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||You are on Week 609
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 Six Hundred Nine Ends Friday, June 7
|Emeria had never heard cheering so loud in her life. It was deafening. There was a certain rhythm to it, even beyond the ups and downs that matched blocks from the Haunted Woods' trio of defenders and reciprocal steals by Dinksy—the volume pulsed, and Emeria's sensitive ears rang.
Suddenly, the crowd got quiet. Krawk Island captain and goalkeeper Garven Hale had caught a rebound off the goal post. The timer hanging suspended over the arena counted down the time he was allowed possession. He looked down the field, and launched the fire Yooyu toward Ealyn Hawkshanks, who dodged just out of reach of Krell Vitor.
Fanetti underestimated the extra speed the fire Yooyu would give the pirate forward, and the ball passed where his hands were reaching milliseconds before they got there. The Yooyu came to a stop against the net, took a bow, and sank beneath the arena floor. The match timer paused.
Krell Vitor turned on Zo Junior, furious that the Yooyu had hit the goal post at all, but his shouts were drowned out by the Krawk Island supporters in the crowd.
The score was tied.
Emeria bent her head over her Yellow Lined Notebook and scribbled, in shorthand, the events she had just witnessed for her Neopian Times report.
A new Yooyu rose through the center of the field, and the teams took their places—as angry as Krell had been a few seconds before, the Nimmo noticed, his face now was a blank and focused mask.
The ref blew his whistle. Emeria's eyes started to follow the action, but there was a silver flash in the corner of the field by Fanetti. She looked and there was nothing there; she tried to focus on the Darigan Yooyu that flew against the Coliseum walls mostly uncontrolled.
But there was a nagging twist in her stomach. Emeria had seen a similar flash before, when she was investigating a theft at the National Neopian, and it could only mean one thing:
There was an invisible Neopet on the Yooyuball field....
Date: Jun 3rd
...Emeria scanned the rest of the coliseum, but the crowd was far too engaged with the game to notice anything but the Darigan Yooyu erratically flailing across the field.
None of the players seemed to be able to control the menacing Petpet. Vitor passed it left, the Yooyu skewed right. Dinksy tried to shoot forward, the Yooyu went backward. Often regarded as the most difficult Yooyuball to handle in the game, it certainly was a tricky little thing. Whatever anyone wanted it to do, it would do the opposite.
But with only thirty seconds left on the clock and the teams still stuck in a deadlock, Emeria's mind still remained fixated on the flash she had witnessed. She kept her eyes open for any more suspicious activity, but aside from the misbehaving Yooyu making a fool out of the players on the field, the blue Nimmo didn't notice anything out of the ordinary.
As her eyes followed the Darigan Yooyu, Emeria's mind drifted elsewhere as she pondered what an invisible Neopet could possibly be doing on the field. Of course the first thought that came to mind was that one of the teams was cheating by having a secret sixth player on the field to manipulate the game. But as both teams fumbled around aimlessly for more than a minute over a single Yooyu, it seemed unlikely that either team had any special advantage.
The clock was winding down, and as Emeria continued to watch the Darigan Yooyu, she noticed something. The mischievous Petpet would repeatedly make a quick glance in the direction it was about to go in, as if it were chasing something. That was when it hit her; the Yooyu was following orders. The invisible Neopet on the field must be the Yooyu's owner, and the one controlling its unpredictable movements.
Just as the final buzzer rang, the Yooyu finally made its way into the Haunted Woods' goal. Caught up in her new revelations, Emeria had no idea who made the winning goal, but she didn't care. She realized that she could be sitting on the hottest story in the history of the Altador Cup...
Date: Jun 3rd
...Emeria stood up and exited the stadium as the Yooyu disappeared below the field and the teams walked to the locker rooms, clearing the field for two new teams to face off.
The first thing Emeria did was walk over to the doors of the Krawk Island locker room. Fans of all different species were crowded around the doors, many painted pirate, but many more in all the different colors. As an ordinary blue Nimmo, the crowd didn't notice Emeria as she slipped through open spaces in the crowd.
As Emeria walked up to the door, a gruff-looking pirate Ixi stepped in front of Emeria, blocking her path. "No one is allowed to enter the locker room at this time," the Ixi grumbled.
"But I'm a Neopian Times reporter," Emeria said, holding up her notebook. "I'm here to write about Krawk Island's win today."
The Ixi pondered this. "I suppose I could get you an interview with Feldon Collibridge."
"Why her?" Emeria asked.
The Ixi looked at her like she was insane. "Because she scored the winning goal, duh. I thought you said you were reporting on this."
Emeria's cheeks flushed, and she felt hot with embarrassment at not knowing who scored the winning goal.
"I'll tell Dinksy that she needs to meet with you," the Ixi said. With that, he disappeared behind the locker room door.
"Wow, I can't believe you're getting an interview!" a Uni said to Emeria from behind her. "That guy hasn't been letting anyone even near the locker room."
"I don't think any other locker room has something like this," Emeria pointed out. "I mean, a guard. Maybe he's just a huge fan and he wants the players all to himself."
The Uni looked completely confused.
Emeria opened the door. "I'm going to go meet with the team," she said.
The Uni was wide-eyed. "But you'll get yelled at!" she said frantically.
"Oh well," Emeria said, and then she slipped through the door, closing it firmly behind her.
The Ixi was nowhere to be seen. Ealyn sat arguing with Zayle about how he let too many Yooyus through the defenses; Dinksy and Nitri sat playing with a Snow Yooyu that looked extremely annoyed with them, and Garven sat all alone, grumbling to himself.
"Garven! Garven!" Emeria shouted, running over with her notebook and pencil in hand. "I need to interview you."
Garven barely glanced up. "Why do you want to interview me? Dinksy scored the winning goal." His voice had a stab of venom in it.
"I know," Emeria said. "However, I have a question I need to ask you."
"What is it?" Garven grumbled.
Emeria stopped when she got to the bench that Garven was sitting on. Even though he was hunched over, his gargantuan size towered over her.
"Garven, you know the Yooyus you play with? On the field?" Emeria asked.
"Yeah, what of 'em?" Garven snapped.
"I wanted to see if you knew who owns the Yooyus..."
Date: Jun 4th
..."Yeah, I know who owns 'em," Garven said. "He's a friend of mine, a Lupe named Yix. He said he'd come watch me game today, but I haven't seen him anywhere! Not that it matters, since I didn't do much of anything important..."
"Do you know where I could find this Yix?" Emeria persisted. "Where does he live?"
"Well, I'll be!" Hale exclaimed. "If it isn't him right now!" Rising to his feet, the goalkeeper called out to someone behind Emeria, who looked around to see. "Yix, where were ye? I wanted for ye to see the game, buddy!"
Standing in the doorway was a brown Lupe, which Emeria concluded must be Yix. He walked over to them and the two friends, Yix and Garven, bumped heads in greeting. Yix, however, shot a suspicious look at Emeria before turning back to resume talking with Garven.
"What are you talking about, Garven?" he queried his friend, curious. "I was here; didn't you see me?"
Emeria chose this moment to intervene. "Hello, Yix. I'm a Neopian Times reporter, and I'm doing an article on the game. I heard from your friend Garven here that you're the one who owns the Yooyus. Is that correct?"
"Yes..." Yix replied warily, looking nervous. "I do own the Yooyus. Why do you ask?"
"Well, I was just wondering whether you knew anything about a brief silver flash that I saw on the field. I believe that the Yooyu in play was somehow being led by an invisible presence. Would you know anything about that?"
"No, I would not!" Yix said angrily, yet looking scared all the same; he was positively sweating now. "What are you insinuating? You have no right, in front of my friend no less, to--"
"I have every right, Yix," Emeria countered, holding her ground as the Lupe raised his voice, "on the grounds that, if someone was guiding the Yooyu in some way, then the game was not fairly played... something that Garven has a great interest in, I'm sure!" She then turned her attention toward the Bori netminder. "So, would you care to comment?" she asked him...
Date: Jun 4th
..."Yeah, here's my comment," Garven growled out. "This interview is over!"
The Bori took Yix by the paw and practically started to drag the Lupe away. Emeria wouldn't be so easily thwarted, however, and tried her best to follow them. She saw the pair head deeper into the locker room, but before she could follow up, a large hand grabbed her shoulder.
"You're in a lot of trouble," the gruff pirate Ixi said to her. "I said you could interview Dinksy, not shoot baseless accusations and aggravate the team right after a big game. Get out of here right now, and you can rest assured that I'll be in contact with your editor about this."
Emeria gulped as she was forcefully lead out of the Krawk Island locker room. The Ixi pushed her out of the locker room and slammed the door behind her.
"Yikes... attitude much?" she muttered to herself. Still, that only furthered her belief that something was rotten in Krawk Island, and it wasn't the food at the Golden Dubloon.
Still, from the way both Yix and Garven were acting, she was certain that she was onto something. If she was going to get to the bottom of this, however, then she was going to need evidence.
Think... she said to herself, who else might have been able to notice that someone was guiding the Yooyus on the field? He might have been invisible, but there are other ways to tell...
A sudden burst of inspiration suddenly came to her. If Team Krawk Island was cheating, then the ones who might be able to best back up her story would be the ones who were cheated. Not to mention, if they were cheating with Yix controlling the Yooyus while invisible, then there were ways other than just sight to tell if he was there.
The gears started to turn in her mind as a plan to get to the truth of this story was starting to form. If she was going to get to the bottom of this, then she would need the help of Team Haunted Woods...
Date: Jun 5th
...It was by pure luck that Emeria saw the Centre Forward for Team Haunted Woods, Zo Junior, storming out of the locker room just as she got within sight of the door. "Zo... uh, Mr. Junior! Could I have a word, please? I promise, this is something important. You need to hear this!" the Nimmo pleaded.
The Korbat whipped around, his eyes narrowed. "You had better not be here to tell me about how I cost us the game by missing that shot. If I have to hear it one more time..."
Emeria was startled momentarily by his anger, but she reminded herself that he had been on the receiving end of an undeserved loss. "No, no. It's not that, I promise. I just... I was wondering if you had heard anything strange during the game today? You're a veteran, you've played in enough matches to know what a normal game sound is and what isn't."
"Yes! Yes, yes, yes!" Zo said vehemently. "Finally, someone is talking sense. 'Missed the shot.' Bah! I wouldn't have missed that shot if I hadn't been distracted by this shrill, painfully high-pitched whistle just as I was aiming. Will Vitor listen, though? He's angry at me, keeps telling me that I got distracted by the audience." He paused to catch his breath before adding in a dubious voice, "Did you hear that whistle, too?"
Emeria shook her head. "I saw something. It was definitely an invisible Neopet on the playing field -- I've seen invisible 'pets before, so I know the tells. If I had to guess, it was probably that Neopet who whistled. Your ears are more sensitive than anyone else's, so only you would have heard it. This 'pet was also directing that Darigan Yooyu."
"I'm not one to speak ill of my opponents or to blame a loss on cheating; if I hadn't heard the whistle myself, I would not believe you," the Korbat said. "That being said, what else do you know?"
"I know the Neopet who owns the Yooyus; his name is Yix and he's a Lupe. I also know that he is good friends with Garven Hale, and I might add that his poker face is nonexistent. He looked downright guilty when I told him of the invisible 'pet I saw," Emeria explained.
Zo took a moment to consider the new information being presented to him. "I imagine neither of them appreciated that. We'll have to tread carefully," he said.
"We?" Emeria wondered.
"I have as much interest in this as you do. I'd rather not have Vitor breathing down my neck, hinting that maybe I've been here too long if I'm letting the audience get to me like that. So, I'll help you prove this," the Korbat stated, his gaze steely and determined as he flashed a glare at the closed locker room door.
"Thank you," the Nimmo said quietly, holding back her excitement -- this was better than she could have anticipated when she had gone down the tunnel to Team Haunted Woods's locker rooms.
"Besides, you need me. You'd never get into enough places to investigate on your own. Short of other teams' locker rooms, I can get anywhere."
"Such as the Yooyu pen?" Emeria wondered.
"Exactly. Now follow me and, if we get caught, leave the talking to me..."
Date: Jun 5th
..."So, where exactly is the Yooyu pen located?" Emeria asked Zo as they descended a flight of twisting steps that seemed to stretch forever.
"Underneath the field," Zo explained. "You know how the Yooyus disappear beneath the ground when they get shot into the net? They're dropped into the Yooyu pen, and get into position to be sucked back up onto the field again at a moment's notice. They're back up there as fast as I can shoot the Yooyu, which is pretty fast," Zo bragged.
"Not fast enough to make that goal to help your team," Emeria muttered, scribbling that down in her notebook. Zo glared at her.
Emeria looked up again and saw a faint glimmer of light that grew brighter and brighter with every step they walked down.
They emerged into a rather large room, with a few flickering lights suspended from the ceiling. A few large pens were positioned haphazardly around the room, each of them filled with various colors of Yooyus. One contained an assortment of snow and fire Yooyus, each staying far away from one another, while the Darigan and faerie Yooyus in another pen were glaring at each other, facing off.
A Yooyu suddenly dropped from a hole that opened in the ceiling and fell right into Emeria's surprised arms.
Emeria shrieked as the regular Yooyu snuggled up against her shoulder, making happy noises.
"What's the matter? Have you never felt a Yooyu before? Their skin is pretty rough, but it has to be since they're being thrown around, bounced off of walls, shot into goals, and having pretty hard landings after being dropped through the floor into a deep underground chamber. Although this one seems grateful that it got a soft landing, thanks to you."
Emeria calmed down as the Yooyu hopped back into her arms and settled itself on her notebook.
"Look, it's the Darigan Yooyu from earlier!" Zo hissed, pointing at a Yooyu shifting in different directions.
"And there's Yix," Emeria whispered, pointing to the large brown Lupe directing the Yooyu. There was a scowl on his face as he told the Yooyu which ways to go. "I don't think he's spotted us yet."
"Looks like you spoke too soon," Zo said as Yix turned. "Don't worry, I can handle this handler."
"Hey, hey, what are you doing with that Yooyu?" Yix shouted as he stormed over. "You're stealing it, aren't you?"
"No way," Zo said smoothly, hopping in front of Emeria.
"Hey, wait. It's that Nimmo from earlier," Yix growled. "And looky here, if it isn't good old Zo," Yix said, smirking.
"Sorry," Emeria said through gritted teeth as she put the Yooyu down. It ran back to its pen, ready and waiting.
"I can't let you in here, though," Yix said. "So you should leave now, or I'll make you."
"How?" Zo said fervently, holding up a fist. "Are you going to cheat like you do in the games?"
"Fine, then. Don't leave," Yix said. "I'm warning you now, though. I have reinforcements..."
Date: Jun 6th
...."I need time," Emeria whispered as quietly as she could, hoping Zo Junior's sensitive hearing would pick up on her voice without alerting Yix.
He nodded, almost imperceptibly.
"What reinfocements?" the Centre Forward asked. "There's no one on the stairs. I would have heard them already."
"Look around you." A nasty snarl flitted across the Lupe's features.
Emeria did just that, but she wasn't looking for the reinforcements Yix was talking about. In fact, as soon as she saw Zo nod, she had completely tuned out their conversation. Instead, she was looking around the room, taking in every detail she possibly could.
There was the center chute, right under the middle of the field, and dozens of other openings scattered across the ceiling. Pens for individual Yooyus lined the walls, each one with a name tag on top and a colored band attached to the handle that, Emeria guessed, corresponded to what kind of Yooyu that pen housed.
It was no use. Emeria had never been in the Yooyu pen before. If there was evidence of Yix's cheating, she wouldn't know what it looked like.
"Anything weird?" she whispered again.
She saw Zo's head start to swivel, as he tried to keep one eye on Yix and search for clues with the other. While his attention was split, the Lupe reached for a golden cord that hung around his neck and lifted a whistle to his lips.
She didn't hear anything, and yet a moment later, Zo and Emeria were surrounded by a ring of Yooyus.
A moment after that, Zo glanced frantically at the stairs. Someone -- perhaps more than just one -- had begun coming down...
Date: Jun 6th
...Garven and the rest of his team blundered in, each holding a fairly large bag of Neopoints.
"I knew it! You were cheating!" Emeria shouted.
Zo grinned. "Wait until the officials hear about this! Vitor will be off my case for sure!"
"Aye, but ain't it a shame no one will 'ear of it!" Garven growled. Yix blew his whistle again and the Yooyus began to close in. Emeria squeezed her eyes tightly. Surely this is the end.
"Hey! What's going on down here?!?" It was one of the security guards. "No one is allowed down here after a ga--" He stopped dead as he saw the scene...
Date: Jun 7th
...The pirates looked at him, then back at Emeria and Zo. Within seconds, swords were up in the air. "Oh, the party just keeps gettin' bigger," Garven mused with a smile.
The security guard maintained his composure. Almost bored, he sighed and retrieved a whistle identical to that of Yix. He blew it three times -- one short, another that was longer, and another short burst -- and pointed at the Krawk Island team.
Zo covered his ears, but to Emeria -- and probably everyone else -- the sound was once again inaudible.
The Yooyus turned on the miscreants.
Yix blew his whistle again and the Yooyus resumed the surrounding of Zo and the Nimmo.
"You can't win, Yix," the guard yelled at him as he threw Emeria his whistle, who promptly caught it. He then ran off, back to the main level.
Yix grinned mischievously at his opposing pair. Fear swept the two. "You have another whistle, but you really have no idea what to do with it, do you?" The Lupe laughed. It was a high, nasally, irritating laugh.
A laugh sounding not unlike the whistle.
The Yooyus stopped their mobilization. Emeria reasoned Yix had somehow, in his giggling, given the "stop" code.
The pirates joined in, and roars of laughter awoke the quiet and unfamiliar room.
Emeria smiled. The pirates didn't seem to know what was going on. Perhaps her party had a chance.
A familiar regular Yooyu came up to rest beside the Nimmo. He seemed to want the whistle.
Zo picked him up. He turned and faced his counterpart. "Should we give it to him?" the Korbat asked her.
She stared hard at him. He seemed to be making little blowing noises with his mouth. The Nimmo smiled.
"Cover his ears, I have an idea," she whispered back to Zo. He did so, and then Emeria gave the Petpet the whistle.
Immediately, the Yooyu started whistling and whistling; whistling command over who knows what command to his fellow Yooyus.
The mass of Petpets turned on Yix and the Krawk Island team.
Frightened, Yix blew his whistle... to no avail.
The Yooyu briefly took the whistle out of his mouth and smiled.
Emeria mirrored the grin. "Who knows Yooyu code better than a Yooyu?" she casually asked Zo.
The delinquents were soon completely surrounded.
The pirates tried stabbing the Petpets, but they just rolled into balls if a sword came by. Their rough skin could not be pierced.
"NOO!" Yix yelled as he threw the "broken" whistle toward the ground.
At that moment, the security guard -- followed by many other officers -- returned.
Emeria sighed as she read the article about the events that had transpired. It had good pacing, nice articulation, an enticing plotline, and the facts.
It just wasn't hers.
In the end, the security guards had let Emeria go free -- technically, she was trespassing, and could be liable -- in exchange for the rights to the story. In addition, the Altador Cup Committee believed it would be better if fans found out about Krawk Island's withdrawal from the cup this year -- and why -- straight from the source, rather than from a third-party reporter from The Neopian Times.
Yes, Krawk Island withdrew from the Cup this year to "re-assess" their team for next year's games. However, there was a slim chance that they may be banned for the next three years, at least.
It turned out Gavril McGill, accompanying his large donation, had suggested the team cheat. Emeria found this out from Dinksy, but that thought remained unpublished.
The guards had liberated Zo and her from the situation below -- the article went on to say this, but referenced the two as "HW's Zo and a Nimmo."
From the security guard who tossed her his whistle, Emeria learned all security guards carry one in case of Yooyu emergencies.
Yix, a now former guard himself, was instructed to maintain general Yooyu care -- opening the opportunity for him to work alongside Krawk Island. He was being paid handsomely by them, too; the bags of money the team brought down on their trek -- according to Dinksy, from Gavril -- were for the Lupe. Part of the money went toward the purchasing of Invishats.
Apparently, the Ixi bodyguard was not involved in any way whatsoever.
The article concluded with the Altador Cup Committee stating, "All culprits shall be dealt with to the extent of their crimes."
Chittering noises came from her kitchen, and Emeria set the article down.
It was her Yooyu.
The guards had let her keep the little thing as part of their exchange -- also, it just wouldn't stop clinging to her.
She smiled as she went and petted its rough skin.
Content, she grabbed her Yellow Lined Notebook from off the table and went out the door. There were more games today.
Ah, the busy life of a Neopian Times reporter never ceased.
Date: Jun 7th
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