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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 31st day of Hunting, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 80 > Short Stories > Database Problems

Database Problems

by noremac9

Untitled Document

Goroth waited patiently on a bench, sure his client would arrive at any minute. He was a blue Lupe with a placid complexion, and no outstandingly interesting features. The suit he wore was new, shined (despite the fact that it was made of denim-- Goroth had some interesting ideas indeed), and fairly expensive. Goroth was a consultant for small businesses, and at this moment in time was waiting for a client-- one, S. Aisha-- to arrive and meet him. He'd already been there for ten minutes, and he had been late by two minutes, but he was sure she'd arrive. Eventually. As he glanced to his right, he thought he saw her (though he had never seen a picture of her, Goroth had good instincts) coming around the corner, just barely in view. He squinted (and yes, he knew as we all do, that squinting does nothing) to see if it was her, but he was suddenly interrupted.

     "Neopets," Boomed a red Usul, appearing out of nowhere, "is down for maintenance, we'll be back up in an hour or so - sorry about that!"

     At that very moment, every owner in sight vanished-- just as they always did. They were forced out of Neopia for a short time; they didn't see what went on after the problem started. Lucky them. Now came they real announcement.

     "Hang on," shouted the Usul, its tone not as friendly, "here comes the first wave!"

     Goroth swallowed hard. He hated server problems, especially on days when he had to meet with clients. Nevertheless, a job is a job, and he began waving at the approaching Aisha. As he did so, his paw slowed down and began moving at the same speed one expects an extremely fast pet rock to move-- that is to say it was moving very slowly.

     "Uuuuuuuhhhhhhh-ooooohhhhhhhh," he slurred, the words coming out in extremely slow motion, "wwwweeeeeeee'rrrreeee ssssllllooooowwwiiing dooooowwwwnnnn..."

     Or so he thought. The truth was that HE was slowing down, but not every pet was. In fact, every pet began moving at a different speed, and soon there was mild havoc everywhere. A few were lucky enough to move very fast, which allowed them to get whatever they were doing done in half the time or less. However, others, like Goroth, were moving in slow motion. This made speaking, moving, and gesturing nearly impossible. And so, for the time being, Goroth's attempts to wave to his client (who was going so slowly she had nearly stopped moving entirely) futile.

     "Ooooooohhhhhh, wwwwweeeeelllll..." Goroth thought, as even his mind moved in slow motion.

     Suddenly, a small wet object splattered on the back of Goroth's head. It felt like a Flightning bug dipped in cold water, but smaller (yes, Goroth's mind was moving in slow motion, not just his body). But soon Goroth recognized it for what it was; rain. Soon there was rain pouring down like the fury of a water faerie, but Goroth knew what had caused it, and faeries were out of the picture. Now the elements were being unleashed, one of the many phases of server breakdown. Luckily, he stopped moving in slow motion, and resumed normal speed (a tad faster than normal, actually, but not enough to notice). The monsoon continued, and was soon joined by something else; snow. In this part of Neopia central, they rarely got snow, (and never got it mixed with rain) but a server problem is a server problem, and it's rumored that the glitch was feeling particularly creative on that day.

     Goroth was beginning to lose all hope of meeting with his client. The rain and snow was so heavy he couldn't even see twenty feet in front of him, much less all the way to where his client was. He trudged slowly forward, but tripped on the curb, due to low visibility. But to his surprise he hovered in the air exactly the way fat Snorkles (or thin Lupes, for that matter) don't. He waited a few seconds to open his eyes, but to his surprise, he never hit the ground. Finally, he opened them and saw that he was hovering right off the ground, with no gravity to bother him.

     "Oh dear," he said to no one in particular, "gravity seems to have given out. Happened to me last time, too... At least I'm moving normally again."

As he said this, not so far as three feet away from him, a Jubjub was making a sound like a Turmaculas snoring mixed with a gust of wind from Terror Mountain.

     "Mrrph... uhhh.. OUT?" he cried to Goroth, "I... can't... move. Gravity is... too strong... on me. How... can you... say gra--... gravity has given... out?"

     "Poor you," Remarked Goroth, still floating a little bit above the ground, "I guess everyone is feeling different gravitational effects."

     "Great..." mumbled the compressed Jubjub.

     Suddenly, the rain and snow stopped. Instead, the sun shone brightly down on all of them. Quite brightly, in fact. Hotly, too. Scorchingly, rather, it shone down on all of them, which helped to dry them fairly quickly. Then they got hot. Goroth was still hovering right above the ground (he had no way to get down, considering he was experiencing zero gravity) and his friend was still stuck onto it. Now that the vision-hindering elements were gone, (and since Goroth had nothing better to do while floating there and sweating,) he looked for his client once again. He finally spotted her, but not where he expected. She was walking on the side of a "Jetsam Loans, son and co." building, defying gravity as well.

     "Hey," cried Goroth, trying to get her attention from the far distance, "OVER HERE!"

     As he did so, the noise seemed to go astray from where it was aimed. Since his individual self was out of the reach of gravity now, so were his sound waves (I know that sound waves are hardly affected by gravity, but tell the database that). He tried again, but the sound just shot out towards infinity and floated away, much happier than it would have been if it had got where it was going.

     He watched his client intently, who, upon reaching the edge of the wall, began to fall quickly east. Apparently, gravity had become aligned to the east for his client. She kept on falling east, over pets, trees and mailboxes, sure to end up in the clouds, thanks to the arch of the globe. But luckily for her, him, and anyone else that cared, that never happened, because at that moment every pet was sent back to their original gravitational spot. The Jubjub lifted off the ground, Goroth returned to it, and his client was sent whizzing back to the street she originally walked on. The sun also stopped it's brutal heat, and everyone was able to stop sweating (of course, those pets without sweat glands were just able to stop being hot; they felt rather left out, as well).

     "Attention all pets," boomed the red Usul, suddenly back, "the forces of nature, motion and space, the relation of you to the universe, and other such things have all been restored. Don't stop worrying just yet though: wave two!"

     Goroth was slightly relieved. For a moment, anyway. Suddenly he had a nagging feeling like wave two was something to start worrying about, but couldn't remember if it was or not. Still, the nagging feeling persisted, making him very uncomfortable. Luckily, he found out why he was feeling uncomfortable very shortly. Seemingly out of nowhere (actually, it was out of nowhere, but it sounds better the other way) a horde of barbarian Wockies, ancient marauders of an age past, appeared.

     "What's happening, Nigthor?" cried one of the Wockies.

"We seem to have been moved, I thinks, my Tagnirrit. Ah well, make the best of it, that's what me mum used to say. Aye, let us storm this land an' pillage its booty?" Screamed the leader of the small group, who apparently had ideas to attack everything around them.

     "Aye, wh--" the other Wocky started, but was cut off by a thunderous noise.

     There was a huge creature looming behind them, it too appearing seemingly out of nowhere (and it too really appeared out of nowhere, but it once again sounds better). It looked not unlike a Krawk, in many ways, but was easily four times larger, and had many different features. A small vortex of time-disruptive power (otherwise known as a cross-time glitch) fluttered away behind it, leaving it standing there in awkward silence.

     "What in the blazes o' mount fire's that?" asked a stunned Wocky quietly.

     "Wadda ya' mean, Blakard? Are ya' sayin' ya' don't know a dragon when ya' see one?" asked one of his comrades.

     "Eh? A dragon? Hardly!" laughed the large creature, "I'm just a Takrau, not a dragon!"

     "Sounds like dragon trickery to me..." mumbled the second Wocky.

     "Can't both of you get out of here?" questioned Goroth, who thought things were growing very strange indeed, but was happy the nagging was gone.

     "Yeah, I'd like to get out of this little primitive village," agreed the Takrau.

     "Primitive?" asked Goroth.

     "Yeah, what's the year?" the Takrau wondered.

     "Year Five," Goroth told him.

     "AH! My goodness, I bet there are still Krawks here!" it asked, almost stunned.

     "Uh, yeah, but why?" Goroth asked, but soon had to dive behind a bench.

     "CHARGE THE DRAGON!" Cried the horde, "FOR HONOR AND GLORY!"

     They charged the Takrau, but as soon as they came in contact with him there was a large crackle of energy, and all that lay behind was a sunken crater. Flaming shrapnel flew in nearly every direction, burning the already scarred city-square.

     "Two different times collided, big server problem when that happens," announced the Usul, appearing again, "Sorry about it pulling two different things from two different times-- wave two it always goes on the fritz with the time factor."

     Goroth climbed out from under the bench. He looked around reproachfully, just to be sure the Wocky Raiders and the big dragon were gone-- they were. He plucked some shrapnel out of his newly shined suit, poor thing was ruined. Torn, wet, burnt, and utterly dirtied, he'd have to get a new one. He looked around for his client. He finally saw her, coming out of her refuge (a Dumpster) and wiping herself off. She pulled her briefcase out of the Dumpster and turned to leave.

     Goroth rushed at her, running as fast as his four feet would carry him. She was still dusting herself off, and signaled a Skieth-pulled cart.

     "Hey," he interrupted her; "I'm here to meet about your small business."

     She looked at him curiously. "But... what about all the wreckage, and the fire?"

     "A meeting is a meeting," he smiled. Despite all his eccentricities, Goroth was a real professional.

The End

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