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Petpet Name: Flopsy
Pet Name: obsec
It was a day like any other: I was sitting on my favourite outcrop, just off the coast of Krawk Island. You're probably wondering what a Maraquan Grundo was doing so far from... well, Maraqua. I can explain -- I'm a musician, you see. I can do a gig anywhere, so long as there's a fair amount of water, of course. My most recent concert had been a failure, as usual. About three Neopians had showed up... a new record. I looked over at the small bag of Neopoints wobbling precariously beside me. There were 1,500 in total. Well, at least I'd be able to buy an omelette or two for dinner.
Sighing, I began to polish my conch, which was held around my neck by a string of pearls and coral. Any musician will tell you that it's important for an instrument to look as good as it sounds, and mine was no exception. It's tough to play, and even tougher to master, but when you do, you’ll get such great vibes from it that you feel that you can do anything.
I held the gleaming pink shell close to my face for inspection, running my hands over the knobbly surface. Deciding it had been cleaned to perfection, I put it to my lips and played an experimental scale. I closed my eyes, listening to the notes echoing across the open water, tumbling over each other on the ocean breeze. Far away, I could hear a chorus of Pawkeets shrieking, as though accompanying the tune.
Soon, my antennae picked up the distinctive sound of oars splashing against the waves. Even though the war was long over, pirates were my first suspect. Not wanting to be seen, I slid fluidly from the outcrop and hid in the shadow cast by the blazing sun onto the rippling waves.
A rickety rowboat soon bobbed clumsily into view, leaning heavily on one side. I wouldn't have been surprised if it had capsized. I saw two 'pets on board, dressed in rubber galoshes and carrying huge nets over their shoulders. I tensed; fishermen were just as dangerous to the citizens of Maraqua as pirates.
I watched as they hurled one of the nets over the side of the ship. It spread across the water, with knots thick enough to choke a Skeith, and slowly began to sink beneath the surface. Forgetting my pitiful bag of Neopoints on the rock, I dove down as quickly as I could, hoping that I'd at least be able to warn any unsuspecting residents of the impending danger.
Thanking Fyora that I had been blessed with a tail, I made my way to the seabed, which was obscured by a forest of coral and kelp in every colour of the Rainbow Pool. The cries of 'pets and Petpets alike rang out as the lethal grid drifted ever-closer. I watched them scatter, fins flashing in their bid to escape. Now in my element, I was able to see tiny weights attached to the sides of the net, designed to pin any unfortunate victim to the sea floor. Such a cruel device had no place in a peaceful society.
Moments later, a booming thud echoed through the crystalline branches, throwing up a cloud of sand. I knew that the net had landed, but at what cost? Feeling immensely brave, I peered over a nearby sea sponge and saw several other curious pairs of eyes, 'pets who had presumably had the same idea. Nobody moved or spoke, silently staring at where the net had fallen. I heard a small, unmistakeable cry of a creature in distress.
I hesitantly paddled over and saw a small mound trapped beneath the net, still squeaking in fright. I could not tell what it was, the snares having covered its entire body. The poor thing was thrashing about, struggling under the weight of the thick ropes. It would be near impossible for any one of us to lift.
"Anyone got a knife or something?" I called to the onlookers.
A Techo swam toward me hesitantly and passed me a razor sharp shell. It would have to do.
I held the makeshift blade against the knots of rope and began to saw at them, ignoring the cuts the sharp edge made on my hand. The tightly woven strands eventually came apart, widening the gap enough for whatever was trapped to escape.
Oddly, It made no attempt to free itself. I guessed that it was too frightened to move. I carefully reached into the hole and retrieved the warm, trembling shape of a Florta.
Instead of fleeing, the tiny Petpet flopped instantly into my arms, still quivering like a piece of kelp in a current. I looked over its blue body and saw that it was covered in scratches from where it had struggled against the net.
I knew that this Florta was in no fit state to swim, so I held it as tightly as I could without hurting it further and swam as hurried to the centre of town, clutching my tiny charge.
I nudged my front door open with my tail, since both of my hands were occupied, and laid the Florta on the Seaweed Sofa, propping it up on a couple of Aqua Coral Pillows. It nuzzled sleepily into the cushions and I saw tiny bubbles rise from its mouth as it breathed steadily.
I began to play my conch once more, albeit quieter this time. The tune was slow, with low, soothing notes that rose and fell like waves against the shore. The peaceful melody made my eyelids feel heavy, but I fought back the sudden desire to sleep and continued to play. I needed the practice.
There was suddenly a quiet gurgling sound from beside me. I looked over and saw that the Florta was watching me carefully, intent on the shell near my mouth. I had heard that they were very intelligent Petpets who could easily learn tricks. I did not know that they were vocalists as well.
I played another note, and the Florta responded with his own stream of bubbles.
"You like that, little guy?" I gave his head a friendly pat.
He squeaked in excitement and flopped toward me once more.
"You're quite the little flopper, aren't you? Hey, why don't we call you that? Flopsy?"
He responded with the largest stream of bubbles yet, accompanied by a pealing squeak. I reckoned he liked that name.
"Right, then! Shall we practice some more? Perhaps you'll be able to join me on stage one day. Wouldn't that be something?"
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