Tropical Tours: Your Handbook To Mystery Island
My name is Jake (Jake_240113), and today I will be your tour guide on Tiki Tours! Huh—what’s that? “What happened to that Coconut JubJub who runs the joint?” Well, let’s just say that he took a “vacation away from paradise.” A change in scenery was what he wanted! Please, guys, don’t look so mistrustful. Yes, I do have a degree in running a business, thank you very much. Please line up in an orderly fashion and follow me into the depths of the jungle; keep your hands, wings, fins and paws outside of the Jawshell’s mouth at all times!
And before we go: alright, alright, fork over the fifty Neopoints! Come on now, don’t be stingy. Let’s see, that makes five hundred... seven hundred and fifty... eight hundred! Wow, there’s really sixteen of you guys? I didn’t think so many would fall for my—hey, who’re you eyeballing? Er. ...this isn’t good. Hey, tourists, why not take a moment to open your brochures and memorize our various rendezvous points throughout the day—just in case you get lost and NEVER COME BACK.
Geez, I was kidding. (Wow, you all look so pale...) Well, a little sun will do your skin some good! Who knows, maybe you’ll work up a tan. Ahem; anyway...
- 6:00 am NST—6:15 am NST: the beach
- 6:15 am NST—6:45 am NST: the innermost jungles
- 6:45 am NST—7:00 am NST: the Rock Pool
- 7:00 am NST—7:30 am NST: the Cooking Pot/Jhuidah
- 7:30 am NST—8:15 am NST: the Lost City of Geraptiku
- 8:15 am NST—8:40 am NST: Island Mystic
- 8:40 am NST—9:15 am NST: the Trading Post
- 9:15 am NST—10:00 am NST: the Training School/Techo Mountain
- 10:00 am NST—10:25 am NST: Island Arena
- 10:25 am NST—10:40 am NST: Island Market
- 10:40 am NST—11:00 am NST: Kitchen Quest
- 11:00 am NST—11:20 am NST: Tombola
- 11:20 am NST—11:40 am NST: Haiku Generator
- 11:40 am NST—12:05 pm NST: the Harbour
Now quick, follow me, and let’s get this show on the road!
Here we are; the beach! Neopian tourists like yourselves gather from across the whole of Neopia to enjoy the sand, sun and surf! Now, a word of caution: See those Mynci over there, tossing the volleyball between them? They cheat. Cheat, I tell you! Shh! Kid, don’t point; they might notice! Okay, please, feel free to split up and take a moment to snap some photos, build a sand castle or two, bask in the sun, et cetera. You get the idea.
Hey, you, Ruki with the fat abdomen, don’t graffiti on the stone totems! Those are sacred to the Coco people; you don’t want to anger them, do ya? That’s right, go ahead and sulk. Step away from the totems, if you please.
Oww! Who threw a sand snowball at me? Oh, ha, ha, very funny, kid. First Mynci, and now you’re humiliating your tour guide. You want me to throw you in Jhuidah’s cooking pot? ...uh-oh. Oh, no, ma’am, I wasn’t threatening your son. My, my, what lovely, sharp, pointy teeth you have for a female Grarrl...
Okay, I’ll just leave you two to—er—do some mother-and-son family bonding, while I... um... walk over here very quickly. Let’s see what those eccentric Alien Aisha tourists are up to!
Yo, guys, what’s happening? How are you liking the foreign sights? Must be different from Kreludor, where you guys came from. ... Hey, what are you doing with that Bzzt Blaster? And why, oh Fyora, why are you pointing it at that Jetsam? There’s no need to tamper with the locals and stir ’em up! Wait, wait, wait—!
Oh, my poor eyes... whoa. There’s only... a pile of soot... where he was a second before...
Wow. I don’t know if I should be mortified (and calling the Defenders of Neopia) or impressed. Hey, can I borrow that later? What? What do you mean, “Eighteen years or older?” I am old. It’s—uh—just the paint brush color that makes me look young. Huh, fine! Be that way. (Let’s see you try to find your way out of Geraptiku later. Alive.)
Folks, take a moment to enjoy the beautiful (and somewhat boring) sight of Flotsams leaping out of the water. That reminds me... Believe it or not, Maraqua is to the north of the island, while to the west is Krawk Island, and to the east is the uninhabited archipelago, among them the rumored Lutari island, veiled by an impenetrable fog! Fascinating, am I right?
Oops. I put them all to sleep. Am I really that boring? Huh. It must be this blasted sun; yeah, that’s it, they all passed out from heat stroke. Well, time to wake them up, I guess. Let me just sneak up behind them... rear back my foot... and kick some sand in their faces!
Great, you all woke up! Don’t worry, sir, the sand will wash right out of your mohawk! Hey, watch where you cough, you dumb Xweetok! And don’t shake sand all over me, either! Stupid Acaras with all of that long fur...
Okay, ready to move along to the next part of our tour? We shall now proceed toward the heart of the island and explore the vast tropical jungles! Look alive, my fine friends, and brace yourselves! Kiss the beach goodbye, because there’s a good chance you may never—never—come back.
Follow me, and proceed in a orderly fashion as we enter. I’ll blaze a trail for us by hacking through the foliage with my sister’s Lost Desert Dagger. (It’s a good thing I stole it earlier this morning.) Did you know that there have been more recorded sightings of the Ghost Lupe here than anywhere else in Neopia? In fact, the Neopedia catalogues his tale; supposedly, two centuries ago, a ship crashed ashore on the island. Among the survivors was a Lupe named Sylva, who died trying to rescue his bride from the more dangerous tribes that reside deep within the jungle.
Who knows? If we’re lucky (or unlucky; it depends on your view of the situation) we might get a glimpse of the fabled canine, or experience a first-hand interaction with those dastardly evil-doers! Meerca in the back, don’t worry. Please. Relax, tourists; I happen to be on a first-name basis with the so-called barbarians, so we have nothing to fear. (Maybe I should mention that the last time we talked, they threatened to serve me as the main course at their next council meeting...)
There are also stories of Neopets coming into the jungle and never coming out. Of course, if you’re a local (like me) and come here often enough, then you won’t get lost! Wonderful, ain’t it? Actually, the reason my family moved here was because we wanted to avoid legions of fans. (Neopian Times fanatics are rabid.)
Bad Grundo, bad! Don’t eat that mushroom, it’s poisonous! That’s right, step away from the fungus. See those spots? That means one bite will give you the worse stomach ache you’ve ever had; if you survive, that is—
Geez, stop tugging on my tail, you little Buzz. What do you need? “A bathroom”? That’s a joke, right? Hey, it’s not my problem if you didn’t go before we started our tour. “I have to really go,” you say? Er... may I recommend using the bushes? Hey, no one’s looking, and I’ll hold up the tour while you go. Kapeesh? Right, now scoot along!
While we wait for our friend, why don’t the rest of you take a moment to marvel the scenery! To our right is a grove of bananas! And not just any bananas, but organic ones, grown with soil that people contributed to in order to create a compost! “What’s the compost made out of?” you ask, O naïve Uni. Why, discarded and half-eaten fruits, egg shells, volcanic material, dung—
My EARS! Stop yelping, you sissy Usuls! There’s nothing wrong with dung! Why, there’s furniture made out of it, for crying out loud! (I’m gonna bet you’re never going to eat fruit again if the label says “Grown On Mystery Island.”) Please, ladies, ladies, control yourselves! If you keep screaming you’re going to alert—
|Something has Happened!|
|You hear mysterious chanting coming from far away!|
Oh, fudge. (These Neopets have a death wish, I swear... Thank goodness they don’t get refunds.) Well, why don’t we just, uh, shamble along and pick up the pace. Please, calmly follow me this way—oh, who am I kidding? FLEE, YOU FOOLS! EVERY NEOPET FOR THEMSELF!
Huff—is everyone—huff—here? Let me do a head count. One Ruki, two Grarrls (glaring at me, I might add), two Alien Aishas, a Xweetok, an Acara, two Usuls, a Grundo, a Moehog... That’s eleven. Thirteen heads—oh, wait, there’s only one Mutant Hissi, so you both count as one. Then that’s twelve. Thirteen, fourteen, fifteen—hey, wait, where’s the Buzz that had to use the bathroom? (Shoot, I didn’t lose a tourist, did I?)
Oh, wait, there he is, running out of the jungle to catch up with us... Yo, buddy, we’re over here, next to the strait! Hey, you’ve got a leaf clinging to... your... foot. Er. (Awkward.)
Ahem. Good, we’re all here (and thankfully in one piece). That was an unlucky Random Event (not that the screaming Usuls helped). Anyway, we’re back in view of the sparkling sea! In fact, we’re near the Rock Pool, a famous strip of water bordered by Mystery Island and a smaller island. This strait houses refugee petpets that are salvaged from around the coastal waters. The shopkeeper here, a Yellow Kougra, handles the exchange of neopoints and petpets. Let’s go and take a look o’er there! Yes, ma’am, that is in fact old English grammar. Very appealing, yes?
What do you mean, “That’s cheesy”? It is not. Oh, fine. (I’ll make sure to push you into the water later, when you aren’t looking.)
Hello, there, miss! Business booming as usual? Oh, I should explain, these are my “peeps.” (Ha. Just kidding.) Mind if they get up close and in person with your lively petpets? Maybe you’ll have a few eager customers, too! Now, let’s see how the tourists are doi—
DON’T EAT THE PRIMELLA! Spit it out, spit it out, right now! (Do all Grundos think with their stomachs?)
Youch! What pinched me? Oh, a Crabula, eh? Nasty little bugger, aren’t you—ouch! That’s it, it’s time for the old one-two! Hiyaaaaah!
And tourists, that is how you take care of a pesky petpet: throw it as far as you can, and see how big of a splash it makes. (Please don’t tell the shopkeeper.)
And if you look in that tidal pool, you can see schools of Ghostkerfish swimming to and fro. They’re relatively harmless tricksters with a potential nasty streak; only when angered, of course, so be respectful to them. That means you, kid. Yeah, you, Grarrl off to the left. No riling up the little ghost fish and wreaking havoc. (That’s my job, not yours.)
Isn’t it amazing? Peos look like Peophins, Baby Blus look like Blumaroos, and Lutras look like Lutaris. Maybe there’s a missing link here. I mean, after all, Krawks did evolve from the Krawk petpet. Don’t look so insulted; it’s a known fact that your cousins are smelly, mute, unintelligent reptiles. You’re akin to them, as I’m akin to my nutjob sisters. It’s the circle of life, SO EMBRACE IT!
...please don’t hurt me. Okay, I think it’s time to move along and find Jhuidah (so she can hurry up and protect me).
Ladies and gentlemen, (quickly) bring your newly-acquired petpets toward the cash register, let the Kougra ring them up, then let’s hit the road! (So that I don’t get hit. ...you know, I’ve got to stop coming up with these bad puns. It’s going to kill my reputation. ...and yet again.)
Before we reach the end of our route and arrive at our next destination point, let me brief you momentarily on Jhuidah and her beloved Cooking Pot: Together, the two wield fame, one regarded with awe, the other with fear. Supposedly if you place the wrong amalgam of items inside, you may displease the mighty deity Pango Pango. The locals (not including me) have a lot of respect for the so-called “Great One.” Hah! That cracks me up every time... my ribs hurt from laughing...
Hn. What was that, Acara? “Have you ever tried mixing anything?” Nope! Unlike some Neopets, I don’t believe in dumb superstitions. I don’t think some antique kitchenware can actually harm me.
You dare me, Krawk, to throw some random gibberish in there? Fine, I will. Let’s see... I’ll take a grondik root and a cherry wish stick. That ought to appease the “O mighty Pango Pango.” Ready, guys? Let’s go; remember to bring along any three things you may want to mix together. Food, Battledome weapons, books, and so on.
Alright, let’s just pull back this branch, and—please!—walk ahead of me into the clearing. Okay, time to let go and—oops, sorry, sir. I didn’t see your two heads there. Well, having a branch snapped in your face isn’t the worst thing that can happen. Sure, it’ll bruise, but you can lie about it and say it’s a souvenir from a fight with a Hydruplit. (That’s what I would do.) Now, now, let’s not be hasty—there’s no reason to act so threatening... I’m sure you’re a friendly Mutant Hissi; am I right?
Hey, there’s Jhuidah! Grab your cameras, pens and paper; why not take a photo with her, or ask her politely for her autograph? You could probably sell it for a nifty neopoint back on the mainland.
Hello there, Jhuidah! I’m just bringing a few happy-go-lucky chefs-to-be that wish to offer Pango Pango items. I hope you don’t mind.
Okay, who’s first? The Camouflage Kau at the rear, please step up with your bundle. Kau Kau farm milk and popcorn, eh? The dairy product doesn’t surprise me... Okay, okay, chuck ’em in and let’s see the finished results! Stir round and round... make a wish... and...
Cough! Can we get a fan over here? What’s with all of the smoke, anyway? Let me just... wave it aside—hello there, corn crunchies! (Wow. It does work.) Okay, my turn next! Let me just dump my stuff in. Hey, Jhuidah, gimmee your ladle so I can stir this sucker!
In she goes! Okay, let’s see. Ick! The water looks like projectile vomit...or sludge. Hey, why is the Cooking Pot frothing? Why are you all backing away nervously like that? Oh, crud, I hope I didn’t actually break it. What’s that rumbling sound? Is that thunder? And w-w-why is th-the gr-ground vi-vi-vibrating?
Jhuidah, you don’t look okay. ... I hope that “You upset Pango Pango” is a sick joke. What do you mean, “Take your stuff and go?” My tourists aren’t leaving until they get their money’s worth!
“We’re in danger,” my tail! I keep telling you all, it’s just a stupid myth made up by the natives...!
Hey, wait, come back, guys! Sigh. I better go lasso them before they run off in every direction like scared Babaa. Well, I won’t be sticking around to see some ancient pot blow its top off, so I best run along. See ya, Jhuidah! (I knew it was a hoax... Nothing happened. This time.)
Okay, everyone’s here. Please follow me around the coconut palm and we shall get back on our footpath. Swing! Wow, who knew hacking down plants with a dagger could be so much fun! (No wonder lumberjacks get a kick out of mowing down weeds and excessive foliage.) We’re now approaching the northernmost tip of the island, about to enter the territory of the city that dare few utter its name, for fear of being struck down by the ancestral spirits that guard this place. But I’m not a coward, so I’ll whisper the capital’s name: Geraptiku.
Usuls, Usuls, please don’t start screaming again! Hush! It’s okay, see, we’re still in one piece. In fact, to demonstrate how unscientific and false this alleged rumor is, I’ll say it again and again and again: Geraptiku, Geraptiku, Geraptiku, Geraptiku, Geraptiku! I could even make a musical out of its name and still not get killed. Look, it’s that easy.
A lot of the ruins were reclaimed by the fauna and suffocated beneath vines and plants. What remains are crude huts and shacks, weathered watchtowers, and remnants of artifacts that the ancient race once crafted. Now, here in my handheld Neopedia, it reads: “The Deserted Tomb, on the other hand, still stands tall and seems unwilling to pass into legend so easily. At the very top of the pyramid stands a stone circle, unmoved by the ages. The natives call this stone ‘kalahnto,’ which can be loosely translated into the word ‘judgment.’”
Sometimes my mom, Alex, goes into the temple with my older sister Kimble, and they either return empty-handed or lugging riches, such as codestones, pottery and neopoints. Of course, they’re always gone for days at a time, and when they return home my other sister—Lila—has to take them to the Neopian Hospital on the mainland to get them treatment. They always collect an assortment of scratches, cuts, scrapes, the occasional arrow stuck to their—well, I won’t go there, but I can assure you that the place has more traps than Sloth’s private neohome!
You’re all trembling in your shoes. (Wimps.) Well, then, let’s change the topic. We need to be careful about where we walk, because the wildlife around here is—
GREAT FYORA! Hey, you, Acara, don’t smell that flower unless you want your nose to get bitten off! It’s an omnivorous Geraptiku fly trap; they like to eat Neopets for breakfa—fa—fast... Holy Kau, it just ate your Meturf. Well, there goes a few thousand neopoints down its throat. I’m sorry for your terrible loss. Might I suggest that we proceed and NOT TOUCH ANYTHING ELSE?
Come along, this way, keep away from the dangerous plant-life! Okay, let’s take a second to sit here on this comfy patch of sand, and think about where we’d all like to go next...
Wait a minute; did I just grow, or are all of you shrinking? This—This is quicksand! (Not very quick, is it?) Sure is taking its good old time sucking you down. Ha, ha! Oh, that’s a hoot! You all look so silly, getting shorter by the second. Hey, who needs a downsize when you can just dive head-first into a pit of quicksand?
Come again, Xweetok? “Save us”? Sorry, but my job doesn’t detail rescuing careless tourists. It does, however, allow me to point and laugh while you all sink. Hah!
Fine, fine. Give me a second to scavenge a vine or something to pull you all out with. Yuck; I’m going to have to use my teeth to gnaw through this thing and detach it from the tree. (Great, I’m putting a vegetable in my mouth.) Almost—got it! Ugh, that tasted foul... okay, now it’s time to go rescue the idiots...
Oh, look, you all sank a few more inches in my absence. How sad. Well, time to throw in the vine. (I’m half-tempted to say, “throw in the towel.”) Hi-yah! Okay, everyone grab hold of a section of the vine, while I tie it around the root of a nearby tree. Haul yourselves out—that’s it, just a bit farther—
Excellent! All in need of baths, but I’ve still got sixteen egocentric tourists in one piece.
Look alive, look alive! Come on, get up; you’re not sinking anymore, so it’s time to resume our tour.
I can assume that you’d all rather skip going directly into the cursed city and move on to the next part of our tour? Let’s take a mandatory vote; the choice with the most support to back it is what we’ll be doing next. (Just for your information, the Mutant Hissi only gets one vote. I don’t care if you have two heads, you’re still one neopet.)
All sixteen of you want to move along? (Spineless urchins.) Well, guess what? The tour guide’s vote counts as seventeen, thus overriding all of your votes.
Ma’am, I’d advise you to put down that tree branch. Violence doesn’t solve anything. (Personally I’d like to “thank” whoever said “actions speak louder than words...”) Wow, are all Grarrls battle-hungry tycoons with an incurable bloodlust? N-No, of course I wasn’t insulting you!
Okay, okay! Stop with the glares and complaints; we’re not going into Geraptiku, I promise! (For my sake...) Let’s—let’s continue around the city, get the heck out of this section of the jungle, and go to the northernmost coastline. There’s a boat there that ships tourists and islanders alike into the waiting arms of the Island Mystic, a Kyrii with an unusual knack for reciting (far-fetched) fortunes, bestowing anxious ears with their daily source of prophetic and impending doom or good luck.
Hear the cries of Tomamus circling overhead? That means we’re getting close to the water. Listen up, and listen well! Whatever you do, do not insult the Island Mystic; the last time somebody had the contempt to challenge of his predictions with, they found themselves dangling upside down in a palm tree. Also, do not ask him if he’s “wearing a diaper”—surprisingly he gets very offended by that detail.
Apart from that, there’s absolutely nothing to fear. That is, unless you have Kyriiphobia.
Well, here we are, and there’s our ride to the island a mile off the shore. Notice the tan hut stationed on the center of that pitiful chink of land called an island. Huh. Not very impressive, is it? Well, doesn’t matter; a neohome is a neohome, as I’ve always said.
Everybody, please clamber into the boat in an orderly fashion. I need a volunteer to help row the canoe. (And I know just the guy...) Thank you for lending a hand, little Grarrl. I’m sure your mother won’t mind you helping me paddle and steer.
Aww, don’t look so sour about it—it’s a position of great honor to help the maniacal tour guide get this hunk of wood floatin’. Heave, ho!
And we’re off! One, two, three, four; one, two, three, four... Don’t get splashed by the waves, and don’t capsize the boat, please! Otherwise, I’ll have to repay the guy I borrowed this from for wrecking his boat...
Hey, you, Xweetok up front, you don’t look so good. Oh, no... please tell me you don’t get sea sick, do you? You can make it; look, we’re almost at the island, so just hold it in until we get there, ’kay?
...or not. (Eww, that’s just foul.)
Well, it’s land ho! Everyone get out of the canoe and file onto the beach. Remember, a word of caution: Do not upset the Kyrii, at all costs, and do not make fun of his prophecies. Only jeer and laugh when he isn’t looking or listening. Got it? Good. Now, let’s go knock on the crazy nutjob’s door and see if he’s home! (Not that he’s got anywhere else to be.)
Hello, Mr. Island Mystic? Yo, the name’s Jake! You remember me from last Tuesday, right, when you gave me the fortune, “You will unearth many neopoints in Faerieland”? (I dug all over that place and got fined by Fyora for apparently “disturbing the peace,” and I still haven’t discovered that so-called “treasure trove.”)
Anyway, some good “friends” of mine came to have their fortunes told. Isn’t that right, guys?
Uhh... guys? Where’d they go?
Hey! They hijacked the canoe and marooned me! (Why do I feel so nostalgic?)
Oh, well. No need to guess what you’re going to say to me: “You will lose a valuable artifact on Mystery Island.” Am I right?
What’s “Your direction in life will change at the Space Station” supposed to mean? What do you mean, “Figure it out yourself”? Well, that’s just plain rude. We’re not even at the Space Station! Fine, just give me my avatar.
...why, no, of course I didn’t bring those tourists here to simply overhear their fortunes and steal their avatar. How bold of you to assume! Well, excuse me for being denied the avatar by some crazy old antique neopet for so long!
Now, if you don’t mind, I now need to go swim back to shore and meet my tourists at the next destination point: the Trading Post! See you later!
And now, I must... gulp... dive in and swim back to Mystery Island... You know, I have really got to stop talking to myself. That’s a sure sign of insanity, as Alex once said.
...cool. And in I go!
- - -
Will Jake manage to be reunited with his tourists? Will the bold Baby Lupe make it back to the mainland in time to take the group to the rest of their destinations? Only time will tell.
To be continued...
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