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Oh No, Not Again...: Part Four

by fuzzymonkey31


The dark green, lightly spiked leaves of the mutated chokato tree hid me from general sight as I cried silently.

     It had been a joke amongst the new recruits from A70BUG group. We had been a motley group; teasing Lt. Fish and fooling around were our favorite pastimes. We had put whoopie cushions on his chair, we had drawn mustaches on the bobble-heads he kept on his desk and our most elaborate prank was stealing a transmogrification potion from a cabinet and pouring it into the potting soil of his potted Chokato plant. It had bit at him when he had gone to water it the next day and we had laughed our heads off.

     Of course, we were properly punished, and the pot was moved into the main foyer after it became too big to be kept on Lt. Fish's desk. A bench had been snuck behind it by a few of our ranks, and the tree instinctively grew to hid the bench most cleverly.

     It's a great story, and holds great memories. It also holds solace. It is the only place that does. The leaves block out a great deal of noise, a lot of light and any unwanted visitors. Because when you want to be left alone, the tree makes sure you're left alone.

     I cried very quietly until I felt too miserable to continue. I felt, once again, useless. But I couldn't let that make me be useless. I crawled out from under the protective shield and shambled to the great arch that designated where Sloth's territory ended and where the rest of the Space Station began. I walked along random corridors, up neglected stairs–elevators are much preferred, but I have a soft spot for stairs–and I eventually found myself standing at the door to loading and SiPUT dock.

     I bought a ticket to Neopia. I felt worried about it, considering how badly the atmosphere suited me, but I needed to try something to help.

     I got off at Neopia Central, and nearly fell over from the pure thinness of the air. But I pulled myself back onto my feet. For Jenny... I told myself. I plunged on.

     – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

     Duncan woke up with a headache. Dr. Sloth had left the room, and apparently he had taken Jenny with him, because the filing cabinet drawer was closed and Jenny was nowhere else. The mutant Grundo stood up and wandered out into the corridor and stumbled blindly to Testing Room 2B.

     When he arrived he found that everyone had been evacuated and there was a warning on the door that no one should proceed beyond that point without proper protective gear. He looked around to see if the others who had stepped in the spilled potion were about. But he saw no one.

     He noticed a mutant Elephante hanging around and Duncan walked over to him.

     "Simon, what happened after we left?" he asked, elbowing the other mutant.

     Simon fiddled with his fingers and shrugged. "Everyone left," he mumbled.

     Duncan grabbed Simon by the shoulder as the latter tried to leave. "What about those that stepped in it?"

     The Elephante squirmed, but Duncan's grip was too powerful for squirming. "They were taken to the sickbay. Last I heard they've been given Magic Smelly Socks, Flat-u-less Tablets and other stuff and they're been fine."

     "Thanks," Duncan said, and he brushed lightly past the terrified mutant.

     – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

     The Gelert doctor at NeoHospital looked a bit baffled and tried brush me off, but I pursued him.

     "Tell me!" I shouted. "What would one do for an entirely bloaty body?!"

     "I dunno! I've only ever worked with swollen bellies, feet and tongues!" the Gelert cried out, throwing his hands up in the air.

     "You're a quack," I snarled, and left.

     I stumbled out into the open air, and finally collapsed next to the Wishing Well. There was a long line of neopets, throwing in coins and making wishes. I looked at them. Foolish creatures; they would never get anything in return for their wishes. Not anything that would really give them any joy. If they're lucky they might get some background, petpet, or goodie bag they wished for, but it wouldn't bring real happiness. They'd want more eventually. Give them something they professed to wanting they'd only want more. They always would want more. They disgusted me.

     After a while, as the sun sank low, the line petered out, then ended. I stood up and peered into the murky waters. The gold had sunk very deep. So deep that you couldn't even see a glimmer. I sighed, and rested my elbows on the edge of the well, and stared out at the glorious sunset.

     Without thinking I began to mouth some words that were running through my head.

     "I have a friend... She's very ill... We used to be quite silly together. We were the ones who... who put the pin on Lt. Fish's chair. Everyone else vied for whoopees, but we were sillier. Duncan and her... they're close. Duncan and I are so... well, like brothers. He'd be devastated! Not that I wouldn't too, but it would hit him so hard. They're not really twins, but they're close as twins. Twins in their souls, if you understand that..."

     I became aware of tears trickling down my cheeks. They fell off my chin and hit the water in the well with little 'plinks'.

     I went on with my miserable plea. "I really need a cure. She's all puffy, and she's not responding, and she's so... she's so frail! It's not Jenny! She needs to get well! She needs to!! She's such a good person, employed by Sloth or not! She's just an angel..."

     I looked at my reflection in the trembling waters.

     "I don't want anything for my personal gain. Just a cure. Please, if you grant only one wish today, let it be this one. Duncan and Jenny are family. They're worth a million neopoints to me, and they need to be together no matter what. Hey, even if I never see them again, that's okay!" I choked here, but continued.

     "As long as they have each other, I'd be happier than a lark! Please please please, secret entity of the well!" I buried my head in my arms. "I'd be pink again for them! I'd surrender my brown colour and everything I own! Please, give me something for Jenny!"

     Deep, deep down in the water there was the sound of muffled sobbing, and a sound like magic solidified.

     – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

     Sloth lay the still body of Jenny on the white linen bed in the sickbay and arranged her arms to be as comfortable as possible. He then left the room quickly, and headed for his lab.

     A powerful, muscular Moehog fell into step next to him in the hallway and coughed.

     "Dr. Sloth, we have the plans for an attack on Shenkuu, Altador and Mystery Island all at the same time. We'd like you to–"

     Sloth turned on him suddenly, eyes flaming red. "Shut up!!" he shouted right in the Moehog's face. "I don't care right now!" And he stormed off, leaving the Moehog stunned and alone. It's not easy to work for moody, brilliant overlords, the Moehog said to himself, and went back to tell his compatriots how the boss had responded.

     – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

     I stood up suddenly and stared at my hands which had recently been holding my face as I sobbed. They weren't quite right. They looked... rosy.

     "It's just the sunset's red hues affecting my skin tone, right?" I said, but not truly believing myself. I stared at the well. I shook my head and held it with my hands. I was pink again. I didn't believe this to be honestly possible! I wasn't even near the Rainbow Pool!

     I felt a weewoo peck at my leg and looked down to see it had a letter with my name on it. I took it and thanked the petpet for its service and watched it fly off. I ripped the neomail open and read, in very formal typed writing:

     Dear Bif,

     Congratulations! Your wish has been granted!

     But underneath this was a scribbled, personal note:

     I must say that I have never heard such a plea as you offered, and I was moved most sincerely. I took the liberty of removing your most recent paint job, and giving a reconstructed brown paint brush to a little Xweetok who wished for a Brown Paint Brush earlier today, and have given you this very special elixir, which will almost certainly heal your friend. Blessings and peace be with you, my friend.

     I was, frankly, stunned. I looked at the grass near the well and saw a package in brown paper tied with a white string. The last thing I opened that looked like that had opened a can of worms, but this time it would be the exact opposite.

     My heart raced and grabbed the package up. When it moved, it jingled hopefully. I stared at the well reverently. And I hadn't even thrown in any gold neopoints...

     "Thank you. Thank you so very, very much," I breathed in amazement, then turned and ran to the SiPUT station, quicker than a wink.

     – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

     Duncan stared at Jenny as she lay on the cold, thin hospital bed. She was barely breathing, and her eyelids flickered a bit as he spoke to her. He didn't say anything specific, but he didn't stop, even if what he was saying didn't make much sense.

     Sloth came in from the entrance to the sick bay looking angry.

     "I'm so sorry, Duncan. I've been throwing things together like crazy, but nothing will attack the disease in the petri dishes like they should have. I tried like the dickens." He kicked the grey flecked floor tiles and clenched his fists.

     Duncan didn't respond; he was still talking to Jenny. He was talking about Bif, the pranks they had played on Lt. Fish and all the joys of being young in the Space Station. Tears streamed silently down his face and fell onto Jenny's damp and matted fur, but he never ceased talking.

     – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

     I threw myself out of the SiPUT and ran with as much energy as I could muster towards the entrance to Sloth's land in the Space Station. I threw myself through crowds and masses, clutching the magical gift close to myself all the way. I ran all the way to Sloth's office and threw the door open, gasping in relief. But they were gone. I was shocked, but I was still too full of adrenaline to just stop there. I turned from the door and ran down the hallway, back whence I had come.

     I shouted at a mutant Elephante that was loitering about if he had seen Duncan, Sloth or Jenny recently. He started most suddenly, and stuttered so terribly he could barely answer me.

     "Th-th-th-the s-s-s-sick b-b-ay mo-most l-likely–"

     I left without so much as a thanks and ran all the rest of the way to the sickbay. I dove through the doors and found a most terrible sight.

     Sloth stood with head bowed, and Duncan was talking nonsense, staring straight forward. At the foot of Jenny's bed there stood a Halloween Mynci, holding his scythe.

     "No! I shouted, frantic terror washing over me. "No no no no!!!" I tore off the paper from my package and opened the silvery box inside.

     I stared at what lay inside.

     "Bif! You're pink! What the dickens?!" Sloth exclaimed, and he strode towards me, bending a bit. "What's in the box."

     I stared straight towards Jenny. "Hope," I whispered.

     The Mynci looked at his watch and then raised his weapon.

     My face grew pale and I knew I had to act fast. I reached into the box and pulled out a gleaming ball of light, and threw it with all the strength towards Jenny's nearly lifeless body, hoping with all my mind, heart, soul and body that the Hope could beat the reaper's scythe.

     "Please please plea–"

     – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

     The light had been blinding. But when we could all see again the reaper was gone and Jenny was blinking her eyes and rolling her head around. Her swelling was visibly leaving her and her limbs were no longer hanging uselessly by.

     "Duncan?" she breathed weakly.

     "Yes, yes?" queried Duncan desperately, grabbing her hand in both of his.

     "I have to tell... you..."


     "I'm so good at darts because I've got three eyes."

     We three who were standing by her bed were silent in shock.

     "I have better depth perception and judgement because I have three eyes, so I'm much better at darts than you," Jenny added, with a wide smile.

     Duncan's face was still frozen in surprise. Then it broke wide and bright into a smile beyond any belief.

     "Cheater," he murmured.

     Laughter rang throughout the sickbay, causing those with headaches within the vicinity to moan in pain.

     – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

     "I'm sorry they quit, but I do not blame them, really," Sloth said, leaning back in his swivel chair, eating his 2:22 snack at 2:22... in the morning.

     I sat across from him, also eating biscuits and milk. I nodded and swallowed. "I shall miss them greatly."

     "I'm sorry this had to happen at all," Sloth lamented, drinking his milk with sadness in every slurp. "I really should have been more careful mixing those potions."

     "Don't blame yourself, sir," I said, trying to comfort the great villain through a mouthful of meepit-shaped biscuit.

     "It was still my fault. But you." He looked at me with reverence. "You saved the day. Which reminds me, are you going to want another brown paint brush?"

     I pondered this for a little while, then swallowed my mouthful of 2:22 snack. "I think I'll stick with the pink colour. I don't really know how I could ask you for another, especially when I never properly thanked you for giving me the first one."

     Sloth chuckled at this. "I don't think you need to thank me for anything."

     "You gave me a more respectable colour," I reminded him.

     "Yes, but I tricked you."

     I sat up at this. "Oh?"

     "Yes. I set it up so all the other possible employers in the Space Station would reject you if you came to ask for jobs. And I told the Kreludor businesses to do the same," he explained, munching the head off another meepit dessert.

     I sat in stunned silence for a few seconds, wondering if I should be angry or amused.

     Sloth broke the silence with a hearty laugh. "You know, I think in a few hours, we'll be ahead of the breakfast rush for the Kreludor Café!"

     I glanced at him severely to see if he was kidding. But to my despair he picked up two pieces of colourful paper and waved them at me.

     "I have coupons!"

The End

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Other Episodes

» Oh No, Not Again...: Part One
» Oh No, Not Again...: Part Two
» Oh No, Not Again...: Part Three

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