The Return of Sloth: The Musical! - Part Three
[Lights up on the Resistance HQ. Commander Valka again stands at the table. The Resistance members who participated in the surprise attack enter from stage right and salute Valka before returning to their computer consoles.]
Valka: Where is Gorix? Is he still out?
[Gorix enters with Cylara and the Cybunny Scout in tow.]
Gorix: Here, sir! And I found the Cybunny Scout!
Valka: I thank you, Gorix, that’s good news.
But why’s the child here? I’m confused.
I though we were sending her back to the planet.
Gorix: Indeed, that was just how we’d planned it.
However, her quick thinking saved our lives;
It’s thanks to her that we survived.
Valka: Then, Cylara, you deserve our thanks;
We welcome you into our ranks.
[Valka pins a green Resistance badge onto Cylara’s outfit. The various pets in the room applaud.]
Cylara: Thanks for the honor that you bestow,
But now let’s find out just what the Scout knows.
Scout: Thank you, Cylara. It’s true, I have facts
About Dr. Sloth and his heinous acts.
First, you should know that he has a hand
In the strife that ravages Kreludor’s land.
He’s planted a traitor in their midst
In an attempt to their loyalties twist.
And thus, purple is pitted against orange,
So brothers fight ‘gainst...
[spoken] Wait a moment, what rhymes with “orange”?
[Valka, Cylara, and Gorix all consider this for a few moments and then shrug. Finally, Cylara raises her hand and hops up and down.]
Cylara [spoken]: Ooh, I’ve got it! [she whispers something in the Scout’s ear.]
Scout [spoken]: Thanks, that’ll work.
[sung] And thus, purple is pitted against orange
So much that it should make us four cringe. [She winks at Cylara. The various pets in the room nod in approval of the rhyme.]
Valka: As twisted as this scheme of Sloth’s may be,
Its relevance to us I just don’t see.
A petty land dispute between two brothers
Seems to be a problem for another
Day when we are not under an attack!
Besides, their mines are famous for their lack
Of any mineral useful to petkind.
Scout: Yes, but when the Kreludite’s refined...
Valka: Kreludite? What’s that? Please do explain.
Scout: It is an ore that’s found deep in the veins
Of those same mines fought over by the Grundos.
But, since now they’ve practically shunned those
Of different color, the mine’s unprotected,
Leaving the Kreludite to be collected.
Valka: You think, then, that Sloth’s after that?
Scout: I think he’ll try to use it in combat.
I don’t know how, but he could make a weapon
So powerful that he could all but step on
Us and crush us all beneath his feet;
A weapon that would spell our sure defeat.
Or something else that’s far more vile,
A use for it that’s extremely hostile.
Don’t take my word, though, for I have a disk
(Which I obtained for you at quite some risk).
On it are all the details of the plan.
Gorix: Come, pop it in, let’s give it a scan.
[The Scout produces a small silver disk and inserts it in the computer terminal behind her. Holograms of arcane mathematical formulas are displayed on the screen.]
Valka: What do these mean?
Scout: I don’t want to be curt,
But I think we will need the help of an expert.
Valka: I know just the pet! You need look no further.
I’ll send all this data to my good friend Werther.
[to a Resistance member] Call him up, but please make haste.
If Scout is right, we’ve no time to waste!
Cylara: Wait, your name’s Scout? That’s a little bit strange.
Almost as if it had been prearranged.
Resistance Member: Sir, here he is, the transmission went through.
Valka: Ah, hello, Werther. How do you do?
[A hologram of a bespectacled yellow JubJub appears above the table in the center of the room. This is Werther. He gives off an erudite air, and sings in a reedy voice.]
Werther: Hello, Valka. I examined the equations
And it seems that Sloth’s planning an invasion.
He’ll use the Kreludite’s unique characteristics
To carry out a scheme vile and sadistic.
Valka: But what’s so special about Kreludite?
Please tell us, so we can avoid Sloth’s blight.
Werther [spoken, extremely quickly]: Well, Kreludite has several isotopes, different from each other in the number of neutrons in their nucleus. The most common isotope has 231 neutrons, and is therefore called K-231. However, when K-231 is bombarded by a neutron fired from a particle accelerator, the particle is destabilized. The nucleus takes on the neutron and the particle thus becomes K-232. But this molecule is incredibly unstable. It transforms to Kredulium 232, then immediately fissions into Faerillium 141 and Tyrannium 92. The reaction also gives off three neutrons and various other particles and forms of radiation – positrons, electromagnetotrons, and gamma rays to name a few. Now, if the amount of K-231 the reaction begins with is greater than or equal to the critical mass of Kreludite (around 17 grams), the three neutrons released by the initial reaction will travel on to strike other Kreludite atoms, perpetuating the reaction until all the Kreludite has been transformed to radioactive Faerillium and Tyrannium. This reaction releases massive amounts of energy; however, the real threat is in the gamma radiation. With a frequency above 1.27x1019 Hz, energy equal to roughly 180,000 electronvolts, and wavelengths of less than nine picometers, the gamma rays emitted by this reaction are extremely potent mutagens. When they encounter the organic carbon compounds of our bodies, they convert ethel clusters to methel structures, thus destabilizing the helix of our DNA. This causes visible and permanent mutation of the affected pet’s body.
Werther [with a sigh, spoken]: Sloth’s planning to use the Kreludite to turn all the pets of Neopia into mutants.
Cylara: My, you’re certainly very verbose.
Werther: I fear that the time of our doom is quite close.
You must go to Kreludor, protect the mines.
I only hope that you can do it in time.
Valka: Thank you, dear Werther, for your assistance.
We truly appreciate your scholarly persistence.
Werther: I’m glad I could help, but please understand:
The fate of Neopia rests in your hands.
[The hologram of Werther fades and flickers out. The four pets stand in silence for a moment, considering the weight of what they’ve just heard. Finally, Gorix sings.]
Gorix: Well, you heard the JubJub, we have act go now.
I’ll go to the moon and stop Sloth, this I vow.
Cylara: I want to go with you! Can I tag along?
Gorix: Very well, you’ve proven that you’re quite strong.
We’ll need a quick wit like yours to succeed;
Just do as I say and follow my lead.
Valka: I’ll make sure a shuttle is ready and prepped.
Scout: But what about me?
Valka: It’s time that we swept
These villainous thugs out of our space station.
Now come on, you three, let’s make preparations.
[Lights down. Scene change; lights up on interior of Sloth’s ship. Once again, he is almost fully concealed by the high back of his chair. Gormos enters, hesitantly. It is clear that he is not bringing good news.]
Gormos: Sir, we’ve received word from Garoo’s brigade –
It seems they’ve run into a bit of a scrape.
The Resistance gave our prisoners aid.
To be blunt, sir, we’ve lost them; they all have escaped.
Sloth [spoken, with great weight]: Escaped?
Gormos: Ylana, it seems, was just as unsuccessful:
The Cybunny Scout slipped out of her grasp.
I’m sorry, my lord, that this news is so stressful,
But it seems that our plans are now harder to clasp.
Sloth [spoken, emotionless]: Send Sophix. Eliminate the Resistance. Launch an assault on Kreludor.
Gormos [shocked]: Sir, are you sure that that action is wise?
If we attack Kreludor, our plan will be clear.
The Resistance will know we’re after Kreludite supplies.
Besides, our own agent is on that frontier!
Sloth [spoken]: Then he will have given his life for a higher cause. Attack Kreludor. Leave no survivors.
Gormos: But, sir...
Sloth [suddenly enraged; banging his fist on the arm of his chair]: NOW!
[Gormos bows, backs away slowly, and exits. Lights down. Scene change; lights up on the interior of a shuttle. Gorix and Cylara are within, approaching Kreludor.]
Cylara: So tell me more about this feud
To which we heard Valka allude.
Gorix: Control of the mines is the cause of the strife.
The moon was once peaceful and under control.
But then, when their leader sadly lost his life,
It was not at all clear who would take on his role.
This pet had two sons, one orange and one purple;
Zorlix, the elder, thought he should be the leader.
But Xarthab, the younger, and e’er the usurper,
Loved the dear mine, and would not concede ‘er.
And so sides were formed, and battle lines drawn;
Chaos ensued on Neopia’s moon.
But now it seems certain that one of Sloth’s pawns
Was placed in their midst to whistle Sloth’s tune.
What sort of spy could be so underhanded?
Well, no time to ponder; it seems that we’ve landed.
[Lights down. Scene change; lights up on the surface of Kreludor. Grey and desolate, pocked with craters. Cylara and Gorix enter from stage right.]
Cylara: All right, Gorix, what’s your plan
To bring peace to these Grundo clans?
Gorix: To start, we must go to the source:
We have to find the spy, of course.
Cylara: All right, let’s get to it and find his location.
I just hope we don’t meet with complication.
[Suddenly, dozens of orange Grundos pour in from all sides and surround Gorix and Cylara menacingly. Xarthab, their leader, steps forward.]
Xarthab [shouted]: Intruders!
Gorix [spoken]: Is this the kind of complication you wanted to avoid? [Blackout. End of Act III.]