Rescue at the Museum
It had been almost three days since my younger sister, Ludroth the Darigan Peophin, had gone missing while visiting the Royal Museum in Sakhmet. My owner, BG, and I had no clue what had happened to her, as we hadn’t received any ransom notes or anything like that. Sadly for us, since the Museum is part of the palace complex, we were told that the Sakhmet Palace Guard had to handle the search. So, for those few scary days, all we could do was wait and hope that Ludroth would be found.
But she wasn’t.
The three days had passed, and BG was growing steadily angrier at the ineptitude of the palace guard. So, he took matters into his own hands and confronted General Dacon.
“If you don’t have Ludroth back to us by tonight, Urasina and I are handling this ourselves, regardless of what you say,” he said pointedly.
General Dacon was clearly just as frustrated as we were.
“BG, it’s all yours from here,” he responded. “I know what kind of warriors you and your Royal Girl Uni are. I’ll leave a small squad at your disposal, and hope that you have better luck than we did.”
BG and I were mightily surprised that the General had capitulated so easily. That night, we planned out what we would do. We had been given the go-ahead by the chief of staff at the Museum to go anywhere in the building that we desired. We intended to make the most of it.
Early that morning, BG, three palace guards, and I entered the Museum, which had been locked down since Ludroth vanished.
“Keep a firm hold of this,” my owner said to the guards, handing over a tracking beacon he had fashioned. “When we need help, I’ll activate this and show you where I am. Urasina will do the same with hers.”
I looked down at the beacon hanging around my neck and nodded.
But BG wasn’t done.
“Urasina and I will handle the search. You three stay at the security center and keep your eyes open.”
I was rather surprised, but then again, BG didn’t trust the palace guard. He relied only on himself to deal with situations like this.
He and I split up and headed in opposite directions. My instinct told me to head for the Museum’s basement and look there. The palace guard had already searched the area, but there were rumors of an even older basement that had been sealed up when the Museum was renovated years ago.
If Ludroth was still alive, and still in the Museum, she might very well be in that old basement.
The basement was dark, and the air was stale. There were old mummies, scrolls, and artifacts lying everywhere, waiting to be catalogued and put on display. I knew a few special skills, and was able to summon a magic flame that hovered over my horn, lighting up my surroundings.
“The old basement was rumored to be under the western wing,” I thought to myself. “Let’s see what we find.”
A fine layer of dust coated everything, and my hooves kicked up small clouds of it as I walked along. Once I reached the western wall, I took a much closer look at everything near it. At first, nothing seemed out of the ordinary.
Then, I noticed what appeared to be marks in the dust on the floor. They seemed to indicate that an old sarcophagus had been pushed away from the wall, then pushed back. I gently tugged on the sarcophagus in question, and it slid easily away. Behind it was a large hole in the wall!
Whispering a quick plea for protection to my guardian light faerie, I crawled through the hole and found myself in a small room. An old workbench stood against the wall near the hole I had come through, and a large Geb statue stood against the other wall.
I examined the workbench. It was free of dust, and the tools looked like they had been used recently. What really caught my eye was the boomerang lying on the workbench as well.
I suddenly heard a noise behind me. I spun around and found myself face-to-face with a red Grarrl holding a sword.
“Well, well, well, what have we here?” he sneered. “A Royal Girl Uni poking around where she doesn’t belong.”
I tensed, ready to spring at him. But the fact that he had a weapon, and I didn’t, made me hesitate.
“What did you do to that Darigan Peophin?” I growled at him.
“If you want to find out, then how about you join her?” he said, hefting his sword.
I knew right away that this Grarrl had Ludroth held captive somewhere nearby. I thought about activating my beacon, but I knew that the guards were too far away to reach me in time to help out. The only weapon around was that boomerang...
The boomerang! That was it! In my years of warrior training under BG, he had shown me some more unconventional weaponry, including how to disarm a foe by throwing a boomerang at them. He had made me practice that skill for weeks, until I could get it right every time.
“BG... I love you,” I thought to myself, grabbing the boomerang and getting ready to throw.
The Grarrl hesitated. He hadn’t expected me to fight back.
“Do you really think that old piece of junk will stop me?” he laughed.
“It doesn’t need to stop you,” I spat back, throwing it at him. “It just needs to do this!”
He wasn’t fast enough to dodge the incoming boomerang. It hit him square in the arm holding the sword, and he jumped back, yelling in pain. The boomerang clattered to the floor, but so did the sword! I had done it!
Before the Grarrl could react I grabbed the sword, knocked him to the ground, and held it at his throat.
“Reversal of fortune,” I said, glaring at him. “Now, tell me what you did with that Darigan Peophin!”
He said nothing, instead glaring back at me. But he was totally helpless now.
A sudden noise behind me (again) made me whip my head around, to see BG emerge from the hole, a sword in each hand!
“BG!” I cried in relief. “This Grarrl knows where Ludroth is!”
“Get off him,” he replied. “I’ll handle this.”
I obediently did so, and my owner dropped one sword, picked up the Grarrl by the throat, and placed the other blade against his neck.
“Start talking,” BG snarled, a look of pure malevolence coming over his face.
The Grarrl was silent.
“OK, then,” my owner said, nodding. “Let’s see how well you handle this.”
I watched as he pulled a little dagger from a secret pocket of his cloak.
“This is tipped with a poison so potent, so dangerous, that even the slightest poke will invoke the worst pain you’ve ever felt,” he said slowly, making every word count as he showed the Grarrl the dagger. “Talk. Or you’ll be sorry.”
The Grarrl was STILL silent! But I could see the fear in his eyes.
As expected, BG gently poked the ruffian with the tip of the dagger. The Grarrl began to scream in agony as the poison took effect.
“OK! I’ll talk!” he wailed. “Push the Geb statue to the left. That leads down to the old basement. The Peophin is down there. P-please! N-no more poking! Mercy!”
BG had a sinister smile on his face as he poked the Grarrl again, invoking a fresh wave of screams, before dropping the ruffian and putting the toxic dagger away.
“I don’t listen to criminals,” he said tersely.
I followed him to the Geb statue, and we pushed together. It slid easily to the left, revealing a broken doorframe. We stepped through and found ourselves in the old basement of the Museum.
“So, it does exist,” I mused as the flame hovering over my horn lit up the place. Then I looked around.
“Ludroth!” I bellowed. “Ludroth! Are you there?”
“Ludroth! It’s BG and Urasina! We’ve come to rescue you!” I yelled as loudly as I could, making BG wince at the strength of my voice.
Then, from a distance, we heard a response.
My owner and I exchanged glances.
“That’s her, all right,” he said. “It sounds like she’s muzzled.”
“Keep calling, Ludroth!” I yelled again. “We’ll find you!”
She did keep calling. And it didn’t take us long to find her. My poor sister was blindfolded, muzzled, and tied up so tightly that she couldn’t even move. I was horrified.
BG quickly reached down and touched the Darigan Peophin’s shoulder. She instantly began to thrash around.
“It’s me, Ludroth,” he said gently. “Hold still. Let me get you free.”
She stopped struggling, and my owner removed the blindfold. Her blank black eyes stared up at us, then began to fill with tears of relief. BG undid the muzzle next.
Ludroth gasped for breath before speaking.
“Oh... Thank you,” she whispered hoarsely as we began to undo her bonds. “They’ve kept me like this... for the last three days... no food... no water...”
I was even more horrified. How could that Grarrl do this to such an innocent little Darigan Peophin!
Ludroth collapsed in a heap as the last of her bonds were undone. She could barely raise her head, she was so weak. BG picked her up.
“How many other Neopets were in this?” he asked. “That Grarrl couldn’t have acted alone.”
“Three others...” Ludroth said. “One Korbat, one Mynci, one Ruki... The Grarrl is the leader... The other three are out stealing, but they’ll be back soon...”
She lost consciousness. We had to get her to safety, and fast, or she wouldn’t survive.
BG and I made our way out of the old basement quickly. When we reached the room where the Geb statue was, we found the Grarrl lying perfectly still in the middle of the floor.
“Is he...?” I asked.
“He’s under full body paralysis,” BG cut me off. “Two pokes from that toxic dagger, spaced only ten seconds apart, induce full paralysis that lasts for two hours.”
I was amazed.
“THAT’S why you poked him again!” I realized.
“That’s right,” he answered. “I didn’t want him recovering from the pain and running for backup.”
Just then, the three palace guards came through the hole.
“We saw your signal come up,” the lieutenant who led the squad said to BG. “We came as quickly as we could...”
His voice trailed off as he saw Ludroth.
“Fyora have mercy!” he gasped. “She’s half-dead!”
BG nodded grimly.
“We have to get her to safety,” he said. “There are four Neopets involved in this kidnapping: this Grarrl, a Korbat, a Mynci, and a Ruki. Set up a perimeter and be ready to nab them when they come back.”
The lieutenant saluted as we hurried back through the hole.
BG and I were fast enough. We got Ludroth back to our Neohome, got some fluids into her, and slowly brought her back to consciousness.
“Why would anyone abduct a young Neopet like you?” BG asked.
“That Grarrl kept ranting on and on about Darigan pets,” Ludroth replied. “It seems he has a personal grudge against them. I don’t want to know what he planned to do to me...”
I curled up next to my sister and nuzzled her. She weakly nuzzled me back.
“You two...” she sighed. “I’m so happy you adopted me. And I’m so happy that you came to save me today... I was losing all hope...”
She fell soundly asleep. BG quietly carried her to the bedroom and set her down on the bed, then returned to the main room where I was waiting.
“I saw that boomerang throw you pulled off,” he said, picking me up and cradling me. “That was stellar. Remember how much you complained about boomerangs not being effective weapons?”
I giggled happily and hugged him.
“I know I gave you a tough time with the boomerang training, but if it wasn’t for that, I’d probably have joined Ludroth as a captive,” I responded. “I promise, I will never complain about unconventional things like that again.”