Baby Adventures: The Secret Note - Part One
This story takes place at the time when Faerieland was up in the sky, in January Y12. I hope you enjoy reading it! ^-^
Treaphie shuffled persistently along the thin corridor of her Neohome, placing one fuzzy foot in front of the other. Her shining lavender eyes gazed intently along each side of the hall, ever so carefully scanning... but there was nothing. Not even a single fleck of dust appeared to be disturbing the peaceful silence that had fallen on the dark passageway.
Not a thing, that is, except for a little Baby Usul named Treaphie, who was ready to give her Baby sister a surprise.
Treaphie scooted across the hallway, listening in the eerie silence as she always did when she got up first in the morning. It was three AM Neopian Standard Time, and all was quiet in their grand home. The Usul understood that this was the most unruly time to be awake, but she couldn't help it. Mischief is always best done when nobody else can witness it.
The Usul was very clever and was able to maneuver around the house as she wished. Upon her wakening, she had taken off her goody-two-shoes bonnet and the accursed baby dummy that forced her into silence. Firmly clasping the great white pillars that sentenced her to her 'jail', as she called her crib, she had climbed and rose steadily upward until she was balanced on the very beam that was the highest point of the crib. She had then turned around, grinned with her success, and silently sped down, not a sound echoing from the touch of her light, fluffy feet.
Treaphie smiled. Sometimes it's good to be a baby, she thought to herself.
As she neared the end of the great hallway, a small, timid voice scared her senseless for quite a few moments. "Treaphie?"
It took the Baby some time to finally turn around and grin with relief. Her brother, about a month and a half older than her, was standing there, looking worried. He was a young Baby Chomby. His soft, spring-green eyes sparkled in the dim light of the long hallway, and his pale yellow body could barely be seen.
"Oh, Kolyae! Don't ever scare me like that again," Treaphie scolded, turning away from him hastily with the words, "Now go get some sleep."
"But I'm not tired!" whined Kolyae. He often forgot that he was the eldest of all three Babies, and acted like the youngest instead. His shy personality fell flat in comparison with Treaphie's bold, courageous, daring self. She had become the leader of the group of babies that had formed only half a year ago, when their littlest sister was created.
Treaphie sighed. She turned to face her older brother. He was quite tall for being a Baby Neopet, possibly having to do with him being a Chomby. He had large green hexagons going down his back, up his great neck, and across the middle of his head, matching his eyes precisely. "Fine, Kolyae. Come here. But be silent, okay? No stomping tonight. We were heard the last time you came with me, and if I hadn't shoved you into the bathroom immediately after your foot thudded on the floor and hid in the bathtub, we would've been caught. Even so, our owner was ranting about the Pant Devil sneaking into her house and stealing her Waffles."
"That worked out for you, though," pointed out Kolyae, and he grinned.
Treaphie smiled softly. "Well, yes. I got that delicious meal without suspicions. But enough about this. Just be quiet, okay?"
"More silent than you," Kolyae saluted, and with that he trotted along behind Treaphie.
She had to admit, he was nearly soundless as they maneuvered to the edge of the hall, where a steep staircase jutted out of the floor so far down that it would make Princess Terrana from Shenkuu Warrior scared. At least, that's how it made Kolyae feel.
"Kolyae, no!" shrieked Treaphie as she watched her brother nearly collapse in terror. He couldn't imagine the prospect of climbing down such a steep flight of stairs when it was so dark, with only the faint light of the moon shining upon the pale wooden steps. He couldn't help it.
Terrified, Treaphie stared at her brother. She knew the closest room to them was Brianna's room. Brianna was their owner, and there was no way she would be pleased to discover that they could escape their own cribs. Treaphie doubted she had time to get back to bed before Brianna came. There had to be another way to evade her... She glanced down, thinking they had to either descend quickly or get away from the high window in front of them, where the shimmering silver crescent of the moon shone down on the babies' two horrified faces. Already Treaphie heard the rustling of a blanket and the sound of two slippered feet hitting the wooden ground.
Treaphie had to think up something - fast - or else her freedom days would be over. She glared at Kolyae, daring him to make a noise, and whispered to him four words that would horrify him for months afterward: "Get down the stairs."
He knew that squealing would be worse, far worse. And he also knew what would occur should Brianna ever find out they had found a way to escape their cribs and sneak downstairs - specifically to the kitchen - whenever they felt like it. And so, very reluctantly, but very quickly, Kolyae set himself to the task of crawling slowly down. Treaphie chose the opposite side and slunk down a few steps. It was very difficult, but she too was speedy. Soon the two babies were three steps down, and out of the line of sight of Brianna as she exited her room, nightgown flying behind her as she raced to the hallway to catch the villain she suspected at last. Brianna saw only her empty corridor glancing back at her, almost mockingly. She frowned, took a few steps forward, and peered down the stairs. The moon had shone a silver beam of light down the middle of the stairway, but on either side, the two Babies were well protected under the cover of the night. Brianna yawned sleepily, muttered something about ghosts that was barely heard as she waved her hand lazily over her mouth (still agape from the yawn) and shuffled back to her room.
The two Babies sat there for ten minutes longer, each with shallow breathing, not daring to give away their hiding place. Finally, Kolyae whimpered, and Treaphie waved him to the top of the stairs, quickly afterward putting her paw to her lips to signal silence. He didn't argue. Quickly and quietly they climbed up the three steps and lay in a heap at the floor awaiting them.
It didn't take long for Kolyae to scramble up from this position and back away as far as he could from the stairs. Treaphie followed, tapping her paw against a panel on the wall as she went. It was camouflaged with a dab of paint matching the sky-blue hue of the rest of the wall, and had been neatly painted by her when all the others were at a barbecue in the yard. The panel had a touch sensor that responded to Treaphie's Baby Usul paw. Soon the ceiling released a system of ropes that circulated up and down the stairway. The panel went back into the wall and up came an old-fashioned pencil sharpener Treaphie had found from the Safety Deposit Box that Brianna had. Three hefty dark black belts dangled from the heavy brown rope, their buckles unclasped.
Treaphie led Kolyae to one of the belts and tightly secured it around his waist. His paws were trembling, and the Usul knew he was terrified. But she left her brother and returned to the wall, gently cranking the pencil sharpener so that the Chomby, who was kicking and flailing his arms and legs, made his way down the steep stairway. After about five steps the Chomby began to relax, but he had trouble at the bottom unbuckling. Treaphie waited patiently, knowing that she could not scream. It seemed that it was ages later, right when she was considering sending her brother at full speed back up the staircase, that he finally managed to grip it with his stubby arms and become released from its clutches. He gazed with two glistening green eyes up at his sister, who was watching him carefully through the dim light of the moon. He could tell that she was now fastening herself to one of the belts and pressing her paw firmly against a bright red button on her device, which sent her flying down the staircase.
"Auto-circulate works fine," she mumbled, hardly able to do more at the top speed that she was shooting down the staircase. Upon reaching the landing stage, she firmly grasped the buckle even more tightly than she had before and clicked it. Off she flew, landing onto the soft rug at the foot of the stairs. Hurriedly she raced to the wall, pressed her paw against another camouflaged panel, and the system shut down. All looked as it usually would inside a warm Neohome on a blustery winter day with over ten Neopets living in it and one owner, who was oblivious to the mischief going on right under her nose.
Brianna awoke an hour later, stuffed her slippers onto her feet, and made her way to Treaphie's room to check up on her darling little Baby. She saw the crib and peered in between the two thin white bars closest to her. There she saw a little pink ear, two velvet hair bows, and a fuzzy pink head. She grinned, unaware as she walked out of there that it had only been Treaphie's Baby Usul plushie lying on the soft mattress of the crib.
Kolyae was hastily following Treaphie along the yard. A clean sheet of snow had fallen over the crisp, fresh grass, blanketing it in a sparkling white frost. The two were trudging along, leaving teeny footprints in their wake.
"Treaphie," Kolyae babbled, "what if Brianna sees our footprints?"
"We're wearing those special shoes I bought the other day," Treaphie snickered. "They're shaped to look like that of a ghost."
"But ghosts don't walk! They float! And they pass through things!"
"Oh." Treaphie's face flushed under her red beanie that was fitted snugly over her head. She had on a warm green jacket made out of leather and large, puffy blue snow-pants, as well as the ghost-shaped boots. Kolyae was dressed similarly, though he had chosen a silky-smooth black top-hat with a sparkling silver stripe across the middle to cover his head. He also had on a green leather jacket, and his snow pants were a fresh, daisy yellow that puffed out at the edges.
The two made progress along the snowy ground, their boots thumping and crunching the crisp flakes beneath them. Kolyae was sporting four boots, whilst the other wore two. As Treaphie shuffled forward, Kolyae nudged his nose under the surface of the snow, breathing in its fresh scent. Treaphie was chatting along, unaware that Kolyae was not paying much attention.
"So you know our sister, Kasthie? She has been wanting a snow cone since I first described it to her. I'll bet she'd love one made from the finest snow in the yard! The frostiest patches of snow are over by those trees - I scoped it out from my room. We could use food coloring and put in some sugars that would make it taste great and..."
She spun around, realizing Kolyae had held back. She glanced over at him suspiciously. "Kolyae, what's the matter with you?" she questioned irritably, putting her paws on her hips.
Kolyae looked hurt. Treaphie changed to a kinder tone, though still impatient.
"Why are you hanging back there? Come on, let's go!"
"Okay, but I found some real soft snow."
"Come look! It's real soft... like fur!"
Cautiously, Treaphie turned around and stomped over to the Baby Chomby. "Okay, but this better be good... we're losing the cover of the night!"
"It is! Just feel it."
The little Usul tentatively reached out a small, fuzzy pink paw. She brushed it against the 'snow' in question and immediately was overcome with excitement.
"Kolyae, this isn't snow that feels similar to a furry creature. It is a furry creature!"
"You sure?" The Chomby nudged the spot with one of the corners of the pointy hexagon on the very top of his head.
"No! You'll hurt the creature!" Treaphie blew off a thin layer of snow that now remained on top of the fur. "We must've eliminated all that snow that was on top of her. Aw, poor thing. We've gotta help!" She lifted her two paws up, and Kolyae saw a limp petpet outlined against the rapidly lighting sky. Treaphie held the Petpet close to her. She felt the ice cold of the Petpet against her own warm body. Gently, as if she were a mother and not a Baby, she uncloaked her jacket and wrapped it tightly around the barely breathing body.
"Let's go," she whispered, and Kolyae nodded obediently, sensing the importance of this matter.
The three slipped into the house and made it back into their beds just as the first rays of the sunshine peeked over the grassy hills a great distance away, their tops just visible through the window rolling across the sky. Kolyae was back in his crib, surrounded by his race cars, choo-choo trains, and books of all shapes that he was unable to read. His head had hit the soft baby-blue pillow and he had entered a dreamland.
Treaphie, meanwhile, was nowhere near ready to hit the hay. The Baby's bright lavender eyes were wide open in interest as she gazed at the young Faellie that lay curled up in her paws. Treaphie was confident that she had brushed off every flake of snow, but she was still a creamy white hue all over her except for the insides of her ears, the tips of her fingers and toes, and the very end of her tail, which were all a dull yellow. The Petpet had not yet opened her eyes since Treaphie had discovered her. Treaphie was feeling very confused. How could the Faellie even be alive? She had been buried underneath so much snow that it was obvious she was there for a long period of time. Had the warmth of Treaphie's paws saved the young White Faellie? Or was she able to survive in freezing cold temperatures, completely surrounded on all sides by snow, for hours on end? No, that was ridiculous, no one could do that. Her eyes darted back to the creature once more. The Faellie was silent. In fact, the petpet had been curled up in a heavy quilt ever since Treaphie had crawled back into her crib.
Treaphie couldn't help but gaze at the delicate figure beside her in bed. She was soft, beautiful, and looked to be a promising young petpet. She hadn't had a Petpet before, but had always wished for a young companion after seeing the young Magaral (named Muffy) attached to her older sister, FairyCloudPuff. But FairyCloudPuff was a Royal Flotsam, someone who always seemed busy with school, chores, and other duties. She didn't have much time to spend with little Muffy. The Baby Usul couldn't wait to see what types of adventures she and this Faellie petpet could have together.
But it didn't seem likely. After all, someone must be missing the beautiful snow-white Faellie. Imagine losing such a creature!
Treaphie was concerned with the Faellie. The little one's arms were wrapped around each other tightly and had been since she discovered her. She wondered if the Faellie was injured. Delicately, she pushed the arms apart. A rustling sound drifted into her ears, which made her halt. She watched curiously as a crumpled-up parchment rolled off of the petpet.
Treaphie breathed heavily in amazement. She picked up the paper from the bed sheet and smoothed it out. The words on it... she couldn't read, but she could sense they were important. Some of it had been wiped off by the snow.
Her eyes widened. Had the Faellie been trying to protect this piece of paper? She felt herself tingling in excitement, but she still faced a problem.
She couldn't read.
How would she know what was written on it?
Showing it to Brianna wouldn't work. She would probably read it, but if it were important, she wouldn't tell her what it was. Her siblings who weren't Babies couldn't be trusted with this information, either. After all, they would probably solve whatever problem it was on their own, or (if it was too dangerous) would widen their eyes and say something along the lines of, "It's not important. Don't worry about it. Wanna play with your blocks?" with a shaky voice.
There had to be another solution.
There had to be.
It felt like torture to wait so long, but hours later, Kolyae had woken up. The two of them had been carried down to the Playroom by Brianna soon afterward. Treaphie had quickly bundled up both the Faellie and the mysterious parchment into her soft yellow blanket when she heard Brianna coming and hadn't let go. But now that she was in the Playroom with only Kolyae, she knew it was time to hatch a plan.
"Kolyae," she babbled, crawling up to him. "I have something to show you."
Her voice was dead serious. He could tell that much. So he didn't argue when she pulled over her baby blanket and took out a small piece of paper, holding it like it was the most valuable thing in the world.
After a few moments, he asked, "Er, what is it?"
"I don't know," she admitted. "But I do know it's important. We need to find out what it says, but we can't let anyone else know.
"Why not?" Kolyae asked her. He quieted down as he heard approaching footsteps and a cheery voice.
"Look who's come to play with you! This little sleepy-head!" Brianna laughed and tickled the chin of the small Baby Korbat in her arms, who giggled sleepily in reply. Brianna set Kasthie down and moved into the Kitchen to prepare some breakfast.
Kasthie waddled over to them, but they didn't pay much attention to her. She was even younger than Treaphie, with an entire year difference in their ages, which was a lot for a Baby.
"Okay," Treaphie continued, "So, if we tell anyone else to read it, and they read it, guess what will happen? They're not going to tell us what it says! They probably won't give it back, either. Worse, they could do something dangerous. We have to protect them."
Someone might find it funny that a Baby was trying to protect her older siblings and her owner. However, in Treaphie's case, this was entirely understandable. She was the cleverest one in her family when it came to dangerous situations.
"So, is that really a bad thing?" Kolyae asked. "I mean, I don't want to do any more dangerous stuff."
"Relax, Kolyae. This isn't going to be that dangerous."
"But what about the last 'not dangerous' event you pulled me into? I was terrified balancing on the fridge and being forced to jump down towards the cookie jar!"
"That was not one of my perfected plans!" Treaphie protested. "And I doubt this will be more dangerous than most of the things we've done in this house."
"But how are we going to know what this says if we can't ask anybody to read it to us?" he asked.
"Well, naturally, I've already developed a fool-proof plan," Treaphie explained. "You see, I will ask one of our siblings to teach me how to read. I think we'd be safest with Toupahz. She adores us. We can only hope the paper isn't telling us to do something within a few weeks. I'm not sure how long it will take to get fluent in this 'reading', but I'm guessing very long indeed. So, after we decode it - hey!"
Kasthie had snatched the paper from her hands and peered at it curiously.
Kolyae screamed, "Hey, what do you think you're doin--"
"Dear Space Faerie: This is an emergency message from the Faeries of Neopia..."
Treaphie's mouth opened in astonishment. "Kasthie! You... you can read?"
Kasthie smiled, revealing many spots she had yet to grow baby teeth in. "Yeah. I'm not sure how I learned, I just studied books and they kind of... made sense."
The Usul's mouth did not return to normal for some time. Kolyae did the talking for her.
"Could you, um... could you please read that to us?"
"Do I get to help you guys in... whatever it is?"
Treaphie's mouth became even wider than before. "What? Kasthie, I thought you were... well, more of the shy type. You never seem interested in taking risks!"
She shrugged. "I can't leave you in danger."
"My little sister - my only little sister, wants to protect me," Treaphie thought. "But I want to protect her."
"Okay," she agreed against her better judgement. "You... you can come. Just please, read to us what's on that sheet!"
She scanned it quickly with her eyes:
Day 8, The Month of Sleeping, Y12
Dear Space Faerie:
This is an emergency message from the Faeries of Neopia. Please keep the following a secret from all others to the best of your ability: Neopia is in danger. We have received news that a villain - we are uncertain of which, though we suspect a few in particular - is working on a powerful spell. Something that can endanger all of us. Please alert all of the leaders of Neopia quickly! We need the leaders of Faerieland, Moltara, Altador, Maraqua, Brightvale, Meridell, Roo Island, Shenkuu, and the Lost Desert. We have Faerieland covered. I estimate we have only 10 days before we are out of time, which is your deadline. Have them all assemble at Faerieland in 10 days' time by 5 o'clock NST. They should be safe there.
As for what the mystery villain is doing, details are hazy at the moment. What we have discovered is that they are teaming up with Jhudora. We are unable to gain access to her cloud, but it cannot be good. Please try to find out more information.
The Faeries of Neopia
The little Korbat frowned as she read the hastily scrawled message below.
ALERT! Whoever you are, Neopian, please help quickly! I have been trapped by the villain, but have been cursed to be unable to speak or write her name. Do not ask any for help, as who you speak to could be the villain! We need all the leaders assembled by Day 18, 5 o'clock, The Month of Sleeping, and I have been trapped! You must get the leader from Roo Island to the meeting, he is the only one left to alert about the meeting. Also, try to figure out information about the mystery villain. I cannot relay everything, she is coming, but beware the mi
"Oh, this should be good..." Kasthie said. She cleared her throat, and then read the swirly writing on the sheet.
Treaphie frowned. "'Mi'? That stopped rather abruptly."
"Well, obviously 'she' was coming, whoever 'she' might be." Kolyae clapped his paws together. "All right. Today's Day 17. So we've gotta finish this by the end of tomorrow, or else Neopia is in danger."
Kasthie looked at the Space Faerie's note. "That's not much time!" she complained. "We've gotta leave home, get to Roo Island, warn King Roo, and investigate by late in the evening tomorrow?"
"I bet 'she' was Jhudora," Treaphie piped up. "Since she was mentioned in the letter above. We've gotta stop her!"
"If only we had more information!" Kolyae whined.
"Well," Treaphie reasoned, "We have a day to get King Roo to Faerieland, and a day to figure out what's going on. That's possible to accomplish!"
"But how are three babies gonna travel the world on their own? Won't Brianna notice we are missing?" Kolyae asked, quivering.
"It's highly likely," Treaphie agreed, sighing. "But we're gonna have to take that risk. We can't show anyone else. Who knows how much trouble they'll get into? And we can't be spreading this around, anyway - the letter said so."
The others nodded grimly. This was their mission.
"The poor Faellie was giving everything to protect this paper from the snow," Treaphie said. "I wonder where she came from?"
"Probably a messenger from the Faeries," Kolyae babbled.
"Yeah," Kasthie agreed. "After all, all the Weewoos are being used for the Neopian Times."
Treaphie got up and trotted over to the bookcase in the far left corner of the room. She pushed aside a few books and retrieved a crumpled map of Neopia from behind.
"What's that?" Kasthie asked curiously.
"I got this from the Neopian Times when they discovered Moltara," she explained. "I figure this should help us plan our route."
Kolyae smiled. "Oh, yeah!" he exclaimed. "We do need to know where we are."
Treaphie smoothed it out on the carpet. The others crowded around her. "This," she said, prodding a finger at a large hamburger on the map, "marks where we are: Neopia Central."
"Pretty rainbow!" Kasthie gushed, pointing to a streak of colors protruding from the hamburger to a nearby island.
Treaphie grinned. "Know what's at the end of that pretty rainbow? Roo Island. And that's gonna be our first stop - as soon as possible!"
"Huh?" Kolyae asked. "Can't we, you know, have a quick nap time first?"
"We can't!" cried Treaphie. "There's no time to waste! We'll have to wait until we rent a canoe ride. We'll sleep while traveling."
"Wait," Kasthie asked, "we're not traveling over the rainbow?"
Treaphie put a paw to her forehead. "No, Kasthie. You can't travel on a rainbow."
"Are you sure?"
"Look, our priority should be getting to Roo Island. To do that, we'll need a boat. To do that, we'll need money. And we gotta leave the house without being noticed!"
"Won't Brianna be scared?" Kasthie's lower lip trembled at the thought of upsetting her owner.
"Maybe," Treaphie admitted. "But we can't focus on that! Imagine how much more scared she'll be if Neopia is in danger. And if we let it happen."
"Why can't we let someone else do it?" Kolyae whined.
"We can't trust anyone," Treaphie stated flatly. No one argued, because each of them realized it was true. What if they handed over the information to an enemy? No one was willing to take the chance.
"Now, a trip like this might be pretty costly," Treaphie told them, "So we'll need to combine our money. Luckily, I've been saving all the money I get. Never spent a neopoint."
"Where'd you get the money?" Kolyae asked suspiciously.
"Oh, just by tricking a few people, using my... persuasion, selling Brianna's lemonade at a high price..." she waved her hand dismissively. "Anyway, here's the loot."
She went over to the bulging sack of toys in the right corner and emptied it of about twenty plushies. Then she heaved, panting, but the bag did not budge. "Help me out with this, will you?"
It took the combined efforts of the three babies to drag it over. Kolyae was the first to reach out and open it. Golden coins shimmered from inside.
"Wha..." he tried.
"How much..." Kasthie faltered.
The Usul grinned. "I don't know how much, but it's a lot."
Kolyae said nothing. Kasthie said faintly, "I've got about 100 neopoints."
"50," Kolyae said, gawking at the bag.
Treaphie sighed. "Have I taught you nothing about moneymaking?" she asked. She shook her head. "Never mind. Where do you guys keep your money?"
"Under my bed," Kasthie said.
"In a big sock," Kolyae told her.
She groaned. "We can't waste any more time going after your neopoints. We'll just have to make due with mine."
"But how are we going to drag those around?" Kolyae whined.
"We'll make a side trip," Treaphie explained. "We're going to the Bank."
To be continued...