Houston, We Have a Problem
"Your permission to come aboard, Captain?"
Wiseguy the glowing Wocky looked at who was
in the doorway of the spaceship. It was only Tweetie, his younger brother and
fellow astronaut. Wiseguy nodded gravely and answered, "Permission granted."
The starry Pteri climbed into the seat next
to Wiseguy, with a mock salute. The ship was a little crowded, but soon they
both would be out of it, exploring the world and embarking on new adventures.
Tweetie sat down and took hold of the steering wheel with both wings. He glanced
up at his older brother, who was the more dominant one, and asked, "Where to?"
"Kreludor!" Wiseguy exclaimed. "Ready?" His
face was lit up in excitement… or perhaps that was just his green glow.
He began in a booming voice, "Three… two… one…"
"Blast-off!" yelled Tweetie, and he started
to flap his wings for a better effect. The entire spaceship began to quake from
Wiseguy and Tweetie slamming back and forth. Tweetie felt his head spin. He
covered his ears with his starry wings because Wiseguy was yelling that they
were going to crash.
Both Tweetie and Wiseguy screamed. Something
large had struck the side of the ship. "We're under attack!" Tweetie panicked.
"Hush," said Wiseguy, putting a paw to his lips,
but his eyes were wide with fear. "C'mon. We'll crawl out slowly and maybe it
won't see us…"
But before they could get out the door, the
large creature struck the side of the ship again, angling it on its side. Then
the ship tilted upward, spilling Wiseguy and Tweetie out on the marble floor.
TigerWing, the faerie Pteri, was standing over them. She shook her head disdainfully
as Wiseguy rose to his feet.
"Alien!" Wiseguy shrieked, thrusting an accusing
paw at his sister. "Tweetie, get the Bzzt Blasters!"
The starry Pteri emerged from the box with two
toy Bzzt Blasters. He tossed one to Wiseguy and they kept the toys trained on
TigerWing, repeating in monotonous tones, "Bzzt! Bzzt! Bzzt!"
"Stop that," TigerWing scolded, pushing the
toys out of her face.
Wiseguy lowered the plastic Blaster and whined,
"TigerWing, you always have to ruin the fun."
Their "spaceship", or cardboard box, was now
flattened on the kitchen floor and the side was tearing where TigerWing had
ripped it. Both guns were not at their sides and neither Wiseguy nor Tweetie
were on Kreludor like they had planned. Only back in Meridell on Scenic Drive.
"Just wanted you to know that I'm going out
for a bit," said TigerWing, "I'll be back in a few hours."
Wiseguy rolled his eyes, "You just had
to disrupt our game for that?"
"No, go ahead and get back in the box and I'll
just roll you down the stairs and into the basement," said TigerWing, laughing.
"Relax, TW, we'll try to limit our fun from
"Well, let's hope so, otherwise you'll tear
the house apart." The faerie Pteri paused in the front doorway and added, "Be
The large white door slammed shut and the house
was quiet once again. A few seconds later, Wiseguy broke the silence by declaring
triumphantly, "Now that the evil alien is gone, we must continue our quest for
the great treasure on Kreludor!" He grinned, the cheesiest one he could manage.
"But Wiseguy," Tweetie began, tapping his wingtips
together. "Our ship is totaled."
Wiseguy glanced over at the crushed cardboard
box, "No worries, comrade. This is much more important." He struck a fighter-like
stance and withdrew his fake Bzzt Blaster, starting up the stairs to the second
floor. Tweetie followed suit, keeping the Bzzt Blaster at wings-length. He looked
up at Wiseguy and was tempted to ask where they were going. Wiseguy, however,
seemed to already know that. His small, glowing body darted up the last few
stairs and he stopped in the hallway.
Tweetie almost knocked into Wiseguy because
of his abrupt stop. He looked up and saw his brother's eyes narrowed. Wiseguy
pressed on a moment later, mumbling, "This way." So they continued down the
hallway, with Wiseguy crouching low, still holding his Bzzt Blaster.
"Shh," Wiseguy put a paw up to his brother's
beak. "In here."
Tweetie sighed, wanting to ask just where they
would find the treasure on Kreludor. It turned out to be in TigerWing's room.
The furniture was tiger-print and the rug was
white. Tweetie couldn't possibly see what was so interesting in here… in fact,
he wasn't sure they were even allowed to be in here, since TigerWing
was gone. Wiseguy apparently found what they were searching for.
Tweetie rushed up to the dresser where Wiseguy
was standing. "Wiseguy, what is it?"
Wiseguy slowly picked up the object and held
open his paw, for Tweetie to see. It was a small, silver ring. Tweetie didn't
know where TigerWing had acquired it, but he was sure she wouldn't want them
using it like a toy.
"Now that the treasure has been found, we must
prepare to leave for the Virtupets Space Station again," said Wiseguy, his serious
tone returning. He glanced at Tweetie. "Come along, comrade. The ship awaits."
With the silver ring tucked in his paw, Wiseguy
bound down the stairs, abandoning his toy Bzzt Blaster. Tweetie flew behind
him, dodging living room furniture and sliding all over the marble floor in
the kitchen. Wiseguy picked up the cardboard box, un-flattened it and climbed
"Wiseguy," said Tweetie in a small voice. "Since
you get to steer the ship, can I at least hold the treasure?"
"Treasure?" asked Wiseguy, holding the silver
ring to his glowing chest. "You had better let me hold it, Tweetie. I'm more
"Come on, you haven't let me do anything on
"I said no."
"Wiseguy, you're always telling me what to do,"
whined Tweetie, feeling a ripple of anger. "You can steer and I can hold the
ring. You know, we'll be a team." Wiseguy began to protest, but Tweetie grabbed
his paw, causing the Wocky to tighten his grip.
"Give it to me!"
"Tweetie, stop! I found it!"
Along with the stingy cries came a series of
paws and wings swatting each other in attempt to hold the silver ring. Starry
feathers flew, bits of fur were lost and the two brothers began to scream in
frustration, until the silver ring sailed out of Wiseguy's grip.
Tweetie watched it and it was as if everything
was moving in slow motion. The tiny object was extremely important, as it was
not theirs, but TigerWing's. Tweetie watched in horror through the crevice as
the silver ring slipped through the tear in their cardboard box and landed on
the carpet. It bounced a foot or so and with a clang went straight down
into the air conditioning vent.
Jaws dropped open and eyes the size of Marrows,
Tweetie and Wiseguy scrambled out of the box, their gaze fixed on the air conditioning
vent. Wiseguy hastily ran over to it and pressed his face against the cool metal
He slowly turned around to face his younger
brother and said, "No worries, comrade," but his voice cracked on the last word,
"I'm… sure we'll be able to retrieve it somehow."
Tweetie watched in desperation as Wiseguy used
his claws to try to pry off the metal vent, but it seemed to be super-glued
to the floor. Wiseguy retracted his claws and ran for a flashlight. He clicked
it on and shone it down the metal vent.
"I don't see it," he mumbled, waving the light
from side to side. "It must go down too deep for the light to see."
"Wait!" Tweetie exclaimed, with a sudden thought
that all hope was not lost, "I think I know someone who can help!" And with
that, he flew out the front door at top speed.
Tweetie returned ten minutes later, dragging
a yellow Chia wearing an old white shirt, inside by the paw. Wiseguy surveyed
the Chia in the doorway. He was holding a large brown bag that read "Houston
the Handyman" on the side.
How on Neopia Tweetie managed to find this handyman
was a mystery to Wiseguy, but he chose to push his curiosity aside.
"Look, Mister," Wiseguy began. "We really-"
"Please," the Chia spoke, wiping his feet on
the doormat. "Just call me Houston."
"Okay," said Wiseguy, holding up a paw to keep
the Chia from interrupting again. "Houston, we have a problem. See, we kind
of borrowed my sister's silver ring to use as a treasure while we were on Kreludor.
But, after my brother tried to take the treasure from me-" ("Hey!" Tweetie scowled)
"-it flew from my paws and landed in that vent over there." The Chia looked
mildly interested. "So we need you to retrieve it before she comes home. Could
There was a pause. "Please?" Tweetie added.
Houston rubbed his chin. "Sure, I suppose I could
"Great!" Wiseguy exclaimed. "We really need this
done ASAP, so-"
"I get the idea," Houston said, and he started
towards the vent. "Well, let's take a look-see." He produced a large yellow
flashlight from his bag and said, "A Stunning Silver Ring, is it?"
"Yeah. Do you see it?" Tweetie inquired hopefully.
"I see it, all right, but it may take some time
to get to." The Chia fished around in his handbag again and pulled out a large
case. He opened it and removed a rusty saw. Carefully, he put the blade to the
carpet and started to make a cut.
"Wait, you can't just saw our carpet off!" yelled
Wiseguy, "Can't you just… take the top part off or something?"
"Oh come on," Houston gave a cheesy grin. "Who's
the Handyman here?" Wiseguy reluctantly agreed to let the Neopet saw around
the vent. He winced as chunks of carpet were removed, leaving the gray cement
to show through.
Houston wiped his brow dramatically, "Well now
that that's done…" He dumped a few things out of his bag, the contents spilling
on the carpet that remained. He used a scalpel and placed it under the top part
of the metal vent. Houston gently pulled upward and the vent started to come
off with a loud groaning noise. The metal was so bent that the top part was
"Do you really think that was necessary to cut
out the carpet?" Wiseguy asked, obviously peeved.
"I need plenty of room to work," said Houston,
and he immediately waved his paws, "Stand back."
Wiseguy and Tweetie exchanged perplexed looks
before taking a step back. Houston used his flashlight again to peer down into
the vent. "There it is," he mumbled, repositioning himself to view the ring
from a better angle.
"How are you going to get it out?" Tweetie asked
The Chia turned to look at them, "The way I see
it," he began, and Wiseguy didn't like the sound of this… "I'll have to cut
deeper into the cement using the drill I have back at my house. I'll drill a
big enough hole for you to fly into and retrieve the silver ring. Now, if you'll
excuse me, I'll fetch the drill--"
"Umm," Wiseguy darted in front of the handyman,
preventing his exit, "Isn't there something a little less… hazardous you can
"Well," Houston scratched his head, "I suppose
I could find another method." Once again, he rummaged through his bag. "Here
The brothers watched Houston as he withdrew a
Wadjet from his bag. The Wadjet flicked its tongue a few times as Houston tied
a rope around the end of its tail. Tweetie knew for a fact that a Wadjet would
definitely NOT be allowed indoors. They were kind of creepy, the way their bodies
slithered around and smelling the air every step or so.
"Let's hope this works," Houston said, slowly
lowering the petpet down the vent, "Or this will be the third I've lost this
Wiseguy hoped Houston was referring to the third
petpet, but the more he thought about it, the more it seemed that the Chia was
referring to his job. The three anxiously watched and listened. The Wadjet
seemed to know what to do. They heard the faint clang of the ring leaving
the metal floor and the Wadjet looked up at them. He was carrying the ring in
"Oh thank Fyora," Tweetie breathed as Houston
pulled the Wadjet back up, a triumphant grin plastered on his face.
However, when the Wadjet returned to the dining
room, the ring was nowhere in sight. Houston noticed this and shone the flashlight
into the vent again. Then he looked at the Wadjet, who was wrapping itself around
"Where's the ring?" asked Wiseguy quickly.
"Erm, well," the Chia fumbled, taping his feet
nervously. "It appears he must have… swallowed it."
"Swallowed it?" Wiseguy roared and the
green glow seemed to drain from his fur. Tweetie collapsed on the floor and
"That'll be ten thousand neopoints."
Wiseguy's eyes, if possible, bugged even further.
"This has to be a joke. Your Wadjet SWALLOWED my sister's ring! There's not
way I'm paying you anything!"
"I best be on my way then. You can keep the Wadjet!"
replied Houston to Wiseguy's frustration. "Have a nice day!" Houston packed
his tools, leaving the Wadjet in Wiseguy's paws and slammed the front door behind
"Okay, let's not panic," advised Wiseguy, who
gained his voice. "Quick, help me put the carpet back to where it was."
After a few minutes, the carpet was restored,
but it did look a little lopsided. The top of the vent, now curved in a strange
and noticeable angle, was put back too.
"What do we do with the Wadjet?" Tweetie asked.
Wiseguy bit his lower lip, "Wait, I'll think
of something. Umm…" he faltered, "Okay, the Wadjet swallowed the ring and we
were supposed to put it back on TigerWing's dresser. So, if we put the Wadjet
on the dresser we won't get in trouble because the ring is inside the Wadjet."
The Wocky raced upstairs to return the ring to
where they found it. Just as he and Tweetie set the Wadjet on the dresser and
breathed a sigh of relief, they heard the door open.
"I'm home!" TigerWing appeared at the foot of
the stairs. The faerie Pteri glanced up at her younger brothers, who were endeavoring
to look natural. As she started up the stairs, Wiseguy and Tweetie brushed past
"I think it's time to return home, comrade,"
"Huh?" the starry Pteri asked.
Wiseguy looked down at him, and answered in his
mock-serious tone, "We landed on Kreludor when we lost the ring, remember? So
let's evacuate before something bad happens…"
Tweetie couldn't understand why Wiseguy wanted
to resume their make-believe game, but he nodded anyway. The two boys sprinted
towards their cardboard spaceship that was waiting for them on the kitchen floor.
They crawled into it and Wiseguy pushed a few colored-on buttons.
From upstairs, TigerWing's scream broke the sound
barrier but Wiseguy and Tweetie were already miles away.
Author's Note: Thank you for reading; feedback is much appreciated. Thanks
also to beewitched2 for editing and gloss_frozen for his help with a name. ~playmobil_is_my_life