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The Blus


by literalluau

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ROO ISLAND - Most of us have heard of Roo Island, the happy little spot where everyone is bouncing and smiling all day long. Sounds like a great place, doesn't it? But what shadows and secrets lurk behind every smile? Have a seat. I have something to tell you.

According to the Neopedia, King Roo used to be a very bored king who couldn't find any game to keep him occupied. Now I say that if you're that bored, you don't have enough to do or you're just plain lazy, but anyway. Many tried to find a game that would hold his interest, but they all failed. That is, until a stranger in a hood came and handed him a set of dice, all different colors. King Roo was delighted that the dice always rolled differently in every game, which may indicate that he is in fact a simpleton, but no matter. Anyhow, he decided to share this oh-so-wonderful game with the rest of Neopia, and Dice-A-Roo was born.

The injustices this game does to the fair people of Neopia are inexcusable. First of all, King Roo charges 5np per round. This may not seem like a lot until you realize that the probability of winning anything good is very low. Therefore, in order to get food or lots of neopoints or even a lottery ticket, you'll have to play scores of times. The neopoints go quickly, with little return in the form of prizes. On most games, you will lose before you ever get to the second die, let alone the fifth. Not to mention the fact that the evil simpleton who is King Roo made an avatar you can receive…if you win the jackpot. I cannot tell you how many hours and neopoints I spent to get that avatar. And I don't even use it. I also have to warn you that King Roo is indeed in cahoots with Pant Devil. You may just be playing along, doing pretty well, when you get a roll of the die that informs you that the Pant Devil has taken your Purple Negg. Most likely you're going to lose soon and you will have lost not only your neopoints, but a hard-earned valuable as well. And what do you think happened to that Purple Negg? King Roo paid the Pant Devil half price for it and is now hoarding it along with thousands of other items he has had stolen for him. And do you think he shares these treasures with the inhabitants of his island? The answer is no, but we'll get to that in a minute.

I set off to find King Roo and have a little discussion with him, face to face. Despite much whining and complaining from my other pets, I took Aldridge, my Mutant Jubjub, with me on this adventure into evil. She has the most strength and the most hit points. Besides, the others are painted Baby and Christmas. That's hardly threatening.

When we got to Roo Island, we started directly for King Roo's castle which also serves as the Dice-A-Roo headquarters. We were only about half way there when I heard a voice behind me whisper, "Help."

I stopped in my tracks and turned around. Sitting under a bush growing by the side of the trail, was a Yellow Blumaroo. He looked at me forlornly. "Please stop the Monocerous from eating all my friends."

"Why has he been eating all your friends?" I asked.

"He's particularly fond of Blumaroo meat and pays the king to munch on a few of the inhabitants of this island every day."

"He pays King Roo to do this?"

"It's so awful, you can't imagine. The other day he got my sweet little brother, Rupert," he said, sobbing.

"Oh, no!" I gasped. It's worse than I ever dreamed. "I was on my way to interview him right now about his dastardly doings. I want all of Neopia to know how corrupt he really is."

"Please help me. There are thousands like me. We can't even let our emotions show because the king has imposed a rule that we must always be smiling. I'm breaking the law right now for crying. Help us."

"Wait here until we come back," I told him.

A few minutes later, we entered the huge blue building with King Roo's likeness on it. "Fancy a game of chance?" King Roo bellowed.

"Your Highness, I request an audience with you," I said as politely as I could muster.

"Eh? Fancy a game of chance?" This time he sounded perplexed.

"I'd like to interview you, Your Highness. Just a few questions."

"Like a test?" Frown lines formed on his forehead.

"No, nothing you don't know, Your Highness."

As his eyes darted around the room, I suddenly became aware of teams of guards hiding in the corners. I gulped, wishing I hadn't brought Aldridge, or any of my pets, with me. Spotting some other Jubjubs playing ball while waiting to play Dice-a-Roo, I sent her over to join them. Then I turned back to Roo.

"Right," I said, clearing my throat. "So, Your Highness, tell me a little about your game, Dice-A-Roo."

"Fancy a game of chance?" he asked, his eyes brightening as he saw the bag of neopoints I had tied around my waist.

"No thanks. That's okay, I know about it anyway. How long, on average, does it take a person to hit the jackpot in your game?"

"About five minutes."

"You're sure of that?"

He nodded his head.

Rolling my eyes, I muttered, "Yeah, right."

"What was that?"

"Moving on. Isn't it true that you exploit not only Neopian citizens, but your own Blumaroos to gain neopoints and items for yourself?"

"I just want to share the happiness my game brings me with Neopia!"

At that point, the Pant Devil came floating in. "Roo. You never paid me for delivering that Faerie Queen Doll. Pay up," he growled.

"I'll get to you later!" King Roo hissed. "This is not a good time."

The Pant Devil shot him a nasty look and floated away. "I'll be back in a few hours, Roo."

His Highness turned to me. "Uhh…I was doing some trading post transactions and he was kind enough to deliver my purchases."

"Uh-huh. We'll just move on. Why--"

"No," he interrupted. "I won't answer any more questions. I've already been away from the Dice-A-Roo players for too long. My guards aren't nearly as charismatic as me and they don't draw as many customers." I hate to relay this to you, but he actually pouted…0_o

"Oooh, charismatic. Big word. If you don't cooperate, I guess I'll just have to go interview Count Von Roo. He's awake in the dead of night. Maybe he'll know what goes on around here when no one else is looking."

"What did you call me?"

"I didn't call you anyth…Count Von Roo?"

"Yes? What do you want?"

"Errr…You're King Roo, remember?"

His eyes widened with the realization of what he'd just given away. "Guards!"

At this point, I was lifted up by my shoulders and escorted (not very nicely) to the door. Aldridge fortunately saw me leaving and followed, waving good-bye to her new friends.

When I came back to the Yellow Blumaroo, he had a Red Blumaroo sitting with him.

"You came back!" he exclaimed.

"Well, sure. I said I would. Plus, I'm very interested in what you know. By the way, my name is Luau and this is Aldridge."

"Some day I'll be Maraquan instead of Mutant!" Aldridge blurted out.

I hushed her, but too late.

"Terribly sorry," I told the Blumaroos. "She's young still."

"That's quite alright." The Yellow Blumaroo smiled wanly. "I'm David and this," he said, gesturing toward the other Blumaroo, "is Michael. My other brother. How was your interview?"

"It took an interesting turn when I happened to mention Count Von Roo."

Michael gasped.

"Do you know something about that?"

"I…wasn't going to say."

"No, Michael," whispered David. "We should tell her." He turned to me. "You see, Count Von Roo is only awake at midnight for one hour. If you watch the castle at midnight, you can see a cloaked figure sneak out the side door toward Count Von Roo's place. And if you go into the castle at that hour, you'll notice King Roo looks a little…off. Mechanical somehow."

"Are you saying that you know that Count Von Roo is King Roo and vice versa?"

"Well, look at it this way," explained Michael. "Whenever Count Von Roo is sleeping, all you see is a closed coffin."

"Good point," I agreed. "Then there's that whole Neopedia story about Count Von Roo…maybe Roo was always evil. Well, you've certainly helped me out a lot. Come with me, I'll pay your way to Neopia Central."

The Blumaroos have been trying to warn us about how corrupt and greedy King Roo is for a long time now. King Roo has forced them all to serve as hosts for each game that is going on and while he makes them say things like, "I think you can win faeries from this game," they wait until the guards aren't around so they can say, "Take the money! Take the money!"

David and Michael are safe from King Roo now…and the Monocerous. They're applying for jobs at some of the local shops and are on their way to making a new life. But according to the Neopedia, Roo Island's Blumaroo population is 247,500. The Blumaroos who say, "A Blumaroo is a fun, clean pet, so adopt one today!" and "So, have YOU adopted a Blumaroo yet?" aren't trying to be annoying. They need your help. They need more than just nachos at this point; they need to be freed from their tyrannical, yet vacuous leader, King Roo.

 
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