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||You are on Week 440
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 Four Hundred Forty Ends Friday, December 11
The shuffling of her footsteps echoed through the dark alley as she dragged herself through the shadows. She was out of breath again -- she could barely remember the last time she hadn't had to gasp for air. Putting a dirty flipper on the brick wall, the tattered Bruce tried to steady herself. In the distance, she could hear the pounding of running feet. They were getting closer. She tried to propel herself forward, but ended up staggering.
Tears and sweat mingled on her cheeks. Just a few more steps, she told herself. Just until I'm in familiar territory and can find a good hiding place. The idea of a few hours of sleep made her legs tremble with exhaustion.
The footsteps were closer still, ringing in the alley, and the Bruce heaved herself upright and began staggering forward again. As if by instinct, her flipper strayed to the pocket of her filthy coat, pressing the fabric to feel the object within. The weight of it there reassured her, and for a moment her steps felt lighter and easier.
"I'm not going to let them have you," she whispered, her beak tight with determination. "No matter what, I'll keep you safe..."
Author: What Is Mine I'll Never Give|
Date: Dec 1st
Encouraged, the Bruce took a deep breath and propelled herself further ahead through the labyrinthine alleyways, not wasting the time it would take to continue checking over her shoulder for the pursuers; the footfalls that echoed further and further behind her gave her the resolve to increase her lead and carry on.
One refrain kept chanting through her mind, and it became the rhythm of her steps: If I find the Professor, all will be well. As this mantra repeated and repeated, a smile began to form on her dusty beak, and the Bruce willed the chant to become: When I find the Professor, all will be well.
She continued to jog through the alleys, clinging to the shadows, repeating her refrain until she realised that she could no longer hear the footsteps of her pursuers. Her jog slowed to a stiff-legged trot and then the Bruce allowed herself to collapse against a wall, bent forward and pinching at a cramp in her side. As her breathing eased and the blood subsided its pounding in her ears, she focused her hearing and confirmed that she was now quite alone.
Wanting to reassure herself one more time that it was safe, the Bruce placed her flipper into her pocket and enclosed the object she was protecting. She then gingerly stepped out of the shadow and took a long, penetrating look to the left and to the right, to the front of her and then back along the way she had come. She repeated her reconnaissance and confirmed that she was utterly isolated.
Suddenly, the urge to take another look at the object became overwhelming.
"I'll just take a little peek, make sure it wasn't damaged," she said to herself persuasively. "Once I know it's safe, I'll be able to close my eyes and sleep until it's dark."
Finding her own logic to be inarguable, the Bruce withdrew her flipper from her pocket, bringing with it the cause of her recent woes.
Just as the tip of her flipper began to unfurl with quivering anticipation, a thought struck the Bruce. I looked in every direction but up, didn't I? At the moment that the idea occurred to her, a shriek sounded in the air above her head. Afraid of what she would find, of what she expected to find, the Bruce raised her quavering head up to see…
Date: Dec 7th
...a baby Usul.
Said Usul was being held aloft by a big bunch of balloons. She shrieked again -- in excitement, not fear.
The Bruce's mouth worked for a few moments, but no words came out.
It was true that the object she possessed had the tendency to attract... oddness... but this was a bit far-fetched.
"Hi!" piped the Usul. "What's your name?"
"I...I..." the Bruce stammered. "I don't know," she finally admitted.
It had been four days ago (really? It seemed so much longer...) that she had awoken in a back alley, with no memory of who she was or how she had gotten there.
She had possessed nothing but the clothes on her back, a strange object in her pocket, and an inexplicable conviction that she absolutely needed to find the Professor.
She did not know his name. She knew, with a strange certainty, that she would know him when she saw him.
Until then, it was run, run, keep ahead of her pursuers, and try to survive.
"You don't know your name? How sad," said the Usul. One of her balloons escaped her hand, floating up into the dim sky. The little Usul began to slowly descend.
The Bruce's flipper twitched with the desire to take the object from her pocket.
"Well," the Usul continued, "my name is Jobect. Would you like a balloon?" She plucked a purple one from the others, holding it out. The Bruce took it without a second thought.
She did not know where the object had come from, or what it was. She did know that she had kept experiencing strange coincidences when she held it -- an unopened bag of Neocrackers tucked into some corner when she had gotten hungry, a stray can of somehow icy cold Neocola when her throat had grown parched, a sudden fog rising before her pursuers... it was almost as though the object were trying to take care of her.
She at first had dismissed the thought as silly, but she'd gotten entirely too lucky too many times to not consider the possibility.
This balloon might end up coming in handy. The Bruce didn't know how this might be, but she had that same warm feeling of certainty that she had at the thought of finding the Professor at last.
"Thank you," said the Bruce.
Jobect simply laughed in response, releasing the rest of her balloons into the sky.
"There's no one nearby," said the Usul. "I saw everything around you, when I was in the sky."
"What were you doing up there?" the Bruce asked.
"Watching," said the Usul. "But the wind picked up, and I got blown off course."
"It isn't safe here," said the Bruce. "You need to get home. Your parents must be worried about you."
"Haven't got a mother," said the Usul, smiling brightly. "Haven't got a father. Haven't got brothers. Haven't got sisters. I've just got me." Jobect spoke lightly, in a singsong tone.
The Bruce felt at a loss for words.
"Don't feel sorry for me, though," said Jobect, giggling. "I might look little, but I'm much older than I appear. And I know what you've got in your pocket."
"I know what you've got in your pocket," said the Usul.
The Bruce could no longer help slipping a flipper into her pocket to grasp hold of the object.
"What it is? Of course I know!"
"What is it, then?"
"If you really wanna know... you've got to catch me first!" With a peal of laughter, the Usul darted off.
The Bruce stared after her for a few long moments. This was beyond strangeness...
And then she ran off after the Usul. "Wait! Wait..."
Date: Dec 8th
"This isn't fair," she cried, her feet slapping hard on the pavement. "I've been running all day, and I'm not made for running. Wait for me!"
The baby Usul turned briefly, gave her a cheeky wink, and bounced on. Her vivid, waving tail was a taunt to the poor Bruce.
The Bruce stopped at last, panting, falling against the wall. She closed her eyes, one flipper still clutching the balloon, the other half-consciously touching the object in her pocket. A complex swell of emotions rose within her: bewilderment, apprehension, gratitude, anger. She wanted desperately to remember who she was and how she had gotten into this situation, but at the same time she was also vaguely sure that she would be protected. That the object, whatever it was, would guard her on her quest to find the Professor...
Now if only that Jobect would be a little kinder to her. She couldn't run anymore, she was so tired. She just wanted to find the Professor. She wanted somebody, something, to help her.
There came a tug. The Bruce opened her eyes, astonished. Was it the wind? The purple balloon in her flipper was moving forward. She stood up once more and staggered on, encouraged by the strong pull of the balloon. In no time at all she was running again, and the same inexplicable warmth washed over her. Just as if somebody were watching over her.
She finally found the baby Usul in another nameless alley, sitting casually on top of a roof.
"Come down," she called.
Jobect looked down at her and laughed. "Why don't you come up?"
The Bruce stood awkwardly for a moment, and then, as if in response, the balloon started to drift upward. Her feet left the ground -- she started nervously, her eyes widening in fear, but soon she was bumping gently against the roof's edge, and she clambered over to Jobect. In her hurry, she let go of the balloon, which floated up with a merry sparkle.
There was silence for a few moments, ominous in the brown gloom. The Bruce felt her flipper gravitate toward the object again, but she dared not draw it out, because Jobect's bright, unabashed gaze was resting full upon her.
"You're looking for the Professor, aren't you?" said Jobect eventually, as though this were the most natural conversation-starter in the world.
"How did you know about the Professor?" asked the Bruce.
"Oh, he took care of me once," smiled Jobect. "He was nice. But I ran away."
Jobect laughed. Then she poked at the Bruce's pocket, where the object was, and the Bruce shifted involuntarily backward. "That object there," the Usul stated, "I had one just like it. Then I threw it away."
The Bruce was really starting to dislike this conversation now. "Can you tell me where the Professor is, at least?" she said. "Please?"
"I don't think you should find him," said Jobect. "But if you really wanna know, go to the Wishing Well and look at the object when midnight comes."
"Well, thanks," said the Bruce. She started looking for a way to go down.
"You sure you don't wanna play with me anymore?" said the baby Usul. "I promise I won't make you run anymore. But the bad guys will. Oh, they don't exist, but they'll make you run."
The Bruce had stopped listening. Her desire to go to a warm home, to enter the Professor's presence, was too strong to resist. "I'm sorry," she whispered, and with that, she caught hold of a water pipe and slid her way down...
Date: Dec 8th
The Bruce landed on the grimy ground and heaved a deep sigh. Whoever she had been in her past life, she had needed to exercise more. It was almost midnight, and she could see nothing but shadows and silhouettes. Slowly and carefully she made her way to the Wishing Well.
As she progressed she thought about Jobect and wondered if such an odd mystery had really existed. Could the little Usul have just been a figment of her exhausted imagination... or a creation of the enigmatic object? But what about what she had said? Jobect had known the professor, but she had thrown away her own object? What was that supposed to mean? How many of these objects were there in the world? Just two, or were the Bruce's and the Professor's separate, or was it something that everyone in Neopia should have?
The Bruce moaned in frustration and grabbed at her head.
"Stop thinking and find the Professor," she ordered herself.
Her eyes caught sight of the Wishing Well, and she darted toward it eagerly. She wasn't sure of the time, but she knew that it would be midnight soon enough.
Meanwhile a snobbish Lenny flipped through a book. He couldn't sleep and had decided to read something instead. His only light source was a flickering flame on a melted candle. After a while, he sighed and put the book down; reading wasn't helping, it seemed.
The Professor got up from his worn armchair and gazed out at the window. Kreludor was just a sliver tonight, so everything was just shades of gray. Then he saw some movement in the sky. He squinted through his spectacles and saw a purple balloon soaring in the wind.
He gasped with horror, "Jobect..."
Date: Dec 9th
He cautiously opened the window and stepped back, his beak still open from shock.
"Hello, Professor," Jobect replied, as she approached the window. The baby Usul let go of the balloons she was holding just as she reached the window, and jumped through it to land on the floor of the Professor's study.
"What are you doing here?" he managed to stutter.
"Just watching," she said simply, in her usual melodic tone.
The Professor shook his head slowly. "You shouldn't be wandering around outside. And watching of all things -- you know what happened last time."
Jobect stuck her lower lip out and stared up at the Professor with her big eyes. "But it was important," she cooed. "You've got a visitor coming your way soon."
The Lenny raised a feathery eyebrow. "A visitor? But I never get visitors. Whatever could they want?"
Jobect shrugged. "She didn't seem to know. But she was carrying 'it'."
The Professor gasped once more, and staggered back slightly. "Well then, it would seem we've a lot to discuss..."
The stone fell down into the well with a splash. She stared down at the ripples, mesmerised for a few seconds by the expanding circles.
She'd only been at the well for a few minutes but was already anxious to unwrap the item and find the Professor. Surely he would be able to explain everything -- her good luck, the strange baby Usul, her memory loss, and her pursuers too.
The Bruce glanced up to the sky. The stars were twinkling brightly, and the small sliver of Kreludor was high up in the middle of the sky.
It was midnight.
She stuffed her flipper into her pocket quickly, taking out an object wrapped in old cloth. Despite her constant urge to unwrap the object, she did so very slowly, taking her time to unfurl the cloth carefully.
The item was some rather small, considering how much cloth was wrapped around it, but it was beautiful nonetheless.
The Bruce held a ring in her flippers. Its golden form glistened in the moonlight, and the green jewel on top emitted a slight emerald hue.
She held out the ring in front of her, clasping it with both flippers -- along with the balloon string -- and stared into the green jewel.
The effects were instantaneous. The green hue seemed to get bigger, and a beam of the same colour shot out of it onto the ground in front of her.
In a matter of seconds a green door appeared at the foot of the beam of light.
"Is this where the Professor is?" the Bruce muttered to herself.
She wrapped the ring back up into the cloth quickly, stuffed it back into her pocket, and edged forward toward the door. It was wooden and looked old, with some of the green paint peeling away, but it was mysterious all the same.
She grabbed the door handle and pulled the door open as quickly as she could. Hopefully whatever was inside would provide the answers she so desperately sought.
The first thing the Bruce saw was Jobect, sitting on the windowsill of a quaint little study. She began to feel like she was just going around in circles, until another figure caught her eye.
A Lenny stood up from his armchair, looking almost ominously at the confused little Bruce. "I've been expecting you..."
Date: Dec 9th
... Mother Bruce."
The Bruce stared blankly at the Lenny.
"What did you call me?" she questioned.
"Mother Bruce," the Lenny repeated. "It is the codename we used to refer to you by... but that was a long time ago, a much safer time. Would you mind closing the door? Only..."
The Bruce closed the door behind her without thinking. There was something about the Lenny, something that made her trust him. It was as if he was almost an old friend.
"Who are you?" the Bruce demanded. "Are you the Professor?"
The Lenny smiled. "That was my codename, once. I see your memory has not been completely erased."
The Bruce darted forward, with a pleading look in her eyes.
"You know about my memories?" she asked. "Who am I? Why do I have this ring? Who are you? Who is she?"
"There will be time for that later, Mother Bruce," the Lenny answered. "Right now, we have a more important issue to deal with. You should have an object on you. Can I see it?"
Once again, the Bruce felt an odd sense of trust for this Professor. She wordlessly handed over the ring.
"No," the Lenny added, shaking his head. "I didn't mean this object, I meant the other."
The Bruce frowned at the Professor. All this time she'd been protecting that ring, and he didn't even care about it? She hastily searched her pockets. There was nothing.
"I don't have anything," she answered. "Just that ring, wrapped up in a bit of cloth."
"The cloth!" the Professor gasped. "Show it to me!"
The Bruce handed over the grubby cloth.
Only, maybe it wasn't grubby...
Was there writing on it?
The Professor examined it with interest before smiling widely.
"Now will you tell me just what is going on here?" the Bruce asked.
"Of course," the Professor nodded. "You, like me, are a secret agent for the PPL. These past few weeks you have been engaged in a top secret mission to recover this parchment. The failsafe, should you be captured, was a magical potion designed to remove any memories that the enemy can use against us."
The Bruce had to steady herself against a wall.
"Do I... have a name?" she asked. "A real one, not a codename?"
"Of course," the Professor replied. "I am Professor Cecil Rigby, and you are called Weltrude."
"Weltrude..." the Bruce tried the name out.
It did seem slightly familiar.
Her thoughts suddenly rearranged themselves, the cloudy haze of her amnesia shuffling aside for a moment as a new thought blared like a siren inside her head.
"If removing my memories was a failsafe," she said slowly, "then I must have been captured."
Jobect gasped from the windowsill.
"The ones who have been chasing me!" Weltrude gasped. "What if I led them right here!?"
Behind her, someone banged on the door with force..
Date: Dec 10th
"Let me in!" a harsh voice growled, and Jobect ran over the door to barricade it. Pushing her small body up against the door, it didn't look like the Usul would be strong enough to hold any intruders back.
"I won't be able to hold them very long; you need to get the parchment out of here!" Jobect said, her voice strained.
"We've got to go!" the Professor gasped, pushing Weltrude toward the window.
As they neared it, Weltrude could see that they were high up in a tall building.
"How exactly are we getting out of here?" she said, her flippers shaking as she looked out of the window.
"By balloon," the Professor replied as he handed her a balloon.
With no time to think of where the Professor had gotten the balloons, Weltrude grabbed the balloon and took a deep breath as she climbed onto the window sill. Forcing the window up, Weltrude refused to look down.
It's now or never, she thought as she stepped off the edge.
With her weight on the other end of the balloon string, she had expected to plunge to the ground in no time. Instead, she found herself slowly floating to the ground, the Professor close behind her. As they neared the ground, Weltrude felt herself relax. The two let go of their balloons at the same time, and they floated off into the night sky.
"You never did like heights," the Lenny laughed, before pulling the parchment from his pocket. "Let's get going, follow me."
With complete trust, Weltrude kept close behind the Professor as they navigated winding streets. These were not streets she recognised, but there was still a sense of familiarity all the same. With time to collect her thoughts, the Bruce found a pressing question emerging in her mind.
"Professor... if we're members of the Petpet Protection League, then that parchment must have something to do with Petpets or I wouldn't have had to get it," she said, her voice carrying easily in the quiet of the night.
"Well, yes. It does," the Professor replied, his pace slowing so that the two now walked side by side.
He pointed at a grubby mark on the parchment, and Weltrude had to lean closer to see what it was. It was a picture of a Petpet, Weltrude knew that much, but her hazy memory could not alert her as to the specific species of the Petpet.
"A Petpet... but what kind?"
Sudenly, Weltrude caught the sound of something behind them. It was the drumming of feet on the pavement, and she gasped. Discarding all thoughts of the parchment, Weltrude reached for the Professor's wing as she started running, dragging him behind her. The Lenny deftly shoved the parchment back in his pocket, increasing his speed to keep up with the determined Bruce. The footfalls grew louder, and it was fast becoming obvious that their pursuers were much speedier than they were.
As they rounded a corner, Weltrude caught sight of something ahead. It was... the Money Tree? The sliver of Kreludor above shed an unusual glimmer over the buildings of Neopia Central, but except for Weltrude and the Professor, it was deserted.
"We're still in Neopia Central then," she huffed, letting go of the Professor.
"Yes," he replied, "but magic forces once protected my hideout. I just can't understand how we were found. Only members of the PPL have the rings required to activate the door."
A memory of something Jobect had said to her earlier broke to the front of the Bruce's thoughts.
I had one just like it. Then I threw it away. If that were true, then how did Jobect get into the Professor's hideout?
"Professor... how did Jobect get into the hideout?"
The Professor didn't reply for a moment, the ever louder footsteps looming even closer to the duo.
"I didn't even think... I just let her in... we were friends for so long..." the Professor muttered under his breath.
"Professor?" Weltrude prompted, still awaiting a reply.
"Jobect has ratted us out!" he gasped, his mind finally connecting the pieces. "Somehow she has broken the spell on my hideout, but I don't know... that was some pretty strong faerie magic."
The Professor sighed.
"I just knew her for so long, you did too once. I didn't even think when I let her in."
Weltrude could see the Professor slowing.
"We can't slow down now!" she wheezed, but she had to admit that her feet too were growing weary.
Suddenly, a voice shouted out to them from behind.
"You can't escape!" a thunderous roar went up, breaking the serene silence of the night. "That parchment is ours!"
"Don't look back," Weltrude urged the Professor, but it was too late.
His head was turning, curiosity getting the better of him...
Date: Dec 10th
...and he screamed, immediately turning around and running at an even faster pace. He took the Bruce by the hand and dragged her quickly, urging her to go faster.
Curiosity got the best of the Bruce, and she looked back to see exactly what the Professor saw.
She saw nothing.
There was nothing following them, despite the pounding footsteps and the shouts they made. Even though, the sounded threatening, they were nothing. At least, not to her.
At that moment, Jobect's words flashed in her head: "I promise I won't make you run anymore. But the bad guys will. Oh, they don't exist, but they'll make you run..."
What a lie she had told.
She promised she wouldn't make Weltrude run anymore. She said that the bad guys would. But if she was part of the bad guys, then it was all it a lie.
Weltrude immediately stopped running, turning around to face those who were chasing them. The Professor tugged on her flipper, shouting, "Come on! We need to get away!"
The Bruce shook her head. "You go on. Save the parchment. Escape."
Cecil took one look in her eyes and knew she was serious. He turned and ran from his imaginary monsters. The footsteps and noises followed, chasing him and ignoring Weltrude.
Soon enough, Weltrude was seemingly alone in an alleyway. Nobody but herself with her.
However, Jobect soon emerged, a coy smile on her face, clapping her hands together slowly. "Bravo," she proclaimed. "Bravo. So you figured out that the things chasing you didn't exist. They were all in your head."
Weltrude nodded slowly, unsure of what game the Usul was trying to play.
"You think you're so clever." Jobect walked up to the Bruce, smiling that sly grin of hers. "But you haven't figured out who I really am. And so, since I don't think you're that clever," -- she laughed -- "I'll show you."
And with that, she revealed her true form...
Date: Dec 11th
"Uzarro!" Weltrude gasped.
Within mere seconds Jobect had turned herself from cutesy-baby to master criminal, and Weltrude was more than surprised. For one, she had never suspected anything ill of the baby Usul, and secondly she was shocked that she remembered the name. She remembered. Uzarro stepped forward, her green-clad body rippling as she moved.
"By now you've probably realised that I'm the key to unlocking your memories," Uzarro sneered, her face mask covering the evil expression on her face.
Weltrude stood still, unable to move. Her mind was in turmoil, random memories flooding their way back into her head.
"What... how..." was all she could manage, her hold on the present clouded by memories of the past.
"All failsafes have an antidote," Uzarro replied casually, taking another step closer to the Bruce. "Your failsafe was a generic one used in the PPL, a potion."
Weltrude nodded; she had already heard this from the Professor.
"With your potion, the reversal method is simple. While you drink the potion, you must keep your mind clear of all but one thing. This one thing, when remembered in your amnesic state, will trigger the release of all your memories." Uzarro laughed, her laugh harsh in the silence of the night. "Of course, most agents would think of their best friend or their favourite food... but it seems you couldn't keep me out of your mind."
As Uzarro was saying this, Weltrude realised she didn't need to hear it from the Usul. That memory of being captured was already running through her head...
"Got it!" Weltrude gasped in joy, running her flipper over the ancient parchment.
It had been hidden, lost for many years, in the vault of an antique collector. When he had passed, the PPL had been thoroughly surprised to be left something. This something was extremely precious to the PPL, and now that they had it back...
Suddenly a noise behind Weltrude alerted her to the presence of another being. She cast her gaze to the safe door, and noticed it was ajar.
"But that door was closed and locked behind me..." she murmured, inching toward the door.
She couldn't see anyone, but as she turned to look at the rest of the vault a flash of green caught her eye.
"Uzarro! What are you doing here?" Weltrude exclaimed, rushing toward the lithe Usul in green.
Uzarro looked up at the Bruce, and sneered.
"You can't stop me; I'm here for the parchment."
Weltrude laughed. "Well, you can't have it."
"Maybe I'll just pry its contents from your memories then," Uzarro replied.
Weltrude gasped. "No..."
She pulled a stoppered bottle from her coat pocket, and carefully uncorked it.
"What are you doing... oh." Uzarro inched toward Weltrude, and attempted to snatch away the bottle. "Why discard your memories, do the ones of pitiful Jobect hurt too much?"
"Be quiet!" Weltrude snapped, bringing the bottle to her beak. "I'm not doing this because of your scam in the PPL, I'm doing it to save the parchment."
Weltrude thought of the document, carefully folded in her coat pocket. Uzarro hadn't even realised that she already had it on her. Quickly, as Uzarro lunged at her, Weltrude brought the potion to her mouth and began drinking.
Noil... noil... noil... must keep my mind clear...
But even as Weltrude attempted to keep her mind clear of all but Noils, Uzarro kept managing to seep into her thoughts. Within moments, Weltrude fell to the ground, the empty bottle rolling away into the depths of the vault.
"You'll never... get it... now..." she whispered at Uzarro, before falling into complete darkness.
"Do you remember now?" Uzarro said before laughing again, and Weltrude was irritated by the cackle.
"Yes, I remember," she replied. "And you still can't have the parchment."
"Yes, I can, because you're forgetting one thing: now that you have your memories back, the memory of the parchment's content is now once again firmly embedded in your mind."
Weltrude gasped; the Usul was right. She could remember every little word written on the parchment... and she recognised the Petpet on it too.
"But... how will you pluck a memory straight from my mind?"
Uzarro cackled again. "With this Mind Control Headset, of course."
From behind her, the Usul pulled out the contraption. It was completely comprised of metal, with an antenna on either side.
"You'll never get it on me," Weltrude said sternly, before turning to run. Again, she found her feet rooted to the spot. She couldn't move!
"I've already anticipated that you would try to run; now you can't," Uzarro said. "I've placed a force-field around your feet; you'll never escape!"
The Usul hopped over, the infernal headset in her hands. Carefully, she reached up, avoiding Weltrude's batting flippers, and placed it on her head.
"Now, tell me the contents of the parchment!" Uzarro roared triumphantly.
"If you wish," Weltrude snickered. "On the fourth day of Eating, Year Eight, the PPL sent a mission to Terror Mountain in an attempt to save innocent Petpets from being sacrificed to some sort of 'mountain ruler'. Upon arrival, it was discovered the ruler was none other than a rogue Snowbeast..."
Uzarro cut Weltrude off. "You've got to be kidding me. I was told years ago by the Professor that said parchment contained instructions to a large sum of treasure..."
Uzarro threw the control of the headset to the ground.
"You tricked me!" she screeched, reaching to pull the headset off Weltrude.
Weltrude laughed, and it echoed in the night. She took a step, breaking free of Uzarro's hold.
"Do you really think it was that important?" she asked, and with an angry look at the Bruce, Uzarro fled into the darkness.
"How's the parchment, Professor?" Weltrude asked, taking a seat in the Professor's arm chair.
"Oh, it's fine," Cecil replied, handing the aging parchment to the Bruce. "Just a bit of wear and tear."
"I can't believe Uzarro cut me off when I was telling her the contents." Weltrude laughed. "She didn't let me get past the Snowbeast."
"That was always her way, even when she was posing as Jobect," the Professor replied, taking a seat beside Weltrude. "Much too impatient, that one."
Weltrude nodded in agreement. "And to think, if only she'd kept listening she would have heard the location of the Snowbeast's treasure we recovered!"
The Professor joined Weltrude in laughing, and the two relaxed, knowing their mission was complete.
Date: Dec 11th
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