Three Months Later
Geeldaru was exhausted. His group had been traveling nonstop for longer than he cared to remember, and lately they had been doing nothing but complain. Not that they didn't have a lot to gripe about. They had run out of food from their most recent rest stop days ago and were now having to subsist on whatever they could find along the way. The weather had not been particularly friendly, and it was nearly impossible to go to sleep at night.
"I'm starting to wonder whether this place even exists," grumbled a blue-nosed Zoombini on his left.
"No kidding! Nobody seems to know for sure," said a Zoombini with wheels. "All we have is rumors floating around. If you ask me, it sounds too good to be true."
Geeldaru sighed deeply to himself, deciding now was the best time to address his group.
"Ladies and gentlemen," he said as he turned to face them, "I understand how you're feeling impatient right now, but trust me, continuing on is our only option left. There's nothing for us back there, we know that."
"And how do we know there's anything for us up there?" demanded a female Zoombini. "How do we know this entire voyage hasn't been a complete waste of time?"
Geeldaru squeezed his eyes shut in exasperation as the group's voices began to rise in complaint once again. It seemed like he couldn't do anything to keep them quiet nowadays. . . .
He turned back around and prepared to continue onward, with or without the others, when his eyes caught something he hadn't noticed before.
"Hey! Where are you going?" someone snapped as he bounced forward to get a closer look. What he saw was so unexpected he could hardly comprehend it.
"Everyone. . . get a look at this," he said softly, and the group obediently gathered around the sign he was examining, pointing them further down the road:
The group had quickly begun to pick up speed the moment they saw the various houses and buildings appear over the horizon, so that when they finally entered the new town they were all racing along as fast as they could, panting in excitement.
"It's incredible!" cried a red-nosed Zoombini, whipping around in an attempt to take it all in. "Look at all these things! Who built all this?!"
Geeldaru wanted to say something, but his throat was caught. He was welling up in such emotion he hadn't felt in a long time. He had always believed in the Zoombinis' new home, even back on Zoombini Isle when he had heralded its future creation, but that had been so long ago he had since started to wonder if he would ever truly see it. But now, here it was, laid out before his eyes. All he could do was stare in wonder.
"Hey! Did you guys just get here?" came a voice. Everyone turned to see a young Zoombini in a baseball cap rolling up to meet them. Geeldaru was startled to recognize the late mayor's daughter, but he didn't at all recognize the Zoombini accompanying her. He was zooming excitedly along with what appeared to be a spotless, brand new propeller.
"Yep, you guys are new. I can tell from how lost you all look," Tyscene chuckled. "Well, welcome to Zoombiniville! Your journey has not been in vain!"
"Yes, we can see that," said Geeldaru, feeling astounded. "Excuse me, but what are you two doing here, exactly?"
"Well for now, we're the unofficial welcoming committee," Uloobu replied with a smile. "Somebody has to get you guys set up, after all! Anyway, I hope you're all ready to move in!"
"You have houses already?" asked someone.
"Yep! Just waiting for people to fill them," said Tyscene. "And don't worry about food either. Until we get the crop business up and running, we're trading. The guy we're in business with deals mostly in fish, though. Hope you don't mind."
As the two young Zoombinis led his group along, Geeldaru gazed in awe at the buildings that surrounded them. Aside from all of the houses, many of which were already occupied by happy-looking families, there was also a swimming pool, a schoolhouse, a library, an observatory, and countless other buildings whose purpose he wasn't even sure of. There was even an enormous hollowed-out log that, judging by the sounds coming from inside of it, seemed to be a bowling alley.
"If you don't mind my asking. . . how did you build all these things?"
"Oh, well, we didn't really. Not all of it anyway. What I mean is – we had a bunch of help," Uloobu finally concluded. "I mean, after you've built a hotel, the rest is easy. Know what I mean?"
"We're gonna have to invite her back soon. This place is getting crowded," Tyscene said with a wink. The truth was, Ulla, along with Captain Cajun and Bruno, already took every excuse they possibly had to pay the Zoombinis a visit in their new home. Once Bruno had even arrived with the astounding news that he had run into the Pizza Trolls, and although they couldn't be bothered to make the journey, they sent their greetings, along with the hopes that they would get more pizzas made for them soon enough.
At that very moment, the door to the bowling alley swung open and out walked two more Zoombinis who looked the same age as the group's tour guides.
"Oh, hey guys!" greeted Uloobu, looking delighted. "Look, we just got some new arrivals!"
"Really? That's awesome!" said Echae, looking similarly happy.
"Seems like we've been getting more and more," remarked Saetwo.
"Well, it has been much easier to get off the island lately," Geeldaru conceded. "The Bloats finally up and left. They'd had enough, I suppose. There wasn't much else they could do. Now it seems it's just a matter of time before everyone makes it here."
This was certainly news to the younger Zoombinis. "They're really gone now, huh? Well, it was bound to happen sometime," Echae said with a shrug. "I just hope we never have to see them again."
"I don't think we will. They left in a very big hurry. Apparently they got word of something bad that happened to their leader, or something." Geeldaru shook his head. "Isn't that something? I always thought the Bloats worked only for themselves. I suppose this is something to ponder."
All four children exchanged silent looks. They never had found out what exactly had happened to Romelau. There were still occasional reports of unprepared groups of travelers getting jumped by random Fleens, but it was nothing to be truly worried about anymore. Their once-formidable group was broken up, and their former leader hadn't shown himself since, or at least no one could confirm he had. Still, they were almost certain he wasn't dead, and that he was hidden somewhere brooding away, wondering what was left for him to do.
". . .Yeah, I suppose it is," said Saetwo. "Anyway, you guys better get going. Don't want to keep you from your jobs."
"See ya around, you two," said Tyscene as she and Uloobu led the group of adults away, leaving Echae and Saetwo alone.
"It's weird hearing about Zoombini Isle again," Echae remarked as he and Saetwo set off in the opposite direction.
"I know. I wonder if we'll ever get to go back someday," said Saetwo. After a moment she added, "I still miss it sometimes."
"Me too. But y'know, I'm actually glad we had to leave. Think of all the stuff we never would've experienced if we'd just stayed there."
"Yeah. . . ."
The two of them began reminiscing silently, but didn't get to do it for long before there came the sound of a door slamming violently open. The two of them spun around to see three more familiar faces coming out of the Town Hall.
"For the last time, you two, quit calling me 'Boss'!!" Xekrai shouted.
"But you really are our boss now!" Weiswyo objected.
"Yeah! You hired us and everything!" said Iake.
"And I'm ruing that decision more and more with each passing – oh hey, you two," said Xekrai, noticing Saetwo and Echae.
"How's life treating you, mister mayor?" asked Echae.
"Terrible. These guys can't even take a census without screwing up. And somehow they think building a swimming pool is going to make up for that?!"
"Hey, at least we don't brown-nose you anymore," Iake reminded him.
"Well of course not. You have a purple nose and you have a green nose."
"It's just a figure of speech, Xekrai," said Saetwo, shaking her head. "But you'll have to take another census pretty soon anyway. Another group just got here today."
"Oh, perfect," Xekrai groaned, looking ready to admit defeat. "Well, as long as my compatriots here haven't forgotten simple math, this shouldn't be too hard."
"They're smarter than you think, Xekrai. Don't forget that," said Echae, and Weiswyo and Iake beamed at him.
"Yeah, yeah. I'll believe that when I get proof. Come on, you two, I don't pay you to stand around and get complimented."
Then the three of them disappeared back inside.
"I still can't believe you didn't want to be mayor," said Saetwo. "You totally could've won."
Echae shrugged. "What can I say? Xekrai is a good leader."
"Yeah? So are you!"
"But since when was being mayor any fun?" Echae scoffed. "Anyway, I think he deserves to prove that someone in his family can do it right. Don't you?"
"Besides, I already know what I want to do."
"Oh? Do tell."
"I'm studying to be a historian," Echae announced proudly. "Don't you remember all those Zoombini relics and hieroglyphics we found back in the mountains? I'm pretty sure that's undeniable proof that Zoombinis have lived here before. Wouldn't it be exciting to discover the remains of an ancient civilization underground or something?"
Saetwo rolled her eyes. "Good luck with that."
"Touli and Conneda already agreed to help out with all the research."
Saetwo tried to imagine Echae getting anything at all done with those two as his assisstants. "Whatever you say, Echae."
For a moment after that, they simply stood back as they sometimes did and watched their friends walking around, going to work, or just playing and enjoying life. Really, the two of them just enjoyed taking a break once in a while and admiring their town. The town they helped make.
"I guess Iadwi probably left with them, didn't he?" Saetwo said after a while.
"Huh? Oh yeah, I guess so. He's got nowhere else to go now."
"I wonder. . . do you think, after all that, he's really happy?"
"How could he be? He doesn't get to be with you."
Saetwo grinned. Echae was every bit as bad at flirting as she was, but she decided the effort was worth a little snuggle.
As they broke apart, Saetwo found herself drifting back into her memories as she so often did now. She thought about the amazing adventure they had been through together, and how much they'd grown as a result. All the places they'd seen, all the friends they'd made – those were an irreplaceable part of her now, one she wouldn't give up for anything in the world. Zoombini Isle seemed like just a distant memory now – one she didn't have to worry about anymore, for surely there were only happy times ahead.
Still. . . was happy really the best there was? Wouldn't it get boring after a while?
Would she ever have an adventure again?
The thought of that suddenly made her surprisingly depressed. When Echae turned to look at her again, he saw there were tears in her eyes.
"Sae!" he exclaimed in alarm. "What's the matter?"
"Oh, Echae," she sighed. "We just finished the most incredible adventure of our whole lives. We'll never get to experience anything like that again." She looked at him morosely. "So now what? I mean, what are we supposed to do with the rest of our lives, knowing all that's over and done with?"
"Well," Echae said thoughtfully, "logic says we should live happily ever after."
"Logic," Saetwo repeated dismissively. "Where's the fun in that?"
After letting those words sink in, Saetwo and Echae suddenly looked at each other with growing excitement in their eyes, having just gotten the exact same idea at the same time.
"Race you to the bubble machine?"
And so, both laughing joyfully, they took off down the road that would lead them away from home. The other Zoombinis smiled and stood back to let them pass as they raced by together, as inseperable as they had always been and would always be. They kept going even after their home had disappeared behind them and they passed the sign pointing them toward Zoombiniville in the opposite direction. They never once looked back.
A/N: And that's it. Wow! Can you believe that after all this time on , this is only the second multi-chaptered fic I've finished?! (dies)
Anyway, a few last-minute things. Firstly, I am aware there are two sequels to this game, but I don't plan on writing about either of them. If you want to, be my guest.
Second, just to clear this up once and for all: It's pronounced "sayt-wo", not "say-too". :D She's not the second of anything.
Third. . . please review? Please? I really want to know what you thought of the ending, plus I want the story I worked so hard on to go out on a successful note.
Finally, and most importantly, I want to thank everyone who read and supported this story. Writing this has truly been my pride and joy, and I couldn't have done it without everyone's encouragement. I especially want to thank Hiho, who has been this story's biggest supporter from day one. I haven't heard from her lately, but I hope she's still around. :(
And I guess that's all I have to say. I hope you enjoyed this story, and I hope I've done my part to increase awareness of little blue people.
'Til next time.