World Dominate: Over-Cheery - Part Two
The rain seemed to be gushing from the sky by the time
Agent 53 surfaced. It had taken some work to break through the over-wet mud
that had caked the surface, and now his green fur was coated over in a think,
wet layer. He poked his head out of the hole and glanced around, immensely large
eyes scanning unblinkingly the area around him. Once he was sure that no one
was near, he crawled the rest of the way out.
It must have been stupid, blundering Agent 1072,
Agent 53 thought. Letting an object for a future plan loose weeks before it
was supposed to be… It was the type of blunder that Agent 1072 would make, and
since he was under Agent 53's patrol, Agent 53 was responsible.
"No matter," said Agent 53, almost blithely.
It was nice to be outside, even if it was raining so hard that he could barely
see his paw in front of his eyes. In fact, he was guaranteed to be above ground
for several days, and at last he would be able to see the sun again with his
own eyes. Master Alexander had rarely let him come up here, mostly because of
his innate ability to formulate plans for their world domination.
He didn't care to remember his name from before
his recruitment, for it brought… bitter memories. He was simply Agent 53, the
fifty-second that Alexander had recruited out of thousands. Being behind fifty-two
others in number did not mean he was in the fifty-second place. It only was
the number assigned him when Alexander came knocking on his door. No, Agent
53 was more powerful than most of the other Agents, and the closest one to Alexander,
Agent 1, himself.
The green Meepit glanced around as he continued
walking on, carefully noting the route he was taking so that he could follow
it back with the plant. The plant was still a work in progress for the Meepits,
something that would help in their goal of world domination. They did not have
a name for it, mostly because they weren't quite sure what to call it. They
needed a name that wouldn't cause suspicion, but a name that would draw enough
attention to itself. Well, he though grimly. At least only one escaped.
Except for a few minor things, everything was
going well with the Meepits' plans. True, articles had found their way into
the Times, but even reporters knew only enough information about the Meepits
to fill a grain of sand on a wide and twisting shore.
The revelation of the Kad's true loyalties had
been a shame, though easily fixable. Even that was still a grain of sand in
importance. No one knew of the secret underground lair of Meepits and their
slaves, where the Meepits bent on world domination lurked with their many different
projects. The plants were the latest project - Mission 503, to be specific -
and the Meepits were sure that they were not ready to be released.
Agent 53 scurried along, wishing the rain would
stop so he could see better, though it only seemed to worsen. He was finally
forced to take shelter in a small hollow under a log, and luckily it was not
home to something else; for now, he was alone.
Water dripped down his fur, though he could not
hear it through the roar of the storm. Of all nights, why did a storm have to
come and obscure his vision? Didn't the storm realize that there were more important
things for the creatures below than to sit around and watch the rain fall?
"Benny, it's raining outside! We can't go
play out there, but maybe we can tomorrow."
The Meepit's eyes grew, if possible, even larger
and rounder than they had been before. The drying fur all over his body rose
unpleasantly, though he knew that it had nothing to do with the rain. He smacked
his head sharply, and the image of the faerie Poogle vanished instantly. It
would do him no good to think of her. It took him only a moment to forget the
incident completely, for he had purposefully forgotten it for years.
But why, he asked, some hours later, why had
he remembered that? The rain, of course. But why did he have to remember her?
He glanced down at his paws, barely able to see
them in the dark. He had small armguards on them that had lightning-shaped symbols.
Everyone thought it was just something to make him look more intimidating -
he had even adopted lightning as his symbol, and only he wore things with that
symbol on them.
The fact was that the armguards hid something
from everyone else, but mostly himself. They hid an identical set of scars that
crisscrossed over his arms. It wasn't the fact that he had scars that made him
hide them. Many of the Meepits had scars from one battle or another. No, it
wasn't the fact that he had the thatch-work of scars to hide, but the reason
he had obtained them that he had hidden them.
It wouldn't have mattered if the other Meepits
knew he had scars there. It wasn't uncommon. In fact, he could go around and
let all of them see the scars. The fact was, though, that only one other Meepit
knew he even had scars, and that was Alexander. But even then, no one knew how
he had obtained them, no one but he, and… her.
"I refuse to remember her at an important time
such as this," he told himself. "I have duties to fulfill."
But even so, the Meepit sat under the rain-drenched
log, thinking something that no one would expect a Meepit to think, something
that no one would expect a Meepit to know.
Slowly the rain began
to decrease its torrential flow, decreasing to a hard rain, lightening to a
soft one, lessening to a drizzle, until at last it diminished to a heavy fog.
Underneath a rain-soaked log a green Meepit slept, completely unaware that he
could have taken up his quest again several hours before. It wasn't until the
sun rose above the hills, broke through the dying fog, and shone merrily into
his face that he woke.
Agent 53 opened his eyes, startled at his abrupt
awakening, and the length of time he had slept. It was dawn already? Why had
he fallen asleep last night when he knew that the rain could lessen at any time,
that he could have begun his quest again once the rain had slowed? He sighed
bitterly. It would be best if he didn't mention that blunder to Alexander. Already
the Master was angry at him for something he hadn't done, allowing Mission 503
to escape. The green Meepit swore silently that he would discover who had allowed
the plant to escape, and make the agent suffer the consequences.
The sodden ground made unpleasant squelching
noises under his feet, though he ignored it, listening intently for any sounds
besides his footsteps and the dripping of rainwater from tree limbs. He was
near the Neopian Central - he had chosen that hole because he knew it was near
the plant. He didn't know where the plant was exactly, though he would find
it eventually: after all, when one creates such a powerful weapon, one can feel
the weapon's presence. It might have been other, lower agents that had grown
the plants, but it had been Agent 53's idea, Agent 53's project, and Agent 53's
"Which is why, of course, I've been sent to retrieve
it," he muttered bitterly under his breath. A slight breeze drifted near him,
blowing some more of the fog away. With his unblinking eyes he could see the
outskirts of the Neopian Central, though where in there the plant was hidden,
he did not yet know.
In the streets of the Central, streets that would
soon become overcrowded with busy shoppers, were a few who had already woken.
He crawled underneath a low-hanging bush and watched some of them, eyes narrowed.
A red Hissi strolled - or slithered - along, humming to himself and apparently
oblivious to the fact that he was strolling right off the cobblestone path of
the outer Central. As he came closer, Agent 53 could see a long scar running
from his forehead, across his right eye, and on down the rest of his face. Though
the scar was deep, the Hissi had been lucky in the fact that it had not blinded
his eye. As he came closer Agent 53 noticed a glint of silver and sapphire around
his neck - a silver chain with a flat blue stone set in the center.
The Hissi continued to gaze up at the sky, slithering
right past the Meepit's hideout. Agent 53 was unnerved when the Hissi stopped
moving forward, though he did continue to hum to the sky. The tune came to a
close, as the Hissi let the humming fade. The black slits in the yellow eyes
continued to stare at the sky; and then, unexpectedly, the slits very slowly
turned to look to the bush. The Hissi slowly turned his head, gazing at a single
spot - the exact spot where Agent 53 was.
"You'd think with all your plans to take over
the world you'd be in a better position than hiding out underneath a bush,"
the Hissi said bluntly.
Agent 53 jumped, startled. How had the Hissi
known he was there? Unless, of course, he had seen him hide under the bush from
the Central… But Agent 53 was the same color as the grass and bush, and wouldn't
have been easily spotted from such a distance. Perhaps it was something else…
"Come on out, Meepit," the Hissi told him. "You're
here for that plant that appeared yesterday, aren't you? I almost fell under
the spell it cast, though I was protected - as always."
Still not understanding how the Hissi knew all
this, Agent 53 crawled slowly out, looking up at the Hissi with his unblinking
eyes. Just a quick spell, the Meepit thought resentfully. The only problem was,
when the Meepit looked into the Hissi's eyes, the reptilian did not go into
a daze that was a trance, as he should've done. The Hissi merely stared at him,
and then a small smile twitched at the corners of his mouth.
"Your mind-tricks won't work on me, Meepit. I
am protected - as always. Now I suppose you want me to tell you where I saw
that plant, eh?"
The Meepit hesitated, then nodded sullenly, not
liking the position he was now in.
"It was in a back corner of a junk shop near
here, on 52nd Street. It's probably bought by now, but surely your innate pull
toward it will guide you once you're there?"
The Hissi then began to slither on in the direction
he had been heading before, as if he hadn't stopped at all. The Meepit watched
him for a moment, and then began to walk toward the Central.
"And Benny," the Hissi said suddenly. Agent 53
froze in his tracks, his eyes, if possible, widening. "Please consider some
of the people you'd be hurting when your kind begin to enslave the world. I
don't think Penelope would be happy if she knew what you were up to."
A few seconds later he heard the familiar humming,
and when his limbs had finally unfrozen he turned slowly around. The red Hissi
was still slithering away, head still held up as he stared at the sky, so that
from a distance he looked arrogant. But Agent 53 knew better. It hadn't been
arrogance in the Hissi's voice when he had spoke those words - it had been amusement,
as if saying those two names were some type of a joke. The worse of it was,
what the stranger had said had been true.
To be continued...