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Petpet Name: Echo
Pet Name: Lady_2006_2005neo
Breed: Grey Cyodrake
When Echo hatched, it was apparent that she was different from her brothers and sisters. Even as hatchlings, they were vibrant in color and in personality. They immediately competed for the morsels of food their mother brought to the nest. In contrast, Echo’s scales were dull, her wings drooped, and she was notably smaller than the rest. As the runt of the family, she was often bullied by her siblings. Their mother was a capable huntress, like most Cyodrakes, so while Echo was always the last to be fed, she never went hungry. When her siblings fledged from the nest, Echo lagged behind, the muscles in her shoulders not quite able to support her in flight. When she did leave the nest, it was rather more of a controlled fall than any type of true flight.
In her adolescence, Echo hunted in the forests that surrounded Meridell. She survived mostly off small invertebrates. Her dull color lent itself to stealth if nothing else, and she quickly learned the most effective strategy for hunting something was to literally catch it unawares. One day, Echo was stalking a Blechy through the underbrush when she heard the screeching call of another Cyodrake in the area. If it found her it was certain to attack, so she scurried away to find cover. The Cyodrake called once more, sounding much closer, and she broke into a run. The mouth of a cave opened before her as a bright red Cyodrake suddenly appeared on the horizon. It saw her and produced a ferocious roar. Fearing for her life, she shot into the cave and sprinted towards its depths.
The stranger roared again, but she was relieved to hear it was growing fainter. It seemed she wasn’t worth the trouble of a chase in the dark. Panting, she looked around and assessed her surroundings. As she did, she heard a voice cry out from deeper within the cave.
Echo was incredulous. A Neopet! Who in their right mind would live down here? Some type of crazy hermit? Cautious, but unable to contain her curiosity, Echo approached the direction from which the sound had come. After walking for what seemed like ages, she discovered its source: a small Grey Cybunny dressed in a fur cloak and a roughspun shift. Her face was dirty; her hair in mats. With her night vision, Echo was able to tell that the Cybunny’s eyes were the same color as her own: pale pink, although the other’s set were clouded and unfocused. The Cyodrake quickly deduced that this girl was blind. What was a blind girl doing in a cave like this?
At the sound of her footfalls, she turned her head in Echo’s direction, ears perked. After a moment’s hesitation, Echo chirped at the girl. She started. “Is there really someone there?”
In response, Echo chirruped again. The girl gasped. “I’ve been trapped down here for so long. Who—what—who are you?” She appeared to be overwhelmed.
So she had gotten lost? Unsure how to communicate with her, Echo walked forward and pressed herself against the Cybunny’s leg. She felt that it was trembling and was struck by a wave of pity for this poor creature. For how long had she been all alone like this?
Running her hands over Echo’s scales, the girl seemed to grasp what kind of creature Echo was. “I—I—my name is Lady. Could you help me out of here?”
Of course, Echo thought. She grasped the Cybunny’s – Lady’s – paw gently in her mouth and tugged her back the way she had come.
As the two of them left the cave together, Lady explained that she had been lost in that cave for weeks. She had been gathering herbs in the forest when a Plains Lupe had found her and given chase. Lady had tripped and fallen and while on the ground found the cave. She ran into it as fast as she could, much like Echo had earlier that day, but the Lupe had pursued her. By the time it had given up its chase, she was hopelessly lost. She followed the sound of water to an underground spring, which had sustained her, but she had not dared to travel far from it in case she got even more lost. The despair in Lady’s voice as she recounted this story was clear, and Echo crooned sympathetically.
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Lady explained that she was an herbalist by trade, and a nomad. From that point on, the two have stuck together. Echo acts as Lady’s seeing-eye guide, which allows them to travel off the well-worn path to remote areas in search of new medicinal plants. In turn, Lady acts as Echo’s protector: while neither one of them is fearsome on their own, there is strength to be found in numbers. What’s more, Lady’s larger size deters many of Echo’s natural predators. They occasionally still have to run from a particularly large Cyodrake or Plains Lupe, but they always have each other and with Echo’s help, Lady will never be lost again.
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To read more about Lady and Echo's adventures, please visit Lady's petpage!
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