The Adventures of Jake the Explorer!: Part One
Brave. Daring. Strong. Smart. Handsome. Debonair. Lover of Islandberries. That's ME; I am Jake, Neopia's greatest explorer; a blue Kougra ready for the next lost temple, the next powerful talisman, the next forgotten tomb. And that next adventure starts here, in Mystery Island, my home: there's no better place, with a name like that.
Mystery Island has its many skeletons in the closet, and I mean that literally. It's home to the Ghost Lupe, the newly discovered lost civilization Geraptiku, Techo Mountain - thought to hold a secret training school of Ninjas - and the weird statues of an unknown history. And there's plenty more out there, waiting to be found. Of course I, Jake the Explorer, will be the one to do it.
"Ah... what a beautiful day for an adventure." The sky was blue, the clouds were puffy white, the smell of the sea was in the crisp air, and the trees were thicker than Zeenana pudding. I love thick foliage: it means something is hidden behind it, something ANCIENT, long-lost.
I slipped into my khaki jacket, plopped on my fedora, and stepped into my den.
Sigh... my den was a complete mess, like always.
"What a MESS," I commented, shaking my head.
I should really get a housekeeper.
Notes were on the floor, along with piles of scattered books; maps were carelessly scattered about my tiny desk; my waste basket was overflowing with crumbled rolls of paper: bad drawings, old notes, and fake maps I had the misfortune to buy.
I pushed a red-bound book - Flowers of Altador by Lilian Fairweather - aside to reveal a crinkled map of Mystery Island. I knew it was authentic, yet...
"What is this little island over here?" It was located to the east-south of Mystery Island, but there WAS no other bit of land there. Further off, yes, but not as close as this map shows.
I reached out to sit in my desk chair and stared at the map; resting my head in one paw. "Where is that island NOW? Did it sink?" I shook my head at that thought. Too many ships go past that area, and not once has one sunk because of an underwater mountain.
Could the island be a mistake, then?
I rolled the map up and stuffed it in my bulging pack of supplies. Time for some observations with the eyes.
"Hey there, Jake!" Tiki Tack greeted in a friendly manner, as I passed by his Tombola stand.
Aside from today, I have learned to avoid the big guy.
"Hey, wanna have a go at drawing a ticket?" Tiki Tack asked.
I shook my head.
Codestones were helpful, and I'm glad to free bottled faeries. But all that disgusting, gross food Tiki Tack liked to give out to 'winners'? And what was with those booby prizes? You can only have so many toy boats, bamboo fans, and hideous Tiki Tack-inspired souvenirs.
And most of the time I got nothing for my effort.
Tiki Tack waved good-bye. "Next time, yeah?"
Sure, if you show me what's behind that creepy mask of yours.
I made my way through the brush, to the sloped cliff that held a fantastic ocean view, overlooking the Western-Eastern sea of Mystery Island.
A thick mist was rolling it.
It didn't look natural. Were the Drenched working overtime? If that was the case, the mist couldn't be good. No sir.
I rummaged through my jacket pockets for my spyglass. "Here we are." I trained it on the fog. I'm not sure what I was looking for, because that misplaced island was nowhere in sight - as I had expected. All I saw was a wall of whirling whiteness.
"Huh!?" Maybe I was wrong. I adjusted my spyglass to see something concealed by the mist. It looked like the tip of a mountain... or a volcano...
"By the wand of Fyora! That's an ISLAND!"
I wasted no time getting to the harbor to rent a boat.
"Jake? Jake the Explorer?"
"Hm?" I looked up to see a blue Shoyru. "Oh, Orpheus, how are you?" I asked, though I wasn't interested in the answer. I HAD to get to that mysterious island in the mist!
Orpheus Draco was a fan of mine (though not as much as he was of Garin, Captain of the Black Pawkeet.) He liked to tell me all about his discoveries, and endlessly talk about his adventures, (he was too shy to talk to Garin.) Orpheus was a good kid, but... he could get annoying - like NOW.
"I just came out of the Geraptiku temple!" Orpheus said.
"That's fascinating." I climbed into my rented boat.
"Yeah! And look what I found!" Orpheus thrust in my face a snapping plant and a gold talisman. "Aren't they awesome?"
"Impressive. Listen, I'm in a hurry, I'll catch up with you some other time." I pushed off.
"Oh, okay, Jake! Hey! Have you learned anything about the Geraptiku temple? The city, perhaps? Where are you going!?"
The Shoyru kept yelling after me. I was sorely afraid he'd remember his wings and fly after me. But Orpheus' voice faded, and only Kateils and the lapping of the ocean against my boat were heard.
Taking hold of the oars tightly, I rowed like mad. Coming around the bend, I saw that the mist, and the island it held, were still visible. And they were getting closer. But there was a problem.
"IT'S getting closer, but I'M not! What's WRONG with this boat?" I needed to calm down; if I took my frustration out on my vessel, I'd be sunk - seriously. And anyway, a magical island wasn't something you can get to easily. You needed wings to get to Faerieland, or a hot air balloon. And not too many Neopets have wings; even fewer have hot air balloons.
So I decided to sit back, relax... and have some Islandberries. Rowing while snacking on slippery, smooth-skinned berries, now THAT'S impressive.
After about two hours, the mist really started to close in around me, and the day became cold, damp, and white. Sounds were muffled, or not present at all - and then...
"Oof!" I reeled forward as my boat slammed into something solid. "Land!"
I had reached a beach, riddled with craggy rock formations and driftwood. Dragging my boat farther onto the beach, I thanked the Water Faeries for guiding me - I could have very well landed in the numerous jagged rocks along the shore.
I glanced upwards. I had definitely come to a tropical island like my home; and by the looks of it - wild and untamed - it surely held more mysteries.
"Well! Time to move forward!"
I was boiling with energy and excitement. This place held secrets; OLD, forgotten secrets. I could sense it in the fruity air, feel it in the calm breeze. The soil was ancient... alien.
To my right was a particularly good mountain of rocks that I could climb. It would probably have the perfect view of the island. I dug my claws into the deep brown rock and steadily ascended.
"It's always good to see what you are up against."
And boy was I up against something big. The island spread out as far as I could see and consisted of massive trees, cascading waterfalls, sheer cliffs, and the coned mountain I had spotted from Mystery Island.
I knew I should have brought more Islandberries.
"Oh well, this is what the life of an adventurer is." I took a notebook and pen out to create a crude map - I had to know where I left the boat. As I rapidly scribbled, noting the shape of the island and notable landmarks, I noticed a strange, silver structure in the distance, near the mountain. "Now what is that...?" Out my spyglass came. "Hm... interesting. THAT will be my destination."
I climbed down and plunged into the jungle.
It was hot and moist. I had to fan myself with my hat.
Since I had a goal, I stopped only rarely to examine an exotic flower or fruit tree.
"Everything is so BIG here," I remarked, looking up at the large leaves of an alien plant. "I wond-aahh~!"
That cliff dropping into a canyon came out of nowhere! If it wasn't for my quick mind and fast hands, I'd have been a goner. But my trusty whip was by my side, and soon it was slung around a sturdy tree trunk. I got a few cuts and bruises slamming against the cliff wall, but I won't complain.
Now, it was time to climb up - Huh? What was that movement...? I craned my neck. There was a cave, and a sloped path leading to it, and -
"Holy Kau!! It's a giant Mootix!"
The worm was sleeping, thankfully.
"That is just WRONG. Yet, fascinating. He's a cute fella, actually... Ah! What am I saying? Monster-size petpetpets? I've got to get out of here!"
My exploration with this island was over with. That structure would have to wait for somebody else. I was smart enough not to trifle with secrets best left alone.
As I ran for my life, scrambling through the jungle to the beach, I came to a rocky outcrop that showed a different view of the island.
I had to take one last glance.
"Sigh... some places are meant to be found, while others...?" As I regarded the mystical terrain, I caught sight of a group of Neopets! Marching down a path. "Who...?"
There was a red Xweetok, an old Tonu, a yellow dot of a JubJub, and an orange Lutari.
"Hmph! Whoever they are, I admire their bravery, but they got to be crazy wanting to be here."
I turned back towards the beach, found the rented boat, and cast off.
Back on Mystery Island, I looked out at the sea. The mist had vanished, as did the mysterious island. I knew I'D never set foot on it, but I was sure this wouldn't be the last I'd hear of it.
"Ah, let's see what else there is that I could investigate." I stumbled into my den, tired from all that rowing.
I sifted through some papers and maps. Picked up a book on Mystery Island Legends - I had barely read through half of it. Flipping through the pages I noted the legends I had already shed light on: "Found it, lost that, a myth, located that, almost plunged to my doom there, was attacked by serpents for that...
"Ah! Now THIS is new."
It was a totem in the likeness of Fuhnah the Fire Faerie. It was made when that particular faerie was worshipped by the natives here, a very long time ago. No one had found it to this day, though stories are told about the magnificent statue. And legends say if something is offered to the Fuhnah totem, it will grant you wishes.
I closed the book, grinning.
Through my den's window, I saw Kreludor rise over the trees, as the first stars came out. Tomorrow would be a new day, but the night has just begun.
The moon had reached its zenith as I lost myself in the maze that was Mystery Island's endless jungle. I checked my map several times over, but I still couldn't find the rock landmark that looked like a Uni's head. Now there was a formation of rocks up ahead that looked like a hornless Uni, but -
"Wait a minute." I stared at the boulder.
On the ground, covered in crawling ivy, by said hornless Uni, was a slab of rock - wider at one end, tapered to a point at the other - that looked suspiciously like a Uni's horn.
I could have slapped my forehead. The horn had broken off years ago!
"Back on course!" I sang with joy.
I ran forward, then blacked out momentarily as I slammed into something I hadn't seen.
"Ow..." the thing moaned softly.
"Pardon me?" Was it a cannibal? It wouldn't be the first time I encountered one.
I lifted my lantern up, gasping slightly.
"Aren't you... Hannah the Brave?"
The Usul glanced up at me; done rubbing her nose. "Hm? Hey, aren't you Jake the Explorer?"
"That's me!" I beamed proudly.
"Then you can say the same to your question. Hannah will be fine, however."
We eyed each other shrewdly. There was a reason why we were both here - to find treasure. But there was a difference between Hannah and me. I also searched for knowledge, while she was interested in just the gold and jewels. Not surprising that she hails from the home of the pirates: Krawk Island.
Was Hannah, too, after the Fuhnah Totem?
"So what is it, this time, that you're after?" Hannah asked.
The Usul shook her head. "I ASKED first,"
Grumbling, I told her about the Fuhnah Totem.
Hannah smirked. Or it looked like she did, and the pale light made her appear impish. "Me, too," she then said. She revealed to me a Negg: blue with gold cracks and stars all over it.
"What are you going to do with that?" I asked.
"It's a map," Hannah informed me. "I bought it from an old woman. She told me that it is meant to reveal the location of the mythical Fuhnah Totem. It brought me here."
I peered at the negg/map. "How does it work?"
"I simply have to ask it and these lines show the way. See how they glow? Pretty handy when it's dark out."
"Yeah... handy..." I gave my own crumbling map a scornful look.
"Say, why don't we team up?" Hannah offered willingly.
"Huh? You wish to team up?"
"Why not? Might as well be partners than rivals," reasoned the Usul.
I eyed Hannah's magical map. "All right. Let's."
She laughed a little. "Good. Don't hold me back."
"Same to YOU."
"Oh, you needn't worry about me." There was that impish smile again.
Three days later:
I cleared my throat for the Usul to notice me. "Are you SURE that so-called map of yours is not a fake?"
Hannah the Brave glared at me.
"Because," I went on, ignoring the menacing look, "we can't get any more lost than we already are."
"And you think your silly, hand-drawn map will work better?" Hannah asked.
"Well, I was on the right track, until YOU bumped into me," I retorted.
"Excuse me? I bumped into YOU?" She snorted unladylike. "You didn't have to follow me. You could have said NO."
"I figured a magical map was better than a normal map."
"Humph! Magical items can be very unpredictable."
"And in this case, USELESS," I muttered.
"Fine! You can go on your way," Hannah said, hearing every word I said. "Don't be too downcast, however, if you find the Fuhnah Totem gone when you reach your destination."
"I have you know - " I was going to tell the little Usul all about the many discoveries I made, yet suddenly realized how ridiculous this conversation was going. I sighed loudly. "You know what, I'm tired of this. Let's calm down, sit to think, and - "
"Have some Islandberries?" Hannah finished for me, sounding none too thrilled. "Not THOSE again!"
"Hey! They are part of a balanced and nutritious breakfast," I told her passionately.
"And lunch, AND dinner," Hannah said. "Seriously, Kougra, you've got some issues." She took out a loaf of Breadfish and a slab of Butterfish. "I'll have these instead."
I growled. "Fine."
We turned away from each other and ate our meal without another word.
An hour later we were back on the trail.
"Hmm... this says that we are close," Hannah said. A star on the magic negg map pulsated, and the path we were on led right to it.
Nothing save trees and exotic flowers were up ahead. So the Fuhnah Totem was just beyond them, huh?
"Are you sure this time?" I asked.
"Of course not. But I'm fairly sure. Let's check it out." Hannah pocketed her map and we set off; I hacking through the fauna.
My heart pounded excitedly. This was it, I was going to set my eyes on the legendary Fuhnah Totem; something no one has seen for a hundred years! Or more!
"HUH?" My jaw dropped open.
"Not what I was hoping for," Hannah said, a bit too casual.
"Is this...? This can't be it. Right? There's nothing here but pillars to an empty platform."
"I guess someone stole the totem long ago..." Hannah folded her arms. "No wonder the map kept steering us wrong."
We stared, defeated. What ill luck!
"Wait a minute," Hannah and I said at the same time.
We strode over to the pillars.
"Look at these," Hannah said.
Both pillars had script on them, telling a story - an unfinished story.
"The bottom of these are buried. Deep." Hannah dug around one pillar, not locating its base. I went over to the platform, dug around that, and couldn't find where it ended, or started.
Hannah put an ear to the floor and tapped.
"Is there an echo?" I asked.
"Just as I thought - "
"...this is a sunken temple!" we both deduced.
"The soil of Mystery Island has always been a bit soft," I said. "And judging by the rock sediments, there was a swamp here at one time."
"According to the diary of Captain Sylva, aka the Ghost Lupe, about two hundred years ago a terrible storm raged across Mystery Island," Hannah said. "The large amount of rain water probably saturated the already wet, swampy ground and - "
" - the temple sank," I finished.
"So, the question is," Hannah said, "how do we get in?"
I tapped my boot on the platform. "This is the roof. If you look at how close the pillars are, either the columns are very TALL, or the entrance is fairly close."
"The temple can't be THAT short," Hannah reasoned.
"I agree. Probably a good portion of the temple was built underground - which was also why it sank so easily.
"Of course, another explanation is that a long flight of stairs led here. But either way, the door should be close by; and if the roof is intact, the rest of the temple should be. At least, I hope."
"So we dig? Did you bring a shovel?"
I took a collapsible shovel out of my pack. "Of course."
We took turns digging; and it was my turn - after we had dug a four foot hole - when things went a little haywire. The ground underneath first started to rumble, then lose its solidness, and then that's when I fell. Hannah grabbed for me, but I was much too heavy for her to lift up, and so I dragged her down.
"Oopf!!" That was me.
"Ow!" That was Hannah.
As soon as I untangled myself from Hannah, I lit my lantern.
"Where are we?" Hannah asked; rubbing her head.
We now stood in front of the Fuhnah Totem temple. Melted onto the copper doors were images of the Fire Faerie, herself.
"Very impressive," Hannah said.
I nodded. "Now to open the doors. I wonder if there's a special level..." I examined the door.
Hannah walked up, pushed, and the doors fell away, their rusty hinges snapping. "Nope."
It was pitch black inside; my measly lantern light would not penetrate it much.
"I will assume that you know that ancient temples like these have lots of traps," Hannah said.
"Yes, of course; there's not a temple, tomb, or cave that I've been in that didn't have at least ten," I said.
"Good, then I don't have to worry about you setting any off."
"The same to you."
Hannah took the negg map out.
"Will that show us the way still?" I asked.
"I hope. Let's go."
Twenty booby traps later:
"I can't take much more of this arrow-dodging, rolling-under-a-blade, and floor crumbling stuff," I said, slumping against a wall. "It's INSANE!"
"Well, YOU were the one to stumble into that last trap. Clumsy oaf." Hannah sat across from me.
"Who ever heard of a pick-up-a-skull-get-attacked-by-poison-darts trap?" I defended myself.
"I think it should've been obvious," Hannah said. "The unfortunate Kyrii probably fell on the trigger stone in the floor, and when you picked its skull up - just to LOOK at it - the trap reset itself and went off."
"Well, EXCUSE me. I wasn't the one who tripped over a loose pebble, fell flat on her face, and pushed the button to let a giant boulder fall on us."
"Hmph! That may be, but I seem to recall a certain blue Kougra pushing a button in the wall, just because it had pretty hieroglyphs on it, and then suddenly we were dangling over a pit of stakes!"
We glared at each other.
"Humph!!" We slammed against our walls in a huff.
Hannah and I stared at each other with horror.
"Uh-Oh..." we both said.
Together we had set a trap off. And if it needed two Neopets to do that, the trap must be really BAD.
"Run!" Hannah yelled.
I didn't have to be told twice, because coming down the passage we had just come from were savage Island Meepits.
"We must have opened the doors to their cage!" I said.
"How could they live down here all this time? What did they eat to stay alive?"
"I don't even WANT to know the answer to that," I said.
There was no where to go but straight on, but even that ended -
"It's a dead end!" I cried.
"Oh! I'm sorry, but this stupid thing - " Hannah shook her map. "It said to go this way."
I turned around. Guess we had to fight. I've been through too much to die here, getting eaten by Meepits. *Shiver*
Hannah began to tug at my arm.
"What is it?" I asked, annoyed.
"Look," she pointed to a gap in the wall - a garbage chute or something similar. "We can go down this way."
"You're kidding me, right? Who can say where that leads to?"
"It's our only way out of here. Unless you seriously think you can defeat all those Meepits, macho man."
"You're crazy," I said.
"I've been called worse. Coming?"
"Oh, all right; I suppose I’VE BEEN through worse...”
I guess sliding down a mysterious, dark, eerie chute was better than standing against a horde of evilly cute Meepits.
When was this tunnel going to end? We were going faster and faster downhill. I managed to keep my lantern lit, keeping it close to me so it wouldn't dash against the wall.
"We're nearing the end," Hannah informed me. "Oh dear, that doesn't look pleasant. Uh, Jake, I suggest you grab hold of the rim when we come to it."
"Why? Aaahh! For Jhuidah's sake!" My claws came out and dug into the stone, saving myself from diving into molten lava.
"Good reflexes," Hannah complimented me. She swung and landed beyond the circular pool of lava.
I followed suit. "I lost my lantern, though."
"Ah, we'll be fine, all this lava lights our way."
"I'm not sure if that's a GOOD thing..." I eyed the red-orange hot lava nervously.
The floor we stood on was warm, and lava flowed out in rivers on each side of us. Aside from that, the room was GRAND. There were murals all along the walls, depicting ancient natives, Fuhnah, and one of the oldest of evil creatures: Moltenus. According to the murals Fuhnah helped seal Moltenus - the very monster another fire faerie, Eithne, tried to release - in Techo Mountain.
As I glanced up at he ceiling to admire strange runes, a blue-white blur shot pass behind me. When I twirled around, nothing was there.
"Um... Hannah? I... don't think we're alone here." I was positive that blur looked like the Ghost Lupe.
"You are such a scared Angelpuss," Hannah said. "Come with me, we have found what we came for."
"I am NOT a coward. And, really?" I followed the Usul through an arch entrance, to a room with only a stone bridge - its water: lava. But over the bridge was - "Wow~" - the Fuhnah Totem: Life-size, and in all her glory. She was crouched, like in her trading card pose, but BOTH her arms were out holding fire. Why the totem didn't burn in all this heat was that the ancient natives had plated her in copper.
"Time for our wishes," Hannah giggled.
"Hey! Don't hog."
Hannah immediately offered the totem the negg map. "I hate to give this up... but it's all I have with me at the moment."
Fuhnah began to glow, her eyes and fire burning red.
"I wish for the treasure of the Forgotten Queen," Hannah said.
I could tell the Usul had thought about this.
"Ha-ha! It worked!" Hannah lifted up a jeweled crown and a studded scepter. "I lost these to the ocean because of that scurvy dog, Scarblade. Your turn."
I inclined my head in thanks. As I was about to place a ruby down (brought along for this reason) a phantom appeared, growling in my face.
"The Ghost Lupe!" gasped Hannah.
"What are you doing here?" the Ghost Lupe demanded.
"What are YOU doing here?" I asked.
"Looking for my bride." The Ghost Lupe's face softened. "They brought her here, to offer her to Fuhnah... Not as a sacrifice, but as a vessel - to awaken the totem's spirit!"
"Did they?" Hannah asked.
"Of course they didn't," the Ghost Lupe said, (looking a lot more like Captain Sylva every second.) "Fuhnah did not reside in the totem, only a small portion of her powers. I saved her, my Marie, and told her to run. The savage natives were furious, they came at me, I fought them off, but then... I can't remember what happened. I woke up, the natives were gone, and so was Marie. I have been searching ever since. At times it feels like hundreds of years have passed, and then I'm almost sure I lost Marie just yesterday..." Captain Sylva looked at me. He bared his teeth. "It was you! Your kind stole my bride away!" The Ghost Lupe lunged for me.
"Jake!" Hannah cried.
I lost my balance backing up, almost falling into the lava. Turning, I fled into the adjacent room. The Ghost Lupe hot on my heels. How was I supposed to fight a ghost? Too bad I didn't bring some Sand Snowballs.
"Jake! Jake!" Hannah yelled, jumping up and down. "I know a way out!"
The Ghost Lupe roared. The temple shook and the molten lava flared to life.
I ran back into the Fuhnah Totem altar room.
Where Hannah pointed a geyser of hot water shot up, all the way to the surface.
"No way," I said.
"It's our only path out of here," Hannah insisted.
"We'd get boiled alive!"
"Don't worry, I have that covered." She showed me the scepter of the Forgotten Queen.
"There has got to be a better way." Though I resolved to trust in Hannah.
"Waters of Nerissa, protect us!" Hannah uttered. The scepter showered us with magical water, forming a bubble around us.
We then leaped into the geyser.
I took a last look at the Ghost Lupe, it skidded to a halt and we stared at each other for, it seemed, like a lifetime. I could see his whole past reflected in his eyes...
“Sorry, about your loss, Ghost Lupe, but really, you have the wrong Kougra,” I said.
And then -
"Ah, bleh, yuck, patooi. Geez, Hannah, with all the dangerous decisions you make, I'm surprised you're not dead." I was covered in mud - so was my tongue.
"Hee, hee. Well! That was fun." Hannah stood up, looking a lot cleaner than ME.
"Fun? You stole my wish," I said. "You got what you wanted, and me? I got an angry ghost!"
"What's to complain about? At least now we know more about Captain Sylva."
"His demise was guessable," I muttered. "Ow! Hey! Who threw that?"
We were by the ocean, as the noon sun shined over us, and from that direction came a bottle - hitting me in the head. I picked it up. "There's a message in here." I tugged the cork out. "Listen to this! About a mile out from Krawk Island is a sunken ship. I'm to travel there and meet with...Oh, I can't read the name: Is... ea. Isea? I-see? Is-sea?"
"Did you ever think that maybe it's meant for somebody else?" Hannah asked.
"Hm, Krawk Island, huh? Sunken treasure... I've never really explored outside Mystery Island."
"As I SAID," the Usul went on, "did you ever think that message is for SOMEONE else?"
"Maybe I should give it a try." I wondered.
Hannah sighed. "All right, there's a ship going to Krawk Island today, it should be docked at the Harbor right now. I'll go with you."
"You will?" I asked, sounding none too thrilled.
Hannah nodded, smiling. "Come on, or we'll miss the boat!"
To be continued...
Meet me back here for another adventure of Jake the Explorer!