Date: October 4th, 2009
★The Poptropican’s 911★
For all your Poptropica emergencies!
Welcome to the Poptropica Help Blog’s fifth issue of the Poptropican’s 911! In this month’s totally bizarre newsletter, expect to hear truths from spooked Poptropicans that you never thought possible!
Got a question about Poptropica? Maybe it’s been answered here to boost your gaming knowledge!
Has the Grim Reaper costume/skeleton been released yet? If so, there may be a leak. ~Silver Shell
Recently, clothing dummies have been appearing around Poptropica multiplayer rooms at random times. They are Costumizable and are usually wearing some type of Halloween costume. Among the outfits seen are:
- Pumpkin trick-or-treat basket
- Grim Reaper hood, robe top + bottom, black cape, and scythe
- Skeleton body, skull head
- (Glitch) Dummy stand, eyes, face
- Witch (black dress, hat with spider, fat nose, broomstick)
- Mummy head + body wraps
- Vampire (medallion, shiny hair, cape, etc.) (looks like last year’s)
For more details, check out our Halloween Leaks post.
How do you get Binary Bard’s outfit? ~Shaggy Monster
Around the time when Astro-Knights Island was released, to celebrate, the Poptropica Creators used their account with Binary Bard clothing to visit multiplayer rooms. When this happened, some people managed to customize the costume from him. From there the outfit has spread.
What happened to Thirsty Whale and why was his last post about a year ago? Thanks. ~Fast Flame
Unfortunately, we are not sure. All we know is that about a year ago, someone named Thirsty Whale had been posting on the Creators’ Blog, but he mysteriously stopped. Maybe he no longer works for Poptropica, but that cannot be confirmed.
What trips (or traps!) will our bold heroes take on in the scariest month of all?
The Missions of Agent Cool Wing (Chapter 4): by Cool Wing
[Continued from September 2009's newsletter!] AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! “Wait Wait It’s Chocolate and where there’s Chocolate they’re is a chocolate MONSTER!!!!!!!!!” Shouted Cool Wing to Golden Eagle. I bet its working for B.A.D. She thought. “This is not happening.” Cried Zany Thunder! “Zany Thunder!” “Yes Cool Wing.” “Use your super Strength To Pull at the bars so I can Fly in And Save You!” Commanded Cool Wing. As The bars were pulled free and Agent Cool Wing and Zany Thunder Were out of B.A.D. Headquarters as soon as you could say Jayfeather! “THANK You COOL WING!” Lets go get Serious Fox Now! [To be continued in future Poptropican's 911 issues!]
The Journal of Silver Sun (Chapter 3): by Silver Sun
[Continued from September 2009's newsletter!] “WHO GOES THERE?!?!?!” We stepped closer to see a fire crackling under a pot of water, and a Poptropican-like creature next to it. “WHO GOES THERE?!?!?!” said the creature again. I said, “M-my n-name i-is, uh, Silver Sun. A-and m-my f-friend is-” “DANGEROUS SOCKS!” Socks shouted unexpectedly fast. “So,” said the creature, “You’re names sound Poptropican. Are you from there?” “Y-yes, w-we a-are,” I stammered. “Oh, good! I’m from there, too,” said the man. “What year is it there? I’ve lost track of time.” “It’s 2009,” said Socks. “Wow! Really? I left there in, um, what was it? Oh, yes! 1765! Woah I’m old! I look as if I was 16! But, I’m really 244! Wowzers! This place makes time stop!”
“Um, Mister,” said Socks, “We didn’t actually catch your name.” “Oh, right! It’s Speedy Goose. Well, you boys look scared. Tell me what happened while we have some lunch.” “Well,” I said, “We were sucked into a black hole, and these snake things tried to eat us, so, we’re pretty much ok. But, we should have been crushed under the weight of the black hole. Weird.” “Those snake things are called Murpaloo. They live to kill and kill to survive. If there aren’t enough of the other animals, they eat each other.” “Wow,” I said, “That REALLY sucks!” Right then, we heard hissing coming from the front of the cave. We saw a shadow, and it had two legs, and a body like a snake. Then another. And another. And another. AND they were coming for us. Yowzers! [To be continued in future Poptropican's 911 issues!]
The Second Adventure of Agent Squeeze: by Squeezy Hero
With Squeezy’s new promotion she had access to the private cafe. It was quite stylish. Agent Squeeze ate a bubblegum muffin. Mmmmm!she thought. Director H saw her and walked over to Squeezy.
“Good morning, Director H!” Agent Squeeze greeted.
“G’mornin’! Listen, I’m in a bit of a hurry. The princess has been kidnapped! The guards said that when she was taken, a UFO took her north. Here’s some manure.”Director H gave her a bag of manure.
“Ohhhhhh! Will you do it for me next time? Because my senses are extremely sensitive!”she complained.
“Okay, but you earn a promotion. Deal?”
“Deal!”she agreed. It was a beatiful, sunny day and Squeezy wanted to enjoy it, but she had to save the princess. Agent Squeeze started putting the manure in, and then she flew north, to Super Power Island. She almost crashed because the fuel had run out. Agent Squeeze loved comic books and she couldn’t resist when she thought she heard a man say “free comics, free comics!”but it turns out he said “hero pamphlets! Made by Romix!”
“Oh, are these about my family?”
“No, lady! There about heroes.”
“But my family are the Heroes!”
“Snap out of it, lady! Take one for free ‘n’ you’ll stop bugging me, I hope.”Squeezy took one and opened it. It said:
How to be a Super Hero!
- Get a costume
- Defeat one villain
- Talk to Romix
To the left of Romix was a shop called “Masks and Capes”. She entered it. A kind man was sitting near a table. Agent Squeeze examined the costumes and chose a pink, tight, stretchy, blue-striped costume. The man said it was 300 credits. Squeezy gave the money to him and went to the nearby prison. She asked what villains were on the loose. They pulled out a what-looked-liked 500 paged booked and started reading it. The list continued even long after Agent Squeeze was asleep.
Squeezy was awoken by a whistle. Squeezy thought about the names she heard and she thought that Easy Peasy Japanesey Lemon-Squeezy was an named that sounded like it belonged to a villain easy to catch. She asked where he was last seen. They said in the middle of the junkyard. Agent Squeeze went in the middle of the junkyard. All she could see were footsteps that led back to were she started. Then she saw a small figure which became bigger and bigger over time.
When she could see him clearly enough she realized it was EPJL-S! She shot a laser at him it went right through! Agent Squeeze saw a heavy barrel and threw it at him but he stepped aside before she even began to throw it! Agent Squeeze sprinted owards him and tried to push him but, you guessed it, she went through him and tripped, making her fall.
“You really think you can defeat me? Think again!”EPJL-S said. Squeezy saw a box of Lemon Paralizer in his pocket and tried to get but her hand went through. EPJL-S pulled out a knife withput his hand going through and put it to Squeezy’s throat.
A quick thought came into Squeezy’s head: If EPJL-S’s hand won’t go through, then why not mine? Squeezy reached for the Lemon Paralizer and got it! Then she threw it in his mouth and dragged him to prison. It turns out he wasn’t easy to defeat after all. The chief gave her a medal and she walked back to Romix. Romix saw the medal and gave her a crystal.
The second Agent Squeezy touched she rose into the air and flew to her hover craft. She picked it up and thanked Romix before flying north to Shark tooth Island. Many people were whispering and she often heard the words “Booga Bay, eat, feed, shark, princess, trapped, stranded island and kidnapped”. Agent Squeezy walked to Booga Bay and tried to fly over the bay but the great Booga Shark jumped up and open his great, huge, smelly mouth.
Just as she was going to go in his mouth she quickly remembered about her Lipstick Laser and pointed at Booga. The great shark whined and went back down into the murky, coconut coloured waters. Agent Squeezy flew over the water and told the Astro-Knights princess to hold onto Squeezy. She did and they flew back to Spy Island. Squeezy was invited to tea with the royal family and was awarded another promotion! She almost choked on his hot dog when he saw the amazing report. THE END!
The Adventures of Magic Storm and Happy Paw! [Part 3: In too Deep]: by Magic Storm
[Continued from September 2009's newsletter!] Magic Storm and her partner Happy Paw are trying to find kiddnapped Scarlet Star. The criminal has left no trace: but could a note to Scarlet’s mother be the clue they need?
The intials had even us a clue. TOO good of a clue.
“PMMP,” I said, “Well PM could be that cop, ‘Powerful Magic’. And don’t forget about that new reporter on channel 7 called ‘Magic Powerful’. I’ll bet that these two are working together. But what I don’t like is the fact that ‘Powerful Magic’ could have a double meaning,”
“What do you mean?” asked Mrs Star, Scarlet’s mother.
“Let’s put it this way. There are two types of wizards in the world; one of them are wizards who use magic for good, like me, and the others are those who use magic for bad,”
“And Powerful Magic might be a bad wizard with very powerful dark powers! OH NO! MY POOR BABY IS IN THE HANDS OF THAT GUY!!!!!!!”
“Calm down Miss S. I’m on the case! I’m going to do a bit of slething, see if I can find out where these two are,” I said, trying to reasure her.
“Ok Magic…….” weeped Mrs Star.
After I spent half an hour trying to calm Mrs Star down, and taking 5 minutes to check on HP and tell her to stay with Mrs Star, I did some reserching. I then found out that Magic Powerful had been staying at the Shark’s teeth hotel. I went in and talked to the clerk.
“Excuse me?” I asked.
“Yes?” she answered.
“Um, I’m here to see Mr M Powerful,”
“I am terribly sorry, but he just left five minutes ago,” she replied.
“Do you know where he went?” I asked.
“Oh. I believe he said soming about super power island,”
“Great thanks! Oh, and when does the next blimp leave?”
“In 20 minutes. I can book you in. What is your name?”
“Storm, Magic Storm. And thankz again,”
“No problem.” she replied cheerfully.
I quickly grabbed my suitcase and ran for the blimp.
I got there just in the nick of time. And next thing I knew, I was off to Super Power island! [To be continued in future Poptropican's 911 issues!]
Journey to Club Penguin! (A Poptropica and Club Penguin Crossover): by Magic Storm
It was Friday night that it happened. I, Happy Paw, had been home for one long, boring hour. I live on Early Poptropica island, but I attend Big Nate island school so it takes me a whole hour to get home. Thinking about the journey on the school blimp home made me remember seeing the strangest plane-like thing in the sky. It had been a croos between a satellite and a giant bunny-shaped space ship. Then my mind warped back to three months ago. When I went on a school excursion to 24Carrot island. It was there that I saved the world from(shudder) Dr. Hare. I also remembered that last month I had joined up with the PSF:Poptropica SpyForce. I had foiled Directer D’s evil plans there too.
‘Wait a minute!’ I thought. I just remembered that Dr. Hare had a giant bunny-shaped rocket called a Rabbot and that D had tried to create a hairless world using a satelite. Then my mind snapped back to reality with sudden reasitasion: Dr. Hare and Directer D had teamed up to destory us once and for all! I thought back to this afternoon. I thought I saw the ship-thingy head for the clouds abouve us. I knew that I just had to do something about it! As I started out the door, I thought of my mum and dad.’I’ll just leave them a note, so they have some idea about where I am in case they get back before I do,” I quickly scribbled ‘Think Doc Hare and D have evil plan. Saw ship in clouds. going there. Love u lots- Happy Paw’ on a piece of paper and left it on the table where they would see it.
Then I ran to the rooftop restrurant. Unfortunatly it was closed so I couldn’t use the lift. But the windstills were just close enough together and there where washing lines too, so I hoisted myself up on the lowest windowstill. Then the next. And the one after that. Then I when onto another and jumped off on one of the lines. I bounced all the way up to the top. Then I climbed up a vine and up, up I went; high into the clouds. I ran pass the giant who had been tied up with a rope and dumped in a lazer cage. I ran into the giant’s vegie garden and climbed over vegetables over to the aircraft graveyard. There, nestled between a rocket marked with ‘Pewter Moon or bust’ and a UFO was a giant satelite shaped like a rabbit. And next to it was: yep, you guessed it, Dr. Hare in the flesh, well fur. “But where’s Directer D?” I wondered out loud.
“It’s called ‘looking behind you’!” said a familier voice behind me. Then there was a big ‘Ka-ZAP!’ and I found myself in a bouncy, hard, floating bubble cage!
“HEY! Lemmie out ya big ole monkey!” I screamed.
“Hare, lookie here!” said Directer D, who was holding a ray gun that he’d no doubt used to capture me.
“What now? I’m trying to make this stupid contraption work!” snarled Dr. Hare.
“Someone has been snooping around,”Dr.Hare turned around to look at me. “Hmm. Now that’s a familier face,” he said.
“At least this familiar face isn’t ugly and covered in rabbit hair!” I retorted.
“Ah! I remember you!” Hare exclaimed.
“Ah yes. Agent Paw,” D grinned, “Here is our chance to get rid of her!”
“Wait a minute! You’ve gotta tell me your evil plan first!” I said.
“Is that true?” asked D.
Dr.Hare skimmed through a small handbook called ‘Being Evil for Dummies: including the how-to and the the codes of conduct’.
“It says right here:’Chapter 3 codes of conduct, Rule number 32: If someone tries to expose your plan, capture them and tell them your plan before you destory them.’ So I guess we have to,”
“Fine. But how about we let someone else tell her,” said D with a very evil, sly grin.
Then from the shadows stepped a medievil person looking much like a jester wearing yellow and purple clothes. This villian everyone had heard of.
“You’re Mordred! The Binery Bard!” I gasped.
“Yes, indeed I am,” he said, ” I have resently formed an alliance with Directer D and Dr. Hare. Together we hope to sent every single Poptropican into an iternet game called Webosaurs,”
“Lemmie guess. You guys want to put everyone in that game so that they may hopefully get eaten my dinosaurs,”
“Your a smart girl. Indeed, that’s what we will be doing. Then all of Poptropica(as well as the universe) will be mine! All mine!”
“Ahem,” said D.
“Er, I of course mean all ours,” he said quickly. “Anyway. You’ll be the first to arrive! Now,” he turned to Dr.Hare. “Do an internet search for the internet game webosaurs,”
“‘Internet game,” Hare muttered as he misheard and typed in ‘Internet game’ instead of ‘webosaurs’.
“Er, this one called ‘Club Penguin’ just came up,” he said.
“Oh well. Any game will do. Just send Lady Paw there,”
“Er, it’s Agent Paw or Happy Paw, B,”said D.
“Whatever! JUST DO IT!”
Then D pointed a large ray-hing at me and my bubble cage. then a thick white beam came out and hit the bubble cage.
“AGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” I screamed as the there was a loud, ear-splitting CRACK! and the world faded to white. As it did, I could hear the three villian laughing in the background. Then everything went black.
A few minutes?hours? seconds? I didn’t know exacty how much later, but I became suddently aware the laughing had stopped and everything was calm. Or was it? I could hear voices in the background. I heard things like: “What is that?”, “Is it dead?”, “Could it be an alien?”
Then things flooded back to me. I rememered a bubble, three super evil villians, the mentioning of an evil plan, and a name. Club Penguin. ‘Oh no. Don’t tell me…….’ my thoughts trailed off as I slowly got up and opened my eyes. I saw snow. Lots and lots of snow. A pizza Parlor. A theitre. A pet shop with a weird leg and armless cute fluffy creature on it. And penguins. Lots of penguins. Penguins in almost every colour of the rainbow. They wore clothes like people. Some even had one of the weird fluffy creatures. They stared wide eyed at me. Then it hit me. Club Penguin.
“I’M INSIDE A COMPUTER GAME ABOUT PENGUINS!!!!!!!” I screamed! [To be continued in future Poptropican's 911 issues!]
The Unknown Island [Part 2]: by Sparkle Star/Green Seal
[Continued from September 2009's newsletter!] Green Seal gasped, and dropped the letter onto the floor in surprise. That’s why they no longer visited. She gulped. But HOW can I save them? I’m only a kid. And no adult will believe me. I have to call Friendly Heart about this. But what if I’m too late? What if they already di…Green Seal gulped again, scolding herself for thinking such a thing.
With trembling fingers, she picked up her cell phone, dialing Friendly Heart.
“Hey,” Friendly Heart answered.
“Friendly Heart! I have to tell you something important! Come to my house!”
“Okay, I’m coming,”
Green Seal shoved the piles to the side, and picked up the fallen note. In only a few seconds, Friendly Heart arrived. She rushed to the door and knocked. Green Seal opened the door, and shut it quickly afterwards.
“Look at this letter,” said Green Seal shakily, handing Friendly Heart the note. “Gre-” Friendly Heart started. “Don’t read it out loud!” screeched Green Seal. Friendly Heart raised an eyebrow and read it silently. After she read it, her jaw dropped and her hair stood on an end. “Really?” she mouthed, for she was too scared to speak. Green Seal nodded. “I-I can’t believe this,” Friendly Heart said, sitting down on the couch, where Green Seal joined her. “Neither can I,” said Green Seal. “My parents…” Friendly Heart whispered. “They’re with them too.”
“Let’s go,” Green Seal stated finally. Friendly Heart blinked a few tears, then said, “Yes, we should.” “But how do we go northwest of Early Poptropica when it’s not on the map?” Friendly Heart smiled mischievously, “I think I know how.” [To be continued in future Poptropican's 911 issues!]
Incomplete Island – Part II – The Incmplts: by Golden Cheetah
[Continued from September 2009's newsletter!] Leering from the darkness was the most horrendous creature that Golden Cheetah had ever seen. It appeared to be… “Dr. HARE?!?” Scary Tomato asked incredulously, his eyebrow lifting slightly.
“No…” the person in the bunny suit chuckled, sliding closer to the quaking pair of Poptropicans, “I am so very much worse.” Golden Cheetah could see now, that this strange incarnation of that horrible person was nowhere near as benign. The tip of one of his pink bunny ears was off, leaving a trail of white fluff in its wake. The other ear was missing altogether. His legs were devoid of feet, but he seemed to walk fine. But the worst thing was, that he had no face. His hollow, empty voice came from deep in his chest, and Golden Cheetah couldn’t begin to think about how it came out. Streaks of black ash smeared across the front of his costume.
Golden Cheetah tried to regain her bearings, then scoffed, forcing herself to be convincing. “You and your fluff can leave us alone. I don’t need any of these stupid jokes today. Take off that stupid mask, whoever you are.” Her eyes flashed, and she lunged forward, trying to rip the costume and mask off. Her hands scrabbled at the edge of the faceless face, but there was no flaw, and angry howls poured out of the thing in front of her. “I AM DR HR, AND NO ONE TREATS ME SO!!!” With surprising might, the half-creature seized the wrist of Golden Cheetah and dragged her away. As that happened, she could spot the chains around Scary Tomato’s wrists. But he had no hands, and his antennae peeled away easily, just like his eyes. Golden Cheetah gagged in horror. She had been tricked, by this incomplete thing. She let out an infuriated scream as she was dragged deeper into the underground of this polluted island.
On each side of the tunnel she was dragged down, Golden Cheetah could see lines of Poptropicans, standing at attention. Incomplete names flashed through her mind. Btty Jtty, Sr Rbrl, Drctr D, Bnry Brd. Finally, the tunnel opened up into a huge cavern, and the bright white lights showed the most terrifying nerve center to the gross operation.
Each wall was filled with metal and glass pods, each filled with a sort of goo, letting the partial Poptropicans it contained hang motionless. In one, she saw a motionless copy of her friend Quick Flame, hand reaching out to her.
“I’m dreadfully sorry for having to trick you,” a voice came from behind, “But otherwise you wouldn’t come.”
Fists clenched, Golden Cheetah prepared to turn to the horrific leader of this terrifying place…[To be continued in future Poptropican's 911 issues!].
Dark City: by Elmo Pwns
Rain pounded down hard onto the darkened streets below. The city was engulfed in darkness and few lights shimmered like a dying candle light in a darkened cave. Outside the boundaries of the city, creatures and unknown entities lurked searching for prey. There were rumors of machines the size of buildings. There were rumors of monsters. They ranged from the shape of flesh eating plants to worms which shook the ground when they moved. But one of the most feared rumors were those of “the others”. They were thought to be once ordinary people, and eventually, they became rebels and savages. Some say they were cannibals. They lived outside the boundaries of the city. Even if they attacked, the police could do nothing about it.
There was actually no form of main government. Half the police were corrupt and were bent on stealing from the poor and making them even lower in those dark times. Politics were a joke. There hadn’t been a president or even a mayor for decades. There was no order. Sometimes, a blimp would arrive carrying food and water enough to last for several months. Gangs also invaded the stores purchasing once illegal weapons from the poptropica store, the underground black market of poptropica made by “the creators”. Riots occurred daily. Fight for the scarce supply of ever depleting food turned into gunfights, and soon, a civil war which tore the city apart inside out. There were weapons like laser beams armed to renegade robot armor, there was photon projections shooting at high powered particles and even grenades which devastated the area.
Animals were a relic of the past. No one had ever heard of a bear, lion, or panda. They were long extinct and meat was delivered in “other ways”. Ways that would help keep the exploding population in check. The streets were dirty and sickening. Rotten black filth lay everywhere and on everyone. People ate in germs all the time. Half of the people died at the age of 30. New forms of viruses began to mutate and proved quite affective. There was however one form of law which struggled to keep its organization up and running. Its name was The Common Law, a brotherhood of officials and scattered police members from the broken government which made an almost powerless union and method to control the people, who were growing wilder by the day. They patrolled islands and made sure citizens received food.
The economy was beside itself. There was never a day where stocks rose higher than the day before. One day, they plunged so much that the market completely closed. Lives were ruined, companies ceased to exist as they watched helplessly as their business and career came to a sudden halt. No one had ever hit oil in years. Cars lay empty on the streets and unbothered, left to gather dust and wither away. Pollution flooded the air. The factories had all closed and shut down decades ago but their mistakes in the past had come to haunt them in the future. The sun had been blotted out by the smoke of warfare in ages past, and the smoke of pollution and sin of corporate owners.
How did it get so bad? In the year 2025, Poptropica’s resources had run out, almost completely. Water turned poison, air in most areas became unbreathable, and even plants became noxious and unedible. A rebel from society known as Dr. Hare had set off a thermo detonated EMP nuclear device in the heart of a growing metropolis, Super Power Island. The buildings were flushed clean and fire erupted burning the island down. Humanity was officially at war.
Dr. Hare was only one man with few henchmen, but his tactics were brilliant and he managed to detonate several islands before his fatal collide with a group of spy island officials who had been tracking him for tiring months. They finally caught up to him in time to witness him launch his thermo missiles from orbiting ONI satellites in low orbit around poptropica space territory. That was it, few poptropicans survived the impact. They hid in buildings, in caverns, people away from land on the high seas of skullduggery island were alive to witness the destruction as they saw the blaze of explosions spark in the distance. And they watched as the darkness engulfed poptropica.
Dr. Hare was forced to retaliate and had launched 7 thermo nukes at 7 main islands. Early Poptropica however, was not hit. Dr. Hare was only the beginning, the poptropica government soon recovered and invaded Dr. Hare’s lab. The lab self destructed right on time. He had planned it all out. More and more villains began unleashing their schemes. Poptropica was in an all out war. The war finally ended months later. The villains had won but didn’t expect to conquer a destroyed poptropica, a poptropica in which the sky was unclear and the future was engulfed in darkness.
They plotted a leapspace jump orbit using their planes, some, who’s intellect was not to great, hijacked launch programs and jumped into orbit, then to the Pewter moon, then to an unknown coordinate. Possibly hiding from the destruction they had made. In the year 2030, the poptropica government, which was scattered and mostly destroyed, reunited for some short years and tried to pull poptropica back together. This was defied with resistance. Poptropicans no longer wanted a common law to follow, they wanted complete freedom from the once known government, civil war broke out. In one of the most massive battles, poptropicans armed themselves from weapons sold from the poptropica store (black market of poptropica) and waged war. The war was shortly ended with the government beside itself.
They soon surrendered and scattered out again. Does poptropica still have a hope? Will the world keep growing, or will it wither away and die, island by island, population by population. One of the last hopes remaining falls in the hands of the growing organization of the common law, and all those who fight in it. This is not a story about a lone hero who saves poptropica. This is a story about an ordinary person, who finds himself trapped in a world of nightmares, about the journey of a poptropican, whose goal is to only survive in a troubled world. Elmo Pwns brings you “Dark City” based off of the game of poptropica set in the year 2056 on the desolate remains of 24 carrot island.
His name was Lone Wolf. That was it, he didn’t know his real name, one day, he just found himself walking on the streets and bumped into someone. It was that simple, the last thing he remembered was finding himself on street with a ticket to “Carrots on fire” to the 24 carrot island theater. There was blood on his shirt, splattered everywhere. He didn’t know whose it was. The nuclear thermo bombs had already hit. In fact, he found out it was already 7 years since the nukes had devastated poptropica. He was astonished. Then, on the ticket, he found his new name, on the ticket was the name written, lone wolf. That’s what he started going by. He tried everything to find more about himself.
He consulted the police, they checked the records, but nothing matched. The buildings were burnt to a crisp and early repairs had started. The person he bumped into turned out to be someone hunting him down. The man pulled out a gun, Lone Wolf’s instinct told him to reach for his pocket and pull out his photon laser. It was there, he didn’t know why he had a laser weapon or how he knew it was there, but he didn’t care. He just pulled the trigger and the man was flung back burnt by the laser projection. He broke through the window of a diner and was instantly killed, lying and burning. The smell of flesh filled the air. Within seconds, cops from every corner rushed forward and chased Lone Wolf.
At this moment, his instinct told him to turn around and perform a move he knew for some reason. He spun around and the cop screeched to a stop. Lone Wolf kicked the agent while swinging and then preformed another kick. Both landed straight on the face knocking the air out of him. Two cops came from the side grabbing him. He swung at the cop on the right knocking him down senseless. He spun free and flipped the police on the left. Gunfire was heard. All 3 of the shots missed as he flipped over and landed unconscious. People screamed and converged into the nearest building, terrified of him. He just followed his instincts, he didn’t know how he knew all those moves, how he knew there was a gun at his side, and how he killed so efficiently and ruthlessly.
All he knew was that he would soon be hunted down and was very dangerous. He didn’t have any time to think, he just ran and ran as fast as his legs could carry him. He ran through the town, to the factory and was greeted with the broken down factory which was half falling down and crumpled. He ran towards the water, there was pollution everywhere filling the water. It was boiling hot when he touched it, was there acid in the water too? He spotted a blimp, he saw the yellow speck coming closer and closer. His instinct now was to hijack it, and find a way off of the island. Maybe the rest of poptropica wasn’t like this. Maybe somewhere out there, other islands would still be inhabitable.
As the blimp grew bigger and bigger, he pulled out his laser and aimed for the blimp’s passengers. Usually, normal people wouldn’t kill at will. He had no emotion, he had no regret in killing others for himself. He aimed at the passengers and fire. One shot, two kills. The shot was deadly accurate and sliced through both passengers as they fell down into the water dead. Their bodies were soon boiled and then roasted by the acid water. The blimp slowly fell down and Lone Wolf barely touched the tip of the rope as he climbed onto the blimp. He pulled a levy which pumped air into the balloon. He rose higher and higher.
People watched in anger as the blimp floated away from the island shouting swears and curses. Little did he know, this was a blimp that would deliver precious food and water supplies to the citizens. He rode the blimp past the darkened streets, past the darkened oceans and headed to an unknown location. The fuel meter was still high and there was plenty of food and water. He past the oceans, they were all black and filled with sludge, he could hear no waves, it was calm and dead silent. Had this disaster spread to other lands as well? It was hard to believe there was any fish left too, the poor creatures were burnt to death by the toxic sludge. The clouds carried acid water evaporated from the oceans.
Lone Wolf spotted several red clouds in the distance heading towards the land. He saw the tiny dots, that were people, run into buildings and taking cover as a large monstrous red cloud swallowed the land like a great ghost. He witnessed a humongous downpour of red rain. The buildings were already weak and crumpled; no one knew how long they could take this kind of weather. It happened once a week, sometimes more.
The blimp floated off into uncharted regions. Lone Wolf pulled the levy again and more hot air rose into the inflating balloon. On the first day, he wolfed down several packed jars of peaches and grew incredibly thirsty. He swallowed water by the gallon and barely slept, watching the balloon and pulling the levy every 20 or so minutes. On the second day, he found some wrapped sandwiches. They were meatless and was mostly all bread. On the third day, he passed the wreckage of many ships, they appeared to be pirate ships bearing skulls on black flags, an infamous sight. He then spotted a small patch of neighboring islands, while checking a map he found in the food compartment, he identified it as “skullduggery island”.
He quickly landed on top of a ship in a shipyard. He ran into the town. The place was empty and dead silent. Not even a mouse scurried. Wind blew. And that was it. He searched every house, every corner. They were all empty. He didn’t know what had happened. Disappointed, he climbed back into his blimp, and continued his journey across the high seas. He couldn’t see movement on the other islands, he didn’t even bother. He past skullduggery and on day 5, his fuel was nearly empty. He was desperate to land, and wondered if he should’ve stayed at skullduggery instead.
On the 6th day, he prepared to crash land and plunge into a fiery burning sea of darkness. There was only one hour left on reserve fuel, then half an hour, then 20 minutes, then 5 minutes. At this point, he spotted a small patch of land a few miles down. It was too far, he wouldn’t make it. It was that burning feeling he got, he was so close to land and safety, but he just couldn’t make it. Then, he spotted a monstrous sight, there, in the middle of the ocean beneath him, surfaced a giant squid the size of 3 warships. It plunged from the black waves and let out a monstrous cry that echoed across the air. It plunged back beneath the waves and swam with the blimp. The creature was starving, there was not much of its prey left in the water, so it identified the blimp as a possible food source.
“No way, no way am I going to be food for that thing,” said Lone Wolf to himself.
Then he thought of an idea, what if he could hitch a ride, there was only 3 minutes left on the fuel gauge. He made a last minute decision, the thing was so massive, if he jumped, it was almost a guaranteed chance he’d jump on the squid. As he climbed over the railings, the blimp sinked lower and lower, he was so low now, that he could feel the splashing of waves against him, he jumped and landed on the body of the squid. The monster gave out a great cry, and instead of going under like Lone Wolf feared he would, it leaped up and snatched the sinking blimp in one mighty swoop of its tentacles.
It devoured the ship and didn’t care what it ate, it was hungry. Lone Wolf didn’t panic, he was apprehensive, but had no fear if he would die when the squid went underneath the waves. The squid could survive in those toxics waters, but he couldn’t. The monstrous tentacles reach backed and tried to grab him. He pulled out his laser rifle and picked each tentacle clean off. It would’ve been a hard shot for ordinary people, but he shot the moving tentacles down in the flash of a second.The squid swam towards the distant patch of islands. He could hear gunfire and smoldering smoke rising into the air….he readied his weapon, and prepared himself for battle. [To be continued in future Poptropican's 911 issues!]
The Official Adventures of Silver Sneeze (Adventure 1): by Silver Sneeze/Berry Fudge Yummy
Rock Star and Rocker Star outfits! Perfect for a dress-up party! Your friends, fans and even foes will be amazed!
Okay, enough of the advertising, let’s go to the story.
PROLOGUE – THE JOB
“SMIGGLE” new STUFF: NEW! Free Minimizer with purchase of Mini Bath-Rocket Fountain! Visit treydfuret.com to buy. TRADE 4 IT AW PAY 4 IT! Ad by Pop Bubble Entertainment. Inc.
I gazed at the end sentence. Oh, how I would love to get a job at PopBubble Entertainment. I’m Silver Sneeze. My friends are Tiny Bubbles, Big Singer, Purple Star and Purple Peanut. Peanut and Star really like Purple. Bubbles really wants to get a job at PopBubble Entertainment (just like me). Big Singer is obsessed with singing, and I am allergic to pollen. I guess now that I’m writing this story, I know what the saying ‘your name is who you are’ means.
I went outside to the backyard and started Minimizing myself with the Minimizer I bought through treydfuret.com, then taking pictures with my RoboCam and finally, writing ‘PopBubble Entertainment, Inc’ on the back of the photos that my cute little RoboCam printed. I smiled. Pretending to be a model at PBE was fun! Then I took a bath in my M-BRF. Halfway through eating my bubble-stuffed pork chops, I heard a loud honk. I Maximized myself and stared out the window. Bubbles was sitting in a tiny Ferrari. I rushed downstairs and greeted her. She had a mysterious, excited look on her face.
“You will not believe what just happened!” she exclaimed.
“I’ll tell you later.” She pulled a long spring out of her purse and attached a letter to it. Then she pressed a button and the letter was thrown into my parents’ letterbox.
“Cool!” I said, enthusiastically.She ushered me in her Ferrari. I was excited to be in a Ferrari. When she drove past Helerit Park, I knew that something was going in.
“Where in the name of Katy Poptropica” (she discovered Planet Poptropica, where I live) “are we going?”
“You’ll see when we get there.”
“Aw, shucks” I said.
She was always saying that and I had no idea what it meant. She was annoyed when I said it and vice versa. I made a deal with her that once she told me what it meant, I would stop saying it. Bubbles frowned and handed me an elctronic dictionary by the famous Mordred. I typed in ‘shucks’ and it came up with an explanation practically In Earth-English. We speak in Poptropica-English. I gave up. Finally, after half an hour of long and boring driving, we finally arrived at the PopBubble Entertainment Studio!
“Oh. My. Gosh. How do you know where this place is, and why are we here?” I was theoretically frozen!
“Now don’t get too excited.” she said “I got a job at PBE TV and all employees are allowed to choose another person to work as an employee. Pretty cool, eh?” Bubbles said proudly. Easy to guess what happend next. I screamed my lungs out.
CHAPTER 1 – SPY IN THE LIGHTS AUDITIONS
“Okay, I want you make up a song for the new ‘Frosty’ jewellery store. Their slogan is ‘frost yourself’. Plus there’s a new show coming out called ‘Spy in the Lights’. Now I want you to make some light effects that lasts for ten seconds, and make sure the spy is in the light, I’ll tell you who’s playing the spy in five days. Auditions are starting today in Studio B6. Tell everyone they could be the spy. Got it?” My boss, Boa, is soooo demanding when the viewing levels are high. But it conjures up more fun (this may be hard to understand, but you’ll know what I mean sooner or later).
“Totally. And Storm said there’s a level 3 staff meeting in her office.” I said. Then I got some coffee and walked to my office. I turned on my PC and searched for jewellery animations. There was a nice one where an anklet kicks a 24 carot diamond necklace, but it doesn’t make a mark at all. Sorta reminds me of 24 Carrot Island. Then I inserted it into a MicroPop Word document and started thinking of songs I could make for Frosty. Here’s what I came up with:
Wake up to a frosty mornin’. Forget about the yawnin’. Put on a few clothes. Drive down a few roads. Buy a necklace. Put it on at your own pace. Life has it’s moments. Make them unforgettable. Plus there are low prices. And you’ll meet friendly staff like Ham, who have bad grammar and say ‘rices’. It’ll be yours forever. No one else’s. Ooh ooh. No one else. No one else. Frosty’s always there for ya!
Frosty, frosty, frosty. Ohhhhhhhh. Hey, oh. Do ya like it like that. I’m the only one who can love it like that. Hey, oh. Do ya like it like that. I’m the only one who can love it like that-ah. Frosty, frosty. Ah. Ah-mazing! Hey, oh. Do ya like like that. I’m the only who can love it like that. Like it like that!
I gave it to Boa. “Hmm, the first one doesn’t really make sense, but it’s great!”
I smiled ear-to-ear. “That’s the way. Uh-huh, uh-huh. I like it. Uh-huh, uh-huh. That’s the way. Uh-huh, uh-huh. Ilike it. Uh-huh, uh-huh.” I sang, while dancing like a robot.
Boa kept on going.”But the second one was copied from Guy Sebastian from Earth. Sneeze? Sneeze! SNEEZE!”I wasn’t paying attention. She put a flower under my nose.
“Ah-AH-AHHH-CHOOOOOOOOO! Whadda you want me to say? What kind of a name is Sebastian? Shouldn’t ‘Guy’ be after ‘Sebastian’? Er…that’s the only things I can think of to say. Good day, Boss! I said good day! Boss.” I nodded and left to my office.
She was standing there, puzzled and frozen. Meanwhile, Bubbles had seen the poster and was making her way to Studio B6. The auditions were easy. All you had to do was memorize a script and perform it in front of the judges. Bubbles remembered it in four hours and practiced for exactly seventeen hours. Then she performed it. It took half an hour.
“I will notify you of the spy’s actor or actress in three days.”Judge 2 said, gazing at her notes. I nodded and went outside, but bumping into my enemy-Dangerous Hamburger.
“Hamburger, watch where you’re going, freak.”
“You’re a freak”she snapped.
“I know you are, but what am I?”I said with smirk.
“I know you are, but what am I?”
“I know you are, but what am I?”
“I know I am but what are you?”
“You’re so annoying and such a trickster.”
“Okay, okay, break it up, now.”said Boa.
“I swear, you are no help at all.”I said
Hamburger and I walked in the opposite direction.
“Huh! Even when I don’t say something, I say something wrong! Oh, wait I did.”
Three days later, a short girl with glasses came to Bubbles’ office and put a letter on her desk. It landed with a soft ‘plop’.
“Cool! Bubble paper. I’ve always wanted to see that.”she opened it. This is what it said:
You have been chosen to play the part of ‘Sunny Sugar’ the spy in the new PBE TV show: Spy in the Lights.
Come to Studio A9 tommorow at one-thirty am. Just before Snackin’ Solution hour.
Judge 1 (Trusty Ocean)”
Bubbles hesitated. Inhaled. Screamed just like I did when I heard I got the job. [To be continued in future Poptropican's 911 issues!]
The Quests of Red Spider - Book 1: by Red Spider
Red Spider rode happily along in her Poptropican blimp. She was nearly bursting with excitement and adrenaline. She was ready for this, as she’d tried to convince herself. This was going to be her big, fun moment. She was going to Reality TV Island. She’d always been so frustrated, staring at her map day after day, hoping that Reality TV Island would finally be open. But, no. Every time she looked at her map, it always said, “Reality TV Island: Coming Summer 2009″. However, it wasn’t there yet. Red Spider was very impatient. She loved exploring new areas. She wanted to explore Reality TV Island, collect new items, and maybe get a new house there.
Red Spider’s current home was on the island of Early Poptropica, in the old-fashioned little town. The only she’d gotten it before was so she could use her jetpack there-and it used to be fun visiting the giants up in the clouds. She was still mad she couldn’t use her jetpack anywhere else but Early Poptropica, but she felt the island she lived on was getting boring, and the games she used to like, she felt they were childish. Techinically, she was still a girl,-as the Poptropican police had warned her when she set off to be a spy on Spy Island a while back-but she was ready for bigger things.
She knew she would be in a lot of trouble for going to Reality TV Island before it was open, but she didn’t care. She would hope the Poptropicans would cut her some slack, for she WAS a superhero, spy, astro-knight, gem-hunter,time-traveler, and she’d saved the day MANY times. All the islands needed help. Sure, there wouldn’t be any other Poptropicans to compete against on the island (yet), but she still wanted to go there. She knew she’d have fun.
When she was almost there, she started to get hungry. She decided to stop at the B.A.D. Bistro on Spy Island. Those fool B.A.D. agents would believe anything-even that a good person was bad. Since she had a chef hat, she put it on, crept into the kitchen, and ate some food. Then she cheerfuly walked out and got back on the flight to Reality TV Island.
Finally, she reached the island. She set her feet down on the ground, which was just dirt and rocks. Looming ahead of her was a sign that said, “UNDER CONTRUCTION”. She walked a little further and saw another sign that said, “DANGER. STAY BACK. CONTRUCTION ZONE.” She smiled to herself smugly, knowing a good trick. She reachced into her backpack of stuff and pulled out her hard hat from Nabooti Island. She put it on, hoping it would fool the constuction workers.
She walked triumphantly through the signs and the rubble closer and closer to the construction workers. She was about to walk right past the first one she saw, but he said, “Hey, kid! Where do you think you’re going?” Red Spider said, “I’m a construction worker. I’m going to work on the south side of the island.” “Kid, you don’t fool me for a minute. You’re Red Spider. You’re known all around Poptropica. Did you really think you could fool me?” said the construction worker.
“Well, I was kind of hoping…” mumbled Red Spider. To Red Spider’s surprise, the man smiled. “We were actually hoping you’d come here. We wern’t allowed to leave the construction zone, need to work on it, but we really need you.” he said. “Really?” said Red Spider. How lucky could she get!?! They actually WANTED her on an island that wasn’t even open to the public yet-not even those with Early Access Passes?!?
“Of course! We need you to test out the games for the competition on Reality TV Island. Plus, I see you have a hard hat… I heard you had a little experience in Nabooti’s diamond mines… we were thinking you could help us with that. We’re running a little behind schedule. At this pace, we won’t get the island out until September. But with you helping us? We’ll work miracles!” he said, his eyes sparkling.
Red Spider grinned to herself. She was so excited! She knew she was very lucky. She was the ONLY POPTROPICAN doing this. She tossed her hair-which had a Pop Star style-and said, “I’d be honored to help you. What should I do first?” “We were hopoing that you could test out the rollercoaster-ride we have. The contestants are on a rollercoaster, but they control the speed. It’s a race between two rollercoasters.” said the man. “YAY!!!!!!!!!! Where’s the rollercoaster?” said Red Spider. “Just a few minutes west.” said the man. “Alright! Oh, sir, I don’t even have your name! What is it?” “Just call me Invisible Foot.” said the man.”Okay then! Thanks!” said Red Spider. “Oh, no, thank you, Red.” said Invisible Foot. Then Red Spider raced towards the roller coaster, her Poptropican dreams coming true.
Red Spider yawned and stretched as she woke up the next morning. She’d slept in really late; she’d gone to bed really late last night. Yesterday, she’d tried out 19 roller coasters, played the new-to-come-out quiz game, played 9 relay races against people working on the competitions, constructed half a building of a place that would soon be team headquarters, and, ergo, she’d been very tired last night. She was just about to change out of her pajamas when heard a light rasp on the door. That was close, she thought. She opened the door. It was Invisible Foot, and he looked depressed. Red Spider was curious.
“Oh, hello, Invisible Foot,” she said with a smile. Invisible Foot’s face fell even more when he saw Red Spider’s bubbly grin.“Hi, Red Spider,” he said, frowning. “You alright?” said Red Spider. “Well…” said Invisible Foot, walking over to sit down on Red Spider’s bed. “What is it?” said Red Spider, following him. Invisible Foot put his head in his hands and was silent for a long time. Then he sighed deeply.
“It’s been decided that… well…” he dragged over each word. “What?” said Red Spider, getting impatient. “Reality…TV…Island… well…it isn’t going to ever come out, Red Spider. “WHAT?!?!?” screeched Red Spider, infuriated. “It wasn’t my decision, Red Spider.” Invisible Foot said quietly. “I know,” Red Spider choked out, now more upset then shocked. “But why? How could the creators do this?” “You know they always try to do what’s best, for them and the Poptropicans. It’s just that they thought it was too much of a job. They said while they knew we were working hard, we were never going to get it done in time. Plus, they didn’t feel the need to make another island, anyway.”
“What the… okay, first of all, we could get more workers. Even if we didn’t get the job done this summer, why have it come out later than abandon it forever? Plus, THEY DON’T FEEL THE NEED TO MAKE ANOTHER ISLAND?” said Red Spider, curling her fists angrily, “What about the thousands of bored Poptropicans that have completed all the islands?” “Red Spider, you mustn’t get annoyed with the creators. You wouldn’t live in Poptropica if it weren’t for them,” Invisible Foot said, slightly disapprovingly. “I know, but… it’s just…” Red Spider helplessly stuttered.“I know it’s a let down, Red Spider, but we’re just going to have to get over it. You’d better get on your blimp and go leave. The workers are about to destroy everything.” Invisible Foot said.“Destroy everything?” said Red Spider in a small voice. “Yes.”
“No! No, no, no, no, no, no!!!!! I can’t let this happen! They’re destroying everything? They’re not even releasing the quiz game?!?” yelled Red Spider.“That’s right.” Invisible Foot said.“I’m NOT letting that happen! I NEED to talk to the creators!” said Red Spider.Invisible Foot raised an eyebrow. “Good luck finding them. They could be in any multiplayer room, Multiverse room, or just about anywhere in Poptropica.”
“Leave me alone, okay, Invisible Foot! Just leave me alone!” screamed Red Spider, now angry with Invisible Foot. She hated the way he talked. Every word he said was discouraging, and she didn’t like it.“Red Spider…” he began, but Red Spider interrupted. “Now if you don’t mind, I’d like to have a little privacy so I can get dressed.” Red Spider retorted sharply. “Alright, Red, but you need to know that…” but again, he was cut off. “Just leave! I don’t need your tips!” snapped Red Spider. Sighing, Invisible Foot realized nothing would calm Red Spider, and he quietly got up to leave. Red Spider slammed the door behind him. “I will find the creators. I will, I will, I will!” Red Spider said, her voice rising with each word, not really knowing who she was talking to.
She angrily took off her Race to Witch Mountain white outfit she used as her pajamas and began dressing. To make her look tough, she put on an Aztec Warrior Mask and a Shark Fin. She added some pretty accessories from her Pop Star Outfit and her Fairy Queen Outfit. Then she marched out, telling herself she WOULD find the creators. [To be continued in future Poptropican's 911 issues!]
Island Ideas (Submit Your Own)
Now that Reality TV Island has mysteriously disappeared from the map, where else can we go?
Romeo and Juliet Island: by Neat Whale
We all know the sad ending for Romeo and Juliet. (If you don’t, go get a Shakespeare book…) But can YOU go and try to stop them from killing themselves?
Around the World in 80 Days Island: by Incredible Fish
Help Phileas Fogg to sail the seas in 80 days while a bandit did a crime. Help him prove them that he isn’t the bandit, get out of prison save a young Parsi woman, Aouda and get back home in time to get his money.
Trap Island: by Incredible Fish
Get through obstacles (dangerous one too) and race your rival the doom to the finish to get a rare object. Solve mysteries on the way to uncover a deadly secret!
Candy Island: by Green Seal
I would really love a “Candy” Island. It would have cotton candy clouds and trees, sugar animals, chocolate lakes, etc. The people who live on the island would be made out of candy, too! The plot would be that half the island, including the people, has been mysteriously disappearing and it’s up to you to find out why and put a stop to it. They’ve disappeared because monsters lead by a mysterious evil poptropican (that’s up to you to find out when you do the island) have been eating them! You’d be interviewing suspicious candy people, and battling angry candy monsters (like a chocolate dragon). And at the end you’d win a candy crown or tiara made of sugar and would be made ruler of Candy Island.
(Another) Candy Island: by Swaney7
The citizens of Candy Island have no candy and you need to get it back! It has been stolen by the evil Mr. Veggies. Defeat him and get the candy back to the island!
Super Island: by Cheerful Claw
I think there should be not just a regular island, but a super island. One that you can unlock after you finish all of the other islands. What if all of the good guys from every island call a meeting because all of the villains have escaped to destroy all of Poptropica? And all of the good guys call a meeting and send you out to stop them? And because I heard a LOT of people say that they where bored because they were already done with all of the islands, this would be a great thing to do!
Mouse Crawling on Head
Remember the mechanical mouse from the Astro-Knights Island Quest? Here’s a little cheat to let you be able let it crawl on top of your head, kindly supplied to us by Sanzulines.
- Find something that you can climb, like a rope.
- Release the mouse (make a new account if you don’t have it).
- Move up or down before the mouse come back to you (suggest down because if you go up, when you move down again, there’s a high chance it’s gonna get you and you have lessen moving space).
- Well if you move down, move around and the mouse will be over your head exactly where you are. There you go!
[Note: Accounts that do not have the mechanical mouse (or have finished the AK Island quest) cannot do this glitch.]
What’s considered ‘cool’ to wear around Poptropica nowadays? Behold the latest fads:
Skateboards and rifles are being spread around multiplayer rooms all across Poptropica by randomly-appearing dummies who carry cool items! If you see one while you’re partying with your friends, be sure to collect some!
^For the upcoming Halloween festival at the end of October, Halloween costumes are also spreading like wildfire! Check out all the witches, Grim Reapers, skeletons, and more in the pictures above.
Ah, the peaceful art of… art. Pick up your pens, because you’re sure to be inspired by all these masterpieces!
Poptropica Poem: by Shiny Leaf
There’s no place like Poptropica! :)
Poptropica is fun, for younglings and old,
It’s worth it to play, even more than pure gold.
There’s arcades and islands,
Games and even more,
It’s impossible to find this very website a bore!
Why, Poptropicans can become secretive spies,
or even be time-travelers, no matter their size!
On Shark Tooth, you battle an enormously big shark,
and even roam around in a temple that’s dark!
There’s others to meet,
to play and to chat,
and even be friends,
And wear funny hats!
So, Poptropica isn’t only a game,
It’s a learning organization,
And it’s definitely not lame!
Curious Dragon (Drawn): by Curious Dragon
It’s Curious Dragon, the blue superhero, here to save the day!
Poptropican Portrait: by Sparkle Star/Green Seal
Talented artist Green Seal does it again with a hand drawing of her Poptropican, which got scanned into the computer and retouched and colored with Photoshop!
Ain’t No Civilian: by Magic Storm
Can’t you see I’m a super hero?
Take a look at our main newsletter page for more information about our Poptropican’s 911 magazines. Thanks for reading!