The 'Special Case' of the Lab Ray
“I’m going to try something today,” I stated as I walked with my starry Elephante to the Lab Ray. “I’m going to try and see what happens when the lab ray zaps me.”
84th (the aforementioned Elephante) gave me a skeptical look. “Are you sure that’s such a good idea?”
“Well, it’s worth a shot. I mean, no owner has ever tried getting zapped by the lab ray before, have they?” I asked, as they passed a blossoming tree, its delicate white petals falling gently onto the carved mountain path in Shenkuu. Hmm, I’m not out of breath yet, like I normally am on this walk. Guess water polo is helping, I thought to myself.
“That’s exactly the point,” 84th began, pulling his winter scarf tighter around his neck as a breeze passed through. “You don’t know what may happen to you. I mean, what if you get zapped faerie? You’d turn into a faerie and I doubt Fyora will be too happy about that. Or what if you gained stats? Would you grow stronger and buffer? Losing stats, you’d grow weaker. It’s a very delicate thing that should not be messed with,” he concluded.
“Yeah, yeah, but sooner or later someone is bound to try it. If all goes well, others will want to try it, but if something weird happens, others will know not to try it, right?” I objected. 84th sighed.
“You’re not going to take my advice on this, are you?”
“Nope,” I replied simply, and we continued our walk. What normally was a grueling task for me was much easier than it normally was. So I took the time to enjoy this walk. After all, seeing as you have no idea what the lab ray will do to you, this may be the last time you can appreciate it.
And with that thought in mind, I gazed along the mountain path. There were small trees with white and pink blossoms lining the side of the winding path, and through the mist other mountains could be seen in the distance. Green grass grew on each side of the path, overgrown so that it often touched that path when blown with the wind. The day was nice, the sky blue and the sun shining. All in all it was a beautiful scene, and I made a note to remember it for a long time.
Soon we arrived at the docks of Shenkuu (the sea ones, mind you), where the ferry was waiting for us.
“You’re late!” the Scorchio conductor called out to us, a slight grin on his face.
“Sorry, Chuck! Decided to stop and enjoy the walk this time,” I replied, flashing my ferry pass at the boarding attendant.
“Huh, you’re not out of breath either. Weird,” he stated, then started the motor up and the ferry began moving away from the dock.
As the ferry moved slowly through the Neopia seas, I glanced around at these surroundings as well. Unfortunately they weren’t quite as interesting, being mostly just open sea and the occasional Jetsam or Peophin, and I started thinking about what could possibly happen to me at the lab ray. I could grow stronger, I could possibly grow weaker (ugh, all that water polo for nothing!), I could turn into a faerie, or even a different color. It’d be cool to be island, desert, or even Halloween! Being baby wouldn’t be too fun (good thing that’s not a lab ray color), but it’d being awesome being royal (bad thing that it’s not a lab ray color either). So many things could possibly happen at the lab ray…it would be interesting to see what actually did happen.
Through the corner of my eye, I saw a very pale Usul with dark blue hair sitting on a bench, holding a crystal ball. She had a snarl on her face, and everyone else gave her a five meter radius, but I, being crazy as I am and not noticing everyone avoiding her, strode over and talker to her.
“Hello!” I cried cheerfully.
“Whatdaya want?” she snarled back. I held out my hand, oblivious to the fact that she obviously wanted me to go away.
“I’m Justine, but most people call me Alley. What’s your name?” She glared at my hand.
“Gindara. Now I asked you, what do you want?”
“Could you tell me my fortune!?”
“Sure, cuckoo, sure.” She gazed into her crystal ball. “Hmm… let's see here. I see… that you will have great troubles ahead of you, a horrible incident will happen to you not too long from now. Oh, and you’ll also realize your Kougra has an addiction to fireworks,” she concluded with a sharp nod and a malicious grin. I just thought she was grinning happily.
“Hmm… Kougra addicted to fireworks, that’s rather random. And I doubt that,” I scoffed. She scowled.
“Well, it’s your fortune. Now go away and leave me alone.” And with that, she went into a sort of daze. I walked back to my post by the side of the ship and watched a Flotsam wave to me.
The boat soon slowed to a stop, and those with the lab map were allowed off the boat and to an undisclosed location. This undisclosed location was very bland, and was hidden to the eye of everyone but those with the map.
84th and I walked slowly towards the building and punched in the code we’d been given. The door concealed in the building opened and we stepped inside.
As I passed a mirror, I looked at myself one last time, in case something happened. The same long brown hair was there, its various red and blonde natural highlights shining under the lamp light. Same pale skin, slightly tan from recent water polo matches, and same green eyes that could stare a hole into anyone, and could see right through to your soul. I looked away as I heard the cough, and followed my impatient (though now less crazy) pet to where the Lab Scientist was waiting.
“Good morning, Alley. Zapping 84th again today?” he asked politely, then took a sip of the neocola that was in his hand.
“Actually no, Doc. I was wondering if you’d mind if I was zapped?”
“You?!?!” he practically shouted, spitting his neocola out in the process. “I…I’ve never had an owner zapped before, you know…”
“I’m aware,” I replied, a determined look now on my face. “And I want to be the first. Would that be okay with you?”
“Well,” he began, looking nervous, and shuffling from one yellow Scorchio foot to the other, “I guess it’d be okay. But you have to sign the liability waver 84th signed when I first zapped him.” He pulled a white sheet of paper from a coat pocket while 84th, standing in the background, rolled his eyes, and examined his nails, bored. ‘Doc’ handed the form to me, and I began reading it.
I, (insert name here), do declare that the Lab Ray is not responsible for any casualties, pain, oddities, abnormalities, insaneness, or any other possibility that may result from the usage of the lab ray. I also declare I will not exploit or use the lab ray for any financial gain or other such illegal act, following the Neopia Code Act 4…
The document continued on in other legal language that would probably bore any Neopian Times reader to death, save, perhaps, Lawyerbot clones. I quickly signed my username at the bottom and handed the document back to the Scorchio. He stamped it, then, glancing around carefully, stuffed it into a filing cabinet marked ‘SPECIAL CASES’.
“This way,” he said, and led me to where I was to stand. I stood there, looking up into the big red bauble on the laser. I gulped, then closed my eyes and waited for what was to happen.
The laser powered up, I could tell, from the loud noises it began making. A red light, visible even with closed eyes, was seen, and I felt volts of energy shoot into me all of a sudden. It was probably a hundred times worse than being electrocuted, yet it didn’t hurt. I could feel my body tingling all over, and then, as soon as it started, it was over.
“Oh no…” I heard someone, 84th, I think, whisper.
“Er… is that even possible?” ‘Doc’ asked in a high voice.
“Well, I guess so. This is kinda weird…” 84th answered ‘Doc’.
“What… what happened?” I felt myself ask. But… that didn’t sound like me… the voice was too deep to be mine. Oh no… thought. “No… no, no, no, no…. no!” I had now realized what happened. I reached up and felt my hair, which was now much shorter then it had been two minutes ago. “Please, doc, tell me it isn’t true…”
“Er, I’m afraid it is, Alley. Or should I say Alex? I’m afraid that, you’ve, er, been zapped into a guy.”
I woke up with a start, sweating. I instinctively reached up and felt my hair. It was still long. I sighed. “It was just a dream, Justine, nothing more than a bad dream.” I assured myself, even using my real name. I glanced through the moonlight streaming in through my window at the lab pass on my desk. “I think I’m going to skip 84th’s lab trip tomorrow…” I whispered to myself.
I heard Willy snore in his room below mine as I snuggled back under my blanket, the moonlight streaming in through the window, its light resting on my still long and brown hair. Somewhere far off in the distance, evil maniacal laughter could be heard.
Not one moment later I realized that my Kougra had a very unhealthy addiction to fireworks.
Author's Note: No, I didn't actually get zapped with the lab ray, but I always wondered what would happen if an owner could get zapped by the ray, and this happened to them. Hope you enjoyed, and feel free to neomail me with feedback!