To Honor Tradition
450 issues of the Neopian Times simply scream ‘Tradition’! And what a fantastic tradition it is. But instead of writing yet another article of praise and congratulations, I decided to rather focus on the fact that without many other traditions the Neopian Times most likely never would have come this far. Traditions like event-coverage articles, game guides, helpful or simply entertaining lists, tutorials, and of course conspiracy theories. So to honor this paper and this issue, read now the latest news from the conspiracy theory front:
Power is the key to everything. This is a fact every world-domination-striving villain in Neopia is sure to know, first and foremost Dr. Sloth. But it is not the political power I am going to talk about today, though of course Dr. Sloth aims for that as well. It is rather electrical power on which I want to focus.
Electrical power is needed everywhere. It is needed in all neohomes to run the toasters in the kitchens and the Neovision sets in the living rooms. It is needed to run the printing presses at the Neopian Times Publishing House and has been needed there for the past 449 issues just like it was needed this week to print this anniversary issue. But where does this power come from? Have you ever thought about it? I am quite sure that not even the cheerful Lenny and the industrious Weewoo, who are operating the presses, have ever stopped to think about it. It is a thing we simply take for granted. Yet the power has to come from somewhere.
When we take a look at all the Neopian countries, we see beautiful clear skies – that is, perhaps with the exceptions of Maraqua, since it is next to impossible to see the sky underwater, and Haunted Woods with its dense foliage, which makes it quite difficult to see the sky there – so it is safe to assume that companies like Nakron do not generate the power by means of coal fired power plants which would pollute the atmosphere. They rather employ the renewable energies available, like collecting the sun in the Lost Desert or harvesting the winds howling around Terror Mountain or using the tides at the water courses which rush through Shenkuu. And with the subterranean world of Moltara, yet another source of power was added to the manifold means to ensure that the Neopians don’t suffer from power shortages: geothermal energy. (So we need not worry about the next 450 issues of our beloved newspaper.)
Even Kreludor, since gaining its ultimate independence, has its own source of power, seeing that the Grundos living on this moon can now use the energy-rich Kreludite all for their own needs.
But what about ‘poor’ Dr. Sloth and his Space Station? Of course, officially Dr. Sloth is defeated and no longer rules the Virtupets Space Station, but can we really be sure of this? Would a brilliant villain such as Dr. Sloth not find a way to contact his loyal minions who stayed aboard the Space Station and thus continue ruling from the shadows? After all, ever so many Thursdays on the Space Station are appointed holidays in honor of Dr. Sloth... Anyway, no matter whether Dr. Sloth is still secretly ruling the Space Station (as I believe) or not, he would have had to find a way to power this station when building it. Because anyone who has spent a considerable amount of time at the Space Station will have noticed that it is a place full of high technology and is illuminated by an ever present greenish light. Loudspeakers make announcements every few minutes and the helpful employee at the Space Adoption Agency is ever ready to process any new adoption on his computer. I am sure the total power consumption of this place is quite high. And that power has to come from somewhere.
The first idea concerning this matter, which came to my mind when last I was there, hoping to catch a word with Commander Garoo about something or other, was that perhaps the revenues from the Lever of Doom are used to pay the electricity bill. But there is no such thing as wireless electricity and there is definitely no power cable running from Neopia to the Space Station. So Nakron and the likes certainly are not able to supply the Space Station with the power needed, which in return means that this orbital station must have its own means to generate the daily needed electricity.
A small nuclear power plant was my second idea, but this I discarded as fast as the first idea. No matter how evil Dr. Sloth’s plans for world domination might have been in the past or will be in the future, I’m sure he would never risk a radioactive contamination of his Space Station, caused by a breakage of the pressure vessel, which might be the result of a counter-attack from the defending Neopians. And as a genius he is certainly realistic enough to take such a counter-attack into consideration. So despite the existence of items such as Radioactive Snow or even a Radioactive Sloth Cake, I am sure, there is no nuclear power plant hidden inside the Space Station.
Then of course there was the idea of Dr. Sloth stealing all petpets which accompany their neopets to the Space Station, keeping them in some hidden basement and forcing them into treadmills to generate the power. An idea even more ridiculous than the nuclear power plant, since of course there were never any petpets missing when I returned home from my trips to the Space Station. And even if I simply was lucky to escape unharmed while others suffered the loss of those small companions, the Petpet Protection League would never tolerate this and would have already alarmed the Neopians of this threat if it were true.
A more hands-on approach of simply searching the Space Station for the secret power plant was no more promising than simply trying to find out by thinking how the Space Station is powered. Not that I did not try it anyway.
Well, I guess this is one way to make sure you get your meeting with Commander Garoo... Only that this time it didn’t end with a simple invitation to a friendly encounter at the Battledome. The result was more like a rather hasty departure for me (aka flight) to escape further unpleasant measures. Looks like any future visits to the Lever of Doom will have to be in disguise.
But somehow I was unable to let this question go unanswered. After all, this is Dr. Sloth we are talking about and who knows which villainous plan of his even involves the power supply of the Space Station and by proxy perhaps that of whole Neopia?
Gathering all known facts I compiled the following list:
1. The Space Station has electrical power.
2. The Space Station has no natural resources for generating said electrical power (after all, Sloth tried to get hold of all the Kreludite a while ago).
3. There is no wireless power.
4. It can’t be a nuclear power plant as it is too dangerous.
5. The petpets don’t disappear, ergo are not enslaved by Dr. Sloth.
6. There is no space pollution or space smog so we can exclude some carbon-based fuel-fired power plant.
7. Most lights illuminating the Space Station are green. Exactly the same green as most glowing objects you can find on Neopia.
8. They sell really weird food at Grundos Café.
You want to know how the last point fits into that list? Take a look at the menu of the café. We get strange looking fruits with even stranger names which taste like anything and everything and you are never able to tell the taste by the look. So in fact, these foods can be made of everything as base, have some flavors added and voila, we’ll never know the difference. Quite suspicious. Same goes for a dish called ‘Sloth Surprise’. But it gets even more suspicious! Besides those strange fruits and various dishes which on first glance sound familiar yet look completely different from what you’d expect, the menu also mentions a dish called ‘Glowing Pretzel’. And while the name itself might appear harmless, the description that nobody really knows what the goo on the pretzel is sounds far from innocent.
Let’s take a closer look at the goo. It is green, it is glowing, it is sticky and, yes, rather tasty. (I did try it, all in the name of science and protecting Neopia.) The taste was quite familiar. And then it hit me like a Brick Sink: The taste was that of Glowing Jelly! Molten Glowing Jelly! (Believe me, as a pet which was, for most of his life, fed omelettes and all kinds of jelly, I know all the prepared variations one can create with jelly. Including grilled and molten jelly...)
So what if Dr. Sloth, who is a genius after all, managed to develop a machine which allows him to extract the glow from the jelly in order to use the glow as a power source and the jelly as a base for all the strange food? And that for the Glowing Pretzel Chef Gargarox simply uses the slight percentage of jelly which remains glowing as icing, since no machine, not even one developed by Dr. Sloth, can achieve a degree of efficiency of 100%? With Jelly World not really existing, it would be easy for Dr. Sloth to simply steal all the Glowing Jelly from the Giant Jelly without anybody in Neopia noticing...
The longer I thought about it, the more sense it made: That it was Dr. Sloth himself who made us deny that there is a place called Jelly World while at the same time accepting the manifold jelly foods available without further questioning their origin. A conclusion which raised the next question: If Dr. Sloth is behind the Jelly World Denial, what comes next? Will he discover a way to use the mists surrounding Lutari Island and as a result brainwash us to deny the existence of that island? Would the then homeless Lutaris, who refuse to let Dr. Death and his Uni colleague help them find a new home via the Neopian Pound, simply vanish from the surface of Neopia? What if Dr. Sloth finds out that Rockfish, while not as tasty as jelly, contain a secret power source of their own, which highly exceeds that of Glowing Jelly? Will he make us deny the existence of Maraqua? Will he come after me and my Rockfish collection??
Freelance reporter Species7722 signing off to strengthen the safety measurements of the Rockfish-collection-holding Safety Deposit Box.