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Storytelling Competition - (click for the map) | (printer friendly version)

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Week 321
You are on Week 322
Week 323

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 Twenty Two Ends May 18

"Have a nice day, and thank you for banking at the National Neopian," Marian said as the customer shuffled away. "I assure you that your old plushie will be safe with us!"

The Moehog sighed forlornly and looked out the window. The day was beautiful and sunny, and here she was, cooped up inside the stuffy old bank, nodding at elderly customers who wanted to deposit their worthless sentimental trinkets. Life couldn't be any more unfair, she decided.

There were no other customers at the moment. Yawning, Marian stretched and propped her head up on her hooves. I wonder what mischief Nivek is up to right now, she thought to herself. He's so lucky he doesn't have to work today...

* * * * *

"I'm so lucky I don't have to work today," Nivek gushed as he waved a stack of papers around in his hand. The Ogrin grinned at his motley band of cronies. "After all, it's a beautiful day to rob the bank..."

Author: Writers Investment Fund
Date: May 11th
...“You're insane!” snapped Phillock, a particularly irascible Xweetok.

Nivek turned to him with a smug grin on his face. “Insanity is subject to opinion, dearest Phillock,” -- stifled chuckles could be heard from the others -- “And when you see exactly what these invaluable papers I have here in my hand reveal, you will perhaps consider withdrawing your audacious remark.”

“Impress me,” growled the Xweetok apathetically.

Nivek cleared his throat as he straightened up his tie in preparation to address the group.

“As I am sure you are all aware, I, Nivek, have managed to ascend to the loftiest heights of the pinnacle of the Neopian Economy; namely, I have recently been appointed an executive position at the National Neopian Bank.”

Phillock clapped sardonically.

“Thank you, kind sir,” Nivek replied, acknowledging the mock-applause with a nod of the head, mitigating any capacity for humiliation with his cocky disposition. “I am aware that you are some of the most sophisticated Neopians of our fair society, but I am afraid I shall have to condescend for our somewhat lesser colleague at the back there.”

There ensued another ripple of muffled chuckles.

“Basically, these documents are available only to trusted the trusted cogs of the Neopian monetary hub,” explained Nivek. “Like myself,” he added facetiously, with a pretentious glazed look, followed by laughter once again.

“May I remind you all of the severity of this job,” interrupted Phillock impatiently, rubbing his temples. “Nivek, you are not here for your witty banter; explain exactly what information the documents provide us with, and we can get going.”

Having been so abruptly chided, Nivek carried on, more morose in his demeanour now. “My recent promotion granted me access to highly confidential information. I have the schedules of all of the security guards,” he said, tossing one of the sheets down onto the table before Phillock and the others. “The account details of some of the richer customers, and a complete plan of the entire building.”

Phillock nodded almost approvingly. “And...?” Nivek heaved a duffel bag onto the table, and took out one of the shirts that it contained. “And uniforms for the gentlemen we shall have positioned tactfully throughout the building. I even had contracts made up for you all should any suspicions arise. As far as the current employees are aware, I’m increasing security by taking on new workers.”

“You’ve outdone yourself this time, Nivek,” said Phillock with a whisper of a grin.

“There is, however, one minor stipulation,” the Ogrin added surreptitiously.

Phillock frowned. “What...?”

“Her name is Marian...”

Author: benjamin97
Date: May 14th
...Without being asked who she was or what she looked like, Nivek pulled out a small snapshot of the Moehog: brown hair pulled up in a bun, young face, red colored. Your basic, average Moehog.

"She is one of the tellers and my fellow associate at the National Neopian," Nivek continued. "Innocent and gentle; wouldn't harm a fly even if it buzzed in her ear. Due to my previous studies of her throughout the month, she isn't passionate with her job at the Neopian, but she is top-notch worker and is quite professional."

"So, what you're saying is that she's the only thing keeping us out of the Neopian?" asked Phillock.

"Precisely, my rather sardonic friend!"

Phillock shrugged and gave his knuckles a light crack. "Shouldn't be too hard, then. Just give me a rope and a burlap bag and I'll--OUCH!"

The Xweetok winced as Nivek smacked his ear. "This is a bank robbery, not a kidnapping! I made sure to calculate every possible obstacle of this heist and, if it goes accordingly, we can pull it off flawlessly and avoid acting like wild behemoths. Besides, Marian's a good girl and I would very much like to see her go unharmed, is that understood?"

There was a brief silence, but the other criminals nodded in agreement. They weren't villains, after all. They were just the type of Neopets who liked to get what they wanted the risky, adventurous way.

It was then that Phillock noticed how there were four uniforms and six criminals, including himself and Nivek. Obviously, since Nivek worked at the Neopian, a uniform for him was unnecessary. He could easily show up at the Neopian as if checking up on his workers, even if he did have the day off. Plus, he would be there to cover for the "guards" in case their true identities were threatened on being revealed.

"Um, Nivek?" asked Phillock. "I think you miscounted. We don't have enough uniforms for the job. Someone's going to be standing out."

"On the contrary, my friend," said Nivek, patting the Xweetok's shoulder. "You will not be playing the role of a newly hired security guard for tonight's performance. No, your motivation will be to help lure the lovely Miss Marian away from the Neopian tonight."

"Wait, I thought you said I wasn't allowed to..."

"LURE her away, not drag! You see, after studying Marian's actions for the past few months, it has come to my attention that she has a weakness of sorts." Nivek pulled out a separate duffel bag and plopped it on the table. "What is in this bag is everything you'll need to distract Marian while the others and I do our part."

Phillock gave his boss a long, hard look before unzipping the bag and gasping at its contents.

"You can't be serious..." said Phillock with a withered glare.

"One hundred percent, Comrade! Now you go off and get changed. I'll be sure to fill you in on the details later. All right, ladies and gentlemen! The curtain is about to rise. Let us prepare ourselves for act one!"....

Author: bitsy_dj
Date: May 14th
* * * * *

Marian leaned back lazily in her chair, watching the progress of a fly around the room. There had only been two customers in the last hour, both, curiously, old people demanding she take care of ornamental candles. Her boss would probably call her lack of alertness slacking, but she called it keeping herself from dying of boredom.

The fly -- Edgar, she had called him -- circled busily around her head, no doubt looking for some kind of food. When it found none there, it began skirting the ceiling, looking for a way out, into the more bountiful food coffers of Mother Nature, but to no avail. Dutifully, it stopped for a moment, and landed just a few meters from a lamp. Searching, it turned hither and thither, until it noticed an apparently wide open space.

Unfortunately, that 'open space' was in fact a tightly shut window, and before it had figured as much, the fly went careering into the middle of one of the bottom-most panes.

Seeing that it was injured, Marian, being of a sensitive nature, leapt up and rushed over to help it. Carefully, she eased it onto her hand, and slowly adjusted one wing, which was slightly damaged, but not broken. Almost thankful, the insect buzzed once, and then twice, and flew off, to make another attempt at finding that means by which he could escape into the open.

"Hey, you!"

Still at the window, Marian just about heard the unexpected cry from outside. She doubted it was meant for her, but just to be sure, she opened the window a crack, and peered carefully out. Strangely enough, there was a Xweetok outside, hands cupped to his mouth. A pair of floppy fake blue wings dropped awkwardly on his back, a dirty ball of rags was held in his left hand, while his right supported a Yooyuball sling. Strange, she reckoned, very strange, but, then, there was certainly no-one else around, and it was only polite to answer back so, a little curious, the Moehog opened the window a little, and shouted "You called?"

"Er, yes..." There was a pause, and then, "I just have to... turn around now."

What an eccentric, thought Marian. I mean, even Nivek isn't this strange.

Down below, on the street outside the bank, with several passers-by staring wide-eyed at him, a scarlet-faced Phillock hurriedly opened up a scrunched ball of paper, and quickly scanned his eyes over the very first line of scrawled writing it bore. Shoving it back in his pocket, he turned back around to face the Moehog. "I am Palia Alback, and who might you be, my good friend?"

Marian raised a concerned eyebrow. Concerned for the Xweetok's sanity, that was. Palia was an actual faerie Xweetok. This guy was just a brown Neopet with a pair of fake wings. "Palia Alback, of the Faerieland Yooyuball team?" she remarked, just to confirm this stranger was, in fact, pretending to be her and not some other Palia.

Phillock turned his back on her again, to consult his notes, and turned back within a few moments. "Yes. I've heard you like my team. Is that correct? And I'm you favourite player? Oh, and before I forget, I've bought you a Yooyuball, as a present." He held the rags aloft.

"That's not a Yooyuball, it's a messy ball of rags, and... wait a moment, how did you know I liked team Faerieland?"

"Um, yes... I've, uh, got to... go... now." Phillock shot off down the street as fast as he could go, not even noticing it when his fake wings fell straight off his back and onto the street. He hated to think what Nivek would say to him, knowing he had failed in his part of the heist, but, truthfully, he just didn't care. He couldn't do it, and that was that.

How strange, thought Marian, and simply turned away to go back to work, as usual, to continue with her boring day of work.

What she was blissfully unaware of was that her day was about to get a whole lot more exciting, for when she had not been looking, Nivek, dressed in normal clothes, plus four Neopets in guard's uniform had slipped by her, unnoticed, into the main part of the bank. The heist was on...

Author: puffpastry654
Date: May 15th
..."So far, so fantastic, men," he muttered, "Swimmingly well done. Keep it up."

It was all Nivek could do to keep himself from falling about laughing, right there and then. The Ogrin contented himself with a strange grin; pleased, but at the same time twisted, almost dark. As his four Neopian 'guards' paced quietly down the hallway behind him, glancing around and taking everything in, Nivek's mind was buzzing. He actually couldn't believe they had made it past Marian. Maybe this was all going to turn out OK after all...

"Um... sir?" A quiet call from the back of the group shook Nivek from his reverie. He looked over his shoulder at the smallest of the bunch; Azi, a sweet young thing who was only along for the ride -- claimed she got a kick out of danger. He smiled at the pretty purple Kougra.

"Azi. Whatever seems to be the matter?" he asked, drawing to a halt. She furrowed her brow and looked around her, down the the four white, marble halls on each side -- the National Neopian was a huge place, with so many people to cater to each day. Instinctively, her teammates followed suit.

"Uh... well, sorry to say this, sir, but, um... I think we're... uhm... lost." the Kougra trailed off into a whisper. Nivek almost laughed it off, perfectly ready to tell Azi she was being silly, of course he knew where they were -

Suddenly he froze still, eyes darting about as he tried to remember through which entrance they had come into the room. As an executive, he spent most of his time in the upstairs offices, not in the lower vaults of the bank.

"Lost," he muttered. "Lost? We're not lost! We're just a little... disorientated... yeah, disorientated... that's all..."

Through a method which was disturbingly similar to Eenie-Meenie-Miney-Mo -- Eenie, meenie, miney, mo, catch a Kougra by the toe -- Nivek chose a path. "This way," he commanded, beginning to walk, and, had they not just witnessed him choosing a direction at random, the utter faith in his voice would have been enough to convince the others to follow his lead.

With only the smallest moment of hesitance, the quartet started forward. After all, they had no other choice...

Author: swiftnighthunter
Date: May 15th
...The group silently followed behind their leader down the hallway. The elegantly painted walls, decorated with paintings and blue finish, lined the seemingly endless hallways. Doors lined the walls with ascending numbers, 200, 201, 202. Nivek’s beady eyes scanned the numbers, waiting patiently for them to reach the destination.

With an abrupt stop he stared up at the gold numbers on the door in front of them. With a twisted triumphant smile he looked up into the numbers 222 knowing that this is where they needed to be. Inserting his hand into a silk glove he reached forth and inserted a key into the golden knob.

With a twist of the lock the door swung open. Three of the members walked inside the room, leaving a Grundo outside the door to stand guard.

“Remember, Carmen, if you see anything suspicious tell me through your earpiece,” reminded Nivek as he inserted the small device into his ear.

The Grundo nodded his head as he closed the door, locking the three remaining members inside. The room inside was a large opening. The walls were lined with cages, and on the other side of the cages they could see the money vaults.

“How do we go through the cages? They’re locked shut!” complained a Draik, shaking the solid bars.

Nivek had of course already been over this thousands of times in his head. He knew exactly what they were going to do. He smiled as he walked into the middle of the room and looked up at the ceiling.

“Not through the cage. Over it.” He dropped a bag on the ground with a thud and pulled out a long bundle of rope. The nearby Draik grabbed the rope, seeing exactly where the plan was going. He carefully flew up to the ceiling where a vent was. He opened the vent and tied the rope firmly to it. Down below the trio looked up at the height. They all knew what they had to do. One by one they climbed up the rope carefully. First the Draik, then Azi, followed by Nivek. Each one huddled in the vent high above the ground and looked down at the faraway ground. The rope was tied to the bag that was still on the ground. Nivek slowly hoisted the bag up into the air. With a shocking realization he saw that the bag was left unzipped. Metal tools started to pour from the bag and noisily crash into the cold stone floor below.

The noise echoed all the way through the building, touching the ears of Marian who shot up in her seat, knowing that something was not right...

Author: going_2_b_famous
Date: May 16th
...Nivek's eyes widened and looked around at his crew.

"This doesn't change anything. These walls are pretty solid, and considering how many hallways we went down, the sound couldn't have penetrated enough for someone to hear," he said quickly, adding a charming smile. "It's fine, guys," he added, sensing their discomfort.

"...but just to be sure," Nivek nodded towards the Draik and said, "You. Fly back towards where we came. Monitor the area. If anyone starts coming, you fly back and tell us right away." His eyes turned determined. "We're going to finish this."

The Draik flushed angrily. "What's the deal? Isn't Carmen monitoring outside?"

Nivek sighed. "Look, we need someone to go further than Carmen. He's right outside -- if he senses someone, we won't have enough time to hide. We need someone to fly overhead. Someone who won't be noticed." Nivek handed him an ear piece. "If you don't want to do this, then you can go home."

The Draik glared, but opened the door quietly and flew off, searching intently for anyone suspicious.

Marian followed the sound. She heard it coming from inside the vaults and started the long trip down to the center of the bank. It was going to be a long walk, but it sure beat dealing with customers.

Her hoofs beat gently on the marble floor as she walked further into the bank. She hummed to calm herself -- the bank was eerie, and no one had bothered to light it very well. She squinted, her heart now pounding in her chest, and walked on.

The Draik flew recklessly through the hallway, desiring to get back to the real heist. I get stuck with the dirty work because of Nivek's mistake," he muttered angrily as he pumped his wings. He jerked around the corner, cursing Nivek, but collided into something hard. His body shot back, squeaking across the marble floor.

"What the-" he moaned, steadying himself. When his vision allowed it, he was staring into the terrified face of Marian, who was trembling on the ground.

"W-what are you doing here!" Marian said defiantly, hoping to sound braver than she felt.

Getting over his initial shock, the Draik muttered confidently, "The question is... what are you doing here?" Giving her a small smirk, he slowly inched towards Marian, her body trembling in fear of what this Draik was doing at the bank...

Author: toofunni4u
Date: May 16th
..."I... I said, what are you doing here?" Marian said, as the Draik advanced towards her, a grin on his face.

"What's your name, pretty Moehog?" he asked, although it was clear that this was the Marian Nivek had been speaking of.

"Pretty? Oh, well- Wait! You haven't answered my question!" Marian said, her cheeks flushing a light pink.

"And... I asked what you were doing here!" the Draik said, running out of small talk. Marian looked annoyed, glaring at the Draik that had just slammed into her.

"I work here!" yelled Marian, attempting to get past the Draik, and failing each time.

"So do I! I'm... one of Nivek's new recruits! See? I have the uniform!" Marian eyed the Draik, still suspicious that this truly was another recruit.

"Well then, what are you doing in these quarters?" interrogated Marian, unsatisfied with how this was all turning out.

"Well... Nivek assigned me here! To... to guard the vaults!" The Draik was gaining self-confidence, happy that he had stalled for this long.

"Didn't you hear that clanking noise? Maybe someone's breaking in! You should go check it out!" Marian said, desperate to get someone to see if the vaults were safe.

"Clanking noise? I... I didn't hear a clanking noise. I think you are mistaken," the Draik said, trying his best to hide the uneasiness that was returning.

"Are you sure? Check anyway! We have some very important things in there!" Marian said. Though she didn't think candles were extremely important, it was the National Neopian's responsibility to keep them safe.

"I don't believe I heard anything! I'll... uh... check it later... er... now," the Draik said, skimming his brain for a reason to be excused to tell Nivek of the trouble.

"I'm going with you!" replied Marian, at last happy that she was able to go.

"Let me go to the restroom first," the Draik said, having to use the most lame excuse he knew. When he reached it, he softly turned on the ear piece.

"Marian showed up! She heard your accident! Thick walls... ha! We are going to the vaults. Hide!" warned the Draik before at last coming out.

He came out, relieved of all the tension and happy that his boss was warned and could escape. But then he froze, and all happiness washed away. Marian wasn't there anymore...

Author: azncutie101
Date: May 17th
...Marian tore down the halls as fast as her hooves could carry her. She was certain now that something was amiss. She guessed where the Draik had come from in an attempt to reach the trouble spot. She rounded a corner and spotted Carmen standing outside the door far too calm as far as she was concerned.

"Whoa, where's the fire, Miss Marian?" Carmen asked, using her name so Nivek knew what was going on.

"How do you know my name?" Marian demanded, attempting to sound more upset and distrusting than frightened.

"Take it easy there," said Carmen. "I'm one of the new security guards." He motioned to the badge on his uniform. "I have to know who's who around here. Now what's the matter? You act like you've just seen a ghost."

"I just heard this awful clatter," said Marian. "Then ran into this Draik that claimed to be a security guard."

"Oh, you mean ole Mander," said Carmen. "Yea, just spotted him flyin' like a spooked Korbat. Poor fool must be jumpier than you on his first day; the noise must have simply scared the living daylights outta him."

Marian shook her head. "He says he didn't hear it."

"How could anyone miss that?" Carmen said, although intending to keep it in his head.

"So you did hear it," said Marian.

"Came from in here," said Carmen. "That's why I'm standin' here. I checked it out and found nu'in' suspicious, but I'm standin' here just in case someone is in here; they won't get out without me knowin'. You should get back to your desk now, wouldn't want you in any trouble."

"I... I suppose so..." Marian still wasn't too sure all was well. She started back, not sure what else she could do about it.

"Good work, Carmen," Nivek said into his own ear piece. "Like a true pro!"

Carmen winced as he realized his ear piece was too loud.

"Th-that sounded like Nivek's voice!" Marian wheeled around.

"Ah! ...Uh, who?" Carmen said desperately.

"The one who hired you," Marian said in a very suspicious tone. "Don't you know that?"

"Oh, erm... yes!" said Carmen. "Sorry, brain dead moment."

"What are you talking about?" Nivek demanded, not realizing he was giving them away. "Who are you talking to?"

Marian glared at him skeptically.

"Marian," Carmen said, "everything is fine, don't you worry."

"CARMEN!!!!!" Mander swerved around the corner. "Marian's coming, don't-" he stopped abruptly, hovering in place when he saw Marian. "Uh oh..."

Author: ciarra98
Date: May 17th
...“What in the world is going on?” Marian asked, completely shocked.

But neither the Draik nor the Grundo could answer. Even the quick-witted Carmen was silent, unable to think of a response.

“Carmen? Carmen answer me!” Nivek’s voice blasted through the earpiece, making the Grundo flinch.

“There’s Nivek’s voice again,” Marian muttered, becoming more and more confused. It had been such a strange day. First there was that Xweetok who claimed he was Palia Alback. Then that loud sound and the startled Draik who spoke nonsense. And now this! What was going on?

And then it hit her.

“No!” gasped Marian, stumbling back a bit. “On no, you’re trying to rob the bank aren’t you?”

If the silence before had been awkward, it was nothing compared to this. The three of them stared at each other, unable to find the words to speak.

“Carmen? What’s going on?” Nivek’s voice blasted, once again breaking the silence. “Did I hear Marian’s voice earlier?”

At the sound of the Ogrin’s voice Marian went from shocked to angry. Though angry may not be the word to describe it, the Moehog advanced towards the sound of Nivek’s voice with a ferocity she had never seen before. I trusted him. That single thought echoed through her head.

“Nivek,” she snapped, making the name sound like that of a terrible beast. “What are you doing Nivek? Robbing the bank? Are you insane? How could you?”

But Nivek didn’t answer a single question. Silence rang from the earpiece. Marian glared at it so fiercely that Carmen was afraid it might explode.

“So you know,” Nivek’s voice came, much quieter than before. “Mander, get rid of her.”

The Draik nodded and advances towards Marian, although it was rather cautiously. She seemed different now, more dangerous than before and he wasn’t eager to approach her.

“You won’t get away with this!” Marian growled. She then broke into a sob and sunk to the ground. “I trusted yo-”

She never did finish what she had to say, for a moment of weakness was all Mander needed to strike. Marain slipped away from reality and fell into darkness.

* * * * *

Marian awoke only to find herself trapped in shadows. There was a heavy throbbing on her head, making her dazed and confused. Where was she?

That question was soon answered as her eyes slowly adjusted to the dark. It was a familiar place, one she saw everyday... It was the vault in which she deposited the useless trinkets of the elderly.

Okay, so now I know where I am, Marain thought to herself, trying to keep as calm as possible. How did I get here?

Reality flooded back to her as she remembered what had happened.

“Nivek,” she screamed, though it come out as a muffled shriek. She looked down to see she was bonded. Ropes wrapped around her arms and legs, pinning them together. A rag was stuffed in her mouth, preventing her from speaking.

She was trapped.

As soon as the thought raced through her mind, Marian felt herself panic. Stay calm, she though franticly to herself. But it was no use. Her breathing became rapid and heavy. She thrashed wildly, trying to escape the bonds, but it only seemed to make the ropes tighter.

You must stay calm, she screamed to herself. She’d never get out of here if she panicked and... and... She had to stop them!

The determination ran through her like a cool, refreshing wave. Her heart beat became normal, her wild thrashing stopped and her breathing became gently and calm.

Marian opened her eyes and looked around the room, she had to find something to cut the ropes and free her. A small, silver glint caught her eye, a toy sword was sticking out of a cardboard box.

Marian inched towards it, doing an awkward sort of jump-like movement. Despite the short distance, it took forever to reach it. When she finally did, she raised her arms -- ignoring the pain of that position -- and gently rubbed the ropes against the plastic blade. The sword shot through the ropes as if it were air, surprising Marian as the ropes fell to the ground.

She quickly yanked the rag out of her mouth and undid the bonds around her feet. She glanced at the sword that freed her, it wasn’t a fake. It was real.

“Maybe it’s not junk after all,” she said to herself, a small smile dancing on her face. But the cheerful thought soon vanished as she remembered her task.

Marian rose and raced towards the door, hoping it was not too late...

* * * * *

“So what did you do with Marian? I hope you didn't harm her,” Nivek asked as he loaded a handful of gold into a brown sack. Despite the flaws in his plan, everything else was working perfectly. And without having to worry about Marain, everything seemed to go much easier.

“We tied her up and threw her in some musty, old vault filled with junk.” Mander shrugged, tossing a full sack onto the pile by the door.

“I don’t think she’ll be a problem,” Carmen added.

They let their laughter echo through her room and disappear into the night, for they no longer had a reason to worry.

* * * * *

Marian ran through the hallway, gasping madly. She stopped as she heard what sounded like laughter. Her eyes widened; had no one else stopped them?

She took a step towards the sound but then stopped. There was no way she, a puny Moehog, could stop a band of thieves.

There must be someone who could help me, she thought. She knew instantly who it could be.

Spinning around, Marian ran towards the door with more speed than you’d expect for a Moehog such as herself. She burst threw the door and into the dark of the night. The stars twinkled above innocently, and everything looked so beautiful bathed in the moonlight. The least thing you would expect was that a crime was being committed.

Marian shook her head, how long has she been unconscious? But that didn’t matter, time was running out. She had to stop them, before it was too late.

She once again broke into a sprint, staring straight ahead as she ran through the night. She soon reached her destination, much quicker than she normally would of. But to Marain it felt like she had ran for ages.

Marain threw herself at the door and pounded madly. “Please! They’re robbing the bank! You must help me!”

* * * * *

Nivek stared at the empty room, a smug grin on his face. It was amazing how big it looked without the piles of gold. An excited, giddy feeling ran through him. He did it! They were rich.

“Well, we’ve done it,” He said cheerfully, swinging a bag over his shoulder “Time to return to the base!”

Cheers -- silent, but nonetheless cheers -- rang out through the room as the group triumphed over the success of their mission.

They pranced out of the room, but stopped as they got out. The smiles vanished, the glee had vanished. Azi let out a whimper and dropped her bag. The contents fell to the floor and the gold coins let out a clear, ringing sound as they rolled along the marble floors.

“I told you that you wouldn’t get away with this!” Marain cried out with a triumphant smirk.

But if the group of thieves heard her, they made no notion of understanding. For it was not Marian that intimidated them so, it was who she was with.

Nivek stared, completely shocked. How had Marian gotten free? And how did she get them here?

He stared in silence at the Defenders of Neopia, not able to make any sound, any movement. I stole this, and I’m not letting them take it away from me! He thought angrily.

Nivek raced towards the window and threw the sack out of it. The sound of glass breaking was followed by a heavy thud as the sack hit the ground.

“It’s too late Nivek,” said Marian “You’ve lost!”

* * * * *

Marian yawned and stretched, lazily reading the latest issue of the Neopian Times.

MOEHOG CATCHES BANK THEIVES

Marian smiled slightly, amazed and a bit proud of what she had accomplished the other night. But that didn’t explain why she had to work.

She glanced at the shiny plaque on her new desk. Marian: Executive, read the letters carved in the gold. The smile widened as she leaned back in her chair, no longer would she have to spend her days being a boring receptionist.

Everything seemed so right, yet she couldn’t shake the feeing that she had forgotten something. Something important...

...The four criminals have been sent to jail. The Defenders are still on the lookout for a missing sack that contains over 500,000 Neopoints...

Marian stared at the last few words in the article. Four criminals were captured? Impossible! There were five of them!

She rose up in her chair but before she could do anything a small Chia rushed through the door, carrying a package.

“Package for Miss Marian!” he cried in a squeaky voice before rushing out again.

Marian stared at the package, bewildered. There was a slip of white paper underneath the pink ribbon wrapped around it. She slowly reached out to read it.

Thanks for everything!

Said the messy scrawl, which was all that was written. No name, no explanation at all.

Becoming even more confused, Marian slowly opened the package. When she saw its contents she backed away and gasped.

Sitting in the box was an empty brown sack, not a trace of the money was left. But that wasn’t all she saw.

For there, sitting on top of the bag was a ball of rags in the shape of a Yooyuball.

The End

Author: reveirie
Date: May 18th



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