Mr. Meepit and the Staff of Time
Night fell on Neopia Central, but as everyone knows, nightfall does not stop the energetic thoroughfare of the busy city. Tonight, though, was different – silence covered the metropolis like a parent tucking their child into bed. The Petpetpets stopped chittering, the Petpets didn’t howl and the Neopets all slept at the same time, including the Korbats.
No-one knew why the night was so quiet: some believe it was the work of a Faerie who was tired of giving quests and decided to make everyone sleep for a while, while others like to think it was the nefarious work of Doctor Sloth. The truth is that we may never know what caused the events that started the first major adventure of Mr. Meepit, but we do know that if it wasn’t for the bizarre stillness of the night that Neopia would never have been in the danger that the Staff of Time proposed.
It had been dark for two hours now, and Mr. Meepit was one of the few creatures left awake in the city, possibly due to the mass of cupcakes he had consumed before departing to bed. He descended the stairs in hopes of making himself some tea, but realised that the water had been cut off because of the water balloon incident that happened two weeks prior to the night in question.
After reminiscing the events that ended with a doused Lenny, and a relatively wet Wuzzle, Mr. Meepit left the tap and exited the house, with his teabag in tow, and set off in search of a clean, warm, water source in which he could make his sleep remedy.
Meanwhile, in the bustling town of Sakhmet, a mysterious petpet in a dark brown cloak was trying his hand at a game of Sakhmet Solitaire. He had a hard time, however, convincing the Chomby that he did not, in fact, desire either of the two trophies, but instead needed to visit the King with information regarding a mysterious box. Needless to say, the Chomby there did not understand a word of it, as the traveller didn’t speak Neopian.
“Do you want to play a game? It’s only fifty neopoints per play,” the Chomby told the mysterious small fellow inquiring to him in a foreign language. The Feepit, however, could understand what the Chomby had said, but just couldn’t respond in Neopian:
“Eep! Squabble squabble blab Eppin.”
“Sorry, I can’t understand you... are you one of those backwards-speaking Grundos?”
The conversation continued with no obvious changes in dialogue for around thirty minutes, at which point the sun was highest in the sky in the Lost Desert. The same could not be said, however, for the sleeping capital of Neopia, in which Kreludor was in the centre of an irregularly non-starry night.
The town of Goldrun, however, was always lit up. The sun always in the sky, the heat always rising up from the warm sand, and the lasso market was booming. At this point in time, however, it was also under threat from an unknown source that prompted the Spotted Kau Ellie, the Mayor of the Town, to send out a distress letter to anyone who would listen. Little would she know that the trouble in Goldrun was caused by a much larger event, which could envelop and destroy all of Neopia.
Mr. Meepit knocked on the large wooden door, and waited for five minutes. After that had passed, he knocked another two times, but there was still no answer. He was beginning to wonder if anyone else in Neopia Central was awake, and he was probably right in thinking that; this was the three-hundredth-and-fortieth-house he had knocked on, and the result was always the same: silence.
The three-hundredth-and-forty-first house he visited, however, yielded a different outcome; as soon as he knocked on the door, it fell down and revealed a dark tunnel that seemed to lead deep, deep underground. Mr. Meepit debated to himself whether he should descend into the darkness or not, and decided that since every other house was uninteresting, he might as well search the only strange occurrence all night.
Once he took a single step, the door shut close. He swivelled and tried to escape, but there was no knob on the door; he was stuck, and the only way out was down. He began down the stairs, and by the time he reached the bottom, light would have breached the darkness enveloping Neopia Central, but Mr. Meepit wouldn’t have known this for some time, as when he took the final step, a blank canvas of a wall greeted him.
Halfway across Neopia, well, actually it’s more like a quarter, but let’s not get picky, Sakhmet had been gripped by a strangely familiar silence; no one was awake, except for the lone Feepit who had been wondering the land. He had been kicked out of the Palace a few minutes into the silence; he had been able to score a meeting with the King, but at the last minute was denied entry to an irregular nap attack. It took the Petpet two hours to find a way out of the palace, and by then, everyone else in the Lost Desert was asleep. Or so he thought, until he passed the Petpet shop.
“...so, so long... stupid stairs... bananas...” the whispering pierced the night like the first time the Feepit had chocolate. He ran to the source of the voice, and found a ragged and dirty pink creature crawling out of a trapdoor. It was at this point that he too was noticed.
It had taken Mr. Meepit twice as long to climb the stairs as it did to descend, partly due to the fact he was going up, and partly due to the fact that was extremely, extremely tired. It makes sense, then, that he wouldn’t be too pleased that the door he had arrived through had disappeared; replaced by a door on the roof. It also makes sense that he would not be too happy that the first thing he sees when he exited the long staircase – a Feepit.
Meanwhile, Neopia had reached daytime, yet no one had woken. The bank was closed, the Defenders of Neopia taking naps. By now, the majority of Neopia was asleep – no one waking from their slumber, aside from the town of Goldrun, and the two Petpets in Sakhmet. And, of course, the Grundos on the Space Station, but they have no role in this story, so let’s not discuss them.
Silence had gripped Sakhmet. Again. A staring showdown had begun between the pink and the blue Petpets, and neither had spoken in a while. Mr. Meepit was the first to attack, swiping at the Feepit’s lower body. The Feepit dodged the attack, and responded with a headbutt, which was deflected. The fight lasted less than a minute, before a wave overcame the city – a wave of pure evil.
It started with the sound of screeching. The taste of spicy chillis followed, and the wave finally presented itself with the smell of chocolate. The city began disappearing – it wasn’t as if the buildings just crumbled, no, it was far worse. The planet was disappearing off, well, the universe. The Petpets (which were currently stuck together in a sort of headlock-gone-wrong, disbanded from the move and ran from the wave of nothingness.
The pets made it to the doors of the palace, but wooden locks on the other side prevented them from going any further. Banging ensued, but it led to no avail – everyone was completely unconscious. The wave reached the two, and they saw nothing. They smelled nothing. They felt nothing. There was nothing.
It’s safe to say that if you are reading this, you’ll have figured out that this story mustn’t end like that for the very simple reason that Neopia is still here. Believe me, this story is very true, and everything I’ve discussed has actually happened.
Mr. Meepit opened his eyes, and he saw space. He saw the sun and the stars, the moon and the space station, and for a moment, he was excited by the prospects of being in space. This feeling quickly dissipated, however, when he realised that Neopia was no-where to be seen. He spun around, and just saw more stars, more space. He then saw two blue things seemingly interacting with each other – one was small, a tad pudgy, and hairy, whereas the other was a darker blue, shining incredibly bright. Mr. Meepit swam through the abyss, slowly accelerating towards the two objects, which he suddenly realised were a Feepit and the Space Faerie.
The Space Faerie had begun speaking to her companion, and when Mr. Meepit eventually reached the pair, he could hear her speak Petpet.
“...you must- why hello, fair Meepit.” The twosome acknowledged the arrival of Mr. Meepit with a glance and a nod, before the Space Faerie recounted what she had just told the Feepit to the newly appeared Meepit. “You probably know as well as I do that there is trouble, so excuse me as I spare the usual pleasantries. You see, Neopia has gone back in time.”
“Back in... wha?” Mr. Meepit replied with the amount of curiosity you would expect in this situation.
“Yes,” replied the Feepit, “it seems that something has sent Neopia sprawling through time.”
“Indeed. It is as the Feepit says,” spoke the Faerie, “and to bring it back, you must close an artifact of intense power.”
“We must?!? What about you?!?” yelled Mr. Meepit.
“Well... uh... see you later!” And with that, the Faerie disappeared, and the two Petpets were alone in the Solar System.
“So... what now?”
Mr. Meepit did a bit of backstroke, figuring that since Neopia was gone, this might be the only thing he previously did that he could continue now that he was in space, alone. Except for the Feepit, but Mr. Meepit planned to ignore him for as long as he could. This period of time would appear to be much shorter than he thought.
“Meepit... you are swimming at a time like this?” Mr. Meepit’s pace broke at the same time that the Feepit broke the silence.
“Well, what did you propose, smarty-pants?”
“We need to save Neopia!”
“I guess... can’t you just do it and tell me when you’re done?”
“No, I cannot. You see there’s a reason why only we were awake on Neopia.”
This grabbed the Meepit’s attention. “What do you mean by that?”
“You and I are the chosen ones of our warring species. Legend says that ‘When Neopia Moves, Enemies Will Befriend,’ I assumed that it meant that when enemies befriended one another, Neopia will be moved emotionally. I guess that it really meant moved.”
“Hmmph... where did that silly ‘legend’ come from? Neoschool? Everyone knows that they aren’t real. That’s just a myth, like the Bonju Avatar!”
“It’s from the Ninja Training School – I translated the Red Codestones, and that’s what they said.”
“Ni-Ninjas?” Mr. Meepit’s eyes widened threefold. “You mean... the all-powerful Ninjas said that?” The Feepit nodded. “Then what are we waiting for? Let’s go save Neopi- wait... how do we do that?”
The Feepit smirked. “The Space Faerie told me that we can go back in time by visiting the Mining Corporation on Kreludor.”
“But that’s all the way in Spa-,” Mr. Meepit was rotating slowly while saying this, and as he neared completion, he could see Kreludor just a few hundred metres in front of him. “Oh yeah!”
It took twenty minutes to reach Kreludor’s Atmosphere, thirty minutes to reach the surface, another hour to escape a Giant Robot who got angry when he didn’t receive a pass code, and an hour and a half to reach the entrance of the cave. Time, however, is malleable, and very soon this would never have happened.
“Are you sure we should go in there?” Mr. Meepit was rather scared of walking into a long, winding, cave owned by an evil mastermind, that was guarded by a robot that was recently depowered by a rock, a mallet, and a big slice of cheese.
“I’m sure. Besides, as soon as we go back in time and save Neopia, Neopia will never end up disappearing, and we won’t need to be here to go back in time.”
“But... then if we don’t go back in time won’t Neopia need to be saved by us going back in time? And if we do, then Neopia won’t be saved, then we won’t to go back in time, so then it will be in danger...”
“Quiet. My brain hurts. Let’s just go in. The worst that can happen is that the Universe will go boom.” This, strangely, seemed to quell Mr. Meepit’s fears. The pair commenced their journey into the past by taking the first step into the cave, and...
...the Universe did, in fact, go boom. Well, not really, I just wanted to make sure you were still paying attention. Anyway, Mr. Meepit woke up in a swamp, just on the outskirts of the Haunted Woods. He tried to get up, but the goop in the swamp was too strong. It took him half an hour, but he still couldn’t get up. It was then that he finally looked upwards and saw sunlight.
“Sunlight? In... the Haunted Woods?” Mr. Meepit’s eyes widened once more, to the point that so much light was reflected that his eyes were sparkling more than a disco ball.
“Yes, it seems we didn’t just go back in time... we went further back in time than our Neopia did... I think we are in the Neopia of Year 1 just a month before these woods were found by Neopets.”
“But... Why here? Will I meet the old version of me here?” Mr. Meepit seemed both excited, and upset at the revelation. “Because I’m the only me there is.”
“No, you mustn’t, as that might make the Universe go boom... and I do not know why we are here. This is possibly where Neopia’s time collapse was caused. We must set out to find the cause of this trouble.”
“With you? Ugh, fine.” Mr. Meepit wasn’t a big fan of having a Feepit help him, but the world was in danger. Or would be in danger. Time is a very confusing subject for such a small Petpet.
The Petpets had been trekking, to no particular destination, for two hours, and had passed a baby brain tree (who sucked on a pacifier), a tiny sludge thing which would one day grow into a big gloop thing that gives quests and answers to said brain tree’s questions, and a strangely non-Zafara witch.
“Can we rest for the night?” It was finally dark in the woods, but Mr. Meepit knew it wouldn’t last. What he didn’t know, however, was that the two were closer to their goal than they thought.
The Feepit, though, did know this. “You can, Meepit. This is as far as I needed to come. You see, the translation of the Red Codestones is actually just ‘So, How is Life Going For You?’ I made up that fake legend to get you to lead me here.”
“Wait... what do you mean? Fake legend?”
The Feepit began to glow with a red aura, and his eyes glowed bright red, like fire. “Are you really that blind? I made Neopia go back in time! Well, a future me did.
“You see, last month I received a letter addressed only from the future. I read it, and it told me that in exactly a month, Neopia would be sent back in time. It told me that before then, I must use Sakhmetian to go back to Year 1, but I must also take a Meepit with me. When I go back, the Meepit would direct me towards the Haunted Woods, and I would find the power to rule time itself on the spot marked by X.
“Unfortunately, I was in Terror Mountain at the time, and I didn’t make it to Sakhmet fast enough. Luckily, though, it seems Future Me had prepared for that, and had shielded a Meepit and me from the collapse of time on Neopia. When the Space Faerie told me that there was a Time Machine on Kreludor, I knew that my mission was not over.
“So, I got you to bring me here, to the spot marked by X.” At this point, the Feepit pointed down to the ground, and Mr. Meepit noticed that there was, in fact, a large X painted onto the ground. “And as soon as I finish you off, I will grasp the Staff of Time and rule the Universe!”
Mr. Meepit was flung towards the nearest tree with just one punch from the glowing-red Feepit. He hit the trunk with a massive thump, but quickly got up, jumped, kicked off the tree, and head butted the Feepit in the back as he tried to dig up the Staff. “There’s no way that I’m letting a Feepit rule the Universe!”
The Feepit pulled his head from the dirt, and his aura dimmed. He spun around and threw a punch at the Meepit, but it was blocked. The two exchanged repeatedly blocked punches at each other until finally the Feepit swiped a low-kick at the legs of the Meepit and broke the pattern. Mr. Meepit didn’t fly very far; he dropped his speed by digging his feet into the ground. He then launched a kick at his rival’s head, and succeeded.
The Feepit flew into the pre-Esophagor goop, and started to sink. “No! You can’t do this! I’m meant to rule the Universe...” The goop had melded with the feepit, and grew big black and red eyes, turning into the Esophagor we all know and ‘love.’
Mr. Meepit rested on a log, recounting all the events that had happened to him lately. “Well, I guess if I ever want to return to normal Neopia, I’ll have to get that staff.” He went over to the X, but before he made it there, he encountered a small pink thing.
“Hey, aren’t you the me of the past?” Mr. Meepit asked the little pink blob. There wasn’t any response from it, aside from a little wiggling. “Wait, if I met you, wasn’t the universe meant to go-”