"Now are you sure you know how to operate this thing?" a
dark figure asked another, inside a machine.
"Yes, I do. Remember if we don't capture The
Grand Water Blade's resting place we'll be ground up into mincemeat, so don't
mess up, got it?" the other figure said menacingly.
"Mmm, meat!" The second slapped the other, clearly
stupider figure. "No! Mincemeat means dead!" The other figure hopped inside
the machine. "Now, Maraqua here we come!"
"Kaleigh, duck!" a purple Mynci exclaimed to his green Acara friend and teammate
in Operation Neopia. The Acara turned around and faced Timothy who was flying
straight for her. Kaleigh ducked and the brown Buzz slammed into a wall. He
fell to the floor.
"Oh, Timothy, are you okay?" she asked picking
up the young Buzz. He was laughing hard. Kaleigh asked, "What were you trying
to do heading straight for me?" Timothy stood up.
"I was trying to get some practice flying with
my wings. You know how weak they are," he said, pointing to the thin, clear
appendages coming out of his body he called wings. They were really too small
to be used freely so he practiced as much as he could. A shadow Wocky came up
from behind them, scaring all three.
"Sorry guys, but I had to get your attention.
Dawson says there's something going on in Maraqua and we need to go and stop
it. Hurry!" he stated, running to the briefing room. The three followed and
soon were greeted by Jeff, a leader-like blue Lupe, Cody, a rash and impulsive
yellow Gelert, Ashley, a caring green Nimmo, and Caitlin, a vain pink Kacheek.
"Glad you could join us. Now the first thing
on my list is to say, Cody, congrats on leading an entire snowbeast tribe to
their migration grounds. I'm sure no other raingelert would've done that," Dawson,
the commander of their squad said, referring to the success of a previous mission,
Invincible Ice. Cody smiled. His friends gave a little snicker at how rare him
smiling was. Cody snarled. "Now, Spyworks, our spy network and most valuable
ally, has informed us of some activity in Maraqua. They are finally rebuilding
it. Unfortunately, their timing is bad. The whirlpool has just started up again."
They all gasped.
"That means that the builders will all be…"
Ashley began, stopping midway.
Everyone knew how she was going to finish.
"Yes, Ashley. It does. We have to stop them from building the city. It won't
be easy convincing King Koy and Queen Flotsamm to not rebuild. They've been
planning this for years. So, I'm sending a Spyworks agent with you," Dawson
said. He motioned for a holograph that appeared on the table. A female blue
Koi was shown. "This is Aychtuhoh, or Aych for short. Yes, I know it's a corny
codename, but it gets the job done. She's the fastest swimmer of Spyworks and
O.N. Possibly the whole world. I'm not at all exaggerating. She's that fast.
She once swam from Mystery Island to Neopia Central's harbor in twenty minutes."
The others were astounded. It just didn't sound possible. "Our guess is King
Koy will be more receptive of another Koi than any old species. Now, there will
be a requirement for going on this mission. I'll put it simply. Can you swim?"
They all shook their heads sadly. They wanted to go so bad. "None of you?"
"We all know Cody can't for sure," Timothy joked,
remembering his struggle in Invincible Ice. Cody gave a growl, just as everyone
"Well, let's see then. Can any of you be painted
Maraquan?" Dawson asked. Kaleigh and Nahum raised their hands. "An Acara and
a Mynci. That'll do. Come with me." The other six gave groans of disappointment,
except for Caitlin who was secretly rejoicing at not having to do any 'dangerous'
missions. "Don't worry, Seth will have something else for you to do while Kaleigh
and Nahum are out saving Maraqua." The Techo, Acara, and Mynci left the room
and Seth, Dawson's right hand man, walked in. He was carrying a little ball
in his blue Tonu foot.
"How many of you can play Spaceball?" he asked,
a grin on his face. The others' faces lit up. A good game of Spaceball was just
about as fun as a diplomatic mission, right?
Kaleigh and Nahum, the Acara and Mynci, walked
up to O.N's own lab ray. Dawson sat in front of the controls. He aimed the ray
for the two Neopets and twisted a few knobs so that the Control Display read:
Maraquan Acara/Maraquan Mynci GO? Y/N. Dawson pressed the Y for Yes and the
ray blasted a colorful beam at them. The purple and green fur seemingly 'peeled'
off to reveal pink and green scales and, in Kaleigh case, tentacles.
"That went well. Now there's a portal right
over there," Dawson said pointing a big black swirling hole in the back of the
room. "When you go through it, you'll be on the beach closest to Maraqua. Immediately,
get in the water and start swimming. Aych will meet up with you soon and speed
you up a bit. Then when you get to Maraqua, let Aych do the work. You make sure
nothing goes wrong. Now get going. The whirlpool could come faster than we anticipated."
The two nodded and dashed for the portal.
As soon they passed through it they were teleported
onto a sunny beach. Tourists and beach-goers were everywhere building sand castles
and Gebmids, swimming, and playing Mynci Beach Volleyball. There were creatures
reading books, and a red Jetsam with a small scar under his right eye was reading
an old issue of the Neopian Times. The headline read 'King and Queen Begin Plans
For Rebuilding Maraqua'. Nahum couldn't help but notice all the other Neopian
Times issues on a neat stack next to the Jetsam had the words Maraqua, Whirlpool,
King, and Queen in the headlines.
"Okay, let's go," Kaleigh said. Together they
plunged into the water, leaving the happy beach scene behind them. The coolness
of the water was refreshing. They swam for a while before fatigue began to set
in. "I'm getting tired," Kaleigh panted, her horns drooping. Nahum was also
"We can't stop now. The construction is visible
from here," Nahum said, looking at the building in the distance. A blue Koi
suddenly was right in front of them.
"Hello. What are you doing here?" she asked.
The two were perplexed for a moment. Then the Koi started swimming around them.
said, saying all the numbers as one big word.
"What are you doing, Nahum?" Kaleigh asked.
"Counting the number of times she's swum around
us. Ninety eight…"
"Ninety eight! What about the other numbers?"
"She swam around us eighty seven times while
you were saying that, Kaleigh," he said. Finally, the Koi stopped.
"Aha! You are Kaleigh and Nahum, the Operation
Neopia members here to help me. I'm Aych, fastest swimmer hereabouts. Now hold
on while I take you to Maraqua," the Koi said, holding Kaleigh's and Nahum's
paws and within seconds they were in the Maraquan Construction Zone.
"Did we just travel three miles in five seconds?"
Nahum asked Aych. It was physically impossible.
"Well, not exactly, I'm not that fast. Maybe
more like twenty," Aych said. Nahum and Kaleigh fainted.
"T-t-too f-f-f-fast!" Kaleigh panted. Aych picked
"C'mon you two. We can't be late for our meeting
with King Koy and Queen Flotsamm. Let's go. I'll swim slower, just for you,"
Aych said. The three made their way through the construction, marveling at the
beauty of the coral, shells, and pearls used to build Maraqua. After the swim,
they encountered a makeshift palace.
"The one in the Frozzen Lands looks so much
better," Kaleigh commented. "How could a King and Queen live in this, this hut?"
"It's just until we can get the city built to
its former glory," a pink Flotsam said from behind her. Kaleigh was shocked.
She turned around and was face to face with Queen Flotsamm.
"I'm sorry if I insulted you," she apologized.
The Queen smiled.
Flotsamm said, "It's alright young Acara. I
know you didn't mean to insult us. It's hard to live in a little hut when you
are so used to living in a majestic palace with servants to do your every whim,
but it's okay, I guess." Aych stepped up to the Queen.
"We have something very important to tell you,"
Aych said quite serious. The Queen invited them in.
The Queen took a seat on a throne, which was
really a chunk a yellow coral, and sat next to the King. A red Jetsam stood
between them. He had a small scar under his right eye.
"Something's not right here. I have a bad feeling
about that Jetsam. He looks just too familiar," Nahum mumbled. "Where have I
seen him before?"
To be continued…