as tall. Nero noticed a small opening into the apparently hollow rock, just big enough for a full-grown Lupe to slip through.

      As the three slipped through, Nero was hit a by a blast of warm air. It felt so cozy, Nero just wanted to curl up and sleep there forever. But instead, he looked around. There was a Grey Lupe tending to the small fire under a hole in the rock. Xyo went up to a Lupe that looked almost exactly like him, except this Red Lupe seemed a bit thinner and had green eyes. A Mutant Lupe was watching him carefully and seemed to be thinking. Three pups were playing around. One was a female Yellow Lupe, and she seemed to be the roughest of the trio. There was a timid-looking Baby Lupe with a tattered green bandana around his neck, who was trying to stay away from constant struggles between the other two. The third, a Brown Lupe, seemed to be a combination of the others, brave and adventurous, but still trying to be safe, and trying to keep the struggles to a minimum.

      Josephine came and introduced the others to him. The Mutant Lupe was Daenel, the leader. He had always seemed a loner, and had left the pack himself, as the pack had barely accepted him, him being Mutant. He seemed a bit bitter and angry, but he had a good heart underneath his ugly appearance and negative first impression. The Yellow Lupe pup was Natalie. She had been abandoned a year ago, when the pack leader had found her to be too much of an annoyance to all. The Baby Lupe was Benny, who had been an orphan since an age he could not remember. After two years, most of the pack had insisted that since he was a Baby Lupe, he would never grow big and strong, and without him being able to hunt, he would be a waste of resources. He, too, had been abandoned. Scout, the Brown Lupe pup with a thick tan line from the tip of his nose, across his belly, and to the very tip of his tail, only a year old, had been traveling with only his parents, who were alone for a reason not even Scout knew. A human had come along and captured them to bring to the city, missing Scout, who had hidden in the bushes. Scout, having been so young, knew not his own name, so because he loved to explore, he was called Scout. Xyo and his older brother, Zyx, had been banished for looking almost identical; the only way to tell them apart was by Xyo's way of talking, their eye color, if Zyx was holding a book he had managed to get from Neopia Central, which was usual, or by Zyx having less strength and being thinner than his younger brother. The pack leader had decided that it was too difficult to identify them, making their being part of the pack inconvenient. The old Grey Lupe was Marco. Marco's childhood rival had become leader of the pack and almost immediately, banished him.

To be continued…

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