Saving the National Neopian Bank: Part One
'Something has happened! There was a bank error in your favor! Collect 2,809 neopoints.'
The random event certainly shocked the two brothers as they made their way to the grocery store like they did every week. One of them was a Green Ruki named Don, and the other was a Red Wocky named Hamond.
"Wait, what?" Hamond asked to no one in particular.
"I've heard about this," Don said. "A friend in my class was talking about how there are these new random events. This is one of them."
"Cool, we got around three thousand neopoints," Hamond said. "We're really lucky, aren't we?"
Don nodded. "I guess so." Truth be told, luck was something the two brothers were unaccustomed too. They mainly made their neopoints by selling a few junk items in their shops. They had actually made quite a hoard of junk items before.
Sadly, they had decided to clean up and discard most of them a week before the Landelbrot event. And now, they weren't getting any of the junk items that would net a nice price. They were almost perpetually broke, which was why neither of them were painted.
"It's still not that much, though," Hamond said.
Both of them continued walking, before Don realized something.
"Hey, wait a minute," Don said. "These events never happened before, and doesn't the National Neopian collect almost everyone's neopoints? Don't you think it's weird that they're suddenly making mistakes? I mean, it makes you think twice about making a deposit, right?"
"I have a bigger concern," Hamond said. "Neither of us have accounts, right?"
"Yeah, we never really had anything to deposit," Don said.
"Then how can there be a bank error in our favor if we don't have accounts, right?" Hamond said.
"Do you think the fact that there was an error... was an error?" Don asked and chuckled, that hardly made sense.
"Maybe. Do you think we should go and return it?" Hamond asked.
"I don't know. It really isn't that much, and after all, we need it but..." Don trailed off. Both of the brothers could agree on one thing, that they'd never steal.
"But is it really stealing?" Hamond asked. "I mean it just fell out, right?"
"Yeah, but that's kind of like finding someone's wallet on the street," Don said.
"But it was a mistake, right?" Hamond said. "So we can keep it?"
"I still can't decide... maybe we should just go to the bank. I mean, it's better than spending so much time standing here," Don said.
Hamond could agree to that at least. So, the two brothers set off towards the bank.
* * *
Anyone familiar at all with the National Neopian Bank must have seen the Green Skeith who runs the bank. Of course, being a banker, very few bother to talk to him. If they did, they might have known that his name is Mr. Roberts.
But even if he told them that, what he wouldn't tell them is what problems he was facing.
Yes, those new 'random events' where you go around collecting neopoints because of a bank error really aren't that random at all. In truth, Mr. Roberts was glad that the Landelbrot machine had been fixed when it had been, people went around thinking that this was all just a new random event.
No, the bank really was making errors. Major errors.
And the thing was, Mr. Roberts couldn't find a way out of the problem. He was currently in his office, and a quick glance at his watch told him that it was time for him to be making his inspections.
Running the bank wasn't easy like it had been in the old days. During those times they only did business in Neopia Central. But the bank had grown rapidly, and now they were doing business all over the globe.
All combined, the National Neopian currently held over five trillion neopoints as deposits. And it had to pay interest on all of them. That wasn't a problem earlier, but a range of bad financial decisions had damaged the bank's assets. The Neopian National Bank was in the red.
Mr. Roberts sighed as he turned around the corner. The main entrance was usually empty around this time of day. The counter was manned by a Red Kyrii, a teenager by the name of Phil who was only interested on working for a few extra neopoints.
Mr. Roberts was about to check up on him when he noticed two Neopets walk in. He then paused and chose to watch the scene quietly. He didn't like watching people like this, but he wanted to be sure that the counter was being handled appropriately.
One of them was a Red Wocky who approached the desk first. "Hello, my name's Hamond," he said.
Phil barely even looked up at the customer. "So?"
Mr. Roberts flared his nostrils. The nerve! He remembered when he had first visited a bank back in the day, in those days you would always be greeted by a smiling employee. The proper thing to do was to have said 'How may I help you?' and sound interested.
"Um, well, we received these many neopoints through a bank error, but we don't have an account," the Green Ruki said. "We were wondering about how it could be a bank error if we don't have an account."
"So, you want to open an account?" Phil asked, who had clearly only listened to half of what the Green Ruki had been saying.
"No," Hammond said. "We just wanted to know if these neopoints were really ours to keep or to return them..."
"Well, then, why not hand them over to me and I'll see what I can do," Phil said. They handed over a bag of neopoints and then Phil began tapping some buttons on the computing machine on his desk.
Now, normally a request to look through the bank records would take a lot of time sorting through paper documents, but the bank had recently upgraded to using a server with the same kind of magic and technology combination the shop wizard used. However, Mr. Roberts could tell from where he was standing that Phil wasn't even typing anything, he was just hitting keys randomly.
"That's right, it was all a mistake. Thanks for that," Phil said. The other neopets looked confused but they turned to walk away. And Phil then took the neopoints and put them into his pocket.
"Stop right there!" Mr. Robertss shouted. Phil whipped around and put on a nervous smile.
"Good morning, Mr. Robertss," Phil said.
"Is stealing from the customers what you're paid to do?" Mr. Roberts demanded.
"What?" Phil tried to say innocently, but the guilt was evident on his face.
"Return those neopoints at once," Mr. Roberts demanded. "You're fired, and you can be sure that your parents will be hearing about this."
Phil handed over the neopoints and sulked out of the building. Mr. Roberts then turned to the two bewildered customers.
"I apologize deeply, young sirs, for that incident," Mr. Roberts said. "Now, about these neopoints, what was it that you came here for?"
"Um, we got a bank error random event, but we don't have any accounts, so we figured the mistake was a mistake and we wanted to come back to return these neopoints," Hamond said.
"Let me just check," Mr. Roberts went through the registrar and saw that someone had mistakenly added a few neopoints to these boys, but of course, as they had no account, it went to them as a random event instead. "Yes, it wasn't intended for you, but no worries boys, you can keep the neopoints. That's our policy that we agreed to work under, so don't fret about it."
The two seemed overjoyed about it, and then Mr. Roberts quickly realized that they were both poor. Not only that, they had still walked up to the bank to return those neopoints, and that scoundrel Phil had tried to take them away from them! Truly, these were sad times to live in.
But then again, these two really were honest.
"By the way," Mr. Roberts said. "While you two are here, would you like to open up a deposit with us? It doesn't cost anything, and we also pay a small amount in interest a day."
"Sure," the Green Ruki said.
"Forgive me, but I never asked your name," Mr. Roberts said.
"It's Don, sir," Don said. "Short for Donald."
"Right, so how much would you like to deposit?" Mr. Roberts asked.
"One thousand neopoints," Hamond said. That wasn't a lot, but it was clear to Mr. Roberts that it was a lot to these brothers.
"Okay then, what is your occupation?" Mr. Roberts asked.
"Um, I sell junk," Don said. "Both of us do."
"Doesn't seem very profitable, does it?" Mr. Roberts said.
"No, it isn't," Hamond said.
"In that case, how about working for me? The bank could use a good, nice honest bunch like you. The pay isn't much at the beginning, but you can always work your way up," Mr. Roberts say.
Both of the Neopets perked up. Mr. Roberts noticed they were pretty close, they were probably brothers or maybe best friends?
"Yeah," both of them said at once. Probably brothers, Mr. Roberts thought, though he considered it rude to ask to make sure.
"However, I will have to put you through a test though," Mr. Roberts said.
Both Don and Hamond looked uneasy, what kind of test would they have to go through?
To be continued...