There are ants in my Lucky Green Boots Circulation: 193,540,341 Issue: 696 | 28th day of Hiding, Y17
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The Pirate King Files: A Defender's Mission


by ezel68

--------

      "Stop that thief!"

      A blue Shoyru was hurriedly flying away, tightly clutching a handbag and heavily breathing. On the ground, far behind him, was an elderly Ogrin who was angrily shaking her trembling fist.

      "Get back here, you...you...!" the Ogrin howled, but the Shoyru was long gone. The Ogrin shakily tried to get to her feet, but she had the wind knocked out of her when the Shoyru attacked, and she could scarcely stand.

      A hand caught the Ogrin's arm and helped her stand. The Ogrin saw a Neopet she did not recognize standing beside her. The Neopet was a female pink Aisha, wearing a bright yellow and pink costume emblazoned with the symbol of a white lotus. The Aisha wore a yellow mask and had a pink capelet draped over her shoulders.

      "Are you hurt, ma'am?" asked the Aisha.

      "H-he knocked the wind right out of me," the Ogrin said shakily. "Stole my purse!"

      The Aisha's gaze was drawn towards the horizon, where the Shoyru was faintly visible.

      "I'll get you to safety, ma'am." The Aisha reassured the Ogrin. She then put a gloved hand to her ear. "Pirate King, we've got a purse thief on the run."

      A faint crackling noise emitted from the Aisha's ear, sounding like bad radio static, but the Aisha seemed to understand it.

      "One second," she said. Her eyes fell on the very faint outline of the fleeing Shoyru, and she blinked rapidly in an unusual pattern. Her eyes were suddenly glowing bright green, which alarmed the Ogrin greatly.

      "Blue Shoyru," the Aisha stated. "Male. Carrying a purple leather handbag with a gold chain and a Krawk-skin texture. Heading east towards the Neopian Bazaar."

      The crackling in her ear sputtered up again.

      "Copy that. Over."

      The Aisha put her hand to her ear again. "Come with me, ma'am."

      Acting as a crutch, the Aisha led the Ogrin towards a park bench, where she sat her down and checked her over for injuries.

      "Stay here," warned the Aisha. "I'm going after the thief."

------

      The blue Shoyru did not see the pink Aisha and did not have any idea what she had done. All he cared about was that this purse probably had some decent stuff in it, and he'd get rid of the evidence in some trash bin somewhere.

      Finally, the Shoyru managed to land behind the petpet supplies shop and furtively hid behind a cluster of unkempt bushes. There, he opened the purse and started rummaging through it.

      The next thing the Shoyru knew, the purse had vanished from his grasp.

      "What in the name of - ?" yelped the Shoyru. His eyes darted around to see who had taken the purse from him, but no one was visible.

      "Looking for something?"

      The Shoyru whipped his head around as if expecting to see someone behind him.

      "Who's there?" barked the Shoyru.

      "Look on the roof." The voice had a mocking undertone to it.

      "What roof?" The Shoyru was losing his patience.

      "The roof right behind you," the voice replied.

      The Shoyru's eyes flew to the roof of the petpet supplies shop, where he was met with a sight he had not anticipated.

      A Pirate Xweetok was casually standing on the roof, holding the purse high in the air as if he were taunting the Shoyru. The Xweetok's eyes were covered by a red mask, and he wore a gray frock coat over a white poet's shirt. He wore ragged brown breeches tucked into black riding boots. He was grinning mischievously and waggling the purse.

      "You shouldn't take other pets' things," the Xweetok said calmly.

      "Neither should you," snapped the Shoyru.

      "Hey, you stole it first, buddy," the Xweetok sharply retorted.

      "Why don't you give me back the purse and nobody gets hurt, okay?" The Shoyru extended his wings and, in a few swift flaps, was eye to eye with the Xweetok.

      "Depends on your definition of 'nobody'," the Xweetok said with a wicked grin. Suddenly, he had vanished from his spot.

      "That does it!" roared the Shoyru and dove down from the roof, wings extended in a glide, as he swooped around the area in an attempt to find the Xweetok.

      The next thing that the Shoyru knew, he was flying through the air, spinning out of control, feeling as if he'd been run over by a rampaging Skeith. He slammed into the ground and gasped for air.

      "You done?" came the Xweetok's voice from somewhere above the Shoyru's head. Through light-freckled vision, the Shoyru saw the despised Xweetok smiling smugly and waggling the purse.

      The last thing the Shoyru remembered was feeling like he had been slammed in the head by a sledgehammer.

------

      "Well done, Pirate King."

      The Aisha stood over the supine form of the Shoyru thief, her gloves still glimmering with arcane power.

      The Xweetok put a hand on the Aisha's shoulder.

      "We'll hand this one over to the Chia Police. Not worthy enough for the attention of the higher ups." He hoisted the Shoyru to his feet and draped the limp form over his broad shoulders. "Princess Lotus, I've got the purse. You can take it back to the owner."

      The Aisha took the purse and suddenly vanished without a sound. Pirate King proceeded to carry the unconscious Shoyru towards the Chia Police station, which was located near the headquarters to the Defenders of Neopia.

      "Purse thief," Pirate King explained to the bewildered Chia police officers standing outside the station. Dumping the Shoyru's body at the officers' feet, he turned and strolled away casually as the Chias dragged the Shoyru into the station.

      "She'll be all right," a voice said from behind him. Pirate King jumped up and saw Princess Lotus casually standing behind him.

      "Scarblade's knickers, you scared me!" cried Pirate King.

      "I do apologize," Princess Lotus replied. "We'd better get back to headquarters. I think our commander will have another assignment for us by now."

------

      The Robot Gnorbu sitting at the desk looked up from her stack of paperwork to see an eager Xweetok and Aisha standing before her.

      "Agent Zwiro. Agent Kattel." The Robot Gnorbu's voice lacked emotion. "Status report."

      "Purse thief neutralized," Pirate King stated.

      "Victim in stable condition," added Princess Lotus.

      "Awaiting next report...ma'am," Pirate King finished.

      The Robot Gnorbu filed through her stack of paperwork, turned to her Virtupets computer, and typed in a few keys.

      "Status update." The Gnorbu squinted at the screen. "Two messages from Commander Sentinel. Message number one: Neopian Bank robber spotted heading eastward from Pizzaroo at 3:30 PM NST. Please send units immediately. Message number two: Suspected chemical leak at Magic Shop. No injuries reported. Area sealed off. Please send units immediately."

      She turned back to Pirate King and Princess Lotus.

      "Agent Kattel." Princess Lotus's full attention was on the Gnorbu. "You are to be dispatched to Pizzaroo to track down and apprehend the Neopian Bank robber."

      "Agent Zwiro." Pirate King leaned on the desk to show he was listening. "You are to be dispatched to the Magic Shop to discover the source of the leak and repair the damage."

      "We accept, Commander Circuit," Princess Lotus said firmly.

      "Aye aye, Commander," Pirate King said proudly.

      The Robot Gnorbu turned back to her paperwork.

------

      Pirate King arrived at the Magic Shop to see caution tape, Chia Police, and a few Defenders surrounding the little blue hut. Pirate King recognized the Cavalier, an Usul knight defender who helmed the novice unit, and a small squad of novice defenders marked by the bronze badges they wore. Kauvara was nowhere to be seen.

      "Was anyone in the building when the spill happened?" a police officer asked the Cavalier.

      "No, save fer Kauvara," the Cavalier said in his thick Meridellian accent. "But she were nowhere ta be seen when ter smoke cleared, officer. I sent Agent Alexandre and Agent Kyrius inter the buildin', but they haven' come out fer a while now." He turned and noticed Pirate King standing nearby.

      "Ah, Agent Zwiro!" the Cavalier said, smiling widely. "I assume t'at Commander Circuit sent ye here?"

      "Aye, Cavalier," Pirate King replied. "She told me to investigate the situation."

      "I will warn ye t'at it could be dangerous in there," the Cavalier said in a low voice. "The spill was s'posedly caused by a load of potions 'n jugs crashin' to ter floor. S'posedly some morphing potions got in ter mix, an' I don' know how they'd react ter all the other chemicals."

      "I will be very careful," Pirate King assured the Cavalier.

      "Good luck," the Usul said as Pirate King crossed the police tape line and entered the Magic Shop.

------

      As soon as he stepped in the door, Pirate King was blasted with the choking scent of foul smoke, burnt candles, stagnant water, and the suspicious smell of charred fur. Pale gray and blue fumes hung in the air, and Pirate King's exposed skin itched horribly.

      "Kauvara?" gasped the Xweetok. "Agent Alexandre? Agent Kyrius?"

      He fought his way through the smoke, which he could feel slowly sapping his strength. He held a forearm over his eyes to battle the watery feeling in his eyes.

      "I'm - ACK! - here! It's Pirate King - ACK! - I'm here to - ACK! - help!"

      Still, there was no response. Pirate King nearly stumbled on an empty bottle; daring to peek, he saw that it was the shattered remnants of a Green Uni morphing potion.

      A shriek tore through the hazy air, a sound that resembled a cry of pain.

      "Where are - ACK! - you?" gagged Pirate King.

      The shriek ripped through the air again. This time, Pirate King could trace it to the back room of the store, where Kauvara held her stock.

      "I'M COM - AAACK! - ING!" yelped Pirate King, and charged towards the doorway with adrenaline in his veins.

      As soon as he crossed the threshold, he was blasted with a feeling like a freezing wind and collapsed to his knees. Black smoke shrouded his vision, and a horrid sensation like oil in his mouth forced him to cough and sputter wildly.

      Through the darkness, Pirate King could barely see a shrouded outline that vaguely resembled a Neopet. He could not identify the species, but he could make out its white eyes that burned fiercely with anger.

      The Neopet-like form drifted forward, opening enormous black wings like a Korbat's while cackling maniacally. Pirate King reached a shaky hand towards the ghost, but it ignored his hand and kept advancing.

      Pirate King clutched at the smoke and tried to find a way out of the cloud, but his vision was so shrouded in darkness and his lungs so full of hideous chemicals that he could scarcely feel anything.

      A wing that had the texture of leather but the temperature of ice knocked him back several feet, and he crashed headfirst into a shelf stacked with potions. Several bottles tipped from the shelves and shattered on the ground.

      The Neopet-like ghost was splashed with the remnants of a Blue Ogrin morphing potion, and for a brief instance it lost its incorporeal form. Pirate King could see, for the instant that it was visible, a beast that resembled a Korbat, but with inky black markings crossing its pale gray body and ears pierced with dozens of silver pieces. As soon as it had appeared, it vanished into its gaseous form again.

      Pirate King stood weakly, looking at the shelf behind him. The shelf was stacked with morphing potions and Battledome potions. Seizing a Red Kyrii potion, he had an idea.

      He hurled the potion at the encroaching darkness and saw the glass shatter when it came into contact with the thing in the smoke. Again, its Korbat-like form was revealed, but this time it was far more visible and far more angry.

      The Korbat began to screech in an ethereal tongue and dove fiercely at Pirate King. The Korbat suddenly found the strong hand of Pirate King clutched around its thin neck. The Korbat, temporarily trapped in a solid form, kicked and thrashed violently in an attempt to break loose. A solid blow to the head returned the Korbat to smoke.

      Pirate King felt smoke entering his lungs, smoke that seemed to fight back and actively tried to choke him. The Xweetok's eyes bulged and his tongue flapped out of his mouth as he gagged horribly and began to lose consciousness.

      Pirate King, vision clouded by red and black clouds, sprawled backwards into the shelf of potions. He felt glass shatter on his head, and a bright burst filled the entire room with a loud, songlike note.

      Pirate King belched, and the black smoke poured out of his mouth. The form of the Korbat was barely visible as it was drawn into the light, fading rapidly. The last that Pirate King saw of it was a hideous face melting into gray mist and then nothingness.

      The light faded, and Pirate King blinked away the dancing dots in his eyes. The black smoke had vanished. The incriminating evidence was lying a few feet away - an empty bottle labelled "Nanka Bottle".

      Pirate King stood, feeling confident albeit bruised in the head from the bottle crashing on him.

      "Kauvara! Agent Alexandre! Agent Kyrius!" he shouted.

      "Over here!" came a female voice.

      Pirate King hurried towards the source of the voice, which was a large cabinet standing against one corner of the wall. The cabinet had been tipped over as a sort of barricade. Looking over it, Pirate King could see three Neopets cowering behind the cabinet. One was a starry Kau he recognized as Kauvara, and the other two were a green Eyrie and yellow Kyrii who were probably the Cavalier's agents.

      "Thank Fyora," said the Eyrie in a trembling voice as Pirate King dragged the cabinet away with little effort. "That Nanka was going to do us in for sure!"

      "Is everyone okay?" Pirate King asked as he helped the three Neopets to their feet.

      "We need to get everyone outside," the yellow Kyrii firmly stated. "Pirate King, can you help Kauvara and Agent Alexandre outside?"

      "With pleasure," Pirate King replied. Kauvara leaned on his left arm, and the Eyrie leaned on his right. Pirate King supported both Neopets as he led them outside with the Kyrii right behind him.

      As they passed through the shop, Pirate King could see - and smell - that the potion fumes had since faded. Once they reached the door, they were immediately greeted by the Cavalier, two novice Defenders, and a Chia Police officer.

      "Are there any injuries to report?" inquired the Chia Police officer as the other novice Defenders draped bright orange blankets over the four Neopets.

      "Smoke and fume inhalation, sir," the Kyrii replied.

      "Commander Cavalier, take these Neopets to the hospital. We will need to treat them for severe symptoms."

      "Yes, Officer," the Usul replied. "Kauvara, Agents, come with me. You heard the officer."

------

      The hospital staff thoroughly checked the four Neopets over for severe signs of illness or injury. Despite no obvious signs, they were given medicine that they were asked to take daily for a full week "in case of lingering symptoms".

      After being released from the hospital, Kauvara spoke with the Cavalier and explained that she would need some of his team members to help clean up the mess in her shop. The Cavalier agreed and sent several of his agents to accompany Kauvara to her shop to assist with repairs.

      As soon as Pirate King entered the waiting room, he was greeted by Commander Circuit and Princess Lotus.

      "How did the mission go?" Princess Lotus asked.

      "A Nanka Bottle had been broken in the store, and the thing inside was causing havoc," explained Pirate King. "A bottle smashed on my head, and when the light inside burst out, it finished off the creature."

      "Nanka," Commander Circuit said in her monotone voice. "A dangerous genie. Nankas can be trapped inside bottles and released during battle to block Light attacks."

      "Then how did the light manage to defeat the Nanka?" inquired Pirate King.

      "Maybe the potion that smashed on your head had the power to negate darkness," suggested Princess Lotus.

      "Whatever it was, it saved everyone inside the shop," Pirate King replied. "What became of the bank robber?"

      "Oh, him?" said Princess Lotus. "He wasn't difficult to apprehend. A couple of paralyzing bolts and he was down long enough for me to return the money and drag him off to the Chia Police."

      Pirate King turned to Commander Circuit. "Commander Circuit," he stated. "Mission completed. Awaiting next assignment."

      "Scanning Defenders of Neopia database for new missions," the Robot Gnorbu replied. The whirring and humming of machinery could be clearly heard as she accessed the Defenders of Neopia mission network.

      "Status update," said Commander Circuit finally. "New missions. From Commander Sentinel: Young green Uni missing from her home in Neopia Central, last seen approximately 4:00PM NST. From Commander Blackwing: Rogue superpet spotted heading eastward from Market Street. Description: Speckled Moehog, possible Class 2 Augmented Fire Elemental Kinetic. Superpet must be apprehended."

      "Always something new to be done," Princess Lotus remarked. "Commander Circuit, Pirate King and I will apprehend the rogue superpet. We will report back to you at Defenders headquarters when the pet is arrested."

      "Your mission has been confirmed," Commander Circuit replied. "Good luck."

      Princess Lotus and Pirate King gave each other a knowing look. Pirate King grinned, showing his false gold tooth, and Princess Lotus's gloves began to crackle with red arcane energy.

      "Let's do this," Pirate King said, clasping his hands together and rubbing them gleefully.

      Together, he and Princess Lotus raced out of the hospital, ready to start on their next mission.

      The End.

 
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