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The Cybunny Caper


by kacheeklover3579

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AyishaAisha, KalinaKacheek, and CelinaCybunny were all walking home from Neoschool. Kalina and Ayisha were laughing and talking. Celina walked a few paces behind, doing nothing at all.

     "I love your golden ear cover thingies!" said Kalina. Ayisha had just been painted Desert, so her ears were plated with a gold headdress-type thing.

     "Yeah. And you look really pretty with that star right on your forehead!" said Ayisha. Kalina was painted Starry, so her coat was blue with yellow stars.

     They chatted about their colors for a long time, and then they finally noticed how quiet Celina was.

     "Hey, Celina, what's the matter?" asked Kalina.

     "It's just not fair that you guys get to be painted and I get to be plain old blue," answered Celina.

     "Oh, come on," said Ayisha. "You know our owner's going to paint you next. She just has to get more Neopoints."

     "Easy for you to say. That will take so long!" Celina complained. "I mean, she just spent three hundred and fifty thousand on your paint brush, and now she's only got sixty thousand left. She'll never get another three hundred thousand for a Pink Paint Brush."

     "Don't be that way, Celina. I had to wait a really long time after our owner painted Kalina. Going from one hundred thousand to four hundred thousand NP was really hard for her. And that's probably the same amount of time it will take her now for you," said Ayisha.

     "This isn't the same!" Celina protested. You only waited since Kalina got painted. I've had to wait since Kalina and you got painted, and I'm still waiting!"

     Kalina and Celina didn't know what else to say to make her feel better. They looked at each other, and then started talking again.

     The next day, the same thing happened. Celina wouldn't be happy until she was painted. No one seemed to care about her. She didn't feel unique. There were so many Blue Cybunnies in Neopia, and there were so many less Pink ones. She would be almost one-of-a-kind, if only she could get a Paint Brush.

     But until then, she would go unappreciated and unimportant.

     Days passed. Their owner didn't even come close to the amount of Neopoints she needed to get the Paint Brush. Two weeks later, she still had only eighty thousand NP. Each day seemed to last a lifetime, and nothing special ever happened.

     That is, until one day, when everything changed.

     It was a Saturday. The three pets were at their NeoHome, playing with their Petpets. Each was in her own room.

     Ayisha was lying on the floor flat on her stomach with her head resting on top of her hands. Her Petpet was sitting in front of her. "Hey Tipeef!" Tipeef, her Feepit, stared at her. "Hello," said Ayisha. Tipeef scratched his head. "Aww, you are just so cute!"

     Suddenly, a long, shrill shriek filled the room. Ayisha knew Petpets sometimes did that, but it didn't seem like a Feepit's shriek. It didn't sound like an Ona's shriek either, because that was Kalina's Petpet. It sounded more like a Babaa.

     Celina was the one with the Babaa. Kalina and Ayisha ran into Celina's room. It was empty, except for one little Babaa standing in the middle of the room, pointing to a piece of paper on Celina's bed.

     Kalina and Ayisha didn't notice the note. "Do you think she ran away?" asked Kalina.

     "Why would she do that?" Ayisha replied.

     "Maybe she's still upset about the paint brush thing."

     "That's silly! That's no reason to run away."

     "I think she may have thought no one cared about her because she wasn't painted."

     "What? That isn't true!"

      "Well, we do kind of exclude her from our conversations."

     There was a pause. Ayisha said nothing. "What? What is it?" Kalina asked.

     "It could be worse than her running away…."

     "What do you mean?"

     "What if she was…petnapped?"

     They both looked at the beautiful stained glass window their owner had bought Celina from Brightvale. It was shattered to pieces. It looked as if someone had broken in and taken Celina with them.

     Wooly, Celina's Babaa, was still making loud noises and pointing to the note on the bed. Kalina walked over, picked up the paper, and read it out loud: "I know what you're thinking, but she didn't run away; She was petnapped by me, and this is what I have to say; I'm leaving these riddles, so try and figure them out; But that you will succeed, I severely doubt. Here is your first clue, now pay attention; Visit a place where you might have tension."

     Ayisha gasped. "So she was petnapped! How awful!"

     "Don't worry; we're going to find her," said Kalina confidently. "Now what is a place with tension?"

     "Let's see," said Ayisha. "Tension…nervous…worry…scared…yes! That's it! Scared! It must be the Haunted Woods!"

     "You're right. Let's go."

     They went to the Haunted Woods, even though it was their least favorite place in Neopia. "Let's split up. We have to try to find Celina or another note," said Kalina.

     Ayisha went left, and Kalina went right. Ayisha was the first to find something. "Look! Look!" Ayisha yelled as she came running back to Kalina. "I found a- Ahh!" She tripped over a rock. As she lay on the ground, a large blue object came up to her and took the note. It was the Pant Devil.

     Ayisha struggled to get up. "No! Wait!"

     The Pant Devil only stopped when he read the note and saw it wasn't worth anything. He ripped it in half and threw it on the ground.

     The wind began blowing the two pieces away. Ayisha chased after them. She only managed to grab one.

     Meanwhile, on the other side of the Woods, Kalina saw something floating in the air. She jumped as high as she could and grabbed it. It was the other half of the note.

     Kalina and Ayisha eventually met in the center of the Haunted Woods. They showed each other the pieces and tried to put them together again. Ayisha read the note: "Congratulations, at least you made it to here; Note number three is really quite near; That window in your house is in bad condition; Replacing it is your current mission."

     "The window? Do they mean the one they broke?" said Ayisha.

     "Yeah, they must. It was from Brightvale," said Kalina. "The next clue must be at the Brightvale Window Shop."

     So they went there next. That one was a lot easier. They simply looked behind every window in stock, and it was behind one that was the same kind as their broken one at home. Kalina read it: "This one was easy, I'll make the next one tough; I'm at a place where they're really rough; They're fighting and fighting but freezing cold; All this battle is getting quite old."

     "Neopia is such a safe place," said Ayisha. "Where are you allowed to fight?"

     "Yeah, I thought everywhere here was safe except for the Haunted Woods, and we were just there, so that couldn't be it."

      "Or maybe that's what they want us to think," said Ayisha mysteriously.

     "No, it can't be….Wait! I've got it! The Battledome!" said Kalina.

     "Oh yeah, that's right! But which one? There are tons of Battledomes in Neopia."

     "It says they're fighting and fighting but freezing cold. So it has to be in a cold place."

     "The Ice Caves! There's a Battledome there! The Ice Arena!" suggested Ayisha.

     "That's right! C'mon, let's go there," said Kalina.

     So they went to the Ice Arena. They hated Battledomes, but they had to save their sister. Ayisha found this one. It said: "Darn, I thought I stumped you on this! Oh well, you'll still never find your sis. The next place that you have to go is a place with the opposite of snow."

     "Okay, so let's see here. Snow is cold, so it has to be someplace hot," said Ayisha.

     "But Mystery Island and the Lost Desert are both hot," Kalina said.

     "We'll have to try both," said Ayisha. "Let's start with the hotter one. Did you check the weather this morning?"

      "Yeah," said Kalina. "Lost Desert was hotter."

     "Okay, let's get going."

     Ayisha and Kalina were getting really tired from all that walking around. And their owner would probably start looking for them soon. They had to hurry and find Celina.

     Kalina checked the Fruit Machine, Peopatra's Petpets, and Coltzan's Shrine. Ayisha checked Sakhmet's Palace, Sutek's Tomb, and Brucey's War Tent. Kalina came out successful. It was at Coltzan's Shrine, buried under the sand. It said: "I think I'll cut to the chase on my clues: Island of the Wooden Spoon."

     "What is that supposed to mean?" Ayisha asked.

     "Wooden Spoon…Haven't I heard that before?" Kalina wondered aloud.

     "Yeah, I think I have, too…," said Ayisha.

     "I think it was some kind of award given to a certain kind of Neopet," Kalina said.

     "But I don't think it was for something good," said Ayisha.

     "Oh, I remember!" Kalina exclaimed. "It was given to the Krawk! For being the least number of a type of Neopet to be created!"

     "Oh, yeah," said Ayisha. "Then the clue would mean Island of the Krawk… Krawk Island!"

     "Okay, off we go then," said Kalina, not as energetically as she had before. She was getting really tired of traveling. So was Ayisha.

     The first place they checked was the Gourmet Club, and there was no sign of a note there. Then they checked in Smuggler's Cove, but they were chased away from there by pirates.

     "Kalina? What if the petnapper was a pirate? They always do that sort of thing, and the way they chased us away from the Cove was kind of strange. Maybe there was something there they didn't want us to see, like, a note, or even Celina," Ayisha suggested.

     "You're right," said Kalina. "That may be true. The 'cut to the chase' part of the note could've been referring to how the pirates chased us…or it could be just saying they're going to make their notes shorter. But the only way we'll find out if the clues are fake or not is to follow them to the end."

     Ayisha sighed. "I guess you're right."

     So they went all over the island in search of a clue. Finally, their last stop was the Dubloon-O-Matic. Kalina had a spare Dubloon on her, so she put it in, and, sure enough, out came a note. Kalina read it: "Add an 'er' to you, and rock on!"

     "Okay, now I'm really confused," said Ayisha.

     "Me? How do they know I'm reading it? How do they even know who I am? They must be nearby somewhere," Kalina said.

     "But add 'er' to you? What is that supposed to mean? Erkalina? Kalinaer?"

     "No," said Kalina. "They couldn't know my name…unless they forced Celina to tell them. But I think they mean Kacheek. Or maybe they thought you were reading, so Aisha."

     Ayisha thought hard. "Aishaer, Eraisha, Erkacheek….Kacheeker!"

     "Yeah! Kacheekers! That means the next clue is in Tyrannia. And rock on? … Yes! The Concert Hall in Tyrannia!"

     So they traveled on. They went to Tyrannia, found the Concert Hall, and got in line at the Ticket Booth. The line wasn't moving at all, and they were getting hungry from their travels, so they each got a piece of omelette at the Giant Omelette, since they were already in Tyrannia. Once they were done eating, they got back in the line, which was, by then, much shorter. When they got to the front, no one was there handing out tickets, but there was a note sitting on the counter. They picked it up and read it: "It's all a you-know-what to me."

     "I've heard an expression like that before. Our owner uses it sometimes," said Kalina.

     "I think the clue wants us to fill in the you-know-what with a word to complete the phrase," said Ayisha.

     "Right. But what is it?" wondered Kalina.

     "Oh, I know! It's all a mystery to me," said Ayisha, proud that she had figured out a clue by herself.

     "Yeah! So…mystery…It must mean Mystery Island."

     And off they went to Mystery Island. Luckily, the first place they checked there was the one the clue was at: the Tombola.

     They drew a piece of paper from the box. It was just the number 24. They were determined that there was a note in that box. It was the perfect place to hide it.

     "Please, Mr. Tiki Tack Man, we need to pick again," Kalina begged him.

     "I'm sorry, miss, only one draw per day," the Tiki Tack Man answered.

     "No, you don't understand," said Ayisha. "There's a petnapper on the loose somewhere and we're trying to follow their notes. We think one may be in this box. Please, even if we draw a winning number, don't give us a prize. We're only trying to find clues."

     The Tiki Tack Man thought about this. He remembered long ago when everyone on Mystery Island was kidnapped, including him, and they all had to be freed. He shuddered at the thought, and felt awful for the two little pets standing in front of him that were going through something very similar. "Go ahead," he said.

     "Thank you so much!" said Ayisha. She drew another number from the box: 100. That was a winner, but she didn't care. She picked another, and it was the note. "Aha! There it is!" She and Kalina started to walk away.

     The Tiki Tack Man looked at the number 100 Ayisha had drawn and then put on the table. "Wait," he called after them. "Here, you won," he said, holding up the number.

     "No, that's okay, that was on our second try," said Kalina.

     "That's all right," said the Tiki Tack Man. "Then you win a 'booby prize.' Here."

     He grabbed a Bottled Faerie and handed it to them. That was supposed to be a prize if you won, not a booby prize.

     Ayisha smiled. "Thank you," she said politely, and then left.

     When they were outside, they read the note. "Congratulations! You found her! … Huh? You didn't find anything? Too bad!"

     "What? That's it? There are no more clues? I can't believe this. We went all this way for nothing?" said Kalina.

     "I guess it's true that you never appreciate what you have until it's gone. We never paid attention to her. And she only wanted to be painted. Now we'll never see it happen because she's gone," said Ayisha, her voice cracking and tears forming in her eyes, "forever…."

     "No, Ayisha, we can't think that way." Kalina tried to smile and look positive but she just couldn't. She picked up the Bottled Faerie the Tiki Tack Man had given them and opened it. "I don't know if you can do this, but please, bless us with the return of our sister." The Faerie flew away, leaving a trail of stardust behind her.

     Kalina and Ayisha waited for a while, but nothing happened. Kalina put the bottle on the ground and stared at her feet. Then, she noticed a little piece of paper inside the bottle, and realized there was still hope. It was another note. She dried her tears with her arm and picked it up. It said: "Ha, what kind of villain would I be if I didn't give you a chance to find me? Where do you think that Faerie went?"

     "Well, where do all Faeries go?" wondered Ayisha. "It must be Faerieland."

     So they went to Faerieland. This next note was going to be very hard to find. All the others had been written on white paper, and with white clouds everywhere, it could be anywhere.

     They walked around for a long time, but found nothing. It was getting dark, and they could barely see their paws in front of their faces. But they didn't give up. She kept walking and walking and suddenly, Kalina bumped into something. She looked in front of her, but even in the dark she could tell nothing was there. She felt around in the "air" in front of her, and she touched something. She was really confused. How could she feel something she could not see? She felt an invisible doorknob. She turned it and opened an invisible door. And there in front of her was the inside of the Hidden Tower.

     She'd never been there before. First of all, her owner didn't have enough Neopoints to buy anything there and second, even if she did have enough NP, she never remembered where it was.

     She and Ayisha walked inside. The Faerie Queen greeted her. "Why, hello, there, young Neopets. I don't usually have customers at night. What brings you here? Would you like to buy something?"

     "No, ma'am, I'm sorry, I don't have enough money," said Kalina. She started to walk away, but she couldn't help gazing at all the beautiful items in stock. The Faerie Queen Doll especially caught her attention. It was so beautiful, the color, the artistry, the soft material…yikes! Two million Neopoints? It wasn't that beautiful anymore.

     She forced herself to snap back to reality. She looked over at Ayisha, who was also admiring the items. Then she noticed a note on one of the shelves. It was the same kind of note like the others they had found. She walked over to it and read it. But all it said was, "It's nighttime, so just go back home; In this dark you should not roam."

     What? No way! They couldn't possibly expect them to go home. Not without Celina. Kalina grabbed Ayisha's paw and dragged her out of the Hidden Tower. "We have to keep looking. That note said to go home, but I'm definitely not going home yet. Are you with me?"

     Ayisha yawned. "Yeah, I guess."

     They searched around Faerieland some more, but they didn't find any other notes. "Please, Kalina, let's go home," Ayisha insisted many times. "Maybe the note means that the next clue is in Neopia Central, maybe even in our NeoHome. It's too dark to keep going anyway. Our owner's probably really worried about us, and we wouldn't have any luck finding clues while not being able to stay awake or see anything."

     Though hesitantly, Kalina gave in. They sadly walked back to their NeoHome. When they walked in the front door, they saw their owner sitting at the table with the phone in her hand. "You haven't seen them? Nowhere? Are you sure?...Okay, bye. Thank you." She clicked the off button, put her head down on the table, and started crying.

     She heard the front door shut and immediately turned around. "Oh, thank the Faeries! You're back!" She ran up to them and hugged them. "I thought you had run away or something! I was so worried!"

     "No, we weren't. We were just looking for Celina," said Ayisha.

     "What?" their owner asked, confused.

     They told her the whole story. When they were done, their owner said, "But Celina is home already. Petnapped? She wasn't petnapped. She's in her room right now. She told me she just went to her friend's house for the day."

     Kalina and Ayisha looked at each other, and then ran into Celina's room. There was a new window, and Celina was sitting on her bed. "Celina, where were you? We thought you were petnapped!" said Kalina.

     "Petnapped? No," Celina responded calmly.

     "But…what about the notes?" asked Ayisha.

     "They were fake," said Celina.

     "How do you know?"

     "I wrote them."

     "What?" shouted Kalina. "Why would you do such a thing?"

     "I thought you'd give up. I thought you didn't care about me. I didn't even think you'd go looking for me in the first place."

     "Of course we would," said Ayisha. "You're our sister and we love you."

     Celina smiled. "Thanks. But I didn't know that until Mystery Island. I was following you the whole time. I was going to have the notes end there, and run away forever. But I just couldn't, when I saw how much you actually cared. That's when I slipped the note into the Faerie Bottle. I'm sorry for all the trouble."

     "No, it's our fault," said Kalina.

     "It is?" asked Ayisha quietly.

     Kalina elbowed her. "Yes, it is. We should have treated you better. Friends don't ignore each other."

     "Yeah, we're really sorry," said Ayisha.

     "It's okay," said Celina. "I was being really annoying with my complaining about not getting painted. And that's no reason to run away."

***

     Five months passed. Celina was painted Pink. By that time, that didn't even matter to her anymore. All that mattered was that her sisters would always be at her side.

The End

 
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