"Mom, Mom! Guess what I learned today!" Flame the Fire
Aisha Hybrid exclaimed as she bounded into the small cabin that was home to
just her and her keeper Krystal. When the little hybrid was excited she would
go down on all fours and propel herself across the ground, her long ear stalks
"Well, hello Flame! Welcome home. I see you had
fun?" the fiery haired girl asked her hybrid daughter. That was how each keeper
saw their "pets". More as children then Neopets, because really that's what
they were. Children.
"Sort of. Uncle Fen taught us a lot today,"
Flame replied in an almost sullen fashion. It had been three years since the
five pets had been turned into hybrids, and ever since then they had rigorous
daily drills along with very difficult studies. The Meridell War was fast approaching,
more and more people and their pets were finding out about it. And the sooner
it become public, the sooner it would begin.
"Oh really? Why the long face?" Krystal asked
curiously, puzzled by Flame's sudden swing of moods. The Aisha hybrid wasn't
an adolescent yet, she had no reason to have mood swings.
"He told us that not everything is always black
and white. That sometimes people may seem bad, but really they're just on the
other side, and since we don't agree with them that they're automatically assumed
as evil. But even though they're not always bad, sometimes they have a different
opinion. A different viewpoint and we've got to stand up for our own view. We've
got to fight for what we think is right. That we have to fight for our people.
Our beliefs." Flame furrowed her eyebrows in puzzlement. The Aisha seemed a
lot older then eight. "I-I'm exactly sure what it all means, but I think I understand
what he was trying to teach us. He wants us to fight against the bad people
that try and destroy our home because we‘re strong, right?"
"I think so dear...try not to worry about it.
You're much to young to be concerned with such things. Just do your best in
training. That's most important right now," Krystal replied in an offhanded
manner, but really, she was truly worried about what Feneon was teaching them.
How could he expect such young children to understand such a philosophy? The
whole studying made little sense to her. Weren't they just supposed to be strong?
What did filling their brains with that nonsense do for them? "Are you hungry
Flame? I've cooked us some dinner," Krystal said quickly, changing the
subject and forcing a smile on her face. At the mention of food Flame quickly
"Yippee! I'm starved, let's go!" was Flame's
That night Krystal asked all of the other hybrid parents to meet at her house
after their charges were asleep. She wanted to discuss the matter of their children's
education with the rest of the others. Output was what she wanted from them.
At a little past ten Melaki wandered into Krystal's
cabin. Silently trying to scuff his boots off on the welcome mat so he wouldn't
wake up Flame. The mousy haired man gave Krystal a concerned glance. He had
no idea why she had summoned them all here and he was worried about her and
"Don't worry Mel, Flame and I are both fine.
I just wanted to talk about what Fen's been teaching them lately..." Krystal
let her voice trail off as she took a seat at the table in their tiny dining
room. The whole cabin was only two rooms. The two rooms were the bedroom and
the kitchen/living room. It was small, but cozy for the woman and her hybrid.
"Ah, I think we should wait until the rest get
here before you bring it up," Melaki said in an almost relieved manner
when he found out Krystal didn't have bad news. He pulled up a chair and made
himself comfortable as the two waited for the rest to arrive.
The other three arrived at all different times
within the ten minutes after Melaki had gotten there. They all pulled up seats
and joined the two of them at the table, waiting patiently for Krystal to explain
what was going on.
"Okay. Speak up Krystal. You didn't ask us all
to come here to sit in silence. What's going on?" Robert spoke up suddenly after
a long moment of uncomfortable silence. His blonde hair was a bit mussed after
coming from his cabin in the sudden rain that had been released upon them only
"It's about our charges and what Fen is teaching
them," Krystal replied with a sigh. "I don't like it one bit. They're too
young to be fed this philosophical stuff. They don't understand it."
"That's the point." Rayven ran her hand through
her hair in an exasperated manner. "They're young. Impressionable. This stuff
will stick. Which is a good thing. What he's teaching them is important. Besides,
I am confident in Fen's teaching abilities."
"You're wrong Rayven, I agree with Krystal. This
is nonsense. Forcing such ideas into a child's head is a bad idea. Besides,
it may all go wrong in the end. All these kids need right now is training, they
don't need to know why until later. They won't understand," Robert replied
with a shake of his head.
"You're the one who doesn't understand Robert.
You underestimate their ability to think, just like you overestimate their ability
to fight," Rayven shot back in a bitter almost angry tone.
"Whoa, that's enough you two. No need to bicker
over it, let's see what everybody else has to say first," Melaki interjected.
"I believe both sides have valid points. Though I can't say that I've decided
on which I agree with yet."
"They're children. They‘re like glass. Pure.
Unbroken. Untouched," Vincent, usually the quietest of them all said suddenly.
"Right now that glass is being broken. Their innocence is being lost a lot faster
then most. Most people don't lose learn about the ways of the world until their
older, when their glass breaks. When they are no longer ignorant to the evil
in this world. Our children are learning about the evils of the world now, not
later. Whether this is a good or bad thing. I cannot say. It may help in the
end, it may not. Maybe Rayven is right. Maybe Krystal and Robert are. I do not
know." With that said Vincent stood up, bowed, and walked out. Rayven was quick
to follow. She had no desire to stay here and argue with the other two. It was
"Well that was a successful little meeting you
had going there," Robert pointed out sardonically.
"Shut up," Krystal hissed irritably
at the man. "I'm not in the mood for your sarcasm. Besides, it's not my
fault Rayven is so irrational."
"You should take a look in the mirror sometime,"
Melaki said with a laugh. When Krystal finally understood what he meant he was
already out the door and heading home himself, Robert right behind him.
Krystal muttered darkly under her breath. Why
had she ever agreed to go through the whole hybrid thing?
"All right. One more time you guys. I want to see you go through the drill
as quickly as you possibly can. The faster the better." Feneon was telling
the five hybrids. They were all outside where Fen and Teikobou had set up an
agility course. "Flash. You first." The blue haired hybrid nodded
solemnly. He was a lot like his adoptive father.
With a flick of his wings he bent down and gathered
his footing. His talon-like hands gripped into the ground. His nose was sharp,
almost resembling a beak, and there was a determined look in his eyes as he
waited for Teikobou to give him the signal.
"Ready. Go," the mutant Lupe announced
from his comfortable position against the cabin wall. Flash launched himself
out of his starting position and was racing across through the course with ease.
Dodging under obstacles, and leaping over others. Nothing seemed to phase him.
He was finished with the course in less then a minute.
"Well done Flash, well done! Sometimes speed
can be more important then power. Understand children that if somebody powerful
can't catch you, what's the point of being incredibly strong?" Feneon always
found a way to work in his studies while they were training physically.
"Do we have to go through it again?" Daemon
the Silver Kougra hybrid groaned. Playing with his long silver tail. "We've
been through five times already!" he complained. Feneon smirked inwardly, another
pet much like his owner.
"Yes, I'm afraid so. I want you all to be able
to do this in under a minute. Understood?" There was no complaint from Hope,
but Flame and Star joined in on the whining.
"Fine, hope. Why don't you go through the
course. Teikobou, time her. Flash give her pointers if she can't make it under
a minute I'm going to have a little talk with Flame, Star, and Daemon. Come
here you two," Feneon beckoned, leading them to the side of the cabin where
Teiko, Flash, and Hope would not be able to hear his scolding. The three troublemakers
groaned in unison. They knew what was coming.
"In a really battle. In a real war. Do you think
you can choose when you can fight and when you can't? Do you think that you
can just say "I'm tired, we've done this enough.." Do you honestly believe that?"
Feneon asked in all earnest to the three hybrids.
"No, of course not," Star replied with a
"Then why are you complaining about your training?"
Feneon questioned sternly looking the Starry Zafara hybrid in the eye.
"Because this isn't a real war. It's just
practice, we can take a break during practice," Daemon pointed out, pawing
the ground nervously.
"Just practice, hmm? What happens when the war
begins and it's not just practice anymore. Are you suddenly going to have the
stamina a war requires? Are you going to get used to the fact that there are
no breaks in a war magically? You practice how you work. It's as simple as that,"
Feneon said in a low voice, his eyes flickering angrily.
"No, I guess not," Flame yawned. "Can we
go home now?"
"I cannot believe how you're looking at
this in such lack of seriousness. I want a two page essay from all of you on
why it's important to prepare for the war the way you plan to fight it,"
he told them firmly. "And you do realise that the war could start at any
moment and you must be ready for it. It could begin now, when you all are eight
and you'll still have to fight. Or it could start when you're twenty. It all
depends on the politics and how it all plays out."
All three sighed and nodded unwillingly. It was no use arguing with their mentor.
He always won.
To be continued...