“Hurry up, Raan!”
The charcoal black Lupe was running- no, blundering through the dense brush of the Geraptiku jungle after his coffee colored brother.
The Shadow Lupe named Raan growled under his breath and quickened his pace.
“You know, Rune,” spat the black Lupe. “These trees aren’t exactly easy to get through.”
Rune, the Brown Lupe, abruptly halted and spun around to face his brother; his topaz eyes were burning with anger.
He opened his fang-filled trap to tell his brother off, but before he could utter the words that would have sent his own mother to her grave early, an earth shattering clasp of thunder erupted deep from the soul of the sky.
The rich colored fur on Rune’s neck stood up straight, and fear momentarily flashed across his eyes.
“Great, now the storm has beaten us,” muttered Rune. “We can’t make it back in time now.”
“So what? The city is just through those vines,” said Raan. “Unless you’re too scared to spend the night there, big brother.”
Now he had done it. Rune snarled and lunged at his brother.
Raan’s emerald green eyes became filled with panic as he saw his much bigger brother flying towards him.
Raan whimpered and shrank to the ground, but he needn’t have, since, at the last second, Rune shot into the air and bounded clean over his cowering brother and disappeared through the brush.
When the impact he had suspected didn’t come, Raan peeked through his paws that covered his eyes. Then he realized he was alone in the creepy jungle. His tail shot between his legs, and he scurried after Rune.
Raan got through the last section of trees until he could finally see the Lost City.
It was raining now, so the dirt streets were reduced to mud. The neglected huts were trying their hardest to not collapse under the weight of the pounding rain. Old piles of bones were scattered here and there, and the empty skulls were gazing into the vast emptiness.
Raan caught up to his brother who was standing under a small stone shelter, because it looked the sturdiest, compared to the grass huts. The Shadow Lupe shook his fur, trying to free the water from his skin. When he did this, he splattered Rune with the water; Rune glared at Raan.
“Sorry,” muttered Raan as his ears drooped.
Rune found the driest spot he could find and crawled into a ball without another word to his brother.
Raan sat at the shelter’s entrance and stared out into the rain. He hated that his brother was angry with him, and he almost wished that he could become a raindrop that only existed for a quick moment, until it simply exploded when it hit the earth.
Raan was just about to turn back inside and try to get some sleep, when he saw something white out of the corner of his eye.
His ears perked up and he scanned the layout before him, trying to find what he had just seen.
A little white and brown fur ball was slipping through the mud, and it was pulling a small twig behind it.
Raan slowly walked out of the shelter and inched his way through the rain and mud to reach this odd find. He finally realized that it was a small Gypmu.
The little creature was trying so hard to get that little twig out of the mud that he didn’t even see or hear the approaching Lupe.
Raan finally got right up next to the Gypmu and whispered, “Hey there.”
The petpet froze, slowly looked up, and shrieked in horror; Raan, trying to be friendly, was giving the small creature the biggest grin he could manage, not realizing that in doing so, he was baring all of his teeth in a way that scared the living daylights out of this very tiny individual. The Gypmu dropped his stick and ran for his life, but he took two steps, and then he stepped on his tail and slipped in the mud. He was trying to get free, but he was most certainly stuck.
Raan scurried over to the little Gypmu’s aid.
“Hold on, little buddy. I’m not going hurt you,” he said as kindly as he could.
The little fur ball looked wide eyed up at the Lupe that towered over him, and he let out the most pitiful squeak.
“There there, little guy. Let’s get you out of this storm.” Raan bent over and took the little scruff of fur on his neck in his teeth and gently lifted him up.
The Gypmu was too scared to try to flee.
The drenched Lupe trotted back to where Rune was. Raan put the little creature down on the ground and lay down himself.
The Gypmu shook his fur to rid himself of the water, and this made his fur stick out in a million places. He licked his paw and matted his fur down.
Raan smiled and said kindheartedly to the small thing, “My name is Raan, and that other Lupe in the corner there is Rune; he’s my brother. Do you have a name?”
The Gypmu stopped his grooming, and he shook his head.
“Well then, I think you’re in need of one,” said Raan. He looked the little petpet over. “How about Raider?”
The Gypmu tilted his head in interest at the sound of the name.
“Raider it is.”
Raan soon dozed off, and he never realized that Raider had snuggled up to his bushy tail for warmth.
* * * * *
The next morning came with a start. A mighty clasp of thunder woke the three creatures that had been sleeping peacefully.
Rune’s topaz eyes shot open, and they were filled with annoyance. He really hated storms. More specifically, he hated getting wet.
He lifted his broad head, but as he did so, he felt a drop of water fall on his muzzle. He growled to himself. Rune shook his head, trying to get the water off.
“Hey! You’re awake,” said Raan cheerfully.
Rune moved his eyes to look at his brother, without turning his head.
“Yes,” said the Brown Lupe dryly. He stood up, stretched, and flexed his claws.
Raan smiled and looked up at his big brother. Rune gave him a sideways look that said, quite clearly, ‘what’s your problem?’
“There’s someone I want you to meet.”
Raider peeked his tiny head around Raan’s folded paws.
Rune’s ears perked up at the sight of the Gypmu. Raider mimicked the Lupe; he raised his ears too.
Rune gave an amused snort at the strange little fellow.
“He’s cool, huh?” asked Raan.
“Yeah, he’s-” but Rune was cut off by a crashing sound behind him.
All three heads spun around to see the rushing rainwater cascading out of the roof; the old stones had finally given out.
Raider yelped and scurried to the door.
“Get out!” shouted Rune as he spun around and bolted for the entrance.
Raan whirled around and followed Rune. As he ran outside, he saw Raider running as quickly as he could (which actually wasn’t very fast to be honest), and the Shadow Lupe scooped him up in his mouth as gently as he could and ran after Rune.
The rain was limiting the Lupes’ vision as they ran.
Rune was in a slight state of panic, so his legs sent him to the first place he thought of: The Tomb. Darting up the slippery stone steps, Rune’s mind was only set on one thing: get to a dry place.
Jumping the last three steps, the Brown Lupe slid into the Tomb’s entrance.
Soon after, Raan came storming through the entrance, panting heavily.
He sat the shaking Gypmu on the floor and glared at his brother.
“Thanks for waiting for us,” snarled Raan to his brother.
Rune slowly turned around and stared at Raan; his eyes were full of a mixture of rage and fear.
“I mean really, did it ever enter your brain that we might have gotten hurt? Or were you just worried about your precious fur getting wet?” growled Raan sarcastically.
Rune felt something in his mind click; that was seriously it.
Raan must have felt the same thing, because he advanced at his brother, with an evil look in his eye. As he took that one small step forward, his paw went right in the middle of a circle engraved into the floor. He had pushed the button down, and then a circle sized trap door appeared in the floor.
Raan’s face filled with pure fright, and the only thing that he could do was let out a very high pitched yelp, before he fell down into the black hole. Then as quickly as the floor had opened, it had closed.
Rune and Raider bolted over and looked franticly at the floor.
“Oh, no no no. This isn’t happening,” mumbled Rune.
Raider was running in a circle, sniffing as he squeaked hysterically.
“We have to find him,” whimpered Rune.
Raider’s head shot up and he looked at Rune. His eyes seemed to say ‘let’s go’.
Rune understood, and he bent down to allow the small creature to climb onto his back before they ran deep into the dark Tomb.
* * * * *
Alone on a cold stone floor, a Shadow Lupe lay breathing slowly but unable to move. Then in the pitch black darkness, he opened one electric green eye, and it shone like a sliver of light through the ghostly nothingness.
“Rune,” he moaned.
* * * * *
Rune and Raider were hurrying down the corridors; their ears were on full alert. They had been searching the Tomb for quite a while.
As they were turning around a corner, a Ghost Hissi with war armor was slithering across the floor.
Rune quickly backed up back around the corner before they were spotted and went down a different passageway.
“Where are we going?” muttered Rune as he looked at the walls around him. As he was nearing another dead end he took one last look at the stone wall. Rune sat down in front of the wall and placed his forehead against it and sighed.
Raider crawled onto Rune’s head and gazed long and hard at the stone. He couldn’t just give up on his new friend. Then his eye caught the lightest glimpse of a small symbol carved into the stone.
Raider put his little paw on the rock and brushed away the dirt and grime.
He looked very close, and he saw that it was actually two paw prints that joined together to make one bigger paw print.
Raider poked Rune’s head madly.
Rune lifted his head, and the symbol was perfectly aligned with his eye level. The Brown Lupe immediately thought of his brother and said the only thing he could think of, “I’m sorry.”
The paw print darkened for a moment before air rushed out of the wall as it slowly opened.
Rune’s eyes brightened, and he ran inside with Raider hanging onto one of his ears so that he wouldn’t crash to the floor.
The small amount of light from the passageway lit the cold room, and there lay Raan.
“Raan!” shouted Rune.
Raan’s eyes shot open and he saw his big brother standing in the doorway.
Raider jumped off Rune’s head and ran towards the Shadow Lupe.
“Hey, little buddy,” said Raan as cheerfully as he could.
Rune walked over to his brother, smiled, and asked, “Are you okay?”
“I will be once we get out of here.” Raan laughed.
“Let’s go home.”
Rune looked down at Raider.
“All of us.”