KeyKey the red Chia shuffled through the Ice Caves with
his backpack on his back. He had a stack of scratch cards to buy at the kiosk
for an upcoming party. He kept an eye warily on a family of Lupes that were
playing in the snow with a pair of Kougras a short ways off.
Suddenly there was an angry roar from the Snowager
cave and a pet fled from the entrance with a frightened squeal. A "whump" echoed
through the caves as the small entrance to its lair balked the pursuing Snowager.
A long, slow creak began, followed by a heavy
shuddering as part of a wall began to collapse.
"Avalanche!" screamed half a dozen Neopians,
and the crowds scattered.
Keykey whirled and stared in terror as a section
of the wall nearest to him cracked and tilted in his direction.
"Look out you fool!" snarled something behind
him, and then he was grabbed roughly and thrown into a small side cave, his
rescuer sliding somewhat gracelessly in behind him.
Snow exploded in on them, and when it settled
Keykey saw that the entrance was plugged with snow and chunks of ice.
He turned to thank his rescuer and found himself
staring into the flame yellow eyes of a powerful cloud Lupe.
She curled her lip at him, exposing razor sharp
fangs and a powerful jaw, "Fool Chia," she snapped roughly, "Ain't got the brains
to get outta the way when there's a wall of snow comin' for your idiot head."
She pawed him aside and began digging at the
entrance, packing snow into a tunnel that sloped upward. "Well come on then,
no sense just waiting for the rescuers to get the guts to start looking."
"You...you saved me?" Keykey asked timidly.
"Yeah, but don't read too far into it; I still
think you're an idiot. And for all the aches that I will feel later for that
stunt I sure hope you learned somethin' from it," she answered with a snort.
Keykey looked and saw that she would be feeling
more than just aches later on. Her glossy blue fur was slowly streaking red
from a dozen ice cuts, and she was moving bravely but only had three legs to
support her weight. She was leaning against the tunnel wall as she dug and growling
softly to herself about sprains.
"You're hurt..." he reached out hesitantly to
touch her flank but she jerked out of reach of his touch.
"Yeah well I'll deal with that when the crisis
is over. C'mon and be useful. Start packing the snow I dislodge."
Keykey obeyed, packing the snow as hard as he
could to the walls of their tunnel. No sense having their tunnel collapse on
The Lupe was steadily tiring, and her leg seemed
to be bothering her even more. Keykey normally had no love for Lupes but this
one had saved him, and was showing no signs of wanting him for a meal so...
The Lupe paused for a few minutes to catch her
breath and Keykey took the opportunity to pull a healing potion out of his backpack.
"What's your name Lupe?" he asked, pulling the
cork out of the neck of the bottle.
"Alkuna," she responded shortly, "What were
you thinking back there anyway?"
"My name is Keykey. And to tell you the truth
I wasn't," he admitted, squeezing up next to her, "I just froze up when I saw
the wall coming. OK, this may sting a bit but it's just a healing potion OK?"
He carefully dribbled some of the potion on Alkuna's leg.
"I kinda figured. You woulda run like crazy
if you hadn't... ow." She twitched her head around to glare at him and paused
as he held up the rest of the potion to her fanged jaws.
"You got guts Chia," she grumbled reluctantly,
"Most Chias I meet dissolve into sobbing puddles if they get so close to me.
You're the first to be willing to get so close to my teeth."
Alkuna deftly snagged the potion by the bottleneck
and tilted her head back, swallowing the rest in one gulp.
They rested in silence for several minutes as
the potion took effect, then a sound warmed their hearts. "Alkuna! Alkuna are
you all right?"
"Yeah, I'm all right! Start digging will you?
It's cold in here!" she called back.
"She's alive! And in good health. Only Alkuna
can be a grouch after an avalanche," they heard a gruff male Lupe say.
"OK, were almost there. Is there anyone down
there with you Alkuna?" called someone. It sounded like the kiosk Wocky. The
steady scratching of vigorous digging was music to their ears.
"Got a Chia with me. Says his name is Keykey."
Alkuna slowly stood up and tested her leg, then nodded to Keykey and said in
a low voice, "Thanks for the potion."
"OK you guys, let a pro do this the right way,"
there was a shuffling, then a hiss and the blockade of snow melted away to reveal
the Negg Faerie holding a Fireball negg.
"OK, everyone out of the hole. Lets be sure
you two are OK and then we'll start clearing out the remains of the avalanche."
Alkuna was helped out first, to be tightly hugged by her husband and teenage
Keykey came next and found himself looking at
a pale white Lupe
"You're the one Alkuna saved eh?" he asked mildly.
Keykey nodded and said, "And the one who gave
her a healing potion for her injuries."
The white Lupe looked at the streaks of red in Alkuna's fur and nodded briefly,
"I thank you for that. She's grouchy, but I wouldn't overlook that heart of
"Yeah, I noticed." Keykey grinned as one of
Alkuna's ears twitched sideways and she scowled.
"If you're both done with the mush talk, I'm
ready to go to Mystery Island for some nice warm sandy beaches and not a trace
of snow for miles."
The white Lupe grinned and rolled his eyes good
naturedly, "And before you were looking forward to some snowball fights."
Alkuna scooped up a snowball and stuffed it
in his mouth, "Oh hush up Silverblur," she teased him.
KeyKey waddled up and patted Alkuna on the nose
lightly, "Thanks furball. I owe you one."
Alkuna's mouth quirked into an almost-friendly
smile, "No problem midnight snack. Just make sure you react next time." Her
tail twitched and the family of Lupes moved off to the entrance to the caves.