Stand behind yer sheriff Circulation: 193,614,788 Issue: 702 | 9th day of Collecting, Y17
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Adventures Aren't Just in Books: Part Three


by kitstar1

--------

      "Mommy?”

      “Mommy!”

      “MOMMY!”

      “Just give me a second would you Jennifer? What now Michael?”

      “Who’s that?”

      “Who’s wh- AHHHHHHH! MICHAEL GET AWAY FROM HIM NOW!”

      “But why? What has he done?”

      “HE’S THE PANT DEVIL! JUST STAY BACK UNTIL SOMEONE FROM THE DEFENDERS OF NEOPIA GETS HERE!”

      But the young Elephante didn’t walk back to his mother’s side as he didn’t understand what all of the fuss was about. Until he cycled past the Pant Devil. The villain pushed Michael off the bike and took off with it, leaving the poor ‘pet crying on the floor. Suddenly a figure burst out of some nearby bushes and took off after the figure on the bike. A few minutes later and the Neopet was back with the bike in his hands, handing it back to the sniffling Elephante.

      “Now you have to be careful from now on OK?”

      “Y-yes,” he said, still sniffling a little bit.

      “Good. Now I better be off- there must be more villains to stop, eh?”

      “Um, mister?”

      “Yeah?”

      “Who are you?”

      “Who am I? I am a Defender of Neopia sworn to protect the streets and lands of our world. What about you, who are you?”

      “I’m Michael, um, future Defender of Neopia sworn to protect the world of our streets and lands... wait no... I don’t know.”

      “No no, it’s fine. Do you really want to be a Defender of Neopia?”

      The young Neopet nodded his head furiously: “I want to help people and save people and protect people!”

      “Well, you know what? You look like you have potential. In a few years, if your mom lets you, you could try to be a part of our team. I am sure you would do great.”

      “Do you really think so?”

      “No,” he said, making the Elephante’s smile fade, “I really REALLY think so!”

      The Neopet laughed at seeing the huge smile that spread back across the younger one’s face. “Now get back to your mom and I hope I will see you in a few years time.”

      And see him he did. But it didn’t go quite as planned.

****

      “Next.” Michael stood and walked towards the room that the voice had come out of, shaking like crazy. He stopped still for a moment just to let his breathing even out. He was doing it, he was actually doing it, he was going to become a Defender of Neopia, he just knew it. Sure, his mom said that it wasn’t going to work out and hadn’t wished him luck this morning but who cares? He doesn’t need luck, he has everything he needs.

      Or so he thinks.

      “Ah, Michael, sit down. Don’t I know you from somewhere? Try not to be offended if I can’t quite remember, having a busy job like mine with a lot of different people makes it a lot harder to remember people’s names and connect them to the right faces.”

      “Um, hi. Yes, we have met, a few years ago actually. You got my bike back from the Pant Devil after he had stolen it.”

      “I thought that that was Ginny.”

      “Ah, yes this happens a lot. So Ginny had her bike stolen just after I did because the Pant Devil just really wanted a bike. Except in her case there were no Defenders around which meant she had to report it which led it to blow up into this big case against the Pant Devil. But yeah, we definitely met.”

      “OK, I think I can remember, but again lots of faces, lots of names, it’s pretty hard. So let’s go through your application then. According to your test results, you have high intelligence and are extremely good at working out where a criminal may strike next. You have had no run-ins with the Defenders before (apart from when you were the victim) and are an overall good citizen. Your interrogation skills are OK but you may need to learn tactics other than shouting at the suspects. But now we come to the problem.”

      “P-problem?”

      “Yes, a problem. Your overall physical fitness leaves something to be desired. Yes, you can do the basic requirements but if you want to go into the field and get higher up, you need to be doing a lot better than you are. And from what I understand, to reach this level and maintain it is taking a lot of effort already an-”

      “I swear I can work hard enough and reach it if you just give me a chance.”

      “You didn’t let me finish. I am going to give you a choice. You can either continue along the path you have been and risk the chance of not succeeding in fieldwork or you could choose a different job- give me a minute to explain.”

      “But I don’t want ano-”

      “What did I just say? Let me explain. The job would be different to mine, yes, but it would still be for the Defenders of Neopia and helping people. Which I presume is your reason for wanting this job in the first place?”

      “Yes... that’s right.”

      “So instead of actually doing the field work, you would just stay in the offices doing the things that you are better at like figuring out where they will strike next etc. Eventually if you work hard enough you could be in charge of your own team of Defenders with your own area to focus on. Now which path do you want to take?”

****

      “So you guys are a part of the Defenders of Neopia then?”

      “That we are.”

      “So how did you guys come to work under him then?”

      “Well that’s another few stories. You sure you want to start that now?”

      “It’s why I asked isn’t it?”

      “Lucy, you’re up...Ow what did you hit for?”

      “I’m the secretary and the one that keeps that Elephante back there in line. I don’t exactly have a back story. You on the other hand...”

      “Yeah, yeah the great story of Brian...”

****

      So I was working my usual shift in the Bakery, being carefully watched by the Breadmaster of course.

      ----Why was he watching you carefully?----

      ----So I may have burnt the bread once or twice... a day?----

      Anyway as I was saying before I was rudely interrupted, I was working my usual shift when that big oaf of an Elephante walks in acting like he is king of the world and asks for two loaves of bread. So I of course, being my usual self, may have tampered with the dough a little bit. Nothing too serious, just enough to give whoever ate it Sneezles for a few days.

      So I come into work a week later to find Mr High-and-Mighty shouting at my boss. Now, I don’t want to get involved because the Elephante does look pretty important and I don’t want to be blamed for giving Sneezles to the current ruler of Shenkuu or someone stupid like that. Then again, my boss was taking quite a shouting-at so I decided to intervene and admit that I had done it.

      It is about two weeks later when the Elephante (who I now know as Michael) has finally decided on my so-called punishment. I have to leave my job at the Bakery and become his first employee (I think the word he meant to use was slave) in his department of the Defenders of Neopia. And so here I am, running around getting coffee for everyone who asks for it and trying to help where I can.

****

      “Alright, now my back story’s out of the way, do you want to give us yours Al?”

      “I don’t think he would be interested in that.”

      “You just don’t want to tell him because it makes you sound like a criminal.”

      “ALL I DID WAS EDIT YOUR INFORMATION!”

      “You did what?”

      “Alright let’s start from the very beginning. Brian, you tell it, I only know it from my point of view...”

****

      “Brian?”

      “Yes sir?”

      “How secure is our building currently?”

      “Presumably as much as the next person’s. Why’d you ask?”

      “Oh it’s nothing to worry about, just some kid trying to be funny.”

      “Ooh what did he do?”

      “Nope, I am not giving you any ideas. Go and finish that paperwork I gave to you this morning...Oh and don’t bother asking Lucy, I don’t want her thinking I’m not up to securing the base.”

      ---- I already though that though. ----

      “BRIAN.”

      “Yes sir?”

      “Why can people still vandalise our information?”

      “I don’t know sir, why can people still vandalise our information?”

      “It wasn’t a... oh I don’t know why.”

      “Is there any way we could see who is doing whatever it is they are doing that you aren’t telling me?”

      “I guess I could ask up at the Head Office.”

      “You do that sir, I’ll be here...cleaning up coffee stains.”

      So it’s a few weeks later and we have used the tricks the Head Office gave us to find our guy. It had led us to a non-descript house in the middle of Neopia Central. We knocked on the door and a Skunk Techo opened the door, the same Skunk Techo that had been vandalising our information for weeks at this point.

      We took him back here for questioning. Let’s just say it didn’t quite go to plan:

      “Who are you?”

      “...”

      “Why have you been vandalising our information?”

      “...”

      “Are you going to answer any of my questions?”

      “Of course he isn’t are you?”

      “Nope.”

      “YOU TALKED.”

      “Yes but not to you, to me, Brian the extraordinary.”

      “Why did I get stuck with you?”

      “Because you decided my punishment was to work with you for at least a year if not longer.”

      “Exactly, it is your punishment, why do I feel like I am the one who is being punished?”

      “I am still here you know. And I will answer every question you throw at me if you two will stop squabbling like toddlers and listen to me for five seconds.”

      ---- That is the one and only time I got the two of them to shut up and listen to me. ----

      ---- Oh, shut up. ----

      “Okay then, who are you?”

      “I’m Albert.”

      “Why have you been breaking in here and changing our information?”

      “That’s what he was doing? The way you said it, it was like he’d inserted bad language everywhere.”

      “What did I say about the squabbling? Anyway, I was only changing the information because it was inaccurate and factually incorrect.”

      “Inaccurate? Factually incorrect? What on Neopia are you talking about? All of our information is checked, re-checked and triple checked before it goes down on file. How on Neopia could it be wrong?”

      “Well it is. For example, it claimed that Dr. Sloth arrived in Year 1 when in reality he did not appear until Year 2 where he was only just defeated by the Space Faerie. There were other things as well, the spelling of Xandra as Zandra, a picture of Jhudora rather than Illusen and also a line that claimed that Fyora was a villain.”

      “I-I don’t understand.”

      “I personally think that you need to take a lot more care of the information you have if a kid in his last year of Neoschool can find multiple mistakes without even having to cross-reference it. You might want to put someone in charge of keeping it accurate. You don’t want Fyora being hunted down by a wild mob, convinced that she is some sort of evil villain.”

      “I suppose so. I couldn’t do it; I have too much to do already. Lucy would just get annoyed at me for not doing it myself so I guess that just leaves you Brian.”

      “Nope. Not doing it. I am already doing half of your paperwork and coffee runs every other hour as well as my fitness routine so that I am prepared to go into the field. You can’t just force anything else on me. You will just have to hire someone else to do it.”

      “I guess so.”

      “Is there seriously only three of you running this.”

      “That’s right.”

      “No wonder it was so inaccurate, you probably have too much on your plate to care too much about it. What you need is a specialist in research and editing.”

      “Are you one?”

      “I guess so. Why’d you ask?”

      “You get out of school at the end of this year yes?”

      “That’s right.”

      “You looking for a job?”

****

      “And that’s how we got to a team of four. Now the only one left is Jenny over here.”

      I look around in confusion: I have no idea who this Jenny person is. Then I realise it must be the Vandagyre whose name I didn’t catch earlier.

      “Well there isn’t much to say for me.”

      “There has to be some story right?”

      “I guess you could say that...”

      To be continued…

 
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» Adventures Aren't Just in Books: Part One
» Adventures Aren't Just in Books: Part Two



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