Quivel was quivering with excitement - it was time for
another episode of Krawk Files, and he'd survived his first week on the Krawk
Kam Krew without a single mishap. As cameramen went, he was practically an old-timer.
Soon, he'd be getting a spot in the credits and everything! All he had to do
was hold the camera steady, and stay out of harm's way - easier said than done
on this show!
"Blimey! Welcome to another episode of The Krawk
Files! I'm your PetPet conservationist, Stevo Furwin," Stevo said, putting on
his best Wocky grin for the occasion.
"This is my lovely, wife, Keri…" he went on
to say. Quivel swung the camera around to focus on Keri the Acara's smiling
"And my best mate, Les," Stevo continued, pointing
at… empty air. Quivel blinked in confusion and held the camera on the empty
spot, dumbfounded. "… Keri, where's Les?"
"I don't know, Stevo. I told him it was time
to tape this week's episode. He said he'd be right out." She glanced towards
the Krawk Lair, shaking her head in annoyance.
"Well, crikey! Let's just tape the commercial
spot, then, and we'll go haul him out to do the beginning again…" Stevo tried
not to be annoyed, and got out the cardboard cut-out of Shidi, their commercial
sponsor. Shidi was completely unaffected by the missing Les situation; being
a cardboard cut-out has its advantages, after all. She smiled benevolently,
same as always, the winged high priestess of The Neopian Times. "If you need
an article, factual and true - about NeoHome bathrooms or Kasuki Lu, Shidi's
the gal for you! Isn't she a beaut? If you're looking for a story, be it funny,
or gory - just give her a call, she's on the ball - it's Shidi!" Stevo hugged
the cut-out and gave a big cheesy grin for the camera.
"He always gives the Shidi cut-out better hugs
than he gives me," Keri grumbled. "Let's go get Les so we can do the show. This
week's episode is supposed to be about why you don't feed carrots to Flouds,
and we've still got to get all the way to Faerieland…"
"Right-o. Let's go see what he's up to. I hope
that a dangerous PetPet didn't sneak into our Lair and bite his face off while
he was sleeping!" Stevo said as he headed for the door. The Krawk Lair was constructed
of bamboo, which, while reasonably sturdy, allowed sound to travel easily from
room to room. This was often somewhat annoying to Quivel and Les when Stevo
and Keri were having one of those little spousal disputes that involved growling
and throwing furniture. Fortunately, most of the furnishings were made of bamboo
too, so there weren't any serious injuries.
"Do you hear that, Stevo?" Keri said, craning
her ears. "It sounds like typing. Les must be in the lounge, using the computer.
I wonder if he's doing some important conservation research?"
"Blimey! This could be great footage. Les hard
at work to find the facts on PetPet conservation. Turn the camera back on Quivel,
we'll go and get a surprise shot of our mate hard at work for the Krawk Krew."
Stevo lead the way towards the lounge as Quivel turned the camera back on.
As they got closer, they could hear Les talking
to himself. "Oh, yeah… what a Krawk! Mm-hm! Look at that Warf! What a big bloke
he is! Ten points, muhahahah!"
Stevo and Keri rounded the corner, and crept
quietly towards Les, who was bent over the computer screen, pressing the arrow
keys on his keyboard with a furious paw. "Oh, yeah! Who's the Kyrii? I'm the
Quivel headed in for a close-up shot, as Stevo
pointed at the screen. "And here's Les, hard at work…. Feeding PetPets to a
mutant Chia?! Les!"
"Gah!!" cried Les, jumping out of his seat and
trying to cover the screen. "I was, uh… just playing a game of Extreme Herder,
"Is that Feed
Florg on that screen?" Keri growled, beginning to make The Face.
Knowing from experience that Acaras make very,
very scary faces, Stevo quickly adverted his eyes, and started prying Les's
paw off the screen. A mutant Chia with PetPets wandering around his plate was
"Oh, Les…" Stevo said, disappointed, "How shameful."
Les hung his head. "It's… it's just a game,
Stevo… I can stop playing it if you really want me to."
"Of course I want you to! How would it look
if the Krawk Krew, famous PetPet conservationists, were advocating the playing
of a game that involved sending innocent, beautiful PetPets to their demise
at the hands of a mutated Chia?" Stevo lectured.
"… bad?" Quivel guessed.
"Very bad!" Keri snapped. "This could ruin our
whole public image! Shame on you, Les! You're a bad, bad, Kyrii!"
"Now march right outside and get ready for filming!
We've got to go all the way to Faerieland today to do that Floud expose." Stevo
said, pointing out of the room.
"Can I at least hit Send Score?" Les pleaded.
"I got this kicking high--"
"No!" Keri growled. "Show. Now."
Les sighed and headed outside. He was just about
to beat his high score, too! PetPet conservation was great and all that, but…
there was just something nifty about watching the fat face of Florg gulp down
those PetPets. Sick, perhaps, but entertaining none the less. Maybe when work
was over, he could go back to playing. Yeah, that was it…just get through the
day's work, and then back to feeding Florg…
"We're going to catch the Faerie Ferry to Faerieland
- isn't this exciting?" Stevo said in his usual enthusiastic manner.
"Wow," said Les in a deadpan tone as Quivel
swung the camera his way. Florg was waiting! Why couldn't they just get on with
"Yes, Stevo, it certainly is! We're going to
catch a cloud and float straight up to Faerieland…" Keri said with a smile as
Quivel panned in her way.
"Uh… I have to visit the bathroom," Les said.
"What?" Stevo said, shaking his head.
"I drank a large tropical fruit smoothie, mate.
I've got to go…" he said, shifting from foot to foot for emphasis.
"Oh, hurry up then," Keri snarled.
"Right-o! I'll be back in a flash!" Les hurried
off for the house.
Stevo, Keri and Quivel waited mostly patiently
for the first five minutes. Then it became clear that something was amiss. Quivel
began to pace, while Keri muttered about Les's bladder. Stevo hit his head suddenly
as something came to him. "Uh-oh… remember that article by our sponsor, Shidi,
in one of those back issues of the Times?"
"The one with Kasuki Lu?" asked Quivel. "I liked
"No, mate… the one about NeoHome bathrooms…
and… what they're lacking."
"Hey, yeah!" Keri shouted. "There are no toilets
in Neopia!" She stomped towards the door, quickly followed by Stevo and Quivel.
Predictably, the sounds of furious key pressing could be heard from the lounge.
"Oh, yeahhhhh! Eat that Kadoatie! Gobble it
whole! Muhahaah! Eat 'em all!" Les was talking to himself again, scrunched over
the computer keyboard. "No… no… don't fall off the table! Agh, you son of a
Babaa! Game over! Nooooo… wait a minute! High score! Oh, yeahhhh!" Les stood
up to do the victory dance around his chair, turning straight around to face
the rather angry Krawk Krew. "Uh... hi guys. I forgot I'd left the computer
on after visiting the bathroom and was just about to turn it off…."
"Oh, we'll be turning it off…"Stevo said, eyeing
the cord menacingly, "Les, you're a PetPet conservationist. This is for your
"Yeah!" said Keri, waggling a paw at him. "You're
an addict! You need help."
"Florg! Nooo… don't do it Stevo!" Les wailed.
"Wave bye bye to your mutant mate, Les…" Stevo
said, leaning down to pull the plug.
"Bye bye, Florg…" sniffled Les. "Bye bye, NP…."
Stevo's paw closed around the cord.
"Wait, Stevo!" Keri cried. "Did you say… NP,
"Keri!" gasped Stevo, shocked.
"Well, funds are kind of tight, you know, and
the souvenir shop doesn't have anything but toy sailboats left in it…" Keri
"NP, mates! Lots of it!" Les said, clicking
the Send Score button while he had the chance. Keri and Stevo watched the score
send NP electronically to their bank account… and blinked at the total.
"Les… you're really good at this game," Stevo
said, pondering. "That is a lot of NP…."
"They're only virtual PetPets, Stevo. Besides,
no one ever needs to know about it…" Keri said, smiling sweetly.
"Wellll… I guess. If you agree to only play
three times a day, Les, it's okay by me!" Stevo said, giving the thumbs up.
"All right!" said Les with a grin, settling
back into the chair to play again. Keri, Stevo, and Quivel crowded around to
"Devour that Warf! Crunch his bones!" Keri shouted.
"Don't drop that Slorg, mate!" cried Stevo.
"Look out for the Hasee!" called Quivel.
"Shhh!" Les groaned, as he missed a Bearog.
What had he started?