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A Quest Unlike Any Other: Part Five

by toffee_choc


Milk_choc85 made her way carefully along the dimly lit passageway, her Kadoatie perched safely on her shoulder.

     "No Symol made this," she murmured, looking up at the curved ceiling.

     Rounding the corner, she uttered a cry - there, in the far corner of the room were her brothers - all apparently sleeping. Quickly, the Tuskaninny roused them.

     "How did you guys get here?" she demanded.

     "I got given a special mission by Taelia!" declared Toffee.

     "I got a Quest from the Happiness Faerie!" said Orange.

     "I got... tricked by a stupid Cybunny," muttered Minty, flushing.

     Seeing a devilish glow coming to Toffee's red eyes, Milk quickly intervened.

     "I got a Quest too... but mine was from the Chef on Mystery Island; he was acting really odd and asked me to get him an Ancient Hourglass..."

     "Me, too!" cried Toffee.

     "And me three!" exclaimed Orange, looking quite excited. "I wonder why they all wanted an Ancient Hourglass..."

     "Maybe they didn't," interrupted Minty. "I wasn't looking for any kind of Hourglass, let alone an Ancient one... and yet I'm here too. I got dropped down a crevice in Jhudora's lair."

     Milk frowned. "I just climbed through the Symol Hole... though before that I did visit Illusen, and she was acting very strangely."

     "Perhaps it's some plot?" asked Toffee, "or some kind of Faerie disease? I mean, we all got Quests, right?"

     "Wrong," answered Milk. "Minty didn't, and mine was from the Island Chef - he's not a Faerie!"

     "Really? I never noticed," countered Toffee, sarcastically. "I mean, his lack of wings and that olive he wears on his horn never gave it away."

     Minty sighed. "Well, why don't we puzzle over this later - right now I'm just concerned with getting out of here... wherever here is."

     Orange had been silent for some time; now he tentatively piped up.

     "Um, guys? I think we have company."

     The other pets whirled to find them faced with the oddest group of villains known to Neopia. There before them were the Snow Faerie, the Happiness Faerie, Illusen, Jhudora, the Island Chef, the Island Mystic, Techo Master and the Lenny Conundrum Lenny.

     Orange looked at the Lenny in some confusion.

     "What are you doing here?" he demanded.

     The Lenny shrugged. "Trying to come up with conundrums to fox you lot is tiring work - I need a little recreation now and again."

     "So you kidnap Neopets?!" asked Minty incredulously.

     The Lenny simply stuck his tongue out in response.

     "These foolish pets are never going to work it out. Let's just get on with it!" growled the Mystic, menacingly.

     "Wait!" said Taelia, who seemed to be the ring leader. "I've read enough 00 Hog novels to know the villains must always declare their master plan to their victims beforehand - didn't you read your 'How to take over Neopia' manual?"

     "Yeah, it's inspiring - written by the world's most overrated evil genius, Dr. Frank Sloth, who got beaten back by the Space Faerie, of all people!" muttered the Happiness Faerie petulantly.

     The Snow Faerie rolled her eyes, and slowly reached upwards. Taking a firm grip, she smoothly pulled off her head. Orange uttered a terrified squeak, and pressed closer to Toffee, who was standing next to him. It was a mark of how petrified the Aisha was that he didn't complain.

     Two minutes later, the real villains were unmasked; their costumes lying beneath what would be their feet, if they had any. They regarded the petrified family with self-satisfied smirks, as they floated before them.

     "Kikos?!" exclaimed Minty, breaking the silence. "I thought it was Meepits who were meant to be taking over the world??"

     "A common misconception," smirked the lead Kiko. "As is the belief that us Kikos are happy, peace loving souls, who like nothing more than splashing merrily in our lake and playing games of Tubular Kiko Racing. Ha! If other pets had any idea... "

     He interrupted himself, eyes glittering as he surveyed the four siblings.

     "But they don't. And they never will - after all, who'd believe that us gentle Kikos would ever try something so... diabolical?"

     The green Kiko next to him rolled his eyes. "Get on with it! We haven't got all day!"

     His leader shot him an icy stare, and continued.

     "However, my... colleagues and I aren't actually that interested in Neopia as a whole. We represent more of a... niche market. You see, I am in charge of the most amazing shop in Neopia Central - the Chocolate Factory! And-"

     "The Chocolate Factory?" cried Orange. "Then you must be... "

     "Willy Kiko, at your service," said the Kiko, bobbing a little bow.

     "Oh, for goodness' sake!" cried the green Kiko, pushing past his leader to address the pets himself.

     "It's like this... we have a niche market, but we've, well, run out of ideas. And what with all the private sellers on the market these days, we're afraid that even the intrigue of a factory where no-one comes in and no-one goes out is not going to be enough to keep business as healthy as we'd like. We need new flavours - and that's where you come in!"

     "Imagine the excitement!" continued Willy Kiko. "Four new flavours, for a limited time only - it would make us millions! Every chocoholic on the surface of Neopia would be banging on our door. I can see the labels now! 'Cocoa-flavoured Orange-covered Kougra stripes,' sitting next to glistening 'Minty Zafara Twists,' 'Toffee-flavoured Extra-crunchy Aisha ears' and 'Milk chocolate Tuskaninny tails.' The possibilities are endless!"

     "Are you insane?" broke in Minty. "No-one would eat chocolate made from Neopets!"

     Willy Kiko looked at him slyly. "Ever eaten a Blumaroo steak?"

     "He has a point," muttered Toffee to his brother.

     Minty ignored him. "Look, just because we're named after chocolates, doesn't mean we taste nice!"

     The Kiko shrugged. "Then we'll add lots of artificial flavouring. Don't worry - we won't let on that you taste horrid without it."

     Minty was about to retort when another Kiko floated in and whispered something urgently into his leader's ear. The Kiko grimaced and turned back to them.

     "I'm afraid I'm going to have to leave you in the excellent care of my colleagues - it appears Adee has got her factories mixed up again. Honestly, I don't know how she finds her way out of her Neohome, let alone into my factory."

     As he turned to leave, Swirly decided she had had enough. Kadoaties aren't exactly renowned for their patient natures or love of the dark - and sitting in a cold, dank underground room with minimal lighting had pushed her over the limit. Opening her mouth, she began to wail.

     "Ugh, what's that horrible sound?" exclaimed Willy Kiko, turning around abruptly.

     His eyes fell on the wailing Kadoatie. He smirked again.

     "Perhaps we should investigate a line in Petpet confectionery, too. Catch it - and shut it up!"

     At that moment, the room dissolved into Chaos - with a capital 'C.' Milk snatched her pet out of reach of the oncoming Kikos, delivering several well-aimed blows with her Tuskaninny tail. Orange concentrated on the ground attack, while his Weewoo dive-bombed the Kikos from above. Minty wasn't doing too badly either, though he was starting to think that perhaps he should have brought his Huggy to hurl at the enemy.

     Suddenly, the light went out, and the whole room was plunged into complete darkness. Swirly's wails increased significantly in volume, while angry mutters could be heard on both sides. The lights gradually flickered back on, to reveal a pile of unconscious Kikos, and Toffee by the light switch. He shrugged at his siblings' amazed looks.

     "Night vision built in," he commented. "It's a good thing TC trained me up a bit, isn't it? Let's go!"

     "Right, I got in over there," said Milk, running down the corridor she had come from.

     Once they got there, however, there was no conveniently placed ladder. Icy swooped upwards, and as it did so its shape blocked out all light - the Symol Hole had shrunk again.

     "Now what?" asked Orange, as the Weewoo landed on his tail.

     "I say that way," said Toffee, indicating that they should continue down the corridor.

     "Oh, and why's that?" asked Minty, sceptically.

     Toffee rolled his eyes. "Because that's the opposite direction to those Kikos!"

     Minty shrugged, and followed his brother down the corridor. Sure enough, at the end they spied a heavy metal door.

      "Lasers built in too?" enquired Minty, with a grin.

     "Absolutely!" answered Toffee, zapping his way through the lock.

     The four burst through the door to find themselves in...

     "Neopia Central!" cried Milk, as they sprinted away, "how did we end up here?"

     "No idea!" returned Minty, "but let's get back to Terror Mountain, sharpish!"

     An hour later the four siblings stumbled through the door of their Neohome, having taken the Uni Express from Neopia Central. TC was sitting at the kitchen table, reading something.

     "That was well-timed," she commented. "I just put a pizza in the oven."

     She eyed her pets suspiciously. They stared back as innocently as possible.

     "So, did you guys get up to anything interesting today?" she asked.

     Minty flopped into the nearest chair. "Oh, the usual."

     "Oh, really," replied his owner, "then you wouldn't happen to know anything about this?"

     She unfolded a special edition of the Neopian Times. On the front page was the headline: "Willy Kiko shuts down Chocolate Factory - Is this the end?"

     "He shut the factory?" asked Milk in surprise.

     TC looked at her. "Indeed. Let me read you a bit:

     "'Shortly before the announced closure, several bystanders reported seeing something leaving the Chocolate Factory. Further questioning shed little light on who or what it was, as there were conflicting reports on all sides. People's descriptions varied from a white striped pet with a purple hat to a metallic pet with a Tuskaninny's tail. However, all confirmed that it seemed to be moving very fast and was followed by a white Weewoo.'"

     She folded up the newspaper again and fixed them with a piercing stare. Minty sighed. He glanced at Toffee.

     "Do you want to go first?" he asked.

     Toffee shrugged. "Sure. It all started when I was coming back from losing Snow Wars... "

The End

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Other Episodes

» A Quest Unlike Any Other: Part One
» A Quest Unlike Any Other: Part Two
» A Quest Unlike Any Other: Part Three
» A Quest Unlike Any Other: Part Four

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