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Episode one: The Beginning of Everything

Tonight had been another successful night in Ambrose, England. Ambrose was a small city west of London. In the small city, there were suburbs, and in those suburbs was a house. In that house, was a 19 year old Topaz. Topaz didn’t exactly care how his brother came home, drunk or not. Ever since he turned 21, when the parents were out leaving Austin in charge, he left the house to hang out with his friends at the nearest bar. Tonight, after leaving the Luna Bellona, Austin and his gang walked in slightly bumbling. Topaz left his summer homework upstairs and walked down the wooden stairs. He was a two legged gryphon with a green bird top half and a tan wolf bottom. His wings grew darker green as the feathers neared the fringes until they became blue at the fringes. His hooked beak was relatively big and a shiny yellow. Some pink was exposed near his nostrils along with a band of magenta around his tan wolf ankles. His mom and dad wouldn’t be back for a couple more hours so Topaz knew he had to work pretty fast.

“Huh? What do ya wan’ pipsqueak?” Austin slurred as he looked down at Topaz. Unlike Topaz, Austin had inherited the height of the family, and towered over 6 feet tall. Other than that, they looked remarkably similar minus the pink parts. Austin had dyed them out a long time ago while Topaz embraced them.

“Come on, you know the drill. Send your friends home. Mum and Pa will be back any minute. I have to get you detoxed.” Topaz worried, trying to shoo the gang out of the front door. The gang roared with laughter at this pitiful action. Finally, Topaz had had enough. He took out a feathery broom and swatted at the drunk men. They saw it as a strange monster in their own alcoholic world and fled. Topaz looked at Austin on the floor and saw that he was asleep. He tapped him on the shoulder and whispered there was a hot girl on his bed at this moment. Austin immediately woke up and raced upstairs. When Topaz brought up the hangover medicine and some OJ, Austin was already asleep. Topaz closed the door and got ready for bed as well.

____

Lights. Growing brighter. Getting closer. The sound of screeching wheels. A rat in a tuxedo screamed. Pushed. A big gryphon shoved her aside. Into the road. Alone.

Ignis gasped. The she-wolf looked at the white ceiling above her. She looked at herself and saw she was in a hospital bed. There were several doctors looking over her machinery frantically. but she couldn’t hear a thing. She saw a couple of IV’s in her right red paw. What had happened?

A doctor looked at her awake self and smiled boldly.

“Ah Ignis! You’re awake. We were beginning to worry.” The doctor fiddled with the machinery and put the beeping to rest.

“Not to worry much though. You are still in great shape despite being hit by a car. The driver was kind enough to stop and call 911. He even offered to pay for your hospital services. Course we couldn’t do that since he wasn’t your legal guardian and such. Speaking of legal guardians, where are your parents? I’ve looked up their numbers and called them but they aren’t responding.” The doctor rambled on as Ignis thought about her parents. They were most likely still at work. No matter what, they barely had time for her anymore. The black she-wolf closed her eyes and remembered playing faeries with her father. You be the faery and I’ll be catcher! Rahhh! His dad screamed. A young Ignis giggled.

Those days were over now. Her mother had moved out after an argument with her father. They were divorced and Ignis’s dad had trouble making ends meet. Until he got a really good job. But the business sucked him into it too much, until eventually the only times Ignis ever saw her dad were the late evenings on the weekends. Today was Friday. Was it? Ignis looked next to her bed at the clock flashing 7:00 pm and saw it was May 16th. She had been with her friends on May 1st, celebrating the spring season. Two weeks. She had been asleep for two weeks. And her dad hadn’t came to visit. Ignis then remembered her dad talking about taking over for a coworker’s hours. Something to do with a new baby or whatever. Ignis understood that her father was probably worried sick but too busy to visit her. The strict boss wouldn’t allow it. Gone for a bathroom break? A decrease of 15% in pay. A phone call from family? The phone itself would be incinerated. Gone for an entire day? Might as well quit before the boss yelled at you and gave you a firing notice. Ignis groaned and tried to go back to sleep.

____

It was now May 18th. Topaz was having a grilled cheese when Ignis walked into the college’s cafeteria. She had been admitted out of the hospital a day after she had woken up. Everything was cleared so her stay was paid by the rat’s kindness. She picked up a pizza slice and some crisps and started to walk to the popular table. Ever since Ignis had started school, she had become popular. She was definitely a bit nicer than the other girls and the she-wolf was involved in a bunch of clubs. Long story short, she had worked a lot to get a lot of new friends.

Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed the gryphon that had pushed her out into the street. Ignis changed course and walked up to Topaz.

“How funny do you think you are? Pushing me into the street and that?!” She nearly screamed. A startled Topaz looked at her confused.

“No no no. You must have mistaken me for my brother. We look rather alike which is unfortunate sometimes. And judging by your build I’d say you’re about 150 pounds. Do I look strong enough to push you far enough into the path of a car?” Topaz suggested.

“140. Just-just stay away from me.” Ignis scowled and walked back to the table. As she walked to the popular table, she saw her arch-nemesis sitting there. A black panther, Missy, sat there flirting with the guys at the table.

“What are you doing here? I thought you eat the next period?” Ignis asked.

“Oh you didn’t know? It’s a new semester. New hours, new seats.” Missy tittered. The she-wolf folded back her ears. Ignis already knew that since her time unconscious had been the last month of the first semester. She was still getting used to the classes and she still had to catch up on finals. But she never thought her enemy would be sitting with her.

“Woah man!” Bill, a buff gray Arctic wolf wearing a sports jacket, “I didn’t know you healed that fast. Also, what’s this I hear about Drama? Why would you want abandon us and do that?”

“Um, I didn’t.” Ignis said.

“Yeah you did. Don’t you remember? While we were out a month ago, you said you decided go into Drama and leave us to fulfill your dreams on Broadway.” Missy explained smiling cruelly.

“But I di-” Ignis was interrupted as one of the guys shoved her lunch tray to the floor.

“If you think you can go around acting stuck up, you’re wrong.” The group laughed at Ignis as she tried to gather the remnants of the meal. A couple of bird talons helped her as well. Ignis looked up and saw Topaz.

“Come on. I’ve got a tuna salad sandwich I don’t even like.” Grateful, Ignis stood up and walked to Topaz’s table, aware of the cafeteria staring at her. What had happened? Why was everyone against her now? By now, the two of them had gotten to Topaz’s table. Sitting there were two others, a girl crow wearing a videogame shirt along with some bracelets; a red dragonet wearing bronze spectacles along with an anime shirt. He was toying with some metal picture of a circle with patterns in it. Meanwhile, Topaz was wearing one shirt that read, Airplanes are the future for others, along with an airplane on it. Strangely, he was also wearing a plaid robe and a lavender fedora, sporting a blue macaroni.

“This is Cacturne,” Topaz introducing the crow, “And this is Scorch,” he said referring to the dragonet this time. Ignis sat down feeling very strange. She had never sat at any other table besides the popular one.

“Why are you helping me?” Ignis asked as she delicately ate the tuna sandwich.

“Why not? You obviously got the wrong impression of me. And you just got served by Missy.” Topaz sipped his water.

“But I just treated you horribly.” Ignis worried.

“Doesn’t matter. You made a mistake. Everyone makes mistakes all the time.” Topaz starting chomping down on his fries. With his mouth full, he commented, “Besides, Missy’s been spreading rumors about you.”

Ignis was surprised. “What rumors?”

“Seriously? You haven’t heard yet?” Cacturne asked shocked.

“No. Should I be worried?” Ignis asked.

“Not unless you want lose all of your friends.” Scorch said as he furrowed his forehead, working on his circle.

“She's saying you don’t care about the others at all. That you just want to go to the top of the drama world or kingdom.” Cacturne responded angrily. “Is that true?!”

“Now now, Cacturne. Let’s calm down. This isn’t one of your Call of Duty battles. All we have here are rumors simply. Not facts. Which is why I don’t believe them at all.” Topaz finished up his fries and wiped his yellow beak.

“Why are you so calm? And why are you wearing a robe?” Ignis queried.

“I learned a long time ago that society has been impressing certain subjects and ideas upon us. I’m calm since I don’t necessarily care what society does. Unless it’s against my moral code.” Topaz explained fiddling with his macaroni.

“He also wears a robe for no apparent reason.” Scorch butted in chuckling.

“That’s not true. I just happen to be prepared for a surprise nap. Also there’s more pockets.” Topaz laughed with Cacturne. Ignis laughed uncomfortably as well.

“So what are you working on, Scorch?” The black she-wolf asked.

“Ah, I’m just trying to come up with a new version of chess. So far I’ve created Cylinder chess, Cube chess, 4D chess. I also created Sphere chess, but that’s a bit hard to stabilize. Right now, I’m doing Circle chess where you’re practically playing the endgame and the opening movements at the same time. The rules will be crazy like heck.” Scorch explained. When he stuck his screwdriver into it, it blew up in his face. The red dragonet coughed out a bit of smoke.

“I think it may need a bit more work.” Cacturne giggled. Scorch glared at her and continued working.

Laughing now, Ignis asked Topaz why he invited her here. Topaz explained, “You’re alone now. That’s because of Missy’s rumors. And you’ve got a lot on your plate. You missed a month of school and you’re backed up on lessons. You lost your friends and are starting over from scratch.” Topaz spread his arms. “Welcome to the nerd table. Population: 3. Cacturne’s taking a major in computer and video game design. Scorch is doing mechanical majors. I myself am taking an aeronautical major. I’ve got some pretty good ideas. And judging by the rumors, I suspect you’re taking Drama?”

Ignis nodded. “At least I was. Now I may have to quit that with all of the acting lessons I missed.” She noticed Topaz had finished his water. “Do you want a soda? I mean I can get you one if you want.”

“No thanks. I abstain from soda or coffee. Although I do have the occasional tea.” Topaz picked up his mahogany satchel from the floor. He picked another water bottle and a banana from it.

“Who keeps a banana in their satchel?” Ignis wondered aloud.

“He does.” Cacturne commented. She picked up her lunch and threw it away. “Well I better be going to class. See ya Scorch.” Scorch waved at her as he fixed his chess invention. Topaz handed the banana to Ignis who opened it starving. Shockingly, the banana inside fell apart into sliced pieces along with a slip of paper. It read Meet me at my dorm. J38. When she looked up, Topaz and Scorch were walking away, discussing how the circle chess game would work.

----

Still WIP on copying this long story from Topaz's google docs - Nexalph.

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