The Long-Awaited Arrival
In the green, glowing depths of the Virtupets Space Station, a Grundo technician paused and examined his screen. A quiet seriousness tilted his eyebrows – the computer was producing an unusual signal. There seemed to be a white flicker traversing the skies of Neopia...
A Lutari was basking on the sandy shore of her elusive, idyllic island. There was no sound except for the lapping of the water, the rustling of the palm trees, and the little murmurs of joy from carefree Lutaris. Somewhere a small splash indicated that one of her companions was going for a swim.
The heat flowed over her body in deep, hypnotic waves.
And then, just as soundlessly and just as beautifully, there appeared a white shape in the clear azure sky.
The Lutari opened her mouth in surprise, and something fell into it.
In the Altadorian Hall of Heroes, the Yurble janitor swept his way past the lofty, polished statues, muttering under his breath as he brushed the dirt off the gleaming floor. Light flowed in through the elaborate windows, dancing around the age-old hall.
The Yurble looked up briefly to groan about the unconquerable level of dust these days, and saw a strange sparkle through a window. Next moment, something crashed onto his precious, clean floor.
On the mystical green hills of Shenkuu, under the shade of an intricate red roof, a family sat eating from steaming bowls. Around them sifted the warm sunlight that had passed through the silvery mists, lightly scented with wildflowers.
Somewhere in the distance, young Shenkese warriors practiced their martial moves, their light armour gleaming in the brilliance.
It was a quiet, happy afternoon.
Then there was a clatter. Not from the spoons in the diners’ bowls, but from the red roof overhead. All five Neopets looked up, startled, and the object responsible for the clatter dropped onto the grass.
It seemed quite fragile...
Time moved slowly in the Lost Desert, brushing past long, glittering veils and rough, sturdy tents. The sands were ever-changing and unchangeable, stirring in the great eternal hourglass.
For the umpteenth sunny morning, an Aisha vendor set up her stall, positioning the tent flap to shield her goods from the winds. She laid out her handicrafts, baskets and bracelets, and waited for a buyer to come by.
Not far from her stall, a Kougra set up his fruit stall, and started calling, “Tcheas! Zeenanas! Anyone want a Bagguss, on this fine, golden morning?”
The crowd thronged on through the dust. Then one of them pointed at a white speck in the sky, and soon a hundred faces were gazing up into the burning sunlight.
Something fell into the Aisha’s biggest basket.
The Esophagor moaned and stretched in the orangey dimness of the Haunted Woods. Trees creaked and gravestones rattled. Somewhere on a lost forest path, frantic footsteps pattered. A ghostly whiteness drifted over the treetops.
“Foooooodddd...” rasped the Esophagor. “Fooo--”
Something landed on the cold, dark soil.
Two Bruces danced in the whirling snowflakes on the summit of Terror Mountain. “Wheee!” cried the first one, as he whizzed down the slope on his belly. “Wheeeee!” cried his sister, following closely behind.
Nearby, their little brother skidded around on the ice rink, falling and getting up now and again, straightening himself on his clumsy flippers. He said, “Whee!” and ended up lying flat on his back for the thousandth time, drifting slowly backward on the ice.
Then he saw it.
Something large and white was spiraling downward from the sky, surrounded by sparkling snow.
A small Pteri landed next to the Giant Omelette sizzling on the hot plateau of Tyrannia, and hungrily pecked at a slice. Now and then he looked up nervously, half-expecting to be dazzled by a stone club in mid-swing or the ominous shadow of an approaching beast. Life in prehistoric times was rough.
As the Pteri glanced around, a shadow did indeed come, but it was a fairly small one. It seemed almost birdlike, like the Pteri himself. And something dropped from the shadow onto the scorched, harsh rock...
The Techo master’s yellow eyes burned under the shade of the Mystery Island foliage. “Patience,” he whispered to the Usul, whose paw was shaking as it guided the metal loop around the wire. “Patience is key, young novice.”
The heat stirred in the richness of the dark leaves, and the swollen fruit swung gently on their branches, as though silently mocking the novice’s struggles.
“I couldn’t help it!” the Usul blurted out, before the Techo master could say a word. “That sudden movement there, it startled me!”
“A movement?” The Techo frowned slowly.
“Yes – look! Something’s fallen through the trees...”
“Arrrr, where be yer brains?!” a captain’s angry voice rang out along the sea breezes of Krawk Island.
The Tuskaninny hung his head in shame. The treasure that they had been so close to getting now sank its way down into the deeps, gloop, gloop, gloop.
The pirates stared gloomily at the sun-stirred water, and started back when there was a sudden splash. Something had just fallen out of the sky right in front of their ship...
The Faerieland Library’s ornate doors swung open onto the clouds, and out came a bright-faced light faerie, fluttering merrily on her way with a stack of beautiful books under her arm. Not far from her, a faerie Cybunny played with her Angelpuss, the two of them laughing and rolling in the brilliance.
The Angelpuss toppled at the faerie’s feet and let out a surprised squeak.
“Why, what’s the matter, little petpet?” said the light faerie kindly, as its owner scampered over breathlessly.
The Angelpuss poked its paw at an object that had just fallen onto the clouds...
Out in the sunny fields of Meridell, a Kacheek farmer looked up from the earth and stretched his back. He stopped. His gaze followed a white speck in the sky.
He poked his brother. “Hey, do you see some weird cloud in the sky?”
The Yurble squinted. “That’s not a cloud...”
Something fell from the sky and bonked the Kacheek on the head.
Tick, tick, tick, tick went the Wheel of Knowledge in Brightvale, as a young Lupe waited anxiously. “Oh, how I wish for a scroll,” he said, his eyes following the wheel keenly. “A scroll would be amazing.”
But the wheel halted at King Hagan’s words of wisdom, for the tenth day in a row. The Lupe groaned.
And just at that very moment, a scroll-like object dropped without warning at his feet.
On the rippling waters of Kiko Lake, a trio of young Kikos prepared for a friendly race. They bobbed up and down on the waves, teasing each other lightly as they adjusted their floats. The sunlight decorated the lake with a dreamy sheen, and tour boats sailed lazily in the idyll.
“Okay,” said the smiling Kiko mother on the bank, “ready now, three, two, one...”
And the three Kiko racers struck forth, at almost the same time as a white shape that zipped through the sky overhead.
There was a splash, followed closely by three more.
“Oi! What was that!” the three youngsters cried out, clinging haphazardly to their floats.
Their mother pulled a soggy roll of paper out of the water...
Back in Neopia Central, the White Weewoo flopped into the Neopian Times headquarters, put down its empty postal bag, and panted to get its breath. Then it smoothed its feathers, puffed out its little chest, opened its beak, and cheeped the call of happiness that was unfolding throughout Neopia.
“ISSUE 350 HAS ARRIVED!”