Sloth and Meepits
Frederick sighed. A month ago, he had been Sloth’s chief underling, his second in command. Then Sloth left Neopia to parts unknown, and he had become the new ruler of the planet. His dream had come true... and then everything went downhill.
Sloth had originally gained power from his mind control ray. It had caused most of Neopia to become loyal to him. But now that Sloth was gone, they no longer had a leader, and were free. Or at least some of them were—Frederick had denied that Sloth was gone as soon as he found out that people that knew he was gone were no longer under his control. He had then re-opened the mind control lab, making people be loyal to him. But the damage had been done. Some of the former workers had controlled important information, and when they joined the Resistance, it became impossible to stop them. After they had freed Faerieland, they had gone on to Mystery Island. Sure, he still controlled most of Neopia, but he was losing fast... The fact that the faeries were helping them wasn’t good either. How had Sloth ever managed to deal with this? Even with his large brain, the mutant Kacheek still hadn’t managed to figure it out.
Frederick figured that the fact that the empire hadn’t spontaneously disappeared meant that Sloth hadn’t succeeded in his mission to stop himself in the past from conquering Neopia. He had been planning to create another time machine to see what was happening, but there were only two things that could power the time machine—faerie magic and jelly. All the jelly in Neopia had been used up when the machine was last used, and the faeries wouldn’t help him. Frederick wondered what had happened to Sloth...
Sloth scowled. A month ago, he had finally escaped the monotony and boredom of being the Supreme Overlord of Neopia. His time machine seemed to have worked, since he couldn’t find a Sloth-related poster anywhere. Unfortunately, that didn’t really mean anything, because he was hopelessly lost. After arriving in a sun-drenched tropical paradise, Sloth had immediately tried to find civilization. Unfortunately, this seemed impossible, since he had soon discovered that he was trapped on an island.
The fact that he was trapped on an island wasn’t the weird thing, though—it was the fact that the island was eerily similar to Mystery Island. Actually, it was nearly identical... with the exception that Sloth couldn’t find anyone on it. A few times at night, he had thought he had seen someone... or something... out of the corner of his eye, but whatever it was had always disappeared.
But wait! Sloth had searched all around the shoreline, but he hadn’t looked near the volcano yet. After all, he had heard there were ninjas hiding near Techo Mountain—perhaps they were the ones he kept seeing.
A few hours later, Sloth was at the base of the volcano. It was very hot there. If not for his Virtupets brand cape (with heat transferring technology—cool yourself, burn your enemies!) he would’ve been burnt to a crisp. Instead, Sloth used the heat to cook a light breakfast.
“Hey!” a voice shouted.
“Who’s there?” asked Sloth.
“Just a hungry traveler like yourself.”
Sloth smiled. Finally, someone else! Perhaps they could explain what was going on.
The pet that approached was a blue Gnorbu. Or at least, it looked like a Gnorbu. Its mane appeared a bit off, but Sloth decided that it must have just been sheared.
“So, why is it that you’re the first person I’ve seen on this island?” Sloth inquired.
“Well, that would probably be because the natives are pretty antisocial.”
“What do you mean, natives? The Tiki tribe is always very sociable! Not always friendly, but still...”
“Tiki tribe? No, they haven’t been on Geraptiku Island for ages... The Geraptiku tribe on the other hand, is definitely here, even if I haven’t seen any of them.”
“Geraptiku? As in the Lost City of Geraptiku?”
“You’re not from around here, are you...”
“I’m from Neopia, same as you!” said Sloth. It wasn’t technically true, but it was close enough.
The Gnorbu sighed and said, “That would explain it. I’ve heard legends of Neopia, but I never thought they were true... This isn’t Neopia. It’s Peonia. Similar, but different. For example, on your ‘Neopia’, there’s a place called Mystery Island that’s inhabited by the Tiki tribe, and the Geraptiku tribe is missing. In Peonia, we have Geraptiku Island inhabited by the Geraptiku tribe, while the Tiki tribe is a legend. What a backwards land you come from! I’ll probably get a reward for taking you to the Overlords...”
“So... if you’re not from this ‘Geraptiku Island,’ where are you from? And don’t say Peonia!”
“Well, like the vast majority of Peonians, I’m from Jelly World.”
“But... Jelly World doesn’t exist!” Sloth thought a bit more. “OVERLORDS?”
“Yes, Overlords. You know... the Tipeems? But please be quiet. We don’t want to attract any Geraptikuans.”
Sloth thought a bit. This was all going from weird to... well, weirder. But those Tipeems sounded familiar... He shrugged. It was probably not important.
Suddenly, Sloth and the Gnorbu heard a rustle in the bushes. Seconds later, a hideous giant Duocorn popped out!
“:K:K:K:K:K:K!!!!!” shouted the Duocorn, which then ran off.
“What was that? It looked like a giant petpet,” asked Sloth. “I know petpetpets can grow huge, but not petpets...”
“Petpet? No, that Duocorn is a pet. Not a literate one though. It really is sad what happened...”
“Now I’m even more confused.”
The Gnorbu thought for a bit, then said, “Ah, you’re from Neopia, right? That would also explain it. Do you remember a while ago, when the exploding people announced the arrival of fifty new species of pets?”
“Well, our transport never got to Neopia. We were sidetracked to Peonia. The some of the pets escaped to Neopia through a freak accident resulting in them becoming petpets, such as the Duocorns, and a few of us Lamameeahs escaped as well, becoming Gnorbus. Or so the Overlords have told us.”
Sloth sighed. That explained pretty much everything. Well, almost everything.
“What about that Duocorn? It didn’t seem to be able to speak properly.”
“That’s because it refused to go to Neoschool. Pets that don’t go to Neoschool rapidly degenerate until they become incapable of using normal speech. I’d try to translate, but I didn’t get very good grades in Nubbish class.”
“The language it was using.”
Sloth was confused. Neoschools, April Fools pets, alternate dimensions... it was all pretty strange. So there was only one thing he could do.
“That’s it. I’m going home,” he announced.
“I’m sorry, but that’s not possible.”
“Because there isn’t a portal between Peonia and Neopia.”
“But didn’t some people escape?”
“Well, yes... but do you want to become a petpet?”
“Good point. Fine then. Take me to your leaders. I’ll speak to them.”
Back in Neopia, Frederick was still upset. His campaign against the Resistance wasn’t going well. The only lands he still controlled were the Haunted Woods, Meridell, and Neopia Central. However, even these lands weren’t safe, since the Haunted Woods were under attack from Altador, and Lord Darigan was trying to free Meridell. After many long months, Frederick had finally allowed an ambassador from the Resistance to approach him.
The ambassador, a faerie Gelert, began to speak.
“Mister Frederick, I once met your master long ago. He wanted me to find Jelly World. It was then that I decided that this regime has gone mad with power. Since then, we, the Resistance have worked to stop your empire, and I must say that it’s been working. So now, we wish to talk about the terms of your surrender.”
“I will never surrender. NEVER!”
The ambassador sighed and said, “Fine. We’re going to capture Meridell and the Haunted Woods any day now. Do you want to keep your dignity or not?”
“What about Neopia Central? You haven’t even been able to approach there.”
“Fine. Perhaps we can work out a deal then. Maybe... you could join us. The leaders of the Resistance have decided that it’s not a good idea to put power in the hands of any one individual, so they have decided to create a council to rule Neopia. Perhaps you could be on that council.”
“So it’s a democracy?”
“Of course not! The commoners don’t know how to rule.”
“So it’s a plutocracy?”
“I suppose one could say that.”
Frederick laughed. “How ironic. The oppressed have become the oppressors. You rebelled against me based on principle, and now you rule, despite the fact that you dislike anyone ruling. How very hypocritical of you. Begone!”
The ambassador scowled, then left.
“They say if you can’t beat them, join them. I say if you can’t beat them, make them join you... Minion! I have a few proclamations to make...”
Sloth approached the Peonian throne room and waited for a moment as someone called for the Overlords to enter.
“Now entering, our esteemed Overlords, the Tipeems!”
Sloth gasped. How could he have been so stupid!
“Wait a minute... the Overlords are Meepits?” Sloth asked, then laughed. “I certainly didn’t see that coming.”
One of the Meepits smiled and said, “No, Sloth, you wouldn’t. So I hear you wish to return to Neopia.”
“Wait, I have a question first.”
“What is it?”
“How did you Meepits become Overlords? How did you get here in the first place?”
“Well, how we got here is easy. As you may have heard, it is possible for people to move between Peonia and Neopia, but it is difficult to move anything larger than a petpet. We Meepits had no trouble. As for where the portal is... do you know of the Underwater Fishing Vortex? It is the one thing that is in both worlds. Travel through the Vortex and you travel between the worlds. Although, it still takes a large amount of energy to do this, but we Meepits have our ways...”
“Well, that makes sense. But you didn’t explain how you were able to become Overlords.”
“That was easy too. We Meepits have long had knowledge of this world, and we have had influence here for centuries. When you kicked us out of Neopia, we decided to move here. As for how were able to rule... Well, the title of Overlord is an honorary one. We oversee the creation of new features for this world. You know... discovering new lands, organizing planetwide events, stuff like that. The people love us because we give them what they want.”
“Oh. Okay then,” replied Sloth. “So, can you get me back to Neopia or not?”
The Meepits thought for a moment, then replied, “No.”
“What? Why not? You just said that there was a way to get between Neopia and Peonia! If you need power, why don’t you use jelly? That’s how I got here.”
“Silly Sloth... Jelly has power in Neopia because of its unreality. In Neopia, Jelly World isn’t real, so creating a world full of jelly would release a lot of power as the unreal became real. However, in Peonia, Jelly World is very real, so jelly isn’t as powerful.”
“So then what would something unreal be?”
“Well, there aren’t many things that have escaped to Neopia. The only thing I can think of, other than the miscellaneous April Fools pets, which are very real here, would be the legendary White Weewoo. Long ago, the White Weewoos resided here, but they were all called away to Neopia.”
“That sounds good. Let’s get some white Weewoos then.”
“I just said that there were no white Weewoos here! In Neopia, there is jelly, but no Jelly World. But in Peonia... well, there are normal Weewoos and white paint, but no white Weewoos.”
“That’s not true,” announced the Lamameeah, who had come with Sloth. “My studies have indicated that there is a lost world full of Weewoos. I believe that it is some sort of glade near the South Pole.”
“You mean the legendary Weewoo Glade? Ha! Silly Lamameeah, it doesn’t exist.”
“Well, Jelly World doesn’t exist either,” commented Sloth.
“True, true... but you made a Jelly World to power your arrival here.”
“So why don’t you try to create some white Weewoos? You have Weewoos and white paint, so why haven’t you tried creating some before?”
The Meepits stared at Sloth, then started grinning.
“That... could work.”
A while later, after some Weewoos had been painted, Sloth was back in Neopia.
“Ah, the sweet, sweet smell of Neopian air,” said Sloth. “Truly, this is the greatest day ever. Now to conquer Neopia...”
“That won’t be necessary.”
Sloth turned around, then smiled evilly.
“Underling! I didn’t expect to see you here.”
“Well, I was renovating the Fishing Vortex, and sensed some strong energy readings, so I came over here to see what happened.”
“That was fortunate. So, what do you mean I don’t have to conquer Neopia?”
“Well, I’m its new Overlord. After discovering all the bad ideas that the Resistance had, I decided to make all the commoners support me by declaring my intention to not be a cruel, sadistic ruler, and to instead discover new lands and plan planetwide events for my subjects. Needless to say, I was unanimously declared to me Neopia’s first Overlord.”
Sloth stared, then smiled.
“You haven’t seen any Meepits around, have you?”
“Erm... no. Should I have?”
“Never mind then. Not bad, underling, not bad...”