The Forgotten Minion
Life isn’t easy when you spend it getting battered by small yellow projectiles. It’s especially not easy when you’re referred to as “nasty” for simply trying to do your duty. You see, I work for Dr. Sloth, and my life is painfully bare of all the frivolities other happily owned Neopets enjoy. It is one thing to be Dr. Sloth’s minion, but it is another entirely to end up being his forgotten minion.
What is my name, you ask?
As terribly sad as it sounds, I have forgotten. But I have not forgotten the years of despair inflicted upon me by Dr. Frank Sloth. I have not forgotten, and nor will I ever forget the lies that were fed to the public about who I was, or who my friends were. But this is the truth, and I’ll start from the beginning.
I hardly remember my first owner. Within the first two weeks of my life I had come to call the Pound my home. It was not a good home, but it was a roof over my head, and I came to enjoy the company of others my own age stuck in the same dire situation. For two months I watched Neopets come and go, ebbing and flowing like waves upon a beach. I have never seen a beach, so I’m not entirely sure that this parallel is correct, but from what I was told by the occasional Island pet, it appeared to fit. Sometimes a pet would come and go repeatedly. That was worst of all, and I was terrified of that happening to me. I hid anywhere I could, avoiding anyone who could have helped me. That was my life, and since I hardly knew better, I simply accepted it.
And then he came.
It is hard for me to admit that I was somewhat awed by him. I knew very little about him-- and most of it was idle gossip anyways. The Pound is like a small world, filled with pets from everywhere who seem to know everything. Anyway, what I had heard was that he was one of the greatest Neopians ever to live. He had everything he ever wanted at his fingertips, and everyone knew he had a penchant for Grundos.
I remember the evening he arrived. It was dark and rainy, as was befitting such a somber looking gentleman. He was huge, heavily wrapped in a dark cloak, and breathing heavily. Two awkwardly proportioned Grundos stumbled behind him, carrying clipboards. Dr. Frank Sloth loudly announced he was looking for a couple of Korbats to adopt. The poor Uni at the front desk was cowed, her hooves quivering and clacking loudly against her metal desk. I was too amazed by his presence to even remember that I was supposed to run. The Grundos skittered obediently down the long line of Korbats that was promptly assembled, searching for the youngest and strongest. I was startled by the way they looked. I had never seen another mutant Grundo before.
I was unceremoniously pushed from the line and made to stand with two other quivering Korbats I didn’t know. We were the youngest Korbats at the Pound. We were the least likely to have past owners checking up on us. We left that very night, clutching our few belongings. I remember very little of the journey to Kreludor, but once we landed upon the harsh landscape, I immediately longed for the austere Pound again. That day was the last time I ever saw Dr. Sloth, before he swept away, cloak billowing behind him like that of a true villain. He never spoke a single word to any of us. He had his Grundos show us to our quarters and then the nightmare Neopian’s now know as “Korbats Lab” began.
At first, it wasn’t so bad, we were assigned to protect Dr. Sloth’s old laboratory from meddling Neopians who insisted it was being used for evil purposes. We had gained a healthy respect for our employer at that point, and stolidly worked to protect the potions and ingredients. We wanted to make Dr. Sloth proud. Weeks turned into months, and months blurred into long years of dark, dusty labor. I no longer energetically attacked those who found the laboratories. Instead, I simply got in their way, flapping listlessly, squeaking when their ammo rebounded off of me. Over time, I simply forgot who I was. I forgot my name, and my Korbat companions forgot theirs. At this point in my expository narrative, you should be weeping at our plight.
Our only other companions were Spyders, assigned to the same arduous fate. We never did get along as well as we could have. They had their silky strings, and we had our wings (and our minor rhyming abilities). We were different, and we were even more isolated.
Eventually I began to question my life. I was many years older now, and had known nothing but the brick walls of the laboratory that people were so eager to get through so they could get to Dr. Sloth’s personal property. I found it unbearably rude that anyone would do such a thing until I found a small clipping left behind from an adventure magazine a recent attacking Neopian had been reading. It detailed the very lab I called home! They went so far as to name it after us Korbats, and then continued to insult us, perpetuating the idea that we were merely unwanted guests! I was stunned by this new perspective calling attention to the fact that these potions and ingredients we had guarded for so many years were actually evil instruments in the hands of Dr. Sloth.
For a time, we lab residents were outraged and contrived to escape. That opportunity never came and I began to realize the real truth of the matter. We had not seen Dr. Sloth since the night he’d adopted us and brought us here. If we hadn’t found that clipping, we would have given up all hope that he was still out there. But now we knew he was out there, and that the sorry truth was that we had been forgotten. I was bitter because now my entire past was called into question. Surely guarding the laboratory was not as important as we had once believed. If it was, Dr. Sloth would have paid us many visits over the years. Had we served as merely a decoy for other hidden, nefarious labs?
I have come to the conclusion that this is so. Do not mistake me when I say this—I know better than any about the likelihood of this being the case. I have decided to make my case public in the hopes that one day I will be able to leave this lab and never come back. But until then, Fair Neopians, I implore you to resist the urge to visit the infamous “Korbats Lab”. The boxes you are destroying are worthless. They are dusty, they are torn and they are old, much like myself. I have grown weary of being hit with various ammo, and especially of this tedious job.
Instead, spend time with and pamper your Neopets, adopt a Korbat, petition against Dr. Sloth, or maybe pay me a friendly visit from time to time. All of these are small steps, but I believe they might one day end the tyranny Dr. Sloth has imposed upon me. But whatever you do, please don’t ever forget the plight of the forgotten minions of Korbats Lab.