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Neopedia : Petpet Rescue

Samuel stood at the mouth of a cave, scalding steam rushing up to meet him. No, not a cave, but a mine. Tyrannian Ruby Mine, to be exact, located within the foothills of a mountain range above the Tyrannian Plateau. This was a dangerous quest, but he wouldn't let danger stop him now. He put his hand on his little badge. It read: Samuel, Agent #1124, Petpet Rescue. It took him a long time to earn that badge, and all the while he was in training, he couldn't wait for his first assignment. Well, here it was. With a heavy sigh, he breathed out the butterflies in his belly and took his first step inside the mine.

He got the assignment immediately after graduation. Taloo the Nimmo, his immediate supervisor, met him as Samuel stepped off the podium. "We've got a job for you, Agent 1124," he said. Before he knew it, Samuel was here in Tyrannia, seeking out kidnapped Petpets. All the evidence pointed in one direction: Gargrall the Grarrl. He had a reputation for kidnapping Petpets and his ruby mine was, lately, extremely successful. The week before Samuel arrived, they pulled more rubies out in a week than they had all year long. That was enough evidence to make Samuel want to check things out for himself.

He held his breath through the dim tunnels, hoping to avoid the poison gasses. The lava tunnels twisted and turned until he reached a large chamber divided by a river of magma, stone boats floating to and fro. "I can't believe Petpets are forced to work in this condition!" he whispered, hoping no guard was close enough to hear him. Then, after looking around, he realized... "There are no guards!" Gargrall, the owner of the mine, used the mine itself to keep the helpless Petpets from escaping! Between the lava rivers, the instable stalactites, and treacherous avalanches, the poor things had no chance of getting out alone.

After spending a moment looking at the complicated maze of hazards, he wasn't sure if he could get in, let alone get the Petpets back out. But, he had to try. He had to try.

He looked up. "The ceiling is too low for flight," he said. "Those stalactites could fall at any second." He looked down. "And those stone boats don't look too reliable, either. But, they're my only method of getting across that lava." He looked ahead of him. "The volcano's power is making the rocks come lose," he said. "Regular earthquakes and landslides. It won't be easy dodging those boulders." Samuel began to wonder whether or not he was skilled enough to save these Petpets.

Just then, he heard a "Squawk!" Up there! A tiny Pawkeet in a stone boat, headed helplessly down the lavaflow.

There was no time to hesitate, no time for doubt. Samuel leapt forward, jumping into a stone boat, the lava under the boat splashing dangerously close to his claws. He jumped again, his feet finding the stone slippery, but his claws dug in deep. The Pawkeet squawked again, hoping someone - anyone - would hear his cries. "I'm here!" Samuel yelled back. "Hold on!"

Up above him, he heard the sound of a stalactite slipping free from the ceiling. It slammed down next to him, splashing lava into the boat. Samuel jumped at the very last moment, avoiding the scalding magma. The Pawkeet leapt into his Scorchio arms. "Kawk!" it shouted.

Another sound above them: another stalactite. Samuel looked to the left. Nothing. To the right. Nothing. He spun about, hearing the stone spike falling swiftly. Just there! A boat! Could he reach it? Two more seconds, and it would slide into range. But that stalactite wasn't waiting, and it fell like a star.

"One chance!" Samuel said, leaping at the last possible moment, his feet slipping on the slick stone, almost losing his grip on the Pawkeet. The stalactite crashed exactly where he had been just a moment ago. He breathed a deep sigh of relief.

A few more leaps and he was back at the entrance of the mine, the little Pawkeet hugging him tight. The little bird's blinked at the bright light of the sun. Then, it lifted a wing and squawked at the enterance, as if to say, "But, there are still many more in there!"

Samuel nodded, turning back to the cave. "I know," he said, gritting his teeth. "I know."


Leap of Hope