Petpet Talk: Into the Neopian Times
Another Petpet Talk story in the series! (If you haven’t read any previous to this, you’re missing out.)
“Arnold, where are you going?” Stacy the Mazzew rolled her large purple eyes as she hurried after Arnold the Angelpuss across the lawn. “We have to line up—”
Ms. Finkle, the old Chia (and head of the Ms. Finkle’s Sunshine Daycare for Petpets) stood in front of the two petpets menacingly. She shook her head and growled, “Blah blah blah blab back! Blah best behavior blah!”
Stacy dragged Arnold back to where the other petpets were waiting obediently by the entrance to the large building they were about to tour. Arnold sighed and curled his head under his paws.
“I’m just excited,” he apologized. “I really, really want to see a Weewoo!” He lowered his voice and said, “Not just any Weewoo—a white Weewoo!”
The daycare was on its very first field trip—the magnificent, awe striking, large building that was none other than the Neopian Times headquarters. Indeed, every petpet was jumping with excitement. (Well, most of them.)
“I’ve already been here plenty of times before,” said the snooty voice of Henry the stuck-up Harris. His two Snicklebeast companions nodded on cue. “I mean, my owner is one of the wealthiest members of Neopia. We get interviewed almost weekly.”
Arnold’s eyes grew wide. “So have you seen the—the White Weewoos?” he whispered. “My owner Carl told me they’re very rare.”
At this the Harris snorted. “I am surprised your owner even knows about the Weewoos,” he retorted. “Only very few, very extinguished Neopets have seen them.”
A circle of petpets had joined the conversation by now. Mallory the Mallard squawked, “So have you seen one, Henry?”
Stacy laughed loudly. “Henry isn’t as ‘extinguished’ as his owner is. Poor thing.”
Henry looked offended. “I’ll have you know—” he began, but Ms. Finkle interrupted.
“Blah blah blah come blah!” called the old Chia from the entrance doors. “Blab blah blah NO TOUCH blah blah blah good! Blah?”
The petpets all turned to Stacy, who was the only petpet who could understand what Neopets say—most of what they say, anyway.
“She says it’s time to go,” Stacy announced, pushing Arnold to the front.
Arnold stared at the large building in front of him. It had large glass windows on all sides, for as high up as he could see. This is a gigantic place.
Ms. Finkle led the way inside. The corridors were cool but dim. A cheery receptionist welcomed them.
“Blah blah blab welcome blah Neopian Times blah,” said the Kyrii. She looked at the petpets and cooed, “Aw, blah blah ooh cute blah? Blah blab so cute blah!”
Some of the petpets looked indignant. The Meepit Brothers, Mark, Moe, and Millicent, scowled silently.
The Kyrii motioned for the group to follow. Ms. Finkle barked, “Blah blab blah way! Blah!”
Arnold was about to follow obediently when someone tugged his arm. He turned around to see Mark hiss, “Wait!”
Soon the others were ahead, and only Arnold and the Meepit Brothers were behind. Arnold tried to pull his arm away.
“I think we should stick with the class,” he said. “This is a big place. We might get lost.”
Millicent laughed. “Come on, we got lost in Geraptiku and made it out alive, remember?” he said.
“Well, what do you guys want to do?”
Mark, the leader of the Meepit brothers, leaned in. “Go exploring. Without the niggling Finkle and tour guides,” he added.
Arnold had had some pretty far-fetched adventures with the Meepit Brothers—including a burglarizing petpetsitter, and of course, the unforgettable journey in an old tomb at Geraptiku. Arnold had to admit—reluctantly—that the Meepits were pretty reliable to handle almost any situation.
“I don’t get it,” Arnold said finally. “Why can’t we go with the group? Do you want to get into trouble?” He put up a paw and grumbled, “Stop, don’t answer that question. You’re the Meepit Brothers, I forgot.”
The daycare group had turned a corner and had disappeared from view. Arnold closed his eyes and shook his head. He was stuck with the Meepit Brothers—again—and bound to either get into complete, utter trouble, or discover amazing behind-the-scenes secrets of the building. Or both.
“Wait,” Arnold said, an idea forming in his head. “Let’s make an objective.”
“A what?” Mark sighed. “See, guys, this was a bad idea. We shouldn’t have dragged Pussy along.”
“Have you guys heard of white Weewoos?” Arnold asked, ignoring Mark’s remark.
The Meepits blinked blankly at Arnold. Arnold sighed. “It’s—”
“Blah blah!” A Grarrl in a business suit appeared out of nowhere and was walking towards the petpets. “Blah blah blab here?”
Arnold wished Stacy was here to translate. “I suggest we go,” he whispered, then realized the Meepits were way ahead of him. They had already scurried down the hallway. Arnold leapt up and ran after them.
After passing a dozen doors, Arnold lost track of where he was. He stopped, leaned against the wall, and tried to catch his breath. Now he was alone, bound to get into complete, utter trouble, and probably won’t discover any amazing behind-the-scenes secrets.
I may as well try to find Ms. Finkle and the daycare, thought Arnold. He started walking down the long passageway towards a sunlit window. Before he reached it, the window slowly began to open inwards; no one else was in the hallway besides Arnold. He froze, perplexed.
Something white flew in from outside and whizzed past the Angelpuss’s head. The window began to close almost as quickly as it had opened.
Arnold blinked and whirled around. The object, whatever it had been, was gone.
Oh my Sloth. That was a—a— Arnold raced back down the corridor. That had to have been a white Weewoo!
“Whoa!” Arnold bumped headfirst into Stacy the Mazzew. “Sorry, I—Stacy! Where did you come from?”
“I realized you and the Meepit brothers had disappeared,” Stacy replied matter-of-factly. “Of course, why am I not surprised? You guys are always magnets for trouble.”
Arnold was indignant. “I’m an Angelpuss, not a Devilpuss,” he retorted. Then he remembered why he had been running. “Wait—Stacy, did you see a white thing fly past you?”
“Actually, I did...”
Without a word, Stacy and Arnold ran in the direction Stacy had seen the object fly. “It was superfast,” Stacy panted. “I was startled.”
They skidded right into a dead-end. Stacy rubbed her head. “That’s impossible,” she said. “I swore I saw that thing fly here.”
“Wait, what about that door?” Arnold pointed to a small rectangular door in the middle of the wall. “It has to open somehow.”
Stacy thought hard. “It probably has some special sensor,” she finally concluded. She turned to Arnold and said, “Did you think that was a white Weewoo?”
“It couldn’t be anything else,” grumbled Arnold. He recalled what his owner, Carl the Kacheek, had told him before leaving for the trip: Blah blah blab white Weewoos blah rare. Blah blab blab Weewoos blah go.
“Um, no offense Arnold, but this is useless,” Stacy said. “I haven’t even seen a white Weewoo. And I study pictures of every petpet in Neopia in my owner’s encyclopedia.”
Footsteps echoed down the hallway. A Zafara and the same Grarrl Arnold had run away from were approaching. Neither of them noticed the petpets, though; they were busy chatting about something.
“Neopia blah blab blah story,” said the Zafara, who had a pen perched on top of his ear.
“Blah blah, Weewoo blab blah? Blah blab blah blah blab,” replied the Grarrl.
The Zafara opened a notepad and scribbled something down. Then he suddenly noticed Arnold and Stacy. “Blah! Petpets blah blab blah!”
“What are they saying?” mumbled Arnold under his breath.
“Uh, they were discussing something about Weewoos earlier—but now they’re surprised we’re here, obviously,” answered Stacy.
The Zafara picked up Arnold and Stacy in his arms. “Blah blab! Blah blah field trip blah?” he said to the Grarrl.
“Yes, yes!” Stacy nodded fervently. “We belong to Ms. Finkle’s group.”
The Neopets paid no attention, however. “Blah blah room blab blab,” said the Grarrl. “Blah blah blab blah take them blah.”
Stacy shook her head and waved her paws. “No—we aren’t part of the headquarters—listen, hey—”
The next thing Arnold knew, he and Stacy had been placed inside a large room with nothing but sofas and tables. A few miscellaneous petpets wandered here and there in the room. The Zafara who had dropped them off locked the door behind him. Arnold eyed Stacy.
“Uh, tell me what’s happening, please,” he said nervously.
“Well, they mistook us for the petpets who belong to the headquarters,” Stacy said, brushing off her fur. “I’m guessing these are the petpets of Neopets who work here?”
A Snorkle walked over and greeted them. “Salutations, my name is Stanberry Lee the Twentieth. You may call me Stan Lee Double X for short.”
“Stanley?” Arnold nodded politely. “My name is Arnold. This is Stacy.”
“So are you guys just petpets of workers here?” asked Stacy.
“No,” chuckled Stan Lee Double X. “We work here.” He cocked his head at the two and questioned, “Aren’t you the new interns?”
“Uh, not exactly,” said Arnold. “You—you work here?” he repeated incredulously.
“Why yes,” replied Stan. “The Neopian Times hires the brightest petpets to help brainstorm ideas. You know, in case of writer’s block.”
“You can talk to the Neopets?” said Stacy—a bit jealously.
“And they can understand you?” Stacy demanded.
Arnold nudged her. “Sorry,” he apologized to the Snorkle. “Stacy’s used to being the only petpet who can understand Neo—” Stacy whacked Arnold’s arm.
Stan chuckled again. “Of course, the caretaker is the only one who can communicate with us—and definitely not perfectly, of course. And I cannot understand everything they say, either. So, enough about myself; why are you two here?”
“We are here because Arnold wanted to chase a white Weewoo he says he thinks he saw,” Stacy stated.
“There are white Weewoos here, right?” asked Arnold. “I mean, either I saw a ghost or I saw a white Weewoo. I’m betting on the Weewoo.”
“Half the employees here don’t know about the white Weewoos,” said Stan. “However, you can bet Fyora’s wings white Weewoos exist.”
I knew it! Arnold pumped his fist. “Can I meet one?” he asked excitedly.
As if on cue, a beautiful white Weewoo flew over to drop a letter on Stan’s head. “Sorry,” she said. “Lexus wants you to edit this artwork a bit. Say, who are the newcomers?”
“My—my name is Arnold,” stammered the Angelpuss.
“Hi, I’m Fortune,” replied the Weewoo. “Are you two the new interns?”
“I could be,” Stacy said with dignity while Arnold replied, “No.”
“So how many of you are here?” Arnold asked the Weewoo. “I mean, in terms of white Weewoos.”
“A lot,” replied Fortune. “We don’t like showing ourselves in public, though. Well, that’s not a personal thing. It’s actually the Neopian Times policy. We like to be mysterious—keep the public on its feet.”
“So you deliver letters?” asked Stacy.
“And Neopian Times issues, of course,” Fortune laughed.
The door opened, and the Grarrl dashed inside. He pointed at Arnold and Stacy and growled, “Blah blah no blah here! Blah blab blah blab!”
“Oh, you guys were on a field trip?” said Stan. “Darn. You seem like cool co-workers to work with.”
“Ah, well, maybe one day,” said Arnold as the Grarrl picked him and Stacy up.
“Bye, Stan Lee Double X! Bye, Fortune!” the two petpets called as they left the room.
They were rejoined with a fuming Ms. Finkle, whose expression simply meant she’d deal with Arnold and Stacy back at the daycare. “Blah blah blab blah Meepits blah?” she muttered.
- - - - - - - - - -
On the other side of the building, chaos was loose.
“Whee!” Mark the Meepit yelled as he slid across a cluttered desk.
“Stop! Blah blah blab blah out blah! Stop!” yelled the Ixi who owned the desk.
Moe and Millicent tossed paper balls at each other. Mark slid across another desk. Meanwhile at the doorway, the Zafara and Stan Lee the Twentieth were watching observantly.
“Blah blah publish this tomorrow?” asked the Zafara.
Stan nodded. “Definitely,” he oinked.