Gallery of Evil: the Spider Grundo
The silver doors of the enormous spaceship swished
to a close, and the Grundos felt themselves being lifted off the ground.
"Shix?" Arly called quietly into the darkness.
"Are you here?"
"Yeah, I'm here," came a voice from a startlingly
close location off to Arly's right.
Arly reached out to try and find her friend,
but it was just too dark...
"Stay put, okay, Arly?"
"Yeah, okay. I'll do my best."
The ship sped up, causing many of the captive
Grundos to fall painfully into each other.
Arly recalled the horrifying event that had taken
place just moments ago. They had been on a school trip to a historic crater
on Kreludor, and they were camping in tents for the night. Arly had been almost
asleep in her tent when they came: Dr. Sloth's terrible mutant Grundos.
They were green and they were huge... And so
nasty, too! Arly remembered when they had shoved a first grade girl down for
no apparent reason. Arly was sure they shoved hard, too. The girl was still
crying at this very moment.
Then the monsters had herded them like Babaas
into their ship and took off, which brought Arly back to the present.
"Shix? You still there?"
"Yeah, don't worry. I'll never leave."
Arly smiled to herself. Ever since second grade
she and Shix, a small green Grundo, had been best friends. Arly had been a new
student at Kreludor Elementary, and Shix had been friendly to her right off
the bat, even when no one else had been. He had been an outsider as well - all
the other Grundos were the traditional Kreludan orange, but Shix was born on
Neopia, and he was green. Arly was white, and so the two outsiders had always
stuck together. Even now, in the most dire of situations, they were with each
"What's going to happen to us?"
"Well, we'll probably become Dr. Sloth's slaves,
like all those other Grundos we hear about."
"Are we ever gonna come home?"
"I dunno. I hope so. I've heard rumors that the
Space Faerie is working on defeating Dr. Sloth, so hopefully we'll be set free
There was a moment's pause before Arly opened
her mouth once again.
"Let's try to stay together, okay?"
"Don't worry, Arly," Shix replied patiently.
"I'll never leave your side."
Hours later the ship arrived at Dr. Sloth's space
station. The Grundos were brought into an enormous warehouse-type of room. The
ceilings were several stories high, and there were no windows. It was dimly
lit by huge, dusty lamps hanging from the ceiling.
The mutated Grundos surrounded the young schoolchildren,
their muscular arms crossed over their gigantic green chests. They all wore
furious expressions, not twitching a brow even once.
A dark blue, equally muscular Blumaroo entered
the warehouse. He wore brown, sleek armor on his chest with a gold belt and
sash. It was the dreaded Commander Garoo.
"Hello, hello," he began, his voice surprisingly
deep. "Welcome to our humble home." He leaned back to let loose a harsh, booming
laugh. When he was finished, he continued his speech. "You have been brought
here to work for Dr. Sloth in his big plans for dominating Neopia.
"You will do everything he, I, or my men say.
You will ask no questions. You will do as we tell you, even if it includes betraying
your best friend."
Arly avoided turning to look at Shix and he did
the same. They would never betray each other.
"You will be assigned a number and given a name
tag, which is to be worn at all times. No exceptions. Any failure to follow
orders will be dealt with harshly and mercilessly.
"Now, make a line and you will receive your identification."
The young Grundos began forming a line as quickly
as possible so as not to anger these villains. Shix and Arly were careful to
stand next to each other in the line.
An enormous mutant stepped through the line,
handing out dog tags with numbers as he went. Shix received the number 7767,
and Arly received the number 7768.
When everyone had received their identification,
Commander Garoo pulled and a sheet of paper and began to read.
"Citizens seven-six-zero-zero through seven-six-two-five
will report to Officer Twelve. Citizens seven-six-two-six through seven-six-five-zero
will report to Officer One Fifty-Six. Citizens seven-six-five-one through seven-six-seven-five
will report to Officer Ninety-Nine, and citizens seven-six-seven-six and up
will report to me."
The Grundos bustled about, trying to reach their
assigned officers. Some Grundos began to panic, overwhelmed with fear and homesickness.
Shix and Arly held hands as they headed toward Officer 99, who appeared to them
to be like all the other mutants: big, green, and angry.
When all twenty-five of their group was huddled
in front of the mutated Grundo he began to speak in his booming voice.
"You are group C-5," he began tonelessly. "You
will be divided into different projects according to your age and ability level.
Testing begins tomorrow. Now follow me." He turned and opened the steel door
that had been directly behind him. He then began walking briskly down the dark
tunnel, his gigantic arms swinging at his sides.
They reached the end of the corridor where there
was an identical steel door. Officer 99 opened it with a blue keycard, sliding
it through a slot to the left of the silver door handle. The door opened with
a hiss and the children were ushered inside.
Officer 99 flipped a switch on the wall and several
ceiling lights flickered on, causing the young Grundos to blink in the sudden
They were in a small room that barely fit all
twenty-six of them, and directly across from the strange door was a tiny, barred
window as well as an iron door that had another barred window on it. Officer
99 pulled out a ring of numerous rusty keys. When he found the one he wanted
- a gigantic charcoal-colored one covered in reddish spots of rust - he stuffed
it into the rusty padlock on the iron door and twisted, creating a harsh squeaking
The officer pulled the gigantic padlock off from
the latch and yanked the door open. It creaked as if it hadn't been used in
years. He shoved the tiny Grundos in and slammed the door shut. Arly heard him
replace the lock and leave the room.
Arly and Shix looked around. There were bunks
all around them: four beds on each bunk. Each bed had a moldy blanket and a
lumpy pillow, and upon further inspection one could see that they also housed
a flat, musty mattress.
The only light that entered the cell was from
the windows; there were two more on different walls that Arly had not noticed
All the Grundos in group C-5 seemed to be younger
than Shix and Arly. They were already claiming bunks and starting arguments.
"Well," Shix said, sighing. "I guess we should
grab spots to sleep."
Arly nodded wearily. "I bet all the good bunks
are already taken," she replied, peering around.
"Yes, but we have seniority." Shix grinned at
Arly and stared down at a puny boy who peered back at him nervously. "Is this
bed taken?" Shix asked, intentionally intimidating the child.
"N-no," the boy stuttered. He leaped off the
bunk and ran to the other side of the room.
Shix immediately sat down, pleased with himself.
Arly chuckled, shaking her head. She claimed the bunk directly under him for
An hour later the entire cell was silent, and
Arly found herself drifting off to sleep...
The next few weeks were tiring and monotonous.
Shix and Arly were assigned to work at the assembly line where they were forced
to piece weapon after weapon together. They worked sixteen hours a day, but
there was a tiny break for lunch in the middle.
After the third week Arly found herself not even
thinking about what she was doing. Day after day her only thoughts were wondering
what would be served for lunch that afternoon, and whether or not she would
be able to sleep that night. The only adventures she experienced were when a
new kind of weapon was to be made, as she would get to do something different
for the next week or so. Then one day there was finally a change, although not
for the better.
It was a "new weapon week". They were all assigned
new work posts. This new weapon was bigger than ever, so many of the workers
had to lug heavy parts from one place to another all day long, every single
day. Shix was one of those workers.
He was carrying an enormous funnel-shaped object
when it happened.
"Seven-seven-six-seven!" barked Officer 99. "Get
a move on!"
Shix turned his head wearily and just nodded.
He had been lugging around these stupid cones for the past nine hours, and he
was exhausted. He began to turn back when his foot tripped on a wire spread
across the floor. He came crashing down and landed directly on the huge metal
funnel he had been carrying. He rolled off and continued to fall until he landed
over his arm on the cold, hard floor. He didn't move.
"Shix!" Arly cried, dropping her screwdriver.
She sprinted over to the green Grundo and turned him back around. He flopped
"My arm," he moaned. "I fell on my arm."
Arly glanced at his right arm, which was already
beginning to turn purple and swell up at the wrist.
Officer 99 yanked Arly away and inspected the
"Great, now you're useless!" he spat at Shix,
who flinched. The officer turned toward another mutant. "Get him out of here,"
he said. "Bring him to the commander."
The other mutant walked over to Shix and pulled
him to his feet.
"C'mon," he growled, shoving him along.
"Shix!" Arly screamed as she began to follow
him. Suddenly she was being swept off her feet and was plopped back down at
her place in the assembly line.
"Get back to work," Officer 99 commanded, glaring
at the tearful girl.
That night Arly was sitting on her bed, unable
to sleep. Suddenly she heard two officers out in the tunnel, chatting.
"So what happened to that klutz who broke his
arm?" one of them asked.
"He was taken to Dr. Sloth's testing quarters,"
the other one replied. He chuckled. "He'll never be seen again!"
"You got that right!" exclaimed the first
officer. Both mutants' voices drifted away as they seemed to turn a corner,
Oh, no! Arly thought. She stood up and
nudged awake Isil, a girl one year younger than she who worked as a cleaner
in the space station.
"Isil!" Arly hissed. "Wake up!"
Isil blinked awake and frowned.
"Arly?" she asked, confused.
"Yes," Arly replied hurriedly. "Listen, did you
ever clean in a place called the testing quarters?"
"Oh yeah," Isil said, sitting up. "Messy place."
"Can you tell me how to get there?"
When Arly had received the directions she needed
she began to glance around the cell. She found the vent that connected to the
corridor - it was through this that she had heard the officers' conversation.
She reached up and yanked the grate, trying to free it from the wall. It didn't
budge; it was tightly screwed in by four large, sturdy screws in each corner.
If only Arly had her screwdriver now!
Arly yanked the grate again and it creaked a
little, but still didn't move. It was useless. She glanced back at Shix's empty
bunk and imagined him being tortured with Dr. Sloth's malicious instruments.
She imagined his screams piercing through the air.
Arly turned back to the grate and pulled with
all her might. She pulled so hard that the skin on her fingers began to peel,
but she hardly felt it.
"Augh!" she cried, waking up some of the sleeping
Finally she felt the grate give way, and with
one final tug it went clattering to the floor. The suddenness of it caused Arly
to fall directly on her back on the dirty floor. She blinked away the burning
tears and stood up. She hoisted herself into the air duct.
Victory is mine, she thought.
Arly reached the grate that connected to the
tunnel and kicked it off with ease. She dropped into the silent corridor and
began her way down in, careful to stay in the shadows.
After several more doors were opened and halls
were traversed Arly made it. She was in the testing quarters. It was a cage
similar to her sleeping place, but much dirtier. Locks didn't seem to be needed
as there were several sleeping Grundos chained to the walls.
The heavy door creaked open when Arly pulled,
and she peered into the musty cell warily.
"Shix?" she called. "Are you there?" Not even
a stir. She stepped into the room and continued to walk. "Shix! Where are you?"
Arly suddenly found herself caught in an invisible,
sticky wall. It reminded her of a Spyder web, but as far as she knew Spyders
could not make webs this huge!
Arly struggled to break free of the thick fibers,
but the more she squirmed the more stick she seemed to become. Finally she just
stopped moving and gave up.
"Shix!" she screamed. "Shix, help me!"
But it was too late. Arly felt herself being
twisted around at lightning speed, and the sticky rope was soon binding her
limbs in place. She then felt her neck become bound, tightening her throat so
it was hard to breathe.
Now Arly was dizzy and terrified, and soon her
nose and mouth were tightly covered. She could no longer breathe at all. She
tried to scream but could not, for she had no breath left. Her lungs were on
fire as she glanced wide-eyed around her. There! She had found her captor. It
was an enormous, acid-green Spyder - wait, no! It was a Grundo! The monster
had the normal limbs a Grundo had, but also had three extra, spiky legs on each
side. Arly was no longer afraid; she was too groggy from lack of oxygen to care
anymore. The last thing she saw before blacking out was a dog tag dangling from
the monster's neck - a dog tag with the number "7767" on it.