It was a cold day in November for Balistairi. She was born November 11 as a Green Uni so that her owner, jdl1988 (also known as JoAnna), could have another "lab rat" and hopefully -- though chances were slim -- achieve another dream pet, a Maraquan Uni. JoAnna had already gotten one successful dream pet in Balistairi's sister, nicknamed CJ. CJ had become a Chocolate Xweetok just the day before. Balistairi had been told everything that happened to CJ during her lab visits: she had gotten more armored and faster, slightly stronger, leveled up a bit, and had started out Yellow, changed to Cloud, and finally, Chocolate.
CJ wasn’t the nicest Neopet in the world, though; in fact, she was not happy that she had to share her spotlight with a simple Green Uni. Having been thrown in the pound repeatedly within her three years of life, she was cynical towards several people and Neopets. It was only when JoAnna adopted her that she genuinely felt like she really had a home, and here was some little immature Green Uni ruining everything!
"Mama? Could I turn ugly? I'm a Uni, I don't want to be ugly! Could I be a boy? I don't want to be a boy!!" Balistairi sobbed.
"Oh honey, if you are, I can always turn you back into what you are now. The lab is nothing to be afraid of, and Unis are pretty cheap to replace in case of a species change," JoAnna said as she comforted her new poster "child" for the lab.
"And besides, we'll worry about gender changes if you happen to get them. Rest assured I will try my hardest to ensure you are a girl, no matter how long it takes!"
Off they went: JoAnna, CJ, and Balistairi, who she nicknamed Ali in case the lab kept her female, and Alistair if she was ever gender-swapped. The lab scientist met them with his crazy eyes and wild hair, and smiled maniacally seeing CJ's fresh new coat of "paint."
"Ah, the Chocolate Xweetok's owner. CJ, was it? And I see we have fresh meat today," he babbled, glancing at a shaking Balistairi.
"Yep, I don't dare zap CJ after her amazing color change yesterday. She's gorgeous!" JoAnna marveled. "So you will be taking Balistairi for today."
"What is the goal this time?" the mad scientist questioned.
"Maraquan," JoAnna declared, beaming.
"Ahh, quite a rare color. Good luck with that," he smirked as he commented.
The mad scientist led Balistairi into a room with the lab ray. She looked back at CJ and JoAnna, frowning, a slight trace of tears in her blue eyes, and walked to the X marked on the floor for the lab's "victims" to stand. The lab scientist fooled around with random buttons, then pushed a large red button. A beam of light and electricity shot towards Balistairi, and smoke filled the area where she was. When the smoke cleared, she was... still a Green Uni. JoAnna nodded in understanding, knowing full well that stat changes were the most common out of anything.
"She gains two defence points!" the mad scientist bellowed. JoAnna nodded, thanked the scientist, and the three took off back home. This continued for days on end, with numerous stat changes – a few movement points here, a few strength points there – until one day, a special change happened.
"The ray is fired at Balistairi... and she changes into a Blue Koi!!!" the scientist whooped.
JoAnna frowned a little. A Blue Koi? Sure, they were limited edition, and she liked Koi. But her dream was a Maraquan Uni! After getting Balistairi temporarily adjusted to her new look, off they went to the Shop Wizard.
"What will it be, madam?" the small JubJub inquired.
"I would like a listing of Green Uni Morphing Potions in shops, please," JoAnna requested.
The Shop Wizard scanned a system and produced a paper with a list of shops, other Neopians, and prices for the product she had asked for.
"Here you are, ma'am! The cheapest one is 10,000 Neopoints," he informed.
"Thank you very much, have a good day!" JoAnna left with a smile and with her two girls.
They headed off to the shop with the cheapest Green Uni Morphing Potion on the list and managed to purchase it with no problem. Once they were back home, JoAnna knelt down to Balistairi and slowly fed her the Green Uni Morphing Potion. Balistairi felt her gills changing to lungs, the fins changing to legs, and finally felt her mane and wings again! She was once again a Green Uni! She flew around, ran around, squealing in delight that she was no longer a Koi, but a Uni again, a beautiful Uni!
A week continued with stat changes, both positive and negative, and then one day, JoAnna and her girls were all amazed by one more change in particular. Balistairi knew the routine by now, walk over to the X and look sad. How much longer did she have to go through this? She wondered as the beam of light and electricity came at her just how long CJ had to endure this same thing before she was changed to Chocolate.
"It’s not fair. Why do I have to do this? I know Mama wants a pretty Maraquan Uni, but... uh oh. What’s going on?!"
Suddenly, Balistairi felt changed again. She felt that familiar gill feeling, the same as when she had been a Koi.
"Oh no," she thought. "I'm a Koi AGAIN!? Or a Peophin? Maybe I'm a cute Flotsam or a ferocious Jetsam?! I don't know... my body feels so strange..."
And then, she went blank. Things felt so strange, so tingly... she was changing. She opened her eyes when everything stopped, and glanced down at where her hooves would be. She gasped audibly when instead, she saw fins.
"A Koi again? But this time... no. Not a Koi. I feel a tail. And... a horn?! What?!"
JoAnna hadn't been looking that time -- she had come down with a cold and was instead trying to recover from a bit of sickness when she heard CJ squeal. Whipping around, she looked down at her Chocolate Xweetok.
"CJ?! What's wrong?!" JoAnna began panicking, and then looked up in the direction of CJ's pointing paw. The lab scientist was lowering a beautiful Maraquan Uni into a tank, who caught sight of JoAnna and CJ and waved, swimming around.
"It... it can't be..." JoAnna gasped.
"It is. The ray changed her into what you see before you, a Maraquan Uni," the lab scientist said, smiling.
"Well, we'll definitely have to live near Maraqua or Kiko Lake now..." JoAnna said in disbelief. She had always wanted a Maraquan Uni, but knew it would take her years to earn the money for a Maraquan Paint Brush. She had paid one million Neopoints for the lab ray and gotten the same end result. She walked to the tank to take home her new former lab pet. CJ walked on the other side, beaming at her Maraquan sister.
"You're all done with the lab now... Ali."
Balistairi beamed in delight as her owner and sister used her female nickname, which had not changed in the mere seventeen days she was an experiment of the lab.
If you're reading this, HOORAY!! I made it! This is my first short story and I'm very proud of my true story. :D