The Roboball: Part One
Somewhere deep within the earth of Neopia, Dr. Sloth was
working on his latest invention. It would be the tool that would allow him to
reclaim his place as the most powerful being in Neopia! That is, if he could get
it to work.
It wasn't that Dr. Sloth's work was a failure.
Everything up until this point has been perfect! The case was that if he did
not do everything right in the completion of his creation, a year's worth of
work would have been wasted. Up until this point, his Mutant Grundo slaves have
helped in the gathering and construction of the parts to put together. It was
now his job alone to put everything together properly.
The interior body of his machine was not too
difficult. Dr. Sloth was used to making humanoid robots enough that it has become
second nature to him. The plating and reflectors, however, would need a little
more work on his part. The armor needed to be set just right, so that if his
robot pulled his arms and legs into a fetal position, it would look like a giant
metal ball. In this form, it could fly through the air at break neck speeds,
as if it were a thrown baseball. And in combat, it could reflect or absorb any
magical blow from its attacker. This feature, along with one other, would make
it invincible. And it would be under complete command by him. Dr. Sloth, the
future ruler of Neopia!
After many grueling weeks of work, Sloth was
almost completed with his robot, which stood six feet tall from head to toe,
and was colored red and silver. One final piece of plating needed to be put
in place. Before it could be welded however, Sloth needed to install all of
the machines programming. This was the most critical phase, otherwise all his
work would be for nothing! If the programming went correctly, his invention
would close off into a ball after the final plate was put in. He would then
put his invention in a specially designed chamber and power up his robot, to
make it come alive. After it is powered up, it would emerge from its ball form
and receive orders from Sloth.
However, if his programming was faulty, the
robot may stay inside its protective state, making it impossible to open up.
If Sloth were to pry his invention open, all of his compact welding and wiring
would be torn apart, thereby destroying his creation. So as to not let that
happen, Sloth put extra care to be very careful with its programming, to make
sure it came out of its shell after being powered up.
The programming of his robot took many days,
but it was finally complete. He activated the countdown programming, and he
began to quickly weld the final plate permanently to the body. He had only a
few minutes before his robot pulled himself into a ball. He finished his welding
and gathered up his tools, with about eleven seconds to spare. Sloth stood there,
sweating with excitement, completely focused on his creation.
Eleven seconds passed, and Sloth's robot stood
silent. He began to wonder if it was a failure after all, and that he would
have to build another. To his glee, however, the robot began to cave in upon
itself, and formed into a ball about two and a half feet wide. He did a little
dance and shouted for his Mutant slaves. Two hulking Grundos came into his lab.
He ordered them to pick up the metal ball on the floor and place it into the
power chamber. Picking up the heavy robot, they placed it on the pedestal in
the center of the room. The room was sealed off, and many electrical wires and
probes came out of the floor, walls, and ceiling to encircle the entire circumference
of the robot. Sloth put on a pair of shades, and giggled with anticipation as
he flipped switches and pressed buttons to power up his invention.
With a blinding flash, electrical current flowed
onto the robot. The plating was doing its job, as the power meters by Sloth's
hands showed that it was absorbing all the energy thrown at it. After ten whole
seconds, the bright flash subsided. All the wires and probes returned to their
places in the walls. Dr. Sloth removed his shades, and stared intently to see
if his creation would respond to the extreme boost of energy. To his extreme
joy, the robot levitated off the pedestal it was resting upon, and changed into
its humanoid form. It then placed his feet upon the pedestal below him, and
stood there, prepared to receive orders from Sloth.
Dr. Sloth's fanatical laughter could be heard
throughout his underground base. Every Mutant Grundo turned their heads towards
the laughter, knowing that it was time to again go to the surface, and wage
war against Neopia. They each readied themselves with all there new weaponry
and armor, ready to hear the command of Sloth.
Sloth's laughter toned down after a minute to
mere giggles. He gazed through his looking glass at his creation, which was
still waiting for orders, as his programming said to do. Sloth wondered to himself,
and realized he did not have a name for his creation yet. He thought for awhile,
and then thought of a clever name after remembering it could turn into a ball.
He decided to name it Roboball.
Far from Dr. Sloth's underground lair, Nameless
the shopkeeper wasn't feeling too good. Not too many people were coming to the
shop today. In the past, he thought no one bought anything because they could
not see him, the store clerk, as he sometimes became invisible. After time,
however, he began to realize that no one bought anything because his entire
stock was filled with junk and overpriced items. They adorned all the shelves
of the store. Anyone who came by and saw the products and prices were so disgusted
that they never came back.
It was this fact alone that the previous clerk,
Clog the lumbering Frankenstein, left without a word. He was replaced by a Robot
also named Clog, but it eventually left too. Jacob (his employer) was so devastated,
he almost gave up the store. His joy for life though was changed when Nameless
came in for the job. He had begun to restock the shelves again, with both junk
and worthwhile buys.
Business boomed in spurts, and it's been a few
days since the last one. It would be another week before he got any customers,
so Nameless simple passed the time by sleeping in his chair, waiting for a new
The bell above the store entrance ringed, meaning
someone was coming into the shop. Sitting up, Nameless gathered up his strength
to make himself become visible to the customers. With a happy voice and a grin,
he said, "Hello! Welcome to my store!"
"Hey Nameless. What's up? Just so you know,
I got a big haul today!"
It was Jacob, still wearing dark clothing and
still a bit pudgy. Nameless uttered a groan, and went back to being an outline
of his true image. That was his best customer welcome all day, and he wasted
it on his boss. Jacob took notice of this, saying, "Hey Nameless. Are you alright?
You look kind of sick. You don't have NeoFlu do you?"
Nameless gave a small smile, and said, "No.
I'm fine. What do you got for me today Jacob?"
Jacob brought up his travel bag up on to the
counter. Out of the bag he pulled three different flavors of jelly bottled soda.
"So, what do you think," said Jacob with a hopeful
grin. "Jelly food from Jelly World, the place that is not supposed to exist."
Nameless scratched his head, not too impressed.
"So you got it from Jelly World, huh? I don't think it will sell Jacob."
"What do you mean it won't sell," Jacob said,
sounding a little hurt. "It came from Jelly World, which means it is a rare
and valuable find."
"Not necessarily," said Nameless, pointing at
other jelly products on the store shelf. "As you can see, that hunk of jelly
cheese hasn't sold yet, and neither has the bowl of jelly cereal. And those
happen to be the first jelly products you gave me."
At that moment, Metonot (Jacob's Korbat friend
and Neopet) flew up and started to hover in front of Nameless.
"Hey, just because nobody bought it right away
doesn't mean it will never be bought," said Metonot. "Have some faith in people
Nameless. Someone will eventually realize the value of jelly food."
"That's the spirit Metonot," said Jacob, his
spirit refreshed. "It doesn't matter if it is a quick buy or not. Just the fact
that it is there when one someone needs it."
Nameless sighed, saying, "Alright. Let's put
these jelly soda bottles up on the shelf then."
"Good," said Jacob, who was now packing up his
bag. "I'll be back to see you in a few days Nameless. Have a good day!"
"Bye Nameless!" said Metonot as he flew after
Jacob through the door.
Nameless placed the jelly food in its appropriate
area, and walked back to his place behind the counter. Sighing to himself again,
he knew it was going to be another uneventful day.
To be continued...