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||You are on Week 702
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 Two Ends Friday, September 25
Garlax grinned as he polished the hangar floor for the fifth time that day. The little Green Grundo thought about whistling but decided against it. He shouldn’t get into the habit of doing things that were banned back in the days of Dr. Sloth’s iron rule of the space station. He was going to come back one day, Garlax just knew it, and everything had to be perfect for the return of the grand overlord of all Grundos and true master of Virtupets space station. It would be mortifying to have him arrive only to find that his old servants were whistling and that the floors were no longer at the glistening level of polish that only mindless devotion could create.
“You’re still polishing floors?” Lyren, a Starry Cybunny, asked.
Garlax stopped grinning. She was always following him around and trying to get him to admit that Sloth had been banished forever. Well, what did she know? He would be back, and when he did return Garlax would be rewarded for all of his years of tireless belief and service to the cause.
“Dr. Sloth wouldn’t be pleased if the floors were dirty!” He exclaimed.
“He isn’t coming back Garlax. All of the other Grundos believe it, why can’t you?” There was something very close to pity in her voice and it made the Green Grundo uncomfortable.
“Dr. Sloth can never be defeated! If you serve him he will reward you upon his return!” He liked Lyren, he really did, which is why he had decided to give her this advice. It would sadden him to see the Cybunny punished for her lack of faith.
“Garlax! For the hundredth time Sloth is never going to—”
The earsplitting wail of an alarm cut through the hangar and the lights dimmed to an emergency red. Security hatches slammed shut around all the entrances to the hangar bay in unison.
“Security breach in hangar three. Security breach in hangar three,” the robotic voice of the automated alarm system repeated for the whole space station to hear.
“Oh no,” Lyren said, her eyes going wide with fear, “we’re in hangar three…”
Date: Sep 21st
... The Cybunny spun around in a panic, and started looking for doors she could escape through.
"It's no use, Lyren!" Garlax said, throwing his polishing rag on the floor and jumping to his feet. "Once those alarms go off, we're in lock-down mode. This whole hangar is cut off from the rest of the space station."
He walked over to one of the nearby panels, hoping for some more information about the emergency warnings. Garlax skimmed over the flashing lights and important notices until he found what he was looking for. Aha!
"CODE 297. CODE 297."
"Oh my!" Garlax paused, and his green hand flew up to cover his mouth. Could it be? Could this be it?
"What is it, Garlax?" Lyren ran to his side, looking anxious. "What's a Code 297?"
Garlax was still standing frozen, not quite sure how to explain to his friend what it all meant. As the alarm system continued to boom, he spun around to face the Cybunny, eyes wide.
"A Code 297 hasn't been seen in many years. It means the return of..."
Suddenly, an eerie quiet fell over the hangar, as the alarm system abruptly switched off. The pair looked at each other in surprise, as one of the emergency doors silently whooshed open...
Date: Sep 22nd
... and a simple blue and gold amulet flew into the hangar and hit Lyren right between the eyes.
"Lyren? Are you okay?" Garlax ran over and picked up the amulet. He found it rather odd that the entire station would shut down purely because of Dr. Sloth's imprisonment vessel, but he supposed that his grand leader wanted to make a grand entrance for himself.
"I'm fine," Lyren said as she rubbed the sensitive spot right above her nose. "Garlax, what is that thing?"
"It's.. uh... just a necklace, that's all." Garlax examined the amulet until he found it: the button that would bring his glorious leader out of his imprisonment.
Lyren realized what was about to happen. "That's not just any-- Garlax, NO!" She tried to pry it away from the Grundo.
"I will not! I shall be rewarded for my loyalty and you will pay the ultimate price if you do not let me do this!" Garlax and Lyren fought over the amulet until Lyren accidentally let it fly out of her hands and onto the ground.
The amulet made a small "click!" when it hit the ground and steam came spewing out of the sides.
Garlax smiled. "He's here!"
Date: Sep 22nd
The appearance of a tall figure materialized before their eyes. Garlax quickly turned around, his hands automatically flying to a rest behind his back, hands clasped tightly. He glanced at Lyren from the corner of his eye. To his dismay, she was staring unabashedly at the entrance.
"Lyren, call to attention." He whispered discreetly, startling the Cybunny out of her daze. "Eyes down, hands--"
"Behind your back. I am so glad that old tradition seems to hold true...", a cold voice spoke out, echoing throughout the silent hangar.
His usual black cape wrapped around his 6 feet 3 inch slight build, gleamed threateningly in the well lit space. Breaking out into a wide grin, Dr. Sloth stepped forward.
Garlax immediately dropped to one knee, lowering his head respectfully. "I knew you would return, Dr.Sloth."
Date: Sep 23rd
"And you shall be rewarded for your loyalty, er..." Dr. Sloth trailed off. "What was your name again?"
"Garlax, sir," the eager Grundo blurted out anxiously. "It's Garlax, your most faithful servant of all!"
"Yes, that's right, Gorlux. Thank you, Gorlux." Sloth smiled his toothiest grin at Garlax and Lyren as Garlax rose from his kneel.
Garlax's face fell slightly as his supreme lord and master got his name wrong, but he tried to shrug it off. Surely such an amazing and powerful being had better things to worry about than pronouncing names properly, right? And anyway, it was close enough. Better yet, maybe he should change his name to Gorlux...
The poor Grundo abruptly brought himself back to reality as Dr. Sloth began to speak again.
"You there!" He pointed a long green finger at Lyren. "What day is it?"
"Um, it's t-the 23rd d-day of G-Gathering," the terrified Cybunny stuttered.
"WHAT???" Dr. Sloth exploded. "That means today is the Annual Gormball Championship! I had planned to try and reclaim my title as Gormball Champion."
The tall, black-clad figure began to pace out of sheer frustration, his long strides taking him quickly from the pair of still-stunned observers, and bringing him swiftly back again. Lyren and Garlax could hear the evil genius muttering under his breath as he strode by them.
"Excuse me, master," Garlax began timidly. "If I may make a suggestion..."
"What is it, Gorlux?" Dr. Sloth snapped. "Can't you see I'm trying to formulate a plan of evil-mastermind status?"
"Well, sir, yes, but I think I can help you with your plan!" Garlax meant to sound confident, but the words just kind of squeaked out instead. He cleared his throat and continued. "I have some information about the Annual Gormball Championship that I think you'll want to hear..."
Date: Sep 23rd
... Dr. Sloth narrowed his eyes but quietened, his fingers steepled in front of him in the most picturesque villain fashion. Garlax took this to mean that his lord and master was listening, so he continued.
"Well," Garlax started again, his voice growing a little stronger as he continued to speak, "Ember won last year, and she's the favourite to win again. But there's been a rumour going around the space station..." He lowered his voice conspiratorially; Lyren leaned in with a frown to listen, her ears twitching nervously. "They say that Zargrold has trained even harder than Ember this year. Apparently he's tired of playing but never winning—he wants the prizes, see. I even heard at Grundo's Cafe," Garlax added, whispering now, "that he took off his sunglasses to practice."
"Really?" Lyren asked, her curiosity overcoming her discomfort at being in the presence of the evil overlord. "But isn't he worried about his reputation as the coolest Grundo around? He never even takes those glasses off when he gets splashed in the face!"
"THAT FOOL," bellowed Dr. Sloth suddenly. Lyren and Garlax jumped and moved closer together. "If he thinks that something so mundane as PRACTICE will help him defeat my natural charm and superior abilities, then he is sorely mistaken. How dare he think that he could ever win against me?! Why, everyone should have surrendered before the championship even started!"
Garlax started to mumble something along the lines of, "of course, master, of course, but the people weren't expecting your triumphant return," but Dr. Sloth cut across him.
"Perhaps the people weren't expecting my triumphant return," he said, seemingly talking to himself. Garlax and Lyren exchanged glances. "Well, I'll show them that Dr. Sloth should not be so easily forgotten."
"GORLUX," Dr. Sloth continued imperiously. "Find me a ship. Zargrold must be found... and eliminated. I will take his place and conquer the tournament."
Garlax began to move toward the door automatically, but Lyren stepped on his foot.
"Ouch," he hissed. "What was that for?"
Lyren's eyes flashed. "Garlax," she said urgently, keeping her voice low so that they wouldn't be overheard. "Are you really going to help him? After everything he's done? He's not a hero, Gar. You've served him for years, but look at the way he's treating you! He doesn't care. He can't even remember your name."
"I know," Garlax acknowledged, his little green face tinged blue with sadness, "but he's been busy, you know, and..."
"Please, Gar. We can't let him escape."
After a minute, Garlax nodded uncertainly. "What do you suggest?"
"I have a plan..."
Date: Sep 24th
The Cybunny whispered a few things into Garlax's ear, making sure that none of the recording devices that were all over the space station picked them up. While Dr. Sloth might have been focused on the Gormball Championship, it would be an easy matter for him to access any of them and discover their plan if she spoke too loudly.
As she spoke, the Grundo nodded a few times. His expression changed from uncertain to surprised and then to amazement.
"That...might actually work." He said.
"I know it'll work." Lyren said, "But I need you to promise you'll follow through on it, Garlax."
The Grundo took a deep breath, but then nodded.
"You can count on me." He said, "But if this doesn't work..."
"If it doesn't work, the universe will be doomed anyway." She replied.
"Alright, alright," He said, "I'll take care of it."
"I'll meet you in the hanger bay!" She said and reached into her pocked and pulled out something small and solid and placed it in Garlax's hands. When she had finished, she took off down a hallway and heading for Grundo's Cafe.
Garlax took another breath to steady himself, when the loud booming voice of Dr. Sloth echoed back to his location.
"GORLUX! That ship! Is it ready yet?"
"Just a minute, your lordship!" Garlax shouted back, "I'm taking care of everything!"
"Well hurry up!" Dr. Sloth's voice boomed.
Garlax rushed down one of the corridors of the Space Station. There was a hidden location that Lyren had told him about, one that if Dr. Sloth knew about, he would not only destroy it, but likely the whole station if he found out about it.
There was a dark corridor that he would need to find. After winding his way down it, he would find an assuming door with no markings or known way to enter. But with the token that Lyren had given him, he would be able to pass through.
There, he would find the Space Faerie's Vending Machine...
Date: Sep 25th
...Eventually, the path Garlax was walking down came to an abrupt stop. Sure enough, he was standing in front of what appeared to be a dead end. One would have to know what they were looking for to see the faint outline of the bare door in the metal wall. Garlax wasn't entirely sure how to get the door open; Lyren had just told him where to go and what to do, she hadn't given him specifics.
The Grundo opened his palm and gazed at the small token. It was blue and silver, adorned with the visage of the Space Faerie. He held it up to the door, but nothing seemed to happen.
Garlax sighed defeatedly. He should have suspected this. Lyren didn't trust him, so she sent him on a fool's errand while she went off to do the real work. His shoulders drooped.
"Please work. Space Faerie, we need your help. I thought this would work. Please open the door."
The Grundo hung his head as he spoke his plea. For a moment, it seemed to echo around the room, heard only by his own ears. Then suddenly, miraculously, the door ahead of him opened. Garlax couldn't believe his eyes.
The door led into a small room with only one object, a vending machine painted with a starry sky motif. A slot for a token was on one side with a small notice beneath it: "Use only in an emergency."
The return of Dr. Sloth certainly counted as an emergency, and he was sure the Space Faerie would agree, so without hesitation, Garlax put his token into the slot and waited. Unlike most vending machines, the front had no glass panel so he had no idea what was going to drop out.
Machinery whirred for a few moments after his token clunked into the collection area before something rattled and dropped into the pickup box. It was an amulet identical to the one Dr. Sloth had been trapped in. No wonder this room was locked; Space Faerie Amulets were incredibly powerful and could easily be misused.
Garlax swallowed - he knew what he needed to do. Sliding the amulet safely into his pocket, he raced back to the hangar. Dr. Sloth was still pacing, but Lyren was nowhere to be seen. He needed to play it cool. "The ship should be arriving soon, sir," he said meekly.
"I thought I told you to hurry up, Gorlux?" the evil genius snapped.
Garlax flinched. "I'm doing the best I can, sir. The entire Space Station is locked down right now."
Gotta keep him talking, gotta keep him talking...
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Lyren sneaking back into the hangar. She had something held behind her back. She put a finger to her lips and moved her hand in a circular motion, encouraging Garlax to continue distracting the evil overlord.
"If I may ask, sir, why did you want to reclaim your title as Gormball Champion now, of all times?" he asked timidly.
"Because Neopia deserves to be reminded of my greatness, of course. And the other competitors are hardly worthy of the title compared to me. But it seems they might win on account of my worthless servants not ensuring that I was able to make it to the game on -"
He broke off mid sentence as a large object collided with his head. It was a water balloon that left the mastermind spluttering and shaking himself. "Why you insolent little - Gorlux! Eliminate that traitorous fool!"
Everyone fell silent at the firm statement. Garlax himself didn't even know where the courage had come from.
"Garlax. It's my name. Gar - lax. Not Gorlux." He pulled the amulet from his pocket. "And she's not the one getting eliminated today, you are. Both from the Annual Gormball Championships and from Neopia."
He paused and took a breath. "Anadate perlaxus cosmos noten fertulitum benevact anagio maleire abiec anadate perlaxus cosmos Sloth!"
At the last word he threw the amulet at sloth. In a flash of pinkish light, his former master howled in defeat. "I should have expected this treachery from you, Garlax. Just you wait, I will get my revenge!"
The amulet clattered to the floor and the hangar was silent.
"We did it!" Lyren exclaimed in relief. "It's over."
Garlax stared at the small blue amulet. He bent to pick it up. "Yeah... yeah it is."
He looked at Lyren. "Where did you get the idea to... you know?" He gestured vaguely.
"The water balloon? Oh I was thinking of ways to distract him and since he kept talking about Gormball, that seemed the most... poetic. But enough about me. You pulled it off, you're a hero, Garlax!"
In the background, the sounds of the lockdown being lifted could be heard. "I guess I am."
For the first time in a long time, Garlax felt free. For the first time in a long time, Garlax felt content. For the first time in a long time, Garlax smiled a real smile back at Lyren.
Date: Sep 28th
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