I'm sure you've all seen the redone Maraquan PetPets, and the shop that now
sells them, The Rock Pool. How did that come to be? Here's the scoop on the
Crista collected PetPets. Specifically, she collected Maraquan PetPets. She'd
managed to get them all before the destruction of Maraqua, and had stacks of
bowls in her shop. They contained Goldys, Sea Monkeys, Rubys, Cleos, Clippers,
and every Maraquan PetPet she could pile. (She didn't have any Waleins or Peadackles,
for example.) Crista's best friend, Sally, was a Koi, and appreciated Crista's
collection more than anybody else.
Sally was a wreck when she heard the news of the giant whirlpool. "Maraqua
can't be gone! It's existed for hundreds of years!" she'd wailed. Crista (a
green Kougra) had also been dismayed, but she contented herself with the knowledge
that her collection would be suddenly extremely valuable.
Lanchon, Crista's sort-of sometimes she-wished boyfriend, lived on Mystery
Island, and Crista was with him on the beach watching the sunset when she noticed
something swimming in the waves. "What do you think that is?" she asked.
Lanchon shrugged his furry yellow shoulders. "I'll go see," he offered, and
padded out into the water to catch the creature.
It turned out to be a Bubbles, a pretty fish PetPet with large lips. Crista
examined it carefully. "It looks healthy. I wonder how it escaped the whirl...pool?"
Her voice trailed off as she realised that the Bubbles had started looking extremely
strange. In fact, she'd never seen a weirder Bubbles. It didn't look much like
a Bubbles any more!
"What's happening to it?" wondered Lanchon. "Is it dying?"
"It must be. Put it back in the water, quick!"
They bounded down to the water and dipped the Bubbles in, caging it with their
paws so that it couldn't get away. It swam around, looking confused but otherwise
perfectly healthy. But it was still changing. Within a few seconds it had morphed
into a sort of orange rectangular fish with a dopey expression. Crista sat back
in the water and the no-longer-Bubbles took the opportunity to swim away.
"Have you ever seen that happen?" asked Lanchon. "A PetPet turning into something
"Never. But maybe...I don't think I've ever seen one of my PetPets out of their
bowls! I'll ask Sally. Her uncle was the Fishy Friends shopkeeper, so she might
The next morning, Crista woke up, had breakfast, spent her customary ten minutes
brushing and flossing her sharp sharp teeth, and phoned Sally.
"What is it?" came Sally's sleepy voice from over the phone.
"It's Crista. What happens to a Maraquan PetPet when it comes out of water
for a minute?"
"Dunno. I've never seen one out of water like that."
"That's what I figured. Oh well. Come on over; I'm going to try an experiment
and I want you to see it."
"'Kay. Just let me wake up, all right?"
"Oops! Sorry!" Crista had forgotten that Sally usually didn't get up this early
in the morning. "Bye." She hung up, and was about to leave when she turned back
and dialed again. "Hi. Is Lanchon there?"
"This is his owner. Crista?"
"Yeah, it's me. Can I talk to him?"
"He's still asleep."
Crista hadn't realised what an early riser she was. "Sorry. Can I just leave
him a message?"
"Certainly. What would you like me to tell him?"
"Ask him to meet me by the Rock Pool before noon." Lanchon's owner promised
that she would deliver the message, and Crista hung up. Was her crazy notion
Crista paced back and forth. Kougra paws were good at pacing, so she did it
for a moment even after Sally and Lanchon arrived at the Rock Pool.
The Rock Pool was their secret little place. It wasn't really kept secret,
but it wasn't well known either. It was a small pool on the tiny island just
off the shore of Mystery Island, and formed just so that creatures always got
trapped in the pool. Whenever those few who knew about it went there, they guided
the trapped animals out into Neopia's oceans. This time, however, Crista picked
up a Phishy and held it out of the water, dripping. "Oh, Crista, let it go!"
"Wait," directed Crista. They waited. And then...
The Phishy became larger, darker, black and red and shaped like a lump. Crista
sat the black not-Phishy down, and it swam away. "What was that all about, anyway?"
she asked. "How did that happen?"
"I don't know," replied Lanchon. "But what do you bet people will prefer the
out-of-water pet to the in-water pet? Let me try it again." He pulled out another
trapped Phishy, and it turned into the same thing after about half a minute.
"Okay, let's see how well they sell. What's the nearest PetPet shop?"
"Faerieland, but it's way over our heads and we don't have any way to get there.
But we could take a boat to the Haunted Woods."
So they went down to the harbour. A sad-looking Coco and Kougra guarded it,
huge fake tears splashing down their faces, but Lanchon and Crista knew how
to deal with uncooperative Kougras, and soon they were docking next to the Haunted Woods and running (or, in Sally's case, hopping and jumping) to the Spooky PetPets
Shop. The scary green chap who owned it took one look at the no-longer-Phishy
and said quickly, "Is that for sale?"
"We'd like to know how much it sells for, yes," relented Lanchon.
"Hey!" shouted Dr. Petrov into the crowd in the shop. "If you could purchase
this PetPet here, what would you offer?"
Someone called, "Three Neopoints!" But the yells of the more experienced PetPet
buyers quickly drowned them out: "A thousand! Two thousand! Three thousand!"
"That looks to me like a Phnard," the green man remarked, examining the no-longer-Phishy.
"It's a wild animal that lived on Mystery Island, but it hasn't been seen for
years. Where ever did you get it?"
"It's a Phishy," Crista explained. "Phnards are actually Phishys taken out
of water. I've tried holding them in water for minutes; they don't change back,
while it takes seconds for them to change to Phnards. I'm pretty sure the change
"Out of water? But everybody who has Phishy should..." Dr. Petrov trailed off
as he realised. "Nobody actually takes their Phishys out of the bowl! Maybe
no Phishy has come out of water for years! That would explain it!" He shook
his head in astonishment. "Once the word gets around, all the shop owners will
be taking their Maraquan pets out of their bowls. We'll have an explosion of
Phnards! And...other PetPets..." He paused, then jumped into the back of his
shop and returned with a thick book. "Use this book to identify the other PetPets
you morph from Maraquan PetPets. And good luck!"
"So they'll sell for lots now?" Sally pressed.
"Five thousand! Eight thousand! Twelve thousand! Twenty thousand!" the crowd
continued to scream.
"Hold up! It's not really for sale," Dr. Petrov called. To Crista and her friends
he asked wryly, "Does that answer your question?"
"We can set up a shop by the rock pool," Crista said enthusiastically. She'd
been planning during the entire boat ride.
"What should we call it?" asked Lanchon.
Crista grinned. "How about, 'The Rock Pool'? Anyway, it'll be great because
I can sell all my extra PetPets, and we'll have a fresh supply of more always
coming in. We'll make tons of NP. This is great!"
They stopped off at Crista's shop to pick up all her extra pets, and pulled
them out of their bowls as they went back up to the rock pool. Sally ended up
pulling the wagonful of bowls of Pinkys and other splashing pets while Lanchon
and Crista took on the job of herding the Bowlas (dark teal ribbonlike pets
tied into bows with faces on the front) and other bowl-less pets up the island.
As they swam across the shallow channel between Mystery Island and the tiny
island of the rock pool, Crista noticed that the pets stayed as they were. The
change was indeed permanent.
Within an hour they had identified the Bubbles' new form as the Cubett. Other
new PetPets included the Pepito, the Leeble, the Frillabon, and the Ramosan.
Lanchon put up some makeshift shelves in front of the pool, cutting it off from
the customers. On the shelves he set PetPet after PetPet. He was putting a wiggling
Sproing (a purple ball with long springy legs) onto a shelf when he heard Crista
shout, "Lanchon! Come out here!"
"What is it?" called Lanchon, running around the wall of trees and shelves
to see Sally sitting bewildered in the pool. A tiny Blumaroo was looking up
at her. Then Lanchon looked closer and saw tiny fins and a tiny pale blue tail!
It wasn't a Blumaroo at all. But the head looked exactly like one!
"It's not in the book," said Crista from across the pool. "And it doesn't change
out of water. I don't know what it is."
"Is it intelligent? Or is it just like a PetPet?"
"It seems to be just like a Petp-" Crista was cut off by a shout from the other
side of the tree/shelf wall: 'Oh cool! Free PetPets!"
Lanchon and Crista, Crista dropping the book, bounded around the wall and growled
at the visitors, showing their long sharp teeth. "Why are you here?" demanded
"Hey, dude, cool down!" exclaimed the man who had spoken before. "We got referred
by Dr. Petrov. So are those things for sale, or what?"
"We haven't priced them yet," Crista said sweetly, discreetly elbowing Lanchon.
"And we don't have a link to the National Neopian Bank, so we're really not
ready to distribute yet. Could you come back tomorrow?"
"Sure thing," the man said. "Come on, dudes." He and his buddies and their
pets turned and swam away. Crista grinned at Lanchon. "I think business is going
to be just fine."
Later that afternoon, as Crista was consulting Dr. Petrov's book and her records
of pre-whirlpool Maraquan PetPet prices, the man returned.
"I'm sorry, we're still not ready," Crista said nicely.
"That's okay, dude! We're here to help!" He escorted a tall blue Kyrii in a
black three-piece suit up the side of the little island. The Kyrii was wringing
water from his fur and looking quite disgruntled. "This had better be worth
it," he grumbled. "Where's this great deal you said you had for me?" Then he
noticed Crista, and did a little bow. "Pardon me, madam. Are you the one in
charge of arranging our association, Miss...?"
"Crista. Just call me Crista."
"Ah yes. Crista. What is the nature of this deal?"
"This young Kougra," said the man, "is the owner of the Phnard from earlier
today. I'm sure you've heard of the almost-riot in the Spooky PetPets shop?"
"I did. Are you saying that her pet caused this?"
"Exactly. As you can see if you examine the shelves, she has a whole slew of
other PetPets just as rare. I believe she wants to make a deal with the National
Neopian Bank. Isn't that right?"
"Um...yeah, it is," Crista said. "What deal did you have in mind?"
The Kyrii looked startled, but he quickly composed himself. "The same deal
that my company has with all the other Neopian shops," he explained. "The National
Neopian Bank will install a machine in your shop through which users can withdraw
Neopoints from their account. In return for the installation and maintenance
of this machine, the National Neopian Bank will receive one per cent of your
shop's total profits."
"I'm not sure how fair that is," Crista said slowly. "It's not that I don't
trust you; it's that I don't know enough to make the right decision." Wow, she
sounded professional! Crista hadn't been aware that she could sound this smart.
"I'd better ask Lanchon. Laaanchon!"
The yellow Kougra padded out from behind the wall. "What is it-oh, hello!"
"Lanchon, this Kyrii has a deal to make with our shop." Crista explained about
the bank machine and the profits. "We give the bank one per cent of all our
profits. Is that fair?"
Lanchon considered this. "Well, let me see. My cousin is a worker at the Tyrannian
Weaponry shop; we could ask him what his deal is. Sally! Will you watch the
PetPets while Crista and I go make a call?"
So Sally came out to keep an eye on the PetPets, and Crista and Lanchon swam
then ran to Crista's NeoHome, which was nearest. They used the phone to dial
up Lanchon's cousin's NeoHome, and he answered: "Hello?"
"Hi, Flame! It's me, Lanchon."
"Hey, Lanchon! What's up? How's it going?"
"Everything's just fine. Say, Flame, I've got a question for you. What's the
deal between Tyrannian Weaponry and the National Neopian Bank?"
"What do you mean?" asked a puzzled Flame.
"About the bank machine in your shop."
"Oh! We give them one per cent of our profits, and they take care of the contraption."
"It's the same deal," Lanchon told Crista. To Flame he said, "Thanks."
"Any time. Hey, did you see the news? There was this riot at the Spooky PetPets
"Actually, we were there. Crista kind of caused the riot."
"Crista? As in, your sort of sometimes you-wish girlfriend?"
Lanchon blushed. He was glad Crista hadn't heard that. "Yeah, the same one.
Anyway, talk to you later, okay?"
Lanchon hung up and turned to Crista, but she wasn't there. Then he heard a
click from the next room: his owner's room. "Crista?"
The green Kougra hung up the extension and padded out of Lanchon's owner's
room. "Sort of sometimes you wish girlfriend, hmm?"
"Ack! You were on the phone when Flame said that?"
"Yeah. So...would you like to drop the sort of, sometimes, and I-wish parts?"
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to..." Lanchon stopped when he realised what Crista
had asked. "You really mean it? I mean - yes, of course!"
"Great!" Crista headed for the door. "Now let's get back to the Rock Pool."
"We've been all over today! I'm exhausted."
Crista nodded. "I never thought having a shop would be this much work!"
"We accept your offer," said Crista as she hauled her wet fur out of the little
strait between the Rock Pool isle and Mystery Island. "You can build the machine.
We might even be ready to go by this evening!"
"Sign here," said the Kyrii, handing Crista a pen and a sheet of paper. It
had no fine print and no footnotes; it was just a clearly written statement
of the arrangement between The Rock Pool and the National Neopian Bank. Crista
took the pen and signed her name in cursive. She'd never been very good at cursive,
but her signature was easy to read.
"We'll have the machine ready within two hours," the Kyrii said. "Oh, and by
the way..." He paused, looking uncomfortable. "This may seem like a silly question,
but could you...erm...could you hold back one of those Phnards for me? I'll
pay full price, but I want to be sure of getting one."
Crista grinned, showing her teeth. "Okay. As long as you get that machine here
within the hour."
"Sorry, but that's the way it is. I'm trying to run a business here, after
The Kyrii nodded and agreed to bring the machine in an hour. "Good."
"Nice going," said the man, who had stood back to watch the proceedings. "So
will you be ready by tonight?"
"I hope so."
"I hope so too." He grinned and sloshed through the shallow water back to the
main island. Crista turned to Lanchon and, once man and Kyrii were out of earshot,
screeched, "We did it! We've got our own shop!"
The Rock Pool did booming business. Although they didn't stock very many pets,
the two Kougras sold them all for full price in an instant. Crista estimated
that the bank was paying interest on the accounts of the five thousand wealthiest
Neopians with the 1% of the Rock Pool's earnings. Lanchon figured it was probably
The little Blumaroo-lookalike had been dubbed the "Baby Blu" and was selling
faster than any other pet. Everybody wanted one! And, as predicted, every shop
owner with a Maraquan PetPet rushed to pull them out of their bowls, until Crista
had most of the few remaining unchanged pets.
Crista and Lanchon are an official couple at Mystery Island High School, and
have been named "Most likely to stay together until death". The Rock Pool is
still selling out within moments...but hey, what do you need me for? Go visit
it yourself and find out!