Mordegan: Poogle Rights Advocate - Part Four
Mordegan stood anxiously in front of the crowd of Poogles,
all of whom were eagerly anticipating a well-prepared presentation that would
outline their plan of action. Unfortunately, Mordegan possessed no such plan.
The Lupe gulped, glancing nervously at Number Four, who had seated himself in
the front row. The Poogle smiled encouragingly at the Lupe, and Mordegan felt
a small pang of guilt. He would have to improvise.
Mordegan cleared his throat, trying to sound
important, and addressed his audience with all the gusto of a commander on the
"So!" he barked, pacing up and down the length
of the room. "How are we all doing today?" Someone in the crowd sneezed. Mordegan
"Okay... Is everyone here? If you're not here,
then please say so now." The room was silent. The Lupe grinned.
"Good! So, we're all here and we're all fine.
And now we're going to here this plan of mine. And I, uh, won't be saying the
whole thing in rhyme." A few of the Poogles raised their eyebrows. Mordegan
continued, oblivious to their stares.
"You know, a funny thing happened to me on the
way to the race track the other day..."
"Mordegan!" a voice called out. "Get to the plan!"
It was Number Four, of course, and he was looking a bit annoyed. Mordegan nodded
"Right! The plan! Uh, the plan is to..." He glanced
around the room, hoping for some inspiration. His thoughts began to wander to
his brother, Ezanna. Mordegan flinched, imagining what Ez would say if he could
see Mordegan now. He'd laugh at him, no doubt. And why shouldn't he? The Lupe
was making a fool out of himself. Why did he even bother? He ought to just quit
and go on a...
"Strike!" Mordegan said suddenly. "You can go
on a general strike!" The Lupe laughed, surprised that he hadn't thought of
There was some discontented murmuring rippling
through the crowd. "We can't go on strike!" a small Poogle in the second row
said. "The bookie would be furious!"
Mordegan scoffed. "So? What can that grumpy old
"He can blow fire," the Poogle promptly replied.
Mordegan stopped laughing.
"Oh." He then brightened up again. "But no fire
burns stronger than the spirit of the mighty Poogle!"
"The volcano on Mystery Island does," the same
Poogle quipped. Mordegan glared at him.
"Okay, you've got to stop doing that. You're
making me look bad."
Number Four stood up suddenly and walked over
to the Lupe, standing loyally beside him. "I agree with Mordegan. I think it's
a good idea." He opened up his paws. "Look, if we all go on strike and refuse
to race than the bookie will have to close the track!" The Poogle turned to
Mordegan. "It's a great idea and we thank you for it."
The Lupe pumped his paw in the air. "Yes! My
The Poogles stared at him. Mordegan gave a small
"Sorry. I, uh... Lost control."
Number Four rolled his eyes and stepped up. "So
it's settled then," he said, addressing the Poogles once again. "Tomorrow morning,
when the bugle sounds, we all refuse to run!"
Dawn broke over Faerieland as usual, the sun
casting its golden rays over the fluffy white clouds, dyeing their undersides
a rosy pink hue. In a far corner of the heavenly land, under the racetrack,
the Poogles were assembling.
Number Four stood alongside Mordegan, surveying
the track with distaste. "I'll never run it again," he spat contemptuously.
Mordegan glanced at him.
"What will you do if you don't race anymore?"
he asked. Four closed his eyes, a dreamy sigh escaping from his lips.
"I've always liked baking. I think I might peruse
an apprenticeship with the baker down in Neopia Central. I could raise some
money, buy myself a Paint Brush, a Petpet, a Neohome of my own... It would be
Mordegan grinned. He was as happy for Number
Four as he was for himself. "I just hope this works," the Lupe said, gazing
at the phalanx of Poogles.
Suddenly, the loud blaring of a trumpet shattered
the early morning calm. Four folded back his ears, calling to the Poogles.
"That's the bugle!" he shouted. "We have to go
to the head of the track and refuse to do the race!" Four led the way, trotting
up to the starting line. Mordegan and the rest of the racers followed, quivering
They reached the head of the track and assembled
themselves in rioting formation, awaiting the entrance of the dreaded bookie.
He arrived shortly after they did, munching on a doughnut and clutching a mug
of steaming Borovan. When he caught sight of Mordegan, his eyes widened in shock
and he spilled his drink in surprise.
"Oh no," the Scorchio moaned, staring at Mordegan
with utmost loathing. "Please tell me this is a hallucination brought on by
waking up too early..." He glared at the Lupe. "I am so sick of you. Why are
you here, anyway? Didn't Bersicker tell you how much he enjoyed running the
Mordegan snorted. "Yeah, and he also told me
how much he enjoyed being paid by you to say so!" he shot back.
The Scorchio snarled. "And to think that I paid
the little weasel! Well, no matter," he said, sniggering. "You haven't succeeded,
I see. My Poogles are still here, all ready and willing to run the race."
Four stepped forward. "That's where you're wrong.
We're not going to run. Not today, not ever. We're on strike!"
The bookie gasped. "Strike? But you can't do
that!" he snarled, advancing on Four. "You've got nowhere else to go. Your life
IS this race track!"
Four bravely withstood the Scorchio's words.
"Not anymore. We don't need this kind of treatment, and we don't need to run
Mordegan grinned. "Thattaboy, Four!" he shouted
in encouragement. The Scorchio rounded on him.
"You!" he roared, pointing a claw at the Lupe.
"This is all your fault! You've ruined me! I'll get you..." Quick as a Kougra
the Scorchio pounced, striking Mordegan in the side.
The Lupe fought back valiantly, but he was quickly
overpowered by the enraged bookie. The Scorchio chuckled and unsheathed his
wickedly sharp claws.
"I'll teach you to inspire a legion of oppressed
Pets!" he snarled. He raised he claws to slash down at the frantically struggling
Lupe, but before he could, something small and yellow rammed into him, forcing
him off Mordegan and into once of the hurdles. The Scorchio slumped down, temporarily
The Lupe raised his head and gasped. It was Number
Four! The Poogle had launched himself at the bookie, just to save him. Number
Four approached Mordegan.
"Are you alright?" the Poogle asked, helping
the Lupe to his paws.
"Yeah, I'm fine," Mordegan shakily replied. He
glanced at the unconscious bookie. "Will he be alright?" the Lupe asked.
Four laughed. "He'll come around. He'll just
have a nasty case of achy head for a day or so." The Poogle frowned. "I do feel
kind of bad for him, though. I mean, a lot of these Poogles don't know anything
but the racetrack." Four massaged his chin thoughtfully. "Maybe instead of just
flat out leaving we could negotiate with him..."
Mordegan looked at him with a surprised expression."But
what about your baking aspirations?" he asked. Four shrugged.
"Nah. I don't think it's for me," he said. "I
doubt that I'd really have a chance at it. After all, I am getting old..." The
Poogle smiled. "Besides, I was never that fond of Neopian ovens. Anyway, my
future could be right here. We could ask to get better pay, nicer accommodations,
tighter crowd control..."
"And fewer races," Mordegan added. The Poogle
"Yes, I think that that's a better idea," Four
chuckled. "After all, we Poogles are meant to run, and we really do enjoy some
friendly competition every now and then." He turned to the Lupe. "I can't thank
you enough for your help, Mordegan. Is there any way we could repay you?"
Mordegan thought for a moment. "Hmm. Well, there's
not really much you could give me..." He grinned. "How about you tell me what
your real name is? It couldn't actually be Number Four, could it?"
Four shook his head. "No, it's not Number Four.
Alright, I'll tell you." He gave a dramatic pause. "My name is... Bob!"
Mordegan's face fell. "Oh. That's a bit... Anti
climatic. Well, thanks anyway." The Lupe yawned, turning his snout to the horizon.
"I suppose I'll be going now." He began to make to his way towards the exit
of the track. Four/Bob called after him.
"Wait! Aren't you going to tell me your middle
Mordegan paused and glanced back at the Poogle.
"My middle name? What, are you crazy?"
And with that, Mordegan trotted off in the direction
of the rising sun.
Epilogue: Four/Bob negotiated with the Scorchio bookie and was able to reach
a reasonable compromise. The races are now held in a much more orderly fashion
and the Poogles are receiving a nicer salary and a better lounge area. When
asked by reporters how the change was brought, Five/Bob fondly attests that
it was all because of a noble Lupe called Mordecai. Mordegan is still angry
about that one.