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- Today's Pet Spotlight -
Pet Name: Ekdippa
We think of Grundos as dim-witted pathetic creatures that deserve nothing more than our pity, right? Wrong.
Today I will tell you a story about a grundo that is undoubtedly one of the smartest, bravest and most admirable
creatures on Neopia.
Ekdippa was a little grundo, barely two years old. One day he was playing in the field with the other children when a
shadow passed over him in the sky. He looked up in alarm to see dark machine-like shapes hovering over his village.
The machines made him very, very scared (Ekdippa was, after all, only two years old). With a loud yelp he ran towards
his village and the comfort of his mother's arms. Ekdippa ran as fast as his little grundo-baby legs would carry him
over the fields. He ran till his breath came in short gasps and his legs burned from their exertions. But it was too late.
By the time he reached the Grundo Village, most of the houses were in flames. Robots painted black and red marched up
and down, searching the rubble for survivors. It turned out that the machines were Dr. Sloth's slaver ships, come down to
abduct new slaves. Suddenly, another full-grown grundo stepped out of one of the houses! Ekdippa was about to run towards
him when he realized that this grundo was holding a mean-looking blaster gun, and was dressed in the same uniform as the
evil robots. Ekdippa shrank back towards one of the walls, and crouched there, shaking and shivering in terror. The evil
grundos and robots searched and searched the village but they couldn't get little Ekdippa because he was so little and so
well hidden. A few hours later the ships took off, carrying the newly enslaved villagers towards the Space Station. All
that was left in the once-happy village was smoking rubble and one little grundo baby. This was the last time Ekdippa ever
saw his mother, and it is rumored that she died a few weeks later in a slave camp.
Two-year-old Ekdippa did not know much about revenge or evil, but he grew up very quickly that day. Tears streamed down
his eyes as he plodded around the ruins of his village, hungry and alone. Raising a fist to the sky he vowed that one day
he would find his people, and free them from slavery. It might seem odd to you and me, that a little baby might swear something
like this, but Ekdippa was an exceptional little child, as we were to learn later.
For the next decade Ekdippa roamed the wilderness of the grundo home planet, and by some miracle he survived and grew stronger.
One evening as the teen-aged Ekdippa made his way quietly over the forest floor, he noticed smoke in the distance. He crept up
to the source of that smoke and found another Grundo Village! But the slavers were there and they were dosing the villagers with
sleep-gas to subdue them. At the sight of his old enemies Ekdippa's eyes grew large with hatred and anger. His pupils glowed red
and the years of silent training in the wilderness kicked in. Snarling, he ran towards the village, and ducked into one of the
slave-pens. Masquerading as a sleep-gassed villager, Ekdippa was lifted into the air and taken into the cargo-bay of the Slave
Ship. Unfortunately, his plan did not go smoothly. They sleep-gassed the prisoners again, and Ekdippa passed out.
Ekdippa's eyes opened in the darkness. His hands and feet were chained to a cold metal wall. Black despair overwhelmed
our little grundo, and he started sobbing softly (He was, after all, only thirteen years old).
"Hush, hush, little one," said a kind voice from the other side of the cell.
"Wh...Who are you?" asked Ekdippa.
"Who I am is not important. Are you hurt child?"
"No!" sobbed Ekdippa.
"There, there love. Hush now," the voice replied. The voice was kind and full of love like a beam of starlight. Hearing something
so comforting in the darkness, Ekdippa could not hold back. He choked out his story between sobs while the stranger comforted him
with words. "You are very brave little one," said the voice. "Are you prepared to fight Dr. Sloth even if you die?"
"Yes!" said the brave little grundo, "I swore I would!"
"Very well. I have enough power left in me to release your shackles. You must make your way out of this area and onto the ship's
control-deck. There you must deactivate the force field that holds me. Are you willing to do this?" asked the voice.
"I am ready," said Ekdippa with great determination. With a dull, metallic clang, his shackles dropped open, and the cell was
flooded with light. The source of the light was a woman imprisoned inside a shimmering curtain (the force field). Ekdippa gasped.
He had never seen something so beautiful! She was a mythical faerie! Her wings were made of purest starlight, and her space suit
was as black as deepest space. The faerie smiled.
"Yes, little one. I am the Space Faerie. If you manage to release me, I can destroy Dr. Sloth. That is why he imprisoned me.
If you save me then all your people will be free." Ekdippa was speechless with awe. Bobbing his antennae, he stepped out of
To make a long story short, Ekdippa found the control-room of the ship with ease, because he was a smart little grundo, and
Dr. Sloth liked to give directions to everything. The trouble started when he reached the bridge. Hundreds of evil-looking
mutants were manning the stations, and thousands of little buttons were flashing on and off. Which one would free the Space
Faerie? And how could he get by without being noticed. Suddenly, a tall figure cloaked in a black cloak stepped out of a
room. Ekdippa hid against one of the titanium bulkheads, and listened.
"Have you checked the Space Faerie?"
"All is secure, great Dr. Sloth!"
"Good. Make sure nobody gets near that button!" commanded Dr. Sloth, pointing to a black button labeled "Force Field". Ekdippa
almost laughed - of course! But there was no way he could push that button without alerting everybody. Dr. Sloth would see him
if he tried, and kill him. There was only one way.
"My life means nothing if my people are saved," murmured Ekdippa softly. Bracing himself for the killing stroke, he launched
himself across the room.
"Hey!" shouted Dr. Sloth, pointing a laser-gun at Ekdippa's fleeting form.
"Almost...there" gasped Ekdippa. He pressed the force-field button at the same time Dr. Sloth pressed the trigger of the
laser-gun. Then everything went black.
He hurt all over. His throat felt raw, and he had trouble breathing. But he was alive! Ekdippa opened his eyes, fearing the
worst. He was laying on a soft bed, surrounded by cool, clean air. Ekdippa tried to sit up.
"Ekdippa!" exclaimed a voice to his right.
"Space Faerie?" asked Ekdippa in a hoarse voice. "My people?"
"All are saved Ekdippa, all because of you. I destroyed Dr. Sloth the second you released me."
"Oh!" sighed Ekdippa, and looked down. His eyes grew wide with astonishment. "Why is my whole body full of stars?" Ekdippa
asked in awe.
"I couldn't get there in time to deflect the whole laser beam from Dr. Sloth's gun," replied the Space Faerie, "You were
badly burnt. So I used one of my most powerful Magic Wands to give you a new skin. You are a hero, Ekdippa! You are the
grundo that saved the world!"
And this is how the real story goes, the one that the newspapers didn't get. After all the excitement was over, Ekdippa
realized that he couldn't stay with the Space Faerie forever - he was just a little child, and he needed somebody to care
for him and love him. So, Ekdippa went out looking for a friend, and he found me. Now Ekdippa is my most beloved pet, a pet
blessed by the Space Faerie herself. The smartest and bravest grundo alive. The Grundo that saved Neopia.
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