Geo on Neo: Battledome Exclusive
Hello, and welcome to another episode of Geo on Neo! I'm your ever stylish reporter, Geo, making sure that you are fully up to date with the latest trends, styles and events of Neopia. Today's instalment brought me to the quant and bustling town of Neopia Central, the bustling epicentre of the retail world.
As I type, thousands upon thousands of Neopians make this simple cluster of shops the social hub of the land, each day bringing upon a new rumour that's certain to entice and alleviate the nation – whether it be the latest gossip regarding Skarrl's haircut, or Fyora's embarrassing Halloween scandal, you're likely to find all the latest news here first.
So what brings me to this land, I hear you questioning towards your copy of the Neopian Times, well, dear readers, unless you've been deported to Kreludor I'm sure that you have all heard of the recent stir that is taking Neopia by storm. Not a literal storm. More of a slight drizzle with the occasional bought of lighting. With hail...and a nice frosty breeze...
Yes, your loyal reporter is also getting swept away by the mysterious haze surrounding the new Battledome revamp. This usually packed citadel is currently closed off to the general public, with only a select few allowed to pit themselves against others whilst the refurbishment takes place. News is scarce, gossip is aplenty, and all of the Neopians that enter and leave do so with a shady glint of secrecy shielded in their eyes.
So what is there to hide? Fear not, readers, for today I am scouting Neopia Central, determined to get to the bottom of this mystery. What exactly is the gossip on the dome, are we to expect an outrage or an excited flurry, and is there truly a difference between fact and fiction?
I made my way through the streets in the early morning, my eyes set purely on the 'Currently Closed' signs that surrounded the former Battledome, determined to catch whoever I could. My wait didn't drag for long as I noticed a small Kiko bouncing around the corner, a handful of newspapers clenched tightly under his arm as he delivered his daily round. He told me his name was Marck and, after a short introduction, the interview took place.
Geo: So Marck, you're clearly an avid battler.
Marck: No...not real—
Geo: Now, now, Marck, don't be modest. You're round must take you past the dome daily and allow you to meet an array of colourful characters, surely you have heard some news on the dome. Just what is taking place behind closed doors?
Marck: Erm...well, I'm not too sure really. I spend hours every morning delivering papers around these parts, but never once have I seen anyone go in.
Geo: Cleary a mysterious and intriguing plot is going on from within closed doors. Only the special are allowed to enter, and even that must be in secret...
Marck: Uh...yeah...sure, anyways I must get go—
Geo: Before you go, Marck, just tell me, what do you personally think is going on inside?
Marck: I don't know...but I did hear someone near the Petpet shop talking about it the other day...
I thanked the Kiko before making a hasty dash towards the central square. It was clear that whoever was in charge of the hasty refurbishment was determined on keeping the goings-on top secret. Marck had assured me that he had never seen anyone enter, perhaps the old dome was merely a ruse, a decoy for the new Battledome which was being built elsewhere? Somewhere to avoid the prying eyes of reporters and gossipers alike?
The Petpet shop neared, the bright lilac walls beckoning me forward as I entered. Instantly I was embraced by the gentle buzzing of the nearby Buzzers and the welcoming eyes of the loyal Spardels that barked excitedly as I approached. I had heard previously that Petpets had a knack for detecting talent and beauty, but I shall leave that article for another day.
I waited patiently as the owner dealt with a noisy Kacheek (who was determined to receive a refund for his 'far-too-fluffy' Spyder) and gazed mindlessly around the shop. It was a lot quieter than usual, I noted mentally, as I gazed upon the shelves of Petpets. The Battledome had invited a crowd of battlers every day to the square, yet the sudden absence of fighting had silently caused the battlers to travel elsewhere. Was the prolonged departure of the Battledome taking its toll on the economy as well?
The unsatisfied Kacheek has taken his much appreciated leave and I approached the counter with pen in hand. The Usul chuckled away endlessly as I introduced myself. As I took out my notepad, I was eager to get the interview started, her bubbly and open character sure to make for some intriguing revelations.
Geo: So, what do you think is in store for the new Battledome? More weapons? More potions? The use of Petpets in the arena, perhaps?
Clerk: Oh, well, I certainly hope not! The use of Petpets in the dome is a thing of the past, and I am determined to make it stay that way! She reached into her pocket to reveal a small, golden badge, the initials 'PPL' printed proudly upon its surface. I have worked tirelessly with the PPL in order to completely ban the use of Petpet assistance in the dome.
Geo: But I am sure that most battlers would argue that Petpets make for some extremely helpful benefits when in times of peril?
Clerk: Like I always say, if Neopians want to harm themselves in that monstrosity of a building, by all means let them – but keep the Petpets out of it; they have no voice to speak for themselves. They do not deserve this unfair manipulation!
Geo: So I take it that the new Battledome is not a welcome addition to society within PPL headquarters?
Clerk: It certainly isn't! We strive to maintain the protection of Petpets throughout the land and are increasingly confident with our endeavours, but the secrecy and speculation surrounding the new update is sending doubt throughout the entirety of the Petpet League Community. After all of our hard work, Darigan Citadel is now the only land that endorses Petpet fights. If this was to become mainstream throughout all of the updated domes, it would put all of our efforts to shame.
Geo: I see...
The conversation was becoming tense, so I swiftly diverted the subject away from PPL fears.
Geo: So how is the economy faring during the absence of the dome?
Clerk: *sigh* Well, as you can see, business is currently down. As much as I disagree with its morals, the Battledome did bring in customers and...
Before she could finish, the angry Kacheek had entered again. I thanked the shop clerk and left, trying my best to mentally note as much of the conversation as possible. It would seem that despite the huge excitement about the possible new Battledome additions, not all of the community was happy to see an update.
As I made my way through the Neopian Plaza towards my hotel for the night, I managed to grab one more eager interviewee before the sun set. The elderly Ogrin introduced herself as Mrs Humpledinkle.
Geo: Thank you so much, Mrs Humpledinkle, for taking part in this interview.
Mrs Humpledinkle: Oh, no problem at all! I love a good interview!
She had placed her ridiculously oversized glasses on the tip of her nose and was glaring at me intently, her eyes easily ten sizes larger than before.
Geo: So, are you a fighter yourself or merely an observer?
Mrs Humpledinkle: Yes.
Geo: A fighter or an observer?
Mrs Humpledinkle: Yes.
Geo: Sorry, I think you misheard...do you like to fight in the Battledome or not?
Mrs Humpledinkle: I'm sorry, I don't understand the question.
Geo: Have you ever participated in the Battledome—
Mrs Humpledinkle: Slow down, boy! I can't keep up!
Geo: Let me rephrase for you...do you like to brawl in the dome?
Mrs Humpledinkle: There's a Grarrl in my home?!
Geo: No, no, Mrs Humple—
Mrs Humpledinkle: Someone, anyone, help! She started to scream. There's a stranger in my home!
Geo: Mrs Humpledinkle, please, you didn't hear me correctly. I just want to know if you're excited by fighting?
Mrs Humpledinkle: And now he's stealing my lighting!
The surrounding crowd had started to observe, their eyes piercing deeply into my increasingly read cheeks. I thanked Mrs Humpledinkle quietly and made a swift exit before the police could arrive, her startled screams still audible in the hotels lounge.
Regardless of the slight disturbance, I was amazed to find that after a day of interviews and observations, no-one had any idea of what the new Battledome entailed. It would seem that the mystery is to be kept well hidden until the official release day, which we can only hope is sooner rather than later.
I leave you with this. Whether excited or disappointed by the Battledome's sudden and unexpected update, it's sure to make for an interesting revelation!
This is Geo. Over and out!