A Yurble stole my cinnamon roll! Circulation: 164,193,660 Issue: 179 | 25th day of Awakening, Y7
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The Great Gelert Hype: Part Four


by the_wanderer128

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Arriving at the Food Shop at last, Fortuna walked up to the front door without delay. "Alright… let's get the bread, so we can move on to the veggie store."

     "Alright then…" a muffled voice, belonging to Tak's, emanated from behind her. Noticing that he sounded different, she turned around, and saw Tak dressed up in a trench-coat, and floppy hat. He wore a scarf around his muzzle, and sunglasses over his eyes, leaving him relatively concealed.

     Puzzled she asked "What… are you doing?"

     "Well I'm… Well I'm cold obviously," was Tak's excuse. Fortuna was confused.

     "You're cold?" she asked, with suspicion.

     "Y-yup."

     "In the middle of Summer?"

     "Nothing weird about that."

     "With the temperature hotter than that of the Lost Desert's?"

     "It's colder than Terror Mountain out here."

     "And that Pteri over there is frying neggs on the sidewalk?"

     "Frying… neggs… is… um… a great tradition to perform in the cold weather…"

     Tak was beginning to run out of convincing excuses, so he immediately pushed his way into the shop-the same shop he had stolen food from the day before.

     The Chia shopkeeper greeted them. "Welcome. How may we help you today?" While Fortuna dealt with them, Tak carefully and nervously darted around the store, hoping that she would finish quickly.

     "Excuse me, sir." Tak practically jumped into the ceiling at the sound of that voice. "I DIDN'T DO IT!" he cried. Every customer and employee stopped and stared at Tak, who stood there grinning sheepishly. The Chia employee paused for a moment before saying "Er… you dropped some NP on the ground…" Tak looked down, and found there was indeed some of his change on the floor. "Thanks…" Tak, embarrassed, whispered.

     He leaned down, and picked it up. As he did so, his hat and sunglasses fell off, and to the floor. Tak quickly picked them up, and replaced them, hoping no one would notice. Standing up, Tak looked towards the front door of the shop, and to his horror, he saw a wanted poster with his picture on it. He had to get there, and tear it down, before Fortuna noticed. So he quickly and smoothly sidled up to the wall, and slid along, until he was standing right next to it. Looking at the 500 NP reward, Tak couldn't help but feel a little insulted by the meager reward for his capture. Nevertheless, he reached his paw outward, and clutched the paper. Just a quick tear, and…

     "Well they didn't have it," Fortuna, coming out of nowhere, blurted. Tak snatched the poster off the wall, and hid it behind him, hoping that she hadn't noticed. "Are you sure you're alright?" Fortuna asked, "You've been acting weird since we got here…"

     "Uh… well, I'm just a little queasy," Tak said, with hesitation. "Maybe we should call it a day." Quickly, he tore the poster, until it was mere confetti. He had the sneaking suspicion that she had heard the tearing sounds, but hoped she wouldn't bring it up.

     Fortuna did eye him strangely, but did not say anything. "Let's go," she said, walking out of the store, which was a huge relief for Tak to finally leave. At least until it dawned on him that they could be going to more stores that he'd robbed.

     "Even though I wasn't seen at any of the other places I had stolen food from," Tak thought, "I don't know if I can keep on doing this."

     At that moment, Fortuna stopped. "Take those ridiculous accessories off at once!" she snapped, refusing to go another step until he'd done so.

     "Alright, alright…" Tak muttered, as he removed the hat, sunglasses, scarf, and everything else.

     "There now… At least you look a little less out of place," Fortuna said.

     Tak couldn't argue with that assumption. But all at once, he felt someone grab him from behind, and pull him back.

     "There you are!" Bones roared, "You've got some nerve turning your back on me, little boy!" He lifted Tak high in the air, giving him no chance to break free. Fortuna saw this, and was naturally horrified.

     "Help! Someone Help!" were her cries. Even though Tak would've loved to have some help in dealing with Bones, he knew that this would attract the wrong kind of attention. "Um… Bones?" Tak said, in a constricted voice, "Didn't you say we're trying to keep a low-profile?" Bones squeezed harder. "Okay… just thought I'd ask…" he squeaked.

     "Nobody move!" almost as soon as the cry for help rose up, the trio was immediately set upon by two Neopian Police Officers.

     "Looks like we got three of 'em today, Sarge," a green Kougra police officer reported. A blue Skeith officer, presumably the "Sarge," walked towards them, and looked them over.

     "Yeah, this looks like our three at-large suspects wanted for stealing food from the Food Shop yesterday." Examining them closer, he said "One red Grarrl, one yellow Gelert, and one more, who is presumably a blue, winged Neopet-type unknown. I guess this is the one," he concluded, looking at Fortuna.

     "What's going on, Tak?" Fortuna worriedly asked.

     Tak could not believe this was happening. "No! She had nothing to do with it!" he protested. "Enough!" the Skeith shouted. "I'm in charge here, so don't speak out of turn."

     "So… the infamous Neopian Central Bandits," the Kougra officer said. "I assume you're 'Bones,' the ringleader?"

     Bones looked at him defiantly. "Yeah? What's it to you?"

     "Hmm…" the Skeith officer hummed. "Is Bones your real name?"

     "'Course it is!" Bones snapped. "Why would I lie?"

     The Kougra officer began to snicker. "Sure… we believe you… Percival." At the mention of Bones' (or Percival's) real name, both the Skeith and the Kougra roared with hysterical laughter. Even Tak began to laugh a little, at the expense of Bones. That was until he looked over, and noticed Fortuna's look of disbelief.

     "You mean… you? You're…" Fortuna started to say.

     "… A thief," Tak finished. He'd finally admitted it, but seeing the painful look appear on Fortuna's face was a precursor to an even more difficult situation. "I guess I should come right out and say that…"

     While Tak was explaining everything to Fortuna, Alissa watched the unfolding scene from across the street. "They think she's me," Alissa sighed, as she watched the police question Fortuna. Looking down, she gasped in horror to find that Elian, who she'd been watching, had disappeared. "Elian! Where are you?!" she cried.

     Meanwhile, little Elian had wandered away, and had climbed to the top of a nearby tree, where he could see Tak, Fortuna and Bones being questioned. Looking proudly at how high he'd climbed, he stood upright on top of a tree limb, and began yelling happily over towards Tak.

     "Hey, Tak! Look how high I cli-" *crack* was the only sound the tree limb made, before giving way beneath his feet. "Whu-whoa!" Elian yowled, as he began to fall downwards, before grabbing hold of another branch, and dangled there, helplessly.

     "Help!" Elian cried, despairingly.

     Tak looked over towards the hill on which the lone tree stood, and could see a green Wocky barely clinging on to a branch near the top. "Is that…?" Tak wondered. Fortuna could see it too. "Oh no! That poor little Wocky!" Almost immediately, Tak recognized the voice from the pleas for help.

     "That's Elian!" he shouted, breaking through the picket of police officers, and sprinted towards the tree. "Hey! Come back here!" the Kougra officer shouted.

     Tak didn't even look back at him. "No chance! That's my friend up there!"

     The officers probably wouldn't have bothered, if they had seen the Wocky stuck in the tree first. "Look! There's a kid up there!" the Kougra officer yelled. "Get the nets! We need to get the rescue squad in here!" the Skeith officer ordered.

     But Tak could see that Elian couldn't hold on much longer. "No time for that! Someone needs to climb!"

     The officers looked at each other. "Well I can't climb!" the Kougra officer shouted, "I have an injured paw!" he said, holding up his bandaged paw.

     The Skeith officer also excused himself. "Well I can't climb either!"

     "Yeah? Well if you didn't eat so many doughnutfruits, you'd be in much shape!" the Kougra yelled.

     "My stomach size has nothing to with anything!" the Skeith argued.

     "And this is supposed to explain why my grandma beat you in the relay race at the Police Picnic?"

     While the Kougra and Skeith were busy debating weight, Tak had already scrambled up the tree, towards the stricken Elian. Below, Alissa had heard the commotion, and watched as Tak raced up to where Elian was hanging.

     "Oh, no! Elian! Tak!" she shouted up after them. Tak did not listen. He was focused on reaching Elian before he lost his grip-or the branch gave out under his weight. As he neared the precarious situation, Tak forgot everything he'd done up to this point, and was fully intent on getting Elian to safety.

     "Hey, Kid! Kid!" Tak yelled, reaching out to Elian with one paw, and keeping a firm grip around the tree trunk with the other. "Grab on to my arm!" Elian shook his head. "No! I'll fall!" he cried. A crackling sound could be heard from the branch he was hanging off of. The branch was beginning to buckle under his weight…

To be continued…

 
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Other Episodes


» The Great Gelert Hype: Part One
» The Great Gelert Hype: Part Two
» The Great Gelert Hype: Part Three
» The Great Gelert Hype: Part Five



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