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The Chet Files


by parody_ham

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My name is Lena, and I’m a journalist for The Coconut, Neopia’s best source for breaking news. We highlight the stories that no other reporters will cover, dive deep into dangerous catacombs to get first-hand interviews with petpet-loving cultists, and obtain in-depth discussions with Neopia’s famous icons; the most notable is our newspaper’s philanthropic mascot: Mr. Coconut. //www.neopets.com/ntimes/index.phtml?section=578975&week=861. Today we have something even more special to share: the true identity of Chet Flash!

     Have I caught your attention yet? Good. Read on to learn more.

     You may have heard of Chet Flash. He’s been everywhere and nowhere. All around us, ubiquitous, but without form or feature. A spectre of our collective imagination. Few, until today, have seen him beyond a fleeting glance.

      A mysterious Neopian by trade, Chet has been described as tall or short; red, blue, green, yellow or purple; speaking with a high-pitched or a booming bass voice. Some say he is furry or scaly, with big or small feet, and either long or short ears. As of now, none of the details are agreed upon. But what we do know for sure is that he “wuz here.” According to a handwriting expert from Citadel College, all of Chet’s scribbles were written in his steady hand. And if you ask one of the Lupe Pack Detectives, they’ll say he’s just like the mysterious hero, Tripwire. Perhaps this cryptic Neopian has a familiar alter ego? The world may never know. Nonetheless, we’ll continue to search.

      The phrase “Chet Flash wuz here” exists within entries dating back almost 20 years. To find his first sighting, you’ll have to look around issue 75. And not just written entries; comics, too. He’s been detected everywhere from the backs of signs to every plot comic ever published in Neopian history and even, inexplicably, on Neopia’s moon.

     Anywhere you search, you’re likely to see his name written somewhere. Perhaps it will be written in size 9 font under the Neopian Times banner—hypothetically, of course. Or even nestled within well over a dozen different entries for this week’s Times.

     An exhaustive list of his sightings would be far too long and overwhelming for a single article. For any diehard fans out there, a running list of Chet detections is sitting in our office. Stop by and we’ll print out a copy for you. But for today, we’ll start with a few of his branded products and affiliations, and jump to a couple of well-known plot sightings. At the end, we’ll have a formal reveal of the Neopian behind the mystery: Chet Flash!

     Chet’s Brand wuz here

     Chet’s brand of Neopian products consist of everything from playing cards to canned sardines. You can spot his merchandise from a mile away. Every box, bin, can or container has a giant, red, cursive capital c, followed by the letters h in blue, e in yellow, and t in green. The word “flash” is italicized, and looks like a striking lightning bolt. Like Chet’s name, it too uses alternating colours with the final h written in neon purple. And here’s the kicker: every Chet Flash branded product has the words “wuz here” written below in invisible ink. You’ll need a special kind of UV lightbulb to make the words pop with an ethereal glow. Otherwise, only his brand name will show.

     Below we have a few examples of his wares and affiliates. Unfortunately, we have no licensing rights for these images, so you’ll have to either use your imagination or track these products down on your own.

     1) Chet Flash’s Fantastic Fish Fillets

     The amorphous blob centered within an otherwise unnoteworthy yellow box was supposed to be an image of Chet Flash. Someone at the packaging plant made a mistake in the initial printing, didn’t save the proper image, and now all of the boxes contain the same formless figure. Oddly enough, the images of Chet Flash’s lightning bolts are as clear as day. Reviews of the fillets use such colourful language as, “spell-binding,” “mystifying,” and “mesmerizing.” Two other customers said, “I had visions of distant cyclopean cities of eons past in every bite,” and “earth-shatteringly delicious—I shared it with my entire family.”

     If you can find this product in stores, make sure to send your reviews to The Coconut’s headquarters in Wraithland, Neopia. We’ll publish them front and center.

     2) Chet Flash’s Utility Spork

     “Equipped with port and starboard attachments, this turbo-charged spork is ready for your next meal. When Chet’s name is carved onto a handle, you know you’re getting quality kitchenware.”

     This is one of the many reviews from our partner newspaper, The Meepit Weekly. Finding this product for sale, however, has proven to be a challenge, as many of the clerks we’ve talked to have stared at us in unseen horror upon our questioning. It wasn’t like we asked about Meepits or Jelly W—oh, wait. That second one still doesn’t exist. Never mind that fictitious place, we’re talking about real Neopians and lands here.

     “Chet Flash wuz here,” was repeated by one particularly perturbed worker until we asked about another product called “Coconut Crunchies.” Then, only then, did they answer in a pleasant, albeit bizarrely chipper, customer service voice.

     3) The Chet Flash Comets

     This world-famous baseball team plays nightly in the Neopia Central stadium all throughout the summer. And before you ask, there are no official team photos that we could publish in this week’s Times—not yet, anyway. Next week, we’ve been allowed to run a full-page article about them with a colour photo, so stay tuned for that.

     Hailing from LOCATION REDACTED, these Neopians make quite a stir when they play. When I asked the team members if they’ve ever met their mysterious manager, they shuffled about nervously, looked at their feet, and answered with a resounding “maybe.”

     Players Chris Eton and Florence Ashley recalled a garbled broadcast from Virtupets Station that contained the pixelated form of Manager Chet. He spoke in computerized sounds that resembled Neopian speech. Some of the players claimed that this was a supportive and reassuring message encouraging them to do their best. Others surmised that it was a heavily compressed, distorted jumble of sounds and static. As this correspondence was not recorded, we’ll never really know for sure. But what we do know is that the Comets’ mascot, a giant, invisible lightning bolt named Tehc Hsalf (pronounced Strike Save), will be running laps around the baseball diamond after the game today. Make sure to watch for their footprints in the dirt and get their autograph before it’s too late. You never know when they’ll run around again.

     Chet’s Appearances World-wide

     1) Bar None

     Throughout Neopia’s history, Chet has left his mark practically everywhere. Perhaps the most well-known example of this is when he wrote his famous catchphrase in the Brightvale prison where infamous rogue turned Master Thief, Hanso, once stayed. While Captain Brynneth researched a solution to Faerieland’s sinking feeling, Hanso schemed a way out. Somehow, Chet Flash snuck his way into the prison, scribbled his name on the wall, and stealthed away before being detected.

     When pressured for information, Hanso gave a broad shrug and said, “I was a little preoccupied with escaping that cell and helping Brynn. If someone else was in there with me, I didn’t notice them. You sure they didn’t write the message beforehand?”

      Two eyewitnesses, both Brightvale guards, swear that it hadn’t been there before. How Chet managed to avoid detection has remained a mystery.

     2) Creepy Krawley

     The Meepit Oaks Sanitorium remains one of the most terrifying places known to Neopian-kind. It has some of the rustiest doors, too. Truly, the amount of rust you can find there is something worth writing conspiracy theories about. Anyway! Near the back of the sanitorium, in an otherwise abandoned building, is a single phrase written upon a rust-coloured door: “Chet Flash wuz here.” Why Chet accessed this site no one knows, but it’s one of the few places where a magical flower grows. Perhaps Chet adventured to find this flower? Or was he investigating the mysterious happenings within Neovia?

     We asked Bruno and Sophie, two heroes from the “Tale of Woe,” and neither had caught sight of the elusive figure. Sophie was less than pleased to be bothered.

     “Don’t know, don’t care,” she muttered while stirring a bubbling cauldron. “I was too busy uncursing a town to worry about chasing some urban legend.” When I pressed for more information, she chased me out of her house and onto the front porch where Bruno, an enormously tall, grotesque Gelert, sat with a book in paw.

     Thankfully, Bruno was a bit more personable. “Is he mentioned in any books? That’s how we found the Spirit of Slumber.” To illustrate this point, he flipped the tome over and showed me an account of the Lupe that had once possessed him. “You never know what you’ll find.”

     Unfortunately, we do know what we’ll find. Endless weeks of fruitless searching. No reliable primary sources exist. All of our data has been through verbal accounts and location data. Any time we found any fragment of detail, it was covered in purple ink and illegible. Nonetheless, we thanked the siblings for their time.

     3) Branching Out to New Places

     For those unfamiliar, the heroes of Meridell (Sir Jeran and Lady Lisha Borodere, Lady Kayla, Sirs Boris and Morris) arrived there through a magical portal that flung them hundreds of years into the past. But anyone who has since searched for this portal has stumbled upon a normal, albeit impressively large, old oak tree with branches wide enough to fit another trunk inside. Carved into the tree’s ancient bark are four words: “Chet Flash wuz here.” Oddly enough, there are reports of Chet’s name popping up all throughout the Medieval time period, including while Sir Rohane (known colloquially as “The Hero of Five Lands”) and his companions were travelling in the Haunted Woods. Upon the table of a rather rustic “Shady Sepulcher Inn” lies Chet’s best-known words. Besides this phrase is another, perhaps slightly more recognizable “GOOD NIGHT mr coconut.” How someone knew of Mr. Coconut from that era is beyond us, but perhaps Chet had something to do with it.

     One particularly bizarre instance found Chet’s name etched upon a bench in uneven capital letters. It had been stored within a Meridell cellar filled with food, drink, and weaponry. Later, when the words “Who is Chet Flash?” were found beneath an ornate tapestry depicting a jousting tournament, a firestorm of conspiracy theories arose, none of which came to fruition.

      The Grand Reveal

     Here we are, folks. The moment you’ve all been waiting for: Chet Flash’s grand reveal. Never in my wildest dreams did I think he’d willingly reveal himself—I’ve been caught by surprise. And as a journalist of 16 years, one who has interviewed singing Neoplants, bantered with a Neopian who named their fist “Little Justice,” and chased down a googly-eyed, lab-coat-wearing Techo who shouts about “SCIENCE!” that’s pretty hard to do.

     This interview was difficult to set up; Chet is a very secretive Neopian. He has agreed to stand behind a tall, black divider and speak into a voice-altering microphone from the other side. At the end of this interview, he’s claiming that he’ll reveal himself to his fans at The Coconut and elsewhere.

     Lena: So, Chet, are you ready to make an official appearance?

     Chet: Perhaps.

     Lena: Such a mysterious fellow. Why are you so intent on remaining anonymous?

     Chet: There are a few seconds of silence. Because too much of a reveal would be dangerous. Sometimes, knowing less is better.

     Lena: Oh yeah? Is that so?

     Chet: Yes.

     Lena: And is there any reason why you’ve left your name all throughout Neopia?

     Chet: Because I was here. And there. And even over there. We all want to leave our mark on the world. Some of us take things a little more literally than others.

     Lena: That’s for sure. Is there anything else you’d like our readership to know?

     Chet: Yes. Apple Ring long Found Olive stumped.

     Lena: Is that some sort of a code?

     Chet: Yes. First two letters of the capitalized words, first letter of the lowercase words.

     Lena: Huh. I’ll have to decode that later. You’re a very interesting fellow, Chet.

     Chet: That I am. And with HTML5 on the way, there will be less and less of Chet Flash, so I have to leave my mark somehow.

     Lena: Less of? Wait. You’re going to be stepping down?

     Chet: Only somewhat. I’ll keep making self-aware cameos in Neopian Times stories and articles, especially within this particular issue. Look out for me everywhere.

     Lena: Everywhere? And Neopian Times? I work for The Coconut, Chet.

     Chet: GOOD NIGHT mr. coconut.

     Lena: GOOD NIGHT, indeed. So, you’re a fan of our mascot, are you?

     Chet: Very much so! But enough of me talking. I think it’s time that I reveal myself once and for all.

     Lena: Oh! I’m so excited! Is there anything I should do on my end?

     Chet: Nope. I got this covered.

     And with that, Chet yanked the divider down. Within an instant, all power in the studio was cut, leaving only inky darkness. When I managed to turn a few lights back on, there was no one in the room but I, Lena, reporter extraordinaire, and a floating question mark hovering above my head. From its curve, there hung a short, scribbled message. When I slipped it off and read it, I sighed. There, on the parchment, were only six words:

     “Chet Flash wuz here. April Fools.”

     

 
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