Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 193,968,077 Issue: 658 | 15th day of Hiding, Y16
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Funny Business

by peachfig


"I'm working on a new experiment," he says, "a ray that will give any pet super powers, and great strength. Of course it's not finished yet, but if you are willing to take the risk..." Although you are eager at the possibility of super powers (who wouldn't want their Maraquan Kacheek to fly?), his maniacal, off putting eyes almost make you pass up the opportunity.

Then again, who could really pass up an offer to zap your precious Neopet with a questionable ray? No one. Of course, he has been feeding that line to you since you first found the secret laboratory. It has been... what, fifteen years? That's alright, though, because eventually he'll get it right! In the meantime, don't forget to bring your extra set of diapers. What? Your Neopet is faerie, not baby? That doesn't matter! He or she will most certainly need it; have you ever been zapped with a ray before?!

I suppose the real questions are:

Who is the mad lab ray scientist, and why has he still not fixed his machine in almost two decades? I am here today, in sunny (location blocked for security purposes) with the Scorchio himself!

Peachfig: Hello... sir? I guess to start off, very little is known about you. There have been stories spread around the Neopian Times, but for the most part is seems as if people only know you as a Battledome challenger! So, tell me first off, what is your name? Secondly, why do you think people know so little about you?

Eugene IV: My name is... my name is... Eugene the Fourth. I prefer to simply be referred to as "Brilliant", however. I would say the reason that I am so under the radar is because I prefer to be that way. I do have a very loyal companion; his name is Archy. He is currently a Buzzer. Oh, I'm sorry... I think he turned into a Pandaphant this morning.

Peachfig: Really? Does Archy... enjoy the experimental process?

Eugene IV: I assume so. I say assume because the first go-round made him unable to speak. I am not sure whether it was the shock that made him that way or the ray. However, until a lab report states clearly that it was my ray that did it... he was just wimpy. That is all you need to know.

Peachfig: So, you say "your ray". I was under the impression that you only ran the neopet lab ray, do you also associate yourself with the petpet lab ray?

Eugene IV: Of course. The Kookith simply presses a button; that trick took me years to teach him, surprisingly. I don't have time to operate both with the amount of Neopets I cater to on a daily basis!

Peachfig: I see. For you to have so many clientele, you would never guess that you actually prefer to stay "under the radar"?

Eugene IV: Well, I initially had created but one map to this location-


Peachfig: Uhm... I think Archy has something to... is that a stack of map pieces?

Eugene IV: Oh, uh... People are crazy. They find one map, and they have to start making copies!

Peachfig: The paper is still warm...

Eugene IV: I thought this was an interview, not an interrogation?!

Peachfig: Of course, of course! *scribbles notes* My apologies. Now, you have been experimenting with this ray for nearly two decades. I personally am an avid returning customer, but it seems that we are getting farther and farther away from these so called super powers. Instead, my pets often lose strength. My Draik turned into a... a... yellow Kiko. Wouldn't you think that you would either improve the ray, or determine the experiment to be a failure?

Eugene IV: *slams fist on table* IT IS NOT A FAILURE. You sure are being rather nitpicky, considering I see you not only every day, but also when you think I am away! Yes, I've seen you with your nose pressed against the glass door like a little Snorkle. If it is such a failure, why come back!?

Peachfig: *blushes* That is true... however, I've never been allowed near the Slot Machine games. Your ray just gives such a thrill!


(Author's note: I cannot be certain; however, I believe his whacky hair turned from gray to red when he was saying this...)

Peachfig: Clearly I have overstepped my boundaries-

Eugene IV: Clearly. Where did you buy that dress? Kreludor? Pfft.

Peachfig: ACTUALLY, I got this at a cloud-sale that Queen Fyor- never mind. I feel that we are getting off topic. Do you have any relatives?

Eugene IV: I have a cousin named Chad. I haven't seen him in a very long time, but I have heard mention of him many, many times by blushing girls. Apparently there was a plot going on... I suppose he did always have nice hair. He was always jealous of my hair, though.

Peachfig: Has your hair always looked the same? Even when he was jealous?

Eugene IV: Oh yes. He would try everything to achieve the same "wind blown" look. It really slims my face and makes my snout look more refined.

Peachfig: Fair enough, I can't argue with that! Now, tell me, how to do pay to operate such large machines that I'm sure require a large amount of electricity? Especially with the rays operating 24/7, and of course the lighting and water supply for the entire vicinity?

Eugene IV: Archy is a fabulous baker. We often have bake sales.

Peachfig: On a hidden island?

Eugene IV: There is that smart attitude, again. I swear, you are just so-

*Archy interrupts by tugging on Eugene's lab coat*

(Author's note: From what I observed, little Archy was carrying a very large package- possibly large enough to contain nearly three thousand of the map pieces I saw earlier. Eugene looked at me from the corner of his eyes, took a pen being held by Archy, and slapped his signature on a form taped to the box. Archy exited the room, returning with a bag packed with Neopoints. This may be inappropriate for an unbiased news reporter to assume... but I feel as if those very "elusive" Secret Laboratory Map Pieces may not be as rare as we all assume.)

Eugene IV: THROW IT IN THE VAULT, ARCHY! Now, is there anything else I can do for you today? It seems you have taken up a large chunk of my day.

Peachfig: *quickly grabbing belongings* No, no sir... uh.... Eugene... Brilliant? I appreciate your time... *looks down* and I will see you tomorrow...

The Secret Lab Ray: Possibly the only guilty pleasure even MORE awful yet wonderful than chocolate. I would recommend not getting an attitude with Eugene, however (or calling him Eugene, for that matter), and maybe compliment his hair from time to time. Of course, the question still remains:

"Why hasn't he fixed that stinking lab ray yet?" I think all of us are eager for the day we actually get the zap we were hoping for- super powers and immense strength.

Thank you all!

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