So now we get to the point where Viper and Raven are leaving Mystery Island
to go home, a few assassination attempts along the way, and the two are completely
clueless to both of them... And then we have this mysterious coward of a commander
of some sort of crime group ordering these assassins around, completely hidden
behind a simple chair... Well, prepare for a few more jolts as I enter the story
Chapter III- A Shack in the Woods
Back with Viper and Raven...
"Are we there yet?" whined Viper. He didn't
mean to be rude but they had been walking through a forest at the edge of Neopia
Central for more than an hour, and his broken shoulder was beginning to throb.
It was not only that-the sun that shone through the trees was so hot that sweat
was starting to roll down his furry muzzle.
"Yeah, we just turn here," she responded, making
a sharp turn in between two bushy pines, "and we're home." They now stood at
the edge of a large clearing completely surrounded by pine trees. At the very
back of the clearing was a small wooden shack.
Raven coughed anxiously. "Yeah, I know it's
not much, but buying that lab map left me broke..."
Viper cocked his head. "Why did you get the
ray if you don't have any Neopets, that is, apart from me?"
"I'm part of one of those 'pound-pet' groups.
You know, where you adopt a hopeless pet, zap it, then disown it again. Don't
worry, I'm not gonna zap you," assured Raven, then, without waiting for a response,
she ran up to the shack's front door. Like all Neopian homes, the door did not
have a key lock. Instead it had a built-in computer monitor and sliding keyboard
in one of the middle-height panels. Ravens slid out the keyboard, typed in her
username and password, and pressed enter. Viper heard a slight click,
and the door swung open.
The inside of the house was just as shabby as
the outside. It seemed that it was made up of three rooms: a bedroom, a bathroom,
and the kitchen and living room were crammed into the same section. The olive
green paint was peeling from the walls and the cement floor was cracked in several
places. At the far side of the main room was a dented fridge that kept whining
and making odd noises. Not far from the fridge did four crooked stools surround
an island. Sitting on the island was possibly the only 'nice' thing in the house:
a shiny black laptop. Right now the monitor was up, but the screen was blank.
To the left of the fridge, in the corner, was a rotting wooden cupboard. Half
a wall was the only thing that separated the doorway from the living room. An
old chipped vase sat on a hand-carved, wooden table. About six, maybe seven,
paces away, up against the left side wall, was a beat-up couch. Right next to
the couch, in the corner opposite to that with the cupboard, was an old doggy
bed slash beanbag chair. The doors to the bedroom and bathroom were shut.
"So," said Raven, standing in the doorway. "What
do you think, Viper?"
"Well, since this is the first NeoHome I've
been in since, well, you know... I'd say it's great!" growled Viper gleefully.
He then followed his relieved owner into the shack, the door shutting automatically
behind them. Raven went straight to the laptop and turned it on.
"Whatcha doing?" asked the curious Lupe, peering
over RavynnWolfe's shoulder.
"Well," started Raven as she arrived at the
Neopets main screen, "since you don't remember them, I'm going to check your
stats on the quick ref. page. See if you'd make a good battle pet." She moved
the mouse over to the little blue link that now read: Pet: Viper, and clicked
on it. "Okay, let's see..." quipped Raven when she got to the quick ref. "Level:
38, Strength: 63, Defence: 57, Movement: 52, HP: 70 on 70, and Intelligence:
403!" She whistled and her eyebrows shot up forehead. "Wow, definitely a battle
"Look here, where it says 'Age'. It's supposed
to say how many hours old you are, but instead it say 'Unknown'."
"Weird..." agreed the mutant Lupe, beginning
to wonder about his former identity again.
"Talk about it... Hey! You hungry?" asked Raven,
heading towards the cupboard and fridge.
"Sure. What's in stock?"
"Anything that you can get for free." Seeing
Viper's blank look, she decided to be a bit more specific. "Let's see, we got
Lime, Strawberry, Lemon, Glowing, and Carnapepper Jelly; a whole bunch of Omelettes;
Prune Juice, some form of canned peas; and a whole lot of free Tombola junk."
"Uh... I'll take an Omelette," said Viper, trying
to choose the most normal thing on the list.
"Good choice," replied Raven as she threw Viper
a Carrot and Pea Omelette. The Lupe sniffed it curiously before digging his
teeth into the eggy meal. Viper found it tasted good enough and very filling.
"Oh, Viper! Don't get too attached to Omelettes. As a Lupe, you're supposed
to be a carnivore, specifically eating Chias."
The mutant lifted his head from the omelette-or
at least what was left of it. "I remember that much!"
* * *
Chapter IV- Einstein
That night, Viper curled up in the doggy bed. Same with the next night. Both
nights he had dreamless sleeps, and both days he spent eating Omelettes and
Jellies and looking up missing Neopet records or anything that might apply to
him. Raven would have had Viper do something outdoors, but it rained none-stop
both days. RavynnWolfe noticed that this was depressing Viper and in the end,
she decided to adopt another pet. Not for the pound-pet project, but for keeps.
She told this to Viper the morning of the third day.
"So... what do you think?" asked Raven after
she told Viper.
"Sounds good to me." He tried to hide his grin
but by now it covered his entire face.
"Well let's go then!" said Raven, putting her
backpack around her shoulder and beckoning Viper towards the door.
"Now?" questioned Viper, surprised.
"Well, yeah. Best get there before all the good
pets get taken. C'mon!" And then, despite the pouring rain, she dashed out the
"Hey!" yelled Viper, looking all around him.
"Wait up!" He then ran in pursuit of his owner, slamming the door behind him.
About fifteen minutes later, they arrived, soaking
wet, at the Adoption Centre. The neon red letters above the entrance were flashing
on and off, preparing to die. The 'A' and 'D' had stopped flashing all together,
so the sign now read 'Option Centre'. Once they were safe inside, Viper began
shaking off the water, and Raven began squeezing it out of her hair. As they
looked around, the two found that the main lobby was quite full. Not only with
people waiting to adopt or disown, but also people just trying to escape the
storm. Outside they could hear the thunder rumbling and they could see the lightning
Suddenly, the Uni at the adoption counter called
the Raven, waving a hoof. Beside her, Dr_Death sat, looking grim as always.
"RavynnWolfe! Are you back for another pound-pet?"
"Actually, no," responded Raven as she neared
the counter and the gate to the main pound. Viper, still shaking himself, followed
suit. "I'm actually looking for a brother or sister for my new pet, Viper."
She motioned the soaking mutant at her side.
"Right this way, then!" The Uni opened the gate
and led the duo into the pound. "Come and get me when you've found someone,"
she said, walking away.
Raven nodded. She knew the procedure very well
and didn't need to have it repeated. She'd adopted at least ten pets in her
eight months being with the pound-pet group. Raven turned to look at Viper who
she saw was staring at the immense kennel in front of them. "Hey, you all right?"
she asked, waving a hand up and down in front of Viper's seeing eye.
He snapped out of his trance immediately. "Uh,
what? Sorry, I'm fine. I uh..." He'd just had a distinct feeling that they were
being watched-which Viper suddenly realised was probably true considering the
Neopets were all looking hopefully at them, preying that they would be picked.
"Um, let's go." Then Viper and Raven walked up to the huge cage and began scanning
through it. They saw pets of all shapes and sizes, all colours and species.
Some of them had hopeful faces; some of them scared faces and others were just
blank. At the end of the room, Viper saw a teenage girl remove an undersized
Korbat from the kennel, preparing to adopt it.
"Hey, look here!" piped Raven, pointing at a
fire Gelert that was waiting patiently in the corner. As Viper and RavynnWolfe
neared it, they saw that it had an unbelievably low adoption fee. It was Scorpion.
To hide the snake scar, he'd painted it over with black paint. He grinned mischievously
when he saw that his plan was working. Raven was moments away from adopting
Scorpion when a Neopet sitting near the back wall of the cage caught her eye.
It was a blue Eyrie with wings immensely large for his small torso. He wore
a thick pair of glasses, and was busily typing away on a laptop. Raven's heart
gave way instantly. She couldn't think of anyone who could possibly want to
disown a pet like that.
"What do you think?" she asked Viper, pointing
at the Eyrie. Scorpion was praying that he would reject the Eyrie.
"Sure!" responded the mutant. The fire coloured
Gelert's legs gave way and he swore fiercely to himself. The boss is going
to kill me! thought Scorpion, pounding the wall with his forepaws. No one
Seeing that they had chosen a Neopet, the adoption
Uni galloped over. "So, who's the lucky pet?"
"That Eyrie, what's his name?"
To be continued...