A cute pink meepit named Melanie stood first in line,
staring vacantly with her large, intense eyes with which she always seemed to
be lost in a daydream.
She had grown up and spent her entire life here,
and had never once tasted the pink juice, so she could only imagine what it
would be like: strawberry... watermelon... cotton candy... bubble gum... pink
glazed doughnuts, fully saturated with intoxicating sweetness.
Only in the world of make-believe could she
skip, leap and gallivant over the heavenly landscape of fluff, with glistening
frosted castles surrounded by lakes and rivers of melted ice cream and smoothies!
But when Melanie reached into the pipe, she
received a small cup of sour lemonade... blech!
Still, it was better than going thirsty, she
mentally decided as she inhaled it in one gulp, and went to the back of the
Some of the other meepits looked like they were
"What are you staring at?" asked the meepit
that was lying on the ground, twitching.
"I was just thinking," she said.
"Me too.. I could think about juppie juice all
The others chimed in, "Yeah, me too!"
"No," said Melanie, "I was thinking, maybe there's
a way to escape from here."
"Escape?" said a green meepit slowly turning
a sickly shade of pale avocado. "How could you leave the Juice-o-matic?"
"Well, maybe we could make our own Juice-o-matic,
or figure out how it works, so we can get more of what we want out of it."
Now the others just stared at her as if she
had proposed to make the juice fall out of the sky.. To them, the machine was
like a force of nature, not something you could mess with.
"Yeah, that would be nice..."
A few days later, it was Melanie's turn again
to get some juice.. She was so thirsty, her throat was scratchy and dry and
her tongue stuck to the roof of her mouth and scraped like sandpaper. She was
also on the verge of delirium, as she mapped out her escape in the air: she
would somehow find and collect the juppies herself, mash them up, set up a little
stand, and start the business.
Anyone could sample the syrupy, ice-blended
cups of enchantment, but donations were welcome.. She saw herself bustling about
in her little pink apron, starring in the Neopian Times as she advertised the
business: "Here we do everything the old-fashioned way, and we make sure each
fruit maintains its nutrients for an action-packed burst of flavor... It's a
taste you'll always remember and want more of... I knew it was my favorite drink
before I even tried it, and so will you!"
She smiled and winked at the invisible audience.
In reality, she stood in front of the pipe, staring
into its dark, empty interior:.. No juice for today.
Then Melanie thought she heard a distant voice
from inside the pipe, calling for help.
The pipe was big enough for her to crawl into,
but she was a little afraid of the dark.. Leaning forward, she squeaked, "Is
anyone in there?"
"Yes; please help me!"
It was another meepit in distress!
"OK," said Melanie, "I'll be right there..."
Melanie climbed into the pipe, and stepped into
the damp and scary darkness.
She was forced to make turns, as it kept branching
off into a complicated maze, and realized too late, the stupidity of getting
herself lost, just because some other meepit had been stupid enough to get lost!
She was so angry and annoyed that her eyes lit
up and beamed like flashlights. In this way she was able to find her way around
more easily, and ran into the giant blue meepit.
They introduced themselves. His name was Berry,
and that's what he looked like, a berry that was about to explode.
Apparently he had snuck into the pipes to steal
extra juppie juice, and had gained so much weight, he became stuck!
Melanie was appalled. "You deserve it," she
scolded him. "You've been hogging all the juice while honest meepits wait in
line all day and don't get anything!"
He was only thinking about himself.
"But what am I supposed to do now?" he complained.
"I can't even move!...And now I'm blocking the pipe!"
"You'll just have to lose some weight," Melanie
decided, "with my new one-step exercise program... The one step you take is
to decide you wanna make a positive difference for a new and healthy lifestyle...
Now, follow along."
She did an aerobics dance and sang, "Come on
Berry, get in shape!...Lose some weight and you'll feel great!"
Berry's front legs were sticking out, so he
was able to "bicycle" them through the air and imitate some of her flamboyant
She kept up the aerobics until she was too tired
to continue, but then Berry suddenly shouted with excitement, "Look at me!...
Your weight-loss program worked wonders! I can move again!"
It was progress.
"Good," said Melanie. "Now we can take a break"
Berry could move off to the side and let the
cups of juice pass them on a conveyor belt, so they were able to have refreshment
as they rested.
Melanie took a nap, and when she woke up, she
found Berry still greedily guzzling the juppie juice. "How much have you been
drinking?" she demanded.
"Well, you're gonna have to burn off all those
calories; let's go."
They went jogging for miles. The strict exercise
regime kept their minds off the fact that they were now so hopelessly lost,
they would probably never find their way into the sunlight again.
On the bright side, Berry was losing weight
and also putting on muscle, so he was starting to get buff.
He flexed, and stopped to admire himself, exclaiming,
"Look how amazing I am!"
Melanie had an idea: "I wonder if you're strong
enough to break through the pipe and get us out of here."
So he tried to push against the cement walls,
but nothing happened. Just when it looked like he was about to give up, he suddenly
yelled the meepit war-cry, "Meeeeeeeeeep!", ran, and head-butted the wall, which
fell in a crumbling heap.
Then, looking dazed, he emerged from the debris
with a red bump on his forehead. "What happened? Where am I?" he said dreamily.
They were able to walk out into the bright glow
of morning. The clouds sailed by, the birds sang. This was the real world of
Neopia! They could see from a totally new and different perspective. The maze
of pipes was hovering in midair. In the distance, there was a structure like
a factory or a machine, with a lot of activity going on inside... Could this
be the Juice-o-matic?
Neither meepit had ever conceived of what the
legendary machine would look like.
They went to go check it out, running at full
speed, and galloping on all fours in eager determination.
It was a complex system. Juppies seemed to be
coming from all directions, dropping into giant blenders and getting mixed and
mashed, so that everywhere they looked, there was a juicy swirl of brilliant
color, every color of the rainbow (plus pink).
A nearby blenderful of the pink juice tipped
and poured itself into another device, which in turn poured small amounts into
the cups being transported along a conveyor belt.
Melanie selected one of the drinks and took
a slow sniff of its temptingly tantalizing aroma... But just as she was about
to drink it, a loud booming voice startled her:
"So- you've found me at last!"
It was a tall green alien.
"Huh?" said Melanie in confusion.
Berry also looked up in alarm from the juppies
he'd been snacking on with gusto.
"Surely you must know who I am," the alien continued.
"My name is Dr. Frank Sloth, the brilliant, insane evil scientist bent on the
total destruction of Neopia, all neopets, and their good-for-nothing petpets,
not to mention those silly, ridiculous little petpetpets!" he said, bursting
into maniacal laughter.
The meepits stared at him.
"You think you can defeat me just by staring
at me?" Dr. Sloth asked. "...Fools... Your powers are weak... I've made sure
of that by controlling this Juice-o-matic and depriving you of the juice you
crave, and now that you've discovered my plan I will have to destroy you!"
The meepits stood there shivering and waiting
for something terrible to happen to them, as Sloth fiddled with a remote control.
Eventually a robot came slowly marching towards
them. It had the word 'via' written on it.
Berry happened to notice, and couldn't help
wondering, "Why does it say 'via'?"
"Nevermind what it says!" yelled Sloth.
"But why does it have 'V-I-A' written on it?"
As soon as he spelled out the word, the robot
exploded and disappeared.
"Blast! -You fluffy furballs are more cleverly
cunning than I actually anticipated! Well... bring out the four-letter words!"
Now a whole army of robots surrounded them,
but Berry simply spelled out each word he saw:
"Q-U-I-Z spells quiz! X-R-A-Y spells x-ray!"
And one by one, they disappeared... Melanie
joined in, helping him spell the words. It got more challenging as the words
got longer and more unusual, but the meepits were good spellers, and they soon
defeated every last robot.
"Don't think you can outwit me so easily," Sloth
warned. "I'm going now to devise a plan of revenge..."
He opened a portal into outer space and flew
In the meantime, the meepits were able to claim
the juice machine and gain back the power they once possessed to be rulers of