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ACX JN Staff Tourney - The Story

Tourney Results | The Story
Top Guessers | AC X Coverage

Yooyuball slings and knee pads cluttered the halls, fan merchandise and banners hung from every corner. Everyone was getting ready for the Jellyneo Altador Staff Tournament, the staffers all suiting up and preparing for the opening ceremony. To say the least, the Jellyneo Headquarters was in complete chaos.

One staffer in particular seemed to be searching the rooms frantically.

"Has anyone seen my Altador Yooyuball sling? I thought I left it in the pillow fort, but it's not there!"

Seeing a slightly disgruntled Sab and already dressed in his finest Maraquan garb, Rylon decided to take the time to help out his fellow co-worker.

"Don't worry, Sab. We'll find it. I'll go take a look by the teapot, I mean... staff soda machine."

Rylon walked across the hall into the staff lounge, looking around for Sab's lost equipment. He quickly spotted her Yooyuball sling in the corner. It was perched on the counter, carefully leaning against the fridge. He suddenly stopped, his eyes widening as he stared at an unknown object on the counter. It was in this moment when someone knocked into him.

"Woah, there! I guess we both weren't watching where we were going. Are you alright? Uh, hello? Rylon...?"

Monica stopped to see what Rylon was staring at. It was a beautiful eighteen layered cake, a tier for every Altador cup team. A draft of fresh air came in through an open window and the smells of a sweet, freshly baked cake hit the noses of the two awed staffers. A small black card sat next to the cake on the counter. The two co-workers just stood there for a moment, their jaw slacked and their eyes wide. It looked and smelled- absolutely delicious.

Walking into the staff lounge to retrieve his Shenkuu lunar luck charm out of his locker, Chesu stopped in his tracks, admiring the mouthwatering masterpiece alongside the two dumbfounded staffers.

"Dibs on the bottom tier! What are you guys waiting for? Did Dave get that for us? Let's tell him to round everyone up so we can eat!"
"No way, the bottom is Virtupets! I'm going to consume that whole cake! If you're fast enough, you may be able to spare a layer or two, fair warning."

Seeming to have appeared out of thin air, Nick grinned from ear to ear as he headed towards the cake. Chesu shook his head and walked over to the big towering door known as Dave's office. He knocked once and the door swung open.

Dave looked up from his official-looking paperwork that noileh was trying to get him to sign and smelled the sweet air as Chesu opened the door.

"Hey Chesu! What is that amazing smell?"

Rylon poked his head into the room.

"Isn't this huge cake from you, Dave?"

Dave sat there for a moment, looking slightly confused. He raised an eyebrow before questioningly addressing Rylon.

"Huge cake? I... didn't bring in a cake. It must be a gift from one of our patrons or something. "

noileh tapped her foot impatiently.

"Who cares who it's from, there's a delicious smelling cake out there! Let's grab the other staffers so we can eat cake and ask questions later."

Dave nodded in agreement before tapping a big red button on the right-hand corner of his desk. A low crackling sound echoed through the halls of the Jellyneo Headquarters as the megaphone turned on.

"ATTN: ALL STAFF. Please report to the staff lounge - there is a delectable cake to be eaten and an opening ceremony to commence!"

Staffer after staffer scrambled into the lounge at the mention of free food, no less a delicious cake.

Aurora looked at the cake with bright eyes. Astonished by the craftsmanship of the Moltara tier, the bright reds and browns mixing together to imitate the beautiful crackling of magma.

"Yay cake! Looks like it's Altador Cup time again, there are so many tiers!"
"Holy mackerel! That's the biggest cake I've ever seen."

Leaf echoed Aurora's disbelief of such a beautiful and tasty-looking dessert. He immediately started to look around for dishes, forks, and a cake knife. Why bother saying more when you have a cake to eat? Everyone began to come in closer, gathering around the cake as Leaf cut each person a piece from their own tier and from the tiers of other teams. The staffers began to happily eat, digging into the cake's deliciousness.

With just a single bite, a smile beamed upon Jen's face.

"I hope Mystery Island isn't a mystery flavour!"
Perry nodded in agreement.
"Terror Mountain doesn't seem to be too terrible."

The staffers groaned at the cake puns, laughed, and began to eat. They passed different cake slices around, making sure everyone got their fill. For once, it seemed as if this staff tournament would actually be a friendly competition between peers and co-workers. All the tiers seemed to be equally flavorful as some staffers made it their own personal quest to try and grab a taste of each team.

Through mouthfuls of compliments, one staffer in particular looked over towards the rest. Herdy tilted his head slightly, a question on his mind.

"Dave, Chesu mentioned that you didn't make or bring this cake in, correct? If so, who did?"

The staffers looked over to Dave as he shrugged.

"I saw there was a black note sitting by the cake but the envelope was closed. I figured it wasn't mine, so I didn't bother to open it. It should still be over there."

Ummy took a few steps towards the table, but realized that something was off. She swayed slightly, looking as if she was about to topple over at any moment. Many of the other staffers soon followed suit with a slight groan. Suddenly, the cake didn't seem as delicious...

"What... what's going on? I don't feel right all of a sudden."

Sweep looked down at her hands in shock as she watched her skin slowly begin to transmogrify into something she couldn't at first comprehend. Bit by bit, piece by piece, she was slowly becoming... pixelated? Sweep looked around to see many of her fellow staffers in the same condition.

Rosie poked at another staffer's pixelated shoulder in disbelief.

"I knew it was a trap! The only baked goods I trust in this staff lounge are brownies and things related to that colour!"

Skumby's eyes grew wide, trying to understand what was going on around her.

"Are... are we turning into pixels? This is crazy! Don't tell me the cake was spiked with something!"

Kumar looked up and over to Skylar, who was standing the closest to the table.

"It seems like that "something" was an 8-bit potion. Quit gawking around, Lark. Check the envelope, what does that black note say?"

Skylar blinked, a smile on her face. She didn't seem too disturbed by everything going on, more-so amused.

"This is so cool, it's like I'm in a video game! Uh, opps. I mean, oh no... Uh, anyway- the note says... "Party like it's 1983, Jellyneo."

Skylar frowned, her eyes fixed on one particular part of the note.

"There's no signature, but you can guess who it's from."

She held it up for the rest of the staffers to see:

Anayu blinked a few times as her jaw dropped slowly.

"There could be only one person who would be so evil as to try and tamper with our staff cup! Dr. Sloth must not be happy with the current image emporium..."

Link just slowly sighed and shook his head, trying not to take the comment about the image emporium as a personal insult.

Suzuka spoke up, pulling at the ends of her 8-bit hair.

"What in the world of Neopia are we going to do? The staff tournament is starting in an hour! We can't disappoint our Jellyneo members!"

Dave stepped forward, determined to make the best of a... maybe not bad, but definitely weird, situation.

"Then, I guess there's only one thing we can do. We play on, and give them a Jellyneo Altador Staff Tournament that they'll never forget!"

Suzuka nodded in agreement.

"You're absolutely right, Dave. We've been preparing all year. There's no way we can back out now."

Anayu grinned and looked towards the rest of the staff.

"Sounds good to me! I won't let a little bit of low resolution get me down. What do you all think?"
"8-bit, 16-bit, 32-bit, doesn't matter! Altador is here to bring the pain! That Jelly Sceptre is mine!"
"It'll take more than Altadorian courage, Sab. You'll need some wit about you if you want to take that sceptre home. It belongs in the hands of Brightvale!"
"Even with your wit, you'll still need to have some tricks up your sleeve. DC will be taking up the win!"
"Wit, tricks, grace, AND speed. I assure you that Faerieland has it all, and will take it all!"
"Herdy points for anyone who can do better than me in the cup. Looks like nobody's getting any! Haunted Woods will take first place!"
"Not so fast, Herdy! Kiko Lake will wash the competition away! Prepare for a splash!"
"Kiko Lake washing the competition away? No way, Sweep. I believe that's a job for Maraqua!"
"I'm about as creative as a corpse... Something, something- Krawk Island! Get ready to be shipwrecked."
"Kreludor is taking the scores out of this world! I'll will rule the planets with the Jelly Sceptre!"
"Get ready to be lost in the desert. I'll be taking a step up from last year into my rightful 1st place spot, Kumar!"
"My moves are on fire! Moltara will take nothing less than 1st place! Get ready to melt."
"More like get ready to freeze. Terror Mountain will be sure to rid everyone else of their hot streak."
"It's certainly not a mystery that Mystery Island will go home with first place this year!"
"Step back, I have many skills and winning 1st place is certainly one of them. Roo Island will be victorious this year!"
"This year, I'll finally honor the ancestors of... Of some people from Shenkuu! Kiaaaaiiii!"
"Ugga-ugg ugga ugg ugg ugggggg!! My Tyrannia translation is getting better every year! Nobody can defeat the rad-est Tyrannia gal around!"
"Yeah, maybe if you weren't from the stone-age! Virtupets will blast you away! You can bet that I'll be taking the Jelly Sceptre home."

Game on!