The summer’s rain poured down torrentially onto the dirt
streets of Krawk Island, creating curtains of cascading water and turning the
roads into muddy canals. It was some time after midnight, now, on a day early
in the month of Swimming, sometime three or so years ago now. Every place, even
the raucous Golden Dubloon, was uncharacteristically quiet. The only thing that
Chuffer Bob the Pirate Meerca could hear, besides the rain, was the sound of his
captor’s shuffling footsteps.
“Move along there, yeh pillaging lard bag,”
the firm Pirate Krawk growled over the pouring rain, prodding Chuffer Bob in
the back with the hook that replaced his hand. “Yeh’ll be late for yer meetin’
with the Pirate’s Committee.”
Bob seriously doubted if the Committee met at
1 o’clock in the morning, but then again, they were pirates. Nothing was stopping
them from holding court in the wee hours of the day, really.
Such an odd Meerca had most likely never been
seen before, even at Krawk Island, where the weird flourished extravagantly.
For one thing, Bob was a very heavy-set Neopet, even for a Meerca, which had
earned him the nickname “NeoLard Barrel,” or just “Lard” for short. Also, although
he didn’t really look it, Bob was actually an excellent pirate, which explained
the paint job. Or, at least, Bob had been an excellent pirate. He didn’t know
how much longer he could expect to be one.
“Move ON, yeh lardbag!” the Krawk growled, poking
Bob even harder in the backside. “If I’ve tol’ yeh once, I’ve tol’ yeh agin,
With a sigh, Bob hitched up his broad pirate’s
belt that was slipping down his wide buttocks and trudged on again through the
“You, Chuffer Bob, Pirate Extraordinaire, stand before this Committee of Pirate
Conduct for what reason?”
Chuffer Bob sighed and looked out of the wide-paned
window at the morning sky, which although no longer spewing rain, was still
dark and heavy. He was standing here, before the entire Pirate Conduct Committee,
in a huge stone conference room above Cap’n Threeleg’s Pirate Academy. The curt-voiced
Pirate Eyrie who sat up at the raised dais along with several other Pirate Neopets,
including the Pirate Krawk from earlier, looked a little surprised. Behind the
Eyrie, the rest of the Committee sat on stone benches, looking politely confused
“I was caught stealin’ food from th’ stores
of me boat,” Bob explained for the second time, looking slightly embarrassed
now. “Me cap’n seemed to think it was some up-ta-do crime or sommat.”
The entire committee began whispering excitedly,
occasionally glancing back down at Bob. The Meerca had forgotten how gossipy
pirates could truly be.
“It’s indeed a crime!” one red-faced Pirate
Shoyru cried out suddenly, standing up to survey Bob more closely. “On board
me ship, pirates get an equal ration o’ grub. Anyone gettin’ more than the’r
mateys gets the boot!” Many other committee members seemed to agree with the
Shoyru, judging by the sharp upswing of noise.
“Too righ’ tha is!” a Pirate Kougra sitting
two rows in front of the Shoyru roared in agreement. “Yeh glutt’nous monster!”
The committee began to whisper even more heatedly,
looking excited, like a hungry Lupe closing in on its prey.
“What? Bob cried out, looking angry now. “How
can bein’ hungry be a crime, yeh fools?” But Bob’s protests fell on deaf ears.
The entire committee seemed to be in agreement: the pillaging of food was a
“Attention!” the Pirate Eyrie in charge of the
court said loudly, rapping his stone gavel across the table. When no one listened,
he rapped harder and tried again. “ATTENTION!” The second time worked, and the
committee fell silent, all eyes turned towards the Eyrie.
“Thank you,” the Eyrie said rather calmly. “Now,
we have heard testimony of the pirate in question, and also the testimony earlier
of his captain. The punishment for Chuffer Bob, should he be convicted, and
also taking under consideration his previous record, shall be banishment.” The
court roared loudly in excitement at this, and Bob paled considerably. “All
in favor of banishment, please stand up.”
The entire court stood, not one person remaining
seated. The members of the Committee began to clap enthusiastically. “Nooooooo!”
Bob wailed, but it was too late. Four Pirate Grundos swarmed over towards Bob,
pinning the Meerca down. The Committee roared with laughter, and jeered at the
“I hereby banish you, Chuffer Bob the Pirate
Meerca, from the pirate community! You shall be painted another color tomorrow,
after being led away from Krawk Island. If you EVER dare to return, you shall
be beheaded.” The Eyrie pounded his gavel against the table again. “Court is
With a sigh, Bob stood helplessly and watched
as the Grundos bound his paws together, before leading him away from the courtroom,
and up to the Pirate Jail again.
“Come over here.” The shaggy red Lupe’s voice sounded like the distant rumble
of thunder to Bob’s sensitive ears. With a gloomy sigh, the Meerca obeyed, and
came to stand next to the Lupe, blinking furiously in the brilliant Neopia Centralian
sunshine. Another Green Lupe stood off to Bob’s left, growling menacingly. Before
the trio was the Money Tree, and beyond that, the glistening azure waters of
the Rainbow Pool.
“Well, come on!” the red Lupe ordered, pointing
ahead at the Rainbow Pool and staring malevolently at Bob. The odd threesome
marched off, the green Lupe carrying a purpley-pink paintbrush loosely in one
of his large paws.
It was the day after Bob’s trial now. He had
been boarded onto an old-fashion pirate galleon earlier that day, and had been
shipped off to Neopia Central. The gloomy skies of Krawk Island had quickly
given way to brilliant sunshine, which only made Bob feel worse than ever before.
Now, the ex-pirate was being subjected to a new paint job. And a girly, pinky
one at that.
“Miserabl’, good-fer-nothin’ pink,” Bob grumbled
to himself as the two Lupes led him through the large stone archway that led
to the Rainbow Pool. “No, no, couldn’t a been nothin’ interstin’ like fire or
island. Had ta be pink.”
“Shussup!” the Green Lupe growled at Bob, practically
dragging the chubby Meerca over towards the Pool. They stopped, Bob staring
dazedly at his reflection in the rippled water. “Here!” And the Lupe shoved
the paintbrush into Bob’s chubby paw. The Meerca stared limply at the brush
for about five seconds, before the Red Lupe, tired of waiting, pushed Bob into
the azure waters.
“Gaaaah!” Bob screeched as his backside slammed
into the cool water. He felt someone rip the paintbrush out of his paw and run
it across his body. And that was when it began.
It was a rumbling, transforming sensation, stirring
in the very pits of the Meerca’s stomach. His backside prickled madly, as if
on fire. Before Bob’s very waterlogged eyes, his fur began to change color,
from bluish-gray to a deep, pinky-purple. The little black boots and red spotted
bandana vanished. The heavy belt fell with a resounding clunk to the floor of
the Pool and vanished as well. Bob tried to cry out, but as he was half-submerged
at the moment, nothing happened. Only a large stream of bubbles poured out of
the Meerca’s mouth and floated to the surface.
The transformation seemed to last an eternity.
When the fiery, burning sensation finally ceased, Bob felt two very strong paws
haul him out of the Rainbow Pool and place him on the verdant grass nearby.
The Meerca was too shocked, too utterly sickened to move anymore. All he felt
like doing, for the first time in his life, was crying.
About two months had passed now since Bob’s horrifying transformation. It
was a rainy, ugly day fairly late in the month of Gathering, now, and such a
change had come over the Meerca, he was scarcely recognizable. Besides being
a pinky color now, Bob had lost more pounds than any extreme dieter and was
considerably weaker. As no one at the pound had wanted a former pirate, Bob
had been turned loose and left to wander the streets hopelessly, living off
of donations from the Soup Faerie and the kind Neopians who believed in the
helping powers of the Money Tree.
On this gloomy fall day, Bob had been walking
back from his daily trip to the Soup Faerie, with his head down, when something
hard slammed right into his side. Looking up dazedly, Bob met the eyes of a
brawny Shadow Gelert, who muttered a brief apology before scampering off. The
Meerca was just lowering his head again when something posted on a nearby bulletin
board caught his eye. Dashing over and standing on tippy-toes to view the yellowing
parchment, Bob squinted slightly and read:
WANTED BY THE DEFENDERS:
Eight former Neopian outcasts willing to risk it all
in Neopia’s newest card game:
Are you brave, daring and willing?
Can YOU cheat your way to the top?
Come and see us this Thursday,
the 17th day of Gathering, at
6:00 P.M. NST, at Game Central!
Bob read the notice with interest, his eyes
widening. New game characters, he thought to himself, feeling excited now. That
must pay some serious Neopoints! And Thursday is only two days away now. I think
I’ll go. Yes, I’ll go and blow them all away with my cheating skills!
“Chuffer Bob the Meerca?” the timid yellow Moehog read off of her clipboard.
Bob stood, trembling enormously, and walked rather quickly to the front of the
waiting room. The Moehog surveyed the ex-pirate for a moment before shrugging
and opening the wide oak door behind them. “You go through here,” she grunted.
Bob bobbed his head respectfully before passing through the door and closing
it again behind him.
At first glance, Bob thought he was alone. The
shadowy oak chamber seemed deserted enough, except for the large circular table
and two oak chairs. Then, the Meerca heard something move in the corner opposite
where he stood behind one chair. “Hello?” Bob ventured, squinting to see better
in the dark room.
“Odd one, aren’t you?” The voice was deep and
gravelly, full of strength and brawn. A figure emerged from the corner, and
Bob’s legs gave a particularly violent quake. It was a humongous Red Jetsam,
staring down at Bob with cold crimson eyes. The Jetsam’s facial features were
purple-blue in color, he had a black shirt on over his chest and an anchor tattooed
on the side of his head.
“I am Spectre the Jetsam, but you shall refer
to me in all respect as Mr. Spectre. I catch you calling me anything else while
you are around and I shall personally end your Neopian life very quickly.” Bob
gulped and made a mental note of this. “Before we begin the interview, you should
know a few things…”
“Attention!” The yellow Moehog was back, staring coldly at the fifteen Neopians
assembled before her in the waiting room at Game Central. It was a week now
after Bob’s first interview, and he had been one of fifteen Neopians called
back for more. Mr. Spectre had made his decision, and the final list of characters
was to be announced now.
“I have before me the official list of Cheat!
characters.” Anyone who had still been whispering with their neighbors fell
silent. “I shall not torture you anymore with nonsensical blabbering. The final
characters are as follows.”
“Capara the Kyrii!” A smirky, feminine Red Kyrii
stood and walked to the front. “Little Timmy the Tuskaninny!” The next character
was a young blue Tuskaninny. “Branston, Lord of the dance floor! Brucey B the
Bruce! Kalora the Kau!” An orange Eyrie, Green Bruce and Red Kau still wearing
vacation clothes walked up and stood at the front. “Princess Fernypoo!” Bob’s
eyes widened; the princess was an obviously spoilt Blue Acara wearing a tiara
and a strand of pink pearls. “Agent 00 Hog!” The second-to-last character was
a scowling Moehog wearing an executive looking suit and carrying a briefcase.
Bob’s heart began to race. There was only one
spot left now. Please, PLEASE…
The Moehog stared back down at her clipboard,
looking at the last person on the list. “Oh, and Chuffer Bob the Meerca! That
Bob could have cried again. He had a job, a
real place in Neopian society! Walking to the front, he stood next to the Moehog
with the briefcase, eyes shining with tears. The remaining seven Neopians gave
a very half-hearted round of applause, looking severely disappointed. Down the
line, Branston was bowing his head respectfully, looking like a smug little
prince. Kalora the Kau looked stunned, and Princess Fernypoo had a similar reaction
Our chubby Meerca friend took this all in with
excitement, feeling ready. After all of these years of being the slow, greedy,
stupid, gluttonous, piggy pirate, he was finally feeling like he had found somewhere
where he belonged. Fate had finally dealt Chuffer Bob the Meerca the perfect
hand of cards.
Author’s Note: And that is my idea of how one of the characters of Cheat!
came to be. This is the first of *hopefully* many different so-called legends,
all telling the tales of many of Neopia’s more mysterious characters and how
I believe they came to be. As always, my inbox is open and waiting for your
feedback, whether positive or negative, I shall take it all in stride. Just
remember to keep your Neomails in *proper* English. None of this leet and chatspeak
Thanks go to my most wonderful friends, Cat, Rache, Rachy, and all of my
other guild members for simply being there when I needed it and inspiring me
in more ways then I think they know. You guys rock the house! Also, kudos to
Snowflake and the rest of the NT team, for being so awesome to us writers! Yay!