Blue's Way: Part Five
Hidden in the bushes, Fura and Rei watched what was going on in the clearing below.
“Look at how they shrink away from him,” Rei said with admiration. “He must be fearsome in battle.”
“Yes,” Fura agreed, though she sounded almost fearful. “What kind of pet have we tied ourselves with? What has he done in his past?”
“Shh! I want to hear what the Mutant Kougra is saying.”
The Kougra next to Blue had stood up and started to speak as Fura and Rei watched. “...Now, as you all know, the Superior Painted Ones have been contemplating world dominion for several years, ever since the idea for this organization first came to me. We have not yet accomplished this feat; for some time, our numbers have been too small, and the Defenders of Neopia would have quickly subdued us had we attempted world dominion. Now, however, we are stronger than ever before, with an army of ten thousand Neopets! The Defenders of Neopia are no match for our might!”
Cheers erupted from the Neopets encircling the fire.
“Exactly fourteen hours from now, Neopia will erupt into panic and confusion. At that hour, all over Neopia we will attack!” He turned toward Blue. “PitOfDarkness?”
Blue stepped forward. “Obviously, we’re going to want to make it so that all attacks happen simultaneously. That means ‘at the same time’ for the imbeciles with limited vocabulary. Consequently, small communicators have been obtained from the Space Station with the unwitting help of Dr. Sloth. Now, some of these communicators have already been given out. As for the rest, one will be given to each colonel. General Zalatu will contact you using the communicators at the appropriate time, and you will order your regiments to start fighting. However, do not fight to kill. We have much... better... plans for the pets we conquer than simply killing them.”
“But sir...” A Strawberry Gelert captain looked around. He gulped, astonished that he had dared to speak.
“Well? What is it?” Blue said sharply.
“I-I think we are all a bit confused. How- what’s going to happen? It will ease the fright of our soldiers if they know beforehand how this terrifying thing is going to happen.”
“I believe,” Blue said dryly, “that you are worried more about easing your own fright than that of your soldiers, yes?”
The captain stared at the ground and shuffled his paws.
“Well?” Blue snarled. Catch hissed.
“I don’t think you deserve an answer for such cowardice. However, I will grant leniency to you this one time, for you are correct in saying that the soldiers will be frightened; most soldiers are superstitious, and frightened of the unknown. It is perhaps best if the colonels can reassure their soldiers. For this reason only will I not punish you, captain. Do I make myself clear?”
The Gelert nodded his head so fast that his ears flew. “Yes, sir!”
“Very well. Now, as all of you probably know, we of the Superior Painted Ones take great pride in the fact that we are represented by every painted color in existence, including lab ray colors such as Chocolate and Jelly. However, probably none of you have noticed that we have no invisible pets here tonight.”
Slight murmurs arose from the crowd.
“Some time ago, exactly thirteen bottled faeries were bought by the Superior Painted Ones. When opened, the faeries were told that they needed to give Flash as their blessing, or they would be forced back into their bottles and left there for years to come. Naturally, all of them accepted our proposition. When they were finished, we had thirteen invisible pets, each with the ability Flash. Tomorrow, these invisible pets will be stationed around Neopia, and with each one there will be hidden one or two colonels and their regiments. There will be one of these groups stationed in every land, except for Lutari Island, which is not yet open to us, as well as Roo Island and Kiko Lake, which are close enough to larger lands that they, too, will see the ‘fireworks’. Exactly fifteen hours from now, that is, twelve o’clock a.m. NST, General Zalatu will contact these invisible pets with the communicators. They will immediately start hurtling bolts of lightning out of a clear blue sky, thereby confusing and panicking the local population. When the lightning bolts are well under way, General Zalatu will contact the colonels and tell them to attack. The colonels will do so. Again, you are to capture, not to kill. The colonels are to keep all prisoners guarded until General Zalatu or I comes and gives you further orders. Colonels, have I made clear your duties?”
“Yes, sir!” came back a shout.
“Good. Now, if General Zalatu doesn’t have any further announcements-”
“Wait- sir?” a Maraquan Zafara interrupted. “What is going to happen to the Neopets we capture?”
Blue stared at the pet for a long moment. “What is your name, captain?”
Blue strolled slowly over to the Zafara and stood in front of him. “Well, Chadwhick, you have absolutely no need to know the answer to that question, do you?”
“No, sir, but-”
“Then WHY are you asking it!” Blue roared in the unfortunate pet’s face. “Concern yourself with your own duties, captain, not the duties of your generals! Do you not trust your generals to do their jobs properly? Or are you concerned about the poor, wittle pets that we’re going to capture?”
“N-neither, sir. But you didn’t mind the Gelert’s question, so I thought-”
“You thought wrong, Captain Chadwhick. Your question makes it clear that you think your generals are incompetent fools! You should feel lucky if I don’t ask for your head!”
Chadwhick quivered, white as a sheet.
Blue turned his attention back to the rest of the Neopets, none of whom could meet his blazing eyes. “This meeting is adjourned,” he stated flatly.
* * *
Hidden in the bushes, Rei and Fura watched soberly as the colonels and captains hurriedly exited the clearing, eager to get as far as possible from their half-insane generals. When everybody except for the two generals had walked past the Spiky Bushes and was long gone, Rei and Fura extracted themselves and sat in the middle of the path, waiting silently for Blue.
Eventually, the Kougra’s imposing figure came into view as he jogged around a bend in the path. Just before he reached them, he said something softly to the Chumablah perched on his shoulder. Catch squawked and flew away swiftly, and Blue spotted the two girls. “Hey guys, I’m back,” he called softly. “Sorry for taking so long, but Zalatu was chewing me out-” Suddenly he stopped dead. “What are you two doing out in the open? Somebody could have seen you!”
“We only came out when everybody was gone except for you and Zalatu,” said Fura defensively.
At the same time Rei snapped, “Just who are you, anyway?”
Fura nodded her head, silently asking the same question.
Blue looked from one to the other, and then sighed heavily. “I suppose I should have told you more about myself, especially after what you just saw.
“I was first created as a Blue Kougra by a teenager whose name I can barely remember- it started with ‘Jake’ and ended with a bunch of numbers and underscores. I was his first and only pet; he did not really care for Neopets in general. He created me and quickly painted me Darigani, because he wanted a pet that would make him look cool and tough.” Blue shrugged coolly. “Because of this, he intentionally raised me to be powerful and cruel, and consequently I loathed him. I detested his soft, weak human body and the sniveling, cringing manner that he had. He realized the mistakes he had made with me, but I scorned his meek suggestions that I should be kinder to others.
“I found out about the SPO and I joined it; it was a good outlet for my frustrated anger. I never told my owner that I had joined the SPO because I saw no reason to tell him. He became more like my servant than anything else; he was too terrified to do anything but obey my every whim. I was about six months old when he finally gathered up the courage to take me to the Pound. I think he was afraid that I was going to maul him on the way there, but I was relieved that I was finally getting rid of him. He abandoned me and adopted a cheerful Green Usul on the way out, who is undoubtedly much better suited to him.
“I stayed in the Pound for several months. Many, many people came by with the intention of adopting me for my expensive color, but I soon taught each one that adopting me would be a mistake. I did not let anybody near my cage; some humans may still bear the scars from my claws. All of the other pets were terrified of me, too; eventually I was given a separate exercise time so that I could not hurt any of them.
“I was growing increasingly irritated each day I remained in the Pound; I am certain that if I had remained there I would have gone insane from anger and pride. However, one day a new figure stopped by my cage door. However, this was not a human looking to adopt a pet, but rather a Moehog- the DoN champion Judge Hog. He comes by the Pound about twice a year, looking for abandoned pets who want to become Defenders of Neopia. Something about me must have caught his eye; perhaps he simply thought that a pet as big as I am could take down a lot of villains.
“At any rate, at this time I had no intention of becoming a DoN member- I was still a member of the SPO, after all. But though I screamed curses and hurled defiance at Judge Hog, he dragged me through the streets to the DoN headquarters. I shudder to think what the passerby thought about me. At any rate, I was taken to the DoN headquarters and immediately forced to become a Blue Kougra. My strength, height, and claws immediately diminished, and my wings disappeared. Suddenly I was much less dangerous and forced to cooperate with Judge Hog. I was kept in the DoN headquarters for a long, long time. I began to learn humility in this less-powerful Blue color. When that started, the DoN members started to train me, though I was still rebellious and often refused to learn. However, learn I did, and finally, after two years- four times the normal training period- I became what I am today as both DoN member and, I hope, a better Neopet.”
To be continued...
Just a quick side note in case you were wondering- in my story, the two generals preside over an army of 10000 Neopet soldiers. A Colonel presides over a regiment of 500 soldiers. A Captain presides over a company of 100; a 1st Lieutenant presides over a platoon of 50; and a 2nd Lieutenant presides over a platoon of ten soldiers. Therefore, there are 20 Colonels, 100 Captains, 200 1st Lieutenants, and 1000 2nd Lieutenants.