Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 184,867,923 Issue: 477 | 14th day of Sleeping, Y13
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Never Send a Mystery Capsule to Dr. Sloth: Part One


by fuzzymonkey31

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I thought of calling this entry "A Good Reason to NOT Work for Sloth", but I felt that it would be rather stupid, since there are many good reasons to not work for him. But if you must know, this entry is indeed an especially good reason to not fill out that green form with the weird little pen that has "I Heart World Domination" written on the side.

     — — — — —

It has always been slow work in the bowels of Virtupets Space Station where we've set up base, but I don't mind my job all that much.

     I put some meepit-shaped biscuits on a plate, pour a glass of Kau Kau Farms milk into a cup and deliver both to this office at precisely 2:22 PM for his mid-afternoon snack.

     He says something to the effect of "On time, Bif. Your punctuality impresses me." And he ignores me pointedly as he eats his meal. When he's done, I take the dishes to the dishwasher at Grundo's Cafe. I then have to take orders from Lt. Fish for the rest of the day. I sleep in my bunker, and eat on the run.

     And besides the occasional joke about my pink skin tone, the job is generally very peaceful and boring.

     I actually spend very little time in Sloth's presence myself during each day, but yesterday was different. As was the earlier half of today. I spent enough time in his presence to make a Fyora Fanatic faint.

     — — — — —

     It started when a strange brown package arrived in the middle of everyone else's busy shift. I had little to do, so Lt. Fish threw the thing at me and said to go give it to "our illustrious leader". It made a jingly sound when it hit my head, sounding quite like magic solidified.

     I ran along corridors and down portals until I came to his private office. Then I realized in terror it was 2:18. I sped off to the kitchen at top speed, threw the snack together and ran at tippity-top speed back to the door.

     When I arrived it was exactly time for me to enter, and I did. He was sitting on the floor, surrounded by small scraps of paper. He looked very depressed.

     "Tea time, sir," I said, gasping slightly for breath.

     He hrmphed and ignored me. I coughed a bit and shook the plate in attempt to display my intention of being in the room.

     "Just put the plate on my desk," he growled, picking up one of the pieces of paper and moving it to an open spot elsewhere in the strange grid of information of the floor. I obeyed, then remembered the package. I ran back out into the passage, picked up the box and reentered.

     "Dr. Sloth, Sir, a package came for you," I said, displaying the box wrapped in brown paper and tied with a white string. He reached out and snatched it from my hands and tore the wrapping off.

     Inside was a shiny white box, with an emblem on the side in gold. He raised his eyebrows and whistled.

     "Looks classy," he said and opened the top. He pulled out a tiny gold card and tried to read it, but eventually gave up.

     "Read it out loud, Bif, the writing's too tiny and shiny for me," he said, flinging the card at me like a throwing star. I caught it and peered at the tiny, shiny, italicized text:

     "For Dr. Sloth, From Anonymous. I'm sorry people are so mean to you and act like you're all nasty and evil. I sent you this to cheer you up. Enjoy!" I looked at what Sloth pulled out of the box. It had a domed top and smaller, coloured, bottom, with a band holding the two pieces together.

     "What the dickens is it, Bif?" he asked in awe.

     "That'd be a mystery capsule, Sir. It's something from the Neocash Mall. You open it and get random items from the Mall," I said, happy to know something for once that he did not already.

     A strange grin crept onto his face. "Well then," he said, then popped the thing open. There was a fanfare, a bright, blinding, pink and blue blast of light, and the capsule was gone. In its place sat some articles of clothing.

     Sloth grabbed a dress up and stared at it. It was large and silly and had a stupid pink bow in the back, but he grinned despite its putrid stylings. He threw it at me, and leapt to his desk, where he pressed a dangerous looking button. Suddenly, I have no clue how, I was wearing the dress.

     "Oh dear," I muttered, tripping over the hem. Sloth laughed loudly, then dove back to the ground and began collecting the pieces of paper and stuffing them into folders that had been sitting on his desk.

     "Won't be needing these anymore..." he muttered to himself. Then he picked up some silly looking glasses that had also come from the capsule, a necklace and a tiara. He threw them at me, pressed the button again, and I was wearing them. He fell on the floor, laughing loudly.

     "Oh you look a hoot, Bif!" he said, tears running down his face. I was turning red, which isn't hard for my light pink skin tone. "And it matched your base colour so well!"

     "Sir, if you're going to make fun of my skin tone and force me to cross-dress, I must demand a raise or quit–"

     And then Mickey walked in. A very scholarly Grundo who always wears glasses and formal clothes. She deals with the financial side of Sloth's domination schemes. She took one look at me and her eyes bulged. Then she fainted.

     "Heh," Sloth said, poking her gently with his foot. She didn't stir. "Well then, I wonder who this person is that sent me this delightful capsule. They seemed to want to remain unknown. I wonder why..." he mused, putting the white box on his desk and crumpling up the brown paper and began to play trash-can basketball.

     I coughed. "Am I excused?" I asked, icily. Sloth turned to looked at me, then smiled hideously.

     "I thought you were quitting!" he said cheerfully. "A pity, no one else could ever get my biscuits and milk to me on time..." He looked at me, eyes full of seeming bittersweet peacefulness. "Good and punctual Bif. Cookies heated slightly by the speed achieved when Brave Bif flies down the passage, but the milk never spills. An act of true heroism. He—"

     "Oh fine!" I said. Flattery, they say, gets you nowhere, but truly, it is the one thing that can get you absolutely anywhere. "What the bally Moltara do you want me to do, sir?" I said, crossing my arms and tapping my toe. He raised his eyebrows in amusement.

     "Do? Why, I think I'd like you to accompany me to this Neocash Mall you spoke of. I think your outfit looks rather incomplete."

     And at that moment every solitary particle in his office vibrated with the sound of my voice raised in protest.

     — — — — —

     "How about this delightful pair of shoes?" said Sloth, holding up a pair of purple, curly-toed shoes with garish green buckles on them.

     As I said, flattery gets you everywhere. It got me to come along with Sloth to the mall. The things he said would have convinced you too, I swear.

     "If we get those shoes, they won't show underneath the skirt, sir," I said with as much determination as I could muster. I was once again out of the clothing, but only so that other horrible things might be tried on.

     A nervous Usul was standing nearby, anxious to not anger the great villain of the galaxy and serve him in any way possible. I felt for the poor sop. He probably rarely got celebrities of this magnitude in here. The best he could hope for—although it wouldn't be anything to sniff at—was Komo from "Spooky" (man, I love that comic).

     In fact I was on the verge of asking him if he'd ever met Emsohl from "Pint-Sized" when Sloth pulled something out of a rack of clothing and my heart sank.

     "Here, the tag says 'Giant Squid Costume'. Whadya think of that, Bif?"

     "I think I don't want to wear it," I said, not even adding a 'sir.' This was too great an affront on my fashion sense.

     "Well, you're going to. At least try it on," he said, ramming the thing over my head. I stood there, rubbery tentacles all around me, possibly moving on their own accord. He laughed so loudly other shoppers turn to see who was cackling insanely, and when they realized it was Sloth himself, king of malevolent laughter (he won a competition back in Y7 apparently), they cowered in fear.

     "It looks fabulous!" he said, breathless from laughing. "But I don't think it fits the style we're going for," he said, pulling it off me.

     He then turned to the Usul for the first time and smiled nicely—or he thought it was a nice smile. It was really very scary and quite evil looking.

     "Would you happen to know who might have bought a mystery capsule recently?" he said, grinning widely.

     "Ur..." the Usul groaned. "They're very popular items, sir. I couldn't possibly tell you anyone specific."

     Sloth looked annoyed, which frightened the Usul even more.

     "How about one that looked overtly Sloth-oriented," he said, looking deep into the unfortunate rodent's eyes. The Usul twitched, wracking his brain, then he relaxed.

     "There was this girl who came through wearing a I heart Sloth shirt and a Sloth beanie and some other things to show how much she obviously idolized you. She bought a single capsule and a bit of gift wrapping."

     "What sort of gift wrap?" Sloth pressed the Usul.

     "Something we had no clue we had in stock: Brown with White String. Hadn't the foggiest where we—"

     "What was her name?" said Sloth, shaking the shopkeeper a tad harshly. The poor thing scrambled to keep its glasses on its nose, and stepped back from Sloth a bit after the villain finally released his vest.

     "I dunno, something fuzzy. Leave me alone," he mumbled, then made a mad dash for the NC mall Shopkeepers rest room. A silly purple Acara came over to help us in his absence.

     "Were you looking for something specific, miss?" she said. I looked around and saw no one near us, then realized she was staring very fixedly at me.

     "What? No! I'm a boy!" I said desperately as Sloth set the tiara on my head again, smiling as innocently as a villain can.

     "Oh!" she said, face turning red. "I just thought... the pink..." She faltered, eyes darting downwards in pure shame.

     "Well, you thought wrong!" I said, anger filling my veins. Sloth took me by the arm and led me gently away from the ashamed Acara.

     "Perhaps it's time for a repaint, Bif?" he said, bluntly.

     "On my salary?! Not a chance!" I said viciously, staring at him fixedly, hoping to get my message through.

     "Oh? That's a pity," he said, smiling uninterestedly, and led me off to look at the wing section.

     — — — — —

     "We have found a number of "fuzzy" people on your fan membership list, sir," I said, trying to read the list and keep my new hat from falling over my eyes. According to Sloth it was called Flower Fun Headdress, but it wasn't much fun for me. He had really bought some bizarre things and forced me to wear them.

     "Oh really? Let's go and check at the NC mall and see their records," he said, munching on his biscuits cheerfully, feet up on his desk and leaning back in his chair.

     "I'm not sure if they're allowed to share that sort of info–" I began, but was (naturally) interrupted.

     "Oh pish-posh, I'm Dr. Frank Sloth and I purchased 750 NC worth of clothing from them without turning any of them or their products into piles of sludge! They owe me!" he said, chugged his milk, and finished off the last of his biscuits.

     He grabbed me by the collar of the dress that I was wearing and dragged me from the room, my revolting shoes clicking as we went.

     — — — — —

     "Here," said the Gnorbu reluctantly as she handed Sloth the list of "Fuzzy" people who had bought caps. He nodded his thanks and began reading.

     "Only two of these buyers are on our list, Bif! We're in luck!" He grabbed my collar again and off we went.

To be continued...

 
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