Come dance with the Wanderers... Circulation: 135,120,767 Issue: 266 | 17th day of Storing, Y8
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The Petpet Brigade: Part Three


by superfox65

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"Oomph!"

      Buttons the Christmas Doglefox and Cyclopa the Meowclops had finally crashed down after more than an hour of hang gliding. During their long flight, the two had done impersonations, I Spy, a spelling bee, cloud pictures, and almost everything you can do while hang gliding. Somewhere just outside Neopia Central, the duo had crashed into a haystack.

      "Well, that was lucky," said Cyclopa, shaking hay out of her fur.

      "Lucky for you!" Buttons muttered angrily. He had been bopped out of the haystack by Cyclopa and collapsed into a Funnydew Melon. His back hurt from the hard shell, and he was literally covered in juice and seeds. The melon was overly ripe, and all the fruit had turned into juice.

      Cyclopa laughed, leaping out of the haystack and pulling the doglefox out of the melon. "C'mon, we have to go."

      They had barely even left the edge of the farm when a strange figure appeared. It was about twenty feet down the road, and it had the shape of an Eizzil.

      "What's that?" Buttons asked Cyclopa.

      "I dunno. Let's take a look!"

      "No, Cyclopa- wait for me!"

      The two walked quickly towards the figure. It turned out it really was an Eizzil. But this Eizzil was unlike any Eizzil Cyclopa or Buttons had ever seen.

      The Eizzil was hunchbacked, one eye lost at some point in time. It was a grey-green color, and with a shudder Buttons realized it was the color of Petpet nip. Its ears were splotches of orange and white, and its mouth hung open showing only 2 stubby, chipped teeth. Its skin was a mass of wrinkles and Moquot bites. All in all, it was quite a ragtag creature.

      "Beware! Beware the Petpet nip! Beware!!!"

      Buttons crept closer. "Poor sir, was it truly the Petpet nip that did this to you?"

      The Eizzil nodded its stubby head, drooling slightly. "He treated it, that scallywag! Changed it, mutated it, BETRAYED US ALLL!!!" the Eizzil shouted.

      "Show me the one that did this to you and I'll get revenge for you," Buttons said, fire dancing in his eyes. He would not accept torture to others, and his blood was roused. He longed for his rainbow gun.

      "He lives underground... in a basement lab... under... the Petpet Pound..."

      Buttons and Cyclopa gasped. Neither wanted to return to the dreadful place, but they knew they would have to... to save Petpet kind.

      "We'll do it."

     ***

      First the two petpets were headed to the Money Tree.

      Rainbow guns were used by the Petpet Brigade because they were cheap, only 97 Neopoints if you could find it in a shop. Often, they were discarded at the Money Tree, so the field agents often went there to gather weaponry.

      They were in luck. Two rainbow guns were on the ground under the generous tree's leafy boughs. Buttons raced forward to grab them, but a short, cloaked figure caught one side at the same time he did. They tugged and pulled, Buttons finally winning the mini-battle. The cloaked thing flew backwards, and his hood flew off, revealing a face he knew well.

      "General Gruslen?" he said in surprise.

      "Buttons? I thought you were dead!"

      "Me, too, for a while," Buttons admitted.

     The Gruslen's face turned from happiness to anger in an instant. "You disobeyed an order to stay put. You deserted and could have gotten all of us free petpets captured."

      "I-I- look, at first I was just trying to find my owner, but I was rejected by the pudding-person and captured by the Petpet Pound. They're using petpet nip to brainwash us all! Even worse, they're treating it so it mutates us into something beyond recognition. I would have suffered the safe fate, if it weren't for my good friend Cyclopa."

      He motioned for Cyclopa to come over, and the Meowclops pelted across the road.

      "She saved me from the Neopets," Buttons told the Gruslen. "If it weren't for her, I really would be dead."

      Cyclopa blushed. "He saved me first," she murmured. "If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be here right now, either. I would have been a mutated, brainwashed, psycho petpet."

      "Yes, but what are we going to do about all of this?" the General asked impatiently.

      "We know where to go," Cyclopa told the General. The Gruslen's eyes widened.

      "Where is it?"

      "It's in a place too secure to bring an army, definitely. It's right underneath the Petpet Pound."

      The Gruslen slumped slightly. "How can we do anything, then?"

      "Maybe your army can't, but we can," said Buttons. "That's where we're going. That is what we're doing. And that is also why we need those two rainbow guns you almost sat on in one piece."

      General Gruslen blushed. "Buttons, you and your friend here need them more than I do. Take the rainbow guns." The Gruslen took a deep breath, then said, "And take me, too."

      "But, sir- the brigade needs you!"

      "Not as much as you'll need me on your side, Buttons m'boy."

      Cyclopa smiled wide. "Well, then, what are we waiting for? Let's go!"

      Buttons gave Cyclopa a Rainbow Gun, and they tucked them into the belts hidden beneath their fur before speeding off after General Gruslen. Flattening themselves against the wall of a nearby shop, Buttons peered around a corner.

      "O.K. Let's go."

      The trio slunk along the ground, the General covering their tracks with his long, bushy tail. A carriage was coming down the road, emblazoned with the logo of the Petpet Pound. Cyclopa motioned for the "troops" to move forward and the group tensed, ready to spring as the carriage rounded the corner.

      "NOW!!!" roared the General as Buttons and Cyclopa released their breath and sprung high into the air. Landing lightly on the cart as they had been trained to do, the General and Buttons pulled Cyclopa up from where she had slid off the back.

      The General stood by Cyclopa as she caught her breath. Buttons peered through the grating of the door, found no Petpets, and tiptoed back to Cyclopa and General Gruslen. Staying quiet so the carriage driver would not hear, the Christmas Doglefox motioned for the group to get ready.

      Five minutes later, the carriage arrived at the Pound. The giant iron gates swung open slowly as the carriage went through.

      Buttons swallowed the fear that had wallowed up in his stomach. He put on a brave face, drew his Rainbow Gun, and prepared to leap into the lair of the beast with his two friends.

     ***

      After three minutes of frantic running, Cyclopa, Buttons, and General Gruslen spun through the halls of the Pound. As he had been there before, Buttons and Cyclopa had a basic sense of the Pound's layout.

      Turning left, the trio sped down a flight of stairs into a dank, musty basement. The General, Cyclopa, and Buttons flicked on the scopes of their Rainbow Guns as they searched the tiny room for another doorway.

      "Here it is! Cyclopa cried out. General Gruslen and Buttons hurried over to where Cyclopa stood. It was a tiny trapdoor, hidden well in the muck and dirt of the old basement. Taking a chisel from his side pack, the General pried open the door and found that it opened easily, with well-oiled hinges.

      "Someone comes down here a lot, but doesn't want anyone to know," General Gruslen thought aloud.

      "Why would someone do that?" Cyclopa wondered, turning to her Doglefox companion.

      "Well, it's obvious what we have to do," said Buttons, swallowing a knot of fear.

      "What would that be?" the Meowclops asked.

      "We go down the trapdoor."

      Even the General looked scared at the thought. Cyclopa looked like she was preparing to back out of the plan. Filled with a strange rage, Buttons took one last look at his companions, filled his lungs with air, and leapt into the abyss.

      BUMP!!!

      Buttons landed with a thud. Clearing his head, he heard two more BUMPS!! beside him.

      Still dazed, the trio climbed to their feet.

      Suddenly, bright lights flicked on, illuminating the entire area. The floor was white tile, the walls painted white.

      "Very good, petpets, very good. I'm surprised you even got this far," a voice said from across the room. A figure stepped out of the shadows: one that every petpet knew, but hadn't seen for years...

      "G-G-Gilbert? Gilbert the Gallion?" General Gruslen stuttered.

      "Surprised, are we, General? I thought as much."

      "But... what's going on?"

      The Gallion chuckled. "Really, General, is it this much of a surprise? I thought you would have figured it out by now!"

      "You know Gilbert personally?" Buttons asked, turning to the General.

      Gilbert chuckled again, turning to Buttons. "So he never told you? Not like you, General, not like you at all..."

      There was a mechanical whir, and a giant magnet snatched up the trio's weapons. Tied foot and paw by brainwashed Pinklets, the trio sat helplessly in front of the Gallion.

      "Did you miss me, General?" Gilbert asked sarcastically.

      "I thought you were dead," the General muttered through clenched teeth.

      "Of course not, Gruslen. As for you two," he said, turning to Buttons and Cyclopa, "let me tell you a tale.

      "There once was a little Gallion named Gilbert. He was happy with his life, until Petpet school started.

      "From there, it all went downhill. There was a mean old fellow named Graymore. With his white bushy tail and shining coat, everyone in the school envied him.

      "For fun and popularity, he picked on poor Gilbert. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Now, it's years later: Gilbert is broken up from the years of being scorned by Graymore, and he's deemed loony by the rest of society. So, he decides one day that he will confide his troubles with his owner.

      "His owner was greedy, and he sold Gilbert off as a joke at the Deserted Fairground. One day, Gilbert decided enough was enough. He ran off, leaving signs that pointed to theft. Everyone believed it. Now, Gilbert wanted revenge against his tormentor and the cause of all his problems. So, he set up a Petpet nip scam that he was sure would lead his adversary straight to him. Naturally, it did, and so sits General Graymore Gruslen, right at my mercy!" Gilbert spat.

      "Look, Gilbert, I'm sorry-"

      Gilbert lunged forward, an evil gleam in his eye. "Of course! You recite the whole 'I'm sorry' speech as soon as you know that there is no hope! Can't you see, Graymore? You're finished!!!"

      "You're a loony!" Cyclopa hissed.

      Gilbert cackled. "You aren't the first to say that, my dear! Now, the REAL question is, which of you to brainwash first?!"

      Buttons struggled to his feet. "Try me!" he shouted defiantly.

      "Buttons, no!" Cyclopa yelled. The General looked at him forlornly.

      "Bravery in the face of certain doom. You Petpet Brigaders are all the same. I'll remember that when you become my servant, doglefox!"

      Gilbert reached for the Petpet nip. Buttons' fists were clenched, and he was grasping something inside his right fist.

      Flushed with victory, Gilbert did not notice. He attached the Petpet nip to his captive's face with a piece of string. Untying his captive, Gilbert waited, smirking. The Christmas doglefox shook as the Petpet nip took effect.

      Gilbert took the Petpet nip off of Buttons' face. With the last amount of strength that was his own, Buttons unclenched his fist. In it was a bottle of water.

      Gilbert's eyes widened. "No..."

      Buttons upended the bottle on his head, spilling its contents across the floor. He felt his own power returning. Grabbed the stunned Gilbert, he attached the Nip to his adversary's own face.

      Gilbert shook and then collapsed, fainting clean away at his sudden, stunning loss. Buttons smiled untying the General and Cyclopa.

      Cyclopa was jumping all over him in excitement. "You did it! You resisted the Petpet Nip AND beat Gilbert with his own medicine! AWESOME!!!"

      The General had walked over to Gilbert. He tied his paws loosely, then woke him after peeling the Nip away from his face.

      "Gilbert? I- I am really sorry, you know. I was young and foolish."

      The insane Gallion laughed quietly. "Weren't we all?"

Epilogue

      The Petpet Brigade still exists, in a way.

      General Gruslen retired, going to live a quiet life in Meridell with his new best friend, Gilbert.

      After calling in reinforcements, Buttons and Cyclopa overtook the Petpet Pound, capturing the Neopets and freeing all the Petpets from their brainwashed haze. The Neopets were later freed.

      Cyclopa stayed on in the Petpet Brigade, fighting Petpet cruelty. She and Buttons are still good friends.

      After charges against Gilbert were dropped because of insanity, Buttons, Gilbert's new lawyer, did what he had been longing to do for weeks.

      He went home to Buddhiah.

The End

 
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Other Episodes


» The Petpet Brigade: Part One
» The Petpet Brigade: Part Two



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