New Research Reveals Hidden Dangers of Deserted Tomb
Anyone who visited Brightvale last Wednesday may have noticed more Neopians than usual in the kingdom. The reason for this was a scholarly presentation on several years of research by Prof. Winslow Harriman. While this Shadow Techo is not as well known as his old classmate Hugo Fairweather, his dedication to science is no less great. On this occasion he came not so much to reveal the results of his research as to warn Neopia that the deserted tomb in Geraptiku is far more dangerous than originally believed.
Many Neopians wander into the tomb in hopes finding the treasures rumored to lie within, but Professor Harriman originally had no intention of venturing inside. His research team was making a detailed study of the outside of the tomb, hoping to learn from its craftsmanship who had built it and why. While they found no clues as to who was buried in it, it did not take long for them to note an interesting phenomenon. No matter how many Neopians tramped in and out of the door of the tomb, the vines at the entrance seemed fresh and green, regrowing at a fantastic rate.
"Anyone who visits can see this for themself," he commented. "If you go in, then exit, and go back to the entrance, the vines are climbing right up the stone door again, as if you hadn't just walked over them, and as if the stone door hadn't disturbed them when it opened."
It was unexplained, he continued, until one of the research assistants, interested in killing some time, decided to venture into the tomb. He ran back out a short while later, gasping something about a giant ghost Hissi chasing him. This was nothing new, since many Neopians outside the tomb swapped stories (and healing potions) after coming back outside. However, he claimed he had been lost for two days inside before his harrowing encounter with the creature. But to the rest of the research team on the outside, perhaps an hour had passed.
Professor Harriman immediately sent some assistants to buy clocks, torches, and food, and several brave volunteers, well armed with notepads and pencils, traveled through the tomb, recording their experiences and noting the exact time when they entered and left.
The results were quite clear. All the volunteers left the tomb the same day they entered it. In fact, even the Neopets Team admitted this was so, since they have a restriction against entering more than once a day. Once someone left and tried to re-enter, they were told, "Weren't you here earlier? Don't you think you've had enough excitement for one day? Try again tomorrow." But some of the volunteers recorded that they had been in the tomb up to five days, as correlated by their clocks. A disturbing pattern revealed itself. Some encountered traps and left the same day they entered, some were chased by the monster after two days and then found their way to the exit, some found treasure after a few days, and some found an empty treasure chamber after two days and then were lost for another three. The time they spent in the tomb ranged from one to five days. Yet all of them, when they left the tomb, found it was the same day as when they entered.
"The evidence is clear," Professor Harriman concluded, "that an anomaly in the space-time continuum exists around the deserted tomb. We also observed the effects were similar, although not as pronounced, in the vicinity of the tomb. The fast growing vines are an example of this. We have found they are identical to other types of Mystery Island vines, but their seemingly incredible growth is because they are growing at what is to them, a normal rate, but overly fast to us who are in Neopian time. While the Lizarks that seem to roam the tomb are unharmed, not having an awareness of time, neopets would be well advised to stay away from the tomb at least until this phenomenon is completely mapped and understood. My research team is attempting to measure and map this phenomenon while we speak."
After his presentation, he opened up the floor to questions from the audience.
The first question came from an island Poogle. "How far out do the time-bending effects extend?"
"We are not sure at this point, as I said earlier, but it may explain why the region of Geraptiku is deserted. The effects of living disconnected from normal time are not fully understood, but it may partially explain why Geraptiku is deserted. This may be a cause of the curse mentioned in the Neopedia, or an effect of it; we do not know which."
"Does this mean the tomb can age us faster?" asked a blue Jubjub.
"No," the Professor responded. "The time spent in the tomb does not affect your age. However, you certainly go through that experience and time within the tomb, and it cannot be good for your mental health, not to mention the physical harm that comes from the traps inside the tomb."
A grey Kyrii was next. "Do we know who - or what - is buried there?"
"No, we do not. The Hissi-like ghost may be the one buried there, or it may be a mere guardian of some one or something else. No has ever completely explored the deeper levels of the tomb. As far as we know, no explorers have been eaten by the beast, which might indicate that it only wants to chase away explorers, not eat them. Or it may mean that Neopians are remarkably fit. Another interesting, fact is that Hissi appeared only about two months before the tomb was discovered.
"Hissi appeared on the 21st day of Hunting in Year Seven. On the thirteenth day of Swimming in that same year, the tomb was discovered. However, the tomb is ancient, and so is its guardian. Which means that Hissi might somehow be related to the tomb, or it may simply mean that this Hissi was part of the ancient culture, and its species have been forgotten until now."
A pirate Uni was next to raise her hoof. "Is this something done by dark faeries, Dr. Sloth, or meepits?"
The Professor glared in the general direction of a few gigglers. "At this point we don't know what exactly is at work here. However, it is well known that Dr. Sloth prefers robots and mutants, not ghosts and magic, to carry out his nefarious schemes. Meepits are traditionally from the Haunted Woods, although they have spread all over Neopia. We really don't know what they might be planning. But it is interesting you would mention dark faeries, because only one weapon picked up in the tomb, the Bone Sceptre, uses dark magic. If this had been something created by dark faeries, they most likely would have had all the weapons use dark magic."
"So what does cause it?" asked an orange Skeith.
The Techo shrugged. "We don't know at this point. Theories range from some ancient magic protecting it, to a massive time-bending machine in the lower levels of the tomb. Even now, we have not completely explored it, and it is very easy to get lost. Corridors seem all alike, so it seems they switch around... as some people who explored the Qasalan tomb might remember. However, until we understand more about this unusual occurrence, it would be wise to avoid the area for your own health and sanity's sake. Depending on how far this anomaly in the space-time continuum extends, some neohomes on Mystery Island may need to be relocated. Are there any more questions?"
A starry Meerca bounced excitedly. "I have one. I'm going to visit the tomb; does anyone want to come with me?"
Professor Harriman sighed.
This is my first article published in the Neopian Times. Anyone with comments, questions, or rotten tomatoes can neomail me. Any comments about Meepits are not meant to be derogatory. The author has been reeducated appropriately as per the Meepit indoctrination course. "Meepits are good, they are wonderful petpets, and they are NOT planning to take over Neopia. Meepits are good, they are wonderful petpets......"