The Grass is Always Greener: Part Three
The Werelupe approached, and by now he had spotted them as well. But he checked his happy bounce mid-step, and Jatalle guessed that his new owner might not be as carefree as her own. She was about to call out, but Wroulf nudged her. He had a bad feeling about the owner who had adopted Vilmori, and didn’t want her to know anything about them or that they knew her new pet. So the pets averted their eyes and walked past each other as though they were strangers, although Jatalle’s insides wrenched as she passed her best friend and headed back to the house.
Over dinner, Wroulf, Jatalle and Tico discussed how to get Vilmori away from his new owner and back with the family, but couldn’t come up with anything at all. Dispirited, they went to sleep.
The next day the three pets were sitting outside when there was a familiar flash of light and a faerie appeared.
“I need a Fire Jug for my ---”
But she was cut off by a scream from Jatalle. The faerie had no face! She felt slightly as though she would be forever scarred by this, and then got over it. And she immediately thought of a plan.
“I can get you the Jug. But I’d like something else instead of some stats. Could you do me a favour?” And after a second, the faceless faerie nodded. Jatalle smiled happily as things finally began to fall into place. She yelled happily to Wroulf, “We’re going to get Vilmori from the pound!”
And in response to the enquiring look from Wroulf, she explained.
“Did you see the number of avatars Vil’s new owner had? She’s obviously a collector, and didn’t really like him, that was obvious. And this means that she probably is lending him out - Werelupes are avatar pets. She was probably on the way to the Pound then to be sent somewhere, we can grab him from the pound when he is sent back to her today!”
“But, won’t he be transferred?” asked Wroulf.
“No, safe transfers weren’t around back now! First bit of luck we’ve had. And I asked the faerie to arrange a distraction for us, to make sure we get there before she does.”
At exactly 3:00 NST, Wroulf and Jatalle were waiting right by the pound. And at that moment, Jatalle’s plan sprang into action. She had taken advantage of something else not available in her normal Neopia. The NeoCam. And at that moment, through faerie intervention, the NeoCam sprang to life. Instead of showing desks and studious people working to make Neopia a better place, a swordfight commenced and soon pets and owners throughout Neopia were watching and cheering along. Even Vilmori’s new owner got caught up, and for a vital few seconds she wasn’t paying attention. As the Werelupe got released by the lucky avatar collector, Jatalle reached out and grabbed him. Recognizing her paw in the sudden chaos, and as his new, ex-owner snapped back to reality a few seconds too late, she led her brother through the chaos and ran with him to safety.
Now the three siblings were together again, and with the assistance of Tico, they regained their optimism about finally getting back home. To give the little JubJub credit, he saw how much they wanted to go back to their normal time, and tried not to feel upset that the new siblings he was so excited to have were trying to vanish as quickly as they could into the future.
After a good night’s sleep, the four friends put their heads together and thought, but not even Jatalle could come up with one of her famous plans. Finally, they decided to wander around Neopia a bit more, looking for inspiration. And as they strolled though Neopia Central, Vilmori suddenly had a thought.
“We haven’t tried Tyrannia yet, why don’t we go there? Actually, how do we even get there?”
“Through the crack in the Ice Caves,” replied Tico, to be met with confused looks. But sure enough, after a quick trek up the icicles, they fell through the ice onto sunwarmed rocks and into a warm light.
“This hasn’t changed a bit!” said Jatalle happily. Wroulf thought the same thing, with a sense of irony. Traditionally when people go back in time the first thing they encounter is a field of dinosaurs in place of their usual land. And for them, he thought, it was the only thing the same!
And because it hadn’t changed, there seemed to be a different feeling about it. As if it wasn’t the past at all, but their normal time. Which may be why, after a few minutes, a shaky, transparent Chia suddenly appeared in front of them, waving a metal wand.
“Nigel!” the siblings chorused at once.
His voice sounded as though it was coming from a long way away, which, they supposed, was true. “I’ve been following you the whole time!” he yelled. “But you couldn’t see me. It’s just here that you can, as I’m basically in the same place you are, there’s been no alterations over the years. But I think I can get you home!” He brandished the wand. “Borrowed this from some Sloth fellow. Said I needed to do untold damage to Neopia and he seemed to believe me. To be honest, I’m not sure this won’t do that, so it wasn’t a complete lie.”
“Great, but there’s something we need to do first!” replied Wroulf, to the surprise of the others. And he grabbed Tico and whispered rapidly to him for a few minutes. The JubJub nodded, his face set. Wroulf smiled, waved at him and joined his siblings, who waved goodbye to their new friend.
Nigel concentrated, waved the metal stick and it whirred with a slightly worrying noise. The siblings joined hands and closed their eyes. When they opened them, they were still in Tyrannia. It still hadn’t changed. Until someone walked past using the Wishing Well avatar. Jatalle stared, but quickly asked the stranger, “Excuse me, but how did you get that lovely avatar?”
The stranger smiled, and replied, “Oh, it’s really easy! I can’t believe it took us so long to get. All you have to do is---”
The metallic buzz came from nowhere, a precise voice said, “Terribly sorry about that, had it on a bit too far of a setting,” and the light shimmered. They were back in Tyrannia, and Nigel was there, solid this time. Jatalle shrugged. She wasn’t really into avatars anyway.
But something had changed, or rather, was back to normal. There were no red glasses anywhere. At all. Jatalle turned to Wroulf, who was smiling slightly to himself.
“You solved it, somehow! I know you did. How in Neopia did you manage that?”
Wroulf grinned a bit wider. “I didn’t, really. I just told Tico how he might be able to. Did you notice his petpet?”
“Yes, it was blue... a feepit, I think?”
“There were loads in Terror Mountain as well, I saw them. I just suggested that he might convince them to have a little fun with the---” He lowered his voice and she just caught the word. His voice went back to normal. “And so you can see they made a new game, it’s in the Games Room now! That should keep the little terrors busy. And it kept them so busy back then, in fact, that they stopped causing havoc right now, if that makes sense. I doubt the glasses were ever introduced now; we’ve changed time a little bit, but I think it’s all worked out alright.”
Jatalle looked confused, but she got the gist of what he was saying.
“How did you know it was them?” asked Vilmori.
“Well, Neopia went into chaos and it was caused by something pink. I just thought it might be the kind of thing they’d do. And seeing how it seems to be sorted, I think it was a lucky guess.”
They all smiled, but Jatalle paused.
“I do feel kind of bad for Tico. We left him all by himself, and he basically saved Neopia for us.”
And so, after a moment’s consultation, the trio found themselves wandering over to Terror Mountain, to a house that was familiar from both recently and also a long time ago. They peeked in, and saw a calm, sedate JubJub, sitting in an armchair.
“Hello, Tico?” asked Jatalle nervously.
“No-one’s called me that for years!” said Ticcico, but he was smiling happily. And the four of them chatted about old times while the JubJub’s little siblings entered and bounced around, making them all laugh.
Finally, bidding him a fond farewell, the trio linked arms and headed home to their worried but resigned owner. She was used to them hopping off and saving Neopia every now and again. It seemed to keep them out of trouble, at least!
On the way, they passed a couple of Kougras.
“I miss the old Neopia. Things were so much better then,” said one to the other, who nodded in agreement. Jatalle shrugged. There would always be some!