Sanity is forbidden Circulation: 191,605,213 Issue: 612 | 13th day of Gathering, Y15
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History of the Swamp Gas Techo Ban

by dr_tomoe


The following comes from the private records of Dexter Cocoa, the chocolate Chia appointed by the owner of the Chocolate Factory to organize and run the annual Chocolate Ball. Within these notes comes the history of the Chocolate Ball's ban on Swamp Gas Techo's.

Dexter Cocoa was not sure about this plan at all. The Chocolate Ball had been running without a hitch for years now under his supervision. The Chia usually had everything settled by now, from the chocolates to be unveiled, the guest list, and most importantly, the entertainment. Dexter always made sure to get the finest symphonies and orchestras to play soft, soothing music for the background of the Chocolate Ball, enough for their high class guests to have a waltz to in between tasting the new delectable chocolates.

     This year, he had managed to get The Neopian Philharmonic to perform. It had taken a lot of wheeling and dealing to get them to cancel their performance in Tyrannia to perform at the ball, but it would be well worth it. It would be a Chocolate Ball that everyone would remember for years to come.

     At least, that was his plan, until he got the orders from the owner of the Chocolate Factory to bring in someone else.

     Dexter wanted to protest, but the owner would not budge. He said that he wanted to try and get a younger crowd interested in the Chocolate Ball. Every year it always seemed to be the same stuffy group doing the same stuffy things. He said if they didn't get any younger, then what would happen to the Chocolate Ball once all their regulars were elderly and unable to attend any more? That would be the end of the Chocolate Ball, and nobody wanted that.

     Still, Dexter really didn't like the attitude of the purple Techo in the white suit. "Dancin'" Max Jackson. He was well-known among the youth of Neopia these days. Dexter, however, hated the popular music of today. He found it to be a barren wasteland of sameness. He couldn't tell the difference between the Blue Kacheek Group and Chomby and the Fungus Balls. He wouldn't even take his granddaughter to the Twisted Roses concert she had begged him so much for because he couldn't bear to listen to their music. Now, he had some flash-in-the-pan Techo sitting with his feet on his desk, only because his boss told him to hire him.

     Dexter knew The Neopian Philharmonic would never do something so crass and uncouth.

     "So," Dexter said, wiping his monocle with a handkerchief, "Mr. Jackson. I've laid out the situation for you. The owner would like you to be the entertainment at the Chocolate Ball and he's giving you full control over the act and show you would like to perform."

     The purple Techo pushed up his white hat with his thumb. He had a knowing smirk on his face as he kicked his feet off of the table. Dexter cringed again at the poor treatment to his furniture, but bit his tongue. It was the boss's orders, after all.

     "I'd like to see the performance area," Max said, hopping to his feet and then giving a bit of a spin.

     Dexter shook his head. He really didn't like this Techo. But, there was nothing he could do.

     "Right this way, sir." The chocolate Chia said and placed his monocle back in position.

     Dexter lead the Techo out of his office and onto the floor of the Chocolate Factory. The sounds of machinery echoed in the background, and several chocolatiers were humming happily as they went about their work. Several of the younger ones noticed that "Dancin'" Max Jackson was in the factory with them. Their screams of joy were like nails on a chalkboard for the Chia.

     "This is our factory floor," Dexter said. "This is where all of the magic happens."

     The Techo didn't seem to be paying attention. He was flashing a smile and nodding his hat towards the screaming fans. Max gave a few of his fancy dance moves as he followed the Chia, and one of his fans actually fainted at seeing his dance moves so close.

     "So uncivilized..." Dexter thought, before trying his best to continue the tour.

     "Anyway," the Chia said, "as you can see, we have plenty of space for the Chocolate Ball. We also can easily move everything as needed to make sure our guests have plenty of room."

     "Mmmm..." Max hummed out, "Now what's that up there?"

     The Techo spun slightly and pointed to the ceiling where a massive skylight let in sunlight to the factory floor.

     "Ah," Dexter replied, "that's our sun-wash skylight. One of the secrets to the Chocolate Factory is that all of our chocolate is bathed in sunlight for at least a week before we use it. We feel it gives it a sunnier flavor. That flavor makes those who eat it feel happier. The skylight is actually above our chocolate pool."

     The Chia guided the Techo towards a massive and deep pool of chocolate. The liquid chocolate was slowly being stirred and the rays of the sun were heating the pool.

     "This pool will actually be the base supply of all of our chocolate for the next year," Dexter said.

     There was a gleam in the eye of the Techo that Dexter suddenly saw that he didn't like.

     "Okay, I have my show ready," Max said. "We build a large platform up there. Once the ball starts, I come in through the -blocked-"

     "Skylight," Dexter corrected.

     "-blocked-," Max said. "I land on the stage. I give a few moves and address the crowd. Then, I dive off the stage and into the chocolate."

     "What!" Dexter exclaimed. "Absolutely not! This chocolate is the lifeblood of our entire factory! If you dive in, you'll contaminate all of it!"

     "Contaminate?" Max said, "Tell me, how many people out there would buy your chocolate if they knew that Max Jackson had been in it? You'd sell your chocolate by the ton."

     Dexter's monocle almost fell off. "Sir!" he exclaimed. "This is most unorthodox! No self-respecting..."

     "Didn't you tell me less then five minutes ago that the owner said I had full control of my show?" Max said with a smile.

     Dexter started to say something, but then gritted his teeth. He couldn't go against his boss's orders.

     "As you wish, sir," Dexter said with clenched teeth. "I'll make sure all of this is set up by the Chocolate Ball."

     "Good," Max said. "Now, let's see what we'll do next..."


     Several hours later, Max had finished his tour of the Chocolate Factory. He had a massive stage show set in mind, giving Dexter several demands on how everything should be set up. It would be a large undertaking, but everything was possible. It was going to be one of the biggest shows "Dancin'" Max Jackson had ever given, and would be an amazing treat for those lucky enough to be invited to the Chocolate Ball.

     Once he was done, the purple Techo left out the back. He was used to doing so to avoid screaming mobs of fans that would swarm him if they saw him in public. Today, however, was different.

     There were no screaming mobs greeting the Techo as he left the Chocolate Factory. Instead, there was a beautiful water faerie. She slid up to Max as he was leaving and flashing him a bright smile. It was an encounter every Neopian dreamed of.

     It was the Fountain Faerie.

     "Hullo!" she said cheerfully. "Could you do me a favor? I need your hat for my studies."

     "My hat?" Max said, his tone shocked and surprised.

     "It's very important," the Fountain Faerie said. "I can give you trip to my Rainbow Fountain if you do. Any color you would like to be. I just need your hat."

     "Miss..." Max replied. "My hat is part of my image. My image is my career. My life. Even my purple color. I can't change anything about it. I'm sure you understand how important that is. After all, how many times have you been mixed up with other water faeries?"

     "It's ever so important!" the Fountain Faerie protested. "Please?"

     She gave the Techo big puppy dog eyes, but he brought up a hand to her face.

     "I'm very sorry, but my answer is no," Max said. "You'll have to find someone else. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to prepare for my show at the Chocolate Ball."

     The Fountain Faerie watched in shock as Max Jackson walked away from her, heading towards the direction of the Neolodge. Her bright smile was now a frown as she slunk away.

     "Deny one of my quests?" she said to herself. "We'll just see about that..."


     (The night of the Chocolate Ball)

     The floor of the Chocolate Factory was filled with the aroma of fancy chocolates and even fancier guests. Several invitations had gone out, and everyone who was lucky enough to obtain one had accepted. Much to Dexter's surprise, even the youth that were invited by the factory owner seemed to be on their best behavior, dressed in fancy suits and minding their manners.

     "This is going to work out better then I thought!" Dexter thought, smiling and nodding as guests walked by and taking sample of the fancy chocolates. "I just hope the entertainment goes as planned."

     About an hour into the ball, the lights began to dim and the large skylight over the ball opened. A set of spotlights shone onto the elevated stage, and Dexter soon addressed the crowd of the Chocolate Ball.

     "Ladies and gentlemen," he started. "Please put your hands together for our evening's entertainment... "Dancin'" Max Jackson!"

     The crowd gasped and turned their attention to the stage, seeing the Techo in his fancy white suit fall from the air and through the open skylight, landing on the stage. He gave a series of fancy dance moves and poses to the crowd. Fireworks and pyrotechnics went off on the stage. Several of the guests in the ball started to scream in excitement as they saw the famous singer and dancer show off his moves.

     "Thank you! Thank you!" Max said from on the stage. "I hope you're all ready for..."

     Before the performance could continue, something had happened. A torrent of multi-colored water fell from the sky, through the open skylight and drenched "Dancin'" Max Jackson. Later reports from other guests would report hearing evil cackling from the sky, but the damage had been done.

     The purple Techo in a white suit was now a sickly shade of green. There was an unpleasant aroma coming from him as well. It smelled like the performer had just come out of a long swim in Bogshot Swamp. The famous Techo was now Swamp Gas.

     Gasps of shock and surprise echoed through the Chocolate Ball. What a horrible random event that had just transpired!

     "I'm okay!" Max said, "Just a little damp. I still have a show to finish!"

     Dexter's monocle fell off of his face when he realized what he meant.

     "No! No!" the Chia shouted out, but it was too late. "Dancin'" Max Jackson had already dived off of the stage and landed in the chocolate pool with a massive splash....


     In that one moment, the damage was done. The smell and taste of Swamp Gas was permanently attached to every drop of liquid chocolate that was in the pool. An entire year's supply ruined by that one moment in the show. While there were some die-hard fans who bought the tainted chocolate, even his fame was unable to get the terrible taste out of many Neopians' mouths.

     The Chocolate Factory nearly went out of business due to the tainted supply. Max's wasn't able to regain his fame due to the bad publicity of the entire debacle, and vanished off of the face of Neopia. The last time he was seen, he was spotted in the sewers by Matt the Wocky of the sewers cleaning team.

     Sadly, Dexter was right. It was a Chocolate Ball that no one would ever forget. After that disaster, he made a new rule for the Chocolate Ball.

     No Swamp Gas Techos allowed!

The End

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