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The Reckoning


by __beren__

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Deep, deep in the Haunted Woods, in a place so dark and creepy, only the most evil of beings dare enter...

      The leader of the Meepits, a large green specimen named Talicon, stepped forward from his fellow Meepits, as across the field of dead grass a blue Gangee by the name of Dave did likewise from his own army of Gangees. The two armies of Petpets and their leaders stared at each other, daring the other side to make the first move. After a long while Talicon spoke up, his voice ringing across the field and the surrounding woods.

      "Meep! Meep meep meep! Meep meep! MEEEEEEP!"

      These stirring words roused the Meepits, as the Gangees flinched back as if they had been slapped. As if on some kind of hidden cue, all the Gangees (roughly six thousand) drew their small Gangee blades with a swish, their dull metal reflecting in the moonlight. On the other side of the field the Meepits did the same, many gulping slightly at the sheer numbers of the Gangees. But it did not matter. They were MEEPITS. No floppy eared wanna-be could possibly defeat THEM. No one ever had since they overthrew the Werhonds. They (the Meepits, that is) drew their own dull pink blades with practiced ease that came with a thousand victories and conquests. After this, both sides waited for the other side to charge, and thus, have the disadvantage. It didn't take that long; the Meepits had grown arrogant in their fighting style, and were impatient to destroy this next uprising of evil petpets, just like they had they Slorgs, the Abominable Snowballs, the Meowclops. With a loud meeped victory call, all the Meepits charged, raising their tiny swords above their heads and putting their equally tiny shields in front of their faces. On the other side of the field the Gangees gave a war scream, raising their swords and shields and spears. The Meepits washed into the Gangees like some pink wave, as they had with other petpets, but there was something different about this time. Something that made the Meepits meep in fear, and the Gangees roar in victory: The Meepits could not over-run the Gangees. In fact, the Meepits made no headway, and were easily taken out, one by one, by the bigger and more vicious Gangees.

      But all was not lost, of course. A chance came, in the form of an armoured Meepit wielding a large pink Meepit sword, a large Meepit eye staring out from its hilt. This Meepit, of course, was Talicon the Great, slayer of enemies and most feared Meepit of them all. He knocked and threw all enemies aside as easily as you would stick figures, and giving the Meepits something better than armour or swords or reinforcements. He gave them hope. The despairing Meepits stopped their scrambled retreat and began to advance, chanting, chanting Talicon's name.

      Of course, as I have mentioned before, the Gangees had their own Champion, equal a fighter as Talicon, but with one difference. If Talicon lost, then it would mean disgrace in front of his peers, and very likely demotion of rank. For Dave, a loss would mean death.

      On the Field of Waste, as it is now named, in the exact center, Dave and Talicon came across each other. The Gangees and Meepits both stopped their fighting and made a wide berth for the two champions, each and every one of their minds set on one thought: Whoever won that fight would decide the entire battle, all other factors forgotten.

      The blue Gangee and Green Meepit circled each other, both sword points facing their enemy. The Gangees began to have their doubts, as could be expected. Their lives had been focused on learning that the Meepits could not be defeated, that Talicon was the most deadly weapon of the Petpet world. No one could defeat him.

      Dave had no such doubts. He knew that in this fight that doubting himself would be as bad as throwing down his sword in favor of paw-to-paw combat.

      Without warning Talicon struck out, slashing his sword in a wide arc, testing Dave's reflexes. The Gangee easily stepped back, and the sword cut empty air. Talicon tried again, his sword striking forward like a viper, but somehow Dave managed to knock it away. Talicon was beginning to get angry and struck three more times in quick succession, all of which Dave blocked. The Gangee side looked on eagerly. Why was Dave not attacking? All he was doing was blocking, stepping back, doing little more than making Talicon angry.

      Talicon struck again and again, his movement a blur, but again and again Dave blocked. Talicon's movement were becoming reckless, fueled by anger. Dave was still calmly blocking each and every shot, continuing to back up. Talicon's brow was now sweating, his large eyes starting to narrow. He was panting, while Dave was hardly tired at all.

      Talicon took a step back, breathing heavily, his hand barely able to lift his sword. Dave remained where he was, silently holding his sword in front of him. Talicon took a step forward, and then collapsed onto his knees. The Meepits looked on in fear, the Gangees in victory. A small yellow Gangee stepped forward and pointed to Dave.

      "Destroy him! Destroy him now and we shall rule the Haunted Woods!" At this the Gangees gave a whoop.

      Talicon struggled up, and swung his sword with all his might, which Dave easily blocked and knocked from the Meepit's paw. The sword flew several feet and hit a tree, blade first, driving all the way up to the hilt. Talicon collapsed, face first, too tired to remain upright. Dave planted his sword in front of the Meepit, and spoke for the first time.

      "Victory has been achieved without one blow from my sword! Let every Meepit remember this day! Let all who hears the name Gangee tremble in fear! LET THIS NIGHT BE OURS!"

      The Meepits stared for a long moment, and did the one thing Meepits had never before in living memory had done before.

      They ran for their lives.

      * * *

      Three weeks later several large packs of Werhonds entered the Haunted Woods and took out the first line of Gangee defenses. They ripped through every Gangee that stood in their way, until every last Gangee had fled to the farthest corners of the woods.

      * * *

      A month after that an army of Slorgs destroyed the Werhond army with large numbers, better weapons, and a large amount of cake. The Slorgs' reign lasted almost two months before a Feepit army from the north drove them away with large barrels of salt. Their reign lasted hardly a week before a Meepit army, three times as large as the first Gangee army, attacked and wiped out the Feepits. That was how it worked in the Haunted Woods. The Meepits came at the newest enemies with a small army, allowed themselves to be defeated by the weaker petpets, then withdrew for a few weeks and let various other armies of Petpets destroy each other before coming back and driving away whoever happened to be ruling at the time. That way they managed to defeat four armies with hardly any fighting on their part. Talicon watched the destruction of the Feepit fortress from the top of a barren hill. The Meepit was smiling. The Meepits had won, as they always had and always would. Soon there would be no more serious petpet armies, and then phase two could begin properly. Without any petpets to protect them, the Neopets would easily fall. There was no hope for the rest of the world. In less than a year, Talicon had no doubt Meepits would be the undisputed rulers of Neopia. He had no idea he was being watched, or that for the first time, the Meepits had finally been outsmarted.

      From a darker part of the woods Dave watched the Meepits destroy the Feepit fortress, and saw Talicon watching them, looking for all the world as if he had already conquered it. On Dave's left stood a Feepit, on his right a Werhond, and several Slorgs sat on the branches above. Behind him stood dozens of Abominable Snowballs.

      "Well?" Dave asked the lead Abominable Snowball, a Plushie named Pat.

      "It went all according to plan. As we thought, the Meepits watched as we 'fought' over the woods. They finally revealed themselves to the Feepits, their most hated enemies. We finally have a measure of their numbers, their weapons, and their fighting style. With this information the League of Petpets will easily be able to take them. You're quite the actor, Dave. Perhaps the League will call upon you in the future." With that the Abominable Snowballs turned and left, leaving David alone, staring at the Meepits.

          The moral of this story: Abominable Snowballs are smarter than Meepits.

The End

 
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