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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 9th day of Eating, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 101 > Short Stories > Flames: Solo Mission

Flames: Solo Mission

by teghan62

They were gone. Teghan hadn't been there at the time, but that didn't matter now. Our Petpets, along with everything else, had been stolen.

      It was around the time when the Petpets had gone to the Green Jelly, or so we think. The bank account was empty. The Safety Deposit Box was empty. Rina's Battledome items had been unequipped and taken away. But most importantly, our Petpets were gone. Only us pets were left.

      My siblings and I were awestruck. We couldn't believe it… they were gone! We had noticed that many other Petpets were also going, but there was a sign that said they were missing. Ours didn't have any. It was official -- Teghan had somehow been scammed.

      We were all so upset. But out of all of us, Mira was the most upset. She couldn't control herself. She was the worst off out of us all. Her Airax, Andy, was over a whopping 800 days old when he was taken away from her. As for myself, well… I got Ruby seconds after I was created.

      We sat around, moping. My Gelert sister, Rina, suddenly decided that was enough. "I'm going to go buy them back," she announced, her nails clicking on the floor of my room in Sakhmet Palace. "So I'll actually do something useful." She glared at us who were still sitting on the floor.

      "But Rina," my brother Kyle, a Chomby, sniffed, "We don't have any money! We can't buy them back!" He broke into tears once again. "And besides, they wouldn't be… the same."

      Rina sighed and shuffled back to where our pity party was sitting. "I… I guess you're right."

***

Somewhere in Neopia, in a dark NeoHome, the thief sat in a new chair. A chair he had bought with Teghan's money. The NeoHome's doors and windows were bolted shut; the only opening was through a small hole on the roof. "That was too easy!" he laughed.

      In a small corner of the NeoHome sat our Petpets. But they weren't weeping hopelessly like we were -- they were coming up with a plan of escape. Suddenly, Snowflake, Rina's spotted Snowbunny, dashed out from the corner right under the thief's feet, with Ruby, my red Anubis, in hot pursuit.

      "Hey!" cried the thief. "Stop it!" He chased after the two Petpets.

      At that exact same time, Andy had flown up to the roof rafters, and rope in his talons. He tied it into place -- who knows how -- and bunched it up so it wouldn't be seen.

      Snowflake and Ruby were done with their part. They stopped the diversion by going back into the corner. The thief then muttered something and went to bed. He was soon fast asleep.

      Once he heard the snores, Andy dropped down the rope. Ulvie, Kyle's black Uggatrip, first tied Ruby to the rope. Andy quickly bunched up the rope so Ruby was pretty close to him. He then flew out of the hole on the roof and settled Ruby on the ground quickly.

      The same process was repeated with Snowflake. Once it was Ulvie's turn, she tied herself and the two Tyrannian Petpets got out together.

      The four of them couldn't recognize where they were, but the dead trees looming out way above them gave them a clue that it was the Haunted Woods. They set off together on a random path, not knowing which way they were going.

      Suddenly, a dark shape pounced on all fours and carried them off.

***

I lifted my head and started shouting, "That's it! I will NOT sit around here crying, I'm going to do something! Who's with me?" I glanced around the room. Everyone had cried themselves to sleep. I sighed and picked up my trusty mallet, then set out for the Haunted Woods. The Brain Tree would need a lot of convincing.

      When I finally got there, I quickly strode off to the main part of the Haunted Woods, swinging my mallet around me to tell everyone off. There, in the middle, stood the Brain Tree. I decided the best thing to do would be to first ask him nicely and calmly, even though I was in a rage. "Brain Tree?" I asked. No answer. I pestered again. "Hello?" Still nothing.

      That made me mad enough that he was ignoring me, and I finally snapped. Giving the Brain Tree a couple of good hard whacks with my mallet, I shouted, "Brain Tree! That's it! Listen, and listen good, or did the roasted peanut you call a brain tell you to ignore me! Listen to me!" For extra affect, I jumped up, and gave it a really hard whack on its brain with my mallet. "Now answer me."

      That seemed to do the trick. The Brain Tree roared back at me, "How dare you! Show some res--" Another hard swing of my mallet silenced it. "Okay, okay, fine. Stop swinging that thing around. What do you want?"

      I gave him a glare that could melt ice. "Any thieves pass by here lately, O 'smart' one?" My voice was dripping with sarcasm.

      The Brain Tree gave me a snort of disgust, then said, "No."

      "ARG!" I shouted as my flamed paw reached for my mallet again. "I know you're lying. I'll get you one day."

      "Yeah, sure you will. But do I look like I care?" it snapped. "Anyway, yes. There was a thief, at least I think so, otherwise he was carrying around a bunch of unnecessary stuff for no reason. I saw him go, but four Petpets had escaped…"

      "What were they?" I cut him off.

      "Hmm, there was an Airax, a black Uggatrip, a red Anubis, and a spotted Snowbunny."

      Perfect! I thought, then pestered him some more. "Where did they go?"

      "I'm not telling you unless you tell me where and when someone died."

      "Pftt," I snorted, then contacted J.C. "Can you pinpoint the location of an Airax, a black Uggatrip, a red Anubis, and a spotted Snowbunny, all very close to each other, somewhere by or in the Haunted Woods?"

      "Do you have any idea what time it is?"

      "I'm not in the mood, Chia. Just tell me."

      "Humph." I heard a snort, then I soon got a one-worded reply: "Balthazar."

      Balthazar, that didn't sound too good. I pestered J.C. further. "Where is Balthazar? What would he be doing with our Petpets?"

      I heard the flipping of something, then got another reply. "Have you never played Extreme Herder?"

      "Okay then. But where is he?"

      "Smack dab in the middle of the wild area of the Haunted Woods. I'm going back to bed."

      All I got after that was some snores, so I turned my connection with J.C. off. Then I set out with my mallet. Balthazar, come meet me, I thought. I'll show you, you'll be sorry.

***

Inside Balthazar's little hut-thingy, the four Petpets refused to stay still. They ran (or flew, in Andy's case) around Balthazar. They all had a pretty good idea about what would happen… they had seen Extreme Herder before.

      Balthazar spun around, making pitiful attempts to catch the four. They seemed like they would never tire out! Balthazar was just about ready to collapse when he noticed that Snowflake had slowed her pace. Quickly snatching her up, he threw her into a wooden cage. One down, three to go.

***

I soon found a small hut-thingy. Around me dead trees loomed up, and it seemed like they wanted to fall on me and crush me. I silently entered the hut.

      Balthazar was spinning around for some odd reason. I looked around and saw four wooden cages in each corner of the room. Snowflake, Ulvie and Andy were each in one. Where was Ruby?

      I looked towards Balthazar again. This time I noticed a red blur by his ankles. I rushed forward, but I was too late. Balthazar had timed it right, and was able to snatch up Ruby. He cruelly tossed her into the final cage. That was when he noticed me.

      "I've heard some stories about you before," he snarled. "From the Pant Devil and Lava Ghoul. You don't see so impressive!"

      I shook my head in disgust at him. "Wow, you're stupider than I thought!!"

      Balthazar snarled at me again. "I'm not stupid!"

      "Yes you are."

      "That's it!" roared the Lupe, and charged at me. I acted swiftly and was able to jump to the side, and let him run straight into my mallet. He fell back and would have quickly recovered if I hadn't smashed my mallet into his stomach.

      Balthazar groaned and struggled to rise. I knocked him down again with my mallet. Then I set to the Petpets. I didn't want to stay here that long. Before Balthazar could recover, they were all out of the cages and waiting outside.

      "You'll be sorry you ever came here!"

      "No, YOU'LL be sorry you ever bothered to mess with me!"

      I went into a frenzy. I whacked him, or at least tried to, but he side-stepped and slashed me. Ignoring my wound, I leaped over him using my ear stalks, and struck him in the back. From there he fell face forward, where I whacked him on the head until I could tell he was unconscious.

      I stepped outside to go back home. Ulvie and Snowflake were tied around my ear stalks, Andy was perched on my tail, and I carried Ruby in my arms. They wouldn't be leaving any time soon.

The End


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