Storytelling Competition - (click for the map) | (printer friendly version)
If you have any questions about the competition then read our awesome FAQ!
||You are on Week 311
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 Three Hundred Eleven Ends March 2
Kanita looked behind her as the setting sun slowly disappeared behind the hills, streaking the sky with a dark crimson glow. She would have to be home soon, but a few more minutes couldn't hurt.
The Zafara skipped down the road that led from the village. She was happy with her home - the town was small, and her life was simple - but sometimes she could not help but wonder what else was out there in the wide world of Neopia. What excitement must lay beyond those mundane rows of crops!
She had finished her chores early today, so Kanita wasn't going to pass up this opportunity to explore the village's boundaries. She would just take a peek around outside and be back before supper.
Kanita's light footsteps danced around a tree as she scanned the area, hardly making a sound. Not a soul in sight, she thought cheerfully to herself.
"There is no more we can learn from the test."
The Zafara's eyes widened as a deep voice rumbled out from the forest. Quickly, she dodged back around the tree she had just skipped past and pressed herself up against the bark.
"We must shut it down then," a gruff, older voice responded.
"So the town will be demolished?"
"Yes, in a matter of days..."
Author: Simple Peasant #42|
Date: Feb 23rd
...Kanita almost gasped, but stifled the sound as she remembered that silence would be prudent. It couldn't be true, surely not, but her thrumming heart would not let her discount the possibility: could they be talking about her town?
There was nothing for it; she must get a glimpse of the speakers. Having grown up in a small town, the young Zafara knew nothing of navigating busy streets or snatching coins from the pockets of the unwary, but she did know how to walk without sound. Years of practicing so as not to frighten the small Petpets that could be captured and sold to Petpet shops for a bit of extra cash had taught her as much.
These skills were invaluable now; slowly, as if her paws were breath on a still lake's surface, Kanita edged away from the tree and toward the direction of the sound, careful to remain concealed in the bushes. She thanked Fyora that her coat was painted green -- a plain color it might be, but it perfectly camouflaged her in the underbrush.
Two Grundos were speaking to each other, to the Zafara's surprise. She had only seen a few of those Neopets in her life -- usually they were passing peddlers from the Space Station, selling glitzy wares and impressive technology. The Grundos didn't cut through her town often, unless on their way to a bigger city. There was no one much here to buy their wares (much too expensive and impractical for a farming town) but at least when they did come they had no lack of audience or admirers. Only the strong impression they'd made in her mind kept Kanita aware of them at all; she would have easily forgotten them, so rarely had they come.
It was almost as if they wanted to be forgotten, by the sound of it.
"I'd say it's a pity, but there isn't much to lose," said the first Grundo, a large purple Neopet broad of shoulder and of face. His unusually far-apart eyes blinked slowly, and the orange blotches on his skin were spattered like welts.
The second Grundo, a little bit taller than his companion, had clear blue skin and an air of dignity. "The only pity is that the test didn't work out as we'd hoped. The Boss will not be pleased." He said the words calmly, but could not completely quell a tremor of fear at the word "Boss."
The first Grundo shifted his weight impatiently. "What's our first step, Lieutenant Garox? Calibrate the proton-acceleration cyclotron?"
"It would be our first step," replied the blue Grundo slowly, his red eyes flickering to the place where Kanita hid, "if there were no one watching us..."
Date: Feb 26th
...Kanita froze from where she stood, hidden in the underbrush. Her breath was caught uncomfortably in her throat, but fear kept it hovering nervously there. The two Grundo were looking in her direction suspiciously, their tentacles twisting in every-which direction. All those summer afternoons spent hiding from Papa and his chores - she hoped these Grundo were not keener in sight than Papa was. Part of her wanted to tear away, far from these strange Neopets, and forget everything she had heard.
But what if it was important? What if they were talking about her town? They must have been; hers was the only one for miles all around. Kanita thought about Mama and Papa back home, and their quaint little thatched hut. If she left, they would surely destroy the town. Obviously, they wanted no one to know what they were doing.
The blue Grundo continued to speak. "...because there cannot be any witnesses. You know what we must do if there are." At last, he looked away from Kanita.
Kanita felt as if her head was going to explode, and in her relief, she let her breath out in an audible gasp.
The blue Grundo snapped back to her direction. Kanita didn't wait to hear what he had to say but burst out of the bushes in a full sprint, into the heart of the woods. Surely the Grundo could not follow her in; surely a Neopet who lived in space could not navigate the tangled undergrowth of the forest.
For all her assuredness, she was sadly mistaken. It seemed she was the one deceived - as she ran deeper and deeper into the woods, it seemed she was running deeper and deeper into an entirely different land.
To her right and to her left she began to see glimmers, a metallic sheen. As she continued to run the glimmers showed up more frequently and from time to time she saw glimpses of those very same trinkets the Grundo would sell in town, except on a much larger scale. Metal, the Grundo said they were made of. Alloids harvested from objects floating in space and from the very stars themselves...
Distracted by the glimmers in her peripheral vision, Kanita did not see the object looming in the path directly in front of her. She slid to a rough halt, falling on her tail as she stopped. The thing in front her was enormous; it was as if she were staring into a large looking glass, except the material was silver. It was a wall of metal...
Kanita followed the wall of metal up and gasped when she realized that it was not a wall but the front of a gigantic metal Grundo. A brief memory flickered in her mind - something about animated metal Neopets - Robots, the Grundo called them.
It was a Grundo robot. Kanita inched backwards until she felt something warm and soft behind her.
"Look at what I found, Lieutenant Garox!..."
Date: Feb 27th
...Kanita screamed and exploded forward, only to slam to a halt as both of the purple Grundo's hands closed in an iron grip on her tail, forbidding flight. Her remaining four limbs flew in as many directions, and Kanita found herself sprawled flat on her face. For a moment she lay motionless, breathing heavily, trembling like grass in the wind as the tall blue Grundo approached, his footsteps soft and even as the stalking tread of a predator. His low voice held no malice, only a soft, almost indifferent menace, and Kanita knew that at this moment her life was held like a fragile wildflower between his fingertips, and was worth no more to him than one of the small meadow plants. "Good work, Xeldan," he murmured, the quiet, ceaseless burning of his eyes never leaving Kanita.
"Let me go," the Zafara whimpered uselessly, knowing they would not obey but too terrified to think of anything else she could do. Fighting back sobs, she went on, "I never did anything to you, and neither did anyone in the town. Why can't you just go away and leave us alone?"
It was the worst thing she could have said, and she realized this a moment too late as Garox's eyes flickered. "So we do have a witness." The obvious statement seemed to have been made solely to terrify Kanita. Raising his head to meet Xeldan's gaze, he added, "You know what to do."
The Zafara's frantic stare shot up to the purple Grundo's eyes, searching desperately for any hint of mercy. This was all going too fast. Surely this wasn't happening. She couldn't possibly be crouched helplessly between a pair of Grundos, her mind reeling from an impossible conversation about the destruction of her beloved town, and her horrified eyes pinned to the hand that was leaving her tail to reach into a pocket, seeking Fyora knew what.
A hand had left her tail. Clear and sharp in a drifting phantom world, the information registered like a flame blazing to life in her mind, and suddenly she blasted forward with the strength of desperation. There was a cry from Xeldan and a growl from Garox, and suddenly the blue Grundo was right in front of her.
Moving too fast to stop, Kanita sprang into the air, propelled by her powerful hindlegs to ricochet off Garox's shoulder in an aimless flying leap. Her claws caught on something, and with a surge of alarm she realized that it was another shoulder, this one belonging to the robot. No matter. It was solid and it was beneath her, which meant she could run on it. Something gave beneath one of her feet; but it only sank a little, and she paid it no more heed than the two Grundos were now paying her.
Their attention was divided between the button she had accidentally pushed, and the sinister red glow of the activated robot's eyes...
Date: Feb 27th
...And suddenly the metal creation lurched beneath Kanita's paws, and she felt as though her heart had skipped a beat. She let out a shocked gasp and turned to leap off of it. But a quick glance to the two angry Grundos below made her reconsider.
"Get back here!" shouted the surly Garox. He advanced menacingly, arms out in front of him as he swiped at Kanita.
Xeldon's glare faltered as he saw the robot's flash of activity. "Er, Lieutenant? I- um, think that we should..." The robot shuddered again and the purple Grundo gulped nervously before finishing the thought. "... leave."
"Not without the eavesdropper! Help me get her!" the blue Grundo commanded. Kanita looked from one Grundo to the other, then back to the robot beneath her. Beginning to catch on to what Xeldon was frightened of, she examined the robot more closely. An entire panel of strange knobs and levers and other technological devices lay before her. Struck by an idea, she reached out and pulled or pushed on as many of the devices as she could.
The robot stumbled once, and Kanita thought that she was going to fall, but then it stood up straighter and tilted its head towards the two Grundos. Even Garox seemed uncertain now. Kanita slammed her fist down onto a promising-looking large red button. Instantly the shiny metal creation spoke up, almost shocking the Zafara into losing her grip on the robot. "Attack?" the thing asked in a strange deep voice that Kanita had never heard before.
The robot seemed to make up its mind, or process the data, or do whatever strange things that moving metal does. It raised one ominous device and aimed it at Garox...
And the two Grundos took off in a dead run. Only Garox looked back to fix the green Zafara with a menacing glare.
Kanita felt weak with relief. But then the robot turned suddenly, and she was shaken from her perch to land heavily on the floor. The robot, seemingly noticing her for the first time turned to her, its unreadable red eyes sizing her up.
Kanita winced and closed her eyes, certain that the metal behemoth was about to destroy her. But then the robot did something completely unexpected... "Master?" it asked Kanita...
Date: Feb 28th
...Kanita goggled at the robot, completely blindsided by this development. "Um," she stammered intelligently.
The robot regarded her blankly with wide red eyes. It stayed silent so long that Kanita wondered if it had shut itself off. She was about to crawl carefully away when it wheezed in its deep mechanical bass, "Um. Master Um?"
Kanita almost laughed, proving that she was near hysterics from all the excitement. She stood up shakily and wagged her head from side to side. The robot reminded her almost of a child with its short, inquisitive statements. She decided to try treating it as such.
"Nooo... not Master Um. Ka-ni-ta. Kanita go-" She pointed off across the darkening plain, in the direction of her village. "That way. You go-" She indicated the opposite direction. "Away. And don't come back here. Goodbye." The Zafara turned sharply on her heel and strode off, determinedly gazing upward as though not looking at the robot would make it disappear.
Her heart sank as she heard clanking footsteps behind her. She turned to find herself staring into her own blanched face, reflected dimly in the robot's body.
"Master Ka-ni-ta. Coordinates for 'Away' required."
"Co... coordi-what?" stammered the Zafara.
But the robot made no reply. A tiny light flashed into life on its metal chestplate. This seemed to trigger some response in the robot's wired mind, and it thrust a metallic arm into Kanita's face.
"Mission initiated. Master Ka-ni-ta, calibrate proton-acceleration cyclotron." A panel on the robot's limb flipped up, whacking Kanita in the nose, and revealed a new array of flashing lights, screens and buttons.
Kanita had had enough. She scowled and shoved the robot's arm away. "I'm not going to calibrate anything, you mecha... mercha... mechanical idiot! Go find someone else to bother! Or just fall in a ditch somewhere and-"
Her angry order was cut sharply by a deafening explosion. Kanita flung herself to the dirt, covering her head instinctively. In the momentary silence that followed, the Zafara's heart stopped as she realized the noise had come from the direction of her village. Standing bolt upright in one movement, Kanita stared, horrorstruck, across the gently swelling hills to her home.
A nightmarish scene met her eyes. An army of robots was moving relentlessly over the land toward her village. Bright flashes from the robots preceded more explosions, and Kanita could see the fires starting on the thatched huts...
Something tore in her mind and she found herself addressing the robot.
"Robot. Master Kanita has her orders for you..."
Date: Feb 28th
..."Tell me where I can find those who brought you."
She was tempted to initiate his proton-acceleration whatever, but knew that one robot would last mere moments against so many. The only solution to this problem was to go to the source of it -- the two Grundos she had seen in the woods.
The giant contraption emitted a series of beeps, and flung out a sort of screen from its belly. Katrina, fortunately, had been ready for this, and made sure to give the robot ample room. Her nose remained thankfully unstruck.
Pausing a moment to make sure nothing else was liable to burst from the robot's metal bowels, Kanita scrunched her neck forward. On what appeared to be a map of their village, she could make out three dots: a blue and a purple located next to each other, and a red one in the corner.
Hesitantly, wary for any more flying bits, she reached out a paw and touched the blue circle.
"Name: Garox. Species: Grundo. Rank: Lieutenant. Color: Blue. Location: 48 degrees below the eastern axis. Favorite hobbies: Reading poetry and praising the Boss. Favorite food--"
Sensing that the robot could go on all day, Kanita pressed the red. She had guessed right -- it meant cancel. The robot internalized the screen once more, regarding her with blinking red eyes.
If Garox was the blue dot, then the purple must be the other Grundo, Xeldon. If she could find one, then she could find the other -- and stop them both.
Going to attack the robots now would be like trying to kill a tree by snipping off a handful of its branches. She might not understand the workings of a proton-accelerating cyclotron, but she knew very well how to bring a tree down. It must be chopped away at its core, and the core of this attack on her village was the Grundo pair.
"Robot," she said slowly, "Master Kanita would like to be taken to the location that you have described, if you don't mind."
* * * * *
"I wonder why it didn't work," said Xeldon quietly, as he and the lieutenant gazed out at the damage being wreaked upon the village.
"Our Boss is a great scientist," replied Garox, "but even scientists have experiments that don't work. We're just ridding ourselves of the failed scraps."
"I don't understand it." Xeldon's wide-set eyes blinked slowly, and his short, burly form was hunched in the evening chill. "The Grundos we sent through all poured the Mind-Control Elixir into the village wells, and we know they don't drink from streams. They must have ingested it."
The lieutenant stood taller than his comrade, unbent by cold, staring dutifully into the darkness. The cries of the villagers and crackling of the fire seemed to wash over him like soothing music, leaving him unaffected. "It is without doubt that they ingested the elixir," he told the other. "It has simply failed to activate."
"There has to be a way," replied the purple Grundo firmly. "Since this village is already being destroyed, do you think our boss would object to our trying some new methods?"
Garox's gaze flickered to his companion, and finally he shook his head. "I suppose not. Do you have any ideas...?"
Date: Mar 1st
...Xeldan took his time to reply, carefully running through every aspect of his plan in his mind. He actually had this one planned years ago before the experiment even started, but the Boss had turned it down. But now was his chance...
Taking a deep breath, the purple Grundo nodded.
"And?" Lieutenant Garox prompted.
So Xeldan told him.
* * * * *
"Hurry," Kanita whispered urgently to the robot. She had requested to be taken toward the two Grundos but in a route around the other robots to avoid conflict. Now, her own robot was battling his way through thick undergrowth, trying to walk without getting any of his metallic, bulky parts entangled in the plants.
From her position on his shoulder, Kanita could feel him quickening. She shot a quick glance out of the forest bordering her village, then did a double-take.
Strangely, the group of robots had stopped, standing frozen in time. The few huts that had been set on fire were once more extinguished. She could hear yells from the other villagers coming from the fields and the huts. Good, save yourselves, Kanita thought grimly. But why did the Grundos stop this? The Zafara didn't exactly believe they'd have a change of heart, so there had to be another reason. And she had to find out.
So she urged her robot onward once more...
Date: Mar 1st
...But at once it stopped. Kanita lurched forward as the robot suddenly stood still. "Ma-ma-ma-mal-f-f-f-function," it stuttered, its voice changing pitch between each syllable he uttered.
Kanita panicked. What was going on now? She jumped off of the robot's shoulder, which was only a few feet off the ground, and looked to see what was wrong. Upon close inspection, she found that one of its slightly loose pieces was snagged in a thorny vine in the underbrush, which caused it to break down. The Zafara didn't know how to restart it. Great, just great, she thought, frustrated.
She would have to continue on her own. The village-living Zafara had no idea how to start a robot, so how could she possibly fix it. In frustration, she kicked the robot's lifeless shoulder-blade.
All of a sudden gears whirred to life again, and the mechanical beast's eyes lit up once more. "Master Kanita?" he asked worriedly, as if she'd been hurt.
The Zafara breathed a sigh of relief. That was a close call, she'd have to avoid that at all costs. If the robot short-circuited again, who knows what would happen? She didn't want to think about it as she hoisted herself up onto the robot's shoulder. "Let's go," she commanded her robot.
Instantly the robot moved again, this time straight through to the village. As they powered onward, Kanita became more and more worried about the situation. What were the two Grundos doing? Had they just surrendered? Something seemed a little too suspicious about this and Kanita was going to find out just what was going on.
* * * * *
The villagers were a mess. Everyone was milling about, wondering what was going on, and fleeing from the still robots formerly attacking their town. It was the kind of thing that every village leader didn't want. Pandemonium.
"Here, here!" called a villager excitedly, "We have someone who can explain all of this!"
This appealed to the townspeople quite well. Answers. That was what they yearned, searched for in books, philosophers, and songs. That was what they needed. Xeldan and Garox stepped onto a pedestal in the center of the village. They waited a few minutes for the whole village to gather into one giant crowd. The people were murmuring and mingling, waiting for the mysterious Neopets from another land to tell them what was going on.
Finally, Garox spoke, "We have called you here to tell you: there has been a terrible misunderstanding. These are our robots--"
This caused a huge brouhaha. There were frightful screams and hateful glares as the news came across. The Grundos had brought these vicious things to destroy their town!
"But, but," Garox continued, attempting to settle the crowd down, "they weren't out for you."
Xeldan cut in, "They were looking for this." The purple Grundo shook a huge vial of strange liquid, that seemed to be giving off a strange aura.
A few shouts came from the villagers, the most common, "What is it?" The two Grundos waited impatiently for them to quiet down. It wouldn't be long before the girl spy arrived, and that would cause problems.
Garox took over, "It is a high-quality drink, used to replenish the batteries of these terrible robots. They were too selfish and came looking for it, afraid that you would drink it. It's called a Wishing Potion. We'll give it to you free, each of you a cup. It makes you stronger, wiser, whatever you wish. A swig and you'll have or be whatever you want!"
This caused a riot within the crowd. Everyone was advancing toward the two Grundos, wanting a drink of the Wishing Potion. Grander, better at running, richer, whatever you wanted! That was what was in the villagers' minds as they ran up to get a "free wish."
My, they are gullible, Xeldan thought cheerfully as he lightly chuckled. But the smile soon disappeared from his face.
"Look!" yelled a voice from the back of the crowd.
There, towering over the village was another robot, its bright red eyes staring at the village below. And there was a green Zafara on its shoulder.
"Kanita!" the Zafara's family called from the crowd.
Pandemonium broke again, and all about the Wishing Potion was forgotten. Everyone backed away, some even ran for fear of what the robot would do to them.
"Do not fear us!" Kanita shouted to her village, "Fear them!" And she pointed at the two Grundos standing on the platform...
Date: Mar 2nd
...an angry murmur rose up from the crowd. The village thrived on one thing: trust. The number one rule was to trust other villagers, and be completely honest with them. So naturally, they were going to listen to another villager over these strangers.
Xeldan twiddled his fingers nervously - the crowd was once more distracted. "She lies!" he cried out over the complete chaos. "We do you no harm!"
But the crowd didn't listen to him. Kanita had just hopped off the robot and muttered a quick command before striving toward the confused mass of people that was her village.
"Kanita!" Her mother ran over and embraced her daughter. "What has happened, dear?"
The crowd suddenly fell silent, and Kanita saw all eyes turn to her. The Grundos were completely forgotten.
"They-" she pointed at the Grundos, "are trying to destroy our village. It's some kind of test-thing they're doing, and now it's over, so now they want to get rid of us. And they're controlling the robots and everything, except for that one." She pointed at her own robot.
A roar of anger went through the crowd when they realized their first suspicion was right: these people were out to get them.
"But we can't get rid of them just yet," Kanita continued hurriedly, before the crowd made an angry move to drag the Grundos out of the village. "First they have to take their awful robots with them, and tell the other Grundos not to destroy our town."
* * * * *
The village leader ended up taking charge of the crowd and forcing Xeldan and Garox to deactivate their robots. Then they had to send the message to the Boss and pretend like they'd destroyed the village. They had to lie to the Boss so that he wouldn't come back and make sure that the village was destroyed anyway. After that, Xeldan and Garox left, rather hurriedly, taking the robots with them.
As for the villagers, they went back to their ordinary lives. Only this time, Kanita's robot was there to help them in the fields, because the Zafara wouldn't let them take it away as well. It turned out to be pretty adept in field work after some practice.
And Kanita also resumed her daily chores, though she found time to walk around her village every day. Nobody treated her like a hero for saving the day when the Grundos came, but that was the way she liked it.
And she was home.
Date: Mar 2nd
IMPORTANT - SUBMISSION POLICY! By
uploading or otherwise submitting any materials to Neopets, you (and your parents) are
automatically granting us permission to use those materials for free in any manner we can think
of forever throughout the universe. These materials must be created ONLY by the person
submitting them - you cannot submit someone else's work. Also, if you're under age 18, ALWAYS
check with your parents before you submit anything to us!