Before we join Steve the Chia at his school, a bit of
history is required. For those who haven't consistently read the short stories
from week 15 on, you need to learn about Steve. Steve is a brave yet vertically
handicapped young Chia, who recently found a Magical Golden Badminton Racket.
Using it's magical powers, he sent the school bully flying through the air into
a tire swing. After a stunned silence, Steve's name was chanted throughout the
school as the likely candidate for "student of the month." A reward given to
students for "doing something neato-keen" a panel of pets from each grade. They
chose 2 winners from each grade level every month. Steve had always dreamed
of winning, but when the representatives looked over their anxiously awaiting
classmates, they never even noticed Steve. Steve knew, however, this extremely
public incident would get him into the voting for sure!
As Steve sat down in his desk at the front of
the classroom, Ellie, by far the cutest purple Chia Steve had ever seen, at
down in the desk next to him. "Hi Steve," she said, before bursting into giggles.
"Uh um mm err... Hi" Steve mumbled.
"You wouldn't happen to be shy, would you now,
Little Steve-kins," she said, moving her chair closer to his.
"Uh mm er, nu-huh."
"Oh Steven, Steven, Steven, wake up! I asked
you a question!" It was Steve's teacher, Mrs. Sipi, "I asked you what the largest
river in Meridell was!"
"Mrs. Sipi?" he asked, still confused from his
"No, Steve, that is the largest river in the
humans home country." Mrs. Sipi tartly said. "I don't appreciate your jokes
young man. I thought it was just rumours when every one said you were the one
who beat up Jack, but your attitude problem tells me it might be true. You can
take yourself to the Principle's Office!"
Steve slowly marched down the hallway of the
school towards the front office. A tear welled up in his eye. Apparently his
great victory was a blow to himself too. His parent's would take away his racket
if they heard about this, and Jack would be out of the hospital sooner or later.
If Jack got back at him before the end of the month, he couldn't win his award!
He would beg his principle to wait until the end of the month to tell his parents
and hope he understood.
He knocked on the massive oak door. "Use the
INTERCOM! That door is worth more then a years pay!" a voice bellowed. Steve
pressed the small red button next to the door, heard a buzzing noise, and the
door swung open in front of him. He almost collapsed in shock, but walked pitifully
into the room.
"Hello, Steven," a man's deep voice said with
a note of kindness. "I hope I didn't scare you, but I wanted to see if you were
tough enough for what I'm about to tell you about. As I'm sure Mrs. Sipi has
talked about the last few days, a very dark, evil force is about to cause a
war. Everyone knows that there will be a war of some kind, but no one knows
anything more then that. While it is highly against procedure, your golden racket
gives you massive attack and defence powers. Let me show your these charts from
your gym teacher. This is the old Steve the Yellow Chia, attack points 6, defence
points 4, agility 9. But with the magical powers of your racket, your battle
potential rises by a huge amount, attack 183, defence 290! I'm assuming you
won't let anyone else use your racket, and no one will ever be able to take
it from you with it's defence power, so I'm asking you, Steve, to take your
racket and join Neopia's finest fighting force, the FFF!"
Steve was shocked by the offer. As he sat in
his chair, he felt a surge of national pride, leaped out of his chair and said,
"That's my boy. The helicopter will pick you
up after school. In the mean time, go back to your class and give your teacher
this envelope. Your parents will come at the end of the day to say goodbye and
bring your things. Then it's off to Tyrannia for war flaming boot camp. Do Neopia
At the end of the school day, Steve sat surrounded
by his parents, and his friends. "Bye Steve, hahahahaahaha," Ellie giggled
"Good luck Steven," Mrs. Sipi said.
"Goodbye Steve!" his Mother and Father cried,
Steve yelled goodbye, and got into the helicopter.
As he got in, a middle aged military man took out a scissors, and started to
cut off Steve's hair.
"HEY! My hair is important to me you know! How
can I look like my comic hero if I can't have amazing gravity-defying hair?"
The man looked around, almost about to laugh.
"It's a rule! The general feels he doesn't look as bad if everyone else is bald.
Now hold still or it will look worse!"
Steve sat quietly as his precious hair fell to
the floor of the helicopter. "How long will it take to grow back?" he asked
politely yet sadly.
"For a young Chia like you, a few weeks to get
past the fuzzy stuff you'll get in a week."
After his hair was gone, Steve prepared for his
training. He started to stretch out his arms and legs, and jumped up and down,
and the helicopter landed on the ground. He hopped out of the helicopter, and
was amazed at what he saw. All around him, neopets were using whatever weapons
they had on stuffed punchbags. Punchbag Bob, the training mascot, was dealing
out praise and punishment to all pets. "My grandma hits harder then that! You
couldn't hit the broad side of a barn if you were leaning on it! Get off the
Steve slowly walked towards Punchbag Bob for
orders. "Hello sir," he said
"What is your name, soldier?!" Bob yelled.
"Steve the Chia, sir"
"I hear you are some kind of wonderful fighter.
But you are in MY army now! You are now ranked as a Trainee level 1!"
"Can't I at least be a level 2? I got to ride
a helicopter here and stuff..." Steve whined.
"Are you questioning my authority Trainee?"
Punchbag Bob pointed towards a large heap of
Tyrannian dung. "This is for the dung catapults! Your first assignment is to
move that pile to that catapult over there!" Bob pointed at a catapult near
the edge of the base, about 100 feet away. Steve looked in disgust at the pile,
then took out his golden racket.
As Steve thought about how to move the heap of
dung, he considered making his racket really big, then whacking the dung. However,
being made of gold, it would take a long time to clean it off, and that was
not something he wanted to do. He realised the racket was going to have to make
up some new powers for this job. "All right racket, I'm not going to actually
touch the dung with you, but could you help me out here?"
Bob looked down at Steve with a look of contempt.
"Talking to your precious racket won't move that dung, soldier!"
The racket began to change its shape. First the
front stretched out, then the back, then the handle, then back to the webbing.
It adjusted its shape until it looked like a webbed shovel, then shot out of
his hand. It shoveled up the whole pile of dung, dropped it next to the catapult,
and flew back.
Punchbag Bob rubbed his eyes in disbelief. That
boy may have something special with that racket, he thought. "Steve, if you
want to be level 2, you can."
Steve quickly rose through the ranks of the FFF,
making it to Level 20 in a few days. He perfected his skills with the racket,
now using it to pound the punchbags in the training grounds. All the other pets
begged to try the racket, but none of them could get it to do anything magical.
Only Steve could command the full power of the racket. Steve noticed that some
of the pets gave him jealous looks, while others weapons seemed to become shiny
and more powerful. Steve realised it was the dust of the golden racket that
formed a bond with it's users, or some psychological stuff like that.
Punchbag Bob decided, now that the FFF was ready
for any war, they needed some fun practice. He called the entire group into
a single line, and numbered off the troops. Put your weapons in your rooms and
remember your number!
As Steve put his racket under his bed, and put
the lock back on the case, he saw his friend, Kenny. "Hey Kenny," Steve said,
"what number did you get?"
"I'm a one," Kenny replied.
"Hey cool, so am I," Steve said.
They walked back to the field together, wondering
what was in store for them.
"Attention!" Punchbag Bob yelled, "We are about
to perform one of the most realistic war simulations you ever will experience
until the war comes! We are about to play dodge ball!"
Cheers erupted from the ranks. "One's near the
mess hall, Two's near the Armoury! MOVE!" Bob yelled. Everyone ran to the need
site for each team to gather. Bob Spray painted a line down the training field,
then dumped a barrel of balls out on the field. "Play ball!" he yelled. Steve
and Kenny ran towards the balls in the centre. Each picked p a ball and threw
it, then ran for the back of the group. Kenny and Steve let the larger team
members handle most of the problems, until only 15 pets were on the other team.
Then Steve and Kenny snuck back to the front. They were doing all right, until
a ball came right for Kenny's face. SMACK! Kenny crumpled to the ground.
"Ah! Kenny!" Steve yelled as he got ready to
counterattack. Steve was stopped short by a dodge ball in the mouth. As he walked
towards the jail with Kenny, they talked about the change in their skills.
"I'm no good without my lucky Cobrall Dagger,"
"Yeah, I always used my racket to block incoming
attacks," Steve complained.
"You know, I'm kind of worried about this war,"
Kenny confided in his new friend.
"Yeah, and I'm just a grade school kid with a
lucky weapon!" Steve chimed in.
"Really? I was in Jr. High, but I always liked
hanging out with the little kids if my friends were sick. Annoying at times,
but not bad."
"Hey! Don't make me get my racket and smack you!"
Steve mockingly yelled.
"Oh yeah? I'll pluck the strings off one at a
time and feed them to you as pasta!" Kenny kidded.
"You know, Kenny," Steve said, as the music swelled,
"wherever this war takes us, I want you to come with me."
"All right man, I'll watch your back if you need
"I'll watch your back too! Even though it's ugly,"