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The 228 Seconds I was a Mutant


by phadalusfish

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It's been a long time since I stopped to record any of my myriad adventures. There are only so many times that you can complain about Island Cybunny Guide (A guide to Mystery Island for Island Cybunnies, not a guide about Island Cybunnies; do Island Cybunnies even need a guide to Mystery Island? Aren't they native, or something? And also, who would spend time writing a book with that narrow an audience? How many Island Cybunnies are there, anyway? Ignoring, of course, that I spent a few days as an Island Cybunny myself thanks to that mad Scorchio.) before you get tired of writing out all of the words.

And this isn't about a particularly long adventure—it lasted a grand total of three minutes and forty-eight seconds—but, considering the prevailing theme of the times (capitalized or not, you decide!), I thought it might be informative.

Three minutes and forty-eight seconds is approximately the amount of time it takes to step into, swim around in, and emerge from the Rainbow Fountain with a fancy new look.

Before you think this is a piece about my adventure in the Rainbow Fountain, an interesting topic in and of itself, I would defer you to my previous line, and the special parchment this particular issue is printed on. No, it's about what happened BEFORE I took a dip in the Fountain, a necessary evil to achieving my Stealthy Blumaroo goal, and perhaps it will shed some insight into what a Mutant Neopet thinks, and feels.

I drank a Blumaroo Transmogrification Potion.

Don't judge me! I spent at least five minutes wandering around the Trading Post, looking at Blumaroo Morphing Potions of various shades whose owners weren't around. Not sure why you'd ever trust your valuables on display like that, but, then again, this is the land of the Island Cybunny Guide. In the end, a balance of price and my pressing need to have it right then led me to purchase a Blumaroo Transmogrification Potion instead.

Boy, was that a mistake, price and convenience aside!

The potion itself tasted fine. Are you surprised? I certainly was. It had a consistency very much like that of water, and it was smooth on my tongue. The taste isn't comparable to anything else I've devoured, but it wasn't entirely unpleasant. Sweet and salty flavors prevailed, which offset the viler undertones of general muck. I expect that different Transmogrification Potions taste different, and unfortunately I can't comment on any of the others. If you're considering this route, for yourself or a friend, I wouldn't be too concerned about this part.

The transformation though, that's a nightmare. It doesn't hurt, per se, but man does it feel weird! Have you ever bent your arm (paw, wing, etc.) into a position that you just knew it wasn't supposed to go in? You get that grindy feeling in the back of your mind and you just want to move into a different position to make it go away. It doesn't hurt—it might feel stretchy, which, depending on your flexibility, might be a tad uncomfortable—but it drives you crazy. My skin also bubbled out a bit, but depending on your final form, this might not happen to you. I tried to watch it happen, but it just made my skin…er, I guess that really isn't an appropriate metaphor here. Hrm. It made me, adventurer extraordinaire, squeamish. Just a little bit though.

In addition, my eyesight grew drastically worse (not that it was good to begin with), and a putrid smell filled my nose. By the time I plunged into the soothing waters of the Rainbow Fountain, though, the smell had dissipated. It was either from the Blumaroo Transmogrification Potion itself, or from my mutated form, and it's possible that I just got used to it extremely quickly. I noticed that my skin was far more sensitive to things like wind. Having spent so short a time as a mutant, I can't tell if this sensitivity was a result of the transformation, or whether it would have worn off in time. Perhaps someone else, who has been mutated longer, will be able to comment.

These things might not sound that bad, and they weren't. In the name of full disclosure, I do have to point out that I've spent much of my life as a lab rat, and such transformations don't faze me. I do, however, have a very strict idea of what the inside of my head looks like.

Short version: I like controlling my thoughts.

I don't know what's in Transmogrification Potions, and, now that I've drunk one, I especially don't care to find out, but I do know this: they do some strange things to your mind. With paint brushes, and other morphing potions, and the lab ray, you remain yourself. Your thoughts, your memories, all of that remains intact. In hindsight, I can't imagine what would've happened if I hadn't been at the Rainbow Fountain when I drank the potion, and if I hadn't already told the Fountain Faerie what I wanted to be painted.

I drank that potion, and I lost myself. When the wind hit my skin, my thoughts wandered to what awful things might be in the wind—corrupted air faeries, the kind from NeoQuest II, for instance—and what they might want with me. Paranoia at its finest.

That wasn't the worst part though. When you've spent as much time in dungeons and old temples and the deep, scary places of Neopia as I have, paranoia just comes with the territory. If you hear a rock fall in a hallway behind you and don't jump to see whether it was just gravity finally winning an age-old battle or something more sinister, the odds you wake up suddenly in the Healing Springs with no idea how you got there drastically increases. The worst part was that I couldn't control it. I couldn't override the fear, and it was paralyzing.

I started to think that the Fountain Faerie, the granter of dreams and the idol of so many, was out to get me. That she was urging me into the Fountain the entire time, as I'd asked her to do, didn't help much. I felt her magic in the air—something I'd never felt before, though I knew there were people who could feel it—and felt like running away. But I couldn't. Maybe she did more than I thought to keep me sane, but I'd like to think that my sense of self wasn't completely destroyed, and I still remembered what I was there to do.

Debatable, of course. The Fountain Faerie assured me, after I emerged a Stealthy Blumaroo, that I hadn't been myself at all.

It makes you wonder, doesn't it? All those Mutants in Neopia, going about their business. What kind of Neopians would they be if they weren't Mutant? Would they be more intelligent, kinder, better? Or did the potion affect them the opposite way—did it make them kinder, better Neopians?

Maybe someday I'll investigate further. Not by turning myself into a Mutant again. Absolutely not. But I'm sure there are Neopians to interview and journals to read that will shed more light on what the Mutant transformation means to other Neopets.

 
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