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- Today's Petpet Spotlight -
Petpet Name: Lackmus
It was a stressful day for Arsenique, this rainy monday in June! Not only had her owner, Kernspalt, brought this strange new
petpet into the house, no, he also had run off into town only minutes later to show off his new "avatar", (whatever this
was) leaving his Darigan Aisha alone with his new acquisition and the words: "Please keep an eye on it, the thing's expensive
and I want to resell it in top condition!".
"Keep an eye on it!"
As if Arsenique, who had looked forward to a quiet and productive evening in her underground laboratory, had any choice but to
keep constant watch over the little catlike creature!
Not only had the nervous petpet, which a short research had proven to be called a "Meowclops", the nasty tendency to jump on
shelves, run through the fragile scientific equipment and pounce on the various stuffed animals and dried reagents that
littered the alchemical workspace.
No, to add insult to injury, the one-eyed critter was horribly lacking in depth perception, every few minutes leaping to short
or to far and sending rare ingredients and shattered glassware flying all over the room!
Right now the Aisha had her glowing red eyes, which were becoming dangerously narrow in the last hours, fixed on a page of an
old manuscript written in a particularly scrawly handwriting, determined to ignore the occasional crashes, thumps and meows
that echoed from her workspace.
"I hope the little beast breaks its neck, at least then I can say it's not been my fault", she mumbled to herself, and added
"But if this goes on, I cannot promise I won't help a bit with that... Well, at least my potion is safe, not even this pest
would be stupid enough to touch a boiling hot iron cauldron!"
But only a few pages later, it happened: A sharp crack, the sound of shattering glass, followed by a buzzing, humming sound
that grew loader and louder.
"Oh no, let that not be my..." called Arsenique, jumping up from her desk and landing in the middle of the stone floor in one
But already a cloud of fat, dark green flies was swarming out of the dark corner where all the more expensive ingredients were
stored, the almost thumb-sized insects zooming through the room and crawling over walls, ceiling and furniture.
The enraged Aisha crossed the room, her paws sweeping two flies out of the air in mid-leap, and with claws screeching on the
granite tiles came to an halt in front of the lab table.
Right there, balanced precariously on a swaying board over the bubbling cauldron, engulfed in a cloud of angry buzzing flies,
stood the panicked Meowclops. Directly in front of it were the remains of a large broken glass jar, its checkered cover ripped
open and the little paper with the word "Flies" still tied to it.
Before Arsenique could do anything, one of the biggest flies dodged the flailing paws of the petpet, and connected with the
center of the Meowclops' huge yellow eye.
Letting out a painful yelp, the petpet jumped backwards, all paws flailing, and hit the surface of the bubbling potion with a
splash that showered table, room, and owner with sticky drops of multicolored ooze.
The rickety shelf, suddenly relieved of its heavy load, creaked once, tipped, and then followed the Meowclops into the
cauldron, taking half a dozen of jars, bottles and vials with it and sending another wave of hot liquid and thick smoke
through the room.
"Noooo... My Jar of Flies, my Slorg Flakes, my Gnome Shrooms, my POTION!" howled Arsenique, waving her paws to clear the
choking smoke that filled the air, "And the stupid critter! Kernspalt will be furious!"
Determined to save what could be saved, she rushed to the table, alarmed by the sudden silence from her ward.
"Shleeow...rg?" came a tiny voice from behind the curtain of smoke, a sound like a kitten that tried to meow with a mouth full
From out of the chaos of broken glass, splinters of wood, shards of pottery and, in the middle of it, the big iron cauldron
lying on its side peered a shy yellow eye.
"Oh thank God! You're still al... what?!" Instead of the catlike shape the Aisha remembered, the body in her hands was
...shapeless somehow, like a cuddly sock made of fur. Tiny front claws rubbed against the Aishas body, and a long soft body
wrapped around her arm.
The familiar, big yellow eye looked at Arsenique sleepily, and with a low purring sound, the petpet started lapping at a blob
of liquid that clung to the long dark fur of the Neopet.
"What in all Neopia happened to you? Oh no, the Slorg Flakes!" The searching eyes of the Aisha quickly found what she was
looking for among the rubble: A spotted green bottle, half of its content spilled into the overflowing cauldron.
"And what are you now?", asked Arsenique, holding the strange creature at arm's length before her.
"You're not a Slorg, that much is for sure, but not a Mewclops either... A Slorgclops perhaps?"
The little petpet gurgled approvingly and rubbed against the Aisha's shoulder, only to start lapping up more of the potion
"A little gourmet, are we? At least I guess you won't be jumping around any more!" she added, with a long look at the
Slorgclops' snail-like foot, and was answered with a little "Hick!" that released a small bubble from the mouth of the
"And, how is my expensive potion you ruined? Tasty?"
Instead of an answer, the petpet curled itself together in Arseniques arms, and its soggy greenish fur slowly changed color to
a deep, ruby red.
"Oh - How did you do that? That's interesting... and useful! I think I will keep you, little bugger. Now you only need a
The thoughtful gaze of the Aisha fell on a heap of little paper strips, thoroughly soaked by the potion and tinted in a
multitude of reds and blues.
"Lackmus... I think I will call you "Lackmus", how does that sound?"
But the Slorgclops was already snoring peacefully, oblivious to the smoke, chaos and hum of the dozens of flies that were
still lazily buzzing through the room.
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