The Unusual Woes of a Baby Neopet
As of today, Wacky was three thousand, nine hundred and twenty-two days old, and he was feeling extremely unhappy. No, Wacky was not unhappy because he was only a few months away from turning eleven (which was very old if you considered the history of Neopia), but because that despite being an aged, wizened neopet, Wacky had never gotten any respect out of his younger family members, or even the rest of his neighborhood in Neopia Central.
Perhaps it was because his name, well, was Wacky.
Probably it was because Wacky the ten year old neopet was a Kau. A baby Kau, and while we all agree that baby neopets are the most adorable things ever, Wacky did not want to be cooed over like a little baby. He wanted respect, and today he was prepared to embark on a long and arduous journey to gain it.
He had discussed his problem with his youngest brother Zhay, who was also a baby neopet and might understand his predicament. After explaining his problem to Zhay for almost an hour, the Lupe had merely stared at him and asked, “Why don't you want to be a baby? We get free sweets all the time from our neighbors.”
He had went after John after that, who was just two thousand days shy of being as old as Wacky. The desert Wocky had made sympathetic noise while he told his story, but when Wacky asked him for possible solutions, his brother had simply shrugged and said, “I don't know.”
Dyss, who was passing their room as Wacky spoke and had overheard the conversation, poked her head into the room and informed him in a in a superior tone, “You should visit the Lab Ray. Last week I was only a blue Kacheek, and look at me now!” The youngest member of their family flaunted her new color, twirling around the room happily. Disco was a good look for Dyss, Wacky had to admit.
So Wacky made his decision, and made his way downstairs to find his owner.
"Angel, I want to visit the Lab Ray," Wacky told his owner proudly, drawing himself up to his full height of 123 centimeters.
Angel, who was busy frying eggs in the kitchen, visibly blanched. "Um, Wacky, why would you want go to the Laboratory? You've seen what happened to your younger brother." She frowned at him.
Wacky sighed. He knew exactly what had happened to his younger brother (sometimes sister). No one in the family dared to cross Royal now that the Lab Ray had turned the younger neopet into a grey Hissi, complete with impressive Battledoming skills.
"Please? I really want to see if the Lab Ray can zap me into something... more impressive," he pleaded, looking up at his owner with big, baby blue eyes. She hesitated, but they both knew Angel was fighting a losing battle. Being a baby neopet did have its perks sometimes.
"Alright, but I really think you are fine just the way you are." Angel grabbed her coat and they headed out the door of their Neohome, Wacky's hoof tightly clutched in his owner's hand.
"This is it?" Wacky asked incredulously as they came to an abandoned warehouse. "This is the Secret Laboratory?" He could not help but be astonished. By the stories Royal and Dyss had told him, the Laboratory was a huge white medical facility where they experimented on Neopets, turning them into all sorts of amazing colors - from Sponge to Jelly and even the fantastical new color - 8-bit!
"I see your siblings have been telling you stories about the Lab Ray again." Angel rolled her eyes, a feature that Wacky's twin sisters Cyn and Valle had unfortunately inherited. Being teenage neopets, the two girls rolled their eyes at everything nowadays - from the latest fashion trends in the Clothing Store to the newest articles in the Neopian Times.
"The Mad Scientist is actually very, err, nice," Angel said brightly, with all the conviction of a TNT staff member telling the general populace that Jelly World Does Not Exist.
Wacky sighed. He was prepared to go through almost anything to become a strong, formidable neopet that would commandeer respect from all that he came across, and not cooing baby talk from every adult female Neopet in his neighborhood.
He placed his front hooves on the wooden door and pushed it open, ignoring Angel's wince as it creaked ominously. The room inside the derelict warehouse was completely dark, with no windows or lights to illuminate the place. Wacky was about to turn around to see where Angel was when the lights flickered on.
Wacky blinked several times to adjust to the sudden brightness, and came face to face with a yellow Scorchio with glowing orange eyes and a shock of white hair. He squealed and clutched at Angel's legs, but relaxed when he realized that this was the infamous Mad Scientist.
"Hello, um, Professor," Angel greeted, standing nervously beside Wacky. "My neopet here wants to er, undergo your procedure," she said, pushing Wacky gently forward as the nameless Mad Scientist examined him slowly.
"Stand on yellow circle," he told Wacky in a monotone voice, then turned his back on the pair to fiddle with a few knobs on one of the many consoles in the room.
Wacky stared at the mass of machinery in front on him, taking note of the huge ray gun that was directed onto a small yellow circle in the center of room. Well, here goes nothing... he thought as he walked forward, hooves clicking on the polished white floor as made his way to the circle.
He turned around to look at Angel, who was biting her lip and looking at the Mad Scientist anxiously. Wacky wondered if his poor owner was like this every time she came here with Royal, which was almost every day.
"Laboratory Ray firing in 5... 4..." the Mad Scientist droned suddenly, causing Wacky to jerk in surprise.
He steadied himself as the countdown continued. Soon he would have a new look, and no matter what it was, it had to be better than being a baby.
"0." There was a pause as the last number was uttered, and Wacky felt the air above him crackle before he was enveloped by a blinding white light.
When it faded, Wacky was immediately aware of the difference. Suddenly, his nose was no longer only a few feet from the ground and he staring not at Angel's waist, but directly in her eyes.
"Oh, Wacky..." his owner cried as she picked him up, but Wacky squirmed out of the grip easily.
"What am I?" he demanded.
Angel slowly took out a mirror from her pocket and pointed the reflective surface at him.
Looking back at him was a taller neopet, a stronger neopet, a... pink neopet?
He blinked, and the pink Kau in the mirror blinked back at him.
Pink. The only color that was worse than baby for a wise, old, male neopet. Wacky was pink, which would surely gain him even less respect in the eyes of just about everyone. The girls, Valle, Cyn, Dyss and Cor would love it though.
But still. Pink. He groaned, glaring at the mirror as his newly pink visage opened its mouth as well.
"Well... maybe we could come back tomorrow?" Angel asked him hopefully.
With his luck, the Lab Ray would probably malfunction and turn him back into a baby neopet, as impossible as it was.