The Neopian West...
It was a star-studded night in the dry, vast
valley of sand and dehydrated suffering that only the rowdiest of Kaupeople
called home. Cactuses bloomed in the moonlight, parading their wondrous petals
before the Scamanders that scurried across the rapidly cooling sand without
a care. A joyful chorus of desert crickets struck up a tune, adding background
music to the serene scene as well as the howls of the rapidly disappearing Native
Lupe Tribes, moving farther and farther away in a sick kind of one-way tango
as the hokey, gimmicky Ghost Towns, Kau farms, and other such things pushed
Beyond the dusty, half-abandoned town of Cactus
Fanny sat a deep ravine, where the many Ghost Towns desperately competed in
search of gold, oil, and other jewels. The Gelerts of Fanny often had wars with
the Native Lupe Tribes over the ravine's contents. The wars proved great distraction,
and while they occurred Outlaws often seized the opportunity to rob the women
and children back at the town.
Outlaws like Dustin Kaupoke, wanted with a
reward of 18,000 NP, alive or otherwise. Kaupoke was unusually skinny and bony
for a Kau. He had a shallow, sunken face that usually had a sullen expression
smeared across it, and his eyes, instead of bright and wide, were smaller and
darker, mostly hidden under his dusty brown kauboy hat. Although you could see
most of his ribcage inside his blue-furred chest, he was an unusually fast (if
not stubborn) individual, with lightening tongue to match. His only fault was
his endless need to openly voice his sarcastic thoughts and complaints with
any creature in earshot.
And right then, Kaupoke has more than enough
to shoot his mouth off about, although for lack of thirst his loud voice was
momentarily silenced. He sighed, his sore eyes leering around from his sore
head as he grimly galloped through the seemingly endless mounds of sand. As
the sun glared into his pupils, his face squished up like a wrung sponge, and
he felt he could finally not handle the loud any longer when it finally happened.
"I suppose this here is far enough, Poke.
Kaupoke let out a long moan of relief before
collapsing onto the ground with a little cracking noise, the air zooming out
of his lungs like a balloon.
"FINALLY! I think you should put a little
bumper sticker on your belt with your weight on it so that I can start charging
you by the pound. Of course, I'd need a jack to hold up all the layers of fat
from your stomach to see it, but I think the financial gain would be worth the
A huge black paw cuffed the Kau's large ear
with a huge, powerful sweep, and he yelped in pain before letting his complaints
die down into undetectable grumbling. Kaupoke was loud, but he was smart enough
to know not to disturb his enormous partner too much. He drummed his hooves
on a rock as a massive Skeith clambered off his back, the spurs on his pitch-black
leather boots jingling as he emptied a small knapsack onto the ground.
"Hm...out of Hamburger, Kau...ain't that a
shame? Well, I suppose we'll make do with what we have."
If people though Kaupoke was bad, they knew
Rancid Rex (or Percy Hornswaggle, although if you called him by his real name
you most likely wouldn't wake up the next morning) was about ten times worse
(and worth about ten times more at 180,000). His temper was like lightening,
his gut was like steel, and his guns were like...well, really fast thingies
that fired stuff at other thingies really well. He was a massive skunk Skeith,
not too graceful on his heavy paws but quite the ballerina when directing Kaupoke
across rough terrain.
"Kaupoke, Ah'm a getting mighty tired. There
ain't no people fer miles 'round these parts, and we're runnin' short on supplies..."
Kaupoke snorted as he grabbed a few logs and
started up a fire. His face was illuminated in the darkness as he sat down,
stretching his legs. "YOU'RE tired? I've been carrying your fat frame for miles.
Your BUTT is imprinted into my back, and I think if we don't get chiropractic
assistance soon something's gonna SNAP!"
He proved his point by rolling his neck around
twice. A sound like a thousands twigs being stepped on at once flew from his
cracking neck. Rex's eyes widened as he dropped the can of beans he was holding.
"And that was just my neck. Care to hear the
full, unabridged 'Nutcracker' Ballet, performed by my vertebrae?"
Rex grunted in disgust as Kaupoke stood up
on his hind legs and held up his arms, expertly twisting his back to crack out
a sound eerily close to a nutcracker. He nodded his head twice and a sound like
a machine gun rattled from his ears. Finally, he bent over, and touched his
toes in an aerobic exercise move to make a snap so loud it seemed like invisible
fireworks were dancing in the sky.
In the distance, Lupes howled in agony and
Scamanders scattered for miles around as Rex cuffed his partner over the ear
again. Kaupoke snorted, falling back onto all fours with a popcorn rattle. Rex
built up a makeshift fire, pouring the beans into an empty, dirty pot as Kaupoke
performed yoga exercises from a book.
"So, now what, almighty outlaw? We must have
robbed every town in the west, and now that they know we've escaped from jail,
they're all going to be on guard! And with the endless desert and the Injuns,
we'll never be able to travel safely again! And I'm getting tired of going to
bed with visions of sugarplums and bounty hunters with bazookas dancing around
in my head!"
"Ha! What do ya THINK we'll do?" Rex stuck
the beans over the fire, taking off his hat with his other paw to fan it. "We've
gotta get us some disguises! Then we can sneak into town lots easier."
"Disguises? Oh, now why didn't you think of
that when we went to Cactus Fanny? We might have actually NOT been caught! Oh,
but you think of everything just a LITTLE bit too late, that's right, I forgot.
A little slow in the noggin, as I recall."
Kaupoke tapped his head with a hoof, grinning
as he watched Rex turn red.
"One crayon short of a set. A few books less
than a library. A few yards behind the mile, a couple of beans..."
Kaupoke cracked his neck with a rebellious
grin, launching into an abusive flurry of insults.
"You're so fat that when you walk down the
street in a yellow cowboy hat, people scream that the Turmaculus is back and
sic their petpets on you. And you eat 'em, too."
"Kau...Ah'm warnin' ya..."
"You're so fat that when Count Von Roo attacked
you, he decided to skip sucking your blood cause he was tryin' to cut down on
"You're SOOOO ugly, that when you actually
won at Kiss the Mortog, the princesses started to explode! And..."
"SHUT IT, Kau. Now, we'll steal us some of
those false moustaches, phoney glasses, and new clothes from a tradin' post
somewheres. And then, we'll go on and get ourselves up as different peoples,
see? That way, no one will ever know it was us!"
Kaupoke sighed as he tied his legs into a
pretzel, sniffing the beans with disgust. "First even halfway bright idea I've
ever heard come out of your chubby-cheeked mouth, oh Great Tub-of-Lard. The
only problem is, we have zero NP. AND, our faces are on every wanted poster
from here to the Lost Desert. AND, we ain't got a single friend in the world
save the Scamanders and the goldarned tumble weeds."
He gestured to the endless desert to prove
his point. A Scamander watching from a distance scurried away in alarm as he
"The next town we come across could be for
hundreds of miles, and they'll be likely to hang us the moment they see us!"
Rex finally lost his temper. Foam flew out
of his mouth and his eyes became wide and bloodshot as he pulled out his pistols
and shoved each of them up Kaupoke's nostrils.
"LISTEN!! The only reason we're low on NP
is that you spent all them on those stupid cartons of milk and massage therapy!
And if YOU could move a little faster, we'd probably have reached a town by
now!! IT'S ALL YER FAULT, YOU WORTHLESS..."
Rex was about to make some holy bologna out
of Kaupoke before he stopped himself. His claws trembling and clutching the
pistol handles he stood up, glaring at the unimpressed steer with a dangerous
glint in his beady eyes. Nobody was afraid of Rancid Rex or Kaupoke anymore.
The fear died as soon as they were captured. Captured and put into that rotten
jail. By those stinking EASTERNERS!!
"Well, you're right about one thing, Kaupoke.
We ARE far away from any of them trading posts. But it ain't YER fault. It's
that lousy Chia, Al, and that there Lupe, Thornpaw!! I reckon if we ain't welcome
in the west no more, we'll have to go EAST. And the first stop we'll have to
make is at Al's place!"
Kaupoke's neck cracked as he leaned over to
grab his plate and fork, still grousing. "Oh, just great! Now I get to carry
you the OTHER direction!! Goody!"
The pair loaded beans onto their plates, scoffing
away as the stars twinkled above them in the clear desert sky. Things were never
going to be the same for the Neopian West or East again.
"I could have been a decent rodeo Kau, run
around all day and stab Chia clowns in the fanny with my horns with halfway-good
pay. But nooooooo. I had to pursue a life of crime with fatty of the year..."
"You can be easily replaced, Kau."
"Oh, whatever. I'm sure lots more Kaus would
be able to carry you, Rex. Why, you're so petite that you could be swept away
in the breath of a butterfly!"
"Shut up, Kau. I'm warnin' you."
"Oh? You understand sarcasm now? I'll have
to be a lot more careful around you now, chipmunk cheeks. By the way, your mother
called, and BOY, I didn't think it was possible, but she even SOUNDED fat!"
"GIT BACK HERE, KAU!!"
BLAM!! BLAM BLAM!!