AAA and Abigails Astounding Race:Part Three
The queen laughed. "Oh! No need to worry, little one. You would be surprised at how often that happens! In fact, even the Faerie Racers sometimes have the same problem. Such are the dangers of having a Hidden Tower!"
After showing the queen the damage, Abigail watched in awe as she raised her staff, magically repairing the racer, and, Abigail assumed, the wall. "And to thank you for your honesty, young Neopet, I would like to give you something," said Fyora. She opened her hand, revealing a small, shining purple medallion on a silver chain.
"Oh! It’s beautiful!" whispered Abigail in awe. "Thank you very much!" A gift from the Queen of the Faeries! She could hardly believe it.
"You are most welcome. I wish you the best of luck on your travels." With that, the Faerie Queen raised her staff and was gone.
Abigail stood stunned for a minute. She was amazed by her good fortune. Suddenly she remembered: "Oh! The race!" She hurried to start her vehicle and get back on track. She reached the top of the waterfall, spotting the checkpoint with its green light. "Of course AAA’s already been here," she thought. "Probably like an hour ago!" She drove up to the checkpoint. "Ok… so Maraqua’s next… So submarine? Or boat?"
AAA reached the spot where a red "X" was marked on his map. "So I must be right over Maraqua," he thought. He turned around to look back the way he had come. He could barely see Faerieland in the distance. He scanned the water, but saw no sign of Abigail. "Figures," he thought. If she’s even left Faerieland yet, she probably picked the submarine! Hasn’t she heard of water resistance?" He chuckled to himself, and pressed the button to begin the racer’s transformation to a submarine.
Abigail had picked the submarine. "It sure is slow," she thought. Maybe she should have picked the boat… Oh well, it was cool looking underwater, anyway. She saw all sorts of creatures she had never seen before. Schools of fish swam by her. As she made her way slowly to Maraqua, she marveled at all the wondrous sea life around her.
AAA’s submarine descended near the outskirts of Maraqua, and he turned it toward the starting point – King Kelpbeard’s castle. There was a checkpoint there, with a red light, of course. He passed it and made his way through the city. There were so many pets here -- and they all seemed to want to get in his way! Annoyed, he swerved to avoid hitting a Shoyru who was blowing bubbles to catch a seemingly endless array of falling Jubjubs. "Pets down here are just weird," he thought as he made his way into the ruins. He passed over the Bubbling Pit and the Colouring Pages, following steps that led up to the next checkpoint. Passing it, he headed up toward the surface of the water. "This is just too easy," he thought. After a few minutes, he surfaced and pressed the button to change his racer back into a boat. Smugly assured of his ability to win, he sped toward Mystery Island.
Not too long afterward, he reached the beach just outside of the Island Market and passed the checkpoint there. He noticed that there was one of those boxes marked with a "?" that King Roo had mentioned. There had been plenty along his path, but he had ignored them, since Abigail was so far behind him. "Might as well check it out," he thought. When he drove up to the box, a cream pie flew up and over his racer and into the water. "Lot of good that did," he thought. On the island, there were checkpoints all along the beach, forcing the competitors to circle around the island rather than cutting across the middle. He passed each of them, quickly and easily making his way to the opposite side of the island. "I can’t believe how easy this is!" he thought. He reached The Beach, which for some reason seemed to be visited only by Kacheeks. "Odd," he thought. Yawning, he noticed another blue-question-mark-box nearby. "This is so easy it’s almost getting boring!" he thought as he noticed a few Kacheeks napping nearby. He suddenly felt rather sleepy. "Good a place as any to take a nap," he thought. "And if Abigail does manage to catch up to me, which I doubt she will, I’ll just use that box to launch something nasty at her."
Meanwhile, Abigail was just reaching the outskirts of Maraqua. She headed for the checkpoint outside the castle, then cruised through the bustling city. "There are so many pets here!" she thought. It was fascinating – she’d never seen a Maraquan pet before, and now they were all around her! She passed a Shoyru who was busily blowing bubbles to catch falling Jubjubs. "Oh, he doesn’t want them to get hurt! That’s nice of him," she thought, and waved. She made her way into the old Maraquan ruins, which she thought seemed a little spooky. Passing the Bubbling Pit, she tried to peer down into the murky depths. In her distraction she failed to notice the box in her path marked with a red exclamation point, and she ran right into it. On contact, the box exploded, sending her submarine hurtling backwards. It smashed into the ground. After recovering from her shock and making sure she wasn’t hurt, she thought, "Yikes! Not again! At least it didn’t send me down into the pit…" and shuddered.
Her submarine must have been quite solidly constructed, because the thick glass around her hadn’t cracked. She was now upside down, however, and couldn’t seem to free her vehicle from the miry mud it had lodged in. "I really should pay more attention to where I’m going," she thought with a sigh. At the moment she felt very grateful for the belt which held her securely to her seat. She tried going backward, forward, backward again. She tried turning the wheel sharply and she tried pressing down the accelerator. Nothing worked. "How do you un-stick a stuck submarine?" she wondered aloud. With nothing else to do, she sat pondering that question.
Returning from Underwater Fishing, the discouraged Maraquan Mynci tossed his daily boot into the Bubbling Pit. Yes, daily – the only variety he ever got while fishing was whether he got a left or right boot. He almost passed the stranded submarine near the pit, thinking it was just another ruin. But then he noticed that there was someone sitting – upside down, no less – inside the submarine.
"Land pets do the strangest things!" he thought as he swam closer. He saw that the pet inside was a small Aisha, her arms crossed in frustration. Was that…? Yes, it was Abigail! He waved. He considered himself to be Daily Dare’s number one fan, although he couldn’t play many of the games himself, since most weren’t available to Maraquans. He always watched the Games Master Challenge closely, too. "I always root for you in GMC!" he said as he approached.
Did she hear something? Abigail looked in the direction of the noise, and saw that there was a Maraquan outside her submarine! It was smiling and seemed to be talking to her, but all she could hear was muffled mumbling. She shook her head and shrugged, then put the three of her ears that could reach against the side of the submarine. This was one of those times that her extra-sensitive hearing would really come in handy. The Mynci repeated himself: "I always root for you in GMC!" he shouted.
"Thank you!" Abigail shouted back. The Mynci couldn’t hear her, but he was able to read her lips.
"You’re welcome!" he yelled. "Do you need some help?" Abigail nodded and made a flipping motion with her paws. They Mynci nodded back, and shouted, "I’ll be right back!"
He swam off toward the new city, and returned several minutes later with five more Maraquans. They had brought some seaweed, which they used as ropes to tie around the submarine. Then they all pulled at once, righting the submarine. "Thank you!" yelled Abigail, waving. All the pets waved back, shouting, "You’re welcome!"
"Thank you so much!" shouted Abigail again as she started up her submarine. "Some pets really are nice," she thought, heading toward the Colouring Pages. She passed the checkpoint there, and pointed her submarine toward the water’s surface. As she broke through into the air, she realized that it was late in the afternoon. "Goodness, already?" she thought. "I’ll never make up for all my lost time! AAA’s probably finished the race by now."
Abigail quickly punched the button to turn her racer into a boat, and went as fast as she could toward the island. She landed near the first checkpoint by the Island Market and changed the racer back to a car. She hurried as quickly as possible along the beach, passing the green checkpoints that showed AAA was far ahead of her. She felt that she was finally getting into racing mode, although she knew that it was far too late for her to catch up to her brother. "I’m finally getting the hang of this!" she thought, although she was a little disappointed that she couldn’t take more time to appreciate the scenery.
To be continued…