The Legend of the Mad Lab Scientist
This story is dedicated to the Mad Lab Scientist for having such a mysterious
There was a small pause.
A harmony of silence arose once more in the
air of the morose and desolate castle. All thought it could have been dead until
a scurrilous voice spoke again.
"Hammer... Hammer... Where's the hammer, you brainless
"Sorry, my master," said a startled and fearful
voice, as he surrendered the hand tool.
A middle-aged Yurble sat on a wooden stool,
next to what looked like a machine of omnipotent doom. The Yurble was dressed
in brown ragged garments, made of thin woven thread from the wool of a Babaa.
He sat with an apprehensive expression on his face, as he twirled his fingers
through a strand of thread from his clothes.
Suddenly, a yellow figure popped out from underneath
the metal of unknown power. The white haired Scorchio with red orb-like glasses
had an agitated look upon his crazed face.
"This is unfathomable," said the mysterious
creature. "I can't seem to figure out what's wrong with the darn thing."
"Is it the internal combustion engine?"
"No... no... I've checked that several times."
The Yurble pondered for a moment, looking at
the machine and finally asked, "How about the battery? Maybe you put in a dead
"No, it's not the battery. I've replaced it
at least two times."
"Well, I'm sorry, master, but I can't think
of anything else that could be wrong with it. Are you absolutely sure that you
checked every little bit of the machine?"
"Yes, yes, every little bit and piece."
The scientist strode back and forth, scratching
his head with wonder. He paced over to his desk in the corner of the room, illuminated
by a bulb hanging overhead. The desk was covered in crumpled and bent papers,
mostly blueprints for the machine, along with all sorts of other grungy items.
The Scientist sat down at his desk, and scanned
a pile of papers. All though the dispirited look in the scientist's eyes couldn't
be seen, the loyal servant could tell the proximity of finishing the machine
was distant. His master had worked long, hard, hours everyday for the past 10
months. The complication that arose seemed to drain the life out of everything
in the castle.
The Yurble tip-toed over to his master, who
had drifted off to sleep. The servant wrapped a blanket around the Scorchio,
and put a pillow underneath his head. As the purple sky began to lighten with
the rising sun, the Yurble turned off the light and went to bed.
Later that day, as the scientist arose from
his dead sleep, he felt a twinge in his neck. He looked out the window next
to his desk and saw the sun setting below the horizon over the ocean. The Scorchio
got up and peered into his servant's room, who was still fast asleep.
The scientist walked downstairs through the
damp corridors and exited the castle, meeting a warm, calming air. He sat down
on the sand and stared out onto the foaming sea. His hair fluttered in the pleasant
breeze as he closed his eyes and smelled the salty air. As the scientist sat
there, he recalled the day, exactly two years ago, when he was first saw the
shores of this little island.
"Please stand and raise your right hand. Do
you swear to tell the truth, all truth and nothing but the truth?"
"You may be seated." The scientist seated and
waited for the gray haired Kougra to speak again.
"Mr.... uh... what is your name?"
"Just call him 'sir'," said the portly judge
sitting in his chair, leaning over his papers.
"Yes, well, sir," said the Kougra. "You have
been charged of creating weapons of mass destruction that you plan to use to
destroy Mystery Island. How do you plead?"
"Not guilty," said the scientist.
"Very well then. Let the trial begin."
After several hours of long monotonous discussion,
the jury had reached their verdict. The portly judge stood, and addressed the
crowd sitting in the room.
"The scientist has been proven guilty according
to the information provided by several witnesses. However, since we haven't
found any source of his mass destruction yet, we will ban him away to a distant
deserted island. Only one map shows the location of this island, and it will
be destroyed immediately after he is placed on the island. This trial has ended.
Good day to all."
The sun had fully set and the pink sky was now
a dark navy blue. The scientist reached into his pocket and pulled out a crumpled
piece of paper. Upon it was a map, which had directions on how to return to
Mystery Island from that very island. Perhaps another secret map wasn't destroyed
two years ago.
Suddenly the Scorchio lifted his head and a
small grin filled his face. He turned around and ran into the castle. He came
across his servant who was rubbing his eyes, looking half asleep.
"What's wrong, master?"
"Pack your bags; we're going on a small trip."
"Mystery Island!? Are you crazy? What if they
find you? You'll be torched and destroyed! Plus, how on earth are we going to
find our way back?"
"With this," said the scientist, handing over
the crumpled map.
"Master! Where did you get this!?"
"That doesn't matter. What does matter is that
we are going to fix this machine and we are going to do it now."
"I had an old friend back on Mystery Island.
He is practically a wizard at mechanics and I am positive he can help us."
"There's only one small flaw with your plan.
How do we get Mystery Island? It's not like we have wings and can fly there."
"You don't. But, I do." The scientist smiled
as he flapped his wings slightly. "They're probably really rusty, but after
a few warm up minutes, they'll be as good as new."
"Your crazy master."
"I'm not crazy. I'm mad!"
The Yurble hurried off and packed some food
and supplies for the trip. He returned several minutes later and discussed the
trip with his master.
"As you can see, there are small islands about
5 miles apart between here and Mystery Island. We can stop at these to rest."
"Sounds like a plan to me."
The Scorchio jogged outside on to the beach
with his servant panting and stumbling along behind him. The scientist closed
his eyes, and lifted off the ground, flapping his wings furiously.
"Ha! I knew these things still had a little
juice in them!"
"Now we just have to fly five miles to our first
"Oh, stop worrying. What's life if you don't
enjoy it and take chances once in a while?"
"I suppose... "
"Climb on to my back and we'll be off."
The Yurble did as he was told, and the two flew
off into the misty night.
"What do you mean he disappeared?"
"I'm sorry sir, but the mechanic you are looking
for left Mystery Island about five months ago. Drove himself mad after his friend
was sent to a distant island. That friend of his was innocent too. The court
found him innocent about a week after he was sent to the island. No one could
rescue him though, the only map was destroyed. Yes, but the mechanic was so
grief stricken that he moved far way to forget his troubles. Poor lad. Anyway,
sorry for not being much of a help."
"That's quite all right. Thank you anyway."
It was a dismal, rainy night in Many Shells,
a busy town on Mystery Island. After speaking with several citizens of the town,
the Yurble returned to his master, bringing the bad news.
"Gone? But why?" The scientist lowered his head
"My master, he drove himself mad after you were
banned. He left 5 months ago, and went somewhere far away. His house has been
abandoned, and no one dares to enter it."
"I can't believe it. This trip was a complete
waste. I'm sorry for even coming."
"My master, there is one more thing I haven't
told you yet. I heard from one citizen that the scientist banned from Mystery
Island two years ago was proven innocent, only about a week after he was banned."
The Scorchio looked up at his servant, the expression
on his face difficult to read. "Innocent?" He stumbled. "I'm innocent." He got
up and walked over to the hotel window and stared out. The hotel room was warm,
with two small beds and a fireplace. The window faced the town, which was brightly
lit by fluorescent lights.
"Come," the scientist said turning around. "We're
"Where are we going?"
"To the mechanic's house."
A decomposing, deranged house lay before the
white haired Scorchio and his servant. The door and window shutters were hanging
off their hinges, and made a creaking sound when swaying in the breeze. Windows
were cracked, and all life was dead, deader than the castle back on the island.
The Yurble stared up at the house with complete fear written all over his face.
The scientist, however, stared with a saddened and crestfallen face.
"Master, are you sure we should go in? I mean,
it could be swarming with who knows what!"
"Yes, I'm sure. Let's hurry so that no one sees
The two quickly paced up to the door of the
house, and slipped through it with great dexterity. They were greeted by a long
hallway, which was morose and extremely dusty. A few chairs lined the hallway,
most of them with broken legs or backs. A mirror also hung on the wall and it
had a large crack running down the middle of the glass.
"Follow me. If I remember correctly, his library
which he used as a study is at the end of the hall on the left."
Leading his servant, the scientist walked down
the hallway, extremely alert, and turned left at the end of the hall. The two
entered a large room, which was in fact the library. A twenty foot bookshelf
circled the entire room, filled with novels, knickknacks and other accessories.
The scientist flicked on the light, and the room glistened with a golden hue.
The servant stared around with awe, and the scientist seemed to have a warm
expression on his face.
"My friend and I used to spend hours in here
learning and reading about machines," he said calmly. "It feels like it was
The scientist looked around, until he spoke
"Look through the desks, search the bookshelves.
Try to find some sort of blueprints labeled 'Laboratory Ray, or Lab Ray for
"Of course master."
The two searched everything, from desks, to
shelves, to anything place you can think of. After over an hour of searching,
the two were unsuccessful.
"Master, I cannot find anything labeled 'Lab
Ray'. Are you sure you have the right name?"
"Of course I do. I helped make the blueprints.
I remember my friend was working on the last blueprint for the Ray the night
I was accused. I had brought the rest of the blueprints home with me so I could
look them over for any mistakes. The last time I saw my friend was in court
when he acted on my defense. Before the police took me away, I remember him
saying, 'Should you ever return to Mystery Island, the last piece will be at
the foot of your dreams.' The last piece obviously means the last blueprint."
"Yes, but what did he mean by 'at the foot of
"That's what stumps me."
The scientist sat down on a blue starry leather
chair by the fireplace in the room. As he recalled the times when he used to
sit in this chair, he remembered how wonderful he had felt while thinking about
his next inventions. Suddenly, something popped into the Scorchio's head.
"Hang on. 'The last piece will be at the foot
of your dreams'. He used to call this, my dream chair!" said the Scorchio pounding
his fist on the chair's arm. "I would always dream about the greatness of our
inventions while sitting here."
The scientist sprang up, and pushed his "dream
chair" backwards. There, beneath the chair, was a small handle. The scientist
grabbed the handle and pulled it upwards. A small piece of floorboard rose with
the handle, revealing a folded piece of paper. The scientist took the paper,
and opened it. As he scanned the paper, his face light up with joy.
"HA HA!" he yelled happily. "This is it! This
is what we were looking for! Right at the 'foot' of my 'dream' chair! How clever!"
"Master! Shhh! We don't want anyone to hear
The Scorchio began to dance around, cheerfully
twirling on his feet. He grabbed his servant's hands and began to whirl him
all around. After several minutes of pure joy, the scientist halted his dancing,
and turned to his servant.
"Come! We must return to the castle pronto!"
"But master, you are still tired from the trip
here. Why not spend the night here in Many Shells?"
"Ha! I could fly for days without stopping right
now! Hurry, we have no time to waste!"
The two ran out of the house and the Yurble
climbed onto his master's back. The Scorchio lifted from the ground with full
"Here we go!" he yelled, and the two were off
again into the dark night.
"Master, have you checked everything?"
"Yes, I have. I believe everything is absolutely
perfect. Come, step in front of the Ray."
It was a cool, summer night, about three weeks
after the two had last seen Mystery Island. With the last piece of the puzzle,
the scientist was confident the Lab was ready to be tested.
"Aww, master! Why do you have to shoot the Ray
at me? Why can't you do it?"
"Because, my dear friend, I am the only one
who knows how to operate it! Now stop dilly dallying and step in front of the
The Yurble nervously positioned himself in front
the the Ray, shaking slightly. He closed his eyes, squinting tightly.
"Are you ready?"
The scientist pushed a large red button on the
back of the Ray, and pulled down a green lever. The machine made a loud "zapping"
noise as bright lighting shot out from the tip of the ray. As soon as the smoke
had dispersed, an Island Yurble was scrunched in a ball on the ground.
"It worked! It worked! Ha Ha! I knew it! It
The Yurble lifted up and open his eyes. We walked
over to the mirror in his room and stared back with awe. "Master... I'm... I'm..."
"You've been changed by the Lab Ray! Now, we
just have to go back to Mystery Island and try to find out where my mechanic
friend has gone! Where's that map of mine?"
"Master, there was something I wanted to talk
to you about."
"Yes, what is it?"
"Do you remember that night on Mystery Island
when I had gone out to try and find your friend? Well, I had come across an
Aisha who said he was also friends with the mechanic. The Aisha told me he travels
all around Neopia and offered to bring word to the mechanic if he ever saw him
in his travels. So, I gave the Aisha the map to this island, and told him to
give it to your friend. I'm sorry, master. I should have never had done that."
"No, it's ok that you did that."
"Why? Because, what's the point of making something
if it's never going to be used? If the mechanic does get the map, he will obviously
come here immediately. If it doesn't get to him, some other lucky Neopian will
find it, and they will be able to find their way here. If that happens, I will
allow them access to the Lab Ray."
"Master, but what if they overuse the Ray? I
mean, they could destroy the Ray."
"That's why I have decided to set up a rule.
The Lab Ray can be used once a day by those who find the map."
"Brilliant, master. Brilliant."
"Thank you, my friend."
"Well, I'm going to bed now. Shall you need
"No, I'm just going to go outside for a little
"Ok, suit yourself. Goodnight!"
The scientist smiled at his friend, and walked
through the corridors, which were now warm and gleaming with life. He sat down
on the beach, and once again, starred out onto the open sea. As the sun was
setting below the horizon, a rather unusual sight caught the scientist's eye.
A shooting star raced across the sky, and disappeared in the distance. The Scorchio
lay down on the ground, and felt the warm sand press against his face. He closed
his eyes, and soon drifted off into a deep sleep.