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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 11th day of Eating, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 69 > Continuing Series > Broken Glass: Part Three

Broken Glass: Part Three

by averyangryshaylir

"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 bouncing.

     "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 brightened up.

     "Yippee! I'm starved, let's go!" was Flame's eager reply.

***

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 Flame.

     "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 minutes ago.

     "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 pointless.

     "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 shrug.

     "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...

Previous Episodes

Broken Glass: Part One

Broken Glass: Part Two

Broken Glass: Part Four

Broken Glass: Part Five

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