Invisible Paint Brushes rock Circulation: 183,437,693 Issue: 474 | 17th day of Celebrating, Y12
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The Reawakening of the MSPP


by nachtregen

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Now come on in, don't be afraid. 'Though, you probably should be. Oh well, nothing I could do about it now – they've seen you entering, so it's certainly too late now.

     I know, I know, you weren't meaning to enter my old shack, never heard my name, never saw my face. Let's just say it was fate that brought you here, so you could listen to my story.

     And listen carefully, because many lives may depend on it.

     Ah, time's short, so I better start immediately:

     A long time ago... now won't ye sit down? This story isn't told in five minutes! Yes, just take that red armchair in the corner and throw another log into the fire, will ye?

     So now: a long time ago, I believe it was in year 2, things were a lot different from now. Rare species like Draiks weren't known yet, Tyrannia still undiscovered and Maraqua... well, Maraqua was a flourishing city full of futuristic technology.

     Back then the only thing people paid attention to while visiting, were the glistening underwater structures and inventions. But the real beauty of Maraqua had always lain within the knowledge it bore.

     *sigh*

     So when a giant whirlpool nearly destroyed the city shortly after its discovery, most of that ancient knowledge got lost in the eternal shallows of the ocean.

     However, one of the few lucky enough to escape, were a short, brown-haired man and his Poogle.

     The former had been one of the most renowned faculty members at the Maraqua university. Yes, I'll freely admit it: back then he was a great man.

     Now, do you have any idea of where this story is going? Not yet? Oh well, it'll dawn on you fast enough.

     I won't be telling you his name, because it's not relevant for my story. But he was a loving man who took great care of his pets and their education. If you ask me, I believe that's what brought him down in the end: love and science.

     He was the very first -and only- to be working on the Laboratory Ray. It was a ginormous machine, huffing, rattling and blinking, you could say: a devilish invention.

     Funny enough, the very first Lab ray wasn't. Devilish, I mean. Our scientist had constructed it in a way, so it would change your pet's species or level or color the very way you wanted it to be. Neopians would have spent thousand upon thousands of Neopoints in order to acquire this mythical juggernaut.

     *shakes head*

     You see, things don't always go the way they're supposed to. Truth is, they seldom do. Let's just take our scientist: he had achieved the unachievable, broken the laws of nature and what not – but he remained unhappy. Throughout all his struggles he hadn't been able to create a Plushie colour, the only colour his Poogle had ever wanted to be painted in.

     So his owner spent hours poking at the seams of newly bought plushies, taking apart their stuffing and looking into their beady black eyes. And apparently something deep inside his genius mind had clicked one wintry night.

     Oh, how I wish he'd never discovered a way to fulfill his Poogle's wish. For he did adjust the machine, did aim the powerful laser at his still sleepy companion -and BzzzZZt!

     There he stood, a nice red Poogle in his starry pajamas, all alone on a cold platform. Looking just the way a cuddly plushie should: soft and all covered in seams and patches.

     But he was numb, numb and motionless, with no glint in his eyes.

     Horrorstricken, the scientist just kept on staring at his Pet, still hoping it would move.

     “Now don't you dare make fun of me, you! I'll turn you Baby the very next moment, if you don't stop...” and at that he stopped himself. Because upon touching the Pet he had known for so many years, he finally came to realize that there was no life left in it.

     Of course he shook the plushie a couple times. Just to make sure. But his eyes only confirmed what his heart already knew: the inanimate figure in front of him was just an over-sized plushie.

     Pushed away by his former friend, the Poogle fell over.

     The soft body only made a barely audible “patt”noise, as it hit the ground. The scientist's weeping continued all through the night.

     Maybe it's too exaggerated to say, but people claim that his hair had turned completely white the next morning. And, I'm sorry to say, he had also lost his mind. Became a total lunatic, a madman. Absent-mindedly he kept on mumbling to himself. Things like “I've got to check the colour-disproportioner, I'm sure those miamice nibbled at the cables...” or “No, no, no, even if I exclude the shape-stabilizer and the LPR, it's still not, not... ahh...”

     Truth is, that his friend hadn't been only painted Plushie on the outside. The Lab ray had turned him plushie to his very core.

     And with all his knowledge, all the scientific research and the sleepless nights – he just couldn't find a way to undo it.

     Unless...

     Ah, young'un. Sorry to bring you back to reality so abruptly. But I need you to close these shutters real quick. Yes, thank you. Now scoot closer, as the real part of the story is just about to begin.

     Now where was I?

     Ah, yes: the only way to revive the victim, of course, was to use magic. Unfortunately, as it oftentimes is, those who listen to your pleas in times of need, aren't always those who should be helping you out, now are they?

     The scientist went to Fyora – but she was too busy, handling the new arrangement of Faerieland. He couldn't even gain entrance to her palace high above the clouds.

     Jhuidah, Illusen, yes even the Space Faerie, they all turned the poor man down. Faeries' hearts aren't made of stone – well, right now they technically are – but what I'm saying is: they understood his grief, but still refused, because they believed that his experiments went against nature.

     And in a way they certainly did and that was his price to pay.

     *sad smile*

     All the same, he wouldn't give up. Hunted by his own bad conscience, he sought advice from the Brain Tree, an ancient creature said to know every answer to every question. And wondrously enough, there did appear to be a way to reawaken the supposedly lost friend.

     Lovingly, the scientist buried his pet on the game graveyard. Trying hard to ignore the screams that kept reappearing and then fading away again, he padded the last shovel of black earth on top of the grave.

     “What's the long face for? You'll see him again in a couple minutes!” Hubrid Nox grumbled as he pushed him aside.

     “I wltnoud eb oot esur...” came Eliv Thade's doubting voice from behind.

     The arising discussion was then cut short by a terrible cackle: “Nyahaha, are we just going to stand here and talk? You're nothing but maggots...”

     Nox gazed darkly at the small, hooded figure that had appeared to his right.

     “Oh, so he had invited you as well, Morguss.”

     “Of course! There's no successful dark magic done without me helping. Now show me some respect and move over – don't forget that I'm old enough to be your grandmother.”

     The three figures assembled themselves around the freshly dug grave and began the horrid ceremony. As you are too young to hear all the details, I'll cut it short: the three mages together did what one wouldn't have been able to do. Standing in a circle they generated a high enough amount of dark energy and sent the pulsating black orb right into the earth at their feet.

     Nothing happened for about three precious minutes. Then: a deep moaning, muffled by the wet earth but still well-audible in the clear night air.

     A low rumble was all that Nox gave from himself, before turning around and leaving.

     “You're not gonna stay and watch his birth?” came Morguss' wicked voice.

     “No thanks, what's done is do-”

     The ground burst apart underneath him and big chunks of black earth started raining down. Where only seconds ago had been a grave was now a hole. Just a bottomless pit in the ground that still continued to grow.

     Nox scrambled backwards, still trying to get out of its reach, when a big yellow paw grabbed his leg. An evil-grinning head appeared from beneath. A head with far too many glistening sharp teeth, and the eyes, those eyes...

     “You're alive! Oh my God, you're alive, after all, I, I - ” The wretched figure of the scientist flung his arms around the creature's neck. He embraced him, felt across the muddy back and caressed the soft ears. Wearing a radiant smile, he scrutinized the patches, cleaned off a bit of the dirt and even tapped the spiky teeth. If it were possible he would've remained in that haunted graveyard forever.

     But no matter how the former owner felt about his saved friend, it seemed that the latter didn't share his feelings. In fact it was almost as if he hadn't been resurrected but only reanimated. It was clear that he was alive, you couldn't possible oversee that huge, heaving body – but there didn't seem to be any recognition in the beady eyes.

     The Poogle stood up, carelessly shaking the scientist off in that process. A grin split his muzzle into an evil smirk.

     And maybe, at least that's what I like to tell myself, deep down he still remembered the scientist. Because although he had his sharp claws already outstretched, he pulled them back in one swift motion and left the four shaken figures sitting on the ground.

     “Ehehe. What a night, what a night. These ungrateful children.” Morguss shook her head and wobbled off into the dark.

     Eliv Thade couldn't be found anywhere, and the last trace to be seen of Hubrid Nox was the whip of his cape in the distance.

     The scientist was, once again, alone.

***

     Now then, I'm sure you know the rest of the story just as well as I do, since there's not much left to tell. The scientist returned to his laboratory and made sure to turn the Plushie ray off. Oh, he did a good job at that, didn't he? In his anger and disappointment and... yes, fear as well, he also accidentally destroyed the part that controlled the machine. From then on the results were always random and all too often not even positive.

     Surprisingly enough the Neopians didn't feel all too bothered by that and still spent millions.

     A couple years later a Plushie paint brush was released. It seems that the neopets staff had succeeded to restrain its effects, so it would only give the pet a Plushie coating, instead of completely turning it into a fuzzball.

     It's unclear whether that disturbed the scientist even further. Fact is, he never worked on another invention again.

     And the Poogle? No, correctly said, it's the 'Malevolent Sentient Poogle Plushie'; MSPP to the commoner. Well, that's the scary part of the story.

     Shortly after his 'reawakening' stories of an evil creature began making the rounds. However, anybody who seemed to ever know any real information started to disappear at a frightening speed. Why do you think are the MSPP TCG cards so expensive? Because they're one of only a couple sources to gain any information on that monstrosity.

     *breaking voice*

     And I haven't even told you the worst part yet: they're multiplying. Since the Poogle had access to the laboratory, he was able to easily change the lab ray the way he wanted it to. So now, even if you're not able to zap your pet Plushie anymore, it can still turn MSPP.

     And whenever that happens, know: with every new member, their numbers are growing. Soon they'll be impossible to stop. That's why I need people to know, so they are prepared for the worst.

     I myself am just an old Wocky - too old too fight, too old to run.

     ...

     Can you hear that heavy breathing? You better go now, young'un, you better run. And don't look back now. Because they're already here. They're here -and they know.

The End

 
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