A Feepit's Tale
The Baby Aisha that calls itself my owner was combing the knots out of my tail when I received the transmission. As loathe as I was to put a stop to the grooming, I darted away from the kind Aisha's gentle paws and through a flap installed in the door, into the back garden. The pretext of relieving myself was a simple ruse, but always effective. I scanned the immediate area, and when I was certain no Neopets were around, I whipped out my transmitter and activated it.
"Captain," the static infused voice greeted me. "The Green Kacheek forgot his umbrella."
"Fortunate then, that it is not raining," I replied, to verify my identity.
"Agent 45x3 has found something; it requires your immediate attendance."
I sighed. I had grown fond of my neofamily, those who called me petpet. The arrangement had been simply to maintain cover, a year prior, when I had been deployed; I had placed myself in this very Neogarden, mewing and cooing as if injured or lost. It was the Rainbow Tonu that had found me, and taken me into their neohome, but it was the young Aisha who had taken a strong liking to me and begged their owner to allow her to 'keep' me. Now I must leave again, possibly on a mission never to return. I peered through the window at my adopted family. Since I had darted outside, the Aisha and Tonu had begun a game of Godori. Judging by the dismayed look on the Aisha's face, she was not faring well, as was usually the case. Most nights I would cheer her up after her brother grew tired of the game, but tonight, I must leave. Inevitably my absence would cause her more distress, the thought of which seemed unpleasant to me, but I shook it off. I was never supposed to grow attached to these creatures, and regardless, their safety depends on the success of my mission.
"Very well, Commander," I replied, "I will leave at once."
Agent 45x3 was deployed in the Lost Desert. Lately the enemy had an increased presence there, and it was 45x3's was deployed to monitor the situation for any suspicious activity. The Meepits could be up to something, or they could merely be enjoying the baking temperatures; or perhaps enjoying subjecting our agents, whom they undoubtedly know are always watching, to the loathsome heat. Feepits far prefer the cold. I shuddered to think I would soon be visiting the unseasonably warm continent. At least it's not Moltara, I thought to myself.
After a three day journey, I reached the Lost Desert (it may be faster to travel there for most Neopets, but remember we petpets have far shorter legs). I had to disguise myself as I entered the city of Sakhmet for fear of some young pet or other seeing me alone and deciding to adopt me, I did not have the time to wait around for them to sleep in order to escape. I used a pair of stilts for height, and donned an Ultra Fashionable Potato Sack and a Tin Foil hat. According to our statistical research, this was the height of fashion for Neopets. However, I still drew strange gazes from the locals; I concluded that their isolated city must receive few visitors. I walked past a large group of tourists outside the Sakhmet Solitaire tent and headed towards Peopatra's petpets. As I entered the store, a swath of Anubis pups sniffed and barked at me. I steered clear of their pen as I approached agent 45x3, disguised as a Turtmid; sitting beside Peopatra at the cashier's desk.
I nodded to the Agent as I spoke clearly to Peopatra, "The Purple Korbat flies at midnight."
The confused Peophin stared back at me, "Excuse me?" she asked.
Agent 45x3, however, had recognised my call sign; he hopped off the desk, waddled over to the Wadjet pen, somewhat hindered by the cumbersome pyramid shell he wore, and released the latch. The Wadjets slithered about the store, and Peopatra jumped into action.
"Oh dear!" she exclaimed as she hastened to recapture the petpets. She had returned a great many to their pen; however, some had escaped outside, and she chased after them out onto the street.
I turned to Agent 45x3. "Follow me," he instructed.
He returned to the cash register, where he rapidly typed a series of numbers on its keys. With a 'kaching' noise, the desk swung back to reveal a staircase leading down into the earth.
We descended the staircase until we reached a door being guarded by two burly Feepits armed with Ylana's Blasters.
"The Tigersquash falls in the Month of Running," the guard remarked.
"But the Bagguss bounces higher," Agent 45x3 responded.
One of the Guards nodded and typed a code into the control panel upon the door, then leaned in close for the retina scan. We entered the control centre; an expansive room with numerous screens filled with data about Meepit sightings lining the walls.
I was greeted by the base's Commander, and he filled me in on the recent developments.
"We've received some rather disturbing intelligence. It seems that the Meepits are searching for an Ancient Relic, as old as Neopia itself! The Ba' Cup of Servah..."
I gasped. The Ba' Cup is an ancient and powerful device said to be Neopia's last line of defence. If the Meepits were to get their paws on it, there would be nothing to stop them from destroying all of Neopia!
The Commander called out to a field officer to join us, before continuing, "We were recently able to capture one of their agents. When he was caught, we noticed he was chewing on something..."
He gestured to the field officer. "Skippy here was able to extract this scrap of paper from him before he could swallow it."
Well, that explained his bandaged paw, I thought. The Commander passed me the small scrap of paper. Not much had survived the Meepit's attempt to destroy it; however, it was clear it was once a map of the Lost Desert, with a large red X marking an otherwise barren part of the desert.
"You must find the relic before they do," the Commander said.
"How can you be sure the Meepits don't already have it?" I asked.
The Commander gestured to the room at large. "If they had, would we still be here? Surely they would have used the Device to erase our resistance from existence. We are all that stands between them and Neopian domination after all."
His point was valid. We must still be in with a chance. I found myself increasingly determined to find the device before the Meepits could. Neopia's future depended on it! I shuddered to think of a world where the sweet Baby Aisha back home groomed and fed a Meepit instead of me.
Agent 45x2 and I travelled to the location described upon the map fragment. Much to our disdain, the Meepits had clearly been there a long time already. They were excavating a large hole, and had set up an array of tents and gazebos to serve as a temporary command centre. We hid behind a sand dune and watched a group of Meepits who stood squabbling with one another around a table covered in parchments. Agent 45x3 and I exchanged a glance. It appeared the Meepits had not yet found the ancient relic, and we both knew the answer lay on that table. We needed a distraction!
With fortunate timing, a strong desert wind provided one for us. It blew the papers all about the desert, and tore the tents from the ground. Most of the Meepits scurried to collect and re-tether their tents to the ground. Only the few standing around the table remained, stunned in their surprise at the sudden zephyr. Just as they were about to scurry off after the papers, Agent 45x3 pulled out his Randomly Firing Freeze ray and launched a shot at them. The gun shattered in his hands; but not before the group of Meepits was frozen in position!
We hastened to collect the papers strewn about the desert, before the other Meepits returned from securing their tents, then we returned to our hiding place behind the sand dunes to review them.
Many of the scrolls were simply maps of the Lost Desert, all varying in age and composition. However, one contained writings;
"... The Ba' Cup of Servah, said to hold all the knowledge of Neopia, has been sought by many. Legend has it the relic was hidden deep within the sands of the Lost Desert, 9,000 paces North of Coltzan's Shrine. All who have sought it have lost count of their steps long before reaching the Ancient Tomb in which it is held."
I almost laughed at the Meepit's foolishness; we were 9,000 petpet sized steps North of the Shrine, but the scroll was not written by petpets. The real location of the Tomb must be far over 9,000 steps from the Shrine; and not this location as they had marked on their maps. I called the Command Center on my transmitter, and had them convert the distances. It appeared we had quite the journey still ahead of us, but we didn't have any time to waste; it wouldn't be long before the Meepits also realised their mistake.
Exhausted, and parched we finally reached the Tomb of the Ba' Cup of Servah. We were glad to see we wouldn't need to dig for it. A small entrance way protruded from the sand, containing a staircase that led deep into the bowels of Neopia. Without pause, we ventured forth into the tomb. The path was dark, but fortunately we had brought torches with us. We lit them and the flickering light illuminated the ancient stone walls. I scanned the path ahead of us for any signs of traps, and was soon rewarded for my vigilance. I saw a flagstone on the floor, protruding slightly higher than the rest; a pressure plate! Surely one step upon it would trigger a trap.
But Agent 45x3 had taken the lead, and stepped upon it before I could warn him. The stone compressed slightly, but his weight was not enough to trigger the trap. Apparently the Ancient Neopets were just as silly as the modern ones, never considering the threat a petpet could pose. Fortunate for us, but if a Meepit had discovered the tomb first, the poorly thought out trap could surely have doomed Neopia. We pressed on and did not encounter any further traps; the Ancient Neopians must have thought the isolation of the Tomb sufficient to protect their Ba' Cup.
Finally we reached a larger room, with a pedestal in the centre; the Ba' Cup sat upon it! Our mission was a success. I activated my transmitter and informed the Command Center. Before long an elite team of Feepits had arrived to properly guard the relic. The Meepits stood no chance of getting their paws on it now. We had saved Neopia!
I was offered any post I wanted among the ranks of the Feepit Council. I declined in favor of the quiet life in Neopia, with my pet Aisha and Tonu.