It was one of those average days: a bright yellow sun shining in the sky, a nice warm breeze blowing in from the hills, a few clouds drifting lazily in the bright blue sky.
And yet, it wasn't an average day for Invader, a Baby Grundo. Today was a day like no other. His owner was finally allowing him to get his own Petpet! It was like a dream come true, and he wanted to find the perfect companion.
This Petpet would be his friend for the rest of forever, and he wanted to be sure that it would be the best. His owner, Phroto, had given him a couple hundred thousand neopoints to buy whichever Petpet he wanted. Price wasn't an issue; the only problem was actually finding that Petpet.
"I'm so nervous," Invader said, clasping his hands tighter around the bag of Neopoints he was carrying. "What if I don't find the Petpet I'm looking for? What if there just isn't a Petpet out there for me? What if I'm destined to never have a Petpet? What if I'm supposed to be the loneliest Neopet ever to exist in Neopia? What if—"
His owner, Phroto, let out a small giggle, interrupting his mini-tirade. "Invader, calm down! I'm sure you'll find the perfect friend." She smiled down at him. "Shadow, Galbatorix, and Sky went through the same thing you are going through right now, but they found their Petpets. You'll know when you found that Petpet. It'll be a spark, like a little shock of electricity going off in your head saying: that's the one!"
"Still..." Invader sighed. "I just... I don't know. It's hard to explain. I just want to find that Petpet, but I don't know if I ever will." He stopped walking; they had made it to their first stop: the Neopian Petpet Shop.
"Invader," Phroto said, "you'll find the Petpet. It may not be here, but you'll find the one. I promise you." She bent down and gave him a hug. "Now go and see if the one is in the shop and, remember, there are plenty more Petpet Shops in the other lands of Neopia!"
Invader nodded to his owner, distracted. "Okay, okay, I get it." He opened the front door to the Neopian Petpet Shop. Many different noises assaulted his antennae: barks, meows, hisses, and growls. There were Warfs, Buzzers, and even some Spyders crawling and running around. These Petpets seem... wild. I don't know if I want a crazy Petpet.
"Hello there!" a happy Usul greeted him from behind the counter. She had a certain cheeriness about her that made Invader feel a hundred times better. He wondered why, but didn't question it; the Usul was just happy with her job of taking care of these Petpets. "Could I help you?"
Invader smiled, but shook his head. "No thanks, I'm just looking for the perfect Petpet to keep forever," he said. "I'll know it when I see it!"
The Usul smiled, picking up a Warf. "Ah, I see. Pick wisely." She gave him a wink.
Invader nodded, and started to walk down the aisles, staring intently at all the Petpets in the cages. There was a cute Puppyblew looking up at him from inside one cage, wagging its tail. Invader waved to the little Petpet, but he didn't feel anything spark inside him. "Sorry, buddy," he whispered to the Petpet. "You'll find the perfect owner soon."
Invader continued down the aisle, occasionally stopping at some cages and looking inside. But after an hour, he sighed. His perfect Petpet was not here. Will I actually find him?
As he walked out the door, the Usul called, "Don't worry! You'll find the perfect one soon!"
Phroto was waiting outside the shop, munching on a Checkered Burger she bought from the Food Shop. She looked Invader up and down before saying, "Didn't find the one, huh?"
"Nope." Invader sighed. "What land are we going to next?"
"Let's try the Haunted Woods. Come on, don't give me that look. You never know, your perfect companion could be in those Woods! No monsters will get you while I'm there." Phroto smiled.
Invader groaned. The Haunted Woods was his least favourite land in all of Neopia, but he knew his owner had a point. "Okay, let's just get it over with."
"I'll buy you a burger before we leave. I know the food in the Haunted Woods is a bit... disgusting."
Invader was sitting outside the Tyrannian Petpet Shop with a glum look on his face, waiting for Phroto to come back with some drinks. He had searched through every land's Petpet Shop, but he never found the perfect petpet. It was as if his companion was hiding from him, purposely waiting in silence, taunting him with imaginary fancies of spending days with a friend that would always be with him, one that would always stand by him, stand for him, a friend that would always be there.
He couldn't find that friend. That friend, that perfect Petpet, was nowhere, gone from Neopia. Invader wondered if there was even such a thing. Did other Neopets just make up their stories of the love and complete and utter happiness they have with their Petpets? Surely not, right? That would mean all his siblings, his friends, would have been lying... or they just thought that they had that special bond. Maybe it was an illusory correlation, just seeming to exist but not actually there.
Sure, there had been many Petpets Invader had liked: a certain Acko, an Angelpuss, and an Urchell. He even went down to Maraqua and saw a Bubblebee that looked just plain adorable.
But... none of those Petpets seemed like they were his perfect companion, one that he could say would be a friend for life. They were, of course, all adorable, all probably loyal to their potential owner, but they just weren't the Petpets for Invader.
Invader sighed, glancing up as a Tyrannian Nimmo with a Reptillior stopped in front of him.
"Do you need anything?" Invader asked. He knew he stood out here in Tyrannia, but he was leaving soon anyway.
The Nimmo laughed. "No, I was just wondering why you looked so sad. No Neopet should look as glum as you! What's wrong?"
That got a small chuckle out of Invader. "I spent all day long searching through every Petpet Shop, hoping to find my perfect Petpet, but I never found him. I'm starting to think that perfect Petpets don't actually exist and that Neopets just imagine their relationships."
The Nimmo smiled, looking thoughtful. "Possibly. Those are some deep thoughts, though I feel as if Chuck is my, as you say, 'perfect' Petpet." He paused. "Have you checked every land?"
"Yes," Invader sighed, looking over to the Petpet named Chuck. Chuck. What an odd name for a Petpet, but seemingly fitting.
"Are you sure?" the Nimmo asked again. "I know sometimes Neopets forget one place since they don't think much of it... Have you checked up in the Space Station?"
Invader looked up to the Nimmo sharply. "No, I haven't," he said, turning to look up at the Space Station floating in the sky. How could he have forgotten the Space Station? That was where Grundos came from! What if his perfect companion was up there?
The Nimmo smiled, turning to walk away. "Well then, I think you should go check. You never know; that could be where your potential Petpet is hiding!"
Invader was standing outside the Space Station's Petpet Shop, feeling nervous. This was the last place his perfect Petpet could be; if it wasn't here, Invader would have to face the facts that he may never find the best Petpet for him. He glanced up to Phroto for support.
"Go on, Invader. It'll be okay. Stop stressing and just let what will happen, happen. There's nothing you can do to prevent the inevitable, for you have no idea what the inevitable will be."
Invader grunted a small agreement, feeling slightly annoyed. He knew his owner was right, though. Taking a deep breath, Invader walked inside.
There were Robot Petpets everywhere. A Wheelie wheeled by him with a Blobagus following close behind. Invader smiled; this shop looked like fun.
The Grundo shopkeeper looked up. "Well, hello there!" he greeted Invader, grinning from antennae to antennae. "I don't get many visitors here. May I help you with something?"
But Invader barely heard the shopkeeper. There, in a corner, was a small Shocket. He felt it, the shock he's been waiting for all day. The emotions rushed through him, like a huge tidal wave crashing onto a beach: pure and utter joy. That was who he had been searching for.
Invader turned towards the shopkeeper, barely containing his excitement. "Yes, you can, actually," he said, grinning. "Could you tell me how many neopoints that Shocket is? I'll pay whatever it takes!"