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Storytelling Competition - (click for the map) | (printer friendly version)

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Week 656
You are on Week 657
Week 658

Every week we will be starting a new Story Telling competition - with great prizes! The current prize is 2000 NP, plus a rare item!!! This is how it works...

We start a story and you have to write the next few paragraphs. We will select the best submissions every day and put it on the site, and then you have to write the next one, all the way until the story finishes. Got it? Well, submit your paragraphs below!

Story Six Hundred Fifty Seven Ends Thursday, May 22

It was a busy time of year for Alfred Cornelius. He was, after all, the Altador Cup Committee's Head Organizer. That meant that he had not only had to get the other committee members in line (squabbles over which team was going to win had already started, even though Alfred had clearly stated in three interdepartmental memos the importance of committee members being unbiased in the Altador Cup), but he also had to make sure that the lines had been drawn correctly on the playing fields, that the Yooyus were properly trained and fed, and that the participating teams had their travel documents and itineraries all in order. He did not want a repeat of the 'IV Cup, where the Brightvale team got stranded on Lutari Island, missing the entire tournament (luckily for Alfred, the Kiko Lake team had arrived anyway -- to protest their exclusion, but that was beside the point -- and were happy to take Brightvale’s place). This year would go off without a hitch, he had told himself and his committee members in a rousing speech at their pre-tournament meeting. Alfred was determined that this year's Cup would be the most successful yet.

The Lenny looked at his pocket watch as he left the committee headquarters. "By Fyora, I'm thirty minutes behind schedule! Oh, this won't do, this won't do at all," he muttered to himself as he hurriedly ran to the Yooyu pens. A simple briefing with the Techo Fanatic had turned into an hour-long ordeal, with the Techo producing a huge list of demands, eclipsing last year's logistical nightmare of importing a new flavour of slushie for every day of the tournament.

"Seagrass Tea and Kelp Covered Hot Dogs on hand fresh at all times! Bah! As if we have the budget for that!" Alfred shouted to no one in particular. Shaking his head and continuing to mutter about unsportsmanlike behaviour, he almost collided with the Kiko that was running toward him from the Yooyu pens.

"Oh! Mr. Cornelius! I'm so glad to see you! You must come quick--"

"Yes, yes, Sylphrena. I know. I'm late for overseeing the Yooyus' lunch. I'm on my way there now," Alfred replied as both he and Sylphrena walked to the pens.

"Sir, you don't understand, there’s something wrong--"

"Now, now... I personally checked the food supplies this morning. Fire Apples and carrots for the Fire Yooyus, snow cones and Snow Enchiladas for the Snow Yooyus..." Alfred trailed off as they entered the pens.

"Yes sir, that's all there. The problem is..." Sylphrena tried once again to explain, struggling to catch her breath as she pointed to the pens, "...the Yooyus are gone!"...

Author: rock_star_megs
Date: May 19th
..."Gone, as in, gone outside?" Alfred asked. "I ask because they had their exercise time this morning. They should be having lunch right now. They could get indigestion."

"No, they're all just gone! Disappeared!" Sylphrena threw out her arms in exasperation.

"Every single one?" Alfred looked at the clipboard he held. Pages upon pages of tasks remained unfinished, and now every single one would have to be put on hold because Yooyus were the one thing 100% completely and totally necessary for Yooyuball.

"Yes! I just went to feed them, and--"

"Who was in charge of watching the Yooyus?"

"That's right! You can talk to the Yooyu shepherd!" Sylphrena smiled like the idea hadn't even occurred to her. It probably hadn't. Alfred wondered how the committee had ever managed without him.

The two hurried to the Yooyu pens, where a Pteri sat on the ground with a look of despair.

"Were you the one left in charge here?" Alfred asked.

"Yes, Mr.Cornelius," the Pteri said quickly, standing up to address Alfred. "I mean, no, I'm not in charge by a long shot. This is my first day on the job!"

"Do you know why the Yooyus are missing?" Alfred asked in an angrier tone.

"Yes." The Pteri glanced around.

"What happened?" Sylphrena asked.

"Well... this is going to sound crazy, but it's the truth, honest." The Pteri nervously hopped from foot to foot.

"Try me," Alfred said. His tolerance for crazy had gone way up since joining the committee.

"Okay. You see that hole in the ceiling over there? I was just sitting here and..."

Author: alphachicky
Date: May 19th
"...all of a sudden, Dr. Sloth, Queen Fyora, and Lord Darigan all dropped right there from that hole."

Sylphrena gasped, but Alfred merely frowned skeptically.

"It's true," the Pteri said, catching his expression. "Though they did look rather different than I expected--"

"How so?" Alfred asked quickly.

"Well," the Pteri said, looking off into the distance as if he were reminiscing about a ancient memory, "Sloth's face was rather shiny, like he'd just gotten a facial or something... and Queen Fyora had really furry red arms... or maybe it was pink... or, in this light, I guess it could have been brown... and Lord Darigan was way shorter than I expected. Only like three feet tall!”

"Impossible," Alfred murmured while Sylphrena looked to him in confusion.

"I know!" the Pteri cried. "How in the world could he have tried to conquer Neopia being that short?!? It's pretty amazing."

Alfred tried very hard not to roll his eyes, though they were itching to look toward the sky. "They were impostors, obviously. Probably some other players or fans playing a practical joke." His mind thought of the Techo Fanatic, but he was only one lunatic, not three, and from what Alfred had seen, the Techo did not have many close friends. "Why didn't you try and stop them?"

"They were armed!" the Pteri exclaimed dramatically.

It was Alfred's turn to gasp. The Lenny prided himself on always emphasizing safety first and had even upped the security from last year when a Tyrannia fan had tried to sneak a Flaming Catapult into the stadium. Luckily his pants caught on fire before he made it inside.

The Pteri nodded fervently. "Dr. Sloth pulled his Immagunna Stun Yooyu Ray gun on me."

Alfred pursed his beak and breathed deeply. "What did this ray gun look like?"

"I dunno," the Pteri said thoughtfully. "He kept it under his cloak, but I could tell it was totally pointing in my direction."

Making a mental note to hire a new shepherd once the Yooyus were found, Alfred asked, through gritted beak, "Anything else?"

"Oh!" the Pteri exclaimed. "They did drop this." He held out his feathered wing to show them...

Author: treeword
Date: May 20th
...a pair of glasses, but these were not just any ordinary glasses -- they were black-framed 3D glasses.

"These look like the 3D glasses that the Games Master wears. What's his name? Something with an 'A'?" Alfred inquired.

"Aristotle A. Avinroo!" Sylphrena answered. She added, "You know, he has a little sister, Abigail... a cousin, too: Lucy. Do you think it could have been those three posing as Fyora, Sloth, and Lord Darigan?"

"Now that you mention it, Sloth's voice sounded pretty high," the Pteri said. "It wasn't as intimidating as I thought it would be."

Alfred smacked his wing against his face in despair. "If it wasn't intimidating, then why didn't you do anything?"

"I told you, they were armed!" the Pteri exclaimed.

"It was probably just a toy! Goodness, how did you get hired for such an important job when you are so gullible!" the Lenny shouted. "Someone probably could have stolen all the Snow Yooyus and told you that they melted and you wouldn't think twice!"

"I'm so sorry," the Pteri pleaded. "Please, let me help. I'll do whatever I can to help get the Yooyus back!"

"I think you've done enough," Alfred retorted. "Sylphrena and I will take care of it from here."

Sylphrena quickly followed Alfred as he marched away in a quiet rage.

"How are we going to find them, Mr. Cornelius?" she asked.

The Lenny gave a stern look of determination, ready to catch those thieves.

"Well, I suppose we should start at..."

Author: nocturnal_ned
Date: May 20th
"...the Hall of Heroes."

Sylphrena looked puzzled.

"Crisis Courier," Alfred explained. "Yooyus need something to do in the off-season, and it's one of AAA's favorite games. Besides, I have a meeting with King Altador in," the Lenny consulted the clock, "negative six minutes."

***

Alfred and Sylphrena stood in the shadow of Torakor the Gladiator's statue in the Hall of Heroes, waiting for an audience with King Altador. The Yurble janitor kept to the dim corners of the chamber, but they could hear him muttering: something about how the Cup made a giant mess of the entire city and he couldn't stand it, even if he didn't have to see it -- just knowing about the mess was upsetting.

It wasn't long before King Altador passed through the archway that led to the Council Chamber.

"Alfred! Lovely to see you. I'm sorry I'm running late. We needed to discuss..."

"The budget for the Altador Cup."

"Oh, of course... and I take it you've spoken with Gordos already?"

"Yes, Your Majesty, a few months ago to set the initial budget. Unfortunately, as it stands, the committee cannot find the funds for the Techo Fanatic--"

Sylphrena coughed.

"Oh, right. AAA, Abigail, and Lucy Petpet-napped all of the Yooyus."

"Excuse me?" King Altador asked. Trying to take turns, but succeeding more at talking over each other, Sylphrena and Alfred got the whole story out.

"The Crisis Courier track is closed until the conclusion of the Cup. I don't see how anyone could have gotten up there."

"We just need to take a quick look," Sylphrena said, "to make sure they aren't there."

King Altador nodded and led the two up to the Observatory, through a secret door, and across a narrow bridge that spanned the dome of the Hall of Heroes to the Crisis Courier start line, high above the city.

"See? Nothing here," he said.

Alfred and Sylphrena looked around. There were no Yooyus in sight.

"Wait, look!" the Kiko threw her arm out, pointing to a small platform about three hundred feet away. "What's that?"

The silhouette stopped moving for just a moment, twisted to look at them, and then vanished.

Alfred took flight, navigating his way to the platform, careful to avoid the stone outcroppings and pillars that dotted the course. There wasn't a Minitheus in sight, but when Alfred landed back on the platform with King Altador and Sylphrena, he was cradling something in his arms. Something trembling...

Author: phadalusfish
Date: May 21st
...or, more accurately, bouncing. The Lenny stared with some perplexity at the toy he held and looked up to see both King Altador and Sylphrena frowning. "It's," his Kiko employee began, "an AAA and Abigail Bobbleheads set, sir."

Alfred's own frown deepened as he lifted the item to the light. The two plastic figurines, one a blue Aisha and the other a yellow Blumaroo, jerked their oversized heads in seeming confirmation of Sylphrena's words -- and of their suspicions as to the Petpet-nappers' identities. The Lenny threw them to the ground with sudden disgust. "They're taunting us."

"From what I know, sir," Sylphrena ventured, "the siblings have an odd sense of humour, especially AAA." She bit her lip as she met Alfred's glance.

"I've heard the same thing myself." Straightening, Alfred felt himself stiffen with outrage. "He's supposed to be something of a hooligan," he noted disapprovingly. The Blumaroo was reputed to infuriate gamers with his competitive spirit and numerous boasts and taunts as much as the Techo Fanatic's demands maddened Alfred each Cup season.

"I think, sir," Sylphrena said, "that he prefers the term 'Rooligan.'" She gave an awkward smile at Alfred's expression and took a step back. "He's based, after all, in Roo Island."

King Altador shook his head and crossed his burly arms, clearing his throat after a long silence. "I don't understand," the king said. "What do they hope to achieve in doing this?"

"I'd love to know that myself," Alfred muttered. "Maybe AAA was jealous that gaming attention was focused elsewhere and not on himself for a change. He does consider himself the 'Games Master.'" He twitched. "Diabolical!"

"What’s that?" Sylphrena's voice was sharp. Alfred followed the line of her arm to see a flash of blue beside a distant structure. He recalled the silhouette he'd spotted earlier and, wings beating powerfully, again took flight.

"Abigail!" Alfred shouted as he neared the new platform. He wove between a succession of columns and grabbed a small form in his outstretched arms. Disappointment welled as he took in the wide snout, thick mane, and defined horns of the Petpet that was, most undeniably, not an Aisha. "A Minitheus," he sighed, sagging to the ground. Alfred looked back at the distant figures of King Altador and Sylphrena and flapped his wing downward. False alarm.

There was a rustling noise and Alfred realised that the Minitheus clutched a twist of paper in its claws. He tugged it out of the Petpet's grasp and gasped. Written out on the front of the folded note was a sequence of large red letters.

"CHALLENGE," he read aloud...

Author: fairyxhearts
Date: May 21st
...That could only mean one thing. AAA wanted to challenge them to a game battle! What would happen if they were to lose, though, and who was to say that AAA would admit defeat easily? Also, what if he had another trick up his sleeve? What if he cheated?

All of these questions raced through Alfred's head. He told the others about his concerns. Sylphrena looked worried.

"But if we don't accept the challenge then that's not going to solve anything," she said. She sighed and looked up into the sky as if in deep thought. "Oh no, what are we going to do?"

"We're going to accept AAA's challenge. Whatever he throws at us, we'll try our best and come out on top! We have to do this!"

Just then, another flash of blue shone in the distance. Suddenly, a second Minitheus was standing before them, clutching another piece of paper in its paws.

The paper said, "A GAME OF CRISIS COURIER AWAITS YOU ALL. MEET ME AT THE STARTING POINT IN AN HOUR. BE THERE OR BE SQUARE."

"He is just as cheeky as ever!" Alfred declared. He then took a deep breath and ruffled his feathers in agitation.

"Are we going to do it?"

"Of course! Before we do, however, we'll have to make sure that we're really prepared for this. We must NOT lose..."

Author: kupo_kat
Date: May 22nd
...King Altador set up a folding wooden table in the Observatory and laid the plans for Crisis Courier over its surface.

"Isn't this cheating?" Sylphrena asked.

"AAA has had all the time in the world to study the course. You saw Abigail up there... she was probably scouting. Also, it's not technically against the rules," Alfred answered.

"I'm not sure how to deal with the Minitheus, considering that AAA has control over the Yooyus at the moment. He might try to gain an advantage that way, and I can't hold as many of the goodie bags they're going to bring back."

"I'm sure you can--"

"I know my weaknesses," Alfred said. "I can fly along with the Yooyus, which will help directing them, but it's going to be hard to score as many points."

"I have something that might help with that," King Altador said, reappearing in the doorway. In his hand was a purple and gold bottle with a red ribbon tied around the neck.

"Is that an--" Alfred started.

"Altador Strength Potion," King Altador said, nodding gravely. "The last one in our storehouse, but the occasion is grave enough, I think."

Alfred took the bottle, uncorked it, and downed the contents with a single gulp.

***

Alfred's wings started to falter. He could see the end of the Crisis Courier course, but he had goodie bag drawstrings draped over his beak and wings and even his feet. The weight was dragging him down. He had taken an early lead -- AAA couldn't fly, after all, but he was faster -- but as he flapped over the last platform AAA's Yooyu shot ahead. Alfred would have muttered something unpleasant in AAA's direction, but he needed to save his breath. By the time he landed on the platform, AAA had already started to count the points from his goodie bags.

The counter at the finish line already flashed with the points from the Minitheus and finish time, and AAA was ahead, but only on finish time. They'd both managed the same number of Minitheus defeats.

"555 points," AAA declared. His score updated. Sylphrena and King Altador grimaced.

"620," Alfred proudly declared.

The scores updated.

King Altador and Sylphrena cheered. Abigail and Lucy both frowned, and AAA turned away in disgust.

AAA: 1655. Alfred: 1660.

"So," Alfred said, "are you going to show us where our Yooyus are?"

AAA marched back across the bridge to the Observatory, sulking. As he walked, he raised his arm for Alfred to follow.

The End

Author: phadalusfish
Date: May 22nd



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