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||You are on Week 344
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 Forty Four Ends November 9
"You're crazy, Rixter!"
"You mean brilliant." Rixter winked roguishly at his friend and continued cleaning the windows of his small spaceship.
"No, I mean certifiably insane," answered the Eyrie, folding his arms and frowning. "Do you have any idea what you could be getting yourself into?"
"Of course, Pak!" the Lutari replied. "Glory and fame!"
"No!" Pak cried. "More like death and destruction!"
"I want to be the greatest adventurer ever! This is the only way I can accomplish that."
"Look, Rixter, I know that Roxton is your hero, but isn't living on the Space Station adventurous enough already?"
"Nah, the Space Station is old news. We've got to venture farther out. There's limitless space out there, just waiting to be explored!"
"But your craft -- it has problems just getting to Kreludor! If you fire it off randomly into unknown space, who knows what could happen?"
Rixter patted his vehicle lovingly. "She'll hold. Besides, look how spiffy clean she is!" He winked again and hopped in. "Now, are you coming or not, Pak? Do you want to share in my upcoming glory and fame?"
Author: *Roxton fangirl*|
Date: Nov 2nd
Pak looked down at his paws. He appeared as though he were going through an intense inner struggle. Finally, he sighed.
"Fine. I'll go with you. Somebody needs to keep you out of trouble, after all."
"I knew you'd want to come!" the cheerful Lutari exclaimed. "Now, I need you to go gather up some supplies from around the Space Station while I finish cleaning up my ship." Rixter patted the space ship affectionately, and Pak rolled his eyes.
"All right," the Eyrie said. "How long do you think we'll be gone?"
"Who knows?" replied Rixter with a careless shrug. "We could be gone for years!" He paused. "Better bring lots of snacks."
With an exasperated sigh, Pak turned and left.
As he neared the shopping district of the Space Station, he overheard a pair of Grundos speaking quietly among themselves.
"Have you heard?" said one. "They say that there's a comet scheduled to pass extremely close to the Station. We'll have to alter our orbit slightly in order to avoid it!"
"Really? How exciting!"
"The funny thing is, the scientists say that it's composed of some unknown element. It doesn't look like anything they've ever seen before! Pity we won't be able to find out what it is."
"All travel in small spacecraft has been halted for safety reasons. The comet's going far too fast for anything larger to catch up to it..."
Pak didn't wait to hear anything more. "I've got to tell Rixter," he murmured to himself...
Date: Nov 5th
The Eyrie raced back to the port to tell his friend about the danger. He skidded around the nearest corner and stopped short. Rixter's ship was gone. Two wavery skidmarks stood out from the metal launching pad.
"Oh no. No, he didn't. He's not that..." Pak sprinted for the nearest window and pressed his beak against it, searching for movement. There was the comet, he could see it glittering in the distance, coming closer all the time. But where...?
There! Just below the station and hesitantly gaining altitude, was Rixter. His little ship was pointed straight at the oncoming comet, determinedly pushing forward.
Pak let out a small yell in frustration at his friend and in fear for him, too. Apparently, the thought of a comet made up of an unknown element was too good an adventure for Rixter to pass up.
The Eyrie made up his mind in an instant, knowing how many rules he was breaking, and how he would probably end up killed or worse. His eyes scanned the huge port, searching. Spotting what he would need, he walked toward it like he knew what he was doing. Hopefully, no one would call his bluff.
The little craft stood prettily on its pad. As he got closer, Pak thought the ship looked very familiar, but he shrugged it off. Quickly, he strapped himself in and rolled the engine over. It purred to life, quietly powerful. Pressing a combination of switches, he turned the craft so it faced the nearest gateway. The metal panel slid open, revealing endless space.
Pak swallowed and shook his head.
"I can do this," he said aloud to himself. Taking a deep breath, he moved forward into the blackness.
Pak set his course toward Rixter rather than the comet, though he wasn't sure what he would do when he got there. He decided to leave that for later.
As he flew, Pak examined the inside of his ship. It was very fancy, with all the latest gizmos and gadgets. Glancing up, he saw something that made his heart go cold. There was an insignia on the roof, and it was one he recognised.
Pak realised just who the ship he had stolen belonged to...
Date: Nov 6th
...and nearly panicked. Sloth.
Now he was in trouble. No one stole anything from Dr. Sloth and got away with it. Pak should know, he had enough experience in the matter, and he didn't like to talk about it. Sloth had an extremely complicated device that ran throughout the entire Space Station and would alert every computer in his hideout when one of his ships took off when it wasn't scheduled to. And Pak had thought having a comet on his tail was bad!
Pak was frantic now. Flipping switches left and right with one hand while steering the craft with the other, he tried to pinpoint Rixter's position, even though he was unable to do anything at the moment that would help. He was forced to settle for circling below his friend's ship. He had to think of a plan and get out of here quick.
The Eyrie's mind was racing. Somehow he had to avoid Sloth's minions and the comet at the same time, all the while knocking some sense into Rixter's head. He was beginning to think it was impossible when he remembered something: the radio.
His hand darted to the device, picking up the receiver. Pak homed in on Rixter's signal before tucking the radio's receiver between his shoulder and ear so he could talk to Rixter while steering the ship.
"Rixter!" he exclaimed, hoping the Lutari had the good sense to put the radio on. "Rixter!"
Rixter's voice sounded on the radio, exhilarated and out of breath with excitement. "Pak! This is... this is... AWESOME!"
Pak groaned in annoyance, suddenly pitying Rixter's parents. "Rixter! This is NOT awesome. It's terrifying and dangerous!"
"Oh, where's your sense of adventure?" Rixter questioned. "Oh. Sorry, I forgot. You don't have one." He exhaled in laughter, and Pak saw his ship near the comet. He was not in the mood for this.
"Rixter, listen. Even if I don't have enough sense of adventure, you have TOO much! Get back down before you get flattened! If your mother-"
But his voice broke off, because below him, circling like predators, was...
Date: Nov 6th
...a circle of Sloth's minions. Pak had thought he would have at least a few more minutes to come up with a plan of avoiding them. Rixter's laughter rang annoyingly in his ear. Why hadn't he just let his friend make his own decisions?
"Think I can make a smooth landing on the comet?" yelled Rixter through the radio.
Pak tried to dissuade his friend, but was so distracted by the circling minions below him that he was only able to grunt "Unsafe... won't survive."
The minions were circling below him, but they weren't shooting. Why weren't they shooting? Pak knew that Sloth would rather have his own ship destroyed than to have it stolen. Pak shrugged off a growing sense of dread and, flipping switches and shifting gears, started picking up speed.
"Oh, you want to race!" Rixter hadn't noticed the minions, and Pak had a suspicion that if he had, he would have been just as excited.
Pak checked his radar. The minions were matching his speed, but the strange thing was that they were keeping their distance. And they still weren't shooting. Why weren't they shooting?
Pak urged his spacecraft forward. The ships of the minions matched his pace, not so much pursuing, as simply following. What was going on?
"Wooooooohooooooooo!" shouted Rixter in pure exhilaration. Then, out of breath with excitement, "Where did you suddenly find a sense of spirit?"
"Minions," was all Pak could get out. Rixter laughed at this apparent joke, but stopped in the middle as he finally noticed the minions on his radar.
"Well, I'll be," muttered Rixter.
"Finally found too much adventure?"
"Never, we're going to be legends!!" Rixter's reply barely registered in Pak's mind, though, because at that moment he realised why the minions weren't shooting. This ship had special cargo that Sloth needed to retrieve. That was the only explanation. Pak leaned over and flipped open the storage compartment in the passenger seat next to him. Sure enough, inside he saw...
Date: Nov 7th
...something largish, greyish, and rather lumpy-looking, emitting a strange "tick, tick, tick" sound. The Eyrie was about to get a closer examination of it when a crackle of static and then a victorious whoop burst out of the radio.
"Rixter!" Pak snapped, straightening up and staring out the window. "Rixter, what are you doing?" The Lutari's tiny ship wove in and out of the circle of minions, narrowly avoiding the shower of laser beams that followed it. "Rixter, you idiot! Get out of there! You'll be ash in no time!"
"Woo hoo!" Rixter shouted. "This is the life! Pak, come on, try it!"
"Nuh-uh," the Eyrie retorted. "Unlike you, I actually have a brain."
He could almost see Rixter rolling his eyes as he sat in the seat of his spacecraft. "Brains you might have," the Lutari admitted, "but you've got no spine." There was loud, raucous laughter from his end, Rixter giggling so hard that he didn't see that one green beam of light zipping toward his spacecraft, perfectly aimed.
"Rixter!" Pak yelled into the receiver. "Shut up and look!"
Too late. There was a sickening thud of crunching metal that Pak could hear even from inside his ship. A small plume of flames scorched the originally spotless paint job.
"M-m-my craft," Rixter stuttered in shock. "I-it's been demolished."
"Oh, it's just a scratch," Pak replied, sarcasm weighing down his voice. "Nothing --" The Eyrie frowned. The ticking coming from the storage compartment was getting louder. Leaning over once more, he whipped off the blanket that had been covering a large, shiny, round apparatus with red numbers on it.
The numbers were changing -- counting down...
Date: Nov 7th
Pak's eyes widened as he realised the ramifications of this strange lumpy object. It was obviously going to explode, but Pak doubted that Sloth would put something dangerous in one of his ships. Then again, he would rather have one destroyed than stolen...
No! The Eyrie had to get such somber thoughts out of his mind. All he had to do was rescue Rixter and land the spacecraft before the red numbers hit zero. It was at 120 now, and each number was replaced by one lower every second. That meant he had less than two minutes to save his friend.
Without another moment's hesitation, Pak grappled with the controls and managed to veer straight down to where Rixter's ship was hovering. The hull was damaged; in fact, it was almost completely caved in, and Rixter was incredibly fortunate, considering there were no huge holes in the spacecraft. It was still able to fly, though excruciatingly slowly, but Sloth's ships would, no doubt, close on it in minutes. He could see those red dots on his radar, the multitude of ships rushing in to finish what they had started. Pak zoomed on, hoping to get there in time.
"Rixter, Rixter, buddy, you okay?" he squawked into the radio. After he was done speaking, all he could hear was static. He took a quick glance over at the strange lumpy object, which now sported a crimson number 77. He barely had any time to land the ship. If he was lucky, he would make it to the port and hope to take a small blow from the explosion that was just waiting to happen, and he would manage to keep Rixter safe, too.
"Rixter! Answer me!" he screamed in frustration, hoping that his friend was simply playing a practical joke on him. Could he be unable to communicate? If so, Pak needed to hurry even more. He could see those dots on the radar, slowly inching closer to his friend's ship. But he could see it out of his window, that hovering mass of destroyed metal, smoking a little bit as it floated, to Pak's dismay, away from the Space Station.
"60 seconds until release," a robotic voice said from the back of the ship. Pak's heart fluttered, and then, upon realising that the voice was not Rixter's, he sighed deeply. But what was that? 60 seconds until release? He would have thought the word choice would be a little different, maybe "explosion" or "detonation," but not release. Was the lumpy thing going to explode after all? Or maybe there would be less painful effects? Either way, he had to save his friend.
Sloth's ships were in firing range now, but they wouldn't risk shooting for fear of hitting Pak's ship. Yes, the Eyrie was very close now, just a few feet away from picking his friend up. He lowered slowly, careful not to bump into the craft, and opened up a bridge to both ships in a split-second. "Rixter!" he called, "Get you in here!" Sweat ran down his exasperated face, but there was still no answer, no movement from the other ship. Making a quick decision, he started making the journey into his friend's half-wrecked spacecraft.
"Rixter!" he called. Pak soon spotted a colourful tuft of fur sticking out from a bit of rubble. "Rixter!" The Lutari was unconscious but, thankfully, breathing. Pak quickly carried his friend into his own spaceship. He took a glance at the strange counter in the back of the ship. A huge 32 glared in the background.
"I'll never make it in 30 seconds!" Pak shouted, and he lunged for the controls.
While he did so, however, the Eyrie accidentally pressed a wrong button. As he quickly righted himself, grabbing onto the controls, a red light flashed in the ship and another voice, similar to the one before, sharply said: "Emergency shut-down. All systems off in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1." Just like that, the main lights in the ship turned off, and the glowing controls in the front lost their light as well. Pak tried to jerk the ship forward, but it would not move an inch. He turned around, but didn't need to look at the numbers, as a different robotic voice said, "10 seconds until release."
"No!" Pak yelled, bumping his fist into the controls. He could only watch in horrible fear as the numbers slowly counted down. 7, 6, 5, 4, 3 seconds until whatever was going to come would hit him and Rixter full on.
The machine finally reached 0.
But instead of a deafening explosion and an extremely hard shove into outer space, the lumpy thing seemed to turn off. Pak would have thought it had, too, if a small door had not slid open from the container. Indeed, "release" had been the correct word choice: something was definitely coming out of that thing, but what? Was it going to be worse than he could ever imagine?
He was going to find out soon enough...
Date: Nov 8th
Rixter was starting to groan in the background softly, but Pak took no notice. He was too stunned and horrified to do anything except stare at the hideous creature that was inching its way out of the container.
It was like a miniature Slorg, but that was as far as the similarities went to anything normal. It had a hazy greenish goo that oozed out eerily underneath its body, and there was nothing on it except the Sloth insignia.
What in the world is this? the Eyrie wondered as it began to crawl toward Rixter's semi-conscious body. A tiny split opened in it, as if there were a grinning mouth forming.
Pak didn't like the way it was getting so close to Rixter. His instincts told him to try to shoo the newcomer away and keep it from touching his friend, but his nerves were telling him otherwise.
It was already nearing the Lutari's foot, a trail of disgusting green goo left behind. Rixter's eyes were partially open, and he was in a half-daze, somewhere between semi-consciousness and unconsciousness. But he did notice a greenish something move onto his foot. Before this scene could even register as a warning to him, it had bitten one of his toes.
Pak's senses had started kicking in again, but it was too late. His Lutari friend was screaming in agony, and a greyish-greenish tinge was creeping through his normally starry fur.
"Rixter," Pak coaxed the wailing Lutari. "Ignore the pain. Please!"
In a flash, Rixter stopped moving, his breathing deep and slow. The Eyrie felt relieved, but was unable to understand why he was still uneasy.
Rixter's eyes suddenly flapped open, a strikingly blank look in them, and after blinking once, they turned an evil shade of red...
Date: Nov 8th
Pak gasped in horror at his friend. After a few seconds of staring at him, petrified, he managed to get back his senses. "Rixter!" he shouted. "Snap out of it! Whatever this is, you can beat it!"
But the Lutari paid him no heed. After trying to pick himself back up from the ground, he collapsed back where he was and just took to staring maliciously at Pak. Whatever the Slorg-thing had done to him, it hadn't given him back his strength.
The Eyrie looked back at the disgusting creature still at Rixter's foot; it had shrivelled up and wasn't moving at all anymore. Pak realised that it must have been dead, if it had even been alive in the first place.
He desperately thought of what to do next. With a glance out of the front window, he saw Sloth's fighters still just circling the ship; either the creature's body was still worth something, or...
Pak's eyes widened excitedly. They didn't know that it had used itself up and was dead! They thought that they could still recover it! And that meant that Pak had a bargaining chip; he could escape and find someone to save Rixter, as long as those fighters kept believing that they could get the creature back.
With one last worried glance at his friend, Pak turned back toward the ship's controls and started turning, powering up the vessel again. Taking a deep breath, he clutched the manoeuvring handle as the ship slowly gained momentum...
Date: Nov 9th
His ship surged forward, dragging Rixter's battered ship behind it. The Space Station was getting closer... just a little while longer, and they would make it safely back to port.
Then Sloth's fighters closed in, directly blocking the escape course. Their menacing shapes crowded the navigation screen, blinking blood-red. Pak swerved, but everywhere he was confronted with blinding red light; here, there, just ahead... his ship dashed madly in a circle. There was no way out. He was surrounded. He sat behind the controls, as still as a jelly.
A voice came through the radio. "So you have finally unblocked your radio connection. What exactly were you doing with Master Sloth's prized ship?"
"I didn't mean to steal it!" said Pak helplessly. "I had to save my friend. He was crazy, he rushed out into space without even thinking about the consequences..."
"Ah, the idiot whose ship we shot," sneered the voice. "But did you think about your own consequences, when you went tearing after him? Did you think Master Sloth would let you off that easily for stealing his secret weapon? It looks very suspicious, you know, two accomplice ships taking off almost simultaneously, smuggling a secret weapon elsewhere."
"I wasn't going to do anything with it," cried Pak. "Honestly, I wasn't."
"It has gone off by now," the voice sliced through his stutters. "It is programmed to bite the first Neopet it detects in its vicinity, to make that Neopet a mindless servant forever. You will remember the Grundos. Master Sloth is planning to create a new species of servants, more powerful and more subservient than ever. It appears that you have made your friend the first one."
"NO!" Pak screamed.
"Give us your friend," whispered the voice, "and we will let you go safely. You cannot out-fight us."
Pak's mind whirled, numb, yet clear as ice. The minions apparently needed Rixter for Sloth's nefarious plan. The chemical (or whatever it was) in Rixter was too precious to give up. They could pressure him, but they would not shoot his ship.
"I cannot send him to you now," said Pak, surprised at how easily the lie came to his beak. "The only bridge I have is connected to Rixter's ship, and I do not have enough power left in my engine to disconnect and then connect to yours. We will have to land now. Power is running out as we speak."
There was a moment of silence, but the minions had no choice. "Very well," the voice seethed. "We will escort you to the Space Station. And you will hand over your friend as soon as we land."
Pak steered robotically. At the back of his mind, a horrible squeal kept on raging, crying, "You brought the curse onto Rixter. How could you have been so stupid? Now he's going to be a servant to Sloth for the rest of his life... him, and all Lutaris, unless you perform a miracle after landing and protect him from the minions."
The Space Station was getting closer. Too close.
"It is the end of the Lutari species. The end of Neopia. All of us will be reduced to slaves..."
"Shut up," said Pak. "I don't have to listen to these lies." He clung on to his thread of hope, hoping that what the minions had told him wasn't true, that there was still a chance of saving Rixter...
It was time for landing now. The fighters were pressed tightly around his ship, ready to swoop down as soon as he descended. There was no way he could land faster than they. Unless...
He grasped the handle grimly. Shouting out his last hope to empty space, he released Rixter's battered ship at the highest speed he possibly could, and then descended. In the whirling tumult of landing, he saw Rixter's ship crash into the fighters, taking out three of them instantly. Over the radio, shouts resounded like colliding comets. What was more, the real comet came whooshing at just the right time and just the right place, hitting the remaining fighters...
Pak tore his eyes away from the chaos and concentrated on his controls. The landing pad came into view. Slowly, carefully, he landed, and after shutting down the engine, there was silence. It was almost peaceful.
Something rustled behind him. Pak shot out of his seat and hurried over to Rixter. "Rixter! Are you all right?"
Rixter turned his head toward him. Pak saw with terror and joy that the red glare was dying down, fading, leaving behind the innocent gaze he had known for such a long time.
Rixter smiled weakly. "I told you we would be heroes."
Pak laughed helplessly. "Oh, Rixter. You certainly are insane. Come on now, let's get you out to the medical unit."
And somewhere far away, Sloth screamed, "NO! NOT AGAIN!"
Date: Nov 9th
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