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The Alphas

Just a little summary ^^:Hey viewers/readers out there that may come across my writing! The Kings and Queens series will be about my own little version/lore about how the alphas of Jamaa came to be. I've added my own flourishes, like the genealogy of some Alphas, like Mama Marie (read below). I've added my own touches, some new concepts that see fit. Just a warning...

I MIGHT use blood later on, however this is NOT a creepy-pasta. If sensitive to character death, this might not be for you, for the past alphas before this generation's AND Queen Mira get killed off in my series. Just a heads up, and enjoy the read!

Rise of Phantoms

Chapter One....

The wind whistled through Peck's ears as her paws fumbled the tiny parchment she was handling. The monumental oaks of Sarepia Forest whistled by, only brown blurs, as she heard the clattering and roaring of the beasts behind her. As she leaped over fallen logs, rolled under long branches, she felt like she was invincible. She would get this message to Queen Mira if it killed her.

She felt the presences closing in on her. How the heck? She marveled. She felt like she was zipping by faster than Sophia the horse alpha, more nimble than Lady Sylvia the rabbit alpha, more cunning than Turos the tiger alpha. The phantoms couldn't be all that fast. It wasn't like they could teleport!

The distance started getting closer and closer to Quira Cave. Those rocks would collapse if Peck tried to whiz through! Gapping her jaws, Peck flashed her front paws out in front of her, tearing through dirt layers and trying to skid to a halt. The rain from last night didn't make it any better, lessening her traction as she wobbled off balance. The wind suddenly picked up, and her nose twitched wildly in fear. She was getting closer and closer to Quira Cave...

Then she heard the roar. She squeaked, unclenching her fists. Her parchment from Lady Sylvia flew out of her paws, whipping away in the wind. Peck's purple eyes widened to what seemed as far as they could go as she grabbed wildly for the paper. It was just out of her reach. She turned, breathing heavy, to face the glowing eyes of the first two phantoms.

"Nowhere to run now, bunny wunny." A husky voice boomed. The phantoms clattered, advancing, their wet tentacles catching purple electricity. Their fat pupils shrunk to mere black slits, as they outstretched their stumps. Peck stared at the electricity, remembering what had happened to Timmy the neighbor after the last phantom raid.

She backed up slowly against the jagged, cold stone of the cave, her nose twitching madly like all bunny's do when they're nervous. The phantoms hissed a cold laughter as they outstretched their tentacles. Peck started studying the situation. The phantom's had tentacles on every part of their body except their heads...

As the phantoms got too close, she faked cowering. "O-oh, please... no, no! I can't be captured so young...!" Peck wailed. The voice boomed in hard, cold laughter.

"Get 'er, fools!"

The phantoms leaped forward. She flashed out her hind legs, kicking the first phantom upside the head with incredible force. The phantom squealed high-pitched, flying against a sycamore tree trunk. It's pupils swirled as it unpeeled from the bark, slamming down headfirst on the rocks. The second phantom was two late to uncover from its shock. She back-flipped over the phantom, grabbing a tentacle (in the surprise, he had forgotten the electricity) and judo threw him into the second phantom. He was not so lucky, getting electrocuted by the other's electric shock.

"Get-!" Peck screamed.

-----

"Peck! Get up now or you will be grounded to your hollow for the week!" Her mother's voice shrieked. Sitting up in bed, Peck rubbed her eyes. That dream again! Peck absolutely loved that dream. It made her feel like a real life superhero, one with a cool name like Peck the Great. The forever-feared phantoms would be conquered, the rabbits would not be looked at as fuzzy-butted inferiors. The tigers, bears, wolves and even... wait for it... RHINOS would cower in awe at the name...

Peck leaped out of bed, spreading her arms wide. Giving a little excited cartwheel, she barreled over to the cork board and stared at the drawing labeled...

Peck, alpha of the BRAVE!

***

Chapter Two...

"Jamaa was founded by Queen Mira on the day of Unity. She believed it was a sign from the ancestors of all the lines of alphas before her. The alphas in the days of the Wild Roam, when animals ONLY stayed with their types of animals, where it was unsafe to roam with any others." Gilbert, the tiger with the highest grades of any Philosophy 101 students, rambled. "Queen Mira thought this was a place where animals could be safe from the wild, where animals could push the boundaries and combine packs, groups, and even roles in our everyday lives. Life became more than survival, it became living. Here in Jamaa, we can socialize, we can play, we can... we can be everything we've ever wanted!" Gilbert roared. Peck jumped, her claws making a dull imprint on the wood of her pencil.

Mr. Kurti, Philosophy 101's giraffe teacher, adjusted his four lavender worn ties. "Thank you Gilbert! Excellent projection, definitely an improvement from your last few presentations." Mr. Kurti clapped, the loud clattering of his hooves making the entire class join in.

"Yeah, good one, nerd." An impish voice snickered. Peck whipped her head around, her long ears flattening. She cracked a grin, though she knew she shouldn't. It's mean and rude to make fun, Pecky. Mama Marie always told Peck and her five sisters and four brothers. Graham, the biggest bully of the entire class (most likely the one who had made the remark) poked Gilbert with a sharp jab as Gilbert lumbered by. Gilbert twisted his lip, like he did sometimes when he was trying not to growl, as he sat down on his mat.

"Yeah, braniac, it's just like you to not defend yourself. What's ya gonna do, you big fat idiot?" Graham cackled. Peck rose from her desk, she knew this was the last straw, but someone else beat her to it.

"Leave him alone, Graham. Or... should I remind you about when you accidentally swallowed a screw during Builder's Class? Mhm, or how stupid you looked then?" The new transfer, Liza the panda, blew one of her black ponytails out of her face. Graham's face boiled to a crimson red. His tail twitched, swaying back and forth as he fiddled with his pencil, shrinking down behind his desk as the roars of giggles erupted.

Peck's eyes widened. Way to go, girl. She smiled. Mr. Kurti rose from his desk, his green eyes screwing to slits. He banged his hoof on his workstation, his long neck leaning over dangerously close to Graham's front row desk. "Silence, class! This is not how friendly animals act. If you all don't settle down, I might have to send you to Mr. Greely's office!" Mr. Kurti threatened. The room suddenly got dangerously quiet.

Mr. Kurti snorted. "Mhm, I thought so. Now, open your textbooks to Chapter Twenty-three, the Alpha's Diplomatic Stand."

Chapter Three...

After Philosophy 101, Peck was so tired of hearing the word 'phantom' she wanted to strangle all those weird... whatever-they-were monsters one at a time. The lunch bell rang throughout the hallway, the loud, crisp sound jolting Peck from thinking of her Peck the Great dreams. She grabbed her lunch sack from her belt loop, sprinting on her way over to the cafeteria. She wanted to meet up with that Liza girl during the lunch period. Dude, maybe it was just her, but she had never seen anyone slam Graham so hard. It was hilarious! Child, if I ever hear you turn out to be a bully like Graham, I will personally slap you upside the head. Mama Marie's voice came back to her.

Shut up. Peck told her brain, before continuing her chase to the cafeteria with her class.

***

Peck shouldered her way through the huge mass of animals. Being a rabbit, lunchtime was as close to a living nightmare as it gets. She'd gotten used to weaving in between gigantic lions, tigers, polar bears, but today a new transfer teacher had come in, Mr. Cosmo, and he was a riot. He might even be as fast as Peck was in her Peck the Great dreams! For a koala, that guy sure knew how to get around.

He would jump on the backs of rhinos and ride over to the deli bar, leap onto the stage and scuttle over to the drink fountain, and run so fast his chubby belly would bulge. He was a peculiar animal, that was for sure. His shaggy pinkish-brown fur cascaded in mini curls from his circular ears, and perched on his head was a surprisingly large hat. It was completely green, stitched from rags that drooped over his head. In his face a tiny daisy flopped around in front of his calf brown eyes every time Mr. Cosmo moved. In other words, Peck knew she and Mr. Cosmo would get along.

She was half-way to the bunny table until she heard,

"Ew, oh my jeez! Reghan, are you like, not seeing this?" An overly screechy female voice shrieked. Peck gritted her teeth. Welp, it seems like it's time for my daily Reghan standoff.

"Rebeca, girlfriend, I wish I wasn't! Oh. my. jeez. Do you not see how hideous that paint pallet earring is? It must belong to her, like, thousand year old great-great-great-great grandmother. If Peck wasn't so horrifyingly ugly, I might, like, actually be sorry for her." Reghan, a pretty creamy-white rabbit with a blond ringlet drooping down in her blue eye, scoffed.

"Mhm, you're the one to talk Reghan. Says the girl who had to pay 6,000 gems just to take a selfie with Mojo Maho. Really, if you weren't such a pathetic snob, you might've actually been accepted into Mojo Maho's school for talented singers. But even he knows better. Everyone who's ever been ten feet around you in choir knows that." Peck said, a little louder than necessary. She leaped up onto the table, purposely stomping Reghan's food, and screeching, "Oh, look at me, I'm Reghan, the self absorbed jerk that really has no friends! I mean, you seriously don't see that when you drop below six hundred thousand followers on Jam-a-snap they'll leave you in an instant?" Peck blinked innocently.

The cafeteria was now silent. Then Liza the panda herself stood up on the bench, started applauding and screeched, "Do you need to go to the hospital for those third degree burns?"

For some reason, Liza's approval made Peck feel accomplished. Then the cafeteria rose in a howl-like chant, "Oooh, Reghan just got burned!"

Finally Reghan seemed to recover from her shock. She lifted up her myPhone and showed everyone in the cafeteria her big fat 700k followers button right in the middle of her one-hit selfie on her Jam-a-snap profile. Then Reghan shot Peck a murderous look and whipped away, ignoring the 'ooohs' from the schoolkids.

Chapter Four...

"Hey...uh..Peck!" A familiar voice called from behind Peck's locker. Closing the door and shouldering her backpack, she turned around scanning for the source of it. Liza was rubbing her arms and standing next to Peck, her black eyes warm and friendly, and maybe Peck was imagining it, but maybe even a little awe-stricken. "That was, like, amazing what you did to Reghan today. I've never seen anyone defend themselves that greatly." Liza swooned.

"Oh, and, yeah... do you need help with your bags?" Liza quickly offered. "I forgot my backpack today so I really don't have that much of an extra load."

Peck blinked. She took a while to answer, but eventually she smiled and stuck out her paw. Liza stared in confusion, tilting her head sideways. It was cute and hilarious.

"Um... you shake my paw. It's kind of a formal greeting." Peck smirked.

"Uh, uh-oh! oh! okay!" Liza shook her paw rather hurriedly and recoiled. "Sorry. Where I come from, Ogypt, we just say hello and help in anyway we can. I guess that's why I was so fond of you at lunch, 'cause you really don't come across people like you in Crystalline Isles."

"Crystalline Isles?" Peck asked, straightening Mama Marie's paint pallet earring.

"Oh, Crystalline Isles is where I come from. Well, I was born in Mohayo, just off the coast of the Blue Sea in Ogypt. I moved to Crystalline Isles when I was two, lived there for about four years or so, and then moved to Jamaa. Jamaa is definitely better than Ogypt, let me tell you." Liza explained.

"Oh, I see. Yeah, that sounds cool. Not much of a geography whiz, am I?" Peck laughed.

Liza cracked a smile, and Peck thought that was better than kicking the phantoms in the head in her Peck the Great dream. Okay, it was better, just not more awesome. There.

See? I can compromise, Mama Marie. Peck thought.

***

Peck fumbled with the map to the family burrow. The Maurigne burrow was way too small for the family, but it had good farming soil and the land was cheap. Peck had to share a room with two of her little sisters, Tira and Kira, and there was no way the Maurigne burrow was large enough for a panda. Even if it was a small panda like Liza.

"So...where's your house?" Liza asked, looking at the map.

"Well, it's in a small town-ish place on the outskirts of Los Animeles. We live in a system of burrows that wrap around the larger town, so we're technically citizens of Los Animeles, though we call the burrowing system Panera Town."

"No, I meant which one of these are yours?" Liza asked, stooping down and pointing to the ostentatious holes decorating the dirt.

"Oh, if you look really closely each one has a tiny sign with the family name on it," Peck explained. "So, right here, the one that says 'Maurigne', this is my burrow. The burrow of the Maurigne family."

Peck got down and leaped over to the burrow door (which was really the hole one used to get in) and signaled for Liza to wait there. Hopefully, if Mama Marie didn't chew her out for taking a stranger to Panera Town, she could introduce some of her sisters to Liza. She knew they'd love each other.

On the way back, Liza had told Peck lots of stuff about her life. She apparently has a brother named Yuri and a sister named Rhea back in Crystalline Isles that sent her care packages, including things like the finest Ogyptian candies and foods. Liza also said that she loved to eat. Go figure.

Peck dropped through the hole and was greeted by the smell of fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies. Mama Marie made the best chocolate chip cookies ever. What a coincidence, though! The lights were off except for the blaring and bright TV in the center of the wall. Reclined on a green worn couch sat Papa Phurrie. His cowboy hat was pulled over his grayish-white fur, his calloused paws crossed over his baby blue #1 CATCH T-shirt. His boots were next to the recliner, his huge feet crossed on the mat.

Peck was surprised Mama Marie even let Papa Phurrie do that, but she didn't want to ask. Papa Phurrie thought everything was disrespectful, and he had some nasty punishments.

Then she heard the screech. "TOMMY JAIME MAURIGNE, GET BACK HERE THIS INSTANT AND GIVE RICO BACK HIS ROBOT!"

"Yeah Tommy, gimme it back!" She heard Rico wail.

Yep, good to be home.... Sigh.

"I'm home, Mama!" Peck yelled.

"Well, get to your burrow and start your homework, then!" Mama Marie screamed back, and she heard that Mama Marie was going for the wooden spoon.

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