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Something Has Happened! When Dreams Make No Sense


by superkathiee

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Betrayn looked around at her surroundings, snapping out of what seemed like… a trance. She smelled an unpleasant stench and noticed the most unsightly pile of rubbish she’d ever seen. Where…? And then it clicked. She was at the Meri Acres Rubbish Dump.

     But WHY though? She had no reason to come here. She didn’t need anything new for her Neohome. She had enough Neopoints to live off of. As a Stealthy Blumaroo, she tried to keep a low profile at all times. The Rubbish Dump was HARDLY low profile. This was so unlike her. Why did she come here?

     Stepping over a Zeenana Peel and narrowly avoiding a Pile of Dung, Betrayn made her way out of the farm. On the way out, she accidentally bumped shoulders with a Green Lutari who seemed as if she were not paying attention to where she was going.

     “Hey, watch it!” Betrayn shrieked at them. But the Lutari just kept walking, not even turning to look back at her.

     Hm, that was odd, Betrayn thought, and she slinked back to her home on Roo Island, hoping never to go to the Rubbish Dump or see that Lutari ever again.

     ~~~

     Solazei was in a daze. Walking around, she was jostled by what seemed to be a dark, shadowy figure loitering near a pile of garbage. How strange. Glancing around, feeling a bit unsettled, the Green Lutari kept hearing incessant and maniacal laughter. It can’t be a good thing when something that gruff sounding is mixed with such laughter, she thought incoherently.

     She turned the corner around a mouldy apple, just to plummet through a soft mist and land next to a ship of pirates. Who did she find, but the infamous Captain Scarblade. The fierce lupe was standing on an elevated platform with a microphone and spotlight with a maniacal gleam in his eye. Her paws touched the damp wooden surface just in time to hear the ranking officer say, “Have you heard any great pirate jokes, me hearty? Arrrgggg, neither have aaayyeeeee!”

     The strange barking laughter sounded quite unnatural on the ominous pirate ship.

     “You know you’re a pirate, ayyy, yes yer’ do! Cause’ I think, therefore… I ARRRRRR!”

     Bellowing laughter ensued like a dissonant and unwelcome melody as the pirates continued to make Captain Scarblade laugh. The unsettling feeling grew, as the lookout on the ship spotted Solazei. With an uproar, a haggard-looking Eyrie named Ole’ Birdeye grabbed Solazei and threw him into the brig. After a startled moment, the Green Lutari realized that she wasn’t the only one with such meagre accommodations. As her eyes adjusted to the darkness she saw a Baby Blumaroo.

     ~~~

     Spudlie jolted awake with a cry! The Baby Blumaroo had awoken from a wondrous dream into what appeared to be a nightmare. Mere seconds ago he had been in Faerieland, playing with snowballs in the springs alongside the Healing Faerie and watching others transform into their splendid new selves at the Rainbow Fountain! Spudlie knew this was all a dream because there was no way for a non-Faerie to get to that part of Faerieland without an invitation from Queen Fyora herself, but he didn't care. He was on top of the world!

     While strolling the city looking at what the merchants had to offer, his dream quickly started to shift. He felt Faerieland shake and it drastically started to descend through the clouds. What was happening? Why would this dream take a turn so dark?

     It was then that he saw him: Captain Scarbalde. Being just a baby, Spudlie didn't know much of the Captain, but felt cold as soon as he laid his eyes upon him. A maniacal, unsettling laugher could be heard in the background. As he watched the Captain laugh, frozen in fear, the world around him shifted into what one could only describe as a dark, cold, and frightening place.

     Inside the darkness, Spudlie spotted a green Lutari. She appeared confused, her face showing the same emotions Spudlie was feeling, but there was a sweetness in her eyes that made Spudlie feel safe. He wasn't sure who she was, but was sure that she would help him escape whatever this nightmare was.

     ~~~

     Betrayn had been having a very weird day. On her way home from the Rubbish Dump, she had been confronted by Lawyerbot—someone she had never seen in person; she thought he was just a myth. But he was real, and he tried to serve her with a subpoena. “Ah, there you are!” he’d said, chasing after her. Betrayn ran as fast as she could until she finally lost him.

     The Stealthy Blumaroo was almost home when a clap of thunder startled her. The sky became dark and filled with clouds. She expected a warm summer rain, but instead she got… Mortogs? It was raining MORTOGS? Was she seeing things right?

     Betrayn sped the last few blocks to her house, ran inside, slammed the door behind her, and locked all three deadbolts. (A ninja can never be too safe.)

     What is happening to me?!?!?! She thought, very alarmed at today’s events. The Blumaroo stared out the window, expecting to see the Mortogs still raining from the sky. But the sky… was clear. The sun was shining, and nothing was falling from the sky.

     Was Betrayn imagining all of this?

     All of a sudden, motes of light surrounded her. She looked up and saw a note appear out of nowhere. She opened the note. It was an invitation to visit Faerieland from Queen Fyora herself. Betrayn knew she should feel honoured about this but instead she was just… confused. But she knew that she needed to go, because if anyone knew what was going on, it would be Fyora.

     She looked towards the light motes, which had been bobbing in the air around Betrayn for the last couple of minutes.

     “Can you take me to Queen Fyora?” she asked, looking at the light motes. Which felt like such a silly thing to do, because they are just motes and there is no way they could be understanding her, right?

     Wrong. The light motes swirled around Betrayn, gaining speed the more they swirled. Another flash of light beamed in Betrayn’s living room, and then they were gone.

     ~~~

     Back on Captain Scarblade’s pirate ship, Solazei walked back into the depths of the holding cell, towards Spudlie. Just as the Eyrie turned the key to lock the Lutari and Blumaroo in the brig, something quite outlandish happened. The previously damp and musty air started to sweeten, and the bars of the cell started to transform into… it couldn’t be… jelly? Is it really jelly?!

     Spudlie waited not even a second to taste test their new bars in their cell. As the baby babbled on and on about something called Jelly World, Solazei was concerned for the Blumaroo and wondered if something in the strangely transforming jelly altered the pet’s intelligence statistic when he ingested it. Stranger things had happened…. The poor little guy was looking a little dazed and empty of his thoughts. Before Solazei could get too concerned for the wellbeing of the Baby Blumaroo, a warm blinding light suddenly melted the (maybe?) jelly into a sugary substance all around them. In the distance, like a mirage, Solazei saw a dark, hooded figure that seemed incredibly familiar… Did she really see it or was it an illusion?

     ~~~

     Betrayn landed in Faerieland with a crash. She was on top of a cloud, but that cloud certainly was not as soft as she was led to believe. Why did no one tell her that clouds are actually hard, not fluffy and soft?

     Betrayn’s thoughts wandered, and suddenly remembered the three deadbolts on her front door. They were still locked. Betrayn groaned, realizing that when she got home she would have to break in through a window. That is, if she ever got home from this truly bizarre day.

     Right, Queen Fyora. She didn’t have any time to waste. She had to find Queen Fyora and figure out what was going on. She looked around to see if the light motes could help her again… but they had already vanished.

     ~~~

     Spudlie and Solazei watched as the jelly that had once been their holding cell on Captain Scarblade’s ship continued to melt away into… “What is that, cotton candy?” Solazei asked, not quite realizing she was speaking aloud.

     “No, we are in Faerieland now. The blinding lights were light motes, and they left us this invitation to visit Faerieland. The invitation came from Queen Fyora,” Spudlie said matter-of-factly. “I was just here earlier today, right before I was transported to the ship. I have no idea how I got there, or why I’m back in Faerieland. I thought I was dreaming, but maybe this isn’t a dream after all. I have no idea.”

     Solazei was impressed with the Blumaroo’s knowledge… maybe the Jelly World babbling hadn’t knocked his intelligence down that much after all.

     “I’ve been experiencing some very weird things today, too,” the Green Lutari said. “I’m glad I’m not the only one. It sounds like whatever is happening to you is happening to me too. I’m Solazei, by the way.”

     “Nice to meet you, I’m Spudlie,” said the Baby Blumaroo. “Whatever is happening, we can figure it out togeth—”

     Solazei cut Spudlie short, because she had spotted that dark, hooded figure again. And this time, she realized why she recognized them: she’d seen the same person earlier this morning, at the Rubbish Dump.

     “Spudlie, we have to follow that Blumaroo!”

     Solazei took off across the clouds, trying to catch the Blumaroo. Spudlie felt he had no choice but to blindly follow. He sighed and ran after her.

     ~~~

     Betrayn had only been walking through Faerieland for a few minutes when she felt as if she was being followed. Sure enough, she looked over her shoulder and saw a Green Lutari and Baby Blumaroo running towards her. That Green Lutari looked eerily familiar… She had been at the Rubbish Dump this morning!

     Betrayn took off running, looking for the first chance to lose them. She began to wonder if today had been some elaborate scheme for these two neopets to catch her? (A ninja can never be too trusting.)

     Finally, she turned a corner, and found some cover in the clouds. She lost them. She paused, however, to listen to their conversation as they looked for her.

     “Drat! We lost her,” the Green Lutari cried.

     “Solazei, what was that all about? Are you going to tell me why we needed to chase that Blumaroo? That’s not very nice,” the Baby Blumaroo frowned.

     “Spudlie, I’m sorry I took off with no explanation. I saw that Stealthy Blumaroo at the Rubbish Dump this morning; she ran into me. That’s where I was before I was transported to Captain Scarblade’s ship with you. I was hoping she might be able to help us figure out what’s going on with us, and figure out why we were both transported to Faerieland by those floating light orbs, Solazei explained.

     “Okay, that makes sense. And I forgive you for not telling me; time was of the essence. Now that we’ve lost her… what do we do? Do you think Fyora might be able to help us?” Spudlie asked.

     “That was my plan,” Betrayn said, coming out from her cover underneath the clouds. After listening to the pair talk, she determined that the pair likely wasn’t chasing her out of malicious intent. So Betrayn decided to meet them. (There was always a chance that they were lying because they suspected she was listening, but that was a chance Betrayn was willing to take. She was desperate to figure out what was going on.)

     “I—Wha—How? You disappeared?” Spudlie asked, his mouth wide open.

     “I didn’t know why you were chasing me, so I hid beneath the clouds over in this corner. I wanted to hear about your intentions. I’m experiencing the same weird scenarios today, just like it sounds like the two of you are.” Betrayn explained.

     The trio quickly caught each other up about what they had experienced that day, and agreed that finding Fyora was the best plan of action. Betrayn’s sense of trust grew with these two neopets; she truly felt that they were being genuine.

     Spudlie took it upon himself to summarize their plan. “Okay, so we just have to get to Fyora before one of those weird things happens again and transports us somewhere else. There’s only one problem. How do we find her?!”

     ~~~

     Suddenly, a friendly faerie passed by, faerie wings brushing the baby’s arm, Spudlie started to giggle. “I’d love to give you a quest Betrayn, but since you have that determined look in your eyes, I have a feeling you are already on one,” the faerie said pointedly. Abruptly as she came, she flew away.

     Spudlie was disappointed with his unlikely acquaintance. They actually were on a true faerie quest, albeit in the reverse: they needed to FIND the faerie. Oh well, maybe next time the Stealthy Blumaroo would have a bit more time for questing.

     Not having a long attention span, Spudlie the Baby Blumaroo was getting bored, so he started a lively game of Hide and Seek, trying to recruit the other faerie quest party members.

     Solazei brushed the baby off a few times, but each second, the baby seemed to be more and more insistent.

     After watching the encounter, it seemed to Betrayn that Spudlie was trying to communicate with the Lutari. “What is it Spudlie, what are you trying to say?”

     After a few nonsensical words, the baby said, “Hide! Hide!” while pointing to a particular whimsical part of the faerie castle. As Betrayn gazed up, her eye for deception examining every crook of the castle that the baby pointed to, she noticed that there was a hazy, almost mirage-like glimmer every few seconds on a turret toward the centre of the castle.

     Seeing the stealthy Blumaroo gazing, it clicked for Solazei. She shouted, “It’s the Hidden Tower! Of course!!”

     The Lutari looked at the baby who, looking a bit chuffed with himself, giggled and tried to scale the wall. Just as the baby reached to climb, the baby fell through the seemingly solid wall!

     ~~~

     Always ready for anything, Betrayn dashed to the aid of the baby, and she too disappeared. Not wanting to miss the party, Solazei cautiously tested the barrier and dematerialized through the castle blocks, into the wall!

     As her eyes adjusted to the sudden lighting change, she gazed around, to see an extravagant gold and marble staircase leading in a spiral upwards. Was this the secret entrance to the Hidden Tower?

     ~~~

     The trio climbed the staircase and happened upon a room filled with beautiful items, weapons, and paint brushes. Spudlie was immediately taken by a Rainbow Swirly Thing, and he picked it up to play with it.

     “Spudlie, no!” Solazei called, taking the item from the baby’s hand and putting it back on the shelf from where it came. “That’s very expensive, you don’t want to have to pay for it.”

     “Oh, just let the baby have his fun.” A new, strong and powerful voice echoed from behind a curtain at the front of the room. The trio walked toward the voice automatically, as the curtain was pulled back. It was Fyora, the Faerie Queen herself.

     Spudlie clapped for the figure, grinning broadly. Fyora flicked her wrist, and in doing so, magically the Rainbow Swirly Thing was in Spudlie’s hand once again. Solazei just stared, mouth agape, at the interaction. She was in awe.

     Betrayn, however, wasted no time. “Queen Fyora, we think Something Has Happened! We keep finding ourselves in weird places and scenarios, and we don’t know why. The three of us keep meeting. We wanted to find you to ask for your help. What’s going on in Neopia today?”

     “Oh, Something Has Happened alright!” The queen sighed. “Dr. Landelbrot’s Random Events Machine aboard The Coincidence is malfunctioning out of control. I’ve been getting confused and angry messages all day. I’m about to go visit him myself to sort this all out.”

     “Can we come with you?” Spudlie asked, wide-eyed.

     “Sure, but I need all of you to stay out of my way. And Spudlie, I’m going to have to take the Rainbow Swirly Thing back. Your travelling companion Solazei was correct, it is very expensive.”

     Solazei’s mouth fell to the floor yet again. How did she know their names?

     “I need all three of you to stand closer to me, in a circle. Hold my hand.” Spudlie and Solazei followed directions immediately.

     Betrayn, ever the distrustful, hesitated. “Betrayn, are you coming or what?” The queen barked.

     Betrayn, figuring that even if this was not the real Queen Fyora, staying close by would be crucial, joined the circle.

     “Everyone, hold hands. Spudlie, grab my cape. Ready?” The trio nodded.

     Queen Fyora flicked her wrist again, and the trio’s vision went dark, for yet another time that day.

     ~~~

     Sure enough, they arrived at The Coincidence. A very old Lutari, looking frazzled, was running around the room like a madman.

     “What is IT LAMPWYCK? I TOLD YOU I DON’T HAVE TIME TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR DISCOUNTS TODAY!” Dr. Landelbrot shouted, not yet laying eyes on his new visitors.

     Queen Fyora cleared her throat, and Dr. Landelbrot looked up.

     “Oh, my Queen, my deepest apologies, I didn’t see you there, I thought you were the owner of the lights shop—oh, no matter, that’s not important. I meant no disrespect, please believe me. Everything is doing great here, Random Events are functioning just as normal. How may I help you? May I take your coat? Can I fetch you a cup of tea? Fellow Lutari—” Dr. Landelbrot gestured at Solazei, “please fetch the queen some tea. Wait, you don’t work here, who are you? How did you get into my shop?”

     Betrayn rolled her eyes. No wonder The Coincidence is malfunctioning, this guy is a MESS she thought.

     “Landelbrot, stop. These three are my guests, and will not be ordered around your shop. I have no coat and I need no tea. What I do need, however, is for you to fix your Random Events Machine. You’re wreaking havoc all over Neopia. This is not what we agreed to many years ago.”

     Dr. Landelbrot’s sheepish grin turned straight into a grumpy frown. “Ah, so you’ve heard about that, eh? I was trying to fix it before anyone noticed.”

     “We’ve noticed, all right.” Betrayn jumped into the conversation. “I’ve been to four different locations today alone and so have my new friends. I don’t like what’s going on here, and it needs to be stopped.”

     “Ah yes, see well, I can explain how that happened…”

     Caring not about excuses, Queen Fyora walked past Dr. Landelbrot and made her way to the Random Events Machine. Betrayn and Solazei exchanged a Look, and then quickly followed their Queen. Spudlie totted along behind them.

     The dashboard of the Random Events Machine was going haywire, every indicator and light turned a furious shade of crimson. Needle point gauges were bouncing from one extreme to the next. A faint alarm was sounding in the distance. This was clearly a disaster, and one in which Betrayn had no idea how to fix.

     Dr. Landelbrot launched into a technical explanation of how the machine works and what needs to happen in order to diagnose and fix the problem. The Queen, Betrayn, and Solazei listened intently, soaking in all of the knowledge they could to help.

     Spudlie, however, had other plans: spotting a floating orb of light, he crawled around the machine to the back, and followed the orb underneath the Random Events Machine. He lost the orb in the darkness, but saw something else instead: eighteen bright yellow eyes, staring back at him.

     Spudlie started wailing; it was the loudest cry he’d ever had. He was so scared. What WAS that thing?!?!

     ~~~

     The rest of the group heard the scream, and Dr. Landelbrot excused it immediately. “Oh, pay no matter. The machine has been emitting so many strange noises today, you just have to ignore them. We have to keep working."

     But Solazei knew that cry was no Random Events Machine malfunctioning. She recognized that cry: she had heard a softer version of it earlier today, on Captain Scarblade’s ship, inside the cell. It was Spudlie.

     Solazei followed the sound of the cry, trying to find her Baby Blumaroo friend. She followed the sound all the way behind the machine… but then, it stopped. Solazei looked around, overturning furniture and random piles of mechanical junk. Where was that Blumaroo?!

     After five minutes of searching, Solazei was about ready to loop in the others about Spudlie’s disappearance. She was concerned he had been whisked away to another location in a Random Event, all alone and without his friends. They had to fix that machine—and quickly!

     Before Solazei could tell the others about Spudlie, Dr. Landelbrot cheered in triumph. “Aha! We fixed the Random Events Machine! All of my indicators are green again, and the needles are in the normal range! This is wonderful news! We did it, Queen Fyora and mysterious Blumaroo! We did it!”

     It was Queen Fyora’s turn to receive A Look from Betrayn. They hadn’t done… anything. Dr. Landelbrot had just been explaining the system, none of them diagnosed the problem at ALL, much less solved it. How could he be so sure?

     “Hey, that’s great that it seems fixed,” Solazei interrupted, “but Spudlie’s missing. I think he was whisked away agai—”

     “No, I’m right here!” Spudlie exclaimed, emerging out from under the Random Events Machine with a… creature… in hand. “I’m fine, I promise! Even though none of you were concerned when I cried.” Spudlie pouted for a moment.

     “I’m sorry Spudlie, we all should have looked for you instead of just Solazei,” Betrayn said gently. “Hey, what is that in your arms?”

     “Oh! This is what was breaking the machine! It’s a Mutant Triffin and it’s my new best friend. He wandered in here this morning and got scared in the dark laboratory with all the machinery and Dr. Landelbrot talking to himself, so he hid under the Random Events Machine. He had pulled out all the wires underneath, so I got him to put those wires back in, and that’s what fixed your machine. You’re welcome!” Spudlie explained sweetly.

     “Nonsense, baby. That is RIDICULOUS, surely I would have noticed if a Mutant Triffin wandered into my—”

     Fyora cut Dr. Landelbrot off. “Spudlie, you have done a great service to Neopia today, and on behalf of Faerieland, I want to thank you immensely,” the Queen flicked her wrist again. “Here is the Rainbow Swirly Thing, it’s yours to keep as a gift of gratitude. As for you, Landelbrot, we need to have a Talk. Maybe Lympwyck is right, you do need more light in this place. And better security…”

     Fyora led Dr. Landelbrot away to talk about the future of the Random Events Machine. The trio exited The Coincidence, chatting about the events of the day that brought them together.

     “Hey, can we go visit the Giant Jelly and get some REAL jelly to eat?” Spudlie asked.

     “What are you talking about?” Betrayn asked, sharing a look with Solazei. “JELLY WORLD DOESN’T EXIST!” they shouted in unison.

     The End.

 
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