Trading in a Different Neopia
Tiesi blinked sleepily and stretched, sitting up in his bed as he did. He looked around his Meridell-themed room and breathed in a deep breath of fresh morning air. When he let it out, a smile crossed his face. Today was the day!
The disco Shoyru hopped out of his bed and skipped happily down the stairs to the kitchen. Already seated around the table were his two sisters and his foster brother. Roe, a Draik and the eldest of his two younger sisters, chomped down on a large piece of cheese omelette. His other sister, Ri, was a mutant Pteri and she always looked a little awkward trying to fit in a chair at the table. But despite her don't-come-near-me appearance, she liked to fit in with the family. Magnesim was their foster brother and was currently a split Kiko, though he hadn't been to the lab yet that day, so no one knew what he might look like in a few hours. He hovered above his chair at the table and took a piece of Altadorian Bread from the basket Roe offered him. The three smiled happily at Tiesi as he took his seat around the table.
"Alright, so today is the day, you guys," Tiesi said, taking a piece of omelette for himself. "Are you ready to do some serious advertising?"
Ri and Magnesim nodded enthusiastically, but Roe looked troubled.
"Are we sure this is what we want? I mean... do you think we will find a place where she is really their dreamie?" she asked quietly. The others looked at her for a moment before Tiesi placed a comforting paw on her shoulder and smiled warmly at her.
"I think we will, Roe. We'll just be extra careful to do a dreamie for dreamie trade."
Roe still looked a bit doubtful at this, but finished her omelette and nodded.
"Alright, then," she said, "let's go to the Pound Boards."
The four pets stared around them in shock when they arrived at the Pound Boards a little over an hour later. There were pets everywhere, plastering smileys all over their already all-uppercase signs that screamed 'DOESN'T ANYONE LIKE THESE ANYMORE?' and calling out offers to other pets, trying to make sure to beat their current Offer to Beat. Left and right, they heard "No thank you, good luck trading" and "Let me think about it, you're considered". After a few moments of taking in the scene around them, Tiesi puffed out his chest and turned to the others.
"Well, we'd better get set up. This place is a madhouse, and we're going to need to get started."
The four of them set to work making their booth. Once the booth was set up, they put out the fliers on it with all the need-to-know information that potential traders would want to see, and once he was sure that they were ready, Tiesi hung their giant banner on the front of the booth. He stepped back to inspect it and make sure it would draw some attention.
The banner was decorated with two stars on both sides for some color, and in the center it read:
'UFT: Female KQ-Playing Owner with Guild Membership. Seeking: See inside'
Satisfied, Tiesi stepped around to the back of the booth so that the Pound Board could see the sign and start making their offers. He turned to his siblings.
"I'll stay here and respond to all the questions and write down the potential offers. Mags, you head out to the other booths and take some fliers to make some offers on any owners you see that we might like. Roe, take this advertisement signature with you and give some good lucks so that some other pets might check us out. Ri... um... how about you sit over there and answer the Neomail offers?"
They all nodded (though Ri may have added a snort) and set out to do their appointed duties. Almost immediately, three pets stopped by the booth to say "Good Luck!" without even taking a second glance at any of the fliers. Tiesi ignored their advertisements as well, especially the one who only had a giant Beauty Contest advertisement with him.
Then Tiesi noticed the small orange Acara that was reading their booth banner. Tiesi held up a flier and waved him over. The Acara trotted over and took the piece of paper from Tiesi, reading it over.
"So it says here that your owner is a good Key Quester. How many gold keys does she have?" the Acara questioned, still reading the flier.
"Over two thousand!" Tiesi responded proudly. "And she's not ashamed to take a silver key every now and then either, so you won't have to worry about being warned for quitting!"
The Acara nodded blankly.
"Mhmm... it doesn't say anything on here about Roleplaying. Does she roleplay you guys at all?"
Tiesi looked discouraged for a moment, but perked right back up.
"No, she doesn't roleplay us, but she does enter us in the Beauty Contest on occasion. I've even got a silver trophy at home."
The Acara finally looked up from the flier and considered for a moment. "Alright, I'm interested," he stated.
Tiesi nodded excitedly. "Great! What are you offering?"
The Acara patted down his orange fur a little bit until he found what he was looking for. He took out a rumpled piece of paper and handed it to Tiesi. Tiesi read it over while the Acara talked.
"Male owner who is quite good in the Battledome. His username is a little long with some underscores and numbers, but you can always call him whatever you want to outside of the parenthesis. He's an avid trainer, so you will get beefed up in no time."
Tiesi twisted his mouth to one side as he handed the piece of paper back to the Acara and tried to be as polite as possible.
"Sorry, we're not really looking for a Battledomer. But good luck trading!"
The orange Acara signed, crumpling up his flier once again and sticking it in a pocket before he trudged off to the next booth. Tiesi glanced back at Riouen, who was sitting in the shade and trying not to be visible to those coming up to the booth lest they be scared off by her appearance. She didn't seem to be getting any Neomails. Just then, Tiesi's attention was drawn back to the front of the booth where a faerie Pteri had just landed. The Pteri glanced quickly at the flier.
"Hmm... owner's name?" she twittered sharply.
"reiven_zero, but she goes by Rilla."
"Well... that's not the worst username ever, I guess. And you told the Acara she enters you in the Beauty Contest... silver trophy, huh? We could work on that, I suppose. Ok, I'm offering a well-named female restocker. Might get you a better color paint brush if you wanted. Neomail us if you're interested."
With that, the Pteri slapped down a flier with her owner's ad on it and with a swish of her faerie tail she was off again. Tiesi heard another snort from Ri behind him.
Tiesi tucked the flier under the booth and decided to consider the offer with the others when they got back. As if on queue, Magnesim floated up to the booth, hands full of advertisement fliers.
"Ties! Ri! Boy, am I glad to see you guys. This place is moving so fast today! Most of the time I offer I'm either ignored or rejected because Rilla doesn't restock or snipe, but I did find a few nice owners Up for Trade that we should consider. Although, one of them was already traded and already left Neopia! I'm glad we didn't trade for him or we'd all be fending for ourselves right now." Magnesim shuddered as he handed over the stack of papers he was holding to Tiesi. Tiesi tucked them under the booth with the flier from the faerie Pteri.
"Alright, I guess I'd better get back out there!" Magnesim called back as he floated off to a new booth that had just been set up.
Tiesi barely had time to wave to him before a lovely fire Lupe trotted up to the booth. She smiled at him and slowly read over what they were offering.
"So, you've been with this owner for quite some time, then?" she asked with a kind, warm voice. Tiesi smiled and nodded.
"I've been with her since she first came to Neopia. She created my sister Roe a little while back and saved to morph and paint her into a female royalboy Draik with desert clothes just last year, and she adopted Ri," Tiesi gestured over his shoulder to the Mutant Pteri behind him, "as a purple Gelert and transmogged her last year too. She's really nice, and she fosters pets with the lab since we have one. I'm sure she'd get you one if you don't have one yourself. She spoils me rotten with books, too."
The fire Lupe tilted her head to the side and took all this in.
"Wow, she sounds pretty special. Why are you trading her, then?"
Tiesi shrugged. "We just figured it was time for something new. Maybe get some interest in a roleplayer, or a restocker would be great. We've always wanted a restocker, but Rilla's just no good at it."
The Lupe nodded sweetly and smiled. "Well, I do have a restocking owner, but I just can't decide if I want to trade her or not. Good luck trading, though!" Tiesi waved at her as she trotted off.
The weary group of four sat around the table and looked tiredly upon the small stack of papers in the middle. They'd spent all day at the Pound Boards trying to advertise and had just spent the last few hours going over every offer they'd gotten only to decide that they really weren't interested in any of them.
It had been the same every day for three weeks now.
"I guess... I guess we'll just have to," Roe said in a tired voice. She got up from the table and slunk up to her room without saying anything more. Tiesi gathered up the papers and tossed them in the Discard pile. He watched Ri and Magnesim (who had only been getting stats in the lab and was therefore still a split Kiko) wander up to their rooms before he turned off the kitchen light and sank himself into his own bed.
The next day only Tiesi and Ri walked slowly to the Pound Boards. Roe and Magnesim had decided to go to the Trading Post to see about a petpet paint brush they needed for an additional feepit for the gallery. Tiesi wondered idly as he walked if their new owner, should they ever find one, would sell or keep that gallery. He rather liked it himself.
Tiesi set the booth up alone as Ri flopped herself down in the shade nearby and waited for the rare but occasional Neomail offer they'd get. Tiesi sighed as he walked around to the front of the booth to post up the new sign they had made the night before. He stepped back and checked the spelling before heading to his seat behind the booth.
'POUNDING IF NO GOOD OFFERS! DN/KQing/BCing Female Owner' this one read.
Tiesi started suddenly as he heard the cry from behind him. He whirled around in time to see dozens of petpets scurrying away and Ri's beak poking out of a pile of Neomails. This was as much as he could register, however, before his attention was grabbed by the sudden crowd of Neopets pushing against the front of the booth and screaming at him.
"Interested! I'm interested!"
"I'm interested too! You're so nice for doing this!"
"What time are you pounding? Neomail me?! I'M INTERESTED!"
"I've got an owner I'll trade you! Been in Neopia for a week now and we're not rotting yet! Please accept!"
Some of them were only speaking in garbled unintelligible words so he couldn't actually understand what they were saying, but he got the gist of it.
He heard Ri struggling behind him and turned to look helplessly at her. She looked at him through the pile of Neomails with a bewildered look on her face and flailed a little as she opened one after the other and tossed them aside.
"I can't get through them fast enough, Tiesi, but they all just say 'interested' or ask the time! I don't know what to do!" She yelped as another petpet tossed a letter at her and it smacked her in the face. She bit at it and turned to scramble up the tree she was next to and look in horror down at the growing pile of Neomails.
Tiesi turned back to the booth and backed away slowly as he realized that the booth itself was beginning to sway and crack as more and more Neopets rushed to it and screamed offers and demands at him. He turned and flew up into the tree with Ri, hugging the trunk of it with her as they watched the booth crumble and the Neomails pile up. Neither of them said anything, and after a while the crowd began to thin out. Neopets wandered away muttering things like "Whatever, I bet they never planned to pound her at all. What false advertising. I'm definitely reporting them when I get home" or simply ran screaming again to a new "Pounding" board they spotted somewhere else. Eventually even the Neomail pile stopped growing.
About an hour later, Tiesi and Ri walked home in shocked silence. When they rounded the street corner and their Neohome came into sight, Magnesim and Roe came out to greet them. Magnesim held up a grey petpet paint brush and Roe smiled her sweet smile.
"Hey, guys! Look, we got a really good deal on..." Roe started cheerfully, but stopped as she saw the horrified looks on Tiesi and Ri's faces. "What... what happened?"
Tiesi and Ri just shook their heads and went inside. Magnesim and Roe followed them into the kitchen where they all sat at the table. It took a few minutes, but eventually Tiesi was able to speak. Roe's eyes grew wide with horror as the whole story was relayed.
Rilla shot up in her bed, wide awake. She wasn't sure if she'd actually screamed out loud or not, but she was glad she'd been able to wake up.
"That was a dream, right? That wasn't real?!" she said out loud to herself and she jumped out of her bead and threw on a jacket and some slippers. Not even bothering to get out of her PJs, she flew down the stairs of her Neohome and flung open the door. It was still dark out, but she ran as fast as she could down the street, passing shocked Neopets and Owners alike. Finally, she reached the Pound Boards and tried to catch her breath as she looked frantically around her at all of the booths still set up, even as early in the morning as it was. Behind each and everyone one was an Owner, and in the front all of the signs read:
'12 Pets UFT! Seeking Royals and Baby Customs!'
'Doesn't anyone like Chombies anymore????'
'Seeking UC Plushies - Will NM this GREAT offer!'
Rilla closed her eyes and signed in relief. She felt bad for the pets that were being traded around, but she was relieved it wasn't HER being traded. She turned and walked quickly back to her Neohome.
All four of her pets were up and sitting in the kitchen when she arrived. Apparently they had all heard her fly out of the house and were sitting around the table with worried faces. They jumped up when she walked in.
Rilla's eyes filled with tears.
"I LOVE YOU GUYS!" she burst out, startling them even more than they already looked like they were.
"Tiesi, if you want to be painted something else you can be! I just love that you're the same color I painted you when it was so hard for me to earn Neopoints for paintbrushes. And Ri, you may be a mutant but I think you are GORGEOUS, and I know you on the inside so it doesn't matter. Roe, you know how hard I worked to morph you and I wouldn't trade you for the best-named Maraquan Draik in Neopia. Mags... I'm so sorry I can't keep you myself, but then I couldn't help any other poor pets out of the pound find good homes. I promise I'll do my best to find you the best home and you can even help!" she sobbed and flung herself at her pets, enveloping them in a giant group-hug.
Rilla's pets struggled for air and she let them go, sinking to her knees in front of them.
"I'm a good Owner, right? You don't want to trade me?" she asked through her tears.
Magnesim's face twisted in confusion, and the other three's eyes grew wide. Another snort from Ri.
"What in the world are you talking about, Rilla? Why in Neopia would we want to TRADE you?" Roe asked as Tiesi nodded, looking from Roe to Rilla.
"Even if that were POSSIBLE, I'd never want any other owner but you, Rils. We've been together from the beginning!" Tiesi said, a warm assurance in his eyes.
Rilla smiled and wiped the tears from her face. She looked slowly at each of her pets and knew they were telling the truth. They loved her as much as she loved them, and there would be no trading in this Neohome. She got up from the floor and headed to the fridge.
"Alright, then. Who wants Scrambled Rainbow Neggs for breakfast?"