Where there's a Weewoo, there's a way Circulation: 103,901,843 Issue: 205 | 26th day of Hiding, Y7
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The Search for Snowflake: Part One


by buddy33774

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But first, a foreword from Lennert…

      "Hiya! I'm Lennert! You may know me as Hawkins' loveable and goofy red Lenny roommate, as well as co-star of the 'Hawkins and Lennert' stories. The 'Hawkins and Lennert' stories are all part of a continuing series of stories that build off of each other. Because of that, it's usually easier to understand some of the jokes of later stories if you go back and read some of the earlier ones.

      "These are stories critics have called 'sometimes crappy'. That means that they're only crappy some of the time - so, sometimes they're not! Don't you want to be one of the lucky ones to read one of the stories which may or may not be crappy?

      "So go on! Go read some of the earlier 'Hawkins and Lennert' stories! But read this one, too! Read them both at that same time! Or don't read any at all! I don't care - I'm hungry. I'm going to get something to eat…"

And now, onto the story…

By now, most people know that Hawkins, a rather average type of Kyrii painted the glorious color of green, works at the Neopian Times. What many (including poor Hawkins himself) don't know, however, is what exactly it is that Hawkins does there. Is he a reporter? Is he a story writer? Does he work the printing presses? Clean the bathrooms?

      Well, on this day, Hawkins was doing none of those things - he was taking a test. A test which was just about to finish…

      "Time! Put down your pencils!"

      …Now!

      Mister Brintle, a white Blumaroo - as well as Assistant Editor for the Neopian Times - glanced up from his watch and looked around the room. It was a plain room - white walls, vanilla carpet, with about thirty small school room-type desks and chairs spread throughout. And at each one of these desks sat a pet who had just finished taking a test.

      Hawkins, who happened to be one of these pets, put his pencil down and leaned back with a content sigh.

      Brintle strolled through the rows, glancing down at each of the tests as he walked past. "So," he asked the room, smiling, "what'd you think of the test? Hard? Easy?" The Blumaroo stopped in front of a certain green Pteri who was squirming uneasily in his seat, chewing on his pencil. Brintle picked up the Pteri's test, glanced over it, then looked back down at the Pteri, confused.

      "You didn't finish the test - heck, you didn't even start!"

      The Pteri stared back at his boss, wide-eyed with terror. "Well, I tried… Bu-bu-bu-but I couldn't get past the first question!"

      "The first question asked you what your name was!"

      "I know!" the Pteri cried back, fidgeting nervously and close to tears. "But, I didn't really know what to put… I was thinking of putting 'that certain green Pteri', but I figured--"

      Brintle sighed. "Well, I guess you'll just fail this test then, Mister…" The Assistant Editor glanced down at the test in his paws. "Now see, I can't even crush your self-esteem properly since I don't know what to call you!" He threw the test back down on the desk, turning to the rest of the room. "You all can go now - except for you, Hawkers." Brintle nodded to the Kyrii a few seats away. "I want you to wait up - I have something I need to discuss with you."

      The rest of the pets filed out of the room, mumbling softly amongst themselves. Hawkins, however, hung back, waiting until all the rest of the office workers had left before getting up and walking over to his boss.

      "What's up?" the green Kyrii asked.

      Brintle put a paw behind Hawkins' neck in a fatherly embrace. "Hewkins, walk with me to my office."

      The two pets walked out of the room and started down a hallway, one with doors on either side. The carpet was a rich sky blue, with the walls and matching doors a dark brown, presumably made out of some type of wood.

      "Harland," Brintle began as the two walked slowly down the corridor, "when I was a young Blumaroo growing up in the ghetto of Neopia Central--"

      "You grew up in the ghetto?"

      "Well, the ghetto or a large mansion in the suburbs - either or. I really can't remember, to be honest. My mind is pretty hazy most of the time." Brintle shrugged. "Anyways, when I was a young boy, my mother didn't love me. She spent all her time feeding her Kaodoaties and making me model dresses for her. I can't be sure, but I'm willing to bet that has something to do with why I act the way I do today!"

      The two pets stopped in front of the door to an office marked "Assistant Editor" - Brintle's office. Brintle opened the door.

      "But wait," Hawkins asked, not entering yet. "What does that have to do with anything?"

      His boss smiled. "You see, I'm about to ask something very difficult of you. I just wanted to give you an example of how doing difficult things can sometimes make you a stronger person!"

      "…Trying on your mother's dresses made you a stronger person?"

     "That, or screwed me up to no end." Brintle paused for a second, then shook his head and motioned for Hawkins to enter the office.

     The office was a pretty ordinary office - a simple brown desk set on the far end with a large glass window behind that (the blinds were drawn), a book-less bookshelf on the wall to the desk's left and a half-dozen documents and awards hanging on the other (most of which were obviously fake, having been made out to "Professor Cool-Pants" and "Dr. Kick Booty").

     Brintle took a seat behind his desk with Hawkins pulling up one of the two plain, brown, wooden chairs in front of it.

     "Now," the white Blumaroo began, "as you know, the Neopian Times' two-hundredth issue is going to be coming out soon. However, what you probably don't know is that there's a little-known section of our company policy that prohibits us from releasing special issues of the 'Times - like issue two-hundred - without specific, written consent from the Editor-in-chief, Snowflake."

     Hawkins thought for a second, confused. "But… Who would make such a dumb, pointless rule?"

     Brintle shrugged. "Well… I did."

     Hawkins hesitated, unsure of whether or not he should continue. "…Why?"

     Brintle leaned forward just a bit. "Hawkins, there're times in our lives when we all do stupid things."

     "But, the rule doesn't even make sense."

     "Hawkins, rules don't have to make sense - they just have to be."

     "...Huh?"

     "Exactly." Brintle smiled slightly, leaning back in his comfy black leather chair once more. "Now, like I was saying. We need the permission of Snowflake in order to release the two-hundredth issue, since she's the Editor-in-Chief."

     "Oh yeah!" Hawkins exclaimed with realization. "Because you're not the Head Editor, are you - you're only the Assistant Editor!"

     Brintle's face dropped. He gave out an annoyed sigh. "Yes, Hawksters, I am. I applied for the position of Editor-in-Chief, but didn't get it…" He paused for a few seconds, as if trying to decide mentally whether to go on. "You know, you attack one pet with a brick in a fit of rage, and suddenly, you're a bad guy! No, apparently, I'm too 'dangerous' and 'unpredictable' to be Editor-in-Chief of the Neopian Times! Well, I'll tell you now what I told them then - my days of randomly lighting things on fire are almost over!" Brintle stopped himself, sighing and pausing for a few seconds to give himself time to cool off. He ran a paw through the fur on the head before continuing. "Anyways, back to what I was saying. In order to release issue two-hundred, we need written permission from Snowflake. The problem is, I don't exactly know where she is…"

     "What, don't you see her all the time?" Hawkins asked.

     The Blumaroo shook his head. "No, actually - in fact, I've never even met her!"

     "Wait, all this time you've been working here and you've never even met Snowflake?!"

     Brintle shook his head again. "Nope. Never seen her, never talked to her - nothing! Every once and a while I'll get a memo or a note from her telling me about a new rule or idea about making the paper better. But I've never actually sat down and had a conversation with her. And now that I think about it, I can't recall anyone who has…"

     Hawkins thought for a moment, shaking his head slowly as he tried to make sense of the whole situation. "Okay… So, if we can't contact Snowflake and we don't know where she is, can't we just release the two-hundredth issue anyways without her permission?"

     Brintle shook his head adamantly. "No," he replied firmly. "Absolutely not."

     "Why not?"

     "Because," the Assistant Editor replied. "That would be breaking the rules!"

     "And what would happen then?"

     "Hard to say - no one's ever broken the rules before."

     "So," Hawkins continued, "if no one's ever broken the rules, how do we know anything bad will happen?"

     Brintle shrugged. "I dunno - it's just one of those things one generally assumes, I suppose"

     "Maybe nothing will happen."

     "Or, maybe something terrible will happen."

     "How do you figure that if no one's ever broken the rules before?" Hawkins repeated.

     "They're rules," his boss replied.

     "So, even though no one's ever broken the rules, you still think something bad will happen just because they're rules and no one's ever broken them?"

     Brintle nodded. "Yep, pretty much!"

     "…It seems like you're using backwards logic…"

     "Yeah, well, it seems like you're using logic-less logic!" Brintle shouted back in a rather immature tone.

     Hawkins blinked. "…Logic-less logic?"

     "Logic that has no logic," Mister Brintle explained.

     Hawkins sighed. "Okay then… I suppose we need to find Snowflake. So, what exactly do you plan to do?"

     "Ahhh! That's where you come in, my friend!" Brintle nodded to his employee, smiling. "That's your mission - to find Snowflake. You may select up to three other employees of your choice to join you. And by 'three', I mean 'one'. And by 'other employees of your choice', I mean 'that certain green Pteri who has no name'."

     "…I don't really have any choice, do I?"

     Brintle gave another careless shrug. "Well, you have the choice of whether or not to like it."

     "Would it make a difference if I didn't like it?"

     "Not in the least."

     Hawkins sighed. "Fine, whatever," he replied, his tone that of a tired and annoyed pet. "Is there anything else before I set out on this little journey?"

      Brintle shook his head. "No, that's pretty much it. You can go now."

     Hawkins stood up from his chair and turned to go. But just as he did, he heard Brintle call his name.

     "Hoosters," the Blumaroo warned, "remember: Everything depends on you. If you fail, Neopia will never see issue two-hundred. Unless I decide to break the rules. Which I won't."

     Hawkins nodded. "I won't let you down." He turned and walked out of the office, more convinced than ever that his boss was a very crazy, dangerous pet.

     And this very crazy, dangerous pet, now alone in his office, leaned back contently in his chair, smiling lazily to himself. "Hmmm…" he thought. "You know, if Hanksters and that Pteri are going to be off looking for Snowflake, I might need someone to replace them… But, where will I find someone who can write - or, in the very least, pretend to write?"

     ***

      The streets of Neopia Central were all business this morning - Unis and Eyries pulled carts up and down the busy, congested avenues while pedestrian pets of all species and colors moseyed along the sidewalks.

      And on one of these sidewalks, on the corner of an intersection, stood Mister Brintle the white Blumaroo. He was looking for the perfect pet - one which he would have to meet the rigorous standards of being able to write good. Yes, write good. Gooder than most, at least.

      Brintle just seemed to be waiting there, resting on his tail, his arms crossed calmly as he watched the various people and pets pass by, when he happened to glance to his right only to see a red Lenny coming up the sidewalk towards him carrying a case of something in his wings.

      There! Right there! The perfect pet!

     "Hey you!" Brintle called out to the pet.

     The red Lenny glanced up. "Huh?"

     "Yeah! You! Come over here for a minute!"

     The Lenny trotted over, curious.

     "Can you read?" Brintle asked.

     "Just barely," the Lenny replied.

     "Can you write?"

     "Not very well."

     "Well… can you pretend to do either?"

     The Lenny shrugged. "Sure!"

     "Good!" Brintle smiled. "Then I have a job for you. How would you like work as a temporary writer for the Neopian Times for a few days?"

     The Lenny thought about if for a moment. "Well, I was supposed to take this container of something to someone for… something… But I guess it doesn't really matter now!" He tossed the case off to the side, where it hit the ground with a crash. "So, when do I start?"

Neopian Central Hospital Room

      The green Gelert, a well-known staple in Neopia Central's main hospital, now stood in the room of one of his patients; it was a normal, simple hospital room, with a large window on one end, a bed in which the patient now rested, and curtains to draw around said patient. However, the Gelert was not looking at the room - he was looking down at his clipboard at the chart for the afore-mentioned patient.

      He sighed, his white doctor's coat shifting up and down as he did. The doctor then glanced up at his patient lying in the bed - a certain green Pteri.

      "Well, mister…" The Gelert doctor glanced down at the chat he held on the clipboard in his paws, flipped through a few pages, and then shrugged. "Well, mister whoever-you-are, it doesn't look like the medicine we ordered is going to make it here in time. I'm afraid that the only way left to save your life is to amputate your head."

      The certain green Pteri, who lay in the bed with the covers pulled up to his chin, paused, not sure how to reply. "But… won't that kill me?"

      "Hey!" the Gelert snapped back. "Who's the doctor here? Now, lean back and relax. You'll only feel a tiny prick - followed by an excruciatingly painful burning sensation."

      The Pteri gave a nervous shiver as he leaned back. "Oh, I don't think I like the sound of that…"

      Head amputation? Sounds expensive…

To be continued...

 
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