The Rise and Fall of Dr. Boochigald: A Hero's Tale - Part Two
Also by a_greenparrot
Saturday, 5th Day of Running, Many Years Ago,
Inside Holding Cell 2-T4U
Boochigald woke up with a start, as he was powerfully and painfully kicked in the stomach. He forced his heavy eyes open, and found one of the guards from before, staring over him.
“Get up. Get ready. We’ll be down to collect you shortly.”
Boochigald groaned, “What for?”
The small Bruce let out a booming cry, and asked, “W-why? What’s he going to d-do?”
“Discuss your punishment.”
The guard turned and exited out the already-opened door, closing and locking it behind him.
At this time, Boochigald had an opportunity to examine his surroundings. He was lying on a hard, metallic floor, in a compact room with no windows. There were five walls in the cell – four of them completely bare, except for the thick, black letters printed on them, ‘Holding Cell 2-T4U’. The other wall was dissimilar to the others – it had two translucent laser walls, reaching to the roof on either side. In the middle of these was a sturdy, steel gate – with no windows or gaps. The only items in the room were a table, standing on two opposite legs, a rusted sink, and a thin, dirty rug on the ground where he slept. Lying with a half-open zip on the table was a large sports-bag that Boochigald did not recognise.
Grimacing and groaning with every slight movement, the Bruce got up off of the floor, and began to head towards the bag.
Along the way, a loud ‘bzzzzzt’ sound caught his attention. He wheeled around, and saw an old speaker, hanging from the roof.
Shortly after, the sound stopped, and was replaced by Sloth’s voice, “Welcome, guests, to the Sloth’s Lair Holding Cell. During your time, you will be subject to the following methods of torture—”
The automated message continued to speak over the Public Address System, but Boochigald tuned out – he wasn’t interested in his disrespectful and loathsome master.
As he approached the bag, he noticed that it wasn’t half-open – it was so full that it had burst at the seams. Protruding from one side of the bag was his small ray gun, and a few of his other belongings. Boochigald wearily pulled the two flaps of material aside slowly.
The Bruce’s heart skipped a beat and he fell backwards. But nothing else came. No explosion. No flame. No unconsciousness. So where did the ‘boom’ come from?
His question was answered a second later, as the sound of a rather loud cackle came from the entrance to the cell. He turned to see one of the Grundo guards standing outside the laser wall, with a smirk covering almost the entire left side of his face – he had spooked him.
Boochigald fought his incessant urge to break down in tears and got up, ignoring the figure still standing at the doorway. He stumbled his way back to the bag, and tore it open even further. Inside, he found more than what he owned. Lying in the bag – or what was left of it – were all of Boochigald’s favorite inventions, plus a change of bow and a new backpack. He quickly tore his grubby, loose bow off of his neck, and put on the new one. It smelt of fresh Tangella – a scent that he had not become accustomed to.
He rubbed his tired eyes with the back of his hand, and pulled out the large backpack. The bag was very small – obviously purposely done to ensure that he couldn’t take anything too dangerous with him to see Sloth. Boochigald was more intelligent than this, however. He was a master in compacting massive power into minute objects.
He ensured that there was nothing dangerous in the backpack – keeping an observant eye on the doorway the whole time - and began rummaging through the rest of the broken bag to find what to pack. Boochigald came across a number of things, including a bottle of acid, a few steel cuttings, some basic weapons of his, and his smaller ray gun. He quickly stuffed these into the already-filling backpack, and continued to rifle through his other possessions. He crammed in a few other bits and pieces that he felt could come in handy, and poured the rest of his items out onto the floor. He felt around inside the bag to ensure that he hadn’t missed anything, but all that he touched was the metal brace under a thick layer of material. Boochigald, convinced, tossed the bag away, and into the wall. Clunk.
Something wasn’t right. The only thing in the bag was the metal brace, and that wouldn’t make that sound.
He rushed over to the bag on the ground, and ripped out the bottom of it. What fell out was not a brace. It wasn’t even made of metal. In fact, what he found he recognized instantly. It was a black, plastic shaft – about his own height – with an assortment of blinking green and pink Light-Emitting Diodes. It was his old teleporter. Boochigald had designed and created Neopia’s very first teleporter for his own personal use many years ago. The principle was simple – hold the stick up in the air, click down the button and disappear. The teleporter had two parts – this first ‘stick-like’ part, and the ‘other end’. This was placed wherever the user wanted to end up, to escape from dangerous situations quickly.
“That’s it! I can get out of here using this!”
Boochigald held the shaft above his head, and then withdrew it, stopping himself. ‘I gave the other half to a friend, and told him to put it somewhere where I’d be safe. I never found out where he put it – I guess that’s a risk I’ll have to take,’ he thought to himself.
He took out a notepad and pen from the side pocket of his backpack and scribbled something on the paper. He held up the teleporter, tapped the back of his hand strangely, pressed the button, and was gone. What he had not realized was that this was exactly what Sloth had wanted him to do. He needed to see whether Boochigald’s inventions actually worked, so planted everything in his room. He had not, however, anticipated that the teleporter would have worked. It had been organized for Kazor to be watching, so he could capture him immediately, but he was not.
Meanwhile, Kazor, one of Sloth’s guards, was marching down the cell hallway, enduring the screams and groans of the suffering slaves. He was heading to Cell 2-T4U, as instructed by Dr. Sloth, to collect one of the prisoners for his trial. Kazor had been instructed to take an array of weaponry with him, as this particular captive was a trickster, and highly intelligent.
As he approached Cell 2-T4U, he could smell acrid fumes – almost like burnt flesh.
“Oh, no,” Kazor remarked, in a low and grumpy voice.
He carefully walked the final distance to the cell, and peered through the lasers. It didn’t do much good, as there was a remarkable amount of black smoke lingering in the air.
The guard became nervous. He didn’t know what Sloth would do to him if he discovered that another prisoner was gone; and he didn’t want to find out.
Kazor’s large, green hands quivered as he passed his keycard along the magnetic strip, and gently pulled the door open. As soon as it was opened, a burst of foul-smelling gas poured into his face, forcing him to turn away from it. As the smoke in the cell slowly began to fade, the guard could see no figure anywhere in the room. He quickly burst into the room, searching high and low for the Bruce that should have been in the room. He found nothing. Nothing, that is, but a small piece of paper lying on the rug:
I am sorry that I’ve gone without your permission; however, you gave me no choice. I am going away for some time, to work on your ray gun. I will contact you when it is done. Please don’t try to find me.’
Just as he was trained to, Kazor gave this no second thought, immediately bringing his watch up to his face and telling Sloth the news.
“You lost him? What’s that supposed to mean?” Sloth snapped angrily.
“H-he’s gone, Sir. There was all this smoke—”
As usual, Sloth paid no respect and cut Kazor off, “Smoke, you say? So that teleporter thing must have worked...”
“Teleporter, you say, Sir?” He was intrigued. “What do you mean by that?”
Sloth targeted him immediately, raising his voice beyond what Kazor thought was physically possible, “What do you think I mean, imbecile? The buffoon had a teleporter – I figured it wouldn’t work, so I hid it in the bottom of the bag.”
“Master, what does this mean?”
“It means he’s still around Neopia, somewhere.” Sloth ended the conversation before Kazor could respond.
He turned, and walked to the tracking room, where he was about to scan for Boochigald’s tiny tracking device that he had implanted during the Bruce’s unconsciousness. Little did he know, he was about to be pointed straight back to Cell 2-T4U, as Boochigald was intelligent enough to push it out of his hand before leaving.
Friday, 4th Day of Running, Many Years Ago,
A substantial amount of multi-coloured Grundos watched on as a stupendous bulk of smoke appeared from the town talisman. It was quite the event when an object that seemed to appear magically six years ago actually did something. Some Grundos were hoping for someone to set them free, while some were fearful of the unknown phenomenon that appeared in front of them.
As the smoke cleared, the citizens’ emotions grew more powerful, until eventually, a small figure could be seen. Firstly, two oppositely facing orange flippers, then a short, pink body, and finally the face of a Bruce – it was Boochigald. As the locals’ excitement died down, the anger flowed freely. Crushed NeoCola cans were flung through the air towards Boochigald, as he cowered and begged for them to stop. He drew his ray gun from his backpack, and prepared to fire. He didn’t want to harm anyone, but they were endangering him – he had no choice, as far as he was concerned.
Just as his hand touched the trigger, a hoarse, deep voice was heard over the top of the crowd’s screaming, “Stop it! He isn’t harming any of you!”
The crowd stopped dead, and then separated, sadly wandering back to the various places they had appeared from. The only creature apart from Boochigald left standing in the harsh, dusty terrain was a small, blue Grundo.
It stared at him for a while, until speaking in the same voice he had heard before, “Greetings! You’re a little different to the kind we’re used to seeing around here. How about you come and have a drink with me?”
The Bruce considered his offer for a moment – after all, it had been before his capture when he last had a drink – but quickly decided against it.
“No, thank you, I have work to be doing. Is there anywhere I could set up a Laboratory, around here?”
The Grundo frowned. “You’re getting straight down to business? You only just arrived...”
Boochigald laughed at the sheer innocence of the Grundo, and decided that it wasn’t in his nature to be rude. “Oh, okay. I’ll take that drink.”
The Grundo smiled, and waited for him to catch up.
“So, what’s your name?” asked the Grundo. “Mine’s Zrohg.”
“Boochigald. Nice to meet you.”
The two Neopets walked over to a rather odd-looking machine. It had eight differently coloured buttons, a slot for coins or tokens of some kind, and read ‘NEOCOLA’ on the front of it.
The Grundo looked aghast, “Are you serious? It’s the dispenser of the best type of drink in Kreludor! NeoCola!”
“Kreludor?” Boochigald was becoming more and more confused.
“This is Kreludor – where we are now! Don’t you know where you came to?”
The Bruce looked to his right, and answered, “Well, I didn’t really come here on purpose... I used a teleporter, and I landed here.”
Zrohg suddenly stopped looking at the machine, and rapidly turned his head to look at Boochigald. “A teleporter, you say? Let me get you that drink, and then I’ll show you where you can make your lab.”
He withdrew a round coin from his hand. The coin was decorated with green and black stripes around the outside, and a picture of Dr. Sloth on the inside. Zrohg put the coin in the slot on the machine, and clicked a red button. Seconds later, a pale coloured can came out of the bottom.
“Grapefruit NeoCola. See how you like it.”
The Grundo withdrew the can from the tray, and handed it to Boochigald. Reluctantly, the Bruce opened it and took a sip. Firstly, the bitter taste hit his tongue, and caused him to scrunch up his face. This flavour lasted only a second, before it developed into a sweet, blissful feeling as it slid down his throat.
“Wow, that’s good!”
Zrohg laughed. “Good to hear! Follow me, I’ve got a good spot for your laboratory.”
They walked for what seemed like years, before they reached a large plot of land with an array of highly technical machinery and equipment.
“This –“ The Grundo pointed to his surroundings, “is the old Kreludan Mine. I think you’ll find it’s perfect for your needs.”
Boochigald was amazed. It was simply a form of paradise for him.
“It’s brilliant! Thanks so much!”
“No problems. I’ll leave you to it.”
Zrohg walked away into the distance. He ensured that he was out of Boochigald’s sight, before drawing his hidden microphone to his mouth, “Hello, Master? I’ve found somebody that you may want.”
The reply was a simple, single word, which came from the very-distinguishable voice of Sloth, “Good.”
To be continued...