Stand behind yer sheriff Circulation: 135,120,767 Issue: 264 | 3rd day of Storing, Y8
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Everyone Has a Name: Part One

by dark_goddess_rising


An eternal, spinning vortex hovers in the sky just outside Neopia Central. Every day strange creatures fall from this bizarre rip in the time-space continuum to find themselves in our world. These bizarre creatures are called humans and they've been dropping in on us as long as Neopia's history has been recorded. In fact, some of us believe these creatures are the ones that first started recording our history: histories like the one I will tell you over the next few weeks.

 ***** ***** *****

     The distance between the vortex and the ground is not far, but the shock of having stumbled into a new place makes up for the difference. This particular human--the one whose story I will tell--kept her wits around her long enough to look around.

     She first looked up at the vortex that had dropped her in the clearing. It would have looked like a black spot if not for the purple and blue streaks spinning around the center. Once she established that there was no way she could jump from the ground to the vortex, she turned her attention to the world it dropped her in.

     She stood in the clearing of a vast forest. The tress on either side weren't dense and she could see for a ways in all directions. In all directions there were more trees.

     A scattering of mystifying flowers added hints of color to the green surroundings. The human was tempted to explore, to see what kind of flowers they were, until she noticed the podium and the creature standing behind it.

     In the very center of the clearing there was a podium. On it the biggest book she had ever seen was laying open. She spotted a dark blue creature with an orange beak and legs standing behind the podium. He demanded more of her attention than the flowers did.

     With that big book of his, I bet he can tell me what just happened, she thought. She crossed to the center of the clearing and stood in front of the podium.

     Before she could ask, he hushed her. "I'll be with you in a moment. I need to finish this," he said. He was bent over the book, carefully filling in a detailed form of some sort and mumbling to himself. The human caught a few words such as "carelessness," and "spammer." The strange creature even muttered an entire sentence loud enough for her to hear: "And they expect the Directory to have all the answers."

     She waited. Questions formed behind her glistening eyes and she looked at the Lenny's uniform. It consisted of a single piece--a yellow badge with "Sheriff" written across it in big red letters. By the time she looked up, she had decided which one she wanted answered first.

     "What are you?" This is just some strange dream. I knew I shouldn't have eaten that last hot dog.

     "I'm a Blue Lenny. The one on duty here for the day, in fact." He could tell that there was something different about this human. They usually asked where they were, how they got there, and how to get home first. This one was too curious.

     "Ummm... what's a Blue... Lemmy, did you say?"

     "Lenny, with two n's, not two m's. I am a Blue Lenny. 'Lenny' is one of the dozens of species of Neopets that live here. Well, I should say 'one of the dozens of species that are native here.' You live here now too. Can I get your name, birthday, and occupation, please?"

     "What do you mean by 'you live here now too.' Am I stuck?"

     "Quite a bright one. Yes, you are very stuck, ma'am. The brightest minds of our day have performed countless experiments of varying natures on that vortex," he motioned to the sky behind her, "and it only works one way, I'm afraid. Now, I need your name, birthday, and occupation for the Directory. You know how it is. Do anything you're not supposed to do and the Chia Police need to know how to find you."

     "Chia police?" She looked around, expecting sirens to appear at the edge of the clearing accompanied by blazing lights and yelling officers of the law.

     "Our lawgivers." He followed her gaze, wondering what she was looking for.

     "You have laws?" But, then again, why shouldn't they?

     "We call them rules. Have to keep our world clean for the younger generation. I'm sure you understand. Nothing you wouldn't do or say in front of a young one of your own species. Now, I need that information."

     "Demon. Everyone calls me Demon," she answered.

     The Lenny wrote it down on a clean page in his book. "Is there a chance of a last name with that?"

     "It's not a real one, but I like Fae." She took another look around. This world didn't seem so bad. Except for the creature asking for her personal information and the vortex she had managed to stumble through somehow (I didn't see it there! I promise!), it wasn't too strange after all. Living here might be fun.

     "Excellent. Now I just need your birthday and occupation." The Lenny tapped his foot, hoping she would stop looking around and start answering the questions she needed to answer. She's new here. Have patience with her, self.

     "October thirty-one. And, I uh... I don't have a job."

     "Halloween, eh? You might find yourself at home in the Haunted Woods. And, 'occupation' doesn't necessarily mean 'job,' miss. Give me something you like to do."

     "I like to write."

     "Perfect. The Times is need of some new reporters. A few of them had a run-in of sorts with a group of meepits in the Woods a few days ago. Not sure what they were doing out there, but they should have known to be in the Neolodge before sunset." There I go again, scaring the newbies. She would have read about it soon enough, anyway.

     "Meepis? What are those?" Sounds interesting. I wonder what happens in the Woods after sunset. It might make a good story.

     "No, no. Meepits. There's a t in there." She'll get the names right, the Lenny assured himself. They always get them in the end. "They are petpets. Pets for Neopets." Demon gave him a confused look and he flapped his wings in exasperation. "Never mind. You'll figure it out eventually. Ready for the hard part?" She nodded and he continued.

     "All right, here it is. You need to come up with a new name. One everyone will know you by. We can't have everyone calling you Demon Fae for the rest of eternity. For Fyora's sake, it's your name! How about something that has to do with your birthday?"

     "Who is Fyora?" This time Demon made every effort to pronounce the name right.

     The Lenny sighed with relief. "The faerie queen. You know, this will go much faster if you don't ask so many questions."

     "Sorry," she mumbled and hung her head, searching for an idea in the manicured grass. "Is Dark Goddess Rising okay?" she asked after a few minutes of silent pondering.

     "What? That has spaces!" He flipped through some pages of the open Directory and mumbled to himself. "Well, we can throw some underscores between the words. Dark-underscore-goddess-underscore-rising isn't taken yet. How's that?"

     "That's fine," she answered, wondering what exactly an underscore was.

     "Now, the last thing you need is a password. Something to verify who you are in case someone tries to impersonate you, which I'm sure will never happen," unless you go out and do something stupid, he added silently

     She leaned over to whisper her chosen password in his ear, but she drew back when he shrieked.

     "Don't tell me! Don't EVER, EVER, EVER tell ANYONE!"

     She looked him up and down, wondering how those who would need to know would find out. "Write it here and seal the paper with this sticker. WAIT! Not until I have my back turned." The Lenny turned around and slammed his eyes shut. "Go ahead."

     Demon borrowed the pen her interviewer had been using and scribbled some characters on the parchment he handed her. She rolled it up, put the bright red sticker on the scroll, and announced she was finished. Something about the way the scroll felt in her hand made her reluctant to relinquish it.

     "Wonderful. You're all set. When you open a bank account, a shop, buy a plot of land and build rooms, or anything else like that, we'll be notified and your page in the Directory will be updated. You can access the Directory from any of our outposts, which can be found in the most prominent building in any major world--usually a palace or town hall of some sort. Feel free to decorate your page at any of these outposts. The others will be updated automatically, usually within four and twenty hours. You can find your page by your username: dark_goddess_rising." He delivered his speech with practiced speed, not taking a breath until it was finished.

     He returned to jotting something down in his book and took a card out of the podium it was balanced on. Demon watched him the whole time.

     "You'll need this." He handed the card over. It had her picture, username, and some other information that didn't make much sense. It was covered with a thin sheet of clear plastic and Demon played with it, watching the way the sunlight bounced off the plastic. "And these, also." The next thing he handed over was a blue velvet pouch full of jingling coins.

     "What are these?" she asked after peering in the bag and watching the gold coins sparkle for a minute. Demon had a bit of a soft spot for shiny stuff.

     "Those are Neopoints, or NP. Our currency. Two hundred of them, in fact. It's not much, but it'll get you started.

     "Now, if you follow that path through the woods, you'll find Neopia Central. Look for a big, funny-shaped, yellow building. Show the Neopets there the card I gave you and they'll give you a few items. Good luck." With that, the Lenny turned back to his work and his eyes focused on something in the book. The Directory. The list of every human in the world.

     She started off, then decided it would probably be a good idea to thank him. From the mouth of the path, she called back, "Hey, wait. Do you have a name?"

     He didn't turn around to face her when he answered. He smiled to himself and let his voice carry through the air to her ears: "Everyone has a name."

To be continued...

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