Scabbard and Vyaro Meet
”I 'm gonna get you, you little brat!”
Scabbard paused when he heard a girl's angry tone, and looked around the hedge to see a very agitated blue Gelert, baring her teeth at a baby Bruce. He started to step in and tell her to leave the little guy alone... but she was kind of scary, even by hero standards! Still, maybe he should say something...
“M-miss?” He cleared his throat. “He's just a... Baby.”
Now the Gelert spun around on him, making him jump. He chuckled nervously, intimidated her big sunglasses. She took a step toward him, looking positively murderous.
“He's not just a baby. It's Boochi.” She growled. “He's a nuisance!”
Why did that name sound familiar?
“Maybe he just doesn't--”
“Doesn't what?” She snapped. “Know any better? Please. Someone should feed that brat to the Snowager.”
The Bruce stood there looking completely innocent, hands behind his back and rocking on his feet. He was clearly harmless!
“Now look here, miss.” He straightened and spoke in a deeper voice, one more fitting for a superhero. “I can't allow you to threaten innocent citizens on my watch, especially babies.”
All of the sudden, he caught sight of something the baby Bruce held behind his back. He almost choked on his own words as he saw the tiny green and purple gun. Now he knew why that name sounded familiar!
“Look out!” He shouted, and lunged at the Gelert, tackling her to the ground just as a green laser went shooting above their heads.
“I told you!” The Gelert growled, pushing him away from her. “When I get my paws on him, he's gonna look like a Minced Beef Pretzel! I've had it!”
As she lunged for Boochi, he darted out of the way and fired the gun again. The Gelert dodged, causing the green laser to hit Scabbard dead center in the chest.
“Ah! He got me!” He staggered back, hand on his chest, and slumped against the nearest tree. “Tell my mom that I... I love her.”
Then the world around him faded to black.
The Checkered Kacheek looked like a hero. He was dressed as one—even the little Checkered Slorg that followed him around wore a tiny cape and mask.
This was proof that looks could be deceiving.
As Boochi giggled and ran off, Vyaro approached the hero and poked him with her paw. Fainted? He'd actually fainted! She rolled her eyes and pulled a water bottle from her belt, opened it, and dumped it on his head.
When he came to, sputtering and waving his hands around, she sighed.
“Am I dead?!”
“You're not dead—you're not even hurt.” She replaced the cap on her water bottle and hooked it back to her belt.
As he looked himself over, she shook her head.
“It's still not good news. You know what that gun does, right?”
At first he just kind of nodded, then froze and his eyes sprang wide. He stood up and looked past her, as though hoping he could volunteer to feed Boochi to the Snowager himself.
“I can't be a baby!” He cried. “Oh no, no... I'm a hero! Have you ever seen a baby hero?”
But even as he said those words, he started to shrink. First it was his paws, then his feet, then his head. She couldn't help but giggle at how ridiculous he looked, sympathetic or not.
Then suddenly, she heard a pop, saw a flash. When the flash was gone, a baby Kacheek was in his place. She gave a girly squeal—something she would never, ever admit to doing—and scooped him up in a tight hug.
“Aww! He's so cute!”She looked down at the Slorg, who really couldn't seem to care less about what had happened. “Isn't he cute?”
The Kacheek glared at her and smacked at her with his little baby Kacheek paws until she put him down.
“I'm not cute! I'm a hero!”
As the masked baby flexed his non-existent muscles, she had to bite down on her lip to keep from laughing. She made as serious a face as she could manage, and nodded.
“You're still a baby...”
“That rotten Bruce!” He shook his baby fists. “I'll—I'll.... oh, he's dead meat!”
The Kacheek plopped down on the ground then and rubbed at his eyes, sniffling. Being turned into a baby had that effect... something she knew first hand. She gave him a pat on the back.
“There, there little guy...” She cleared her throat when he glared up at her. “I mean... there, there, little hero.”
As he dissolved into tears, the Slorg gave him a nudge to try and cheer him up. It didn't work, in fact, maybe it made him cry harder.
“Hey, what's your name? I'm Vyaro.”
“Scabbard.” He sniffled and wiped at his watery eyes. “I'm a hero.”
“Obviously—just look at that cape! That's definitely a hero's cape.”
That pulled a little smile out of him, but his lips trembled as though he might start to cry again.
“You know what?” She smiled. “I'm on a quest for the Fountain Faerie... when I find what she wants, I'll let you take it to her. Then you can change yourself back.”
“Really?” He wiped the last few tears away. “You'd do that?”
“Of course I would! After all, if you hadn't pushed me out of the way, he would have turned me into a baby too. I owe you one.”
When he grinned, she picked him up and put him on her shoulders.
“Come on, tough guy. Let's go do this quest, huh?”
It didn't take very long at all to locate the item they were looking for. Unfortunately, they didn't just buy the book and go.
At the moment, Vyaro was bickering with shopkeeper. “You want how much? Are you suffering from a bad case of Ugga-Ugga or something, because I know I didn't hear you right!”
The haggling had been going on forever. At this point, it wasn't even so much haggling as it was scolding.
“It's highway robbery! I'm not going to give you anymore than two hundred thousand for it—look, even the pages are all worn out. Seven hundred thous—are you insane?”
Finally, and probably just to get her to stop shouting at him, the shopkeeper agreed to give her the book for two hundred thousand neopoints. As far as he knew, that was pretty cheap for a Faerie Fountain quest!
Finally, they were on the way to Faerieland.
By the time they reached the Fountain Faerie, it was almost dark. They were both tired, and Scabbard was totally over this whole 'baby' thing.
“Oh, thanks!” The faerie took the book and thumbed through it. “Who's your friend, Vyaro?”
“This is Scabbard, he had a little run in with Boochi... so I want to let him change his color instead of me. I don't mind being blue.”
The Fountain Faerie stared at the pair of them for a second, glanced down at the book, then back to them. “That's really nice of you, to give up that fire color you've been wanting. I'm thinking maybe I could be nice, and let you both have the reward.”
Vyaro and Scabbard cheered, and quickly nodded.
“Sure!”They spoke in unison.
Once the faerie changed Scabbard back into his Checkered self, she smiled and helped Vyaro with her fire color.
“Ooh, look!” She jumped up and down. “I'm not blue anymore!”
“Oh hey, the fire on your fur matches my costume!” Scabbard pointed. “We can both be heroes now!”
“Don't the Defenders keep crime out of Neopia?” She asked thoughtfully. “That's their job, right?”
“Sure! But who says we can't do the same?”He grinned. “Neopia can't have too many heroes.”
Together they left Faerieland, discussing the many different ways they could help protect Neopia, and keep it a bright, safe, and happy place to be.