Pages of a Lost Past: Part Eight
Part Eight - Lost is Found
The small yellow Kacheek followed just far enough behind
so that she wouldn't be seen or heard. The robots which were carrying her sister
had gone down one of the many tunnel entrances found in the main cave area.
The tunnel they chose eventually opened into a staging room. The small Kacheek
assumed that it was the room where they prepared all of their victims before
they did... well, whatever it was they did to their victims.
The robots set the Kacheek-sicle down on a metal
platform surrounded by heat lamps. The small yellow Kacheek tried to sneak closer
to get a better look, but she accidently kicked some small pebbles. The noise
caught the attention of the cloaked figure, but the Kacheek fell back into the
shadows of the tunnel just before he turned around. He slowly pulled down his
hood revealing his strange green head and evil red eyes. The Kacheek could almost
feel his eyes piercing into her very soul and she did her best to repress the
cold shiver making its way up her spine.
Seconds later the cloaked figure turned back
around and ordered the robots to follow him into the next room. She waited until
she was sure all of them were out of sight and sound before she ran up to her
sister. Water droplets were already forming over the ice but it would still
be quite a while before her sister would be free of her icicle prison. So the
Kacheek decided it would be in her best interest to continue to follow the cloaked
figure for now and find out exactly what he was up to.
She soundlessly entered the adjacent room, which
was MUCH larger than the first. Nothing, not even a robot was spotted in the
room. The only thing here was the most complicated piece of machinery the Kacheek
had ever seen. It looked similar to the lab ray; however, at this point in time
the lab ray didn't even exist, or at least, no one knew about it yet, so the
Kacheek never would have made the comparison. She didn't even want to thing
about what kind of damage it could do, and more specifically, if this "lab ray"
was what they would subject her sister to... she shook the horrible images from
her mind when she heard voices coming from the next room. Carefully she snuck
into the next room, crouching as low to the ground as she could.
The cloaked figure was in this room, which seemed
to be his office. He stood in front of a large screen situated on one of the
walls of the room, and he was talking to someone on the screen who was apparently
very important. Behind him stood a large table with dozens of papers strewn
all over it. The Kacheek dove under the table quickly so she could get closer
to the screen without being seen.
"I assure you, General, everything is going to
plan. I just have this one last creature and a few other minor details to deal
with and then I shall be ready to attack," said the cloaked figure.
"Just what exactly is your plan this time, Dr.
Sloth? You've failed to enlighten me," replied the creature on the screen.
"Oh, I can't tell you yet, but I promise you,
you'll be pleased with the results," and he put his hands together in that evil
genius sort of way.
The way the cloaked figure spoke caused another
cold shiver to run up the Kacheek's spine.
"Just don't mess this planet up like you did
the last one, or you can forget that promotion, Doctor. General Suroth out."
The screen went blank. The cloak figure grumbled
under his breath as he left the room. The Kacheek however sat there with her
"That guy's a doctor?" she whispered to herself.
"Oh, never mind that!" She checked once more to make sure the coast was clear
before she scrambled out from underneath the table. The papers sitting on top
of the table she soon realized were the "doctor's" plans for the destruction
of Neopia. As she shuffled through the papers she came across the blueprints
for the giant machine she saw in the other room:
Effects of Machine include: mutation, extreme
size adjustment, and the destabilization of mental health.
'So that's why all those Neopets in there
are so huge!' she thought to herself. Then a dark cloud began growing over
'He plans on destroying our planet, and he's
going to use our very people to do it... including my sister. I should go back
to the town and get help... but... by the time I get back it'll be too late
for my sister! Ooh, what am I going to do?!' she lamented, and put her face
in her paws.
"There's one more thing I forgot to mention,
Doc... wha... wait a minute, who are you?!"
While the Kacheek was sinking into the severity
of the situation, she never noticed the screen on the wall flicker back on.
She turned around to face the screen in pure horror.
"Sloth... SLOTH!" the person on the screen began
yelling. "Get back in here! Some creature is running wild in your office!"
The Kacheek bolted out of the room, knocking
over a chair and some papers in the process. She ran through the lab room and
continued back to the room where her sister was thawing. Even though she was
now two rooms away she could still hear the yelling from the person on the screen,
but she ignored it for the moment and checked on her sister. A lot more of the
ice had melted but she still wasn't free of the ice. Only a paw and part of
her face had emerged from the ice.
'I can't wait for the ice to melt, by then
it'll be too late,' she thought. A muffled cry broke her thoughts. Startled,
she looked around the room but saw nothing. She looked slowly back around suddenly
wondering, hoping really, if it was her sister that had made the noise. The
little yellow paw emerging from the ice was moving just slightly.
"Laquilla!" she almost shouted, then she held
her breath as she listened to see if anyone had heard her. Two rooms away the
man on the screen was still screaming for someone's attention. The Kacheek let
out her breath and turned her attention back to her sister. As her sister was
becoming more and more aware of where she was and what was going on, she struggled
more to break free of the ice. Of course it was no use. The older sister leaned
in and whispered, "Shh, don't make any noise. I'll get you out of here, don't
With that, Laquilla stopped struggling, and her
sister began trying to pry off chunks of ice. However, with the ice steadily
melting under the warmth of the heat lamps, it was too slick to hold on to.
At this rate, it would be faster to just help melt the ice with her breath.
But that would still take too long.
"Don't worry, I'll be right back," the older
sister whispered again. She scrambled back into the lab room thinking there
could be something in there she might be able to use. Behind the machinery were
some large metal cabinets. The Kacheek quickly darted to the back of the room
where they stood and hastily began pulling open doors with such force that one
of them hit the side of one of the work tables, knocking something off of it.
It hit the floor with a loud metallic clunk. It turned out to be a large wrench.
"That'll work," she said to herself. She picked up the wrench, which was much
heavier than she thought, and headed back to her sister.
"I promise not to hurt you," she told her sister
before pulling the wrench back and swinging it at the block of ice with all
her might. The force of hitting the large block of ice with the wrench sent
the Kacheek off balance, but she quickly regained it. Once her brain had stopped
rattling from the reverberation, she checked the damage she had made. There
was a medium size crack where she had hit it, and a few small chips of ice had
fallen and were now melted on the platform. The Kacheek readied herself and
whacked the block of ice again. A slightly bigger chunk of ice had fallen off
this time. But she didn't give up. She continued to dutifully chip away at the
ice despite the fact that at any moment someone would find them. Especially
since warnings were still being shouted two rooms away.
"Ruffle!" Laquilla gasped when her mouth finally
became free of ice. "I knew you'd come to get me!"
"Shh," Ruffle whispered. "You have to keep quiet
until I get you out of here."
Laquilla nodded and didn't say another word.
By this time the block of ice was riddled with cracks and surrounded by a puddle
of water which was now dripping off the platform onto the dirt floor of the
cave. It was just as Ruffle was about to land one last hit on the ice that something
in the environment changed and made her stop. There was now more than one voice
coming from two rooms away. Ruffle instantly realized that this meant she had
been found out. She turned to her sister and they exchanged glances.
"Ruffle," Laquilla whined anxiously. It was now
or never, thought Ruffle. Either she frees her sister and they get away, or
they are both done for. Ruffle took the wrench in her paws and thrust it forcefully
into one of the cracks in the ice and pried off a large chunk of it. It hit
the metal platform with a clunk. It was enough for Laquilla to free her arm.
"Laquilla, you gotta help me by pushing on the
ice from the inside," Ruffle said in a hurried whisper.
"But I can't," she whined. "I can hardly feel
"You have to try, Laquilla," Ruffle said more
firmly. "If you want to get out of here, you have to try!"
Ruffle continued working on another crack in
the ice, and with help from Laquilla, she was able to pick off a very big chunk
of ice. Laquilla was now free from the waist up. Ruffle dropped the wrench onto
the now muddy cave floor and grabbed each of Laquilla's arms.
"I'm gonna pull you out at the count of three,
okay? 1... 2... 3!" said Ruffle. With a sound like a suction cup Laquilla was
finally pulled free of the ice and both sisters tumbled into the mud. A second
later Ruffle was back on her feet, as the voices from two rooms away were suddenly
growing closer. She was about to grab her sister and run when she stopped and
ran for the platform instead.
"What are you doing," asked Laquilla.
"I'm going to block their way," her sister replied.
Ruffle started pushing the metal platform toward the doorway. Normally it would
have been quite difficult, but since most of the ground had now been turned
to mud it slid easily. With a little more effort she was able to jam it part
way into the doorway. She turned, grabbed Laquilla in one paw, the wrench in
the other, and darted down the tunnel that led to the central cave. Just as
she did so she could hear the cloaked figure and his robot minions crash into
the platform. This encouraged Ruffle to run faster; however, something was slowing
"Come on Laquilla, we have to run!"
"I can't... my legs are still too numb... I can't
move them," she replied. So Ruffle put Laquilla's arm around her neck and half
carried, half dragged her sister through the tunnel. More furious yelling came
from behind them and echoed down the tunnel. From the sound of it they were
having more problems getting over the obstacle Ruffle put in their way than
she thought they would. A minute later the sisters had exited the tunnel. They
laid eyes once more on those poor mutilated Neopets, trapped in their frozen
pods, and Ruffle remembered the plans for Neopia's destruction. No, it wouldn't
happen, not if she could help it, she thought to herself. She immediately made
for the control panel, her sister in tow.
"Laquilla, do you know anything about how the
control panel works?"
Laquilla struggled to remember, but she felt
like her very brain was frozen.
"N-no, I don't know how it works."
"Then what about them," she said, pointing the
wrench at the giant frozen Neopets. "Do you know anything about them?" Ruffle's
voice was serious but hurried. She knew that any second now the cloaked figure,
or Dr. Sloth, as she had heard him called, would be here. Again her sister struggled
to remember. Meanwhile Ruffle began hitting buttons on the control panel.
"They... he... he said, something... he said
they still don't listen..."
"What do you mean they don't listen?" she shouted,
all the while watching the tunnel. She could vaguely see the silhouettes of
the deranged Dr. Sloth and his robots. "Come on Laquilla! Tell me!"
... every time Ruffle tried something on the control
panel, it would give a loud harsh beep, and said ACCESS DENIED on the small
screen at the top. But she continued to try the buttons hoping something good
"They still don't listen... because... "
"Laquilla!!!" Dr. Sloth had just entered the
main cave, and began shouting orders. Other robots came out from other tunnels
and made bee lines for the two Kacheeks.
"THEY DON'T LISTEN BECAUSE THEY'RE NOT UNDER
'If they're still not under his control, they'll
turn on him for sure..." Ruffle thought. The robots were almost upon
them as was Dr. Sloth. Ruffle quickly took the wrench she was holding in both
hands and held it high over her head.
"No... wait, what are you doing?" she heard Dr.
"You won't destroy us!!!" she shouted and swung
the wrench down hard into the center of the control panel. Sparks flew from
it and Laquilla used an arm to block her face.
"NNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!" Dr. Sloth screamed. An
array of different beeps, buzzes, and alarms went off all around the cave and
in the adjoined rooms. And all of the giant pods opened, just as Laquilla's
had earlier, and from each one of them came the same icy cold mist.
Without warning a loud crack rang throughout
the cave and everything and everyone stopped and looked around. Ruffle, for
a split second, was scared part of the cliff was coming loose and would cause
a cave in. There was another crack, and Ruffle could feel Laquilla tugging on
her leg. She looked down at her sister and saw that she was pointing up with
a wide-eyed look of fear on her face. Ruffle looked up as well. The giant fire
Grarrl in the pod closest to them was moving, and the loud cracking noises came
from the ice that he was breaking free of. There was another loud crack and
a huge chunk of ice fell to the ground right next to the two Kacheeks.
Dr. Sloth seemed to be frozen himself. He watched
in pure horror as his experiment broke free of its cage. Ruffle dragged her
sister back away from the pods, and they ended up falling into the small stream
of water that formed the moat in the center of the cave. Finally a large clawed
reptilian hand grabbed hold of the lid of its pod and pulled it down. Metal
screeched and whined as the lid was pulled from its hinges, and then out stepped
the single largest Grarrl Neopia had ever seen. He shook the remnants of ice
from his skin causing a hail storm for everyone below.
The Grarrl looked down at the two small Kacheeks
who looked scared out of their wits and then over to Dr. Sloth.
"YOU!" The Grarrl bellowed so loud that the cave
shook. Presently Dr. Sloth looked like he could make good use of a restroom.
The color began draining from his face as the Grarrl took two steps towards
"I'M GOING TO SMASH YOU!" he told Dr. Sloth,
pointing a claw in his face. Dr. Sloth began stuttering incoherently, but before
he could say anything understandable the ground began to shake followed by more
loud cracking. Within minutes the remaining frozen Neopets had broken free of
their capsules and had joined the Grarrl in a face off with the Doctor. Now
there were nine mutinous Neopets out to get him. To enhance his previous threat
the Grarrl leaned down and let out a bone rattling roar. Dr. Sloth's response
was too faint. He fell to the ground, pale as a ghost, and at once all of the
robots came to his aid and carried him down one of the many tunnels.
The Grarrl and the other Neopets carefully turned
around to face the two small Kacheeks. In a much more polite and quiet tone
the Grarrl asked: "Were you the one who freed us?"
At a loss for words, Ruffle nodded her head furiously.
The Grarrl smiled at her.
"Then we must thank you," he said.
"Yes, thank you," the other Neopets chorused.
"Not only have you rescued us," continued the
Grarrl, "you've saved our planet from a horrible fate. Now our job is to destroy
the machine that Dr. Sloth was using, and all of the blueprints, so that he
may never do these horrible things to anyone ever again."
"But... what about you guys, don't you want to
be returned to normal?" piped up Laquilla.
"Unfortunately," said a large Mutant Buzz, "I
do not think that is possible. I've seen the instructions for the machine, and
I don't believe it has the ability to reverse the effects. Besides, Dr. Sloth
had no reason to reverse the effects, not for what he was planing to do."
Ruffle and Laquilla looked up at them all sympathetically.
"But where will you all live? What will happen
to you?" Ruffle asked.
"Don't worry about us," said a giant Pteri in
a sweet voice. "There's still plenty of uninhabited places in Neopia. We'll
find some place to live."
"Being stuck like this may be more a blessing
than a curse," the Grarrl spoke again. "All of us can become guardians of Neopia
and help to protect it from any future threats."
The two sisters seemed satisfied with these answers.
But they were suddenly very tired, and both of them yawned.
"It must be close to morning," Ruffle said afterwards.
"Both of you must be extremely tired. And as
a thank you for freeing us, we will take you home," said the Pteri.
"That's great, but how are you gonna get out
of the cave? The tunnel is too small for any of you to fit through," Ruffle
"That's easily fixed," smiled the Grarrl. A minute
later the Grarrl and the rest of the Neopets had burst through the wall of the
cave and into the canyon, and now the Pteri was flying the Kacheeks up out of
the canyon and back home.
"Don't worry," the Pteri reminded them. "We'll
take care of Dr. Sloth."
~2 Weeks Later~
"Ruffle, can you come here a minute!"
"Yeah, Dad, just a second."
Ruffle jogged out to the living room where her
dad was waiting for her. A couple of weeks had passed since she had rescued
her sister from Dr. Sloth, and the excitement of it all was starting to die
down, for which she was glad. 'One more free cupcake,' she thought,
'and I can honestly say I will never eat sugar again.'
"Yes?" she said once she was standing in front
of her father.
"Ruffle, I just wanted you to know how proud
I am. What you did may have been insane, and could have gotten you killed, but
you saved your sister, and from the sounds of it possibly the whole world... "
"Yeah, yeah, I know," she said, then thought,
'I've only heard it a thousand times now.'
"Well, now that you've shown how responsible
you can be, I think you deserve these more than ever."
Her father held out his paws and in them was
a small box with holes, along with Spotted Paint Brush.
"Both of them are for me," she asked. Her father
nodded. Ruffle couldn't believe it. She had wanted a Spotted Paint Brush for
so long, and to think her father spent so much money on her. But... "What's
in the box?"
"Why don't you look and see for yourself," said
her father. Ruffle carefully opened the box and peered inside. Sitting at the
bottom of the box was a small three-eyed white mouse, wearing green overalls,
and in its tiny little paws it held a small orange umbrella.
"It's called a Psimouse. It comes from the Haunted
Woods. I was told they're a bit difficult to handle, but I thought it would
be perfect for you."
Ruffle carefully picked the Psimouse out of the
box. It snarled at Ruffle, and its eyes began to glow red, but Ruffle merely
smiled at the Psimouse when it did this... and the Psimouse smiled back...
* * *
Both Laquilla and I were standing in the wreckage
of the laboratory. However, contrary to my spontaneous flashbacks, there was
no machine in the room. Just a few busted up, rusted metal cabinets.
"Whatever happened to them?"
"Whatever happened to who?" asked Laquilla.
"The Grarrl... and the other giant Neopets," I
said quietly. I still felt a bit dazed by all that had happened. Laquilla stared
at me in awe for a moment before answering.
"Uh... well, they destroyed the place like they
said they would, obviously. I don't know what they did to that creepy Dr. Sloth
"Whatever they did, it didn't work," I said.
"Never mind, I'll tell you later. Continue."
"Well, after that they left... except for the
Tuskaninny! During the rainy season he comes and lives in the canyon. He helps
out with the fishing. That's one of the reasons the town has been doing so well
the past few years."
I smiled. It was the first time I had felt truly
happy in a very long time.
"Come on, Laquilla, let's go home. I think I've
found everything I need."
* * *
"Wow, that's... incredible," said TigerLily. We
were all sitting in the kitchen, seated around the island counter sipping tea
and I had just finished telling everyone my story of how I rescued my sister
and the other Neopets. All of them were quite shocked, most likely because my
story probably told the first ever sighting of Dr. Sloth.
"Dang..." said Sibertiger9, "but whatever happened
to the machine/lab ray thing? You said it wasn't in the cave at all."
"Actually, I have no idea," I replied. I turned
to Laquilla. "Do you know what happened to it?"
She shook her head. "I don't know what happened
to it either. All I know is that the Grarrl and the others said they would take
care of it. Hey! Rainy season is coming soon, and then Jimmy will be here. I
could ask him what they did with it."
"The Tuskaninny. The one I told you that helps
us with the fishing." Laquilla smiled.
"Hello! Is anybody home?"
Everyone stopped and looked around confused.
"Dad's home!" Laquilla shouted, and she ran out
into the living room.
So I finally met my father, who worked as one
of the traders for the town. I introduced him to my Mystery Island family and
my friends. Then I repeated the entire story that I had just told everyone else.
I also got the chance to meet Laquilla's pet Doglefox, which just happened to
be about the size of a Skeith:
"Whoa, what happened to him?" asked Amarenthela,
Kasey's yellow Shoyru.
"One day after Dad came home from trading, Peaches
got into Dad's cart. He ate something called a... oh, what was it... it was
a Supersize Plus. Apparently there are some side effect when a petpet uses it,"
replied Laquilla. "He's been stuck like that ever since. Now he helps Dad by
pulling the cart."
I suddenly realized that Peaches was the strange
creature that Kachie and I were hiding from on the way here, and I laughed at
The rest of the day was spent exchanging stories.
Laquilla and my biological family told me stories from my childhood, and me
and my Mystery Island family told them all about our life on the island, the
Gadsgadsbogen festival, and our dining room table that has a tendency to try
and eat us. We stayed for one more night, and in the morning we left for home.
Or should I say, my Mystery Island home. I was starting to become attached to
Laquilla and to the old life that I was only beginning to remember. Laquilla
begged me to stay, and it was so hard to tell her I had to leave. As much as
I would have liked to stay and go rock climbing and fishing, my life wasn't
here anymore. The island was home now and the Battledome was my life.
"Promise you'll at least come back and visit,"
Laquilla said before I left.
"Of course I promise," I told her. "I can't forget
you twice," I laughed.
My mother packed us plenty of food and water
for the trip back. On the journey home I had a long conversation with Kachie
about how she seemed to know everything I didn't, and why she was in some of
the pictures that hung in the hall in Laquilla's home. Because as far as I could
remember I never got Kachie until I came to live with Sibertiger9. But then
both the flashbacks I had and the journal told me that my father gave me a pet
Psimouse as well. Well, from what Kachie told me, it so happens that she's the
same Psimouse that my father brought me. Somehow we got separated (and I lost
my memory), before I came to live with Sibertiger9. It was a miracle that we
managed to find each other again. As far as how I came to live with Sibertiger9,
I'm still not sure. Perhaps I'll figure it out one day.
Back at Mystery Island life went back to normal.
I read the entire journal and learned about what my life was like in the village
of A Long Way. Just as Laquilla said, I gave the town its name and it seems
my inspiration for naming the town what I did was because we lived a very long
way from the next town. And the little reject rainbow Techo plushie now sits
on my bed along with my Evil Fuzzles.
~1 Month Later~
"Ruffle! Mail!" Sibertiger9 shouted from down
the hall. I ran out to where she was and collected my mail from her.
"Who's it from," I asked, wondering who it was
that would send me a letter.
"I dunno," she mumbled as she sorted out the
rest of the mail.
I looked at the return address. It said 'A Long
Way'. 'Laquilla,' I thought. I opened the envelope and read the letter.
Thanks for those books on the history of Dr.
Sloth. I had no idea he did all that stuff; then again we live in the middle
of nowhere so we don't really hear the latest news. Oh, by the way, I asked
Jimmy about what they did with the machine. They said they gave it to some crazy
old Scorchio on a deserted island. For all they know he's using it to cook food
Mom said she expects you to come visit during
the holidays. She also said your adoptive family is welcome to come too. See
you then. Don't forget to write me back.
Kachie had been sitting on my shoulder and reading
along with me. At the mention of the crazy old Scorchio we exchanged glances.
"No way," I whispered, "that thing is the Lab
Thanks to Kaseycw for the use of her and her pets Safaraze and Amaranthela
in my story, and for proofreading it. Thanks to Lalabok for the use of her four
Kacheeks, BokCheek, BokLoff, Brai_niak, and CheekBok, in my story and sorry
I took so long to finish writing it.
Some of the characters in the story are fictional. Any resemblance in name,
form, or personality to real live Neopets is purely coincidence. No Neopets
were harmed in the making of this story.