Astpyr and the Neocola Crisis
It was the hottest day of the year. I and my owner, Qazx301, sat in our Neohome, on the couch, sweating like Moehogs. The air conditioning was broken. She, at least, seemed semi-comfortable. The Neopedia was open in her lap. Having fur, I, Astpyr the green Kougra, was not only hot, but very thirsty.
“Qazx,” I complained, “I’m so thirsty!” She rolled her eyes.
“Then go get something to drink!” With a kick, she booted me off the couch. I trotted across the room to our kitchen. Looking in the fridge, I found something was very wrong.
“Qazx!” I yelled. “We’re out of Neocola!” She came running. Together, we stared at the empty shelf in the fridge. All that was left were a few drops of Neocola.
“Astpyr, if we want to survive today, you better go get more Neocola. I’ll stay here and wait for the Repair Acara to get here. There’s two thousand Neopoints in my bag,” she weakly remarked as she flopped back on the couch.
I fished out the money and walked out the door. It was a long, hot trek to the Marketplace. I stopped twice to dive into other Neopians' pools. Finally, after being thrown out, I made it to the gaudy tent of the Shop Wizard.
“Okay, wiz,” I said, panting, to him “Neocola, plain and cheap. Where is the cheapest?”
He checked, then spoke in his high-pitched JubJub voice. “Five thousand Neopoints, in z41neo’s shop. It’s over by-”
I jumped up to stare him in the eye. “Five thousand! Why? What’s going on?”
The little twerp shrugged. “I only do prices. You could check the Neopian Times, Now, if you excuse me, I have other customers.”
He pushed me out of his tent. It was a remarkable feat, since he didn’t have hands! Grumbling, I sat outside, trying to think up a plan. When Qazx301 couldn’t find what she was looking for in shops, she’d buy something wholesale! I’d go to the Neocola factory!
It took me two hours to get directions to the Neocola factory. I had to go to Terror Mountain. Then, I figured out the guy who’d been giving me directions had been lying. So I headed back to Neopia Central, and resolved to challenge him in the Battledome as soon as possible.
It was pretty tame at the factory. A helpful employee gave me directions to the main office. It was easy to find. I tapped on the hard wooden door reading “sales director”. He’d be just the guy to sell me some Neocola. “Come in!” I heard him growl in a deep voice. I walked in.
A faerie Usul sat behind the desk. “What’cha staring at, girlie? Cause’ I don’t like being stared at!”
“Um, nothing, sir. Can I just have a pack of Neocola?” I asked nervously. He said nothing, only staring and grunting. Suddenly, he pulled a sword out from under his desk. Time to go! I ran out the door as fast as I could. Then, accidentally, I tripped down the stairs!
Falling, I hit every step on the way down. Thankfully, I landed on something that stopped my fall. it seemed to be a big, red lever labeled “ Factory destruction: Off/On” I had pushed it to “On”. Come on, a factory destruction lever? That only happens on Neovision!
Then, I saw I was on Neovision. A camera crew had gotten my entire fall on tape. Embarrassed, I ran out of the back door of the factory. By the time I’d gotten home, I forgot all about my fall. The air conditioning had been fixed, and the house had cooled down. I went up to my room and read for an hour. Then, my owner called me downstairs.
“Hey, Astpyr! Check this out!” She was sitting, watching the news. I plopped down next to her. The news showed a crumpled, destructed, factory. Wonder what happened - OH NO!
“In today’s news,” said the well dressed Gnorbu, who stood in front of the destruction, “the Neocola factory has been destroyed by the boneheaded action of one Kougra. Astpyr, a young and clumsy Green Kougra, accidentally fell on the ‘destruction lever’ just this morning.
“This could not come at a worse time! This heat wave is so bad, the price of Neocola had risen into the ten thousands! Now, it ventures into the millions, and a war has already broken out in the Lost Desert over the last can! We go now live to Millio.”
A nervous Lupe appeared on screen. He stood next to a huge advertisement reading ‘Neocola War: Sponsored by The Super Happy Icy Fun Snow Shop’. The Lupe fidgeted with a paper in his hands and began to read.
“The situation in the Lost Desert is reaching temperature and violence extremes. Most have evacuated, except for those who are fighting in the streets for the last can - Wait - The last can has been drunk! I repeat, the last can has been drunk!”
Qazx301 turned, a look of abject horror on her face “Astpyr,” she whispered “what did you do?” She stared at me like I had just broken Neopia. Maybe I had.
“It wasn’t my fault! The sales director chased me out, and I tripped and landed on that stupid lever! I was just trying to get some Neocola!”
“That is it! You are in so much trouble, young Kougra! You’re going to be grounded until-” She stopped. Without her yelling, I could hear noises coming from outside the house. “What’s that noise?” Qazx opened a window, where a slew of Half-Eaten Berries hit her in the face.
A mob had formed outside the house. They carried signs reading ‘We hate Astpyr’ and ‘You’re worse than Sloth’. There was even a sign reading ‘Rent your own angry mob at the Virtupets Space Station’. One group of Red Scorchios were throwing Kougra plushies in the air and lighting them on fire!
“Reporting live from the Neohome of Astpyr and Qazx301, it’s Rachel Aisha, for today’s top stories.” There were two camera crews floating around the house, trying to film the scene. Qazx was running from room to room, shutting all the windows. Old neggs were flying at her. An extremely old negg hit her in the face.
“Qazx! We need to get out of here!” I yelled. “Do you have a plan?”
“Me! This is all your fault, and you ask for a plan - well, okay, I have one,” she admitted. She pulled me into the kitchen and opened the third cabinet from the right. Inside was a set of stairs.
“Whoa! How long has this been here!”
“After you tried to bake cookies, I decided I’d need this in case you tried again!”
“Very funny,” I muttered, but I still followed her down. It was a short tunnel, leading out into the Neogarden. I couldn’t see much, but Qazx301 opened the trapdoor. A stream of light illuminated my owner - and the mob who had located the secret entrance.
I kicked and fought, but they grabbed me and Qazx, screaming into our ears.
“Look! It’s the Chia Police!” I screamed to my owner. The officers were standing in the middle of the crowd.
“Astpyr, they’re coming to arrest us!” she screamed back. What a pessimist!
The mob dragged us to the officers. “They’re the greatest evils anyone has ever seen in Neopia! Look away!” Owners grabbed their pets and pulled them close to their chests.
Qazx301 yelled back at them, “Are we really the most evil in Neopia?” The mob answered her question in the affirmative. “Astpyr! My plan worked!”
“What plan?” I asked, fending off the Chias. A red beam of light came from the sky, and something materialized in it. Was that - Dr. Sloth?
“Minions!” he boomed. “How dare you call anyone but me evil! Why, after you drank the obedience Neocola, I thought-”
“Obedience Neocola?” Qazx301 asked. The crowd quieted. “Astpyr destroyed the Neocola factory to stop your evil plot! You will never triumph, Frank!”
“Frank? You know him?” I said. Suddenly, Sloth ran out of our yard. The mob followed, yelling and screaming. They left behind a ruined Neogarden and lots of moldy food. Qazx301 gave me a withering look.
“His name is in the Neopedia. That’s how I knew he has listening devices everywhere in Neopia. If someone says he’s not evil, he’ll be there right away. You can read the Neopedia too - after you clean up the mess and make enough Neopoints to pay for repairs.”
She handed me a rake and went inside. Slowly, I began to clean up the mess. After two hours of working in the heat, I was pretty thirsty. So I went inside - and drank some water.