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Give My Regards to the Ixi of Doom: Part Four


by battlesunn

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Zarrelian sat in his room, thoughtfully examining the large collection of plans and diagrams that he had laid out before him. Rehearsals had continued over the past two weeks; Kybalt was still swaggering around as though he owned the stage, while Zarrelian was demoted to "prop" under the list of materials for the play. The Halloween Ixi ground his teeth. He was still angry about that one. Zarrelian brightened up again. He had a plan, oh yes! A brilliantly terrible plan to put Kybalt out of commission and land himself the leading role. After all, he was the Zafara's understudy, and, in the words of Alstaf Poogle, "the show must always go on, no matter what idiot we have to put on the stage." It was Zarrelian's turn to be the idiot on stage. At least, it would be. First he had to figure out how to get Kybalt out of the way.

     Zarrelian leaned back in his chair, twirling his pencil between the knuckles of his hoof and staring up at the ceiling. He furrowed his brow in concentration.

     "How am I going to get rid of Kybalt?" he asked aloud. The Ixi snapped his head up. "I know! I'll release a wild Reptillior into his desk! Then he'll get Reptillioritus! Ha!" Zarrelian quickly sobered again. "Ah, that won't work. The Reptillior would just bite me first." He sighed, slumping over onto his desk as he surveyed his many scratched out graphs and diagrams. The Ixi began to idly doodle a picture of Kybalt on a spare scrap of paper. It was actually very good, for Zarrelian wasn't a bad artist. Of course, the Ixi's violent tendencies overcame his artistic sensitivity and he furiously scribbled all over his drawing of the Zafara, forever marring the beauty of his piece. Zarrelian snarled.

     "Stupid Zafara! He thinks he's so awesome, just because he's had actual acting experience and he's a big star like his hero, Roland Lombard..." The Ixi gasped with realization. "Of course! Kybalt's hero, Roland Lombard! He's the key!" Cackling maniacally, Zarrelian hunched over a fresh sheet of paper and hastily sketched out a new plan, certain that this one would go on without a hitch.

     ***

     It was the day of the big performance. Mr. Bronston flitted anxiously about backstage, gnawing his claws down to the bone as he oversaw the final touchups for sets, costumes and lighting cues. The Draik paused in front of a skittish looking Acara and he glared down meaningfully at the aquatic Neopet.

     "So, Zaveeni," he began. "Tell me that you've finished the musical score." The Acara broke out into a nervous smile.

     "Ah, yes, well, I've just finished it, you see. And I-- well, I'm rather proud of it, myself," he stammered. Mr. Bronston waved his hand impatiently.

     "Yes, yes, that's all fine and dandy. Just play it for me, would you?" he demanded. Zaveeni nodded and swiftly whipped out his violin. He began to play a the first few notes of the opening aria, but quailed under his teacher's icy stare. The Acara gulped.

     "Uh, what do you, um, think, sir?" he asked anxiously. Mr. Bronston snorted.

     "I think it's the kind of thing that Alstaf Poogle would've written if he had been a horrible person who hated music and people," he replied. Zaveeni blinked. Mr. Bronston continued.

     "But it's all we've got, so we'll have to use it. After all, the show must go on!" The Draik glanced down as he felt a sudden tug at his shirtsleeve, and found himself looking into the snout of a very concerned Christmas Moehog.

     "Oh, sir," Terracota (the Moehog in question) wailed. "It's terrible! I can't find Kybalt anywhere!" Mr. Bronston's jaw dropped.

     "What? That's insane! The show starts in twenty minutes; where could he have possibly gone?"

     Kybalt was, at the moment, locked in a supply closet. He was unconscious, and therefore unable to cry for help. No prizes for guessing who put him in there. Yeah, it was Zarrelian. But since some of you may be mildly interested in exactly how the Ixi carried out his little plan, I will now relate it to you in full, third person narrative.

     Kybalt was standing in front of his mirror, primping himself and brushing his fiery fur so that the flames looked their hottest, when Zarrelian came scurrying up to him.

     "Kybalt!" the Ixi panted breathlessly. Kybalt turned around.

     "What is it, Ixi?" he asked peevishly. Zarrelian composed himself.

     "It's Roland Lombard, Kybalt! He decided to come and see the show, and he really wants to meet you so that you two can discuss that one ad thingy that you did so many years ago," he replied. Kybalt gasped, throwing his paws to his face.

     "Sweet mother of Juppie! He must want to negotiate that contract that I proposed to him!"

     Zarrelian nodded eagerly. "Uh huh. Follow me; I'll show you where he is!" Kybalt willingly complied, and soon, the two of them were dashing down the hallways of the school. Zarrelian skidded to a stop in front of the school's supply closet. Kybalt glanced at the Ixi expectantly.

     "Well? Where is he?" he asked. Zarrelian grinned, gesturing towards the closet with his hooves.

     "Why, he's in the supply closet!" he replied. Kybalt shot him a death glare.

     "That is the most blatantly obvious attempt to get me out the way that I have ever encountered. Do you honestly expect me to believe that Roland Lombard is standing in the school's janitorial alcove?" he demanded, waving his paws around in the air at the sheer idiocy of it all. Zarrelian rolled his eyes.

     "Oh, to Sloth with this!" he said, and then whacked Kybalt sharply on the head with his rock-hard hoof. The Zafara blinked once and then fell to the floor, landing with a resounding thump. Zarrelian giggled as he kicked open the door to the closet and shoved Kybalt inside.

     "Sayonara, star!" he cackled, shutting the door and locking it in place with a broom handle that he snagged from the supply store located in said closet. The Ixi laughed.

     "YES! Now it's MY show!"

     So that's how it happened. Anyway, we will now return to Mr. Bronston, who was, at the present moment, pacing agitatedly around the backstage area.

     "Oh no," he muttered. "Kybalt's gone! I don't believe this; I'm going to have to put Zarrelian onstage!"

     Right on cue, Zarrelian appeared by his teacher's side, already suited up in Kybalt's much less cumbersome costume. It wasn't really a costume so much as it was a hat, but it was still a symbol of how the Ixi had managed to usurp the Zafara's stardom. At least, in Zarrelian's eyes, that's what it was.

     "I'm ready, sir!" he chirped. Mr. Bronston sighed, rolling his eyes skyward. For a moment, it looked as though he was about to start crying, but he quickly snapped his head down and smiled.

     "Alright, Zarrelian. You're Kybalt's understudy, now go out there and wow them!"

     You have to admire the Draik for acting as optimistic as he possibly could. Mr. Bronston, to his credit, wasn't really that bad of an actor himself. Zarrelian's eyes widened and he bit his lip, as though he had just thought of something very important. He glanced up at his teacher.

     "Er, that whole 'learning lines' bit, that was just a suggestion, right?" he asked hopefully. Mr. Bronston gaped at him.

     "You haven't memorized Kybalt's lines?" he asked frantically. The Ixi giggled nervously.

     "Okay, look, it's no problem! I'll improvise! I'll go up there, tell some jokes, do a bit of ad-libbing, maybe do a little dance..." Mr. Bronston cut him off, grabbing Zarrelian by the shoulders and shaking him furiously.

     "Not for what they paid to get in here, you won't!" he roared, gesturing to the already seated audience. The Draik flicked his gaze back to his student, eyes blazing. "You can't act, you can't improvise, and you CAN'T be a star in my play!" he snarled. Zarrelian stared at him incredulously.

     "But you said that we could be anything if we set our mind to it!" he insisted.

     "That applied to everyone but you!"

     The Ixi squeaked as Mr. Bronston shoved him to the side, grabbing the hat from Zarrelian's head as he did. The Draik cradled the fedora lovingly in his hands, holding it as though it was his firstborn son. (To be fair, that hat ended up having a better career than Mr. Bronston's actual firstborn son did). Zarrelian whimpered.

     "So I don't get to be the star?" he asked. Mr. Bronston shot him the most venom-filled of glares.

     "No, you don't! I'M the director, and I'LL star in this play!" He jammed the hat onto his head, adjusting it slightly so that the brim didn't cut quite so painfully into his ears. The Draik chuckled.

     "Really, I ought to just play everyone myself." Mr. Bronston pushed Zarrelian aside as he stalked towards the stage. Before parting the curtains and stepping out into the limelight, the Draik glanced back over his shoulder and jerked his head at the Ixi.

     "You're still the oak tree, by the way, so go and put on your costume and be ready to go on stage when your cue comes." With that, Mr. Bronston threw open the curtains and strode regally onto the stage, booming the first few notes of the opening number in his deep baritone. Zarrelian sighed resignedly as he wriggled into his tree costume. He had to admit, Mr. Bronston did have a pretty decent singing voice.

     The Ixi staggered in his pseudo-tree outfit towards the stage to await his cue. He stood backstage, clinging to the soft fabric of the curtain. Zarrelian frowned. Fame was certainly a fickle creature. "Oh well," he said aloud to himself. "At least I still get to play the title role!" Cackling gleefully, the Ixi shoved his leaf bonnet on his head and dashed out onto into the spotlight, ready to make his debut as the leading tree.

     You might be interested to hear about how the play went. It can either be summed up in one word, or compared to the sinking of a large ship. The word would be "terrible" and the ship would be, well... The biggest ship in Neopia that has ever sank, I suppose. No matter how you say it, Mr. Bronston's pride and joy wasn't a success. Most of the critics panned it, though quite a few highlighted Zarrelian's take as the "troubled oak tree" to be very fresh and original.

     Mr. Bronston wound up having his salary severely cut, seeing as how he went so fantastically over budget on the production of his play and didn't make very much of a profit from ticket sales at all. (Principal Kraemer was also royally miffed at the Draik after learning that he denied Zarrelian the right to play the farmer. Seeds of discontent regarding self-esteem lowering were planted).

     Kybalt regained consciousness about three-quarters of the way through the play, and spent the evening screaming himself hoarse while calling for "help". Eventually, the school's janitor let him out of the supply closet, just before the Zafara resorted to gnawing through a bottle of dish detergent for food.

     So, to wrap everything up, Zarrelian had another magical adventure without learning anything, Mr. Bronston once again had a comical misadventure resulting in a loss of money, and the quirky supporting character got what they deserved... sort of. Anyway, that's all the loose ends tied up, so there's really not much else for me to say.

     Curtain!

The End

 
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Other Episodes


» Give My Regards to the Ixi of Doom: Part One
» Give My Regards to the Ixi of Doom: Part Two
» Give My Regards to the Ixi of Doom: Part Three



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