The Techo Fan Supports Mystery Island!
“And that’s a good pass by Volgoth -- he’s really upped his game since the last Altador Cup,” the Ixi commentator announced as the crowd boomed around him.
The Altador Cup was well underway, and the crowd was buzzing with anticipation and excitement. To any observer, it would have seemed that the tension was really mounting; and it was.
The stadium was filled with hyperactive fans and scintillating banners, but it was two particular fans who had more than just the game filling their ears.
“We’ve moved seats five times already, and no matter where we go, I can still hear him,” an Island Blumaroo said with an aggravated sigh. Compared to the rest of the supporters, he looked completely melancholic.
“Look, Marlon, we’ve been moving around non-stop, and nothing has changed. I’ve missed half the game now, and I haven’t even gotten to use my foam-hand,” Andor, a Rainbow Quiggle said. He lifted up his hand begrudgingly, sporting a blue and red Meridell foam-hand on it, and waved it to and fro.
Marlon had always been a very stubborn Neopet. He loved Yooyuball and the Altador Cup as much as the next fan, but everything had to be perfect for him to enjoy a game. The Blumaroo was an avid Mystery Island supporter despite not living on the island; but it was his favourite vacation spot. Plus, he’d supported them for every single cup.
Andor on the other hand, tended to sway towards different teams each year. Last year it was the Lost Desert, and this time it was Meridell. He was somewhat flippant, and was nowhere near as diehard a fan as Marlon.
The two friends had met at Neoschool, and had stayed friends ever since. Despite having rather opposing personality traits, especially when regarding the Altador Cup, they always came to watch the important matches. It just so happened that today, Marlon was particularly distracted from the important match in front of them.
“But I can’t enjoy the match or my slushie if I keep getting distracted by that annoying Techo,” Marlon said with a sigh. He glanced across the pitch to see a raging blue Techo standing right at the front, and cheering his heart out.
“He’s on the other side of the stadium. Can’t you just... focus on the game?” Andor replied. His eyes and mind were clearly on the game now, as Bertie Shurtz weaved along the field earning more cheers from the crowd.
“I just can’t appreciate it like this. His shouting might help Mystery Island win the Cup, but it doesn’t help me,” Marlon announced. He took a small sip of his swirling green and yellow slushie and sat back, his shimmering grass skirt swaying as he did so.
“Well, I can barely hear it, and my ears are excellent. Plus, the Techo clearly roots for Meridell.”
“Andor, you don’t have ears -- you’re a Quiggle. But that’s beside the point. Everybody knows that the Techo supports Mystery Island. It’s obvious.”
Andor shook his head in disbelief. “If it’s so obvious, then what’s the proof for that claim?”
“Well, I have a season membership to see Mystery Island. I’m part of the Mystery Island Yooyuball Pros. That means I go to every single match to cheer them on. And do you know whom I see at every game? The Techo Fanatic,” Marlon recited, rather matter-of-factly.
“Interesting...” Andor commented, with a smug grin. “There’s just one problem with that theory. He comes to all the games, regardless of what teams are playing.”
“W-w-well, that doesn’t matter. I have more proof. I can tell you a story -- undeniable evidence that the Techo fan supports Mystery Island!”
“Fine, give it your best shot.”
Marlon smiled, folding his arms cryptically. “Well, it all starts long ago, with a JubJub...”
The Tiki-tour guide stood impatiently on the rickety bridge that led from the beautiful shores of Mystery Island out to the glistening ocean. Just a look at the lapping waves smoothly surging forward and crashing against the harbour stands was a mesmerising sight.
The soft breeze was blowing outwards on this particular day, so instead of the stinging salty air, a delectable smell of fruit engaged anybody in the immediate vicinity. The whole place was really a sight to behold.
Viewable from the harbour were a small, cosy-looking hut with a silky purple roof, small island boats, probably owned by the natives themselves, and an endless grassy plain filled with palm trees and the odd bush. Everything was peaceful.
But the tour guide knew that, before long, the serenity would be broken by tourists and stock marketers arriving on the island for a holiday or for a first-person look at the stocks they’d bought, respectively.
It was his job to greet them with all the cheerfulness and island spirit he could muster. Life was tough for a Coconut JubJub.
His long orange feet, jutting out from his coconut body tapped impatiently on the wooden bridge, warranting quiet creaks from it as he did so.
“Look’s like they’ve arrived. Time to put on your happy face,” the tour guide said with a clearly forced grin.
Swiftly floating on the horizon was a quaint wooden boat, complete with rainbow-coloured sail. Part of the JubJub wondered how the boat was sailing so swiftly against the wind with just a sail, but from being on the Island for as long as he could remember, he’d learnt not to question the inner workings of the Mystery Island boat. That was like questioning the meaning of life.
Instead he simply waited twice a day for the same fragile little boat. It always seemed far too unstable to transport the amount of passengers it did, but it never failed. Not once had it ever missed a pick-up; it’d never even been late before. If nothing else, Mystery Island was a prompt place -- shocking really, considering how laid back the natives generally were.
“Welcome guests, to the Mystery Isle. Please do step this way; you’re in for a treat here,” the tour guide said, his forced grin bigger than ever. The boat had arrived, slotting neatly next to the harbour bridge and rocking gently back and forth.
One by one, the passengers began to emerge. Mystery Island was a land that attracted all species, so there was never any particular trend of one as far as tourists were concerned. Everybody loved to bask in the sunshine of the heavily illuminated place. Apart from Ice pets, of course -- they preferred Terror Mountain.
The little JubJub welcomed all of the newcomers individually as they bounded and ran onto land. Even the adult Neopians were beyond excitement with just one glance at the beautiful plains.
“Welcome to paradise, everyone,” the native exclaimed over the bustle of the crowd. “If you’d like to go into that little hut over there,” he paused and motioned over to the aforementioned purple-roofed hut, “then you can get going to your desired destination. Or, you can stay with me and get a personal tour of the Island.”
Pets scurried, hopped and ran to the hut, seemingly ignoring the tour guide’s last statement -- all except one slightly curious Blue Techo who looked completely ordinary.
The tour guide looked stunned. “Really? You want a tour? Nobody ever wants a tour from me. You do know that we’ll be walking, right? I just don’t have the funds to get a decent vehicle,” he stammered.
The Techo nodded. “I would like a tour if it isn’t too much trouble. I don’t mind walking; it’ll be good exercise.”
For the first time that day, the tour guide genuinely smiled. Finally there was something else to do with his time. “Alright then, let's get on our way.”
The two set off -- starting at a quick pace considering the climate -- into the vast plains ahead of them.
It was quite a walk.
There was nothing much for the tour guide to talk about, other than “Oh, there’s a tree that’s been around for as long as I can remember” or “Wow, the smoke from our volcano really is billowing high today.” However, there was something that intrigued the tour guide while they were on their little walk.
“You mentioned lacking the funds to get a vehicle to help with your tour. Why don’t you just build something?” the Techo asked suddenly.
“Build something? What could I possibly build on Mystery Island that would carry people?”
“Well, there is many a tree on this island; why don’t you make something out of wood? I bet your business would boom if you did that.”
“I never thought of that,” the tour guide replied, clearly deep in thought. It was a plausible prospect, something he would definitely look into.
It took some time before they came across anything that wasn’t green, but they finally did: a large volcano mountain. It was obviously the centrepiece of the whole island. It was quite impressive. Even the tour guide looked up to marvel at its structure. The rigid curvature and jutting rocks made the volcano look both ferocious and brutal, as if it were going to blow at any given moment. Still, something kept it calm. The surroundings were eerily quiet. Higher still came the streamlined form of smoke, slithering up into the sky and merging with the clouds above. It reminded the tour guide of a group of cloud Hissi, gliding gracefully into the sky. “It’s quite something, isn’t it?” the tour guide said softly.
“It really is an amazing sight. But I can’t help but feel it’s missing something...” The Techo trailed off, still admiring the mountain.
“Missing something? Like what?”
“Perhaps something more visual. Maybe a carving of some sort?”
“A carving?” the tour guide asked. “That’s not a bad idea. Maybe I’ll have a word with somebody about that.”
After a few more minutes of appreciating the volcano and a quick rest, the two were on their way again.
Thankfully for them both, it didn’t take long to reach the next attraction: a small beach and volleyball net. The net was old, and looked like it had previously been used to catch Nurannas in the ocean. But none the less, a game was still occurring as the two stopped to the side of the court. “Volleyball is the number one sport here at Mystery Island. Myncies especially are always encouraged to play,” the tour guide stated factually. “Looks like there’s a lesson going on now.”
Looking forward, the Techo watched as two Mynci, one Red and one Blue, tried to teach a rather large Island Mynci to serve.
An Island Mynci certainly wasn’t something you saw every day. Even on the Island they were an increasingly rare sight. This one in particular was very different than the normal Mynci. He was at least twice the size of the other two, and seemed to tower above the volleyball net too. His fur rippled back along his body as the breeze blew gently through it. The giant gold earring hanging down from his ears looked like they were some kind of weapon used to hitting unsuspecting tourists on the head. Even his enormous curling tail looked as though it could clobber any Neopet with a single hit. But he did seem to wear a constant frown, with his lower white tooth protruding out from his mouth.
“Why don’t you give it a try now?” the Red Mynci suggested to the Island one, handing the ball over to him.
“Fine, but don’t blame me if this goes wrong,” the Island one replied stubbornly. He snatched the ball, threw it into the air, and then quickly punched it forward with his hand in a fist.
It was a good hit with only one thing missing: altitude. Instead of hitting the ball over the net, he’d hit it straight through, resulting in a large hole. With nothing to pull them straight, the two sticks that were previously stretching the net out drooped to the side slightly, threatening to fall over completely.
“That’s the fifth net today!” the Blue Mynci exclaimed.
“We’ve been practicing all day and you haven’t improved at all. You’re just no good,” the Red one cried.
“Fine then, I’ll just sit on the sidelines. You’re the ones who wanted me to play,” the Island Mynci growled. With one final grunt, he stomped to the side of the area and sat down in the shade of a slanted palm tree.
“Hello friend. That’s quite a shooting hand you’ve got there,” came a voice suddenly. The Mynci looked up, ready to glare away at whomever had spoken, when he saw the strange Techo tourist crouching beside him.
“Have you come to laugh at me or something?”
“No, of course not. I’ve come to help you.”
The Island Mynci raised a hairy eyebrow. “How could you possibly help me?” he asked.
“Quite easily. But first, tell me your name.”
“Volgoth. My name’s Volgoth.”
“Well Volgoth, tell me, have you ever heard of Yooyuball?”
“...And so that’s how the Tour Guide Native came to have a kart, why the volcano has a Techo’s head carved into it, and why Volgoth is playing Yooyuball instead of volleyball.”
Marlon sat back in his seat, utterly satisfied with his tale.
Andor on the other hand, wasn’t as convinced. “So you’re trying to tell me that because some Techo came along, told a Coconut JubJub to build a kart, and convinced the now-captain of the Mystery Island Yooyuball team to start that very sport, they decided to carve his head into a mountain?”
“Well, he did do other things too. He gave the Tiki-Tack Tombola Native his wooden mask, gave the Kitchen Quest Flotsam the idea to give out quests when he was low on supplies, and suggested that the Nimmo Training master start a training school. My story was just one small part of his great deeds.”
“You really expect me to believe that?” Andor exclaimed.
“Well, who else could have inspired a Techo’s head to be carved into the mountain?” Marlon asked.
“What about the Techo Master? Isn’t he like, the face of Mystery Island?”
“Aha!” Marlon cried, leaping up from his seat with enthusiasm. “That’s what they want you to think. But it’s really our little fanatic friend over there who made Mystery Island what it is today.”
Andor shook his head in disbelief. “Then why in your story does he talk so calmly? That can’t possibly be him.”
“There’s a simple explanation for that -- when he was visiting the Isle, the tour guide native accidentally ran over his foot with his kart.” Marlon nodded his head knowledgeably. “How could somebody who pretty much made Mystery Island, and their Yooyuball team support anyone else?”