Virtupets Space Station was a crowded hive of bots, tourists,
and the occasional Mutant Grundo. The noise was oppressive, the recycled air smelled
like Sloth's armpits, and the prices were horrendous. In short, it was Jubby's
worst nightmare. As our fluffy hero and his slightly surreal sidekick wandered
through this horrendous heck-hole, Jubby sighed, and muttered something under
"What'd you say, Boss?" Digger asked.
"I said, "Now I remember why we didn't take
that free vacation to the Astro-Villa."
"Uh… because it was an insidiously evil plot
by Dr. Sloth to lure us into some kind of timeshare trap?"
"Well there was that, but mostly because I HATE
With that, Jubby started off with a scowl and
new intensity towards Grundo's Café. Digger ran through several pairs of legs
of various descriptions before catching up.
"What's" he panted "the rush?"
"I want to get this over with."
"Get WHAT over with?"
By this time they had arrived at Grundo's, the
biggest hive of Neopian scum and villainy outside of Krawk Island. Creatures
of various descriptions (and some who defied description) sat around the circular
pit that served as Grundo's food prep and serving area. Jubby motioned with
one foot to Digger, and they walked over to one of the few shadowed corners
in the glaring technological uber-diner.
"Hello again, Jubby," a quiet, slightly rasping
voice said. Something about that voice made all of Digger's fur stand on end…but
that was nothing compared to what the sight of its' owner did.
"GREAT FLAMING CORNDOGS!" Digger yipped. For
what must have been the twelfth time in this adventure, he jumped up under Jubby's
Kaudora hat. "What's that?" he whispered, trembling even in hiding.
The figure seated in the corner was… well… not
pretty. It was as if someone had taken all the most hideous features from every
different kind of mutant, and somehow glommed them into one poor, misshapen
creature. Said creature stuck its' long purple tongue out, and crossed its'
bulging buggy eyes at Digger.
"Hello Jesenka," Jubby said. "Sorry about him.
"A wimp?" Jesenka finished with a slight toothless
"HEY! You're just scary-lookin'!" Digger said
in his own defense.
"Yeah, he's a wimp," Jubby whispered. Jesenka
"Take a seat Jubby. I've missed you," she purred.
With a slight internal steeling of his nerves,
Jubby took a seat next to Jesenka, who immediately snuggled up to him like a
"I've reaaally missed you, Jubby," she said,
laying her monumentally lumpen head on his fluff. "You don't come to see me
"I've… been busy," Jubby replied, trying very
hard to get to the point. "Uhm…I need some information on your boyfriend."
"THAT" Digger squeaked from under Jubby's hat
"Is Dr. Sloth's girlfriend?"
"Slothie?" Jesenka said with a disgusted snort,
totally ignoring Digger's peanut-gallery comments. "He's not MY boyfriend anymore."
"Have a falling-out?" Jubby asked in what he
hoped was a sympathetic tone and not a strangled gasp. As well as being… highly
unusual to look at, Jesenka's aroma at close proximity was worse than a rotten
"So, short, red and fluffy, what can I do for
you?" she asked in what was obviously supposed to be a coy and silky voice.
She obviously didn't want to talk about whatever mishap had come between her
and Dr. Sloth.
I…" Jubby gulped. Even though he had been in
this situation before, the feeling of her different textures, from squishy to
crunchy to moldy, snuggling up against him and trying to get a kiss was always
a bit much for his nerves. "I need to know where Sloth keeps his good stuff."
Jesenka sighed, crestfallen that once again
Jubby hadn't asked for anything more special. "So, what kind of "good stuff"
are you talking about? Grundo's house special? His private video library? His
secretary bot?" the last was said with an angry and bitter growl.
Jubby pondered for a moment. "I'm thinking more
like high-security weapons, things he doesn't want the minions to get a hold
of…like where he would've stored Brucey B's coin if he'd gotten it back here."
Jesenka looked at Jubby slyly for a moment.
She knew what he wanted… she'd seen the armed Grundo guards bring it past the
café earlier that day. And she knew where he kept it. But in knowing this, she
had an opportunity to finally get what SHE wanted. "All right Jubby. I'll tell
you where it is… on one condition?"
"Con…" Jubby gulped. "Condition?"
"The location of the item you want… in exchange
for a kiss."
"That's what I thought you'd say," Jubby replied
with a resigned sigh. He could tell that there was no other way to get what
they needed. So, like any good hero, he sucked it up, puckered up, and planted
a big strawberry-tastic kiss on Jesenka's bloated, wrinkly lips.
Jesenka closed her eyes, and smiled a smile
of pure bliss and contentment. "I'll never wash my lips again," she murmured.
"You mean you wash them to begin with?" Digger
couldn't help but ask.
Jubby held down his hat so that his quipping
companion couldn't spoil Jesenka's mood… and their chance at the Spoon. Jesenka
didn't seem to hear or notice any of it.
"At the north end of the Station, just past
the Space Battledome, you'll find the Grundo Warehouse. It won't be hard to
sneak past the front man, but the guards in the back will be harder to get by.
Be careful Jubby…and come see me again soon." Jesenka told them quietly. She
then shambled to her misshapen feet, paid her tab, and walked out.
Jubby sighed, and sat there for a moment.
"What's wrong Boss? She give you some kind of
Jubby shook his fuzzy head and sighed again.
"I feel sorry for her, Digger. Sloth used her for his first mutation experiments,
when she was just a little pet. Now nobody can stand to be around her anymore…not
even other mutants. Being Sloth's girlfriend was all she had. I wish there was
something I could do for her."
Digger remembered the look of utter happiness
on Jesenka's face, and patted Jubby's head. "I think you've done a lot for her,
Boss. I really do."
Jubby looked up at his companion, and gave a
smile. "Maybe. Maybe one day I'll be able to do more for her. Now let's go get
what we came here for!"
To be continued...