World Dominate: Over-Cheery - Part Four
Another Unpleasant Surprise
Agent 53 did as Konnor had suggested and began to ask
other Petpets if they had seen a blue Wocky with a small plant. Once outside
Tom's Second-Hand Shop, the Meepit turned right and found himself face to face
with a street-Angelpuss who looked as though she had already used eight of her
nine lives. She had several old scars and quite a few new scratches, and one
of her ears had nicks in it, as if some teeth had once torn there. She seemed
quite unalarmed when she saw him, though she seemed eager to leave to find some
"Did you see a blue Wocky come by here with a
plant?" he asked.
The Angelpuss glared at him, and then said, "You're
headed in the right direction."
"Thanks," Agent 53 said without much feeling
behind the words, and continued in the direction he had been heading. The Angelpuss
glared after him, then crawled under a fence and continued on her way.
The grounds were still moist and there were puddles
of water glistening in the streets, evidence of the previous night's rain. The
green Meepit avoided the larger, deeper puddles, though after a while his feet
were caked in mud and he was forced to walk through a few smaller puddles to
wash it off. Each time he passed another Petpet he asked if he were going in
the right direction, and he was glad he did. For though half the time he was
headed the right way, the other half he had to change direction.
Soon he left the main center of the Central and
its busy ways, and found himself facing more houses and homes than actual shops.
He glanced at some of the houses that he passed by, bemused at how the owners
had decorated them. He passed by one that seemed to be made entirely of plant-life
- until he realized that though there were many plants, the two-story home was
painted the same greens as the growth. He passed by another that made his eyes
dizzy, with vibrant shades of hot pink and many black swirls. Still another
had a lawn that seemed to be taken over by gnomes. He passed by houses of all
shapes and sizes, from the smallest little shack to the tallest luxury home,
and ironically, he thought, the cheapest and the poorest seemed to reside side
by side, rather than having an area of wealth followed by an area of shacks
and poorer people.
Agent 53 stopped and rested underneath a stone
bench in front of a house that seemed to be themed around Tyrannia. He did not
know how much longer it would take him to find the Wocky and the plant, though
he did feel that he was getting closer. The worst thing that could happen to
him now was for someone to realize he was there and try to capture him before
he could return to the Meepits' lair and report to them. He allowed himself
a small grin at the very thought of it. There were very few that could brush
aside the Meepit's stare. The Albats, for one, though if the Meepits could discover
where the Albat's true eyes were, they would fall under the power as well.
Agent 53 frowned slightly. Not only could the
Albats avoid the trance. No, there was that one that had defied the agent earlier
that day, the strange red Hissi with the sapphire on the silver chain. It struck
Agent 53 for the first time that he did not know the Hissi's name, nor anything
else about him other than his species and the fact that he had a strange power
to deflect the stare. Perhaps the power lay nestled in the sapphire he wore,
and if that were so, Agent 53 vowed silently that he would try to take it away
from the Hissi, and learn if any other stones were in use. After all, if the
people that the Meepits were trying to take over could suddenly fight back,
surely he and maybe some others would be able to destroy the stones that allowed
them to deflect the stare?
His whiskers twitched slightly at the thought
of having to reveal to Master Alexander the bits of unpleasant news he had picked
up. The Master would be furious when he discovered that there was one - and
perhaps more - that could deflect the stare, whether an inherited power or due
to the blue stone worn around the neck. The Master would be furious when he
discovered that the Albats couldn't be put under the stare like so many others
could. The Master would be furious when he discovered that to gain more information
about the plant, Agent 53 had to bargain with an Albat. The Master would be
His eyes went dull and sullen. And then the Master
would turn all his fury on Agent 53, even if he could never have prevented these
things. Somehow it would always be his fault, and he would be punished. Even
second to the leader of the Meepits had its downsides. He was expected by all
to take any punishments given him - whether they be for a crime he did or did
not commit - and live on. But Agent 53 was so tired of being the one the Master
turned to when he was angry, giving him unfair punishments whenever he so desired,
The Meepit's eyes widened suddenly as he realized
what he was doing. He was throwing shadows over his leader's name! Thoughts
such as these were sure to lead to thoughts of mutiny, and he could never consider
such a thing. If ever Alexander knew what Agent 53 had just been thinking… He
shivered at the thought.
"What are you doing there, Meepit?" said a voice
behind Agent 53, a voice with an unhidden accusatory tone. The agent was jerked
from his thoughts. He turned around and found himself staring through the whitish,
bone-like bars of the gate that surrounded the Tyrannian house. Between two
of those bars stood a Niptor, his yellow eyes glaring intently at the agent.
The green Meepit stared at the other petpet for a moment, ruing the fact that
he had let the Niptor get so close without detection. What was happening to
him? Was he really losing his touch? What would Alexander say if he knew?
"I'm resting," the Meepit said blandly. "Have
you seen a blue Wocky with a small plant?"
The Niptor cocked his head slightly. "Victoria
lives not far from here," he said.
"How do you know her name?" asked the Meepit
"Well," snapped the Niptor. "When you once belonged
to someone who sold you for some extra money, you wouldn't forget her in a hurry."
"I'm sorry to hear that," replied Agent 53.
"Can Meepits feel sorrow?" sneered the Niptor.
"I was a prize given to Victoria, but she was very poor. She sold me for some
extra money, though those neopoints were probably spent years ago." The Niptor's
hard eyes softened slightly. "She was born poor, and she would do anything for
extra neopoints to buy some food for herself. She's a good person, though, so
don't you harm her!"
"I don't plan to," the Meepit said solemnly.
The Niptor eyed him for a few moments, then seemed
to be able to find him trustworthy. "She lives in a cardboard house a few blocks
away. She must have been robbed after she sold me - she seems just as poor now
as she did then."
"Thank you," the agent replied.
"My name is Topper," the Niptor said.
"I am called Agent 53," said the Meepit.
"Agent 53," Topper said thoughtfully. "Surely
it is not your real name?"
The Meepit hesitated. "I once had another name.
I do not care to use it anymore."
"Was it when you belonged to someone?"
"Strange," Topper said. "Strange how different
petpets look to their owners. Some don't care who their owner is, just wondering
when the next meal will be and hoping they don't get too bored. Some see their
owner as a source of protection. Some feel a sense of loyalty to their owner.
Some can be sold and forget all about their old owner. Some can be sold and
still hold on to the memory. Some abandon their owner in hopes of a better life.
Some can abandon their owner and join those that will enslave their previous
owner and everyone else."
"What are you trying to say?" asked the Meepit,
"That all will fall into one of those categories,"
the Niptor said cleverly. "But perhaps, maybe, you could make a finale one."
"Why would I want to do that?"
"Because," Topper said plaintively. "Since you
hid your own name from yourself and others, you must have hid the memory of
your previous owner. If you had to hide yourself from him or her, that means
you haven't gone so far as to actually wish them to be enslaved."
"What are you heading toward?"
"What I mean to say is that you have hid him
or her from yourself, hid your name, hid your previous identity, because you
are very afraid of losing it. If you fell under the category of those petpets
that abandon their owner and join those that will enslave their previous owner
and everyone else, then you wouldn't be afraid of losing your previous life.
Only those that are afraid will hide."
"I am not afraid," the Meepit said defiantly.
"I wouldn't be too sure of that," the Niptor
said casually, turning to walk away and talking to the Meepit over his shoulder.
"Perhaps you fall under the category of those petpets who abandon their owners
for what they deem a greater cause, and yet regret their decision and hope for
the opportunity to return. Have you ever considered that, Benjamin?"
To be continued...