Note: All of this actually happened. Last week, to be precise. Just don’t tell Random.
This really wasn’t happening. I mean, honestly, when you walk into your younger sibling’s room and find it replaced by something called “Mission Control”, the only rational explanation is that you’re still dreaming.
But, of course, this being my life, it wasn’t. I’m Semmek, by the way, a Darigan Lupe who’s somehow ended up with an insane owner and several “Baby” siblings, none of whom I am particularly fond of. There’s Indy, the Gelert, who’s actually known by the unfortunate moniker of IndyMehindiInk, who really wants to be evil, Jynja, the Kougra, her loyal, vaguely dimwitted sidekick, and Lapynn, the miniscule Cybunny desperate to become an astronaut. Not to mention Kaerna, the Korbat, whose recent addition to the family is where this unfortunate story begins.
It all started simply enough. Random, who for some reason several years ago decided I needed a home and adopted me (which I was not especially pleased about), had decided to spend the day shopping for the first time since Kaerna had joined the family, and left me with four babies hyperactive on chocolate to look after. Being the conscientious Lupe I am, I immediately called Fharce, one of the few people I happen to like, to see if she’d come over and look after them instead.
Since she was unavailable, I did the only thing I could do and went over to the couch and had a nap. By the time I woke up, I told myself, the sugar high would have worn off and they’d be willing to settle down. I could have tried to get them to calm down then, but I’ve been tied to inanimate objects by them far too many times to believe that would work.
I’m still not exactly sure what happened while I was asleep, but it apparently went something like this. Realizing there was absolutely no adult supervision, Lapynn convinced Kaerna to build a rocket ship out of the contents of my bedroom. I still don’t have a new bed or an alarm clock, in case you’re interested. The bedroom the two shared was converted into ‘Mission Control’, as they call it, through the careful use of old Achyfi cans, a tool box, and Random’s bank account.
I was woken up by a countdown. By the time Kaerna’s voice had reached 4, I was wide awake, and dashed into their bedroom, hoping desperately that they were just playing yet another game of “Pretend you’re the Cybunny Scout”. Of course, any hope failed when I noticed the enormous rocket ship protruding out the side of the house.
Kaerna turned her chair to face me, twirling a strand of her blonde hair that had escaped from ponytail she kept it in while inventing. “Oh, hello, Sem. You’re just in time.”
“Just in time for what exactly?” I spluttered, but Kaerna had turned her attention back to the weird electronic device beeping ominously. I looked at the rocket, and had just enough time to see Lapynn wave cheerfully before being blasted into the atmosphere. Great.
Just to make sure I wasn’t simply having an extremely vivid dream, I turned to Kaerna and said, “Was that Lapynn?”
“In that rocket?”
“Blasting off into space?”
“Well, not exactly to space. Virtupets is more like it.”
“How is she going to come back?”
Kaerna’s face fell. They’d evidently forgotten about that small detail.
“Do you realize how much trouble we’re going to be in when Random comes home and realizes she’s one pet short? How much trouble I’m going to be in?”
“Nope. But I guess I’m about to find out.”
“Grab your jacket. We’ve got to get to Virtupets.”
Of course, we couldn’t go to Virtupets straight away. First, we went over to Legendary Petpets, inside the walls of Altador, where Fharce worked part time. I wasn’t about to go and attempt to force Lapynn to come home by myself, and Fharce had been to Virtupets once, which was one more time than I’d ever been. Despite her protests as Kaerna dragged her outside, she soon agreed to help after realizing the potential consequences. She relied upon our house as a source of both entertainment whenever something like this happened and free sugary food.
As we stepped onto the shuttle to Virtupets (“All the wonder of Kreludor with normal gravity!”), I realized I’d just left two, rather evil, Baby pets alone. But whatever they could do while I was away was of little consequence if Random came home and found that I’d allowed someone to jet off to Virtupets. Well, not exactly allowed, but it wasn’t going to change her reaction.
Forty-seven-and-a-half minutes later (I counted) we dashed off the shuttle. From Random’s incoherent lecture shortly before we left, I had gathered she would be back in about six hours. Which left us with two hours to find Lapynn and take her home.
As the three of us almost ran up from the Supply Deck, Kaerna began to complain.
“You made me come to Virtupets, can’t you at least let me look around? Look at all the technology; you don’t see this in Altador. I want to go see Space Weaponry. Or the Lever of Doom,” she whined.
Already annoyed with Kaerna, all I angrily whispered back was “Sloth, no. You got us into this, and now you’re going to help us get out of it.”
“But-” she began, before we noticed Fharce had already stepped into the Space Petpet Shop. As I followed her, dodging “I ♥ Mystery Island” shirt-clad tourists while holding Kaerna’s arm, I realized she had begun talking to the shop keeper.
“Yessiree, miss, I saw a little Cybunny not ten minutes ago, lookin’ for a shuttle,” the elderly Green Grundo said, petting a N-4 Info Retrieval Bot as he talked. He set the Bot down as he continued, “Then asked me about the quickest way to the Grundos’ Café, she did, when I told her there weren’t any shuttles for an hour. Hope that helps.”
“Thank you,” said Fharce, and began to briskly walk across the shiny metal floor towards the Recreation Deck. Great. So while we were running around trying to avert the possibility of our owner spontaneously combusting with anger, Lapynn had decided to go get a snack. The day just got better.
Gargarox turned to us as we entered. “Can I get you anything?” he asked disapprovingly. Evidently we were exactly the sort of riff-raff he’d rather stay away from a place as elegant as Grundos’. I don’t doubt that by the time we’d reached Grundos’ we weren’t exactly the most elegant Neopets you’d ever meet, but there were things slightly more important than our personal appearance. The possibility of Random realizing I’d let Lapynn jet off to Virtupets on a homemade rocket, for instance.
From a corner of the restaurant, I saw a pair of ears poking over a metal table that was evidently supposed to look modern but resembled a discarded garbage can with legs. The ears moved a little bit, and then a tiny Cybunny emerged from her seat.
“Oh, hello, Sem! And Fharce! And Kae! Why did you guys come here?”
I blinked. “It may have had something to do with me waking up from a quick nap just in time to watch you get blasted off into space and then being informed by Kaerna that you’d neglected to think of a way to get back down. And why does everyone keep calling me Sem?”
Fharce added, “Also, there’s the distinct possibility of all of you being sent to the Pound for all of this. Or at least to some distant corner of Terror Mountain.”
“Oh,” was all Lapynn said.
As we walked back down to the Hangar to catch a shuttle back, I began to think about what potential disasters may have occurred at the house while I tried to prevent another one. Indy had the tendency to be rather overenthusiastic in her schemes to return Sloth to power, and there had been one memorable afternoon when Jynja had discovered Random’s PIN and proceeded to spend most of her savings on doughnut-related items.
As we reached Altador, Fharce rushed off to Legendary Petpets to explain her absence while I walked up the long winding dirt road to our house, accompanied by Lapynn and Kaerna.
We reached the house, but just as I opened the door Jynja burst out of the house, holding a rather large packet of doughnuts.
“She’s found a ray gun! Duck and cover,” he yelled.
“Go clean up “Mission Control” while I take care of this,” I hissed at Lapynn and Kaerna. By the time I’d forcibly separated Indy from her weapon, which she must have found in Random’s storage cupboard) and cleaned up the (still slightly smoking) holes in the wall created by the said ray gun, the house looked as close to normal as it ever did.
Mismatched furniture? Check. Old advent calendar prizes everywhere? Check. Teetering piles of books? Check. Enough doughnuts to support all of Altador for several years? Check. Four psychotic Baby pets? Check.
Ten minutes later, Random walked up our front path, eyeing us suspiciously. I prayed the remains of the cement Lapynn and Kaerna had used to clean up the enormous hole in their bedroom hadn’t been left somewhere obvious. The front yard, for instance.
Satisfied that all was well, Random turned to me, “Did anything interesting happen when I was gone?”
I swallowed slightly, then answered, “Nothing special.”