Finding Dirk: Part Two
Shock. That’s what I’m feeling right now. I’m being attacked by evil, mindless robots who have apparently posed as my “family” my entire life, and I’m practically defenseless.
Well, I say practically because I figured something out when I broke free from Alyn.
I’ve got super-strength. I couldn’t believe I never noticed it before, that my entire life I’ve never observed that there’s something different about this ordinary blue Lupe. But then again, Shadowfeather did say that I’ve been living a lie. What that means I can’t begin to understand.
But anyway, back to the present. Gelo was trying to clock me, while Alyn fluttered above, waiting for her moment to strike. Kaimond stood against the wall in the background of this extraordinary scene, smirking.
I blocked a heavy blow from Gelo with my forearm, surprised that I could hardly feel it. I pushed him away with a grunt. For a few seconds, I was exposed. Alyn swooped down with a screech and clawed at me, flinging her wings into my face. I flew back into the basement door with the force of it.
I groaned, feeling the pain in only parts of my body. A few muscles in my back, one small muscle in my neck, the left side of my face. It was as if part of my body was indestructible, and the rest wasn’t.
Gelo charged at me silently, eyes intent and calculating. My mind was in battle-mode, and knowing that since he was robotic and could only predict my moves using percentages, I faked to the left, spun on my heel, and kicked him in the knees (which I somehow knew was his weak point). I don’t really want to go into details, so let’s just say the robot couldn’t get up again and shut down.
The faerie Buzz went into overdrive, kicking, biting, and pretty much attacking me any way she could.
She flung me to the ground with ease. To my horror, I found I couldn’t get up. My body just couldn’t bounce back. Maybe I wasn’t super-Neopian after all.
Alyn leaned over me, cocking her head at an unearthly angle, her eyes blank, as if she was sizing me up.
“Feeling lucky?” she said with an evil grin.
Oh, I don’t know. I’m being beat up by a robotic nutcase and just have been told my life was a lie, so I’d say, no, I’m not feeling lucky!
But that was about to change.
Three Neopets crashed through the roof with a sudden bang; a camouflage Wocky, a female orange Kougra, and a baby Chomby. They hefted rainbow guns as soon as they landed on their feet and pointed them at Kaimond, Gelo, and Alyn.
The world seemed to stop, all eyes focused on the amazing trio that had just busted down the roof. They looked professional; backs straight, knees bent slightly, eyes sharp and focused.
“Yeah, I’m feeling pretty lucky,” I replied cockily, propping myself up on one arm. “The question is do you feel lucky enough to survive three rainbow blasts?”
As if on cue, my rescuers dressed in black uniform fired at Alyn at once.
I covered my face with my arms as she burst into a million sharp pieces of metal. I looked up slowly and jumped to my feet, adrenaline still pumping through my veins.
“Calm down,” the baby Chomby, who I suspected was in charge, commanded, putting his gun back in its holster.
All three of the Neopets stared at me, their nose wrinkling, their heads tilted, as If they were trying to figure me out. I mimicked their motions like a Puppyblew, putting that amazed, awed expression on my face.
“Holy Ultimate Burgers,” the Kougra, a female, whispered softly. “It’s... it’s... him.”
The Chomby shot her a dangerous glance, and then turned to the Wocky, who was speechless, his eyes wide with recognition.
The Chomby grunted and pulled at his arm as he rushed forward, but he was roughly pushed away. The Wocky leaned down to my level. He was chewing peppermint gum.
“Do I know you?” I asked, feeling that familiar spark in my brain.
The Wocky cocked his head and smiled widely. “You kiddin’? We’ve been best friend since childhood man!”
I smiled gently, trying to look as if I was sane, which I wasn’t feeling right now. Johnny the rainbow Aisha was my best friend, not this wacky guy.
“I’m sorry, but I’ve never seen you before in my life.”
The Wocky’s face looked pained. “But it’s me, Jet. Your pal; we used to tip carts over together, chase Doglefoxes down the streets, stole... stuff, all before we enrolled in the NSD. Why don’t you remember me?”
“What is with you crazy people today?” I snapped. “Some huge mega insane Grarrl appears from inside my owner’s head and sends his little avengers of destruction after me, then you people show up with your little suits and blasters, and this weirdo,” I pointed at the horror stricken Jet, “...comes up to me and tries to tell me we’ve been best friends for life, and I’m supposed to calmly accept this load of rainbow dung? And what’s the NSD? Can I at least get an explanation? Can I -”
I would’ve probably babbled on forever, if not the trio covered their faces with gas masks, and rolled a little shell towards me, leaking sleeping gas. Last thing I saw before I blacked out was that Wocky, his brow furrowed in confusion, and possibly reluctance acceptance.
That’s Jet, you idiot! my thoughts shouted at me. Why can’t you remember who he is...?
“Ms. Elli, permission to enter.”
The red Xweetok sighed, patting down her vibrant red, wavy curls. She never had any time to herself since she had become CEO of the Neopian Security Departments after Solonco had retired. But it was a price to pay for keeping the peace, she supposed.
“Permission granted, Agent Harold.”
The huge black door in front of her desk slid open with the slightest of hisses, revealing the team she had sent to retrieve Agent Dirk. Retired, Agent Dirk. Her eyes glistened with sadness at the sight of the blue Lupe, whose head he still managed to hold high, his eyes still demanding order, brimming with defiance. She looked down at the scratches on his arms. She grimaced visibly; the metal beneath was beginning to show through. That had been an ugly surgery, but they had saved him. She had still been a rookie at the time, even though she was much older than Dirk and what was once his crew.
“...Ms. Elli? Do I know you?”
Ms. Elli looked up, startled, at the sound of Dirk’s voice. It was strained, but strangely calm. His yellow eyes were fixed on her, disbelief and confusion plastered on his face.
“You are not at liberty to speak,” Agent Harold, that stiff old Chomby, hissed, elbowing him in the back. He had always been jealous of him, Ms. Elli remembered. Three years was such a long time in the NSD. She wasn’t surprised that Dirk didn’t wince. Having robotic replacements came in handy. But Agent Jet and Agent Maria did.
“Oh shrug off, you idiotic little diaper wetter,” Dirk spat. He was answered with a butt from the holster of Harold’s rainbow gun.
“You two never liked each other much,” Ms. Elli said gently. Suddenly, her tone hardened. “Maria, get Dirk a seat. The nice black leather one. You, diaper wetter, get outside, guard the doors. I expect Shadowfeather’s spies are waiting for us, possibly listening in. Jet, if you’d like, you may leave.”
The Wocky glanced at Dirk, who was still trying to figure things out, and shook his head.
“I’ve waited three years for Dirk to come back,” he said stiffly. “I’m going to help as much as I can.”
Ms. Elli watched silently as Maria herded Dirk into a seat. Dirk was now looking around the room, baffled. He drank in the huge windows, cathedral ceiling, black tiled floors, and the walls marked with deep steel blue letters: THE NDS.
“Familiar, isn’t it?” Ms. Elli said, taking a few loose papers on her desk and stacking them in a pile. She adjusted her glasses and stared at Dirk, who was shaking his head. “You know, the Neopian Security Departments, ensuring Neopian peace and safety one villain at a time? Yes, no?”
“Never seen it in my life,” he said softly. Ms. Elli was no idiot. She could tell he was holding on the last strands of what he thought was reality. Of an owner and two siblings and friends... a life a fifteen year old should lead. That was what he had wanted in the first place, that’s why he had gone to Shadowfeather, the only person in Neopia (besides Sloth, but that just wanted happening) who could give him what he wanted.
“Don’t lie to yourself,” Ms. Elli said icily. She had to remind him of his life here. It was the only way, even if it was painful. “You’re an Agent of the NDS. You were recruited at the age of ten, already practically a genius, but without a home, and an extraordinary criminal record, I might add. Your skills were exactly what we needed.”
“No,” Dirk said feebly, sliding into the seat. “I’ve never done anything bad in my life!”
“Oh yes, you did. You and your friend Jet over there were arrested, but back then we were looking for young recruits. You had a knack for it, so did the Wocky. Even though he was a bit dense.”
Dirk jumped to his feet, paws clenched, his eyes flashing with rage. She could almost hear the click in his brain as the memories flashed, came back.
“Jet was not dense. He was my closest friend, and he may not have been a brainiac, but he saved my life more than this excuse for an organization did.”
Jet looked up, incredulous. Maria stopped biting her claws anxiously and looked at Ms. Elli with a mixture of awe and fear.
Dirk, though, wasn’t as impressed. He was looking at everything with a new air, a new emotion: cold hard fury. Ms. Elli was afraid what might happen. The sudden onrush of memories could cause Dirk to go – insane. And with those implants of his, things could go sour very quickly.
To be continued...