Interview with the Lutari
There are certain instances when opportunity seems to fall into your lap. For one reason or another, fate, chance or whatever it is that keeps us doing what we do, gives us a little push in the right direction. Yesterday seemed to be that day for me.
I suppose first, the proper thing to do would be to introduce myself. I’m Tobias Alexander, a young Lupe with dreams of becoming a credited journalist. Writing has always been a passion of mine. More than anything, though, I like to tell the stories of others, since mine is hardly interesting. Yes, my goal has always been to build my career around interesting interviews that floor my audiences. However, to do that, don’t you have to have interesting Neopians to interview? That was something I was sort of at a loss for. Whose story could I tell?
The answer came to me out of nowhere just yesterday on the twenty-third day of Running. I was walking down the street kindly minding my own business when, all of a sudden, something ran right into me and knocked me off my feet. Today was not proving to be a very good day. First, the meepits show up and eat a whole day’s worth of work, then I get scolded by my boss for not having my article ready (he didn’t believe me about the meepits), and now this! Groaning and picking myself, along with the many papers that spilled from my hands off the ground, I looked to see just what it was that ran into me. My eyes widened at the sight of a young Lutari dressed in a dapper suit, wearing a cracked monocle over his left eye. “Terribly sorry, sir!” he announced in a high-pitched chirp, handing over a few papers I had missed. “I certainly meant you no harm. It was just the-,“ and he darted into an alleyway before he could finish his sentence.
Quite baffled by the Lutari’s odd behavior, I looked around in hopes of figuring out what could have caused him to hide away like that. Then, I spotted the cause; an old, yellow Techo with wiry white hair and a matching white lab coat. It was none other than Dr_Death. Now things were starting to piece together for me a bit. Was the Lutari running away from the owner of the Neopian Pound? How peculiar. Most every neopet usually doesn’t have a problem with going to the pound, even if the doctor is a bit creepy. But there were rumors that Lutaris are deathly afraid of the pound. I pondered to myself for a moment, shaken out of it as the Techo pushed passed me and kept on down the street, completely oblivious to the Lutari in the alleyway.
Seeing the coast was clear, the Lutari with the cracked monocle returned from the shadows, scratching the back of his head and looking at me apologetically. “Sorry about that. I didn’t much feel like going to the pound today. Or any day, for that matter. Again, I really am sorry about running into you like that,” he stated, a proper, sophisticated tone to his voice.
I nodded, though I wasn’t sure why. It wasn’t as though I agreed with him or understood his fear of the pound. “Why do Lutaris have a fear of the pound, anyway?” I questioned, ignoring his apology. Come to think of it, that was probably awfully rude of me, but I was just too interested in learning more about him and his species at the time.
The Lutari laughed at me as if I just told him a terribly funny joke. I must have missed the punch-line. “Do other neopets really believe that old story? That we cannot come anywhere near the pound because we are too afraid of it?” I nodded, hoping that he would explain more to me. Maybe today would be a good day after all. “Oh? You’re looking for more, I guess? Surely, you don’t care to know my life story.”
Chuckling, I gave him a big, probably very goofy smile. “Actually, I would be more than happy to hear just that. I’m a journalist, you see. Interviews are my specialty!”
“Oh! Then, to repay you for ever-so-rudely running into you, I will give you a proper interview,” he told me, bowing politely. “On the condition, of course, that my name remains anonymous and that we go somewhere more private to conduct the interview. I would prefer that Dr_Death not find me.”
After agreeing to his wish of anonymity and moving to another venue (my apartment), the interview was ready to begin. Due to his request, this dapper young chap I questioned will merely be addressed in the interview as “Lu”. Creative, I know. And, now, without further ado, the interview:
Tobias: I would normally start by asking your name, but, since you want to be anonymous and everything, I will skip straight to question number two. Where were you born?
Lu: I was born on Lutari Island, as most Lutaris are. It’s a lovely place, really.
Tobias: Even with all of the storms it’s been experiencing recently? I wouldn’t imagine that would be the most hospitable place to live, considering everyone has been advised to steer clear of the island.
Lu: Have you ever considered that the storms were created for the purpose of keeping others away? I don’t think I would be giving TOO much away by suggesting that. It’s common knowledge among Lutaris.
Tobias: Why would you want to keep everyone else out?
Lu: My kind have always been the solitary type. We don’t particularly care for all of the publicity we got several years ago when Lutari Island was first discovered by Neopian explorers. Thus, the storms were created.
Tobias: How do you create a storm? Rain dances or what?
Lu: Now that... is not something I’m allowed to say anything about. Rain dances, though, seriously? I suppose you suggest that because many of the Lutari Islanders convey a tribal sort of appearance. Do I look tribal to you, Mr. Alexander?
Tobias: Not a bit. You look quite fancy in your suit and all. When did you last live on the island?
Lu: It was probably about a year ago. I’ve been doing some traveling since then. Or, rather, I have been doing my very best to escape Dr_Death. I had a close call or two, that’s for sure.
Tobias: I asked you this before we started our interview and you never gave a straight answer; why do the Lutaris not want to be placed up for adoption?
Lu: It is because of the secrets we have. To be captured leaves us vulnerable for questioning. No one on the island wants that to happen.
Tobias: Secrets? The Lutari truly is an interesting species full of mystery, huh? I guess you’re not going to be giving away any of those secrets, will you?
Lu: I may be so blunt as to say there is simply no chance.
Tobias: Fair enough! You mentioned earlier that you did a great deal of traveling. Where did you go?
Lu: Here and there. Lutari Island, Neopia Central, Krawk Island, Meridell, Brightvale and briefly, but quite mistakenly, the Haunted Woods. That place is frightening.
Tobias: Were you planning on doing more exploring? Or do you have other plans?
Lu: It would be magnificent to become an explorer. The thought of discovering new lands is so exciting!
Tobias: So we may hear from you again! Well, don’t forget who did your first interview.
Lu: I wasn’t planning on it!
Tobias: What known land do you look forward to exploring the most?
Lu: Strangely enough, the Haunted Woods. Even though I entered the woods briefly and it was frightening, I have a feeling there are many interesting secrets buried there. There is something about it that draws me there. No clue why.
Tobias: But aren’t you frightened of the ghosts, the zombies, the werelupes? They could mess you up pretty badly.
Lu: True, true. But what is adventure without a little danger? Just a walk in the park, that’s what! No great thing was ever discovered without a little hardship.
Tobias: I know you claimed before that the population of Lutari Island is not all tribal, but it seems to be at least somewhat. Are there any special ceremonies that take place on the island.
Lu: There are plenty of those. It’s just sort of all in keeping with the old spirit of things. For example, every young Lutari has to go through the training presented at the Survival Academy. And, when one of the young ones finally passes the course, a special ceremony is held in their honor, followed by a banquet. But, if you can’t get through the training, you can’t leave the island. It’s a precaution, to keep our secrets safe.
Tobias: So you must have completed the training, then? Would you mind going over some of what goes into your training?
Lu: I can tell a little bit, I suppose. As the title entails, survival is the key in the academy. So, one of the first things the teachers had us endure was surviving within the vast jungles of the island. Much of our island is uncivilized, after all.
Tobias: So they just toss you out there and hope you come back alright?
Lu: That’s generally the case. Usually, we have to retrieve something from deep within the jungle ruins and bring it back intact.
Tobias: Are the ruins sacred ground for your kind? Or do you know?
Lu: No one knows what the ruins are for. Well, some of the elders may know, but they won’t tell even if they do know. There are secrets that not all Lutaris have access to. Even if I did know, I probably wouldn’t be able to share with you, anyway.
Tobias: I see! Do you ever wonder why your fellow Lutaris are so secretive? It’s awfully strange to not even know what those jungle ruins are for. Especially since they are incorporated in your training and everything.
Lu: That would be like asking someone from the Haunted Woods why there is so much evil all over the woods. Some things are just the way they are with no rhyme or reason why. There isn’t an answer to every question.
Tobias: I suppose that’s true. We can’t always expect an answer. But, as an interviewer, I strive to find them. By the way, Lu, is the petpet, the lutra, in any way related to the Lutari?
Lu: Are you guessing we’re like Krawks and we come from petpets or something? No, as far as I know, the lutra isn’t related to our kind in any way. Though, I could be wrong, of course. I don’t know everything about my kind.
Sadly, my interview with Lu was cut tragically short. There were many other questions I had left to ask him, but the appearance of Dr_Death nearby left him with no choice but to say his goodbyes a bit earlier than expected. From what little we got to speak, it seems there are many mysteries left unsolved within Lutari Island. We can only hope that, in time, the islanders will receive the rest of Neopia with open arms. Until then, this interview will have to do. On another note, I hear rumors that Lu may very well be writing up his own journal to submit to the Neopian Times. I think maybe there’s a chance this Lutari is willing to give us a little bit more insight into his species.