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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 24th day of Gathering, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 11 > Short Stories > The Scoop on the Tyrannian PetPets

The Scoop on the Tyrannian PetPets

by sailorptah

Pacha was a young Elephante who lived in Neopia. Actually, although he thought it was the center of Neopia, he'd never known about the civilization outside his little valley, called Tyrannia. A volcanic eruption and an avalanche had separated the two long ago... but that's beside the point. Anyway, Pacha lived there with his friends and family, and really didn't have a care in the world.

Pacha was playing outside the village with his friends: Plesio (a blue Flotsam), Uggsul (a green Usul) and Sargug (a blue Scorchio). The day was cool, but the quartet didn't mind. What they did mind was when a young yellow Grarrl and his friends sauntered up.

"Awww, look at the wittle pets playing their wittle games," cooed the yellow Grarrl, and his friends snickered.

"Get out of here, Grarrg," snapped Sargug. "We doesn't have time for you."

"No, you need time to practice your grammar," said the blue Grarrl, and another round of snickers ensued.

"Don't make fun of Sargug!" Plesio snapped. "He tries!"

"Yeah, but he needs to try harder," the red Grarrl laughed.

"And you don't, Breadoch?" asked Pacha. He was worried that a fight would start, and knew that he and his friends were no match for Grarrg and his pals, but he couldn't resist the chance to make a smart remark. Breadoch looked stricken, and Grarrg flexed his muscles. "You sound like you want a fight."

"Now really," piped up Uggsul, "he was just saying."

"'Ello, young whippersnappers!" cut in an old and creaky voice. All the children turned to see General Crustygums, an old and creaky green Grarrl, strolling up to them. "Lovely day, ain't it? You tikes havin' fun together?"

"We sure are, General," Grarrg assured him. Nobody loved to hear the General's war stories more than Grarrg. Stories of the battle between the Tyrannians and the army of the evil Monoceraptor... a creature long gone, if it had ever really existed. Nobody actually knew.

"Good, good. There's not a sight in the world more cheerful to old eyes than a group of kids playin' together. Mighty fine, mighty fine. Carry on!" With that, Crustygums strolled away.

"Have a nice walk, General!" called Grarrg, and he and his friends waved after Crustygums. Then they turned back to Pacha and company. "As for you--huh?" For the younger pets were out of sight. They'd run as soon as Grarrg turned away.

***

"That was close," Plesio said as they ducked around in back of the Tyrannian Grocery. "We should stay away from them. They're nothing but trouble."

"Yeah," agreed Sargug. "They makes fun of my talks. Why does they?"

"Because you talk weird," Uggsul piped up. "But you're nice. They aren't, even if they do speak proper Tyrannian."

Just then, Pacha's keen ears picked up a deep rumbling that the others would not have heard until it was much louder. "Uh-oh. Something's coming!"

The others were instantly alert. "What?" demanded Plesio sharply.

"A herd...not too big, but still a herd!"

"Let's get inside," Uggsul said unnecessarily, for they were already heading for the door of the stone shop. A herd was nothing to sneeze at, even if it was nothing more than Gruslens. In Tyrannia, everyone knew that a herd--a large group of not-so-smart giant animals such as Ackosauruses or Stegos--would trample you unless you got out of the way. The Plateau was pretty safe, but the Jungle was nearly all vulnerable.

Ugghdorr, owner of the Tyrannian Foods Shop, was a skillful hunter, and once Pacha warned him of the herd, he went out to catch one. His wife Lelldorr, a blue Chia, was left to mind the shop.

"Say," said Lelldorr to Pacha, "would you mind watching my boys while I take care of the shop? They're little, and need to be kept out of mischief."

"Erm..." began Pacha.

"Sure!" interrupted Uggsul. "We'd be happy to. What are their names?"

"The yellow one is Trrgdorr and the blue one is Brrgdarr. They're in the back. Don't let them eat any of the food, all right?"

"Sure thing, ma'am," said Plesio. He, Uggsul, Pacha, and Sargug went into the back room to see two toddler Chias tossing a Nautilus back and forth. "Hey!" shouted Pacha. "Cut it out!"

***

By the time the herd had passed, however, Pacha was sorry to go. He'd been having fun with the toddlers, and almost wished he were a girl, so he could baby-sit without being teased. Something about nurturing little creatures really appealed to him. Pacha shuddered to think how Grarrg would tease him if he found that out.

The sun was going down as Pacha returned to his little house in Tyrammet. He lived with his older brother Seerkhan, who took care of the house. As he walked in the door, Seerkhan tromped over to him. "I'll be at the Tyranu Evavu place. Dinner's on the table. Back by midnight. Bye!"

"Bye," called Pacha. His brother charged off to the Tyranu Evavu tent, where he would probably work up until midnight to keep food on the table like the stuff that was there now.

Actually, the stuff on the table could have been better. It was a Nerkin Leg that had obviously seen better days. The Nerkin was probably underfed because the meat was thin and stringy, but Pacha was hungry, so he gobbled the whole thing up and had a Dino Snapper from the tar pit for dessert. He wished he could have yummy Gummy Grensa, but of course he couldn't afford that...

If he'd had Gummy Grensa that night, Pacha figures his whole life would have been completely different.

***

"Well, it's definitely TyraPox," the doctor, a red Chomby, confirmed. "The good news is, Gummy Grensa is a quick and easy cure. The bad news is, the disease is so far along that it won't help. I don't have a quick and easy cure for this stage. Why didn't you tell your brother you were feeling sick, Pacha?"

"I didn't want to be a burden," Pacha grumbled.

"Now really," Seerkhan admonished, "money troubles or no money troubles, if you're sick, you need care. Now lie back down." Pacha had tried to sit up. "You need rest and plenty of Coconut Juice. I'll be here if you need me."

"But you can't! You can't skip work!"

"I can so. Anything for a sick brother."

"If you need to," the doctor assured Seerkhan, "I can watch Pacha. I don't have any other calls, since Ugghdorr threw out the rest of that sick Nerkin and nobody else was infected. In fact, I'll do it for free."

"You don't have to-" began Seerkhan.

"No, I insist. This just may help me more than it will help you."

So Dr. Chombasha stayed with Pacha, and began testing various mixtures of herbs in his Coconut Juice to see if they would cure the later stages of TyraPox. His dedication led, after a few weeks, to the discovery of a cure. Thanks to this, Pacha was able to go out a month after he got sick, and immediately went in search of his friends.

***

Pacha was on the Tyrannian Plateau when all of a sudden a loud whining noise filled the air. It grew louder and shriller until Pacha was afraid his sensitive ears couldn't take it any more, then stopped abruptly at the same instant that a large grey boxy thing appeared a few meters off the ground. It hovered there for a second, then dropped and crashed into the dust of the plateau, landing in a sizable crater. Pacha watched in astonishment as what looked like a Wocky, but with a big white mane and tiny teeth, clambered out of the white thing and up out of the crater.

"Excuse me, sir," said Pacha, "but who are you?"

The sort-of Wocky made some unintelligible grunting noises: "Eh? Wazza? Hozzeh?" It looked at Pacha for a moment, then its face lit up. "Ah!"

"Can you speak my talk?" asked Pacha, remembering how Sargug spoke with his family using a different set of sounds.

The Wocky-creature pulled a box out of the skin draped over its back. Pacha wondered what animal could have such smooth fine white skin. He looked closer as the Wocky held the box out to him, and held a similar box up to its face. "What are those boxes?" asked Pacha. To his utter surprise, the Wocky spoke some gibberish into the box, and the box said, "These boxes are (gobbledegook). They will (gobbledegook) your talk into my talk, and (gobbledegook). Now we can talk to each other. What is your name?"

Pacha was so stunned he didn't know what to answer. Finally he said, "Um...my name is Pacha."

The Wocky got very excited about that! "Pacha?" he demanded. "The only Pacha?"

What an odd question. Why would you give two pets the same name? "Yes."

"My name is Professor Wockson. I'm a Wocky, and I come from the (gobbledegook)."

"What is the..." Pacha tried to pronounce the strange word..."feew-churr?"

Professor Wockson tried to explain, but his explanation was full of weird words that came out as gobbledegook through the tranz-lay-terr (the box). So he gave that up and asked if he could meet Pacha's friends. Pacha gladly led Professor Wockson away from the smoking grey thing and to the Cave Paintings, where he knew his friends would be hanging out.

***

Sargug, Uggsul, and Plesio were drawing on the rock outside of the cave when Pacha came in. "Hey, guys! I'm back!" he called.

"Hi Pacha!" exclaimed Uggsul. "Are you okay now? Who's your friend?"

"This is Professor Wockson. He doesn't speak our talk unless he uses a magic box called a tranz-lay-terr, and he appeared in the sky in a big grey tube," Pacha gushed. "He wants to meet you. Can you introduce yourselves?"

"They need to talk into the tranz-lay-terr so that I can tell what they are saying," said Wockson through his box.

"Okay." Pacha handed his tranz-lay-terr to Sargug, who said, "I am Sargug." Plesio added, "My name is Plesio." And Uggsul finished, "I'm Uggsul." Wockson jumped a little upon hearing that last name, and mumbled something about Uggsul not being a volcano yet. (Okay, he didn't say volcano, but what else could the word "hottie" mean?)

Then Pacha's ears heard once again what the others had missed. "Uh-oh. Another herd's coming. And it's really big!" He repeated his statement into the tranz-lay-terr so that Wockson could understand, and he and his three friends began scrambling up the rock to get to the cave.

"Why are you so scared?" asked Wockson. "It's only a herd."

"Do they not have herds where from are you?" asked Sargug into the box.

"We have herds. But they are not dangerous." The thunder of the herd stampeding was heard clearly by all now. "Only some herds come near pets and villages. Most stay away. The ones that come close, we can deal with."

"How?" demanded Plesio. He wasn't speaking into a tranz-lay-terr, but Wockson understood the tone of his voice.

"I'll be right back," he called after them, and bounded off...in the direction of the approaching herd.

"I've got to go after him!" exclaimed Pacha. Detaching himself from the rock, he started galumphing after Wockson, oblivious to the shouts from his friends to come back.

***

Heads all over the jungle turned at the sight of a strange Wocky running at full speed--in the wrong direction. But by the time Pacha passed by, everyone was inside, safe from what was now clearly a stampede of gigantic Uggatrips, each one more than three times Pacha's height. Wockson stopped running when the Uggatrips were almost upon him, and pulled something small out of his white clothing. He pointed it at the Uggatrips while Pacha watched in horror.

There was a whistling sound...

Pacha closed his eyes, unwilling to watch Wockson trampled. But when he dared to look again, he was astounded at what he saw. The Professor was still standing before the herd, and they didn't look like Uggatrips any more. They were TINY. Each was less than a foot tall.

"How did you DO that?" asked Pacha as he approached Wockson. The itty-bitty Uggatrips continued to surge forward, but they swiveled around the Elephante's feet rather than trampling him.

"It's called (gobbledegook)," Wockson explained.

"There you go with your strange words again. What is tekk-noll-oh-gee?"

"Never mind." Wockson bent down and picked up a little Uggatrip. "These little Uggatrips are called PetPets. You know how some pets keep Blunas as pets? Well, little herds are pets for pets too."

"Amazing," said Pacha in awe, taking the little Uggatrip. Then he turned and ran back to the Painting Cave, yelling, "Hey Uggsul, Plesio, Sargug! Check out what Professor Wockson can do!"

***

Time passes quickly in Neopia, and it was only half a year later when Pacha left for the secluded hills to learn about medicine with Dr. Chombasha. His bout of TyraPox had left him sure that what he really wanted to do was be a doctor, and because of the inadvertent baby-sitting of the young Chia brothers, he had decided to be a pediatrician. (That was a gobbledegook word that Professor Wockson called him. Apparently it meant a cub doctor.)

A year or so after the Uggatrip herd that changed everything, the Tyrannian people no longer feared herds. They knew they had only to call for Professor Wockson and his trusty tekk-noll-oh-gee, and they would have a new supply of PetPets to trade and play with. Meanwhile, Pacha learned all there was to know (in Tyrannia anyway) about doctoring, and returned to the Jungle one fine summer day to start putting his knowledge into practice.

And then one day a little girl walked in with a Gruslen...

***

"Next!" called Pacha. It had been a long day and he was about ready to go home for the night, but he had one more patient in the waiting room. She was a young Usul, one of Uggsul's cousins maybe. (Uggsul herself had grown up gorgeous and joined a Go! Go! Go! league which was fast rising as the best in Tyrannia.)

"And how are you feeling today?" asked Pacha cheerfully.

"I'm okay. It's my Gruslen that's hurt. His names Tigrr." The little Gruslen (when would Pacha get used to seeing Gruslens that small?) mewled in pain; one of its legs was twisted oddly. Pacha hoped it was only a sprain.

"Let me see him." Pacha examined the Gruslen closely. His feet weren't exactly precision instruments, but he had his tusks, and he used them to probe the tiny cat's leg. He was no expert on PetPets. How could he tell if the leg was sprained or broken?

Pacha ended up setting the leg in a splint and telling the little Usul to put ice on it. Once she was gone, he went straight to Dr. Chombasha's house with the pressing question: "How do you tell if a Gruslen's leg is broken?"

"I really don't know," said the aging Chomby. "Apply the principles you use on a Wocky or a Lupe, I guess."

"Yes, that's what I did, but I'm not sure how effective it was. Are there any PetPet specialists I can ask?" demanded Pacha.

"Well, now that you mention it...no."

"Okay. See you around." Pacha left, but as he descended the hill, his ears caught the rumble of an approaching herd. Instead of avoiding the herd, as was customary even though they were no longer dangerous, he headed towards them. It turned out to be a bunch of Uggatrips. As Professor Wockson shrunk them, Pacha lifted one of the miniature Uggatrips from the ground and carried it back to his hut.

***

After studying the Uggatrip's design, and those of other miniaturized PetPets, Pacha became Tyrannia's expert on PetPets. One day when Professor Wockson was visiting, Pacha was bandaging a Stego tail that had nearly been severed when the ground began to shake. "What's going on?" Pacha asked nobody in particular.

The ground shook harder and harder, and Pacha quickly ran to the cages that contained healing PetPets and moved them to the ground. Stacked or on shelves, they could topple over, and disrupt the healing of the creatures inside. Then Pacha left the room to warn Wockson of the danger if this became a full-fledged earthquake.

He found Wockson looking out of a window. Pacha pulled out the tranz-lay-terr box which he always had with him nowadays and spoke into it: "Professor, it's too dangerous to be by the window right now. Secure yourself under a stone table or chair."

Wockson nodded and climbed under one of Pacha's Stone Shelves. "I was watching the mountains of ice in the distance," he explained to Pacha, who was beneath the table. "They seemed to be shifting."

"The Ice Mountains have surrounded Neopia for centuries," Pacha explained. "They are all around us if you go far enough, unless you travel in one particular direction, in which case you will reach ocean. Nobody knows if any life exists beyond them."

"Funny," Wockson commented, "that the people on the other side of the mountains think exactly the same thing."

"What? You mean--there are actually people beyond the mountains? They are probably more primitive than our society."

"Quite the contrary," said Wockson. "They're far beyond your level of (gobbledegook)."

"Professor, that last word still doesn't make sense," Pacha said.

"What, tekk-nol-oh-gee? It means...I really should be able to explain it correctly...it means how efficiently a society can make work easier. After the earthquake, will you show me to that biggest mountain--Terror Mountain, I believe you call it?"

"Certainly!" So when the ground settled down, Pacha escorted Professor Wockson over to the Chomby territory of Terror Mountain. A large chunk of ice and packed snow had shifted, sliding down onto some shrubs, and a yellow Chomby was eating his way through the bushes that grew right up to a huge crack in the ice.

Someone screamed, and someone else shouted something in a strange language, and astonishingly, both noises came from inside the crack.

"I knew it!" Wockson exclaimed. "I knew this was THE earthquake! Stay here, Pacha. I'll go greet the Neopians."

"But *I'm* a Neopian," Pacha said in confusion as Wockson raced up to greet the discoverers of the new world, Tyrannia.

***

For Pacha, and for most other Tyrannians, it was a rude awakening to discover that it was they and not the people from the other side of the mountains who had been cut off from developing civilization. But there were good effects as well. For one thing, Grarrg was quite humbled, and began really studying at school instead of just working at the physical classes. For another, Wockson realised that his time machine (the boxy thing he had arrived in) could be fixed if he enlisted the help of the Neopians.

As for the bad effects, well, there was the matter of the Korbat Scouts who showed up one day and started attacking Tyrannian citizens.

Pacha's brother, Seerkhan, fought in the Tyrannian War at his brother's urgings, and found that he was quite skilled in combat. In fact, he became one of the greatest war heroes, and eventually ended up on a Collectable Card for it. But the battles had their effects on the PetPets that poured into Tyrannia. Pacha had so many injured creatures piling up in his office that he could barely treat them all. And once a PetPet was healthy again, there was the question of what to do with it. Most Tyrannians who wanted PetPets already had them.

Uggsul was visiting one day, taking on the task of feeding all the healthy PetPets with no place to go, when she grumbled, "I bet the Neopians would love these little buggers. They're obsessed with PetPets."

Pacha nearly dropped the Acko cage he was carrying. "Uggsul, you're a genius!" he exclaimed. "I wonder how much they're worth?"

"Plesio would know. He's the one with the head for figures. You know, he's keeping the entirety of the sea border secure? That's a big job. He'll probably get lots of credit for this when the war ends."

"Could you try and get a hold of him?"

"Oh, sure. We play Go! Go! Go! together all the time; it's a great stress reliever, you know. I'll ask him during our game tonight."

Pacha got a visit from Uggsul in his hut the next morning. "I've got a list of prices," she said, "and I've dropped a few hints around Neopia that you're going to be selling PetPets. The Neopians are practically about to break down the door of your office. I'd advise you to get out there quickly."

Sleepily Pacha got up, ate a Sard Plant for breakfast, and took off for the front of his office, which would soon become the shop known as Pacha's PetPets. He fought his way through the crowd to the door, took half of the healthy PetPets from the back, stuck price tags on their cages, and brought them into his waiting room to haggle with the crowd which burst in as soon as the doors opened.

***

When the Tyrannian War ended, Pacha no longer had as many sick and injured PetPets to take care of. Instead, he collected all the miniaturized PetPets from passing herds, hurt or not, although he only sold healthy ones. Once he realised that he could sell rocks for as much as Gruslens, he started doing that too. These days Pacha still cares for injured Tyrannian PetPets, and as for his shop's success...well, why don't you visit it and see how it's doing for yourself? When you get there, tell Pacha hi from me!

The End


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