"You're late!" the infamous voice boomed as the evil mastermind slammed a clenched fist down on the metal desk he was seated at. He pulled out a blaster from under his desk, charged it, then took aim at the neopet in the doorway.
The frightened Kacheek flinched and cowered, "Ahhh! No, please! I- I'm so sorry. When I received your neomail... I thou- I thought I was being p- pranked!" The blubbering Kacheek could barely spit out her only defense.
The cloaked villain let out a sigh before he stood up and walked around his desk, stopping to tower directly in front of the little neopet. "Let me make this perfectly clear. I will not accept this kind of behavior," he read the little Kacheek's name tag, "Snarky. From now on you will be perfectly punctual, understood?"
"Understood, of course! I apologize... your majesty." Snarky took the opportunity to bow, her pursed lips stopping ever so close to the tip of his shoes.
"Get up, you!" he commanded, his shiny red eyes glaring down at the brown-nosed Kacheek in disgust. "There is work to be done!"
"Yes, indeed!" Snarky hopped to her feet and scampered over to the desk where she had a seat in a small, cold metal chair. "What can I do for you?"
The dark figure walked over to his side of the desk and sat down on his oversized royal throne. "My last publicist was accidently shot by a ray gun and will no longer be able to do much of anything that requires one to be living, so I need you to fill in. Do you accept?"
Tears of joy began to fall from Snarky's eyes in free flow. "There would be no greater honor."
"As I expected," the evil mastermind said haughtily. "There were millions of pets I had to choose from for this job. Do you know why I chose you?"
"Because I'm the best at what I do?"
"Certainly not! No, I chose you because you admire me. You look up to me. You're a true and genuine fan. I've never heard of anyone as devoted to myself, besides myself, as you!" He looked down at the Kacheek as if expecting a reply. "Am I right!?"
"Absolutely! There have been whole days that have gone by where I would stare into my mirror and practice greeting you, just in case I was ever blessed with one of your random events!" Snarky stared passionately into the eyes of evil, failing to hold back fan girl squeals of joy.
Caught off guard by the severity of the obsession, the villain replied, "Err... okay. I want you to be perfectly honest with me, now. My feelings will not be hurt. What do you truly think of me and my performance over the past few years?"
The young Kacheek took in a deep gasp of air. "You're amazing! The most evil, the most notorious, the most highly feared being in all of time and space! I've supported you my whole life! In my eyes you can do no wrong!"
The evil villain let out a sigh of disappointment. "Don't be afraid to be brutally honest."
The Kacheek continued, "Every moment I live is a moment in which I am preparing to make you proud! I've waited so long for this moment when we finally meet! My closet is a shrine to your magnific—"
Out of discomfort, the dark figure interrupted, "How about you just listen to me talk for a while. The reason why I summoned you here today is because I need your help," he stopped to read the Kacheek's name tag a second time, "Snarky. Now, I don't know if you've noticed, but lately my image has... softened. It's true, I was once the greatest most feared villain in all of Neopia, but now... now my name has become a joke! I'm just so sick and tired of being a huge joke! I'm calling for an end to all of the Neopian Times articles that suggest I have feelings, and little neopets rejoicing in my absence, and everyone selling off my transmogrification potions! It's time that Neopia once again fears the name Dr. Frank Sloth!"
Snarky stood in ovation. "Hear hear! Bravo! Encore!"
Dr. Sloth looked pleasantly pleased with himself as he stood up and walked over to his full length mirror. He looked to the reflection of the tiny Kacheek and asked, "So I trust you will be able to help me?"
"When I'm done, the mention of your name alone will send shivers down the spine of the Space Faerie herself."
"Excellent. You have one week to impress me."
"Are you absolutely sure this is going to work?" Dr. Sloth asked his Kacheek publicist.
"Absolutely! Like I said, there is nothing to worry about, Frank."
With an aggravated distaste in his voice Sloth reminded, "What did we talk about?"
"Hehe, excuse me, Dr. Sloth," Snarky answered with a chuckle.
"Now remind me, what am I supposed to say?"
"Look, I've arranged this event so that you'll have maximum exposure. The queen faerie, Fyora, will be having a televised speech and all of Neopia will be tuned in. When we've taken over the broadcast all eyes will be on you, so just follow the teleprompter as closely as possible and you'll be fine."
"Well, it seems like you've got it all planned out, just as I had planned," Dr. Sloth summed up, admiring himself.
"You truly are an evil genius."
"If this works, and I receive the attention I deserve, you can look forward to a huge promotion!"
"You won't be disappointed, Frank! I promise!" Dr. Sloth was about to comment when Snarky continued, "Now hurry and take your position! We're going live in 5, 4, 3, 2..."
When he received the 'go' cue, Dr. Sloth looked into the camera and began, "Good evening, citizens of Neopia! This is your King speaking, but most of you may know me as Dr. Frank Sloth. It has come to my attention that to many of you my name has lost its meaning and I am not as... scary as I used to be. Well, have I got news for you! I am very... scary!" Dr. Sloth looked away from the camera and over at Snarky.
Snarky smiled a big cheesy smile and whispered, "You're doing great! Just keep reading the teleprompter!"
The King turned back to face the camera and continued, "I have set up some laws that should enforce the type of behavior I am looking for. Effective immediately, it is now illegal to: write or illustrate any Neopian Times submissions mocking me or my works, mention my name without displaying a reasonable amount of fear, or refusal to drink a transmogrification potion when one is given to you. Any violators of this law can and will be punished to the full extent of my ray gun. Now it is time for the most important part of my speech and the climax of the millennium. Let it be known all throughout Neopia that Snarky is your new queen! That is all. Good night." The camera turned off and Dr. Sloth looked at Snarky, let out a heavy breath of air, then asked, "How did I do?"
Snarky answered, "I couldn't have worded it better myself!"
"Say," Dr. Sloth wondered, "what is a Snarky?"