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Habitarium Heroes

by therons


You are about to read a true story of heroes. First, though, I must set the scene for you.

     Under the magnifying glass of Prof. Milton Clodbottle, the lives of Larnikins, Pinchits and the loveable Mootix clans are finally being revealed to players of the game Habitarium. One might assume that these small critters, Petpetpets, would require little of the familiar trappings of Neopia. Surely, a little dandruff would suffice for food? A thick mane of hair a suitable resting place? Nip and Run a favourite pass-time? Not so. Players of the game are fast recognising that home comforts are as keenly sort after by P3s as Neopian Pets. In these troubled times of Fallen Faerieland, one might assume an escape from Neopian world views when playing Habitarium. After just a few levels of this game such misconceptions evaporate. Not surprisingly, the values and life skills of Neopia are as important to P3s within these closed communities as the rest of Neopia. To illustrate this point, here is a tale of Habitarium Heroes. Everyone loves heroes, yes?

     The workers were all a-buzz and a-twitter, thrilled at the thought that they had almost filled the last of the silos with the current harvest of the Habitarium. After days of draining physical effort, they now rested in the shade of the sparkling Gazebo with the shiny red roof, the most recent of the newly acquired amenities for everyone to share.

     With this recent harvest, the Workers and Nesters together agreed to purchase a Barracks for their trusty Soldiers. The Soldiers, they knew, did not labour as they did, but bravely marched about in the fierce midday heat and all through the cold nights, ever alert to defend the community and keep them safe from marauders. A Barracks would be a fine tribute to the Soldiers’ dedication to duty. A place especially for the Soldiers. A Barracks would be, well, no-one really knew what a Barracks would truly be, as none had been seen, for even the building plan in the Building Catalogue was faint and smudgy with many generations of wishful soldiers fingering the page. Never-the-less, a Barracks it would be. After all, it was time to honour the Soldiers and a Barracks seemed to be an honourable sort of Soldiers’ thing.

     So it is not surprising that the chat turned to soldier stories and soldier stories turned to tall tales of bravery. None, it was agreed, was to be respected more than Percival Pinchit, Veteran Soldier Extraordinaire. Unlike the posturing young soldiers who paraded beyond the trees, who laughed at and mocked the Workers and Nesters, Percival Pinchit was ever conscious of treating with respect those he protected. He walked amongst them as they harvested, and enquired as to their well-being, ensuring an escort to the hospital or home care unit if any required rest or respite from over-exertion. Percy was well loved and respected above all other soldiers, known for his compassion, as much as his bravery. As for bravery, many a Worker would attest to his efforts to keep the boundary safe, the silos intact and the homes in good repair. The safety of the nests was never in doubt when Percy was on duty.

     Percival Pinchit had marched a million miles, and fought a thousand marauders. Percival Pinchit was strong; Percival Pinchit was brave beyond compare. That is, unless you can compare a Veteran Soldier to a diminutive girl-baby Larnikin.

     You laugh? I hear you sniggering as I compare a girl-baby Larnikin to the likes of such a hero as Percival Pinchit, Veteran Soldier, who passed away without complaint, at a grand old age, with his mates around his hospital bed recalling his great deeds?

     Well then, listen up and I will tell you a tale. Pull your seat up close, and learn of the strength of character and strength of will of a small new born baby girl Larnikin. Are you ready? Here is my story.

     Two little P3 eggs jiggled impatiently in the nest. "Time to go!" said one, and rolled smartly off the nest and down onto the ground at the edge of the lake. The second egg snuggled back deep beneath the ample warmth of her Larnikin mother while the adventurous egg, bursting with energy, bounced past the Gazebo and into the long grass. Nearby workers were busily collecting woodchips from the base of a sprawling shade tree, while just a bit further away the P3 egg could see a flurry of dust as several miners quarried stone. "What a lot of activity!" she thought, as she rolled backwards, peeping between the tall tufts of grass.

     A great burst of light razored towards her from above, concentrated into a luminous ball, and as she watched in surprise, a kindly face appeared from within.

     So startled she was that her shattering egg shell dropped off and she found herself on her back, legs waving helplessly in the air. "Ah, my pretty little Larnikin, a feisty one you are!" With a gem-ghost twinkle, the apparition nudged her over onto her round soft belly and helped her find her feet to stand. "You have made a fine start to life, now the trick is to forge on with gusto and live your life to the full. Be kind to others, put your energy to work for your community, and above all, be joyous and spread goodwill amongst all those you meet." The gem-ghost of Percival Pinchit, Veteran Soldier, then disappeared in a shower of white sparks, never to be seen again, though his words linger in the long grass for all who harvest there to hear.

     Contemplating the sudden disappearance of her first friend, the small She-Larnikin lay in the grass and studied the pale spots on her translucent plum coloured skin, and counted her eight short, jointed legs as they waved jerkily in two lines down her protruding abdomen.

     Within moments of her shedding the last of her shell, the Baby Larnikin was startled by a great menacing ROAR, and right beside her appeared a Hunch of Blue with a whipping tail crouched ready to spring at the miners. The Monster had tuffs of spiky hair, mean eyes and a big mouth full of tongue and teeth. The miners did not seem to see the impending danger through the cloud of rock-dust, nor did they hear the roar above the flurry of their own endeavours. The Monster roared threateningly just once more before the small Larnikin sprang into action, flailing her eight legs and striking out randomly with all her might, slashing, sparking, until the Monster was defeated. With a sigh of satisfaction, the little Larnikin turned to harvest the long grass, bundling it up and joining the procession of miners and wood-cutters to store the harvest in the almost full silo.

     This is a true story. You do believe me, don't you? What's that? You laugh at the thought of a baby girl Larnikin bravely defeating a Blue Meanie? If you doubt, really doubt me, then go ask the Nesters in your Habitarium to show you their stats. I'm sure you will find evidence of pure bravery in battle. For nesters, you know, not only bring forth the next generation of soldiers, but rise fearlessly when called upon to defend their pixelated world.

The End

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