Why Mystery Island IS Dangerous
My neck made an inadvertent cracking noise as I looked at
my checkbook. Okay, so I don't have a checkbook. I do, however, have a negative
amount of NPs in my wallet, and that's basically the same thing. It's pretty scary
to see antimatter in your wallet.
"Nie, my balance is -52 NPs right now," I stated
with a look in my eyes that couldn't be mistaken for anything but a weak attempt
to attract pity, or maybe even sympathy. "I think it's time to cut back on your
training. And get ghost repellent."
"It's not my fault a deceased Quiggle haunted
you at the exact moment you had 32 NPs on you!" my cloudy Kacheek forcefully
insisted, glaring Lost Desert Daggers.
"I have a feeling it wouldn't have made so much
of dent if," I paused, to add some suspense, "say, if I hadn't spent almost
14,000 NPs on your codestones!"
Then it felt remarkably like a Sinsi's sword
was poking me in the ribs. In fact, by the time my feeble eyes caught up with
my lagging brain, it was already thoroughly prodding my lower abdomen. Sev,
my ever-so-helpful Lupe, laughed softly from ten feet away on the grassy lawn
of the Training School's exterior. Nie finally stopped his prodding, much to
my relief. Yeah, I got the "point."
"So, uh, say," I floundered like a Faerie pancake
in a jelly bowl, "I wonder what Ryshu does with all those codestones?"
Sev laughed coldly again, still not speaking.
Nie, however, seemed ample to torture me a little longer.
"You know, that's a good point," he smirked,
his tail cracking like a Fire Whip. "Why don't, perhaps, we find out?"
Sev laughed again, his cynical persona piercing
me from behind like an attack fork sinking into a battle potato. I then began
to wonder why I had to have pets, anyway. Luckily, I remembered why before I
started questioning my very reason for existing-- you can't have items without
"Um, yeah, let's," I gingerly agreed, thinking
it was all a joke. There was my first mistake. Actually, it was all a joke,
until a horrifically light bulb-like smile went across Nie's light blue lips.
"Well, we'd better get going," he said with
a start, turning back.
Sev started to raise a shining eyebrow of "What's
the kid up to?", but I could tell Nie clued him in. To this day, and for many
more to come, I will wonder why I got that light Faerie to bless him with that
psychic ability. While they chit-chatted via ESP, I was wondering when I could
get a rib protector. And also what the heck was going on. Sev motioned for me
to come, apparently conspiring with his sibling, and I followed the two just
because I hadn't gotten that darned rib protector yet.
Five minutes later, after backtracking our steps,
we ended up smack-dab in front of the Training School, all over again.
"So, wise-guy, what's the big plan?" I said,
trying to coax the Kacheek into clueing ME in.
He looked at me in a way that tried to be "You'll
see," but luckily, I saw it meant "You'll follow me, and you'll see it exactly
the way we want you to." It's good I saw this. On the one hand, this worried
me. And on the other hand, I still needed a rib protector. Yet on the other
hand… dang, I wish I was a mutant Krawk.
"Welcome back, young master," rasped the Uni
door-boy like he had a Skeith in his throat, looking at me and wondering why
I had left and come back thirty seconds later.
I was still totally unaware of what we were
doing, and at this point, I cared about as much as a Chia cares if it goes to
a Lupe's house or not. In other words, this was shaping up to be the massacre
of my reputation of the century. Heck, I didn't even have a reputation -- which
was how bad it was. Not to mention the fact that a decade hasn't even past since
Neopia was created, much less a century, and the fact that massacre has never
been word of the day, really doesn't help my overstatement to bear any weight.
Still, that's how bad I knew it would be.
We entered onto the plush hardwood floors of
the sacred Training School. Yeah, I mean plush -- all the sweat pouring off
lethargic pets has sort of soaked into the wood, creating a rather squishy,
old-log like feel. And I give good money for my pets to hang out here.
Ryshu gave us the customary "Aloha, weaklings!"
and then wandered off the help some Ixi with their NeoFu. I was starting to
wonder exactly how this was going to be done. Sure, it's all fine and dandy
they want to find out, but something remarkably similar to an internal siren
was telling me I wasn't going to like how it was going to work.
"Okay, so here's how it's going to work," informed
Sev like he was the new leader of the Podunk operation. "You just go out there
and 'be yourself,' okay? Just go out to the middle of that floor and, well,
do your thing. I don't know! Just do it. We'll get you in a minute. Yes, you
can-- when it's all done, YOU can write the expose about Ryshu's evil plan.
Just because you're the only one in the family with fingers."
I smiled for a second, then realized that even
if I was getting to write the expose, first I had to distract everyone.
Here came that massacre of my reputation (or lack thereof). I bit my tongue
like a Skeith to a lawn chair, and walked out into the middle of the room. I
had to think of something. Unfortunately, it came all too easily.
"Female pets and not so female pets -- may I
have your attention?" I crooned, trying to sound like a circus announcer whose
wallet was empty and mustache was long. "You are about to witness the first
EVER 'Human wishing he had one leg!' performance which will henceforth be held
every time around this year, give or take a few months! Thank you for your time."
I froze, my mind racing to come up with something
stupid to do. It shocked me how easily I came up with something-- a bit of a
blow to my own psyche.
What I did was simple enough, I just thought
of three things that people think are weird: The Brain Tree's nose, an exploding
Mortog, and toenail soup. So I tried to combine all those in a simple act of
distracting ability, and, well, it worked, I think.
I grabbed my toenail with one hand, twisted
my head 112 degrees to the left with the other, concentrated on being the brain
tree's nose, made exploding sounds, and eventually, after several minutes of
"Ka-bloosh! Swa-froom! Boombang!" I was removed form the premise. The good news
was that both Nie and Sev had gotten wherever they were going, and they would
thank me. The bad news was that everyone thought I was insane, and one Cybunny
wanted to sign me to a dancing label. I declined, and wandered off, eventually
sitting by a palm tree, praying no one I knew saw my impressively pathetic dancing
As I sat there, contemplating why you CAN'T
eat pickled olives, just to get my mind off waiting for a signal, a coconut
hit me on the head. I thought about discovering gravity, but I changed my mind.
Seemed like a lot of work. However, while I sat there, hardly minding the growing
lump on my head, I realized the coconut wasn't just a coconut -- it was a coconut.
In other words, for those who DON'T live in the dangerous place known as mystery
island -- a cannibal. You know, the little guys who put you in pots, stir you
up, and eat you for dinner. Yeah, one of those. It's not like I was afraid of
HIM so much -- give me a break, I could bowl with that guy. Okay, so he could
eat me for dinner, and I WAS afraid of him, but that’s aside the point. It was
the SPEAR he was carrying that scared me, plus the fact that he looked mad I
had considered using him to discover gravity. I smiled wearily, and put my hands
in the air trying to express "You friend, me friend, we friend, no?" I think
putting your arms over your head must mean "Your Spardel is ugly!" to them,
because he seemed highly offended. I could tell by his facial expressions.
Needless to say, being the weaponless-helpless-but-always-the-first-to-run
person I am, I took off running. I was very happy he had short legs, short arms,
and no eyes. Though, I think he could see well enough.
At that very moment, as I ran towards the Training
School from my tree, running from a mad Coconut, the Techo Mountain’s eye twinkled.
I stopped dead still, wondering if it was going to blink and don a Bowler Hat
next, but nothing came of it. It seemed to twinkle a little longer, but then
I felt a jab in my left—yeah. It felt like a poorly made spear thrust by a small
arm—in fact, it was just that. As the spear went through my pants, only poking
the skin, I heard a little “Tiki-tiki-wuloo-umma-bunga-YAH!” and turned to see
a little Coconut come flying through the air, holding onto his spear (still
firmly stuck through my pant leg) like a pole vault, and then he came really
close to my eyes. So close, he hit my head directly over them, popping a knot
just like the first one, only on the other side. I considered discovering gravity,
really this time, but the spear he left behind needed removal.
I pulled the spear out, tossed it toward him,
and by what could’ve only been Faerie intervention, it pinned him to the lawn.
Boy was I lucky, considering I usually hit about ten feet off my target with
a javelin, typically hitting some innocent passerby. As I thought all this,
the Techo Mountain’s eye twinkled again like a supernatural sign. Still, no
bowler hat appeared, no winking began. And then something kind of horrific,
in context anyway, happened—a small cord shot out of the pupil, and dangled
down like a limp Wadjet all the way to the ground far below. Now if THAT wasn’t
a sign, I wasn’t quite sure what was. But before I could hope to Fyora it didn’t
mean I was supposed to give up playing Pyramids, I saw a small silver and green
speck fly out of the pupil, as well. I didn’t know what to make of it, but pretty
soon, I saw it for what it was—a robot Buzzer. Not just ANY robot Buzzer, but
Sevcold’s robot Buzzer, Repeat. I could tell it was Repeat only because the
maxim “Codestone, codestone, codestone, codestone, codestone—“ was getting ever
The fact that he was repeating that fragment
didn’t register well in my rusty roster. For one, since his screwed up programming
picks the most common word of the last thirty minutes, it meant they were either
talking about codestones, or had found something. And something told me it wasn’t
just a wild hunch that the fact that a rope and a petpet had just shot out of
the Techo’s left eye was related, either. Plus, on top of it all, the Buzzer
had extended his arm by four feet, and kept tugging on my shirt like I was supposed
to follow, which I had already guessed, surprisingly enough.
So I trudged over the lawn I’d trudged over
six times already today, making my way to the bottom of the great Techo Mountain—had
he a nostril, I would’ve had a good look up his nasal. So there I was, a limp
Wadjet of a rope in front of me, strong and weak pets alike entering and existing
the building not five hundred feet away, while a metal bug circled around mumbling
about yellow rocks. Against all logical thought, I grabbed the rope, and began
ascending the shnoz of that ancient monument. I wish I could say it was because
I have an overwhelming sense of courage, or because I really wanted to make
sure my pets were okay, but primarily, it was because I was STILL caught up
on that rib protector.
Even though I climbed about as fast as a Slorg
through Babaa fur, I made it to the top. The rope led right into what should’ve
been the pupil, but was a medium-sized hatchway. I could hear subdued voices,
one mumbling, and one lower, crisper, and cooler. Little red flags popped up
in my head like crazy, almost too many to fit in my tiny mind. Before I crawled
in the hatchway, I decided to see if I could put 2 and 2 together. All that
happened was a 5.
In other words, it sounded very much like my
pets were standing IN the Techo Mountain, while I dangled outside with a Robot
Buzzer chanting behind me. Furthermore, some trigger-happy pets from the Training
school had starting playing “Pin The Weird Man On the Techo Nose’s Rear-end
With a Forest Dart,” and I was flailing wildly, hoping nothing landed in the
area right above my pant leg, which was putting enough stress on the rope to
make a few of its strands snap. After that, the rope went down hill-- POP!
POP! POP! I had about two seconds to make a choice—fall to the ground two-hundred
feet below me, or dive through a hatchway leading, more than likely, to somewhere
I didn’t want to go—a place with my pets. So I made the choice—I leapt through
the hatchway and landed on the stone floor inside with a resounding “Ker-Crunch!”
My eyes slowly opened, but all I saw was yellow
and black. I remembered something from earth—Yellow and black ain’t good for
Jack—or something like that, so I was immediately scared out of my wits. But
then I remembered my name wasn’t Jack, so I closed my eyes again. Unfortunately,
a slightly heavy paw was placed on my back, and then under my chest. I was rolled
over and then had water dumped on my face. I was so happy my pets roused me
with such care.
“We’re in,” stated the Silver object over my
head, which turned out to be my Lupe. “Look around you!”
I got up and looked around, only to see mountains,
upon mountains, upon mountains of Codestones. It was mind-boggling. There must’ve
been two thousand in the room I was in alone—and who knows how many other rooms
“Isn’t it amazing?” gasped Nie, fingering a
few of the stones like the treasure they were.
“How come no one found this before?” I wheezed,
gaping at the fortune before me.
“Because the door to this way said ‘Official
Door That Leads to the Rice Warehouse.’” Sev smirked, “Plus, I think it normally
had two guards—they seemed to be busy escorting someone out.”
I laughed with giddy glee, my training problem
over! I’d get some REAL furniture! Heck, I could buy anything I could dream
of with this fortune!
Then I heard a door open.
I heard eight feet make there way up ten steps.
I also watched two pets dive behind two heaps
of codestones, and one Buzzer go out the hatch, shutting it behind him.
I stood there, stupefied by fear.
I then saw three figures emerge from around
the mound by what could only be the stairs. They were the Techo Master, Ryshu,
and most feared of all—the Haiku guy.
They all began walking toward me, their faces
grim, save the Haiku guy, who was chanting merrily. I wanted to run, but my
legs felt like the belonged to the jelly Chia. My arms felt like they belong
to a Jubjub—they were numb with fear. So I sat there in the middle of the room,
helpless to move, terror pasted on my face.
"Hello,” whispered the Techo Master.
“Hello,” bellowed Ryshu.
“Cloud fly lofty Bruce,” mumbled the Haiku Kougra.
I tried to respond, but my tongue evaded my
“How did you get here?” the Techo Master demanded,
“How did you get here?” Ryshu interrogated,
stepping toward me.
“Ixi bring not happiness,” chanted the Kougra.
“I- I- I was looking for…” I stammered desperately,
searching for the right wording. Or any at all. “I was trying to find what you
do with the codestones!”
“Ah, that is simple,” laughed the Techo Master.
“Ah, that is simple,” snickered Ryshu.
“WOULD YOU STOP REPEATING EVERYTHING I SAY?”
suddenly burst the Techo Master, and with one quick “Hiya!” knocked Ryshu clear
out. This scared me greatly.
“Flame Bruce dance not pea,” said the Kougra,
finally finishing his Haiku.
“Allow me to tell you the tale,” began the Techo
Master softly, benevolently. “I once had a stone. I had a code. I put them in
the cooking pot, and that’s how it all began! Any questions?”
My only thought was oh dear, because
this was going to be a lot harder than I thought.
“Um,” I mumbled, searching once more for my
“I shall now tell you the real tale,” he smiled.
“Ryshu is the Codestone Faerie. Like the tooth Faerie. He’s building a castle
out of these.”
“Ah, so he wants to… wait! He’s a GUY! Guys
can’t be faeries, right?”
“I shall now clarify. But I need the help of
another,” he motioned for the Haiku speaker to come over. That scared me. “Tell
him the tale of the codestones, and why we hoard them.”
“Codestones bring fresh Lupe,” he began, “Hoard
them all for the master. Truth bring many lie.”
I scratched my scalp like someone watching the
end of the Meridell plot. “The truth?” I tried, one more time.
“Ah, you want the TRUTH!” exclaimed the Techo
Master. “Why didn’t you say so, my boy?”
“I think I did.”
“Don’t correct me,” he responded, pointing to
Ryshu. “Now, the truth is this—you’re in way over your head, you’re not that
great looking, and we plan on disposing you. That is the truth, the whole truth,
and nothing but the truth.”
“I kind of meant about the codestones,” I sighed.
“Ah, that truth,” he realized. “Well, your hair
is still bad.”
“Yes, but what about the truth?”
“Haiku Kougra, tell—“
“Your hair is bad.”
“It wasn’t a compliment.”
“What’s the truth?”
“There is no bathroom in this building—that
is the truth, I kid you not.”
“I’m leaving now.”
“No, I’m going to use an ancient incantation
to send you out of this building via massive magical explosion.”
“Because that is the truth—and I have to act
like a pacifist nowadays. I need some good old fashion destruction.”
The whole conversation seemed like a waste of
time, so I got up and pulled each of my pets out from behind the piles. It was
time to go. Unfortunately, the Techo wasn’t joking. I heard him mumbling something
about books and a gong and a Moltenore. Then there was a huge explosion, sending
me and my pets out through the roof like Buzz away from a berry patch. The view
was amazing, even though I was slightly ablaze, and definitely worth the trip--
up. Not down. Down meant six hundred feet of plummeting down to the painfully
Ten seconds later, after soaring over half of
Mystery Island, I found myself three feet deep in someone’s lawn. I yanked my
beaten body out of the hole, but I felt like I had just fought the Snowager
with a plastic butter knife.
“You… you going to, going to,” Sev ached from
across the now triple-cratered lawn of the home, “write, write expose?”
“Yeah,” Nie chimed in, getting his tail of out
his mouth. “When do you start?”
“Grumohey?” I mumbled before I got the sod out
from between my teeth, “Expose? On WHAT? I never got ANY information!”
“Then make some up,” Sev insisted, popping his
wrists, “you wouldn’t be the only one.”
I simply nodded and pulled dirt out of my ear.
“Let’s just go home and wash up—wait for Flipce
to get home,” I suggested, hoping they’d get off my back about writing it.
“Sure,” Nie mumbled, “why not? Ah well, looks
like most everything that could’ve gone wrong did with our attempt to find the
truth. At least things are looking up now...”
Then the sprinklers turned on.