GALLERY OF EVIL - My meeting with the Shadow Usul was entirely by chance.
I was innocently munching on a tasty Triple Hotdog, bought fresh from Hubert's
Hotdog Stand (it could of used a little mustard, though), when I spotted a rather
unnatural shadow lurking nearby. As Bluefire104 (my Scorchio) and I approached,
the shadow darted away. Curiosity aroused, we followed the shadow, around trees,
behind shops, and even through a crowd of Chias (who appeared to be boasting
about their obviously imaginary exploits, which mostly concerned hunting and
defeating Lupes.) Finally, totally exhausted, Bluefire104 and I halted outside
a narrow alley to recover our breath. It was only when Bluefire104 threw out
the peel of his banana (he had been eating it before the pursuit) into a nearby
rubbish bin, that he noticed that the shadow was in fact inside the alley, beside
a few garbage cans full of decaying Fishy Nibbles and rotten Organic Tomatoes.
After calling me (due to the instinct that this meeting could make a good article)
Bluefire104 approached the shadow. As I approached, I noticed the shadow somehow
reforming itself, resembling a stream of water filling an outline. I immediately
took a quick look around, suspecting a trick, but I could see nothing to explain
this strange sight. The shadow began sprouting arms, legs and a tail, which
at first were quite blurry and difficult to make out, but as I watched, they
slowly began to define themselves and become more solid. When the whatever-it-was
had finally totally forming itself, I realised it was the Shadow Usul herself.
Shakily, I approached, and blurted out an invitation to do an interview. The
Shadow Usul gracefully agreed, in a voice that had a smooth, silky, sinuous,
quality to it, like nothing I had ever heard before.
Shadow Usul: Exactly why would you want to talk to me?
Bluescorchio104: Because I'm curious.
Shadow Usul: Curiosity killed the Kadoatie.
Bluescorchio104: Umm, I'm aware of that. Back to the point. I'd like
to ask you a few questions.
Shadow Usul: You may do so. However, I am no fool. You are required
to give something in return.
Bluescorchio104: Like what?
Shadow Usul: Nothing more than a Nanka Bottle.
Bluescorchio104: A Nanka Bottle? You sure are weird, but what the heck,
I'll give you one. Hey, Bluefire104, here's some NP, run down to Kauvara's and
see if they have any Nanka Bottles in stock. And don't tell anyone about our
interviewee. We don't want mass hysteria, extensive looting of shops, torching
of NeoHomes and huge riots, do we?
Bluefire104: Whatever. I'll be back in a second.
Bluescorchio104: While he's gone, could you answer the questions?
Shadow Usul: No answers till the Nanka Bottle is in my paws.
Bluefire104: (out of breath) Hey, I'm (puff, puff) back. I got the
last (puff, puff) Nanka bottle in stock. Here you go (hands the Nanka Bottle
to the Shadow Usul).
Shadow Usul: Thanks.
At this point, the Shadow Usul appeared to pour the contents of the Nanka
Bottle into her own body. As strange as it may seem, it's true. And I could
have sworn that her body seemed to be absorbing the substance.
Bluescorchio104: What are you doing?
Shadow Usul: None of your business.
Bluescorchio104: Hey, I just busted a few hundred NP on a Nanka Bottle
for you, and you don't even want to answer my questions!
Shadow Usul: You people and your moral Vs immoral, good Vs bad. You
expect me to keep my word, purely on moral grounds. You make me laugh. (chuckles
menacingly) Oh well, I'll give you one bit of information. I was revitalising
Bluescorchio104: That's how you revitalise yourself? Weird. I guess
you don't need regular food or drink, huh?
Shadow Usul: Exactly. You're smart for a Light-One.
Bluescorchio104: I'm smart for a what?
Shadow Usul: A Light-One. My own term for non-shadow people and non-shadow
Shadow Usul: What else do you desire to know, or shall you leave?
Bluescorchio104: Well, I still have a few questions.
Shadow Usul: Very well.
Bluescorchio104: Are you, well, solid? I mean, I saw you pick up that
Nanka Bottle, but can you hold bigger stuff?
Shadow Usul: (Picks up a fully loaded garbage can with one paw and
throws it against the wall at the far end of the alley.) Does that answer your
Bluescorchio104: Whoa! You're strong!
Shadow Usul: That's nothing. Watch this. (Picks up yet another garbage
can, and throws it high into the air. After ten minutes of silence, the garbage
can lands two metres away from Bluescorchio104, splattering him with rotten
Shadow Usul: (Lets out a malicious laugh) Impressed yet?
Bluescorchio104: Sure am. No need to test your strength on anything
else. Or on me. Not that I'm scared of you or anything.
Shadow Usul: Of course not. (Snicker, snicker, snicker)
Bluescorchio104: (Ignores the snickering) Why don't you use your strength
Shadow Usul: Why ever would I want to do that? Unless I got some substantial
profit, of course. Only weak beings waste their energy like that. And of course,
there are those beings with (sneers) consciences.
Bluescorchio104: Well, I take it that you don't look too kindly upon
Shadow Usul: Obviously.
Bluescorchio104: On the other hand, if you're so strong, why don't
you try to take over the world?
Shadow Usul: (sighs) You just don't get it, do you? I'm not some insane-yet-brilliant
old fool who wants to take over the world, despite being hugely outnumbered.
I'm evil, but also highly intelligent. If I tried to take over the world, why,
I'd be faced with millions of goody-goody Neopets, all bent on destroying me
just because of their loyalty to Neopia. Even with my superior strength and
intellect, I know that I'd never stand a chance. Maybe one day, when Sloth has
eliminated all those Neopets, I'll take over the world.
Bluescorchio104: Hmmmm. Why don't you steal items?
Shadow Usul: To be quite honest, I don't need to. Only rarely, I slip
the occasional Nanka Bottle or two from under some unobservant Neopian's nose.
Mostly, I just love to see the look on those Neopet's and Neopian's faces when
they see a creepy, unidentified shadow chasing them.
Bluescorchio104: Well, thanks. You've answered pretty much all of my
questions. For once, I haven't even had to run away in hysterical fear. See
I went away from the interview happy, out of pocket a few hundred NP, but
contented that I was, for once, not scared out of my tiny little mind. In a
way, the Shadow Usul reminds me of some successful businessmen; smart, patient,
ruthless, and only takes carefully calculated risks. You know, the Shadow Usul
may be evil, but at least she doesn't want to take over the world. She merely
wants to scare the pants off us, make us wet ourselves, and make us think we're
hallucinating to the point where we have to force-feed ourselves happiness neggs.