Invisible Paint Brushes rock Circulation: 192,828,868 Issue: 663 | 3rd day of Collecting, Y16
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Shenkuu Mountain Neopets: A Neovision Reality Show!


by alphachicky

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A voice-over narrates through the neovision set as the camera pans across shots of Shenkuu. A marshy valley, a mountain towering into mist, a regal palace shining in the sun.

     "Shenkuu is a land of untold beauty. Those who gaze upon the many constructed and natural wonders here are lucky to witness such a state of peace and serenity. But Shenkuu is more than a majestic setting..."

     Several whiny voices croon, "It's our home!"

     The camera cuts to a shot of four neopets strolling down a Shenkuu street, wearing brightly colored dresses, carrying shopping bags and purses.

     "I'm Alexi!" a voice declares, as the screen cuts to a shot of a royal Draik twirling in a shimmering dress.

     "I'm Clarise!" The screen cuts to a fairy Xweetok, posing onstage for a crowd.

     "I'm Margot!" A pirate Krawk appears onscreen, peeking at the camera from behind a mask.

     "And I'm Terry!" Screen cut to a white Kacheek packing a huge suitcase.

     "We're the Shenkuu Mountain Neopets!"

     A boppy theme song begins to play, and the camera pans up to a mountain covered in an expanse of opulent neohomes, surrounded by a gate. The camera zooms in on the gate to show the show's logo.

     Alexi's voice plays over a scene of the four sitting around a huge wooden table, eating breakfast.

     "I'm excited to get back to my roots in Neopia Central, so today I'm taking the girls to one of my old favorite hangouts - the Money Tree!"

     As Alexi's voice fades out, Clarise looks around at the table.

     "So, what are you all having for breakfast?" she asks, particularly chipper for the early hour indicated by the darkness outside the kitchen windows.

     "Pancakes, or something..." Margot drawls sleepily.

     Cut to Clarise talking directly to camera.

     "This week, I have a promotional deal with Hasee Puff Cereal. It's delicious, nutritious, gourmet, and available at a store near you! Also... I do get fifty neopoints every time I bring it up in conversation."

     Cut back to group eating breakfast.

     Clarise smiles broadly. "I ask, because I'm eating my FAVORITE cereal, Hasee Puff!"

     Margot grimaces. "Didn't you say that stuff tastes like cardbo-" but the rest of that sound clip fades out in what surely must be a sound technician's error.

     "Let's go back to talking about our trip to the Money Tree!" Alexi says.

     "I can't wait!" Terry chimes in.

     A montage of the four rushing for their air-boat plays, with various voice overs.

     "We have to go now!" Alexi yells.

     "Clarise, you're going to make us late!" Terry cries.

     "Clarise, we're leaving without you!" Margot says.

     Cut to Clarise talking directly to camera.

     "Okay, so the others all left without me, but I caught another boat. With some fish vendors? I think they think I'm a fish vendor? I did, however, tell them that I am brand loyal to Hasee Puffs."

     Cut to a shot of Clarise being jostled on a crowded air boat as fish vendors pace the deck.

     "This is headed for Neopia Central, right?"

     "Yeah, yeah," a rugged Bruce mutters.

     Cut to the rest of the group arriving at Neopia Central. The sun shines on a cobblestone path, with the water of the rainbow fountain glistening in the distance.

     Cut to Terry talking directly to camera.

     "So, I get traded a lot. Like, I'm a VWN white Kacheek. I'm good with, like, customization and stuff. I'm a popular pet. And I'm a permie at Shenkuu Mountain, but hey, if someone with a UC comes along... I'm outta here. I come to the pound in Neopia Central frequently, for transfers. And whenever I'm there, I see a bunch of pets that are sad. And that makes me sad. So I'm a little scared that visiting the Money Tree nearby will make me sad also? But Alexi is really excited about this trip, so I'm going with it."

     Cut back to Margot and Terry walking behind Alexi, as the three near the Money Tree.

     "It's... horrific!" Terry whispers.

     "It's appalling!" Margot whimpers.

     "It's incredible!" Alexi marvels.

     Pan to the object of such fear and admiration: the Money Tree itself. Neopets bustle in a writhing mass at the tree's roots, occasionally emerging, victorious, with a cloth bag of neopoints, or a loaf of bread.

     The camera pans back to Margot and Terry. Close ups of their faces show terror and concern. When the camera zooms out, they look far more terrified when they realize Alexi is not next to them. The camera pans around, frantic, before its view finds Alexi, scrambling with the other intent Neopians around the base of the tree.

     Cut to Alexi talking directly to camera.

     "Why do I love the Money Tree? I guess I can explain." The Draik sighs, tossing her hair, coiffed to the point of plastic-like shininess, over her shoulder. "I haven't always had this life. In fact, just a few years ago I was a red Shoyru, living in Neopia Central, working at the general store to support my family. But everything changed after we won an expensive morphing potion on a lucky spin on the Wheel of Excitement. We sold the potion, and opened a huge store. It's been easy riding since then. We could afford to move to Shenkuu Mountain, and I got morphed and painted. It's just that being back here at the Money Tree... I used to come here all the time... it really reminds me of my past. You know, my old friends, after I became a Draik, we didn't talk as much. I haven't seen them at all since I moved."

     Alexi's eyes tear up a bit. She wipes at them, and looks to the side as someone offscreen asks her something.

     "No, I guess I haven't told any of the others about my past. But... I should!"

     The camera cuts to Alexi, stepping away from the tree and walking towards Margot and Terry. A muted conversation takes place, while uplifting music plays. The three hug as a group, then Terry and Margot rush towards the tree.

     Cut to Terry talking to the camera.

     "So, after I heard Alexi's story, I understood why she was so into this whole Money Tree thing. Even if it does mean making a mad rush for stuff around piles of actual garbage. It's a part of her past. Just like being traded is a part of my past. I've always been pretty open about that, and it makes me sad to hear that Alexi felt like she had to keep such a big part of her life from us. I want to understand what my friends have been through. And what better way to understand about the Money Tree than to try and get something from the Money Tree?"

     Margot and Terry dig through piles of items around the tree. Alexi watches from a slight distance now, smiling.

     "This is a piece of cake... but it's in a rotten boot," Margot yells over the din.

     "Who donated twenty carpets?" Terry asks, rolling some aside. "Ah! There's a necklace under them!"

     "A bag of neopoints!" Margot exclaims. "But... there's only five in here."

     A piercing shriek from Terry causes momentary microphone feedback. "SOMETHING JUST MOVED... oh. It's a Yoakie!"

     Cut to Margot directly addressing the camera.

     "So, Terry started finding all this cool stuff, and I found nothing. Literally all I found is this box of Hasee Puffs. Which actually makes me feel like I'm forgetting something."

     The camera fades out. When the neovision comes back into focus, Clarise is visible, pouting in the rain.

     Cut to Clarise talking to camera.

     "Okay, so I was wrong. The fishermen weren't going to Neopia Central. They were going to Kiko Lake. Should I have maybe asked where they were going? Yes. But is this entirely my fault? No!" As mascara drips down her face, Clarise's scowl intensifies. "Worse yet, none of my friends have even come looking for me! Granted... they don't know where in Neopia I am... but STILL!"

     "Miss?" The camera zooms out to reveal a Kiko looking at Clarise. "Are you alright? Is this neovision crew bothering you?"

     "I'm fine." Clarise snaps, then softens. "Actually, I'm not fine. I'm really, really lost. Are there boats leaving this place?"

     "Not until tomorrow." The Kiko smiles. "But explain your problem. I bet I can help."

     The camera fades back to Alexi, Margot, and Terry in Neopia Central.

     "Wait, you guys," Alexi says, motioning for her friends to move away from the crowd around the tree. They step towards her, arms piled with items.

     "I wanted to reconnect with my past by coming here... but that part of my life is done. We shouldn't be taking things from here. Some neopets actually need the stuff here."

     "You're right. We'll put back these things," Margot says.

     "Fine." Terry agrees. "But I'm keeping the Yoakie. He's my friend now."

     "Sure. Come on, let's stop by the bakery before we go home," Alexi says.

     As the three stroll away, the camera fades back to Clarise. Clarise, who is now paddling in an inner-tube, mutters angrily to herself about boats and Hasee Puffs. A distance back, the Kiko watches on.

     "Keep paddling that way, and you'll arrive at Shenkuu! Or Roo Island! Good luck!"

     A montage of inner-tube paddling commences, as Clarise begins a voice-over.

     "Today was an exciting day. We all learned a little bit about each other, and maybe something about ourselves in the process. We've learned not to hide from ourselves, and that everyone has a story. At least, that's what I'm told. I spent all day getting rained on as 'pets tried to sell me fish. And I only got to mention Hasee Puffs, like, twice."

     The voiced-over montage ends with Clarise rejoining her three friends, while soothing background music plays.

     "Ew," Terry says. "You smell like fish."

     Credits roll.

     Next Time, on

     What will happen when Margot takes her chances with the lab ray? Or when a trip to Kelp goes horribly, horribly wrong?

     "You can't be serious? We're in the same beauty contest category?" Clarise yells.

     Cut to Terry looking angry. "What do you mean, 'no petpets allowed'?"

     Cut to Margot running from the camera. "Everything is different now!"

     Cut to Alexi crying. "Everything is RUINED!"

     Fade to black.

The End

 
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