Stand behind yer sheriff Circulation: 177,588,188 Issue: 185 | 8th day of Eating, Y7
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Brought Together - Part Four


by springsteen0991

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The sky was glowing a deep red as the sun gave out its last rays of the afternoon. Strophagus and his Kyrii partner had been searching for the latter part of the day for the cliff where the Queen’s Clover grew, but they had been extremely unsuccessful in finding anything so far, and Strophagus was beginning to give up hope. Smatty sighed: “It’s around this area, somewhere!”

     “Smatty, I believe that this is hopeless. I have not seen any cliffs around here, only snow,” the Quiggle summed up, unenthusiastically. His feet were tired and his bones were aching. There was not much will power left in him for the day.

     “Strophy, we can’t give up now. No matter how hidden this cliff is, no matter how tricky it is to get there, no matter how much food we have left in the end, we started this trek, and now we’re going to finish it.” That was probably the best thing Smatty could have said at the moment, because it reminded Strophagus of his loyalty to the Queen and the quest he needed to complete. When Strophagus was first upgraded to the rank of first class employee of Fyora, he vowed that he would never give up on any of his tasks. He told her that he would persevere in the most difficult circumstances. Lately, he had begun to think too much of himself and disliked working too hard to accomplish anything. It all hit him at that moment, and then and there he decided that it was definitely time to change back to the way he used to be.

     Strophagus beamed at Smatty, almost as if all hope had magically been restored. “You are right, Smatty. Fyora needs the Clover, and we are going to find it, no matter what.” Then he grinned.

     “That’s the spirit! Come on, we should get going.” She smiled and walked forward with him, glancing over the horizon for any sign of a cliff at all.

     Suddenly, they heard a ruffling in the snow behind them. The two Neopets looked to see what was going on. A small, cute Raindorf was parading through the snow, aimlessly wandering around. “It’s adorable!” Smatty announced.

     “What is it?” Strophagus asked her.

     “It’s a Raindorf, silly! It’s a rare petpet that’s native to Terror Mountain,” she explained.

     “Oh, I see. All right then, Smatty, we must keep on going.” He took a step forward.

     “Awww, Strophy, I barely ever get to see Raindorfs. Can’t we stay just a little bit and watch it play in the snow?” She used a wide-eyed, curled-in-lip routine on him that he was not familiar with.

     Annoyed, Strophagus agreed-- but reluctantly. The Raindorf was busy jumping up and down and playing in the snow. Its green eyes were probably the cutest eyes any petpet had ever had, at least in Smatty’s opinion. She began to approach it, but Strophagus stopped her. “What are you doing? We can not waste our time with this! It’s going to be very dark outside very soon, and we need to find the cliff now!”

     Smatty ignored him and stood before the Raindorf. “Hey little fella,” she cooed, bending over to talk to him.

     The Raindorf looked at her quizzically. “Plllllrrrrrrr!” he said randomly.

     Smatty chuckled. “Are you all alone? Where did you come from?” Strophagus stamped his foot and rolled his eyes.

     The Raindorf just sat there and looked confused. “Smatty, this is extremely exciting, but it is getting darker and darker at the moment, and we still haven’t set up camp,” Strophagus protested, pointing to her bag.

     Smatty suddenly jumped up in excitement to Strophagus’s puzzlement. “Oh my gosh, Strophy! You just made a sarcastic comment!”

     “I did? Really?” He smiled.

     “I knew you had it in you!” She took in a deep breath. “You’re right, we need to set up camp. I don’t think we have a chance of finding this cliff today.” She turned to the Raindorf and whispered “Good-bye, little guy.” The petpet looked up at Strophagus, then at Smatty. He did not budge. The Quiggle and the Kyrii turned around and set off looking for a campsite. The Raindorf quickly scurried behind them, obviously wanting to come with them. “He’s following us!” Smatty exclaimed.

     “Yes, that is apparent,” Strophagus remarked dryly. He paused for a second. “Oh my, was that another humorous comment?” he asked her gleefully.

     “Yep!” She patted him on the back, then looked down at the Raindorf. “Do you want to come with us?” she asked him slowly as if she was talking to a petpet, which of course, she was. The little guy seemed to nod, but it was probably Smatty’s imagination. “I’m going to name you....”

     “Pest,” Strophagus offered.

     “No!” Smatty laughed. “How about Charlie?”

     “Charlie it is,” Strophagus said. “Now let’s set up this tent.” Charlie seemed to object to that. He jumped up and down, making what seemed to be “Follow me!” signals.

     “I think he wants us to follow him!” Smatty said excitedly. Charlie began running in a certain direction. The Neopets followed him, wondering where they were going. Luckily, it was still pretty warm weather for a night on Terror Mountain, and the snow reflected the moonlight enough for them to see Charlie. They made a few turns and zigzags around the area, and ten minutes later the Raindorf led them to the entrance of a big cave. Charlie motioned them to come in. What they saw next they could not believe.

     “Oh my!” Strophagus said, shocked and in awe. The entire cave was full of light blue ice crystals. A blue light lit up the cave dimly. It was an unexpected and breathtaking experience.

     “These are amazing!” Smatty marveled at the cave’s crystals. She walked up to one of them and picked it up. “These must be worth a lot.”

     “Probably,” Strophagus agreed. He reached into Smatty’s bag and took out his sleeping bag. “I suppose we do not need to set up the tent now,” he concluded happily.

     “Nope.” Smatty took her sleeping bag out also and laid it down on the slippery floor of the cave. Not surprising at all, both of them fell asleep immediately, forgetting about dinner, despite the fact that they were really hungry. Charlie snuggled in next to Smatty.

    ***

     The following morning they arose from their slumber and ate the last of the food that they had packed themselves. They did not have a plan for how to feed themselves on the way back. Charlie did not eat anything, and even though they felt guilty about it, they were also relieved. The Neopets took one last look at the cave and left, searching again for the cliff where the Queen’s Clover grew. They were in for a big surprise when they exited the cave.

     They had not seen it at night, but a few dozen yards away from the cave was a humongous cliff. Smatty and Strophagus dashed over to the edge, Charlie trailing behind. Was this it? Had they finally found it?

     Smatty peered down to the bottom of the cliff and saw a small patch of dark green clover growing at the bottom, sticking out of the snow. She looked at Strophagus, and they immediately broke out into tremendous laughter, not the kind of laughter at something funny but the kind of laughter caused by joy. They had come so far over the past four days, and this was it. They were nearly at the end. They had had no idea that this adventure would have brought them together in such a short amount of time, and it was almost unbelievable for them that it was ever going to end.

     “How are we going to get down there?” Strophagus wondered, still under the spell of joy.

     “I suppose we’ll have to climb down, Strophy.” It was the only way Smatty knew.

     Strophagus cringed. “It looks very dangerous. The cliff is almost vertical.”

     “Well,” Smatty said reassuringly, “I did say that this would be a perilous journey. We might as well do what we have to do, you know?”

     Charlie looked up at the both of them. They suddenly realized that they shouldn’t put him in danger by leading him down the cliff, and that it was best if they just left him on top of Terror Mountain where he probably had a family waiting for him somewhere. “Charlie, I think you’ll have to stay up here,” Smatty told him. “Thanks for everything, little guy.”

     The Raindorf put out his hoof. Smatty knelt down and shook it with her paw. Then Strophagus patted him on the head, but accidentally hit his antlers too. “We might as well try and go down now,” Strophagus said as he wiped snow off of his jacket, scared.

     “Yep,” Smatty nodded. They took a final look at Charlie, his cute eyes bubbling in confusion. Then, it seemed as if the Raindorf understood and suddenly remembered he had other things to do. He made a weird smile and waved good bye as they descended the cliff, gripping their hands on ledges and carefully climbing down to what they were sure was their doom, their bags strapped on and weighing their backs down.

To Be Continued...

 
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Other Episodes


» Brought Together: Part One
» Brought Together - Part Two
» Brought Together - Part Three
» Brought Together: Part Five



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