I had met up with my friends earlier that afternoon in front the Pizzaroo in the Plaza, where we decided we would have lunch.
After lunch, we sat around the table, drinking cans of Neocola, as the other two pets started reminiscing about the adventure they had unwittingly found themselves undertaking after I had gone home last week.
"It was a bright and sunny morning, the skies blue and nary a cloud to be see—"
"Actually, it was dark, at night, and at the heart of Terror Mountain," Alys the Aisha interrupted. "This is why I never let you tell the stories. You never get them right!"
Gerald the Grundo rolled his eyes, and turned to her. "Fine. Would you like to tell it then?" he asked. He does like to embellish his stories a bit.
"Yes, I would," Alys replied. "It was dark, at night, and at the heart of Terror Mountain. We had just finished helping our Snuffly slide to safety, when Gerald here had the brilliant idea—"
"—that we would explore a dark cave we stumbled across!" he inserted.
Alys shook her head, "Oh, I'm sorry, the middle of my sentence interrupted the start of yours! No, please, continue."
The Grundo smiled and continued. "So, there we were, bravely adventuring into the unknown with torches ablaze, when what do we see, but pile upon pile of gleaming treasure! The cave was full of treasure! We could barely contain our excitement; we were going to be rich! And then it happened; we were walking past all these items, when I saw it. The coolest, bestest, most amazing item in all of Neopia, Kreludor and the Virtual Space Station!"
"Bestest isn't even a word," Alys pointed out. "And you think every thing is cool. I must also say that I was opposed to the idea of exploring a dark cave at night."
"I'm the one telling this story, aren't I? I can use bestest if I want. And you know that you were curious about the cave as well." Gerald replied. "Anyway, this item was just sitting there, waiting to be retrieved, and who better than me to take it?
"As I climbed up the pile of treasure it was on top of, we heard a rumbling and the ground started shaking, items were raining down around us, and ice was falling like snow!" the Grundo cried. "I thought it was an earthquake!"
Alys laughed, "He scrambled right back down and shouted that we had to take cover under a table. Apparently, it's the safest place to hide during an earthquake."
"My mum always told me that," Gerald said. "Unfortunately for us, the one thing the cave seemed to be short of was a table."
"And it was not an earthquake anyway," Alys said. "It was the Snowager, blasting some other poor pet."
Gerald shivered. "When the rumbling stopped and we realized that we were in the Snowager's cave, we doused the torches. Alys and I had to think about what to do next.
"We decided to tiptoe out of the cave before we alerted the Snowager to our presence. There were some big piles of treasure between where we were standing and the entrance to the cave. We would use these to hide and slowly make our way out. All we had to do was be very, very quiet."
Alys took a sip of her drink. "It was one of the scariest moments of my life. Then, Gerald suddenly remembered that he had not taken his item. Next thing I know, he had run back and was halfway up the pile of treasure, straining to reach the item. His arms were too short," she chuckled.
Gerald huffed and waved said arms about. "Do these look too short to you? The item was simply too far away from where I was perched!"
I knew better than to answer that question. "What happened after that?" I prompted, because we would be stuck on that argument all day otherwise.
Gerald took up from where Alys had left off. "So I was reaching for the item, with my not-too-short arms-" he shot Alys a pointed look, "-when I felt this puff of cold air on my ears. And I knew, just knew that the Snowager was behind me."
"I saw the Snowager slithering up, but had no way of warning Gerald that it was coming. I started looking for something I could use to distract it. Before I could though, Gerald had turned around and was staring at the Snowager in shock!" Alys took another sip and shook her head at me. "I've never seen a Grundo go grey that fast without a paint brush or the Fountain Faerie involved."
"I did not go grey!" Gerald objected vehemently. "I simply... tried to blend in with the environment."
"Did it work?" I asked. I was curious to know how they had escaped the Snowager.
The Aisha sniffed. "Of course not. The Snowager opened its mouth and—"
"—talked!" Gerald exclaimed.
"It talked?!" I was not expecting that. I would have expected some more blasting of the icy variety.
"Yes. He is quite sweet, the Snowager." Alys said. "He asked Gerald what he was doing on top of the treasure pile – oh, he is male by the way, I asked – and Gerald couldn't answer!"
"I tried to stammer out something, but the Snowager shook his head," Gerald said. "'I'm not that scary, am I?' he asked. I wasn't sure how to answer that, so I just nodded.
"And then the Snowager said, 'I don't mean to be scary, I just get very upset when pets try to take my items without asking!'"
"The Snowager does have a point there," I said, and Alys nodded.
Gerald continued. "Do you know why he blasts pets? I asked him why he blasted pets, instead of asking them nicely not to take his stuff. He blasts them because they step on his tail!"
Alys smiled and said, "He offered us some hot chocolate after that, and we had quite a long talk with him. It was very good fun. He even gave Gerald the item he wanted! We are going back next week."
Gerald glanced around, rooted around in his bag and withdrew something. He leaned forward and showed me the item cupped reverently between his hands.
"Look, is it not the coolest, bestest, most amazing item in all of Neopia, Kreludor and the Virtual Space Station?"
Alys rolled her eyes, both of them smiled at me, and then Gerald asked, "Would you like to come with us to see him? He will be very happy to have another pet to talk to. He gets very lonely in his cave, as many pets are too scared to go near him."
I thought about it. After all, the Snowager had not eaten my friends, and it seemed like all I had to do was ask if I saw something I wanted, and not step on his tail. I would be all right, right?
"Okay." I nodded. "I'll go with you next week. I would like to meet the Snowager too."
Gerald grinned brightly. "Oh, you'll like him. He's very nice!"
I certainly hoped so.
Oh, and what was the item Gerald risked life and limb to get? Wouldn't you want to know. ;)