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World Dominate: Over-Cheery - Part Six


by fierwym

--------

Release

When Victoria awoke from her trance, it was to find herself in a place she had never been before. The walls were dark, the bars that encaged her were dark, the air around her was dark. In fact, the only light that came to her was from a small torch near a tunnel, though it did not emit very much light.

     She was frightened. The trance of the plant had worn off, and she was just now realizing that she had fallen into it. She wanted to know what the plant had been. She wanted to know why it had hypnotized her. She wanted to know where she was now. She wanted to know who had her imprisoned.

     She didn't have to wait long for her answer. Less than an hour after she woke, two shadowy shapes emerged from the tunnel next to the torch. They walked up to her cage and she realized with a thrill of horror that they were Meepits. Instantly all the tales she had heard while growing up came back to her, all the tales that the Meepits were planning to take over the world. She had never once dreamed that she would be a prisoner of theirs.

     There were two of them, a pink one and a green one with little armguards emblazoned with bolts of lightning. In the green Meepit's hands was a small slip of paper and a pencil. Around each Meepit's neck was a small, strange little device. The taller of the two, the pink Meepit, moved forward slightly, while the other stood back as a sign of deference.

     "Young Wocky, what is your name?" asked the Meepit.

     "V-v-victoria," she said, her voice shaking slightly in her fear. The Meepit seemed to notice this, and his hungry eyes grew a bit more eager, as if her fear were all just one big game.

     "Victoria," repeated the Meepit. "I am Master Alexander, leader of the Meepits that will take over your world. You recently possessed something of ours. Do you remember?"

     "It was a plant," she said softly.

     "Yes," the Master agreed. "It is one of our next projects in preparation to take over the world. But you won't go telling this, won't you?" he asked, though it wasn't really a question. His eyes shimmered slightly.

     Slightly hypnotized, Victoria answered, "I will not."

     The Meepit nodded and smiled sinisterly, releasing her from his stare. "I shall be letting you return to the surface soon," he told her. "But first you must do some tasks for me."

     "What are you going to make me do?" asked Victoria, frightened.

     "Nothing terribly horrible," said the Meepit casually. At this moment a soft scurrying sound emitted from the tunnel with the torch, and the pink Meepit that had spoken to her turned to see the intruder. A yellow Meepit half-ran, half-walked out, bowing his head slightly to the leader.

     "Master, something urgent has occurred. You must come."

     The Meepit sighed heavily. "Lead on. Agent 53, take over from here."

     The pink Meepit that had been called Master followed the yellow one out, and soon the caged Wocky and the green Meepit were alone.

     "You don't have to be frightened," said the green Meepit, gazing at her with his unblinking eyes. For the first time since her waking and finding herself caged, Victoria felt suddenly calm. There was something about this Meepit with lightning-marked armguards that didn't make him intimidating, at least to her. Perhaps it was the way he didn't use his hypnotizing powers to calm her, or something in the way he spoke. She felt that she could trust him… though she had no idea why.

     When most of the fear had left her eyes, he spoke again. "The plant that you bought in that shop was one of our own inventions - you know our intentions toward the world, so I will not go any further about the use we'll put to it. The plant is simply called Mission 503, and there are countless ones that have been grown down here. There is only one thing you must do in order to gain your freedom back. Since you were the first Pet to have bought the plant, we desire that you name it."

     "So that's why it didn't have a name tag on it," Victoria said softly. "It wasn't… ready."

     "Yes," the Meepit said. "Name it for us."

     "I called it a Cheery Plant," she told him quietly, and though she was still afraid, she was glad that she was able to keep the fear out of her voice. He quickly jotted down the name on the piece of paper he had brought. "But I never realized what it was…"

     "Since you noticed that it had no name tag," the Meepit went on without listening the rest of her sentence. "You will have also noticed that there was no description. We also ask that you give us one."

     He pushed the piece of paper through the bars of her cage, along with the pencil. "I will be back in a while," he told her. "Do not be frightened."

     Then he left, leaving Victoria with nothing more than the pencil and paper, and the flickering light of the torch to write by.

     She stared down at the paper, looking at the words "Cheery Plant" that the Meepit had scrawled across the top of the page. She didn't know how to describe the plant. At first it had been so wonderful, such a nice gift for her to find. But now…

     Sudden recklessness stole over her. She wondered briefly exactly what the Meepits would allow their plant to be described as. Taking up the pencil and setting an ironic grimace to her face, she felt that the Meepits had to pay for allowing their plant to hypnotize her. She placed the dull edge of the pencil to the paper, hesitated, and finally began to write:

     Why is it so happy? Because it is extremely foul and belongs to the Meepit.

     "There," she whispered, looking down at what she had wrote. Most likely they would keep her down in the dark cage forever for writing such a thing, but inside Victoria felt a small flicker of achievement. In some small, silent way, she had defied the force that were planning to enslave the world. Even if no one ever knew, it gave her some small comfort that at least she had tried.

     An hour passed before the sounds of the Meepits returning reached Victoria's ears. At some point during the hour she had shoved the piece of paper back through the bars and laid down with her back toward the tunnel where the Meepits would come, wishing rather to hear what they had to say about what she had wrote rather than see them. At least this way, she could pretend that she was asleep.

     "The Wocky is sleeping," said the commanding voice of the Master. She heard him walk over and pick up the paper, silently reading what she had wrote there.

     "WHAT!!" the Meepit roared, though Victoria moved slightly like she was shifting in her sleep, making it seem like she hadn't been awakened by his cry of fury.

     "What is it, Master?" asked the Meepit called Agent 53, and though he used a tone of deference, Victoria could almost catch the faint ringing of amusement.

     "Look at what she has written!" growled the Master, shoving it into the other's hand. There was a pause in which Victoria knew he was reading it. She heard a slight chuckle, which surprised her more than anything else.

     "This can be fixed," said Agent 53. "And since the plant was under my power, and since it was this Wocky that bought it, it should be I that decides her future now."

     "You are right," the Master said in a low growl. "Decide what to do about her and the description. I must attend to other things."

     And with that, Master Alexander left.

     "That was a brave thing to do, Victoria," said Agent 53 softly when the Master had left. She decided to stop feigning sleep and turned over.

     "What will happen to me now?" she asked him.

     "You shall be released," he said simply.

     "What?" she asked. "I thought you wouldn't let me… after what I did."

     He smiled slightly, the most un-Meepit-ish smile she could ever believe possible. "You know our plans for the future - they aren't exactly hidden. I doubt there are any that do not fear us. I doubt that any would trust one of us, unless they had very good reason to. But just because our goal is world domination doesn't mean that all will fall under our rule. As a Meepit, and second in rank only to Master Alexander, I have the power to protect some from our rule. You have fallen under our power once because of a plant that you bought. I…"

     He hesitated slightly, peering over his shoulder as if to make sure he wasn't being overheard. He looked back at her and began speaking again, his voice lowered to a barely-audible whisper. She leaned closer to him, her face a mere inch from the bars that caged her. "I'm in a difficult position, to tell you the truth. They all expect me to be right behind the Master when it is time for us to take action. But I have heard some things lately that have made me wonder exactly what I should do." He smiled at the incredulous look on her face. "You wonder why I would doubt such a thing, or even why I tell you. Let me just say this: darkness lurks only in the hearts of individuals, not in a shadow cast over an entire race."

     He walked over to her cage while she was still pondering what he had said, and unlocked the door. It swung forward with a slight groan. "The tunnel exit is behind the cage," he told her. "Don't worry about the description - I will take care of that. Tell no one what you have heard down here, and my protection will shield you when the time comes."

     He turned and began to head back through the tunnel with the torch, carrying with him the paper and the description.

     "Agent 53?" Victoria asked suddenly, and he turned around. "How come I can understand you? Petpets and Pets can't communicate through speech like we've been doing."

     He smiled slightly, and pointed at the small little device around his neck. "Translator," he told her.

     "But we aren't supposed to have things like that on Neopia!" she accused.

     "We stole them from the Space Station," he said casually.

     "You aren't supposed to do that," she said.

     His grin deepened. "We are the ones planning world domination," he told her cunningly. "Who says we have to follow rules?"

          ******

     The tunnel that Victoria emerged from was built underneath the Brain Tree, though he let her pass willingly enough. It took her some time to travel back to the Neopian Central, and she pondered all that she had learned on the way back. The strange plant, her capture, her task to create a name and description for that plant…

     It had been a strange little plant, something she thought good that had actually been bad. A bit too over-cheery, she thought grimly to herself.

     But the thought that kept resurfacing in her mind was the fact that Agent 53 was doubtful about his position and future goal. Before, when she had learned of the Meepits and their ways, she had thought them all evil. Everyone thought so. But perhaps she was mistaken like she had been about the plant. Perhaps she had thought them all bad when really some had been good. Perhaps, maybe, there was some small glimmer of light in the darkness of the Meepits' hearts… Perhaps it came by the name of Agent 53.

          ******

     Welcome to the underwater fishing cavern! This trapped air pocket has created an underwater lake with all kinds of strange and wondrous sea creatures, as well as some... other interesting things. Take a place on the jetty and start fishing! But be patient. You might have to wait a while between catches.

     This was the sign that greeted the yellow Cybunny as she entered the Underwater Fishing Cavern, her first time there, though it had opened several months before. She smiled and cast her line into the cool waters, looking around. The red-brown walls of the cavern were a startling contrast to the cool blue waters where the fish and other things waited. She sat on the jetty for a while, and suddenly felt a small tug - she had caught something!

     She reeled her line it, hoping for something other than the Scrawnyfish or Lesser Spotted Fish that many were rumored to catch, though she guessed that they were better than rotting driftwood. To her slight surprise, neither a fish nor a piece of wood came up out of the water, but a small plant.

     She pulled it onto the jetty and examined it. The plant had a small sack that she guessed was where the roots were, and five long, thin stems. At the top of each stem was a leaf. She stared at the plant. The plant was smiling at her! She smiled slightly in return. She had managed to catch something new!

     Over time, many would begin to catch this strange smiling plant from the depths of the Underwater Fishing Cavern, smiling at the thing that smiled back, taking it home with them without the slightest thought of what it might really be. Each plant carried its own name tag that bore the words:

     Cheery Plant

     Why is it so happy? Because it tastes extremely foul and no one dares eat it.

     No one ever thought to actually eat it and discover the truth behind those words. No one ever considered that it may have not been the original description - after all, why would anyone have changed it in the first place? No one ever considered the idea that the plants were not simply things to be caught, that the plants were not given, but released. The only ones that knew the truth were far below the surface, smiling at the new ploy of their scheme. They, and a certain Wocky that really did know the true description of the plant…

     It belongs to the Meepit.

The End

Author's Note - You have been warned!! Oh, also… Sorry for my long absence from the Times. I went on a family vacation a few weeks back and fell way behind with my writing plans. It's taken me all this time to finally write and submit a new story.

Strangely, this was intended to be a short story, though somehow it grew into a six-part series. *shrugs* And yes, there will be a sequel to this story, and I'll probably be rotating its plot with the Chronicle's plot, so I don't tire of either one of them.

Is there anything else I must say? Um… Get to work on your own stories! *cackles insanely*

 
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Other Episodes


» World Dominate: Over-Cheery - Part One
» World Dominate: Over-Cheery - Part Two
» World Dominate: Over-Cheery - Part Three
» World Dominate: Over-Cheery - Part Four
» World Dominate: Over-Cheery - Part Five



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