Sanity is forbidden Circulation: 123,710,650 Issue: 248 | 14th day of Swimming, Y8
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The Lost World of Stnaltia: Part Three


by silentbutterfly

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The interior of the cave was enormous! Blackwingedbird and Brave_Eyes could hardly believe that any Neopian had not discovered a cave this large yet. They stared down at the city for a while, with its dim light and dying atmosphere.

      "Do you really think we can help save this place?" Brave_Eyes asked. "It seems too far gone."

      "Plants can take quite a beating," Blackwingedbird replied. "I once had a cheery plant I forgot to water for two whole months. Needless to say, it wasn't so cheery the next time it saw me. I thought for sure it was dead and I had managed to be a green murderer, not one with a green thumb. But with a lot of tender, loving, care and reminders to start feeding it, it became cheery again."

      "Well, this place certainly isn't lacking in water, so I don't think that same plan will work here. It looks like the light part is the problem. Look at the bubbles that are placed every so often around the cave. They almost look like little suns shaped like faerie bubbles," Brave_Eyes said, pointing to the spots of light all around the cave.

      "This place is very strange," Blackwingedbird said with a sigh. "But I can't help but be intrigued by it. Shall we begin down the path?"

      "Absolutely!" Brave_Eyes replied and skipped ahead.

      Blackwingedbird took one last look at the world they were about to explore and then followed. She was so glad she was fishing at just the right time to be invited to this mysterious world.

      The first place down the path was a dimly lit building with the words "Melvin and Calvin's Station" written on it. Brave_Eyes looked at Blackwingedbird. "Should we go in? Or continue down the path?"

      "Let's go in," Blackwingedbird replied. "The more we know about Stnaltia, the better we can help them."

      "I was afraid you'd say that," Brave_Eyes replied and opened the door with a creak. "Hello?" he said through the door.

      "Eh?" an older voice replied. "You kids back again? I told you, no more energy bubbles until next week!"

      "Energy bubbles?" Brave_Eyes replied and shook his head. "Those must be the faerie bubble sun things we saw outside!"

      The older voice came into view. He was a brown Lenny, with an odd robe that looked like it was made of fern leaves. "Hey, sorry," he coughed. "I thought you were the kids that keep trying to take more energy bubbles. They like blowing them off for fireworks... they don't understand the crisis we're in."

      Blackwingedbird nodded, "So what are these energy bubbles?"

      "Oh?" the Lenny said as he scratched his head. "They are bubbles of energy from Laiperoa. Poor girl. She would make these in her spare time and once a year, we would have a big celebration with fireworks, games, and enough energy for a week long festival! When these bubbles are used, energy is released. Laiperoa would sometimes joke that they were Alternative Trapped Power, or ATPs, but we just call them energy bubbles.

      "It's a good thing the festival was a while ago." The Lenny sighed. "If we use the minimum amount of energy we need, we can survive for another two weeks. Hopefully Laiperoa will either be released or saved by then."

      "We're trying to save her!" Brave_Eyes exclaimed. "We were pulled from the surface to see what we could do!"

      "You? Two kids?" The Lenny gasped.

      "Well, yeah! There's a lot more to us than meets the eye!" Brave_Eyes defended himself.

      The Lenny laughed, "Okay then, I'll believe you. Here... " he said as he handed them a small bag of 5 energy bubbles. "If what you say is true, you may find these to come in handy. I started to save up some extra ones so the kids could have their fun, but I think you may have a better use for them."

      "Thank you, sir!" Brave_Eyes dashed forward and took the bag.

      "Thank you... um..." Blackwingedbird stumbled.

      "Melvin," he replied.

      "Thank you, Melvin!" Blackwingedbird smiled.

      "Now, you should be off to save Laiperoa or whatever your game is! I have a lot of work to do," Melvin said, returning the smile.

      "What kind of work?" Blackwingedbird asked, ignoring Melvin's comments. "Maybe we could help for a while."

      "I fear you wouldn't be able to help much," Melvin replied. "My brother, Calvin, and I work very well together. We break down the faerie bubbles for Stnaltia. It takes more than light to live, you know?"

      "Would we be able to watch for a few minutes?" Blackwingedbird hoped.

      "I guess so, as long as you kids don't get in the way," Melvin answered.

      They followed him down the hall and into a large room, where the energy bubbles brightly lined one side of the room, and slightly dimmer ones lined the other side. In front a large machine was a green Lenny, that also had a robe made of fern leaves, which they assumed was Calvin.

      "Was it those kids again?" Calvin asked without turning around.

      "Not this time," Melvin replied. "This time we had two other kids wandering inside."

      "What did they..." Calvin paused as he turned around to see Blackwingedbird and Brave_Eyes. "What do YOU want?"

      "We just wanted to know what was going on," Brave_Eyes blurted out, glancing around at the machines. "What do all these do?"

      "DON'T touch," Calvin shouted. He then slapped his wing on his forehead and sighed. "It probably doesn't matter. Our supply of the energy bubbles is low, as well as the quantities of natural available dynamic power holders. We might not have as much time as we thought."

      "So, I can touch the machines?" Brave_Eyes asked as his ears perked up.

      "No!" Melvin and Calvin said in unison.

      "What do you need the energy bubbles and natural available... um..." Blackwingedbird trailed off not remembering the full name.

      "Natural available dynamic power holders," Calvin finished. "We take those and the energy bubbles and put them through the first machine. From there, the energy bubbles lose some of their energy."

      "We call those Alternative Dispersed Power," Melvin interrupted.

      "Yes," Calvin nodded. "And the natural available dynamic power holders are released from their holders and stored over there with the dispersed power," Calvin said as he pointed to the dimly lit energy bubbles. "The natural available dynamic power and the energy released from the bubble help give us our energy. It's up to us to do so, since our other source of energy is lost."

      "What source of energy is that?" Brave_Eyes casually asked, still looking over at the machine's flashing buttons.

      "Laiperoa," Melvin replied. "She is a great source of light and energy for us. Without her, we can only survive for so long."

      "That makes me want to save her even more!" Brave_Eyes said, almost pounding his hand on one of the machines, but stopping it with his other hand. "What about you, Black? Shall we continue to the castle and see what we can do help?"

      Blackwingedbird pouted, she wanted to learn more about what Melvin and Calvin were doing. "Sure." She managed to fake a smile towards Brave_Eyes. "It was nice meeting you two," she said with a nod to the strange looking Lenny brothers.

      "Same here and good luck!" Melvin waved as they left the factory.

      "What weird Lennies!" Brave_Eyes said as soon as the door to the factory closed.

      "I agree, though I am almost certain they feel the same about us," Blackwingedbird replied.

      "Well, there's a lot more of us than there are of them, at least up on the surface!" Brave_Eyes said. His eyes wondering to what looked like a carnival nearby. "Hey! It looks like they have a game area down here too! Let's check it out!"

      Brave_Eyes began to skip towards a gate that read "Circle of Games." Blackwingedbird hesitated. "Are you sure we have time for that?"

      Brave_Eyes stopped for a moment, "They have been struggling for a way to make more energy, and that guy said they had a couple weeks, didn't he? I'm sure us playing games for a few moments won't make any more difference than us stopping to talk to them for a few minutes."

      Blackwingedbird sighed and followed him into the gate.

      "We don't even know if we have the right kind of money for Stnaltia," Blackwingedbird tried to reason. "What games could we possibly play for free?"

      At that moment, they passed by a table where a Maraquan Mynci sat, "You can play this game for free, but only once per day," she said.

      "See! We have just what we need to play already!" Brave_Eyes said with a smile. "What game is this?"

      "Do you not know?" She laughed. "This is 'Noogliah.' There are 5 cubes with 6 sides and each side has different shapes. Choose a shape, and then toss the cubes into this dish in front of me. Depending on how many you roll of the shape of your choosing, I may have a prize for you."

      "Sounds easy enough," Brave_Eyes said as he picked up one of the cubes. The images on each of the sides were a seed, a leaf, a branch, an energy bubble, a pile of dirt, and a puddle of water. Brave_Eyes tossed one on the table, and the top image was a pile of dirt. "I think I'll go with that one!"

      The Mynci smiled and made a gesture for him to try the cubes in the dish. Brave_Eyes did so.

      "Ooh," she replied. "It looks like that one wasn't so lucky after all. You only have one facing up. Still, since you were such a good sport, I have a prize for you anyway."

      She reached behind the table and handed Brave_Eyes a hideous orange, purple, and green scarf. "Better luck next time!" She smiled, then turned to Blackwingedbird. "Would you like to try now?"

      Blackwingedbird shook her head. She knew if she opened her mouth it would let out a long stream of laughter at Brave_Eyes's "prize."

      Brave_Eyes looked at the scarf then turned to Blackwingedbird. "I think I've had enough of these games," he said as he tossed the scarf in the bag with the energy bubbles.

      Blackwingedbird on the other hand, spotted a little tank of water. "I'd like to try one," she said and went over to see what it was.

      "Welcome! Welcome!" an excited voice came under a large hat of leaves and flowers. "I'll be with you in just a moment!"

      "What kind of game is this?" Blackwingedbird asked.

      "Well, do you like to fish?" the voice said and she popped up. It was a Maraquan JubJub.

      "Yes!" Blackwingedbird replied.

      "Great." Brave_Eyes sighed. "You remember what happened the last time you went fishing, don't you?"

      "Hey! I let you play a game!" Blackwingedbird said, and then turned to the cheerful JubJub. "How much does it cost to play?"

      She giggled. "Nothing! All the games here you can play for free once each day. During our festival you can play as much as you want, but it's not festival time yet!"

      "That's wonderful!" Blackwingedbird smiled. "How do I play?"

      "Well, I'll give you a fishing line. In the tank, there are some jars with circles tugged into their corks. To win one, all you need to do is catch one in your fishing hook. BUT! You don't get to look inside the tank; you have to guess where they are."

      Blackwingedbird was a little disheartened, but at least this way she could take a quick guess and then they could be on their way. "I'd like to try it!"

      "Really! Hurray!" The JubJub disappeared again and all they saw was the flowery hat. She then reappeared with a fishing rod with a small hook on the end. "Here you go! Good luck!"

      Blackwingedbird swung the line over the edge of the tank and then quickly tried to reel in the hook - except it was caught on something! Blackwingedbird's heart started to race - she actually caught something! She pulled up the jar and Brave_Eyes started to laugh. There was only a piece of paper inside the jar.

      "Wow! That was very well done!" the JubJub cheered. "Now, hand me the jar and I'll see what prize you won."

      "You mean that's not the prize?" Brave_Eyes was disappointed.

      "Oh no!" the JubJub said as she read the note. "Some of the prizes are too large for me to put in jars."

      Brave_Eyes pouted and almost whined when he saw the prize Blackwingedbird won. It was a shield, made from a strong tree with rose petals covering it. There were also thorns nicely lining the edges that no doubt give damage while it was protecting.

      "Here you go, please be careful with it, and come again tomorrow!" The JubJub smiled.

      "Thank you!" Blackwingedbird said.

      "Now can we go?" Brave_Eyes whined.

      "Sure," Blackwingedbird said, and they left the Circle of Games for the next stop on the way to the castle.

To be continued...

Pronunciation guide : Stnaltia: stuh-null-tea-ah

 
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Other Episodes


» The Lost World of Stnaltia: Part One
» The Lost World of Stnaltia: Part Two
» The Lost World of Stnaltia: Part Four
» The Lost World of Stnaltia: Part Five



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