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Unrigging the Test Your Strength Game


by pansyparkinson14

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The sun was shining cheerfully upon two friends on a particularly fine day in Neopia. Chira the faerie Cybunny, and Gauve, the desert Pteri, were relaxing on the warm sands of the Lost Desert, where they had decided to picnic for the day. Along with some of Chira's fancy chairs, they had also brought a brimming basket of delicacies from Chira's kitchen, and a large umbrella, which was large enough to shade both of them from the direct rays of the sun. The two friends had been chatting amiably, and, as usual, the talk had arrived to ways to make Neopoints. Chira was very good at doing jobs at the Employment Agency in Faerieland, and she was often rewarded well for a job well done. Gauve however, was quite clumsy and had a knack for causing absolute mayhem in everything he did, which often left him in an unemployed status.

      "Have you ever won anything good from that Test your Strength game?" asked Gauve dreamily, biting into a large wormy jam sandwich. "If you just won half of that jackpot, you wouldn't have to work for the next twenty years."

      "Forget the next twenty years," scoffed Chira. "You wouldn't have to work for the rest of your life. But no one ever wins anything good from the Test your Strength game," she reminded. "I've known several Neopets who've won some booby prizes, but nothing substantial. The game's rigged, I tell you!" she declared, reaching over for a chocolate Poogle lolly. Licking it, she commented, "I love chocolate, don't you?"

      Gauve ignored the statement about chocolate and continued to muse about the large jackpot that no one ever seemed to win. "There must be a way," he said, putting down his sandwich. "I mean, there must be a reason to why no one ever wins that Test Your Strength game. How's that maniacal Mynci rigging the game?" he questioned.

      Chira grinned. "If I knew the answer to that, I'd be a multi-millionaire by now, Gauve," she said, stretching her paws experimentally. "Forget about it-you'll never figure out how to win. How about we head over to the Wishing Well and make a donation instead? I know you really want a grey gruslen, and maybe you'll get your wish granted today."

      Gauve sighed. "No, no-I don't want to use the Wishing Well because I know other Neopets need that more than I do. I mean, don't you know about all those poor Neopets who just need a Neopox pizza or a Magic Cookie to get well again? I won't be stealing their wishes," he said sincerely. "But…I really wish I could win just a portion of that Test Your Strength jackpot," he repeated. "Just enough to get myself a gruslen, and maybe a paint brush for me to paint it with. And maybe a petpet for my sister as well. I've always wanted a grey gruslen most of all, you know."

      Chira smiled. "Well, I suppose you won't give it up until you try, Gauve. You've always been determined like that. Let's head to the Deserted Fairground, shall we?" she said, picking up her picnic basket.

      Gauve grinned back. "You know me too well, Chira. Thanks a bunch!" He took the basket from her and after folding the chairs back up and gathering the rest of their things, they headed to the Deserted Fairground at a trot.

      It took them a while to reach the Haunted Woods, considering that they even hitched a ride on the back of a particularly friendly Chomby to spare themselves some walking. The sun was still bearing down upon them cheerily, but even the sun seemed a little less bright when they stepped into the depths of the Haunted Woods.

      "It's creepy here, isn't it?" whispered Chira, motioning to the hulking trees that swayed ominously, as though they were alive. "And is that really where the Esophagor lives?" she asked apprehensively, motioning toward a dark area of the forest which was devoid of any life.

      Gauve nodded. "I've done a few quests for him before, and he gives you some pretty nice rewards when he's in a good mood," he said happily. "And I've done a few quests for the Brain Tree as well."

      Chira was aghast. "The Brain Tree? Are those really brains that he has? I mean, how does a tree have brains?" she cried.

      Gauve couldn't help but laugh. "I don't know," he admitted. "But he does, really. He's quite nice as well, as long as you get the information he wants. If you fail him, he might get a little angry, which is a cue for you to high-tail it out of there," he said, grinning.

      Chira giggled a little uneasily. "I'm sure you know this from personal experience, right?"

      Gauve nodded solemnly, and Chira giggled some more. Gauve was a frequenter to the Haunted Woods, and he acted as a tour guide, pointing at Edna's Tower, the Castle of Eliv Thade, and several other attractions to his friend.

      By the time the two Neopets had reached the Deserted Fairground, the sun was already sinking into the horizon, but it had yet to disappear to be replaced by the moon. "Is that it?" inquired Chira, motioning toward a kiosk with a Nimmo leering over it.

      "Uh, no. That's the Deserted Fairgrounds Scratchcard Kiosk," said Gauve. "The Test Your Strength game is over here. See that Mynci? His name is Arnold, and he must be the one rigging the game. So before we get there, I have a plan."

      "A plan? What is it?" asked Chira keenly, wiggling her ears.

      "You're going to provide a distraction, while I look over that game. There must be some rust or something that prevents anyone from getting to the top. I'm going to go check it out, and maybe fix it…" He grinned again.

      "And what distraction do I provide?" asked Chira doubtfully. "Eh?"

      Gauve turned his head to look at her for a second, and then beamed. "Tell him that you want to buy his kiosk spot. He'll go ballistic, I'm sure."

      Chira giggled mischievously. "I hope he doesn't have a big temper."

      "I bet he does," laughed Gauve. "Go one now, you distract him first, and I'll arrive after you, so he doesn't see me."

      Chira nodded and strolled to Arnold the Mynci, who proffered the Test Your Strength Mallet to her at once. "Give it a go, Miss Cybunny?" he asked. "I'm afraid you don't look very strong, but maybe you'll get a nice booby prize, hmm?"

      Chira shook her head, noticing Gauve sneak behind Arnold from the corner of her eye. "Oh, no. I'm interested in this Kiosk, Mr. Arnold. I want to buy your spot. It seems like it has very great potential-I mean, look at all the customers you get!" she said enthusiastically. "So, how much are you selling it for?" she asked sweetly.

      Arnold purpled, and Gauve could just make out his disbelieving yells as he inspected the Test Your Strength Machine carefully. He ran a wing over one of the spare mallets, but there seemed to be nothing wrong with those. Deciding it had to be an error with the machine, he was beginning to despair when he saw that a thin glass shield had been placed about halfway in the glass tubing, which prevented any of the red liquid from rising over the three-fourths point. Grinning ecstatically, he flew to the top of the machine, opened the top, and smashed through the glass shield with a nearby broom. Then, replacing the top, he flew back down and snuck back out to the front of the kiosk.

           When Chira saw Gauve reappear, she shrugged at Arnold. "Ah, well, forget about it then-I won't buy your spot. But look there, I think that's a customer of yours, isn't it?"

      Arnold turned grumpily, but his face lit up as Gauve took the mallet from him. "Ah, I assure you, this game is not rigged, good sir!" he said in an unconvincingly hearty voice. "Just one hundred Neopoints a try!"

      Gauve took the mallet, walked to the machine, and wiped his brow determinedly. Then, with as much strength as he could muster, he struck.

      Gauve saw the red liquid rise-up, up, up. It rose past his usual stopping mark, and kept on going. Gauve was practically dancing with glee, while Arnold's mouth was gaping. As the marker hit the top, and the jackpot sign began flashing, Arnold stamped his feet.

      "No! No, no, no!" he cried in absolute disbelief. "How can this be happening? It's impossible! I rig-," he stopped, looked both abashed and furious.

      "You rigged it?" asked Gauve, raising an eyebrow. "Well, that's not a very nice thing to do, is it?"

      Arnold slumped on the floor, hitting it with his fists. "No! Nooo!"

      "No, it's not," agreed Chira complacently. "Well, how about giving Gauve his winnings, now, eh?"

      Arnold stood up, but with both his customers looking at him expectantly, he flung his paws into the air and headed to the back of his kiosk, arriving a few minutes later with a wheelbarrow full of bags upon bags of neopoints. "There's over four hundred million Neopoints between this and the other ten wheelbarrows I've got," he said huffily. "Go on and get all of your horrid, cheating little friends to help you haul it off, because I certainly won't!"

      Gauve hefted a few bags up and motioned for Chira to grab a few as well. "Actually, Arnold, I'm only going to take two million, if that's okay with you," he said seriously. "One million for me, and another million for my best friend here. You can keep the rest, but I warn you, rigging your games is a cheating way to make neopoints. One day, someone will find out you're rigging your game, and they'll be less generous than I!"

      Arnold looked at them in disbelief. "You're not going to haul it all off?"

      Gauve shook his head. "But, on second thought," he added, "I want you to donate fifty million neopoints to the Money Tree. I mean, with all those Neopoints, you can manage that, can't you?"

      Arnold's jaw dropped, but Gauve and his friend were already headed off, chatting happily. Shaking his head, Arnold wiped the sweat from his brow before heading back into his kiosk to count all the Neopoints he had left.

      As Gauve and Chira headed back home, Chira cast an appraising glance at her friend. "Do you really think Arnold's going to donate fifty million Neopoints to the Money Tree?" she asked skeptically.

      Gauve's face broke into a wider grin. "Well, I doubt it, but after I go back tomorrow and threaten to publish his secret in the Neopian Times, I'm sure he'll change his mind. After all, he'll still be rolling in Neopoints anyways. He should learn to donate a bit."

      Chira gave a high-pitched giggle. "Oh, yes. I'm sure most Neopets call donating fifty million Neopoints, donating a 'bit'."

The End

 
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