The Early Days
Samiiantha the starry Xweetok, commonly called Samii by her friends and peers, lived a great life. Her mama loved her endlessly, and she had nineteen other siblings ready to support her in whatever she did. Life seemed like it could never go wrong.
The early days of her life, however, had been different. Mama had been immature, and many things she didn't want to mention had happened.
Even if she didn't want to admit it, she remembered the early days. They were foggy, but still there.
“Iklen, Ikulin! Say hi to your new sister!”
The blue Lupe and green Ogrin fawned over their owner, gazing at the shy blue Xweetok in her arms. Their short owner, barely ten years old, hugged her tightly.
“Wow!” the Lupe shouted happily. “She's so tiny!”
“Of course she is, Iklen!” the Ogrin replied, equally excited. “She's just a baby!”
“Say hi to Samiiantha!” KT said proudly. “She's the awesomest Xweetok to ever live!”
Samiiantha smiled shyly, feeling comforted by her new family's presence. The Lupe and Ogrin smiled happily at her, and she giggled.
“Wanna play in the tree house?” Iklen asked suddenly. Samiiantha tilted her head to the side, signalling confusion.
“The tree house is in the front yard,” Ikulin said. “It's really awesome out there, and the beach breeze is really refreshing!”
“Play nicely!” KT shouted to her pets, watching as they ran out into the Mystery Island sand. They climbed the small palm tree and sat in the wooden house.
“This is my Scorcie toy,” Iklen said, handing it to Samiiantha. “Don't break it, and I'll let you play with it.”
Samiiantha nodded slowly, gazing at the half Scorchio, half Eyrie plushie. It was so soft...
“Don't be so hard on her, Iklen,” Ikulin scolded. “She's just a baby, you gotta remember that.”
Iklen huffed. “She's a baby, but she can still respect my wishes, can't she?”
Ikulin's face contorted. “I guess... if she can understand them, with how fast you talk.”
“Are you insulting me??” Iklen demanded. Ikulin shrugged.
“Maaaaaaybeeee,” he said teasingly.
Samiiantha watched as the two bickered. She smiled softly, cuddling with the scorcie toy.
Faintly, she remembered a Korbat somewhere in the picture, but brushed it off as nothing.
Months later, a red Zafara joined the family. She could barely remember his name—something like Zaffy or Ziggy—but he had still been there.
“I'm gonna go play Tombola, alright?” KT asked, almost out the door. Her pets chorused a happy response, and she smiled.
“See ya later!”
And with that, she left. Iklen and Ikulin gazed at their new brother, who was slightly intimidated by their large sizes.
“H-hi... ” he muttered. Iklen raised a brow at him quizzically, his tail swishing back and forth.
“So this is what a Zafara looks like... ” he muttered to himself. Ikulin kicked him. Iklen bit back a yelp.
“Don't be rude,” he hissed. He turned back to the Zafara. “Hi, I'm Ikulin. That's Iklen, and this is Samii. Nice to meet you.”
“S-same here... ” he murmured, fiddling with his thumbs. Samii stood up and walked over to him on all fours, a pet walking on two legs foreign to her.
“You have two legs like KT, but me and Iku and Iklen have four... ” she murmured. The Zafara laughed hesitantly.
“Not all neopets walk on four legs,” he said softly. “Just think of Grarrls, and Shoyrus, and Quiggles.”
“Really?” Samii asked, her interest perked by the statement. The Zafara nodded.
“Yeah, I heard Rukis even have four legs and two arms!”
The rest of the wait for KT to return from the Tombola was spent playing and getting to know their new brother. Samii was extremely happy not to be the youngest anymore.
A month later, Ziggy or Zaffers or whatever was gone.
“KT, where'd he go?”
“You know, red fur, floppy ears, two fingers on each hand... ”
“Oh, him? He... went on vacation.”
The three pets became confused. Vacation? To where? Why couldn't they come?
“Is he gonna come back?” Samii asked, tugging at KT's pant leg. “Me and him were gonna play in the sand today.” KT was silent for a while.
“I... don't know,” she finally said. “Anyways, I have errands to run. See you guys later.”
With that, she left. Iklen plopped down on the ground, resting his head on his paws. Samii plopped down next to her larger brother.
“I wonder where he went,” he said.
“Maybe he went to Terror Mountain!” Samii proposed. Iklen shook his head.
“Nah, he's not the type who'd go somewhere so scary 'n cold. Maybe he went to Roo Island or Kiko Lake!”
“Guys,” Ikulin cut in. The two heads turned to look at him. “I've got a strange feeling... but I don't think he went on vacation.”
“Really? Where would he be then?” Samii asked.
She never got a reply.
Later that day, KT came home with a blue Eyrie. She couldn't remember his name either.
The blue Eyrie soon left, though, and a red Buzz came after. He too left, in his place coming a Gelert, then an Aisha in his, and a Quiggle after that.
Then, it happened.
“GUYS! LOOKY HERE!!”
Three heads turned to see the new pet their owner had brought this time after the last one went on “vacation”. This time, though...
... It was a red Tonu.
The Tonu was surprisingly small, though. Smaller than any of them had expected.
“I found her in the pound!” KT said, ecstatic. “Her name's Oh_so_cute_Tonu, but I'm thinking of calling her Taunyia instead.”
Taunyia. That sounded nice.
“I'm Ikulin,” Ikulin said, smiling nicely at the Tonu. She nodded, apparently too stunned to speak.
“I'm Iklen,” Iklen said happily. “Don't get our names mixed up!”
“And I'm Samii, nice to meet cha!” Samii exclaimed, smiling happily. Taunyia nodded.
“Nice to meet you all... ”
“Now that we've got names down, is anyone hungry? I bet you are, Taunyia!” KT said, rubbing her hands together happily.
Taunyia nodded, and KT led her into the dining room. Samii followed behind, oblivious to any wrong doings that could possibly be present. She heard her brothers talk as they followed her from behind.
“I heard Tonus are limited in number,” Iklen said to the Ogrin. She heard him make a noise in agreement.
“I don't think she'll be going on 'vacation' any time soon,” he replied. Samiiantha frowned.
She felt like they weren't telling her something.
“Iku, Iku, KT wants you!” Samii cried, running to her brother. Ikulin looked down at her.
“Really? What does she want?”
“She said she wanted to go with you somewhere!”
The room seemed to silence. Ikulin breathed in deeply, something flashing in his eyes that Samii couldn't make out.
“R-really?” he asked, putting on a happy facade. She nodded, not seeing anything wrong with that.
Suddenly, Ikulin's paw was ruffling her head fur, and her eyes widened in surprise.
“You know I care about you, Samii, right? Even if I don't tell you?”
Surprised by the statement, she nodded. Ikulin smiled.
“You're the bestest little sister I could have ever ask for,” he said. Samii nodded again. Then he hugged her.
Iklen walked in on this, locked eyes with Ikulin, and seemingly understood. Ikulin let go of Samii and walked over to his long time brother, and smiled.
“So... I take it it's... 'vacation' time?” he asked. Ikulin nodded.
“Seems like it.”
Samii gazed at the two.
“... I just want you to know, even though I hit you and scold you a lot, I do it because I care.”
“I know, Ikulin. I've always known.”
Iklen flashed him one last smile, and with that, Ikulin went to see where KT was. Taunyia entered the room.
“Hey, Samii,” she said. “Ikulin was crying. Something happen to him?”
Samii's eyes widened. Ikulin was crying? Why? She wordlessly rushed to check on him, but was stopped by Iklen's incoming paw. She looked up, and saw tears ready to fall from his face as well.
She breathed in deeply, and looked to the ground. What... what was happening?
When KT came back, Ikulin wasn't with her. When Samii asked where he was, KT said something about “He's on vacation, you know?”
The next pet KT brought home was a Yurble. He soon went away, and a Ruki replaced him. He too disappeared, and a Bori joined the family. The Bori left as well.
Iklen became more and more distant. Samii tried to ask him what was wrong, but he would merely pat her head—like Ikulin had done—and tell her not to worry.
Taunyia became more and more talkative, and wanted to spend more and more time with Samii, as she was the only sister she had. Samii, though, somehow felt she was betraying Iklen by doing that.
So she set out to do what was right.
She walked over to Iklen's room one night, with some chocolate chia lupe treats and a cupcake for herself. If there was one thing she could do, she could try and get whatever was wrong out of him with chia lupe treats. It usually worked.
But she heard some crashing and dark muttering from his room, though, and was hesitant to enter. When KT did not appear to see what was wrong, she slowly opened the door, and found Iklen making a mess of his room while muttering things like “Stupid” and “Why'd she have to do that”.
“Stupid KT... why'd she have to send Iku away? Why? Why? Why??”
Send Iku away? Didn't he go on vacation?
“Iklen? What's wrong?” Samii asked, startling the Lupe. He turned around, and growled at her menacingly.
“You! It's all your fault! Once you came here, KT kept getting more and more pets!” he shouted, startling her. She cowered underneath him. “And she had to get that stupid Tonu, 'cause it was 'limited edition' my butt! Why Iku, why couldn't it have been you??”
“I-I... I don't know what you mean, Iklen,” she said, on the brink of tears. Iklen growled, but softer this time.
“Of course you don't, you're stupid like that... ” he murmured, turning away. “Just go away, alright?”
Samii didn't know what to do, so she just left the Lupe treats on the ground.
“I got these for you,” she said, “I hope you like them.”
Iklen was quiet.
KT had decided to take the three and their newest sibling—a yellow Gelert—to the Mystery Island Marketplace.
This was surely a place Samii would never forget. Thousands of people were bustling to and fro, and KT actually bought them all treats!
This happened to be the day, also, that she discovered she absolutely loved jelly.
Samii watched as people passed her, with their neopets at their sides, and couldn't help but smile at the compassion and deep bonds she could see emanating from them. She chuckled.
Then she saw something.
Green hair. Green Ogrin hair. Familiar Green Ogrin hair.
She couldn't help but smile. Ikulin! He was back from vacation!
She immediately ran to him, crying h is name out happily. “Iku! Iku! Iku, you're back!!”
He heard her, and surprise was evident in his voice. “Samii?” he asked, unable to believe it was her. She nodded, ecstatic.
“Yeah, Iku! It's me! You're back from vacation, right? Why didn't you stop by the house?”
Ikulin suddenly laughed. Darkly. This confused Samii. “Iku... ?”
“'Vacation'?” he asked, “Was that what she told you?”
Samii, scared, nodded. “Yeah... and now that you're back, you gotta come back with us!” She paused. “... Please?”
Ikulin sighed. “I can't go back, Samii.”
The Xweetok grew more confused by the second. “What? Why? All you gotta do is—”
“It's difficult, Samii,” he said, cutting her off. “I didn't just go on 'vacation'. KT... she abandoned me at the pound. I've been adopted. By someone else.”
Samii couldn't believe what her ears were hearing. “What... ? KT would... she would never—”
“Don't you ever wonder why no one else has come back from 'vacation'?” he asked. “Zaffs? Chuck? Milu? Aran?”
“Sorta... ” Samii murmured, looking down.
“She abandoned them as well,” he said simply. Samii's eyes widened, but she remained quiet.
“But... she'd never... ”
“She did, though. I'm proof.”
Samii looked up at her brother for a long time. He swallowed, and patted her on the head.
“Lin! Lin! Where are ya?”
“That's my owner,” Ikulin said simply. “I gotta go.”
“Wait!” Samii cried, grabbing his arm. “That can't be true! KT would never abandon you! Or any of the others! She's too nice!”
Ikulin smiled at her pityingly. “Watch your back around her, Samii. And tell Iklen I said... hi.”
And with that, he was gone. Samii never saw him again.
When they returned home, Samii relayed the message to Iklen. He crushed the glass he had in his paw, leaving little pieces of glass and red on the ground.
Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months, and finally, KT came home with a pet she was... satisfied... with.
“A Cybunny!” she said simply, introducing the new, blue Cybunny to Iklen, Samii, and Taunyia. “Her name's Indamira. She can be kinda... grumpy.”
“Hi,” she said simply, not even looking at the three. They looked at her quizzically.
“Anyways!” KT cut in, smiling brightly. “You guys get acquainted with each other, and I'll go get dinner ready!”
And with that, KT left. The Cybunny's arms were crossed. Samii was the first to try and speak.
“So... you're Indamira?” she asked
“Yup,” the Cybunny grunted.
“If you say so... ”
Taunyia smiled, trying to sound brave as well. “You're really gonna like it here, KT's a great owner!”
“Right,” Indamira sighed. “I was suppose to go with my twin brother, Indomir, to my old owner's friend's place, but now... I don't think I'll ever see him again.”
The other three didn't know what to say to that.
“So don't give me your sappy 'oh I'm so sorry for you!'s. I don't need them,” she said firmly.
Samii and Taunyia nodded. Iklen held in a growl.
“Stupid... ” he murmured.
Samii couldn't help but feel it was addressed to a certain ten-year-old owner...
That night, Iklen packed his bags, and was ready to leave, had a young Samiiantha not caught him when he was about to exit through the front door.
“Iklen?” she asked. “Where are you going?”
“Ssh!” he hissed. “Be quiet!”
“Sorry!” she whispered. “Where are you going?”
“I'm running away,” he said. Samii's blood ran cold.
“You saw Indamira, didn't you?” he asked. Samii nodded. “Another limited edition pet. KT's not gonna want to abandon them, so it's either you or me. I'd rather leave right now.”
“Abandon?” she squeaked. “But... KT would never—”
“Think of Ikulin!” he hissed. “He was abandoned, he found a new owner, maybe... Maybe if I leave now, I'll find a better owner who won't go abandon me for nicer, more fancy pets!”
Samii stared at her brother. The Lupe was all too serious.
“You're welcome to come, if you'd like,” he said. “But you'll have to be quick. Can't have KT noticing we're out of bed already... ”
“I said no,” Samii repeated. “I can't leave her. She's my owner, my creator, my... mama.”
Iklen stared at her, expression one of non-understanding, that then flashed to one of seriousness again. “Fine,” he said. “Have it your way. Tell KT... Actually, don't tell her anything. I wanna see what she'll do.”
With that, he stepped outside. “Bye, Samii. You're the bestest sister ever.”
And he was gone. Samii stared in the direction he had run off in for a long time, before she closed the door, and walked back to her room.
She picked up the scorcie toy that had once belonged to her brother, hugged it, and cried herself to sleep.
One month. It had been one month. KT had decided that, if this was what he wanted, Iklen could have it.
A week after saying that, they found Iklen with a new owner. He didn't even bother looking at them.
Samii felt heartbroken.
Living with girls was an entire new scenario for Samii. They didn't argue with each other as much as Ikulin and Iklen had, and they were more into spending time in the house than in the treehouse. It soon became her place of solitude, where no one else would be if she needed to be alone.
More pets came and went. A Korbat, a Kougra, a Shoyru, a JubJub. The newest addition was a Nimmo. Samii could easily see KT was thinking of abandoning the poor girl.
And she couldn't even remember her name.
She sat in her treehouse, hugging the scorcie toy to her chest. She couldn't stand to see another pet go from the pound back to the pound, but it couldn't be helped.
Someone knocked on the treehouse door. It'd been so long since another living person had been up here, so she was pretty much scared out of her wits.
“Can I come in?” It was the Nimmo. She opened the trapdoor hesitantly, gazing at the blue Nimmo, who smiled up at her.
“S-sure,” she mumbled, allowing her to come up. The Nimmo sat down in a corner, gazing at the décor.
“Nice place you got here,” she said. “Do this all yourself?”
“No,” Samii said. “My brothers did it.”
“Your... brothers?” she asked. “But... You only have—”
Samii squeezed the scorcie. The Nimmo took the warning.
“I see... ” she murmured. “Well, it's nice.”
“... You know you won't be here long, right?” Samii asked. The Nimmo nodded.
“I could feel something in KT that screamed she'd put me back in the pound. Partially because she thought I was invisible at first,” she said. Samii nearly choked on her nonexistent tears.
What had happened to her KT... ? Her mama... ?
“... I think I'll take my leave,” the Nimmo said, preparing to exit. “I wish you well.”
“Mhm,” Samii murmured, closing her eyes. The Nimmo patted her on the head, then left her alone.
She soon fell asleep, forgetting about her sadness for a moment.
The Nimmo left. Samii was sad to see her go. Indamira caught on early, but Taunyia was still under the “vacation” delusion. AGnorbu replaced the Nimmo shortly, followed by a Blumaroo, and finally...
... A Halloween Techo.
“His name's Teckno. He seems really nice,” KT explained. The Halloween Techo nodded, smiling.
“I'm very glad to be here,” he said. “I hope we'll all get along well.”
Samii gazed at her new brother, suddenly feeling empty inside. KT would never give up a pet like this. She wouldn't give up Indamira, or Taunyia either.
That left... herself.
She quietly introduced herself to Teckno, and stayed to talk with him for a while, before retreating to her room and contemplating running away, like Iklen had.
She decided against it. Whatever happened, would happen.
The next day, nothing happened. The day after that, nothing happened. A week passed, and nothing happened.
KT seemed to be growing distant, if anything.
One day, she walking into Samii's room while she was in it, and said, “I'm going to go away for a while.”
Samii looked up, surprised.
“I'm going away for awhile. I need... a break.”
Samii nodded slowly.
“... I need to think some things over,” she said quietly. “I promise I'll be back, though.”
“Okay,” Samii said.
“... See ya.”
Samii nodded slowly, and watched as her owner left the room, and presumably, the house.
She was gone for a long while.
Two years passed. Samii sat on the porch, watching the palm trees bustle with the breeze. Teckno came out, saying it was time for dinner.
They had omelettes and some jelly. That's usually what dinner consisted of for now. Samii walked outside after talking to Taunyia and Indamira for a bit, watching as the sun set on the horizon.
It was calming, being out here alone. The treehouse had been cut down long ago, so she only had the beach now as a source of solitude. She was usually the one who tried to stay peppy. But today, she felt like being calm and relaxed...
The blue Xweetok startled, looking around for the owner of the voice. When she didn't find it, she was left to wonder who exactly had called her...
Again! But this time, she looked up, and saw someone she thought she'd never see again.
“KT... ?” she breathed, a stunned look crossing her face. The girl in front of her was much older, and much, much taller. Twelve years old now. She even had one side of her hair tucked behind her ear.
“It's me, Samii. How's life been?” she asked. Samii couldn't help it. She started crying, and clung to her owner.
“I've missed you so much! Where've you been? Why did you leave? What did you do while you were gone??” she asked, bombarding her with even more questions afterwards.
“Calm down, Samii,” she said, petting her soft blue fur. “Everything's alright. I just had to think for a while... Uh, a long while. But I'm back now. Everything's gonna be alright. I'm never gonna abandon a pet again. I've realized how cruel that was, and I've tried my best to change. Please believe me. I care about you too much to hurt you.”
And she believed her.
After that, Samii could only remember good memories. They all got to know each other even better, and became more and more like a true family each passing day. They called her Mama. They moved to Neopia Central, where KT could help in the pound, and ended up adopting a few more members to add to the family.
And by few, she meant sixteen.
But at least she could actually do that now. Being fifteen had perks. All she had to do was pay a little extra in taxes, and make the house larger, but that was basically it.
Samii sat in the treehouse in the front yard of their extremely large home, gazing at her starry fur. She hated remembering the past, but sometimes it was good to remember what led up to this point. If it had never happened, none of this would exist.
She squeezed the scorcie plushie in her paw. It seemed much smaller than it had five years ago.
“Hey, Samii!” her Mama called. Samii poked her head out of the window, seeing KT holding the young white Grundo Urgerrt.
“Yeah, Mama?” she asked.
“Urgerrt wants to go in the tree house. Think you can watch him?” she asked. Samii nodded.
“Sure thing, Mama!”
Samii welcomed her little brother into her tree house, and even let him play with her scorcie plushie, as long as he promised not to break it. He responded with one of his happy, giggly “Ur!”s.
Samii couldn't help but smile.