My First Time On a Plot
"Hey, everyone, come look at this!" Peronalodis -- or Perona, as she demanded to be called -- shouted from the living room. When she didn't hear a response, she shouted again, "GET YOUR FUZZY TAILS IN HERE, PEOPLE!"
The pet owner smiled with satisfaction as her groggy, tired pets slowly made their way into the room, grumbling unintelligibly. "What is it?" Sharllette, her starry Xweetok, finally spoke up, as Perona was only sitting there with a stupid grin on her face.
"And why did you wake us up in the middle of the night?" The cloud Cybunny next to her grumbled and rubbed her eyes. "Xiandras needs sleep."
Perona chuckled at the third person usage before holding up the latest issue of the Neopian Times. "Did you see the news?" she asked excitedly.
"What, the news from yesterday?" Jurgis, the electric blue Eyrie, said almost sarcastically.
"Yes," Perona stated, eyes narrowing at his tone. "I forgot to read it until just now when I couldn't sleep, so I got up and decided to read it and found something totally awesome you guys won't believe--"
"Just tell us what it is!" Xiandras interrupted, ears bent down irritably.
Perona pouted at her Cybunny's attitude and began. "Well, according to this article, there's a new plot going on!" She grinned at the pets, expecting some sort of positive reaction from them.
"...There's a new what-now going on?" Sharllette asked, breaking the awkward silence that had followed.
The pets all cringed slightly when their owner's grin turned into a sour frown. "A plot. You guys don't know what a plot is??" They all shook their heads, and Perona sighed. "I've heard that a plot is when something big happens in Neopia that usually changes it -- or something like that -- or when something huge is discovered and someone gets," she paused dramatically, smiling slyly at Jurgis. "Famous," she finished, watching her fame-obsessed Eyrie get suddenly excited.
"Famous?" he gasped. "How so? How does it happen? What's going on right now?!" Jurgis leaped over to the chair Perona was sitting in and crouched next to her. "What is it?" he repeated, now completely awake.
Perona noticed her two girls roll their eyes as she answered, "Apparently, there was an earthquake in Tyrannia a couple days ago, and now there's a pig pillar sticking out of the ground. All day yesterday people were going there and helping with an excavation of the place," She held up the page so everyone could see. "Look, there's a picture of it!"
Her Neopets squinted in the dim light to see a clear image of a green Zafara holding a shovel, standing far in front of a fuzzier picture of an excavation site crawling with helpers and tents. The main attraction was a large chunk of rock sticking out of the ground; the base seemed to be slightly glowing.
Perona beamed as Sharllette joined her brother in looking interested. "Wow," the Xweetok smiled slightly, still tired. "looks like there could be something big buried under there."
"Yeah, looks interesting," Ragstar agreed, yawning. "But if we're going there, can we wait 'till morning?"
"Fine," was the disappointed reply.
* * *
"Here we are!" Perona sang as they climbed over the last ridge to finally see the digging site. Her pets -- minus Xiandras, who didn't want to come (as usual) -- grumbled about being tired and wanting to get a map next time as they followed her down. "Oh, quit complaining, we're here aren't we?"
"Yeah, after three hours of walking in circles!" Sharllette growled, stretching her back from the long walk. "If you hadn't let Ragstar lead, we'd never have gotten here!"
Perona frowned and decided not to answer, leading the way over to a peppy looking Zafara that she recognized as the one in the paper. "Hi," she smiled as they reached him. "I'm guessing you're--"
"Oh, hi!" the Zafara interrupted as if she hadn't started talking. "Looks like we're starting to make some progress with the excavation. Feel free to help!"
"Um, okay..." Perona murmured in confusion as he began walking away. "U-uh, hey! What's your name?" She wasn't going to let him get away without /her/ saying something here.
The Zafara turned and smiled. "Herold. Or at least that's what everyone calls me."
Just as he finished the sentence, a Kacheek walking by called out to him, "Hey there, Jonathan! Has anything been found for the museum collection yet?"
"No, sir!" the Zafara replied. "Nothing's coming out yet, but maybe later today!"
The Zafara turned back and noticed Perona looking at him weirdly. "Heh-heh, um... You can keep anything you find," he said quickly before dashing off to talk to another new-comer.
There was an awkward pause before Ragstar spoke. "That was weird."
"I'll say. But hey, we get free stuff! Come on!" Perona shouted in excitement as she raced down the hill and fell on her face. Once Ragstar had helped her up, she saw that Jurgis and Sharllette had gone off to find good digging spots themselves. "Great."
"I'll help you dig," Ragstar offered, picking up two shovels from the pile nearby.
Perona smiled, taking one of them. "That's why you're my favorite."
The two of them started off toward the giant thing sticking out of the ground. Perona hoped to find something really shiny or important, while Ragstar was just interested in what might be buried down there. Either way, they were both thinking of digging at the very center where it seemed that something bright and glowing was slowly being uncovered.
After climbing the steep hill, which took at least ten minutes, the pet owner and her Kougra finally reached the spot where the thing was showing. Perona pressed her hand against it and found that it felt sort of like smooth granite. "Neato," she breathed, causing the slightly translucent surface to fog up. She smiled at Ragstar. "Let's start digging!"
With that, she plunged her shovel into the dirt, and immediately felt something in its way. "Hey, I found something!" she exclaimed, turning her head to see that the Kougra was reaching down to pick up a small book that his own shovel had hit just as fast. Perona herself leaned down and dug her hand into the now softened earth to pull out some kind of Tyrannian plushie. "Niice."
Perona jumped a foot in the air at at the loud voice and whirled around to find the weird Zafara standing behind her. He smiled with an open mouth and exclaimed, "Something was buried in the rocks! Your digging has uncovered a Tyrannian Slorg Plushie. Sling it in your inventory like a sack of potatoes."
There was a long, awkward, silence after that, in which the Zafara stood there pointing at the plushie with a stupid grin on his face.
Perona finally spoke up. "Did one of those rocks hit your head?"
"Yep! First hour in fact. Why?"
The pet owner glanced back at Ragstar, who was still holding the book. Unfortunately, the Zafara noticed it and jumped forward, saying, "Aha! Something was buried in the rocks! Your digging has uncovered: History of Dirt. That should go in a museum, but you have a gallery, right? Just tuck that away before anyone notices."
Ragstar's eyes grew really wide and stuck there for a few moments. Then he hesitantly replied, "Um, I don't have a gallery, and... h-how should this go in a museum?"
The Zafara just shrugged and dashed off to shout "Aha!" to someone else.
Perona cleared her throat and turned back to Ragstar. "Well, let's keep digging, shall we?" He nodded.
Sharllette was in the middle of a conversation with a small, red Poogle. "...I mean, with all the population of Neopia coming here, you'd think that we'd have gotten a little farther into it, right?" she was saying.
The Poogle replied. "Well, most people now a days like to stay in their homes like hermits, you know? It makes sense tha--"
"WHAT DO YOU MEAN I CAN'T KEEP DIGGING!?!"
"What was that!?" the Poogle gasped, turning around -- along with everyone else at the site -- to see what the noise was.
Sharllette face-palmed. "I gotta go," She ran over to Jurgis, who was currently trying to over-turn the same boulder he'd been working on the whole time, and grabbed his arm. "We need to go," she said urgently.
"But I almost have it!"
"Come on! Mom's--"
"WATER BREAK!? WHY WOULD I NEED A WATER BREAK? -- I'VE BEEN DIGGING FOR TWO SECONDS!!!"
Jurgis paled. "Oh."
The siblings ran around the pillar to find their mom standing high up and shouting at the strange Zafara. "I DON'T CARE WHAT THE MANUAL SAYS! I DRAGGED MY PETS ALL THE WAY HERE, WALKING FOR OVER THREE HOURS, DEALING WITH YOU, AND THEN CLIMBING ALL THE WAY UP HERE! I AM NOT--" The pet owner cut off when she tripped and came tumbling down the steep hill. Everyone on the site closed their eyes and went "ouch" as she landed on her face.
All that was heard the next few minutes was the sound of Perona's pets awkwardly walking over to their unconscious owner (Don't worry, she's alive.) and carrying her away from the site. She didn't wake up until they'd gotten her all the way to Tyrannia, where they got a Uni cab to take them back to their house near Faerieland.
Now she sat grumbling on the couch while Xiandras held ice packs to her head. "Seriously, that excavation will never get done if you can only dig for two seconds before they kick you out. Is this a plot or just -- OW!"
"Sorry," her Cybunny muttered as she adjusted the ice pack for the millionth time.
Perona sighed. "Well, one thing's for sure: we're never going back there again."
*The Next Day*
Perona's Neopets were all relaxing in the living room together, for once not fighting or arguing, when the peace was suddenly interrupted by their owner hollering:
"Hey, everybody! Let's go to the digging site!"