Addie Meets Dr. Sloth
I was a Sloth fangirl. There was no doubt about it. I am Addie, a twenty-year-old shadow Kyrii, who would often spend nights gazing up at the Virtupets Space Station above. I would wonder what a fantastic time I would have with all the fancy gadgets, and working with such a genius we have come to know as Dr. Frank Sloth.
Some called me crazy, but I was fascinated with Sloth. Dominating Neopia was such a far-fetched and impossible feat, and I was curious to see how Sloth would do it. After his multiple failures, I began to brainstorm ways to help. I was such a huge fan. It was my dream to go into the Space Station and meet him and share those ideas.
I lived in a neighborhood in the heart of Mystery Island. The homes there were small, but no one complained. It was mainly because no one ever spent their day at home. We would be either at the beach, or some other fun place on the island. We just needed a place to rest at night. My home was just comprised of a living room, a bathroom to the side, and one bedroom with two twin beds. The kitchen was just a small corner of the living room. All of the rooms were painted light green with white accents. The floors were of light brown wood. The furniture (sofa, coffee table, and beds) were of the same color, except for the cushions- those were light green to match the walls.
I lived with my brother, Eddie. He was a red Draik who didn't care about my efforts to reach Dr. Sloth. Surprisingly, from time to time, he would give me a couple of ideas of his own to get there. I guess it was because he was bored. He was the only one who took me seriously.
Virtupets Space Station was very exclusive. Getting inside wasn't easy. Security was tight! The only Neopians permitted inside were employees, consisting of Grundos and alien Aishas. They had ID tags and were inspected by burly guards at every entry. If one wanted to get in, they had to be alongside said Grundos and alien Aishas. They were like the keys inside.
It was a dismal day, with rain pouring down onto our usually sunny island. Not a soul was outside. Eddie picked up the soaking wet morning paper from the doorstep. He showed a bit of excitement when he opened the second page. He sat right next to me on the sofa with light green cushions, and handed me the paper. I was twice as excited when I read it!
The Neopian Times was giving out a chance to tour the Space Station, according to an ad! It was my one and only chance to meet Dr. Sloth himself, and I hoped to win. All I had to do was write my name on a slip and drop it into a box at my local newspaper office. They were going to announce the winners the next day. As soon as I read the news, I walked in the rain to the Neopian Times office to enter my name.
The office was near the harbor, overlooking the massive blue ocean. A pink Yurble worked there, stacking newspapers and preparing them for delivery at the front desk. She looked miserable, like she absolutely despised her job. I stood at the entrance of the old, run-down building with no doors until she was done with stacking the papers. She glanced up at me and asked, "Are you here for the contest?" Before I could answer, she bent over and took out the box of entrants' names from under her desk. She also took out a pad of paper and a red pen. I took the pen and neatly wrote my name on the pad. As soon as I finished, the Yurble snatched it out of my hands. She hastily ripped the page off and dropped it into the box. She mumbled, "Good luck!" before going back to work. I felt a little bad for her. Running that tiny and old office looked so boring. She looked like she was ready to pounce on anyone who interrupted her.
The wait after the trip to the office was agonizing. If Eddie or I anticipated something, we usually did stuff together around the island to kill time. It had rained all day, so we were stuck inside. All I did was sit on the sofa, twiddling my thumbs and fiddling with my long and black mane.
The paper arrived early the next day, and Eddie handed it to me as soon as I got out of bed. He smiled and wished me the best before flying away to the beach for the day. Sadly, my name wasn't announced. It felt like my heart sank all the way down to my stomach. Just out of curiosity, I looked at the names of Neopians who did win. There was one yellow Elephante listed that caught my attention. She had long red hair and a sported a green party dress. A pink flower was tucked behind her ear. It looked like one of my neighbors, Leah. I was a bit confused as to why she entered. She was the first of my friends to laugh when they found out I wanted to meet Sloth. She said I was crazier than Jhudora on Illusen Day.
I marched straight down to Leah's house across the street. She opened the door and I immediately noticed a copy of the newspaper in her hand. I asked her why she wanted to go to the Space Station, even though she made fun of me for wanting to go. She looked around and said, "Oh, you read the paper already. I was going to surprise you!" She handed me a plastic bracelet that came in the mail. She had to wear it when a Grundo from the Space Station came to pick her up. She said she entered in hopes of winning for me, since I was so bent on going.
I couldn't thank her enough. It was quite possibly the best thing anyone had ever done for me. I promised to make it up to her when I got back. My only focus at that moment was to pack my little satchel and get ready for the Grundo to come. Just when I was ready to sprint home to tell Eddie the good news, an orange Grundo walked up to me.
Apparently, he was coming over to Leah's house and he thought I was her. He must not have had a look at her picture in the newspaper.
"I am here to take you to the Space Station. Are you Leah?" he asked. His voice sound low and scratchy.
"No, but Leah decided she wasn't going to go. She said I was to take her place. My name is Addie."
The Grundo, whom I later learned was named Zeek, accepted my explanation. I couldn't tell if Zeek was gullible, or he didn't care. Either way, I was off to the Space Station. I didn't have a chance to pack clothes, but Zeek told me it wasn't necessary. He took out a space suit for me to wear during the tour. It was made of some mysterious fabric I'd never felt before. The suit felt like a mix between plastic and foil. It covered my entire body, right down to my fingertips and my toes. He also helped me put on gloves and boots that were slightly thicker than the actual suit. To top off my space suit, he put a giant metallic helmet over my head. It was so heavy, I felt like I was going to fall over at anytime. Zeek explained that it would feel lighter once we got into space.
We boarded a tiny spaceship that looked like a silver disc. Virtupets technology was so hard to keep up with! I had never seen anything like it before. The vessel was equipped with so many different gizmos, and the view from the little windows at the sides was fantastic. So many stars could be seen, all twinkling like diamonds. I was so lucky to get to go on that trip. There was a lot in store for me, I could tell. I was to be given a big tour of the Space Station, and I would finally get to meet Dr. Sloth.
When we arrived at the Hangar, the Grundo showed his ID tag to a burly mutant Grundo bouncer. The bouncer scowled at me and readied his ray gun to shoot. Zeek stopped him, saying that I was the winner of the tour. Did the guard not see the bracelet I wore? The guard backed off and plastered a small smile on his face. They must have told him to look a bit inviting for me. The big metal doors behind him slid open, revealing a massive floor full of Grundos and alien Aishas all wandering around. All of them were employees, working for Dr. Sloth. Not only did they work there, they lived there as well. There were multiple floors, and the one we started off the tour with was the Recreation Deck. It was where the employees hung out when they were on break.
Zeek slowly walked me through the entire thing, showing me some of the games they had like Gormball. Then, he took me to the Space Battledome Arena, which was a high-tech arena where Neopians duked it out to see who was the best. It wasn't like any other arena I had seen before. Every aspect of the arena was perfected, right down to the seating.
When we were finished with that floor, we stopped by at Grundo's Cafe for lunch. It was an elite-looking cafe, with chrome seating and tables. The cafe could seat about twenty. The floors were so shiny, I could see my reflection. A Grundo chef could be seen creating some dishes right at the front of the cafe. It was a nice idea to let Neopians see how he made so many cool foods. Zeek ordered a plate of Spiced Apple Pie for himself, and some Blueberry Gateaux for me. The Blueberry Gateaux came in a dainty blue bag, and tasted divine. It was so sweet and scrumptious. Zeek pointed out to me that it was the first thing he ever ate at the Cafe. He said that anyone who came to eat there absolutely had to try it. I couldn't have agreed more.
By the time Zeek had finished showing me around the Supply Deck, I was beginning to lose my patience. When was I going to meet Sloth? When I asked Zeek, he looked at me like I was crazy. He said, "He is in his little lair deep within the Space Station. Only the employees such as myself are permitted to enter. You'd be locked up in our dungeon if someone saw you trying to get in."
I tried to tell Zeek why I wanted to see him, but he wouldn't listen. He simply continued on with the tour. The tour was wonderful, but I didn't want to leave without meeting Sloth.
Zeek's face showed some guilt as the tour progressed. When he showed me the last floor of the Space Station, the Hangar, he surprised me with some good news. He looked at me and said, "I guess that does it for the tour. I hope you enjoyed it. Before you go, I could let you meet Sloth just this once. I just want to warn you that he is not the kind of guy who likes talking to others. He was against letting a stranger into his Space Station. The Neopian Times staff had to pay him a lot. Today is his pay-day, so maybe he is in a good mood and could chat with you."
Zeek and I walked up the stairs from the Hangar to the Supply Deck. He stopped midway and pushed one of the many metal panels on the wall. It opened to reveal a secret passageway! It was a straight walk to the end of the passageway, where another guard stood. Zeek showed him his ID tag and stated I was with him to prevent the guard attacking me. Some of those guards really needed to check their eyes. I was wearing an ID bracelet, for Fyora's sake! It was the second time I was nearly attacked. Anyway, the doors slid open to Sloth's lair. Zeek gestured me to walk in with a smile on his face. Drops of sweat rolled down my face as my hands clenched tightly into fists. I was so excited and nervous at the same time.
"Who goes there?" bellowed Sloth from a distance. This was it. All my life, I had been dreaming of this moment. I pulled myself together and introduced myself with confidence.