Our home island.
An island that used to be filled with tourists visiting PASE, or the Poptropica Academy of Space Exploration, was more full than ever. My name is Cool Smarticle, and I stood in a huge crowd along with a few of my friends: Slippery Icicle, Tough Spider, Silver Wolf, Fearless Fox, Spotted Dragon, and Tough Icicle. We all had memories of this island, which is why a few tears did roll down my cheeks.
PASE was closing. Lack of government funding made it too hard to maintain. That adventure I had in space to get the Lunar Colony medallion – no one would be able to have an adventure like that anymore.
We all watched in silence as a huge wrecking ball crashed into the building. Nobody was applauding; almost everybody was crying, except for the clown that the government had hired to try to cheer everyone up. Well, he wasn’t doing a very good job.
“Attention, attention!” said a government official with a microphone. “PASE may no longer exist, but there will still be a space organization!” Everyone was immediately silenced, and a few poptropicans gasped.
“Ladies and gentlepoptropicans, I present to you the new space organization of… OWL!!”
The crowd remained silent. Everyone was confused.
“You see,” the man continued, “the problem is that the government doesn’t have the money to take care of PASE, so a private organization has decided to continue the space race! OWL, or Other World League is determined to find new planets, and even go a step further than PASE did: OWL plans to colonize them!”
Applause came from everyone in the crowd, that is, everyone except Slippery Icicle.
“Why aren’t you clapping?” Silver Wolf asked her. “Not only is the space program continuing, but people might start colonizing other planets! How cool is that?!”
Slippery Icicle sighed. “I don’t want a private organization doing something big and important, like sending people into space. What if something goes wrong? An ameture private organization has much less experience than a professional, governmental one.”
“Ladies and gentlepoptropicans!” the announcer continued. “We have a real treat! Not only are we announcing this wondrous organization, but we have the CEO here with us to answer questions!”
“Oh, great,” Tough Spider groaned. “He means ‘we have the CEO to advertise his/her own company.’”
“Ladies and gentlepoptropicans, I present to you… Ms. Warless Elfo!” the announcer screamed as a poptropican walked on the stage.
“Warless Elfo?” Tough Icicle said. “I know my Poptropican names, and that’s not one I’ve ever I’ve ever heard of before.”
“Maybe it’s just an uncommon name,” Spotted Dragon replied. “Or it may be possible that she’s just a foreigner.”
“From where, Pewter Moon? The Fire Planet?” Tough Icicle asked suspiciously.
Ms. Warless Elfo started answering questions. After a few minutes, Slippery Icicle shook her head and started walking away.
“Where are you going?” I asked.
“I’m going home,” she replied. “This is really making me mad. I think I’m going to write a speech and present it at the town hall.” She walked into her house and slammed the door behind her.
I ran back to the announcement. Ms. Warless Elfo had disappeared, and everyone was talking.
“Colonization! I’m so excited!” I heard Silver Wolf say.
“I don’t know if I’m too happy, though,” I heard Tough Spider reply.
“I still can’t get over her name,” Tough Icicle said.
Everyone was chattering, everyone except Fearless Fox.
“What’s wrong, Fearless Fox?” I asked. “What do you think?”
He replied only after a long pause.
“I have a bad feeling about this,” was all he would say to me.
We all walked back home. It was getting late. The only thing that stopped us was someone screaming “Attention!” from the Town Hall.
It was Slippery Icicle. She started giving her speech, a long sequence of words bashing OWL and praising PASE. When she finished, however, people clapped. Some people must agree with her. I wouldn’t know; I’m not really into this political stuff.
Anyway, we all praised Slippery Icicle for her great speech, and she thanked us. We all went home, for real this time, and went to bed. It had been a long day. I remember dreaming about OWL and being excited to be the first poptropican to live on Pewter Moon. No one was telling me what to do; I was completely carefree and worriless.
The next day was anything but carefree and worriless; the next day was quite chaotic. I’ll keep my explanation short for you.
I went over to the Icicles’ house first thing tomorrow. When I arrived, several police cars were parked outside, and Tough Icicle and Icicles were crying. When I asked them what was wrong, they gave me a note they found on Slippery Icicle’s bed.
When you wake up this morning you’ll find something missing.
And that you had that thing so bad will you be wishing.
If you give us one hundred thousand credits today,
Then this precious thing, come back to you it just might may!
But if you can’t or you don’t for whatever reason,
Then your thing will be gone by the very next season!
The “precious thing,” as I was terrified to find out, wasn’t a thing at all, but rather a poptropican.
Slippery Icicle was kidnapped, and she wasn’t coming back unless a ransom of 100,000 credits was paid.
I didn’t cry when I read the note. I bawled.