Freaktopia – It seems that trouble is blossoming between the vegetable kingdom of Veggiepura and the fruity republic of Fruitopia as the two vegetarian superpowers are taking up arms over a recent dispute over who is to be the rightful of a Jurassic Age greenhouse containing the fossilised remains of several prehistoric fruits and vegetables resting peacefully in pots of volcanic stone.
The ancient architecture and its contents are of great importance to both nations as it concerns their national identity, ancestry and heritage. Both Veggiepura and Fruitopia are claiming the ruin as theirs as it represents their vegetative might and power, as well as an essential part of an elaborate scheme to expand their influence well beyond the green borders.
Uncannily, both parties expressed no intention to expand their empires into the vast territory of Mutabak Kingdom. Dialogues between Veggiepura and Fruitopia have crumbled like a poorly baked apple crumble, and ended in death threats and promises to send Carrot Missiles V4 and Avocado Bomb MK-II flying across the crow-infested skies of Freaktopia. However, Mutabak Kingdom’s timely intervention in the cross-border conflict saved both vegetative nations before they get themselves smashed, peeled, splattered and cooked in a juicy battle that sprang from a purile bicker.
According to the historians at the Royal Urban University of Mutabak, the ancient ruin is known as Necroherbopolis, City of the Dead Plants. Their musty, yellowed and worm-eaten history textbooks revealed that the Necroherbopolis was a sacred ground where fruits and vegetables, once a unified race, took turns to sacrifice each other to their vegetarian deity on the holy Altar of Sacrifice’s chopping board, so as to have their prayers for fertile soil, baking sun and flooding rains answered.
Historical records of Veggiepura and Fruitopia concurred with the historians’ theory of the hourly fights taking a toll on the plants’ population, which caused an extended and aggressive argument to break-out on the streets and mutate into a full-fledged civil war, ending in the slaughter of the last ruler of Necroherbopolis, Emperor Nightshade de Mandrake XXVII, and the eventual separation of fruits and vegetables into their respective separate nations today. As a result, the Necroherbopolis came to be used as a burial ground for expired (shrivelled, rotten or dried) fruits and vegetables.
The Necroherbopolis was discovered by pure coincidence when the Gullwings Exploration Corporation’s airship, the Celsius, crash-landed in the Kopi Desert due to a mysterious combination of engine failure, technical problems and a hopelessly drunk Rikku at the steering wheel. The Celsius nosedived from an impressive altitude of 99,999 feet above the stratosphere and crashed into an unknown mountain in the mountainous range of Masalasia.
The forceful collision obliterated the eastern flank of the mountain, releasing an avalanche which buried 300 villages (with total population of 650,000) and in turn caused the extinction of the Masalsian aboriginal race of Pisang Goreng, which has been living in poverty since the creation of Freaktopia and has been hailed as a national liability. In the process, a hidden stone entrance, inscribed with ancient herboglyphs, was revealed. Stone statues of the guardian deities of Veggiepura and Fruitopia, Lord Carrotcake and Lord Applepie, guarded the entrance to the prehistoric site.
The YRP decided to play on the safe side of caution as the ancient and incomprehensible herboglyphs might mean a death curse or the activation of destructive spells such as Mega-Flare or Ultima, which are highly capable of obliterating the party in an instant. Hence, the trio employed the High Summoner, who had recently earned her Doctor's Degree in Vegetarian Studies and was awarded an honorary degree in Botanical Pathology and Management, to translate the lost squiggles left behind by ancient plants.
The Duck Medium was hired to liaise with the lingering botanical spirits to allow the exploration team to safely excavate and document the site, learn more of the Necroherbopolis, unearth hidden history, and perhaps rewrite some historical records which are riddled with inconsistencies and errors, for the benefit of both Veggiepura and Fruitopia, and ultimately, for the good of the denizens of Freaktopia.
Unfortunately, the excavation of the Necroherbopolis did not seem to go smoothly for the Gullwings Exploration Corporation as Veggiepura and Fruitopia began exchanging explosive greetings in the early hours, which caused several titanic stone slabs to fall from the ceiling onto a few unfortunate laborers. The explosions also caused the comatose spirits to lose their beauty sleep and become extremely moody, grouchy and foul-tempered.
As time progressed, the option of spiritual negotiations with the stubborn, unfriendly and childish herbal apparitions got unceremoniously thrown out of the window as they became extremely fond of throwing tantrums, possessing innocent workers and hurling heavy fossils and curses at the team. An exasperated Duck Medium and a snapped High Summoner submitted a petition to Emperor Lettuce and President Durian to grant them the permission to exorcise the horde of annoying botanical poltergeists.
As farms continue to be burnt and cratered by Carrot Missiles V4 and greenhouses demolished by Avocado Warhead MK-II, it is the citizens of Fruitopia and Veggiepura who are suffering the consequence of their ruler’s warlike behaviour. Hundreds and thousands of plants uprooted themselves and fled their burning homeland. They are risking lethal dehydration and potential withering by trekking across the expansive Kopi Desert to seek refuge in Mutabak Kingdom, who swore to welcome them into its hot and oily non-stick frying pans.
It appears that the war between the two botanical superpowers is beginning to take a toll on the multi-verse of Freaktopia as the denizens on that chaotic plane of existence are starting to experience withdrawal symptoms due to the lack of nourishing greens in their diet. The battle is very unlikely to be over soon and the Very United Nations are too afraid of incurring the herbal wrath of Veggiepura and Fruitopia, lest they decide to deny the world of its supply of vitamins.
- Reported by Duck Medium and additional reporting by Tai Chin Chai