Venn and the Isolated Island: Part Two
The weather became increasingly stormy. The ship's path was one that passed through the outside of the massive storm surrounding Lutari Island; few ships took this course. The whole reason Lana went on this trip, aside from acting as the ship's engine mechanic, was to study the mysterious storm, for she wanted to someday visit it. As the storm increased in intensity, Venn saw Lana come out and set up her weather measuring equipment. He was interested in this, but then he realized that Ron was shouting at him to secure the cargo. Venn then walked over to one of the crates on the deck to secure the ropes holding it in place. After he climbed on top of the crate to begin to do so, the ship tipped to one side drastically, the ropes snapped, and the crate began to slide down the deck, taking Venn with it. The crate and Venn fell off of the side of the ship together. He could not hold on to the crate despite his claws and fell into the water. Lana watched Venn, greatly surprised by the sheer coincidence, for on her last voyage she had gone overboard in nearly the same manner. Venn reached for the crate but found himself swept away from it. He tried to pull the cord to inflate the emergency inner tube that he had wrapped around his neck, but before he could do this, his view began swirling. He had been swept into a whirlpool. He spiraled into the center, where he took a deep breath before being pulled under the surface. Down, down he went; how far, he could not tell. He finally managed to pull the cord to inflate the inner tube, but at this point, he was in pure darkness, and he soon passed out.
When Venn regained consciousness, he was still in complete darkness. He considered the possibility that he was dead; was it very dark in the afterlife? He felt around a bit in the darkness and discerned that he was floating in a body of water of some sort, with his inner tube still attached to his neck. He started to swim forwards and went some distance before running into a wall. The pain he felt after crashing into it was real, so he then felt assured that he was still alive. He started swimming beside the wall, which appeared to be curved. He continued in this manner for about 10 minutes; he was clearly in a curved pool of some kind. He then remained for a while and thought about his situation. He had evidently been dragged into an underwater cave by the whirlpool; what luck that he wound up there rather than drowning! Yet, if this were indeed a cave, he could not remain there for the air could not remain breathable for too long. It took him a long time to muster the courage to decide to escape the cave. He dug his claws into the wall of the cave, which was surprisingly soft, removed his inner tube, took a deep breath, and began climbing slowly downwards into the water. He could not slip, or else he would sink into the depths and never be seen again. He eventually reached the bottom of this vertical tunnel. His only option now would be to turn around upside down and climb on the underside of this larger, completely submerged cave. He looked around, and to his great surprise, he could see a large shaft of radiant sunshine emanating from a faraway part of the ceiling. He slowly and carefully crawled towards it, then, upon reaching it, started climbing another vertical tunnel upwards into the light. After reaching the water's surface at the top, he encountered a grate placed over the top of the vertical tunnel. Hoping against all odds that someone would help him, he grabbed onto the grate and started shouting for help.
Apparently from pure exhaustion, he had passed out again. He woke up in a bed in a hut of some sort. He took a sigh of relief, for certainly somebody had come to rescue him. A Blue Lutari sat on a chair on the other side of the room, wearing tribal face paint and clothing.
“Oh, you're okay now? Good. How brave and or lucky you are to go underneath like that.”
“Oh, hi... uh, underneath where?”
“Under the island, of course. Lutari Island. You have amnesia or something? Nobody else has come in that way due to the strong currents down there.”
“Wait, what? Woah... err, no, I remember nearly everything... I'm Venn.”
He turned around to notice a whole bunch of Neopets looking at him through the windows of the hut, mostly Lutaris, but a few other species as well. These started to come into the hut and observe Venn, as he was the first outsider they had seen visit the island in many years. Venn had no choice but to recount the entirety of his trip. As much as it pained him, he also had to mention his inability to swim, too much giggling, but he hoped that the rest of his story would make up for that. They also asked him about what new things had occurred in Neopia since their separation for the rest of society. Thus, even though he was nowhere near being a walking newspaper, he did his best to describe various events, the new and interesting species known as Vandagyres, and whatever other important developments came to mind.
After he had said all that he had to say, the Blue Lutari showed him around the island. Her somewhat non-personable personality resulted in her being a significantly less-than-ideal tour guide, but Venn still enjoyed viewing the island's landmarks, such as the Fluorescent Pools, the Wheel of Happiness, the shops, the unique plant life, amongst the other sights. The most awe-inspiring thing he saw, though, was at the edge of the radiant sunshine most of the island was bathed in. At this point, there was a sharp divide between the light and the storm surrounding the outer part of the island, where the plant life was dead. While he observed, a massive wave came his way, only for it to crash into the divide between the storm and the light; it was like a solid wall against the water, yet he could still reach through it. After this, it was late, so he decided that it was time to go to bed. The natives had fortunately provided a spare hut for him. Before doing so, however, he remembered his family, and then broke into tears out of the realization that they would assume that he was dead. There was little he could do about this and he eventually cried himself to sleep.
He felt a bit better in the morning and came out of his hut to eat breakfast. The natives, notably, ate their meals all together as if they were a great big family. They might as well have been, given that all they had were each other. Their meals consisted mainly of the native fruits, which were unique varieties that Venn had never seen before. He found it to be quite amusing that the natives had already considered him part of their family despite their knowing him only for less than a day. During this, though, he felt something whispering in his ear. He looked behind him but nobody was there. The voice got louder. "Dear Neopian, please bring me... Krakuberry Juice." Venn announced this mysterious message, which got everyone near him excited and worried. A pair of Lutaris forced him to stand up and told him that he needed to follow. He began following, and the trio broke into a full sprint, coming upon a temple. He dashed in, while another Lutari handed him a pitcher of the Krakuberry Juice that the voice had told him to obtain. In the middle of the temple sat an Air Faerie, wearing a unique outfit, apparently in some kind of meditation. The other Lutaris beckoned him to quickly hand the pitcher to the Faerie, which he did. The Faerie thanked him for the contribution, before dropping it, spilling its contents on the floor, and returning to her meditation. The Lutaris then left the temple and Venn followed.
Venn felt obligated to ask of one of the others, "What was the point of that? I didn't get anything, other than a thank you, and she didn't even use the juice I gave her...”
A Red Lutari replied, "You might know that Faerie quests help to strengthen their magic, as the connection between them and Neopians is a major source of their strength. Well, ever since the great storm began so many years ago, she has provided the shield against the storm that has kept us and all of the life on our island alive. If we fail to fulfill her quests, her magic will most likely fade and we will be destroyed. We also fear that, even though this, she might be in pain, as we sometimes hear her screaming in the night.”
He thus continued his life on the island. One of the islanders was content to help Venn learn how to swim. A few months passed; he had not learned yet how to swim, but he at least knew how to avoid sinking.
A particularly important day came: Lutari Day. Not only was it a day of pride to the Lutaris on the island (as well as the natives of other species,) but it was also the day when the storm lessened just enough for some magic transmissions to be made between the island and the outside world. Few actually did so, however. The one main thing that did get transmitted was transmission of a few thousand Lutari souls, created by the rituals of the islanders, to the outside world. With these, new, natural Lutaris could be created. Early in the morning on this day, Venn sat in his hut, thinking about the beauty of this, when he heard a voice calling to him from behind him, which he did not recognize.
“Hi, Venn! I'm Steph!" Venn turned around to see an 8-Bit Flotsam greeting him. He had recalled that Lana told him about her family, and that one of the pets at her owner's Neohome was a very magical 8-Bit Flotsam; this must be the same one.
“Hi, uh, Steph. How did you get here?”
“Lana told us how she had predicted that the weather would decrease on Lutari Day, enough for me to get in with my magic so I used the opportunity to get in and say hi!”
“So, uh... how was my funeral?”
“Lana said it was really sad and that your folks were taking it really hard. I don't get it, as you're obviously not dead!”
“I know, right?”
“I can take you back home, you know!”
“Really? ...Hey, wait, then why didn't you bring Lana here too?”
“She said she wanted to find a 'normal' way to get in. She's really missing out!”
“Well, uh, let me say my goodbyes and enjoy the rest of this Lutari Day with everyone, and come back, like, a few minutes before midnight. Be sure to wake me up if I'm sleeping, oh, and tell my folks that I'm not dead, please!”
“Okay!" With that, she vanished in a burst of pixels.
Venn spent the rest of the day saying his goodbyes to the natives, the names of whom he had all memorized at this point, and looking at the landmarks again. Everyone stayed up late for a Lutari Day party, lit up with massive torches. Midnight drew near when Steph reappeared.
“I'm back! Missed me? I'm ready to take you home now!”
Venn was about to answer in the affirmative to this inquiry when he again heard a voice beckoning to him in his mind. "Dear Neopian, please find me Rainbow Lutari Cone..." Venn had no choice but to dash off, grab a Rainbow Lutari Cone from a local shop (hopefully, they would not mind him borrowing one,) and give it to the Faerie. He ran back as fast as he could, but when he returned, it was too late; it was past midnight and Steph had left. Out of rage, he pounded his fists into the dirt, yet he was glad all the same that he had rescued the island from destruction once more. What if he had received the message after leaving? The thought was too sickening for him to imagine. Thus, he prepared himself for another year of living on the island. At least his folks now knew of his whereabouts, and maybe, just maybe, he would finally learn how to swim.