One Route to Altador: Part Four
"WAKE UP, ABERNATHE!"
Abernathe almost fell off the top bunk in surprise. She looked down to find her roguish baby sister, Climene, rolling on Abernathe's bunk, squeaking with laughter.
"I got you back for waking me up back in Neopia Central!" Climene giggled.
Abernathe rolled her eyes, and pushed the baby Eyrie out of the way, who fell on Abernathe's pillow and giggled.
"What time is it?" Abernathe grumbled to her brother Region4 as she climbed down the bunk bed's ladder.
"The sun rose about an hour ago," he answered cheerily. "You better get up before breakfast is closed."
"Huh, this bunny-head didn't let us leave for breakfast until you were up and ready!" Sugarchick complained. "If it weren't for Climene, we would have missed our first breakfast on this ship!"
"What is the room number of the dining room?" Abernathe asked Region4, ignoring Sugarchick's complaints and taking out the meal passes Éclair, their owner, had purchased for them.
"I believe it was room B223, which probably means it is on the second base floor," Region4 answered.
Region4 and Abernathe began to head towards the stairwell, with Sugarchick and Climene tagging behind them. When they reached the second base floor, they scanned the silver door signs in the hallway, searching for the dining room. As they turned to walk down the next hall, busy neopets and humans walked by, chatting happily about the speed of the Armana.
When the group of siblings looked to the right, they found the source of all these people. A large, shiny black door with a silver sign next to it which read "The Armana Dining Room", was constantly opening and closing from the people who came in and out of the dining room. When the small group entered through the doors, they gasped at the beautiful dining room. Sky-blue cloth draped the silver walls, and the floor was made of a dark brown wood. Magnificent silver chandeliers hung from the ceiling, and white pillars lined with silver stood in between four large windows, which allowed diners to view the never ending sea. Tables covered with pearly white tablecloths were everywhere, some having four to eight chairs.
As the siblings sat down at a table with four seats, a Gelert waiter came up to them with a strange hole-puncher device and some menus.
"May I see your meal passes?" he asked politely, and Abernathe handed the four meal passes over. When the Gelert received the passes, he punched a hole with the strange device into the small words "First Breakfast" on each pass, and then handed them back to Abernathe.
"Here are your menus," he said as he handed the menus out, then left to serve other diners.
Immediately the group started to study the breakfast menus, searching for a suitable breakfast. Finally, with much debate, the siblings decided to order the light breakfast of buttered toast, negg slices, and cheops juice.
When the food came, the group quickly ate, anxious to tour the Armana.
As soon as they finished, they thanked the waiter and hurried towards the stairwell, and ran up the stairs, passed happy neopets, and finally made to their destination: the deck of the ship.
The siblings were delighted with the amazing scene. The wooden deck was huge, and contained a foremast, a mainmast, a mizzenmast, a bowsprit, a main top, a fore top, and many other structures. The wild sea surrounded the ship, and on both the right and left of the Armana the peaks of mountain ranges enveloped with snow could be seen far of into the distance.
"It is so beautiful out here." Abernathe sighed to her siblings as a cool salty breeze brushed against her cheek. But when she turned to talk to Sugarchick, to her shock neither Sugarchick nor Climene were there!
"Oh no!" she moaned to Region4. "Where did Sugarchick and Climene go?"
"They are probably are still on the deck," Region4 assured her, even though he was doubtful himself. However when they searched the deck, there was no trace of Sugarchick or Climene.
Abernathe and Region4 hurried down the staircase, nervously asking neopets and humans if they had seen a baby Bruce or Eyrie walk by. To their despair, none knew where the twin devils had gone.
"Maybe they went back to our cabin," Abernathe suggested, but Region4 seemed doubtful.
"They know I have the key. They probably didn't go there," he replied.
"I hope they didn't fall of the..." Abernathe couldn't finish her sentence.
"We should check the deck again; they might have been hiding up there," Region4 suggested, and the siblings hurried back up the stairs again.
When they reached the deck, Abernathe glanced at the waves near the bottom of the ship, searching for the figures of their baby sisters.
"Whatcha looking for?" a tough Bori from the Armana's crew asked when he noticed Region4 and Abernathe.
"Our sisters, Climene the baby Eyrie and Sugarchick baby Bruce," Region4 answered the Bori distractedly.
"Oi, I might'a seen the litt'le dearies run towards the bridge," the Bori cheerfully said, and walked off to the stern.
When Region4 and Abernathe came to the bridge, Abernathe gasped in shock and disbelief as Region laughed aloud. Sugarchick and Climene were sitting next to the captain of the Armana, asking questions, while the captain was steering the ship, merrily answering the beaming couple's questions. When the captain caught sight of Abernathe (Who was still gaping) and Region4, he winked his laughing eyes at the older siblings, as he answered one of Climene's silly questions.
"Why yes, Eyries can grow long beards! Haven't ye ever seen a painting of the famous Cap'n Threelegs?" he asked Climene. "That old dubloon hoard'er has a mighty fine beard, and takes pride in 'is Swashbuckling Academy, too, 'e does," the Eyrie captain said as turned to Abernathe.
"Are these litt'le rogues yer's, ma'am?' he asked Abernathe in mock seriousness, turning Sugarchick and Climene's attention to their older siblings.
"'Ello, Ab and Region! This is Captain Sterling, master of the Armana! Mr. Sterling, these are our older siblings, Abernathe and Region4!" Sugarchick announced as Captain Sterling bowed.
"I'm pleased to meet ye!" Captain Sterling said.
"We're honored to meet the Captain of the Armana!" Region4 said as he bowed back and Abernathe curtsied.
"We are terribly sorry if Sugarchick and Climene have been bothering you, Captain," Abernathe added, blushing with embarrassment.
"Nay, don't be sorry! These young dearies kept me from being lonely," Captain Sterling said cheerily.
"We don't mean to be rude, but we need to go and eat lunch. Thank you for your time!" Abernathe said, noting that the sun was past the center of the sky.
"I un'erstand. Don't ye be afraid to visit me soon!" Captain Sterling said as he turned back to the tiller.
"Bye, Mr. Sterling!" Sugarchick and Climene waved.
As the group walked down the hallway of the second base floor towards the dining room, Region4 broke the silence by suddenly laughing aloud, tears of merriment streaming down his furry cheeks.
"Oh, you should have seen Ab's face when she saw you two chatting with the Cap'n!" Region4 cried with laughter after wiping the tears off his cheeks.
"It wasn't that funny," Abernathe mumbled, annoyed. "Anyways, we're here," she said as they approached the dining room.
When the siblings entered the dining room, they seated themselves at a table by one of the large windows. As a different waiter walked up to the table, Abernathe had the meal passes ready and handed them over to the old Pteri waiter.
"Here are you're lunch menus," the Pteri croaked as she gave Abernathe the passes back and passed out the menus.
"Mmm! Nothing like a great lunch after a light breakfast!" Sugarchick commented after the siblings had finished a meal of raspberry chicken, creamed corn and jumbleberry Achyfi.
"Wonder what the dinner menu will be like!" Climene thought aloud.
"We still have a couple hours until dinner." Abernathe said. "Why don't we check out the passenger luggage room and see what we can find in our other bags," she suggested.
"But I want to visit Mr. Sterling!" Climene complained.
"We all can visit him afterwards," Region4 said firmly. "For now, we'll visit room B330."
As the group wandered on the third base floor, Sugarchick and Climene read aloud all the room numbers they passed.
"B324... B325... B326... B327... B328... Aha! B330!" they sang.
The luggage room was huge. Bags, boxes, packages, and millions of other types of containers were stacked everywhere. Near the very back, the siblings found their bags stacked behind an enormous cardboard box. They quickly grabbed their bags and excitedly rummaged through the extra clothes and other things they had packed.
"Look!" Sugarchick cried happily. "My World Domination Board Game!"
"I was wondering if I brought you!" Abernathe said as she pulled out the Altador Cup Rule Book.
"Yes! I can finally start reading Notable Neggs!" Region4 said as he opened the book.
Hours ticked by as Abernathe and Region4 read their books, and Climene and Sugarchick played a game of World Domination, unaware of how much time had passed.
When Abernathe was just about to turn the page of her book, her stomach growled so loud that it would have made the Techo super fan turn away in defeat. Everyone burst out laughing, rolling on the floor with pure merriment.
Abernathe grinned. "I guess it's time for dinner!" she said after everyone had calmed down.
Once they had packed their things back into their bags, they set out for the dining room. As they walked up the stairs and through the hall, the only sound was that of their footsteps.
"Strange," Region4 thought aloud. "Usually there are tons of people walking by."
Only one person had walked by, and they frowned at the siblings, mumbling something about "enough sleep."
When they approached the door to the dining room, Region4 attempted to swing open the door, but only yanked his arm, almost pulling the door handle out.
"It's locked!" Region4 gasped, rubbing his sore arm.
Abernathe put her ear against the door. "I can't hear anything!" she cried.
"How long were we in the-"
"Excuse me," Region4 said to a tired looking Grarrl gentleman who was passing by, interrupting Abernathe. "Do you know what time it is?"
The Grarrl pulled out at his golden pocket watch from his pocket. "It is a bit after midnight," he answered, and then continued to walk down the hall.
The group stood, glazed from the gentleman's words.
"Did we really stay in that room until midnight?" Climene asked, blinking.
"Come on, we need to go back to our cabin," Abernathe said grimly.
The tired and hungry siblings plodded back to their quarters, gloomy from the realization that they had missed a good, warm dinner.
When they had settled into their cabin, Abernathe rummaged through her back pack, searching for some sort of meal. Finally she found a couple of bread halves and two bottles of water.
"This will have to do till breakfast," Abernathe said as she passed the food to her siblings.
"Back to the jolly poor rations!" Region4 chuckled as he accepted his bread half.
Once they had finished their pitiful meal, the siblings crawled into their bunks, and slowly fell into a fretful sleep, wondering what the morrow would bring.
To be continued...