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- Today's Pet Spotlight -

Pet Name: Hectibus
Owner: varcanum
Breed: Techo

About Hectibus:

It was a Saturday afternoon, and my roommate, Varcanum, was still snoring when I left our small apartment in the Virtupets Space Station. Thinking he'd want to sleep in that day, I decided I could probably figure out how to pilot his shuttle down to the world below and spend the day exploring all of the places in Neopia that I hadn't been to before, starting with the one that seemed to promise the most thrill and adventure: Terror Mountain.

Now, being a Techo, and having hands similar to a human's, it wasn't too hard for me to handle the ship's controls, but I ran into some turbulence while flying low over Tyrannia. I figured it was a problem with the engine, so I got up and headed to the back room to see what the difficulty was. How was I supposed to know the shuttle didn't have an autopilot feature that would kick in? As you probably can imagine, it didn't, and I went spiraling down toward the ground, luckily landing on a soft (but revolting) pile of Skeith dung.

I climbed out and found myself at the base of Terror Mountain. I'd hoped to land on the top, but oh well, the exercise from climbing it would do me good. And so my perilous hike began, up the steep, icy slopes of the mountain. After nearly an hour, I finally reached Happy Valley, where snowflakes were falling gently, and joyous music could be heard over the laughter of the friendly town folk. I spent a few minutes resting there.

Next I entered the bitingly cold Ice Caves, where I felt several rumbling tremors that dislodged icicles from the ceiling; it took me a moment to figure out that the quakes were caused by the unearthly snores of a monstrous beast.

Now, just because I live in space doesn't mean I haven't heard the stories. The Snowager, the gigantic, terrifying serpent, can only be approached when asleep. That way you'll have a shot at living through the encounter as well as snatching a few goodies from his pile of treasure.

I thought that a bit of treasure would do well as a souvenir, and so I crept slowly inside. The snores were unbearably loud, and I had to cover my ears as I snuck closer. Deciding to make a dash for it, I sprinted to the pile as fast as my short, reptilian legs would carry me (not very fast), and, wouldn't you know it, I tripped on the tip of the creature's tail, falling headfirst into the pile, smashing several Neggs and breaking a few toys as well. The Snowager snapped awake, and I immediately lay still; perhaps he'd mistake me for a Techo Plushie.

He ignored me, and examined his pile. I imagine I wasn't the first to sneak in during his nap, and that he noticed much of his loot was missing. While my heart pounded at about 70,000 beats per minute, just waiting for him to strike, he let out a ground-shaking sigh and lay down again. I was still pretending to be a plushie when I realized that he was quivering. With fear, perhaps? Did he quake in fear at the sight of a Techo as strong as I? Yes! That was it!

...Unfortunately, it wasn't. He was crying. Tears the size of small rivers ran down his translucent cheeks as he let out a long, miserable moan. And that's when it hit me. Whenever this big guy wanted to take a nap, he knew that he'd wake up with half of his treasure gone, stolen by snickering Neopians who didn't realize what they were doing to him. No wonder he only slept three hours a day. What makes him so different from you and me? What makes him a monster? I'll tell you what; nothing. A tear came to my own eye as I reached up and patted him on the head.

As it turned out, the day wasn't a loss at all. I got plenty of thrills riding down the steep mountainside on the back of ol' Snowy. Very luckily, when the sky began to grow dark, he was strong enough to use his tail to fling me from the peak of the mountain to the entrance of the Space Station. And best of all, I'd made a new friend: The Snowager.

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