|also written by smileyface12_5690|
Squisito gasped and dropped the mirror she had just picked
up. It shattered in a dozen fragments, sending shards of glass skittering across
the floor. Yet for the first in her life, the Tyrannian Quiggle didn't care about
"B-b-but... that's not FAIR!" she sputtered.
"Meran can't fight the Snowager!"
"You made a deal," Owner sneered with satisfaction.
"I choose the challenger."
Meranlia scowled and cast a glance at Aurora.
The look of doubt that was on the Kiko's face only made the Wocky more determined.
"A deal is a deal," she said grimly. "Let's
get this over with."
Aurora grabbed Meran's arm and hissed in her
ear, "The Snowager? Are you nuts? Even I had trouble defeating him. You don't
stand a chance! Give up now. So what if Owner wins? At least you won't wind
up in the hospital."
Meranlia's eyes searched those of the Kiko.
Until this moment she had never thought that the Kiko cared about any of them.
But Aurora was willing to give up rather than see anyone hurt. Meran suddenly
realized something very important. Aurora was no longer her teacher. She was
"It's okay, sister," Meran said softly, patting
the Kiko's hand. "I was taught by the best. And win or lose, all four of us
are in this together. We're family. And I'm not going to let anyone break us
up without a fight."
"But you don't know how deadly the Snowager
can be!" Aurora protested. The Kiko tapped at the bandage on her forehead. "Do
you want to know why I refused to ever fight again? It was because the Snowager
hurt me so badly he almost destroyed me. I have a hideous scar under this bandage
to prove it. It's a scar I'll have for life!"
Meranlia said nothing. Dumas_Dirt had already
retrieved her weapons from her room and came trotting up to her. The Lenny dumped
them gleefully at her feet.
"This is going to be so much fun!" he chirped.
"I get to see a real Battledome fight!"
"Well? Let's not just stand around here! I've
got a lot of plans for all of those Neopoints when you lose!" Owner said with
a sly smile.
The brown Lenny tugged on his pant leg. Owner
looked down at him with irritation.
"What do you want?" he demanded.
"Can we stop for fudge on the way?" Dumas asked
"Remember, use the Hypno Helmet and the Drain Life on maximum power in the
first round," Aurora whispered in Meranlia's ear, as she helped her adjust the
strap on her helmet.
Meran nodded grimly, but she was barely listening
to her sister's last minute advice. The Snowager had slithered into the Battledome
arena and stood towering above her, coiled on his massive blue striped tail.
The Wocky had never realized how big he was. She had only caught glimpses of
him in his dark cave when she had tried to steal stuff from him. Now he looked
every bit as big as the mountain he lived in. She swallowed hard.
Squisito glanced in the mirror she had brought
along. She had dozens of them and had grabbed the first one she could find as
they had left their Neohome. She had a feeling she would never again see that
Neohome and if she was going to the Pound, at least she would have something
to comfort her. Yet the Tyrannian Quiggle couldn't bear to look at her reflection
now, as hard as she tried. All she could think of was the danger Meranlia was
facing for everyone's sake. She suddenly felt guilty about how selfish and vain
she had been all of this time.
"Go get him, Meran!" Squizzy yelled as encouragingly
as she could.
Aurora floated out of the arena and joined the
others on the sidelines. Owner had a victorious look on his face even though
the battle hadn't even begun yet.
"Those Battledomers on the chat boards won't
have cause to laugh at me now," he said aloud to himself, grinning in satisfaction.
"When I walk in with 1_0wnz_j00_4_3v3r by my side, I'll be the one laughing!"
Meranlia swallowed hard again and cautiously
approached the center of the ring. The Snowager slithered forward, and then
reared back, puffing himself up to release an icy blast in her direction. Wham!
Daggers of ice exploded everywhere, sending the poor Wocky sprawling on the
ground. She staggered to her feet. The Hypno Helmet had worked and he was temporarily
stunned. She hurled the Honey Potion at him and struck him with all of her might
with her Dark Battle Duck. She was dismayed to see how little damage she had
done before he coiled for another strike. She had less than 10 hit points left.
He still had more than 150.
"I can't bear to watch..." Squizzy moaned, covering
her eyes. "She is going to get hurt really bad..."
The Quiggle turned her mirror away from herself
in the process. Almost instantaneously the roar of a furious worm monster filled
the air. When Squisito looked up, she realized that her mirror had caught the
light of the sun and had blinded the Snowager temporarily. It had given Meranlia
a chance to slash him with her Sword of the Air Faerie. Howling in rage, the
Snowager let loose a violent blast of icicles at the Wocky. She hit the ground
hard and lay motionless.
Dumas_Dirt shocked everyone by rushing into
the arena screaming, "Leave her alone, you big bully!"
The Snowager turned on him, but the Lenny flapped
his scrawny wings and soared up towards the ice worm's head before the Snowager
could puff himself up for another blast. Thinking quickly, Squisito angled her
mirror towards the monster's eyes, blinding him again. The Snowager bellowed
and sucked his breath to launch more icicles. But Dumas soared up to his face
and shoved something brown and sticky up the worm's nostrils. Gasping in surprise,
the Snowager snorted angrily, trying to dislodge the fudge from his nose. Writhing
in rage and frustration, the Snowager finally managed to blow the mass back
out. Dumas had landed behind him by then, clear of the beast's line of fire.
Aurora looked on at the scene in horror and
despair. She had sworn never to enter the Battledome again. She had suffered
greatly at the hands of this horrible creature in the last battle she had ever
fought. She truly believed she would never have to face this terror again. But
Meranlia was seriously injured and Squisito and Dumas_Dirt were facing this
brute with no weapons at all. The Kiko gritted her teeth in determination. She
would not allow this vile thing to hurt the only real family she had ever known.
The Snowager was now bearing down on Squisito,
pumping himself up to hit her with a volley of ice shards. Launching herself
into the arena, Aurora scooped up Meranlia's fallen sword.
"Squizzy!" Aurora screeched, "When I give the
word, aim your mirror towards the Snowager's mouth!"
Squisito shot the Kiko a startled glance, but
then nodded as she realized what the Kiko wanted her to do.
The Snowager reared backed and hurled the largest
round of icicles yet in Squisito's direction. But they slammed into her mirror
and ricocheted back at him. Just as he was struck by his own blast, Aurora leapt
forward and plunged the sword into his side. The monster howled in agony and
fell limply to the ground. For a moment no one moved. No one could believe what
had just happened.
"Whoa! Cool!" Dumas shouted with joy, breaking
the silence. "We actually whipped the snake dude!"
Meranlia lifted her head and sat up groggily.
She looked over at the Snowager in confusion. He was slowly slinking off without
even casting a look backwards at her. Aurora, Squisito and Dumas_Dirt all rushed
to the Wocky's side.
"Thank goodness you're alright," Squizzy sighed
Before anyone could say anything else, they
were aware of someone else approaching their little circle.
"You... beat... the Snowager...," Owner said
in awed disbelief. "All of you together...." He turned his head away from them
"Yeah, we did," Meran stated proudly, rising
to her feet. "And now we are free of you forever-- ALL of us!"
"Free? But we can stay with him now we won...
he promised..." Dumas said, looking at her with a dazed expression.
"It's Aurora who's free now," Squizzy added
as Dumas nodded in agreement.
"No," Meran said firmly. "None of us are going
back. He doesn't want us. He hates us. I never want to see this jerk ever again!"
"I d-d-don't hate you... I've never hated any
of you..." Owner said softly, looking at the ground.
Every pet turned to look at him.
"You treated us like we didn't even exist! You
are the worst owner ever!" Meran countered defiantly.
A tear trickled from Owner's eye. They all exchanged
"I know..." he replied miserably. "I always
wanted to be a real hotshot in the Battledome. But I never knew how to raise
enough Neopoints to train you all properly. You were all so weak and it was
my fault. The others in the Battledome chat room would just make fun of me for
having such weak pets whenever I went there to ask them for advice. So I stopped
going. And then I couldn't face you, because I didn't know how to do anything
to make you the pets I always dreamed of."
Owner turned away from them in shame. He didn't
want them to see him cry. He didn't want them to see how weak he was too. Dumas
stepped forward and tugged on Owner's pant leg. He sniffed and looked down at
the Brown Lenny.
"You really do love us, don't you? I always
knew you really did love us..."
Owner scooped Dumas up into his arms and hugged
"Yeah, I do. That's why I never really abandoned
you. I always came back, didn't I?"
But Aurora was definitely not impressed by this.
"Yeah, so why did you threaten to take them
all to the Pound?" she snapped.
Owner shifted uncomfortably and replied, "When
I came home and saw that you made yourselves strong, and had millions of Neopoints,
and bought great Battledome weapons, and even adopted a powerful Battledome
pet-- all without me-- well... I felt even more useless than I had before. I
was ashamed of myself, so I took it out on you. All I could think about was
impressing the guys at the Battledome chat board. But... everything has changed
"Oh, yeah? And what's changed? You suddenly
like us because we defeated the Snowager? Well, you're still a jerk!" Meran
shot back defensively.
Owner nodded. "I know, I know. But I just realized
something I never did before... something that has nothing to do with the Snowager...."
"Yeah? What's that?"
"That you did all of this to win ME back. The
training. The weapons. The Neopoints. Even 1_0wnz_j00_4_3v3r. Everything you
did, you did because you wanted me to care for you again, even though I had
been horrible to you. I didn't realize until now... that you're not just my
pets... you're my..."
Family?" Squizzy cut in, giving her owner's
hand a gentle squeeze.
He nodded silently and then looked over at Meranlia.
"Look, I know I've been a jerk, but if you'll
give me another chance... if you'll come back to live with me... I promise I'll
never go away again. I'll be the best owner anyone ever had. I promise. I really
mean it." He turned towards Aurora and added, "You too, 1_0wnz_j00_4_3v3r. You'll
never have to fight again in the Battledome again. I'll never ask any of you
to do anything you really don't want to do. I promise. Just give me one more
"Well...," said Meran with a slight smile, eyeing
Dumas. "Under one condition."
"What's that?" asked Owner hopefully.
"That you buy us all fudge!" Dumas chirped happily.