Battle Quills... ready! Circulation: 113,211,275 Issue: 226 | 3rd day of Awakening, Y8
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The Latest and Greatest Recruit of Dr. Frank Sloth

by sarahleeadvent


Dear Journal

      Today I think I'm finally going to get a new job. I know I've said that before, but this time I'm sure I can make it work.

      My new employer is a guy named Dr. Frank Sloth- he was highly recommended by a fellow I met by the name of Garoo. I can't say I liked this Garoo guy much- he had an attitude the size of the Giant Omelette and the loudest bark I've heard since I tried to take one too many pieces of said omelette and got caught by Sabre-X. In fact, he sounded just like the principal at Neoschool. And I didn't like the way he fingered his ray gun when I asked why he was hiding out in a hidden fortress in the Haunted Woods.

      But he said Dr. Sloth paid well and I'm determined to pay for that Faerie paint brush somehow (just don't tell Sloth- I got the impression he doesn't like Faeries and I'm determined to land this job).

      Oops- got to go, Journal- the ferry just decloaked and the pilot's saying something about a screening system and interrogation room and- and he says that if I don't put you away right now you'll be the last thing I eat this week. I don't think he's serious, but- OK, OK, I'm coming!

      Dear Journal

      I've been assigned as a security watchman, because the recruiting officer says that seeing an intruder on the screen and sounding the alarm takes no brains at all and that that means it's the perfect job for me. I asked him how long it takes a job like this to pay for a paint brush and he looked at me strangely before shaking his head and walking away muttering to himself. I get the impression that I'm going to be here awhile. I- oh, wait- a big green ugly guy in a trenchcoat just showed up on the screen! If he doesn't look suspicious, nobody does! Oh, boy, I bet I'll get a promotion for this- first day on the job and I've already caught my first intruder!

      Dear Journal

      I got in some pretty serious trouble today. As it turns out the 'intruder' was Dr. Sloth himself. And he wasn't very pleased with me for throwing the whole space station into red alert over nothing. I reached up (WAY up- in fact, I had to get a box and answer a rather foolish question as to what I was doing) and patted him on the shoulder, and told him not to be so hard on himself- everybody knows that nobody likes an evil genius and he probably felt that nobody appreciated him, but he still shouldn't call himself a nothing.

      He also wasn't too pleased with the fact that the anti-intruder lasers had singed off most of his hair. I told him I knew of a shop where they sold great frizzy wigs- at the time they were all the rage in Faerieland.

      This all happened yesterday, and I would have told you about it then, Journal, but you see I just woke up a couple minutes ago. The last thing I remember was a blur of green moving very quickly toward my face. The doctor tells me I'm lucky to be alive, and he mentioned something about morph guns and Petpets and Balthazar, but I couldn't really hear him because of the ringing in my ears. I also found out that my Grundo stalks had been tied in a knot, and that the doctor had been instructed to leave them that way.

      All in all, it's been a rather discouraging day, but tomorrow is sure to be better.

      At least I'm pretty sure that it won't be any worse.

      Dear Journal

      It got worse.

      This time I was terribly cautious about using the alarm button, and besides I've always liked Faeries, so I didn't see any reason to react when a slim, pretty Faerie with blue hair, red eyes, and a resolute look in on her face slipped into the Station through the docking bay, probably having stowed away on a ship. I thought she was just a frustrated fan girl, and was touched by how determined she was to see Dr. Sloth in person. I was just thinking that Sloth must have some hidden soft spot to inspire such dedication when the emergency alarms went off. For a moment I felt very sorry for whoever was going to get knocked out for this, and a little worried lest somebody think it had been me; but then another Grundo came barging into the room, grabbed my arm, asked if I was stupid and dragged me through the door before I had a chance to ask if that was a trick question. While he hauled me toward the escape pods he explained that the Space Faerie was invading the station and had brought a few friends. He asked me why I hadn't sounded the alarm, and when I explained my fan girl theory he told me that if Sloth ever found out about this I would be zapped into a Babaa and fed to Balthazar. He really took a chunk out of me, but in the end he turned nice about it and we let everyone think that an aftereffect of my concussion had made me pass out on the job.

      We weren't able to get the old space station back, but fortunately Dr. Sloth has an extra one floating around somewhere for just such an emergency, so I haven't lost my job yet. I think.

      Last I heard, I'm going to be transferred. I wonder where I'll end up next. One thing's for sure- I have a whole new respect for Peter the security Chia. The Island Chef himself couldn't have a tougher job.

      Dear Journal

      Today I found out that I'm going to be Sloth's new assistant. My new friend, Xellko, told me I'd better keep my head down. I never found out why, because I got called away before he could explain. Something about a Spyder- I think- which is kind of strange. What could Petpets have to do with it? Do I really want to know? I just hope it isn't that Balthazar thing again.

      Dear Journal

      When I entered Sloth's laboratory, the first thing he did was walk up to me and say in a menacing tone, "You'd better not mess this one up, you useless excuse for a slave."

      I told him that that wasn't very nice, and he narrowed his eyes and added that his last assistant had been turned into the Spider Grundo. I was pretty excited about that, and he got a bewildered do-you-have-any-brain-at-all? look on his face when I told him so. I don't see why- being a Spider Grundo sounds almost as cool as being a Faerie Grundo. There must be something I missed.

      My teacher used to tell me that the light bulb hanging above my head must have blown a fuse, that I'm not the brightest star in the galaxy, that I must think every thing I see is a Pawkeet because it all flies right over my head, blah, blah, blah… but really, I think I'm good at noticing things that most people seem to miss, because nobody else commented on the fact that Sloth always seems to be wearing that same black trenchcoat, so I took it upon myself to ask him if he had spent all his clothing money on his experiments. I guess those experiments aren't so expensive after all, because he answered by throwing a bottle of glowing purple goo at me. The good news is, he missed. The bad news is, he made me clean it up with my tongue, and not only did it taste like Morguss's old underwear (or what I imagine it would taste like, so don't look at me that way, Journal) but it made me turn neon pink (which makes no sense considering the potion was violet). I really need that paint brush soon.

      Another thing I noticed was the smell. Whenever Sloth passed near me I almost passed out- he smells like puke from Meuka that's been decomposing on a dung Skeith for three weeks. I wondered if it was Sloth himself that smelled that bad, or if he had just been wearing that same trenchcoat since he was in grade school. After an hour of working out the wording (and fetching one strange-looking tool after another while Sloth worked on some strange-looking contraption) I finally worked up the nerve to ask if he ever washed that trenchcoat, and to hint that he might want to. I also suggested that a shower might be in order.

      After all I've seen, I guess I shouldn't be surprised that Sloth responded by assigning me to clean the entire deck with a facecloth. His own quarters happened to be on that deck, and it was while I was cleaning out his closet that I discovered row upon row of identical trenchcoats, which narrows the smell down to Sloth himself. I'm guessing he's never taken a shower in his life, because with people like me running around and grabbing everything for him he couldn't be getting enough exercise to work up a stench like that all in one day- and I imagine the Space Faerie incident couldn't have done anything to improve the situation.

      Dear Journal

      Today Sloth finished his contraption and moved on to mutating Petpets. I was horrified but judging by the look he gave me when I asked what they were for, I think objecting would have been a very bad idea.

      Sloth left the room at one point, and by that time I knew better than to ask where he was going. (And my math teacher says I could never learn anything- HA! In your face!) Well, anyway, while I was walking among the caged Petpets I saw one creature sitting on a table that looked like nothing I'd ever seen. It didn't seem like a Petpet, and besides it knew how to speak- sort of. At least, I assumed it's cries of "Dinka wadda!" meant something, and just about everyone knows that in baby language it means "Drink of water". There was no water in the lab, but the unidentified babytalker was reaching for a bottle of slimy-looking green ooze. I almost told it that it probably shouldn't drink something that looked like that, but then I decided that it probably knew better than I did what was good for it, and anyway I didn't want Sloth's experiments dying of thirst on my watch. So I gave it the bottle.

      Looking back, I guess that wasn't the smartest thing to do. No sooner had it finished drinking than that adorable little puffball started turning into a miniature version of Dr. Sloth! It walked like him, it glared like him, it even spoke like him! I know, because when it pushed the intercom button and ordered all battleships to stand at the ready it sounded exactly like Sloth. I told it the real Sloth wouldn't like it giving orders in his name, and a moment later I found out that Mini-Sloth has better aim than the real Sloth.

      The last thing I heard before a flying bottle knocked me out was Mini-Sloth ordering all soldiers to report to their battle stations. And the last thing that went through my head was the thought that maybe being knocked unconscious wasn't such a bad thing after all- surely Sloth couldn't blame me for a takeover that happened while I was sleeping, right?

      Dear Journal

      He blamed me.

      I never heard what happened to Mini-Sloth, but I ended up getting assigned to transferring the Space Station's refuse into deep space. In other words, my career now consists of taking out the garbage. When I complained to Xellko he said I'm just lucky to still be alive. I asked him if that meant my paycheck was going to be cancelled and he looked at me incredulously before explaining that there would be no paycheck- not now, not ever. I was shocked. Xellko went on to explain that we aren't employees, we're slaves. And Sloth's slaves don't get paid. That means no Faerie paint brush.

      He also told me that the reason for all of Sloth's experiments was an eventual takeover of Neopia. I can't say I like the idea- someone who can't even pay his workers would probably make for a bad government official. And it sounds like we wouldn't even get to vote.

      Halfway back to the Space Station on my fifth day as Garbage Grundo I decided I'd had enough. No pay, no Faerie paint brush, and no reason to stick around. Nobody could believe afterward that I'd actually done it, but I don't see what the big deal is. I just took the obvious way out- I altered course and flew back to Neopia.

      As soon as I landed I was surrounded by flabbergasted civilians and taken straight to the Defenders of Neopia, who wanted to know why I had been flying one of Dr. Sloth's garbage shuttles. By the time I finished explaining I was getting REALLY tired of strange looks and stupid questions, but in the end it turned out great. Sloth's Space Station was invaded, all of his slaves (including Xellko) were set free under the condition that they would never work for Sloth again, and I was given a medal for having helped to thwart Sloth. I was kind of disappointed that Sloth himself had gotten away- I had been looking forward to seeing the look on his face when he saw who it was that had given away his position- but that's OK, because along with the medal I got a large sum of Neopoints- plenty enough to buy my Faerie paint brush.

      Eat your heart out, Dr. Sloth.

The End

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