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Week 512
You are on Week 513
Week 514

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 Five Hundred Thirteen Ends Friday, July 1

It was never fair. Most of his kind were gone. Some had been swiped by the hoof of a passing Uni or the paw of an Acara, others had been swept away by the rain or blown away in the wind, and others still had been bottled up and whisked away, so that Petpets could own a little pet of their own. The Skritch sighed miserably. Life as a Petpetpet was never easy.

His friend, a fat Mootix, had been planning something with some other Petpetpets, something that he said "would alter the way Petpetpets are seen and treated forever." Because of his unusually big mouth, the Skritch wasn't allowed to know of the plan till today, when it was all set to go ahead. It was top secret. If exposed, it would cause a catastrophe for all Petpetpets. Every species would be doomed.

The Skritch climbed among the grass until he reached the hideaway where the supposed "big plan" was taking place. The hideaway was a discarded old boot that had been partially hidden for months among debris that some Neopet had discarded. It was the perfect place to conduct the plan, even if he didn't know what the plan actually was.

"Joe!" called the Mootix as the Skritch walked toward the boot's entrance. "Glad you could make it, old pal! I'm so sorry I couldn't tell you anything, but you know what you're like, with your big, fat mouth."

"No need to keep reminding me of past mistakes, Denzel!" Joe said, cringing. True, he did have a loose tongue, a tongue that often got him and Denzel into a lot of trouble, but it was still embarrassing to have it rubbed in his face. "So, you gonna let me in or what?"

"Sure, sure! Might as well grab a beverage while you're here too! A passing Neopet spilled some of his coffee as he walked past. We all scooped up as much of it as we could. Plenty of it to go around. Got some cake crumbs, too. We deserve better than spilled coffee and cake crumbs, though, don't you think so, Joe?"

"Yeah, I guess we do, yeah. Anyway..."

Before Joe could continue, the Mootix interrupted him.

"The plan'll change all that, though. That's what the plan's all about. Why don't you come inside and see for yourself?..."

Author: Ginger23456
Date: Jun 27th
Joe nodded calmly and even managed the smallest imitation of a smile for Denzel, but inside his emotions were swirling in a violent torrent. He knew well that there were times that his mouth got the best of him, like the time he ruined the surprise birthday party everyone was planning for Heather, but that was in the past. How could he show everyone that he was doing his best to change if they never gave him another chance? Sighing softly to himself, he mused this problem as he picked up a few cake crumbs but said no to the offered coffee. Caffeine had a tendency to make him jumpy, and he had a feeling he was going to need all his wits for whatever Denzel had planned.

The inside of the boot was musty, and an odd smell hung upon the air like a banner. Light spilled in through the laces, but it did little to illuminate the interior. Still, there was a decent-sized party assembled, sitting upon bits of broken thread spools and buttons -- all chatting among themselves as they sipped at coffee. Denzel could be arrogant at times, but he was talented at assembling and organising. There was no place left to sit, so Joe found a vacant corner to lean in as he waited.

He didn't have to wait long before Denzel made his way toward the toe and jumped upon a small piece of wood that acted as a stage. "May I have your attention, please?" he announced in a tone that resonated throughout the footwear. Conversations dwindled as heads swivelled toward the Mootix.

Denzel smiled brightly, truly in his element now that attention shone upon him like the sun. "As you know, our kind lives a precarious life," he began, "but we are gathered here today to take the first step to changing all that."

A cheer rose up, crashing like a rogue wave upon a rocky shore. Joe clapped politely, but he had trouble adopting the same carefree and celebratory attitude as the others. He would have to hear more of the plan first.

"Now, many of you know a small part of this plan," stated the Mootix, "but not all. Right, Joe?" Laughter erupted, and Joe felt his small face grow hot. He was tired of being the punchline for everyone's joke.

"So, allow me to start at the beginning," Denzel continued. He waved a stubby leg toward the boot's opening. "Gentlemen, will you please bring it inside?"

Two hefty Larnikins walked inside, carrying a tall slender object covered by a piece of clean (hopefully) tissue. They brought the item down the front and set it in front of Denzel. Now that everyone's attention was riveted, the Mootix stepped forward and whipped off the covering to reveal a tiny scrap of torn picture. The outside edges were frayed, but it was still easy to see the smiling face of a Kougra with white hair and eyes magnified behind round lenses.

"Professor Milton Clodbottle!" Joe exclaimed, causing a few of the nearby Petpetpets to turn and look at him. "The inventor of the Habitariums?"

"The one and the same," replied Denzel. "He thinks his invention's only purpose is to study our society and learn all about us, but in truth it can do so much more."

The Mootix leaned forward toward all the eager listeners of his audience. "He's going to help us, and he doesn't even know it yet," he finally said, his voice soft yet amazingly powerful...

Author: tj_wagner
Date: Jun 27th
"How?" Joe blurted out.

There was an awkward silence.

"How?" repeated Denzel. "Okay, well. As you all are aware, the Habitarium is designed to keep us as micro-versions of Petpets, to study our work habits and living styles. Now, as we know, the Habitarium is regarded as an insult to Petpetpets, for it symbolises our 'lesser status' in the world. This is where we come in. Should we be able to reverse the workings of the Habitarium and trap the Neopets inside, then we shall be the ones studying their habits! It's a brilliant plan of genius!"

His explanation was met with cheers, erupting from the Petpetpets that occupied the boot. Everyone seemed to think the idea was ingenious.

Everyone but Joe. "What? How is this going to work? We can't trap Neopets in their own Habitariums! In case you haven't noticed, they're kind of... bigger, than we are."

His words were drowned out by the cheers of his peers.

The second they calmed down, Denzel continued to talk.

"Now, to put this said Plan of Genius into action, we will firstly need a Habitarium. And our wonderful Heather, whose secret birthday party was blabbed to her by Joe here," he laughed at his own joke, "has managed to secure the key to none other than Professor Milton Clodbottle's very own Habitarium. From extensive research, I have discovered that Professor Clodbottle's Habitarium's security system is entirely passcode-operated, meaning that all we need to break in and take over is a passcode, which Heather has oh-so-kindly figured out for us."

Denzel looked around, gleefully drinking in the enthusiastic expressions of the crowd.

"Are there any questions?"

Joe raised his hand.

"Any questions that aren't about why this plan will fail?"

Joe lowered his hand.

"Excellent! Now, my fellow Petpetpets, the day has come for change! Onward!"

Denzel led the crowd out of the boot, with Joe trailing nervously behind...

Author: chocolate_lover67
Date: Jun 28th
The journey to Professor Clodbottle's Habitarum was long but mostly uneventful. They trekked out of the old boot, past apple cores and discarded cups, down darkened sidewalks, and more, dodging the occasional Puppyblew or Feloreena or other Petpet that sought to make a domesticated pet of them. Occasionally Joe said something he thought would be bland and innocuous to ease the tension building within him, but each time he was laughed at. Finally, he gave up speaking, wondering if he was doomed to be laughed at forever.

I need more friends, he thought glumly. Surely it wasn't healthy to only have friends who laughed at him and made him the butt of every joke. Seeing a star in the night sky above, he made a fleeting wish for just one true friend to give his sad life a bright streak of happiness in it. The star twinkled above and then was lost amid the clouds in the night sky.

Finally, though, they stood outside the Habitarium. Fortunately, since it was evening, the Professor was soundly sleeping -- otherwise, he may have been somewhat alarmed by all of the P3s on the wrong side of his Habitarium. Now that energy that had carried them through the long journey dissipated, the mass of Petpetpets milled outside the Habitarium as Denzel and Heather, a rather striking-looking Cooty, fussed with an access panel on the underside of the unit. It may have been Joe's imagination, but neither looked very happy about something. Perhaps they were having difficulty gaining access?

Long minutes passed, but finally Denzel exclaimed, "We're in!" With a ferociously happy cry, the crowd of Petpetpets rushed into the Habitarium with renewed energy, and Joe, with a sinking feeling, was swept along.

Cheers broke out among all the P3s as they entered, and only Joe saw the access hatch they had used seal itself quickly shut. The sinking feeling still churning within him, Joe wondered when he would see it open again. But now that they were here, what could the rest of the plan possibly be?

"Well," he finally blurted, "now what?" Expectantly, the head of every Petpetpet in the crowd turned to Denzel to hear the Mootix's proclamation. Perhaps now Joe would finally hear how he proposed to trap full-sized Neopets in a Petpetpet-sized Habitarium.

"Well, obviously, now we --" the Mootix began smugly, but at that moment, the resident Petpetpets -- and this one appeared to be a colony of Pinchits -- noticed the intruders. Unfortunately for Joe, Denzel, Heather, and the others, they jumped immediately to the wrong conclusion.

"INVADERS! PESTS! SOUND THE ALARM!" screamed a nester roosting on an egg.

In retrospect, this plan hadn't been very well thought out -- what else would the residents have thought? Joe reflected. Then again... I did try to point out this would fail...

Only seconds later, before they had time to react, Joe and the rest were surrounded by very large, very angry-looking soldiers.

"No -- wait -- we're not --" started Denzel, but as a general rule, soldiers fight first and ask questions later. Teeny tiny fists began flying left and right, and everywhere Joe looked a battle was being fought. He saw Denzel flanked by two particularly tough Pinchits as he valiantly tried to defend Heather, while the Larnikins who had carried in the picture earlier were mobbed by several soldiers. Elsewhere was chaos, as none of the rest of Joe's group had any fighting prowess whatsoever; the colony had only seven or eight soldiers, but they were making short work of the intruders.

Somewhat panicked, Joe ducked under a scuffling pair of P3s and looked desperately for something, anything he could do to end the conflict. It was all a misunderstanding -- but how could he fix it? Whatever the plan was, these Pinchits might even be able to help -- but only if they didn't wipe Joe and his friends out first!

Unfortunately, being wiped out was looking more and more likely -- Denzel and Heather were backed in a corner, and it looked like the pair of Scoaches Joe had sat next to at the meeting were down for the count. He couldn't see the Larnikins anymore either -- and they were the group's best fighters. If they were out, things were dire indeed.

But just then, Joe saw it -- the perfect way out of this mess...

Author: agedbeauty
Date: Jun 28th
...though he didn't know it at the time.

In his attempt to distance himself from the scuffle, Joe staggered backward over a rock, his long legs flailing in six different directions. It just so happened that he had stumbled upon the hiding place of a small Pinchit. Her frightened eyes widened at the intruder. She plucked up a rather large blade of grass and held it up threateningly across her chest as if to say En garde!

"Oh, please, wait!" Joe burst out. "You see, this is all a big misunderstanding...!"

And the flood gates were open. The Skritch managed to rattle off the entire story in record-breaking time, taking no stops for breath in between thoughts. As was his M.O., Joe omitted no details, from the spilt coffee to ruining Heather's birthday surprise.

He felt both a sense of embarrassment and relief. Embarrassment, because he didn't exactly want to admit all of his weakness to a complete stranger, but his nature to speak honestly and thoroughly always got the best of him, especially in stressful situations. And on the other hand there was relief, because he was finally able to express how isolated he had been feeling.

The undersized Pinchit lowered her "weapon," and it even seemed to Joe as if she was trying to suppress a smile. Calmly, she walked past him, out from behind the rock and onto the battlefield. As Joe followed behind her, he took a sweeping glance at the fight. Though they were still managing to hold on, his friends were not looking good.

However, once the small Pinchit weaved her way to the middle of the battle, she held up her two tiny front hands.

"Halt attack!" cried the Pinchit who appeared to be the head soldier. "Kimya has something to say."

All Pinchits ceased their blows, while the cowering invaders straightened up from their protective stances. Without a word, the little Pinchit started gesticulating to the head soldier. Joe and the rest of his clan merely stood in confusion.

"Well, why didn't you say so?!" the head soldier boomed with a hardy guffaw. He was looking at Denzel. The tension in the room seemed to dissolve. Though Joe's friends all still seemed somewhat dazed, the Pinchits suddenly became quite amicable.

"I've been so sick of those Neopets watching our every move!" the soldier continued to Denzel. "And what's worse, they always feel free to pick us up and place us anywhere, no matter what we happen to be doing at the time!"

"This is what we will be putting a stop to!" Denzel cried, brightening at finding a kindred spirit.

While the two Petpetpets plotted, Kimya walked back over to Joe.

"So, you don't talk?" Joe asked carefully. He knew manners weren't always his strength, and he didn't want to offend his new acquaintance. She shook her head in reply.

"Ever?"

Seeing a small patch of mud on the ground, she wrote in it with her hand, Can't. Never could.

"That must be awful!" he uttered before he could stop himself. Seeing his embarrassment, she smiled back at him as if to say, Don't worry about it.

Not so bad, she wrote.

"I'm Joe, by the way," he said, holding out his hand to her. She shook it eagerly, forgetting that it was now caked in mud. Although he just met her, Joe was already starting to understand her silent responses. Her widened eyes meant Oops!, and the following smirk accompanied with a shrug meant Sorry!

"Don't worry about it," he laughed, wiping his muddy hand on the grass.

At that moment, Joe's attention was pulled back to Denzel. The Mootix, along with the Pinchit soldier, were climbing onto a rock platform, the others swarming around them.

"Attention, everyone!" Denzel started, his talent for public speech kicking in. "Though we may not have gotten off to a good start, the Pinchits have now agreed to be our allies in this great mission. They have agreed to let any of us who may need it use their hospitals, but do try to heal quickly! At dawn, we carry out the second part of our master plan!"

"What is the second part?" Joe shouted back.

"Well, Joe, I guess it wouldn't hurt in telling everyone -- even you! -- now that we are this close. At dawn, we will..."

Author: favonianbreeze
Date: Jun 29th
"...create the biggest ruckus ever, but do it without harming each other in the process, of course. If there's something we can knock over, we knock it over. If there's grass and plants that can be ripped up, we rip them up. If there's a patch of soil to spread, we spread it everywhere. After we've created as much mess and destruction as possible, we'll shout and scream and rattle on the sides of the Habitarium. When the Professor comes in to investigate the racket and sees all the mess and us acting crazy, he'll probably want to let us go. When that happens, we'll ambush him from behind, push him into the Habitarium and voila! We have our first captive!"

The Petpetpets all whooped and cheered, except for Joe and Kimya. Joe was still sceptical of the whole thing. Denzel was very often too big-headed for his own good and very impulsive, not thinking things through until it was too late. Joe realised that it was these traits that made the Mootix so popular. Joe was level-headed, quiet, and had a head full of common sense. He figured most of his kind found that boring.

Except for Kimya, he thought. The mute Pinchit had been looking over at him the whole time that Denzel was giving his speech, her eyes bright and a cheery smile planted on her face. Suddenly, she bounded over to him and wrote a new message in the mud that read, You and I have a lot in common! She needn't have added the exclamation mark, for her eyes told him everything. She swiped the patch of mud clean and wrote a new message. This one said, The plan is sure to fail. We must stop him! When Joe looked at her, the Pinchit's eyes became melancholy, her mouth turned down into a frown.

"Yes, definitely," he told her. "But how?"

She beamed at him, and he liked what he saw of her features. He was glad she hadn't remained gloomy for long, for it was a look that didn't suit her. She wrote another message in the mud, trying to rush as Petpetpets began to swarm this way and that way, all of them buzzing with excitement as Denzel began to discuss the plan in more depth.

No one takes too much notice of me, which is good, because I just happen to have a plan of my own...

Author: ginger23456
Date: Jun 29th
Joe canted his head, watching Kimya's over-joyed expression. Both of them quickly looked up as Denzel clapped his hands together and raised them high, signaling the start of his over-ambitious plan. Teams of Petpetpets zipped away, some heading toward the grasses, others toward the wood piles. The small Pinchit pouted as the others seemed to be already engrossed in the destruction of the Habitarium her colony worked so hard to upkeep. Her hand moved quickly in the smooth mud, and Joe's eyes widened as her picture of the destruction of the Habitarium came to be. The chaos was riddled with small diamonds. The end of the Habitarium would be the end of them all.

Kimya nodded at his understanding and wiped the mud again, this time feverishly drawing a picture of her new plan. She pointed this way and that as Joe looked on, pointing to the separate lines of her drawing, then out into the chaos-ridden field. Joe's jaw dropped, yet his surprise quickly drew into a smile as he comprehended the little Pinchit's plan. He nodded in agreement, and the two renegade P3s took off in different directions.

From the corner of his eye, Joe could see Kimya start on the building blocks of her plan. A rather burly soldier was ripping up long blades of grass, tossing them to and fro. Kimya raced around the soldier, piling up the grasses in a long line before obtaining the soldier's attention and directing him to that line. She haphazardly threw a few blades of grass around before putting on a devilishly evil grin and stacking them back up. The soldier seemed to understand her scenario and grinned as he threw his discarded grass pieces into the pile. A wink from Kimya let Joe know the plan was going to work.

Joe followed suit, running up to one of the storage huts being plundered. A pair of Larnikins were tossing out its contents this way and that, emptying the vessel quickly.

"You know what would be even more chaotic?" Joe stated, grasping the attention of the Larnikins.

They both stopped, blinking back at him with curiosity. Joe picked up a pollen ball and placed it on the ground before stomping on it. The bright yellow colour smooshed into the ground like a blob of paint. Both Larnikins retained a cheesy grin as they nodded, tossing out more pollen balls and stamping them into the ground with their heavy feet. Joe smiled to himself as he slowly backed away, leaving the Larnikins to their new enjoyment.

Kimya was working on a Moach who was destroying the Habitarium's wood pile as Joe found rather confused Pinchit splashing around in the water.

"I don't really think that's working..." Joe stated, and the Pinchit nester pouted up at him.

Joe grabbed a sharp stick that was discarded from a rampaging soldier and used it to scratch a small furrow in the ground, allowing the water to flow from the pond into the divot, forming a small pool. The Pinchit pulled himself out of the water and watched Joe intently. Joe motioned for the Pinchit to take over, guiding where the handmade river should go. The Pinchit nodded joyfully and took off into his task of chaos.

If only it was chaos they were actually creating. Kimya was so quiet yet so smart, and her plan was so subtle, yet their point would get off so easily. Denzel was bringing the downfall of all of the Petpetpets trapped within the Habitarium because none of them could see the big picture -- but Joe knew Professor Milton Clodbottle sure would.

A rather big picture indeed. Lined by wood, grass, and water, coloured by pollen, a picture so large, no one Petpetpet could distinguish what it was other then the chaos they themselves created. An outsider, though, looking down with his giant eyes, would know in a heartbeat.

Denzel led the band of misfits into loud whoops and hollers, trying to draw the attention of the Habitarium's owner. Unfortunately, being as tiny as they were, a Neopet couldn't hear a P3's voice if they tried to by any natural means. Joe and Kimya huddled together, covering their ears as their companions tried to make as much noise as possible to no avail.

It was luck that finally drew in the large Kougra. When morning broke, Professor Milton Clodbottle threw on his work clothes, ate a bowl of Neocrunch cereal, and headed into his workspace to check on his Habitarium. Upon sight of the large Neopet, Denzel's makeshift crew bounced around chaotically, tossing an errant blade of grass or flicking around some water.

The crazy P3s could barely keep the attention of Professor Milton Clodbottle as he surveyed the chaos within his prized Habitarium. The downed plants, the splattered mud piles, the lines of resources strewn everywhere. The Kougra blinked again as he noticed a distinct pattern in the lines of chaos.

It almost looked like...

Author: filter
Date: Jun 30th
...a message.

After a few blinks in rapid succession, the professor narrowed his eyes and read it again, ignoring the incongruity of there being a message in the pollen, wood, mud, stone, water, and grass that made up his formerly very neat and organised habitarium. Finally, he shook his head, because it had to be a message -- but the scope was astounding. The letters were significantly bigger than any individual P3, which meant someone in there had planned it... and from the message, he was fairly sure the Petpetpets who had worked on it hadn't known what they were working on, because it read:

Help -- P3s unhappy -- trubel if fown

The letters were shaky, and the spelling mistakes made the message a little hard to decipher, but after a moment he had it. "Help -- Petpetpets unhappy -- trouble if found?" he thought to himself, combing the Habitarium with his eyes before spotting a Skritch and a Pinchit well off in the corner, isolated from the other Petpetpets. He blinked; there hadn't been a Skritch in his Habitarium the night before! Glancing through the rest of the Petpetpets, he noticed that his Pinchit-only environment had expanded over night; he saw a Mootix, Larnikins, Cooties, Lady Blurgs -- and that was only at a fast glance! Shaking his head, he glanced back at the Skritch and Pinchit. There was definitely something strange about those two, and he had to find out what.

***

The noise in the Habitarium was deafening to Joe and Kimya, who quivered and did their best to cover their ears in the corner. With a miserable look on her face, Kimya scratched a small message in the dirt -- nothing close to the scale of the one they had organised for the professor, of course. Joe read it and sighed.

"I don't know what happens if it doesn't work," he replied, looking downtrodden himself. With no other option, the two Petpetpets had trusted in something bigger than themselves -- namely, the professor. But if he didn't get the message...

Staring up at the giant pair of Kougra eyes, Joe began to doubt their actions. What if the professor just continued observing? By all accounts he had never done anything to harm a P3 -- he might not want to disturb them now when something was so clearly making them anxious. But what would Denzel and his lackeys do next if the professor didn't respond?

And worse yet, what if the professor didn't respond -- and the message Kimya and Joe had orchestrated was discovered by the short-sighted and short-tempered P3s?

While they worried, the other Petpetpets were growing frenzied in their rioting, screaming at the top of their tiny lungs, flailing tiny fists and stomping tiny Petpetpet feet. The din was dizzying and the frenzy was only growing; as they watched, the Larnikins Joe had guided with the pollen earlier began mindlessly tearing down storage buildings. Following their example, the soldiers who had accosted Denzel's group when they first arrived began tearing down the barracks that usually sheltered them -- and the devastation grew. Kimya's dark picture flashed through Joe's mind again, and instead of the slightly worried Pinchit beside him, he envisioned a small blue diamond -- and shuddered.

How ironic it would be to find a like-minded soul -- a friend, even -- on the eve of the destruction of his species. He could hardly bear the thought, and determinedly, he thrust it aside. The plan had to work. The professor had to know what to do!

Fortunately, he hadn't long to wait -- at that moment, the top of the Habitarium opened, and a large paw reached inside. To Joe's shock, the large paw reached directly for Kimya and him, stopping gently in front of the pair. The sound level grew, and he saw the frenzied Petpetpets react immediately, charging to the paw -- and with a gulp, Joe realised there was only one option. "We have to go, Kimya!" he shouted, and pulling her with him, he leapt on the massive paw...

Author: agedbeauty
Date: Jun 30th
The paw began to rise and Kimya, confused and perhaps frightened, gripped Joe's arm tightly. "It's okay, Kimya," Joe said, more bravely than he felt, patting Kimya on the shoulder awkwardly. He opened his mouth to say more, but he was interrupted by a faraway -- but still angry-sounding -- voice shouting, "Traaaitors!"

"One second," Joe said to Kimya before heading toward the edge of the paw.

From this height, he could see the message that he and Kimya had gotten the Petpetpets to spell out and, in the loop of the second 'P' in 'unhappy', was a swarm of P3s. He couldn't tell the P3s apart from one another, but he guessed that the owner of the voice was Denzel.

"You'll thank me later!" he shouted back before heading back to Kimya.

A moment later, the paw lowered onto a wooden tabletop covered with loose-leaf papers, chewed-on pencils, and eraser shavings. Joe saw that several of the papers had sketches of P3s on them, and he was surprised that they were so, well, good.

"Look, Kimya!" Joe said, pointing to the sketches.

They jumped off of the paw and headed toward one of sketches: this one was of an undersized, but well-built, Pinchit with large, expressive eyes. Joe realised that the sketch was of Kimya, and judging from her wide, surprised eyes, Kimya had realised it too.

"It looks just like you, Kimya," Joe said, admiring the sketch.

They heard a throat being cleared, as if to get their attention, and they turned around to face Professor Milton Clodbottle, his face so close to the table that they could see themselves reflected in his spectacles. Both of them, startled, stepped back involuntarily.

"Hello," the Professor said after studying them a moment.

"H-Hello. We need your help, Professor. The P3s are out of control right now and you need to stop them before they --" Joe tried to explain, standing on his hind legs to gesticulate with four of his arms.

This close, the Professor could see the Skritch's mouth moving, but the sounds coming of its mouth sounded more like high-pitched chirps. He couldn't understand what the P3 was saying, but he could tell from its gestures that it was urgent.

"Here, write whatever it is you have to tell me on this piece of paper," the Professor said, sliding a blank piece of paper and a piece of broken-off lead toward the P3.

Joe picked up the piece of lead and scribbled his words on the piece of paper. The Professor read his message aloud, sounding out the incorrectly spelt words.

"You know," the Professor said, his brow furrowed thoughtfully, "I think I know exactly what to do..."

Author: lil_miss_sunshine807
Date: Jul 1st
The Kougra turned back to the Habitarium, lowering in his paw gently as he had before.

"Oh no!" Joe gasped, realising he would soon be face-to-face with an irate Mootix. Kimya held onto his arm.

The professor brought his paw back to the paper on which Joe and Kimya stood, dropping off not only Denzel, but several of the other rebels as well. The Mootix plopped off the paw ungracefully and started toward Joe, the others close behind him. The Skritch braced himself while Kimya shied behind him.

"You double-crossing--" Denzel shouted, his tiny fist upraised.

"Whoa, there, little one," Professor Clodbottle interrupted, placing his finger in Denzel's path, blocking him from the outnumbered "traitors."

The Mootix's chest puffed up with indignity, and the Kougra was bombarded with an array of harsh insults; it was a good thing that the Professor could not hear them, but he got the point.

"Ah, I see you do not appreciate being called 'little one.' Well, that's fair enough. So, what is it they call you?" he asked, nudging the lead over to Denzel.

The Mootix was a bit untrusting at first, but then he had always wanted his name to be well-known. Not able to turn down such an opportunity, he roughly scratched his name into the paper.

"It's nice to meet you, Denzel," the Neopet replied sincerely, holding out his claw to the angry P3. "You may call me Milton."

Denzel, a bit hesitantly, shook Milton's claw.

"So, what is it that you are unhappy about, Denzel?"

Reminded of his purpose, the Mootix picked up the lead and wrote want fridom, ekwality!!!!

"Well, but you are free, for you came here on your own free will. The others, they have a good life here. They are well-fed and have nice, comfortable homes, but you are right. From now on, if a Petpetpet desires to leave the Habitarium, he need only ask. As for equality, but, of course I think of you as my equal! I understand that the life of a P3 is not an easy one, though, and that is why I have set up the Habitariums. That, and I am just so fascinated by your culture and would love nothing more than to learn everything there is to know about it." The professor said this all gently and without any condescension.

Denzel looked sceptical, but he was starting to understand that this Kougra may not actually be his enemy after all.

"I'll tell you what," Milton began again. "If you would like a nice place to stay, I'll set up a lovely Habitarium just for you and your friends. Whenever you or one of the others need something, you may speak with me face-to-face about it. I rather like our new system of communicating! And you, Denzel, can be my very own expert advisor on all things Petpetpet! How does that sound?"

Denzel perked up at the word "expert," and Joe and Kimya grinned at each other. They knew that the times of the rebellion were over.

***

"Do you have the cake ready?" Joe asked.

Kimya gave him a smirk and a thumbs up. Of course I do!

Joe couldn't believe it. He had known about Heather's surprise party for a month and still hadn't spilled the beans. Being around Kimya had helped out a lot with his big mouth, not only because she was silent, but because he finally had someone who could understand him without needing explanation for his actions.

For the first time in his life, Joe didn't think being a Petpetpet was so bad.

The End

Editor's Note: Due to a holiday in the US, the next Storytelling Contest will begin on Tuesday, July 5th. Thanks!

Author: favonianbreeze
Date: Jul 1st



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