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Spare a vote for Rose?
Once a smart, young assistant to the esteemed Dr Valus, Dr Rose Vandegaard was reported missing after she failed to show up for work after three days of absence.
Reports have been sent about her sightings in amongst the marketplace of Neovia, but they remain false as the Ixi thought to be her bears only a slight resemblance in appearance. The Ixi in question knew nothing about a Doctor Vandegaard, and though seemingly polite and helpful, offers no resolve to finding this missing person.
Now now, Mr Carter, if you don't take your medicine, you'll never get better. The tan Ixi said soothingly to the Grarrl. The Grarrl looked up at her with hopeful eyes, and then looked back at the tablets, before obediently placing them in his mouth and swallowing. The Ixi smiled and turned back to the tray of medicines.
See, that wasn't so hard, was it? she said. I know it might taste awful, but it will make you feel a lot better. I'll be back tomorrow to check on your progress. Try to stay out of trouble! she said, teasingly. The Grarrl turned away and sat on his bed, watching the winter leaves blow in the wind from his barred win-dow.
The Ixi sighed. They were never very talkative. She quietly exited the room and locked the door behind her. Waiting outside the next room was another doctor, peering through the cell door and writing something in his notebook. He looked up at the Ixi as she walked over.
How is Mrs Fleming today, Dr Valus? she asked, peering into the cell. She placed her tray on a nearby table and started picking up different bottles of medicine, Until resting her eyes upon a long blue bottle, labelled 'MARTHA FLEMING'. She shook the bottle and headed back towards the door.
Valus looked up from his clipboard. She seems rather docile today, Rose. Perhaps only give her half a dose of medicine today? She nodded, and entered the room, locking the door behind her. Valus stood back, watching the Ixi from behind the cell door. He turned the page on his clipboard and began writing down the details for the next patient. Walking over to the next cell, he peered through the window, only to find the lights had been switched off. The room was completely dark, except for the window, which seemed to have been opened. Valus flipped the lightswitch on but nothing had happened. The lights must have been broken from inside.
Valus looked down at his clipboard. It was the room of patient #8365, a Quiggle by the name of Iquitenos. Admitted to the sanitorium for advanced paranoia, no history of violent behaviour. Rose closed the door to the previous patient, and hurried over to Valus.
Rose, I'm just going to enter this patient's room. he said cautiously. If something is the matter, I'll need you to call security right away. If I don't come out of the cell in a few minutes, please get help.
Rose looked concerned. Dr Valus, are you sure-
I'll be fine he said assuringly. The lights probably just need repairing.
He handed Rose his clipboard and pulled the door handle, walking slowly into the room.
The autumn breeze whistled as it whipped through the cell. The moonlight shone through the window, illuminating the contents of the cell in a dim glow. Valus walked over to the window and peered through it, his eyes resting on the ground some 50 metres below. There was no way a Quiggle could have survived such a fall.
Still wasting your time in this pit, Valus? came a voice from behind the door. Valus spun around to face a Green Ixi, tall and lanky, wearing a tattered doctors' coat. Valus' eyes widened as he saw who it was.
Theorem..? he stammered.. stepping back. You're alive.. !?
The Ixi snorted. Of course. Oh, and don't go worrying about that Quiggle. I'm taking care of him now. You might have heard from the news occassionally that I'm still practicing my medicine.
Valus thought for a moment. Last week in the news, there had been an article about a Flotsam found wandering the streets, covered in flames, yet no amount of water could quench him. The Flotsam was constantly in pain, and his flesh was being burnt right off his bones. He had to be rushed to the healing springs, but as soon as his skin was healed, the flames ignited again. There was only one cure for the poor creature.
Valus was shocked. That Flotsam in the news.. ?
One of my finest works, really. The Green Ixi chuckled. Of course, I had to set him loose on the streets, otherwise he would have burnt my laboratory to the ground. I have much better plans for this patient you've given me though.
Valus stopped. Theorem, this patient is mentally unstable. He needs help, not to be tortured like some experiment! he said. He rested his hands on his forehead, trying to grasp the concept. He looked up. Were you responsible for that poor Zafara they found last year?
Oh! Yes! Theorem said happily. Wasn't it amazing? That Zafara was fully able to live underwater. The gills were a bit hard to-
He was found rotting in the streets!
Theorem smirked. It's not my problem if the patient is too stupid to realise that they can't live above the water anymore.
Valus frowned. But the river doesn't flow along that district! It's on the other side of town! He couldn't possibly have gotten to the water in time..!
Theorem smiled evilly.
But that's enough about me, old friend. How goes the wife and children? he asked. I'm sure I could improve their lives greatly is you'd just let me visit them once in a while..
The cell door opened, and Rose walked in with Valus' clipboard.
Dr Valus, I just wanted to make sure everything was alright, you said to call secu- Oh! she said, noticing the Green Ixi, who scowled at her. Valus immediately walked between the two and rest his hands on Rose's shoulders.
Rose he said, I'd like you to remain calm. Rose looked confused, and tried to glance back at the Green Ixi. Valus stopped her and stared her in the eyes.
Dr Valus, what is going on? she said, concerned. Valus remained calm, but serious.
Everything is alright. I want to you go back to the prescriptions counter, and ask the nurse for some Hissi Oil for the next patient. I'll join you in your rounds shortly. He said.
But, Dr Valus..
Please Rose. I just need to finish this conversation, and I'll be right with you.
Rose nodded, and walked out the room, giving one last glance at the Green Ixi. She closed the door behind her, and her footsteps echoed as she walked calmly down the halls at a quick walking pace.
She's nice. Theorem quipped. Almost too nice. Just what does she assist you with, anyway?
Valus shot a look back at him. Rose is a just a nurse. She does rounds with me and-
Whatever. Theorem cut in. I don't care. But she's got an attitude about her. You might want to fix that. he smiled. Or Better yet, I could fix that. he said, laughing. After I treat your your dear family first. What was your wife's name..? he said teasingly. Sally, wasn't it?
Don't you ever go near my family! Valus barked. If I so even see you touch a hair on their heads..!
Oh please. What would you do? Theorem laughed. Suddenly his eyes widened slightly and his eyes darted back to the door. We don't use Hissi Oil to cure patients.. he stated.
Yes. Dr Valus said, regaining his composure and fixing his glasses. We use it as code in a security breach.
Suddenly a loud siren began wailing. The sounds of heavy footsteps and doors slamming could be heard echoing down the halls, growing louder.
Theorem looked back at Valus, somewhat unimpressed. And here I thought we were having such a wonderful time together. he said. But It seems it's time for me to leave.
The Ixi started heading towards the window, but Valus lunged towards him. the Ixi dodged, and picked up a nearby chair and swung it at Valus. The impact sent him sailing against the wall, and Valus fell to the ground, barely retaining his consciousness. He clutched his stomach and looked back at the window, Only to see Theorems' face as his brown scarf flowed gently in the breeze. He watched as The Green Ixi looked back and smiled at him. I'd want to keep a close eye on the ones you care about he said. It would be horrible to never see them again.
Valus tried to move towards the window, but the green Ixi was already gone. moments later, security burst through the doors.
Three days later, Valus stood outside the Sanitorium once more. He had taken the last few days off, and stayed home with his family, keeping a close watch on them. In fact, he'd still be at home if his wife hadn't insisted he think about returning to work. Valus sighed. A few more hours and he would be able to return home again, to be with his family.
He stepped through the front doors and walked up to the front desk, exchanging polite smiles with his colleagues and nodding to the patients. He stepped up to the front desk. A Purple Bruce sat behind the counter and greeted him.
Ah, Dr Valus! so good to see you again! she said happily. How have you been? How is the pain? she said, looking him up and down.
Valus smiled. I'm fine, thanks Brenda, I'd really just like to get this shift over and done with for today. Could you tell me where I'm working tonight?
Brenda smiled sweetly, looking down at her papers and running a line with her finger along a table.
Oh! she said. I know this is a bit sudden, but you'll be working in the psychiatric wing again tonight. Is that alright? I can have security escort you..
No, That's fine. Dr Valus said. I'm sure Rose and I won't have any troubles.
The Bruce frowned. Oh, I'm sorry Dr Valus, but Rose isn't working with you tonight. She hasn't been to work today..
Dr Valus looked up. Rose.. ?
Tell me, Brenda, when was the last time Rose came in to work?
The Bruce flipped through some paperwork. Hmm.. not since.. oh! not since we had the little incident three days ago. Actually, she had a work shift yesterday, but she never showed up. she said, looking at Dr Valus. Do you know if she is okay?
Valus closed his eyes and shook his head. No, Brenda.. I don't think she is".
It had been three months since the police had searched Rose's apartment. Of course, she was nowhere to be found - the police suggested that she hadn't even returned home from work that night. Valus blamed himself. He could have done something to ensure her safety as well as his family's. He sat oustide the cafe, watching pets of all species walk through the grocery market across the street. He sipped his coffee. Rose's family had been flown in for the memorial service, And he and his wife and children had attended. Of course, it was only a memorial service, as police were still searching for her. Most of her family had given up hope. Valus didn't know what to beleive himself. Undoubtedly it was the work of Charles Theorem. Valus shuddered to think of what could have happened to Rose as he took another sip from his coffee. He told the police that he had once again sighted the once proud Dr Theorem, but more focus was being put towards finding Rose. After all, the community was far more concerned with finding an innocent victim than a dangerous criminal. Most of them had already forgotten that Charles Theorem was still on the loose.
Suddenly, Valus saw a flash of tan from the corner of his eye. He looked back across the street to the market, where in amongst the vibrant coloured fruits and townspeople he saw... could it be?
He hurried from his table across to the market. He weaved in and out of the marketplace and people , with his eyes fixed on her. She was standing at a fruit stall, her back turned. Valus couldn't see her face, as she was wearing a large black hat. Why was she at the marketplace?
Rose! Valus said happily as he put his hand on the womans' shoulder. The tan Ixi turned around and stared at him happily. Valus sighed. She was back. It was Rose.
The Ixi stared at him rather cluelessly. I'm sorry. she said, smiling. Do I know you?
Valus frowned. Rose.. it's me. Dr Valus. What are you doing in the marketplace? Why are you- he said, lifting his hand up off her shoulder, knocking her hat to the ground. He picked it up, and handed it back to her, looking horrified.
There, in amongst her sleek blue hair, were horrid scars, running like fault lines across her head. Valus leant to examine them, but the Ixi quickly put her hat back on and fixed her hair up.
Rose... Valus stammered. What.. what has he done to you?
The tan Ixi dusted off her dress and smiled back at him. I'm really very sorry. she said. But I think you must have me confused with someone else, I don't know who you are. What was your name again? she said, smiling. Valor or something, wasn't it?
Anyway, I'd love to stop and chat, but, well, I have quite a few errands to do today, I've got the groceries, the pastries, the mechanic's.. she said, trailing off. She picked up several fruits from the stall and paid for them. Placing them in her basket, she turned back to Valus and smiled. ..so I am sorry, but we'll have to continue this conversation another time. she said. She piled her basket and handbag onto the one arm and stuck her hand out. Oh! I am Rose, by the way. Pleased to meet you! she said, shaking hands. In the distance, a clock struck 11, it's bells chiming in the distance. The Ixi's eyes widened. Oh! I'm running late again! He doesn't like it when I'm late.. she said, walking off, smiling. Oh, and I hope you have a great day! It was nice meeting you!
Valus stood in disbeleif, watching her make her way through the crowd. He looked down at his hand, still outstretched from shaking hers. Did she truly not recognise him?
What had Theorem done?
That was more of like a summary of Rose's story as seen through the eyes of Dr. Valus. Now we start Rose's story.
(in case no-one could tell :'D)
The gentle autumn breeze of the afternoon had turned into vicious gusts as Rose hurried home. Work had finished early that day, but it was still very late in the evening. Feeling a cold breeze against her cheeks, Rose hugged her jacket and quickened her pace. She had heard from the newspaper that a storm was expected tonight.
In the distance, Rose could hear the town clock chiming; it was definitely late at night. The streets that were usually bustling during the day were deserted, and she was the only one around. Ever so rarely, the moon would peek out from behind the clouds, and illuminate the otherwise pitch dark streets. Alone with her thoughts, she reflected back on the incident at work.
Dr Valus had seemed so calm about it all. Apparently he had worked with the green Ixi - the police told her that his name was Charles Theorem - several years ago. There was some incident back then, as well, and Theorem had gotten himself in trouble, but that was all she knew. When she saw him at the sanitorium, she could tell from that breif moment that there was something wrong with him. His eyes, his demeanour, his tatty clothes; all similar to that of the patients inside the hospital. And then, what he had done to Valus! Not just the bruises, but even after the police had arrived, he was still rather shaken from the whole ordeal. The police were going to escort him home and keep watch on his family, because apparently Theorem had made threats about them. Rose had tried to reassure Valus to calm him down. After the police has investigated the sanitorium, they were going to start searching. Theorem was probably going to be caught by morning.
Rose was stopped in her thoughts by the sound of glass breaking in the distance, probably a few streets away. Though it was probably the wind simply blowing something over, the fear in the back of her mind began to grow. Rose quickened her pace. Theorem might be dangerous, but the shadow of night still invited a number of unsavoury characters. At night, it was safer indoors. Rose hurried past the string of closed shops and turned a corner. Not daring to step into the shadows, Rose kept to the dim light under the lampposts. Her apartment was still a few blocks away.
After a while, she forgot about the noise, and began to slow down. Thinking herself silly for worrying so, her thoughts turned to her agenda for the rest of her week. Apart from work, and grocery shopping at the market on friday, she didn't have any plans. She did have a backlog of medical journals to read, so perhaps she could just stay home all weekend. She sighed as she walked past a petpet shop. Perhaps she should get a petpet to keep her company. Then again, if the pot plants at home were anything to go by, she probably shouldn't be looking after anything alive.
Rose's ears perked up as she could hear the sound of crunching gravel in the distance. Someone was walking along the bitumen, somewhere not too far behind her. Rose gave a quick glance, but she could see nothing behind her. Fear returning, Rose hurried down the street. She could still hear the footsteps, but every time she turned around to look, there was nothing there.
It was when the footsteps started to increase their pace and get closer that Rose really started to get scared. She could hear them, coming closer, until she could swear there must have been someone not a metre behind her. She could hear deep breaths as the footsteps began to catch up to hers. When she could no longer keep up her pace, she stopped and turned around, covering her face with her hands, expecting the worst.
But there was nothing. There was nothing except for the empty street behind her. She looked in several directions, and let her hands down. She shook her head. Maybe it was all her imagination? her mind playing tricks because of what happened at work. After she had a good night's rest, she would probably be fine the next day.
Brushing herself off, and taking a few deep breaths, Rose gave another glance around. She was about to start walking again, when out of the corner of her eye, she saw something that required a second look.
she turned back to look in the shop -blocked- Staring back at her was her own reflection..
.. And Mr Theorem, who was standing behind her.
Rose spun around and there he was, right in front of her. She looked up at him in fear, his eyes staring back at her with an evil smile that sent chills down her spine. Rose stepped back in surprise, taking a few moments to realise the danger of the situation, and then quickly ran down the street and turned into an alleyway, not looking back. She hid up against the wall behind some crates and waited in the shadows, hoping that he had not seen her and would walk past. She tried to keep quiet, but she was so exhausted from running, every breath she took was more of a gasp. She covered her mouth with her hand. She wanted to call out for help, but who could hear her at this hour? Only Theorem would.
After a few moments of waiting in silence, she looked around for something she could use to defend herself, if the situation called for it. Spotting a trashcan several feet away, she took another glance towards the street. The wind blew a newspaper across the street, but there was no sign of Theorem. Pausing a few moments longer, Rose quickly slid over to it. She picked up the trashcan lid - it was light, but it could act as a good shield. She peered into the trashcan, but it was full of foodscraps. Taking the trashcan lid, Rose turned back to the crates, but she was no longer alone in the alleyway. Standing there, in front of her once again, was Mr Theorem. His mouth once again curled into a twisted smile.
Rose awoke suddenly to the feeling of the cold water against her face. She soon realized that she was immersed in water, and immediately began struggling to reach air. Her hands were tied down with rope, and there seemed to be a glass wall surrounding her - behind which stood a Green Ixi.
This didn't make any sense - How did she get here? she tried to reach out but she could barely move her hands. She was stuck, and she was drowning. Worse still, the space she was in seemed very small, and the cylinder seemed to be full to the brim with water.
She tried to cry out for help, but with each breath she took, more water filled her lungs. She looked back at the Green Ixi with confusion and terror, and watched as he shook his head, and walked over to a machine, and began pressing some buttons and turning dials. As Rose slowly began to lose consciousness, she could make out the blurry figure of the Ixi walk back up to the glass wall, and give her a disappointed look.
You're not ready yet.
Skip a few chapters here
It was early morning as Rose moved about her aquarium. It wasn't a very big space at all, perhaps only larger than a cupboard, so there was barely enough room to move around, but Rose enjoyed the feel of moving water against her scales. She moved to the top of the aquarium and peeked out from behind the glass. The underground room was dark, as Mr Theorem hadn't begun work yet, but she could hear sounds coming from upstairs - he was probably having breakfast. Rose looked across the room towards a Mynci who was asleep on a chair. He was strapped down, of course, for his own protection, and soon Mr Theorem would come downstairs to start working on him.
The Mynci had seemed like a nice fellow; when Mr Theorem wasn't around, she would talk to him. He was a chimneysweep, and he had found one of Mr Theorem's flyers on the street one day. He was trying to earn enough money to buy an apartment downtown, and the flyer promised a big reward. Of course, Rose didn't have the heart to tell him that there was no money involved, and she hoped that soon the Mynci would be able to see Mr theorem's work -as- his reward. But of course, Mr Theorem hadn't finished working on him yet.
Rose smiled, and turned to the wall. Resting her head in her hands, she watched the feet of people aboveground going about their day. It was easy to tell who they were; Ladies of high society always wore gowns and dresses that covered their feet; the younger women seemed to wear brighter colours, while the older women wore dresses colours of rich browns, greys and sepias. And the gentlemen wore shoes with buckles on them; brown shoes meant someone of middle class, while the black, brightly polished shoes always belonged to someone wealthy. Children wore small shoes, while people with less money wore tattered, hand-me-down shoes, or sometimes even no shoes at all.
Rose looked beyond the immediate footpath. There was little else to see from the small window, but she was able to see a lamppost and a road further back. and if she sank further down in her aquarium, she could see buildings on the other side of the road. It was an awkward position for her to float in, but it meant she got to see the people - not just their shoes - going about their lives. It was as though the window acted as her own little peep-hole into a world that was separated from her.
The Mynci across the room groaned as he began to wake up. Happily, Rose turned and greeted him.
Goodmorning! she said, cheerfully. How are you today, Mr Ayxman?
The Mynci groaned, and moved to raise his arm, but it was strapped down. Waking up a bit more, he opened his eyes and looked over at Rose. I... I'm still here.. he stammered.
Oh yes, of course! Rose said. Mr Theorem said he was going to work on you today as well. Isn't that exciting?
No, please.. The Mynci began. I just want to go home now. I don't want to do this anymore.
Oh, but we had an agreement, came a voice from near the staircase. The Mynci turned to face the green Ixi, and as their eyes met, Rose could see the fear in his eyes. Well, she would have, but of course, she was too busy admiring Mr Theorem. He had come down to continue his work.
Oh, Goodmorning Mr Theorem! She said, a smile beaming across her face. How are you today?
Ignoring her, he continued. If you remember correcly, Mr Ayxman, he said calmly, you agreed to this experimentation.
But.. I didn't know! he said. I want to stop! Please, let me go! he turned to Rose for help, but she simply stopped smiling. There wasn't much she could do anyway, being stuck in an aquarium. Feeling almost insulted, she folded her arms whipped her head around back to the -blocked-
You knew full well that once we entered this agreement, there was no chance of stopping before we had finished. Theorem said, still calmly, but no longer with any empathy. He moved to another bench and began picking out a number of instruments, and writing things down in a tattered leatherbound book.
But what...? what do you want with me? what are you going to do to me that you haven't already? Please, I just want to go home...
Theorem, now getting irritated, closed his book and walked over to the Mynci. You know Rose.. he said aloud, his back to the aquarium. Her arms still crossed, Rose turned her head. They always ask questions. They're always so curious. He said, picking up a bottle of green liquid. Maybe I should gag the next one.
It had been a few hours after Mr Theorem decided to rest for the day. The outside world had gotten dark, and the dim light coming from the lamppost outside illuminated the patch of pavement Rose watched. Of course, it was the same pattern of routine every day. In the morning, there would be a lot of feet walking along the pavement, as everyone was heading off to work. When Rose could hear the clock tower chiming three times, the amount of feet began to decrease, as those already awake were at work, while only a couple stayed to go out during the day. People would walk by with baskets full of fruit and vegetables from the market, which, judging by the directions people were walking, was somewhere north. Lunchtime would mean more feet walking about, as the people working went on their lunchbreaks, and it wouldn't be busy like that again until sunset, when the sky outside turned everything a beautiful orange, and when it became dark, Rose was lucky to see any feet at all. At night, it was safer indoors.
The Mynci, who had since been given something to make him sleep, was resting in the chair once more. Rose had turned from the window during the day, every now and then, to observe Mr Theorem working. She could tell that the Mynci would be aching when he next woke up, but it also meant that he would be able to go home soon. In the outside world.
Mr Theorem, however, was sitting at one of the benches, writing something in his notebook, pausing every now and then to grab one of the medical books, flip through it's pages, read a paragraph, and continue writing. Rarely, he would get up from his bench and re-write something on the blackboard, but Rose didn't understand what any of it meant; Mr Theorem hadn't been kind enough to give Rose much of an education. She tried not to talk to him, because she knew he liked to work in peace, but she did get bored. Every now and then she would say something, and on a rare ocassion, he would actually reply, though it was usually to correct her. Rose gave a quick glance back to her -blocked- She had been thinking about this all day. Biting her lip, she moved up to the surface of the tank, leaning against the edge of her aquarium.
The Green Ixi did not flinch.
Rose moved her tail about anxiously. Mr Theorem.. she said, louder, in a more confident voice.
The green Ixi finished writing on a page in his book, and flipped the page over and continued. What, Rose. he said, in a bored voice, not really asking.
It's just.. she murmured, giving a quick glance to the -blocked- Well, I was wondering... she said, looking over at him. He was still engrossed in his work. Rose became unimpressed with his behaviour, but Mr Theorem was always like that.
I was wondering. She said, in her confident voice. What is to become of me? I mean, what will happen to me now?
I treated you like the rest of my creations, Rose. He said. After I worked on you, there were no more plans.
But.. she said. I mean, so I am I going to live my whole life in this aquarium? I mean.. ! she said, not thinking about what she was saying. I mean, I wouldn't mind living here, it's just that... she said, running her fingers through her hair. It had been a few months, but she could still feel the scars. Did you know anything about me when you found me?
No. Theorem said, almost like clockwork. How many times do I have to repeat myself. I found you unconscious on the street. he said. You had a large injury on your head. I took you here to fix you.
Rose smiled. And then you fixed my head, but not my memories...
Theorem frowned, still writing in his book. Memories are stored in your head, Rose. He said, as if explaining to a child. Your head was very damaged, so I couldn't fix your memories..
But.. Rose said, looking down at her tail. But if I have to live in water, how did you find me in the street?
Theorem paused for a moment, as if searching for the answer. Had he hesitated another moment longer, Rose would have gotten curious, but his sinister mind did work fast under pressure.
Beleive me, Rose. He said. I was quite surprised to find you like that. Even though there is a river in town, your lungs are only adapted to salt water. There is no-one else like you in Neovia.
Alive, anyway. He thought to himself, but that was besides the point.
But.. Rose said. Surely I must have lived somewhere, or had some posessions.. she began. Or even... a friend.
Theorem scowled. This had been about the fourth time she had brought that up. She was lonely, she wanted to be social. It was only a matter of time before she'd want to get out of the lab. Keeping her isloated down here, even close to the window! almost as a way of teasing her (which, of course, Theorem didn't mind, until it became all she talked about). Of course she'd want to get out of the aquarium. Now she was going to complain about how she probably wants to go out and live with the people outside. Calming himself, he turned back to his notebook. People of such low intelligence were so easy to read.
It's the people in the outside world. Rose said. They're all so fascinating. The things they must talk about, the way they act around each other, the different things they wear.. she said. I'm sure they do in a day, what I could never accomplish in a lifetime living in this aquarium. she said, again forgetting herself. Which I love, you know, I do love my aquarium! she said, nervously. She didn't like it when Mr Theorem got angry at her.
It's just.. she said. I want to go out there and learn all about them.
Mr Theorem had anticipated the conversation, and the direction it was going to take next, but all the same he tried to avoid the subject. Rose. he said. You're not like other people. You can't live up there, without water. he said. And you'd be hard pressed finding someone willing to wheel your aquarium around all day.
Not to mention, he said, that people will reveal you as a monster. They've probably never seen anything like you, Rose, and the people out there won't welcome you into their world.
Oh! I know that! she said. After all, if people like me walked around the streets, I would see them from the window! she said, pointing towards it happily, although she had already told Mr Theorem about her window numerous times. I was thinking, because you've created such beautiful people.. she said .. that maybe you could make me like the people outside?
Theorem paused, rubbing his forehead with his fingers, thinking. If he declined her, she would only keep asking, because there was hardly anything else she could talk about. She was starting to become annoying anyway, because staying in her aquarium all day meant the only thing she could do was talk to him and interrupt his work, otherwise she would just stare out the window, fueling that obsession with the outside people. He could get rid of her, that would be easy enough, but then he remembered why he had kept her in the first place. He had gotten sidetracked giving her fins, and she was useless in her current state. Of course, the longer he waited, the better the torture would be for Valus. Glancing around the room quickly, his eyes darted amongst the piles of papers and the mess on the floor. He did rather hate having to clean and buy groceries. Theorem nodded to himself. She would be much more useful with legs, and that was an easy enough task to perform.
He looked back at Rose, who was still awaiting an answer, though her hopeful smile had faded.
You know, Rose.. he said, with a crafty smile. I think I might be able to help you.
Oh! Truly, Mr Theorem?! she said happily, spinning in her aquarium. You are such a kind and generous man! I-
However, Rose. he said, seriously. After I help you, I will need you to help me. You see, it takes a great effort to make you like the outside people. He said. In return, I will require you to work for me.
Rose, calming down from her exitement, began to pay more attention. Work for you, Mr Theorem? she asked. You mean, like an assistant?
Yes, like an assistant. he lied. You will need to go outside to buy groceries, and clean the house, and cook, and- he stopped. And yes, you can even assist me with my work.
Oh, Mr Theorem! she said, her smile growing back. I would love to do all of those things! I thought it was going to be something bad!
Very Well, Rose. he said, standing up from his chair and walking over to the aquarium. I will give you legs, and make you like the people outside, if you promise to work for me.
Oh, I promise! said Rose. You just wait, I'll be a great assistant, you'll see!
And you can't stop being my assistant unless I say so.
Yes, I'll stay forever! She said, smiling. Oh Mr Theorem, you've helped me so much, why would I ever leave you? Do you really think you can give me legs, Mr Theorem?
Of Course I can, Rose. He said, walking over to the Mynci, whose body was now full of stitches, his fur a bright yellow, his eyebrows exaggerated, and his nose large and projected. Theorem hadn't needed to use the ionising ray that day, and he was quite content at his efforts without it. In the distance, the clocktower chimed twice. Heading back to the bench, and packing away his things, he could hear in the background that Rose was still shouting praises. Blowing out the kerosene lamps, he grabbed the last one and headed to the door. Pausing for a moment, he looked back at Rose.
We start tomorrow.
Beep. Beep. Beep.
She could hear the sound of the ECG Machine, beeping in time with her heartbeat. As she slowly opened her eyes, she could feel something around her mouth; a gas mask providing oxygen. As she waited for her eyes to adjust, she sat up and rested her hands on the device, lifting it so she could breathe freely.
She was lying on a benchtop, hooked up to the machines she had seen everyday. And around her was the only room she had ever known, full of equipment, dirty and rusted, with a musty damp smell emanating from somewhere. And in the corner, she noted, was her aquarium. Her home. But she was no longer inside it.
Her eyes well adjusted to the room, she looked down at her tail. And to her amazement, in it's place. were two tan legs. She ran her hands over them and managed to wiggle her feet, much to her delight. She finally had legs!
Rose. came a voice from behind a nearby desk. Are you awake then?
She smiled happily. Mr Theorem! You've done it! she said. I can feel my legs, they work and everything, you've done it! Thankyou so-
Good. he replied in a less-than-enthused voice. Pointing his finger over to a desk, he continued. Fetch me that book over there, will you?
Rose looked over to the desk. You want me to start now? she said, a bit nervously. I mean, I-I don't even know how to-
Fetch me that book.. he said, becoming irritated. Now.
A tad nervous, Rose slid to the side of the bench and moved her feet across with her, looking down at the ground. She looked back at the book, which was a good four metres away. True, she could move her feet slightly, but could she walk? she had seen people in the street do so a thousand times before. But she had never tried...
Rose looked back at Mr. Theorem. His arm still outstretched, he had never taken his eyes off his work, but she could tell that he was getting very impatient with her. She took a deep breath and reached over to the nearest bench, outstretching her leg. Hopefully if she lost balance, she could use the bench for support.
It wasn't enough. Her leg caved in, and Rose fell to the ground, bringing with her some beakers and equipment from the bench. She curled up as the pain from the broken glass sunk in, and looked back at her hip to see pieces of glass sticking out of her side. It hurt. In her aquarium she had never felt as much pain as this. As she winced from the pain, a tear rolling down her cheek, she looked up to see the figure standing before her.
It was Mr Theorem, and in his hand, the book she had tried to get to. He looked very unimpressed. He threw the book down beside her.
Useless. He remarked.
Several more tears streamed down Rose's face. I.. I'm sorry, Mr Theorem... she said, but he had already returned back to his desk. She tried to get herself up, and this time she managed to lean against the bench and prop herself up, but she tried to take another step and fell to the ground again. She looked up at Mr Theorem, but he had already forgotten her. Thinking of a new plan, she grabbed the leg of the bench and began to pull herself across the floor. It was slow, but it was more effective than trying to walk. After a few minutes she had reached the next bench, and she was nearly exhausted. Fortunately she could see a rail bordering the wall, so once she could reach that, dragging herself would become easier.
Dustpan and broom's upstairs. Theorem said coldly, again not moving or looking up from his desk. Second cupboard in the hall.
He turned and faced Rose with a look of disgust as she lay on the floor, clinging to the benchtop. Pathetic. Medical kit is in the bathroom. he said. Upstairs.
Rose looked in despair at the staircase, several metres across the room from where she was. She couldn't see where it ended, but she knew climbing those stairs was going to be a challenge.
There was no handrail for them.
Is it done, Mr Theorem?
Rose lifted up her arm from covering her face. The bright light seemed to have faded, and the ionising ray made noises as though it had shut down. Over at the control panel, a green Ixi took his goggles off and looked back at the monitor.
How disappointing. he said, looking back at the raygun, which was pointed towards a Kacheek strapped in a chair. Putting on some rubber gloves, the Ixi grabbed a tattered leatherbound book and walked over to the Kacheek. Nothing seems to have happened.
Taking the Kacheek's hand, he flipped it over and rubbed some ointment into it, recording the results. Skin seems the same, no traces of change or radioactivity. he said, frowing. Still has a pulse, he's alive, but probably just unconscious.
Grabbing a thin metal case, Rose walked over and opened it, revealling several tools. She picked up a pocket Opthalmoscope and handed it to Ixi, who took it from her hands but otherwise did not acknowledge her.
Lifting the Kacheeks' eyelid, he shone the torch over the eye. He did the same for the other eye. Vision should be normal.
Grabbing a stethoscope from Rose, he slid it over his ears and held out the bell towards the Kacheeks' abdomen. Heart rate is increasing. he said, moving the bell over. His breathing is getting deeper and faster.
Taking the stethoscope off, Mr Theorem adjusted his glasses and took a few steps back. The Kacheeks' breathing was now noticably heavier, and his brow was very furrowed. Suddenly, he opened his eyes and broke free of his restraints, pushing his chair into a nearby table. Grabbing a trolley, he hurled it across the room.
Mr Theorem quickly opened a drawer and pulled out a blue metal case, fumbling for one of several injections. Pulling out a bottle with blue fluid, he gave a quick smirk of releif and turned back to the Kacheek, who had since knocked down several other tables in attempt to gain composure.
Where am I?? the Kacheek cried, looking menacingly at Rose, who had fallen over in the commotion and was trying to edge away from him. Where is this place??
Mr Theorem had taken several steps towards the Kacheek, and was about to aprehend him when the kacheek saw him through the reflection of some broken glass. Turning around, the kacheek picked up a chair and held it defensively in the air.
Don't you come near me! he said, shaking the chair menacingly at Mr Theorem. Leave me alone!
Thinking quickly, Theorem pulled a purple vial out of his pocket and threw it on the ground near the Kacheek. Coughing, the Kacheek took a couple of steps back, before throwing the chair at Mr Theorem and running up the stairs.
Having avoided the chair, Theorem pushed a small window open and grabbed a handful of vials. As Rose pulled herself up, she coughed and fanned her nose and looked up at Mr Theorem, who was headed for the stairs.
Are you alright, Mr Theorem? she asked, hurrying across the room. Ignoring her, he continued up the stairs and headed down the hallway, towards the front door.
Running up the stairs, Rose stopped to catch her breath. What.. What do we do now?
It gave him strength. I have to bring him back. Theorem said, grabbing his cloak and top hat. He knows where we are, we can't let him escape.
He turned to the doorway, looking out onto the moonlit streets. Taking a few steps out into the front garden, he picked up the front door off the ground and let it rest against the doorbell. Looking up at the sky again, he gave a sharp whistle.
I can help you look! Rose said, turning to grab her coat.
No, Rose. Theorem said. You probably couldn't navigate through these streets at night.
Rose. Theorem said, getting slighly irritated. How would you get to the Mulligan street Police station from here? Or the nearest hospital?
Rose paused, and then frowned.
Confirming his thoughts, Theorem shook his head. Stay here and clean up the lab. Keep an eye out in case he comes back.
Walking down the front stairs, Theorem stepped onto the street. Looking around, he spotted a figure in the sky and held out his arm. A black Crokabek swooped down and perched on it, giving a small, happy sqwawk.
The Kacheek. Theorem said. Find him.
The Crokabek sqwawked again, before ruffling his feathers and taking flight. The green Ixi pulled his cape around his shoulders and headed down the nearest street. Rose watched as he disappeared from view, and then pulled the front door back over the doorway. She rubbed her nose. The Slumberberry potion always made her sneeze.
Is anyone there? The Kacheek called out, taking a few steps forward before leaning up against the wall. His head was throbbing, and he was feeling so tired.. the fumes from that purple liquid were making him drowsy. Taking a few more steps, he turned a corner and looked down another street. It was empty, just like the last one. It seemed that Neovia became deserted at night, but who could blame them? Any people walking around this time of night usually weren't up to any good.
He lumbered a few more steps, and grabbed onto a nearby light pole for balance, his strength pushing it over. Taking a few deep breaths, he was interrupted by a sqwawk. Looking overhead, he noticed a black Crokabek circling him in the sky.
A bit unnerved, the Kacheek pressed on, lumbering down the street. passing several shops, he looked around at the nearby houses, but they were all pitch dark inside, illuminated only by the moonlight. No-one was awake. Taking some more weighted steps, he looked across the road at the nearest streetsign. It read "Mulligan" and "O'Larety". With a happy sigh, he turned the corner and started walking down Mulligan street.
Looking off into the distance, he could see..could it be? A figure was standing at the gate of the police station, closing the front gates.
Hey! Hey you! Tha Kacheek called out. Please! Please, you gotta help me!
The figure, who musn't have heard him, instead stepped down onto the street, his warm breath dissipating into steam. He turned and started to walk further down the street, so the Kacheek increased his pace.
Hey! The Kacheek cried, walking faster to catch up with him. The figure hadn't seemed to notice him at all, until finally the Kacheek caught up with him underneath a lamppost.
Please, sir! The Kacheek said, grabbing the figure's arm. There's a madman after me! I need help!
The figure stopped, and then turned around and grabbed the Kacheek's arm instead, revealing himself to be none other than Mr Theorem. The Kacheek looked up at him in horror, shaking his head as his face turned pale.
Oh.. The Ixi said with a devious smile. I'll be happy to help you.
Oh, hello! Were you looking for Mr Theorem? He's not in right now. You can talk to me if you want though! My name is Rose.
The Ixi motions for you to step inside, so you do so. Following her lead, you walk down a hallway. As you pass some doors and the odd painting on the wall, a locked door takes your eye. Rose looks back to you.
Ah! Please don't go in there! I mean, you can't, it's locked, but.. well, that's where Mr Theorem works. He gets mad if I go down there by myself. The kitchen is just through here!
Sitting at a bare table, you watch as the Ixi puts a kettle on the stove and prepares some cups and saucers. She sits down and joins you at the table.
Hm, what would you like to know about me?
She is very intimidated by Mr Theorem; She does like him a great deal and most of the time and she can't stop talking to or about him. However, when he is angry, Rose is very submissive, and often scared of him. She will back down from any argument he starts and she cannot handle pressure.
Rose is also rather possessive, and therefore does not let many people see her room, touch her things, or get too close to Mr Theorem. Because of this she is jealous of Archimedes, and he responds by attacking her or her toys.
Though she likes big platform shoes and high heels, Rose cannot wear them because she still has trouble keeping her balance and standing properly. Because of this, she often stands pidgeon-toed. Indoors she is usually barefoot.
Rose cannot read. Mr Theorem also does not allow her to keep a petpet, which is why she values her plush toys so much. Speaking of, it should be noted that Rose does not get an income or weekly allowance. If she wants to buy something for herself, she needs to ask Mr Theorem's permission. She makes most of the plushies herself, handstitching them.
Rose needs to drink a lot of water to stay hydrated - even in an anthro form, her ears still remain fin-like, and in general her body is still used to being underwater all the time.
Finally, she is also very curious about Neovia and other people, so when she's out shopping, she will often stop to observe people or look in shop windows. She is constantly late home from grocery shopping.
Here are some plush toys I brought down from my room! Don't let Archimedes see them though, he likes to tear them apart :( please be gentle with them.
And this one, this one is a special one I made myself! she says proudly, holding up a very familiar looking toy;
You hand the plush toys back to the smiling Ixi. With a quick smile, she disappears through the doorway and you can hear as she opens a door somewhere along the hall. Entering the kitchen with empty hands, she sits down and sips from her teacup.
I'm sorry, here I am talking about just myself! please tell me some more about you. Where in neopia do you come from? What's it like there?
And did you know? Neopia is full of oceans! Huge, deep water aquariums that hold lots of petpets and plants! I wish I had known about the ocean back when.. oh, it doesn't matter. I find that people are interesting too!
In Neovia there are so many customs and little gestures that people do. The men have to bow, and the ladies curtsey when they greet each other, and you have to make sure you call someone by their proper name and title, otherwise it insults them. And ladies usually have to wear full length dresses, and they can't show their ankles. Oh! but I really like the black dresses I wear :c every now and then I see people giving me mean looks because they don't like how my ankles are showing, but I'm not the only one who wears dresses like this! The other people say that they get mean looks as well. I really don't like standing out of a crowd but I really like the fashion. I think my dresses are pretty, but I also like some of the big poofy dresses I see! I don't have enough money to buy one, yet.
Oh my gosh! people have drawn me in pictures as well! My pictures are even more important to me than my plush toys, so be extra careful with these, okay?
Oh, and don't tell Mr Theorem, he might take them away D:
This was my BC entry! I came first with 262 votes (25th overall!)
It's so beautiful! I love it! Thankyou, dietpink!
Oh gosh! You've drawn me so well, thankyou so much, lopunny23!!
By mistyqee, who was using PoTM's drawing guide!
Second attempt. She's getting better!
Third attempt. A bit of a step backwards, but I like the dress!
omggg a plushie of me :D
Thankyou you two awesome awesome people! :D
Oh wow wow wow! Thanks so much Muffin, I look so pretty! :D omg so nice ;u;
Oooh, what a neat style. mistyqee found a cool place to draw like that.
Eh, I liked the first one better, mistyqee!
Oh my gosh! I look amazing, thanks so much Hika! ;u;
;A; !! I look amazing, thankyou so much, James!!
This was my second entry! We won! Yaaay thankyou so much everyone c:
Look look look! kurol drew me for free and I didn't even ask! Some people are so nice, thankyou so much!
This was my third BC entry! We got gold, thanks everyone!
This was my fourth BC entry. I got bronze!
HOLY KAU!! THANKYOU SO MUCH SARIA!! I LOOK SO PRETTY!!
Thankyou so much, Becca! ;A;
Well, that's about all I have about me... Oh! did you want to know about Mr Theorem! I like talking about him.
Rose, what are you doing?
You turn around. There is a green Ixi standing in the kitchen doorway. Rose almost looks scared to see him, like an Zebie dazzled by high-beam lights. The green Ixi looks over at you and frowns.
This person is not going to be your friend, Rose. Stop bothering them.
The Green Ixi turns to you.
I'm sorry, but you need to leave right now.
He motions for you to walk down the hall, so you place your teacup back down and give a quick look back at Rose. She looks down, hands together on her lap, her face a mixture of guilt and sadness.
You walk back down the hallway and reach the doorstep. You turn back to the Ixi.
I'm sorry, you are no longer welcome here. Please don't come back.
The door slams shut.
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