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A Chaotic Vacation: Part Two


by acexofxspades

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The tour was okay. A group of about fifteen of us got on a big covered cart pulled by six Cocos, which is what the some of the natives call themselves. The cart was a bit crowded with other tourists, but I was lucky enough to get a seat by the window.

     We saw Aishas dancing in grass skirts, and passed by Techo Mountain, where a bunch of Yurbles wearing backpacks and hiking gear were staring up at the summit, probably rethinking the decision to climb up. The squawks of Pirakets emanated way too loudly from the jungle, in my opinion, so I crossed that off my list of places to explore. Besides, getting covered in bird droppings isn't my idea of a good time.

     The last place we saw was a stretch of beach past the rock pool. A bunch of pets were playing volleyball on the sand. According to the tour guide, a squat coconut JubJub, there are tournaments every summer. Personally, I thought that was a good thing, because it looked like that particular group could use all the time they could get to practice. They missed the ball more than they hit it, and when they did manage to make contact, the ball usually ended up flying over their heads and going out of bounds.

     Past the pets splashing in the shallow water I could see a group of surfers clustered together in the lineup beyond where the waves where breaking. Watching, I saw one of them take off on a wave and ride it almost all the way into shore before turning around and paddling back out to exchange high-fives with the others. I wondered if it was Ace.

     Finally the cart came to a halt at the spot were the tour had initially begun.

     "This concludes the tour," the JubJub said as people began to get to their feet. "Thank you for choosing Mystery Isle Expeditions. Please watch your step as you exit the vehicle, and don't forget your free gift!"

     As I stepped back on to the packed dirt a smiling Island Aisha handed me my "gift". A bottle of red sand. Lucky me.

     I shoved the sand into my backpack and looked around. Judging by the sun's position, I figured it was a little past noon. Ace was nowhere in sight. I sighed. Generally she was pretty good with time, but when it came to a select few things, she could loose track of it for hours. I was beginning to suspect that surfing was one of those things.

     I waited by the empty cart for fifteen minutes or so, until my stomach began to growl. It was time and past for lunch. I rummaged around in my backpack until I pulled out one of the maps of the island that had been given out at the start of the tour, and flipped it over. The other side had a list of places that tourists might find useful.

     I scanned down the page until I found the section I was looking for, restaurants. Halfway down was an entry that looked suitable.

     The Tropic Café - this quaint little eatery will fill you up without emptying your wallet. The menu is mostly hearty sandwiches, made with fresh, local ingredients. Ask about the house specialty, Blended Lemaniac with strawberries. Highly recommended. Located just past Techo Mountain.

     I turned the page back over, and looked at the map. The fastest way to get there would be to go around the Training School. I put the map back in my pack, checked to make sure I had the coin pouch Ace had given me, and started off down the path.

     As I approached the side of the training school, a voice reached my ears and two figures came into view. One had his back to me, and was looking at the ground, shoulders slightly hunched. The other was the Techo Master, with his arms crossed and a frown on his face. He seemed to be scolding the pet who stood in front of him. Interested, I crept closer for a better look, hidden from view by the tall bushes and trees that surrounded the small yard.

     "Your behavior today has been unacceptable," said the Master in a stern voice. "Your size does not entitle you to special treatment, nor does it mean you may bully my other pupils. Should you engage in similar actions in the future, you will be banished from my school."

     His student looked up, and started to protest, but was silenced by the Techo's raised hand. It dawned on me who the troublemaker was.

     "Do not argue. I am in no mood for it," the Master continued. "You shall remain outside for the rest of the training session. I must go see to the others. I suggest you use this time to meditate and think on what you must do to right your mistakes. I will expect a detailed explanation when I return."

     He went back into the school, sliding the door shut behind him. Grumbling, the chastised student turned. Sure enough, it was the yellow Scorchio who had pushed me earlier. He settled cross-legged on the grass and closed his eyes, still grousing under his breath. I caught a bit of what he was saying.

     "…Stupid Techo Master, punishing me. And stupid little runts, tattling…"

     I sat back on my haunches, thinking. This was the perfect chance for revenge. No witnesses, I was completely hidden by the thick greenery, and my victim had his eyes closed. He would never see it coming. But then again, Ace had told me to try and stay out of trouble.

     Two small puffs of smoke materialized just over each of my shoulders. Startled, I looked down. On my right was a white Wocky with a halo floating above his head, and perched on my left was a fire Wocky with horns and a pitchfork in his hand.

     "Who in Neopia are you guys?" I asked. "And what are you doing sitting on my shoulders?"

     "We are your sense of right and wrong," the angelic one said. "And we are here to help you make a decision about the situation you are currently facing."

     "Uh-huh," I said skeptically. "And why exactly am I supposed to believe you two are real?"

     "Simple," the devilish looking one on my left replied. "Does this hurt?"

     And he took his pitchfork and jabbed my ear with it.

     "Oww!" I yelped, covering the injured ear with one paw. I glared at the Wocky, who grinned back at me.

     The one on my right cleared his throat. "If we could get back to the subject, please?"

     The devilish one scowled. "Yeah, yeah Mr. Goody Two Shoes. Why do you always have to suck the fun out of everything?"

     "Why do you always have to make trouble?" the angel shot back.

     "Earth to stupid-guy, I'm his sense of wrong here, it's in my job description for crying out loud!"

     "Uh… guys?" I interrupted.

     "WHAT?" they both snapped at me.

     "About my problem…"

     "Oh, right. That," the white one said, sounding annoyed. "You should just walk away. Trying to get revenge isn't going to solve anything. And it's not like he really hurt you."

     "Hey, that guy shoved him," the fiery one argued. "He could have drowned if he fell in the water."

     "Yeah," I agreed. "And he was picking on those other pets!"

     "Exactly," nodded my sense of wrong. "He obviously needs someone to teach him a lesson."

     "Remember what Ace said about not getting into trouble?" asked the one on the left. "You don't want to disappoint her, right?"

     He had me there. Ace is pretty laid back, but on the few occasions I'd managed to anger her, I regretted it. And the look of disappointment on her face cut me to the quick.

     I sighed. "I guess you're right."

     "Good." My sense of right nodded in approval. "We should probably go now," he said to the scowling fire Wocky on my other shoulder.

     "Hang on," I said. "I have one more question."

     "Yeah?"

     "Isn't the whole angel/devil thing kinda clichéd?"

     The devilish Wocky shrugged. "The guy who thought us up didn't have much of an imagination."

     "Oh," I said as they both disappeared in another puff of smoke.

     "Wait a minute…HEY!"

      * * *

           I was about to get to my feet and keep on my way to the café, when more of the Scorchio's angry muttering reached my ears.

     "I am so gonna get those wimps for this. And that stupid red Wocky who made me late, too…"

     I stopped. That settled it. This guy needed to be taught a lesson, and this was just too good of an opportunity to pass up. Besides, I had tried to stay out of trouble. Trouble just came knocking.

     I slid my backpack off and checked its contents. My portable pranking kit was at the very bottom, as usual. I don't leave home without it.

     Opening it, I pulled out the items I would need, as well as a bottle of water I had packed. I readied my supplies, then put everything back in to the pack, being extremely careful with the last few things. Then I slipped the backpack back on and climbed up one of the trees in a cluster nearest my target, doing my best to be silent and invisible. Soon I was in position, with my equipment at hand. I picked the first one up, aimed, and let fly.

     The first water balloon hit him squarely in the face. His eyes flew open in surprise, and he jumped to his feet.

     "Who's there?" he shouted, looking off to my left as my second water bomb hit him.

     He yelled in frustration, striding forward, peering into the vegetation in a vain attempt to see who was ambushing him. He continued his search as the next four water balloons hit him, still not looking in the right direction. My last balloon exploded on his head, and covered him in gooey gooseberry jam. I couldn't help but laugh. Mission accomplished.

     I climbed down the tree, still chuckling. I reached the bottom and turned, to look right into the face of the rather displeased Techo Master. I could only think of one thing to say.

     "Uh-oh."

      * * *

     I was sitting on the front steps of the Training School with my head propped on my paws when Ace came by, a rather relieved look appearing on her face when she caught sight of me.

     "Chaos, there you are! I've been looking all over for you," she said, brushing a strand of blue hair that was still wet from the ocean out of her equally blue eyes. "What are you doing here?"

     Before I had a chance to answer, the Techo Mater came out of the building to stand beside me.

     "Is this your pet?" he asked Ace.

     "Yes," she said, suspicious. "Why? What did he do?"

     As the Techo explained, Ace's eyes narrowed. "I do not appreciate my students being hassled on my time, even when they are most deserving of it," he finished.

     Ace turned back to look at me.

     "Why does this always happen every time we go anywhere?" she demanded. "The yellow snow ball fight you started in Happy Valley, the time you hid behind Coltzan's shrine imitating his voice and freaking out all those other pets, I'm not even going into what happened at that shop in Neopia Central-"

     I started to protest, "But that wasn't my fault-"

     She held up a hand. "I don't want to hear it! Honestly, all of this is enough to make me never want to hear, read, or even think the words 'practical joke' ever again!"

     Meanwhile the Techo Master had been listening intently, and had begun to stroke his chin thoughtfully.

     "So this is something you are practiced at… Hmm." He seemed to be mulling something over. "Very well. I shall forget this little episode, if you do something in return for me."

     My owner and I exchanged questioning looks. I shrugged. How bad could it be? With a sigh, Ace turned back to the Techo and nodded. We would help him.

     "Good. Now, I have an old score I need you to help me settle…"

      * * *

      The next morning's dawn found us outside of the Swashbuckling Academy on Krawk Island. We were crouching in the bushes, just outside of Cap'n Threelegs' room, waiting. We didn't have to wait long.

     "Arrr! Which one of ye scurvy bilge-rats stole me leg?" roared the voice of a very angry and slightly insane Eyrie captain from inside the Academy.

     Next to me the Techo Master was rolling on the ground with laughter, tears of mirth leaking from his eyes as he clutched the purloined leg. I looked past him to Ace. She had forgiven me the night before, and now looked rather amused despite herself.

     When she saw that I was looking at her, she gave a tired grin and shook her head.

     "Next time we go to Faerieland."

The End

      Author's note: As usual, I do not take any responsibility at all for the repercussions of anyone attempting the above-described pranks. I don't condone throwing water balloons at unsuspecting victims. Unless you're sure you can run fast enough to get away with it. ; )

Thanks for reading,

Ace

 
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