Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 105,637,792 Issue: 210 | 30th day of Gathering, Y7
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World Dominate: Over-Cheery - Part Five


by fierwym

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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 cheap.

     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 knew…

     …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. "Continue."

     "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 on. Continue."

     "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...

 
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Other Episodes


» World Dominate: Over-Cheery - Part One
» World Dominate: Over-Cheery - Part Two
» World Dominate: Over-Cheery - Part Three
» World Dominate: Over-Cheery - Part Four



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