Saturday, January 26, 2013


 Amelia was angry. Very angry.
Since Apophis had killed Greely, she had vowed to bring him back despite what punishment Zios may lay on him for stealing Shade from his possession. Mourning his death wasn't enough, and she had to consult Harper instead of Greely now for her magic needs, which Harper didn't do as well. Once, she had prescribed a floral perfume for Peck, only for it to dye her rainbow for a week. Or was that a prank? Amelia decided to never get another perfume from Harper's vanity mirror. Her mother was just as sly, sometimes her mother would slip a sprinkle of bad-taste dust into someone's drink.
 Otto was grateful for Greely's sacrifice, but otherwise the Alphas decided that they needed to piece back together his heart for revival. Amelia was ready for the quest to find his heart pieces.
 "Remember the locations: Coraxese Ice Palaces, Temple Of Zios, Coral Canyons, and the Land Of the Dead. Only you can retrieve them since you are the second closest to his heart (Shade doesn't listen to any alpha except Greely, and he is dead), so do NOT bargain for anyone to retrieve them for you. Got it?" Lisa told her. Amelia nodded, and suddenly was in the pit Miroza had been hidden.
 The glinting ruby shard was at the bottom, glowing with Greely's memories of his life in the pack. Amelia took it, and it shuddered. She slid it into her heart for safekeeping.
"That was easy,"she said. Suddenly, a wave of heat came over her. She was dug out, and Amelia felt the breath of summer heat on her neck.
"...and you chose now to come, Firetail..." Amelia muttered, rolling her eyes at how she thought she had found the piece so easily. Shade and Melissa were shredding Firetail's tail feather, but otherwise she had no helpers. Seth was shooting Firetail with shadow bonds to slow him, but they only aggravated Firetail. Amelia squirmed, and turned to bite Firetail's jaws. Bone cracked, and she heard the howl of the Firetail, dropping her into the snow. Amelia twisted, kicked Fireail in midair, and was whisked to where Greely's pack lived.
 Amelia landed on a rock where Greely had seen the moonwatcher, and saw some scarred wolves slinking toward her, eyes full of joys and sorrows of hunts long ago. The alpha male emerged from the shadows, mouth streaked with caribou blood. Amelia decided that Greely's cousins loved caribou a lot.
 "Why are you here, phantom-slayer and traitor-love?" he growled. Amelia was shocked by his barbaric language. She thought all Jamaasians talked English, not the old language they spoke when getting used to English.
"I have come to retrieve his heart shard,"Amelia said boldly. The male alpha threw back his shaggy head in a hoarse laugh, and she now saw his teeth were yellow and sharp, bloodstained from battle.
"He left us, my brother! Greely is a traitor, and one day he woke up shimmering like a god! The next day, he was gone! You are nothing but a scrap of his life, pretty one, and my name is Sentol. I am his brother, and phantom-slayer, I shall blast my wretched revenge on you!" the alpha cackled. Amelia guessed with that taunting voice and ugly scars, he would never woo a female alpha until he died and was replaced by a better successor. The pack cowered in fear as they got ready for battle on the red rocks..

 Sentol was clearly rabid, so Amelia had no trouble to enter his swollen mind to control him, although she had to avoid his jaws. Such a wolf should have been fed to the bears when he was a pup, as Greely had told her.Amelia managed to turn him away using her mind every time he lunged with those foaming jaws, but she couldn't get a blow in either.
"Foxes are such pussycats!" Sentol snarled."They bathe in the sun all day on Giant Jamaasian Mushrooms, and pay no heed to us poor packs! Die, scum!" Amelia clawed him, and blood spilled on the rock. Greely's pack lived in the canyon below the rope bridges of Coral Canyons, where the rock was as fragile as coral, so Amelia had to avoid the crumbling rock. Some said that the rock spirits talked to them. Amelia believed no such tale, otherwise she would have heard the voices as an alpha.
 Amelia bit his dirty hide, and Sentol howled in pain. However, he scratched her neck before he fell down the canyon in a bloody heap. The mists of the deep void below swallowed him, and Amelia swore she heard Moon eat him, as the Coraxese knew Moon lived in the canyon at day and climbed up the sky at night. Amelia was openminded, and decided after Shade died that the sky was big enough for Cithara, Firetail, Moon, Mira, Zios, Moko and Apophis alike.
 The world went woozy, and Amelia fell unconscious from her bleeding.

 Amelia woke being claw-fed (impaling food on a clean claw, then inserting in mouth carefully) cactus mush. There was a grassy hill somewhere to the south of the canyon, where the pack did all their hunting. There, Lentias the dark wolf shaman of the pack dwelt, doing dark magic to lure prey in. It was there the legends of dark wolves emerged...
 "You're quite young for an alpha," was all her caretaker said to her when she woke. Amelia realized that it was Lentias himself. She remembered more.
 Sentol was the omega, and he naturally hated Greely for Lentias's attention. He had forced the alpha, Orikan, to venture down into the mists, never to return. Eroko, the pack beta, committed suicide afterwards for his loyalty to Orikan, eating grass that he had used as a toilet for years. Lentias restricted Sentol's forced rule (he had Orikan swear an oath to let him become alpha after Eroko in public) by infecting Sentol's mate with rabies and making her bite him, but Sentol lengthened his survival time by drinking one of Lentias's failed rabies cures. After that...well, Amelia wrote pack history that moonwatchers would howl about for years to come. Amelia's vision came into focus.
 A shaggy, black wolf that looked a bit like Seth and Greely mashed together looked at her, scars from being seared by Zios when he did magic. Amelia guessed he did magic a lot, because his skull was misshapen, his growth was erased so that he looked like an eight-mooner, Lentias's claws were barely sharp enough to cut tofu, and every patch of fur that wasn't smoking from recent magic had scars on it.
 "Amelia, Sentol forced me to hide the bit of Greely's heart we received in the hill, but I've retrieved it. Here, have this for taking down Sentol. The new alpha and beta are Medenkon and Boras."Lentias said in a young voice that sounded a few hundred years younger than  his appearance. He ate some cactus mush, and handed Amelia another glowing red piece of Greely's heart.Amelia put it through her flesh like it was Jell-o. Amelia winced as she felt a bit of cactus mush fall out of her rib cage.
"Sorry, Amelia, my claws are mush-stained. Good pup Leko brings me mashed cactus every day to sustain my life, since I have no apprentices or successors. Greely was going to be mine, but he left. I also like krill shipped from the ocean." Lentias said, licking his lips.Amelia got up, crawled out of the narrow burrow, and stepped onto fresh,green grass. Flowers danced among the blades of grass, and the fresh canyon wind was refreshing. Caribou grazed silently on the hill, drawn to some sweet scent, and a few pups including Leko stared longingly at their prey. Amelia, however, was thrown into darkness as she was whisked away to another shard.

 Amelia arrived in the small rock shelter Shade had once lived in. Little trinkets and doodles hung on the walls, caked with old dust. The two rocks had Greely+Shade
etched with a sharp claw on them, but the words had been covered with moss. Birds and trees were abundant in the jungle covering the temple, but they stopped around a ring of blood near the cave. The blood was of Shade's, mixed with Greely's tears, both so full of grief that no living thing could live beyond it.
 "Where is the stupid shard???"Amelia muttered as she pushed aside Seth's pup toys. After hours of searching, she found a glowing red shard with the ancient dark wolf legends acting out in it. She inserted it into her heart, not before blowing off the dust it landed in, and walked outside. Nothing happened.
 Amelia was about to teleport back to the Alpha hut to ask for someone to cast the spell to enter the Land Of the Dead, but then she heard a hissing noise. Was Apophis near? A club spike, then a smelly foot, then a bell-shaped solid head appeared. A troll.
 The troll reeked like a mountain of dirty gym socks, with yellow blank eyes, and a leather hide sort of toga-thing. The ears had aplenty of ear hair, and earwax poured from them more often than Amelia would like. Amelia used a spell to block her nose from the stink, and to protect her from smelling like the troll. Amelia stripped its skin off, and beheaded it. Smelly flesh, blood and organs spilled everywhere, and the smelly head of the troll landed on the bloodline. Amelia winced at the dissipation of the troll. She charged through the forest, and broke through behind the Temple of Trivia.
 Amelia went to the river, and drank from the murky depths despite the mythical poison flowing in it. Her wards would protect her from Miroza's memories and Zios's tears. Suddenly, a wind swept her off her paws, sweeping her upward, upward, upward...

 Amelia landed on the empty shore of the stars, and a sparkling star bridge in front of her formed over the Milky Way as she got used to being high above Earth. Amelia blew with all her might, and was blown past the dead spirits,- you can describe what the land of the dead looks like, since it caters to your beliefs, but check the Greely And The Dead stories if you are baffled-, right into the gates of Zios's palace. The floating mask was playing poker with a shabti, also playing chess with it at the same time. Without paws, Zios used the air to bend the pieces and cards to his will, which many specters did,  making Amelia feel uneasy.
"What?"he growled at Amelia as he froze the shabti midmove. Zios was grumpy today, so Amelia asked him where Greely was nicely. Zios didn't seem happy, but told her:
"Look for the cage of bronze, and take him before the tubes suck his being out,"Zios told her angrily. Amelia was suspicious of what he meant.
Amelia walked down a new corridor Zios had revealed in the wall, and she went down it. However, Amelia vowed for revenge as soon as she saw Greely.

 Greely was in a cage if bronze ice, and still a statue. Plastic tubes dug into his casing, bloody water flowing out of him. Amelia yanked the tubes free, and smashed the cage to pieces, chanting a quick spell to send him into his room, where she could revive him.
"Zios, Father Sky, and Creator-Of-Cosmos, I curse you to lose every poker AND chess game you ever play!"she shouted. Amelia was plunged into a sleep as Sir Gilbert yanked her back to Jamaa with magic.

 To Be Ended...

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