The History of the Grundo Thief
Many years ago, during the month of Sleeping, on the dark
street on the surface of the Neopian moon Kreludor, an ordinary orange Grundo
lived in harmony with his brethren. He toiled each day entering authorization
codes and other mundane information into the databanks at the Kreludan mine. His
name, which now has been forgotten by most, was called in a hoarse whisper from
behind a thick grove of blackberry bushes. The orange Grundo looked around to
find the source of the distraction as a long, thin finger attached to a sickly
thin green arm snaked out of the brush and beckoned him forward. He peered curiously
through the bushes but saw nothing except the inky darkness. The same long, thin-fingered
hand grabbed him painfully by one antenna and pulled him deep into a cleared spot
in the midst of the scratchy blackberry bushes. Rubbing his shoulder from the
mild cuts and wishing desperately those had been swab bushes, he could only gape
at the giant man that had so uncomfortably gotten his attention. The man was huge,
at least as tall as 3 Grundos, with pale green skin and hollow red eyes. He wore
a long black cape that obscured most of his gaunt frame and seemed as if it might
block out all of the shadows from even the darkest of nights on Kreludor.
"I've been watching you, little Grundo," the
stranger said. "You're a good worker. Always on time, loyal, and with nimble
hands. Yes, nimble hands."
The Grundo was so startled, he could only blink
up at the stranger. He wondered to himself who might have been watching him
and for what reasons. He was merely an ordinary orange Grundo working a dead
end job like most other orange Grundos so plentiful on Kreludor.
"I can use a Grundo like you," the stranger continued.
"I want you to come to work for me. If you agree to do this, you will know riches
beyond your wildest beliefs." With this statement, the tall pale stranger with
the angled features threw open his cape and revealed the inset of his cape which
sparkled with jewels from the mines of Kreludor. These were jewels he had only
heard about from his fellow orange Grundos who worked the mines. None of them
could ever afford any jewels of their own, but mined them for the corporation
for a small salary that was sufficient to live on. All of the jewels appeared
to be expertly cut and shined from every facet. The sight was breath taking.
The Grundo held his breath, afraid the events
of this day were all just a dream. "For me?" he dared to whisper.
"Yes, of course. But you cannot have them today,"
replied the stranger. "I have no use for jewels. My true love is plushies."
The Grundo blinked, shocked that anyone would
choose plushies over jewels. Perhaps he had not heard correctly. "Plushies?
Did you say plushies?" he inquired.
The tall stranger patted him on the head. "Yes,
little Grundo, I said plushies. And if you get them for me, I will trade you
plushies for jewels. You can be rich beyond your wildest imaginings. You can
have anything your little Grundo heart desires. You can have all the strawberry
gateau you can eat, all the hot borovan you can drink, and make a sizeable income
to support your family, your friends, your petpets, or whatever you desire.
Won't that be wonderful, little friend? What is the first thing you will do
when you become the richest Grundo in all of Neopia?"
The Grundo did not have to stop and think about
that one. He had always dreamed of it as a far off fantasy, something to do
when he won the Neopian Lottery, something for someday. "I will be purple. I
would like to be purple. I have always wanted to be purple." The more he thought
of it being a real possibility and not just a fantasy, the more he wanted it.
He agreed to help the stranger to get plushies. After all, it was just plushies.
He began to salivate at the thought of being surrounded by all of his favorite
things and fed all his favorite foods by beautiful faerie Grundos. His family,
enslaved for generations, had never known the riches of the good life. Finally,
he was being given an opportunity to make all of his dreams come true. He came
back from his reverie wondering who his mysterious benefactor might be.
"Excellent, my little friend. I am glad to have
you in my employ. I am Dr. Sloth. Some say that I am evil, but would an evil
person make you a rich Grundo in return for some plushies?" The Grundo shook
his orange head, his antennae bobbing. "The plushies are to come from a factory.
The factory is right here on Kreludor so you need not leave your homelands.
We will start there, as practice. You see, I own the factory and I want you
to practice being quick and quiet. Use those nimble fingers to nap plushies
for me. There is no risk as it is my factory. Do watch for falling items however.
It is a factory, after all. Safety first. We will start at the factory with
you nabbing as many plushies as you can from the conveyor belt as they are made.
The more you bring me, the more I pay you. Simple."
The deal sounded sweet to the Grundo, who readily
agreed to the practice sessions. As soon as he could afford to, he sent for
some mail order and bought a paintbrush to turn himself purple. He chose this
time to move out of his family's NeoHome and into a small apartment on the grounds
of the factory. His first visit back home was spent telling his family how much
he enjoyed his job, his co-workers, his boss, and his new place. They were to
never know the details about his work. He used the purple paintbrush the very
day it arrived and the results were equally as spectacular as he had always
dreamed they would be. His family never saw him purple and may never see him
again. He sent home jewels to his family regularly by post and wrote to tell
them about how much he enjoyed his new job and living arrangements. He wore
ninja style clothes to work to help him be stealthy. The dark clothes also helped
him to hide his identity because he was a bit ashamed of his profession as a
thief and would not want his family to find out he worked for Dr. Sloth as Dr.
Sloth had a bit of a nasty reputation on Kreludor, and it was rumored he had
the same reputation in all of Neopia.
He overheard Dr. Sloth talking to the Freaky
Factory foreman about him one day as he passed by Dr. Sloth's open office door.
Dr. Sloth referred to him as the Grundo Thief. Apparently, so Dr. Sloth told
the foreman, after his training was complete, Dr. Sloth planned to promote him
from the Freaky Factory to the site of the new Plushie Tycoon high rise. The
Grundo Thief went back to work, excited at the prospect of all the jewels he