Invisible Paint Brushes rock Circulation: 164,193,775 Issue: 173 | 14th day of Sleeping, Y7
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The Wand of Supernova: Part One


by lavender_summer

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"I'll be back soon, Mum," Roxie informed her owner as she buttoned her Christmas Bruce-like coat with a blue Bruce stitched on the left pocket. Roxie was a blue Cybunny who lived in a two floor cozy cottage in Happy Valley with her mum, her Christmas Anubis, Frosty, and her older brother, Martin, a spotted Gelert who was almost never home- if he wasn't in the Ice Arena battling for Hannah's forces (he had earned 56 points for Hannah's forces), then he was either playing games or exploring Happy Valley, the Ice Caves and Terror Mountain, or he was hanging out with his buddies, and they referred to themselves as the "Fearless Ones".

Mum looked over her steaming mug of raspberry borovan and rustled the article section of the Neopian Times. She stirred in a teeny spoonful of sugar. "Where, may I ask, are you going, sweetie?"

" I was going to go to the Advent Calendar to get the free gifts, then maybe go to the ice rink and play Rink Runner or visit the Neggery... I dunno." Roxie walked into the kitchen and snatched a candy cane from the Big Bag of Sweets that they got from the Advent Calendar a few days ago.

"Okay. Just checking. You go ahead and have fun, sweetheart." Mom took a sip of her borovan and rustled the newspaper slightly. "Just so you know, I'm going to go Christmas shopping and visit Aunt Lucie in Neopia Central for a couple of hours, in case you come back before I do." She looked at her youngest pet and smiled. "Have a good time, Roxie. I shouldn't be home later than 6 pm NST, but if I am, then fix you and your brother (if he comes home in time) dinner."

Roxie bit off the last of the candy cane, then tossed the sticky wrapper into the rubbish can. She pocketed two more. "I will Mum," she promised. "You have a good time too." She started for the door.

Frosty, as Roxie was about to open the door, ran over to her owner and placed her head at Roxie's feet. She whined softly.

"Sorry girl. I can't take you this time. But I'll be home soon, okay?" Roxie petted her faithful Anubis on the head fondly and, making sure that no cold air blew into the toasty warm house, she slipped out quietly.

The neighborhood that Roxie lived in was quaint and cozy, with two story gingerbread style houses built along the sidewalk.

Big, snow filled trees grew in the backyards and Christmas lights were strung about, lighting up the neighborhood, even though it was only noon. Roxie smiled as she walked through the neighborhood to Downtown Happy Valley, sucking on a candy cane.

Roxie detoured across the entrance to the Snow Wars battlefield, a short cut to the Advent Calendar, when she heard a whizzing sound and she looked up. A stray, uncommonly large snowball flew past Roxie's head, missing her ears by an inch or two. The snowball landed with a dull thud on the street and Roxie realized that it wasn't only a snowball, but an ice ball. She shuddered to think of what would have happened if it had hit her.

The pet who ran out of the fenced in Snow Wars yard to retrieve the ice / snowball swerved right past Roxie, nearly knocking her over onto a nearby garbage pail. He- Roxie supposed that it was a he- didn't stop to see if Roxie had gotten hit on the head by his stray snowball or if she was lying face down in who knows what. A pirate Krawk retrieved the ball and stormed back over the fence, mumbling something unpleasant under his breath. Something about that Krawk made Roxie shudder involuntarily.

She tossed the rest of the uneaten candy cane into the rubbish bin. Something creepy about that Krawk made Roxie loose her appetite for candy canes.

Whistling a tune that Mum hummed all the time but didn't know it's name, Roxie made it to the Advent Calendar without falling into any rubbish piles or getting hit in the head with stray snowballs.

* * *

"Congratulations! You found 345 Neopoints!" a voice boomed and a bag filled with 345 Neopoints appeared at Roxie's feet. She reached and stuffed the bag into her coat pocket.

"And you found a Tumble Usuki Doll Play Set!" A Tumble Usuki Doll Play Set appeared where the Neopoints had been.

She didn't know what on Neopia was a Tumble Usuki Doll Play Set, but whatever it was, Roxie liked it all the same. She pocketed it.

"It's a good year for usuki dolls, I suppose," she said aloud to nobody in particular. Roxie thought of her usuki doll, Ms. Snowflake Jr. and thought of all of the usuki play sets and clothes she had gotten from the Advent Calendar so far that year.

"You also found a Nicely Iced Christmas Tea Cake!" a nicely iced cake appeared next to Roxie's feet. She tasted a little bit of the icing. Nice! The Neopets Team had really out done themselves this time.

"And, you found a Wand of Supernova!"

Roxie couldn't believe it. A Wand of Supernova had appeared in front of her! It was too good to be true. She had heard that those were really rare. It would make a good Christmas present for Martin.

She was about to grab the Wand of Supernova when she heard a chilling, skin crawling laugh. No. It wasn't a laugh. A cackle, it was. A flash of blue in the corner caught Roxie's eye.

It was all so fast. A blue ghost figure, with red eyes and an aura of menace swooped down and snatched the Wand of Supernova in two shakes of a Wocky's tail.

The ghost was up and out of sight- flown out an upstairs window- so quickly that Roxie barely had time to register the thief's identity - the Plant Devil, no doubt- than shout at him. Then it clicked and she started to shout so loudly that the room she was in echoed and bounced back to her.

"HEY! WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING?" Roxie demanded, her face red with rage. She had planned to wrap it up and give it to Martin as a Christmas present so that he could use it in the Battledome. "THAT WAS MY WAND OF SUPERNOVA THAT YOU STOLE THERE, PAL! YOU HAD NO RIGHT IN TAKING IT FROM ME!" Roxie shouted herself hoarse, then she realized that it wouldn't change anything. She took a deep breath and squeaked, "Well then, if you aren't going to return the Wand of Supernova, Mister Hoity-Toity-I-Can-Take-What-I-Want, then I will hunt you down and get it from you myself! I'm going to give it to my brother for Christmas if it's the last thing I do!"

Roxie turned on a heel and stormed outside.

She marched, still huffy at the Plant Devil, because she was used to getting what she wanted, when she wanted, no questions asked, and most of her demands were harmless, back to her Neohome. Forget about going skating at the rink, she told herself, I have a mission to complete if I want to give Martin that Wand of Supernova for Christmas.

Roxie stuffed the Nicely Iced Christmas Tea Cake into the pantry and went into her room on the top floor.

Leaving the Tumble Usuki Doll Play Set on her bed, Roxie dug through her closet, tossing odds and ends out of the way until she found what she was looking for: a green backpack, leftover from the last semester of Neoschool.

Roxie plopped the backpack onto her bed and started to stuff it with items she felt that she would need on her mission to Faerieland, the only logical place for the Plant Devil to live, right next to Jhudora's Cloud: a detailed map of Faerieland that she had gotten for her last birthday when she was still on that Faeriewannabe kick last summer, a Scorchio Slots Neopoint bank containing all the money she had (which wasn't that much, 3,435, including the 345 Neopoints she obtained from the Advent Calendar), a (spray painted) gold pocket watch with the Scratch card Kiosk on it that displayed the time; 12:58 pm, and a pair of earmuffs. Mum always said, her voice ringing in Roxie's ears, "Never travel anywhere in winter without a proper pair of earmuffs. You never know when you might need them."

Roxie then lugged it off to the kitchen where she filled it with some food, in case she didn't come back until after dinnertime: some Sphinx links, an omelette and and apple.

Roxie snapped and zippered up the backpack shut tight. She grabbed a stray pen and a piece of scratch paper to write a note to Mum if she came back home before Roxie did.

Mum,

Roxie scrawled, then tapped the pen lightly on her chin, thinking about how she could word the message. It came to her, then she began to write:

Don't worry about me. I'll be fine. I just had an errand to do in Faerieland. It's-

Roxie checked the Techo clock that hung on the dinning room wall.

1:00 pm NST. I shouldn't be back later than 7:00, but if I do, please don't worry about me. I have some Christmas errands to run in Faerieland.

Roxie paused a minute, her pen poised above the paper, then with an inky flourish, she signed the note:

Much love,

Roxie

Roxie placed the note under a paperweight on the kitchen counter and started for the door.

"Arf! Arrrf! Uh, arf?" panting, Frosty scampered to the front door where Roxie, seeing as it had begun to snow lightly was putting on her mittens and pulling her coat up over her ears. Frosty's eyes sparked as she hoped to come with Roxie on her mission. Frosty didn't quite understand where or why she was going, but Frosty had a hunch that it was important.

"You wanna come?" Roxie asked. Frosty barked and wiggled in reply. "Well... all right. I could use the company and who knows when you might be of some use, Frosty girl."

Frosty wiggled her tail happily because she got to go.

After making sure that Frosty's hat and scarf wouldn't come off, then Anubis and her Cybunny went outside and into the snow flurries that had begun their wintery dance.

* * *

The Pteri Air Taxi Station was located at the highest peak of the three wintery worlds - Terror Mountain. It was higher up and therefore the only logical place for the air station to be located, in a place where there was more momentum to take off and land.

Having taken the subway up to Terror Mountain, Roxie and Frosty reached the summit in almost no time flat.

The candy canes that Roxie had eaten a few hours ago seemed like a distant dream and she became hungry.

Stopping at a bench in the Terror Mountain - Ice Caves - Happy Valley terminal, Roxie ate their lunch; for Roxie the omelette and apple and for Frosty, the Sphinx Links, which she gobbled up quickly.

Roxie tossed the rubbish leftover from their lunch into a nearby recycling bin and took a sip of water from the fountain. Then she took Frosty to wait outside the terminal.

Roxie stuck her two paws in her mouth and gave a high pitched whistle. "Taxi!" she called. Frosty, at her side, barked.

Almost instantly, a red Pteri swooped down from the sky and jerked to a stop in front of Roxie.

"Where to?" the Pteri asked in a bored tone, like it was the millionth- bazillionth time he said it that day.

Roxie placed Frosty into the passenger box atop the Pteri's back and climbed in too. "Faerie City," she answered, bucking her seat belt

"Right away." The Pteri ran a ways, then with liquid movements of a trained taxi Pteri, took off into the air.

It was all she could do to keep her coat from blowing straight off her as they soared higher and higher until even the sharpest of snowflakes couldn't sting at her eyes any more, keep track of Frosty to make sure that she didn't fall out and that she didn't fall to her death as she cautiously leaned over the side too look at the shrinking Terror Mountain and it's surrounding areas. Nevertheless, the journey was over much, much too quickly and soon the Pteri swerved to a stop on a fluffy pink-purple Faerieland cloud in front of the Faerieland City gates.

"Thank you for flying Pteri Air Taxi today," the Pteri said in the same bored tone. "Watch your step as you exit the passenger box."

Roxie first climbed out of the box herself then helped her petpet out too.

"Your total from Terror Mountain to Faerie City comes out to be 985 Neopoints"

Roxie fished into her backpack and pulled out 988 Neopoints, the extra three Neopoints for a tip for the Pteri The taxi Pteri motioned for her to put the money into a little coin purse that hung on a string around his neck. Then as effortlessly as before, with liquid movements, the Pteri beat his wings and took off. Roxie watched in awe until he became no more than a speck of almost nothing in the gray-blue sky. Then she turned around and she and Frosty made their way into Faerie City.

To be continued...

 
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