Sloth to Claim his Vengeance?
The return of the Return of Dr. Sloth shocked Neopia. All have reason to fear, but could Neopian Times writers be special targets of the evil mastermind?
By Niri Oshna, Virtupets Space Station
On the 29th of Sleeping, numerous individuals reported seeing a known cohort of Dr. Sloth on Virtupets Space Station. No one was willing to name who was seen, but a 16-year-old Cybunny and a blue Grundo maintenance worker have disappeared. Already, mainstream Neopian news is deeming this the Return of Dr. Sloth. Events are unraveling so rapidly that major events may have taken place before this news bulletin is published.
Rumor of a return of Dr. Sloth spread like wildfire several years ago when suspicious individuals were spotted in Virtupets, but nothing ever came of it. Neopian Times writers jumped on the case, searching for the truth behind the mastermind’s failed plot. Dozens of stories, articles, and comics have since depicted the often humiliating failure of the doctor, picturing him as wearing girlish clothing, practicing embarrassing habits, and even being grossly incompetent.
One such writer, Tashni Acarsum of Shenkuu, recently published a comic depicting Sloth as an easily-defeated egomaniac in her series, Little Orby. She claims to be unconcerned with the return of Dr. Sloth.
“I just figure that he’s going to be too busy looking out for the Space Faerie to worry much about me,” she said in the Catacombs. “Besides, I’m not what you might call a known Sloth basher. I wrote just one comic—one! And I certainly didn’t depict him as the bumbling fool some others have.”
Writer jockylocky is not so optimistic. After admitting to writing unflattering material about the possible Overlord, he explained, “That was much before I realized that he was coming back. In Year 5, they said that his return to Neopia was canceled! Who would've suspected that he would come back to haunt us? Fortunately for me, none of that stuff was ever accepted (Praise the editor!) but after this publication, yes, I assume he will be after me.”
It is true that Dr. Sloth has been an involuntary star of the Neopian Times for years, even before rumor of his return surfaced. Many of the younger generation of Neopians no longer recall the time when the name of Dr. Sloth was feared rather than laughed at. It has now been over seven years since his arrival on Neopia.
In Year 2, Dr. Sloth arrived at our planet with an army of grotesque aliens. The doctor quickly set to work using his Transmogrification Potions to warp normal Neopets into his own perverted creation. His HQ was what we now call Virtupets Space Station.
Although the Station is now a popular tourist destination, it was then fitted with a mutation ray, the intended doom of Neopia as we now know it. Transmogrification Potions, now considered an inexpensive means of changing a pet’s species, were then one of his instruments of terror.
Dr. Sloth brought Grundos to Neopia, in their mutated and mindless form. He planned to turn all Neopets into “Virtupets” similar to his mutated Grundos with the mutation ray. The Space Faerie herself was required to fight off Sloth, reverse the affects of mutation, and free the enslaved Grundo race.
Sloth has since been involved in several attacks on Neopia—including the Lost Desert incident involving Brucey B, as well as the attack of Neopet V2. Most recently, he has been suspected in the appearance of the so-called Happiness Faerie, a shady character of unknown origin.
Sloth’s involvement in most of the epic battles of early Neopian history has fired the imaginations of NT writers for as long as the NT itself has existed. In the beginning, Sloth was revered as an evil mastermind. As time passed and he was seen and defeated again, Neopians lost that dread and began to jeer at the doctor.
Is Sloth aware of the NT writers’ role in mocking his reputation in his absence?
When asked about concerns for NT writers in general, Tashni Acarsum said, “I think Sloth is a smart Overlord-in-the-making. He will be reading the Neopian Times, and I have little doubt he will try to cancel the Times as soon as he can. We are a voracious bunch, you know. But it’s not like we were being dishonest. We are just fiction writers, expressing our creative opinions. But I think he still won’t like the Neopian Times in general. Even though there are a few stories that make a real villain out of him, he is inevitably defeated.”
Jockylocky agreed that the Neopian Times would not suffer under a possible Sloth rule. He said that with a war going on, “The Neopian Times will be so popular, it will sell faster than it can hit the stands! After all, who doesn't like Sloth? He is the supreme ruler of Neopia! GO SLOTH! And no, the last few sentences aren't trying to cover my hide."
Although most writers are remaining upbeat about possible enslavement by the doctor, it is clear that many are not above groveling at his green feet. Others, like Tamia, feel that Sloth actually needs the Neopian Times.
“No, I have never written anything unflattering about Dr. Sloth,” Tamia said. “In all honesty, Dr. Sloth is something of an old hat by now, and as writers, we've moved on. I can say this without fear of evoking the good doctor's ire, because quite simply, he needs us. We are Neopia's best, brightest, and only propaganda force, and we will play a crucial part in his plans for world conquest. What that means for the NT and its contributors, I don't know; however, I do know that we will probably need to begin stocking up on air fresheners to use around the Times headquarters. Apparently, that chicken smell is nearly impossible to get rid of.”
So, it’s possible that the NT will play a role in pro-Sloth propaganda in the future. In any case, Tashni and other NT writers have repeatedly expressed their belief that the Neopian Times will continue as scheduled for the remainder of Sloth’s presence—whether he conquers or is conquered himself. Simply put, the NT writers are too loud to ever be shut up, even by his Supreme Overlordship.
This is Niri Oshna, reporting from Virtupets Space Station, signing out.