N.P.I.A. Headquarters, an Undisclosed Location in Neopia Central
CLASH!!! The sound of two cymbals being
brought together were enough to make anyone smile that cloudy morning at the
agency. Having convinced Chief that she was not to be treated as any other ex-convict,
Agent_Magnolia the red (formerly pink before the 'paint brush makeover') Aisha
was back to her regular work. In fact, she'd solved three new cases since the
incident, and Taro, Natalie and Sys-op were all glad to see that Magnolia, the
agency, and, of course, Magnolia's perfect record back to normal.
This morning, Magnolia had woken Sys-op
with the "cymbal method" and just as Sys-op was stumbling dazedly off of the
office desk, Chief and Natalie ran into the room. "Magnolia, here you are!"
"What's all the commotion?" Magnolia
asked, looking up.
"You're on your next case, Magnolia,"
Chief replied, handing her three photographs. The first picture was that of
a large silver spaceship. "That picture was taken by a satellite and was reported
to be named The Vanity. If you'll look at the next photograph..."
Magnolia turned her attention to the
second photograph, which was of a lovely silver-haired alien Aisha. "The captain
of The Vanity: Aglyco (Ah-gla-ee-so.) The ship was probably named after her
sense of narcissism; she's just constructed...turn the page...."
The third photograph showed a large
contraption with many different buttons and levers. "Another vending machine?"
"No," replied Natalie. "Apparently,
that's her newest invention, the purpose of which being to give every Aisha
on Neopia an extra set of ears."
"Why would she want to do that?" Sys-op
"Who knows?" Chief answered. "All I
want you to do is to stop her. Most Aishas don't rest well with being alien
Aishas when they really aren't, although some might."
"The actual alien Aishan government
isn't supporting this, are they?" Sys-op asked.
"No. Aglyco is doing this without consent,"
"Hmm...well, all right. Where do I go to counter the ray, then? Faerieland?
Mystery Island? --Oh, let me guess, Meridell?"
"No, we don't know where exactly on
Neopia it will be fired, so you're going to The Vanity to stop it altogether,"
"WHAT?" Magnolia stood up. "Don't you
know how serious a space mission is? One wrong calculation and who knows what
could happen! L-like...that one agent who disappeared--SHE went on a space mission
"What are you talking about, Magnolia?"
"Um...her name was--something that
started with an 'N'. Anyway, she went on a space mission and she never came
back!" Magnolia exclaimed.
Natalie turned to Chief. "I think I
do know what she's talking about," he replied. "An Aisha who worked at the agency
has gone missing recently, but I doubt that she's in any danger, really. Magnolia,
the chances of a miscalculation are quite slim."
"Slim, but existent!" Magnolia cried.
"Okay, then," Chief answered, finding
a notepad and pencil. "'31st of Hiding, Y4, Magnolia turns down a case for the
"--OKAY! Okay, I'll go!" Magnolia complied,
giving in with the threat of her record being marred. "When do I leave?"
"As soon as possible!" Natalie replied.
"The longer I get to keep my normal appearance, the better!"
"Well, I don't think you would look
too bad with an extra pair of Aisha ears, really," said Chief.
"Well I do!" Natalie retorted, ushering
Magnolia out the door. "Chop-chop, Mag!"
"All right, then," Magnolia murmured.
"Let's go, Sys-op."
Chief, Natalie, Sys-op, and Magnolia
left the office and went outside to view the ship Magnolia would depart in.
It was narrow, and not very tall, and the size of it didn't ease Magnolia's
anxiety, but near the top of the ship was a small motif of a white magnolia.
"Oh, how nice!" Magnolia cooed. She
turned to Chief. "I'm still not feeling any safer about this."
"You'll be fine, really," he said,
looking away. "Well, like Natalie said: the sooner you leave the better."
Later that day...
"Magnolia," Sys-op said, staring at
the red Aisha. "Push the button."
"No!" Agent_Magnolia retorted. "If
I push this button, I'll leave everything I know behind for good! My home, my
possessions, my job--oh, my RECORD! I can't leave all of the things I know and
love behind forever just because I leave this atmosphere and push this button!
What happens if there's a miscalculation? Oh, what will I do th--"
Sys-op slapped her owner into sanity.
"Thank you, Sys, I needed that," Magnolia replied.
"You two haven't launched yet?" queried
Chief through a speaker. "Magnolia, it's been an hour since we confirmed your
"I know, but..." Magnolia looked down
at a large red button. "Okay, fine!" she cried, abruptly slamming down on it
with her paw. An alarm sounded and a few red lights flashed as the ship rose
into the air. A screen flashed to show the ship's gradual departure of the Neopian
atmosphere. Suddenly, Magnolia felt the craft slow down. "What's going on?"
she asked Sys-op, her 'co-pilot.'
"I don't think we've reached escape
velocity!" she exclaimed. "We'll crash at this rate!"
"W-what's the escape velocity of Neopia?"
"I don't KNOW!" Sys-op cried, frantically
trying to stabilise the rocket. Suddenly, it jerked backwards, sending Magnolia
and Sys-op out of their seats.
"OUCHIES!" Magnolia cried as she hit
the back wall of the ship. The ship sped forward at its original speed.
"...I think we're fine now," Sys-op
observed. "Chief, didn't you say that the chances of a miscalculation were SLIM?"
"Sorry, you two," he replied. "There
is no definite escape velocity of the planet, so we had to just guess."
"It was just an honest mistake," Natalie
added. "Everything else here on in should be fine."
"I hope so," Sys-op answered, walking
to the front and pulling open a shade that blocked the vast window. The light
of millions of stars, including the sun, shone through the pane. "Who put this
shade here? Oh well."
"Okay," said Magnolia. "Since that's
over, we should head to The Vanity as soon as possible. Faeries know how close
Aglyco's come to firing that ray."
To be continued...