The Atlas Saga, Book One - Return to Neopia: Part Four
Fyora smiled gratefully at me.
"Thank you, young Atlas. I knew I could count on you, my Champion," she said.
"Yeah, that's all well and good, but do me a favour? Stop calling me 'Champion'; it gets on my nerves," I joked. She smiled.
"Very well. Now," she said, and turned serious. "We have studied this army for days now. Have you seen any of its members?"
I shook my head, as did Spyder876 and Powertank780.
Fyora closed her eyes, and started chanting. Mystic phrases came forth from her full lips. As she cast her spell, a massive crystal ball appeared from out of thin air, right in front of us.
Images appeared in the ball, drawing our attention.
"Do they look familiar to you?" the Faerie Queen asked.
My eyes opened wide in recognition. "They're mutants! But they look... different somehow."
Image after image appeared and disappeared, showing pictures of mutant Neopets terrorizing the colony on Kreludor, and the peaceful land of Mystery Island. Yet, they seemed to be much bigger, and much more ferocious looking.
Fyora nodded, as the other Faeries held discussions amongst themselves. "They are super-mutants, even more vile and powerful than ordinary mutants. We have learned the origin of this dark army. We have traced them back to the Virtupets Space Station. So far, there have not been any casualties, only captives. So your pet, Prophetical07, should be at the Space Station as a captive."
A foul name came to mind as soon as the Space Station was mentioned. One that I remembered from my days in Neopia.
I gritted my teeth and balled my hands up into fists. "Sloth? Dr. Frank Sloth? He's behind this?"
Fyora said, "We don't know for sure, but it seems likely that he is the one responsible. After all, the Virtupets Space Station was his base."
"All right, so the Space Station it is." I pulled out my NeoCom to look it up. I had a look of surprise on my face when the NeoCom drew a blank.
"What the? My NeoCom is not giving me any information! The Space Station is not showing up on the 'Explore' screen either. How are we supposed to head there now?" I practically yelled.
Fyora spoke up. "Our combined magic can beam you three up there, but we can only do so if you carry nothing with you, except the clothes on your backs. If you disregard the warning, then the beam will take you into space, not the Space Station."
"Hmm... no weapons, eh? What do you think, guys?" I asked.
"It's all right. We can scavenge up there for some makeshift weapons. They even have a weapon shop up there!" Spyder informed me.
"Well, all right. It's worth a shot. Remember, guys, we're doing this for Neopia. The fate of the world rests in our hands," I told them. They both nodded.
"All right, now let me get this whole thing straight. I go up there with my buddies, we stop Sloth, and you send me back home. We have a deal?" I turned my attention back to Fyora.
She nodded. "Yes."
I put my pack down on the floor, and signaled that I was ready.
Fyora smiled, and began casting a spell. The other Faeries stood up, and began chanting the exact same words that Fyora was chanting.
"Please remember, my heroes, you will have to find your own way back to Neopia after that. We can help you no longer once you're up there. Good luck, heroes!" Fyora told us.
A brilliant beam of light engulfed us.
We found ourselves on the central deck of the Space Station. The whole place was dark and deserted. There was no one in sight, and not a sound could be heard.
"All right, stay frosty, fellas. Sloth is our first priority," I told them. "Look, there's the weapons shop. Let's go."
Our band made its way over to the door. The door opened with no problems, but we were extremely dismayed to see that, in the dim lighting, all the weapons were gone.
"What dumb luck. Nice way to start our mission!" Powertank cracked sarcastically.
We were just about to leave, when we heard a loud thud coming from behind the metal counter. Our heads snapped towards the sound, and we crept towards the counter after closing the door behind us. Simultaneously, we all leaped behind the counter, and landed on something that let out what sounded like a muffled scream.
Well, that was probably because it really was a muffled scream.
We took one look at the 'thing' in the dim light and fell back, startled.
We had just landed on a bound and gagged Dr. Frank Sloth.
"Mmph! Mmm Mmphh Mpph!" Sloth mumbled through his gag.
I was shocked. What was the man behind the whole invasion doing bound up? Unless...
He was not the one who initiated the invasion.
"Mmph!" Sloth mumbled again.
I held my hand up right in front of his face, silencing him.
"If he screams, crush him," I told my Neopets, who both nodded.
I slowly bent down to remove his gag. After that was done, I grabbed him by the collar and yanked him upwards until my cerulean eyes were locked with his crimson, pupil-less ones.
"Talk. Now!" I demanded.
"All right, all right. Regardless of the amount of hatred that I have for both Neopets and Humans, I must say that I'm actually glad to see you," Sloth spoke, but his voice was free of sarcasm or venom. In fact, it contained, much to my surprise, relief.
"Just what are you doing bound up? Aren't you responsible for this invasion?" I asked, just equally as confused as Spyder and Powertank.
"No, you idiot. I thought that you'd have figured it out from, you know, seeing me BOUND UP HERE!" Sloth shouted the last few words. I slapped him upside the head.
"Shut up! Now, if you're not responsible for this, then who is?"
"I have a pretty good idea who," Sloth said. "One night while I was sleeping, Commander Garoo, one of my most trusted lieutenants, ambushed me with a few of his minions in my sleep, and took me captive. After what I've witnessed over the last few days, I can surely say that he found my research notes, and used them to create much stronger Transmogrification potions."
The most evil being in Neopia betrayed by his subordinate? Wow, relationships were rocky even for villains.
"I have a proposal, Human," Sloth spoke softly. "Free me, and allow me to fight alongside you. I want to retake my Space Station, or at least, not see it in the hands of someone else. I promise, after that backstabbing Blumaroo Garoo is defeated, I will come with you to Neopia for you to take me into custody. At least I'll know that my Space Station was only mine, and mine alone."
"How do we know we can trust you?" Spyder asked him, his voice a low growl.
"Well, look at the mathematics. You free me, and you have four people. You don't free me, and you have three people. Strength in numbers, right? Plus, I know my way around the Space Station. It's an advantage for you, and you don't look stupid enough to pass up advantages," Sloth replied with a grin.
"He has a point," Powertank concluded, although I detected a hint of anger in his voice.
"Yeah, as much as I don't like him, I believe he has a point," Spyder added, distaste obvious in his voice.
"Very well," I said, and untied Sloth. "I'm not keen on working with the most hated man in all of Neopia, but you do provide a small advantage. You try anything funny, and your face meets my fist."
Sloth nodded, and, with our new group, we headed for the main control room, where Sloth said that Garoo was most likely to be.
"Human! Look out!"
I felt a rush of air behind me. I quickly dispatched the super-mutant Blumaroo in front of me, and whirled around. On the ground was Dr. Sloth wrestling with an angry super-mutant Grarrl. I quickly kicked the Grarrl on the side of his head, rendering him unconscious.
I helped Sloth up to his feet, and nodded my thanks. Sloth had saved me. Unbelievable. Guess he really was telling the truth after all.
The two of us quickly rejoined the battle, which was quickly finishing. We did surprisingly well without any weapons, and pretty soon, we had won the light skirmish. Garoo had probably detected us, and dispatched some troops to take care of us.
We took off running once more.
"The control room is just right ahead!" Sloth yelled.
He had saved me earlier, so I felt more trusting towards him. So did Spyder and Powertank, who saw what he did for me. I nodded, and led the team straight into the room.
I and my pets had barely entered the room when the door slammed shut. Sloth was still outside. I looked around, and a cold chill ran down my spine.
The room was empty.
"What the?! Sloth, let us out!" I yelled, banging on the door.
All I got in response was evil laughter coming from the outside of the door.
"It's time to end this little charade. You stupid fools actually believed me. I knew you would be looking for weapons when you came up here, so I told my minions to put me in the weapon shop. That insignificant little fool, Garoo, was long gone, locked away in jail. You all came along and played right into my hands!" Sloth's voice emanated from speakers inside the room. He was probably using a microphone now.
Green gas started to fill the room.
"Everyone! Hold your breaths!" I yelled, and covered my nose with my sleeve. But soon, I couldn't hold my breath any longer, and inhaled some of the gas. My vision grew blurry, and the last thing I remembered was hitting the floor with a loud thud.
I awoke in what seemed to be a jail cell. Next to me, I found the unconscious bodies of Spyder and Powertank.
I gently shook them awake. They both awoke with groans.
"Uhh... what happened?" Spyder groggily asked.
"Sloth betrayed us. He doused us with some kind of sleeping gas, and then he put us here to rot," I bitterly told him. "There's some food over there, if you're hungry," I told them, pointing to a plate of a now-cold Beef Rouladen, although I partially knew that they wouldn't feel like eating. As expected, they both shook their heads.
I looked through the cell bars. On the wall, opposite our cell, was a red button, with the words 'Cell Release Button' over it. We had to reach that button! But how?
My eyes fell upon the plate of Beef Rouladen. A grin formed on my face. I picked up the Rouladen, and stuck my hand through the bars. I lined up my aim, and tossed it as hard as I could.
As luck would have it, the Rouladen was right on target. The cell door swung open.
Soon, the three of us had overpowered the super-mutant Grarrl guard in the next room, and were racing to the actual control room. I armed myself with a wrench from a tool kit on the way.
"Look, there's a sign! The control room is that way!" Spyder pointed up ahead.
"All right guys, let's go get some payback!" I yelled, raising my wrench, and ran into the room up ahead.
We entered a massive room, filled with active machinery. Across us, a door with the words 'Control Room' could be seen above it. We were almost there.
Sloth's voice filled the room again, stopping us in our tracks. "Well now, if it isn't my old friends. Come to pay me a visit? Well, I'm afraid I'm a little busy now. Have a world to conquer, you know. But you can talk to my new lieutenant, though."
An extremely large figure stormed into the room, and stopped several yards away from us. The figure was green, and extremely well muscled. He towered over Powertank by several feet. He had probably been injected with Sloth's new potion. The strange thing was that he was much, much bigger than all the other mutants. Suddenly, the realization hit me.
The reason was because he had already been a mutant to begin with.
What made me get to the realization? His face. It had not changed one bit.
"I believe you know him very well!" Sloth's voice echoed throughout the room.
"P-P-Prophetical?" I stammered.
"Prophetical, it's me, Atlas. Don't you remember me, man?" I asked, almost demanded, of the now-horrendous creature standing in front of me. This was no super-mutant. This was an ultra-mutant.
The ultra-mutant Grundo simply smirked and charged at us. I dived out of the way, as did Spyder and Powertank. They, too, were visibly in shock at having to fight the one person they came to rescue.
I glanced at the wrench in my right hand. Could I even bear to bring it down on my own pet? In addition, could my pets even bear to hurt their own brother?
Sloth had planned it well.
"What do we do?!" Spyder yelled from across the room, while dodging Prophetical's powerful blows.
"You die, that's what!" Prophetical bellowed, in a voice not his own. "You die, so that Dr. Sloth can rule Neopia!"
"Prophetical! Stop it! I'm your brother!" Spyder pleaded, attempting to end the match without any injuries being inflicted.
"No! I'll only stop when either all of you fall, or I fall! No sooner!"
I growled. Sloth was really going to pay for this. But first, we had to get past Prophetical.
"Powertank! I'm going to need a boost! Spyder, keep him busy!" I yelled, while getting on top of my Grarrl's shoulders. The Lupe successfully kept the ultra-mutant Grundo busy by swiftly dodging his punches.
"Now, Powertank! Throw me up!" I instructed.
Powertank nodded, and, with a mighty yell, flung me up into the air. I landed on the ultra-mutant Grundo's head, and clung on for dear life.
"Grab his legs! Grab his legs!" I yelled. He was stumbling around too much for me to get a stable foothold. Spyder and Powertank quickly latched themselves onto Prophetical's legs.
"Get off me! Get off!" the Grundo yelled, as he bent to try to pry the Neopets off his massive legs. Unfortunately for him, his actions allowed me to gain a foothold.
"I'm sorry, Prophetical, but this is for your own good!" I yelled as I swung my wrench full-force onto the back of his head.
Prophetical shivered for a moment, before collapsing face-first down on the ground in an earth-shaking thud.
"What are we going to do with him?" Powertank asked, out of breath.
"I saw some escape pods outside!" Spyder offered. "They're not far, just a short distance away from here."
"Good," I said. "Drag him there and wait for me. I'm going to take care of Sloth for good."
"Maybe we should come with you-" Spyder began, but I cut him off.
"No, no need. This is between me and him. You just take Prophetical to one of those escape pods and wait for me there."
My pets nodded, and began dragging their currently over-sized brother out.
"Oh, guys," I told them. "If I don't get there in twenty minutes, just leave without me."
They looked horrified at the idea.
"Promise me, guys. Do it."
They slowly nodded.
"Good. Now, go."
I watched as they slowly disappeared out of sight. Then I turned and headed to the control room. It was time to end it.
I entered the darkly-lit control room. It was fairly large, and quite spacious. Standing right in the middle of the room was Dr. Frank Sloth.
"It all ends here, Sloth," I declared.
He sniggered. "For you, and your little pals, maybe. I, however, am going to rule Neopia, and I've got just the thing to do it!"
He stepped aside to reveal a large laser gun.
"Yes, instead of using brute force to capture and convert Neopets into my super-mutants, I'll make them come to me willingly!" he laughed maniacally.
I nearly froze as I realized what the madman had constructed.
A mind-control ray.
"Now, prepare to die! You've meddled in my business for the last time!"
He withdrew a much smaller ray gun from within the confines of his robe, and began firing.
I ran sideways, dodging his lasers, and charged him when he paused to reload. I knocked the gun out of his hand with my wrench, but he delivered a sharp kick right to my torso, and gained some distance.
He picked up his freshly reloaded gun, and began firing once more.
"Argh!" I cried out in agony, as one of the beams grazed my left arm. My yell was accompanied by Sloth's laughter, as he continued firing.
"Give up, Human. You cannot defeat me!"
"Don't bet on it, Slothy-boy. I ain't down for the count just yet!" I yelled, and ran again, dodging his beams.
I was tiring, and I knew that I could not keep it up forever. Just then, an idea popped into my head. It was a long shot, but hopefully, it would be successful. If it worked, the Defenders of Neopia would have an easier time on their hands.
I flung my wrench right at Sloth, or rather, at his gun. It collided, and Sloth dropped the ray gun once more. He cursed, and dived to pick it up. He tried to fire at me once more, but his gun had run out of energy again. He quickly tried to reload. While he did so, I rushed over to his new creation: the mind-control device.
"You! Stay away from that machine!" he shouted in anger as he hastily tried to reload. Stress, however, made him fumble, and he took far too long for something that, just a moment ago, had only taken him just a few seconds.
"Hey, Sloth!" I yelled, and got his attention. He yelled something unintelligible at me, all the while still trying to reload, while I stood right next to the operating panel of the mind-control device with a smirk on my face.
"See this?" I gestured to the massive ray gun as my smirk grew wider.
I targeted Sloth and pressed the 'Fire' button on the console. A purplish ray shot out from the device, and hit Sloth right on the head. After a while, the ray deactivated, and Sloth just simply stood there with his arms hanging at his sides, staring blankly at me. His ray gun fell from his now-loose grasp to the floor.
I warily approached Sloth, wrench at the ready in case he was pretending. I waved my hand right in front of his face, and, after he failed to respond, finally concluded that the machine had worked.
"Raise your right arm," I told him.
He raised his right arm high up.
"Raise your left arm."
He raised his left arm.
"Now, how do you turn these new mutants back into normal pets?" I demanded.
"Use a morphing potion," he replied in a robotic voice.
"Groovy. Now, I want you to transport yourself, and all the members of your crew, right down to Neopia Central without any weapons, and to turn yourself in to the Defenders of Neopia. Do I make myself clear?"
"Yes," he replied, still using that robotic voice.
"Good, I'm leaving now. Get to it."
Sloth immediately walked over to a control panel, and pushed a few buttons.
I rushed out of the room, and ran straight back out to the corridor. I followed the signs to the escape pods.
Words could not describe the relief on my pets' faces when they saw me. I quickly entered the pod, and took off for Faerieland.
It was over.
It was time to head back.
I was hailed as a national hero barely half an hour after I returned. Sloth had beamed both himself and his army down to Neopia Central quite some time earlier, as I had commanded, and they were quickly subdued by the Defenders of Neopia. The super-mutants were quickly taken into custody and given morphing potions to turn them back to normal.
Celebrations erupted throughout Neopia, with the threat of invasion no longer looming over it.
With the massive sum of reward money that I received, I bought a morphing potion for Prophetical and turned him into a Kyrii. I soon took him to the Rainbow Pool and painted him Fire. He looked awesome, and was quite happy with his new look.
Finally, although there were still much festivities to be had, I felt that it was time to return home to my own world. Fyora lived up to her word, and created a portal to send me back home. She allowed me to bring my NeoCom home, and she augmented my NeoCom as well, giving it the ability to transport me back to Neopia anytime I wished. It was certainly quite useful, seeing as how I had forgotten how I entered Neopia in the past. At first, I was a bit apprehensive about using it again, but after everything that just happened, I was sure that I would definitely be returning to Neopia.
Once I arrived back home, I immediately fell asleep on my bed with a smile on my face.
So, that's the tale of my Return to Neopia, and I've been visiting it regularly ever since. Sure, it may be a crazy world, but that's why I like it.
My name is Atlas.