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||You are on Week 709
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 Seven Hundred Nine Ends Friday, November 11
|This needed to be done fast. This needed to be done right. This needed to be done without anybody else knowing. One wrong move and everything would come crashing down.
The fate of Neopia depended on it.
Agent 00 Hog quietly and stealthily walked down the empty streets of Neopia Central. It was dark except for the street lights casting an unnatural, yellow glow. He was hoping that nobody would notice him. That didn't seem to be a challenge, since everybody was asleep.
Good, this was good. If he managed to do this before anyone woke up, everything would be done and over with quickly and painlessly. It shouldn't be to hard.
"Oh, 00 Hog!"
Out of all the times for Princess Fernypoo to spot him, this was the worst that she could have picked. 00 Hog turned to the blue Acara that was running to catch up with him. She was more than happy to see him. The feeling, however, wasn't mutual.
It wasn't that 00 Hog didn't like Princess Fernypoo - in fact, the two were close friends. It was just that the yellow Moehog had an important job to do right now. Hopefully it wouldn't take much to get rid of her.
"Fernypoo, what are you doing here?" 00 Hog quietly hissed.
"I couldn't sleep so I went out on a walk. That's when I saw you out here," Princess Fernypoo answered. "Now what are you doing out here?"
00 Hog couldn't tell anybody what he was doing. Especially not Princess Fernypoo. Now the princess could keep a secret, as 00 Hog knew. He often entrusted her with information he just had to share. It was just that if he told her, she would want to help.
In fear of that happening, the Moehog just said, "Work."
"What sort of work?" Princess Fernypoo asked.
00 Hog was getting annoyed very fast. What he needed to do was time sensitive. "I can't tell you."
"You told me your work-related information before. Why is this different?"
00 Hog saw no ending coming soon. In defeat, he said, "You promise not to tell anyone?"
Fernypoo nodded her head and made a crossing motion over her heart. "Promise.
He leaned closer to her and said in a whisper, "What I'm doing is..."
Date: Nov 16th
"...likely going to get me permanently banned from every sanctioned game of Cheat! if I get caught. I can't let you get involved, Princess. It's just too risky."
Oh, brother. Here we go.
The Acara's mouth dropped open in surprise, and 00 Hog knew he'd said too much already. "Oh, my - Hoggy, what in Fyora's name are you talking about?"
"Don't call me that," 00 Hog grumbled, wishing with all his might that he was anywhere but here. "You know I hate it when you call me that."
"Don't try to change the subject," Fernypoo scolded, still looking incredibly scandalized. "Now [i]seriously[/i]! You had better explain what this is all about or I'll..."
"Stop!" hissed 00 Hog, slapping a hoof over Fernypoo's mouth quickly. "Nobody can hear us, Fernypoo. The agency was very clear--"
Fernypoo swatted his hoof away and rolled her eyes, as if this was all some sort of game to her. Then again, it probably was, he realized - she never took anything seriously enough. It's what made her so brilliant at playing cards. Right now, though, it was putting both of them in danger.
"Fine," he said, his eyes scanning their surroundings for anything out of the ordinary. "All right, here we go - down this way." He grabbed hold of Princess Fernypoo's arm and led her down a darkened, deserted alleyway.
"Well, this is dramatic," Fernypoo muttered, her voice dripping with sarcasm and a hint of disgust as she kicked an empty, crushed can of Neocola out of her way.
"What I'm about to tell you is extremely sensitive information," 00 Hog said, gripping Fernypoo's shoulders in an attempt to impose the seriousness of the situation upon her. "Somebody...somebody that both of us know...has been playing dirty. Fernypoo, they've been actually cheating."
Date: Nov 16th
"It's Capara!" exclaimed Fernypoo. "I knew it! She thinks she's soooo -"
00 Hog once again placed his hoof over the Acara's mouth, this time giving her the sternest look he could muster.
"No, Princess," said the Moehog with a sigh. "It's not Capara, AND it's not something we can discuss out here in the open!"
Princess Fernypoo squinted, 00 Hog could see that she wouldn't let this one go, in typical princess fashion.
Her eyes lit up and she grabbed his hand, spinning him suddenly.
"I'll buy you a hot dog and we can discuss what we're going to do!" Princess Fernypoo exclaimed, dragging 00 Hog into the empty parlor of Hubert's Hot Dogs.
'What WE'RE going to do?' thought 00 Hog, putting his hoof to his head. This was bad. There was no telling how Princess Fernypoo would react when he told her who was actually cheating...
Date: Nov 17th
... especially since he knew that Fernypoo and Kalora didn't get along. Not after the attempted theft of her tiara.
OO Hog was still getting dragged over, and Fernypoo quickly ordered up two large hot dogs from Hubert before taking him to a nearby table.
"So come on Hoggy, spill the beans! What are we going to do?" Princess Fernypoo said, "Who are we after?"
There really wasn't any getting out of this, was there? He could never let this get out or back to HQ, or they'd revoke his OO license.
"Okay, fine, I'll start from the beginning, and stop calling me Hoggy!" OO Hog said, "First off, nothing about this can get out. What I'm about to say stays between you and me, okay?"
"Sure, I won't tell anyone, not even the royal servants or any of my girlfriends or Brucey B or..."
"Fernypoo!" He said, interrupting her, "Please try to take this seriously."
"Right, sorry, I won't tell anyone about your top secret mission." She said... just as Hubert came to their table with the plate of hot dogs, catching the phrase 'Top Secret Mission' clear as a bell.
OO Hog brought a hoof to his head again, feeling a throbbing headache form.
"Don't mind me, I'll just go back to the hot dogs, no need to worry about any top secret mission while I'm here." Hubert said, quickly excusing himself.
"Isn't he the best, Hoggy?" Fernypoo said, taking a large bite out of her hot dog.
"As I was saying..." OO Hog continued, still annoyed by the nickname "It's come to our attention that Kalora is up to some...
"Kalora!" Princess Fernypoo shouted, sending bits of chewed up hot dog flying everywhere and Hubert able to hear it. OO Hog wouldn't be surprised if the Soup Faerie had heard that all the way across the plaza.
"Yes..." OO Hog said through clenched teeth, "Kalora. We have reason to believe that..."
Date: Nov 18th
"...Kalora has been playing with her own deck of cards - a rigged deck. With a little sleight of hand - er, hoof, rather - she switches the cards in her hand for her own." The Moehog sniffed in distaste. "One of the oldest tricks in the book, of course, but that alone is not what has my superiors so interested in the matter."
Glancing around the restaurant, 00 Hog cleared his throat and waved to Hubert casually. "Hubert, my good 'pet, won't you kill the lights and make sure all the entrances are locked up tight?"
"Your order'll be right up, Agent," the Mynci replied, winking clumsily. 00 Hog suppressed a cringe. At least the fellow meant well.
"Goodness," Fernypoo breathed. "So...just a normal day at work for 00 Hog, is it?"
He could hear the barely-concealed nervousness in Fernypoo's voice, so Hog smiled reassuringly and took her paws in his. "You'll be safe with me, Princess."
The lights flicked out, leaving the two 'pets in a darkness that was ironically symbolic, and they both sat in tense silence for a moment or two before either of them spoke up.
"So," said Princess Fernypoo, in a determined tone that reminded 00 Hog just how strong his friend was, "what's the deal with the whole 'that's not what this is really about' mumbo-jumbo? I already know that you're a super-secret spy, Hoggy, there's really no need to brag."
00 Hog chuckled quietly, leaning back in his chair and heaving a resigned sigh. "I never told you exactly why I got into the game, Ferny," he admitted. "Cheating in Cheat! used to be a much bigger problem than it is today. The agency that I work for, well - they grew tired of thousands of 'pets getting swindled out of their Neopoints. That's where I came in.
"For a long time, we came up empty. But the closer I got to the top-tier players, the closer we got to getting the answers we needed. And then, one day, I played Spectre." He paused. Fernypoo was listening, entranced. "I'm sure it comes as no surprise to you that he's been involved in some sort of shady business. We struck a deal with him, though, and it seemed like he'd gotten out of the game...well, one game, anyway."
"But he kept conning 'pets?" Fernypoo asked breathlessly.
"We don't know for sure," 00 Hog answered. "It's likely that Spectre took a break to give us a false sense of security. But now it looks back he's back - and this time he's getting other 'pets to do his dirty work for him."
Date: Nov 19th
..."And you don't know this for sure? That Kalora is cheating or Spectre is having others do his dirty work?" Fernypoo asked.
"Until something pops up, we don't know for sure if anyone is doing anything," 00 Hog informed.
Fernypoo stayed quiet for a minute or two. 00 Hog didn't question it. It was nice to have a moment of silence so he could actually think. However, that moment was short lived when the blue Acara suddenly looked like she had an idea. 00 Hog had no doubt that she was going to share it.
"Hoggy, why don't we just find out if they're cheating?" she asked
00 Hog slowly shook his head. "And how do you suppose we do that?" the Moehog asked.
"What we do best - play some Cheat! with them."
"Hold on, we?" 00 Hog stood up out of his chair. "Princess, this is too dangerous. You shouldn't even know that I'm doing this. I'll play them."
"It takes four to play a game." Fernypoo stood up as well. She looked 00 Hog in the eyes. "You certainly know I'm not the one cheating, so why can't I?"
00 Hog turned away. "Like I said, it's too dangerous. You know how Spectre is. He's aggressive. I can't have you in that sort of danger."
The yellow Moehog had just about Princess Fernypoo for the night. He turned right to the door and walked to it. Fernypoo quickly grabbed onto his hoof with her paw.
"Hoggy, you know you can't play Kalora and Spectre by yourself, and who would play with you against them?" Fernypoo questioned. "Face it. I'm your best shot at playing a game with them."
As much as 00 Hog hated to admit it, she had a point. Spectre was an expert player without the actual cheating. Kalora, 00 Hog has beaten on occasion, but she has been getting good in recent weeks. Fernypoo was able to beat both a few times. She was pretty good at Cheat!
"Besides, what if something goes bad?" Fernypoo continued. "You don't want to be on your own if something does happen, right?" The Acara crossed her arms. "Besides, I'd say I'm-"
00 Hog stopped her before she could say more. "Alright, you convinced me." He huffed. He knew this was going to be a bad idea. "Let's play Cheat! with them..."
Date: Nov 19th
The next day, 00 Hog was looking very tired as he played his game of Cheat! with Fernypoo and the two suspects.
He reminded himself to keep his poker face in position. He was watching Kalora's every move. Only a slight unusual flicker of hoof was all the proof he needed.
The move was much more obvious than expected. While he was intently studying his cards, considering which card to play next, Kalora fumbled around in her sleeve, bringing out some cards and exchanging them.
00 Hog was shocked by how deliberate the move was. Across the room, Sceptre was shooting her a death glare.
But the Agent couldn't help but feel the look was fake.
Something was not natural about this scene.
It felt a little bit... Set up.
Date: Nov 20th
Kalora was constantly glancing between both 00 Hog and Spectre, who was still giving her a deadly glare. She nervously fumbled around with her cards, looking through them. The round began shortly after, 00 Hog not taking his eyes off the red Kau. Fernypoo went first, pushing forwards two fours. No one accused her of cheating.
"Keep an eye on Spectre and tell me of any suspicious movement." Whispered 00 Hog. He couldn't believe he was asking this of her but he was too busy watching Kalora. "I need to watch Kalora."
He glanced quickly at Spectre, only to see his red, piercing eyes glaring at him. It was only then 00 Hog realized it was his go. He pushed forwards a three. No one accused him of cheating.
00 Hog was quite surprised. He would have assumed that Spectre would have done something. As he could tell that he knew something was up, he was known for that.
It was Kalora's turn and to 00 Hog's surprise, Spectre called her out for cheating. Of course it was obvious, she pulled forward 5 aces! However, he had thought the two would have been working together.
"Kalora!" Yelled Fernypoo taking her gaze of Spectre. "I knew it was you!"
Spectre let out a silent laugh and began to exchange his cards when everyone was distracted...
Date: Nov 20th
Spectre knew that the Moehog was onto him, but Princess Fernypoo had distracted 00 Hog long enough for him to switch out his cards. Kalora was playing her part less than perfect though, she was being much too obvious.
"You caught me," Kalora sniffed, hardly bothered by the Acara's outburst. "I'm cheating at a game of Cheat! So what are you going to do about it?" The red Kau glanced at 00 Hog, who glowered back at her. Something was going on, but he just couldn't figure out what. His gaze drifted back to Spectre, who was shuffling through his hand, sorting out his cards, planning his next move.
"We keep playing." 00 Hog finally spoke, looking over at the princess. "If I win, or Princess Fernypoo wins, Kalora, you have to give up the game forever, and so do you, Spectre. If one of you two wins, we will give up the game."
Princess Fernypoo's eyes widened, then turned to slits. This wasn't good. Before it didn't matter if she won or lost, now 00 Hog would expect her to play her hardest, and he knew that she was good at what she did. "Hoggy, are you sure?" She whispered. "I'm sure." He uttered back. "Just play."
Spectre smiled a deceitful little smile. "Fine. My turn." He laid down two 3s. Nobody accused him of cheating.
Fernypoo, to 00 Hog's utter disbelief, threw forward four 5s. He knew she was cheating, because he had two 5s in his hand, but did the others know she was cheating?
"Cheat!" Kalora cried in a sing-song voice. Fernypoo, staying quiet, drew all of the cards from the pile into her hand. She had to lose, or 00 Hog would find out...
Date: Nov 25th
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