Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 81,826,882 Issue: 154 | 20th day of Hiding, Y6
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For the Love of Slorgs


by lemonkitty13

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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 the Slorg.

     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 pet good!"

     "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 the world.

     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 way.

     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".

The End

 
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