The Flood that Brought Trouble:Part Five
"Why do you seem familiar?” Lily asked as the giant koi entered the room.
“You should know who I am, pirate. I am ruler of this domain,” the koi responded.
“Oh, you’re King Buttbeard!” Lily said, smerking at King Kelpbeard.
“Lily, stop being so mean! We’re guests here and if someone called you a butt, wouldn’t that make you unhappy?” Joey asked Lily.
Lily rolled her eyes as King Kelpbeard said, “At least the Quiggle has some manners. Now, I was told you were snooping around Maraqua when my soldiers captured you and saved you from a Utility Fish. Are you the cause of this mess?”
Before Lily could rudely reply to the king, Joey jumped in and said, “Even with all of our strength combined, Lily and I don’t have the ability to do this, sir King Kelpbeard, sir.”
King Kelpbeard went from looking very seriously towards Joey and Lily to laughing. “Guards, let them go. They seem to be telling the truth and I know the pirate isn’t strong enough to take us down. Are you both going to be ok?”
The guards started to untie Lily and Joey as Joey said, “Yeah but are you? We don’t want anyone to be hurt.”
The king sighed and said, “Once the water is disinfected, we’ll be up and running again in no time but if you guys figure out who did this, give them a punch for me.”
“Yeah, wait, you said this was planned and wasn’t just a simple mistake. What do you mean by that Buttbeard?” Lily asked, rubbing her arms as she tried to rub away the rope burn.
“To be able to flood Neopia to such an extent that locations from Central Neopia and Faerieland are affecting Maraqua is a great feat, not one does by accident. No storm can cause something this catastrophic. And no storm would bring back a whole species of retired fish,” the King explained.
“You said something about Utility Fish. Can you tell me more?” Lily asked.
The King huffed and said, “If you, a pirate, does not know what a Utility Fish is, you certainly are no pirate.”
Lily growled and swam out of the room with Joey closely behind. “Why did you do that?” Joey asked Lily as she started to swim away from the palace and away from Maraqua.
“Because he has no right to comment on my skills as a pirate! He’s a Maraquan, one of the enemies of pirates. How can he know what being a pirate is like if you have never been a pirate?!” Lily shouted.
“Lily…” Joey tried to stop her but she was bent on leaving.
“Let’s just go home and--” she stopped in mid-sentence when she saw a giant ship next to a smaller boat.
“Isn’t that the boat team C got?” Joey asked.
“That means the gang is probably on that ship…” Lily said.
“But why are they on a ship that big?!” Joey asked with a slight panic in his voice.
“I don’t know but it’s never for a good reason. We need to go, now!” Lily said as she rocketed towards the ship.
“Lily, wait!” Joey called out but it was too late; Lily was on a mission to get on that ship. Lily jumped out of the water and started to climb up the side of the ship. She growled and dug her Lutari claws deep into the ship, hyper focusing on getting onto the ship inside of paying attention to her surroundings. Once Lily got to the edge of the ship, she jumped over the barrier and onto the ship.
“Hands in the air, I’m commandeering your ship!” Lily shouted.
Everyone, including team C, Aren, Ursula, and the pirates stopped to look at Lily, and then burst out laughing.
Markeene stared down at his arms and realized they were changing from their shade of Christmas green to a pale grey. His clothes started to transform from a red sweater to more complex, pirate clothes. It took a few short moments from Markeene to go from a Christmas Nimmo to a pirate one. “Son, are you ok?” the Wise Gnorbu asked.
“I think so,” Markeene responded, noting a slight accent change to match his color.
Kimmy is gonna kill me if she realizes her older brother is the color she hates the most, Markeene thought as he watched a couple of neopets stare at him in shock. “Son, I have never seen something like that. Are you sure you’re ok?” the Wise Gnorbu repeated with emphasis.
“I...I have to go. Stay safe, we’ll take care of this.” Markeene tried to jump back into the water but the Wise Gnorbu grabbed onto Markeene’s long leg using his staff.
“Son, I think you need to take a break. It might be the water doing this to you. Are you sure it’s safe to jump right back in?” Markeene took a second to think about the situation clearly and formulated a plan to figure out what to do. He looked through the water as Utility Fish swam by, trying to find the perfect one. When a small jellyfish swam by, Markeene jumped out of the Wise Gnorbu’s staff’s grasp, grabbed the fish before it could react, and started to swim upwards.
Markeene raced towards the surface and started to swim towards his house when he saw a mutant Ruki buzzing towards the house as well. Well, that’s just great, Markeene thought.
Chris and Markeene reached the house at the same time and both knocked on the door. “Who’re you?” Chris asked Markeene.
“Chris, cut it out. We’re both here for the same reason,” Markeene said as he held up the fish. Markeene held up the jellyfish and watched as it powered down the same way Chris’s powered down.
The door opened up before either could comment on the Utility Fish powering down. “Markeene, when’d you get painted pirate? And why did you get painted without asking me?” Hannah asked with Markeene and Chris staring at her.
“How did you recognize me?” Markeene asked.
Hannah smiled and said, “I can recognize my pets in a heartbeat. Painting yourself invisible wouldn’t stop me from finding you. Now, why are you holding obsolete Utility Fish?”
“Utility fish are back!” Chris shouted.
“And the water’s contaminated!” Markeene added.
Hannah went from smiling to frowning to grabbing her hair in a panic. “Are you telling me that not only will almost a third of my pets be different colors when I see them again but a wild race of Utility Fish are lurking in the same waters I sent my pets in?”
“I mean, on the plus side, odds are Harmony is ok because I watched her get sent off to find team C and the pets who’re flying around probably ok since they’re out of range of the Utility Fish and the contaminated water,” said Markeene, trying to stay positive so Hannah didn’t spiral into a panic attack.
“Whatever the case may be, I’ll carry Markeene and fly around to see if we can spot anyone. If we find anyone, what should we do?” Chris asked, trying to hand over the fish.
“Bring them back. I think this is beyond any of our capabilities. I have no idea whether the Utility Fish and the contaminated water are related and, honestly, I can’t think of a way they are. Please be safe for me, ok?” Hannah asked as she took Chris’s Lizark from Chris while he handed over the fish.
“Yeah, we’ll tr---” Markeene stopped mid sentence and pointed towards the horizon behind Hannah. Hannah turned to where Markeene was pointing and saw why Markeene would interrupt himself.
Hannah turned back around to Markeene and Chris and shouted, “We need to find everyone, now!”
Louis started to examine himself better once he was out of the water and noticed he wasn’t the only one who changed. “Did you know this would happen Ann?!” Louis shouted.
“If I knew you would go from a blue Hissi to a split Hissi and Peter would turn white, I wouldn’t have even gone on this mission!” Ann complained.
“Hannah’s gonna kill me and then she’s gonna take away Peter forever!” Louis cried as he frantically flied around. Ann grabbed Louis and tried to shake him out of it.
“Hannah won’t care, as long as you’re still alive! You could grow another head and Hannah would still love you with all her heart,” Ann explained to a panicking Louis.
Louis sniffled and asked, “Are you sure?”
Ann nodded and smiled softly, making sure Louis knew he was safe. Louis hugged Ann and both pets started to look at the storm. “We should go home. I don’t think we’ll make much progress if we’re getting pelted by a storm and constantly belly-flopping into the water,” Ann confessed.
“But how do we explain the two color changes?” Louis asked.
“The water’s obviously mixed with the different color changing areas in Neopia. If we can avoid diving in again, we’re probably safe. You think the guys underwater are ok?” Ann asked what seemed to be to Louis but was actually to herself.
“What about my Xweetok of a sister? She’s on a boat in what’s about to be a storm. She’s gonna get shipwrecked and end up some color she’ll hate!” Louis cried.
“Can Keen even swim?” Ann asked Louis. The color from Louis’s face drained after a few seconds of thought. He started to tremble as the storm raged.
“I-I don’t know. We have to go find her!” Louis yelled as he flew towards Shenkuu.
“Louis, wait! We have no idea where her or the boat is!” Ann shouted, flying away from the answer to the problem.
To be continued…