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Storytelling Competition - (click for the map) | (printer friendly version)

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Week 923
You are on Week 924
Week 925

Every week we will be starting a new Story Telling competition - with great prizes! The current prize is 2000 NP, plus a rare item!!! This is how it works...

We start a story and you have to write the next few paragraphs. We will select the best submissions every day and put it on the site, and then you have to write the next one, all the way until the story finishes. Got it? Well, submit your paragraphs below!

Story Nine Hundred Twenty Four Ends Friday, October 7

A singular yellow leaf spiralled through blustery wind pockets, on a brisk morning in Neopia. The dew drops were still fresh on the grass, and the morning was quiet... except for the heavy jingles of coins in the pockets of the National Neopian Bank Manager.

"HARUMPH!" he sighed, annoyed at the leaf.

He crunched it under his paws, annoyed that anything might distract him from his thoughts.

Being a bank manager was tough work, not that he wasn't paid... VERY well for his work, he'd seen to that. But there were customers to deal with, treasured possessions to store, thieves to keep out, and a seemingly never-ending supply of toasters to send out to keep the customers happy.

The Bank Manager arrived at the National Neopian at 7:01 am NST, a whole minute later than normal. He impatiently opened the doors to start his morning routine, only to realise... the doors were already unlocked!

Author: honorrolle
Date: Sep 26th
...The Bank Manager's brief surprise turned to outrage. "Who DARE disturbs the precious sanctity of my bank before I even arrive!?" he roared before he swung open the large oak doors.

"You're late, Nigel," Mrs. Marta, arms folded, greeted flatly.

Nigel's face promptly fell as he saw the Pink Skeith athwart him -- the regional manager, his direct superior. The Green Skeith bowed apologetically. "I'm very sorry, Mrs. Marta, I got distracted by this stupid falling leaf and--"

"Yes, Nigel," she interrupted, clearly bored of his explanation, "it is autumn." She walked into his office and beckoned for him to follow. "Though I'm not here to castigate you on punctuality, you've been a rather model employee over the past 25 years leading the Neopia Central branch of the Bank -- the largest branch on the planet!" she boasted.

Nigel's eyes briefly lit. Was he... being promoted?

"However, the Board of Directors has voted to take your position in a different direction."

At this, his big office chair spun around to reveal a youthful Ixi in very professional attire. "Hello, Mr. Nigel. I'm Ms. Trudy, your replacement." She stuck out her hoof to shake his paw.

Nigel leapt back and practically gawked.

REPLACEMENT!?

"Oh, don't look so shocked, Ni," Marta commented, trying to be reassuring. "As I mentioned, you've been doing this job for decades. You've put in a lot of good work, and trust me that a nice severance package is waiting. Just, we need someone who is better able to navigate and thrive in today's fast-paced, tech-driven society. Someone not so... 'rigid' in their ways."

"But... but she's just a kid!" The Green Skeith gesticulated at Trudy.

"I may have graduated just last year, but it was top of my class with an Honours Accounting degree from BVU, sir," Trudy started levelly, lowering her hoof in mild disappointment. "And I can assure you that I have my certification in bank management and an additional certificate in computer proficiency."

Nigel harrumphed. He didn't need some computer to tell him how many Neopoints a Neopet had left after a withdrawal -- just pen and paper.

"Come on Nigel, let's go," hissed Marta. Then she turned to the Ixi. "Have a great first day, Trudy!" she said amicably.

"Well... Good luck, kid." Nigel feigned a smile and extended his paw to shake. The Ixi took it and shook firmly.

"Thank you. I have a busy day ahead!" she bubbled. "Have a nice life!"

Nigel grit his teeth as he and Marta exited the office. He always knew he would retire at some point, but to have it forced on him... He felt a familiar rage grow in his big belly, but he took a deep breath and relaxed.

He could retire... Or, he could reinvent himself and really show the corporate world that he was far from irrelevant...

Author: rielcz
Date: Sep 27th
… There was no time to lose.

Sliding a trusty Map of Neopia Central from his shirt pocket, Nigel searched with methodical efficiency for the nearest phone booth. It took him a moment to find one, but when he saw it was just down the street at the Post Office, he breathed a sigh of relief.

I should’ve bought one of those new-fangled “smart phones” years ago, the Skeith reflected with a shake of the head, re-folding his map and tucking it away once more. Maybe he hadn’t kept up with the times as well as he’d thought…

As Nigel gathered the courage to set off into the sunset of his newly-unemployed life, he ventured a final look over his shoulder at the National Neopian. His gaze must’ve fallen out of habit to the window of his old office, because he noticed Trudy standing at the window that used to be his, looking out at the rather nice view of the Food Shop’s mouth-watering exterior.

When the two met eyes, the Ixi shot both arms up at a 45-degree angle and tucked her head in, as if in the middle of a sneeze. A dab, as the kids called it.

Nigel gave a confused cry and stormed off.

***

Some moments later, Nigel was punching in the number of his friend — coincidentally, also named Nigel — muttering the numbers aloud in the hopes he still remembered them. “Come on, come on,” the Skeith urged the phone as it rang, tapping his foot against the ground in earnest haste.

“… Yello?” The stockbroker Chia’s greeting was punctuated by the sound of beeping computers and loud conversation in the background. “I said, yello?”

“Nigel!” Nigel exclaimed. “It’s me, Nigel.”

“Nigel?” Nigel responded. “Aren’t you at work?”

“Well, um…”

“Is someone finally robbing the bank?” Nigel lowered his voice. “I hope you’re safe and all if it is, but I should probably shift around some of my holdings—“

“—Nigel, the bank isn’t getting robbed.” Nigel slapped a hand over his face. “I mean, it is, in a sense of the word—“

The sound of a briefcase dropping disrupted the line. There was a pause, and in the distance, Nigel heard someone yell, “Hey, bud! Yeah, you! Put in a sell order on NATN, stat!” The sound of static buzzing. “Don’t ask me why, just do it!” Eventually, Nigel returned to the call. “Interns, am I right?”

“…right.” Nigel — the green one — dragged a hand down his face. “Look, the only thing getting robbed is me… from my position as Branch Manager. Marta gave me the news this morning.”

Silence overtook the line; Nigel slipped another coin into the phone booth to be sure he hadn’t run out of time. Sure enough, once the money was in, his friend spoke: “Did they give you a nice severance package?”

The first seedlings of regret began to sprout in Nigel’s mind as he told his friend that yes, indeed, he had received a nice severance package. Ugh. Why’d I call this guy again? He supposed he’d wanted to ask the stockbroker for advice on what to do with himself now that his role at the bank had been pulled out from under his feet, but… listening to his Chia friend talk, it occurred to Nigel that perhaps a stockbroker wasn’t the best source for unbiased advice.

But maybe advice wasn’t what Nigel needed — he knew in his heart that he couldn’t, simply couldn’t fade into a peaceful retirement as long as Trudy continued to mock his seniority with her strange, youthful gesticulations. He’d said it before, but now it rung truer than ever to him that he’d need to reinvent himself — prove those who doubted his technical ability wrong — and he’d need to do it fast.

The only thing standing in his way was a lack of money, and if the other Nigel was good at anything, it was convincing large groups of Neopets to throw their money at questionable business ideas.

Giving a sharp cough to clear his throat, the Skeith waited for a break in the conversation before asking his friend: “Nigel, how many Neopoints do you think it would cost to create one of those phone applications everyone uses nowadays…?”

Author: tttxyv
Date: Sep 28th
“Well, you’d have to pay a software developer to help code the application itself and then possibly a graphic designer to make it more aesthetically pleasing…” Nigel the Yellow Chia answered. “Why do you ask?”

“I’ve got some ideas for a banking application and would need some, uh… Financial support,” Nigel the Green Skeith responded, clearing his throat in slight embarrassment.

“You? Nigel the Bank Manager - who still doesn’t own a cellphone and is assumedly on a payphone at this very moment? Creating an application for Neopians to download from the app store?” The stockbroker guffawed obnoxiously, doubling over in laughter. “Oh, that’s rich!” the Chia said, wiping his eyes.

“Ha-ha, very funny. I know I’m behind in the technology department, but you know that I’m an ideas guy! All I need is a programmer and the money to hire him,” the Green Skeith said with conviction.

“Or her,” the Yellow Chia corrected. “There are men and women software developers these days.” The stockbroker Nigel sighed and pinched his brow. “Nigel, see what I’m saying? I just think you might be too behind the times for-“

The Green Skeith slammed another coin into the coin slot to make sure his own interruption was not interrupted. “You and Marta and every higher-up at the National Neopian might think that I’m ‘not with it’ enough or I’m ‘out of touch’, but that doesn’t matter! My drive and knowledge as a banker and an accountant are top of my field. I’m intuitive and, even though I’m a bit rough around the edges and not ‘hip with the lingo’, I still have expertise and passion to give to Neopia’s fiscal goals!” Bank Manager Nigel was vibrating with anger and breathing audibly.

“Okay, okay!” His stockbroker counterpart exclaimed, nearly frightened by the Skeith. “I… I think I know a Neopet who could help you…”

The Green Skeith smiled so widely that at least three of his snaggle tooths caught on his lip. “I knew you would, old friend!”

Author: i_lovee_icecream
Date: Sep 30th
…After a moment of consideration, the stockbroker said, “Alright, so, as far as finances go, I’m your guy. I’ve always been your guy, and I will continue to be your guy for that; us money men have to stick together, right? Now, the tech side of things is a little outside of my wheelhouse, but I’ve certainly invested in quite a few tech products and companies,” Nigel boasted proudly, “and there is definitely one Neopian who is the best of the best when it comes to coding…” Nigel trailed off.

“Well who is it?” The ex-banker insisted.

“The thing is, he might be the best, but he’s not always the easiest person to work with. Actually, you know what, maybe there’s someone else I can recommend; someone a little more agreeable for you to work with on this first venture…Oh! You could always tr—”

“NO! No, no, no.” A passion began to burn in the Skeith's eyes, “I want to be working with the best! This app HAS to be great! It has to work if I am going to get my jo—” Nigel paused for a moment. “It just has to work.”

A mutual silence blanketed the call.

Nigel, the money man, spoke up, “Well, in that case, the kids’ names is Triple A. Aristotle A. Avin-something, I believe. But don’t call him that! Be sure to call him ‘AAA’!”

“Wait, did you say kid?”

“Yes, Kid.” Nigel retorted. “But when I said he’s the best, I meant it. He single handedly brought most of the tech companies I’ve invested in straight to the top. He’s a worth-while investment.”

“Alright, well, if you say so. I am trusting you on this, old friend.” the Skeith said, a gentle smile returning to his face. “Where can I find this Aristotle A. Avi—”

“Triple A, remember. Just call him Triple A.” Nigel scoffed as he inserted another coin into the payphone, not wanting to miss the next bit of integral information. The Chia continued, “Last I heard, he’s living in his parent's basement.” The two chuckled a bit. “But, just like the name, do NOT call it a basement! It’s his ‘secret lab’ or ‘base of operations’ or something. You know what, just let him do most of the talking.”

“So, where exactly is his house?”

“...Nigel, I may know a lot of things, but I’m not a supercomputer…” Nigel trailed off. The faint sound of a conversation between him and some supposed intern could be heard. “Alright Nigel, things are moving fast here, so I’ve got to get going, but I’ve heard Triple A has a sister. She’s somewhat of a self proclaimed ‘games master’, so perhaps you could find her at the local arcade. She might be able to help you find her brother.”

“Thank you so much! You really are the best.” The Skeith’s face was beaming. “Thanks again Nigel.”

“Of course, Nigel.”

“Have a good one, Nigel.” The two continued on jovially.

“You too. Best of luck!” The line clicked and a tone came over the payphone. Nigel pulled out his map and began making his way toward the arcade…

Author: stratus365
Date: Oct 3rd
The arcade wasn’t far away from the payphone Nigel had just used, so he decided to walk there. Although Nigel had never heard about an arcade in Neopia Central before, it wasn’t difficult to tell he was in the right place when he finally saw it: a medium-sized building, with a giant joystick hanging from the neon-painted “arcade” sign.

He entered the arcade and immediately saw a huge variety of gaming items, from little plastic plushies to digital 3D simulators. Nigel thought the place was a little too colourful and visually polluted for his taste. There were Neopets all over the place, most of them very young. Nigel even saw an Acara that looked the same age as Trudy, the new bank manager.

How could Nigel find AAA’s sister? After all, he forgot to ask Nigel, The Yellow Chia, what she was like. There was one only solution.

“Hi, would you know AAA’s sister?” Nigel asked a passing Uni.

“Who’s AAA?” The Uni replied sceptically.

“Forget it, kiddo.”

After a few moments, Nigel remembered his friend mentioning on the phone that AAA’S sister was a “self-proclaimed games master” (whatever that meant), so maybe that piece of information could help narrow down his quest.

Nigel walked around for a while, searching for clues. He almost stumbled on some hasty players, when he found an arcade employee.

“Hello! Do you happen to know who’s the best player in this arcade?” He asserted.

“Well... We have a lot of good players in here, sir, but I guess our current games master is... Hold on a second, let me check on the system,” the employee took out his phone and typed in for a few moments, “Just like I imagined. It’s her. Abigail!”

“Do you know where I can find her?” Nigel questioned.

“She would be on the Meerca Chase machine, of course,” the employee giggled, “The machine is placed in the second corridor to your left.”

“Thank you very much!” Nigel said.

Nigel went straight to the Meerca Chase machine, and there she was. Abigail. He didn’t think it was wise to interrupt her in the middle of the gaming session, so he waited until any signs of availability were shown. After several minutes (which felt like an eternity to Nigel), Abigail finally hit on a Red Negg.

“Nooooooo! I was so close to beating my previous score!” She muttered.

“Hey, hey,” Nigel waved.

“Hey?” Abigail seemed uninterested, “Do I know you?”

“Actually, we haven’t met yet,” he smiled, “I’m Nigel, by the way.”

“What do you want?”

“Well, I really need to talk to your brother. Where can I find AAA?”

“Hmmmmm... I see,” Abigail paused for a few seconds, “Why would I reveal my brother’s location to a complete stranger?”

“It’s a very valid concern, ma’am. However, I only need to discuss business with AAA,” Nigel replied.

“Well, I think I can give you the information you need. There’s one condition, though.”

“What is it?” Nigel nervously answered.

Author: weakestlink33
Date: Oct 5th
..."Well that's obvious," Abigail said with a grin. "You have to challenge me to a video game!"

Nigel groaned inwardly. This was the first time he'd ever set foot in an arcade... in at least about 40 years. He vaguely recalled trying to hit a ball with a paddle and blowing up asteroids when he was much younger and less disciplined, but those were nothing compared to these newfangled games with their fancy graphics.

He looked at the Aisha, who couldn't have been much older than Trudy... At least this "Games Master" wasn't in the position of taking his job. "Alright, you've got a deal." He shook her paw. "But I get to choose the game."

Abigail smiled sweetly. "I wouldn't have it any other way."

Nigel roamed the rows upon rows of terminals with screens and buttons... crazy machines that Nigel couldn't have imagined in his wildest dreams. All but 14 had been turned off or else required some sort of legacy band-aid fix to run. But that didn't seem like his problem.

And then he saw it.

Trouble at the National Neopian.

A fast grin spread across his face. "This one!"

***

"Hey there bank fam," Trudy started to the National Neopian's Neopian Central Branch's five employees. They were a little more... "mature" than she was, but she knew she could win them over. "I've called this weekly meeting to, first things first, introduce myself. I'm Ms. Trudy, your new manager." She shook their hands. "But to me that title just feels formal and stuffy, so you can just call me Trudy. Or maybe, 'Funager'. Or 'Bank Slayer'?"

She grinned and flossed. Her actions were met with silence. Her grin fell and she slowly stopped vibing.

"Wait," started one of the tellers, "Did you say this was weekly? I don't think I want to meet every week."

"That's not very Neocash-money of you, Maurice. A weekly sync like we're having now will help get our energies aligned, you feel me? And these meetings won't last long."

There were some grumbles. Afraid of losing her crowd already, she brought up some of the new benefits she devised. "Y'all've heard about Taco Tuesdays, right? Well..." She spread her arms with feigned confidence. "I bet you haven't heard of Taco Wednesdays! It's gonna be the best new holiday. A great mid-week pick-me-up!" She pulled at her collar. "Non-GMO with gluten-free shells and vegan options, of course."

Mrs. Mary, the chief loan/mortgage specialist, raised a hand. "Yes?!" Trudy exclaimed. Had her efforts at being dietarily-inclusive pierced the cold hearts of the National Neopian's Neopian Central Branch's financial incumbents?

"...This doesn't sound like a real holiday to me?" the Skeith asked, unconvinced. "Because if it is, I'd just prefer time and a half to tacos." She looked pensive a moment, then added, "Besides, I'm on a non-carb diet, so I'm not sure about that food aspect..."

"Well, how about Casual Fridays?" Trudy tried, struggling not to pull her fur in exasperation. "I bet you're looking forward to shedding those Mynci suits, am I right?" She gently nudged Maurice's ribs.

Now the security guard raised a concern. "If we're dressed like regular customers, how will anyone know who to get money from... or, in my case, who to fear?" They shook their head. "It's just unfathomable. Dare I say... unprofessional."

Trudy frowned and realised that attempting to liven the work environment might be harder than she anticipated. "Well, don't worry about those for now, fam, we'll smooth out the choppy waves as we surf over them!" There was no response from her "fam". "Er, let's just adjourn the weekly sync for... this week." She grinned anxiously and prepared to fist-bump the Neopet who did janitorial and maintenance duties.

The Shoyru scoffed and flew a step back. "Are you trying to punch me?"

Trudy gaped and flung her hooves into the air apologetically. "Oh no no! I would never hit you, that's harassment!"

The other teller snickered. "In my day, that was just called 'workplace discipline'."

The Ixi frowned with greater resolve. "OK fam, meeting actually adjourned." She turned on the heels of her ankle-high boots and strode back to her office, trying not to let any sense of dejection show.

***

Nigel thought his 2 bars of gold in the game were a real feat... but then he saw what Abigail could do.

"I wiiiiin!" Abigail drawled, a wide grin on her face.

"You... got like 4.2 times my score," the Skeith wailed, dejected.

"Actually..." his opponent took out a small calculator. "I got 5.5 times your score."

His math skills usually weren't that bad. It must have been his emotions. Or was it? He frowned and redid his mental math... Huh, she was right. He scrutinized the tiny handheld device. Could calculations really come as fast and easy as punching a few buttons?

"But it doesn't matter," the Aisha continued. "I'll still tell you where AAA is."

The Skeith's ears perked. "Wait, you will?"

"Yeah, you dummy," she continued. "I just said you had to CHALLENGE me to a game. I didn't say you had to win it!" She started laughing uncontrollably. "Besides, I'm the game master, and you're a boomer, you're not going to beat me."

Nigel frowned... but then he laughed, suddenly in higher spirits. "So what benefits do you get as a Games Master, anyway?"

"Oh, you know," Abigail started with wicked grin, "free popcorn and liquorice from the concession stand. Oh, and various licensing and sponsorship deals -- you know, slapping my brand on gamer clothes, chairs, the like. And if I win a pro-gamer competitive tournament, we're looking at at least a few hundred thousand Neopoints."

The Skeith just glared at her. This really was some brave new world.

"Oh, and don't forget your Neopoints," the Aisha continued as she took a fistful from the slot in the machine.

Neopoints?

"You get some for playing based on your score. I feel sorry for you, so you can have mine too." She again smiled sweetly and handed him the coins. "Lots of Neopoints enter the economy through playing games, you know. I mean, you must know, look like some sort of moneybags, or else a Gentlesticker, what with that suit."

The bank manager gingerly accepted the coins, then sniffed the air... he certainly could smell the money in it. He was greatly intrigued.

"Anyway, AAA's office is in the basement of the arcade," Abigail finished.

"I thought AAA lived and worked in your parent's baseme-- er, 'base of operations'?" Nigel inquired quizzically.

"Pfft. Yeah, he's a Millennial, and he and I both have student debt, we both live at home, and in this economy, we probably won't move out and pay our loans for years." Abigail shrugged resentfully. "But between work from home and the Games Room being less popular than it once was, he just leased the basement of this place as a corporate HQ -- for a steal. AAA thought the investment was worthwhile to grow the business, now that he's done University."

The Skeith nodded approvingly and unremorsefully. "When can I meet him?"

The Aisha checked her smartphone and tapped it several times. A few seconds later, she replied, "He says he's ready to see you now." She grinned.

Abigail led Nigel downstairs.

***

"So Ari-- er, AAA... tell me what it is you do here at AAA Game Studioz," Nigel, the bank manager, inquired to the Blumaroo opposite him. The atmosphere reeked somewhere between man cave and technological bomb bunker (after the bomb went off), which generally displeased the Skeith -- this was the complete opposite of his tidy bank branch. No... Trudy's tidy bank branch. He grimaced.

He was trying to keep an open mind, and knew he had to have an "app" before he could continue his entrepreneurial journey and grow his company... but hiring a Millennial seemed almost worse than just working for a Gen Z'er.

"I specialize in overseeing the design, publishing, and streaming of video games," replied AAA. "But I also lead a bustling app dev group that focuses, of course, on retention and community growth via gamification."

Games. Nigel thought back to the Neopoints from earlier.

"So you'd be designing some sort of game application for me?" the Skeith inquired sceptically, but with growing curiosity.

"If that's what you like, as I said, we do more than just have games." AAA smiled. "It'll be designed by both me and my cousin, Lulu. She's the front-end girl." The Blumaroo grinned and shook his head bemusedly. "Ah, Lulu... Who would've thought that raging ADHD makes a great UX designer?"

Nigel, ignorant of the terminology but nevertheless believing this to be some sort of joke, forced a slight chuckle.

AAA sent for Lulu to come into the room, and salutations were exchanged.

"Anyway, what sort of application did you want to build?" AAA asked as he sat back in his oversized, overtly-angled chair.

"Something to save and make Neopets money," he started with the raw passion of an entrepreneur.

Lulu grinned cutely. "Ah, fintech, nice!"

Fintech? Nigel blinked. "I just want to grow a company that can save people money through some digital means," he said genuinely.

The Cybunny giggled madly and clapped her paws together. "Oh, this guy is too much!" She took a seat on a swivel stool beside her cousin. "So, what do you want your app to be? To do?"

"I... want it to be a game," the banker said with growing confidence. "Like the games upstairs. Just, easier to play and with a potentially bigger reward." He then went into some economic theories and discussed how he was sure many Neopian shops would back such an endeavour... As it would either help stimulate the Neopian economy or Neopets would just throw it in their bank accounts, making the bank more profitable in the long run.

The cousins sat back and stared at Nigel. This was obviously above their level of comprehension.

The Skeith felt some reluctance to his idea. "Between my own money and an investor," he assured almost pleadingly, "I have the Neopoints to pay for the development and buy out the IP. Don't worry about a thing."

AAA chuckled. "Very good. I like a Neopet who knows what they want -- and have the funds to do it." He paused and smiled slowly. "Speaking of which... let's hash that out, shall we?"

***

By the end of the day, with Nigel's help, Lulu had wire-framed a slot machine-like app.

By the end of the week, AAA had finished the coding, and Lulu the front-end.

Nigel (and his biggest investor, Nigel) had been part of the development at every step. Though the bank manager couldn't say he had a certificate in computing proficiency, he no longer feared technological change and now saw its benefits and potential. He was proud that he was now technologically literate.

Another couple weeks flew by quickly. Heuristic evaluation. Iteration. Market testing. Completion.

Nigel knew just what to name his final product... so to entice Trudy to leave her post. Trudy, whom he'd heard was not, in fact, fitting well into the culture of the Neopian Central Branch. (To everyone's surprise but his, it seemed.)

Surprise.

"I'm calling it... Trudy's Surprise," he told Lulu, who promptly got the graphics designer on it.

The app was finished. And it was time for him to get his job back...

How will this story end?

Author: rielcz
Date: Oct 6th
***

Nigel was back at the Neopian Central Branch the next Friday. As he opened the doors to the bank, he heard the sound of other Neopians arguing.

(She isn't doing her job right.) Nigel thought as he followed the sounds of shouting down the halls of the National Neopian Bank. Once he reached the end of the hall and opened the doors to the meeting office, he saw the same Shoyru shouting about what they should wear.

"Well, if we wore business attire, it would not be comfortable for hours." Trudy tried to reason with the Shoyru who felt very angry at her decision.

"We need a great reason to why we should even wear normal clothing outside of business attire!" Mrs. Mary spoke up from the crowd. She was not going to give up the argument with the new employee.

"This isn't very professional Mrs. Trudy!" Maurice finally added. As a bank teller, he loved wearing his fancy black professional suit. He wouldn't stand for her actions much longer.

(This has to end right now...) Nigel finally faced Trudy and interrupted the meeting.

"Trudy, I think it's time you let a professional banker lead the meetings." Nigel's voice could be heard as the arguing stopped. Trudy faced the old banker with a snarl on her face.

"What do you think you're doing here?" Trudy pointed at him.

"It's not nice to point. But, what you are doing to this branch is not helping it any further. I think it's time that you come with me, I can get you a better job, something that you'd enjoy better and can fit into just great." Nigel explained to the Ixi. Trudy huffed, not wanting to leave the office.

"Listen, if you don't like this job, I can bring you back here." Nigel reached out his hand to the angry Ixi.

"Fine. I will come with you. I will be back." Trudy looked at all the bank tellers and the Shoryu janitor, who was relieved when she left the office.

***

Once both Neopets reached the arcade, they were greeted with the sounds of Neopets playing games. A few Neopets were running to get to the next arcade machine. Trudy suddenly felt like a younger kid when she saw her favourite games.

"Is there something you like about this place?" Nigel looked down at the young Ixi.

"Well, I used to play Ugga Drop a lot, and I also played Meerca Chase back when I was a small Ixi!" Trudy looked up at the Skeith, her eyes beaming.

"Well, I am sure that you are going to like the new game that just came out. It was made just for you, and the best part is, you get to make lots of Neopoints from it!" Nigel grinned at the Ixi.

"Really!?" Trudy gave an excited squeal as she ran down the halls of the arcade, she finally reached a machine called: Trudy's Surprise.

"It seems like you found the machine that was made for your clients." Nigel laughed.

"So, this is my machine? One that can help me pay for my bills and everything?" Trudy looked at the machine up and down.

"Yes. Your manager AAA was willing to put this all together along with Lulu. If you ask him, he'll be happy to allow you to own the IP as well as the machine itself, do you have enough Neopoints to invest in such a product?" Nigel asked her. Trudy took out five bags of Neopoints.

"Yes! This is enough for it, I'm sure!" Trudy giggled.

"Great. Why don't you meet AAA in his office in the basement? I'm sure you two can work things out." Nigel grinned. The Ixi squealed again and ran in the direction that Nigel pointed out.

***

Back at the Nation Neopian, Nigel opened the doors to find that his spot had been cleared of Trudy's things. The bank tellers had moved everything she decorated that made the bank look very unprofessional. All of the trophies and awards were placed back on the shelves near the huge safe.

A familiar face greeted him with confusion.

"Nigel, what brings you back here?" Mrs. Marta folded her arms in the same fashion as when she was replacing him.

"Well, now... Trudy didn't want this job anymore. She's working in a better environment now. She's quit her position here." Nigel explained to the Pink Skeith.

"So you're back to claim your job. It's not like we have anyone else at the moment. I might have to retrain you on this because-" Nigel cut off Mrs. Marta before she could finish her sentence.

"I know my technology now. This task isn't as hard as I thought it would be. I was just so used to using paper and never got into the new steps of business." Nigel proudly bowed down in front of Mrs. Marta.

"So you do know? Good. You may now get back to work. Meetings are held monthly, and I'm sure you'll have an idea of what we should do by then." Mrs. Marta turned and left Nigel's sight.

Nigel sat down on his big office chair once again and waited for customers to come in and hand him their Neopoints for safekeeping under their accounts. As he looked at the computer screen for the first time, he was able to navigate everything and learned how to deposit Neopoints into every customer's account.

As for Trudy, her ways of doing business rose. She made a deal with AAA and invested a bunch of Neopoints into buying out the Trudy's Surprise machine. A bunch of Neopets were playing her new game. She was hearing some argue over the machine while others waited in line.

"I guess being a banker isn't easy. But this is something I like better!" Trudy sat in an office chair with AAA in the basement.

"Yes, you do fit better in here than Nigel." AAA chuckled.

Both ends were finally at peace and were happy working for their current lines of business.

The End.

Author: demonlouie
Date: Oct 7th



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