"Next!" The Skeith secretary called.
A small red Kacheek walked up in a yellow cape and a white mask.
"Name, superhero name, and ability, please," the secretary asked.
"IímÖ Iím MarieÖ Iím the Marvelous Strawberry Puff." she replied timidly,
"My ability is that I canÖ stop criminalsÖ withÖ with kindness."
"Sorry Puff, the superhero business isnít for little fluff balls. Next!" she
A green Blumaroo in a dark black coat walked up.
"Name, superhero name, and ability," the secretary asked.
"Iím Kevin. Iím known as Mysterioso the Mysterious," he began.
"And your ability?" she asked eagerly.
"I plumb the scum of Neopia!" He said, throwing off his coat to reveal a utility
outfit and a plunger.
"This is getting ridiculous," the Skeith sighed.
It was that time of year againÖ Superhero Tryouts. At the Defenders of Neopia
Office, long lines of masked good-doers to-be extended throughout the building.
Usually, thousands tried out. Only three or four actually made the cut. Margaret
the Skeith was one of the secretaries on the second floor. She screened the
would-be superheroes before they went up to the third floor for the official
tryouts. She took a long sip of her snowberry tea and took the next paper out
of her folder. She looked up to see a promising Neopet in front of her desk.
A strong-looking red Lupe stood there, smiling under a blue mask.
"Name, superhero name, and ability, please," she asked.
"My name is Jack, and my superhero name is the Masked Lupe." he began, "I
try to keep it simple. My ability is that I run fast, and I can track down villainous
behavior in a snap."
"How refreshing! A successful candidate!" Margaret smiled, stamping an approval
sign on Jackís form. "Please go up to third floor for your official tryout.
As Jack disappeared onto the elevator, a Wocky in a ballerina outfit came
"This is going to be a long day," Margaret moaned.
Jack reached the third floor to find a gym. A large, well-muscled Grundo met
"Hello, and congratulations on making it up here! You will have to endure
three tests to become a superhero. Iím Bob the Grundo Trainer. I will give you
the first test: endurance," the Grundo said.
Jack was sent to walk on a treadmill as long as he could. He walked on high-speed
for almost ten minutes. He then ran thirty laps in five minutes. Bob was very
"Now you must go to the next room. Master Cricket will meet you in there,"
he told Jack.
Jack walked to the next room to find many rocks and candles. A peaceful-looking
Shoyru sat in the middle of everything, eyes closed in thought.
"Salutations, Young One," he greeted him, opening his eyes, "I see you made
it past Bob the Grundo Trainer. Good work. A little JubJub came in here an hour
ago and got worn out running laps. This test is for the soul. You must truly
have purpose to serve this noble cause," Master Cricket said.
"Iím ready," Jack said.
"Sit here with me," Master Cricket instructed, nodding to a space on the floor
in front of him. "You must picture your life as a superhero. Saving the innocent,
putting others before yourself. Tell me what you see."
"I see," Jack began, concentrating hard, "myself. Iím trying t find a way
into a burning Neohome. Thereís a baby Flotsam in there! Iím climbing up into
the windowÖ I saved her! I hand her to her mother."
"Do you see fame? Respect? Money?" Master Cricket asked.
"No. I donít want fame or money. I see gratitude, and I see safety for the
citizens of Neopia." Jack said.
"You have proven true character, Young Lupe," Master Cricket smiled, "and
I would be honored if you passed to the last and final test. Best of wishes!"
Jack passed into the last room. It was a replica of an office building and
a street in the Bazaar. A Kyrii came up and smiled warmly.
"Itís great to meet you! Youíve been the only one to make it this far today!"
She said excitedly, "Iím so glad you came! This is a test. There are five models
on this set. Save the good citizens, get the bad guys. You have five minutes.
Jack nodded. The Kyrii pulled a lever by the door to begin the simulation.
At once, Jack rushed to the building. He climbed into it and saw a nasty-looking
Kiko by the stairs. He tackled it and tied it up. He continued upstairs to find
a little Meerca crying. He took it gently and ran it outside. He set it carefully
on the ground and turned to notice a Nimmo with a Poison Snowball. He ducked
low to cover the Meerca, then ran up and apprehended the Nimmo. He ran back
in the building to find a scared-looking Peophin. He carried her downstairs
and set her by the Meerca.
"One minute left!" The Kyrii called.
One more model to findÖ but where was it? He rushed up to the roof and looked
down. A frightened Poogle was on the ledge. He helped him off and carefully
ran downstairs with him. A buzzer rang and time was outÖ all five had been dealt
with. Bob, Master Cricket, and the Kyrii ran up to him as bells rang all over
"We have a new superhero!" Master Cricket cheered.
"Hurray!" Bob clapped.
Jack went back to the second floor to get his Official Superhero Certificate.
Margaret congratulated him happily. As he left, Margaret felt much safer, knowing
such a great citizen was watching out for the city. As he left to begin his
life of crime-fighting, a Red Korbat flew over, wearing pajamas and a night
"Name, superhero name, and ability, please," she asked,
"Iím Mark. The Sandman!" he began.
"Like I said," she murmured, "itís going to be a very long day."