The Rise and Fall of Dr. Boochigald: A Hero's Tale - Part Three
Also by a_greenparrot
Friday, 4th Day of Running, Many Years Ago,
Somewhere Inside Dr. Sloth’s Lair.
“Good news, Kazor. You can live,” Sloth said to his guard with an unimpressed smirk across his face.
“I’m sorry, Sir?”
“One of my spies, stationed in Kreludor, found Boochigald and told me where he was.”
“Oh, thank goodness. Once again, Sir, I’m so sorry for—”
Sloth’s cut-off was expected. “Oh, hush.”
Kazor was disappointed with his master’s response, so commented again, “Would you like me to go and re-capture him?”
Sloth laughed to the point where he snorted.
“You honestly believe I’d let you go, after what happened last time? No, no, that won’t do at all. We need somebody fearless, somebody... ruthless. Go and collect Skyfire, would you?”
Kazor looked nervous. “B-but, Sir, she hasn’t been on a mission since the incident with—”
Sloth’s anger fumed, as he yelled back, “Are you refusing to do something for me? I’m doing something nice, and sparing your life. I could easily take that away.”
“N-no, I’m sorry, Sir. I’ll collect her at once.”
Sloth watched him walk down the hallway, and smiled evilly.
Simultaneous to the actions taking place in Sloth’s lair, Boochigald spoke to himself, whilst thinking about how he could create his master’s ray gun.
“If I put this here, and reconfigured—no, that’d still zap Baby.”
He continued with this for quite a while, before he was struck with an idea.
“Unless... could I make the exact same thing, but on a much, much larger scale? Then, maybe I could convince Master that this creation could still enslave Neopia...” He trailed off, and buried himself in deep thought.
He was too busy to notice the blue Grundo sneak in and place a camera on one of the signs, and then run.
Boochigald proceeded to scribble down a detailed drawing of a bigger ray gun. When he had finished, he stood up and looked down at the disproportionate, abstract ray gun on the paper.
He mumbled to himself, “I’m going to need some help... there’re plenty of scrap pieces of metal around here, I’m sure I’ll be able to build some robotic servants.”
Gathering up piece after piece of metal, Boochigald began to work on his helpers.
Kazor gulped as he knocked on the thick, steel door in front of him. The various stickers that repeated such things as ‘No Entry – Violators Will Be Obliterated’ stuck on the door did not help.
Just as he was about to give up, a deep yet feminine voiced called out from inside the room, “Who is it and what do you want?”
“I-it’s Kazor. Slo—”
Just like her Master, she, too, had a very short temper and enjoyed cutting people off in mid-sentence. “You buffoon! I’ve warned you about coming here and disturbing me! Begone!”
Kazor stepped back from the impact of the screams, and continued, “Sloth sent me.”
There was no reply. He waited a few seconds before hearing a series of ear-splitting, mechanical screeches, and then watched as the door opened. Out from behind the door, stepped an upstanding blue Acara, wearing all black. She wore a pair of black goggles, which rested atop her head, and brandished a ray gun, which protruded from her side pocket.
“What does the Master want?” Her tone had changed, as she relaxed.
“He needs you to teach an escapee a lesson.”
Talehay screwed up her face, offended.
“He promised. He promised that there would be no more jobs after I told him I didn’t want to do it anymore!” She drew her hand and pointed it threateningly at a large scar on her forehead. “This is what happened on the last of his missions. I was caught up in a fight that he assured me would not happen – he lied to me, so I told him never again would I do a job for him.”
“Please, do it for me, Talehay.”
She was suddenly intrigued. “Why for you? What do you have to do with this?”
“I sort of—kind of... let Boochigald go.” He knew that despite her hard and cold exterior, she was actually soft and emotional on the inside, thus, Kazor played the sympathy card. “If you don’t find him, it’s my head.”
“I want to, I really do. I have Ylana, though...” As she trailed off, she opened the door wider and pointed to her daughter. She looked unbelievably identical to her mother, differing only in size. As she ran around the room, pointing a toy ray gun towards random objects in the room she screamed, “Hah, I’ve got you now!” and impersonated the sound of ray guns firing.
Talehay continued, “I can’t take her with me on one of Sloth’s jobs. I don’t want her seeing things like that.”
Kazor sighed. “Look, I can’t force you to do this. I can try to reassure you, though. One of Sloth’s spies – you know Zrohg, don’t you?”
“He’s stationed on Kreludor, where Boochigald was last seen. I’m sure he’d look after Ylana for you.”
Kazor could see the lines forming on Talehay’s forehead, deep in thought. She glanced over her shoulder towards her daughter, and smiled. “I’ll do it.”
Friday, 4th Day of Running, Many Years Ago,
Boochigald’s New Lab – Kreludor.
With the push of a large, green button on the back of what looked like a huge piece of scrap metal, the trashy looking pile sprung to life. Two thick legs protruded from its base and boosted it up at least ten metres into the air. With a loud, mechanical whirring sound, two arms unfolded from the ball, and a robotic head lifted. The robot monster lifted its left leg up, and then stomped it back down, triggering a shockwave to rumble through the ground.
Boochigald lost his footing and fell, uttering, “Excellent.”
He had made robotic servants before – many times, in fact – but this was by far the biggest.
He looked, for the tenth time, at the plan for the ray gun. He noted the sizes again, and spoke to himself, “I need more help; one robot won’t be enough. At least three...”
He gave this no more thought, and got back to work.
Saturday, 5th Day of Running, Many Years Ago,
The three Neopets stood before two spaceships – one, a one-person bubble that looked as though it was made by somebody with no experience, and the other was large, professional-looking, and was coloured blue and black.
Kazor pointed towards the bubble and laughed. “I think Sloth’s ship might fall apart if we go to Kreludor in that.”
Talehay grinned. “It’s okay – we’ll take mine.”
Kazor looked around the Hangar again, searching for Talehay’s ship, but only found the two he had already seen.
“Where’s your spaceship?”
She looked confused. “It’s sitting right in front of you...?”
His jaw dropped. “That ‘s your ship? The skillfully built one?”
Talehay laughed, and bounded up the steps into the ship, yelling, “What can I say, I’m a great engineer. Come on, Ylana, I’ll help you up.”
The small Acara – still holding her ray gun – excitedly ran to the ship and sprang into her mother’s arms. Kazor followed, over-exerting his short legs to get up the steps. He was relieved when he sat down again, next to Talehay.
“I suggest you put your seat belt on; these things aren’t the smoothest vehicles.”
“Huh?” He had never travelled in a spaceship before, and wasn’t sure what that was.
“That black strip of material next to you – grab it, stretch it over you and put it in the buckle.”
“Why don’t you leave it and find out?” Talehay winked at him.
Although Kazor thought that this was a ridiculous idea, he wasn’t one to doubt her, and fastened his seat belt. He heard a click, after the identical click of his seat belt, followed by a high-pitched call from the back.
“Ylana Skyfire, all buckled in and reporting for duty, Ma’am.”
Kazor turned to see the small Acara, sitting in a small back seat, saluting. He giggled to himself, and turned back around.
“She’s cute, isn’t she?” Talehay smiled.
“Okay, we’re set to go. Take-off in five...”
The countdown proceeded from there, until it finally reached zero. For a moment, nothing happened. Not a movement. Not a sound. Just as Kazor opened his mouth to voice his disappointment, the ship burst forward at lightning speed, forcing his head back into the chair. They continued forward rapidly, and Kazor’s sight was blurred. He could, however, make out the brick wall that stood in front of them, probably within ten seconds of travel. They were going to hit it. He panicked. He was frozen. He tried to scream, but no sound came. Only the rushing of his breath. His heart thumped out of his chest, and his whole body shivered. If they hit that wall at this speed, there would be no question about it – there’d be nothing left of the ship, or them. Kazor reached for Talehay’s shoulder, as they drew ever closer to the steel panel. Before he could reach her, the combination of severe anxiety and powerful G-Force proved too much for him. The world spun, and then slowly became black.
Kazor woke up in a small, comfortable bed, somewhere he didn’t recognize.
A voice emanated from beside him, out of his sight. “You okay, Mister?”
He turned his head to see Ylana sitting on his bed.
“Hey, kiddo. What happened?”
“I dunno... I’ll go get my mum...”
She ran off frantically, returning quickly with Talehay.
“I take it you’ve never been in a spaceship before?” Talehay smirked as she entered the room.
“We flew. That’s normally the general idea when travelling in a spaceship.”
“But, the barrier—”
Talehay answered Kazor’s question before it was asked. “It folds down. Motion activated – there’s a sensor around 100 metres before it.”
He didn’t know what else to do but laugh. “Where are we now?”
“Zrohg’s house, in Kreludor. I’d originally planned to have left by now, but I figured that you may have been more useful awake. How are you feeling?”
He sighed. “Not well. My head’s throbbing and I’m still a little dizzy...”
“You should probably stay here and recover a bit. I’ll come and get you when I’m done with Boochigald, okay?”
Kazor groaned, “Sure.”
Talehay walked out of the room, but then returned to the door.
“Please help Zrohg with Ylana – she can get a bit mischievous.”
Kazor turned to the little girl, who smiled cheekily.
“I’ll be off, then. Goodbye, Ylana – be good, I’ll be back soon.”
With that, Talehay turned and walked out the door. Once outside, she was hit by a gust of strong, dust-filled wind. The strength of the dust storm buffeted her, and she stepped back into the house. It took only a few seconds for the wind to subside, and then she went outside again.
As she continued along the barren ground, she noticed how out of place Zrohg’s house was. Sloth disallowed anything being built on Kreludor, unless by one of his spies, so this was the only building on the entire moon.
It wasn’t long before she reached the entrance to the mine. She drew her ray gun, and braced herself. As she lifted her foot to enter, somebody behind her called out her name. She turned immediately, to see Zrohg running towards her.
“What’s going on?”
“Talehay, oh, good, I found you!”
“Yes, you did. Now what is it? I have work to be doing!”
“You forgot your glasses.”
Zrohg held out a pair of her goggles.
Talehay buried her face in her hands. “You followed me and risked compromising my mission for these?”
He flinched, and murmured, “I’m sorry, Master.”
She laughed. “I’m not your—Wait, where’s Ylana?”
“Oh, Kazor’s looking after her; he said he was feeling okay.”
She wasn’t convinced, and stared disapprovingly into Zrohg’s eyes.
“She will be fine, Talehay, I promise you.”
“I’m sorry, but I cannot just take your word for it. I need to see for myself that Kazor’s fit to be looking after her. Take me back.”
“You’re already behind schedule and—”
“Ylana always comes before Dr. Sloth.”
Zrohg opened his mouth, ready to voice his disapproval, but decided against it and settled for a simple nod, instead.
The two began their very short walk back to the house, deep in conversation. In fact, they were so immersed in their dialogue that neither of them saw the young, blue Acara sneak past them and into the Mine.
Boochigald was now cast into darkness, as five colossal robots surrounded him and shadowed all light. He stood with a wide grin and a sense of achievement, as the first part of his plan to impress Sloth was complete.
He reached into his pocket for the remote to turn the robots on. The remote was rectangular and silver, with a huge antennae sticking out of the top. The only thing on it was a single, green button in the middle of it. Boochigald nervously pressed the button and watched the robots spring to life.
“One... Two...” Boochigald counted each being that began to move, “Three... Four...”
He waited for the last of them. Waited. Waited some more. Nothing – no movement from it, no sounds.
“No. No! I was so close!” Boochigald cried out in frustration.
He slumped against the dirt and buried his face in his hands.
“Why must everything go wrong for me? I’m only trying to do good for my Master.”
He dwelled on his misery for only a moment, and then directed his gaze towards the motionless mound of metal.
“I can’t give up. It can’t be that bad...”
Boochigald wandered over to the back of the robot and fiddled around with the wiring.
He began to speak to himself. “Everything’s fine here... and here. That’s all okay—wait, no power? Maybe I just didn’t charge it enough!”
The Bruce immediately jumped up and ran out to a mountain of trash, searching for a new source of power.
Meanwhile, a tiny blue figure could be seen sneaking past the entrance to the mine. As the shape sneaked out past a sign, its identity was revealed. It was Ylana. Armed, as always, with her toy ray gun and inquisitiveness, she moved ever closer to the potentially dangerous and still operational robotic servants.
“Ooh, it’s a nice metal man!”
Ylana walked up to one of the robots’ sides and attempted to speak to it, “Excuse me, mister? Are you a superhero?”
It turned immediately with a mechanical whirr, and looked her in the eyes directly. Its round, green eyes stared at the helpless youngster for a moment, seeming to scan her, and then turned away.
Ylana hated rudeness, so she commented, “Excuse me? That wasn’t very nice of you.”
In her anger, she walked up to the robot and hit its leg. Even before she had hit the servant, it had turned around.
Its eyes changed into red, slit-like holes and produced an electrical sound, mimicking the human words, “Target acquired.”
Before Ylana could respond, the huge heap of material that was the robot’s leg had stricken her, and she was sent hurtling through the air. At a rapid speed, she crumpled into the brutally hard ground. She let out a painful cry as the robot wandered over to her. She tried desperately to get up, but the pain was too much and she slumped back to the ground. The robot picked up speed and it did not take long for the monster to be standing over her. It took a moment to decide what to do with her, but finally made up its mind. It picked up its right leg, and left it hovering metres above her body. Ylana screamed.
Boochigald, only a sort distance away, heard her terrifying cry and turned to see the frightened youngster. He acted on his first impulse and ran towards her to help her – until he saw who she was.
“...Ylana. Sloth must’ve sent Talehay after me. But why? After all I did for him?” It was in this realization in which Boochigald turned. “Why should I help somebody who is working for the man who betrayed me? I shouldn’t. I won’t.”
Ylana screamed again. The robot began to quickly drop its leg. She closed her eyes, and heard the deafening thump of the robot’s foot hitting the ground. But only a small, blunt pain in the back of her head came. Nothing else. She opened her eyes, and found herself looking into Boochigald’s small, beady eyes. At the last minute, the mental torture of leaving Ylana there proved too much for him and he pushed her out of the way.
“Oh. Oh, thank you so much, Mister! You’re the real superhero.” Ylana grinned as she shouted at him.
Boochigald opened his mouth to say something, but was cut off before he began. “Ylana! What are you doing talking to him?”
The voice came from the entrance. Boochigald turned to see Talehay running towards her daughter.
She picked her up, and Ylana said, “Mummy, he saved me. You can’t hurt him, he’s a nice man!”
Talehay looked at him in disbelief and then muttered, “Thank you. My daughter is everything to me, I don’t know what I would do without her.”
“It’s okay,” Boochigald mumbled.
Talehay faltered. “Sloth sent me to teach you a lesson...”
“I know. Before you do, though, I want you to—”
As usual, she interrupted, “Do it yourself, and stay away from Sloth if you know what’s good for you.”
With this, she turned and left the mine.
Saturday, 5th Day of Running, Many Years Ago.
Inside Talehay’s Spaceship
“Ylana Skyfire, all buckled in and reporting for duty!” The familiar shout came from the back of the ship.
“So tell me, Talehay – did you teach Boochigald a lesson?” Kazor, now healthy, sat next to her – without fainting, this time.
“I gave him a warning.”
“Sloth won’t be impressed.” He hung his head low and shook it.
Talehay didn’t respond, instead, hitting the brakes extremely hard. The force of the stop sent Kazor into the windscreen.
“For the record,” she laughed, “that’s why you wear a seatbelt.”
As soon as he managed to pry himself from the glass, he strapped himself in.
“Talehay, can I ask you something?”
She looked and sounded confused, and slightly scared. “S-sure?”
“How did you get to work for Sloth? I mean, you’re not a Grundo, like everybody else... Where did you come from?”
She let out a sigh of relief. “I came from a world far away from Sloth’s lair. It’s known as Neopia and it’s a truly horrible place. So... happy, it’s disgusting. Anyway, one day, I saw Sloth flying around in his ship. I got in mine, and followed him, hoping to find a better place... and I did.”
“I miss this,” said Kazor, looking out of the side window solemnly.
“Our conversations. I loved the old days – you and me, as partners. Travelling around doing things for Sloth together. Since you gave up, I hardly ever see you any more. I miss the action, too – I knew I’d hate it when I was demoted to guard.”
Silence engulfed the ship, and it stayed that way for the entirety of the trip back to Sloth’s lair.
To be continued...