Invisible Paint Brushes rock Circulation: 189,696,820 Issue: 558 | 17th day of Hiding, Y14
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Questioning the Magma Pool Guard


by impellent

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Welcome back, everyone! Today I have a very special interview to bring to you all with a subject so wrapped up and shrouded in mystery that Neopians still don't even know his real name. Today, I'm bringing you an interview with the Magma Pool Guard, that illustrious Tonu that stands between Neopians and their chance to paint their pet a very exclusive magma color. The following is a transcript of the interview that took place:

"Hello! Normally I like to start my..." I say, introducing myself again; however, before I can finish, the rough Tonu guard interrupts me.

"Halt! I'm sorry, only those well-versed in the ways of Moltara are permitted to enter the Pool. Learn more and try again later," says the Tonu guard in a stern voice.

"Excuse me? We scheduled an interview together at this time? Don't you remember?" I ask, hoping to clear up the obvious mix-up.

"Oh... OH! I'm sorry. It's hard to tell time all the way down here when all I have is the flow of lava to pass the time. What was that that you were saying?" asks the Tonu guard.

"Thank you. I was wondering if I could get your name on record. A lot of people know you by face but nobody knows you by name. Do you think we could change that?" I ask, hoping to get the scoop.

"I'm sorry. Can't fraternize with the locals like that. First it's your name, next they want directions to Faerieland and before you know it they are asking you if you have any spare bottles of sand! You can call me the 'Tonu guard'," replies the Tonu guard. I was confused at his reply but if my interviewing has taught me anything, it is to go with the flow when interviewing my subjects.

"Oh. I'm sorry to hear that that is such a big problem for you. If you mind my asking, why would anybody ask you if you had a spare bottle of sand?" I ask, hoping to learn more.

"Sand? Who said anything about sand?" replies the Tonu guard, confused, just like I was.

"Forget I asked! So tell me, what's it like, guarding the Magma Pool, day after day?" I ask, hoping to learn a little more about the Tonu guard's life.

"Well, I'm glad you asked! It's really quite boring, although, I must say, I am very proud of the fact that I've never let anybody slip by me before! Very proud indeed!" boasts the Tonu guard. However, I knew this wasn't true as many Neopians slip by him on a regular basis when he takes his infamous naps throughout the day.

"I hate to be the bearer of bad news but are you sure that you've never let anybody pass before? What about when you nap?" I ask, interested to hear what his reply would be.

"Oh, that's nothing! I'm such a light sleeper; if anyone were to try passing by me, I am sure that I would be able to hear it! No doubt about that!" boasts the Tonu guard again.

"Are you sure about that?" I ask the Tonu guard, unsure of how to break it to him, "what if I told you that Neopians from all across Neopia know that if they come to the Magma Pools when you're sleeping that they can sneak right on past you and paint one of their pets, free of charge?"

"I would say that you should try that joke out on King Skarl because I can assure you that that has not... happened... before," replies the Tonu guard, starting to yawn. Thinking that this might be my chance to expose him, I try to think of something very boring to ask him about in hopes of putting him to sleep.

"Say, do you think that you could count all the different combinations of blocks that you can get on Sutek's Tomb with me? I'm sure many Neopians would, uh, be impressed, with the number of combinations that you can come up with," I ask, hoping to bait him into falling asleep.

"Oh that's easy! There are three rubies... four rubies... five rubies... then, there, are, three palm trees... four palm tr..." replies the Tonu guard and before he can finish, he quietly closes his eyes, leans into his spear and snores. At any other time, I think I would have tried to sneak past him for a chance at painting one of my pets magma, however, I feel really bad for the poor Tonu guard and I want to show him that people are sneaking past him. That said, I lean in and poke him. What happens next is quite the surprise.

"Wha... wha... what is going on here," shouts the Tonu guard as he perks up, "no one is allowed past me!" However, as he says that, some note cards seem to fall from his grasp and we both make a mad dash to get them before they flew over into the lava. I manage to grab onto one of them, which reads: 'I'm sorry, only those well-versed in the ways of Moltara are permitted to enter the Pool. Learn more and try again later.' Confused even more than earlier, I press the Tonu guard for some answers.

"What is this?" I ask, pointing to the notecard.

"Give me that," replies the Tonu guard in a mean tone. Before I could say anything else, he reaches forward and grabs the card out of my hand.

"Hey, what was that about? Why are you being so rough now?" I ask, annoyed at the way that the interview is progressing.

"Leave! You've seen too much!" snarls the Tonu guard. Not wanting to test an angry Tonu with a spear, I decide to take his advice and leave, despite wanting to stay and learn more about what I have just seen. It is getting too hot down here anyways.

Well, there you have it! That concludes my interview with the Tonu guard. It was not quite what I expected to get out of the interview but I am happy that I did it. Clearly the Tonu guard had something to hide, perhaps even related to the Magma Pool. In time, who knows, maybe we will discover more answers to secrets that we did not even know that Moltara had. That is all for now!

As always, please send me fan suggestions on what to do next! Also, a shout-out to Gruslen for suggesting this subject!

 
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