Co-Pilot the Clingsion
The Nostalgic Dillema
Age: 3 years, 2 months, 6 days
Born: December 14th, 2015
Adopted: 3 years, 2 months, 6 days ago
Adopted: December 14th, 2015
- Level: 100
- Strength: 188
- Defense: 10
- Speed: 10
- Health: 10
- HP: 10/10
- Intelligence: 163
- Books Read: 148
- Food Eaten: 0
- Job: Nacho Manager
profile, background photo, and story by Balloon
The other dillemas said it couldn’t be done. He was a dillema, true, but he was a nostalgic dillema. He was a balloon, but he was a balloon animal. Regular dillemas could fly, and regular balloons could too. . . but not him.
They laughed at him, and when he wouldn’t give up his dream, they started calling him crazy.
Helium didn’t care. He was determined that one day, he would fly.
He did have wings, but they were just little puffs of balloon. Helium flapped them as hard as he could, practicing for an hour each day with the hope that he could build up enough strength to be able to fly. However, even after months of exercise, Helium’s wings couldn’t lift his air-filled body off the ground despite how little he weighed.
“Don’t feel bad, buddy,” said Jim, the trainer in Riverside Valley who had helped Helium develop his exercise regimen. “Lots of pets can’t fly! And you’ve gotten so much quicker and stronger than when you started—a lot quicker than most other dillemas I know! I’m really proud of you.”
The crooked magic marker mouth on Helium’s shiny blue face turned up in a smile, and he thanked Jim, but he wasn’t satisfied. He still wanted to fly.
Helium decided that if he couldn’t fly by improving the dillema part of him, he’d try improving the balloon part instead. He headed east to the Delphi Carnival, one of his favorite spots in Subeta—that was where lots of other balloons lived! When he arrived, Helium bounced over to the prize tent and peeked inside until he was sure Bibi and Lilah were nowhere in sight. Ever since the twins had started taking up donated balloons for their Balloon Hunt game, Helium had been a little afraid someone would donate him.
When he felt safe enough, Helium crept inside the tent and went over to the balloons’ section to visit his friends. They knew all about his dreams of flight, and like Jim, they never made fun of him for it. Sometimes a few of the balloons would be chosen as prizes, and they’d go home with happy carnival-goers. Today, a little clingsion was browsing the balloon selection, clutching a single carnival ticket in her tiny hand. The prize balloons rustled and squeaked encouragingly, each hoping she’d choose it to adopt.
“Hi everybody!” Helium greeted the other balloons. The clingsion stared up at him in amazement.
“You’re a big balloon,” she breathed. Helium chuckled and introduced himself to her before turning back to the other balloons and telling them about his problem.
“I don’t know how I’m ever going to fly,” he finished with a squeaky sigh. “Since I’ve been working out, my wings have gotten a lot stronger—but I still can’t even get off the ground! Do you guys have any ideas about how I can learn to fly like a real balloon?”
“Well, the only reason we can fly is that we’re filled with helium, just like you're named for!” a blue bear balloon told Helium. “Maybe you could just get a helium tank and change out your air?”
One of the black sad balloons sighed, “But then he wouldn’t be able to control where he flew! If our strings ever came loose, we’d fly all right—straight up into the sky until we pop. And then boom, it’s all over. Back down to Subeta. Dead.”
“Oh dear,” groaned a bright red stress balloon. His eyes widened, and he looked more stressed than ever.
A little yellow duck balloon, who had a rather more cheerful outlook on life, quacked at the sad balloon, “Do you mind? You don’t have to be so negative about everything!” Then she turned to Helium and admitted, “He’s right though, just filling yourself with helium wouldn’t really give you what you want. It’s too bad you’re not a hot air balloon—they can go up and down, over and over again!”
Helium’s marker mouth turned down in thought a moment, then shifted upward in a broad smile.
“That’s it!” he cried. “If I can’t fly myself, I’ll learn how to fly a hot air balloon!” He swept the other balloons up into his chubby blue arms and hugged them. “Thank you all!”
“Come back to visit us once you learn to fly!” quacked the duck balloon. “We want to see your hot air balloon!”
“I’ll fly it right over the carnival and wave to you,” Helium promised. He let go of his friends and started for the exit of the prize tent, but a little paw on his arm stopped him. Helium looked down to see the small clingsion tugging on him.
“Mr. Helium?” she asked in a small, earnest voice. “Can—can I come too? I’ve always wanted to fly, but my wings aren’t strong enough either. I can help you, I know I can! I’ll—I’ll be your co-pilot!”
Helium had never imagined flying with someone else, but he understood just how the clingsion felt with her little wings that weren’t strong enough to fly. And besides, he was happy to finally make a new friend who believed in him!
“Okay, I’d love to have you aboard, Co-Pilot!” Helium told the clingsion. “You can help me find the parts for our balloon, and we’ll learn to fly it together. It’s certain to be easier for us both if we work as a team!”
Co-Pilot broke into a wide, rather toothy smile and cried, “Oh wow, thank you!” She hugged his arm, then added, “Oh, just a moment! I still need to trade in my carnival ticket.” Co-Pilot looked over the eager balloons before ultimately choosing a bunch of party balloons: “All these balloons for just one ticket—it’s really the best deal!” she explained to Helium as they left the carnival together.
Over the next few weeks, Helium and Co-Pilot worked hard to achieve their dream of flight. They collected lots of different types of baskets and envelopes and burners until they could build just the right hot air balloon. Helium visited Alexander in the library for the ontra’s recommendations on books about flight, and Co-Pilot shopped for pilots’ gear. Then came several days of secret flight lessons and practice at sunset in Peka Park, until both pilots felt comfortable controlling their balloon.
Finally, the big day arrived: the day Helium and Co-Pilot would fly! They took their balloon to the park at dawn, when the winds were calmest, and set it up for their flight. Rosemary arrived for a day of birdwatching just as they finished their preparations, and she wished them the best of luck.
“Have a lovely flight, y’all!” Rosemary called as their hot air balloon ascended, lifting quietly off the ground and up into the skies of Subeta.
“We did it, Helium!” Co-Pilot cried while they watched Peka Park get smaller and smaller below them. “We’re flying, we’re really flying!”
Helium just nodded; he was too happy to speak.
The two friends raised their balloon up to just the right altitude, where the winds were blowing in the direction they wanted to go. Then they set off on their tour-by-air of Subeta. The balloon drifted over Riverside, where Jim was already hard at work at the Training Center. He shouted a greeting up to them, and the dillemas who were there working out stared at the nostalgic dillema—the lunatic, the one who would never fly—sailing overhead.
Helium and Co-Pilot flew past Centropolis just as Alexander was arriving at the library for the day, and he saluted them with a paw from the sidewalk far below them. Then at last, Helium adjusted the balloon’s altitude so that they turned toward Delphi Beach. He and Co-Pilot floated silently along the coast and over the carnival. Bibi and Lilah were there opening up the prize tent, all their hands full with bunches of balloons. The prize balloons squeaked with excitement when they saw the big hot air balloon carrying their friends through the sky above.
“It’s Helium and Co-Pilot!” the balloons cried. “They did it, they learned to fly!”
The two waved down at their friends; then they started back for Peka Park. By the time they reached the park and descended to the soft green grass, the sun was high in the sky. Co-Pilot chattered away happily as they packed up the balloon, but Helium worked quietly, just enjoying the feeling of achieving his dream at last.
“What now?” Co-Pilot asked after a few minutes. “Now that we’ve flown. . . what next?”
Helium smiled down at her with his magic marker mouth.
“Why, we keep flying of course! I’d like to start giving balloon rides to all the pets and minions who want to fly but can’t,” Helium told Co-Pilot. “Will you help me?”
“Of course!” she cried, giving Helium’s arm a big hug. “Anyone who wants to fly should be able to!”
“Yes,” Helium agreed. “And we’ll show all of Subeta that they can achieve their dreams if they have faith in their friends. . . no matter who says it can’t be done.”
Follow Your Dreams Sticker
Black Permanent Marker
Jim the Trainer Trading Card
Weightlifting Muscle Tonic
Fair Ground Travel Guide
A Day at the Carnival
Delphi Carnival Playset
Carnival Dillema Toy
Bibi and Lilah Plushie
Blue Bear Balloon
Yellow Little Duck Balloon
Rosemary Felt Plushie
Resting Dillema Beanbag
Book of Aeromancy
Understanding Basic Physics
Not So Flightless
Fawn Pilot Hat
Aviator Goggle Hat
Gaslight Simple Goggles
Kitty Bonanza Basket
Woven Square Basket
Round Harvest Basket
Empty Spice Basket
Empty Arm Basket
Sad Empty Basket
Portable Camping Stove
Carnival Helium Tank
County Fair Hot Air Balloons
Shinwas Amulet of Flight
Ring of Flight
Coal of Flight
Aviator Dress Up Steampunk Charlie Plushie
Fighter Pilot Rag Doll
Pilot Rag Doll