Keepers of the Hidden Tower
"Due to suspicious Grundo activity, the Space Faerie has
called upon me to help her investigate this matter and discuss Dr. Sloth's absence.
She has also been gracious enough to invite me to tea," read Zephyra the Air Faerie.
"You, as one of my most trusted advisors, are to rule over Faerieland until tomorrow
morning. You may choose one or two responsible and hardworking helpers to run
the Hidden Tower. Goodbye and good luck, Fyora the Faerie Queen." Zephyra sighed.
She lowered the paper she had been reading from to reveal two cheesy grins, belonging
to a faerie Kougra named Strata and a pink Zafara named Pixie -- beside them was
a pet Slorg. They batted their eyelashes and chorused: "PLEASE!!!!"
"We agreed that your punishment was you're not
allowed to leave the palace until tomorrow Strata, and Pixie. I'm not so sure,
I mean after that Slushie Shop incident... and Urp, a little Slorg, can't run
the place by himself!" Zephyra replied.
"You promised not to mention that!" said the
cotton candy-coloured Zafara, her cheeks becoming even pinker than the rest
of her. Slushies had made her uneasy since then.
"And besides," said the Kougra, "we can handle
it for a day. How hard can it be?"
"I dunno you guys…"
This led to extensive begging.
"Oh please, please, please, please, please,
please, PLEASE!" Strata and Pixie gave the faerie their best sad puppy faces.
"I'll have to think about it…" said Zephyra,
"I don't know if you two could do it, I mean the Hidden Tower is really important,
all those rare paint brushes and battle supplies, are you sure you want to do
this? It's a tough job. I have to be able to count on the person running it."
"You can count on us!" exclaimed Strata.
The Zafara then spoke up. "Maybe if you got
another faerie to help us out we could - "
"Pixie, NO! We can do this by ourselves! I don't
want or even need any help!" Strata yelled back. Then she looked at the Air
Faerie for some support. Which she didn't give.
"Pixie has a point. Your chances of helping
out would definitely improve if I got someone else to be there with you two."
Zephyra stopped to think. "Yeah, I bet Pyrine would do it… Okay, you guys are
hired. You know Pyrine the Fire Faerie? She works in the treasure department
here in the palace. She can help you guys out, you know, keep stuff running
smoothly, reporting any trouble to me…"
"Okay," agreed Pixie.
Strata snorted. "Fine."
"Good," said Zephyra. "I'll show you to the
"Whoa…" both pets mumbled.
"This is so awesome," said Strata. "Isn't it
Pixie….isn't it?" But Pixie was too stunned to say anything. The Hidden Tower
was amazing. It was filled with rare items, wall to wall. There was a huge window
in front, and the floor looked as if it was made of clouds. The walls were glittering
gold, and there were aisles between counters full of rows and rows of plushies,
battle supplies, dolls and paint brushes; each one locked in its own display
"This stuff is worth millions!" exclaimed Pixie.
"This 'stuff' is also really rare and really
old. But I can trust you two," said Zephyra. Then more quietly, "As long as
Pyrine is here… Okay, some last minute reminders, I'm gonna have to get back
to the palace soon. The Radish Bow is limited use if people ask, wear rubber
gloves when handling the Battle Dung, the Jeran and Lisha plushies come together,
the trading card is not a fake, the rainbow swirly thing is actually useful,
there are no discounts, and DO NOT DAMAGE OR TAKE A BITE OUT OF THE EVERLASTING
APPLE!!!!!! Okay, bye guys, see you tonight."
Urp the Slorg gurgled.
"So," Pyrine began. "I guess you're pretty excited.
Is it your first time here?"
"Oh, uh, yeah…" stated Strata dumbly. She and
Pixie were still marvelling at the place they were in charge of. It was invisible,
it was beautiful, and it was filled to burst with stuff worth truckloads of
"How 'bout this: I run the cash and help you
guys out if you need it, and you greet the customers, ask them what they want,
and unlock the display cases," said Pyrine.
"Sure," said Pixie, nodding her head. "Let's
wait at the door Strata." The faerie Kougra followed quietly, opposite her loud
self. Then the first customer of the day walked in. He was a Tyrannian Chia,
wearing a dirty fur around himself. He had scruffy hair and his eyelids seemed
to be swollen - you couldn't see his eyes.
The pink Zafara gulped. "Uh, how may I help
you, um, sir…?"
"Aka-gal ahh de-bo?" the Chia said in incomprehensible
For lack of anything else to say, Strata responded
"Ahh-ugga a-ugga-bo nah!" The two Neopets looked
to Pyrine for help, but she had her back turned to them. Luckily, as the Chia
was about to utter another sort of sound, an Earth faerie walked in. Apparently
the Tyrannian pet's owner, she nodded at Pixie and Strata, then looked back
at the Chia.
"Where's Fyora?" she asked.
The two pets replied, "She's not here. The queen
will be back tomorrow morning, but while she's gone, we're filling in for her,
along with Pyrine -- that's the faerie at the register. Can we help you?"
"Yes. Tell the nice helpers what you want Akanaboo!"
"Ugga-a gah ak-ugga de!"
"Um…" said Pixie, feeling rather awkward.
The faerie sighed. "He wants the Baggus Bomb,"
"Oh, of course…" replied Strata. "A good choice."
The Kougra took out the ring of jangling keys to the display cases. She searched
for the one marked 4966BB, and unlocked the Baguss Bomb case. Just like she
had been told to, Strata tucked in an extra packet of fuel, and wrapped the
Bomb in flameproof paper. Then she put it in a bag, and handed it to the earth
faerie. "To the cash please!"
"I think that went well," said Strata, proud
of serving a customer for the first time. She heard the ring of the cash register,
and Pyrine's voice chiming "Have a nice day!" and the faerie, with her swollen
eyelid-ed Chia, exited the invisible building.
"Hey Strata, do you hear that?" asked Pixie.
"Hear what?" replied Strata.
"That hissing noise…sounds sort of like something's
under pressure, or…leaking…" Both pets looked toward the one thing that could
be making that noise. The U-Bend of Great Justice!
"It's gonna blow!" shouted Strata. Pyrine turned
around and came out from behind the counter.
"Uh-oh. Stand back you guys… this thing can
be dangerous, it could send a lot water shooting out at you, just like that."
Pyrine snapped her fingers to demonstrate. The display case that the weapon
was contained in was now shaking violently. Then it burst. Water rocketed out
in every direction. It sprayed everywhere, soaking Pixie, Pyrine, and Strata.
Urp was floating in a puddle of water across the room. Water could not severely
hurt the Kougra and Zafara, but a Fire faerie was a different story. Pyrine
sat on the floor of the tower.
"Good thing we didn't sell that…" she managed
"Pyrine, are you okay? Should we get help?"
said the pets.
"Uh, yeah, one of you go get the Water Faerie
from the healing springs."
Pixie rushed out the door, headed for the expert
in healing. Pyrine's wings were now a dull orange colour, and her hair and clothes
were soaked. Parts of her skin were steaming from the impact with the cold water.
Strata coughed up a mouthful of water. She wondered how the U-Bend went out
of control. As long as it wasn't her fault, she didn't really have to worry.
Just then Pixie burst in to the Tower, the Water faerie right behind her. The
healer examined Pyrine.
"This doesn't look good, I'll have to take her
to my spring. That's alright with you two, right? A responsible Zafara and Kougra
can handle this," she said.
"Hehe…right," said Strata.
"But we're supposed to have -" Strata nudged
Pixie - hard, to keep her from telling the Water faerie that they weren't supposed
to be running the Hidden Tower alone.
"Okay then, good bye!" the faerie said. Both
faeries left, and Pixie and Strata were left by themselves.
"I'm hungry," said Strata, breaking the silence.
"Well, one of us can't leave! We have to stay
here and work. Do you know how mad Zephyra would be if we left? Pyrine is already
gone," protested Pixie, her pink fur clinging to her wet body.
"Fine, Fine! Hmmm…URP. GO. GET. FOOD." Strata
walked in place down a pretend road and bit into an imaginary faerie hotdog.
The little petpet didn't budge. Strata sighed, and her stomach grumbled. "I
could just fly to Faerie Food shop really fast and grab us lunch," the Kougra
offered. But Pixie refused.
"We can't leave! And anyways, aren't your wings
"Uh, yeah, but…"
"Then that's that. We are not leaving."
"You're right," remarked Strata. "We don't have
"But the only thing in here is the rare items,
and you can't eat…wait…no Strata! No way! Uh-uh, not happening! We can't!!!!!!"
"Come on, Pixie, you don't have to be so proper
all the time. Do something wrong for once! No one will ever know, I mean that's
the point, it never runs out! Please, I'm starving!" the faerie painted neopet
"You heard Zephyra: DO NOT DAMAGE OR TAKE A
BITE OUT OF THE EVERLASTING APPLE! We can't!"
"Oh, loosen up!' said Strata, looking through
the group of shining silver keys. She found the proper one, and unlocked the
display case. "It's so cool!" The Everlasting Apple was perfect; no dents, no
bruises, and perfectly red and crisp. It was sparkling.
But Strata took a bite.
"Mmmmmm! No wonder people pay so much for these!
They're delicious." In a matter of seconds, the bite Strata had taken out of
the miraculous fruit had grown back, and the apple looked as perfect and complete
as ever. "See? No one will know the difference. I wonder where you get these
"I don't - woah."
Strata turned to see what Pixie was so amazed
about. "What is it that…" she trailed off when she saw what her Zafara friend
was looking at. There was a grassy open space - a garden. In it was a glorious
vegetable patch. It was full of colossal carrots, amazing asparagus, and remarkable
radishes. These were no doubt for the items inside, like the Asparagus Dagger,
Carrotblade, Radish Bow, and Asparachucks. But the most incredible thing in
it was right in the middle of the circular garden. It was a huge tree. An apple
tree. An Everlasting Apple tree. The tree had wide, bright green leaves, smooth
and perfect, and there were hundreds of shining red apples, all glistening and
attached to the branches. The entire garden was fenced off, and the wire fencing
was glowing menacingly. The top of the fence was flared outwards, so no intruders
could get in. The two friends assumed it was invisible if you weren't inside
the Hidden Tower, offering even more security.
"That is so cool," said Strata.
"Sluuuurbg…" said Urp.
"You know…." mumbled Strata, "No one would notice
if there was, say, one apple missing. It grows back, so we could it back in
the garden when we were done. Whaddya say Pixie?"
"ARE YOU INSANE???!!!!!!!!"
"I guess that's no…"
"Fine. I'll get it myself!" Strata snorted.
She wiped down her purple wings with the Lisha
plushie, ignoring a gasp from Pixie. Strata leapt up on the windowsill and flew
to the glorious fruit tree. Hovering in the air, she grabbed an apple and plucked
it off the tree. She landed back in the tower and strolled back into the store,
where she settled into a corner to much her snack. She could imagine the questions
going around in her pink, fluffy friend's head; What if a customer walks in?
What will Zephyra say when she finds out? Why do you have such a huge appetite?
But Strata didn't need to be reminded about how much Pixie looked upon her with
disdain right now.
"Strata! I've had enough! Go feed yourself to
the Snowager! If you don't want to help I can do this by myself!" Strata stared.
She had never seen Pixie this mad before. Then she really started to feel bad.
Strata saw a small tear drip down the Zafara's face.
"Forget it, never mind what I said," she sighed.
"Here comes a customer."
A Dark Faerie walked in and asked to purchase
a Werelupe Claw. Strata was about to deal with the customer, but Pixie cut in
front of her and started talking to the faerie. She put the claw in a box and
handed it to the customer. She then realized that without Pyrine, she was also
in charge of the cash register. The Zafara and faerie exchanged Neopoints.
Then Strata spoke up.
"Pixie, I'm sorry, I shouldn't have been so
careless. I guess I can put the apple back now. Can you forgive me?"
Pixie looked upset.
"No Strata…" she began. "You, well, you were
sort of, right."
"Wh-What do you mean?"
"I mean I always play by the rules, and I guess
that annoys you…You probably think I'm a total weirdo, but can we just put all
the fruit back in it's place and you know, be friends again? It's my fault really.
I shouldn't be such a, um, stick in the mud."
"But Pixie, this is my fault! If I hadn't been
so hungry, and wanted to get one of those apples, we wouldn't be so miserable.
This isn't your fault at all! You were just doing the stuff you were supposed
"Well," said Pixie. "Despite that, I'm going
to run over to the faerie food shop and buy us some lunch."
Before Strata could complain, her Zafara friend
was out the door. She was left staring at the apple in her paw.
After a couple minutes, her pink friend returned,
carrying two Faerie Queen Burritos and a plate of Fruity Faerie Fingers. They
sat down on the shining floor and ate their meal quietly, with Urp on Pixie's
The door of the tower creaked open, and a familiar
face poked in.
"Hi you guys!"
"How was your morning?" she asked.
"It was… pretty good," said Strata, who was
stunned that only a few hours had passed. It was only noon!
"We did everything just like you told us!" Pixie
"Glad to hear it!"
"How was your day?" inquired the Kougra.
"Busy!" the Air Faerie replied. "Running a palace
is hard work! Oh, and I heard about Pyrine." The pets looked at the ground.
"Don't worry, I don't blame you for that. Accidents
happen, although I'd like to know how that thing exploded. It's still damp in
"We don't know!"
"Oh well. I better get back soon, my lunch break
is almost over. I'll see you two this evening!"
Pixie looked at Strata. "Do you think we should
have told her? About the apple, I mean. She'd be pretty mad."
"No," Strata replied. "I don't think she needs
The faerie Kougra and the pink Zafara gobbled
up their lunch together, and served customers for the rest of the afternoon.
"Bluuuuurbgg," said Urp. Strata and Pixie giggled.