How Soup Saved Neopia: Part Three
“What are we going to do?” screamed Grellor, who was obviously in terror.
The dishwashing Grundo dropped the dish he’d been cleaning and positively dashed out of the kitchen, mind made up to find a hiding place.
Gargarox, however, seemed dumbstruck. He had dropped a bowl of Toroidoughnut batter he had been mixing up, but he barely noticed. The shards of the bowl and the batter that had been in it were all over the kitchen.
Suddenly, the Lupe from earlier rushed into the kitchen. He tried to yell something to Gargarox and Grellor, but the words were lost in the noise. Since he couldn’t convey his meaning with words, he beckoned furiously in an attempt to get the two Grundos to follow him.
Grellor looked around, trying to spot the dishwashing Grundo, but he could see him nowhere so he followed the Lupe. It only took a few seconds for Gargarox to follow behind.
They pushed through the station as best they could, but it was hard with the clones and mutant Grundos trying to stop them from getting away. Gargarox had the easiest time; he looked like a member of the mutant Grundo army. Grellor was small and fast and he could slip around without getting caught. The Lupe had the hardest time; his bright yellow fur and larger size made him an obvious and easy-to-see target.
After a few minutes of pushing through the crowd, during which the Lupe had to be rescued twice, they managed to make it to a cleaning closet.
The Lupe looked around quickly, opened the door, then shoved Grellor and Gargarox inside the tiny closet. The Lupe followed after and quietly shut the door.
Gargarox was squashed in an uncomfortable position against a line of mops. “Why exactly are we in a cleaning closet?” he said grumpily.
“Move over,” ordered the Lupe, ignoring Gargarox’s question. He placed his paws on the back wall of the closet and searched until he found a hidden button. He pressed the button and a small door opened, revealing a hidden passageway. “Come on,” he said as he climbed into the little corridor.
Grellor scrambled after the Lupe and hopped through the door into the passageway.
Gargarox looked at the door. “I can’t fit through that!” he said indignantly.
“Unless you want to be left behind, you’re going to have to fit,” said the Lupe impatiently. “Hurry up; we have to go.”
Gargarox gingerly put his feet through the door. That worked, so he moved his legs through. Still fine. He pushed his upper body through carefully and, after making himself as skinny as he could, he made it through.
The Lupe closed the door quickly and locked it. “Good.” He turned around and looked at the two Grundos. “By the way, call me Rojahno.”
Grellor nodded. “Alright, Rojahno. Now, tell us where we’re going.”
Rojahno took a deep, nervous breath and said, “A group of station employees is meeting in a secret room that only we know about. We’re going to group up there and plan a way to take back the station and stop Dr. Sloth from doing whatever it is he’s here for.”
“Well then, let’s get going!” said Gargarox.
Rojahno gave a quick nod and began to lead the two Grundos along the corridor.
They wound their way through the tunnels for what seemed hours, never stopping. Rojahno seemed to know exactly where they were going and he never stopped once to think whether to take a left or a right when the path split.
As they walked quickly through the secret passages, Grellor and Gargarox were both thinking how eerie it was. They could hear nothing of what was happening in the rest of the station; the only sound was their footsteps echoing slightly in the dark corridor.
After what seemed forever, the trio reached the secret room. There was already a small group there – a couple of Lennies, a Mynci, a Tonu, an Ogrin and the Elephante and Techo from earlier. They were all dressed in their various uniforms and were sitting in a circle on some old-looking Rolling Chairs.
The group of workers looked up as Rojahno, Grellor and Gargarox entered the room.
“You’re safe!” cried the Elephante, relieved.
The Mynci jumped up. “Did you see Myanari? She hasn’t made it here yet.”
Rojahno shook his head.
“What’s the café Grundo doing here?” asked one of the Lennies.
“He and his employee are here because I brought them with me,” said Rojahno.
“I’m Grellor,” said Grellor. “I just started working at the café.”
The Techo managed a weak smile. “Yes, you were the one who caused that horrible commotion yesterday.”
Grellor looked down, embarrassed.
The Ogrin pointed to some empty chairs. “Sit down and join us. We’re still trying to figure out what to do.”
Gargarox carefully sat down on a chair, trying not to break it with his weight. “I think I might have an idea,” he said slowly.
Rojahno and Grellor both sat down, listening.
“What’s your idea?” asked the Tonu intently.
“Well, I was thinking,” said Gargarox, still thinking, “maybe we can figure out a way to stop all the Sloth clones from working, and a somehow turn the Grundos back to their un-mutant selves.”
“That would be tricky,” said the Elephante. “I’m not sure how we’d do that.”
“I know! We could make the station self-destruct!” said the Mynci excitedly.
Every Neopet in the room gave the Mynci a mystified look.
“Did you fail to realize that that would eliminate us as well as Sloth and his army?” said a Lenny. “We’re trying to figure out a plan that doesn’t hurt any innocent Neopets.”
“Anyway, we can’t just self-destruct,” said the Ogrin. “The station is very valuable and would take a long time to rebuild from scratch.”
“Oh...” the Mynci sighed. “I suppose you’re right.”
“Maybe we could fake a self destruct,” said the Techo. “That would get Sloth off the station.”
“But he’d just come back when he realized the station wasn’t actually self destructing,” pointed out the Ogrin.
Suddenly, a loud, unpleasant noise cut into the conversation.
Everyone looked up nervously to where the noise was coming from.
In the ceiling, they could see that a large area of the metal was being cut away. A square was quickly cut and the piece of metal roof fell with a loud clang to the floor. Above, looking down, was a very happy looking Commander Garoo. He was holding the Garoo Elite Blaster that had cut the metal piece from the ceiling. He grinned at the group of workers with an evil smile. “Catch them all!” yelled Garoo to the Mutant Grundos he had brought along.
Immediately, the whole group jumped from their chairs and tried to get away.
But the Mutant Grundos started to jump through the hole in the ceiling and pursue the runaways, and the mutants were stronger than the regular Neopets.
In a matter of seconds, every single Neopet who had been in the room were rounded up. Only Gargarox had not been caught; when he had seen the ceiling being cut, he’d drawn back into the dark corridor. But then he had realized that it was up to him to save the others, and since he had not been seen by Garoo he easily posed as a mutant Grundo in the army.
Garoo walked by each prisoner and, using a Honey Goo Blaster, made it so that their wings, paws or hands were stuck together behind their back.
“What are you going to do with us?” cried the terrified Mynci.
“You are going to be taken to his most supreme Sloth,” said Garoo with another evil grin. “And no more questions.” Once he had finished sticking together the paws, wings and hands of the prisoners, Garoo climbed back up through the hole in the ceiling. Then he gave the command to hoist the prisoners up as well.
Easily, the mutant Grundos lifted up each Neopet and thrust them into the room above. Then, the Grundos themselves went up.
Unceremoniously, the prisoners were taken through the station to Sloth’s new office.
Garoo pushed open the doors of the office and strode inside, leaving the mutant Grundos and prisoners outside for a moment.
Using his Grundo ears, Gargarox could hear the conversation inside.
“I have found the puny workers. They are waiting outside for you.”
There was a loud, hideous laugh. “Splendid. You continually prove yourself worthy of your position, I must say.”
“Thank you, supremely amazing ruler of the galaxy,” said Garoo slyly.
“Well, what are you waiting for? Bring them in already,” Sloth said impatiently.
There was a moment while Garoo crossed over to the doors and opened them. The prisoners were pushed inside and lead over to Sloth, who was sitting in the seat that had previously belonged to the Grundo that ran the station.
Sloth showed off his perfect teeth while he smiled wickedly. “Weak Neopets, since you probably haven’t figured out what’s happened yet, I must tell you that you have been caught by the supreme galaxy ruler, me.”
Grellor, though scared, realized how amazingly full of himself Sloth was.
“Put them with the others,” said Sloth happily.
As the prisoners were being lead out, Sloth suddenly thought of something. “Wait,” he commanded. “Do any of you puny things know how to make delicious food for an amazing ruler?”
Grellor hesitated. Should he say he knew how to cook? Would he be getting himself into worse trouble? He decided that cooking would be better than being locked up, though, so he mustered his bravery and said, “I can cook.”
Sloth looked at Grellor sharply. “I can cook, your supremeness,” he corrected.
Grellor took a breath. “I can cook, your supremeness.”
“Wonderful.” Sloth turned to the mutant Grundos. “Leave that one here.”
While the others were being taken out, Grellor looked around the office, which was completely full with Sloth paraphernalia. What had he done? Now he was going to have to talk to Sloth, probably.
Sloth pointed to the I Love Sloth Bean Bag in front of his desk. “Sit,” he ordered.
Grellor hurriedly sat.
Sloth pulled out a Sloth Paddleball from a drawer and began to play with it. While he bounced the ball against the paddle, he said, “I am in dire need of some good Sloth food. My Robo Sloth Butler is utterly horrible at making edible food.”
“Yes, your supremeness,” said Grellor nervously. “Would you like something right now?”
“Make me some Sloth Day Pasta,” Sloth ordered. “And make it fast. I am ravenous.”
Grellor looked around. “Where can I get the ingredients?” Then he hurriedly added, “Your amazingness.”
Sloth laughed that evil laugh. “I have a kitchen all set up for you.” Sloth pressed a button on his desk.
Almost immediately, a mutant Grundo came through the doors of the office and stood at attention.
“Take this Grundo to the kitchen,” said Sloth to the mutant Grundo. “Make sure he has what he needs.”
The mutant Grundo nodded and lead Grellor out of the office. “This way,” he said, taking Grellor out of the office.
Grellor frowned. That voice sounded familiar. “Gargarox?” he asked tentatively, once they were away from any minion ears.
Gargarox gave a fraction of a nod. “I think you might have a good position here; you could hear some valuable information.”
Grellor let out the air he had been holding in. “I’m so glad it’s you. And you’re probably right. Maybe I will hear something.”
“Oh, good, there it is,” said Gargarox, indicating a door marked ‘Kitchen: Supplied with Slothy ingredients’.
Grellor hurried inside, followed by Gargarox. The kitchen was large; it had a whole wall devoted to ‘Slothy’ ingredients and many different utensils and machines to aid in the creation of Slothy food.
Gargarox looked around the kitchen longingly. There were so many things here that he would have loved to try out, but he had to get back to pretending he was part of the army.
Grellor picked up a book titled Almost Big Book of Slothy Recipes. “Ah, this is what I need,” said Grellor with a smile.
“Alright, I have to go,” said Gargarox. “Good luck. Keep your ears open.”
“Thanks. I will. Good luck to you, too,” said Grellor.
Gargarox left the kitchen.
Grellor took a deep breath and began to get down the ingredients for Sloth Day Pasta.
To be continued...