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||You are on Week 274
Every week we will be starting a new Story Telling competition - with great prizes! The current prize is 2000 NP, plus a rare item!!! This is how it works...
We start a story and you have to write the next few paragraphs. We will select the best submissions every day and put it on the site, and then you have to write the next one, all the way until the story finishes. Got it? Well, submit your paragraphs below!
Story Two Hundred Seventy Four Ends May 19
Kalvin shivered as he trudged along the snowy peak of Terror Mountain. Pulling his coat tightly around him, he stooped and plunged a measuring stick into the snow with a gloved hand. The ground below him rumbled ominously.
That isn't good, the Nimmo thought, frowning at his equipment.
With the high winds whipping around the peak, it was not unusual for the mountain to shake occasionally, but to the Nimmo scientist, the rumbles had become more frequent of late. Much more frequent than Kalvin was comfortable with. He pulled the marker out of the snow and scribbled briefly in his notebook, carefully looking over his calculations.
Suddenly, he paled considerably, making a few feverish notations on his paper. Yes, there was no doubt about it. Stuffing his equipment into his knapsack, Kalvin began climbing down to Happy Valley as quickly as he could.
"Quick, everyone, there's an emergency!" the Nimmo cried as he burst out of the Ice Caves. "There's going to be an avalanche! It'll be big enough to destroy Happy Valley! We've got to stop it somehow!"
Kalvin's dramatic proclamation didn't have quite the effect he was hoping for, as all the villagers stared at him for a moment -- then burst out laughing.
"Beware, the doomsayer has just discovered the existence of snow!" mocked a Bruce.
"And that there's lots of it!" chimed in a laughing Bori.
"And that it falls!" an Usul piped up.
"I'm serious!" Kalvin said. "The ground has been rumbling strangely of late, and I have been carefully measuring the build-up of snow on the peak every day-"
"So says the failed scientist who told us that the Ice Caves would melt and the Snowager would become a giant sea monster!" sneered the Bruce. Laughing, the villagers turned away from the Nimmo one by one, leaving the scientist alone with his worried thoughts.
"Fine," Kalvin muttered, turning around and stalking back into the caves. "If no one believes me, I'll just have to find a way to stop the avalanche myself!"...
Author: IMPENDING DOOM|
Date: May 12th
... “Oh, I wouldn’t recommend that at all. Sounds like a very bad idea to me.”
Stopping in his tracks, Kalvin let his shoulders sag a bit and rolled his eyes in exasperation. “If you fools aren’t going to listen to me when I tell you you’re in danger, then I don’t see how it’s any of your-” The Nimmo paused, then turned around completely and peeped his head out of the entrance to the Ice Caves, scanning the snowy landscape around him. Who was he talking to, anyway? He couldn’t see anyone...
“Over here,” came the voice again, and, startled, Kalvin spotted what he could only assume were a talking pair of gloves several metres away. Talking gloves, accompanied by a floating hat?
The Nimmo realized after a moment, with a slight sigh of relief, that the gloves and hat were, in fact, attached to a pet; a white Aisha, in fact, who appeared to be around his age if not slightly younger, and who was completely absorbed with packing the snow into a low wall in front of him. Probably preparing for a snowball fight or something, Kalvin thought, and shook his head.
“This is none of your concern,” he informed the Aisha stiffly. “You and your neighbours can just occupy yourselves with... with making gingerbread houses, or whatever it is you do.” This prompted a snort of laughter from the younger pet, who stood, brushing himself off, and fixed the Nimmo for the first time with a pair of pale yellow eyes.
“Really!” he mused, a smile dancing around the corners of his mouth. “Is that any way to talk to someone who might be able to help you? What I mean to say is,” he continued quickly, not giving Kalvin time to answer, “you won’t be able to ‘stop’ anything without first knowing what the problem is, you dig? What’re you going to do, build a snow fort around Happy Valley?” As if to drive his point home, he kicked slightly at his own barrier, sending it cascading to the ground in a soft, powdery heap. “What you wanna do is prevent the avalanche from happening in the first place. But you can’t do that without a little research first.”
Though slightly annoyed at being teased, Kalvin held his arms akimbo and put on his most patient face, determined to get as much information out of this insolent pet as he was able. “Is that so? All right, then, tell me: What is the real problem, exactly? What is it that’s making the mountain shake?”
The Aisha grinned infuriatingly and, without warning, slipped easily past the scientist toward the expanse of the Ice Caves. “What’s that old saying, again? ‘The simpler the question, the more complex the answer’? You’d better see for yourself. If you can keep up, that is.” And with that, he flicked his curiously shaggy tail and scampered across the snowdrifts, until he was once more a pair of gloves and a dark hat against the snow.
Doing his best to set aside his annoyance, Kalvin quickly followed after him, the mountain shuddering once more underneath his feet...
Date: May 15th
...The two pets hurried through the crystalline caves and out into an opening to the mountain. The green Nimmo drastically stood out in the desolate white as he dashed to and fro without as much ease as the Aisha, who seemed to know exactly what he was doing and where he was going. A harsh wind was picking up and getting stronger by the minute as they pushed on forward. Snow began to lightly fall; it would become far heavier soon after. A storm was rolling in. There was no doubt about that.
"Where are we going!?" Kalvin shouted through the blizzard that ruthlessly pushed his words back to him. Surely they needed to turn back before the snowstorm got any more horrific. They could be lost in Terror Mountain for weeks at end. And the company, well, he wasn't too thrilled about being trapped with this certain Neopet.
"Just follow! And quickly! The storm is only going to get worse as we go nearer!" The frightful words came rapidly flying to his ears. Oh yes, wonderful news, he thought bitterly to himself. As if he didn't already know that. Why in the world had he agreed to chase after this daft Aisha?
It was getting terribly worse. Kalvin could hardly even walk, and to see the gloves and hat he was evidently supposed to follow was mad. At the moment he could only identify the slight brown of the cap against the flurry. The gloves were gradually getting buried by the snow as it got ever deeper. He himself had seemed to have almost camouflaged with the snow just as the Aisha did.
All of a sudden, to add to the already made problems, the hat gave an unexpected sharp shift in turn and flew to Kalvin's far right. He followed with much haste at the startling twist in direction. The Aisha was traveling faster than ever with the wind at hand.
"Slow down a bit! I can't see where you're going!" The Nimmo screamed to the pet ahead.
There was no reply. The hat seemed to move more unusual than before.
"Can you hear me!? I said SLOW DOWN!" Kalvin screamed at the top of lungs.
Still no reply; however, he had not the time to worry about that. There was something more at work.
The scientist stopped abruptly in his tracks, the bitter wind almost pushing him down what looked to be a steep cliff. His olive eyes followed a tumbling hat down into the abyss of white. Kalvin squinted through the falling snow only to realize it was more of a pit than a cliff. To his dismay he couldn't recognize or make out what stood below. Nevertheless, it looked like he had found part of the problem without the Aisha’s help...
Date: May 16th
...He stopped thinking about the problem when he realized the erratic behavior of the Aisha's hat meant one thing and one thing only -- that the poor creature was falling.
"No!" Kalvin called out, despite his dislike for the creature. He ran off to the side along the edge of the cliff, getting ready to jump off toward the Aisha's disappearing hat, when he realized it was too late -- there was no earth under him. He was falling through the air as the ice under his feet gave way.
He tumbled down the side of the cliff, which was mercifully snowy and not as vertical as he had thought. He threw his arms out to try and stop himself, but it was no use. He couldn't even see enough to look for the Aisha's hat, and try to redirect himself toward him...
He was going very fast and hard down the mountain, fearing the worst, when it happened again; there was nothing under him, nothing at all. The time he spent in the air that time seemed to last so much longer, as if he had spent infinity just hanging there, amidst the buffeting winds and snow.
Then impact. A huge splash. It took the numbed Kalvin several moments to realize it was actually he who had made the splash. Then he was underwater, unable to breathe. He paddled toward what he thought to be the surface with arms and legs he couldn't feel... but he was a Nimmo. He knew how to swim.
He gasped in the oxygen above the turmoil of waves and spray. I've got to get out of here, Kalvin thought. I'll get hypothermia...
His thoughts stopped short. There was now only one thing in his mind.
The water. It was... warm.
He turned. From a crack in the side of the mountain, a river of water was pouring into a lake... the lake at the bottom of the pit...
Of course! His scientific mind burst into gear. This water is coming from a warmer place... coming here, where it is freezing from the bottom up... and when water freezes, it expands... and when water expands...
He gasped. When water expands, even mountains cannot stand in its way...
Date: May 16th
..."No!" cried out the Nimmo again, this time in frustration though. How was he going to remove an entire secret lake from the middle of the mountain? Impossible. "It can't be done," he said aloud.
"What can't?" asked the Aisha, who had suddenly reappearred.
The Nimmo almost jumped out of his skin, before he realized it was the troublesome pet. Who, as it seemed, was enjoying himself. The white pet was swimming leisurely through the warm springs, the hat and gloves waiting uselessly on a nearby glacier.
Kalvin sighed, "This water, here. It flows through the mountain. It freezes. Then it expands. That's the cause for these shakings."
"Well, obviously," the Aisha smirked, "I should hope it wouldn't take a genius to figure that out."
"Scientist," muttered the Nimmo under his breath. "And what's impossible," he continued, now speaking at a normal volume, "is removing this huge lake from the mountain. We'll have to evacuate Happy Valley," he sighed, "Except, well... no one will believe me."
"Who said it was impossible?" asked the Aisha, now swimming back stroke.
"Science! Gravity! The Law of Conservation of Matter! Intuition!” the Nimmo’s voice rose as he made his arguments, so that it soon turned raspy and his fit ended in a burst of coughs.
The Aisha, however, seemed rather amused, “See, that’s your problem. There’s probably a few plausible solutions to this problem, you know.”
“Oh really,” grumbled Kalvin, “Care to elaborate?”
“Sure,” the Aisha smiled, “For example, where does the water come from?”
“I... ah, uh,” for once, the Nimmo realized he did not have a response, “I don’t know.”
“So, find out where it comes from. Then get it to stop,” the Aisha shrugged, then continued to swim, now doing freestyle.
“Argh! You don’t get it! It’s not that easy! I don’t even know where this is coming from!”
The Aisha smiled wryly. “Remember your theory of the Ice Caves melting?”
“I–yes, wait, what, you know about that?”
“Oh... yes,” the Nimmo hung his head; his greatest accomplishment and failure. Now because of one tiny mistake, no one would believe a single theory he came up with. And this one was obviously correct. One blunder, and you’re branded forever.
“Well, you were right.”
The Nimmo looked up, “What?”
The Aisha sighed, “Come on,” he got out of the water, donning the hat and gloves, steam rising in small spirals from his body, “Follow me.”
“Woah, wait, hold on!” cried the Nimmo, standing up, “Last time I followed you, I...”
“Ended up here,” replied the Aisha calmly, “I showed you the problem, right? That’s just the beginning.” The Aisha had already turned, and was running now once again. Grumbling angry, the Nimmo got off the ice cube he had been seated on, and followed after the irritating, white pet once more...
Date: May 17th
...They had been running along the river that was flowing into the hot spring for a while before they ran into the first problem.
Kalvin could see it before they even got to the site, and as they got closer to it he felt a hollow pit form in his stomach. Before him loomed the biggest glacier he had ever seen, its colossal sides rearing up like a giant.
The Nimmo was lost for words, awed by its ethereal beauty. Then, looking it up and down in speculation, he saw something that made his jaw drop in complete and utter horror.
Sputtering and splurting on one side of the glacier was a trickle of hot lava that was constantly fed by a river of even more magma that ate into the side of the glacier hungrily, melting it and causing the warm water!
"But where is the lava coming from?" said Kalvin, directing his question at the Aisha who was just gazing at him with yellow eyes. By his guess, they were now deep inside the mountain. Could it be they had been unaware of its volcanic properties until now? "Unless..." The Nimmo gazed at the sluggish river of lava that threaded off into the distance. All of a sudden the answer came to him. "Tyrannia."
The Aisha grinned that infuriating grin. "It took you long enough to figure all that out."
Kalvin disregarded the Aisha's words as he stared along the thin river of lava. There was one more puzzle piece that hadn't yet fallen into place...
Date: May 17th
...How could lava reach all the way from Tyrannia? Kalvin thought about the facts: Tyrannia is miles away from Terror Mountain. Not to mention, there is a significant elevation difference. How could the magma travel vertically up to the highest peaks of the arctic climate? The Nimmo glanced towards the Aisha, who was occupying himself by gazing at the crawling lava stream. With a smug look, feeling that he finally trumped the oh-so clever Aisha, Kalvin bellowed, “It can’t be from Tyrannia. How could lava reach this far up in the mountains?”
The Aisha rolled his eyes. “The lava didn’t climb the mountain. It traveled through magma ducts deep below the surface. Then, it rose vertically when the pressure grew too large. It found a crack from where to escape.” The Neopet smirked. “I thought you were a scientist.”
Grumbling under his breath, Kalvin turned away from the grinning Aisha. How can that young thing be so clever? But then a thought hit him. His theory. The theory that had branded him a lunatic since its publication; the idea that the ice caves were melting from a hidden lava flow! Well, he honestly didn’t think about Tyrannia; he had never explained the origin of the lava flow. But he did say it was magma activity that was causing the ice caves to melt! He laughed, almost maniacally, and shouted, “I was right!”
For the first time, the Aisha smiled with him and nodded. “Yeah, I had read your theory and thought the same thing. I guess you’re not as scattered-brained as everyone thought.” The Aisha turned back towards the lava flow. “But we still have this problem.”
Kalvin, finally regaining his composure, replied, “Yes, this is a serious problem. When the ice melts, the water enters cracks and refreezes into ice. The expanding ice weakens the rock, which may cause the entire Terror Mountain to collapse. Happy Valley will be... nonexistent, to say the least.”
The Aisha, as if returning to his old self, rolled his eyes. “Duh. That’s why this has to be stopped.” As he spoke, a loud rumble shook through the caverns causing icicles to fall from the ceiling. The Aisha frowned. “The rumbling is getting worse.”
Kalvin nodded while sitting himself on a protruding piece of rock. How could they stop something as momentous as a lava flow? He glanced at the Aisha, but he seemed not to have any new ideas. Then, in a moment in spontaneous glory, the Nimmo jumped to his feet and shrieked, “Eurkea!”
With a hesistant look, the Aisha mumbled, “What?”
“A blockade! A barrier! Whatever you want to call it, we have to redirect the lava flow! We can change its route towards a safer location, like the ocean or a plateau! Someplace that can safely contain the lava!”
Instead of the impressed response Kalvin had expected, the Aisha looked skeptical. “And how are we going to do that?”
Kalvin paused. “Well...”
Date: May 18th
..."I don't know."
The Aisha frowned. "Well, then, your plan doesn't do much good, does it?"
Kalvin glared at him. "I admit you've been pretty clever so far -- let's see YOU come up with something brilliant!"
The younger Neopet returned the scowl. "You're the scientist, not me. Although not much of one."
Kalvin realized that both their tempers were heating up and that they were well on their way to a mutual loss of control, but the stress of the situation, the young Aisha's gall, and his own wounded pride prevented him from stopping or even slowing down. "And who was it that detected this problem in the first place? If you think you're so smart-"
Both Neopets startled as a deep, rumbling BOOM made the ground beneath them tremble. The Aisha was the first to recover, and shaking his head he said, "It won't help anything for us to lose our tempers. Now, about the lava ducts-"
The young pet trailed off when he saw Kalvin's look of wide-eyed terror. The Nimmo stood rooted to the ground, staring hollow-eyed into the distance. "Do you remember what I said about the Snowager?" he asked, and the Aisha nodded, looking first puzzled, then alarmed.
"Do you mean to say-"
"He's awake. And he's coming this way. The tremors must have roused him..." Kalvin's voice trailed off, then suddenly returned, wild and shrill. But it wasn't fear that caused the sudden change -- it was delight.
"That's IT!" he howled.
The Aisha stared at him as if he'd lost his mind, and Kalvin grabbed him by the shoulders and shook him.
"Don't you see? If we can get the Snowager over here, we can..."
Date: May 18th
“... block the flow of the lava!”
Kelvin was met with a look of incomprehension from the Aisha, who reached up after a moment and removed the Nimmo’s hands from his shoulders. “Um... I’m really not following you on this one.”
The scientist began to pace erratically, scrutinizing the expanse of ice from which the lava in question was steadily coursing. “The only thing that’s keeping the magma from cooling inside the glacier is motion... that is, the fact that there’s a crack in the glacier to escape through. If it was cooled suddenly over the opening, that would act as a cork, and the lava would have to find a different fissure to escape from, hopefully far from here!” A look of great excitement came across Kalvin’s face, and he turned back to the Aisha in expectation.
The younger pet, however, was nonplused. “But how does knowing that help us? Even assuming the pressure of the magma didn’t just blast the ‘cork’ out of the fissure, which is a possibility--”
“Look, we don’t have much of a choice, do we?” Kalvin interrupted, exasperation etched across his face. “We can either watch Terror Mountain fall apart around us or take a chance and hope the magma can find another route to escape through.”
After a few seconds of thought, during which the scraping sound of the Snowager’s body against the floor of the cave grew louder still, the Aisha shook his head before addressing the scientist with an air of quiet desperation. “Okay, you win, but how are you planning to do it?” he hissed. “We don’t exactly have a frost cannon at our disposal!”
Kalvin simply smiled in an oddly aggravating way. “Oh, don’t we, now?”
Before any further elaborations could be made, the air was filled with an ear-splitting roar, and the Aisha whirled around to find himself face-to-face with a rather disgruntled-looking Snowager. The creature was big- bigger than he ever could have imagined- and the sight of it filled him with a sense of terrible awe. “Get down, quickly!” He didn’t need to be told twice. Panicked, the white-furred pet dove for cover, and upon finding a suitably large chunk of ice to crouch behind, looked on in mingled horror and amazement. What was the Nimmo planning?
“Hey, you! You big fat... um, icicle-head! Over here!”
The Snowager’s massive head swung toward Kalvin, who had scrambled over the icy cave floor until he was perilously near to the lava’s source; he stood tensed, ready to leap to the side, and catching the Aisha’s eyes, he mouthed two words:
Rearing back, the worm’s thick body seemed to ripple slightly from bottom to top– and a frigid blast erupted from its gaping jaws...
Date: May 19th
...Snow flew up into Kalvin's face as he landed as far away from the lava source as he could. He jumped to his feet, then dove again for cover from the Snowager's blast. But he needn't have worried; the creature was still blindly aiming his icy breath toward the place where he had last seen Kalvin.
When he finally stopped, the Snowager stared at the area he had just iced. It did not move. Kalvin seemed to sense something was wrong.
Together, yet far apart, the Aisha and Kalvin waited, as did the Snowager.
Something exploded. Kalvin could not tell what because he had fallen back as the ground shook violently. When he finally saw it, he gasped.
The glacier from which the lava was flowing had exploded. The lava had built up within it. And now he could see farther back into the cave. There was a hole in the side of it, facing out of the side of the mountain. The Snowager had moved to that area, and was now glowing crystally in the light from the outside world. A sense of peace seemed to have fallen over the cave.
Kalvin couldn't believe what he did next... he went and stood beside the Snowager, and the Aisha came up behind him. The wind left him as he gazed in awe upon Happy Valley below. It glowed in the sunlight through the clear sky, peaceful, safe, and alive.
Then the ground shook again. Harder than ever. But then the ground was gone.
Kalvin and the Aisha went flying through the pristine cold air, and landed on a hard, pulsing surface... the Snowager. Kalvin looked back up the side of the mountain. It was splitting! They were riding the wave of an avalanche!
To his surprise, the exhilarating ride came to an end in no time. The Snowager shrugged them off and went on his own way while people began to crowd around them, mumbling that "Wow, he really was right!" Finally, some respect!
He stood up, brushed himself off, and looked behind him. A steady flow of lava came from the mountain, but headed off harmlessly in another direction. And the minor avalanche had not touched Happy Valley.
The Aisha came up beside him. Kalvin smiled.
"I think that, my friend, I deserve to know one thing. I'm sure that in this field you do know more than me-"
"Whaddaya wanna know?" the Aisha said. Kalvin turned to him.
"So... what's your name?"
Date: May 19th
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