Neopian Urban Legend
“There’s a Neopian myth that surrounds lab jellies. They, of course, are from the game Scourge of the Lab Jellies. Anyone who has played this game has undoubtedly read the description (or at least seen it- after all, who reads the description when you can get right down to playing?): ‘While trying to create the best jelly in Neopia, a mad scientist made a mistake during one of his lab experiments that caused the jellies to multiply out of control. As he tried to find a way of reversing their multiplying effect, the scientist realized that if five of the same kind of jellies formed a line, it would cause a chain reaction and the jellies would end up destroying each other....’
The truth of the matter is that game is not fiction. It did, in fact, occur many years ago. Of course, the scientist wasn’t made out of jelly- yet. Nor did it occur in this so called “Jelly World” which everyone knows doesn’t exist. People just made that part up to try to trick people into believing there is a Jelly World. No, it happened in, of all places, the Haunted Woods.
Years ago, there was a candy shop in the Haunted Woods- the best candy shop in all of Neopia. In fact, they made more than just candy. It was called Thringle’s Sweets Galore. They made better chocolate than the Chocolate Factory, yummier ice cream than Mr. Chipper’s Ice Cream Cart, and even tastier food than the faeries could ever make! And they even made jelly- delicious and wonderful jellies. Glowing jellies, strawberry jellies, all sorts. Yes, Thringle’s was very popular- and many people were jealous. This is why they were hidden away in a secluded corner of the Haunted Woods.
The Haunted Woods isn’t the best place for well, anything. People say there’s an evil there that doesn’t sleep...”
“Please don’t.” MC bit his lip.
“Moffincake, it’s just a story.”
“I know, but don’t make it scary. And don’t call me that.”
“Anyway, the head of this operation was a Techo named Milo. I don’t know where he came from, no one knows. He was... brilliant, in a way. He was also very eccentric. His dream was to create a king of jelly that would continue to multiply so that you’d never run out. Of course, this would deplete his profits, but he didn’t care about money. See, as a young neopet, he’d always loved jelly, but had never had enough neopoints to buy it very much since his family was very poor. Years later, when he was a confectioner success, he wanted to use his factory in order to give young neopets who loved jelly as much as he did, but couldn’t afford it, the ability to have it whenever they wanted it. I told you he was strange. And anyway, his other products were so delicious that he made tons of neopoints anyway.”
“Will you please get to the point?”
“Thrub, please calm down.” Thruben’s owner, Fudge, gave him a warning look. “Continue, Katerilana.”
The ghost Ixi cleared her throat. “Well, Milo didn’t have the technology to pull this off. This kind of manipulation needed magic. And anyway, people thought he was crazy. His employees cited the fact that it would diminish their profits, and the reasoning behind his dream was just sappy. So while his factory sent out many beautiful things to eat, he was sad and dejected because he could never realize his dream.
One day, he was walking outside his factory, lost in thought. He was concentrating so hard that he took a different path through the forest than he normally did, one that led him deeper into the woods, far from the factory. It was about a half hour later he realized that he was lost.
He was scared, since he’d heard were many stories about what lived in the forest, all of them about its evil denizens.”
“What’s a denizen?” asked Fleurode.
“Mom, make them stop interrupting!” Katerilana cried.
“A denizen is just someone who lives in a place. And please, stop interrupting Kat’s story. And Kat, are you sure this one isn’t too scary?”
“Of course, Mom,” Kat said with an innocent smile. “Wouldn’t want MC to get scared.
“Anyway, Milo was about to turn around when a voice called out to him. He grew frightened, but the voice said, ‘Don’t be afraid.’ It was very sweet, but there was just a hint of- I don’t know- malice in it. He turned around and saw, to his horror, a Dark Faerie.”
MC shivered. Fudge’s other neopets just looked excited.
“ ‘I can help you find your way out of the forest. But at a cost....’
‘No way!’ screamed Milo. ‘I know you dark faeries; you always trick people into doing whatever you want them to do. You make them think you’re good, but you’re not! Go away; your kind make me SICK.’
The dark faerie grew angry and looked like she was about to retort. Retort means to make an angry reply back,” said Kat, noticing Fleurode about to ask a question. The Grundo fell silent.
“However, she decided against it. This Techo, after all, could be put to many uses....
‘I know your dream, Milo,’ she said, getting right to the point. ‘You want to make jellies that can multiply and give the young neopets of the world all the jelly they want.’ It sounded really hokey, but the dark faerie spoke in such a tender and serious voice that Milo started. Could it be that this evil creature actually understood his desire....?
‘I can make that happen, Milo. I know the others don’t understand, but I do. I’m not like the other faeries, I follow in-’ then she named the Darkest Faerie, but no one can remember what name she said, as it has been lost to history. ‘- steps. She, too, was a dark faerie, but she saved the hunter Altador from two monsters and helped him found the great city that bears that name. I want to be good like her, and help others.’ Of course, since he had never gone to school because he was so poor, Milo had never heard of the Darkest Faerie or of her Great Betrayal. And this dark faerie spoke with such reverence and seriousness about the Darkest Faerie that slowly he began to believe her.
‘Of course, since I’m a faerie, I can’t just give you what you want. We faeries, by nature, must ask for something in return. However, that’s not that big of a deal, since what I’m offering is to fulfill your dream. In fact, I’ll even show you the way home. But you must do whatever I ask, okay?’
Milo blinked at her. She was talking very sweetly, but there was that hint of malice in her voice. And she was a dark faerie, but on the other hand, she had mentioned the Darkest Faerie, and the dark faerie had tricked him into believing that this one, darkest of all, was the most decent dark faerie that had ever existed. And maybe she could help him with his dream....
‘Okay, okay, I’m in,’ he said finally. The dark faerie cackled and clapped her hands. At first, it looked like nothing happened. However, a blue orb appeared and went a little back into the woods from where Milo had come from. It hovered there, waiting for him. Milo looked at the faerie, but she was gone. Night was falling fast, so Milo decided to follow the orb. The dark faerie had apparently kept her word as the orb led him back to the factory. The orb led him into the factory, which was closed as the work day was already over, and into the lab where jellies were researched and created. There, the dark faerie was waiting for him. ‘Here,’ she said, handing him a vial of a thick purple elixir. ‘It looks disgusting, but it will make your jellies multiply whenever someone says the word ‘Maelstra’. You need only add a drop to any batch for it to work.’ She laughed and disappeared into a puff of smoke. Milo looked at the purple elixir. He wanted to try it out, but it was late and he was tired. Telling himself he’d try it out the very next day, he went up to his room and immediately fell asleep.
The next morning, he awoke eagerly and ran to his jelly lab. He pulled out some powder, added water, and then a drop of the elixir. Then he put it in the cooling machine and waited for five minutes. When the jelly was done cooling, he tasted it. It tasted like his plain old green lime jelly (which in fact it was, although we would probably say that it was the best jelly in the whole of Neopia). Then he decided to test out the elixir.
‘Maelstra.’ Instantly, the portion of the jelly that was left doubled in quantity. Excited, he ran to the front door, where his chief cook was just arriving. He dragged him into the room and showed him the multiplying jelly and told him about the elixir.
‘Hmm. Where did you get it from?’
Milo excitedly told him about the dark faerie who’d helped him. The cook was wary, knowing all about dark faeries, but Milo assured him this one was different. Then the cook asked about the profits they’d lose.
‘Nonsense. Children should have all the jelly they want.’
The cook frowned.
‘And if it makes you fill better, we can invent special flavors for the jelly, so that they will still have to buy our old ones.’
The cook looked at him like he was crazy, but just shrugged. ‘After all, I just work here,’ he told himself.
Milo and his staff created five different flavors for the jelly and marketed it as Milo’s Magnificent Multiplying Jelly. It was a big success. Owners all over Neopia bought the jelly for their Neopets at very high prices, as that was the only way Milo could get his staff to sell it. However, the joy of seeing young Neopets eating his jelly and never running out of it made up for his misgivings. It seemed, for a while, that everything was perfect.
But with dark faeries, it never ends that way. For she was right- all faeries demand something in return for their services. And dark faeries should never be trusted. And Milo was about to learn that.
He was sitting in his office after hours one day, contemplating a new packaging of chocolate Lupe treats, she returned. He nearly fell out of his chair when she magically appeared in a puff of smoke. ‘You sacred me,’ he said, laughing. But he stopped when he saw the look on her face.
‘I have come for my... payment,’ she said, walking around his office.
‘Oh, yes, that, heh, heh,’ Milo said nervously. She picked up a statue from a bookshelf.
‘You’ve enjoyed quite an amount of success from your new jelly,’ she said in an audible whisper.
‘Oh, yes,’ Milo said in a falsely cheerful voice.
‘Many neopets crave your new jelly, all thanks to me.’
‘Yes, and thank you for that, I’ve never been so happy, so many children can now enjoy what I didn’t hav-’ But Milo fell silent when the faerie raised her hand.
‘Therefore,’ she continued, as if he hadn’t interrupted, ‘my payment must be proportional to the amount of success you’ve had.’ She smiled. ‘I would like control of your factory.’
‘My FACTORY?!?!’ Milo screamed. Had it been during the day, everyone, from the topmost patio to the bottommost laboratory in the factory would have heard him.
‘Yes, your factory.’ The dark faerie had intended this all along, using the factory to spread evil sweets that made Neopians sick. Of course, no one would have linked it to Thringle’s and Milo, as they had always been high in quality and reputation. However, Milo would never give up his factory, and he told her that.
‘But you promised. Remember, you made a deal.’ She smiled, for the first time Milo had seen, cruelly. Realization of what he’d done dawned on Milo’s face.
‘You TRICKED me! You never wanted to be good. And I supposed that story about the other faerie was false as well!’ She laughed maliciously.
‘Oh, Milo, you are SO uneducated. I told the truth, but she betrayed Altador.’
‘Just like you betrayed me, I bet,’ Milo said through clenched teeth. She laughed again.
‘I am just like any other dark faerie, except for the one I mentioned.’ She sighed. “I am nowhere near as dark as she is, though I wish I were....’ Her face became rather blank and dreamy for a second. It made Milo want to be sick.
‘Well, you can’t have the factory!’
‘Oh, Milo, haven’t you learned? I am a Dark Faerie. I can get anything I want. ANYTHING.’
‘Well, you won’t get this factory!’
‘Then that is your final word? You don’t want to cross me....’
‘It is! Now GET OUT OF MY OFFICE!’ Milo screamed, shaking with rage. The dark faerie shrugged coolly.
‘Fine. I shall take my leave. But you’ll be sorry.’ And with that, she left. Milo wondered what he’d gotten himself into. He feared the dark faerie’s power. He decided to leave the factory early and slept with his lights on (when he could sleep, which was rarely, since he was so fearful).
However, weeks went by and nothing came to challenge his good luck. In fact, he finally decided that the dark faerie was bluffing and thought she was too weak with her magic to get him. He’d settled into this thought and decided that he would stay after hours, just like he used to, working on new and fantastic products to market.
He was humming to himself, writing ideas down on a piece of notebook paper. However, he heard... something, a noise of some sort... coming from the jelly manufacturing room. Frowning, he went to investigate. After all, no one besides him was working late that day.
He went into the lab, which was dark and cool. He tried to turn on the lights, but they didn’t work. Frowning, he went to a closet to get a lamp. Just then, he heard another noise coming from the other side of the room. It was a moist sound, if that makes sense.”
“Not really,” said Fleurode, frowning.
“This is too scary,” MC said, shivering. “Mom...”
“Kat, keep this appropriate.”
“It is! It’s not my fault he scares easy.”
“Will you PLEASE get on with the story?” Thruben cried.
“Anyway, it was moist. And he could almost have sworn he heard the word ‘Maelstra.’ Milo, naturally, went to investigate the sound. He’d found the lantern and was able to shine light over the room. It seemed to be coming from the cooling machine. He slowly walked up to the machine, the floorboards creaking under each step. He placed his hand on the door, and slowly opened it with a screech.
‘ARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!’” Kat screamed so loud she made everybody jump.
“Milo was being attacked by jellies! Green, red, blue, glowing, strawberry, lime. All colors, all flavors. They had multiplied, somehow, in the cooling machine. But not only that. Milo felt a bite on his arm. And then he realized: the jellies were ALIVE. They’d mutated as well, and now had mouths and very sharp teeth.
Milo shoved them away as best he could and staggered under their weight, feeling hundreds of their bites at once. He thrust himself out from under the mob, and ran into a shelf, knocking a vial of liquid over. It spread over him like negg yolk. He looked at his arm, and saw through the rampaging jellies that it was the vial of purple elixir the faerie had given him. He was able to throw the jellies off him and run through the door, shutting it behind him. However, his worries weren’t over yet.
Outside, a mob had formed. You see, Milo had marketed his new jellies as lasting forever, as long as you kept multiplying them. However, the faerie had tricked him yet again. After a while the magic word stopped working and the jellies turned bad and rotten. Worse yet, the jellies (or the elixir) had made its eaters become quick to anger. So when their jellies turned bad, they become full of blind, unjustified rage and sought Milo. Milo went to a window and saw them with their pitchforks and torches.
‘We want Milo! We want Milo!’ they chanted angrily. A Shoyru flew up with a rock and put it through a window. The crowd cheered and they began to throw rocks and such at the factory. Several Tonus were ramming the front door, trying to force it open. Milo had to escape, and he knew he couldn’t use the front door. He ran through the labyrinth of a factory that was now his prison towards the back door. He heard the mob shout a victorious cry: they had broken in.
He ran faster as he heard the mob coming closer. Unfortunately, he heard a much closer noise: the jellies were free. He came to a corridor that split into three others. He stopped, panting. Which way to go?
Behind him, he heard the mob meet up with the jellies, and they screamed, some fearfully, some angrily, at the top of their lungs. Their screams pierced Milo, nearly paralyzing him with fear, but he knew that this was buying him time. Thinking quickly, he chose the leftmost corridor and ran for his life.
Ten minutes later, he arrived at the back door. He pulled it open and shut it tightly behind him, and ran off towards the forest. He thought he could bide his time there until morning. Milo ran past a window, and stopped abruptly.
He stared at his reflection. He was... no, it couldn’t be! He was a... jelly Techo?
No, this wasn’t right. He’d always been blue. He liked being blue, and he didn’t trust the lab ray enough to try it. But these thoughts were driven from his mind as a flaming piece of jelly flew to the ground from several stories up. The mob was winning, and soon they’d find him. He started running again and reached what he thought was the sanctuary of the woods. He ran for another two minutes, finally stopping in a secluded part of the woods where no one could find him. He panted, and sat on a rock.
However, he was too tired to notice the Werelupes surrounding him. Nor did he notice them licking their lips. But he heard them moving in on him and stood up. He saw their eyes glowing in the darkness.
‘No, please,’ he pleaded. ‘Not me, have mercy! NOOOO!’ he screamed, and raced off into the woods, with the Werelupes pursuing him. And since then, no one ever heard from Milo again.”
MC looked awed by the story. He didn’t seem frightened at all. Fudge raised an eyebrow. “You okay, MC.”
“I’m fine, Mom,” he said with a smile. On the other hand, Thruben was shaking as if he’d just seen a dark faerie himself.
“You okay, Thrub?”
“I-I-I-I’m f-f-f-fi-n-ne, M-m-mom,” he said, chattering his teeth.
“Well,” continued Katerilana, “soon afterwards, a fire engulfed the factory. It seems one of the neopets in the mob had accidentally dropped his torch when fighting a jelly. The mob quickly dispersed and ran for their lives. The factory burned down, and took with it all of Milo’s wonderful sweets and ice creams, as well as the killer jellies.
The next day, his employees came to work and were shocked to see the wreckage. They called the Defenders of Neopia who came and investigated the scene. They also looked for Milo. They searched for weeks, looking around the Haunted Woods for up to ten miles away from the factory. All they were able to find was his scorched and torn lab coat and a little bit of sticky jelly stuck to it. They officially announced his status as Still Missing and condemned the factory. The employees decided to found the Chocolate Factory, where their descendants still work today.
Oddly enough, one thing did survive the fire: a small crate of jellies. When it was opened, the employees were shocked. The jellies had mouths and teeth, and some had eyes. They figured this was what Milo had been working on- a new kind of multiplying jelly that had facial features. They thought it was a pretty good idea, and so they kept the jellies, marketing them to young neopets. They sold so well that they still sell them today.” Katerilana paused, and took a package of Strawberry Lab Jellies Candy out of her pocket. She put one in her mouth as her brothers and sister waited with anxiously. Thrub eyed the candies suspiciously.
“So that’s where they come from?” he asked.
“Well, it is just an urban legend, so no one knows,” said Kat. “Besides, these are just candies, not jellies. And these can’t be the same jellies regardless.”
“Well, the original jellies turned its eaters into neopets full of... RAGE!” Kat screamed this last word through clenched teeth, he eyes glowing red, and her body seemingly shaking with rage. Her siblings yelped and hid under the table.
“KAT!” Fudge cried. “Stop it! You’re scaring them.”
”Relax, Mom,” she said with a smile. “It’s only a story.”