Paparazzi: Part Four
After we’d sent the Cybunny to destroy the photographer at all costs, Larkin had suddenly called it off. Larkin says that I’m always, like, all over the place and that a good villain has some sort of concrete idea thing always in mind, so I’m totally clueless as to why she just changed the plan like that. The Cybunny was doing such a super job with all the destruction and junk, too. I definitely didn't have any idea at any time that she had soooooo many weapons in her body. I mean, you’ve heard of “Plan A and Plan B,”well, this Cybunny had, like, a Plan A, B, C, D, all the way to Z.
Anyways, I ask Larkin what the dealio was with calling off the attack and she’s all like, “We can’t hurt this girl; she can make us famous, and that’s just what we need.”
Going back to that concrete idea stuff I mentioned; Larkin seems pretty contradictory sometimes; it’s like she wants to be a perfect villain, but she also really wants fame. However, I was reading this article about different types of villains and it was, like, some villains kill their enemies while others have more complex plans for them, and then there are the villains with morals who try not to hurt anyone. So, I’m pretty certain that we’re not the last one, but I’m not sure about the other two. I’ve never ever ever heard Larkin say anything about complex plans for our enemies, but then again our enemy count has just reached one.
“We can tell this Kau all about our evil plans, then let her go,” Larkin continues. “Once she returns to Neopia, she’ll have no choice but to publish a complete story of us, then all of Neopia shall fear us.”
The Cybunny uses jets on her back to blast off of the ground and into the atmosphere. She has her arm firmly around me so falling isn’t really what I’m scared of, but I’m terrified at the thought of where I’m going. I should have known not to have gotten involved with this; villains always have diabolical plans for heroes, and I definitely don’t have enough hero experience to fight my way out.
The Cybunny’s words earlier were slightly reassuring, but I can’t be certain that this mysterious mastermind doesn’t have a worse fate in mind for me. As we break into space I fear that I may run out of oxygen, yet the Cybunny is so fast that we arrive at Virtupets Space Station in only a few seconds.
We enter through a tunnel in the back of the station. The Cybunny marches me through a dilapidated section of Virtupets. We pass old broken doors and many dead wires and other discarded parts of gadgets. Eventually we arrive at a much more well kept door and the Cybunny take me inside.
I see two Neopets, one I recognize as the Lenny from the hologram. The other is a Cloud Gnorbu who looks slightly less intimidating. Both are wearing tight Virtupets suits; the Lenny’s is black and the Gnorbu’s is pink. Seeing me, the Lenny shoos off the Gnorbu and gestures for me to sit down at a table. To my surprise I find tea and cookies on my plate.
She greets me warmly. “Hello, you must be that photographer I’ve been hearing so much about.”
I want to be a hero and demand what she wants, but my mouth is frozen scared. Instead I just gaze at her.
“I suppose you are a bit put off by all the assaults on you, but we are a dangerous group of people,” she states. “You don’t want to mess with us.”
She seems to be enjoying herself as if she is talking with old friends instead of talking to a prisoner.
“Help yourself to see food and drink,” she offers as she motions to my plate. “We’ve got a lot of discussion to get done.”
“What do you want?” I ask finally, although it is much more timid than I wanted to sound.
“Yes, yes,” she says hastily. “I want you to publish an article all about us.”
“I’m sorry,” I say, very shocked by her words, “you want me to publish an article on you? Isn’t that the opposite of what most villains want?”
“Oh, of course you’ll have to leave out where our base is and all that,” she exclaims, “but I want Neopia to know who we are and what we want.”
I notice the Cybunny standing behind me staring at me with a deadly glare. I’m not sure what these villains have in store for me, but I decide that I can’t escape now so I better play along until a better opportunity survives.
“So, what would you like me to write about?” I ask.
“Everything, our rise to power, our early heists, our immense power, our many weapons, our plans for the future, and our increasingly growing power,” she lists.
This person definitely has power on the brain.
“Why don’t you tell me a bit about your past?” I ask as I pull out my notebook.
“Of course,” she exclaims, clearly eager. “My sister and I have always wanted to be respected, on top of the Neopia chain of control. The best way to reach such a goal was to become villains. We had many plans, yet it soon became apparent that we didn’t have the means to carry out said plans...”
As she continued to talk, I scribbled madly the important facts of what she was saying. Their story was that they had discovered a cache of Dr. Sloth’s unfinished inventions, which they had modified for their needs. They used the gadgets to commit small crimes hoping to achieve attention and eventually rise to a higher live of crime.
“...bigger targets that’ll end up with more attention and more riches,” she continues. “We’ve already been able to afford several improvements to the many weapons and designs. Would you like to see some of them?”
I nod and rise. As the Lenny leads me to the next room, I notice that the Cybunny stays behind. My chance for escape may be coming up. In the next room I find tables of numerous gadgets and weapons that all look very complex and effective.
“This here is the camouflage belt,” she exclaims as she hold up a black belt. “One of our earlier inventions, it allows the wearer to blend in with its surroundings. Oh, over here is the Oubliator.”
She shows me a long silver tube with many black dots on it.
“It causes its victim’s mind to temporarily go blank,” she explains.
“What about that Cybunny, how does she work?” I ask.
“Ah, one of our newest discoveries,” the Lenny exclaims. “She actually was once a real Cybunny, but she was modified with robotic improvements. Her natural abilities have been increased tremendously, then she is equipped with many deadly weapons. Plus, her brain has a disc that controls her emotions and thoughts so that she obeys commands with the proper passion.”
I have to hide my disgust. This poor Cybunny is being forced to want to destroy whatever her controller wants.
“Would you like to see her design?” the Lenny asks.
“That would be just great,” I answer, trying to think of a way to make use of this chance.
She goes to the other end of the room where the Gnorbu is looking over several blueprints. I immediately scan the table for any weapons that look simple enough for me to use. I pick up a small red pistol.
“What are you doing!” shouts the Lenny from across the room.
“I’m leaving,” I declare with as much courage as I can muster, “and you’re not going to stop me or I’ll pull this trigger.”
“You foolish girl,” the Lenny laughs nervously. “The weapon you are holding is powerless.”
“What are you talking about, Larkin?” shrieks the Gnorbu, who I assume is Myrtle. “That’s the dematerializer; she could destroy us all!”
Larkin is clearly irritated, but then a smile appears on her beak. I twirl around just in time to see the Cybunny approaching me.
“I should have known to get rid of you when I had the chance,” Larkin roars, “Destroy her!”
She twists a remote and suddenly the Cybunny is coming at me with ferocious rage.
The Kau jumps up on one of the tables to avoid my grab. I grab the table itself and flip it over. The Kau tumbles to the ground, but she picks up a rod which she flails at me. I step back then reach out to remove her weapon. To my shock, the rod emits an electric pulse into my arm, causing it to go numb.
Instead of using my arm, I use my eye laser. The Kau rolls to evade it, but I have directly in my sight; I prepare to finish her with no regrets. Suddenly the beam passes through another gadget which explodes in smoke and temporarily distorts my vision. The Kau jumps behind me. I try to attack her again, but I feel her shoe crush into the disc in the side of my head.
Suddenly I fill with so many emotions that have been foreign for so long. I feel exuberantly happy for being free, and I want to cry for all the suffering I’ve caused; I feel pity for this Kau and every other person I’ve been forced to attack, and I feel horrifying fear of what will happen next. I collapse on the ground.
My ears still work so I hear the Kau say, “Now, I leaving and I’m taking the Cybunny with me.”
I assume that she is holding a weapon, which is why my former masters utter sounds of affirmation. I feel myself being lifted up; I try to make myself as light as possible, but I don’t know if I actually did anything. My hearing goes offline for a while and all I can feel is nothingness.
When my organic side wakes and my robotic side becomes online again, I find myself in a Virtupets craft with the Kau.
“What’s going on?” I ask, very confused.
“I know that you didn’t want to hurt me,” the Kau says, “and I’m taking you to someone who might be able to help you.”
“Miranda,” I say, unable to help myself. “My name is Miranda. I’m sorry, but for so long my name has never been used; I just had to say it.”
“It’s nice to meet you, Miranda, the real you,” the Kau says, “I’m Peppi Pansy.”
We arrive at Faerieland, which brings back horrible memories of what I have recently done there. Peppi takes me to a fountain where a Water Faerie sits.
“I need some help from you,” Peppi says to the Faerie. “This Cybunny is covered in unwanted robotic equipment. Can you transform her into something more natural?”
“I’m sorry, but the magic is all gone from my fountain,” the Faerie responds stoically.
Peppi is suddenly angry as she barks, “Listen, I work with the news industry and I know all about how your fountain is filled to the brim with magic. So, if you want this secret to remain out of the public’s reach, I suggest you help this Cybunny.”
The Faerie is clearly uneasy, but she gestures for me to approach her. I walk into the fountain and she waves her hands, causing rainbows to surround me. For once I can feel appreciation for all of Neopia’s beauties. I feel my robotic parts melt into water and suddenly my brain can think for its own. My vision is decreased and my thoughts are scattered, but I don’t care. I look into the water and see a Royal Cybunny looking back.
“Thank you,” I cry to everyone around me as I feel the wonderful sensation of joy.
From the desk of Samuel Peterson:
“Peppi, you are seriously one of the best things that have ever happened to me,” I exclaim with excitement. “This story is going to make us famous.”
The Kau smiles politely and says, “I just hope that the Defenders of Neopia will put them away for good.”
“Don’t count on it,” I sigh. “If these villains follow conventional methods, which from what you’ve told me I’m assuming they do, then they’ll have moved their base long before the Defenders arrive.”
“At least the world knows that they’re out there now,” Peppi says.
“And you got so much information,” I cry. “Their entire history, their plans, their weapons; how did you get all this?”
“It actually was remarkably easy,” she replies with a laugh. “The hard part was getting it back to you.”
“You know, Peppi, I’ve been thinking,” I say, all serious now, “I’ve never had such an enthralling tale that was actually... you know, true. I think that you’re just what I need right now; how would you like to be my assistant?”
“Oh, Sammy, I’d love to,” she squeals gleefully.
I think that I’ll certainly warm up to this girl very fast, and my new nickname. It looks like things are finally going up for Sammy Peterson.