The Amazing Adoption
Mallexar ate at the bar at the Grundos Cafe, gobbling on his favorite space food: Cheese Manicotti! Along with that, he ate the disgusting cosmic broccoli and, for dessert, Lime Wiggle Cake.
He gazed longingly at the dehydrated ice cream that a nearby Grundo, Metorithna, was munching, wishing he could afford such a treat. But he was not good with the complicated bells and whistles on the Virtupets Space Station.
Dr. Sloth was sitting next to him, scowling ahead, grumbling to himself, while Mfumphium (another Grundo) was fanning him with an old, tattered piece of construction paper, which was probably one of his foiled plan ideas.
Mallexar felt the Grundo Chef tap him on the shoulder. "Your eating time is over," he growled. So Mallexar pushed his leftovers into a brown paper bag and headed for Space Armour, the shop he worked in. He worked in the back of the store, where he and the many other workers would do odd jobs, like clean the dirty items, answer phone calls, and repair broken items. The job didn't provide much of an income, though, so Mallexar and the others all shared a place behind the test engines.
Today was an unusually slow work day, and Mallexar spent most of the time talking with his pal, Gracko.
Gracko, like Mallexar, was a male white Grundo, and the two had a lot in common, except Gracko was very outgoing, while Mallexar was a shy, quiet, and rather bashful Grundo who often kept to himself.
"Hey, Mal. Whaddya think about getting adopted?" Gracko asked Mallexar while they were applying eye antiseptic to an Ocularimplant, which was looking around the room shuddering with fear.
Mallexar considered this. "Gee, Grack, I dunno. That sounds kinda scary, don't ya think? I mean, what if our new owners leave Neopia, or what if they abandon us at the Pound, or what if they live in the Haunted Woods or something?" he asked as he squeezed a drop of antiseptic onto the Ocularimplant.
Gracko, who was trying to hold the thing still, struggled with the squirming Ocularimplant for a while before saying, "But it would be nice to live in a place where we'll have enough food to eat, and we won't be dehydrated and hungry all of the time."
Mallexar went through the rest of his shift thinking about getting adopted. When he got home, he found an old scrap of paper lying on the ground. He it picked up and wrote the pros and cons of getting adopted by someone he didn't even know.
Finally he decided that it would be best to leave the dangerous space station. So the next day, he went to the Grundo Adoption Center with Gracko, Grundy, Fan, Grun, Groshua, and Grunduke (all of which were good friends) to get adopted.
But after nine weeks of waiting, getting an even smaller share of food to eat, Mallexar was quite uncertain about ever getting adopted. But the next day his best friend, Gracko, got adopted!
Mallexar sobbed silently in spite of himself. For the next three months he mourned in his loneliness, until one day, a scrawny-looking girl walked in, who looked about the age of seven or eight.
She had short blonde hair and glasses, and she was thin- very, very thin- and short. She looked around the adoption center, and Mallexar noticed that she was carrying a sleeping baby JubJub and was followed by a smiling, green Koi.
Mallexar immediately looked away from the Koi, blushing, for she was drop-dead gorgeous! Her eyes were quick and intelligent, darting around, looking among the awestruck Grundos. Mallexar stood up tall and tried to look tough.
But when their eyes met and locked together, he slumped sheepishly and grinned nervously. The beautiful Koi tugged on the girl's sleeve and led her to Mallexar.
The girl bent down to him and scratched him behind the ear, saying softly, "Hello. My name is Amsurito. Would you like to come home with us?"
Mallexar stared at her soft hazel eyes and a small smile crept across his lips. "Sure," he said, and took her outreached hand. They all walked to the front desk, where Tacorom (who was in charge of the adoption center) gave Amsurito a form to fill out.
While Amsurito was working on the form, the Koi took the baby JubJub from her arms and rocked her gently, smiling up at Mallexar.
"This is Kejolica. Believe it or nor, she's older than me, but she was painted with a baby paintbrush, so she's got no more intelligence than a real baby- because she basically is one," she said, and giggled slightly. Mallexar, having never have left the Virtupets Space Station, had no idea what she was talking about, but nodded anyway.
"Oh! Where are my manners? I'm Ivoreine the Koi. What's your name?" she asked, and Mallexar felt a bit ashamed. How could he forget to introduce himself? He felt hotness creeping into his cheeks again and quickly answered, "I'm Mallexar the Grundo. Pleased to meet you, Ivoreine the Koi."
Ivoreine laughed, and Mallexar wondered why. But he laughed, too, and they talked together until Amsurito handed in the form. Then she turned to Mallexar and asked, "What's your name, dear?"
"I'm Mallexar," he said.
Amsurito nodded and smiled. "You have a wonderful name, Mallexar. How do you spell it?"
Mallexar frowned. He didn't know how to read or write, and he didn't even know the alphabet. But how could he tell this to his new family? He cleared his throat, wondering what to do in this situation.
Amsurito just laughed warmly and embraced him in a big, warm hug. "We'd better hit the books, then," she said, and winked knowingly.
A few minutes later they went and bought something to eat at the Grundo Cafe. And Amsurito even bought Mallexar and Ivoreine some dehydrated ice cream! It was a big, filling meal, and afterwards Mallexar couldn't eat another bite. He'd not felt this way before! It was very satisfying.
Then he showed them the shop where he used to work, and Amsurito bought Ivoreine a Megaton Bracelet, she bought Kejolica a Dream Orb, and she bought Mallexar a Proto-Force 5000 helmet.
He wore the helmet the whole time. It was so fun! And he showed his new family the Space Weaponry Shop, the Lever of Doom, Space Petpets, and the Grundo Warehouse. Then they walked up the stairs to the Hangar, where Mallexar showed Ivoreine and Amsurito where he used to sleep. Amsurito and Ivoreine enjoyed the tour, and Kejolica cooed and with a smile said, "Mam-ma."
Soon they left on the next shuttle to Neopia, where they arrived in Neopia Central. Then they stayed the night in the Neolodge, waking early in the morning to start their voyage to their neohome in Shenkuu.
The whole time, Mallexar had more fun than he'd ever had, especially when he got to hold baby Kejolica, who he'd come to adore. And when they arrived in Shenkuu, Mallexar was speechless at the sight of the beautiful land.
"Wow!" he managed to say, and Amsurito and Ivoreine laughed, and they went to their little neohome.
That night, Mallexar just couldn't stop grinning. He was so happy here with Amsurito, Kejolica, and Ivoreine. And he slept peacefully, not once missing the cold and sad Virtupets Space Station.