The Rise and Fall of Dr. Boochigald: A Hero's Tale - Part One
Also written by a_greenparrot
Friday, 4th Day of Running, Many Years Ago,
Inside Dr. Boochigald’s Laboratory.
“By tomorrow? Master, with all due respect, I—”
Sloth cut off the fast-paced, squeaky voice and grumbled, “Dr. Boochigald – perhaps you are not hearing me. If you wish to continue working for me, it will be done by then.”
“Y-yes, Master. It will be done.”
Dr. Boochigald punched a large, red button on his watch with his stubby hand, ending the video-conversation with his boss immediately. He jumped onto his wooden stool, and placed his head in his hands.
Dr. Boochigald was a pink Bruce that had seen better days. His usually pale-pink feathers were now covered in oil and grease, and ruffled from the lack of sleep he had had to cope with. His purple bow hung from his neck loosely, with a sense of solemnity, and his soft eyes wept from exhaustion. He had been working as Dr. Sloth’s engineer for over three years, and usually had no problems with having Sloth as his boss. Lately, however, Dr. Sloth had been working Boochigald non-stop, forcing him into a life of insomnia. Over the past week Sloth had demanded that a ray gun be built to turn every Neopet into their mutant form for his army simultaneously, and had insisted that it be done by tomorrow. In fact, lately, he had been wondering how much Dr. Sloth actually respected him. No matter how much Boochigald begged him for an extension, no matter how much he tried to convince Sloth that he did not have all the parts necessary for the creation of the ray, his master was not going to give in.
Boochigald looked up, and stared at the non-progressive ray that sat in the corner of his excessively large laboratory. So far, he had built the frame of the ray – a large silver funnel of thick, criss-crossing metal bars – and nothing else. He knew exactly how to get the ray to work, but he needed to complete it before he could do so. How was he supposed to finish the entire thing in a day?
Boochigald sighed, and muttered, “I’d better get to work.”
He waddled up to his desk and attempted to find his wrench.
His desk was normally unbelievably neat, but with his lack of sleep he continuously left it as it was. It was now a buckling table with clutter lying messily all over it. On the desk was a mountain-like assortment of important tools, inventions and experiments, but a majority of the items were just junk.
“Once I’ve finished this, I’ll be able to get the packrat avatar, at least.” Boochigald chuckled. “Or if I finish this—”
He rummaged through the items, and caused many of the objects to fall from the top of the mountain. Eventually, he found the wrench in the middle of the pile, and slowly wandered over to the framework, leaving the pile leaning over. He began to tighten up the bolt he was halfway through when Dr. Sloth called, when he heard a series of loud crashes from behind him – sounding like a herd of Elephantes had stampeded through the door. Startled, Boochigald spun around and dropped the heavy wrench onto his toe. He bit his lip to stop himself from screaming in agony, and then looked around the room for the source of the sounds. After some time, the Bruce found himself looking at a now-clean desk, and an immensely messy floor – the pile on the bureau had fallen over. He let out a loud, irritated groan, and wondered whether he should pick it all up. He walked towards it, but then remembered the reducing deadline he had. A scenario formed in the back of his mind – he could either pick the pile up and say to Sloth, “I didn’t finish your ray, but I’ve got a clean desk now!” or continue working on the ray. He decided that his master wouldn’t take pleasure in the fact that he had a clean desk, and spun back around to continue his work. However, on his way around, something caught his eye. A sparkle – the reflection of light on a metallic surface. Dr. Boochigald didn’t care what it was; to him it was a glimmer of hope, something to set him free. He immediately bolted to the desk, tripping over his own feet three or four times. When he finally reached it, he was presented with his own, small mutant ray gun – the idea behind the larger one.
Boochigald had used this as the basis to design the large ray gun. The only thing he was planning to do differently was to increase the power, so he was able to transmogrify many Neopets at the same time. The dull lighting in the lab must have reflected off of the gun’s shiny surface.
He sighed miserably. This reflection had given him a small flicker of hope in these impossible times, only to be thrown away as quickly as it had been found.
Dr. Boochigald stared into space, with no idea what to do. It took him about two minutes before he realized what he was actually staring at. He leaned in closer to see a large, blue piece of paper. He lifted it up, and blew the thick layer of dust off of it. As the paper became clearer, Boochigald could recognize many detailed diagrams and comments. The drawings were all of the same thing – a strange looking funnel, with many buttons and flashing lights on the side. He recognized this immediately as one of his very first inventions.
“Th-the Ray Gun Power Multiplier! I haven’t seen this in a long time!”
He sat on the stool and looked over the blueprints. More than three years ago, Boochigald designed this specially formulated ‘funnel’, which was attached to a ray gun of any sort. When the ray gun was fired, the entrance to the funnel was designed to split the fired ray into millions of smaller rays, and then discharge them out the other side. This would give the user the ability to fire once, and have the same effect on millions of things at once. Unfortunately, Boochigald was never able to get the Multiplier to work – every time it was used, the ray backfired and hit the user in the face. This was actually the reason he had begun work with Sloth. Three years ago, Boochigald was working for his old master – Malkus Vile. He developed this Multiplier, and gave it to his master, who fired it and had it backfire on him. Malkus Vile wasn't always the ugly Skeith he is now; in fact, he was once considered one of the most attractive Skeiths in all of Neopia. Vile was furious, and sent Boochigald to Dr. Sloth for punishment. Sloth saw what he could do, and decided to make him his new engineer.
“This would be utterly fantastic if I could get it to work! I could make this easily in one night, and then combine it with my own ray gun.”
Boochigald spent a lot of time staring at the blueprints, desperately trying to find the flaw in the technology before the next morning came. It was about twenty minutes into the non-moving gaze that enlightenment struck.
“Of course!” He jumped off of his chair rapidly, shouting, “It wasn’t a flaw with the technology, it was a flaw with my equipment!”
Instantly, Boochigald took a pencil from his desk drawer, and began to cross out diagrams and instructions on the sheet.
Boochigald began speaking to himself loudly, “I was trying to get too complex, and use only the best materials. I used a Kings Lens in the end of the funnel, but forgot the principle of them – they reflect all power, rather than magnifying it!”
By this stage, the Bruce was dancing around the room, still shouting to himself, “If I just replace that type of lens with this one, it should work!”
He quit dancing, and lay flat on the floor. Boochigald took a moment to catch his breath, and then stood up again. He headed over to the floor where all of his fallen junk lay, and tore it apart, collecting the items he needed to create his invention. Boochigald put aside the items he had, and consulted the checklist on the blueprints for what else he needed.
“Lens, check! Steel, check!” Soon, the response became mechanical. “Small particle of Kreludite, check! Power splitter, check! Power differentiator, che—“ He stopped himself, and searched through his pile of collected items again. No matter how much he searched, he did not find the part required.
“No! I was so close! I guess I’ll have to work on the big ray gun again...”
As he wandered solemnly towards the ray gun, a loud beeping sound caught his attention. Boochigald was used to hearing this sound, and his attention was immediately attracted to his watch.
“Greetings, Dr. Boochigald. I expect that the ray gun is finished, yes?”
Boochigald gulped, and began to answer, “A-actually, it isn—“
Sloth cut him off, “I knew you could do it. I’ll be down in twenty-five minutes for a demonstration. Goodbye.”
His master ended the conversation, and left him in an anxious and intimidated state.
“What am I going to do, now? I can’t lose this job, it’s the only thing I have!”
He pondered for a moment, and then decided – missing a piece or not, he was going to complete the multiplier.
A newly strong and confident Boochigald got up from his dysphoric state, and began work on his multiplier.
Meanwhile, in the hallway, resonant poundings were heard as Dr. Sloth walked towards his engineer’s lab. He walked slowly and upright, with a sense of arrogance and dominance, and acknowledged nobody. Walking by his side were three Neopets – two up-standing Mutant Grundo guards, and a captive Grey Grundo. Walking at Sloth’s painfully slow marching pace, it took the four Neopians five minutes to reach Boochigald’s lab.
As Sloth keyed in the code to open the lab door, the Grundo’s heart was thunderously pounding. The door opened, and Boochigald was there to greet them.
“Morning, Master. Having a nice day?”
“It will be nicer when I don’t have to talk to you. Now, where is this contraption of yours?”
Boochigald’s heart sank. His heart thumped out of his chest. His lungs wanted to give out.
“Right here, Sir.”
From behind his back, he withdrew a ray gun with what looked like a funnel attached to it.
“What in all of Neopia is this?” Sloth’s temper fumed, as he swung his arm around, striking the Grundo in its stomach, “I asked for something that could transmogrify millions of Neopians at once!”
“And this can do that, Sir. Allow me to demonstrate – is that the subject?” He pointed to the shivering Grundo.
Sloth considered this absurd remark for a moment, and then decided, “Yes, it is. Guards, hold the Grundo steady!”
The Grundo let out a high-pitched whine, and struggled against the guards. The two guards were much too strong for him, however, and the Grundo was forced to stand, watching Boochigald aim with the ray gun. He saw that the Grundo was cowering in fear, and had to comfort him, somehow.
“It’s okay, little guy. This won’t hurt at all.”
The Grundo was consoled slightly, and smiled a little.
Dr. Sloth was furious.
“Are you serious? He’s a good-for-nothing Grundo; get it over with!”
Boochigald grimaced, and pulled the trigger.
Instantly, an increasingly loud and high-pitched whining sound could be heard as the power built up. It only lasted a few seconds, before a siren, like those sounded when a spaceship loses altitude, replaced it. Green smoke billowed out of the ray gun, and a ray of dull colour exploded out of the funnel, and directly into the Grundo. The impact caused everybody in the room to lose their footing, except for Sloth. The room was now distorted, due to the unbelievable amount of smoke lingering around in the air.
Boochigald got up, coughing hoarsely. He waved the smoke away from in front of his face, and his heart sank.
Standing in front of him should have been a gargantuan, green, mutated Grundo. Instead, he came face-to-face – or shin-to-face, rather – with a disproportioned, tiny, baby Grundo.
Before Boochigald could run, Dr. Sloth saw it. His teeth grinded together loudly, and he screamed, “What is this? An Urchull? I asked for a mutant! Is this how much you disrespect me?”
“N-no, Sir, please, I—”
“Guards, lock him away!”
“I did what you said! It still works! I’m a genius – how can you lock me up for that?”
One of the guards walked towards Boochigald, fists clenched and muscles flexing. The pitifully weak Bruce did the only thing he could try – he kicked the massive Grundo with all of his strength. The Grundo didn’t even flinch.
The newly zapped Grundo came to the Bruce’s defense, charging towards Sloth with all of its strength. Stealthily, Sloth bent down and flicked him softly. The Grundo was sent hurtling through the air, screaming every second of the way. He rebounded off of the far wall, and fell into a cardboard box.
As the Bruce continued to fight against the guard, Sloth appeared behind him and pushed him over with such force that he lost consciousness. The last Boochigald heard, before everything faded to black, was Sloth’s deep, demanding voice. “Holding cell 2-T4U.”
To be continued...