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||You are on Week 650
Every week we will be starting a new Story Telling competition - with great prizes! The current prize is 2000 NP, plus a rare item!!! This is how it works...
We start a story and you have to write the next few paragraphs. We will select the best submissions every day and put it on the site, and then you have to write the next one, all the way until the story finishes. Got it? Well, submit your paragraphs below!
Story Six Hundred Fifty Ends Friday, April 4
|This wouldn't do. Not at all.
Dr. Vil L Alan grumbled as he walked through the buzzing electrodes and bubbling beakers of his secret laboratory. Several test tubes were broken and many of his machines and equipment had been poked and prodded with by those inferior minds.
The Shoyru kicked some of his broken inventions that were littered around the ground. It would take him weeks... no, months, to rebuild all of this. He had figured that no one would find his secret lab deep down in Moltara. There were so many abandoned structures and buildings there that he figured no one would ever find him.
Little did he know, however, that he had built his hideout right next to the lab of Dr. Landlebrot. Dr. Alan cursed his luck, as that foolish Lutari had stayed hidden for so long, only to tell all of Neopia where he was and how to find his lab.
Unfortunately, not all Neopians were good at following directions, and more than a few went into his no-longer secret lab and began messing around with things in an attempt to contact the Lutari, not realizing they had the wrong lab.
Did they bother to clean up their mess or fix what they had broken? No, of course they didn't. They just left all his experiments in shambles and ran. This just made him want to take over Neopia even more. At the very least, he'd install some manners in the general public.
Now... now he'd have to start from scratch on so many of his experiments. With a sigh, Dr. Vil L Alan grabbed a broom from one of his broken robotic minions and began to sweep up the broken glass.
As he was cleaning up, he heard the door to his lab swing open. With a growl, he kept his eyes on his work but shouted out to the intruder.
"Dr. Landlebrot's lab is next door!"
What he heard next came as a surprise.
"Dr. Alan!" the voice said. "It's me..."
Date: Mar 31st
..."Remember me? It's Diesel. I worked for you a long time ago."
The familiar voice of his previous laboratory partner shook Dr. Vil L Alan from his preoccupations with the mess. Slowly, the Shoyru turned around and came face-to-face with the smiling Bori standing by the door.
Diesel had been an intern for Dr. Alan several years ago. The young Bori was brilliant for his age and had an incredible aptitude for physics. Eventually they parted ways when Diesel left to work for the weaponry department of Virtupets Space Station, but the doctor had never once forgotten how quickly the Bori could calculate complex equations.
Not one for emotional displays, the Shoyru just nodded and gruffly said, "It's been a while. Hello."
"What happened here, Dr. Alan?" Diesel asked, looking around the shattered lab. "I heard about Landelbrot's project, so I came by to check it out. I then remembered that your hideout is right nearby, so I decided to stop by and see how your inventions are going."
"Rotten Neopians have completely destroyed my lab, thanks to that crazy Lutari next door. Inviting the entire world to come to Moltara, ridiculous... what's he up to, anyhow?"
It was the Bori's turn to look astonished. "I'm surprised you don't know, since your lab is right next to his."
"I don't stay in my lab every hour!" the Shoyru exclaimed with an indignant expression. Though, I would if I could, he thought bitterly. Maybe then I could have prevented my lab from being destroyed by those pesky Neopians.
"Reports at the Space Station suggest that Landelbrot's building a generator of some sort, using a variety of items," Diesel answered as he examined a broken microscope. "I'm stopping by later to check it out." The Bori suddenly had a hesitant look on his face. "Er, actually, there's something else..."
Diesel lowered his voice. "The folks at the Space Station -- we keep tabs on every major project in the technology sector, you know -- and, well... there's a group of scientists that are not happy with Landelbrot."
Dr. Alan raised an eyebrow.
"I'm supposed to enter Landelbrot's laboratory under the guise of an ordinary Neopian and locate his secret project, but there's one more thing I need to do. I need to retrieve a set of objects -- the Landelbrot set, they call it -- and I need to retrieve this set without Landelbrot realizing it's gone."
Dr. Alan's heart began racing. The Shoyru had wanted to get back at the Lutari for the state that his lab was now in, but he hadn't known what sort of revenge to extract. Apparently, golden opportunity was now right before him.
"I'll help you," the Shoyru declared.
Diesel smiled. "I knew you'd be willing to help out," he said, then glanced at his wristwatch. "Landelbrot's interviewing with The Neopian Times. We need to enter his lab right this moment. First, though, I'll need your..."
Date: Mar 31st
"...Brownian motion sensor."
"What?" Dr. Alan spat with disdain. "That old piece of technology is useless!"
Diesel smiled knowingly. He remembered Dr. Alan's distaste for old technology all too well. "You're right," the Bori replied. "It is old -- which is why Landelbrot wouldn't have thought of it."
Dr. Alan frowned. "So you're saying..."
"None of the new age quantum scanners, magnetic radars, or radiation detectors would be helpful in finding the Landelbrot set, simply because Dr. Landelbrot would have installed all the security measures thinkable to make it undetectable by them. A Brownian motion sensor is a simple machine that detects the random movements of particles within a suspension. He would not think to hide anything from it, so it is perfect for our plan." Diesel quickly added, "Not to undermine all your wonderful inventions, of course! I've read about your latest quantum scanner -- it is pure genius."
This reminded the Shoyru of why he agreed to take the young Bori under his wing all those years ago; he was brilliant.
"And you know the particles in the Landelbrot set move in Brownian motion because..."
"Based on my calculations of the specific gravity of the set, I have derived a formula that predicts the particle movement--"
"Alright, you physics whiz," Dr. Alan said, curtly cutting him off. "I'm impressed. Let's not waste any time. The sensor is in the store room..."
Date: Apr 1st
...After they had retrieved the Brownian motion sensor, which ended up looking like a miniature periscope, Dr. Alan and Diesel found themselves in the tunnel connecting the Shoyru's lab with Dr. Landelbrot's. They peeked their heads around the corner, spying the steel doors.
"Where is everyone?" Dr. Alan asked, expecting some annoying Neopians to be meandering about.
"They're all at the Neopian Times interview," Diesel explained. "Apparently, Dr. Landelbrot is giving away signed photos of himself after the event."
Dr. Alan rolled his eyes. He was now more determined than ever to help his former intern. They inched toward the doors, which opened with a soft hiss as they drew near. When they snuck into the Lutari's lab, even Dr. Alan had to take a moment to appreciate the environment, for this lab was a true scientist's dream. New equipment shined and sparkled from every corner, and Dr. Alan even had to wipe his mouth after he realized he was actually drooling a little.
"You have to give him props," Diesel said, voicing Dr. Alan's unspoken response. "He does science in style."
"With equipment this nice," Dr. Alan said, fiddling with a nearby microscope, "you'd think he'd have some sort of--"
A frantic beeping sounded and the doors rushed closed behind them. The lights dimmed and a large screen to their left began counting down from thirty in large red numbers.
Diesel sighed, finishing the doctor's sentence. "...security system..."
Date: Apr 1st
..."How did we not see this coming?" the Shoyru sighed, running algorithms through the small handheld that he'd plugged into the mainframe in the hope that he could hack the system.
"Because we got ahead of ourselves..." Diesel mumbled while fiddling with a bunch of multicolored wires with the same ambition.
"It's a Delta-T circuit board with an M5Y processor. Why can't I get through?!?"
"Hm?" Dr. Alan inquired.
"Oh, nothing," the Bori muttered, thinking rapidly as the vibrant digital numbers continued counting down.
In spite of the stress and anxiety he felt, Dr. Alan couldn't help smiling slightly as he remembered Diesel's old habit of talking to himself. He remembered how many times he'd walked into his lab to reprimand Diesel for bringing in strangers, only to find the grease-covered Bori lying under some great clunky machine he was working on, yabbering on to himself about the inverse laws of electromagnetism and their impact on modern science... other times he'd found him doing it in his sleep!
"AHA!" A loud, victorious exclamation pulled the Shoyru back to the present. Diesel was grinning broadly at him. The lights were turning back on and the countdown had stopped.
"Marovich wiring, that was it. Top of the line, brand new, almost no one has it... and guess who just had it installed in their office at the Space Station?"
"By your tone, I'm assuming the answer is that you did."
Dr. Alan frowned slightly. Diesel seemed to have blurred the line between confidence and arrogance. Regardless, he'd managed to get them out of their mess and he wasn't about to start an argument over it.
The Bori was sitting back lazily in one of the desk chairs, casually perusing the computer screen that now did his bidding. A thought suddenly flashed through Dr. Alan's mind that made him feel rather ill at ease. Maybe Diesel hadn't completely gotten them out of the mess, after all.
Slowly, the Shoyru murmured, "I think we forgot something, Diesel..."
Date: Apr 2nd
...At the Bori’s blank expression, Dr. Alan wiped away the sweat forming on his forehead. There was an ominous sense of foreboding pressing in on his chest. "If Dr. Landelbrot," he began, voice pensive, "had a built-in security system in his lab, it wouldn't," he paused, "be illogical, I believe, to surmise that he might... have some means of being notified if... if his lab were broken into."
The mix of self-assurance and conceit disappeared from Diesel's face as his expression went blank. He gulped and the subsequent widening of his eyes confirmed the veracity of Dr. Alan's words. They might soon be expecting the eccentric Lutari. That meant that their already-short window of opportunity had just been cut shorter still.
"Come on," Dr. Alan urged. They had no time to lose in finding what they'd come for. "Can you use the computers here to locate the Landelbrot set?" Diesel apparently had them under his control.
Leaning onto his elbows, Diesel tapped a sequence of keys. He then frowned. "I can't. The location seems to be password-protected. I could try hacking it, of course," he said with some of his former sleek arrogance, "but we might not have enough time." The red Neopet reached for his backpack. "It'd probably be better to use the Brownian motion sensor."
"Whatever you need," Dr. Alan agreed, nodding. As the foreboding pressed in more tightly than before, he had an increasing sense of time bearing down on them. His claws had started to twitch and he shuddered involuntarily. He'd almost thought he'd seen something move in his periphery. "Just hurry." The words were very nearly an order.
Diesel understood what was being asked. Lifting the motion sensor from his pack, he placed the periscope-like device on the closest table as it whirred to life. Time stretched out and it seemed an age to Dr. Alan before the other Neopet spoke next. Stupid outdated technology.
"Okay," the red 'pet muttered, intent, "I'll input the formula and identify the particle pattern we need to locate the set." The sensor's screen flickered. Groupings of dots flashed up onscreen a moment or two later. "That's the configuration of particles we're after," Diesel then murmured. Whether he spoke to himself or to Dr. Alan, the Shoyru didn't know... or care. What mattered was that they be quick.
There was movement again at the edge of Dr. Alan's vision. He wasn't imagining it, this time at least. Heartbeat pounding frantically, he spun. What he saw wasn't who -- or what -- he feared. Making its way toward Dr. Alan and Diesel was a strange white box. It had a circular piece fitted into its middle, like some bizarre mechanical eye. Even odder was the black bowler hat set jauntily on top of the box and the motorised arms that waved at them as it flew.
A tinny voice rang out over a hum of static, punctuated by renewed beeping that wailed from each corner of the room...
Date: Apr 2nd
...It was Dr. Landlebrot's loyal sidekick, the Mechanized Laboratory Assistant. Its arms were frantically moving in large, fast circles. It stood in the doorway repeating one phrase. "Intruder alert! Intruder alert! Intruder alert!"
Dr. Alan let out a small chuckle and said, "You'd think that old Lutari could make it say something less common."
"In all seriousness, I think this is a time for action, not jokes, Dr. Alan," Diesel said with a grimace on his face.
"Oh, there's no need to worry about this pile of junk. I know exactly who to call to take care of this." Dr. Alan grinned at the Bori and then made a high-pitched whistling sound. Immediately you could hear something zooming down the tunnel. Diesel could see a blue glow starting to light up the tunnel as well. Seconds later, a Nebularis came to a halting stop right behind Dr. Landlebrot's Petpet. The Nebularis was Dr. Alan's longtime Petpet, who had been with him since he was a kid. While it looked quite threatening, it obeyed the Shoyru like pure loyalty. Its name was Nucleus, and it was very intelligent for a Petpet.
"Nucleus, I need you to distract that Mechanized Laboratory Assistant while we continue to work. Got it?" Dr. Alan gave it a nod and his Petpet nodded right back to him.
The Nebularis started to created a barrier around the other Petpet. As it did so, the Mechanized Laboratory Assistant's demeanour started to change, and it seemed to not even see the two Neopets anymore. Its entire focus was on the mysterious haze surrounding it.
"Whew... well, now that that's over with, I'll start looking for the particles we need," Diesel said as he then continued his work.
The Brownian motion sensor suddenly puffed with smoke.
"Uhm, Diesel? Is this a new addition to the sensor, or--" Dr. Alan asked with confusion...
Date: Apr 3rd
...Diesel's eyes grew wide as he suddenly lunged forward to grab the Brownian motion sensor from Dr. Alan's grasp and throw it to the far side of the lab. As soon as it hit the floor there was a minor explosion, as the sensor blew into tiny pieces and wafts of smoke danced about the room.
"What was that?" Dr. Alan asked.
Diesel shook his head. "Say what you want about Dr. Landelbrot," he began, "but that Lutari is a genius. He must have suspected someone might use a Brownian motion sensor, so he installed an electromagnetic disturbance beam distributor. It overloaded the circuits of our motion sensor. Curse him! He's really thought ahead."
"So, what do we do now?" Dr. Alan asked. "I'm not leaving after we've come this far. We have to find that Landelbrot set and we have to find it now."
Diesel seemed lost in thought for a few moments, but then a smile slowly lit up his face as he looked up at the Mechanized Laboratory Assistant, which was still being distracted by Nucleus. "I've got it!" he shouted. "Dr. Landelbrot did leave behind a security system, and he would want it to protect what was most valuable. If we step away from these devices and allow that Petpet to do his job, then it should lead us right to the Landelbrot set!"
"I don't know about this," Dr. Alan mumbled, but he had no other suggestion. They moved to the far corner of the lab, away from all of the devices and experiments, and Dr. Alan told Nucleus to let the Mechanized Laboratory Assistant go free. Now, all they could was wait.
The Mechanized Laboratory Assistant beeped a few times at first, but now it seemed almost not to even notice Dr. Alan or Diesel. For a minute Dr. Alan was afraid that its circuits were scrambled, but then it floated over to a specific spot in the lab.
"Surely that can't be what we're looking for," Dr. Alan said in a hushed tone...
Date: Apr 3rd
...It was floating over a small trash can.
Dr. Alan peered into the bin. "It's full of junk," he reported, sounding disappointed. Diesel must have been wrong. The Mechanized Laboratory Assistant didn't go to protect the Landelbrot set. "How are we supposed to find the Landelbrot set now?"
Diesel's face lit up. "No, wait!" He pointed at the trash can. "I was right! The Landelbrot set must be in there!"
Dr. Alan frowned. "You think it's hidden beneath all that trash?" While the idea repulsed him, he had to admit that it was clever. Any valuable objects would be safe in there -- as long as the scientist didn't accidentally take out the garbage.
Diesel shook his head. "No, the Landelbrot set is the trash! We heard about him seeking common objects and thought he might be using them for his secret project."
Dr. Alan looked at the trash can again. It was full of cheap objects, like Gallant Gallions Comics, rotten fish, and old food. "You could probably get all of that for less than a hundred Neopoints!"
"Sure, but we didn't know exactly which objects and how many of each he was using," the Bori explained. "That bin contains the blueprints for his secret project."
"Well, I don't think the robot is going to just let us take it," Dr. Alan said. The Mechanized Laboratory Assistant was still hovering protectively over the bin. It didn't have eyes, but he still felt like it was glaring at them. He didn't want to think about what it would do to them if they tried to take it.
The sound of footsteps caught his attention. "Besides, I think we have other problems..."
Date: Apr 4th
...As he said this, Dr. Landelbrot himself strode in. He was looking very disgruntled for a Neopet that had just been pulled away from his interview.
"Every time, it happens! I step out, and somebody tries to--" He then noticed the Shoyru and Bori standing in the corner. "Alan? What are you doing here?"
Dr. Alan stood scared stiff until he said, "We heard an alarm--"
"And came over to protect my lab? My, well that's awful good of you."
Diesel and Dr. Alan shared a momentary glance of surprise. Not only was Landelbrot eccentric, but he was gullible, too.
"Did you see who it was?" Landelbrot continued.
"No, we only found that scorch mark over there. We think there was more than one, though," Diesel said, improvising quickly.
Landelbrot walked over to his computer. "Sure enough, somebody's cracked the system! Brand new and everything. Well, I had been meaning to make some improvements..." He then noticed a shard from the Brownian motion sensor at his foot and picked it up. "Hmm. This seems to be a piece of a Brownian motion sensor's organic lens -- lucky I installed those safeguards this morning."
As Landelbrot surveyed his lab, Dr. Alan noticed Diesel sidling closer to the garbage. Covering for Diesel, Alan said, "Is anything missing?"
"Except for two tubes of toothpaste that I might have used this morning, no. Well, I can't do anything else here. Besides, I need to get back to my interview, and my fans. Would you two be so kind as to look after the place for me?"
Dr. Alan couldn't believe his ears. "We'd be honored," he said with a sweeping bow.
Diesel and Alan then watched Landelbrot leave. They looked at each other incredulously.
"He's an absolute idiot," Diesel concluded.
"Indeed. Well, let's grab the Landelbrot set and get out of here. I'm not willing to press my luck."
So, then they left and the Mechanized Laboratory Assistant waved them off. Apparently, if they were good with Landelbrot then he was okay with them, too. In their wake, they filled the garbage can with shards of the Brownian motion sensor, and then came back and filled it with junk from Dr. Alan's lab.
Diesel took the materials back to Kreludor and Dr. Alan happily surveyed his clean laboratory. Not only had he gotten revenge, he'd also gotten rid of his trash.
However, it wasn't truly complete until he heard Dr. Landelbrot's lab explode that night.
Landelbrot staggered out of the remains and happily announced, "It works! Just a bit too well, though."
Date: Apr 4th
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