How Soup Saved Neopia: Part Four
Grellor peeked around the corner carefully. It had been four days since he had started cooking for Sloth, but he was still a bit afraid of the clones and mutant Grundos. Since there were no Sloth minions around, he scurried across the hall and slid inside a cleaning closet. He searched the back wall of the closet for the secret button, found it, and pressed. The secret door slid open and he jumped inside, closing the door behind him.
“You made it!”
Grellor looked around, letting his eyes adjust to the darkness. In a few moments he saw just who he’d been wanting to see: a Usul holding a bottle filled with colorful liquid.
“I have the Flask of Rainbow Fountain Water,” said the Usul proudly.
“A Flask of Rainbow Fountain Water?” exclaimed Grellor. “Those are so expensive! Don’t they change whoever drinks it into a different color?”
The Usul nodded. “Disco, Royal, Purple, it could be anything. Hopefully, if you can get Sloth to drink some, it will change him in a way that embarrasses him.”
“Where exactly did you get it?” asked Grellor suspiciously; he knew those potions were expensive.
“Does it really matter?” countered the Usul. “Just take it if you can really get rid of Sloth.”
“Thank you so much,” Grellor said as he took the bottle. “I’ll repay you if I can.”
“I’m expecting it,” said the Usul. “Now, let’s not stick around.” The Usul turned and hurried off, disappearing into the darkness.
Grellor watched the Usul disappear. Who was this Usul? He’d stopped Grellor earlier that day and said that he had something that would hopefully get rid of Sloth. Grellor had agreed to meet the stranger. And now he was holding the potion that could save Neopia. Grellor hugged the bottle close. If the Usul was right, and the potion actually worked, this could stop Sloth from going through with his plans.
Making sure that he didn’t drop the important bottle, Grellor opened the secret door again and climbed into the cleaning closet. After closing the hidden door, he carefully opened he door of the cleaning closet and looked around to see if any minions were around. There were none, so, holding tightly to the bottle, he ran across the hall and through the door to the kitchen.
After quietly closing the door, he collapsed against the wall to take a breath. He couldn’t believe that he actually had the potion. But for now, he had to hide it.
Grellor searched the kitchen for a half an hour for a secure hiding place. After the search turned up nothing, he sat on the floor next to the shelves of ingredients despairingly. Suddenly, the wall behind him gave way, and he fell backward into another hidden passageway.
He stood up, rubbing the back of his head, and marveled at how the secret areas seemed to be everywhere in the station. He scrambled back up through the hidden door and retrieved the flask, which had, thankfully, not been in his hands when he fell through the secret door. He grabbed a fork and then, holding the fork and flask, went back into the hidden corridor.
After working at it for a few minutes, he managed to pry a piece of metal back from the floor with the fork. He hid the flask inside the space underneath and then put the piece of metal back as flat as he could.
Suddenly, Grellor could hear the sound of someone coming toward the kitchen. Heart beating wildly, he threw himself out of the hidden area and closed the secret door behind him. He grabbed the ‘Almost Big Book of Slothy Recipes’ book and opened it to a random page and pretended to be reading.
The someone was now outside the kitchen and opening the door. It was the Robo Sloth Butler. “The Dashing, Amazing, and Awesome Ruler wants a Sloth Surprise fast,” said the robot in a jerky, mechanical voice.
Grellor sighed with relief and said, “I’ll make it right now and bring it to him in a few minutes.”
The robot gave a slight nod and left the kitchen.
Grellor quickly got to work making the Sloth Surprise.
- - - - -
Grellor had just finished making the Sloth Surprise. Carefully, he put it on a plate and went to deliver it to Sloth.
He walked down a few corridors, took a left, and found himself outside Sloth’s office. After receiving permission to enter, he went in and placed the Sloth Surprise down on Sloth’s desk.
Just then, a mutant Grundo ran into the office.
“Supremeness, we just caught two Neopets trying to sabotage the Mutant Ray you’ve been building,” the nervous-looking mutant Grundo informed Sloth.
“What?” Sloth stood up, looking angry. “What was the damage to the ray?”
“Minor. Repairs are being made right now.”
Sloth sat back down. “Puny things.” He laughed. “Bring me the Neopets.”
Grellor, who seemed to have been forgotten by Sloth, watched as Rojahno and the Elephante were brought in.
“So, you tried to sabotage my Mutant Ray?” questioned Sloth. “I see you Neopets are more dimwitted than I thought.”
Rojahno struggled against the honey that was again keeping his paws together and behind his back. “We are not dimwitted!” he said indignantly.
Sloth frowned. “Take them away,” he said to a mutant Grundo.
“Wait!” Grellor stepped forward. “I have a better idea,” he said.
- - - - -
“I can’t believe you told him you were going to make us into soup!” said the Elephante as she hurried inside Grellor’s new kitchen.
Grellor shrugged. “It seemed like the best way to get him to let you guys come with me.”
Rojahno nodded. “I think he really liked your idea.”
Grellor turned to the Lupe and Elephante. “I have something that can help us win,” he said in a whisper.
“You do?” said the Elephante with excitement. “What is it?”
“It’s a Flask of Rainbow Fountain Water,” said Grellor. “It will change Sloth into a random color – any color.”
Rojahno shook his head slowly. “I don’t think that will work,” he said. “I mean, Sloth isn’t even a Neopet, is he? And anyway, we don’t know what color it would turn him even if it does work.”
“Well, I don’t know what will happen,” said Grellor, “I just know it’s worth a shot.”
The Elephante nodded. “We might as well try if we can. The Mutant Ray he’s building is nearly finished and we don’t want that fired at Neopia.”
So, Grellor began to cook up a little pot of Sloth Day Soup. Leaving Rojahno to watch the door, the flask was retrieved from the passage and its contents were poured into the soup.
The Elephante watched as the soup cooked with fascination. “Why hasn’t the potion turned the soup rainbow?”
Grellor frowned. “You know, I didn’t think about that. But I guess it’s not a problem; the soup looks exactly the same.”
Rojahno called to Grellor, “Almost done there?”
Grellor took the pot off the stove and poured the soup into a large, Slothy bowl. I hope this works, he thought to himself.
“I guess we’re going to have to stay here,” said the Elephante sadly.
Grellor nodded. “Yeah. Sorry you can’t see it, but you’re supposed to be in the soup.”
“Good luck,” said Rojahno with a smile.
“We’ll need it!” said Grellor as he left the kitchen. He followed that route he’d followed many times in the past few days; down a few corridors, take a left, and you’re there.
The guards moved aside and let Grellor in.
“Ah, you have the soup already. Lovely.” Sloth rubbed his hands together in anticipation.
Grellor nodded and put the soup down in front of Sloth.
Sloth picked up his spoon and scooped up a large amount of soup. Just as he was putting the spoon to his lips, a mutant Grundo rushed in.
“Supremeness, sir! Commander Garoo is here with some good news, he says. Do you want me to let him in?”
“I adore good news!” said Sloth with an evil grin as he set his spoon down. “Bring him in.”
The mutant Grundo left and in came Garoo.
Commander Garoo gave Grellor a look that clearly showed that he thought the little Grundo should be locked up with all the other prisoners. “Your amazingness,” Garoo said as he faced Sloth, “we have just captured another group of runaways. They were in the process of planning a way to take the station from us. Should I bring them in?”
“By all means,” said Sloth delightedly.
Garoo gave the command to bring all the new prisoners in. There were twelve Neopets, all different species, and all looking disheveled and unhappy.
Sloth leaned back in his chair. “So, you thought you could beat me? Me, the Supremely Amazing and Handsome ruler of the Universe! How dimwitted of you.”
“You will be beaten, Sloth!” said one Cybunny defiantly.
Sloth laughed his awful laugh and leaned forward. “Do you see this soup? This soup was made of two Neopets that tried to sabotage my Mutant Ray.”
The group of Neopets paled.
Sloth watched eagerly, loving the effect he was having. He took a very showy sip of soup, acting as though it was the most delicious thing he’d ever tasted.
Suddenly, there was a blinding flash of light and Sloth seemed to have vanished.
The group of Neopets stared, wide eyed, unsure of what they had just seen.
Commander Garoo was stunned as well. He was standing still, looking dazed; unable to believe his eyes.
Grellor blinked. Sloth wasn’t supposed to disappear; he was supposed to change color.
Then a small voice came from the chair. “Alright, what’s-” the voice stopped. “What has happened to my voice!” the voice exclaimed in alarm.
Grellor tentatively looked over the desk to see what was sitting in the chair. What he saw made him laugh – the kind of laughter that starts to hurt after too long but keeps coming back when you try to stop.
Evidently the rainbow fountain water had worked, and the color Sloth had been turned into was baby. Where Sloth had been was now a cute, tiny, baby version of Sloth.
The group of Neopets shuffled forward and stared at the baby Sloth. Then they, too, began to laugh uproariously.
The baby Sloth looked up in horror. “What has happened to me?” he yelled.
Garoo found his voice. “You... you... You’re, um, looking very youthful today, sir...”
Grellor and the group of prisoners laughed harder at this.
“Get me a mirror!” roared the baby Sloth in a shrill voice.
Garoo grabbed the Grinning Sloth Mirror that had been hanging on the wall and held it up in front of the baby Sloth.
Baby Sloth gaped at his reflection. “I’m an... an INFANT?”
Garoo was visibly sweating. “The soup, your supremeness. It must have done this to you...”
Sloth was obviously getting extremely angry. “I can’t take over Neopia like this! No one will be scared of me! Someone is going to pay for this!”
Garoo was supposed to be the toughest commander there ever was, but this baby Sloth was scaring him. It was unnatural and frightening at the same time. Even worse, he knew that when Sloth got mad, he got very mad. Garoo didn’t want to be around for that. Shakily, he turned and fled the room, his mind made up to take a space ship and get away from the station as fast as possible.
A mutant Grundo entered the room to see what all the commotion was about. When he saw the new baby Sloth, he was shocked. “Master?”
The baby Sloth ignored the mutant Grundo and kept on ranting about how someone was going to pay for his new look.
The mutant Grundo looked happy. “A baby can’t force an army of mutant Grundos to do whatever he says,” said the Grundo, thinking it over. “Yes, we’re free! Of course we are!” The mutant Grundo ran off excitedly to tell the other mutant Grundos the news.
Baby Sloth watched furiously as the Neopets laughed at him. Him, the ruler of the galaxy! He climbed down from his chair and started toward the door. Then he realized that he could only crawl; his baby self couldn’t walk. The baby Sloth let out a terrible yell of frustration.
Grellor looked down at baby Sloth. “Want me to help you onto your space ship so you can go away and never return?”
Sloth looked up at Grellor with contempt. “You may as well. It would take me forever to crawl.”
Grellor grinned and lifted up baby Sloth. With the now-free group of Neopets behind him, Grellor carried baby Sloth to his space ship.
Once in his ship, baby Sloth called his clones and mutant Grundos. All the clones came, but only two mutant Grundos did. When baby Sloth found that his Grundos had deserted him, he was not happy. In fact, the strain of the last few minutes caused baby Sloth to begin to have what may possibly have been the biggest tantrum in the history of Neopia.
A clone took over the controls of the ship and in a few minutes, Sloth’s ship was zooming away through space, going back to wherever Sloth came from.
The crowd of Neopets behind Grellor exploded with cheers and clapping.
The mutant Grundos on the station also gave whoops and started to clap. They were free of Dr. Sloth!
Just then, a Grundo unlocked the room that had been holding the prisoners, and explained what had happened. After learning the whole story, the Neopets began to stream out of the large room they had been locked in the past few days.
By now, the whole station was applauding, shouting happily and whistling.
Grellor turned around to see that everyone was cheering for him – the story was now know by everyone. Grellor had put a potion in Sloth’s soup, which had turned Sloth into a baby. Sloth was, of course, obsessed with the way he looked and this change had been too much for him. He’d left the station, taking his clones with him. And now the mutant Grundos were free, as well. It was an amazing turn of events.
Gargarox made his way over to his employee. “I can’t believe you just saved Neopia,” he said seriously.
Grellor grinned, feeling tremendously happy. “I can’t believe it, either, but Sloth’s really gone!”
At that very moment, the Neopets standing by windows caught a glimpse of the Space Faerie smiling and waving to the station before she zoomed off through space, back to her home.
“The Space Faerie’s alright!” yelled a Chia happily. “She’s going back to her home now, wherever that is.”
The Neopets on the station cheered again.
Gargarox lifted Grellor onto his shoulders.
Grellor looked down at his boss. “So do I still have that job?”
Gargarox laughed. “I think so.”