Enter the Snowflake's lair... Circulation: 91,831,644 Issue: 177 | 11th day of Awakening, Y7
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Remember Me?: Part One

by 3dcourtney12044


Xrai, a Christmas Shoyru, eyed a red Scorchio who held some sort of large blade above his head and brought it down, slashing the air with a loud swoosh. He flapped his wings, and lowered himself to the ground.

     He caught her eye, and she turned away quickly, pretending to be shining her sword, but out of the corner of her eye she watched the Scorchio make his way towards the exit of the arena. It was a cold day at the Battledome, and she pressed her nose against the glass as she glanced at every angle of the arena, fogging the window.

     Pets bustled in every direction to other arenas where their battles were being held. Xrai looked up at the large amount of bleachers surrounding the stadium, and sat down with a sigh in the front.

     "He's tough," she muttered under her breath, watching the Scorchio exit the arena and take a seat at the other end of the stadium after having practiced for half an hour. She gazed at him through the glass and sighed, her breath a foggy mist. "But I know I can beat him."

     There was a sudden loud buzzer sound as the clock above them struck four o'clock, and a fair amount of Neopians rushed in, taking a seat in the stands. This was her battle.

     By the time the clock read 4:05, the bleachers were crowded. Some Neopians even stood against the glass for there were no seats. Xrai let out a deep breath as she gave up her seat, dragging her blade behind her, and made her way towards the entrance.

     The Scorchio entered on the other side of the battlefield, standing menacingly, flexing his powerful wings. Xrai was not at all threatened, and she walked down the five steps, flung the door open and shut it behind her, entering the field. The crowd was chattering, and Xrai twiddled her thumbs absently, glaring at her opponent.

     Blinding lights shined down on her from above, and a voice announced in a microphone somewhere, quieting the crowd, "Please welcome our two challengers, Gredj the red Scorchio..." Before he continued, the announcer paused to allow a booming applause for Gredj. "...and Xrai the Christmas Shoyru!" The crowd exploded in applause, and Xrai felt a grin creep up on her.

     "Let the battle... begin!" His voice echoed, bouncing off the walls and rang in Xrai's ears.

     Gredj charged forward, blade in hand, and Xrai took off into the air. The Scorchio looked as though he had expected it, and hovered a few feet in the air before soaring after her. The Shoyru stopped and held her blade high...

     Gredj moved swiftly to one side as she brought it down, and with its weight and force the sword made her do a flip in midair. She stopped, dizzy, and heard roars from the crowd, "LOOK OUT--"

     Xrai turned, but not in time. The Scorchio had pulled out some sort of canon, a small one that Xrai didn't have time to identify. He blasted it in her direction, and a great beam of light was shot out with a deafening boom and knocked the Shoyru out of the air. She fell with a loud thud on the ground, wincing in pain and struggling to get back to her feet. Vision blurred, Xrai shaded her eyes and saw the figure of Gredj approach, the canon in one hand and his blade held high above him in the other. She blinked.

     "Give it up, Shoyru," he growled as he got closer. "You're no match for me, and you know it. What have you got, but a scrawny little sword?"

     Xrai had heard enough, and wasn't about to point out that he had a sword, too, one much like hers. He brought the sword down in a quick motion, but Xrai dodged by rolling out of the way, hardly able to believe she had avoided it. She glanced over to see his blade had been struck down so hard that it was stuck in the ground. He tugged and pulled with exaggerated effort.

     "Hah," cried Xrai triumphantly, and flew up behind him, pulling out a little secret weapon of her own. A long, sticky Quiggle Tongue Whip got them every time. "Scrawny sword, eh?"

     With a gasp and pants, Gredj turned from his sword and said haughtily, "What are you going to do to me with that? Just--" Xrai grinned, not waiting for his reply. With a "heeyah!" she whipped the tongue at him, and he was wrapped into a tight bind, unable to break free. She pulled hard, tugging him across the field with her, and took flight. She pulled him into the air, and though he was heavy, swung the tongue around, and let it go.

     The Scorchio and her weapon landed in a heap after hitting the wall and falling to the ground. The announcer, with roars from the crowd, exclaimed, "And our winner is Xrai!" The applause that followed drowned out his voice, and Xrai gathered up her weapons and bowed. She felt a smile spread across her face. Gredj got up slowly, flashing a fake congratulatory smile her way.

     Xrai strode out of the arena as the applause continued. Up in the stands, Xrai spotted her brother and owner, waving and clapping hysterically. Courtney, with her long, dark blond hair stood as she applauded, and Snickers, a Skunk Kougra, grinned and gave her a thumbs-up.

     The audience began to dissipate, and Xrai was able to make her way up the bleachers where Courtney and Snickers were waiting. "Great job, Xrai," commented Courtney with a nod.

     "You showed him," Snickers said. "BAM!"

     Xrai laughed, and turned around to face the field. She smiled to herself.

     "Xrai!" shouted a voice from below, and Xrai glanced to her side. At the bottom of the bleachers stood a large, green Lupe who was leaning against the glass. He motioned for her to come. After glancing at Courtney and Snickers, Xrai thundered down the stairs and halted in front of the Lupe.

     "I saw your battle," he said quietly, avoiding her eyes but instead kept them rested upon the battlefield. "You're quite the fighter." He frowned, eyes narrowed.

     "Mm, thanks." Xrai slid her paw across the blade, gazing at her reflection. A Christmas Shoyru gazed back.

     "How would you like to battle me?"

     Xrai looked up at him with wide, blazing eyes. "Of course," the Lupe continued, "if you're afraid to battle an opponent with skills much more superior to yours--"

     "Never." Xrai glared at him, and then looked over her shoulder at her family, who were watching curiously. "You're on."


     "Good luck, Xrai," Snickers muttered in her ear. "He can't be that bad."

     The two watched as the Lupe entered the arena across the stadium, no weapons in hand. "I guess so," she said uncertainly. Snickers gave her a reassuring smile and a pat on the shoulder before spinning around and heading up to where Courtney was sitting in the bleachers.

     Xrai looked down at her trusty blade, and held it tight as she weaved her way through the crowd to the entrance to the battlefield. Beads of sweat appeared on her forehead as the lights shined down on her when she took a step into the field, slamming the door behind her.

     Far too apprehensive to listen to the announcer introduce them, Xrai looked at her feet instead of her opponent. Why are you so worried? she asked herself. He doesn't even have a weapon! Even so, Xrai, out of the corner of her eye, noticed his dauntless expression and knew at once he had something planned. She had never been this intimidated in battles before, why had she started now? Shifting from foot to foot, Xrai waited impatiently.

     The announcer declared the beginning of the battle, and acclaims, claps and cheers were contributed by the audience.

     Xrai narrowed her eyes, and charged for the Lupe, but in one fleet-footed movement the Lupe avoided her attack. She spun on her heal, and she beat the air with her powerful wings to take flight. Her ability to fly could give her an advantage, seeing as he obviously couldn't.

     Pulling out her Quiggle Tongue Whip, Xrai aimed and shot it at that Lupe like lightning, but yet again he was able to dodge her. He darted for the opposite end of the arena with a smirk on his face. She sliced the air with her sword countless times, always in an attempt to catch the Lupe and always missing. She slashed her Quiggle Tongue at him as well, but it was to no avail.

     "Oh, no," she mumbled, finally realising; he had seen her battle, he knew every move she would make, but she knew nothing of his strategy. Her confidence altered and she lowered her blade out of instinct, racking her brain for any way to defeat him.

     The Lupe seized his chance and brought out a large sort of ray gun from behind his back, pulling the trigger, and the first time he shot Xrai's sword out of her grasp. It landed on the ground with a clatter, and Xrai quickly ducked away with a small gasp. She flew toward the ground at great speed. If only she could reach her sword...

     She eluded the attack again and halted abruptly in the air. Her sword was just below her, if only she could get to it before he blasted at her again...

     After a crack like her Quiggle Tongue Whip, the last thing she remembered was the red light, pain, and the sensation of falling out of the air.


     Courtney and Snickers hurriedly followed the Gelert Doctor down the hallway of the Neopian Hospital, after discussing Xrai's condition, exchanging worried glances. Courtney blinked away concerned tears as the Gelert consulted his clipboard, stopped in front of a door with the brass numbers 217 above it and gently pushed the door open.

     It was lovely hospital room with an enormous window that framed the busy Neopian streets. On a wooden bedside table was a vase that held a blooming red rose, and in the bed, covered with green dotted blankets was Xrai.

     The Shoyru breathed deeply, sound asleep, a small visible bruise on her head. Courtney clapped both hands together quietly, eyes wide, and Snickers instantly felt a mixture of sorrow and worry bubble up inside him.

     "She will be sore for awhile," explained the doctor, taking a pen out of his pocket on his white coat and scribbling notes on his clipboard.

     Courtney nodded, gulping back tears, and approached the bed. She crouched down so that she was level with her pet, and whispered softly, "Xrai..." She laid her hand on the soft, velvet blanket.

     The Shoyru blinked and slowly sat up in bed. She rubbed her head, and cocked it at Courtney. "Xrai!" gasped Courtney, giving her a gentle embrace. "I'm so glad you're okay." She stopped. "Are you okay?"

     "Sorta," the Shoyru said, scrunching her eyebrows in concentration. "My head hurts, though. What... what happened?"

     Courtney sighed, glanced over her shoulder at Snickers, and explained, "You were in the Battledome, and you were hit pretty hard with that ray gun by a Lupe."

     "Xrai, I'm so glad you're alright," said Snickers, eyes brimming with tears of happiness.

     There was a pause, and Xrai looked at both Snickers and Courtney, puzzled. Her next statement made Courtney and Snickers gape. "Who are you? Who am I? Where... where are we?"

     Courtney stood up, and, speechless, turned to the Gelert doctor for answers. He looked a little surprised, and remarked, "Memory loss is quite common with head injuries, and it is much more than likely only temporary."

     "Much more than likely?" choked Courtney.

     "How can we cure her?" piped up Snickers, gazing longingly at his sister. "I mean, how do we make her remember?"

     "The best thing to do," the doctor said quietly, "is to just treat her like you normally would around the house."

     Courtney and Snickers exchanged glances, but nodded to show they understood all the same. Snickers gazed at his sister. The two of them were best friends as well as siblings, and the Kougra hung his head, knowing that Xrai without her memory wouldn't seem like Xrai at all.

To be continued...

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