Mordegan: Poogle Rights Advocate - Part Two
"So what? I just tell this shmuck that I'm a very satisfied
Poogle and then I get ten thousand Neopoints?"
The Scorchio nodded earnestly. "Yes, yes. That's
it, just tell him that you've been running the Poogle races for as long as you
can remember and that you love it."
The bookie was walking along the temporarily
deserted racetrack, speaking to a small Poogle with fur that was aggressively
red. The Poogle, whose name was Bersicker, was Neopia's only actor for hire.
Unable to get any decent parts in theatrical productions, Bersicker had lowered
his sights significantly and abandoned his aspirations of stardom in favor of
quick, easy jobs that anyone could do. He had been scouted out by the bookie
earlier that day and been told promises of a simple gig with a tidy payoff.
A few hours later, the Poogle was at the racetrack in Faerieland, meeting with
the mysterious Scorchio.
Bersicker nodded to the bookie, absentmindedly
buffing his paw on his chest. "Yeah, yeah. I got it." The Poogle glanced up
at the Scorchio. "And what's the catch?" he asked suspiciously.
The Scorchio opened his arms. "No catch, no strings
attached. Just say exactly what I told you say."
The Poogle closed his eyes, a blissful smile
inching across his face. "Ah, ten grand will be nice. I can finally buy that
Petpet that I've been wanting." Bersicker's eyes snapped open suddenly. "Are
you sure this Lupe's gonna fall for it? I mean, it might sound a bit weird,
The bookie laughed, shaking his head. "Don't
worry, Bersicker, this Lupe's a real idiot. Thick as a tree trunk. If you can't
pull the wool over his eyes, than you're a worse actor than I thought."
Bersicker bristled angrily. "I'm a great actor.
And don't worry, I'll put on the show of a lifetime with this guy..."
Ezanna lounged in his hammock, the warm afternoon
sun making his glossy black and white scales shimmer with health. The Krawk
sighed blissfully, closing his eyes as he sipped an iced tea. Now, this is
nice, he thought. No siblings, no owner, no noise... Just peace and quiet.
Suddenly, Ezanna froze, his tail twitching agitatedly. There was a loud crash,
and then he heard the door to his Neohome slam open, accompanied by a thundering
of paws coming up the stairs. Ezanna groaned, shutting his eyes and plugging
his ears with his claws.
"Great," the skunk Krawk grumbled. "Just fantastic.
That could only be Mordegan..."
Sure enough, it was the Lupe. Mordegan came bounding
up to Ezanna's hammock and jumped up on top of it, grinning like a crazy Mallard.
"Ezanna!" he happily exclaimed. "Listen, Ez,
I need your help for something."
Ezanna rolled his eyes. "What is it now, Morty?"
he asked, squirming out from under the Lupe's bulk. Mordegan's eyes gleamed.
"Okay, you know how good you are at cross examining
The Krawk smiled smugly. "Of course I do. It's
because of my steely gaze. No one can withstand it!" Ezanna declared. Mordegan
"Uh huh. I know. So, listen, how would you like
to help me with my interview with a Poogle racer?"
Ezanna raised a scaly eyebrow. "What, for a school
project or something?" he asked. Mordegan shook his head impatiently.
"No! I want to call an end to Poogle racing!
But first, I need to speak with a representative," he replied. Ezanna gave his
brother a quizzical glance.
"And why do want to stop Poogle racing?" he inquired.
Mordegan bared his teeth.
"Because it's cruel, that's why! They're forced
to run exhausting races! They get yelled at! They have garbage thrown
at them!" he shouted, flailing his paws in the air for added emphasis. Ezanna
stroked his chin, smiling wistfully.
"I think I read somewhere that Poogles like having
garbage thrown at them..." he idly replied. Mordegan growled.
"This is serious, Ez. I finally have a cause!"
He shook the Krawk by his shoulders. "You promised to support my causes!"
"No I didn't! That was our owner! Our OWNER promised
to support your causes," he retorted, prying the Lupe's paws off his shoulders.
Mordegan dropped his arms.
"Oh yeah, I remember now." He looked pleadingly
at Ezanna. "But you're so much better at interviewing people than she is!" He
insisted. The Krawk gave a shrewd smile.
"Yes, that's true. I remember when she tried
to interview that pet rock..." he reminisced, smirking at the memory. Mordegan
"Uh huh. And listen, if you help me out, I'll
do something for you, Ez. Really, I'll make it up to you!" The Lupe was desperate
now, practically begging at the Krawk's feet. Ezanna gave a small chuckle.
"Alright, I'll do it. But you have to clean my
Gruslen's teeth for a month," he said, conceding to the Lupe's request. Mordegan
nodded happily and shook Ezanna's claws.
"Okay, deal. Come on then, let's go."
Mordegan fidgeted uncomfortably in his seat.
He had the strangest feeling, he felt as though he was being watched. The Lupe
was sitting at one end of a small table in a dingy room that was lit by a single
grimy light bulb that hung from the ceiling on a long chain, swaying slightly
in the breeze. Mordegan shivered. There was a fan somewhere in the room, and
it kept the place quite cold. This was where he was scheduled to meet with the
representative of the Poogle Racing Union, or PRU, as the Scorchio had called
it. He was supposed to have arrived five minutes ago, and the Lupe was beginning
to feel a bit anxious. He turned to Ezanna.
"He should've been here by now!" Mordegan hissed.
The Krawk shrugged.
"So he's decided to be fashionably late. It's
an old trick to look cool and intimidating," he answered, not looking particularly
Suddenly, the door to the room swung open, and
in sauntered, as Ezanna had said, a very cool and intimidating looking Poogle
with vibrant red fur and a fancy studded collar. He seated himself at the opposite
end of the table and leaned back in his chair, watching Mordegan and Ezanna
expectantly. He frowned, eyeing the Krawk with distaste.
"Who's he?" the Poogle asked, turning to Mordegan.
"They said that there'd just be you here." Mordegan smiled nervously.
"Oh, he's just a friend. He's going to help me
interview you, since I get kind of, uh, nervous," the Lupe replied, tapping
his paws anxiously against the table. The Poogle sighed.
"Whatever." He waited for a few moments. "Well"
he asked impatiently. "What do you wanna know?"
The Lupe, feeling a bit intimidated by the Poogle's
confident air, gulped nervously and gave a shaky reply.
"Well," he began uncertainly. "I was just wondering
if you could tell me how you feel about the Poogle races." Mordegan quickly
changed his mind. "Wait, no, scratch that. Uh, let's introduce ourselves first."
The Lupe grinned and extended his paw across the table.
"I'm Mordegan V. Battlesunn, Poogle rights advocate,"
he said cheerfully.
The Poogle raised a brow. Boy, he thought.
The Scorchio wasn't lying when he said that this guy was thick. He gave
a little snort.
"I'm Bersicker, Poogle number..." He pulled a
random number out of the air. "...Six. I'm Poogle number six."
Mordegan's eyes widened. He turned to Ezanna.
"There is no number six! They only go up to five!" he whispered excitedly. The
"He's lying, then. He's probably a shill, just
someone sent to throw you off or something. Let me handle this." Ezanna straightened
up, putting his claws on the tabletop.
"So Bersicker, tell me, do you enjoy racing?"
he asked, intending to catch him in his own lie. Bersicker nodded.
"Oh yeah, I love racing. There's nothing better,
you know." He folded his paws on the table, meeting the Krawk's gaze.
Ezanna clicked his tongue. "Okay. So, what number
did you say you were? Just for the record."
Bersicker blanched. Oh, Meepits! he thought.
What number did I say... "Four?" he said hopefully. The Krawk smiled.
"I thought you said you were six," he idly replied.
"That was a little slip of the tongue. I meant
to say three. Four! I meant to say four!" The Poogle was sweating slightly,
tugging at his collar. In the dim light, he could make out Ezanna's triumphant
"Really? How interesting. Now, tell me, Bersicker,
why is it that your fur is red when yesterday it was yellow? Assuming that you
were in the race."
"I wasn't in the race yesterday. I was sick,
I had Neggitus!" he frantically replied. Ezanna chuckled.
"I didn't actually go to the race yesterday.
But thanks for being so honest with me." The Krawk suddenly stopped laughing.
He leaned in, his claws fully extended. He met the Poogle's eyes, and used his
ultimate weapon, the steely gaze.
"I know you're not a Poogle racer, Bersicker,
assuming that's your real name." Ezanna straightened up, pushing back his chair
and walking over to where the Poogle sat.
"Now, why don't you tell me who you really are
and who sent you?"
To be continued...