Genesis: Part Two
NATIVE LIFEFORM: BALLS OF FLUFF
OPEN FIELD LOG REPORT DOCTOR FRANK SLOTH DAY 167
Testing one-two, one-two. Good, audio is still functioning. Water damage has disabled the video feed through the mobile equipment, but having seen what monstrous sights my new world of Slothopia has to offer, it would appear to be something of a blessing in disguise.
Anyhow, on to business. This is the field log of researcher Doctor Francis Sloth, investigating the initial sightings of potential new life-forms on this previously uninhabited rock. Although why anybody would go to the trouble of animating a ball of fluff is beyond the comprehension of this researcher.
As an aside, this researcher would like it on record he needs research students to take on these menial tasks. This is no place for a man of science, but rather for a would-be man of science with no concept of just what science is. They should be the one baking under this accursed sun, while I sit in the laboratory and organise my samples. Nothing quite compares to an organised laboratory to help a mind stay the same way.
I have now arrived at the co-ordinates where the potential specimen was first discovered. Good grief, this place is atrocious. The terraform process has caused trees to grow overnight, while there are some rather unpleasantly colourful flora at the base. These specimens are unlikely to survive long in this climate, as they have had no time to adapt to the changing world. It goes without saying they are far inferior to the hardy flora that had survived the harsh landscape since the cataclysm, perfectly suited to survive against the odds. One hard lashing of rain and I suspect these things would be crushed. No amount of bright and cheerful colour will be able to change that.
This air is making me light-headed. The fresh and crisp taste is unfamiliar, and lacks the character of the thick, stagnant fumes of before. It is of little relief my sinuses are no longer giving me gripe, as now everything else looks set to be taking its place. The sunlight burns, and the whole feel of the air is making me itch. I need to collect the specimen quickly before I suffer lasting damage.
Unfortunately, whatever it was, the ball of fluff looks to have vanished.
I had hoped to not have to search through the undergrowth out here, but it seems a big of leg work is in order. How I wish the portable scanners had survived the crash; another reason that pilot would receive a flogging if he were here. Still, we must make sacrifices for the pursuit of science.
Wait... there is something on the wind, a new sound. I am not sure I like this... strange sounds in the sunlight... yet I cannot return empty handed. It came from the north, so perhaps a little detour could reveal something new. Or perhaps-
What the blazes!
Something just passed overhead. Fast. Could it be there is more to these balls of fluff than feet and eyes? Or perhaps whatever created the thing has been dabbling in other life-forms too. Winged beasts perhaps? Whatever it was, it looked the old dragons in the legends of my homeland. It may be my opponents are crafting a race of beasts perhaps, a monstrous army for reasons unknown?
No... that cannot be it. On a barren wasteland there was nothing to threaten them, and unless they are incompetent when it comes to terraforming there should be no evils to face against now. So why create a flying monster? It defies logical sense. Granted, it is something I would do, but I am a genius beyond the standard of any other, so it is my right to do things that defy logical sense.
I must return to the laboratory. This exercise has proven enlightening, even if it has failed to turn up any solid specimens. I shall have to make do with samples of this new flora.
* * *
OPEN PERSONAL LOG DOCTOR FRANK SLOTH
The flora samples have proven uninteresting, which has come as no surprise. They are glossy and striking, but lack any scientific interest or true value. They are like the rest of what this planet has become: a covering to mask the beauty that once reigned. It continues to sicken.
However, my network of cameras managed to capture an image of the strange creature that passed overhead. It was as I thought: some derivation of the old dragons, or at least the memory of them. Only it seemed to have been stripped of its prior grandeur, and was more an infant. More so than that, the image possesses an almost dream-like quality, as though the beast were in a trance. Reviewing the image of the ball of fluff has revealed the same conclusion.
Could it be I have finally gone mad and am experiencing some form of hallucination of past events? The creatures that roamed this planet before the cataclysm? Or perhaps they are projecting their memories from somewhere? Whatever is happening, until I can acquire some form of actual life from out there I am no closer to understanding the true nature of this planet. Everything I thought I had understood during the past months is worthless.
It appears my research begins anew.
* * *
I have discovered a third form of life on this planet, somewhat detached from the previous two. It is of noticeably smaller size and disposition, although I must confess I find that preferable.
It made it an awful lot easier to catch.
Initial tests have proven rather fruitless, although with the primitive scientific equipment at my disposal I am not surprised by this. The creature seems somewhat unperturbed by my experiments, and just continues to sit there, staring at me. It is rather... unsettling.
The creature, identifiable primarily by its short stature and distinctive cry, is perfectly docile and appears to serve no function. Yet I find a strange affinity with the thing. There is something about the little pink body and big teeth, and those large, soulful eyes that just seem to get under your skin. It is what they called... “queue-tee” or “a-door-rabble” I believe in the old language back home. I never quite got to grips with those peculiar terms, as they served no purpose, but now I find myself faced with the obvious version.
Even its strange cry of “meep” is strangely soothing. The whole thing is quite hypnotic...
I think I’ll get rid of it. It’s too distracting.
* * *
I fear I am running out of time. The network is picking up on more of the strange life-forms out there, and more types. But the one thing that continues to elude me is that of their creators. Who or whatever they are, they must be the ones who have instilled this eerie dreamlike state on their creations. And I suspect that trance is soon to be lifted.
It is impossible to not feel the power coursing through the air these days. It has even reached this far, and the air is thick with the taste of something... unnatural. It is not something I have encountered before, nor anything even remotely like it. Even back home there was no record of a power like this. Something that defies not only logical reasoning, but the very laws of science themselves? This is an impossible idea, for the laws of science are the only truly infallible thing in this world, or any other! They are the foundations of reality and existence. They cannot be broken!
I need to know how long remains, and that means I must find a way of monitoring this power. I salvaged all the crash site had of value to me back then, but perhaps I overlooked something that may be of value now. If this accursed new world has left anything.
There must be something left I can use.
* * *
OPEN FIELD LOG REPORT DOCTOR FRANK SLOTH DAY 178
There is something wrong about a clear pool like this one. When the sunlight does not bounce from its surface, you can see to the bottom with all its secrets laid bare. There lies the carcass of my craft, or what little remains of her skeleton now. The waters have seen to that. It is unnatural. Much as I cursed the swamp for destroying all my equipment, it had a mystery to it, a personality and a soul that cannot be replicated. This is the problem with a perfect world; there are no imperfections to discover. That is the core of science, to learn why perfection does not exist, and how we can best utilise the imperfections.
Perfection has left me nothing, where imperfection gave me everything.
Is that... voices? Could it be I have found the first signs of intelligent life on this planet since my arrival? Half a year passes, and now this?
Activate transcription. Voice recognition. Identify: Frank Sloth.
FRANK SLOTH: Test. Test. Not that testing is of any use without being able to see the readout. Let us just hope it works and see if I cannot get closer. To overhear my foes may finally reveal something of use.
UNRECOGNISED VOICE: ...perfectly according to plan. The souls are starting to live again when we allow, which means soon we will be able to lift the hibernation. Only the final stages are required now, and we will ready to allow the Neopets to awaken to their world once more.
VOICE RECOGNITION FAILED. TEMPORARY DETAIL APPLIED.
UNRECOGNISED VOICE: The final stages? You mean the time is finally coming when we attain dominance over this little army of ours?
VOICE RECOGNITION FAILED. TEMPORARY DETAIL APPLIED.
VOICE A: Army? What are you talking about? We are not here to come up with some form of army! Why am I not surprised, though? I guess this explains those authorised creatures running around. Your doing, I suppose?
VOICE B: You refer to the Meepits perhaps? Of course they are my doing, you imbecile. The rest of you seem to be enjoying yourselves by keeping me out of the loop on this final stage of the operation, so I thought I would have some fun of my own. Do you like them? They make quite useful little servants.
VOICE A: Dominance again? Is that all you can think of?
VOICE B: What else is there?
VOICE A: Survival for a start! We had a feeling you were up to something stupid, which is why we left you out of the loop! Do you really believe we would go to the trouble of searching the Heart of Neopia so you could create an army? This is about preserving the life of this planet, and restoring the memories that were lost. The Neopets are not your servants, nor your private army, nor anything else you may seek to achieve with them! They are their own pets, with their own hearts and their own minds! This is why we kept them in hibernation in the first place, and why we felt the need to have the final stage! We cannot afford to all......
FRANK SLOTH: Curses, they are moving out of range. Stupid planet with its useless plant-life! How I yearn for the barren plains again, so I could at least shadow those voices. Or even catch a glimpse of them. Still, they have yielded some interesting facts to ponder. I must return to the laboratory and contain the transcript for later study. But first... this final stage must be the power I can sense. This is not good news.
* * *
OPEN PERSONAL LOG DOCTOR FRANK SLOTH
What is a ‘Neopet’?
This question has been puzzling me since I first heard it. It is a word that does not feature in any language encountered back home, and we had travelled far. It must be the collective term for the various races of creature that have appeared around the planet, lost in a state of hibernation.
The hibernation itself remains a mystery also. Evidently one of these creators is of similar mind to myself, and to prevent him from using the ‘Neopets’, his kind induced the hibernation. They have been preparing the world for an awakening, but for what? Preserving the life and the memories of what? And what is this ‘Heart of Neopia’ they spoke of?
Is ‘Neopia’ their name for this planet? It is an idiotic name if so. I mean, what sort of a fool would choose a name like ‘Neopia’ over ‘Slothopia’? It has a far better ring to it.
I must stop thinking about this now. The power grows greater, and I must find a way of monitoring it. The salvage yielded nothing, so only my genius can save me now.
* * *
At last I have managed to construct a measuring device. It has taken far too long to tune it to the frequency of this power, but it means I can finally track it. This ‘final stage’ the voices spoke of, it must be nearing fruition already. The power readings are growing stronger by the hour. It cannot be long until the time of awakening is upon us, and there is nothing I can do about it.
These ‘Neopets’ will soon wake from their hibernation.
But what will be waiting for them?
To be continued...