Oliver, a starry Gelert, grinned as he poked his head
out of his NeoHome’s window and felt the cool night breezes ruffling his long
ribbony ears. Oliver pulled his star spangled head back into the generated warmth
of his NeoHome, glancing at his bedside table, where a small pile of Neopoints
sat, waiting to be spent. Oliver was only too happy to accept their request.
The star studded Gelert grinned as flicked a
pair of mirrored shades over his eyes and scooped all of the coins into a small
wallet, tying a sleek red bandana around his neck. Oliver whistled for his Petpet,
a loyal and fierce Crokabek that the starred Gelert had named Talon.
Oliver double checked to make sure that his owner
had left, and then quietly slipped out the door. Talon, gliding on his shadowy
wings, perched gracefully on Oliver’s shoulder, his claws digging gently into
the Gelert’s starry fur.
Oliver smiled as he leaned against the iron staircase
of his NeoHome, allowing himself a few minutes to simply gaze over the city.
It was beautiful, a vast inky canvas bedecked with thousands of glittering lights.
In the daytime, Neopia Central was a bright, ugly, bustling place, the alleyways
and streets crowed with vast multitudes of Pets, all of them rushing and running
with their wasteful purchases. They all ran and pushed and shouted, but none
of them were really going anywhere.
However, after the sun went down and the streetlights
came on, the entire place underwent a miraculous transformation. The pets, not
unlike Selklets whose rock had been overturned, scuttled into their NeoHomes
and locked the doors, finished with their shopping and ready to retire for the
night. When deserted, the streets of Neopia Central were quite calm and peaceful,
the cobblestone sidewalks bathed in the pale glow of the streetlights that stood
at every corner. This was how Oliver liked it, the fresh, cool air flooding
his nostrils and clearing his mind of the jumbled thoughts that amassed in the
The Gelert padded confidently down the street,
humming an old Jazzmosis tune. Perched contentedly on Oliver’s shoulder, Talon
the Crokabek swayed in time to his owner’s humming, occasionally throwing in
a screech or two to add to the song. Oliver chuckled and reached down with one
of his ears to scratch Talon’s head, just how he liked it. The Crokabek clacked
his beak and closed his lamplike eyes lazily, enjoying the attention.
Oliver turned a corner, his well-kept, star-studded
pelt positively shining in the moonlight. The Gelert smiled as his eyes caught
sight of a male silver Lupe leaning nonchalantly against the side of a building.
Upon seeing Oliver, the Lupe grinned and threw open his paws, Embracing the
Gelert like a brother, his shining silver fur complimenting Oliver’s starry
"Oliver! How have you been? I haven’t seen you
for a whole month!" the Lupe said, his pearly fangs gleaming in the pale moonlight.
"Sorry Jazz, I haven’t really gotten the chance
the get out of the NeoHome… Owner’s been on my case, I think she knows that
I’ve been sneaking out against her wishes."
Jazz furrowed his brow, as if in deep concentration.
"So how’d you manage to get out tonight, Olli?"
The starry Gelert smirked, glancing at the moon.
"My owner’s completely petrified of the full moon, she’s convinced that if she
sets foot of the house, she’ll be ambushed by a pack of ravenous WereLupes.
I can get out once a month, on the night of a full moon."
Jazz scratched his head, his silver tail twitching.
"So how does that help you to leave the house?"
"She goes to her home on Earth on full moon
nights, to ensure protection against WereLupes" Oliver replied, examining his
claws casually. Jazz cocked his head to the side.
"What’s Earth?" he asked, a puzzled expression
decorating his sparkling maw.
"Nevermind," The Gelert quickly replied, not
wanting to have to explain the concept of another world to the somewhat dim-witted
Lupe. Jazz was silent for a second, before snapping up his head and grinning.
"Hey Olli, guess what I saw the other day!"
he barked, tail wagging. Oliver raised a brow.
The silver Lupe chuckled as he shoved a paw into
his pockets, pulling out a crumpled flyer. Jazz carefully smoothed it out on
the sidewalk before handing it to the intrigued Gelert.
"Jazzmosis is in town, tonight! They’re doing
a special performance at Los Lupos, I figured that we could go and check it
Oliver was at a loss for words. Jazzmosis was
his favorite band, but, since his owner was terrified of Sabre-X, he never got
a chance to see them live in Tyrannia. Sure, he saw them on T.V, but it wasn’t
the same as watching them live, completely into their performance, while he
stood in the crowds and listened blissfully to the fabulous music. Jazz grinned.
"I take it that means that you’d be interested
Oliver laughed; slicking back his star studded
hair with a paw. "Let’s go, I don’t want to miss a second of their show!"
Laughing and chatting, the two pets wove their
way through the dark alleyways of Neopia Central, guided by the milky light
of the moon and the dull sheen of the street lamps. Finally, the two of them
arrived at a dingy staircase leading down to a moldy door. Jazz sniggered and
gestured to the door with a great flourish.
"Gelerts first," the Lupe teased, giving Olli
a small shove towards the door. Oliver snorted, Talon screeching indignantly
from his perch on the Gelert’s shoulder. Without a backwards glance, Oliver
padded softly down the staircase and pushed the door open with a paw, wincing
slightly as a large barrage of rock ‘music’ assaulted his sensitive ears. Apparently,
Jazzmosis hadn’t begun their show yet. The starry Gelert traveled cautiously
through the throngs of Pets, careful not to ruffle any feathers or step on any
tails. Not all of these Pets had owners, and could be pretty nasty when they
had a mind to be.
Jazz followed the Gelert from a slight distance,
glancing uneasily at a table in the corner, the occupant’s faces partially shrouded
by the shadows. The Lupe shuddered; he knew who sat at that table. He could
see the vivid lightning bolts that bedecked the Pet’s pelt, and he could hear
the Pet’s voice, a low growl emanating from the deepest recesses of his throat.
It was Slash, a vicious Kougra that had a long history of unpleasant confrontations
with Jazz. The silver Lupe quickly scurried over to a small table hidden by
the dingy curtains, waving frantically at Oliver, who was still searching for
a seat. The Gelert slid uneasily into a chair beside Jazz, wrinkling his snout
"Come on Jazz! This is a horrible table! Look,
there’s a free one that’s right in front of the stage. Let’s go there, instead…"
Oliver rose out of his seat and made as if to step over to the other table,
but Jazz held him back.
"No!" the Lupe frantically barked. "I don’t
want to sit there." Oliver peered at the table, searching for faults.
"How come?" he asked, throwing Jazz a puzzled
look. The Lupe sighed sadly, and pointed a silver paw in the direction of Slash,
who was playing Neopoker with his posse. Oliver shrugged.
"So, it’s just a Kougra," he said, stroking
Talon’s sleek headfeathers. Jazz whimpered, wringing his paws.
"No he isn’t! He doesn’t like me very much,
I kind of got into a bit of trouble with him a while back…" the Lupe replied.
The Gelert rolled his eyes. "What did you do?"
he asked with an exasperated sigh. Jazz slumped his shoulders, concentrating
on the floor.
"I’d rather not get into it…"
Oliver rubbed his temples, glancing at the free
table, and then back at his friend. Finally, he grabbed Jazz by the arm and
dragged him over to the new table, plopping the Lupe down in a seat.
"I don’t care. I don’t want to miss Jazzmosis,
they’LL probably never be playing here again. I’m sure the Kougra will leave
Jazz cast a nervous look across the room, before
finally relaxing, leaning back in his seat.
"Yeah, I suppose so."
The two pets sat in silence, waiting impatiently
for the show to start. Finally, Oliver’s sharp Gelert ears caught the sound
of a trumpet, followed by the soft tap of paws on a keyboard, mingling with
the deep-throated voice of the lead singer. The starry Gelert grinned, tilting
forwards in his seat to get a better view of his favorite band as they played
all of their best songs.
The show was better than anything Oliver could’ve
hoped for. Hearing Jazzmosis on a record, being played on an ancient phonograph,
was nothing compared to seeing the band in person. The Gelert tapped his paw
on the floor in tune with music, Talon swaying happily on his shoulder. The
only Pet who didn’t seem to be enjoying the concert was Jazz. The silver Lupe
was constantly glancing around the club, sweat running down his sleek muzzle.
Oliver rolled his eyes. Jazz could be such a puppy!
After the show had finished, Oliver decided to
take Jazz’s mind off of electric Kougra by challenging him to game of his favorite
pastime, JubJub Blackjack. Jazz immediately brightened up at the idea, and accepted.
The Lupe led the way through the chattering crowds
of pets to the BlackJack tables, where a somewhat frazzled JubJub dealer as
waiting. Jazz slid into a chair across from the JubJub, grinning at his friend.
"I’LL rack up more Neopoints than you after
ten games, Olli." The silver Lupe flexed his paws, an excited glimmer twinkling
in his eyes. "You’LL be sorry that you challenged ME to a game of BlackJack!"
Oliver shook his head and seated himself on the
edge of Pool Table, where he had a clear view of the proceedings. Jazz hadn’t
played one card when Slash and two of his cronies came strutting by, sidling
down to surround Jazz on all sides. Oliver leapt up from his chair and growled,
his starry hackles raising menacingly. Slash paid the Gelert little attention.
The Kougra lowered his head so that he was level with Jazz’s. The Lupe gulped
and quavered visibly under the Kougra’s glare, a terrified expression stamped
across his silver furred face. Slash grinned, folding his lightning bedecked
paws across his chest.
"Well, well, well. Look what we have here, boys.
The worthless silver Lupe," the Kougra snarled, his voice sounding not unlike
a piece of wet silk being dragged across a piece of slate. Slash’s friends laughed
harshly, shoving the petrified Lupe from side to side. Oliver barked to grab
their attention. It did the trick; Slash turned around sharply, his blood red
eyes shining with malice. The JubJub Blackjack dealer made a small squeaking
sound and scurried off into the shadows. The electric Kougra smiled, narrowing
"And who might you be?" he growled, slowly beginning
to unsheathe his claws. Oliver glared at the Kougra, Talon screeching angrily
from his shoulder. The starry Gelert bared his teeth, doing his best to look
intimidating and formidable.
"My name is Oliver, and I’m Jazz’s friend, which
means that you can’t pick on him without getting past me first!"
Slash chuckled and withdrew his claws. He examined
his vivid blue paws casually, eyeing the snarling Gelert with distaste.
"A rich Pet, aren’t you? Pampered and cozy in
your fancy NeoHome, surrounded by multitudes of ridiculously expensive Plushies,"
he hissed. The Kougra’s gaze slid from Oliver to the festering Crokabek that
perched on his shoulders.
"A Crokabek. Those certainly don’t come cheap…"
Slash was moving now, circling Oliver the way that a Gather circles a trapped
Miamouse. There was a distinct snarl in the Kougra's silky voice.
"A city pet like you probably couldn’t fight
to save his life…" he hissed. Oliver did his best to contain the rage that was
threatening to bubble over at any second. Jazz glanced worriedly around, and
tapped Oliver on his shoulder.
"Olli… Olli, maybe we should go…" the Lupe whispered
timidly. Oliver whirled around, his fangs bared.
"No! You can’t let this waste of fur push you
around, Jazz!" The Gelert shifted his glare back to the electric Kougra.
"We’LL settle this here, and now," he growled.
Jazz whimpered, slowly backing up. Slash slicked back his head fur with a lightning
"Alright city pet, you’ve got it. What did you
have in mind?" Slash replied, his blood red eyes boring into Oliver’s mind.
The Gelert tried not to blink as he met the Kougra’s steely gaze.
"A fight. In the streets behind this club. Two
pets per side. Me and Jazz against you and someone else, I don’t care who you
choose," the Gelert responded coolly. Slash grinned, turning to his cronies.
"Sounds good, pup. But let’s make this more
interesting. If me and my buddy here," the Kougra gestured to a menacing skunk
colored Zafara, "—win the fight, then you two can never come around here again."
He finished. Oliver nodded.
"Fair enough. But if we win, then you and all
of your ‘buddies’ have to stay way from Jazz and me and leave us alone. Forever."
Slash furrowed his brow, as though considering
the offer. Finally he snorted, and stuck out his paw. "Deal."
Oliver took the Kougra’s paw and shook vigorously,
both of them trying to break the other’s paw. Finally, the two Pets broke apart
and turned away from each other, stalking off in opposite directions. Oliver
turned to Jazz and smiled slightly.
"You ever been in a fight, Lupey?" he asked,
stroking Talon’s feathers. Jazz shrugged.
"Yeah, but never against anyone as strong, or
cunning, as Slash. He fights dirty, Oliver. This one Pet, a Wocky, he challenged
Slash to a fight one time and ended up in the NeoHospital with a first class
case of Blurry Vision. He said that Slash had thrown something in his eyes…"
the Lupe trailed off, unsure of whether or not he should continue. Oliver squared
his narrow shoulders, flexing his muscles.
"I’ve been in over three hundred Battledome
fights, Jazz. I think I know a thing or two about battling."
The silver furred Lupe was silent for a moment,
digesting his friend’s last statement. Finally, he heaved a great sigh and began
to pad slowly towards the exit of the club.
"I hope you know what you’re doing, Oliver."
Oliver, Jazz, Slash and the Zafara all met in the dingy alleyway behind the
club, their faces partially shrouded by shadow. Slash smirked, flexing his claws.
Oliver gasped. He could now see how the electric Kougra had earned his name.
His claws were at least three times longer than
that of a normal Kougra, and sharp as the Monoceraptor’s. Slash noticed the
Gelert’s astonishment and laughed, waggling the claws in the moonlight.
"Most Kougras clip their claws to keep them
short… I never have."
The Kougra was silent for a moment, and unmoving.
Then suddenly, as quick as a bolt of lightning, he leapt upon Oliver with a
ferocious snarl. The Gelert yelped and dashed to the side just in time, Slash
landing gracefully on his paws. He whirled around and hissed, his lightning
striped tail wagging from side to side. Jazz jumped in to help his friend, and
managed to land a heavy blow across the Zafara’s head with his huge tail. The
Zafara reeled backward and groaned, falling to the ground and striking his head
on an overturned crate, instantly blacking out. Slash, his team-mate out of
commission, turned around frantically, searching for an escape. Oliver grinned
and struck the Kougra with his paw. Slash ducked, and grabbed a pawful of slime
from the ground. Bobbing back up, the Kougra hurled it at the Gelert’s eyes.
Robbed of his sight, Oliver stumbled blindly
around the alley, fervently rubbing the muck out of his eyes. With a fearsome
roar, Slash jumped up and swiped his wicked claws across the Gelert’s muzzle.
Oliver yelped in pain and fell to the ground, whimpering feebly. The electric
Kougra sauntered over to the fallen Gelert, ready to deliver the final blow,
when something hit him from behind.
Jazz smiled as he lashed out with his hindpaws,
kicking Slash in the stomach. The Kougra made a loud, oof! sound and
skidded into a pile of precariously stacked boxes. The force of the impact caused
the boxes to shake, and then came tumbling down to fall like a cardboard avalanche
on the winded Kougra. Slash roared in anguish as the boxes came falling down
upon him, blotting out his vision.
Jazz, panting with exertion, dusted himself off
and helped Oliver up off the ground. The starry Gelert grinned, throwing Jazz
the paws-up sign. The silver Lupe chuckled to himself and nodded, casting a
glance over at the unconscious Zafara and the pile of boxes that covered Slash.
"Should we help them out?" he asked tentatively.
Oliver sighed, and then nodded.
"Yeah, I guess so. All right, you take the Zafara
and I’LL take Slash."
Jazz nodded and padded off to help revive the
Zafara, while Oliver began to pull boxes off of the Kougra. Soon, the Gelert
spotted an ear, followed by a head. Oliver gritted his teeth and hauled Slash
out of his cardboard prison, propping him up against the alley wall. He winked
at Talon, who clacked his beak and soared down to land on the Kougra’s head.
The Crokabek’s eyes glinted maliciously as he bit down hard on Slash’s nose.
The Kougra came to with a start, snarling and
flailing his paws around his face to try and catch his attacker. Oliver placed
a foot on Slash’s stomach, signaling for him to stop. The Kougra glared up at
the Gelert; fangs bared and claws unsheathed. Oliver’s face was set, and his
tone was steady and firm.
"We won the fight." He spat, flicking his long
tail from side to side. "You have to leave us alone from now on. You and all
of your posse."
Slash growled, but managed to choke out, "Fine!"
Oliver smiled and released his hold on the Kougra,
who instantly leapt up and stalked off, throwing a murderous glance over his
electric-colored shoulder. The Zafara, now fully revived, followed, slinking
after his leader through the shadows. Jazz snorted, scraping the ground with
his silvery paws.
"We oughtta chase after them!" he growled, the
heat of the battle still lingering inside him. Oliver shook his head, placing
a paw on the Lupe’s shoulders.
"No, the fight’s over. I don’t like violence,
anyway." He turned his starry colored maw to the sky. "I’d better go. Dawn’s
He was right. The sky, which, at the height of
the evening, had been a royal blue and inky black, was now a myriad of purples,
pinks and yellows. Oliver sighed sadly. The night was over, and now, he would
have to return to his NeoHome, and his smothering owner. The starry Gelert turned
to Jazz and grinned, sticking out his paw.
"So long Jazzy, I’LL see you later."
The silver Lupe grinned, and accepted Oliver’s
paw, shaking it firmly.
"Next month, I suppose."
Jazz released the Gelert’s paw and dashed down
the alleyway, bounding over boxes and crates, headed for the junkyard that he
called home. Oliver lingered in the deserted alleyway for a moment before turning
and trotting slowly down the street, scratching Talon’s headed absent-mindedly.
He padded softly to his NeoHome, pausing to glare scornfully at the rapidly
ascending sun. He scrambled into his room through his NeoHome window and crawled
into his bed, pulling the covers up to his ears. His owner would be here soon,
bringing with her the trials of yet another day.
The Gelert comforted himself with the thought
that after every glaring, sunny day, there was a cool, clear and dark night
waiting to follow.
Note: All characters are fictional.