The Disease of Narcissism
In the Unis Clothing store in the Neopian Bazaar, a young green Lupe was admiring himself in the mirror. However, he wasn’t trying on clothes, because the only thing he wore was a simple lucky bone necklace. Rather, this big young Lupe was just looking at himself in the mirror because he and his owner, Steel, didn’t have a Neohome to put a mirror in.
“Hello, handsome!” The green Lupe greeted his reflection.
“Oh, come on, Jaeger, who even says that anymore?” The Lupe’s human owner, Steel, rolled his eyes impatiently.
“It’s funny how jealousy tends to portray itself as impatience, hey, Steel?” Jaeger said with a smirk.
“Jealous? Of you?” Steel gave a fake laugh. “I don’t think so.”
“You can deny it all you want, but there’s no beating this.” Jaeger then began to flex his arms, and then his torso, gaining the attention of a few other neopets in the shop.
“Please, Jaeger, can we go into ONE place without making a scene?” Steel begged his Lupe.
As Jaeger ignored his human, Steel began to scowl.
“Dude, you are such a narcissist!” Steel commented with a frown.
“What’s a narcissist?” The blue Uni shopkeeper suddenly piped in. It caught Steel by surprise, as he was unaware that she had been eavesdropping.
“It means he’s in love with himself,” the human said bluntly.
“I am NOT in love with myself!” Jaeger said, looking utterly gobsmacked.
Steel let out a loud sigh and shook his head. Then he grabbed his Lupe, who was much taller than him, by the arm and dragged him out of the shop.
“Hey! I wasn’t done in there!” the big Lupe complained like a pup.
“Good grief, you weren’t even shopping! Now come on, I’ve got to get our omelette for the day.”
Steel and Jaeger walked through the Tyrannian jungle in the warm morning. It was a humid place, and the two of them found themselves brushing away flies frequently. As they walked through the village, a little prehistoric JubJub came running out at them.
“Tyranu evavu! Tyranu evavu!” Despite its small size, the JubJub had an incredibly deep, hoarse voice.
“Uh, that’s okay,” Steel said, trying to push the JubJub away carefully without getting his hands dirty.
“Man, these Tyrannians have to have the most terrible voice, don’t you think?” Jaeger asked, and then kept talking before he could get a reply. “I mean, if there’s anything about me that’s better than my appearance, I would say it’s my voice.”
“What is with you and yourself?!” Steel almost yelled. “I’ve had a lot of Lupes in the past, and though they all had a streak of arrogance, I don’t recall them ever being completely self-obsessed. It’s like someone has to give you a good insult to smack some sense into you.”
“I’m not completely self-obsessed,” Jaeger defended. “I cared about that one kid in Defenders of Neopia! Flinny... Ninny... What was her name?”
“Her name’s Ginny. And besides, you haven’t even caught the Pant Devil yet,” Steel remarked.
“Okay, so what does any of this have to do with my voice?” Jaeger asked.
“Never mind, Jaeger.” Steel sighed.
The two of them walked out onto the Tyrannian Plateau, where the sun was already beginning to burn the dry ground. Several Tyrannian neopets formed a line to the giant omelette, each taking their slice of mouth-watering cooked egg while Sabre-X stood as an alert guard. Jaeger strode forward, sticking out his muscular chest confidently as he took off a generous portion of omelette. Sabre-X carefully inspected the portion to make sure that he hadn’t taken two days’ worth, but taking one whiff of the rancid egg was enough to let Jaeger take it. Jaeger gave the other Lupe a strange look, wondering what was wrong with the omelette. He smelled it for himself, and there was definitely something different about it.
“Steel, what do you think of this omelette?” Jaeger asked the human, putting it under his owner’s nose.
“WHEW, get that away!” Steel gagged and coughed at the bad smell. “Jaeger, that omelette you took is rotten,” he said, doubled over from gagging.
Jaeger wasn’t nearly as unenthusiastic as Steel was about the smell of the omelette. He took another sniff, and then only held it away slightly as though it wasn’t really repulsive.
“But is it still good?” he inquired.
“No, Jaeger, it’s not still good!” Steel exclaimed. “You’re a bright neopet; does that omelette not repel you?”
“No, not really.”
Steel gave his Lupe a shocked look, and then shrugged.
“Well, then, I guess you can eat it if you’re hungry. That’s all the food we’ll be getting today,” Steel said with a sceptical look on his face.
Jaeger slowly brought the rotten omelette to his muzzle, sniffing it a few more times before taking a bite. Not completely repulsed by it, the green Lupe took a big bite. He chewed over it thoughtfully, and then swallowed.
“You know, it’s really not too bad,” Jaeger said to Steel. “I mean, I thought it was going to be ugga ugg ugga.”
Steel looked at Jaeger strangely as he grunted the last bit of his sentence.
“Jaeger, you thought it was going to be what?” Steel asked, suddenly concerned.
“Ugga ugg ugga ugg ugg,” Jaeger repeated in a hoarse, gruff voice, giving his owner a strange look.
“Jaeger, listen to yourself!” Steel exclaimed in dread.
“Ugga ugg? Ugga...” Jaeger stopped, just now realizing what he was saying. “AAAAAAAAAAGH!” He screamed, grasping his throat and dropping to his knees. He gasped and panted, and slowly tried to change his voice, but only let out small “uuuuugga” noises. Suddenly he looked up at Steel, giving him a pleading look.
“Ugga ugga ugg ugg!” Jaeger yelled.
“Jaeger, there’s no point yelling, I can’t understand you! Why don’t you try writing it down?” Steel suggested.
Jaeger quickly grabbed a stick from off a tree and began to spell out “ugga ugga ugg ugg” in the sand. Afterwards, he looked at it and snarled angrily, kicking the sand around in frustration.
“Relax, Jaeger, I think I know what you’re thinking. Do you want me to take you to the hospital?” Steel asked.
Jaeger nodded enthusiastically.
“Well, I don’t know, I think I kind of like you like this...” Steel teased, but was given such an extremely stern look from his Lupe that he knew it wasn’t a good idea.
“Okay, okay, let’s go to the hospital.”
Jaeger sat on the examining table in the Neopian Hospital. The green Gelert doctor looked him over, hitting him with hammers, shining lights into his eyes, and sticking pieces of wood into his mouth.
“Now say, ‘I am hungry,’” the doctor ordered.
“Ugga ugg,” Jaeger replied.
“Mm-hmm, interesting.” The green Gelert scribbled some writing onto his notepad and then tore the page off, handing it to Jaeger.
“I’m afraid you have Ugga-Ugga, possibly the worst of the Tyrannian diseases,” the doctor concluded. “You should take one warm cup of Sporkle Syrup to cure it. Doctor’s orders. The Neopian Pharmacy may have some in stock, but if not, you should try the Shop Wizard.”
As Jaeger and Steel walked out of the hospital, Steel whispered to his Lupe.
“Alright, here’s the deal. I’ll buy you the medicine if it’s less than 1000 neopoints. But if it’s more than that, we’ll just go to the Healing Springs until she cures you.”
The Shop Wizard concentrated hard, closing his big shining eyes and then turning around. He then whirled around again to face Jaeger and Steel.
“I did not find anything. Please try again and I will search elsewhere!”
“Oh no...” Steel gasped as he heard the Shop Wizard. He and his Lupe ran to browse the Trading Post, but the results were disastrous. The cheapest cup of Sporkle Syrup available cost 170,000 neopoints.
“Ugga ugg ugg ugga ugg!” Jaeger roared, proceeding to pick things up from people’s lots and throw them around.
“Jaeger! Stop!” Steel shouted as a mob of angry traders began to glare at the Lupe and human.
“Ugga ugga ugga?” Jaeger asked Steel with a pleading look. “Ugga ugg UGGA UGGA?!”
“You know, Jaeger, even though you just spoke gibberish... I think I know you well enough to take a shot at what you said,” Steel said, somewhat of a mocking look on his face. “‘My beautiful voice, oh no, my beautiful voice’?”
The green Lupe stopped to give his human a good, stern glare.
“Alright, alright, I get it. Let’s head to Faerieland -- something tells me we’ll be living there for the next while,” Steel said.
Jaeger and Steel sat on the big, dense fluffy cloud where the Healing Springs resided. Despite the gentle sound of pure water trickling in the springs, they were not feeling happy and relaxed. The Lupe and human held their faces up with their fists, wearing terribly disgruntled expressions, but each for different reasons. They had been waiting beside the Healing Springs for five hours, going to get healed every half hour during the whole time. Jaeger was upset, obviously, because he wanted a cure. But Steel was upset because his Lupe wouldn’t let him go anywhere until the disease was healed.
“Well, half an hour’s up,” Steel commented dryly, looking at his watch. “Time to try again.”
“Ugg,” Jaeger muttered, getting up from his fluffy seat.
“Heal my pet,” Steel ordered the Water Faerie emotionlessly. He was now past saying “please”.
The Water Faerie chanted some magical words, waving her thin hands through the air with skilled nimbleness.
“All of your neopets gain three hit points. I hope that helps!” the faerie said with a calm, but almost devious smile on her sparkling face.
Steel clenched his fists, anger fuming inside him. Finally, he couldn’t contain himself.
“No, that does NOT help!” he declared angrily.
“UGGA UGG UGG UGGA!” Jaeger roared, grabbing the Water Faerie violently by the upper arms and grunting ferociously in her face.
The nimble faerie quickly slipped from his grasp and gave the Lupe a fear-inspiring glare that neither Jaeger nor Steel would have expected from such a gentle faerie.
“You two are hereby banned from coming to my Healing Springs for an entire week! I don’t want to see you anywhere near this cloud until your time is up.” Her voice was not tinkly as usual, but rather fierce. She gave them such commanding gestures that the two of them were forced to leave.
Lupe and human walked forlornly past the stream of neopets and humans shooting them dirty looks. It was a humiliating feeling having everyone giving you hateful glares because you assaulted a faerie.
Jaeger and Steel entered the Haunted Woods, walking silently through the creepy world without caring. Steel looked to the darkening sky. It was common knowledge to stay away from the Haunted Woods come nightfall.
“Jaeger, it’s getting dark out. Do you think maybe we should go to the Wheel of Misfortune tomorrow?” Steel asked, a hint of worry in his voice.
Suddenly, a terrifying creature popped out from behind a tree, blocking their path and screeching at them. As Steel turned to get ready to run away, Jaeger jumped forward in true fury.
“UGGA UGG UGGA UGGA!” the Lupe bellowed terribly.
The frightening creature’s eyes widened, and it took off back into the woods, letting out loud yelping noises with every stride.
Steel stared at Jaeger in surprise. Neither spoke another word or grunt until they reached the Deserted Fairgrounds. Steel tossed a hundred neopoints in the box and pulled the skull lever to the Wheel of Misfortune. Both of them watched with interest, hoping for it to land on the Pant Devil so that Jaeger could finally fight him. The wheel gradually slowed, coming close to the Pant Devil... and then stopping on Pox.
“Ugga ugg ugg really dumb,” Jaeger commented idly.
“Jaeger? Are you cured?” Steel inquired, dumbfounded.
“Hey! I can talk! My beautiful voice... it’s back!” Jaeger leapt in the air, kicking his heels together. “Who would have thought that the Wheel of Misfortune would actually cure... what the...” Jaeger’s own body interrupted him as it began itching, first in one area, then in another, and then all over the place. The big Lupe scratched himself frantically, trying to get rid of the terrible itch. “Gah! So... itchy... great Fyora, help me!” Jaeger yelled, scratching himself like a madman.
“After what you did to the Water Faerie, I don’t think you’ll be getting help from Fyora anytime soon,” Steel mused.
“Steel, this isn’t funny! What the heck is wrong with me? And I’m NOT going to the doctor for another dumb diagnosis.”
Steel complied and looked at the words on the plank beneath the wheel.
“Heh... it looks like you lost Ugga Ugga, only to get the Itchy Scratchies instead,” Steel told Jaeger.
“Ack, I don’t know what’s worse!” Jaeger said in frustration, still scratching himself madly.
“Relax, Jaeger, this is much better! One of my past Lupes ended up with this disease one time. All you need is some inexpensive Itchy Scratchy Cream,” Steel said with a smile.
“Well, then, let’s go! I need...” Jaeger stopped, as he realized that his skin was breaking out all over the place with large red bumps. He was turning into one giant rash.
“NOOO!” Jaeger screamed in terror. “First my voice, now my beautiful body! How could this be??”
“Whoa, Jaeger, that really looks bad!” Steel stared at the bumps on Jaeger’s body. They were visible even through his thick green fur. His expression was a mixture of shock and disgust.
The big green Lupe grabbed his human by the arm and began sprinting out of the Deserted Fairgrounds, out of the Haunted Woods and all the way over to the Shop Wizard in Neopia Central.
“Ask him, ask him!” Jaeger demanded, beginning to scratch his rashy body again.
“Search for ‘Itchy Scratchy Cream’ in shops. And hurry!” Steel added.
The yellow wizard JubJub quickly handed the human a list of shops. Steel pinpointed the shop on top of the list.
“Yes! I found some for only 728 NP. But let’s hurry!”
The duo rushed over to the shop, bought the cream without delay, and right there in the shop Steel began smothering the cream all over his Lupe’s body. Jaeger let out a long, relaxed sigh as he experienced instant relief from the horrendous itching.
“Wow,” Jaeger uttered with complete contentment. “I now have my voice AND body back to their restored selves.”
“Well, Jaeger, I hope you learned a lesson in this,” Steel lectured. “The only real disease you ever had was narcissism.”
“I hate to admit it, but I do kind of see your point now,” Jaeger replied. He stretched his body, free of blemishes, and yawned loudly, in a completely un-Tyrannian voice.
“It’s just good to be back to my old self. Still, there’s no harm in appreciating my body,” Jaeger went on.
“Well... I suppose...” Steel said slowly, hoping that Jaeger’s newly-learned lesson wasn’t being abandoned already.
“Hey! Look! This shop has a mirror!” Without another word, the Lupe ran over to greet his reflection.
“This could take a while...”