The moon of Neopia, Kreludor, has enjoyed a boom in the tourism industry in the past few years. Because of this, the residents of Kreludor have benefited from a strong economy. That’s why it’s possible that they’ve been lying to Neopians. Neopia Central Hospital has had a multitude of patients who have returned from vacations to the Neopian moon with a wide array of terrible conditions. If you question the doctors about these diseases, however, you will get the cold shoulder and a stony-faced response of: “I’ll get back to you. The tests aren’t conclusive.” I, Coyamby the Aisha, went on a journey to discover the truth.
I needed to speak with the sick tourists. At first, Neopia Central Hospital refused to allow me to interview their patients from Kreludor. When I convinced them I was a family member, they let me visit for several minutes. The patient, a red Aisha, was covered in painful sores and thought she was King Darigan. The nurse said she was suffering from Reptillioritus complicated by an odd case of Chickaroo. I did not mention to her that the reptile whose bite causes Reptillioritus is not found on Kreludor – where she had supposedly been bitten.
I didn’t get another lead for several days, until I heard about a doctor dismissed from the Hospital because he did not “keep confidential information confidential.” I was able to get his address from a file when the receptionist at the Hospital went to buy lunch. I shall keep his identity anonymous, however, to protect him. I will call him Dr. X. What he told me was shocking.
When I explained the reason for my visit, he reluctantly let me in his Neohome. I asked him why he had been fired.
“I was scared by some lab results,” Dr. X said. “One patient who returned from Kreludor had unexplained symptoms – we told the family it was a severe case of Floppy Tongue to comfort them, but we knew it wasn’t... The test results said that it was a rare ailment caused by a quick shift from high-gravity to low-gravity.”
“Does that explain all of the patients’ problems?” I asked.
“I wish it were that simple. Another patient had a disease caused by exposure to certain toxic gases... I asked another doctor where the gas could’ve come from. He glared at me and said not to tell my findings to anybody.”
“Is that why you were fired? Because you told?”
“I threatened to tell. I don’t have enough evidence to conclude anything, so I won’t. But they were scared that I might.”
He told me he didn’t know. Dr. X also told me the biggest mystery was why some people were coming back completely healthy. I knew what I had to do next: take a trip to Kreludor and figure it out myself.
For those who have never visited Kreludor, allow me to describe it. It is a desolate, dark place. It is lit only by the metallic glow of the settlement.
My first stop was the Kreludor residential area. It is small compared to other Neopian residential zones, but it is growing at an astonishing rate. It took me less than ten minutes to meet a Wocky with symptoms similar to Bloaty Feet, except the regular antidote wasn’t having the slightest effect. We sat down for a cup of hot cocoa (although sitting was incredibly painful for her because her tender feet had to touch the floor). She told me the symptoms had started only two days after she moved from the Haunted Woods to Kreludor.
With special permission, I was allowed to leave the contained, oxygenated area. From the first moment I walked on the lunar surface, there was a stench impossible to miss. I followed the odor until I was stopped by a giant guard at Kreludan Mining Corporation (KMC). KMC is Kreludor’s most powerful company. To enter the grounds, one must have special authorization. It made me wonder if they had something to hide. (They claim it is for safety reasons.) Without the authorization code, I never was able to get inside.
As I spent several days on Kreludor, I noticed two patterns in the tourists who were getting sick: 1) they didn’t get better after adjusting to the low-gravity environment as Dr. X proposed they would, and 2) they used the NeoCola machine. I wrote a letter to the manufacturers of NeoCola and never received a reply. I managed to buy a NeoCola and give it to Dr. X back in Neopia. Without a lab, however, he has been unable to study it. He does think that it would be possible for a bad batch of NeoCola to cause the wide array of symptoms.
None of my findings were definitive. The evidence is circumstantial. Dr. X has been able to establish some facts. For one, some species of Neopet are more likely to catch these ailments. Wockies, Meercas, and Usuls have been prevalent among the numerous patients that have had unexplained symptoms at Neopia Central Hospital. These three groups make up almost 35% of the patients. Dr. X thinks there may be a correlation between furriness and likelihood of sickness.
Also, the doctors at Neopia Central Hospital do not want this information to get out. KMC and NeoCola Co. are multi-million NP companies. They have influence faraway from Kreludor. Dr. X also said that Neopia Central Hospital has been having financial problems because of the free healthcare. When I inquired about this, they told me that anyone who says that must have a vendetta against the Hospital and be trying to make it look fiscally irresponsible.
This made me consider the validity of my expert source. Dr. X, after all, might be eager to damage the Hospital’s reputation. It is a journalist’s job to get both sides of the story. I interviewed another doctor, Dr. Markus1241, who initially refused to answer questions. Later he mailed me the following statement:
“...I know that the complex symptoms and limited access look suspicious. We are not a PR firm, however. We will do what is best for our patients no matter how bad it looks for us. Just because it isn’t as interesting as an intricate conspiracy, but we are doctors – not detectives – and will not do benefit us and not the patients.”
Regardless, there is one fact I know for certain: Kreludor is not safe. It is up for debate whether there has been an elaborate cover-up, possibly by Kreludor's two most powerful corporations, to maintain the current profit margins on Neopia’s moon. But even if NeoCola and KMC have done nothing wrong, the harmful qualities of gravity change have not been revealed to the public.
I hope this article will encourage research into the issue. The safety of millions of Neopets could be at stake.