Where there's a Weewoo, there's a way Circulation: 131,950,016 Issue: 271 | 22nd day of Celebrating, Y8
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Christmas in the Ice Caves


by myfallenrevival4

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Alas, Christmas approaches Neopia once more. Young Neopets of all species in all worlds anxiously lay awake into the wee hours of the morning, contemplating the gifts they were sure to receive from their families. However, some Neopets in Happy Valley might be just a bit too greedy.

     "Hurry up, Sammi!" a baby Lupe said to a baby Kacheek behind him as he crawled along the ventilation shaft of their grand Neohome. "Joni and Sparky are going to know that we're searching for the gifts again if we're too slow!"

     "Well, I'm trying, Danny!" Sammi snapped back in a harsh whisper. "It's just that you really smell."

     "That's no excuse to being slow!" Danny retorted, his voice rising.

     "Well, I very well say that it is -"

     A small cough from Joni's, their owner's, room sounded from below. This sobered the two bickering Neopets, and they continued crawling, an Oozing Candle stuck inside Danny's mouth giving off a foul stench of rotten eggs and goo that lit the way in front of them.

     "Joni probably hid the presents in that secret room of hers again," Sammi said as they arrived above their older Gelert brother's, Sparky's, room. "I don't even see the point of making a room in the garden made out of Sand; she should've used the money to buy me some designer diapers!"

     "Whatever, sis," Danny said, rolling his eyes. "Let's just get there!"

     They continued crawling for a few more minutes before the vent simply ended with a large fan.

     "This must be the place," Danny said, pointing to a screen-cover. Sammi, though they were a long way away from anybody's bedroom, silently pushed the cover down until it fell, swinging on the ceiling in the room below them.

     "After you," Sammi said, and both Neopets lowered themselves down into Joni's Secret Room. Both Neopets landed on the ground, which was made out of sand and extremely soft. Something about the room made the Oozing Candle suddenly stop Oozing, and its light was greatly diminished. A large mound of what looked like boxes of various sizes stood, stacked neatly in a corner next to a large jar of Chocolate Neopoints.

     "There're the gifts!" Danny exclaimed. He and his sister ran towards them excitedly. However, when they arrived, they took them and tried opening them, but to no avail.

     "It's too dark!" Sammi said, whacking the Oozing Candle as if under the impression that by doing this it would suddenly start Oozing again.

     Danny, however, began taking the presents and throwing them back at the ventilation vent. "We'll have to take as many presents as we can and take them back to our rooms to peek! We can replace them tomorrow before Joni wakes up."

     "Good idea!" Sammi agreed, helping her sibling throw neatly wrapped gifts into the filthy vent. However, as the last gift landed with a large cloud of dust in the ventilation vent, the room began flashing a bright yellow, and all the sand began caving in.

     "Oh snap!" Both Neopets quickly jumped back into the vent, only to find their way out of the collapsing room blocked by a large barricade of Christmas gifts.

     "Quick! Get all the presents back into the room!" the Kacheek commanded, and both babies began throwing all of the stolen presents back into the room.

     Finally, once their way was clear again, the sand stopped moving, and the room was restored.

     "Psh, it's something someone like Joni would do," Sammi frowned, disapproving. Suddenly, she spotted a battered box that they had missed; it was sitting in front of the fan and looked like a baby Lupe with an Oozing Candle had recently squashed it. "Hmm, I guess we missed one, Danny."

     Both Neopets, after putting the screen cover to the secret room back, crawled over to the gift and carefully opened it. Inside was a set of Full Gelert Armor, but some of the chains had snapped and there was a large multitude of scratches on it.

     "Danny! Why'd you go and ruin Sparky's Christmas gift?" Sammi scolded. "He's been wanting one of these forever; you know that at the start of the New Year he's going to Shenkuu to train, and you know these full armor sets don't come cheap!"

     Danny was breathing heavily in shock. "What are we going to do, Sammi? We can't replace it or fix it by ourselves! I'm not even sure Donny the Toy Repair Bori can fix it, and even if he could, it's midnight and we'd never be able to survive the raging blizzard outside to get to his workshop!"

     "Right ray of sunshine, aren't you?" Sammi said. She contemplated the matter for a moment before saying, "We'll have to visit him tonight, as tomorrow is Christmas Eve and Joni will start taking all the presents to the Christmas tree and she'll notice if we're gone the entire day. I'm not sure he ever sleeps anymore; all he does is just work. If we take it to him, maybe he'll be able to fix it!"

     Sammi said the last sentence with excitement, and rewrapped the broken set of Gelert armor. She turned to crawl down the vent to the foyer where they could leave the house, but Danny was blocking the way, looking skeptical.

     "How do you intend to survive the weather outside?!" he exclaimed. "We'll probably get completely swept off our feet!"

     "We can head through the Ice Caves," Sammi reminded him. "So for maybe half our trip, we'll be safe."

     "But it's the Ice Caves! Filled with horrors and crevasses and dangers alike - "

     "Danny, Danny, Danny," Sammi said, smiling and trying to move past him. "You've got to have some faith, brother!" She finally managed to get past him and, as she left the glow of the Oozing Candle, she said, casually, "If you're not going, I'll go alone."

     These words seemed to strike Danny in a way Sammi predicted they would. She was barely just getting to the part of the vent above the kitchen before she heard a scuffling behind her, signaling the return of her brother. Smiling to herself, the two crawling Neopets reached the screen cover that was above the foyer, and knocking it down, they fell on to a plush carpet and crept out of the door into the raging snowstorm.

     Luckily for the two baby Neopets, they lived right next to Ice Caves. In just a few fast minutes, they were sheltered from the storm, though little did they know they were leaving the frying pan for the fire.

     "Sammi, if we don't survive this, I'll kill you," Danny said as he readjusted his scarf. The weather in the Ice Caves, though protected from the snow outside, was unfortunately even colder than the temperature outside. The two baby Neopets, on their quest to fix Sparky's full set of Gelert armor, were slowly freezing to death as they climbed a path lit only by a multitude of strange, rainbow-coloured lamps that cast an incandescent glow on everything they could see through the gloom. The path was made out of stone while everything else, including the walls and ceiling, were covered completely with ice.

     "I think we're passing the Ice Crystal Shop now, look," Sammi said, pointing to an igloo-shaped block of snow at the end of a path that branched off the one they were slowly traversing. "I guess we're making some progress now!"

     Danny felt slightly more hopeful after this, but even less so when he pointed to a Negg-shaped building and pointed out, "The Neggery!", though he seemed unhappy to see it.

     "Oh, the Neggery!" Sammi exclaimed, almost jumping with joy. Despite living right next to the Ice Caves, the young Kacheek had never actually visited the fabled structure. Sammi had a great love for Neggs, whether it be collecting them, playing with them, or eating them, and she had always wanted to pay a visit to the Negg Faerie, the so-called 'Guardian of All Things Neggy'.

     Sammi stopped their little walking party by holding out her arm and pointing. "Danny, we have to go visit that place!" She was sure that her brother would be as excited as her, and was slightly crestfallen when he ducked under her and continued walking. "Danny? Danny?! It's not like you've ever been there, have you?"

     At this, the Lupe turned around and smiled, rather sheepishly, before admitting, "Well actually... yes, I have."

     Sammi gasped. "What? How could you have? Joni never took us there; only Sparky when he wanted new Neggs for his training!"

     "Well..." Danny looked reluctant to continue walking and talking, but all the same seemed prepared to make a confession as they turned off the main path and on the path to the Neggery. "Actually... remember that afternoon when I disappeared and when I came back I had said that I had been playing Snow Wars the entire time with Daphne?"

     Daphne was a baby Chia who lived two Neohomes away from them. "Yes..." Sammi replied. "Go on."

     "Well..." Danny took a deep breath. "We weren't the entire time. We played a couple of games, but that stupid Santa opponent made us so angry that we just took one of the one-piece Snowmen and dashed off to the Ice Caves, ready to sacrifice it to the Snowager."

     Sammi said nothing more, trying to absorb all of this information. They were just over half of the way to the Neggery when she asked, "Well, what does this have to do with the Neggery?"

     Danny replied, "Well, on our way to the Snowager, we accidentally took a wrong turn and ended up at the Neggery. We pounded on the door and told the Snowager that we had a healthy snowman for him to eat, but instead this really tall green-haired Faerie came out and started throwing Devil Neggs at us, telling us to 'Get lost or else.' We ran for it, and ended up at the Ice Arena, where the Negg Faerie had ended up chasing us to. She dropped a gigantic pile of Neggs on us before taking off. We eventually managed to find our way out and began running back to Happy Valley because of a gigantic roar from a cavern near us. Daphne and I promised never to tell our owners."

     The Lupe seemed to have finished as they were only a couple minutes away from their destination. "So is that how the Snowager got his horde of Neggs?"

     "You betcha."

     "Well..." Sammi suddenly saw the danger she had pulled them into. The Negg Faerie was most likely still mad at Danny, and to sum it all up the Snowager had stolen most of her Neggs when she probably went back for them a few hours later. As they neared the front door, Sammi had not noticed that Danny had raised his paw to knock, and had only just started saying, "Danny, we have to g - "

     The door opened with a bang, and an extremely tall but angry Faerie with shocking green hair, clothing that seemed to match the design of Neggs, and large dragonfly wings appeared. She was holding an extremely large Negg, which seemed to be glowing alternatively with all of the colours of the rainbow.

     "You!" she croaked, pointing a finger at Danny. "You - you have the nerve to come back here! You -"

     Danny was taken aback with this greeting. He raised a paw in greeting and stuttered, "H - h - hey, Negg Faerie... h - how're th - the N -"

     "Don't even utter the word with your foul lips!" the Negg Faerie interrupted angrily. "You dare come back to visit me after over half of my stock of Neggs were taken by that infernal snow worm! You have the nerve, you spineless, bone-tickling, selfish little -"

     But they never did find out exactly what kind of little thing Danny was, for at that moment a loud roar interrupted their conversation. Suddenly, a large multitude of icicles shot past all of their heads to land, like daggers, on the door of the Neggery. A few seconds later, the Snowager had appeared, crawling over the ice in the direction of the Neggery with the ease of an earthworm crawling through dirt.

     "Hey, Neggy!" it roared. "I heard you talking about me earlier!"

     The Negg Faerie's expression had almost completely changed. Though she stilled looked angry, she seemed to be taken more by fear now. "Hello Snowager!" she said in a falsely bright, cheery voice. "I was just saying what a generous, handsome beast you were -"

     "LIES! ALL LIES!" the snow worm roared. It smashed its tail against the ice wall behind the Neggery, and a layer of the ice cracked. Half of it fell on to half of the Neggery, crushing all of the Neggs in that part of the building with the sound of somebody sitting on a whoopee cushion inconveniently placed on a rubber padded piano bench.

     At the precise moment the Neggs were squashed, the Negg Faerie had winced. She seemed sad and furious at the same time for a split second, but immediately retained her sappy attitude.

     "Haha, Snowager, you just love your little jokes..."

     The Snowager looked at her with rage before saying, "Well, I don't appreciate what you said about me! Though nothing can harm my icy hide, words hurt like the power of daggers! I'll just have to take it out on your guests, then..."

     "I can't let you do that!" the Negg Faerie surprisingly said. "If one of them gets eaten while they're at the Neggery, it's up to me to do all the boring Neomail-writing to their owners, telling them what happened. Why don't you just take what they're carrying, instead?"

     With this, she took out a 00 Negg and threw it at the bag that the broken set of armor was inside, which was being carried by Sammi. There was a large flash of white, and suddenly the bag was inside the Snowager's mouth and the Negg in the Negg Faerie's hand.

     "Wh - you don't understand!" Danny said, clearly frightened. "That's our brother's Christmas gift!"

     "You mean you don't respect your family enough to take proper care of your gifts?" the Snowager said somewhat playfully. "This will make a nice touch to my pile of treasure!"

     And with that, making sure that his wagging tail squashed the rest of the Neggery, he left to go back to his cavern.

     A grim silence greeted the departure of the monster. The Negg Faerie's expressions seemed to go from happiness, anger, sadness, and denial. Finally, after about half a minute, she seemed to settle upon intense grief, and broke down at what was left of the doorway of the Neggery, sobbing to herself.

     "What have I done wrong?!" she sobbed. "If it wasn't for that Lupe... oh, that Lupe, if I still had my Cool Negg I would whip him up something good..."

     "Let's go before she decides to become angry," Danny whispered to Sammi. The Kacheek nodded, apparently sickened by the sight on the ground before them. Quietly, both Neopets snuck away from the Neggery, and only dared to talk again when they were halfway through the Ice Caves on the main path.

     "What are we going to do?" Sammi said, resisting the urge to break down and weep. "How are we supposed to get the armor back from the Snowager?"

     "Well, what else can we do, except go into his cave and get it back ourselves?" Danny said. "Come on, sis - we've got this far already; don't give up hope just yet."

     "Are you sure about this?" Sammi said, as they stopped in front of the Snowager's cavern a few minutes later. "The Snowager is pretty powerful."

     "You heard him; he's downright sensitive." Danny said, getting out the Oozing Candle again and preparing to sneak into the cave. "Now, Sammi, listen... if we don't survive this, I want you to know -"

     Sammi interrupted him. "Aww, Danny, I love you too!"

     Danny seemed shocked by this. "Who said anything about love? I want you to know that I only got you a Pile of Dung for Christmas, because I couldn't afford anything else!"

     Sammi seemed crestfallen by this. "Oh... well..."

     Danny smiled and patted his sister on the shoulder. "Let's just go, then."

     "Right..."

     They crept down the cavern. As they neared the Snowager's room, they could hear loud, booming snoring that sounded like the trumpeting of a thousand Elephantes.

     "Good, he's asleep," Sammi whispered, relieved. "If we're lucky, we can go in, quietly snatch the armor, and leave as quickly as possible."

     The two Neopets finally reached the Snowager's room. Though they were on a mission of stealth, they could not stop themselves from gasping in shock. The Snowager's treasure seemed to sparkle and shine before them. A mass collection of Neggs, plush toys, and other such treasures were sorted in a gigantic mound in the exact center of the cavern. The Snowager was sleeping on top of all this, right next to the -

     Danny groaned. "Dang! He's put the armor at the very top of the pile."

     "I think I should go up there," Sammi suggested. "I can climb things better than you can. You hold the Oozing Candle but be prepared to catch the armor if I have to throw it down to you."

     "Good plan," Danny agreed. "Go, quickly, before he wakes up."

     Sammi, rather reluctantly, placed a foot at the foot of the pile of treasure, stepping on a Kacheek Plushie. Fear gripped her, but she overcame them as she stepped another step, and then another, and another, and another. Before she knew it, she was right next to the sleeping snow worm, and, with ease, pulled the Full Gelert Armor out. As she freed it from the mound, she cast a fearful glance at the Snowager, but it still seemed to be deeply asleep. Relieved, she turned to return to the ground, only to find that during her previous step she had overturned a Neggitus Injection, which she ended up stepping on.

     Forgetting all thoughts of silence, she screamed, "Danny! Catch!" and threw the Gelert Armor to her brother before tumbling down the mountain of treasure. When she reached the bottom with an unpleasant squishing noise, she looked up to see the Snowager had awoken, and seemed extremely angry.

     "Foolish little Neopets!" it roared, rearing up to attack, its tail thrashing everywhere. "You honestly think that you can fool the Snowager and its mighty horde? Well, you're wrong!"

     And with that, it opened its mouth and spewed out a large stream of razor-sharp icicles. Sammi ducked and ran around to the other side of the cavern. Being so small, she was not hit by any of the icy projectiles, though one narrowly missed her head. Danny did the same, and the two Neopets bumped into each other right under the Snowager's thrashing tail.

     "What are we going to do?" Danny said, sobbing, while the Snowager roared, "Pah! My tail is coming to get you, little Neopets!"

     And indeed it did; the overgrown worm thrashed its tail even harder, so that each time it hit the floor icicles on the ceiling fell off. Both Neopets just avoided the falling spear-like pieces of ice.

     Finally, after a few minutes of dodging, the Snowager's tail caught hold of both of them.

     "Don't let go!" Sammi screamed, as Danny, now carrying the Full Gelert Armor in the bag slung on his back, began sobbing even harder. The two Neopets tried to hold on for as long as they could, but this time ended rather shortly. The Snowager gave one almighty thrust, and they were both thrown against the ceiling.

     'This is what, we're done for!' Sammi thought. Any second now, she expected to fly directly to her doom via the spikes on the ceiling. However, this moment never came; she just came flying and flying until it began to snow again and they were once again on a doorstep, though this doorstep was to a homely little cottage that looked much more inviting than the Neggery ever would.

     "Danny - Danny!" Sammi shook her brother, who had landed right next to her. He awoke and looked around, confused.

     "Whuzzit?"

     "We're here! We finally made it to Donny's!"

     "Donny's?" Danny replied groggily. "But weren't we just at the Snowager's cave?"

     "Yes, but there must be a hole in the ceiling or something, so we just flew out of his cave and right on to his doorstep!" Sammi replied excitedly.

     The baby Lupe seemed to be regaining the ability to think. "You've got to be kidding me," he said, getting up and checking to see that the broken armor was still there. "That is the most clich├ęd thing I have ever heard!"

     At that precise moment, the door to the Workshop opened and a Red Bori with a long beard and a hammer in one hand was revealed, gazing at them with shock.

     "Eh? Who're these?" he said, surprised. "Customers?"

     "That's right!" Sammi said. She took the bag off of Danny's bag, opened it, and showed Donny the armor. "We're wondering if you could fix this? It's our brother's, and he really wanted it, but we decided to have a sneak peek at our presents early and ended up breaking it. We've come a really long way to see if you could fix it, and - "

     Donny held up one finger and silenced the babbling Kacheek. "Wish I could do that," Danny muttered.

     "I'm afraid I can't fix this," Donny said. "You're just going to have to tell your brother the truth."

     Sammi went from excitement, to astonishment, and to sadness as fast as the Negg Faerie. "But we can't tell him that! Then he'll get so mad at us!"

     Donny smiled. "The entire truth."

     The Kacheek was perturbed. "You mean - you mean the fact that we spent many long hours traversing up here in the middle of the night just so that his Christmas isn't ruined?"

     The old Bori's grin turned into a chuckle. "That's right! Isn't that what the spirit of Christmas is all about? Caring for others so much that you'll give anything they want to them?"

     Danny and Sammi started to smile too, and Sammi said, putting away the set of Full Gelert Armor, "You're right, Donny."

     "Well, partially, at least," Danny corrected him, as they turned to leave. "I just hope that he'll actually buy it."

     "At least it's honest," Sammi said, and Danny smiled sheepishly. "And if Joni could accept such a stupid lie about playing Snow Wars for half the day..."

     "Well, there's only one way to find out," Danny said, grinning as they waved goodbye to Donny. He pointed to the entrance of the Ice Caves, barely visible through the blizzard. "Come on, Sammi. Let's go home."

The End

 
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