Neopia Divided: Can It Survive War With Sloth?
Neopia itself is heated with debate over the Sloth war. Could the repercussions of this divide reach farther than this single war and tear our world apart?
By Niri Oshna, Virtupets Space Station
As all-out extraterrestrial warfare intensifies, it is apparent that Neopia is not united against Sloth. A poll taken this month shows that approximately 55% of Neopians support Sloth’s invasion efforts. While the population is split in two, both sides are vehement in their stance.
“What Neopians need is a fresh start; a new chance to be ruled by Sloth,” says Kathleen of Krawk Island.
“[Sloth] would do considerable harm to Neopia's current environment, population, and culture: he's demonstrated that he doesn't have... respect for... free will, or for Neopian diversity,” counters Schefflera of Darigan Citadel.
How are Neopians split on such a vital issue? Sloth’s actions and history themselves are a source of great debate.
Nimras of Neopia Central explains why she opposes Slothian rule. “Neopia as a planet has many independent countries with different cultures, all of which would be lost under Sloth's empire.... Every place would have the same food, the same culture, and the same leader....”
Indeed, Sloth’s previous attempts at world domination all appear to have been aimed at world uniformity. Sloth used a mutation ray in his first attack on Neopia, attempting to mutate every life form on the planet into his own brand of creation.
“Well, of course [Sloth’s rule] would be a dictatorship,” says pro-Sloth Kathleen. “And who's to say he's really all that bad? I mean, what about all these kings we have elsewhere? Isn't that a dictatorship?”
Fellow Sloth supporter Herdy shares Kathleen’s opinion, pointing to Altador as an example. Herdy points out that Altador’s ruling council members “predominantly came to fame by wading into villages and beating up the most aggressive party, without waiting to rationally judge the right and wrong of the situation. The only difference I can see is that Sloth is plain about his crimes, everyone else dresses them up in stories of heroism.”
Looking beyond the results of Sloth’s potential rule, many argue for the rightfulness of it.
“It is after all only fair [for Sloth to win],” says Herdy. “Neopia was stolen from under him by Neopets in the first place.”
The Neopedia states that Sloth arrived on Neopia centuries before Neopets even appeared on the planet, then “covered with featureless muddy swamp, and endless barren plains,” along with a poisonous atmosphere. Sloth spent centuries on the lifeless world developing his own creatures for unknown purposes. But when the poison fog cleared, all of his creations died, and Neopets suddenly appeared. It is even speculated that Sloth’s experiments inadvertently led to the creation of Neopian life! In essence, Sloth was here first, and we may owe our very existence to him.
As Neopians play an increasingly important role in the war, how will this division affect the outcome? It appears that both sides are preparing, though few are willing to go into detail.
Nimras describes her confidence in Neopia’s planetary defense: “Neopia has the advantage, both strategically and numerically. Sloth has superior technology, but so far that technology hasn't been tested to see how it compares to both the abundant amounts of magic on Neopia, and within an atmosphere.... Sloth's army also seems to be composed mostly of robots and mercenaries.” She explains that robots require time, maintenance, and skilled manpower, as well as fuel and ships to transport them. “This takes a lot of capital, which adds up very quickly over time.... [Neopia’s] troops already know the terrain, and the best way to exploit it.”
Although Nimras sounded confident in her appraisal, Neopians should not be quick to underestimate the evil genius’ power. In his first attack on Neopia, our planet was not able to defend itself—the almighty Space Faerie herself had to intervene in our behalf. Unfortunately, it appears as though the Space Faerie has been called to another section of the galaxy at this time, no doubt Sloth’s doing.
Also, Sloth is older than our entire planet, and therefore much wiser than any of us. He has also had much experience in battling our planet, and after such a long absence, it must be assumed that he has taken his time in devising a plan and the technology to execute it.
Shoonie Gargarox was among the first Grundo refugees to arrive on our planet during Sloth’s first invasion. He witnessed first hand this evil mastermind at work. “Sloth is not to be underestimated,” he warns. “I see people making jokes about him all the time, but he is not a nitwit. He is clever, daring, and without conscience. If he is attacking Neopia, it is only because he has every reason to believe he will win.”
However, the divide between Neopians has greater consequence than what this single war will bring. Whether Sloth wins or loses, a great many Neopians will not be satisfied. Could Neopia tear itself apart without the help of Dr. Frank Sloth?
Previous wars shed light on forthcoming events. In the Meridellian-Darigani war of Year 5, Neopia was a hotbed of debate. Who was the victim, Meridell or Darigan? Neopians were split almost 50-50 over the war. In the end, Meridell managed to squeeze a tight victory, but to this day many Neopians fiercely support one or the other.
Recent polls show that Neopia is split almost perfectly down the middle in the Slothian War, and regardless of who is victorious, Neopia will still be split in half after the war. And this war is not simply a matter of opinion about two lands’ quarrel, but rather the way of life for our entire planet. Divisions will lead to more than fierce debate.
Will Neopia be able to rise above its differences and come out of this thing intact?
Only time will tell.
This is Niri Oshna, reporting from Virtupets Space Station, signing out.