A Dazzling Draik's Dilemma
"Christine!" exclaimed Nadaba the Maraquan Draik.
The owner turned, wondering what her pet was so excited about. "Yes?" she replied.
"You have an offer on your Pink Draik Morphing Potion!"
"Really?" answered Christine joyfully. "Let's go over to the Trading Post and see what the offer is."
Christine, Nadaba, and another one of the owner's pets, Florezca, crossed the wondrous ocean waves to make their way to Mystery Island. The shining water reflected the sunlight, resulting in a beautiful display. "Wow!" exclaimed Flor as she gazed at the breathtaking, picturesque scene.
"I'm getting tired of carrying you two on my back!" whined Nadaba as she toiled through the cool, salty water.
"We're almost there," Christine pointed out. "Look, I can see the island from here."
Nadaba sighed as she continued to carry the two. "All because you were too cheap to take a boat," she muttered.
"Why would we take a boat," Christine stated, "when one of us is a healthy Maraquan Draik that can swim long distances?"
"At the expense of your loved one?!"
"Says the one who literally gets a free ride."
Before long, the group was walking on the sparkling sand, granules stuck between their toes. The sun was lowering its gorgeous gaze amidst graceful palm trees, their leaves swaying in the wind. Despite the spectacular sunset, not everyone was pleased. "I'm thirsty!" yelled Florezca with pure disdain.
"Quiet," snapped Nadaba. "I'm the one who should be complaining. I carried hundreds of pounds on my back for an hour."
"Flor," began Christine, "There is water available at the Trading Post. We're almost there."
Flor continued to grumble as the three ventured through summery scenes. Eventually they reached the Trading Post.
"I'm parched!" whined Flor. "I need something, anything to drink!" Then she spotted the Pink Draik Morphing Potion. She grabbed the glass bottle and chugged it.
Christine and Nadaba gazed at her in horror. "Flor," started Christine incredulously, "did you even pay attention to what you just drank?"
"There goes our profits," groaned Nadaba as Flor began to sprout pink scales. Then a tail and two rosy wings emerged. Flor cried out in shock as her body transformed. Soon she was a Pink Draik instead of a Blue Kacheek like before.
"What was that all about?!" hollered Flor. "I'm... pink!"
"A Pink Draik," grinned Christine. "Look at you! You're so pretty!" She had certainly changed her tune.
"I don't want to be a Draik!" sobbed Flor, stomping her foot. "I wanna be a Kacheek!"
"I'm not buying you a Kacheek Morphing Potion," replied Christine. "You're gorgeous! You'll get used to it."
Meanwhile, tears continued to stream down Flor's face.
"Flor," began Nadaba, "I think you'll like being a Draik. When Christine morphed me, I became instantly popular. People love Draiks and think they're cool."
"If you say so..." grumbled Flor.
Flor cried herself to sleep that night. All because of her haste, she had completely changed her form into a species she wasn't as fond of. Although Christine and Nadaba thought she looked awesome, she wasn't pleased, and that's what mattered.
She decided that she would take it upon herself to earn the Neopoints necessary to buy a Kacheek Morphing Potion and restore her appearance. Early in the morning, before Christine and Nadaba were awake, she left the house and traveled over to the Games Room.
She began to play Assignment 53, which quickly distracted her from her troubles. Her character, Moxi the Alien Aisha, dodged projectiles from enemies, collected Nerkmids, and gobbled Gross Food. All of a sudden, she heard a frustrated scream. Distracted, she fell off the platform on Wuba Secundus and had no lives left. However, her score still yielded 1000 Neopoints.
"What's wrong?" she asked the furious Neopet.
"I was FIVE POINTS away from a trophy!" he grumbled.
As he carried on, Florezca wondered what game he had been playing. She approached the station, which depicted a Blue Kacheek trying to catch a Babaa while being pursued by the ferocious Balthazar. Reminded of her previous state, she began to sob.
She covered her face despondently until she felt a hand on her shoulder. "What's wrong?" asked a voice.
"I wanna be a—"
"Flor, is that you?"
Flor looked up to see two of her friends. "Wow, Flor!" one of them exclaimed. "You look great!"
"Really?" replied Flor.
"Yup!" smiled the other. "I wish I was a Draik!"
"But I wanna be a Kacheek again," whined Flor.
"Nonsense! You'll get used to it!"
"That's what everyone has been saying, but I wish I could still be a Kacheek."
"Trust us. You look amazing. Have more confidence in yourself."
That night, Flor had an idea. She had earned some Neopoints at the Games Room that day, so she figured it would be a smart move to invest them in the Stock Market. That way, her Neopoints would grow, and she would be able to buy a Kacheek Morphing Potion sooner.
She woke up the next morning and strode outside. However, she had a long walk ahead of her to invest in stocks. She groaned.
Then she noticed Nadaba by her side. "What's wrong?" she asked.
"I have a really long distance to travel," explained Flor. "My feet will soon be tired."
"You can fly," replied Nadaba.
Flor flapped her wings and rose into the air. "Oh!" she exclaimed. "I forgot I could fly! Thanks for reminding me!" Then she took off.
As she cut through the clouds, Flor smiled. She had concluded that the ability to fly was one useful trait of a Draik. Maybe the morph was for the better after all. However, she still missed her previous form.
When she arrived at her destination, she researched the stocks, then came to a decision. She approached Nigel the Chia, who was the stock broker. "1000 shares of the company CHIA, please," she requested.
"Sure thing, kid," he replied. Then she left, flying back toward her house.
The next day, Flor was eating breakfast when Nadaba set the Neopian Times down on the table. "Look at this," she said joyfully. "New game. Pakiko. The next time you go to the Games Room, you can try it out."
"Cool," replied Flor as she munched on her Eggs Benedict. Then she noticed an alarming headline: "Neodaq Down a Whopping 200 Points".
"Whaaaat?!" she cried. "Isn't that a lot?"
"What's wrong, Flor?" asked Nadaba.
Flor wasn't listening. She was reading the article instead. "Many shares," she read to herself, "most notably CHIA, have plummeted significantly. CHIA is trading for 1 NP a share right now."
Flor wanted to panic. Her hard-earned savings had been wiped out, simply due to a stroke of horrible luck. She rushed up to her room frantically and began to sob, leaving her unfinished Eggs Benedict on the table.
A bewildered Nadaba chased after her sister. The Maraquan Draik entered her sister's room with genuine concern. "What's wrong?" she asked compassionately.
Through tears, Flor explained what had happened. "I-I invested my Neopoints in the Stock Market so I could earn enough to buy a Kacheek Morphing Potion, but the market crashed! The Neopian Times said so!"
"Oh," answered Nadaba. "Are you still concerned about that?"
"Listen. Draiks are very special. Not every owner can afford to morph his or her pet into one. Furthermore, you're a beautiful shade of pink, which makes you an especially dazzling Draik. Also, you can fly. Didn't you enjoy flying yesterday?"
"Well, if you become a Kacheek again, you won't be able to fly anymore."
Flor hesitated for a moment, then smiled. "I really do love flying! I'm not ready to give that up yet. Maybe I should stay as a Pink Draik for a while and see how my life goes. If I decide later that I really dislike being a Draik, I can always change my form back."
"That's the spirit," grinned Nadaba.