Nervously, Saratigo wiped the warm sweat from her purple, furry forehead as
she slowly pulled her limp body from under a heavy wooden table that had once
been the family’s clean, smooth dinner table. Scalding flames swept swiftly
left and right. All the small Shoyru could think about was her family.
Slowly and painfully, Saratigo raised herself, grasping the leg of an oak chair
for balance. She limped towards the living room, but collapsed abruptly when
she found nothing to support her weight.
She lay for a few seconds, which seemed to pass like endless hours, only did
she hoist herself up when she thought of her owner, worried, crying--maybe
looking this very minute for her dear pet Shoyru.
Cool tears chilled her face in the path they followed, sizzling on hot embers
as they fell. Saratigo cried meekly and helplessly. “Help me, Acceber, help
me!” Clutching the flowered wallpaper that lined their once cozy living room,
she made her way to the kitchen, where she fell again, flat on her stomach.
She closed her eyes, ready to surrender when--
“Tigo! Oh, Sara! Thank the Faerie Poogles, you’re okay!” Crystal tears bordered
the usually sparkling eyes of her owner. They were melancholy and dim now, as
she held a weak Pteri in her hands. “Have you seen cosmic_queen? Or Sparky?”
Feebly, Saratigo shook her head as frost_acceber, her owner, cradled her in
her arms with her cousin, Cherpster, the green Pteri.
Cherpster’s owner, cosmic_queen74, and Sparkle_Qween, who Saratigo had always
called her “Aunt”, had been visiting with their pets, and the sight of her now
weak cousin brought more tears to her big brown eyes.
Suddenly, Acceber stopped and gasped. There was Chiera, smothered in ashes,
just outside her bedroom. She almost dropped the purple Shoyru on the ground,
along with the Pteri that landed on top of her.
“Sorry,” Acceber called as she ran to her blue Scorchio. Chiera lay, her eyes
closed, but breathing heavily. Smoke clouded above her. “Sara, can you help
me? She’s heavy.”
Saratigo crawled to where her sister and owner were, her owner stroking Chiera’s
cyan face. She tried with all her might to get the 93 pound Scorchio away from
her bedroom by pulling on her arm. With Acceber’s help, they pulled her to where
Cherpster lay recovering slowly.
“Where... what happened to our house? My plushies! Wait, this is not my house…”
he muttered tiredly to himself. Then, in a state of unnecessary panic he cried,
“WHO ARE YOU AND WHERE AM I?”
“Cherpster, shh!” Acceber put a finger to her lips, though quiet wasn’t of
“Oh, God, what about Mum? Where’s Mum? Has she abandoned me? I knew that stuff
about adopting being a gift was just a diversion! You can’t take me!”
Saratigo rolled her eyes. “Oh, shush!”
“You’re not the boss of me!” The Pteri jumped to his feet, then fell backwards.
“Hello? Who’s screaming?” Out of the smoke, Sparkle_Qween emerged with a large
wheelbarrow. “Let’s go! You pets, in the wheelbarrow! Hurry! Hurry!” she ordered.
Her blonde hair was singed and her emerald eyes looked helpless--her demanding
voice didn’t disguise how scared she looked for her pets.
Saratigo tried to climb in, but in her attempt fell backwards on her skinny
Sparkle_Qween picked her up and placed her sideways in the wheelbarrow. She
was quite comfortable with Cherpster, who had been given a fish pop to keep
him quiet, until Sparkle_Qween and Acceber heaved Chiera in. She took up most
of the space, but Saratigo found unexpected comfort leaning on her sister’s
The wheelbarrow was pushed quite a ways before they found Merplayer the Peophin,
who had wisely stayed in his pool to avoid getting burned, and KL577 the Christmas
Gelert, who had stayed by the young Aisha, Keladry_Squire. They had searched
every room and finally decided that there was nothing they could do. They all
entered the brisk outdoors, snow-covered and dull.
They found Cosmic_queen74 who had strayed outside with LittleNaik (Acceber
bawled thankfully that her Mutant Kacheek and her other pets had all been saved),
her pets Yonishia and Spyro542, and Sparkle_Qween’s Shoyru, Shyning.
After being reunited with their pets, they decided there was nothing else to
do but go find someone who would let them in their home for the night. It was
too far a walk to Cosmic_queen or Sparky’s NeoHome all the way in Neopia, especially
if they had to push a wheelbarrow with the mass of all pets with them.
“You know, Acceber, people may not want strangers in their homes.” Sparky brought
logic to Frost_acceber’s senses.
“Then… then--we’ll find something.” Acceber shivered as they passed by the
Then, passing by a small NeoHome, Yonishia, the split Acara, shrieked. Sparkle_Qween
dropped the handles of the wheelbarrow, turning rapidly. All the NeoPets spilled
“Yonishia! Look what you made Sparky do!” Cosmic_queen74 scolded.
“Mamma! Look! L-look over there!” Yonishia pointed a shaking paw at where their
NeoHome had been.
Saratigo looked in amazement.
A roar rang out. A giant hole was visible in the center of where their NeoHome
used be. Fire blazed higher than the young Shoyru had ever imagined it could.
A gigantic, scaly figure towered above the trees that surrounded their NeoHome,
bellowing great cries. Like a painting out of The
Gallery of Evil, the Monoceraptor loomed in the darkness of the night.
They all stood staring at the immense figure for what seemed like hours. Their
lives had been in danger. Their lives were in danger. They all wept, both over
the loss of their NeoHome and of the fact that the monster before them proved
dangerous as he pulled trees out of the ground and crushed them with ease.
Coming out of her daze, Sparkle_Qween turned to her friends.
“Don’t just stand there! Make sure your pets are with you! Make a plan. Do
something!” She cried. She then called to her NeoPets. “KL, Shyn, Kel--come
Her pets obediently followed her.
Acceber turned to the remaining pets. “Okay, Tigo, LittleNaik, Merplayer, and,
well, Chi can stay in the wheelbarrow. You three, over, uh, here.”
Saratigo and Acceber’s other pets looked puzzled, but finally ambled to their
owner. Cosmic_queen tended to her Shoyru’s wounds. She had taken her suitcase
when she had first discovered the fire. Hastily, she had taken whatever she
could and stuffed it in as well. They had planned to go to the Battledome next
day, so she had brought Healing Potions and Elixirs in her suitcase. Now that
they obviously didn’t have time for the Battledome and running for their lives,
she used a Healing Potion VIII on Spyro542, who had been injured the most.
The house was now an inferno. Flames licked the Monoceraptor’s sides, but he
didn’t seem to notice. Acceber shuddered, then decided that they would have
to continue their “conferences” later as the monster started trudging towards
them, stamping on the remaining walls of the NeoHome
“He’s coming!” She wailed. “Get your pets in the wheelbarrow if they’re still
weak. Come on!” She picked up Saratigo and LittleNaik. Then, seeing that Cosmic_queen
was merely staring, she grabbed Yonishia by the paw. Yonishia tried to bite,
but her tiny teeth barely pinched Acceber as she placed the Acara beside LittleNaik.
“EW! I’m not sleeping beside a mutant!” She cried. Everyone ignored her. They
were gathering pets that were not strong enough to walk or fly and placing them
in the wheelbarrow that Acceber had sent Sparky to find in their yard back when
they had been in the house.
“I’m not sleeping here!” She repeated.
“Then don’t sleep,” Merplayer snapped. He rested his orange head on the cold
metal wheelbarrow. Soon, all the pets were resting save Shyning and Spy, who
flew over top, and KL577. They all moved along quietly after their sobs turned
to quiet crying.
Making sure that the younger pets were fast asleep, cosmic_queen whispered
between sobs, “That’s the Monoceraptor. I saw him in the Gallery, but I figured
her was just made up to scare young kids. You know, like, ‘Go to sleep or Monoceraptor
will get you’. You know? And they said that he’d come back in hundreds of years.
That’s centuries! I thought we’d be long gone by the time he came. But--”
“Whoa! Slow down,” Sparkle_Qween interrupted. “He’d be back? Back?”
“Well,” cosmic_queen wiped her tears on her sleeve. “A long time ago…”
Cosmic_queen burst into tears.
“There, there, Cosmic.” Acceber forced a smile. Turning to Sparkle_Qween, she
said, “Why don’t we check it out? Not now, but maybe when we check in to the
Neolodge they’ll have a copy of that book with the descriptions.” She looked
back at the remains of their house. “Mine is gone now.”
There was a long silence. KL577 looked down at his paws.
“In school,” he stuttered. Everyone who was still awake looked at the tiny
Gelert. “In school, we went on a field trip to the Gallery of Evil for History
class. We each had to write a report on a monster.”
“KL, do you know about the Monoceraptor?” Sparkle_Qween asked slowly.
KL nodded as gradually as Sparkle_Qween had spoken.
“Then why didn’t you tell us?” Sparkle_Qween’s voice broke out into a yell.
KL backed away. “S-s-sorry. But, I do, well, kinda know the verse in the Gallery
about him, erm, it, uh, I mean--”
“Yes, just out with it!” Sparkle_Qween demanded, her patience running low.
“Erm, okay,” the Gelert took a deep breath. “The Monoceraptor has lived for
tens of thousands of years, he existed in the days before any NeoPets existed
on Neopia, the days where his world was desolate and volcanic. Living deep underground,
the Monoceraptor has been planning a return to the surface for many hundreds
of years. He will soon conquer the whole of Neopia, and the pathetic weak little
NeoPets will be his slaves.
“Ha! Shows how much he knows! We aren’t weak!”
“KL, get on with it!” cosmic_queen, who had been crying gently, holding back
her two cents this whole time, had her hands in fists.
KL gulped, and then continued. “Rumour has it that the return of the Monoceraptor
was actually planned by some more powerful being. But what could possibly control
He recited the last two lines with great apathy.
“Who… who could… who could have planned--this?” Acceber thought aloud. Turning
to point at the destruction, she realised with rapid alarm that the Monoceraptor
wasn’t by the ruins anymore. The fierce growls continued, but louder, closer…
Then, behind them, the great Monoceraptor stood. He must have been the size
of two Rock Beasts. His hot breath rained upon them. His wrinkled skin formed
a lump on his crooked back. His sharp teeth were menacing, covered in green
saliva and his short, twig-like arms shot up as he screeched again. He spoke
in a muffled, Tyrannian accent.
“Monoceraptor reigns over all! May demise come to all who oppose him! Monoceraptor
reigns over all!”
To be continued...