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Sloth's Time Machine: Part Five


by azellica

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Also by jamesuk2

Laboratory 3-14, Restricted Area, Virtupets Space Station Orbital #4:

Oen landed spryly on his feet, narrowly escaping being brainwashed. Behind him, Zara and Retep were still trapped in the circle of robots, surrounded in pulsing red light.

      “You’re not getting away that easily, anti!” Dr. Sloth no longer looked amused. He was holding a QX-92 neutrino blaster and aimed it at Oen.

      The fire Grundo dove under a lab bench, dodging a blast of red light. Cursing, Oen grabbed a clip board and flung it at Sloth. The fire Grundo looked for the exit. He might be able to get to it, but Retep and Zara couldn’t be left behind. Another red laser came flying at Oen and he ducked out of the way, grabbing whatever he could to save himself.

      “Stop running, anti. Accept your fate.” Sloth fired another laser and simultaneously caught the frying pan Oen had thrown. “You’re persistent. I might even have to call security.”

      The fire Grundo leapt over a table plastered with blueprints and found himself cornered between two tall shelves lined with experimental morphing potions. Sloth strode forward and raised the neutrino blaster. Oen grabbed the nearest bottle and threw hard it at Sloth, just as Sloth fired a glowing laser.

      CRASH!

      The potion exploded in a shower of pink liquid and red light. Oen covered his face to protect himself and rolled under a shelf. Shards of glass flew across the room and Sloth’s neutrino blaster went spinning across the tiled floor.

      “I’M PINK!”

      A roar erupted throughout the lab and Oen slowly peered out. Dr. Sloth had been splashed with the morphing potion. His green complexion was replaced with a hot pink colour and his face was contorted with fury as he stared at his glowing hands.

      “Pink! How dare you, you miserable anti! You’ll pay for this...” Sloth stepped towards the fallen neutrino blaster.

      Oen, seeing his only chance to free himself, crawled out from his hiding place and dove towards the laser gun just as Sloth reached for it. The fire Grundo skidded across the tiles and felt the space weapon come to rest in his open hands. He fired. Dr. Sloth was knocked backwards, stunned and pink.

Abandoned Kreludite Mine, Sector 9-P, Kreludor:

      Commander Krule’s head was spinning wildly. What had happened? The mutant Grundo opened his eyes groggily and saw that he had returned to the Kreludite mine. The time machine was positioned nearby and was humming slightly. Krule tried to stand up. The mutant Grundo slowly realized that he was bound by metal ropes. What the Sloth? He struggled to free himself.

      “Stop moving!” Zoland’s voice snapped behind him. “It’s no use.”

      “Zoland.” Krule’s mind jumped to a conclusion. “Why am I tied up? You... you’ve betrayed me!” Flooded with anger, he thrashed against his bonds again.

      “No, stupid. I’m tied up too!” the Lenny’s voice came from behind Krule. “And every time you move, I get shaken around!”

      Krule turned to see that he was tied back to back with the Lenny. He grimaced. “Who did this?”

      “Oen.” A new voice sounded through the darkness and the fire Grundo appeared. “I’ve had a change of mind and I’ve decided that I’d rather not serve Sloth unquestionably.”

      “The brainwashing must have worn off...” Krule breathed.

      “But Sloth said that was impossible,” Zoland said. “Maybe he made a mistake.”

      “He certainly did,” Oen was punching buttons on the time machine. “Brainwashing me in the first place was one of his worst ideas, and now he’s going to regret it. Get up.” The fire Grundo pointed his virtublaster at the two officers.

      “How? You’ll have to untie us first.”

      “Not likely. Lean against each other and stand up. Fast. I’m not wasting any time for minions.” Oen fired a warning shot over their heads.

      Groaning, Krule reluctantly pulled himself to his feet with Zoland.

      “Get in the time machine,” Oen demanded.

      Krule dragged the two of them into the machine. “Where are we going?”

      “Virtupets,” Oen replied, and pushed the red button.

Laboratory 3-14, Restricted Area, Virtupets Space Station Orbital #4:

       Oen slowly let out a sigh of relief. Sloth was stunned and he was temporarily safe. The fire Grundo wasted no time in gathering wires from around the lab and using them to secure Sloth to a nearby shelf. When that was done, he turned to his friends.

      The robots had returned to their places and were silent once more. Retep and Zara were standing on the floor with blank faces. As Oen approached, Retep turned to him.

      “Where is Master Sloth?” the royal Lupe asked.

      “He isn’t your master,” Oen grumbled as he examined the brainwashing device. Could he reverse the process?

      “Dr. Sloth is the master of all; the rightful ruler of Neopia. How dare you deny it!” Zara said angrily.

      “You’ve been brainwashed.” Oen squinted at one of the computer screens. There seemed to be different settings that could be used on the mind control device. ‘Utmost eternal devotion to Sloth’ was currently selected.

      “Brainwashed? No, we’ve been enlightened. Don’t you support Sloth?” Retep demanded.

      Oen switched the machine’s settings around. “No, I don’t support him,” Oen said distractedly. “As a matter of fact, I just stunned him.”

      “What?!” Retep’s eyes flashed with anger as he caught sight of his master: unconscious, pink, and bound by wires. “How dare you harm our glorious leader!”

      “You will serve Sloth.” Zara drew her virtublaster. “You will join us, or you will be destroyed!”

      Oen looked up from the computer screen and realized that he was in danger again. “Now, now... don’t make any mistakes.” He raised his hands in peace and slowly backed away.

      “Surrender to us, anti!” Retep yelled. “Give in to the power of Sloth.” The royal Lupe drew his weapon too.

      “You don’t know what you’re doing,” Oen warned him, backing into the wall. By pure chance, the fire Grundo accidentally leaned against the button for the machine. Immediately the ring of robots jerked to life and began to creep forward.

      “You can’t escape the might of Virtupets!” Retep shouted as the robots closed in around him and Zara. “You’ll never escape your destiny!”

Laboratory 3-14, Restricted Area, Virtupets Space Station Orbital #4:

      Retep instantly felt his mind emerge. He was still standing in the center of Sloth’s brainwashing contraption, but his thoughts were free.

      Beside him, Zara was rubbing her eyes. “What happened there?”

      “We were brainwashed, I think,” Retep replied, glancing around. “But, hang on, is that Oen?”

      “No.” Zara frowned. “He’s standing over there with those two... Virtupets officers.”

      “Then who’s that guy by the machine’s controls?”

      “That’s...” Zara squinted. “Oen... What on Neopia?”

      “There’s two of them?” Retep exclaimed.

      The fire Grundo standing near the controls ran forward. “Did it work?”

      “I think so,” Retep said. “I feel normal.”

      “That’s a relief! I thought that you guys would be lost there,” Oen sighed. “You’ve rescued me, and I’ve rescued you now, so we’re eve- what are you guys staring at?”

      “There’s two of you,” said Zara, pointing towards the other Oen.

      “Of course! It’s from the time machine! One of these guys must be from a different time,” Retep suddenly realized.

      “Time machine?” Oen asked.

      “Yeah, you’ll find out about that in the future.” Retep grinned.

      The second Oen approached them. “Hello Retep, Zara, and Oen.” He smiled. “The time machine told me you’d ended up here.”

      The first Oen couldn’t stop staring. “Wait, that’s my future self? Am I really that good looking?”

      Zara rolled her eyes. “We need to get back to our present.”

      Retep nodded. “It’ll be dangerous to stay in Sloth’s lab for too long. Who knows when the stunned officers will wake up? We also need to make sure that the past Oen is safe to escape from the space station. By the way,” Retep glanced at the second Oen and pointed at the bound figures of Krule and Zoland. “What’d you bring them here for?”

      The second Oen grinned. “I thought we’d have some fun with Sloth’s machine before we head back to the present...”

Hallway 3-14, Restricted Area, Virtupets Space Station Orbital #4:

      After a few minutes had passed, the door to the laboratory slowly opened and Oen peered out. Wearing the stolen uniform of a Virtupets officer, the fire Grundo headed down the hall and confidently strolled towards the main level of the Space Station. Oen couldn’t help laughing. He knew what the future held, and it certainly would be amusing.

     ***

Command Center, Resistance Headquarters, Kreludor:

      Retep snapped his fingers. “I want another neocola.”

      “Yes, master.” Commander Krule bowed and shuffled off towards the kitchen.

      “This has worked out well,” Retep commented. “It’s almost worth the awful ride in the time machine.” The royal Lupe leaned back into his hover chair. “Now, if only we could brainwash Sloth...”

      “I wonder if he’s still pink,” Zara wondered. “I thought the colour suited him better than green...”

      Krule returned and obediently handed Retep his neocola.

      “Good minion,” Retep said. “You may now go sweep the spaceport.” He turned to Zara. “Pity we destroyed the time machine. I wouldn’t mind going back in time to see Sloth’s face again. Pink really is his colour.”

      The door of the command center swung open and Oen walked in. “I’ve been thinking...” he said.

      “...and?” Retep prompted.

      “I think I need to take a break from Kreludor.”

      “What? Leave the resistance?”

      “Only for a little while, maybe,” the fire Grundo sighed. “Things have died down here again. We’ve destroyed Sloth’s time machine, and his brainwashing contraption; we’ve saved Kreludor from being taken over. Is it likely Sloth will try again?”

      “It’s possible,” Zara said.

      “This whole ordeal was too much for me,” said Oen. “I could have been responsible for bringing Sloth to power. For destroying the Resistance.” The fire Grundo shook his head. “I don’t want that to happen again. So I think I’m going to head down to Neopia for a while... maybe spend some time on Mystery Island.”

      “And if Sloth attacks again?” Zara asked.

      “There are lots of skilled members of the Resistance on Kreludor. You can always contact me if things get rough. I just need a break.”

      “Very well,” Retep said reluctantly. “I hope we’ll see you back soon though.”

      Oen gave a small salute. “Good-bye.”

Imperial Office, Restricted Area, Virtupets Space Station Orbital #4:

      Dr. Sloth furiously shook the bottle of potion he had made. He had been struggling to find an antidote to change him back to his normal colouring and so far, his attempts had caused him to change to a variety of different colours. After being spotted once as a faerie, Sloth had locked himself in his office and was obsessively trying every combination of ingredients to change himself back.

      “That should do it,” Sloth muttered, opening the bottle. He took a swig of its contents. Immediately his skin started to shiver and change colour.

      “NOT DISCO!” Sloth yelled with exasperation.

The End

 
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Other Episodes


» Sloth's Time Machine: Part One
» Sloth's Time Machine: Part Two
» Sloth's Time Machine: Part Three
» Sloth's Time Machine: Part Four



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