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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 18th day of Awakening, Yr 21
The Neopian Times Week 98 > New Series > The Missing Gelert: Part One

The Missing Gelert: Part One

by buddy33774

The pound was not a pretty place, especially for Pianto. All around, pets sat, lonely and abandoned. Except for he. He was there for a different reason.

     Pianto had been there for about three hours when Mason, guided by Dr._Death, walked up to his cage. There was no smile on his owners face.

     "Hiya," Pianto greeted, a grin (more from embarrassment than from happiness) spreading across the fire Gelert's face.

* * *

Outside, Mason walked a good block without a single word. Pianto flowed slackly behind. After a moment, Mason stopped and turned on his heels to face his shamefaced pet.

     "What were you thinking?!" Mason cried, angrier than Pianto had ever seen him before. He was standing beside himself with rage.

     Pianto shrugged nonchalantly. "I just wanted some chocolate." This infuriated his owner even more. It was like rubbing salt in an open wound. Mason's face had been a rose-in-a-meadow red, but now was a lobster-boiling-in-a-pot red.

     "I gave you money to buy chocolate! You didn't have to steal it!"

     Mason stopped himself, trying to regain his composure as passer-biers were beginning to stare. "This is the third time this month, Pianto. You're in that pound so much, they're going to give you your own room."

     "I hope it's a suite," the Gelert snickered. Mason did not smile.

     Instead, he turned and continued down the sidewalk, but not before giving Pianto a bit of advice.

     "If I were you, I would take the long way home and give me time to cool off," he warned. With that, Mason continued home, leaving Pianto to find his own way home.

***

Pianto had been working hard to not get in to trouble. But the Gelert was like a magnet, attracting trouble wherever he went. Like fate was out to get him for something.

     Pianto had gone to buy some chocolate, an afternoon snack. While he was looking around, a chocolate Chia treat had somehow found its way into his pack. Pianto knew it was there, but, for some strange reason, had decided not to take it out, to see if he could slip past the sensors.

     He hadn't.

     He was caught and thrown in the pound until Mason had come to get him.

     Though it didn't show, Pianto was ashamed of what he had done. Mason just didn't see that. No one did.

     Wandering along the ever-darkening streets, pets everywhere were heading home as dusk was fast approaching. Looking up, Pianto could see he had walked up to the door of a diner. The Mystery Island Eatery was written on a flashy neon sign hung just above the door.

     The shame-filled Gelert walked inside. It was about entirely filled, considering it was dinnertime. There were booths along the walls near the door. A bar sat in the back. The fire Gelert spotted a stool and sat down.

     A yellow Aisha came over to take his order. "What do you want hun?" she asked.

     "I'll take a blue coco fizz," Pianto ordered. She walked away without even writing it down. Aren't they supposed to write all the orders down? Pianto wondered to himself, as she made up the drink in a machine.

     Behind him, a green Gelert sat in a booth. It would have appeared to anyone else that all was normal, but Pianto sensed something different about this pet…

     The bartender's return with Pianto's drink startled him out of his thoughts. He thanked her and began sipping at his drink.

     Pianto had never tasted a blue coco fizz before, but after the first sip, he knew he would have to order one more often. The drink fizzled in his mouth like pop, but it had a nice mix of berry and coco, with neither one over powering the other.

     Out of the corner of his eye, Pianto continued to watch the green Gelert. The stranger seemed to have taken an interest in Pianto as he continued to stare at him.

     After a while, and another four blue coco fizzes, Pianto got up to leave. "Hey wait!" he heard a voice shout from behind him. "What do you want!" Pianto shouted back towards the green Gelert.

     Spinning around, he saw it was just the barmaid. She appeared startled. "You forgot to pay you bill," she said, calmly holding up the check.

     "Oh, sorry," he said, very embarrassed at himself for being so paranoid. He quickly paid the tab (and tipped the Aisha extra for yelling at her) and walked out.

***

Night had fallen on Neopia Central as Pianto stepped out into the cool summer night air. As he walked down the sidewalk, dreading the thought of going home, the Gelert looked into a shop window only to see a familiar face's reflection a few paces behind him. The green Gelert was following him!

     Pianto sped up. In the next window, he saw the Gelert had, too, sped up. Quickly, but without running, he ducked into a nearby alley.

     The fire Gelert watched in the shadows as the green Gelert followed him. Pianto suddenly jumped out from hiding, tackling the stalker to the ground.

     "Why are you following me?" he growled.

     The stalker appeared relieved that it was only Pianto. "You surprised me, kid," he breathed heavily.

     "Who are you? Why are you following me?" Pianto repeated, keeping his shadower pinned tightly.

     "I'll tell you everything if you let me get up," the pinned Gelert bargained.

     Pianto stepped off, letting the green Gelert arise. "Thank you," he said. Then, in a flash of fur, the green Gelert jabbed Pianto with a needle.

     "What the…" Pianto began. But before he could finish, his world went blurry and Pianto passed out.

***

Pianto wouldn't have even known his eyes were open, except for the shaft of moonlight coming through a window. Sitting up, the Gelert's head throbbed with pain.

     Looking around, Pianto could see he was definitely in a warehouse of some kind. Crates sat stacked everywhere around him. A clock on the wall read 3:15. Pianto estimated he had been out for about four hours.

     "I was wondering when you were going to wake up," a voice said from behind. Pianto turned to see the green Gelert sitting in a chair, reading some kind of book.

     "You!" Pianto shouted, starting to lunge at him. But Pianto fell back in pain. His entire body hurt, from the tips of his ears to the ends of his tail.

     The green Gelert smiled and chuckled to himself. "Sorry I had to do that to you," he apologized. "But I was afraid you might have hurt me if I hadn't."

     Pianto glared at him. "No problem. I love getting stabbed with needles. It's my favorite pastime."

     The green Gelert's smile only widened. "He told me you were funny."

     "Who?" Pianto demanded.

     "You'll see soon enough."

     The green Gelert helped Pianto to his feet and out a door. They made their way slowly down a hall, Pianto leaning on the green Gelert the whole time. All along the hallway, more Gelerts stood guard, watching the two.

     Down the hall and around the corner, they eventually made their way to a door. The green Gelert opened the door with one paw and helped Pianto inside an office, lighted only by the moonlight.

     The fire Gelert was placed on a leather couch. The green one walked over and sat at attention next to a spinning leather chair. Pianto could only see the back of it.

     All around them, sat Gelerts, about eight that Pianto counted. The green Gelert whispered something to whoever was sitting in the leather chair.

     The chair spun around to reveal yet another Gelert sitting in it. But this one was some how different. He held his neck higher. And a glint of fear came into one of the guard's eyes at the sight. This Gelert was most assuredly the boss.

     "So you're Pianto, eh?" he asked. The Gelert was red and quite young, not much older than a young adult.

     "Yes, um, yes I am," Pianto replied, trying to sound brave.

     The boss smiled and nodded. "Good, good. My name is Alfonzo. I'm sorry my friend Maraka had to knock you out." He motioned to the green Gelert beside him. "But it is quite important I speak to you tonight. A pet who can discover a new world is certainly called for in my case."

     Pianto gasped. "How did you know about Jellyworld?"

     The boss only smiled. "It's not important HOW I know, just that I do. Now, on to business."

     Alfonzo pulled out a picture and handed it to Pianto. It was a picture of another red Gelert standing on the beach, smiling. But it wasn't just any Gelert. Pianto had to catch his breath when he saw her.

     It was like an angel from heaven. She had gorgeous white teeth and most beautiful of smiles. But her eyes, they were the greatest of all. Deep, brown, it was almost surreal. Pianto could've look at the picture for an hour, but Alfonzo soon brought him back to reality.

     "That's my sister," he explained. "Her names Aryll, she went missing about four days ago. And that's why you're here; I need you to find her."

     Pianto's heart nearly jumped out of his throat. He was going to get to meet this beautiful creature! Get to rescue her, like the knights in the stories Mason used to read to him when he was younger. Suddenly, Pianto remembered his owner. Mason would probably be waiting for him at home.

     "I don't know," said Pianto. "I've kinda got other things going on right now."

     This statement didn't break the red Gelert's glee. "I wasn't really asking for your help. More of an instruction than a plea."

     So Pianto was stuck with a deal he couldn't refuse. It wasn't a favor he was performing, it was a duty. He had no choice.

     Pianto agreed and, as he was walking out, the boss called out "I suggest your owner know none of this. Just pack your supplies and set out. She was last seen in Tyrannia."

***

Pianto packed his knapsack, the same one that had taken him to Jellyworld and back, and prepared to set out. The clock on the wall read 6:33. He lightly licked his owner on the forehead.

     "I'm sorry for being such a nuisance," he whispered, walking silently out of the room.

***

Leaning over the edge of the ferry, Pianto could see the reflection of the sunrise off the waters surface. The boat inched closer to Tyrannia with every passing minute. Here we go again, Pianto thought glumly to himself. Yet, a part of him was glad to be setting out on another adventure. And so the adventure of Pianto's life began.

To be continued...

Previous Episodes

The Missing Gelert: Part Two

The Missing Gelert: Part Three

The Missing Gelert: Part Four

The Missing Gelert: Part Five

The Missing Gelert: Part Six

The Missing Gelert: Part Seven

The Missing Gelert: Part Eight

The Missing Gelert: Part Nine

The Missing Gelert: Part Ten

The Missing Gelert: Part Eleven

The Missing Gelert: Part Twelve

The Missing Gelert: Part Thirteen

The Missing Gelert: Part Fourteen

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