Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 190,984,555 Issue: 384 | 20th day of Running, Y11
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New World: Part One


by kirednb

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“Right... This is my destiny.” Lari, a green Aisha, stood near the edge of the portal and told himself. He looked back over his shoulder and saw the remnants of his world.

      The green grass replaced by a charred brown, the village and his home as well burned to the ground. Bodies littered the field, and the usually beautiful blue sky, was shot with red, as the sun set. It was as if the sun was reflecting the blood from the war below on the sky above.

      Lari turned back to the shimmering portal and closed his eyes. “Never look back,” he thought to himself, the rest of the prophecy coming with it,

      A war will come to tear the land apart,

      Leaving one left behind forced to depart,

      To a world afar he will travel,

      And never look back to the land he left

      To bring back the life to the land,

      Is his mission

      The cost will be dear but he...

      The last parts of the prophecy were missing, and who knew how important they were? Who even made the thing that’s completely destroyed my life? Haklari shook his head slowly from side to side and opened his eyes.

      My destiny awaits. I can stand here wallowing. If I follow the parts of the prophecy I know, then surely I will have to automatically follow the rest. I don’t have to know the words to do it, he told himself firmly and then stepped into the portal. “Destiny awaits...”

      He didn’t notice, but a dark shadow followed him through the portal...

      *

      “We’re home!” Kris called and walked in the door, holding the hand of her speckled Shoyru, Oathkeeper, in one hand and shopping bags in the other.

      Following slowly behind the two walked a green Aisha, his second pair of smaller ears bent back against his head, in a gesture of fright. Probably scared of the crazy person who plucked him out of the pound, I thought with a snicker. He was clad in a strange outlandish outfit, similar to something worn in Meridell. I stared at him with open curiosity, but the pet didn’t seem to notice me.

      Kris shut the door once the morose pet walked in, and the cold Terror Mountain wind became nothing but a constant hum again.

      Kris ran a sort of foster home, full of pets waiting to be transferred, or whom she had adopted temporarily while they waited for her to find owners for them. She always nearly swooned when she went into the pound, and she always left with five more pets. She was just unable to ignore the condition the pets there were kept in. She even had a special license from the pound to adopt and keep as many pets in her home as she wished, although only up to four could officially belong to her.

      Today was an exception; she came home with only one pet, a dejected looking green Aisha. But things were different anyways; the home only housed three, now four pets. Kris had recently fallen on hard times, and for now couldn’t afford to take care of twenty plus pets. But it appeared she couldn’t resist getting one more, as she went shopping past the pound.

      I smiled at my crazy owner and said, “Welcome back, Mom, what did you bring back? Who’s this?”

      “Hey.” Kris set the bags on the counter and started unpacking the grocery bags. I waited patiently for her to finish storing the food in the cabinets, glancing occasionally at the Aisha who still stood by the door, stiff as a rock.

      Kris ambled over to a chair and sat and she then smiled at me, “Whooo, that’s three times walking up the mountain in one day.” I walked over to her side and sat in the chair next to hers, glancing over at the Aisha again. I patiently repeated my questions again, minus the first; I had seen what she unpacked. Kris could be so absentminded sometimes.

      “Oh, that little guy? His name’s Haklari. I couldn’t help but pick him up on the way to the bakery,” Kris said, and Oathkeeper walked over to her. I hadn’t noticed that Oathkeeper was standing with Haklari by the door as well. None of us really ever noticed Oathkeeper; he was too quiet and subdued since the loss of his previous owner. He had his moments, but he usually stayed out of everyone’s way. I hoped this new pet would help him open up to the rest of us.

      “Actually, Kris went running for the pound before she even started to shop,” Oathkeeper snorted, He was the only one in the house who didn’t call Kris Mom. “She was like a Poogle who drank too much Neocola before his race. Poor Lari is probably worn out from running around with this crazy lady all day.”

      Haklari lost his stiff pose and walked over to our little gathering. I noticed that he walked on two legs, not four; strange. “May I inquire as to where I will be sleeping tonight?”

      I reeled at the strange accent and choice of words, but I guess the other two were used to it. Kris’s face lit up as it usually did when she thought she was bonding, and Oathkeeper’s was slightly bemused.

      “Looker, why don’t you show Lari the underground? Let him pick out a room.”

      *

      The brown Grundo, I know knew was named Looker, nodded to Kris and jumped out of his chair. He beckoned to me, and began walking towards a depression in the floor. Was this the way to the underground? I couldn’t help noticing when I first entered the home that there was only one room, and no beds in it anywhere.

      “The house is built over a large network of caves and tunnels, we use the highest ones for the rest of the house, but be careful; these tunnels can lead anywhere, and it’s very easy to get lost in them,” Looker warned me unnecessarily. These tunnels were the reason I was able to get here. The portal I had walked through less than a day ago transported me to the tunnels, where Kris actually found me. I asked that where I was found be kept secret, and Kris agreed, though she looked unhappy about having to lie to her pets. It would be bad if any of the other pets found out about the portal to my war torn world.

      She told me some directions to the base of the mountain, which I followed, and was met by her and a pet she called Oathkeeper. She told him where she found me, assuring me Oathkeeper could keep the secret...

      “Here are the caves we use as rooms,” Looker continued, completely unaware that his charge wasn’t even listening. What’s wrong with me? I didn’t even notice when he led me straight underground! This is going to be my home for a while, and I don’t even know where I am; I should be paying more attention!

      “That cave is taken by Runner; he’s a Ruki,” said Looker, pointing at the first door on the right; well, they weren’t really doors, more like openings to caves covered with blankets. “He’s Mo_ Kris’s first pet.”

      I nodded and asked, “Is he in there?”

      Looker snorted. “Yeah, probably sleeping. Runner has the astounding ability to sleep at any moment of the day or night.” He still looked a bit disconcerted at my accent. I guess I should tone it down a bit.

      “What are you doing?!” I gasped as Looker barged through the door, smacking the walls loudly with a dagger I didn’t notice he kept in his belt. “You’re going to wake him!” I whispered furiously, grabbing his arm. How rude!

      “That’s the point,” Looker said, pulling his arm from my grasp and resuming smacking the walls. I watched curiously as the Ruki sat up in bed, confused. I never saw a Ruki before, though I probably should have met him later when he was actually awake.

      My curiosity turned to alarm when the Ruki proceeded to jump out of bed and turn a scimitar on Looker. What kind of family did I get myself into! Sword fights and attacking people while they were sleeping!

      The curtain whooshed behind me and Oathkeeper walked in, and said the loudest I ever heard him talk, “Quiet down! You’re making Kris anxious!” Oh, she was only anxious over a brawl in her own home; shouldn’t she be down here right now breaking it up?

      Oathkeeper failed in getting the duelers' attention. They continued their vicious fight, though they were smiling and laughing like it was just for fun. It looked far too serious to be fun.

      Oathkeeper took a step back, and then ran into the fray, leaping up at the last moment and flying onto Looker’s back. Looker collapsed under the additional weight, and his dagger dropped with a clang to the floor.

      “Get off me, you lump. We were only having a bit of fun!” Looker objected.

      “Yeah, why’d you have to spoil it?” Runner leaned on his sword and frowned in the speckled Shoyru’s direction, a bruise starting to swell under his eye where Looker had hit him with the handle of his dagger.

      “Go to the Battledome if you want to do that, or at least to the field. You’re going to cause a cave-in with all the noise you are making,” Oathkeeper responded quietly.

      “YEAH! The field....” Runner trailed off as Oathkeeper gave him a furious glare. “Sorry I’ll be quiet now. Do you want to come too; wait, who are you, anyways?”

      I smiled at the Ruki’s antics and answered, “Haklari, or just Lari... Kris.... adopted me today.”

      “Oh, another one. Well, do you have a weapon or something? The field is where we go to practice.”

      Just another one, that’s what he should think I was. “Yes, I have...” I stretched my arm behind my back and pulled a shield out from under my cloak. I lost my sword somewhere back home during the fight.

To be continued...

 
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