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||You are on Week 547
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 Forty Seven Ends Friday, March 16
|Baxter carefully welded the last bit of metal to his creation. Once the piece was firmly in place, he took a careful step back to look at his workmanship. He was so close to being complete that he could hardly stand it! All he needed to do now was wait for Toby to arrive.
He heard a small knock at his door. The green Krawk poked his head out from under the sheet that was covering his project. "Door's open! Come on in!"
With a bit of effort, the small orange JubJub quietly came into the laboratory, looking around for his friend. "Baxter? You here?"
"Be out in a second, Toby!" Baxter called from underneath the sheet. After a few last minute tweaks, the Krawk emerged from the cover, removing his welding mask and brushing off his white lab coat.
"Excellent timing, Toby! I've just finished installing the transmogrifying container."
Toby tilted his head (or body, rather) to the side quizzically. "The what now?"
"The transmogrifying container! It's essential for my latest creation!"
Toby coughed nervously. "Yeah, I've been meaning to ask you about that. Just what IS this 'latest creation' of yours? I hope it's better than that mechanical Grarrl you tried to make last year. We're still getting hate mail from the Battledomers about that..."
Baxter just chuckled. "Oooh no, my friend! This is much, much, MUCH better! Behold... the Dream-Look Machine!"
In a flourish, Baxter removed the cover and revealed his creation. Toby wasn't sure what to expect when Baxter finally let him see what his big project was. The Krawk had been practically nonexistent since he'd had that sudden brainstorm and spent all of his time locked away in his basement / laboratory. Baxter was always building some crazy invention or whatnot, but this was unlike anything Toby was expecting.
It was, however, something he'd seen before.
"Baxter... did... did you just make a lab ray?"
It was true. The great invention that Baxter was so obsessed with was nothing more than an exact replica of the infamous lab ray. Everything was identical, right down to the wires and button colors.
Baxter just beamed proudly. "Isn't it amazing?"
"But Neopia already HAS a lab ray, Baxter."
"No, Neopia has a malfunctioning catastrophe!" Baxter declared as he paced the room. "Do you have any idea how risky it is to use the original lab ray? That dreaded Scorchio makes Neopets search high and low for that stupid map, only to get a random daily shot at the lab ray. Sure, SOMETIMES it works well, such as when it grants a rare species or color, but what about all of the other times when you just get your stats lowered, or worse, get turned into some horrible monstrosity?!?"
"So, what makes your lab ray any better?"
"First of all, it's not just a lab ray. It's a Dream-Look Machine! Second, it makes every Neopet's fantasy come true! Now Neopets can come and turn themselves into anything they want! Any species, any color, even levels and stats will be easily increased!" Baxter led Toby to a small screen off to the side of the lab ray. "See, we just type in the color or species or whatever our client wants, then they go and stand under the beam, and PRESTO! Instant dream come true!"
Toby had to admit that this was a pretty tempting concept, but he still couldn't shake the bad feeling in his stomach. "I don't know, Baxter. That kind of takes all the fun out of it. Some Neopets like to be surprised with what they get from the lab ray, and you only have to find the map once."
"And those Neopets can have that monstrosity if they choose! With this, however, I can give them their hearts' desire! All I need is a simple fee of 100,000 Neopoints per use and..."
"A hundred thousand Neopoints?!? Baxter, nobody is going to pay that!"
Baxter rolled his eyes. "Oh, please... I've seen Neopets spend more on paint brushes and potions! I'm practically giving this thing away. Besides, you of all Neopets should know what it's like to want to change! How many times have you complained about having to eat with your feet or not being tall enough to reach the counter at stores! I promise you, Toby, that once this thing is up and running and all of the bugs are worked out, I will turn you into anything you want!"
Toby didn't know what to say. There were a lot of downsides to being a JubJub, since you only have two feet and no hands. Even Kikos had it easier than him. It wasn't just hands and extra height he wanted, though. He also thought of how cool it would be to fly through the clouds like an Eyrie, or dive below the waters like the Acaras. This seemed riskier than anything he'd ever come across, but maybe Baxter was on to something. They were friends; Baxter would never let him down.
Toby sighed. "Okay Baxter, you twisted my arm. Er, leg. Now, how do we get this thing up and running?"
Baxter grinned mischievously. "That's very simple, Toby. As I told you, I just finished putting on the transmogrifying container. All it needs now is to be filled with the one substance that will make it complete: the water from the Rainbow Faerie Fountain!"...
Date: Mar 12th
...Toby gasped as images of the magical fountain danced in his mind. He had seen it a few times... well, he'd at least glimpsed it when visiting the Healing Springs. He had always dreamed that one day he would receive a coveted quest from the Fountain Faerie, so that he would be permitted to bathe in those waters to choose a new color. It had never happened, though; it remained an elusive dream.
"But how will you get the water?" the JubJub asked. "Won't the Fountain Faerie just tell you that the Rainbow Fountain isn't working right now because too many Neopians have already used it?"
Baxter smiled, a look of pure delight crossing the Krawk's face. "The Fountain Faerie might say that," he proclaimed, "if we tried to get the water from the pool that she resides in, but we aren't."
Toby narrowed his small eyes. "We aren't?" he repeated. "What are we going to do, then?"
Baxter walked over to a nearby wall and pulled down a screen that had been decorated by a crudely drawn map of the Rainbow Fountain. "The water doesn't start here," he explained, pointing to the bottom pool. "The water collects here, at the top of this tree. As it passes through the braches it creates the many rainbows that you see, but the water itself is always magical. The water I want is here, at this tiny pool at the top of the tree. No one has been in that water, so it should have enough power for my machine."
"But how are we supposed to get to the top of the tree?" Toby questioned. He picked up his foot and wiggled it at Baxter. "I don't exactly have a good hand for climbing," he continued, "and everyone knows that you--"
"Never mind that!" Baxter snapped, interrupting him. The Krawk had a well-known fear of heights that he obviously didn't want to be reminded of at the moment. He took a deep breath and managed another comforting smile.
"There's got to be a way," he said, "and I'm sure you want to find it. After all, as my friend, I'd make sure you'd be the first one given a chance to try the Dream-Look Machine completely free of charge."
This made Toby pause. There were so many possibilities for what he might like to be, but that water was still so high from the ground. After thinking for several minutes, he finally said...
Date: Mar 12th
..."You said that you got the transmogrifying container installed, right?" Toby said. "So that means right now you can change a species, but not a color, right?"
"Yes," Baxter said. "Technically, that's true."
"So then, why not zap me right now? I can stay orange and get changed into a species that can fly. I could then go to the top of the tree and get the water."
Baxter stopped in his tracks. "That's... that's... BRILLIANT!" the Krawk shouted out.
Baxter started to fiddle with a few buttons and dials as Toby felt extra proud of himself. Not only because of his idea, but because he would be able to take to the skies and fly around. Sure, he'd still be orange, but that could always be changed later.
"Any requests?" Baxter said after a few moments. "There are a lot of flying species, so do you have any that you'd like to be, at least temporarily?"
Toby thought it over for a moment. "How about a Scorchio?" he said after mulling it over for a moment.
"Scorchio it is, then!" Baxter said. He then altered a dial on his machine, so that it was pointed toward a Scorchio.
"Now," Baxter said, "a bit of warning. It's going to be bright, but once I pull this lever, you'll be transformed into an orange Scorchio. Are you ready?"
"Ready, Baxter!" Toby said, already envisioning himself flying through the air as a Scorchio.
"Alright, then," Baxter said, putting on a pair of goggles and aiming the ray toward the JubJub. "Three... two... one... GO!"
Baxter pulled a switch on the machine, and soon a bright bolt of light fired out of the ray, striking Toby. Seconds later, the orange JubJub was...
Date: Mar 13th
...an orange Skeith.
Toby took a few seconds to process what had just happened, looking up and down his transformed body. He then looked at the Krawk and gave him a questioning glance.
"Whoops!" Baxter said. "Like I told you, I need to work out a few of the bugs on this thing," he added, replying with an apologetic smile. "Look on the bright side, however -- you can still fly, and you have arms for scooping up the water!"
"I guess that's okay," Toby relented, moving his tail and arms as he tried to get used to the feel of having them. "What are we carrying the water in, though? I don't see any buckets or baskets around here."
Holding up a rather basic metal pail, Baxter grinned. "Being advanced is great, but there's nothing wrong with going back to the basics every now and then," he said, then handed the bucket to Toby. "All we need is an amount that's equal to this bucket half-full."
"Alright, that seems simple enough to do. How am I going to get the water without being seen, though? Surely someone will spot me, knowing the population of Faerieland..."
Baxter thought for a few moments. "I'll just create a distraction, so that way no one notices!"
Toby nodded slowly, and was about to open his mouth to reply when...
Date: Mar 13th
...the heavy Skeith arm he used to reach for the pail suddenly began to shrink.
"Ah! What's going on?!?" Toby yelled as he began to feel very strange.
"I'm not sure," Baxter replied, staring wide-eyed at his friend who was going through yet another metamorphosis. A puff of orange smoke filled the room. It was so thick that both of them began to cough and sputter. Waving his arms, Baxter cleared the smoke to find a much smaller Toby, staring up at him through the eyes of a Miamouse.
Toby took a second to check himself out after noticing how much smaller he was than his friend.
"What happened?!? You didn't say anything about being able to transform me into a Petpet! This is even worse than being a JubJub. My pet Gruslen Meowky is going to eat me!"
Baxter swiftly turned about to stare at his machine.
"How extraordinary..." he finally replied. "Do you know what this means, Toby?"
"We won't be able to get the water after all?"
Baxter laughed at his unfortunate friend. "Of course we will! What this really means, though, is that I am truly a genius! I've invented an orange Miamouse! No such thing exists in all of Neopia!"
"But Baxter... I would very much like to be turned back into a normal Neopet. What if I keep changing randomly?" Toby asked, then sighed while staring at his tiny little paws.
"Nonsense, Toby. If all else fails, I can just shoot you with the ray again. It's not as though it has limited use."
Toby stared up at his friend with a look of concern in his eyes.
"Don't look so worried. Everything will be..." Baxter's words were cut off as Toby began to shake.
"This doesn't feel right! Help!" Toby screamed right before he...
Date: Mar 14th
...suddenly started growing again.
"What's happening to me?" shrieked Toby, who was now transforming into a Noil. As he grew, his voice started changing, too, from the squeak of a Miamouse to a tiny roar. "Okay, that's it! Zap me back into a normal Neopet, Baxter!"
"Okay, okay!" Baxter said with a shrug, putting his goggles back on. "What do you want to be now?"
"Normal, that's what!"
"A JubJub then, I presume," Baxter said, pressing a series of complex-looking buttons on the ray's screen. "Here goes!" he declared.
Another bright bolt of light fired out of the ray, striking Toby, just like the one before.
After the bright light faded away, and the two Neopets adjusted to the light again, Toby looked down at his new body, only to discover he was now...
Date: Mar 14th
...sprouting leaves from wooden arms. He let out a shriek of horror as the realization dawned on him.
"I'm a tree!" he gasped, starting to hyperventilate. "Turn me back, Baxter. Turn me back!"
"I dunno, you look kinda good as a tree..." the Krawk mused. "Is this some variation of woodland?"
Toby shook his leaves desperately -- as a tree, he could not shake his head or stomp his feet, which is what he really wanted to do just then -- and said, "No, I'm just a tree! A freaky talking tree! Turn me back!"
"Okay, okay," Baxter said, fiddling with the dials and buttons again. "Keep your leaves on, Toby, there's no need to panic..."
"But I'm a tree--"
The machine sputtered slightly, and a small wisp of smoke floated out from the panel. Annoyed, Baxter gave the lever a yank, only to have it break off in his hand.
"What did you do?!?"
"I'll fix it, Toby, I'll fix it. Just give me a few minutes, okay?"...
Date: Mar 15th
...At that moment, Toby began changing again. As Baxter tried desperately to reconnect the lever, all of the orange leaves fell off of Toby's body. He began to shrink again, and then he sprouted a horn and wings... he was now an orange Shoyru!
"Baxter, wait!" Toby cried out happily, flapping his wings. "I have hands and wings again!"
Baxter grinned triumphantly. "Get going before you change again!" he cried, shoving the bucket into Toby's hand.
"I don't think that's such a good idea," Toby replied. "What if I change while I'm flying?" He paused and a horrified expression crossed his face. "What if I change into an Elephante or another tree while I'm flying? I would then fall to my death!"
"Nonsense, Toby," Baxter said, laughing. "Look!" the green Krawk declared and then pointed to his invention, which was now steaming all over. "I think it's done."
Toby looked worried. "I'm not so sure about that..."
Date: Mar 15th
..."No, no. It's done." Baxter said, walking over to Toby. "Now come here, let me see if there are any weird spots on you..." he said, inspecting his friend. He reached out toward Toby's arm, but Toby pulled away.
"Dude, what if it's contagious or something?!?" Toby yelped as the Krawk tried to get a hold of him. "Besides, I might as well get going now!" Baxter shook his head.
"Nope. Not until I'm sure that you're going to be okay," the Krawk replied. Toby seemed a bit more relieved that his friend somewhat cared about his well-being.
"Okay... well, I guess you can take a quick look." Toby said, sighing. The Krawk examined the orange Shoyru, and in the process noticed a peculiar spot on the Shoyru's arm.
"Well, look at this! There's a weird spot on your arm, right there, colored red!" Baxter exclaimed, scurrying over to a nearby desk. He grabbed a magnifying glass and rushed back over to examine the arm.
"I don't know, it could be the start of another thing. Hurry up, before another change starts happening!" Toby said, panicking. Baxter looked at Toby's arm with extreme care, examining it bit by bit. He reached out and was about to touch it, but Toby jerked his arm away.
"Dude, I should go," the Shoyru said, turning to leave. Baxter then reached out and grabbed his arm, feeling the patch of red scales. "Hey, let go! Something bad might happen!"
"Hey, hey! It feels strange... like, not even scales at all! More like... skin! This is interesting..." Baxter replied curiously, getting out a notepad and pencil to scribble something down. "Besides, if anything strange does happen, it'll add to the research!" he exclaimed happily.
"Wait, Baxter!" Toby yelled, pulling his arm away. "I think it's contagious!" he yelled, looking over at Baxter's arm, which now had a small red patch on it. Baxter looked and shrieked.
"Well, it appears that the effects of the transmogrifier have given you a contagious touch!" Baxter said, shaking a little. "Although interesting, it seems dangerous!" the Krawk exclaimed.
"Well, dangerous or not, we have to figure out a way to stop this!" Toby yelled, panicking. Baxter seemed to calm himself down a little.
"The question is now... how?" Baxter mumbled, looking over at the machine, which was enshrouded by smoke...
Date: Mar 16th
...Unfortunately for poor Baxter, the machine wasn't the source of the smoke. As with Toby's earlier transformation, morphing seemed to go hand in hand with puffs of smoke -- and with a burst of red smoke, it was the Krawk's turn to transform.
"I'm... I'm..." Baxter sputtered, staring at his paws.
"...an Aisha!" Toby finished, staring at his friend aghast.
"RED!" Baxter exclaimed, and Toby blinked.
"A red Aisha..." Toby said, trailing off.
Baxter harrumphed. "I'm not supposed to change color! We didn't get the rainbow water yet," he said, frowning.
"Don't you care that you're not a Krawk?" Toby asked, ignoring Baxter's technical mutterings. He'd always been a little ashamed of being a JubJub; it often felt like no one much liked them. Clothing seemed designed to fit Neopets that were more popular... as a JubJub, he just had to muddle along as best he could. He'd always assumed his friend was proud to be a Krawk, one of the most coveted species.
Baxter spared him a glance. "Of course. I didn't zap myself, so I really shouldn't have changed species. It's very concerning!" he said, clearly stating what to him was an obvious fact.
"No, I mean... you were a Krawk... now you’re an Aisha... doesn't that upset you?" Toby asked, somewhat hesitantly.
Baxter paused and gave Toby his full attention. "Why would it?" he asked, mystified.
"Everyone wants to be a Krawk... or a Draik... you were... now you're not?" he answered, stumbling over his words and scuffing the ground as he did so. He wasn't even sure there was a question in his response, but he ended it with an interrogatory anyway.
Baxter frowned. "What's the difference?" he asked, "I mean... I know you didn't want to be a JubJub because you only had feet and no hands, but... I have hands still."
To demonstrate, he waved his red Aisha hands in the air.
"Didn't you like being popular?" Toby blurted, then covered his mouth. He blushed; what an awkward question!
Baxter only stared. "Is THAT why you wanted to be something else?"
Toby nodded shyly, not meeting his friend's eyes.
His silent confession was met with an equal measure of silence for a long moment before his friend finally harrumphed indignantly.
"You... you... you!!!" Baxter said, fumbling for words. Failing to find the ones he wanted, he settled for poking Toby in the chest.
"OW!" Toby cried, rubbing the sore spot. "What was that for?"
"I thought you wanted to be a Scorchio because it was useful. You just want people to like you because of your species?" Baxter asked, glaring when Toby nodded. "I thought better of you! What a waste. I would never have zapped you if I knew that. Hmph."
Toby stared at his friend. "So... you don't care that you're not a Krawk. And... you didn't care that I was a JubJub?"
Baxter only rolled his eyes. Inside Toby, something clicked into place, and impulsively, he hugged his friend. Old insecurities he hadn't even realized he'd been carrying around dissolved in the simple honesty on his friend's face.
"Ah, yes, well," the Aisha said, patting him awkwardly on the back.
Withdrawing, but smiling, Toby shook his head. "Baxter, you know everyone is going to ask to be a Draik or Krawk for the same reason, right?"
Baxter's surprised expression said plainly that he had not, in fact, thought of that.
"That's so useless!" he finally spluttered, grasping for words again.
Toby snorted. "Well... welcome to Neopia! Everyone wants to be the most expensive, popular Neopet."
His friend stared at him, and finally sighed. "I can't let them do that. What a waste."
With a smile, he hugged Baxter again. "So... no more Dream-Look Machine?"
"No more Dream-Look Machine," he said, sighing.
Toby smiled wider, and then frowned. "But wait! We still have a problem. My red patch is spreading... and it turned you into a red Aisha. Can your machine fix it?"
Baxter fidgeted. "Probably," he said, but then admitted in a rush, "But I can't fix it."
Toby just stared at him.
Baxter sighed again. "But I know who can."
The Scorchio tsked and muttered as he poked around the Dream-Look Machine, occasionally growling or making the odd sound of disgust here and there.
"No wonder," he finally exclaimed, knocking bits and bobs around in the machine. "You aligned your transpolar micronet with the PSTP instead of the SPTP. Careless error!"
Baxter looked chagrined. "I swear that I checked that!"
Toby did a double take. "If you can fix the Dream-Look Machine, why can't you fix your Lab Ray?" he blurted out.
The Scorchio poked his head up out of the machine, his wild hair swirling slightly in the warm air generated by the machine. "Who says I can't!" he demanded.
The temporary Shoyru's jaw dropped. "You can fix the Lab Ray?!?" he asked, shocked.
"Of course I can! I," he said, with the emphasis on the pronoun, "know my PSTPs from my SPTPs."
Baxter hung his head, but Toby pressed on. "So why don't you?" he asked.
"Everyone would demand to be whatever was popular or new at the moment! Right waste, and would ruin my experiment. There, fixed the alignment. Zap yourselves back, but no more nonsense. Leave the lab rays to the professionals until you can sort out the components!" he chastised, not giving Baxter the time to reply before he exited in a huff, muttering to himself.
Baxter slowly walked over to the machine and stared at the dials morosely before nodding. "All right buddy, so what'll it be? This will fix your contagion, but you may as well get a good species out of it, too."
Toby didn't even have to think about it. "Orange JubJub," he replied.
Baxter grinned, and then pressed the button.
Date: Mar 16th
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