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

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Week 944
You are on Week 945
Week 946

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 Forty Five Ends Friday, August 4

If sound could travel through the vacuum of space, then Eris would be getting a write-up from her supervisor right now; but it doesn't, and so the latest album from Chomby and the Fungus Balls continued to rattle around her helmet. Music was the only thing that truly allowed her to focus, ever since she was just a little Blumaroo, and this particular job was fairly monotonous.

Every day she suited up to spend several long hours mining Fyorite from the asteroids that made up the Nedler Belt, and every night she thought of all the different places in Neopia where the ore would end up. They make space out to be some exhilarating new frontier, but as far as Eris was concerned, it was just a whole lot of rocks with a whole lot of nothing in between. Mining Fyorite paid well, though, and so here she was, day after day, album after album, and asteroid after asteroid.

*knock* *knock*

Eris furrowed her eyebrows. She had listened to this song plenty of times before, at least a hundred just this month, but she had never heard this particular instrumental.

*knock* *knock* *knock* *knock*

Realizing that the incessant rapping wasn't part of the tune, Eris quickly turned to find her shift partner, a lanky Robot Lenny, tapping on her helmet. He wasn't usually one for conversation, which was a trait that Eris greatly appreciated, and also the reason she took as many shifts with him as she could. Today, however, he was frantically motioning for her to open her comms channel.

Obliging him, she tapped a button on her wrist to open the channel. "What is it Makemake_136472?"

"My apologies for the interruption, Employee #131699," he answered, the words ringing crisply through her helmet in his usual formal tone.

"You can just call me Eris," she replied, pushing off the asteroid to face him.

"Of course. My apologies for the interruption, Eris," he corrected himself with as sincere a tone as his voice processor allowed.

"It's fine," Eris said, shrugging it off. "Now, what was it that you wanted?"

"Right. Eris, I was just wondering if you may have noticed the object that is currently hurdling toward us at extreme speed?" he asked flatly.

Eris grasped at the asteroid again to twist herself around. Off in the distance, amongst all the rocks and nothingness in between them, was something. A big, blue flare of something. A big, blue flare of something that was quickly growing larger as it got closer...

Author: rawbeee
Date: Jul 24th
It was a spaceship.

For a brief moment, Eris thought it was going to crash into the asteroid; and that the last thing she heard would be the melodious tones of the Fungus Balls on her least favourite song off the album.

But the blue flares sputtered out as the spaceship grew closer and it gradually drifted to a stop, just a few metres away from Eris and Makemake.

“Should we… go up to it?” she asked, perplexed. The ore pickup wasn’t due for hours yet.

Makemake made a buzzing sound as he processed it. “There is only a 4.658% chance of the ship being hostile,” he said after a few seconds, in his impartial tone. “This can potentially be reduced to 1.467% if we open a communication channel to further assess the situation.”

Eris nodded and fiddled with the controls on her wrist to send a comms request to the spaceship. There was a beep as the request was accepted, and a brief blast of static before a voice exploded onto the airwaves.

“HELLO?! HELLO! CAN YOU HEAR ME?”

Eris winced and turned the volume down. “Hello, this is Eris. Please identify yourself. You’re in a restricted commercial space.”

“I’m Professor Landelbrot aboard The Coincidence! I really need your help!”

The Professor sounded nice enough. Eris glanced at Makemake who nodded. That probably meant he wasn't a threat. They activated their built-in jetpacks and made the short hop over to the spaceship's closest porthole.

Eris peered inside as Makemake tapped on the window. It looked like a laboratory; an incredibly futuristic one, that was all steel and glowing blue power lines- a far cry from the ships that shuttled Eris between the base stations and the Nedler Belt.

Suddenly, a fuzzy white puff of hair filled the porthole, followed by the face of a bespectacled Green Lutari. He waved excitedly at them.

"You're really not supposed to be here, Professor. If you're lost, I can direct you-"

The Lutari's face fell. "No! That's what I'm supposed to do! I can't do that!" he exclaimed loudly.

Eris felt a headache coming on. "What?"

Makemake unmuted himself. "Professor, you will need to elaborate."

Eris almost didn't catch Landelbrot's reply. He now seemed to be muttering to himself.

"Explaining is inherently going to create Order… Ah! But this is probably the most exciting thing that has ever happened to these two! Chaos!" He clapped his hands together in glee. "You two! What do you know… about randomness?"

Eris traded a glance with Makemake. "It's… random?"

"It is the balance of chaos and order," Makemake offered, "if I were to use your words, Professor."

"Precisely! Every event contributes to the balance of order and chaos in the Universe. Too much of either is bad! Bad!" he repeated, just in case they didn't realise it was in fact, bad. "My Confusionator helps maintain that balance via random events."

"Do you need help restoring order or something then?" Eris asked, starting to get excited. Finally, a break from the monotony. "Like a superhero comic!"

Landelbrot however, shook his head. "I am ashamed to say, my Confusionator, is now malfunctioning and introducing far too MUCH order."

"Too much… order?"

"I've been doing as many things wrong as I can to buy myself enough time to fix it." Landelbrot sighed. His breath came through as crackling static over the comms. "But there's only so much breakfast for dinner that one can do. I needed something drastic, which is why I disrupted the lives of you two - two perfectly normal Neopians on a perfectly normal working day! Chaos!" He laughed heartily at his own genius.

Makemake was as calm as ever. "How can we help, Professor?"

"Come aboard and bring your mining equipment! I need some special ore."

"Special ore?" Eris echoed.

Landelbrot motioned in the direction of the airlock while nodding excitedly. "Yes, it's…"

Author: stella_123_5
Date: Jul 25th
"It's called Transmogrification Ore!" Professor Landelbrot's voice crackled through the comms with almost giddy excitement that made Eris shift uncomfortably. She'd never heard of such a substance.

"Trans-what-now?" she blurted out, cocking her head to one side.

"Transmogrification Ore. Very rare. Extremely unstable. But essential for my Confusionator," the Professor clarified. His eyes, twinkling behind his spectacles, were almost manic. He reached out and started gesturing at the glowing power lines. "See, these all run on the energy of Transmogrification Ore. It's the only thing chaotic enough to sustain the system."

Eris shot a glance at Makemake. He was in standby mode, as usual, the cold light of his optical sensors scanning the professor's ship and its blue power lines. She could almost hear his processors whirring as he tried to compute the new information.

"Alright, Professor," Eris finally said, scepticism creeping into her voice. "Let's say we want to help you. Where do we find this... Transmogrification Ore?"

The Lutari gave an unsettling giggle before replying, "A small asteroid about a lightyear away. I tracked it using my instruments. I tried to extract it myself, but I'm more of a lab person. Not good with, you know, manual labour."

"Is this legal?" Eris asked, raising an eyebrow.

"It's...well, let's say it's ethically ambiguous," Landelbrot responded, the corners of his mouth twisting into a vague smile.

"Ermmm..," Eris sighed, no one noticed the faint tinge of excitement in her breath. "Walk me through this one more time..."

The journey to the asteroid was eerie. The unusual calmness of space felt even more pronounced after the Professor's manic energy. The asteroid in question was indistinguishable from the countless others that populated the Nedler Belt, save for the strange, pulsating glow it gave off. The Transmogrification Ore, Eris figured...

Author: _itsaj
Date: Jul 26th
Landelbrot brought the ship to a halt much farther away than Eris was used to.

“Why aren’t we going any closer?” Eris asked. “We’ll use up half our jetpack batteries like this.”

Landelbrot pointed at the porthole behind Eris. An amulet floated past.

“Uhm, was that cursed or something?”

The Professor merely laughed. “No, it was just random! Any closer and who knows what will happen to this ship!”

Makemake made a small beep. “The Professor is correct. My sensors also indicate the temperature on board The Coincidence is fluctuating within a one-degree range. Going closer is not feasible. It may cause random events… incompatible with life.”

The three of them turned to look at the gently floating asteroid. The faint, pulsating glow looked vaguely sinister now.

“How are we supposed to mine this Transmogrification Ore if we can’t get close to it?” Eris cried. “I don’t want to be turned into a Fungus Ball!”

“Fungus Balls are actually very-” Landelbrot stopped himself. “I digress. The answer, my friends, lies in your Fyorite. It is, in many respects, the opposite of the Transmogrification Ore. Why do you think your jobs are so boring? No offence.”

“None taken.” Eris and Makemake responded together.

“It exists exactly as it’s supposed to, and even the Transmogrification Ore has trouble making it behave differently. And as luck would have it, your suits and your equipment are covered with just enough of it to give you the time to get what you need. I think one sack will do.”

Makemake stepped forward. “As an inorganic life form, my structure is far less susceptible to randomness. Allow me to go.”

Eris frantically shook her head. “Makemake, no! I can’t let you do that! It’ll go faster if I’m with you, and we’ll both be exposed to it less.”

“I am inclined to agree with Eris,” Landelbrot said, nodding gravely. “Truth be told, Makemake, my scanners say you are covered with less Fyorite dust than Eris. That does prove you’re a more efficient worker, but I still recommend you go together.”

Makemake’s eyes flashed between red and yellow as he processed this. “The probabilities line up. As you say, Professor.”

Eris sighed in relief. Makemake might not have been the best conversation partner, but she would still hate for something to happen to him. He was by far her favourite shift partner.

They put on their helmets and made their way to the airlock. Landelbrot waved encouragingly at them through the gap as the secondary doors closed. The computer started its 10-second countdown. Eris grabbed Makemake’s suited wing- it would save fuel if only one of them engaged their jetpacks and the other hung on for the ride.

Soon, they found themselves flushed into space. This moment always had Eris breathless. Untethered, completely at the mercy of forces beyond her control, with endless blackness in every direction. Then, Makemake’s jetpack flared to life, and they were propelled to the asteroid.

The amulet from before (or maybe another one just like it) floated past again. Eris stopped herself from grabbing it.

They landed gently on the asteroid. Eris gasped in awe. Up close, the Transmogrification Ore looked beautiful. It glowed the same blue as the power lines, tightly dotted along the surface of the asteroid in chunks the size of large pebbles; like a field of flowers.

Makemake nudged Eris. “There is no time to admire the view. Let us hurry.”

Eris snapped out of it, and they got to work. With the two of them working together, the sack filled quickly. Eris deftly knotted the top and offered her long Blumaroo tail to Makemake for the return trip.

Back aboard The Coincidence, they were met by an anxious Landelbrot. “Are you still in possession of the correct number of limbs?”

Eris laughed and wiggled her arms and legs. “All accounted for! Here’s your ore, Professor.”

Landelbrot grinned wildly as he accepted the sack; and took off to his Confusionator. Eris watched him go, still smiling.

“That was fun, wasn’t it? We’ll probably need to work overtime to finish our Fyorite quota now, but it was worth it.”

“Ugh. Overtime.” Makemake grumbled.

Eris immediately knew something was wrong. Makemake never grumbled. When she sharply turned to ask him what was wrong, she gasped.

On top of his head, in place of his usual steel plates, was a brilliant plume of red feathers.

“Makemake!” she exclaimed, “You’re… organic!”

As if to illustrate her point, the entire spaceship was suddenly bathed in bright light. Eris gasped again. She knew what this was.

They heard Landelbrot groan. “Oh… this is a problem.”

Just outside The Coincidence, bathing it in a bright searchlight, was one of the Kreludan Mining Corp’s massive enforcement ships. The Professor’s smaller vessel shook as it shot out a communication wire to force itself into the audio system.

“Unknown private space vessel," a cool female voice said, "You have 10 seconds to identify yourself and your reasons for accessing Kreludan Mining Corp Property without authorization. Failure to comply will be punished. Ten. Nine. Eight…”

Author: stella_123_5
Date: Jul 27th
“What do we do?!” Eris cried.

“Well, we have two options,” Professor Landelbrot pondered aloud. “We can explain ourselves, or we can flee.”

“Let’s see. The probability of fleeing is… is…” Makemake exclaimed. “I can’t get the calculations right!” More feathers began to bloom from his cheeks as he tried and failed to compute in his head.

“Seven. Six…”

“We don’t have much time!” Eris shouted. “Right now, we need to come up with an explanation that doesn’t get us into any legal trouble!”

“Five. Four…”

Eris couldn’t afford to lose her job. But worse than that, she couldn’t stand the thought of getting her favourite shift partner fired. If it was between the two of them, she would gladly take the blame.

“Three. Two. One…”

Without thinking, Eris grabbed the communication wire.

“Kreludan Mining Corp. Vessel, this is Employee #131699 aboard The Coincidence. I’m here with Employee #136472. Do you copy?”

“We copy,” the cool voice repeated. “I will ask you one more time. What are your reasons for accessing Kreludan Mining Corp. Property without authorization?”

“We experienced an emergency during our mission and deemed it necessary to request a retroactive authorization. We were just about to submit the necessary paperwork when your ship arrived.”

Oh no! Retroactive authorization? What was she talking about? Lies were coming out of her mouth faster than she knew what she was saying.

The other ship was silent. Eris was sweating profusely as her heart pounded in her chest. Makemake looked nervous (emotion usually doesn't compute for Robots...), and Professor Landelbrot was not helping. If anything, he looked almost gleeful at the sudden turn of events.

“Who is the non-employee aboard your vessel?”

“Professor Landelbrot, Ma’am.”

More silence. Eris felt as though she was going to explode. Finally, the voice from the other ship spoke again, but the words filled her with dread.

“All three of you, please step out of the vessel,” the voice commanded…

Author: truebrony
Date: Jul 28th
The Kreludan Enforcement Vessel had extended a transportation bridge, linking the two ships. However, it was far from being a bridge of friendship, and it filled Eris with dread as she began to cross through with Makemake and Professor Landelbrot following close behind, her feet heavy but still moving as if by some dreadful magnetism. The fact that Makemake was getting more and more unsettled by his own newfound emotions with each passing second, his nervous muttering like a constant hum in her ear, did not help matters.

The Professor was uncharacteristically quiet as they stepped onto the enforcement vessel, where they were greeted by two surly-looking robot guards. One stood in front of them and one followed behind as if to block their escape, and they wordlessly guided them through the narrow winding hallways, the clanking of their footsteps reverberating off the walls. It was like a maze to Eris, who never usually stepped foot onto this kind of sprawling vessel - forget escape, she would probably end up stuck in these halls for all eternity if she tried turning back now!

After what felt like ages - even Makemake’s nervous chattering had long since faded into silence - the guards led to them what appeared to be the control room, where the door slammed behind them. A large circular control panel took up the middle of the room, with some kind of intricate hologram map lit up above it.

Eris, who had expected something decidedly more prison-esque, struggled to hide her surprise. As they stepped forward into the room, Eris then noticed an imposing chair looming on the other side of it - the likes of which even she could tell could only belong to a Captain.

Mild relief turned to cold dread once again. Had they made such a blunder that now the Captain was going to deal with them personally?! Eris wasn’t used to this kind of special treatment, and now she was receiving it for all the wrong reasons. She had been a model worker for years and years, without a spot on her record! Why had it come to this?

Makemake shuffled beside her - Eris wasn’t sure if it was nervousness or him becoming conscious of his increasingly-organic limbs - perhaps a bit of both.

“Leave them,” said a cool, female voice, and Eris realised this was the same person who had spoken to them over the intercom. Makemake gulped with his newly-formed throat. Wordlessly, the robot guards left their side, standing by the now firmly-locked door, adding yet another layer of impossibility to their already non-existent escape plan.

The imposing chair swivelled around, revealing a diminutive Grundo with an unimpressed expression. Eris blinked a few times.

“Professor Landelbrot,” said the Grundo Captain flatly, “Not only are you a pain in the neck as usual, but now you’re involving unrelated employees. What do you have to say for yourself this time?”

Eris now realised that that cold voice was also heavily tinged with exasperation. Eris and Makemake both glanced at Professor Landelbrot, who grinned sheepishly.

Somehow, this was not what Eris had expected...

Author: when_robots_attack
Date: Jul 31st
"Glinda, how nice to see you again." Professor Landelbrot replied. "We keep running into each other, don't we?" The Professor chuckled and shuffled his feet from side to side. Eris noticed that he had his right hand in his pocket.

"We keep running into each other because you refuse to stick to the terms of our agreement." She sighed and stood, her military boots hitting the ground with a loud thud. Then, with swift and decisive steps, the Grundo stationed herself in front of Eris.

"How much has he," her head nodded towards the Professor, "told you about his 'so-called' research?"

"Not much, Ma'am-"

"Call me Captain."

Eris stuttered, "Excuse me, Captain. Uh, Professor Landelbrot has not told me nor my companion very much about his research. We were simply trying to help a Neopian in need." Eris's tail was shaking at her lie.

"Noble of you ... what was your name again?"

"Eris, Captain. Employee #136472." Eris couldn't believe she was addressing a Captain, let alone anyone other than Makemake right now. How was she this far away from the Nedler Belt, from her headphones, and from Chomby and the Fungus Balls?...

"Eris, strong name." Glinda nodded and turned to face the vessel's command centre, and then towards Professor Landelbrot again, but she remained in front of Eris. "Well, Eris, if Professor Landelbrot hasn't told you much then I'm under obligation to-"

Suddenly, Professor Landelbrot pushed past Makemake and in between Eris and the Captain. He pulled his gloved, right hand out of his pocket to reveal a small sample of Transmogrification Ore. He released the tiny, shiny object into the room and it flew through the air, spinning as it went, towards Captain Glinda. The Ore hit her official Kreludan Enforcement badge pinned to her chest pocket with a *clink*, and as if it had never been there, a fungus ball appeared in its place. The Ore clattered to the ground, and Eris locked eyes with the Professor. The metallic floor began to bubble and melt just like lava from the Mystery Island Volcano.

"RUN!" Makemake screamed or rather, screeched, his feathers pluming wildly at this point. The Lenny was clearly still adjusting to his new range of vocal chords.

The discordant group of three took off as fast as they could back down the twisting corridors. They could hear yells and exclamations as the Transmogrification Ore clinked and fumbled its way through the ship. At one point, Eris thought she heard the Captain shout, "Get THEM!" But she wasn't certain...

"Follow me! I know the way to the hangar!" Professor Landelbrot shouted.

Eris pushed on, trying her best to keep up with her group. "And what on Neopia will we do when we get there?..."

Author: baytotheay
Date: Aug 1st
"She's right, actually," the Professor puffed as they slowed down once they were sure they had lost the guards. In the distance, they heard the bubbling and creaking of the spaceship floor as it succumbed to pure Chaos.

Eris tried not to think about what happened to the guards.

"What do you mean, she's right?" Eris demanded.

"I think," said Makemake between gasps of breath, glancing at a stray feather that had fluttered away in their wake, "he means Captain Glinda is right about Professor Landelbrot not telling us everything."

"Correct! A gold star for you, lad!" the Professor exclaimed.

"This is no time to be giving out gold stars!" said Eris through gritted teeth. She would have yelled, but she did not want to find out if any guards survived Profesor Landelbrot's demonstration of the Transmogrification Ore's capabilities.

Suddenly, she could hear the Captain approaching, and the three of them veered off course toward a wider hallway that ended in enormous steel double doors. Next to the doors was a small keypad. Professor Landelbrot instinctively pressed a sequence of numbers, and the doors opened before them.

Eris and Makemake had to take a moment to take in what was in the hangar.

The ceiling seemed to stretch upward for yards, with a number of bridges and rails winding their way across the walls from the floor and leading to the top. Several smaller vessels were parked in their places - vessels Eris recognized as those that took her and Makemake to their asteroid each day to mine Fyorite, and back again.

Eris watched as Professor Landelbrot waddled over to a large machine next to the vessels. It had a control panel with several wires just like the Confusinator...and a number of glass spheres containing various amounts of Fyorite. She had no idea what the different blinking lights and buttons next to each sphere of Fyorite meant.

"Glinda and I used to work together to build the ultimate machine that could control both Order and Chaos," said Professor Landelbrot, tilting his head toward the doors they had entered through. "I hatched the idea of using Transmogrification Ore to balance out the Fyorite, but she didn't want to use the Ore. It was too dangerous at that point, and she said she wanted to refine it further..."

"Eventually, we...agreed to disagree. We parted ways, each with our own plans for what the Confusinator was supposed to be. I learned later on that she had taken control of the Kreludan Mining Corp. to ensure that only they had access to Transmogrification Ore."

"Because," said Makemake slowly, "she thought it was for everyone's own good?"

"I daresay, I think you still have a little of that logical robot in you," the Lutari remarked. "She told me she was working on ways to use Transmogrification Ore without too many side effects, but...but..." He squinted at the machine.

The lights always blinked the same number of times.

The buttons went through the same pattern of colors.

And each slab of Fyorite in its container remained the same. Never growing or shrinking. Never changing.

Professor Landelbrot scowled. "So... It looks like she hasn't been telling me much about her research, either... Could this have been the source of all of the Order? Not the Confusinator? Glinda, what have you been up to...?"

"...I was researching, much like you."

The three of them whipped around sharply. Glinda, her Kreludan Mining Corp. badge gone and her uniform having morphed into a rainbow of new colours, stood there, her expression unfathomable. The fact that she had no guards with her was only a small mercy; her hand was tucked into a pocket, and they wondered if she kept a blaster in there.

Or worse - whatever was left of the shard of Transmogrification Ore that had just wreaked havoc in her office.

"Glinda," said Professor Landelbrot, "...you know both Order and Chaos must exist for the Universe to be balanced. You know that the perfect setup is to really allow for randomness."

"Is it, really?" the Grundo asked. "Or maybe, what our world needs...is more Order, so it would run more smoothly, run into fewer accidents, cause less grief for everyone involved. Professor Landelbrot, I am giving you one last chance. Give me the Transmogrification Ore and I will let you go on your way."

The Lutari tensed. Makemake and Eris watched from one to the other as though they were watching a game of Gormball.

"And what if I take the Transmogrification Ore with me? We could hop into any of these vessels in this hangar, double back to The Coincidence - "

"Then," said Glinda imperiously, pulling out a remote control from her pocket, "I shall have to blow up The Coincidence..."

Author: precious_katuch14
Date: Aug 2nd
Eris watched Professor Landelbrot’s confident demeanour wither as he realized the fate of his beloved ship rested in the hands of the Grundo before him. One tap on the remote and all his years of innovation would be a puff of ash floating through space.

Professor Landelbrot swallowed. “Glinda, I don’t think you understand the severity of what you’re trying to do-“

“Oh, I understand you’ve been an incessant Moquot buzzing around my head for far too long. It’s time to fly away or be squashed. Now hand over the Transmogrification Ore. You have ten seconds.”

“She really likes counting,” MakeMake muttered to Eris.

Eris watched the gears of Professor Landelbrot’s brain considering his options, but she didn’t see how this situation ended in the scientist’s favour. If he ran, he risked getting blown up along with his ship. If he gave over the Ore, he’d sacrifice the Confusionator working properly. According to Professor Landelbrot, both scenarios resulted in a shift in the harmony of Order and Chaos.

Eris never thought she’d say this, but she kind of missed the mundaneness of her days. This was almost a little too…chaotic?

Professor Landelbrot sighed. “Ok Glinda, you win,” he said, lifting the sack with a gentle paw. He took a step towards her.

A streak of red startled Eris as Makemake squawked next to her. She turned just in time to see the feathered hand of her partner toss a tiny, glowing blue pebble that whizzed through the air and hit its mark; the remote in Glinda’s grasp immediately turned into a Rubber Mallard. She growled and squeezed her fist, which emitted a loud honking squeak.

“Hurry, follow me,” Professor Landelbrot cried, making good on his threat of commandeering one of the nearby vessels.

They threw themselves aboard, closing the hatch, narrowly missing a seething Glinda in their wake. Eris turned towards Makemake, who hiccuped and sprouted three thin, scraggly red tail feathers. He shifted and waggled them at Eris with a grin.

“Makemake!” She cried indignantly. “You were carrying a piece of the Ore all along?! That’s why you’ve been changing this entire time!”

“I had calculated only a 4% probability of the Ore affecting my inorganic form. I guess I miscalculated the randomness of chance. Plus you seemed very enamored with the beauty of the Ore. I thought of gifting it to you.”

“Oh,” Eris said, touched by the thought. The vessel shuttered as Professor Landelbrot brought it to life. “Next time, perhaps consider a new music album instead of organic material that can alter the very state of my existence.”

“Noted,” he replied.

“Professor, what now?” Eris asked.

Professor Landelbrot looked at them both gravely. “It’s imperative that we get back to my ship. Everything has been working out almost too smoothly. The Order is overpowering!” He cried.

As The Coincidence came into view, Glinda’s cool voice filled the vessel.

“You’ll never make it Landelbrot. I’m coming for you…”

How will this story end?

Author: treeword
Date: Aug 3rd
"Both of you, strap yourselves in tight!" Professor Landelbrot cried, gripping the controls of their little ship.

Eris grabbed Makemake and the two of them sat down and secured themselves with their seatbelts. Dimly, she noticed that he was now less feathers...and more steel.

Before she could notice anything else, their vessel tilted sharply to the side and rose, whipping around so quickly that she knocked against her co-employee. The Blumaroo winced; there was no doubt Makemake was turning back into a robot, considering how hard she had collided with him.

A glance outside the porthole told her that they were flying way past The Coincidence, taking twists and turns before diving down toward the bridge that still connected the ship to the Kreludan Mining Corp.'s enforcement vessel.

Then she understood. Everything so far had gone too well, and for the first time in their lives, that was not exactly a good thing.

"Aaaaahhhhh!"

Eris screamed as their vessel performed a somersault before landing quite messily next to the bridge; the three of them had to jump onto it from their hijacked ride, but at least the gravity on the asteroid allowed them to make big jumps - or rather, big, overdramatic somersaults as they headed back into The Coincidence.

"Captain Glinda has just landed," Makemake announced as they tumbled into the ship. "The chances of her reaching us - "

Just before the airlock closed, the Grundo leapt into Landelbrot's spaceship, a violet-coloured blaster in her hands.

"No more Chaos," she hissed, aiming the blaster at Professor Landelbrot and Eris. "I've had enough problems in my life without all of these random events, and Neopians like you barging into my life, messing up my plans. I just want a quiet life, is that so much to ask?"

Professor Landelbrot stared at her sadly.

"Of course not," he said. "But even the quietest life...is interrupted by a little noise, every now and then. It's what makes life interesting. Right, Eris?"

"Mining Fyorite day in and day out becomes more interesting when you are listening to some music," she remarked. "Otherwise, the silence would drive me crazy."

"Listening to music while on duty should be considered an offence," Glinda snarled, her cool demeanour beginning to show cracks. "I was willing to let you off the hook, but perhaps it's time I taught you a lesson, Employee #136472. I will have Order!"

She had forgotten about Makemake.

Just as Glinda's finger pressed the trigger, the Robot Lenny launched himself toward her with all the force his steel body could muster. Before she could react, the two of them tumbled against the floor of The Coincidence. A shining jet of pure pink Fyorite condensed into energy, shot out of the blaster.

Professor Landelbrot and Eris scrambled for cover. The Fyorite hit, but instead of hitting Makemake, the blast hit the Transmogrification Ore that had been gathered up in a sack.

Everyone braced themselves for an explosion. A chemical reaction. Glinda watched in horror as the Transmogrification Ore glowed with a mix of blue and pink light before turning white - pure white, almost transparent, with a gentler light and what seemed to be an equal amount of jagged and smooth edges.

"What...what happened?" Eris asked.

Professor Landelbrot stood back up, grabbed some of the new white ore, and ran toward the Confusinator, loading the ore into it. Then he studied a small needle that twitched and shuddered, but remained in an upright position between two spaces labelled "Order" and "Chaos". The Lutari gasped. "Ah, it's working again! The combination of Fyorite and Transmogrification Ore..."

"...Has restored the balance of Order and Chaos," Glinda finished, her eyes widening as realization dawned on her. Her uniform had returned to its original colour, the Kreludan Mining Corp. badge now back on her suit. "Then...then that means..."

"All we had to do was combine these two opposing ores," said Professor Landelbrot, looking from his Confusinator to Glinda, and smiling. "Seems like all you needed to refine Transmogrification Ore...was a dose of concentrated Fyorite, aimed right at it, to combine the forces of Order and Chaos."

The Grundo gaped at him, before sighing and deflating.

"Hmph. You were always the smarter one between the two of us."

"But you were the more levelheaded one," Professor Landelbrot said in reply. "The Confusinator needs both of us, just as it needed Order and Chaos." He extended a hand toward Glinda. "Now that we know what these two ores can do, what do you say to working together again, to see what else happens with this combination? After all, what is balance, but another form of Order?"

* * *

Eris watched as the Transmogrification Ore glowed and created patterns in the slabs of rock she was chipping to gather more ore. As she listened to the newest single of Chomby and the Fungus Balls, she wondered if something would happen if she stared too long at the glowing ore; then again, with her Fyorite-reinforced spacesuit, she was likely not going to see any radical changes like Makemake had experienced any time soon.

Nearby, Makemake worked silently, filling a sack with Transmogrification Ore. Following their adventure, he had returned to his quiet self, on top of becoming a Robot once more. Eris almost missed Makemake as an organic Lenny - talkative, with more emotions - but as they had learned, all things needed balance.

Nonetheless, she opened the communications line.

"Hey, Makemake?"

"What is it, Employee #131699?"

"Captain Glinda said she'd be sending a ship here today to collect the Transmogrification Ore. Any sign of it?"

"Negative."

"Oh, ok."

They continued working in silence for a while, not shutting off their comms link.

"I wonder how their research is going..."

"Since they have entered into a new agreement regarding the use and mining of Transmogrification Ore, there is a 95% chance that they are working satisfactorily together."

"I hope so. For all we know, they could just be throwing Transmogrification Ore at each other."

"A ship is coming. That must be Captain Glinda."

"Begin packing up the Transmogrification Ore and have it ready before we land." Glinda's crisp voice echoed through their communications link. "Professor Landelbrot's Confusinator tends to have a fickle streak and we need to recreate the combination of Fyorite and Transmogrification Ore."

"It is not a fickle streak! My Confusinator is just getting used to this strange new material!" The voice of Professor Landelbrot echoed over their conversation.

Makemake pointed up with his wing into space. As he and Eris looked, they saw the ship loom into view, waiting for their Transmogrification Ore.

It was The Coincidence.

The End.

Author: precious_katuch14
Date: Aug 4th



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