Neo_star_queen, called NSQ by most, lay stretched out on
her back on the grassy hill beside her Neohome, her hands locked beneath her head.
She gazed up blissfully at the sky, a few fluffy white clouds swimming slowly
through a vast, light blue ocean. NSQ smiled. The Buzzers were humming, the Beekadoodle's
were chirping; and a pinkish-red cloud rolled in front of her, much closer than
the other clouds, so close that NSQ could have stood up, reached out and touched
NSQ blinked in surprise. A red cloud? Now that
was odd. She sat up curiously as the red cloud drifted along lazily, turning
slightly so that NSQ could see its Cirrus face. With a faint popping noise,
the Cirrus was its normal size again, a bit bigger and more oval-shaped than
NSQ's head. The girl recognized it to be Daydream, her Zafara's petpet.
NSQ heard someone land softly on the grass behind
her, and a Christmas Zafara in a worn-out, thin brown traveler's cloak, Neoangel,
sat down lightly beside the girl. Daydream wafted leisurely over to Neoangel,
and the Zafara smiled as she watched the petpet.
"I didn't know Daydream could do that," commented
NSQ, as Daydream inflated herself again and floated off.
"I'm trying to use her as a means of transportation,"
explained Neoangel quietly, "but she's a bit slow. I think I'll leave her like
that though, I don't want to change her nature."
"At least we won't have to wait in line for clouds
to take us up to Faerieland anymore," said NSQ with a grin. Then she blinked.
"Neoangel, what's that?" she asked, pointing to the Zafara's neck. Neoangel
had replaced her usual dull golden cloak clasp with a beautiful rainbow one.
It was a little bigger than an eraser, surrounded by signs of all the different
faerie elements. In the middle of them all was a tiny mirror.
"I found it at the bottom of the Stylishly Simple
Pond in the garden," said Neoangel, rubbing her thumb over the pendant. "I think
it used to be mine… it must have fallen off when I landed in the tree where
you first found me…" she smiled. "I know it doesn't camouflage very well… but
I felt like it was calling me…"
Before NSQ could reply to this, a voice called
from down the hill, "Hey! We're back!"
NSQ and Neoangel watched as a green Kougra ran
up to them, a cheerful looking rainbow Cybunny sitting on his back.
"Anything interesting happen at the Shrine?"
asked NSQ, indicating Coltzan's Shrine.
The Kougra shrugged. "Our paws turned blue."
"It was so fun!" exclaimed the Cybunny. "Wasn't
it fun, Neofaerie?"
Neofaerie, the Kougra, shook his head and plopped
down on the ground, causing the Cybunny to roll sideways off his back, bounce
of NSQ's head and land in her lap with a giggle. "What do you want to do today?"
"I was thinking of going to Mystery Island for
a bit of sun and beach exploring," suggested NSQ.
"Sounds good to me," said Neofaerie.
"What about you, Happiness?" NSQ asked the Cybunny.
"I want to come, too!" chirruped Happiness, hopping
back onto Neofaerie's head.
"Hey, Neoangel, what's that?" asked Neofaerie,
his eyes on the new clasp. "Is there a mirror in there?"
Happiness hopped up to the Zafara and stood on
her hind legs, peering into the mirror. "It's so tiny," she said, "but I can
see myself so clearly."
"Let me see," said Neofaerie, pushing Happiness
aside playfully and looking into the mirror. "Wow, it is pretty clear… must
be some sort of magic, eh?"
NSQ looked over her Kougra's head into the mirror
as well, and let out a little gasp. "That's so weird," she said perplexedly,
"I see a volcano… well, I think it's a volcano. There's lava and rock everywhere…"
NSQ pulled her head up and looked inquiringly
at Neoangel, but the Zafara seemed confused as well. "I don't know," she said,
answering NSQ's unanswered question, "I see myself in it like everyone else…"
"You're probably going insane, NSQ," observed
Neofaerie, "starting to see things that aren't really there and all. It happens
to all owners."
"At least I'm not alone then," sighed NSQ, and
she laughed. "We should probably get going if we want to catch the next boat
to Mystery Island," she reminded them, standing up. "Neoangel, you want to come?"
Neoangel shook her head. "No, I'll stay here…"
Back at her Neohome, NSQ zipped open a tattered
Punchbag Bob Back Pack. She quickly jammed in 3 Bottles of Water, 3 wrapped
Choco-Strawberry Muffins, 3 homemade sandwiches, and a small bag containing
3000 Neopoints. Neofaerie tapped her on the shoulder and handed her a Lost Desert
"Do I need it, Neofaerie?" NSQ asked hesitantly.
"We're just going to the beach for a picnic, after all. I hate to add extra
"It's necessary," said Neofaerie firmly, tightly
strapping a twin Lost Desert Dagger to his front leg. NSQ gave in and slipped
the dagger through the belt loop on her baggy green pants, securing it with
a Bit of Barbed Wire like Neofaerie.
"All set?" asked NSQ. Neofaerie nodded, and Happiness
bounced onto his back with a silly smile.
"To Mystery Island we go!" cried the Cybunny,
waving her paws eagerly above her head and nearly falling off her brother's
The owner and her 2 pets stepped off the rickety wooden boat and thanked the
driver, an old blue Kyrii.
"No problem, good sir!" chortled the Kyrii, nodding
to the space beside NSQ's shoulder. "I used to be a Chia like you once," he
said to Happiness's ears, "those were good times…"
NSQ looked at the Kyrii blankly, bewildered.
"Sir, are you blind?"
"Yessiree!" hollered the Kyrii, "blind as a Mallard!"
"But Mallards aren't-" started Neofaerie, but
the Kyrii waved to Neofaerie's paws and sped off over the clear blue waves,
nearly crashing into a Peophin.
NSQ looked terrified. "Don't worry," Neofaerie
consoled her. "We could've swum if the boat tipped."
"I guess so," said NSQ, still looking a bit shocked.
She shook her head as if to clear it and started walking away from the Harbour,
going North on the East side of the island. It was even sunnier on the island
than in Neopia Central, and many people were out enjoying the heat. The waves
were a shade of perfect, tropical blue as they crashed gently upon the soft,
They found a good spot on a few sunbathed rocks
in the water, and sat down to have lunch. NSQ ate her sandwich quietly as Neofaerie
and Happiness laughed and talked.
"What's wrong?" Neofaerie asked NSQ, noticing
her unusual silence.
"I was just thinking about Neoangel's brooch,"
said NSQ vaguely, slowly chewing a bite of her sandwich. "Why do you think I
saw that volcano thing?"
"Who knows?" said Neofaerie, shrugging. "It probably
doesn't matter. Give me my muffin now."
Instead of waiting for NSQ to oblige, Happiness
reached inside the Punchbag Bob Back Pack, pulled out the 3 Choco-Strawberry
Muffins and handed one each to the two others. NSQ tossed her half-eaten sandwich
at the sand in an act of discarding it; it disappeared before it hit the ground.
"After this," said Neofaerie, speaking clearly
even though his mouth was full of muffin (it was a special talent of his, which
had developed since he usually held things with his mouth because he was clumsy
holding things with his paws), "we should go climb Techo Mountain."
"I want to try the Tombola," said NSQ.
"I wanna play Beach Volleyball!" piped up Happiness.
Neofaerie opened his mouth to argue, but then
a look of surprise appeared on his face and he pointed over NSQ's shoulder.
She turned around.
All of the pets and owners on the beach were
scrabbling away across the scorching sand, some shouting and screaming. Through
the chaos NSQ could make out the word, 'Sloth!'
Horrified, NSQ stood up as well, scooping Happiness
up in her arms and shouting to Neofaerie, "grab the bag! It's Sloth!"
NSQ turned around, and found herself face-to-face
with Dr. Frank Sloth. Well, since Sloth was a lot taller than she was she sort
of had to crane her neck to be face-to-face with him, but it was still very
"Eeep!" she squeaked, her arms tightening around
Happiness. The Cybunny squirmed out of her grip and sat on top of her owner's
head, looking with a hint of fascination up at Sloth.
The beach was completely empty now except for
the 2 pets, NSQ, Sloth and half a dozen mutant Grundos, who were blinking stupidly
and gazing dully at NSQ.
Finally Neofaerie asked accusingly, "What are
you doing here?" NSQ took a few nervous steps back and tripped over her own
feet, causing her to fall backwards onto the sand. Neofaerie stepped defensively
in front of his owner and glared up at Sloth.
"None of your business," snapped Sloth, "now
get out of my way."
Neofaerie hesitated, torn between getting the
others away safely and finding out what Sloth was planning. But before he could
answer, Happiness hopped onto his head, stood tiptoe on her hind legs, stretched
out as far as she could and said cheerfully, "Mr. Sloth sir, if you don't mind
me asking this, how do you get your hair in that interesting chicken shape?"
No one said a word. All was silent, except for
the occasional grunt from Sloth's mutant slaves. NSQ held her breath, her eyes
flickering from Sloth's appalled, livid face to the back of Happiness's head.
"Get out of here," muttered Neofaerie, breaking the silence. The rainbow pet
tilted her head to one side but leaped back beside NSQ, who was still sitting
on the ground. The girl picked Happiness up and held onto her tightly, looking
uneasily up at Sloth.
"Take them," he hissed to the mutant Grundos,
glowering furiously at the trio. The Grundos snorted and ambled over awkwardly.
One of them wrapped in enormous hand around NSQ, and with his thumb and forefinger
on the other hand, picked up Happiness, who smiled naively at him. Two other
mutants stepped towards Neofaerie, their giant hands out. The Kougra snarled
and drew out his Lost Desert Dagger with his teeth; a Grundo picked him up and
crushed the dagger easily between its fingers. Neofaerie squirmed and thrashed
against the Grundo's massive fingers all the way to Sloth's enormous silver
spaceship, where they were handcuffed and thrown in roughly.
Two purple Grundos hurried up to Sloth, bowing
him in. One of them asked timidly, with bad English, "your vacation-trip done,
"The vacation has been cut short," said Sloth
icily, sitting down on a large black swivel chair. "Take these 3 to the ship's
cells for now, and get me back to headquarters."
"Yes sir!" the little aliens said in unison.
They bowed again, grabbed Sloth's captives with surprising strength and ushered
them out of the room.
"This here you go," said one of the Grundos,
shoving the three into a small cell at the end of the ship. Steel bars clanged
down in front of them, and the Grundo punched in a security code. Then they
NSQ groaned and leaned against the cell. "Not
exactly how I planned to spend my day," she sighed.
"Don’t ask stupid questions, Happiness," said
Neofaerie, rubbing his eyes wearily. "NSQ, do you still have your dagger?"
"Good," said the Kougra, grimacing. "Told you
you'd need it."
To be continued...