Sanity is forbidden Circulation: 193,626,794 Issue: 703 | 16th day of Collecting, Y17
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Meegla and Fargon's Not-So-Intergalactic Adventures: Part Two


by hybatsu

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      By the time the ship touched down, Meegla and Fargon were exhausted. Fargon just wanted to crawl into bed and not move for the next... Well. However many hours Meegla would let him sleep before she came up with their next big scheme. Not that he minded being woken up early for schemes! He was having way more fun now than he'd ever had before he met Meegla.

      The ship's chrome doors opened with a hiss, and the crowds rushed off into the dark, cratered landscape, splitting off between the residential and shopping districts. Fargon stuck close to Meegla, remembering the time she'd mixed him up with all the other purple and orange Grundos flooding the station.

      Meegla paused to stand, paws on her hips, and stare at the spaceship they'd ridden to Kreludor on. Its massive hull shone, sparkling with the lights of passing glowing neopets. If she got close enough, she could see her warped green reflection in it. "Someday, Fargon, we're going to have a ship just like this."

      Meegla put her helmet on. Fargon frowned. "Hey, you don't really need that, right? The atmosphere on Kreludor is breathable."

      She shot him a withering look. "Leave me be, Fargon."

      Meegla and Fargon followed the minority of the crowd that had come in, heading towards the residential area of Kreludor. Soon, they reached streets lined with orange houses that looked vaguely like bounce castles.

      As they walked past craters dotted with Kreluberries, Fargon gave a joyful sigh. "So lovely to be back here, on the old moon! Birthplace of my ancestors! Grundo cultural hub!"

      Meegla snorted. "You're not even originally from Kreludor. You came from the Virtupets Station like most other Grundos in Neopia."

      Fargon's prideful posture deflated somewhat. "No. Maybe I'm not, originally, from Kreludor, but I sort of look like I am, right?" Fargon gestured to his face. "I'm split, see? Half purple, half orange, just like the population of Kreludor!"

      Meegla sniffed. "You look like Parlax, Dr. Sloth’s evil agent."

      Fargon clutched his heart, horrified by this insult. "Don't taint my cool color!"

      They eventually reached their house. Before they entered, Meegla made a number of complicated hand signs to Fargon, which so confused him that he eventually just asked, “What?!”

      She shushed him. “Be as quiet as possible,” she whispered. “You don’t want to wake the demon!”

      Of course, the door did its best to creak as loudly as possible when they opened it. The pair looked swiftly from side to side before coming inside the house and shutting the door behind them. The living room seemed clear. Now all they had to do was make it to the stairs without being discovered…

      “You two are shamefully late!”

      The voice was shrill, and it sounded as if it were spoken through a tin can. Meegla and Fargon groaned as the sounds of mechanical whirring grew louder. From the kitchen emerged a shiny gold-plated Usul with red light-up eyes and blue stripes painted on her casing.

      “Hello Klaxa,” Meegla muttered.

      “Where were you two?!” the robot Usul cried. “It’s nearly three o’clock AM! Playing a round of Deadly Dice with Count Von Roo, were you? You know it’s called deadly for a reason!”

      “We weren’t doing anything like that,” Fargon promised. “Actually, we were at the Lost-”

      “Lost and found,” Meegla interrupted. “We were stuck at a lost and found in Neopia Central because our things were stolen.”

      “Oh, dear.” The Usul’s hardware sputtered, releasing a small, black cloud of smoke. “Did you manage to get them back?”

      “No, we didn’t.” Meegla started walking towards the stairs. “Now, if you’ll excuse us, it’s very late, and we can’t just be plugged into a wall to recharge like you…”

      The tinny sounds of Klaxa’s protests were drowned out by Meegla’s determined footsteps up the stairs. The Alien Aisha didn’t bother to turn around and see if Fargon was following; if he wanted to waste his time with Klaxa, then fine. That meant no one would disturb Meegla’s plans.

      Naturally, there was no time to sleep. There may be close to 19 hours before she could try to win the million at Coltzan’s Shrine again, but Meegla would need another, more profitable plan to tide her and the first mate over until then. The moment she got to her room, she passed by her neglected bed and sat at her Elegant Wooden Desk. With the craters of Kreludor glowing softly outside her window, Meegla set to work on drawing up her next big neopoint-making scheme.

      Meegla’s alarm clock went off early the next morning, its ring so deafening it sent Meegla sprawling out of her desk chair. When she landed on the rug, she groaned, and rubbed her back. Sitting up all night can do horrible things to your spine, even without an added fall to exacerbate the damage.

      With a grunt, Meegla hoisted herself up to a standing position over her desk, and looked at what she’d managed to accomplish before exhaustion banished her to dreamland. In her notebook was a messy scrawl, coherent only to her. As she read through it, she scratched the base of her many ears and sighed. Today was not likely to be a very profitable day.

      After washing up, Meegla came down to breakfast. Fargon and Klaxa were already up, although hopefully they weren’t conspiring against her. Meegla insulted the leftover, two-thirds of a Cheese Omelette Klaxa had brought out for her to eat.

      “Well,” huffed the Usul, “I suppose while you’re out today you’ll just have to pick up a fresh one, won’t you?”

      Meegla argued the point, despite not having much else to do that day, but with Fargon’s annoyingly peaceful interference Klaxa’s point won out. “I guess we’ll just take the ship directly to Tyrannia,” Meegla muttered, scowling at Klaxa. It was amazing how a robot could have such a smug expression.

      When Klaxa left them to tidy the neohome, Meegla whipped out her notebook and put it on the table for Fargon to see. “Seeing how our funds have been depleted, we’re going to have to skip all of the dailies that cost neopoints,” Meegla pointed out. “That leaves us with a trip to the Forgotten Shore, a shot at that horrible squid, the Deserted Tomb in Geraptiku, a trip to the Altadorian Council Chamber…” Fargon nodded along, even though he couldn’t read any of the scribbled mess she was crossing out with her pen.

      “And the Fruit Machine,” Fargon added. “We can still go there.”

      Meegla cast a grim glare at the list. “Yeah,” she muttered. “Back to Sakhmet. Lucky us.”

      They didn’t win a single item worth keeping. As soon as the dripping Pirate Ogrin Plushie emerged from the tentacled beast’s lair in the sea behind the governor’s mansion, they tossed it back into the waves, much to Gavril McGill’s horror. The action infuriated the squid itself, too, so that it sent monstrous waves thrashing over Krawk Island’s shores with its many twisting limbs. Fargon had wanted to leave the island and its now furious inhabitants right away, but Meegla insisted on following their map to the Forgotten Shore first, only to find nothing of interest had washed up on its shores. From there, the pair took a boat to the rest of the lands of Neopia, only to end up back in the Lost Desert by lunch time.

      “This place…” Meegla sneered. As she glared up at the hot desert sun, she took a ruthless bite out of the Chocolate Omelette they had snatched from the Giant Omelette some hours earlier. She wasn’t very hungry, but it was starting to melt all over her paws, and she had to get rid of it somehow.

      On all sides of them, neopets and Faeries bustled past, headed towards all manner of attractions that the thriving city had to offer. Vendors shouted at Meegla and Fargon as they hurried past, expertly resisting the urge to spend all of their neopoints. Those neopets weaker than them fell prey, drawn into the sticky web of restocking at Osiri’s Pottery.

      Meegla and Fargon headed for the Fruit Machine, dragging their feet as the humidity of the desert city weighed down on them. Fargon could already see it: the Aisha and the Lupe’s cards would stop spinning first, to reveal a Ptolymelon. Meegla would get her hopes up absurdly high, only for them to come crashing down once the Kau in the middle revealed a Bagguss or some other non-Ptolymelon fruit. Furious, Meegla would launch herself at the Kau, effectively earning her and Fargon eternal ban from the Fruit Machine…

      “Oof!” Fargon was forced out of his cynical thoughts when Meegla stopped, suddenly. He frowned at her back, about to ask what was wrong, when she interrupted him to point, the Chocolate Omelette falling out of her grasp.

      “There,” Meegla hissed. “Do you see what I see, First Mate?”

      Fargon squinted. Past the crowds and just beyond Meegla’s accusatory finger was a thoroughly bedraggled Ogrin and Xweetok pair. They were holding a sack between them, and would have struck Fargon as the usual sort of Sakhmet street urchins if the Xweetok didn’t happen to pull an Elegant Ray Gun from the sack.

      Fargon gasped. Those strangers might be the thieves from the night before! Before he could ask what they were going to do, Meegla was up and running.

      “Wait for me!” Fargon cried, almost slipping on the fallen omelette as he ran after her.

      Meegla and Fargon dodged passing carts and numerous neopets, Fargon apologizing profusely to each person he so much as brushed against. Meegla, on the other hand, bodily shoved people out of the way. “Stop!” she screamed. “Thieves!”

      The Ogrin and Xweetok spotted her. They traded instantaneous glances before sprinting off in separate directions.

      “We’ll have to split up, too,” Fargon called out to the Aisha running swiftly ahead of him. “You take the-”

      But before he could get it out, Meegla went sprinting after the Xweetok who still held her ray gun. Fargon sighed. “I suppose I’ll take the Ogrin, then.”

      Meegla sprinted through the streets of Sakhmet, keeping close pursuit on the Xweetok thief. Whoever she was, she was fast; she expertly dodged each passerby they encountered.

      But so did Meegla. Her psychic training having paid off, she expertly wove through the crowd without even looking, her eyes trained solely on the Xweetok thief.

      The space between her and the Xweetok was rapidly closing. For the first time, her prey cast a glance over her shoulder at pursuer. Their eyes locked. Then the Xweetok took a surprise turn between two closely arranged buildings.

      Her nearly psychic agility couldn’t hold out forever. The abrupt nature of the turn sent Meegla slamming into a Lenny with wings full of desert foods. The Lenny cried out in horror as his delicacies were squashed underfoot by passersby, shouting at Meegla to help him pick everything up. Meegla ignored him, turning this way and that, seeing only unfamiliar faces in the passing crowds. All the buildings looked the same - which pair had the Xweetok squeezed between? Meegla chose an alleyway and ran inside, much to the protests of the Lenny she’d upset.

      Meegla found herself in a dead end. There were several tarps hanging down the sides of the buildings - or were those Lost Desert flags, grown ragged and grey with sun exposure? There was a grouping of half-broken pottery and some large barrels, which, if she climbed, she could certainly reach one of the narrow windows peeking into the alley.

      Meegla contemplated climbing into one of the stranger’s windows. Fyora only knew that the little thief wouldn’t think twice about breaking and entering, so why should she? But before the Alien Aisha could make a move, she heard rustling. Earstalks rigid, she turned to the source of the noise: the biggest of the three wooden barrels. She stalked over to it and threw off its lid, glaring inside.

      A striped Xweetok, dressed in rags and clutching an Elegant Ray Gun to her chest, looked at Meegla with wide eyes. She was cornered, now! Surely that expression of her face was one of fear and awe-

      To Meegla’s chagrin, the Xweetok giggled. “You’re good,” she said. Meegla glared down at her, ready to give her a piece of her mind, when the Xweetok abruptly tossed the ray gun up at her face. “Catch!” she snickered.

      Meegla reeled backwards, effectively juggling the ray gun in an attempt not to drop it. While she did so, the Xweetok girl jumped up out of the barrel, and started to move swiftly past -

      But Meegla was quicker. She had one paw wrapped around the ray gun quick enough that she could use her other paw to snatch the fabric of the Xweetok’s clothes. The Xweetok girl gave a shriek of surprise before she stumbled face-first onto the desert sands. With a triumphant smirk, Meegla pressed the barrel of her ray gun against the thief’s back. Meegla wondered if the Defenders of Neopia were looking for any new recruits; taking down wrong-doers was exhilarating! Provided they had personally wronged Meegla first, of course.

      The Xweetok shot Meegla a disgruntled scowl over her shoulder. “So, what? You going to turn me in to the Palace Guards?”

      Meegla laughed. “Oh, no. I’m going to deal with you myself.” She yanked the Xweetok to her feet, ray gun poised to stop her escape. “Now follow me. I have a sidekick to recover.”

      To be continued…

 
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