Misadventures of a Neopian Times Reporter VII
I love my family, I really do, but we are one messed up bunch. Nothing illustrated this more than the time Sakhmet disappeared. It was only two weeks after Kristy's ill-fated interview with Sloth, and before her disastrous encounter with Taelia. Oh, I guess I should tell you, this is Chloe. I figured that I should tell this story, because Kristy never will.
It was a normal day like any other at our Neohome in Neopia Central. I was still a Kougra, but I was striped now. My four siblings and I were eating breakfast with our mother Kristy. Kristy had just picked up her cup of coffee and was sipping it while reading the morning paper. Suddenly she started to cough violently behind the paper.
"What news is choke-worthy today, Kristy?" Elise asked dryly as she buttered her toast.
"Sakhmet has disappeared!" Kristy announced.
"AWESOME!" screamed my hyperactive green Zafara sister, Yanli. She then dissolved into hysterical laughter, she thought it was a joke.
"I would have thought that would be worth a spit-take, at least," Elise commented.
I saw Princess' lip start to twitch; the Lost Desert obsessed Desert Uni did not like the idea of living without Sakhmet in the world.
"Borovan, now what am I gonna do? No Fruit Machine or Solitaire," Kristy complained.
Elise's left eye started to twitch.
"A city full of people disappears and all you can think about is Solitaire?" the Faerie Cybunny asked.
Kristy started to laugh and said, "I got you good that time, you nearly had a conniption fit."
Elise took the paper from her, rolled it up, and hit her over the head with it.
"Conniption fit, that!" Elise cried tossing the paper at her.
"You're so mean," Kristy whined.
"Yeah, well, you raised me. I must be your fault, Mom," Elise countered.
They stuck their tongues out at each other.
"So," Princess asked timidly. "Is there anything we can do?"
"Yeah!" Kristy cried, jumping up. "We can cover the story! Come on, Chloe, to the Lost Desert!"
"I'll come with you," Princess volunteered.
"Who's going to clean up the kitchen?" Elise called after us.
"Thanks for volunteering, honey! I love you; don't let Yanli have any sugar. We'll see you in a couple of hours," Kristy called back.
And so we were off to the Lost Desert. It was fastest to go by ship, so that was the transportation we took. The disappearance was all anyone talked about. There were other people headed there too, everyone had some reason for going to see that bare spot where the grand city had once stood. When we finally arrived Princess and I wandered around while Kristy talked to people, took pictures, and wrote notes at a furious pace.
"Hey, want to go explore to the south-west?" Princess asked. "I heard once that there are ruins out there."
"We have to wait for Kristy," I said.
"I meant once she was done. She'll say yes," Princess clarified.
"Okay, ruins are cool," I conceded.
So when Kristy decided half an hour later that she had enough material, Princess asked her if we could go and Kristy agreed. About an hour into the trek Kristy was regretting her decision.
"Why do I always forget how hot it gets during the noontime here?" she complained.
"Look, there they are!" Princess cried.
There they were. The ruins of Qasala rose in front of us. Of course, then we had no clue what they were or that in the future Kristy would spend so much time trying to avoid them. We walked into the ruins and looked around.
"It looks like someone was here recently," Kristy said, pointing to the ashes of a campfire.
"Maybe refugees from the city, people who weren't in it when it disappeared?" Princess guessed.
"Probably, maybe they are still here! I could interview them; they may have seen it happen. Come on you two, let's find them," Kristy cried.
Something told me that snooping around this place was probably a bad idea, but I ignored my gut feeling because they were both so excited about it. We were just wandering about when suddenly I heard a click sound. The ground dropped out from underneath us, and we fell. We landed in some kind of library. I got up and looked around. It was old and it was obvious that someone had been through here recently. On a table there were a couple of rings, but two of them were missing. There was writing on the walls.
"You read Sakhmetian, Princess. What does the wall say?" I asked.
"It's not Sakhmetian. It's similar, though. Maybe I can figure it out," Princess said, going over to the wall.
Suddenly, we heard footsteps somewhere nearby.
"Hello?" Kristy called out. "Hey, we're in here!"
We all looked at the doorway from which the sound came. A Uni appeared in the doorway. He was a blue Uni, but something about him didn't seem right about him.
"What are you doing here?" the Uni asked.
"Looking for anyone from Sakhmet who might have taken shelter here, are you from Sakhmet? Do you know what happened to it?" Kristy explained.
"You should not have trespassed here. I will teach you to come where you're not wanted!" he threatened.
Suddenly he was engulfed in fire and became this mummy-ish creature.
"I think we should run," I said.
"I second that idea," Kristy replied.
Princess was staring wide-eyed at the other Uni. I grabbed her wing and pulled her away, and we all started running. The Uni was close on our heels most of the time, and we almost fell into a spike-pit at one point. We fell through another trapdoor and the Uni decided not to follow us down. Kristy got up and leaned against the wall, sighing with relief.
Princess got up and dusted herself off as she asked, "Did you see that guy?"
"Well, duh, we saw that guy. Who do you think we were running away from? He was going to kill us! Man, what a monster, he could just have shown us the way out and told us not to come back. Why does everyone have to be so hostile?" Kristy ranted.
"Wasn't he dreamy?" Princess sighed, starry-eyed and oblivious to Kristy's rant.
Now, I've seen my mother's face in every strange expression under the Virtupets Space Station, but her face contorted into a completely new one and I have no words to describe it.
"What do you suppose his name is? Do you think he lives here? I wonder what his history is!" Princess continued.
I looked between my sister and our mother. Princess was in full on fangirl-mode and Kristy's face frozen in a strange grin. Her hands were gripping her notebook so tight all of the pages were crumpling and her left eye was twitching like crazy.
"Um, what say we get out of here?" I suggested.
"No! If we stay maybe we can find more about him!" Princess gasped.
I was sure Kristy's head was about to implode so I grabbed my sister's wing and said, "The heat is getting to Kristy, and it'll dark soon, we have to go."
"But, it's noon and there is shelter here, if Kristy's suffering from the heat going out into the harsh midday sun will kill her. Besides, we don't even know where we are. We're several floors below ground, so it is cool down here, how can she be suffering from the heat? You are okay, aren't you, Kristy?" Princess asked in concern, snapping out of her dreamy state.
"I'm fine, sweetest dear. Absolutely fine, I've never been better," Kristy said through a frozen smile and her voice had a hysterical edge to it.
Despite Princess's protests, I was determined that we get out of there. We worked for the next two hours to find our way out. Thankfully, we did not run into the Uni again. Princess continued to sigh over him the entire time and I was certain I was going to be bandaging Kristy's palms when we got home.
Finally we came to surface again, and we left as fast as we could. On the ship home, while Princess was out of earshot, I asked Kristy if she was okay.
"I'm such a freak, and it has carried over to you guys apparently. I mean, I couldn't even raise girls who do normal things like throw slumber parties and fangirl M*YNCI," Kristy ranted.
"Despite what Elise says, it's not really your fault. We were all messed up to begin with. Princess has always been the most normal of us; you had to know that she had some hidden personality quirks that would eventually reveal themselves. Like the pranks she plays on me. They happen once in a blue moon and they are never the same. She'll have forgotten about that creature within the month," I consoled her.
I was never more wrong than with that last sentence. Kristy wrote her article about the disappearance, the mysterious ruins, and the strange Uni and we did all we could to help bring Sakhmet back. When it was all over, and the truth out, it turned out that the Nightsteed was a hero of sorts, rather than the villain who tried to kill us. Princess was all over his tragic story. Needless to say it didn't help her get over him.
One day I saw Kristy going into Princess' room to put her laundry away. I was heading to my room when I heard her scream. Princess was not in the room so I ran to see if she was okay. I was surprised and horrified by what I saw too. Nightsteed posters coated the walls, Nightsteed plushies had taken over her bed, and every surface was covered with Nightsteed knickknacks. It was a frightening amount of Nightsteed memorabilia. I had never seen anyone fangirl so hard before.
"I've created a monster. Why in the world did I think going to Qasala was a good idea?" Kristy asked with a strange calm.
"Wow, I was so wrong," I stated.
"I'm going to my room to have the mother of all mental breakdowns. Will you guys be okay if I don't come out again today?" she asked.
"Sure thing, Kristy," I replied.
So, that's how it is. It's been years and Princess is still the Nightsteed biggest fangirl, and he probably doesn't know she exists and has forgotten about chasing us around Qasala. I should stop making assumptions because I could be so wrong, and I don't want to be so wrong.