Chet Flash wuz here Circulation: 91,084,854 Issue: 175 | 28th day of Sleeping, Y7
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Of Wockies and Rukies

by dan4884


IslandSapphire was sitting in a chair in her Neohome in Neopia Central, reading the Editorial Section of the Neopian Times. She was an Island Wocky, usually called 'Sapphire' by her friends. Or, at least, the friends she had. IslandSapphire was quite spoiled, and very vain. People she talked to were polite, but secretly they thought dark thoughts about her. She always bragged about her looks, as if she were in some mobile beauty pageant.

Sapphire was reading the Editorial section of the Neopian Times, and she found a lot of topics concerning the new pet, the Ruki. There were pictures of it on the pages, and she was muttering to herself about the Ruki's look.

"Goodness, how ugly," she thought, "it looks like an experiment from Dr. Sloth gone wrong!" She closed the Neopian Times with a disgusted look on her face. Looking at her Usuki Clock, she gasped. "Oh no! I'm late for the Beauty Contest! I better hurry!" She quickly put on her makeup and ran out the door. When she got there, she was out of breath and out of luck. The signups had closed, and she sighed. If she didn't get in, she wouldn't be able to win, and if she didn't win, how could she brag about it? Being pretty was tough.

"Oh well, maybe I'll just go to the beauty salon and get a makeover. But first, I need some Neopoints. I'll just make a stop at the bank."

Sapphire hurried to the Neopian Bank to withdraw Neopoints. She didn't want to waste time in getting a makeover. She opened the door and -WHAM! - She ran into someone else who was coming out.

"Ack! Watch where you are..." she started. She looked at the pet she bumped into. It was a shadow Ruki. A shadow Ruki?! Sapphire suddenly became very self-conscious. She didn't want to be around this freak!

"Yes?" the Ruki asked, as if not affected by the collision.

"Well, uh," Sapphire replied, "I've never seen a Ruki before!" she blurted out. "What are you doing here in Neopia Central? I thought you were a Lost Desert pet!"

The Ruki laughed. "Well, have you ever been to Mystery Island? A pet can travel, can't they? I thought it was too hot in the desert to be painted Shadow. I attracted a lot of heat, you know? So I thought I should explore, and here I am! What are you doing here?" he asked, grinning.

Pah! I'm one of the richest pets in Neopia Central! Why would I need to talk to some foreigner from the Desert? Sapphire thought.

"What am I doing here?! What a stupid question," she said out loud. "I belong here! You, you're just a stupid Ruki from the Lost Desert! You don't have any significance! Why, I'm the beautiful IslandSapphire, Beauty Contest Extraordinaire! And who are you, foolish Ruki?"

The Ruki looked crestfallen, his grin fading by the second. "I'm...I'm Sandscarab. I'm sorry that I bothered you. But, I was wondering, could you show me around, because I'm new? I'd really appreciate it."

Ack! Sapphire thought. He has the nerve to talk to me like he did, and now he wants me to give him a tour?! It was Sapphire's turn to look crestfallen. He's probably going to follow me around anyway, she thought, sighing. Maybe, if I walk fast enough, I may lose him.

With this thought the only motivation, Sapphire agreed to show him around. "Just let me get some Neopoints first, okay San-, I mean Ruki?" She wouldn't dare call this insolent Ruki by his name! Sapphire was slightly surprised she came close!

When the tour started, Sapphire was walking quite fast. She looked behind her across her right shoulder, and found that the Ruki wasn't there. She had triumphed!

"You should know, Rukis are very fast travelers," a voice came from her left. An all-too-familiar voice. Sapphire looked to the left. There was the Ruki, traveling at the same pace as her!

Sapphire sighed. I'll have to try later, she thought. Walking faster, she said, "I'll show you the Neohome Village first. Maybe you can get a home there."

Sandscarab smiled. "I'd love that! Thanks so much." When they arrived at the Village, Sapphire smiled. She said, "Oh, no! I've just realized I'm late for an appointment in Mystery Island! Maybe I'll be seeing you around!" Sapphire had a fake grin plastered on her face. She thought she could finally get away from this stupid Ruki.

"Can I come with you?"

Instantly, Sapphire lost her smile. "Well," she said, "after this appointment, I've got another one in the Lost Desert. Are you sure you want to go there? You're painted shadow. You'll attract heat, like you said."

"It's okay," Sandscarab replied. "I'm native to the heat. Hey! Maybe I can give you a tour of the Lost Desert after your second appointment?"

"Er, um, uh..." Sapphire was worried. What was she going to do? What would it take to get rid of this Ruki? Suddenly, she got an idea. "I will probably be too late by the time we get to Mystery Island. Why don't we go directly to my second appointment?" Maybe she could get him stuck in a pyramid or something.

The Ruki grinned from antenna to antenna. "Great! Let's go!"

Sapphire sighed, and started walking. She hated this Ruki. He was so bubbly and carefree. It was sickening! She really hoped that her plan would work.

"Ruki! How about taking me to some pyramids?" Sapphire casually suggested.

Sandscarab gasped. "That's a great idea! We'll do it right away!"


Maybe that wasn't such a good idea, Sapphire thought. It was absolutely BAKING. Her fur was damp with sweat, her makeup was melting off her face, and the Ruki was still walking, as if the heat was nothing. This was not her day.

Sapphire took a drink from the third Bottle of Water she had brought. "Ruki," she whined, "how much further to the next pyramid?"

"We're almost there," Sandscarab replied. Sapphire was baffled. Even she realized she had asked the same question six times. That Ruki always responded politely. The most polite person Sapphire had met didn't last this long.


Soon enough, Sapphire and SandScarab reached the towering pyramids. Sapphire was drenched in sweat and out of breath. It was a long way from Neopia to the Lost Desert!

When the pair entered the pyramid, they saw two Grarrl guards looking bored on each side of the entrance. After they got in and became accustomed to the dark, SandScarab burst into speech, stating everything he knew about the pyramids. Just then, Sapphire realized what she came here to do.

"Ruki! I...uh...need to go to the bathroom! Why don't you stay here and I'll meet up with you when I'm finished?" Sapphire asked with her sweetest voice.

"Alright, I guess," the Ruki said, looking anxious to resume his speech.

Sapphire quickly made her way to the entrance, but when she reached it, she saw it was closing up! Slowly, darkness covered the walls.

"WAIT!" she screamed. "No!" but the pet outside couldn't hear her. Soon, the hall was drenched in darkness and Sapphire and SandScarab were left in the pyramid all alone, with no way out...

"I think there might be another way out," Sandscarab said calmly. Sapphire had the strange feeling that this has happened to him before. The only thing that Ruki seemed disappointed about was not being able to go on with his speech!

"Oh, yeah? What then, San-, I mean Ruki?" She almost did it again! Sapphire couldn't believe herself!

"Usually, in a tomb like this, there is an air vent on one side of the pyramid. If we can find our way through the pyramid, we might be able to get through the air vent and down the side of the pyramid to safety!" Sandscarab explained, grinning. It was apparent that he was getting to this in his speech.

"Might be able to?!" Sapphire yelled. She was not happy with the situation. How could that Ruki be so calm? Sapphire lit her Zafara Torch as she talked. She thought the light would help.

"Well," Sandscarab started, eyeing her, now that the light was available, "I think that you're small enough to fit, actually." Sapphire groaned. This was not going to be a walk in the park.

Sandscarab led Sapphire through the eerie tunnels, leading her to the area of the pyramid Scarab figured the vent would be. After a few minutes, they reached the vent. Scarab bent down, and felt around for a lighter rock. Finding it, he tried to push it out. It didn't budge.

"Here Scarab, let me try!" Sapphire said. Only after saying it did she realize that she had called the insolent Ruki by his name! She looked at him. He stared back, wearing the biggest grin she'd ever seen. So all the rude remarks did get to him! She suddenly felt a pang of guilt. Uh oh, she thought.

Without saying anything, and still grinning, Scarab stepped back to allow Sapphire to try to budge the rock blocking the vent. Still stunned by the pang of guilt, Sapphire slowly approached the rock, slowly handing the Zafara Torch to Scarab at the same time.

Cut it out, you, Sapphire thought, shaking her head. This is silly of you, to be thinking things like that. You're trying to get out of a pyramid you got yourself into in the first place! Whoops. Another pang of guilt hit Sapphire.

Sapphire stepped back and ran forward with her shoulder facing the block. Running into it, the block budged barely an inch and came to a stop. Sapphire stood up with tears in her eyes. "Ow," was all she said.

Scarab looked at her, worried. "Are you OK?" he asked.

"No, Scarab, I'm not. Why don't you try again? Or is there another way out? I know you know a lot about this!" Sapphire replied, not even caring that she let out a comment to the Ruki.

Turning away from Sapphire, Scarab said, "Well, we might have gotten the vent's place wrong. If it's not here, it should be parallel to us, on the other side of the pyramid."

"Okay," Sapphire cried, trying to hold back tears, but to no avail, "let's go!" They started walking through the passageways again. Scarab decided not to say anything for a while, making Sapphire's uncontrollable sobbing more significant as it echoed off the silent stone walls.

Reaching the other side, Scarab stopped. "The block should be...right!" And with a carefully placed punch, a block crumbled right before their eyes, creating a flood of light.

Sapphire stuck her head out of the newly created window and smiled through her tears feebly. Turning back to Scarab, she asked, "Well, shall I go through?" Scarab nodded, smiling his goofy grin.

Sapphire took a step forward out the "window". The side of the pyramid was at such an angle that she lost her bearings, fell on her back, and started sliding down the side of a pyramid. Scarab's first impulse was to rush out and get her, but then he heard a childlike giggle that was losing volume. She was having some rather needed fun.

Scarab slid down after her. At the base of the pyramid, Scarab found a giggling Sapphire half buried in sand. Helping her out, he said, "Well, Sapphire, we managed to get out."

Sapphire grinned, and pulled herself out of the sand. "Yep! That was fun, Scarab!"

Dusting herself off, she thought of everything she had done to make it not fun.

She was the one who got them locked in the towering pyramid, because she was selfish and thought she could get rid of the Ruki. She felt guilty and turned to Scarab.

"Scarab, I want to apologize. I've done so many wrong things to you, and I'm only realizing it now. I'm sorry for everything, SandScarab!" Sapphire burst into tears.

SandScarab was surprised. He didn't expect an apology so quickly. "It's okay. I understand," he said, trying to comfort her.

"But, but I have done so many things because I was selfish!" Sapphire cried. "I mean, this all started because we ran into each other at the bank, and I was disturbed!" She went back to sobbing. She sobbed even more when she realized that was how it happened.

The Ruki appreciated all of the apologies, but he didn't like to see her cry so much.

"Sapphire! I understand, and I appreciate your sudden apology, but you need to stop! You're making me cry!" SandScarab said, smiling. "Now whaddya say we get home?"


When they reached Neopia Central, SandScarab walked Sapphire to her door. There was a rolled up Neopian Times lying on the doorstep. Sapphire picked it up and unrolled it. There was a big headline across the top with a picture underneath:


Sapphire groaned.

"Here we go again!" she said.

Scarab laughed.


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