Still thwarting Sloth's mind control... Circulation: 151,901,457 Issue: 213 | 20th day of Collecting, Y7
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Ask the Experts

by androidvidel


My mission began one night at a dimly lit table as I threw down my last card. Spectre, the creepy Jetsam who took Brucey B’s lucky coin, shot me his most intimidating glare and accused me of cheating. I grinned and flipped the card over.

As I collected my winnings, Brucey B brought over a shiny, gold Cheat! Champion trophy. Having just won, I was feeling pretty happy. It was quiet (too quiet), so I decided to start up a little bit of friendly conversation.

Me: So, Brucey! You’re the one who found the Lost Desert, right?

Brucey B: Yes, I am. But I hear they’ve gone and lost Sakhmet again.

Me: What?! How on Neopia can you lose an entire city? I thought that was just a rumor!

Brucey B: No, it isn’t. The entire city’s just disappeared!

Me: That’s horrible! Aww, I’ll bet the Fruit Machine’s gone, too.

Brucey B: Yes, it is. But Coltzan’s shrine is still there.

Me: Hey, as the resident finder-of-lost-cities, do you have any expert advice on how to relocate it?

I was joking as I said it, but the moment it popped out of my mouth, I realized that I was serious. I decided to travel Neopia and ask famous Neopians from recent Neopian history what they had to say about the disappearing city. So after saying goodbye to Brucey B (whose only advice was to always carry something lucky), I researched the mysterious happenings in the Lost Desert a little. The next morning, my pets and I awoke bright and early and set off for the Space Station to meet one of my favorite faeries.

Space Faerie: Greetings! You are androidvidel, are you not?

Me: Y-y-yes, I am! Oh my gosh- I can’t believe you actually know my name!

Space Faerie: Yes, I do- you told it to me yesterday when you asked to interview me...

It was a slightly embarrassing way to start my interview with my idol, but I composed myself and valiantly blundered on, regardless.

Me: Oh yeah... heh heh... right. Anyway, er, have you heard about the disappearance of Sakhmet, Oh Amazing Space Faerie?

Space Faerie: Of course. Queen Fyora always keeps me posted on all the happenings in Neopia, not to mention I have also been having the worst headaches ever since Sakhmet vanished.

Me: Oh! So you can tell what’s causing your headaches, Oh Amazing Space Faerie?

Space Faerie: Yes. It is one of my most useful powers. Whenever Neopets are in trouble, I can feel it. If there is too much suffering, I begin to lose my strength.

Me: Oh Amazing Space Faerie! That’s awful! But ... um ... that’s not quite what I meant. I was wondering if your Amazing Sixth Sense could tell you exactly what was going on that put the pets in danger.

Space Faerie: Oh, no, I am afraid not. My powers cannot tell me anything specific. I just know that there is trouble. By the way, let us put an end to this interview. I believe your pets are in danger of starving. Oh, my head ...

Me: But you just said your powers couldn’t tell you anything specific!

She blessed my pets and flew away as fast as she could, leaving behind a shimmering trail of stars and a very confused Neopian. Was the Space Faerie merely trying to get rid of me? Was she withholding information from me? Was she lying when she said her powers couldn’t tell her anything specific? Or were my poor pets in such awful condition that it was obvious they were famished? The world may never know. The important thing was, however, that my interview confirmed one fact - wherever Sakhmet was, its inhabitants really were in danger.

My next stop and my quest for free food brought me to the lovely Meridell Castle, to the throne of the grumpiest monarch ever to exist.

King Skarl: Grrr.

Me: Have you heard about the disappearance of Sakhmet?

King Skarl: Grrr.

Me: Rumor has it that Prince Jazan got mad when Princess Amira rejected him and cursed the city.

King Skarl: Well, it wasn’t the best, but here’s a little something for your efforts.

Me: But that wasn’t a joke! Wait. I do know a really good one about a Lenny, a Bruce, and an Ixi, though. Okay - three neopets walked into the Golden Dubloon ...

He handed me a piece of stale bread and promptly kicked me out of the castle. Literally. If Prince Jazan is as evil as King Skarl is grumpy, then I have no doubt that he really did curse Sakhmet. I fed my three Aishas the bread and grumbled about abuse as I set off in search of my next victim. After much swimming, I found her by the Maraquan Ruins.

Me: Excuse me!

Caylis: What?

Me: May I talk to you?

Caylis: Why don’t you go talk to Isca? Everyone always likes her better.

Whoa. *Someone* was slightly bitter. However, I continued, unfazed and devoted to my cause.

Me: But I want to talk to you.

Caylis: Fine. What do you want?

Me: Have you heard about the disappearance of Sakhmet?

Caylis: Of course I have. I’ve foreseen it all - that evil Prince, his curse on the city, the undead pets terrorizing the inhabitants. Deplorable things are happening. My nightmares horrify me in my sleep, and my waking hours are filled with loneliness. The ancient prophecy has been fulfilled and they will all suffer!

The moody Maraquan Aisha whirled around and glared at me for a moment. I froze in terror as I noted angry tears forming in her narrowed eyes. Then, muttering about the horrors of it all, she swam away. Perhaps she’d had a bad day. I didn’t manage to ask her what she meant about “the ancient prophecy” but decided all was for the best. I was just relieved she hadn’t cried.

That evening, I was paying a visit to the Snowager in the Ice Caves and stumbled across everyone’s favorite adventuring Usul, Hannah. I was very happy - she was much more pleasant than King Skarl or Caylis and it saved me the trouble of finding her.

Me: Excuse me! Hannah!

Hannah: Hello. Did you want something? Though if you have a sick sister in need of a cure, I’m afraid I can’t help you.

Me: Oh, no. I just wanted to interview you.

Hannah: Hmm. Okey-dokey, that’s fine with me.

Me: Have you heard about the disappearance of Sakhmet?

Hannah: Yes, actually I did. In fact, I was just in the area.

Me: Really? What for?

Hannah: There’s a place called the Temple of 1000 Tombs. I was searching for hieroglyph fragments.

Me: Hey! I was there, too. But it was really hard and I got lost and ended up dangling over a pit of spikes. How did you do it so quickly?

Hannah: I made a map of the temple, and it really helped me.

Me: You’ve had your share of dangerous Lost Desert curses. Do you really want to get involved with this mystery?

Hannah: It’s more fun than just being a waitress.

Me: I’ve never been a waitress, so I wouldn’t know. Hey- I’ve been dying to ask. Earlier in the year, Garin and his crew ruined -

Just then, something happened. Someone from up high threw an evil snowball at me. When I came to several hours later, Hannah was gone. I pocketed the snowball (which, strangely enough, was lying intact by my head) and headed home. It was dark, but I was satisfied. I’d only managed to interview four people, but that was quite enough for me.

Having found herself scarred by the day’s experiences (between being hit by a snowball, glared at by Caylis, and kicked out of a castle) androidvidel has not interviewed anyone since, and is always sure to feed her pets, just in case the Space Faerie can really tell. After all, she wouldn’t want to contribute to the Space Faerie’s headache. This is her first article ever published. How extremely exciting.

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