World Dominate: Over-Cheery - Part Five
An Unwelcome Visitor
Agent 53 stared after the departing Niptor, mouth agape
and eyes wide in shock. How many were there that knew his name!? He had once
thought that only he and Alexander knew his name, and also… his previous owner.
Was it possible that the Niptor was his old owner's new petpet? He wouldn't
doubt it: she had been very wealthy, and both Meepits and Niptors weren't very
The Niptor was apparently blind to the shock
he had caused the agent standing under the stone bench in front of the large
house. He continued to walk through the grass to the front porch, entering into
the house through a small door that seemed to be designed just for him. Even
after he had left, the Meepit stood there and wondered just how much of his
life that people knew, when he had tried for years to keep it all a secret.
But past the shock of discovering that the Niptor
knew his previous name, the Meepit was pondering the other things that he had
said. He had spoke of the different types of petpets, and though Agent 53 hated
to admit it, the Niptor had been right.
"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?"
That was what Topper had told him moments before,
leaving a stunned and perplexed Meepit behind. Did he fall into that last category?
Was he truly afraid like the Niptor had said? Was everything he had believed
the past few years a lie?
He shook his head roughly. There he went again,
thinking thoughts that could only lead to thoughts of mutiny. If Alexander ever
…and yet regret their decision…
He shook himself of the memory of the Niptor's
voice. He would find out how the Niptor had known his name, someday when the
whole of Neopia was enslaved. Then Topper would wish he had never discovered
nor mentioned Agent 53's name.
…and hope for the opportunity to return…
He shook his head even harder, and turned away
from the gate and the house into which the Niptor had disappeared. It was true
that he had abandoned his old owner, and certainly for what was the greater
cause… But did he honestly regret it?
"Regret is weakness," he mumbled to himself,
and continued down the street to where the Niptor had indicated. He was so close
to the plant now - he could almost feel it. But even as he tried to forget what
the other had said, a voice nagged at the back of his mind, telling him that
he did indeed regret his choice, and was always looking, always hoping, for
the opportunity to return to her…
"Think thoughts like that and you'll end up a
dead Meepit," he muttered to himself, causing a street-Warf to glance over at
him with a look that suggested he thought the Meepit was crazy. It was a good
thing that Agent 53 didn't catch the look thrown at him, since taking out his
frustration on a passerby would be something he'd dearly like to do at the moment;
and what better way to excuse himself if he said the Warf had goaded him on?
Victoria woke, finding
the world around her just a blur. She was still sitting at her cardboard table
with her hands propping up her head, though both of her arms were asleep from
lack of blood. She moved them, feeling warmth rush to the tips of her fingers.
Her eyesight finally began to stop blurring, and she found herself facing her
wonderful smiling plant.
"Hello, my Cheery Plant," she greeted it cheerfully,
and though it only smiled its same old smile in return, she was happy and content
as she rummaged for leftovers from the previous night's dinner. She was only
slightly surprised to see that the walls of her poor home were soaked through
- she hadn't realized that there had been a rain through the night. She shrugged,
turning toward the table where the plant sat. She wasn't worried at all about
her home - with the plant there, everything would always be alright. Always.
She sat down and began to eat, smiling happily
at the plant that smiled back. Unnoticed by her in her complete daze, the soaked
cardboard door to her small home opened slowly and softly. Two pairs of large
unblinking eyes stared inside, settling first on her, and then on the plant
before her. A small grin lit the intruder's face. He opened the door some more,
and closed it softly, unheard by the Wocky that sat not four feet away. Then
he quietly walked over, watching her intently.
After a few moments, he finally decided to walk
into her range of vision. She gasped slightly and looked over at him, though
he could tell that she was still under the plant's spell from the nearly unconcerned
look in her eyes. He caught her eyes in his own, and immediately the lids over
her eyes drooped to about halfway.
"Go to sleep, Victoria," the Meepit crooned softly.
She nodded sleepily to him, turned toward her table, and fell asleep with her
head resting in her paws. The Meepit grinned at how easy it had been to hypnotize
her when she was already under the spell of the plant he had created.
"I'll be back for you," he told the plant, a
little sharply. Each of the eyes no longer had the cheerful look that they had
given the Wocky, and each smile had turned into a terrible smirk. He grinned
devilishly in return. All things were going well.
He turned and left the cardboard home, knowing
that the Wocky would not wake until many hours later, and knowing that by that
time, she would be in the possession of the Meepits.
All things were going well.
Agent 53 headed for the closest Meepit hole near
Victoria's home, knowing that he had to fulfill the Master's orders. He entered
into the small dark tunnel nearly five blocks away, savoring with glee the darkness
of the place. He hadn't liked the light on the surface.
Though a small part of him still did.
He shook off the thought, knowing already where
it would begin to lead and not wanting to go there. He had to report to the
Master about the things he had learned while on the surface, even though all
of it had been unpleasant save for the fact that the Wocky in possession of
the plant was in a deep sleep. Then he would have to get some reinforcements,
and return to the surface to take both the plant and its new owner down into
the lair of the Meepits.
It didn't take him long to reach the main chambers
of the lair. Once there, he was greeted from all sides by "Agent 53 has returned!"
He simply replied to all of them, slightly annoyed, that he had been gone less
that a day, and had returned completely safe. Soon he was able to enter the
more private chambers where the top Meepits quartered, and the room where the
Master had set Agent 53 on his task the previous day. As he had hoped, Master
Alexander was in there, talking to Agent 105 about an old project that they
would have to abandon soon.
"Agent 53!" said the Master without surprise,
turning away as Agent 105 hurried off to perform his duties. "I hadn't been
expecting you back so early." The tone of his voice suggested otherwise, Agent
53 thought. "Have you found the plant?"
"Of course I have," Agent 53 replied. "You told
me to come back for reinforcements if someone already had it in their possession.
A young Wocky has the plant currently, though she will be easy to bring down
here." He didn't mention the fact that he didn't really need reinforcements
to bring her down, since she was weak from the plant anyway. "But first I must
tell you some bad news."
"Bad news," the Master sighed unconvincingly.
"While up on the surface, I met a red Hissi with
a strange silver chain and blue sapphire. He was able to repel the power I tried
to use over him. I am not certain if it was the Hissi himself, or the sapphire
he carried on the chain around his neck." For some strange reason not known
to Agent 53, he decided to leave out the fact that the Hissi had known his name.
"We will have to investigate this further, later
"Later I met an Albat in an old second-hand shop.
His name was Konner. He was a clever one, and since we do not know where their
true eyes are, I was unable to hypnotize him either. He refused to give me information
on the whereabouts of the plant unless I made a deal with him."
"And what was this deal?" asked the Master sharply.
"Just that I'd allow him to protect a few that
he wishes to protect," the agent said without concern. "Probably just himself
and his owner, and perhaps a few other friends. Selfish little thing, he probably
was. Anyway, I promised him this in exchange for vital information regarding
the return of the plant."
"Continue," said the Master, though the agent
could tell that he was not pleased.
"I… There isn't anything else that would concern
the task of the Meepits," said Agent 53. He was very reluctant to tell Alexander
that there were two others that knew his true name, the Hissi and Topper. As
for the other things Topper had to say, they concerned the private life of Agent
53, and relating such thoughts that he might actually wish to return to his
old life would be considered treason, and he would then be punished. He wasn't
really lying, he told himself, frightened of the thought of lying to the Master.
What Topper had told him was unrelated to the Meepits' scheme, and entirely
based off his own personal experiences.
"It was good of you to relate this information
to me," said the Master. "Now take three other Meepits with you to retrieve
the Wocky and the plant. I will send a messenger to check that the tunnel under
the Brain Tree is clear for her to come through."
Agent 53 bowed slightly, then turned and left
to the other chambers of the top Meepits. Soon he found Agents 27, 41, and 89,
the Meepits who ranked just after him. The green Meepit with the lightning-ensigns
led the others quickly to the surface, where they reached the cardboard house
of the Wocky without mishap. Agent 27 went and woke the Wocky, hypnotizing her
quickly. Agents 41 and 89 left to clear the way - they had to make it all the
way to the base of the Brain Tree in the Haunted Forest. Agent 53 grabbed the
smiling plant, and just as quickly as the Meepits had come, they left, leaving
an empty cardboard house behind.
It took them the rest of the day and the better
part of the next to reach the black woods of the Haunted Forest, though once
they were near the base of the Brain Tree they were greeted by a sinister grin.
The roots near the base of the tree shifted and revealed a much larger tunnel
than the ones the Meepits usually traveled through, large enough for a Pet to
crawl down. Victoria did so without complaint, fully under the trance. Agent
41 entered first, followed closely by Victoria, then Agents 27 and 89. Agent
53 brought up the rear, holding the smiling plant before him.
Once all five and the plant had entered the long,
dark tunnel, the roots of the Brain Tree returned to their original places as
if they had never moved, and the Brain Tree continued to send Pets on quests
that had little purpose when compared to the dark plans that were being made
many feet below the ground.
To be continued...