Voice of the Neopian Pound Circulation: 96,313,980 Issue: 190 | 13th day of Hunting, Y7
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Vacation in the Space Station


by tiger_tabby

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"Get your petpets! Get your desert petpets cheap!"

     Peopatra sighed, slowly bringing down a small Anubis that she was holding. Business was not going well. The Anubis barked at her and started wagging its tail.

      "Oh, Candy, I know you want to get adopted, but…" whispered Peopatra, stroking the panting blue puppy. She never finished her sentence. She was interrupted by a loud WHIRRRRRing sound. Startled, the beautiful golden Peophin jerked her head up just in time to see a huge grey-and-red space cruiser go flying overhead. Peopatra did her best to keep hold of the small desert petpets as half the Lost Desert's sand went flying after the ship. But one small blue ball of fur escaped her grasp, and went plummeting after the cruiser. It was slowing down now. The poor Anubis was barking desperately as it flew though the sandy air.

      "Candy!" Peopatra shouted, reaching for the frantic puppy. But her hoofs closed around sand and air as the puppy was swept into the huge ship as it departed.

      Peopatra was on her knees, staring at the area where just seconds ago the ship and her petpet used to be. The other petpets were making crazed sounds behind her. Terrified, she slowly whispered, "Candy?"

***

      "Aw, man! Why do we have to take our vacation at the Lost Desert this year? It's so hot, you can't swim, and it's so BOOOOOOOOORING…"

      "Hydro, stop moaning already," Tigeria sighed. "Why do you have to be such a pain? You should be grateful. I mean, some pets can't even go on vacations."

      "Please, spare me the lecture," the mutant Ixi growled. "Why can't we ever go somewhere fun, like the Haunted Woods or something?"

      "You know your sister hates the Haunted Woods, Hydro." Pixie nodded with a shiver.

      "She's just a cry-baby," Hydro said. "Plus, I just know that I won't make any friends. You didn't even get me a petpet for me to take along!"

      "Hydro…" Tigeria sighed again. Hydro grunted. "You know we can't afford a Niptor. They're too expensive. If you would just settle for something like an Anubis or something…"

      "I don't like Anubi'," Hydro pouted. "They're too sissy. I want something cool, not some dumb, panting, wide-eyed puppy."

      "Well, petpet or not, we're going to the Lost Desert. I think I see it up ahead…"

      "Wow, it's a mess," Snow whispered. "I wonder what happened here."

      There was sand flying everywhere. Food stands were in ruins. The place was buzzing with pets talking in hushed whispers.

      Tigeria hopped off of the train and headed toward a frightened-looking Techo in a shawl. It was trying to repair its fruit stand and failing pathetically.

      "What happened here?" asked Tigeria. "Did a hurricane hit, or what?"

      The Techo turned around, startled, but relaxed when he saw that it was only tourists.

      "It came from the sky," it whispered. "A giant ship, big as the sun itself."

      As Tigeria was talking to the Techo, Hydro started to wander around. Pixie saw him and ran after him.

      "Hydro, you know we're supposed to stay by Tigeria so that we don't get lost," Pixie panted.

      "Aw, don't worry, sis, nothing's going to happen. Trust me," Hydro laughed. He pulled out his headphones and put them on. "Come on, she's taking too long anyway. I might as well do something while she's talking."

      "Well… okay," Pixie said uncertainly. "But don't go too far! Tigeria's gonna get mad at you!" Then she ran off.

      Hydro smiled. His baby sister was so gullible. Like anything was going to happen!

           Meanwhile, Tigeria was trying to make out what the terrified Techo was saying.

      "Mm-hmm… right… uh-huh…" she said, although she really had no clue what the poor Techo was trying to say. Suddenly, she heard a soft whirrrrrrrring. The Techo jumped.

      "Oh no! It's back!" it squealed, and ran back toward his half-destroyed fruit stand.

      "Run, guys!" Tigeria yelled. Tigeria, Snow, Pixie, and Leafy ran toward a shelter area where most of the residents were flocking.

      But Hydro didn't hear. He couldn't hear with his head phones on. The last thing he remembered was seeing sand flying, turning around, and seeing a giant spaceship coming toward him.

      Then it all went black.

     Hydro woke up inside a prison cell. His hands were tied behind his back, and he had a huge lump on his head. He rubbed his aching head. "Owwwww…" he moaned. He turned around quickly at the sound of footsteps.

     "Who's there?" he growled.

     A greenish-looking figure in a black coat emerged from the darkness with a small blue Grundo following helplessly behind him.

     "Heh heh heh heh… It is I… Doctor Sloth!" cried the apparent Doctor Sloth.

     Hydro lifted an eyebrow. "Doctor Sloth?"

     "Um… Well, sir, technically, you're not um… Really a doctor…" the little Grundo whimpered. Doctor Sloth whirled around and glared at him.

     "Shut up, you." He turned back to Hydro. "Anyway, you know… the evilest evil villain in all of Neopia?"

     "Oh." Hydro smirked. "Never heard of you."

     Sloth frowned. "Well, you will know me very well soon enough." He held up an ugly-looking green potion. It was bubbling unpleasantly inside of an even more unpleasant looking container. It had a picture of a skull and crossbones on it.

     "You've heard of my previous plot to turn all Grundos in Neopia into my faithful servants, correct?" asked Sloth.

     Hydro rolled his eyes. "Who hasn't? It sounded ridiculous, if you ask me. You have no imagination."

     Sloth scowled. "Of course I have imagination, you little…" He cleared his throat. "I'm getting off the subject. The point is, I've come up with a new plan- one similar to my first, but even better." He smiled evilly. "And you're going to be my test subject, my little ixi."

     "What?" Hydro gasped. "I am not! Get another guinea pig… lab rat… thing, you maniac!"

     Sloth ignored the outraged Hydro, who was still yelling at him. The little Grundo ran to calm him down.

     "Um… It's not wise to get the master upset, sir. You see, um… he's liable to do something worse to you if you, um… get him in a bad mood," whispered the Grundo to Hydro.

     Sloth cleared his throat one more time and continued. "As you see, I have a liquid in my hands. This liquid, if successful, will be mass-produced. You see, what it does is turn anything that I want into a faithful Grundo servant. I have you, a lamp, and that little thing behind you as test subjects."

     Hydro turned around. There was a lamp in one corner of the cell, and a small box in the other. He didn't notice them at first. Then, there came a whimper from the box, and a small blue Anubis crawled out, its tiny tail in between its legs. It whimpered again, and looked up at Hydro with tears in its eyes. Hydro turned his back to it. Sissy, dumb, panting, wide-eyed idiot puppy, he thought.

     "Anyway," Sloth continued, "Carion, get these things to the test room. I'll meet you there shortly."

     "Yes, um… Sir," stammered Carion, and picked up the Anubis and the lamp. He turned to Hydro.

     "Please, um… follow me, sir. And please don't try to, um… escape, sir. The master might get, um… mad."

     "Yeah… whatever," Hydro muttered, and began trudging after Carion.

     "He has to be here!" cried Tigeria franticly, rummaging though boxes. "Come ON, Hydro, come out already!"

     "He didn't come in with us…" whispered Pixie. "Oh, where could he be? I hope he didn't get kidnapped by that space ship…"

     "He did not!" yelled Tigeria, running from house to house. "Hey, have you seen a snooty-looking teenage mutant ixi around here someplace?" The answer was always no, no, sorry, not here, nope, sorry...

     "Give it up," muttered Leafy. "He had his headphones on, and you know how loud he plays those things. There's no way he could have heard that thing, no matter how loud it was."

     Tigeria plopped down on the ground dejectedly. "Yeah, you're right." She sighed and looked up.

     "Oh, Hydro… Where are you now?"

     "The, um… machine is almost ready, sir," said Carion, typing hurriedly on a keyboard hooked up to a giant machine that looked similar to a huge laser gun. It had a platform where the disgusting concoction sat and a huge needle-like point at the end, pointing to a chair where Hydro was chained. Hydro was staring sadly at the ground.

     "Muahahahaha… Excellent!" laughed Sloth, wringing his hands. "Soon all of Neopia will by mine, all mine!" He turned to Hydro, who was still staring at the floor. "Any last words, my little lab rat?"

     Hydro looked up defiantly. "Yeah, you big ugly moron! I'm an ixi! I don't want to be some stupid Grundo servant! Now let me go, you… you…" Hydro struggled to find a more insulting phrase.

     Sloth frowned and tweaked Hydro on the nose. Carion squeaked with terror.

     "Ow!" cried Hydro, rubbing his sore nose. "What was that for?"

     "For calling me a big ugly moron, what else?" growled Sloth. "For that, you'll be second in line to be turned into my Grundo minion. I was going to get it over with fast, but instead I'll first let you see what you'll turn into to add to the agony of being transformed in the first place." Sloth signaled to the Grundo.

     "Carion! Put the lamp in the chair. I want the ixi to go second. Is the machine ready yet?"

     Carion jumped. "Um… Almost, master." He typed faster. Finally, the machine gave a little blip and started whirrrrrrrring. Carion unchained Hydro and put the lamp in his place. Then, he ran back to the machine and pressed a button. The potion started draining into the needle-like point. After about a fourth of the potion w as gone, the needle started flashing. After about a second, there was a bright flash.

     The lamp was gone, and in its place stood a huge mutant Grundo. Carion shrank back at the sight of it, and the Anubis whimpered. But Sloth stared at it with a look of pride and satisfaction on his face. The mutant Grundo looked around, stared at Sloth, then got off the chair and lumbered over to him.

     "Master," it said. It took its place behind the triumphant Sloth. The Anubis was still whimpering.

     Sloth turned with a flourish to Hydro. "See what you'll be turned into, my little guinea pig?" he cried. "Carion, put the ixi back into the chair. It's his turn now!" The Anubis was staring at Hydro. As Carion led him back to the chair, Hydro growled at it, "What are you staring at?" The little Anubis gave one more whimper and fell silent, still staring at the re-chained Hydro.

     Sloth waved at Carion. "Get on with it." He smirked at Hydro, who was scowling at him.

     "I can't wait to see him as a mutant Grundo instead of a mutant ixi. Grundos are so much more useful." Hydro growled at him.

     Carion pressed the button and shot Hydro a sympathetic look.

     The bottle started draining. The needle started flashing. Hydro closed his eyes.

     Oh no, he thought. Please don't let me end this way. Oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please…

     But the needle never got a chance to fire. Hydro opened his eyes just in time to see a blue ball of fluff shoot past him and ram into the bottle, sending it flying toward the ground.

     "No!" Sloth yelled, trying to catch the bottle. But he was too late. The bottle crashed into a million tiny glass pieces, while the fluid went seeping down into the floor. Sloth started at it.

     "No no no no no NO!!!" he cried. Carion was standing shock-still at the keyboard of the soundless machine.

     The Anubis then jumped up onto Hydro and started gnawing at the chains. Neither Sloth nor Carion nor the mutant Grundo were paying any of them any attention. Finally, after a minute or two, the Anubis' teeth broke though the chain. Hydro grabbed the panting blue fluff ball and sprinted out of the room. Sloth noticed then that his hostages were escaping.

     "After them!" he shouted to the mutant Grundo. It growled and started after Hydro and the Anubis.

     Hydro was still running and holding the Anubis. He was running out of breath when he heard the Anubis barking wildly in his hand. He turned to see the Grundo minion running after them.

     "Oh no, he's gaining!" panted Hydro. He couldn't run any longer. The Grundo was almost upon them, then…

     BAM! Something whacked the ship hard, sending both Hydro and the mutant Grundo off their balance and onto the floor. Hydro recovered quickly, then ran to the door. He rattled the handle.

     "Oh, perfect. It's locked," he growled. "As if this isn't enough!" He shoved the Anubis against the handle.

     "Start chewing!" he yelled. He could hear the mutant Grundo getting up from the floor with a moan.

     Just then, the Anubis broke though the lock. Hydro opened the door. They were still in Neopia's atmosphere, at least, but Hydro couldn't even see the ground. The little Anubis whimpered. Hydro whipped around to see the mutant Grundo coming after again.

     "You just don't give up, do you?" growled Hydro as the Grundo came closer. The Anubis was now barking wildly.

     "Well, I don't either!" he yelled, and jumped out of the ship.

     Hydro woke up on the ground. The little Anubis was lying on top of him, unconscious. His head hurt even more. He rubbed his head and looked around.

     Where are we? he thought. He looked at the little blue Anubis, who was just getting up. It yawned, then looked at Hydro and started wagging its tail. Hydro stared at it until he heard shouting. He turned around just in time to be smothered by one of Tigeria's hugs.

     "Oh, Hydro, where were you? I missed you so much! I was so worried! What happened?" she cried, still hugging him.

     "Um… mother, I can't breathe…" muttered Hydro.

     "Oh sorry." Tigeria let go of the gasping Hydro and stared at him. "Mother? Where did the mother come from?" Hydro blushed visibly.

     "Oh, it's so CUTE!" Pixie was staring at the little Anubis, still barking and wagging its tail.

     Tigeria smiled at Hydro. "Too bad we have to take him back. He's so cute!"

     Hydro gasped. "Take him back? What are you talking about? He's my petpet! Mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine!"

     Tigeria stared at him blankly. "But… I thought you didn't like Anubi? I thought you said they were sissy!"

     Hydro smiled at the happy little Anubis. "Did I?"

The End

 
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