Shelleylou's jaw dropped open in shock. Right there,
smack in the middle of the news page, was that huge, disgusting headline.
"Check out the newest addition to the rainbow
pool! The baby Gelert! Aw... Cootchie cootchie coo!"
The golden Gelert shuddered, and then stood
completely still. She heard footsteps rapidly approaching, which could only
mean one thing... Her owner was coming! Quick as greased lightning, Shelly crumpled
up the paper and immediately wolfed it down, not pausing for one second to rethink
her rash judgement. She was just swallowing the last bite of the dreaded news
flash when battlesunn, the owner in question, stepped into the living and stood
in front of the glass coffee table, hands on her hips. Shelly quickly grabbed
the nearest book and dug her nose into it, trying to look inconspicuous. Battlesunn
narrowed her eyes.
"Hey, Shelly, have you seen the Neopian news
brief? I want to read all the latest news, you know, see if there's any new
paint brush colours."
Shelly's mouth turned as dry as a piece of Babaa
wool. "Uh, no battlesunn, I haven't seen the news page, I've just been reading,
uh..." Shelly glanced at the title of the book she had grabbed. "...Caring for
Acting as though it carried some sort of life
threatening disease, Shelly speared the book with her attack fork and placed
it back one the table. She withdrew her weapon, staring at the wicked, fiery
points in dismay.
"I think I'll have to boil this."
Battlesunn sighed. "You know, I really think
you carry that thing around far too much."
"Never leave home without it."
"You never DO leave home! Except to battle!
Otherwise, you spend all your time harassing your siblings! Not that I don't
appreciate that, of course. Mordegan gets to be quite irritating, Zarrelian
seems to be going through some sort of teenage individuality phase and Ezanna
spends all of his time holed up in his room! I say, that Zafara is becoming
Shelly picked up her attack fork, and pierced
a nearby apple on one of it's prongs. She flicked it neatly into her mouth,
and chewed reflectively.
"Well, of course, one could call it harassing,
but I like to think of it as keeping them in line. You see, younger siblings
like Babaas. They can't really think for themselves. They need the herding Doglefox
to snap at their heels and chase them around the paddock, and keep them behind
the fence. Otherwise, the Babaas might escape, and take over the world!"
"Wait a minute, if they can't think for themselves,
then how can they take over the world?"
Shelly wagged her attack fork expressively in
the air, speaking through mouthfuls of apple. "You'd be surprised at what angry
Babaas are capable of."
Meanwhile, at the top of the stairs, young Ezanna
was doing what he did best. Spying. He was spying on battlesunn and Shelleylou,
his new family members. The yellow Zafara had heard the entire conversation,
including Shelly's little comments on how younger siblings were like Babaas
Ezanna didn't understand it. He was actually the oldest, but because he was
the last pet, and he had been adopted, he was treated as though he was the youngest.
He had gathered quite a bit of information though, as he had been watching Shelly
when she had read that fateful news flash, and had eaten it. Ezanna now held
the power. He knew what Shelly feared most: To be painted baby! He intended
to use that power. Ezanna almost giggled with maliciousness, but checked himself.
A good spy must never betray his position. And besides, there was still one
annoying little detail... He could never pull off such a huge revenge plan on
his own. He needed some helpers, to. He needed someone who was trusty and empty
headed. Someone who would obey any orders at all cost, if he felt as though
he was doing something for the good of someone else. Ezanna also needed someone
with a devious brain, the kind of evil genius who knew how to devise the perfect
plan for revenge. Fortunately for Ezanna, those two pets were living right inside
Zarrelian was playacting again. Swathed in a
huge black cloak that was obviously much too big for him and wearing an oversized
"Phantom of the Catacombs" mask, he staggered clumsily around the dark NeoHome
basement, making up the most horrendous speeches, each more unbelievable then
the last. (Not unbelievable in the sense that were impressive.)
"Muhaha! I, Zarrelian, the feared, all-powerful,
rather dashing ixi... Am in your presence! Bow to me, minion!"
Zarrelian's "minion". The red mallard Webbleflub,
reluctantly bowed, his large orange beak dipping towards the floor. Zarrelian
"Heeheeehee! That was soooo cool! Now, Webbl--
uh, I mean minion, fetch me my sword of ultimate doom!"
Webbleflub tried to lift his head, but couldn't,
because the weight of all the garments and medallions that Zarrelian had draped
over him was too great. Webbleflub gave a loud quack of dismay as he began to
kick out wildly with his webbed feet, trying to dislodge some of the heavy fineries.
Zarrelian narrowed his eyes, and drew up his cloak folds contemptuously.
"Fine then, you useless excuse for a duck! I'll
get it myself!"
Zarrelian stomped off to retrieve his sword
of ultimate doom, but not before delivering Webbleflub a swift kick in posterior.
The mallard screeched as he tumbled head over tailfeathers before landing in
a jumble of red feathers. Webbleflub poked his head out of the pile of discarded
garments, shook himself importantly, and waddled off to his petpet bed.
Zarrelian finally managed to find the sword
of ultimate doom, lodged deep in his pink coloured toy box, stuck fast between
a magical hair usuki and a model Uni. Zarrelian whimpered sadly. Now he would
never get to finish playing "The emperor of the hidden tower". Well, he would
never get to finish playing his, "slightly edited" version of it, anyway. He
had finally managed to wedge it out, when who should come right in, without
even knocking? Ezanna, of course. Zarrelian dropped his toy sword and quickly
stood in front of his pink toy box, trying vainly to hide the contents from
the Zafara spy's keen eyes. Ezanna seemed unimpressed. He stuffed his paws in
the pockets of his sticks 'N stones jacket, and adjusted the pair of shades
resting on his nose, flipping his yellow hair back over his head. In one swift
movement, Ezanna had flicked off the room's overhead light, and turned on a
small, hanging chain lamp. He sat down at one end of Zarrelian's play table.
The Zafara stared at Zarrelian, and waved a paw at the chair directly in front
Zarrelian gulped, and shuddered. Out of all
his siblings, Ezanna was the one he feared most. Zarrelian sat shakily down
in the rose patterned chair.
"What do you want? I didn't do anything! The
mynci plushie is a prototype, a prototype! I haven't even put the destructive
computer chip in ye--"
"Save your songs for Shelleylou, Beekadoodle.
Now I want answers, you hear?"
Zarrelian's eyes watered. "Ye... yes, I hear..."
Ezanna removed his shades and grinned. "Good!
Now here's my question. How'd you like to get back at Shelleylou?"
Zarrelian grinned, and rubbed his hooves together
with delight. "Ooh... I'd love to!"
Something seemed to be troubling Ezanna, his
brow was wreathed in thought as he peered questioningly at Zarrelian's forehead.
"What is it?!"
"Uh, does that little swirl of hair on your
head ALWAYS stand straight up when you hear some sort of new plan to make one
of your siblings miserable?"
Zarrelian sniffled. "Look, I'm quite aware of
the fact that I have excitable hair, and I'd appreciate it if you didn't always
bring it up, okay?!!"
"Seesh... Sorry, it was just freaky, that's
Zarrelian patted down his hair swirl with his
hoof, sniffing primly. "Good. Oh, and by the way..." --The hair stood straight
up again. "...Do we get to get back at Mordegan with the same blow?"
Ezanna was still shocked by the second appearance
of the hair phenomenom, but he managed to compose himself. "Er... No. Actually...
He's sort of in on the plan. He's one of our agents."
Zarrelian turned ghastly pale. "WHAT?!!"
As if on cue, (or maybe he was on cue) --Mordegan,
the green Lupe, came rollicking down the stairs, only to trip, and land right
in Zarrelian's lap. Zarrelian, who was still nursing the wounds of the hypno
helmet incident, was not altogether too happy to even see the Lupe, let alone
be wearing him.
"Get off me, you mongrel!"
Mordegan smiled. "Guess what Zar Zar?"
"DON'T CALL ME THAT!!!"
"We gotta truce, isn't the super? Now we have
to be friends... whether you like it or not!" Mordegan punctuated his last remark
with a menacing growl.
"Fine, I'll truce, but I'll never be your friend,
and I'll only be truced with you until the mission is over, and then I'm back
to devising ways to destroy you."
Mordegan grinned, his shiny white fangs showing.
"Fine by me!"
Zarrelian raised a brow, and made an odd little
smirk. Ezanna sensed a insult coming, so he quickly stepped in. "Well, let's
get down to business. I have figured out the master plan... To get back at Shelleylou!"
Mordegan growled and Zarrelian snorted at the mention of the dreaded name. Ezanna
continued, striding up and down in front of the toy box like a drill sergeant.
"We have all been living under the fear of Shelleylou, she is bossy, she is
senile and she has battlesunn's permission to 'keep us in line.' --Today I gathered
intelligence that Shelleylou actually does fear something! Her biggest fear,
is that she will be painted baby!"
Ezanna paused while Mordegan and Zarrelian laughed
and laughed, slapping each other on the back, tears streaming from their eyes.
He couldn't help but notice that while Zarrelian
and Mordegan were laughing at humiliating their older sister, they were acting
like best buds. Ezanna shook his head, there was something downright disturbing
about that. Oh well, at least they were excited about the plan.
"So anyway, after we actually get the paintbrush,
it'll be clear sailing. The only problem is actually getting the brush, and
that's where you two come in."
Zarrelian and Mordegan crowded in on the table,
eager to hear their assignment. Ezanna cleared his throat, and grinned. "Now,
I've gotten you guys a super job! It'll pay for all the money that we need!
And you only have to work for one day, it's a joint job, so you'll be doing
Mordegan placed his paws up on table, smiling
like a Kougra on Gadgadsgame. "Great! What's the job?"
Ezanna raised his eyebrows. "Oh, you'll see!
You start this afternoon. It's for a super rich company, too. It took me hours
to get you the job. I had to pull quite a few strings, so you'd better do a
good job! Here's the map to the place, you guys should get going."
Zarrelian snatched the map from Ezanna's outstretched
paws, looking it over with an expression of fiendish delight stamped on his
face. "Hey, look! We're working for that new fast food place, 'MacUnis'... how
cool! I'll bet we'll get to bring smile meals to all the little pets... and
replace their salt with sugar and switch their ketchup, with... catsup! Muhahaha!"
Mordegan threw his paws up to face. "Zarrelian!
How cruel! I'll bet we'll get to cook delicious, high quality meals for all
the grateful customers, who will eat our food and feel refreshed enough to go
out and help save Neopia! We'll be doing the whole town a good deed!"
Ezanna chuckled. "Ah... No, no, it's actually
neither of those. Though I must say, Zarrelian's was closer. Yes, you will be
working for 'MacUnis' --but you won't be anywhere near a cooking device, you
have to go through years of NeoUniversity to be able to cook fast food. Oh no,
You guys will be working in the field of... Advertisement..."
To be continued...