The dark murky waters continued to swirl even after all
this time. But the current had gotten weaker. Far below, the blue fin-like turrets
of the city of Maraqua lay scattered about on the sea floor. Even from above,
it was easy to see that if Maraqua were ever going to be rebuilt, it would take
the effort of a massive cleanup crew putting in many hours. The darkness and
still swirling waters cast an ominous shadow over the scene. Even the Koi, the
once proud citizens of Maraqua, were afraid to return.
Mrkrawk looked at the safety deposit box. He
had played with most of the toys, and thought he was too mature for most of
them. He was going to be two years old in a few months, and even though he secretly
still played with plushies, he didn't want anyone to know. Lately he had been
depressed, so that even his owner had noticed.
"What is wrong, why do you seem so depressed
lately?" she had asked him one day.
"It's hard to explain, but I think I need a
So this lead Mrkrawk to look at the safety deposit box. After all, if he was going anywhere, he'd need supplies. Looking over the
few things they owned, something caught his eye. It was a Lampfish, one of many
retired Utility Fish. He watched for a few seconds as it moved. It seemed to
gasp for air, never dying, just suffering. Why would anyone want something like
"Mom, what is this Lampfish for?" he asked.
"Oh that, it's just a Lampfish. They are retired.
They don't do anything. They just sit there."
"Really? Why can't we use it for something?"
"I don't know, you just can't. I don't even
know why we have it, to tell you the truth."
Mrkrawk studied the Lampfish a little longer
and a sudden idea came to him. People judged the Lampfish. They already thought
it was useless. But maybe there was more to it. He knew that people often developed
stereotypes. People had Stereotypes about Krawks. Some people said that all
Krawks were snobs. But although some Krawks might be, that didn't mean they
all were. It is unfair to judge every Krawk just because one was snobby.
"Mom, I think people judge the Lampfish like
they judge Krawks They think that they are useless. I am sure that we could
put it to use though, if we tried. We just need to give it a chance."
"Hey that is a great idea. It can be like a
project for you to do. I am sure that would be very educational."
"Come on Lampfish, you and I are going on a
trip!" Mrkrawk told the Lampfish. It just gasped for air and made googly eyes
at him, but he thought the Lampfish understood. Mrkrawk walked happily down
Main Street in Neopia, all the way to the market. In the distance he could see
the pointed blue tent with the stars and moons on it. That was the Shop Wizard.
The Shop Wizard would help him, he thought. After waiting his turn, he asked
the Shop Wizard for the names of other utility fish. Some of the utility fish
were unbuyable, however. He checked the money tree, but didn't see any. So he
bought a few that he could.
"Aww... I can't afford them all," he thought
as he left the last store, a Utility Fish gallery. But the owner noticed and
began talking to him. The owner was a yellow Jubjub and looked oddly familiar.
He told the strange Jubjub that he was trying to do a project, to find out if
utility fish could be useful.
"If you can find a use for them, then the prices
would go up. I could make some money then, instead of having them collect dust
in my gallery. Hmm... this might be worthwhile. What do you say if I give you
one of each?"
"Oh great! Thanks!" so Mrkrawk now had all the
utility fish. He looked over them for a while, just trying to take it all in.
There were so many! He picked up one called a toyfish. When he first looked
at it, it looked like a crab, but a second later it looked like a bird. That
one was really funny. He found himself laughing out loud and had to put his
hand over his mouth. Luckily he looked around in time to see no one had noticed.
Then he tried on a mantahatfish. He felt suckers sticking to his head. It did
seem to keep his head warm though.
"Hey get this thing off of me!" he ran around
screaming when it didn't let go of his head. "Let go!" he yelled and it finally
"Phew... I'll never do that again!" Mrkrawk
After testing all the Utility Fish out, he still
couldn't see what was so good about them. The hammerfish seemed too rubbery
to really do a good job with hammering. The codcombfish could comb your hair,
but would also leave a fish smell behind. And he didn't even want to try to
brush his teeth with a squidtoothbrushfish.
"You guys, I hate to say this, but I don't see
anything good about you at all."
The fish all looked at him, sadly he thought.
"How can you be looking at me like that? You
probably don't even understand what I am saying. You are nothing but fish anyway,
so why do I care?" but the fish just kept giving him the same sad look.
"Well I guess I do care then, but what can I
do about it?" he asked "Listen to me, I am talking to fish! I really do need
Then he looked at the Lampfish again. The same
old Lampfish he always had. It was still doing that strange gasping.
"Poor fish, I bet you want to go home, don't
you? But Maraqua isn't there anymore. No one is even trying to rebuild it."
He sighed, then he thought about what he had just said. "No one is even trying
He glanced down at the fish again. "Toolboxfish...
Hammerfish... Sawfish... Plierfish... Knifefish... Clampfish," he said to himself.
"Why, That's it! That is what you guys are for isn't it?! You are here to rebuild
The Utility fish seemed to perk up at the mention
of their home. Maybe they did understand him, Mrkrawk thought. But how was he
going to get them to Maraqua? Then he remembered Dorak owned a small rowboat.
Maybe he would let him borrow it.
"Um, I don't know," Dorak said. "Those guys
from the Black Pawkeet are still out looking for me. And if they spot you, you
could really be in for it. Believe me, I've had practice getting away from them,
and even then it isn't easy. The row boat isn't the easiest thing to steer either."
"Please Dorak, Maraqua needs to be rebuilt and
I think I have figured out a way."
"Oh those pirates are going to be mad if they
find out I was involved. You'll have to risk it alone. Good luck."
So Mrkrawk loaded the Utility Fish into the
rowboat while Dorak helped him secure everything and explained how to operate
"And be sure not to go too fast or you'll lose
control. And be sure to watch the horizon carefully for signs of approaching
storms and pirate ships. Also watch out for rocks and even glaciers, those things
can appear out of nowhere. Oh please be careful," Dorak said while biting
his nails. "Oh my beautiful boat."
Mrkrawk nodded, but really wasn't paying attention.
The day was fair and everything seemed so peaceful. It was hard to think that
anything bad could happen. So away he went, headed for Maraqua. The first few
minutes were really exciting, but after a while boredom set in. It was hard
to tell he was even moving when there was an endless expanse of blue water all
around. There was no point of reference, nothing to judge how far they had gone.
He checked the gauge on the boat and saw that they were only a few miles out.
"Stupid gauge is probably broken..." he muttered
to himself "I am sure we are farther out than that. I'll have to speed things
up a little bit." So, in spite of what Dorak had said, he sped up.
"Yay, I am really making some progress now,"
he thought as the boat gained speed. But suddenly, he saw something, a rock
jutting out of the water and he was headed for it! He turned sharply to avoid
the rock, but overcorrected and spun out. The boat spun and spun and almost
tipped over. It began to take on water, so he used the spoonfish to help bail
it out. But there is only so much a spoonfish can hold. The boat was in danger
of sinking! To make matters worse, Mrkrawk was now disoriented. He didn't know
which way to go. When they had spun out he had lost his since of direction,
and now he wasn't sure which way was North.
"I know, I'll look at the sun. But, he hadn't
been paying attention to the weather like Dorak had warned, and now a cloud
was overhead, obscuring his view.
"Arrgh... how much worse could it get?" he asked.
Then he looked up to see the Black Pawkeet approaching in the distance. He slapped
his forehead in disgust. 'I just had to ask didn't I?"
Mrkrawk tried to act casual as the ship came
closer and closer.
"My Grarrl... my Grarrl... talking about myyyy
Grarrl... my Grarrl my Grarrl... oooohh..." he sang while trying to act like
it was perfectly natural for him to be out in the middle of the ocean. But as
the boat got closer he could see the skeleton Kiko pirate, Captain Dread looking
down at him.
"Arr... what have we have here? What kind of
land loving bilge rat be ye?" he said as he pointed his sword.
Mrkrawk just grinned sheepishly and said, "I
am a Krawk, not a rat. Um, nice weather were having today."
"Har Har Har... it's coming a regular gullywasher.
Hear that boys, nice weather... har... har!" Captain Dread laughed and poked
the other pirates in the ribs while slapping at where his knee would be. Well,
he didn't have any knees because he was a Kiko, so he just slapped at the air.
"Say... let's make him walk the plank!" said
one of the other pirates
"How about you just leave me here? It is pretty
useless to make me walk the plank when I am already down here in the water and
my boat is slowly filling with water," Mrkrawk said sarcastically.
"Arrgh... you are confusing me!" said Captain
Dread. "Just for that we will make you walk the plank twice!"
"Let's fire a cannon at him first!"
Mrkrawk watched in horror as the cannon pointed
right at him. The fuse was lit and there was nowhere he could go. He ducked,
even though he knew that wouldn't help. Suddenly, something weird happened.
The discballfish jumped up, jamming itself in the cannon just as it fired. There
was a muffled sound as the cannon tried to fire but didn't. The pirates became
enraged and started to make their way over, when a sawfish swam out and sawed
a hole in their boat! A knifefish jumped this way and that threatening to cut
any pirate in it's path. A fountianpenfish squirted ink at the pirates.
"Arrgh! I don't want to be called Blue Beard!"
said the pirate while trying to get the ink out of his beard.
The mantahatfish latched on to Captain Dread's
head and wouldn't let go. A golfclubfish gave them a good whacking and an Anchorfish
anchored their boat down so they couldn't escape. Pirates were running this
way and that as pillowfish, futonfish, and starchairfish flew at them. Mrkrawk
watched in amazement as the "so-called" useless Utility Fish were doing what
no one else had been able to do. They were defeating the pirates!
"Go Go Go!" he shouted and cheered. 'That'll
show 'em! Give 'em a left and a right! Woo hoo!" In mere minutes the pirate
ship was looking pretty tattered and the pirates were laying motionless with
little Xs for eyes. They would recover in time, but everything was safe for
"Utility Fish to the Rescue!" Mrkrawk shouted
and the Utility Fish all hopped back into the rowboat.
"Which way to Maraqua?" Mrkrawk asked and the
Lampfish jumped out and swam ahead, showing the way. It was storming by now,
but Mrkrawk felt safe with the Utility fish around. They crowded around him,
sheltering him from the rain. Once they were over the swirling waters that marked
where Maraqua was, it was time to say "Goodbye" to the Utility Fish. MrKrawk
watched as the Lampfish descended farther and farther into the deep, followed
by a Sharklight.
The toolboxfish jumped in next, followed by the
Hammerfish, Sawfish, Plierfish, Clampfish and Wrenchfish. Far below, Mrkrawk
knew they would each be doing whatever they could to repair Maraqua. All the
fish finally disappeared below. He smiled, knowing that they didn't need him
anymore. He began to paddle for home, thinking to himself how good it would
be to go home. "Goodbye Lampfish! Goodbye!" he said And far below the Lampfish
glowed warm and happy for it to was going home.