For the Love of Slorgs
Even as a young girl, Tristabella the Zafara had a love
for Slorgs. She had Slorg posters, articles about Slorg nature clipped to her
bedroom walls, samples of Slorgslime scattered amongst her science magazines and
microscope. She scrimped and saved her Neopoints, doing extra chores around the
house, and even selling her ancient White Weewoo plushie just so she could buy
a pink Slorg plushie. She even had Slorg pajamas.
Her own petpet Slorg, Slorgwell, was a pale
pink, happy critter, and quite possibly the best kept Slorg in all of Neopia.
He was pampered as few petpets are -- only the finest Slorg Treats went in his
dish; he has his own pink satin jeweled collar and matching leash; and his fluffy
PetPet's Choice (tm) brand petpet bed was washed and dried daily. Although,
the latter action was not merely an act of kindness and undying affection -
all Slorg owners have to clean their Slorg's beds and cages daily. Slorgslime,
you know. Slorgwell had been a gift to Tristabella in her early days of Slorg
fandom. For, as inseparable as the pair were, Slorgwell was not the Slorg who
first piqued Tristabella's fascination with the slimy creatures. Although Slorgwell
might no be aware of this, it was not he, but another Slorg, a common Slorg,
a nameless Slorg, a creature that Tristabella would never see again, and yet,
perhaps, a Slorg unlike any other, that had started it all. Tristabella could
remember the day all too well...
The young Zafara girl was none too popular with
her classmates. Teased because of her obsession with science, picked on because
of her funny looking glasses, she had no friends.
The Slorg was a common garden Slorg. He lived,
not in a garden, but under a pile of rocks at the edge of the schoolyard. Perhaps
he had a fondness for children. Maybe he, deep down, wished that one of the
young Neopets would befriend him, treat him kindly, perhaps even bring him fresh
Slorg Treats. More than likely, it was because the Neopet kids were messy and
dropped bits of candy and cookie crumbs everywhere.
Tristabella just happened to be sitting on the
pile of rocks where the Slorg had so quietly made himself a home. She was reading
a very torn and muddy copy of Scientific News & Discoveries Weekly. It was not
an old issue, or one she had found in a rubbish bin, but the latest copy that
had arrived that morning; it was torn and muddy because a few of her classmates
had decided to play Frisbee with it. Tristabella, who was none too athletically
inclined, had to hop around every which way to try and get it back.
The Slorg was sliming around, foraging for bits
of bread or sweets when Tristabella spotted it. The creature was chomping on,
or smacking on, or slobbering on, or whatever it is that Slorgs do when they
eat he was doing to a piece of old asparagus and leek sandwich.
The two of them locked eyes for one moment.
Then a large Gelert stepped right on top of
Neither the bully nor Tristabella had any inkling
of what a Slorg's anatomy was like. Had they, their actions reactions might
have been totally different -- though, the Slorg himself probably had no idea,
either. In fact, Slorgs are very bouncy creatures. If you drop a Slorg, it will
bounce, provided that it isn't a really, really slimy one. If you throw something
at it, the object will bounce off immediately, leaving its target relatively
unharmed (unless, once again, the Slorg is coated with Slorgslime; the object
may stick and cause some discomfort to the animal)
Tristabella had no idea about this. If she had,
it would have saved her a great deal of remorse and a few tears, too. She was
already sobbing dramatically when the Gelert's buddy showed up.
"You idiot!" the skinny Korbat chided him. "You'll
get slime all over your paw." He bent down to examine the Slorg, and was immensely
surprised to find it relatively unscathed. "Billy! You didn't even put a scratch
on it!" The Gelert lifted his foot; there was indeed slime on it, but he confirmed
that the Slorg was unharmed.
"But I stomped him good, Ernie!" the Gelert
exclaimed. He looked from the Slorg to Tristabella, as though one of them could
offer an explanation, before looking at Ernie. "I stomped the little nerd's
"You're just a weakling, you can't do nuffin,"
he scoffed. The two of them started laughing.
Tristabella now noticed what had happened. She
wiped the tears from her cheek, and reached out to pick up the Slorg.
In an instant, with his lightning fast reflexes,
Ernie had knocked her down. He kicked the fat Slorg like it was a soccer ball,
right into the rocks. Tristabella scream as the Slorg hit the jagged stone,
screamed as she heard a horrible smacking noise, screamed as Billy and Ernie
roared with laughter.
It was over before any of them knew what happened,
not even Tristabella. Ernie and Billy found themselves lying on their backs,
stars flying before their eyes. Tristabella had no idea how she had done it,
but she had taken them both out at once, perhaps out of pure blind rage.
"It... it was just a Slorg!" Ernie choked out.
His friend appeared to be unconscious.
"Slorgs have feelings, too," she replied coldly.
This was how it all began, the moment Tristabella's
life would change forever more. The Slorg, it transpired, was not harmed at
all. She had found him later, oozing happily by some spilled NeoCracker crumbles.
But from that day on, Tristabella knew her life's
path. She wanted to study and care for Slorgs.
And the day had finally arrived. Years after
her first Slorg encounter, Tristabella was indeed a scientist on the Virtupets
Space Station -- although, 'mad scientist' might be a more fitting title. She
worked as a lab researcher for an obscure (and slightly shady) company in an
obscure room of the station, recording numbers and data that was utterly meaningless.
However, she had her own research project to
keep her occupied. In an even more obscure part of an already obscure room,
she had her research equipment set up. Some might say her goal was impressive,
just to be nice. Others would simply call her mad. Tristabella Togglepinn wanted
to hear a Slorg's thoughts.
She had known for some time that the creatures
thought about more things than they are generally given credit for. She wanted
to hear it herself, and share the gift of Slorgthoughts and Slorgspeak with
She had placed Slorgwell on a circular metallic
disk the size of a cheese wheel, where he sat patiently, his mouth slightly
open. His huge, goggling eyes followed Tristabella as she paced about, checking
computer screens, pressing buttons, and double-checking said computer screens,
muttering to herself all the while.
He opened his mouth a bit more as she walked
near him. He made an indistinct gurgling sound in his throat as she slipped
a small, cold metal collar over his head, tightening it slightly around his
neck. He continued to goggle at her.
Tristabella flipped yet another switch. At last,
she removed her glasses, wiping them on her I <3 Slorgs T-shirt before setting
them on top of another computer terminal.
She placed something similar to an H4000 helmet
on her own head. The static electricity buzzing from the helmet caused her fur
to stand slightly on end, giving her an even more twisted look. Slorgwell continued
smiling in his happy, Slorgful way.
"You ready?" she cackled, her eyes popping excitedly.
"Are you ready? It's time!" she laughed in a slightly mad and somewhat menacing
Tristabella could not wear her glasses while
the experiment was being conducted. The frames were made of metal, and would
seriously interfere with the equipment's program. Unfortunately, Tristabella
was not nearsighted, which would have been much less of a problem; no, she was
farsighted, a much rarer condition, in which the viewer can see things far away
perfectly well, but has trouble seeing what is right in front of their nose.
She couldn't read the small words etched near the various switches, but she
thought, though, that she had pressed the right button..
Nobody is entirely sure what happened. The light from the blast was seen from
the surface of Neopia itself. Yet, from the smoking rubble of room 2448, two
figures emerged unhurt: one very confused looking pink Slorg, and one slightly
drooling blue Zafara.
And that week, every sketchy tabloid in Neopia
had the same headline: "Mysterious Explosion on the Space Station! Zafara Switches
Brains with Slorg".