The Voyage of the Fair Mortog: Part One
I guess it’s a clichéd way to begin, but before I start telling this story, I just want you to know one thing: I think that it’s true. My siblings aren’t so sure. Neither is my owner. But I think that it’s true. But what do I know about facts? I live on Mystery Island. We don’t really do facts here- after all, it’s called Mystery for a reason. He might have been part of that reason. If he was real.
I’m Ambreona1, better known as Ambreona or Ambry, a blue Lupe. His name was Carew. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
My story starts on a boringly normal Friday, as my owner, ilovetoread_247, prepared to depart for the beach.
“But, 247!” complained my brother Faylval, a red Meerca, “the beach is five minutes from our house! You don’t need to leave us in the stupid smelly Neolodge just to go there!”
“Not that beach, silly! This beach isn’t in Neopia! It’s, um, in...” 247 paused and shook back the long pale brown fur on the top of her head. “It’s far away, anyhow. Ya’ll will stay in the nice, non-smelly Neolodge, and that’s final!”
My brother’s long crimson tail fell, and he dragged himself away, mumbling to his leaping blue spardel about unfair owners.
I ignored him. I sort of like staying in the Neolodge. It’s a good excuse to get some alone time. With three siblings, I don’t get much of that. As it turned out, you get even less on sailing ships. But I’m getting ahead of myself again.
The next day we arrived in the Neolodge. I was bored and grumpy and ready for some alone time. So as soon as 247 departed for this mysterious far away beach, I was off to the jungle.
Jungles on Mystery Island are just beautiful. There are flowers and petpets and all sorts of lovely things everywhere. So I was looking around, trying to spot the petpet making all the cheeping noises, right up until I stubbed my toe.
I crouched down to see what I’d just tripped over. It seemed to be some sort of stone spear point, the sort of thing you’d see in Tyrannia. I sniffed it. It smelled old, and dirty. Nothing spectacular.
I ran one paw along the edge of it. It wasn’t sharp. It was just an old, ordinary spear point.
So why did I feel woozy all of a sudden?
A weird haze started seeping into the corners of my eyes. The trees turned odd colors, and then started to all turn blue-gray. A weird color, like a darker version of my fur...
Everything turned pitch black for a second, then the ocean began rushing past me. A shape on some horizon grew larger, and larger, and larger. It turned into a ship. The Cyodrake’s Gaze? I thought blearily. It was the only ship I’d ever been on. I seemed to fly onto the deck, vaguely noticing some eerie low storm clouds above me. Then rain began to soak my fur.
The world was growing clearer.
Much clearer. A yellow shape bent over me, helping me up.
“Some hurricane we’re having, eh, Steelstorm?”
“That’s Cap’n to you, Carew! And I can’t talk, I’ve got to sail this ship!”
I looked up. I seemed to be on the deck of some sort of sailing ship. Angry clouds raged over the reefed sails.
“I guess you were shipwrecked, then, milady?”
I looked at the speaker. I could tell that he was a brightly dressed yellow Lupe, but not much else in the wind and driving rain.
“Here, get inside the cabin! Out here’s no place for a storm tossed damsel like yourself. Oh, and by the way, I’m Carew. Welcome aboard the Fair Mortog!”
I was abruptly shoved into a small dark room with a closed porthole before the Lupe closed the door in my face.
I grumbled to myself as I sank down onto the floor.
Where was I? And how could I leave? Nothing here made sense!
And just who did that yellow Lupe think he was, anyway?
My reverie was broken by a low moaning sound from the bunks behind me.
I looked over to see an angrily scowling royal Cybunny lying on a bunk. She appeared to be slightly seasick and very annoyed. Not quite the best conversation partner, but...
“Hi! I’m Ambreona. What’s going on around here?”
The Cybunny just sort of groaned, and turned her round face to the wall. I could tell that she wasn’t going to be the best of company while I waited out this storm.
I settled down for a nap, but instead found myself starting to cry. What was going on? I needed to figure this out. But, then again, I really didn’t want to deal with reality right now. I was clearly miles away from home, on a ship full of people who wouldn’t talk to me. Maybe a new plot was starting- but where was 247? She’d vowed to actually participate in the next plot again instead of just conversing with random Elephantes.
I decided to focus on that. I could deal with reality later, for now I’d just try to remember stuff from home. After all, we couldn’t be that far from Mystery Island, could we? Or maybe we were near Neopia Central, where my cousins lived.
A new plot. That’s all. Just a plot. They were just having two plots about ships in a row, that’s all. I wouldn’t put it past them. Two plots at the same time. That’s it. There’s a simple explanation.
I stayed on the floor, tail wrapped around my knees.
Still, after a bit, the waves lessened. I couldn’t put it off any longer. I needed to find out where I was.
I swallowed hard, stood up, and headed out onto the deck.
I tapped the yellow Lupe that I’d seen earlier on the shoulder.
“Where exactly am I?” I asked him as he turned around. He’d better have a good answer, I thought to myself.
“Oh, it’s you!” The Lupe smiled, his unusually large eyes seeming to gleam. “That’s amazing how you were just washed onto our ship! This is the Fair Mortog, if you’ve forgotten, out of Terror Mountain, bound for unexplored lands to the south. Adventure for alllllll!”
If I was not mistaken, he was singing a jingle. This was truly impossible. And this Lupe- what was his name, Carew? - couldn’t sing. Not at all. He sounded like my Tapira when she’s hungry.
I considered diving off the boat and trying to find another one if he didn’t stop soon.
“So, anyway,” Carew continued, finally no longer singing, “If you can’t remember clearly after your shipwreck trauma, I’m Carew. Our other passenger is that beautiful Cybunny in there, Anglifae. She’s wonderful, isn’t she?”
I wouldn’t know, I thought. Anglifae didn’t seem to be talkative. Unlike Carew, who was still blabbering on, now about the purpose of the voyage.
“Some explorers think that they’ve found land to the south of Meridell, an island, in fact, so we’re heading down that way. King Reginald is very excited about the prospect of land...”
See. Plot. Headed for the Lost Isle, clearly. Plot. I remained calm.
“Terror Mountain has a king?” I asked calmly.
“No, a queen. Queen Glorana. Reginald’s the king of Meridell.”
“No, that’s Skarl!”
This appeared to be hopeless. It was also sort of scary. Forget where- when was I?
“Anyway,” continued Carew, “Welcome aboard! I’m so sorry that you were in a shipwreck, but you don’t need to talk about it if you think that it’s too horrible.”
“No, Carew, I wasn’t in a shipwreck! I...”
He wasn’t listening. At all. Why wasn’t he listening?
He smiled at me and kept talking, obviously ignoring every word I was saying.
“I hope I’m never in a shipwreck. It must be pretty scary. You seem really frazzled. Maybe, in fact, you need to rest a bit more. You seem to be really confused.”
I breathed deeply, fighting to stay calm. This guy was driving me nuts!
“Look, Carew, I’m not confused.” Not because of any shipwreck, anyway. And it wasn’t my fault. He would be confused in this situation. I found myself wishing that he was in my situation, conversing with some irritation condescending Neopet. Maybe my sister.
“No, no, no, you don’t need to talk, milady. You just need to rest, freshen up, put on a nice outfit...”
I stared at him. I was wearing a nice outfit! It was my favorite, a skeith sized Tombola tee-shirt, so large that even on me, a fairly large Lupe, it hung down to my knees, with a blue scarf tied around the waist. Under it I had on some cute leggings. I got more compliments on this outfit...
Besides, Carew did not need to be telling me about proper outfits! He was wearing a bright red old-fashioned shirt, with torn yellow breeches that managed to both look horrible with the shirt and clash with his paler yellow fur.
Overall, this Carew was one of the biggest jerks that’d I’d ever met- or so I thought. I was about to tell him my opinion of his clothes and personality when I heard a slamming noise behind me.
A few seconds later, something crashed into me and shoved me hard onto the deck.
To be continued...