The Truth Behind the Smile
Neopians, prepare yourselves. We’re about to be destroyed.
These eight words (and yes, there were eight, you can check for yourself) are enough to strike fear into the heart of every Neopian. They are enough to cause Neopia’s entire population to rise and cry of one accord: “BY WHO? Sloth? Lord Kass? Don’t tell me it’s the meepits.”
No, no, nothing that obvious. No, this is a new villain – one who has crept into our society almost unnoticed, who, through various subtle methods, has managed to weasel his way into the innermost workings of our civilisation.
Who is he? Who is this phantom of subterfuge? This master of artifice? This creature of deception?
He is none other than Dr. DEATH!!!
“Don’t be silly. He’s just that Techo from the Pound!”
Yes, Neopia, this was your reply. I put this to the test, even, by heading over to the Help Boards and making a topic titled ‘Who is Dr. Death?’
The answers I received were varied. Obviously, I was told that he was only the Techo from the Pound. Many directed me to the Neopedia article detailing Dr. Death’s past. Others recounted his tragic childhood in which he was traumatised to the brink of insanity, and left to mutilate pets for the rest of his sorry life. Most agreed that he deserved, at the very least, to be painted grey. One enthusiastic helper announced that he was none other than her maths teacher.
Some felt animosity towards him. Many that I spoke to in person said that it was because of him that their pet was lost in a transfer. Others felt great sympathy for this warped being, feeling that he had not been given a fair chance in life. How is one to move on, after being given a name like Dr. Death, and a frightening avatar and reputation to match?
But what do we really know about this shady-looking reptile?
Certainly, the article describes him as a promising young doctor, who was uncommonly kind to the injured and felt it his unquestioned duty to take care of the sick of Neopia. It depicts how he was offered a job at the local Pound to care for disowned pets, and how, as time went on, he sank further and further into deep depression.
But who wrote the article? What if, through untold iniquitous deeds, Dr. Death bought over the services of the unnamed writer, to hide his hardly suitable past? And if he has this power, who knows what damage he could do – IS ALREADY DOING – to the susceptible minds of innocent Neopians?
When you take a pet to the Pound, it pleads with you multiple times, begging you not to leave it in the hands of Dr. Death. We are warned, before we begin the separation, that it is perhaps not the wisest course for us to trust this ‘scary looking Techo’, and are told that Neopia is, in fact, a very dangerous land. We are charged 250 neopoints to leave our pet with this worrying individual, and nobody ever mentions where exactly this money is going, be it a sprawling underground base or a secret, undiscovered world somewhere among the stars.
And what of the Headless Dr. Death Plushie? Rough play, or an omen? And why is it that Neopets find the Pound an unexplained, innate source of terror?
Could it be that, in the great unknown where our pets are brought from, they are instructed not to trust this being? How else would they have such an unwavering sense of repulsion at the thought of being left in his care? And does the fact that this is a feeling shared by every Neopet, of every age, species, gender, colour, and level of toughness, not startle anyone else?
What’s really behind that little brown desk? What dark secrets lie hidden under that businesslike white coat? These unanswered questions will haunt us until we find the truth.
There’s only one thing for it, Neopians. We’ve got to rid ourselves of this creature in our midst. We have to put him out of business. There isn’t even a choice here: we have to stop using the Pound. Only then will Neopia be safe.
But then, some will argue, what if I have a NEED to pound my pet? While the vast majority of us have no true excuse for pounding, there are perhaps a few who may have an honest, legitimate reason and purpose for sending their pet out into the world – transference, for example. In these instances, yes, perhaps it would be kinder to have the pet on a main account, rather than disappearing into oblivion on some remote side, forgotten for time out of mind.
In this case, what could be so wrong with having a kind Pound owner? A sensitive soul, who could be trusted with the care and protection of every Neopet to enter the vicinity of the Pound. One who would make it their duty to see to it that each and every pet felt safe, loved and protected, who could help them along their lonely journey until such time as they were adopted by a considerate, warm-hearted personage. A Pound owner like this could put Dr. Death out of business almost instantly. And with every owner paying 250 neopoints to abandon, and every adopter paying various prices to adopt, it could hardly be a badly-paid job.
It's up to you, people. Will you stand by and watch this scoundrel take over our happy world, crushing the last remnants of innocence that are still left? Will you be able to hold your heads up in public, with the knowledge that you are accountable for the destruction of Neopia?
It is our duty to our pets, at the very least, to find someone who could truly care for them when we can no longer. Such a character could not be hard to find, Neopia being the happy, loving land that it is.
So choose now, what will your course of action be?