Conspiracy Theorist: Does Technology Exist?
It's common knowledge that the only technology in Neopia comes from Virtupets. We build our neohomes by hand, items are manufactured by hand, and our primary source of power is magic. The system works out very well, providing an abundance of jobs for faeries and neopets alike and keeping the economy stable. So far, there has been no sign that this system will ever change, and no apparent reason as to why it even should.
But is that really the only reason we haven't progressed?
I, for one, find our lack of technological advancement highly suspicious. Isn't it illogical that our development has been completely static, and there has been no apparent desire to change this? Why haven't we contacted... whoever's in charge of Virtupets... now that we're at peace and asked them to teach us how their technology works?
After mulling it over, I came to a stunning realization:
Someone, or something, is preventing the creation and distribution of technology on Neopia.
That's why I've decided to investigate.
I'm sorry, I don't believe I have introduced myself; I must hide my identity just in case somebody decides to have me... "silenced", but you may know me as T the Aisha, resident expert on all conspiracy theories ranging from King Altador being evil to Lutari Island not really existing (for the record, I have strong evidence in favor of the former).
My first stop is Darigan Citadel; more specifically, the dungeons. I wish to interview Number Five, the insane, old Lupe who is most well known for his belief in the existence of Jelly World (the existence of which I am still looking into). However, what is less well-known (that I have come to learn after several matches of cellblock against him) is his stubborn insistence of just about everything crazy you can think of... including the existence of technology in Neopia. Granted, he's about as credible as a thief is honest, but it's a start.
The following is a transcript of said interview at the courtesy of Master Vex (it may not be 100% accurate, as it is quite hard for even him to understand No.5's accent and rapid way of speaking):
T: So... Number Five... do you remember me?
No.5: You... I know you?
T: Indeed, you do. Not well, I may add, but nonetheless, we have met.
No.5: *illegible muttering while nodding*
T: Something you said to me during our match last week intrigued me... what do you know about "tech-
No.5: TECHNOLOGY? IT EXISTS. IT DOES! IT IS BEING HIDDEN FROM US *illegible* AND THEY DON'T WANT US TO *illegible* THEY'RE IN LEAGUE WITH *illegible* AND THEIR COMPANIES STOCK THAT *illegible* MAGICAL *illegible* DOOOOOOOOOM!!!!
T: W-would you be so kind as to remove your hands from my collar?
No.5: *more illegible yelling* IT EXISTS! JUST LIKE JELLY WORLD AND THE *illegible* I TELL YOU IT EXISTS!!! *illegible*
T: H-help me...
*at this point, No.5 is dragged back into his cell by a pair of guards*
Well, that was... rather short. In fact, I barely understood a word he was saying.
However, after reviewing the transcript, I noticed that he said the word "stock", which reminded me of the scandal that erupted several years back when Nigel the Chia had to come forward and admit his so-called "automobile" was but a prop. Could it be that the stock market really does have connections to technology being hidden or restricted? At the very least, if nothing is found, I'll have evidence against the existence of Jelly World and... whatever that other thing was that that crazy Lupe mentioned.
My next destination, of course, is the Stock Market. After a brief chat with Nigel the Chia (during which nothing of interest was said), I head over to the stock listings to look at all stocks that could be linked to technology. Within five minutes, I've compiled a brief listing:
AAVL and VPTS can both be linked to Virtupets, so nothing of value can be taken from there. CYBU, while apparently dealing with electromatics (whatever those are), was revealed to only manufacture small widgets that were either powered by magic or didn't even need a power source.
POWR, however, yielded some very interesting results upon further inspection. When I asked Nigel the Chia what it was, he said (seemingly from memory): "Power-X... this company is a total mystery; quite what it does nobody knows. Nobody ever goes in, nobody ever comes out, but the company accounts are astounding!" Needless to say, I was very intrigued, especially by the fact that this company seems to have existed before Dr. Sloth even came to Neopia in the first place. Unfortunately, further inquiry yielded no results. No information about Power-X Corp. seems to exist anywhere in Neopia.
This is not the end of my investigation, however.
My next stop is Neopia Central. Rumor has it that a complete listing of Neopian history has been recorded by a seemingly immortal Techo who currently resides in the Catacombs. A quick chat with a friendly Aisha directs me to a relatively small building just south of their campfire. After hearing my motive, she suggests I start with the Lost Desert section, claiming she found something promising there the other day as she was sorting each section alphabetically. Thankfully, the Techo doesn't even seem to notice my presence - if he does, he doesn't seem to mind my being there.
I have just reached the part that chronicles the adventures of Brucey B, Princess Fernypoo, and Capara the Kyrii as they discover the Lost Desert, and I've made a revolutionary discovery! Brucey B is said to use a telephone to call his friend, Capara, to tell her about the high-stakes Cheat! competition to which he has been invited. I've heard about these so-called "telephones"; apparently, they're a form of communication used in Virtupets to instantaneously communicate at long range. Sure, they could have simply received these telephones directly from Virtupets, but at the time, Virtupets was still run by Sloth, who would have been less than willing to share technology with his enemies.
More than that, though; I decided to take a quick peek at the surface of the early history of Neopia Central, and apparently, we had devices resembling our old Neovision before Virtupets even arrived! They were compact enough to fit into ones own Neohome, and you could actually pick what it played by inserting something called a "video". All of these devices, videos, and the store that sold them have vanished, however. It's not impossible than an archaeological excavation could uncover more information, but I don't have the authority, funding, or skills to make it happen.
This isn't all the proof I need, though... no, I need some more to confirm that technology is being hidden from us, most likely by these Power-X people. The only other possible lead I can think of is the Lab Ray Scientist, whose very existence confirms that Neopets are capable of inventing. Why have he and his odd Kookith been confined to the depths of the ocean, though? Shouldn't they be sharing their revolutionary inventions with the rest of the world?
Since I have no access to the Ray myself, I have asked a friend of mine (who shall remain anonymous) to escort me, blindfolded, to the lab itself for the purpose of conducting an interview with the mad Scorchio behind it all. Seeing as how I'm not actually using the Ray and have no way of knowing how to get there again, I think it should be alright.
Here is a transcript of said interview (courtesy of my anonymous friend):
T: So, you are the brilliant mind behind the Lab Ray, yes?
Ray Scientist: Pah! I have a name, you know.
T: Alright, then... what's your name?
Ray Scientist: Cut the chit-chat; why are you here? I'm not giving you the schematics to either my ray or my Petpet's, if that's what you're here for.
T: No, no, nothing like that. I do have a few questions regarding the ray, though. Nothing that will allow me to recreate it, I promise you.
Ray Scientist: Ugh, very well... ask whatever you want.
T: Why have you located your amazing inventions so far away from society? Surely, you would gain more recognition if you located them in, say, Neopia Central!
Ray Scientist: Well, there are two reasons for that. The first is, quite frankly, profit. I'm responsible for a majority of map sales, you know. It's earned me a killing, especially if you take inflation into account!
T: And the second?
Ray Scientist: Second what?
T: You said there were two reasons your ray is in a remote location.
Ray Scientist: I don't believe I did.
T: Alright, moving on then... what can you tell me about the creation of the Ray?
Ray Scientist: Nothing; I can't be having any competition.
T: Is that really why?
Ray Scientist: Yes... why- why do you ask?
T: Tell me, what do you know about Power-X Corp.?
Ray Scientist: ...never heard of it.
T: Your slight increase in perspiration and sudden change of expression say otherwise.
Ray Scientist: I tell you, I know nothing about that accursed company.
T: Why the adjective use, then?
Ray Scientist: Guh...
T: What are you hiding?
Ray Scientist: Nothing. And believe me, if I was hiding something from you, it'd be for your own good.
T: You don't need to worry about me. I ask again: what do you know?
Ray Scientist (breathing getting heavier, voice slightly quieter): You... you aren't one of them, are you?
T: One of whom?
Ray Scientist: If you don't already know, then you don't want to. I've already revealed too much; I refuse to answer any more questions.
T: Too much? You've revealed nothing!
Ray Scientist: And that's because I know nothing! You shouldn't even be in here; be grateful I've even spoken to you at all! Leave at once!
He seemed serious, so I followed his instruction and left immediately (my friend again blindfolding me).
My interview with the Ray Scientist, while revealing nothing conclusive, has strongly hinted that Power-X is indeed somehow behind this, and that he himself has had a bad past with them. I seriously doubt I'd be allowed to speak with him again, even if I bought the map myself... which is a shame, because I really wanted to know why he created the Ray to begin with.
Nevertheless, I believe that it's safe to say at this point that Neopia has, at one point, possessed its own technology, but something happened sometime after the discovery of the Lost Desert that prompted Power-X to somehow restrict technology from the average Neopian and erase any public records of it ever being used. Unfortunately, my investigation has unearthed more questions than it has answered, but hopefully, I will eventually reach the bottom of this mystery and discover not only what Power-X actually is, but what their motive is, who's behind it, and whether their actions are in the best interests of Neopia, themselves, or a far more sinister cause.