Where there's a Weewoo, there's a way Circulation: 90,555,864 Issue: 166 | 12th day of Storing, Y6
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Gilbert the Poogle: Part Two


by scarletrhapsody

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"You brought this upon yourself, so you should solve it yourself."

      That was what everyone, including Penny, said when Gilbert asked them for help. Not one person seemed to least bit interested, perhaps because they didn't share the same sentiments of losing their pride and glory. Or perhaps they had long wished for Gilbert to get out of his favourite Fire colour, for he was getting a little too arrogant for his own good. Either case, it was not good news for new blue Poogle.

     Some friends indeed, he thought. Some owner too.

      "Alright, then. I'll go search for my own solutions to my own problem." He was resolute and firm and decisive that he would not employ any help from anyone who told him to solve the problem himself. Including Penny.

      It was almost a whole week since the change, and new Poogle soon came to realise that the transformation of colour species was more than just an alteration of skin-deep exterior appearance. With it went his pride and his self-esteem, his confidence and respect. He realised that it being a Fire Scorchio mattered a lot to him as a Neopet.

      Before long, Gilbert got wind (from unknown and most possibly unreliable sources) of miracle faeries who were captured and locked in bottles. By unlocking the correct one, it was said to him, he would be able to regain his former glorious self. Logically speaking, thus, Gilbert would have to look for a fire faerie to help him change back into his Fire self. As for the Scorchio part, he realised that he would have to acquire the help of morphing potions, and since he was not that rich, he decided to temporarily make do with being a fire Poogle, which was at least more masculine than being a blue one, while he went about earning enough Neopoints to turn into a proper Scorchio.

      Upon inquiring a certain wise Jubjub by the name of Shop Wizard, Gilbert found numerous stores selling a bottled fire faerie. It took him countless tries, but finally he was able to secure for himself a bottle of fire faerie selling at a cost at the cheaper end of the price spectrum. Feeling quite pleased with himself, Gilbert left the shops and, clutching the bottle like a prized possession, he went back to his Neohome.

      Inspecting the bottle, Gilbert found the little faerie to be quite amusing indeed. It was a tiny little thing, being bright red in colour and glowed a deep crimson, and it hardly ever moved in the bottle. It was so interesting to look at that Gilbert almost forgot what he was to do with it. Snapping back into reality, Gilbert quickly uncorked the bottle, releasing the faerie inside.

      The little faerie, having flown out of the bottle, finally tasted sweet freedom. It thanked Gilbert for letting her out, and, performing a short ritual to bless the Poogle, started off. But Gilbert was not satisfied, seeing that he was still a blue Poogle. Furious training at the Mystery Island training school came into good use at that point, as he swiftly and smoothly grabbed the free faerie with his bare paws. Shocked, the faerie struggled in his palm.

      "I'm still a blue Poogle! You haven't done your job. How can you leave?"

      "But I already did!" The faerie screamed in its minute, barely audible voice. "I blessed you with your first ability-now let me go!"

      "No! You're supposed to turn me into a Fire pet!"

      "I am not! Whoever told you that?"

      "Well, for one thing, you're a FIRE faerie," Gilbert proclaimed matter-of-factly. For a while, the faerie was lost for words. She was a fire faerie.

      "Well, I should know my job better than you, Poogle, and I'm only to bless you, not turn you into some weird Fire pet. Now let go of me or else!"

      "Or else what?" the Poogle challenged. His arrogance was back.

      "Or else…or else you'll-I'll…I'll-"

      The faerie felt defeated. There really was nothing she could do at that point, what with her whole tiny self being trapped in the clutches of the Poogle. She was prepared for the worst. But what ensued was what she never thought would happen.

      "Oh, alright, if you really want to go," Gilbert sighed, releasing the tight grip of his fist, and stared down at the ground dejectedly. "I guess I'm just destined to be in this state for the rest of my life, as much as I hate it."

      The fire faerie didn't know what to do. For one thing, it would seem inappropriate for her to leave just when the Poogle needed a confidant. For another, she would be putting herself at risk by staying. Who knew what the Poogle was up to?

      But the faerie decided to stay nonetheless.

      "If you're really that keen on changing into a fire pet, maybe I can help."

      Gilbert looked up at the faerie. It was one of those times that he could not understand what another person was saying. It just did not seem to make sense. The faerie had been so bent on leaving to search for her freedom just minutes ago. Yet now, as she looked at him full in the face, she actually said that she wanted to stay to help him find his freedom from this skin.

      "I may be locked up in the bottle all this time, but I'm not lacking in knowledge on how to change a pet's colour." The minute faerie was, by now, quite firm and resolute in wanting to assist Gilbert in his quest. "You can't get a faerie to change your colour, you know. Who knows where you got that warped idea. Anyway, first of all you need a paintbrush. You know what that is, right?"

      "Yeah, of course," the blue Poogle replied, as if instinctively.

      "So to transform into a fire pet, you'll need a fire paintbrush. That's called the Fire, Fire, Your Pants on Fire Paint Brush."

      Gilbert giggled at the name. It was ridiculous indeed, but then again, if it could help him in regaining his former glory, who cared about the name? The fire faerie began to lighten up a little too, seeing how Gilbert was gradually getting accustomed to her company. A quick exchange of names and experiences revealed that the fire faerie-aptly named Ruby-had been captured and locked up in the bottled prison by Balthazar, like many of her friends in Faerieland who had, in the name of fun, went on a tour in The Haunted Woods. Unfortunately though, they were all caught, and now friends and family were separated, being sold all over Neopia as blessing items.

      There was a slight pause as Ruby recalled the traumatic experience of being caught in Balthazar's big, violent paws.

      "Oh well, enough about that. At least I'm free now," Ruby sighed. Gilbert gazed at her sympathetically, as a smile slowly reappeared on her minuscule face as her optimism returned. "I'm fine. The immediate problem now is yours. Well…so you were saying you needed to return to your Fire Scorchio self, right? If you would heed my advice, I think it would be much more economical to buy a Scorchio morphing potion, instead of getting a fire paintbrush when at the end of the day your goal is to become a Scorchio. We shall settle for a red one then, for it looks fierier than the other colours. But that would be really expensive-how much Neopoints do you have right now?"

      Gilbert searched his Neopoint pouch. After splurging on the faerie, he was left with a mere three hundred Neopoints. Disappointed, he lowered his head once again.

      "Well, don't worry about that, Gilbert. We can always earn enough for it. Let's see…when I was caught there was this game that was all the rage…now what is it called? Che-Ch-Oh! Cheat!"

      Gilbert stared at the faerie in bewilderment. Being the Battledomer in the family, he was rarely exposed to the games of Neopia, much less having played any. Nonetheless, he decided to trust Ruby and, together, they went off to the Cheat! game room.

     ***

      Capara, Little Timmy, Branston and Gilbert settled at the table for another game of Cheat!. Little Timmy heaved an audible sigh, and grumbled something about being tired of playing Cheat! all day long, ceaselessly staring at those by-now-irksome cards.

      But Gilbert was not paying any attention to him. Exchanging winks with his faerie, the two challengers went into position. There was a plan. Ruby flew over to Capara seat and peered over her shoulders.

      "Three Kings," the Kyrii proclaimed calmly as she placed her cards on the table. Ruby, though, was waving her arms around hysterically. Taking the cue from the faerie, Gilbert jumped into action.

      "You cheated!" he accused Capara. The Kyrii was stunned for a moment, but grew red with anger as her lie was detected. Snatching up the cards on the table, she slumped on the chair.

      It was Little Timmy the Tuskaninny's turn. Ruby did her job once more, and again, Gilbert successfully accused Little Timmy of cheating.

      This went on for quite a while, when, Branston the Eyrie began to suspect that something was not right with Gilbert's uncanny ability to tell when someone cheated. Observing the Poogle, he noticed the furtive glances between a minute fire faerie and him.

      "Wait a minute," Branston said just as Little Timmy picked up the pile of cards on the table. "This Poogle is the one cheating. He's in cahoots with that faerie over there!"

      Uh-oh, Gilbert thought. Their plan was foiled. Immediately, Gilbert wanted to leave, but Ruby stayed put, retorting, "But this game IS called Cheat! Aren't we all supposed to do so?"

      Crimson with anger, Branston screamed, "Supposed to cheat you say? Well the unspoken rule of this game is only you players are allowed to be cheated, not us!" Soon, Capara joined in and thus began a screaming match with the Poogle and his accomplice, while the rest of the players in the game room looked on, frozen with shock and bewilderment.

      Within an hour, eager reporters from the Neopian Times had arrived for a news coverage of the incident. Witnesses of the scene painted an unclear picture, but most said something about a certain player being ruthlessly thrown out of the Cheat! game room, something which happened for the first time in all Cheat! history.

To be continued...

 
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Other Episodes


» Gilbert the Poogle: Part One
» Gilbert the Poogle: Part Three
» Gilbert the Poogle: Part Four
» Gilbert the Poogle: Part Five



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