Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Return of the Jedi


Turning around, Speedy Wing set out running to find the captain.
"What's the rush?" the official called out.
"Excuse me, I've got to go see someone," she told the official.
Setting down the cage, the official replied unconcernedly, "Oh, um, okay."
As she began to set off again, she over heard the official remark cluelessly, "I wonder why it was carrying a packet of arsenic?"  Speedy checked her step, but then continued.  She knew that she had to tell Cpt. Seagull, yet she didn't know if it would do any good.  What if he wasn't well enough to go?  What if he would never be well enough to go?  What if whatever was afflicting him was fatal?
Fortunately, when she arrived at the doctor's tent, she found her "what-ifs" to be unfounded, for the doctor allowed her in and she found Busy Seagull sitting upright on the edge of a cot, drinking some water.  Explaining, the doctor told her that Busy had suffered from a case of food poisoning, but ipecac had eventually restored his health.  In turn, Speedy Wing informed Seagull about the captured robot.  He mulled the information over through his head.
"You said you thought you saw the thing fly past you from the direction of my bench?" Busy asked.
"Why 'hmmm?'"
"Well, I was thinking.  The robot probably put poisoning in my food before lunch, and that's why I began to feel poorly when I walked out to the field.  Then it probably put poisoning into my bottle before I went over to drink from it and then hid itself to wait for a better opportunity to make its escape.  E. Vile probably sent it to track me down, poison me, and do him a dual favor: get rid of his enemy and escaped prisoner, and get rid of a major obstacle to his domination of Poptropica.  Where's my sword?"
"Its in your locker, where you left it," Speedy Wing answered.
"Okay, thanks.  Hey,  watch what you eat and drink.  You don't know if there are more of those messenger robots around.  Keep a sharp lookout for any."
"I will."
"Hey!  Where do you think you're going?" cried the doctor.
"I'm going to fight.  I'll be okay; I've recovered sufficiently."  Ducking outside the tent, Captain Seagull disappeared.
"Is my spaceship finished?"
"Yes, it is," answered the officer.  "Where are you going?"
"I have...unfinished business to take care of."
"Don't take too long.  Remember, you have to be back at PASE in thirty-eight hours, when we will have lift-off."
"I know."

Reaching the place where the crystalline wall had been, Captain Seagull encountered a fierce robot that threw boulders around.  Ducking often, he finally managed to hack it in two with his sword.  A messenger robot simultaneously exited it---it must have been controlling the larger robot from an internal cockpit.  As it flew away, a new sword appeared out of nowhere.  Taking it cautiously, Seagull turned it over in his hands.  It practically shivered with energy.  Sheathing his cutlass, he next cut the air several times with the mysterious sword and then tried to slice off a somewhat-large branch that grew nearby.  It was a clean cut.  "This ought to do the trick!" the sea captain exclaimed to himself.  "Forward, to victory!"  Forward he did indeed go, and victory was indeed his, even when the messenger robot warned a laser-eyed fiend.  At last he came to the end of the vast arena in which the robot army lived and stumbled across a gargantuan robot which for some reason was not powered on.  Then the messenger robot which had left the boulder-throwing pile of metal and warned the laser-eyed monster entered the gargantuan mass and turned it on.  As might be expected from such a titan, the force with which the thing attacked was literally quite stunning, yet the wily sea captain leapt out of the way.  Consequently, the ensuing battle was long and drawn-out with each side having difficulty getting at the other.  Finally, a glancing blow from Seagull's new sword struck the power box on the robot's belt, destroying the robot's power system.  Looking up, Busy Seagull watched a space ship similar to a flying saucer descend from the sky.  It opened up and showed a hologram of E. Vile.
"Well, well!  It looks like Poptropica has a new protector."
"You're starting to become a real thorn in my side.  Give up while you still can!"
"Never!  Give up?  You've got to be kidding.  Not now!  Not after you've made me prisoner, not after you've tried to invade Poptropica, my homeland, not after I've come this far!  Now come and face me yourself!" Busy Seagull retaliated.
"You may have delayed my plans, but the invasion of Poptropica will still come to pass!"
"Not if I can help it!  Turn about fair play is all I have to say to you. You hate me because I ruined your plans.  Well, I'll tell you this: I'll ruin them again if that's what it takes to save Poptropica from your clutches!  When I find you, I'll stop you and your entire robot army!"
"Is that a threat?" the hologram quietly queried.
"No.  That is a promise."
"Brave words, hero, but you'll live to regret them.  You haven't heard the last of me!" E. Vile responded, lingering tauntingly on the word "hero."
"I'm sure I haven't," Seagull muttered as the hologram took off.  "I'll find you E. Vile."
Back on Poptropolis Island, with 23 hours left before lift-off:

Crowding around the blimp that had brought Busy Seagull back to Poptropolis after he had landed his private spacecraft, the crowds who had come to watch the games now wanted Seagull to relate his story about defeating E. Vile's army, for word had leaked out to the public.  Forced to speak, the victorious captain merely replied to their questions, "E. Vile wanted to invade Poptropica with an army of robots.  Now that threat is eliminated.  My friends made it possible, not I.  Let us now continue with the games in celebration of victory!"  After six more hours of practice, the events officially started off, and two hours later, not one, but two clear winners had emerged.  For the first time ever in the history of Poptropica, two contestants had tied for first place after competing in nine separate--and grueling--events!  The victors: Cpt. Busy Seagull of the Pathfinders and Speedy Wing of the Seraphim.  The entire island was buzzing with the news.

For the first time ever in the history of Poptropica, two contestants had tied for first place after competing in nine separate, grueling events.

"Cpt. Busy Seagull, how did you and Speedy Wing manage to tie, not only overall, but also in each event?" the reporter from Skullduggery Island, Petpet, asked.
"Well, I think it was because we've known each other for some time now, and when we practiced, we practiced together.  No one else I know did that.  That's all I can explain."
"Speedy Wing, what about you?  Why do you think you two tied?"
"I honestly don't know. We've always been fierce competitors and we knew that this competition would be close. Either way, I'm glad that we both tied."
After Speedy Wing finished, Busy Seagull addressed the reporter, "Excuse me, although I would love to stay and chat, I have an appointment with PASE, and I must take my leave."
"Oh, okay, Busy Seagull.  Thanks for your time."
Back at PASE, after preparing for launch:

"...43...42...41...," boomed on the loudspeakers as the rocket prepared for lift-off. 
Meanwhile, inside the control center, the technicians finished their checklist:
Increasingly, the fiery booster rockets expelled more and more power.  At five seconds the rocket shivered with energy.
"And we have lift-off!!!"
 The arms that held the rocket upright peeled back one by one as the rocket slowly pushed itself off from the earth's surface.  Quickly now it gained speed, and in a few minutes it was out of view.  Free as a bird, the rocket rushed upward, upward, ever upward as it ascended into space.  Although Captain Seagull and other private space venturers would certainly continue their more simple explorations and private missions, this was PASE's last mission.  While, there was much to learn before success could be realized, the clean lift-off seemed like a good omen for ultimate success.

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Singing Hatsune Miku