Visions and Vanishings: Part Four
Yoru sped off towards the Control Center, and in less than a minute, red alarms began to emit loud sounds that notified the whole station that something was wrong. Guests ran in panic, and the workers all darted towards the Control Center to see what the huge deal was. Sloth and Yoru awaited them as they all filed in in an urgent manner.
"Everybody! We have had a break out of two residents of Neopia," Sloth said. Some people gasped; it was not usual Sloth cared about guests escaping.
"The two pets are a Ghost Kyrii, and most importantly, a Yellow Gelert. These two must be found and brought to the Testing Room. I need scientists to report to the Testing Room for a briefing on what is going to happen. Security, please search the area with a thorough look at everything. Others, follow Yoru to the Observatory to keep watch for all the screens that still work," Sloth said, eyeing Yoru with anger. The Kougra gulped.
Everybody split and did the tasks they were told. You never argued with Sloth, or else it would be the end of you. All the workers knew it too, as it was hung on a bronze plaque hanging in front of the office. It read quite clearly 'All workers shall perform satisfactory to Sloth, or suffer wretched consequences.'
"Salthar! Wait!" breathed the Gelert, holding up a paw to show he needed a moment.
"We have no time! They probably are tracking us right now; come on!"
Reluctantly, the pair sped up the pace, much to the displeasure of Farren. The alarms still rang annoyingly in both their heads, as a reminder that their time was running out very quick. They made second pauses to glance down at the map and ensure they were following the correct path. Sometimes, Farren had sworn they were lost, but Salthar insisted they were going the right way.
"It's right on the map! Can't you see?" Salthar argued, pointing a finger directly where they were standing.
"I don't think we're there, though," complained Farren. He grabbed Salthar's finger, and moved it about five inches to the left of where it was recently. "I think we are right here, by the Study of Strange Creatures area."
"Ridiculous! Follow me, and I promise you will be safe," spat Salthar, and without argument, the two sped off again. Little did they know cameras followed their every move, the floors tracked their DNA, and the air was slowly releasing an invisible sleeping gas. Hadn't they noticed no guards were around?
After another ten minutes of running, Farren called it quits.
"We are never going to get out of here! I'm feeling really light-headed," Farren complained yet again, but Salthar didn't seem to want to argue.
"I know what you mean. I'm starting to feel a little..." Salthar yawned, "...drowsy."
"Whaddaya thinkweshood..." slurred Farren, slowing closing out the world from sight, and passing out onto the floor, Salthar following quickly behind him.
"Is everything going well, sir?" asked a Grundo, glancing into the aqua colored vat.
"It's going perfectly, Omin, thank you," said Sloth, looking very pleased with himself. He had successfully trapped Farren in the vat, and he would soon have the power of future telling.
Farren slowly came back to his senses. He saw he was in a room with hundreds of different kinds of vats were held, and many computing devices that were in full operation by hundreds of Grundos.
Farren heard that he was going to get his powers sucked away. He wouldn't have minded it as much, but knowing that he was giving it away to Sloth without a fight made him angry. He didn't see how he was going to get out of this, there was really no way. The vat glass was extremely thick, covered with a transparent steel coating. It had a pipe bending out of the top area, which was transported to another vat about ten feet away from his.
The Gelert glanced up to see a large screen reading 'Countdown to Operation: 30 minutes'.
Farren looked around helplessly. Twenty five minutes... twenty... and before he knew it, five minutes until the operation.
He noticed Salthar was sound asleep in another vat, but was quarantined from any other vats. His was all alone in the corner; clearly Sloth didn't want anything to do with him. That was, until he heard the conversation he and Salthar were having.
"Do you have any special powers?" Sloth asked interestedly, looking down at the floor.
Farren laughed, but nobody heard it, because his vat was clearly soundproof. The Gelert knew Salthar wouldn't blow it a second time. Then he heard his next reply.
"As a matter of fact, I do. I can disappear and reappear whenever I want," Salthar said, looking as though he was in a magical trance. Sloth whispered something to another Grundo. Farren watched in horror as he connected Salthar's vat to another one. Sloth was going to take his powers as well. Why had Salthar told him more secrets when clearly he was the reason they were there in the first place.
To make matters worse, Farren glanced up at the clock. Thirty seconds until his powers were gone. He wanted to use his powers very badly before they left him, but he knew he couldn't. The Wishing Well wasn't around. Suddenly, it hit Farren. Sloth wouldn't be able to see the future, because he didn't know the secret to using it. He would never guess he had to use the Wishing Well.
"Sloth, please step into the vat," instructed a Grundo, as Sloth jumped into the gooey substance with glee.
"Three... two... one!"
It was a very odd sensation. He felt as though his head was being sucked upwards, but he wasn't going anywhere. He began to feel very dizzy, and before he knew it, the feeling was over. He still remembered everything about his power, but he knew he couldn't use it now. Sloth clambered out of his vat, looking very ill, but somewhat happy.
The villain stepped over to Farren's vat, and began to talk to him. He typed something into his watch, and began to speak.
"Is there anything you want to tell me about how to--use--this power?"
Farren was never planning on telling him. He wouldn't betray the group, unlike Salthar. Then, something overcame him. He couldn't help himself. He...
"You can only use this power by looking into the Wishing Well in Neopia Central," blurted Farren, immediately furious with himself. Why had he said it? The look on the Gelert's face pleased Sloth.
"Wondering why you answered, I suppose?" cackled Sloth. "I just told my workers to release the Truth Potion into your vat. No, don't blame yourself, or your friend. I'm merely a genius."
With that, Sloth left, vanishing in thin air. Farren couldn't believe his eyes at first, but then remembered that he had taken Salthar's power too.
Farren didn't see how any of this would get any better. Sloth was perhaps now, the best villain there ever was. Stronger than any other villain in the universe. He could see the future, plan ahead, and could turn invisible. What more could he want?
A few Grundos walked over to the vats, and released Salthar and Farren. The two took a ship back home, not mentioning anything about what had just occurred. The next day, the two were expecting a Neopian Times header 'Sloth Conquers the World'. They didn't find that. In fact, they wouldn't found Sloth in it for the next week. Surely he would have done some severe evil by now.
Later that evening, they both walked down to the Wishing Well, just for fun. Farren glanced into the waters. He wanted to do it as a reminder to what could have still been. To his complete surprise, the waters formed into a Virtupets Station room, which looked like the Testing Room.
"I want to understand what went wrong!" Sloth yelled angrily at his frightened Grundos.
"S-Sir, please don't blame us. We did everything correctly. We also gave him the Truth Potion!" they stammered, and Sloth couldn't say anything else to this.
"But if I don't have the powers, he must still have them, right?"
"Most likely, sir," murmured the Grundo.
At this, the vision was swept away, and Farren raised his head from the waters. Salthar looked intrigued.
"You still have your powers?"
"Yes," said Farren in complete shock. He had never thought about what would happen if there had been an error. He would have never have known, unless he looked into the Wishing Well.
Later that evening, after discussing what they could do now that he had his power back, Salthar thought of something.
"If you still have your power, could I still have mine?" asked Salthar.
"Try it!" encouraged Farren.
Salthar concentrated, and soon vanished into thin air. He returned a moment later, looking very excited.
"It works! But I just wanted to know how..."
Two neomails soared in through the window. The two picked them up and read:
Dear Salthar and/or Farren,
We are pleased to inform you that your wish has come true. Sloth was not successful in retrieving your gifts. Perhaps you should be a little more careful, however, or else I will have no choice but to confiscate your visions and vanishings until you learn a lesson. You both need each other; hopefully you have learned from all of this. Don't you remember your Neomail you got from me a while back? It clearly stated that nobody could get your powers, as they are yours and yours only. Merely a little more magic from me.
-The Wishing Well
The two looked up at each other. For the first time in their entire lives, they both saw eye to eye.
"We really do depend on each other, don't we?" said Salthar, smiling.
"Yeah, we do." Farren nodded.
A life is always affected by another life.