Guardians of Ga'Hoole
Chapter 1 ~ Hatching
I am Zara, I was born without knowledge of my mother or father, I was found as an egg in a hollow and I was taken in by a group of patrolling owls; that is what I am told and what I believe.
I am a Tyto Alba, my feathers are the purest of black and brown, my own parents would have killed me, seeing that I am not the natural colour of the Tytos. Nyra, the new leader of the army of owls, took me in when I was born, making sure I grew into a strong, confident Tyto, to serve the Pure Ones.
3 months before The Battle with the Flecks- When Metalbeak fell
"Lexis, what have you found?" a large, armoured Tyto asked a cross bred bird, a Crow and Owl Hybrid, she had Blue gems set in metal helmet with leather around her Talons.
"Look" She lifted her left set of talons that held tightly in it, a creamy white ball
"An egg? Crush it" He said turning around, sighing disapprovingly of the Hagsfiend for wasting his time
"But wouldn't it be a great soldier for your Pure Ones?" The Hagsfiend jumped and flapped her wings; she landed infront of the Owl
"...Yes, it would, and if not, a great picker" he chuckled and snatched the egg off of the Hagsfiend "Lexis"
"Yes?" she asked
"Not a word" He smirked and flew out of the Hollow "Pure Ones! Back to St Aegolius!" The owl called as the remaining soldiers lifted off of the branches and flew out to follow the leading owl, leaving only three Hagsfiends
"Yes Allomere..." The Hagsfiend smiled
2 months later the egg was beginning to hatch, it was in a hollow area in the side of the rocky wall, it was lay on feathers and some small parts of branches, a white Tyto was lay next to it and curled her wing over it to keep it warm
"C'mon young one, hatch!" she whispered to the egg, soon after some violent shaking within the egg, a small crack split the pure white picture, and after a few moments, more of the egg shell split, cracking and faint chirping echoed around the quiet, empty hollow, more and more of the chick began to emerge and less and less the shell seemed to resemble an egg.
"That's it! Not much more now little one" the soft voiced comforted the small chick as she kicked the last bit of shell restricting her and squirmed her way out of the bowl-like piece of shell.
"Lord Nyra! Has it hatched?" a Sooty owl walked into the chamber her tail feathers stained with red
"Yes, Krietra" Nyra lifted her wing showing the Pink, feather-less owlet, squirming around and chirping.
"Number 5682-16" Krietra leaned her claws over to grab it, Nyra jerked her head and bite down on Krietra's middle talon, she screeched and jumped backwards, Nyra let go.
"This one will not be a slave! It is a Tyto!" Nyra shouted at Krietra "She is a Pure One!"
Krietra limped a few steps away "She? What is her name then?" her talon started bleeding
I can finally have the child Metalbeak couldn't give me! "Zara" the little chick gurgled and cuddled herself down into the feathers of her nest.
34 days later and I could finally see my flight feathers coming through-at least I think they're my flight feathers- "Nyra, will I be able to branch soon?" I asked my foster mother, she had raised me for first month of my life, she seemed like the mother I never had, and I was the child she never had, I heard her once say that to her maid, Krietra, who also looked after me when Nyra was out hunting or with her husband, Metalbeak.
Metalbeak never really loved me, he never really loved her I always thought, when I saw them together they were not in love with each other, only one of them was in love, she loved him more than he did to her, Metalbeak always glared at me when he saw me with Nyra, I do think he is jealous, still I don't know why, but Nyra always used to preen my feathers and make my life easier than the other owlets in St Aegolius, and she used to bring me sweet berries that were so soothing when the juicy liquid trickled down my throat.
"Tonight, good light Zara" Nyra curled her wings into her side and twisted her head into her chest, Metalbeak walked into the chamber and gave me another glare with his one able eye, and his misty blue eye just looked liked a ball of murky water, he stood close next to Nyra and held his wings together and hid his head under his massive wings.
Where do I sleep? I walked up to Nyra and leaned close to her side, she lifted her eyelid and smiled "I'm cold" Nyra put her wing over my body, I noticed that only fifteen days ago I was the height of Nyra's leg, Now I am half the size of her I've been growing a lot recently. I cuddled into her side and closed my eyes to sleep and wait until tonight to start branching.
"Good Night Zara" I heard a soft voice echo in my head, I lifted my eyelids open slightly to see who it was, I saw a dark brown and white face staring at my face, I realised I was lay down on my nest
"Good Night Krietra, What time is it?" I asked yawning, a little tickle caught in my throat
"Just gone midnight" Krietra turned around "go on then" she said sharply
What is she-? I couldn't finish, I was yarping a pellet, I felt it rise up out of my throat, I coughed violently and spat it out to the corner of the room, I was left out of breath again "E-every time! Every time it's a struggle!" I whined to myself, Krietra heard me
"Don't worry, it won't be when you're slightly older, probably by tomorrow it will be as quick as a snake in grass" she said grabbing my pellet and throwing it out of the chamber "I'll take that to the Pelletorium in a minute"
"Where's Nyra, Krietra?" I asked looking around
"She's gone to introduce the new owlets to St Aegolius, and Metalbeak has gone to speak with... 'The Guardian'" She smirked
"'The Guardian'? Who or what's a guardian?" I said curiously
"Never ask that! They are our enemy!" Krietra snapped and screeched at me "No who's, no what's no how's!" she raised her body high and lifted her wings, she puffed out her feathers making herself nearly twice her size, she was readying to attack
"I'm sorry!" I shouted, lowering myself into my nest and covering my body with my wings
It went quiet for about half a minute, I wondered what happened and looked up; Krietra was gone, along with my pellet
"Am I ever going to be friends with my Sitter?" I sighed as I asked myself out loud
"Don't think so young'un, Krietra's not one to make friends with owlets" I heard a voice outside of my chamber, the rock wall was thin enough to hear outside
"Who's that?" I asked, I lifted my wings into a defensive position
"Oh only Grimble, I'll be round in a minute" the voice answered, I could hear wings beats slowly fading away, Grimble? Who's that? At that moment I saw a Boreal owl with his feathers stained red and white, slightly resembling Nyra
"Grimble?" I asked the owl
"You catch on fast" He walked in to my chamber "I'm your new sitter" he smiled "and you are...?"
"Zara" I said lifting my body from its defence position "What happened to Krietra?"
"She had a little... persuasion, letting me be your sitter" he turned a little "Zara, do you know what Metalbeak is doing when he's not here?"
"No, actually" I never really thought about where Nyra and Metalbeak go, mainly because I have Krietra to talk to, not much of a talker but it was better sitting on my own
"Do you want to know?" he asked me, Of course! I walked up to him and he took me under his wing "Well, let me show you" we walked out of my chamber, I hadn't been out of my chamber since the moment I hatched, I was always kept in my chamber, I stepped out of my chamber on to some hard rock, I was always so used to the soft floor, my feet felt cool under it, I could hear my talons scratch against the rock
"What is this?" I asked
"This? It's only rock" he chuckled "You haven't been out of your chamber have you?" I shook my head and he looked slightly surprised "well Zara this will be a great chance to see your home" he lifted his wings, I turned to see what his wings were facing and I saw canyons and towers of orange and grey rocks, Owls and other flying creatures gliding and flapping all across the canyons, I saw some blue glow underneath the ledge on which me and Grimble were standing on.
"Wow..." I said This is so massive!
"Zara, follow me to my chamber" Grimble's voice dropped to a whisper he walked to the left of the ledge and prepared to take off for flight
"Grimble! I can't fly!" I called loudly to Grimble, he turned quickly and dropped down his wings
"Oh, sorry, let me take you" he lifted his wings again and launched himself at me
"What-!" I shut my eyes, I could feel him putting his talons over my body, I couldn't feel the rock under my feet anymore, I felt light and heavy at the same time, I opened my eyes to see Grimble carrying me in his talons, I looked down and saw the floor, 5 miles down, Grimble was taking me to his chamber, we flew under arches of rocks and around corners, we dived downwards towards the floor, Grimble slowed up when we got to a bridge-like ledge, Grimble dropped me gently on the ledge, I lay on my side for a moment, still stunned by the sudden flight. Grimble landed next to me and nudged me up
"C'mon get inside, quickly" he whispered I stood up quickly like he said and walked into his chamber, Grimble followed