Another Story: Part Three
The door opened, and the four pets walked into a room filled with screens and other Virtupets technology.
This certainly wasn't in any of the brochures... Milo thought.
They were immediately greeted by a smiling red Zafara wearing some kind of red visor.
"Zarlin! You got the spare..." Her eyes shifted to Cameron, Milo and Jackie. "Who are they?"
"They were hiding in the closet," Zarlin said as she set down the package.
The Zafara turned to face a Lutari sitting at one of the screens to the far left. "We got three more kids!"
"It must be 'Show the World the Secret Resistance Headquarters' Day!" he shouted back in an amused tone, still facing his screen.
"What was I supposed to do, leave them there? Anyway, I'm sure they're good at something, and we could probably use some help right about now." Zarlin made some random hand gestures, most likely meaning to point to all the room at the same time, which was only holding around seven other pets, while it could probably fit 30."So... do you want to help?"
Cameron shrugged. "Sure."
"But first," Milo added quickly, "we have to find our friend, Fredrick."
"I can search for him, see if he got on the transport shuttle to Neopia. Can you describe him?" the Zafara offered.
"He's an old red Lupe with a beard, wearing a navy blue cloak," Jackie said.
Milo looked around the room. "So... Now what?"
Fredrick breathed heavily, taking refuge from his frantic search in the kitchen at Grundo's Cafe. He went over to the refrigerators and grabbed a handful of green tea capsules, then sat down on the floor.
It was not convenient to be old and out of shape in a situation such as his.
Fredrick had already looked in the Gormball Arena, a clothing boutique, the Arcade (where he played a quick game of Meerca Chase), and a peculiar shop that sold nothing but Meepit keychains.
No kids. Nothing. Nada.
He was exhausted.
A quick nap couldn't hurt...
"Hey, guys, I hate to interrupt your conversation, but I think you should see this." The same green Lutari was pointing to the screen, which was now holding a video.
"Look at this! Good thing I hacked those surveillance cameras earlier, huh?"
There were hundreds of little wind-up toys grouping together on the video the Lutari was pointing to.
Jackie didn't really see the threat in that, until they formed some giant super mega wind-up toy of DOOM.
"They brought in a giant clockwork Grundo?!" Zarlin yelled in disbelief.
"We've all got to go in; they'll need all the help they can get. Which means I have to go back without putting together the spare blaster parts." The Zafara scanned the room until her eyes landed on a few sheets of paper and a pen. "Here, just color or something until we get back."
A moment later, every Resistance member in the room was gone, excluding the Lutari, who was supposed to keep on eye on the surveillance.
Jackie stared blankly at the paper in her hand. "I haven't colored since kindergarten."
"This day just keeps getting weirder and weirder."
"Word that, Cam," Milo replied with a sigh.
"So..." the Lutari must have been feeling a little left out, "I'm Tim."
"Hey, Tim," the three children said in unison.
"Do you have any apples? I'm starving..." Cameron eyed the mini fridge in the corner.
"No, but we do have some Garthroxian Goo and half a Gaseous Moonpie."
"That works." Milo walked over to the miniature refrigerator and pulled out their dinner.
He cut three slices from the pie, one being slightly larger, which, of course, Jackie and Cameron fought over.
"This is better than professional wrestling!" Tim had turned his attention from the screen and to the yelling adolescents.
And the minute he did that, something bad happened on a smaller screen that monitored what happened outside the Resistance HQ.
If the pets had been paying attention, they would have seen five Garoo elite soldiers, armed to the teeth, carrying a captured Shoyru agent up to the door, shove his hand onto the green panel, and hold his eyes open for the red eye.
But they were goofing around, watching Jackie shove pie at Cameron's face.
Luckily, the Blumaroos had pried open the poor Shoyru's eyes a little too roughly, and he shrieked.
Tim whirled around and saw the mutant Sloth minions, and, knowing it was too late to press the big red "Lock Down" button, slid a panel in a nearby wall to the side to reveal a hidden room. Well, not exactly a "room", more like a short little hole in the wall barely big enough to fit everyone.
As Milo was running over to that uncomfortably small hole, he spotted the package he had discovered in the closet earlier, so he ran and grabbed it, closing the secret door just as the soldiers came in, which resulted in whisper-yells directed at him from Jackie.
"Aw, great, I didn't get to shut down the computers!" Tim threw his face into his hand.
Milo suspected those were the weird screens.
"Is that bad?" Cameron asked worriedly.
"Of course it is! They can get our files!"
Cameron looked like he was panicking."So what do we do?!"
"Well..." Milo had forgotten Jackie had been carrying her backpack all this time. She pulled out her notepad. "The way I see it, we only have three options." She scribbled something into the paper. "A, We sit here and let them take secrets that very well might cause Neopia to implode and Jelly World to exist. B, We find something large and/or heavy to throw at them. Or C, We go out there and wail like ninnies, pleading for them not to take the files."
Tim looked at the package still in Milo's hands. "The spare blaster parts! I can make, what is it, three blasters out of those? It would be enough to fend them off for a minute until we can shut down the computers and run like mad men to the rest of the Resistance, if we're lucky!"
Milo shoved the box into his hands. "What are you waiting for?! Build, Man, build!"
Tim put together the blasters in record time, the Xweetoks and Kougra staring at him nervously all the while.
Fortunately, the mutated Blumaroos hadn't eaten yet, and decided to enjoy the Moonpie before robbing Headquarters, so Tim had a few extra minutes to show Jackie, Milo and Cameron how to work a blaster, before they jumped out of their little hiding spot.
The soldiers were obviously unprepared for this.
Cameron laughed maniacally as he blasted a soldier eating his pie. "BUAHAHAHA!!"
Jackie only used her designated weapon a couple times before she switched to beating the soldiers with any hard object she could get her hands on. 'Twas her forte.
Milo was positive he saw a rock fly at one of the Blumaroos.
He mostly threw pie and Garthroxian Goo.
Tim entered the password to shut down the entire Headquarters into a computer in the middle of the room, and it was a matter of seconds before all the screens went blank.
Three soldiers were unable to chase them after being attacked, but that still meant the pets had two angry, pie and goo covered Blumaroos shooting at them whilst they ran as if they were racing Poogles.
Milo had discovered long ago that dodging blasts while running was not a pleasant thing to do.
Long ago being earlier this afternoon.
Cameron laughed when a Blumaroo missed him. "That the best you got, you dice-playing freak?"
"Don't encourage him, you twit!" Jackie resisted the urge to smack him with the blaster in her hand.
They made it into the room they thought the battle was going on in just in time to see a loud explosion from the window.
"It's Sloth's ship! It's been destroyed!" their friend the red Zafara shouted joyously.
Milo saw an important looking green Ixi grinning proudly.
The soldiers stopped dead in their tracks when they heard this, and almost immediately walked over to where their evil comrades were on the wall.
...And then Jackie started dancing. Milo wondered if she had lost her mind in all the excitement.
Then Cameron joined in with The Robot.
And Tim, then the red Zafara, and soon most of the non-Sloth minion portion of the room had joined in.
Hey, the universe had just rid itself of an evil mastermind.
They had a right to throw away their dignity and dance like there's no tomorrow.
Later, the Cybunny and Grundo who had apparently defeated Sloth arrived to a hero's welcome. They were congratulated, hugged, and hand shaken by almost everyone in the room.
After talking to the Grundo, Zarlin walked over to Cameron, Jackie, and Milo.
"So, Tim tells me you helped fend off Garoo elites at HQ." She was grinning. "Apparently we need a lot of help from kids." They all laughed.
The green Ixi walked up to them smiling, too, but when he saw the children, his face fell.
"Yes, Commander Valka." Zarlin seemed to be keeping herself from smiling at the Ixi's facial expression.
"What'd they do?"
"They saved HQ from Garoo Elite Soldiers, Sir."
Commander Valka put his face in his palm.
"Give them the badges and the watches and everything," he said, looking horribly disappointed.
He walked away, mumbling something about being able to stand one kid saving the world, and how he needed to send his agents into training again.
As soon as the depressed commander was out of earshot, the shadow Grundo started cracking up.
"I'm... I'm sorry, the... the commander... he's just..." she tried to say in between bursts of laughter.
Cameron was rather confused with this whole event, but began laughing anyway, because the look on that Ixi's face when he saw them was priceless. They were soon joined by Milo and Jackie in their fit of giggles.
After a minute, the group calmed down, and Zarlin went through with her orders.
"What Commander Valka meant was that he wanted me to give you the "You're Now a Resistance Member" speech, and give you some stuff that keeps us in communication and marks you as an agent whenever you're here. I don't have any of our watches or badges on me, but I know where we keep them at HQ.
"Now, I'll tell you my version of the infamous speech:
"The Commander has officially made you a member of the Resistance, so be prepared to be called upon at any moment for any reason. You might even be asked to come help restock the mini fridge at three A.M., although I doubt you'll be doing that do to the fact you don't live on the Station.
"Interrogating anyone you meet would make Commander Valka very happy, and so would inspecting every book you can find for secret codes, although that's optional.
"On the rare occasion something of importance does happen, which, on average, is about five times a year, you'll be asked to get your tail over to HQ and help figure it out, or go off into a random fight.
"And, of course, there's lots of other enjoyable tasks a Resistance agent gets to do, some more so than others, but it would take me hours to list all of that.
"Just remember: It's only slightly less monotonous than it sounds."
Zarlin took a bow.
"You know, despite the fact all that sounds horrible, it still hasn't spoiled my excitement," Cameron said cheerfully.
"That's a good thing. If you want, I can arrange a ride home for you now. I don't think Gorix is going to need his ship for a while..."
"What are you talking about?" Milo said with a grin. "We're not due back in Kiko Lake for another thirteen days."
Fredrick awoke with a start.
"Wake up, old man. What are you doing in my kitchen?"
Upon closer inspection (opening his eyes), Fredrick discovered the speaker was a mutant Grundo wearing an apron.
"Wha-What? How long have I been out? Did the Blumaroo people get eaten by a faerie Puppyblew?"
Obviously Fredrick had had some pretty strange dreams.
"Sloth has been defeated, the Space Station is free. Now get out of my kitchen before I call the authorities!"
As soon as the old Lupe could get to his feet, he scrambled out.
He decided at this point the best place to look for Milo, Cameron and Jackie was their bedroom.
Then he could ask his young friends what he had missed.