|An instant later a blur of fire colored fur streaked across
the front lawn towards the row of trash bins. The Chia officers crouching behind
them open-fired on the onward rushing Lupe with their Chia bubble guns. The hand
painted scarab dangling off of Wolf's belt had a bizarre effect on the volley
of projectiles launched in the Lupe's direction. They simply popped like... bubbles.
Wolf sailed over the front of the cars with an easy bound and skidded to a halt
in the midst of about five Chias. They tossed down their bubble guns and fled
in terror towards the watching crowd.
Wolf simply sat down and watched the spectacle
that unfolded with an amused expression on his face. Chias darted about in all
directions, colliding into each other and falling over like air-filled punching
bags. Several of the officers backed up hastily, narrowing missing several of
their comrades. They sped off, with a dozen panicked uniformed Chias racing
after them, begging them to stop. The few Chias that remained cowered nervously
behind the trash bins that were left. They peeked over the lids in wide-eyed
alarm. My fire Lupe hadn't even drawn his sword. Wolf looked over at Officer
Bookem. He was still clutching the bullhorn in his stubby paws. His jaw was
open wide enough to put a ptolymelon in his mouth.
"Boo!" Wolf yelled with a delightfully evil
glint in his eye.
The yellow Chia flinched and dropped his bullhorn.
Wolf snort-chuckled and turned on his tail. He strode back to the house with
a self-pleased swagger. The mob of onlookers erupted into loud cheers. A pack
of she-Lupes giggled and waved. When he flashed them a toothy grin, several
of them actually screamed and fainted. It was awe inspiring and nauseating at
the same time.
Sally Usul and her reporting crew galloped across
the lawn towards Wolf, but he managed to duck back inside the house before they
caught up to him. I wouldn't have to read about it, though. I knew what
they were going to write about. Wolf entered the Neohome and locked the door
"Problem solved," he said crisply.
He unbuckled his belt, removed his hypno helmet
and handed his equipment back to Krawk. The group inside the house looked as
stunned as the group outside the house.
"Hmmm..." Advisor Wessle remarked, clearing
his throat. "Yes, for now, perhaps. But the problem is far from being solved."
"Well, if it's not solved, it's not my problem,"
Wolf shot back.
The Kyrii smoothed out his tunic and adjusted
his turban. I guess be wasn't used to being shocked and needed a second to compose
himself. Then he turned to me and said, "I have a few more important matters
to take care of, so I will be leaving now. I'll just add the 250 Neopoints for
the press conference to your bill."
He glanced at the front door for an instant.
He obviously decided against using that way for an exit because headed towards
the back door. I snapped out of my trance and called out to him just before
he reached the hallway that connected livingroom to the diningroom.
"Hey! What are we supposed to do now?" What
if the police come back with bigger weapons or something?"
"Then I suggest you tap-dance your way across
your back room and hide in your underground vault again," he replied with an
easy air. "Don't worry. I know the secret combination, so I can get you out
if you get stuck again."
With that, Advisor Wessle turned and left. Stonewolf3x
shot me a disapproving glare. I shrugged Babaa-ishly and shifted uncomfortably.
This was not exactly the best day I had ever had. The familiar beep beep tones
of a hot NTV news flash blared from TV once more.
"This is Chet Flash with a startling new development
occurring in Neopia Central. Live at the Games Pavilion is Sally Usul. Sally?"
"Yes, Chet. I am here live at Meerca Chase Arena
in the Games Pavilion."
I did a double-take. Five minutes ago she was
on my front lawn. Now Sally Usul was in Neopia Central. The NTV News Station
had apparently bought a second-hand teleporter from Dr. Sloth to zap the Usul
and her camera crew everywhere on the planet. The poor thing probably hadn't
even had more than a lemon sprinkle doughnut and a banana cream coffee all day.
I wondered what kind of complete stark-raving idiot would want to be a Neopian
reporter for a living.
"As you can see, Chet," Sally continued, "behind
me is a large group of yellow Meercas. They appear to be on strike."
The camera panned in on the "On Strike" sign-carrying
Meercas behind her. My first impression was that they appeared to be on strike.
Reallyconfused got very excited and began to wave energetically.
"Ooooo! Those Meercas work at the pit!" he declared
happily. "Hi Meerca! And look, Meerca, Meerca and Meerca are there too! Hi Meerca!
Hi Meerca! Hi Meerca!"
RC didn't seem to notice the fact that they
all had the same name. Of course, he didn't seem to notice that his friends
in the little box weren't waving back either.
Sally Usul stepped up to the first row of Meercas.
They were blocking the entrance to the Meerca Chase Arena. The place that had
been swarming with screaming, excited Neopets yesterday stood empty and quiet
today. Well, empty except for the mob of Meercas standing there and quiet except
for the angry slogans they were shouting. The Usul jammed her microphone under
the nose of the first Meerca she came to.
"Excuse me, what is your name, sir?" Sally asked
in her professional live-on-the-scene news reporter voice.
The yellow Meerca looked cross-eyed at the microphone
for a second. Then he stuck out his tongue and licked it like a cherry twist
lollypop. It didn't taste very good from the way he make a sour face about it.
"Do you have another flavor?" he asked.
Sally shot him a startled look and moved to
another Meerca. "Could you tell us what you are doing here today?" she asked,
slightly less confident this time.
The yellow Meerca smiled and pumped the huge
sign he was holding up and down in the air. Then he proudly declared, "I'm carrying
a sign! It's got words on it and everything!"
"Ah... I see..." Sally said, shooting a puzzled
glance towards the camera. She moved down the line and gamely attempted to interview
another yellow Meerca. "Are you striking?" she asked, nodding her head up and
down. I think she was trying to give the Meerca a hint about the answer.
"I no strike anybody!" the Meerca whined defensively.
"I a good Meerca!"
"Oh... sorry..." the Usul apologized and moved
briskly to another yellow Meerca. She placed the microphone hesitantly under
his chin. "Ummm... " she said nervously, "Can you tell me why you are
not playing Meerca Chase today?"
"Yup!" the yellow Meerca said, waving enthusiastically
at the TV camera.
Sally waited about ten seconds for an answer.
She shifted impatiently and coughed slightly before she prodded, "And the reason
"It's my day off!" he chirped with a huge grin.
Poor Sally's arm dropped and the microphone
hung limply at her side. She cast a helpless look at the camera. Her lower lip
quivered. I think she was about to have a non-professional moment and cry. I
really felt empathy for her. I knew what conversations with dim-witted yellow
Meerca Chase Meercas could be like. Suddenly a familiar spoke from outside of
the camera range.
"As legal council for the newly established
Democratic Union of Mistreated, Despicably Used Meercas, perhaps you
would allow me to say a few words."
The camera swung quickly around to the one who
had spoken. It was Advisor Wessle. Sally Usul looked both surprised and relieved.
"Whoa!" I exclaimed. "I gotta get me one of
those teleporter thingies."
"Arrr, but I can pick ye up one at Smuggler's
Cove for a couple of dubloons," Stonekrawk3x drawled.
At least now I knew why Advisor Wessle wanted
a two dubloon coin. Of course, I couldn't quite work out how he got to Smuggler's
Cove so fast to buy a teleporter without a teleporter. Luckily the Usul's interview
with the Kyrii started before my brain began to fry.
Sally Usul was now standing next to my lawyer.
She had her confidence back.
"I am standing here with Advisor Wessle, legal
council for the newly established Democratic Union of Mistreated, Despicably
Used Meercas. Perhaps you would like to say a few words, Advisor Wessle,"
she said with something close to rapture.
"Yes, Sally, I would," the Kyrii said, lifting
the microphone from her paw. She relinquished it with a grateful look. "The
members of D.U.M.D.U.M. are officially on strike. They are here today to protest
the cruel practice of using intellectually challenged Meercas in the game of
Meerca Chase. Until this issue is resolved, no one will be permitted to cross
the picket line to play Meerca Chase."
"And how are the negotiations going, Advisor
Wessle?" the Usul asked, attempting to furrow her brow in concern, but not really
succeeding because she was obviously happy to be getting a sensible interview
"Not as well as I had hoped, Sally," the Kyrii
With a bunch of yellow Meercas standing around
holding signs that read "DUMDUM ON STRIKE", I wasn't surprised.
"But I am confident that the management will
realize that even though these Meercas aren't the brightest lightbulbs in the
lamp, they are very loyal to one another. As long as even one Meerca refuses
to play Meerca Chase, none of them will. Thousands of Neopets are upset that
they can't play this game. The management is under a lot of pressure right now
to get Meerca Chase up and running again, so to speak. I am sure that this matter
will be settled very soon."
Stonewolf3x snorted in disgust and shot Reallyconfused
a fierce look.
"This is all your fault, you know!" he growled.
The yellow Meerca, or should I say the gray
Meerca, crawled out of the cold ashes of my Advent Calendar fireplace. He looked
behind himself at the sooty pawprints on the floor.
"Ooooo! Pretty floor designs!" he cooed with
Wolf rolled his eyes in exasperation and aimed
his displeased attention towards me.
"I'm going out," he snapped. "I'm not going
to hang around here looking stupid like everyone else. I've got more important
things to do."
"I... was hoping you'd stay, Wolf..." I said,
moving in front of him to block his departure. "We need you here in case something
"Nothing bad will happen if you do one little
thing," he replied cooly.
"Send the Meerca back to the Meerca Chase game."
He turned and left out the back door with an
agitated flick of not only his tail, but the agitated flick of the tails of
all of his gang too.
"C'mon, RC," I said with a sigh. "Let's go upstairs
and play a fun game called Rub-Dub-Dub-A-Meerca-In-A-Tub."
Reallyconfused clapped his paws together with
I grabbed his sticky, sooty paw and lead him
up the steps to the second floor. Of course, I walked up the steps and RC bounced.
It was like holding hands with a pogo stick. I ran a warm tub for him and he
hopped into it. He was having such a blast splashing around that it was really
fun to watch him. Then I got a great idea.
"Hold on a second," I said with grin. "I'm going
to go fetch Wolf's battle duck!"
RC grinned back at me. I galloped down the stairs
and headed for the gym where my Lupe and his Krawk kept their weapons. Technically
a battle duck was a weapon, but it was also technically a rubber duck. I had
played with it in the bath tub myself on more than one occasion-- when Wolf
wasn't around, of course. I hadn't even made it halfway to the gym when I heard
a knock at the front door.
Oh, NO! a very panicky voice inside my
head screamed. The Chia police are back!
To be continued...